These are the 10 thrash metal debuts that kicked all our asses back in the 1980’s…..
10. Destruction – Infernal Overkill (1985) [Germany]
These Germanic, bullet-belt strewn boys made one hell of an entrance when their full-length debut detonated well over 35 years ago.
Blackened thrash was the order of the day and Infernal Overkill came out charred, scorched and searing; the heat generated from this trio of tormentors manifesting itself as fervourous thrashers “The Ritual”, “Thrash Attack” and “Antichrist”.
While Infernal Overkill may have lacked subtlety and finesse it more than made up for its shortcomings in raw, frenzied power and youthful exuberance.
Destruction would go on to define the Teutonic thrash scene and give rise to the unstoppable force of death metal….but it all began here, with this outstanding full length debut!
9. Nuclear Assault – Game Over (1986) [USA]
Nuclear Assault‘s debut album saw Danny Lilker and his merry men release an unrefined and cataclysmic thrash metal assault on the world!
Still tapped in to the raw emotion and pure power over technical skill mentality of thrash metal’s early releases – that’s not to say these boys couldn’t play but it’s the attitude that shines through – Game Over bordered on a crossover release; revelling in gang vocals, thunderous bass and John Connoly’s unhinged and apocalyptic screeching diatribes.
From the blacker than black humour of “Hang The Pope” to the end of the world announcing “Nuclear War”, “After The Holocaust” and “Radiation Sickness”, Nuclear Assault hit like the proverbial atomic bomb in ’86 and instantly cemented their place amongst the greats of thrash metal.
8. Flotsam and Jetsam – Doomsday For The Deceiver (1986) [USA]
Flotsam and Jetsam‘s Doomsday For The Deceiver led the world to believe that a new thrash super-power had arrived (not quite, unfortunately) with a collection of tunes both overwhelmingly powerful and expertly performed.
Taking the very best bits of speed metal, power metal and thrash metal and perfecting them amongst a flurry of cranking bass, warp-speed riffs and Erik A.K’s formidable pipes, the likes of the feral “Hammerhead”, the intense “Iron Tears” and the epic ability of the exquisite title track mark out Doomsday For The Deceiver as an undisputed all-time thrash classic.
Many will recall the rarely used 6K mark awarded by Kerrang back in ’86 but that does this legendary release a disservice…this one truly does go up to 11!
7. Overkill – Feel The Fire (1985) [USA]
Overkill‘s full length debut was an instantly satisfying fix for those thrash fans looking for an East-Coast band to rival the Bay Area’s dominance.
Feel The Fire is an absolute classic from a band who have spent the best part of 40 years defiantly thrashing their guts out for the metal masses. It’s fair to say that consistency and Overkill literally go hand in hand.
“Rotten To The Core”, “Hammerhead” and “Kill At Command” thrill with wild abandonment and earth-shaking riffs buffered by Bobby ‘Blitz’ Ellsworth’s shrill vocals.
If Overkill had only released this record they still would be revered as thrash pioneers, as it turns out we have a further 18(!) records to relish as well!
6. Megadeth – Killing Is My Business… and Business Is Good! (1985) [USA]
Miraculously, a rejected genius with a spiralling drug addiction – and a mouth that refused to stay shut – led to auspicious beginnings! Dave Mustaine’s Megadeth were a recipe for disaster but the result gave us one of the most technically gifted thrash bands on the planet.
Killing Is My Business… is undoubtedly Megadeth at their most unrefined and unrestrained with “Rattlehead” and “Mechanic” particularly endearing the band to slathering thrash fans the world over.
While it may be lacking the precision pummelling of later releases, any short comings were balanced by boundless energy and a determination like no other; Metallica’s loss was the world’s gain.