Shovel Headed Kill Machine


Jun 25, 2005
Grand Haven, MI
Being very much excited for The new Exodus disc, I was searching online for a release date and stumbled across a few reviews of the album and I must say I am now more excited than ever. I have heard many good things thus far.

Shovel Headed Kill Machine
Nuclear Blast Records

There was a time in the 80s when Exodus was considered one of the “big five” of thrash bands. The other four – Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer. Paul Baloff and company were right on the cusp of greatness, or so it seemed. They were the elite of that fledgling musical genre, but somehow Exodus never quite crossed that plain the way the others in that list did. Instead, through member changes, a switch to more silly-influenced lyrics, and lack of full-on label support, they went from being on the cusp to being into a clump of second tier thrashers that were good, but never saw big success (ie: Flotsam And Jetsam, Death Angel, etc.). Other bands surpassed them in the pecking order (Testament comes to mind), and finally they decided it was time to go away.

But if last year’s Tempo Of The Damned proved anything, it proved that time away made Exodus a more fierce band than ever before in their history. The silliness of material like “Impact Is Imminent” or “Lunatic Parade” from 1990’s abysmal Impact Is Imminent was replaced with a more serious, more intense return to form from the band. Given the climate of today’s Lamb Of God / Shadows Fall worshipping metalheads, Tempo Of The Damned fit in with that music while maintaining the core of the band’s historic beginnings. While they’ve had some major turnover this time around, Shovel Headed Kill Machine takes the blasting attitude and thrashing music much, much further than Tempo, or anything else in their catalog. This thrasher is arguably the best album, and certainly the most heavy, of this band’s great career.

You have to give it to guitarist and original member Gary Holt with Shovel Headed Kill Machine. His guitars are so intense and blasting that you can’t help but start headbanging with each passing song. His riffs are not overly creative or new, but are just brutal from start to finish. On songs like “44 Magnum Opus” or “Karma’s Messenger”, they feature the original sound with some updated heaviness to fit today’s current metal climate. Holt rules on Shovel Headed Kill Machine.

The biggest change is the addition of vocalist Rob Dukes. Replacing the longtime second-stringer Steve Souza, Dukes sounds somewhat like Souza, but with a more dry, heavy edge to him. While clearly more angry than anything in the Exodus catalog, Dukes is the perfect vocalist for the more intense vibe the band has taken on. Even on slowed down numbers like “Shudder To Think”, Dukes rages with the intensity of a starving pitbull on a seven year old.

Finally, while Holt’s impressive guitars grab you from song to song, there is no denying that the driving force of this band is drummer Paul Bostaph. Known for his work in Slayer, it’s apparent that his powerful double-bass peddling creates the momentum from which the band create from. He’s a maniac on songs like “I Am Abomination” and “Shovel Headed Kill Machine”, and really on every song throughout the disc.

RATING – 10/10 – As thrash goes, this is about as good as it gets. I can’t imagine anyone being able to create anything better than this in the thrash field, so it gets the highest marks I can give it. That may change over time, but for now I see nothing even close to this. SHOVEL HEADED KILL MACHINE does just that – it kills!

Cant wait! :headbang:
I hadn't been much convinced by the new vocalist (I don't like Baloff or Souza either), had to listen more to it before I get serious about purchasing.
hmm, interesting Thanks for the heads up. I will definatly check out some tracks before the purchase. Where could I find some downloads? Anyone have a link I could check out?
I LOVE the new album, much more basic thrash and to me the vocals are superb; very raw and catching. Are the riffs to be ment for an new US audience ??? mmmm, don't get that really, it sounds pretty oldschool to me...remembers me at SOD , old Slayer etc... and solo's are great ! Only one song ( Altered Boy if I'm correct) takes the riffing to far and get's really boring at one point boring. Opener "Raze" is an instant classic to my taste. This album ranks high in my top 10 for this year!!
Evil? said:
hmm, interesting Thanks for the heads up. I will definatly check out some tracks before the purchase. Where could I find some downloads? Anyone have a link I could check out?

I'll PM you some details.