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6 Under-Appreciated Classics Of American Thrash Metal (Pt 1.)

Forget The Big 4! These Overlooked Classics Of U.S Thrash Metal Thrashed Just As Hard!

Num Skull – Ritually Abused (1998)

Num Skull – Ritually Abused (2014, Purple, Vinyl) - Discogs

Ritually Abused may have been ritually ignored on release but there’s no denying its thrash pedigree and albums this savage rarely reared their snarling, slathering head in the late 80’s.

Redefining what it meant to be truly brutal, Num Skull‘s debut may have been neanderthal in essence but fans of Kreator‘s early noise, and those fond of the ferocity of Reign in Blood era Slayer and Exodus circa Bonded By Blood, would undoubtedly offer themselves up to the kind of abuse Num Skull had to offer. 

Speed, aggression and unbelievably unhinged vocals characterise album highlights “The Henchman”, the Exodus-esque “No Morals” and the utterly merciless title track; true American hate performed by absolute maniacs!

EvilDead – Annihilation Of Civilisation (1989)

Evildead - Annihilation Of Civilization | Releases | Discogs

Perhaps not quite as obscure as some of the albums on this list, EvilDead‘s bloody brilliant Annihilation Of Civilisation is still unjustly ignored in favour of high profile releases. The truth is, these L.A. thrashers were just as capable as Anthrax and Slayer etc at penning some seriously shred-heavy crossover thrash and Annihilation Of Civilisation is a second-tier, stone-cold classic!

“Annihilation Of Civilisation”, “Future Shock” and “Living Good” indicate the high level of thrashin’ prowess this band held in abundance and serve as accomplished aural evidence that for a short while EvilDead stood toe to toe with the greats of thrash metal’s second wave; Sacred Reich, Forbidden and Vio-Lence.

Although in 1989 Annihilation Of Civilisation practically broke EvilDead into the thrash mainstream, its obvious qualities seem to have been largely forgotten in the preceding years. EvilDead‘s direct approach to the fundamentals of thrash and consistently varied, and consistently catchy, song structures conspired to create a high calibre thrash album that still sounds formidable today.

Haven’t heard it? You haven’t lived!

Atrophy – Violent By Nature (1990)

Atrophy – Violent By Nature (1990, Vinyl) - Discogs

The one thing Violent By Nature had that many thrash releases seemed to forget is choruses, shit loads of the catchy buggers!

“In Their Eyes”, “Slipped Through The Cracks”, “Violent By Nature”, “Forgotten But Not Gone”; all contained huge hooks and memorable choruses that once heard are never forgotten…..a rare commodity in a genre that often favoured blinding speed and all out assault over actual songwriting and one that enabled Atrophy to stand out from the majority of the thrash pack.

Unconcerned with unnecessarily lengthy compositions and progressive noodling, Violent By Nature took the core ingredients of thrash and refused to mess with a winning formula. The result was an album that hit with immeasurable groove, cunning melody and some of the catchiest, bounciest, mosh-pit friendly thrash anthems ever to be found on one album.

***Now operating as Scars Of Atrophy – formed by the remaining members of the 2015 reformed Atrophy – a new album is on its way!***

About Chris Jennings (1986 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/

5 Comments on 6 Under-Appreciated Classics Of American Thrash Metal (Pt 1.)

  1. You want a real underrated Thrash classics find Sacrilege bc’s “Party With God” or Blind Illusion’s “The Sane Asylum”

  2. Great list of overlooked bands. Best music genre ever; a handful made millions and the rest can’t pack a small bar.

    Othwr worthy nominees: Morbid Saint, Onslaught and Whiplash.

  3. Thank you ? for the Atrophy review

  4. Holy Terror!! Yas! I think Mind Wars is still one of the best speed/thrash metal albums ever released

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