Something Else! sneak peek: Exodus featuring Kirk Hammett, “Salt the Wound” (2014)

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I admit it. Unlike probably most Exodus fans, I was a little disappointed when the band announced the departure of Rob Dukes and the return of long-time vocalist Steve “Zetro” Souza. I’m a fan of the classic albums, but I really liked the heavier direction they had taken during the Dukes years. And, if I’m being honest, I quite often found Souza’s screech to be grating.

The first bits of music that I heard from the band’s upcoming Blood In, Blood Out — due October 14, 2014 on Nuclear Blast Records — sounded to me like a pretty typical, though unexciting Exodus tune and did little to interest me in the record. But when “Salt the Wound” was streamed, the circumstances were enough to intrigue me. Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett, who left an early version of Exodus to join Metallica, was doing a guest shot with his old band. Aside from the connection, until recent years, guest appearances by members of Metallica on other bands’ albums have been rare. So much so, that they still get your attention.

When “Salt the Wound” cranks up, you know immediately who it is. After the gruffer, heavier, snarling records they made with Dukes, they seem determined to let fans know that they’re bringing back that classic Exodus sound. This tune could have come from any of the band’s 1980s record with Souza. The vocalist is still screeching, but this is one of his better screeches.

After the second verse of the tune, things get a little more interesting as there’s a break that allows guitarist Gary Holt to do some nice riffing, before Hammett comes in with one of his big signature wah pedal-drenched solos. It’s a fairly brief appearance, but there’s no denying who it is. That’s followed with some more riffage time for Holt, before we fall back into the same melody the song began with to close things out.

“Salt the Wound” isn’t setting my world on fire. It’s a pretty prototypical Exodus tune. That said, I have to admit that after a couple of listens, I’m still humming that main riff in my head, so it’s got that going for it. With or without Hammett, it would have been a solid, if not incredibly original, tune. With him, I’m sure it will get a little more attention from the metal world at large. It’s enough to interest me in hearing what the rest of the record has to offer.

Fred Phillips

Fred Phillips

Fred Phillips is a veteran entertainment writer with a love of hard rock and heavy metal. He has written music reviews, columns and feature stories for several newspapers, Web sites and a national wire service, while running a stand-alone site called Hall of the Mountain King in various places and incarnations since 1997. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelse reviews.com.
Fred Phillips

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