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 20 obscure old-school thrash albums you NEED to hear. And there’s plenty more to come!
Addictive – Pity Of Man (1989) [Australia]
Australian thrashers Addictive may be no more than a footnote in the history of thrash metal but, for a short time in the late 80’s, these Antipodean anarchists were one of the leading bands in the Aussie scene.
Playing hard and fast, it appears that Addictive were influenced by the usual suspects of the era (Metallica, Sacred Reich, Dark Angel, Testament) and a decent attempt at James Hetfield mimicry in the vocal department backs up that assumption. Opener “Get Out Of My Life” took the direct approach and much of Pity of Man subsequently stuck to a similar path; one built around ultimate aggression backed by socio-conscious lyrics.
While not quite in the same league as fellow countrymen Mortal Sin and Hobbs’ Angel of Death, Addictive were still addictive enough (sic) to make a mark on an overcrowded scene and Pity Of Man should be considered somewhat of a lost treasure!
Amnesia – Unknown Entity (1991) [UK]
You may have no recollection of them (ha!) but Amnesia had a brief brush with fame back in 1991, when they signed with a subsidiary of Peaceville Records and swiftly recorded their debut album,Unknown Entity.
Ironically apt given its title, this relatively unknown entity was actually a damn fine band, leaning a little too heavily on the riffs of Testament perhaps – “the intro to “The Final Revelation” is ripped straight from The New Order’s “Eerie Inhabitants” – but still capable of thrashing up a storm when required!
Admittedly, Amnesia were in dire need of a singer who could rival the legendary Chuck Billy. While passable enough, the vocals of Simon Rose lacked that killer edge but these guys were still good enough to warrant far more attention than they received and deserved to be pulled from the obscurity quagmire.
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” and the blistering title track should endear then 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!