Veteran San Francisco Bay Area thrashers EXODUS have been rejoined by vocalist Steve "Zetro" Souza and are preparing to enter the studio with producer Andy Sneap (MACHINE HEAD, STUCK MOJO, SKINLAB) to record their first studio album in 11 years. "[Zetro and the rest of the band] had some great talks [over the course of the last few days], and we all want the same thing," EXODUS manager Steve Warner told BLABBERMOUTH.NET. "Zet and everybody else have worked out an arrangement that everyone will be able to live with for this year in regards to promoting the new album."
While on the lookout for a new singer, the band received a number of CDs from young hopefuls but didn't find anyone that they thought could comfortably fill the slot previously occupied by the late Paul Baloff. "My big fear was that we would still be sitting around a year from now waiting for the perfect [singer] to walk through our doors," Warner admitted.
Despite the band's previous concerns that Zetro would be unavailable to tour extensively with the group in support of the new album, Warner is confident that the most recent discussions with the singer have yielded a compromise that will enable the band to complete all the necessary road work to promote the upcoming CD. "The album is ready to go now with Zet, and whatever happens after this album will probably be determined by the what is to come of this year," Warner explained. "We want the album done, and believe me, we will be on the road quite extensively. I'm already working on another European tour starting the third week of September — at least 20 shows, as of now — and we will probably do the States before that following the release of the album."
According to Warner, the follow-up to 1992's "Force Of Habit" will contain 10 songs and will include freshly-recorded versions of early EXODUS classics "Death Row" and "Impaler", neither one of which had ever appeared on a studio album before. ["Death Row" was originally tracked — but never fully completed — during the sessions for the band's legendary "Bonded By Blood" debut, while a live version of "Impaler" surfaced on the group's comeback 1997 release, "Another Lesson In Violence"]. Other songs set to appear on the CD include an as-yet-untitled number dedicated to Baloff — who passed away in February 2002 after suffering a massive stroke — and reworked versions of two songs originally written for and demoed by WARDANCE, the ill-fated mid-'90s act formed by EXODUS guitarist Gary Holt and drummer Tom Hunting.
The band, who were most recently signed to Century Media Records, will issue the next album through CCC Records (which stands for "Contra Costa County"), a new label entity formed by former EXODUS manager Toni Isabella and one-time Capitol Records A&R executive Rachel Matthews (who signed EXODUS and RIGOR MORTIS to the label back in the late '80s). If all goes well, the group will enter Sonic Ranch studios (formerly Village Productions) in Tornillo, Texas in the spring to record the CD for a late summer release.
Among the titles set to appear on the still-to-be-titled album are the following:
01. War Is My Shepherd
02. Crime Of The Century
04. Throwing Down
05. Death Row
07. Tempo Of The Damned
08. The Way It Never Was
09. Culling The Herd
For more information on EXODUS, visit the band's official web site at this location.