Condor – Unstoppable Power [Norway]
Recalling the ferocity of Kreator’s genre-defining Pleasure To Kill, Condor’s Unstoppable Power embraced evil like it was an old friend and smacked us all round the chops with its high energy blackened thrash attack!
Charging forth with reckless abandon, Condor swooped through a bevy of ultra fast workouts without once taking breath. It was fucking relentless, thundering forth on blast-beats, bestial vocals and the finest tremolo/thrash riffs this side of Norway…..which should come as no surprise, these lads come from Norway!
Like being glassed in the face in a shocking burst of violence, Condor left us all stunned and savaged with this bout of supreme nihilism, no wonder Fenriz gave ’em two blackened thumbs up.
Terrifier – Weapons Of Thrash Destruction [Canada]
No mere pastiche or nostalgic piss take, Canada’s Terrifier lovingly crafted a pure thrash metal album that made you want to dig out your white hi-tops and wedge yourself into your old skin tight jeans!
Proving itself to be an apt title, this ripper of an album contained enough WMD’s to shame the majority of bands operating under the guise of old school thrash. Raw, vicious and full of taut muscular riffing – and a drum attack that left you gasping for clean air – this truly great album may have lacked variety but who gives a fuck when they’re thrashin’ this hard and this fast!
With definite dofts of the (baseball) cap to the likes of Kreator and Exodus, this lightning bolt of an album was one of 2017’s finest releases and should have seen Terrifier take another major leap forward with their career…..except we’re yet to receive a follow-up!
Bestial Invasion – Contra Omnes [Ukraine]
Bestial Invasion‘s sophomore album, Contra Omnes, was an absolute mindfuck of an album.
Simple as that.
Taking their cues from such technical luminaries as Toxik, Watchtower, Coroner and Realm was one thing, but this band took everything further…. more shred, more histrionics, more neo-classical noodling….just MORE!
If that sounds ridiculous – it was! Contra Omnes is the kind of album no one was writing in 2017 and yet these guys went balls-to-the wall and unleashed a progressive/technical thrash epic that was brilliantly bonkers on every level.
Manna from heaven for some, unlistenable nonsense to others….we maintain that Contra Omnes was a work of dazzling genius and it’s still fucking our fragile little minds even now!
Power Trip – Nightmare Logic [USA]
Power Trip’s Nightmare Logic was one mean mutha of an album, hyped up on hardcore’s rancour and thrash metal’s speed and precision and it was a joy to behold. We thought album’s like this would not (could not) materialise this late in the game…..how wrong we were!
Opening up with the S.O.D-esque stomp of “Soul Sacrifice”, Riley Gales’ (RIP) feral howl brought everything to life as Power Trip unleashed merry hell in the name of crossover thrash! Frankly, each track crushed all in its path, never dipping in intensity, never delivering anything but the most spine-splintering selection of chugging riffs and Kerry King inspired solos.
Power Trip are a serious enterprise and this album had something to say, with hefty weight behind both the music and the message. Fashioning some sense of logic out of the nightmarish world of conformity and nanny-state politics we’re currently living in, Nightmare Logic tried to makes sense of this fever dream known as reality and came out the other side, bruised, battered but belligerently in control of our own destiny. That’s an alternative manifest right there!
Speaking of alternative manifest’s….Power Trip’s debut, Manifest Decimation, was fuckin’ great but Nightmare Logic was absolutely outstanding.
Harlott – Extinction [Australia]
With Extinction, Australian’s number one thrash act entered the thrash big leagues. This blistering album appeared effortless, conjuring images of thrash’s glorious past with each measured assault and offering up enough variations on Slayer’s blueprint to keep attention focused directly on them….and neck muscles strained to absolute breaking point!
This beast was relentless (ironically more so than Slayer’s last release) and stood shoulder to shoulder with anything released and lauded within the last decade. “Extinction”, “Parasite”, “The Penitent”, “Violent Conspirator” and the deliciously experimental “And Darkness Brings the Light” were all killer, drawing on the defining work of Exodus (and the aforementioned Slayer) and yet fashioning something, new, fresh and exciting with each and every pummelling riff.
As already identified, 2017 was a year that thrashed hard but Harlott delivered something above and beyond, they delivered an extinction level event in the thrash world! To put it bluntly, all other modern thrash bands faced total annihilation in Harlott’s wake because Extinction was the finest 2017 thrash release and proved to be modern thrash perfection.
Honourable mentions: Dr. Living Dead! – Cosmic Conqueror / Chaos – All Against All / The Haunted – Strength In Numbers / Overkill – The Grinding Wheel / Jenner – To Live Is To Suffer / Game Over – Claiming Supremacy / Tankard – One Foot In The Grave / Iron Reagan – Crossover Ministry / Impalers – The Celestial Dictator / Antichrist – Sinful Birth / Craven Idol – The Shackles Of Mammon / Urn – The Burning / Sepultura – Machine Messiah / National Suicide – Massacre Elite / Municipal Waste – Slime And Punishment / Vampire – With Primeval Force / Distillator – Summoning The Malicious / Desecrator– To The Gallows…..2017 was a bloody good year for THRASH!