Evil Sinner – Evil Sinner (1989) [Belgium]
A frenzied thrash-fest to rival the likes of Exumer and Baloff-era Exodus, Evil Sinner‘s debut is an unjustly ignored highpoint in Belgian thrash history!
Opening with the call-to-arms of “Thrashers”, the scene is set for Evil Sinner to cave in your face with each well aimed blow. These are pummelling anthems, rampaging through your system with dexterous efficiency and devastating effect and there’s barely a pause for breath before the whole thing comes to a crashing end.
“Fate” and the title track are high-speed killers but Evil Sinner slowed down enough on the dynamic “The Gang” to introduce a melodic longeur, providing a break from the blast-beat propelled thrash attack that surrounds it.
Hellbastard – Natural Order (1990) [UK]
Newcastle’s Hellbastard may have started life as a crusty old group of grinders but by the time 1990’s rowdy Natural Order arrived, things had turned defiantly and indefatigably thrashy!
Few UK thrash acts sounded as raw as Hellbastard and they were just as happy in the company of Carcass, Bolt Thrower, Godflesh and Napalm Death as they were with their thrashier comrades. “Justly Executed” was quite rightly included in Earache’s 1991 sampler Grindcrusher, nestling Hellbastard comfortably alongside those extreme metal legends just mentioned. With blinding speed, an arsenal of riffs and a dab hand at attention maintaining tempo changes, Natural Order remains a pretty fine technical thrash album and an underground cult classic.
Throwing a curveball every now and then by incorporating tender acoustic moments (“TAF” & “A Minor Point”) that were, admittedly, commonplace – but never as medieval in sound as here – die hard fans of the band may have balked when they first heard this transition to thrash in 1990 but Natural Order still reeked of the streets. Hellbastard’s crust punk beginnings were still evident, intrinsically linking Natural Order to the movement they pioneered and, in essence, cementing their place alongside fellow UK crust-thrashers Amebix and Sacrilege; an unholy triumvirate of crustcore/thrash.
Invocator – Excursion Demise (1991) [Denmark]
If you were under the impression that Artillery were the only Danish thrash band really worth caring about then we urge you to turn your attention to Invocator and, particularly, their debut album Excursion Demise!
As far as technical thrash goes, Invocator were not only operating at a much higher level than the majority of their countrymen, they were also rivalling the best the world had to offer.
Sharing a kinship with Atheist lent Invocator a death metal vibe but the likes of the exquisite “(…to a Twisted Recess of Mind)” and “Schismatic Injective Therapy” were actually technical / progressive thrash through and through; leaving it to songs such as “The Persistence From Memorial Chasm” to provide a more visceral thrash kick.