Exhorder is an American heavy metal band from New Orleans, Louisiana. They are considered progenitors of the groove-oriented thrash sound later made famous by bands such as Pantera, Lamb of God, White Zombie and Machine Head, and their music has been regarded as a large influence on the New Orleans metal scene. Initially active from 1985 to 1994 and reformed from 2008 to 2011, they have since reformed in 2017. To date, Exhorder has released three studio albums: Slaughter in the Vatican (1990), The Law (1992) and Mourn the Southern Skies (2019).

Four band members standing in publicity photo
Exhorder performing at Turok Open Air, Germany, 2018
Background information
OriginNew Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
Years active
  • 1985–1994
  • 2008–2011
  • 2017–present
Associated acts
    • Kyle Thomas
    • Marzi Montazeri
    • Jason Viebrooks
    • Sasha Horn
Past members
    • Vinnie LaBella
    • David Main
    • Andy Villafarra
    • Chris Nail
    • Jay Ceravolo
    • Frankie Sparcello
    • Seth Davis


From left to right: Vinnie Labella, Chris Nail, Kyle Thomas, Jay Ceravolo

Early years and split (1985–1994)Edit

Exhorder was formed in 1985 in New Orleans, Louisiana. After releasing several demos in the vein of pure thrash metal, they continued this sound with their debut studio album, Slaughter in the Vatican, released in 1990. They adapted more of a groove metal-oriented sound by their second album, The Law, released in 1992. The band split in 1994.

First reunion and hiatus (2008–2011)Edit

On May 9, 2008, the band had reunited and had begun writing new material.[1] As of that day, the band's official Myspace page contains the reunited group's lineup as well as the headline "writing new material for the return of Exhorder".[2] They played their first reunion show on November 14, 2009 at Southport Hall in Jefferson, Louisiana, followed by another less than a month later on December 12 at City Club in Houma, Louisiana. A reunion show with Crowbar at the Hangar in New Orleans on February 12, 2010 was their most recent performance to date. The lineup for all of these shows was the same as that of The Law album.

Drummer Seth Davis was on a clinic tour in 2010 when he was approached by the band. Davis filled in for original drummer Chris Nail, and toured with Exhorder from early 2010 to late 2011, performing classic songs from the band's two albums. On March 22, 2011, bassist Frankie Sparcello died of unknown causes.[3] In the interim and in order to fulfill three show dates already booked, the band recruited local bass virtuoso Jorge Caicedo to fill in at the last minute.[4] The band also played Maryland Deathfest on May 28. They then took a hiatus.

Second reunion (2017–present)Edit

Exhorder performing in 2018

In November 2017, Exhorder ended their six-year hiatus with a newly formed line-up and had signed a worldwide deal with All Independent Service Alliance. They announced a two-night event in Brooklyn, New York for February 9 and February 10, 2018, by performing the entire Slaughter in the Vatican and The Law albums respectively. The band also performed a homecoming show on February 12 in New Orleans. They were also planning summer festival appearances,[5] and would consider working on new material if the reunion shows went well.[6]

On November 20, 2018, the band signed to Nuclear Blast and started work on a new album.[7]

In May 2019, Exhorder were announced as part of a tour for Kataklysm's "Meditations Over North America" tour in September, along with Krisiun and Hatchet.[8] In July 2019, the band announced their third album titled Mourn the Southern Skies, which was released on September 20, 2019. The first single "My Time" was made available for streaming.[9] Exhorder was also slated to support the album by supporting Overkill on their The Wings of War tour in North America.[10]

On February 23, 2020, founding guitarist Vinnie LaBella parted ways with the band, leaving vocalist Kyle Thomas as the remaining founder member.[11]


There has been controversy amongst Pantera's and Exhorder's fans over similarities between both bands' sound,[12][13][14] fueled by the success of Pantera and the obscurity of Exhorder.[12][13]

In disagreement with the opinion that Exhorder is "Pantera minus the good songs," AMG's review of Slaughter in the Vatican expresses that "perhaps a more accurate billing would be to call them Pantera without the major label backing."[12] They also point to the fact that the title of Exhorder's debut, along with the unsubtle album cover, "certainly didn't help [its] cause any."[12]

Exhorder lead vocalist Kyle Thomas has stated that he does not care about any of the criticism and is sick of seeing Exhorder's name tied to Pantera's.[13] He also stated that he and some members of Pantera were friends,[13][14] and that he mourns the loss of Dimebag Darrell.[14] Recently, Thomas suggested that while it is possible Pantera may have been influenced by his band, the members of Pantera "work[ed] a ... lot harder than [they] did."[13][15]

Band membersEdit



Studio albumsEdit

Live albumsEdit

  • Live Death (1994, Roadrunner Records)


  • Get Rude (1986, self-released)
  • Slaughter in the Vatican (1988, self-released)


  1. ^ "Reunited EXHORDER Working On New Material". BLABBERMOUTH.NET. Archived from the original on 2008-05-12.
  2. ^ MySpace.com - Exhorder - Kenner/Metairie/New Orleans, Louisiana - Metal / Death Metal / Thrash - www.myspace.com/exhordernola
  3. ^ Blabbermouth.net. "BLABBERMOUTH.NET - EXHORDER Bassist Dies". Blabbermouth.net. Archived from the original on 2011-03-26.
  4. ^ H, Emily. "Exhorder Hires Talented Bassist Jorge Caicedo". metalunderground.com. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  5. ^ "EXHORDER Is Back! New Lineup, Shows Announced". Blabbermouth.net. November 15, 2017. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
  6. ^ "EXHORDER Reformation 'Will Be Amazing,' Says KYLE THOMAS". Blabbermouth.net. December 6, 2017. Retrieved December 30, 2017.
  7. ^ "EXHORDER Signs With NUCLEAR BLAST RECORDS". Blabbermouth.net. November 20, 2018. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  8. ^ "KATAKLYSM To Tour North America With EXHORDER, KRISIUN And HATCHET". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved May 8, 2019.
  9. ^ "EXHORDER To Release 'Mourn The Southern Skies' Album In September; 'My Time' Single Now Available". Blabbermouth.net. Retrieved July 12, 2019.
  10. ^ "OVERKILL Announces 'Wings Over USA' 2020 Tour With EXHORDER". Blabbermouth.net. December 17, 2019. Retrieved December 22, 2019.
  11. ^ "EXHORDER Parts Ways With Founding Guitarist VINNIE LABELLA". Blabbermouth.net. February 23, 2020. Retrieved February 23, 2020.
  12. ^ a b c d "Slaughter in the Vatican review". Allmusic. Retrieved October 21, 2005.
  13. ^ a b c d e "Kyle Thomas Speaks Out on the Pantera/Exhorder 'Feud'". Blistering. Archived from the original on December 16, 2008. Retrieved November 5, 2005.
  14. ^ a b c "Former EXHORDER Frontman: We 'Lost An Innovator, A Warrior, And A Metal Nicolas Cage'". Blabbermouth.net. 2004-12-12. Retrieved November 5, 2005.
  15. ^ Dave Larmore. "Interview with Kyle Thomas". Midwest Metal Magazine.

External linksEdit