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Shovel Headed Kill Machine

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  • For those familiar with Exodus history.. the 2005 chapter in the never-ending Exodus saga finds the band without singer “Zetro” Souza, drummer Tom Hunting and long time guitarist Rick Hunolt. This means 60% of the band that recorded “Tempo of the Damned” and toured on 2004 is gone.
    I own a couple of audio bootlegs of the band playing European festivals on 2004 and to say they kicked butt is an understatement, so, I was kind of apprehensive about this album, not because of Zetro leaving but because the only remaining Exodus member is Gary Holt… and then there was one..

    I’ve never been a fan of Zetro’a singing. I believe if the band had picked a different singer after Paul Baloff left the band, their fate would have been different, so the burning question here is: is new singer Rob Dukes a hope for all those who couldn’t stand Zetro’s singing?

    Well, Maybe.
    In the album opener Raze Mr. Dukes sounds like a genetically engineered version of Zetro and Baloff singing..
    Things get a little more interesting in the following song, the awesome 8+ minute long Deathamphetamine.
    In some parts of the next tune “Karma’s Messenger” you can hear Mr. Dukes real voice coming out, and it (thankfully) doesn’t sound like Bon Scott. In “Now Thy Death Day Come” Dukes does his best Tom Araya.. a welcome change in singing styles.

    Does “Shovel Headed Kill Machine” sound like the old Exodus?
    Not exactly.. to me it sounds like an improved version, with a better singer and with Paul Bostaph’s amazing drumming (Dave Lombardo’s replacement in Slayer) how can anything go wrong?

    Regardless of whether this album sounds like vintage Exodus (which it mostly does) or not. SHKM is a truly awesome, pounding and intense thrash record, that gets better each time you listen to it..

    It may not be as good as Bonded by Blood, but then again, very few albums can top Exodus’ crushing debut..

    After listening to this album back-to-back against Exodus’ “Tempo of The Damned” and most of the top Metal albums released in 2005, i can truly say that Shovel-headed Kill Machine is a near metal masterpiece! This album in my book is one of the best releases of 2005!

    Posted on February 9, 2010