Exodus – Persona Non Grata


Reviewed by:
On 20 November 2021
Last modified:20 November 2021


Exodus, the masters of thrash metal return to strike like a beast with their new studio album Persona Non Grata.

Let’s get one thing straight here, Exodus are my favourite thrash metal band EVER and as long as they keep on blasting out on albums like their latest release Persona Non Grata, then they always will be. My lifelong appreciation of their music started with their debut Bonded By Blood that was criminally not released until 1985 even though it was ready a year earlier, losing them momentum.

Formed in 1979 in Richmond Carolina, they were credited as pioneers of the Bay Area thrash metal scene in San Francisco. Persona Non Grata, released via Nuclear Blast Records it kicks off hard and heavy with the title track ‘Persona Non Grata’. They mean business with an opening of drum cavalcade, ear ripping riffing and insane time changes to create a template for Steve Souza to deliver his trademark howls. It eases back midway for a full blooded snare driven stomp and twin lead guitar mayhem. Tom Hunting speeds up for some kick drum fury towards a main riff driven outro.

A boisterous intro to ‘R.E.M.F’ paves the way for a turbocharged gallop as Steve’s anger levels reach new heights of rage and razor sharp twin leads from Gary Holt and Lee Altus are fretboard melting.

A menacing riff laden intro to ‘Slipping Into Madness’ and a tribal pound light the fuse for a firecracker of molten thrash metal. Thumping bass guitar bombast from Jack Gibson sees it free its shackles for snare driven tumult.

‘Elitist’ is a surefire pit opener as they hit new levels of brutality and a caustic vocal fights to be heard over a full thrash assault.

‘Prescribing Horror’ is one of the most disturbing songs that Exodus have penned as a cloak of doom envelops this five minutes of fever hot thrash that writhes and churns over a tolling bell as Steve delivers grisly lyrics with tortuous glee and it shudders to a close with a baby crying.

Fasten your seatbelts as ‘The Beatings Will Continue (Until Morale Improves)’ as this pedal to the metal thrasher burns rubber for some neckbreaking rhythms.

A mesmerizing chug is air guitar heaven for ‘The Years Of Death And Dying’ backed by some brutal grooves.

They return back to proto thrash for ‘Clickbait’ as they pummel out a lengthy intro. A sneered vocal adds to the already angry vibes unleashed as Tom batters his kit into submission.

‘Cosa Del Pantano’ has quirky Mexican soundscapes in this short but sweet acoustic instrumental and that vibe carries into ‘Lunatic Liar Lord’, a heaving earthshaker. The grooves are unrelenting, an invincible force of fury that takes no prisoners. It reaches Richter scale worrying levels midway and it closes on a metal maelstrom. Highlight for me here is a lead guitar solo from the legendary Rick Hunolt and I hope he returns to the band for good.

A teasing stop/start intro for ‘The Fires Of Division’ fires up for buzzsaw like riffing that hypnotizes throughout this fist clenching hate fuelled rant. A screech from Steve gives the go ahead for skin flaying twin lead terror.

Their eleventh studio album closes in style with the tectonic plate shifting delivery of ‘Antiseed’. This multi tempoed tirade thrashes and slashes to a menacing close.

Band links can be found here :- https://exodus.bfan.link/persona-non-grata.ffe I https://exodusattack.com/site/persona-non-grata I https://amazon.co.uk/Persona-Non-Grata-Exodus/dp/B09CRNPTCL/?tag=plane09-21 I http://exodusbandofficialhttps://www.facebook.com/groups/357088178002522 I https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCu-HD6pfH1GqUUe-BWvfhNw I https://www.facebook.com/exodusattack

Persona Non Grata album band line up :-

Steve ‘Zetro’ Souza – Lead Vocals.

Gary Holt – Guitar/Backing Vocals.

Lee Altus – Guitar.

Jack Gibson – Bass Guitar.

Tom Hunting – Drums/Backing Vocals.

Additional musicians :-

Rick Hunolt – Lead guitar solo on ‘Lunatic Liar Lord’ and backing vocals.

Cody Souza – Backing Vocals.

Nick Souza – Backing Vocals.

Persona Non Grata album track listing :-

Persona Non Grata.


Slipping Into Madness.


Prescribing Horror.

The Beatings Will Continue (Until Morale Improves).

The Years Of Death And Dying.


Cosa Del Pantano.

Lunatic Liar Lord.

The Fires Of Division.


Exodus, the masters of thrash metal return to strike like a beast with their new studio album Persona Non Grata.

About Dennis Jarman

Full time downtrodden album/gig reviewer and part time rock God!