While the underground coughed up some damn fine adventures in thrash this year, 2016 was primarily the year that the legends of the scene re-cemented their credentials and restored reputations, blowing off the cobwebs of apathy and showing the young thrash pups that the big dogs still had plenty of bite!
It really was one hell of a year for thrash; classic bands returned, 3 of The Big 4 loomed large and Germany proved once again how thrash is an integral part of their DNA.
Here’s Worship Metal’s Top 10 thrash albums for 2016….let the countdown begin:
10. Darkness – The Gasoline Solution
Cult German thrashers Darkness finally came back with a brand new album – the band’s first full-length-album since 1989! – and preceded to shit-kick thrash fans in the face with a relentless barrage of meat ‘n’ potatoes old-skool thrashin’.
This is obviously no flash-in-the-pan reformation, these guys sound like they’re making up for lost time in a big way; youthful, recharged and ready to split skulls in the name of classic thrash! Experiments in intricate progressive thrash are all well and good but sometimes you need bands like Darkness, thrashing hard with a back to basics approach that leaves you bruised and breathless. A welcome return!
You need to hear: “Tinkerbell Must Die” finds Darkness sounding plenty pissed and full of blood-curdling rage (despite the bonkers song title)!
9. Metallica – Hardwired…to Self Destruct
Surprise, sur-fucking-prise! The mighty Metallica not only finally delivered their new album but it turned out to be a right bobby dazzler too (meaning quite excellent, non-UK readers)!
Hardwired…to Self Destruct will undoubtedly delight as many thrash fans as it turns others cold but there’s no denying that Hetfield, Ulrich, Hammett & Trujillo are back in a big way and armed with their most coherent and crushing album in over 25 years.
We’ve already answered all your questions in our Metallica’s Hardwired….To Self Destruct: All Your Questions Answered! feature, so why not give it the once over!
You need to hear: “Hardwired“. Why? Because it’s a proper fucking Metallica thrash song, that’s why!
8. Metal Church – XI
With XI, the classic Metal Church sound was back, fronted once again by the leather-lunged Mike Howe and powered by those instantly recognisable power/thrash riffs of Kurdt Vanderhoof.
Harnessing the blue-collar mentality that prevailed through their finer works, XI proved to be a worthy companion to The Human Factor and Hanging In The Balance and looks to have reset the Metal Church clock back to year dot.
This beloved band has a real future again and if Mike Howe’s timeless vocals remain at the helm, there may very well be a lot more to come from these thrash pioneers!
You need to hear: “Killing Your Time”, a chugging riff-fest of melody and muscle; Metal Church delivering the goods the old fashioned way!