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6 Under-Appreciated Classics Of American Thrash Metal (Pt 2.)

6 MORE overlooked classics of U.S thrash metal that thrashed just as hard as The Big 4!

Source // cdn.shopify.com

Picking up where Pt.1 of our Under-Appreciated Classics Of American Thrash Metal left off, we have selected another 6 unsung classics of U.S thrash that are deserving of further praise. As we trawled through the vaults of thrash history it came as no surprise that the sheer wealth of quality U.S. thrash releases over the years was simply staggering.

Subsequently, what was set to be a 2 part series will continue, so keep ’em peeled for Parts 3 & 4 (and maybe more)!

If there’s a particular thrash classic you feel has been lost to the history books then pop it in the comments below and we’ll look to include it in future articles.

Let’s get thrashed! \m/

Abomination – Tragedy Strikes (1991)

Abomination – Tragedy Strikes (1991, Vinyl) - Discogs

Paul Speckmann may be revered as one of the Godfather’s of death metal but the great man also turned his attention to thrash in the early 90’s and while Abomination‘s debut was solid, its follow up, Tragedy Strikes, was a different beast altogether. Raw, real and utterly remorseless, Tragedy Strikes cut deep with political diatribes, powerful compositions and a sincerity rarely head in thrash.

Abomination‘s hate, bile and utter contempt for the world as they saw it bleeds profusely through album highlights Pull The Plug, Will They Bleed and Blood For Oil; the meaning of this one shouldn’t come as a surprise for those who remember the first Gulf War.

Thrash rarely comes loaded with this much gravitas and while Tragedy Strikes may not be friendly, it’ll sure as hell earn your respect.

Wargasm – Why Play Around? (1988)

Wargasm – Why Play Around? (1988, Vinyl) - Discogs

Fusing the sonic onslaught of all-out thrash with the melodic nous of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal and the classic sounds of old-school heavy metal, Wargasm‘s Why Play Around? is ignored by the majority but beloved by connoisseurs.

“Bullets & Blades” took the speed and aggression of Motorhead and Tank and thrashed the shit out of it while “Revenge” harnessed a mid-paced crunch to drive home some truly catchy riffing and it’s “knee deep in blood” refrain.

So much potential, so much talent. Why Play Around? may have failed to stand out in a crowded scene of quality releases in 1988 (Metallica‘s …And Justice For All, Anthrax‘s State Of Euphoria, ExodusFabulous Disaster, Flotsam‘s No Place For Disgrace, Testament‘s The New Order…) but that’s no reason for ignoring it now!

Rigor Mortis – Rigor Mortis (1988)

Rigor Mortis – Rigor Mortis (2002, CD) - Discogs

Back to 1988 and another unsung classic! Rigor Mortis‘ self titled debut opened with a furious instrumental that pretty much set the scene for the entire record. Violently relentless, Rigor Mortis‘ raw production, animalistic tendencies and jugular-slashing riffs lent a kinship to Death‘s Scream Bloody Gore, Possessed‘s Beyond The Gates and Kreator‘s absolute classic Pleasure To Kill.

The formative years of death metal can be heard in guitar god Mike Scaccia’s (RIP) lightning-speed tremolo picking and the abrasive rasping vocals of Bruce Corbitt.  Hard-as-nails thrash may have been the order of the day but these mad-as-fuck Texans were leading the charge into ever faster, darker and meaner territories.

The whole record is nigh on flawless but if an introduction to these speed-freaks is required then listen to this; Demons.

Some may argue Rigor Mortis epitomised 80’s thrash metal, some people are right.

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/

9 Comments on 6 Under-Appreciated Classics Of American Thrash Metal (Pt 2.)

  1. Exhorder. Slaughter in the vatican. Best thrash album ever. Nobody knows anything of it. It’s sad.

  2. Man,Suffering Hour is the worst Anacrusis album. Anyway,got my like for Rigor Mortis,Morbid Saint and Defiance. Why not “Sanity Obscure” by Believer?

    • Chris Jennings // April 25, 2015 at 1:26 pm // Reply

      But it’s the only Anacrusis Thrash album! Sanity Obscure was included in Part 1…give it a read man, some quality Thrash is included \m/

  3. RIGOR MORTIS thrash…come on. Let’s be serious for a minute.

    • Chris Jennings // April 27, 2015 at 6:25 am // Reply

      Rigor Mortis, that Thrash band from Texas. Yeah, deadly serious. There’s been over 10 bands named Rigor Mortis over the years ranging from Death Metal to Black Metal…are you thinking of a different Rigor Mortis?

  4. Wow!! Who said Anacrusis suffering hour was the worst ablum?? Every Anacrusis album is awesome. It’s about time Anacrusis gets some recognition after all of these years and then that’s the comment you share? Whatever, one of my favorite bands and they kick ass!!

  5. love that you included Morbid Saint in here. Spectrum is one of the greatest brutal thrash albums ever, up there with Maleus Maleficarum, The Awakening, and Epidemic of Violence

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