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5 Essential 80s German Thrash Albums (Part 2)

80s thrash wasn’t just ruled by the Americans with the German thrash metal scene proving just as fertile as anywhere in the world….as these 5 essential 80’s German thrash albums ultimately prove! 

REMEMBER, this is just Part 2….plenty more in this series to come….

Kreator – Pleasure To Kill (1986)

Kreator – Pleasure To Kill / Flag Of Hate (1988, CD) - Discogs

Released: April 1st 1986 via Noise Records

This precociously vicious shitstorm instantly struck a chord with thrashers worldwide and with Pleasure To KillKreator found themselves leading the way in the Teutonic scene. 

Unhinged to the point of incarceration, Pleasure To Kill‘s track-list borders on a greatest hits selection with the wall of noise maelstrom of “Ripping Corpse”,  the unforgettable “Pleasure To Kill”, the death metal influencing “Riot Of Violence” and the epic and surprisingly complex “The Pestilence” all meriting classic status.

An inspiration to countless bands, death metal and grindcore legends Napalm Death covered “Riot Of Violence” and even they couldn’t match the intensity and ferocity of its original incarnation! 

Kreator altered the German thrash landscape with Pleasure To Kill and mayhem of this calibre would never sound so good again!

Assassin – The Upcoming Terror (1987)

Assassin - The Upcoming Terror | Releases | Discogs

Released: June 3rd 1987 via Steamhammer

Along with the likes of ExumerHoly Moses and Vendetta, Düsseldorf’s Assassin were vastly underrated in the late 80’s with the lion’s share of German thrash talk revolving around KreatorSodomDestruction and Tankard.

Admittedly, these crazed speed freaks weren’t quite in the same league as The Big Teutonic Four but they could riff up a frenzied riff storm when they wanted to and their debut, The Upcoming Terror, would prove to be their finest ever moment!

A true cult classic, Assassin got straight to the fuckin’ point on their debut with the likes of “Bullet” and “Nemesis” proving particularly aggressive and while we’re not in technical thrash territory, it’s Assassin’s hardcore punk approach that actually adds another level of dirt to this incendiary album.

Tankard – Chemical Invasion (1987) 

Tankard – Chemical Invasion (1987, Vinyl) - Discogs

Released: October 1987 via Noise Records

Tankard are the German equivalent of New Jersey’s Overkill; both bands taking the honour of being the most consistent and productive thrash bands of their respective continents.

Tankard have never strayed from their beer and whiskey soaked path but they are much more than a mere gimmicky joke band and Chemical Invasion is the one album to prove their incredible importance to the Teutonic thrash scene.

Like the mad scientist depicted on the album artwork, Tankard throw everything into their heady brew of intense drumming, barely controlled riffs and histrionic vocals. Seemingly just one more drink away from careening out of control entirely, Tankard’s hellish fury occasionally calms, the open acoustic guitar strum of “For A Thousand Beers” providing ample proof that these guys could play and play well.

Chemical Invasion is an album that demands to be listened to drunk with the room spinning and projectile puke just one more whirlwind head-bang away…true party thrash!

Protector – Golem (1988)

Golem - Album by Protector | Spotify

Released: October 21st 1988 via Atom H

Easily as heavy (heavier even) than anything released by KreatorDestructionSodom etc at the time, Protector‘s debut album was the sound of the German thrash underground at its most corrosive and most frightening. 

A relentless barrage of hyperactive, hyper-speed death / black / thrash riffs greeted those of us brave enough to embrace this sort of filth and an instant cult classic debut was born. Golem‘s blackened thrash attack was necro-enough to appeal to early Sodom, early Destruction and Possessed fans, and while the likes of Kreator were courting MTV, Protector were keeping the underground flame alive. 

While time has not been quite so kind to Golem‘s relatively rudimentary charms as nostalgia will probably lead you to believe…. it still kicks almighty ass!

Paradox – Heresy (1989)

Released: November 20th 1989 via R/C Records / Roadrunner Records

Approaching thrash with far less malice than the likes of Sodom and Kreator etc, Paradox instead embraced a power metal aesthetic, aligning themselves with the likes of Metal ChurchAnthrax (minus any silliness) and Onslaught circa In Search Of Sanity rather than with their Germanic brethren. It paid off too, helping Paradox to stand out from the pack and offering an accessibility that their teutonic peers simply didn’t offer at this point in time.

With Paradox marching forth on their own crusade to combine elegance with destruction, Heresy ironically re-told the tale of the Albigensian Crusade of the 13th century and in the process redefined the limits of thrash.

Featuring soaring twin harmonies, mind-frazzling solos and a rhythm section that could rival the tightest thrash acts around, Paradox were anything but their namesake, delivering instead a concise and melodic attack on the senses that was unrelenting in its clinical efficiency.

Also in this Series:

5 Essential 80s German Thrash Albums (Part 1)

Check out our musings on lovely, lovely thrash in The Worship Metal Podcast….

About Chris Jennings (1985 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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