Exodus was one of the bands that the first wave of the pandemic hit exceptionally hard. The band was touring through Europe with Testament and Death Angel when Corona began to change the world in the spring of 2020. Some musicians and crew members got sick and some even fell seriously ill.
2,5 years later Corona is still not over, but more under control and Exodus return to Europe. A mix of festivals and club shows is what the Bay Area veterans have on their itinerary and one show takes place in Hamburg.
However, this evening didn’t go completely smoothly either, for which the band can’t be blamed. First of all, guitarist Lee Altus had to stay in the USA for personal reasons. Replacing someone like Altus is no easy task, but Exodus handled it with flying colors. The band was able to get an equal replacement for the tour in The Black Dalhia Murder guitar wizard Brandon Ellis and Ellis does a great job.
The small downer of the evening is the fact that Heathen didn’t make it to Hamburg in time. The band’s tour bus broke down and literally slowed Heathen down. This is of course a pity for the band, but also fans would have loved to see Heathen live (by the way, Heathen will play at the H.O.A. next weekend).
But now to Exodus. After a longer waiting time than planned and followed by the AC/DC intro, the five-piece enters the stage and gets going with ‘The Beatings Will Continue (Until Morale Improves)’. From second one on the Knust is transformed into a metal madhouse in which a 90-minute pit is in motion. Gary Holt and band are firing on all cylinders and ensure with a good sound and immense riff power a great vibe.
Of course Steve ‘Zetro’ Souza is not only an excellent singer, but also has a great entertainer talent. Mimics and gestures, furthermore permanently in motion, that’s what makes a true frontman. I already mentioned Brandon Ellis. He is an adequate counterpart to Gary Holt and the two are in perfect sync with each other. In addition, Ellis is a true guitar dervish, who goes to work with enthusiasm and agility. And while talking about it, Tom Hunting is also part of the action. Considering his serious illness in 2021, it was not a given. In the meantime, the exceptional drummer has fully recovered and is delivering maximum effort. Hunting is a hard-hitting rhythm engine that drives Exodus, and the sympathetic drummer doesn’t miss the opportunity to come to the edge of the stage himself to thank the fans for their terrific support. As Souza said, the metal community is like a family; there you help and support each other.
As for the set, Exodus put the emphasis on brand new stuff and songs from the early days. ‘Bonded By Blood’ not only contributes the title track, but is represented by tracks like ‘Piranha’ and ‘Strike of the Beast’. These songs are genre-defining classics and are enthusiastically welcomed. The same goes for the songs of ‘Persona Non Grata’ before towards the end ‘The Toxic Waltz’ turns the Knust upside down. The vibe is so good that Exodus even get inspired to play ‘War is My Shepard’ as an extra before ‘Beating Around the Bush’ ends an outstanding trash metal evening.
90 minutes of Exodus are intense and sweaty and so there are still many impressions to be shared for the delighted fans on their way home, no matter if they only have to go as far as Wedel or as far as Magdeburg.
- The Beating Will Continue (Until Morale Improves)
- A Lesson in Violence
- Blood In, Blood Out
- The Years of Death and Dying
- And Then There Was None
- Only Death Decides
- Prescribing Horror
- Bonded By Blood
- The Toxik Waltz
- Strike of the Beast
- War is My Shepard (Encore)
- Beating Around the Bush (Encore)
Location: Knust, Hamburg, Germany
Date: July 23rd, 2022
Photos: Markus Wiedenmann Photography
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