Mystik – The Plot Sickens [USA]
Released: October 1992 via Massacre Records
Genre: Power / Thrash
Hardly a household name, Mystik were a speed/power/thrash metal band in the vein of Metal Church and Flotsam and Jetsam (with a little Forbidden thrown in for good measure) who were blatantly good enough to stand toe-to-toe with their more well-known peers.
“Psychosis” rips, “Red Rum” is prime 80s melodic thrash repurposed for the 90s and “Method To Madness” is as Metal Church as they come – which is no bad thing!
Why Mystik failed to find an audience is anyone’s guess as The Plot Sickens is a strong record. Really strong. Suffice to say, if you still find yourself regularly spinning Flotsam and Jetsam’s No Place For Disgrace and Metal Church’s Blessing In Disguise, then Mystik’s 30 year old debut should also be making your playlist!
Necrosanct – Incarnate [UK]
Released: April 1992 via Black Mark Production
Genre: Death Metal
Proof that the UK did have bands that could deliver the filthiest sound of purist evil imaginable, Necrosanct’s Incarnate still sounds shockingly abrasive today.
Veering dangerously close to total pandemonium, Necrosanct fashioned a death metal album that made up in violence what it lacked in finesse. Brutal, in the strongest sense of the word, and designed for those who feasted on the sounds of hell made flesh, Incarnate is possibly the most timeless album on this list, as ferocious and unpredictable now as it was in 1992.
There’s something so utterly unhinged about the Martin Van Dunen (Pestilence) meets John Tardy (Obituary) vocals that sends Incarnate rushing headlong into the realms of madness and, somehow, frontman Ant Ryan managed to take the tonality of Van Drunen and the unintelligible nature of Tardy’s animalistic gurgles and vomit up something even more disturbing.
The result, when layered over Necrosanct’s blurred riffing, was nothing less than hell incarnate!
Skyclad – A Burnt Offering For The Bone Idol [UK]
Released: April 8th, 1992 via Noise Records
Genre: Thrash Metal / Folk Metal
Before they went 100% ‘folk’, Skyclad followed up their outstanding debut The Wayward Sons Of Mother Earth with another slab of underrated and unique UK thrash. Continuing and refining the uniquely pagan sound Sabbat pioneered on their ground-breaking albums History Of A Time To Come and Dreamweaver, this may be a love it or hate it record for thrash fans but those with an adventurous spirit -and a penchant for bands who gleefully experimented with thrash’s rigid rules – will hear Skyclad adapting the formula to create something idiosyncratic and distinctly British.
The addition of full-time fiddler Fritha Jenkins (we simply refer to the act of playing the fiddle of course) bolstered Skyclad‘s sound that was still built around Martin Walkyier’s distinctive vocal delivery and a multitude of rapid-fire thrash riffs. Take the irresistibly thrashy “Salt On The Earth (Another Man’s Poison)” as the perfect example of thrash existing in a folk metal framework; few could pull off such a disparate melding of styles but Skyclad, particularly on A Burnt Offering For The Bone Idol, mastered the craft.
Interestingly, Skyclad‘s The Wayward Sons Of Mother Earth and A Burnt Offering For The Bone Idol remain the perfect companion pieces to Sabbat‘s two Walkyier fronted classics; an exquisite quadruplet of frighteningly original albums which deserve arrant adulation!