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Canadian Thrash: The 10 Greatest Old School Albums

Canadian Thrash = Great Thrash!

Razor – Shotgun Justice (1990)

Razor – Shotgun Justice (CD) - Discogs

Canadian thrash’s answer to Slayer’s all-conquering Reign In Blood, Razor’s Shotgun Justice (and yes, some people are gonna be pissed we haven’t included their favourite Razor album but tough shit, it’s our list) is as potent as ever and is a balls-to-the-fucking-wall shotgun blast of ultra-aggressive, high speed thrash!

Fuck your technical/progressive thrash bollocks, Razor specialised in working man’s thrash that hit hard and hit fast and not only were they plenty pissed, they were operating at the top of their game. It’s no stretch to suggest that the likes of the relentlessly abrasive “Meaning Of Pain and “Parricide” should be considered career highlights.

Beloved original frontman Stace “Sheepdog” McLaren may have departed but the throat-shredding shouts of the incoming Bob Reid were more than capable of delivering the goods and Razor were arguably never as hostile as they were here.

Entropy – Ashen Existence (1992)

Entropy – Ashen Existence (2010, CD) - Discogs

A progressive and technical thrash/death colossus, Entropy’s debut album, Ashen Existence, may not be as well-known as it should be but that just means that when you do discover it, you’re in for one hell of a welcome surprise!

With Ger Schreinert’s vocals swiftly alternating between death growls and raspy screams and wails, Entropy’s genius lay in their ability to hop between sub-genre at will, with changes in tempo and time signatures throwing endless curveballs throughout each and every, lengthy, track.

This was ambitious thrash, buoyed by technicality and hell-bent on challenging the notion of what thrash could be.

While, at times, Ashen Existence may sound like Entropy crammed 3 albums of material into the one song (never mind the one album!) – and the sheer number of ideas thrown around with wild abandon can often be overwhelming – if you dig a little deeper it’s abundantly clear that Ashen Existence was the Canadian answer to Dark Angel’s Time Does Not Heal…..and praise doesn’t really get any loftier than that!

Dead Brain Cells – Dead Brain Cells (1987)

D.B.C. - Dead Brain Cells | Releases | Discogs

How’s this for a debut!

To those in the know, DBC were a crossover thrash phenomenon. While those outside of the thrash underground may not have woken up to DBC‘s intrinsic charms until much later (if at all), those who caught on early to their crunching mix of hardcore-inflected technicality and speed were instantly taken by a band who should have made huge waves in the scene.

While “Lies” gave any late 80’s crossover act a run for their money it was the likes of “Tempest” – with its more ‘expansive’ leanings – which truly showcased what these Canadians were capable of….and would go on to achieve!

About Chris Jennings (1955 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/

4 Comments on Canadian Thrash: The 10 Greatest Old School Albums

  1. laurent ramadier // December 2, 2020 at 4:38 pm // Reply

    Well there’s cheese as usual wirth those sort of list..you don’t put SACRIFICE 2nd opus so far as it’s easily way BETTER than Reign in blood..; and yopu put “nemesis” instead of “from this day forward” n°3 or so..;so much better than I MAJESTY or RAZOR

  2. Chris Jennings // December 2, 2020 at 7:00 pm // Reply

    Right you are bud

  3. Pete in Colorado // December 4, 2020 at 2:22 am // Reply

    Hey Chris! Great list!
    I had to seek out Disciples of Power and Entropy as I was not familiar with them and the only ones from this list that I did not have in any format whatsoever. Thank you for the heads up! Just recently discovered DBC and thought they were OK. From this Day Forward is a good one. I’ve had that one since 1990 when my buddy Greg was selling some of his CD collection to pay the bills! I helped him out and he sold me the aforementioned, Demolition Hammer’s Tortured Existence, Devastation’s Idolatry and Defiance’s Product of Society. Nice haul! I wish I could like Dyoxen’s First Among Equals (1989) more than I do. Not sure what my deal is! LOVE Annihilator Alice in Hell. When they came out with Never Neverland thereafter I was kind of bummed because Mr. Rampage was not the vocalist! And what can you say about the mighty Voivod? Dimension H is my fave but Killing T is definitely thrashier! It took me awhile to gravitate towards Voivod as I first heard them on a Metal Massacre Best of? with Blower from War and Pain and I thought they sucked! Years later, in the summer of 1988, I seen Tribal Convictions and Psychic Vacuum videos on Headbangers and I was blown away!
    Definitely one band I wish I could have seen live back in the day! I will have to check out the honorable mentions I am missing.
    Thanks again for the kick ass list! PS I did see Exciter and also Kick Axe live back in ’84. Great stuff! Yay Canada!

  4. Chris Jennings // December 4, 2020 at 7:41 am // Reply

    Thanks for reading and commenting Pete! Glad the article lead you to check out Disciples of Power and Entropy – job done!

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