San Francisco Bay Area thrash metal veterans EXODUS will release their new album, "Persona Non Grata", on November 19 via Nuclear Blast Records. The official lyric video for the disc's third single, "The Years Of Death And Dying", can be viewed below.
Drummer Tom Hunting comments: "'The Years Of Death And Dying' started out as a poem, from the perspective of Death, being a thinking entity, always watching and looking for weakness and opportunity to come calling for people. A Grim Reaper story. We were losing legends: Bowie, Cash, Petty, Prince, Frey… the list goes on and on. Then we started losing family members and friends in our own orbit. Anyway, the title came first, then the poem, which became a song. I shared the lyrics with Gary [Holt, guitar], who helped inspire me with phrasing to finish it, and the guys loved it. The song is really long, and more legends kept passing right up into the moments Zet [singer Steve 'Zetro' Souza] was singing it, so I had to keep writing until I had enough to complete the song. We hope you enjoy our tribute to the fallen!"
"Persona Non Grata" is the follow-up to 2014's "Blood In Blood Out", which was the San Francisco Bay Area thrashers' first release since the departure of the group's lead singer of nine years, Rob Dukes, and the return of Souza, who previously fronted EXODUS from 1986 to 1993 and from 2002 to 2004.
"Persona Non Grata" was recorded at a studio in Lake Almanor, California and was engineered by Steve Lagudi and EXODUS. It was produced by EXODUS and was mixed by Andy Sneap. For the third time in the band's history, they returned to Swedish artist Pär Olofsson to create the album artwork.
In July, Hunting underwent a successful total gastrectomy in his battle with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the stomach. He rejoined his bandmates on stage on October 7 at the Aftershock festival in Sacramento, California.
EXODUS tapped John Tempesta to play drums for the band at Psycho Las Vegas in Las Vegas, Nevada in August and at Full Terror Assault in Cave In Rock, Illinois in September while Hunting was recovering from surgery. Tempesta was a member of EXODUS from 1989 until 1993 and played on the band's albums "Impact Is Imminent" (1990) and "Force Of Habit" (1992).
A GoFundMe campaign to help Hunting with medical expenses had previously raised more than $114,000 — including $5,000 from Tom's former EXODUS bandmate, current METALLICA guitarist Kirk Hammett, and $1,500 from FOZZY singer and wrestling superstar Chris Jericho.
"Persona Non Grata" track listing:
01. Persona Non Grata
03. Slipping Into Madness
05. Prescribing Horror
06. The Beatings Will Continue (Until Morale Improves)
07. The Years Of Death And Dying
09. Cosa Del Pantano
11. The Fires Of Division