The classics are all well and good but there’s a shit ton of obscure thrash out there that demands to be heard!
To that end, Worship Metal has selected ANOTHER 10 obscure old-school thrash albums you NEED to hear. And, this is just Part 2…..there’s plenty more to come!
Abomination – Tragedy Strikes (1991) [USA]
Paul Speckmann may be revered as one of the Godfather’s of death metal but the great man also turned his attention to thrash in the early 90’s and while Abomination‘s debut was solid, its follow up, Tragedy Strikes, was a different beast altogether. Raw, real and utterly remorseless, Tragedy Strikes cut deep with political diatribes, powerful compositions and a sincerity rarely head in thrash.
Abomination’s hate, bile and utter contempt for the world as they saw it bleeds profusely through album highlights “Pull The Plug”, “Will They Bleed” and the still apt “Blood For Oil” (the meaning of this one shouldn’t come as a surprise for those who remember the first Gulf War).
Thrash rarely comes loaded with this much gravitas and while Tragedy Strikes may not be friendly, it’ll sure as hell earn your respect.
Devastation – Idolatry (1991) [USA]
Only with hindsight has Devastation‘s third, and their finest, opus been revered as a 90’s thrash milestone. But be under no illusion, Idolatry is one of the greatest thrash albums of the 90’s and should have been hailed as an instant classic upon release.
Carefully straddling the fine line between death metal and thrash, Devastation were abrasively aggressive, technically adept, lightning-fast and heavy as all hell and fans of Dark Angel, Sepultura, Demolition Hammer and early-Death need this album…..if they don’t own it already!
A suffocatingly dense album, this shadowy beast favoured lurking in the corners of thrash’s darkest spaces as opposed to gleaming like much of the early 90’s clean, technically-obsessed thrash albums and it’s all the more distinctive for it. Murky and malevolent, Idolatry benefitted from its dank atmosphere and remains a violent, visceral experience.
Dyoxen – First Among Equals (1989) [Canada]
Taking the Voivod path to weird-town, Dyoxen were a surprisingly melodic yet highly skilled set of technical thrashers.
While the Voivod comparisons are semi-apt, Dyoxen actually had more in common with Peace Sells-era Megadeth; such was their penchant for unveiling skilful and sickle-sharp, complex and caustic blasts of sophisticated thrash, replete with umpteen tempo changes and a shed-load of killer riffs.
These guys sure had the chops, but they just didn’t have the clout to shit them into the big leagues. Which is a crying shame, as First Among Equals was the equal of anything Annihilator, Megadeth, Forbidden etc. were serving up in the late 80’s!
Evil Sinner – Evil Sinner (1989) [Belgium]
A frenzied thrash-fest to rival the likes of Exumer and Baloff-era Exodus, Evil Sinner‘s debut is an unjustly ignored highpoint in Belgian thrash history!
Opening with the call-to-arms of “Thrashers”, the scene is set for Evil Sinner to cave in your face with each well aimed blow. These are pummelling anthems, rampaging through your system with dexterous efficiency and devastating effect and there’s barely a pause for breath before the whole thing comes to a crashing end.
“Fate” and the title track are high-speed killers but Evil Sinner slowed down enough on the dynamic “The Gang” to introduce a melodic longeur, providing a break from the blast-beat propelled thrash attack that surrounds it.
Hellbastard – Natural Order (1990) [UK]
Newcastle’s Hellbastard may have started life as a crusty old group of grinders but by the time 1990’s rowdy Natural Order arrived, things had turned defiantly and indefatigably thrashy!
Few UK thrash acts sounded as raw as Hellbastard and they were just as happy in the company of Carcass, Bolt Thrower, Godflesh and Napalm Death as they were with their thrashier comrades. “Justly Executed” was quite rightly included in Earache’s 1991 sampler Grindcrusher, nestling Hellbastard comfortably alongside those extreme metal legends just mentioned. With blinding speed, an arsenal of riffs and a dab hand at attention maintaining tempo changes, Natural Order remains a pretty fine technical thrash album and an underground cult classic.
Throwing a curveball every now and then by incorporating tender acoustic moments (“TAF” & “A Minor Point”) that were, admittedly, commonplace – but never as medieval in sound as here – die hard fans of the band may have balked when they first heard this transition to thrash in 1990 but Natural Order still reeked of the streets. Hellbastard’s crust punk beginnings were still evident, intrinsically linking Natural Order to the movement they pioneered and, in essence, cementing their place alongside fellow UK crust-thrashers Amebix and Sacrilege; an unholy triumvirate of crustcore/thrash.