Once the kings of the Bay Area metal scene -- the birthplace of thrash -- Exodus were unceremoniously demoted from their post with the arrival of Los Angeles' Metallica in 1982. And while they proceeded to eek out a hit-and-miss career of their own over the next few decades, all the while influencing at least two separate generations of younger thrash bands, Exodus were ultimately fated to be the ultimate also-rans of the genre they helped spawn. Formed in 1981 by singer Paul Baloff, guitarists Gary Holt and Kirk Hammett, bassist Geoff Andrews, and drummer Tom Hunting, Exodus were heavily influenced by Motörhead and New Wave of British Heavy Metal bands like Iron Maiden and Raven, whose lessons they combined with the raw, D.I.Y. aesthetic of the prolific Bay Area punk scene to create thrash metal. Their handful of demos recorded between 1982-1984 became wildly popular on the all-important underground tape-trading circuit of the time, and solidified the band's standing as the Bay Area's first thrash champions. But they would soon lose their numero uno standing as well as their guitarist Hammett to the aforementioned Metallica, who then raced ahead of all competitors in their mission to bring thrash to the world. Wounded but undaunted, 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. But the album languished unreleased for over a year due to business problems, and by the time it was finally unveiled by Combat Records in 1985, the would-be genre benchmark already sounded dated and its impact was severely dulled by the quick evolution of their peers.