January 2020 turned out to be a pretty damn good for month for thrash…..could February 2020 match it?
To be honest, February failed to live up to January’s high calibre of albums – hence the drop from 10 releases to just 7 in this feature – but there were some worthwhile releases hidden away amongst the also rans.
Assassin – Bestia Immundis
With more than a few moments bordering on death metal, these cult German thrashers stayed true to the sounds of 90’s death/thrash (think Sodom’s Tapping The Vein) on their 6th album, Bestia Immundis.
Admittedly, the heavy accent of frontman Ingo Bajonczak makes the chorus of “Hell’s Work is Done” sound like the “housework is done” (and we all know how important it is to keep up with our chores) but who gives a fuck when the thrashin’ is this juicy!
Furious, frenetic and fuckin’ heavy, Assassin may not be the same beast that handed us The Upcoming Terror back in 1987 but they’ve still got plenty to offer in 2020! 7/10
Edgeflame – Bludgeon The Incarnated
Edgeflame released their 4th album, Bludgeon The Incarnated, on February 7th, 2020 via Russian label Narcoleptica Productions and while the one-dimensional drill sergeant vocals of Tolga Sort prove to be somewhat of a stumbling block, overall these Turkish thrashers are a hideously heavy proposition.
Clocking in at under 27 minutes, Bludgeon the Incarnated swiftly moves through the gears and operates as a succinct exercise in primal thrash brutality.
Not essential then but still well worth a listen. 6/10
Hallucinator – Another Cruel Dimension
Crypt-dwelling blackened thrash metal crawing forth from the Underworld of Oakland, California, Hallucinator‘s Another Cruel Dimension contained 13 tracks of truly cacophonous horror invoked from the very depths of hell itself!
Lo-fi and lustful, these guys may lean more on the black than the thrash but their cacophonous noise certainly evokes the darkened spirit of Destruction – circa Sentence Of Death – and warrants mention here.
Nightmarish and not for the feint of heart (unless your’s happens to be particular charred)! 7/10
Lost Society – No Absolution
Thrash purists will be plenty pissed that Lost Society further embraced groove and metalcore influences on their 4th album but there’s no doubting that No Absolution is a top tier release from these feisty Finns!
Lost Society appear to be breaking away from the confines of thrash and seem hellbent on usurping Machine Head in the groove thrash stakes. Whether this is a good idea remains to be seen but, for now, the aching beauty of closer “Into Eternity (Apocalyptica)” – which is at odds with the rest of the record but at least showcases another facet to Lost Society’s sound – indicates that this not a band who will be resting on their laurels.
Divisive then, but not without merit. 7/10
Mindtaker – Toxic War
Released on February 24th via Mosher Records, Mindtaker‘s debut album, Toxic War, was an old-school blast of 80’s crossover thrash and a whole lot of fun!
Built around classic thrash riffs, gang vocals and a desire to thrash like it’s 1986, Mindtaker’s sound is simple, straightforward and doesn’t stray into unfamiliar territory….and that’s a compliment not a complaint!
Clean and crisp and as sharp as a sickle, fans of real thrash will get a kick out of Toxic War and that’s guaranteed. 7/10
Sepultura – Quadra
A quick fact for you.
Quadra is the best Sepultura album of the Derrick Green-era; an album that not only rivals the progressive thrash mastery of Machine Messiah but surpasses it by forging forward into brave new realms, while also frequently acknowledging their own distinguished past.
Well go further.
We’d be very surprised if Quadra didn’t pop up on a fair few ‘best of the year’ lists come December; not least our own.
An absolute triumph! 9/10
Total Annihilation – …on Chains of Doom
Aside from Sepultura, Swiss bruisers Total Annihilation were the kings of thrash in February 2020 and while …on Chains of Doom was a paean to all things Sodom…..it still delivered on its own terms!
Sure, the aforementioned comparisons to Tom Angelripper’s crew are inevitable (concepts of death/war and a varied pace built on crushing heaviness inform the entire album) but there’s enough raw gusto and pure power on display here to finally fully ingratiate Total Annihilation into the thrash fold
…on Chains of Doom was released on February 7th via Czar of Crickets Productions. 8/10