Canadian thrash may have been left riding the coattails of the US scene in the late 80’s and early 90’s but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t home to some truly outstanding thrash!
Dyoxen – First Among Equals (1989)
Taking the Voivod path to obscure-town, Dyoxen were a surprisingly melodic, yet highly skilled, set of technical thrashers.
While the Voivod comparisons are semi-apt, Dyoxen actually had more in common with Peace Sells-era Megadeth; such was their penchant for unveiling skilful and sickle-sharp, complex and caustic blasts of sophisticated thrash, replete with umpteen tempo changes and a shed-load of killer riffs.
These guys sure had the chops, but they just didn’t have the clout to shift them into the big leagues. Which is a crying shame, as First Among Equals was the equal of anything Annihilator, Megadeth, Forbidden etc. were serving up in the late 80’s!
Disciples Of Power – Power Trap (1989)
One of those more obscure thrash albums (and bands) who had everything, Disciples Of Power were already sucker-punching the majority of their peers with debut full length Power Trap; a release which showcased this outstanding band’s ability to meld primal thrash aggression, death metal tendencies and progressive thrash structures into a satisfying whole.
The production may be shite but there’s no denying the talent Disciples Of Power clearly had in spades and the merciless nature of their attack – coupled with Watchtower-esque levels of technicality – marks Power Trap out as one of the best thrash albums you’ve probably never heard!
Sacrifice – Forward To Termination (1987)
Part of Canada’s “big four” alongside the potentially more recognisable names of Razor, Voivod and Annihilator (more on all of those later), Sacrifice‘s 2nd album, Forward To Termination, was a fast and ferocious shit-storm of an album.
A marked improvement on their admittedly decent debut Torment In Fire, 1987’s Forward to Termination upped the ante in almost every department while also maturing at an astonishing rate. A virtually perfect amalgamation of snarling attitude, ingenious riffs and diverse song structure, Forward To Termination – and the likes of the cult favourite “Re-Animation” in particular – have gone down in history as an all time classic of Canadian thrash!
With this outstanding album, Sacrifice proved once and for all that Canada had thrash bands that could rival those found in the USA and Germany and they should have found themselves at the top of the thrash pile.
Obliveon – From This Day Forward (1990)
A thrashier version of Death circa Spiritual Healing / Human, Obliveon’s debut album was an immediate game-changer upon release and has become an all-time technical thrash classic from the golden era of forward-thinking thrash.
Obliveon were part of the natural Canadian evolution that first began when Voivod crawled from the primordial swamp before, over time, casting aside the shackles of conformity and entering cyberspace. While they weren’t alone on embracing the more technical side of thrash, Obliveon‘s take on Voivod‘s early-doors experimentation was undoubtedly heavier than most; informed as much by death metal as it was traditional thrash.
As far as debut albums go, From this Day Forward was leagues ahead of the competition and you’d be hard pressed to find a more technical old school thrash album which delivers on so many levels. Speed, technicality, atmosphere, diversity, aggression….Obliveon‘s From This Day Forward has the lot!