Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Underrated Thrash Metal Albums Pt. 1 of 2

I started last week with death metal. This week I will be looking at ten thrash metal albums. Thrash metal is my favorite genre, but this was hard to do. I had a tough time with the meaning of underrated on this genre, so I went with overlooked bands, groups not in the major scenes, or if they were, groups that have not received as much attention. I strongly considered Morbid Saint for this post, but I have covered them quite a bit in the past and that album is getting quite a bit of recognition now.

I also had a problem limiting it to ten, but here we go:

Brutal thrash metal is not a sub-genre that gets thrown around often. But if any band, and there will be several in these two posts, show more of what brutal thrash can do, it's this one. Devastation was completely overlooked in the late 1980's/early 1990's and that is a major shame. Along with Sadus, Morbid Saint, and Demolition Hammer, Devastation played a major part in bringing brutality to thrash metal in the U.S.

This is not technically an album, but rather a collection of demos. The reason for that being that Slaughter Lord never released a full-length album. The Australian thrash metal band can be looked at as a major influence on the Australian war metal scene, along with Hobbs' Angel of Death, headed by Destroyer 666. Their thrash was razor-sharp and brutal. The band was even covered by At the Gates on some bonus tracks for their Slaughter of the Soul album. Yet, very few people have actually heard this band. Strange.

I have talked this album up a little bit in recent weeks and it fully deserves it. Even for a Canadian thrash metal band, Razor is overlooked. And that is a major shame because they were every bit as good and powerful as any of the Bay Area bands. Providing tons of catchy riffs and infectious songs, Razor had a long run of great albums. This is my personal favorite by the band. Razor really should be a better-known band.

This technical progressive thrash metal band recorded an absolutely fantastic album. Easily the equal of luminaries such as Heathen and Anacrusis. However it came out at the wrong time. It was released after Metallica's black album and thrash was becoming a bad word. Poor timing. If it had been released a few years earlier, this band could have been legendary. As it is, this is a fantastic example of the style of thrash metal.

I name-dropped them earlier and here they are. Either of the band's first two albums could have been considered, but I chose this one because it was more apparent that the band knew what they were doing. Demolition Hammer is extremely heavy and brutal thrash metal. It comes close to death metal, without straying over the line. It is however, fast and brutal. It's rare for thrash to achieve this type of brutality.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome, you've got a couple of gems on here.
    Violent Restitution is a lot of fun, but see if you can round up Custom Killing. Lots of longer songs (which brought them some criticism); I think the briskness of VR is a response to those complaints. Start with Last Rites: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BnLi9xlyfA

    Devastation. Yes. Fast, fast, fast. I interviewed Gene Hoglan of Dark Angel when they were touring behind Leave Scars. They played a couple of dates in Texas with Devastation. He was very open about the fact that DA was blown off the stage by them. I believe they had a singularly unsuccessful comeback recently, unfortunately. Some members walked off of a tour, as I recall.

    Intruder. Well, I don't know how you came across them, but it couldn't have been easy. Check out their two funny cover songs from their prior EP and album:
    Chicago's 25 or 6 to 4: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DrPybFoXwuM
    The Monkee's (I'm Not Your) Stepping Stone: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdsY_wctLCs