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Top 10 Thrash Albums


dennis1077
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I have a love/hate relationship with thrash metal. I shouldn't say hate, that's way too strong, let's just say I kinda lost interest in thrash once I got heavily into black and death. But lemme tell you I was all about thrash metal in the 80's, never would it have occurred to me then when I was in my 20's that I wouldn't be an OG headbanging thrash metal maniac for life. But shit happens. I don't listen to nearly as much thrash as some of you guys, but I do still dial up most of these old classics every now and then. I don't have hundreds of thrash metal albums to choose from like my buddy BAN claims to have, but I have hung onto a few dozen choice selections over the years and having lived through the 80's I do feel supremely qualified to make a list. In the spirit of this thread maker's intentions I won't include any black/thrash on my list, or any post turn of the century re-thrash, and no speed metal, I'll stick with the old school "first wave" 80's and early 90's thrash. I'll also keep to my typical one album per band just cuz. There might be a couple of albums on my list that some people might try to tell you are death metal, but they'd be wrong these are all strictly 100% thrash. The top 10 I have numbered and then the rest are all runners up in no particular order whatsoever because how can you really rank these, they're all such great records?

 

1. Slayer - Reign In Blood 1986 #1 Slayer album, #1 thrash album, possibly the most iconic #1 metal album of all time period.

2. Metallica - Ride the Lightning 1984 a close second. I'm well past the point of caring about Metallica abandoning thrash, I honestly don't really think or care about them much at all anymore. But I'm not gonna pretend like this wasn't a monumental life-changing album for me or that in 1984/85 I didn't spin this incessantly.

3. Overkill - Taking Over 1987  could've easily gone with 1991's Horrorscope here, they're pretty damn close. Overall this is by far my favorite thrash band and I still play most of their records, not just one or two. This is really the only thrash band I can think of that I'd be tempted to put more than one of their albums on my list. 

4. Necronomicon - Necronomicon 1986 Not very well known by many I guess, but I've always loved this raw German thrash album. Just a random blind grab at the record store one day in '86, I was drawn to the cool cover and got lucky.

5. Incubus - Serpent Temptation 1988 They've long since changed their name to Opprobrium but in 1988, indeed up until 1999 they were Incubus. Killer album every thrash fan should own.

6. Onslaught - Power From Hell 1985 I'm only down to #6 and already I'm thinking fuck this should probably have been a bit higher. Killer record, I get Discharge vibes from their tone on this. I believe every thrash fan should own this one too.

7. Coroner - No More Color 1989 Stoked to finally see these guys next May at MDF. Great band that should need no introduction, this one narrowly edges out R.I.P. as my favorite from the Swiss trio.

8. Devastation - Idolatry 1991 Little known band from Corpus Christi Texas, this was their third and final album. Record fucking slays, check it out.

9. Dark Angel - Darkness Descends 1986 Much has been said about this album, suffice it to say it kills, I believe it has a lot more going for it than just the insane speed.

10. Demolition Hammer - Tortured Existence 1991 I deffo prefer this one to Epidemic of Violence. Killer band, saw them live 6 or 7 years back and they killed it.

Kreator - Pleasure to Kill 1986 I loved this record in the 80's and then I haven't liked anything else they've ever done since then. That fact has unavoidably tarnished their legacy in my mind and is probably why PtK just missed making my top 10. So I don't consider myself a Kreator fan generally or a Mille fan specifically but this album is the lone exception, it kills. Funny I found out recently that my favorite track on here Riot of Violence was sung by the drummer apparently.

 

Whiplash - Power and Pain 1986 Guess this one is fairly unknown as well, killer thrash album from right here in New Jersey, and yes I liked it before I found that out.

Sepultura - Beneath the Remains 1989 Thought when I started that this might make my top 10 but the competition was as stiff as rigor mortis. Unquestionably their best album, it perplexes me when some people pick Arise over this one. 

Possessed - 7 Churches 1985 I've had extensive arguments with people over the years on whether this record is thrash or death metal. Clearly it's thrash metal, not significantly different than what other thrash bands were doing around the same time. I think people get confused because they had the last track entitled Death Metal.

Slaughter - Strappado 1987 This one's a bit slower paced than most of these other albums, these Canadians had kind of a unique sound and I loved it.

Sacrifice - Forward to Termination 1987  Discovered these Canadians when they played a set at MDF some years back. One of my buddies was all psyched up to see Sacrifice. I wasn't as smitten with them as he was but I can say this is a really good record.

Morbid Saint - Spectrum of Death 1990 raw and fast this is fucking great although I couldn't see my way to putting it in the top 10.

Sodom - Obsessed By Cruelty 1986 my favorite of their older stuff, deffo like this one better than Agent Orange.

Exodus - Pleasures of the Flesh 1987 Most people go with Bonded for their fave Eggs at Us but I liked their riffage better here on the sophomore. And I like a nice salad.

Evildead - Annihilation of Civilization    Bad cover, great album. Go figure I'm not a Repka fan either. 

Razor -  Violent Restitution 1988 Your MIA former moderator BAN informed me several years ago that this was Razor's finest hour and after some comparitive listening sessions I do believe he's right.

Destruction - Infernal Overkill 1985 I believe the early Destruction albums were severely marred by poor thin production but this one still bears mention.

Sacred Reich - Independent 1993 I realize this wouldn't be most people's choice for best Sacred Reich album but it is mine. I do like most of their stuff though. Released in 1993 this is the most recent album on my list.

Exhorder - Slaughter In the Vatican 1990 Formed in '85 these good ole boys from N'awlinz didn't get their debut album out til 1990 when thrash was beginning its decline, but better late than never.

Rigor Mortis - Rigor Mortis 1988 Little known underrated band from Texas. 

Sadus - Illusions (Chemical Exposure) 1988 Don't listen to this one a ton and it wasn't in contention for my top 10 but it deserves honorable mention. 

DBC - Dead Brain Cells 1987 Ditto DBC, discovered this band about 10 years ago through a friend, again this wouldn't be top 10 material but it warrants mention. 

Anthrax - Fistful of Metal 1984 For many years Spreading the Disease was my favorite Anthrax record by a mile but somehow this underrated debut has overtaken it somewhere along the line over the last decade or so. Those first two are really the only two I would ever dream of listening to nowadays.

 

There's some fairly obvious stuff missing here:

Testament's Legacy had good songs but is ruined by the piss poor production, and I mean ruined to the extent that I can't see my way clear to putting it on even as honorable mention. None of their other albums are good enough to make the grade even though by and large I do consider myself a Testament fan.

Infernal Majesty's None Shall Defy gets mentioned a lot in thrash circles but I've never been a huge fan. 

Nuclear Assault I kinda liked back in the day but the records haven't held up very well for me over the years.

Megadeth, while I liked them pretty well in the 80's they just haven't held up well for me at all, I can barely stand to listen to them at this point. If anyone cares my only choice would have been Peace Sells, was never much of a Rust fan not even back in the 80's.

Forbidden and Vio-lence both made what I would consider to be great thrash albums musically, but both have been completely ruined for me beyond all redemption with downright insufferable vocals. Can't separate the music from the vocals it is what it is. 


Necronomicon - Necronomicon (cd) : Target

 

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17 hours ago, GoatmasterGeneral said:

I have a love/hate relationship with thrash metal. I shouldn't say hate, that's way too strong, let's just say I kinda lost interest in thrash once I got heavily into black and death. But lemme tell you I was all about thrash metal in the 80's, never would it have occurred to me then when I was in my 20's that I wouldn't be an OG headbanging thrash metal maniac for life. But shit happens. I don't listen to nearly as much thrash as some of you guys, but I do still dial up most of these old classics every now and then. I don't have hundreds of thrash metal albums to choose from like my buddy BAN claims to have, but I have hung onto a few dozen choice selections over the years and having lived through the 80's I do feel supremely qualified to make a list. In the spirit of this thread maker's intentions I won't include any black/thrash on my list, or any post turn of the century re-thrash, and no speed metal, I'll stick with the old school "first wave" 80's and early 90's thrash. I'll also keep to my typical one album per band just cuz. There might be a couple of albums on my list that some people might try to tell you are death metal, but they'd be wrong these are all strictly 100% thrash. The top 10 I have numbered and then the rest are all runners up in no particular order whatsoever because how can you really rank these, they're all such great records?

 

1. Slayer - Reign In Blood 1986 #1 Slayer album, #1 thrash album, possibly the most iconic #1 metal album of all time period.

2. Metallica - Ride the Lightning 1984 a close second. I'm well past the point of caring about Metallica abandoning thrash, I honestly don't really think or care about them much at all anymore. But I'm not gonna pretend like this wasn't a monumental life-changing album for me or that in 1984/85 I didn't spin this incessantly.

3. Overkill - Taking Over 1987  could've easily gone with 1991's Horrorscope here, they're pretty damn close. Overall this is by far my favorite thrash band and I still play most of their records, not just one or two. This is really the only thrash band I can think of that I'd be tempted to put more than one of their albums on my list. 

4. Necronomicon - Necronomicon 1986 Not very well known by many I guess, but I've always loved this raw German thrash album. Just a random blind grab at the record store one day in '86, I was drawn to the cool cover and got lucky.

5. Incubus - Serpent Temptation 1988 They've long since changed their name to Opprobrium but in 1988, indeed up until 1999 they were Incubus. Killer album every thrash fan should own.

6. Onslaught - Power From Hell 1985 I'm only down to #6 and already I'm thinking fuck this should probably have been a bit higher. Killer record, I get Discharge vibes from their tone on this. I believe every thrash fan should own this one too.

7. Coroner - No More Color 1989 Stoked to finally see these guys next May at MDF. Great band that should need no introduction, this one narrowly edges out R.I.P. as my favorite from the Swiss trio.

8. Devastation - Idolatry 1991 Little known band from Corpus Christi Texas, this was their third and final album. Record fucking slays, check it out.

9. Dark Angel - Darkness Descends 1986 Much has been said about this album, suffice it to say it kills, I believe it has a lot more going for it than just the insane speed.

10. Demolition Hammer - Tortured Existence 1991 I deffo prefer this one to Epidemic of Violence. Killer band, saw them live 6 or 7 years back and they killed it.

Kreator - Pleasure to Kill 1986 I loved this record in the 80's and then I haven't liked anything else they've ever done since then. That fact has unavoidably tarnished their legacy in my mind and is probably why PtK just missed making my top 10. So I don't consider myself a Kreator fan generally or a Mille fan specifically but this album is the lone exception, it kills. Funny I found out recently that my favorite track on here Riot of Violence was sung by the drummer apparently.

 

Whiplash - Power and Pain 1986 Guess this one is fairly unknown as well, killer thrash album from right here in New Jersey, and yes I liked it before I found that out.

Sepultura - Beneath the Remains 1989 Thought when I started that this might make my top 10 but the competition was as stiff as rigor mortis. Unquestionably their best album, it perplexes me when some people pick Arise over this one. 

Possessed - 7 Churches 1985 I've had extensive arguments with people over the years on whether this record is thrash or death metal. Clearly it's thrash metal, not significantly different than what other thrash bands were doing around the same time. I think people get confused because they had the last track entitled Death Metal.

Slaughter - Strappado 1987 This one's a bit slower paced than most of these other albums, these Canadians had kind of a unique sound and I loved it.

Sacrifice - Forward to Termination 1987  Discovered these Canadians when they played a set at MDF some years back. One of my buddies was all psyched up to see Sacrifice. I wasn't as smitten with them as he was but I can say this is a really good record.

Morbid Saint - Spectrum of Death 1990 raw and fast this is fucking great although I couldn't see my way to putting it in the top 10.

Sodom - Obsessed By Cruelty 1986 my favorite of their older stuff, deffo like this one better than Agent Orange.

Exodus - Pleasures of the Flesh 1987 Most people go with Bonded for their fave Eggs at Us but I liked their riffage better here on the sophomore. And I like a nice salad.

Evildead - Annihilation of Civilization    Bad cover, great album. Go figure I'm not a Repka fan either. 

Razor -  Violent Restitution 1988 Your MIA former moderator BAN informed me several years ago that this was Razor's finest hour and after some comparitive listening sessions I do believe he's right.

Destruction - Infernal Overkill 1985 I believe the early Destruction albums were severely marred by poor thin production but this one still bears mention.

Sacred Reich - Independent 1993 I realize this wouldn't be most people's choice for best Sacred Reich album but it is mine. I do like most of their stuff though. Released in 1993 this is the most recent album on my list.

Exhorder - Slaughter In the Vatican 1990 Formed in '85 these good ole boys from N'awlinz didn't get their debut album out til 1990 when thrash was beginning its decline, but better late than never.

Rigor Mortis - Rigor Mortis 1988 Little known underrated band from Texas. 

Sadus - Illusions (Chemical Exposure) 1988 Don't listen to this one a ton and it wasn't in contention for my top 10 but it deserves honorable mention. 

DBC - Dead Brain Cells 1987 Ditto DBC, discovered this band about 10 years ago through a friend, again this wouldn't be top 10 material but it warrants mention. 

Anthrax - Fistful of Metal 1984 For many years Spreading the Disease was my favorite Anthrax record by a mile but somehow this underrated debut has overtaken it somewhere along the line over the last decade or so. Those first two are really the only two I would ever dream of listening to nowadays.

 

There's some fairly obvious stuff missing here:

Testament's Legacy had good songs but is ruined by the piss poor production, and I mean ruined to the extent that I can't see my way clear to putting it on even as honorable mention. None of their other albums are good enough to make the grade even though by and large I do consider myself a Testament fan.

Infernal Majesty's None Shall Defy gets mentioned a lot in thrash circles but I've never been a huge fan. 

Nuclear Assault I kinda liked back in the day but the records haven't held up very well for me over the years.

Megadeth, while I liked them pretty well in the 80's they just haven't held up well for me at all, I can barely stand to listen to them at this point. If anyone cares my only choice would have been Peace Sells, was never much of a Rust fan not even back in the 80's.

Forbidden and Vio-lence both made what I would consider to be great thrash albums musically, but both have been completely ruined for me beyond all redemption with downright insufferable vocals. Can't separate the music from the vocals it is what it is. 


Necronomicon - Necronomicon (cd) : Target

 

Can't really argue with anything on that list. Great effort as usual. Nice to see Devastation there. Super underrated album. And I definitely have to agree with Demolition Hammer live. I would say to any and everyone, do not miss an opportunity to see these guys live. They absolutely fucking slay. Probably the best live set I've ever seen.

My own personal favorites, maybe not the best per se would go something like this:

I no particular order

Megadeth - RIP

Metallica - AJFA

Slayer - RIB

Demolition Hammer - either Epidemic of Violence or Tortured Existence. They both are excellent.

Devastation - Idolatry

Sadus - Swallowed in Black

Kreator - PTK

Sepultura - BTR

Coroner - No More Color

Onslaught - The Force

Honorable mentions not included on your list which aren't worthy of a top 10 finish

Deathwish - Demon Preacher

Blind Illusion - The Same Asylum

Violent Force - Malevolent Assault of Tomorrow

Hypnosia - Extreme Hatred

Paradox - Heresy

Atrophy - Violent by Nature

Artillery - By Inheritance

Gammacide - Victims of Science

Holy Moses - Finished with the Dogs

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WN great post.  Really do enjoy reading your writes up and I will check out some of the lesser known stuff on both your and Navy's list

I agree on Possessed being closer to thrash than death.  I also have a similar opinion on Bathory's Blood, Fire Death which is thrash metal IMO and not black/speed. 

 

Personally I can't pick 10 albums let alone pick one per band.  It depends on my mood and what sort of vibes I'm digging at the time.

 

Artillery - By Inheritance

Annihilator - Alice in Hell

Anthrax - Persistence of Time

Bathory - Blood Fire Death

Kreator - Endless Pain, Pleasure to Kill

Havok - Conformicide

Megadeth - Peace Sells But Whose Buying, So Far, So Good...So What!

Metallica - Ride The Lightning, Master of Puppets

Onslaught - Killing Peace

Overkill - Years of Decay, Horrorscope

Sacred Reich - American Way

Sepultura - Arise (though I do love Beneath the Remains)

Slayer - Reign In Blood, South of Heaven

Suicidal Tendencies - How Can I Laugh Tomorrow,

Testament - Low, Dark Roots of Earth

The Haunted - ...Made Me Do It.

 

Toxic Holocaust's Primal Future: 2019 is climbing up in my estimation.  I listen to that album a lot.

 

Then there's Metal Church which kind of straddles thrash and also what was once called US Power Metal.    3 superb albums (Metal Church, The Dark and Blessing in Disguise) but are they too far removed from thrash?

 

There's a few that I've drifted away from eg Nuclear Assault and Exodus.

 

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15 minutes ago, Dead1 said:

 3 superb albums (Metal Church, The Dark and Blessing in Disguise) but are they too far removed from thrash?

 

That's one of the reasons I tend not to do these sorts of things. Too many people with too many ideas on what a particular genre is and whether it can be stretched to include a particular band. I like what I like and I don't much care of the genre people want to label it. I'm not a big fan of the last two Metal Church albums and to me it seems like Kurdt is pushing the band into a more mainstream type sound that I'm not a fan of but the band had some killer stuff early on and if someone says they wont listen to it because it's power and not thrash I tend to just laugh.

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1 hour ago, Dead1 said:

WN great post.  Really do enjoy reading your writes up and I will check out some of the lesser known stuff on both your and Navy's list

I agree on Possessed being closer to thrash than death.  I also have a similar opinion on Bathory's Blood, Fire Death which is thrash metal IMO and not black/speed. 

 

Personally I can't pick 10 albums let alone pick one per band.  It depends on my mood and what sort of vibes I'm digging at the time.

 

Artillery - By Inheritance

Annihilator - Alice in Hell

Anthrax - Persistence of Time

Bathory - Blood Fire Death

Kreator - Endless Pain, Pleasure to Kill

Havok - Conformicide

Megadeth - Peace Sells But Whose Buying, So Far, So Good...So What!

Metallica - Ride The Lightning, Master of Puppets

Onslaught - Killing Peace

Overkill - Years of Decay, Horrorscope

Sacred Reich - American Way

Sepultura - Arise (though I do love Beneath the Remains)

Slayer - Reign In Blood, South of Heaven

Suicidal Tendencies - How Can I Laugh Tomorrow,

Testament - Low, Dark Roots of Earth

The Haunted - ...Made Me Do It.

 

Toxic Holocaust's Primal Future: 2019 is climbing up in my estimation.  I listen to that album a lot.

 

Then there's Metal Church which kind of straddles thrash and also what was once called US Power Metal.    3 superb albums (Metal Church, The Dark and Blessing in Disguise) but are they too far removed from thrash?

 

There's a few that I've drifted away from eg Nuclear Assault and Exodus.

 

Man I knew I was leaving out something important. That Suicidal album is top 10 worthy. I wore out several copies over the years.

I thought about Bathory, but I just have them in their own category the same as Hellhammer/CF. They just don't fit neatly in a single category.

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This is sort of my "B" list/honorable mentions.

The Mist - Phantasmagoria (1989), The Hangman Tree (1991) Incredibly underrated band.

Slayer - Haunting the Chapel (1984)

Nephastus - Tortuous Ways (1991)

Post Mortem - Coroner's Office (1986)

Assorted Heap - The Experience of Horror (1991) German thrash that sounds a bit like Ripping Corpse at times.

Meliah Rage - Solitary Solitude (1990)

Psychic Possessor - Toxin Diffusion (1988)

Insanity - Death After Death (1993)

Defleshed - Abrah Kadavrah (1996)

Ritual Carnage - The Highest Law (1998), Every Nerve Alive (2000)

Ruins - Chambers of Perversion (2010)

Sodom - Tapping the Vein (1992)

Terror - Decades of Terror (2015) Great compilation album of demo material.

Devastation - Dispensable Bloodshed (2017) Another great demo comp.

Besieged - Victims Beyond All Help (2010)

Voivod - Killing Technology (1987)

Destruction - Cracked Brain (1990)

Possessed - Seven Churches (1985), Beyond the Gates (1986)

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  • 2 months later...

1. get what you deserve by sodom

2. ride the lightning by metallica

3. chemistry of consciousness by toxic holocaust

4. two faced by tankard

5. infernal overkill by destruction

6. .......and justice for all by metallica

7. executioner's song by razor

8. eternal devastation by destruction

9. tapping the vein by sodom

10. joke's on you by excel 

 

honorable mention: in the sign of evil by sodom, since it is just an e.p. and not an album 

 

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  • 5 months later...

I've never really been able to decide on my concrete top 10 favorite thrash albums, but I'm honestly surprised to see that I'm not the only person who would have The New Order in my top 10 list

imo it's one of the most underrated albums in the entire genre, and it'll probably be one of the first albums I buy a physical copy of once I properly start collecting

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These are in no particular order but are the 10 thrash albums I'd take with me to a deserted island:

Metallica - "Kill 'Em All"

Overkill - "The Electric Age"

Death Angel - "The Ultra Violence"

Slayer - "Reign in Blood"

Testament - "The Gathering"

Exodus - "Shovel Headed Kill Machine"

Megadeth - "Killing is My Business...And Business is Good"

Overkill - "Ironbound"

Kreator - "Extreme Aggression"

Sodom - "Code Red"

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Top 10:

Metallica - AJFA

Slayer - Reign In Blood

Megadeth - Rust in Peace

SADUS - Swallowed in Black

Flotsam & Jetsam - No Place for Disgrace

Dark Angel - Darkness Descends

Destruction - Eternal Devastation

Coroner - No More Color

Testament - The New Order

Kreator - Pleasure to Kill

Honorable mentions:

Destroyer 666 - Phoenix Rising

Devastation - Idolatry

Blind Illusion - The Sane Asylum

Gammacide - Victims of Science

Helstar - Nosferatu

Morbid Saint - Spectrum of Death

Artillery - By Inheritance

Forbidden - Twisted into Form

Sodom - Persecution Mania

Flotsam & Jetsam - No Place for Disgrace

 

 

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It’s been quite some time since I’ve contemplated this question, so long in fact I don’t recall what my list would once have looked like. These days it would be something along the lines of:

It’s been quite some time since I’ve contemplated this question, so long in fact I don’t recall what my list would once have looked like. These days it would be something along the lines of:

Vektor - Outer Isolation

The spacey progressive elements blended with furious tempos and just a tinge of black metal, hard to go wrong with that combination really.

 

Morbid Saint

1 million riffs a minute, dark tones and laced with aggression top shelf thrash

 

Dark Angel - Darkness Descends

yet another album that throws rift at you faster than your brain can keep up, should come with a warning label this album may cause severe neck injuries

 

Holy Moses - Finished with the Dogs

this is an album dripping with aggression, furious tempos, and something perfect for headbanging to, like the previous entry though don’t overdo it

 

Sadus - Swallowed in Black

it’s fast, it’s heavy, it’s menacing, and it’s everything I want in a thrash metal album

 

Demolition Hammer - Epidemic of Violence

Second versus same as the first, but head bang too hard and this album will put you in a hearse

 

Razor - Violent Restitution

i’m starting to notice a trend here, much like previous entries this is aggressive fast paced and great for headbanging to

 

Hobbs Angel of Death - s/t

this self titled release is the perfect showcase of what Australian thrash was producing in the late 80s. If you haven’t heard it already do yourself a favour and check this one out.

 

Coroner - No More Color

at lost something different again, this is a final example of what progressive thrash can produce

 

Mastery - Lethal Legacy EP

granted this isn’t a full length, but it’s another prime example of what modern thrash can be. Yes it’s all instrumental, no that’s not a problem

 

Artillery - By Inheritance

this is, without a doubt, one of the finest thrash albums ever released. It has moments of melody, bursts of aggression, catch you whiffs, and find musicianship across the board. There’s a reason this album makes so many people‘s top 10 lists.

 

ps sorry for any typos, speech to text software might make life easier but it’s far from the most accurate thing in the world and I’m way too lazy to go back and manually fix any errors in this post.

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8 hours ago, RelentlessOblivion said:

It’s been quite some time since I’ve contemplated this question, so long in fact I don’t recall what my list would once have looked like. These days it would be something along the lines of:

It’s been quite some time since I’ve contemplated this question, so long in fact I don’t recall what my list would once have looked like. These days it would be something along the lines of:

Vektor - Outer Isolation

The spacey progressive elements blended with furious tempos and just a tinge of black metal, hard to go wrong with that combination really.

 

Morbid Saint

1 million riffs a minute, dark tones and laced with aggression top shelf thrash

 

Dark Angel - Darkness Descends

yet another album that throws rift at you faster than your brain can keep up, should come with a warning label this album may cause severe neck injuries

 

Holy Moses - Finished with the Dogs

this is an album dripping with aggression, furious tempos, and something perfect for headbanging to, like the previous entry though don’t overdo it

 

Sadus - Swallowed in Black

it’s fast, it’s heavy, it’s menacing, and it’s everything I want in a thrash metal album

 

Demolition Hammer - Epidemic of Violence

Second versus same as the first, but head bang too hard and this album will put you in a hearse

 

Razor - Violent Restitution

i’m starting to notice a trend here, much like previous entries this is aggressive fast paced and great for headbanging to

 

Hobbs Angel of Death - s/t

this self titled release is the perfect showcase of what Australian thrash was producing in the late 80s. If you haven’t heard it already do yourself a favour and check this one out.

 

Coroner - No More Color

at lost something different again, this is a final example of what progressive thrash can produce

 

Mastery - Lethal Legacy EP

granted this isn’t a full length, but it’s another prime example of what modern thrash can be. Yes it’s all instrumental, no that’s not a problem

 

Artillery - By Inheritance

this is, without a doubt, one of the finest thrash albums ever released. It has moments of melody, bursts of aggression, catch you whiffs, and find musicianship across the board. There’s a reason this album makes so many people‘s top 10 lists.

 

ps sorry for any typos, speech to text software might make life easier but it’s far from the most accurate thing in the world and I’m way too lazy to go back and manually fix any errors in this post.

No idea why I left Demolition Hammer off my list. Fucking desert island disc. I'd take it over 3/4's of my top 10.

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When it comes to metal I'm probably 60/40 thrash and death so if I made a list I'd probably make some contentious cross genre entry that would see someone question my existence on planet earth. They wouldn't be the first, and surely wouldn't be the last, but a list would also require thought, something that seems a bit beyond me at the moment.

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    • Whichever tier of thrash metal you consigned Sacred Reich back in the 80's/90's they still had their moments.  "Ignorance" & "Surf Nicaragura" did a great job of establishing the band, whereas "The American Way" just got a little to comfortable and accessible (the title track grates nowadays) for my ears.  A couple more records better left forgotten about and then nothing for twenty three years.  2019 alone has now seen three releases from Phil Rind and co.  A live EP, a split EP with Iron Reagan and now a full length.

      Notable addition to the ranks for the current throng of releases is former Machine Head sticksman, Dave McClean.  Love or hate Machine Head, McClean is a more than capable drummer and his presence here is felt from the off with the opening and title track kicking things off with some real gusto.  'Divide & Conquer' and 'Salvation' muddle along nicely, never quite reaching any quality that would make my balls tingle but comfortable enough.  The looming build to 'Manifest Reality' delivers a real punch when the song starts proper.  Frenzied riffs and drums with shots of lead work to hold the interest.


      There's a problem already though (I know, I am such a fucking mood hoover).  I don't like Phil's vocals.  I never had if I am being honest.  The aggression to them seems a little forced even when they are at their best on tracks like 'Manifest Reality'.  When he tries to sing it just feels weak though ('Salvation') and tracks lose real punch.  Give him a riffy number such as 'Killing Machine' and he is fine with the Reich engine (probably a poor choice of phrase) up in sixth gear.  For every thrashy riff there's a fair share of rock edged, local bar act rhythm aplenty too.

      Let's not poo-poo proceedings though, because overall I actually enjoy "Awakening".  It is stacked full of catchy riffs that are sticky on the old ears.  Whilst not as raw as perhaps the - brilliant - artwork suggests with its black and white, tattoo flash sheet style design it is enjoyable enough.  Yes, 'Death Valley' & 'Something to Believe' have no place here, saved only by Arnett and Radziwill's lead work but 'Revolution' is a fucking 80's thrash heyday throwback to the extent that if you turn the TV on during it you might catch a new episode of Cheers!

      3/5
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    • https://www.metalforum.com/blogs/entry/52-vltimas-something-wicked-marches-in/
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    • https://www.metalforum.com/blogs/entry/48-candlemass-the-door-to-doom/
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    • Full length number 19 from overkill certainly makes a splash in the energy stakes, I mean there's some modern thrash bands that are a good two decades younger than Overkill who can only hope to achieve the levels of spunk that New Jersey's finest produce here.  That in itself is an achievement, for a band of Overkill's stature and reputation to be able to still sound relevant four decades into their career is no mean feat.  Even in the albums weaker moments it never gets redundant and the energy levels remain high.  There's a real sense of a band in a state of some renewed vigour, helped in no small part by the addition of Jason Bittner on drums.  The former Flotsam & Jetsam skinsman is nothing short of superb throughout "The Wings of War" and seems to have squeezed a little extra out of the rest of his peers.

      The album kicks of with a great build to opening track "Last Man Standing" and for the first 4 tracks of the album the Overkill crew stomp, bash and groove their way to a solid level of consistency.  The lead work is of particular note and Blitz sounds as sneery and scathing as ever.  The album is well produced and mixed too with all parts of the thrash machine audible as the five piece hammer away at your skull with the usual blend of chugging riffs and infectious anthems.  


      There are weak moments as mentioned but they are more a victim of how good the strong tracks are.  In it's own right "Distortion" is a solid enough - if not slightly varied a journey from the last offering - but it just doesn't stand up well against a "Bat Shit Crazy" or a "Head of a Pin".  As the album draws to a close you get the increasing impression that the last few tracks are rescued really by some great solos and stomping skin work which is a shame because trimming of a couple of tracks may have made this less obvious. 

      4/5
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