The Bay Area sons of thrash metal, Exodus, announced today the return of former vocalist Steve 'Zetro' Souza. Long time frontman, Rob Dukes has stepped down from the role he held from 2005 until present. His nine-year tenure in the band included three powerful studio albums.
Exodus has spent much of the spring in the studio working on its 10th studio effort. Rob Dukes has spoken recently in the press about the tone of the album being more punkish in feel, with shorter, faster tracks. There is no news at this time as to whether the band will go back and have Souza re-record those vocal tracks or if they were recorded at all.
In a statement released, June 8 and posted by Blabbermouth.net, Exodus founder and guitarist Gary Holt explained the decision to replace Dukes:
As a band, we all had to make a very difficult choice to part ways with [our singer of the past nine years] Rob Dukes. We have nothing but love and admiration for him and the deepest gratitude for the hard work he has put in and the great work on some killer records. But at this time, Tom [Hunting, drums], Lee [Altus, guitar], Jack [Gibson, bass] and myself thought a change was necessary and the unanimous choice going forward was to welcome back Steve Souza to the fold!
Souza originally joined Exodus after the release of the band's debut album in 1986. He has long been held by many Exodus fans as the band's true vocalist, appearing on the band's next five albums (more than half their catalog). The vocalist did not return to the band in 1997 after its four-year hiatus, but joined again in 2002. Souza left the band suddenly in 2004 after recording "Tempo of the Damned", to spend more time with his family.
Over the years Souza has talked in the press about being open to a return to Exodus. In the interim he has formed his own band, Hatriot, with his sons. Hatriot has released two highly regarded albums to date.
Both founder Gary Holt and Steve Souza have talked in interviews recently about the singer returning to the fold, with both stating it was unlikely to happen while remaining open to the idea. Regardless of the reasons or how long it might last, die-hard Exodus fans will be excited to see Souza's return.