Mutilator – Immortal Force (1987) [Brazil]
Highly influential in the Brazilian thrash / extreme metal scene, Mutilator‘s full-length debut was a death/thrash colossus and this Brazilian version of Slayer was as rough, ready and downright reprehensible as they come!
Living up to its name, Immortal Force was an unnatural assault on the senses with its lo-fi production and chaotic nature ably conveying its intimidatingly savage approach via potent energy and unhinged malice. None more so than on blistering closer, “Paranoic Command”; a song so relentlessly un-remorseful that Kerry King himself would have shit the bed upon hearing it.
In what was a crowded scene, Mutilator out-thrashed the majority of their peers and released a bone fide underground classic at the first time of asking.
Pyracanda – Two Sides Of A Coin (1990) [Germany]
Pyracanda‘s debut full length remains somewhat of an oddity but it’s an album that deserves accolades, not just for its melodic sensibilities – which ably recalled the majesty of Mike Howe-era Metal Church and fellow countrymen and label mates Grinder – but for its technical aptitude and supreme songwriting skill.
Unfavourably discarded in favour of the big guns of teutonic thrash, Pyracanda’s Two Sides Of A Coin actually holds up just as well as the early 90’s output of Kreator, Sodom et all. In fact, with their occasional speed metal tendencies, huge vocals and galloping riffs, Two Sides Of A Coin arguably delivers a timeless sound; easily fitting in with the current trend for trad metal/speed metal, making Pyracanda more relevant than ever.
These melodic thrashers were absolute class, pure and simple!
Sabbat – Mourning Has Broken (1991) [UK]
Ok. We’re going out on a limb with this one but we maintain that the album Andy Sneap himself has long since shunned actually has a lot to offer!
Sabbat‘s Mourning Has Broken may be hard-going at times, it may have been a critical and commercial failure – and virtually unrecognisable from the two world class albums that preceded it (History Of A Time To Come & Dreamweaver for those not in the know) – but there is something about its labyrinthian compositions and off-kilter melodies that draws us in each and every time.
Complex and challenging (too challenging if its lukewarm reception was anything to go by), Mourning Has Broken may sound like the work of a different band entirely – it probably didn’t help that Richie Desmond’s mournful, doom metal-esque vocal style was the complete opposite of Martin Walkyier’s influential, rapid-fire shriek – but this technically outstanding piece of work should be revered as an intriguing experiment and not just a forgotten footnote in the career of the UK’s finest ever thrashers!
Violent Force – Malevolent Assault Of Tomorrow (1987) [Germany]
Sometimes thrash should be simple, brutal and without remorse and on their one and only full-length album, Germany’s Violent Force ticked all three boxes and lived up to their name perfectly.
Opening with the Motörhead-indebted “Dead City”, the album actually improves after this bout of hero worship is finished with. Settling into a groove of their own, it’s on “Sign Of Evil”, “Vengeance And Venom” and “S.D.I” where Violent Force really proved their mettle.
100% committed to thrashing you senseless, their salaciously filthy riffs and demented drumming may be highly reminiscent of comrades Kreator, but Malevolent Assault Of Tomorrow is straight-to-the-face thrashing with absolutely no effort to confound tradition or break new ground…..which should be taken as a compliment by the way!
Other features in this series: