You won’t understand the genealogy of thrash metal if you don’t delve into the history, power, and influence of the California Bay Area thrash scene. And you can’t understand Bay Area thrash without discussing the power and influence of that scene’s founding fathers: the almighty EXODUS.
Born in San Pablo, California, Gary Holt, the “beer-tech-turned-lead-guitarist-and-main-songwriter” who picked up his first guitar at the age of 17, is responsible for many of the raw, heart-racing guitar riffs & solos that give EXODUS’ music its soul.
As the sole member of the band who never left EXODUS after joining, he is revered by thrash metal fans & critics of all ages & generations as one of the genre’s living guitar legends, ranking in at #72 in Guitar World magazine’s “100 Greatest Metal Guitarists of All Time” list as selected by the magazine’s staff and #55 in Joel McIver’s 2009 book, 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists. Cited by many metal musicians as a creative inspiration, Holt has also been asked to perform guest guitar solos on multiple albums as a testament to his long-standing influence.
Known for his defiant determination and tenacity, armed with his “I work best when I’m facing an uphill battle” credo, and sporting a 28-year recording history (from 2010’s Billboard-charting Exhibit B: The Human Condition and reaching back to a 1982 three-song demo), Holt’s driving force is that nothing can get between him and his guitars.
“When it comes to writing and performing the thrash metal they helped invent more than two decades ago,” cited Outburn Magazine, “EXODUS can hold their heads high as the reigning kings.”
Exhibit B: The Human Condition, 2010 (Nuclear Blast)
Shovel Headed Tour Machine: Live At Wacken And Other Assorted Atrocities DVD, 2010 (Nuclear Blast)
Let There Be Blood, 2008 (Zaentz)
The Atrocity Exhibition: Exhibit A, 2007 (Nuclear Blast)
Shovel Headed Kill Machine, 2005 (Nuclear Blast)
Tempo Of The Damned, 2004 (Nuclear Blast)
Another Lesson In Violence (Live), 1997 (Century Media)
Force Of Habit, 1992 (Capitol Records)
Lessons In Violence (Best Of Compilation), 1992 (Combat)
Good Friendly Violent Fun (Live), 1991 (Combat)
Impact Is Imminent, 1990 (Capitol Records)
Fabulous Disaster, 1989 (Combat)
Pleasures Of The Flesh, 1987 (Combat)
Bonded By Blood, 1986 (Combat Records)
Bonded By Blood, 1985 (Torrid)