Parts 1 & 2 of our under-appreciated classics of UK thrash already highlighted the likes of Pariah, Seventh Angel, D.A.M and Deathwish among others but there’s plenty more quality thrash from good ol’ Blighty still knocking around, collecting dust at the bottom of the thrash pile….which is tantamount to sacrilege!
In actuality, the UK thrashed just as hard as Germany, Brazil and the States and Worship Metal has selected another 6 unsung classics of UK thrash that deserve to be re-evaluated, re-assessed and re-played at eardrum bursting volume!
Thrash it up, UK style!
Amnesia – Unknown Entity (1991)
You may have no recollection of them (ha!) but Amnesia had a brief brush with fame when they signed with a subsidiary of Peaceville Records and swiftly recorded their debut album, Unknown Entity, back in 1991.
Ironically apt given its title, this relatively unknown entity was actually a damn fine band, leaning a little too heavily on the riffs of Testament perhaps – “the intro to “The Final Revelation” is ripped straight from The New Order’s “Eerie Inhabitants” – but still capable of thrashing up a storm when required!
Admittedly, Amnesia were in dire need of a singer who could rival the legendary Chuck Billy. While passable enough, the vocals of Simon Rose lacked that killer edge but these guys were still good enough to warrant far more attention than they received
Arbitrater – Darkened Reality (1993)
Akin to Xentrix, Arbitrater specialised in stomping mid-paced grooves – occasionally guilty of being clinical to the point of dry sterility perhaps – but gifted with a solid framework and a darkened, urbanised, heart.
Hardly progressive, Darkened Heart instead focused on continuously hammering home their stripped back riffs and delivering nothing but a heavy thrash experience with plenty of deft chug to keep the average thrasher more than happy.
A decent album from a band who arrived on the scene a little too late to make the impact they deserved.
Incidentally, Arbitrater’s vocals were handled by UK punk legend Tony “Rat” Martin (ex-Discharge, ex-Warwound, The Varukers).
Detritus – If But For One (1993)
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.
Ignorance – The Confident Rat (1992)
Thrash met funk as Ignorance channeled the work of Mordred and Suicidal Tendencies (and a little Faith No More for good measure) to gift us Brits our own convincing take on this disparate hybrid.
And highly convincing The Confident Rat was too as Ignorance went about adding humour, slap-bass and all manner of bounce to their thrash metal framework. While many decried Ignorance’s turn towards the funk side, you can’t blame them for wanting their own slice of the thrash/funk pie. At the very least The Confident Rat booked them a supporting slot with Mordred back in the day, which at least acknowledges the direction they wanted to head in.
Pure funk-thrash nirvana….from Corby!
Sabbat – Mourning Has Broken (1991)
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!
Xentrix – Kin (1992)
This should have been the big one for the UK’s brightest thrash hopes.
Kin should have been Xentrix‘s Black Album, their Countdown To Extinction, their Ritual.….their genre-defining, mainstream-baiting, sure-fire hit release.
It wasn’t. But it should have been!
“No More Time” may have been a little too maudlin for its own good (although you couldn’t argue with the sentiment) but there was still plenty of crunch and mature thrashing to be found on the likes of “A Friend To You” and the chugging nirvana of “Release”
Everything abut Kin was grander, more opulent and designed for mass consumption but you cannot – should not – ridicule Xentrix for wanting a million selling record under their belt….and in a parallel universe, Kin was that album.