UK thrash has been riffing up a storm in recent years.
From new blood to old dogs, the quality of the UK’s thrash output has been steadily increasing and here’s our pick of the 20 greatest UK thrash albums released over the last 5 years!
Tortured Demon – In Desperation’s Grip (2021)
For a band so young (teenagers, the lot of ‘em) Tortured Demon riffed up one hell of a thrash-core storm on their debut album, In Desperation’s Grip.
Not without its problems (an abundance of ideas not always fully realised, clean vocals that will need finessing), it’s testament to Tortured Demon’s blatant potential that the album has grown significantly in stature since its release back in February 2021. Fans of Ascendancy-era Trivium will appreciate Tortured Demon’s tenacity and there’s no doubt that these lads were raised on a steady nutritious diet of Machine Head, Sepultura and Matt Heafy’s aforementioned band (that’s good parenting right there).
Whether they can fully harness their undoubted potential on later releases remains to be seen. But, for now, we’ll doff our cap to a trio of young metallers who gave us more than enough enjoyable head-banging moments on their damn fine debut to warrant inclusion here.
Psython – Hatred (2017)
Coming across like a mix of latter day Destruction meets Municipal Waste meets Nuclear Assault, the desired thrash crunch was evident in Psython’s Hatred and it was also backed by some shit-hot soloing and moments of semi-melodic panache.
While Bing Garcia’s vocals were a love ’em or hate ’em affair – his is a voice that’s coarser than wiping your arse with sandpaper after an all you can eat vindaloo challenge – they were the perfect fit for Psython’s rage and diversity. Diversity? F*ck yes! We’re treated to a little Nevermore / Artillery-esque progression on “H.A.T.E”, a slap-bass moment in the irresistible “Chai Latte” that brings to mind Mordred and the UK’s own (unfairly forgotten) Ignorance and on 9 min+ closer “Old Man” Psython channel their inner Neurosis (literally and figuratively) to spew dissonance and pure primal fury from their very core before unleashing a mid-paced chug-fest of epic proportions.
Psython “hate everybody and [they] hope [we] all fuckin’ die” and the only problem with that is that we kinda fuckin’ love ’em. If only the feeling was reciprocated!
Elimination – Echoes Of The Abyss (2021)
Elimination‘s 3rd album, Echoes Of The Abyss, rose from the abyss like a leviathan intent on annihilating all in its path. This was old-school thrash pumped out with 100% bullish aggression; fuelled by hatred and determined to rock the status quo with Anihilated-esque fervour!
The current UK thrash contingent was well presented with Shrapnel‘s own Aarran Tucker popping by to add some killer vocals to “This Is War”, but it was album closer, “Infernal”, that provided the biggest thrill; an experimental death/thrash colossus to rival the beast portrayed on Echoes Of The Abyss cataclysmic artwork.
Awaken the old gods!
Shrapnel – Palace For The Insane (2020)
Shrapnel left indelible scars with their 3rd album, the incendiary Palace For The Insane. Ferocious, feral and fuckin’ fantastic, Palace For The Insane proved once and for all that Shrapnel are still one of the greatest hopes for the future the UK thrash scene currently has to offer.
On the whole, this album ripped like a muthafucker but Shrapnel were sure to offer some much needed diversity to the thrashing onslaught by adding layers of groove and, particularly on “Begin Again”, slowing things down and embracing a little doom. The introduction of Aarran Tucker on vocals – whose aggressive barks added a welcoming grit to proceedings – proved decisive in gifting Palace For The Insane the title of most consistent and most impressive Shrapnel album to date.
Welcome to the thrash palace!
Gama Bomb – Speed Between The Lines (2018)
Kicking off with the appropriately retro-titled “Give Me Leather”, it was clear that on Speed Between The Lines Gama Bomb were just as crazy and just as fast as ever. Vocalist Philly Byrne still came across like The Darkness’ Justin Hawkins gone thrash and the band clearly still liked a laugh – see the Satanic teen rebellion anthem that is “666teen” for a fine example – but, to their credit, they had no problem addressing some of today’s bigger issues, with both the self-explanatory “Alt Reich’ and the blistering thrash of “World Gone To Hell” all capturing the essence of the less than rosy world we find ourselves inhabiting.
Sixteen years on from their formation and Speed Between The Lines proved Gama Bomb were still putting out quality releases that get the ol’ neck muscles snapping.
You don’t need to read between the lines to know that Gama Bomb are still a class act!
Also recommended: Sea Savage (2020)