Blind Illusion – The Sane Asylum (1988)
Blind Illusion‘s debut is a cult item of considerable aplomb, growing in stature as the years roll by and claiming its place as one of thrash metal’s unsung gems!
Featuring guitarist Larry LaLonde (Possessed) and bassist Les Claypool (before they went on to form Primus) and produced by Metallica’s Kirk Hammett, The Sane Asylum is one of those unique recordings which practically defies categorisation, such is its idiosyncratic nature and distinct lack of conformity.
An alchemic brew of jazz-influenced, progressive time changes and abstract song structures, The Sane Asylum was conveniently wrapped up in a technical thrash bow, a description which doesn’t even come close to describing the sheer madness at work here.
Quite unlike anything recorded before or since!
Coroner – Punishment For Decadence (1988)
Each and every one of Coroner‘s 3 albums released in the 80’s deserve to be on this list, but we have a one album per band mantra to stick to (for diversity’s sake, ok!) so it’s to 1988’s Punishment For Decadence we turn.
Why? Because it’s the perfect amalgamation of R.I.P‘s raw aggression and No More Color‘s avant-garde progressive nature! These pioneering Swiss thrashers didn’t give two-fucks about genre convention, such was the intensity in which they carved their own path and Punishment For Decadence confirmed that we were dealing with three individuals of considerable skill.
Were Coroner the most consistently impressive technical thrash band of the 80’s?
We would reply with a resounding “Fuck yes!”
Deathrow – Deception Ignored (1988)
After the relatively no-thrills thrash found on Deathrow’s Riders Of Doom aka Satan’s Gift and Raging Steel, there was virtually no indication that Deathrow would break boundaries with their 3rd full length release!
Complex and rhythmically confounding – but never at the cost of a satisfying sense of structure – the likes of “Narcotic” were insane blasts of technical thrash wizardry and should have marked Deathrow out as pioneers of prog metal/tech thrash this early in the game.
Instead, obscurity beckoned with Deception Ignored initially receiving a lukewarm response from a legion of confused fans. Fortunately, this outstanding album has gone on to be revered as a work of almost labyrinthian art, misunderstood by many but now beloved by those in the know.
A technical thrash masterpiece from a band way ahead of the curve….this is one album that truly has to be heard to be believed!