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Review of the Album Shovel Headed Kill Machine by American Thrash Metal Band Exodus

Updated on April 15, 2020
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Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is looking to always explore his writing opportunities.

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Shovel Headed Kill Machine Gets Off to a Fantastic Start!

Shovel Headed Kill Machine is the 2005 studio album by American thrash metal band Exodus and this one already has a much better start musically than Impact Is Imminent in 1990. Doing the lead vocals for this album is Rob Dukes, the person that also did the lead vocals for the album Let There Be Blood. The album starts with the very catchy song called Raze. The song is lyrically is about what will happen if the world is razed to the ground if human greed and selfishness is allowed to flourish. This is the way to start off a thrash metal album, some way that is going to capture the attention of the listener. Some of you may want to keep on playing this song over and over again like I have the tendency to do. The riffing is just pretty masterful along with the bass play. Now as we all know; one song does not make up an album and it is just one part of an album.

"Raze"

Exodus Is In a League of Their Own Terms of Thrash Metal

Thrash metal was one of the strengths in the 1980s and mid 1990s in the California music scene. But nowadays, that scene, speaking of the metal genre has weakened with the rise of bands such Cattle Decapitation. Even though Phantom Witch is pretty good, they aren’t like Exodus. I guess we could say that the balance of power in terms of thrash metal has shifted from the United States to Europe. Keep in mind though that Exodus is one of the classic American thrash metal bands and that’s why they are creative enough to keep you looking into their work. These older American bands in the thrash metal scene were just, well, meant to be in the scene and their technique + creativity was just there. That’s not to say that American thrash metal bands are terrible these days but they just don’t match up with these older classic bands and the reasons could be many including the changing of the American music scene as more different kinds of music has become more accessible and popular.

"Shudder to Think"

A Brief Review & Analysis of the Album Shovel Headed Kill Machine

Exodus takes an interesting turn with their music in this album with the song called Deathamphetamine. The song is lyrically trying to discourage any use of methamphetamines as these drugs will lead to our demise of used in vast quantities. The start of the song has the bass play which builds up as the song goes along. Karma’s Messenger is a song that lyrically tries to tell us that the human race is headed for its demise due to its insane amount of greed as others engage in acts that lead to suffering. It is rather unfortunate that there are people out there that are motivated by lust, greed, and an endless pursuit for power. “Shudder to Think” is a song that tells the story of a person that has hit rock bottom and he is blaming everybody but himself for his failures. He has failed to take responsibility for his actions. This song has a very catchy riff that would be terrific for any American thrash metal band for any time period. However the lyrical themes focus on some brutal subjects but the riffing is solid as can be, perhaps as good as Tempo of the Damned just the year before. One major plus about this album compared to the album Impact Is Imminent is that the songs are of much better quality and even if a few of them are long, it does not seem that way.

How Good Of An Album Is This?

Shovel Headed Kill Machine in spite of the questionable lyrical content offers thrash metal that is certainly the best we have seen from Exodus at least since 1989. The best songs in this album are the obvious first track Raze and Shudder to Think. It did not take these guys long at all to continue on the same excellent path even after the departure of Steve Souza.

© 2020 Ara Vahanian

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