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, we’ve selected 10 MORE obscure old-school thrash albums you NEED to hear.
This is Part 7…..but there’s plenty more to come!
Darkness – Death Squad (1987) [Germany]
Severely lacking in anything approaching originality, you’d be forgiven for letting Darkness pass you by, their by-the-numbers thrash attack adhering a little too faithfully to the pioneering sounds already solidified by Sodom, Destruction and Kreator a few years earlier.
However, give Darkness a chance to shine (ironically) and you’ll experience a debut album that actually hits pretty damn hard with sustained and tightly controlled rage. Opening ‘oh so gently’ with the delicately strummed “Invasion Sector 12”, it’s the building intensity of a distant air siren and the unnerving sounds of bombs decimating the landscape that truly warns of things to come….with all-out-war eventually declared by these leather-clad thrashers!
A bevy of speed-obsessed ragers then follow, careening forth just on the right side of chaos with the likes of “Critical Threshold” and “Staatsfeind” providing the requisite blistering riffs and compulsory head-banging moments.
Defiance – Product Of Society (1989) [USA]
Defiance may have evolved into a progressively minded thrash outfit (check out the expansive and accomplished thrash of 1992’s Beyond Recognition) but Product Of Society and its Testament / Forbidden style of powerfully technical thrash deserves to be lauded as an authoritative dose of late 80’s thrash.
While these California crushers could never be accused of originality, their commitment to delivering nothing but traditional Bay-Area neck-wreckers is to be commended. “Insomnia” opens with the obligatory acoustic intro before settling into a satisfyingly mid-paced groove while “Hypothermia” opens with a spine-tingling solo intro before unleashing crunchy rhythms, intricate patterns and a smooth, sleek sound that signalled these boys were capable of keeping up with their peers in Forbidden and Heathen.
Exorcist – Nightmare Theatre (1986) [USA]
A true cult classic, Nightmare Theatre may have sprung from the mind of David DeFeis (Virgin Steele) but its horror overtones and occult tendencies were far removed from Virgin Steele‘s power metal output.
Like an unholy coupling of Destruction and W.A.S.P, the appeal of Nightmare Theatre lay in its camp 80’s feel and video nasty sensibility that renders it oddly nostalgic whilst still kicking ass!
The only Exorcist release (to date) can lay claim to influencing death metal and black metal but needs to be remembered for being one hell of great mid-80’s thrash/speed metal record.
Ignorance – The Confident Rat (1992) [UK]
Thrash met funk as Ignorance channeled the work of Mordred and Suicidal Tendencies (and a little Faith No More for good measure) to gift us Brits our own convincing take on this disparate hybrid.
And highly convincing The Confident Rat was too as Ignorance went about adding humour, slap-bass and all manner of bounce to their thrash metal framework. While many decried Ignorance‘s turn towards the funk side, you can’t blame them for wanting their own slice of the thrash/funk pie.
At the very least The Confident Rat booked them a supporting slot with Mordred back in the day, which at least acknowledges the direction they wanted to head in.
Pure funk-thrash nirvana….from Corby!
Intrinsic – Intrinsic (1987) [USA]
A real heavy metal meets melodic thrash metal mix, the pioneering acts of the 70’s and early 80’s remained an obvious influence in 1987, with California’s Intrinsic slamming the past into (what was ) the thrash present with their audacious, self-titled, debut.
“Possessor” and “RIP!” were as forceful a power/thrash-fest as their titles would suggest, the kind of songs that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on the first two Metal Church albums (David Wayne actually became Intrinsic’s vocalist between 1987 and 1989!) and while “Ahead Of The Game” may have proven to be an overly ambitious title, an endless array of NWOBHM riffs – bolstered by occasional bursts of speed and aggression – marked Intrinsic out as a band with huge potential.
Certainly not the fully formed article at this stage, Intrinsic’s debut is instead a blast of old-school power/thrash/speed metal; an album whose latent qualities would fully reveal themselves on the progressive thrash masterpiece – and ‘lost’ classic – that is Nails.