Thrash is great. Technical thrash is so much better!
To that end, Worship Metal has selected a FURTHER 6 Of The Most Mind-Blowing Technical Thrash Albums Ever Recorded for your perusal.
Presented in order of year of release as opposed to any kind of ranking….
Anacrusis – Suffering Hour (1988) [USA]
Anacrusis‘ debut, Suffering Hour, remains an overlooked moment in thrash history and is the only album in their formidable back catalogue to be classifiable as true ‘thrash’,
Joining the likes of Watchtower, Voivod and Mekong Delta in constructing complex arrangements and schizophrenically unique songs that flow through dozens of exhilarating tempo changes, Anacrusis’ youthful exuberance and disjointed clamour exhibited nothing but an alluring charm and a desire to challenge thrash’s boundaries.
Anacrusis’ debut had it all – intelligence, alarming momentum, hollowed-out groove, fiendish rhythms, atonal experimentation, a forebodingly dark and dense sound and a character all of its own; precious few albums are capable of surprising the listener with each repeat listen but Suffering Hour achieved this and more.
Forced Entry – Uncertain Future (1989) [USA]
Forced Entry‘s debut album arrived in 1989 and their full throttle thrash – belying the fact they were a three piece – ironically should have predicted a ‘certain future’; one that would have seen them rise to the upper echelons of the thrash hierarchy!
Opening track “Bludgeon” did exactly that, hammering home Forced Entry’s way around a steamroller riff and a penchant for turning on a sixpence. Undeniably progressive in nature, this trio could out-muscle Testament (and Tony Benjamin’s vocals were straight from the Chuck Billy rulebook!) while throwing in as many tempo changes as humanly possible.
The results were generally fantastic, with the likes of the hideously violent “Anaconda” and the twisting and turning “Kaleidoscope Of Pain” providing enough technically complex thrills to endear them to both the Exodus / Vio-Lence / Dark Angel and the Coroner / Voivod / Watchtower crowd.
A towering achievement from a band who deserved way more than their ‘also ran’ status.
Mekong Delta – The Principle Of Doubt (1989) [Germany]
Another band with an 80’s and early 90s discography which all warrants mention here, we’ve actually gone with 1989’s The Principle Of Doubt; an album which wilfully took Mekong Delta’s more obscure elements further than ever before.
Mekong Delta often operated on another level entirely and this, their 3rd full length album, was certainly no exception! The chug of Anthrax-esque riffs may have provided the core of their sound but Mekong Delta stood out from the pack via their otherworldly solos, frantic percussion and abstract background noise; resulting in a sonic maelstrom often inconceivable in its complexity.
To sound like you’re playing a different song to your bandmates and still fashion these sounds into something resembling a recognisable song structure is a feat in itself…..and yet, Mekong Delta managed it time and time again.
Just give the title track a spin and try telling us your head isn’t left spinning from the sheer madness of it all!
Wolf Spider – Kingdom of Paranoia (1990) [Poland]
A cult band of considerable skill, Poland’s Wolf Spider may not be anywhere near a household name but their late 80s / early 90s output was the envy of many a technical / progressive thrash band and Kingdom Of Paranoia (1990) is, arguably, their finest moment!
One of the ‘Big Four of Polish technical / progressive thrash’ – nestling in nicely next to Turbo, Astharoth and Acrimony (more on those bands at a future date) – Kingdom Of Paranoia found Wolf Spider improving immeasurably on debut album Wilczy Pająk, with the band further embracing schizophrenic time changes and all manner of obscure references.
The likes of “Sickened Nation” may have offered a more accessible road to thrash nirvana but Wolf Spider truly shone when they fully gave in to their esoteric tendencies – such as on the exhilarating “Pain”.
Sadus – A Vision Of Misery (1992) [USA]
Sadus, one of the most forward-thinking, ahead of the curve, extreme metal bands on the planet often find themselves consigned to the also-ran pile when, in actuality, they were leading the charge!
In 1992, Sadus were firing on all cylinders and A Vision Of Misery was an instantaneous reminder that metal was moving ever-onward. Steve Di Giorgio’s Rickenbacker was as elastic as ever – stepping up to practically take the lead on the intimate(!) “Echoes Of Forever” – while the ferocious flurry of riffs peeled off by Darren Travis & Rob Moore were insanely complex yet always memorable; a feat precious few bands could ever attempt to emulate.
Progressive, technical, brutal and unique, Sadus have always been an awe-inspiring proposition and A Vision Of Misery remains a breath-snatching technical thrash / death masterpiece.
Thought Industry – Songs For Insects (1992) [USA]
As ‘cult’ as they come, Thought Industry‘s debut album, Songs For Insects, arrived a little late in the day to make the impact it deserved, but the same can be said for many a thrash band who tried to twist thrash into new forms as the 90’s marched on.
An experience that blurs the lines of what ‘thrash’ was legitimately ‘allowed’ to achieve, Thought Industry‘s stream of consciousness approach may result in a hyper-speed blur of seemingly unconnected ideas, but dig deep and Songs For Insect‘s fearless approach and mesmerising musicianship soon reveals itself.
Suffice to say, fans of the often unwieldy Deathrow‘s Deception Ignored, Dark Angel‘s Time Does Not Heal and Anacrusis‘ Manic Impressions should get a kick out of Songs For Insect‘s labyrinthine song structures and off-kilter time signatures.
Be sure to check out the other entries in this series:
The next chapter in this series is already in the works! However, that shouldn’t stop you from adding your favourite technical thrash albums to the comments below!
Check out The Worship Metal Podcasts’ throughly entertaining chat about thrash: