After the release of some seminal Thrash albums in the early 90’s (Megadeth’s Rust In Peace/Dark Angel’s Time Does Not Heal/Annihilator’s Never, Neverland/Death Angel’s Act III/Vio-lence’s Oppressing The Masses/Heathen’s Victims Of Deception to name a few) those flannel-wearing whinge-bags of Grunge took over and Thrash kinda died on its arse, seemingly overnight.
While some bands split and others adapted their sound to meet the demands of a new audience – Metallica went all country on Load/Reload, Anthrax swapped Thrash for straight-up Heavy Metal on Sound Of White Noise, Megadeth took the Mainstream Hard Rock option on Risk, Exodus and Forbidden turned to Groove Metal on Force Of Habit and Green respectively, Nuclear Assault went AWOL, Kreator went Goth on Outcast and Sepultura embraced Nu-Metal on Roots – a few belligerent bastards refused to bow down to changing trends and Thrashed like never before!!
Here’s 12 albums by bands that didn’t give a flying fuck that Thrash’s glory days were behind them, keeping Thrash alive until its long-awaited resurgence in the early 00’s….
Overkill – W.F.O (1994)
After a successful excursion into Groove Metal on 1993’s I Hear Black – a vastly undervalued album incidentally – just a year later Overkill returned to their good ol’ Thrashin’ ways with W.F.O. The result was an old-school blast of furious Thrash that reminded fans why they fell in love with these New Jersey noiseniks in the first place.
Home to killer opener “Where It Hurts” (these boys never fail to deliver an absolute belter of an opening track) and Thrash juggernauts “Fast Junkie” and “Up To Zero” it was the ridiculously infectious “Bastard Nation” that stood out from the pack; faithfully thrashy yet surely designed to be a monster ‘hit’ if the bastards had just paid attention!
W.F.O. (or Wide Fucking Open for its full title) proved to be the last hurrah for Overkill’s glory days as the 90’s all but stalled their progress. Nevertheless, W.F.O should be celebrated as a classic 90’s Thrash album that bucked prevailing trends and thrashed like a mutherfucker!