Exhorder started out as a furious thrash metal band and as the forefathers of the New Orleans scene in 1985. The band was first heard of via the Get Rude demo of 1986 where the guitarists were David Main and Ceravolo. Main and Labella had played together even prior to Exhorder. The band broke up in late 1987, but was soon back together again. They released the debut independently before Roadrunner stepped in and re-released the album. Earlier Borivoj Krgin's Mean Machine company had signed the band, but had been unable to survive long enough to release the LP. The band was also kicked out of a local studio by this time for its behaviour and lyrical stance.
The debut was an immediate hit with parent groups, religious organizations and homosexuals. Roadrunner and the band censored the album and left out the lyrics to Anal Lust. Later, the band wished they had included the lyrics for, "people think we're fags." The band toured Europe and lost its bassist. Simultaneously the band did not tour with Deicide because Glen Benton and the boys were asking for too much money, according to Exhorder.
Album number two was a lesson in irony. Seeing that Phil Anselmo of Pantera had hung around with the band earlier, it was strange to read Roadrunner's advertising exhort the masses into buying the album using the, "if you like Pantera..." by-line. Regardless, the band set out to tour with Entombed across America and Canada but was soon thrown off the tour after conflict ensued between the bands. One report went as far as narrating the story of an urinating LaBella dirtying the Entombed tour bus. The band flew to Europe, but soon called it a day after accusing Roadrunner of a lack of support.
Penalty had to change its name to Floodgate for legal reasons. 2001 brought a few reunion shows and reports of Exhorder writing songs. Thomas joined Alabama Thunderpussy in the spring of 2006. The band reformed in the middle of 2008. The group whose line-up was singer Kyle Thomas, guitarists Vinnie Labella and Jay Ceravolo and drummer Chris Nail was working on new material and having its two albums reissued by Metal Mind Productions. Since bassist Franky Sparcello was in prison a new member was sought. The band decided to record some portions of its debut album Slaughter In The Vatican again in order to rectify, what it deemed was, the album’s weak sound. The reformed band was rejoined by its original bassist Andy Villafarra. The group was still aiming at a new studio album for 2010. The reformed band announced a concert in the autumn of 2009. It was to take place on November 14th at Southport Hall in Jefferson, Louisiana. As previously reported here the band’s bassist was again Frankie Sparcello. The band had a new drummer next. Seth Davis played his first concert with the band on Friday, December 10th. Exhorder Bassist Frankie Sparcello died on Tuesday, March 22nd. The band honoured him, remembered him, was saddened, tributes flowed and replaced him in April with Jorge Caicedo of The Void for shows. Vocalist Kyle Thomas and guitarist Jay Ceravolo left the band in the autumn of 2011. They felt the band was not going anywhere.
In 2014, Devil's Highway was a new project featuring Trouble and Exhorder singer Kyle Thomas, guitarists Ralph Santolla and Matt Brunson, bassist Steve DiGiorgio and Tony Laureano on drums. The band was recording a demo at Vulture Lounge in Tampa, Florida and DDT Studio in New Orleans, Louisiana. Santolla was producing the hard rock act. Exhorder was back again in late 2017 and signed a management deal with All Independent Service Alliance (AISA). The line-up featured founding members singer Kyle Thomas and guitarist Vinnie LaBella, as well as bassist Jason Viebrooks (Heathen), Marzi Montazeri (ex-Superjoint Ritual, Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals, etc.) on guitar and Sasha Horn (Forbidden) on drums. The band was planning 2018 shows. The band signed with Nuclear Blast in late 2018. The label employed Monte Conner who A&Rd at Roadrunner where the band was signed and dropped in the ‘90s.