Update: Exodus' Paul Baloff Passes Away After Suffering A Stroke

By Ed Rivadavia, Contributor
Sunday, February 3, 2002 @ 5:07 PM

Exodus Frontman Paul Baloff Wa

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Exodus frontman Paul Baloff passed away just before noon (PST) Saturday, February 2nd at the age of 41. Baloff sang on the band's seminal debut album, Bonded By Blood, and was loved by fans around the world. His loss will be mourd by family, friends and fans around the world.

Exodus was formed in 1981 by Paul Baloff (vocals), Gary Holt and Kirk Hammett (guitars), Geoff Andrews (bass), and Tom Hunting (drums), Exodus was heavily influenced by New Wave of British Heavy Metal bands such as Iron Maiden, Angel Witch, and Raven, whose lessons they combined with the raw, do-it-yourself aesthetics of the prolific Bay Area punk scene to create thrash metal. Their 1982 demo, Whipping Queen and Death and Domination, became wildly popular on the all-important underground tape-trading circuit, and solidified their standing as the Bay Area's first champions. They lost their number one standing a year later, however, when guitarist and core member Kirk Hammett defected to Metallica, who then raced ahead of all competitors in bringing thrash to the world. Exodus drafted guitarist Rick Hunolt and replaced bassist Andrews with Rob McKillop before signing with Torrid Records, for whom they recorded their Bonded by Blood debut in 1984. A would-be landmark of the genre, the album languished, unreleased, for over a year due to record company problems, and by the time it was finally issued by Combat Records in 1985, its impact had been severely diminished by the quick evolution of their peers.

A one-off anniversary concert in 1997, featuring the classic Bonded By Blood lineup, resulted in a live album, Another Lesson in Violence, released by Century Media.

Exodus guitarist Gary Holt released the following statement yesterday regarding Paul’s bold and wonderful life and unfortunate, untimely passing.

“In My Words..... by Gary Holt

Words cannot describe the pain I am feeling, was feeling, at the sudden and oh so premature loss of Paul. As I sit here at the waters end of San Francisco Bay, I feel as if someone or something has torn my heart out of my body and smashed it on the rocks. Paul was my brother, my spirit, my soul… and he is gone. I wonder how I will ever recover, ever learn what it is to feel alive without him, and for this question, I have no answers. Paul loved Exodus, Was Exodus, and we loved him for it and in spite of it. His flame burned bright, so bright in fact that in hindsight it was all but impossible to have burned forever. Still, it burns in us and we must never let that flame burn out, lest Paul's legacy and his contribution be forgotten.

During my impending divorce, my pain has been constant, but so has Paul, in my support from him. When my depression would occasionally reach its apex, Paul was always there. No words necessary, just Paul taking action. A broken stereo receiver and an invite to launch it down the stairs, a double bladed axe and something to cleave in half. Therapy though vandalism I called it! He knew how to bring me back. Yet, I have no way to do the same for him. I love Paul, always have and always will. There was, (is) a bond that even his untimely death cannot break, but right now my spirit is. The flame in me has died, my spirit torn asunder. I will fight through this. Paul was the ultimate fighter, he fought till the end, and to fight with anything less than his tenacity would be to do his memory an incredible injustice. I miss him I love him, and will keep his memory alive. I only ask that all of you to do the same.

To each and every one of you, from the bottom of my heart I say THANK YOU, Exodus thanks you, and Paul thanks you.

Gary Holt"

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