Shovel Headed Kill Machine
Nuclear Blast Records
Released Oct 4th 2005
After releasing Tempo of the Damned in 2004, it was assumed the reformed Exodus line-up would stay together and record again; unfortunately that didn’t come to pass. In fact, Souza, Hunting and Hunolt left the band, leaving Holt and Gibson as the remaining two members. All seemed lost, until Gary Holt approached the band’s guitar tech Rob Dukes to fill the vacant vocal spot left by Zetro. Before you know it former Heathen guitarist Lee Altus and former Slayer drummer Paul Bostaph were quickly recruited into the fold as well. Suddenly Exodus was a full band again and in the fall of 2005 they unleashed Shovel Headed Kill Machine upon the world. No one expected this album to sound so vital; brimming with raw energy and power. Everything seemed to click with this line-up and surprisingly, Exodus was chomping at the bit to take back their coveted spot among the thrash band elite.
Many critics felt this album was more consistent than Tempo of the Damned, despite the wall of sound coming across as almost one dimensional at times. But there is no mistaking that take-no-prisoners attitude and that nasty spirit to back up the riffage when it counts the most. I think it is safe to say this release was the most punishing album of the band’s discography and arguably the most riveting set of thrashers recorded in the studio.
Best tracks on this release: “Deathamphetamine”, “Shudder to Think”, “Altered Boy”, “Going Going Gone” and “Shovel Headed Kill Machine”.
I am giving Shovel Headed Kill Machine a solid 7 out of 10