Asphyxia – Exit: Reality (1991)
Asphyxia were yet another bunch of Belgians that were full of promise but released just the one full length album. In this case, it was the scintillating Exit: Reality; a Bay Area-esque cruncher which can stand toe-to-toe with any second-tier Californian act!
Delivering the kind of huge choruses, moshable bounce and deadly gang vokills that made Atrophy so irresistible, Asphyxia‘s gruff delivery was matched only by their speed and unforgiving assault. With no time for showboating or thrash balladry, Exit: Reality‘s 10 tracks simply ripped with 100% authenticity.
Above average thrash from an unfairly ignored band!
Chemical Breath – Fatal Exposure (1992)
An unsung technical death/thrash classic, Chemical Breath‘s astonishing Fatal Exposure can be uttered in the same breath as Pestilence‘s Consuming Impulse and Death‘s Human and should be revered as a monumental achievement, regardless of geographical location!
Precious few bands can match the intensity and skill of these awe-inspiring Belgians and anyone with a penchant for labyrinthine song structures, baffling tempo shifts and the pioneering spirit of early 90’s death/thrash will fall in love with Chemical Breath‘s exquisite debut.
Admittedly, Fatal Exposure is a little more death than thrash – and squeezing it on to this list may prove to be divisive – but any opportunity to wax lyrical about this astonishing piece of work should be grasped with both hands.
After hearing it, you’ll thank us for it!
Target – Mission Executed (1987)
Utterly obscure yet teeming with raw talent, Target‘s debut album, Mission Executed, was a technical blast of feral thrash that, in 1987, was way ahead of the pack in terms of ideas and execution.
Drawing on the likes of Artillery, Mekong Delta and Living Death for inspiration, a welcome dose of intensity backed Target‘s technical verve as these Belgians went about destroying ear-drums over 8 tracks of nerve-shredding THRASH!
Although Mission Executed lacked anything approaching filler, it was actually the opening one-two of “Mission To The Andes” and “Hordes Of Insanity” that hit the hardest; a double-whammy of fiendish grooves and whip-crack time changes that marked Target out as potential world-beaters.
Make no mistake, Mission Executed was Euro-thrash at its absolute finest….and to deliver an album of this quality and remain so unrecognised is a crime that deserves to be tried in The Hague!
Target – Master Project Genesis (1988)
Yep. Target again!
Target‘s sophomore release, Master Project Genesis, was the greatest Belgian thrash album of the 80s, bar none! Light years ahead of their contemporaries, Target’s technical thrash prowess was writ large over Master Project Genesis‘ 8 scintillating tracks, with the band improving on their already impressive debut, Mission Executed (1987) and delivering a succession of tracks that sounded like the next gen of thrash bands had arrived.
Once you’ve picked your jaw up from the floor upon hearing the stop-start riff-a-rama of the surprisingly melodic “Ultimate Unity”, the sheer brilliance of “Digital Regency” smacks you around the chops are you’re left reeling from the sheer scope and breadth of it all! The quality never lets up either.
As important a cult item as Deathrow‘s Deception Ignored and Realm‘s Suiciety, Target‘s Master Project Genesis deserves far more than the mere footnote in thrash history placing it currently holds. After all, this truly is some of the best technical thrash you’ll ever hear!
Cyclone – Inferior To None (1990)
We normally stick a to one album per band mantra but Cyclone‘s sophomore effort is the greatest thrash album ever produced by a Belgian band, so we could hardly leave it out now could we!
Suffering from severe underexposure dented Cyclone‘s chances of escaping the underground but Inferior To None (a convincingly apt title if ever we’ve head one!) should have been the album to achieve it. Embracing a technical thrash aesthetic, Cyclone upped their game considerably with some of the tightest playing around and a gamut of ear-pleasing solos.
Four years on from their Brutal Destruction debut and these guys had used the time well, finding their groove and improving on every aspect of their sound with universally stunning results.
Inferior To None is perfect thrash. Why isn’t it more well known? Go figure!
Check out our other related thrash features in this series: