4. Exumer – The Raging Tides
Exumer’s follow up to their excellent 2012 effort Fire And Damnation (not discounting their fearsome 80’s output of course) was a violent, speed-obsessed lesson in how shockingly effective teutonic thrash can still be.
Tighter than Scrooge’s wallet at christmas, Exumer have rarely sounded this charged, this focused and so capable of thrashing our tits clean off! Ever more frantic rhythms jostled with perfectly pitched solo’s on each and every track with The Raging Tides maintaining a furious pace throughout and once the balls-out crunch of album closer “Death Factory” had stomped you into submission, a new set of lungs once required.
You need to hear: “Catatonic”, highly addictive and showcased Exumer’s knack for writing the most criminally effective thrash songs we’d heard in an age!
3. Testament – Brotherhood Of The Snake
Outstanding musicianship and rousing tunes from another of thrash’s original titans, who unbelievably sounded stronger and tighter than ever.
A brotherhood of thrash led by Chuck Billy (still the finest vocalist in thrash) and one of the genre’s greatest ever guitar tag teams (Alex Skolnik & Eric Petersen), Brotherhood Of The Snake struck harder and faster than bands half Testament’s age!
As expected, the most reliable thrash band in existence (not one bad album, right!) stepped up to the plate and unleashed hell once again. We’d expect nuthin’ less.
You need to hear: “The Pale King”, those verses are beyond catchy, they’re positively venereal! Another sublime vocal performance from Chuck Billy!
2. Anthrax – For All Kings
Perhaps the least ‘thrashy’ album on this list, For All Kings was still Anthrax at their finest, Joey Belladonna now fully enconsed at the helm and delivering his greatest vocal performance since those heady days back in the 80’s!
Anthrax have been at this game long enough to know that speed is not the be all and end all (pun completely intended) and there was a grinding malevolence to the music – alongside a political edge – that harkened back to their classic album, Persistence Of Time.
“Breathing Lightning” may have been to AOR for some, but it proved that Anthrax’s songwriting credentials were still never in question and Anthrax were in the mood for delivering a melodic thrash masterclass.
You need to hear: “Evil Twin”, a foot-stomping modern melodic classic from a thrash institution! Plus, that breakdown…sweet!