It may have been just a relatively short six years since thrash legends Exodus last graced this very stage, but it has been a lot longer since the Steve ‘Zetro’ Souza fronted incarnation was last in these parts… almost 27 years and 1989’s ‘Fabulous Disaster’ tour. In fact, not one single member of support act Lost Society had been even conceived on that occasion, making this tour a truly memorable clash of the generations, with the old guard taking on the new breed and serving up a mutual feast of thrash metal of the finest pedigree.
The young Finns get proceedings off to a fast and furious start, with their mixture of old school and new age sensibilities showing due reverence to their heritage but also a positive outlook for the future with their fresh, dynamic sound and nigh on flawless musicianship. Samy Elbanna is a highly charismatic frontman, practised from almost incessant touring, and interacts well with the crowd, while looking genuinely surprised, no overwhelmed, by their reception, remarking that “you motherfuckers are loud!”. ‘I Am The Antidote’, the first single from their brilliant new album ‘Braindead‘, may see them take the foot off the accelerator slightly but that doesn’t diminish from the power and impact, while ‘Overdosed Brain’ and ‘Terror Hungry’ both up the volume and the intensity levels again, setting the pit alight and necks snapping as fast as their guitar chops.
Lost Society have everything you want from a thrash band, especially in terms of enthusiasm and energy, and are determined that maybe one day they’ll find themselves in the same position as the old guard from whom they are learning fast.
If the young upstarts had any thoughts of even coming anywhere taking the old hands to school, then these were blown out of the water right from the off, as Exodus get fists pumping, heads banging, necks flailing and voices raised right from the opening bar of ‘Black 13’. By the title track of the latest album, ‘Blood In, Blood Out’, the intensity level has risen to a mercury-boiling degree – and keeps on climbing as the audience need no second invitation from Souza to engage in “some good, clean, violent fun”, with ‘And Then There Were None’ inspires the first stage diver of the evening to risk the wrath of the venue security (who, to be honest, are just standing back and letting those in the pit get on with it!). Souza references the absences of Gary Holt – prompting a brief reprise of ‘Reign In Blood’ before the first real pit of the night opens up during ‘Children Of A Worthless God’, while ‘Body Harvest’ summarizes just what they are doing: destroying bodies and harvesting the dismembered parts in a glorious, blood-soaked (well, metaphorically anyway) thrash fest.
There’s hardly a pause for breath – Souza only really halting proceedings again briefly to dedicate ‘A Lesson In Violence’ to the late Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister (“he did it his fucking way”) and to remark that it seemed more like a Friday night show than a miserable Monday – as the quintet races through a set list drawn from their entire illustrious back catalogue and which shows that, far from living on that legacy, Exodus are still very much a vibrant and relevant entity, especially in the live arena, where they not only are more than capable of giving the younger generation of bands a run for their money but, to quote Samy Elbanna’s pre-gig interview, whipping their asses each and every single night. It’s furious and intense. It’s raw and emotional. Just the way it should be, in fact…
Black 13 / Blood In, Blood Out / And Then There Were None / Children Of A Worthless God / Deranged / Salt The Wound / Body Harvest / Metal Command / Piranha / A Lesson In Violence / Blacklist / War Is My Shepherd / Impaler / Bonded By Blood / The Toxic Waltz / Strike Of The Beast
- Photographs by The Dark Queen.
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Watch our interview with Samy Elbanna of Lost Society HERE.
Watch our interview with Steve ‘Zetro’ Souza HERE.
The tour continues in Liverpool tonight (Wednesday 2 March) and then as follows:
Thursday 3 March – York, Fibbers
Friday 4 March – Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
Saturday 5 March – London, Underworld
Sunday 6 March – Brighton, The Haunt
Tuesday 8 March – Southampton – Talking Heads
Wednesday 9 March – Bristol, The Fleece
Thursday 10 March – Plymouth, The Hub
Friday 11 March – Cardiff, The Globe
Saturday 12 March – Hammerfest VIII (* Lost Society not appearing)
Sunday 13 March – Southend On Sea, Chinnerys