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5 Of The Heaviest Old-School THRASH METAL Albums in Existence (Part 3)

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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 3….there’s plenty more in this series to come….

Devastation – Idolatry (1991) [USA]

Devastation – Idolatry (2017, CD) - Discogs

Only with hindsight has Devastation‘s third opus been revered as a 90’s thrash milestone but be under no illusion, Idolatry was one of the greatest thrash albums of the 90’s and should have been hailed as an instant classic upon release.

Carefully straddling the fine line between death metal and thrash, Devastation were abrasively aggressive, technically adept, lightning-fast and heavy as all hell and fans of Dark AngelSepulturaDemolition Hammer and early-Death need this album…..if they don’t own it already!

A suffocatingly dense album, this shadowy beast favoured lurking in the corners of thrash’s darkest spaces as opposed to gleaming like much of the early 90’s clean, technically-obsessed thrash albums and it’s all the more distinctive for it. Murky and malevolent, Idolatry benefitted from its dank atmosphere and remains a violent, visceral experience.


Exhorder – Slaughter In The Vatican (1990) [USA]

Exhorder – Slaughter In The Vatican (1989, Vinyl) - Discogs

Slaughter In The Vatican’s furious thrash and groove-metal establishing credentials rank it as an absolute thrash classic and one of the fiercest thrash albums ever released.

Stripped down to the raw basics, Slaughter In The Vatican‘s 8 tracks never once came up for air, with a low-end rumble, buzzsaw riffing and Kyle Thomas’ ravaged vocals culminating in a primal thrash experience that came perilously close to utter perfection. One of the most unique thrash albums in existence, Slaughter should be revered as a landmark in metal. At the very least it should be spoken about with the same reverential tones reserved for Pantera’s Vulgar Display Of Power (an ironic yet unfortunately necessary comparison and not, we repeat not, a thrash album!)

Alternating between fast and slow tempos (the true ‘groove’ element of their sound), Exhorder‘s Slaughter In The Vatican still has the power to make thrash fans shit their pants!


Invocator – Excursion Demise (1991) [Denmark]

Invocator - Excursion Demise | Releases | Discogs

If you were under the impression that Artillery were the only Danish thrash band really worth caring about then we urge you to turn your attention to Invocator and, particularly, their debut album, Excursion Demise

As far as technical thrash goes, Invocator were not only operating at a much higher level than the majority of their countrymen, they were also rivalling the best the world had to offer. 

Sharing a kinship with Atheist lent Invocator a death metal vibe but the likes of the exquisite “(…to a Twisted Recess of Mind)” and “Schismatic Injective Therapy” were actually technical / progressive thrash through and through; leaving it to songs such as “The Persistence From Memorial Chasm” to provide a more visceral thrash kick.


Obliveon – From This Day Forward (1990) [Canada]

Obliveon – From This Day Forward (2016, CD) - Discogs

A thrashier version of Death circa Spiritual Healing / HumanObliveon’s debut album was an immediate game-changer upon release and has become an underground classic from the golden era of forward-thinking thrash.

Obliveon were part of the natural Canadian evolution that first began when Voivod crawled from the primordial swamp before, over time, casting aside the shackles of conformity and entering cyberspace. While they weren’t alone on embracing the more technical side of thrash, Obliveon‘s take on Voivod‘s early-doors experimentation was undoubtedly heavier than most; informed as much by death metal as it was traditional thrash.

As far as debut albums go, From this Day Forward was leagues ahead of the competition and you’d be hard pressed to find a more technical old school death/thrash album which delivers on so many levels. Speed, technicality, atmosphere, diversity, aggression….Obliveon‘s From This Day Forward has the lot!


Razor – Shotgun Justice (1990) [Canada]

Razor – Shotgun Justice (CD) - Discogs

Canadian thrash’s answer to Slayer’s all-conquering Reign In BloodRazor’s Shotgun Justice (and yes, some people are gonna be pissed we haven’t included their favourite Razor album but tough shit, it’s our list) is as potent as ever and is a balls-to-the-fucking-wall shotgun blast of ultra-aggressive, high speed thrash!

Fuck your technical / progressive thrash bollocks, Razor specialised in working man’s thrash that hit hard and hit fast and not only were they plenty pissed, they were operating at the top of their game; it’s no stretch to suggest that the likes of the relentlessly abrasive “Meaning Of Pain and “Parricide” should be considered career highlights.

Beloved original frontman Stace “Sheepdog” McLaren may have departed but the throat-shredding shouts of the incoming Bob Reid were more than capable of delivering the goods and Razor were arguably never again as hostile as they were here.

Also in this Series:

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

5 Of The Heaviest Old-School THRASH METAL Albums in Existence (Part 2)

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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