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0-9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A.D.H.E.R. (ARGENTINA)

Based on "Terciario de la Edad", this act play decent modern power/post-thrash with rare stretches towards classic heavy/power metal the latter binding them with the heroes of the local metal scene in their homeland Horcas and Hermetica. The tone is peaceful and the mid-pace which dominates the proceedings may turn to a background for whatever one is doing since there's nothing adventurous here to challenge the mind. The singer merges with the calm tone of the music with his clean mid-ranged tember which doesn't possess too much depth, but that's hardly the most urgent ingredient on this album.

"De Otras Tierras" offers more classic-sounding power/thrash, but there's no intensity or a guitar edge to be heard very often; the guys play in a relaxed manner with a lot of melody and a sleepy mid-pace which frequently "staggers" towards the stoner, the blues and the ballad. The closing "Negra Realidad" is an impressive pumping speedster, but that's the only song to make the head move a bit.

Eterno Recuerdo Full-length, 2002
Terciario de la Edad Full-length, 2004
De Otras Tierras Full-length, 2007

A.K.R. (USA)

This outfit (the abbreviation stands for "Anorexia Killed the Rat") provides a truly amateurish mish-mash consisting of 3 covers (on eof Slayer, "Die by the Sword"; two of S.O.D., "Freddy Krueger" & "United Forces") and several original cuts which cling between thrash and proto-death, but the horrible sound uality and the very bad shouty death metal vocals are very hard to ignore. Otherwise the band play fast notching it up proficiency-wise on the "Surf's Up" hit making at least more recognizeable compared to the previosuly mentioned covers.

Live Demo, 1988

A.M.E.S. (GERMANY)

Based on the debut demo, this band pulls out heavy steam-roller modern thrash/death metal which never leaves the mid-pace, except for the violent closer "Cast Aise", topped by ultra-brutal growling vocals. There is also a certain playful vibe in the guitar approach reminiscent of the first 2 Six Feet Under albums.

Demise Demo, 2003
God's Sign Under Suffering Souls Demo, 2004
Postmortem Rites Full-length, 2007

Official Site

A.M.Q.A. (USA)

Punk-ish thrash/crossover, more on the melodic side; there are two bass players in the band, and this can be very clearly felt; there is a very heavy bass bottom on every track, and yet the music is catchy and melodic.

Cats are Neat EP, 1986
Mutant Cats From Hell Full-length, 1988

My Space

A.N.I.M.A.L. (ARGENTINA)

Based on "El Nuevo Camino Del Hombre": groovy post-thrash, but lacking energy and speed, mostly mid-paced, often moving towards slower, balladic fields, one-dimensional and ultimately boring; there is one awful attempt at funk (or rap, or jazz?) at the end: "Chalito".

A.N.I.M.A.L. Full-length, 1993
Fin De Un Mundo Enfermo Full-length, 1994
El Nuevo Camino Del Hombre Full-length, 1996
Poder Latino Full-length, 1998
Usa Toda Tu Fuerza Full-length, 1999
Animal 6 Full-length, 2001
Combativo Full-length, 2004

My Space

A.N.S. (USA)

"The Process of Stocking Out" is thrashcore mixed with punk and a few instrumental variations with a strong modern industrial vibe; not terribly bad, actuallly, even sounding original at times. "Pressure Cracks" is cool thrash/crossover in the spirit of Broken Bones and Ludichrist; fast energetic songs take turns with noisier more hardcore-based ones. The modern elements have gone except for the nice spacey instrumental near the end "Instru-Monu-Mental" with touches of Mastodon, and now this effort sounds more classic, but quite derivative as well.

The Process of Stocking Out Full-Length, 2008
Pressure Cracks Full-Length, 2009

A.O.D. (FINLAND)

Based on the 2-song demo "Painful Awakening", this obscure band play cool heavy thrash sounding like early Testament. Both songs could well stay on "The New Order" with their crushing, semi-technical riffs and nice Alex Skolnick-like guitar work.

The band's full-length is finally a fact, and "Gallery of Pain" doesn't disappoint offering well-executed retro thrash, but with a drier, more clinical production and more hoarse semi-shouty vocals. The pace gets high from the get-go with the first two songs being major headbangers, followed by the more moderate "Children of Misfortune" which influences the next mid-pacer "Guilty Or Not", before the rage returns with the short Slayer-sque fury "Cross the Line (Of No Return)". The guys switch onto pure proto-death/hardcore on "Suicide Are You Fucking Insane?", but this is the only part where things get slightly out of control, but in a good way.

Demo 1988 Demo, 1988
Painful Awakening EP, 1989
AnnODomini Best of/Compilation, 2001
Gallery of Pain Full-length, 2010

My Space

A.P.O.D. (FRANCE)

Dark gothic thrash with strong shades of death metal including in the gruff shouty vocal department; "No More Problem... No More Life" is an eventful progressiver ala early-90's Messiah with intriguing complex riffs, but later on this impressive initiative is dissipated by several much more immediate, less serious cuts ("Sadists").

Captured by a Patapouf... Demo, 1991

A.R.G. (FINLAND)

A really good Finnish thrash metal band who perfectly combine aggression and technicality; their debut is rawer, but very effective, quite intense and speedy with great riffs and ambitious long, complex tracks ("Heathenism in Penitentuary"). The overall style is similar to late 80's Kreator and Destruction. The sophomore album is pretty much in the same vein, but is more technical and polished with another monstrous, 12-min multi-layered thrash opus near the end: the title track "One World Without The End", and really impressive excercises at a more complex, technical song-writing: "Adoration of the Kings", the smashing speedy riff-fest "Misfortune Along My Side", or the crushing galloping "Back To Life". This ""uncompromising thrash assault still finds room for one brilliant fast-paced melodic crossover piece: "Hey Hey My My".
"Redemption from Refaim": another veteran is back from the ashes, and the fans will rejoice listening to this bold statement of intent which will throw him/her into spontaneous headbanging from the very opener "Overlord". However, the guys have prepared pleasant surprises along the way: the intriguing technical escapade "Defiled", the consummate Destruction-like speed/thrasher "Redemption from Refaim", the more epic roller-coaster "Random Act of Cruelty"; etc. Heads will roll on the bombastic "Hypocritical Rites", but the more tender-hearted may have their go on the acoustic beginning of "Ramming Down Your Throat" which later turns into another flash of thrashing light. "Bloodstar" is again on the more serious side with more melodic decisions, before the closer "Refaim" serves a portion of heavy dramatic arrangements to close this new chapter from the guys' career with style.

Entrance Full-Length, 1989
Back To Life EP, 1990
One World Without The End Full-Length, 1991
Redemption from Refaim Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

A.S.M.O. (HOLLAND)

This act promotes the sound of the American power/thrash fraternity quite well on European ground with its epic arrangements ranging from the vitriolic speed of Savage Grace ( A.S.M.O.? to heavy seismic riffage in the vein of Jag Panzer ( Innocent?. Things move towards more aggressive thrash on the destructive? Total Death Destruction? and generally the dynamics is quite big another asset being the very good attached clean singer who is close to Jeoff Tate (Queensryche).

Obstruent Demo, 1987

A BAND OF ORCS (USA)

Based on the full-length, this band offer competent modern/classic thrash/death which possesses all the necessary ingredients to be an entertaining listen and seldom disappoints with its good sense of diversity and melody although to talk about all-out speed here would be farfetched the dominant riffage being squashing steam-roller-like with shades of progressive on the several longer numbers ("Hall of the Frozen Dead"). The leads are on a particularly high level surpassing the rest which crosses the Swedish school with the battle-like approach of Bolt Thrower to a generally positive effect. The singer is also close to Karl Willets (Bolt Thrower), maybe a tad higher and more comprehensive.

WarChiefs of the Apocalypse EP, 2007
Adding Heads to the Pile Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

A BETTER HOPE FOUNDATION (USA)

Crusty thrashcore with dry dispassionate guitars despite the up-tempo experienced for most of the time. The guys lash on autopilot producing samey energetic stuff which seldom gets wildly hardcore-ish ("Colder Nights") to a startling, but positive, effect, but watch out for the closing "extravaganza", a slow composition ala Biohazard including spacey melodic passages with an alternative edge which are ultimately ruined by the very shouty hardcore vocals.

Trading Heroes For Ghosts Full-Length, 2008
You Can Never Go Home Again EP, 2010

A BURIAL AT SEA (NORWAY)

The EP offers modern thrash/death metal of the Gothenburg school, fast and intense with clever technical riffage ("Among Betrayers") present.

Pestilent Demo, 2007
Like a Blessing EP, 2009

My Space

A CALL TO ARMS (USA)

This new act specializes in classic power/thrash which is pretty close to early Iced Earth, until it hits the more aggressive parameters on the smashing "No New Revolution". Things only get more interesting, first on the short technical "Parasite Season", and then on another fast-paced number: "The God Within". "Upcoming Epidemic" is a nice more epic-tinged power/thrasher with heavy meaty riffs which suit the cool clean, mid-ranged vocals reminiscent of the 2nd Iced Earth singer John Greely.

Peace Through Strength, Victory Through Devastation Full-Length, 2011

A COLOUR COLD BLACK (GERMANY)

Based on the debut, this band plays a weird mixture of thrash (a little bit also coming with a pinch of hardcore), death and doom metal with a very annoying abrasive guitar sound. At its most melancholic the approach comes close to early Anathema, but the Germans speed up more often where they also recall their compatriots End of Green. Reportedly on their later works the band incorporated thrash metal elements more mixing them with industrial and groove.
"Pull It Up" is a bland form of eclectic, avantgarde rock with no trace of thrash or even post-thrash; this is an awful blend of Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Monster Magnet and a few attempts to make things more interesting with the odd jumpy rhythm ala Tool or the harder quasi-industrial guitar edge in the spirit of Killing Joke springing up from time to time. The singer now has a soulful semi-declamatory/semi-clean tember, and misses the opportunity to sing more to which the musical delivery by all means inclines.

Dead Dream Full-length, 1997
Drowning Sun EP, 1998
Sau-Krass Full-length, 1998
Adrenaline Agony Full-length, 2000
Rockitallover Full-length, 2001
Pull It Up Full-length, 2004

Official Site

A DEEPER DARK (USA)

The EP: this band specialize in crunchy modern post-thrash which has both heaviness and an edge as well as deep dark undercurrents also carried by the several more atmospheric passages and the throaty death metal vocals which are surprisingly intelligible and even a bit attached. "Rise Of A New Species Of Man" is a cool dynamic cut, but the pensive brooding tone of the effort isn't broken easily although the short melodic leads could be considered a more optimistic digression.
The full-length is amore dynamic offering with sharper guitars and more aggressive leanings even attempting something more stylish and technical on the jumpy, not very predictable "Catastrophic". "War Machine" is a cool morose proto-doomster, and "System Flawed" is a rousing mid-paced shredder leaving "Unknown Territory" the sole reminder of the EP's more laid-back, nonchalant nature.

The Blackest Ov Black EP, 2012
The Art of War Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

A FITTING REVENGE (USA)

Modern melo-thrash/death with rough death metal vocals; the music is profesionally executed, but is nothing new as the better moments are the ones that are slower ("Electric Flame Ghost", "Prophet Of Truth") with a bigger sense of melody, and they're the ones that dominate. "Of Livestock And Wolves" is a diverse progressive piece with less controlled blast-beating passages, but for most of the time the approach is relatively peaceful without any extremes.

Tempus Fugit Full-Length, 2017

A LOWER DEEP (USA)

A cool mixture of thrash, progressive and doom metal with a heavy thick sound and a small doze of modern groove; will appeal to fans of Nevermore, Memento Mori, the last Hexenhaus album and even Iced Earth. "able of the Thorn" is the band's least thrashy effort; it's still quite good, with a bigger concentration on the progressive/power metal side of the music; the more intense thrashy sections (quite a few of them here) are modern-sounding, and not really engaging.
"Trinity" is a better offering, starting with a cool heavy power/thrashing number ("Ascent Of The Fallen"), which sets the tone for the rest. The tracks are longer, and are not sustained in a hard-hitting thrashing vein the whole time, but include slower, doomy sections, as well as more melodic ones. Certainly there are more laid-back, power metal-based songs ("Gods And Monsters"), as well as pure doom metal delights (the excellent, Candlemass-influenced "Lost in Eden"), plus a few exercises in modern groove (the closing "The Power Of Why"), but generally the guitar sound is sharper and more aggressive.
"Black Marys" continues the harder course from the last recording, and the brutal death shout at the beginning of the opener "Bleed" may scare you, but this number is the prototypical for the band mix of doom and power/thrash surrounded by a dark ominous atmosphere, which sets the tone for what follows: mid-paced to slow crushingly heavy stuff, clinging between the modern and the classic sound, with the doom metal opus "Hamartia" being the highlight, with the more dynamic technical power/thrasher "The Narrow Way" a close second. "For Those Left Behind" is the other place where your head will start banging, and where more extreme lower-tuned vocals can again be heard; the closing "Revelation" offers a nice fast twist in the middle, but as a whole this effort focuses on heaviness, now moving closer to Communic sound-wise.

A Lower Deep Full-length, 2002
able of the Thorn Full-length, 2004
Trinity Full-length, 2005
Black Marys Full-Length, 2007

Official Site

A MURDER OF CROWS (AUSTRALIA)

Modern power/thrash metal with strong groovy qualities; nothing really special except for the very good ballad "A New Breath" and the spasmodic proto-deathy closer "Here Comes The Pain", a sudden very aggressive outbreak ruined by the shouty angry vocals.

The Twisted Path EP, 2010

My Space

A PUNTO (ARGENTINA)

A modern blend of thrash and death metal with technical pretensions coming mostly from the jumpy hectic riffage which springs up from time to time. The tempos change quite a few times as the predominant one is the mid-paced. There are a couple of short 1/1.5-min tracks which are awkward as they are more aggressive and less serious and do nothing more but ruin the rest which offers pounding heavy rhythms as well as several groovy ones.

Popular Poder Full-length, 1996

My Space

A TASTE OF FEAR (ITALY)

Modern thrash/death with crisp boosted production which can be fairly vicious and wild ("Out Of Place"), and when this wild attitude gets blended with more serious progressive decisions ("A Feared Secret"), things are close to hitting the top. "Ripped Soul's Gift" serves a few more melodic and slower respites, but the majority are speedy remorseless shredders another exception being the creepy doomy closing title-track. The vocals are rough shouty death metal ones, the standard for this kind of hybrid.

God's Design Full-length, 2017

Official Site

A THOUSAND REASONS (ARGENTINA)

A 3-song demo of heavy abrasive thrash with very brutal low-tuned vocals; this is dark, almost doomy, music with a sudden faster revelation at the end: the hardcore-ish industrial oddity "Synthetic Heaven" which suddenly switches to darkwave on the final line also introducing nice clean vocals.

Strength and Fight Demo, 2009

A TORTURED SOUL (USA)

Based on "On This Evil Night", this band deliver very good classic power/thrash with an elusive progressive/technical edge. The title-track opens the album in a heavy, moshing fashion with crushing hammering riffs before the next "Crimson" speeds up a bit preserving the volcanic character its predecessor also adding a few appetizing, melodic decorations. "Black Dragon" lashes fiery riffs from all sides without speeding up too much; and "Dreams" is an impetuous progressive speed/thrasher matching the last few Paradox works in every respect. "All Alone" is a fascinating mix of ballads and fast-paced rhythms leaving the following "Smoke" to do more damage with harder, more aggressive guitars. "Waiting for Death" is a fabulous technical shredder recalling Helstar's "Nosferatu"; and "The Ripper's Curse" is an epic hymn with a very cool chorus. "Mourning Son" is almost 10-min of eventful thrashy progressiveness featuring several balladic breaks among the virtuous, hard-hitting riffage the latter finding a glorious continuation on the final "Murdering", another very stylish technicaller with dramatic, epic accumulations. The vocalist may be a bit of a letdown with his not very melodic, semi-clean baritone, but it can't possibly a spoiler on this grand recording which can easily top the year's poll.
"Kiss of the Thorn", which is a re-working of most of the material from the debut, is an epic speed/power metal affair with touches of thrash on the more aggressive material, like the vigorous closer "Tomorrow's Door". The singer often goes for the King Diamond falcetto, but his occasional wails are not that impressive, and create the impression that he isn't very confident in their execution restraining himself from pitching them higher. The riffs hit hard all the same, though, and the fans should have no problems savouring energetic shredders like "Altar Of Sangria" and the progressive gallopismms on "Parasite".
"Lucifer's Fate" follows the path carved by its predecessor, and is in the same epic power/speed metal vein reminiscent of Liege Lord's "Master Control" quite a bit. Brooding masterpieces like "Eye of Ra" and the pessimistic proto-galloper "Ashes to Ashes" will inevitably put a smile on the listener's face, as well as the slightly naive attempts of the vocalist to emulate King Diamond on the high-pitched shrieks; and it's only intricate speedsters like "Rust", and partly the progressive-heavy "Reign", which hint at the splendour to be unleashed on the band's magnum opus six years later.

Tomorrow's Door Full-length, 2005
Kiss of the Thorn Full-length, 2007
Lucifer's Fate Full-length, 2010
On This Evil Night Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

A TU PUTA KARA (SPAIN)

Modern thrash hesitating between heavy groovy and faster crossover parts; the alternation is almost song-by-song as both sides deliver helped by the relative length of the songs (4-5min), with sections where both tendencies entwine to produce the most interesting tunes ("La 'daltima", "A Fuerza Ostias", both placed at the end) topped by less impressive semi-death/semi-shouty vocals.

Movido por el Odio Full-length, 2007

Official Site

A VISION GROTESQUE (USA)

This band, previously known as Art of Dying, a moniker they had to drop due to legal claims made by a Canadian act of the same name, play modern thrash/death metal of the Swedish school (based on "Metaphysical Hypnosis"); nothing extraordinary, pretty typical stuff, melodic and laid-back, with the rough low-tuned vocals the only brutal thing, reminiscent of mid-period In Flames and the Finns Gandalf. The guitar work is not bad at all, but the guys develop it all in a tedious mid-tempo with only the closer "Whisper the Serpent" thrashing hard with force.

King of the Massacre Full-length, 2007
Waking Up to Hell EP, 2007
Metaphysical Hypnosis Full-length, 2009

My Space

A VULGAR PICTURE (USA)

The opening "Statement of Intent" is really a "statement of intent" with its creepy semi-technical decisions, but enters "Bound to Destruction" and things become aggressive to the point of proto-deathness. Later on such brutality is nowhere to be encountered the sound taking a disappointing turn towards groovy post-thrash/death where it stays till the end the progressive leanings on the melodic closer "The World I Found" the only more pleasant shift. The singer is the staple death metal shouter, maybe showing the casual shade of emotion at times.

The World I Found Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

AAMONHAMMER (BRAZIL)

Brutal black/thrash metal, not too dissimilar from others from the Brazilian metal scene at the same time: Vulcano, Sextrash, Sarcofago, etc. with a pinch of early Sodom and Hellhammer.

Funeral Demo, 1987
Warfare Noise II Split, 1988

AARDVARKS (GERMANY)

Based on "Conglomerate", this band offer an interesting blend of thrash and gothic/death metal which brings a thrashy Crematory to mind. The songs are heavy, slow to mid-tempo. Before you, thrash metal maniacs, give up tracking this band down, I would like to add that there are nice fast thrashers, too: "Grey" is a good example for that. The band's interesting mixture will appeal to gothic, death and thrash metal fans.

The "Pro Victoria" demo continues with the ambitious, and never overdone, aforementioned mix with a very good sound quality and crispy biting guitars. Again "Crematory meets thrash" would be a fitting description, and all hats will be down for the excellent cover of Bolt Thrower's immortal "For Victory", here named "Pro Victoria", a great dark read of this brilliant song with the steam-roller riffs and the brilliant doomy intro and outro, of course, preserved, the singer pulling outstanding performance worthy of Karl Willets himself.
The "Farkas' Lemma" demo is a cool start for the band also showing an early penchant for a more dynamic song-writing with the dark progressive speedster "Homeless". The melodic licks are also around to ensure a wider appeal which is also guaranteedd with the pensive proto-doomy "Late Onus", and arguably with the stomping, but also speedy, cover of Motorhead's "Ace of Spades" at the end the brutal death metal vocals not really matching the inebriate tember of Lemmy.
The "Profondo Rosso" EP is a hard-hitter the boosted guitars cutting like a knife in a mid-paced modern fashion topped by the calm low-tuned death metal vocals. The peaceful tone is rudely broken by the raging speedster "Grey", also featured on the full-length 3 years later, which also sounds a bit on the classic side with a nice technical mid-section; an unexpected, but utterly welcome cut after which the marching tone comes back with the galloping battle-like "Meat". The final "Too Many Puppies" is a noisier industrial piece creeping onward with formidable heavy squashing riffs. With a small, but fairly consistent, discography this outfit remain one of the better kept secrets from the German underground.

Farkas' Lemma Demo, 1996
Profondo Rosso, EP, 1999
Conglomerate, Full-length, 2002
Pro Victoria Demo, 2008

Official Site

ABACABB (USA)

Heavy groovy thrash, not too bad, with hammering Pantera-sque ("Far Beyond Driven") riffs and sudden very fast "interludes" ("Regression"), which are cool and fresh, boldly jumping on the death metal wagon ("Regression") to an even more impressive effect. Some tracks ("Destruction", etc.) are frankly proto-grinding, but surprisingly this unusual amalgam produces listenable results without sounding awkward.

Survivalist Full-length, 2009

Official Site

ABACINATE (HOLLAND)

Classy aggressive thrash similar to Sepultura's "Beneath the Remains" and Devastation's "Idolatry"; too bad these guys disappeared soon after that. These are actually the same musicians who were behind another great underground act: Brain Implosion. This is very fast-paced intense music, with no single pause for a break which never goes over the line into death metal territory, providing seven tracks of pure headbanging thrash.

Out of the System, Demo, 1991

ABACINATE (USA)

The full-length: these guys pull out a very wild mix of thrash, death metal and hardcore; the guitar work is fabulous, quite technical and varied, shaking hands with the best in the field: Suffocation, Morbid Angel, Decapitated, etc. although the band here are not strangers to straight thrashy sections. The grinding passages are quite a few, but are very appropriately used creating a very nice contrast with the less intense material nicely adding up to the great dynamics of the album. Even the short 1.5-2min numbers are packed with superb guitars and sudden tempo changes (check out the mighty riff-fest "Sadist Misogynist"). Another act this band might remind you of, is Carcass, their mid-period (check out the awesome "The Nuremberg Code"). More conventional Swedish-styled riffs are also added ("She Gave Up the Ghost") here and there, but they stand no chance against the impeccable technical riffage.

Portrayal Of The Gray Man EP, 2006
Ruination Full-length, 2008

Official Site

ABACINATOR (USA)

"Abacinator" is heavy thrash alternating between fast Slayer-esque sections and slower ones recalling Nasty Savage's debut with mean declamatory vocals which sound quite cool, actually. "Domestic Violence" abandons the slower parts and is all-out speed most of the time with again Slayer being the obvious influence as well as Evildead's "Annihilation of Civilization" and Sacred Reich's "Ignorance"; the drums sound a bit hollow on this one, and there is a song there: "Acting Like Black Sabbath" which acquires doomy tendencies similar to the Brits' early stage with Ozzy, and is clearly intended as a joke.

Abacinator Demo, 1987
Domestic Violence Demo, 1988

My Space

ABADDEN (UK)

The full-length reveals "defenders of the old school faith", the main difference coming from the throaty death metal-ish vocals. The main influences come from the American side (the Bay-Area, Slayer, early Whiplash), and rest assured that there is no speed lost here the guys moshing out with fury with sharp lashing riffs the whole time. "The Hand That Feeds" is a cool attempt at more elaborate performance ala late-80's Metallica followed closely by the last two numbers: "Into The Dark" which scores high in the lead department, and the more mid-paced closer "The Day Of Reckoning" where the guys leave room for cool melodic hooks toning down the speed as a finishing touch.

My Misery EP, 2007
Sentenced to Death Full-length, 2010

My Space

ABADDON (CZECH)

A young act who tries to broaden the margins of the thrash/death metal hybrid by adding clever arrangements of the semi-progressive type which results in a loss of speed and kind of repetitive structures evolving in mid-pace with frequent more intriguing technical stops which are also kind of samey sounding like a clumsier unrehearsed Coroner. The sound hesitates between the classic and the modern trends, but the melodic hooks ala later-period Death are a nice touch on the pounding proto-mechanical background the latter assisted by a strong bass-bottom. The singer is a low-tuned death metal growler of the more intelligible kind and will remind you of the ex-Torr singer Vlasta Henych quite a bit.

Armageddon Full-length, 2008

Official Site

ABADDON (UK)

Dynamic modern thrash with both metalcore and death metal influences; the music is fairly eventful with touches of romance (the tender balladic interlude on "A Life in Pictures"), but all is about to collapse at the end when the band pull out an unexpected cover of Backstreet Boys' (!!) "Larger Than Life" done in an abrasive quasi-industrial fashion and hardly recognizeable not without the help of the bad semi-shouty/semi-death metal vocals.

Book Of The Fallen EP, 2010

ABADDON RD (DOMINICAN REPUBLIC)

Based on "Tragic Eternal Mutation", which is the English version of their 2014 recording, this formation serve a modern brand of power/thrash which mostly relies on heavy seismic rhythms with a lot of dramatism bordering on epic. Exceptions to the rules are inevitable and here comes "Evil Possessed" to blow your socks off with some wild brutal death/thrash. In the 2nd half the tracks become longer and more complex, but the slower approach makes them somewhat dragging listens.

Abaddon RD Full-length, 2002
Animal Bizarro Full-length, 2008
La Tregica Y Eterna Mutacion Full-length, 2014
Tragic Eternal Mutation Full-length, 2015

Official Site

ABANDON HOPE (GERMANY)

Another band who play modern groovy post-thrash apparently influenced by Pantera and Machine Head this time spiced up with stoner/doom elements as well as more interesting, semi-progressive guitar work. When the guys pull themselves together, they can come up with hard-hitting, headbanging riffs ("Lost But Not Forgotten"). They also offer a cover version of Jethro Tull's "Locomotive Breath".

The Endless Ride Full-length, 2006

Official Site

ABANDONED (GERMANY)

These guys like the word "thrash", and it's not hard to guess where they would go with album titles like that: classic 80's thrash is the order of the day for which responsible are some of the more renowned musicians from the German metal scene: Fabian "Fabs" Schwarz, the guitar player who in the past played for both Storwitch and Tyran Pace, and of more recent times is involved in adox and Runamok, among other acts; the bass player G'fcnter Auschrat who also provides the heavy bottom in Out of Order; and the drummer Jan Mischon who is also a member of the talented outfit Courageous. Surprisingly, Abandoned don't follow on the steps of their compatriots, but have looked for inspiration on the other side of the Atlantic ocean and have come up with a good more Bay-Area thrash-influenced debut with a pinch of adox's speed/thrash which to these ears bears the most "delicious fruit" ("Holy Terror", "Phoenix Rise"). The drums sound hollow and noisy, though, and the singer doesn't quite fit with his throaty semi-shouty tember. Still, the tempo is up and vivid the whole time, and the guys throw in a couple of nice catchy choruses along the way.

"Thrash You!" concentrates on speed/thrash metal ala adox now sounding not far from that same band's "Collision Course". So some may find this album the better offering since the speed has been increased considerably, and the guys thrash sure-handedly, adding the odd more technical or more melodic hook here and there. The approach gets quite hard going beyond the adox shadow for a while: the bombastic crossover-tinged "Feel The Fire", and speed killers like "Damned For All Time", "In Search of Sanity" and "Trapped" are not too far behind. Two "reliefs" from the hign intensity can be encountered: the short 1.5-min lead instrumental "Repentance" and the short attempt at a calm acoustic ballad "V.O.D. Reprise" at the end. The melodic choruses are not that frequent this time, and the hoarse singing again remains the major flaw.

Thrash Notes, Full-length, 2006
Thrash You, Full-length, 2007

Official Site

ABANDONED SPHINX (SWEDEN)

3 songs (2 actually, since one is just a balladic intro) of dark mid-tempo thrash of which "Moment of Advantage" is a cool creepy semi-technical number, partly "killed" by the doomy pace and the brutal death metal vocals.

Former Life EP, 1993

ABATHOR (POLAND)

Based on the "Reincarnation" demo, this band plays noisy buzzy thrash metal with chainsaws instead of guitars... kidding, of course, but seriously, the sound is so buzzy that one may have problems distinguishing one motif from another due to the very noisy environment. Otherwise, this is intense fast thrash/proto-death metal with a few interesting balladic sections ("Down") where the music starts making sense for a bit. The guys had also had another project at around the same time: Citizen Dick, with a style closer to hardcore.

The unreleased album would be a pleasant surprise boasting a much better sound quality, and besides that a heavy potent delivery of the classic variety sitting somewhere between the Bay-Area (think mid-period Testament) and Flotsam & Jetsam's "Quatro". The effort develops in a doomy crushing manner until it reaches "Names Of Sin": a fast blitzkrieg number with nice technical tendencies. "Phoenix From The Flames" later on is a cool nod to doom metal, but all of you will be wide awake on the next "Infamy" which is a short furious thrasher ably supported by the two bonus tracks following suit, both fast raging speedsters with a worse sound quality, apparently leftovers from the band's older material. The guitar sound is really boosted and the guys play with confidence adding more clever arrangements here and there. The only drawback would be the rough death-y singer coming as a lower-pitched version of Kirk Windstein (Crowbar).

The "The Ultimate Cure" demo is a fairly long one consisting of 10 whole songs, but the quality both music and sound-wise is awful the guys just bashing with passion introducing a few stylish lead sections along the way recalling the maestro Mike Scaccia (R.I.P., Rigor Mortis, Ministry). There are several more moderate tracks ("Decadence Remains"), but expect a few death-laced surprises ("Soldiers od Destiny") as well. Still, not many signs of the big musical metamorphosis which took place a few years later...

Reincarnation Demo, 1991
The Ultimate Cure Demo, 1991
Promo Demo, 1993
Phoenix from the Flames Unreleased LP, 1996

My Space

ABATHUR (IRAN)

Based on the single, this band offer brutal black/thrash with a very dirty, fuzzy guitar sound. The 1st song "Blood World Flesh Winter" is almost pure vicious black metal whereas the other one "Last Man's Last Way" is cool black-ish thrash along the lines of mid-period Bathory ("Blood, Fire, Death") in a good galloping tempo with a very nice acoustic outro.

Grim Fuckin Folktales Demo, 2001
Philosophic Nothingness Split, 2002
Blood|World|Flesh|Winter Single, 2002
Befrost Full-Length, 2006

Official Site

ABATTOIR (USA)

This band is more famous as the band from where John Cyriis started his career (although he doesn't sing on any of the two albums), and also another member of Agent Steel: the guitarist Juan Garcia. The style is a good mixture of speed, thrash and power metal, with the preferences going for the second album which is heavier, with a more aggressive sound. "Vicious Attack" is almost a full-fledged speed/power metal affair, which keeps a respecle up-tempo throughout (the opener "Screams from the Grave", "The Enemy"), featuring a cool version of, but of course, Motorhead's "Ace of Spades", as well as less sharp heavy/power metal numbers. "The Only Safe Place" is not a very distant deture, but the sound is heavier and not as speed metal-based, close to early Exciter and the songs, albeit longer, are more memorable and catchy.

The band make an attempt to return to the scene with this roughly concocted demo which sees Gaines joining forces with the Evildead guys some of whom had been members of Abattoir in the past as well. The sound is sutabily rough and more than half of the tracks are nice cuts with a cool speed/thrashy "sting": the semi-technical shredder "Off", the early Exciter-worship (also check the song-title for the same reference) "Kill, Destroy, Erase", the crunchy mechanical "Sheep", the perennial headbangers "Evil Incarnate" & "Process Elimination", etc. Gaines is a bit rusty behind the mike as though he hasn't taken part in quite a few bands recently, and a bit more emotion in his hoarse semi-recitals would probably be better. Otherwise the band has done a good job to warm up the soil for an eventual full-length without betraying their roots by trying something new.

The band's future is uncertain again with Gaines concentrating on other projects (Anger as Art, above all) and Evildead planning to come back with a reunion album.

Vicious Attack, Full-length, 1985
The Only Safe Place, Full-length, 1986
From the Ashes Demo, 2004

My Space

ABATTORY (SINGAPORE)

The guys responsible for this EP are also those playing in another Singaporean act: Impiety. The music here is more controlled without going into the extremes so typical for Impiety. There's still a lot of aggression involved ("Voices From The Graves"), and the tracks move at lightning speed at times ("Marching Of The Dead") with the obligatory slower atmospheric interludes. "Elements Of Chaos" stands out with the nice more technical guitar work and the hammering middle section.

Anthems Of Death EP, 2001

Official Site

ABAX (CZECH)

Based on the "Paranoia" demo, this act serve moody mid-paced thrash which clings between the old and the new school. Near the end the guys vary things with the inclusion of a couple of vivid crossover cuts which, despite their uplifting character, are quite off-context starkly contrasting with the remaining much more officiant compositions. The vocals are not bad, though, with a carefree clean tember and a few more dramatic throw-ins.

Zlatej Rej EP, 2008
Paranoia EP, 2012

Official Site

ABAXIAL (ARGENTINA)

The full-length: a blend of 80's Metallica and modern 90's thrash; works quite well. The guitars have a nice technical edge, and the tempo varies from nice galloping energetic thrashers ("Self-Respect") to heavy slower ones ("206 Bones"). "Carnivore" is a cool choppy, more complex number. The singer has a slightly uneven hoarse, semi-clean voice which at its best sounds like unrehearsed James Hetfield.

The "Neo-Drama" EP is firmly in the classic thrash metal mould serving a powerful thick crunchy sound quite close to Xentrix and Metallica's mid/late-80's period. The compositions are long trying to sound moderately technical, and succeed although there isn't much speed present the guys acquitting themselves with a solid mid-pace ("La Larga Travesia De La Evolucion" has a nice speedy patt in the 2nd half) with very good leads which are not far from the ones of Kirk Hammett himself (check the ones on "La Larga Travesia De La Evolucion": an absolute feast for the ears with their brilliant melodies).

Neo-Drama EP, 1992
Samsara, Full-length, 1994

Fan Site

ABDUCTED CHILD (COLOMBIA)

There is only one person involved here, the name, or alias Andres "Abducted", and he comes up (based on "The First World Invasion") with modern thrash with a few hardcore and death metal touches the vivid music supported by deep guttutal deathy vocals. The man pulls out quite a performance making this release feel like it has been recorded by more musicians, but the thin guitar sound kind of betrays its origins at times especially when Andres indulges in not very necessary blast-beats where the drum machine also becomes too obvious. Otherwsie the man aims at the more aggressive parametres and the speedy riffage seldom pauses for a break ably accompanied by the odd melodic lick.

Oncoming The Enemy EP, 2006
Prophecy Is True...The First World Invasion Is Near! EP, 2008
The First World Invasion Full-length, 2010

Official Site

ABDUCTION (ITALY)

This act play pretty decent Bay Areasque thrash with echoes of Testament and Exodus. The aproach is crips and vivid with some really tasteful lead guitar work (check the one on "Raped by Aliens"). The riff-patterns are not as striking, but deliver with their adherence to fast-paced crescendos and covert semi-technical leanings ("The Toxic Avenger Attacks", the short stylish exploder "Pleasure to Grill"). The singer does a food job with his dramatic high-strung clean tember which he strains at times to reach shouty dimensions.

From Uranus to Your Anus Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

ABDUCTOR (COLOMBIA)

This act indulges in speedy thrash/proto-death ala Kreator's "Pleasure to Kill" and early Necrodeath. The guys play with passion relying on fast lashing riffs with several more melodic insertions present. The music is fairly energetic slightly hampered by the muddy sound quality and the overscreechy hysterical vocals.

Comando Infernal Demo, 2012

Official Site

ABDUCTUM (SPAIN)

The debut: playful, unpretentious speed/thrash/crossover of the old school; the guitars are crisp and the melodies are infectious the guys hardening the course here and there (the galloping "Turn It Off!"), but the general tone is more on the speed metal side: the frolic "Our Master Lie", the diverse merry-go-rounder "No My Mermaid" which energy gets taken away majorly by the closing "The Unrevealed Truth" which is more than 8-min of mellow doom/heavy metal which becomes plain boring at some stage. The singer isn't bad with his attached clean tember commanding the "parade" with competence, but is almost missing from the closing extravaganza, and for a good reason. Some of the musicians were also members of the heavy metal formation Abu Simbel.
"Behold the Man" takes a more serious approach to the style now resembling mid-period Megadeth quite a bit with its hesitation between power and thrash in the beginning. The intensity has been considerably diminished for the sake of several brilliant melodies ("Where No Answer Fit"), and some pieces ("Painspermia") hint at bigger technical skillswhich should be explored more fully in the future. "The Mirror Of Simple Souls" energizes the environment with its steely galloping riffs influencing the following "Ultra Killer Mask" which is a full-blooded thrasher. "Within The Cave" is another winner with its addictive melodic hooks and the insistent dynamic riffbase, before tthe closing "The Drawn Gods" wraps it on in the best possible way with over 8-min of impetuous sophisticated thrashing also adding a nice memorable chorus. The vocalist now resembles Dave Mustaine quite a bit, but this could hardly be a pullback on this cool, invigorating recording which sees the band in a much brighter light.

The Unrevealed Truth Full-Length, 2013
Behold the Man Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

ABERNETHY (CZECH)

This is catchy friendly post-thrash which is more convincing when it stays closer to the balladic patterns, and the guys wisely stick to the calmer side of their repertoire producing a few full-blooded ballads as well. The sound quality is quite good making the guitars quite cutting.

Made in Pato Full-Length, 1999

Official Site

ABERRATED (USA)

This is a real find: exquisite, all-instrumental, technical thrash/death of the hectic, unpredictable type. One has to concentrate quite a bit in order to be able to capture all the nuances on this ultra-complex album which plays as a mixture between Gorguts and Martyr on the more aggressive, and Electro Quarterstaff and Behold the Octopus on the more laid-back side. One will encounter very complicated passages suddenly taking turns with fast, blasting sections all this creating a hallucinogenic, chaotic feeling which doesn't get alleviated much by the addition of several surreal, abstract passages (the multi-layered opus "Moonlit Immolation"). Relatively more direct thrashing may one come across on "Virulent", but the next "Metamorphosis" is already a great nod to Coroner with its ever-swirling riffs and weird time-signatures. Expect nice flamenco guitars and great melodic leads on the diverse "The Delusion Cycle", and first-rate virtuoso pyrotechnics on the more light-hearted "A Mind Of Its Own". The surf rock guitar legend Dick Dale is paid a tribute at the end with a great technical thrashy version of his most popular tune "Miserlou", made famous by Quentin Tarantino who used it for the soundtrack to his hit "Pulp Fiction", here turned into a speedy delight with another portion of great Shrapnel-like guitar performance.

Immolate Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

ABERRATION (CHILE)

Dark abysmal thrash/death with brutal guttural death metal vocals; the music is heavy with doomy overtones until the arrival of "v" which is a sudden spasm of technicality also coming with very good melodic leads. And that's it the rest being on the pounding atmospheric side with melodic "reliefs" still provided at every opportunity.

Like a Sacrilege Demo, 1993

ABGATOR (GERMANY)

This is good stuff: excellent classic thrash along the lines of Viking's "Man of Straw", but faster-paced, and more aggressive ("Wings of Change" picks up a death metal-like intensity). The guitar peformance is particularly good boasting great leads and hard-hitting riffs.

House of Cards Demo, 1991

Official Site

ABHORER (SINGAPORE)

Based on the 2-song EP, this band bashes out brutal raw black/thrash/death, very fast music which is not far from the Australian monsters The Berzerker on the more extreme passages.

Rumpus of the Undead Demo, 1989
Deride the Remedied / Rumpus of the Undead Split, 1991
Upheaval of Blasphemy EP, 1994
Zygotical Sabbatory Anabapt Full-length, 1996
Unholy Blasphemer Best of/Compilation, 2004

ABHORRANCE (USA)

Based on the EP, this is retro melodic thrash/crossover akin to Broken Bones and Lawnmower Deth. "Malevolent Existence" is a strange, but not a very successful, attempt to cross their basic style with some alternative shades.

The full-length is more in the crossover/hardcore zone, and modern elements have sneaked through in a way not too different from Madball and more recent Pro-Pain. Thrash/death metal takes over for a while on "Support Your Local Back-Alley Abortion Clinic" to further cement the band's growing infatuation with the modern trends.

Lowering The Spirits of a Narcissistic Superhero EP, 2002
The Right Disease Full-length, 2005

Official Site

ABHORRED (USA)

Very good energetic classic thrash with a slight shade of death metal and death metal vocals; a few scattered blast-beats, but nothing really too brutal. The style resembles the Japanese Torture Squad and the Swedes Defleshed.

None Shall Be Sed EP, 2007

ABHORRENT (BRAZIL)

The band's debut is cool thrash in the Bay-Area tradition with vocals reminding of Max Cavalera. The music is fast and aggressive reminiscent of Vio-lence's "Eternal Nightmare". The 2nd album has almost nothing to do with this style going for strictly modern groovy post-thrash.

Rage, Full-length, 1996
Caution Strong Irritant, Full-length, 2001

Official Site

ABHORRENT (NORWAY)

The singer and founder of the band Stian Johansen was one of the most active figures from the early-90's black metal movement, along with the mythical Euronymous (R.I.P.) with whom he also formed the pre-Mayhem act Helvete. He also played bass for Mayhem, after Dead (R.I.P.) committed suicide. This badly produced demo is 4 songs of heavy mid-paced to slow doomy thrash, distantly recalling early Celtic Frost. Later the same guys changed their name to Thyabhorrent where the style shifted into a more sensible, more aggressive death/thrash mix.

Occultus Brujeria Demo, 1990

ABIGAIL (JAPAN)

A black/thrash metal band with a long, consistent career in the underground; music-wise Abigail are pure unadulterated thrash metal, and the "black metal" tag they rather deserve for the horrifying screaming vocals. Most of the time their style is like a faster mix of Motorhead and Venom, but there are also influences from other sides of the metal spectre.
"Sweet Baby Metal Slut" offers no surprises thrashing in a jolly unpretentious manner the whole time as this time the slower mid-paced tracks are not many at all, and the overall speedy approach creates an uplifting roller-coaster atmosphere slightly spoilt by the apocalyptic black metal vocals.
"The Final Damnation" notches it up in the aggression department the guys now thrashing with more force seldom pausing for a break inserting the odd melodic hook (the opening title-track) as well as the casual spasmodic blast-beat ("Blasphemy Night"). Some pieces "flirt" with hardcore ("No Pain! No Limit!"), others like the closing "Holocaust by Evil" are symphonies of all possible metal styles meshed together, recalling their compatriots Sigh with its ambitious, almost proggressive, leanings.

Descending from a Blackend Sky, EP, 1993
Confound Eternal, EP, 1996
Intercourse and Lust, Full-length, 1997
Welcome all Hell Fuckers, EP, 2001
Forever Street Metal Bitch, Full-length, 2003
Fucking louder than hell, Full-length, 2004
Abigail Loves Ilona, as she is the Very Best, Full-length, 2005
Ultimate Unholy Death, Full-length, 2005
Eastern Force of Evil, EP, 2005
Sweet Baby Metal Slut Full-length, 2010
The Final Damnation Full-Length, 2016

My Space

ABIGHOR (ITALY)

Based on the "The Bloody Cross" demo, these guys provide cool energetic speed/thrash which has certain epic/progressive pretensions ("Sword Of The Saint"), something which Manticora would develop more fully a few years later. "Negative Discharge" is an excellent uplifting speedster, and "My Damned House" is another more complex piece with a power metal flavour, the latter mixed with violent mosh on the following "Madness In The Evil Brain". The title-track is a glorious closer speed/thrashing to the death which unfortunately was replaced by a softer and more complex style on later releases including on the full-length which is a very intriguing slab of progressive power metal, a style given even more freedom on the next outfit formed by the band members, Proloud.

The debut demo is much more epic-sounding and more power metal-based, but it's a compelling listen all the way regardless of the very muddy sound quality. The compositions are elaborate except for the short ripper "Over The Life" which is a really hard-hitting thrasher its infectious fast, ripping riffs partially translated on the following epicer with a Sabbat (UK) flavour "Inducter Of Death". "Tetragrammaton" also speed/thrashes with might for nearly 7-min, overshadowing the power metal glory "Abigor" which closes the demo with more lyrical arrangements.

Wings of the End Demo, 1988
The Bloody Cross Demo, 1989
Outside the Window Demo, 1993
Anticlockwise Full-length, 1994

ABINAYA (FRANCE)

This is a modern blend of thrash and death metal with more intriguing Oriental and folk elements. The delivery is stomping and pounding and very seldom leaves the established mid-paced "idyll", "Nord-Sud" being the sole exception. Consequently at some point the music may get tiring due to its incessant hammering nature the fine ballad "Le Noir Soleil" a nice digression recalling Lake of Tears. The singer acquires a very cool romantic tember which is a stark contrast to his deathy semi-shouts heard elsewhere. It's interesting to note that although the song-titles are in French, the guys sing in English.

Beaute Paefenne Full-Length, 2014

ABIOTX (USA)

Based on "Liquid Damage", this trio specialize in energetic, brisk old school thrash which changes the pace at will the party atmosphere partly ruined by the gruff subdued vocals. Even the seemingly progressive "Libertines and Laments" is sustained in a fast raging fashion for most of the time, by far the highlight on this short, but invigorating effort which brings the short speed metal killer "She Wolf" and the crossover anthem "Seeing Through My Eyes" as a finishing touch.

Humanity EP, 2003
Straight to Hell Full-length, 2011
Liquid Damage Full-length, 2015

Official Site

ABKANIS (CHILE)

A 2-songer of prime retro thrash with clever semi-technical riffage on "The Weakness"; and more brutal deathy shades on "Nazi-Cop" which is maddening shred ala Morbid Saint and Devastation. The singer is a scary death metal semi-shouter his antics being always on the intelligible side. Another asset is the very clear sound quality which gives a fair share to each instrument.

The Weakness EP, 2012

ABLAZE (CANADA)

2 songs of pretty good American power/thrash metal very close to Laaz Rockit's "Know Your Enemy": sharp riffs, soaring high-pitched vocals, galloping rhythms, and a nice balladic deviation on the not very appropriately titled "Sadistic Dream". Later the guys turned into a Metallica tribute band after a few line-up changes.

Psychopath Single, 1986

Youtube

ABNEGATE (ITALY)

The debut: this unknown act play a mix of retro 80's and modern 90's thrash with throaty angry vocals, a mix between Phil Anselmo and Max Cavalera. The guys sound better when they put more speed into the proceedings where a certain death metal feeling is also present ("Cold Life", "Murky Dream"), or when they go for the other extreme: the heavy, doomy "Death Without Dying". "Shadowed" recalls the Black Album with a faster twist, and the closing track "No Sleep Till Brooklyn" is the odd unnecessary cover of the Beastie Boys.

"New Kernel" has entirely surrendered to the modern fashions and would be a pain to listen to unless you're a total groove maniac. This can hardly pass even for a post-thrash effort; it's some uneven mix between grunge and alternative with the cool industrial/electronic cut "Hansia" inserted at the end to make the fans dance around for a while.

Insane Souls Full-length, 1994
New Kernel Full-Length, 1997

ABNORMAL THAUGHTZ (USA)

Listless, boring modern power/post-thrash with dull repetitive riffs, preceding the obnoxious sound Machine Head acquired in the late 90's (this band could have been an influence- ha ha!) with a few years. Some slower brooding pieces are not too bad, actually: "Schitzophrenic Love Affair", the pounding thrashy closer "Against The Wall", and it seemed as though the guys would have been better off if they had chosen the doom metal field to explore. The singer is not a complete waste with his solid mid-ranged clean delivery which, again, would be of a bigger advantage to some doom metal act.

Abnormal Thaughtz Full-length, 1995

ABOLISH (USA)

This is your average heavy groovy 90's thrash which ironically sounds more appealing when it acquires more doomy tendencies ("Fade", the really cool doomster "Alive To Breathe Again").

Tap the Nerve Full-length, 1995

ABOLISHER (USA)

These guys try to give the thrash/death metal hybrid a big doze of progressive, and although at times this compilation sounds fairly intriguing there are quite a few moments when the music gets confusing, becoming either too complicated, or the addition of extra instruments (keyboards, that is) ruins the riffy sections. There are two overlong compositions here: one a bit over 10-min (the better one), the other going beyond the 13-min mark. Songs of such an epic length inevitably come served with boring parts, and these two are full with them. Again, the EP has its moments, it's not a complete waste, but more concentration on the riffage rather than the atmosphere for the future would be to both the band's and the fans' advantage.

Lament The Season EP, 2001

Official Site

ABOMINADOR (BRAZIL)

Based on the second "Abominador" demo, this act (which is actually only one person going under the name/pseudonim Vitor) pulls out primal old school black/thrash metal which has it all: early Venom above all, but also Celtic Frost, Slaughter, and the intro is a nice speedster with a pounding bass bottom which is apparently the guy's main instrument. The latter provides guttural low-tuned vocals which have more to do with the death metal field.

Abominador Demo, 2010
Abominador II Demo, 2010

My Space

ABOMINATION

Expect nothing more than the very typical modern thrashcore with the even more typical groovy insertions. "Morbid Aggression" tries to justify the "aggression" part of its title thrashing more intensely, but that's about it. The rest has all been heard hundreds (maybe even thousands) of times before...

Dark Corner of the Mind Full-Length, 2010

ABOMINATION (USA)

Paul Speckman is one of the greatest figures of the American metal underground. Among his projects, Abomination is arguably the best one. The band's trade mark are the heavy, crushing, stomping riffs which create an ominous, depressing atmosphere, aggravated by Speckman's roaring vocals, and this would not be music you would get back to very often. However, the quality displayed here is undeniable, and fans of the darker, rawer side of thrash will find a lot to like. Unfortunately, their comeback album in 1999 sounds tired and uninspired, with Speckman looking for inspiration at other genres (hardcore) consequently ruining the band's unique sound.

Abomination, Full-length, 1990
Tragedy Strikes, Full-length, 1991
The Final War, EP, 1999
Curses of a Deadly Sin, Full-length, 1999

Official Site

ABOMINATOR (AUSTRALIA)

Abominator are one of the main rivals to Destroyer 666 as one of the leading Australian metal bands in recent years. They actually have a connection to the Destroyers: Chris Volcano- a former singer and a drummer for that band. The music is not far from early Destroyer 666, and is pretty much the same frenetic mixture of thrash, death, speed and black metal, but with a more aggressive attitude, and without any melodic leanings which "flooded" the Destroyers' sound on their more recent works.

Damnation's Prophecy Full-length, 1999
Subversives For Lucifer Full-length, 2001
Nuctemeron Descent Full-length, 2003
The Eternal Conflagration Full-length, 2006

Official Site

ABOMNIUM (HOLLAND)

There is one person, the pseudonym Sapient, behind these three efforts. Based on "Coffinships", the guy indulges in modern black/thrash which is more on the epic, symphonic side (the 8.5-min progressiver "Hymn To The Tombs") spicing the approach with shorter more aggressive numbers ("Black Canyons of the Living Dead") those smelling death metal quite a bit. The delivery is quite eventful ranging from spasmodic hyper-blasts to quiet meditative interludes with thrash assisting ("Horde") wherever necessary not interfering a lot into this complex opera which will bring memories of the early Emperor works as well as Bal-Sagoth, Dimmu Borgir, etc.
"A Hollow Path" embraces the black metal idea much more tightly, and consequently there's not much room for thrash to develop among the bombastic blasting operatics and the dirgy doomy distractions ("Blood Court"). This is symphonic black metal all the way sittign somewhere between Emperor and Dimmu Borgir.

Rites Like Chains Full-length, 2011
Coffinships Full-length, 2013
Solace for the Condemned Full-Length, 2014
A Hollow Path Full-length, 2017

Official Site

ABORTIVE ABORTION (GERMANY)

Classic thrash/death, mostly mid-paced with echoes of doom, with shouty death metal vocals; a familiar picture on all counts whic wins some points from the good melodic leads, but the rest is just too sloppily assembled including the romantic ballad "Dreamer" which loses the deathy throat for the sake of marginally better cleaner vocals.

Senseless? Full-Length, 1996

ABORTOS DE SATAN (SPAIN)

Based on the "Exodo en el Alma" demo, these guys pull out intense classic thrash metal which doesn't rely on speed constantly, but provides the desirable heavier breaks which manage to stretch into a whole track near the end: the still energetic mid-paced closer "Abortos de Satan". The sound is a bit rough around the edges, but the guitars lash intelligibly. The only complaint is the shrieky hysterical shouter who serves as the vocalist, and his rendings are too much over the top to be a good addition to the inspired music.

The full-length is a logical continuation of the preceding demo only coming with a more expressive hardcore flavour which makes the guitars more abrasive and noisier. Again the pace is mixed the slower moments being frankly modern ("Esta Claro") ruining the middle which consists of a string of longer, more monotonous compositions. This is mostly pedestrian stuff which boasts a very clear guitar sound which is finally justified at the end, on the closing songs: the energetic headbanger "En Tu Puta Cara" and the heavy semi-balladic closer "La Ultima Oportunidad".
"Pura Mugre" comes with a more acceptable abstract edge with a shade of 90's post-thrash which supersedes the more aggressive hardcore leanings from the predecessor, and "Atracafarmacias" is even a hard-hitting retro headbanger to everyone's surprise. Later on the guys don't mosh so hard and the mid-paced groovy melee may wear thin at some stage the other faster-paced deviation being the cool shredder "Desconectado".

Demo Demo, 2006
Exodo en el Alma Demo, 2008
Miseria y Papel de Plata Full-length, 2011
Pura Mugre Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

ABOVE THE ALTAR (USA)

Modern thrash/death metal trying to balance between moderate mid-paced numbers and fast raging ones. The former side comes with a shade of groove whereas the latter is at times pure grinding bash. The melodic mid-tempo lashers ("Tried by Fire") ala mid-period In Flames seem to deliver the best, but they are not that many, and the mixture is a bit uneven topped by forced semi-shouty death metal vocals.

A Still Born Heart Full-length, 2010

Official Site

ABOVE THE WRECKAGE (RUSSIA)

Modern post-thrash with crossover tendencies; feelgood melodic stuff with good clean vocals recalling Mike Muir (Suicidal Tendencies) and laid-back mid-pace.

To Hate Is Easier Than To Love EP, 2010

ABRACADATHRASH (SWITZERLAND)

Despite the funny, do-not-take-us-seriously, name these guys come up with awesome speed/thrash akin to Paradox's "Heresy" and Vio-lence's "Eternal Nightmare"; the music is fast, with cool swirling leads, and vocals which are not too far from Chuck Billy. "Reincarnation" moves the sound in a heavier and slightly more technical direction, sounding like a leftover from Heathen's "Victims of Deception", or even Metallica's "...And Justice for All".

F.T.W. Demo, 1989

ABRIN (RUSSIA)

Based on "The World of Evil", these guys offer classic speed/thrash with a modern production which gives the guitars a not very pleasant abrasive flair. The guys thrash with gusto producing their share of headbanging delights ("The Iron Devil", "Fear in the Eyes") slowing down for the radio-friendly heavy metal hymn "Heavy Metal". They do a particularly good job on the Running Wild cover of "Under Jolly Roger" the good emotional clean vocals even surpassing those of Mr. Rock'n Rolf.

Mir Zla Full-length, 2012
The World of Evil Full-length, 2014
Vozvrata Net Full-length, 2015

Official Site

ABROGATION (GERMANY)

The band's style is consistently cool modern thrash/death metal, which ranges from more moderate, mid-paced gothic-tinged tracks to very furious blasting bombs. The music pays more tribute to thrash, especially on the last "Sarggeburt", which is cool headbanging thrash almost all the way, with some improvements in the guitar work (the leads, in ticular) and sce more extreme episodes (the blast-beats on "Fegefeuer" and "Totensammler").

Creation of Madness EP, 1998
Handwerk des Todes Full-length, 1999
Das Blut Der Toten Full-length, 2002
1487 Full-length, 2005
Sarggeburt Full-length, 2009

Official Site

ABSCENDENT (ITALY)

Modern progressive thrash with gruff semi-shouty death metal vocals; the compositions are long (6-8min) and offer plenty of music both of the intense and the melodic variety. "Compelled" is a cool technical shredder, but the rest is way more complex and engaging reaching Paradox-esque heights on the excellent "Doppelga4nger" and on the closing melo-thrash/speedster with deathy leanings "Nausea".

Decaying Human Condition Full-Length, 2016

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ABSENCE OF THE SACRED (SINGAPORE)

Based on "Come Hither O Herald Of Death", these Singaporean purveyors offer energetic, semi-technical thrash/death more on the modern side which excels in melodic hooks which harshly contrast with the brutal deathy growls the latter coming surprisingly comprehensive. Opeth-esque progressive interrupts the hard-hitting formula on "Our Glorious Dead", but the "carnage" is easily restored with the next two blitzkriegers, until the arrival of "Atrocities That Birthed Abominations": an elaborate opus which is woven by numerous moods and nuances without losing the primal energy of the album, shredding wildly on a few moments. This is professionally executed music, but it would hardly make many waves on a scene which has heard a similar material many times before.

Atrocities that Birthed Abominations Full-length, 2006
Era of the Apostate Full-length, 2008
Come Hither O Herald Of Death Full-length, 2012

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ABSERDO (USA)

The full-length, which also contains the 3 tracks from the Promo EP, offers workmanlike modern thrash metal mixed with hardcore which starts misleadingly with the all-out retro thrasher "Patriotic and Arrogant", but later on the sound gets less interesting and strictly modern turning into an intolerable mish-mash at some point with grindcore, jazz, doom (the not bad closer "South Dakota") and funk added to an ultimately unappealing effect.

The "Sweet Baby Eagles Coop" EP starts pretty intensely with the maddening thrash/deathster "Everybody Dead Again", and later on very little mercy is shown with wild ragers like "Hit Cops With Skateboards" and "Like A Hamster/Eat Your Kids". This is a more death metal-fixated effort, maybe suggesting at a future transition into full-fledged death metal?

Raising A Promo EP, 2010
Raising A Pervert Full-length, 2010
Sweet Baby Eagles Coop EP, 2011

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ABSOLUTE (BULGARIA)

These obscure Bulgarians (only two people are behind this project) offer really good classic thrash metal starting with the mid-paced stomper "Cherni Mutzuni", but soon switch onto faster thrash with "Niakade Zad Stenite" and "Alkoholna Sila". Then comes a time for the romantic but still thrashy semi-balladic instrumental "Mig Predi Golemia Vzriv" which shows the lead guitarist in fine form. More intense thrash with "Osuden Na Jivot" which is a nice mix between speedy and slower pounding passages. "Stranata Na Straha" is excellent more melodic speed/thrash with progressive tendencies; again the leads score high here. "Tehnicheski Progres" is fast-paced thrash ala early Metallica with again, nice lead guitars. "Evolucia" carries on in the same vein, maybe more straight-forward and more aggressive, compensated by the other instrumental: the closing "V Kulta", which both title and music-wise will remind you of Metallica's "The Call of Chtullu", a compelling mix of balladic and hard-hitting mid-tempo thrashy sections. The singer may be a slight pullback with his hoarse non-melodic pitch, but the music is top-notch putting this band right next to the leaders of the Bulgarian thrash movement, like Ira Deum, Agressor, Crash, etc. Reportedly the guys produced an immediate follow-up to this album, titled "Nishto ne Stava", and had another material ready for a 3rd release, but split up untimely.

Niakade Zad Stenite Full-length, 1993

ABSOLUTE DARKNESS (USA)

Rough modern-ish thrash with aggressive death metal vocals; this is diverse abrasive stuff without any sophistication. "Betrayal" offers something more melodic and accessible despite the more brutal death metal arrangements; and "Barricaded In" is a heavy epicer showing a side of the band that occupies the whole second half excluding the raging closer "2029".

Future Imperfect Full-Length, 2016

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ABSOLUTE DISORDER (FRANCE)

Messy semi-rehearsed thrash which is still more on the classic side, and also comes served with a few pleasant atmospheric gothic sections which are a stark contrast to the brutal low-tuned death metal vocals. The approach is mid-paced with strong doomy overtones at times ("... Appearance").

Deceptive Appearance Demo, 1994

ABSOLUTE MADNESS (USA)

Lashing old school thrash/crossover, fast tight music with slightly screechy vocals and clever stomping interceptions; good sound quality, crisp sharp riffs, and short direct tracks.

A.M. Demo Demo, 2009

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ABSOLUTE VENGEANCE (USA)

The guys had a lengthy career under the name Fierce Allegiance releasing 3 full-lengths and an EP of fairly decent retro thrash. Based on "Beneath the Flesh", the name of the game is thrash again, but more modern-sounding and way more melodic. The concentration is more on modern complexity without too much speed involved the guys shredding with more passion on the shorter material producing the requisite more dynamic moments on this otherwise relaxed effort which wins mostly due to the great melodic hooks both in the riff and the lead department. The singer is a dramatic shouter of the more subdued throaty variety.

Absolute Vengeance EP, 2007
Beneath the Flesh Full-length, 2008

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ABSOLUTE ZERO (CANADA)

Typical modern 90's post-thrash, mostly mid-paced with angry Phil Anselmo-like vocals often interrupted by bad alternative semi-clean ones; the pace accelerates quite a bit at times reaching hardcore fields, but those are quickly followed by a soft jumpy funky passage. A couple of Oriental tunes can be heard, and the bass work is quite good reminiscent of Les Claypool (Bling Illusion, Primus), but overall this is nothing too original.

Torn Full-length, 1994

ABSOLUTE ZERO (USA)

A 4-song demo (one track is actually an instrumental ("Zappa Death")) of excellent technical thrash; the music is a bit hectic, but never loses coherence, with a frequent change of tempos and numerous twisted technical riffs, recalling Mekong Delta, the Dutch Donor and Watchtower. This is great stuff with the magnificent closer "The King" being a 7.5-min long technical opus featuring aggressive guitars as well as calmer atmospheric moments.

Piracy Demo, 1988

ABSOLUTION (USA)

A really good newcomer on the US metal scene pulling out worthy classic thrash; the vocal styles vary from clean to rougher, mean-ish ones, both working fine. Based on the full-length, the tempo is not very fast, but there's enough energy involved to keep the listener on the alert. Some songs are a bit softer with a power/speed metal vibe ("Reflections Of Hate", "Seven Deadly Sins"), but the musicianship there is better, especially in the lead department. The album starts with two short, immediate thrashers, but with each subsequent song the complexity increases, and although it very seldom reaches progressive dimensions the overall sound is fairly technical on quite a few times: the awesome Oriental-tinged "Eternal Ascension", the sharp riff-fest "The Servant Of Liars". Near the end the band take it easier mixing power and thrash in a fairly cool manner except on the very ordinary modern metal track "Blind Reality". The closing "Human" is a more ambitious progressively-ornated song, but abandons the thrashing concentrating more on melody and complex arrangements partially losing in the long run lasting for nearly 9-min.

The Remission of Sin EP, 2005
The Revelation Diaries Full-length, 2008

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ABSOLUTION DENIED (COLOMBIA)

This is a 3-song demo of jumpy energetic modern thrash/death metal which is quite melodic with a few less impressive metalcore implements; not too straight-forward, but nothing too technical, either...

Sinister Time Demo, 2011

ABSOLVE (CANADA)

Modern thrash/death metal with slight moments from the classic Swedish death metal scene (Grave, Entombed, Unanimated), a pretty dynamic intense affair with sparse technical tendencies ("Rot and Decay") and a few brutal blast-beating sections.

Sadistic Crown EP, 2010

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ABSORBED (SPAIN)

The tag "technical death metal" attached to these guys is solely based on the brutal low-tuned vocals since music-wise this band has no ties to death metal whatsoever. Otherwise the music is well executed technical/progressive power/thrash which shares the calm and serenity, as well as the complex compositions, with the Czechs Scenery. So there's no speed above the mid-pace to be encountered, and the riffs lack sharpness relying more on melodic hooks which come at times with a shade of gothic. The contrast between the scary singer and the peaceful music is really weird at first strongly recalling the one achieved by the Austrian gothic/death metal act Visceral Evisceration, but one will get used to it without problems. "Contact" contains a nice acoustic interlude and could pass for a technical semi-ballad. "Towards Summer We Soar" is a great progressive opus also rubbing shoulders with Spiral Architect boasting strong bass support. "Disgust And Hate" abandons the technicality a bit, and is the fastest track sustained in a less pretentious crossover manner also ably helped by the vocals (could be a different singer?) which here are typical hardcore semi-shouts. After it comes the closer "Cosmos Turbine" which is a masterpiece of complex though-out progressive thrash offering clever technical riffs and even a headbanging section.

This album is a really unusual and a very interesting take on progressive metal which could have aroused the interest in such kind of music in Spain since later in the new millennium this band's "legacy" was followed by a couple of capable acts (Continuo Renacer, Unreal Overflows (one of that band's guitarits, Fran Perez, was involved with Absorbed at an earlier stage although he hadn't taken part in the recording of the album), Perseidan, Kaothic, etc.) which offered a more aggressive, death metal-based, interpretation to the music on offer here.

Reverie Full-length, 1999

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ABSORBED IN THOUGHT (GERMANY)

An obscure trio who specializes in complex choppy thrash which may be a bit hard to follow at times due to the less ordinary song-patterns and the frequent time-changes which were quite characteristic of the representatives of the progressive/technical thrash metal wave which flourished in Germany at the time. This is creepy, multi-textured music which is mostly mid-paced assisted by indifferent clean vocals. The guitars twist and turn into too many directions in a way not far from Deathrow's "Deception Ignored" although this is not so cleverly concocted having a kind of an unfinished feel. Sounded like a good rehearsal for bigger things to come which never materialized...

Kolibri Demo, 1993

ABSTRACT (BRAZIL)

There is one guy responsible (Leo Schroder is the name; he used other musicians for the recordings, too, but he's the mainman) for this excellent technical thrash affair which boasts a crisp sharp sound and great lead performance. The songs are intriguing with clever riffs, mostly in mid-pace, adhering to the odd galloping moment ("Ad Aeternum") on occasion. More intense thrashing can be encountered on the shorter numbers ("Endless Karma") where the shadow of late-80's Kreator and their compatriots Executer can be clearly felt. A more puzzling delivery with shades of progressive sneaks on "Heroes Of Remorse" which is a prime shredder with fast and slow sections alternating on a swirling lead-driven base with Oriental leanings. The bigger complexity remains for the following "Hella" and "Old" which will remind you of late-period Death as well, especially the latter with its haunting melodic tunes. The closing "Disturbance/Nightmare" is a stylish busy, hectic piece thrashing wild with a touch of proto-death among the technical decisions calling another hero from the past and present: Atheist. The singer is another reminder of the Americans with his rusty forceful tember ala Kelly Shaefer.

Concrete Visions Full-length, 2000

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ABSTRACT (SWITZERLAND)

Another serious obscurity from Switzerland; this act provide excellent progressive power/thrash with echoes of both Apocalypse and Drifter only that the approach here is more elaborate also reflected in the songs' length. "Tell Me (Without Words)" is a multi-layered progressive thrasher with numerous nuances embedded, and "Quest of Life" is a more linear speed/thrasher with wild screamy leads. "Rapsody In Blood" is a heavy stomper with several doomy staggerings fully epitomizing the expressive clean vocals which don't occupy much space.

Tell Me Demo, 1993

ABSTRACT RAPTURE (LUXEMBOURG)

The full-length: the people from the richest country in the world (for 2008) have never seemed to care about metal, but here comes a band from there who specialize in modern groovy post-thrash; nothing exceptional with the mid-paced heavy tracks ("The Void") dominating occasionally interrupted by faster better ones ("Noxious Utopia").

The EP is more moderate sticking to the Black Album patterns quite a bit and consequently sounds better despite the constant seismic pounding riffage which never leaves the mid-paced dimensions, and sounds a bit mechanical and sterile at times. There is a slight undustrial vibe present as well aggravated by the semi-shouty artificial vocals.

"Earthcrush" is a modern thrash "beast", by all means the guys' magnum opus which crushes admirably without losing the numerous headbanging sections which are scattered everywhere and create a formidable wall of a mechanized quasi-industrial sound which becomes nicely Pantera-sque (check out the angry aggro-groover "In Another Time") at times. The inclusion of clean vocals doesn't work the whole time, and the main angry death metal shouter does a much better job. "No Salvation" near the end is a sweeping speedster with death metal overtones starkly contrasting played back-to-back with the quiet balladic instrumental closer "New Dawn".

Dead End Entry EP, 2006
Democadencia Full-length, 2008
Earthcrush Full-Length, 2011

Official Site

ABSTRACT VIOLENCE (GREECE)

The demo: the Greek thrash invasion carries on with this act who pull out intelligent old school thrash with a certain hardcore edge both in the simplistic riff and the shouty vocal department. The pace is up for most of the time, and the guitar patterns are quite direct except on the closing "Beer Mania" which is a laid-back punk track which tones down the guitar tone reducing the speed as well.

The full-length is a retro thrash "monster" which exudes force and speed the whole time the band expectedly serving some crossover moments, but most of the time this is pure thrash done right on the edge of turning into something more furious (death metal, that is). The leads are short and to-the-point and are delivered with both technicality and melody. The second half is mellower the guys softening down with more references to crossover, but heads will fall near the end on the brutal grinder "Dead Women (Never Say No)". The singer is attached and semi-clean, of the high-strung variety and pulls inspired semi-shouty performance with echoes of Kurt Brecht (D.R.I.).

Thrash Upon The Earth Demo, 2011
Crossoverized Full-Length, 2012

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ABSTRACTED (BRAZIL)

4 songs of cleverly executed modern technical thrash which tries to update Helstar's "Nosferatu"'s flamboyant style to the contemporary fans comprising the same flashy lead guitar work. The "therapy" works just fine and impetuous elaborate cuts like "Paradoxical Sight" and "Frail Convictions" will make the heads bang and the minds think especially the latter with its sudden tempo changes including a short deathy passage. "Cosmic Dust" is an encompassing 9.5-min opus with plenty of unexpected turns and twists also graced by a more brutal death-laced passage not to mention the quiet interlde in the middle. This is a great way for the band to start their career, and hopefully they will suprise the fans with a similar stylish effort soon.

Ophidian EP, 2015

ABSTRUKTOR (USA)

This band play melodic old school power/thrash which is reflected in lengthy engaging numbers with various tempos and moods where melody meets more aggressive passages in a not very even alternating pattern. "Mouth of Hell" is a cool energizer aptly supported by the shorter, more vivid "Walking Dead", and with the galloping delight "High Grade Speed" following suit. Things in the second half seem much better the nice speed/thrashing closer finishing this album with panache providing cool headbanging fun for over 7-min. The vocals are of the mid-ranged clean type, but their antics aren't very striking and at times lose the melodic pitch for the sake of a gruffer, not very suitable one.

Judgement of Terror Full-Length, 2014

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ABSU (USA)

Absu started as a black/death metal band on their debut, which sounded pretty close to Darkthrone. "The Sun of Tiphareth" introduced a more restrained, epic sound which showed another, very interesting side of the band. "The Third Storm of Cythraul" was a transitional work, featuring both the epic moments from the previous album and really fast thrashy passages, suggesting at the future direction taken by the band. "Tara" is a masterpiece of black/thrash reminding of Slayer at times, with Proscriptor doing an amazing job on drums; clearly one of the leading extreme bands on the contemporary American metal scene.

A self-titled album after a long string of albums is a sign of a retrospection made, or a new direction taken, but in the case of Absu this is just the next album, despite the lengthy hiatus. This is by no means a bad effort, featuring the same fairly aggressive mix of black, thrash, and death metal, this time nicely spiced with calmer majestic operatic mid-tempo black/thrashers ("Amy"), but rest assured that the compensation is just around the corner, in the face of furious pieces like the black/death metal madness "Nunbarshegunu", or the classic thrash killer "13 Globes", or the quite stylish combination of the three aforementioned styles "Of The Dead Who Never Rest In Their Tombs Are The Attendance Of Familiar Spirits". Sorry, but the review ends here, since the song-title took the space required... Kidding, of course... Something quite technical, but also brutal, comes later: "Magick Square Cipher" with thrash and death shaking hands here. The technicality disappears, but the speed and the no-prisoners attitude remains for the rest of the material, except for the closing "Ye Uttuku Spells", which is a fine display of stomping, hectic technicality. The fans of the band will be delighted to hear their heroes blasting with full force again by adding tasteful "detours" from their merciless delivery.

The self-titled/restrospective saga continues with "Abzu", where just one letter gets changed from the previous album-title. So do we have any changes in the musical approach? Actually, we have a few, and all for the better: the opening "Earth Ripper" will "rip the earth" with awesome galloping riffs, and pretty melodic guitars, something new in the band's catalogue, but serving its purpose handsomely, amidst the hard riffage and the piercing, hellish raspy vocals of Mr. Proscriptor McGovern. Then black metal steps in for the raging "Circles Of The Oath" to mix with the staple thrashy approach, which becomes nicely technical on the hectic, mid-tempo "Abraxas Connexus", a labyrinthine composition ala Melechesh (Proscriptor was once drumming there) with gorgeous Oriental tunes. "Skrying in the Spirit Vision" is another more aggressive cut with hyper-blasting moments and great short leads. The black/thrash Oriental saga is on full display on the next "Ontologically, It Became Time & Space", but the final "A Song for Ea" is an engaging 15-min opera covering a wide gamut of moods and music in general, even including a few maddening technical death metal sections, dissonant rhythms ala Blut Aus Nord, quiet acoustic insertions, and more. As a whole the band haven't strayed too much from their occult black/thrash metal path, but the bigger ambition shown, as well as the more melodic compromises made has only enriched their already encompassing sound, giving their style a more appealing flavour.

Barathrum V.I.T.R.I.O.L. Full-length, 1993
...And Shineth Unto the Cold Cometh EP, 1995
The Sun of Tiphareth Full-length, 1995
The Third Storm of Cythraul Full-length, 1997
In the Eyes of Ioldanach EP, 1998
Hallstattian Swords EP, 2001
Tara Full-length, 2001
L'Attaque Du Tyran: Toulouse, Le 28 Avril 1997 EP, 2007
Absu Full-length, 2009
Abzu Full-length, 2011

Official Site

ABSURD (BELGIUM)

This band features Gunther Maes- the guitarist who also took part in an early incarnation of the great Chemical Breath. Based on the "Oppression Murder" demo, this band offer a mix of hardcore and thrash similar to Acrophet's "Corrupt Minds", or early Prong. The music is not very heavy, but is fast and enjoyable. The vocals are put a bit forward in the mix, and their presence "chokes" the instruments at times.

Possessed by Insanity Demo, 1989
Oppression or Murder Demo, 1989

ABSURD (CZECH)

A decent obscurity of more dynamic 90's thrash with still some remnants from the good old days. The music is mid-paced for most of the time with epic touches, and generally there are quite a few melodic hooks to be enjoyed. The singer, however, is a detraction with his rough drunken voice sounding like Lemmy if he had tried his hands on some death metal. "No Jesus" is a cool deviation from the more officiant norm branching out into merry crossover before the album returns to heavier, almost doomy on the pen-ultimate "Silence", waters.

Shadows Full-Length, 1996

ABSURD (SWITZERLAND)

Atmospheric doom/gothic-tinged modern thrash which starts in a sleepy morose fashion before speeding up later, but just a bit, giving us a jolly, totally out-of-context, crossover piece ("No Jesus") and several not very interesting mid-paced stompers with a few melodic hooks which starkly contrast with the harsh semi-death metal vocals.

Shadows Full-length, 1996

ABSURD CONFLICT (CZECH)

Based on the Promo, this band play modern thrash/death metal with a technical twist. The music moves from very fast early Dark Tranquillity-like moments to choppy modern breaks, to atmospheric, almost gothic sections. The lead guitar work is particularly good (check out "Till The End"), but after the furious opener "A Tragedy Concept" the sound gets softer and slower relying more on melodic hooks and more frequent time changes.

The "Hopeless Despair" demo is both "hopeless" and "desperate"; joking, folks... it sees the band having adopted the thrash/death hybrid, but the technical elements are nowhere to be heard. It's pretty standard modern stuff in mid-pace with only "Hope & Despair" bringing some "hope" (thankfully not "despair") providing both more technical prowess and more aggressive faster riffage.
The full-length moves closer to full-blooded death metal, but the approach is not very focused the band also trying to introduce more stylish technical performance which leads to the creation of the jumpy shredder "Across the Wasteland" and a couple of more stylish, but ultimately undeveloped, sections on the other cuts.

Hopeless Despair Demo, 1998
Promo Demo, 2003
Point of Crisis Full-length, 2007

Official Site

ABSURD2 (NORWAY)

This band was formed by former and present members of Extol, who apently were not too happy with the melodic and unimpressive form of music which this band have started to play recently. This is standout technical thrash/death pretty much along the lines of Extol's magnum opus "Synergy". The music is quite energetic with smashing technical guitars, frequently changing tempos, great jazzy parts, and will also remind you of Cynic, Atheist, Chemical Breath, Coroner, among other masters of the technical genre. The vocals are slightly irritating, being high-pitched hysterical semi-hardcore ones. Hopefully the full-length will hit us soon...

Absurd'ef'bf'bd EP, 2004

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ABSURDITY (FRANCE)

A modern death/thrash metal band with a strong presence of hardcore on the 2nd demo; this 2nd demo is more dynamic and features at least one intense death metal attack: "The Burning Sun" which even manages to provide clever semi-technical hooks. Still, the hardcore-ish implements and the derivative heavy riffage ruin the picture although the final "From Nuclear Meltdown Toward Stone Age" may be another commendable piece: a cool atmospheric industrial deviation with doomy overtones.

Sessions Recordings Demo, 2003
Decline Of Human Condition Demo, 2004

Official Site

ABSYNTHIUM (BELGIUM)

This act plays modern thrash/death with ultimately brutal low-tuned death metal vocals. The sound stays closer to thrash, and despite the obvious effort put by the guys, the music is hampered by the buzzy guitars and the thin, screamy leads. The band vary things by mixing slow and fast passages, also adding the odd more melodic hook ("Ominous Future Present"), seldom adhering to something blasting ("I, Hate", the stylish semi-technical explosion "Nonexistence") moving the approach closer to death metal on those moments. Some of the band members also play in the black metal formation Signs of Darkness.

Hatestorm Demo, 2005

ABUSER (ITALY)

Technical/progressive thrash metal shifted through the years from the gorgeous models of the late-80's/early-90's (Target, Coroner, Anacrusis, Flaming Anger, Mekong Delta, Deathrow, Hexenhaus, Nasty Savage, etc.) which was the real time of this sub-genre, to more straight-forward stuff with a couple of more technical leanings of more recent times which we, the technical metal maniacs, had no choice but call "technical" due to the lack of anything better out there.

Abuser come close to the models of the 80's on a few times, but their infatuation with speed is bigger leaving some of the more technical passages kind of unfinished. Still, this effort rises well above the modern pack with a style quite close to the one album wonder Bezerker from Australia and Target's debut. Virtuoso guitar work ala Mike Wead can also be heard, but again it is the "need for speed" which will be fully satisfied in the long run with energetic roller-coasters like "Flesh Eaters" and "Creations". Technicality and speed come brilliantly mixed on the progressive opus "Iron Ghost" which is complex intense thrash at its best. The other tracks are shorter speedy "stingers" with genuine technical "decorations", the culmination among them being the excellent "Possession", a headbanger of a less ordinary nature with a few technical "surprises" along the way. The final is a bit underwhelming, though: a pretty faithful rendition of the early Whiplash hit "Spit on Your Grave" with no technical play whatsoever, but the speed metal fans will salivate all over once again. This is a truly impressive entry from Italy, and hopefully the guys will manage to stay afloat unlike several of their more recent compatriots (Rainspawn, Fear Traders, Death Mechanism, etc.) who disappeared after just one album.

Threats Of Fate Full-length, 2010

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ABUSO VERBAL (ITALY)

Based on the split with the Brazilian death/thrashers Evil Sindicate, this act offers evil aggressive death/thrash metal; fast relentless music with apocalyptic death metal vocals.

Narco Homicida... Psic'f3tico Alterado Full-length, 2007
Sindicato da Tortura Split, 2009

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ABY-KEM (SPAIN)

This band tries to recreate the brooding atmosphere of Machine Head's "The Blackening" (please, note that both albums were released the same year), and almost succeed in doing this offering long, diverse compositions with dramatic overtones which will by all means engage the listener, but the relief is also here in the form of fast, uncompromising thrash/proto-death metal pieces ("Hondarrezko Ekaitza"). The guys almost hit the top with the progessive opus "Behin Betiko Zigortuak" which is an encompassing blend of intense thrash and breathtaking melodies, and generally there's seldom a dull moment on this effort ("Larroxen Iraultza" is a less interesting sterile steam-roller) which gives a much more serious twist to the 90's trends elaborating on a style almost considered obsolete nowadays.

Azken Guda Full-length, 2007

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ABYSM (CANADA)

Based on the first demo, this band plays classic thrash/death metal of the French school with vicious black metal vocals. The music is generally fast with the obligatory blast-beating sections "decorating" every song.

Demo Demo, 2007
June '07 Reh Demo, 2007

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ABYSMAL (USA)

The battle-like riff-patterns of Bolt Thrower loom heavily over this cool effort which gives the Brits' steam-roller delivery a thrashy twist also supported by thin screamy leads the latter sounding almost surreal compared to the much more officiant, serious rhythm-section. The seismic riffage marches on in a steady mid-pace speeding up on occasion, but not by much. "Trophies Of His Conquesty" is the expected tribute to the doom metal scene served with an appropriate stonery main theme and another portion of those weird piercing leads. "Time Squared" at the end is a revelation: dramatic volcanic thrash/death with a wild blasting exit. The vocals are brutal and down-tuned quite reminiscent of Karl Willets (Bolt Thrower time and time again) maybe a bit lower-pitched and less intelligible.

Surrealistic Fatality Demo, 1992

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ABYSMALIA (FINLAND)

A strong newcomer on the Finnish scene, which suggested at their big potential on the debut demo which offers heavy, mostly mid-paced technically-minded thrash of the modern variety with gruff death metal vocals, which are the downside. There are atmospheric sections recalling Coroner's "Grin" as well as a whole song sounding as though directly taken from that album: "Irreplaceable": a nice short abstract modern progressive piece. The music nicely picks up speed on the final "The Sewage of Lies (Phase Two)", but the track is ruined by the indifferent clean vocals, accompanying a pointless, very melodic section in the middle.

"Portals to Psychotic Inertia" comes just a few months after the demo, but the guys show that they have grown musically. If we exclude the very bad clean vocals, the rest is well done modern progressive/technical thrash metal rubbing shoulders with early Meshuggah and Obliveon. The compositions are longer, and are not "deprived" of speedy passages, which are well embedded in the overall quite complex musical picture: check out the first two songs. "Whispering Insomnia" is a less elaborate and softer composition followed by the creepy slow-ish progressive "Coma Recurring". The strong beginning finally finds its match in the face of the short direct thrasher "The Mindscraping Multitude" which will be a delight to the more level-headed fans, although it also offers a couple of more twisted sections. Don't bother with the closer "The Naiad of the Dawn (Anam Cara)": total waste of 5.5-min for the thrash metal fan: a gothic/orchestral number which doesn't even sound progressive, assisted by the worst clean vocals on the album: a semi-Dave Gahan-like (Depeche Mode) tember which hardly has a place on an album like this. It's not too bad overall, but the guys scatter their sound into too many directions, sometimes not quite necessarily; more focus for the future on the harder guitar sound could bring better results.

"Replenish Entirety" is another larger-than-life affair now adding black and post-black metal to the already overdone amalgam. Thrash metal comes stifled more than now and then, if ever present, replaced by numerous quiet atmospheric passages, sprawling doomy sections, orchestral arrangements, and more. Apparently from now on the band will concentrate on extreme multi-layered progressive metal without any boundaries.

"Amid Adversities" hardens the course once again, but the approach is direct and stripped-down modern thrash/post-thrash with the other influences inevitably showing up gradually at various stages throughout including the slightly abrasive quasi-industrial boost in the guitar department. Still, there's plenty of energy to savour here (check out the busy jumpy piece "Endeavors Inane") ably compensated by longer, progressively-structured numbers (the dragging balladic sleeper "The Mothers of Sons"). This offering is by far better than the preceding one although it's obvious that the band aren't going to settle for one style only and will continue to expand their horizons on future efforts.

"Polarization" is a modern thrash "opera" with several influences crossed including a strong presence of gothic ("Against The Absolute"). There's not much actual thrash to be heard "Symbols Of Defeat" trying to insert some avantgarde "sting" into the proceedings, "Autophobia" helping with the most aggressive guitars on this quiet, meditative effort which goes down, but not in flames, on the awkward industrial/noise 12-min closer "Coma Reversed".

The Sewage of Lies Demo, 2007
Portals to Psychotic Inertia Full-length, 2008
Replenish Entirety Full-length, 2010
Amid Adversities Full-length, 2011
Polarization Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

ABYSS (CHILE)

A good album of classic 80's thrash; the music is closer to the German school, and more particularly early Destruction and Darkness. The pace is dynamic, up-tempo for most of the time, with clever sharp riffs, but nothing overtly technical. The songs flow in the same vein without any changes, but there's no time for that since the album is only 6 songs. The singer has a sinister black-ish snarl seldom accompanied by more aggressive death metal growls.

Under the Shadows of Evil Full-length, 2006

Official Site

ABYSS (FRANCE)

Based on the "Against The Sea" EP, these guys play run-of-the-mill modern thrash/death metal, fast, energetic and sharp, with gruff aggressive Jan-Chris De Koeijer-like (Gorefest) vocals, but pretty derivative without any surprises although the peaceful balladic interludes are not bad ("The Navigator").

Silent Depths EP, 2006
Against The Sea EP, 2009

Official Site

ABYSS OF SORROW (HUNGARY)

Based on the "Forgotten Past" 3-song demo, this act come up with pensive moody thrash/post-death of the modern kind which stretches into melancholic gothic/doomy landscapes (check out the soporific elegy "A Long Night") ala Katatonia and Tristitia more than the good taste affords. The riffage is clumsy and often lifeless the low-tuned male vocals not making a very impressive cross with the much better angelic female ones.

Abyss of Sorrow Demo, 2007
Forgotten Past Demo, 2008
Abyss Demo, 2008

Official Site

ABYSSAL SUFFERING (FRANCE)

One man is responsible for the 3 songs here; his name is Ivan Sikic, and he has also taken part in other acts, like the technical death metal masters Korum and the modern thrash act Hemoragy. The music on display here is old school thrash/death metal with technical pretensions, not far from Suffocation and early Death. Two fast technical blitzkriegers encircle an engaging opus: "Die Dreaming", which is a whirlwind of complex, labyrinthine riffs and structures, including a funeral doom "interlude" in the 2nd half. "Soul Pioneer" is another interesting piece, all-instrumental, with a few virtuoso sections and frequently changing tempos, among the pretty twisted riff patterns. The sound quality is a bit muddy, and Ivan is a scary brutal growler when it comes to his vocals, not miles away from Frank Mullen (Suffocation again).

Soul Pioneer Demo, 2005

Official Site

ABYSSALS (FRANCE)

The line-up consists of former members of two excellent extreme French thrash metal formations: Mutilated, and Mutilator who never managed to make it above the demo stage. This demo shows that despite the lengthy hiatus between these two bands' recordings, they haven't lost their touch. This is pure classic thrash, aggressive and fast, certainly bringing to mind both bands (staying closer to Mutilator), but having a 80's Slayer vibe, too, with pure death metal vocals and occasional blast-beats.

Demo Demo, 1994

ABYSSION (USA)

Two guys are behind this devilish project which stays on the dark blacky thrash side if we exclude the several escapades towards death metal territories ("Ex Nihilo Nihil Fit") where also the very low-tuned brutal vocals belong. The evil black-isms seldom go for the hyper-blast, but the musical delivery is quite intense as thrash doesn't have quite a say for most of the time, death metal taking over again near the end on the stylish semi-technicaller "Covenant of Abomination", and on the cool diverse closer "Majestic Warlust" which is a wide amalgam lasting for over 8-min, also giving a chance to a few thrashy rhythms to be heard.

Satanic Taste of Neurotic Virtuosi Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

ABYZMAL (AUSTRALIA)

Modern thrash with dark atmospheric overtones and deep semi-clean vocals; the music delivers with consistent heavy riffage becoming nicely speedy (the energetic speed/thrasher "Misconnected Lies"; the sincere headbanger "This Day Will Come") on demand as well as beautifully melodic, like on the good galloping instrumental "The End Of Time" which excels in the lead department.

This Day Will Come EP, 2011

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ABYZZ (GERMANY)

Based on "EMPUSA", these guys pull out dark gothic thrash/death metal sounding surprisingly close to Cemetary's "Godless beauty" at times including in the forceful death metal vocal department. "The Heritage" is a fine more intense number with formidable steam-rolling riffage, and the final "Reborn Again" is a great slab of fast headbanging thrash/death metal, but the rest is more on the atmospheric melancholic side with numerous melodic "decorations" and allusions to the doom/gothic metal field.

Ominous Silence EP, 2000
Terror Mundi Full-length, 2002
Warmasutra Full-length, 2004
Reminder EP, 2006
EMPUSA Full-length, 2009

Official Site

ABUSOR (CANADA)

Very good all-out retro thrash (based on the "Living Death" demo) which opens nicely with the intense thrashing instrumental "Stealing Blood" and the deadly headbanger "Thrash Is Death". The other tracks preserve the energetic riffage, but add more melodic hooks: watch out for the title-track which is a first-class speed/thrasher worthy of the Angel Dust debut, and especially for the raging closer "AbUsor" which will pour tones of sharp speedy riffs over you.

Montreal Thrash Inferno Demo, 2008
Living Death Demo, 2008

My Space

ACADEMY BLACK (USA)

Thrash/crossover with quite a few experimental touches: "That's Uncool" crosses punk and funk (and thrash, of course), "Tonite I'm Gonna Rock You" is pure rock'n roll happiness, and "Dead Horse", the highlight here, brings cool alternative shades supported by a nice melodic guitar line.

24 Hour Foundation Project Demo, 1990

My Space

ACAO DIRETA (BRAZIL)

Based on the debut, these Brazilians play rough unpolished thrash/crossover sounding like the bastard child of their compatriots Ratos de Porao. The music is mixed, both fast and slower, but the approach is pretty samey and doesn't require any big musical experience. There are whole 24 tracks here, but the longest one is barely over 2-min. The vocalist recites in a forced shouty fashion without straining himself too much to outclass the udnemanding musical delivery.

Progresso/Destrui'e7'e3o Full-Length, 1991
Entre A Bencao E O Caos Full-Length, 1997

ACAO LIBERTARIA (BRAZIL)

The EP: fast tight Wehrmacht-esque thrash/crossover; some tracks are pure unadulterated retro thrash ("Voce Escolhe"), some of which end up sounding pretty technical and jumpy (the frantic proto-deathy "Criptocracia"); others are kind of misplaced belonging to other genres (the aggressive death metal bomb "Pogoterapia"), all this assisted by indifferent shouty hardcore vocals.

The full-length is pure relentless retro thrash the crossover elements still springing up here and there, and the guys' passion to play fast'n tight is admirable despite the noisy guitar production and the hollow drum sound. Some ultra-speedy thrash pours from the speakers here: "Cavalo de Tr'f3ia", the stylish headbanger "Filho da Periferia" which contains some addictive melodies; the short Slayer-esque bomb "A Fome e o Poder"; the hardcore-ish exploders "Revolte-se" and "Do You Speak English?"; etc. The music becomes more serious in the 2nd half without losing its intense character before returning to the more stripped patterns for the last duo. The singer now shouts more, but at the same time tries to sing and the final result is way more satisfying recalling early Tommy Victor (Prong).

Criptocracia EP, 2010
Cavalo de Tr'f3ia Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

ACARIYA (USA)

Typical modern Gothenburg-influenced thrash, quite fast and intense, recalling early The Haunted, but with a more melodic and better guitar work. There's some technicality involved (the standout riff-fest "The Understanding"), but it comes second to the sheer energy (the merciless "Burning The Bridges"). The clean vocals, of course, are also here, but they are very sparsely, and appropriately, used.

Acariya Full-length, 2008

My Space

ACARO (CHILE)

The self-titled demo is thrash/death metal of the retro variety, a bit chaotic but pretty heavy stuff never too fast except for the nice headbanger "Moraturi" at the end which lashes in a cool semi-technical death metal manner. The vocals are gruff semi-shouted death metal ones.

El Vac'edo Demo, 2002
Ludovico Treatment Demo, 2003
Entrop'eda Demo, 2004
Perverso Demo, 2005
Acaro demo, 2009

Fan Site

ACAROS (ARGENTINA)

Based on both demos, this act plays modern thrash/death metal which switches tempos the whole time preferring the heavy mid-ones more, consequently ending up sounding boring and repetitive, a situation worsened by the bad semi-shouty vocals and the very buzzy guitar sound. Some of the musicians also take part in the black metallers Demonic Soul.

El Principio del Final Demo, 2002
En vivo Demo, 2006

My Space

ACANTHA (CANADA)

The full-length offers a mixture of modern and classic thrash with a certain atmospheric progressive edge. The pace changes from slower to faster the whole time producing a couple of cool tracks: the excellent technical shredder "Blood Beast"; the more melodic epic thrasher "Feast of the Gods"; the galloping "Phrygian Skin". The final "On This Day We Prey" "breaks" the good behaviour blasting out in a crazy fashion, and is the only death metal-laced song to which the vicious death metal vocals suit better. Those vocals are quite a downpoint, by the way, and it's probably good that they are not given too much space near the end with two pieces being purely instrumental.

Acantha EP, 2006
Eternal Punishment Full-length, 2008

Official Site

ACCELERATOR (GREECE)

The demo: 3 tracks of melodic retro speed/thrash metal "courting" the 90's speed metal scene a bit also reminding of the American veterans Savage Grace and Omen. All the tracks are sustained in a vigorous up-tempo with melodic guitars, clean emotional vocals, catchy choruses, and screaming leads.
The full-length is a more carefree and mellower affair the flag of speed metal raised higher with power metal playing a more prominent role. As a result there's very little thrash to be appreciated here the band obviously interested more in the radio-frienfly side of the metal genre.

Demo Demo, 2010 Accelerator Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

ACCELERATOR (SWITZERLAND)

Mid-paced gothic-tinged thrash/death reminiscent of the Austrian legends Visceral Evisceration; the album is infused with atmospheric, semi-acoustic moments/instrumentals and other gothic gimmicks (keyboards, cleaner vocals, etc.). Even the really short 1.5-2min numbers occupying the middle, refuse to speed up, and that's a shame (isn't it?).

The Prophecy Full-length, 1997

ACCELERATOR (USA)

This is fast blitzkrieg old school thrash assault the guys moshing on full throttle all the way with a few pitstops ("Deadlocked") provided along the way. The band go over the top at times with more brutal histrionics (the almost grinding "Nuclear Beerfare") those contrasting with the friendlier tunes (the thrash/crossover frolicer "Killing Machine"; the energetic power/speedster "Insomniac") also inserted on more or less regular bases.

Anthropophagy Outbreak Full-Length, 2017

ACCESSORY (GERMANY)

Based on the debut demo, this band tries to blend the depressive sludgy death metal of Autopsy with a more thrashy edge. Nothing exceptional, unfortunately, the final result being very underwhelming with awkward amateurish switches from slow doomy parts to very fast brutal ones. The unique decadent atmosphere of the Autopsy efforts is almost nowhere to be felt the negative impression further strengthened by the bad unrehearsed low throaty vocals.
The full-length sees the guys having matured musically now sounding much more convincing and much more death metal-inclined with the aforementioned slower sections still present, but now much more professionally done ably assisting the dominant faster semi-technical passages. For fans of Floridian death metal this album would be a sure pick, but the thrash metal fans may not make much sense out of it.

Look into my eyes Demo, 1990
Symphonies of Disaster Demo, 1990
Promo Demo, 1991
Within Your Mind Full-length, 1992

ACCIDENT (MOLDOVA)

Based on "Tons of Powder", this is typical groovy modern post-thrash in the vein of... you know who.

Agonize! Full-length, 1992
Sugar Free Full-length, 1994
LSD Full-length, 1995
Tons Of Powder Full-length, 1996
Fuego Full-length, 1998
Psychosport Full-length, 2006

Official Site

ACCIDIA (ITALY)

Speedy roller-coaster thrash/crossover played with a carefree, merry attitude; the guys just have fun jamming around as the only more seriously aggressive moment is "Solo Per I Tuoi Occhi" to which the cool semi-declamatory vocals kind of don't quite fit due to their more laid-back nature.

La Tua Paura\\'85 Demo, 1989

ACCIO DIRECTA (SPAIN)

This band shared a member with Spain's most famous and celebrated band Legion (the drummer Joan Ross Loza). The style here is very similar to the other band: energetic thrash of a more straight-forward nature with a slightly more simplistic guitar work, and probably a bit faster.

Imag'ednate Full-length, 1990

ACCURACY (GERMANY)

The full-length offers unimaginative modern 90's post-thrash with hardcore overtones on the faster material. This is tedious boring music which relies on heavy repetitive riffs which doesn't hide its involvement with the doom/sludge field ("Pawn" is an exemplary Crowbar-esque steam-roller, the best song here) where also the forceful semi-shouty vocals belong.

Accuracy EP, 1995
Absolut 100% Full-length, 1996

ACCURSED DAWN (USA)

This band remind of Hellwitch with its ultra-fast, albeit less technical, thrash/death metal style. The difference is that these guys like slowing down sometimes: "Euphony to the Night Treader" (and other separate sections from other tracks) is an example for that, but the rest is pretty much sheer speed and aggression. The vocals are in the same Patrick Ranieri (Hellwitch again)-like shrieky high-pitched unholy vein, and at least half of the songs are long (6-7min) mixing furious death/thrash, including a couple of blast-beats, with atmospheric laid-back passages.

Manifest Damnation Full-length, 2005

Official Site

ACCUSER (GERMANY)

One of the better representatives of the German thrash metal scene, Accuser started with standard speed/thrash on "The Conviction", not too far stylistically from Rage's "Reign of Fear", maybe a bit more thrashy. But the band soon moved onto a more ambitious, semi-technical song-writing on "Experimental Errors" and "Who Dominates Who?", which featured more stylish guitar work and longer, more complex songs. "Double Talk" retained the technical edge, but the guitars have acquired a drier, more mechanical sound, still rooted in classic thrash, but hinting at an eventual future metamorphosis. At least on "Repent" there are no traces of any metamorphosis yet, and this album is an entertaining headbanging delight with razor sharp riffs and energetic tempos; this work also saw Frank Thoms- the band's founder, taking over the vocals after the previous singer's deture. The band held the fortress of classic thrash up to 1994 when they introduced modern metal sounds on "Reflections", which still contained fairly hard-hitting numbers. "Taken by the Throat" had very little to do with the band's past, going into a post-thrash, groovy direction, recalling mid-period Prong and other heroes from the 90's. The guys resurfaced in 2006 under the name Scartribe under which name they released one demo of more classically-sounding thrash. This act is on hold at the moment due to the guys' decision to proceed under their old name.

"Agitation": another old-timer is "back from the ashes", and in their case the question is: how far would they go in their back catalogue; will they go straight to their classic speed/thrashy roots, or will they stop earlier, at their 90's stage where they were still able to produce a worthy competition to the angry sound of their US counterts Pantera and Machine Head? In this case the truth is somewhere in the middle which is hardly the best option: the guys have mixed both styles which come served with a boosted modern production, and as such create a passing impression of competent workmanlike classic/modern thrash of the more laid-back variety with striking lead guitar work which is by far the best t. The blend of faster and slower tracks is by all means achieved, but the modern leanings clearly predominate making this new effort sounding like a slightly more energetic version of "Reflections". Those who loved the band's later period will definitely be happier; the fans of their early years will have no choice but to frown here and there (maybe even more often than that)...

"Dependent Domination": after the not very impressive cross over their career done with "Agitation", the band are back and this time they sound more convincing, and more retro. The music is a direct take on the guys' early 90's output ("Double Talk", "Repent") with only Thoms' gruff semi-death metal vocals being a major difference. The opener "Beneath Your Dignity" serves plenty of classic headbanging riffs, but we already had those to open the previous album. No modern surprises on the next "Torn to Pieces" which is a major explosive retro thrasher with "Desolate Shape" just a tad less intense. So far the album is a nice reminder of Paradox's "Riot Squad" offering the same uncompromising rapid-fire approach all over seldom pausing for a break with all the 90's cliches left behind the lead guitar being top-notch again to provide the melodic relief from this constant riff-assault. This is a welcome entry into the band's catalogue cancelling the previous shaky effort re-inventing the steel from the good old past without any risky leanings this time.

It's with the utmost delight that a fan comes across an old timer who have managed to go back in shape with such style that one very easily forgets all the shortcomings from the past, if there were any. After Exumer and Paradox struck gold recently, there was only one more act needed to wrap up the new "holy three" of German thrash, the new trio to replace the old one (Destruction, Kreator, Sodom, that is). And here they are: the guys started the reunion campaign in an "agitated" manner with "Agitation" which was a more or less expected "marriage" between their 90's leanings and their classic style. Then came the tribute to the classic school with "Dependent Domination" which more immediate and more direct delivery was more of a nod to their early-90's heritage. And now we are faced with "Diabolic": a total return to the band's very early days from the late-80's, and a very well done one at that.

The crisp modern production boosts the cutting guitars quite a bit, but this isn't an impediment since the band thrash on full speed-ahead the raging opener "Apocalyptic Decay" setting the tone for what follows later with its ever-overlapping rhythms some of which are on the border of falling into a death metal terriroty. The compositions are lengthy (5-8min) with several time changes throughout plus the obligatory slower passages which never last for too long. Sophistication has always been missing from the band's repertoire, but the leads this time are simply great with plenty of catchy melodies to remember. Some may notice the close resemblance in the overall execution to the more recent Paradox efforts again with a similar combination between speed and technicality with less overt progressive leanings ("Deification" an obvious exception with its stupendous lead sections and more melodic "ornamentations") probably and with more urgent shredding patterns which by the end may become addictive the guys producing an exemplary riffo-rama lasting for just over an hour which would find many a fan moshing around in oblivion all the way to the "gory" end which comes in the form of "World Wide Violence": the longest track on the album which slightly misleads with its slower beginning before the "carnage" begins to never stop for about 8-min before the fine doomy Bolt Thrower-like ending closes it with style. Thoms' vocals remain an acquired taste his mechanized deathy semi-shouts leading the show and although one may wish one Charlie Steinhauer (Paradox time and time again), or Leszek "Leo" Szpigiel (Scanner, Mekong Delta), or even Schmier behind the mike, that same one can't deny the fact that here we have one of the very few cases nowadays when a veteran act create their magnum opus at the least expected time to everyone's surprise.
"The Forlorn Divide": after the climactic preceding effort the fans would hardly expect their favourites to top it up, and indeed the veterans don't bother much thrashing with professionalism, but little inspiration behind these moderately complex opuses among which one should highlight the melodic progressive thrasher "Impending Doom" (check the gorgeous leads on this one), and the vigorous shredder with Shrapnel pretensions "Sulfur Rain". There's nothing wrong with the rest of the material, it's just that with a fourth installment since the reformation the band seem to enter an expected cycle of self-repetition, a phenomenon already experienced in their camp in the early-90's.

The Conviction Full-length, 1987
Experimental Errors EP, 1988
Who Dominates Who? Full-length, 1989
Double Talk Full-length, 1991
Repent Full-length, 1992
Confusion/Romance EP, 1994
Reflections Full-length, 1994
Taken by the Throat Full-length, 1995
Agitation Full-length, 2010
Dependent Domination Full-length, 2011
Diabolic Full-Length, 2013
The Forlorn Divide Full-length, 2016

Official Site

ACE OF SPADES (JAPAN)

There is only one person known from this band's line-up, the guitarist Naojiroh Takarabe, who is responsible for these 6 songs of heavy, doomy post-thrash which is predictably groovy without any attempts at more lively moments. The guitar sound is pretty abrasive, and the guy (if that's him) sings in a dispassionate, dry semi-clean tember. Music-wise this obscure effort has nothing to do with its "godfather": the Motorhead evergreen of the same title.

Ace of Spades EP, 1994

Official Site

ACE THE RAVEN (USA)

This is a one-man band, namely Mike "Ace the Raven" Kotarski, who has taken part in other acts before that, including the speed/thrashers from the late-80's Severe Warning. This album offers a wide range of metal styles: power, classic heavy metal, doom, thrash and even death metal. Every song is "decorated" with one style only (with a few exceptions where the combination of several sub-genres might be found either highly entertaining, or downright irritating, depending on the taste) making it almost completely different from the others. Few bands have attempted such risky mixtures, and having in mind that it is only one musician responsible for all that, kudos should be given him for the good job he has done.

Fortress Of Apathy Full-length, 2005

Official Site

ACELDAMA (USA)
\\f0

A heavy doomy translation of the genre sounding both classic and modern coming close to Xentrix's "Kim", but the guitars here are crushingly heavy surrendering to the fields of doom quite a bit ("Rapture", "Devilworks") to the point of losing completely the thrash metal idea. The music is mid-paced at best with the slow descents too frequent to please the thrash metal fan who may only jump around for a while on the energetic closer "Wings Of Pain". The singer is a semi-death metal shouter spiced with casual, but highly effective high-pitched King Diamond-like, screams the latter hardly the better choice for the ultra-heavy music, but intriguing enough, and not only for nostalgic reasons.

Blood Full-length, 1996

ACERO BELICO (CHILE)

This is pleasant friendly thrash/crossover with elements of power metal. The album has energy aplenty and lashing cuts like "Fuga" and "Vertigo" should have no problems making the fans jump around with joy. Watch out also for the closing title-track which unleashes another slab of more potent headbanbging riffs as a finishing touch. The vocals are cool attached clean ones delivering the message without pitching it too high.

Thanatos Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

ACETIC VOICE (GREECE)

These guys could have easily been worthy rivals to Flames on the Greek metal field, if they had been lucky enough to stay around for longer: excellent speed/thrash in the vein of Destruction, Sacrifice and early Whiplash; fast tempo, sharp guitars and a singer who doesn't stray too far from the vocals used by Tony Portaro on the early Whiplash works. The leads are worth mentioning, too, being quite proficient and maybe a bit more melodic than the ones which used to go with the style.

Behind Bars Demo, 1990

ACETON (SLOVA)

Based on the debut demo, this act provide fast dynamic semi-technical thrash which is ultimately marred by the very thin production which makes the guitar hiss the whole time; and the really bad deathy vocals that plainly recite in a curt, spitting fashion. The guys have ideas, though, like the the Bay-Areasque shredder "Odpad" shows only too well; it's just that it's all too sloppily produced and hurriedly stitched together for most of the time.

Vecny Strach Demo 1992
Nezmyselny Svet Demo 1994
Shadows of the Past Demo 1995

ACETYLENE (USA)

There is a mixture of several vocal styles here: clean, hysterical metalcore-ish, death-metal ones, you name it. If this could be a shortcoming to many, the music is a compensation being well played modern thrash with occasional fast death metal moments.

Elements of Insanity Full-length, 2000
Burning Times EP, 2001

My Space

ACHERON (SLOVAKIA)

Modern 90's post-thrash metal with elements of crossover sounding like a thrashy version of Clawfinger's debut album.

Brainstorm Full-length, 1996

Official Site

ACHERON (USA)

This is a fairly cool take on the good old American power/thrash metal citing mostly early Overkill and Meliah Rage with good clean vocals ala Steve Grimmett (Grimreaper, Onslaught), graced with the odd higher pitch ala Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth (Overkill again). The music is edgy and crunchy sticking to a solid mid-pace without any speedy digressions (the jumpy, semi-technical "Atrocity March" comes to mind). Softer nods to the heavy metal scene ("Committed!") "roam" around, but watch out for the more complex sounds on the closing "Hordes of Locusts" which flirts with funk to a positive impression. Later the guys split-up only to re-appear under the name The Unholy releasing 3 albums of solid traditional doom metal before disbanding again.

The Pain Dominion Full-length, 1993

ACHEROZU (CHINA)

These folks provide cool intense old school speed/thrash which gets black metal-decorated on the atmospheric "Void Break". Later on black metal continues to be heard in smaller dozes including in sparse blast-beating passages ("Fallen of Emperor Yan"). Still, the speed/thrashing saga isn't obstructed majorly by that "intrusion" thanks to impetuous evil headbangers like "Oceanic Weep" and the proto-deathy "Nightmare At The End". The vocals are hissing witch-like black metal ones and provide the requisite macabre atmosphere.

Uncrowned King Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

ACHOKARLOS (SPAIN)

Very good semi-instrumental progressive death/thrash which stays away from meanigless wankery concentrating on hard-hitting riffs and dynamics. The overall style is not far from the one of the Canadians Electro Quarterstaff, although here we don't have very sudden and very complex time changes and signatures, and the headbangers will be pleased to find a few sections to their liking, too. The compositions are mid to up-tempo, seldom becoming very fast, and there is a slow balladic section on every one, all graced by nice lead guitar work which strongly recalls Steve Vai's style. "Sin Rostro" is probably the only more immediate song, thrashing hard, except in the middle where another fine balladic section awaits you. Brutal death metal growls will welcome you on the furious grinding "Patience" and the more laid-back "Confused", which may "confuse" you a bit, accompanied by pure death metal riffage. After those 2 "unusual" tracks, things get back to normal on the hallucinogenic "Abstract Universe", which keeps the death metal guitars, but adds some twisted technicality, and is very close to being the highlight here, also helped by the expert leads and the jazzy passage ala Cynic and Atheist at the end. "Kutna Hora" features the same vocals, but scores high on speed and technicality, a clear nod to Suffocation. "Kid! Don?t Play With Your Food" is the closer, but it's a bit off-the-track, starting with an overlong balladic intro, before switching on slow-ish complex riffage with funky overtones: a weird and eclectic composition, still on with the previous elaborate material, and a fitting end to this enjoyable and a bit hard-to-swallow effort.

"Parametric Milk" is less intense with not many nods to death metal, now being well-constructed instrumental progressive thrash. The title-opener is a meandering progressive composition without any hard-hitting moments close to Spastik Inc and the likes, but "El Amanecer De Los Muertos" is already a much edgier number, although the leads dominate over the riffs the whole time as well as on the following "The Traveller". "El Temazo (The Great Song)" is excellent galloping thrash, and the 2-t "The Silence" is not bad, either, t 1 being a calm ballad, the 2nd one hitting harder with energetic speed/thrashing riffs. "C.A.R. (Criteria Of Acceptance And Rejection)" is another dreamy progressive number before "Desires" thrashes more intensely still preserving some of the dreamy passages. The remaining tracks are lead-dominated mid to up-tempo, and despite their certain merits may be a bit of an annoyance with the omnipresence of the lead guitars. The closing "The Fly" is an abstract slightly industrialized instrumental closing this effort the way it started. Generally this is not entirely different from the previous album, but while the latter gave a lot of freedom to the sharp riffs to develop, this one sees the guy concentrating on his guitar virtuoso performance sacrificing the other components for the sake of the very well-accentuated leads.

"Mind Landscapes" features vocals (both male and female) for a change, and the music has become way more abstract and complex, and inevily slower. There is a certain industrial atmosphere roaming around recalling Meshuggah quite a bit if we exclude the excellent melodic leads which here are not that frequent. This is pretty mechanical sterile music with a heavy dispassionate machine-like sound with only "Mind Landscapes" lifting the spirit up with brutal spasmodic death metal decisions. This is quite a different "animal", a radical step away from the guy's initial delivery; but after all, who needs two albums released the same year of the same style?

"Kill the Light" is another offbeat effort the man now incorporating more vocals into the overbusy musical amalgam which now adheres to alternative, Oriental motifs, cold mechanical shredding ala Gojira and Meshuggah, weird spacey ballads (the overlong and not really engaging "Bruce Willis Wants to Kill Me"). The headbanging sections are all wrapped in odd time-signatures and are never too long the guy aiming at the cyber, indistrial realms too much, a good example of which is the sterile shredder "Cyborg Surgery" which lifts the mood up; but all will be lost very soon after with a string of boring balladic variations on funk and ambient progressive. The three bonus tracks at the end are pure dancey industrial with only the very last "Funk You All!!!" reminding of the man's technical prowess with several expert lead sections. This effort is just not good sounding like a blend of the guy's leftover material, like the "garbage" side of his previous works which was probably meant to stay buried somewhere rather than being released as another full-length which may not "kill the light", but may reduce the band's fanbase accumulated through the past few years.

The "Symptoms of Lethargy" EP is a modern thrasherism which is way better than the few previous releases with a mechanical technical sound reminiscent of Altered Aeon and Biomechanical. The approach here is a bit more dispassionate perhaps although the cool melodic leads save the situation. The two "Capsules" at the end are shredding delights with cool fast-paced passages taking turns with less intense abstract ones the latter also bringing Meshuggah to mind. The vocal participation is on the shouty angry side, but fits the dry sterile character of the guitar work.

Forget All You Know Full-Length, 2009
Parametric Milk Full-Length, 2009
Mind Landscapes Full-length, 2010
Kill the Light Full-Length, 2012
Symptoms of Lethargy EP, 2014

Official Site

ACHREN (UK)

Based on the full-length, this band plays a modern brand of black/thrash which is fast ("Bastards on the Gallows or Bastards on the Rack", "Fuck it Hard", etc.) for most of the time, but also slower and atmospheric ("The Way Of The Twilight Or The Aura Of Flies") on occasion. The guitar tone is kind of playful, and the rhythms are catchy, even on the fastest passages. The singer is the prototypical raven-like rasper, but his demonic antics are intelligible.

Fury of the Northmen EP, 2003
Blood Metal EP, 2006
The Forgotten King Full-length, 2011

Official Site

ACID (BELGIUM)

This band is one of the pioneers of the speed/thrash metal movement, and they should be mentioned right beside Anvil as the very first acts who introduced the more aggressive side of the genre in the distant 1982; ironically, the most speedy track on the band's debut is called "Anvil". Speed metal was literally born with this album: check also out the ferocious opener "Acid", the blitzkrieg proto-thrash bombs "Demon" and "Heavenrquote s Devil", the hellish closer "Satan", the cool blend of ballad and speed "Woman At Last". The compulsive enthusiastic spirit of the punk movement is all over the album, too, aggravated by the muddy sound quality. The singer is a girl, going under the name Kate, and in this aspect the band are pioneers as well, introducing the female vocals on the metal scene, along with the NWOBHM representatives Girlschool. If Anvil had concentrated on the heavier, pounding side of the genre, these folks had written the rules of speed metal, plain and simple.

The sophomore effort elaborates on the debut, providing better produced speed metal antics, which maybe don't sound as aggressive anymore comed to the fuller-on speed/thrash attacks offered by their American counterts Metallica, Slayer and Hawaii. Still, this is pretty much one-of-its-kind music in Europe, predating the German scene, which at this time was just slowly waking up. Here the first examples of galloping up-tempo power/speed can be heard, later followed by many American acts: "Maniac", "Luciferia", the proto-thrash killer "Black Car", which may remind you of Anthrax's "Death from Above" from "Fistful of Metal". "America" is 6-min of a constant speedfest, and "No Time" comes as a more aggressive, more proficient Motorhead. "Bottoms Up" is the most brutal track, thrashing no worse than Metallica's "The Four Horsemen". The 3 bonus tracks at the end are first-rate speed metal, a sound which was later heard on Exciter's magnum opus "Violence and Force"; check out the raging "The Day You Die", or the pounding "Exterminator", which could have been an influence on "Pounding Metal" and "Delivering To The Master" from that same Exciter album.

"Engine Beast" is an all-out speed metal effort with better production qualities seeing the guys (and a girl) apently not willing to join the thrash metal scene which they helped eslish on a full-time basis. There is a lot of headbanging going here, mostly of the galloping speed/semi-thrash type: check out the vigorous anthem "Warriors Of The Dark", "Lost in Hell", "Big Ben". Heads-down speed/thrash can also be heard on the final "Engine Beast" and "Satan s Delivery", evil sinister pieces, strongly recalling Metallica's "Kill'Em All", rather than their previous output. Two melodic fillers are included which would make a few heads shake, but rest assured that they are not much more than the obligatory breaks from the mosh. Having done their job to show to the world that metal also has its more "unpleasant", extreme side, and having seen that their legacy was so well carried by hordes of new acts, the band split up. Neither of the 5 members has ever been spotted after that taking t in any other musical formation, in or outside the metal field.

Acid Full-length, 1982
Maniac Full-length, 1983
Black Car EP, 1984
Engine Beast Full-length, 1985

Fan Site

ACID AGE (UK)

Based on the "Enter the Zomborg" EP, this act play vivid energetic classic thrash with an optimistic crossover atmosphere. The guitars rip and lash the sharp riffs accompanied by a few great melodies (check out the leads on "Zombie Sabbath": addictive stuff!). The tracks in the beginning are short and to-the-point as the more serious material is placed near the end including the closing collaboration with their compatriots Gama Bomb "Don't Feed the Bitch", vintage vitriolic speed/thrash at its finest, with whom the band share more than a few passing resemblances.

The full-length is a perennial roller-coaster the guys speed/thrashing with the utmost intensity the whole time the very fast pace inevitably leading to "hyper thrash" experiences, like the title of one of the songs suggests. Pleasant experimentalism arrives with "Charles Gein" which is a melodic technicaller of the more chaotic variety. The speed of light is eventually reached on "50,000 Robot Archers", a super-fast number which may make one lose interest in the rest since the band, apparently tired after this exhausting performance, slacken up and take it easy producing much less impressive cuts with a messy sound quality. This is an inspired, but quite uneven, offering which furious nature may not be to everyone's taste.
The "Twenty Fifteen" EP is a compilation of re-recorded tracks ("Graphik Grotesk") and live cuts.
"Like a Runaway Combine Harvester in a Field of Crippled Rabbits": thumbs up for the longest and most original album-title of 2016! Otherwise it's business as usual for the band who thrash their souls out in a direct, stripped-down manner the stylish blazing leads the highlight here. The variety isn't that big this time the songs all sustained in an energetic, fast-paced way "Manifesto de Hyper Thrash" being merry thrash/crosover instead of leading the pack aggression-wise. "Try to Hide from Frankenstein's Bride" races with the speed of light reaching proto-deathy proportions the thunder stolen again by the superior lead sections. At least "Thrash Novelty" doesn't humiliate iits title being the ultimate rager death metal also sneaking in to enhance its brutal character.

Enter the Zomborg EP, 2013
The Troma-Tized EP, 2014
Drone Shark Ethics Full-Length, 2014
Twenty Fifteen EP, 2015
Like a Runaway Combine Harvester in a Field of Crippled Rabbits Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

ACID CROSS (CANADA)

This new Canadian outfit indulge in vicious retro black/thrash which resembles their compatriots Megiddo on the more sinister moments. Otherwise the guys thrash with gusto as evident from the very intro "Six Demon Bag" which sets the tone for this evil slice of dark thrashiness which is at times more on the brooding macabre side ("Graveyeard Revenge", the doomy creepers "The Devil Rides Out" and "Technological Demise") in the vein of Khold and Barathrum. The tracks are short and to-the-point and although there's not much speed involved, the fans should be happy "assaulted" by those heavy pessimistic rhythmic patterns which get a slight epic "colouring" on the rousing "Trench Life". The vocals can't possibly be more appropriate being raspy and mean as though coming from the deep hellish underground.

Black Moon Rites Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

ACID DEATH (GREECE)

One of the finest Greek metal bands to ever grace the scene; "Pieces of Mankind" is standout progressive thrash with shades of death (coming mostly from the vocal department) and gothic metal the latter recalling their compatriots Nightfall, ranking among the highest achievements of bands like Nocturnus, Pestilence and Death. The music is very technical with great time changes and really impressive guitar work (great leads and stupendous riffs), twisting and turning quite a lot, but never going into very aggressive or fast grounds. The atmospheric passages, where the guitars take a nice jazz-y overtone, are some of the best ever used on a metal album.
"Random's Manifest" moves almost completely into a death metal territory, but the progressive tendencies of the debut are all intact making this effort another stellar example of technically-minded metal, this time presented with even more complex, jazz-like song structures, and even more striking guitar work (especially the magnificent melodic leads), bringing it very close to the best from the technical death metal field: Atheist, Death again, Pestilence, Cynic.

"Balance of Power" is an explosive gem of intense thrash/death metal ala Massacra and Pestilence. It will sweep you away from the very first track: the raging monster "Apathy Murders Hope", before "Civil War" slows down, adding beautiful lead guitar work to the proceedings, along with fine technical licks. "Death From Above" is heads-down merciless thrash/death, followed by the more controlled, but by no means less appealing "Balance Of Power", which could qualify even for "Testimony of the Ancients". "Twilight Spirits" is technical thrash/death metal at its best, mixing tempos and moods, topped by outstanding lead guitar work again. The leads remain, while everything else disappears on the very cool peaceful closing instrumental "State Of anoia". It's quite a mystery why the band didn't capitalize immediately on the very well shaped sound of this small gem, choosing instead to remain in the underground for another 6 years.

The band are back in action with this short promising promo which starts with a new version of "Apathy Murders Hope" which remains fast and ripping with an added technical appeal. Then comes the superb technical thrash masterpiece "Convict", a total Coroner-worship, a varied number with marvellous elaborate structures. "Crossing The Line" settles for more moderate riffage, less technical and a bit more modern-sounding, but engaging nonetheless showing the guys in fine form to produce more great music in the near future.
"Eidolon" contains the two new tracks from the promo, and they are the modern-sounding ones as album is sustained in a more modern fashion similar to the way Pestilence tried to modernize themselves on "Fracture". It begins with the above average thrash/deathster "Blind Reflection" which is a modern ripper without too many technical excesses. It seamlessly flows into "Crossing The Line" from the promo which is unchanged, but its groovy aesthetics are not more clearly accentuated due to the similar preceding number. The modernisms continue unabated with "Towards Hate" which is a not very eventful heavy groover and the first sign of boredom. "Convict 655321" follows suit to save the day with its impeccable technical riffage after which things get more interesting with the nice melodic "Inside My Walls", which boasts the best leads on the album, and the intense headbanger "No Sky Above" which thrashes with no remorse all the way to the great progressive cut "Eidolon", a puzzling composition with dissonant illogical rhythms and consummate riff-patterns. "Odious Maggots" is another faster-paced piece, an energizing thrasher with a few more intrigung moments. "Dying Alone" is a diverse composition wiith death, thrash and even blasting black metal for a while present mixed effortlessly accompanied by an unobtrusive keyboard background and some of the finest lead guitar work around with an Oriental flavour. The closing "Sole Truth" is an instrumental of the peaceful slower type with nice rhythms and a dominant lead guitar landscape. After the shaky start the band pull themselves together for the production of another strong release and they could easily be forgiven for their short-spell, at this stage, infatuation with the 90's trends.

The "MisleD" EP is actually a re-recording of their split with Avulsed plus the title-track from the "Balance of Power" EP, also remastered. With a better production the songs now sound way more clinical and more appealing the precise technical riffage and the excellent lead guitar work causing gasps of admiration. "Misled" is a technical puzzler superseded by the speedy melo-deathster "Dragon Queen". "Civil War" is a moderate shredder with some stunning technical moments reminiscent of early-90's Death plus virtuoso bass performance which is simply second to none. "Balance Of Power" is almost unaltered except for the crispier guitar sound and its speedy rhythms will throw you into improvised mosh just like that. "Splitting Your Mind's Eye" is a technical feast with brilliant time-changes and mazey riff-patterns again with the shadow of Death looming over even more heavily this time, but this is expert musicianship which back in those days sounded even more impressive. Since "Eidolon" wasn't exactly a masterpiece the band needed something to remind them of how great they were in the not so distant past, and this revisit of a more obscure chapter from their back catalogue should trigger another wave of creativity.
"Hall of Mirrors" finds a relatively good balance between the less emotional, robotic delivery of "Eidolon" and the warmer, more classic sounds of their older repertoire. The fans will rejoice on intelligent brutalizers like "Mental Slime"; or will gape in wonder at the technical brilliance of short shredders like "Truth Revealed"; or will listen with care on more sprawling progressive opuses like "Life And Death". Generally the compositions in the less impressive second half are mostly mid-tempo without too many speedy escapades (isolated blast-beating passages from separate cuts), but the sleepiness may come as a bit too much on gloomy quasi-doomsters like "Taste Of The Erratic", for example, or the friendly core-infused "Ghostship". The closer "Supreme Act Of Heroism" tries to make up for a few musical lapses previously with more energetic rhythms, but the band simply doesn't sound too convincing with the hesitation between the two paths, the settled balance kind of hanging at this stage.

Balance of Power EP, 1992
Pieces of Mankind Full-Length, 1998
Random's Manifest Full-length, 2000
Promo Promo, 2011
Eidolon Full-Length, 2012
MisleD Re-recorded EP, 2013
Hall of Mirrors Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

ACID DRINKERS (POLAND)

One of the longest running bands from the Polish metal scene, Acid Drinkers offer a fusion of thrash, punk and crossover. Their beginnings are thrashier and more interesting, whereas later their style acquires hardcore elements (mainly in the vocal detment) and is less thrashy.

The "acid drinkers" are alive and well in the new millennium, like "La t Du Diable" indicates without any vaccilation. And not only that, but they also sound suitably angry and aggressive serving energetic thrash/crossover with a modern edge, at least in the beginning. The music is quite diverse the band covering moods and atmospheric cuts at will branching out into mechanical post-thrash some time in the 2nd half and consequently ruining the initial positive impression indulging in pure stoner/doom on the final "Zombie Nation". One can't expect consistency from this long-running act, and as a varied amalgam of several styles and influences this effort could stike a few cords.

"25 Cents for a Riff" is the jolly good rock'n roll which doesn't have even a shade of intensity or dynamics; at its best the album evokes the spirit of Motorhead ("God Hampered His Life"), but 90% of the time it's mild and friendly, the perfect background for any cowboy bar in the Wild West. Apparently the guys had gotten tired playing faster on the previous album, and have decided to take a break here...
"P.E.E.P. Show": after the aggressive Slayer-esque opener "Let'em Bleed" the band's statement is more than clear, and although this kind of brutality isn't encountered later on, the guys thrash way more intensely than on their earlier releases. The fast pace is sustaiined for an impressive number of songs as the approach is more on the semi-modern side with more abrasive riffage. IN the 2nd half one can hear more groove-based numbers as well as a more serious song-writing on the atmospheric diverser "The Cannibal". HOwver, the highlight is probably "Heavenly Hellfucker", another hard-hitting headbanger near the end with choppier Annihilator-esque rhythms.

Are You Rebel ? Full-length, 1990
Dirty Money, Dirty Tricks Full-length, 1991
Strip Tease Full-length, 1992
Vile Vicious Vision Full-length, 1993
Fishdick Full-length, 1993
Infernal Connection Full-length, 1994
Pump the Plastic Heart EP, 1995
Walkway to Heaven EP, 1996
The State of Mind Report Full-length, 1996
High Proof Cosmic Milk Full-length, 1998
(I Can't Get Now) Satisfaction EP, 1999
Amazing Atomic Activity Full-length, 1999
Broken Head Full-length, 2000
Acidofilia Full-length, 2002
Rock Is Not Enough, Give Me The Metal Full-length, 2004
Verses of Steel Full-Length, 2008
Fishdick Zwei - The Dick Is Rising Again Full-Length, 2010
La t Du Diable Full-Length, 2012
25 Cents for a Riff Full-length, 2014
P.E.E.P. Show Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

ACID FORCE (SLOVAKIA)

Based on the full-length, this band play frolic unpretentious thrash/crossover which becomes more serious on the several longer pieces ("Speedtrain") where the sound moves towards the speed metal field. The singer is an attached hardcore shouter spitting the lyrics with the utmost intensity. Some of the band members also play with the retro thrashers Anstratus.

Towards the Nuclear Load EP, 2015
Atrocity for the Lust Full-length, 2017

Official Site

ACID REIGN (UK)

From the humble, but enthusiastic beginnings on "Moshkinstein", the band managed to develop into one of the more stylish members of the UK metal scene. "The Fear" offers interesting, energetic thrash and stands for the band's finest hour; this is really aggressive stuff (the opener "Reflection Of Truths" and most of the songs), but it has its original deviations: the long, complex "The Fear", the "intense thrash meets crossover" type "Blind Aggression", the wild "Lost In Solitude", mixing heavy, stomping riffs with super-fast ones. It was clear that the guys had more to show, and their potential was yet to be fully displayed, but they went too far on the next release: "Obnoxious" takes a much more experimental direction, with the band's sound becoming decidedly slower, progressive with longer, less catchy, and sometimes hard to follow, songs; still an intriguing listen, but far from an immediate one.

The Fear Demos contain four tracks from the band full-length debut: the-title track, "Blind Aggression", "Insane Ecstasy", and "Reflection of Truths". All compositions come almost unchanged and one may start wonder what the point is of releasing old songs without any visible, or pre-announced, intentions of recording something new. Still, they, if nothing else, could serve as a good reminder of a once very promising act; maybe the guys are indeed planning to get back together...

Moshkinstein EP, 1988
The Fear Full-length, 1989
Obnoxious Full-length, 1990
The Worst Of Acid Reign Full-length, 1991
The Fear Demos Demo, 2013

My Space

ACID SPEECH (BRAZIL)

Based on the demo, these guys pull out intense speedy retro thrash akin to early Destruction and Kreator; the vocals go into the K. Weber (Toxic Shock (Germany)) mould. This is five songs of speedy relentless music featuring a cool instrumental ("Into the Depths of a Nightmare") of fast moshing "thrash attack" in the best tradition of the Destruction classic "Thrash Attack", but without the slower opening part of the latter.

Corrosive Riot Demo, 2009
Corrosive Warfare Split, 2009

Official Site

ACID STORM (BRAZIL)

One of the more interesting bands to come out of Brazil; the debut is more straight-forward, typical 80's speed/thrash without any ticular highlights, but "Biotronic Genesis" is an ambitious and an engaging technical thrash effort, crossing the 1st two Forbidden albums in a seamless, a bit more complex though, way. It starts in a straight, uncompromising headbanging fashion with "Biologic Mechanization", which is a great speedy number. The technicality begins with the next track "Biological Holocaust" which is much longer, and uses the same fast-paced base, but the guitars are more technical, and the arrangements more complex. The aggression increases for the next two songs, but the steel technical riffs remain, and the marvellous "Metal Beasts" will remind you of the short-lived US act Have Mercy with its unique blend of technicality and intensity. The last two songs bring back the long elaborate structures with an increased presence of time-changes, although the intense hard-hitting riffs remain the major driving force here as well. The singer Robson Goulart is a great asset with his clean, emotional delivery quite close to the of Russ Anderson (Forbidden), seldom leaving the mid-ranged ametres, but satisfying alternating all the mood swings with dexterity.

The "No Man's Land" demo shows the band in good form once again offering the same potent mix of technical and aggressive riffage, this time even more intense than before, even rubbing shoulders with Slayer and Vio-Lence on the more intense sections. These 3 songs could have served as a very good base for a new album, but the band disbanded soon after.

The "Tomorrow Soldiers" demo is another capable 3-songer all the pieces being energetic semi-technical thrashers the overall approach recalling Artillery's "Terror Squad" with its clever shredding which is more on the galloping side on "Right Time to Die", but acquires more intriguing tendencies on the title-track, before "Monster of ID" wraps it up with some intense bashing thrash and virtuous guitar work which again could have carried a prospective full-length with ease if the band had voted to "float" on the scene for longer...

Why?... Dirty War Full-length, 1989
Biotronic Genesis Full-length, 1991
Tomorrow Soldiers Demo, 1993
No Man's Land Demo, 1994

My Space

ACIDEZ (USA)

Based on "Don't Ask for Permission", this act play one-dimensional intense thrashcore which still leaves some room for more interesting melodies interspersed among the carefree roller-coaster barrage. There are inevitable nods to the punk scene from which the band were an indelible part in their spawning stages also judging by their still extant mohawk hair-style.
"Welcome to the 3D Era" clings more towards the optimistic boogie of Motorhead and as such isn't very aggressive being stripped-down pink/hardcore on at least half of the material. "Machine Domination" is a crusty steam-roller, and generally the tempo is quite energetic without any slower respites.

En Las Calles EP, 2006
No Hay Futuro Full-length, 2008
Don't Ask for Permission Full-length, 2012
Beer Drinkers Survivors Full-length, 2014
Welcome to the 3D Era Full-length, 2016

Official Site

ACIDIC ASSAULT (USA)

Based on the EP, this band play intense retro thrash which comes served with a curious dual vocal attack: one screechy to the point of hysteria (think the Halford rendings on the "Painkiller" track, but far shriller) and gruff semi-death metal ones. Neither serves the music right which is crisp and energetic with hard hitting riffage and very capable bass support. Melody and technicality are also hinted at on the engaging shredder "Gunfire", but most of the time what one gets is a direct "assault" done competently with a potential for a worthy full-length.

Into the Darkness EP, 2011
Acidic Assault/Hedlok Split, 2012

Official Site

ACIDITY (ITALY)

Based on the full-length, this outfit pull out crisp classic thrash which marches on in up-tempo and a slight shade of crossover ("Murder") plus a pinch of semi-technicality ("Nowhere to Hide") reminiscent of the Germans Pyracanda and Xentrix. "Call to Insanity" is the sole deviation from the norm being a cool "acoustic vs. leads" instrumental; the rest is cool invigorating music supported by not bad semi-declamatory/semi-clean vocals.

Hidden Oppression EP, 2012
Into the Lies Full-length, 2014

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ACIDO (BRAZIL)

Roughly produced intense retro thrash ala Vulcano and Holocausto with a slight proto-death flavour, with fast bashing riffs and gruff semi-death metal vocals; the music flows in the same relentless manner from beginning to end without any surprises with a few tasteful melodic leads provided.

Camp of Death Demo, 1990

ACRAL NECROSIS (UK)

Based on the EP: excellent speed/black/thrash which could have sounded better if it wasn't for the sudden switches from nice headbanging speed/thrash to furious ultra-fast black metal sections; still the guitar work is quite good, and the guys play with energy and inspiration providing numerous delights for the thrash metal fans. The sound quality is very good, and particularly impressive is the 8-min opus "Acral Necrosis" which thrashes hard non-stop all the way through. The rest is by no means less striking, moshing with the same intensity, very seldom posing for at least a mid-paced break. This is good headbanging fun all the way with sharp riffs, great melodies, and the inevitable blast-beating moments.

Eternal Nuklear Violation EP, 2007
United In Annihilation Split, 2008

My Space

ACRANIA (MEXICO)

The full-length debut is a decent piece of melodic thrash/death metal with both progressive and gothic leanings. The guys vary things with semi-fusion insertions, more puzzling technical passages, more quiet atmospheric sections (including a surprising jazzy theme on "The Final Shot" which to these ears is pretty misplaced and hardly necessary, and is followed by a short speedy crossover take on Richie Valens' "La Bamba"); etc. The delivery is dynamic with plenty of up-tempo moments, but overall the album is dominated by the excellent lead guitar work which is the leading component here. The singer is not bad with a subdued semi-death metal tember quite close to the early Mathias Lodmalm (Cemetary) style. The band were previously known as Necrofilia with a style not too different from the one offered here.

"An Uncertain Collision" is more melodic and way more eclectic the band now diversifying things beyond the boundaries of thrash and death metal incorporating elements from jazz (now much more than the casual allusion), funk, blues with the omnipresence of the sax which involvement is disputable at times and kind of dissipates the mood. The riff-section has become jumpier and crunchier to suit the erratic staccato song-structures ("But Not Today"), but this amalgam is just too incoherent to catch the regular thrash metal fans' ear, even after several listens, who may be not too pleased with the considerable reduction of the aggressive riffage from the predecessor.

In Peaceful Chaos EP, 2007
Unbreakable Fury Full-length, 2010
An Uncertain Collision Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

ACRANIS (BRAZIL)

This hellish Brazilian trio provides aggressive thrash/death metal expressed in lengthy (5-7min) compositions which seldom contain anything more than standard thrashing accompanied by a dual death metal vocal attack (one more, the other less shouty). Both styles alternate throughout, but at least on "Thrash Metal Strike" thrash should have been more widely covered, the song blasting at some point in a pure death metal fashion.

Valley of Death Demo, 2007

My Space

ACRASSICAUDA (IRAQ)

A 4-song EP of good classic power/thrash with a characteristic dark sound, nicely touching doom ("Garden of Stones") on the slower moments, ornated by good Oriental motifs. The guitar work is cool although more speed for the future would be desirable; now this wall of heavy mid-paced riffs may come too tiring on a full-length. Still, kudos should be paid to the guys for trying to play an officially banned in their homeland brand of music, opposing to the pessimistic bleak war atmosphere which has been covering their country for quite a while.
The full-length is on the post-thrash side now with frequent Oriental motifs inserted to the point of being overused at times. Still, this is cool melodic stuff with the touches of doom here again alongside pleasant tender ballads ("Requiem For A Reverie"). "Elements" near the end is a vivid jump-around partly stifled by the lush of use of Orientalisms, serving a desirable portion of more vivid rhythms.

Only the Dead See the End of War EP, 2010
Gilgamesh Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

ACRID (GERMANY)

Based on the "Acrid Beasts" demo, these guys must have been an influence on the UK grindcore movement which started a bit later. This is easily the first really brutal metal act to come out of Europe. The music here is thrash/proto-death metal with a frequent adherence to blasting grindcore not far from same year's Cryptic Slaughter's "Convicted" and Sarcofago's "INRI". This is brutal relentless stuff with short tracks, very fast bashing guitars, and guttural not very audible vocals. Impaled Nazarene must have gotten ahold of this as well since their early outrageous delivery resembles the music here quite a bit. Definitely not for the faint-hearted... Later the band changed their name to Eternal Trash, and toned down their merciless approach to come up with a more laid-back thrash/crossover sound.

The debut demo is another violent bash with a strong proto-death "sting" its brutal nature further aggravated by half of the songs played live where the mess is just... my god! Anyway, this act remains the most brutal "freak" of the European scene with some of their early "fruit" being pure unbridled grindcore as evident from this first demo which is an ultra-aggressive fist in the face predating the early outrages of Cryptic Slaughter and Repulsion by a whole year. From a pioneering point of view this effort should be respected no lower that the early Messiah and Hellhammer demos; from a musical one this is just amateurish badly concocted bash with awful shouty quarrelsome vocals which try to capture a more sinister deathy tone at times, but apparently the guy's abilities are non-existent for this side of the "singing" spectre.

Devil's Metal Demo, 1985
Acrid Beasts Demo, 1986

ACRID (HOLLAND)

The full-length debut: this obscure Dutch outfit offers a more technical twist to the modern Swedish thrash/death metal trend. At their most inspired the guys touch Death: "For the Sake of...": a really nice progressive composition with a great acoustic interlude and clever technical riffage. "...The Complete" is another Death-influenced piece providing a couple of intriguing sections combined with cool melodic licks. The progressive motifs take more epic, Opetn-esque proportions: "Withered", but here come the more straight thrashers: "The Speaking Eyes", still with a slight technical edge. "Your Burning Silhouette" is a stylish combination of haunting balladic passages and technical, but melodic, riffage.

The "Withered" demo is already an ambitious start with meandering riffs, beautiful melodies, and some imposing Atheist-like hecticers ("The Talking Eyes"). "Hope For... The Complete" hits progressive heights with its complex rhythms, and "For The Sake Of..." is a consummate technical piece with echoes of mid-period Death also featuring a breath-taking balladic break. The title-track at the end is a creepy mid-pacer with very good bass support.
The "Tryyad" demo is a 3-tracker 2 of which are bland modern thrash/deathsters along the lines of the Gothenburg school; and "Trust" which is more vivid and interesting with a few nice semi-technical decisions.

The EP would be a waste of time for the band old fan since it's unexciting modern thrash/death with only one piece, "Night Falls", recalling the guys' past glories. The rest is by all means skippable even by modern Swedish standards.

"Prism" is the next for the band step down the road to oblivion delivering unimaginative modern thrash with Swedish leanings. Pretty tedious stuff which is livened up by the casual more aggressive hook ("Sovereign", the short blizkrieger "Art of War"), but the focus is clearly on melody, mostly in the leads which reaches the culmination on the lyrical semi-ballad "Hate Is Stronger Than Fear".

Withered Demo, 1996
Tryad Demo, 1999
Amalgamate Full-length, 1999
EP EP, 2014
Prism Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

ACRIDITY (USA)

Acridity's only album is ordinary thrash played by-the-book with the uninspired vocals being the major flaw. At from the intense, energetic thrashers more ambitious, longer numbers can also be found: "Beyond", and they are a sign that with a bit more imagination this band could really do a good job. The rest comes with a certain doze of decent, but standard riffage, borrowing from Slayer, Torture, Exumer, etc., but some tracks are worth hearing, being cool headbangers: "Lethal Idol", "Vigilante".

For Freedom I Cry Full-length, 1991

ACRIMONIA (POLAND)

Even if Beethoven wanted to be dead, it wouldn't have been possible, with so much interest shown towards his works from all sides of the music spectre. These Poles offer an interesting rendition of his output with the opening "Beethoven Is Dead", which is quite original progressive thrash with references made towards Beethoven's immortal 9th symphony; dark ominous riffs in mid-tempo mix with stylish technical classical-influenced sections. Then more direct thrash follows on "Killers From Evil", which picks some technicality in the lead and bass detment in the 2nd half. Afterwards the sound takes a turn from thrash, with the doomy haunting "Story Of Evil". The situation is completely saved by the excellent stomping instrumental "Marrazm", which offers really interesting Oriental tunes, along with creepy technical riffage. "Company" nicely blends doomy funereal moments with more dynamic thrashy sections, although the "battle" is won by the doomy ones. "Spanish Dreams" is another instrumental which, as hinted by the title, is a combination of intense thrashy guitars and cool acoustic flamenco ones. "Fallen" is a worthy closer to this diverse saga bringing back the technical patterns, in mid-tempo, tially ruined by the awful hardcore vocals which fortunately are interrupted by much better female ones that suit better the jumpy, hectic riffs. This is an interesting listen which could have benefited from more technical prowess; now it often sounds like testing the soil for something bolder to come this way, with less treading in safer doomy/gothic waters...

"Parasite" is another weird effort this time not messing with any classical composers, but "flirting" quite a bit with jazz, but in a heavy pounding way. The pace is mid the whole time, and this creates a monotony sometimes "broken" by the odd stylish insertion: the great melodic tune "On High", the nice rock'n roll variation on "Don`t Fuck With Me", the twisted technical abstractism on "Dreams" which is by far the highlight of the album being exemplary progressive/technical thrash with doomy overtones. This offering is not better than the follow-up although it's far from a disappointment providing at times dry cold riffage in a way not far from early Meshuggah ("Fallen"), and the female vocal ticipation, albeit short, is quite good, but the eclectism may come as too much for the more level-headed fans, and the lack of more energy doesn't give the technical moments a big chance to stand out.

Parasite Full-length, 2005
Beethoven is Dead Full-Length, 2007

Official Site

ACRIMONY (POLAND)

So there were other, more technical acts in Poland than Turbo and Wolf Spider; one just has to dig deeper there to find them. This is a real gem which could have fitted perfectly into the wave of progressive/technical thrash metal acts from Germany from the same time. This is really technical and complex stuff which comes close to Mekong Delta and Target on quite a few moments. As you can imagine, this is not aggressive music although the riffs are quite sharp and the tempos jump from one to another all the time. There are, of course, numerous abstract and illogical at first listen tunes, but even they are quite captivating and interesting. Even the tracks which were meant as more immediate ones, are full of complex riffage: the 3-min technical thrash shredding masterpiece "What's That Light", or the brilliant semi-balladic piece "Y.R.U.B.Z.". This album, along with the other 90's one-album-wonder from Poland: Astharoth's "Gloomy Experiments", is one of the finest moments of the whole 90's metal scene.

In Unknown Direction Full-length, 1992

ACRITER (CZECH)

Thrash metal with a somewhat pagan atmosphere calling to mind Bifrost; these guys have the detrimental tendency to change the vocal styles every few seconds: you can hear Rob Halford-like screeches, awful synthesized shouts, death metal growls and, of course, clean ones. The music is mostly mid-paced with slower epic moments ("Thanalogia de Amor").

Horror Mortis EP, 2004

Official Site

ACRITUD (CHILE)

The debut: quite good melodic, keyboard-driven thrash/death metal which is long on both atmosphere and musicianship; although the music is generally not very technical, some moments are really worth checking out by the technical lovers: "Desolacion", which also scores high in the lead department; quite high, actually. The pace is quite energetic seldom adhering to blast-beating parts. As a matter of fact, often will the approach remind you of the Brits Bal-Sagoth. "Extinguio La Acritud" is a really cool semi-ballad with clean vocals, and the closer "La Cupula" is an awesome progressive number boasting compelling operatic sections among the whirlwind of moods and tempo changes.

"Remake" is too melodic with a lot of orchestral arrangements and a truckload of keyboard-driven passages making this album a larger-than-life classically-infused opera. Now the overall approach is quite close to Bal-Sagoth again making more intense pieces like "Tendencia Psicopata" more exciting eventful deathy shredders. "Agudeza del Dolor" is one of the few numbers where thrash tries to dominate, but the other compositions aren't very long to leave it much room, many of them ("Detras de las Rocas Vacias/Agonia", "Y La Confianza Murio") bordering on the progressive.

La Cupula Full-length, 2008
Remake Full-Length, 2010

Official Site

ACRODUS (SLOVENIA)

A rough-sounding demo serving a cross between death and thrash metal, competently done albeit with a very muddy sound quality. The tempos vary as the dominant one is more on the mid-paced side and the riffs have a characteristic dark "aura" which works best on the final "Legality Of Spirit", a nice more technical piece with seismic steam-rolling guitars.

Brain Washing Demo, 1994

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ACROMIZER (SPAIN)

A beautiful balladic intro inaugurates fast smashing classic thrash which favours the dynamic mid-tempo; that's why speedy ragers like "All for you, All for Nothing" and "Caught off Guard" will catch you completely "off guard". There's an unobtrusive progressive element running through the songs recalling both Manticora and Paradox the inspired musicianship topped by expressive clean vocals ala Hansi Kursch (Blind Guardian). "Killer Life" is a nice more technical shredder, and the following instrumental "One Second Remains" isn't very far behind with its catchy melodic hooks and sharp mid-paced arrangements. This is a promising, assured debut which sees a young act trying to sound relevant into the sea of retro thrash resurrectors.

Spreading the Plague Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

ACROPHET (USA)

Thrash metal delivered with a hardcore speed and intensity; the debut is more hardcore-influenced, good stuff and fast with really intense, aggressive tracks: "Slaves of Sin", "Crowd Mistress". The approach is slightly one-dimensional, but the energy put into the recording makes up for this. "Ceremonial Slaughter" is a glorious speed/thrasher, suggesting at better things to come.

"Faded Glory" moves into full-fledged thrash, retaining the aggressive delivery from the debut mixing the all-out speedy sections with slower galloping ones ("Silent Insanity", "Haunting Once Again"). These guys were definitely going somewhere, but they split-up soon after the release of their sophomore album.

Corrupt Minds Full-length, 1988
Faded Glory Full-length, 1990

My Space

ACROSTIC (CHILE)

Classic 80's thrash sounding like a cross between mid-80's Slayer and Sacred Reich's "Ignorance"; "the kids" know how to "play their thrash" trying to shred with a big intensity at times just on the edge of falling into death metal. The songs are all fast-paced the vigorous riffage accompanied by shouty choruses and a slightly abrasive sound quality which stifles the cool short screamy leads. The singer sticks to shouty semi-declamatory tones, but fits the energetic music with his authoritative, quarrelsome approach.

Kids Playing Thrash Full-length, 2005

Official Site

ACRYLATE (ITALY)

Based on "Chemical Defection", this band play retro thrash boosted by modern production and overshouty hysterical vocals. The guys thrash on with competence as a particular highlight is the excellent shredder "Evilhand" which also contains a nice short atmospheric passage. "Antology of Slaughter" concentrates on the aforementioned atmosphere being a lengthy balladic interlude, but there's no thrash lost after it the hard-hitting numbers being served in quick succession at times coming thinly technical ("Sound & Fury"), at others thrashing with a merry crossover flavour ("Acrylate").

Sound & Fury EP, 2006
SS 106 the Killing Road Full-length, 2007
M.A.F.I.A. EP, 2009
Chemical Defection Full-length, 2010

Official Site

ACT (ROMANIA)

Melodic groovy post-thrash: Rage Against the Machine on testosterones; enough said...

Exact EP, 2008

ACT OF CREATION (GERMANY)

Based on "Thion", this act play modern melodic thrash with harsh shouty death metal vocals. There are both moments of progressive and metalcore embedded, but this is pretty much a melodic feast "Damon" making the only claim at aggression the rest straddling the mid-paced waters the other "rude awakening" being the blast-beats on "Ewiger Frieden".

Secret Memoirs of a Forced Fate Full-length, 2010
Endstation Full-length, 2010
Thion Full-length, 2016

Official Site

ACT OF DEFIANCE (USA)

A super group comprising two former members of Megadeth, Chris Broderick and Shawn Drover also Eidolon), indulge in intense old school thrash crossing the Bay-Area with Slayer, producing a potent ripping sound at the beginning, which also comes with a modern "sting" ("Legion of Lies") at times. The high-speed antics are intercepted by the pounding "Refrain and Re-Fracture", but it can't stand on the way on the dynamic short cuts which follow suit, like "Dead Stare". Towards the end the approach becomes more officiant and complex again abandoning the fast-paced delivery which actually never returns till the end. Broderick is absolutely stunning on the leads and one may wonder why the hell Mustaine let a guitar player of such calibre go... As a whole this new beginning is just decent at this stage the band testing the soil trying different approaches which don't sit too well together.

Birth And The Burial Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

ACT OF DESTRUCTION (USA)

This is prototypical modern thrash with Gothenburg overtones; furious, but also quite melodic stuff which captures some of the mid-period magic of At the Gates ("Disciples of the Night") on the better material. This is professionally done, but is hardly very imaginative also coming with the standard for the style shouty deathy vocals.

Extinction Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

ACT OF FATE (GERMANY)

Based on the full-length, this band plays pretty decent retro thrash mixing the pace sounding energetic as a whole, especially on jollier takes on the good old thrash/crossover like "Cold Emotions". The singer is the prototypical death metal growler, and he suits best the steam-rolling smasher ala Bolt Thrower in the middle "Blinded By...", which is the only more death metal-laced track on the album. "Starvation" is another heavy killer with a speedy twist at the end, and generally the 2nd half is less dynamic livened up by the closing "Dream Destroyer" which again inserts steamy heavy riffage at some point.

Soul Puzzlement EP, 1998
Despise The Light Full-length, 1999

ACT OF GOD (CZECH)

Describing an album as "symphonic thrash metal" may raise quite a few brows in doubt, but this Czech formation deliver exactly that (based on the full-length debut). This is dark atmospheric music with operatic female vocals which, along with the constant "duel" between the guitars and the keyboards and the characteristic sound of the Czech language (the album is entirely sung in Czech), give this offering a fairly individual air. The problem is that, once establishing the canons along which this effort would develop, the guys (and a girl) never bother to shift from them except for one isolated speedy track in the middle. The rest provides the listener with a brooding gothic/thrash opera which gradually loses its intriguing assets as it moves along becoming purely instrumental on the closing tracks consequently taking away the main highlight: the good emotional vocals. Still, this is an interesting take on the genre which may remind of mid-period Therion and early Theatre of Tragedy on the calmer parts.

"Deception of Freedom" sees the band moving towards the English language, a move taking a bit from the mystique surrounding the previous effort. Otherwise the approach this time is a tad more energetic and "New Generation" will easily warm the hearts of the diehard thrashers as well as the symphonic speed metal hymn "Aiming High". The problem is that once one is past those two consecutive tracks, the music starts losing its edge descending to ordinary power metal which at least epitomizes the good female vocals better. The "thrash" tag seems a bit farfetched here, and it seems as though the guys (and a girl) are more interested in the symphonic power metal side of the spectre coming as more aggressive Nightwish.

Promo EP, 2005
...Casem Zapomenut'ed... Full-length, 2005
St'edny Nad R'e1nem EP, 2009
Vzpom'ednky V Zrcadlech Full-length, 2011
Deception of Freedom Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

ACT OF SIN (CANADA)

Fast energetic modern thrash which "flirts" with both more intriguing and more brutal (read death metal) elements, both sides covered on the interesting "Werewolf" and on diverse melo-death/thrasher "Breaking Point". The overshouty hyterical deathy vocals may get on your nerves, but the casual clean insertions should definitely make you listen with more care.

Casting The Second Stone Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

ACT OF VIOLENCE (USA)

Modern thrashcore with an abrasive guitar sound and brutal death metal vocals; the music is more on the heavy mid-tempo side, but is engaging and battle-like with a few epic touches. The leads are nice and melodic and generally the musicianship is a bit higher for this type of music. More officiant Swedish melo-death sneaks on "Kill or Be Killed" which reminds of the epic landscapes of Amon Amarth. Groove is very well covered as well, but its presence is not annoying, and adds up to the overall heavy feel.

Act Of Violence Full-Length, 2012

ACTION TOM BASS BAND (GERMANY)

Based on the "Fresh Flesh for D'fcr'fcm of Death" demo, this band plays heavy, mostly mid-tempo, thrash of the less serious hardcore-ish type. The guitar work is heavy touching epic/doom at times, but tracks from the other extreme can also be found: the brutal fast bomb "UR Sick". The singer is a typical death metal growler of the more intelligible variety: think Don Cochino (Pungent Stench). And, there is no "Tom" on "bass" here..

Sick Ass Fuck Demo, 2006
Fresh Flesh for D'fcr'fcm of Death Demo, 2007

Official Site

ACTING OUT (FRANCE)

These are the same guys who under the name Brain Decay have left a few demos and one good full-length release three years ago. The excellent thrashy death metal they used to play earlier, is almost completely gone on this EP; the modern industrial tendencies have been considerably increased, and now the sound is even closer to Prong, but where the Americans exceed in originality this band produce at times something a bit more than just plain noise. Thrash metal is still present, but it's mixed with a big amount of hardcore, and the combination in this case is not on the positive side. In view of the 90's trends, this is a well-fitting album into the overall picture, but these guys have proved that they could do a lot better than that.

Disorder In Space & Time EP, 1996

ACTIVATE (USA)

The stupid album-title is immediately compensated by the brilliant opening lead-driven instrumental "Fisher Forever, Forever Fisher" which shows an obvious fascination with Kirk Hammets's enchanting style; from this moment on the band continue "fucking the man" with pretty decent classic thrash/crossover which throws in the casual stomping, groovy transition, but thise pitfalls are aptly made up for including with a very cool cover of Suicidal Tendencies' "War Inside My Head" played in a more pounding manner with a more forceful, more aggressive vocal presence.

Fuck the Man Full-Length, 2016

ACTIVATOR (USA)

Standard modern thrash with Swedish overtones and attached shouty vocals which even rap on the jumpier groovier passages (check out the opening "Savior"). The sound descends to pure groovy post-thrash later on the delivery losing its initial aggression the latter replaced by numerous melodic decisions.

Activator Full-Length, 2013

ACTIVE CORE (POLAND)

These Poles deliver laid-back, frolic modern post-thrash which is suitably heavy without overdoing it in the groovy department. There aren't any fast headbanging rhythms to be savoured here, but at the same time except for the balladic closer "Spirits Of The Dead" there aren't any actual slouchers.

Numen Full-ength, 2016

Youtube

ACTS OF VENGEANCE (UK)

Decently executed classic power/thrash which hesitates between the speedy crescendos as exemplified by the vivid speedster "Baptised In Blood" (check the leads on this one), and the melodic semi-balladisms on "Legacy". "In The Dark Of The Night" is a sinister fast-paced shredder, but there are quite a few slower sections the band trying to incorporate more elements into their palitre recalling mid-period Iced Earth and The Metal Church period with Mike Howe.

Slaves To Sin Full-Length, 2016

ACUTOR (COLOMBIA)

Retro thrash oriented towards the German side of the genre which will please fans of Necronomicon, Darkness and Sodom. The guys play in a simplistic, direct manner but their lashing riffs deliver accompanied by short, but effective leads. When the band slow down, they sound even better: the stomping epicer "Por Encima Del Temor" which "fights" with the energetic instrumental "Preludio a La Muerte" for the highlight here. The 2nd half is less striking introducing more slower moments including several balladic breaks. One of their influences is paid tribute at the end with a cover of "Remember the Fallen" (guess which one!).

Dios Ha Muerto Full-length, 1998

Official Site

AD ASTRA (HUNGARY)

Good technical/progressive modern power/thrash with choppy, somewhat mechanical, but effective riffs, changing paces, but never becoming fast or aggressive with melodic, balladic sections, including two full-blooded ballads ("One Minute Silence", "27K"). The Opeth influence is more than obvious, but these guys get carried away on the dreamy calmer passages: the soft, alternative "Waves". "The Other Self" is a more convincing progressive thrasher, but the atmospheric, quiet break on it is too long to be a cool touch. The last track is another soft number with nods to Porcupine Tree. As a whole the progressive parts win over the thrashy ones; would the band give thrash metal another chance?

Idegen Arcok EP, 2005
Crust of Ego Full-Length, 2008

Official Site

ADAM JOHNSTON (UK)

Based on "Visions", this guy offers modern power/post-thrash with progressive leanings which is accentuated by tasteful, proficient guitar work bordering on Shrapnel-like virtuosity at times (check out "In My Soul"). The delivery lacks an edge and often is the sound pure heroic power metal ("Last Goodbye") "Not Alone" near the end providing the casual more aggressive rhythm. Adam sings in a kind of a dispassionate mid-ranged clean tember which could have used more emotion.

Thunder and Lightning EP, 2006
Masquerade of Life Full-length, 2008
Visions Full-length, 2011

Youtube

ADAMANTINE (PORTUGAL)

Based on the full-length debut, this act provide cleverly-executed speed/thrash with clear progressive pretensions which are well justified. The guys show ambition from the start with the epic opener "Chaos Genesis" which is followed by a string of shorter, more immediate compositions where the band thrash with confidence the only annoyance coming from the clean vocal insertions which are too many to create a positive impression. The fast tempo is very well preserved throughout echoing Paradox quite a bit. The middle is occupied by more thought-out numbers which slow down hitting the top with the balladic "Nocturne" which acquits itself with great leads. Passionate galloping riffs will overwhelm you on "The Age Of Golden Trees" which is followed by the closing "As The World Dies": furious speed/thrash at its finest lasting for 7.5-min excelling in the atmospheric department, too, with a great operatic exit. The main singer is not too far from Charly Steinhauer (Paradox again, who are the main influence), and his attached semi-clean/semi-hoarse vocals are an able assistant to the vigorous music. This is a really promising debut which nicely fits next to the more serious side of speed/thrash (Manticora, Hellfire, Dark Empire, etc.).
"Heroes & Villains" is another hyper-active affair, but the hoarse shouty death metal vocals that have been introduced are hardly an asset, and kind of make the whole recording acquire a somewhat melo-death flavour. There's plenty of dynamic progressions applied ("Spellbound", "Grudge") on the album, but the overall approach is way less adventurous, and the inclusion of more melodic numbers (the ballad "Hydra") hardly make the already disputable diverse nature of this opus more attractive.

Downfall of Adamastor EP, 2010
Chaos Genesis Full-length, 2012
Heroes & Villains Full-Length, 2017

Official Site

ADAMANTIVM (SPAIN)

Based on "Atajo a la Locura", this act provide an energetic modern blend of thrash, speed and a little bit of melo-death. The hyper-activity of the approach reaches blasting heights at times (the short exploder "B52"), and generally the guys play with the utmost intensity the tender moments taking a nice balladic shape ("Matar a Morir") or pound forward in a sure-handed proto-doomy manner ("Grim Ghosts Of War"). The 2nd half is more timid the speed being decreased as a whole the band showing more professionalism in the execution, but the unbridled energy displayed earlier remains the more preferred side. The vocals are clean and usually mid-ranged with several attempts at conquering the higher registers.

Angel de la Muerte EP, 2008
Adamantivm Full-length, 2009
Atajo a la Locura Full-length, 2011

Official Site

ADAMAS (ITALY)

Based on the full-length debut, this act play classic power/thrash in the vein of early Metal Church and the Sanctuary debut the main difference coming from the overuse of keyboards ("Bitch Night") on almost every track. The music flows effortlessly seldom leaving the established mid-tempo, and the pleasant feeling it leaves is certified by the nice quiet orchestral implements on the final "Revenge...Best Served Cold". The singer is a cool clean mid-ranger with a forceful, not very diverse, tember recalling the first Meliah Rage singer Mike Munro.

"Heavy Thoughts" opens with the title-track which features Mr. Blaze Bayley (Iron Maiden, Wolfsbane) as a guest vocalist. The approach now is a tad more modern and not as exciting since the faster-paced moments are brought to the minimum and the boredom will instill way before the end for the listener to stay with this recording till the end.

Exarco EP, 2008
Evil All Its Full-length, 2010
Heavy Thoughts Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

ADAPTOR (HOLLAND)

A 3-songer of retro thrash recalling their compatriots Messina, maybe a tad more brutal with the casual death metal shade sneaking in. This is well executed stuff which also benefits from the very clear sound quality and the more clever technical insertions ("Fire In The Hallway") which will also bring another Dutch act from the distant past to mind: Usurper. The singer is a staple death metal shouter, but he suits the music's intensity which already sounds like a good backbone for an eventual full-length.

Fire In The Hallway EP, 2012

ADDICTIVE (AUSTRALIA)

One of the less known, but better Australian thrash metal bands; the style presented on both albums is of the heavy, mostly mid-paced variety with nice, original touches here and there, moving the music on the edge of technical thrash quite a few times. "Kick'Em Hard" could pass for the better effort, containing short, fast headbangers in the beginning, before going back to the slower technical numbers in the middle, featuring an excellent 3-min instrumental near the end: "Distemper", where the lead guitar is simply striking, and one might start wondering where these leads were before. A third album could have made these guys into something special, but they never recorded again.

Pity of Man Full-length, 1989
Kick 'Em Hard Full-length, 1993

My Space

ADEM (UKRAINE)

Bay-Area thrash made in Ukraine; "Time of Madness" is more simplistic, with a more relaxed guitar sound. The opener "Psychopathy" is quite an intriguing instrumental in an energetic tempo with interesting technical riffs. Later on the music retains the energy, and introduces heavy, Metallica-influenced guitars, which work quite well, especially on the slower, mid-paced numbers ("Time of Madness"), which are fewer than the faster ones, some of which are very cool speed/thrash attacks ("A Man On His Knees"). The bonus track "Nostalgy" is a quiet, nice balladic instrumental.

"Golgotha" increases both the technicality and the heaviness, and the bass bottom, which was really good on the debut, is even better now. As a result we have great pounding technical thrash, boasting really high achievements, like the dark instrumental pieces "Vision" and "Dance of Planets", served with superb guitar work. Even the more aggressive thrashers ("It's Hard To Be A God") are graced by stylish riffs and leads. On both albums the concentration is on music; the vocals play a secondary role in this band; not that they are really bad, being growly low-tuned of the semi-death metal variety; it's just that the musical aspect is a lot more impressive.

"Fight Without Rules" is actually a "fight" with strict modern "rules", very ordinary pedestrian 90's groovy post-thrash strongly recalling the early Biohazard works. The guys have gotten back together, and the release of a Best of Compilation in 2005 is apently the first sign of a renewed activity in their camp although they really like taking their time.

Time of Madness Full-length, 1988
Golgotha Full-length, 1989
Fight Without Rules Full-length, 1996

Official Site

ADEMUS (USA)

Based on debut demo, this band plays really cool classic thrash metal of the semi-technical creepy variety sitting somewhere between Forced Entry and Slammer. "Doomsday" is a formidable steam-roller which later turns into a wonderful faster technical piece topped by very good forceful semi-clean declamatory vocals. "Blood Red Stain" is an atmospheric doomy shredder creeping forward with a slight industrial edge of the guitars. This approach stays around for a few tracks until the final "Shadows Of Black" which is a smashing dramatic closer with brutal ultra-heavy riffs and vortex-like arrangements. It would be interesting to check whether the guys were pulling out similar music on the 2nd demo...

Sumeda Demo, 1995
Degeneration Demo, 1996

ADERFIA

Modern melodic power/thrash with nu-metal elements; the best parts will remind of the Argetinian acts Horcas and Hermetica (the energetic shredder "Inconscieste Egoista"), but the singer is not really an asset with his thin screamy melodic tone.

Aderfia EP, 2009

ADFECTUS EXUNDANT (USA)

Engaging modern progressive thrash/death which starts with monstrously long compositions where numerous influences shake hands making the landscape quite eventful and utterly unpredictable, for better or worse. The problem is that one will lose the plot within one track on quite a few times and may not bother to find it since there will be a lot more to come later, and even more complex than the preceding sections. The band don't speed up a lot and the consistent jumpy mid-tempo may lose its effect at some stage carved by several quiet short instrumentals which don't sound too necessary. This is an uneven effort which has its moments, but unfortunately most of the time it sounds as a concoction of scattered, some of them quite interesting, ideas, none of them fully accomplished.

Adfectus Exundant Full-Length, 2012

ADHAIA (PERU)

Cool energetic thrash mixing modern with classic influences clinging more towards the old school, and the tracks are all mid to up-tempo affairs with forceful sharp riffs, a couple of nice melodic leads, and not very pleasant shouty vocals which would be more suitable for the hardcore scene.

Demo Demo, 2009

My Space

ADHARMA (UKRAINE)

The debut: furious intense thrash/crossover with Slayer-esque aggression encountered more than just now and then; at times the approach is stripped-down hardcore with bashing guitars and growly deathy semi-shouty vocals. The sound quality is not bad, though, giving a boost to the payful bass which is the dominant instrument at times.

The self-titled is a bit more restrained although the mosh never ends here; it's just that it's served with a slight sophistication which leads to the production of more memorable numbers which length seldom goes beyond the 2.5-min mark. Near the end the guys lose it and branch out straight into grindcore for a trio of exiting tracks which will brutalize the environment big time as a finishing touch.

Knife Of Jealousy Full-Length, 2014
Adharma Full-Length, 2015

ADIMIRON (ITALY)

In their early stages this act played a death/black metal blend of the more melodic variety, but on "When Reality Wakes Up" they offer an alternative groovy form of the 90's post-thrash with a couple of more stylish leanings recalling Gorefest's later post-death metal period. More dynamic riffy passages take turns with more laid-back semi-progressive ones akin to Tool with another alternation in the vocal department between gruff semi-death metal vocals, again in the vein of Gorefest, and dispassionate clean ones. There are descends to ballads, and even blues on "Endeavouring" near the end where the album loses the little steam it had previously.

Eclipse EP, 2002
Burning Souls Full-length, 2004
When Reality Wakes Up Full-length, 2008

Official Site

ADK (BRAZIL)

These are 3 tracks of mild heavy/post-thrash with a stoner flavour. "Quando Voce Morrer" is a merry speedster with party aesthetics, but the rest is heavier and groovy still preserving the party tone also due to the drunken semi-shouty vocals.

ADK EP, 2012

ADONIS (USA)

Based on the "Visions of Terror" demo, this band provides merry roller-coaster speed/thrash metal ala early Exciter and Savage Grace with a dirty sound quality. The songs are predominantly fast with a few slower heavier breaks, the most pleasant surprise being the closing "Endangered Species" which is smashing speed/thrash bordering on hardcore. The singer doesn't deliver as well, though, his tember being low and semi-clean without a shade of emotion.

"Model Citizen" is the better achievement with a solid consistent sound in mid-pace with clever semi-technical arrangements not far from Acid Reign. The songs are longer all clocking around 5-min, and although the mid-tempo is seldom broken, the music delivers not without the help of the much better this time clean vocals. "O.B.I. (Obsessed by Insanity)" is a cool more lively composition which comes with heavy pounding riffs also nicely recalling Heathen's "Victims of Deception".

Visions of Terror Demo, 1987
Model Citizen Demo, 1989

ADRAMMA (BRAZIL)

Based on the "The Uncurable Disease" EP, these guys provide your average modern thrash hesitating between the more intense direct type ala The Haunted and the angrier Pantera-sque one. The latter wins although it seldom reaches the heights of "Vulgar Display..." or "Far Beyond Driven".

Highlight Flowers Make Words Hear The Pain EP, 2007
The Uncurable Disease EP, 2009

My Space

ADRENALIN (CANADA)

The first demo is aggressive thrash bordering on death metal at times; the second one retains the aggression, but adds a considerable doze of modern thrash; the third one is full-blooded modern thrash with hardcore elements in the Pro-Pain vein.

Cause and Effect Demo, 1992
Tension Demo, 1993
Control Demo, 1994

ADRENALINE (FRANCE)

This is modern thrashcore which is fairly energetic mixing the pace by preferring the up one recalling the more recent Pro-Pain exploits. The riffs are hard and kicking, and the singer is an angry shouter with a powerful authoritative delivery ala Gary Meskil (Pro-Pain again).

Demain Nous Appartient EP, 2014

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ADRENALINE (UK)

Based on the "Being This Side Of Insane" EP, this band come up with melodic modern groovy post-thrash, mid-paced, traditionally crossing harsh hardcore with clean vocals. "Castrum Dolores" offers more vivid dynamic music, thrashing with gusto on a few moments ("Playing the Role of God", "Sins of a Thousand", "Inertia"), and the dragging groovy sections are not that annoying, neither are the clean melodic vocals which here take a more active participation. "No Ones Promised Tomorrow" is a cool touch: a romantic, albeit still heavy, ballad with the clean singer doing a very good job although there he sounds different from the rest of the album.

Inch of Skin EP, 2005
Being This Side Of Insane EP, 2007
Castrum Dolores Full-length, 2008

My Space

ADRENECHROME (CANADA)

This Canadian outfit acquit themselves with crunchy modern power/thrash which has its fair share of doomy moments, but dynamics doesn't lack here and a few original motifs (the funky "flirtations" on "The Horror" which is also graced by a great Oriental tune) make this effort a less ordinary one. "Hymn For The Heathens" even finds time for headbanging hooks, but the 2nd half concentrates on the darker doomy side more. The singer is quite good with his dramaric clean tember even recalling Tim "Ripper" Owens on the more inspired performance.

Hideous Appetites Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

ADRENICIDE (UK)

Based on "Drunk with Power", these guys offer quite enjoyable, energetic thrash/crossover, very close to late period D.R.I. The shorter tracks ("Infernal Waves", "Cradle to the Grave", and especially the 1-min bomb "Little Jimmy") move towards the more aggressive spectre (think Slayer), but in an album of 15 songs they can't really change the picture a lot. And they don't have to, since the music is cool and fast-paced, staying closer to thrash, with very few exceptions: the cool short balladic instrumental "Visiting Hours ....". "Keeps Going Wrong" is a very brutal take on thrash/death, lasting for about a minute.

"Raging Full On" is 21 tracks of cool energetic thrash/srossover, which again draws resemblances to D.R.I., but this time there are moments which will remind you of Suicidal Tendencies, and Slayer on the more aggressive moments. "Forward Into Death" deserves a special mention, being half a min of aggressive, blasting thrash. Later on there is another 1-min explosion: "Junk Punk". "Guns In The Playground" and "At War With Next Door" are the odd slow, semi-groovy tracks.

"Natural Born Thrashers" tries hard to deserve its title, thrashing more intensely than the band's previous works, spreading far and wide the thrash metal idea with its 20-and-so tracks. Certainly, a couple of numbers are more crossover-oriented, but most of the time the guys thrash with confidence and gusto. The compositions this time are longer, some closing dangerously over the limit on 4-4.5min (the excellent crushing instrumental "Let The Violence Commence"- a headbanging fest at its best), as the shorter ones are left for the end where the crossover madness ala Suicidal Tendencies reigns supreme for a while ("Dying Time Crawls", "Garland Greene").

"Kill" is a brisk energetic exercise in classic thrash/crossover at its best; fast music, short explosive numbers, uncompromising attitude and a lot of mosh from beginning to end. Again a couple of tracks are longer than the majority, but thrash rules the game all over, and this effort will hardly leave anyone cold especially those who grew up listening to D.R.I., Nuclear Assault, Hellbastard and Ratos de Porao.

"War Begs No Mercy" is the band's most aggressive achievement, an all-out thrash attack for most of the time with Slayer being a close soundalike on the more brutal material (check out the explosive "W.B.N.W." and "The Last Experiment"; also the maddening thrasher "Planet Of The Dumb", and the ultra-furious "Tortured And Broken"). The songs are short and to-the-point, with fast fiery riffs seldom slowing down on the mellower tracks ("The Hunter"), providing an almost non-stop headbanging fest to the fans, proving themselves a safe bet for all who love direct lashing mosh without any distractions.

"Power Shift", recorded just a few months after "War Begs No Mercy", shows no "shift" in sound, but delivers the same no-bars-held attitude thrashing in a wild Slayer-esque fashion all the way through those 18 songs of prime retro thrashing madness. The hardcore aesthetics are certainly here, especially on the shorter numbers, but this is pure thrash all the way, the only relief being the cool acoustic instrumental, a 1.5-min "oasis" amidst those raging numbers. The headbangers will by all means be pleased (and also quite exhausted), but this is really not for the sophisticated/refined side of the fanbase...

"Bursting into Decadence": one of the most prolific UK acts of the new millennium are back with a new opus which is again a fierce slab of classic speed/thrash the band thrashing with no remorse mixing a less compromising hardcore attitude with the raging nature of Slayer's "Reign in Blood" the final result again not for the faint of heart. The sound is somewhat more restrained, though, the guitars lacking a very expressive cutting edge this time which becomes more evident since there is no reduction of speed anywhere all the 13 track hitting you like a big hammer intent on doing as much damage as possible on your senses. There are a few longer steam-rollers near the end which are not that focused on speed, and "Suicide (Mortal Ride)" gets surreally technical for a bit also featuring a nice balladic exit; but this is the good old Adrenicide all the way, arguably the only band from the Isles who would hardly try anything more adventurous anytime soon to delineate their fanbase. And that should be the spirit...

"Hate Crisis": fast blitzkrieg old school thrash is again the order of the day, and although the title-track is a heavy stomper, the other songs show no remorse the situation spiced by the creepy technicaller "No Cure For The Madness". The compositions are generally longer this time, and it's quite cool to hear a 7.5-min shredder like "Residual Backtrack" moshing out all the way through. The approach is more varied compared to previous recordings, even aiming at the progressive metal base with more seriously plotted numbers like "Obey, Refrain, Enforce".

Impropaganda Full-length, 2003
All Went Black Full-length, 2004
Crossover-dose! EP, 2006
Drunk with Power Full-length, 2006
Raging Full On Full-length, 2007
Natural Born Thrashers Full-Length, 2008
Kill Full-length, 2009
Pioneers In The Land Of The Mad Full-length, 2009
War Begs No Mercy Full-length, 2010
Power Shift Full-length, 2011
Bursting into Decadence Full-Length, 2013
Hate Crisis Full-Length, 2014

My Space

ADVENTUS (BRAZIL)

4 songs of classic power/thrash with a modern production and a bit noisy guitar sound. Rough angry vocals meet melodic guitar lines and catchy choruses everywhere producing memorable tracks ("Sky or Hell") with a pinch of the modern trends.

Hell Will Fall Demo, 2011

ADVERMIX

Based on the 1st EP: good classic power/thrash metal which starts energetically with the speed/thrashing instrumental "Corre, Corre Transy", but later the music is mostly mid-paced with heavy meaty riffs and another pure speed metal delight ("Lords of War") thrown in the middle. The closer "The Monster Dick" is disappointing, though: an ordinary toothless heavy metal anthem (it's by all means a "dick", but by no means a "monster" one...).
The IInd EP is another winner with its ripping guitars and intriguing technical implementations ("Messangers Of Death"). There is a certain loss of speed near the end, but again the guys do well to rehearse competently before the eventual full-length hits the shelves.

Gates to Transilvania EP, 2009
II EP, 2012

Official Site

ADVERSARY (USA, IL)

Based on the full-length, this outfit indulge in raspy abrasive retro power/thrash with surprisingly cool proficient leads. "Torn Soul" is a clumsy power/thrasher which doesn't quite match the vigour of the rest of the songs which are served with crunchy, mostly mid-paced, riffs and lightly gruff semi-clean, mid-ranged vocals.

Discern EP, 2002
Hidden Disease Full-length, 2003

ADVERSARY (USA, VA)

Modern thrash/death metal which doesn't miss out on any of the typical for the genre gimmicks: the dual guitar melodies, the clean vocals, the energetic delivery, etc. Although the music stays closer to thrash for most of the time, there's hardly anything which would strike a cord in the thrash metal fan's heart.

Singularity Full-length, 2007

Official Site

ADVERSITY (USA)

Fast and energetic thrash/crossover, similar to D.R.I. and early Suicidal Tendencies ("Destinized").

Lost It All Full-Length, 1988

ADVERSOR (ITALY)

This is a primal take on the aggressive sound of mid-period Sepultura (think "Arise", above all) spiced with more meloidc quirks which can't possibly stand on the way of inspired ragers like "Envenomed" and "Rise to Survive". There's literally no mercy shown anywhere except on isolated slower breaks ("Abhor War Crimes", the epic closer "Event Horizon") from the tracks which also win from the intense forceful, semi-death metal vocals.

Rise to Survive Full-Length, 2016

Youtube

ADVERTENCIA (ARGENTINA)

Look no further than the typical for the country power/speed/thrash metal mix (Horcas, Hermetica, Lethal), here brought with numerous balladic touches which kill the little sharpness the guitars have turning it into a boring pedestrian affair which some may lose interest listening to well before the end.

Al Escucrar Tu Voz Full-length, 2007

My Space

ADVOCATE (USA, CO)

This trio from Colorado specializes in dark classic heavy thrash with American power metal influences and good mid-levelled clean vocals. The mid-pace is sometimes "broken" ("Turn From Him"), but there's no shortage of slower balladic moments, either ("The Key"). "Paper Back Sword" is a speed metal delight which main riff strongly reminds of the one from Iron Maiden's "Wasted Years", only played faster. "Way To Right" immediately "cancels" it, being morose doom/thrash. Still, there's energy aplenty on the closing "Remember The Cross" which mixes the speedy and the heavier elements to a good effect.

Exigency EP, 1992

ADVOCATE (USA, NJ)

80's power/thrash metal band in the vein of Abattoir and Liege Lord; the music here is heavier and not as fast; it starts in quite an impressive way with three stomping, almost doomy power/thrashers before introducing some faster tunes ("Do or Die", "Agony") which nicely break the somewhat monotonous atmosphere. Near the end the sound even acquires nice semi-technical tendencies, not too far from Liege Lord's "Master's Control" ("The Final Hour", "No Words Left To Say").

World Without End EP, 1995
World Without End Full-length, 1997

ADX (FRANCE)

The finest French thrash metal band; starting more as a speed metal outfit, the band have moved more and more towards the thrash metal spectre. The first three albums are more in the speed metal mould, with timid nods to thrash, along the lines of their compatriots Killers, the band running sucessfully as the European analogue to Agent Steel, and well deservedly so. A strong, and an appealing, characteristics for their style were the infectious choruses and the swirling melodic leads. "Weird Visions" is the band's real initiation into thrash, and their finest hour: one of the biggest achievements of the whole French metal scene. "King of Pain" keeps the tie to their past with a more speed metal-like approach, but later things become more interesting: the melodic mix of speed and thrash "Lost Generation"; the mighty thrashy riff-fest "Sacrifice in the Ice", with a marvellous waltz-like outro; the superb instrumental "Mystical Warfare"; the intense speed/thrasher "Behind the Mirror". There's, however, at least one filler as well: the mid-paced heavy metal number "Sign of the Time", partially saved by the raging follower "Invasion". A nice cover of Rainbow's "Kill the King" is placed at the end of this masterpiece which remained the band's last recording for quite some time.

"R'esurrection" saw the band back, but not really in flying colours, like it was expected. This is by all means thrash, but the huge doze of speed, which made their previous works so great, is almost nowhere to be found ("Resurrection" is the exception: a great intense thrash delight, the highlight of the album; if only there were at least a few more of these around...). The songs are lengthy, at least according to the band's standards, and the guitar work is not bad, albeit one-dimensional: heavy, mid-paced, pounding riffs with a modern edge here and there; this is what awaits you here for most of the time; not a really impressive picture, isn't it? Especially when I add that there's also one very long, tender 10-min ballad ("Jeux De Chair"). Well, the guys' penchant for nice melodic hooks can still be felt on at least half of the songs. The closing track is a remastered version of one of the band's lesser achievements: "Marquis Du Mal", this time sounding even worse, with an added modern sound. Apparently not fascinated with the acceptance this comeback album received, the band disappeared again not long after that.
"Division Blindee" is a glorious return to form for the band although their fans had to wait for eight whole years, also witnessing their idols falling behind their colleagues and compatriots from Killers, the latter having done a marvellous job on their last two albums. On this one ADX offer us the staple bombastic speed/thrash known from their 80's efforts. The fine guitar duels and leads are back along with the passionate, dramatic vocals and choruses; both the intro and the outro are also short, but fine additions. Slower, heavier tracks are added, as well as one with a more power metal edge, but the majority are all-out speed/thrashers (check out the closing "Demiure Morsure" which is a feast for the ears to those who like the Shrapnel acts and guitar pyrotechnics with a more aggressive edge): a big excuse for the not very convincing previous effort and a major push forward for the French speed/thrash metal scene of the new millennium.

"Immortel": hats down to France for making us feel like it's the 80's over again: the two aces of French metal ADX and Killers are racing each other again like in the good old days. And if back then ADX managed to edge out their rivals due to their more commercial thrash-fixated sound which they acquired in the late-80's, now they will have quite a bit of catching-up to do with the "killers" going stronger with each subsequent album looking almost unreachable at present. The shameful "R'e9surrection" is a distant memory now, and with a second album after the excellent "Division Blindee" things look bright for ADX once more. The catching-up is on full-throttle now, and the guys may eventually come close to their colleagues because "Immortel" is another classy display of old school speed/thrash metal the opening title-track spitting fire on all sides being a prime rager with great melodic licks. Time for mid-paced dramatism with the next smasher "Pachydermus", but don't expect two in a row of the kind from the "kings of speed", and "Messe Rouge" will rock your world in no time with its unstoppable rapidfire riffs. "Le Secret" is a mixture of the two sides, and "L'adieu Aux Armes" offers a power/thrash blend with a sudden explosive exit. "Bapt'eame De Sang" is formidable speed/thrash with a thundering bass bottom, and later on the alternation between fast and slower compositions is well achieved reaching doom-laden proportions on the sinister "Delirium". The guys apologize quickly with a duo of intense speedsters before the final "Le Dernier Geste" melts the hearts down with its more moderate catchy power metal approach. Still, there is plenty here to fill in the hungry thrash metal fan's basket to the brim, and as such this effort is another fine addition to the guys' catalogue who are alive and well, and by all means ready to take a major part in the genre's resurrection movement both in their homeland and worldwide.

"Ultimatum": our favourite speed/thrash metal heroes are here again, but this time they serve not very pretentious speed/power metal boogie which lacks the bite of their previous recordings sustained in a jolly carefree mood quite resembling the works from the 90's speed/power metal wave. In this sense the guys seem to be losing the race with their main rival Killers who are getting more and more aggressive. The speedy numbers here are dissipated by a healthy portion of not very striking mid-pacers which were "strangers" to the band even in their very early days. Anyway, as an effort of heavy metal joy this album should please a wider gamut of fans whereas the thrash metal fanbase has a lot else to choose from at present.
"Non Serviam" continues with the band's infatuation with the more friendly rhythms so by no means expect hard-hitting speed/thrash here although the opening "La Mort en Face" creates some illusions that this would be a look back at their 80's heritage with its highly energetic riffage. "La Complainte du Demeter" is another faster-paced cut, but the illusion won't last very long since soon after the guys settle for their mellower approach which should keep the fans of their more recent exploits happy.

Ex'ecution Full-length, 1985
La Terreur Full-length, 1986
Supr'e9matie Full-length, 1987
Weird Visions Full-length, 1990
R'e9surrection Full-length, 1998
Division Blindee Full-Length, 2008
Immortel Full-Length, 2011
Ultimatum Full-Length, 2014
Non Serviam Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

AEDOOM (CHILE)

There's one guy behind this project (guess the name or rather, the alias) and he tries to combine two contrasting genres like thrash and doom metal resulting in heavy crushing music which is much closer to doom for most of the time, and will surely satisfy the lovers of slow volcanic rhythms. Things get seriously brutal on "It's Over (Part 1 ''The Suffer") which features a few unbridled blast-beating sections, and later on the headbangers will enjoy the short cleverly-executed rager "Rotting Faith" which leaves the scene to give way to two ponderous antedeluvian doomsters in the best tradition of Tristitia and early My Dying Bride. So the guy has approriately selected his pseudonym, after all...

Inner Silence Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

AEGLYSS (USA)

Fairly cool modern thrash/death which "flirts" with the technical, but not bravely enough ("Frbannat" near the end is an exception being a really stylish cut) to make the fan scratch his/her head a lot. Still, the dynamics is quite big without reaching any heights speed-wise, and melo-death "roams" around to kill any attempts at more brutal shredding culminating at the end on the more engaging progressive number "Frostbitten Plague-wielders". The singer performs in a forceful growly way, but his rendings are suitable and never strained.

An Ill-formed Faith Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

AEON (SWEDEN)

The stoner/doom guru Christian 'Spice' Sjstrand (The Mushroom Band, Spiritual Beggars, but also the modern thrashers Kayser) gives a more aggressive thrashy twist to his infatuation with the "stoned" sound. Based on the debut demo, this other project of his, which he runs along with one of his colleagues from Kayser Fredrik Finnander, plays modern power/thrash metal with an obligatory doomy shade, but rest assured that there will be a fair amount of moshing here: check out the wild shredder "Open Up To Life" and the short piece of proto-death brutality "Help Me Out". This is cool diverse music ably supported by Sj'strand's convincing gruff mid-levelled Tom Araya-sque delivery.

All Becomes Ashes Demo, 1990
Missing Ground Single, 1991
Universe Wide Open Demo, 1992
Absence Demo, 1993

AEONS END (GERMANY)

This band included two future members of one of the leaders of the contemporary German thrash metal scene Red to Grey; actually in an early incarnation of that same band the guys have played classic death metal, and here shades of their old style can occasionally be heard. The singer here is a girl, and her clean mid-ranged voice, not miles away from her compatriot Doro Pesch, is probably the best choice for this exquisite technical/progressive fusion of power and thrash, which perfectly fits into the progressive/technical thrash wave which appeared a few years earlier in Germany. The opener "It Never Prays..." is a more laid-back progressive power metal track, but "Share In Fate" hardens the course, and is a standout technical/progressive thrasher with swirling riffs and really aggressive, proto-death sections combined with sudden, spiral-like (hence the album title) time changes. "Life Unlived" is a softer-sounding, but still quite complex, number clinging again more towards the power metal side, but "Unreal Perception" thrashes with full force, despite the balladic introduction; this is another exemplary progressive thrash piece, which sounds like a leftover from Sieges Even's "Life Cycle"; a slight letdown is the more quiet, semi-balladic ending which contrasts to the furious technical sections before that. "Refusal" is as elaborate as thrash metal can possibly get: a head-spinning labyrinthine song with hard-hitting guitars, nice fast leads, and straight speed/thrash ts. The only "flaw" of this masterpiece is that it's only 5 songs; the last track ("Soul Dreamer") is a 2-min acoustic instrumental, which is actually a great ending to this obscure, but essential work. Red to Grey are yet to match the technical brilliance of this album.

Spiral Seas Full-length, 1994

Official Site

AERION (MEXICO)

Edgy brisk modern thrash in mid-pace which isn't very eventful, but delivers with its consistent volcanic rhythms some of which border on doom ("Crhimen") and the openly balladic ("Caeddo") before the closing "Tomando El Control" starts speed/thrashing with might also providing breathtaking melodic leads as an epitaph.

Trincheras Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

AESIR (USA)

Energetic edgy thrash with an American power metal flavour, close to Laaz Rockit's "Know Your Enemy" and early Helstar; the tempo is mid to up, but at times the guys get "pissed" and start thrashing in a less controlled manner (the raging sections from "Scream For The Light", and the speed/thrash monster "Mr. Neighbor"). "Evil Memories" tries something complex being twice as long as the other songs, but the guys are not that impressive when they slow down stretching bland balladic passages quite a bit topped by very screamy amateurish leads. "Save Us From Today" is not far behind in terms of length, but there the band never lets the speed go, and this one is a decent headbanger where the singer tries to unleash very high-pitched screams not too far from early Warrel Dane.

Save Us From Today Demo, 1987

AETERNUM (SWITZERLAND)

Based on the 1996 split, this band is mostly in the death metal camp with the odd thrash riff added for good measure. The style ranges from the war-like, steam-rolling sound of the Brits Bolt Thrower and Benediction to very fast rhythms ala Mortification and Brutality.

The full-length has already mutated into symphonic black metal with certain support from death and a little bit of thrash. The music has acquired the expected hyper-blast tendencies, plus a few gothic, Cradle of Filth-styled decorations, and as a whole the thrash metal fan will feel cheated for most of the time.

Fear of Mankind Demo, 1995
Promotape 1996 Demo, 1996
Defaced Creation / Aeternum Split, 1996
Aeternum / Evoke Split, 1999
Dreamy Silken Moontew Full-length, 1999
Promo 2001 Demo, 2001

Official Site

AETURNUS (USA)

This is complex, technical thrash with shades of death metal (but not too many), quite close to the Swedes Rosicrucian's "Silence", or the Americans Punisher's "Disillusioned". The riffs are crushingly heavy, and the tempo for that reason is not fast; there are moments from the groovy 90's scene as well including the vocals which are a mix between Burton Bell and Phil Anselmo, with a slight computerized/industrialized edge, and are simply bad, compared to the better music. There are long (6-8min) tracks where one could hear quite a few time changes including more speedy parts, but most of the time this is pounding, somewhat tedious stuff.

From Blackest Darkness Full-length, 1995

AFFLICTED (SWEDEN)

After one very good technical death metal release ("Prodigal Sin"-1992), this band switched onto power/thrash metal with this one. The style is close to the American standards- this is epic, mostly mid-paced to up-tempo stuff, reminiscent of old veterans like Omen, Savage Grace, Liege Lord, etc. It's too bad that the impressive technical sound of the debut is almost nowhere to be heard (maybe, a few moments on the battle opus "Raging Into Battle"). On the last two songs the guys let more aggression loose resulting in better, more thrashy music with quirky experimentations on bass on "Cross My Heart".

Dawn of Glory Full-length, 1995

My Space

AFFLICTED CONVULSION (SWEDEN)

This is the early incarnation of Afflicted (see the review above). The debut demo shows a band playing competent thrash metal with several more stylish insertions (check the ambitious diverse title-track "Toxic Existence"), but the raging death metal parts aren't missing, either, reaching an almost intolerable grinding intensity at the end on the closing 1.5-min explosion "Batman".

Toxic Existence Demo, 1989
Psychedelic Grindcore Demo, 1989
Beyond Redemption Demo, 1990

AFFLICTION (TURKEY)

Based on "One Reality", these guys follow on the steps of their Swedish counterparts; in other words, this is modern thrash metal, quite fast bordering on death, the way bands like Carnal Forge and Hatesphere used to play it with slower sections inserted where you can hear cool melodic vocals. "Execution is Necessary" flows in the same vein, maybe a bit more aggressive, with more nods to death metal (In Flames, Dark Tranquillity).

One Reality Full-length, 2003
Execution is Necessary Full-length, 2007

Official Site

AFFLICTION (USA)

Heavy, technically competent thrash of the classic type; the music is a mix of fast-paced, intense pieces and heavy, mid-paced ones. The guitars are heavy with a dark, brooding sound which create an ominous atmosphere also helped by the very good bass work. There are no real highlights here, all songs tend to come together with the 1st and the last tracks being the fastest, and the most impressive ones (the last one is actually a short effective hardcore-ish piece: "Trying To Be Cool"). The vocals ar\f1 "\f0 e a bit raw with a gruff, semi-death metal tone, but suit the dark music well.

The Damnation of Humanization Full-length, 1992

My Space

AFRICAN CORPSE (GERMANY)

This outfit indulge in modern melodic thrash/death which for most of the time is one-dimensional mid-paced affair the sudden spasmodic outbreaks of aggression ("African Corpse") bringing the necessary doze of life into this otherwise easily forgettable release. The singer is the prototypical shouty throat who reaches the point of hysteria on quite a few times.

Corpsewar Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

AFROBOMINATION (USA)

Crusty core-y thrash which dirges forward in a frolic abrasive fashion retaining the up-pace for most of the time the vocalist's guttural deathy heroics mainly suitable on the morose doomster "The Afro-pick of Funk" and "Fuck You, I'm Black". The rest often recalls the Motorhead exploits with a harsher, thrashier edge.

Space Motherfuckers From Space Full-Length, 2015

AFTER ALL (BELGIUM)

The band's works during the 90's belong to the heavy/power metal genre. With "Mercury Rising" the music starts getting more interesting offering an interesting blend of doom, power, classic heavy metal and, of course, thrash. The last 2 releases are essential classic thrash metal picks. Those of you who have followed the band from the very beginning, will be stunned to hear this aggressive, intense stuff; both albums offer excellent, fast-paced to up-tempo music with great sharp riffs, with almost no shades of the other genres previously "courted" ("Cascade" from "The Vermin Breed" is a doomy, semi-balladic number, and "Second Time Around" from "This Violent Decline" is another good attempt at a semi-balladic song-writing of the heavier, Testament type). "This Violent Decline" could be considered the slightly better effort of the two, with a faster and more technical guitar work, bordering even on death metal at times (the Germans Final Breath might come to mind), although the inclusion of Gothenburg-styled melodies might be a pullback to some.

"Cult Of Sin" is an explosive work, wasting no time to prove its worth with the crushing opener "My Own Sacrifice", intense speedy thrash with a couple of more extreme death metal elements thrown in. In case of you wonder which style the guys have chosen to pursue, here comes "Scars Of My Actions": an old school thrash attack at its best with allusions to the German school (adox, Angel Dust). "Betrayed By The Gods" shows the band's other, slower and heavier side, a crushing piece of steam-roller aggression. "Devastation Done" is fast thrash/proto-death, a relentless downpour of riffs with a stomping mid-section. Death metal goes a level up on the brutal riff-fest "End Of Your World", and will remind you of early Pestilence and No Return's "Contamination Rises". "End Of Your World" is the odd power/thrasher with an epic shade, strengthened by the 1-min of peaceful balladic sounds on the instrumental "Doomsday Elegy (2012)". The "idyll" is over with those two, and "Embracing Eternity" rages on, thrashing with force for about 3-min, and this is where one can hear the vocal legend James Rivera adding a few hellish screams. "Hollow State" is another cool take on more epic thrash, but the speed comes back to stay on the final "Release", which provides a healthy doze of headbanging retro thrash lasting for about 5-min, before the fine balladic lead-driven outro takes over. The crisp production, courtesy of the Swedish maestro Dan Swan'f6, gives a great boost to the guitar sound, and these riffs cut like a knife, sounding equally as hard on both the fast and slow passages. It would hardly matter whether the death metal tendencies will take a fuller shape on future recordings: with a musicianship of such a calibre these guys would easily be a sure pick for any metal fan.

"Dawn of the Enforcer" would be another no-brainer for the classic thrash lovers the band finally getting rid of the not very suitable deathy singer replacing it with a pretty good clean attached one. The opening "Parasite Within" is an instant hit, rigorous headbanging thrash at its finest followed by the equally as energizing "Timeless Machine". "Digital War" is a more dramatic and more diverse pounder with a shattering death metal insertion in the middle and a dreamy balladic ending. "Spread the Infamy" is a milder power/thrasher, but the guys don't let this become an undesirable tendency, and the next "Becoming the Martyr" is a furious piece with lashing riffs. "To Breach and Grieve" is almost doomy-sounding due to the slow seismic guitars the alternation between the two sides carrying on with the faster-paced "Demolition Course" and the remaining material. The last 4 tracks are not different in approach, but are sung by the older singer who this time has acquired a more acceptable cleaner tone, all of them taken from the preceding two EP's. With the crystal clear production courtesy of none other than Dan Swano and the cutting edge of the guitars this album seems like the band's finest hour so far, a diverse work which doesn't sound overdone or awkward, and is a sure highlight on the thrash metal scene for 2012.
"Waves of Annihilation" is another winner from this promising act who have found the right formula to thrash with conviction and vigour. "Rejection Overruled" opens the album with fiery riffs which only aggravate on the following "Target Extinction", a raging speed/thrasher with clever semi-technical gimmicks. No rest for the wicked, and "The Unusual Sin" is the next in line highly energetic cut again with a few more technical quirks presented. "Fall in Line" gallops with the finest "courting" the power/speed metal movement with style. The stylish intriguing thrashing comes back with "None Can Defy" the nice melodic leads another bonus. The attack only becomes more vicious with the headbanger "First Class Terror", but "Restore to Sanity" is a calmer piece despite the brutal death metal vocals introduced, a total contrast to the very good clean main ones. No speed "lost" on "Lost in the Crowd" before "After the Hurt Is Gone" offers moderate mid-tempo rhythms on a more challenging progressive base. "Destructive Force" closes the album with the final portion of blitzkrieg speedy guitars putting this effort on a high pedestal again, a sure leader of the Belgian metal fraternity at present.

Mercury Rising Full-length, 2002
The Vermin Breed Full-length, 2005
This Violent Decline Full-Length, 2006
Cult Of Sin Full-length, 2009
Betrayed by the Gods EP, 2010
Becoming the Martyr EP, 2011
Dawn of the Enforcer Full-length, 2012
Waves of Annihilation Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

AFTER DUSK (GREECE)

Based on "The Character of Physical Law", these folks deliver modern/classic power/thrash which is particularly striking in the lead department. "Masters of Earth" is an excellent epicer with stronger classic overtones and tasty melodic configurations. "A Phantom Epiphany" thrashes harder with the melodic additives still "roaming" around turning into unobtrusive keyboard tunes on "A Corpse with a Smile". "Mindinfestation" is a more officiant quasi-doomy composition which finely complements the very good attached Ozzy-like vocals.

The Witch's Pact Full-length, 2006
Hybris Full-length, 2008
The Devil Got His Soul Full-length, 2012
The Character of Physical Law Full-length, 2017

Official Site

AFTER FOREST (FINLAND)

Based on the "Insignificant" EP, these folks offer modern thrash with seeming progressive tendencies which are scattered among the lengthy compositions the latter being a bit on the dragging side with too many quiet doomy/balladic moments for this to be a truly enjoyable experience. The music has its atmospheric, gothic side also accentuated by the gruff death metal singer.
The "Act I" EP is just 3 tracks of a tad more cleverly concocted progressive post-thrash which again is quite melancholic (check out the 11-min saga "From Bliss to the Arrival of The Others") with frequent stretches towards the doom metal field.

Insignificant EP, 2012
Act I EP 2015,

AFTER JESUS (GERMANY)

This act "follow" Jesus with a classic mix of power and thrash with certain progressive overtones at times as evident from the opening band name carrier, an interesting blend of hard-hitting thrash and breathtaking balladic melodies. "...Look Inside" is another less ordinary piece with a doomy mid-break interrupting the dynamic thrashing. "Magic Madness Fantasies" is the short crossover joke, and "Life Brain Time" is an overlong, almost 8-min, tender ballad. The 2nd half is all over the place even adding more technical death metal on the final "But One Day" which closes this effort with more style than it actually deserves.

Flabbergast Full-Length, 1995

Official Site

AFTER LIFE (SPAIN)

Traditional semi-technical modern thrash with an interesting vocal "duel" between harsh shouty death metal and angelic female vocals. The vocal histrionics accompany welll the original music which evolves around robotic, choppy riffs ala Meshuggah which dispassionate execution slightly undermines cool energetic headbangers like "Unleash The Time", for example. The technical ambivalence of the latter is partially translated on "Bio-lence-Darkest Skies". The other "Bio-lence", "The Revenge Of Gaia" is ripping thrash at its very best akin to Darkane and Altered Aeon. "Dehumanize" is another less ordinary shredder with operatic keyboard support and breathtaking balladic interruptions; and "Enslaved" is sterile technical thrash with spastic rhythms overlapping on a more urgent proto-death base. "Break The Silence" is a more quiet progressiver with a fast-paced engine, and the final "Whispers, Beyond The Edge" is the last display of musical virtuosity thrashing hard and fast giving Darkane a run for their money with a truckload of tempo shanges and moods, not to mention the super-technical twist near the end.

Requiem From The Abyss Full-Length, 2016

AFTER OBLIVION (BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA)

A talented young act who give a nice speed/thrashy twist to later-period Death and Sceptic, a tendency already started under the name Path Beyond Serenity, with one EP released before the name change. Fans of the two aforementioned bands may find this addictive; it's that good. The debut EP is 4 songs of top-notch musicianship reflected in swirling leads, overwhelming Oriental melodies (the latter are the main fascination being present all over), fast tempos, slower progressively-tinged passages, and more. The singer imitates the style Chuck Schuldiner (R.I.P.) acquired on the last 2 Death albums, but gives his tone a slightly screechy high pitch, which could be considered the only flaw on this otherwise perfectly executed slab of technical thrash which is played in an energetic up-pace for most of the time.

"Vultures" contains 3 compositions which show an icreased level of complexity, with the progressive overtones now more strongly present which, fortunately, is not for the sake of the speedy delivery the guys lashing with passion throughout. Still, the time-signatures are more complex, and the Oriental spirit of the 1st EP is somewhat left behind, but the shadow of Death looms even stronger here (check out "Deliverance", which is a tribute to "Flesh and the Power It Holds" from "The Sound of Perseverance", only shorter). The emulation of the guys' peers is probably too close, but it's done with professionalism and dedication; and there's certainly time for the band to find their own style, if necessary.

The 3 numbers from the EP serve as the backbone for "Stamina" which is fairly good technical thrash/death from beginning to end. After the already familiar "Deliverance" which opens the album the guys start "delivering" expertly-executed Death-worship which threatens to reach the Polish Sceptic heights very early with the shattering shredder "For the Rebels". Comes "Vulture", another familiar tune from the EP, and "Breeding Perdition" is another prime technical headbanger which sets the tone for the remainder among which one will find the other track from the EP ("Septic Mind") and one short energetic instrumental ("Ascent of Misery"). We should also mention the closing "Hatred Profound" which is more on the atmospheric progressive side with the couple of softer balladic insertions. Everything is close to perfect here, but the individual character of the album, and respectively the band, is somewhat missing: this is a very well done tribute to a great act and the guys seem well equipped to race with the other Death clones around; only time will tell whether they would be able to escape the shadow of the Chuck Schuldiner (R.I.P.) gang and take a road less travelled...

The Carnal Form EP, 2007
Vultures EP, 2011
Stamina Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

AFTER THE BOMBS (CANADA)

Based on the "Terminal Filth Stench Bastard" EP, these guys play fast intense thrash/crossover ala Nuclear Assault and D.R.I. with very abrasive guitars and high-pitched apocalyptic vocals, reminiscent of Torsten Bergman (Living Death). There will be a lot of jumping around on this one, the speed never goes down, and despite the samey approach on every track, as a whole this little slab of old school crossover aggression will hardly leave you indifferent.
"Relentless Onslaught" is in the same vein, but the vocals now are more controlled, and the guitars are less abrasive. The songs are longer, although the aggression hasn't been diminished: check out the furious "Condemned" and "Face of Brutality", and especially the short piece of extremity "This Hell". Still there are a couple of tracks which are mid-paced and jollier, carrying the early punk spirit.

"Bloody Aftermath/Black Horse of Famine" is just two tracks of the same carefree thrash/crossover this time more hardcore-tinged and with more shouty vocals. The abrasive edge of the guitars has been brought back as well as the short song-length.

The self-titled EP is 3 songs of aggressive thrashcore, fast and furious, reaching the intensity of the debut EP with its fast bashing guitars, again with an abrasive fuzzy sound, topped by the forceful shouty vocals.

Terminal Filth Stench Bastard EP, 2005
Relentless Onslaught Full-length, 2007
Bloody Aftermath / Black Horse of Famine EP, 2007
Spoils of War EP, 2007
After The Bombs EP, 2009

My Space

AFTER THE REIGN (USA)

Modern melodic thrash metal in a peaceful mid-pace with a gothic atmosphere achieved mainly by the gruff semi-whispered vocals and the beautiful melodies both of which are reminiscent of mid-period Sentenced.

After The Reign Demo, 2010

AFTERBIRTH (USA)

Based on the "Amniotic Daze" demo, these guys pull out intense thrash metal with more brutal proto-death shades and forceful mean vocals. The tracks are very short (1-1.5min), but the delivery doesn't need anything longer to prove its aggressive character.

Amniotic Daze Demo, 1987
Afterbirth Demo, 1988

Fan Site

AFTERBLOOD (GREECE)

Heavy steam-roller thrash/death of the modern school which sounds the most convincing when it dooms ("Mission of Aggression") with the best out there. As though to apologize for the relative lack of speed in the 1st half, the band open the 2nd chapter with the brutal "Thoughts of Black" and indeed, the songs towards the end become more dynamic even reaching blasting proportions on "Helheim". "Psychonic" closes the album in a more minimalistic doomy fashion, but delivers with its crunchy riffage. The vocals are creepy with a semi-declamatory deathy tember and suit fairly well the sombre nature of the music.

Of Unsound Minds Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

AFTERDEATH (PORTUGAL)

Modern death/thrash metal with some groove involved and also interesting progressive moments, not too far from the Canadians Obliveon (their later period). The music is very crunchy, mid-paced most of the time. In the faster tracks ("Digital Horizons") the band come close to the classic thrash formula which is arguably their better side. These guys have definitely managed to forge their unique style, but split soon afterwards. They re-emerged "nameless" two years later under the name Nameless for the release of the much less impressive, albeit still classic-sounding and very interestingly titled "The Overcome of the Portuguese Bastards". The band's early demos are more simplistic straight-forward thrash/death metal with slower semi-gothic overtones not miles away from early Messiah.

Backwords Full-length, 1995

My Space

AFTERMASS (USA)

Fast aggressive thrash with slight death metal tendencies recalling early Kreator and the Italians Necrodeath on the more aggressive parts; apart from the basic death-ish vocals, there are clean ones which are quite good and might remind you of Jon Van Doorn from the Brits Deathwish. On the slower moments the music also brings this band to mind acquiring a somewhat darker gloomy atmosphere. But the concentration is clearly on speed and aggression, and as such this demo is a very good headbanging fun.

Demo Demo, 1989

AFTERMATH (IRELAND)

Based on the 3-song "S.S. Deity" demo, this young band play energetic thrash/death metal with a firm old school sound and aggressive, Slayer-esque riffage. The downpoint perhaps is the vocals which are of the shouty type, the ones Tom Araya used on "God Hates Us All", and don't fit the music that well.
The "To Die Or To Seize" demo is still quite energetic, but slower more pensive rhythms have sneaked in making the overall approach more mid-paced with a modern "sting". The singer is less shouty this time and consequently more attached and comprehensive.

S.S. Deity Demo, 2000
To Die Or To Seize Demo, 2002
The Meeting of Blood With Blood EP, 2005

Official Site

AFTERMATH (USA, TUCSON, AZ)

"Straight From Hell" is a cool beginning, despite some minor flaws. It contains one nice up-tempo power/thrasher "Mask of Deception"; one slower and not as interesting heavy/power metal hymn "Pandemonium"; one very cool speed/thrasher "Straight From Hell" which may have been an influence on the Agent Steel's "Rager" from "Unstoppable Force"; and one energetic speed metal killer "You're Never Gonna Wake Up".

"Don't Cheer Me Up" is a kind of a hit-and-miss affair; it has some great moments, but also some not very convincing ones. "Beast of Wrath" is an ambitious, progressively-tinged song, but busy with the more complex arrangements, the guys seemed to have forgotten about the thrashy riffage which comes up on the shorter, more satisfying numbers: "Black and Yellow", the great galloping power/thrasher "Lines of Horror", and especially the smashing stormy killer "Luci's Dance". Later on another, even more elaborate song comes: the 11-min long "Daemynspeke"; this is multi-layered stuff which this time features really intriguing guitars as well as more aggressive riffs; it could have been made shorter, though; some moments sound a bit strained and uninspired. The title-track is another cool intense mid-paced track which nicely speeds up near the end. "Nuclear Requiem" is a bit unnecessary being a melodic pointless instrumental. It needed just a little refinement for the band to find the perfect winning formula to thrash with the best, but they folded soon after this one.
The Compilation contains the demo plus another one, "Derek Blood Sessions", not listed here, released in 1991. Based on these two demos, the band had grown so much as musicians that it makes one really sad to see them go at the dawn of the 90's. "Meltdown" is an awesome galloper with sharp, also melodic guitars, and "Don't Cheer Me Up" (no such song on the full-length) is even more intense overshadowing a couple of more conventional power metal anthems. "Blood on the Moon" is galloping speed/thrash at its most fierce, its vigour later matched by "Start the Slip", a supreme technical thrasher with speedy ripping riffs and a few unexpected time and tempo shifts. "A Tale for Derek Blood" is a cool atmospheric progressiver with slower riff-patterns and nice melodic tunes which get a few more energetic updates which are dominant on the final "Mindless Ways", another more varied composition a with swirling galloping exit. This is a great representation of the band's actual skills, and it's too bad that they never managed to realise their full potential.

Straight From Hell EP, 1985
Don't Cheer Me Up Full-length, 1988
Building Up to Meltdown Demo, 1989
Building Up to Meltdown Compilation, 2009

Vibrations of Doom

AFTERMATH (USA, CHICAGO, IL)

The band's demos from the 80's are standard, aggressive thrash, and show no signs of what would be at display on their only album. "Eyes of Tomorrow" is a standout technical thrash metal effort drawing comparisons to Coroner, Anacrusis and the likes. The songs are quite complex, rich on atmosphere, with very original guitar work. There are also post-thrash moments similar to those on Coroner's "Grin". This is one of the best efforts that the US 90's metal scene has to offer.
The demo is four songs of the same technical abstract stuff, this time sounding even more dreamy and "out there". "Japan" is a superior semi-doomy progressive thrasher with innovative "cosmic" surreal passages which would later be turned into a staple mark by the Australian avantgardists Alchemist. "Metallic Slums and Highrises" is a masterpiece of twisted serpentine riffs and indifferent robotic, but strangely compelling, singing, the former suddenly switching onto something more straight-forward and vice versa creating a disorienting hallucinogenic picture seldom achieved before or after; the experimental spirit of Pestilence's "Spheres" can clearly be felt, but this one sounds more appealing and more scarily atmospheric; a truly one-of-a-kind listen. Then comes "God is in the Details" which is pretty close to Coroner's "Grin" again being a creepy modern progressive piece of the haunting doomy type recalling the Coroner song "Shifter" from their 1995 compilation album quite a bit. "Strain" is more laid-back technicality-wise again in the doomy "sleepy" mould, not very diverse, but pretty effective, too, seeing the guys probably warming up for another full-length which, unfortunately, never materialized.

Eyes Of Tomorrow Full-length, 1994
Demo Demo, 1996

My Space

AFTERMATH A.D. (USA)

Based on the "Disgorging Hatred" demo, this band play fairly decent Bay-Area influenced thrash with heavy stomping riffs and mean semi-clean vocals which actually sing, and not bad at that for most of the time. "Cult Of Greed" breaks the established rules with fast blitzkrieg riffage which isn't matched elsewhere, but the closer "Under My Skin" is a clever more technical number ala Forced Entry and steals the show making the listener curious to check whether the quality here has been matched by the previous demos.

Devouring the Dead Demo, 1988
Mindless Havoc Demo, 1990
Disgorging Hatred Demo, 1992
Unearthed Demo(n)s Compilation, 2004

AFTERMATH EXCURSION (SOUTH AFRICA)

A South African trio who indulge in modern power/post-thrash which is too carefree to capture the regular thrash metal fan's attention for long. Everything develops in a calm semi-balladic manner with wild "awakenings" provided ("The Odd One Out") irregularly. The musicianship is not on a very high level (excluding the imposing doom metal hymn "Nature's Wrath" at the end); neither are the vocals which are gruff semi-clean and pretty unemotional.

It's All Gone Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

AFTERSHOCK (USA)

A cool demo of mid to up-tempo thrash akin to late-80's Overkill and Exodus ("Fabulous Disaster"); the singer is quite good, too, sounding like a mix between Steve Grimmett (Onslaught, Grim Reaper) and Bobby ``Blitz`` Ellsworth (Overkill).

Invading World Space Demo, 1990

AGAINST (ARGENTINA)

The debut: this is dynamic ripping modern thrash/post-thrash which can be both playful and hard-hitting although the latter side is only displayed at the beginning; later on the music becomes more friendly except for the hammering "Truth Forger" which also boasts fine melodic leads; and the up-tempo shredder "Marcha del Auca" which is served with a shade of hardcore. Beautiful power metal-styled leads appear on "Sound of Rebellion" which is a decent roller-coaster with good musicianship. The singer is a moderately angry semi-shouter who doesn't detract a lot from the musical course.

"Soy Libertad" is another convincing release maybe clinging towards The Black Album a bit more, but the intensity of cuts like "Ogorma" & "VMarcha Del Auca" (this one notches it up to death metal proportions even) should make any fan of the 90's post-thrash vogues' day. The majority of the material, however, is on the longer, more thoughtful, progressive side revealing another more proficient face of the band the best example of which is the cool closer "Stoican", a melodic power/thrasher with Iron Maiden-esque guitar duels.
"Emerger" elaborates on the band's progressive infatuations consequently erasing all speedy escapades from their previous repertoire. As a result we have peceful, one-dimensional music which fails to liven up (the energetic melo-thrasher "Voluntad" one such temptation) excluding the brutal closer "Contra" which is pure death metal madness also featuring the greatest melodic tunes on the album.

Against Full-Length, 2014
Soy Libertad Full-Length, 2014
Emerger Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

AGAINST (AUSTRALIA)

These Aussies pull out modern thrashcore which is energetic and lively despite the frequent stomping mid-paced breaks which occupy half the space here the album characterized by short simplistic tracks on which the friendly tone never gets lost the shouty choruses adding another familiar flavour to it: Pro-Pain. The singer shouts in an attached acceptable way and one can't help but have a good time jumping around on those merry pounding rhythms.

Loyalty & Betrayal Full-Length, 2007

AGAINST (USA)

This act try to insert a healthy doze of old school headbanging rhythms to the well established by that time groovy post-thrash formula, and manage to succeed creating several genuinely energetic moments ("Modern Evil") which are still stifled by the prevalent groovy sections which give the album a rough abrasive edge, especially when those sections are served with some speed (the mechanized headbanger "The Hoax"). There are a couple of good melodic leads ("Reign of My Demons") to be heard, too, and generally the guys have tried to make their approach more eventful also with the help of properly inserted industrial gimmicks (the final title-track) from time to time.

Those Days Are Over Full-Length, 1996

AGANKAST (UK)

Based on "Dance Of The Dead", this band play simplistic, slightly raw power/thrash with brutal death metal vocals which just plainly shout for most of the time. The music is quite heavy, mid-paced, and may remind you of the Germans Warpath. Don't get pulled back by some stoner/doom elements: "Suffocator", which could be considered the highlight of the album. "The Killing Spree" comes splashing in the middle producing about 4-min of aggressive Slayer-esque thrash, and one can't help but wish these moments were more; well, your wishes may come true, since the next "Warlord" crushes majorly in a similar fashion showing the band having woken up to do more damage on a larger scale. But that's it since "Cockroaches" is just more dynamic doom followed by the jolly hard'n heavy closer "Return To The Valley Of The Kings".

Dance Of The Dead Full-length, 2005
Walking With Angels/Running With Devils Full-length, 2006
Welcome to Insanitarium Full-length, 2006
Runnig With Devils Full-length, 2007

Official Site

AGARWEAN (CZECH)

This formation provide an uneven mix between thrash and death metal which alternates the pace on an abrasive modern base which is not that striking despite some of the progressive pretensions claimed by a couple of tracks ("Your Life") including the really cool cover of Death's "Crystal Mountain" which is the best song here. The original material just doesn't have much to hold onto awkwardly jumping from heavy doom-laden passages to spasmodic blasting ones often within one song. The singer is a semi-shouty death metal growler who tries to impress more at times with the sudden hysterical squeal.

Among the Death Behind Full-Length, 2007

Official Site

AGATHA BONES (UK)

Based on the 2nd demo, this band plays a mixture of power, heavy, speed and thrash metal, and pompous titles like "Thrash Attack" are not really deserved, the only more intense piece being the lashing speed/thrasher "BSF" the rest staying close to early Exciter and Griffin. The singer is very high-pitched to the point of hysteria and could have served as a model for Rob Halford for his delivery on "Painkiller" (ha ha- kidding, of course!).

Demo 1 Demo, ?
Demo 2 Demo, ?

AGE OF EVIL (USA)

Power/thrash metal hesitating between the modern and the classic sound; this is melodic stuff which has its moments (the cool headbanger "A Call To Arms"), but there are times when the music is pure Savage Grace and later-period Iced Earth worship. The leads are quite good, though, and there's some Jeff Waters influence in the guitar style. The opener "Call Me Evil" is a Ballistic cover, and Marty Friedman guests on guitar there.

Living a Sick Dream Full-Length, 2007

Official Site

AGE OF NEFARIOUS (SWEDEN)

This act is a side-project for the The Porridgeface frontman Anders Lindberg who here plays classic thrash which opens with the vitriolic instrumental "Mnemonic Devices". Later on the music doesn't strike as very innovative, but Anders knows how to thrash well so there should be no disappointed in the long run especially with cool progressive, melodic "excursions" like "Age of Nefarious" "roaming" around. There is a certain number of less energetic cuts ("Precious Resistance") present as well, but the jolly good mood is seldom interrupted the man providing more than enough to satisfy the hungry thrash crowds who will mosh all over on the short direct closer "Superintendence", and elsewhere.

The Damage of Nefarious Thinking Full-Length, 2016

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AGENDA (GERMANY)

Based on the full-length, this band's "agenda" is to play melodic, laid-back modern-ish power/thrash which is performed in a carefree friendly manner with a few pretensions at more progressive song-writing ("Manufacture Of Death", the closing "Dark Thunder Dragon"). "Pigkiller" shows its teeth more widely being a more dynamic headbanger, and the tile-track is a cool moderate speedster. The rest is too mild the last three cuts being pure hard'n heavy their pleasant character enhanced by the good emotional clean vocals.

Thrash You All EP, 2015
Genetic Arts Full-length, 2016

Official Site

AGENT STEEL (USA)

This great band made many metal fans' day back in the 80's. Whether you like his vocal style or not, John Cyriis remains one of the most unique voices in metal. The guys literally wrote the rules of American speed metal with their exemplary debut, which put them right on the very front row of the scene in the States. Two years later the band made a huge leap forward with the colossal "Unstoppable Force" which after all these years is still regarded as one one of the 10 best albums of the genre. From the explosive title opener, to the magnificent mid-paced steam-roller "Still Searching", to the superb destructive speed/thrash shredder "Rager", to arguably the finest instrumental in thrash metal history "The Days at Guyana", to the marvellous closing ballad "Traveller", this masterpiece is a breathtaking listen, which logically marked the band's creative peak. Without Cyriis, the band seem to have lost some of their magic after the reformation in the late 90's. The new sound is slower, more power metal-based and the guitar work is not as flashy. But once you adjust your senses to the music, you will find out that both albums are commendable efforts showing another side of Agent Steel.

After a long 4-year gap Agent Steel are back again with "Alienigma": a very good album which follows on the steps of its predecessors, with a more aggressive attitude. "Fashioned From Dust" starts thrashing with power and speed from the beginning, and this number sounds wonderfully close to their 80's efforts. Not for long, since the next composition settles for the prototypical for their more recent period heavy mid-paced power/thrash. The testosterone goes up a notch on the galloping more lively "Hail To The Chief", but the semi-balladic "Liberty Lying Bleeding" will calm the listener down once again in the 1st half; the 2nd one offers cool speed metal with a more melodic edge. "Hybridized" nicely mixes speed and heaviness, being also longer, with a more thought-out progressive edge. Get ready for forceful aggressive thrash on the explosive "Extinct", a fairly unexpected shorter killer of a song, never experienced before on an Agent Steel album. The pleasant surprises continue, with "Wormfood": dark more technical power/thrash in the vein of Nevermore with crushing ultra heavy riffs, which more than make up for the loss of speed on the previous track, adding a beautiful atmospheric balladic interlude as well. "W.P.D." preserves the heaviness, pounding in a forceful mid-tempo manner. Need for speed naturally arises after a couple of heavy numbers, and "Tiamatrquote s Fall" is the one to make the listener jump around, but it's not even a rehearsal for what follows: "Lamb To The SLaughter", violent brutal ultra-thrash in the 1st half, which easily beats the previously encountered "Extinct", decorated by unholy shrieks from the singer; the 2nd half slows down, providing stylish leads and the staple mid-paced power/thrash approach. This effort will apparently have to keep us thrashing for another 4 years, if the guys stick to their consistency leaving the obligatory 4-year gap between releases.

Skeptics Apocalypse Full-length, 1985
Mad Locust Rising EP, 1985
Unstoppable Force Full-length, 1987
Omega Conspiracy Full-length, 1999
Order of the Illuminati Full-length, 2003
Alienigma Full-length, 2007

Official Site

AGENT X (USA)

2 tracks of not bad classic power/speed/thrash in a sure-handed mid-pace which "flirts" a bit with the modern trends, but doesn't ruin it too much keeping the dynamic rhythms the whole time the optimistic atmosphere also preserved by the good soulful clean vocals ala Sebastian Bach (Skid Row).

Age of Decay Demo, 1995

AGGGRESSOR (MEXICO)

Based on "Bury Your Idols", this band play competent old school thrash which moshes hard on the opening "You Are God", and later on seldom slouches the hard-hitting riffs flowing seamlessly with slower stomps... sorry, stops, (the volcanic stomper "Angelus Novus") along the way. "Political Disorder" is a brain driller which proto-death aesthetics are handsomely picked by the next "All You Need Is Blood" despite the punky chorus. Watch out for the Chuck Berry cover of "Johnny B. Good" here named "Johnny B. Bad", but notched up considerably turned into a roller-caster speed metal anthem aptly assisted by the cool merry clean vocals which elsewhere are gruffer and meaner. The band were previously called Mandra with one demo released in 2010.

Release of Aggression Full-length, 2013
Bury Your Idols Full-length, 2016

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AGGRAVATOR (USA)

The EP: these young guys indulge in old school thrash which is quite close to early Kreator and Destruction the singer being a bit hoarser and more vicious than Mille and Schmier with a more overt death metal overtone. The music keeps to the faster parametres providing short pounding reliefs on almost every song except on the furious closer "Social Unrest".
The full-length debut is backed up by the songs from the EP, but the rest doesn't disappoint: this is another faithful tribute to the old school now throwing shades of Slayer, Sacrifice and Necrodeath into the "furnace" which this time is spiced with tasteful leads and more interesting riffy decisions. The roller-coaster never ends, and the headbangers will end up the happiest in the end, inebriated by moshers like the title-track, "Unparalleled Cruelty" and "Industrial Conflicts". "Isolated Despair" is a curious mid-paced semi-technicaller which partially influences the closer "Frozen Atrocities" in the end the latter finishing this album with style and a lot of promise for future efforts.
"Sterile Existence" is a handsome "beast" thrashing hard with passion mixing the pace at will never setling for a predictable, one-dimensional melee. The band hit high in the lead department (check "High Impact Homicides") also providing impetuous headbangers in abundance (("Subconcious Blind", "Abhorrent Point Of View") the "attack" made even more attractive with the help of several heavy steam-rollers (the title-track, "Phased").

Age of Combat EP, 2012
Populace Destructor Full-Length, 2014
Sterile Existence Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

AGGRESION (BRAZIL)

Based on "Revoada de Bruxas", this band play intense black/thrash/death metal with husky witch-like, black metal vocals. The symbiosis seems to work for most of the time although the brutal moments are way too many for the regular thrash metal fan to embrace this opus fully. Still, "Maleficarum" is a cool headbanger recalling their compatriots Torture Squad if we exclude the few not very necesary hyper-blasting strokes.

Murmurios Blasfemicos Full-length, 2008
Forja Infernal Full-length, 2012
Revoada de Bruxas Full-length, 2017

Official Site

AGGRESSA (AUSTRALIA)

Thrash metal which starts in a more melodic crossover way with catchy mid-tempo songs, until "Tunks", which is a brutal piece of thrash, finally hinting at the aggression suggested with the band's name, after which things become more intense for a few tracks, before they settle down again near the end. The vocals are the highlight here and might remind you of David White from Heathen.

Nuclear Death Full-length, 1988

AGGRESSION (BRAZIL)

This is brisk retro thrash a bit ruined by the awkward vocal choice: the singer rends his throat in a vicious witch-like manner creating a black metal atmosphere which is, fortunately, not supported by the inspired music, but is aggravated by the satanic lyrics. The guys thrash forward with death metal sneaking in on some tracks making things too brutal at times perhaps ("Satanic Sabbath"). The approach is a bit more complex for the style the band coming up with longer compositions where nothing too technical occurs if we exclude the high level of the lead guitar work.

Forja Infernal Full-Length, 2012

AGGRESSION (CANADA)

This band richly deserve their name: based on "The Full Treatment", this is very aggressive raw thrash which has definitely been an influence on many death metal bands later. The sound is so brutal that some of the more faint-hearted fans out there might not be able to stand through the whole album (ha ha, it's a joke-don't get scared!). The very poor sound quality also helps to aggravate the brutal impact the album has on the ears. This is an unpolished gem of merciless raging thrash metal.

"Forgotten Skeleton" is a surprising return for these unsung veterans who continue with their "carnage", albeit with a slightly annoying abrasive guitar edge. Still, the bash is relentless inevitably bordering on proto-death (the brutal outrage "Green Goblin"), but also adhering to more stylish "excursions": the Rigor Mortis-esque virtuoso "Frozen Aggressor". "Forsaken Survival" is another more stylized headbanger, but "Mutilator-Beware of the Scarecrow" is just stripped-down hardcore-ish barrage. No complaints on the short explosive semi-technicaller "Kachina Dolls", arguably the band's finest achievement, and on the closing deathy "massacre" "Bloody Massacre Carnival" which shows the gys in good shape to enter the death metal arena, something they missed to achieve earlier due to their untimely disappearance.

"Fractured Psyche Demons": 11 years too late the band are back in action, but their taste for brutality has been retouched considerably. It's still the good old thrash all over, but now the death metal elements are gone the album now a concoction of full-fledged thrashers ("Cut Your Sins Off") and more immediate bashing hardcorers ("Sick and Disturbed"). On top of that we have a pure speed metal winner, "Metal Slaughter", a total nod to the mid-80's German school. From this moment on we have the band's first demos mixed together some of the tracks already familiar from the guys' previous efforts. The border is the muddy sound quality in the 2nd half which is a total contrast to the much clearer one gracing the newer material.
"Fragmented Spirit Devils": the guys are quick to re-appear with a brand new effort this time, and their fans will be surprised to hear a more serious, quite technical at times, song-writing on the opening twister "Chapel Of Horrors". "Unleashing The Ghost" is the staple for the band brutalizer easily reaching for the death metal side, and later on the only mercy is shown on the short balladic instrumental "Insanity Without Indulgence". "Furnace Creek" "flirts" with death metal again, btu the guys ruin it with an inappropriate insertion of drunken cleaner vocals as opposed to the monolithic main death metal ones which are also missing from the silly joke song at the end "Razamanas".

The Full Treatment Full-length, 1987
Forgotten Skeleton Full-length, 2004
Fractured Psyche Demons Full-Length, 2015
Fragmented Spirit Devils Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

AGGRESSION (CHILE)

Energetic thrash of the classic kind with several brutal death metal insertions; the band play with force and speed producing the finest moments of the closing rager "Brutalize your Fears" which also scores high in the lead department. The singer is the proto-typical low-tuned growler who possesses the necessary authoritative delivery to be more than just an appendage.

Asphyx Silence EP, 2012

Official Site

AGGRESSION (SPAIN)

This EP boasts a crystal clear sound quality, and apart from that blistering speed/thrash at its classic best. The sound is quite mixed with more nods to the Bay-Area perhaps. The singer has a cool semi-clean, semi-screamy tember which is hard to be compared to any of the old shouters. This small debut effort is full of catchy, sharp riffs ("Countdown") which is a fairly aggressive number; "I Hate You", which is slower, with pounding rhythms and very cool vocal performance), more complex variations ("Never Surrender"), and very good bass work all over which supports the razor-like riffage quite well.
"Moshpit" is an elaboration on the EP with half of the tracks also present here so expect another portion of speedy headbanging retro thrash with a crisp sharp guitar sound which this time brings a soundalike from the old times: Forbidden's debut. Ironically, the slowest number is called "Thrashing Your Brain" from the EP, which is also the longest one, and is not up to par with the smashing speedsters ("Moshpirit", "New Born War"). Still, it's far from a filler, a role here given to "Better You Run", a mild mid-tempo power/thrasher. "Psycho-Crime" comes splashing erasing all not very positive impressions left by it with the final damage done by 2 more tracks from the EP ("I Hate You" & "Never Surrender").

"Viocracy" is a superior achievement, now the generally speedy delivery interrupted by quite a few stylish moments turning this album into a nice work of more technical, even progressive at times, thrash with echoes of "Twisted into Form", "Mental Vortex" and "Rust in Peace". "False Flags" is a compelling mix of speed and technicality with echoes of Metal Church's "The Human Factor" (the song, not the whole album), followed by the more technically-charged "Chemical Slavery" which jumps and turns the whole time to a pretty positive effect. Then time for some headbanging comes with the brisk title-track and the sweeping galloper "MK Ultra" which also pours technical riffs galore into the "furnace". "Get Mad" is a more relaxed mid-pacer which is still puzzling enough to make you scracth your head at times. "Awake Awareness" carries on in the same, not as speedy, vein, but here comes "Human Nature" and things get more intense and also more complex with the whirlwind guitars and the frequent tempo-changes. "Dehumanized" thrashes in a more stripped-down manner, but its more straight-forward nature is totally cancelled by the unusual closer "Victims of Bias" which begins in an eclectic flamenco-like fashion with jazzy implements, and the scare on the side of the fan may be really big; the guitars settle in later on with some of the hardest riffs on the album, mixing with the jazzy/funky sections to produce a hectic, off-beat all-instrumental composition which ends this effort with aplomb.
The Spaniards have raised the lathe quite high here both for themselves and for their competition. It would be hard to beat such a stylish work, but for the time being one can enjoy one of the early "birds" indicating that 2012 would be a great year for thrash metal. Some of the band members also take part in the death metal formation Caustic.

Thrashing Your Brain EP, 2008
Moshpirit Full-Length, 2009
Viocracy Full-length, 2012

My Space

AGGRESSION CORE (USA)

Based on the demo, this act serve abrasive noisy, but listenable heavy retro thrash which is mostly mid-paced topped by cool attached clean vocals. "Excursion To Hell" is a more intense headbanger, before the closer "Dead God" calms things down with a portion of heavy, ship-sinking riffs this particular song coming with a better sound quality.

Dead God Demo, 1995
Aggression Core Full-length, 2000
Victim or Enemy Full-length, 2002

Official Site

AGGRESSION OF DEATH (VENEZUELA)

Cool, tightly-executed retro thrash with a strong Devastation-vibe and brutal death metal vocals. The guys play fast with the staple slower breaks inserted on almost every song to create a crushing, steam-rolling listening experience. The sound quality is crystal clear, except for the slight noise coming from the drums. An interesting, and fairly well done, cover awaits you at the end: Kreator's "Phobia" from their better attempt at less thrash-based dark metal "Outcast". The generally low-tuned singer on this one acquires a more screechy tone, with a black metal tinge.

Poesia De La Muerte Full-Length, 2009

AGGRESSION TALES (BRAZIL)

An excellent debut of classic, Bay Area-influenced thrash metal (think early Testament above all) with cool aggressive riffage in the Slayer vein popping up here and there. The singer does a fine job changing a few vocal styles in a way similar to Chuck Billy, and he's particularly good at handling the harsher, death metal ones. He should try to avoid the occasional clean ones, though; they just don't fit the hard-hitting music too well.

"Random Acts of Physical Disgust": more "aggression tales" from Brazil come this time spiced with some "physical disgust"; the music is in the same vein as the one on the debut the band thrashing on full-throttle this time adding modern influences at times ("Feed My Monster"). "Damage of Defacement" is an excellent piece of intense Bay-Area thrash, and "Pathetic Greed" is a nod to Slayer again with its direct aggressive shreds. "Bankruptcy" is a laid-back speedy piece, the relief here, and the singer is now a pure death metal semi-shouter his rendings in the very low parametres, and consequently not very exciting.

Scribbles in Blood Full-length, 2007
Random Acts of Physical Disgust Full-Length, 2011

Official Site

AGGRESSIVE (COLOMBIA)

The demo is actually just one song: "Despoiled", as you can guess, which is a really great speed/thrasher in the best Bay-Area tradition: think Forbidden's debut and Vio-Lence; fast, relentless stuff, with semi-high/semi-clean vocals. The EP is pure thrash/crossover mixing fast with slower songs topped by slightly screechy high-strung semi-declamatory vocals. "Despoiled" is here again without any changes made to it.

"Predators' Arrival" is a cool headbanging entertainment, the fun starting from the very 1st track: "Of Exploiter And Proletarian", which is an explosive Bay-Area piece, the hard-hitting music well supported by the clean dramatic vocals ala Mark Osegueda (Death Angel). "Corrosive Entertainment" adds a nice intriguing, technical touch to the proceedings, plus a merry crossover mid-break. "Unbalanced Architect" is pretty "unbalanced" mixing fast and slow rhythms, an approach closely followed by the title-track, too. "Idiosyncrasy" thrashes more wildly, but "The Metal Head Case" is another "case" of heavier, pounding riffs. "White Empire's Greed" is all-out thrash once again, and "Brainless State" doesn't fall too far behind, unleashing the final portion of deadly sharp riffage, the latter given a nice boost by the crystal clear production. These Colombians have done a pretty decent job here, and their inspired tribute to the old school could stand well beside the Brazilian competition.

Despoiled Demo, 2007
Brainless State EP, 2010
Predators' Arrival Full-length, 2011

Official Site

AGGRESSIVE AGRICULTOR (FRANCE)

Based on the full-length and the demo after it, this is a cool blend of punk and thrash/crossover. "Consanguinite" is a weird blend of fast uncompromising numbers ("One Seven") and slow plodding experiences (the opening title-track) which are still on the entertaining side, but the perennial merry bashing kind of obstructs the guys' efforts to show their more proficient side which shows up here and there.
"2016" is merry-go-round crossover without any particular thrash pretensions. Tis is simplistic stripped-down music often branching out into pure unbridled hardcore with a few unusual choices thrown in, like the merry country instrumental "Yiiiiaaaahhhh", or the overlong 10-min saga at the end "Scarecrow l'Epouvantable" which actually features some thrash of the dishevelled semi-groovy type plus a lengthy lead section.

Eructation Agronomic Full-length, 1991
H'e Ho Tonton Marcel Demo, 1993
Adieu Toi Je T'Aimais Bien Demo, 1995
Les Ann'ees Vaches Folles Demo, 2006
Pig's Not Dead Full-length, 2009
Consanguinite Full-length, 2013
Na-na-na La P'tite Marie (Drunk in Peujard) EP, 2014
2016 Full-length, 2016

Official Site

AGGRESSIVE INJECTION (USA)

Rough, messily produced thrash with shades of speed metal and crossover; the singer shouts very annoyingly, but the performance of the others is hardly very commendable so he doesn't really impede the proceedings. Various tempos are covered which shouldn't be a surprise having in mind the demo length (12 songs!), but apart from raw semi-amateurish bash one would hardly encounter anything else "You're Stupid" being the "cleverest" composition acquitting itself with a portion of more interesting stomping riffs.

Rehearsal Tape Demo, 1990

AGGRESSOR (BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA)

Early Kreator-worship done with inspiration and understanding; this is fast energetic music with vicious early Mille vocals, a very good clear sound quality, and certain speed metal aesthetics from time to time ("Addicted to Blood"). There is a nice faithful cover of their idols included as well: "Tormentor".

Eternal Slaughtering Demo, 2010

My Space

AGGRESSOR (CANADA)

Based on the full-length: this band, headed by the former Annihilator bassist, who is the singer here, Brian Stephenson, offer quite cool retro thrash with a Bay-Area shade ala Testament, with the guitar player at times paying tribute to the great Alex Scholnick. The music carries a nice technical edge, without overdoing it, and the tempo seldom goes into very intense territories. Still dynamic pieces like "Million Dollar Slaughter" and "Crimson Mark" will stir your blood in a major way, whereas a more complex song-writing can be heard on "Terror on Terror" and "Circle of Pain". "Burn on my Skin" is a cool ballad, but is more conventional, lacking the touch of originality and edge so typical for the similar efforts of their aforementioned American peers. Three more immediate shorter thrashers wrap it up near the end, with the closing "Mission to Mosh" adding more melodic crossover elements to the proceedings.

"Beyond All Reckoning" is a more complex follow-up which in this case doesn't mean better, with more jumpy decisions, dominant modern guitars, and more frequent melodic passages ("Justice Lost" which excels in the lead guitar department). The music lacks energy (the brisk speedster "Unknown" is an exception), and displays of bad taste are inevitable: the slow dragging power/thrasher "The Wanderer", the clumsy balladic closer "Redemption (First Eyes Awake)" are just two examples of the uninspired approach which permeates the whole album making it one not very exciting proto-groovy "opera" which time has long since gone.

Pure Canadian Agression EP, 2008
Rape the Willing Full-length, 2008
Beyond All Reckoning Full-length, 2012

Official Site

AGGRESSOR (ESTONIA)

Based on the band's debut: the music is crushingly heavy, mid-paced most of the time (with the exception of the fast headbangers "Fear the Future" and "Widow's Mourning"), sounding like a more thrashy version of Bolt Thrower (their later period) and Benediction.

Procreate the Petrifactions Full-length, 1993
Of Long Duration Anguish Full-length, 1994

AGGRESSOR (GERMANY)

Music-wise these guys are not miles away from early Venom and Celtic Frost/Hellhammer, but the vocals (if we could call this awful grunting vocals) are so shocking and horrifying (I mean, for the time of release), that even the grindcore acts later would find it hard to top it up in terms of nastiness. The last track "Psycho Metal" is a pure Hellhammer worship with its discordant rhythm and, again, the unholy tortured vocals.

Demo Demo, 1986

AGGRESSOR (ITALY)

Aggressive thrash in the Slayer, Dark Angel vein, mixed with early Death; this is fast good music ruined partially by the awful sound quality which stifles the vocals almost completely which in their turn are rough semi-whispered ones, quite low. The lead guitar is particularly good whenever it can be heard clearly.

The Wings of Death Demo, 1987

AGGRESSOR (JAPAN)

A very twisted and brutal recording which could only be comed to Hellhammer's "Apocalyptic Raids"; the vocals are some of the most tortured sounds you might hear, and although the music makes sense at times, and is clearly better than the one performed by Hellhammer, even having a rock-ish vibe ("Fuck Satan"- could be a Christian metal band?!), this is very little more than just a rehearsal of a bunch of drunken metal heads who had gathered with the only intention to scare away the neighbourhood, and I'm sure they had admirably succeeded in doing this.

Demo Demo, 1986

AGGRESSOR (MEXICO)

The flag of the old school is raised high on this recording which sees these guys following on the steps of their idols from the German side of the genre, and fans of Necronomicon, Destruction (the album-title is an obvious nod to the Schmier gang (remember "Release of Agony")), Darkness, and early Deathrow may find their new heroes here with ease. Fast thrashing alternates with a few more clever slower passages, but generally the speedy crescendos are seldom interrupted, even on more technical achievements like "Broken Ritual" and "Social Virus". One would expect a cover of some of the aforementioned acts as a finishing touch, but what arrives at the end is also a cover, but of Judas Priest's immortal "Painkiller" done quite faithfully without any more aggressive thrashy exaggerations, another fitting epitaph to this roller-coaster which also boasts quite good vocals which are dead ringers for Schmier; and a few sweeping lead sections with a thin virtuoso flair (check the "Painkiller" for those again). The guys were previously known as Mandra.

Release of Aggression Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

AGGRESSOR (PANAMA)

This obscure Panamese trio plays raw messy thrash metal ala early Sodom and Razor turning to violent proto-death on "Total Extermination" for a while which is the best track. The singer is an unrehearsed brutal growler, but suits the bad sound quality and the amateurish musical approach.

Call from the Crypt Demo, 1990

AGGRESSOR (SPAIN)

Aggressive proto-death bash with a muddy sound quality; brutal stuff as a whole the guitars still sounding recognizable despite the monolithic unchanging fast delivery topped by short screamy Kerry King-esque leads. Slayer can be a close call as well as Dark Angel, but the sound here gets nicely deathy ("When the Light Fell") with a shade of early Death as well. The vocals are strictly in the death metal camp, though, being brutal low-tuned, but intelligible and forceful.

Brutal Aggression Demo, 1989

AGGRESSOR (USA)

These "skull crushers" serve heavy modern thrash/post-thrash which more energetic side is reflected in cuts like the raging "Street Justice", the diverse progressiver "Prodigy", and the cool lasher "Hide". The rest is seismic and doomy among which "F214" with its clever atmospheric arrangements the latter partially covered on the closing "Black Crow". The singer is a rough semi-cleaner, and his more melodic antics are not bad at all.

Skull Crusher Full-Length, 2016

AGGRESSOR (USA, MA)

Based on "Self-Inflicted": a 4-songer offering quite cool heavy seismic retro thrash which becomes wonderfully technical ("Hyperhynosis") on occasion, but the dominant tone is quite heavy perfectly epitomized on the closing progressiver "Bio-Atrophy" which steam-rolls forward for over 7-min. The vocalist is a semi-clean/semi-shouter who is able to hold the odd melodic flair on the mellower moments.

Looking for a Label Demo, 1989
Self-Inflicted Demo, 1993

AGHAST (UK)

The "Aghast" EP is a cool mix of a little bit of heavy thrash, battle Bolt Thrower-like riffs, and cool technical licks ala Morbid Angel. "Chum" features a nice balladic passage, but generally the tempo is fast and energetic, "courting" the latter band above all.

Sardonic States of Comison: Content EP, 2006
A Wolf in the Kingdom of Heaven EP, 2008
Aghast EP, 2009

Official Site

AGHAST INSANE (ITALY)

A cool demo of modern and classic thrash metal mixed together; the music varies from heavy mid-tempo modern numbers ("Aghast Insane") to great fast headbangers ("Alone").

Aghast Insane Demo, 2004

Official Site

AGITATOR (ITALY)

These young "agitated" Italians pull out intense old school thrash in the German tradition: think Necronomicon, early Deathrow, Destruction. This is constant vitriolic mosh with very rare deviations from the righteous path as the guys' dedication to all things old school is admirable with various appetizing gimmicks present: great melodic leads ("No Words, No Life") ala Artillery; spinning Destruction-like riffs on the title-track; more engaging semi-technical delivery ("Lack of Passion"); not to forget the shouty choruses provided on almost every track. The vocalist is on the semi-clean/semi-shouty side quite close to Freddy from Necronomicon again.

Mental Violence Full-Length, 2014

Youtube

AGNOSIA (PORTUGAL)

A nice obscure demo from the Portuguese underground, offering classic mid to up-tempo thrash, with a few more melodic moments, mostly on the two instrumental pieces. The vocal tracks are edgier although the singer is hardly an asset with his strained semi-death/angry delivery, mixing direct retro headbanging sections with proto-modern groovy ones.

The First Gathering Demo, 1994

Fan Site

AGNOSIS (COLOMBIA)

Classic-sounding power/speed/thrash metal with a very bad sound quality; the music follows the patterns established by the Argentinian acts Horcas and Hermetica mixing faster and slower songs in almost equal dozes.

Cementerio de Sue'f1os Demo, 1992

AGNUSDEY (SPAIN)

The demo: modern thrash with dark overtones; the vocals are deep death metal-ish, and the leads are quite good, melodic, and generally there's a good sense of melody permeating the demo making it sound like less polished Rigor Mortis. The band mix the pace well on every piece creating an almost progressive dramatism ("Do Angels Exist") on the more hectic material.
The full-length offers a more classic sound with some impressive melodic sweeps ("Black World") served from the very beginning. The tempos vary from song to song as the up-paced one slightly dominates especially on speed/thrashing roller-coasters like "Fucking Killer" and the semi-progressive shredder "Garden of Black Roses". The closer "Kingdom of Well-being" provides some death metal-ish dramatism at the end to which the growling, this time higher-pitched, death metal vocals suit better.

Demo Demo, 2013
Evil in the Earth Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

AGNUS DIE (BRAZIL)

Energetic classic thrash which is ready at times to cross over the death metal field in a way close to the Swedes Deliverance. The more simplistic barrage is abandoned for the clever technicaller "Desillusion" which is an intriguing combination of catchy tunes and aggressive passages. "Pos Game" is another highlight, an all-instrumental piece with captivating speedy lead-driven passages. The other material is much more immediate offering decent barrage supported by hoarse semi-clean vocals with a drunken blend.

Melting Brain EP, 2012

AGONA (BRAZIL)

A 6-song EP of modern melodic thrash/death metal which could have gained something from a more energetic delivery; now this dark mid-tempo stuff with gothic decorations and balladic stretches would mostly serve to keep fans of flamboyant acts like The Project Hate happy rather than the regular thrash metal fan.

"Homo Grotescus" shows a bigger understanding of the thrash metal canons and this time the band shred with more power and speed although full-blooded speedsters are not very easy to come across, at least in the 1st half, despite the several genuinely aggressive moments (the blast-beats on the otherwise officiant epicer "Unon") inserted. The 2nd half is more satisfying, first serving the vigorous title-track, and later the interesting proto-blaster "A Sombra" the guys' efforts gracefully crowned by the vintage headbanger "Cavalo de Tr'f3ia" near the end. "Gaia" is a really stylish melodic progressive instrumental, quite close to being the highlight with imposing orchestral arrangements the latter not so expertly rendered on the closing "Grande Perdedor" which is another instrumental, but of the pensive balladic type, a bit sleepy and kind of underwhelming. The vocallist is given a break at the end, and he rightfully deserves it growling his lungs mercilessly earlier in a scary brutal guttural manner.

Essencial Putrefa'e7'e3o EP, 2011
Homo Grotescus Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

AGONI (SWEDEN)

A 3-song demo of speed/thrash reminiscent of some German acts from around the same time: Warrant, Vectom, maybe a tad more melodic. The band later changed just the last letter of their name, to become Agony (see the review a few lines below), and to move into a more aggressive thrash direction, and to leave a few demos and one official release before splitting up.

The Future Is Ours Demo, 1985

AGONIA (SPAIN)

This is slow to mid-paced modern thrash with brutal death metal vocals; the guitars have at times this merry roller-coaster edge characteristic of early Six Feet Under, but the rhythm section doesn't falter much sticking to solid heavy riffage which may even make your head bang on the more dynamic "LegalizaR".

Frente al Espejo Demo, 1997

AGONICA (MEXICO)

Based on the "Hasta el 'daltimo Aliento" demo, this band pulls out a hesitation between the modern and the classic sound, which produces a few positive results, thrashing in a not very intense mid-pace, losing it a bit at the end with two clumsy heavy doom-laden tracks. The singer is the typical angry shouter.
The "Frontera" demo is 5 songs of more energetic thrash with both classic and modern overtones plus an over hardcore shade at times ("Mucho A La Chingada"). "Vivir Morir" is a surprising faster offering. The final "Odiame" is a peaceful instrumental of the bluesy/balladic type; it's actually a re-worked, instrumental-only, version of a song from the preceding demo.
The "Codicioso" demo is just 2 tracks of not very impressive crunchy modern thrash with generic riffage "Prepotente y Destructo" livening up with a few more energetic sections.

Bienvenidos Demo, 2002
Hasta el 'daltimo Aliento Demo, 2008
Frontera Demo, 2011
Codicioso Demo, 2012

My Space

AGONICA (SPAIN)

Based on the full-length, this band indulge in modern thrash/death which is both suitably melodic and intense at various stages throughout the album the guys' efforts helped by the crisp production and the very good bass support. "Deception of Devouts" is a successful attempt to capture the dark technical character of Nocturnus and Revenant, but the other material has no such aspirations being direct and bashing the melodic sweeps giving it an individual aura which is slightly dispersed by the more conventional shouty death metal vocals.

Portraits of Suffering EP, 2011
A New Onset Full-length, 2013

Official Site

AGONIE (CZECH)

Based on the "A Story About..." EP, these guys play dreamy alternative desert rock with the ballad and the grunge constant companions with post-thrash timidly showing up in the riff department. Reportedly, on the earlier efforts the guys had played much more aggresive thrash/death of the modern type.

Bolest Full-length, 2000
'8eeny Full-length, 2002
A Story About... EP, 2004

Official Site

AGONIZE (DENMARK)

These folks started under the name Alterator before changing it to the present one in 1989. Based on the "Fall" demo, this is excellent aggressive death/thrash ala Devastation's "Idolatry" and Death's "Spiritual Healing" with nice slower breaks and stylish technical riffs.
The promo is another commendable affair all the 3 songs being blistering technical, relatively short (2-4min), speedsters untouched by the modern vogues the guys shredding with passion helped by a very good sound quality which gives a great boost to the cutting swirling guitars which "duel" the whole time creating puzzling crescendos topped by aggressive throaty semi-shouty death metal vocals. The approach now was moving towards a more individual one with a slight shade of the early efforts of their compatriots Invocator, but the band disappeared without a trace.

Fall Demo, 1991
Promo Demo, 1993

AGONIZER (CUBA)

One of the very few representatives of the Cuban metal scene, Agonizer offer heavy, mid-paced thrash/death frequently bordering on doom metal and an overall dark sound recalling the first two Six Feet Under albums and later period Bolt Thrower.

Bless The Innocence Full-length, 2000

Official Site

AGONY (BRAZIL)

4 tracks of fast-paced classic speed/thrash recalling Toxik's "World Circus", but without too much technicality present; good stuff offering speedy sharp, albeit a bit abrasive, riffs aplenty (one vicious Slayer-esque thrasher "The Maniac" springs suddenly at the end, too) with a bit hollow-sounding drums and screamy clean vocals which need to do some more practice in order to get tuned with the better music.

A Second Sign Demo, 2005

AGONY (COLOMBIA)

The band's debut is a really pleasant surprise with its classic Sepultura-influenced sound coming as a very acceptable follow-up to "Arise". The guys are equally expert at thrashing with aggression ("Die Alone", where the sound is quite brutal with proto-death elements) and calming down with slower, dark pieces ("Forever Decay"), accompanied by nice melodic hooks. The songs are long with a genuine dark atmosphere; the guitar work is straight-forward with no technical pretensions except on a few occasions ("Walls Of Black"). The second half is more interesting: the music is less aggressive, but the guitars start to sound more stylish ("Falling Again"). The album closer "The Last Power" is the heaviest piece mixing stomping and very fast riffs, but the addition of groovy passages kind of lessens the impact.

Millenium Full-length, 1996
Reborn Full-length, 2002

Official Site

AGONY (SWEDEN)

This is the same band who were previously known as Agoni. This is typical, professionally done thrash metal with occasional genuine ideas and aggressive, fast tracks (the opener "Storm of the Apocalypse"). Although the intensity of this track is nowhere achieved later, some are not far behind: the energetic headbanger "The First Defiance". Later the band take turn towards a more ambitious song-writing: the 8-min stomper "Execution of Mankind", but the biting edge of the first two songs gets lost, and consequently the material loses its appeal as well, simply because there is not enough technicality involved to keep those longer tracks floating. The last song "Deadly Legacy" does a lot to capture the lost inertia, mixing technical and fast riffs in a fairly impressive way. If just there were a few more of the kind here....

First Defiance Full-Length, 1988

My Space

AGONY (USA)

This young act pulls out competent modern thrash/death which ranges from slower dark pieces to raging fast ones. The latter are more accentuated on, and while the first few ones one may take as just interesting deviations, on the others he may just lose interest, especially when they start sounding too gothic ("Faceless Death", "Staratagem", which comes accompanied by a cool clean deep vocals), or too groovy ("Spirit Hunter"). Towards the end the guys pull themselves together and start thrashing with more power ("The Devilrquote s Breath", the more classic-sounding "Absolute Power").

The Devil's Breath Full-length, 2009

AGONY COLUMN (USA)

This is an interesting band; their style has often been described as "boogie thrash". Well, the "thrash" t of the description could only loosely be applied, as the band's music is more into heavy/power metal. But on the first two efforts one could distinguish quite a few forceful thrash riffs which could focus the attention of the thrash metal fan; something worth checking out, if only from a curiosity point-of-view.

God, Guns And Guts Full-length, 1989
Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles Full-length, 1991
Way back in the woods Full-length, 1996

My Space

AGONY ECLIPSED (USA)

Your average Gothenburg thrash/death metal with slightly irritating muffled low-tuned semi-whispered vocals; the energy is here as well as the melodic licks, but there's nothing new to be offered. At times the music takes a more melodic turn: "The Reverence of Inebriation" which is a cool instrumental in the mid-period In Flames vein; "Conquest of Corruption"- a jumpy stomping track, which again refuses to speed up. The EP finishes with a 30-sec drum solo recorded live.

The Reverence of Inebriation EP, 2008

Official Site

AGONY OF DECEIT (USA)

Modern mechanical thrash trying to reach the bleak futuristic atmosphere of mid-period Meshuggah and the French Gojira. The problem is that the few stylish decisions are sunk in mediocre groovy patterns and repetitive jumpy mid-tempo riffs with one highlight in the middle: the modern thrash shredder "Wage Slave" and partially the brutal death metal madness "Fighting The Elements" near the end. The situation can't be saved by the several short balladic instrumentals which are quite cool, by the way, but their contrast with the much noisier rest is not that pleasantly fitting. The guys offer a more technical and better death/thrash blend on their other project Beltfed Weapon.

Affliction Full-length, 2004

My Space

AGONYST (UK)

Based on "The Bad Old Days", this band specialize in complex technical progressive thrash/death which has a characteristic futuristic vibe as evident from the opening weirder "Larp and the World Laughs at You". The hyper-active time and tempo-changes may remind of the Brits Biomechancial at times (the title-track). The thrashing is quite engaging often interrupted by more quiet atmospheric sweeps, and ethereal technical pieces like "Solomon's Sabre" and "Smegmatic Peon B" will make the fan listen with more care following the more or less expected twists and turns. The vocals are a mix between clean emotional and harsh death metal-ish creating a lot of atmosphere in the process.

Centennial Full-length, 2011
The Bad Old Days Full-length, 2015

Official Site

AGOR (NICARAGUA)

3 songs of modern post-thrash which boasts very good leads and a few cool fast-paced escapades; heavy seismic stuff (check out the doomy deviations on the title-track at the end) with not very rehearsed shouty drunken vocals.

Metal Violencia EP, 2007

AGORAPHOBIA (SPAIN)

Based on the "Black Fire" EP, this band plays jumpy modern thrash metal with quirky rhythms and varying tempos which often change within one composition to mixed effects. There is a certain hardcore attitude shown, also helped by the improvised choruses and the indifferent dry vocals.

Black Fire EP, 2006
Reflexion Full-length, 2010

My Space

AGRESION (COLOMBIA)

An ultimately underground recording showing an act playing raw primitive thrash in a clumsy mid-pace abruptly livened up by brutal death metal compositions ("Macho Cabr'edo"), but "shocks" of the kind a rarity, even on the last two very short compositions where the guys stick to ultra-heavy repetitive riffs in a slow tempo.

Rehearsal Demo Demo, 1990

Fan Site

AGRESIVA (SPAIN)

The debut full-length: this is cool classic thrash which is sustained in a vigorous energetic pace from the very beginning first with the sharp lasher "Pale Horse", then with the galloping delight "Hell Town" both ripping pieces with hard-hitting riffs galore. More technical performance comes forward on "The Glorius Revolution" and the diverse "Eternal Foe" in the middle, but the guys don't waste too much time in this sector soon returning to the more immediate blitzkrieg approach which stays till the end, the very end being kind of underwhelming helmed by the heavy closer "Betrayer" the faith restored by the Spanish version of the best track here "Hell Town". The singer doesn't disappoint, either, delivering with his mid-levelled clean tember without taking any vocal risks.

"Crime of Our Time" has no intentions of changing the landscape drastically, and the delivery is expectedly energetic and biting the songs mixing fast and slower rhythms "Darkstryder" speed/thrashing with passion all the way through waking up the rest which immediately produces the smashing headbanger "Chronophobia". The 2-part saga "Cloud of Smoke" is more on the pensive, progressive side, but is another satisfactory achievement with its clever riff-patterns. "A Man of Tomorrow" is the other deviation from the dynamic formula, a more friendly take on the good old power/thrash with its impetuous galloping rhythms. The closing "Remorse Remains" serves a more technical play, and its jumpy guitars may be a suggestion of bigger exploits to come in the future. The vocals are more convincing and more varied this time with more adventurous higher-pitched antics presented.
"Decibel Ritual" is another headbanging "beast" the guys speed/thrashing in the familiar manner aptly balancing between the two styles until literally out of the blue comes "Cleansing-The Aftermath", a stupendous technical number which remains one of its kind, but by all means shows a potential that has to be worked on in the future. "Grateful" also shows more intricate prowess, but its mellower nature kind of conceals the more ambitious strives. Regardless, the band continue their ascension with the brisk "Under Silver Selene", the soaring speedster "We Stand", and the excellent closer "The Pantomime", a progressive thrashterpiece with a cool balladic intro. The band have done a very good job paving their way for more, even bigger exploits.

Eternal Foe Full-length, 2012
Chronophobia EP, 2013
Crime of Our Time Full-length, 2014
Decibel Ritual Full-length, 2017

Official Site

AGRESIVO (SWEDEN)

A short 2-track (the 1st cut is a short intro) demo of cool edgy retro thrash which follows the path already established by the guys under the previous name Inferior when they released two demos in pretty much the same style, maybe a bit more aggressive, death metal-tinged. The band thrash with clever riffage mostly sticking to the mid-pace adding the casual speed metal aesthetics ("Himnos De La Muerte") here and there. The singer is a gruff semi-shouter with a thin voice, but is supported by the others on the choruses so things are not so bad.

Rektum Mobile Demo, 2004

AGRESOR (BULGARIA)

An obscure Bulgarian act who pull out clever semi-technical thrash/death metal obviously influenced by Death and Pestilence, but minimalistic and less flashy, which could have had more appeal, if it wasn't for the very buzzy guitar sound. The guys never speed up too much, except on the very cool intense instrumental "Prelud # 1" which is the highlight here. The band also rely on atmosphere created by quiet acoustic sections and other gimmicks which find a full realisation on the marvellous progressive opus at the end "Svetata Lubov" which, despite its enormous length (13-min), will keep you entertained with its wide gamut of moods and riffs.

"Pogled Kum Budesteto" is even better with a much better sound quality and more technical guitars bordering on progressive at times. The music is again mid to up-tempo, and the sound is drier, but not to a modern extent. "Voda (Water)"'s minimalistic approach will remind you of Voivod's "Killing Technology", and "Glasut (The Voice)" is a nice twisted Coroner-like instrumental, with weird tunes (flutes, etc.) springing up, as well as male church chants. But this is not all, since there is more technicality and originality involved, like on the more aggressive technical thrasher "Luks (Luxury)", or the creepy sinister doomy "Faza (Phase)", which seamlessly blends a modern sound ala Prong with a faster, early 90's Death-like ending. The 2nd half is not as striking, featuring heavy doom-laden tracks, with very little speed present, if any; one of those tracks "Turchin i Robinia (A Turk and A Slave)" mixes doom with elements from the Bulgarian folklore, and "Nevinni (Innocent)" is a cool acoustic ballad. Thie is quite a diverse listen, and some may regret that this effort was not sustained in the same technical vein till the end, but to hear such a refreshing work during the stale 90's will help improve anyone's sad mood in no time.

Idoli Na Stradanieto-Idols Of The Suffering Full-Length, 1993
Pogled Nazad Kum Budeshteto/A View Back To the Future Full-length, 1994

AGRESSIVE (BRAZIL)

Fast intense classic thrash (based on the debut demo) with good rolling riffs ala early Destruction and short ripping songs never lasting beyond the 3-min mark. The guys lash with passion and the singer accompanies them energetically with his rough rending death metal tone. This is really good music if you want to get "united for beer" with your mates, like the title of the closer suggests.
The "The Legacy Remains" demo is another blitzkrieg effort the guys moshing with force maybe showing a bigger sense of melody ("Avalanche Of Hate") here and there, but generally the thrashy "canonade" never ends the main complaint being the rending, very shouty vocals which are utterly unintelligible. The last track "Infernal Soldier" is a jolly crossover cut.

Death and Chaos Demo, 2010
The Legacy Remains Demo, 2012

My Space

AGRESSOR (BRAZIL)

Agressor have been active since the early 90's, but it was in 2006 when they finally managed to release a full-length. Their early demos are a rough mixture of American power metal and thrash with an uneven quality. By the time of "Victim of Yourself" the power metal had been completely gone, and this album is classic thrash at its best; the music follows on the steps of the German veterans Destruction and Sodom, like many other contemporary Brazilian bands: energetic with sharp riffs and vicious, death metal-ish vocals; a couple of tracks in the middle slow down and carry the stomping, late 80's Slayer spirit for a while, ornated by very good leads with an Oriental touch ("P-36", "One Esta a Coragem?" (something about courage is the word here, I guess), and others). If they go on in the same spirit, these guys will easily manage to make their way through the fierce competition from the Brazilian metal scene these days, and why not to the very top?
"Demise of Life": the "agressors" are back, and the Amazon jungle is shaking again under their seismic riffage which this time is accompanied by ecological texts about the saving of that same jungle and the world environment in general. Music-wise this is another no-brainer with fiery blitzkriegers atttacking from all sides leaving the more technical serious execution for the small number of mid-pacers ("The Origin") also present. Compulsive headbangers like "Accidental Murder" and "Belo Morte" will keep the adrenaline level high, "Terra sem Lei" being a rager of a more clevely-performed kind with some striking lead guitar work. A crystal clear sound quality is another addition to this fairly cool return for a band who were under the scare of a split-up after the successful launching of another career for some of the members under the name Dark Side first, and then as Vingador where the style is a mellower version of the one here with elements of power metal.

Victim of Yourself Full-length, 2006
Destrui Meta1lica EP, 2012
Demise of Life Full-length, 2014

Official Site

AGRESSOR (FRANCE)

One of the best French death metal bands, Agressor's beginnings are deeply rooted in thrash. "Neverending Destiny" is intense, very fast thrash which hits you like a hammer although the death metal tendencies have already said their word and the shorter numbers are pure death metal explosions: "alytic Disease", "The Unknown Spell", the furious, ultra-fast "The Arrival". At from the relentless thrashing, one could also hear touches of a more unconventional song-writing: the chaotic technical "Elemental Decay", the lightning speed/thrashers "Neverending Destiny" and "Bloody Corpse", the dark, more controlled "Dark Power". The follow-up introduces death metal into the band's sound, but thrash still prevails in some of the songs. Even though their later efforts belong strictly to the death metal genre, some of their thrash metal past is still present.

Neverending Destiny Full-length, 1990
Towards Beyond Full-length, 1992

Official Site

AGRESSOR (HUNGARY)

Heavy volcanic thrash/death with brutal guttural death metal vocals akin to Chris Barnes (Six Feet Under, Cannibal Corpse); the guys aren't strangers to more intense moshing ("Meghaltal"), but the prevalent tone is brooding and mid-tempo the seismic delivery a bit one-dimensional reminiscent of early Six Feet Under.

Halotti Beszed Demo, 1996

AGRETATOR (SWEDEN)

"Delusions" is an impressive debut: technical thrash/death metal calling to mind Pestilence's "Testimony of the Ancients" and the Belgians Chemical Breath on the more inspired moments. It nicely combines speed and technicality most of the time, like on the awesome opener "Prophecy", and the next couple of tracks, seldom going for a more aggressive, more death metal-based sound: "Merciless Living", which is also the song that contains the slowest riffs, but moments like this are not too many, and also include the heavy, dark "Internal Severity".
The EP is also good, but is much more melodic without any shades of death metal with strange, progressive song-structures, choppy riffs and a much stronger modern edge (think Coroner's "Grin", or early Meshuggah), offbeat moments (female/male choruses, a sweet quiet ballad, etc.). After the band split up, some members went to achieve bigger glories with their other band Darkane.

Delusions Full-length, 1994
Distorted Logic EP, 1996

Official Site

AGRO (SOUTH AFRICA)

Based on "Ritual 6", this is melodic thrash mixed with power metal, of the modern type, with a heavy, but tasteful use of keyboards. Sometimes they remind me of the Finns Sentenced ("Amok" and after).

From Within Full-length, 1995
Eyes Full-length, 1998
The Tree Full-length, 2000
Forthcoming Full-length, 2003
Gouda Than Hell Full-length, 2004
Ritual 6 Full-length, 2006

Official Site

AHINEYA (RUSSIA)

This is decent retro power/thrash which is more on the calm power metal side of the show accompanied by versatile generally clean vocals which change the pitch at will and create a lot of dramatism in the process. Things start moving around near the end where the more energetic songs have been allocated except for "Voina" which is a lyrical semi-ballad with cool tasteful melodic leads.

Spasi Moiu Dushu Full-Length, 1996

AHOORA (IRAN)

A good young Iranian act, who play slightly progressive power/thrash metal in the vein of early Iced Earth and late-80's/early-90's Testament. The music on the debut is mostly heavy with not many fast-paced moments, but the riffs are meaty and sharp, and the lead guitar work is quite good. The singer has a gruff, unmelodic voice, and kind of spoils the picture with his one-dimensional delivery.
"All In Blood With You" doesn't betray the approach heard on the debut, but the songs are longer, which is hardly the right decision, since again the lack of speed doesn't make them the best listen in the world. On the other hand, the consistent dark, almost doomy at times sound may enchant the fans, especially hits like the multi-layered gothic/progressive/thrash opus "Between Maybe & Never", which even finds time for more energetic riffage, amid the nice melodic hooks, the heavy doomy/gothic overtones, and the haunting keyboard implements. The end is preserved for a sheer exercise in doom metal in the best tradition of Saint Vitus and Solitude Aeturnus, in the face of "Human Within": an impressive achievement supported by fine female vocals, enchanting quiet balladic interludes, and a hammering heavy rhythm. This album would hardly be the headbanger's paradise, but the more open-minded thrashers will not be disappointed, neither will fans of doom, gothic and power metal.
"Awkward Diary" indeed starts very awkwardly with the pure electronic wave piece "Masks and Balefires" which is a total Depeche Mode/early Camouflage worship. The same wave-ish overtones slightly overshadow the hard thrashy riffage on the following dark mid-pacer "Unattended", and when "Nervous Ghost" delivers the exactly same electronic depression from the one of the opener, one may quickly realize that the band has shifted quite a bit, and from that moment on there is absolutely nothing to catch the thrash metal fan's ear, although the music takes an intriguing turn towards alternative electronics not miles away from Front Line Assembly and Clock DVA. Fans of the aforementioned bands will by all means rejoice, but now the guys sound like an entirely new act. Maybe a change of name will follow suit soon?

Ahoora Full-length, 2006
All In Blood With You Full-length, 2007
Awkward Diary Full-Length, 2009

Official Site

AIKIA (USA)

Heavy abrasive modern thrash/post-thrash which is suitably jumpy on occasion ("Second Perception") creating more intriguing quasi-progressive atmosphere, but there are dragging, monotonous moments where the guys indulge in not very attractive industrial miasmas (the title-track). Things start moving towards better fields in the second half with the amorphous thrasher "Weaponize" and "Z-Song"; if only these mean synthesized semi-clean vocals were more convincing and a tad more attached...

Prime Evil Full-Length, 2017

AION (JAPAN)

Excellent thrash metal similar to other Japanese bands- Jurassic Jade and Gargoyle, with truly impressive solos; it's probably more standard, without too many eclectic sections, typical for Gargoyle, for example. The tempo is quite speedy, but more moderate tracks are also here ("Captured In The Dreams", "Mistress Of Evil"). Rarely does the music get more aggressive and chaotic ("Struggle To Breathe"), but it's all-out thrashers like "Torment In Fire" which carry this album. For some reason unknown, the guys re-recorded the whole album under a different name: "Human Griefman", with only the song-titles being different. Then they changed their image, acquiring those glam-one from the late 80's (some trends reach the Far East later...), but on "Magma" the band carried on in the pretty same vein, nicely mixing power, speed and thrash metal with even better guitar work.
Like with most Japanese acts, it was hard to predict what direction the band would take, but "Aionism" is a nice continuation of the band's previous style. The bombastic opener "Launch Game" thrashes intensely with a technical shade, promising a lot. Later the album offers a similar to "Magma" blend; there are heads-down speed/thrashers ("Disarray"- watch out for the frantic, chaotic ending here!; "S.S.S.", which will make your head drop from banging; "Caution"; the 2.5-min aggressive closer "Chimeisho"), as well as a couple of melodic heavy/power metal tracks. Clearly the final impression is on the positive side, and later this approach was followed closely by many other Japanese acts (Hellhound, Cocobat, Sex Machineguns, Volcano, etc.).

"Absolute" concentrates on the speed metal side, and is another worthy effort, although there is only one piece with an overt thrashy edge: the short, chaotic delight "Demoniac Insanity". Having no idea what the following albums sound like, I stumbled upon another release from that band, not included in their discography (strange!), here featured under "Unknown Title". This is the same band all over, who apently have decided to play awesome thrash again for a change since reportedly their more recent affairs had nothing to do with the genre. Most of the songs thrash fast and intensely surpassing even the earlier material at times; watch out for another 2.5-min aggressive bomb, this time served with a superb short lead: "Accidental Discharge", and another very similar one, even more brutal, with a shade of death metal: "Surprise Attack". Complex, chaotic takes on technical thrash are here as well ("Abnoral", "Stupid Man"), which might take more than one listen to be fully grasped. Very unjustly labelled "a glam metal band", totally based on their appearance, which doesn't do them justice (a reason why I've been avoiding their output for such a long time), this band thrash in a way which would put to shame many of the "full-fledged" thrash metal acts around the world.

"Eve" puts an end to the band's flirtation with more radio-friendly heavy rock after a string of 4 albums, and is another intense speed/thrash affair comprising, for the most of t, of short bursting pieces ("Rise And War", "Disturbance", etc.) and longer, industrialized ("Cube The Face"; the groovy noiser "Crime") explorations, the latter being incoherent and not as attractive. Moments of more conventional power/thrash metal ("Circuit Breaker") as well as less controlled hardcore outbreaks ("Dance") can also be found, which are not too bad, but grindy nods to The Berserker ("N.S.") should have been avoided. The closing balladic piece "Loved Living Free", is a find, though: a pretty unexpected, but cool cut. The whole album comes with a pretty noisy, abrasive guitar sound, which doesn't do the guys' musical skills justice.
"Judge of Death Line" is a better offering starting with the outrageous, albeit well done, death metal piece "Accuse Falsely", before thrash takes over on "Hysterie", a heavy volcanic number, which transforms into formidable thrash/death on "Declare". Happier speed/thrash will one encounter on "Dummy General" and "Slip Of Paper", both suffering from the very noisy, fuzzy guitar sound and the hissing drums. "Spiritualism" is an excellent power ballad with virtuoso lead performance, and the next "Fifty-Fifty" is a choppy thrasher with a high-speed exit. The thrash metal roller-coaster becomes quite scary on "Disgrace" and "Uncanny", but the final chords are another good ballad ("Adieu") and jokey rock'n roll variations ("Peter Thirteen - Openful Rock'n'Roll"). Nevertheless, despite its diversity at the end this effort remains a fairly cool proposition amidst the sea of modern 90's works which were still the dominant force at the time.

The guys' prolific output includes 3 albums released in 1999 alone, and "Ceremony of Cross Out" is another vigorous slab of the good old thrash with a slight modern twist. "Ceremony Of Cross Out" is the staple intense opener, speed/thrash at its best, paving the way for a string of energetic numbers, before the arrival of the pleasant heavy metal anthem "Hit Or Miss", which provides a short pause, rudely broken by the bursting speedster "Fetishism", which still pales before the aggressive thrash/death metal bomb "Accidental Discharge". "Jade" is soaring classic speed metal at its best, but the guys quickly switch onto full-throttle thrash with "Stupid Man", with "Surprise Attack" being another "surprise attack" of brutal death/thrash. The final instrumental piece "Extermination Peter-11" is happy speed metal all the way with great leads, finishing this fairly good release with aplomb.
"Magnitude" begins with the slightly annoying overlong intro "The Moment Of Death", which is plain industrial noise, the noise remaining in the guitar department which hardly makes this effort the best listen in the world. Still, the opening "Paralysis" is a potent, heavy industrial thrasher, and the next "Narrow Escape From Death" already sounds more classic with ripping riffs which get quite aggressive on the speed/thrashing title-track. "Shout Out" is a cool semi-ballad with a furious speedy ending, the latter staying around for the speed metal joy "Heaven And Earth", and the ultra-heavy thrashterpiece "Die Gallantly". Things remain on an energetic speed/thrash metal ground of the more relaxed variety, before "Crushers" does a good job to justify its title with some of the most crushing riffs around. Chaotic speed/thrash awaits you on "Talk In Bed", and jokey crossover on "The Past", as well as a 9-min instrumental extravaganza "Peter-Fourteenth/Short-Lived", a traditional way for the band to finish their albums of more recent times, but in this case we have dreamy, jazzy stuff with sce leads with no traces of metal, not bad at all, but kind of too lengthy for what it was intended to be. Still, it is a nice quiet finish to a demented, wild album full of raging riffs and frenetic tempos.
"Manners of Kill and Wound" doesn't betray the spirit of the other two efforts released the same year featuring similar high-speed antics spiced with slower "remnants" from their heavy metal period ("Destiny", "Electric Wave"), the latter making the album the most melodic of the last five. Still, cuts like the demented shredder "Scoop Out", or the short hyper-speed/thrashers "Bombing" and "Witch Craft" will cause you a headache easily. The traditional final "Peter" instrumental is a display of a virtuoso play of the power/speed metal type with great melodic leads, and is a pretty good closer to this diverse offering.
"Nine Bells" is an angry offering with hardcore assisting the melo-thrash "carnage" which doesn't waste time raging from the get-go with the maddening opener "Rise and War". Things cool down a bit later on although "Hopin'high" is a jumpy brutalizer, and "Traitor" is a nice ethereal semi-progressive speed/thrasher. The only relatively quiet moment here is the mid-paced power/thrasher "Uncanny", but its sleepiness is immediately cancelled by a string of wild short outbursts of hardcore-tinged thrash which are superseded by the cool semi-ballad "Magus" the latter in its turn followed by another furious group of vitriolic speedsters.

Deathrash Bound Full-length, 1989
Human Griefman Full-length, 1990
Magma EP, 1990
Aionism Full-length, 1991
Absolute Full-length, 1994
Mithras FullLength, 1997
Eve Full-length, 1998
Judge of Death Line Full-length, 1999
Ceremony of Cross Out Full-length, 1999
Manners of Kill and Wound Full-length, 1999
Magnitude Full-length, 2000
Unknown Title Full-Length, 2004
Nine Bells Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

AIRDASH (FINLAND)

The band's debut is well produced, but rather pedestrian thrash with just a few highlights, sounding close to the Bay Area scene (Metallica, Defiance, Testament); it has its cool headbanging moments ("Helluva Noise", "Spit Your Guts"), but similar stuff has been flowing out in heaps at the same time. "Hospital Hallucinations Take One" is an improvement in almost every department featuring good technical riffs, having quite a few things in common with the heavy late-80's Metallica period; the intensity has been preserved on some tracks, but the music has become mostly mid-paced with sharp, but also heavy, meaty guitars.
"Both Ends Of The Path" is quite a surprise, taking a very ambitious, and not a very expected approach to song-writing, putting it into the progressive thrash metal camp; standard hard-hitting moments are suddenly replaced by quirky, technical sections which also finish without warning, and definitely arouse the listener's attention (this depends on the taste since some might find these deviations illogical and irritating); certainly there are offbeat, non-conventional parts going with the style, but they are very well embedded into the overall interesting picture. By going further, the band haven't forgotten about their more straight-forward nature, and some of the tracks still hold their more basic thrash metal roots; certainly not an immediate listen, but well worth the time.

Thank God It's Monday Full-length, 1988
Vengeance Through Violence EP, 1989
Hospital Hallucinations Take One Full-length, 1990
Both Ends Of The Path Full-length, 1991

Vibrations of Doom

AIRE COMO PLOMO (COLOMBIA)

This is modern friendly power/post-thrash with doom/stoner leanings and occasional escapades towards the more extreme (the headbanger "Solo En America") side of the genre. The singer is a pleasant semi-clean crooner with a more soulful baritone on the more lyrical (read balladic/semi-balladic) passages.

A.C.P. Full-Length, 2015

AIRRAID (JAPAN)

Based on the "Armed Children" demo, this obscure Japanese trio plays pretty cool speed/thrash metal with bad screechy vocals. The band spices things up with a couple of heavier slower moments, but at the end the sound gets too unbridled bordering on hardcore ("The Creep").
The "Touched in the Head" demo is an entirely different story containing vicious raw thrash metal mixing heavy doom-laden Celtic Frost-like riffs with much faster ones topped by very brutal for the time proto-death metal vocals. The sound quality is not very good, and the overall result is much less appealing than the one achieved on later efforts.

Lunatic Asylum Demo, 1988
Touched in the Head Demo, 1988
Far East Thrash Army-Thrash Live in Savagery Split, 1989
Armed Children Demo, 1989

AJAL (MALAYSIA)

An old school mix of thrash and black metal topped by sinister witch-like whispers which can definitely not pass for singing. The music is both fast and mid-tempo with simplistic riffs and cool memorable melodic leads. The more speedy sections cling towards early Whiplash and Rigor Mortis whereas the slower ones ("Susuk Kheramat") come with a cool epic shade.

Ajal Tiba Bila Seruan Menjelma Demo, 2010

My Space

AJDATH (JORDAN)

A generally quite fast mixture of death and thrash metal (more death than thrash), more on the old school side with nice technical touches and Oriental melodies. The band founder Omar Al Kilani later moved to Poland, feeling unhappy with the music scene in his native country (I wonder why!?).

Triangle of Death EP, 2006

Official Site

AJNA (BRAZIL)

Heavy modern thrash metal not too far from Pantera and Machine Head, but more diverse with calmer stoner/doom passages and industrial elements. The dynamics is quite big for most of the time also helped by the crisp biting guitar sound and the convincing clean vocals which are at times intercepted by harsher deathy ones. The tempo is mid throughout clinging towards the doomy side on the original "Hunger" which becomes fairly dramatic at some point, and is the clear highlight on this cool, but hardly exceptional effort.

Mirror Full-length, 1998

AK-47 (MEXICO)

Modern heavy thrashcore with a thunderous bass bottom and occasional ventures into pure thrash ("Cf1'e1ustico") which never develop fully since the songs are short, within the 2-3min parametres. There are faster moments, of course, but the majority of the tracks are heavy plodding experiences even for the short time span. The singer is the prototypical aggro-shouter.

Crecerse Al Dolor Full-Length, 1999

AK'BAL (MEXICO)

Based on "Estado Alternativo", these guys offer alternative industrialized post-thrash with dry dispassionate guitars and not very vivid tempos. There are jumpy riffs aplenty ala Helmet as well as more stylish sections in the vein of Tool.

Reino de las Sombras y la Muerte Full-length, 1997
Estado Alternativo Full-length, 1998

Official Site

AKA WHITE DEVIL (USA)

The abrasive guitar sound is an obstacle for the band to show their skills fully unless it's been applied intentionally for the creation of this modern thrash/death metal affair which is not far from the Swedish school except on the moments when they incorporate the power/speed metal gimmicks ("Amistad") into their repertoire. As a whole the style isn't very hard-hitting with loads of catchy melodies present on almost every song bringing the delivery close to Children of Bodom. The end is covers; the more likely choice, of the death metallers All That Remains ("This Darkened Heart") done well and faithfully; and the odd one, of Journey's "Separate Ways" which is also done true to the original, not bad at all; so don't expect any thrash/death on it, but a few clean vocal insertions to shatter your composure.

Against All Gods Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

AKANI (SWEDEN)

The guitarist Daniel Antonsson (Dark Tranquillity, Dimension Zero, Soilwork, etc.) has teamed up with other musicians for the production of this bland modern post-thrashy affair which is doomy balladisms for at least half the time with several not very notable exceptions: the jumpy title-track, and the wild headbanging closer "Know My Name". The vocals are shouty death metal ones and create quite a lot of noise in the process.

Santa Muerte EP, 2014
Through My Darkest Infernal Full-length, 2016

Official Site

AKANT (SLOVAKIA)

Based on the debut demo, this unknown act pulls out pretty stylish and very well constructed technical thrash/death which sucks you in with a seamless blend of technicality and speed, reaching early Sadus and mid-period Death heights with ease. Despite the slightly muddy sound quality, the guitars and bass have a rich, dark feel to them, the bass particularly striking "decorating" each song with the odd Steve DiGiorgio-like pyrotechnics. The guys thrash with passion on the shorter numbers ("Zevislek"), unleashing less controlled "hell" here and there (the technical death metal "slaughter" on "Skladisko Udsk'fdch Nezmyslov"). Dramatic technicality with progressive tendencies will one encounter on the excellent "V Oeaialenstva", before the "massacre" continues with the explosive "Smrt za Smrt". "Oceanus Procellarum" closes the demo in the best possible way: a brilliant instrumental sustained in a vigorous up-tempo thrashing both wildly and with a big pinch of technicality with a few clever more quiet breaks. Another bow to the band for the cool doomy outro "Do Hor'facich Pekiel" which is another stylish throw-in into this obscure pleasantry which shows the not very prolific Slovakian/Czech scene in a very bright light.
The "Prophecy Of The Dead" demo is less epxerimental and more melodic, and a tad less striking. It starts with 2 elaborate progressive pieces, before the soft balladic "N Kame" arrives. Then "Atimove Reno" restores some faith with its aggressive riffage, ably supported by the more complex, but equally as intense thrash/deathster "Master A.I.D.S.". Time for some seismic doom with "Sem v Meste Tieov", and for the last progressive thrash/death saga with "Proroctvo Smrti", which is controlled aggressive shred for most of the time. The final instrumental "Eros" brings in peace and quiet with its calm semi-balladic delivery, which is still a fitting epitaph to this cool effort, the last chapter from the band's short, but fairly interesting discography.

Pod Gilotiu! Demo, 1993
Prophecy Of The Dead Demo, 1994

AKBAL (CHILE)

The debut: this is modern thrash with proto-death references plus an added doze of hardcore also in the shouty vocal department. The music is not very eventful sustained in an expected mid-tempo very seldom attempting something more aggressive: the energetic melo-thrasher "Sueno Irreal"; the jokey thrash/crossover closer "Starfuckers Inc.", which show an obvious fascination with the style of early Pro-Pain.

"Mirando Al Cielo" is a much calmer affair with a more ethereal progressive character which is almost completely devoid of speed so it should come as no surprise the presence of several pure doom metal delights: "Desterrar", "Fenix", etc. "Voraz" is a wonderful dissonant piece, but the rest kind of misses this stylish sparkle to make it a highly recommended listen.

Cegado Full-length, 2007
Mirando Al Cielo Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

AKELA (HUNGARY)

The band's style throughout their long career is pretty consistent, being heavy, mid-tempo to slow power/thrash; monotonic, but delivers the goods. Their later works adopt a more melodic sound.
"Farkas Mesek": the band are back on the field after a 10-year hiatus, and this effort sees them power/semi-thrashing in the same old way so their diehard fans should have no problems embracing this mild, friendly affair. The others will be frowning here and there since there isn't much thrash to be savoured the band going through the motions calmly without any fuss, ofter calling the semi-ballad for help. "Emberes Mese" is a cool more dynamic headbanger, but his sining example hasn't been followed elsewhere.

A Fenevad Full-length, 1992
Farkastnyek Full-length, 1993
Farkasfarsang Live album, 1994
Flelem Szcletse Full-length, 1994
Fekete Bereny Full-length, 1995
Fdidmk EP, 1996
Foverosi Emberkert Full-length, 1996
Fejdalomcsillapedt Full-length, 1997
Fu Alatt Full-length, 1998
Forr A Dalom Full-length, 2004
Fejetlense Full-length, 2006
Farkas Mesek Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

AKERBELTZ (BRAZIL)

Based on "Akerbeltz Coven Rising", these Brazilians raise the flag of the good old speed/thrash high spicing it with black metal throw-ins and references to crossover. The resulting amalgam is entertaining, albeit pretty basic, and evolves around slightly repetitive up-tempo formulas which also introduce a certain doze of catchy tunes. "Apocalyptic Rising" and "Envenom" break the "idyll" near the end branching out in less controlled blasting aesthetics. Not to worry: the final "Sabbatical Rites" is a laid-back heavy/power metal calmer which still adds nicely to the carefree nature of the album. The singer sings in a semi-clean/semi-declamatory manner and emits authority despite his disputable vocal skills. Some of the musicians create another concoction of styles with the black/death/thrash outfit Necrofilia.

Therion Rising Full-length, 1999
Akerbeltz Coven Rising Full-length, 2011

My Space

AKERONTE (ARGENTINA)

The EP: 4 tracks of classic speed/thrash akin to the early efforts of their compatriots Lethal, with a pinch of the Bay-Area; the guys alternate fast with mid-paced rhythms throughout the tracks, adding the odd balladic passage ("Eternos Miedos") wherever needed. The leads are good, albeit too short, but the drum sound is hollow, successfully muffled by the forceful throaty semi-clean vocals.
The "E.P.I.D.E.M.I.A" demo is 3 tracks offering similar music with vivid crunchy guitars and fast tempos. The guys thrash wtih gusto "courting" both Slayer and the Bay-Area in equal dozes, even managing to sound curiously technical ("El Detractor") at times.

Mientras Los Reyes Rien EP, 2009
E.P.I.D.E.M.I.A Demo, 2010

My Space

AKHERON (COLOMBIA)

Based on the full-length, this band play quite cool classic speed/thrash which comes death metal-decorated on the awesome opener "Pesadillas". "Armagedon" brings forward a touch of epic melodies before "Delirium Tremens" switches on full-ahead roller-coaster thrash. The heroic speed metal-ish flavour returns for "Reino Del Caos" and stays there for the remainder until the guys hit with the progressive opus "Miedo Al Manana" followed by two covers: one of Rigor Moris' "Cattle Mutilation" played at the speed of light with a more overt death metal flair than the original; and a live recording of their compatriots Acutor's "Infernal", sounding way worse than the original marred by the noise coming from the audience. Some of the musicians also play in the heavy metal outfit Regnvm.

Ser o no Ser ...Irracional EP, 2011
Pesadillas Full-length, 2013

Official Site

AKKILA (USA)

This obscure band play American power metal with a certain doze of thrash, similar to early Laaz Rockit and Meliah Rage. "As For Me, As For You" is the more melodic affair, slower, with more nods towards the power metal field, featuring one track called "Speed Metal", which will remind you both of early Venom and Metallica's "Whiplash"; but... you'll have to wait till the 2nd half of the song to hear those influences, since the beginning is much slower, and not as promising.
"The Cursed" is more satisfying, with a thicker, more aggressive guitar sound, including quite cool speed/thrashing pieces: "Abstract Illusion", and the more pounding semi-technical "Pree To Die".

As For Me, As For You Full-Length, 1988
The Cursed Full-Length, 1989

AKRAMEN (CHILE)

Good classic thrash; most of the album flows in the Germanic tradition- think Destruction, Necronomicon, but sometimes the band go into intense, aggressive thrashing ala Slayer ("Carcel De La Mente"). "Desierto De Sangre" even reaches out towards death metal and is quite a brutal piece, but deviations of the kind aren't many at all. The guitar work is simplistic with sparce more stylish sparkles (the leads on "10 Siglos Mas") thrown in.
"Bajo Control": 11 years later the guys are back in action and clearly show that they haven't forgotten how to play some cool classic thrash. The delivery has become a tad more melodic now starkly contrasting at times with the brutal deathy vocals, but this is a minor complaint having in mind the good music on display. The longer numbers ("Guerra Sucia", "Bajo Control") come with the more elaborate riff-patterns, whereas the shorter ones ("Akramen", the closing "Terrorismo Diarlo") are pure burstung lashers with a lot of energy released. The sound quality is a bit pristine trying to follow the one from the very early days of the genre, but kind of hampers the guitars which sound somewhat muffled because of that.

Esclavos Del Nuevo Orden Full-length, 2004
Bajo Control Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

AL AZIF (SPAIN)

Based on the full-length, this band play modern thrash/death which alternates between aggressive and more laid-back numbers. Cool Oriental atmosphere ("Irrealidad") gets created by the melodic hooks, used to probably match the exotic band name, which are quite contrasting to the harsh shouty death metal vocals. The thin production makes the guitars a bit hissy, though.

La Nueva Plaga EP, 2011
Sombras Sobre Una Pared Calcinada Full-length, 2015

Official Site

AL SIRAT (POLAND)

Based on "Warhead", this band play pedestrian modern groovy post-thrash, often exiting the field completely, stretching into many other directions (alternative, ballads, etc.), leaving just a little room for more intense thrashers ("No Harmony", "Alert!"). Reportedly on their earlier output the guys delivered the goods in a much better way playing cool thrash/death metal of the modern type.
"Kala" is hardly this better way, delivering the same bland, insipid groovy post-thrash which occasionally gets faster and edgier ("Dno"), but most of the time it's just heavy rehashed riffs with better melodic variations from time to time.

Signa Tempori Full-length, 1999
Kala Full-length, 2004
Alert! EP, 2005
Warhead Full-length, 2007

Official Site

AL VIRIUS (RUSSIA)

A cool mixture of Bay-Area thrash and symphonic passages; sparse blast-beats can be heard ("The Book of the Dead", and elsewhere) as well. The sharp riffs are well fused with the piano and keyboard melodies, and the guitars always lead the way. The music softens a bit here and there ("The Voices", "Dying"), where the good melodic leads rule, but remains entertaining, topped by gruff vocals, slightly reminiscent of James Hetfield.

Beyond The Human Nation Full-length, 2007

My Space

ALAJA (RUSSIA)

Based on the EP, this band plays modern thrash metal which is both intense and fast, and melodic and heavy both sides working fine to produce a cool blend finished with a not very recognizable cover of Deep Purple's "Highway Star" due to both the thrashy nature of the guitars and the brutal low-tuned death metal vocals; still, the melodic hook following the lead section can not be mistaken, and this is where the listener will exclaim, "Ha! These guys are covering Purple!".

Chaos Theory Full-length, 2009
The Mechanical God EP, 2010

Official Site

ALAN SMITHEE (USA)

A talented shredder of the stylish semi-chaotic variety who aptly balances between thrash, death and djent producing outstanding pieces of twisted technicality like "Perennially Numb" and the jumpy mind-scratcher "Regime on Wholesale". "Glimmer" is exemplary technical thrash whereas 'Booger Bears" brings in a bit of groove into the already fairly eventful proceedings along with some super-complex riff-patterns with a blast-beating potential. "You Don't Know Me" is a very hectic speedster which lashes maddening elaborate riffs with the utmost dexterity, and is the last cut here. A short, but very interesting piece of technical exuberant metal topped by very shouty thin vocals which can only be a mild appendage to the much superior music.

Wizards N' Shit Full-Length, 2015

ALARUM (AUSTRALIA)

This talented outfit started greatly with "Fluid Motion", exemplary technical/progressive thrash/death rubbing shoulders with the best in the genre: Atheist, Pestilence, late-period Death, etc. so expect twisted technical riffage, suddenly intercepted by slower, atmospheric and jazzy sections. The complexity of most of the tracks is nicely compensated by the more accessible (this is relative) death/thrashers ("Internal") which still come decorated with offbeat moments and a certain technical charge. The tempos change all the time, creating a very complex, but quite compelling picture. Even songs where there isn't a single very intricate passage ("It Passes Always") sound compelling with hectic, more jarring guitars. The middle is preserved for a string of first-class progressive pieces: the larger-than-life, multi-layered progressive death/thrasher "Blueprint"; the quiet jazzy "Could This Be Real"; the technical riff-fest "Severed" in the best tradition of late period Death; the brilliant labyrinthine, Coroner-influenced "Taking Place". More brutal performance comes later ("Silence"; well, you won't get much silence with this one) to take away some of the complexity, but just for a while since "Sustained Connection" brings back the swirling guitars of the calmer, slower type, only to give way to the "Unknown" closer which, despite the title, knows very well what it's doing, providing more laid-back progressive metal.
The Promo shows the band having given up the aggressive death metal shredding to a certain extent although thrash metal remains almost intact mixed with straight progressive metal reminiscent of late period Sieges Even and Spastic Ink. Still short technical death/thrashers, like "Woven Imbalance" and "Boundless Intent" are simply brilliant recalling early Atheist. "Receiver" is progressive metal in its finest form, something which Spiral Architect should have done. "Remote Viewing" is a superb mix of more laid-back progressive and more intense technical thrash/death sections. "Sustained Connection" follows the same path, but is of a more aggressive nature, and some parts are pure headbanging thrash. And a few words about the awesome closing "Subject to Change" which is a wonderfully abstract, dreamy, but suddenly more intense, meandering delight, and will remind you of Pestilence's "Spheres".

The Promo showed the band in a great, albeit more controlled and less aggressive form, and that's why "Eventuality" comes as a big, maybe unpleasant surprise: it has almost no ties to thrash and death metal, and is a more melodic form of progressive metal, still quite complex, with a bigger number of quirky and jazzy sections. It's a good work on all counts, but the guys were capable of much better music earlier.

The band are back on the field, and "Natural Causes" sees them more aggressive and angrier, resulting in a strong progressive thrash offering with a myriad of other influences, among which jazz takes a particularly important place. The title-track opens the album in a more relaxed energetic fashion, but "Shifting Skies Like Nothing" is already a more complex affair with Cynic (think "Traced in Air) a very close soundalike. "For New Creation" is a soft progressive metaller with a nice memorable chorus and very good leads. "The Signal" brings back the thrashiness with hard-hitting riffs alternating with stylish jazz-isms; but it could hardly be viewed even as a rehearsal for the excellent jumpy, complex thrash/death which comes aplenty on "Non-Linear allels" with sudden time-switches occurring within 3-min. Top-notch twisted technical thrash ala Coroner comes on "Silent Betrayal", which also contains the necessary galloping riffage to keep the headbanging going. Dramatic spiral-like riffs overwhelm you on the hectic "Interface", another not very easy to swallow composition, which all of a sudden introduces quiet jazzy implements supported by violins and latino drums; another winner which takes the sound back to the band's very roots. "Boundless Intent Part 3" is a dreamy, semi-balladic cut, and "Sensory Endeavour" is the obligatory instrumental with great melodic leads and numerous funky/jazzy decisions thrown in. "Undivided" finishes the album in an awesome thrashy fashion, a first-rate progressive thrasher with again Coroner and Cynic the reference points. This is a really strong comeback which could have been a top ten pick even if released during the late-80s/early-90's, a testimony that the real talent can't possibly go wasted during the long breaks, also seamlessly crossing styles by only winning in the process.
The demo is three songs of twisted semi-technical thrash/death showing some promise from this early stage the band also thrashing with might mixing quirky rhythms with straight-forward passages, leaving the title-track for the end the latter also offering great melodic leads among the speedy crescendos.

Another World Demo, 1994 Fluid Motion Full-length, 1999
Promo Demo, 2002
Eventuality Full-length, 2004
Natural Causes Full-length, 2011

Official Site

ALASTOR (CROATIA)

Based on the "World Of Wars" demo, this act plays moderate thrashy crossover with high-strung somewhat feminine vocals. This is pretty simplistic music with a thin guitar sound, mid to up-tempo, with surprising slower epic-smelling moments ("Dark Ages") plus one good ballad ("Alternations").

Alastor Demo, 2001
World Of Wars Demo, 2002
Endward Demo, 2003

Official Site

ALASTOR (POLAND)

Alastor's debut has quite a few genuine, original ideas which could loosely put the album into a technical thrash metal territory, very close to the Americans Wrath, or even Toxik. The music is mid-paced to up-tempo the exception being "Ides of March" (which isn't an Iron Maiden cover) which is the most aggressive track on the album, recalling Slayer, but still containing stylish riffs. In the second half the music loses its edge a bit and becomes more complex and slightly faster, but still remains quite impressive. These guys looked perfectly equipped to rival Wolf Spider and Turbo on the field of technical thrash in Poland, but unfortunately their next two releases "grabbed" modern, groovy post-thrash straignt for the throat.
"Spaaazm" is the comeback album which is not an exact return to the band's roots, but clings more towards the groovy 90's trends again. There is more speed involved comed to the last 2 efforts, and at least half of the tracks begin in an energetic semi-classic manner, before the groove settles in. The 2.5-min "Dosy'bc" is all-out retro speedy thrash, but simply because there's no time for other elements to be inserted. Still, this is heavy stuff with meaty riffs and good tempos which some might find a cool deviation from the sea of the retro 80's thrash worshippers of recent years.
The guys have suddenly become very prolific and here they come with 2 albums released for 2012. No idea what "Destiny" brings, but on "Out of Anger" the band play on in the same old groovy fashion by adding the odd more intense passage ("Crawling", "Hatemate") to the proceedings, but this is all too painfully familiar to strike a cord really. The singer sounds more aggressive and angrier and generally does a cool job leading the groovy post-thrashy "show" with dexterity.
"Destiny" (the Polish title "Przeznaczenie") was intended as a 1990 release, but saw the light of day some 20 years later. It contains their 1st demo, recorded in 1988, plus 3 new tracks all of them made in the late 1980's. So expect retro headbanging delights till the very end the band thrashing with a lot of passion producing a masterpiece similar to their full-length debut, even better on the more inspired moments which are quite a few. The lashing steel riffs start pouring from the get-go with the opener "Przejladujc Samego Siebie" which is a faithful "Forbidden Evil" follower. "Syndromy Miast" is a super-fast technical shredder, a mix of Invocator's "Excursion Demise" and Toxik's "World Circus" with great screamy leads. The guitar work in general is on a fairly high level and some of the performance easily reaches Shrapnel heights: check out "Skorumpowany" and "Strefy Cienia" as well as very other cut. "W Obliczu Prawa" is a 7-min semi-ballad with an overt technical flair, and enchanting piece superseded by the superb blitzkrieg technicaller "Czas Wyrokow", an encyclopaedia of precise technical riffage finished with a nice acoustic passage. "Droga Do Nikod" is a more linear pounder, but the next "Dotyk Przemocy" is another chaotic technical shredder ala the aforementioned Toxik effort. "Hardcore Queen" is more of a technical speed/thrash "Queen" with some admirable twisted rhythms; all leading to the closing speed metal delight "Komu Da Cidea Wiat" which is calmer than the rest, but ensures a fitting atmospheric ending in league with the final short balladic instrumental "Wizje Ycia". The vocalist is in his nature with his high-strung dramatic tember pitching it higher and higher to a pretty positive effect.

Syndroms of the Cities Full-length, 1989
Zlo Full-length, 1994
Zyj, Gnij i Milcz Full-length, 1997
Spaaazm Full-length, 2009
Destiny Full-length, 2012
Out of Anger Full-length, 2012

Official Site

ALASTOR (PORTUGAL)

Although the vocals might put this band into the black metal field, the music is vintage classic speed/thrash metal with a strong Germanic flavour (think Iron Angel, early Angel Dust, Warrant), very well done. The guys have the habit of making cover versions of their favourite bands (Iron Angel, Exciter, etc.).
The band took a long break, so it should come as no surprise the lengthy new effort ("Demon Attack") featuring whole 19 brand new tracks of the good old speed/thrash metal with the staple black-ish apocalyptic vocals topping the energetic musical delivery which starts with two intense pieces before the cool atmospheric stomper "Necromante" brings something fresh and a bit more light-hearted. But then comes "As Portas Do Inferno", a furious thrasher, a sprain-necker of the highest order. A pleasant innovation follows suit: an excellent lead-driven instrumental ("Hino Funebre"), a great balladic piece with beautiful melodies which seamlessly flows into another major headbanger: "Fogo E Sangue". "Orgia Nocturna" is another deviation, a more complex gothic-ornated composition switching from mid to up-tempos the whole time with catchy, memorable hooks. The speed/thrashing saga then continues with the more speed metal-based piece "A Mebo esquerda de Deus" (think early Helloween, Vectom), and the cool cover of the Motley Crue hit "Red Hot" from the Americans' greatest album "Shout at the Devil", ruined a bit by the vocals, before another "calm before the storm" sneaks in: the peaceful acoustic interlude "Depois Do Ataque". No mercy later on, including the presence of the good cover version of Black Sabbath's "Children of the Grave", here turned into a speedy roller-coaster well conformed with the style of the album. The final damage is done with the closing "Spawn Of Evil", which is another 5-min portion of intense speed/thrash. The guys were never meant to re-invent the wheel, but at least they make it spin quite well without any hurdles along the way; and the only complaint may come from the buzzy guitar sound which takes away some of the sharpness of the riffs.

Crushing Christendom Full-length, 2000
Hellward Full-length, 2001
Infernal Lord Full-length, 2004
Demon Attack Full-length, 2011

My Space

ALASTOR (USA)

Based on "Day of Decay", this band play a mix between the modern and the classic trends which is predominantly heavy with squashing abrasive riffs intersperced by occasional faster "temptations ("Econoside"). The overall approach isn't very eventful if we also exclude the good lead guitar work on the closing "Torch the Heretic". The singer is a not very capable deathy shouter who hasn't seen the rehearsal room more than once, or twice at the most.

A New Blood Full-length, 2007
Day of Decay Full-length, 2009

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ALAZIF (CANADA)

A very aggressive mixture of thrash, hardcore and proto-death metal with short 1-2 min tracks; "Sect of the Damned" reaches the 3-min length, and is the highlight here, coming close to Slayer's "Reign in Blood".

Rotten Citizens Demo, 1987

ALBERT (GREECE)

These Greeks provide modern power/thrash which officiant mid-tempo tone is rudely "broken" by the vigorous "Resist!" which carries after it other surprises: the dramatic galloper "Betrayal", the short Slayer-esque "pleasure" "Pure Pleasure". The end comes in the form of the high-octane doom on "A Dream of Sadness" which is vintage Candlemass and Solitude Aeturnus and could pass for the highlight on this diverse testing of the soil which needs a little refinement and a bit more focus in order to walk with the finest.

Dinner Is Served EP, 2012

Official Site

ALCATRAZ (HUNGARY)

The self-titled demo features heavy modern post-thrash which breaks the pattern on a few times offering spontaneous hardcore "explosions". If those latter breaks are desirable giving the demo the necessary vigorous edge, check out the techno electronic outro: 1-min of the fans of Darude and DJ Tiesto's dream come true... hello!

Demo Demo, 2008
Alcatraz Demo, 2009

Official Site

ALCHEMICON (USA)

The sophomore demo: this is excellent fast and aggressive thrash combining Slayer's "Reign in Blood" with early Destruction with forceful early Chuck Schuldiner (R.I.P.)-like vocals. The music is really fast and relentless, but never ventures into death metal boasting stupendous guitar work, not often heard on the works of the two aforementioned bands (except probably on Destruction's more technical period: 1987-1990). This is great, but very obscure, headbanging stuff.
The debut demo is more on the immediate, bashing side and as such is a fairly primitive affair with noisy guitars and drums and brutal deathy shouty vocals. Regardless of the semi-amateurish delivery it's clear that the band were aiming at the more extreme side of metal where death metal was lying in wait.

Shit KIlls Demo, 1987
Witness To The Afflicted Demo, 1988

ALCHEMIST (AUSTRALIA)

Arguably the finest Australian metal act of all times, this progressive/avantgarde metal pioneers started their career as thrashers, and not surprisingly their early exploits are anything but orthodox. This 4-songer here already suggests at the great experimental potential the band would unleash in the future. The opening "I Am Free" is a twisted bass-dominated instrumental technicaller which nicely warms up the setting for the coming of "Kill For It", a stylish progressive shredder with a solid galloping motif and a quirky funky mid-section. "Just Let Me Die" is more on the stomping side if we exclude the thrash/deathy passage in the 2nd half which again transforms into an impetuous galloping delight. The final "Eternal Wedlock" carries on with the gallops which are finely cemented by the onmipresent bass this eventful musical scenery topped by not very convincing semi-declamatory deathy vocals. The sound quality is pretty rough not doing much justice to the inspired innovative musical delivery.

Eternal Wedlock Demo, 1987

Official Site

ALCHEMIST (CZECH)

Based on the EP: this band offers modern groovy post-thrash with alternative elements; this is mid-paced heavy music with also a few doomy elements. The guys have another band: Chewbacca, where they offer similar stuff.
"Alchemy of Rising" is an elaboration on the sound from the EP; so expect the same approach, a bit more complicated probably, with longer compositions which escape the groovy "traps" well although the delivery is too soft to impress the regular thrash metal fan; and consequently it's the doom metal fans again who will have the last laugh, with the progressive metal ones a close second (check out the labyrinthine "GoDevil"). The singer offers a warm clean tember which doesn't emit a lot of passion, but is at least on with the peaceful, moderately complex musical approach.
"Damnation" is a modern post-thrash affair sustained in an optimistic uplifting mood with frolic tunes cruising around touching alternative, grunge, stoner/doom, blues, and all else. It's probably only the closing "Speed of Darkness" which holds some little significance to the genre here being a heavy pounder with a few up-tempo passages.
"Fear Business" is a more vivid and consequently a better affair with a few more dynamic progressive power/thrashers ("Muse VI. (Fear Business)") "roaming" around, but bit by bit the sound acquires the expected mellower tendencies the faster-paced "Necropolis" near the end offering some thrashier respite among the prevalent engaging progressive opuses.

Disaster Area Full-length, 2007
Doublemind EP, 2008
Alchemy of Rising Full-length, 2011
Evilcrusher Full-length, 2013
Damnation Full-length, 2014
Fear Business Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

ALCOHOL (HUNGARY)

Based on the debut, this act plays 90's power/post-thrash of the laid-back variety with the casual faster interlude ("M'ediaszt'e1rok"; the crossover joys "Szakits Szat" & "Jol Erzem Magam"), and gruff semi-clean vocals with a drunken flavour.

Ezen a Szinten Full-length 2007
H'ezam Egy Kocsma Full-length 2009

Official Site

ALCOHOLATOR (CANADA)

A 4-song demo of old school thrash of the fast dynamic variety; the sound quality is not very clean, and at times the music takes certain crossover aesthetics ably supported by the gruff hardcore vocals. Watch out for the hidden track which is a cover of "The Ballads of S.O.D.".
"Coma" arrives soon after the demo and some of the tracks from it have inevitably found their way onto the full-length ("Liquid Thrash" & "Drink Beer or Die Trying"). The album opens with the razor-sharp instrumental "Intoxication 101" which warms up well for the ensuing speed/thrash "carnage", which will throw you into spontaneous headbanging on the merciless "Abduction". Then comes the pleasant surprise: the cover version of their compatriots Exciter's "Pounding Metal" from the legendary "Violence & Force", well done preserving the seismic, "pounding" character of this immortal cut. Later on the guys don't bother to slow down a lot playing at breakneck speed at times with sharp, cutting riffs also recalling another big name from their homeland: Sacrifice (check out the varied, semi-technical closer "Wasted (All The Time)"). The vocals this time are better with a cool mean, semi-shouty edge. Some of the musicians also play in the death metal outfit Under the Grave.
"Escape from Reality" provides thrash right as rain with fast blitzkrieg riffs pouring from all sides to no end the comic, and also melodic, "reliefs" coming in the form of short optimistic crossover cuts ("Out Of Control"). "Plastic Surgery" will sprain quite a few necks along the way, whereas the closer "Cursed By My Thirst" will bemuse thanks to its steady mid-tempo rhythms served on a suggestive doomy base even recalling Candlemass at the end.

Drunker than Thou Demo, 2010
Coma Full-length, 2011
Escape from Reality Full-Length, 2015

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ALCOHOLIC DISASTER (POLAND)

A decent take on the "alcoholic"... sorry, classic thrash/crossover idea with aggressive death-ish vocals; more modern-sounding elements sneak through ("Well Of Souls") here and there, bringing slower heavier guitars with them, as opposed to the brisker delivery on the rest.

Irrumabo Vos, Et Pedicabo Vos EP, 2010

ALCOHOLIC FORCE (COLOMBIA)

These Colombians pull out brisk retro thrash "courting" the German school above all (think "Pleasure to Kill", "Possessed by Fire"). So expect fast music with slightly screamy high-strung non-clean vocals, simplistic sharp riffs, and one much milder heavy metal delight ("Beers And Bitch") sounding like a leftover from an early Grave Digger album. The same guys are also responsible for the more speed metal-based Legacy and the similarly-styled Savage Aggression.

Alcoholic Force EP, 2009

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ALCOHOLIC RITES (EQUADOR)

Fight for your "alcoholic rights" with Alcoholic Rites! The full-length is a full-on "alcoholic" thrash metal attack of the "alcoholic"... sorry, old school, led by the black/death/thrash metal guru of Equador Lord Devastador. The music is predictably fast sometimes spiced with brutal blasting outrages (the maddening grinding 1-min madness "Violent Desecration", and elsewhere) ala Deathwitch and Torture Squad, but make sure not to miss the cool speed/thrashy headbanger after it "Tortured". The Devastator doesn't change his singing approach, the one he uses on his other more brutal death metal projects, and his brutal guttural growls don't quite suit the more laid-back music.

"Fermented in Hell" is a brutal offering the band now sounding way more black metal in the beginning the friendly tone arriving with the frolic speedster "Death Blade", but more brutal downpours carry on alternated by the more mellow cuts almost on a song-by-song basis before the final string of pieces which are vigorous extreme black metal outrages with not many musical merits consequently ruining the mild positive impression from the previous material.

Metal Alcoholico - Destructivo EP, 2008
Alkomanifesto Full-length, 2010
Fermented in Hell Full-Length, 2013

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ALCOHOLIC TRENDKILL (BRAZIL)

Modern thrash with hammering meaty riffs in mid-pace which doesn't change much throughout except for the stoner/doom joy in the middle "Alcoholic Trendkill" (!?) which is a bit more energetic. The angry attitude of Pantera is reached on the most intense moments, including in the semi-shouty semi-clean vocal department, but generally this is not very brutal stuff.

Alcoholic Trendkill Full-length 2010

Official Site

ALCOHOLICA (ARGENTINA)

This is melodic post-thrash with heavy/power metal overtones, carefree laid-back music with a lot of melody assisted by cool emotional clean vocals not far from Sebastian Bach (Skid Row); the musical approach may also remind you of the Americans' "Slave to the Grind", also based on the 3 very good ballads.

Danzando En El Fuego Demo, 1996

ALCOHOLICA (POLAND)

This is rockish feelgood heavy/proto-thrash which provides the odd brisker track ("Master Plan", the excellent mid-paced lasher "How Far Is Far Enough"), but this isn't the focus here as the guys surely aim at the more melodic loving fanbase who will jump around to oblivion on those merry uplifting tunes.

Sub Zero Full-length, 2017

Official Site

ALCOHOLOCAUST (PORTUGAL)

Based on the "Speed Degredo Metal" demo, these Portuguese pull out raw primal speedy black/thrash metal crossing early Whiplash with early Bathory to a mixed effect. The sound quality is awful, and at times it is quite difficult to distinguish what is going on with the vocals doing a particularly big damage with their screechy hysterical pitch. Some of the band members operate in the death/black metal circles with Dark Agression, and also take part in the pure black metal "misanthropes" Infernus.

Ensaio Do Diabo Demo 2006
Speed Degredo Metal Demo 2008

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ALCOHOLOKAUST (MEXICO)

Pretty decent intense retro thrash crossing the Bay-Area sound with the more aggressive cords of Slayer and Sacred Reich ("Ignorance"). The tempo is quite fast most of the time, and the guys take no prisoners on killing numbers like "Overdoze Of Violence" and "King Of Pain". "Genocidio" is sheer Slayer-esque madness, and the closing "Plaga Humana" is speed/thrash at its best. The singer slightly disappoints with his unemotional semi-shouted hardcore delivery.

Satan Inside Full-length, 2008

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ALCOOTEST (FRANCE)

Pretty capable old school thrash with a modern production which gives the guitars a strong mechanical edge at times; the music has its technical leanings and could be likened to some of the Bay-Area acts (Testament, Exodus) except that the fast moments are not too many and the delivery is mid-paced with smashing steam-roller riffs which may wear out on a full-length, but for the time being they work just fine. The singer is more on the dispassionate dry, proto-hardcore side.

Hateman EP, 2011

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ALCOR (CHINA)

Quite cool classic thrash with a nice semi-technical edge; the Chinese thrash with passion "courting" the Bay-Area, above all, with vocals on the border of death metal with an expressed shouty baritone. "Night Of The Living Dead" is a sure headbanger, and "Order & Chaos" is a really intelligent speed/thrasher with echoes of Artillery. "Face Down" is a wilder death/thrasher and the only not very striking composition here lasting for over 2-min, closing this entertaining roller-coaster from the Far East.

On the Scorched Earth Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

ALEISTER (FRANCE)

Aleister's only album is a shining example of how moderh 90's thrash metal can sound interesting and compelling. They have been active since the late 80's, but were never fortunate to get an album deal until the mid 90's when thrash metal was in its most dormant state. Despite the having-nothing-to-do-with-metal album title, the music is forceful thrash, complex and technical (so the "tech" part from the album-title is justified) and would probably remind you of the Canadians Obliveon (their early works). The band spare no energy, and although the music never gest too brutal, it really sounds intense and hard-hitting most of the time. Still, the concentration is more on complex, technical riffage, and tracks like "Tribal Tech" and "Scorn Dread" will require your concentration to get into the vortex of heavy, unconventional rhythms. "Criminal" is another highlight, quite hectic and choppy, putting together faster aggressive riffs and swirling technical ones within the short span of 3-min. Surprisingly, there's no groove involved, but the guitars have this characteristic for the 90's mechanical, clinical sound which in this case is definitely on the positive side. The vocals might pull you back a bit staying more on hardcore territory, but this is a very minor complaint.

The "Annihilation" demo is four songs showing the band still on a more basic stage with a sound quality which is a major detraction making the guitars very buzzy on top of other minor annoyances like the chaotic song-structures, the unrehearsed shouty vocals, and the not very focused musicianship which tries to be more complex, but these attempts don't produce the desired results the riff-patterns being more straight-forward at this point in time. This is an inauspicious beginning seeing an act far from the higher standards of the scene in their homeland whose perseverance paid off handsomely some six years later.

The "Schizophrenia" demo contains tracks of the heavy type with a couple of really intriguing riff decisions, an indication that something bigger was coming this way. The overall approach recallls Defiance and Xentrix with very good vocals reminiscent of Rick Astley (Xentrix again), maybe a bit more shouty and more aggressive. The sound quality is quite muddy, but the band don't care that much about that, and shred with passion producing several fun moments for the headbangers, also laying the foundation for the coming of their magnum opus some five years later.

Annihilation Demo, 1988
Schizophrenia Demo, 1989
Tribal Tech Full-Length, 1994

ALEISTER (SPAIN)

This is groovy post-thrash of the playful, bluesy kind; mild riffing and hoarse semi-clean vocals is what one will come across here, and not much else.

Hijos De Los Hombres EP, 2010

ALEISTER C. (BRAZIL)

Based on the single, this act offer gruff classic power/thrash with both dark ("Witch Dream") and frolic/bluesy ("The Weight") rhythms topped by hoarse inebriated, semi-clean vocals. The production is a bit muddy, and the leads are quite cool with a flirty, rock-ish edge.

Witch Dream/The Weight Single, 1993
Struggle for Life Full-length, 2000
Spiritual Full-length, 2003

ALEKHINE'S GUN (USA)

The debut EP: this is an aggressive affair which "flirts" with the modern thrash/death metal hybrid the band trying to incorporate more complex ingredients into their furious approach, but their hearts by all means lie in the speedy delivery where the sound comes quite close to pure hardcore ("Bardo"). The singer shouts in an attached vicious manner and delivers with his devilish histrionincs. Some of the musicians also play in the metalcore formation Desolate.
The "...And Kings Will Fall" EP is another capable mixture of the two aforementioned styles, at times death metal ("Atlas", the chaotic brutalizer "Crown of Knives (Tsconcha Korlo)") taking the upper hand with hectic urgently technical riffs; at others thrash ("Bound", the atmospheric shredder "Endgame") pulling forward with creepy officiant rhythms. The music is on a high level again and the band should pull themselves together and come up with a full-length to satisfy the fanbase's hunger.

Meditations in Wrath EP, 2011
...And Kings Will Fall EP, 2014

Official Site

ALEKTO (BRAZIL)

These folks serve modern thrash/death which can be quite aggressive ("Who Dares to Raise the Hand") with bolder steps into death metal territory, but can also be on the more lyrical, more melodic side ("Let's Talk About War"). "Deliberate Entropy" exhibits a more serious side of the guys' repertoire with dramatic pounding riffs which kind of better match the deep atmospheric death metal vocal delivery.

The Unpleasant Reality Full-Length, 2017

ALEPH (ITALY)

This Italian act is one of the best kept secrets from the local scene there. The debut is an admirable slab of fairly complex atmospheric progressive dark/gothic thrash which indulges in long eventful compositions where hard thrashing alternates with elaborate structures with a lot of operatic dramatism involved also reflected in a couple of more quiet passages. "Depths" is built entirely on those passages and is an engaging dreamy cut of the semi-balladic variety. On the other hand, the 11-min opus "Mother of All Nightmares" is a total thrash worship with plenty of intense riffage to be savoured distantly accompanied by echoing keyboards. "In Tenebra" is an imposing doomy interlude followed by the slightly faster "The Fallen" which boasts the finest leads on the album, among great keyboard implements which ineffably grow into the final number "Acid Tears", aggresive technical thrash to the bone crossing the brutality with the obligatory orchestral sections to a pretty positive impression. The vocals are another big asset, vintage early Tom G. Warrior, forceful, authoritative and emotional.

"Seven Steps of Stone" arrives after four years and shows the guys having not lost anything from their fairly original read of the genre thrashing with style and atmosphere the whole time, maybe adding more abstractism on the longer compositions (the Coroner-esque mazer "The Voices from Below (2349 A.D.)" spiced with more sterile mechanical riffage in the vein of mid-90's Voivod). The complexity goes up a notch on the multi-layered "Chimera" which is exemplary progressive thrash overshadowing a bit the following "Tidal Wave" which is even harder to swallow recalling the final exploits of Celtic Frost on "Monotheist", only more dynamic. The highlight, however, would possibly be the energetic headbanger "Epitaph Lies" which lashes rapidfire riffs for over 9-min trying a few impressive galloping sections, before the closing "El Aleph" embalms the album in creepy medieval atmosphere with sinister keyboards overlapping with heavy volcanic riffs without the interference from the vocals producing an all-instrumental opera of moods and complex musical decisions recalling Nocturnus and early Therion on the more keyboard-infused passages. This is really good stuff which shows visionnaries with their own unique style who also show their sparkle of genius with the black/death metal act Soulphureus whose debut album "Rest in Hell" (2012) is another example of sheer musical mastery.
The promo is an imposing start for the band with its three compositions of dark brooding riffage with sudden labyrinthine decisions with again Nocturnus a fairly close soundalike except that the style here is much more thrash-fixated. "Hallowed Hatred" is a weird psychedelic mid-pacer with surreal jumpy rhythms which could have been taken from the later-period Coroner recipes (think "Grin"). The complexity only grows bigger later on the other two numbers being even stranger concoctions of hard thrashing and surreal progressive deviations the latter containing some of the finest lead sections around. The keyboard background is sinister and suggestive and plays a major role in evoking foreboding mood which could be rudely "broken" at times: check out the abrupt super-technical riff-section in the middle of "Crossroads". This may be a big pill to swallow by the unprepared, but is another testimony of sheer genius lurking in the Italian underground ready to cause a bigger damage soon...
"Thanatos" is another gem on the profusive metal horizon the band unleashing their atmospheric "handwriting" from the get-go with the progressive opener "The Snakesong", a multi-faced composition with death/doomy undercurents. "The Old Master." thrashes in a surreal choppy fashion keeping a steady dynamic pace which becomes even bigger on the next "A Game of Chess", another offbeat spacey shredder with echoes of the Australian avantgardists Alchemist. "Fire Demon" brings more darkness with sinsiter symphonic sweeps, but "Nightmare Crescendo" dissipates it with a portion of wild deathy riffage which "duels" with the more laid-back operatic passages. More aggressive thrash comes served with "Smoke and Steel (Multitudes)", but it's the creepy mid-tempo guitars on "A Renegade's Path" which will bemuse the listener more who will have realised by then that this opus has no intentions on keeping the thrash metal fanbase happy as it looks beyond the boundaries of any established genre into a universe here also the last Celtic frost album and its sequel Tryptikon reside.
The "Exhumed Alive" EP is a full-fledged full-length with its over 40-min of playing time. The good news is that the band have returned to their more aggressive roots like "Nightmare Crescendo" shows so well with its brutal death metal accumulations. "The Snakesong" is a superb surreal progressive 9-min thrasher which jumps from intense headbanging passage to funeral doomy drges in a matter of seconds. A similar approach has been selected for the other behemoth, the 9.5-min saga "Chimera MMXVII" which is a tad more pensive and elaborate; and for the excellent battle rouser "Smoke and Steel" which thrashes with more officiancy and epic swagger also serving a few breath-taking balladic strokes. The closing "The Old Master" is another more energetic composition with a more epic flavour the band sounding revitalized and determined to play a more important role on the thrash metal horizon in the days to come.

Promo Promo, 2002
In Tenebra Full-length, 2005
Seven Steps of Stone Full-length, 2009
Thanatos Full-Length, 2016
Exhumed Alive EP, 2017

Official Site

ALEX FROM HELL (USA)

Based on "X", this guy Alex (from hell) pulls out dark old school thrash which tries to sound pleasantly progressive ("Food Delivery Vehicles", "Puke Boy III Servants") at times, but it's the more direct lashers like "Thank God for D.V.R." which deliver the goods in a better way. Otherwise the approach is more on the melodic side despite the constant pounding bass in the background and the slight death metal-ish dramatism witnessed here and there. Ale provides a deep semi-clean baritone which perfectly fits the morose atmosphere.

2012 Full-length, 2012
The Revolt of One-Billion Brains! Full-length, 2013
Moths/Pimples of God EP, 2014
X Full-length, 2015

Official Site

ALEXANDER ODEN (USA)

Based on "The Culmination", this multi-instrumentalist acquits himself with a classic blend of thrash and death metal which is both fast and slower, and doesn't excel in the technical department like it could be expected from one-man projects. The most proficient aspect are the leads, but they are short and not very widely covered except on the closing "Barren Utopia" where Alexander allows himself a deserved show-off. The vocals are nothing special, typical gruff death metal ones, quite audible and expressive though.
"Denihilism" is another run-of-the-mill offering, ordinary thrash now more on the modern side with groovy passages boldly inserted on the slower material ("Sin Hoarder") which also goes away with the finest lead sections. "Malignant" near the end is a fine fast-paced shredder, but most of the time the approach is too pedestrian to make this effort highly recommended.

Abaddon Rising Full-Length, 2014
The Culmination Full-Length, 2014
Denihilism Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

ALEXANDER PALITSIN (RUSSIA)

Based on "Dystopic", this Russian multi-instrumentalist offers intriguing progressive thrash which isn't miles away from his main act: the Death worshippers Incarnator. The music has its dramatic heights, and is overall not very intense with a bigger focus on melodic hooks serving some impressive technicallers like "Tolerance Overexposed" and speedy shredder "Spiritual Marauder". The fast-paced delivery on the latter influences the next "A Myriad of Doomsdays" which is a nice piece with great melodic leads. "451" is another exemplary technical thrash cut, more dramatic than fast-paced, and "Responsible for Staying Alive" finally bows to the Death heritage with a portion of stylized Schuldiner (R.I.P.)-esque riffs. "Destructive Elements" is a cool progressive number before "Ministry of Truth" shreds you to pieces with its sophisticated elaborate guitars which get translated in a more simplistic fashion on the closing "Hound Dog" which also flirts with an Elvis song. If we exclude the slight fuzzy tone of the guitars the rest is really worth hearing seeing a young talent ready to follow on the steps of old Russian guitar wizards like Valerii Gaina (Kruiz).
The debut is another commendable effort the guy sticking closer to the progressive patterns resulting in more thought-out pieces some of which (Deep Water") will stay in the listener's mind due to their memorable, individualistic nature. More rigorous technical thrashing can be heard on "Incubus" and "Rancour" the latter a cool reminder of the man's infatuation with Death. There are also two instrumentals opening and closing the album, the closer "Unimpeded Invasion" being a fine ripping cut with very good leads. Alexander provides a mean-ish semi-clean tember distantly echoing Dave Mustaine, maybe a tad hoarser and more audible.

Incubus Incorporeal Full-length, 2011
Reflection Full-length, 2013
Dystopic Full-length, 2014

Official Site

ALFA (GREECE)

Based on the "Empire Of Fantasy" demo, this band plays heavy abrasive thrash/proto-death with brutal low-tuned vocals. Nothing exceptional if we exclude the atmospheric keyboard implements which remind of their compatriots Nightfall and Septic Flesh. The music is mid-paced with gothic/doomy overtones and a fuzzy guitar sound. Some of the band members are active again under the name Koronzon playing classic thrash reportedly more dynamic and less atmospheric.

Welcome To My Funeral Demo, 1994
Live in Salonika Live album, 1994
Empire Of Fantasy Demo, 1995

Fan Site

ALFORNA (AUSTRIA)

Abrasive noisy modern post-thrash which is more on the dynamic side, and doesn't plod around, but provides several headbanging opportunities which still have to fight sometimes with the seismic groovisms which occupy at least half the space here. The singer is quite angry and shouty, but his more romantic side shows up here and there (the balladic title-track where the guy unleashes a cool semi-clean voice). It's a pity that the fuzzy guitars impede the proceedings creating quite a bit of noise which may have been intentional, by the way.

Awake Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

ALGEBRA (SWITZERLAND)

A new Swiss formation who would make you listen with care with their invigorating brand of retro thrash which is built around the heavier and more technical side of the Bay-Area community (Defiance, Testament, later-period Vio-Lence, etc.). The guys indulge in heavy volcanic riffs without forgetting the more dynamic side of the genre ("Away From Us All", "Polymorph") where fast steel guitars will nail you to any wall around. Speed and technicality come seamlessly "married" on the excellent "Tim's Cavalry" which is a raging puzzler with infectious hooks and various tempos. "Insane Times" is a more stripped-down exploder which raises the bass performance level high, among other niceties. More musical "intelligence" comes served on "(K)YFOSOLYF" before the closing "Crook" shoots all competition with the final portion of fast blazing riffs. This is clearly a no-brainer for old school thrash fans and it's a kind of pity that the guys have no real rival on the Swiss scene (Surrealist, but that's about all) at present.

"Feed the Ego": the Swiss "mathematicians" are back in line sounding a tad angrier recalling Seputura's best period (1989-1991) plus an added death metal-ish aggression ("Survival Nowadays") which works fine embedded in the clever song-structures. The stylized assault goes on unabated the speedy riffage seldom interrupted for more than a few seconds where a more atmospheric ("Necessary Evil", the semi-balladic surprise(or rather a shock) "My Shelf") or a more technical ("Profound Guilt") sneaks in. Headbangers' siege await you in the 2nd half, first with "Feed Me More" which thrashes directly without any ado, and then with "Egosystem" which is a technical speedster with slower Slayer-esque passages on the chorus-like moments. All "forts" around the world will break after "The Fort Broke" is over, another fast-paced shredder, before "Monotask" closes the album with an exiting portion of clever speedy guitars. This is a 2nd consecutive strong effort from these talents, and it seems as though they have occupied the very front row of Euro-thrash right now regardless of how many veterans and young aspirers are in operation at the moment.

The EP is already a pretty strong beginning the band having epitomized their intricate approach down to the -A-. The delivery at this early stage is fairly aggressive with a tad less polished proto-death flair, but the technical proficiency has already been nailed perfectly as well as the razor-sharp riffage and the sweeping fast-paced passages some coming with a brutal blast-beating ("Pronator Teres") swirl. "III" is a choppy "puzzle" superseded by the raging technicaller "Procreation" the latter taken straight from the early-Gorguts catalogue. The vocals are more aggressive with an expressed shouty death metal tone which the guy later stifled to better fit the less intense musical approach.

Procreation EP, 2009
Polymorph Full-Length, 2012
Feed the Ego Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

ALGESIC MASSACRE (USA)

This demo combines fast raw tracks with atmospheric slower ts resulting in a sound which comes pretty close to early Messiah (similarities in the vocal detment, too), or their compatriots Silent Scream. There are more intense proto-death sections, but most of the time this is pedestrian unimpressive thrash.

Fate of Death Demo, 1988

ALGOPHOBIA (ITALY)

These death metal wizards had a short spell with the thrash metal movement in their spawning stages, and they do a great job executing some exquisite technical death/thrash on this demo which begins with "Human Shreds", a choppy technicaller with brilliant vortex-like melodic riff-patterns which stand on the border between death and thrash crossing on each side through various times as thed eath metal side is supported by the low-tuned subdued death metal grunts. "The Black Voice of Wind" begins lke a chapter from Coroner's "Mental Vortex" with strong bass implements and more outstanding intricacy following suit as the tempos change almost on a second-by-second basis with creepy serpentine riffs occupying the middle. "The Walled Town" is a top-notch technical speedster with stylish hammering guitars and more serious progressive build-ups plus more serpentine Coroner-esque riffage served later alongside a sprawling lead section. "Dreams" bashes more violently, but the more technical ways of execution can't possibly remain buried, and more complex riff-formulas inevitably emerge performed in a fairly dynamic, intense hectic fashion again recalling the mentioned Swiss masters to whom this grand effort could be considered a most tantalizing tribute.

Dreams Demo, 1994

Official Site

ALIBI FOR A MURDER (GERMANY)

Based on "Pieces", this act crosses thrash and death metal on a strong technical base. The guys don't waste their time and start perplexing the listener from the get-go with the super-technical shredder "Wrath Of Eden" which would make anyone's head shake with the sudden time and tempo shifts. At this early stage the only unmitigated annoyance may be the very common vocal "duel" between the guttural brutal death and the shrieky black-ish throats, but their presence is totally overshadowed by the virtuous music which on the acrobatic masterpiece "Anhuman Doctrine" reaches Shrapnel-like proportions. "Writers Of The Apocalypse" introduces more thrash to replace the prevalent death metal side, and consequently sounds more controlled albeit still quite hectic and complex. "Sanity In Madness" death/thrashes with more melody, but watch out for the brilliant technical mid-break and the hallucinogenic exiting fast passage the llatter seamlessly binding this cut with the next "Life Request", a more melodic death/thrasher which will remind of Atheist with the sudden time changes and the spastic vortex-like rifforamas. The closer "Distortion Mirror Twin" is classy technical number with echoes of Coroner and Alarum with its swirling, both technical and melodic, riff-patterns those intercepted by breathtaking balladic insertions and more extreme speedy sections. This is a sheer no-brainer, a truly impressive entry into the technical thrash/death metal catalogue and a major contender for the Top Ten of 2016. Reportedly on the earlier efforts the band were fonder of the metalcore idea, but one must track those down: they can't possibly be slouchers based on the virtuoso performance here...
The EP is on a more pristine stage the guys honing their weapons, still coming with a fair bit of interesting moments, like the hectic dissonant riffage on the intense dramatic deathster "Teenage Trend Kill"; or the atmospheric blacky sweeps on "On Broken Wings". The rest is pretty traditional modern death metal faithfully following the Swedish canons crossing early In Flames with the more elaborate, progressive landscapes of Dissection.
"A Moment of Annihilation" is a diverse black/death metal saga with occasional sparkles of technicality which are sadly buried in the hyper-active bombastic delivery which would make fans of early Cradle of Filth, Dissection and Dimmu Borgir fall in love with it instantly.

Alienated Creator EP,2007
A Moment of Annihilation Full-length, 2009
Pieces Full-length, 2016

Official Site

ALIEN SQUAD (PORTUGAL)

Based on "Order Not Government", these guys pull out brisk speedy thrash/crossover ala D.R.I. mixed with the more thrashy attitude of Hellbastard's "Natural Order". The headbangers will be more than happy with this one and would hardly look for variety from this constant speedy downpour; there is one, though; the jolly punkish "Death Cycle", and the heavy metal hymn at the end "Laugh After Death (...Finally Free!!!)". Despite the one-dimensionality this effort delivers well with its jolly optimistic atmosphere which never gets lost for a split second.

From Alienation To An Alien Nation Full-length, 2000
Sons Of A Switch Full-length, 2002
Order Not Government Full-length, 2005

My Space

ALISTER (SERBIA)

Based on the EP, this band pulls out heavy pounding power/thrash of the classic type with cool Max Cavalera-like vocals. The songs are mid to up-tempo with hard sharp riffs; "ted" is a nice heavy semi-ballad. The two Ivan's (Petrovic & Dulic) also take t in another Serbian act: the death/thrash metal outfit Stillborn.

"Memories and Dreams" shows the guys in a different light as this is atmospheric thrash with slight shades of black and death metal with a healthy presence of keyboards bringing the delivery close to early Therion, Nocturnus, and later-period The Kovenant. There are quite a few quiet moments, atmospheric interludes, an abundant use of leads, which are very cool, by the way, as well as a couple of more laid-back power/thrashy passages where melodic clean vocals can be heard as opposed to the harsh death-ish main ones. The band spare no speed on at least half of the compositions although those moments come close to the 90's power/speed metal movement.
"Obscurity" abandons the atmospheric keyboard passages and concentrates on riff-driven music with the softer power metal sections still "roaming" around. Watch out for awesome speed/thrashers like "Cicatrice" which take no prisoners with their heavy pounding, but also quite fast, approach.
"Otrov" is a laid-back offering clinging between post-thrash and power metal; it's pleasant, smoothly flowing, music without too many edgy moments, those being the more vigorous speedster "Pru'9ei mi Ruku Spasa" and the closing thrashy outburst "Ja Sam Tvoj Strah".

Memories and Dreams Full-length, 2002
Obscurity Full-length, 2002
Where Angels Bleed EP, 2006
Otrov Full-length, 2010

Official Site

ALITOR (SERBIA)

Based on the full-length, this band play first-class progressive/technical thrash without forgetting about the dynamic side of the genre, and the opening "Realm of Grief" shows a nice co-existence between hard-hitting classic thrash and more elaborate passages. "Eternal Depression" starts with en explosive death metal outbreak before turning into another fabulous display of virtuous musicianship the latter carrying on until the end. The death metal-ish dramatism reaches Death-like sophistication and actually the shadow of the great Americans can also be felt on a few other compositions later on. The band play at high speed throughout and one can't help, but admire the seamless transitions to a more technical play which works "miracles" on intense shredders like "Nothing Lasts Forever" and "Drained". This album is a topshelf achievement in the technical thrash (probably a bit of death metal as well) sector, and except for the new Mekong Delta opus there aren't too many candidates to be able to beat it in the year 2014.

Embittered EP, 2012
Eternal Depression Full-length, 2014

Official Site

ALKANZA (BRAZIL)

The debut: clumsy, almost doomy modern post-thrash drowned in groove, groove, .. and groove. There's some dynamics involved later on, but those unbearably heavy rhythms will squash you way before you reach the closer "Residente do Caos" which tries to jump around in a less predictable Helmet-esque manner. The singer is the prototypical angry shouter.
"O Ceu Da Boca Do Inferno" is a more dynamic affair although the approach remains in the modern confines and is at times closer to the mainstream thrashcore of Pro-Pain. "Em Coma" is an intense shredder which predates a string of mellower numbers that bring the sound back to the heavier post-thrashy patterns from the debut.

Colonizado pelo Sistema Full-Length, 2015
O Ceu Da Boca Do Inferno Full-Length, 2017

Official Site

ALKATRAZ (POLAND)

Stylish dark/gothic thrash metal which starts with a very cool technical number ("Error") in the best tradition of Obliveon and Voivod, but moments of the kind are not to be heard later on. This is brooding music, rich in atmosphere with not much speed involved, except on a few occasions ("S'b3owa Prawie Te Same") with deep clean vocals taking turns with harsher ones. The descents to doom waters are inevitable, but they are done with style: the Oriental instrumental "Ayy...Yy G:or", which doesn't forget to thrash along with the best near the end. "Ycie-Pyk,Lufa-Pyk" is a nice ballad after which the tempo doesn't leave the semi-balladic one, leaving this effort clinging more towards the doom/gothic side in the 2nd half. But it's not bad at all and will remind you of the British masters of the genre The Whores of Babylon.

Error Full-length, 2001

Official Site

ALKIIR (USA)

A not very known entry into the American speed/thrash metal catalogue which acquits itself with clever, serious music which is pure progressive thrash for most of the time surprisingly predating the sound epitomized by Heathen on "Victims of Deception". "Hamburger" could be considered a curiosity, an odd doomy ballad with very good clean vocals which plainly semi-shout on the rest. Then comes the funky/jazzy hallucinogenic extravaganza "Viking", and one may doubt if he/she listens to the same act from the beginning. This could be a compilation of some sorts since there is a border between the two halves as both have their charm the 2nd one coming with a better sound quallity.

Alkiir Demo, 1990

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ALKIRA (AUSTRALIA)

Based on the "Red Devil" EP, these Aussies provide a more energetic brand of the 90's post-thrash with brisk biting guitars, a few cool melodic licks, and several more intricate passages mostly present on the engaging title-track which opens this short effort in an ambitious, almost progressive, manner. Later on what one will come across is heavy grooves served in a more dynamic form with the staple shouty quarrelsome vocals. Make sure not to miss the technical section on the closing "Masks of The World" which is quite a whirlwind of riffs akin to Megadeth plus a nice speedy exit, something on which the band could elaborate on future releases.
"Juggernaut": the Australian "juggernauts" are back in action and show a hungrier attitude towards the classic thrash vogues. As such this album is a sheer ripper even featuring a few blast-beats (the opening "Submission Therapy") which ably assist the impetuous thrashing encountered for most of the time. "The Fleet" is a cool interlude, a laid-back modern power metal all-instrumental hymn, but after it comes "Inebriated State" which is thrashing madness to the bone. Then the band relax with a string of more modern proto-groovy compositions among which "Shattered End" is a diverse 8.5-min opus followed by a good stomping cover of Sepultura's "Inner Self". This is a pleasant surprise which sees a young act not content to stick to the same repertoire, and their future "exploits" may even be more interesting.
"Klotho": the tireless Aussies are here again, this time with a full-length, and their angry antics start from the get-go with the short ripper "Hospice" this cut's more orthodox chug turned into furious semi-technical shred on the following "Karmaphala". The fast and the furious will rejoice on this one, but comes "A Thalidomide Child" and the environment changes into more controlled, mid-tempo thrash with stylish quasi-progressive quirks including impressive exploits in the lead department the latter kind of ruined near the end due to the untimely insertion of brutal blast-beats. "Gene Supremacy" starts with a nice lead-driven intro before the guys start thrashing with passion again breaking the established path with portions of more technical performance. "The Null" raises the lathe even higher with choppy technical death/thrashy breaks resuting in an appealing progressive deathster, this number's headbanging urgency partially cancelled by the atmospheric accumulations on the more moderate, also more conventional "Wilted Rose". "The Hybrid Horde" comes thrashing with force also deathing at some stage with surreal brutal additions making this composition another less ordinary listen with fast and slower rhythms alternating to a hallucinogenic effect. "Curse of Clotho" is just a short balladic instrumental, predating the closer "The Last Life", another reckless headbanging track with seldom a calm momet during its 7-min except for the imposing operatic outro. The band have logically reached something like a creative peak here, and one can only hope that they would be able to sustain that high level of musicianship and ideas on future releases.

Down from the Hills EP, 2012
Red Devil EP, 2013
Juggernaut Full-Length, 2014
Klotho Full-Length, 2016

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ALKOHOLIZER (ITALY)

A worthy addition to the Italian thrash metal scene of the new millennium; the album starts with the infamous Tom Araya-esque shout from "Angel of Death", and the singer really delivers a tone close to his peer from Slayer. The "Reign In Blood"-like aggression later comes mixed with less intense, but equally as enjoyable speed/thrashers (the roller-coaster "Sardinian Beer" which may arouse your curiosity in trying this "sardinian beer"). Your head will definitely drop (if not your head, one of your jaws at least) on the explosive "Age Of Misery", but you will have time to fix it back on the following "Alcoholic Metal" which is optimistic melodic thrash/crossover. More extreme Slayer-sque thrash on "Kill Without Remorse" which lasts until the end including the brutal hardcore joke "Sick Orthopedic" and the excellent more speed metal-fixated closer "Drinking Till Death".
The EP is 3 tracks of fast aggressive speed/thrash which creates numerous headbanging opportunities those coming with an echo of Slayer again on the closing "Resuscitate". The sound quality is great the guitars ripping with might leaving a lashing reverberation in the air.
"Free Beer Surf's Up" is a cool new chapter from the guys' career, and they show no remorse speed/thrashing with gusto their histrionics now resembling Forbidden's debut and early Exodus. Some thrash/crossover ("Surfin' Beer") comes thrown in to spice the delivery, and generally the headbanging will seldom stop the fast lashing riffs reaching the moshing apex on the maddening "Antisocial Trap" and the closing rager "Stop Hit Off the Ghetto-Join the Boar Party!!!" which title sums up quite well the mood which will be felt by the majority of the fanbase: this is a wild thrashin' party with a lot of beer and "boars"!

Drunk of Dead... Full-length, 2009
Sardinian Boars are Back!! EP, 2013
Free Beer Surf's Up Full-Length, 2014

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ALKYMENIA (BRAZIL)

Based on the full-length, this band play modern thrash/post-thrash/death metal with a very boosted modern production. The computerized nature of the album hides the actual skills of the people involved, but the headbanging potential here is hard to disguise the music being fast and intense losing the dynamics a bit in the middle with a string of aggro-pieces ala Pantera. It has no problems captuirng it later on, though, and the effort finishes in a high energy tone. The singer is a brutal death metal growler whose not very decipherable rendings are more of an obstacle than an asset.
"Strong And Unfailing As A Thunder" is a more brutal "beast" the band moshing with more passion this time their enthusiasm also reflected in the choppier, more varied rhythm-section. The groove eventually returns on the noisy "Coward Even With Yourself", but the guys manage to intrigue the audience with the more engaging chugs on "I Say 666" and the excellent semi-technical shredder at the end "Falling Bombs" the latter even reminding of the later-period Death exploits.

They Don't Deserve Respect EP, 2009
Dark And Nebulous Full-length, 2012
Strong And Unfailing As A Thunder Full-Length, 2017

Official Site

ALL AGAINST (FINLAND)

Modern thrash/death sustained in an energetic pace, but done with a little imagination despite the more stylish inclusions on "Drug Of Choice" which is a varied atmospheric track with technical overtones. The singer is a brutal low-tuned growler.

Blindness EP, 2012

ALL AMORT (ITALY)

3 songs of modern thrash/death which is quite dynamic and even has pretensions at some originality coming from the unobtrusive keyboard presence. The guys try to play fast, but change the rhythms often resulting in a less predictable, even technical at times, delivery ("End of the Remains"). The vocals are the characteristic for the style subdued apocalyptic shouts which come interrupted by more screechy, blacky ones.

Lost in a Corner EP, 2012

Official Site

ALL CONSUMED (UK)

Crusty modern thrashcore with brutal shouty death metal vocals; the approach is fairly intense, but seldom touches death metal, the only time that happens being on the spastic brutalizer "Infectious", and on the extreme grindy closer "Infectious".

No World Order Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

ALL FORLORN (SOUTH AFRICA)

Based on the full-length, this band offer decent, but predictable modern thrash/death which sticks to all the familiar gimmicks of the style with little deviation from the path. Still, there's plenty of energy to be savoured here: check the brutal blasts on "Passing on the Moon" which come accompanied by more original semi-technical riffage; or the furious speed/thrash crescendos on "Of Eyes"; or the dramatic deathfest "Taking Down the Thunder". The sound quality is quite good the guitars cutting like a knife the whole time getting nicely melodic on occasion, like on the semi-progressive arrangements on the closing "The Dank".

Dizzy Blank Dead EP, 2008
Taking Down the Thunder Full-length, 2010

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ALL HELL (USA)

The debut: a hellish trio from the States who pull out energetic black/thrashy boogie which is as close to Motorhead as it is to Amebix due to its abrasive, crusty guitar flavour. The songs are short and bashing except for the more laid-back Venom-esque heavy rocker "Dead of Night" and the morose doomster "Child of God". The vocalist sits between Cronos and early Tom Angelripper, but seems enthusiastic and motivated despite the drunken blend which shows up from time to time.
"The Red Sect": the crusty saga carries on unabated the guys obviously perennially fascinated with the old British acts this time adding a more aggressive, speedy colouring also recalling early Bathory (ironically on "Venomous"). "Graveyard Dust" is a stomping doomster with echoes of Bathory again (remember "Raise the Dead"), but such stops from the merry boogie roller-coaster are not to be encountered very often "the red sect" casting its spell in a monotonous, but consistent manner.
"The Grave Alchemist" is here, and "he" sounds suitably angry and crusty again. In other words, expect no suprises along the way although "Necrosophia" may make some cringe due to its remorseless steam-roller approach; and "Wed The Night" is very close to capturing the doom/gothic charm of the Type-O-Negative exploits. There's a more pronounced hardcore edge to the guitars, but that only makes the music sound more intense and kind of more optimistic.

The Devil's Work Full-Length, 2014
The Red Sect Full-Length, 2015
The Grave Alchemist Full-Length, 2017

Official Site

ALL OUT WAR (USA)

Based on "Into The Killing Fields", this band plays modern thrash metal of the intense hardcore-ish type. The approach isn't very predictable since the guys don't lash out in a stripped fashion the whole time, but vary things quite a bit: there are quite a few interesting gimmicks, like heavier more classic-sounding Slayer-esque passages which spring up on almost every song; more intriguing semi-technical arrangements, formidable steam-rolling exits (check the one on "Mercy Killer"), etc.
"Give Us Extinction" carries on in the same vein as its predecessor, the band staying closer to thrash this time with heavy stomping cuts ("Worship the Cancer") blending well with the faster-paced material ("In Praise of Leeches", the excellent mosher "Circling Vultures") the latter dominating the landscape, making this effort a nice headbanging offering.

Destined to Burn EP, 1994
Truth in the Age of Lies Full-length, 1998
For Those Who Were Crucified Full-length, 1998
Condemned to Suffer Full-length, 2003
Assassins in the House of God Full-length, 2007
Into The Killing Fields Full-length, 2010
Give Us Extinction Full-Length, 2017

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ALLEGIANCE (AUSTRALIA)

Although nothing spectacular or groundbreaking, Allegiance's debut is a fair piece of classic thrash metal on the more aggressive side with good, resembling a rougher version of James Hetfield, vocals ; Vio-Lence is an obvious influence on the band, but more aggressive, death metal-tinged riffage is also present ("Twisted Minds", "Path of Lies") as well as more melodic, groovy tracks ("One Step Beyond"). There is not much variety in the proceedings, but the album works fine as a whole. "Skinman" is the band's answer to modern 90's thrash, and is not as good.

D.e.s.t.i.t.u.t.i.o.n. Full-length, 1994
Skinman Full-length, 1996

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ALLIGATOR (ITALY)

The band's first two albums are good competent Bay Area-influenced thrash metal. "Immortal Entity" may be considered the band's finest hour, featuring long, thought-out songs with very good, sometimes quite fast, sometimes semi-technical guitar work; the last three tracks go over the limit, being more than 7-8min long, but the guys manage to make them sound interesting and appealing, especially "Bog of Horror": a great instrumental with a ticularly impressive start, with the main theme from the horror film "Halloween" opening with a nice thrashy edge, followed by stupendous speedy riffs and marvellous solos that won't let you loose until the very last minute; a truly impressive achievement, and one of the highlights of the whole Italian thrash metal scene.

It's 1994, and the band are back, showing total disregard towards what was going on the scene at the time, lashing out excellent retro thrash, this time maybe less striking and slower. The guys waste no time, starting thrashing with full force from the opening "Cerebral Implosion", which shows more respect towards mid-period Sepultura rather than the Bay-Area, with an atmospheric, technical twist. "The Cage" continues in the same vein, being a fast aggressive thrasher with great leads. "Decimator" is a cool technical piece, mixing more intriguing elements with furious thrash. Then comes an interesting merry thrash/crossover version of the The Beatles' big hit "Help", which may take a few listens before one recognizes it, although the soft mid-break, which may have been taken directly from the original, will "help". No more romantic deviations, and with "Lullaby For The Unborn" the album enters its most interesting t: the longer more technical songs; the latter is a puzzling slower composition bordering on doom/death, with clever technical riffs and a weird balladic/funky exit. "Skeletons' Beach" begins like a punk/crossover number, but the aggression picks up soon, although the slower atmospheric moments here predominate again. All is forgiven, after one hears the opening brutal grinding minutes of the 8-min "Tarantula", which certainly finds time for more elaborate sections, staying in the mid-tempo sector for most of the time. The band's "flirtation" with punk and funk finally finds full realisation, on the 40-sec joke song "Drinking Milk From My Knees", after which comes another slow heavy piece: "Fetching Fear". One may wish to hear something to bang his head on, and his wishes will come true on the final "Natural Victims", which excels in brutality, boldly jumping on the extreme death metal wagon, a situation saved by the peaceful mid-section; the end is again sustained in a fast aggressive thrash fashion with a hardcore tinge, coming mostly from the shouty group chorus.
In case of you wonder whether the band managed to stay clear off the modern trends, give a listen to their "Rules", where you'll see that they have become another "prey" to the groove ("get into the groove...", like Madonna used to sing), although this effort is quite heavy and intense, not far from the best Pantera works.

Immortal Entity Full-length, 1991
Cerebral Implosion Full-length, 1994
Rules Full-length, 1996

ALLMADDA (BRAZIL)

This outfit serve quite engaging progressive power/thrash which starts very ambitiously with the 9-min opus "Within The Nails Of God", a cannonade of sounds and moods which throws too much at the listener. The following "F.T.S. pt 1_ Walking With The Dead" is a more accessible technical thrasher, but on the following parts from this internal quadrology the sound becomes too operatic and less intense. "Majestic Sound Of The Storm" is an epic creepy quasi-doomster, and the rest of the cuts follow this trend getting too mild and balladic with echoes of Pain of Salvation and Evergrey. It's a pity that the band lost the thrash idea so quickly, but on the pure progressive metal side this album should work on all counts also thanks to the very good emotional clean vocals.

Majestic Sound Of The Storm Full-Length, 2015

ALLTHENIKO (ITALY)

Speed/thrash of the more melodic variety; the opener "Thrash All Around", despite its title, is the most melodic piece here, more in the speed/power metal mould. Later things get more interesting with the smashing, "Painkiller"-influenced "Wheel of Fortune" and the brutal, almost death-ish "Dead Brain". Still, the music is mostly speed metal with a very good melodic lead work and cool fast tempos, and will please fans of early Helloween, Scanner, Stormwarrior, the French Killers, above all. The singer has a very good, high-pitched, Ralf Scheepers-like tember and, of course, suits the music just perfect.

"Devasterpiece" is an obvious improvement over the debut starting energetically with the up-tempo "Erased". "The Evil Forces" is slower, but the heavy smashing riffage makes it even more satisfying than the opener. "Thunder And Steel" is a nice galloping power/thrasher, followed by the similar "Law Of The Stronger", which "surrenders" the album to the power/speed metal field. "Metal Unchained" carries on in the same vein: a speed metal winner ala Gamma Ray and Hammerfall, with the singer screaming his lungs out no worse than Rob Halford himself. "Rise And Fall" is not a Helloween cover (thank god- this is probably the worst Helloween song ever), but deepens further into speed metal territory, with no hints at thrash. "I'm A Fuckin' Zombie" is an instant speed metal classic, the best song here, paving the way for another cool speed metal winner: "Feel The Power". "When This Demon's Coming" returns to thrash metal territory, retaining the power metal elements, and this is quite good crunchy power/thrash ala Eidolon and Morgana Lefay. The closer "The Godfather" is very close in spirit to its predecessor: pounding heavy riffs attack you from all sides, but like every good closer, tries to sum up the whole album, adding the necessary amount of speed metal hooks, making this effort one of the better ones from this side of the spectre, but... thrash metal fans, there's enough here to keep you on the alert, so don't ignore this entertaining slab of pure old school metal.

Well you may have to ignore their "Millennium Re-Burn", though, since it strays further away from the thrash metal idea now a full-blooded power/speed metal affair, and quite good for what it is, still having quite a bit of energy within, but belonging to an entirely different field.
"Back in 2066 (Three Head Mutant Chronicles": back in the future with this new album which is again more in the speed/power metal camp without too many references to thrash. This is catchy melodic music reducing the speed even further with only "2006" coming out with all the guns blazing moshing out less controlledly; with the soaring speedy opener "Back from the Other Side" a close second. Fans of the 90's speed/power metal, and even the 80's classic heavy metal movements will be all over this effort.

"Fast and Glorious" is "fast'n glorious" speed/proto-thrash which lashes impetuous riffs to no end the delivery now recalling early Rage quite a bit if we exclude the several happy sing-along choruses. "KaiserSteel" is a smashing speed/thrasher, a brutalizer second to none which may scare the unprepared with its proto-blasting tendencies. Then comes the infectious galloper "Holy War, Holy Fighters" followed by a couple of merry power/speedsters "Power To Rebel" ruining the intentions a bit with its mellower epic references, but perfectly setting the tone for the closer which is a cover version of Saxon's "Power and the Glory I.U.W.S.". This isn't a bad effort at all, and could even be viewed as the band's finest achievement so far.

We Will Fight! Full-length, 2006
Devasterpiece Full-length, 2008
Millennium Re-Burn Full-length, 2011
Back in 2066 (Three Head Mutant Chronicles) Full-Length, 2012
Fast and Glorious Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

ALLTORMENT (BRAZIL)

A nice short effort serving pounding modern thrash with angry death metal vocals and several classic shades. There's a lot of melody as well mostly reflected in the stylish lead guitar work (check out the cool semi-ballad "Covered Eyes"). "Vengeance" is a smashing headbanger with proto-death touches which shows another, arguably more appealing, side to the band's style.

The End Of Peace Season EP, 2010

ALLUMINIA (PORTUGAL)

This Portuguese outfit specialize in heavy crunchy modern post-thrash which lacks dynamics and prefers to move forward in a calm, not very intriguing, manner reminiscent of Flotsam & Jetsam's 90's period elaborating things quite a bit on the closer "A Tide Of Thoughts" which lasts for whole 12-min and for at least half the time is tender balladisms topped by fine proficient leads which are the only saving grace of this not really memorable release.

Power On Self Test Full-Length, 2007

ALMATOR (ECUADOR)

This 4-song demo shows an act circling around the classic power/thrash patterns by displaying more melodic performance which goes a notch up the aggression scale on the not very eventful, and kind of monotonous, cover of Sodom's "Remember the Fallen". At least "Thrasher" justifies its title at the end by moshing out in a fairly intense fashion spitting fire and venom for just over 2-min. The singer is a mean husker semi-reciting for most of the time, but in an audible vociferous manner.

Infierno Demo, 2012

Official Site

ALMETAL (ECUADOR)

Based on "Headbanger", this act specializes in the ambitious blend of power, speed and thrash metal and generally the guys know how to thrash with force (the short hammer "Faise Fe") helped by the abrasive guitar sound which makes the riffs sound really heavy and crushing. Some melodic relief is offered mostly by the short stylish leads and overall the not very clear production doesn't stand too much on the way of the inspired performance. The two bonus tracks at the end must have been recorded at an earlier time since they show a bigger fascination with pure speed metal and overflow with catchy infectious melodies and sing-along choruses which to some may be the better option.

Primer Golpe Full-length, 2008
Headbanger Full-length, 2012

Official Site

ALMIGHTY (HUNGARY)

An extremely bussy sound quality leaves much to the listener's imagination who should be able to distinguish intense thrash which becomes more listenable on the enjoyable thrash/crossover cut "Pain Games" and on the intense Bay-Areasque "Transmitigrations" where the not bad semi-clean singer can also be heard more clearly. The band members later took part in other bands around the Hungarian underground: Catheter, Atomic, both thrash metal-related; and at present they practice heavy sludge/doom with Zord.

Demo Demo, 1990

ALMOSTRAGE (SLOVENIA)

This outfit were earlier operating under the name The Fifth Season when they only managed one demo in 2006. The music on offer here is also thrash, but of the modern playful type if we exclude the descents to doom metal ("The Dark Side") which are quite appropriate, by the way, and don't ruin the proceedings. More rigorous thrash arrives with "Immortal Thoughts", but its bright example isn't quite followed by the following songs the gothic/doomy hints ala Paradise Lost coming back to rule till the end still entwined with sharp thrashy rhythms, topped by expressive brutal death metal vocals slightly recalling early Chris Holmes (Paradise Lost). The guys also have another project running simultaneously, Insanity, where the style is also retro thrash.

Almost There... Full-Length, 2011

Official Site

ALMOST IS NOTHING (USA)

Based on "Ways to Spend the End of Days", this act plays run-of-the-mill modern thrash with the staple energetic pace and the melodic tunes. Professionally executed and all, but heard so many times before... The final "Solace" is a nice touch, though, being a nice atmospheric peaceful instrumental.

The Long Emergency EP, 2005
Ways to Spend the End of Days Full-length, 2007
Wings of Deliverance Full-length, 2008
Almost Is Nothing EP, 2009
Scavengers Remain EP, 2010

My Space

ALOOP (DENMARK)

Based on "Dead End-New Deal", this formation pull out intense modern thrash/proto-death with elements of metalcore. The guys know very well the niche they're aiming at shredding with understanding of the genre canons, but this leaves a very little room for improvisation or surprises. This is plastic soulless music all over which will have no problems satisfying the new metal fans. The closing "Hell on Earth Part 2" is a cool mid-paced dramatic steam-roller which is the highlight of this pedestrian offering.

Global Crisis Full-length, 2005
Dead End-New Deal Full-length, 2012

Official Site

ALPHAKILL (CANADA)

A promising debut from Canada this way comes. This formation specializes in intense technical thrash which is built on a speedy base in a way not far from the Flaming Anger early efforts and Paradox's "Heresy". The opening "Thrash Eternal" fulfills the expectations for "eternal thrash" with speed and technicality ably mixed together. Stylish galloping riffs will overwhelm you later on "Corrupted Masses" which will remind of both Forbidden's debut and Helstar's "Nosferatu". The immediacy of the early tracks is abandoned for the engaging "Unmitigated Disaster" which is intense speedy thrash for most of the time with several time and tempo-changes. "Threat From Within" is a puzzling technicaller which is another fast-paced offering the band seldom relying on other ingredients to spice their elaborate approach. "Rebellion" could pass for a more relaxed piece with its more direct riffage, but the final trio goes up the complex scale once again, "The Age Of The Debt Slaves" being a clever take on more headbanging thrash, and the closer "Skullcrushery" introducing some effective melodic hooks among the speed/thrashy "carnage" which comes with impressive lead guitar work all over. The singer has a forceful, but not very emotional, semi-clean tember who acquires some shouty tendencies at times. This is a really cool addition to the trash metal catalogue of recent years showing a band cleverly blending the more thought-out and the headbanging side of the genre also being on the way to forge their own face. The guys used to play a softer form of progressive metal with their older outfit Necrogenesis under which name they released two demos in 2003.

Unmitigated Disaster Full-length, 2012

Official Site

ALTAR (HOLLAND)

Based on "Red Harvest", these guys play pretty decent modern thrash/death, not too far from acts like Dew-Scented and Carnal Forge. The tempo is mostly energetic and fast, seldom reaching for the ultra-brutal death metal sound: the beginning of "On The Throne", and the following death metal-ish "The Unbeliever". Some melancholic, gothic-tinged tracks are also present (To My Friends"), as well as some which sound surprisingly classic (the closing "Punishment For Decency").
"In the Name of the Father" is a much better work; it's more brutal and faster with more nods to death metal with great headbanging riffs. There are certainly pure thrashers present, but the more aggressive death metal numbers also work very well with respect shown towards the Floridian scene. "Our Dominion" is the odd lighter track, slower and atmospheric, with a certain gothic edge, recalling the Greeks Septic Flesh. The last song is a cool, and a faithful cover version (if we exclude the brutal vocals, of course) of Iron Maiden's "The Trooper" with the staple dual guitar melodies, typical for the Brits, well performed.

Youth Against Christ Full-length, 1994
Ego Art Full-length, 1996
Provoke Full-length, 1998
In the Name of the Father Full-length, 1999
Until Heaven Forbids Best of/Compilation, 2000
Red Harvest Full-length, 2001

Official Site

ALTAR (ROMANIA)

Based on "Respect", this is minimalistic modern groovy post-thrash with hardcore touches. "Born Again" tones down the heaviness opting for a sound not far removed from The Black Album, but the approach is too melodic exiting the post-thrash fields on a few times, trying its hands on a couple of ballads/semi-ballads, among which "Freedom" is a nice piece with good melodic leads. The singer is close to James Hetfield, but comes softer on the balladic numbers.

The Last Warning Full-length, 1993
Respect Full-length, 1995
Born Again Full-length, 1998
Atitudine Full-length, 2006

Official Site

ALTAR OF DAGON (USA)

A diverse interesting mix of doom and thrash metal; both styles are given an equal room with doom metal probably covered a bit more widely. Still, when the guys thrash, they can rank among the best in the field: the heavy steam-rollers "Hell City" and "It's Alive"; the raging proto-deathster "Dead Man's Eyes"; the technical chaotic "Murders in the Dark"; the galloping power/thrasher "Plague Called Man". The closer "Names of the Dead" is a compelling 8-min opus mixing the two trends into one adding a couple of furious death metal sections to increase the already wider appeal. The guys have done a good job blending two contrasting genres coming up with an effort which will please fans of both styles.

Scriptures For This Dead Earth Full-length, 2010

Official Site

ALTAR OF FLESH (USA)

Based on "The God Standard", this band offer modern thrash/death metal which is a total Bolt Thrower worship on the heavier, slower moments. On the speedier escapades ("War of Ages") the guys come up with a style of their own which is built around more technical arrangements. Both sides aren't mixed very well together as the faster-paced one is better presented in the second half where more interesting things occur although the sloppy sound quality ruins the impression to an extent.

Raw Meat EP, 2006
Vilified Full-length, 2009
The God Standard Full-length, 2017

Official Site

ALTAR OF SIN (SPAIN)

Based on the debut demo, these guys pull out brutal merciless old school death/thrash metal, constantly fast and bashing, not devoid of several blast-beats, but with a clearly audible guitar sound. The vocalist is a real violent death growler, but his style suits the relentless aural assault, except on the Exorcist cover at the end "Black Mass" where the pace nicely changes into more controlled speed/thrash.

"The Damned Dogs from Hell" offers a more moderate delivery still built around the classic thrash/death patterns, but more varied and not that fast. A shade of technicality sneaks on the slower compositions ("Metal Massacre", the frantic tempo-changes on "Predator"), but the real revelation would be the 7-min of constant speedy thrash/deathing "Looking at the Eyes of the Beast" which is a nice eventful cut the immediate follower "Slave" being the ultimate headbanger for the new generation. The violent vocals remain as well as the crystal clear guitars.

"Tales of Carnage First Class" is a much faster effort. The guys thrash with conviction often rubbing shoulders with pure death metal also inserting the odd grindy section ("Tales of Carnage") at times. The overall approach now resembles early Unleashed with more emphasis on thrash. There's no variety in the delivery which may be a slight pullback, but this short effort hits you like a hammer in the face like not many contemporary works would be able to.

Altar of Sin EP, 2006
Praising Evil EP, 2008
The Damned Dogs from Hell Full-length, 2010
Tales of Carnage First Class Full-length, 2012

Official Site

ALTAR OF THE KING (USA)

A decent album of modern/classic power/thrash metal of the more melodic variety; "Fire" opens it in an energetic headbanging manner, but later on the sound gets slower, with doomy overtones ("Burn To The End", "Undertaker") even, which is not too bad, but songs like the very toothless heavy metal anthem "You Broke The Rules" would hardly make the thrash metal fan jump with joy. "The King Is Coming" captures the lost inertia with sharp faster riffage, but with also badly distorted synthesized vocals. "Outta Sight" is horrible jazzy pop with no shades of metal at all, and here I can see quite a few listeners losing their patience. Then the guys move to semi-doom tracks before the fierce "Glass Kingdom" explodes, but too late to save the day. Sadly, the end is preserved for another hard'n heavy experience: "Say Goodbye", which would please fans of Ratt or Bonfire, rather than the more hard-boiled metal ones.

Altar of the King Full-length, 1995

ALTARS OF ANNIHILATION (ARGENTINA)

Guillermo M Nudel is the name of the man who handles all the instruments here to release this cool tribute to the old school which starts ripping you apart from the very opening "War Crimes", but shows some mercy later on on the more officiant "Apostles of Doom" which tries to deserve its title with morose, slower riffs. "Natural Laws" is the other place where the man slows down a bit, but the title-track is an awesome headbanger with pounding rhythms its rigorous nature partly cancelled by the balladic lead-driven instrumental "The Bavarian Illumination". The closing "Fall" is a nice diverse composition, but the quiet balladic passage is too long for it to be a distinctive epitaph to this decent effort.

Illuminate, Eliminate Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

ALTER (USA)

Based on "Mirrored Thoughts", this obscure act pulls out a more intriguing version of the 90's thrash trends coming up with a very heavy abrasive guitar sound which shares some of the dark complexity of Nevermore and the Germans Courageous, but also has a sound of its own which is more aggressive, spiced with a cool keyboard background. The album starts with two brooding proto-doomy progressivers, but the heavy riffage kind of steps aside for "Purgatory", a good semi-ballad with excellent leads. "The Burning" is a dramatic steam-roller, a bit faster than the preceding song, but at this point the listener is already aware that this is not going to be the fastest release in the world, and has probably adapted to this moderately elaborate heavy affair which livens up at the end for the more energetic closer "Mirrored Thoughts" which thrashes more intensely, with a contrasting quiet lead-driven break in the middle. This is not bad at all in consideration of the fashionalbe at the time musical tastes, albeit somewhat samey and not very diverse, with the crushing riffs not carrying a lot of melody, despite the compensation offered by the lead guitarist who is truly the star of the show. The singer is a hoarse semi-cleaner, at times more passionate, at others more indifferent, but always on par with the sombre musical approach. The guys tried more melodic progressive metal with their other band The Odyssey Project, with one demo recorded in 2008.

"Half in Shadows" is more deeply immersed in doom, thrash metal now only slightly hinted at. Still, this remains pretty good music with heavy crushing guitars and a vague keyboard background. The vocalist (if it's the same one) pulls out standout performance with his attached dramatic delivery summing the best from Buddy Lackey (Psychotic Waltz) and Michael Coons (Laaz Rockit). "Rest In Pieces" is a good dynamic power/thrasher, but the rest is more of the dark brooding variety, also eliciting a lot of atmosphere: check out the diverse closing instrumental "Daybreak In Hades" which concentrates on the virtuoso lead guitar work.

Half in Shadows Full-length, 1994
Mirrored Thoughts Full-length, 1998

ALTER SELF (GREECE)

The guitarist/vocalist Andrew Geo from the technical death/thrashers Raw in Sect takes part here for the release of another technically-minded stuff not far from the music offered on the other band's demo. The guitar work is equally as complex, but the pace varies more, from mid to up, with a more frequent inclusion of melodic hooks which starkly contrast with the brutal low-tuned vocals.

The Promo is just 3 tracks which sees the guys moshing out in a fast intelligent manner with clever technical riffs, sudden semi-blasting explosions, and a very strong bass bottom. The leads are also worth mentioning being short and melodic, and at times form a nice duel with the ever present bass (check out "Fovea"). "Separation from God" is a nice speedster where the main rough death metal vocals are intercepted by semi-whispered declamatory ones. This is a good effort which could serve as the backbone for a full-length finally. The guys have already tested the soil well...
... and indeed they're here again with their full-length effort although it's hardly the best one they're capable of. The 3 tracks form the previous demo are present assisted by good crispy riffs on every other piece where the flag of modern thrash is raised quite high mostly sustained in dramatic mid-tempos the more technical leanings again only hinted at (check out "Separation From God" again) with a more serious song-writing also evident on the longer "Flesh Sculpture" and the pensive proto-doomy closer "Reverie". The guys spare themselves walking well trodden paths with not much excitement generated in the process.

Ashes over Eden Demo, 2009
Promo Demo, 2012
Seven Deadly Blessings Full-Length, 2013

My Space

ALTERA (RUSSIA)

This recording is a typical product of its time, modern jumpy post-thrash with a few curious Oriental motifs which intertwine with much less interesting groovy rhythms the latter recalling Helmet and Biohazard ("Cold Reality") at times. The vocalist rends his throat trying to sound more melodic at times, but the nature of the music hardly needs a more capable singer.

Pressure Demo, 1996

ALTERED AEON (SWEDEN)

This band features Kjell Andersson- the singer of the progressive thrashers Azotic Reign. This is excellent technical thrash which has something in common with Azotic Reign, but takes the music on a higher level. The sound is modern, quite intense with dark overtones, sounding like a more aggressive version of Scariot, Nevermore, and Azotic Reign again. Such mind-blowing technical riffs have not been heard for quite a while. At the end there is a bonus track: a very good cover of King Diamond's "Welcome Home".
"Reborn as Gods" comes after a 3-year break, and although the audience expected another full-length, the guys for the moment take it easy, with only 4 tracks recorded at this stage, all of them short blistering technical thrashers, pretty much in the vein of the debut. This is great music; some of the songs are furious riff-fests: "Vortex", others have this dark, brooding Nevermore vibe ("Darkness Profound"), but this one provides a whirlwind of superb technical riffs. Hopefully this is a rehearsal for the new album, and judging by it, the band are more than ready to strike again with full force...

Dispiritism Full-length, 2004
Reborn as Gods Demo, 2007

My Space

ALTERED DOMINANCE (USA)

This is a project of Mike Hickey- the guitar player who took part in both Venom and Cronos earlier in the late-80's/early-90's, and is presently operating under the name Goatreign playing classic heavy metal. This 3-track demo is hardly his highest achievement showing the guy "enamorated" with the groovy post-thrash sound of the time, producing bland dragging stuff with also bluesy and stoner overtones. Mike sings in a drunken gruff manner with the casual more emotional higher-pitched tone.

Demo Demo, 1995

Fan Site

ALTERED MOVES TWO (HOLLAND)

Standout progressive thrash metal combining the manic hectic patterns of Realm and Sieges Even with the elaborate arrangements of Toxik's "Think This". So this is both energetic and thought-out music which already sounds ambitious enough on the engaging menacing opener "Fear`s the Conductor" which twists and turns into many directions blending fast headbanging (short, though) with puzzling structures, a couple of interesting discordant moments, and weird spacey soloing. "Shifter of Minds" will try to "shift your mind" with another demanding mix of speed/thrash and complex progressive, the latter being more melodic this time, although the fast blitzkrieg passages will try to compensate for them big time. "Rammstein (Murderous Rashness)" (could have influenced the German industrial metallers for the name) is built around heavy pounding riffage with an American power metal flavour, but the technicality doesn't drop much, only that the speed disappears almost completely. "Action Speaks (Louder Than Words)" will overwhelm you with edgy galloping riffs which will grow into several raging sections in the middle; the technical performance goes off a little on this one, the guys bashing more directly also adding a cool chorus reminiscent of Skyclad's "Men of Straw" from "A Burnt Offering for the Bone Idol". "La Villa Strangiato" is a virtuoso instrumental, a meandering piece of the calmer type, even with adherences to blues, but done tastefully with the obligatory frantic speedy moments, among other gimmicks (proto-jazzy breaks, spacey hooks ala Spastik Inc, etc.). This is actually the closer to this obscure gem which rings truer than same year's Donor's "Triangle of the Lost", and even Deathrow's "Life Beyond", and could have been a fitting addition to the progressive/technical thrash metal wave in Germany which started around the same time.

Shifter of Minds Full-length, 1992

ALTERED SAINTS (VENEZUELA)

The "Santos Y Prejuicios" single is just one song, the title-one, of course, which shows the band fond of classic-sounding thrash/death metal with a cool progressive edge ala Misanthrope and Nocturnus. The guys blast at times, but in a good technical way, playing in fast pace with interesting stylish hooks, the singer being a low-tuned death metal growler.

Ritos De La Noche Single, 1999
Santos Y Prejuicios Single, 2004

Official Site

ALTERED SHADE (FRANCE)

This French outfit pull out abrasive modern thrash/death which seldom leaves the Gothenburg canons on which it has been modelled. The guys thrash with vigour as evident from the mosh favourite "The Last Door", and even blast-beat more erratically on the wild "The Engraved Path". Moments of respite are inevitably provided (the heavy balladic stomper "Meanders"), but the harsh semi-shouty death metal vocals don't suit them that well.

The Path Of Souls Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

ALTERED STATE (USA)

There is only one person known from this band's line-up, and this is the legendary Ski: the Deadly Blessing singer who later took part in less known acts like Obliterator and Faith Factor. This demo is his 1st venture after his exit from Deadly Blessing, and is quite a good slab of technically-minded power/thrash, slower and more complex than the style of his other band. "Minds Realm" is a twisting mazey number with time and tempo changes aplenty, but enters "Off with His Head", and things get more straight-forward in a vigorous galloping manner; this one is vintage late 80's Helstar. "Judge for Yourself" is a nice ballad with great leads, cancelled by another brisk track: "Leading Me Blindly" (not "Killing Me Softly"- ha ha!) which lashes in a heavy pounding fashion, but delivers with sharp riffs and clever technical decisions. "Winter Warlock" is more ordinary American power metal with a catchy memorable chorus, a tendency continued on the final "Mental Rage" which is a bit more aggressive again recalling Helstar, but their early years. Ski traditionally pulls out standout performance with his versatile tember covering all pitches with ease and confidence constantly switching from one to another. Less than a year later the band was no more, and Ski was seen in the power/thrash metallers Obliterator for another very good demo in a similat vein.

The compilation features all the songs from the demo, plus 4 new cuts the last of which is just an outro. The new additions are not that striking being heroic power metal ala Attacker's debut and Griffin seldom pulling anything memorable with only Ski performing on a high level with his staple high-strung antics.

Demo Demo, 1991
Winter Warlock Compilation, 2012

ALTERED STATES (CHILE)

Heavy bass-dominated thrash metal having already acquired a few heavier modern shades. The guys excel in the instrumental part, not giving too many chances to the bland semi-shouty singer to perform, with the excellent "Punto Muerto" which, despite the fuzzy guitars, is a convincing piece in up-pace with a nice balladic mid-break. The other songs are longer without offering anything too interesting the bass overshadowing the other instruments almost completely adding a cool funky/jazzy vibe on the final "Get Ready".

Punto Muerto Demo, 1991

ALTERNATIVE ATTACK (UK)

This act features Spike T. Smith- the drummer who hit in the beginning for Sacrilege. His next very short-lived project pulls out good dynamic speed/thrash metal along the lines of Toxic Shock and early Exumer. "Wheels Wheels" at the end takes a jollier crossover direction ala Suicidal Tendencies. The band changed their name later to Destroy Babylon, but there's no information as to what musical direction they took.

No Turnin' Back EP, 1987

ALTHARIA

Groovy noisy industrialized post-thrash with brutal death metal vocals; heavy mid-paced stuff with a few faster surprises and sparse shades of gothic ("Fill the Silence").

Brainsexxx EP, 2010

ALTHOTAS (CANADA)

This is atmospheric thrash/black which is reflected in long pensive compositions intercepted by sudden blasting moments the latter never a distraction, but a needed deviation from the officiant macabre background. The singer also adds to the sinister settings with his witch-like semi-whispered delivery. The overall approach may remind of mid/late-80's Bathory with a shade of Burzum on those faster sections.

Haunted Forest Full-length, 2001

My Space

ALTUS MORTEM (DOMINICAN REPUBLIC)

Based on "Sentenced Era", this band offers a dark blend of classic and modern thrash metal with brutal death metal growls. The music has its progressive leanings, and is relatively complex trying to mix fast and slow sections the latter clearly predominating coming close to the dreamy landscapes of Opeth on the longer compositions (the ambitious closer "Dust Becomes Hope"). There are a few clever technical riffs to be heard here and there, and they should be given more space for the future, for the sake of the overlong more quiet progressive passages.

METAi Full-length, 2004
Sentenced Era Full-length, 2005

Official Site

ALUCARDA (DENMARK)

Doomy/stoner post-thrash with a hardcore edge; amateurish stuff as a whole with hysterical shouty vocals and distorted very noisy guitars. It has this catchy drunken, merry atmosphere, but somehow the delivery is just too loose and careless for this effort to really make an impact.

Raw Howls Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

ALWAYS AT WAR (USA)

This new formation have thrown an "f bomb" over us the latter consisting of choppy modern guitars and a few more intriguing semi-technical decisions in the vein of Annihilator. One has to listen with care, though, since later on the band shred quite cleverly on the excellent puzzler "Faceplant". Still, once the groove enters, it starts eating the music away and it's not very long before the guys surrender to the trite 90's formulas the only more convincing number being the cool atmospheric doomy closer "Rebellion Rising", a spacey opus with Pink Floyd-esque abstractisms, the shouty quarrelsome main vocalist aptly replaced by a more attached cleaner one.

The F Bomb Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

ALWAYS FALLEN (BELGIUM)

Modern thrash metal of the energetic, but also generic, type mixing melodic with more aggressive faster riffs, the latter delivering in a better way (the cool headbangers "Prophecy" and "Morality"), although "Back Where I Belong" is not bad, either, a cool semi-balladic pounder; neither is the closing "Ra'ad", an atmospheric doomy Oriental composition. The music packs a punch, and although it brings nothing new to the already overfull table, will please fans of both the harder and the more lyrical side of the genre.

Reflection Full-length, 2009

Official Site

ALYANZA (SPAIN)

This Spanish outfit plays fairly good classic thrash which is characterized by a rich dark sound and sharp smashing riffs accentuated by a heavy rhythm-section. The music is mid to up-tempo with a frequent alternation of pace. "Bitterness Of Hate" is a raging speedster ala Paradox and Toxic Shock with a short blasting section included. "Lost Behind The Silence (1975-1996)" is a surprisingly lyrical semi-ballad with a more updated modern-ish sound, recalling Kreator's "Outcast". Mentioning Kreator, there are strong similarities in the vocal department with the German act as the singer here epitomizes Mille's early vicious snarl quite well. The hard thrashing carries on after that with "No Human", but "Future" is another stop from the "train" being a mild power/thrasher, and "Show Me All Your Fears" is a diverse piece mixing fierce riffage with more quiet balladic passages. The closing "Spiral Vortex" is an intense shredding instrumental with a beautiful melodic lead-driven break; a fitting epitaph to this intriguing album which shows a new act with a vision and an individual take on the good old ideas.

"A New Beginning" is indeed "a new beginning" for the band, and not a very good one. The band have modernized their sound quite a bit, but fortunately there are "saviours" along the way: the short bombastic semi-technicaller "Suicide", the speed/thrashing bomb "Immortal". Still, the fans would hardly feel extremely happy on the tender ballad "This Moment", or on unexciting mid-pacers like "Soul Wandering" & "My Ashes Reborn" which strongly remind of Kreator's "Outcast" again, hardly the best album in the Germans' catalogue. The final "We Are Dead" is a sad nostalgic echo of the classic times thrashing hard again for a "good-bye", but this effort is just not good the band having ruined their impressive individual delivery for the sake of a much more ordinary modern style.

Mind Control Full-length, 2011
A New Beginning Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

ALYIS (USA)

The debut is a raging thrashing demo which easily surpasses most of the official releases at the same time in terms of aggression. Dark Angels "Darkness Descends" and the works of Wehrmacht are an obvious influence; there are proto-death ts, too, but the music is pretty much very aggressive thrash with short, 1.5-2.5min long tracks; definitely not for the faint-hearted.
The "Suffer At Birth" demo is whole 11 songs long and shows the guys trying to adjust to the growing death metal fashion. The adjustment is still pretty thrashy, though, coming in the form of a not very even blend of fast proto-death sections and heavy, almost doom/deathy, ones topped by the brutal death metal vocals which are surprisingly expressive and intelligible despite the bad underground sound quality. This is aggressive stuff again, showing a band on the way to transforming into a full-fledged death metal outfit if having lasted longer.

Demo Demo, 1989
Suffer At Birth Demo, 1991

AM I BLOOD (FINLAND)

There have been quite a few bands from Finland recently, who have tried to walk in Metallica's shoes. Apently Metallica's size fits this band best. All their works stick to the post-thrash style of the Black Album. At times the music leaves the thrash metal realm, and wades into other (classic heavy or power metal) territories, but then safely returns to the eslished formula. For fans of the Black Album this band are a must. The guys were previously known as St. Mucus under which name they released two full-lengths and one EP in the mid-90's.
Wow, these guys are still alive, which is pretty surprising provided that they have remained silent for over 10 years. Despite the big hiatus don't expect any surprises on "Existence of Trauma", though: there's no change of style the band sticking to the familiar post-thrash style already well familiar from their early output. The problem is that this new offering is hardly an improvement over their last effort, reducing the edgy riffage for the sake of a more polished, even grungy at times, guitar sound which lacks "teeth", only thrashing harder on occasion ("The Dawn Became Their Pride"), leaving the album hanging outside the thrashy fields for at least half the time. Modern metal hasn't said its final word yet, but these Finns will have to put more effort in the future in order to keep their boat "floating", especially after their presence on the scene is not very frequent at all.

Am I Blood Full-length, 1997
Agitation Full-length, 1998
Gone With You EP, 2000
The Truth Inside The Dying Sun Full-length, 2001
Existence of Trauma Full-length, 2011

Official Site

AMAGON (AUSTRALIA)

This band play quite standard modern Swedish thrash/death which tries to be more stomping than fast-paced, but the guys don't have the ideas to liven such a delivery, and overall this is quite repetitive saved by the more lyrical, melodic passages: the "devil-ish" Oriental motifs on "Devil Spawn", the excellent virtuoso leads on "Hypocrisy", the laid-back doominess of "The Web", etc. The singer doesn't energize the musical approach a lot due to his low-tuned growling which distantly resembles the one of Karl Willets (Bolt Thrower).

Cremated Enemy Demo, 2012

Official Site

AMAK KUOK (MEXICO)

If it wasn't for the messy sound quality, the listener could have enjoyed this quite cool concoction of speed, thrash and power metal with an interesting edge, reminiscent of Aftermath and early Attacker. The singer is an acquired taste with his very dramatic and very high-pitched tone, not too far from King Diamond himself, which he mixes with more straight singing from time to time. Nevertheless, the thin leads and the drums, which are put too up front in the mix, leave a lot to be desired although some noteworthy speed killers ("Holocausto") and heavy more complex power/thrashers ("Templos Caidos") will make you listen with care.

Despertar del Guerrero Demo, 2007

My Space

AMALGAMA (USA)

Based on the full-length, this formation pull out edgy crispy power/thrash with a classic echo which is seldom betrayed by more modern arrangements. The music packs a punch (check out the merciless piece "Slip Into Darkness" and the speed/thrashing delight "The Blackest Day") with fast'n tight rhythms covering most of the space here replaced by the casual heavy stomping number which are the "bringers" of the modern "winds". The singer is quite good as well with his dramatic versatile performance covering a wide gamut of moods without pitching it too much.

Stainless EP, 2007
When the Dust Settles Full-length, 2008
Heed the Horns: Still Alive from WRPI EP, 2009
Amethyst EP, 2010

My Space

AMARAN (SWEDEN)

An excellent outfit fronted by the cute Johanna DePierre whose voice resembles the one of Santis (Crushing Blow). Her voice accompanies very well executed modern power/thrash, not far from the works of Arch Enemy from around the same time (think "Anthems of Rebellion", "Doomsday Machine") with equally as flashy guitar work. The debut contains the softer material where also shades of gothic and doom can be felt ("Imperfect"; the brilliant semi-ballad "Little Victory"; the atmospheric closer "Void") among the crunchy heavy riffage. "Lullaby" is a very good dramatic thrasher with the more intense shredder "Received A Kiss" coming close with its consistent semi-technical rhythms.

"Pristine in Bondage" is a more aggressive affair starting with the thundering "Atropine" which sets the tone for this almost purely thrashy effort which gets more aggressive on the following "Revolution Without Arms", an intense headbanger, also recalling the early works of the French Carcariass. Catchy melodic licks ala The Amott brothers will one enjoy on the galloping speedster "Coming Home", sustained in the best vein of the Canadian one-album-wonder Messiah Force. "Inflict" is an ultra-heavy shredder with doomy overtones, but there will be "back on the horses' back" on "Without Stains" which is a nice mixture of fast and heavy riffs. Guitar virtuoso ts awaits you later on, on a string of more temperate mid-paced numbers before the seismic "Crow Me" comes crashing down with another portion of hammering riffs of the doom-laden type. The closing "Primal Nature" sums up the album with sweeping melodies, galloping rhythms, and hard crunchy riffs, remaining the last song composed by the band, who scattered in various directions after that: the drummer Robin Bergh joined the reformed doom/deathsters October Tide, while DePierre disappeared without a trace, to the metal world's utter chagrin; unlike the bass player Ronnie Bergerstf1'e5hl, who keeps himself busy with quite a few acts around the Swedish metal circuit: the legends Grave, the doom metal heroes World Below, etc.

A World Depraved Full-length, 2002
Pristine in Bondage Full-length, 2004

Official Site

AMAXEZ (ISRAEL)

This act is famous for giving "shelter" to the Kreator guys during the Germans' visit to Israel, and their controversial stance against the obligatory military service in their homeland. Music-wise the band are not very close to Kreator, offering a more serious, albeit more flawed, delivery crossing thrash, power and progressive metal in the not very best way. The music has its merits, but the mix is a bit awkward on the longer compositions whereas on the shorter ones ("My Powerful Shade") the thrash attack is well achieved. "Memorialist" is an overlong ballad, but its clumsiness is compensated right after with the cool dramatic thrasher "Hell Raiser". No such highlights later on, the guys producing another mess at the end, with the 9-min opus "Grimy Formula" which has doom, thrash, and death metal all thrown chaotically on top of each other to not very impressive results. The vocalist is more on the death metal side, semi-reciting with no shade of attachment for most of the time, coming close at times to the early delivery of Daniel Brennare (Lake of Tears).

Absolute Egoism Demo, 1992

AMAZARAK (BRAZIL)

Black/thrash of the old school sounding close to early Bathory, and early Whiplash on the more "stylish" moments ("Ascens'eo Do Anticristo"); fast simplistic music with raspy vocals occasionally blasting in a less controlled modern black metal fashion ("Sob O Sinal De L'facifer"). "Sovereign And Proud" is a nice mid-paced pounder, but expect heads to fall on the next smashing "Lendelrios Batedores De Cabe'eza" and on the total nod to the early speed metal school "The Horsemen Of The Black Circle".

Do Anticristo Full-length, 2009

AMAZING GRACE (USA)

Punky, sincere thrash/crossover ala Broken Bones, with references to Motorhead ("No Solution") as well with memorable shouty choruses and naive, but charming semi-declamatory, punkish vocals which sound better on the softer, more heavy metal-based material ("The Day").

Entities Full-Length, 1986

AMBOOG-A-LARD (USA)

The band's demos are really good energetic classic thrash metal which would not leave your CD player for a long time although the odd exotic name might have pulled back quite a few fans back in those days. That's why their debut (although it brings a "new hope") comes as a surprise, being progressive power/thrash metal: quite complex, meandering and not very easy to swallow even after a few repeated listens; on top of that the modern trends have taken a considerable t of the band's potent sound (think mostly Metallica's Black Album, but here the music is even more modern-sounding), especially on the longer songs ("New Hope", "Medicine Man"). There is, of course, the obligatory ballad, which, unfortunately, is miles away from the Metallica achievements that it tries to imitate. Not a completely bad album, but the guys would have been perfectly well off carrying on with their compelling old school sound.

Demo Demo, 1990
Demo Demo, 1991
A New Hope Full-length, 1993
Faith in Chaos 2001 Full-length, 2001
Faith in Chaos 2003 Full-length, 2003

My Space

AMBULANCE (SWEDEN)

This is intense crusty thrashcore which has a characteristic surreal sound with a shade of black metal despite the dominant bashing approach, which is on the listenable side, producing a couple of weird spacey riffs which are way better than the strained shouty vocals. "Programmed to Receive" is an atmospheric post-blacky, all-instrumental, number contrasting with the other no-bars-held material.

The End Of Our Time Full-Length, 2004

AMBUSH (SERBIA)

This promo comes with a very good sound quality the guys dividing their delivery between the two camps: one half of the songs are sheer speedy delights, the other one is aggro-thrashy, expressed in longer less immediate tracks. Both approaches alternate throughout as the effort opens and closes with the fastest tracks, the closing "Lizards In Democracy" being an industrialized hardcore-ish raver to which the hoarse semi-death metal vocals are a perfect match. The guys mix thrash and groove on their other project CounterIgnition, and some of them go straight into a metalcore territory with another outfit, StrikeBack.

Promo Demo, 2003

AMBRYO (FRANCE)

A modern mixture of thrash and death metal in various tempos and a touch of industrial, but nothing really extraordinary, despite some not very successful attempts at a more atmospheric technical play ala Obliveon and Baghead.

aMbryO Full-length, 2005

Official Site

AMEBA SUICIDA (BRAZIL)

Based on the "Hard, Hard, Hard..." demo, this act deliver rough, unrehearsed clasic thrash which on top of that is served in long compositions where some sloppy fast-paced thrashing can be caught. "Our Days" is a more comprehensive speed/thrasher where the vocals can also be heard more clearly being mid-ranged semi-clean with a drunken tember. The rest is amateurish mess well deserving the awfully sloppy sound quality.

Intro the Mc Humba Demo, 1989
Hard, Hard, Hard... Demo, 1991
Rock & Roll De Lo Tercero Mundo Demo, 1992

AMEBIX (UK)

This band are important to many metal sub-genres, but their involvement with thrash is not very big, and it includes the two full-lengths. The music is very psychedelic, crusty, doomy, progressive and even industrial. Venom is an obvious influence, but these guys do a lot more using this base. A cult band whose shadow would later be seen in bands like Godflesh, Neurosis, Cult of Luna, etc.

The legends of the crusty idea are back after a long absence to pour more life into the reunion mania. "Sonic Mass" starts in a fairly subdued manner with the new wave cut "Days", and the fans will immediately get terrified. But enters the heavy, abrasive guitar wall of sound on "Shield Wall" and everything is back to normal the guys switching onto their staple moody, psychedelic, industrialized, one-of-a-kind style which sounds like the perfect blend of mid-period Prong, Treponem Pal, and Godflesh. The sterile, machine-like delivery will be interrupted by another romantic, balladic moment ("Sonic Mass Part 1") in the middle, but "Sonic Mass Part 2" will bury you under galvanizing dispassionate riffs topped by some of the driest shouty vocals on the field... ever. "Here Come The Wolf" features cool melodic cuts amidst the robotic guitars, and the remaining two tracks show a more serious approach with longer song-structures and less abstract riffage, the closing "Knights Of The Black Sun" being a nice grungy take on the ballad, a worthy finish to this really good comeback effort which will serve its purpose both ways: fans of the band will be happy all over, their heroes having not lost their penchant for puzzling, head-scratching, music whereas the hard-core thrash metal audience will probably use this album as a needed change from their intense headbanging schedule.

No Sanctuary EP, 1983
Arise! Full-length, 1985
Monolith Full-length, 1987
Redux EP, 2010
Sonic Mass Full-length, 2011

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AMEN (CROATIA)

The debut: capable retro thrash with very brutal low-tuned death metal vocals; the approach is dynamic with more prevalent mid-paced qualities, although almost every song has a faster moment. "Dead Dream" is a nice technical up-tempo thrasher, and "Face the God" is a short hardcore outburst. From this moment on the sound acquires more brutal dimensions reaching for blasting death metal on "Jesus", before calming down near the end on the creepy semi-technical "L.S.D.", and the final "Monument of Blood", which is a morose doomster with dark funeral overtones. This is quite a diverse offering spreading far'n wide, in the 2nd half mostly, but manages to sound appealing for most of the time.

"Repent" starts in a late-80's Slayer fashion with the dark pounding title-track, but when "Return Of The Stormrider" delivers exactly the same seismic steam-roller sound, one has to adjust his senses a bit because this is the prevalent approach on this short 7-song effort which still has surprises for the headbangers: "Sign of God", the short bursting "Salvation". "Ironcross" is a pure epic heavy metal hymn with modern tendencies, and "Defenders of Faith" (no relation to Judas Priest music-wise) is a moody mid-paced power/thrasher ruined by the guttural death metal vocals which are not really a match, for most of the time, to this frankly laid-back stuff.
"Alpha & Omega" bring you the "alpha & omega" of thrash metal. Kidding, of course, but this effort is way better than their first two, and tracks like "Sacred Heart of Jesus" will make you cringe with their brutal razor-sharp riffage. Later on there are a few sleepers with a doomy vibe (the excellent imposing title-track, the closing epicer "Return of the King"), but the overall tone is less friendly although again to talk about full-blooded thrash here is a bit farfetched. The brutal death metal vocals are now more suitable having in mind the angrier tone of the music.

The Eyes of Truth Are Always Watching You Full-length, 2005
Repent Full-Length, 2011
Alpha & Omega Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

AMEN CORNER (BRAZIL)

Based on "Leviathan Destroyer", this act plays moody dark thrash metal with black and doom touches, and an overall approach not far from the Finns Barathrum. More dynamic moments are included (cool galloping rhythms, etc.) as well resulting in a fairly good, albeit a bit depressing, listen. The singer is a mean black-ish rasper, but pretty intelligible, and very fitting to the minimalistic musical approach.

The debut is mostly doom/death (much more doom than death) with thrash and black metal references. As such it's a fairly moody listen lacking dynamics, but making up with a lot of atmosphere, again pretty depressing at times, but many of you will jump around on the speedy passages on "The Infinite Empire Of Satanaz" and the raging speedy beginning of "The Crossing Of Souls".
"Jachol Ve Tehila" is a very good exercise in elegiac semi-epic doom metal without many thrashy/deathy/blacky distractions; slow atmospheric music at its best.

The band's works of the 90's were quite immersed in doom, but with "Lucification" things have changed towards faster more energetic rhythms on occasion. The approach now contains thrash, even power/speed metal on the more optimistic material; run for cover on the hyper-blasts on "The Lord Of The Inner Circle" although you will have plenty of time to recover afterwards since the dominant tone is again quite doomy and moody with outbreaks of energy here and there, the latter tendencies more fully applied on the follow-up. The band members are also involved in the black metal outfits Aqueronte and Pillars of Empire.

Fall, Ascension, Domination Full-length, 1993
The Final Celebration EP, 1994
Jachol Ve Tehila Full-length, 1995
Darken in Quir Haresete EP, 1999
Lucification Full-length, 2007
Leviathan Destroyer Full-length, 2010

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AMENAZA (CHILE)

These young Chileans offer rippping, energetic old school thrash which moves along the lines of early Exodus and Vio-Lence's "Eternal Nightmare". The opening "En Pie de Guerra" is already an accomplished headbanger with the fiery riffs, the short screamy leads, and the shouty choruses. "Al Margen de la Sociedad" is a nice reminder of Exodus' debut with the proto-gallops and the speedy crescendos; and "Testigos de la AniquilaciOn" is a slower, stomping track with heavy, pounding riffage. "Violenciadicto" is a short bursting cut thrashing far'n wide, and the closing "Al ParedOn" exits this fairly entertaining effort with more stylish, semi-technical guitar work and more varied arrangements by still keeping the high dynamics. The singer is a dramatic semi-clean/semi-shouter whose declamatory antics are a good match to the intense musical landscape.

EP EP, 2016

Official Site

AMENDFOIL (FINLAND)

The EP: peaceful progressively-inclined thrash/death metal not far from Opeth, but without the too sprawling quiet interludes. The riffs are melodic bursting into a few aggressive passages, but most of the time the music is mid-tempo supported by decent hoarse semi-clean vocals which become both more melodic and more brutal on occasion.

"EON" is not a distant departure from the meditative, pensive mood of the EP providing peaceful stuff which shifts into melodic progressive waters more often than the good taste allows, but surprisingly pulling it out on the more melancholic sections which are vintage later-period Katatonia. The singer is not bad with his mid-ranged clean tember which carries quite a bit of emotion in a way not far from Anders "Blakkheim" Nystrom (Katatonia again).

Act Of Grace EP, 2009
EON Full-length, 2011

Official Site

AMENIZE (BRAZIL)

Old school power/thrash full of heavy ironclad riffs and fist-pumping anthems which indelibly show their bigger bonds with the power metal fraternity with a couple of more intriguing progressive "decorations" ("Rivals") showing up from time to time. "Black Sky" is a more intriguing technical doomster almost reaching Confessor-like heights, but "T-Rex" is a more energetic power/thrasher with crisp edgy riffs and a few more technical decisions again. The singer is a cool dramatic throat staying within the mid-parametres.

Black Sky Full-Length, 2015

AMENTI (UK)

A good attempt at classic thrash with modern "updates": an approach similar to Exodus' and Onslaught's recent efforts. The style is actually not too different from the last three Exodus works; most of the tracks are in an energetic tempo with several exceptions: the stomping instrumental with the strange title "Nibiru", and the 8-min opus "Mother Terra" which betrays the classic sound and goes into modern thrash metal territory.

Under the Dying Sun Full-length, 2007

Official Site

AMENTIA (SWEDEN)

This is a "remnant" from the dying classic thrash/death metal movement providing a capable mix of the two styles not far from early Pestilence, but without any technical ptetensions; pretty straight stuff with very good leads, gruff death-y vocals, and dynamic up-tempos.

Demo Demo, 1992

AMERICAN DEATHWISH (USA)

Based on the full-length, this band offer pounding modern/classic thrash with expressive shouty vocals recalling early Peter Steele (R.I.P.), his exploits on the Carnivore albums. The guys are not very fond of the fast play the squashing steam-roller nature of their music tiring at times although the semi-balladic closer "Tragedy of a Gunslinger" is not bad at all. The guys were previously known as Into the Void when they released 2 full-lengths and an EP.

American Deathwish Full-length, 2012
6 Degrees of Hillbilly Rejects EP, 2012

Official Site

AMESSION (FINLAND)

Modern thrash with gothic elements; there is a punk-ish attitude in the song-writing (the demo "Fuck the Authority, Rape the System"), too. Throughout their works the guys experiment with the use of different vocal styles, including female ones. The "Redemption: No Way Out" EP boasts a better production, and the style is more consistent, featuring a couple of quality thrashers. Some of the guys are also active in the thrash/death metal outfit Scarcyde.
"Thorns Within" is in a very similar vein, leaning more towards the post-thrash side, which in its turn is ruined by the rough deathy vocals. The guitar work is melodic recalling both mid-period Sentenced and Cemetary, so again expect gothic passages with plenty of infectious melodic hooks.

Frozen Grave Demo, 2002
Heart Of Darkness Demo, 2003
Fuck The Authority Rape The System Demo, 2004
Redemption: No Way Out EP, 2005
Thorns Within EP, 2007

Official Site

AMETHYST (ITALY)

Another cool addition to the flourishing Italian thrash metal scene: these guys offer decently executed retro thrash spiced with quite a few melodic licks some of them having an intriguing Oriental flavour ("Entrapped"). The "aggression" should have been more, though: "Attitude to Aggression" is such a cut with the cheesy-titled "Explosive Metal Night" a close second; but the rest is not as intense if we exclude the shocking deathy section on the closing "Welcome to Hell" which is not a Venom cover. The singer is a mid-ranged semi-cleaner whose declamatory antics lack emotion and depth.

Time of Slaughters Full-length, 2011

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AMIDST THE CHAOS (INDIA)

2 songs of jumpy post-thrash/metalcore which relies on sharp guitars and hectic paces which are nothing exceptional and would by all means wear out on a full-length if offered without any deviations; neither are the gruff deathy shouty vocals. The guys offer something similar with their other act Bhayanak Maut.

Catharsis EP, 2006

Official Site

AMKEN (GREECE)

Based on the EP: this new formation specialize in splitting retro thrash with a strong Germanic flavour in the vein of Necronomicon and empty... sorry, early Tankard. The pace is up with a few more lyrical deviations thrown in on the longer "God's Asleep" which also features a very cool lead section along with a more thougth-out progressive structure. The singer has a mean high-strung tember sitting between early Mille and Schmier, maybe with a more expressive death metal-ish edge.
The full-length carries on in the same vein as the EP so the fans should expect classic roller-coaster thrash all the way to the end, and rigorous speed/thrashers like "Obedient Dogs" and the wild ripper "Wired" shouldn't leave anyone indifferent; neither should "Soul's Crypt" with its intriictae, more technical riffage. The vocalist shouts more this time, but his dramatic antics are spot on for most of the time.

Adrenaline Shot EP, 2014
Theater of the Absurd Full-length, 2017

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AMMENTIA (ARGENTINA)

A really promising demo of aggressive fast-paced thrash metal performed by just one person: Alejandro, who also plays in 4 other acts from different walks of metal (black, death, doom, folk, etc.) No traces of those other styles on this one: four songs of straight headbanging thrash with occasional stylish semi-technical implements ("Y la Tierra Bebi'f3 Sangre..."). "In the Night of Desperation" is a fine turn to mid-paced crushing thrash with heavy sharp riffs and genuine dark atmosphere. Alejandro has a sinister black-ish rasp which suits well the intense musical approach.

The single is just 2 songs which further show the guy's skills to provide intense, at times more intriguing, old school stuff for the hungry thrash metal masses. The sound quality is a bit noisy boosting the guitars too much, but the headbanging would hardly stop here especially on the bashing hardcore-tinged "La Ultima Horda".

Old Skull Demo, 2008
The Hungry Dead Single, 2012

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AMMIT (CHILE)

A direct take on the very early days of black/thrash metal: think early Sodom, Bathory, Hellhammer, with the typical for the time dirty fuzzy guitar sound and raspy vocals. "Armageddon Cobra" fits the above description just perfect and this time a strong Venom aesthetics can also be felt. The sound has become a bit carefree, and overall more speedy. "Don Death" is a curious exercise in sinister doom, and "Inside the Electric Circus" is, of course, a W.A.S.P. cover, done in quite a cool black-ish Venom-esque manner, and if you don't follow the lyrics you may not be able to recognize it easily.

"Extreme Speed Satan" is an "extreme" affair in the 1st half, mostly fast blasting black metal with just a little bit of thrash, but the 2nd one slows down to introduce more laid-back, even playful ("Pact with the Devil") stuff which clings somewhere between early Venom and Celtic Frost. The musicianship is really amateurish, though, with a very fuzzy guitar sound and rough declamatory vocals which mostly chant without any real singing. It has its raw charm recreating the early underground sound quite well, but at the same time we have heard more "extreme speed satans", before and after... Anyway, the guys are pretty busy with half the acts around Chile at the moment: some of them take part in the death/thrashers Teofobia, some play more intense black/death metal in Gneneshen and Senderos del Mal, while others devote their souls to black metal exclusively with Kratherion.

Steel Inferno Full-length, 1998
Mass Suicide Full-length, 2000
Extreme Speed Satan Full-length, 2003
Hammer of Darkness Full-length, 2005
Armageddon Cobra Full-length, 2009

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AMMUNITION (MEXICO)

3 songs of cool varied retro thrash which alternates between heavy and more dynamic passages this "marriage" bearing nice diverse cuts with a lot of ripping guitars and a few semi-technical moments. The compositions are not very short (4-6min) and there are plenty of interesting parts for the listener to enjoy those helped by the crisp production and the good attached semi-declamatory vocals. The influence of the Bay-Area is obvious, especially the one of Forbidden (both the debut and "Twisted into Form") and it would be interesting to see how these influences would be delivered in a full-length format.

Demo Demo, 2011

AMMUNITION (PHILIPPINES)

A not very convincing mix between modern post-thrash and the classic thrash/crossover sound; the problem is that the music is soft with not many sharp headbanging riffs evolving in an uneventful mid-tempo without any highlights; the same can be said about the vocals which are of the harsh slightly hysterical type with an annoying synthesized blend.

Final Rage Full-length, 2007

Official Site

AMNESIA (SERBIA)

This was a very short-lived project of members from Rapidforce and Heller. The demo contains 5 tracks (the 1st one is an intro) of vigorous speed/thrash metal of the German school not far from the other two acts, maybe faster and more direct. The guitars lash without any compromises in a stripped-down manner providing very short lead sections and even shorter slower mid-paced breaks.

Demo Demo, 1988

Fan Site

AMNESIA (UK)

This is 80's thrash more on the melodic side calling to mind Flotsam & Jetsam (in its more straight approach) and Megadeth (when it gets more technical). The music is actually quite hard-hitting at times, but the clean, melodic vocals decrease the impact a bit. Like with many other bands, the guys were not brave ehough to enter fully into a technical thrash territory and despite its quite a few good moments this album leaves something to be desired.

The "The Final Revelation " demo is another capable offering the guys now turning towards the Bay-Area for inspiration producing hard-hitting semi-technical thrash which can be quite intense ("No More Tomorrow"), but also more serious and thought-out ("Death In The City") sounding like a good set-up for an eventual follow-up which sadly never materialized.
The debut demo is 4 songs which show the band's calmer side being mid-paced and more prone to power metal graced by fine melodic leads. "Insane Dream" is a wild thrasher with vicious cutting riffs which try to compensate for the relatively sleepy nature of the preceding numbers.

Something Wicked\\'85 Demo, 1988
Unknown Entity Full-length, 1991
The Final Revelation Demo, 1992

AMNESTY (CANADA)

Based on the debut, this band offer dark brooding retro thrash which recalls Infernal Majesty quite a bit if we exclude the crisp, and a bit noisy, modern production. The guys here are perhaps less adventurous thrashing in a more straight-forward manner unleashing several furious pieces like "Severe Torture" and the "addictive" "Addicted to Violence". A few more stylish semi-technical shreds (the closing "Blasphemous Behaviour") can be come across, but the braver performance may have been left for the follow-up... Some of the band musicians also play in the brutal death metal outfit Gruesome Feast.

"Compelled to Kill" is a more aggressive effort the band adding more death metal to the mix, but that same mix works just fine and few would be those to complain about this sincere brutal downpour which again recalls Infernal Majesty with a twist. "Ashes of the Enemy" is a great short chaotic technical piece in the best spirit of Hellwitch; the technical flair is finely preserved for a string of quite short (1-2min) pieces towards the end which surprisingly show the guys at their finest and more proficient shredding with passion to spare also "winking" at mid-period Death with the cool closer "Amnesty".

Demolition of the Infected Full-length, 2006
Compelled to Kill Full-length, 2008

Official Site

AMNIJA (USA)

Intense dynamic modern thrash/death with a hefty technical "sting"; some of the tracks go into a not very desirable metalcore direction ruining the initial positive impression in the 2nd half although "Conrado's Vegetable Garden" near the end restores some faith with its clever, overlapping rhythms the latter receiving a more brutal, death metal-ish decoration on the following "Compost The Excess Waste". The vocal delivery is all over the place stretching from deathy ultra-shouts to clean emotional tirades.

The Garden Full-Length, 2015

AMNIVOR (USA)

Crusty classic-sounding speed/proto-thrash which is surprisingly reflected in longer for the style numbers. "Into Darkness" is a cool doomy cut opposing to the majority of energetic abrasers among which another more moderate mid-pacer appears: "5th Cycle", a rousing power metal hymn with battle-like qualities. The vocalist has a suitable rough semi-death metalish baritone which he can adjust to more melodic parametres on demand.

Forty Days Full-Length, 2015

AMOK (UK)

The debut: quite good retro thrash with a sharp edge recalling Anthrax and some Bay-Area acts; the tempo is energetic with the obligatory mid-tempo stomping parts. "Global Hangover" adds nice melodic Oriental hooks and is a great combination of hard-hitting riffs and more laid-back lines. It's really hard to beat such a fine thrasher after that, but the level remains high on compositions like the smashing killer "Downhill without Brakes", the mid-paced steam-roller "Thrash Island", or the speed/thrashing delight at the end "Kill the Gestapo". The singer does a very good job with his excellent semi-clean delivery which has both emotion and an edge, and will remind you of quite a few veteran singers from the 80-s: Chris Astley (Xentrix), Bob Mayo (Wargasm), Mike Munro (Meliah Rage), etc.
"Somewhere in the West": some not very convincing thrash has being cooked; the band spice their more straight-forward approach with melodic breaks (the opening title-track) which have a strictly modern flavour and may make the fan frown a bit. The album accumulates inertia bit by bit, but mild rock-ish tracks like "Lawbreakers" do nothing to move it high up the positive side. "Uprise" is a really good intelligent speed/thrasher of the longer type, but the modern insertions are too big on the similarly-styled "Cover Your Tracks" to make it another winner. Later it's only the closing "Lost Generation" which would make one pay more attention being a melodic shredder with some tasteful memorable hooks. The guys have spread their wings wider, but now one can only wait and see how hard they're going to fall if they carry on in the same direction.

Downhill Without Brakes Full-length, 2008
Somewhere in the West Full-Length, 2013

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AMONG THE MISSING (UK)

Add this act "among the missing" ones. Based on "Disorder of the Templar", these guys pull out a chaotic frenetic mix of modern thrash/hardcore and sludge/doom. Both tendencies are mixed together on most songs as the balance is well found the music sitting somewhere between EyeHateGod and Pro-Pain. The vocal variety is big, but neither style delivers all being of the hysterical shouty hardcore type.

"Cease To Exist" serves a similar sludge/core hybrid as both sides try to co-exist within one song in the beginning, like it was the case on the debut, and again the symbiosis is well achieved. The 2nd half is devoted exclusively to stoner/doom with the two overlong spacey/psychedelic doomsters "Knights of the Sun" and "Finsbury k" which go well beyond the mushroom-induced hallucinogenic landscapes of Sleep and Acrimony; the more energetic Cathedral-esque "Trembling Before"; and the spacey closing 11-min opus "Cease To Exist" which is a fine, albeit too expanded, tribute to Hawkwind.

Disorder of the Templar Full-length, 2005
Cease To Exist Full-length, 2007

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AMOR COMMITTED SUICIDE (FINLAND)

A good mixture of old school death metal and thrash with nice melodic twists calling to mind early 90's Messiah, but a bit slower and less technical.

Upavitika EP, 1995

AMORAL (FINLAND)

This band came on the scene with "Wound Creations", which was a fairly good slab of technical thrash/death (more thrash than death) metal, mostly mid-paced, occasionally more up-tempo, with clever tempo-changes, fine, not very sharp riffage, numerous melodic hooks, including the excellent unobtrusive leads, and very brutal low-tuned death metal vocals. It's hard to cite an exact soundalike, maybe early Obliveon, crossed with the Czechs Scenery: the Finns share the same tendency towards dreamy romantic sections, but are not as original, and at times fall for the traps of the modern thrash/death metal movement, when they start sounding more conventional.

"Decrowning" is pretty much the same, maybe a tad more death metal-oriented, but on "Reptile Ride" the guys have torn it loose, adding more genres to the mix, like power metal, gothic, etc. As a result the sound is much softer and less technical, and despite its wider appeal to the metal audience, it hardly shows the band in their brightest light.

The band never bother with thrash anymore "Show Your Colors" being a typical modern power metal work with a pinch of Gothenburg-styled melodies ala mid-period In Flames and Night in Gales. "Beneath" is an even softer offering, not missing the more aggressive death metal touches, sounding like the most standard heavy/power metal album out there; a shocking u-turn from the band's early output, arguably the most drastic one to be witnessed in the new millennium so far.

Wound Creations Full-length, 2004
Decrowning Full-length, 2005
Reptile Ride Full-length, 2007
Show Your Colors Full-length, 2009
Beneath Full-length, 2011

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AMORDAZADOS (VENEZUELA)

Intense modern thrash which acquires more tasteful classic colours at times ("No Basta Crecer") with a semi-technical edge which turns to stripped-down Slayer-esque aggression on the ripping "Tres Cero Uno". The energy is fairly high and a "bullet" after "bullet" is shot with the utmost precision: "Nuestro Odio", "Sintiendose Muerto", etc. "Juzgando en Silencio" is a nice more restrained speed/thrasher coupling with the Outro for an attractive roller-coaster epitaph on a more melodic base. The singer isn't on par with the good music singing in a hushed, gruff death metal manner.

Nuestro Odio Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

AMOREEN (GERMANY)

Very good thrash reminding of Wargasm's "Why Play Around", maybe a bit more melodic, with an impressive guitar work, especially in the lead section, and powerful clean vocals. The demo comes with a decidedly more modern sound, and again follows on the steps of Wargasm, this time "Ugly", mixed with the sound of Flotsam & Jetsam's "Quatro", and several balladic sections. The guys have the talent to write catchy, memorable songs: "Ten Days", which despite its melodic nature, is a great number.

Welcome, My Name is... Full-length, 1990
Trust in What You See Demo, 1994

AMORICIDE (GERMANY)

Based on the debut, this German trio pulls out energetic retro thrash with sce death metal sections ("Enslaved"). Seldom does the music stretch into longer pounding thrashers ("Flood of Sand"), but rest assured that there will be no moments of peace on equally as long, but much more aggressive, offerings: the death/thrashing madness "Impending Devastation". Atmospheric abstract elements sneak on "Skull Island" which is a stylish piece with a shade of early Voivod. "Unmarked Grave" moves up the speed scale with heavy galloping riffs, but it gets lost once again on the mid-tempo stomping "When the First of Many Falls". Still, there would be no complaints on the fast-paced closer "Kill Again" which is vintage early Death.

The EP treads the same path of intense classic thrash with more extreme proto-death metal insertions. The music is expectedly fast, slowing down a bit for the dark creepy "Soul Ripper", although the following "Bleed from the Mouth" will shatter you with its sharp lashing riffs in the best tradition of the Swedes Merciless and Rigor Mortis.

"Storm of Violence" arrives several months after its predecessor and delivers almost as well despite the obvious deceleration. The guys lash out in a fast merciless fashion from the get-go adding the heavier stomping element ala late-80's Slayer whenever appropriate. After the 1st two blitzkrieg thrashers comes the mid-paced creeper "Cesspool", but then the guys accelerate again reaching death metal heights on "Row of Caskets". "Eye of the Storm" is a 3-min quiet acoustic instrumental, but expect a relentless thrash/death metal assault on "Left for Dead". "Unspeakable" is another instrumental-only piece recalling Rigor Mortis in a very good way, a compelling dynamic number with plenty of tempo-changes and a few more technical moments. 7-min of intense headbanging thrash await you on "Linguistic Rapists" which is followed by a shorter, but equally as aggressive, thrash attack ("Descendants of Ashes"). A more engaging, more technical, material comes served on the 8.5-min closer "The Order of Dagon", a diverse track the dominant slower doomy riffs nicely interrupted by compulsive speedy sections with a Slayer-esque vibe. The death metal shades are not very widely covered here, but this new, more thought-out delivery works on all counts with the forceful intelligible Tom Araya-sque vocals a fine addition.

The Essence of Evil Full-length, 2004
Horror in the Flesh EP, 2010
Storm of Violence Full-length, 2011

Official Site

AMORPHEAD (ITALY)

Based on the "Chaos Expression" EP, these guys serve modern post-thrash with the staple heavy riffage and angry semi-death metal vocals. There are a few more atmospheric moments ("Holes") with a melo-deathy shade as well as longer, more serious experiments ("Chaos Expression").

Psychotic EP, 2009 1
Chaos Expression EP, 2011

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AMPORA (USA)

Laid-back melodic modern thrash/death metal of the metalcore type; fast ripping riffs alternate with soaring melodic leads to predictable results. Still, the clean vocals are not bad...

Last Chance EP, 2011

AMPUTATION (NORWAY)

Probably the first thrash/death metal band from Norway with a dark heavy sound reminiscent of Possessed's "Seven Churches" and Slaughter's "Strappado", but more aggressive with more brutal faster moments, closer to the death metal field. The band members later took an active part in the formation of the Norwegian black metal scene founding bands like Hades Almighty, Immortal, Old Funeral, etc.

Achieve The Mutilation Demo, 1989
Slaughtered in the Arms of God Demo, 1990

AMPUTIST (USA)

An intense brutal blend of thrash and death metal, very retro-sounding with more adherence to death metal including in the vocal department where one will hear some of the most low-tuned growls on the scene ever. The guys mix fast with slower tracks the latter the more appealing side with "Aborted Buffet" hitting the top being an awesome death/doomster with twisted riffage. On the other opposite we have pure "outbreaks of evil" aggression, blast-beating exercises with a pinch of technicality ala Morbid Angel who are the main target for worship. Some of the band members were later seen in the death/thrash metal formation Apostle of Perversion and the immediate continuation of that act Ungodly where the style is pretty much the same.

Amputist Demo, 1995

AMUK (MALAISIA)

Based on "Akar Dan Bumi", this very productive Malaysian band serve pleasant, feelgood power/thrash metal with both modern and classic tendencies. So expect mostly mid-paced music with plenty of melodic hooks, more or less predictable, assisted by clean mid-ranged vocals with a slight drunken shade.

Tanpa Prejudis Full-length, 1998
Tak Relevent Full-length, 1999
Akar Dan Bumi Full-length, 2000
Dikir Timur Full-length, 2001
Hakikat Full-length, 2002
Dendam Full-length, 2004
Interpretasi Full-length, 2005
Interpretasi ++ Full-length, 2005
2 Juta Full-length, 2006
Bertemu Ruas Full-length, 2007

Official Site

AMULANCE (USA)

Good power/speed/thrash metal akin to early Overkill and Helstar; the band mix all the 3 styles within one song, some of which are more focused on speed ("Death Wish", "Feel the Pain", and especially the raging "Holocaust"), and are the better ones. The more melodic power metal-based side of the music is also presented ("Schizophrenia", "Witch's Sin"). The singer has this high tember with a slight snarly touch similar to Kai Hansen and Dirk Schr'f6der (Iron Angel).
The Best of Compilation contains the band's first demo, as well as 5 other songs, previously unreleased, under the title "The Aftermath Sessions"; the style of these 5 songs is more speedy and thrashy, and more technical, again recalling Helstar ("Distant Thunder").

The "Deutschland" EP is a sign that the guys are apparently willing to join the thrash metal resurrection movement and as such their old fans have no reasons to worry that they will mess it up: the 5 songs included are sure-handed slabs of old school American power/thrash metal in a heavy mid-tempo with melodic choruses, lashing, but also melodic, guitar work, and good semi-high emotional vocals. There are no high-speed antics to be encountered, and the last two tracks are epic takes on power metal with no ties to thrash, but one never knows how the band will pull it out on the eventual full-length... The EP-title is a tribute to the guys' first appearance on Headbangers Open Air in Germany earlier that same year.
"Unleash the Beast" is a diverse affair containing power, speed and thrash metal numbers as again speed metal is more widely presented although the beginning is quite courageous with the aggressive "Damages" and "Ring Of Madness". The title-track is a battle hymn and its seismic aesthetics prove fairly influential leaving "a stain" on all the subsequent pieces the most impressive of which is the Black Sabbath cover of "Children of the Sea" at the end.

Feel the pain Full-length, 1989
The Rage Within and the Aftermath Best of/Compilation, 2007
Deutschland EP, 2010
Unleash the Beast Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

AN ACT OF TREACHERY (AUSTRIA)

The EP: modern thrash borrowing a bit from death metal at times including in the vocal department where the man rends his throat to the point of hysteria. This isn't dragging music, like the energetic cut "Wasted Life" shows, and has the necessary amount of vitality although the prevalent approach is mid-paced with officiant, even epic-sounding at times ("Darkest Times"), riffs.
The full-length is an abrasive modern thrash/death "monster" which softens down quite a bit on a couple of mellow power/thrashers, and although rippers like "Asylum" try to compensate for those slackenings, the album loses some steam in the middle and never recaptures it fully later on except for the vigorous "God of War" near the end which unleashes the final portion of speedy tunes before the closing "Worlds Fall Apart" pours a number of melodic quasi-industrial hooks without any certain direction.

Wasted Life EP, 2011
Reflections of a Dying World Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

AN HANDFUL OF DUST (ITALY)

This young Italian band plays somewhat progressive power metal with a few hints at thrash and meandering, sometimes hard to follow, songs (the longer ones), quiet, balladic moments, and good semi-clean vocals which are seldom accompanied by rough, death metal ones. Although the sound clings towards the classic side, unnecessary groovy variations are also included ("To Give or to Leave"), but they're nothing more than fillers and don't add to the overall ambitious picture. At their best the band aren't too far from early Fates Warning, or Liege Lord: the multi-layered, epic-tinged "Bungler's Blame", and the nice more aggressive closer "Psychotic Dream", but these moments are not too many, and as a whole this album will score higher among the progressive metal fans.

I'll Show You My Fear Full-length, 2007
Nu Emotional Injection Full-length, 2011
Map of Scars EP, 2015

Official Site

ANACHRONIC (CZECH)

This is heavy, mid-paced progressive/thrash metal; the sound recalls late 80's Slayer (the slower songs on their two albums from that time- "Deadskin Mask", "The Crooked Cross", etc.). Combined with the heavy technical riffs this album makes for an interesting, unpredictable listening experience. The band only occasionally speed up, and the album is quite long which creates a slightly monotonous feeling near the end, but the originality of the music alone will make you go back to it more than now and then.

Lame Gart And... Full-length, 1993

Official Site

ANACONDA (GERMANY)

This is melodic modern thrash which is moderately dynamic and energetic trying to also bring back some of the classic magic of the genre (check out the rousing speedster "Black Cross"), but the gruff deathy singer can't match those moments with his pedestrian, not very convincing, performance. In the 2nd half the band lose the inertia and the music becomes less exciting and way slower with strong power metal overtones. The guys later appeared with their other formation, the doom/deathsters Gardens of Gehenna.

The Lattice Window Full-Length, 1996

ANACRUSIS (USA)

The band's state-of-the-art progressive thrash has written some of the finest pages in metal history. "Suffering Hour" was an explosive debut with a raw and primitive at times sound, but highly-inspired, combining furious thrashers, bordering on proto-death, with genuine stylish technical moments, which would take the upper hand on the band's future works; this album also contained a very fast, aggressive version of the early Black Sabbath hymn "N.I.B.". All this came nicely topped by the unique, multi-layered vocals of Ken Nardy, one of the most original thrash metal singers. "Reason" was a big step forward seeing the band moving boldly towards the progressive side of metal, with complex song-structures, and the inimitable cold technical riffs which would later be a big influence on many 90's bands. Their next two efforts are the absolute peak of the progressive thrash metal genre: "Manic Impressions" was the more accessible, and more aggressive effort (also featuring a great cover version of the New Model Army's "I Love the World"), whereas "Screams and Whispers" was a colossal multi-layered work of progressive thrash which logically marked the end of the band's career. All the band's works are free for download from their official website a link to which is provided below.

One of the greatest metal acts of all times has finally voted to release something new, after all the news, rumours, and gossip of reformation started some 5-6 years earlier. Several compilations came out, including a re-release (the band's favoutire word) of their first 2 albums, but, alas, on the creative side nothing new was coming. And here we are, in the year 2014, facing an entirely new Anacrusis product, consisting of two whole full-lengths, 14 compositions each, with nearly 2.30 hours of music provided by both CD's. After all this wait one may think that he/she is dreaming all this; it's simply too good to be true...

After the initial overwhelming wave of emotions (inevitably including a few tears shed by the more sensitive), the listener is prepared to give this gigantic recording a listen. So why the trepidation and the sense of apprehension then? Well:
first, the premature pullback isn't completely ungrounded having in mind what Kenn Nardi created under the name Cruel April... The band fans can hardly forget this soft acoustic saga which may have been a freezing cold shower over all the expectations that this new at the time recording would be something at least remotely similar to the Anacrusis catalogue...
second, with whole 28 tracks waiting to be savoured, how many of them would be classified as fillers, never to be listened to again? The bigger the number, the more the chances for some to be... well, ballast.
third, the album-title; this "dancing with the past"... sounds like another needless compilation. And who wants to "dance with the past" again, come on! Enough of that...

So there's quite a bit for one to muse over before embarking on this voluminous listening "adventure", a situation made all the scarier by the fact that this effort has actually been released under the Kenn Nardi moniker thus distanced from the Anacrusis catalogue present here... "Why!?", you may ask; because Anacrusis are no more, once again. They split up shortly before this album's release, presumably for good... So you see how much luggage this release drags with it; so many reasons for anxiety and anguish...

"Dancing with the Past": this album's place is here, and will always be. So relax, everyone! The album title is misleading, to put it mildly: each of the 28 pieces is brand new, never heard before. And each one of them is vintage Anacrusis; 2.5 hours of Anacrusis after over 20 years of wait... "It was high time", the more cynical would say, and indeed the band owed us that after the more recent period of uncertainty and uneducated guesses about their future. There's no future for them again, but at least the legacy they left should keep us warm for another 20 years...

So to the music: the opening "Unnecessary Evil" is just a ballad, a very good one, but a ballad... Hits "Fragile" right after and the staple intelligent, progressive Anacrusis thrash is brought to the fore with might with the traditional Nardi shrieks and the short abrupt shouty choruses. The joy is big although the listener will have to prepare for at least 10 ballads/semi-ballads, which leaves 8 wholesome headbangers (including a brilliant 7.5-min instrumental, "Lament in Rust") for him/her to enjoy as well as 6 mid-paced shredders along the lines of "Sound the Alarm". The ground covered is mostly from "Screams & Whispers" as a slight mechanical echo can still be traced back to "Reason", plus the less bridled nature of a couple of rippers which will bond this gigantic effort with "Manic Impressions" for a bit. A great album as a whole, a bit overwhelming probably: to listen to 2.5 hours of Anacrusis after such a long hiatus would be both nostalgic and somewhat overwhelming. In the end, the happiness would be quite big for one to notice any flaws, not that they are too many in the first place, and this may be the best spent 2.5 hours for some metal fans for the past 10 or so years. Album of the year? By all means, and not only because the vogue at present is reunion efforts to continue crowning the charts...

Suffering Hour Full-length, 1988
Reason Full-length, 1990
Manic Impressions Full-length, 1991
Screams and Whispers Full-length, 1993
Dancing with the Past Full-length, 2014

Official Site

ANAFLAXIA (TURKEY)

The debut: a death/thrash metal band with great both technical and melodic guitar work; the guys play at a respectable speed most of the time. The overall sound isn't too far from Hellwitch and later-period Death also strongly recalling their compatriots Blaster's "Chaotic Noise" released a year earlier (no relations to the act reviewed here member-wise), only that Anaflaxia vary things more with mid-tempo tracks. The only downpoint would be the overuse of intros, outros and also interludes which kind of break the otherwise excellent monolithic sound. Some of those melodies are addictive: check out the opener "Opus Demontre" and the blitzkrieg follower "Blasphemy And Bloodthirst". "A Colder Day In Heaven" offers a nice change in pace in the first half being a laid-back dark gothic death/thrasher, but the rage goes on on "The Cloudy Fortress" which mixes brutal chaotic with melodic technical riffs. More purer thrash follows suit on the excellent galloping "Living Flesh, Dying Soul", before the brilliant instrumental "A Victim Shadow Of Twilight" takes your soul: an impeccable blend of melody and speed, seldom achieved before or after. "A Wolfen's Cry" is an exemplary closer lashing fast steel technical riffs for about 3-min. The bonus track after it "Portal of Misery" is a sinister slow doomster with deep operatic vocals accompanying the main death metal rasps.

This strong debut was followed by a shorter 6-song one containing covers-only of their favourite acts: Kreator ("Coma of Souls); Slayer ("War Ensemble"); Sodom (Agent Orange"); Sepultura ("Dead Embryonic Cells"); In Flames ("Behind the Space"); and Testament ("Legions of the Dead"), all well done although to these ears neither of the chosen bands could be cited as an influence on the band except, probably, In Flames a little bit.

In To The Sound Of Slaughter Full-length, 2004
Modus Operandi Full-length, 2006

Official Site

ANAKA (USA)

Based on "The Glorified Crusade", this band offers modern 90's post-thrash coming as a more aggressive "Load" (Metallica) so expect not very edgy mostly mid-tempo music with a frequent adherence to balladic sections. Still, this isn't completely without merits, and the title-track is a cool interesting progressive composition mixing intriguing riffs with really striking melodies.
"The Unwavering" is a similar "beast" maybe a tad heavier than the previous material also including the nice up-tempo piece "Ominous Visions". Alas, the majority of the songs are mild semi-ballads which liven up on occasion, but they would be of bigger interest to doom metal lovers and the Load/Reload fans (check out "Ghosts of Yesterday", the forgotten track from Metallica's 90's period).

Down Devil's Road Full-length, 2001
Rust & Jade Full-length, 2004
The Glorified Crusade Full-length, 2009
Into the Great Unknown-The Acoustic Sessions Full-length, 2012
The Unwavering Full-length, 2015

Official Site

ANAL VOMIT (PERU)

Based on "Peste Negra, Muerte Negra", this formation pull out intense classic thrash/death which isn't all-out aggression the whole time, but finds time to introduce the casual more atmospheric moment ("Valle de Tinieblas"). Later on the songs become longer and more thought-out without any more technical arrangements, in other words the bash lasts for longer aptly mixing the two genres as a slight edge is given to death metal over thrash including in the vocal department where the guy gruffs audibly with the odd more shouty rend unleashed.

From Peruvian Hell EP, 2002
Demoniac Flagellations Full-length, 2005
Depravation Full-length, 2007
Gathering of the Putrid Demons Full-length, 2009
Nocturnal Curse Live EP, 2012
Peste Negra, Muerte Negra Full-length, 2015

Official Site

ANARCHADIA (SYRIA)

This Syrian outfit provide dry modern thrash which is obviously influenced by acts like Biomechanical and Altered Aeon (which can only be a good thing) only that the guys don't elaborate things too much at this stage, but come up with shorter compositions, and their headbanging side is way more covered: check out the energizer "Demoralize". "Confronting My Demons" is an excellent technical number which would even please fans of Meshuggah, before a burst of energy arrives with the more immediate "Occupy The Wall", the latter completely disappearing on the final "Let Us All Unite" which is a balladic ode with good leads intercepting the voice samples which are all over it. This is a cool start and a full-length would develop the band's interesting style further; there's a lot of potential lurking in the Mid-Eastern shadows over there....

The full-length title already hints at its content: yes, indeed, all the songs from the pilot EP are inside accompanied by another five new compositions. The fan will have to swallow his/her slight disapppointment of this fact by indulging in the music; the 1st new number ("Beasts of Burden") comes after two tracks from the EP, and shows a more restrained, but equally as effective, side of the band's style with creepy hypnotic riffs without many fast-paced surprises. But comes "Narchaotic", and things are already more hectic and less predictable. "True World Order" even sees a guest star joining for a while: Mr. John Schafer from Iced Earth lends his vocal abilities for a short passage; this one is a stylish puzzler with some more quiet progressive build-ups. "Elevation Call" is a jumpy dreamy instrumental with echoes of Canvas Solaris and Linear Sphere; and "Adagnitio" follows a similar path, only with vocals and a tad more aggressive guitar ticipation. The album exits with the other 3 cuts from the EP. As a result we have another 5-song EP (if we exclude the old material) which again holds the same potential without stretching any further than what the band have already displayed earlier. To be continued...

Let Us All Unite EP, 2012
Let Us All Unite Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

ANARCHUS (BRAZIL)

Based on the "...in Line of Hate" demo, this band play raw primal thrash with a dark ominous character which is reflected in the brooding riff-patterns and the mean semi-shouty Schmier-like vocals. The music recalls their compatriots Explicit Hate and is executed well with appropriate screamy leads, a few melodic "decorations", and omnipresent dynamic speedy passages.

Melody's of Destruction Demo, 1988
...in Line of Hate Demo, 1989

ANARCHUZ (CZECH)

Based on "Prestan Me Srelt", these guys offer modern hardcore-ish post-thrash with bad synthesized vocals which miraculously find the way to cool melodic insertions on the mellower moments. This is radio-friendly stuff with doom/stoner tendencies and pleasant bluesy touches. Not for the hard-corers...

The debut is a more laid-back variation of the already established post-thrash picture on subsequent efforts, the "therapy" coming in the form of cool heavy metal passages and not as suitable balladic touches which should have been fewer. Near the end the album completely exits the thrash metal field branching out into folk, funk, and blues to a fairly laughable effect slightly restoring the "faith" with the edgy closer "Talks We Don't Care". The singer is a not very pleasant throaty hardcore semi-shouter.

"Inner Conflict" is a very heavy, steam-rolling affair which has epitomized the more extreme side of the 90's post-thrash unleashing a seismic quasi-industrial landscape not far from Grope and Puncture. More lyrical moments (the title-track) can certainly be found where the ultra-brutal deathy shouty singer finds time to show his more tender side to a fairly positive effect. More dynamic riffs show up timidly in the middle, but generally this is very groovy stuff with a fuzzy abrasive sound quality.

Unusable Instincts Full-length, 1993
Inner Conflict Full-length, 1996
Prestan Me Srelt Full-length, 2011

Official Site

ANARION (AUSTRALIA)

This talented Australian outfit have created a nice cross between the 90's power/speed metal movement and classic thrash. Their "journey begins" with the excellent galloping opener "Space-Time" from their debut, a straight-ahead speedster with screamy leads. "My Own" is more intense speed/thrash ala the Poles Hellfire with good choruses and a few soaring melodies. "The Battle Of Old" is pretty much in the same vein with a bit more complex musicianship with several quiet semi-acoustic sections added. "Kingdom Of Stone" is a slower take on the power/thrash metal idea, and "Earth Reborn" is a bit more intense cross between those styles, leaving the damage to the more invigorating thrasher "Life Of Descent" which marches forward with razor-sharp semi-galloping riffs. "Hidden Mind" is a more thoughtful progressive composition, semi-balladic and lyrical, with a few faster revelations near the end minus, of course, the purely acoustic ending which is identical to the beginning. "Principles Of Uncertainty" is a nice 4-min instrumental of shredding melodic thrash, its short length totally clouded by the monstrous 13-min closing saga "The Journey Begins..." which is kind of underwhelming developing in a predictable mid-pace with the odd balladic twist. The singer is pretty good with a mid-ranged emotional tone who could have tried some higher-pitched lines from to time to time.

"Beneath It All" starts very misleadingly with the alternative balladic "Fog Of War", but inertia is very quickly picked up with the next ripping galloper "Dispusion" which also shows nice technical tendencies. "Persistance Of Hate" is pure headbanging thrash, direct and to-the-point, and there's not much ado on the next "Into The Rage" which lashes "raging" riffs left and right both in mid and up-tempo. "Sufferance" is dramatic pounding thrash with sure-handed keyboard insertions and sparce Oriental hints. "Demons Of Pride" is modern thrash preserving the dramatism also adding cool lead-driven balladic moments. "Pity The Weak" is more laid-back melodic thrash ala recent Squealer and Eldritch, but "Defying Regime" is a faster proposition again with more modern riffs which disappear for the all-out retro thrasher "Bleeding Disease" and the energetic galloping power/thrashing closer "Enduring Enemy". The guitars here bite more with a much more accentuated thrashy edge recalling both Paradox and Hellfire sounding both intense and technical to a fairly positive effect. The vocalist does a better job adjusting his effective emotional style with the appropriate higher inclusion now sounding pretty close to Krzysztof Dziwosz (Hellfire).

"Unbroken" is the band's least achievement sticking to well-established power/speed metal patterns with just a few edgier numbers: the vicious speedster "Greed Of Man"; the more ambitious speed/thrasher "Broken Truths". There are several ballads, and generally the concentration is not on speed opting for a calmer mid-paced delivery.

The Journey Begins Full-length, 2001
Unbroken Full-length, 2006
Beneath It All Full-length, 2009

Official Site

ANARKO (SPAIN)

Based on the debut: another addition to the 90's groovy scene; at least the guys here pull out more energetic, jolly tracks with a cool crossover touch ("Obligacon", "Legado Criminal"). The music is on the melodic side, lacking the aggression put by Pantera and the likes most of the time with one pleasant surprise: the intense fast-paced headbanger "Bien Machaca Bien" which leaves a very good impression, immediately ruined by the awful techno-industrial closer.

"La Marcha De Los Muecos Egocentricos" offers groovy post-thrash on the soft, dancey side with playful rhythms and a few more intense moments the latter recalling Skid Row's "Slave to the Grind". There's also a distant alternative echo present ala later period Misery Loves Co.

Anarko Full-length, 1998
Degeneraci'f3n X Full-length, 2000
La Marcha De Los Mu'f1ecos Egoc'e9ntricos Full-length, 2001

Official Site

ANASA STAXTI (GREECE)

Thrash/crossover ala Hellbastard, but with shorter tracks, with nice melodic implements and gruff semi-death metal vocals; the tempo is dynamic bordering on speed metal at times which serves better the shorter material ("Zwi En Tafw").

Anasa Staxti Full-Length, 1994

ANATHEMA (USA)

Based on the debut demo, these folks serve raw chaotic thrash with proto-death metal overtones, noisy disorganized stuff with messy guitars which starts making sense at the end on the quite cool semi-technical galloper "Trauma Arrest" which also features nice bassisms, and is partly ruined by the brutal speedy ending. The singer is an annoying angry shouter who tries to make his voice scarier by adding lower death metal tones at times.

The Trauma Never Ends Demo, 1988
Knife and Gun Club Demo, 1990

ANCESTHOR (MEXICO)

A decent slab of the good old school thrash which comes served with a healthy doze of 90's speed metal resulting in vigorous, energetic pieces topped by not very suitable death metal vocals which sound particularly ridiculous on the several attempts at sing-along choruses which may cause a few laughs along the way. Still, the guitar work isn't bad at all if we exclude the thin screaming leads, and uncompromising Slayer-esque headbangers like "T.M.I.S." & "Until You Die" will make you jump around in no time, while more epic speed metal cuts like "Death Or Glory" will make you sing along with nostalgic memories of a movement long gone. "Annihilation Of Mankind" is a cool heavy stomper with capable melodic hooks, and the closing "The Human Nature" may come as a surprise being a long (7-min) romantic ballad which acquits itself with the best lead sections on the album.

"Beneath the Mask" thrashes harder, at least in the beginning, but the fast lashing riffs aren't done justice by the very muddy hissy sound quality which only lets the good leads stick out. Traces of death metal can be caught on the more intense "Project: Human", but the rest isn't as wild despite the presence of several less controlled thrashers ("Evil at Command") roaming around. The closing "Conspiracy" is another headbanging highlight with a more elaborate undercurrent, but still despite its more aggressive character this effort isn't as pleasing as the more naive, but also more enjoyable debut.

The Human Nature Full-length, 2011
Beneath the Mask Full-Length, 2013

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ANCESTOR (FINLAND)

Based on the "With No Strings Attached" demo, these folks specialize in fairly decent thrash/death with a both atmospheric and a technical edge along the lines of mid-period Messiah and Protector. "The Thread Of Life" is a standout piece with lashing melodic technical guitars, the highlight here, with the closing "Come Back Towards The Light" a very close second with its ripping stylish riffage and less expected time-changes. The vocals are harsh death metal-ish and by all means play second fiddle on this fine effort. Later the guys had a more successful and a more lasting career as Kalmah where the style shifted towards more conventional modern Swedish death metal.

Ethereal Devotion Demo, 1992
With No Strings Attached Demo, 1993
Material World-God Demo, 1997
Tomorrow Demo, 1998
Under the Burbot's Nest Demo, 1998

Official Site

ANCESTTRAL (BRAZIL)

Based on the full-length debut: modern power/thrash metal on the more melodic side, quite close to the Flotsam & Jetsam 90's period and Metallica's Black Album with nice melodic lead guitars and a singer who does a good job to impersonate James Hetfield, and succeeds for most of the time. The music takes a more aggressive edge at times ("Endless Trip"), but mostly this is heavy, mid-tempo and semi-balladic music.

The "Bloodshed And Violence" EP is 3 tracks of a tad more intense, still more on the modern side, thrash which rips at times no worse than the more recent Dew-Scented and Carnal Forge efforts ("Bloodshed and Violence"). The other 2 numbers are more laid-back with the Black Album coming to mind again, the singer traditionally doing a good job with his adherence to James Hetfield.
"Web of Lies" doesn't bring anything new to the repertoire of the band being another laid-back offering again "courting" The Black Album, above all, "Nice Day To Die" being a smashing outburst of aggression in the middle. The title-track is a nice dramatic post-thrasher before "Fire" pours more "fire" into the furnace with another slab of more hard-hitting retro thrash. In the end this effort is not bad at all showing the band in a bright light, trying to find the best way to perform their chosen brand of metal.

Helleluiah EP, 2005
The Famous Unknown Full-length, 2007
Bloodshed And Violence EP, 2012
Web of Lies Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

ANCESTRAL SIN (HOLLAND)

This is intense thrashcore, still more classic-sounding, bordering on grind when things get more violent. Overall the approach sits somewhere between early Prong and Attitude Adjustment with echoes of Cryptic Slaughter on the aforementioned wilder moments. The vocalist is the staple quarrelsome shouter, maybe a bit higher-pitched than the norm.

Feel It Erupt Demo, 1992

ANCESTRAL TERROR (BRAZIL)

Cool thrash of the old school close to the Canadians Slaughter and late 80's Slayer; the music is catchy, mid-paced for most of the time with simple, but effective riffage. The vocals are in the death metal camp: brutal, low-tuned with a shade of Karl Willets (Bolt Thrower) and not very suitable. "Call Upon Death" is a nice attempt at more energetic, technical stuff which ends up in a brutal blast-beating manner. The closing "The Endless Incursion" is a cool acoustic instrumental.

Hallways of Pain Demo, 2006

Official Site

ANCESTRO (URUGUAY)

Crunchy abrasive post-thrash of the modern type; a pretty heavy crushing affair never leaving the mid-tempo parametres, but the consistent steam-roller riffs will please the fan as well as the very good forceful clean singer.

Guerra Nuclear Demo, 2006

ANCHONY (GERMANY)

Cool modern-ish thrash with meaty sharp riffs and intriguing semi-technical decisions; the band have a taste for both dark slow-ish numbers ("Erazer") and more energetic ones (Pi"). "Slow Race" needs very little to indeed spawn the "slow race": a morose atmospheric doomster with a clever technical thrashy exit. The vocals are a bit of an awkward choice, though: throaty low-tuned death metal ones with a slight hysterical pitch coming up from time to time.

Anchony Demo, 2008

Official Site

ANCHORHEAD (UK)

Reportedly there are members of the progressive metal masters Linear Sphere here although there's very sparse information about this project anywhere so it's hard to confirm any musicians' involvement here. The music is jumpy groovy post-thrash, no traces of death metal whatsoever (the title is misleading), with technical pretensions, a few more dynamic sections, and spacey fusion/jazzy deviations which come with tastefully applied lead passages one of which is a nice nod to the main theme from "Star Wars". The singer doesn't take a very big part, but his growly low-tuned death metal antics aren't that pleasant. The production is surprisingly good giving an equal share to each instrument except for the slightly abrasive guitar tone.

Darth Metal Demo, 2007

ANCIENT CURSE (GERMANY)

Based on "The Landing", this band plays a dark brand of thrashy progressive power metal similar to Sanctuary's "Into the Mirror Black" and mid-80's Fates Warning. The tempo is mid and the guitars are both sharp and heavy also recalling the Canadians Eidolon. There are a couple of peaceful moments scattered around, including two full-fledged ballads: one very cool and heavy: "One Second of Lifetime"; the other one too tender and boring: "Not Preed to Speak". The sound favours power metal more, but when the guys step on the pedal, they lash with force: the heavy stomper "Not Supposed", the 9-min progressive power/thrash opus "Utopia", etc. The singer is far from the flamboyance and pitch of the typical for the style vocal performers delivering a mid-ranged, not very emotional semi-clean tember.

"Thirsty Fields" follows a similar pattern mixing power and thrash metal with a strong progressive shade with the quiet balladic passages scattered appropriately as well as the harder more intense ones. The obligatory ballad ("Harmful Remains") is here again, but is good and heavy, followed by the even better semi-ballad "Return of the Summer". The speed has been reduced a bit, and now the sound comes close to doom metal at times: the heavy stomper "Dictator".

Thirsty Fields EP, 1995
The Landing Full-length, 1997
Thirsty Fields Full-length, 1997

ANCIENT DOME (ITALY)

Based on the self-titled demo, this band pull out classic speed/thrash along the lines of adox (closer to their debut, rather than "Heresy"), or more recent Tankard. The tempo is energetic, and the guitar leads are quite good. There are moments which recall the 90's power/speed metal scene ("Metalmaniacs") as well as an atmospheric bass instrumental ("Ode to a Muse").

The 2008 promo thrashes more in a Bay-Area, rather than a German, fashion, but is frequently entertaining, bashing relentlessly with sharp riffs, cool melodic hooks, nice short leads, even providing more semi-technical moments on the longer "State of Regression". "Fall of the Dominion" is the break from the intense pattern stretching into softer speed/power metal territories with a nice balladic acoustic ending.

"Human Key" continues mostly in the Germanic speed/thrash metal vein with the two highlights from the last demo ("Fall of the Dominion", "State of Regression") occupying the front. Their "company" is anything but unappealing, though: the speed metal monster "Tyrants"; the heavy doomy power/thrasher with Oriental motifs "Human Key"; the slightly less than 3-min speed/thrashing instrumental "Aeons". "Cold September" is a bit debatable being a heavy ballad, as well as the more modern-sounding, slightly dragging "Lost Creature". Fortunately the last two songs deliver, one being a nice speed metal killer ala adox and early Helloween: "Architects Of Dreams", the closer "Total Command" a more aggressive thrashing delight with an American flavour.
"Perception of This World" starts with an excellent introductory instrumental growing into the Bay-Areasque headbanger "Liar". Melody takes over on "When Day Dies..." which is much slower, too, before "Predominance" speeds up again with vigorous crisp riffage. To the listener's utter disappointment, what follows is a string of much mellower dreamy power/thrashers with strong balladic overtones occupying a considerable space from the album making "Face The Facts" sounding really awkward with its speedy optimistic riffs later. The closing "DevastHate" is a really nice exercise in more technical thrash ala Forbidden's "Twisted into Form" and Megadeth's "Rust in Peace" mixing fast moments with more intriguing elaborate decisions. As a whole we have quite a hit-and-miss affair the band not sure which path to take settling for a contrasting work which lacks in consistency, but still makes up somewhat with its wider appeal.

"Cosmic Gateway to Infinity" is more laid-back and more speed metal-prone, but the delivery works also thanks to the very good clean vocals. The title-track is a more thrashy composition with some very tasteful leads; and "Colonizing Asteroids" is a really cool more technical shredder. The album takes off in the 2nd half due to the dramatic technicality of "Dead Zone", and the encompassing progressive motifs on the closing "Empire Of Lies" which is an epic epitaph to this entertaining addition to the band's discography, also speed/thrashing hard on occasion in the best spirit of Manticora and Hellfire.
The "O.W.T. ...and Still We Are" EP is another convincing addition to the band's discography the guys speed/thrashing with the expected good taste for melody again recalling the Danes Manticora. Later on there are remastered versions of old songs plus a demo version of "Cold September".
"The Void Unending" will hardly disappoint the band fans as the approach doesn't deviate too much from the chosen path like the highly energetic rhythms of the more complex opener "Black Passage" and "The Void Unending", with "IV-Logic of Nonsense" moshing even harder, with some epic pathos sneaking in on the excellent progressive speed/thrasher "Panic Generator" which also gallops with the finest at some stage. "The Rules of Hate" is the next in line brisk thrasher the guys not intent on losing the accumulated inertia although "Fifth Dimension" is a more varied instrumental with great psychedelic, also quite technical, decisions which to some may be the highlight here. "D.I.E. (Droids in Exile)" carries on with the intricate speed/thrashing ading several great melodic tunes which get increased on the closer "Chain Reaction", a consummate technicaler in the vein of Coroner and Deathrow, something which the guys should provide much more regularly in the future.

Once Were Thrashers Demo, 2004
Bustock Live album, 2005
Ancient Dome Demo, 2005
Promo Demo, 2008
Human Key Full-Length, 2009
Perception of This World Full-length, 2010
Cosmic Gateway to Infinity Full-Length, 2014
O.W.T. ...and Still We Are EP, 2015
The Void Unending Full-length, 2017

Official Site

ANCIENT GODS (PORTUGAL)

Based on "Forsaken Needs", these folks provide classic power/thrash which recalls mid-period Iced Earth and Metal Church from the Mike Howe period. In other words, this won't be the headbanger's paradise although the hard squashing riffs of "Pressure to Perform" should keep anyone happy, while the more relaxed semi-balladic mood on "Who Can Tell" would find its way to the hearts of the more romantic souls. The vocalist is a cool dramatic throat who possesses all the necessary octaves to match the music's mood swings without fail.

Burning Lies EP, 2010
Living in the Wrong Time Full-length, 2013
Forsaken Needs Full-length, 2015

Official Site

ANCIENT HORDE (PORTUGAL)

Based on the "Epic Blood" EP, this act indulge in epic militaristic thrash which crosses Manowar and Manilla Road with more aggressive thrashy/post-deathy rhythms which evolve around dramatic mid-paced structures with a sparse adherence to the blast-beat ("Shinning Swords Of Blood"). The singer is a growly deather helped at times by soaring clean vocals. Some of the musicians also take part in the black metal formation Opus Draconis.

Enter the Ancient Gate EP, 2013
Epic Blood EP, 2014

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ANCIENT OBLITERATION (CANADA)

These guys offer thrash/death metal of the old school mixing fast Floridian riffs with slower almost battle-like ones, in the vein of Bolt Thrower and Benediction. The mix predictably stays closer to death metal. There are technical pretensions to be heard ("Shogun"), and the melodic hooks are interesting and atmospheric, but the gruff unrehearsed vocals and the annoying introductions before every song, which are nothing but non-music noise serving to no purpose, make this effort sound like a draft for something bigger, and hopefully better, to come.

Destruction from the Past EP, 2009

Official Site

ANCIENT POWER (USA)

A more serious take on the old school thrash/crossover idea reflected in longer compositions and a more varied song-writing although the dominant tone is quite intense and fast. There's nothing technical present in the guitar department, just controlled bashing sitting somewhere between Rumble Miltia and Hellbastard, served on a slightly abrasive background accompanied by short noisy leads and shouty hardcore vocals quite close to the ones of Kurt Brecht (D.R.I.).

Ignite the Pentagram Demo, 2012

ANCIENT SLUMBER (SWEDEN)

Based on the "Abandon Your Voltaire Garden" demo, this act plays cool diverse classic stuff ranging from heavy Bay Area-sque thrash with technical overtones ("Scissors, Paper and Stone", the sharp technical riff-fest "Et tu, Zarathustra") to shorter doom-laden pounders ("Shadow of Infamity"). The singer delivers with his gruff semi-clean, but forceful, tone reminiscent of Howard Smith (Acid Reign).

Burn Thy Map of Your Life Demo, 1992
Abandon Your Voltaire Garden Demo, 1993

ANCIENT SPELL (USA)

Based on "Eternal Punishment", this act serve heavy volcanic doom/thrash of the old school which can be ponderous and doomy ("Down from Grace") at times, at others can thrash with the finest ("Warbound") without breaking any sound barriers. The former delivery seems to be favoured more if we exclude the infectious gallops on "Crucified", and the vocals are of the subdued death metal variety suiting quite well the dark, sombre music.

Ancient Spell Full-length, 2013
Forever in Hell Full-length, 2015
Eternal Punishment Full-length, 2017

Official Site

ANCIENT SORROW (SERBIA)

This is just one track (guess the title!) done by two people who practice dark evil black/thrash metal with a heavy, steam-roller rhythm and subdued raspy vocals with a death metal shade.

Blasphemy Demo 2007

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ANCIENT SPELL (USA)

Based on the debut, this outfit indulge in officiant classic power/thrash which ranges from impetuous gallopers ("Bleeding Black") to imposing progressive semi-ballads ("Beyond And Back") throwing in-between the odd more aggressive thrashy riffage ("Made Of Glass", where the main motif will remind you of Destruction's "Curse the Gods"). The vocalist is a hoarse semi-cleaner who at this stage is at odds with the melody recalling early Nasty Ronnie (Nasty Savage).
"Forever in Hell" is a heavy doom-laden affair which is full of high-octane 10-ton hammering riffs the latter not leaving much room for the faster-paced exploits to shine. "Eternal Embers" livens up with a series of more dynamic semi-gallopisms, but this is just too morose to make the regular thrash metal fan fall in love with it. The vocals are not better trying to sound more aggressive completely losing it in the higher shouty moments where the guy's limited range becomes only too evident.

Ancient Spell Full-length, 2013
Forever in Hell Full-length, 2015

Official Site

ANCIENTERROR (CHILE)

Intense fast-paced retro thrash metal with forceful death metal vocals; the guitar work isn't very diverse, but the riffs flow smoothly being both sharp and melodic. "Only Shadows" is a particularly stylish song offering a cool mid-paced break ala Slayer (remember the beginning of "Post Mortem"), but this isn't all since later on the guitar work takes a very nice semi-technical edge. The following "Second Coming" is a stark contrast with its raging aggressive riffs amidst which there is one calmer interlude. "Terminal" slows down once again without any faster surprises, but the closing "Your God" will split your head: an awesome thrash/death metal killer, a fine mixture of very fast, slower and up-tempo galloping rhythms; well, the more melodic semi-clean vocals, which suddenly come up on the scene, could have been spared.

Arguments For Aggresion EP, 2007

Official Site

ANCKORA (RUSSIA)

A strange mix of power, post-thrash, and doom/gothic all this blended on an atmospheric keyboard-infused background with both the modern and classic sound given a fair share. Diverse affair with cool speedy moments as well and very good mid-ranged female vocals. This would be too mild for the regular thrash metal fan, but it's interesting to hear how hard riffs can co-exist with keyboards without this being annoying.

Vechnaia Zima EP, 2010

ANDRALLS (BRAZIL)

The Brazilian metal scene has finally produced an heir to its most precious "child" (you know who I have in mind). Andralls very well fill the gap left by Sepultura after "Arise". The guys are not strangers to modern sounds as well; even industrial touches could be found on their albums. "Massacre, Corruption, Destruction..." is a sure-handed debut, also courting Slayer along the way, both their faster and heavier period, the "innovation" coming in the form of the more shouted semi-hardcore vocals. The sound develops in an energetic classic manner, with all the tracks being cool headbangers, except for the doomy proto-modern "The Future of Life". The modern "winds" also blow on "No Chance to Escape", which sounds close to the fashionable at the time thrash/death metal hybrids.
"Force Against Mind" elaborates on the modern hints from the debut, but retains the retro aggression quite a bit as well, and this modern/classic thrash mixture is appealing enough, especially on the faster material: "Thrash Bloods Mine", "Andralls On Fire (t II)" (t I is from the debut), "Desire Of Glorify". There are actually very few songs which slide down below the up-tempo, the closer "Against Myself (T.C.D.I)" coming out with all the guns blazing, thrashing really hard with an added proto-death intensity.

"Inner Trauma" begins with a heavy stomping intro ("Unexpected") in the spirit of late 80's Slayer, but the moshing starts very soon after with the uncompromising speedy "Fear Is My Ally". Things only get more aggressive with "Down the Jokers" and the frantic "The Age of Rage" which again is a nod to Slayer, but their more extreme mid-80's period. There is no mercy on the rest, either, the speed being preserved until the very end with barely traces of any modern sound, a pure old school attack with a bonus track at the end in the form of a re-mastered version of "Andralls on Fire" (t I).

The self-title in Andralls' case is not a sign for a new path taken: the album offers nice old school headbanging thrash from beginning to end, fast brisk riffs which seldom pause for a break topped by angry semi-shouty vocals. There's absolutely no introduction or any similar ados here: "Two Sides" begins in an immediate bashing fashion, the aggression very soon easily reaching "Reign in Blood" dimensions ("You Mean Shit", which is a vicious piece of pure unbridled aggression; the explosive ultra-thrash on "Last Enemy"), and even the slower breaks smell Slayer ("In The Eyes of The Killer"). "Blind Leads the Blind" is kind of misplaced with its more moderate modern-sounding riffs, but at least offers a relief from the constant mosh in the middle. After it the music takes an even more extreme direction, the remaining 6 tracks bashing in a furious merciless manner. This is by far the band's most aggressive work to date which may prove a tiring experience to those who are not used to a non-stop all-out speed assault.

"Breakneck" will try really hard to "break" your "neck" the band moshing out relentlessly "shooting" brutal Slayer/Sepultura-sque "bullets" to no end the only annoyance being the very modern sound of the guitars which even acquires a certain computerized edge at times the guys obviously willing to betray the time of release. Still, this isn't such a hurdle for the listener to enjoy this aggressive wall of old school thrash which is seldom spiced by more relaxed hardcore outbreaks ("Poledcia"). Although the band are not here to re-invent the wheel, it's always good to hear an old-timer doing it well not falling behind the up-and-coming young forces.

Massacre, Corruption, Destruction... Full-length, 2000
Force Against Mind Full-length, 2003
Inner Trauma Full-length, 2005
Andralls Full-Length, 2009
Breakneck Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

ANESTESIA (SPAIN)

Based on the "Anestesia Cerebral" demo, this band, whose line-up includes Mikel Kazalis: the guitarist who also took part in Estigia, offer very fast and aggressive thrash/hardcore coming as a blend of Wehrmacht and Psychic Possession. Short brutal tracks with hard-hitting riffs will you find here; good headbanging stuff, except for "B.U.F.": a melodic crossover instrumental. Reportedly on later efforts the band adopted more modern tendencies and decreased the aggression considerably acquiring a more restrained hardcore-based sound.

Anestesia Cerebral Demo, 1989
Moralidad Demo, 1990
Toki Berean EP, 1991
Gorrotoaren Ahotsa Full-length, 1993
Erantzun Full-length, 1995
GU Full-length, 1997
Ultra-Komunikatzen Full-length, 2000
Terapia Full-length, 2006

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ANESTESYA (BRAZIL)

A very good newcomer on the progressive thrash metal field; their debut is state-of-the-art work of complex thought-out music with quite long progressive opuses, numerous time/tempo changes, predominantly mid to up-tempo with quite a few, clever, almost addictive riffs, and sudden speedy outbursts. Watchtower and Sieges Even can be cited as influences (the labyrinthine "Powerful Mind") on at least half of the tracks, but the guys often adhere to straight, speedy passages within the songs, which makes them quite comprehensible, despite the considerable length of most of them. The instrumental "Concerto in F# minor Op.1" is a very ambitious attempt at mixing thrash and classical music of the more standard, less abstract (ala Mekong Delta) variety, and quite successful at that, producing great melodic riffs. Another highlight is the larger-than-life progressive thrashfest "Bloody Revolution", which closes on slightly less than 11-min, and is a small album in itself. After these two crowning achievements comes a time for a more conventional sound with the stomping instrumental "Metal Procreation" and the closing mid-paced thrasher "Second Death".

Cruel Fear Full-Length, 2008

ANESTEZIJA (SERBIA)

Heavy groovy post-thrash coming as an angrier Biohazard, the exception being "W.A.R.", which is both more aggressive and melodic, featuring a nice atmospheric semi-balladic mid-section, along with the fastest and thrashiest riffs on the EP. The guys also have another project: Downstroy, where they play pretty similar music, maybe a bit faster and more hardcore-based.

Hate Power Inside EP, 2006

ANESTHESIA (CROATIA)

Based on "Eye for an Eye": 80's thrash reminiscent of Tankard and other representatives of the German school; there are jolly, non-thrash tunes thrown in here and there; a good job- "party" thrash we can call it... "Bone" has no ties to thrash metal being a modern brand of rock/metal.

Eye For An Eye Full-length, 1993
Bone Full-length, 1995

ANESTHESIA (GERMANY)

This band was formed by two ex-Gamma Ray members, but their style is more thrash-oriented. Actually it's a mixture of power and thrash metal reminding of Testament from the early 90's, so it's not aggressive, but is more laid-back, still featuring a few faster headbangers. The singer is not very convincing, with his voice sounding like John Bush crossed with Chris Cornell (Soundgarden). The guys like it longer with most of the songs going over the 5-min limit, with the 9-min opus "Atrocious Silence" reaching the extremes being an abstract and a boring attempt at progressive metal ala more aggressive Porcupine Tree. There are even awkward alternative-sounding tracks which recall 90's Anthrax, and are hardly necessary; 13 songs of such a mixed nature will definitely come as too much for the regular thrash metal fan.

The State Of Being Unable To Feel Pain Full-length, 1997

ANESTHESIA (USA)

Slightly heavy-handed, but passable classic thrash built around stomping mid-tempo tracks with thundering bass and super-seismic riffage which literally squashes the listener who may not be thoroughly entertained till the very end due to the never-changing nature of the music here which carries a distant echo of Xentrix's "Kim" and Forced Entry minus the more technical escapades of the latter. The singer is a not very impressive semi-clean mid-ranger, but kind of matches the volcanic character of the rhythm-section applied.

Pain is Inevile, Misery is Optional Demo, 1992

ANESTHESIA OF BEER (BRAZIL)

This young Brazilian outfit pulls out aggressive classic thrash/death metal with elements of hardcore; fast blitzkrieg songs sounding kind of unfinished, ending on an enjoyable thrashy moment sometimes. The middle is preserved for the cool cover of S.O.D.'s hit "United Forces". The singer is somewhat disappointing with his drunken (everything is about "beer" here, in case of you haven't noticed!) hoarse semi-death metal delivery.

Reign in Beer Demo, 2009

ANESTHESY (BELGIUM)

A good mixture of death and thrash metal, calling to mind Protector and mid-period Messiah (based on the EP): check out the technical thrashing opus "Just Married"; the songs mix fast aggressive parts with peaceful balladic ones topped by brutal throaty death metal vocals. "The Ballad Of Jimmy F." is a 1-min brutal deathcore joke, and "Rerisin' Humanist" is a cool heavy doomster with a few speedier sections.

"Exaltation of the Eclipse" speeds up a bit and adds more intense riffs ala Benediction and Bolt Thrower as well as more technical ones, but preserves the doomy moments from the EP. Death metal has taken over as evident from the heavy opener "Beyond Sadness" which nicely mixes fast furious riffs with ponderous doomy ones. Later on both styles alternate, seldom blended together in one track, as more room has been given to the slower dark riffage, although all hell breaks loose on blitzkrieg thrashers like "Enstrangled Minds". The singer now sounds even scarier and lower, a really brutal growler not far from Karl Willets (Bolt Thrower).

"The Fifth Season" abandons the thrash metal idea almost completely, and is full-fledged death metal, faster than the previous effort, and also more technical. The overall approach now recalls mid-period Bolt Thrower quite a bit mixed with faster more technical moments ala Morbid Angel. Nothing stands on the way of overwhelming steam-rollers like "Cruelty" and "Brutal Expressions" although the more dynamic side is by no means worse: the raging ball of fury "Forgotten Epitaph", the brisk speedy opener "Black Soul". There is also one exercise in pure traditional doom: "Across The Burning Fields", and the closing "Perishable Considerations" finally offers something thrashy in a heavy crushing tone akin to late 80's Slayer.

Just Married EP, 1991
Exaltation of the Eclipse Full-length, 1994
The Fifth Season Full-length, 1998
Let the Mayhem Begin Full-length, 1999

ANETIA INSIGNIS (FRANCE)

Two guys are in charge of the music here, which is dark, moody thrash/death/gothic/doom on a dreamy, melodic base. The album develops in a predictable mid-pace, the music accompanied by brutal low-tuned vocals which are intercepted by more expressive clean ones with a deep dark wave-ish tember; there are also sparse female inclusions of the angelic, semi-operatic variety. The lack of dynamics makes the longer songs a bit boring with not much offered on the faster side (the brooding semi-galloper "Hear the Remains Crying"). The ballad is quite well covered ("Is it a Destiny", and elsewhere), killing the more thrashy attempts, which are reflected in edgy, sharp riffs featured on almost every song. This is melancholic, depressive stuff which will also remind of early Katatonia and their counterparts Ophthalamia.

Persistence in Negativity Full-length, 1999

ANEURISMA (EQUADOR)

Capable old school thrash reminiscent of Anthrax with a touch of the Bay-Area; the guys thrash with force and a slightly noisy guitar sound topped by mean semi-clean vocals. Seldom do they turn to thrash/crossover for inspiration ("Mutilating All Faith That Bleeds"), but all-out thrash attacks, like "Pain Fest" and "Beast Of Destruction" lead the pack although the closing "Although We Loose The War" also goes astray into a mellower semi-balladic direction with slower mid-paced riffage.

Army Of Apocalypse Full-Length, 2009

ANEUROSE (BRAZIL)

Based on "Juggernaut", this band serve modern thrash with very shouty death metal vocals which create quite a bit of noise. The guys mix the tempos and the mood as the merrier one is reflected in the jolly crossover speedster "To Lemmy" which sounds too optimsitic to be a wholesome tribute to the deceased legend. Elsewhere there's stomping dramatism ("Speeding Up!"; nothing speedy here), moshing hardcore ("Enslaved"), and melodic "excursions" into metalcore ("Deathly, Cold, Chill.").

From Hell Full-length, 2013
Juggernaut Full-length, 2016

Official Site

ANEURYSM (ITALY)

A mixture of progressive and thrash metal of the modern variety with numerous influences from other sides of the metal spectre; not bad, but might pull back some thrash fans because of its somewhat alternative passages.

Aware Full-length, 2002
Shades Full-length, 2007

Official Site

ANFOR (COLOMBIA)

A rough abrasive sound hampers this effort which is another addition to the voluminous nowadays retro thrash catalogue which is a bit on the noisier side of the spectre. And that's a pity because pieces like "Salvacion Eterna" and "Un Gran Temor" rage hard and would hardly leave many fans indifferent. There are a few fillers which are on the slower clumsy side, and the singer is a forced shouter with accentuated death metal inclinations.

Injusticia Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

ANGANTYR (HOLLAND)

Based on the debut demo, this band play serious speed/thrash with echoes of Paradox and Flotsam & Jetsam with elongated, carefully crafted compositions which at times come choppy and semi-technical ("Behind The Widows Veil"), at others are just friendly uplifting riffs piled on top of each other ("Bridge Of No Return"). The singer doesn't take a very active part and is of the gruff semi-clean/semi-shouty type.

Angantyr Live Demo, 1988
The Official One Demo, 1991

Official Site

ANGEL 7 (UKRAINE)

Based on "The Fall of the Golden Calf", these folks deliver classic speed/thrash with a curious vocal "duel" between clean female and brutal deathy male vocals. The music is very optimistic with clear shades of the 90's power/speed metal movement with a hefty portion of pure power metal anthems which are full of catchy melodic hooks. There's even a free Christmas bonus at the end called "King of Mercy", a potent speed/thrasher which is the most aggressive cut on the album.

Last Revolution Full-length, 2014
The Fall of the Golden Calf Full-length, 2015

Official Site

ANGEL BEAST (CANADA)

Based on the "The Transition" demo, this is a melodic power/thrash metal band; the music is mid-paced and heavy, sounding like a more melodic version of Nasty Savage's debut.
"In the Meantime" increases the speed ("Dead Child's Eyes") and the technicality ("It's Insane"), but the sound becomes more melodic, this time closer to Omen, Savage Grace and other veterans from the American metal scene.

The Transition Demo, 1988
In The Meantime EP, 1990

ANGEL DEATH (ITALY)

Based on the "Death To Christianity" demo, this band are one of the very first practitioners of brutal and raw thrash/death metal in Europe. Their music is not too far from early Messiah, probably with a lower level of musicianship and with a shade of hardcore, recalling The Exploited.

Death To Christianity Demo, 1986
Gore (Blood of War) Single, 1991
Demo 'b491 Demo, 1991
Exorcisin' the Pain Single, 1992

ANGEL DUST (GERMANY)

"Into the Dark Past" is brilliant speed/thrash metal, easily one of the best works of the whole scene. Once the speed/thrash classic "I'll Come Back" hits you, you know you'll be coming back (no pun intended) over and over again to listen to this masterpiece. Although this album clearly shows its age, few are those which can capture the magic of the German 80's thrash metal scene as well as this one. Every other song is actually as strong as the opener. "Legions of Destruction" thrashes with no mercy, even attempting something more technical for a while in the middle. "Gambler" is a 7-min speed/thrash riff-fest at its finest, followed by another similar explosion: "Fighter's Return". "Atomic Roar" will crush you with its heavy, and at the same time intense, fast rhythms. "Victims of Madness" finally slows down: a nice up-tempo thrasher, a well deserved break for the guys, before "Marching for Revenge" closes this incredible work in a raging, furious way.

"To Dust You Will Decay" brings the winds of change with it (too early: Scorpions made the song 2 years later!); the first new thing is the singer S.L. Coe, who has a great voice, but is more melodic, and it seems as though the rest try to adjust the music to better suit his less aggressive delivery. "Mr. Inferno" is an awesome opener, pretty much in the spirit of the debut. "Wings of an Angel" has too gentle a title to be a hard-hitting thrasher, and this is not the case: this is a moderate power metal number, and this is where quite a few heads will start shaking in doubt. "Into the Dark Past (Chapter II)" will raise some hopes, because of its title, but the music is more on the power/speed metal side. "The King" hits hard, thrashing with power, hopefully setting the tone for the rest of the album, and the following "To Dust You Will Decay" does exactly that: thrashing relentlessly, accompanied by an enormous sigh of relief from the listener. "Stranger" is not bad, but is more melodic and more power metal-based, with a great chorus. "The Duell" is a speed metal track, and one could easily see how much the 90's power/speed metal scene owes to songs like that. "Hold On" is an inauspicious ending, with ordinary heavy/power rhythms, causing anxiety as to what direction the band would take from now on. It was probably a kind of relief that they disbanded soon after, with S.L. Coe joining Scanner for one last temptation a year later. The others were back in the mid-90's, but their works after the reformation have completed the transformation into a power metal band with progressive overtones, with the occasional presence of some thrashy riffs from their "dark past".

Into the Dark Past Full-length, 1986
To Dust You Will Decay Full-length, 1988

Official Site

ANGEL DUST (HOLLAND)

Based on the debut demo, these guys offer a not very organized mixture of power, speed and thrash which still has its cool moments reminding of the Nasty Savage debut with its raw naive charm. The prevalent direct stripped-down approach is abandoned on the epic brooder "Witches Brew" which can become a bit tiring near the end since the band never change the monotonous mid-pace. The singer has a not very rehearsed thin semi-clean voice which he managed to hone better for the next incarnation of the band, Asgard, where the style shifted towards less exciting speed metal.

We Honour Black Religion Demo, 1984
Possessed by Evil Demo, 1985
Pray for Metal Demo, 1985

ANGEL FALLEN (USA)

Thrash/death metal of the modern variety, aiming at the progressive audience as well, mainly based on sprawling atmospheric, peaceful middle sections, recalling Opeth. The compositions are long with the exception of the ordinary weak "Descent" which is even further ruined by bland clean vocals. The rest is not bad at all, mostly mid-paced to slow with complex passages where more energy could have made them more interesting; now they would definitely find a lot of fans from the gothic metal camp as well.

Angel Fallen Demo, 2008

ANGEL GRAVE (USA)

This outfit produces eclectic jumpy technical/progressive thrash/death which consists of hard speedy passages which suddenly get intercepted by complex jazzy breaks. This blend surprisingly works since the band cover both sides expertly the symbyosis very well expressed on the diverse opus "Angel Grave" where furious sections are replaced by twisting puzzling ones ala Cynic and Atheist. The music also has shades of mid-period Death and Sadus allusions also made by the great bass work which is a stylish nod to the master Steve DiGiorgio. The short instrumental "Equilibrium" is a virtuoso piece of expert musicianship, but nothing beats the 13-min saga "Organic Algorithms" which overflows with nuances to a fairly overwhelming effect including several ultra-brutal death metal moments; the guys maybe overdo it here since the shades are too many for one to be able to follow all the twists and turns of the plot. The final "Desolate Homecoming" is only a relatively more immediate thrash/deathster inserting a slight keyboard background to a dramatic, atmospheric impression also reflected in a haunting closing organ-driven operatic section. The vocals are of the generic semi-whispered death metal kind, but they are hardly a detriment. This is thought-out music which would delight the progressive metal fans, but those who are fonder of the aggressive, headbanging side of the genre should also check this out.

Ostendere Vestibulum EP, 2012

Official Site

ANGEL NEGRO (SPAIN)

Based on the "Hombre Rico, Hombre Pobre" demo, this outfit practices a modern brand of thrash/crossover with classic references. This is diverse stuff with an alternation of slow and fast songs on a slightly noisy guitar base with a use of leads which are of the screamy type, but deliver. The vocalist is a typical death metal growler, but his rendings are intelligible.
The debut demo is in the same vein, maybe a tad more aggressive and classic-sounding offering more intense riffage towards the end where also comes the funky oddity "El Buitre (Ska)" which will make you dance around with its frolic playful rhythms the latter totally contrasting with the rough drunken semi-shouty vocals.

Trashg'fcerta Demo, 1992
Hombre Rico, Hombre Pobre Demo, 1993
Er Total Disaster Tour 93 Demo, 1994

ANGEL OF SODOM (FINLAND)

Crunchy classic thrash with shouty death-like vocals; there's variety of tempos the faster one best exemplified by the blitzkrieg "Divine Retribution", the more officiant side more frequently heard reaching the culmination on the closing volcanic epicer "Laid To Waste". The sound production is a bit overdone making the guitars too noisy at times.

Divine Retribution Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

ANGEL REAPER (HUNGARY)

Based on the "Vgzet Utolr" demo, this band offer raw amateurish black/thrash metal which at times sounds close to the Slayer debut, but when it speeds up, it goes straight into the Brazilian camp: Sarcofago, Vulcano, etc. The guys are not aggressive all the time, and jolly crossover numbers are also present: "Kannibelok Temadesa", "'d5si dics'f5s'e9g", livened up by melodic guitar lines, which could have been taken from the Hungarian folklore. The musicianship is on a low level, despite the effort put by the guitar players; unfortunately the singer is placed too much in the front which is bad because his sinister rasps are not good at all, and the parts where he doesn't sing are the better ones.

"Exhumelt Vileg" is better in terms of musicianship, and this time the mix is between thrash and death metal. As a result we have 7 pretty intense headbangers, not too far from the works of Protector or Messiah from the 90's. The bonus track "Hitler A Messies" at the end, is apparently a leftover from their more black metal-inclined past, but is a cool minimalistic mid-paced black-ish thrasher, partially ruined by the listless declamatory vocals.

Demo I Demo, 1987
Vgzet Utolr Demo, 1989
Exhumlt Vile1g Demo, 1992

Official Site

ANGEL SCAR (USA)

Six youngsters have gotten together here for the creation of these 4 compositions of abrasive modern progressive post-thrash which comes with echoes of industrial and death metal all influences kind of embedded in the not best possible way, a fact also verified by the lack of many fast-paced passages the whole amalgam being too noisy and clumsy to make the listener concentrate willingly. The several acoustic/balladic breaks are quite good, though, and they surpass the rest in both musicianship and atmosphere although some more intriguing decisions can be noticed on the closing "The Din of It All". The singer is a subdued deathy semi-shouter whose presence is not very strongly felt.

Angel Scar EP, 2012

Official Site

ANGELCRYPT (MALTA)

Based on the "From Abyss to Glory" EP, this band play epic power metal mixed with thrash and speed metal in a way not entirely different from the Polish Hellfire or Manticora from Denmark. The vocals are a bit roughly-sounding for this kind of music, but this is not a big obstacle. There is some cheesiness involved which often goes hand in hand with epic power metal (the use of keyboards, epic choruses, etc.), but there are also enough heavy sharp riffs to give the music the necessary edge.

"Echoes of Death" offers a similar concoction with more concentration on power metal not far from early Omen and Manowar. The pace is mid with more speedy "decorations" here and there, the singer again being the underperformer with his hoarse drunken blend.
"We Are the Dead": the rough death metal vocals are the only brutal thing here; otherwise music-wise the guys bring the winds of speed metal, above all, softening the atmosphere with the casual mid-pacer (the title-track, the epicer "Blasangriff") also notching it up in the musicianship department with the rousing battle hymn "Serpents of the Somme", a fine progressive number with soaring virtuous melodies.

From Abyss to Glory EP, 2003
Echoes of Death EP, 2007
We Are the Dead Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

ANGELDEATH (USA)

Based on the "Hordes of Sickness/Legions of Hate" EP, this is a typical old school thrash/death metal hybrid with early Massacra a very close soundalike. So expect predominantly fast music with gruff semi-whispered death metal vocals. The guys are not for all-out speed the whole time, and heavier breaks are scattered all over making the music diverse and interesting.

Screams From Beyond EP, 2003
Hordes of Sickness/Legions of Hate EP, 2004

My Space

ANGELKILL (USA)

Based on "Beyond the Black", this band pulls out heavy still classic-sounding thrash with a couple of groovy passages thrown in ("Bodies On The Ice", which also offers a nice classical section recalling Verdi's "To Elise"), heavy and mid-paced for most of the time with gruff death metal vocals. The music goes down to doom at times in a way similar to the Dutch Asphyx, and since there are ten songs which are quite close to each other sound-wise, this album may tire the listener as the guys are not willing to make things faster at all.

"Bloodstained Memories" is a better offering, more dynamic and diverse, albeit a tad more modern-sounding, starting with the nice progressive mix of thrash and doom "Infernal Names". Later on the material is in the same vein, mixing intense faster passages with heavy hammering ones with a strong doze of technicality at times: the excellent constantly hectic jumpy "Unliving Sleep"; the Death-esque "Spiritual Amputation" which crushes like an intelligent technical steam-roller. When "Flesh Defiled" delights again with its heavy technical riffs, one may start wondering whether he has heard such heavy stuff so well embedded with technicality before. "Sinners Dance" speeds up a bit (after all, it's a "dance") offering a nice "violin-versus-guitar" section ala Skyclad. "The Secret Room" is doomy technical thrash at its best, while "Orgy of Self Mutilation" is again a bit faster with crushing jumping guitars and a cool lead passage near the end. The final "Dearly Beheaded" is another slab of doomy heaviness abandoning the technicality for the sake of more gloomy atmosphere.

"Casket Lullabies" should be no surprise offering the same heavy technical sound, this time with a bigger nod to the classic school, with more proficient lead guitar work. The opening "Wolfen" starts in a predictable fashion mixing doom-laden with semi-technical riffage before a very fast raging section scares you somewhere in the middle. "Sewn Shut Eyes" is great technical thrash with a fine Oriental motive, and a brilliant doomy exit in the best tradition of Candlemass. "Impaled Visions" is shorter and jumpy, but "The Curse" makes up with lashing heavy crushing riffs for about 8-min, even containing another fast-paced section. More speed coming with the fine galloping "Throughout Oblivion", something quite new in the band's delivery; watch out for the marvellous melodic lead passage in the middle which also springs up at the end. "Moon on the 7th" is more ordinary sounding like a leftover from Testament's "Souls of Black", and "Master of Nightmares" switches onto crushing heavy thrash ala Cerebral Fix, the exception coming in the form of the nice melodic leads. The band's staple style returns with "Man Eating Man" although this piece clings more towards doom. "Crown of Flies" closes the album with style, thrashing far and wide (and fast) with a nice Oriental blend again without forgetting about the trademark heavy technical guitars which here simply crush skulls. This interesting characteristic, clearly classic-sounding, approach to thrash should have found more exposure back in those days, especially when the guys in the beginning were steadfastly defending an already lost cause, heroically surviving long enough to see the first "light in the tunnel" in the late 90's.

The debut is a messy affair seeing the guys still "honing their weapons", providing a very abrasive heavy guitar sound which at times sounds like one buzzy wasp-y guitar. Technicality is very slightly covered, as well as doom ("Imagined Ugliness" is the sole slow exception), and most of the time the music is a hesitation between thrash and death metal mixing fast and mid tempos to a not very impressive effect: the switches are not very smooth, and there's a lot of unmelodic chugga-chugga riffage ala Meshuggah to be heard, but this one serves to no purpose, simply because nothing technical or more interesting goes on.

"Artist of the Flesh" is another capable effort, more dynamic (if we exclude the great exercise in ponderous Sabbath-esque doom "Morbid Confessions" near the end) and diverse than "Beyond the Black", and more classic-sounding in a way not too far from Cerebral Fix's "Death Erotica". Some of the songs are in a cool up-pace, and the jumpy technical tempos which made the next two albums so memorable, have been introduced (the intense pounding "Born in Blood") although here they still play a secondary role. It's still a bit dry in the guitar department with the nice melodic hooks and leads just starting to show up.

Artist of the Flesh Full-length, 1991
Garden of Crosses Full-length, 1993
Lady Cadaver EP, 1995
Beyond the Black Full-length, 1996
Bloodstained Memories Full-length, 1996
Casket Lullabies Full-length, 1998

Official Site

ANGELLIC RAGE (USA)

This is actually a very old band, their early demos dating back as far as 1990. There's very little information as to what caused this very long delay till the first full-length release, but it's a fact, and the good news is that the band are capable of producing good dark thrashy power metal with progressive overtones: think Sanctuary's "Into the Mirror Black", Liege Lord's "Master Control", the Swedes Pathos. The music is mid-paced and heavy, topped up by excellent melodic mid-ranged vocals, quite close to the ones of Jeoff Tate and William Wren (Mystic Force, Oracle). "Total Suspect" is quite a good take on the early Queensryche sound (the debut), and is the softest composition. The album is whole 14 songs long (after all, it's been nearly 20 years of collecting a material for this album), so expect variety in the sound on offer: more modern-sounding numbers ("Born Into") ala The Black Album; faster thrashy monsters ("Final Sacrament", "Lost Face"); impressive technical power/thrash ("Pained", the twisted in the best tradition of Helstar's "Nosferatu" "Industrial Genocide"); heavy doomy thrash ("Dr Jeckyl"); even one funky heavy/power metal track ("Seeing Believing") as a finishing touch which is hardly the best way to end this nice work, but by that time one should be fully satisfied going through a wide spectre of technical/progressive power/speed/thrash metal nuances.

Generation Enraged Full-length, 2009

Official Site

ANGELRAPE (SWEDEN)

Based on the self-titled debut demo, this outfit provides 3 songs of aggressive black/thrash crossing early Absu with Impaled Nazarene in a comprehensive, sure-handed way. There are short, to-the-point, outbreaks ("Black Winds"), as well as long more thrashy ("Satanic Bless") pieces, topped by unholy raspy black metal vocals.

The "Unholy Proclamation" demo is a 4-tracker which continues in the same uncompromising vein thrash/blacking in a vicious, no-bars-held manner with a more frequent use of blast-beats and a shade of death metal ("Raped By Silence"). Relentless stuff as a whole with a few nice melodic leads thrown in.

Angelrape Demo, 2004
Unholy Proclamation Demo, 2005

ANGELS TORMENT (AUSTRIA)

This demo contains 4 songs of fast intense black/thrash/death metal "courting" the more modern 90's school coming close to early Dissection on the more inspired moments.

Angels Torment Demo, 2006

ANGELUS (GERMANY)

A curious offering which is built around the so much loved thrash/crossover, but there's certain speed metal aesthetics and pure 90's proto-groovy elements, quite an early phenomenon at the time. The problem is that the guys lose the thrash metal idea more than now and then and descend to funky, punky and what-not passages. There's perennial jolly optimistic atmosphere throughout, but the thrash metal fan will lose his/her patience long before the end.

Kneel Down and Pray Full-length, 1991

ANGELUS (HUNGARY)

Both sexes are presented equally in this Hungarian quartet (the singer is a guy, though, although his hysterical screeches may mislead) which offers heavy semi-angry modern post-thrash with jumpy heavy riffs which seldom pleasantly surprises with more vivid proto-classic riffage, but such deviations are not many at all, and despite the cool dark atmosphere created this effort will hardly make a lot of eyebrows raise.

Halhatatlantalan'edt'e1s Full-length, 2008

Official Site

ANGELUS APATRIDA (SPAIN)

The debut: a mix of more melodic power metal and Pantera, not bad with cool edgy riffs; at the end the band pay tribute to their idols with a cover version of "Domination". "Give'Em War" is a major improvement over the debut, with a more thrashy sound (also displayed by the song-titles: "Thrash Atack"), leaving the power metal influences far behind, and along with the crushing Pantera-sque riffs one could hear cool Jeff Waters-like ones, too, as well as really good classic thrash guitars.

"Clockwork" leaves all the modern gimmicks behind and focuses on brisk retro speed/thrash metal in a dynamic up-tempo with good mid-ranged semi-clean vocals with a slight throaty shade ala Dave Mustaine. The overall style resembles the Bay-Area acts (Exodus, above all; and Testament, on the more technical leanings ("The Misanthropist")), the guys exiting their speedy approach with sce, but convincing, heavy mid-paced moshers ("Get Out Of My Way"; "My Insanity"; the excellent more melodic closer "National Disgrace" which also acquits itself with a couple of edgy galloping riffs in the 2nd half). A bonus track for a "dessert" awaits you at the very end: a nice speedy cover of Iron Maiden's "Be Quick Or Be Dead".

"The Call" shows the band in a fairly cool form once again to produce the needed doze of rigorous headbanging thrash which after the perennial opening mosher "You Are Next" acquires a more controlled "face" sticking to less striking mid-paced formulas the downbeat impression erased by the diverse opus "Blood On The Snow" in the middle: a dramatic machine-gunner with spontaneous speedy outbursts. Things get more interesting after that with the thrashy delight "Killer Instinct" which is vintage early Megadeth echoing the preceding effort. Then comes another string of more laid-back mid-pacers which grow into the closing "Reborn": an encompassing composition of the semi-balladic variety which is full of heavy rhythms and a few good lead melodies. The singer continues to deliver with his passionate mid-ranged voice here recalling Leszek "Leo" Szpigiel (Scanner, Mekong Delta) quite a bit.
"Hidden Evolution" is now the expected high-quality thrash from the Spaniards and the fans won't be disappointed moshing out on this intense effort which takes no prisoners on raging pieces like "First World of Terror" and "Architects" the latter serving cool sophisticated technical licks. "Tug of War" is a diverse speed/thrasher with echoes of Paradox, but it's "End Man" which goes away with all the praise for technical performance: hectic technical thrash at its most inspired the rifforama supported by very cool melodic leads as well. "Speed of Light" tries to reach the aforementioned in the title light, but gives up at some stage since the remaining numbers are mid-paced at best the band calming down near the end for a softer, more progressive sound.

Evil Unleashed Full-length, 2006
Give 'Em War Full-length, 2007
Clockwork Full-length, 2010
The Call Full-length, 2012
Hidden Evolution Full-length, 2015

Official Site

ANGELWARRIOR ACE (GERMANY)

This band is just one person, the name Chris J. Marino. The debut is battle-prone retro power/thrash the guy providing a wide array of vocals one of which is not very suitable deep guttural death metal growl. Otherwise the music delivers with hard lashing riffage which is at times helped by soaring keyboards ("Balls Of Steel") as actual hard-hitting thrash ("Curse", "Thin LIne") is not such a common occurrence. The guitar sound acquires sparse annoying, noisy qualities ("Tornado") which mar the warm epic tone prevailing for most of the time.
"Noble Precious Metal" is sustained in the same manner the abrasive guitar tone still present which shouldn't be the case as this time the delivery is more aggressive with more regular headbanging escapades ("King Arthur", the speed/thrashing fury "Revelation War"). "Bewitched" is a cool attempt at a more technical, also more melodic, play, the highlight here.

Magic Full-length, 2016
Noble Precious Metal Full-length, 2017
Vengeance of Steel Full-length, 2017

Official Site

ANGER (ITALY)

Based on the EP, this outfit indulge in intense aggressive thrash/death with very brutal low-tuned death metal vocals which are not very intelligible. The music packs a punch changing pace at will without creating too much chaos along the way the final result resembling later-period Messiah (think "Choir of Horrors"), maybe a tad more simplistic and with a muddier sound quality which surprisingly favours the guitars since they're not really technical, but bash with passion in an attractively dishevelled manner. Reportedly the full-length incorporates industrial elements and sounds close to early Fear Factory. It's interesting to know that the band members have taken part in some of the most prominent Italian metal acts (Death SS, Eldritch, Labyrinth, etc.).

No Compromise EP, 1995
Chaos Full-length, 2002

Official Site

ANGER AS ART (USA)

Based on "Anger as Art", which is actually a re-recording of an album initially made two years earlier, with Steve Gaines playing all the instruments, using a drum machine: the fast, intense delivery of the band draws inevitable comisons to Violence's "Eternal Nightmare" although the opening "Attitude Adjustment" is pure unbridled crossover/hardcore, quite similar to the style of the old band to which the song-title refers. The music hits you like a steam roller and never lets you loose. This is a really fine piece of pure aggression: no flaws, except for the last number which is a hardcore-laced, not as good as the opener, joke. The final "Blood Of My Enemies", which is not a Manowar cover, nicely hints at the band's bigger technical potential, which finds a fuller realisation on the sophomore release. The bonus tracks are live versions of songs from the album, with one very fast-paced cover of Sepultura's "Troops of Doom" added as a finishing touch. Gaines (Abattoir, Bloodlust, Dreams of Damnation, etc.) does a good job behind the mike, toning down his vicious death metal tember for the sake of cool semi-clean melodic lines. With rumours about an eventual Abattoir reunion, the future of this talented act is uncertain.
"Callous And Furor", released the same year, is a similar merciless thrash metal assault sounding like a nice companion to the debut with the guitar work becoming both more technical and more melodic ("Gnashing of Teeth" is a great example of a mixture of both; "Callous And Furor" is glorious technical speed/thrash, recalling the Swedish masters from the distant past Midas Touch; "Still I Hate" is a brilliant short raging piece of technical thrash/death metal), which makes it an even better listening experience. This time there is more variety: "Bane of My Existence" slows down, featuring a nice solo, too; "Watch Me Suffer, Watch Me Die" is the odd galloping power/thrash metal number in the spirit of Griffin and Omen; "Invaders from Within" blasts out for a while in a mighty technical death metal fashion, later carrying on in a splendid speed metal spirit not heard since Helloween's "Walls of Jericho", before the nice acoustic balladic section in the end where Gaines shows his more tender vocal talents.

"Disfigure" comes after a 3-year break which shouldn't be a surprise having in mind the guys' occupations with other acts around the metal circuit including all of them taking part in the resurrection of the 80's power/speed metal legends Abattoir, including Gaines himself. So shall we be delighted again? By all means, as the guys waste no time proving their worth with the energetic opener "The Crush", vintage old school Bay-Area thrash with a nice doomy twist at the end. This is the just the beginning, though, as both speed and technicality reach new heights on the raging speedster "Appease an Angry God", a mosher of a very high order with an addictive main riff. Still with a headshake from the last offering, one will be thrown into another headbanging tornado with "It Feels Like Blood", a semi-technical lasher in a very fast tempo. "Disfigure" is the obligatory "break" from the mosh, a heavy doomy thrasher. "The All Fall Down" is very quick to compensate with a very short fierce grinding section in the beginning, just to suggest that there will be no much rest on this "monster", and indeed, this one is fast relentless thrash with the grinding passage springing up several times later on leaving room for an interesting semi-melodic/semi-technical ending. "Master Becomes the Slave" prefers to mosh in a slightly slower up-tempo way, but "Seed of Hate" is sheer speed metal fury taken straight from the early 80's German scene. Technical, still quite fast, thrash takes over on "I Am Your Enemy" where the guys shred like demented for the whole 4-min. No rest for the wicked, and "Anger is a Gift" is another all-out thrash assault with a cool technical edge, but the final "Dissention" beats it all "marrying" technical riffs, sweeping melodies and very fast pace to an overwhelming effect, the headbanger's adise, ending this masterpiece in the best possible fashion. Probably the only newcomer of the past few years to boldly stand on the very front echelon with the veterans even surpassing them at the present moment and a main pretender for the "best thrash metal act of the decade" title right now.
"Hubris Inc." has a heavy boulder on its shoulders by trying to keep the band on the top. Unfortunately, it doesn't bother doing that and it hardly delivers even half as well as the previous efforts with its messy concoction of influences. The range of styles is now bigger with flashes of hardcore meeting the fans from the get-go on the opening "Time Devours Life" before more brutal death metal blasts knock you down on the next "Gods Of Hate". Then comes the heavy/doomy rocker "Anger As The Reason" which has a few mathces later on the latter dispersed among the faster numbers which which are more on the speed metal side branching out into crossover on the merrier rhythmic sections. "Rage And Retribution" sees the inclusion of Betsy Weiss from the US heavy metal veterans Bitch who gives a cool fragrance to the album with her attached performance. As a whole this is a not very impressive achievement the guys playing a blend of too many styles here as though not feeling confident that they would pull it out with such style anymore in the thrash metal detment. So logically their top position in the charts is subject to revision...
"Ad Mortem Festinamus" has the lighter task to keep the band afloat after the not very striking previous offering. The guys open with two lightning-fast cuts the second of which is a pure melo-deathster with a thrashy colouring. There's no rest for the wicked, and these pieces are followed by the dynamic progressiver "Tombward" and the 2-min crossover joke "L.A. State Of Mind". "Hammer, Blade, And Twisting Fire" is a nice energetic galloper, and "We Hurry Into Death" is another death-ornated shredder. Seekers of the technical and the innovative would have given up at this stage to hear something along the lines of the band's first 2 albums, and indeed, this recording is only marginally better than its predecessor seeing the band shying away from the high standards set, lacking ideas to back up their impressive beginnings.

Anger As Art Full Length, 2006
Callous And Furor Full Length, 2006
Disfigure Full-length, 2009
Hubris Inc. Full-Length, 2013
Ad Mortem Festinamus Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

ANGER REIGN (USA)

Based on the "Technodeath" demo, this band do not belong exactly to the technical camp opting instead for a more standard sound ala Anthrax and mid-period Overkill with elements of power metal. There's a certain lack of speed the guys sticking to the mid-pace for most of the time with heavy smashing riffs, screamy leads, and very good clean vocals which often hit the high mark without sounding annoying. Some of the guys later formed Graphic Violence with whom they acquired a slightly more modern sound.

Anger Reign Demo, 1990
Technodeath Demo, 1991

My Space

ANGER WITHIN (USA)

Cool classic crossover/thrash of the more aggressive type with elements of death metal.

Rise from the Violence Demo, 2000

Official Site

ANGERHEAD (USA)

The debut EP: 3 songs of the good old thrash/crossover done with a crisp modern production and containing expressive shouty, but not unpleasant, semi-clean vocals. The band have fun pulling out merry energetic riffs sticking to a direct simplistic approach characterized by moderately fast guitars with almost no melodic tricks to be heard; the way it used to be done in the good old days.
The full-length is another brisk affair the band keeping the fiery speedy riffs flying even on longer, more thought-out cuts like "Legacy of Hate". Motorhead's "Iron Fist" appears in the middle to summarize what this merry, optimistic effort is all about: energetic unpretentious retro music with occasional groovy distractions ("Endless Nightmares").

Pissed Off!! EP, 2012
Headful of Hate EP, 2014
Fueled by Rage Full-length, 2016

Official Site

ANGHELL (USA)

Decent classic power/thrash metal played by women/girls only; the girls play with energy, mostly in mid-tempo with a few nice balladic passages present. The one behind the mike provides a forceful comprehensive delivery, pretty clean and convincing, but the guitar sound is quite dirty with a punkish vibe; still, it can't possibly stand on the way of the great aggressive pounder "Psych War" near the end. Hats down to the girls for coming with a pretty classic-sounding for the time stuff although they had to accept the new models 3 years later under the name Bitchcraft where the style is pretty ordinary 90's post-thrash.

FeMetal Demo, 1993

Fan Site

ANGKOR VAT (URUGUAY)

Based on the "Southern Blood" EP, this band are not far from the more brutal side of the Brazilian metal scene- think Sepultura ("Schizophrenia", "Beneath the Remains"), Holocausto's debut. The music is actually a good early thrash/death metal hybrid with speedy riffs inserted, recalling early Destruction and Kreator.

Vat-tack Demo, 1988
Southern Blood EP, 1989
Neutro EP, 1999

ANGKOR WAT (USA)

This band features Adam Grossman-the man who later founded the industrial metal wizards Skrew, and went into much bigger glories. The style on the 1st album is an unusual, occasionally interesting, almost hysterical take on thrash with hardcore, even punk-ish overtones; not for everyone, although the opening track "Innnocence 89" thrashes intensely in a respecle manner, ruined by the hysterical, shouty vocals. Later the songs vary from serious attempts at thrash, even with more technical guitars ("Under Lock & Key", "Emotional Blackmail") to intense, fast-paced ones ("Warsaw", "Die Young").

"Corpus Christi" is a major improvement with a much more serious song-writing, containing a couple of nice catchy thrashers. Slight industrial elements are also present to suggest at bigger things to come. The music on this one is a good rehearsal for the Grossnman's career with Skrew; it's even technical and choppy, more reminding of the last two Skrew efforts, rather than the all-out triple guitar attack on the first two. Really cool exercises in abstract, technical thrash will one find here: "Turn of the Screw" (here at least "screw" is spelt correctly (pun intended)): a very cool track, which offers a whirlwind of moods and music; the same effect is achieved later on the other highlight: the multi-layered "Ordinary Madness". The other material is more ordinary, but still offers enough twisted riffs ("Schizophrenic Storm") which nicely go along with the more direct aggressive ones. The album closer "Sour Born" is pure noisy industrial similar to the way Skrew used to end their albums.

When Obscenity Becomes The Norm... Awake ! Full-length, 1989
Corpus Christi Full-length, 1990

My Space

ANGRA AHRIMAN (FINLAND)

Two stalwarts from the Finnish black metal underground have given themselves a chance for softer music wiht this fair tribute to the Motorheads, early Exciter and the likes with sparse excursions into more brutal territories ("Infernal Intoxication", the blast-beating "monstrosity" "Leader of the Rats"). "The Devourer" is a nice atmospheric cut, the only slower track here boosted by the assured semi-shouty/semy-death metal vocals which do a good job leading the proceedings recalling Lars G. Petrov (Entombed).

Infernal Intoxication Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

ANGREPP (SWEDEN)

The debut: a varied effort mixing black, thrash and death metal with an old school spirit. The closest reference point would be the Canadians Slaughter, but there's also Bathory, Celtic Frost and early Swedish death metal to be heard. "Scandinavian Dawns" is a cool nod to old Burzum, a hypnotic blasting composition with only the vocals straying from the Norwegian's approach with their gruff low death metal tone.

"Warfare" is much more faithful to thrash metal than to the other styles, and as a whole this effort is more melodic and much more immediate. Most of the tracks are in an energetic up-tempo, but there are a couple of numbers with a heavy stomping quality akin to early Celtic Frost again. The bad news is that the guitar work is very simplistic sticking to the frolic punky patterns for most of the time, an approach also recently acquired by Darkthrone. So it's probably good in this case that the closing "Dictator" abandons those patterns and opts for a much more brutal death metal sound with a dominant blast-beating flavour.
"Libido" brings back the furious unbridled black metal-ish formulas, and the delivery is again more on the aggressive side still mixed with the "dirty" crusty riffage from its predecessor. The "cocktail" delivers especially on inspired crusty moshers like "Hugg Alla" and the more brutal "True Old Soul"; and more moderate stompers like "Liberated Intoxicated" are also welcome with their avantgarde Celtic Frost-esque flair. This is indeed "party in hell", like one of the track titles so ably suggests, with the closing title-tack providing a few sinister creepy, doomy motifs as a finishing touch to deepen the descent (into hell).

Pree for the Attack Demo, 2006
Warfare Full-length, 2010
Libido Full-Length, 2014

My Space

ANGRIFF (PORTUGAL)

"War of Life" is heavy, modern thrash; "Under the Decadence" moves towards the old school sound akin to the Brazilians Atomica and Sepultura (the early albums). It's fairly energetic and brisk, seldom betraying the pattern with slower, pounding tracks ("Betrayer", the steam-rolling smasher "Decadence"). Still, killing explosions like "In Anoiabs Dominion" and "Born in Vain", or the speedy thrash/crossover closer "Killing for Living" are what one expects to hear on a work like this.

"Art of Aggression" is another commendable slab of brisk energetic old school thrash, maybe a bit more laid-back, but sharp and speedy all over. The guys thrash with competence touching the Bay-Area ("adox Within"), or entering the German speed/thrash metal arena ("War To Honour Your God"), or moshing out in an 80's American fashion ("Steel Damage") ala early Whiplash.

War of Life Full-length, 2001
Under the Decadence Full-length, 2006
Art of Aggression EP, 2010

My Space

ANGRY (BRAZIL)

The EP: this outfit indulge in fast ripping retro thrash, really "angry" stuff with lashing riffs and shouty attached vocals with an expressive semi-clean blend. There's some sophisticated technicality going through the effort, and in the relatively lengthy numbers the listener can catch clever structures which still can't capture his/her attention as well as the explosive piece of aggression "Agony". The final "Right" is another pretender for the highlight: a puzzling multi-textured composition which thrashes hard as well reaching death metal dramatism in the middle becoming quite aggressive at some stage. This is inspired music with an own face which should develop further on future efforts in both the more direct and more thought-out direction: it seems as though both sides co-exist well coming out of the hands of these guys...
"Future Chaos" promises a lot of "future chaos" with its vitriolic riffs the guys thrashing with gusto creating plenty of headbanging opportunities on ragers like the title-track, "I See" and "Insanity". The mosh never ends here and one may find it hard to just sit and listen to this frank downpour of lashing guitars which gets a bit under control on the closing "Last Day" which is a more engaging composition with several tempo-changes showing the guys' more serious, but equally as intense, side.

Only Lies EP, 2011
Future Chaos Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

ANGRY AGAIN (SWITZERLAND)

"Angry again" 90's post-thrash the ban dchugging tirelessly through these one-dimensional abrasive hymns which mmiraculously come alive on the vivid progressive Prong-esque cut "The Sound of Misery". "AA-s Hell" is a more dynamic number influencing other cuts after it like the energetic groovy rocker "Born to Win" and the cool power/thrashing closer "Never Back Down".

Divide And Conquer Full-Length, 2017

ANGUISH (SWEDEN)

This not very known outfit give a cool intriguing, technical twist to the post-thrashy vogue of the times. Choppy, jumpy rhythms ala Prong's "Beg to Differ" alternate with more ambitious progressive inclinations ("Recourse To Seclusion"), and out of the blue arrive intense technical riffs ("Degrading Treatment"), a great echo of the 80's also accompanied by a nice more quiet interlude. The vocals are intense, harsh semi-clean, but do a good job assisting this impressive nod to the modern school which should have developed into something more substantial.

Devitalized Demo, 1994

ANGUISH (USA)

A 3-track EP of violent hardcore/thrash with brutal low-tuned death metal vocals; quite fast and intense stuff with direct riffs and mid-tempo breaks, and references to early Celtic Frost ("Winds Of Death").

Within The Darkness EP, 2009

My Space

ANHEDONY (USA)

This is modern thrash/death with classic throw-ins. The guys try to vary the pace the whole time, but the atmospheric slower passages seem to deliver the better giving the album a doom/gothic "decoration" not far from Cemetary's 'Godless Beauty" even. "Genocide II" is a cool fast-paced shorter, but moments of the kind are not many at all the band marching forward in a steady officiant manner not bothering to speed up too much even cutting themselves some merry stoner slack on the closing bonus track "Freedmen". Some of the musicians were members of the Polish death/thrashers Khronos who released a solitary demo in 2007.

Anhedonia Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

ANIALATOR (USA)

Violent aggressive thrash is what these guys offer on both EP's; long on aggression and short on ideas, but could be appealing to some. The band's approach definitely has a lot in common with Dark Angel's "Darkness Descends" and Slayer's "Reign in Blood", but at times the guitar work takes a more intriguing, semi-technical edge ("Extermination By Dawn" from the first EP).

Anialator EP, 1988
Anialator II EP, 1989

ANIENT (AUSTRALIA)

This outfit pull out crushing old school thrash with seismic steam-roller riffage and screechy blacky vocals. Just when one settles for the established heavy "idyll", comes a furious blasting moment to wake him up rudely: check out "Filtered Ascension", or the short death metal explosion "Sequential Morality". Otherwise the guys know their craft and inevitably raise the hopes with a portion of more intense headbanging passages ("When the Nature Deserves Isolation"), but the dark brooding tone on the rest requires a bigger attention span than the many one-trick "ponies" "plaguing" the scene at present.

Consigned to Flames Full-Length, 2014

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ANIGMA (NEW ZEALAND)

An underground gem from New Zealand this way has been dug out; this obscure outfit serves a mix of power/thrash and thrash/crossover which is definitely on the merry, uplifting side, but still providing more solid thrashers ("Trademark Killer"), as well as awkward noisy outros ("Nocimonorcen"). The guitars are sharp, but with a light-hearted melodic edge, and the singer resembles Mike Muir quite a bit, maybe a bit less attached, and not as omnipresent leaving more space for the music.

World of Fear Demo, 1989

ANIHILATED (UK)

The UK answer to Slayer; that's quite a compliment and well deserved at that. The sound on the debut is dirty, almost hardcore-ish, but the sheer enthusiasm and inspiration behind the music is hard to be disguised. With a better production qualities, "The Ultimate Desecration" is really an impressive piece of forceful, well-executed thrash. "Desolation" is a stylish, heavy opening instrumental, setting the scene for the killer pieces to follow. The generally fast-pace of the songs is often "broken" by heavy, slower sections, quite similar to Slayer's late 80's period. There are also a few pure heavy, stomping numbers ("Lost Souls"), and some speed/thrash mixtures, nicely recalling their compatriots Sabbat: "Lethal Dose". "Internal Darkness" is a complex, dark song, again not as fast, followed by the two most aggressive tracks, returning to the Slayer-like patterns, followed for most of the time.
It seems as though every veteran from the 80's thrash metal scene is coming back these days. No complaints at all; the guys have done a good job on their comeback release staying true to the retro sound although this effort is not as aggressive as "The Ultimate Desecration"; shades of Slayer can be felt on occasion ("Predator"), but the sound predominantly moves in energetic speed/thrash territories not too far from early Whiplash and Sacrifice's "Soldiers of Misfortune". The speedy delivery is tially "broken" on the heavy stomper "Full Circle" in the middle, but the merry-go-round goes on unabated on "Despair and Retribution" which carries a slight hardcore flavour in the debut vein, and on the two remaining tracks which are cool brisk headbangers. Hopefully this nice work will resonate well with the fans to encourage more British acts from the old times to reform; the UK hasn't taken a very active t in the resurrection process yet (Onslaught; Seventh Angel although their new album has very few ties to thrash).

3 years later the band are alive and well, and "I Deviant" shows them in a fairly good, if not even better, shape their intent clearly shown with the opening head-splitter "Death to the Deviant", classic speed/thrash at its uncompromising best. But that's not al since all the following songs are every bit as compelling as this one the more aggressive delivery kind of left aside for the sake of stylish melodic implements which make the guys sound more serious and even slightly technical. "Black Umbilical" is a slower pensive piece splitting the album into 2 parts the 2nd one containing the excellent shredding progressiver "Trinity" as opposed to the clumsy attempt at the ballad "Subliminal", a short experiment with a modern groovy flair. This unmitigated failure is quickly compensated by the remaining numbers the closing "The Chains That Blind" being another more engaging thrasher with nice more elaborate rhythms seein the guys doing a very good job going through their second career stage way more assuredly than many other reunited veterans. Simon Cobb is way more convincing behind the mike now his forceful shouty semi-clean antics being the best possible "companion" to the good music.
"Anti Social Engineering": Anihilated never managed to emerge on the forefront of UK thrash back in the 1980's... but here they are now making a bold step towards taking Evile's crown as the premier English thrash metal outfit. "iDeviant" was already a statement of intent, but here the band have truly come of age. Like it was the case with the previous album, there's very little from their more recent repertoire to relate it to their old efforts, the delivery now sitting somewhere between modern day Kreator, Accuser and Paradox. The band thrash with the utmost conviction and short "bullets" ("Seas of Red") take turns with more calculated, almost progressive affairs ("The Slaughter Continues") the latter also raging hard. The title-track is actually a reminder of the band's olden days being a short straight-forward headbanger; but the rest is by all means more ambitious paving a new path into their discography including more clever, technical arrangements like "Torn by the Tooth" and the definitive new hymn "Thrashing Crew". Amazingly there's no slowing down to mid-pace anywhere except on very isolated short passages the sheer intensity of the material making this effort a headbanging winner from beginning to end, arguably the guys' finest hour: check out the imposing doomy Bolt Thrower-esque outro at the end for a further proof of that.

Path to Destruction EP, 1986
Created in Hate Full-length, 1988
The Ultimate Desecration Full-length, 1989
Live EP, 2005
Scorched Earth Policy Full-length, 2010
iDeviant Full-Length, 2013
Anti Social Engineering Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

ANIMAL FARM (ITALY)

Frolic, optimistic, and utterly eccentric speed/thrash quite reminiscent of their compatriots Creepin' Death on the more direct sections, with numerous more abstract dissonant touches ala Voivod ("Unsatisfied") and another Italian act from around the same time: Jester Beast. The weirdness carries on unabated on the surreal fast-pacer "My Private War" as well as on every other cut later, among which "Death Of An Utopia" notches it up to proto-death dimensions with more aggressive riffage. "Gone Too Far" "goes too far" with a super-eventful cavalcade of rhythms and dissonant guitars to produce an emblematic progressive thrasher which would make one deeply regretful to have just this precious piece of music to come out of the hands of some of the most talented musicians to ever appear on the European underground.

Animal Farm Demo, 1989

ANIMAS (USA)

Not bad energetic power/thrash with inspiring galloping moments ("Breaking Point") and several more dramatic heavy sections ("Vanquish"). "For the Fallen" is a spoiler, though, being a radio-friendly heavy/death rocker with a hit potential, but hardly suiting the otherwise good semi-shouty death metal vocals. The sound quality is quite good boosting the guitars well above the other instruments.

Blood on the Iron EP, 2012

Official Site

ANIMATED VIOLENCE (USA)

A 4-track demo of brutal black/thrash which is at times quite heavy, recalling Celtic Frost and The Canadians Slaughter, at others quite fast and brutal, with the use of furious blast-beats. The mixture in this case doesn't work as the two sides of the music are strictly se???ated from each other, awkwardly interrupting each other as well. On top of that the sound quality is awful with a buzzy guitar sound and horrible synthesized shouty vocals.

Demo Demo, 1989

ANIMATOR (IRELAND)

?he demo: 3 songs of cool energetic Bay-Area thrash with cutting riffs and forceful semi-shouty vocals which contain the necessary amount of melody the latter also very well reflected in the music: check the infectious tunes on "False Flag Attack" or the memorable semi-lead guitar work on "Welcome To The Human Race" which is an otherwise formidable thrasher with ripping guitars and fast tempos. "Open Your Eyes" is, on the other hand, a dramatic mid-pacer with heavy seismic riffage which nicely contrasts with the frenetic pace of the other two compositions.
These guys have all the chances to be "blacklisted" as one of the leaders of the Irish thrash metal scene after their strong full-length debut. They mean business from the very beginning with the engaging 7.5-min opener "State of Emergency" which sets the tone for this classic thrash roller-coaster which becomes more direct and aggressive with "Death from Above", but only for a while since "In God We Trust" arrives, and it'll sink you in a pool of heavy squashing riffage the latter replaced by brisker more technical guitars on a string of compositions until another slower track ("Taking the Liberty") deviates from the norm also serving some power metal for a change. "Electric Armageddon" is the highlight, an energetic technical speedster with addictive melodic hooks which lift the mood up the headbanging fun carrying on full-throttle on "Western Shadow" and partly on the more complex closer "When Duty Calls" which ends the album in the way it started, with a more attached thoughtful song-writing. This is a band with a vision who haven't revealed their full potential yet showing an obvious improvement in the vocal department where the guy sings in a more attached cleaner manner now also displaying a remarkable knack of handling the higher registers.

Open Your Eyes Demo, 2012
Blacklisted Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

ANIMOSITY (USA, CO)

This mini-album contains energetic, albeit one-dimensional, but appealing thrash. The jolly atmosphere it creates would put it in the same camp as bands like Sonick Plague or Gothic Slam. Although all the songs flow in the same fast brisk vein, the final outcome is firmly on the positive side.

Get Off My Back EP, 1989

ANIMOSITY (USA, MI)

The first demo contains decent raw thrash, sometimes more energetic with elements of hardcore, sometimes heavy and gloomy along the lines of early Celtic Frost; the musicianship is not on a very high level. The 2nd one is a lot better, featuring one cool mid-paced instrumental ("Lupus Vulgaris"), one semi-ballad ("The Rehabilitation"), and the rest is a capable blend of thrash and American power metal.

Beneath The 13th Stone Demo, 1989
Life And Times Of The Humble Narrator Demo, 1989

ANIMUS FALL (SOUTH AFRICA)

Alternative post-thrash of the melodic, catchy type full of cool memorable, melodic tunes; things very seldom go beyond the mid-tempo (the exception the melo-death metal-laced "Senseless" and partly the closing energizer "Side Effect"), but apart from the trite clean-harsh vocal "duel" and the awkwardly placed in the middle meaningless intro, this effort should please the modern metal fanbase.

Harbinger Full-Length, 2015

AnJ (RUSSIA)

Based on the debut, this is progressive power/thrash: heavy, mid-tempo, with cool keyboard implements. The guys have a penchant for ballads, but they're done with a more edgy touch, fitting to the general heavy sound of the album.

Under An Intent Sight Full-length, 2004
100 Miles Straight Full-length, 2006

Official Site

ANKER (COLOMBIA)

These Colombians provide rough choppy retro thrash with "Thrash Metal" the obvious highlight, a sharp headbanger closely followed by the 7-min shredder "Contra el Viento" the latter thrashing with force for nearly 7-min. An obvious pullback would be the Megadeth cover at the end of "Symphony of Destruction" the primal unpolished guitar work and the bad shoty deathy vocals ultimately ruining the intentions.

Recuerdos Tormentosos Demo, 2009

Official Site

ANKHAR (SPAIN)

This formation were previously known as Human under which name they released one demo in 2013. The music on display is fairly competent retro thrash with expressive shouty death metal vocals. The overall delivery recalls Sacrifice having the same rich dark guitar tone maybe having a bit less variety the guys thrashing fast for most of the time with short mid-paced digressions. "Zuhaitzik Gabeko Basoaren Negarra" is a pensive progressive opus, bt its merits are immersed in the surrounding material among which one will savour headbangers like "Etorkizunarekin Jolasean" and "Zerurainoko Harresiak" the latter also serving the best leads on the album.

Deshumanizazioa Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

ANKHELGLOKNAR (USA)

This is quite interesting dark sombre thrash/doom with macabre witch-like vocals recalling Barathrum and Khold. The songs are lengthy and quite eventful although seldom can one hear riffs beyond the mid-paced. The guys keep the album afloat with interesting atmospheric sections, brooding steam-rolling rhythms and several fine acoustic interludes ("Dead God"). The band overdo it a bit near the end with 2 overlong compositions the closer "The Summoning-Outre" alone being more than 15-min long developing in a not very striking doomy manner in the 2nd half. Still, this is not bad an effort at all and would make one listen with care despite its several semi-sleepy qualities.

Mortuus Deus Full-Length, 2000

ANNATHEMA (SERBIA)

"Annathema" is mostly speed metal with power and thrash metal elements thrown in; not bad and quite catchy at times, but more on the melodic side. "Empire Of Noise" is a heavier and thrashier affair, no traces of speed metal here, and could be considered one of the early works from the 90's angry thrash scene. The heavy, but not very fast guitars might pull back the fans of the debut, but jolly more melodic numbers ("Ride the Shooting Star", "Sleepless Night") are still present to please the less thrash-inclined fans. The title-track speeds up quite a bit, but is the only effort in this direction if we exclude the short intense instrumental "Nuclear Jazz" which actually deserves its title with cool jazzy interludes inserted amid the raging riffage. At the end the guys provide the listener with a cool live cover version of Black Sabbath's "Symptom of the Universe" (hey, quite a few acts out there have been fascinated by this song...).

Annathema Full-length, 1989
Empire Of Noise Full-length, 1991
Don't Go Down Full-length, 1997

ANNEXED ASYLUM (USA)

A cool new band who stick to the classic 80's laws to produce an interesting demo featuring a nice dark mid-paced thrasher ("Combustion"); a creepy minimalistic slightly chaotic, but well worth the listen, proto-black/thrash number ("Censor Control") which could well fit the description "a more proficient, and more listenable Hellhammer"; an intense mid-paced smasher, somewhat reminding of Slayer's "Postmortem": the early slower section ("World of Decay"). "Morbid Torture" is not too far from "World of Decay", but the guitars take a more melodic edge. "Six Years in Hell" refuses to speed up and preserves the mid-pace which the band has epitomized so well and as such may be able to find a niche for themselves on the flourishing contemporary metal scene as opposed to the acts who try to play as fast and aggressively as possible. Reportedly the guys are working on their full-length which should be out some time in 2009.

Starved and Batered Demo, 2008

ANNIHILATION (UK)

An ok hesitation between the modern and classic trends, starting with the decidedly modern-sounding headbanger "In The Shadow Of The Bomb". Then comes the retro galloping delight "Screams To The Skies", ruined a bit by the brutal semi-death metal vocals. From this moment on the guys adhere to long semi-progressive numbers of the mid-paced variety which kill the speed quite a bit relying mostly on monotonous heavy riffage that leads nowhere, but to create boredom near the end. There are cool more elaborate passages, but they are not fully developed, a main obstacle for which is the repetitive uneventful nature of the band's delivery.

Silent Hell Full-length, 2010

Official Site

ANNIHILATION (USA)

In an early incarnation of the band the line-up included two members of Taunted. Based on the "Timeless Transition" demo, this band offer excellent pounding, mostly mid-paced, but very frequently changing pace, technical thrash which is not miles away from Liege Lord's "Master's Control" (but more aggressive), or Deus Vult's "Soul Assault". There's a certain shade of American power metal ala Omen ("Deadly and Mean"), but combined with the sharp thrashy guitars and the slightly frantic, but highly appropriate delivery, this demo is a nice little gem in the crown of late-80's American thrash metal.

The "Why the Nipple Hard-On?" demo contains covers only, all well done: Iron Maiden's "Wrathchild" the levelled mid-ranged semi-clean singing of the vocalist even surpassing the one of Paul Di Anno; Black Sabbath's "Into the Void" done faster and all-instrumental, a really good rendition; Iron Maiden again, "22 Acacia Avenue" done well with a suitable classic heavy metal spirit, but with weaker vocals the man simply lacking the emotional depth of Bruce Dickinson; Metallica's "No Remorse" where, ironically, the guys have messed it up with sloppier musicianship, again all-instrumental, but too mellow and sleepy lacking the ferocious rhythm-section of the original except, of course, for the speedy crescendo at the end. Consequently, there's not much thrash to be savoured here the guys settling down for the more friendly metal character of their idols ignoring the only thrash-fixated track (shame, isn't it?).

Laugh at the Sight of Pain Demo, 1985
Why the Nipple Hard-On? Demo, 1987
Timeless Transition Demo, 1989
Fourth Reich Demo, 1991

ANNIHILATIONMANCER (ITALY)

The full-length: a stylish entry into the progressive thrash metal catalogue from Italy which recalls both late-80's Metallica and mid-period Death on the encompassing diverse opener "Etereo". "The Involution Philosophy" is not as dynamic, developing in a crushing mid-pace for about 9-min with the obligatory clever riffage involved. "Apolide" livens up the situation big time with energetic galloping riffs which step down in the middle for very cool balladic insertions, also showing the singer in a bright light, but generally this is an entertaining ripping piece with a Bay-Area vibe. "Impoverishment God Existence" follows a similar patern, except that it scores high in the lead department. "Corner Of The Answers" could pass for a semi-ballad with its hypnotic doomy riffs with the expressive bass bottom a nice touch. "Reflected In Her Life" is a peaceful lead-driven instrumental, and the closing "Mind Surrounds, The Cavities Of Fear" is another complex thrasher in the Metallica mould which could fit on "...And Justice for All" any time, and not without the excellent leads ala Kirk Hammett. The singer is a great asset singing in a clean dramatic manner echoing both David Wayne (R.I.P.) and Charles Rytkonen (Morgana Lefay) in a very good way, spicing his repertoire with a more venomous Mille-like delivery from time to time. Some of the musicians also play in the power/thrash metal outfit Power Beyond.
The EP is another virtuous display of the guys' talents who continue down the chosen path with their intricate brand of classic thrash which comprises three elaborate progressive pieces among which "Impoverishment God Existence" seems to shine the brightest with its sophisticated technical gallops reminiscent of Megadeth's "Rust in Peace"; although the brilliant stop-and-go technicality in the 2nd half on "Failed Creation" also deserves a mention. "Sentence Of War" is a short burster, and the closing "Tormentor" is... yes, some of you out there guessed right, a Kreator cover on which the singer adjusts his blend to fit the one of Mille although the song itself is performed in a lighter, more speed metal-based manner.

The Involution Philosophy Full-length, 2010
Precursor of Destruction EP, 2016

Official Site

ANNIHILATION OF POWER (USA)

An obscure release offering classic power/thrash; a good reminder of the 80's American metal scene with cool attempts at a more progressive song-writing ("Path Through Darkness") and short, but effective, heavy thrashers ("Chaostrain"). "Runnin' Away" could have been spared being a pointless soft punk-ish track.

Changes EP, 1996

ANNIHILATOR (CANADA)

With the phenomenal "Alice in Hell" Jeff Waters logically closed the decade for the Canadian metal scene, bringing its technical side to its culmination gracefully finishing what was started by his contemporaries (Voivod, Savage Steel, Sadistic Vision, DBC, etc.). The album's sounding success encouraged Waters to persevere through the difficult 90's, and "Never Neverland" appeared the very next year; unfortunately, the technical flamboyance and brave musicianship which made the debut so unforgetle, was nowhere to be heard, and this effort was consequently a disappointment, despite its merits as a pretty decent progressive power/thrash metal offering. Still, it was far from a flop, although that aforementioned flop was just around the corner: "Set the World on Fire" not only didn't "set the world on fire", but it virtually "killed" one of the very few hopes for classic thrash metal to carry on through the new decade, seeing the band having exhausted all their ideas and originality producing an effort not nearly half as good as the previous one.
Waters and his ever-changing gang looked for inspiration into other genres, consequently pulling the band's style into all possible directions: heavy metal, modern leanings, ballads, etc. This album considerably diminished the interest in the band although Waters managed to "recuperate" with the good "King Of The Kill" two years later, bringing the thrash back to a big extent with a more modern sound, preserving some of the melodic touches from the last one ("In the Blood" is one of best ballads of the 90's). But after that the guy started repeating himself, feeling obviously nostalgic, not willing to leave his crowning achievement to rest: whole passages from "Alice.." have been repeated directly or slightly rehashed which would inevily put a smile on the fan's face for its sheer audacity (or shamelessness- is there such a word? If not, here it is!); the problem is that surrounded by much less impressive decisions/arrangements on every album since 1994, those passages could no longer deliver. Even the ticipation of half the metal constellation on "Metal" didn't seem to help: Waters has proved a long time ago that when doing things alone he could reach much further. However, with only one great album in their very long discography, it's really hard to place Annihilator on the front row with the finest, despite the mainman's undispule talent.

It's 2010, and the next Annihilator album is a fact; and it's self-titled, too. So is this a new beginning for the band, or a direct, not badly disguised anymore, return to the days of "Alice..."? Well, it's neither of the two, but is a pretty decent entry into the the band's voluminous catalogue, arguably the finest one since "King of the King". The opening riffs from the opening "The Trend" will hardly please anyone with their soft heavy metal beat, but the thrashing starts not before long on this one, and the next "Coward" makes sure there'll be noone sitting down while listening to it, aggressive thrash to the bone with sparse melodic "reliefs". But this is not all as "Ambush" arrives with another portion of furious headbanging riffs, and one may start wondering whether this is an Annihilator record: there's so much intense thrashin' to be heard here. And here comes the "proof" to dissipate your doubts: "Betrayed" is the prototypical for the guys mid-paced proto-modern thrasher followed by the semi-technical oddity "25 Seconds", a slightly uneven mix of very fast thrash and jumpy more elaborate decisions. "Nowhere To Go" delivers the trade mark mid-tempo power/thrash so familiar from the band's more recent efforts, but "The Other Side" is a cool turn to the classic 80's American speed/power/thrash metal scene, recalling Attacker's "Second Coming" with its galloping guitars. "Death In Your Eyes" is a technical/progressive extravaganza, another flawed, but by all means interesting, concoction of brutal, at times pure death metal, riffage and stylish complex arrangements the latter good reminders of "Alice...". The bad news is that the last two tracks are mere fillers, "Payback" an ordinary uneventful groover, and the closer "Romeo Delight" a somewhat unnecessary cover of the Van Halen merry rock'n roll roller-coaster. A homogeneous and consistent Annihilator album nowadays would be mere fantasy, but this one most of the time avoids the bad taste "traps", also finding a good balance between thrash metal and the rest with some of the most raging riffs ever featured on an Annihilator album.

"Feast": it's the year 2013, and it's time for the next Annihilator album. As expected Jeff Waters has taken care of the larger-than-life nature of this new opus, and after the spontaneous headbanging caused by the furious opener "Deadlock" one will have to adjust his/her senses to the diversity which follows, which fortunately this time is not that big: the staple friendly power/thrash on "No Way Out" so well introduced on "King of the Kill"; the high-octane speed metal on "Smear Campaign"; the nice technical leanings on "No Surrender" which even sounds close to the exuberance of "Alice in Hell" at times. So far this sounds like a masterpiece, but comes "Wrapped" and things go head-over-heels into a groovy/grunge territory; a situation hardly improved by the too tender ballad "Perfect Angel Eyes" which also painfully reminds of "In the Blood". "Demon Code" brings back the thrash in a mechanic sterile style, and "Fight The World" is even better despite the misleading balladic intro which could horrify the fans. An 8.5-min closer ("One Falls, Two Rise" in this case) sounds like a flop, but Waters pulls it off again turning this epitaph into a whirlwind of hard razor-sharp riffs and raging fast sections whcih make even the soft balladic outro sound welcome. "Feast" this is by all means, and quite a good one at that; the thrash metal fans will have to acknowledge the good job done here and would wish Waters stays on that track for another while...

"Suicide Society" starts in a fairly unpromising manner with the radio-friendly rocking title-track, and later on the situation doesn't get improved much Waters now willing to show his more tender face. The wild thrashing on "Creepin' Again" will bring back memories from "Kill the King" and "Never Neverland", but this isn't the focus here although "Narcotic Avenue" is an inspired fast-paced semi-technicaller which marks the beginning of the better 2nd half. That same half comprises the cool shredder "Break, Enter", the somewhat progressive mid-pacer "Death Scent", and the frolic power metal closer "Every Minute". Waters provides the vocals and his singing isn't bad at all even surpassing his guitar exploits which again carry a strong sense of deja-vu.

Alice in Hell Full-length, 1989
Never Neverland Full-Length,1990
Stonewall EP, 1991
Set the World on Fire Full-length, 1993
King Of The Kill Full-length, 1994
Refresh the Demon Full-length, 1996
Remains Full-length, 1997
Criteria for a Black Widow Full-length, 1999
Carnival Diablos Full-length, 2001
Waking The Fury Full-length, 2002
The One EP, 2004
All for You Full-length, 2004
Schizo Deluxe Full-length, 2005
Metal Full-length, 2007
Annihilator Full-length, 2010
Feast Full-Length, 2013
Suicide Society Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

ANNIHILISM (AUSTRALIA)

Classic thrash with influences from old school death metal reminiscent of early Mortification; a very good band (check out "Chaotic Embrace").

Annihilism Demo, 2002

Official Site

ANNOUNCE THE APOCALYPSE (USA)

Fast, blitzkrieg retro thrash with modern prodution; brutal death metal breaks ("Cult Conspirator") are aso inserted, but their use is questionable as the songs flow smoothly without these more aggressive additives. "Buried in Rust" is a pounding, catchy hymn, but the rest keeps the high energy up including the explosive death-laced closing title-track.

Ruins Full-Length, 2017

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ANNULATION (SWITZERLAND)

Based on "Human Creatures": although this is definitely thrash (music-wise) with death metal vocals, the overall sound reminds of The Kovenant's "Animatronic": it has this industrial, electronic edge which many other bands have adopted more or less successfully in recent years. In this case it works well also calling to mind another album in the same niche: Nefilim's "Zoon".
"Burning Time" is more ordinary-sounding, being heavy abrasive modern thrash hesitating between the aggro-sound and the more atmospheric gothic side. Still, this hesitation remains of the less impressive type being one-dimensional mid-paced stuff with pounding noisy guitars and brutal death metal vocals.

Burning Time Full-length, 2002
Human Creatures Full-length, 2004

Official Site

ANNUNAKI (USA)

Thrash, black and death metal mixed together; for some reason the style reminds of a thrashy version of Deicide and the Swedes Deathwitch. The tempo is frequently fast and intense with the obligatory inclusion of blast-beats, but the music gives its fair share to thrash metal, and the guitars thrash mightily on the best songs ("Eucharist", "Ruler of None"). "Torture" is a curious number being an interesting mix of beautiful acoustic melodies and furious blast-beats. The vocals are of the dual type: ones are deep low death metal growls, the others higher-pitched and snarly, also death metal-styled.

Incarcerate in Rapture EP, 2005
Throne of the Annunaki Full-Length, 2007

Official Site

ANODIZE (CHINA)

Based on "Action Figures", these Hong Kong "metallers" pull out light-hearted groovy post-thrash with funky and balladic overtones. The band rose from the ashes of the controversial hip-hop formation LMF (Lazy Mutha Fucka/Lazy Mother Fucker), and their pop-oriented past can easily be heard all over the album. This is soft stuff with a few hard-edged guitars and melodic alternative vocals.

Anodize Full-length, 1994
Welcome To Beijing Motel Full-length, 1995
Action Figures Full-length, 1997
4 EP, 1999

My Space

ANOMALLY (PORTUGAL)

Dark gothic thrash, bringing to mind mid-period Cemetary ("Godless Beauty", "Sundown") and a thrashy Lacuna Coli; this is mid-paced music with gruff low-tuned death metal vocals, keyboards, and cool, but overdone, orchestral arrangements.

Once In Hell... Full-length, 2008

Official Site

ANOMANES (PORTUGAL)

This is another groovy squasher, a typical for the time release with the crushing riffs, angry deathy vocals, jumpy rhythms, and the rest. The main difference here is the sudden death metal-ish outbreaks which "ornate" a couple of tracks; and the fast-paced surprise "Coward" which is a prime thrash/deathster with a few more memorable hooks. More intense death metal-like dramatism is served on "Self Destruction" in the 2nd half which is better and more exciting also featuring the chaotic, strangely technical, "Dying Earth".

Pronunciation Full-length, 1995

ANONYMITY (USA)

A curious band who have sneaked under the radar due to the relatively late release of their only demo. Otherwise this is quite cool progressive power/proto-thrash which throws quite a few stylish decisions at the listener with the eventful opener "World Beyond The Flame (Door Into Elsewhere)". The piercing screams of the vocalist may be a bit of a distraction, but the guy also has a much calmer side to his voice so expect a lot of vocal diversity which sits well with the more restrained power metaller "Waiting In Darkness". "Animosity" is a more dramatic pounding piece, and the final "Octavia" elaborates the proceedings once again with cool epic melodies and the exiting portion of hard lashing guitars.

Anonymity Demo, 1994

ANONYMUS (CANADA)

While Annihilator were trying to raise their music back to the high standards of "Alice In Hell", the Canadian thrash metal scene found its new heroes. One of the better Canadian thrash metal bands of the past 15 years, Anonymus' first 2 albums are technical thrash masterpieces, one of the culminations of the genre. "Ni Vu Ni Connu" is a fabulous debut, with excellent guitar work, head-spinning tempo changes and brilliant leads, quite melodic, contrasting to the hard-hitting riffage. The music is heavy, mid to up-tempo, with the exception of the magnificent speedy jolly "Amen To'e9", and the hectic violent closer "Demonomane".
"Stress" betrays the heavy, pounding sound of its predecessor, opting for a faster, but an equally as intriguing one. The music is kind of uplifting, and more optimistic than the slightly brooding tone of the debut, featuirng a fine mid-paced thrasher "Un Pied Dans La Tombe" with stupendous lead performance. "Sans Dessein" is a sudden turn to aggressive thrash/death, but is quite enjoyable.
"Instinct" elaborates on that jolly shade, and here the band jumps the hardcore wagon ("Out Of Breath", etc.) on quite a few times; if the sound before was a nice mix between the classic and the modern school, here it is purely modern, with a strong shade of groove ("Feed The Dragon"). The guitars are much more ordinary, and although some numbers still carry the technical flair of the past ("Goal"), as a whole this album is a much less impressive offering.
"Daemonium" provides an even bigger cocktail; now at from hardcore and thrash, we have death metal with a nice Gothenburg touch ("Burning The Candle Both Ends": a really cool track, by the way), and power metal ("Twice"); the tracks are even shorter with no traces of technical play; a mixed bag, which definitely has its moments, but was not a sure stop on the way down, and it looked as though the guys would not be able to leave a more lasting impression on the scene than Annihilator, and even fade away faster.
Surprisingly, "L'Acad'e9mie du Massacre" is a good experiment, a collaboration with the folk-rock singer Mononc' Serge, which combines the hard-hitting thrash of the band's first two albums with the light rock-ish style of Serge; certainly not an all-out thrash affair, with at least one-third of the songs having no relations to the genre, this effort showed that the guys haven't said their final word yet, and they can still thrash with the best out there.

"Chapter Chaos Begins" is far from a failure, but the more aggressive death metal elements have come to stay, and although it might be appealing to some, the blend at least to these ears doesn't seem to work at quite a few times. The songs are longer, and the superb lead guitar work, which was kind of lost for a while, has been brought back; still those blast-beats are somewhat annoying, especially when they come in the middle of a cool thrashy passage. Quite a few technical hooks can also be heard, although this is not a full-blooded work of technical death/thrash.

"Musique Barbare" is another collaboration between the band and Mononc' Serge. This time the "thrash brigade" has spread its wings over a wider spectre of influences: 90's post-thrash, crossover, modern technical thrash (the excellent "Resistance Festive"), etc. The bad news is that concentrated on making this cocktail as listenable as possible, the guys have at times completely forgotten about the thrashy side of things, and at from the aforementioned compositions there's only one track which will make you recall the band's past, thrashing with gusto: "Tout L'monde Se Crisse". As a whole this is light-hearted feelgood stuff with no big ties to thrash metal which is hardly the expected "excuse" after the not so convincing "Chapter Chaos Begins".

"Etat Brute": fans of "Chapter Chaos Begins" will be happy all over with this new offering, which provides the same roller-coaster modern thrash with both melodic and more brutal elements. There aren't many hints at anything more technical ("L'Heure De La Vrite" comes to mind, but...), but the guys excel in melody to a positive effect, and keep the pace energetic the whole time adding the casual blast-beat ("Rage De Vivre") here and there. The vocals have become even gruffer and more shouty, but this raw approach kind of fits the not very demanding musical delivery. Some of the musicians are also active with the diverse act Spelldown which started as a power metal act (the demo "Damnation From the Highest Point", 1999) before switching onto similar to Anomymus modern thrash/death metal (the self-titled EP, 2011).

"Envers et Contre Tous" is a cool dynamic affair with fast lashing riffs and the staple melodic escapades. There are wild proto-blasting death metal delights ("Dieu Seul Le Sait", "Decrisse") where the style is vintage Gothenburg melo-death. The title-track is a beautiful progressive death/thrasher and competes with the raging semi-technicaller "Trahison" for the highlight award. This is pleasant, not very engaging stuff which sees the band settling for an ordinary, not very adventurous delivery.

Ni Vu Ni Connu Full-length, 1994
Stress Full-length, 1997
Instinct Full-length, 1999
Daemonium Full-length, 2002
L'Acad'e9mie du Massacre Full-length, 2003
Chapter Chaos Begins Full-length, 2006
Musique Barbare Full-Length, 2008
Etat Brute Full-Length, 2011
Envers et Contre Tous Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

ANOPHELES (ITALY)

Dark brooding thrash reminiscent of Infernal Majesty's "None Shall Defy" (especially in the vocal department) and the Brits Deathwish; the music has its speedy moments, and although it is not technical or original, it packs a punch with heavy meaty riffs and interesting guitar melodies.

Eversio Demo, 1989

ANOPSIA (VENEZUELA)

A 3-songer displaying retro thrash to the bone "courting" early Kreator, above all, and the ripping, albeit a bit thin, guitars seldom pause for a break from the relentlessly fast tempo (a few stomping moments on "Life on Elm", but that's about it) this short exhausting effort gracefully finished with the cool inspired cover of Kreator's "Tormentor". The singer rends his throat in a manner quite close to early Mille; his tember is a bit lower-tuned perhaps also acquiring some death metal qualities at times.

Promo EP, 2011

Official Site

ANOTHER DEAD SAINT (USA)

Brisk modern power/thrash which starts in a not very impressive alternative groovy fashion, before the band pick up inertia and begin thrashing with more gusto on energetic moshers like "Catalyst Of Growth" and the title-track the latter also coming with a strong classic flavour. The harsh/clean vocal duel doesn't do the band any favours the clean side the much better one and the more aggresive distractions should be left aside for the future.

Rise & Fall Full-Length, 2016

ANOTHER KIND OF DEATH (SPAIN)

Modern thrash with elements of metalcore; a hectic, jumpy affair, but pretty familiar and not very hard-hitting, relying on laid-back riffage and plenty of melodic contrast with the rough, slightly synthesized vocals.

Legacy Full-Length, 2011

ANOTHER SHADE OF HATE (USA)

This is deeply atmospheric thrash/death with gothic leanings creating a stark contrast between the harsh death metal vocals and the loads of melodic tunes gracing almost every piece. Those pieces are mostly mid-paced affairs and kind of one-dimensional following the same formula unerringly inevitably hitting the ballad near the end ("Disguised by Shadows").

Another Shade Of Hate Full-Length, 2011

ANOXIA (DENMARK)

Based on "A Lapdance For The Devil", this band plays melodic power/thrash metal which sits between the modern and the classic school "courting" both along the way, although its ties to the 90's power/speed metal scene are more than clear ("Risky on the Rocks"), and more aggressive pieces like "Flowers on My Grave" are not a very frequent event. The closing "Hell Bent for Heaven" comes close to the latter at times, but this is dominantly pleasant friendly stuff in mid-pace with quite good clean mid-ranged dramatic vocals, recalling the Gamma Ray works with Ralf Scheepers. Some of the musicians taking part here can also be seen in the groovy post-thrashers Megalomania 999.

Melanchollision Full-length, 2003
A Lapdance For The Devil Full-length, 2010

My Space

ANOXIA (UK)

Based on the debut EP, these Londoners pull out aggressive thrash/death metal, more death than thrash which is fast-paced for most of the time except on "Anomalous" and "Fall To Fire" which are otherwise cool twisted semi-doomy technical tracks in the vein of Morbid Angel. This is brisk music, speedy, with a slightly buzzy guitar sound and brutal low-tuned death metal vocals.

Manufacturing The End EP, 2007
If You Want Peace, Pree For War EP, 2008
Empire Of Intolerance Full-length, 2009

My Space

ANOXIDE (UK)

The 90's aggro-movement is given another bow with this 5-track EP ("Master Of All") which thunders through with super-heavy rhythms and brutal angry death metal vocals. Surprising fast-paced sections ("Skinned,Tortured And Bleeding") will stir your blood in a good way, but the groove is "king" for the rest of the "show" so don't expect too many dynamic interludes on this faithful, and generally passable, cross between later-period Massacra and Puncture.
The "Purge the Idols of Illusion" EP is another worthy modern display of the good old groove which this time comes a bit more intense ("The Vile Summoning Of Power") also touching death metal on the excellent "Hour Of Sedition". "Embrace The Gods Of Pestilence" is a standout battle hymn ala Bolt Thrower, and the closing "Erased Illusion" is an encompassing doomy opus lasting for over 9-min also offering nice melodies, great leads, and a few more complex progressive elements.

Master Of All EP, 2012
Purge the Idols of Illusion EP, 2015

Youtube

ANSCHLUSS (BRAZIL)

Although being active since the mid-80's, it was more than 10 years later when these guys finally got lucky to sign an album deal: heavy modern death/thrash with interesting Bolt Thrower-like riffs. Their early demos are amateurish brutal black/thrash, copying their peers from Sarcofago, Vulcano, Sextrash in hardly the best possible way.

Fate Full-length, 1997

My Space

ANSHAR (USA)

This is heavy mid-paced power/thrash metal with strong doomy overtones, still more classic-sounding for the time; the approach actually recalls Black Sabbath's "Dehumanizer", which was released just a year earlier. The rhythm section is heavy and threatening (check out the steam rollers "Lobotomy" and "Gridlock"), but the guys never feel the temptation to make things more interesting by speeding up, except for the closing more energetic power/thrasher "Shockwave".

Defacing Humanity Full-length, 1993

ANTACID (MALAYSIA)

Based on the split, this is good retro thrash with black-ish vocals reminiscent of the Swedes Bewitched and Witchery, "supported" by elements from the more melodic power/heavy metal field, mostly in the lead guitar work.

Thrashing Mania Demo, 2004
Demon Seed of Thrash Split, 2005
Steel Thrashing Massacre Demo, 2006

My Space

ANTAGON (COLOMBIA)

Cool classic thrash with a dark, brooding sound, not very fast, sounding a bit like early Destruction and Sacrifice's "Soldiers of Misfortune", but the guitars are not that sharp, and the vocals are strictly in the death/black metal camp.

Mental Pollution Demo, 1992

ANTAGONIST (GERMANY)

Based on "Demons", these guys pull out a dynamic mix of modern and retro thrash recalling more recent Kreator. The sense of melody is probably bigger here, for better or worse, but the approach is exactly the same as the one on "Violent Revolution" and "Enemy of God": a potent balanced blend of fast and slower numbers and vocals which are a deadringer for the more recently acquired singing style by Mille. The blend gets broken near the end, but this brings the most entertaining headbanging moments on the album on the last two songs which are nice pure classic speed/thrashing delights.

Mosaik EP, 1995
Perfect Human Comprehension Full-length, 1999
New Zombie Dead EP, 2002
Demons Full-length, 2006

Official Site

ANTAGONIST (USA, OR)

An obscure 4-tracker which provides excellent technical thrash that can be quite intense ("Survivors Will Be Prosecuted") with hard lashing guitars which surprisingly become more intricate on the shorter numbers ("Atrocity") without losing any of the speed recalling early Coroner. "Eternal Darkness" is a nice creepy technicaller which accumulates speed with each passing second until it reaches more brutal death metal-ish paramettres. "Evil On Two Legs" begins with the "Halloween" horror theme, a very often used gimmick in metal, before it turns to multi-layered technical thrash at its most shining best with twisting serpentine riffs, fast-paced orthodox "skirmishes", a myriad of time and tempo changes, dramatic progressive build-ups, and sparse cleaner vocal participation which opposes to the gruff semi-clean/semi-death metal main vocals.

Demo Demo, 1989

ANTAGONIST (USA, GREEN BAY, WI)

Based on "Antagonist", this is good technical thrash which at times gets quite aggressive; Forbidden meets Gammacide would be a good description. The only downpoint is "Live In Fear", an awkward heavy rock number which is bad even if intended as a joke. Reportedly, the band changed their style for their second EP into a Manowar clone (including also a cover version of "Kill With Power") which is quite hard to believe, and very sad if it's true, considering the sheer skill displayed in the beginning.

Antagonist EP, 1993
Open Face Surgery EP, 2000

ANTAGONIST (USA, WHITTIER, CA)

Modern thrash/death with metalcore vocals; I know, it doesn't sound attractive, especially when I add that they also have the detrimental tendency to throw those clean vocals here and there although the music is not a total waste with a fair share of energetic fast-paced riffs.
"World In Decline" is an intense affair blending modern thrash with death metal; the guitar work is melodic and catchy, and certain metalcore breaks have sneaked in here and there. Still, this effort is not a total waste relying on fast-paced rhythms which, combined with the melodic hooks and the sparse more technical decisions, will appeal to quite a few contemporary metal fans, mostly to those who are fonder of the Swedish trends in the genre.

Eschatology EP, 2004
Samsara EP, 2005
The Architecture of Discord Full-length, 2005
An Envy of Innocence Full-length, 2006
Exist Full-length, 2008
World In Decline Full-length, 2010

Official Site

ANTAGONIST AD (NEW ZEALAND)

Thrashcore mixed with a few more standard Swedish borrowings; pedestrian, not very imaginative, music with the faster breaks the more attractive side although the latter seldom last beyond the spontaneous outburst including the sparse nods to prime old school hardcore. Most of the time this is heavy proto-groovy stuff with jumpy riffs and some displays of more melodic sentiments those ultimately spoiled by the hysterical shouty vocals.

Nothing From No One Full-Length, 2012

ANTARES (ARGENTINA)

These Argentinians play melodic power/thrash which is classic in its core, but shades of the more modern movements can easily be caught here and there. This is happy, "eagle fly free" stuff, but without the soaring speedy melodies of the Helloween clones, and with gruffer and lower-pitched, but still pretty clean vocals.

Victim Of Possibilities Demo, 2011

ANTARES (CHILE)

2 songs of brisk classic speed/thrash with a few more stylish technical hooks; the guys lash with passion alternating between fast and slow sections with the technical insertions heard more than now and then. These two songs can be a good base for a longer effort, also to give the good passionate high-strung singer a bigger space to display his vocal abilities.

Destino Demo, 2012

ANTARES PREDATOR (NORWAY)

These guys were previously known as Wolf 327. The EP is a blend of black and thrash metal, quite furious and brutal, at least in the beginning: the orchestral black opus "Erosion of Eternity". Later things settle down for a couple of cool straight thrash pieces: "As Dragons Roam The Sky", the heavy mid-paced "Midnight Wolf", which are the more appealing side of this EP. "Sacrament" is a nod to the more eclectic, avantgarde side of black metal (Khold, Thorns, recent Satyricon) with its slow, doomy, ominous riffs.

"Twilight of the Apocalypse" is both an elaboration and an improvement over the EP featuring very fast (at least the two opening numbers), not as fast, and almost doomy compositions. A nice semi-technical edge can be heard throughout as well as a cool keyboard background on some tracks. Thrash is very well covered, and there is a death metal flavour on a few songs ("As Dragons Roam The Sky", "Wastelands"). "Sacrament" is a great composition mixing the moody doomy side of black metal with fine haunting melodies. "Mark 13" is actually the only hyper-blasting track here, but the next "Orion" is excellent sharp mid-paced thrash with an epic touch. But the best on the album is yet to come, first with the technical thrash/deathfest "Through The Deep", and then with the progressive opus "Twilight of the Apocalypse", a compelling mix of galloping thrash and operatic keyboard melodies which create a nice "duel" with the leads at some point, remaining quite a highlight. The final "Death" betrays the energy experienced so far (after all it's "death" we're talking about), but in a cool way being an atmospheric lead-driven instrumental. This is a nice full-length debut giving a headstart to the Italian metal scene for 2010 with its encompassing diverse sure-handed approach.

Banquet of Ashes EP, 2008
Twilight of the Apocalypse Full-length, 2010

My Space

ANTCORPUS (BRAZIL)

Blistering invigorating retro speed/thrash from Brazil this way comes; nothing new, some may say, but the guys here mosh with force the soaring speed metal tendencies more accentuated on perhaps, but this is hardly a complaint the ultra-speedy rhythms creating a lot of memorable moments some also served with a pinch of death metal ("Chuva Acida"). Air guitars will tear the air on "Desordem e Regresso", a hooky speedster with some cool melodies. The rest is more on the intense bashing side, but few will be displeased with flying headbangers like "Violence" & "Tortura" roaming around. "Demencia" is a more serious piece although the speed/thrashing madness doesn't quite stop there, but run for cover on the final Slayer-izer "Decreto do Fim" which alone will cause you a headache. The screechy overshouty vocals may get on your nerves a bit, but this is music too good to be blemished by something like that.

Na Terra Do Metal Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

ANTECESSOR (SPAIN)

These Spaniards offer a power/speed/thrash mixture which is more on the classic side and relies on heavy riff-patterns with sudden outbursts of energy the latter more than welcome as well as the several more technical leanings ("Predicando en el Desierto" which is a cool nod to early Ktulu) and the cool acoustic flamenco guitar insertions ("Born into Metal Militia"). The music is varied and the heavy base isn't stale moving around wiith dramatic structures, short screamy leads and the strangely attached shouty death metal vocals.

Hijos de la Ira Full-length, 2012

My Space

ANTEMORTEM (COLOMBIA)

Based on the Split, this act offers evil misanthropic black/thrash metal of the fast extreme type, strictly old school. Still, the music is more thrash-based reaching for the early German models ("Through Death") on the more inspired moments. The guitar work is very simplistic, just above the amateurish level, the drums are very hollow, and the singer unleashes a sinister semi-whispered tone which becomes barely audible at times.

Through Death Demo, 2005
Galeras Thrash Assault Split, 2006
Blasphemy Thrashing Metal Demo, 2006
Unholy Mutilator of Christ Best of/Compilation, 2007

Official Site

ANTENOR (ARGENTINA)

This young outfit, who were prviously a Megadeth cover band, indulge in retro speed/thrash which is sustained in a more moderate manner without any speedy extremes although the high energy is present all over with some hard thrashing ("Despierta") encountered in the 2nd half, standing right next to more technical exercises ("Atrapado En El Silencio"). The vocals are on the hoarse, semi-death metal side and don't impress as much as the cool, unpretentious music which only stumbles on the mellow power metal closer "No Te Veran Caer", the only reminder of their aforementioned American peers, their lighter mid-period.

Circulo Del Infierno Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

ANTERIOR (USA)

Another representative of the modern thrash/death metal wave trying to run away from the trite Gothenburg patterns with less melodic thrashing recalling Dew-Scented and another German act of recent years, Ravage. The tracks are mostly played on high speed with not very frequent slower insertions.

This Age of Silence Full-length, 2007

My Space

ANTESSER (RUSSIA)

This is classic-sounding speed/power/thrash, more on the melodic side, energetic and competently done, but the lack of sharpness in the riffs and the numerous melodic hooks will hardly make it the headbanger's first choice. Still the energy behind numbers like "Slavery Of Darkness" and "From Love To Hate" will not pass unnoticed, and "Buried Alive" is good doom metal with a nice organ tune in the end, cancelled by the closing 1.5-min furious grinding "Destroy The World": quite a surprise, featured on this not very hard-hitting album.

Demolition Star Full-length, 2006

ANTHARES (BRAZIL)

Very cool speed/thrash metal with nods to the German School- Vectom, Toxic Shock, Exumer, Paradox; this is fast, energetic stuff with harsh, vicious vocals along the lines of Tony Portaro (Whiplash).
"O Caos da Razo": another thrash "phoenix" rising from the ashes. The guys disappeared after just one album, but here they are again ready to kill. And kill they do: for those who still remember the blitzkrieg riffs from their debut the surprises will be a few; still, this is prime old school speed/thrash with fast'n tight guitars, cool melodies, and vicious gruff shouty vocals. "No Poeo do Obscuro" is a cool more technical cut, and "Dor Imortal" is more direct speed/thrashing madness which grows into the excellent progressive thrasher "Marcador da Fe". Virtuoso lead sections overtake the ether on "Pesadelo Sul-Americano", and the closing "Canibal" is another stylish exercise in more complex tharsh. The band have done a very good job and finally, after such a long wait, their name will be heard outside the South American underground.

No Limite da For'e7a Full-length, 1987
O Caos da Razo Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

ANTHARES (FRANCE)

Most of the time these guys pull out heavy mid-paced thrash in the vein of the Germans Warpath, or Slayer's late-80's period on the better moments which are not that many in the first half. Some attempts to break the monotonous formula in the second one lead to one odd funky track ("Dance With The Fog") and one not very impressive heavy/power metal one ("Soldier of Hell"). "Only the Best" partially saves the day being a really cool energetic thrasher (it's "only the best", after all), and the following "The World in Flame" also comes with brisk hard-hitting riffage. The ending is saved for a generally faithful cover version of Slayer's "Mandatory Suicide". The vocals are bad, shouted hardcore-ish ones.

Pro Memoria Full-length, 1999

Official Site

ANTHONY (FINLAND)

Based on the "Perfect Violence & Concrete Destruction" demo, these guys pull out cool fast-paced thrash similar to early Kreator and Toxic Shock. The guitar work is simplistic, but quite hard-hitting, and the vocals are gruff, semi-death metalish, recalling Martin Van Drunen (Pestilence, Asphyx, etc.).

Perfect Violence & Concrete Destruction Demo, 1989
Two Songs of Sorrow Single, 1991

ANTHRAX (USA)

A compulsory band, needless to say; "Fistful of Metal" was an inspired, rough around the edges debut, which virtually started the speed/thrash metal movement, along with the same year's works of Metallica, Exciter and Slayer. Two years later the band tested the soil with the excellent EP "Armed and Dangerous", which also introduced the new singer Joey Belladonna, whose clean, higher-pitched tember gave a strong individual edge to the band's style. "Spreading the Disease" summed the best from the already eslished speed and thrash metal genres, featuring again the mighty semi-ballad from the EP "Armed and Dangerous". Then came the full-on thrash assault on "Among the Living", considered by many the band's finest hour, full with instant thrash metal hits ("I Am the Law", "Efilnikufecin", "Indians",etc.). "State of Euphoria" was a nice companion to its predecessor, but the guys reached their summit with the dark, haunting, progressive sound on the incredible "Persistence Of Time", which showed in a great way the band's more serious, thought-out side, introducing longer, complex compositions, leaving behind the hit potential which the previous material had (except, of course, for the excellent energetic crossover cover of Joe Jackson's "Got the Time"). Then Joey Belladonna left to form his own band, but Anthrax voted to continue, and recruited John Bush from the power metallers Armored Saint. "The Sound Of White Noise" followed a similar to the Black Album post-thrash pattern, and admirably hit the mark, but the later works moved into a direction which has nothing to do with thrash.

Joey Belladonna is again with his old comrades (although, based on the interviews he's been giving recently, the future of this reunion isn't very certain), and the fans will rejoice to hear one of the most characteristic voices of thrash metal back to the fore. Certainly, those same fans will have to settle for the fact that "Among the Living" or "Persistence of Time" can not possibly be recreated; and with that frame of mind they should approach "Worship Music". So, is this new offering from the legendary New Yorkers worth "worshipping"? The answer would inevitably vary from one song to another, depending on the listener's taste, who will come across a few influences here. The classic, "moshing" Anthrax is well mixed with the proto-groovy rhythms of "Sound Of White Noise" on the energetic opener "Earth On Hell", a promising beginning overall. "The Devil You Know" is a milder power/thrasher reminding of the Belladonna solo period quite a bit, the "cure" provided by the following "Fight 'Em Til You Can't" which is an edgier piece with a nice catchy chorus. Then comes a time for several softer tracks with a modern edge, "In The End" supplying the desirable retro galloping digression. A string of angrier, groovier compositions follows suit which get lost in repetitive, predictable riffs. "The Constant" is a post-classic "echo" from "The Sound Of White Noise", the closing "Revolution Screams" remaining faithful to the aforementioned album with its pounding, slightly alternative, delivery, and the good memorable chorus. As a whole there's very little to be heard from Anthrax of the 80's, the guys producing a mildly entertaining tribute to their 90's period with a passing retro twist. Belladonna surprisingly fits this material, pulling out a good performance without straining himself too much. The band's fans will probably hope for a more classic-sounding, post-reunion offering in the near future, but for the time being they will have to try and find an "antidote" for the aftertaste which this album would by all means leave.

The "Anthems" EP: just when one thinks that the cover mania is over for good comes another effort, from an old-timer at that, to pour more "niceties" into this utterly unnecessary vogue. Anyway, the veterans enjoy themselves serving (for those who care): Rush's "Anthem", the Canadians' most lacklustre composition probably, delivered quite faithfully; Thin Lizzy's "Jailbreak", again more in the faithful camp; AC/DC's "TNT" with Belladonna impressing quite a bit with his plausible impersonation of Bon Scott (R.I.P.); Boston's "Smokin'", the best song here, an uplifting rock'n roller done the Boston way; Journey's "Keep on Runnin'"; and Cheap Trick's "Big Eyes". Needless to say, there's no trace of thrash, even metal for most of the time. Oh, and there's a useless remastered/remixed version of "Crawl" from "Worship Music", coming in pair with the original both placed at the end of this not really valuable addition to the band's catalogue.
"For All Kings": music "for all kings" doesn't mean that it will suit all the metal fanbase around the world, but at least at the beginning the band have pulled out a nice surprise: the long progressiver "You Gotta Believe", a great reminder of the hard elaborate thrashing from "Persistence of Time". "Monster at the End" is a filler served quite early, a mellow power metal rocker, but the headbangers won't have to wait for very long since the title-track is a major ripper with a melodic speed metal flavour. "Breathing Lightning" is another longer, more serious cut, but its not very eventful mid-paced shreds would hardly ignite the atmosphere to a boiling point. The pleasant surprises aren't over completely, mind you, and here comes "Evil Twin" to thrash your world with brisk hammering riffs. All good, but who needed this bland 8-min ballad "Blood Eagle Wings"?! "All of Them Thieves" is only a partial "excuse" for this unforgivable waste of space and time with its energetic moshing delivery, ably supported by the short raging speedster "Zero Tolerance", the closer here which seems fitting in wrapping up this varied entertaining opus which is definitely better than the previous one, but is still miles away from the greatness of their 80's legacy.

Fistful of Metal Full-length, 1983
Armed and Dangerous EP, 1985
Spreading the Disease Full-length, 1985
Among the Living Full-length, 1987
State of Euphoria Full-length, 1988
Penikufesin EP, 1989
Persistence of Time Full-length, 1990
Attack Of The Killer B's Best of/Compilation, 1991
Sound Of White Noise Full-length, 1993
Worship Music Full-length, 2011
Anthems EP, 2013
For All Kings Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

ANTHROPHOBIA

Modern post-thrash borrowing from both the alternative and the hardcore arena; there's not much to delight the regular thrash fan, but those who are into the nu-sound of the 90's: Helmet, Biohazard, Tool, etc., will do no wrong checking these guys out.

Framework EP, 1996

ANTHY (MEXICO)

Surreal atmospheric thrash/death which prevalent dark serenity is rudely interrupted at times by wild blasters like "Murder Divine" and the more stylish bombaster "Osculum Obscenum". The vocals are two-faced: mean witch-like half-hisses; and brutal semi-shouty death metal ones.

Jester of the Fools Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

ANTI (BELARUS)

Light-hearted mellow modern post-thrash with a slightly rough sound which is suitable at least for the cool cover of New Model Army's "The Hunt", the same one which also fascinated Sepultura. The guitars have a certain punky/alternative edge which disappears on the best material, like the doom/psychedelic number "Green Hell" (which is not a Misfits cover).

Anger Full-Length, 2010

ANTI TOXIN (GERMANY)

Thrash/crossover of the more simplistic, raw type, with excellent bass performance; the style is quite close to early Prong and The Accused, with a badly disguised punk-ish attitude.

The Enemy Is You EP, 1988

ANTICHRIST (HUNGARY)

This formation, along with Tormentor, had introduced the black side of metal in Hungary and Eastern Europe in general, although these guys are more thrashy, but lesser musicians. The music on this demo is one-dimensional, very simple black-ish thrash, obviously influenced by early Bathory, mostly up-tempo, with horrible unholy snarly vocals, which might scare someone, even nowadays. "Night of the Living Deads", which is a bonus track, is probably one of the first attempts at brutal death metal from Hungary, although the musicianship there is also on quite a low level.

Dark Age... in the Very Beginning Demo, 1989

ANTICHRIST (SWEDEN)

Based on the "Put to Death" demo: cool retro thrash metal ala Possessed's "Seven Churches"; dark ominous sound, moderately fast tempos, vicious semi-death metal vocals, and a few attempts at more direct speed metal ("Virgin's Blood"). The riffs are a bit mellower carrying more melody which at times grow into really catchy memorable hooks (check "Virgin's Blood" again).
"Forbidden World" is a really good debut the guys having epitomized their style with more nods towards the German speed/thrash metal school, the fierce opener "Dark Sorcery" sounding like the song Angel Dust never wrote: a speed/thrashfest at its best, graced by fine melodic leads. "Militia Of Death" is less than 3-min of pure thrashing madness, with the next "Torment in Hell" bringing the "winds" of speed metal again. The title-track is 1.5-min of peaceful semi-acoustic guitars, and "Necropolis" is an ambitious 8-min composition of intense headbanging speed/thrash with slight progressive leanings and an imposing doomy ending. Then the speed/thrashing madness carries on for another three tracks, and those who survive it (this is some ultra-furious stuff, folks!) will reach another larger-than-life number: "Minotaur", an instrumental-only opus which tones down the aggression concentrating on more moderate galloping riffs and beautiful melodic hooks, mostly in the lead department. The final "Terror Dimension" is a total early Destruction-worship, a fitting finish to this no-brainer of a classic speed/thrash metal which is very close to topping up the thrash metal movement in their homeland.
The band members keep themselves busy with numerous other acts: the classic heavy metal newcomers Witchgrave, the death metal outfits Eviscerated (which is on hold at the moment) and Awaken Horror, etc.
"Sinful Birth" is a more varied affair although the guys try their best to keep the pace up for most of the time. Still, squashing dramatic mid-pacers like "Under the Cross" work almost as well as opposed to vicious immediate speed/thrashers like "The Black Pharaoh". The title-track offers more elaborate rhythms on the hyper-active bashing background, and "Burned Beyond Recognition" gracefully continues them with rolling riffage and more technical decisions. "Chernobyl 1986" is an ambitious 10-min progressive behemoth which the band admirably sustain in the up-tempo parametres for most of the time, further evidence that they have the intentions on playing a more important role on the scene in their homeland, and not only.

Crushing Metal Tape Demo, 2009
Put to Death Demo, 2010
Forbidden World Full-Length, 2011
Sinful Birth Full-length, 2017

Official Site

ANTICHRIST HOOLIGANS (BRAZIL)

These "hooligans" indulge in classic "antichrist" thrash/crossover which is fairly energetic and intense a bit marred by the not very suiting screechy blacky vocals which scream like a banshee at every more or less appropriate moment. The album has a somewhat street aesthetics not far from the first 2 Hirax efforts although the songs here are longer also bearing some resemblance to the Swedish moshers F.K.U. due to the not very bridled hardcore attitude ("Nuclear Beer Drinkers"; the frolic speedster "Metal Punk"; "We are Antichrist Hooligans"; well, who isn't!?) at times. Some really serious hard-hitting thrash ("Nuclear Spell"; the intense closer "Toxic Invasion") comes served near the end making this release one of the more optimistic slabs of good old school fun to come out of South America in recent years.

We Will Piss on Your Grave Full-Length, 2013

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ANTICLOCKWISE (ITALY)

Based on "Carry the Fire", this act serve modern progressive power/thrash quite reminiscent of Nevermore and their compatriots Chaoswave. In other words, expect heavy dark riffage with a touch of groove. Sparse fast-paced escapades("The Road", the semi-technical shredder "Hour of Need") are inevitable, but the other extreme is also handsomely covered: the nice ballad "Leaves Fall No More"; the short piece of acoustic tenderness "Son". The singer is cool with his mid-ranged clean timbre which becomes more prominent on the aforementioned lighter material.
"Raise Your Head" is a more dynamic and more attractive affair the band now thrashing much harder the title-track a really potent opener with sharp cutting guitars and dramatic accumulations. More shredding drama with "The Gutenberg Plague", a seismic mid-paced squasher with sudden speedy outbreaks. "Mothertongue" is a brooding quasi-doomster, and "The Wire" is a more dynamic piece with more playful rhythms. "Into the R.A.M." is a nice porgressiver with very cool fast-paced escapades the latter making this composition one of the finest the band have ever composed; another reasoon why this album can be rightfuly considered the guys' finest hour.

Non Linear Dynamical Systems Full-length, 2009
Carry the Fire Full-length, 2013
Raise Your Head Full-length, 2016

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ANTICORPSE (FRANCE)

Based on the "The Great Fall of Humanity" full-length, this act serve clever semi-technical modern thrash/death which evolves around meandering mid-paced patterns and although there's not much speed present, the intriguing riffage will keep the listener hooked for most of the time. The guitar work is quite heavy and pounding recalling at times the marching battle-like style of Bolt Thrower (check out the closing "Korrils Dance"). Some of the band members are also involved with the black metallers Malysteria.

Power Through Chaos EP, 2009
Frenezy Full-length, 2011
The Great Fall of Humanity EP, 2014
The Great Fall of Humanity Full-length, 2014

Official Site

ANTICOSM (USA)

Based on the full-length, this act serve "anticosmic" thrash/death which is quite intriguing with technical/progressive tendencies which aren't fully epitomized at this stage another obstacle being the very buzzy guitar sound. Still, the guys do their best to show whatever they have up their sleeves and pull it out on longer, more cleverly-composed numbers like "Through the Steppe". There's a lot of melody gracing almost every number, and the vocals are of the shouty black/deathy variety with a witch-like hiss applied at times. Some of the band members are also active with the death metal formation War Crime.
The self-titled is another stylish offering the guys death/thrashing with a lot of mind put into the recording so it's no wonder that the album picks up both speed and aggression from the very beginning where "Where Nightmares Breed" is a nice "cosmic" piece with lyrical digressions interrupting the brutal rifforamas. "Black Magic" is nothing like the Slayer hit, but is an engaging progressive saga with interesting operatic decisions which also stretch onto the remaining vaterial among which "Killing Machine" is a nice melodic progressiver with great lead sections. The closing "The Season of Ill Wind" seamlessly blends brutal deathy passages with beautiful orchestral arrangements to wrap up the album after nearly 10-min of serious thought-provoking music.

Against the Cosmos Full-Length, 2009
The Wreckoning EP, 2011
Anticosm Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

ANTIDOTE (FINLAND)

These late comers on the Finnish thrash metal scene started quite well with "The Truth": nice, multi-layered semi-technical thrash with interesting, diverse compositions. It really offered an interesting approach to thrash, at times quite frenetic and chaotic ("Symphony of Death"), at times pure thrashing madness ("Act of Violence"), at times heavy and crushing ("Melancolia"). The fast pace predominates, and the very technical moments are not that many, so this work will be a sure pick for the headbangers.

Later the band abandoned this formula and stuck to heavy, mostly mid-paced songs somewhat along the lines of Metallica's late 80's period, also quite good, but less original. The compositions have been increased in length, and are decidedly more technical, obviously influenced by the approach on "...And Justice For All". Of course, there are speedy moments, but they could be viewed as breaks from the monolithic heavy wall of sound, created by the rest. Attempts at a more melodic, heavy metal-based song-writing are also made ("My Million Years" from "Total") as well as such at modern groovy post-thrash, again recalling more Metallica's Black Album ("The Aggressor Within" from "Mind Alive") rather than Pantera or Machine Head. Quite a few of the tracks border on heavy, doomy, semi-balladic thrash which create somewhat tedious atmosphere.

The Truth Full-length, 1992
Total Full-length, 1994
Mind Alive Full-length, 1996

ANTIDRASI (GREECE)

Based on the debut, this band plays intense thrash/crossover, clinging more towards the hardcore side. Some songs are pure bashing bordering on grind ("Gennimenoi Nekroi"), some, but much fewer, are more melodic punk-ish pieces ("Genoktonia"), and as a whole the music of those Greeks is fairly more aggressive than the majority of the thrash/crossover acts having walked the Earth during the late 80's/early 90's. The tracks are short and vicious, and the sound quality, at least on this album, is bad, with a buzzy guitar sound. The singer is vintage Tommy Victor (Prong), and the overall musical approach of those guys is not too far from the early works of Prong.

"Pantou & Pouthena" shows the band in an inspired form to produce more aggressive hardcore-ish thrash, after a long 11-year absence. The music this time is more laid-back, very seldom reaching grinding intensity, also relying on more melodic patterns, taken straight from the efforts of Suicidal Tendencies and Lawnmower Deth.

Katastasi Kindunou Full-length, 1990
Enantia Full-length, 1991
E 7 EP, 1995
Pantou & Pouthena Full-Length, 2006

ANTIFIL (ARGENTINA)

Gruff dynamic post-thrash which switches onto less bridled thrash/crossover on the shorter numbers which occupy half the space and are nice invigorating speedsters. The sound quality is not great coming with a lot of side noise along with the angry quarrelsome semi-shouty vocals which are another detraction.

Demo Demo, 1995

ANTIGOD (CZECH)

Modern thrash which is both mechanical and more relaxed with a classic flavour; the band specializes in short blitzkrieg numbers in the beginning surrounded by a characteristic robotic aura largely created by the boosted modern production. The speed gets lost here and there replaced by nice melodic sweeps (the gothic semi-ballad "Shadow Dweller") which dominate the landscape for the rest of the album aptly assisted by deep semi-whispered, again mechanized, vocals. Some of the musicians are also involed with the death metal/grindcore formation Disfigured Corpse.

The Masquerade Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

ANTIMON (GERMANY)

This obscure act indulge in rough aggressive thrash with a Slayer and Devastation vibe in the beginning before the guys lose it later on and start producing more modern-sounding music ("Children Of Today") with a heavy groovy edge only to wake up for one last shot in the face of the closing headbanger "One For The Angels". The sound quality is really bad with a buzzy edge accompanying the guitars, and the singer is another detriment with his unemotional punky tember.

Children of Today EP, 1992

Official Site

ANTIPEEWEE (GERMANY)

Based on "Madness Unleashed", this act play modern-ish thrash with winks at the old school in a way not far from Dew-Scented and No Return. "The Misanthrope" is a pleasant heavy/power metal hymn, but the other material has the bite and edge to survive a wholesome thrash test, especially the numbers in the 2nd half which are led by the relentless headbanger "Feeding The Breeding Mother" and of course the closing optimistic speed/thrasher "Thrash Metal Fist".

Baphothrash EP,2013
Human Grill Party Full-length, 2013
Madness Unleashed Full-length, 2015

Official Site

ANTIQUE DOLL (JAPAN)

Based on the "Pleasure Land" EP, this act plays a decent mix of classic and modern thrash, blending fast uncompromising passages with more laid-back ones with a shade of power metal. "Pleasure Land" is a doomy, semi-balladic sleeper, but "Another" is a compensation with its merry crossover rhythms. The singer is a high-strung emotioner, his style very close to the one of his compatriot Anchang from Sex Machineguns.

Pleasure Land EP, 1996
Maze EP, 1996

Official Site

ANTIQUUS (CANADA)

Another very talented technical/progressive act from Canada; the band's style is a potent mixture of progressive, power, thrash and doom. The music is mostly heavy, mid-paced, with not many faster sections; the compositions are lengthy, some of them easily reaching the 9-10min mark. The riffs are crushing and heavy, interrupted by nice melodic tunes (especially those on the debut are marvellous; this same album is permeated by a great Oriental atmosphere). The band's style has a lot in common with acts like Zero Hour, although the Canadians don't rely on technicality all the time; Communic, the Swedes Pathos, Memento Mori, the last Hexenhaus album. The lead guitar work is, expectedly, on a very high level, but it's the wide amalgam of riffage and moods which makes both works a wonder to listen to. The singer has a cool melodic tember, coming as a slightly lower-pitched version of Messiah Marcolin, although he also does a good job when hitting the higher tones. "Ramayana" is the more technical and heavier effort- a marvellous combination of smashing aggressive riffage and enchanting melodies; "Eleutheria" is more conventional, but is more dynamic and faster, and there the guys produce some fine galloping riffs.

Ramayana Full-Length, 2005
Eleutheria Full-Length, 2006

Official Site

ANTIQUUS SCRIPTUM (PORTUGAL)

The single is only one song, made by just one man operating under the name Sacerdos Magus, and this is a question for the thrash metal fans in their early teens: who is the band covered here? Quite a capable cover, if you ask me, with very well imitated T. G. Warrior-like vocals. Otherwise the music is a faithful rendition of this immortal hit with the guitar sound having the same low-tuned funereal quality.

Abi In Malam Pestem Full-length, 2002
Immortalis Factus Full-length, 2008
Dethroned Emperor Single, 2010

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ANTISILENCE (TURKEY)

Based on "Suffer Hits": a mix of classic and modern thrash in almost equal dozes; the classic and shorter numbers seem to work the better ("K!E!S!M!E! S!E!S!I!N!I!") coming with a pinch of hardcore. The modern tracks are long, a bit boring, and come served with balladic moments ("Da H8 Song"), unpleasantly industrialized ("Let's Consume"), or punk-tinged ("Faceslap!"). "I Came, I Saw, I Lost" is the exception being a nice fusion of soft balladic parts and really cool technical riffs; "Somebody Call Me A Starship" is another cool moment: thrash/crossover with a twist. Near the end the guys completely lose it offering awkward melodic, long ("Tw Is Twastebreakhurt" alone is 11-min long), instrumental-only tracks, with no relations to metal.

New World Order Sucks Full-length, 1995
Suffer Hits Full-length, 2000

Official Site

ANTISYSTEM (RUSSIA)

This band was founded by the ultimate guru of Russian thrash metal: Maxim "S Boltom" Layko, who is also responsible for Korrozia Metalla, D.I.V., Manic Depression, etc. This is well executed speed/thrash of the more melodic variety with fast riffage and very cool leads. The German school- early Heloween, Warrant, Iron Angel, is an obvious influence, but there are shades of crossover, and even some Jeff Waters-like guitars can be heard from time to time. The second half of the album is less impressive and much more melodic with three ballads included and one classic heavy metal number ("Krev i Honor").

Memorial for Szczery EP, 2007
Worse Is Better Full-length, 2007

Official Site

ANTITESE (BRAZIL)

This band safely walk on the well trodden path of vicious brutal Brazilian thrash/death along the lines of Sarcofago and Sepultura. They're actually better than those acts' early efforts offering more laid-back, sensible and listenable material, and a more sincere approach expressed by song-titles like "Thrash", for example. The guitar work is simplistic, but catchy, sounding a little buzzy, topped by vicious death metal vocals. Despite the somewhat one-dimensional delivery, some room has been found for more melodic moments ("Atlantis", which is a very cool speed/thrasher, reminding of the early German speed/thrash scene). The closing "The Infinity" is a cool change being an atmospheric mid-paced instrumental with very good leads which were hidden somewhere on the rest.

Antitese Full-length, 1989

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ANTITHESIS (USA)

A highly recommended progressive power/thrash metal band whose style takes the best from the 80's American power metal scene and the German progressive thrash wave of the early-mid 90's. "Antithesis" starts with a splash with the brilliant opener "Netherworld"- arguably the band's finest number, a magnificent progressive power thrasher with superb guitar work and a galloping rhythm. What follows is no less impressive; especially the guitar performance remains on a very high level. Some fine exercises in technical thrash are worth of note: "Sword of Mouth" and "Plastic", as well as the excellent acoustic ballad "Secret Fires".

"Dying for Life" goes in the same vein. The opener "Soul of Ice" again carries the best of the album; the tracks are longer and more technical, and the tempo changes are more frequent. "Times of Trial" is a heavy semi-ballad, which slows the album down, and is too long for the kind closing on 8.5 min. The following songs are more satisfying, but fail to capture the speed lost, and come with a more aggressive and heavier, but also slower riffage ("Politicide").

"Dreaming Reality" is finally a fact, after numerous delays, but is welcome to add more fuel to the guys' small, but impressive, catalogue. With some of them having honed their weapons with Dark Arena, it would come as no surprise the strong material here which starts with the forceful dark power/thrasher "The Madness", a crunchy moody piece with excellent passionate clean vocals courtesy of the new vocalist Matt Adkins. "Endless Circle" is faster and more aggressive, but "The Prophecy" brings the "darkness" back, as well as the more complex heavier riffs. The title-track is progressive power/thrash metal of the pensive doomy type, and "Venom Divine" is another staple for the band heavy number with semi-balladic overtones. "The Bleeding" is a heavy crusher with shattering riffage, and things desirably speed up on the more vivid power metal razor "Final Season". Then follows "Blue" which is a more dreamy progressive piece, the seeming filler, before the closing "Breaking My Will" "breaks your will" with faster sharper riffs. Speed has never been the 1st word to come to mind when listening to this band, and those who were happy with the first 2 albums will find no flaws here, although the song-writing has been simplified a bit with not too much complexity going on also resulting in shorter more immediate songs.

Antithesis Full-length, 2000
Dying For Life Full-length, 2001
Dreaming Reality Full-length, 2010

Official Site

ANTIVERSE (USA)

The "cosmic horror" here comes as intense retro thrash with shouty death metal vocals; death metal is also present on a couple of pieces ("The Expressionless") where some covert technicality can also be felt. The sound becomes a bit dry and sterile ("The Commutator") at times, and some engaging progressive thrashing can be felt on "Apex Predator". The rest is business as usual, intense mosh in up-tempo the only other surprise thrown on "The Beast of Bray Road" before the end: high-pitched Halford-esque shrieks come out of nowhere for a while in the middle to oppose to the main gruff semi-shouty death metal vocals.

Cosmic Horror Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

ANTON (MEXICO)

Based on the "Bestiario" full-length, this act pulls out a decent mix of modern and classic thrash, energetic stuff with a couple of atmospheric semi-industrial elements. The singer is a gruff black-ish rasper who kind of doesn't quite fit the music. The modern and the classic elements alternate as well as the faster and the slower sections as the former dominate sounding close to more recent Kreator, but one can't possibly ignore the proto-death fury of "This Crippled Earth", or the sophisticated dry Voivod-esque technical aggression on "Mind Over".

Creador del Dolor Full-length, 1996
En el Umbral del Caos Full-length, 1998
Todos Morirfon Hoy Full-length, 2004
Adiccion Satanica EP, 2006
Bestiario EP, 2008
Bestiario Full-length, 2008

Official Site

ANTRACIT (CZECH)

The awful sound quality is a major detraction for one to grasp completely this intense thrash/death metal mixture which offers a not very balanced alternation between fast and slow riffs, the latter having a gloomy, dark colouring. The vocalist is nothing special with his strained gruff death metal tember who tries to overshout the instruments when in action which, fortunately, doesn't happen very often.

The Perfect Kill Demo, 1990

ANTROFORCE (BRAZIL)

This unknown act indulges in direct, simplistic Germanic thrash with early Destruction and Kreator the closest soundalikes. The delivery is pretty amateurish, the guys just bashing hard with very buzzy, thin guitars and unrehearsed, shouty death metal vocals. The sound quality is quite muddy with the bass almost non-existent in the beginning; but since this is a compilation of some sorts, in the 2nd half things start getting more stylish, the guys having found the right way to speed/thrash in a more cohesive manner although the music is still pretty derivative and not very exciting.

Compilation Compilation, 2009/2010

ANTROPOID (SLOVAKIA)

Based on the demo, this is good energetic classic thrash which has certain shades of the Bay Area scene, but most of the time it's close to Paradox's "Collision Course"; some Slayer-esque aggression is slightly hinted at here and there ("Frontline"). The music is speedy, the leads are great, and the riffs occasionally have this genuine technical edge; the only complaint would probably be the raw throaty vocals which are supported by not too good semi-clean ones from time to time.

Insane Bullets & Live Fuck Live album, 2005
Insane Bullets Demo, 2005
Danger Full-length, 2007

Official Site

ANTROPOX (USA)

Based on the "Time to Rise" EP, this outfit indulge in stomping bluesy/doomy modern post-thrash which completely lacks vitality and dynamics. There's plenty of heaviness, though, and "Destroyed" starts thrashing sensationally at some stage, but this is thundering morose music which is ably surrounded by appropriate deep deathy vocals.

The full-length is another not very exciting post-thrashy offering which stomps its way without any adventurous moves except for the faster-paced "Born Again" which crushes around before a string of stoner doomsters tears the air with heavy seismic guitars.

Infection Injection EP, 2009
Time to Rise EP, 2010
Antropox Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

ANUBIS (BRAZIL)

A 4-track demo of competent energetic retro thrash which sounds like a nice mix between less aggressive Death and the Germanic thrash metal heroes from the 80's (Destruction, Kreator). Apart from the fast-paced moments, there are quite a few slower, heavy parts, and the alternation between the two sides leads to some fine results: the complex "Anubis", but speed antics, like the vigorous "Forbidden Game", are almost as good.

"Legacy Of Humanity" elaborates on the sound heard on the demo, with all the 4 tracks from it included, as well as those from the preceding single so those who already had the first two short efforts, have almost nothing new to headbang to. Still, this blend of heavy stomping and fast blitzkrieg riffs has its moments, especially on the more complex technical numbers at the end "Slaves Of Misery" and "Dream Beyond The Mirror", the latter also "courting " the Swedish school being more modern-sounding. Those two, after all, had to compensate for the loss of dynamics on the preceding two tracks: the clumsy doomy "P.O.W." and the peaceful balladic instrumental "Under the Influence".

Anubis Demo, 2006
Dark Hope Single, 2008
Legacy Of Humanity Full-length, 2010

My Space

ANUBIS UNBOUND (USA)

The debut: modern thrash with metalcore leanings following closely the path "carved" by their peers Killswitch Engage and God Forbid. Some of the hooks are melodic and catchy, but the sound gets tired after a while, seldom moving away from the not very interesting mid-tempo hectic song-structures the exception the nice more aggressive thrasher in the middle "Last Day of Darkness", and the closing extreme death metal moments from "When Innocence Dies".

"Treachery" brings nothing new to the scene: melodic laid-back post-thrash this time richer in melodies sometimes bordering on the semi-balladic. The more aggressive death metal touches are only slightly hinted at on the steam-rolling early Six Feet Under worship "Circus In My Head"; the rest is too toothless even for NWOAHM standards.

Through Cursed Eyes Full-length, 2008
Doors of Redemption EP, 2009
Treachery Full-length, 2010

My Space

ANUBLAR CETRO (ARGENTINA)

Based on the "Absolute Substance" EP, this talented Argentinian act offers thrashy progressive metal sustained in a solid mid-pace with crushing, hammering riffs and a certain doze of keyboard tunes. The leads are pretty stylish, and in the meandering riff-section elements of both Symphony X and Zero Hour can be felt. "The Ultimate" is an excellent (maybe not the "ultimate") instrumental piece with a great technical rhythm-section and hectic time-changes. "Garden of Predator" is a dark power/thrasher with hammering doomy "reliefs", and the final instrumental "Disturbed Within" is a more dynamic number, managing to keep the listener's attention throughout its almost 9-min of running time with puzzling technical decisions, creepy melodies, and stylish keyboard insertions which "duel" with the great leads at times, the latter very close to being the highlight, both technical and melodic at will. The singer is another asset with his clean, authoritative blend hitting all ranges with confidence, coming close to the dramatic orchestral style of none other than Ronnie James DIO (R.I.P.) himself.

The Insurgent's Shadow EP, 2003
Absolute Substance EP, 2005

My Space

ANUS (FINLAND)

These Finns specialize in "anus-oriented" classic thrash staying quite close to the Bay-Area patterns with Metallica and Forbidden the prime targets for worship. The music is on quite a high level the leads being particularly striking. The sound quality is quite good, too, and the singer provides a cool attached semi-clean voice which fits the overall up-tempo approach. "Anus Reaction" is a cool technicaller, showing the more elaborate side of the band's repertiore, followed by the generally faithful cover of Metallica's "Hit the Lights" as a finishing touch. The musicians take part in various other projects around Finland: the folk metal formation Auringon Hauta, the black metal outfit Haive, the black/folk/pagan metallers Solgrav.

Anus Reaction Demo, 2013

Official Site

ANVIL (CANADA)

Anvil played a very important role in forging (in fire) the more extreme genres of metal in the 80's. "Hard 'n' Heavy" delivered exactly what the title promised: typical for its time pleasant hard'n heavy, not miles away (but definitely not better) from Motley Crue's same year's "Too Fast for Love", but on "Metal on Metal" things became really serious, and this work, along with same year's Accept's "Restless & Wild" and Raven's "Wiped Out", suggested at more aggressive dimensions to be explored by the metal genre. Of all the three bands, it was only Anvil who continued in the same vein, but one year later "Forged in Fire", albeit a great album, didn't sound as aggressive anymore, comed to the full-fledged speed/thrash debuts of Metallica, Slayer, Hawaii and Anthrax. It was interesting to see how the guys would answer to the challenge, but they took a low profile, apently seriously thinking what their next step would be, but too much thinking has never produced very good results, and "Strength of Steel" was a big disappointment, going back to the radio-friendly sound of the debut, with very few notes to justify the album's "steel" title. However, Lips (the founder and the main face of the band) and Co. quickly realized their mistake, and "Pound for Pound" finally saw the guys trying their hands on some thrash. The problem was that, having been released in one of the strongest years for metal, this effort remained in the shadow of the works of the already established thrash metal forces.

Another time-out for re-thinking was taken, again lasting for about 4 years, and this time it offered much better results: the excellent "Worth the Weight", which showed the band hitting hard with exemplary classic power/thrash metal, at a time when most of its practitioners were shying away from it. Despite the warm reception, Anvil went underground once again, for another 4 years (this is what I call consistency!). "Plugged in Permanent" was another good work of retro thrash, the band being the "lonesome wolf" of the 80's style during the 90's. This time they apently have decided to keep the inertia gained, and a string of strong albums followed, although by the time of "Still Going Strong" (well, not exactly) the band's approach has worn thin, repeating the same formula, also trying to break the pattern by inserting mellower tracks which completely took over on the very weak "Back to Basics", which richly deserved its title, going straight back to the sound of the debut with no ties to thrash.
"This Is Thirteen" is only slightly better than the previous effort with some songs carrying the thrashy charge ("Bombs Away", "Axe to Grind"), but the rest is pretty ordinary and not very impressive heavy/power metal. Apparently at this stage Anvil seem to have lost interest in thrash metal.

Hard 'n' Heavy Full-length, 1981
Anvil EP, 1982
Metal on Metal Full-length, 1982
Forged in Fire Full-length, 1983
Strength Of Steel Full-length, 1987
Pound for Pound Full-length, 1988
Worth the Weight Full-length, 1992
Plugged in Permanent Full-length, 1996
Absolutely No Alternative Full-length, 1997
Speed of Sound Full-length, 1999
Plenty Of Power Full-length, 2001
Still Going Strong Full-length, 2002
Back to Basics Full-length, 2004
This Is Thirteen Full-length, 2007

Official Site

ANVIL BITCH (USA)

A typical 80's speed/thrash metal band; the album starts in an impressive manner with "Rise To Offend"- easily the best song here, along with the follower "Lie Through Your Teeth" which show the band quite capable of thrashing with the best, but the rest isn't even half as good: odd heavy metal numbers are here as well ("Time To Die", "Argue With a Sick Mind"), and the speed gets lost completely at some stage. "Maggot Infestation" and "Shark Attack" bring it back with a more aggressive, hardcore intensity. Worth of note are the vocal attempts at the high-pitched screams reminding of Blessed Death's singer Larry Portelli. Later the band changed their name to Dominance, but the style remained pretty much the same.
The EP: another forgotten underground "dog" is making an attempt to capture lost glories although in this case the guys should have stayed down. These three cuts come with a more abrasive modern vibe although "First Act Of Violence" is a passable semi-speedster. "Gods of Firre" is a mild heavy rocker, and "Sanctify" is a very clumsy, boring doomster which sounds like an entirely new outfit playing here. A really unnecessary addition to the guys' minute discography, and by no means an example to follow...

Rise To Offend Full-length, 1986
Sanctify EP, 2008

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ANXIETY (GERMANY)

This not very known German act provides energetic old school thrash which comprises fast pieces mostly with the exception of the merry punk-ish "An Abuse". The tracks are generally long (5-7min), and the guys pull sparse more stylish performance, mostly boosted by the strong bass bottom and the good lead guitars. The singer isn't very convincing singing in a semi-drunken clean manner, more on the declamatory side, taking quite a bit of space as well.

...Then It's Silence Demo, 1994

ANXIUS (HUNGARY)

Based on the second album, Anxius play cool power/thrash metal with nice, melodic guitar work not too far from the Finns Mokoma (their first two albums), but the music here is more melodic, also acoustic at times.

"Szolgasors" is in a very similar vein, radio-friendly feelgood stuff now not very close to thrash relying on retouched riffs, very cool melodic leads, and catchy sing-along choruses. There are ballads, progressive opuses, and sure heavy metal hits here; soft unpretentious fun for a wide gamut of fans.

Histria Full-length, 2004
Az Full-length, 2006
Szolgasors Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

AONIKENK (ARGENTINA)

Based on "A Mi Argentina", this act pull out decent melodic power/thrash, predictably modelled after their peers and compatriots Hermetica and Horcas. The guys alternate laid-back mid-tempo compositions with more intense faster ones as the concentration is clearly on melody. Glorious speedsters, like "Desde Adentro" and "Juan que no Existe" will remind of the early exploits of the 80's German scene (Warrant, Helloween), but one wouldn't get a headshake from them: the band have taken care of that with a ballad, numerous catchy sing-along choruses, and other pleasant mellow moments.

Aonikenk-Gente del Sur Demo, 1998
Ruta del Sur Full-length, 2000
Sentir Metalero Full-length, 2001
Aun De Pie EP, 2004
A Mi Argentina Full-length, 2005

Official Site

AORTIC REGURGITATION (CHINA)

A boy and a girl from Hong Kong indulge in fast old school Germanic thrash metal with a slight pinch of death and brutal not very intelligible vocals which sit somewhere between black and death metal, and one will be shocked to find out that it's the girl who provides them, sounding way more vicious than Angela Kossoff (Arch Enemy), for example. Slow more elaborate rhythms overtake on the very cool instrumental "Alien Worlds" which is a more complex exercise with more clever riffs and various tempos which doesn't lose much from the singer's absence also providing a couple of more thought-out technical passages. This is good stuff, and it could definitely serve as a foundation for a capable full-length.

Aortic Regurgitation EP, 2010

My Space

APATHETIC (TURKEY)

Dark classic thrash with brutal low-tuned death metal vocals; the more immediate energy of the opener "Create Puppet Murders" is suddenly replaced by a more stylish progressive delivery on "Feel This Sinergy" which is a captivating opus with fast lashing guitars and beautiful Oriental tunes. Those tunes stay around until the end, but the speed disappears almost completely for the sake of doom/gothic rhythms which carry a lot of melody, the latter not bad at all, but too overused stifling the biting riffage quite a bit.

Scream Of The Violence EP, 2006

My Space

APATHY (SWEDEN)

This is an obscure blend of thrash, death and doom metal which emphasizes more on the heavy, doomy side sounding quite close to early Crematory. "Corpus Delecti" is an imposing short technical thrasher with dark overtones, but the rest is morose and slower also assisted by a couple of cool short atmospheric, instrumental cuts. Some of the band members moved on under the name Engraved, and are still active with a series of demos released the style being more conventional Swedish melo-death.

Dark Shattered Death Demo, 1993

APATHY (USA, CA)

A very obscure 4-song demo of intense thrash along the lines of Slayer and Possessed; the tempo is fast, and although in terms of musicianship this demo can't score very high, it makes up with aggression and speed, but without any ventures into death metal. There is a cool cover version of Slayer's "Black Magic", too.

Demo Demo, 1988

APATHY (USA, NJ)

Classic power/speed/thrash is what's on offer here with one of the guitar players (Warren Conditi) having done service in Whiplash; the music is a very similar to the last two Whiplash efforts mix of speed/thrash bombs and laid-back heavy/power metal hymns which alternate throughout without leaving any lasting impression although the more hard-hitting moments will bang quite a few heads ("War Torn"; watch out for the nice slower melodic mid-section; the "violent" closer "Violent Nature", which is a nice "wink" at the Bay-Area scene).

A Decade Of Violence Full-length, 2009

Official Site

APATHY ARISING (USA)

This outfit indulges in modern abrasive thrash which doesn't lack dynamics and intensity shredding in a more brutal death metal fashion ("Portraying Poisons feat: J from Thy Will Be Done") at times, but generally this is very heavy pounding stuff which repeats samey seismic guitars throughout the latter particularly effective on the thunderous closer "Dreams Of The Reaper". The vocalist growls in the utmost death metal fashion, but his scary antics somehow fit the not very demanding music.

Mutatis Mutandis Full-Length, 2011

APES WITH HOBBIES (UK)

This young talented act offers an interesting combination of modern thrash and symphonic/progressive metal, instrumental-only, which develops in mid-pace with very heavy, pounding riffs and an omnipresent orchestral background. The "good tone" is rudely broken with "F**kface", which is a furious deathster, but on the rest the chugga-chugga riffage goes on unabated also assisted by surreal lead guitar work, which is quite good, despite the several synthesized insertions. "The Old Black" is a fine dynamic technical thrasher, but on the other hand there are 4 purely balladic pieces where the leads reign supreme. This is not bad, although the approach is a bit samey, and the keyboard sections may annoy the thrash metal fan due to their overuse.

2012 Full-Length, 2011

APHRENETY (GERMANY)

Based on the full-length, this act provide modern thrash/death with both groove and technical elements inserted to create a dubious metalcore base. The former side is more prevalent, but one can't help but enjoy the less bridled energy of cuts like "Ghost of Slaves" and "Transgression", or the diverse contrasting character of the 7-min closer "There is No End Inside". Some of the musicians play similar stuff in Norkanoia, maybe more death metal-based.

Ghost of Slaves EP, 2013
The Underworld Path Full-length, 2014

Official Site

APITION (USA)

Based on the "Human Fear" demo, this band are probably one of the first doom/death metal acts although here there's only one track which fits the definition: "Human Fear". The rest is aggressive thrash/death although the doom elements are present on each of the other two songs.

The debut demo features very good energetic thrash in the vein of early Whiplash and Slayer, with a short doomy section on "Vicious Kill". The single is only two songs both of which are intense death/thrashers in the spirit of early Death, graced by slower stomping passages, but having nothing to do with doom metal.

Demo I Demo, 1988
Human Fear Demo, 1989
Eternally Forgotten / Curse the Sunrise Single, 1990

APOCALIPS (ROMANIA)

Based on "Gate to Infinity", this band plays melodic modern power/thrash metal which at times boldly ventures into the 90's power/speed metal fields. The music is graced by numerous melodic hooks a situation ruined by the more brutal death metal-laced vocals. The songs are lengthy affairs where gothic, doom, and industrial can also be heard as well as sparse clean vocal participation. They certainly border on progressive, but the riffage is a bit monotonous creating a dark depressing mood.

Depresie totala Full-length, 2002
Gate to Infinity Full-length, 2010

My Space

APOCALYPSE (SWITZERLAND)

This band could have outclassed Celtic Frost, and even Coroner, to become the most prominent Swiss band if they had been lucky (or not that lazy) to release albums on more regular terms. Their self-titled debut is a striking piece of semi-technical power/thrash with great riffs and memorable tracks; the opening track "Digital Life" is a truly impressive beginning, at the same time speedy, catchy and technical. What follows is equally as strong, including two great energetic technical instrumentals ("Smash" and "Dark Sword").

The long 6-year break between the two albums was detrimental to the band since most of the fanbase had almost completely forgotten about them. However, they reminded of themselves in a fairly convincing way with "Faithless" featuring the same flamboyant style of the past, immediately shown with the very first track: "House of Confusion"- a blistering fast-paced technical thrasher, with a long, and slightly annoying quiet ending; the sound is more aggressive with mighty intense, speedy pieces present: "Division", accompanied by others, slower, but graced by really stylish technical breaks: "Extreme Sensation"- the most technical track on the album. "Shoot You Down" is perhaps the odd song: longer and slower than the rest, apently designed as a semi-ballad, with a more restrained guitar presence. Another great aggressive thrasher ("Bad Breath") closes this fairly entertaining album, which, alas, remained the band's last work.

Apocalypse Full-length, 1987
Faithless Full-length, 1993

APOCALYPSE (USA)

Fast, aggressive thrash metal along the lines of Slayer and Dark Angel with grindcore moments ("Scientific Force" from the 1st demo) included.

Demo Demo, 1987
Demo Demo, 1988

APOCALYPSE (USA, CA)

These obscures acquit themselves with clever semi-technical thrash and elongated compositions which contain eventful riff formulas the latter mixing the pace well leaving the most headbanging sections for the shorter finalizer "Criminal Infection" which lashes majorly the main drawback being the very screamy leads. The singer is not a bad semi-cleaner with a slightly drunken note, and the sound production is not great giving an obtrusive hissing edge to the guitars.

Demo Demo, 1991

APOCALYPSE NOW (FRANCE)

Based on "Empires Fall", this act, who features Boban Tomic- a drummer who has taken part in both Korum and No Return, specializes in intense thrash/crossover which stays more on the modern side with annoying shouty vocals. The dominant delivery recalls Madball, but more melodic Swedish melo-thrash elements ("The New Icon") can also be felt on occasion, and the guitar players as a whole seem well-eqipped to handle both the more direct, and the more melodic sections with ease.

Confrontation With God Full-length, 2006
Empires Fall Full-length, 2008

Official Site

APOCALYPSE WARHEAD (FINLAND)

There are only two men involved here, one of them being the death metal stalwart Nate Gould (The Rotted, Gorerotted, etc.). So it should be no wonder that the style is clinging more towards death metal with a frequent participation of thrash, but expect no mercy either way, the band lashing out fast, fiery riffs to no end, graced by stylish technical insertions and very good melodic leads. The guitars have a certain mechanical, sterile edge, but this only helps in the process since the delivery is pretty intense, with grinding sections inserted at the most appropriate times. There are attempts at a more progressive song-writing: "Experimental Warfare", where the barrage is just a tad less intense than on the more immediate material. The all-instrumental masterpiece "Rk 62" is the other place where more clever arrangements can be felt, and this one is a major technical ripper of the Sceptic, Quo Vadis (Canada) type with puzzling riffs and piercing leads, a state-of-the-art affair which influences the remaining 2 songs where another portion of stylish technical performance can be heard, among the no-bars-held speedy approach. This is a really cool effort, which may cause you a headache due to the super-fast delivery which never falls apart supported by very brutal low-tuned vocals.

Opening The Silos Full-length, 2011

Official Site

APOCALYPTIC SALVATION (ITALY)

Based on the "Skulls' Collector" demo, these guys provide energetic ripping old school thrash with elements of death metal recalling Torture Squad and Defleshed. The sound quality is crystal clear ably supporting the relentless musical approach on perennial moshers like "Hunter" and "Skulls Collector". The singer is a brutal death metal growler, but matches the aggressive music. If the previous demos are of the same high quality then the band shouldn't waste any more time, but summon their powers for a full-length production.

Beginning of Destruction Demo, 2008
Celebration of Destruction Demo, 2010
Skulls' Collector Demo, 2012

Official Site

APOCRYPHA (ARGENTINA)

Based on "Conviccion Salvaje", this power trio pulls out a more classic mix of speed and thrash metal, heavy and dynamic, and surprisingly don't sound like their frequently imitated peers Hermetica or Horcas, to these ears offering better, harder music. Moments of the Bay-Area can be heard mixed with proto-modern pounding riffs, and almost every track in the 1st half crosses mid-paced crushing sections with faster headbanging ones. "Dictadores Divinos" will shock you in the middle with its short super-blasting death metal passage, and is an overall quite cool more elaborate speed/thrash composition. After it the album really takes off: "Vendepatria" is exemplary intense speed/thrash; "El Lamento del Traidor" is nice jumpy technical thrash with another very short blasting section; "El Milagro" is a cool epic thrasher with a great chorus and striking lead guitar work; "Odio" and "Mentiras" are short aggressive thrash killers; "El Dolor de tu Ausencia" is speedy optimistic thrash/crossover with much more stylish for this kind of music leads. The singer has a very good emotional semi-clean tember which handles both the more aggressive and the more melodic vocals with dexterity.

Cabeza de Metal Full-length, 2002
Conviccion Salvaje Full-length, 2008

Official Site

APOCRYPHA (USA)

This band boasts the presence of the guitar wizard Tony Fredianelli. The debut is in the power/speed metal mould with the band's style still shaky and not very convincing although the guitar pyrotechnics of Fredianelli are quite impressive to completely ignore this effort. However, the machine started working quite well just a year later on the sophomore album which was stylish, heavy technical power/thrash with excellent guitar work and characteristic high vocals sometimes reminding of Rob Halford; some tracks are in the spirit of the debut being cool melodic speed/power metal ones (there is also one very good ballad: "Mystic"), but heavy stomping riff-fests like "Father Time" and the smashing up-tempo thrasher "The Hour Glass" raise the level much higher. "The Man Who Saw Tomorrow" is another heavy piece, but with a more technical, but equally as intense guitar work (check also the superb leads on this one). The closing "West World" is a raging speed/thrasher with a heavy break accompanying the chorus. Actually the overall tempo isn't fast, but mid-paced to slow on the heavier numbers, and some might consider this a pullback since Fredianelli kind of submits his flamboyant style to the not really demanding delivery, still shining all over, whereas the debut was virtually a one-man-show for most of the time, but it had its downsides as well.

"Area 54" is the band's magnum opus with a more aggressive (but also slower) approach featuring great crushing, but at the same time quite technical, riffs. Even "Area 54", apparently intended as a ballad, will squash you with its ultra-heavy riffage. "Catch 22" is a 10-tone steam-roller which crushes everything in its way; seldom can a band sound so aggressively without adhering to a very fast or brutal play. On the other hand we have more dynamic, more technical, but equally as heavy songs: "Terrors Holding On To You", and the marvellous technical riff-fest "Tian'anmen Square". There are, of course, more melodic, heavy/power tunes to take away the pressure: "The Detriment Of Man" (the final cords from this one will remind you of Judas Priest's "Electric Eye", intentionally or not).

The Forgotten Scroll Full-length, 1987
The Eyes of Time Full-length, 1988
Area 54 Full-length, 1990

Official Site

APOKALYPTIC RAIDS (BRAZIL)

Based on the debut: the band name already suggests a lot and it doesn't mislead: Hellhammer-worship this is, but it also goes beyond that, including up-tempo intense parts ala Bulldozer; some of the more twisted song-structures will even remind you of Burzum ("Voyeur"); this is really an interesting listen. The delivery is often chaotic and hectic (on the faster tracks), but the band's sincere approach to song-writing is simply charming including the 1.5-min drum bashing "Skullkrusher".

"Vol.4-Phonocopia" is a brutal unpolished affair concentrating on the faster side of the genre, and as such seldom slows down, but when it does, it goes straight to doomy waters: "Remember the Future", or produces awkward hard'n heavy fillers: "The Unquiet Grave". The approach is very stripped-down and simplistic with a shade of hardcore in both the guitar and the vocal department.

Only Death Is Real... Full-length, 2001
The Return of The Satanic Rites Full-length, 2003
The Third Storm - World War III Full-length, 2005
Vol.4 - Phonocopia Full-length, 2010

Official Site

APOKATASTASIA (SWITZERLAND)

This is progressive all-instrumental thrash with numerous nods to other styles including several outside the metal spectre. This is avantgarde eclectic stuff which will remind you of the first couple of works of the French Misanthrope, among others. An instrument which takes a considerable room from the sound, is the violin, but this is far from the folk metal of Skyclad. Certainly, tracks like the 9-min long "LysergSureDithylamid", which has no shade of metal, let alone thrash, and could have been left out. If you manage to stay with the album after this one (some of you would definitely turn the players off), you will enjoy awesome progressive thrashers like the great "Raped Visions" where a cool duel is formed between the violin and the guitars, ending with a brilliant lead near the end. Just when you start filling with joy and expectations, comes another non-metal number: "Rebellion"; those compositions are actually very close to the Finns Apocalyptica. It's followed by the highlight: the 10-min progressive opus "Nothing", a heavy stomping song with meaty smashing riffs, and again, great violin themes. "Empty Flower Vox", the bonus track, features vocals, and is a nice technical thrasher of a less elaborate nature. This is a fairly interesting approach to thrash, but it might not be a full-blooded entertainment for the regular fan.

Shedding Full-length, 2005

Official Site

APOKRYPHA (GERMANY)

Based on the full-length debut, these guys play a decent mixture of black, death and thrash metal, with the three styles well mixed together (maybe black metal dominates a bit). The pace is never very fast, compared to other similar blends, and the guitar work contains really good thrashy riffs.

Black Demons EP, 2003
To The Seven Full-length, 2004

Official Site

APOLLYON SUN (SWITZERLAND)

After the Celtic Frost guys were unable to erase the stain thrown over their name with the disastrous "Cold Lake", with the much better "Vanity/Nemesis", split-up was the next logical step, and the band was no more. However, Tom G. Warrior wasn't happy just sitting around, waiting for better times to come, and he founded another act, along with Marky Edelmann from Coroner, and his old comrade from Hellhammer and the early Celtic Frost days Stephen Priestly. Don't expect anything like Celtic Frost here: this is strictly modern industrial post-thrash, much closer to the Coroner's swansong "Grin", and the Peter Tatgren side project Pain. The music has its edge although it very seldom goes over the mid-pace, and the electronic samples and the quiet, almost progressive, moments are quite a few. Warrior sings in an unemotional synthesized manner recalling the US experimentalists G.G.F.H., which better suits the slow doomy sections that the music on display has aplenty as well. There are a couple of pure ambient electronic tracks, too, and the thrash fan may lose his patience while waiting for something more dynamic to happen. This project was put an end to after Warrior joined the reformed Celtic Frost in 2002.

God Leaves (And Dies) EP, 1998
Sub Sampler EP, 2000
Sub Full-length, 2000

Official Site

APOSENTO (SPAIN)

Good old school thrash/death metal with black metal elements.

Welcome to Darkness EP, 1997

APOSTASY (CHILE)

This is by all means one of the highlights of the whole Chilean thrash metal scene: classy dark, brooding thrash akin to Slayer's late 80's period, and Infernal Majesty. The guys vary things nicely, alternating between aggressive play and crushing heavy riffage. The songs are long, especially the 11-min monster "Malignant Beauty", and the music isn't overtly technical, but by no means boring with the frequent change of tempos and stylish guitar work. At times the sound acquires slight death metal tendencies recalling early Death, but as a whole the music doesn't stray too much from the thrash metal path.

The band are waking up for some more dark death/thrashy tunes, and "The Great Apostasy" EP is a reassuring testing of the soil although it only contains two new tracks: "I Killed The Priest" which is an intense thrash/death metal cut, not bearing any surprises (for the better), featuring the staple for the band heavy dark mid-break although the vocals may take time to get used to: now they are of the low-tuned death metal variety, well conformed with the morose tone of the music. "The Great Apostasy" is 2.5-min of first-rate doom, instrumental-only. "Fraud In The Name Of God", "Deceased In Funeral", and "The Night" are already familiar from the full-length, here presented without any major changes.

Sunset of the End Full-length, 1991
The Great Apostasy EP, 2011

Official Site

APOSTASY (USA)

An underground effort comprising of raw aggressive, classic black/thrash/death metal with some of the most husky, witch-like vocals ever encountered on the scene. The music is both slow and fast, strangely recalling Malhavoc's debut, and there's a certain presence of more quiet atmospheric moments, the latter ruined by the muddy sound quality.

The Seven Eyes Of God Demo, 1994

APOSTASY (USA, CN)

Based on the full-length, this act specializes in modern thrash/death with brutal death metal vocals. The twin guitar melodies are worth mentioning as well as the more lyrical lead-driven moments ("Transcension"), but the rest is just your trite Swedish stuff with annoying ambient/electronic variations near the end which are so much off-context that sound like an entirely new band/album, and will fill in the dance floors on many discotheques around the world. Oh, and let's not forget the brutal hardcore, all-instrumental, rape of the Christmas carol "Jingle Bells" as a finishing touch.

Godcrusher EP, 2009
A Means to an End Full-Length, 2011

Official Site

APOTEOM (BRAZIL)

Good intentions ultimately ruined by the horrible production; this is supposed to be a progressive form of thrash, and it is as a mAtter of fact, but it's served with the most muffled sound of the past few years which gives the whole recording a dark archaic aura deafening the guitars to the point that some sections are just thundering bass, and very little else. This same individual touch is the main detriment here since it's really hard to penetrate this boosted bass-dominated noise which is probably at its best when it adheres to doom ("Alienation") more. "Welcome to Insanity" is another winner, a fast-paced shredder with again a thundering bass bottom. The headbanging qualities of the latter are solely matched by "Extinction" near the end, and partly by the closing "old schooler" "Old School". The singer merges into the dark wall of sound with his not very emotional, mid-ranged semi-clean voice.

Alienation Full-Length, 2013

APOTHEOSIS (MALTA)

Based on the full-length: one guy, the alias Sauron, is responsible for this cacophonic concoction of black, thrash and symphonic/ambient elements, the latter too frequent to make this short effort an enjoyable listen for the thrash metal fans. The guitars are not very clearly heard, and are often stifled by the very noisy drum machine which is often turned on blasts. The vocals are barely heard being vicious raven-like ones of the declamatory type.

Shadows Eve Demo, 1995
Promo Demo, 1997
Farthest from the Sun Full-length, 2002

My Space

APOTHESARY (USA)

Based on the full-length, this US trio offers intense retro thrash/death which moves from the brutal, semi-technical approach of Torture Squad to the seismic, war-like one of Bolt Thrower and Benediction, with the casual reference to the Swedish melo-death school. The leads are on a particularly high level and surpass the messy riffage which is at times stifled by the thunderous bass bottom. Guitar virtuoso sections will meet you on the short technicaller "Trials", but expect also sorrowful, melancholic gothic rhythms on the appropriately-titled "Autumn". The singer is the ultimate low-tuned growler, interrupted at times by screechy blacky inclusions. "Ashley" is an explosive death/thrasher with several "faces" moshing quite hard for most of the time with sudden technical insertions; and the closing "Wrath" is another exercise in more thought-out music with clever, crunchy riffage and several tempo-changes.
The "They All Carry Ghosts" EP is a more brutal affair now adhering to death metal more, but preserves the more intriguing semi-technical hooks which are a bit harder to get this time because of the fairly fast-paced delivery. "Parting at Morning" is a more serious attempt at a more progressive song-writing, and the final cut is a faithful rendition of At the Gates' "Blinded By Fear" also aptly reflecting the modern character of this recording.
"Accept Loss Forever" continues with the band's death metal-ish infatuations although thrash has more than just two minutes of fame here as evident from "Two Minute Hate" and the intense Sepultura-sque piece "You've Met With a Terrible Fate Haven't You" which also "flirts" with a couple of softer melo-death elements. The rest is the good old melo-death metal as known from the works of At the Gates, In Flames, Dark Tranquillity, etc. with one gorgeous progressive masterpiece ("Expressionless Me") at the end.

The Unthinking Masses EP, 2009
EP EP, 2010
A Harsh Reality Full-length, 2011
They All Carry Ghosts EP, 2012
Sensory Overload EP, 2016
Accept Loss Forever Full-length, 2017

Official Site

APPALACHIAN TERROR UNIT (USA)

Based on the full-length, this act offers intense thrash/crossover with mean semi-whispered vocals. The music stays more on the hardcore side with a few more serious attempts at thrash made ("Legalize Or Die"), including the 7-min long "Greenwashing" which is an ambitious cut combining the ballad with more aggressive mid-tempo thrash with better female vocals added.

Armaggeddon Won't Be Brought By Gods...But By Men Who Think They Are EP, 2007
Greenwashing Full-length, 2008

My Space

AQUAMORTA (BELARUS)

Very good retro thrash metal with a pagan atmosphere which brings it close to Bifrost and even the great Sabbat. The songs are heavy with up-tempo galloping rhythms. The singer has a gruff, but attached, voice which is at times intercepted by higher semi-operatic vocals. There's an unexpected choice for a cover version at the end, but an excellent one: Destruction's "The Ritual" from "Infernal Overkill", done in a brooding doomy manner, the latter preceded by the jolly take on the rock evergreen "In the Mood", also done quite well.

Zaklik Kryvi (Call Of Blood) Full-length, 2001

Official Site

AQUER (CHILE)

Based on "I'e4", this band bashes old school black/thrash which is pretty close to the early unsuccessful efforts of Sodom to play. The music of the Chileans makes more sense, mostly on the moments when they manage to come up with genuinely heavy riffs ala early Celtic Frost ("Nova Orden Imperium Sathanas"). "Nuptiae Sabbatti" awkwardly falls into meaningless blast-beats, and "Alcohol" is a jolly crossover track. "In thy Crypt... I'e4" tries to conquer the doom metal arena, and could have succeeded if it wasn't for the awful hollow sound of the drums.

I'e4 Full-length, 2003
Atomic Watts Live Demo, 2005
Athanatos Full-length, 2005
Unbited by Demoniacal Obsession Split, 2006

Official Site

AQUILON (FRANCE)

An intriguing mixture of atmospheric gothic metal and thrash (based on "Intramedia"); the riffs are razor shapr, but the tempo is slow-ish and doomy. There is a good vocal triangle formed by two male (one clean, the other one harsh) and the nice clean female ones. Music of such various nature tends to cling towards the melodic t, but here the thrashy guitars will keep you on the alert.
"Immobile" is quite a disappointment; it doesn't lack the aggressive thrashy riffage, but it's much less adhered to, and has a strong shade of groove, and the pointless melodic, keyboard-driven deviations are much more frequent, accompanied by awful clean vocals. There is a main alternative theme running through the album, broken on the quirky, "electronic-versus-thrash" piece "A Demi-Mot", which is sustained in the best tradition of the German industrial veterans Die Krupps. No more "highlights" of the kind as the rest merges into one big ambitious, but ultimately flawed, gothic metal opera with bad industrialized clean main vocals, among other shortcomings, and numerous stretches into electronic/industrial territories, bringing even more confusing results.

Les Ombres de Quatre Murs EP, 2003
Intramedia Full-length, 2004
Immobile Full-length, 2008

Official Site

ARACHNID (USA)

This band was formed by members of the speed metallers Cruella. The style presented here is way more aggressive thrash ala Morbid Saint and mid-period Sadus so expect a few more technical leanings added to the incessant barrage. The singer is a husky vicious rasper and the bass is really good aptly assisting the excellent screamy melodic leads. An interesting moment is the more pagan-inclined "Webs Of Doom" which will remind of the Brits Sabbat's exploits with its escalating dramatism. Later on one will come across the dark brooder "Near Dark" which blends fast and slow rhythms in a manner quite close to the Infernal Majesty debut. The shorter speedsters ("Fear", "The Reaper Within") deliver the goods, but "In Trance The Witching" seems to be the brightest "gem" with its more complex arrangements and ever-alternating tempos. Galloping riffs will overtake you on the closing "Water Burial" which a fitting epitaph to this quite cool offering seeing a band rehearsing for a full-length break which sadly never materialized.

Arachnid Demo, 1992

My Space

ARACNER (SPAIN)

Based on "Neura", these Spaniards indulge in long sprawling numbers with numerous complicated moments which create an elevated epic feeling. There are too many influences for this recording to be a sure pick for the regular thrash metal fan: power metal, Oriental motifs, bits of death metal, a lot of progressive, a strong keyboard presence, soaring high-pitched clean vocals (quite good and versatile), etc. Still, there are hard-hitting riff-patterns to be encountered the most intense sections being of the galloping variety with frequent stomping passages intercepting. The guys were formerly known as Avathar where they played classic heavy metal, and only had one demo released in 2001.
"Nacion Tierra" is another larger-than-life saga with numerous operatic arrangements which again shift the focus away from the more hard-hitting thrashy sections. There's a lot of atmosphere present as well as quite a few unnerving, djent-like jam sessions ala Meshuggah.

Aracner Full-length, 2004
Demencia Full-length, 2006
Neura Full-length, 2012
Nacion Tierra Full-length, 2016

Official Site

ARAGON (USA)

Good speedy thrash metal with high vocals, similar to Blessed Death; there is a very fast cover version of Sex Pistols' "I Am Not Your Stepping Stone", and a very cool intro/outro with the suggestive title "Straitjacket".

Aragon EP, 1987

ARAKAIN (CZECH)

Arguably the most celebrated Czech thrash metal band; with a string of three strong consecutive albums they eslished their reputation as an energetic, but also technical thrash outfit which easily stood above the rest. Their debut was a strong piece of intense, but also technically-minded speed/thrash metal with great guitar work and soaring clean vocals, well fitting into the overall picture; this is probably the finest thrash metal work of the whole Szech metal scene (along with Crionic's "Different"): a blistering display of effortlessly played, but quite compelling speed/thrash.

"Schizofrenie" is a capable follow-up offering longer more complex compositions and more technical guitars; this time the speedy formula is broken ("'dekni A M'ea M'ec", "Kamennej Andec"), but this is done with smashing heavy riffs; "Sedm'ei Pe'eche" is a marvellous instrumental piece, arguably the finest achievement of the band.

"Black Jack" was a lesser, albeit still not a bad effort, showing the band introducing more slower tracks (including one ballad), with a much less technical edge; there are actually only two all-out speed/thrashers; a transitional album, which set the scene for the coming of "Salto Mortale", which did not pretend to sympathize the thrash metal scene anymore, and despite the presence of a few classically-laced numbers, this was a more modern, and a more melodic work. Later on the band completely adopted this style playing laid-back modern power metal with just hints at thrash.

"Adrenalinum" is another reflection of the guys' infatuation with the melodic trends despite the inclusion of several edgier tracks ("Malej Vrah", the classic speedster "Rozsudek") which will make a few heads turn, but in an album of whole 13 songs their significance to the thrash metal community would be minimal. Otherwise the musicianship is on a fairly high level, and fans of all things metal, without any particular attachments to any specific sub-genre, should be able to enjoy this effort.

"Arakadabra" would hardly make the band too many fans among the thrash metal fraternity, but those who already fell for their friendly, pleasant modern power/proto-thrash should have no problems enjoying these merry rhythms which harden on occasion ("Nero", the cool melo-thrasher "Velkej je Svet") to produce the obligatory up-tempo deviation (check also the speed metal hymn near the end "Kazatel").

Thrash The Trash Full-length, 1990
Schizofrenie Full-length, 1991
Black Jack Full-length, 1992
Salto Mortale Full-length, 1993
Thrash Full-length, 1994
Adrenalinum Full-Length, 2014
Arakadabra Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

ARAKARA (USA)

The debut: this band play rough abrasive modern-ish power/thrash which dirges forward in a heavy mid-tempo the steam-rolling rifforama very seldom broken (the frolic speedster "Mass Master" one such exception). The title-track is a more ambitious piece, but it's the sinister doom-laden "The Chemist" which goes away with all "the laurels" for the finest cut here. The vocals are gruff semi-death metalish, at times shouty, at times more melodic even making sincere attempts at singing.
"Shadow of Violence" is a more hard-hitting "beast" with more aggressive shreds ("Black Magic Marionettes") incorporated, with vigorous less ordinary thrashers like "Shadow Of Violence" even adding a tasteful technical flair to then proceedings. "Digging Graves" is a cool dramatic headbanger with covert shades of death metal, and "Your God" reminds of the debut's more moderate nature with milder mid-paced power metal-fixated guitars. This is a fairly good entry into the band's catalogue which sees them angrier and edgier.

Burial Ground Full-Length, 2016
Shadow of Violence Full-Length, 2017

Official Site

ARALLU (ISRAEL)

Based on "Desert Battles-Descending to the Sands", this Middle Eastern act offers an aggressive blend of black, thrash and death metal. The music stays closest to black probably, and at times manages to capture the magic of the Oriental style of their compatriots Melechesh (the band founder: Moti Daniel, actually had a short spell with Melechesh, but the "stars" decided that he was not good enough): "Old Form Of Evil", the creepy slower "The Demon's Curse". The thrash metal side is more appealing, though, and comes not very fast, in mid to up-tempo: "The Union of Babylon". Most of the time the guys prefer to play quite fast, actually, with a frequent inclusion of black hyper-blasts.

The War on the Wailing Wall Full-length, 2000
Satanic War In Jerusalem Full-length, 2002
The Demon From The Ancient World Full-length, 2005
Desert Battles-Descending to the Sands Full-length, 2009

My Space

ARALYON (CZECH)

Sloppy, messy thrash/speed/death with some of the most horrifying vocals you could ever encounter: the guy just rends his lungs to the utmost trying to keep up with the music's amateurish character. Nothing to talk about, just bashing mish-mash with a few more quiet, serendipitous moments "crawling out of" the very buzzy guitars and hollow, saucepan-like sounding drums.

Kill the Poets of Love Demo, 1992

ARANA (SALVADOR)

This act doesn't break the trite formula of the modern groovy post-thrash, except for the moments when the sound acquires more interesting doomy tendencies ("Teotl"), the latter more than just hinted at, also stretching into whole opuses ("Luciernagas en el Mozote") at some stage. The vocalist is a subdued guttural death metal growler, but suits the heavy minimalistic approach just fine.

Teotl Full-Length, 2011

ARATIC (FINLAND)

These Finns offer energetic old school thrash with echoes of the "empty" Tankard with a crisp boosted guitar sound which may eventually bring "the winds" of proto-death metal ("I Am The Night") at times in a manner reminiscent of Corporation 187 and Maze of Torment. The band thrash with energy even on the longer more profound cuts ("Destructing The Light"), and the catchiness of some of the numbers ("Puritanist Of The Black Light") borders on the crossover. The singer shouts in a tolerable forceful way not standing too much on the way of the cutting riffs which sharpness is nearly hurtful.

"Secret Laws of Hell" is a much better constructed effort with a sharper guitar sound and short raging cuts which fall in quick succession leaving wounds on your body. "Possessed by the Dead Nuns" shows a little mercy with a few more laid-back mid-tempo passages. This is a real thrashing machine all the way through with with prime headbangers like "People of God" and "I'd Rather Burn", a short rager played at the speed of light. Speed metal is praised high on the closing "Crematory BbQ" which moshes onward in a clever, almost semi-technical, manner exiting this very cool effort which brings a lot of good memories from the glorious 80's.

To The Early Grave Full-Length, 2013
Secret Laws of Hell Full-length, 2015

Official Site

ARBITRATER (UK)

One of the latecomers on the British UK metal scene, Arbitrater play stylish old school thrash metal. There is not much variety at offer, but all the numbers flow nicely and pack a punch. The debut is the faster release with good guitar work and tight speedy riffs; on its best moments this album could reach Agent Steel and Toxik easily ("Allegiance", "The Treaty"). "Graveyard of Fools" slows down, increasing the technicality a bit, showing the other side of the band which was to find its full realisation very soon. The sophomore album, depending on the taste, could be considered the better one with a dark atmosphere, heavier, slower, and longer songs, more technical guitars and a more thought-out song writing.

Balance of Power Full-length, 1991
Darkened Reality Full-length, 1993

ARBITRATOR (RUSSIA)

The debut features cool aggressive thrash, but the awful snarls of the singer ruin things a bit. "Voice Of The Dead" is definitely an improvement both in the musical and vocal detment, with tighter riffs and better developed tracks, by far the band's magnum opus. It starts in a merciless fashion, with the aggressive "Inhumanity", but the approach is more varied this time, and "In A Nunnery" is more melodic, slower, albeit not as satisfactory. Fortunately the bigger t of this release is speedy tracks, all of them "broken", but in a good way, by heavier, less intense passages. Their style is not as stale as some other contemporary Russian thrash metal bands, and these guys really have to remind of themselves more often. "Children Of Apocalypse" bears no surprises, but the music is kind of less serious and more melodic, reminding of mid-90's Sodom at times: a mixture of power, speed and thrash metal, but not that engaging.

"Peace by Force" will at first strike you with the very screechy high-pitched tone of the singer who comes as a more hysterical version of Dan Beehler (Exciter), which accompanies decently done, albeit hardly impressive, retro speed/thrash which starts with two dragging mid-tempo tracks before "The Hell of Hiroshima" comes forward with brisk very speedy riffs. The tempo goes down for the rest of the remaining material which is longer, but less interesting, a situation slightly improved by the more speed metal-based "Hibakusha" and the energetic Exciter-esque closer "The Paper Crane". As a whole this effort is a bit superior to its lacklustre predecessor with more energy involved, but is still far from the higher standards set by the band's earlier output.

The "The Killing SSS" EP carries on with the vocal screeches from the previous full-length, but apart from that provides not bad energetic old school thrash which sees the guys thrashing with passion with a slight shade of crossover ("Gimme The Wings") and speed metal ala more recent Hirax (check also "World Under Control", a really smashing mosher). Kreator's "People of the Lie" is performed later, capturing the steam-rolling magic of the original quite well, preceding 4 live tracks from their previous recordings.

Kill Their Religion Full-length, 1998
Voice of the Dead Full-length, 2004
Children Of Apocalypse Full-length, 2007
Peace by Force Full-length, 2010
The Killing SSS EP, 2014

Official Site

ARBOGAST (USA)

Based on the full-length, this act specialize in a mixed bag of modern post-thrash, hardcore, and sludge/doom whcih has its moments, but it pulls the proceedings more towards the heavy doomy side consequently missing in the dynamic department. "Dethroned" is a cool proto-headbanger with Motorhead-ish overtones, and "Suffrage" is a wild exploder blasting for just under 2-min in the middle. There's a somewhat mechanical feel present also felt in the dispassionate shouty vocals, and songs like the closing "Soulsfate" suggest at more atmospheric Prong/Neurosis-esque horizons to be explored later.

EP EP, 2009
I Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

ARC STORM (USA)

3 songs of energetic, but rough and not very polished, modern thrashcore which inserts the casual slower gimmick (the inept grooves on "Evidence Furnace") to a not very positive impression. The singer rends his throat in an angry quarrelsome fashion reaching low-tuned growling dimensions with ease alongside the sparse hysterical shrieky ones.

Arc Storm EP, 2013

ARCADIA (ITALY)

Based on the debut, these Italians play intense industrial thrash/death quite reminiscent of early Fear Factory with the same dual vocal approach the singer trying to emulate Burton Bell and admirably succeeds. The abrasive guitar sound may get on the listener's nerves at some point beating the Fear Factory rhythm-section in this regard and generally the guys rely more on the industrial gimmicks. Still, there's enough hammering, pummeling riffage here to cause you a headache as well as several really speedy passages the latter missing on the quite cool atmospheric operatic "H.I.R.A." near the end. One of the band members, Dimitry, has a side-project under his name where he also involves some of his comrades from here for the creation of more technical shredding, all-instrumental metal/rock.

Synth Full-length, 2001
Fracture Concrete Full-length, 2005
Cold Cold Bodies Full-length, 2007
Roy Philip Nohl Full-length, 2010

Official Site

ARCAN (FRANCE)

Cool melodic speed/thrash metal with brutal death metal vocals: not a very pleasant mix the vocals completely oveshadowed by the much better music; the riffs develop in mid to up-tempo with the leads a very nice addition, mostly melodic, also given quite a space. The slower moments ("The Fall") recall the gothic scene with their melancholic funereal atmosphere.

Legends Demo, 1992

ARCANA (UK)

Based on the debut demo, this act specializes in raw thrash/crossover with open hardcore overtones, the relief provided by the cool, clean mid-ranged vocals. Things get rougher on the more fully-blooded thrasher "Living Me From Hell", but "Children Of Fear" on the other hand is a pure feelgood heavy metal "catalyst".

Demo Demo, 1987
End of Conscience Demo, 1990

ARCANE (USA)

The band's debut is power/thrash metal with progressive overtones, not too far from Liege Lord's "Master's Control" and Helstar's 'Remnants of War", beating those albums on the most inspired moments. It's far from a failure; on the contrary: it manages to keep an energetic tempo for most of the time, and some of the leads are really good ("Ancient Internecine"). "Life's Illusion" features stylish Oriental tunes, very well intertwined with the heavy galloping riffs. "Impasse of Humanity" is a marvellous technical power/thrasher with a nice balladic intermission in the middle followed by the equally as impressive instrumental "Mirror of Deception".

"Ambiguity" is great short piece of the same only containing 3 tracks, and the musicianship is tighter and more thrash-oriented. The guitar work is more technical and moves again in a Helstar direction, their late-80's period, touching "Nosferatu" with ease on the consummate galloping technicaller "The Truth Is?". These guys come up with stupendous sharp technical riffs here: really impressive stuff which shouldn't remain buried. This small gem could have been a rehearsal for a worthy full-length follow-up, but the band split up.

Destination Unknown Full-length, 1990
Ambiguity EP, 1994

My Space

ARCANE EMPIRE (GERMANY)

A 3-songer of energetic classic thrash with good expressive semi-clean vocals; "Soul Starving" goes into uncharted death metal territories for a bit, but the rest keeps up with the good thrashy tone also supported by the crisp bouncy production.

Corpsegod of the Skids Demo, 2013

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ARCANIA (FRANCE)

Based on the full-length, this is music which is very close to the guys' compatriots Lyzanxia with the inclusion of more aggressive death metal elements. Melody and intensity are well blended, but the lyrical side of the band shows up quite often, with balladic/semi-balladic passages gracing at least half of the songs, where a certain gothic flavour (the really good ballad "This Man Failed") can be felt. Hats down to the guys for the closing 10.5-min "saga" "My Funeral", though, which is an encompassing composition full of emotion, atmosphere, and several good headbanging moments.

"Dreams are Dead" isn't radically different from its predecessor the band carrying on with their staple brand of modern melo-death/thrash thrashing harder on occasion ("Rise and Never Fall"). The melodic tunes keep flowing unendingly and the listener won't help but appreciate that although by the end of the album he/she will be oversaturated with them, especially on the closing romantic balladic instrumental "Days Ends All Dreams".

Arcania EP, 2005
Sweet Angel Dust Full-length, 2010
Dreams are Dead Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

ARCANIUM (USA)

Modern thrash with very angry semi-death/semi-hardcore vocals; the riffs pound with passion, but why have the guys decided to insert these utterly annoying clean alternative vocals, and these melodic metalcore leanings?! Near the middle the music takes off for a while with the edgier, even technical "Inclination", but soon does it degenerate into the previous generic material, with one lively moment at the end on "Metamorphosis", where the guys thrash with force.

The Architects Full-Length, 2009

ARCANJO (BRAZIL)

Based on "Evidence Of Persistence", these Brazilians take no prisoners with their old school brand of thrash which comes served with a pinch of death metal. The music is fast, but the guitars have an interesting pounding sound, and pointless proto-groovy numbers like "Desperated" and "Guide By The Wolves" could have been left out. On the other material the guys fulfill the expectations thrashing far'n wide seldom releasing the tension despite the relatively long songs (half of them close at around 5-6min). The other complaint comes from the vocal department: the singer is a plain angry shouter with an accompanying semi-death metal blend which at times mutates into an unpleasant deathy high-pitched scream ala Chris Barnes.
"Torment Alive" is a live recording, the guys playing songs from their early demos, and despite the muddy sound quality acquit themselves with vigorous retro thrash with a good alternation between fast and slow compositions the latter sounding both more deathy and more modern. The concert is finished with a good, albeit a bit noisy, cover of Living Sacrifice's "Reject".

Torment Alive Full-length, 2003
Evidence Of Persistence Full-length, 2010

ARCEYE (UK)

Based on "At First Light", this young British act provide diverse modern thrash which mixes the tempos on almost every song producing a lot of dynamics in the process not far from their compatriots Sylosis. The album has some technical pretensions, but at this stage the guys are not keen on going out with all the guns blazing although they by all means possess the skills to do that. The lengthy instrumental track "Sirius" is laid-back pensive riffage, kind of unfocused, and "Damage Done" later follows a similar pattern with nice melodic "excursions" immersed in an emotional semi-balladic setting. The 2nd half is not that impressive as though the band are still searching for their real face, but the musicianship and ideas are there, and the best is yet to come for them although it may not be very thrash-oriented having in mind the several digressions witnessed here.
The EP contains a more complex and more aggressive material which is mostly built on volcanic pounding rhythms which recall their compatriots Warlord UK and partly Cerebral Fix. "Blackmail" at the end starts raging, but this remains the only more dynamic moment on this squashing effort which smells death metal at times, of the more officiant war-like variety.

As the Ground Consumes You EP, 2007
The Divide Between Chaos and Order Full-length, 2009
At First Light Full-length, 2013

Official Site

ARCH-VILE (SWEDEN)

This is modern progressive thrash/post-thrash which is strictly on the calmer side without any speedy extremes, and the serene evolvement of the riffs and the melodies may make one lose concentration. "Cremated In Hellfire" gives a more dynamic boost to the proceedings along with a few really catchy melodic licks. More epic moments arrive later with "Castle Of Perdition" regardless of the tasteless growling death vocals used on this one, but they definitely fit the peaceful tone of this short curious effort.

Threshold of Pain EP, 2015

Official Site

ARCH ENEMY (SWEDEN)

From their Gothenburg-influenced beginnings, the band started moving more and more towards thrash metal, and despite the distinctive vocals of Angela Kossof which firmly belong to the death metal camp, the style on the four albums listed here is more thrashy comed to their earlier works. "Wages Of Sin" still sounds quite death-ish,though. Mentioning "Wages Of Sin", their new offering "Rise Of The Tyrant" is a return to the faster and more aggressive sound of that album with the traditional stellar guitar performance by the Amott brothers, featuring some killer thrashers: "In This Shallow Grave", "Rise Of The Tyrant". Having eslished themselves as a potent force on the contemporary metal scene, Arch Enemy do not take risks by adding any innovations to their sound, but when the music works so well, this is hardly the most urgent step.

"Khaos Legions" is not a step into a different direction, and contains the same melodic blend of thrash and death metal with thrash again leading the pack although this album can easily pass for the band's most melodic effort. The guys (and a girl) take it easy for most of the time playing in a calm mid-pace with numerous melodic hooks, the Amott brothers shining all over producing addictive leads and riffs (check out the ones on "Under Black Flags We March", adn everywhere else). However, one may lose his patience while waiting for something more dynamic to occur, coming across instead on the mild heavy rocker "No Gods, No Masters" in the middle. Things improve a bit after that with the aggressive death-laced shredder "Cruelty Without Beauty", and the speed metal joy "Thorns In My Flesh", both accompanied by short peaceful instrumentals. There's a lot of melody here, to the point of annoyance despite the high level of musicianship, and although the Scorpions cover of "The Zoo" at the end is well done, it hardly raises the level up a lot. This album is by no means a failure, but its strong concentration on melody makes it not even a distant echo of the band's earlier, much more intense, material.

"War Eternal" introduces the new singer Alissa White-Gluz, a former member of the metalcorers The Agonist, replacing the legendary Angela Gossow who had decided to concentrate on managerial activities, still remaining within the band structures. Thrash and death shake hands all around, sometimes taking more brutal proportions (the sweeping opener "Never Forgive, Never Forget"), sometimes catchy and sing-along (the frolic anthem title-track). Still, the highlights remain the cuts which stay closer to purer headbanging thrash: "As the Pages Burn", the galloping delight "No More Regrets", the dramatic death/thrasher "Time Is Black", etc. as the fans will have the chance to hear a ballad even: "You Will Know My Name", which later has a few supportive passages from other tracks in the 2nd half, including the closing balladic instrumental "Not Long for This World". The new girl does an admirable job behind the mike, and one would hardly notice the absence of Gossow. The Ammott brothers are traditionally impeccable on the guitars, and they are the main reason why the fans should give this album at least one listen. Otherwise it's business as usual for the celebrated Swedes, modern melodic thrash/death quite typical for their repertoire without any particular surprises or deviations.

Wages Of Sin Full-Length, 2001
Anthems of Rebellion Full-length, 2003
Doomsday Machine Full-length, 2005
Rise Of The Tyrant Full-length, 2007
The Root of All Evil Full-Length, 2009
Khaos Legions Full-length, 2011
War Eternal Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

ARCHAIC (HUNGARY)

A strong debut of classic thrash metal; the vocals have a death-y edge, but the music is pure retro thrash for most of the time. The album starts in an awesome, fast manner with the raging "True Death of Life", where even blast-beats have been added as a final touch. The next three tracks follow in the same fast-paced pattern, with great sharp guitars. Then comes "Cornu" which is a break with its gothic, doomy atmosphere and heavy riffs. "Memories" is a pure gothic number with a somewhat progressive shade, and is the only song which doesn't quite belong here. At the end the band pay tribute to one of the legends of Hungarian thrash: Tormentor, before the coming of the closer "Woodland of Black Treasury", another gothic-tinged number.

Time Has Come To Envy The Dead Full-Length, 2006

Official Site

ARCHAIC MASS (USA)

Based on "Mortal Extremeties": Death's "Spiritual Healing" meets thrash half the way through; very good aggressive and fast stuff also reminiscent of Incubus' debut and Slayer's "Reign in Blood". Some blast-beats could be heard as well, but they are not of the annoying type and are nicely compensated by the excellent leads. This EP flows in a merciless, uncompromising fashion until it reaches the last track: "Orchestrated Death" which is a fine complex piece of more technically-minded thrash/death metal.

"Canticles of Dissolution" is a 4-tracker of more brutal, but also more stylish thrash/death metal as the aforementioned influences remain, the Incubus ones more accentuated on, and the atmospheric moments more fully developed despite the more frequent presence of the blast-beats. The technical side is more evident on the final "Downfall Of A Masochist" which is a longer, more complex cut with sincere progresive pretensions. The singer leads the show with his authoritative deathy shouts ala Andy Kaina (Messiah).

"Erotic Martyrdom" is a fairly faithful "companion" to the preceding effort toning down the aggression with better lead guitar work and more carefully developed technical sections with the shadow of mid-period Death firmly settled over the band (check out "Sleeping Flames" and the closing speedster "Shadowland"). This can pass for the band's finest hour with the interesting riff-patterns, the elusive atmospheric passages, and the seamless "marriage" between the fast and the slower moments. Unfortunately, the right time to join the death metal cohorts had passed by the time the guys had revealed their full creative potential, and the band disappeared soon after.

Mortal Extremeties EP, 1990
Canticles of Dissolution EP, 1992
Erotic Martyrdom EP, 1994
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ARCHAIC PLAGUE (USA)

This is decent stuff clinging more towards the modern thrash/death metal hybrid which surprises at times with a more clinical semi-technical delivery ("Bloodbath"). Otherwise the approach is right as rain for most of the time with some groove added as well which helps reduce the speed in the 2nd half. The vocals are quite nasty and shouty to the point of hysteria (check out "Innerself", which is not a Sepultura cover).

Archaic Plague Demo, 2007

My Space

ARCHAIC TORSE (GERMANY)

Excellent dark, heavy thrash which also features aggressive proto-death pieces (the first three tracks), which bring the band closer to bands like the French Agressor and Incubus, but with a more technical edge, even recalling Nocturnus. This impressive beginning remains the highlight of the album, although later on there is more offered, but of the slower, stomping type; the steam-roller wall of sound is broken once, for another fast-paced smasher: "Compulsion to Kill" .

Sneak Attack Full-length, 1994

ARCHAIZE (USA)

Dynamic and fairly cool modern thrash with semi-shouty angry vocals; the band steam-roll onward with passion easily capturing the manic intensity of Pantera and Machine Head at their best. Pieces like the squashing "The Gates Will Rise" and the headbanging delight "Bound to Die" will make quite a few eyebrows raise in wonder, and one would only be entertained on the several groovy fillers which still provide the requisite party atmosphere. "Sunset" is a dramatic shredder which riffage will nail anyone deep underground, before "Murderous Flattery" serves a small portion of stylish semi-technical virtuosity in a swirling dramatic fashion which reaches death metal heights near the end. "Metal Exorcism" rolls on like a Russian tank leaving ruins after it, and the final "In a Time of Need" speeds up in an admirable old school manner to finish off the listener who will be quite amused on this excellent effort which is also graced by some fine lead guitar work.

Liberation Full-Length, 2014

ARCHALAXIS (BELARUS)

This is modern thrash with casual references to the classic school supported by forceful angry vocals. The guys reach a hardcore intensity on the faster numbers ("Holocaust"; the classic headbanger "Natural Born Killer"), and generally the band don't shy away from vigorous speedy arrangements which are slightly marred by the noisy guitar sound.

Two Years Underground EP, 2011

ARCHANGEL (ITALY)

Based on the debut, this act plays industrial thrash of the energetic playful type ala Die Krupps, mixed with heavy doomy landscapes not far from Type-O-Negative. All of a sudden comes the headbanging piece of Pantera-sque mosh "Straight To Hell" to add up to the already varied nature of the album; as well the curious, but appealing, mix of electronic ambient ala Front Line Assembly and 90's power/speed metal "Christ In Chains", which comes with the best leads here. "Awakening" is another cool surprise: a very good lead-driven ballad which ends this slightly uneven, but frequently entertaining, nod to the modern metal school.

In Tears the Angel Falls'85 Full-length, 1996
Natural Born Messiah EP, 1998
Incarnate in a New Rebel Idol Full-length, 1999
La Vogue Noire Full-length, 2009
The Story of My Immor(t)al Life Full-length, 2010

Official Site

ARCHENEMY (USA)

The only known member from this obscure band, is the drummer: Kenneth Loiza, who later joined Bloodcum. This rehearsal shows another band determined to change the face of thrash the way quite a few bands tried in the distant 1985; along with another very unknown act: Mayhem, and another much more famous: Possessed, these guys introduce the proto-death metal on the scene. The music is brutal and very fast thrash/death metal bordering on grindcore; the tracks are short, relentless assaults, but one could distinguish really cool speedy riffs, recalling Rigor Mortis. Things would have been better if the guys had slowed down and had let these interesting moments develop beyond sheer speed; now this ultra-fast downpour might come too much, even for the contemporary fan.

Rehearsal Demo, 1985

ARCHETYPE (CANADA)

This is complex thrash/death which isn't very profesionally executed, and at this stage the enthusiasm is decidedly bigger than the guys' actual musical skills. "Declaration" tries to achieve some virtuoso heights with more inspired guitar work, but this is just too all over the place to really capture the listener's imagination. The switches from thrash to death are quite sudden and to these ears the purer thrasher "Foundation" seems to be the highlight. The guitar work rises for one really good short rager, the technical "Surprise" which is indeed a surprise comprising a more stylish, very hectic delivery which should be more widely offered on future releases. "Episode" tries to follow the same formula, but at some stage turns to pure cacophonic noise on a brutal death metal base. "Glimpse" is a pompous operatic extravaganza which is closer to Bal-Sagoth and more recent Cradle of Filth than thrash, and is a good example of the overdone, too scattered approach on the whole album.

Mission Full-Length, 2016

ARCHITORTURE (FINLAND)

Based on the demo, these Finns provide aggressive thrash/proto-death quite close to mid-period Kreator and their neighbours Hypnosia and Merciless. The style is a tad more brutal than the one encountered on the two demos which the guys released under the name Treachery. The sound quality is very clear favouring the guitars, above all, which stick to lightning-fast tempos which seldom slow down graced by piercing leads and direct razor-sharp riffs. The vocals are the ones familiar from the Treachery demos: vicious shouty with a blend of death metal sometimes on the edge of hysterics.

Thrashing Through Your Mind EP, 2009
Circle of Aggression Demo, 2011

My Space

ARCHITECTS OF THE AFTERMATH (USA)

The modern industrialized intro-riffs of the opener "Letting Blood-Victim" are pretty misleading since soon after the band start thrashing in a sure-handed classic manner with only the gruff angry vocals carrying a certain modern flavour. The speed/thrashing saga continues unabated on "Red Swarm" and "I Can Kill Gods", both major headbangers the latter even carrying a slight death metal edge. "Avarice Mass" is a heavy stomper with a minimalistic doomy edge, which compeltely disappears on "A.O.T.A.", another intense thrashing delight, followed by a very cool speedy cover of Celtic Frost's "Into The Crypts of Rays " from the "Morbid Tales" EP, the vocalist appropriately taking a more subdued tone, nicely capturing the early Tom G. Warrior singing style. With just 6 songs the guys manage to raise hell worthy of several full-lengths, and their creative parsimony at this stage could be excused. The guitarist Mike Gamm arrived from the retro thrashers Hammered after the latter split up.

Architects of the Aftermath Full-length, 2010

Official Site

ARCHIVUM (HUNGARY)

Jolly melodic thrash/crossover; the riff work is sharp and supplements the gruff throaty vocals well. The songs are energetic up-tempo affairs with alternative and groovy elements also added here and there, plus one cool ballad ("Betty") at the end.

Archivum Full-Length, 2009

ARCHON (NORWAY)

This Norwegian act specialize in fairly cool melodic modern thrash/death which also evokes a lot of atmosphere with its dark riffage and haunting melodies which grow into the formidable thrasher "Semper Eadem" in the middle before the drama continues with the brooding "Utopia". "Birthmachine" introduces a more aggressive formula again, but those melodies are just way too many for the hard-hitting riffage to break through. Still, the final "Star-Crossed" acquits itself with a portion of more intense riffs which betray the guys' origins, but work well with their consistently heavy approach which doesn't wear thin, but has a nice vibe all the way also helped by the attached mean husky death metal vocals and the very good melodic leads.

Birthmachine Full-length, 2005

My Space

ARCTIC CIRCLE (CANADA)

A vicious and quite fast blend of thrash and black metal akin to Suicidal Winds and Vexed; there is an almost hardcore-like intensity in the delivery with short mostly 2-min-or-so long tracks, except for "Horrible Impossible" which goes into the other extreme being a slow doomy song which speeds up a bit near the end. There are also a few quiet acousitc moments to relieve the pressure from the band's very aggressive approach.

Forcing the Astral Full-length, 2006

Official Site

ARDKORE (UK)

An obscure thrash/crossover band with a fast aggressive style recalling Wehrmacht, and Recipients Of Death in the more thrashy sections.

Napalm Stix To Kidz Full-length, 1989

AREA 51 (USA)

Based on the debut demo, these folks deliver friendly mid-paced thrash with mellower power metal references. Things go into a hard rock/heavy metal territory on "Holding Back", but this is to be expected on an effort like this which also try to bond with the timidly showing groovy tendencies on "Horde of Torment". The singer is a hoarse semi-cleaner who is confident about his abilities which are not that big, as a matter of fact, but he assuredly takes quite a bit of space.

Just Say Fuck Demo, 1991
Biscuits and Gravy Demo, 1992
Trick Bag Demo, 1993

AREA 54 (UK)

A band who mix modern thrash with more traditional metal passages; in the guitar department they will remind of Iron Maiden with the melodic solos and the guitar harmonies. Style-wise Area 54 are close to Hypnotic Face from The Czech Republic, but without the more technical, Annihilator-influenced passages of the latter.

Fear Inside EP, 1998
No Visible Scars Full-length, 2000
Beckoning Of The End Full-length, 2003
Bring Out Your Dead Full-length, 2007

Official Site

ARENDIA (UK)

Based on the "Trismegistus" demo, this British outfit provide a modern mix of black and thrash with a few pagan/epic touches added. The approach is more on the melodic side boasting some impressive melodic tunes (the majestic epic piece "Destroying Angel") which are well balanced with the more brutal "explosions" ("Forged Land"). Still, the sophistication prevails with the closing opus "Barleycorn's Lament" which is an encompassing number of epic thrash with a cool acoustic interlude. The vocals vary throughout the album some being brutal death metal shouts, others being deep clean ones both providng the requisite support to this epic battle-like effort which also scores high in the lead department with soaring melodic lines further adding to the officiant, awe-inspiring picture.
The full-length epitomizes the previous nuances and amplifies them for the production of this bombastic black metal opera which has embraced the epic idea quite tight leaving no room for thrash to flourish "White Gold Wielder" being quite an exception with its wild thrashng rhythms; and partly "Ryhope" with its paganism reminiscent of the Dutch Bifrost.

Demo Demo, 2005
Anglezarke Demo, 2008
Trismegistus Demo, 2009
Wild Woods Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

ARES (GERMANY)

Based on the "Demonstrator 2.0" demo, this act indulges in a dark mixture between thrash and doom/death, with also a good alternation between deep death growls and clean operatic vocals. The music is seldom fast, clinging between mid-paced stomping and semi-balladic doomy passages, with a pinch of Amon Amarth-esque epic ("Morphic Fields") and a slight melancholic feel akin to later-period Katatonia ("Deuteronomium 31"). This is generally peaceful stuff which is rich in atmosphere and depression.

Demo Demo, 2003
Demonstrator 2.0 Demo, 2006

Official Site

ARES KINGDOM (USA)

The band's style is a mixture of black, death and thrash metal. Later period Barathrum could be a good reference although Ares Kingdom are more thrashy and diverse. There are no ultra-fast parts typical for such mixtures: the songs are mostly mid-tempo, spiced up with slower doomy ts ala early Katatonia.

"Incendiary" has gone up the speed scale and the opening title-track is a full-blooded headbanger of the up-tempo variety. "Descent of Man" tries to keep the pace up, but during its more than 7-min it's inevitable for one to hear the band's staple heavy proto-doomy riffs. Those same riffs take the upper hand for a couple of tracks, but the guys do not give up completely from the more intense thrashing, and here comes "Beasts That Perish" to bang your head although the following "Consigned to the Ages" will hardly keep it banging being a peaceful balladic instrumental. Still, expect more faster surprises on the closing "Abandon in Place" which mixes the speed from the beginning with high-octane doom metal in the second half accompanied by short screamy leads.

"Veneration", as the title may suggest, is a tribute to the band's influences consisting of covers only starting with "Die By Power" of the Australian cult act Die By Power which is a brutal death/thrasher. Then comes "The Captive" of the Brits Sacrilege done in the expected hypnotic mid-paced fashion. Another aggressive deathy piece follows suit, of another underground legend, the Germans R.U. Dead?, with the rendition of their "When Your Heart Turns Black". The speed/blackers from Sweden Mefisto are next to be honoured with a brisk version of "Act Dead". Then comes two not familiar covers of a band called Nepente; the song-titles are "Celestial" and "Oblivion" and are lighter speed metal numbers with epic "decorations". As a "dessert" the rockers will have a surprise: a cool energetic cover of Dokken's hit "Tooth and Nail", the best song here, done faithfully except, of course, in the vocal department where the guys doesn't ever sacrifice his hoarse semi-shouty death metal delivery.
"The Unburiable Dead" is more on the epic side the guys concocting battle hymns to no end relying on heavy seismic riffage which acquires more intense melo-death tendencies ("Demoralize") from time to time. Numerous catchy melodic hooks have been implemented, especially on the colossal 11-min closing opus "Stultifera Navis (Armistice and League)" which also serves several blacky shades to ensure its larger-than-life appeal.

Chaosmongers Alive EP, 2003
Firestorm Redemption EP, 2006
Return to Dust Full-length, 2006
Incendiary Full-length, 2010
Veneration Full-Length, 2013
The Unburiable Dead FullLength, 2015

Official Site

ARGILE (FRANCE)

S.A.S de l'Argili'e8re and Jean-Jacques Mor'e9ac from arguably the finest French death metal act of all times Misanthrope have decided once again to try their hands on a more eclectic avantgarde sound after the last couple of Misanthrope releases could be considered pretty straight-forward, even by more conventional standards. After having flirted with almost every metal genre on the Misanthrope works, the guys have finally decided to pay attention to thrash metal. Don't expect the experimental avantgardism of the first two Misanhrope albums, though: the style is still complex and progressive with the opening "Satanic Music" a very good example of the latter. "Pandemonic Necronomicon" follows suit, but is more of a gothic/thrash/doom mix, still quite cool. "Pyramid adise" is first-rate technical/progressive thrash, rich in both atmosphere and guitar pyrotechnics, including a couple (but of course) in the bass detment expertly carried out by Moreac. "Heart Of The Celestial Empire" is a hectic frantic piece, combining very fast ts with nice melodic deviations. "In the Shadow of the Horns", which is a Darkthrone cover, is expectedly a hypnotic, monotonous composition, speeding in an early black-ish Celtic Frost fashion near the end, before exiting with furious, head-splitting blast-beats. "Danse Macabre Mist" is steam-rolling, mid-paced thrash, nothing too technical here. "A Lugubrious Funeral" is 6-min of orchestral operatic extravaganza, no shades of metal here, and the closer "God's Degenerated Angel" is another dark gothic thrash opus, enriched by fine melodic hooks. Overall the approach here is not too far from the one of the Misanthrope releases of around the same time, and actually comes as a more melodic, thrashy version of "Libertine Humiliations", plus an added doze of the band's old eccentric ideas; would definitely be of interest to the Misanthrope fans as well as to those thrash metal fans who like their music uncanny and weird.

"Monumental Monolith" continues the eclectism on a full-scale dedicating different compositions to different genres; death metal, gothic, progressive thrash (the excellent "Fallen Angel"), but the mixture this time suffers from a lack of speed clinging too much towards the doom/gothic side with scattered "sparkles" of intensity here and there, and apart from the aforementioned song there's not much here to relate this album to thrash metal.

The Monotonous Moment of a Monologue Full-length, 2002
Monumental Monolith Full-length, 2010

Official Site

ARGONIST (MALAYSIA)

Intense fast-paced, but also quite melodic, thrash/death metal, staying faithful to the old school for most of the time; "Anthem Of The Unbeliever" tries hard to justify the "anthem" part of its title, slowing down providing mellower epic guitars and succeeds being a cool much less extreme offering. "(Un)natural Disaster" preserves some of those softer moments, and combined with another slab of aggressive riffs, is the most enjoyable song here.

Time To Change EP, 2007

My Space

ARGUMENT SOUL (JAPAN)

After the good power/progressive metal offered on the debut, these Japanese have decided to harden the course a bit later on in a way similar to Nostradameus, Squealer and Eidolon, and "Conflict of Crisis" is a nice blend of power and speed/thrash metal the latter being the leading "hand" in the beginning, with two blitzkrieg numbers: the heavy up-tempo shredder "Conflict Of Crisis", a very cool tribute to early Iced Earth; and "Destiny", a lashing Paradox-esque speed/thrasher. Then things cool down quite a bit with a string of mellow progressive compositions recalling Queensryche, before "Belief Never Betrays You" strikes hard again, a cool mix of thrash, speed and power metal with good melodic leads. "SAMSARA" follows suit with heavy pounding power/thrash riffs "coupled" with the fine speedster "To Shine Your Life", a more aggressive nod to the 90's power/speed metal scene. Then progressive metal takes hold for two more tracks one of which is the nice semi-balladic closer "Memoirs Of Life", split by a solid doze of energetic thrash on "October 14". This is a capable varied effort with a wider appeal, but the thrash metal fan will by all means be satisfied also hoping that the transition to that genre might be complete on the follow-up.

Reviving The Truth Full-length, 2004
Conflict of Crisis Full-length, 2008

Official Site

ARISE (JAPAN)

The "arise" of Japanese thrash; with Ritual Carnage gone for good (presumably), and the other representatives of the movement releasing albums sporadically, Japan needed someone like these youngsters who unleash fast intense thrash/crossover with a timid experimental spirit which still doesn't stand too much on the way of the inspired raging thrashing witnessed for most of the time. The vocal delivery is also all over the place with several throats taking part "fighting" for domination. The eclecticism at times threatens to reach the one on their compatriots Gargoyle's albums, and maybe that will happen on the next installment. For now... "Don't Worry Be Happy!", and mosh till you drop!

Don't Worry Be Happy! Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

ARISE (SWEDEN)

A typical representative of the Swedish thrash/death metal wave: fast and catchy, but pretty derivative as well, music.

The Godly Work of Art Full-length, 2001
Kings of a Cloned Generation Full-length, 2003
The Beautiful New World Full-length, 2005

Official Site

ARISE AND RUIN (CANADA)

Based on "The Final Dawn": modern thrash/death metal with gruff hardcore vocals and metalcore breaks; nothing to catch the classic thrash metal fan's ear, although this effort doesn't lack energy: the short headbanger "Unbound" and the softer hardcore-laced "Always The Same".

The Fear Of EP, 2006
The Final Dawn Full-length, 2007
Night Storms Hailfire Full-length, 2009

My Space

ARISE IN CHAOS (GERMANY)

This is modern power/post-thrash which suffers from the very unsuitable rough death metal vocals. Not that the music is anything special to write about clinging more towards the melodic patterns "braving" into the fields of classic hard'n heavy without shame frequently losing the little edge the guitars have here and there also "flirting" with stoner/doom on the relaxed closer "Roadkill".

Bombshelter Sessions Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

ARISE IN CHAOS (USA)

The debut: quite good jumpy semi-technical post-thrash which nicely intensifies (the heavy smasher "Xenocide") at times also "calling" melo-death for help on the really cool dramatizer "Nigh". Heads will start banging spontaneously on the mechanical shredder "A Body Within" before "Kali" serves another portion of heavy steam-roller riffs the latter very well covered all the way to the end. The vocals are of the forceful shouty death metal variety; expected, but not bad. The guys also have another project: the thrash/death metallers Wading Through Corpses who so far have only one demo released.

"Terminal Cognition" moshes with more passion and aggression although the sterile mechanical riffage is pretty much intact weaving dry, groovy tapestries on a more urgent rhythmic base. "Siren" is a more melodic thrash/deathster, a side not that extensively covered here replaced later by the headbanging stomps of "All We Know", and the progressive meanderings of "Reflections".

Civilization Decay Full-Length, 2012
Terminal Cognition Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

ARISE IN STABILITY (JAPAN)

The debut demo: 2 songs of typical modern thrash/death metal, melodic and generally fast although a couple of deviations can be heard on the 8-min long "Wheel Of Paradox" which digresses from the formula with sprawling quiet semi-balladic sections, heavy groovy ones, choppy semi-technical guitars, very melodic, albeit capable, leads, clean vocals, and a few metalcore breaks.
The full-length is a further elaboration on the demos pulling out predictable, "stable" modern thrash/death metal accentuating on atmosphere with a long, but not very eventful, progressive compositions, but this style kind of doesn't suit the band's not as technical musical approach; consequently they rely on sprawling balladic sections, spacey arrangements, the obligatory metalcore pauses, and borrowings from other genres (the elegiac doomy closer "A Wheel Of Paradox", already heard on the demos).

Over Humanity Demo, 2006
As Actual as a Desire Demo, 2007
The Future That Amnesiac Draws Full-length, 2011

Official Site

ARISEN FROM NOTHING (USA)

Alternative modern post-thrash offering both more dynamic and more morose moments; the guys have a good sense of melody implementing the odd memorable chorus and clean vocals as opposed to the gruffer semi-whispered main ones. Expect two speedy surprises as well: the more intense headbanger "Bulletproof", and the more crossover-based "Stalin's Well" the latter shocking a bit with a super-fast blasting ending.

Speed of Life EP, 2009
Prototype Full-length, 2010

Official Site

ARISER (RUSSIA)

These are 5 tracks of intense thrash metal mixing the classic and the modern trends, at times sounding close to mid-period Sepultura ("Hide and Run Away"), at times getting angry ala Pantera ("Breaking the Cage"), at others moving onto Germanic speed/thrash metal ("Burn"), or paying tribute to the Black Album ("Pyramid").

Posthuman EP, 2009

ARISSE (CROATIA)

Based on the "Nacht Traum" demo, this act plays quite cool retro thrash/death metal ala Pestilence's "Consuming Impulse" and Assorted Heap's "The Experience of Horror". The vocals are very close to the ones of Martin van Drunen, and the approach is generally fast with the casual technical hook. There is a sense of melody as well expressed mostly through the riffage. "Nacht Traum" is a nice turn to speed/thrash metal with imposing orchestral implements, followed by the more direct speedster "Whore". "Ritual" is a more aggressive deathster followed faithfully by the closing "Apocalyptic Sexual Confusion" which lashes fiery riffs far'n wide finishing with a great acoustic outro (the real outro lasts for just 3-sec, and is a mere vulgar swearing done by the singer).

"Ritualno Klanje" ("ritual massacre" in English) comes with an awful sound quality, but even from a musical point-of-view it hardly matches the previous efort. This is still a blend of thrash and death metal, but is done with much less imagination and inspiration the band bashing one-dimensionally through the 4 tracks the only saving grace being the clearly classic-sounding riffs which are again buried under a wall of fuzzy noise and other distractions like the bad shouty death metal singer, to give one example.

Nacht Traum Demo, 1994
Ritualno Klanje Demo, 1994

Fan Site

ARK OF PASSAGE (RUSSIA)

2 songs of decent modern power/thrash with acceptable hard, mit to up-tempo riffs and a few short, semi-progressive sections which could be elaborated on on a full-length. The singer has a cool clean tember which has both an emotional and a more agrressive pitch.

Jivuie Niti Demo, 2010

ARKAIK EXCRUCIATION (SPAIN)

The musicians hide their identities under abbreviations; otherwise this effort offers fast impetuous death/black/thrash of both the new and the old school displaying their talents in lengthy compositions where the stylish bash is assisted by atmospheric undercurrents, lashing semi-technical riffs, and beautiful melodic orchestrations. "Lunar Carnage" is a more immediate lasher, but the rest weaves more complex pictures topped by not very intelligible low-tuned death metal vocals.

Among the Vortex of Chaos Demo, 2014

Official Site

ARKAM (ARGENTINA)

This formation indulge in cool diverse stuff which is at times quite intense (the violent shredder "Ves Lo Que No Es"), at others is crunchy and a bit chaotic ("Violencia Es Mi Voz"; could be a leftover from an older demo) with a worse sound quality. The singer is nothing special shouting hysterically with a lower-tuned death metal blend.

Demo Demo, 2011

ARKANGEL (BELGIUM)

Based on "Hope you Die by Overdose", Arkangel play mid-paced thrash metal with a classic vibe mixed with more energetic death metal as well as a few slower, doom-laden riffs; so don't look for speed or extreme aggression here. Still, there is quite a variety in this album, and this is good, if we exclude the vocals which are annoying at times with their high-pitched screaming.

Prayers upon deaf ears EP, 1998
Dead man walking Full-length, 1999
Hope you Die by Overdose Full-length, 2004

Official Site

ARKARION (AUSTRALIA)

Heavy crushing modern thrash spiced with a hefty amount of Swedish melo-death, some groove, but the resultant "therapy" works thanks to the proficient guitarisms, the more technical execution at times, and the very good sound quality. The dynamics is big and pieces like "Sons of the Blackened Star" will rock your world in a major headbanging way. "Trial By Battle" is an exemplary progressive thrasher which shreds with might also serving a few raging passages, the latter ably assisted by the shorter, but equally as engaging "Infinite Machine". Towards the end the approach becomes more laid-back with moments of the semi-ballad sneaking in, among other mellower gimmicks. The singer remains aggressive all over, though, with a harsh semi-shouty death metal tember with echoes of Jan-Chris de Koeijer (Gorefest).

Lessons in Futility Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

ARKAYIC REVOLT (CANADA)

The EP: cool classic thrash crossing the intense thrashing of the Bay-Area bands with the more speed metal aesthetics of German metal (adox, above all); the EP is full of great sharp riffs and screaming leads, and the tempos change all the time. The guitarists add more melodic lines here and there ("Tread the Blade"), and generally the sound is not too aggressive, relying on up-tempo delivery for most of the time, and softer interludes where the vocals take a more melodic edge ("Undead Man Walking") as opposed to the mid-levelled semi-clean style heard for most of the time. "Immortal Visions" kind of betrays the overall mood at the end being slower and modern-ish, with clear allusions to The Black Album, and is a bit long for its kind (7-min), partially saved by the very cool bass performance in the middle.

"Death's River" arrives less than a year later and carries with it an entirely new material. This full-length continues the trends from the EP, but sounds decidedly better, sticking closer to the Bay-Area this time as is evident from the brisk opener "Blood Will Follow Blood" and the following mid-paced stomper "From Hell". More speed and rage with the blitzkrieg thrasher "Cohesive Disembodiment", before things become nicely technical on the twisting "Operation Overlord" which also preserves all the speed from the previous mosher which even goes up on the short explosive "Feed Them Fire". More pounding mid-tempo riffs come served on "Deadline", but run for cover for the next "Wrath of Poseidon", another short speed/thrash metal fury. Then the guys soften for the jolly crossover-laced "Dig Your Own Grave" which also contains a short balladic passage. No mercy, however, is shown on "Beware The Nothing" and on the smashing closer "Death's River" which exits the album in a heavy doomy fashion also adding a great surreal lead-driven outro. Some of the musicians also have another project: Lunacy, with which they play similar classic-influenced thrash.

Undead Man Walking EP, 2009
Death's River Full-length, 2010

Official Site

ARKENSTONE (GREECE)

"Dead Human Resource" is an explosive debut of classic technical speed/thrash metal moving towards the progressive field at times, which puts this young Greek hope right next to heroes like the Danish Manticora, the Polish Hellfire, and the Americans Cauldron Born; early Iced Earth (the first two albums) is another close call. "Fall" is a mighty fast-paced thrasher with forceful sharp riffs, followed by the more technical, but equally as intense "Psychopath's Salvation", which will also remind you of Helstar's "Nosferatu", as well as the 90's power/speed metal scene. "Blame" is more ordinary mid-tempo power/thrash, but the album gains inertia immediately with the next "Righteous Murderer": smashing galloping thrash with great vivid sharp guitars, a headbanger of the highest order. "Forevermore" is standout speed metal in the spirit of early Helloween and Gamma Ray, but the intense thrashing returns for "Eyes Of The Dark", after which the guys give way to their more progressive nature with "Majestic Tales Untold", which tones down the aggression, sticking to the power/speed metal patterns more. "World Of Corruption" thrashes with full force to the point of death metal extremity even, despite the melodic leads and the more technical guitars. "Pain Horror Stigmata" continues in the same vein, crushing everything in its way, setting the scene for the coming of the magnificent "Dead Human Resource": a progressive thrash masterpiece, an impeccable combination of aggressive thrashing (some blast-beats involved even) and intricate riffage; the peaceful break in the middle is outstanding, after which some of the catchiest melodic leads start out of nowhere, to give way to the galloping rhythms as a finishing touch. The singer is a bit gruff probably for this kind of music, but his efforts pay off; if you remember the first Iced Earth singer John Greely: this one is close, but more varied, trying aggressive proto-death metal singing from time to time. It's not very often these days that one can hear such a convincing debut; one of the main pretenders for "debut of the year" award of 2008.
The band's early demos have nothing to do with thrash metal, but are fairly enjoyable offerings of classic 90's speed/power metal with epic shades.

Both Of Demos (CD 2005) Full-length, 2005
Dead Human Resource Full-length, 2008

Official Site

ARKHAIKUS (BRAZIL)

Retro thrash is on offer here which is mostly sustained in a dynamic mid-tempo, but all is ruined on the overlong drag "Knives Storm" which lasts for whole 9-min without serving anything, but sleepy doomy rhythms; boring stuff. The vividness returns after this major pullback is over, and "Thrash Or Die" is already a complete headbanger ably supported by the shorter invigorator "Intra". The end is a bit underwhelming, first with the friendly rocker "Thrown To The Fire", then with the closing "Rest In Peace" which is a diverse number with power metal merits. The singer is too bad to be even mentioned unleashing unrehearsed semi-recitals which often go out of tune even when there's no actual singing involved.

First Step to Death Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

ARKHAM 13 (USA)

Based on "Blood Fiend", these guys specialize in heavy groovy modern thrash with seismic pounding guitars, and no post-tendencies. The problem is that the band is reluctant to leave the mid-pace, and the result sometimes is close to doom ala Down and Crowbar, the latter coming close as a very close reference in the vocal department, too.

The Wrath Full-length, 1998
Born to Bring Death Full-length, 2005
Blood Fiend Full-length, 2009

My Space

ARKHE (MEXICO)

Based on the debut, this Mexican act play first-class progressive thrash with hoarse, at times almost whispered, death metal vocals and atmospheric and fusion elements well embedded into the appetizing complicated picture. The guys rely on both technical arrangements and melodic "excursions" without speeding a lot the delivery being of the dramatic spiral-like type which never gets boring due to the ever-changing rhythmic patterns and the aforementioned fusion/jazzy gimmicks (check out "Perspective Quest"). "Sonic Arrival" strats thrashing with more force near the end also recalling Death's late period in the guitar department, but the fusion break on this one is outstanding superseded by a final portion of overlapping vortex-like riffs. The bass plays a major role on almost each track, and its supplements are quite thundering at times. It's a pity that such good music only lasts for half an hour with the intro and outro taking 4-min of it.

"Spirals of Life": the guys must have gotten really tired after the release of the very short debut, but 8 years later they feel well rested to strike again. This effort is another excellent offering the band having become more dramatic and a bit more melodic with several melo-death sections giving the album a somewhat more familiar "face" although the listener can easily get lost in the labyrinths of moods and time-changes which are cuts like "Nature" and "Shaman". "Black Heart" speeds up to less tamed blasting proportions, but expect another whirlwind of elaborate guitars on it later on. Then comes the progresive opus "The Path" whcih is a virtuous accumulation of rhythms with a strong Theory in Practice-esque feel, before the closing track turns to complex fusion to wrap it up also introducing the only clean vocal participation on the album. Mentioning the vocals, the guy has now acquired the screechy later Chuck Schuldiner's (R.I.P.) style and is way more suitable compared to his barely heard throaty growls on the debut. The bass continues to lead the show now an obvious nod to the master Steve DiGiorgio. Any flaws: the length again all the 7 compositions closing on just under 26-min leaving the listener literally begging for more.

Virtual Landscape Full-length, 2005
Spirals of Life Full-length, 2013

Official Site

ARKHEM (USA)

This is only 2 songs which show a unit providing energetic modern thrash/death with a Gothenburg flavour, up-tempo for most of the times except for a few slower choppy breaks on the 2nd piece. The singer is not very pleasant with his ultra-shouty delivery which is not very intelligible. The musicians seem to spend more time on their main project: the heavy metal formation Heatseeker with whom they have 2 full-lengths and one EP released.

Arkhem Demo, 2006

Official Site

ARKHE (SPAIN)

An obscure demo of moderately complex speed/thrash which relies on lengthy (5-7min) numbers where fast and slow sections intertwine the whole time recalling Paradox and Angel Dust. "Arkhe" is an excellent 4-min dynamic instrumental, and the rest is not too far behind offering plenty of headbanging sections as well except on the heavy semi-balladic closer "Circle of Blades". The sound quality is a bit muddy, and the singer isn't very convincing clean semi-shouter who could have spent more time rehearsing.

Agony Demo, 1990

ARKILLERY (USA)

Based on "The Berserker", this is the viking/death/thrash metal sound of Bathory's (R.I.P.) "Blood Fire Death" mixed with his early efforts, brought into the new millennium. The musicianship, however, is on a lower level (only one person is responsible for it: the alias is Krom), and the majestic epic atmosphere of Bathory's work is somewhat missing, or at least rarely shows up; but this shouldn't be taken as a serious complaint provided that there is only one person behind it all going under the alias Krom. Otherwise this album offers a similar mixture of heavy, semi-epic songs ("Dragon Ships in Winter") and speed/thrash outbreaks ("Blood Spikes And Noise"). Krom sticks to the early Bathory rasp most of the time, but sometimes he uses his cleaner voice, and he definitely does a better job then. There is also a certain number of acoustic outros, intros and interludes which would have been a nice touch if they were fewer.
"Return Of The Wolves" is an inferior offering with a worse sound quality, with very buzzy guitars, contrasting mixtures ranging from early Cradle of Filth-esque hyper-blasts to cold misanthropic doominess akin to Khold. The songs are overlong without providing too much variety, and the noise coming from the guitars makes them sound like one big mish-mash. Atmosphere is totally out of the question, but the very underground feeling is by all means achieved: the early Bathory recordings sound like the cream of the mainstream compared to this one. It inevitably has its raw primal charm in a peculiar twisted way, but it would be of a much bigger interest to black metal fans.

"Dark Ages" is an inauspicious rough debut with the contrasting stylistic mixture already fully implemented favouring the more unpleasant fast side, and sadly cool atmospheric ptoro-epic pieces like "Brunhildas Bloody Ride" are not that many. "Samhain Night" is another song worth mentioning, a heavy twisted thrasher with a good speedy section akin to early Metallica; and probably the noisy, but intense, Bathory worship ("Sacrifice") at the end, which is not a cover.

Dark Ages Full-length, 2003
The Berserker Full-length, 2003
Return Of The Wolves Full-length, 2004

My Space

ARKUS (CZECH)

Based on the Live, this female-fronted band play cool speed/thrash (more speed metal-based, as a matter of fact) reminiscent of the German acts Not Fragile and Iron Angel ("Winds of War"). The music is up-tempo, straight-forward, without any technical pretensions, never very fast, and there is a considerable presence of heavy riffs. The girl has a cool semi-clean, lower-pitched voice, and she could have tried to lay some higher screams which suit this style. The sound is very good for a concert recording, and the guitarists attempt interesting melodic leads, recalling Kai Hansen.

Live Live, 1992
Poutnik v Case Full-length, 2003

ARMA GATHAS (SWITZERLAND)

Energetic thrashcore ala more recent Pro-Pain with a few slower groovy implements; most of the time the guys mosh with gusto with direct lashing riffs topped by forceful angry vocals.

Dead to This World Full-length, 2010

Official Site

ARMA MATER

Modern thrash metal of the heavy stomping variety with choppy meaty riffs which surprisingly carry a sense of melody the latter ruined by the brutal low-tuned death metal growls. "Publifilia" is an intense number thrashing more aggressively, but right after it the band loses it completely even sticking to awful rappy passages near the end.

Arma Mater Full-Length, 2010

ARMADA (USA)

This is modern thrashcore of the direct, noisy type. Expect pretty basic musicianship spiced with punk and sincere hardcore at times, plus the staple unpleasant shouty, in this case quite hysterical at times, vocals.

Songs For Bastards Full-Length, 2011

ARMAGEDDAL AGE (FINLAND)

Based on the debut demo, this act plays raw messy primitive retro thrash with misplaced grindy and hardcore moments. When the guys stick to pure thrash, they produce some sensible music ("Deathfire"), but this doesn't happen very often, also due to the very bad sound quality and the awful screamy hysterical vocals which are much less comprehensive than the music.

Armageddal Age Demo, 2007
Deathfire And Other Atrocities Demo, 2008

My Space

ARMAGEDDON (HUNGARY)

Meet the deeply underground, amateurish, side of Hungarian thrash. This is raw evil thrash done with a lot of enthusiasm, but little musical skills the guys trying to make things more complicated with longer pieces where seemingly coherent sections suddenly get replaced by brutal proto-blasting ones. The thin melodic guitar lines could have been a cool touch on a more proficient background; now they sound almost surreal to the bashing messy rest. The singer deepens the misery with his unrehearsed semi-declamatory tone which lacks balls, dramatism, and everything else. Shades of Possessed and early Whiplash can be felt, but this is too remote even from the average standards for the genre.

Demo Demo, 1990

ARMAGEDDON BOUND (GERMANY)

This is intense old school thrash which suffers a bit from the muddy sound, even if the latter has been applied intentionally. This is simplistic, very direct stuff crossing mid-period Sepultura with Sodom with proto-death standing by ready to jump into the melee at any opportunity. At the end one will savour the apt cover of Sepultura's "Troops Of Doom" led by the cool forceful semi-death/semi-declamatory vocals.

Chaos Incarnation Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

ARMAGEDDON HOLOCAUST (INDONESIA)

Based on "Dies Irae", this outfit specialize in not bad dynamic old school thrash which also borrows freely from black and death metal the resultant amalgam having this original, semi-technical nature despite its constantly furious character (hyper-blasts and all). "Pools Of Blood" is an admirable achievement in the technical department, 5-min of raging technical shredding, but the raw semi-amateursih side is also well presented: check out the mish-mashy noise "The Deceiver's Last Stand". "Universal Doom" is appropriately-titled despite the several speedy moments inserted in the 2nd half. Some of the guys are also involved in the groovy post-thrashers Doctor D.

Into Total Destruction Full-length, 2000
Radioactive Zone 245 Full-length, 2003
Nekrofonik Full-length, 2004
Dies Irae Full-length, 2013

Official Site

ARMAGEDOM (BRAZIL)

Based on the debut, this band offer a raw, undeveloped blend of early Slayer and hardcore. This is one-dimensional, up-tempo, unappealing music, with short, 1.5-2min tracks, and a hollow and fuzzy guitar sound. "Sem Esperan'e7as" 22 years later sounds more polished, and overall better. Still the attitude is pretty uncompromising, and the guys bash in a direct fast manner most of the time, but the approach is much closer to thrash, even touching the early German speed/thrash metal movement with revolving riffs here and there, although there is hardly time for them to go anywhere as the maximum song-length is just over 2-min.
"Apogeu Da Insanidade, Crep'fasculo Da Humanidade" is a wild thrashcore affair, the guys bashing violently with brutal death metal vocals attached to a really squashing effect. "Vomitando Adrenalina" is a short speed/thrashing fun, which remains the finest cut here, since after it come live recordings of old tracks, played faithfully, with the noise from the audience a light distraction.
"Das Cinzas ao Inferno", which appears whole 11 years after the debut, is another intense effort, but surprisingly the focus is not on speed as much anymore, and there's an inclusion of a couple of more moderate mid-tempo numbers which boast more professional execution although they can hardly stand on the way of vigorous thrashers like "Sofrer Demais" and "Mutilatoes", or the half a dozen short hardcore outbursts scattered throughout. The singer has metamorphosed into a brutal death metal semi-shouter, but is kind of fitting to the aggressive musical approach.

Sil'eancio F'fanebre Full-length, 1986
Das Cinzas ao Inferno Full-length, 2001
Pricipio da Agonia-1984 Full-length, 2003
Apogeu Da Insanidade, Crep'fasculo Da Humanidade Full-length, 2005
Sem Esperaneas Full-length, 2008

Official Site

ARMAGEDDONIZER (POLAND)

This act play heavy, moderately dynamic retro thrash which becomes nicely headbanging on "Forgotten Lands" despite the overlong lyrical balladic deviation towards the end. "Famines Dies with You" is a nice more complex shredder with pounding semi-technical guitars; and the final "Let Me Kill" is an energetic more progressive number with good melodic leads. The vocalist is not a shining star, but his semi-clean tirades are not harmful to the overall interesting musical picture.

From The Depths Demo, 2014

ARMAGEDON (USA)

Based on the debut demo, this band offers rough, primitive black/thrash akin to early Sodom and Celtic Frost on the heavier moments. Out of the blue comes "Lust For Death" which is a much more proficient cut with melodic licks and slower tempos; the rest is a noisy bash topped by vicious Tom G. Warrior-like vocals, maybe a bit more melodic.

The Final Conflict Demo, 1986
Rehearsal Demo, 1986

ARMAMENT (USA)

This is cool ripping old school thrash which relies on lengthy cleverly-contstructed numbers which are still quite fast-paced not offering anything too elaborate even coming with a shade of crossover ("Metal Maniac") at times. This is brisk energetic stuff with a very good sound quality and decent semi-declamatory mid-ranged vocals.

Armament EP, 2011

Official Site

ARMATAGE (FINLAND)

Based on the "Conscience Decays", this band plays excellent technically-inclined thrash, which comes between Destruction's "Release from Agony" and Mandator's "Perfect Progeny". The tempo is quite energetic and fast, but never too aggressive, and the steel riffs keep flowing from all sides. There are a few superb exercises in more complex technical thrash: "Uncertain Existence", but the rest is more accessible headbanging stuff, still with a certain technical edge. This is really good music which easily overshadows most of the more known names from the Finnish metal scene at the time.

Conscience Decays Demo, 1990
No Therapy Demo, 1991

ARMATUS (CROATIA)

Based on the full-length, this Croatian duo specialize in intense, but also atmospheric, black/death/thrash which contains plenty of music, from furious blasts to some enchanting melodies often within one composition. The guys are at their best when they play doomy epic rhythms as is the case on "Cosin Potok" although the folk-infused thrasher "Delmatski Celik" is not bad at all. The vocals are rough deathy shouts, and are clearly the downside.
"Pjesme Mrtvog Guslara" is another eventful saga with numerous influences embedded into the scenery with black metal leading the way this time mostly in a furious blast-beating manner with the obligatory slower atmospheric breaks. The thrash metal fan won't find much to savour here except for the interesting melodic thrasher "Trijumf Krakog Zla i Tame" near the end which will remind of Bifrost and more distantly the Brits Sabbat with its pagan "decorations".

Kraki Kult Full-length, 2014
Lunarni Ritual EP, 2014
Pjesme Mrtvog Guslara Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

ARMED CHAOS (USA)

Intense modern thrash which alternates tempos at will the faster-paced side way more suited to the guys' simplistic, stripped-down approach, the short ripping "Scheduled For Termination" a very good example of the latter. "Spiritual Cleansing" is a more moderate minimalistic creeper, but the only other similar moment of respite is the closing stomper "Hateuary" excluding the furious death metal exit.

The Opposition's Crushed Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

ARMED DEATH (GREECE)

These guys were previoulsy known as Army of Death, before changing slightly their name. The style remains a death/thrash hybrid (based on the "Hellenic Cult" demo) with early Nightfall a very close soundalike; so expect also a lot of atmosphere plus gothic leanings and sparse progressive structures. The tempos change often blasting in a less tamed black-ish manner ("Ancient Soul") at times. The end is preserved for the good cover of Rotting Christ's early hit "Forest of N'gai". The vocalist is a not very intelligible guttural low-tuner.
The debut demo was released in the ancient times, but contains the same kind of music: atmospheric dark sounds spiced with faster thrash/deathy outbreaks the alternation between the two sides creating a somewhat progressive feeling only ruined by the ultra-brutal guttural death metal vocals.

Vaundoun Demo, 1993
Ancient Soul EP, 2008
Hellenic Cult Demo, 2009

Official Site

ARMENIA (JAPAN)

Based on "Cocytus", this act indulge in not very conventional modern/classic speed/thrash with not very attached mid-ranged female vocals. The music ranges from all-out speedsters ("Never Come"), to overlong bluesy boredoms ("Flow"), to morose atmospheric doomsters ("Mindless"), to other eclecticisms which will keep the listener focused, but the final impression would not be on the very positive side: there are too many influences and styles blended here. The band members also play in the doom/gothic metal formation Albiorix Requiem, and the black metal purveyors Apocalyptic Slave.

Prodigal Flowers Full-length, 2000
Cocytus Full-length, 2002

Official Site

ARMIFERA (CANADA)

This young Canadian outfit indulge in fairly intriguing, and quite original in terms of execution, technical/progressive thrash which sits between the modern and the classic school with more "winks" at the latter. The guys try to mix fast and more complex rhythms on every song, and they achieve the expected puzzling effect, but the shorter material ("Serebral Slave", "Iron Entities") seems to deliver the better the cuts being short more immediate technical thrashers. "Blunt Force Trauma" is the most engaging composition here the band really excelling in creating elaborate pictures of vortex-like guitar duels which overlap each other in a way quite similar to the Danes Unleashed Power, maybe a bit more accessibly plotted. "D.M.H." could have sunk any other weaker effort being a really calm overlong ballad without any technical wizardry, but fortunately the guys get back on their feet quickly, first with the direct lasher "Metal Massacre", then with the excellent closer "Woven Mist" which is exemplary technical speed/thrash with echoes of Deathrow and Sieges Even, featuring a nice quiet break in the 2nd half.

Canada already has a name for producing quality technical acts since times immemorial (although the guys are not from Quebec, but from Alberta, Edmonton), but on the thrash metal side things weren't looking too good recently; here comes an act to provide not only a worthy competition to the perennial champions Voivod, but to also claim a firm spot at technical thrash metal greatness on the world metal map for its homeland.

Eradication Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

ARMISTICE (GERMANY)

One of the representatives of the wave of German thrash metal bands which started in the late 90's; the band's sound is modern akin to recent Annihilator; professionally done, but a bit generic. The debut is arguably the band's finest hour also sharing some of mid-period Megadeth's sophisticated technicality consisting of mostly mid-paced shredders the latter not shying away from power metal as well. "Leaving The Battlefield" thrashes harder also recalling the 80's American power/thrash scene, but the second half is below par with mild rockers like "Inquisition" and "Stormtrooper" ultimately spoiling the mood not without the help of the weak thin clean vocals which totally fail to deliver on the higher notes.

Tied Full-length, 1997
Hot On The Trail Full-length, 2000
Roots of Evil Full-length, 2005

Official Site

ARMMAGEDON (BRAZIL)

Members of this band later (or before) took part in other more prominent acts (Sepultura, Holocausto, Sextrash, Overdose). The rehearsal shows them pulling out intense proto-death tinged thrash metal similar to mid-period Sepultura and Possessed, but with an awful underground sound quality which makes the singer barely audible, and the guitars often merge into a fusion of buzzy noise; which is a pity because the guys have ideas, and the songs are longer thought-out listens, still of the direct aggressive kind. It's finished with a cool cover of Celtic Frost's "Procreation of the Wicked", done in a brooding doomy mode.

Genoc'eddio Demo, 1986
Rehearsal Demo, 1987

ARMOR COLUMN (USA)

The EP: excellent classic thrash metal, hard intense stuff with very good clean high-pitched vocals which scream sky-high quite appropriately, never overdoing it. "Dictator's Whore" is an explosive diverse piece thrashing confidently recalling Laaz Rockit in their prime, alternating fast and slow sections to fairly positive results. "Armor Column" is a merciless speedster in the best tradition of the Forbidden debut. "Where There's a War, There's a Way" is another heavy lasher, more in mid-pace with nice semi-technical hooks. "We Breathe Extinction" is a more relaxed power/thrasher with cool balladic stretches and unobtrusive progressive pretensions, but shows another, equally as appealing, side of the band's style. This short effort screams for a full-length follow-up, and hopefully this talented outfit will not get lost just after this EP: there's a lot of potential to be realised here... Some of the band members also aim at the modern crowd with their other act Held Under where the style is modern death/thrash with metalcore tendencies.

"Maximum Collateral Damage" is expectedly built around the songs from the EP which is kind of underwhelming since there are only 4 new tracks, some of which are sustained in a more controlled manner: the pounding power/thrasher "Rattenkrieg"; but expect no mercy from uncompromising "ragers" like the closing title-track which is killing thrash to the bone with a nice heavy, semi-balladic interlude. The guys could have added more new material after having been missing for over 2 years; now with just 4 new numbers they could be blamed in creative parsimony from which they will hopefully heal later...

Armor Up Your Ass EP, 2009
Maximum Collateral Damage Full-length 2011

My Space

ARMORAX (ARGENTINA)

Pretty decent power/speed/thrash metal Of the old school with hoarse semi-death metal vocals; the guys stick to the energetic galloping mid to up-tempo, wrappinG it up with style with a cool cover of their peers and compatriots Lethal's "Maza" which is slightly marred by the fuzzy guitar sound.

Del Metal Demo 2007

ARMORED (MEXICO)

The rehearsal is just one song, "Faster" + the intro, which is called "Bloodthirsty". The song is up-tempo black/thrash in the vein of early Bathory with bad synthesized vocals and simple raw-sounding guitars.
"Thrash Metal Inferno" switches onto aggressive thrash ala Atomica and Morbid Saint, with "Decadence City" jumping on the proto-death wagon for a while.

Rehearsal Demo, 1985
Rising From Hell Demo, 2005
Chaos & Violence Split, 2008
Thrash Metal Inferno Demo, 2008

My Space

ARMORED ASSASSIN (USA)

A commendable debut of classic speed/thrash metal graced by more melodic hooks ala Exciter and Motorhead; the opener "Forces of Evil" is a violent piece of speed/thrash, but soon does the sound acquire softer tendencies resulting in a cool string of catchy feelgood tracks. It's not exactly "Violence and Force" or "Stay Ugly" of the new millennium, but is not too far behind.

Damaged Youth Full-Length, 2008

ARMORED ASSAULT (USA)

The debut EP: this band indulges in decent modern thrash which is both energetic ("Dead Before Dawn") and complex (the diverse opus "There's Only Dying Here"). The guys mix things up, and generally the guitar sound is edgy and intense with the obligatory melodic licks which are particularly good in the lead sector. The singer is an ordinary death metal semi-growler who at times tries something cleaner.
The "Call the Beast" EP is another decent "beast" which starts with the elaborate melodic opus "The Colossus" which is slow and melodic, but the "carnage" begins right after with the short explosive "Sewing Circle Pit" the aggression reaching the blast-beating peak on the next "Blood of the Slave" which regardless remains on the more complex, less intense side; an approach more thoroughly explored on the remaining two pieces which are epic battle-like hymns without any up-tempo surprises. The band apparently move towards a more progressive sound and sparkles of brutality would be just casual nuances from now on...

Dead Before Dawn EP, 2011
Call the Beast EP, 2014

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ARMOROS (CANADA)

A good blend of aggression and technical riffs; a more technical and diverse Slayer would be perhaps a good description. The music gets quite brutal on some tracks bordering on death metal, but the technicality never gets lost. Fans of Gammacide and Massacra will love this one as well.

Pieces Full-length, 1988

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ARMORY (SWEDEN)

This new outfit specialize in roaring, roller-coaster classic speed/thrash which will throw into ecstasy fans of early helloween, early Blind Guardian, and Iron Angel from the very opener "Cosmic War", an uproarious speedster with heroic/epic overtones. The attack only begins, though, and later on one will come across some fo the definitive speed metal hymns of the new millennium, like "High Speed Death" and the explosive, more thrash-fixated "Hell's Fast Blades". "Spinning Towards Doom" "flirts" more with melody, but the lashing riffs bite all the same the only respite being the tad more moderate creeper "Without Days, Without Years". "Artificial Slavery" restores the speed/thrashing reign with flying colours, and "Phantom Warrior" is a frolic crossover merry-go-rounder with great melodic guitars and a memorable chorus. "Final Breath" stomps forward with a few more restrained sections, but its more officiant, battle-like aesthetics find no room on the closing "Space Marauders" which is glorious speed metal where the more nostalgic may shed a tear or two with flooding memories of the early Scanner meisterworks. The band members are also busy with the thrash metal outfit Nuclear Agony, and the speed/thrash formation Resurrector.

World Peace... Cosmic War Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

ARMOURED ANGEL (AUSTRALIA)

This cool popular death metal act played good energetic thrash on their demos. On "Communion" the guys offer nice headbanging tracks, both of the heavy, steam-roller like variety ("Castration", "Communion") and of the speedy, energetic one ("Tergiversator", "My Fist, Your Face").

Baptism In Blood Demo, 1985
Wings Of Death Demo, 1989
Communion Demo, 1990

My Space

ARMS OF WAR (BELGIUM)

This is epic keyboard-infused modern speed/thrash which mixes the tempos wisely thrashing with passion ("Deus Amo") when necessary also having its more quiet moments (the doom/gothic saga "The Vampire King"). "Prophet of Destruction" is an invigorating hard-hitting piece, and the closing "Arms of War" is an apt display of the band's more technical side which wasn't given much room elsewhere. The vocals are on the harsh deep death metal side, and are not very comprehensive.

Legions Of Steel Full-Length, 2013

ARMY OF FLYING ROBOTS (UK)

Modern thrashcore with very unpleasant hysterical shouty vocals; the music is nothing special, either, being fast and chaotic packed into short 1-2min songs some of which are pure blasting noise. The two longer ones in the middle lose the speed, and take a more acceptable industrial edge.

Life Is Cheap Full-Length, 2007

ARMY FORCES (MEXICO)

A Mexican trio who specialize in decent classic thrash with a heavy guitar sound, but hollow-sounding drums which ruin the musical delivery a bit. On the vocal side we have a subdued hardcore semi-shouter ala Efstathios "Staffi" Agoropoulos (Rumble Militia) with a bigger tendency to shout. Slower moments are not a rarity (the pounding proto-doomster "Hell Killing Machine"), and generally not many are the tracks sustained in a constant speedy manner (the Slayer-esque closer "Revenge", which for some reason is sung in German).

Hell Killing Machine Full-length, 2011

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ARNION (BRAZIL)

A new act who plays a heavy, mid to up-tempo mix of classic and a bit of modern thrash. The classic riffs dominate, and one can't help but bang his head with joy on smashing Bay-Area numbers like "Get Ready For The War", or galloping thrashers like "Fall Like Rain", or all-out speed/thrashing delights like "Obtenetration". "Whitened Graves" is a cool closing track, longer than the others blending heavy, almost doomy riffage in the beginning, before exploding into another massive wall of Bay-Area headbanging sections.

Refuge EP, 2008
Fall Like Rain Full-length, 2008

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ARRASIVA (ARGENTINA)

Brisk energetic classic speed/thrash will one come across here which tries to escape the shadow of the band's more renowned compatriots Horcas and Lethal by adding more aggressive riffage with a more abrasive edge which works well combined with the vicious semi-death metal vocals, especially on the roller-coaster "Corrompe El Sistema", a prime speed/thrasher, and could serve as a backbone for a promising full-length. Some work could be done on the leads, though: their thin sound is kind of annoying...

Arrasiva EP, 2013

ARRIVAL (HUNGARY)

Based on the debut demo, this band, who consist of former members of the power/thrash metal legends Akela, play music similar to the one of the father band, heavy and stomping on "Think of Somewhere", and more dynamic and aggressive on "Rage of Angels". The singer is a semi-clean semi-shouter who sings with panache despite his not very adventurous style.

Think of the Rage Demo, 19