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Exodus: Force of Habit (remaster)

By the time of 1992's Force of Habit, Bay Area thrash leaders Exodus were a shell of their former self, all but moving away from the style that got them where they were to a more generic 'groove laden' metal sound. Gone were most of the intricate speed riffs, the manic drums, and the relentless dual lead lines, replaced with slower, 'chugga-chugga' riffs, and tired, leaden songs. The band even added (gulp!) horns on their cover of "Bitch", something I'm sure you'd never think to hear on an Exodus album. However, there are a few standouts here that harken back to their classic thrash sound, such as the galloping "Me, Myself and I", the raging "Fuel For the Fire", or the crunchy riff monster "Count Your Blessings". However, too many of the songs here just fall into a middle of the road rut, generic mid-tempo arrangements that just don't go anywhere and seem out of place coming from Exodus. Steve Souza at times sounds tired and bored, as if his heart's no longer in it, and the same can be said for the rest of the band, as if they were just phoning their performances in. However, even though there's a shortage of killer riffs here, Gary Holt and Rick Hunolt do manage to fire off plenty of sizzling guitar solos, an aspect that propels average cuts like "Climb Before the Fall" and "Thorn In My Side" just above the mediocre line. You also have to give the band credit for trying a piece like the epic "Architect of Pain", an 11-minute doomy thrash monster that has plenty of melody and progressive elements. Their cover of "Pump It Up" ? Well, let's just not get into that one, shall we?

Caroline Records' remaster job is quite good, this somewhat average album given new life thanks to powerful and sparkling sound. Though I'm not a fan of these mini-LP sleeve packaging formats, they did their best to recreate the original release, the inner sleeve including the original liner notes and photography. Exodus fans can now complete their CD collections thanks to the recent reissues of both this and Impact Is Imminent

Track Listing
1. Thorn In My Side
2. Me, Myself & I
3. Force of Habit
4. Bitch
5. Fuel For the Fire
6. One Foot In the Grave
7. Count Your Blessings
8. Climb Before the Fall
9. Architect of Pain
10. When It Rains It Pours
11. Good Day To Die
12. Pump It Up
13. Feeding Time At the Zoo
14. Crawl Before You Walk
15. Telepathetic

Added: July 6th 2008
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Exodus Website
Hits: 4556
Language: english

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