Mass Confusion – Confusion Intrusion (1990)
The crossover comedy stylings of Melbourne’s Mass Confusion may not have been to everyone’s tastes but these hardcore thrashers were as adept at thrashin’ up a hyper-punk storm as the next band.
With opener “The Mangler” snarling and spitting in your face like a deranged Nuclear Assault tribute act, it’s quickly apparent that finesse had been told to fuck right off.
Mass Confusion didn’t do dainty, they did downright dangerous – with a side order of quirky humour and playfulness – and the likes of “Bean Bag Arse” (with its interludes into stripped back funk) showcased a band with a fearless attitude and a penchant for fun.
There have been better crossover thrash albums – a lot better – but Confusion Intrusion still satisfies when the appetite calls for something fast, feral and a little bit foolish.
Mortal Sin – Face Of Despair (1989)
These Aussies sure knew how to thrash and with their second album, Face Of Despair, Mortal Sin fair gave us a second wave classic!
Opening with an absolute all-time thrash monster is always a good thing and “I Am Immortal” is a thrash fuckin’ behemoth! Rammed with hooks, tempo changes and all manner of thrashy goodness, Mortal Sin would have gone down in history as one of the greats by virtue of this one track alone. However, Face Of Despair is no one-trick pony, with the crunch of “The Infantry Corps” (very …and Justice For All in construct) and the more experimental rhythms of “Martyrs Of Eternity” (with its strong Sacred Reich vibe) proving equally as incendiary.
It’s fair to say that Face Of Despair is the greatest old-school Aussie thrash album in existence and Mortal Sin were Australia’s premier thrash act.
Arguments against this opinion gladly received. Good luck!
Also recommended: 1987’s rip-roaring Mayhemic Destruction also comes highly recommended….if not quite in the same league as Face Of Despair.
Mortification – Post Momentary Affliction (1993)
Post Momentary Affliction was the third studio album by Australian Christian metallers Mortification and it found the band returning to their thrash roots, while retaining much of the death metal that informed their first two albums.
Heavy as hell (so to speak) and spliced with death, thrash and doom influences, this fucker had the lot and remains an absorbing and intriguing amalgamation of all things ‘extreme’ in the early 1990’s.
Mortification‘s next album, Blood World, would further embrace ‘the thrash’ but it’s not nearly as good as Post Momentary Affliction.
Nothing Sacred – Let Us Prey (1988)
One of the first Australian bands to play thrash/speed metal, Melbourne’s Nothing Sacred formed way back in 1983 and their debut EP, Deathwish (1985), was an underground metal phenomenon.
Four years later saw the release of Nothing Sacred‘s debut full length, Let Us Pray (1988), and despite outstanding songwriting clearly evidencing the talent on display, poor production hampered any progress the album may have afforded them.
Another case of a band with considerable promise falling at the first hurdle.
However, Nothing Sacred‘s thrashed up version of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest‘s classic sound has still seen them regain their status in Australia as a beloved act from the glory days of thrash.
***Nothing Sacred released their long awaited sophomore album, No Gods, on July 16th 2021 via Rockshots Records – go check it out!***
Taramis – Stretch Of The Imagination (1991)
Australian progressive/power/technical thrashers Taramis may be one of the least known acts 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!
Honourable mentions: Betrayer – Grandma / Cromok – Forever in Time / Fatal Array – Fatal Array / Fester Fanatics – What Choice Do We Have? / Frozen Doberman – Bonsai / Neophobia – Fear of the Future / Rampage – Veil Of Mourn / Redeemer – The Light Is Struck… / Renegade – Total Armageddon
Check out our other related thrash features in this series: