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Exodus - Persona Non Grata review



Reviewer:
8.2

95 users:
7.86
Band: Exodus
Album: Persona Non Grata
Release date: November 2021


01. Persona Non Grata
02. R.E.M.F
03. Slipping Into Madness
04. Elitist
05. Prescribing Horror
06. The Beatings Will Continue (Until Morale Improves)
07. The Years Of Death And Dying
08. Clickbait
09. Cosa Del Pantano
10. Lunatic-Liar-Lord
11. The Fires Of Division
12. Antiseed


Welcome back, it's been too long.

They say good things come to those who wait ,and it would appear that Bay Area thrash legends Exodus are proponents of this creed, giving fans a far too long seven-year wait since 2014’s Blood In, Blood Out to release its follow-up Persona Non Grata, during which time the band have been a prolific touring machine, Tom Hunting has battled cancer and main man Gary Holt’s stint in Slayer has come and gone with that band's retirement (leaving an Exodus-shaped hole in any future Big 4 shows).

Good things have indeed come to pass for fans of Exodus, as Persona Non Grata is a solid latter-day thrash album that doesn’t rest on the band's laurels or legacy, and breaks heads instead of new ground. Firing on all cylinders, the band roar through 12 tracks of the thrash style the band have long been creators of, with ferocious and unrelenting pummelling of the senses abounds.

One thing that fans of the band will notice when looking at this album is that only three songs break the six-minute mark, a marked change from the band’s recent output, though one that combines the best of both worlds, with tracks that are brimming and nearly bloating with sheer material before letting the sledgehammer swing and taking your head clean off your shoulders. With the likes of “Antiseed” and “Lunatic-Liar-Lord” featuring large, but not excessive, amounts of content, the band also throw out (by their standards anyway) short sharp shocks in “The Beatings Will Continue (Until Morale Improves)” that give the album a level of variation that hooks you in.

Where the band hit their stride is when they create a middle ground between these two styles, with tracks like “R.E.M.F” and “The Fires Of Division” having both atmosphere and the energy of a short track just bursting at its seams. From the frantic guitar work of Holt and Altus to the cavalcading Hunting drums, the band know exactly what to do and deliver with style, while Zetro delivers his trademark style along tracks like “Slipping Into Madness”, which sees Zetro take on a vocal delivery that borrows heavily from the band’s yesteryears with Rob Dukes and gives fans the best of both worlds, Zetro handling it with aplomb.

With the band self-producing the album and mastering it alongside Andy Sneap, you would think they were guaranteed the best sound, but this is not exactly the case. While the production is highly enjoyable, it does lack that bite and sharpness that attacks the listener, laying out the music in front of you rather than throwing it directly at you and taking you off your feet. It is only a minor concern in the grand scheme of things, but something that is noticeable on tracks like “Clickbait”.

Those of you who (somehow) are not fans of the band or its sound will unlikely find much here to enjoy as the band stick to their guns, and if anything, increase the firepower at their disposal. Zetro maintains his divisive vocal style while the band get down to business as usual and assault listeners rather than try to endear themselves to a new audience; Persona Non Grata is an Exodus album through and through.

Its been a (too) long time coming but thankfully it is here; Persona Non Grata will likely slide into regular rotation for thrash fans who have been waiting for a new Exodus album. Throw up the horns and crank up the volume dial, you won’t regret it until you see the damage you have caused jumping around the room thanks to this solid album.


Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 7





Written on 18.11.2021 by Just because I don't care doesn't mean I'm not listening.


Comments

Comments: 20   Visited by: 231 users
18.11.2021 - 11:41
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
Shit, has it actually been that long since the previous one?
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Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?


2021 goodies
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18.11.2021 - 19:58
Rulatore

Same stuff last time, boring generic thrash
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18.11.2021 - 21:11
PēterisP

I gave it a spin. For 2 minutes. The same stuff as in 1990. Skip it.
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Metalhead since 1987
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19.11.2021 - 01:40
Obsidius500

How can you give this 8.2? This album is so generic it hurts. There are some okay songs on but compared to the last album it is just so generic.
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19.11.2021 - 12:28
Coconut Racecar

Nice! Always happy to see more (S)Exodus.

Never been one to care if something is generic. I don't listen to music to critique, I listen to it to feel good .
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19.11.2021 - 12:40
Groak

Written by PēterisP on 18.11.2021 at 21:11

I gave it a spin. For 2 minutes. The same stuff as in 1990. Skip it.

I wish I could adjudicate an album after 2 minutes. Nice gift you've got there.
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19.11.2021 - 13:08
bleak

A waste of time. Dumb generic thrash. In case anybody was wondring, Exodus is still irrelevant. Cheers!
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19.11.2021 - 13:11
JoHn DoE

Written by bleak on 19.11.2021 at 13:08

A waste of time. Dumb generic thrash. In case anybody was wondring, Exodus is still irrelevant. Cheers!


Dumb? As though being called generic is not bad enough, you have to call it "dumb"?

I plan to listen to the album today, I liked the two songs I've heard so far.
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I thought the two primary purposes for the internet were cat memes and overreactions.
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19.11.2021 - 14:34
Deadsoulman

Why all the hate for Exodus? This album is a fun and catchy riff fest that doesn't reinvent the wheel but does well what it has to do, kinda like a minor version of Tempo Of The Damned. I don't know what more you can ask of an old-school thrash band with over 40 years of existence to be honest.
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19.11.2021 - 14:54
RaduP
CertifiedHipster
I just don't see any reason for this to be any longer than 40 minutes. Maybe 45.
----
Do you think if the heart keeps on shrinking
One day there will be no heart at all?


2021 goodies
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19.11.2021 - 15:09
Deadsoulman

^ True. Exodus have made a habit of overstaying their welcome, their last album that was of an appropriate length was probably Pleasures Of The Flesh. As much as I love most of it, even TOTD was a bit on the long side.
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19.11.2021 - 18:31
nikarg
Mod
The music is pretty good, the drumming kills, and the guitars (both rhythm and lead) are excellent. Souza is the only thing that prevents me from fully enjoying this. The title track, "Prescribing Horror", "The Years Of Death And Dying", and "The Fires Of Division" stood out after first listen. Maybe a bit on the long side, as Radu said.
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19.11.2021 - 19:10
Baz Anderson

Just had my first listen and enjoyed it!

I don't know what all these people in here criticising were expecting exactly - but my first impression is that of a great thrash album. Nothing unexpected and everything I hoped it would be.
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19.11.2021 - 20:39
Malignar

Some pretty good headbanging material. Impressive rhythm guitar playing and riffs. Maybe a bit too long overall, but nothing to seriously downrate the album for. I like Souza's vocals, unlike most metal fans(at least it seems that way). A lot of modern thrash bores me, Testaments last couple, but this is solid imo.
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19.11.2021 - 22:35
Redel

Indeed, nothing to be upset about. This had to be expected.
Possibly even a tad better than expected here.
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20.11.2021 - 10:59
Metal Spartan

I've heard 2 songs so far and enjoyed them. Will definitely give the rest of the album a spin.
What I don't understand are those who are complaining about Souza's vocals. He's been on 7 of their 11 albums since the 80s so you already know what to expect.
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20.11.2021 - 14:14
Souza's vocals are the primary reason why this band never really managed to experience the commercial success of the big thrash bands, and it is not hard to realize why. The second reason being the band ditching the heavy tritonous sound of the brilliant debut album and going for a more happy-blues based riff approach. The guy has a very annoying vocal delivery, from the Brian Johnson school vocals and now that he has aged up a bit, it is even more disturbing to the ear. Especially during the fast vocal parts. With the exception of the second album, which was written with Baloff's vocals in mind, thus Souza has to tame it down a little, this guy has been shitting bricks for decades.

It is very hard for someone who doesn't enjoy vocalists shitting bricks via their mouths to enjoy the actual music. Not that there is much good stuff here... Holt has been devoid of any creative input for more than 2 decades. He is content to release the same album over and over.
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20.11.2021 - 17:50
ChapuLviz

I do not know, it seems dementia what Exodus suffers, because they reached a solid maturity between 2001-2010, but now he behaves like an angry child who throws bad ideas. Are they trying to cover the space that Slayer left? I don't like this version of Exodus.
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20.11.2021 - 19:59
Rulatore

Written by nikarg on 19.11.2021 at 18:31

The music is pretty good, the drumming kills, and the guitars (both rhythm and lead) are excellent. Souza is the only thing that prevents me from fully enjoying this. The title track, "Prescribing Horror", "The Years Of Death And Dying", and "The Fires Of Division" stood out after first listen. Maybe a bit on the long side, as Radu said.

Apart from the leads, I dont know whats so great about the guitar work here, it's truly generic stuff with not much variation, save for 2 tracks. Everything is so barebones and formulaic is depressing. The only person trying is the vocalist
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22.11.2021 - 07:31
lemme

Artwork > Guitars > Vocals > Songs > Drums > Your Opinion.

I'm enjoying it
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