Megadeth – So Far, So Good… So What!
Renowned for being beyond tight – a weapons-grade, precision-tooled, nuclear-warhead of a band with insane technical ability – Megadeth sounded unhinged on their 3rd album; as if Dave Mustaine’s world was falling apart and his only response was to come out snarling, brawling and bound for self-destruction.
“Set The World Afire” ravages the ears like no other track in Megadeth’s arsenal. It’s simply pure thrash perfection, utterly feral and driven by a sense of derailing chaos led by the palpable pairing of Mustaine and ‘new kid’ Jeff Young.
“In My Darkest Hour”, the most heartfelt track of Mustaine’s prestigious career, is a triumph that showcased another side to Megadeth’s talismanic figure and one that represented the heart and soul of this often misunderstood frontman. Torn apart by the news of Cliff Burton’s passing, you can still hear the crackle of emotion in this thrash ballad par excellence.
While So Far, So Good… So What! may not be as essential as Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying?, it is an essential 80’s thrash album and one that should be revered as a challenging, yet bullish minor masterwork from one of thrash metal’s greatest ever bands.
Vendetta – Brain Damage
They don’t come more unique than Vendetta‘s Brain Damage, an album that retained the required thrash crunch of the era while significantly maturing and offering unparalleled diversity to the discerning thrash fan.
This was the sound of a band that should have left the underground, seriously skilled and home to such consistently impressive songwriting that a breakthrough seemed inevitable. Alas, it just wasn’t to be. But, that’s no reason to overlook its merits now as Brain Damage‘s fiendishly catchy melodies and exquisite guitar work are as impressive now as they were back in 1988!
On a par with the awe-inspiring work found on Artillery‘s By Inheritance and Annihilator‘s Alice In Hell, Vendetta’s technical prowess and crystal clear clarity showcased a band whose merits were writ large. After all, Brain Damage truly is an unsung masterpiece from the golden era of thrash!
Suicidal Tendencies – How Will I Laugh Tomorrow When I Can’t Even Smile Today
These American crossover thrash icons hit the big time with their 3rd album, How Will I Laugh Tomorrow When I Can’t Even Smile Today, an album which embraced metal without fully ditching Suicidal Tendencies‘ hardcore roots.
Mike Muir’s reflective social commentary was as barbed as ever, raging against the world while remaining blackly humorous, but it was the combination of Rocky George’s shredding solo’s and Mike Clark’s mighty metallic riffs which transformed How Will I Laugh Tomorrow When I Can’t Even Smile Today into an all-time classic.
“Pledge Your Allegiance” may very well be the ultimate metal brotherhood anthem while ‘hit single’ “Trip To The Brain” and the likes of “If I Don’t Wake Up”, “The Miracle” and the title track remain crossover mainstays.
The result? A-grade crossover thrash from one of the scene’s most charismatic bands!