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5 Essential 80s German Thrash Albums (Part 3)

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 3….plenty more in this series to come….

Iron Angel – Hellish Crossfire (1985)

Iron Angel – Hellish Crossfire (1984, Vinyl) - Discogs

Released: July 1985 via Steamhammer

You’ve got to give these guys credit, Iron Angel were ripping heads clean off way back in 1985 and their distinct brand of Germanic speed / thrash may sound a tad ‘meat n’ potatoes’ to modern ears but Hellish Crossfire was the shit over 35 years ago; diabolically evil, face-meltingly fast and leading metal into ever more dangerous realms!

Opener, “The Metalian”, kickstarts the tempo and Iron Angel never once dropped the pace from then on in, unleashing merry hell in the name of real metal and peeling off riffs like the end of the world was truly nigh.

Totally in thrall to Satan, these sinners concocted an absolute blast of mid 80’s thrash that remains ridiculously addictive…. and holds its position as a speed / thrash classic from the genre’s formative years.

Also recommended: 1986’s Winds Of War failed to fully capitalise on Hellish Crossfire‘s blitzkrieg of metal but is still worth a listen if you fancy a deep-dive into the German thrash archives.

Angel Dust – Into The Dark Past (1986) 

Angel Dust - Into The Dark Past | Releases | Discogs

Released: Via Disaster

Before they fully embraced power metal, Germany’s Angel Dust had a pop at speed / thrash and as debuts go, Into The Dark Past was a fast, frantic, thrill ride! 

Resolutely obsessed with speed over finesse, these 8 ripping tracks were less Sodom and Kreator and more Iron Angel; a thrilling hybrid of speed and thrash that was equal parts melody and barbarity.

Romme Keymer’s vocals may have received a bit of stick over the years but they fit the music perfectly. Ugly, forceful, yet furnished with glimpses of power metal harmony, Keymer was actually an unorthodox yet perfect match-up.

Holy Moses – Finished With the Dogs (1987)

Holy Moses – Finished With The Dogs (2016, CD) - Discogs

Released: Via Aaarrg Records

On an album that never fails to impress, it was the attitude of Holy Moses that hit hardest; a fearless, punk and grindcore-infused, middle-finger to the face of mainstream sensibilities that set them miles apart from many of their contemporaries.

Each track snapped and snarled but it’s “Current Of Death” that hit hard enough to put you into a coma (Death Angel nicked Sabina Classen’s irrefutably catchy “whoah, whoah, whoah” delivery on 2004’s “Thrown to The Wolves” incidentally) while “Fortress Of Desperation” settled into a groove that’ll have you bangin’ ’till you puke.

In 1987, these dogs didn’t just bite, they sank rabies-infected fangs deep into your neck and tore out chunk after chunk of bloodied flesh; brutal, uncompromising and utterly feral.

Growl. Grrr. Woof!

Also recommendedHoly Moses closed out the decade with 1989’s The New Machine Of Liechtenstein, an album that attempted to hit the same heady heights as Finished With The Dogs…. and very nearly reached ’em!

Violent Force – Malevolent Assault Of Tomorrow (1987)

Violent Force – Malevolent Assault Of Tomorrow (2022, Vinyl) - Discogs

Released: November 1987 via Roadrunner Records

Something of a cult curio, Violent Force‘s Malevolent Assault Of Tomorrow deserves to be revered instead of forgotten and it’s high time this agonisingly aggressive and frantic thrash gem was rediscovered.

Opening with the Motörhead-indebted “Dead City”, the album actually improves after this bout of hero worship is finished with. Settling into a groove of their own, it’s on “Sign Of Evil”, “Vengeance And Venom” and “S.D.I” where Violent Force really prove their mettle.

100% committed to thrashing you senseless, their salaciously filthy riffs and demented drumming may be highly reminiscent of comrades Kreator, but Malevolent Assault Of Tomorrow is straight-to-the-face thrashing with absolutely no effort to confound tradition or break new ground….which should be taken as a compliment! Sometimes thrash should be simple, brutal and without remorse and on their one and only full-length album, Violent Force ticked all three boxes and lived up to their name perfectly.

Mekong Delta – The Principle Of Doubt (1989)

Mekong Delta – The Principle Of Doubt (2017, Vinyl) - Discogs

Released: February 28th 1989 via Aaarrg Records

Mekong Delta often operated on another level entirely and this, their 3rd full length album, was certainly no exception!

The chug of Anthrax-esque riffs may have provided the core of their sound but Mekong Delta stood out from the pack via their otherworldly solos, frantic percussion and abstract background noise; resulting in a sonic maelstrom often inconceivable in its complexity.

To sound like you’re playing a different song to your bandmates and still fashion these sounds into something resembling a recognisable song structure is a feat in itself…..and yet, Mekong Delta managed it time and time again.

Just give the title track a spin and try telling us your head isn’t left spinning from the sheer madness of it all!

Also in this Series

5 Essential 80s German Thrash Albums (Part 1)

5 Essential 80s German Thrash Albums (Part 2)

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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