Review EXODUS ‘Persona Non Grata’

I don’t think I need to introduce Exodus at length, because the band from the Bay Area is one of the innovators of thrash metal. The legendary ‘Bonded By Blood’ debut was the beginning and what followed was a progress the guys probably didn’t even dream of at the time.

In the meantime we have arrived at album number 12 and one thing is immediately obvious, Exodus have neither lost energy nor musical vehemence. There is a lot of noise in every part of the album. In addition, it is more than known that both, Lee Altus and Gary Holt, know very well how to get skillful solo parts and massive riffs under one roof. A crucial factor for the consistency of Exodus is a stable line-up, which has not changed since 2014. Back then it was Exodus veteran Steve Souza who rejoined the band and gave the band its typical rough voice again.

‚Persona Non Grata‘, the unwelcomed person, is an album title that might stick out and at the same time makes sense. There is no clear answer to the question, whom the band had in mind when coming up with the title. It is more of an individual choice and in the end, it could be anybody. Important though is that these persona Non Grata will not take over too much from you so that you stay yourself.

Musically it is brave decision to start the album with a seven-minute opener. It’s the title track that kicks-off the album with a massive riff that pulls you into the album right away. No intro, no warm-up. Just intense metal from start to finish.

Another interesting song is called ‚Prescribing Horror‘. It is a grooving riff monster with a calmer middle section that shows the songwriting skills of the quintet very well. Of course, if you’re in business for decades you know how to write a good song and an album that flashes the listener.

Furthermore there is the riot-inspired ‚The Beatings Will Continue (Until Moral Improves)‘, a three minutes smash in the face executed with no compromise in mind. Almost traditional metal is what is reflected by ‚The Years of Death and Dying‘ before the earlier released single ‚Clickbait‘ takes over. ‚The Fires of Division‘ and ‚Antiseed‘ are the two songs that round off ‚Persona Non Grata‘.

Exodus‘ newest musical strike belongs to the best the band so far released. Experience, passion and dedication, it all comes together on ‚Persons Non Grata‘. Exodus didn’t get calmer, nor they lost energy along the way. These guys are on their metal mission and just love what they are doing. This album is the best soundtrack when getting wild in a beer-soaked pit. Horns up.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Persona Non Grata
  2. R.E.M.F
  3. Slipping Into Madness
  4. Elitist
  5. Prescribing Horror
  6. The Beatings Will Continue (Until Morale Improves)
  7. The Years Of Death And Dying
  8. Clickbait
  9. Cosa Del Pantano
  10. Lunatic-Liar-Lord
  11. The Fires Of Division
  12. Antiseed

Label: Nuclear Blast

Genre: Thrash Metal

Release Date EU: November 19th, 2021

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