Bonded by Blood turned 25 yesterday. This anniversary is quite relevant, as current Exodus setlists (see here, for example) are about 40% Bonded by Blood. Exodus still makes vital thrash - its later records are extensions of the riffmania of Impact Is Imminent - but Bonded by Blood will butter the band's bread until its end.

The reason is simple: the songs. They're nowhere near as sophisticated as Ride the Lightning, which came out the previous year, nor as intense as Reign in Blood, which came out the following year. But, boy, are they catchy. I've never listened to Bonded by Blood for recreation, but when I revisited it to write this, every second felt familiar. It's that kind of record. The band had "it" for 41 glorious minutes, and found "it" enough afterwards to hang around.

Heresy of heresies - I like the current incarnation of Exodus better than the original one. The band is faster, tighter, and more serious (though vocalist Rob Dukes doesn't have the character of his predecessors). But I get the appeal of this record: good friendly violent fun. It has its place.

— Cosmo Lee

. . .

[Clockwise above: Combat vinyl, Music for Nations reissue front, Back on Black blue vinyl reissue, Limited Silver Edition, Century Media reissue back, Music for Nations reissue back]