Riff Police! Pull Over! #75: Metallica Vs Exodus!

Big Four and the ones that got away? It’s time for another Riff Off to rival Shred Wars as someone get’s the fickle finger of fate pointed at them for mercilessly plagiarizing someone else’s hard graft and skilled craft… or maybe they just heard it and it entered their brain like a subliminal verse telling them that it sounds cool, which it no doubt does. What are we talking about?! Riff Police!

Aside from maybe Testament, the biggest non-Big Four Thrash Metal band to knock on the door is arguably Exodus. Their can’t be many self respecting Metal Heads who didn’t know who Gary Holt was before he filled in for Slayer while 1985’s “Bonded by Blood” remains a masterpiece and 2005’s “Shovel Headed Kill Machine” a guilty pleasure. 2004 was the year that the Richmond California quintet returned after 12 years in the wilderness with Andy Sneap in the chair as he produced, mixed, engineered and mastered “Tempo Of The Damned”. Interestingly it’s one which doesn’t just feature new material as the band raided their 1982 and a previously live only released song entitled “Impaler”. Now here’s the thing. Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett wrote the riff of that song when he was in Exodus in ’82 and took the riff to Metallica, where it appeared in “Trapped Under Ice” from their second album “Ride The Lightning” in ’84. So should Exodus have gone back and used it? Hammett gets a writers credit in the liner notes and later puts down a solo on “Salt The Wound” a decade later on “Blood In, Blood Out”, so he can’t be fussed – but can you hear it?

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