Without Exodus, thrash metal as we know it wouldn’t exist. That’s not just because guitarist Kirk Hammett cofounded the Bay Area group in the late ’70s before leaving to join Metallica in 1983. Thanks to album-length statements such as 1985’s Bonded by Blood and 1989’s breakthrough single “The Toxic Waltz,” Exodus are one of thrash metal’s trailblazers, a band known for an uncompromising combination of speed and precision. Hammett initially formed the band alongside vocalist Tom Hunting (who later focused on drums), and the pair weathered lineup changes before roadie Gary Holt joined on guitar in 1981. That axis of Holt and Hunting has provided stability for Exodus over the years, as the band have had brushes with mainstream fame—including a tour with Anthrax and Helloween to support 1989’s Fabulous Disaster, Top 40 chart success in 2014 with Blood In Blood Out, and a warm reception in 2021 to Persona Non Grata.
- San Francisco, CA, United States