Obliveon – From This Day Forward (1990)
A thrashier version of Death circa Spiritual Healing / Human, Obliveon’s debut album was an immediate game-changer upon release and has become an all-time technical thrash classic from the golden era of forward-thinking thrash.
Obliveon were part of the natural Canadian evolution that first began when Voivod crawled from the primordial swamp before, over time, casting aside the shackles of conformity and entering cyberspace. While they weren’t alone on embracing the more technical side of thrash, Obliveon‘s take on Voivod‘s early-doors experimentation was undoubtedly heavier than most; informed as much by death metal as it was traditional thrash.
As far as debut albums go, From this Day Forward was leagues ahead of the competition and you’d be hard pressed to find a more technical old school thrash album which delivers on so many levels. Speed, technicality, atmosphere, diversity, aggression….Obliveon‘s From This Day Forward has the lot!
Razor – Shotgun Justice (1990)
Canadian thrash’s answer to Slayer’s all-conquering Reign In Blood, Razor’s Shotgun Justice (and yes, some people are gonna be pissed we haven’t included their favourite Razor album but tough shit, it’s our list) is as potent as ever and is a balls-to-the-fucking-wall shotgun blast of ultra-aggressive, high speed thrash!
Fuck your technical/progressive thrash bollocks, Razor specialised in working man’s thrash that hit hard and hit fast and not only were they plenty pissed, they were operating at the top of their game. It’s no stretch to suggest that the likes of the relentlessly abrasive “Meaning Of Pain and “Parricide” should be considered career highlights.
Beloved original frontman Stace “Sheepdog” McLaren may have departed but the throat-shredding shouts of the incoming Bob Reid were more than capable of delivering the goods and Razor were arguably never as hostile as they were here.
Also check out: Deep breath. Executioner’s Song (1985), Evil Invaders (1985), Malicious Intent (1986), Custom Killing (1987, Violent Restitution (1988) & Open Hostility (1991) are all mandatory!
Sacrifice – Torment In Fire (1986)
Sacrifice‘s debut was fiendishly evil, brutally effective and pure diabolical mayhem set to music.
Featuring some truly spine-scraping shrieks and riffs that threatened to veer into all out distorted noise, Sacrifice may have been undeniably immature at this stage….but there’s no escaping the sheer impact this feral release still possesses!
These Canadian miscreants often sounded more like their unhinged German counterparts than the clinically precise riffing often found South of the Canadian border. Subsequently, Sacrifice found themselves joining the demented ranks of Destruction, Kreator, Whiplashand Possessed. While a god-awful production job slightly lessened its impact, Torment In Fireremains an integral stepping-stone in thrash metal’s eventual transition to death metal.
Sacrifice – Forward To Termination (1987)
Part of Canada’s “big four” alongside the potentially more recognisable names of Razor, Voivod and Annihilator (more on all of those later), Sacrifice‘s 2nd album, Forward To Termination, was a fast and ferocious shit-storm of an album.
A marked improvement on their admittedly decent debut Torment In Fire, 1987’s Forward to Termination upped the ante in almost every department while also maturing at an astonishing rate. A virtually perfect amalgamation of snarling attitude, ingenious riffs and diverse song structure, Forward To Termination – and the likes of the cult favourite “Re-Animation” in particular – have gone down in history as an all time classic of Canadian thrash!
With this outstanding album, Sacrifice proved once and for all that Canada had thrash bands that could rival those found in the USA and Germany and they should have found themselves at the top of the thrash pile.
Voivod – Killing Technology (1987)
It was a close call between this and 1988’s Dimension Hatröss but Killing Technology is so much thrashier and considering this is a best of Canadian THRASH list…. it’s Killing Technology that nicks the spot!
One of thrash metal’s most distinctive bands should need no introduction – with Voivod having spent their entire career releasing music that barely stayed within the confines of thrash and purposefully flaunted the rules at every step – and Killing Technology can be considered their pinnacle thrash release. That’s not to say that future albums wouldn’t usurp this title (the likes of Angel Rat, Nothingface and The Outer Limits are all outstanding prog metal releases) but Killing Technology is where it’s at if we’re talking cold, hard, old-school thrash.
Atypical and abstract, the riffs of Piggy and the vocal delivery of Snake remain utterly unique and otherworldly and this twisting, turning, tumultuous sci-fi fever-dream made flesh still sounds like absolutely nothing else on earth. “Tornado”, “Ravenous Medicine”, “Cockroaches” were light years ahead of the pack and their peers (if they have ever really had any) are still frantically trying to keep up.
Also check out: Everything Voivod has ever released. Seriously! Legends.