EXODUS drummer Tom Hunting rejoined his bandmates on stage last night (Thursday, October 7) at the Aftershockfestival in Sacramento, California. The concert marked the 56-year-old musician’s first appearance with the group since undergoing a successful total gastrectomy in July in his battle with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the stomach. Video footage of the performance can be seen below.

EXODUS guitarist Gary Holt praised Hunting‘s return to the live stage, writing on Instagram: “@aftershockfestival was EPIC!! The return of my man Tom Hunting, who just destroyed his drums!”

EXODUS tapped John Tempesta to play drums for the band at Psycho Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada in August and at Full Terror Assault in Cave In Rock, Illinois in September while Hunting was recovering from surgery. Tempesta was a member of EXODUS from 1989 until 1993 and played on the band’s albums “Impact Is Imminent” (1990) and “Force Of Habit”(1992).

When Hunting announced his absence from Psycho Las Vegas and Full Terror Assault, he said in a statement: “I need to manage my own expectations, and then work my very core back into shape to be fully ready for action. I have no doubt I’ll bounce back and get there.”

A GoFundMe campaign to help Huntingwith medical expenses had previously raised more than $114,000 — including $5,000 from Tom‘s former EXODUSbandmate, current METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett, and $1,500 from FOZZYsinger and wrestling superstar Chris Jericho.

EXODUS will release its new album, “Persona Non Grata”, on November 19 via Nuclear Blast Records. The LP was recorded at a studio in Lake Almanor, California and was engineered by Steve Lagudi and EXODUS. It was produced by EXODUS and was mixed by Andy Sneap. For the third time in the band’s history, they returned to Swedish artist Pär Olofsson to create the album artwork.

“Persona Non Grata” is the follow-up to 2014’s “Blood In Blood Out”, which was the San Francisco Bay Area thrashers’ first release since the departure of the group’s lead singer of nine years, Rob Dukes, and the return of Steve “Zetro” Souza, who previously fronted EXODUS from 1986 to 1993 and from 2002 to 2004.

Photo courtesy of Gary Holt‘s Instagram

Guitarist Gary Holt (Exodus, Slayer) Self-Quarantines While “Suffering From All the Symptoms” of Coronavirus

Gary Holt, guitarist for legendary thrash acts Exodus and Slayer, has revealed that he believes he has the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. As a result, he is wisely self-quarantining until he is symptom-free for seven days:

“So I’ve been locked away with [wife Lisa Holt], suffering from all the symptoms of Corona, without the beer! Mildly sick, better today after repeatedly waking up soaked in sweat last night. Self monitoring with my better half, and unfortunately, won’t be able to visit my grandkids until I’m symptom free for seven days. Ugh. Movie time, binge watching TV, and waiting this out!”

I’m sure the women and men who make Corona beer could live without Holt’s wisecrack, given that the unfortunate similarity in names is doing serious damage to their business (which, I shouldn’t have to point out, is ridiculous — Corona beer is not the source of the coronavirus). Still, this is, it goes without saying, lousy news.

Holt is just the latest notable metal/ hard rock musician to have a confirmed or suspected case of the virus, including Ozzy Osbourne producer Andrew Watt, Batushka’s Krzysztof Drabikowski, Crown the Empire’s Brandon Hoover, and an unidentified member of Slugdge. There will surely be many, MANY more cases in the coming days and weeks.

Influences And Recollections of a Musical Mind

Written By Braddon S. Williams

Exodus: Bonded By Blood

Due to business disputes between the band and their record label, Bonded By Blood (1985) by Exodus ended up following in the path of Metallica instead of leading the way.

Diehard metal fans know Exodus, but they missed their possible inclusion into the big leagues by this unfortunate delay. Regardless, Bonded By Blood is an outstanding effort, full of Paul Baloff’s hyped up vocal delivery and the twin guitar war machine of Gary Holt and Rick Hunolt.

This debut disc of Exodus unleashes the carnage of A Lesson In Violence, Deliver Us To Evil, Bonded By Blood, Exodus, Piranha, and Strike Of The Beast.

I went back and listened to this one straight through and was surprised at how well it holds up, particularly the guitar work…just crushing stuff.

Bonded By Blood is a thrash metal essential.

Exodus is still around and will continue to assault us with superior metal, for which I am eternally thankful.

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