Angelus Apatrida – Angelus Apatrida [Spain]
Released: February 5th, 2021 via Century Media Records
With more than a little Vulgar Display Of Power era Pantera informing much of Angelus Apatrida‘s sound, few could be forgiven for aiming accusations of plagiarism at these thrashin’ Spaniards!
However, similarities to established acts aside, Angelus Apatrida have been churning out quality thrash albums since 2006 and this, their self titled 7th effort, is as aggressive as they come. A balls to the wall thrash metal album with no time for filler, whether they’re throwing in oodles of groove on the likes of “Indoctrinate”, or going full on old-school on “We Stand Alone”, Angelus Apatrida remain 100% committed to the cause.
What more could you possibly want from a thrash album in 2021? 8/10
Todd La Torre – Rejoice In The Suffering [United States]
Released: February 5th, 2021 via Rat Pak Records
Who saw this coming? Certainly not us!
Ex-Crimson Glory / current Queensrÿche frontman Todd La Torre’s debut solo album rejoices in metal’s primal power and employs his impressive vocal range (from the highest highs to Chuck Billy-esque growls) to great effect.
Admittedly, Rejoice In The Suffering incorporates far more than just ‘thrash’ into its structure – with pure metal sounds à la Rob Halford’s Fight and the histrionics of prime Savatage jostling for your attention – but there’s enough thrashin’ rage here to qualify for inclusion….and the very fact that this shit rips for its entire duration is enough to warrant mentioning it at every given opportunity.
Surprises such as this are few and far between, So embrace them when they do come along! 8/10
Detritus- Myths [UK]
Released: February 19th, 2021 via Embryo Industries
The return of cult old-school UK progressive thrashers Detritus was one none of us were expecting but return they have….and with their first album in 28 years!
Detritus dwell in experimental doom/thrash territory (apt considering their Seventh Angel connections) with Mark Broomhead’s harsh baritone bellow adding to the overall feel of overwhelming, crushing, mid-paced thrash brutality.
Myths is not perfect by any means (“Tale Of Sadness” is somewhat of a misfire) but overall this is a hugely welcome return from a cult UK band whose early 90’s output – Perpetual Defiance (1990) and If But For One (1993) – also deserve to be lauded for their fearless and experimental nature!
Detritus; it’s good to have you back! 7/10
Paranorm – Empyrean [Sweden]
Released: February 26th, 2021 via Redefining Darkness Records
Empyrean, the debut album from Swedish thrashers Paranorm, is a unique blend of thrash, death and progressive metal which delivers on all fronts!
An album which belies Paranorm’s relative infancy, the likes of “Edge Of The Horizon” shifts effortlessly from a delicate acoustic intro into to a blackened explosion of crunch and chug. Invigorating and entertaining, the surprises just keep on coming as Paranorm run the gamut of progressive thrash / progressive death metal influences without once resorting to plain ol’ piracy.
Paranorm have entered the world fully formed and, with Empyrean, the sheer abundance of ideas at their disposal has been expertly consolidated at the first time of asking. 8/10
Violblast – Lazarus Abandoned [Spain]
Released: Independently on February 27th, 2021
Spanish thrashers Violblast blast back with the follow-up to 2019’s Theater Of Despair and its clear that they’re as rabid as ever!
Home to the kind of wall-of-sound thrash that threatens to engulf the senses, Lazarus Abandoned is feral as they come, ably combining a modern metal sound with old-school thrash influences.
A slightly lacklustre production lessens its impact but fundamentally, Violblast go for the throat; slashing and tearing until nothing but unrecognisable viscera remains. Lovely. 7/10
****This list covers album releases only but we’d be remiss not to mention Transmissions Of Chaos, the outstanding split EP from Vektor / Cryptosis, released on February 25th, 2021 via District 19****