Whats New

5 Essential 80s German Thrash Albums (Part 5)

REMEMBER, this is just Part 5 and there's plenty more in this series to come….

Source // sodomized.info

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

Tankard – Zombie Attack (1986)

Tankard – Zombie Attack (1988, CD) - Discogs

Released: July 1986 via Noise Records

With Tankard’s simple formula cemented from the get-go (a formula that they’ve barely deviated from), their potent brew of light speed thrash, beer, whiskey, parody and partying hard began in earnest on Zombie Attack and the world was introduced to the finest drinking/party thrash band on the planet.

Home to the thrash classic “(Empty) Tankard”, the remaining 9 tracks on Zombie Attack are just as urgent, just as infections and, frankly, just as timeless in 2023.

While they were perceived as a bit of a joke at this stage in their career, it’s important to note that Zombie Attack didn’t just lurch into view, it sprinted straight at you with eyes-bloodshot, teeth-gnashing and pint glasses raised….Tankard had arrived!

Deathrow – Raging Steel (1987)

DEATHROW - Raging Steel - Amazon.com Music

Released: September 1st 1987 via Noise Records

A notable improvement over Riders Of Doom (aka Satan’s Gift), 1987’s swift follow-up, Raging Steel, continued down the same hyper-speed path without yet managing to distance Deathrow from the pack.

Hints of the technically audacious output to come were evident during the clean sections of “Dragon’s Blood” and the abrupt time changes of “The Thing Within” but, primarily, Raging Steel was just a faster version of Celtic Frost with semi-progressive flourishes thrown in for good measure.

This is not a slur, Deathrow were fucking brilliant at what they did but so much more was on the horizon (we refer to the technically astonishing Deception Ignored, of course)!

Highly recommend nonetheless. 

Minotaur – Power Of Darkness (1988)

Minotaur - Power of Darkness - Encyclopaedia Metallum: The Metal Archives

Released: May 7th 1988 via Crazy

Shrouding metal fans in nothing but complete darkness was Minotaur, a blackened thrash band capable of nothing but the most hideously raw thrash imaginable.

Minotaur should have gone down in history as one of the proto-death bands, as important to the rise of death metal as PossessedSlayerDeath StrikeRepulsion and Hellhammer. The fact that Minotaur are often not uttered in the same breath is a crime as Power Of Darkness was also at the forefront of changing trends. Hell, they released a single titled Death Metal in 1990…..of course, by then it was too little, too late for Minotaur to truly be noticed!

Featuring a Mille Petrozza-like vocalist in the form of Andi Richwien, his untamed black metal-esque shriek was just a part of Minotaur’s early embrace of unhinged chaos, with the fast and frantic likes of the appropriately monikered “Apocalptic Trials” and “Necromancer” backed by dynamically varied, brutal blasts of untamed musicianship.

An essential proto-death / Teutonic thrash classic!

Sieges Even – Lifecycle (1988)

Sieges Even - Life Cycle | Releases | Discogs

Released: October 1st 1988 via Steamhammer

Sieges Even may have gone on to become a more considered, melodic progressive metal act but their debut was a beast of technical / progressive thrash, powered by the almost falsetto delivery of Franz Herde.

Comparisons with Watchtower remain rife but to dismiss Lifecycle as a mere clone of Control And Resistance would be missing the point. This was an era of exploration and of pushing boundaries, which is exactly what Sieges Even were doing from the outset.

Sure, both bands were influenced by the prog giants of the 70’s – alongside the thrash boom led by Metallica – but Sieges Even took everything that much further, splicing the DNA of prog and thrash to create a new, extreme, version of both. The results were extraordinary, dazzling the mind with a series of labyrinthine structures that were brooding, malevolent and practically beyond judgment!

Sodom – Agent Orange (1989)

Album Agent Orange, Sodom | Qobuz: download and streaming in high quality

Released: June 1st 1989 via Steamhammer

Bidding a fond farewell to the knuckle-dragging sound of their Obsessed By Cruelty debut and harnessing the considerable progress made on Persecution ManiaSodom tickled the fancy of the mainstream with their 3rd album, Agent Orange; and the world stood up and took notice.

Think of a superlative and it applies to this album; originality, quality, intensity, variety and technicality all ring true. Still capable of thrashing up a storm it was on the mid-paced chug of “Remember The Fallen” and “Magic Dragon” where Sodom’s monumental progress took form. Revelling in a confidence that allowed Agent Orange’s compositions to breathe, their less is more approach reaped endless rewards with thrillingly expansive dynamics well and truly achieved.

As deadly effective as the title would suggest, Agent Orange stood out in what was (obviously) a banner year for thrash. After all, to hold your own against the might of Sepultura’s Beneath The Remains and Kreator’s Extreme Aggression amongst many others takes some doing….but Sodom proved more than worthy of the challenge on this, their greatest ever album!

Related content: The 5 Essential SODOM Albums

Also in this Series

5 Essential 80s German Thrash Albums (Part 1)

5 Essential 80s German Thrash Albums (Part 2)

5 Essential 80s German Thrash Albums (Part 3)

5 Essential 80s German Thrash Albums (Part 4)

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/

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.