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Wrecking Crew
08-19-2013, 08:31 AM
I just noticed this thread and agree mostly with your ratings but differ with some. I think you have rated Hell Awaits way too high and Reign in Blood too low, IMO Hell Awaits is forgettable except that the title track is awesome and the last track is good too. In advance I will agree with others and complain if Beneath the Remains doesn't get 10/10.

In 1986 Peace Sells, Master of Puppets and Reign in Blood were the albums that made even kids in the suburbs like me notice thrash. I think all 3 of those records went gold and would be in my hypothetical Thrash Hall of Fame, not just for the greatness of the records themselves but the influence they had. Remember that there was no internet in 1986, radio wouldn't touch this stuff and MTV's Headbangers Ball wouldn't touch much of it and word of mouth/record sales and promotion was the only way a lot of people heard good music at all. A lot of people here seem to dismiss Master of Puppets as being the start of Metallica's sellout streak but for someone in 1986 who was first discovering this kind of music, it made a great start.

Totally agree with you with 5/10 for Detente, it gave no hint of the genius that Dawn Crosby would find with Fear of God's Within the Veil, one of the best albums of all time but you won't get to that one for several more years. Keep 'em coming!

El Gordo
08-27-2013, 04:56 PM
I just noticed this thread and agree mostly with your ratings but differ with some. I think you have rated Hell Awaits way too high and Reign in Blood too low, IMO Hell Awaits is forgettable except that the title track is awesome and the last track is good too. In advance I will agree with others and complain if Beneath the Remains doesn't get 10/10.

In 1986 Peace Sells, Master of Puppets and Reign in Blood were the albums that made even kids in the suburbs like me notice thrash. I think all 3 of those records went gold and would be in my hypothetical Thrash Hall of Fame, not just for the greatness of the records themselves but the influence they had. Remember that there was no internet in 1986, radio wouldn't touch this stuff and MTV's Headbangers Ball wouldn't touch much of it and word of mouth/record sales and promotion was the only way a lot of people heard good music at all. A lot of people here seem to dismiss Master of Puppets as being the start of Metallica's sellout streak but for someone in 1986 who was first discovering this kind of music, it made a great start.

Totally agree with you with 5/10 for Detente, it gave no hint of the genius that Dawn Crosby would find with Fear of God's Within the Veil, one of the best albums of all time but you won't get to that one for several more years. Keep 'em coming!

I agree that those three albums from 1986 are of more influence than others, but that's not the point of this exercise. The fact is, is that we do have the internet now, and anyone can hear virtually any album ever with a few keystrokes and a bit of perseverance. I don't dismiss Master of Puppets at all... I think a 9/10 is a pretty strong score, same goes for Peace Sells at 9.5. I also don't dismiss Reign in Blood's far-reaching influence, but just because an album is influential, it doesn't mean it is the best ever, it just means a lot of people heard it. Of course, to be influential it does have to be good, which is what an 8/10 score would indicate. Obviously, this is all subject to my opinion as well, which some may agree with while others may not. Basically, I'm trying to look at all of these records while ignoring that word of mouth/promotion that you speak of. What if the internet had existed in the 1980's? Obviously the musical landscape would be much, much different, but let's not get crazy!

At any rate, I'm glad that many have found this thread entertaining, interesting, annoying, offensive or all of the above. Moving on...

JRA
08-27-2013, 04:58 PM
F'rlz, bring on 87 already!

El Gordo
08-27-2013, 05:00 PM
http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b201/edtrax/47958.jpg
Deathrow - Riders of Doom - 1986

If Deathrow's Riders of Doom (originally named Satan's Gift, which was banned or something so they renamed it) was as good as the crushing, dynamic instrumental that opens it, "Winds of Death", it would be one hell of a debut! Unfortunately, these Germans are a little overzealous and most of the album sounds as if it's in danger of becoming unhinged. There is a clear influence from bands like Slayer and Kreator, and there are parts of this record that actually sound fucking vicious, but the band has trouble putting it all together without sounding kind of ridiculous at times. Overall, a pretty enjoyable, albeit flawed album.

Standouts: Winds of Death, Spider Attack, Dark Tales

Score: 6/10

El Gordo
08-27-2013, 05:04 PM
http://www.metal-archives.com/images/1/7/7/4/17748.jpg
Living Death - Back to the Weapons - 1986

Well, it's clear that at some point after Living Death's second full length, Metal Revolution, the band decided that they wanted to start getting serious about thrash. The common thread in this four-song EP is speed; vicious, relentless speed. Vocalist Thorsten Bergmann screams along in a register probably only reserved for Overkill's Bobby Blitz at this point, and the rest of the bad screams along right with him. The songs themselves aren't exactly all that memorable or groundbreaking, but the aggression the band shows here is definitely a step in the right direction.

Standouts: The Way (Your Soul Must Go), Bloody Dance

Score: 6.5/10

El Gordo
09-01-2013, 04:25 PM
http://eil.com/images/main/Mortal+Sin+-+Mayhemic+Destruction+-+LP+RECORD-391817.jpg
Mortal Sin - Mayhemic Destruction - 1986

Mortal Sin's debut is a bit of a throwback, as the band channels Metallica's Kill 'Em All with some Motorhead thrown in for good measure. The material here is neither very evil nor heavy, but it would definitely make for some good fun in the pit. Had it been released earlier, it would garner some higher marks but as it is these Aussies are just recycling what they've heard from their American counterparts.

Standouts: Mayhemic Destruction, Lebanon

Score: 5.5/10

El Gordo
09-01-2013, 04:28 PM
http://www.qpratools.com/gallery/0005/nasty_savage-indulgence-front.jpg
Nasty Savage - Indulgence - 1986

While Nasty Savage's debut was campy, goofy heavy metal with thrash metal influences, the band's second full-length on the other hand, is thrash-fucking-metal! They don't make you wait for it, either. The opening track, "Stabbed In the Back" kicks things off right with a downright dirty (maybe even nasty?) thrash riff. The rest of the album continues in much the same vein, with fast, twisting riffs offset by slower, groovier pieces. Nasty Ronnie's vocals have also improved. While he still hits those King Diamond-esque high notes, he mostly sticks to a lower register, snarling and shouting his way through all eight tracks (track nine is an instrumental).

The subject matter has gotten more serious as well. While the debut album had song titles like "Dungeon of Pleasure" and "Metal Knights", Indulgence tackles heavier subject matter with songs like "Distorted Fanatic" and "Incursion Dementia" (which is a fucking monster, by the way). All in all, Indulgence is a hands-down winner, and if nothing else, signalled to California, New York & Germany that Florida was listening, and thrash metal's influence was growing.

Standouts: Incursion Dementia, Stabbed In the Back, Inferno

Score: 8/10

El Gordo
09-08-2013, 12:11 PM
http://www.hrrecords.de/high_roller/pix/releases/113_necronomiconstdlp_bg.jpg
Necronomicon - Necronomicon - 1986

Back in the 90's, there used to be this commercial for light beer that this Necronomicon album made me think of. It went "If I wanted water, I'd ask for water." In this case, substitute 'water' for 'Destruction', and that pretty much sums up how I feel about this one. Necronomicon, at this point, are a poor man's Destruction, as they are sloppier than and not nearly as good at writing songs as those card-carrying members of the Teutonic Trio. In fact, there's really not one single song that is totally solid -- just when you think things are looking up, a weird guitar lead comes in or the vocalist does his best castrato impression. Necronomicon is a forgettable affair, and best left to idiots like yours truly to discover.

Standouts: None

Score: 1/10

El Gordo
09-08-2013, 12:15 PM
http://www.qpratools.com/gallery/0004/onslaught-the_force-front.jpg
Onslaught - The Force - 1986
I somehow left Onslaught's debut album, Power From Hell off of my review queue, and I made sure not to make the same mistake with their second kick at the can, The Force. The Force picks up where the debut left off, except that there's a different vocalist and a more classic thrash metal sound to it. There are riffs aplenty here, and things start off very well but the album really gets going with "Fight With the Beast", continues with "Demoniac" and smashes you in the face with "Flame of the Antichrist". The sound is very aggressive and mosh-friendly, not unlike some of the better Bay Area output like Bonded By Blood or even Kill 'Em All but there's nothing really new here. With The Force, Onslaught solidifies themselves as yet another band in the seemingly endless army of blue collar thrash bands -- good enough to headbang to, not memorable enough to make a dent in your skull once the music is over.

Standouts: Flame of the Antichrist, Fight With the Beast, Demoniac

Score: 7/10

El Gordo
09-08-2013, 12:19 PM
http://metalarea.org/images/audiocovers/2010_May/acov_tid115493.jpg
Sacrilege BC - Party With God - 1986

Sacrilege BC got lost in the shuffle when the big thrash bang happened in California, which is a shame because these guys played an extremely fast & violent brand of thrash. In fact, Party With God comes close to Reign in Blood in that regard, albeit with more of a punk vibe and much, much shittier production. It's not all speed though, with songs like "Skinned Alive" crushing the listener at a much slower pace before getting back to ludicrous speed for the guitar solo. There are times when the songs blend together a little bit, as Sacrilege BC were probably still honing their songwriting chops but songs like "Words of God" snap you back to attention. Judging by this album, Sacrilege BC deserved a better fate than to be a mere footnote in the history of thrash but it's gems like these that keep this crazy retrospective interesting.

Standouts: Skinned Alive, Fun With Napalm, Words of God

Score: 7/10

Up next... 1987!!

El Gordo
09-10-2013, 04:38 PM
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_XlKrTFU27FY/Sm0kfPFR2QI/AAAAAAAAChI/lPr-Tgdh2C8/s400/front.jpg
Primal Scream - Volume One - January 13, 1987

In a scene as crowded as the NYC one was, already boasting the likes of Overkill, Anthrax, Nuclear Assault and Carnivore, it must have been difficult for a band like Primal Scream who, while not awful, didn't exactly have it all put together like those other bands. Primal Scream were one of those meat-and-potatoes thrash bands, who thrashed hard and probably lived much the same way.

Like many of their New York brethren, Primal Fear had more of a punk vibe than their West Coast counterparts with Rob Graham (or was it Steve Alliano? I have no idea) bellowing Cro-Mags-style over some pretty quick riffs. Probably the most striking song on the album though, is when one of those aforementioned vocalists actually decides to sing over some more melodic instrumentation in "Kill the Light". At any rate, Primal Scream's one and only volume is an enjoyable enough experience, as pedestrian as it may be.

Standouts: Kill the Light, Ignorance is No Excuse

Score: 6/10

El Gordo
09-17-2013, 04:37 PM
http://www.the-pit.de/uploads/tx_news/Vendetta_Go_And_Live..._Stay_And_Die.jpg
Vendetta - Go and Live... Stay and Die - February, 1987

If you were to put me in a time machine and send me back to say, March 1987, and then ask me who I thought was the best German thrash metal band at that point, I'd be hard pressed not to say Vendetta. While their brethren in bands like Kreator and Destruction were pushing the boundaries of extreme metal, Vendetta were clearly paying attention to what was going on across the Atlantic as they sounded much more like bands playing in California rather than Germany.

Right from the start, there is a clear emphasis on riffs. With a crisp and clear production, there are passages that are as fast as any, but the band also demonstrates a clear understanding of dynamics with chugging, grooving parts that echo some of the better offerings by bands like Metallica and Exodus. Vendetta even border on prog at some points, keeping the listener wondering with riff and time changes throughout the album's 38 minutes.

It's baffling that Vendetta didn't make a bigger name for themselves, because this is a very excellent addition to the thrash metal story. Sure, the vocals aren't anything special but certainly don't take away from the music, and while some songs seem to meander or lose their way at times, they are definitely well-executed for the most part. This is probably the best yet of those diamonds-in-the-rough that have made this exercise so damn enjoyable.

Standouts: Systems of Death, Revolution Command, Go and Live... Stay and Die

Score: 8.5/10

Spiner202
09-17-2013, 06:07 PM
Primal Scream: This is the first time in a long time I've seen a wicked thrash album cover from the 80's of a band I've never heard of. Will look into this!

Vendetta: This was supposed to be reissued (along with Brain Death), but I think Massacre Records is just sitting on it right now. Everything I've heard from this album is insanely good though.

El Gordo
09-17-2013, 06:38 PM
Primal Scream: This is the first time in a long time I've seen a wicked thrash album cover from the 80's of a band I've never heard of. Will look into this!

Vendetta: This was supposed to be reissued (along with Brain Death), but I think Massacre Records is just sitting on it right now. Everything I've heard from this album is insanely good though.

Primal Scream is OK, nothing brilliant. I keep coming back to that Vendetta record though, pretty fucking excellent.

El Gordo
09-20-2013, 04:35 PM
http://www.qpratools.com/gallery/0005/blood_feast-kill_for_pleasure-front.jpg
Blood Feast - Kill For Pleasure - February 13, 1987

Enthusiasm. Blood Feast does have that going for them, at least. They play heads-down thrash, fast and dirty with vocals just about as shredded as Possessed or Kreator, but the material presented here is just not that good. The songs blend into one -- a blur of furious riffs, over-the-top vocals, and their best attempts at Slayer-inspired guitar solos. The band snaps you out of your thrash-haze every now and then with slower, darker riffs but it doesn't last very long. Heavy and fast this is, important or worthwhile, not particularly.

Standouts: Kill For Pleasure, Suicidal Mission

Score: 3.5/10

El Gordo
09-24-2013, 05:54 PM
http://www.blackmark.in.ua/images/albums/R-740993-1248476784.jpeg
Overkill - Taking Over - March, 1987

It's funny the way you place things in your mind when you haven't put a whole lot of thought into where those things go... I always thought Taking Over was a bit of a step down from Overkill's brilliant debut, but upon further listening and really doing a hard comparison of the two, it's a real tough call. Taking Over is at least Feel the Fire's equal, and maybe even a couple points better!

The overall sound on Taking Over is the same as it was on the debut, which is no surprise given that a lot of these songs were written around the same time as those on Feel the Fire. The guitar tone on Taking Over is heavier though, and the band sounds tighter as a whole while retaining Overkill's already trademark reckless snarl. Songs like the opener, "Deny the Cross" as well as the eyebrow-raising tandem of "Use Your Head" and "Fatal If Swallowed" string neck-snapping riffs together in an almost organic fashion, making this one of the more complete and developed albums in the major growth period of the genre.

There are some weak points of course, like Blitz's vocals at times which seem to be just too clean, most notably on "In Union We Stand", though this is certainly not the rule but the exception. Overall, it's a very solid thrash album, and if nothing else, listening to it a few times with such a critical ear made me realize that my favourite band is even more awesome than I originally thought!

Standouts: Fatal If Swallowed, Deny the Cross, Use Your Head

Score: 9.5/10

JRA
09-24-2013, 07:13 PM
Everything about that album is godly.

JRA
10-06-2013, 04:16 PM
Didn't think I'd be waiting this long to get to Among the Living. :eyes:

El Gordo
10-06-2013, 06:24 PM
Didn't think I'd be waiting this long to get to Among the Living. :eyes:

Yeah, life happens, my friend. You can expect it in the next couple days.

El Gordo
10-07-2013, 05:40 PM
http://www.metal-archives.com/images/1/8/3/8/1838.jpg
Anthrax - Among the Living - March 22, 1987

After two full-length releases, Anthrax have proven that they are quite capable of writing music that is catchy as hell while remaining every bit as heavy. Their second album, Spreading the Disease featured whiplash-inducing thrash riffs coupled with infectious choruses infused with gang vocals and lead singer Joey Belladonna's soaring vocals -- the latter being a feature that separated them from the rest of the thrash metal pack, who's lead vocalists could usually be heard shouting, screaming or growling over the same type of riffage.

Enter Among the Living. The vocal approach has remained largely unchanged from Spreading the Disease. Belladonna is still truly singing over thrash riffs with barely even a hint of gruffness to his voice. The gang vocals seem even more prevalent however. It's almost as if Scott Ian has heard the Metallicas and Slayers of the world, and decided to add some sandpaper in the vocal department to match the ridiculous heaviness of the instrumentation, which is indeed ridiculous. There are very few albums at this point in time that sound as bone-crunchingly heavy as Among the Living does. "Caught in a Mosh" in particular embodies the Anthrax sound -- heavy as all hell, but every bit as catchy as anything Motley Crue could write. Songs like "Indians", "One World" & "NFL" follow suit, thrashing like mad and engraving themselves into the minds of bangers the world over.

There is a problem, however. That problem is filler. Songs like "A Skeleton in the Closet", "Horror of it All" and even the title track certainly present heavy enough music but are too simplistic in their riffage, so much so that the overall result is rather underwhelming. The feel is more punk than metal, more "go through the front door" than "find a second-floor window and kill 'em from there". There is a savage cleverness to albums like Ride the Lightning and Peace Sells, but that attribute is not always here. Anthrax writes front-door, smash-you-in-the-face riffs, and that's it, and it's OK for the most part. If this is Anthrax's finest moment (which, in the eyes and ears of many, it is) then it is no wonder that they are condisered "Band No. 4" in the Big Four.

Standouts: Caught in a Mosh, Indians, One World

Score: 7.5/10

JRA
10-07-2013, 06:42 PM
Jesus I didn't think it was the very next one! :lol:

I do think ATL is a landmark thrash album, but I will also say that you kind of stop caring after One World.

That said, Persistence of Time is the true Anthrax masterpiece.

SomewhereInTime72
10-13-2013, 10:53 AM
If you ask me, ATL is better than any album Slayer ever released. :eyes:

PowerMaiden
10-13-2013, 11:03 AM
masterpiece of an album, and in my humble opinion there is no filler on this album, it is amazing all the way through ...


Cheers !
PowerMaiden

El Gordo
10-13-2013, 05:28 PM
If you ask me, ATL is better than any album Slayer ever released. :eyes:

Lol until the 90's, Slayer couldn't make an album worse than ATL if they tried.

But, as my review states, ATL is a perfectly fine album. There are some great songs, some good songs, and then some pretty lame songs. I have no idea why ATL is seen as Anthrax's high water mark. Spreading the Disease is far better. So is Persistence of Time, for that matter.

El Gordo
10-13-2013, 05:30 PM
masterpiece of an album, and in my humble opinion there is no filler on this album, it is amazing all the way through ...


Cheers !
PowerMaiden

Dude, Iron Maiden doesn't play thrash! What are you doing here?

:finger:

PowerMaiden
10-13-2013, 05:41 PM
Dude, Iron Maiden doesn't play thrash! What are you doing here?

:finger:

yeah sometimes... just sometimes .. it's fun to listen to other stuff than Maiden :)


Cheers !
PowerMaiden

PowerMaiden
10-13-2013, 05:48 PM
thrash metal is by far my favourite sub genre after Maiden, and speaking of thrash here is a good ducumentary on the subject,http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWYQP8lJH00 if some of you haven't seen it, I strongly suggest just Watch it, very good



Cheers !
PowerMaiden

Sepultura69
10-14-2013, 06:48 AM
If you ask me, ATL is better than any album Slayer ever released. :eyes:

wat

JRA
10-14-2013, 06:58 AM
thrash metal is by far my favourite sub genre after Maiden, and speaking of thrash here is a good ducumentary on the subject,http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWYQP8lJH00 if some of you haven't seen it, I strongly suggest just Watch it, very good



Cheers !
PowerMaiden


Copyrighted (and buy the DVD anyway ya cheap bastard;)).

PowerMaiden
10-14-2013, 07:23 AM
(and buy the DVD anyway ya cheap bastard;)).

I gotta keep my money for Maiden ;)


Cheers !
PowerMaiden

slapguitarer
10-14-2013, 07:39 AM
If you ask me, ATL is better than any album Slayer ever released. :eyes:

Duh

illuminatus917
10-14-2013, 07:54 AM
But, as my review states, ATL is a perfectly fine album. There are some great songs, some good songs, and then some pretty lame songs. I have no idea why ATL is seen as Anthrax's high water mark. Spreading the Disease is far better. So is Persistence of Time, for that matter.

I wouldn't say far better, but certainly better.

Persistance of Time > Spreading The Disease > Among the Living


I gotta keep my money for Maiden ;)


:lol:

El Gordo
10-14-2013, 08:00 AM
I own the Get Thrashed DVD, it's alright. I think it could have been better.

Spiner202
10-14-2013, 08:47 AM
I own the Get Thrashed DVD, it's alright. I think it could have been better.

The bonus features on that DVD are amazing. They cover so many great bands in more depth (even if it just consists of other bands saying "yeah Nasty Savage is killer man").

El Gordo
10-14-2013, 09:19 AM
The bonus features on that DVD are amazing. They cover so many great bands in more depth (even if it just consists of other bands saying "yeah Nasty Savage is killer man").

That's what I don't really like about it. I don't really care what the half-drunk member of Municipal Waste has to say about Thrash Band X. I mean, there's some good stuff, but not a whole lot of real info. Also, Metal Church has no place in a thrash doc.

JRA
10-14-2013, 10:48 AM
That's what I don't really like about it. I don't really care what the half-drunk member of Municipal Waste has to say about Thrash Band X. I mean, there's some good stuff, but not a whole lot of real info. Also, Metal Church has no place in a thrash doc.


They have slightly more place than Mercyful Fate/King Diamond, and 100 times more place than Slipknot/System of a Down/nu-metal.

"Slipknots a good band too" Fuck you Danny Lilker. I can understand that sucking up from Scott Ian cos he's a trendy whore but you? FFS.

Spiner202
10-14-2013, 10:59 AM
That's what I don't really like about it. I don't really care what the half-drunk member of Municipal Waste has to say about Thrash Band X. I mean, there's some good stuff, but not a whole lot of real info. Also, Metal Church has no place in a thrash doc.

There's definitely not much information about the bands, but I liked it for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it's cool to hear anyone talk about some of these more obscure bands, even if there isn't much to add. Perhaps more importantly, this was a great way to discover a lot of bands. I'm not sure how many I learned of from just watching the bonus features, but I'd say probably at least 10 bands.

For what it's worth, I think Metal Church played the line between heavy/speed/thrash pretty well on their first album. I consider them to be speed metal, but I can see why they would be in a thrash documentary. And IIRC one of the guy who talks about them mentions they aren't a thrash band.

El Gordo
10-25-2013, 05:18 PM
http://www.metal-archives.com/images/2/0/4/2/2042.jpg
Voivod - Killing Technology - April 3, 1987

Once the title track of Voivod's third release kicks in, it's pretty clear that we're not in Kansas anymore! Vicious riffs coupled with odd chord choices assault your ears, while a driving, distorted bass and pummeling drums make you look to the sky in fear of alien invaders. Then, a madman prophet starts shouting and screaming in your ear, and you realize... this is what Voivod was meant to be! Voivod's first two albums were sloppy, messy blasts of punkish thrash that left much to be desired. Their third though, is easily the most unique thrash album to be released at this point. The band does a wonderful job of creating a filthy, horrifying, robotic atmosphere in almost every song, that you truly feel as if you are "Lost in Space" as one of the tracks suggest.

What's amazing to me is just how much of a total mindfuck this album is. I had never enjoyed this album when I spun it over 10 years ago after thinking myself a true thrash metal fan. Even when I listened to it the first time for this review, it didn't click, but I heard something interesting, so I persevered and I'm glad I did for Voivod is not truly a thrash band and thus they do not play a conventional thrash style. The feel, the atmosphere, the drive behind the music is different than say, Slayer or Exodus. Voivod exists on a different plane -- not necessarily a higher one -- where Slayer delves the depths of human depravity, telling tales of murder and satanism, Voivod looks to the skies and wonders what evil lurks above?

The execution is not totally perfect, of course. There are some parts of songs that feel totally disjointed from others, which is an expected result of a band trying to become more progressive and focused but an undesirable one none the less. Snake's vocals are also a bit of an acquired taste as he talks, whines, shouts, screams over the exotic soundscapes below, but then again, how many metal vocalists aren't acquired tastes?

At any rate, personally, this is huge. Until a week ago, I hated Voivod. 20-year-old me is shaking his head, going "dude..." It just goes to show you, just because you hated something before, if you allow yourself to be open and to grow (I can hear my wife laughing now), you may find some value in that thing you hated.

Standouts: Ravenous Medicine, Killing Technology, Lost in Space

Score: 8.5/10

illuminatus917
10-26-2013, 06:42 AM
At any rate, personally, this is huge. Until a week ago, I hated Voivod. 20-year-old me is shaking his head, going "dude..." It just goes to show you, just because you hated something before, if you allow yourself to be open and to grow (I can hear my wife laughing now), you may find some value in that thing you hated.

Excellent review of a great album. I especially like the snipped I quoted, as it's advice that has been proven not only sound, but often correct, many times over.

I had written off country at one point. Completely written it off. I still dislike most of it, but it was a mistake I recognize now.

El Gordo
10-26-2013, 06:39 PM
Excellent review of a great album. I especially like the snipped I quoted, as it's advice that has been proven not only sound, but often correct, many times over.

I had written off country at one point. Completely written it off. I still dislike most of it, but it was a mistake I recognize now.

Yeah, it's really quite something. I couldn't believe I was banging my head to Voivod on the way to work! I force myself to listen to each of these albums at least three times before I write a review, and I think I listened to Killing Technology 6 or 7 times because I was enjoying the hell out of it!

I've often been accused of being close-minded when it comes to music, and my response is usually that I just know what I like. Well, sometimes you don't know what you like. Sometimes you hate it until you learn to like it.

El Gordo
11-07-2013, 05:41 PM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51CPYhp1BZL.jpg
Testament - The Legacy - April 21, 1987

Clearly a product of the Bay Area scene, Testament were probably the first of the "second wave" thrash bands (if there truly was such a thing) to release a full-length album. Obviously influenced by the likes of Metallica and Exodus, Testament were melodic, technically sound and uncompromisingly vicious. Most songs are played at surprisingly fast tempos, given the difficulty of the material, especially when taking into consideration the speed at which they would be played some 25 years later by the same musicians, save one (drummer Louie Clemente).

Testament's main strength is the proficiency of their members at their given roles. They lucked out big time when Steve Souza left to join Exodus and hulking frontman Chuck Billy stepped in. In his prime, which evidentally was some time around 1987, the man could sing, shout and shriek like no other, sounding like the unholy descendent of James Hetfield, Tom Araya and a pack of wolves. Lead guitarist Alex Skolnick is probably the first true virtuoso we've seen in thrash metal. His leads range from damn good to awe-inspiring, leaving pentatonic-rager Kirk Hammett and whammy-bar afficionados King and Hanneman in the dust while giving Dave Mustaine a run for his money. Eric Peterson has always been underrated in the riff-crafting department, but it's clear he was excellent right from the start, blazing through firey riff after firey riff. The rhythm section of Greg Christian and Louie Clemente is nothing if not solid, and while neither player shines, they lay the foundation for the others to do so.

The main gripe with early Testament was always the production, and this is a valid complaint. The guitar sound is muddy, and while it is nowhere near the worst among mid-80's thrash records, it is certainly surprising given that it was released by a major label. There's a whole lot of good stuff here though, as most of the songs are thrashers of the highest order, with only the odd clunker -- one being "Do or Die", a song all but forgotten in the Testament catalogue, and a few songs undeserving of the 'classic' label bestowed on them, namely "The Haunting" and "Alone in the Dark". Of course, there's also the fact that Testament doesn't really present anything original on The Legacy, largely echoing their predecessors. The execution though, leaves little to be desired.

Standouts: Apocalyptic City, Over the Wall, Burnt Offerings

Score: 9/10

JRA
11-07-2013, 07:18 PM
Do Or Die is one of my favorites from Legacy. :snivel:

El Gordo
11-08-2013, 03:39 PM
:lol: To me it seems kind of disjointed and the chorus it too cheesy.

Spiner202
11-08-2013, 04:31 PM
I think we can all agree that Alone In the Dark is the among the worst Testament songs ever recorded. I can hear Zetro doing it well, but not Chuck.

Either way, this is a true thrash classic :rocker:

JRA
11-08-2013, 04:33 PM
:lol: To me it seems kind of disjointed and the chorus it too cheesy.

The chorus is fun IMO. For what it's worth, you got two out of my other three favorites right (Over the wall and Apocalytpic City).

El Gordo
11-08-2013, 05:54 PM
The chorus is fun IMO. For what it's worth, you got two out of my other three favorites right (Over the wall and Apocalytpic City).

Apocalyptic City is a true thrash classic. I haven't sat down and thought about it, but it would definitely be in the running for top 10 thrash songs of all time.

Spiner, damn right Alone in the Dark is shit. I have no idea how that makes it on the album while Reign of Terror doesn't.

JRA
11-09-2013, 01:13 PM
I like Alone In The Dark too actually. :lol: I like all those songs really, if I have to pick an oddman out it would be First Strike Is Deadly.

El Gordo
11-09-2013, 04:06 PM
I like Alone In The Dark too actually. :lol: I like all those songs really, if I have to pick an oddman out it would be First Strike Is Deadly.

I like First Strike... but really, I would take Reign of Terror over almost any song on The Legacy.

JRA
11-09-2013, 04:36 PM
I like First Strike... but really, I would take Reign of Terror over almost any song on The Legacy.


If I remember correctly....


Finally, we have the ONE song that makes this album not entire shit. The obligatory Forgotten Song, Reign of Terror. Why this did not make it onto The Legacy is beyond me - the demo version is fucking awesome, and is the greatest song Testament ever did.

-Ultraboris, First Strike Is Deadly review

....yup. :lol:

Of course, from that same review

For example, the opening track - possibly the best song on The Legacy. First Strike is Deadly

El Gordo
11-09-2013, 04:56 PM
If I remember correctly....


Finally, we have the ONE song that makes this album not entire shit. The obligatory Forgotten Song, Reign of Terror. Why this did not make it onto The Legacy is beyond me - the demo version is fucking awesome, and is the greatest song Testament ever did.

-Ultraboris, First Strike Is Deadly review

....yup. :lol:

Of course, from that same review

For example, the opening track - possibly the best song on The Legacy. First Strike is Deadly

Lol yeah, I had many discussions with Boris about Testament and they rarely ended in agreement. Reign of Terror was the one point we could agree on.

El Gordo
11-22-2013, 10:26 AM
http://www.metal-archives.com/images/7/4/1/741.jpg
Death Angel - The Ultra-Violence - April 23, 1987

Death Angel's debut is a bit of a funny one. One on hand, you have a young group of guys who have grown up immersed in the sounds of Metallica, Exodus, Possessed and the like. They are obviously talented, determined musicians who even caught the attention of one of their idols, evidenced by the fact that Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett produced their demo, Kill As One. On the other hand, you have a young band so caught up in their hometown scene that they maybe go too far in trying to emulate that sound. The trademarks of the Bay Area sound are there: the vicious yet melodic riffs, the catchy choruses complete with gang vocals, the long and winding song structures.

Yet, there is something keeping this band and album from reaching the heights of those aforementioned bands -- the songs lack true, thoughtful development because it takes a back seat to youthful exuberance and the desire to actually become their idols. A lot of the songs drag on for far too long, cramming riffs together that may not necessarily fit. Songs like "Evil Priest" or the sprawling title track are prime examples of this, most likely going for Ride the Lightning levels of riffery.

The overall sound of the album though, is clear and heavy, especially remarkable when compared to Testament's debut, which came just two days before. Much like Testament though, there are some excellent individual performances here. Then 15-year-old drummer Andy Galleon's probably sticks out the most because well, he's FIFTEEN. Vocalist Mark Osegueda's performance is also notable, as he unleashes some pretty ridiculous screams while singing and snarling his way through songs like some kind of Bobby Ellsworth-Joey Belladonna hybrid.

Is The Ultra-Violence the best classic Death Angel release? Most likely, which doesn't bode very well for their others. The debut is enjoyable enough though and is worth at least a few listens.

Standouts: Kill as One, Mistress of Pain, Voracious Souls

Score: 7.5/10

illuminatus917
11-23-2013, 03:36 AM
Standouts: Kill as One, Mistress of Pain, Voracious Souls


I would definitely have "The Ultra-Violence" as a standout track. Very cool song.

You might consider it one of those that winds on for too long though.

El Gordo
11-23-2013, 10:58 AM
I would definitely have "The Ultra-Violence" as a standout track. Very cool song.

You might consider it one of those that winds on for too long though.

I like a lot of the riffs in that track, but it definitely feels mashed together to me.

El Gordo
12-07-2013, 10:35 AM
http://www.on-parole.com/shop/807-32887-thickbox/artillery-terror-squad-digi-cd.jpg
Artillery - Terror Squad - April 24, 1987

My mother always told me to never judge a book by its cover, and seldom has this advice been more valuable than when listening to Artillery's sophomore effort, Terror Squad. Terror Squad's cover is utter shit, apparently supposed to be an artist's rough draft, but the music contained within is some pretty strong thrash.

Artillery's second full-length builds on the strengths of their first -- fast and heavy with Flemming Ronsdorf's incredibly charismatic vocals providing the storyline -- how can you lose? You can't really... the album does start to take a bit of a dive towards the end -- there are still solid tunes to be found, but they're just not up to the level of the first four songs which probably rank as one of the better album sides in thrash metal history. At the time of it's release, Terror Squad was one of the absolute best European thrash records, and it still holds up -- cover not withstanding.

Standouts: Terror Squad, The Challenge, Let There Be Sin

Score: 8/10

El Gordo
12-17-2013, 08:31 AM
http://www.metal-archives.com/images/1/9/7/6/1976.jpg?2034
Mutilator - Immortal Force - May, 1987

Hailing from the same place as Sepultura, it comes as no surprise that Mutilator play a very similar style as those legendary thrashers did in 1986-87. Front man Alexander was even asked to join Sepultura when Jairo left the band in 1987 but turned the offer down. Fast, raw and verging on death metal, Mutilator certainly don't lack for enthusiasm or energy. What separates Sepultura from a band like Mutilator though is true songwriting skill. Even on Morbid Visions, Sepultura displayed a clear ability to build drama and suspense in their songwriting, and most of the songs flowed very well with lots of varied parts. When listening to Mutilator's first album, this is not the case. The band's end game is always the same: blinding speed -- which is all fine and good, but it gets a little predictable as the album goes on. It's a shame too, because there are a lot of cool mid-paced and even epic sounding passages thrown in that seem like they should lead to something even cooler -- but they don't. Just speed. I like speed -- this is a thrash retrospective after all, but sometimes there's just too much of a good thing.

Standouts: War Dogs, Brigade of Hate, Immortal Force

Score: 5.5/10

Wrecking Crew
12-17-2013, 09:09 AM
Doh, I missed this thread for a few months and have to chime in. I agree with you about Among the Living not being as great as is often thought. I loved the hell out of it back in '87 but find myself not listening to it or Anthrax at all really these days, I just don't think it's interesting enough to stand up over time. I maintain as do others that Overkill should always have been considered part of the big 4 in place of Anthrax.

I think you rated the Legacy too high, IMO The New Order was Testament's high point. And I presume you are getting to Pleasures of the Flesh, for me Exodus' high point and one of the best releases of 1987. And I can't believe I keep forgetting to get Overkill's older albums, I really need to get Taking Over. Also I hated Voivod's album, maybe it's time I give it another chance though.

El Gordo
12-17-2013, 10:25 AM
Doh, I missed this thread for a few months and have to chime in. I agree with you about Among the Living not being as great as is often thought. I loved the hell out of it back in '87 but find myself not listening to it or Anthrax at all really these days, I just don't think it's interesting enough to stand up over time. I maintain as do others that Overkill should always have been considered part of the big 4 in place of Anthrax.

I think you rated the Legacy too high, IMO The New Order was Testament's high point. And I presume you are getting to Pleasures of the Flesh, for me Exodus' high point and one of the best releases of 1987. And I can't believe I keep forgetting to get Overkill's older albums, I really need to get Taking Over. Also I hated Voivod's album, maybe it's time I give it another chance though.

I was already thinking I may have rated Legacy a little too high... I may have to go back and revise it... although I do think it's Testament's high point, not The New Order!

I'll definitely be getting to Pleasures of the Flesh, and I would recommend revisiting Killing Technology. I didn't like it years ago, and still didn't like it on my first listen upon revisiting it, but it kind of wormed its way into my brain -- quality, if not weird-sounding stuff.

JRA
01-06-2014, 03:33 PM
MOAR

El Gordo
01-11-2014, 09:54 AM
Well now that the flurry of year-end lists is over, I'll get back at it!


http://playitloudforever.files.wordpress.com/2011/03/heathen.jpg
Heathen - Breaking the Silence - May 1, 1987

If it wasn't already obvious with the debuts of Testament and Death Angel earlier in 1987, it becomes painfully clear with Heathen's first album -- the Bay Area sound has arrived. Much like the two previous bands, Heathen plays an aggressive, technical style with heavy emphasis on melody and hooks -- and they are probably the best example of it so far. Breaking the Silence hits the ground running, with the first three songs being absolute winners packing all kinds of great riffs into wonderfully crafted songs much in the same vein as Metallica's Ride the Lightning years earlier.

Breaking the Silence is a little top-heavy as the real gems are all found in the first half although the album does close on a high note with "Save the Skull". The songs also start to get slightly repetitive as most seem to feature some sort of speedy gallop. The cover tune, a very well done version of Sweet's "Set Me Free" breaks up the flow of the album a little as well. There are no bad songs though as even the worst would still qualify as most other bands' best.

Standouts: Goblin's Blade, Open the Grave, Death by Hanging

Score: 9/10

El Gordo
01-11-2014, 09:58 AM
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/c2/The_Eyes_of_Horror.jpg
Possessed - Eyes of Horror - May 31, 1987

At some point after the release of their influential debut, Possessed decided they wanted to be less cutting edge death metal and more conventional thrash. After a good but slightly confused transitional album in Beyond the Gates, Possessed released this 5-song EP, and the transformation seems to be complete. There are still hints of death metal -- the vocals for one remain unchanged and while there are some pretty twisted riffs present they just aren't as evil and ugly as they were only two years earlier. Very solid thrash metal is what we have here though, with a much cleaner sound than we've heard from this band before. Unfortunately, this is the last we would hear from the band until 2003.

Standouts: Confessions, Eyes of Horror

Score: 7.5/10

Onioner
01-11-2014, 09:58 AM
Damn. If you like Breaking the Silence this much I wonder how much you like Victims of Deception. I've always considered the latter much more superior than the former.

El Gordo
01-11-2014, 10:59 AM
Damn. If you like Breaking the Silence this much I wonder how much you like Victims of Deception. I've always considered the latter much more superior than the former.

Yeah, I was planning on rating Breaking the Silence more around 8-8.5 but the more I listened the more I liked it. I've always considered Victims of Deception the better album as well so we'll see what my ears tell me when I get around to it!

El Gordo
01-19-2014, 11:41 AM
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_dtX7Ql_dvm0/TIhaUaybtQI/AAAAAAAAAQw/oRrq7ZTzzME/s400/coroner%2Brip.jpg
Coroner - R.I.P. - June 1, 1987

While the USA's west coast was getting attention for some excellent technical melodic thrash albums, a band from Switzerland named Coroner made sure we wouldn't forget about the European thrash metal contribution! And what a contribution it is -- fast, heavy and with riffs so far out the ass they don't stink anymore, Coroner's debut is a powerhouse of tech thrash. A fairly unique-sounding album, with perhaps a little Megadeth flavour to it, R.I.P. is as solid an album as you'll find. There really aren't any weak spots. All band members are musicians of the highest order, with only Ron Royce's vocals being less than spectacular but they fit the music and do not take away from it. Seriously though, put it on random. You won't find a bad track -- even the intros are good.

Standouts: R.I.P., Totentanz, Reborn Through Hate

Score: 9.5/10

GarageMetal468
01-19-2014, 02:14 PM
Nosferatu may just be my favorite song ever.

JRA
01-19-2014, 06:02 PM
I haven't heard this one yet. I bought Punishment For Decadence and it's solid, but I downloaded No More Color and that's AHJFDBAUShfjoiasdhfluaenmioanfesbfghewnfkjerbfwemF N;IqwnFUUUUUUUUUUU 100/10

I wish both this and RIP were buyable online for cheap. I'd blogspot RIP but I feel bad enough for blogspotting No More Color. Goddammit Coroner, reprint that shit so I can give you my money for your elite goods and services!

El Gordo
01-20-2014, 07:29 AM
You need to do yourself a favour and get RIP! Ridiculously good. That's why my review is so short... there's not much to say other than it kicks a lot of ass!

Onioner
01-20-2014, 02:37 PM
I once saw a vinyl promo for No More Color for $20 at Amoeba. I ask the cashier to let me see the record and check its condition. Giant fucking slash down side B... such a sad day.

GarageMetal468
01-21-2014, 05:19 PM
I once saw a vinyl promo for No More Color for $20 at Amoeba. I ask the cashier to let me see the record and check its condition. Giant fucking slash down side B... such a sad day.

One of my friends sold me a promo copy of No More Color :D

LogicBomb
01-23-2014, 10:37 AM
As far as Heathen goes, personally I've always preferred the speed/thrash of Breaking the Silence over the AJFA worship of Victims of Deception.

El Gordo
02-01-2014, 03:54 PM
http://sp0.fotolog.com/photo/32/49/62/live_for_metal/1252217041909_f.jpg
Assassin - The Upcoming Terror - June 3, 1987

Assassin had a pretty typical German sound -- fast, aggressive, abrasive -- and they executed it pretty well. The unfortunate part of it is that they don't sound all that unique when compared to the Kreators and Destructions of the world. If they're not going to be faster or meaner than their countrymen (or even their counterparts across the pond), then what's the point? The Upcoming Terror is an enjoyable listen, but not a lot of the stuff they throw at you sticks after hitting 'stop'.

Standouts: Nemesis, Bullets

Score: 5.5/10

El Gordo
02-02-2014, 04:23 PM
http://img11.nnm.me/f/1/5/4/5/1c11504bf0f8a2d8a67eaea4e54.jpg
Razor - Custom Killing - July, 1987

In my review for Razor's previous album, Malicious Intent, I complained that Razor were not advancing their sound. With 1987's Custom Killing they at least take a stab at it with some much, much longer songs. Both "Survival of the Fittest" and "Last Rites" clock in at just over 11 minutes, which is pretty epic by most bands' standards and given their past output, Razor isn't a band who I would expect this kind of thing from. Indeed, the results are less than spectacular on those two tracks. There are some totally bad-ass passages but they don't really seem to know what to do with them, as the songs meander from section to section without a whole lot of direction.

The shorter songs however, are much more promising. "Shootout", "Snake Eyes" and "White Noise" are among the best Razor had recorded up to this point, chock-full of vicious speed/thrash riffs, illustrating yet again why Dave Carlo is one of the most underrated guitarists of his time. The other songs are nearly as good, making the overall listening experience a pleasurable one.

The production on Custom Killing is a little brighter than on Razor's previous album, but the same drum sound returns, with an equally loud bass, making it hard to pick out some of the nuances in Carlo's riffing. Thankfully though, this is blazing thrash metal so not a lot of nuances exist. All in all, this is a nice set-up for what Razor would do next, with those aforementioned bright spots foreshadowing some of their best work.

Standouts: Shootout, Snake Eyes, White Noise

Score: 7/10

Spiner202
02-02-2014, 06:04 PM
I still don't have that Assassin album (never been able to track it down), but I love "Bullets".

Same issue with Razor, but I've never heard particularly great things about that album. I actually really enjoyed Malicious Intent, so Razor "advancing their sound" would be a bad thing for me.

El Gordo
02-02-2014, 06:14 PM
Same issue with Razor, but I've never heard particularly great things about that album. I actually really enjoyed Malicious Intent, so Razor "advancing their sound" would be a bad thing for me.

No, trust me it's good. Razor learns how to really settle into a groove on Custom Killing. Listen to Shootout, or even the beginning of Last Rites. Good stuff.

JRA
02-02-2014, 07:19 PM
Why is your avatar still n00b?

El Gordo
02-03-2014, 04:20 AM
Why is your avatar still n00b?

Why not? In a way, I wanted to keep that avatar to illustrate the fact that there's always something to learn... and now I've kept it so long, I feel like changing it now would just be wrong!

El Gordo
02-11-2014, 05:44 PM
http://addictedtomoshblog.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/95069.jpg
Destruction - Mad Butcher - July 25, 1987

Well, what do we have here? First, a re-recording of one of the better songs Destruction has ever made. I'm not sure how necessary it is, since the original sounds just fine to me, but this version does benefit from beefier, clearer production. Next up is a cover of "The Damned" by the Plasmatics. It's OK, not great. I mean, the original doesn't do a whole lot for me, and this version is... better, but still only does a little bit more for me than the original. The third track is the real winner here. "Reject Emotions" is a stellar thrash track, and wouldn't sound out of place on something like Slayer's Hell Awaits -- monster riffs, snarling vocals -- what's not to like? Lastly, we have a pretty forgettable intrumental that goes more or less nowhere and really only serves to remind us that Siffringer is an excellent guitarist.

I always find it hard to rate EP's versus full-lengths, but really only half of this is truly worthwhile sooo...

Standouts: Reject Emotions

Score: 5/10

El Gordo
02-13-2014, 05:27 PM
http://eil.com/images/main/Metallica%2B-%2B%245.98%2BE.P.%2BGarage%2BDays%2BRe-Revisited%2B-%2BSealed%2B-%2B12%22%2BRECORD%2FMAXI%2BSINGLE-413646.jpg
Metallica - Garage Days Re-Revisited - August 21, 1987

After releasing three of the more important albums of the thrash metal genre, Metallica's then reknowned and now legendary bassist Cliff Burton died on September 27, 1986, altering the band's -- and possibly the genre's path forever. Does Metallica even release this EP if Burton doesn't die? No, but given that they already recorded a couple of earlier covers (as Garage Days Revisited), they probably would have recorded similar songs at some point.

This EP is an important one on a few levels. First of all, it shows Metallica wearing their influences on their sleeve. Already known as NWOBHM fans (or enthusiasts), the Diamond Head cover is an obvious choice, while the Holocaust one is a little less so, but fitting given the band's growing penchant for writing slower tunes. The Killing Joke cover is probably the most brilliant one here, taking an excellent post-punk tune and turning it into a searing metal track. The Budgie song shows just how deep Lars liked to dive into the record bins, and probably also showcases one of Hetfield's greatest vocal performances, and the Misfits covers are an obvious and equally brilliant nod to Burton's lasting impression on his former bandmates. Most importantly, Metallica make these songs their own, improving on the originals in almost every case, or at least making them heavier.

Thankfully, Metallica decided to keep these cover songs off of any studio albums. There are plenty of their peers who chose to put covers on their studio releases (Megadeth, Anthrax, etc.) and they only served to break up their otherwise fine albums. As great a job as Metallica do on a song like "Helpless", can you imagine it crammed onto Ride the Lightning? No, you don't want to? Yeah, me neither. As dumb as Metallica's "creative" ideas would become some 20 years later, they at least had some good ones when they were a truly creative band.

Standouts: The Wait, Helpless

Score: 8/10

300%_Density
02-13-2014, 06:50 PM
This. All of it.

I love almost all the covers on this. Crash Course is easily my favorite song on this. I wish Metallica would break into these more when they play, w/ the exception of Last Caress since they play that semi frequently atleast.

Wrecking Crew
02-14-2014, 07:29 AM
I totally agree, cover songs should be kept off of albums and saved for live shows/live releases/compilations such as this. While there are some good cover songs here, I don't think any of them measure up to Am I Evil.

El Gordo
02-14-2014, 03:52 PM
I totally agree, cover songs should be kept off of albums and saved for live shows/live releases/compilations such as this. While there are some good cover songs here, I don't think any of them measure up to Am I Evil.

"Am I Evil" IS pretty special. I mean, it has practically become as much of an anthem for the band as a lot of their legendary originals. Metallica's version also blows the Diamond Head version out of the water, but then again so do their covers of "Helpless" and "The Prince".

adamclark52
02-14-2014, 04:07 PM
I have so many great memories of that EP. My band was driving from Whitby, Ontario to Marmoro, Ontario for my first show with them. It was a two or three hour drive and we listened to that EP the whole time, on cassette.

The show was utter garbage, in a forest in late October with a bunch of gas huffing rednecks. But the EP was awesome. I'm not a huge Metallica fan but I'd rate it above everything, save Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets. But some days, depending on my mood, I'd rank it higher. It may be my favorite Metallica release.

El Gordo
02-14-2014, 07:27 PM
I have so many great memories of that EP. My band was driving from Whitby, Ontario to Marmoro, Ontario for my first show with them. It was a two or three hour drive and we listened to that EP the whole time, on cassette.

The show was utter garbage, in a forest in late October with a bunch of gas huffing rednecks. But the EP was awesome. I'm not a huge Metallica fan but I'd rate it above everything, save Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets. But some days, depending on my mood, I'd rank it higher. It may be my favorite Metallica release.

Wow, you played a show in fucking Marmora? That's awesome, and fucking remote. I camped in Marmora, but that's about it. The most rural Ontario town I can claim to playing a show in is probably Alliston! Let me tell you, those Alliston rednecks did NOT appreciate our music. I can only imagine what the Marmorans thought of yours!

adamclark52
02-14-2014, 07:31 PM
Wow, you played a show in fucking Marmora? That's awesome, and fucking remote. I camped in Marmora, but that's about it. The most rural Ontario town I can claim to playing a show in is probably Alliston! Let me tell you, those Alliston rednecks did NOT appreciate our music. I can only imagine what the Marmorans thought of yours!

Yeah, I'd never heard of the place before we played there and I've only driven through since. The locals were all fucked out of their minds and we brought our girlfriends, so they were all over it. Nothing like a bunch of mid-forties hillbillies on ATV's, high on whatever, at a punk show in the middle of a forest in October hitting on your girlfriend. That was when I knew I was a ROCK-STAR!

El Gordo
02-25-2014, 04:43 PM
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/c/ca/Rising_from_the_sea.jpg
Exumer - Rising From the Sea - September, 1987

Exumer's debut was a promising one. Released only a year-and-a-half earlier, they came off as some kind of Exodus-meets-Destruction hybrid with winding, catchy riffs and inspired vocals. Possessed By Fire had some rough spots, but it was the real deal. So, my main question is, what the fuck happened on Rising From the Sea? A new vocalist, for one. Paul Arakari replaces Mem von Stein on bass and vocals, and the results are less than desirable. Arakari utilizes a more American-sounding hardcore bark with the occasional scream as opposed to von Stein's more rabid and entirely German-sounding snarl. Then there's the riffs, which are just fucking boring. There are some bright spots here and there, but very rarely does Rising From the Sea even aspire to reach the heights that its predecessor did.

Standouts: Shadows of the Past, I Dare You

Score: 4/10

El Gordo
02-25-2014, 04:45 PM
http://www.metal-archives.com/images/5/0/5/7/5057.jpg?4749
Protector - Misanthropy - September, 1987

Yet another German band, Protector are relatively young, having only formed in 1986. While their sound is every bit as aggressive as that of their countrymen, their style is more akin to some of the more extreme bands popping up on the other side of the big pond, bands like Possessed & Sepultura. In fact, a very good comparison would be Brazil's Mutilator, although Protector are much better songwriters than that band. While Protector's default speed is breakneck, they often break into cool midpaced sections or crushing doomy passages to keep things fresh. Some of the riff transitions are a little rough, and not every one of the 6 songs here entirely holds your interest, but this is a worthwhile debut EP.

Standouts: The Mercenary, Kain and Abel

Score: 7/10

JRA
02-27-2014, 02:03 PM
I haven't heard this one yet. I bought Punishment For Decadence and it's solid, but I downloaded No More Color and that's AHJFDBAUShfjoiasdhfluaenmioanfesbfghewnfkjerbfwemF N;IqwnFUUUUUUUUUUU 100/10

I wish both this and RIP were buyable online for cheap. I'd blogspot RIP but I feel bad enough for blogspotting No More Color. Goddammit Coroner, reprint that shit so I can give you my money for your elite goods and services!


slightly off topic, but I just ordered this in the mail and have been waiting for it to get here for almost a week. When it comes, I plan to get 3/4 of the city pregnant.

El Gordo
02-27-2014, 03:18 PM
slightly off topic, but I just ordered this in the mail and have been waiting for it to get here for almost a week. When it comes, I plan to get 3/4 of the city pregnant.

The world needs more of this sort of thing.

El Gordo
03-09-2014, 07:02 AM
"If you can't eat it or fuck it, then kill it!"
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http://churchofzer.com/img/carnivore-retaliation.jpeg
Carnivore - Retaliation - September, 1987

Carnivore's sound has changed considerably since their self-titled debut. While the first album had hints of hardcore thrown in, it was largely a speed/thrash album rooted in traditional heavy metal. On Retaliation, we see the band up the speed, intensity and brutality of their sound and are left with a very NYC-sounding record.

After the listener is treated to the sound of Jack Daniels and pizza exiting someone's body, Pete Steele and company drop the hammer and don't really let up until the album is over. Blazing through the first few numbers, Carnivore really hits their stride when they slow things down, crushing you with "Race War" and the hilarious "Jesus Hitler". Is this foreshadowing the kind of sounds Steele would create later with Type O Negative? We certainly hear some shades of that band here, whether it be through the bass tone or some pretty controversial lyrics ("Don't call me your brother, 'cause I ain't your fuckin' brother/We fell from different cunts and your skin, your skin's an ugly color!" to point out one shining example!).

Retaliation is not a complex record. It works because it pummels the listener into submission, and while Steele's bellowing can get tiresome at times, we're drawn back in by a number of different tricks -- catchy riffs and eyebrow-raising lyrics among them. Sadly, this is the last record the world would hear from Carnivore as Steel went onto more gothic sounds with Type O Negative and wouldn't get the chance to show many people the reformed band before his untimely death in 2010.

Standouts: Race War, Jesus Hitler, Sex & Violence

Score: 8/10

Spiner202
03-09-2014, 07:26 AM
I love Carnivore. One of the most underrated thrash bands around. Retaliation isn't as good as the debut, but your review is pretty spot on. "Race War" is a favourite of mine as well.

adamclark52
03-09-2014, 07:55 AM
I can't believe Pete's been gone for almost four years. I have the utmost respect for Dio, Dimebag and all the other idols that have fallen. But Peter's the one that hits me the hardest.

JRA
03-09-2014, 08:16 AM
Fucking awesome record. Though I do find it strange how everyone calls it punk-rock and crossover like when to me it has a lot more in common with Black Sabbath. There's at least 5 more Sabbath like groove moments then there are punk moments.

My favorite song is probably USA for USA than if for no other reason it starts with the line "LISTEN TO THIS ALL YOU DOUCHEBAGS! ITS TIME TO LAY DOWN THE LAW!"

If the album has a flaw, its the Jimi Hendrix cover. It's not necessarily bad, but it really doesn't need to be there.

El Gordo
03-09-2014, 09:46 AM
I can't believe Pete's been gone for almost four years. I have the utmost respect for Dio, Dimebag and all the other idols that have fallen. But Peter's the one that hits me the hardest.

Same here. The first couple Type O records are some of my all-time favourites, and even though I discovered Carnivore much later, those two albums are pretty solid as well.

Fucking awesome record. Though I do find it strange how everyone calls it punk-rock and crossover like when to me it has a lot more in common with Black Sabbath. There's at least 5 more Sabbath like groove moments then there are punk moments.

My favorite song is probably USA for USA than if for no other reason it starts with the line "LISTEN TO THIS ALL YOU DOUCHEBAGS! ITS TIME TO LAY DOWN THE LAW!"

If the album has a flaw, its the Jimi Hendrix cover. It's not necessarily bad, but it really doesn't need to be there.

There are definitely some pretty Sabbath-sounding moments on Retaliation. I just think it sounds punk or hardcore throughout most of the reord -- songs like "Inner Conflict" and "SMD" are pretty good examples. I forgot to mention the cover song -- probably because as you said, it's not bad but it doesn't make me want to listen to it either. I prefer the Metallica model of not including covers on studio records.

adamclark52
03-09-2014, 12:50 PM
I think I said it last year when you reviewed Carnivore's s/t album, but if they took the songs off the first album and the grittier production of the second you'd have had a perfect album. Instead, you get two really good ones.

El Gordo
03-09-2014, 04:35 PM
I think I said it last year when you reviewed Carnivore's s/t album, but if they took the songs off the first album and the grittier production of the second you'd have had a perfect album. Instead, you get two really good ones.

Yeah you may have something there. The songs on the s/t are catchier and would probably benefit from the nastier sound of the second album. It would have been cool if Steele had been able to get a live album in before he passed. Too bad.

JRA
03-09-2014, 06:44 PM
Wasn't Carnivore more or less dead by 2008?

El Gordo
03-10-2014, 02:10 AM
Wasn't Carnivore more or less dead by 2008?

I have no idea. All I know is that after Steele died, I was browsing metal-archives one day and saw that Carnivore were active from 2006-2010. I don't know how active they actually were, but I think we can all agree that a Carnivore live album would have been pretty sweet.

adamclark52
03-10-2014, 07:37 AM
I think they played Wacken and a few other European festivals in 2006.

El Gordo
03-17-2014, 04:58 PM
http://www.listratkin.ru/userfiles/image/vinil/Kreator_87.JPG
Kreator - Terrible Certainty - October, 1987

Kreator's first two albums were exercises in aggression -- sacrificing riffcraft and catchiness for ridiculous speed and little else. Something started to change with 1987's Terrible Certainty, a greater emphasis on song-building, as well as melody and even hooks. Mille and Co. also decided to add a second guitarist for their third album, which probably has something to do with the shift in approach.

The results are mixed, however. Terrible Certainty is an album that packs an absolute shitload of riffs, but they don't always jive together. Songs like "Blind Faith" and "Behind the Mirror" sound disjointed at times, while the main verse riff in "No Escape" sounds downright happy. The meat of the album is quite solid though, starting with the catchy-as-all-hell title track, continuing with what may be the best song and what is the only Ventor-fronted track "As the World Burns" and ending with riff-o-rama "Toxic Trace". There are other great moments, some real head-banging riffs, but the band wanders from riff to riff too often, losing the listener in the process.

Terrible Certainty can be seen as a transition album, guiding us from the band's raw and aggressive early works to the more melodic and refined sound we would hear on subsequent albums. It is certainly not the best Kreator release nor is it the worst, but it is a very necessary step in the band's discography.

Standouts: As the World Burns, Toxic Trace, Terrible Certainty

Score: 7.5/10

JRA
03-18-2014, 03:25 PM
Terribile Certainty is definitely a transition album (even though Blind Faith and Storming With Menace fucking rule). If I were to redo my top 100 metal albums, this would probably be off and replaced by Destruction or something.

El Gordo
03-29-2014, 11:45 AM
http://www.vinyliciously.com/images/uploads/TANKARD---CHEMICAL-INVASION-orange-1.jpg
Tankard - Chemical Invasion - October, 1987

I was probably a little too harsh on Tankard's debut, Zombie Attack (I gave it a 4.5 -- probably 1.5 points lower than it should be). It was at least a competent thrash metal release and certainly featured a lot of energy and enthusiam while not showing a whole lot of wit or intelligence. The band's second release follows in that same line. Chemical Invasion is a bit of an improvement on its predecessor though since it seems the band has managed to slow down sometimes and even write some catchier material. The idiot subject matter persists, of course with song titles like "For a Thousand Beers" and lyrics like, I dunno pick one, which is probably my biggest gripe with Tankard. The musicians are talented enough though, and while songs like "Don't Panic" and "Traitor" are fine examples of thrash in 1987, it's obvious that Tankard will always live in the shadows of Kreator, Destruction and Sodom (and rightfully so).

Standouts: Traitor, Don't Panic, For a Thousand Beers

Score: 6.5/10

El Gordo
03-29-2014, 11:47 AM
Terribile Certainty is definitely a transition album (even though Blind Faith and Storming With Menace fucking rule). If I were to redo my top 100 metal albums, this would probably be off and replaced by Destruction or something.

Yeah, upon revisiting it I was initially going to give it a much higher score. Mille just piles the riffs in on that album. I started paying attention to how the songs were constructed though, which brought it back down to earth for me.

Spiner202
03-29-2014, 02:25 PM
it's obvious that Tankard will always live in the shadows of Kreator, Destruction and Sodom (and rightfully so).

I agree with this, but I think you're too harsh on Tankard. Their old stuff is not quite as good as their recent records, but it's still a lot of fun.

El Gordo
03-29-2014, 03:58 PM
I agree with this, but I think you're too harsh on Tankard. Their old stuff is not quite as good as their recent records, but it's still a lot of fun.

Well, I did admit that I was too tough on Zombie Attack, and I really tried to like Chemical Invasion. Like, really. But like I said, it's competent thrash metal and little else. I'm not denying that Tankard is fun. Fun doesn't necessarily mean an 8/10 rating though.

El Gordo
04-04-2014, 11:36 AM
http://www.metal-archives.com/images/3/1/0/5/3105.jpg
Sodom - Expurse of Sodomy - October 1, 1987

I sincerely hope Onkel Tom thanks the deity of his choice every day for the gift of Frank 'Blackfire' Gosdzik in 1987. It's quite possible that without Blackfire, Sodom would be a mere curiosity in the world of metal and Thomas Such would be back toiling away in the coal mines of Gelsenkirchen. Instead, Blackfire convinced Tom to move away from the sloppy, lo-fi sounds of his early works in favour of tighter, more concise songs with less emphasis on occult themes. Blackfire's first recording with the band is this excellent three-song EP and the sound is worlds away from Obsessed By Cruelty, released only a year earlier. There are still hints of the filthy black/thrash of early Sodom and indeed, most of Sodom's best work features that filthiness but these are some thrash scorchers of a very high caliber. Blackfire's nimble fretwork is a definite highlight but so are the shredded vocals of Angelripper which are a perfect fit for the band's new sound. This is the true debut of Sodom, and a great precursor to the classic that would follow only two months later.

Standouts: All of 'em

Score: 8/10

treghet
04-05-2014, 03:39 AM
A remarkable EP, but I wouldn't call it their true debut. I know what you're saying in regards to the stylistic changes, but I'd argue their beginnings were their most influential pieces of work. In the Sign of Evil still stands as one of their most well know releases and although Obsessed by Cruelty is often glossed over today it was an important album in its time. Those first two releases served as an inspiration to many of the upcoming black and death metal bands. I do think Sodom reached their musical peak in 1987, but by the time they had fully transitioned to thrash metal it was already a very popular style.

El Gordo
04-05-2014, 10:00 AM
A remarkable EP, but I wouldn't call it their true debut. I know what you're saying in regards to the stylistic changes, but I'd argue their beginnings were their most influential pieces of work. In the Sign of Evil still stands as one of their most well know releases and although Obsessed by Cruelty is often glossed over today it was an important album in its time. Those first two releases served as an inspiration to many of the upcoming black and death metal bands. I do think Sodom reached their musical peak in 1987, but by the time they had fully transitioned to thrash metal it was already a very popular style.

I don't disagree with you. In the Sign of Evil is probably the most influential thing that Sodom ever put out, but what I mean is that Expurse of Sodomy was the debut of Sodom as we know the band today. Those first two releases may have helped spawn a host of black and death metal bands, but without their shift in sound I don't think Sodom would have become as popular as they have.

JRA
04-05-2014, 10:25 AM
Those first two releases may have helped spawn a host of black and death metal bands, but without their shift in sound I don't think Sodom would have become as popular as they have.

Completely agree. Also, I need to actually listen to that EP.

El Gordo
04-17-2014, 11:34 AM
http://www.metal-archives.com/images/1/1/6/7/1167.jpg
Whiplash - Ticket to Mayhem - October 2, 1987

Whiplash's second full length largely picks up where their debut left off -- bombastic, blistering speed-thrash with little room for anything else. Ticket to Mayhem features a little more variety in the songwriting department and thus is a bit of a better listen than Power and Pain. Indeed, there's even a song that is more of less a power ballad ("Last Nail in the Coffin") but songs like "The Burning of Atlanta" and "Snake Pit" hit you with thrash riffs aplenty while drummer Joe Cangelosi relentlessly pummels your eardrums. Frontman Tony Portaro has a real knack for writing melodic riffs while keeping them every bit as vicious as some of his East Coast brethren. New York City had quite the thrash scene in the mid-80's, and while the Bay Area may be the more glamourous one, with bands like Whiplash, in addition to the likes of Overkill, Carnivore & Nuclear Assault, New York was probably home to the more ruthless one.

Standouts: The Burning of Atlanta, Spiral of Violence, Eternal Eyes

Score: 7. 5/10

Spiner202
04-18-2014, 04:29 AM
Ticket to Mayhem features a little more variety in the songwriting department and thus is a bit of a better listen than Power and Pain.
This is why I think it's worse. "Walk The Plank" is amazing, but other than that, I rarely pull out this album because Power and Pain is so brilliant. It's still a decent record though.

El Gordo
04-26-2014, 05:41 AM
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/8b/Exodus_-_Pleasures_of_the_Flesh.jpg
Exodus - Pleasures of the Flesh - October 7, 1987

In my review of Bonded by Blood, I mentioned that there was a bit of a mismatch between the previous Exodus vocalist, Paul Baloff and the rest of the band. So, when they fired him for "personal and musical differences" and hired former Testament/Legacy vocalist Steve "Zetro" Souza, it could only result in good things, right?

RIGHT?

Well... kind of. As much as Baloff's barking could get tiresome, there was an endearing quality to it. Even though it didn't fit the music perfectly, it just FIT the MUSIC! Baloff gave hope to thrash fans that if your favourite band asked you to do lead vocals for them, you could do it because Paul Baloff did it. Without Baloff, Exodus lost a bit of what made them Exodus. It's not that Zetro is a bad vocalist either -- far from it. In fact, as far as snarly, higher-pitched thrash vocalists go, it'd be hard to find a better one this side of some guy named Blitz. The music behind the vocals has changed as well. It's not that there aren't moments of pure twisted thrash mayhem like on the debut album -- there are actually quite a few -- witness "Brain Dead" or "Choose Your Weapon" among others. The music is more melodic and refined than it was on Bonded By Blood though. It's not as fresh or intense or original. It's as if they listened to what their Californian peers were doing and blurred the line a little bit between Exodus and the other guys (which I'm pretty sure is exactly what they did).

Don't get me wrong, Pleasures of the Flesh is a very solid thrash album. There are still loads of great riffs and equally great songwriting. It's just that Bonded By Blood (which I only gave an 8.5, so it's not as if I think it was perfect) set the stage for some truly great stuff and the follow-up seems like somewhat of a letdown because of it. Also, it's kind of sad that Bonded By Blood would turn out to be their best album cover until almost 20 years later.

Standouts: Brain Dead, Choose Your Weapon, 'Til Death Do Us Part

Score: 8/10

treghet
04-26-2014, 05:49 AM
Damn. I keep hoping the next review will be Schizophrenia.

El Gordo
04-26-2014, 07:15 AM
Coming soon! Man, looking at my list, October of '87 was one hell of a month for thrash!

I've slowed down quite a bit on my reviewing. It's getting harder to write something (relatively) interesting about mediocre thrash albums, so I'll probably shorten my reviews to a couple sentences on a lot of the middling albums. The incredibly awful or incredibly great will still get thorough thrashings (see what I did there?) or fellatings (not a word).

Wrecking Crew
04-28-2014, 11:50 AM
Don't get me wrong, Pleasures of the Flesh is a very solid thrash album. There are still loads of great riffs and equally great songwriting. It's just that Bonded By Blood (which I only gave an 8.5, so it's not as if I think it was perfect) set the stage for some truly great stuff and the follow-up seems like somewhat of a letdown because of it.
Score: 8/10

I would rate this higher and consider it Exodus' best album. Side 1 was OK to good but I thought side 2 was outstanding, it still angers me that they ignore this album entirely in their current shows. I would agree it was heavily influenced by Master of Puppets but I loved the longer songs' high speed riffing that would go on for a few minutes at a time without vocals. The end of Choose Your Weapon is a great example of this.

El Gordo
05-14-2014, 05:45 PM
http://www.vinylrecords.ch/S/SA/Sacrifice/Forward/sacrifice-forward-1228.jpg
Sacrifice - Forward to Termination - October 12, 1987

Sacrifice's debut, Torment in Fire was a forgettable album. It was long on youthful enthusiasm, but short on coherent songwriting among other things. Two years later, Rob Urbinati and company return with a wildly improved sound. The enthusiasm of the debut is still there, but they've decided to throw in a ridiculous amount of twisted thrash riffs and some pretty ambitious songwriting.

Urbinati's vocals are about as extreme as thrash vocals get without being labeled death/thrash while his leads, coupled with those of fellow guitarist Joe Rico make for a kind of "Slayer North"... or something. Did I mention there were a lot of awesome riffs, too? One of the best ever is present here, actually. The main riff in "Re-Animation" is one of those ridiculously simple riffs that is just so damn infectious that it is genius. The band does get bogged down however, trying to get a little too progressive as evidenced in the nearly 8-minute "Flames of Armageddon" among others.

Forward to Termination is a massive thrash album though. Even though the progressive elements may be seen as a weakness at times, they also add a unique flavour which sets Sacrifice apart from the growing legions of Slayer imitators of the day. The fact that it is as raw and rough as anything you'll hear helps too.

Standouts: Re-Animation, Terror Strikes, Forever Enslaved

Score: 9/10

JRA
05-14-2014, 07:55 PM
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_dtX7Ql_dvm0/TIhaUaybtQI/AAAAAAAAAQw/oRrq7ZTzzME/s400/coroner%2Brip.jpg
Coroner - R.I.P. - June 1, 1987

Score: 9.5/10


Just finished listening to this for the first time and goddammit, I'd have to agree!

Wrecking Crew
05-15-2014, 07:49 AM
I think I have RIP on cassette, need to dig it up and relisten to it. Just saying that makes me feel old.

El Gordo
06-03-2014, 04:57 PM
http://userserve-ak.last.fm/serve/500/3459389/Ignorance+Sacred_Reich____Front.jpg
Sacred Reich - Ignorance - October 13, 1987

Sacred Reich can probably be best described as a less catchy Metallica with more generic vocals. That may sound a little harsh, but it's not a damning judgement of the band or album by any means. Ignorance features a lot of very good to great riffs and a few excruciatingly heavy moments and is a decent representation of thrash in 1987 (which may or may not be viewed as a good thing since the genre was becoming heavily saturated at this point). Ignorance is probably best taken in small doses though, as the cold, oppressive, almost militaristic feel can get a little tiresome. If Ignorance had been released two years earlier, it would probably receive a little more love from me, but for late 1987, it is a good emulation of its predecessors with a few moments of originality.

Standouts: Ignorance, Victim of Demise, Violent Solutions

Score: 7/10

Spiner202
06-04-2014, 06:55 AM
I agree with most of your comments except for the last one. I do think originality adds value to an album, but a lack of originality isn't necessarily a bad thing. In Sacred Reich's case, this is just an album filled with wicked riffs. It doesn't need to be anything more.

treghet
06-04-2014, 07:16 AM
Sacred Reich can probably be best described as a less catchy Metallica with more generic vocals.

Perfect description of them. By 1987 thrash was already becoming a diluted style. Sacred Reich wasn't a bad band by any means, but they did little to differentiate themselves from the hoards of copycats appearing around this time. When you look back their music today they're nothing more than an perfect stereotype for the American thrash metal sound, and I suppose that is why the retro-thrashers latch onto them so tightly.

El Gordo
06-04-2014, 05:13 PM
Perfect description of them. By 1987 thrash was already becoming a diluted style. Sacred Reich wasn't a bad band by any means, but they did little to differentiate themselves from the hoards of copycats appearing around this time. When you look back their music today they're nothing more than an perfect stereotype for the American thrash metal sound, and I suppose that is why the retro-thrashers latch onto them so tightly.

Exactly. They're good at what they do, but what they do has been done before... I don't hate the record by any means, but I get halfway through and start thinking, "what's the point?"

Onioner
06-04-2014, 05:19 PM
Perfect description of them. By 1987 thrash was already becoming a diluted style. Sacred Reich wasn't a bad band by any means, but they did little to differentiate themselves from the hoards of copycats appearing around this time. When you look back their music today they're nothing more than an perfect stereotype for the American thrash metal sound, and I suppose that is why the retro-thrashers latch onto them so tightly.

This, all of this. When I saw them live a year back, all I could think was that this band was in reality, really nothing special in the greater scheme of things when it comes to metal music. Sacred Reich really are as stereotypical as American thrash gets.

Even the more obscure crossover bands hold more appeal to me than Sacred Reich do. At that same show, Wehrmacht and Witchaven were the main support acts and they both totally blew Sacred Reich off the stage.

Spiner202
06-04-2014, 05:36 PM
This, all of this. When I saw them live a year back, all I could think was that this band was in reality, really nothing special in the greater scheme of things when it comes to metal music. Sacred Reich really are as stereotypical as American thrash gets.

Even the more obscure crossover bands hold more appeal to me than Sacred Reich do. At that same show, Wehrmacht and Witchaven were the main support acts and they both totally blew Sacred Reich off the stage.

I guess I fall into that retro thrasher demographic. I love Sacred Reich and thought they were killer live when I saw them.

Again, I don't think a band being stereotypical, predictable, or unoriginal should matter at all. It's all about the quality of the songs they put out, and Sacred Reich had some great material. I would love to see Wehrmacht though.

Onioner
06-04-2014, 06:03 PM
I guess I fall into that retro thrasher demographic. I love Sacred Reich and thought they were killer live when I saw them.

Again, I don't think a band being stereotypical, predictable, or unoriginal should matter at all. It's all about the quality of the songs they put out, and Sacred Reich had some great material. I would love to see Wehrmacht though.

The retro thrashers that treghet and I are referring to are a very narrowminded bunch, which I don't think you are at all. Being super into thrash bands is all well and good, it's the attitude that occasionally comes with the fans (you being an obvious exception) that can just suck. We're talking about kids so obsessed with the thrash image that they go nuts on patch jackets, disparage bands that dare to try anything new musically, overdramatize how mistreated by their peers/their family they are for being into metal, and they constantly overuse the phrase "old-school." Like, these are kids that will spend a shit-ton of their parents' money on eBay buying an old Megadeth tour shirt and subsequently tear off the sleeves just so it looks more thrash or whatever the fuck. To me, those kids are one of the dumbest parts about going to a concert in LA.

There's definitely a middle ground when it comes to the significance of originality vs. sheer quality. I certainly listen to my fair share of bands that do absolutely nothing new musically, but have songs so badass that I really don't care. Orchid, Midnight Chaser, Witchaven, Enforcer, Impaled... the list goes on.

My problem with thrash however, is that the genre itself is so inherently musically limited that you have to really do something special to stick out. Metallica had the best hooks in the genre, DRI was pretty much faster than everyone else, Exodus had sheer violent brutality, Slayer (or rather, Hanneman) was able to make seemingly musically retarded and dissonant riffs work within the greater context of the song, Kreator now has their own awesome power/thrash/melo-death hybrid going on and even Warbringer has John Kevill, who I'd argue is one of the most charismatic frontmen in the genre. For me, Sacred Reich just don't have that extra something that makes them really special, even if they have a few cool riffs and some enjoyable songs here and there.

With almost every other subgenre of metal, the room for experimentation is much larger. Thrash's limited scope is what caused the genre to stagnate and die a bloody death back in the early '90s, and it's what killed the so-called "re-thrash" thing a couple years ago.

Spiner202
06-05-2014, 05:03 AM
The retro thrashers that treghet and I are referring to are a very narrowminded bunch, which I don't think you are at all. Being super into thrash bands is all well and good, it's the attitude that occasionally comes with the fans (you being an obvious exception) that can just suck. We're talking about kids so obsessed with the thrash image that they go nuts on patch jackets, disparage bands that dare to try anything new musically, overdramatize how mistreated by their peers/their family they are for being into metal, and they constantly overuse the phrase "old-school." Like, these are kids that will spend a shit-ton of their parents' money on eBay buying an old Megadeth tour shirt and subsequently tear off the sleeves just so it looks more thrash or whatever the fuck. To me, those kids are one of the dumbest parts about going to a concert in LA.

Haha yeah, I'm not that crazy. I do love my patch jacket though :P

There's definitely a middle ground when it comes to the significance of originality vs. sheer quality. I certainly listen to my fair share of bands that do absolutely nothing new musically, but have songs so badass that I really don't care. Orchid, Midnight Chaser, Witchaven, Enforcer, Impaled... the list goes on.

The issue I have with the originality argument is this: If something is great because it was original in 1983, then as time goes on, it becomes less unique, and potentially worse because there is more of that sound out there. I started listening to metal around 2006, so to me, Kill 'em All is just as original as Ignorance. That isn't actually the case, obviously, but my point is that I don't think albums should be faulted for their lack of originality because the best original things will just get ripped off anyway. Whatever band makes that sound most interesting is what I'm curious in hearing. Most of the time, it just happens to be the band that invented that sound.

My problem with thrash however, is that the genre itself is so inherently musically limited that you have to really do something special to stick out. Metallica had the best hooks in the genre, DRI was pretty much faster than everyone else, Exodus had sheer violent brutality, Slayer (or rather, Hanneman) was able to make seemingly musically retarded and dissonant riffs work within the greater context of the song, Kreator now has their own awesome power/thrash/melo-death hybrid going on and even Warbringer has John Kevill, who I'd argue is one of the most charismatic frontmen in the genre. For me, Sacred Reich just don't have that extra something that makes them really special, even if they have a few cool riffs and some enjoyable songs here and there.

With almost every other subgenre of metal, the room for experimentation is much larger. Thrash's limited scope is what caused the genre to stagnate and die a bloody death back in the early '90s, and it's what killed the so-called "re-thrash" thing a couple years ago.

I would agree that thrash is among the most limited genres. As soon as you start doing something to it, it becomes death metal, or power metal, or something else. With that said, I do think the retro thrash phase has missed out on some key areas: there aren't too many bands (other than Vektor/HeXen/Warbringer) doing many interesting things in terms of technical thrash, and even fewer doing the power/thrash and speed/thrash things.

With that said, what I love about thrash is that it's the middle ground between writing catchy and memorable songs, and providing lots of energy. Most black and death metal bands fail to capture my attention because they sacrifice songwriting for brutality, to the point where everything blends together. This is primarily the reason I like the older death metal bands, because it evolved out of thrash.

El Gordo
06-05-2014, 05:10 PM
The issue I have with the originality argument is this: If something is great because it was original in 1983, then as time goes on, it becomes less unique, and potentially worse because there is more of that sound out there. I started listening to metal around 2006, so to me, Kill 'em All is just as original as Ignorance. That isn't actually the case, obviously, but my point is that I don't think albums should be faulted for their lack of originality because the best original things will just get ripped off anyway. Whatever band makes that sound most interesting is what I'm curious in hearing. Most of the time, it just happens to be the band that invented that sound.



I started listening to metal in 1991, so yeah, Kill 'Em All is just as original as Ignorance to me too, but the reason I'm doing this whole ridiculous album by album thing is to see how the genre evolved and eventually all but disintegrated, so I'm actually giving points for originality. The Sacred Reich debut is actually somewhat of a landmark album in its lack of originality, I think. There's absolutely nothing wrong with the album, in fact it's pretty good (which is why I gave it a 7) but it adds absolutely nothing new to the genre. It's Metallica-by-numbers. I know what you're saying with the originality thing, but it's important. If you want to look at every album in a vacuum, that's fine but it's also really hard to do. You can't just un-hear what you've heard.

Sepultura69
06-06-2014, 12:30 AM
I'm really looking forward to your write ups on Beneath the remains, South of Heaven, Arise, and Swallowed in Black by Sadus. :bliss:

I don't expect anything below a 9 from any of these albums. Maybe Arise... :hmm:

Wrecking Crew
06-06-2014, 08:04 AM
I'm really looking forward to your write ups on Beneath the remains, South of Heaven, Arise, and Swallowed in Black by Sadus. :bliss:

I don't expect anything below a 9 from any of these albums. Maybe Arise... :hmm:

I would give Beneath the Remains a 10 and Arise maybe a 8, but then it's not my thread :D

El Gordo
06-06-2014, 10:06 AM
I'm really looking forward to your write ups on Beneath the remains, South of Heaven, Arise, and Swallowed in Black by Sadus. :bliss:

I don't expect anything below a 9 from any of these albums. Maybe Arise... :hmm:

Not to spoil anything, but lower than a 9 on BTR and SOH would be folly. I haven't listened to Swallowed in Black in FOREVER, and I was actually thinking about it a week or two ago but decided to wait to get to it. I remember it being one of the more ruthless albums I've ever heard, so I would expect good things on that one too.

El Gordo
06-19-2014, 05:02 PM
http://united-metal.ru/uploads/posts/2010-09/1285311833_holy-moses-finished-with-the-dogs-1987.jpg
Holy Moses - Finished With the Dogs - October 19, 1987

Much like Dark Angel and Sacrifice before them, Holy Moses followed up an entirely mediocre debut with one fucking barn-burner of an album. Their debut, Queen of Siam was a plodding, boring affair, wasting Sabina Classen's vocals on uninspired stuff. Finished With the Dogs is like an adrenaline shot to the heart in comparison.

Right from the start, even though the title track is one of the weaker ones present, it's clear that Holy Moses is out for blood this time around. Jackhammer riffs abound, as tracks like "Current of Death" and "Corroded Dreams" stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the very best songs their countrymen had to offer. Of course, there are some weaker songs and there is a decided lack of melody throughout, but this is some of the most ferocious, aggressive and heavy thrash metal to this point. Sabina's vocals may have sounded over-the-top on the debut -- and they still do, but at least the instrumentation underneath matches their intensity this time around.

Standouts: Current of Death, Corroded Dreams, In the Slaughterhouse

Score: 9/10

Spiner202
06-19-2014, 05:34 PM
I'll have to look out for this one. I don't really enjoy either of the 2 Holy Moses albums I have that much (Queen of Siam and World Chaos), though I'll definitely revisit them to see if I like them more now.

I don't know if I've ever seen a positive Holy Moses review :lol:

El Gordo
06-20-2014, 02:09 AM
I'll have to look out for this one. I don't really enjoy either of the 2 Holy Moses albums I have that much (Queen of Siam and World Chaos), though I'll definitely revisit them to see if I like them more now.

I don't know if I've ever seen a positive Holy Moses review :lol:

Honestly, Finished With the Dogs is great. I had never listened to Holy Moses before starting this little journey, and was definitely underwhelmed by Queen of Siam -- although how could you not be impressed by Sabina's vocals? It's like they flipped a switch for the second one though. RIFFFFFS!

MetalIsArt
06-20-2014, 03:09 AM
Better check that out, then :fist:

Spiner202
06-20-2014, 03:13 AM
Honestly, Finished With the Dogs is great. I had never listened to Holy Moses before starting this little journey, and was definitely underwhelmed by Queen of Siam -- although how could you not be impressed by Sabina's vocals? It's like they flipped a switch for the second one though. RIFFFFFS!

There's nothing wrong with her vocals; it's always cool to hear a female vocalist in thrash. My issue is more that those two albums were pretty boring. There are tons of riffs, but most thrash albums have tons of riffs. I'll still give them another shot anyways.

El Gordo
06-20-2014, 04:42 PM
There's nothing wrong with her vocals; it's always cool to hear a female vocalist in thrash. My issue is more that those two albums were pretty boring. There are tons of riffs, but most thrash albums have tons of riffs. I'll still give them another shot anyways.

No, I wasn't implying that there was anything wrong with her vocals. Queen of Siam was just mediocre as hell. Definitely give Dogs a shot.

El Gordo
06-29-2014, 11:47 AM
http://img823.imageshack.us/img823/1831/1987schizophrenia.jpg
Sepultura - Schizophrenia - October 30, 1987

While Sepultura's first two releases, Bestial Devastation and Morbid Visions were mish-mashes of black, death and thrash with varying degrees of success, their third release, Schizophrenia finds Max & Co. mainlining pure, premium grade fucking thrash. Let's put emphasis on the premium part too, OK? Sure, some ideas still come out of left field like they did on their earlier efforts, but they are less "what in the fucking fuck?" and more "shit, that's fucking heavy". Max's vocals on Schizophrenia may be a little raspy and drenched in a black-esque reverb too, but that's OK because Max's vocals are not the star of the show here. Max's vocals do not need to set the world on fire, they just need to be adequate and not awful.

So what is the star of the show? Why, Max's supreme riffing, of course. The sheer number of quality riffs crammed into Schizophrenia is enough to vault it into the upper echelon of thrash albums as it is, let alone the ridiculously intense attack of the guitars, new guitarist Anders Kisser's frantic leads and Igor's soon-to-be signature drum style. The production is not the best, but that should probably be expected, given the band's origins, but it does not really take away from the overall impact of the album.

Yes folks, Schizophrenia is a quality piece of thrash metal. The first four tracks after the intro are absolutely brilliant. The next four are less so, but still shit all over at least 80% of what passed as thrash metal in 1987. The scary thing is, Schizophrenia is just Sepultura getting warmed up.

Standouts: From the Past Comes the Storms, Escape to the Void, Inquisition Symphony

Score: 9/10

Sepultura69
06-29-2014, 11:57 AM
Amazing album. So many memorable riffs on this CD! Even "The Abyss" is great! Sepultura were such a powerful band during the late 80s/early 90s.

John The Drummer
06-29-2014, 01:36 PM
Schizo used to be my favorite Sepultura album until I listened to Beneath the Remains more :lol: . Really good, though! Andreas did wonders fo that band.

JRA
06-29-2014, 02:12 PM
To The Wall is the song I remember liking the most from that album. Inquisition Symphony is also the jam. I'd like From The Past Comes The Storms more if the riff that shows up at 0:55 appeared 700 more times.

El Gordo
06-29-2014, 03:21 PM
To The Wall is the song I remember liking the most from that album. Inquisition Symphony is also the jam. I'd like From The Past Comes The Storms more if the riff that shows up at 0:55 appeared 700 more times.

You really can't go wrong with any of those first four songs. I could have easily put To the Wall on my list of three standouts in place of one of the others... or I should have just made four standouts lol

JRA
06-29-2014, 03:29 PM
You really can't go wrong with any of those first four songs. I could have easily put To the Wall on my list of three standouts in place of one of the others... or I should have just made four standouts lol

Eh, those were all appropriate picks. I actually haven't listened to the album in awhile so I should re-research it.

DisposableJustice
06-30-2014, 08:58 PM
http://img823.imageshack.us/img823/1831/1987schizophrenia.jpg
Sepultura - Schizophrenia - October 30, 1987

While Sepultura's first two releases, Bestial Devastation and Morbid Visions were mish-mashes of black, death and thrash with varying degrees of success, their third release, Schizophrenia finds Max & Co. mainlining pure, premium grade fucking thrash. Let's put emphasis on the premium part too, OK? Sure, some ideas still come out of left field like they did on their earlier efforts, but they are less "what in the fucking fuck?" and more "shit, that's fucking heavy". Max's vocals on Schizophrenia may be a little raspy and drenched in a black-esque reverb too, but that's OK because Max's vocals are not the star of the show here. Max's vocals do not need to set the world on fire, they just need to be adequate and not awful.

So what is the star of the show? Why, Max's supreme riffing, of course. The sheer number of quality riffs crammed into Schizophrenia is enough to vault it into the upper echelon of thrash albums as it is, let alone the ridiculously intense attack of the guitars, new guitarist Anders Kisser's frantic leads and Igor's soon-to-be signature drum style. The production is not the best, but that should probably be expected, given the band's origins, but it does not really take away from the overall impact of the album.

Yes folks, Schizophrenia is a quality piece of thrash metal. The first four tracks after the intro are absolutely brilliant. The next four are less so, but still shit all over at least 80% of what passed as thrash metal in 1987. The scary thing is, Schizophrenia is just Sepultura getting warmed up.

Standouts: From the Past Comes the Storms, Escape to the Void, Inquisition Symphony

Score: 9/10

Inquisition Symphony has to be one of the most underrated albums in metal it is surprisingly complex for a band getting its footing at the time.

Good review, great album

Spiner202
07-01-2014, 04:08 AM
I need to revisit that album. For some reason it hasn't really clicked for me like the other early Sepultura stuff has. Maybe it's the production.

treghet
07-02-2014, 01:18 PM
About time you got to Schizophrenia. :finger: The production has always been one of the highlights for me because it makes it sound unique and gives it a harder edge.

El Gordo
07-07-2014, 04:53 PM
http://www.metal-archives.com/images/6/0/9/3/6093.jpg
Violent Force - Malevolent Assault of Tomorrow - November, 1987

Violent Force get most of their points from their high-energy and aggressive sound -- not so much from originality or virtuosity. This German band sounds a lot more like an East Coast American crossover band than they do most of their countrymen, not that that's a bad thing but it's no wonder these guys fell to the bottom of the heap of German thrash bands releasing albums in the mid-to-late-eighties -- there were just a lot more talented and more interesting bands out there. If Violent Force had bothered to delve deeper into some of the more melodic moments in "Sign of Evil" (which is actually a pretty awesome burner of a song) and "Destructed Life", more albums and more popularity may have followed. Instead, we're left with this one contribution -- a fun but not particularly noteworthy thrash album.

Standouts: Sign of Evil, Destructed Life, Dead City

Score: 5.5/10

Spiner202
07-07-2014, 07:03 PM
There's a copy of that on Amazon for $17, and I'm debating pulling the trigger. On the one hand, your review doesn't put it in the greatest light, but on the other hand, it is an 80's thrash album I haven't heard...

:(

El Gordo
07-08-2014, 01:54 AM
You could probably find worse things to spend your money on... but you could probably also find better things too. I dunno, have a listen to it, it's not that hard to find streaming or otherwise.

MetalIsArt
07-08-2014, 03:41 AM
Inquisition Symphony has to be one of the most underrated albums in metal it is surprisingly complex for a band getting its footing at the time.

Good review, great album

This.

El Gordo
07-13-2014, 05:25 PM
http://spa.fotolog.com/photo/26/61/27/andre_r185/1246033026770_f.jpg
Sodom - Persecution Mania - December 1, 1987

Finally after two EP's and one full length, Sodom doesn't sound like they've been recording in a tomb. In fact, Persecution Mania sounds fucking great, with the guitar and bass both sounding absolutely lethal underneath Onkel Tom's still black-sounding vocals. In fact, even though this is a game-changer for Sodom, Persecution Mania is still not a pure thrash album as moments of sludgy black metal or nimble death metal still abound. No, the difference here is that the emphasis is on Frank Blackfire's riffs and that they are actually audible. There are some riffs that come out of left field, but they are also some of the best ones, as the band has really learned how to slam into a pit-churning groove which rival the abilities of some of the more famous thrash bands of the time.

Sodom is a band who is coming out of a big transition here, and Persecution Mania comes off remarkably well. Sure, the last two tracks are basically duds and the Motorhead cover while very well done, disrupts the momentum of the album (as most covers do) it's full of no-nonsense pissed-off metal and mad riffage. And while Persecution Mania is not wihtout its deficiencies, the overall feel is that of complete and utter domination.

Standouts: Nuclear Winter, Christ Passion, Enchanted Land

Score: 9/10

JRA
07-13-2014, 05:34 PM
http://spa.fotolog.com/photo/26/61/27/andre_r185/1246033026770_f.jpg
Sodom - Persecution Mania - December 1, 1987

Finally after two EP's and one full length, Sodom doesn't sound like they've been recording in a tomb. In fact, Persecution Mania sounds fucking great, with the guitar and bass both sounding absolutely lethal underneath Onkel Tom's still black-sounding vocals. In fact, even though this is a game-changer for Sodom, Persecution Mania is still not a pure thrash album as moments of sludgy black metal or nimble death metal still abound. No, the difference here is that the emphasis is on Frank Blackfire's riffs and that they are actually audible. There are some riffs that come out of left field, but they are also some of the best ones, as the band has really learned how to slam into a pit-churning groove which rival the abilities of some of the more famous thrash bands of the time.

Sodom is a band who is coming out of a big transition here, and Persecution Mania comes off remarkably well. Sure, the last two tracks are basically duds and the Motorhead cover while very well done, disrupts the momentum of the album (as most covers do) it's full of no-nonsense pissed-off metal and mad riffage. And while Persecution Mania is not wihtout its deficiencies, the overall feel is that of complete and utter domination.

Standouts: Nuclear Winter, Christ Passion, Enchanted Land

Score: 9/10


Not having the drums be louder than the guitars certainly helps.

energymetal14
07-13-2014, 07:27 PM
Persecution Mania is one of my top 3 thrash albums. Its relentless from start to finish, to me this is about as good as thrash gets.

PowerMaiden
07-14-2014, 07:19 AM
awesome album !


Cheers !
PowerMaiden

treghet
07-15-2014, 12:40 AM
How can you not love the fuck out of the riff in Conjuration? Bombenhagel rips too, although I do think the national anthem solo was unnecessary. Aside from that I think the album is damn near perfect. I don't know why Nuclear Winter isn't a staple in their live sets.

El Gordo
07-15-2014, 01:48 AM
How can you not love the fuck out of the riff in Conjuration? Bombenhagel rips too, although I do think the national anthem solo was unnecessary. Aside from that I think the album is damn near perfect. I don't know why Nuclear Winter isn't a staple in their live sets.

I guess calling the last two songs 'duds' was a little harsh, but I don't think they are up to the quality of the rest of the album. Bombenhagel especially bothers me -- it sounds like a bunch of leftover ideas thrown together just to add an extra song at the end of the album.

Nuclear Winter should absolutely be a live staple. As should Enchanted Land... and Electrocution... and Christ Passion... and...

El Gordo
07-24-2014, 05:30 PM
http://metalitalia.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/ACCUSER-THE-CONVICTION-19871.jpg
Accuser - The Conviction - 1987

Accuser show a lot of promise on The Conviction; they play a lively brand of melodic thrash metal, probably stuck somewhere in between Metallica and Megadeth. Indeed, at times their flair for the dramatic and ability to lock into a giant riff make them sound like a less robust Metallica while other moments of reckless speed make them sound like a less ambitious Megadeth. They simply lack the polish and creativity of those two giants of thrash, though. There are times when a riff or rhythm change just sounds off -- and the vocals are certainly an acquired taste -- but there are other moments, like the half-time part of the verse in "Evil Liar" or that gnarly stuttering bridge riff in the title track that are prime examples of solid songwriting and riff construction. The Conviction is a bit of a mixed bag, for sure but the good outweighs the bad, and the contents of the album are definitely much better than the cover art might suggest!

Standouts: The Conviction, Evil Liar, Screaming For Guilt

Score: 7/10