Maximum Metal Rating Legend
5 Excellent - Masterpiece. A classic.
4.5-4 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a lacking.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio.
2.5-2 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors.
1.5-1 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible - Waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.
Shovel Headed Kill Machine
Nuclear Blast
10/5/2005 - Review by: Eric Compton
Exodus - Shovel Headed Kill Machine - 2005 - Nuclear Blast

Track Listing
1. Raze
2. Deathamphetamine
3. Karma's Messenger
4. Shudder To Think
5. I Am Abomination
6. Altered Boy
7. Going Going Gone
8. Now Thy Death Day Come
9. 44 Magnum Opus
10. Shovel Headed Kill Machine
My God what a metal onslaught, a full fledged blunt force trauma to the cranium. It is extremely rare for an album title and cover to really visualize the type of material found on record. The violent and excruciating sci-fi horror found on the cover, the "Shovel Headed Kill Machine" if you will, is the perfect visual description of this band's sound. This is completely over the top, completely out of control, completely dominating and superior. This is Exodus. This is "Shovel Headed Kill Machine", and I, for one, am fucking fired up!

Few can match this band's intensity and energy level, possibly their only rival being the recordings of New Jersey's Overkill and Metallica's live firepower. Beyond that, well there is just simply no contest, no match for this bashing, battering, blasting amount of face front thrashing mayhem. Exodus are back in the spotlight again, enjoying much success with their 2003 offering "Tempo Of The Damned". A lot of changes have taken place in the camp since then, the most evident being the dreaded "changing of the frontman". Steve Souza moves on, replaced by the rather generic Rob Dukes, a singer who sounds a bit like Phil Anselmo crossed with Souza. His voice does little to really add any type of identity to the band. I enjoyed Souza's work with the group and found his voice classy and full of authority. Dukes just seems to go through the motions, but he does it with a ton of energy and aggression, leaving the band with enough vocal intensity to match the metal machine rolling forward. Drummer Tom Hunting has been replaced by the famous Paul Bostaph, known for his work with Forbidden and most recently Slayer. Guitarist Lee Altus comes on board to replace Rick Hunolt, with his prior duties spent with Heathen and Angel Witch. The only remaining members from the group's last effort is founder/axe-slinger Gary Holt and bassist Jack Gibson.

The band's thrash dominance is still in effect here, and little change has been made in regards to the band's winning formula. The huge, fat grooves are still in place (see "Deathamphetamine" and "Shudder To Think") and the fast, quick attack riffs the band have built their success on (see the play on words of "Altered Boy"). The songwriting is still wicked and off-beat, showing us the darker side of humanity through perverse humor. Production wise the control panel is still "fiddled" with by mastermind Andy Sneap, who in my humble opinion is the best damn producer in the business. Teaming up this "sound" genius with an experienced, powerful band like Exodus and you get a lethal, furious soundscape from which aggression and anger can take root. It works well with Exodus and with this album they reinforce the fact that they are without a shadow of a doubt the best modern thrash band of our current time. The only thing that can change that? Blitz hire Sneap.

--EC 10.02.05

Exhibit B: The Human Condition
Nuclear Blast
Ben McCraw9/30/2010
Shovel Headed Kill Machine
Nuclear Blast
Eric Compton10/5/2005
Tempo Of The Damned
Nuclear Blast
Eric Compton5/21/2004
The Atrocity Exhibition: Exhibit A
Nuclear Blast
Frank Hill2/1/2008

Steve "Zetro" SouzaT. Ray Verteramo10/10/2014

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