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Bonded by Blood is the debut studio album by the Bay Area thrash metal band Exodus. Although the album was completed in the summer of 1984, it was not released until 1985 due to issues with Exodus and their record label. It is considered one of the most influential thrash metal albums of all time.[2] It is also the only full-length studio album of Exodus to feature Paul Baloff on vocals, though he was also on their 1982 Demo. Baloff was back in Exodus for five years (from 1997 to his death in 2002), and appeared on their 1997 live album Another Lesson in Violence.

Bonded by Blood
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 25, 1985[1]
RecordedJuly 1984
StudioPrairie Sun Studios, Cotati, California
GenreThrash metal
ProducerMark Whitaker
Exodus chronology
Bonded by Blood
Pleasures of the Flesh
Alternative cover
Exodus - Bonded By blood3.jpg

In 2008, Exodus re-recorded Bonded by Blood and re-released it as Let There Be Blood, featuring a new line-up of members aside from drummer Tom Hunting and guitarist Gary Holt who played on the original.

Album informationEdit

Bonded by Blood was originally titled A Lesson in Violence, but had its name changed when a suitable cover idea could not be found. An advance cassette copy of the album (with the original title) was widely distributed through the tape-trading network upon the record's completion late in the summer of 1984, creating an immense underground buzz prior to the official release of the LP. The release was delayed, however, due to problems with the artwork.[3]

The song "Impaler" was originally to be featured on Bonded by Blood, but it was abandoned when Kirk Hammett took the main riff with him to Metallica (it was used on "Trapped Under Ice").[4]

Album coverEdit

The original album cover art was an illustration of good and evil conjoined twin infants. For the 1989 reissue this cover was replaced with the band logo on a red and black image of a crowd. The album was remastered and re-issued by Century Media in 1999 in Europe only, with two live tracks from its Combat re-release in 1989, featuring Steve Souza on vocals. This reissue from Century Media restored the original twin cover artwork.

Reception and legacyEdit

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic     [2]
Metal Forces10/10[5]

Bonded by Blood received a positive review from Eduardo Rivadavia of AllMusic, who states: "Had it been released immediately after it was recorded in 1984, Exodus' Bonded by Blood might be regarded today alongside Metallica's Kill 'Em All as one of the landmark albums responsible for launching the thrash metal wave" and adds that "Exodus were left to wonder what kind of impact they may have had without these setbacks." Rivadavia also described Bonded by Blood as "an album whose influence far exceeds its actual notoriety, and it remains a crucial piece of the thrash metal puzzle – essential."[2] Bernard Doe of Metal Forces in 1985 defined it "a classic album in the thrash metal sense which is sure to be sneered at by the unconverted and mainstream media."[5]

In 2013, Bonded by Blood was ranked number 8 on Whatculture!'s "10 Greatest Thrash Metal Albums of All Time",[6] and was ranked number 80 on's 'Top 100 Heavy Metal Albums'.[7] In August 2014, Revolver placed the album on its "14 Thrash Albums You Need to Own" list.[8] The album was ranked number one on Loudwire's top ten list of "Thrash Albums NOT Released by the Big 4".[9]

In 2017, Rolling Stone ranked Bonded by Blood as 45th on their list of "The 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time".[10]

Thrash metal revival act Bonded by Blood named themselves after the album.

Track listingEdit

1."Bonded by Blood"Holt3:43
  • Baloff
  • Holt
3."And Then There Were None"Holt4:40
4."A Lesson in Violence"Holt3:49
5."Metal Command"
7."No Love"BaloffHolt5:08
8."Deliver Us to Evil"
  • Holt
  • Whitaker
  • Holt
  • Hunolt
9."Strike of the Beast"
  • Baloff
  • Holt
Total length:40:49
Re-issue edition bonus tracks
10."And Then There Were None" (live)
  • Holt
  • Hunting
11."A Lesson in Violence" (live)Holt
  • Holt
  • Hunolt
Total length:49:07


Writing, performance and production credits are adapted from the album liner notes.[11]




Artwork and design

  • Donald J. Munz – cover art, layout
  • Richard A. Ferraro – cover painting



  1. ^ Bonded by Blood at Encyclopaedia Metallum[unreliable source?]
  2. ^ a b c Rivadavia, Eduardo. "Exodus – Bonded by Blood review". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2014-10-29.
  3. ^ "Exodus – Bonded by Blood – Encyclopaedia Metallum". The Metal Archives. Retrieved 2017-01-24.
  4. ^ "Exodus – Tempo of the Damned – Encyclopaedia Metallum". The Metal Archives. Retrieved 2017-01-24.
  5. ^ a b Doe, Bernard (1985). "Exodus – Bonded by Blood". Metal Forces (9). Retrieved 2014-10-29.
  6. ^ Jennings, Christopher. "10 Greatest Thrash Metal Albums Of All Time: 8. Exodus – Bonded By Blood". Retrieved 2014-10-29.
  7. ^ "The Top 100 Heavy Metal Albums". Metal Rules. Retrieved 2014-10-29.
  8. ^ "14 Thrash Albums You Need to Own". August 29, 2014. Retrieved August 30, 2014.
  9. ^ "Top 10 Thrash Albums NOT Released by the Big 4". October 8, 2015. Retrieved October 9, 2015.
  10. ^ "Rolling Stone Share Their Choices For 'The 100 Greatest Metal Albums Of All Time'". June 21, 2017. Retrieved April 23, 2019.
  11. ^ Bonded by Blood (booklet). Exodus. Combat Records. 1985.CS1 maint: others (link)