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Anthrax Guitarist Scott Ian Names Exodus’ Bonded by Blood “Best Debut Album of the Big 5”

  • Axl Rosenberg

The debate about whether or not THE BIG 4 should actually be THE BIG 5 (or even THE BIG 6 or THE BIG 8) will presumably rage on until the day the sun is extinguished. For his part, in 2012, Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian suggested in the past that if THE BIG 4 did become THE BIG 5, the band he’d add is Exodus:

“The only other band really that it would make sense [to include] as far as American thrash-metal would be Exodus, because they were there right at the beginning as well. Their first album came out right at the same time as the rest of us. So I mean, to me, yes–if you were gonna add a fifth band, certainly I would think Exodus would be able to fill that slot very easily.”

Which isn’t exactly a unique opinion — Exodus and Testament are probably neck-and-neck for bands most-frequently mentioned when an idea of THE BIG 5 comes up. Still, coming from such a prominent, longstanding member of THE BIG 4, Ian’s words carry weight.

And it would seem that in the nine years since he said that, Ian has shifted from thinking about “if” there was THE BIG 5 to just kinda casually declaring that there is a THE BIG 5. For yesterday, April 25, he took to social media to share the cover art for Exodus’ 1985 classic, Bonded by Blood, along with this message:

“This beast came out 36 years ago. Best debut album of the Big 5? I think so.”

Regardless of whether or not you concur that THE BIG 4 should be THE BIG 5, if we go by Ian’s logic — i.e., there is a THE BIG 5, and Exodus is the fifth band — I think he dead on. I mean, everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, but the other four bands in THE BIG 5 (for the cheap seats: Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and, of course, Anthrax), Exodus are the only one who didn’t take a few albums to find their artistic identity. Kill ‘Em All, Show No Mercy, Fistful of Metal, and Killing is My Business all only hint at what those bands had in store in their futures; on the other hand, Bonded by Blood is almost universally considered Exodus’ best album.

Of course, from a certain point of view, that’s not great for Exodus — they went on to make more good music, but they never topped their initial outing. They’re like Guns N’ Roses without all the money.

Debate Ian’s assertion in the comments section below.

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