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5 Of The Heaviest Old-School THRASH METAL Albums in Existence (Part 1)

Heavy. Heavier. Heaviest. The age old argument of which metal albums – in this case THRASH – were the heaviest rumbles on. We’ve weighed in with 5 of the heaviest old-school THRASH METAL albums in existence….and this is just Part 1….there’s plenty more in this series to come….

Possessed – Seven Churches (1985) [USA]

Possessed – Seven Churches (Vinyl) - Discogs

On their debut album, pioneers Possessed took a cut and paste approach to their music by incorporating the viciousness of Venom, the speed of Motörhead and the thrashing, atonal guitars of early Exodus and Slayer.

The result was an innovative and primitive thrash metal sound which came to define death metal. “The Exorcist”, “Burning In Hell” and “Seven Churches” are held together by Jeff Becerra’s unholy roar, simultaneously aping Lemmy from Motörhead yet producing a guttural tone that would go on to be the bread and butter of death metal.

Possessed take the honour of inventing death metal on their debut album. This is constantly up for debate but we’re standing by it; no Seven Churches, no death metal. That’s how heavy this thing was!


Infernal Majesty – None Shall Defy (1987) [Canada]

17. INFERNAL MAJESTY - None Shall Defy

Despite the cartoonish artwork which adorns their debut album, Infernäl Mäjesty were an undeniably savage act and they made an immediate impact on the underground with the release of None Shall Defy.

Infernäl Mäjesty specialised in the sounds of the underworld and had more in common with the unholy terror of Slayer’s Hell Awaits and Possessed’s Seven Churches than anything released by fellow countrymen ExciterAnvil and Annihilator

A key release in the ongoing development of death metal, None Shall Defy‘s march towards Satan came replete with a vile and ultimately evil aesthetic; one characterised by the unnerving sounds of blackened death/thrash perfection found on “S.O.S” and the scintillating title track.

Don’t let the sub-par cover art fool you, Infernäl Mäjesty meant serious business…..the devil’s business!


Vio-Lence – Eternal Nightmare (1988) [USA]

Vio-Lence - Eternal Nightmare (1988, Vinyl) | Discogs

Quite simply one of the most fearless, ferocious and downright feral thrash albums ever recorded, Vio-Lence‘s debut, Eternal Nightmare, is the thrash connoisseur’s album of choice and ranks as high in both the aggression and sheer insanity stakes as Slayer‘s Reign In Blood, Exodus’ Bonded By Blood and Dark Angel’s Darkness Descends (more on all of these albums in later instalments of this series)!

Originally home to Machine Head’s Robb Flynn (but you knew that already), just 7 tracks of thrash perfection was all it took to announce that a new breed of thrash maniacs were in town – that ‘town’ being, of course, San Francisco’s Bay Area – and with the likes of “Kill On Command”, “Bodies On Bodies” and “Calling In The Coroner” in their arsenal, Vio-Lence were on a collision course with underground notoriety and unending acclaim.

Sean Killian’s vocals remain an acquired taste but those ‘in the know’ understand that without him, Vio-Lence were nowhere near as unique nor as thrilling a prospect.

As great thrash debuts go, Eternal Nightmare still takes some beating!


Morbid Saint – Spectrum Of Death (1990) [USA]

Morbid Saint – Spectrum Of Death (1989, Vinyl) - Discogs

Morbid Saint‘s Spectrum Of Death is an unapologetically brutal and viciously violent attack on the senses and arguably the most brutal 100% thrash album ever recorded!

Clattering drums, rapid riffing and vocals belched from the gullet of a Satan-obsessed psychopath, Morbid Saint were the perfect combination of Dark Angel‘s all-encompassing power, Whiplash‘s speed and grit and the blackened riffing of those teutonic masters, Sodom and Destruction.

Few bands could compete with the intensity found on Spectrum Of Death and if your heart bleeds black for Venom, early Kreator and Darkness Descends era Dark Angel then tracks such as “Assassin” and “Beyond the Gates of Hell” were ample proof that Morbid Saint should sit proudly alongside these legendary purveyors of pure filth!


Demolition Hammer – Epidemic Of Violence (1992) [USA]

Demolition Hammer - Epidemic Of Violence CD – Blood & Fire Productions

Having the nerve to release one of the meanest thrash albums of all time during a period when thrash was all but forgotten took guts, but Demolition Hammer were blatantly unconcerned with the arrival of death metal and groove metal (for now, at least). Instead, they took the elements they admired from both sub-genres and shackled them, kicking and screaming, bloody and bowed, to their own thrash metal framework.

Arguably as sonically devastating as any death metal album of the era, this undisputed epitome of pure thrash brutality was propelled by the pummelling drumming of Vinny Daze who excelled himself here (those kicks are lightning fucking fast) and the aptly titled “Skull Fracturing Nightmare” sums this album up perfectly.

Abject aggression in musical form!

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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