Exodus would prove to become one of the innovators of the so-called Bay Area Thrash scene in the style of Metallica and the like, even featuring members who would later go on to more known bands years later (guitarist Kirk Hammet is one such example from their very early days before they recorded, not to mention John Tempesta later). Although they are credited with the title innovators by many, the title is less deserved due to their insistence on producing what most critics believed to be second rate Thrash. They would debut in 1985 with Bonded By Blood under the membership ofPaul Baloff (vocals),Rick Hunolt (guitar), Gary Holt (guitar),Rob McKillop (bass) and Tom Hunting (ex-Angel Witch; drums). This album showed them to be fast enough and certainly metallic enough, but failed in the shadow of the majors in the make Metallica and their Kill Em All album. Steve Souza would take over from Baloff for the recording of Pleasures Of The Flesh (1987), an album featuring an environmental song, Chemikill but fell down again with cheesy lyrics in tracks like Brain Dead and Deranged. Fabulous Disaster would follow in 1989, and continued to fail in giving them the coverage they wanted, but another membership shift sawJohn Tempesta (later of White Zombie and Testament) take over the drums for Impact Is Imminent (1990). Despite their commercial album failures, they had established a name for themselves and Capitol' took over where Combat' left-off with this album. This line-up would hold for their first live effort Good Friendly Violent Fun (1991) and Lessons In Violence (1992) best of compilation. ButMike Butler took over from McKillop for Force Of Habit (1992). After several years with no new recordings and success always passing them by with only inches to spare, the act split.
Another live effort in Another Lesson In Violence (1997) emerged when the act reformed with the revised line-up of Paul Baloff taking over from Souza, Jack Gibson taking over from Butler and Tom Hunting taking over from Tempesta. They subsequently split up again until Baloff and mates came back together in 2001 to play live shows only, until Baloff died on January 31, 2002 from a stroke. Longtime vocalist Steve Souza returned to the fold to continue playing live in tribute to Baloff, and made plans for a new studio album yet to be recorded.