METALLICA/ex-EXODUS guitarist Kirk Hammett, former EXODUS axeman Rick Hunolt and original EXODUS bassist Jeff Andrews all joined the current lineup of EXODUS on stage last night (Saturday, February 4) at a special concert to mark the 10-year anniversary of former EXODUS singer Paul Baloff‘s passing. Dubbed “Bonded By Baloff: A Decade Of Remembrance”, the event took place at the Oakland Metro Operahouse and featured additional performances by POSSESSED, FORBIDDEN and HEATHEN, among others.
Fan-filmed video footage of EXODUS performing their early demo classics “Whipping Queen” and “Impaler” during last night’s concert — with guest appearances by Hammett, Hunolt and Andrews — can be seen below.
It was a decade ago — on January 31, 2002 — that Paul Baloff suffered a major stroke and was brought to Highland General Hospital in Northern California, where he remained in a coma until he was declared brain dead. On February 2, 2002, his doctors shut off his life support, leaving him to die in his sleep. He had no previous known health problems, and the stroke was a complete surprise to everyone around him.
Regarding EXODUS‘ decision to stage this concert, the band’s guitarist Gary Holt said, “With February 2nd being the 10-year anniversary of Paul‘s passing, the band knew it was high time we do something special to remember the legend of Paul Baloff, so we decided to put together a show the Bay Area will not soon forget. We’ve pulled some of the Bay’s finest for this, bands who knew and shared many a stage and drink with Pavel. There are some nice surprises in store as well! It will be ten years and two days since the thrash world lost one of its greatest frontmen ever, and we will always make sure his memory lives on and is never forgotten. Long live The Destroyer!”
Added FORBIDDEN guitarist and founding member Craig Locicero: “Everyone in FORBIDDEN is honored to have been asked by Gary and EXODUS to play this show marking the 10th anniversary of Paul Baloff‘s crazy fucking life! I witnessed his insanity first-hand at the Mabouhay Gardens and Ruthie’s Inn. As EXODUS got bigger, Paul got crazier — in a good way. It was genius at work. He was the mold that all thrash frontmen cut themselves from, but he was also a pretty damn sweet guy. Always kind to those he liked, he’d be in the front row at FORBIDDEN gigs screaming things like ‘Why does it have to be so heavy?’ and my favorite, ‘Heavier than time!’ I’m laughing just typing this!
“At his memorial, I saw people I hadn’t seen in years. So much love, so many laughs. It made me happy in some strange way just to see that kind of respect displayed for Paul. We all really loved him. Luckily his legend has returned with a vengeance… and hey, Paul, you did it: You’ve become heavier than time!”
“Let There Be Blood”, the controversial re-recording of EXODUS‘ classic 1985 debut album, “Bonded by Blood”, was issued in October 2008 through Zaentz Records.
Regarding the band’s decision to re-record “Bonded By Blood”, Holt previously said: “It is our way of paying homage to Paul Baloff by showing how relevant these songs we had written together still are. We aren’t trying to replace the original; that’s impossible anyway. We are just giving these songs the benefit of modern production. It’s something we talked about before Paul‘s death and it’s always been important to us to do. We were super-excited about entering the studio once again to record these classics.” Current EXODUS vocalist Rob Dukes added, “Paul was rad, totally original. He was not like [METALLICA‘s James] Hetfield or [SLAYER‘s Tom] Araya. I think at times he wanted to be, but he was simply himself. He had a really cool way of going up with his voice in the weirdest spots. I, myself, find it cool and original.”