2021 found German thrash bands both old and new releasing some damn fine albums and here’s Worship Metal’s pick of the 5 must-hear GERMAN THRASH albums of the year…..
Necronomicon – The Final Chapter
Released: March 26th, 2021 via El Puerto Records
Necronomicon are cult heroes. Pure and simple.
From their rough n’ ready self titled debut to the heady highs of 1988’s Escalation and onto their comeback in 2004, these German thrashers have been nothing if not consistent….and The Final Chapter maintained that consistency with another round of hard hitting Germanic thrash!
Whether they were going for the throat on the viciously violent likes of “Wall of Pain” or broadening their sound on the more considered, semi-melodic thrash of “Purgatory” (featuring major modern Kreator vibes), Necronomicon sounded as rabid as ever and more than capable of keeping up with their higher profile peers.
Let’s hope this isn’t the final chapter.
Bonded – Into Blackness
When they were cut loose from Sodom, Bernd ‘Bernemann’ Kost and Markus ‘Makka’ Friewald didn’t stand idle. Instead, they swiftly formed Bonded, their own modern thrashin’ powerhouse whose debut, Rest In Violence, was released just last year.
We already know these guys can thrash and so it came as no surprise that Rest In Violence, and its 2021 follow-up Into Blackness, were as caustic as they come. With no stylistic shift to note, it was refreshing to hear Into Blackness picking straight up on the groove-laden ferocity of Bonded‘s debut….and running with it. With Assassin‘s Ingo Bajonczak at the helm, the vocals were unsurprisingly hard-hitting but it was the incessant chug of Chris Tsitsis (Exarsis / Destroy Them) and Bernemann’s riffs which hit the hardest – particularly on “The Holy Whore”.
This is one album that seemed to drop under the radar this year but Sodom’s loss continues to be our gain.
Vulture – Dealin’ Death
Released: May 21st, 2021 via Metal Blade Records
Dortmund’s favorite slasher-thrashers returned in 2021 and, like all good horror villains, Vulture were back meaner and deadlier than ever.
Complimenting this extra dose of viciousness, Dealin’ Death placed an added emphasis on a theatrical flair that’d been slithering its way to the foreground of Vulture’s sound over the course of their discography. However, having your face chewed off by the album’s more straightforward ragers was what we all showed up for and Dealin’ Death did not disappoint. In particular, the high-octane and unapologetic “Star-Crossed City” was a grade-A kick ass METAL song.
Bangers aside, one of Vulture’s biggest strengths has always been their big bag of tricks when it comes to anthology-style storytelling, and the epic nature of “Gorgon”, “Below The Mausoleum”, and the decadent “The Court of Caligula”, combined the aforementioned theatricality with
Sijjin – Summerian Promises
Released: November 12th, 2021 via Sepulchral Voice Records
In the void left by German death metal giants Necros Christos (who called it quits in 2020), SIJIIN arrived with their debut full-length LP, Sumerian Promises. Steeped in the history of classic extreme metal, this tremendous album found the perfect blend between Necros Christos’ unique sound and a less opulent death, thrash and black metal style.
With the old school death metal allure of classic bands like Rotting Christ (in their 90’s era) and Morbid Angel – and the sonic power of an album recorded in 2021 (without too much polish) – Sijinn‘s unrestrained fury and blackened thrash groove regularly hit the sweet spot.
Following no trends and standing on its own as an epic testament to the power of classic extreme metal, Sumerian Promises was simply one of the best death/thrash metal albums released in quite some time….and truly a timeless blackened occult masterpiece from these three gifted creators.
Ravager – The Third Attack
Released: June 18th, 2021 via Iron Shield Records
The Germans have always been ridiculously good at this thrash thang and they’ve a new titan of terror to add to their ever-swelling ranks, in the formidable form of Ravager!
With two damn fine releases already to their name (2017’s Eradicate… Annihilate… Exterminateand 2019’s Thrashletics), The Third Attack was going to need to be something special to maintain the momentum.
With the majority of The Third Attack‘s tracks whipping by in a frenzied storm of varied riffs and tempos, it was left to 8 minute closer “Destroyer” to, ironically, slay the competition. Frenetic, fun and full of ideas, Ravager‘s throw-it-all-in-the-pot mentality was highly commendable and, overall, this is one hell of an album.
Way above average thrash from a band who just keep on getting better with every release.
Also check out our other thrash related end of 2021 articles: