Thrash is great. Technical thrash is so much better!
To that end, Worship Metal has selected ANOTHER 6 Of The Most Mind-Blowing Technical Thrash Albums Ever Recorded for your delight.
Be sure to check out the first two entries in this series, 6 Of The Most Mind-Blowing Technical Thrash Albums Ever Recorded and 6 MORE of The Most Mind-Blowing Technical Thrash Albums Ever Recorded which include the likes of Anacrusis, Deathrow, Coroner, Forbidden, Dark Angel, Sadus and more!
Destruction – Release From Agony (1987)
Destruction may have started life as a rough ‘n’ ready blackened thrash band but by the time their third full length album, Release From Agony, arrived in 1987, they’d transformed themselves into a technical thrash act par excellence.
The mad butcher didn’t just strike back with this album, it hacked and sliced its way through the competition and while (originally) the quality of Release From Agony‘s production left a lot to be desired, the likes of “Sign Of Fear” and “Survive To Die” indicated that Destruction were now operating on a higher level than the majority of their peers.
A thrilling combination of insanely technical riffs and abstract song structures marks out Release From Agony as a true masterpiece of Teutonic thrash……and Destruction would, arguably, never be so wilfully obscure again!
Mekong Delta – Dances Of Death (1990)
Let’s be fair, we could have included any one of Mekong Delta’s 80’s and 90’s albums (take your pick from Mekong Delta / The Music Of Erich Zann / The Principal Of Doubt / Kaleidoscope / Visons Fugitives) as each and every one can be considered a milestone of technically-minded, progressive thrash metal.
We’ve gone for Dances Of Death….Mekong Delta’s highly technical, yet undeniably aggressive, fourth album that often bordered on undecipherable madness, with labyrinthine song structures and abstract riff-patterns jostling for attention amidst a sturdy thrash framework.
With “Dances Of Death” broken down into 8 movements over 19 thrilling minutes, Mekong Delta’s prog intentions couldn’t have been made clearer and while it may not be an easy album to dive into, if you’re going to get the most out of this rewarding beast, then you’d better face the fucker head-on!
Meshuggah – Contradictions Collapse (1991)
Best known for being the band behind the djent movement, Meshuggah actually started life as a technically audacious thrash act and their debut, Contradictions Collapse, stands tall despite being an obvious anomaly in their back catalogue!
This thrashy, jazzy, progressive, groovy masterclass had more in common with the likes of Defiance (circa Beyond Recognition), underrated Finnish thrashers Stone and Metallica (circa ..And Justice for All) than it did with anything else…..but the seeds for Meshuggah’s pioneering future were already being sown.
“Erroneous Manipulation” still bounces with an elasticity that positively screams “we’re going places” in your face while “Greed” would prove to be the motherload; a 7 minute excursion into chugging, anvil-heavy dissonance and wild rhythmic experimentation.
Meshuggah’s ultra tight playing and polyrhythmic grooves could already be found in abundance, they just happened to be strapped to a more rigid, thrash-dictated, framework at this stage in their career.
Sieges Even – Lifecycle (1988)
Sieges Even may have gone on to become a more considered, melodic progressive metal act but their debut was a beast of progressive/technical thrash, powered by the almost falsetto delivery of Franz Herde.
Comparisons with Watchtower remain rife but to dismiss Lifecycle as a mere clone of Control And Resistance would be missing the point. This was an era of exploration and of pushing boundaries, which is exactly what Sieges Even were doing from the outset.
Sure, both bands were influenced by the prog giants of the 70’s – alongside the thrash boom led by Metallica – but Sieges Even took everything that much further, splicing the DNA of prog and thrash to create a new, extreme, version of both.
The results were extraordinary, dazzling the mind with a series of labyrinthine structures that were brooding, malevolent and practically beyond judgment!
Taramis – Stretch Of The Imagination (1991)
Australian progressive/power/technical thrashers Taramis may be the least known act on this particular list but their distinct brand of histrionic metal deserves to be remembered!
Featuring exceptional bass playing and a penchant for frantic, frenzied arrangements, Stretch Of The Imagination was a vast improvement on 1987’s Queen Of Thieves with Taramis fully embracing their progressive mettle.
“Behind These Eyes” truly hit the technical thrash sweet spot but the whole damn thing reeked of ambition and a complete lack of care for convention.
The overly-dramatic, occasional squeaky vocals will ruffle the feathers of non-believers, but fans of Realm, Agent Steel, ToxiK and their ilk will love ’em!
Defiance – Beyond Recognition (1992)
Beyond Recognition – a technical thrash masterclass from the Bay Area’s Defiance – proved to be a fitting swansong to thrash’s heyday!
At this stage in their career, Defiance were now trying to out ‘heavy’ the likes of Testament (by way of fellow Bay Area brethren Heathen) and found themselves forging ahead in an ever more progressive thrash direction….and they were damn good at it too!
“Inside Looking Out” entertained a decidedly warped take on typical chugging riffs (and featured vocal contributions from aforementioned Heathen frontman David White) and the heady thrash-fest of “Promised Afterlife” rivalled Justice-era Metallica for complexity, while remaining staunchly ‘heavy’. The remainder of Beyond Recognition’s tracks offered diversity, complexity and enough ideas to fill a further three albums!
The next chapter in this series is already in the works! However, that shouldn’t stop you from adding your favourite technical thrash albums in the comments below!