20 Obscure Old-School Thrash Albums You Need To Hear (If You Haven’t Already)
Aspid (Аспид) – Extravasation (Кровоизлияние) (1993) [Russia]
Right time, wrong place. That’s the situation Russian technical thrashers Aspid (Аспид) found themselves in when they released their technically audacious debut album, Extravasation (Кровоизлияние) in 1993.
Had this monster of an album been released by an American or a German band we suspect that Aspid’s name would be mentioned in the same breath as cult legends Intruder and Deathrow. Instead, Extravasation is but a footnote in a scene that – with wider exposure – would surely have embraced these talented individuals with open arms. Blame the distribution (originally a limited vinyl release) for its relative failure but don’t the blame the performances and the song writing, because Aspid were equal to their lauded peers in every respect; often pushing their progressive/technical thrash into death metal territory while remaining resolutely committed to surprising the listener at every turn.
Uniquely dark, aggressive, mesmerising and menacing, Aspid’s one and only release deserves far more than to rot in obscurity…..it demands to be heard!
Assorted Heap – Mindwaves (1992) [Germany]
Assorted Heap‘s second album is a minor masterpiece. Pure and simple.
Hitting the prog ramp at high speed, Assorted Heap finessed their already impressive sound (1991’s far more aggressive The Experience Of Horror is also well worth checking out) and delivered an unsung classic of progressive thrash; the kind of calling card that should have seen them attain more than mere ‘cult’ status.
Transcending genre trappings with ease, Assorted Heap mirrored the wholesale changes and ‘anything is possible’ mentality of Sarcofago circa The Laws Of Scourge, ultimately delivering an album that lived and died by its palpable atmosphere and unique, often ornate, clarity of sound.
Mindwaves is a distinctive, yet obscure, moment in thrash….German or otherwise!
Brainless – Brainless World (1992) [Germany]
Considering the sheer breadth of quality German thrash it should come as no surprise that some great albums slipped through the cracks over the years and Brainless’ debut, Brainless World, is one of those releases!
Politically charged and as solid as fuck, the odd dalliance with technical thrash is mostly tempered by Brainless’ ability to simply thrash hard and thrash fast. While less aggressive than their notable peers inKreator and Destruction, the sheer force of “Mind Bitch” and the moody schizophrenic malevolence of “Death Patrol” make them no less memorable. In fact, Brainless were a dab hand at crafting catchy thrash with numerous tempo changes and the occasional divergence into epic …and Justice For All-esque melodrama (“Silent Scream”) only adding to the overall diversity of this unsung album.
Arriving a little too late in the day to make a sizable impact, Brainless World is nevertheless an album that reaps huge rewards for those who like to delve deep into thrash metal’s overflowing archives!
Cyclone – Inferior To None (1990) [Belgium]
Suffering from severe underexposure dented Cyclone’s chances of ever escaping the underground but Inferior To None (a convincingly apt title if ever we’ve head one!) should have been the album to achieve it.
Four years on from their relatively meat n’ potatoes debut, Brutal Destruction, and these guys had used the time well; finding their groove and improving on every aspect of their sound with universally stunning results. Embracing a technical thrash aesthetic, Cyclone had upped their game considerably with some of the tightest playing around and a gamut of ear-pleasing solos in their back pocket.
Inferior To None is practically perfect thrash.
Why isn’t it more well-known? Go figure!
Detritus – If But For One (1993) [UK]
An anomaly for (ironically) more than one reason, Detritus‘ second full length album remains one of the most experimental UK thrash albums in existence and one which found this Christian thrash act branching out in all manner of unexpected directions.
Still resolutely thrash, it’s the far-reaching compositional skill that elevated this album into the category of ‘must-hear’ with subtlety and acoustic dexterity nestling nicely next to honest-to-goodness thrashing (and a thrashed-up sea shanty, for fucks sake!).
Truly a one of a kind album, those thrashers who enjoy a band who go for broke and take thrash into pastures new need to hear this album to fully appreciate the talent and potential on display.
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