No one should hate Metallica more than '80s Bay Area thrash icons Exodus. Even the 335,435 fans Metallica tattled on for sharing their music on Napster are probably less bitter. First, Kirk Hammett, named as the 11th greatest guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone, left Exodus for Metallica in 1983 and went on to be one of the genre's most influential musicians. Metallica soon skyrocketed to mainstream success. Exodus toiled in relative obscurity, despite its major underground cred as well as its fundamental contribution to the development of thrash — the metal subgenre that Metallica popularized and that most people associate with the "typical" metal sound.
In 1984, when Exodus finally released its debut, Bonded by Blood, after lengthy record label difficulties, it was obscured by the success of, you guessed it, Metallica. Exodus was already a dinosaur of a genre it helped create. Bad timing. Earlier this year, however, Exodus released its ninth album, the ambitious 74-minute Exhibit B: The Human Condition. The band's time-tested thrash is still reliably aggressive, and the critics go pretty wild. When's the last time anyone said that about Metallica?