Acknowledging that we couldn’t possibly have heard every single death / thrash album released this year, these are our 5 Greatest Death / Thrash Metal Albums of 2022.
These are the 5 death / thrash albums that blew us away, the albums that warranted endless spins, the albums that prompted involuntarily head-banging and generally put a big fuckin’ smile on our grumpy ol’ faces!
5. Besieged – Violence Beyond All Reason [Canada]
Released: June 6th, 2022 via Unspeakable Axe Records
12 years between albums is a long ol’ time. Fortunately, in the case of Canadian death thrashers Besieged time had done nothing to quell their hatred and fury, and Violence Beyond All Reason ably lived up to its namesake.
And we ain’t kidding, either. This shit was brutal.
Led by Nolan Smit’s vicious barks, Besieged attacked at such a frightening pace that this was surely the ‘whiplash’-inducing reaction Metallica were after all those years ago. Violence Beyond All Reason categorically wrecked your neck and Besieged weren’t gonna be paying your medical bills either. Just give opener “Last Chance” a quick spin and let us know how your 5th and 6th vertebrae are feeling come the morning.
That’s right muthafuckers, you’re surrounded….Besieged are on the offensive. Might as well just surrender and face the inevitable!
4. Abyssus – Death Revival [Greece]
Released: January 21st, 2022 via Transcending Obscurity Records
With Greek old-school death/thrashers Abyssus focusing on a late 80’s Possessed meets Death meets Obituary meets Malevolent Creation– esque approach, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d heard this shit a million time before. And you had. Back in the bloody 80s!
However, a complete lack of originality aside – and with the title of Abyssus‘ sophomore album more than suggesting they understood how derivative this is – didn’t detract from the fact that Death Revival was an absolute blast!
Short, snappy and savage, these 7 tracks whipped by in a frenzy of death / thrash belligerence; relentlessly doffing their cap to all the aforementioned bands and yet still making this over-familiar sound their own. Ridiculously enjoyable!
3. Detherous – Unrelenting Malevolence [Canada]
Released: November 11th, 2022 via Redefining Darkness Records
Remember Demoliton Hammer? Of course you do! They were releasing the heaviest thrash shit around in the early 90s and their furious onslaught trod the finest line between thrash and death metal imaginable. Detherous remember Demolition Hammer very well. So well in fact that they’ve modelled themselves wholesale on ’em – and we’re fuckin’ thrilled they have!
Admittedly, covering DH‘s “Skull Fracturing Nightmare” is taking things a bit too far – and we can honestly say that any one of Unrelenting Malevolence‘s 9 original tracks could happily sit on Demolition Hammer‘s Epidemic Of Violence – but there was so much unrelenting, head-banging, groove-filled fun to be had with this album that we just don’t care how close to plagiarism Detherous come.
Play it loud. Play it proud. Detherous are bringing the pain (and the skull fracturing nightmares)!
2. Protector – Excess Outburst Of Depravity
Released: July 1st, 2022 via High Roller Records
Protector‘s 9th album, Excessive Outburst Of Depravity, was a savage shock to the system that proved, once and for all, that this was a band more than equipped to survive into the third decade of their existence.
A true necro-blast of thrashing filth and bile, here was a band whose veteran status did little to hide the rampaging hunger that still niggled at their charred souls. An excessive outburst of absolute depravity this most definitely was, with wave after wave of sickle sharp riffs and undulating rhythms – not to mention a fine vocal performance from Martin “Golem” Missy – slashing and hacking their way through 11 tracks of blistering blackened death / thrash.
Those of us with an appetite for cult classics Urm The Mad (1989) and A Shedding Of Skin (1991) were left suitably sated, with the band delivering easily their finest release since their reformation back in 2013.
On this evidence, Protector are well and truly here to stay!
1. Schizophrenia – Recollections Of The Insane [Belgium]
Released: February 15th, 2022 via Redefining Darkness Records
With Schizophrenia’s 2020 EP, Voices, lighting a collective fire up the asses of committed death/thrash fans the world over, it was a joy to hear these Belgian boys back with their debut full length, Recollections Of The Insane.
With the ‘death’ in their sound further amplified, Schizophrenia’s debut full length album, Recollections Of The Insane, was an old-school rumble of death-thrashin’ primal rage and we loved it from the get-go.
“Cranial Disintegration” was appropriately named as Schizophrenia were 100% intent on relentlessly stomping your soft bits with fierce riffing and a forward momentum that had to be heard to be believed. This shit slayed, no doubt about it. Slayer, Sepultura, Morbid Angel (Altars of Madness-era) and Demolition Hammer proved to be prime inspiration – and if you’re gonna be inspired, be inspired by the best, we say! – resulting in a ridiculously consistent, undeniably frantic and satisfyingly technical death/thrash classic in the making.
Whatever it is their lacing the chocolate with in Belgium nowadays – we want some!
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