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British Thrash: The 10 Greatest Old-School Albums

God save our noble THRASH!

2. Onslaught – The Force (1986)

Source // allabouttherock.co.uk

Source // allabouttherock.co.uk

The first band to truly raise hell in the name of British thrash, Onslaught turned heads with their punk-infused debut, Power From Hell, but it was with 1986’s The Force that they truly announced their arrival in the scene.

The Force was an appropriate title, as Onslaught’s forceful and vitriolic sound hit you like a ten ton hammer; thrashing harder than most and with as much conviction as the likes of Dark Angel and early Slayer.

Still considered an all-time thrash classic, The Force is probably the most convincing thrash album ever recorded by a British band. Capable of ripping your head clean off, Onslaught were a powerhouse who unleashed a multitude of sinister, stabbing riffs without even breaking a sweat. It all seemed too easy and their place in the thrash elite should have been virtually guaranteed.

So, what went wrong? The dreaded line-up changes reared their head (out went screecher Sy Keeler, in came traditional metal vocalist Steve Grimmet) and it would take an incredible 21 years for them to come full circle and record an album to rival The Force. In 2007, Onslaught released the sonically devastating Killing Peace and the thrash fraternity breathed a collective sigh of relief; the boys were back and they have fast become the UK’s finest thrash exports once again.

Long may they reign as Britain’s thrash kings!

If you liked this, check out: The aforementioned Killing Peace (2007), a modern thrash classic to rival anything released post 2000 by Exodus, Testament and Slayer etc!

About Chris Jennings (1272 Articles)
I love Heavy Metal. Always have. Always will. As editor of Worship Metal - a site dedicated to being as positive about Metal and its myriad of sub-genres as possible - my aim is to 'worship' Metal through honest reviews, current news and a wide variety of features; offering the same exposure to underground bands as we do to mainstream/well known acts. Our mantra; the bands are partners and we exist to serve the bands \m/

46 Comments on British Thrash: The 10 Greatest Old-School Albums

  1. “God’s Gift” by Toranaga (1990) would definitely make my top 10. But not a bad list, not bad at all.

  2. Chris Jennings // December 17, 2014 at 4:48 pm // Reply

    Cheers Andy, glad you enjoyed it \m/

  3. Paul Russell // December 17, 2014 at 8:13 pm // Reply

    Slammer was a crackin call . Loved that album . Lawnmower deth just awesome and needed to be above number one amongst the outer planets !

  4. Virus Force Recon 1988 was better outsold Lunacy

    • Chris Jennings // December 17, 2014 at 11:22 pm // Reply

      A close call, both are excellent albums. Lunacy, regardless of album sales,just seemed the more complete album to me. Thanks for reading and commenting \m/

  5. All the way through I thought you’d run out before you got to ten great British thrash records…. And then you show me history of a time to come, a record that blew me away and spent many, many hours on my turntable. Unquestionably awesome, thanks for the reminder.

  6. Lawnmower Deth are timeless, their live shows with Evil Scarecrow absolutely smash all over the competition. I still love that album as much as the day I bought it about 24 years ago, long live the mower liberation front! \m/

  7. Great list of great bands I grew up to, forgot some of these albums. Defo will be back on the turntable.

  8. Some great albums in there. Own several of those myself. I would have included albums by Deathwish, Arbitrater and Pariah as well.

    • Chris Jennings // December 18, 2014 at 8:36 pm // Reply

      Thanks Kris. Deathwish’s At The Edge Of Damnation very nearly made it in, consider it placed at No.11 \m/

    • Simon Reeves // December 19, 2014 at 6:17 am // Reply

      Pariah! Another excellent call… I’d forgotten about those guys too! Yup gimme pariah over xentrix any day. First album was awesome, then the second had that insanely long guitar duel in the second song that made me laugh every time I heard it! Happy days….

      • Chris Jennings // December 19, 2014 at 7:52 am // Reply

        Poor Xentrix! I’m gonna have to revisit Pariah, they never really did it for me but I’ll give ’em another go. Thanks for reading and commenting Simon \m/

  9. Deathwish-Demon Preacher..top album
    Followed `Virus’ from Pray For War too, Saw Lawnmower Deth in a small pub in Derby..Excellent!

  10. Can’t believe I forgot to mention DAM as well. Love their Human Wreckage album.

  11. Steven McKinnon // January 2, 2015 at 12:03 pm // Reply

    Great article, will definitely check these albums out. Glad Thrashist Regime got mentioned, their first album (Fearful Symmetry) is tremendous, and they’re amazing live. They’re working on a new LP that sounds like it’ll be killer!

    • Chris Jennings // January 2, 2015 at 12:32 pm // Reply

      Thanks Steven, some great albums, the majority of which are truly underrated. Thrashist Regime get my vote, looking forward to some new material! \m/

  12. Thanks for the positive words. It’s good to be reminded that not everyone agreed with the bad press the album got at the time at the time.

    • Chris Jennings // February 2, 2015 at 1:40 pm // Reply

      Hey Paul, for every hater I’m sure you’ll find twice as many who appreciated the efforts of Slammer, Virus, Anihilated etc. Nothing but British classics in this article \m/

  13. Sabbat – History Of A Time To Come Is A Thrash Masterpiece!

  14. Kevin LeBlanc // February 18, 2015 at 4:28 pm // Reply

    Any list of mandatory thrash albums would be sorely incomplete without Sabbat’s ‘History of a Time to Come,’ and when talking about British thrash, having it anywhere but at #1 is a fuckin’ crime.

    It’s all killer and no filler, and with one of the greatest lyricists our genre will ever see.

    • Chris Jennings // February 18, 2015 at 4:33 pm // Reply

      Couldn’t agree more Kevin. It’s the one British Thrash album that stands toe to toe with the all time greats of Thrash \m/

  15. BlackCatTheory // July 3, 2015 at 9:55 am // Reply

    Good lord! I’d totally forgotten about Slammer and Cerebral Fix. As a young lad, Xentrix were our great white hope. Sadly, if you fly too close to Metallica, the wax holding your wings together melts and you fall to earth!

    • Chris Jennings // July 3, 2015 at 11:26 am // Reply

      Cerebral Fix are still going strong and Xentrix are back! Probably better than Metallica nowadays as well 😉

  16. Brendan Carter // July 4, 2015 at 1:12 am // Reply

    Very good list indeed, Sabbat rightfully `….numero uno…`, only difference is, i would have, `D.A.M, 2nd, Seventh Angel 3rd, and Deathwish & Detritius, both scraping into the 10. Those Lawnmower knobs, do not deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as other great bands. D.A.M, were not given enough credit for taking a more edgier, darker sound, compared to some of the more mainstream rubbish of some other British bands.

    • Chris Jennings // July 6, 2015 at 7:29 am // Reply

      All good Brendan, can’t really argue with any of your suggestions. Perhaps a ’20’ list would have been a better idea! I have to defend Lawnmower Deth, having seen them live just last weekend all I can say is their defiantly British sense of humour and seriously great musicianship mark them out as one of Thrash’s (and UK Thrash’s) most unique bands…I love ’em!

      In hindsight, omitting D.A.M and Seventh Angel was probably an error but in the same breath I can’t pick the albums to remove in order to fit them in. Such a conundrum!! 😉 Thanks for the comments Brendan \m/

  17. Erm…anyone heard of a band called Venom?

  18. Seventh Angel is another thrash entry from the UK and Detritus who sounds almost like Metallica from Master of Puppets (and they employ the use of a saxophone with the pacing of their lyrics.)

    • Chris Jennings // October 3, 2015 at 3:39 pm // Reply

      Seventh Angel are/were exceptional Nickolaus….check out Ian Arkley’s current Doom Metal project My Silent Wake….amazing stuff! \m/

  19. Matthew Miller // February 6, 2016 at 10:29 am // Reply

    Great shouts, great article. I seem to remember poor Slammer getting pelters in Metal Forces letters page and fanzines due to them being signed up to a ‘Major Label’. Did I dream that or can anyone else remember? Fantastic album, very over looked

  20. Aaadabaadab // June 16, 2017 at 1:17 pm // Reply

    My next suggestion:

    Canadian Thrash: The 10 Greatest Old-School Albums

  21. Aaadabaadab // June 24, 2017 at 2:41 pm // Reply

    My top 5 would be:* ***

    Amnesia – Unknown Entity (1991)
    D.A.M. – Human Wreckage (1989)
    Metal Duck – Auto Ducko Destructo Mondo (1990)**
    Detritus – If But For One (1993)
    Cancer – To the Gory End (1990)

    *I didn’t rank any of them
    **Metal Duck has a split album with Lawnmower Deth…in the late 80s
    before both their debuts were released in 1990
    ***I looked at random bands by looking on Encyclopedia Metallum and
    checked if they had full-length releases

  22. Aaadabaadab // June 24, 2017 at 2:49 pm // Reply

    I’m serious Lawnmower Deth DID release a split album with Metal Duck!* In 1989 they did. It’s called Mower Liberation Front/Quack Em All. Find it on the Metal Archives**

    *Metal Duck was also posted in the comment above
    **The Metal Archives are another name for the Encyclopedia Metallum
    website

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