STEVE 'ZETRO' SOUZA: 'Persona Non Grata' Is EXODUS's 'Best' Album So Far
October 10, 2021
EXODUS frontman Steve "Zetro" Souza was asked in a new interview with MetalgodZradiO if he would agree that the band's upcoming album, "Persona Non Grata", is the group's "best" effort to date. He responded (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Yes, definitely. When we were recording it, and after we got done with it, we were saying that, and people are gonna say, 'Well, how can you say that when there's 'Bonded [By Blood]', 'Fabulous [Disaster]', 'Tempo Of The Damned', 'Exhibit B[: The Human Condition]', but this by far — yeah, this one's it. We all think that; we all know that — very much so. All of our performances, I think, are definitely well spoken for. Each of us had each other's back. It was a great way to record the compositions, the flow of the album."
Souza previously told Australia's Heavy that EXODUS fans "expect a certain thing" on each one of the band's albums. "I think it's always been about brutality and violence and social, political [and] religious issues," he said. "I think it's always been that way. We've always metaphorically went after everyone. Now we're really [doing it]. This album is just loaded with that. It's a very socially conscious record; it's a very what-is-going-on-now record. I tell everybody this is not a nice record. For a heavy metal fan, that's exactly what you wanna hear — that this is not a nice album. And it's not; it's very abrasive. The lyrical content, the approach, the attack — everything is in your face on this one."
Due on November 19 via Nuclear Blast Records, "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, EXODUS drummer Tom Hunting underwent a successful total gastrectomy in his battle with squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the stomach.