Let There Be Blood
posted on 10/2008 By:
Going into this without having heard a single one of these re-recorded versions of the Bonded By Blood classics, I was fairly certain this record didn’t need to exist. Like a lot of old farts, I'm largely against the idea of re-recordings as a whole, for the obvious reason of "If it ain’t broke…." But the recent Testament re-recordings were worthy enough, I’ll admit, and even as absolutely kick-ass as Bonded By Blood was and has always been since its initial release in 1985, Let There Be Blood is equally worthy.
The Department Of Obvious Statements would like you to know that the primary difference between Let There Be Blood and Bonded By Blood is the updated recording values. Whereas the earlier version was dated by its mid-80s production, Let There Be Blood is a razor-sharp, crystal-clear pummeling similar to the last two Exodus platters, both of which have been tight and energetic entries into a mosty stellar catalog. (I say "mostly" because Force Of Habit was a little dicey…) But aside from the change in production, there’s one major difference between Exodus 2008 and Exodus 1985, and that’s simply that it’s an almost entirely new band. From the days of the original recording, only perennial guitarist/songwriter Gary Holt and sometime drummer Tom Hunting remain. New vocalist Rob Dukes makes his third appearance on an Exodus disc, and despite that some other long-time Exodus fans haven’t embraced him, I’ll go on record and say that I enjoy his contributions, his mid-range guttural thrash voice fitting nicely alongside Zetro’s squeal and Baloff’s maniacal shout.
As far as songs go, Bonded By Blood is one of the best and most important thrash records, an opinion of mine that’s supported by many so I’m likely preaching to the choir when I say that. These songs hold up as well now as they did then, blistering yet memorable, with Holt’s precise riffing and frantic solos still intact in the new millennium, augmented in recent years by Lee Altus of Heathen. There’s nothing new on hand, aside from an altered track listing, and the avid record collector in me certainly wishes that there were some kind of bonus tunes, like maybe new versions or remasters (or even just a proper release of) some of the earliest pre-thrash Exodus tunes, like "Whipping Queen" or "Death And Domination" from the 1982 demo. I dunno—maybe just something a bit more than a straight-up copy of an old record… But that’s wishful thinking, I guess.
No matter what, all things considered, I can’t say that Let There Be Blood is better than its older twin, and I won’t even say that it’s as good as that record. But I will say wholeheartedly that it’s damn good, and any thrasher worth the patches on his/her jacket should own one or the other of these two records. I wish Exodus would get on with The Atrocity Exhibition... Exhibit B instead of revisiting and repackaging their glory years, but until that next record drops in 2009, this one will at least serve to remind me of why I care about The Atrocity Exhibition at all.
Register to post comments.
Exhibit B: The Human Condition
Shovel Headed Tour Machine (Live At Wacken And Other Atrocities)
The Atrocity Exhibition: Exhibit A
Shovel Headed Kill Machine
Tempo of the Damned