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5 Albums That Kept THRASH Alive in the Mid to Late 90s (Part 2)

Remember, this is just Part 2....there is more in this series to come!

After the release of some seminal thrash albums in the early 90’s (Megadeth’s Rust In Peace Dark Angel’s Time Does Not Heal / Annihilator’s Never, Neverland Death Angel’s Act III / Heathen’s Victims Of Deception to name but a few) those flannel-wearing whinge-bags of grunge took over and thrash kinda died on its arse, seemingly overnight.

While some bands split and others adapted their sound to meet the demands of a new audience, fortunately a few belligerent bastards refused to bow down to changing trends and thrashed like never before!

Here’s 5 albums by bands that didn’t give a flying fuck that thrash’s glory days were behind them; keeping thrash alive until its long-awaited resurgence in the early 00’s….

Dekapitator – We Will Destroy… You Will Obey!!! (1999) [USA]

Dekapitator blasted out of California in 1999 with a debut that was simply some good, friendly, violent fun! Featuring members of Californian death metal masters Exhumed, this death-thrash opus was produced by the inimitable James Murphy (Obituary, Testament, Disincarnate, Death and more) and it reeked of old-school quality from start to finish.

The name of the game was riffs – peeled off at a ridiculous rate and channeling the genre-defining early work of Exodus and Possessed – and thrash fans ‘in the know’ revelled in an absolute masterclass of raw production, time-honoured thrash barks and shrieks and more hardcore thrashin’ than is medically encouraged.

Heads bled and necks were broken….one shot, one kill indeed!

Sodom – ‘Til Death Do Us Unite (1997) [Germany]

Sodom – 'Til Death Do Us Unite (1997, CD) - Discogs

God bless you Sodom….always fighting the good fight, regardless of the era!

Sodom returned to the sound of exuberant thrash with ‘Til Death Do Us Unite and after the death-thrash of Tapping The Vein (1992), the crossover thrash of Get What You Deserve (1994) and the rough and ready Masquerade In Blood (1995), this was exactly what Sodom fans were clamouring for.

Elements of punk remained but ‘Til Death Do Us Unite was a devastating thrash onslaught at heart and remains a vicious little shit of an album.

One of the most underrated Sodom albums, ‘Till Death Do Us Unite seems to get lost in the quagmire of the virtually thrash-less late 90’s but Sodom were on rich form here, waging war on the establishment and thrashing as hard as ever!

Related content: The 5 Essential SODOM Albums

Whiplash – Thrashback (1998) [USA]

The album title alone lays out Whiplash‘s stall from the outset….it was time to bring thrash back and Whiplash were the band to take the bull by the horns and start thrashin’ like it was the 1980’s again!

Reuniting the acclaimed line-up that delivered the 80’s classics Power And Pain and Ticket To Mayhem, Whiplash may not have matched the highs of of those two albums but their endeavour to return thrash to its rightful place at the very top of the metal hierarchy was a commendable and frankly necessary stepping-stone to the genre’s inevitable comeback a few short years later.

The tin-can widdly riffs (that’s the only description that seems to fit Whiplash’s signature guitar sound) of old were back on “Stab” and “Thrash ‘Til Death‘s” can’t-be-argued-with lyric of “no compromising we’ll thrash ’til death” cemented Whiplash’s place as one of the few bands fearless enough to kickstart thrash’s long awaited resurgence.

Witchburner – Witchburner (1996) [Germany]

Who launches a thrash career in the mid 1990’s? Germany’s Witchburner, that’s who!

Ignoring the fact that thrash was as dead as dead gets, these German miscreants took the Teutonic influence of Kreator, Destruction, Darkness and Necronomicon and unleashed some of the most brutally evil thrashing noise heard in years.

The fact that no one paid a blind bit of attention was moot. Thrash was still alive screamed Witchburner and be it primitive, lo-fi and completely devoid of panache and variation, it’s worth acknowledging that Witchburner’s debut at least attempted to go against the tide of public opinion and keep thrash alive and breathing.

Check out the mid-tempo harassment of “Hammer Of Destruction” for evidence of Witchburner’s defiantly simple homage to the genre’s greats; it may be barbarically uncomplicated but, in 1996, this kind of thrash was a putrid breath of much-needed fresh air.

Witchery – Restless And Dead (1998) [Sweden]

Arriving very late in the day, Sweden’s Witchery helped breathe new (blackened) life into a thrash scene that was virtually non-existent in 1998.

Go looking for Exodus and early Metallica corpse-paintin’ it up and throwing even more ‘venom’ into the mix and you’ll find Witchery‘s fuckin’ fantastic debut, Restless & Dead. Suitably evil and unapologetically violent, Witchery simply stripped thrash back to its purest essence, charred the life out of it and released it, twitching and screaming, onto an audience starved of such tasty, burnt-end morsels! Witchery were as much restless and wild as they were restless and dead and with opener, “The Reaper”, ably setting the undead scene, one of the greatest thrash albums of the late 90’s was unearthed from the grave.

In thrash terms, 1998 was a barren wasteland so we hail Satan for Restless & Dead; a thrash gift sent directly from the fiery bowels of hell itself.

Also in this Series:

5 Albums That Kept THRASH Alive in the Mid to Late 90s (Part 1)

5 Albums That Kept THRASH Alive in the Mid to Late 90s (Part 3)

About Chris Jennings (1978 Articles)
I love metal. Always have. Always will. As editor of Worship Metal - a site dedicated to being as positive about metal and its myriad of sub-genres as possible - my aim is to 'worship' metal through honest reviews, current news and a wide variety of features; offering the same exposure to underground bands as we do to mainstream/well known acts. Our mantra; the bands are partners and we exist to serve the bands \m/

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