Exodus at the Culture Room 9/5/10
Color me impressed but South Florida pulls through and brings another awesome metal show to town in this month. It was a day where there was a choice between seeing two classic bands in Exodus and Malevolent Creation in Fort Lauderdale or going to see Disturbed, Avenged Sevenfold, Stone Sour and a few other radio friendly bands at the Uproar Tour in Tampa. After about three minutes of thinking, the only tough decision is where I’d go to eat before the Exodus show. Apparently about 500 other people also agreed with my decision and it made for a pretty nice turnout for one of the original pioneers of thrash.
California youngsters Bonded By Blood started off the night around 7:30 with a very solid, although not very groundbreaking thrash set. They definitely have potential to become a household name in metal when they establish their own undeniable sound. For a bunch of kids they have great stage presence and had no problem getting the crowd ready for a night of kick ass metal. Speaking of youngsters, this show brought out a huge crowd of the 12-18 demographic that I haven’t witnessed since last year when I (unfortunately) had to witness Suicide Silence opening for Megadeth. Hopefully it is signifying a change for the better where kids learn what real metal is again and go dig out Shovel Headed Kill Machine and give up the screamo phase once and for all.
Next was the up and coming Holy Grail bringing a straight up dose of heavy metal that was embraced by all. Coming off of tours with 3 Inches of Blood and Amon Amarth followed by the European festivals, this five piece took the stage and kicked ass like seasoned veterans. They’re a must see opener for the Judas Priest fan in us all and I look forward to hearing a lot more from them. Florida’s Malevolent Creation was up next much to the dismay of the younger audience but much to the joy of everybody else. I’ve always had a weakness for death metal, so finally getting to see the band that spawned the career of Cannibal Corpse’s Rob Barrett still on stage and still as heavy as fuck as ever brings out the little bit of pride I can have in living in Florida. The band tore through 45 minutes of a little bit of everything from their catalogue and left me wanting more. By the time my neck felt like it was properly broken, it was time for Exodus.
Exodus took the stage at 10:20 to an almost full house with ‘The Ballad Of Leonard and Charles’, the opening instrumental to their new album Exhibit B: The Human Condition, before getting the pit going with ‘Beyond the Pale’ followed by a couple of songs off of Exhibit A. The 90 minute set seemed to fly by as vocalist Rob Dukes ran around the stage at the intensity of Gary Holt’s and Lee Altus’ guitars to the point of wringing the sweat out of his shirt on the side stage. Halfway through the set I was covered in more of his sweat than I was my own just like the rest of the front row. ‘A Lesson In Violence’ was hands down the highlight of the set that had the little kids and the old guys alike all moving. They tore through ‘Bonded By Blood’ before leaving the stage so that Rob could come back up and refuse to play an encore until the crowd actually tried to get them back out. ‘Toxic Waltz’ set the Culture Room in a frenzy and the pit extended the entire width of the venue. The night ended with ‘Strike of the Beast’ and ‘Good Riddance’ and left us wondering why they weren’t out there with the Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax guys on their upcoming tour. Even through all of the lineup instability, Exodus is still a very powerful band that if anything has achieved their heaviest and most identifiable sound with the current formation of both old and new members. So I feel like I made a wise choice in shows this week, I just wish my neck would recover sooner so that I could nod my head in approval.