Every metal fan worth his/her salt remembers Combat Records, the label responsible for unearthing some of the finest metal bands of the 80’s and beyond. Well, Combat Records no longer needs to be merely a memory as it has been relaunched by Megadeth bassist David Ellefson and Thom Hazaert as a new label imprint under their EMP Label Group!
That’s right, Combat’s back, so what better time to highlight 10 of the finest Combat Records releases from the glory days.
Here be pioneering metal monsters…..
Crumbsuckers – Life Of Dreams
Hardcore, thrash, metal, punk….Crumbsuckers catered for all and their vitriolic debut, Life Of Dreams, remains a crossover milestone.
Infused with an endless array of exemplary hardcore meets thrash riffs, Crumbsuckers arguably perfected the art of combining the two styles on Life Of Dreams and this groundbreaking collection marked Crumbsuckers out as the most talented of the crossover pack.
Twisting and turning through riff and tempo changes, this schizophrenic beast of a record remains both a hardcore flurry of adrenalised aggression and a Combat Records classic!
Nuclear Assault – Game Over
A thrash milestone, Nuclear Assault’s corrosive debut album saw Danny Lilker and his merry men release an unrefined and cataclysmic thrash metal assault on the world!
Resolutely tapping in to the unbridled raw emotion and pure power of thrash metal’s earliest releases, Game Over bordered on being a crossover release,revelling in gang vocals, thunderous bass and John Connoly’s unhinged and apocalyptic screeching diatribes. That’s not to say these boys couldn’t play…..but it’s the attitude that still shines through to this very day.
From the blacker than black humour of “Hang The Pope” to the end of the world announcing “Nuclear War”, “After The Holocaust” and “Radiation Sickness”, Nuclear Assault hit like the proverbial atomic bomb in ’86 and instantly cemented their place amongst the greats of thrash metal.
Combat Records had delivered another game changer and it was game over man, game over.
Agnostic Front – Cause For Alarm
Another definitive crossover release, Agnostic Front were part of a very select group (Corrosion Of Conformity, Cryptic Slaughter, Crumbsuckers, Excel and D.R.I included) who were viciously blurring the lines between punk and metal.
Seamlessly gelling the precision riffing of heavy metal with punk’s raucous raw nature, Agnostic Front were as adept at speed metal – opener “The Eliminator” could have given Agent Steel a run for their money! – as they were at retaining their roots; the NYHC classic “Your Mistake” may be ‘metallized’ but it’s still punk rock incarnate.
A daring triumph, Cause For Alarm is as overwhelmingly innovative and powerful now as it was back in ’86; a revolutionary release from a band unafraid of breaking all the rules…..just like Combat Records!