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Exodus is an American thrash metal band formed in 1982 in San Francisco, California, by Kirk Hammett, Tom Hunting, Paul Baloff, Geoff Andrews, and Gary Holt.

After several personnel changes, Exodus split in 1992. The band reformed from 1996-1998 with new bassist Jack Gibson. The band reformed a second time in 2001.

Exodus is currently working on their next album which will see release in late 2007.

In 1983, founding member Kirk Hammett left to join Metallica and was replaced by Rick Hunolt and Rob McKillop replaced Andrews on bass. This lineup released the classic title Bonded by Blood (1985) sometimes cited as an influence on up-and-coming bands of the era.

Shortly before the release of Pleasures of the Flesh (1987), Paul Baloff left and was replaced by Steve "Zetro" Souza, who also sang for Legacy, which developed into Testament.

The line-up remained stable for the next few albums, but the band never garnered the success of their peers, such as Metallica and Megadeth. After two fairly heavy releases (Fabulous Disaster and Impact is Imminent), the band released their first live effort, Good Friendly Violent Fun.

After its release, the band toured off and on for a year and released another studio album, Force of Habit. This was quite a departure for the band, containing several slower, heavier songs with less emphasis on the speed/thrash basis of their older material. A prime example of this is the 10-minute-plus opus "Architect of Pain" - probably the slowest song Exodus ever recorded.

After a few quiet years when heavy metal itself was going through many changes, Exodus released only another live effort, Another Lesson in Violence featuring the return of vocalist Paul Baloff. Exodus disintegrated again, partly due to a falling out with record label Century Media over the way the live album was promoted, and over an aborted attempt at a live concert video which was filmed but never released due to a financial dispute.

In 2001, Exodus reformed again, initially to play the Chuck Billy benefit, the Thrash of the Titans mega concert. There was talk of recording a new studio album and the band continued to play local gigs in and around the San Francisco Bay Area. Sadly, in February 2002, Paul Baloff suffered a seizure/stroke and died. Former vocalist Steve Souza was recruited back into the band to finish the rest of their concert commitments.

Although it appeared to outsiders that with Baloff's death Exodus would cease to exist, guitarist Gary Holt was determined to release a new studio record. The result was 2004's Tempo of the Damned released on Nuclear Blast Records. An oddity of the recording sessions was that one track, "Crime Of The Century", was dropped under mysterious circumstances. The song chronicled Exodus' time under Century Media (of which Nuclear Blast is a subsidiary). Although it was publicly denied, rumors swirled that Century Media forced the song off the record. "Crime" was replaced with "Impaler"; a song written back when Kirk Hammett was still in the band, and which was featured on the Another Lesson In Violence live record.

In 2005, Hunolt decided to leave the band to concentrate on his family life, although Holt claims it was because of his supposed meth addiction. He was replaced by ex-Heathen guitarist Lee Altus. Tom Hunting also left, citing medical problems, and was replaced by Paul Bostaph, formerly of Forbidden, Slayer and Testament, among others. Souza also left under disputed terms in 2005, and was replaced by Steev Squivel (ex-Defiance and Skinlab), and then Rob Dukes whose first recorded performance for the band is 2005's Shovel Headed Kill Machine. Rumors swirled that the reason for Steve Souza's departure was a dispute during a show in New Jersey. Sources say, that three kids ran away from home to attend the show and the band was notified and was well aware of this before their set. Souza, insisted that the police should be notified but the band let it slide and went on with the show: this apparently led to Souza's departure. The ensuing tour for the latest album has led to extensive touring of the US and Europe, as well as Japan, their first-ever visit to Australia and much more. (Exodus - Wikipedia)

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