Destruction - Eternal Devastation - July 12, 1986
Back when I was a semi-serious musician and used to play in a band, my bandmates and I had a saying about what constituted a good thrash riff. Basically, if the riff made you pull a stupid face and bob your head, it was a good thrash riff. When I listen to Destruction's second full length in my car, people must think I'm borderline retarded because Eternal Devastation is chock full of good thrash riffs.
Eternal Devastation opens with an excellent song, closes with an excellent song and has some pretty good stuff in between. Destruction's style may not be as tight and polished as Metallica, nor as evil and oppressive as Slayer but they have a wild, rebellious sound that finally starts to really work after a pretty good EP and a debut full-length that had its fair share of issues. Everything just kind of clicks here, and Mike Siffringer really stretches his legs in some places, mostly in the rhythm guitar department but he also plays some tasty leads.
This album made me realize that at this point thrash is finally its own genre. The NWOBHM leanings are gone from most of the really good albums and bands have had a chance to listen to, digest and be influenced by albums like Kill 'Em All, Show No Mercy, Ride the Lightning, Feel the Fire, Bonded By Blood, etc, etc, etc. Eternal Devastation, while not incredibly dynamic is an excellent example of a THRASH album, and one that is often overlooked because of the year in which it was released.
Standouts: Confused Mind, Life Without Sense, Curse the Gods