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 10 obscure old-school thrash albums you NEED to hear. And, this is just Part 1…..there’s plenty more to come!
Anacrusis – Suffering Hour (1988) [USA]
Anacrusis‘ debut, Suffering Hour, remains an overlooked moment in thrash history and is the only album in their formidable back catalogue to be classifiable as true ‘thrash’,
Joining the likes of Watchtower, Voivod and Mekong Delta in constructing complex arrangements and schizophrenically unique songs that flow through dozens of exhilarating tempo changes, Anacrusis’ youthful exuberance and disjointed clamour exhibited nothing but an alluring charm and a desire to challenge thrash’s boundaries.
Anacrusis’ debut had it all – intelligence, alarming momentum, hollowed-out groove, fiendish rhythms, atonal experimentation, a forebodingly dark and dense sound and a character all of its own; precious few albums are capable of surprising the listener with each repeat listen but Suffering Hour achieved this and more.
Archaic Torse – Sneak Attack (1992) [Germany]
Devilishly dark and devastatingly heavy, Archaic Torse may be an unknown quantity to all but the most ardent death/thrash fan, but the likes of the lightning-speed and groove-heavy “Beyond The Great Divide” should endear them to the Archaic Torse novice instantaneously.
Treading a similar path to fellow countrymen Protector, Archaic Torse erred on the side of death metal but also ripped up a thrashing storm when desired, pummelling the listener with brutal vocals and a penchant for channelling the ferocity of early Pestilence.
Overall, Sneak Attack was a very strong debut from a band who sadly never released a follow-up and death/thrash fans unfamiliar with its charms should seek it out…..immediately!
Asphyxia – Exit:Reality (1991) [Belgium]
Proving that Belgium isn’t all about waffles, chocolates and beer, Asphyxia were full of promise but released just the one full length album. In this case, it was the scintillating Exit: Reality; a Bay Area-esque cruncher that could stand toe-to-toe with any second-tier Californian act!
Delivering the kind of huge choruses, moshable bounce and deadly gang vokills that made the likes of Atrophy so irresistible, Asphyxia’s gruff delivery was matched only by their speed and unforgiving assault. With no time for showboating or thrash balladry, Exit: Reality‘s 10 tracks simply ripped with 100% authenticity.
Above average thrash from an unfairly ignored band!
Detritus – If But For One (1993) [UK]
An anomaly for (ironically) more than one reason, Detritus‘ second full length album remains one of the most experimental UK thrash albums in existence and one which found this Christian thrash act branching out in all manner of unexpected directions.
Still resolutely thrash, it’s the far-reaching compositional skill that elevated this album into the category of ‘must-hear’ with subtlety and acoustic dexterity nestling nicely next to honest-to-goodness thrashing (and a thrashed-up sea shanty, for fucks sake!).
Truly a one of a kind album, those thrashers who enjoy a band who go for broke and take thrash into pastures new need to hear this album to fully appreciate the talent and potential on display.
Num Skull – Ritually Abused (1988) [USA]
Ritually Abused may have been ritually ignored on release but there’s no denying its thrash pedigree and albums this savage rarely reared their snarling, slathering head in the late 80’s.
Redefining what it meant to be truly brutal, Num Skull‘s debut may have been neanderthal in essence but fans of Kreator’s early noise – and those fond of the ferocity of Reign in Blood era Slayer and Exodus circa Bonded By Blood – would undoubtedly offer themselves up to the kind of abuse Num Skull were dishing out.
Speed, aggression and unbelievably unhinged vocals characterised album highlights “The Henchman”, the Exodus-esque “No Morals” and the utterly merciless title track….true American hate performed by absolute maniacs!