Dead Beats: "Piranha" by Exodus
These piranhas strip flesh and melt faces.
By M.T. Bates
Thrash metal is surely the best medium for horror-based songs. The genre is fast, violent, and in-your-face. The 80’s were high points for both horror and thrash metal, so it is only appropriate that the two were combined at some point, which leads us into 1985’s “Piranha” by bay area thrash legends Exodus.
While not based on the 1978 Joe Dante film of the same name, at least as far as we know, the comparison is easy to make: carnivorous fish who strip the flesh from the bone. The premise just begged to be turned into a thrash song and this one is legendary.
The guitar riff is just evil and the overall feel is pure 80’s thrash in the same vein as Metallica from the same time period, so if you are a fan of 80’s Metallica and aren’t familiar with this song or Exodus as a whole, then seek out the Bonded By Blood album. The lyrics depict the school of piranhas as an almost demonic entity unleashed upon the Earth from behind the gates of Hell. A bit of a stretch, but the vocal delivery from Paul Baloff is just insanely on point that it doesn’t even matter.
Give it a listen and if you like what you hear, then consider picking up Exodus’ 1985 debut album, Bonded by Blood. It is Baloff’s only album with the band, but its impact is enduring. However, don’t let that stop you from picking up the later Exodus albums, as Steve “Zetro” Souza is also an amazing vocalist and really allowed the band to find their groove in the metal world. On the other hand, the Rob Dukes era of Exodus is mostly hit-or-miss.
In conclusion, be sure to blast this song the next time you head to the beach this summer.