Believer – Dimensions (1993)
Home to the kind of syncopated riffs which must have had the guys in Meshuggah scheming their own eventual rise to dominance, Dimensions was the third album from Christian progressive thrash metal band Believer and it shook the very foundations of progressive metal to its very core!
While 1990’s Sanity Obscure runs it a close second, Dimensions should be considered Believer’s masterwork with bewildering tempo changes and psychic interplay transforming 3 mere musicians into a colossal force of heavenly
Nonchalantly throwing in the violin/viola of Scott Laird and Julianne Laird Hoge’s exquisite soprano/operatic vocals added even more layers. Take, for instance, the sheer audacity of “The Trilogy of Knowledge,” a 20-minute excursion into pure brilliance inspired by the greats of progressive rock such as Pink Floyd, Yes and Emerson, Lake and Palmer which somehow surpassed the majority of them; a series of ‘movements’ which need to be heard to be believed!
An uncompromising, labyrinthian progressive metal milestone, Dimensions‘ ability to send your brain into orbit remains undiminished.
Sadus – Elements Of Anger (1997)
One of the most unique thrash bands ever to exist, Sadus’ thrilling amalgamation of thrash, death and progressive metal reached an arguable peak with the mid-paced stomp of 1997’s Elements Of Anger.
Steve DiGiorgio’s fretless bass wizardry impressed as always but it was the experimental song structures Sadus were renowned for that marked out their 4th album as a progressive thrash monster in the latter half of the 90’s.
“Words Of War” and “Power Of One” may be streamlined when compared to the frankly bonkers nature of the tracks found on Swallowed In Black (1990) and Illusions (1988) but this semi-accessible approach stood in Sadus’ favour; their unique songwriting style and technically astonishing avenue of thrash gifting real hooks and subtle melody alongside the aggressive savagery.
Eye-opening stuff no matter what the decade!
Forced Entry – Uncertain Future (1989)
Forced Entry‘s debut album arrived in 1989 and their full throttle thrash – belying the fact they were a three piece – ironically should have predicted a certain future, one that would have seen them rise to the upper echelons of the thrash hierarchy!
Opening track “Bludgeon” did exactly that, hammering home Forced Entry’s way around a steamroller riff and a penchant for turning on a sixpence. Undeniably progressive in nature, this trio could out-muscle Testament (and Tony Benjamin’s vocals were straight from the Chuck Billy rulebook!) while throwing in as many tempo changes as humanly possible.
The results were generally fantastic, with the likes of the hideously violent “Anaconda” and the twisting and turning “Kaleidoscope Of Pain” providing enough technically complex thrills to endear them to both the Exodus/Vio-Lence/Dark Angel and the Coroner/Voivod/Watchtower crowd.
A towering achievement from a band who deserved way more than their ‘also ran’ status.
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