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H.H.H. (SPAIN)

Fast, brutal thrash/crossover sounding like a mix between Wehrmacht's "Shark Attack" and Slayer's "Reign in Blood"; the songs are very short, most of them in the 1-1.5min range. Of all the 13 tracks there is only one which is mid-tempo ("Entrapas de la Patria"), and the album closer is a cool version of the old country classic "Country Roads" ("Cami Ral" is the name) sung in Spanish; the rest is aggressive and intense.

Homus Homini Lupus Full-Length, 1991

H.M.P. (USA)

Based on the "The Undead Hour" EP, this band whose abbreviation stands for "heavy metal poetry", thrashes hard with crisp energetic riffage and not many changes from the speedy delivery which come in the form of heavy pounding sections recalling Exhorder's "exploits" from the early-90's, but without too many shades of groove. The singer is an attached angry shouter who accompanies the musical intensity with enthusiasm and panache. This is indeed "heavy metal poetry" done in the "thrash" way. Some of the band members create more "poetry" of the speed/thrash hybrid variety with Blood of Kings.

Heavy Metal Poetry Full-length, 2007
All Hands on Deck EP, 2007
The Undead Hour EP, 2008

My Space

H.o.S. (ITALY)

This is a good "beginning" for these young Italians, who have taken their name from the Metallica song "Harvester of Sorrow" (although music-wise they have very little to do with the Americans), pull out commendable classic thrash metal of the Germanic kind, starting with the all-out moshers "Fallout" and "Annihilation Of Society", the latter adding an aggressive proto-death atmosphere before the more melodic speedster "Road Madness" relieves the situation a bit which gets unbearable again on the 10-ton hammer "The Haunt". The mid-paced rhythms stay around for a string of songs in the middle, but "Ready To Fight" speeds up again with energetic galloping riffs which escalate on the total thrashing madness "Earthquake" which follows suit. The final "We Are H.O.S.!" crosses both tendencies on a jollier crossover base, an appropriate epitaph to this vigorous addition to the burgeoning Italian thrash metal scene.

The Beginning Full-length, 2011

My Space

H.O.S.T.I.L.E. (UK)

A three song-demo of heavy, modern, slightly industrialized thrash with a few good technical moments, but also with some not very convincing decisions: there is a long acoustic intermission on "Mocking The Afflicted" which takes a huge part of the song. I personally see it as a dress rehearsal for something bigger to come soon.

Hard 'N' Fast In A Minor EP, 2005

Official Site

H2SO4 (SPAIN)

Despite the band's name, the music is not as acid; this is thrash/crossover done by the book, quite fast at times, but also forgettable.

Reality Show Full-length, 1994

H1Z1 (USA)

Modern heavy thrash which relies on catchy, memorable song-writing and officiant mid-tempo riffage which becomes quite playful and jumpy ("Helewe", "Eyes of Shame") at times, but there's a more serious, nearly progressive side (the diverse mechanizer "A.D.H.D.") to the show here also ensured by the versatile vocal performance which is particularly striking on the atmospheric balladic etude "Game Over".

Unbounded Full-Length, 2017

H-GEORGE (ITALY)

A cool new act who specialize in stylish semi-technical retro thrash "courting" both Megadeth and early Testament. The album begins in an energetic Bay-Area fashion with the edgy headbanger "Run Or You're Dead" which sets the tone for a string of songs until the arrival of the heavy stomper "Euthanasia" which also introduces a spare deathy vocal performance as opposed to the main mid-ranged clean ones. The bad news is that after this number the sound acquires mellower, heavy/power metal tendencies which last for too long to be a nice shift. "Globalization" comes to save near the end being a good speedster, but it's only the final "Hate" which matches it in terms of potency the rest being less impressive, without an edge, pulling this effort towards the average pool despite the promising start.

Slave Of Society Full-length, 2010

Official Site

HAATE (USA)

This obscurity was like a side-project for the Incubus guys which never took off. The guys hadn't really put their hearts into it starting from the very bad sound quality, all the way to the sloppy clumsy musical delivery which is an awkward hesitation between thrash and proto-death with dark doomy elements present as well probably suiting better the harsh semi-shouty angry vocals. "A Call To Arms" livens up at the end with a cool twisted technical up-tempo section, but that's about it. Back to the Incubus catalogue...

A Taste of Hate Demo, 1990

HABEAS CORPUS (USA)

This is a cool obscurity which features hard-hitting thrash/proto-death along the lines of Devastation, Mercless and Gammacide. The songs are long ("Divided By Two" alone is over 7-min), but there's no technicality involved, or at least not very overtly (the closing "Trapped In My Mind" has a few quirky decisions). The singer is an intense semi-clean shouter.

Coated with Lies Full-Length, 1995

Official Site

HABIT OF FORCE (SPAIN)

Based on the self-titled sophomore album, this band stays on the more dragging side of the 90's post-thrash movement with repetitive groovy riffs which will remind you of Machine Head at their least inspired. Angry vocals, rehashed riffs, playful tunes: all is here to make the fan's head shake in doubt...

Hybrid EP, 2007
Submission Denied Full-length, 2010
Habit of Force Full-length, 2011

Official Site

HABITUAL SINS (USA)

This is the new project of the Icarus Witch guys who have partnered here with none other than the guitar wizard Jim Dofka. THe delivery is more aggressive than the one of the other act coming close to the dark power/thrashisms heard on the Dofka albums, and as such shuld keep the fans happy with its mystical hard-hitting riffage as exemplified by "The Djinn" which sets the tone for the majority of the tracks. There aren't too many speedy deviations although "Kiss Of Shame" is a fairly dynamic jumper with soaring speed metal-ish implements. "I Pray For You" is another more vivid piece with a dark brooding middle and ending; and "Forever Be Tormented" is a similarly-styled speedster with more optimistic overtones. "Down Here In Sodom" is a compelling blend of fast and slower, heavier riffs, and the final "When The Inquisition Calls" is a more engaging, progressive shredder recalling the exploits of the Swedish heroes Hexenhaus and Pathos. The vocals are very similar to the ones on the Icarus Witch efforts, dramatic and evocative; and Dofka is in a traditionally fine form producing superb leads and inspired flashy shreds at every opportunity.

Personal Demons Full-Length, 2017

Official Site

HABORYN (VENEZUELA)

Based on "At the Edge of Extinction", this act provide mild friendly modern thrash with not very visible/audible metalcore overtones. The execution is decent, and there's nothing wrong with this kind of music except that it's quite generic and trite regardless of which part of the world it comes from. The guys don't strain themselves too much speed-wise, and the listener may lose interest gradually due to the repetitive character of the music which at least should get some credit for the infectious melodies ("Rise and Fall" which is not a Helloween cover) dispersed throughout. The singer semi-growls in a comprehensive fashion adding a meaner note at times here and there in the vein of early Anders Friden (In Flames).

Infernal Melodies EP, 2004
Programming Death EP, 2006
Welcome to the Suffering Full-length, 2007
Route of Violence EP, 2009
At the Edge of Extinction Full-length, 2011

Official Site

HACHA (SPAIN)

Your average groovy heavy thrash with one surprising raging thrashing closer: "Toma Ajo", which disappoints at the end with the next groovy section.

Cortante EP, 2004

HADES (BULGARIA)

This is literally the oldest metal band in Bulgaria having started their career in the distant 1986, and having gained quite a reputation nationwide as one of the more talented acts of the late-80's. By 1990 the band were already no more since they guys all had to join the army for the obligatory two-year military service. 20 years later they are back in action although all the 13 tracks presented here had been written during the 80's; the style is energetic power/speed/thrash metal, mostly guitar-driven with sparse keyboard participation. The guitar work is admirable with clear Shrapnel pretensions, some of the best to ever come out of the Balkans: check out the awesome galloper "Crusaders", or the short blitzkrieger "Fireborn". Pure thrashers also "roam" around, and fillings will fall on the raging "Heaven And Hell" which is smashing technical speed/thrash akin to Paradox and Hellfire, with the more complex opus "Lines Inscribed Upon A Cup Formed From A Skull" a close second. "Dark Alleys" is a nod to the progressive scene, still thrashing hard to the point of proto-deathness. "Hero" is a brutal cut with deathy guitars, super-fast sections, still pretty technical and virtuoso. "Vampires" is another more death-laced song with mid-period Death a clear influence, followed by the encompassing "Party with the Devil", a 10-min opera of perfectly-executed progressive thrash with never a dull note inserted, with a haunting organ-infused exit which flows into the superb classical instrumental "Inspiration" closing the album. If released 20 years ago, this album would have been a sure top ten pick in any year of the mid/late-80's; a truly respectable achievement from genuine talents who are hopefully back in the studio, not satisfied with just releasing old stuff, regardless of how high its quality is.

Hades Full-length, 2010

Official Site

HADES (USA)

One of the early more technical speed/thrash metal bands who released two strong albums in the 80's before disappearing. Both efforts are long, with 12-15 tracks, so expect some fillers of the heavy/power metal type, but for the most part these tracks are blistering speed/thrash metal pieces with fairly decent guitar performance (the lead section is particularly good), and cool, albeit a bit undeveloped, vocals (mostly in the screaming department to which the guy adheres too often), courtesy of Alan Tecchio, the vocalist who later sang on Watchtower's sophomore album, and for Seven Witches, among other less known acts. The band are not strangers to slower, heavier songs ("Nightstalker" from "Resisting Success"), but these are the lesser ones, which don't hold water against the much more appealing faster material, some of which is simply striking: the awesome aggressive opener on "If at First You Don't Succeed...": "Opinionate", among others. "Masque Of The Red Death" is worth mentioning from the debut: a very good take on a more elaborate, progressive song-writing, and although thrash is sparcely present, this song works fine as one of the early examples of a more thought-out composition; "Aftermath Of Betrayal" from "If at First You Don't Succeed..." tries to follow the same pattern, but at least half of the time it spends in a slow, doomy tempo in the vein of early Black Sabbath, before it finds time to thrash intensely near the end.

In the mid 90's they reminded of themselves with a compilation of old and unreleased tracks, which brought back the sound from their early efforts, albeit again with less appealing fillers present. Still, some songs are even better than the older stuff: the technical, stomping steam-roller "Rape Of Persephone", the short speed/thrash piece "The Other", graced by short, but very cool lead guitars.

However, it was 4 more years before their next full length album was released. "Saviorself" is a good return to form with the band carrying on from where their last work left off; the speed has actually been reduced, and most of the songs are in the mid-paced range, but filled with hard-hitting sharp riffs and clever intriguing sections: Oriental tunes, technical breaks, etc. The next two releases are more disappointing being even slower and less technical, with quite a few quiet, balladic moments, and a generally more mainstream approach even borrowing heavily from modern thrash ("Pay the Price") which starkly contrast to pure hard rock numbers ala Warrant (USA) and Quiet Riot: "Hail to the Thief", with the occasional blast from the past: the aggressive opener "Bloast" on "Damnation".

Resisting Success Full-length, 1987
If at First You Don't Succeed... Full-length, 1988
Exist to Resist Full-length, 1995
$avior$elf Full-length, 1999
The Downside Full-length, 2000
DamNation Full-length, 2001

Official Site

HADES ARCHER (CHILE)

Both EP's: expect raw brutal black/thrash/death metal which goes well over the Impaled Nazarene aesthetics blasting with full force through the short 1-2min tracks, only occasionally slowing down for the heavy crushing break in the Bathory ("Blood, Fire, Death") spirit. This is very aggressive, uncompromising stuff: not for everyone.

"For the Diabolical Ages" is another furious amalgam of all the three styles (thrash metal is just a humble "assistant"), a brutal slap in your face, which this time is not as comprehensive blasting through the speakers with an utmost intensity for at least half the time calming down on the atmospheric doomy opuses "6 Into The Black Mass" and "11 Theater of Nightmares".

Penis Metal EP, 2008
Gloria Rex Infernvs EP, 2010
For the Diabolical Ages Full-length, 2011

My Space

HADEZ (PERU)

Those of you who were not happy with the raw, amateurish sound of the early Brazilian thrash metal bands (MX, Sextrash, Vulcano, even early Sepultura), here is a band for you whose debut album brings you this sound with a better musicianship and production. However, at the time when it was released, death metal was reigning supreme, and the music presented is a mixture of death, thrash and even black metal. The final result is very vicious and brutal, and if we add the twisted, ala Morbid Angel technical riffs, throw in chaotic solos in the Kerry King-vein starting out of nowhere, and things really become harder to imagine. If you think that Hellwitch are the masters of the aggression-meets-technicality-type cocktails, after listening to this "wonder" here, you might want to give it a second thought.

Despite the seven year-gap, "Even If You Die a Thousand Times" is not miles away sound-wise from its predecessor. The aggression and speed are here, but there is a fair number of slower, doom-laden songs, too; the technical guitar work is put on an even higher level, making the comparisons with Morbid Angel even more obvious. There are also new techniques inserted: the black/epic thrasher "The Sin Made Flesh", and a second intro placed in the middle of the album.

"Doomsday: The Death Rides" sees the band back after another fairly lengthy pause, but the approach is quite similar to the one on the previous album, so this is classic technical death metal with timid nods to thrash; pretty good music, quite fast assisted by very brutal low-tuned vocals and a couple of very stylish leads ("The Dammed"). One will catch several atmospheric doomy breaks, too, as well as one pure thrash metal number: the closing "Altar of Sacrifice", which is not a Slayer cover despite the similarities in the guitar department.

Aquelarre Full-length, 1993
Even If You Die a Thousand Times Full-length, 2000
Doomsday: The Death Rides Full-length, 2009

Official Site

HAERKEN (UK)

These newcomers attempt to awaken the dormant spirit of the old pagan folklore on the British Isles, but unlike their peers Sabbat, they ahve chosen purely modern devices to do that. So expect epic modern thrash with dramatic shouty death metal vocals. The battle-like rhythms may make one think of the viking/doom metal acts more often, but in truth there are enough bludgeoning riffs here to satisfy: check out the more intense shredder "A Call To Arms", or the pounding war-instigating "The Kings' Crusade" which boasts a nice acoustic passage in the middle. The last 2 compositions acquire a more officiant tone and complicate the landscape a little bit, but in a good way giving this cool album a desirable progressive flavour.

...Of Warriors & Kings Full-Length, 2014

HAGGARD (GERMANY)

These symphonic/orchestral metal heroes made much better music in their early days, and they by no means needed 100 musicians to help them bring it to life. There are few efforts which deserve their titles more than the one here: this is standout progressive/technical thrash with more dramatic death metal sweeps the latter a precursor to what the wizards Theory in Practice would achieve a few years later. This is captivating music which shows a not very often reached level of complexity wrapped in some of the most dazzling melodic tunes from the 90's. Each song develops like a separate symphony the dramatism also achieved through a capable alternation in the vocal sector: emotional clean mid-ranged and deep guttural death metal vocals the "duel" also giving an ethereal gothic colouring to the elaborate musical landcapes this touch also recalling the early-90's works of Messiah ("Choir of Horros, "Rotten Perish"). It's kind of sad that the band didn't stay on this page for at least one full-length: the 90's would have been a much better place to live...

Progressive EP, 1994

Official Site

HAGGATH (CANADA)

Quite aggressive thrash for the time of release; if the sound quality was a bit better, it would have been a really cool slab of intense, fast-paced thrash, which sounds well more brutal than the Slayer and Hallows Eve works from the same year. The quitar sound is a bit hollow, and the singer has the tendency to scream like a banshee, which doesn't really suit the fairly extreme music. "Eternal Bullshit" is probably the most melodic track sounding more like speed metal. The last song "I Bought Remington" is a bit more-than-a-minute brutal thrashcore outburst. Although utterly obscure, this release had for quite a while remained the most vicious and aggressive one to come out of Canada.

Evil Transitions Demo, 1985

HAILFIRE (USA)

A bunch of youngsters entertain themselves playing classic power/thrash trying to capture the technical magic of mid-period Megadeth at times although their musical abilities are too limited for that to really happen. Still, the guys are having fun and actually manage to nail the listener down with a couple of really heavy squashing riffs (ldblquote Sky Cremationrdblquote ) bordering on doom metal. Later on the album loses its more aggressive thrashy edge descending to radio-friendly rockrquote n post-thrash for most of the 2nd half. The singer is a further annoyance with his thin unrehearsed voice which lacks depth and range, but seems to have the spark which may make him at least a passable Dave Mustaine emulator in the future.

Warning Shock Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

HAILSTORM (POLAND)

Intense, occasionally brutal mix of thrash and death metal quite close sound-wise to early Benediction if we exclude a few unnecessary groovy breaks. The best song is the one which shifts from the pattern and offers cool atmospheric mid-paced thrash with a gothic edge and weird abstract (think Coroner's "Grin") riffage.

Greyness Full-length, 2009

Official Site

HAIR BALLS (RUSSIA)

This is a decent mix of moden and classic thrash done on a very modern production base which makes the guitars hiss at times. Otherwise the guys know their craft thrashing with precision relying mostly on the fast-paced parametres which sometimes take a frolic crossover shape ("Married To a Beer"). "Social Dynamite" is a mild doomy proto-groover, but the band use every opportunity to mosh out, like the energetic closer "Hungry Man" and the penultimate title-track with the funny title. The singer has a good melodic voice reminiscent of Phil Anselmo a bit, but far less angry.

Atomic Cucumber Full-Length, 2013

HAJI'S KITCHEN (USA)

Interesting, but not very heavy modern thrash somewhat similar to late period Machine Head, with a couple of intriguing progressive and alternative passages.

Haji's Kitchen Full-Length, 1995
Sucker Punch Full-Length, 2001

HALF A TUSK (USA)

Modern semi-technical thrash/post-thrash which can be both meditative and thoughtful ("Abandoned Theory"), and fast and ripping ("Animal Instinct") without forgetting about a few more classic-prone sections (the galloping "Breathless"). "Virulence" is a noteworthy speed/thrashy fiesta, and the closing "Embrace The Chaos" is an engaging progressive opus with cool twisting riffs and mazey song-structures. The vocals are gruff death metal ones and are not very audible at times.

Daedalus Design EP, 2013

HALF BLOOD (CHILE)

Modern sterile thrash with angry, quarrelsome shouty vocals; there are deviations from the abrasive path (the semi-balladic sentimentality "The Choice"), and "El Origen" is a sudden switch to speedy spastic thrash/death, but for most of the time the approach is too rigid and not very flexible "Forever" being the other moment where a few less ordinary moments occur including a brutal blasting stroke.

Half Blood Full-Length, 2017

HALLOWS EVE (USA)

A band who have won a cult status among the thrash metal fraternity with their raw mixture of American power metal and vicious, aggressive thrash. The band have the tendency to mix a few styles on their albums which is not a bad thing at all, but in their case the final results are not always on the positive side. Their debut is arguably their best work, a good, albeit a bit uneven power/speed/thrash metal affair, with a slightly raw sound, with intense and direct guitar work. It starts with the cool intense thrasher "Plunging Into Megadeath", before it moves onto a more friendly, but equally as fast speed/power metal ala Exciter, on "Outer Limits" and "Horrorshow". Later on some thrash returns, but not strongly enough to make this album one of the better achievements of the genre at that time.

"Death & Insanity" starts with the title-track which is a typical American power metal anthem. "Goblet of Gore" speeds up, but has little to do with thrash staying closer to speed metal. "Lethal Tendencies" begins as a mid-paced power metal track, but finally more aggressive thrash riffage can be heard in the second half. "Plea of the Aged" is the first full-blooded speed/thrasher followed by the furious 1-min hardcore explosion "Suicide". "D. I. E. (Death in Effect)" treads in the mid-tempo sector again, but not much happens during its 7-min, and the final result is quite clumsy and tedious. The instrumental "Attack of the Iguana" is a nice reminder of the more energetic nature of the debut with the finest display of musicianship. "Nefarious" is a slightly uneven combination of laid-back power metal and fierce headbanging thrash, but is way better than the heavy/power metal closer "Nobody Lives Forever". Overall this effort is inferior to the debut seeing the band straying from the thrash metal path quite a bit.

"Monument" opens promisingly with the intense "Speed Freak" which richly deserves its title thrashing with power. "Sheer Heart Attack" is a big pullback having nothing to do with the previous track being not very impressive crossover. "Rot Gut" is an average mid-tempo heavy power/thrasher with "Monument (To Nothing)" closely folowing the same path after which the listener may lose hope that he would hear some intense thrash again. But the intense thrash is just around the corner, and here comes "Pain Killer": heads-down speedy thrash, a great number which may have inspired Judas Priest for the making of their magnum opus (kidding, of course) 2 years later. "The Mighty Decibel" is the next soft crossover joke (and fortunately the last), but "The Righteous Ones" picks more energy, albeit in a more restrained manner, also adding slower heavier riffs. "No Sanctuary" is the full-fledged vicious thrashing closer, even beating the opener, and in the end we have those two surpassing by far the content between them.

"The Never-Ending Sleep" is the next comeback release made by old 80's veterans, and in this case the music bears no surprises, offering the same uneven mix of intense thrashers and laid-back heavy power metal numbers. The album starts promisingly with two blistering thrashing songs, but on "Army of One" it loses inertia settling down for mid-paced power/thrash ala more recent Venom, with only "72 Virgins" introducing a few more aggressive passages. "Doors Of Misery" near the end thrashes nicely for a while, with more melodic riffs, but the next two tracks cancel the good impression made by it, with their boring monotonous delivery. Not completely bad, but it seems as though this time the guys will again fail to reach the front rows of the genre, regardless of how big, or small, the competition is.

Tales of Terror Full-length, 1985
Death & Insanity Full-length, 1986
Monument Full-length, 1988
Evil Never Dies Full-length, 2005
The Never-Ending Sleep Full-Length, 2008

Official Site

HAMBURGER ALIEN (FRANCE)

This is the perfect soundtrack for McDonalds: all the kids there will be happy to hear angry groovy post-thrash with industrial overtones and harsh shouty vocals which will boost up their appetite big time. Fear Factory circa the "Obsolete"-era mixed with the Danes Grope would be a fitting description to the music here: the "hamburger" doesn't seem as "alien" anymore...

Toxic EP, 2006

Official Site

HAMER (RUSSIA)

These jeep lovers pull out passable classic power/thrash not far from their compatriots Master (their debut, in particular). The opening "Odin za Vseh,...", however, remains the most intense track, the rest settling down for less eventful mid-tempo power/thrash. The guys wake up for more raging stff in the middle with "Krov Ognya" which is a major headbanger with good, albeit a bit screamy, leads. Then comes the shattering "Gruz 300" near the end with its super-brutal death/grindy approach to bring even more variety to the picture. The singer is a cool mid-ranger with a clean mean tone who possesses the necessary emotional charge when required.

Diesel Turbo Tank Full-Length, 2011

HAMMER (ARGENTINA)

Modern 90's thrash: groove, mid-paced heavy riffage, more up-tempo sections ("Ypur Sad Way", "Gospel Truth": cool intense thrashers), angry vocals, one good ballad ("No More Lies")... and that's basically all.

A New Damage Full-length, 1995

HAMMER FIGHT (USA)

Based on the full-length, this act pull out cool dynamic thrash with frolic melodies unleashed at every opportunity. The approach is more on the modern side, and the merry hooks will draw resemblences to Motorhead and Tank, as well as Suicidal Tendencies on the more optimistic crossover moments. There are not too many sharp guitars to be savoured, but the good mood is guaranteed, especially after one reaches the cool energetic cover of Iron Maiden's "Be Quick or Be Dead" which only loses points from the vocal delivery: the harsh semi-shouty/semi-deathy singer doesn't sacrifice here his staple performance. Some of the musicians also play in the deathcore outfit Abacinate.

Hammer Fight EP, 2012
Chug of War Full-length, 2013

Official Site

HAMMER OF DAEMONS (GERMANY)

This obscure curiosity has this album re-released in 2016, which was just a demo earlier. The guys have done a decent job resurrection the spirit of German speed/thrash with their highly energetic fast-paced delivery which comes decorated with less tamed deathy rhythms on "Soldiers of Evil", but expect soft power metal hymns ("Born to Die") as well so there's balance. The approach is fairly simplistic siding with Running Wild, Vectom and Tyrant with just a few compositions ("The Procession + Pharao") trying to capture the more ambitious nature of the early Helloween material. The singer is a passable clean shouter whose antics are often deafened by the muddy sound.

Hellfire (Beyond the Iron Curtain) Full-Length, 1989

Official Site

HAMMER OF WITCHES

Badly produced, noisy amalgam of thrash, death, industrial and something which is not very easy to describe; at their most inspired moments the guys manage to sound like an updated modernized version of early Celtic Frost ("Lost In Haze Of Bermuda Triangle"), but these awful synthesized unintelligible vocals ruin almost everything. "Unknown Prophecy Of Nostradamus" is a cool orchestral, ambient, but also quite metallic instrumental which comes close to mid-period Burzum ("Filosofem"). The band is definitely trying to impress the world with eclectic, non-standard music, but they have a long way to go before they start making heads turn.

Ghosts Among Us Demo, 2008

HAMMER PERSUASION (AUSTRALIA)

A lyrical tender acoustic intro called "Lost" opens this faithful entry into the Swedish melodic thrash/death metal catalogue which is graced by both melody and aggression the former being on a higher level producing some addictive licks (check out "Immaculate Degenerate") along the way. The melodies overflow from all sides acquiring a slight epic/viking shade in the 2nd half where the slower numbers belong. The singer growls in a less comprehensive manner and lacks the dramatic depth of masters in the style like Mikael Stanne (Dark Tranquillty), for example. The outro is, of course, called "Found", and is another gentle instrumental acoustic elegy.

Necropsy Of The Human Mind Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

HAMMERCULT (ISRAEL)

Based on the full-length, this act provide typical modern thrash/death of the fast energetic type with generally short concrete tracks built around vigorous guitars and mean hysterical deathy vocals. The immediacy of the material echoes the hardcore scene, but the slower moments deviate from the pattern making this album a tad less predictable although the closing greeting for Christmas "Satan Santa" will make the crossover fans the happiest. The band members are also involved with the melodic death metal formation The Fading and the death/thrashers Excessum.
"Steelcrusher" is again hardcore-tinged, and even more so now epitomizing those catchy shouty choruses on at least half the tracks. There's a lot of Gothenburg modernism as well as several less bridled moments (the grindy "Into Hell"), and generally there's plenty of energy applied: check out the ripping outrager "Unholy Art", or the speed metal energizer "Liar", or almost every other track. The guys solely relax on the final "In the Name of the Fallen" which is a heroic epicer with a very nice balladic, acoustic & lead-driven, ending.
"Built for War": the attack carries on on this next installment; the formula hasn't been altered drastically and the fans should be able to savour this enjoyable combination of fast merciless guitars, soaring infectious melodies and piercing screamy leads. "Ready To Roll" is a short crossover deviation which gives a mellower flavour to the 2nd half where one will encounter the energetic speedster "Raise Some Hell", the classic speed metal joy "Let It Roar", and the direct hardcore-tinged closer "Road To Hell" which will stun you with a portion of great melodic leads.

Rise of the Hammer EP, 2011
Anthems of the Damned Full-length, 2012
Steelcrusher Full-Length, 2014
Built for War Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

HAMMERED (CANADA)

Good energetic thrash of the mid-paced variety, at times smelling modern trends recalling the Black Album ("Devil's Handshake"; watch out for the short fast outbreak in the middle). The semi-ballad "Bleeding Tears" is quite good although the gruff delivery of the singer spoils it a bit. "Feeding The End" is a more ambitious move to progressive song-writing, but is a bit uneven relying on stomping, sprawling riffs, and the good technical riffs scattered around don't have the necessary impact. The closing "Hammerhead" (after all the guys are called Hammered) is heads-down intense thrash of the old school, something which the guys should have provided more here.

Thrashing Metal, Screaming Loud EP, 2006

Official Site

HAMMERED (ITALY)

This is classic power/speed/thrash with both epic and progressive overtones, at least in the beginning, which is perhaps overambitious (the profusive opener "No Time for Us") at times, and mostly delivers when it keeps it more simple (the Scanner-recaller "Space Invaders"). The problem is that the sound softens down in the middle producing a string of not very engaging milder cuts which are superseded by more energetic numbers later on: the brisk galloper "The Five Hunters", the crunchy power/thrasher "Bloody Fields". Still, the tender hearts will have their day here with the peaceful closing ballad "Wait for Sleep" ending the whole saga; this one is, for the less initiated, a cover of Dream Theater which at least provides a more dynamic epic finish to this otherwise fairly melodic affair. Some of the musicians also play similar stuff in Trauma.

The Beginning Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

HAMMERED (USA)

A 3-track demo of blistering Germanic thrash: fast tempos, sharp riffs, and some impressive lead guitar work ("Into the Ground"); the vocals are a bit of a letdown, being gruff, semi-death metalish.

Into The Ground Demo, 2006

My Space

HAMMERED GRUNTS (USA)

Based on "Street Thrash", this act offer some classic "street thrash"/crossover which is quite intense for msot of the time the band thrashing like demented reaching Wehrmacht-like extremes tonig it down, but just a bit, on the longer numbers ("Preacher"). THis is wild unrestrained stuff which is pure hardcore on the shorter material ("Hate", "Public Image", etc.) the singer providing the necessary optimistic vocal background with his clean semi-declamatory antics.

Hammered Grunts Full-length, 2008
Street Thrash Full-length, 2012

Official Site

HAMMERHAWK (HOLLAND)

The band's full-length is good speed/thrash metal with great melodies and fast catchy riffs. At the end you can even find yourself humming some of the tunes, it's that good. The intro starts with a great harmonica melody which I can't recall where it comes from later evolving into a heavy smashing thrasher. The music from then on is faster and softer, but is enjoyable and catchy. "Blow Up Doll" brings back the heaviness, and combined with the faster pace and the clever semi-technical riffs, stands for the best song on the album. "Marked for Life" is a lesson in sheer speed and intensity seldom matched by even more celebrated acts topped by mighty guitar melodies and good bass. The guys throw one hardcore-ish joke near the end: the 20-sec long "Aids II".

Break Loose EP, 1984
Welcome Home, We Expected You Full-length, 1991

Official Site

HAMMERHEAD (BRAZIL)

An obscure release containing classic Bay-Area thrash which on its most inspired technical moments touches early Testament. The music is energetic with stylish insertions from the guitar department: jumpy technical riffs on "Warning", a cool rock-ish short instrumental in the middle: "I Wish", followed by another great up-tempo technical instrumental: "Within", etc. The songs lose the technicality towards the end, but start thrashing more aggressively: the nice headbanging closer "Nazi Hunter" which will also remind you of the Angel Dust's immortal hit "I'll Come Back".

Shadow Of A Time To Be Full-length, 1992

HAMMERHEAD (FINLAND)

This act indulges in decent intense thrash which is both fast and melodic starting with the short perennial speedster "Teargas Stories" which is a really energetic way to open this effort. The guys elaborate the approach quite a bit after that, consequently slowing things down on the long opuses "Faceless Dawn", which is a really dragging track with slower, not very imaginative, riffs and "The Thing", which is much better, more dynamic and with more clever ideas thrown in. A diverse, slightly uneven offering as a whole, the band never managing to develop either side.

Demo Demo, 1988

Demo Download

HAMMERHED (FINLAND)

Based on "The Fennoscandian Badass", this outfit acquit themselves with industrial modern thrashcore which is equal dozes pure thrash and post-thrash both sides smelling hardcore in a mechanical abrasive way. "Bastardophobia" is a nice modern epic thrasher, and generally there are intriguing pieces to be found among this quasi-noisy modern amalgam, like the very good leads on "Inch by Blood Inch", or the more sophisticated Jeff Waters-like riffs on "Righteous Hammer". The vocalist is not too bad, either, with his attached semi-shouty/semi-clean tember in which there's plenty of pure singing. Some of the musicians are also active with the doom/stoner heroes/kings Stoner Kings.

Killtrippin' Full-length, 2009
Hammerhed HC EP, 2009
The Fennoscandian Badass Full-length, 2012

Official Site

HAMMERKILL (USA)

Thrash/crossover which tries to mix the classic with the modern tendencies (Pro-Pain, above all); the former predominate, and at least half of the album is enjoyable headbanging stuff although the music stays more on the crossover/hardcore side on those faster moments.

Let's Get Hammered!!! Full-length, 2009

My Space

HAMMERLORD (USA)

The debut: power/thrash metal with nods to the early American scene when sounding more classic if we exclude the strained shouted vocals. The music isn't bad mixing both slow and fast rhythms on almost every track adding the odd technical riff as well as modern influences both well displayed on the nice "Sick Like Our Crimes". "Lordess" further elaborates the picture with Gothenburg death metal hooks, and "Dweller On The Threshold" has a haunting gothic break with good clean vocals in the middle, but the majority of the songs are full-blooded retro power/thrashers with the excellent lead guitar work clearly the highlight all over.

"Wolves At War's End" is a cool effort much closer to thrash and the classic side of the genre producing something which comes close to the last two Laaz Rockit efforts from the late-80's/early-90's on the most inspired moments. The album starts with the raging bullet "Demon Fever" which clearly shows that there'll be less mercy here although "Storm The Castle" is already a heavy mid-pacer toning down the aggression a bit, as well as the following "Tombstone Piledriver", but "Cloudspitter" will "split" not only the clouds, but your head, too, offering a fast intense portion of thrash. Later on, however, this intensity is never captured the remaining songs mixtures of fast and slower sections, the modern influences coming back on the longer ones. The singer does a better job here, still remaining in the shouty registers decreasing the pitch a bit also adding a nice throaty shade, and will remind you of Larry Lethal (F.K.U.). Some of the guys are also full-time members of the doom/sludge "monsters" The Esoteric.

The EP is just 2 songs of good blistering dramatic thrash which is graced by both brutal death metal ("We Live") and stylish technical moments ("Kali Bundy") the latter giving this short effort a nice "colouring" which should be emphasized on in the future. The sound quality is very clear giving the guitars a ripping, cutting edge.

Hammerlord Full-length, 2008
Wolves At War's End Full-length, 2010
Hammerlord EP, 2012

My Space

HAMMERTHRASH (BRAZIL)

Tight direct retro thrash metal with both a Slayer and early Germanic vibe the main difference coming from the brutal death metal vocals; The title-track is a cool more ambitious diverse all-instrumental composition touching proto-death on the faster sections which comes right before the speedy roller-coaster "Metal Attack (Death To The Falses)" that closes the effort in an intense Destruction-esque fashion.

Hammerthrash EP, 2010

Official Site

HAMMERWHORE (USA)

Cool thrash which most of the time is pure Sodom (think "Persecution Mania") and Whiplash-worship, but there are touches of hardcore here and there. The songs are short (except for the excellent speed/thrash number "Onward to Oblivion"), explosive bursts of speed and intensity topped by vicious mean vocals with a black-ish vibe. "Heavy Metal Destroyers" is a slower softer metal hymn followed by the hardcore madness "Possessed By The Mosh" which is a really aggressive track, "decorated" with a short grindcore passage. The 2nd half is the more varied with "Mercy To None" where the guys take another break, this time even bigger playing melodic crossover, and "Scream Bloody Rock'n Roll" which, like the title suggests, is a nice take on the good old Death... sorry, rock'n roll, but not really "scream and bloody".

Hammerwhore Full-length, 2005

Official Site

HAMMERWITCH (USA)

The band's EP is good power/thrash metal, quite typical for the time sound in the States, with "galloping horses" aplenty ("Burned at the Stake") inside, riffy stomping thrashers ("Brainchild"), and one more technical piece: "Return to Salem". Three years later the story is completely different: this is actually one of the first bands who picked on the new modern thrash sound initiated by Exhorder and Pantera, and have done a good job again.

Return to Salem EP, 1988
Legacy of Pain Demo, 1991

My Space

HAMMURABI (BRAZIL)

The EP: retro thrash metal sustained in an energetic up-tempo manner; there are slight Swedish death metal elements inserted, and the singer is a typical mid-ranged death metal growler.
The full-length carries on with the thrashing assault, again spiced with touches of melo-death which seldom grow into formidable aggressive pieces ("Despair And Anguish") with good guitar work to which the deep brutal death metal vocals suit better. There's a certain number of slower mid-paced numbers as well as sincere takes on the good old Germanic speed metal ("Madness Is To Live In This World") ala Tyrant and Steeler. "Global Disease" is a pleasant surprise near the end, a fine technical thrash/deathster with stylish riffs, before the final "...And The Soul Of The Planet In Gone" wraps it up nicely with fast more simplistic tunes.

Shelter of Blames EP, 2008
THE EXTINCTION ROOT Full-length, 2010

Official Site

HANAGORIK (BRAZIL)

Based on the debut, this formation indulge in groovy post-thrash which doesn't stray too far from the formula established so well in the good old 90's. There are a few moments when the heads will start banging, including a rough version of Beatles' "Tomorrow Never Knows" which was much better made by Trouble on "Plastic Green Head". Actually, it's stoner/doom which takes over gradually in the 2nd half the style there reminding of mid-period Trouble quite a bit except in the rough semi-shouty vocal department.

Uncivil Full-length, 1997
For Kids with Some Problems Full-length, 2001
The Caravan Full-length, 2004
Alceu Ao Nosso Jeito Full-length, 2012

My Space

HANGMAN (FINLAND)

Based on the full-length, these guys play melodic power/thrash metal, more classically-rooted. The music develops in a calm mid-pace until it hits the nice more dynamic thrasher "Pain", but later on there's only one more aggressive number: "Last Breath" which closes this mellow affair which also smells gothic/doom at times ("Face in the Shadows"). Both the intro and the outro are cool thrashy instrumental variations, unlike the so often used non-music related non-sense used for this purpose by many other bands.

Days In Darkness EP, 2006
The Gallows Full-length, 2007

Official Site

HANGMAN (ISRAEL)

Based on the "Sinners Of Sodom" demo, this new band pulls out good classic 80's thrash metal which at its best moments picks a fair amount of aggression recalling Slayer and Vio-lence. The sound quality is a bit muddy, and the singer is kind of dodgy with his hoarse, slightly undeveloped voice, but this can all be (and probably has been) corrected in the future.

Sinners Of Sodom Demo, 2003
Thrash From The Dead Demo, 2005
Thrash Metal Blitzkrieg Vol II Split, 2006

HANGOVER (BRAZIL)

Groovy post-thrash with stoner/doom overtones; so this isn't very aggressive music, but is jolly and unpretentious with the exception of a few parts where the riffs crush with power even recalling early Pantera, but the closest soundalike overall would be mid-90's Anthrax ("Stomp 642", and beyond).

Straight to the Edge Full-Length, 2008

HANGOVER (FRANCE)

Laid-back modern thrashcore which seldom goes for the throat with raging fast-paced rhythms ("Mourning Parade"), and the tone is generally friendly and uplifting ruined to an extent by the harsh angry vocals.

The Hangfest Full-Length, 2016

HANG'd6VER (POLAND)

Based on the "Terrorbeer" EP, this is old school black-ish thrash which stretches from energetic headbangers in the Witchery vein ("Beer & Sodomy") to more relaxed, playful numbers (Swing of the Crowbar") ala Venom. The "Under the Shitfluence" EP isn't to be taken seriously, neither music nor text-wise (just check the song-titles and die laughing) since the sound is very light-hearted hard rock/punk with one cool acoustic ballad thrown in as well.

Terrorbeer EP, 2000
Terrorbeer Demo, 2002
Hang'f6ver/GMC split CD Split album, 2002
Thrash Metal Blitzkrieg Split, 2005
Under the Shitfluence EP, 2006

Official Site

HANUCH (CHILE)

This Chilean outfit offer classic thrash which is more on the stomping side accompanied by an awful buzzying sound contained mostly in the guitars and the drums. The singer is hardly an asset, either, with his shouty low-tuned death metal tone which deafens the instruments when in action. There aren't many fast-paced sections to be encountered here, but there's a cover version of Slayer's "Seasons in the Abyss", alas ruined by the constant guitar buzz and the bad inexpressive vocals. Some of the band members play some more retro thrash with Boltor.

Rituales EP, 2012

Official Site

HAPPY DEATH (CZECH)

Based on the "Altering the Technology" demo, these Czechs pull out spacey modern progressive thrash/death which ranges from ambitious operatic compositions ("Galaxy 8") to curious twisted technicallers ("Hard World") the latter exuding plenty of style and eccentricity. "Green Unemotional Eyes" is stomping and dramatic, and "World Downfall" is a diverse combination of jazz, progressive, and hard-hitting thrash/death. The vocals styles are all over the place the dominant one being a gruff shouty death metal, with a sparse addition of much better clean ones.

Altering the Technology Demo, 1999
1st Technology Demo, 2005

HARA KIRI (USA)

Based on "Annihilator", which is only 6 tracks, this act plays a more modern version of thrash/crossover mixing faster with slower compositions. This is generally dynamic unpretentious music with slightly more complex for the style guitar work and mid-ranged semi-shouted vocals with a drunken shade.

Hara Kiri Full-length, 2008
Annihilator Full-length, 2010

My Space

HARASSOR (USA)

This is the same album released twice almost without any changes. So what's the story? Not much to talk about unless you're fond of the recently acquired by Darkthrone black/thrashy/crusty boogie, in this case coming with loads of nods towards the punk/hardcore movement of the early-80's. And the guys here go over the edge at times with less controlled blasting outbursts ("No Hope") ala Impaled Nazarene where there's "no hope" for redemption. The guitars are awfully fuzzy, and the singer is a hysterical raven-like shouter with an unpleasant synthesized blend. The closer "She Who Makes Dogs Shiver" is a droney, funeral doomy oddity; a monotonous hypnotic track without any vocals.

Harassor Full-length, 2008
Harassor Full-length, 2011

Official Site

HARBINGER (USA)

Typical American power/thrash metal with the guitar wizard Jim Dofka responsible for the guitar parts although not a trace of his later pyrotechnics can be heard, since the music is ordinary mid to up-tempo stuff, closer to power metal in a way not too dissimilar from early Laaz Rockit and Jag Panzer. "Haunted House" is a good heavy mid-paced thrasher, and the closing "Hellbound" isn't too far behind despite the lengthy, but very cool balladic mid-break. The singer isn't bad providing a husky semi-clean tember sounding like a slightly lower-pitched version of Mike Munro (Meliah Rage).

Hellbound Demo, 1991

HARBINGER A.D. (USA)

This is the same act reviewed above, who have added the A.D. abbreviation to their name after their decision to return to the scene. The music, however, bears few resemblences to the classic one heard on their solitary demo being stricly for the modern power/post-thrash lovers. "Speak Your Mind" smells more full-blooded thrash, but the rest doesn't have the requisite intensity to be a thoroughly satisfying thrash metal recording. The vocalist isn't bad at all, though, with his hoarse, inebriate semi-clean tember which still possesses a strong sense of melody.

Through the Eyes of a Warrior Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

HARD-BOILED (SPAIN)

Heavy crunchy industrial thrash metal with distorted guitars which mix with noises, synthesizers, drum patterns, gothic gimmicks, and more. There are stylish elements from the electronic department involved ("The Execution Line"), but they would hardly make the thrash metal fan's day. Don't expect any headbanging moments: this is dark hypnotic music with a wide gamut of influences present.

Mantis EP, 1997

HARD BOILED EGGS (ITALY)

An interesting obscurity which "flirts" with both the classic and the modern trends producing something which Mordred managed better on "In This Life", in other words, this is funky thrash/post-thrash, not very predictable, which boasts a very good sound quality and capable emotional clean vocals which serve various dramatic colourings following the mood swings of the music.

Demo Demo, 1993

HARD GROUND (CANADA)

Thrash/crossover of the old school meets a couple of more modern arrangements resulting in cool Pro-Painesque music, maybe more light-hearted and a bit more dynamic also touching Suicidal Tendencies ("Tear Me Down", which is an obvious nod to the Suicidals' big hit "You Can't Bring Me Down"). The singer is more melodic recalling Mike Muir on the mellower moments. One would be surprised to find out that behind the music stay members of the aggressive thrashers Overthrow and the industrial "monsters" Soulstorm.

Hard Ground Full-length, 1993

HARDENED SINNER (ITALY)

A really pleasant surprise from the deep Italian underground: excellent progressive Bay-Area influenced thrash with dramatic soaring clean vocals, very good melodic leads, and some very intense hard thrashing sections. "Born To Kill" sets the tone with some of the finest lead sections to ever come out of Italy, and the 12-min opus "Inferno" logically elaborates on all the elements mentioned slouching a bit on the vocals which lose a tad of their high-pitched bravado. Head-shaking tempo-changes follow in quick succession the band never losing then plot thrashing assuredly in a consistent semi-galloping fashion not to mention the brilliant leads aagain. "Necronomicon MOD" is a vitriolic thrasher reaching proto-death heights with ease, a piece of aggression which could put even Bulldozer and Necrodeath to shame; later on the guys continue weaving their intricate progressive thrash tapestries unerringly making this composition another masterpiece. "Son Of The Endless Night" is a pagan progressiver recalling the Brits Sabbat, only with more stylish technical licks and a more urgent headbanging background. The closing "Fool Eyes Of Moon" is played live with a more screechy, more high-strung vocalist (could be the same one?) the style remaining exemplary technical speed/thrash with echoes of Helstar this time with swirling virtuoso passages and head-spinning riff-patterns. This is a truly impressive effort which should have laid the foundations for a lustrous career.

Overture of Anger Demo, 1988

HARDKADA (SPAIN)

These folks indulge in modern brutal thrashcore which is constantly fast and ripping and will create numerous moshpits around even reaching proto-deathy proportions at times ("Asesinos", the maddening explosion "Condenados al Dolor", the pure death metal craze "Herederos del Fascismo"). This would be an exhausting listening experience for the unprepared who drop tired by the entry of the final headsmasher "Mente Humana". The singer shouts his lungs out in an unbridled death metal manner.

Vomitando V'edsceras Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

HARDNESS (PORTUGAL)

Based on the "Thrashin' Up..." demo, this band mix thrash and speed metal reminiscent of early Whiplash, Destructor and Rigor Mortis. The tempo is energetic most of the time, and the guys seem to feel better when they play faster (check out the headbanger "Unbelievable War"). The guitar work is quite good, albeit too thin, and jolly crossover numbers like "Bailinho Da Madeira" make things even better.

Thrashing Up... Demo, 1990
Promo 1992 Demo, 1992

HARGOS (BRAZIL)

Modern, somewhat progressive thrash with a touch of gothic; this is mostly mid-paced heavy music spiced with keyboards and awful hysterical hardcore shouts as opposed to the basic semi-clean vocals. There are numerous atmospheric orchestral moments, slower doomy sections and, of course, cool more up-tempo thrashers ("Carnage", "In Metal Town"), but the latter is clearly not on what the band wanted to concentrate.

Shadows of Violence Full-length, 2007

Official Site

HARKENKREUZ (JAPAN)

4 songs of pure retro thrash of the dark sinister kind with creepy minimalistic guitars ala Infernal Majesty and interesting vocals crossing guttural semi-growls with deep Pete Steele (R.I.P.)-esque baritons the former just unobtrusive assistance. The guys nicely mix heavy doomy with fast blitzkrieg riffs on every track which could have served as a backbone for a far outcry from the already dead at the time classic thrash metal scene.

Horstwessel Demo, 1994

HARKONIN (USA)

Based on "Detest", this act plays interesting retro black/thrash metal which is quite diverse ranging from morose doomy pieces ("Chaos Anthem") to intense spontaneous outbursts ("Insurrection") all this served with long compositions (5-7min), but there's no loss of speed on the agressive numbers, even a more stylish technical play can be caught ("The Sleeper Has Awakened"). "Black Storm Jackals" is an encompassing opus lasting for more than 11-min to produce a masterpiece of progressive atmospheric thrash/black metal with quite a few tempting faster "decorations". "Spiritual Hypnosis" is a compelling mix of epic and "fast as a shark" sections, but "souls" will cringe on the hyper-fast technicaller "Exhauster Of Souls" which again offers something for mid-period Bathory and Immortal fans in the 2nd half. The final "Detest" is a nice doomy thrasher with great guitars, a fitting exit from this very good effort which will definitely arouse the fans' interest in tracking down the previous albums.
"Ghanima" is another commendable offering starting with the atmospheric doomy "Mystic Gates of Sorrow", but "The Darkside Calls" is already more dynamic, albeit remaining more black-ish and evil. "L.ost C.ause" switches onto more vigorous thrash which stays around for the remainder of the tracks being particularly compelling on the dramatic macabre "Cult of Sin". Weird progressive abstractism sneaks in on "Caligula", but the real highlight is the nice technical proto-deathster "Nocturnal Rebirth" featuring a great Oriental theme ala Melechesh. 9-min of battle-like doominess await you on the epic "Sons of War", which is still a stylish encompassing closer followed by the bonus track: a good faithful rendition of Whiplash's "Last Man Alive" from their debut "Power & Pain" except, of course, for the raspy witch-like vocals.

Seductress of the Unlight Full-length, 2003
Sermons of Anguish Full-length, 2005
Ghanima Full-length, 2006
Detest Full-length, 2010

Official Site

HARLEQUIN (USA)

This effort offers cool intense thrash/death which is infused with a lot of melody which serves well along with the numerous fast-paced passages which later transforms into the beautiful progressive cut "House of Shadowed Mirrors" which blends speed and melody to a quite impressive effect. The closing "Spectral Requiem" is another more engaging number which relies on semi-balladic rhythms, but the 2nd half is sheer speed/thrash at its best and the whole shred lasts for just under 8-min. The singer is a husky vicious death/black metaller, but his rendings are always intelligible. This band show a lot of promise here and shouldn't hang for too long before coming up with a full-length.

Harlequin EP, 2011

Official Site

HARLLEQUIN (BRAZIL)

This is a really pleasant surprise (the full-length): one of the finest works to come out of South America in the past 10 years. This is outstanding retro power/speed/thrash mixing the best from early Iced Earth, Paradox, Manticora and the Poles Hellfire. Once the brutal crushing riffs of the opener "Three Days In Hell" start drilling your brain, you'll know you're listening to something not often come across. The opening track sets the tone for the rest with its intense mix of heavy slower and faster sections topped by some of the best high-pitched clean vocals on the scene right now; it finishes in a stylish manner with a short excerpt from the "Star Wars" main theme. "Archangel Asylum" is more epic and more complex although aggressive thrash is again the order of the day on at least half the song even including sparce blast-beats. Its dramatic build-up is relieved by the following "Going To War" which is more in the power/speed metal mould with echoes of Destiny's End. "Overshadow" indeed tries to "overshadow" everything before it with its dark atmospheric shred with sudden speedy inclusions; but may find it hard to beat more elaborate compositions like the progressive speed/thrash drama "King Of The Dead", or the elegiac semi-balladic saga "Hellakin Riders" which is graced by the finest lead guitar work on the album. Those two lengthy listens influence a string of tracks after them, and it's "Dare Devil" near the end which brings back the thrashiness with a vengeance although the closing "Ancestors" is just a tender lead-driven ballad, kind of underwhelming having in mind the passionate delivery before it. Nevertheless, this effort remains a masterpiece of diverse encompassing music which would please a wide gamut of fans including those who like to bang their heads from time to time. Some of the band members are involved in the epic power metal formation Dark Avenger.

King of the Dead EP, 2005
Hellakin Riders Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

HARLEY'S WAR (USA)

Harley Flanagan from teh hardcore legends Cro-Mags is back in action, and based on "Cro-Mags" he has no intentions of moving very far away from his main band's uncompromising blitzkrieg style. In other words, this is direct classic thrash/crossover with hardcore thrown-ins and a couple of more officiant, heavier cuts ("Webster Hall."). Harley hasn't abandoned his venomous quarrelsome singing style, and it's on full display here again coming a bit harsher, semi-death metal-ish on occasion.

Cro-Mag Full-length 2002
Hardcore All-Stars EP, 2009
2012 Full-length, 2012
Cro-Mags Full-length, 2016

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HARLOTT (AUSTRALIA)

Based on The "Nine" EP, these guys play energetic classic thrash with a few more modern borrowings mainly in the production department. There will be a lot of jumping around here the guys seldom slowing down thrashing wildly all the way through recalling the more recent Slayer works, among other new millennium thrash "atrocities". The closing "Terror" is an exemplary Bay-Areasque composition with speed and technicality ably mixed together the lead guitarist stealing the show with his inspired Alex Scholnick-like pyrotechnics. The band are apparently fonder of the shorter format, but they look well equipped to hit with a full-length any time soon.
The full-length is finally a fact and it doesn't disappoint with its vigorous delivery which spits vitriolic rapidfire riffs galore some of which are pure proto-death madness ("Ballistic"). This is an exhausting listen hitting you like a fist recalling the controlled fury of works like Vio-Lence's "Eternal Nightmare", Slayer's "Reign in Blood", and Morbid Saint's "Spectrum of Death". Explosion after explosion follow in a rapid succession overwhelming the listener with its hyper-intensity which simply knows no break. Still, this is no violent bash since there are a few melodic adherences in the riff department, numerous stylish lead sections, very good semi-clean/semi-shouty vocals; but above all it's "ultra violence", like the title of one of the tracks says so well, is what one will get from this admirable dedication to the old school, a very likely champion on the Australian thrash metal horizon in the new millennium so far. Who would have known that the "origins" of modern old school thrash were hidden somewhere deep in the Australian deserts...

"Proliferation" is chapter II from the Australian conquest of the thrash metal scene so expect remorseless headbanging old school thrash all the way with harsher modern atmosphere at times which will recall the new works of Exodus and Onslaught, among other modern practitioners. Proto-death is touched on the short exploder "Systematic Reduction", and what follows is far from a sloucher: the Slayer-sque "Restlessr", the more complex "The Fading Light", the perennial headbangers' hymn "Civil Unrest". Ripping semi-technical exuberance is displayed on the excellent shredder "Hellbent" near the end, including on the final "Cross Contamination" which thrashes with the utmost precision and intensity to close this entertaining offering which continues to raise the flag of Australian thrash sky-high.
"Extinction" takes no prisoners with its no-bars-held approach the guys thrashing with vigour and gusto, "shooting" a headbanger after headbanger varying the rigorous delivery on the more flexible semi-technical shredder "No Past" and on the crunchy stomper "Conflict Revelation". "And Darkness Brings The Light" is a multifarious progresiver with echoes of Paradox and Hellfire, the highlight on this next in line admirable tribute to the old school.

Virus EP, 2011
None EP, 2012
Origin Full-Length, 2013
Proliferation Full-Length, 2015
Extinction Full-Length, 2017

Official Site

HARM (NORWAY)

The Norwegian thrash metal scene is growing fast these days, and Harm is another addition to it. The problem is that the band's style is quite derivative, and there's nothing one hasn't heard before: modern, fast, intense thrash metal in The Haunted-mould, and perhaps with a shade of Testament's "The Gathering".

"Demonic Alliance" isn't going to set the world on fire again, but fans of the modern side of the genre will hardly be disappointed with this workmanlike, but sincere and inspired, blend of fast and heavy riffs with more focus on the latter which keep the headbanging going, lashing in a pretty sharp manner for most of the time tearing it loose on occasion (the more aggressive death metal piece "Bleeding Rust"; the furious closer "Fuck the Fame" which cleverly adds more stylish technical hooks as well).

Unleashed Full-length, 2004
Devil Full-length, 2006
Demonic Alliance Full-length, 2011

Official Site

HARMANIC (AUSTRIA)

Based on the full-length, this act plays prototypical Gothenburg thrash/death metal staying closer to death metal shredding wildly with a good sense of both melody and technicality the former doing a particularly good job on the slower epic-flavoured ("There Shall Be Light"; the officiant doom-laden "Of Ember And Flame") material. The musicianship is on a relatively high level, and the singer is the standard death metal semi-shouter in the tradition of Mikael Stanne (Dark Tranquillity).

Forsaken Soil EP, 2009
Chronicles of Devestation Full-length, 2011

Official Site

HARMPIT (SPAIN)

Raging Slayer-esque thrash is what's on offer here with mid-period Sepultura a very close call as well; "Plurilucifer" is a surprisingly romantic track with a nice balladic passage, and "A.D.N. Ov Bier" is a maddening proto-deathster with very cool melodic licks. The variety continues with the heavy mid-pacer "Panthebon Brutalis" which livens up near the end with a brisk faster-paced exit. At the end the guys have inserted the live cut "Insect Soldiers" which is a nice power/thrasher with a good memorable chorus. Some of the band members also play in the progressive death metal outfit Nexus 6.

Prepare for the Atoms Full-Length, 2015

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HARMS WAY (USA)

The demo sees folks who try to capture the last departing train of classic thrash by moshing hard with a heavy doze of technicality which is ably reflected in the songs' length, among some actual displays of technical prowess: a frequent change of pace, choppy rhythms, offbeat time-signatures, etc. "Death Is Near" is an admirable, almost progressive, opus which is better constructed than the following saga "I'll Bury Your Pain" which develops in a semi-balladic fashion for half the time before the band start bashing again with vigour even reaching the mazey-ness of Deathrow's "Deception Ignored" near the end. The closer "Guilty Of What" is vicious blitzkrieg thrash which will split your head into halves, an off-context, but utterly enjoyable basher. Reportedly on the EP the guys had expectedly moved towards the groovy modern side of the genre. Some of the musicians also teamed up for the recording of a power metal demo under the name Bones Garage.

Quick to Scold Demo, 1990
Kutcorners EP, 1994

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HARNESS (USA)

This US trio pull out crunchy steam-roller thrash/death which develops in a volcanic mid-pace with sharp cutting riffs and a few more interesting semi-technical decisions ("Aftermath", which is the only faster number). The sound quality is very clear, and the singer is not a very pleasant shouter with both hardcore and death metal shades.

Prepare for War EP, 2008

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HARPIA DEIIS (AUSTRIA)

This is virtually the guys (and a girl) from the progressive metal/rockers Onass, who changed their name, and consequently the musical approach which sees them coming with decent modern thrash with more emphasis on melody and slight shades of Swedish melo-death. The tempos vary, and some of the melodic hooks are really catchy plus the "beauty and the beast" vocal duel isn't bad at all; it's just that it all sounds so painfully familiar that even the epic elements near the end can't improve the repetitive nature of the material presented.

Collapse Full-length, 2011

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HARPOON (ARGENTINA)

Based on "Grito De Rabia", this is power/thrash metal not too far from other Argentinian bands like Horcas and Hermetica.

Grito de Rabia Full-length, 1998
Batalla Eterna Full-length, 2006

Official Site

HARRIERS (CANADA)

This is ripping hard-hitting thrash/crossover with cool shouty semi-clean vocals; cool edgy stuff as a whole providing numerous headbanging opportunities for the fans. More engaging musicianship appears on the diverse "Volte Face", and "Loose Cannon" is an excellent ripping thrasher lifting the 2nd half high above ground despite the presence of a few more friendly jump-around rhythms on "Without Restriction".

Volte|Face Full-Length, 2015

HARSH REALITY (USA)

"Harsh" post-thrash for the umpteenth time this millennium; at least the guys here adhere to more dynamic rhythms from time to time, but not often enough to make this effort anything more than a rehashed concoction of pounding groovy guitars and expected angry semi-shouty vocals.

Witness to it All Full-length, 2006

Official Site

HARSHNESS (FRANCE)

The opening orchestral instrumental "Ouverture" will prepare you for atmospheric gothic-influenced stuff, but the truth is that most of the delivery is in the modern black/thrash metal tradition, both fast and slower, with the atmosphere from the opener preserved, slightly ruined by the more ordinary hoarse semi-hardcore vocals which are by no means a match to the music.

Harshness EP, 2008
The Godless Whoreship Split, 2009

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HARTER ATTACK (USA)

With all the Nuclear Assault members invited as guest musicians, one wouldn't be surprised to hear hardcore-influenced thrash, and this is exactly the case. The sound offers very little outside that, but is energetic and catchy. The music resembles the D.B.C. debut and D.R.I.'s more thrashy period, rather than Nuclear Assault, and offers cool energetic thrashers ("Human Hell"; "Culture Decay", which even manages to sound technical for a moment; the aggressive thrashing madness "Message from God") as well as slower stomping numbers ("Last Temptation", "Slaves of Conformity"). "Thugs Against Drugs" is the other track where the guys try something more interesting with jumpy more stylish guitars. The guitar work is actually cool, more proficient than the one of the regular thrash/crossover band, and the leads are a nice addition to the intense delivery along with the shouty, but effective, hardcore vocals.

Human Hell Full-length, 1989

HARTWIG (SWEDEN)

Based on both demos, this is modern thrash metal sounding like many other bands nowadays without any particularly impressive gimmicks. The guys obviously "court" their renowned compatriots The Haunted, and may produce something more substantial on an official recording at some stage which should be expected, by the way, having in mind the involvement of Sven Olof Ekman, a gifted singer known from the death metallers Volturyon, the classic thrashers Lethal Attack, modern death metallers Deals Death, etc.

Mind corruption Demo, 2003
Banished from life Demo, 2004

Official Site

HARUM SCARUM (USA)

Based on the "Retaliation" demo, this band plays pretty cool classic speed/thrash metal with technical moments resembling Toxik's "World Circus" on the most inspired moments. The music alternates between all-out speedy passages and heavy pounding ones topped by good clean mid-ranged vocals. The only complaint comes from the sound quality which makes the guitars too noisy with a buzzying echo accompanying them taking away some of the melody albeit boosting the sharpness.

Creative Destruction Demo, 1991
Retaliation Demo, 1991

HATCHERY (GERMANY)

The first demo: a blend of modern and classic thrash with death metal vocals of the more melodic variety with gothic elements. 2nd demo: the music becomes edgier, more technical, faster and more classic-oriented; the death metal vocals here are supported by vicious snarls and although neither of the styles fits the music, the heavy thrashy riffs make this demo the more enjoyable listen.

On "Birth of a Bomb" the band are more faithful to the old school although the hysterical snarly vocals remain and kind of spoil the picture a bit. Still, the sharp direct riffs and the constant fast-paced delivery will keep you entertained including the merrier softer ones on the thrash/crossover piece "War".

"Forced to Fight" is a full-blooded attack of the old school, and even the high-strung vocals are no longer a detraction. The guys mosh with force in a fast tempo with the occasional slower break surprisingly softening on "Thrash Metal Union", which contrary to the expectationts imposed by the title, is a mild catchy hymn with a shade of heavy/power metal the latter remaining for the last two songs which tone down the intensity settling for more moderate mid-paced riffs.

Night Time Greys Demo, 2004
Distorted Society Demo, 2005
Birth of a Bomb Full-Length, 2007
Forced to Fight Full-length, 2010

Official Site

HATCHET (USA)

Based on the demo, these guys represent very well the area they come from: competently executed energetic Bay-Area thrash in the tradition of Vio-Lence and Forbidden, maybe with a shade of Slayer, and with a certain technical edge in the guitar department.

"Awaiting Evil" is a strong full-length debut fulfilling all the promises given with the demo: heads-down classic thrash mixing Bay-Area riffs with more aggressive Slayer-esque ones. "Frozen Hell" doesn't fit this descritpion being more melodic, speed metal-based, but is also cool. The rest is uncompromising thrash with some fine hits: the fast-paced headbangers "Morlocks Tomb", "Storm The Gates", and the excellent closer "Awaiting Evil".

"Dawn of the End" is another inspired lasher from beginning to end although the guys should be a more regular presence on the scene if they don't want to lose the momentum once again. The headbangers should line up for this vigorous roller-coaster which is again faithful to the Bay-Area scene "shooting" "bullets" like the prime shredder "Fall from Grace" with appropriate "moments of serenity" provided right after (the meditative peaceful acoustic delight "Revelations of Good and Evil"). The "carnage" seldom stops here "Signals of Infection" being another neck-sprainer the riff-fest inevitably leading to the fierce closer "Vanishing Point". There's hardly a very big demand in retro thrash resurrectors at the moment, but this act have no reasons to worry that they will be forgotten soon.
"Fear Beyond Lunacy" rests on the accumulated inertia from the preceding efforts and doesn't disappoint the staple razor-sharp riffage pretty much intact now accompanied by tasteful melodic lead guitar work as well. The mosh doesn't go on full-throttle, though, and there are a few more laid-back numbers in the middle, before the exiting string of cuts make the blood boil "The World Beyond" leading the pack with its more technical guitars, and the final "Frozen Hell" thrashing in a direct, stripped-down fashion putting a logical epitapph to this capable continuation of the hatchet saga.

Frailty of the Flesh Demo, 2006
Hatchet E.P. EP, 2007
Awaiting Evil Full-length, 2008
Dawn of the End Full-Length, 2013
Fear Beyond Lunacy Full-Length, 2015

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HATE (BOLIVIA)

Hate are obviously influenced by their Argentinian colleagues: Lethal and Horcas, with a pinch of Sepultura and the Bay Area scene. In other words, these guys play classic thrash metal, quite aggressive at times, and have managed to preserve their sound until present times unlike those who influenced them. The debut defies this classification, though, staying much closer to mid-90's Sepultura than all the other mentioned names, and as such is a nice companion piece to the Brazilians' "Chaos AD", mostly semi-thrashing in mid tempo with a few classic "echoes" ("Litany"; the cool heavy semi-ballad "Into the Pain"), adding the casual angry tone ala Pantera ("Don't Pull the Trigger") here and there.
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"Pandemonium" tries to thrash the old school way and succeeds at times when it manages to outgrow the groovy formulas which "plague" the album. This is an overall energetic effort which spices the prevalent mid-tempo with the odd abrasive speedster ("Cadenas de Ignorancia"): the guitar work is mechanical and sterile again recalling the Sepultura albums from the 90's, but not in such an overt way anymore. The singer is angrier and more attached this time, and his rendings are authoritative and quite fitting to the aggro-musical delivery.

"La Sangre Del Tiempo" is another groovy post-thrashy affair served with numerous melodic licks which give the album a nice characteristic aura. "Arkham" is a more intense shredder, a staple modern thrashism with hard solid riffs, but unfortunately the band keep those energetic moments to a minimum those springing up again on the cool faithful cover of Sacred Reich's "Independent". More pleasant suprises at the end: an excellent sharp cover of Fight's "Nailed to the Gun" as a finishing touch; but, please, don't expect any miracles in the vocal department: the singer not even very remotely resembles the hellish high-pitched falcetto of Rob Halford growling in his usual quarrelsome style.
"Prevalecer" starts imposingly with the excellent instrumental lead-driven intro "Axis Mundi, but later on the modern thrash cavalcade resumes without any particular highlitghts ""Ex Machina" introducing very good melodic hooks which remain the highlight on this otherwise pedestrian recording which sees the band having found their niche not willing to venture outside it although the stylish semi-technical shreds on the energetic closing mosher "Control" hint at more interesting things to come.

Heart Beat Machine Full-length, 1998
Anagramas Full-length, 2001
Republica de Odio Full-length, 2003
Angel Oscuro EP, 2004
Odio Vivo Full-length, 2006
Pandemonium Full-Length, 2007
La Sangre Del Tiempo Full-Length, 2013
Prevalecer Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

HATE BEAST (USA)

Based on the full-length, this act provide orthodox modern thrash/death which mixes fast explosive passages with slower, groovy ones. The co-existence of these two styles clings more towards the less eventful, heavier side with surprising outbursts of creativity like the technical jumper "Hospital Of Seven Teeth", a shining example of a more engaging song-writing. "Digging Graves In Frozen Ground" is a cool more dynamic composition, and "Stomp The Nest" is a decent melodic "stomper". The singer is a deep guttural throat with a slight shouty habit, again a fairly common ingredient for this kind of music.

Blade Swings Down EP, 2010
Civilization and Its Discontents EP, 2013
Sky Burial Full-length, 2016

Official Site

HATE BEYOND (JAPAN)

The debut: excellent old school thrash which has more in common with the German wave although some elements from the other side of the Atlantic could also be found. The guys never adhere to all-out aggression, but keep the speed at a respectable rate with great crushing galloping rhythms involved, too, and interesting semi-technical guitar work. The style is surprisingly close to the one of Ritual Carnage (their last two albums) although the two bands don't share musicians, but for the stylish guitar work on the album the responsibility goes to the great Hiroshi Yamashita from Narcotic Greed. If Ritual Carnage are no more, with Damian Montgomery reportedly going back to the States, these guys are very close to becoming the new leaders of Japanese thrash metal. The only pullback might be the brutal death metal vocals which don't quite suit the music.

"Cage of the Sorrow": ten years is a whole decade of absence, if you ask me, but in this particular case the band haven't lost any of their skills, and thrash into oblivion in the good old school manner. The reliance on speed is admirable, and at some point one may wish the guys could reduce the intensity a bit which doesn't really happen, but instead some technical flourishes ("Evokes") pop up to spice the proceedings which threaten to reach the speed of light on "Demigod", another more technically-inclined piece with a few memorable melodic tunes as well. The assault on the senses is really big bringing death metal for help at the end on the closing "Eternal Damnation" which closes the album with style. The band should stay alive longer now rather than disappear without a trace for another decade...
"Verge of Death" is a sure winner the band now intent on staying afloat for longer. The delivery is both fierce and stylish as evident from rolling sophisticated moshers like "Forced Into Suicide" and "Demigod". "Gray World" "flirts" with death metal for a change, but watch out for "RBF(Raging Fire Burning)", a nice more engaging progressiver with amazing leads. "Endless Mortality" offers something more intelligent, too, and later on the two sides alternate as "Eternal Damnation" wraps it on by combining them into one seamless melee of intense vitriolic thrash.

Perpetual Pain Full-length, 2003
Cage of the Sorrow Full-Length, 2013
Bonded in Hell Full-length, 2015
Verge of Death Full-length, 2016

Official Site

HATE FORCE ONE (GERMANY)

This new German team specialize in modern/classic thrash/death with gruff death metal vocals which cross several tones to a diverse, but not necessarily positive effect. The tempos vary from song to song the short explosive "Payback" leading the pack in the speedy department. Interesting semi-technical riffage sneaks on "Face The Mirror" which also blasts out in a less controlled fashion in the second half to become the highlight here. The sound quality is crystal clear the guitars in particular sounding quite crisp except on the hyper-blasting passages near the end ("Sick Philosophy") which give a really brutal edge to this otherwise fairly decent recording.

Wave of Destruction Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

HATE FX (USA)

Based on the EP, these guys pull out intriguing quasi-technical post-thrash with abstract atmospheric "decorations", but still it remains pretty heavy stuff with crushing riffage in a slow to mid-tempo and a good vocal alternation between very angry semi-shouty and semi-melodic alternative singing.

Via Obscura EP, 2007
The Holy Frail Full-length, 2009

Official Site

HATE GOD BREED (JAPAN)

The "Deadfall" demo is just one track of standard melodic modern thrash metal, mostly in mid-pace, following the Swedish models pretty closely; professional, but derivative, stuff with very brutal low vocals.

HateGodBreed/Demo Demo, 2005
Deadfall Demo, 2006

Official Site

HATE MACHINE (MEXICO)

The full-length: this is cool retro thrash in a fast aggressive pace bordering on death metal eventually. The opener "Beer Beer Beer" promises a more laid-back, crossover-tinged, entertainment also graced by very capable leads, but soon the attack starts with the wild Necrodeath-esque shredder "Brain Explotion", and never lets go in the 1st half, except on the good short balladic instrumental "Faces Of Desolation". "HeadBang" is surprisingly more moderate with touches of hardcore which remain for the next "Sounds Of Annihilation". Then comes the more mid-paced "The Art Of Destruction" which tries something technical aptly helped by the excellent melodic leads. The final "World Of Wrath" will rip you apart with fast aggressive proto-death riffs, a number worthy of Massacre and Hellwitch. The singer shouts high for most of the time in a not very intelligible manner, but kind of suits the relentless musical approach.

"Live Metal Attack": the guys indulge in live performance which suffers from the bad sound quality which seriously mars the band's efforts, especially the singer's since he often gets buried in the mix trying to outshout the guitars. Otherwise the concert is logically based on the preceding full-length debut with a few cuts from their demo stage ("Midnight Pill", "Death Squad"). The guys finish with a cover of Slayer's "Black Magic" done in a more aggressive, faster manner the leads way more proficient for the sake of the barely heard vocals.

Methods of Extinction Full-length, 2008
Live Metal Attack Live, 2012

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HATE OVER GROWN (PORTUGAL)

Modern groovy, slightly industrialized post-thrash mixed with hardcore; will appeal to fans of Pantera, Misery Loves Co., Grope, even Biohazard. There are quite a few offbeat, non-standard moments (samples, funky, even doomy sections, rap-styled vocals, etc.), but at that stage the industrial metal scene has already shown all its hidden "weapons" so expect no surprises.

Seed Full-length, 1995

HATE SQUAD (GERMANY)

This band's debut would have been a good rival to Machine Head's "Burn My Eyes" back in 1994; typical intense modern thrash, quite well done. "I.Q." carries on in the same vein, offering more varied tempos, often quite energetic, abandoning the groovy patterns, but only partially; the head-banging potential is much better felt than, for example, on the very heavy and depressing "The More Things Change,..." (Machine Head again).

"Degueello Wartunes" is a step down from the aggressive abrasive sound of the band's early works. The music is more strongly industrialized, and less intense; the faster tracks ("Rise Up", "Killing Spree") are "served" with a softer crossover-vibe. There is an annoying participation of clean melodic vocals, and the overall style is quite similar to the later works of the Swedish industrial act Misery Loves Co. "Hannover H8core", despite its promising title, is nothing more than an industrial heavy metal hymn, and is the weakest song here.

"Katharsis" is a sure improvement over its softer predecessor thrashing hard from the get-go with the energetic title-track the heavy industrialized guitar sound still preserved, but the approach is way faster although the middle is expectedly kept for a string of less intense groovy tracks after which comes the stylish 1-min lead-driven instrumenal "Misanthropic Soul" and the "vicious" headbanger "Vicious Assault". "Revolution" is another number worth mentioning, thrashing in a clever semi-progressive manner with the following, another 1-min and also lead-driven, instrumental "Face The Demon", a very nice companion piece offering great Oriental melodies among other niceties within a fairly short time span. "Live And Learn" is as abrasive and hard-hitting as a closer to such an effort should be seeing the band staying true to their staple approach, consequently not winning many new fans, but by no means losing any of the old ones.

Theater Of Hate Full-length, 1994
I.Q. Zero Full-length, 1995
Sub Zero - The Remixes EP, 1996
Pzyco! EP, 1997
Pzyco! Full-length, 1997
H8 For The Masses Full-length, 2004
Degueello Wartunes Full-Length, 2008
Katharsis Full-length, 2011

Official Site

HATE UNBOUND (USA)

Competently played modern thrash with a nice sense of technicality; "Baptized in Lies" opens the saga in an impressive, both intense and intricate, manner followed by the galloping delight "Cut" which also hits the stride with a portion of great melodic leads. The galloping aesthetics are partially covered on "The Fallen", but the majority occupies the mid-paced confines at times high on atmosphere ("Soiled"), at others coming with nice melodies and stylish technical riffage ("Plague"). "I, Martyr" is another more interesting shredder in up-tempo giving a boost to the remaining cuts which keep the energy high till the end. The singer is rough semi-shouty deathster who doesn't interfere too much.

Plague Full-Length, 2017

HATE YOUR FATE (BRAZIL)

These are the same guys who play in the thrash metal act Alcoholic Mosh. The music here is lighter thrash/crossover of the more relaxed type, not far from Excel or Uncle Slam (and, of course, the mid-period Suicidals). Here the possession is not with skating (remember the Suicidals" "Possessed to Skate"), but with stage diving: "Stade Dive Possession". "Face Your Rage" is a surprising turn to furious thrash lasting for 1.5-min. The singer is obviously influenced by the inimitable Mike Muir, maybe lower-pitched.

Laughing In Despair EP, 2007
Hate Your Fate / Crucifier Split, 2009

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HATECLASH (CHILE)

A good demo of intense classic thrash in a fast dynamic tempo recalling early Slayer and Exumer's "Rising from the Sea". The riffs are sharp and tight accompanied by cool short screaming leads and and hoarse death-ish vocals.

The EP is another cool slab of old school thrash this time coming with a much better sound quality which gives the guitars a forceful ripping edge. The guys entertain themselves lashing out with style with incessant speedy riffage and the casual more stylish hook. The bass support comes forward at times ("Enough to Deal") accompanying the ripping guitars more or less obtrusively. The closing "Thrash Rage" sums it up quite well, both music and title-wise: this is indeed "thrash rage" done with precision and care for everything old school, with a nostalgic reference to Destruction's legendary "Mad Butcher".

Survive my Brutal Thrashing Demo, 2006
Enraged Facing The Outside EP, 2010

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HATEDRIVE (GERMANY)

Another modern thrash/death hybrid in the tradition of The Haunted, Dew-Scented and the likes.

Population: 0 Demo, 2004

Official Site

HATEFORCE (GERMANY)

Angry 90's post-thrash adding some death metal-ish drama ("The Enemy In Me") from time to time including in sparse rending vocal parts to oppose to the traditional for the style quarrlesome shouts. The few more energetic moments ("Fracture") are drowned in the sea of rehashed groovy riffs.

The Enemy In Me Full-Length, 2016

HATEFORM (FINLAND)

The debut: modern thrash/death metal with a gothic edge, quite good, not very fast with cool guitar melodies and solos which distinguish them from their Swedish colleagues. There's a certain technical edge here which brings the sound close to Opeth sometimes, but the songs are shorter and have no progressive decorations, at least not intentionally ("Bled", with its nice acoustic/lead break in the middle). The riffs are heavy, but are not given much space, compared to the melodic guitar lines. You can still bang your head here: "Sky Cries Blood" and "Chains" are good more up-tempo thrashers, again ornated by nice melodic lines.

"Origins Of Plague" is more classic-sounding, and its headanging potential is better expressed as the melody is mostly left for the great leads. It starts in a sweeping manner with the furious opener "Hate Equals Salvation" which also blast-beats for a while; and the worthy follower "Foundry", another major headbanger. Then things slow down on the pounding "Abhorrent Reincarnation", and from this moment on we have an alternation of slow and fast compositions, until the last two tracks which are kind of plodding semi-progressive affairs rich in melody, also more modern-sounding, but lacking completely in the speed department; still, thumbs up for the haunting violin-driven outro ala My Dying Bride. Despite its more classic nature, this effort can't really pass for the better achievement showing little technical prowess although the brilliant lead guitar work does a lot to compensate for that.

"Sanctuary in Abyss" logically continues the band's aspirations towards more ambitious (progressive, that is) fields so expect less headbanging passages here those replaced by clever, more elaborate ones. Still, one can't remain unmoved by the diverse aggression of "Sculpture Of Flesh" which is a prime technical shredder. "All Becomes Nothing" after it tries to match it, but in a more subdued creepy fashion and kind of loses the plot the latter marvellously found on the raging "Perpetual God". The 2nd half serves the imposing 9-min doomy opus "Illusion For The Absolved" and the complex melodic closer "Redemption For The Awake", both an admirable way to finish this uneven, but occasionally fairly engaging, album.

Dominance Full-length, 2008
Origins Of Plague Full-length, 2010
Sanctuary in Abyss Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

HATEFRAME (FINLAND)

At the time when Slayer were straying from their 80's roots, some bands were rediscovering them with full force. Hateframe are one such a band and they do a good job bringing us back to those days. The band are more influenced by late-80's Slayer mixing fast thrashers with heavier moody pieces; vintage Slayer, this is what everyone will get here.

Sign Of Demise Full-length, 2005

HATEFUL AGGRESSION (CANADA)

Direct fast-paced thrash with no gimmicks whatsoever; the tracks are short and explosive, not too far from the ones on the Swedes F.K.U.'s albums, or Cranium. There's certain Slayer-esque aggression involved as well: the crushing "Gripped", and even some death metal-laced numbers are included: the blasting "Pile O Flesh". The middle is occupied by a couple of longer, but equally as relentless explorations of the genre: the non-stop headbanging fest "Torment", the speed metal delight "Blood Reich", the Destruction worship "Inevitable Obliteration" which influences the rest of the songs, and until the end we have all-out Germanic thrash reaching the top with the exemplary "Your Time Has Come".

Hateful Aggression Full-Length, 2007

HATEFUL AGONY (GERMANY)

The first three albums are fine examples of classic 80's speed/thrash metal obviously influenced by the Holy Three of German thrash- Destruction, Kreator and Sodom (a pinch of Slayer on the more intense sections as well). This is fast and well executed music which at times picks up more aggression acquiring death metal qualities, similar to Sodom's "Tapping the Vein". If I have to recommend the best release of all three, I would probably go for "Black Hole" which is a fine representative of the band's style, and probably contains the best guitar work, as well as a cool cover of Whiplash's "Spit on Your Grave". "Obey" contains the most aggressive material with nods to death metal and some very fast riffage; "Soldier of Fortune" from this album is certainly not a Deep Purple cover.

"Existence is Punishment", the band's debut, begins in an openly aggressive, Slayer-esque manner with "Psycho Killer", but later it reduces the speed a bit adding more melodic guitar hooks which work well and move the sound in an early Kreator and the Exumer debut direction: the excellent speedy killers "Off With Their Heads" and "Violent Domination". The end is preserved for a good and a very fast cover version of Dark Angel's "Merciless Death".

"In the Name of God" is along the lines the band's previous works and as such is a good nod to the classic thrash heritage, maybe with a more melodic, subtle edge: "Prophets of the Hollow", the great speed/thrasher "Richard Took Their Breath Away", although on the other hand some tracks blast through the speakers in the best tradition of Slayer and Infernal Majesty: "In The Name Of God", the proto-death metal bomb "Fear Of The Unknown". The speed never stops expanding to pure speed metal delights, like the Angel Dust-like "Ashes Will Rain". "For The Love Of The Profit" includes a marvellous intense mid-paced passage ala Infernal Majesty again among the hammering riffage. This is an impressive dedication to the old school sound which will make you headbang till you drop.

Existence Is Punishment Full-length, 2000
Black Hole Full-length, 2003
Obey Full-length, 2006
In the Name of God Full-length, 2008

Official Site

HATEFULMURDER

The demo: classic thrash metal spiced with the odd deathy blast-beat and brutal death metal vocals; the guys rely on speed most of the time without forgetting about the other implements: very good bass support, nice proficient melodic leads with an Oriental shade, a couple of slower pounding breaks, etc.

The EP sounds more modern with death metal more fully incorporated although the approach is not always fast, almost every track having its slower parts, but the raging blast-beats haven't been forgotten, either.
The full-length debut isn't strictly on the modern side the guys thrashing with vigour although the delivery isn't constantly in the speedy sector, and some tasteful leads ("Shackles of Ignorance") have sneaked in to make the rigorous music more attractive. Still, this isn't radically different from the repertoire of acts like Corporation 187 and Terror 2000 the closing "Scars to God" trying to run away from the formula with a couple of more serious, progressively-tinged moments.
"Red Eyes" is a modern thrash affair the guys moshing with energy showing their more lyrical, more melodic side ("The Meaning of Evil") which opposes to immediate headbangers like "My Battle" although the "laurels" go to the combination between the two approaches that appears on the closing progressiver "Creature of Sorrow".

When The Slaughtering Begins Demo, 2010
The Wartrail EP, 2011
No Peace Full-Length, 2014
Red Eyes Full-Length, 2017

Official Site

HATEND (BRAZIL)

This is abrasive modern thrashcore which is served in different tempos, but with one-dimensional riffage and repetitive structures which hesitate between Motorhead and early Venom the finest moment here being the nice tribute to Celtic Frost "Dance in the Fire", the atmospheric dark doomster "The Sun Light's Back Darkned" a close second. The closing "In The Name of Power" is an industrial oddity which crushes in a mechanical Godflesh-esque fashion creating an apocalyptic feeling at the end which could be elaborated on since there's definitely a potential "lurking" here although it's not very certain in which direction the band would head on.

Unloaging The Hate Full-Length, 2008

HATERIAL (FINLAND)

These "twisted verses" are nothing more than your average modern thrash mixed with a huge doze of metalcore the album branching into wilder territories at times (the chaotic violent bash on "Exterminating Reality") although those moments aren't that many the jumpy proto-groovy pace the dominant one, not exciting the listener much who may not be interested to hear the whole album till the end. Some of the band members are also active with the stoner/doom outfit Downfade.

Twisted Verses Full-length, 2012

Official Site

HATESCRIPT (SWEDEN)

The traditional Gothenburg sound is brought here again without any attempts at shifting from the trite formula. So this is melo-thrash/death which covers all the expected areas by varying the pace occasionally unleashing the more extreme thrash excursion ("Cause of Death"). The vocalist shouts forcefully resembling Matti Kf1'e4rki (Dismember).

Eyes of a Broken Mind Full-Length, 2013

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HATESEED (POLAND)

This is pretty acceptable power/speed/thrash with a wide appeal recalling New Eden and early Blind Guardian which sweeps the road before it with the epic speedster "One Thousand Deaths". Later things get a bit more epic and progressive, but also more aggressive, with the dramatic shredders "The Horizon" and "The Curse" which abandon the speedy approach, but increase the hard-hitting riffage and the soaring leads. The galloping "Ammat (Devourer Of Souls)" will warm the hearts before the closing "My Hate" serves the final portion of edgy speedy guitars to a fiery invigorating effect. The vocalist sings with passion and range outdoing himself in the higher notes. With Hellfire on an indefinite hold, this act seems like the new champs on the progressive speed/power/thrash metal arena in Poland with this promising debut.

Hate Comes Crawling Full-length, 2012

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HATESPHERE (DENMARK)

One of the better modern death/thrash metal bands nowadays; the style isn't too far from The Haunted or Dew-Scented, but the vocals are more in the hardcore camp. The guys rely on speed and energy for most of the time seldom slowing down for the occasional mid-tempo break. There's no big variety music-wise from one album to another, but the brisk, generally short thrashers are always fun to headbang to.

"The Great Bludgeoning": the Danish death/thrash machine is here again, and the fans won't be disappointed since the band have no intentions of changing the formula which have served them so well all this time. So expect the death/thrashy roller-coaster to make you headbang for about 40-min with a few stops along the way: the more complex "Venom", which even gets lyrical at the end with a portion of nice orchestral implements; the excellent 1.5-min balladic interlude "The Wail Of My Threnode", featuring some virtuoso leads. Heavy, steam-rolling riffs will one encounter on "Ressurect With A Vengeance" from beginning to end the latter serving mostly as a dissipation so far, not a full-blooded presence, also taking half the space on "Need To Kill". The guitars have an overall more melodic edge which at this stage can still be viewed as a cool shift.

"Murderlust" shows the band in a good form to sprain necks on a worldwide basis done in the good familiar manner, maybe with a not very overt more radio-friendly tone this time and with the inclusion of several more elaborate compositions ("Fear Me"). "In Process" is surprisingly balladic, but the fans should rest assured that there'll be enough fast-paced cuts to make his/her day. Overall the guys aim at a more melodic delivery also reflected in the more proficient lead guitar work and the catchier hooks which grace almost every song.
"New Hell": the Danish veterans are here again and bring us a "new hellish" modern thrash offering which sees them thrashing with more passion in the beginning as evident from the stylish headbanging opener "The Executioner". Later on things take a more progressive direction with the more varied "Head on a Spike" which also provides a cool melodic lead section. More melody with "The Longest Haul" which is a more laid-back mid-pacer. "Your Sad Existence" lifts up the mood with the next portion of fast blitzkrieg thrash, but the short instrumental "On the Shores of Hell" stifles the aggression. The latter is brought back again by the title-track, but the guys choose the mellow path to follow, like it happened at some stage on the previous album, and the last few cuts are more on the melodic side the leads scoring high again on the final "The Grey Mass". Still, this is a cool diverse effort from one of the stalwarts on the modern thrash metal scene who are obviously fonder of the more restrained side of the genre at present.

Hatesphere Full-length, 2001
Bloodred Hatred Full-length, 2002
Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed and Something Black EP, 2003
Ballet of the Brute Full-length, 2004
The Killing EP EP, 2005
The Sickness Within Full-length, 2005
Serpent Smiles and Killer Eyes Full-length, 2007
To the Nines Full-length, 2009
The Great Bludgeoning Full-length, 2011
Murderlust Full-Length, 2013
New Hell Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

HATESTREAM (FINLAND)

Modern thrash/death metal with an obvious influence from the Gothenburg school; the style is mild, more melodic than the one performed by The Haunted-clones swarming the scene with slower gothic passages and occasional nods to 80's thrash metal.

Total Delusion Demo, 2004
Hate Squared Demo, 2006

Official Site

HATETREND (FINLAND)

Based on "Violated", this band serves dynamic playful post-thrash which gets more aggressive on occasion ("BreakNeck", the intense melo-deathster "Introducing Me"), but the dominant mood is uplifting despite the presence of brutal throaty death metal vocals.

Abandoned EP, 2006
Borrowed Time EP, 2007
Violated Full-length, 2011

Official Site

HATEWANX (NEW ZEALAND)

This is thrash/crossover with a strong hardcore edge. The guys bash with no mercy with not much musicianship present, but this wouldn't be an obstacle for the listener to mosh around having a good time, especially on genuine compulsive headbangers like "Birdstorm" and "Even Mushroom Clouds Have Silver" which barely go over the 2-min mark, but this is what one should expect from pieces like this, done just for the sake of pogoing into oblivion.

When Animals Attack Full-length, 2010

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HATEWORK (ITALY)

Another nod to the German school; this is a fine band who play good fast-paced thrash metal along the lines of Tankard, but this is not a relentless attack on the senses; the guys add moments from classic heavy/power metal, too ("Heavens on Fire", which is not a Kiss cover; "Devil Eye" from "Thrash'n Roll"; "Total War" from "Madbent for Disaster"). Perhaps the album title describes it best: thrash'n roll...

Thrasher's Attack EP, 2000
Total War EP, 2001
Madbent for Disaster Full-length, 2002
Thrash 'n Roll Full-length, 2004

Official Site

HATEWORLD (ITALY)

This new outfit indulge in thrash/death of the classic kind topped by gruff forced shouty death metal vocals. The guys play fast adding casual crossover and speed metal touches here and there. The sound quality is a bit messy making the guitars and the bass opposing each other rather than creating a coherent whole. The several blasting sections aren't very wisely inserted, and generally there's quite a bit of room for improvement on this inspired, but not very proficiently executed effort.

Another Holocaust EP, 2010

My Space

HATING EVIL (BRAZIL)

Fast blitzkrieg Slayer-esque thrash the guys following the laws established by "Reign in Blood" very closely seldom deviating from the formula "Desperate Humanity" serving the odd more laid-back digression in the form of more proficient, melodic leads. Despite its highly derivative character, this recording would be very entertaining to the hungry headbanging hordes who may even shed a tear or two recalling their idols glory days the nostalgia even more strongly instilled due to the very good shouty Tom Araya-sque vocals.

Rotten Inside EP, 2014

Official Site

HATRED (COLOMBIA)

Based on the "Aradia" demo, these Colombians play roller-coaster speed/thrash of the old school which comes with a slightly buzzy sound the latter favouring the bass to the guitars which have a somewhat screamy edge. Still, the guys put their effort into it and come up with crisp energetic riffs which sit comfortably betwen the Argentinian school (Hermetica, Horcas) and the early German movement (early Helloween, Atlain, Vectom) throwing the odd more melodic Motorhead-ish hook ("Putas Y Metal") from time to time. The singer isn't the major asset although his not very emotional thin clean voice is not exactly a detriment and surprisingly finds the way to impersonate Lemmy quite well on the closing cover of Motorhead's... ha, of course you're right again, folks!, "Ace of Spades" ("that's the way I like it baby... who wants to live forever?").

La Ira De Lucifer Demo, 2007
Aradia Demo, 2008
Rehears[met]al Of Fucking Hell Demo, 2010

My Space

HATRED (GERMANY)

Cool thrash with technical licks and good clean 90's power metal vocals in the more laid-back passages (the ballad "Lie To Me" from the debut) as opposed to the less impressive, rough mid-ranged ones. The debut starts in a slightly heavy-handed and modern way ("Two-Faced"), but soon "Betrayal" corrects the impression speeding up in the old school fashion. "Soulless" increases the intensity with death metal blast-beats, but later on the modern sound comes forward mixing with the classic one, occasionally sounding quite compelling: "Fractured By": an awesome speedy technical thrasher in the early Coroner mould with great melodic guitar work and quite good clean vocals, the highlight on the album. "Metal Massacre", the closer, is the lightest track here (if we exclude the ballad, of course), but is a decent power/speed metal hymn.

"Madhouse Symphonies" is another commendable release the band thrashing their souls out when they feel like it ("Caught In The Pit", the semi-technical mosher "Resurrection") although this time they prefer to power/thrash in mid to up-tempo, like on the cool progressive "Explosions", or on the heavy semi-balladic "Gates Of Hell". "Madhouse Symphonies" is another exemplary heads-down thrashing madness, but until the end there's only one more track of the same intensity: "Surrender", as the actual end is preserved for the crossover happiness "(We Are The) Mosh Crew".

"Destruction Manual" is a mixed bag bringing back some of the modern leanings of the debut resulting in a loss of speed although "Black Sun Prophecy" and "Moshpit Ritual" try hard to make up for that with vigorous energetic riffs. "Submissions Of The Uncontrolled" is another headbanging delight thrashing hard for more than 6-min, but near the end the sound takes crossover proportions by preserving the speed, finishing with another purer exercise in thrash: the diverse more interesting "Franconian Speed" (there is by all means "speed" involved here, but why "Franconian"?).
"War of Words" is Rob Halford's Fight's album played track-by-track... kidding, of course; this is a brutal recording the band now looking at the death metal "backyard" for inspiration and do a decent job once again also in the lead department (check out "Chaos"). There are more ambitious attempts at song-writing like on "World Turns Black" and especially the 13.5-min closer "Hope endash Train of Thought", both numbers reducing the speed considerably even exiting the thrash metal confines on the several lyrical escapades. Diversity is the name of the game here, but even on an 1-hour long "excursion" like the one here it doesn't always translate into rousing success.

Fractured Demo, 2002
Soulless Full-length, 2004
Madhouse Symphonies Full-length, 2008
Destruction Manual Full-length, 2010
War of Words Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

HATRED (ITALY)

The EP: pretty good intense classic thrash, fast and energetic, crossing Slayer with the German speed/thrash metal scene; the Canadians Sacrifice are another close soundalike ("Soldiers of Misfortune", in particular). All tracks are solid thrashers with consistently dark heavy riffage and raspy death metal vocals. The "idyll" is broken on "Fist Of Death" which jumps the death metal wagon adding a brutal blast-beating atmosphere to the demo. The closing track will ring a bell: a fairly cool cover of Possessed's "Death Metal".

The full-length is another solid display of the guys' skills to bang the old school thrashers' heads with direct lashing riffs which again recall Possessed, but go more towards their more technical period (think "Beyond the Gates", above all). There are no death metal insertions, at least not that obvious, and the approach is generally up-tempo with crisp guitars which co-exist quite well with the forceful shouty deathy vocals which become fairly rending on some of the higher notes.

Fist of Death Demo, 2007
Wind of Annihilation EP, 2009
Burning Wrath Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

HATRED (SWEDEN)

Good power/thrash metal which borrows from both the European and the American school: Attacker, Omen, Helstar, Warrant, Iron Angel, etc. The "Winds of Doom" demo: at their best the guys deliver awesome speed/thrash, not too far from Liege Lord and Attacker ("Daydream", "Antichrist") spiced with slower breaks, and more melodic, not as sharp riffs. The other side is preserved for more laid-back, but worthy power/speed metal tracks ("Troops of Metal", "Annihilation").

"Welcome to Reality" comes splashing on the underground scene with fabulous sharp thrash metal with a certain technical edge again courting the American acts more, but this time the target is the more technical ones: Ulysses Siren, Have Mercy. "Tempted by Violence" is awesome intense technical thrash followed by the heavy power/thrasher "Quest for Liberty" which recalls the debut demo. "State Eclipse" returns to the more aggressive and technical formula also providing stomping meaty riffs. "The Reinforcement" is very good crushing mid-paced power/thrash metal with a genuine doomy ending in the best tradition of their compatriots Candlemass.

Winds of Doom Demo, 1987
Welcome to Reality Demo, 1988
Hatred Demo, 1989
The Forthcoming Fall Demo, 1990

HATRED (USA)

It's amazing how many bands were practicing the brutal proto-death metal sound in the mid-80's. It's a real pity that only Possessed are mentioned when it comes to the death metal pioneers. On the "Drowning In The Afterbirth" demo, these guys unleash hell 3-4 times as vicious as the one on "Seven Churches", or "Pleasure to Kill". I would probably go as far as calling this demo the first full-fledged death metal recording if it wasn't for the more thrashy nature of the guitars. In other words, expect merciless brutal, fast assault on all senses mostly coming in the form of 2-2.5min songs from these initiators of the death metal genre.

Demo Demo, 1985
Drowning In The Afterbirth Demo, 1986

HATRED DUSK (FRANCE)

Based on the "Dreadful Visions of the Unknown" demo, these folks unleash dark atmospheric thrash with guttural death metal vocals. "World of Shit" is a more dynamic steam-roller, and "After the Death... After the Life" is a jumpy doomster overshadowed by the energetic thrasher "Industrial Death", and the joking crossover hymn "R.A.T.P." at the end.

Hatred Dusk Demo, 1991
Dreadful Visions of the Unknown Demo, 1992
Brutal Day Demo, 1993

Official Site

HATRED EMBRACED (USA)

Based on the 2009 demo, this band provides 2 songs of fast brutal retro thrash/death with a very thin guitar sound and very brutal low-tuned vocals.

Free Demo Demo, 2008
Demo Demo, 2009

Official Site

HATRED SUPERSTAR (FRANCE)

This compilation of "superstars" and "bastards" has concocted an intense classic speed/thrash affair which will cause spontaneous headbanging with shots like "Supersonic HIV + Process" and the proto-death rager "Ghost Frequency". "Black Flag" is another wild cut before atmospheric melancholic gothic/black metal overtakes on "No Escape". The band show no remorse later, though, and prime thrash is again the order of the day served a bit more serious and diverse on the unseriously-titled "Pink Inside"; and with a brutal pinch of death metal on the closing "Walk With Me" (make sure not to miss the imposing doomy interlude on this one). Some of the band members indulge in more aggressive music, death metal that is, with Brutal Rebirth.

Bastards International Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

HATRIOT (USA)

Mr. Steve "Zetro" Souza (Exodus, Tenet, Dublin Death Patrol) is back in business also taking part in the preparation of the new Dublin Death Patrol album, with this 4-demo which shows that he hasn't lost the knack of providing the good old retro thrash which, in the case of the opening "Fear Within", comes with a cool technical shade served on a fast energetic base. Then comes the mid-paced crusher "Weapons Of Class Destruction" sustained in the best tradition of "Fabulous Disaster", but run for cover on the blitzkrieg piece "Globacidal" which is a head-splitter with its raging speedy riffs. Further damage is done with another heads-down mosher: "Mechanics of Annihilation", a vintage Bay-Area thrasher, which wraps things up nicely making the eventual full-length one of the hottest future propositions on the scene. Needless to say, Souza is in fine form all over, his venomous, but at the same time attached and pretty expressive, delivery a major highlight.
The "hatriots" are here with the full-length and most of the tracks from the demo can be heard accompanied by other blitzkriegers, like the opening "Suicide Run" which is fast'n tight before the next "Weapons of Class Destruction" "enchants" the listener with its more intriguing technical approach. "Murder American Style" is a more relaxed power/speedster, but "Blood Stained Wings" comes thrashing down the band later alternating things to cover a wider area although the Bay-Area spirit leads the way taking another more complex direction near the end on "Shadows Of The Buried" before the closing "Heroes Of Origin" hammers a few more nails in your coffin with the final portion of hard-hitting headbanging rhythms. This is not an Exodus-worship all over, mind you, and sees Souza branching out in a sure-handed fashion into a new venture with a lot of promise for more good things to come. By the way, the Souza brothers (without Steve) entertain themselves playing a concoction of black, death and thrash metal under the name Oskorei.

"Dawn of the New Centurion": the brothers are back with another smashing release which raises the flag of the good old thrash high, and no one will be spared on vitriolic headbangers like "Your Worst Enemy" and the ripping galloping opener "My Cold Dead Hands". Expect melodic excursions on the lengthy progressive opus "The Fear Within" where the leads reach heights not often encountered nowadays, among other niceties. The approach later smells the modern school a bit here and there on this last cut, but crackers like "Honor in the Rise and Fall" erase those impressions with their rapidfire delivery. Shades of more recent Exodus sneak in on the other longer number: "Silence in the House of the Lord" with its more elaborate arrangements, but merciless thrash awaits you on the last string of pieces the highlight being the 7-min of non-stop virtuoso rifforamas on the title-track; the closing "Consolation for the Insane" even smelling proto-death at some point. The Souza gang doesn't disappoint here; on the contrary, they're going stronger with each subsequent release and the old "dogs" have all reasons to fear this new/old act who are aiming at the throne with all guns blazing...

Demo Demo, 2011
Heroes of Origin Full-Length, 2013
Dawn of the New Centurion Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

HATRIX (USA)

A very good, but short-lived crossover/thrash metal band; their music is effective, more aggressive than the one of the average band from this sub-genre, and the riffs are quite sharp and heavy, recalling 80's Anthrax quite a bit, as well as the early works of the Brits Acid Reign. Both albums are strong the debut containing the more varied and faster material where some tracks will blow you away with their uncompromising delivery and at the same time very cool melodic leads: "Bad Religion", "Sick of Myself", "Dick's Night Out".

"Collisioncoursewithnoplace", which contains some tracks from the debut (which are almost unchanged), sounds even closer to classic Anthrax, but the songs flow in the same pattern: heavy "chugga-chugga" riffs, mostly mid-paced, with a more aggressive attitude. Some songs betray the classic sound with their groovy rhythm and synthesized vocals: "Deprivation". Still the leads are on a very high level, and the semi-ballad "No One" is quite good the singer there using his cleaner, better tember. The band disappeared after this one apparently not willing to completely succumb to the modern trends.

Hatrix Full-length, 1993
Collisioncoursewithnoplace Full-length, 1994

My Space

HATROSS (CROATIA)

Based on the "A Look at Tomorrow" Best of/Compilation, this band play thrash/crossover, fast and energetic, but descends sometimes to some punk-ish numbers ("A Look at Tomorrow") in the Dead Kennedys vein. All of a sudden this "idyll" is broken by the furious death metal piece "Pain" followed by the industrialized doom-laden song "Self Destruction" which is a clear nod to Killing Joke. As any best of compilation, this album contains tracks from all stages of the band's career so it shouldn't be a surprise the diverse nature of this recording.

A Look at Tomorrow Demo, 1992
A Look at Tomorrow Best of/Compilation, 1993
Untitled Demo Demo, 1996

My Space

HATROSS (PANAMA)

This trio provide fast bashing thrash/death which is accompanied by suitable brutal low-tuned death metal vocals. The sound quality is quite pristine, and the musicianship isn't far ahead sticking to fast one-dimensional barrage dissipated by the odd more stylish lead section. A plus should be given to the guys, though, for the quite cool closer: the instrumental "Deformed Dominion" which clings more to the doomy side and is a nice display of better crafted, more carefully executed music.

Death Cult Demo, 2010

My Space

HAUNTED GARAGE (USA)

Thrash/crossover meets the eclectic, avantgarde style of mid-period Voivod ("Dimension Hatross", "Nothingface"). The music is not hard-hitting, but is cheerful, with a certain punk-ish attitude.

Possession Park Full-length, 1991

HAUNTED SHORES (USA)

Good modern thrash/death with a certain doze of technicality; the tempos suddenly change from furious to slower and vice versa. The guitar work has its melodic edge whenever needed showing an obvious influence from the Gothenburg school, and the overall style could pass for a more technical version of Dark Tranquillity.

"Following Ivy" treads the same path, this time more oriented towards thrash, and respectively early The Haunted although the melodic death metal elements haven't been completely removed. This time there are slower mid-tempo numbers ("Abdomen Bay", the dreamy semi-balladic "Following Ivy") as well as one short acoustic instrumental ("Seoul").

Maelstrom EP, 2007
Following Ivy EP, 2009

My Space

HAUNTZ (USA)

Power/thrash metal of the mid-paced variety with good Rob Halford-influenced vocals except for the annoying tendency which the singer has, to scream like a banshee. "Speed Kills" breaks the monotonous feeling and goes straight into a speed/thrash metal territory, a nice short number. "Archery" goes into the other extreme sounding almost epic and doomy if we exclude the faster middle part.

Hauntz Demo, 1987

HAVE MERCY (USA)

Have Mercy showed a lot of promise with this EP of excellent technical thrash which was actually one of the earliest technical works on the American metal scene. Their music is quite intense without being super fast; the awesome riffs lash you from all sides leaving you breathless and begging for more (there are only 5 songs on it), accompanied by good high-pitched vocals not miles away from John Cyriis. The style here is close to "Unstoppable Force", and the works of the other early good technical metal act from the States Ulysses Siren. This EP is one of the most impressive efforts on the whole American metal scene. Echoes of it could be found on many great future works: Agent Steel's "Unstoppable Force", Helstar's "Nosferatu", Bezerker's "Lost", Liege Lord's "Burn To My Touch", Forbidden's "Twisted into Form", Wargasm's "Why Play Around", etc. Unfortunately, this band never left the underground in spite of teasing the metal audience's ears with other, maybe not that high quality, demos and splits.

The debut demo is still on a fairly basic level both music and vocal-wise the band sticking to the familiar from their native scene power/speed metal formulas the heavier slower side ("Haunted House", "The End") quite reminiscent of the Nasty Savage debut and Jag Panzer. The sound quality is expectedly not great, but this is a decent beginning, if nothing else with not much at all to suggest at the bigger technical prowess displayed later.

Pleading for Mercy Demo, 1984
Armageddon Descends EP, 1986

My Space

HAVEN (USA)

The band's debut is a passable mild heavy metal affair, and based on it one would hardly bother checking out anything else from the band. However, the sophomore effort is a huge step forward towrads much more interesting progressive power/thrash not too far from later-period Helstar and Sanctuary's "Into the Mirror Black". "Divination" is a great way for the band to display their higher musical proficiency with choppy rhythms, virtuoso lead sections, and very good clean emotional vocals ala Jeoff Tate (Queensryche). Unfortunately, the band's heavy metal roots haven't been rooted out completely, and a string of moderate rockers follows suit to kill the joy which will reach feverish heights on "The Witching Hour", a shredding porgressiver with stupendous jumpy technical decisions and a great chorus. The following "Seance" is another very cool semi-galloper with dramatic accumulations and spiralling melodies. "Blood of the Lamb" speed/thrashes with vigour near the end provoding the most dynamic passages on the album also dissipating the monotony of the surrounding bland heavy metallers the latter taking at least half the space on this entertaining, but hardly exceptional effort.

Your Dying Day Full-length, 1990
Age of Darkness Full-length, 1991
Haven Full-length, 1995

Official Site

HAVEN DENIED (PORTUGAL)

Based on "Symbiosys", this act pulls out modern power/thrash metal with a dark gothic edge. The music is heavy, doomy at times as well, and is better when it stays this way because when the guys speed up, they sound like more aggressive later-period Sentenced and Razorback. The singer has a deep semi-clean voice which suits the sound, and the leads are nice with a good sense of melody.

Haven Denied Full-length, 2006
Symbiosys Full-length, 2009

My Space

HAVOC (USA)

Havoc offer enjoyable melodic thrash with two vocal styles: one clean (and slightly annoying), the other death metal-ish. You might find this awkward as neither of the two styles has anything to do with thrash, but the final result isn't bad at all. In the "Symbol Of Chaos" demo there is a song called "Christopher Walken" and a hidden one called "Christopher Reeve": this is how some people pay tribute to their favourite film stars (or favourite name)?

Heavy Artillery EP, 2000
Unleashed at Chain Reaction Live album, 2001
Ground Zero Demo, 2003
Symbol of Chaos Demo, 2003

Official Site

HAVOC MASS (USA)

This album is like a big fresh breath of air for the dying thrash genre in the 90's: excellent dark technical classic thrash which sounds even more compelling considering the time of release. The style kind of resembles Nasty Savage, and more particularly "Penetration Point" (that same band's drummer-Curtis Beeson, actually plays in Havoc Mass), but is a tad more straight-forward and more aggressive. The singer tries to stay close to Nasty Ronnie's tember and succeeds at times, but his voice is lower and more one-dimensional. The guitar work is stylish, and the guys prefer to stay within the mid-paced range which helps their music create the same steam roller-like impression, similar to Nasty Savage. This is one of the finest one-album wonders produced by the American metal scene in the 90's.

Killing the Future Full-length, 1993

My Space

HAVOCATION (SWEDEN)

Industrialized modern thrash which alternates between longer, Gothenburg-influenced tracks ("Snakes of Medusa") and much more simplisitc, hardcore-ish headbangers ("The Sleeping Army"). The closer "God Is Hate" a very cool ballad which shows a side of the guys that has to be explored more fully, a very melodic sophisticated approach which doesn't exactly scream "Thrash!", but is by all means appealing with echoes of mid-period Sentenced and more recent Amorphis.

Independent EP, 2014
The Fault in Our Kind Full-length, 2015

Official Site

HAVOCHATE (USA)

The band offer a good mixture of modern and classic thrash. From the modern side we have the last two Exodus albums as soundalikes, or recent Overkill; on the classic side we have Testament (their first two albums). Add some more balladic songs and a unique singer who can sing in several vocal styles ranging from death growls to Rob Halford-like screeches, plus some Pantera-like riffs from time to time, and the picture is close to being complete. The future of many walks of American metal looks safe with diverse acts like this one around.

This Violent Earth Full-length, 2003
Cycle of Pain Full-length, 2005

Official Site

HAVOK (BRAZIL)

Two guys are responsible for this aggressive blend of thrash and death metal which comes assisted by very brutal low-tuned vocals. Expectedly the music is more faithful to death metal, and is quite fast with clever, more technical insertions ("Painful And Merciless Sentence") here and there. The approach has its common lines with the Gothenburg school, but the more intense sections are taken straight from the Floridian scene (think Morbid Angel, Monstrosity, Malevolent Creation).

Blessing the Flames with Sacrosanct Blood Full-length, 2011

My Space

HAVOK (USA)

A nice little EP of heads-down speed/thrash in the spirit of early Metallica (the EP title is an obvious reference to the Metallica debut album): straight, headbanging energetic riffs with a good sense of melody very well mixed on the excellent "Havok". The guys seldom try something slower, more mid-paced ("To Hell"), which works almost as good. "Root of Evil" introduces some furious thrashing at the end combining Razor-like intensity (think "Shotgun Justice") with punishing, stomping riffage ala Nasty Savage (think "Indulgence").

The full-length opens with the best track from the EP "The Root of Evil", but the fast tempo is replaced on "Path to Nowhere" with galloping rhythms, but watch out for "Morbid Symmetry", which is quite fast Bay-Area thrash, followed by another song from the EP: "Identity Theft". The tempo only goes up from then on reaching the climax on the excellent "Scabs of Trust". Near the end the fans will recognize another "remnant" from the EP: the more laid-back "To Hell", but all of you will "melt" on the speed/thrashing killer "Melting The Mountain" which follows suit, and the closing Forbidden-worship "Afterburner": aggressive fast thrash at its best. The sleeping lions, both young and old, in the Bay-Area are about to wake up...

The "time is up" for the Bay-Area thrash metal fraternity to rest, and "Time Is Up" is the waking march. And a victorious march it is all the way: "Prepare For Attack" will "prepare you for attack" big time with its vigorous speedy rhythms crossing the crossover aesthetics with early Metallica. Then "Fatal Intervention" will "intervene fatally" into your world with another slab of lashing speedy thrash laced with cool melodies. There will be "no amnesty" for anyone with "No Amnesty", a short intense speed/thrasher. "D.O.A." is a cool mix of fast and slower guitars in a galloping tempo which turns into a violent brutal shred at the end. "Covering Fire" is a more carefree thrash/crossover piece, but "Killing Tendencies" will be the "killing tendency" to it with its heavy mid-paced riffage. "Scumbag Is Disguise" is the ultimate shredder covering various tempos on a cool semi-technical setting which is replaced by a more direct speed metal-based one on "The Cleric". "Out Of My Way" wants your soul with aggressive jumpy dramatic riffs, and the closing "Time Is Up" makes sure there are no survivors thrashing far'n wide as a finishing touch with very good technical melodic leads. Even the big names from the Bay-Area may find it hard to come up with something better this year: this talented outfit look well set to lead the movement over there regardless of how many of the veterans are roaming around at the moment.

The "Point of No Return" EP is 2 new songs and two covers. The new material is expectedly energetic and crunchy with the obligatory slower stomping sections "Cradle To The Grave" excelling in this department in patricular, the exiting chords a total nod to the final ones from "Seek & Destroy". The Sepultura cover of "Arise" is faithfully done, even too faithfully for the fan's taste. The Slayer covers of "Postmortem" & "Raining Blood", played back-to-back, are also in the faithful spectre maybe a bit more varied in the faster parametres.
"Unnatural Selection": these guys have all the rights to be considered the most prolific thrash metal act of recent years. It remains to be seen whether the quality will be preserved if they keep churning albums at such a rate... Well, at this stage the fans should still be happy although this album is perhaps too full of catchy hard-rocking numbers which are also served with a more digestible crossover "sting" which pours sharp riffs far'n wide with a few inevitable melodic "excursions" along the way ("It Is True"; the playful rock'n roll speedster "Under the Gun"). The album is close to losing steam in the middle with less impressive mid-pacers placed one after another the Black Sabbath cover version of "Children of the Grave" surprisingly served with a more melodic edge lacking the raw primal appeal of the original. The closing title-track is a saviour thrashing with more might although the retouched soft guitar approach "lurks in the shadows" here as well making the listener wonder as to how the band will manage to pull it out next year without disappoinintg their fanbase having in mind the softer, not very desirable, tendencies applied here.
"Conformicide" seems like a natural progression from "Unnatural Selection" although the band have stepped on the pedal a bit harder this time, and "Hang' em High" will delight the headbangers with its highly energetic guitars while numbers like "Dogmaniacal" will provide the more serious, nearly progressive side of the show. "Intention to Deceive" serves a few more intriguing semi-technical quirks, and "Ingsos" nicely elaborates on those in a more subdued, more restrained fashion. "Masterplan" concentrates on the melody for at least half the time, but expect some hard-hitting thrash later on. "Wake Up" would hardly wake anyone up with its friendly power/thrashy riffage, but "String Break" will leave no stone unturned with its hardcore-ish immediacy, and the final "Slaughtered" will be another pleasant surprise with its steel cutting technical riffs, the sure highlight on this fairly satisfying slab of varied old school thrash which sees the band still holding with ideas to spare.

Pwn 'Em All EP, 2007
Burn Full-Length, 2009
Time Is Up Full-length, 2011
Point of No Return EP, 2012
Unnatural Selection Full-Length, 2013
Conformicide Full-Length, 2017

Official Site

HAWAII (USA)

This band's debut album did a lot to push forward the spawning speed/thrash metal movement. They were previously known as Vixen, then a name change occurred to Aloha before the band settled on Hawaii. One of the early signings to Mike Varney's Shrapnel label, it also boasted the presence of the guitar hero Marty Friedman and the drum maestro Deen Castronovo (also Malice, Dr. Mastermind, Wild Dogs), a close friend of Friedman's who accompanied him in the collaboration with another guitar virtuoso, Jason Becker (Cacophony) after this band's split up, and also took part in his solo works also having been frequently invited by famous metal stars (Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer, Tony Macalpine, James Murphy, etc.) to hit the drums for them.

Way more aggressive and intense than the same years' works of Anthrax, Exciter, Anvil and Venom, "One Nation Underground" stands right beside "Kill'Em All" and "Show No Mercy" as the three major efforts which established the speed/thrash metal genre as a vital force on the music scene. "Living In Sin" is a furious opener, elaborating on the speedy approach already heard on Raven's previous year's "Wiped Out" by adding more aggressive riffage. It sets the tone for what follows later with the majority of the songs being compulsive edgy exercises in early speed/thrash metal spiced with slower mid-paced, but very heavy smashing pieces ("Silent Nightmare", "Secret of the Stars"). The only drawback is the soft heavy metal track "Escape The Night" which the band found necessary (why!?) to re-record later on with another singer. The shouter here is called Gary St. Pierre and his high-pitched antics fit the aggressive music quite well, and aren't too far from the ones of Mark Soliz on the Watchtower debut; he later joined Vicious Rumours. Friedman on this one is still looking to find his most fitting style, but his sharp shreds and screaming leads already promise a lot with numerous guitar variations on waltz, tango and other themes. The only full space he's given is on the closing "Overture Volcanica": a classically-oriented instrumental which is mostly leads with a nice thrashy break in the middle. Check also the intro to "Nitro Power": a virtuous guitar solo, quite one-of-a-kind back in those early days.

"Loud, Wild and Heavy" is a slightly uneven effort containing 4 tracks two of which are mild heavy metal anthems, the one being a re-recorded version of the aforementioned "Escape the Night", the other a hard'n heavy hymn with the cheesy title "Bad Boys of Metal"; the other two, however, will make any speed/thrasher's day with their uncompromising delivery: "Loud Wild and Heavy" is frantic speed/thrash at its early best with an overlong show-off "duel" between the lead guitar and the drums at the end; and "Rhapsody in Black" is the first masterpiece of instrumental speed/thrash, along with same year's Metallica's "The Call of Chtullu": 7-min of constant shred and proficient soloing, an impeccable riff-fest, overshadowing almost everything from Yngwie Malmsteen's same year's debut.

"The Natives are Restless" would be a big disappointment to the band's fans: instead of moving onto full-blooded speed/thrash and become a potent force on the scene which they helped establish, the guys had decided to soften the course and the result is a very ordinary sounding, derivative hard'n heavy affair with nothing inside to recall the previous output. Friedman simply has no place here with the music being much less flashy and less impressive, and his guitar pyrotechnics sound awkward and unnecessary. After the band's logical demise he joined forces with another guitar hero: Jason Becker, for the release of two capable guitar-oriented albums under the name Cacophony.

One Nation Underground Full-length, 1983
Loud, Wild and Heavy EP, 1984
The Natives are Restless Full-length, 1985

Fan Site

HAYAINO DAISUKI (USA)

Three wild girls are responsible for this 4-song EP of intense aggressive modern death/thrash, quite similar to the Chinese Resurrection, but without blast-beats; the music is constantly fast, and the guitar work is really good with cool melodic licks. The downpoint is the vocals, which are hysterical shouts with a black-ish vibe.

"Invincible Gate Mind Of The Infernal Fire Hell" is an exact copy of the debut EP: 4 tracks of fast intense modern death/thrash metal with screeching vocals this time staying closer to death metal probably.

Headbanger's Karaoke Club Dangerous Fire EP, 2008
Invincible Gate Mind Of The Infernal Fire Hell EP, 2010

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HAYWIRE (USA)

Based on "Private Hell", this is thrash/crossover on the melodic side, similar to Lawnmower deth, but not as appealing. "Abominations" is a heavier angrier affair, this time sounding like a more aggressive Motorhead and surprisingly features moments where the sound becomes heavy with proto-groovy shades, plus a pinch of doom. The singer is a suitable hoarse semi-hardcorer, but kind of merges with the tedious samey guitar work which seldom bears more energetic "fruit".

Painless Steel EP, 1989
Private Hell Full-length, 1989
Abominations Full-length, 1990

Fan Site

HAZARAX (USA)

A 3-song demo of competent semi-technical thrash/proto-death which relies on fast, intense riffage for most of the time, not far from Evildead's debut and Devastation, supported by forceful shouty vocals which recite in an authoritative attached manner rather than sing. This is aggressive stuff with crushing guitars which are a bit spoilt by the buzzy sound quality.

Altered Faith Disorder Demo, 1990

HAZARDOUS MUTATION (EL SALVADOR)

Based on the EP, this is energetic classic thrash/crossover with fast direct riffage and not very appropriate subdued death metal vocals. Some of the songs come with a worse sound quality, most likely leftovers from previous demos or so. The last cut "Thrash Attack", which is not a Destruction cover, is a full-blooded thrasher, of course, and it's a pity that it comes with an awful buzzy sound since it's played live.

The "I Want Your Death" EP is another portion of the good old thrash/crossover now served with a boosted sound quality which makes the guitars a bit noisy. Otherwise the traditional moshpits will inevitably form on raging cuts like "Urban War" and the vicious title-track. The guys "want your death" and few would be those to refuse to surrender to this perennial thrashy "zombie nightmare", like the title of the closing cut sums it up so well.

Annihilation For Radiation EP, 2012
Reactor 4: 26-04-86 Full-Length, 2013
I Want Your Death EP, 2014

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HAZMAT (AUSTRALIA)

Based on the full-length, these Australians play calm modern power/post-thrash metal with stoner/doomy overtones. This is laid-back music with both sharp and melodic guitars, but the tempo isn't very dynamic recalling Monster Magnet, especially on merry rockers like the closing "Ragged Bloody Heroes". The singer isn't bad, though, singing in a clean attached manner coming as a convincing mix between John Bush (Armored Bush, Anthrax) and Woody Weatherman (Corrosion of Conformity). Some of the band members played earlier in the mid-90's in the classic thrash metal outfit Neophobia with whom they had 2 albums released.
"Atonement" is by all means a more interesting offering the band now using 90's Megadeth as an example to follow, and more stylish pieces like "Spineless" and "Confront" actually capture the proto-thrashy spirit of those albums, and not only that, but "Sold" thrashes hard later on with awesome sharp riffage. The latter's exploits are nowhere matched, but "Bad Blood" moves forward in a cool energetic fashion, and "Burden of Proof" is an impressive seismic stomper. The closer "Dodger (New Murder)" is another revelation, a merry optimistic speedster which finishes this cool effort with style seeing the band rising on a new pedestal almost ready to walk with the finest.

Son of Man EP, 2006
Hazmat Full-length, 2011
Atonement Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

HAZY HILL (TURKEY)

The compilation reveals an act who had trodden several paths throughout their career, including retro speed/power/thrash for the most part with a pinch of the post-thrash at some stage during the 90's. The resultant delivery is mostly on the fast-paced side with dark overtones ("Bullet in the Gun") in the vein of Jag Panzer and early Omen, or come sincerely thrashy ("Suicide Pack") with a nice classic edge. "F.T.A." is an entertaining frolic speed/thrasher ala the Brits Blood Money, and later one will bow to the guys for providing the intense speed/thrashing piece "Murky Bedlam" sustained in the best vein of the Brazilians Vodu and the Germans Vectom. "I'm A Killer" is a cool blend of the ballad (the beginning) and smashing speed/thrash ala Paradox. "Burning Shades" and "The Day We Killed the Evil" are vintage eary Deathrow with the raging "steel" rhythms and the catchy choruses, showing a band paying special attention to the German scene, where also the hoarse semi-declamatory singer belongs. The sound quality is pristine, though, and some improvements in this sector would be desirable if the guys are willing to hit us with a new offering one of these days (they're reportedly back in business).

Torch-In' The North Pole EP, 1995
8800 Compilation, 2000

HAZZERD (CANADA)

Based on the full-length, this act serve cool retro thrash energetic speedy riff-patterns which branch out into something less predictable ("The Execution Of The Damned") with more labyrinthine arrangements, including a few balladic references on the 8-min Paradox-esque opus "Misleading Evil". Still, the core of the album are the more immediate blitzkriegers like "The Fallen" and "Under The Influence", the closing "Apocalypse Dawn" another feast for the headbangers. The vocalist is an assured high-strung semi-clean throat whose semi-recitals are always on par with the dynamic nature of the music.

Victimize the Innocent EP, 2014
Misleading Evil Full-length, 2017

HC HANNINEN (FINLAND)

Based on the debut demo (both demos only share the same title, no tracks), this formation offer prototypical modern thrash/death of the Swedish variety. The sound quality is quite good giving a nice sharp boost to the guitars which don't sit around, but change the pace the whole time coming up qith quite a few headbanging sections. The singer is the standard death metal shouter ala Mikael Stanne (Dark Tranquillity).

HC H'e4nninen Demo, 2010
HC H'e4nninen Demo, 2012

Official Site

HEAD CRUSHER (COLOMBIA)

Based on the "Your Blood On My Hands..." EP, this is modern groovy thrash with brutal death metal vocals and more intense sections which also smell death metal ("What's Right For Me"); on the other hand, some parts are pure Biohazard worship ("Weak").

Your Blood On My Hands... EP, 2003
Re-Evolve EP, 2005
I Felt This Before Full-length, 2007

Official Site

HEAD HUNG LOW (UK)

Heavy modern thrash metal with refreshing death metal outbursts; unfortunately, they are not too many here, and the rest is pretty pedestrian and generic.

Within the Limits of her Being EP, 2002
Audio Killing Spree Full-length, 2004

Official Site

HEAD IN A JAR (AUSTRALIA)

The EP: this is jumpy, not very predictable, modern post-thrash with plenty of dynamic sections which at times branch out into the odd blast-beat ("Head in a Jar") to add more to the diverse character of this short effort which also boasts an attached vocal performance of the clean mid-ranged type.
The full-length would be quite a surprise for those who savoured the EP: the music now is pure retro thrash with a clear Slayer influence, wild fast-paced shredding with good musicianship to back it up the singer now shouting forcefully to match the more aggressive music. More carefree hardcore/crossover appears in the 2nd half to spice the approach and give the album a nice frolic boost with The Accused and Lawnmower Deth overtones, "Thrashasurus Rex" closing this eventful thrash/crossover saga with aplomb and a lot of humour.

Atomic Circus EP, 2012
Downtown Meltdown Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

HEAD KRUSHER (BRAZIL)

Based on the full-length debut, these Brazilian "head krushers" indulge in vicious aggressive thrash/death metal which is pretty much violent bash all the way, but of the comprehensive listenable variety. As such the band should be able to make heads turn with their relentless vigorous shredding which is a point or two short of being pure death metal ("Storm Of Hate"). The songs are all short (2-3min) outbursts of malice without any hints at technicality although again this is "fury" of the more intelligible type assisted by good semi-shouty death metal vocals.
"Inner Curse" comes with a drier, more clinical guitar sound and with a more technical flavour which suits well the sophisticated this time barrage which is reminiscent of more recent Kreator, but with a more abrasive sound. Death metal roams around more prominently this time, especially on more vigorous brutalizers like "Personal Demons". "O Abismo" is an epic instrumental with a more overt death metal "sting", and the final "Same Day for All" is a cool melodic thrash/deathster with great melodic leads seeing the band on a more proficient level with a taste for the less ordinary.

Deskontroll EP, 2009
Hellvenge Full-length, 2012
Inner Curse Full-Length, 2015

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HEAD ON COLLISION (USA)

A main pretender for the "Best Thrash Metal Debut for 2008" award, this young band pull out awesome intense thrash, combining the best from old heroes like Slayer, above all, Torture and Atomica. The aggressive riffage on the opening instrumental "Arise From The Wreckage" promises a lot, and the rest of the material fulfills it all. The guys never pause for a break and thrash aggressively until the end; "Retaliate" is the only track which offers a more laid-back galloping rhythm and cool melodic leanings. "The Flames Of Aggression" is a very good varied composition which changes the tempos all the time and offers fine lead guitar work as well: the highlight on this strong debut.

Ritual Sacrifice Full-length, 2008

Official Site

HEADBANGER (POLAND)

Based on the "Ready to Strike" EP, these guys pull out pure classic speed/thrash ala Savage Grace and Warrant (Germany). "Speed of Light" doesn't exactly reach the "speed of light", but is a fine speed/thrasher slightly ruined by the hoarse drunken vocals.

The "Nuclear Devastation" EP is sustained in a slightly more laid-back vein although the approach is still the jolly speedy one except for the mellow heavy metal hymn "Evil Forces"; the rest is an optimistic uplifting speed attack with very few slower "stops" along the way this time also sounding close to the early efforts of the "kings of speed metal" Helloween.

Nuclear Devastation EP, 2008
Ready to Strike EP, 2009

Official Site

HEADBANGERS (BOLIVIA)

Playful rough thrash metal of the old school, similar to Razor which starts in a seismic mid-tempo manner, until "Thrash Or Die" which leaves you no aternative, but to "thrash or...". Something more complex is tried right after with "Dead Insane" which offers an uneven mix of fast raging and atmospheric gothic-tinged passages the latter taking turns in a not very logical manner. "Alcoholic Detonation (Beer Attack)" is another heads-down headbanger which justifies the guys' name well; "Murder" is a short explosive piece of brutality followed by an even shorter and even more brutal one: the 1.5-min proto-deathy shred "Hell Can Wait Me...", both aggravated by the brutal low-tuned vocals. This offering is rough around the edges with several influences shaking hands, but has its raw charm with its naive sincere, both musical and vocal, delivery.

Thrashing And Smashing Shits Full-length, 2010

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HEADCRASHER (ITALY)

Based on "Nothing Will Remain", this is first-class speed/thrash in the vein of Angel Dust and Paradox. These guys were the finest representatives of this genre from Italy back in those days, and even now I can hardly think of anyone surpassing them coming from this country. The only place where the guys slow down is on the nice ballad "Good Morning, Amazzonia!" in the second half which will melt the hearts of the more romantically-inclined for whole 7-min. The rest is a merciless attack at its smashing best with a few genuine more technical twists which may have found a fuller expression on the follow-up.
"Introspection": it's a great pity that this album comes with an awful sound quality; otherwise this is standout progressive/technical thrash which stands proud right beside the best from bands like Toxik, Mekong Delta and Coroner. The band have indeed developed the technical hints from the debut, and have gone much much further, as a matter of fact. "Beyond the Border" is a brilliant way to open this gran effort, a hallucinogenic mazer with the least predictable twists and turns creating stylish, organized chaos. "Selling Happiness" starts a bit more directly with the familiar from the debut fast smashing riffs, but the quirky decisions are just around the corner including a saxophone-driven passage in the middle; in he 2nd half expect some of the most illogical riff accumulations which can cause major disorientation among the less initiated. "Lord Money" is a less orthodox speed/thrasher with a great bass bottom, but the sudden funky deviations and a few twisted riffs in the 2nd half throw it out of the more linear path. "Within the Mirror" borders on thrash/crossover, but its more accessible spirit is just a delusion: surreal dissonant riffage appears out of nowhere and makes this cut the missing one from Voivod's "Killing Technology", not to mention another drug-induced sax tune at the end. "Childhood Stairs " is a mid-paced puzzler which again strongly relies on the bass at some point, before the guys start thrashing with the sax leading the proceedings for the umpteenth time to a fairly positive effect. "The Time Revenge" is hectic progressive thrasher ala Deathrow's "Deception Ignored" the effect strengthened by a hefty doze of dissonance again which disappears for the sprawling balladic mid-break. "H.I.V." is a relatively more immediate headbanger, but expect another portion of Voivod-esque hallucinogenia applied later on on top of some serious aggressive thrashing. The genius displayed until that stage is summed up on the ambitious 8-min closer "Subliminal Pain" which is an encylopaedia of progressive thrash blending dynamic fast-paced thrashisms with some of the most abstract riff-patterns to ever grace the music scene giving their compatriots Garden Wall the ultimate template to follow for their indigestible musical puzzles a few years later. This is a truly monumental achievement in the field of progressive metal which ironically is destined to be buried in the very deep underground... a remastering is badly needed to serve this masterpiece with a much better sound quality.

Nothing Will Remain Full-length, 1989
Introspection Full-length, 1991

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HEADCRUSHER (COLOMBIA)

Based on "Death Comes with Silence", this band play a modern blend of thrash and death metal which acquires more clever, technical parametres ("Black Hearted Demons") at times, but the dominant approach is more on the abrasive, even crusty, side the overshouty death metal vocals the perfect accompaniment to the dispassionate apocalyptic musical landscape.

Your Blood On My Hands... EP, 2003
Re-Evolve EP, 2005
I Felt This Before Full-length, 2007
Head Crusher EP, 2010
Let the Blood Run Full-length, 2012
Black Burning Skies EP, 2013
Death Comes with Silence Full-length, 2017

Official Site

HEADCRUSHER (USA)

This is a modern mix of groove and more intense thrash/death metal which has the necessary amount of energy, even managing to provide something more thought-out ("Common Nonsense") with clever riffs and other more stylish decisions. The approach on the faster material is close to early The Haunted, but the compulsive grinding breaks are not a very big rarity, either. The singer is vintage Peter Dolving (The Haunted again), maybe a bit lower-tuned.

Let The Blood Run Full-Length, 2012

HEADHAUNTER (HOLLAND)

This album starts with an imposing, over 5-min intro, which is actually a full-blooded heavy thrashing instrumental and it pretty much sets the tone for what follows; the band's sound hesitates between shorter direct headbangers (which are the better side of the band's style: "Encured Soul"- speed/thrashing madness) and longer ones where the intensity of the former is mixed with heavier, almost doomy riffs and sections where the lead guitar takes the upper hand without being too striking. Those longer tracks (2 out of 6) have their moments, but the lack of a more interesting play makes them sound quite monotonous. The music is closer to the old school with modern "insertions" here and there.

Visions of Paranoia Full-Length, 2004

HEADHUNTER (GERMANY)

This band was formed by Marcel Schmier after his exit from the thrash metal legends Destruction. The debut carries the trade mark razor sharp Destruction-like riffs, and is quite a good beginning; it thrashes with full force and conviction on most of the tracks (check out the speed killer "Parody of Life", the awesome riff-fest "Kick Over Your Traces", the jumpy intense "Curse", or the other speed metal delight "Crack Brained", a nod to the Destruction album of the same title?; well, if so, quite a good nod), raising the hopes high of those who were not too happy with the more technical direction Destruction took with "Cracked Brain".
However, Schmier wasn't satisfied with merely copying his old band, and later the music took a more melodic, and even progressive direction; "A Bizarre Gardening Accident" is a worthy follow-up although the unbridled aggression of the debut can seldom be heard. "Signs Of Insanity" sounds like a leftover from the previous album with its cool up-tempo thrashing approach, and the next "Hit Machine" is no less intense, but the guitars aren't as sharp with a certain technical edge. After the peaceful heavy metal break "Born in the Woods", the thrashing goes on with "Two-Faced Promises" followed by the humorous joke rock'n roll piece "Ramalama". This might pull you back a bit, but "Boozer" will bring you back in the game with its galloping sharp riffage. "Pangs of Remorse" is a cool heavy ballad followed by a couple of more laid-back power/thrashing mixtures before the closer "Deadly Instinct" speeds up again being a fine energetic thrasher.

"Rebirth" starts in a heavy semi-modern manner with the stomping "Adrenalin"; the modern sound remains, but is more appealing on the faster tracks ("Army of the Blind", "Scars"). "Don'b4t Bogart..." is another joke-song, but it has no many aggressive tracks to contrast to, and is hardly necessary; the same goes for the semi-balladic "Too Late For A Change". "Struck" and "Warhead" offer something new: heavy slower songs with stomping, but technical choppy, riffs which sound quite classic and interesting: a tendency which remained unfinished because after this one the band split up, and five years later Schmier rejoined his "old love" Destruction.
Wow, Schmier hasn't forgotten about this formation, busy with Destruction, and here he strikes again, but with mixed results; "Parasite Of Society" is a good, albeit a flawed, comeback album. The title-track opens in an awesome headbanging fashion thrashing in a way last heard on the debut. "Silverskull" sounds a bit disappointing with its melodic power metal approach and a catchy chorus, and when another similar number follows (the longer, and even more melodic "Remission"), one might start re-adjusting his initial high opinion, but before doing that, he should give at least one more track a listen, and this is "Doomsday For The Prayer": an intense up-tempo thrasher. Well, but "18 And Life", which is a Skid Row cover, will confuse him even more simply because thrash metal disappears once again, only to return for the excellent, softer, but entertaining speedy "Read My Lips". "Egomaniac" is a nice energetic thrashing piece which overshadows the following two songs which are slower, one of them a semi-ballad ("The Calling"), before the closing Judas Priest cover of "Rapid Fire" restores the faith in the band once more. This is a hit-and-miss affair as though Schmier was not certain whether to make this album sounding more appealing to more metal fans, or to leave it within the confines of thrash metal; as a whole it will make quite a few heads shake in doubt, but taken as separate fine moments, it delivers the goods to an extent.

Parody of Life Full-length, 1990
A Bizarre Gardening Accident Full-length, 1992
Rebirth Full-length, 1994
Parasite Of Society Full-length, 2008

Official Site

HEADHUNTER D.C. (BRAZIL)

Based on the "Hell Is Here" demo, this band plays brutal thrash/death metal close to the early Massacra efforts. The music makes sense, though, although it's constantly of the fast bashing type also sharing some of the raw qualities of early Sarcofago and Vulcano. "Headhunter D.C." is a genuine early deathster whereas the rest is mostly agressive thrash metal topped by gruff semi-declamatory deathy vocals. The guys are alive and well with 4 full-lengths under their belts where the sound is pure classic death metal.

Rehearsal Demo, 1988
Hell Is Here Demo, 1989

Official Site

HEADLESS CROSS (UK)

Based on "Burning Sanctuary", this is a cool fusion of traditional metal and thrash recalling the Americans Midevil and Steel Reign. There is not much variety in the tempo which is mostly mid-paced, but the good, heavy riffs will make your day. "Burning Sorrow" is a nice acoustic ballad.

Burning Sanctuary EP, 2005
In Cold Blood EP, 2006

Official Site

HEADLESS CROWN (SWITZERLAND)

Feelgood, pleasant power/thrash which settle for a steady mid-paced approach from the beginning, and seldom leaves the established parametres flirting with the semi-ballad ("Reach Out For The Light", "Be Seeing You") at every opportunity, a tendency helping the cool emotional, clean singer who is by all means the star of the show.

Time for Revolution Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

HEADLOCK (USA)

Thrash/crossover with some rap and funk-ish overtones recalling Mordred's "Fool's Game" and 90's Flotsam & Jetsam in the heavier parts.

It Found Me Full-length, 1994

HEADQUAKER (SWEDEN)

This Swedish trio serve abrasive noisy thrash which is surprisingly on the classic side with a few notable energetic cuts present ("Suicide", the title-track). The guys don't bother slowing down very often as the only seeming relaxer seems to be the PileDriver cover of "Chaos" from the Canadians' masterpiece "Stay Ugly", which is a really nice speedster, but our Swedish friends execute in a somewhat milder manner compared to their dominant dynamic approach. The vocals are passable semi-clean hoarse ones, and at times exude more melody.

Headquake Full-Length, 2017

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HEADROLL (RUSSIA)

This EP starts really well with the good energetic Bay-Areasque headbanger "Big State Lie", but what follows is your average modern 90's groovy post-thrash which leads nowhere except to annoy you even more after such a promising beginning. Rehashed Pantera-like riffs will one hear assisted by the typical angry Anselmo-influenced vocals.

Devil's Grin EP, 2010

HEADSHAKE (FRANCE)

This formation play modern thrash/post-thrash with post-deathy overtones inserted those not far from the ones emitted from the last couple of Entombed albums. Speed is hardly the order of the day, but the stomping passages deliver the goods at times the latter abandoned for the short outrageous "Punk Attitude" and the more serious progressive closer "Whispering Game". The singer isn't bad with his levelled semi-clean croon which holds both emotion and authority.

Headshake Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

HEADSHOT (GERMANY)

Based on "Diseased", the band walk the fine line between classic and modern thrash, and do a good job as such. Their music has a certain technhical edge and reminds of the Germans Repent's debut at times, or Kreator of the new millennium. The beginning is melodic and modern ("Cancer") with a great Oriental guitar hook inserted, but afterwards the music takes a nice headbanging turn ("No Justice Till' Death", "Infiltrator"). Cool heavier stomping thrashers are thrown in as well ("Souls At Zero", "DNA Distortion"), but their faster side is the more attractive one, and aggressive Slayer-esque smashers like "Eraser" are the highlight here. "Plague" is a brilliant heavy technical instrumental, a nice finishing touch to this solid effort.

The debut is the band's weakest achievement containing typical for the time modern power/thrash metal mixing the aggro-arrangements of Pantera with the more accessible approach of Flotsam & Jetsam circa "Drift" and "High". At times the sound is simply laughable descending to blues and even funk with the guys apparently experimenting at this early stage in order to find their most fitting style. Fortunately, they have managed to find it later although this album here can not be viewed even as a decent base for their future works.
"Emotional Overload" is another cool release if we exclude the strained unpleasant hardcore vocals. The music is heavier and more modern-sounding with a considerable amount of groove, but with enough more energetic thrashers to pull it through: the 2-min explosive Slayer-esque "Sudden Death", the heavy mid-paced piece "Silent Cry", again recalling Slayer, but their late 80's period. The closing track "Shades of Grey" is almost 20-min long, and is seemingly a combination of two separate pieces: one a typical groovy modern number, the other quite energetic with nice melodic guitar work sung in German.

"As Above, So Below" arrives after a long 5-year hiatus and sees the band in fine form ready to provide quality thrash metal once again. "Isolation" starts thrashing intensely from the very beginning, and things get even more aggressive with the following short Slayer-esque "Which Means War". "Old Patterns" deviates into a heavier, more technical direction recalling Nevermore, adding nice Oriental hooks to the proceedings. But "Bound To Fail" (which is not an Accept cover) restores the aggressive thrashing with smashing lashing riffs; a tendency marvellously sustained by the next furious "Second To None". "Quest For The Sun" is the most melodic track, a power/thrash fusion, which boasts the best lead guitar work. More surprises come later on "As Above, So Below", a great dark progressive thrasher, again bringing Nevermore, and Communic, to mind; the guitar performance is stupendous with more Oriental tunes added, excellent leads again, and complex crunchy riffage. This more elaborate approach remains for the blistering technical instrumental "The Swarm": a rare display of technical brilliance which some of you might listen to over and over. The closing "We Disintegrate" preserves some of the technicality, but is a more direct headbanger, quite close to the works of recent Kreator, for an umpteenth time inserting fine Oriental melodies which are the lightmotif of this very strong effort, by far the band's finest hour and one of the most impressive entries from the thrash metal field of 2008.
The guys also keep themselves busy with the death metal formation Deny the Urge with whom they already have two full-length releases.
"Synchronicity": it's 2011, and the guys are ready with another opus which may be considered a slight letdown compared to its predecessor, having gone back to the more modern sound of earlier releases. Whether modern or not, the guys thrash with fury lashing fiery riffs ("In Silence", "Fallen From Grace") left and right. Still, the number of more moderate slower numbers is not very small at times stretching into longer, more ambitious compositions ("Agony Of Sickness", "Control Denied ") at the end with dubious qualities since the delivery is kind of not as convincing with repetitive mid-paced riffs with melo-death insertions. The band can certainly do better, and a bigger musical bravery in the future would only be beneficial: now this return to safer well trodden paths would hardly win them many new fans.

Brain at Risk Full-length, 1995
Emotional Overload Full-length, 1998
Diseased Full-Length, 2003
As Above, So Below Full-length, 2008
Synchronicity Full-length, 2011

Official Site

HEADSHOT (GREECE)

3 songs of calm predictable modern post-thrash which breaks out once in a wild speedy manner on "Needle Clock", but this moment makes the rest even blander with its rehashed riffage and laid-back soulful clean vocals.

The Pain Within Demo 2009

My Space

HEADSTONE (PORTUGAL)

The modern post-thrash metal flag is raised high on the full-length producing pleasant feelgood stuff which comes with good deep emotional vocals and heavy doomy guitars which make half of the songs sound like heavy semi-ballads, and overall the approach seldom leaves the mid-tempo settling for a bit one-dimensional melodic riffs. The musicians play a similar mixture with their other band Cycles.

Within the Dark EP, 2009
I am All Full-length, 2011

Official Site

HEAR ME LOUD (USA)

This band specialize in abrasive modern power/thrash/post-thrash which suddenly abandons the peaceful tone and branches out into uncontrolled wild thrashing on the title-track. Still, this isn't enough for the headbangers to truly appreciate this effort since for most of the time it moves in a much more predictable fashion grooving forth and back the whole time not creating the requisite tension required the latter only partly heightened on the more dynamic semi-technical shredder "Money", and the more vivid "Monster" near the end. The vocalist is the staple for the style shouter with an occasional more emotional semi-clean croon appearing from time to time.

The System Full-Length, 2014

HEARING IMPAIRED (USA)

Thrash/crossover in the vein of S.O.D. and early Suicidal Tendencies; there is one speedy number: "Cattle Prod", one jolly punk-ish one: "Reebok" (could be a tribute to the British sports shoes brand?), and the last one is a very disrespectful "tribute" to Frank Sinatra: "Frankie", starting as a dialogue between two people, than moving onto someone imitating Sinatra, before it becomes a full-blooded thrashy hardcore fury.

Demo Demo, 1988

HEART ATTACK (FRANCE)

Based on the full-length, this act indulge in a mix of modern and classic thrash which gets some help from more brutal death metal involvement ("Face the Music") both in the music and vocal department. Otherwise the music loses its initial appetizing retro flavour and moves more towards the stomping quasi-groovy side consequently dragging in the 2nd half where the thrash becomes post-thrash hitting the bottom with the final slab of slow boring groovers. So eventually the guys "stopped pretending" that they play thrash...

Lullabies For Living Dead EP, 2009
Stop Pretending Full-length, 2013

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HEART IMPALED (USA)

Cool melodic modern post-thrash with noisy tendencies the latter not far from turning into full-fledged industrial at times. The band get tempted to speed up the proceedings ("Ruin Lords") and surprisingly these are also the moments when the music acquires nice epic undercurrents. Elsewhere the delivery isn't as adventurous although there's certain dynamics "lurking" around reflected in a few galloping delights ("Spirit Of The Cyclones") as well as the weird keyboard-infused speedster "Lake of Fire pt.2". The singer semi-recites in a subdued mantra-like fashion with a macabre flavour.
"Angel Destruction: Symphonies of a Fallen Angel": the ambitious title conceals poorly produced (read hissing guitars, above all) music which circles around progressive thrash/death metal this time, and as such delivers better with plenty of melodic excursions served on a jumpy mid-tempo base for most of the time. The post-thrashy overtones inevitably appear ("Dreams of the Bulls") at some stage alongside more dynamic hardcore-ish digressions ("Perversion of Wicked Angels"). "How to Create a Ghost" is a nice hallucinogenic piece, the seeming highlight here, with the diverse proto-blaster "Blood for Blood" and the closing 11.5-min saga "In Hell You Will Never Love the Same" close seconds.

Rise of Eradication Full-length,2014 Heart Impaled Full-Length, 2015
Vinegaroon EP, 2015 Angel Destruction: Symphonies of a Fallen Angel Full-length, 2016

Official Site

HEAT SHOCK (RUSSIA)

Crusty deathy classic thrash which also borrows from hardcore and grind, but still the thrashy attitude is prevalent despite its overt bashing nature. "Insanity" is quite cool stylish barrage, another digression being the doom-laden "Slowtrack" which is indeed a "slow track". The rest falls in the previous description, fast intense riffage with the odd pounding Celtic Frost-like section ("Slowtrack II") inserted to a morose effect. The singer at times shouts, at times semi-recites, but is always on par with the vigorous sincere, musical approach.

Mindless and Merciless Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

HEATHEN (USA)

This very cool Bay Area thrash metal band started greatly with "Breaking The Silence": a fine speed/thrash mteal album with catchy and memorable numbers boasting some of the finest speed/thrashing hymns of the whole 80's American scene: "Save the Skull", "Death by Hanging", as well as the Sweet cover of "Set Me Free". A lengthy pause followed between the first and second album, but it was really worth the wait: "Victims Of Deception" is a great album featuring heavy technical riffs with longer and more complex songs, not too far from late 80's Metallica; one can not help, but admire technical/progressive thrash masterpieces, like "Heathen's Song", "Opiate of the Masses", among others. The only downpoint is perhaps the not very necessary inclusion of the Rainbow cover "Kill the King". This album, along with Dark Angel's "Time Does Not Heal", gave a new, very interesting shape to the American thrash metal scene in the early-90's, but both acts disappeared soon after.
13 long years later, apparently encouraged by the thrash metal revival of the new millennium, the band released a compilation of old remastered tracks and cover versions in 2004 (Thin Lizzy, Queen, etc.) which, followed by a nice 3-track demo a year later, which sounded like the perfect continuation of "Victims Of Deception", with a pinch of the early carefree speed/thrash metal approach, is hopefully a sign for a third album in the makings.

"The Evolution of Chaos": after the Best of Compilation and the demo teaser the band hid from sight once again, and it looked as though they would not be able to capitalize on the aroused interest in thrash metal in the new millennium. Well, they are apparently willing to catch the last train of the decade, and here they are. The 3 songs from the demo promised a lot, and all of them are featured here serving as a base to this good slab of old school thrash which also offers 7 brand new tracks. The opener "Dying Season", already familiar from the 2005 demo, is the best possible way to start the album with the blistering speedy riffs, the great chorus and the inimitable Oriental hooks greatly recalling the band's debut. "Control by Chaos" is another lashing fast thrasher moshing far and wide for more than 7-min. Up to this point this new offering sounds quite close to the band's direct blitzkrieg debut, but comes "No Stone Unturned", and leaves "no stone unturned" with its heavy more technical riffs, an obvious nod to the more serious approach of "Victims Of Deception". This composition, however, beats every song from the aforementioned album in terms of length lasting for whole 11-min, and is a bit boring in the first half with its slow semi-balladic guitar work, although all that will be forgiven in the second half where the guys liven up in a fabulous manner with mighty galloping riffs. "Arrows of Agony" is another reminder of the demo, edgy up-tempo speed/thrash with good melodic hooks. "Fade Away" is vintage speedy Bay-Area thrash, followed by the cool heavy ballad "A Hero's Welcome", something new in the band catalogue, offering very good melodic lead guitars. "Undone" is a nice blend of the more stripped-down delivery of the debut with the heavier more technical one of "Victims of Deception". "Bloodkult" is raging thrash with a cool semi-technical edge ala early Testament, but the inertia gets "killed" once again with the semi-ballad "Red Tears of Disgrace" which offers hard riffs aplenty as well as the obligatory faster ending. The 3rd track from the demo is left for the end: "Silent Nothingness", closing the album in a brisk energetic fashion thrashing fiercely from beginning to end. As a whole the band does a nice cross between the styles presented on their first two efforts which should keep all fans happy since everything from the past is here: the David R. White vocals are the same excellent mix of emotional and gruffer tones, and the ex-Angel Witch guys do a fine job assisting him (the guitarist Lee Altus has been in the band since the very beginning, by the way), and the other guitar hero Kragen Lum has already proven his worth, first in the one-album-wonder Psychosis, and then in its present continuation Prototype, and his precise mechanical shreds give a nice "updated" feel to the music.

Set me free EP, 1987
Breaking The Silence Full-length, 1987
Victims Of Deception Full-length, 1991
Recovered Best of/Compilation, 2004
Demo Demo, 2005
The Evolution of Chaos Full-length, 2009

Official Site

HEATHENDOM (GREECE)

This is a pleasant surprise: an expertly crafted concoction of progressive, doom, power and thrash metal resurrecting the extinct Swedish sound from the late 90's: the last Hexenhaus album, their continuation Fifth Reason, Pathos, Memento Mori. "Nescience" is the best possible opener bringing forward the technical and the thrashy side of the mixture. Then doom and power metal come forth with "Burn", but thrash metal remains to create some of the most smashing hammering riffs around. "The Doll House" is one level up the doom metal scale, but "Mirror Of Memories" hits the top: exemplary progressive doom metal. With "Scenes Of Old" the power/thrashy patterns are back, but only for a while, since "I Bleed" is pure epic doom, as good as it could possibly get. "Hell Within" is the obligatory sprawling long doom composition, after which the closer "War & Pain" offers a similar to the opener mix of technical and thrashy riffs, to put an end to one of the most impressive debuts of 2008.
The really promising debut was left without a follow-up for close to three years, but before the guys have fallen into oblivion comes "The Symbolist" to save the day. And it not only saves, but establishes the band on the front row of Greek and European metal. "Endistancement By the Null Position" is an imposing doomy opener aptly supported by the hammering "Alternate Sickness" which introduces a few more dynamic sections. The title-track is an energetic power/thrasher with technical overtones and very cool keyboard insertions which disappear on the next "My Obedience", another edgy piece with great lead guitar work and a haunting exiting chorus. "Black Euphoria" starts with a nice lead variation of Edward Grieg's "In the Hall of the Mountain King" before turning into a seismic technical thrashterpiece. "Sanctified" is a seamless blend of doom and thrash both styles occupying their own space (doom the 1st, thrash the second half). "The Concept of Reason" is dark thrash ala Psychotron and Nevermore, and "Die Insane" turns to the doomy side producing morose epic doom in the best tradition of Candlemass and Memento Mori. "Prescience of the End" follows the same path, a bit faster probably, especially near the end where the guys start thrashing with no restraint for a bit. "An Angel, A Demon And A Dying God" is a truly impressive closer, an ambitious multi-layered progressive opus with creepy ominous riffs, twisted leads, edgy thrashy breaks, a slightly hinted keyboard background, and outstanding semi-operatic vocals; the singer is simply brilliant all over covering a wide range of moods in a way no worse than Messiah Marcoling himself and Warrel Dane, although to these ears his overall approach is the closest to Thomas Lundin (Hexenhaus). Is a second very strong album enough to make a band stars of the metal show worldwide? Yes, by all means...

Nescience Full-length, 2008
The Symbolist Full-length, 2011

Official Site

HEAVEN DIES (GERMANY)

Modern Swedish thrash/death metal crossing fast and slow sections on a cool, albeit pretty derivative, melodic guitar base.

Awaking Nemesis EP, 2010

Official Site

HEAVEN'S FORCE (USA)

This not very known act will pleasantly surprise you with pretty unbridled early speed/proto-thrash metal, a style crossing the heavy pounding riffs of Anvil with the rawer faster sound of the Belgians Acid and Angel Witch. The music is still mostly speed metal topped by gruff Lips-like (Anvil) vocals which aren't "strangers" to a few high-pitched, albeit unrehearsed, screams. Things get more serious on the second demo where "In League With the Priest" is already a complete thrasher with a heavy stomping bass bottom. "Deliver Us from Evil" is a much mellower heavy metal hymn, but "Heaven's Force" is cool intense speed/thrash, an aggressive mosher which precedes the similar approach of acts like Whiplash, Hallows Eve and Blessed Death with two whole years. "Second Coming" may have influenced Attacker title-wise, but music-wise this is a minor power metal hit ala Jag Panzer and early Helstar with a short fast passage in the middle. It's a mystery why these guys never developed beyond the demo stage provided that they literally took part in the establishment of the speed/thrash metal genre in the US, and were playing the very right music at the very right time...

Aggressive Angel Demo, 1983
Heaven's Force Demo, 1984

My Space

HEAVEN'S RAGE (USA)

A very typical, but hardly the most distinguished, representative of the 90's groovy scene. This is one-dimensional unexciting music, mid-paced at best with stoner/doom references, bland riffage and listless semi-clean vocals. Later the band changed their name to Lucid, but reportedly on the two albums released under that name the style is pretty much the same.

Temporary Full-length, 1993

Fan Site

HEAVENLY KINGDOM (BRAZIL)

Based on "Nature In Fury", this act serve aggressive Slayer-esque thrash with modern overtones and a few more brutal deathy references. The energy is high and inevitably a tinge of hardcore sneaks in here and there. In the 2nd half the album loses steam thrashing in mid-tempo with heavy stomping riffs, but the last trio is again on the not very controlled headbanging, hardcore-ish side the guys just relaxing with wild unbridled stuff just for the fun of it. The vocals are on the hoarse semi-death metal side, but their application is suitable and doesn't detract from the multifarious musical proceedings.

Tears from the Sky Full-Length, 2008
Nature In Fury Full-Length, 2013

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HEAVENWARD (GERMANY)

Based on the debut, these guys are one of the most unsung heroes from the German underground. The guys started strongly with two excellent demos released in the late-80's. Their style is captivating progressive speed/thrash reminiscent of Paradox's "Heresy" and Angel Dust's "To Dust You Will Decay". "The Sky" opens the album with elaborate rhythms and a few fast-paced crescendos, and "Dreams In Disguise" is a relatively more direct ripper with nice melodic leads. "Cold Embrace" is a quiet semi-ballad, but "Their Eyes" is a not very predictable jumper with a few fine soaring melodies. "At First Nature" is a hard-hitting speed/thrasher with a few more complex twists, and "Raging Waters" is perhaps the only unmitigated failure being an overlong ballad not quite deserving its "raging" title. "Within These Walls" is a dark power/thrasher ala Crimcon Glory, and the closer "Holding The Key" is a 3-min ripper closing this admirable achievement on a high note. The vocalist is a true find with his emotional versatile voice covering a wide range of octaves without overdoing it.
"A Future Worth Talking About" is a mellower power metal offering without any more intense moments, still firmly classic-sounding wsith a slight progressive flair.

Within These Dreams Full-Length, 1991
A Future Worth Talking About Full-Length, 1992

HEAVY CROSS (GEORGIA)

These Georgians play modern groovy, slightly technical thrash metal which could have benefitted from a faster play. Now this one-dimensional, even stoner/doom-sounding at times, material would hardly hold water for long with the hard-boiled thrashers. There's a lot of heaviness in the riff section, but apart from the intense edgier "Life Is More Than A Game", the rest is nothing more than a more complex (which doesn't mean better here) version of Tourniquet's "Vanishing Lessons" and Flotsam & Jetsam's "Drift".

Fan X Full-length, 2007

Official Site

HEAVY DEMONS (SWITZERLAND)

The debut: these Swiss "heavy demons" specialize in modern thrash which delivers with "heavy" stomping tracks ("Dark Devotion", "Bury Me") not containing anything too intense if we don't count the more brutal side of the vocal "duel", the one with the guttural death metal vocals. The band's "godfather", the Death SS song "Heavy Demons", is given a fair treatment at the end with a cool faithful rendition slightly ruined by the shouty death metal vocals.
"Twice" is another modern thrashism this time spiced with a certain doze of melo-death ("Scream Of The Beast"). The compositions are longer this time, but offer nothing too elaborate, just calm mid-tempo rhythms the exception being "Ex Angel" which is a wild deathster starkly opposed to the surrounding much more relaxed musical approach. "Master Of The Red Way" arrives near the end to bang the head for the last time with soaring flying riffs, putting to shame the carefree heavy rocking hymn "The Right Hand Of The Devil" which is the closer and is totally off-context.

Tenebra Full-Length, 2010
Twice Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

HEBOIDOPHRENIE (FRANCE)

The post-styles have set up a meeting here: post-thrash meets post-death on a hard-boiled groovy base, but the dramatic mid-paced riffage, graced by a not very overt industrial flair, works for most of the time at least for those who don't look to headbang till they die: this just won't happen here. "Rotten" is a nice semi-speedster, but the steam-rolling nature of the rest would make this moment hardly noticed. "Cadaver" is a nice quasi-industrial doomster which gives this album a desirable atmospheric shade the latter slightly marred by the indifferent brutal death metal growls.

Origin Of Madness Full-Length, 2013

HEBOSAGIL (FINLAND)

Finland keeps churning out thrash metal bands, most of them really worth checking out. Hebosagil are one of those who deserve your attention; the band's style is consistent throughout the demos (and an EP) being high-speed thrash of the classic variety with a few nods to death metal resembling Recipients Of Death, Hypnosia and the Japanese Fastkill (especially on the "November Reign" demo where the "early Destruction played faster"-description fits perfectly). Hopefully these guys will be picked by some label soon...

Demo II: Hebosagil Sell Out Demo, 2004
The Doomchild Demo, 2004
November Reign Demo, 2005
Studio Live Demo, 2005
Hard as They Come Demo, 2006
Cosmic EP, 2007

Official Site

HECATOMB (AUSTRALIA)

This project was initiated by members who later took part in both the death/grindcore "monsters" Blood Dusters, and the black metal formation Abyssic Hate. Based on the self-titled demo, the guys haven't honed their "weapons" as well offering rough primal doom/death with compulsive thrash/grindy "outbreaks of evil" which may scare those who are just about to fall asleep on a preceding veeery dooomy passage. It's not totally bad, but it comes with an awful underground sound which makes the vocals barely audible, if this hellish brutal low-tuned growling can actually be called "vocals". Still, it has its raw unpolished charm although to the thrash metal fan it wouldn't appeal too much.

Hecatomb Demo, 1991
Deep Sleep Therapy Demo, 1992

HECATOMB (HUNGARY)

Passable retro thrash with mean-ish clean vocals; the delivery ranges from thought-out, almost progressive-sounding, thrashers ("Soldiers Of Justice") to simple direct cuts ("Over The Reality") with a crossover flair. "Jihad" is a more relaxed power metal cut, and "Lady Of Horror" is a decent semi-ballad ruined by the bad unrehearsed vocals.

Over the Reality Demo, 1992

HECHOS (ARGENTINA)

This is all-instrumental modern post-thrash with numerous lead twists which are superior to the one-dimensional riffage which develops in a predictable mid-pace until it hist the nice complex cut "Epifania" where it starts playing a more prominent role "clouding" the lead guitar for a while. This is choppy semi-technical stuff which could have been made with a bit more imagination and experimentalism.

Facta Non Verba Full-Length, 2011

HECTIC (HOLLAND)

Based on the "It Bites" demo, these guys pull out a simplistic and a not very impressive blend of Motorhead, early Razor, and Destructor. The music isn't very sharp for most of the time except on a few occasions when it sounds more aggressive and chaotic introducing hardcore in the proceedings. The band added two 9's to their name and with this came the change of sound into a more friendly heavy/power metal-based one.

It Bites Demo, 1987
Expose Your Hate Demo, 1988

HECTIC SHOCK (USA)

Evil, blacky old school speed/thrash with mean female vocals; the delivery is loose recalling early Exciter, Piledriver and the obscures Exorcist. In other words this is stripped-down, sincere stuff with an overt hardcore vibe which only alters the pace on the sinister proto-doomster "Watery Grave" the rest being an uplifting, merry-go-round boogie.

Summoning Hell Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

HECTOR (CZECH)

Based on The "Open Hell" demo, the band's style is cool speed/thrash which recalls Accuser's debut or the Swiss Poltergeist (their first album as well). The music is good with the obligatory fast tracks, slower semi-technical ones and even balladic touches.

Open Hell Demo, 1991
Nine Two Nine Three Demo, 1993

HECTORITE (SWEDEN)

Based on the "Subliminal Torment" demo, this is modern thrash/death similar to Terror 2000 and Corporation 187 in the faster sections mixed with dry mechanical guitar work ala Meshuggah. Surprisingly, this blend works well sounding like a more interesting and vivid Meshuggah.

Insano Technimetal Demo, 2001
Nocturnal Metempsychosis Demo, 2002
Subliminal Torment Demo, 2003

Official Site

HEDLOK (USA)

Based on the demo, this formation specialize in intense speedy classic thrash which comes accompanied by a less serious hardcore-ish attitude. The guitar sound is quite thin contrasting with the deathy shouty vocals which create quite a bit of noise when in action. This is direct simplistic stuff which would create several headbanging moments for the hungry thrash metal fans.
"Behold the Deathsquad" elaborates on the sound heard on the demo providing fast blitzkrieg thrash for most of the time the delivery seldom adhering to hardcore now the band playing seriously even trying something more complicated (The Executioner") and slower. The songs are generally short and to-the-point and the singer is more expresive this time singing with more attachment to the proceedings even catching the odd melodic tune for a change.

Acidic Assault/Hedlok Split , 2012
Demo Demo, 2012
Behold the Deathsquad Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

HEDONIST (BELGIUM)

Modern groovy post-thrash which is really heavy on the riff-patterns touching doom quite a bit ("Body Like a Battle Axe", the melancholic doomster "Beecher") leaving the more intense passages hanging as isolated moments from the longer cuts. The singer has a passionate semi-clean croon which very well suits the slower pensive approach. Some of the musicians are also active with the heavy metal formation Solenoid.

The Collapse Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

HEIBEL (USA)

Thrash/crossover of the more laid-back type with open punk-ish overtones; the guitar work is melodic, recalling early Broken Bones, and the really fast moments aren't that many coming near the end in the form of short furious grind-laced pieces.

Yeah, Everything's Great Full-Length, 1986

HEINOUS CRIMINAL (JAPAN)

These Japanese play modern thrash/death metal topped by vicious semi-death/semi-black metal vocals. The music follows faithfully the Swedish models so expect numerous melodic hooks on the faster sections as well as a couple of cool semi-technical elements.

Heinous Criminal Demo, 2004

Official Site

HEIR TO THE THRONE (USA)

This act play modern thrash by the numbers which has an edge and energy and may bang the heads despite its fairly rehashed nature. The music combines sharpness and melody as the faster-paced cuts dominate the scenery which becomes more playful on the thrash/death'n roller "Hells Calling". The album loses steam with each passing song the last duo being mid-paced epicers underplaying the gruff death metal semi-shouty vocals.

Premonitions Full-Length, 2011

Official Site

HEIRBORNE (USA)

This is dark mid-paced power/thrash with slightly annoying screamy vocals, which for compensation offers energetic gallopers ("Behind Enemy Lines"), but epic battlers, like "The Crucified" are also around, to create the (un)necessary balance. The sound quality is not the clearest one in the world, and the guitars hiss at times, racing with the vocals as to who will produce the bigger noise.

Morbid Reality Demo, 1990

HEKSERI (USA)

A modern hybrid of thrash, black and death metal is on offer here by two girls who play with a lot of aggression topped by screamy hellish black metal vocals for which one has to have a fairly big imagination to recognize the woman behind them. The overall approach comes close to mid-period Dimmu Borgir, and the super-speed for most of the time is a serious impediment for one to catch the stylish more melodic additions which are all over the album giving it a nice proto-gothic twist also reminiscent of Cradle of Filth. One of the girls, Megan Leo, is also involved in other, more black metal-oriented, projects: Witchblood, Cold Northern Vengeance, etc.

Hekseri Full-length, 2010

Official Site

HEKTC'd6RE (POLAND)

Some of the Hektor (see the review below) members did another album under this name. The music is entirely different, though, shifting into not very serious thrash/crossover with experimental offbeat funky parts and other gimmicks which are not very appropriate most of the time. It holds absolutely no surprises for the thrash metal fan who may get tired way before the end to listen to this odd mish-mash which lacks an edge more than just now and then.

Imagine Theatre Full-length, 1993

HEKTOR (POLAND)

An obscure late-80's entry from the Polish underground offering a curious mixture of surprisingly brutal vicious death/thrash metal with some of the most aggressive death metal vocals at this stage, and slow funereal doomy riffs. To these ears the pure thrashers ("Back To Primitive", which also boasts sparing operatic female vocals; the clever semi-technical "Blind Eyes", which will remind you of Pestilence's "Testimony of the Ancients") are the better side, but often does the sound get too wild moving to a sheer death metal insanity.

The Inner Dementia Full-Length, 1989

HELD UNDER (USA)

Based on "Held Under", this act pulls out (the 2002 recordings) groovy heavy post-thrash mixed with more intense death metal sections, mid-paced and steam-rolling at times with brutal death metal vocals and sparce references to sludge ala EyeHateGod.

Failed Existence Full-length, 2001
Held Under (2002 Recordings) Full-length, 2002
Held Under (2004 Recordings) Full-length, 2004
The Catastrophe of Creation Full-length, 2006

My Space

HELGRIND (UK)

Based on the "Fallen Prophet" EP, Helgrind play cool classic up-tempo power/thrash metal which slightly recalls early Xentrix (the first two albums) and the Americans Midevil. "Religious Persecution" is full-blooded thrash, much more aggressive than the EP, this time taking a shape of its own with meaty heavy riffs, in predominantly fast tempos, boasting some fine numbers: the excellent opener "Death Squad", the raging 3-min wonder "Mass Graves", the speed/thrash monster "Religious Persecution". "Cry For The Angels" is a brilliant interlude in the form of a short acoustic instrumental. "Violation" retains the melody coming as a heavy semi-ballad, but you'll be blown away by the aggressive "Forbidden Lust" and the death/thrash explosion "Altar Of Hate". "Suicide Pact" nicely blends slower and faster moments, and "Heretic" surrenders to the slower side again although it remains entertaining and very heavy. "Witchery" thrashes its soul out, whereas the closing "Baptised In Hate" prefers to sum things up, offering another amalgam of moods and tempos, putting a cool end to this really strong effort.

"Inquisition" shows no mercy from the get-go, and "Burn" is already an all-out thrasher with a Slayer vibe. It's kind of misleading, though, since after it comes a string of slower, pounding numbers which still have the sting and all, with "Revenge" offering energetic galloping riffs setting the scene for "Break Out", a nice melodic speed/thrasher. "Black Rain" is 7-min of intense thrashing, relying on both fast and stomping riffage, supported by good lead guitar work. "In the Name of" is a nice epic thrasher which slows down influencing another small batch of songs, before "Subhuman" reminds of Slayer with its speedy, hammering riffs. The closing "Prophecy of Destruction" isn't the best possible choice to exit the album thrashing in a less serious crossover manner, but suits the expressive, semi-shouty vocals. This effort would be a safe bet for the band's fans who should remain happy with this cool, faithful nod to all things old school.

The debut is a promising beginning starting with two short twisted numbers before settling for more comprehensive old school thrash with the steam-roller "Prophecy of Destruction" which tone is like an oasis among the much shorter more aggressive cuts (the death metal-laced "Albert Fish", "Black Mass", the speed/thrasher "Savior", etc.) before the final title-track exits the album in a mild heavy/power metal fashion. This is a diverse listen introducing all the influences in the band's subsequent catalogue.

Denial Full-length, 2005
Fallen Prophet EP, 2007
Religious Persecution Full-Length, 2008
Inquisition Full-length, 2011

Official Site

HELL'S DOMAIN (DENMARK)

This outfit is a conglomerate of many stars from the Danish scene: the one-album-wonder Pixie Killers, Grope, Artillery, Hatesphere, etc. So what can we expect from this stellar cast? A decent mix of modern and classic thrash professionally executed, but without much soul and inspiration. This is a cool mostly fast-paced, but hardly extraordinary album which has all the attitude and style to bang the head, but would hardly rise above the sea of similar efforts which flood the scene at present.

Hell's Domain Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

HELL'S KITCHEN (USA)

Based on the debut, this band offers simplistic brisk thrash/crossover recalling The Accused and early Broken Bones. Apart from the predominant short speedy numbers there are longer and slower ("Hellrquote s Kitchen") ones which are not bad being doomy with more musical skills involved; others of the same kind cling towards the balladic side ("Mind Melt"), but again deliver in a jollier more uplifting way. "Tonight Irquote m Gonna Rock You Tonight" doesn't betray its title, and is a merry rock'n roll track. This is the band from where the drum master Chris Kontos (Testament, Machine Head, Exodus, Konkhra, etc.) started his career. Later he, along with the singer Dave Chavez, formed the more aggressive thrash metal act Verbal Abuse.

If You Can't Take The Heat... Full-length, 1989
Fistful Of Chicken Full-length, 1990

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HELL'S PUNCH (BRAZIL)

This band features none other than Sergio Cichovicz from the legends Overdose who is also in charge of the vocals apart from the guitar performance. The approach is a hesitation between the classic and the modern school where short blitzkriegers ("Kill Your Politician") take turns with much longer bluesy extravaganzas ("7 Minutes About Death") and dubious tributes to the good old 90's groove. Still, one can't deny the visceral power of short sharp shockers like "Integrity" although their numbers is not that big to fight over the prevalent groovy tunes.

Burn It Down Full-Length, 2016

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HELL'S THRASH HORSEMEN (RUSSIA)

A cool debut of classic Bay-Area thrash, albeit too short (one of the 7 compositions is an intro, another one is a balladic lead-driven instrumental) with nice heavy sharp riffs, which is mostly mid-paced and crushing except on "Beginning Of War" which speeds up at some point, and on the closing cover of Testament's "The Preacher" from "The New Order". The singer should be spared for the future, though: his hysterical hardcore shouting is hardly a valuable addition to the good music.
"Going Sane" wastes no time thrashing with force from the very intro "Injection", and the next "Black Label" is a nice up-tempo thrasher setting the tone for the following 3 numbers, before "Razor's Edge" which is slower and more technical, also offering excellent melodic leads. Afterwards the "attack" continues with "Nuclear Attack" and every other song till the end including the short explosive closer "Kill Fucking Bitch", a brutal bomb of primal Slayer-esque thrash. The guitar work is really good springing up with the casual more technical decision, ably assisted by the heavy bass bottom and the fine leads, both technical and melodic, present on almost every track. The major complaint again comes from the vocal department: the guy has toned down his screamy delivery quite a bit, but his rough drunken tember needs a lot more refinement before he reaches the Bay-Area models which better suit the music.

... Till Violence Full-length, 2009
Going Sane Full-length, 2010

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HELL'S VEINS (CHILE)

Epic-tinged death/thrash with vicious death metal vocals; the officiant epic instrumental intro "From Hell to Veins" encapsulates the band's sound quite well although the guys aren't strangers to some fierce thrashing ("Eternal Warrior") later on, even adhering to blast-beats ("Assassin") whenever necessary. Generally the tempo is quite energetic as both Bolt Thrower and Amon Amarth can be cited as influences except on the mellower epic tracks ("Into the Abyss") which come with more playful, melodic hooks. Some of the musicians also take part in the black/death metal outfit Unlegacy.

Eternal Warrior Full-length, 2011

Official Site

HELL:ON (UKRAINE)

A 3-sohttp://www.hellsveins.cl/ng EP ("Beyond The Fake") of uneventful heavy groovy thrash with slight shades of melo-death ("To Become Alive"). "Re-Born" elaborates on the sound heard on the EP, but adds more intense thrashy riffage which gives the songs the desirable hard edge, but on the other hand metalcore breaks have found their way into the sound as well which, combined with the grooves, would hardly be the average thrash fan's headbanging paradise.
The "In the Shadow of Emptiness" EP contais 4 tracks of heavy industrialized thrash, more dynamic and jumpier than the guys' older material, even including a couple of furious melo-death sections ("Voices of the Abyss") ala Dark Tranquillity which struggle to find their "place under the sun" amid the predominant sludgy groovy riffage.

"Age of Oblivion" is a more capable affair seeing the band thrashing with more style and more speed the groove playing a secondary role standing still before uncompromising moshers like "Let it Feed", "Voices of the Abyss" and, of course, the cool cover version of their compatriots Master's "Punk Guys". The closing "Satan" is a firmly effective creepy doom/thrasher with heavy, but melodic riffs exiting this album in a surprising, but intriguing fashion. The singer shouts in a forceful, authoritative hardcore-ish manner and is quite intelligible for most of the time.
"Hunt" is another modern thrash offering which wins a lot from the presence of none other than Andy La Rocque whose performance makes "Slaughter Smel" the sure highlight here. Things aren't too far behind on the rest, though, "Duality" being a raging headbanger with a nice atmospheric mid-section the remaining material trying hard to capture its manic intensity: check out the title-track, the twisted little rager "Prey", etc. The closing "Insight" is calmer, but features great Oriental motifs which meander stylishly to create a cool progressive environment. This album isn't bad at all showing the band in fine shape to lead the Ukrainian metal scene to future glories.
"Once upon a Chaos.." doesn't disappoint although the approach has become a bit more mechanized still not able to stop immediate headbangers like "Delirium" and the death metal-laced "Self-Destruction". "Obliteration" later on is an enchanting cavalcade of fine melodic leads and rhythms, and "Lustration" after it rises for a few more stylish technical challenges. Andreas Kisser from the good old Sepultura is featured on "Salvation in Death" near the end, before the closing "I Am God" serves an exiting portion of atmospheric doomy industrialisms to an imposing, apocalyptic efect.

Strong Enough Full-length, 2006
Beyond The Fake EP, 2008
Re:Born Full-length, 2008
In the Shadow of Emptiness EP, 2010
Age of Oblivion Full-length, 2012
Hunt Full-Length, 2013
Once upon a Chaos... Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

HELL-US. (SWEDEN)

This is modern power/thrash which follows the path of The Black Album by giving it a harsher groovy flair, but the formula gets tired fairly soon especially when there's no variety in the speed approach at all: this is monotonous, one-dimensional mid-paced music which hits Paradise Lots-like doom/gothic fields with the closer "Drowning" (the influence of the Brits can also be felt elsewhere).

Monster Piece Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

HELL BULLET (BRAZIL)

4 tracks of intense fast retro thrash "courting" both Devastation and the German school; this is tight very well-executed stuff starting with the aggressive shredding instrumental "Destroy Your Neck" which will do its best to really "destroy your neck", but the rest is not much far back filled with speedy sharp headbanging riffs shot with precision assisted by a very good sound quality. The singer is a forceful intelligible semi-declamator sounding close to Rodney Dunsmore (Devastation).

Kill For Beer Demo, 2008

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HELL DARKNESS (ISRAEL)

The single: 2 songs of vicious black/thrash metal ala early Bathory and the Canadians Megiddo with throaty death metal vocals. "Rockin' Underground" tones down the viciousness replacing it with more playful rockish (hence the album-title) rhythms which may remind you of more recent Darkthrone and the "fathers" of the genre Venom ("Brilliant Sin"). Watch out also for the frolic doomster "Old Riffs Metal" which indeed consists of very "old riffs metal" that will bring you down to the middle ages when Black Sabbath and Pentagram were forging them (in fire, I presume). The headbanging side of the genre isn't completely neglected, and here comes "Iron Thrash Metal" to rock your world with faster "iron thrash" riffs. The final "Against" is another Venom-worship done in a noisy chaotic manner with fuzzy guitars and screaming leads. The singer (there are two musicians involved in this project) doesn't hide his fascination with the early underground growls of Tom G. Warrior emulating him down to the -T-.

Heartfelt Single, 2009
Rockin' Underground Full-length, 2010

Official Site

HELL FILES (BRAZIL)

This tribute to all UFO's and the X-File TV show text-wise indulges in moody atmospheric retro thrash which nicely recalls the guys' compatriots The Mist. The pace varies within one song as well "Fucking Enemy" being the best example of the dramatic diversity heard here while cuts like "Ufo Files #2" are brooding macabre shredders bordering on doom this particular approach occupying more than half the space, making the harsh shouty semi-death metal vocalist suit this delivery more.

Hell Files Full-length, 2017

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HELL INSIDE (CHILE)

Based on "Sed Viciosa Mental": this band play cool retro thrash, fast and energetic, but served with a muddy sound quality, and hoarse, death metal-ish vocals. The music packs a punch, though, staying close to the German masters Destruction and Kreator with occasional more aggressive proto-death parts ("Death My Finger").

Tribute to Sepultura Demo, 2005
Sed Viciosa Mental Demo, 2007

Official Site

HELL KAISER (MEXICO)

This is dynamic retro thrash with crisp production and shouty death metal vocals. The guys shred with gusto, but not all is based on speed as "Call to the Arms" shows so well with its more restrained rhythms, and the closing "My Addiction" which is a friendlier power metal anthem.

Crushing Heads Full-Length, 2017

HELL PATROL (POLAND)

This is evil old school black/thrash, badly played, with noisy drums and messy guitars, turning to death metal ("Death's Messenger") for inspiration, consequently producing the finest moments on the album. The bash is relentless, although seemingly enthusiastic, assisted by screechy vocals with a clear rending black metal shade. The guys are also busy with the death/thrash metal hybriders Cryptic Rites where the music isn't far removed from the one at display here.

The Beginning Demo, 2010

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HELL PROMISE (USA)

A good debut of slightly groovy post-thrash with touches of hardcore (mainly in the vocal department), not too far from Pro-Pain or probably early Machine Head. The songs are all in the same energetic, but not very fast, pace and are very catchy; fans of the 90's groove-based scene will enjoy this a lot.

Aim For Hell Full-length, 2006

Official Site

HELL REBELS (AUSTRIA)

Based on "Reawaken", this act provide modernly produced power/thrash which tries to epitomize the mid-pace as the guiding light as evident from "Master", and the longer pieces in the middle by all means belong to that category although there'll be a lot of jumping around on the lively "Hammer and Anvil" and on the short, more immediate "Rascally". The second half actually comes alive with the galloping winner "You Will Reap as You Sow", and with the jumpy semi-technical title-track. The vocalist is a passable semi-reciter who attempts some singing at times, again without flopping. Some of the musicians were also active with the classic heavy metal outfit TheScorn.

Back from Attack Full-length, 2013
Reawaken Full-length, 2017
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Official Site

HELL SAVIOR (CHINA)

Based on the full-length, this act provides an intriguing, alternative form of modern post-thrash which has both edge and atmosphere, plus the odd soaring speed metal tune ("Guardians Of Glave") inserted. The sense of melody of the Chinese is well felt (check out the emotional leads on the short instrumental "An Ever Burning Flame"; or the progressive semi-ballad "Life Rattles On"). Even the cover of Judas Priest's "Breaking The Law" at the end is done in a subdued alternative manner, well suited to the guys' style, slower and more dramatic, partly ruined by the laughable vocals which are strangely high without pitching too much, also having a characteristic melodic blend which is hard to pin down. This isn't bad at all although the more hard-core fans of the genre will surely "keep running for (thrash) metal" elsewhere.

Hell Savior EP, 2009
Keep Running For Metal Full-length, 2010

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HELL SPIRIT (FINLAND)

Based on the second demo, this act plays crusty thrashcore, not bad, at times edgier and faster, at others moody and more epic-sounding. Expect the odd blasting short outbreak as well as a few nice melodic leads. The singer is hardly audible, though, since he doesn't really sing, but recites in a gruff underground tember.
"Dawn Under Curse" is more on the black metal side of things mixing epic Bathory-sque compositons with vitriolic outbursts of passion and speed which at times can pull out some admirable musical touches: the virtuous leads on "Unholy Redemption". "Eternal Night" is a monumental 11-min opus which develops in a sleepy doomy pace, and the closing "Blood & Metal" is the compensation offered after it in the form of 3.5-min of hard-hitting aggressive thrash which closes the album in a surprising up-tempo note.

Demo I Demo, 2005
Demo II Demo, 2006
Grave Spirit Sessions Split, 2010
Dawn Under Curse Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

HELL SPYKE (BRAZIL)

Based on the "Vatican on Fire" EP: two guys from hell create quite a noise which can be distinguished as a black/thrash mix of the brutal kind with some of the grinding aesthetics of The Berserker also present. So expect fairly fast music with numerous hyper-blasts, seldom intercepted by the more stomping break ala Celtic Frost. The singer rends his lungs in a subdued, semi-whispered manner sounding pretty scary despite his disputable vocal abilities. The guys are also busy with the death/black metal outfit Infernal Deathcrusher.
The debut is an ultra-noisy affair with not much to be distinguished among the splattered, very abrasive and fuzzy, guitar sounds in the form of very fast thrash/black/deathy rhythms and sudden stomping breaks ala Hellhammer which are th? only more proficiently-executed sections the gruff Tom G. warrior-like vocals another "priceless" addition. This rough unpolished piece of brutality is not for the squeamish, and may not be the first choice even for the hard-boiled metal fans.

Battles In Eternal Hell Full-length, 2009
Vatican on Fire EP, 2009
Eternal Kult of War Full-length, 2009
The Return to the Dark Cemetery Full-length, 2009

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HELL THEATER (ITALY)

The flamboyant style of King Diamond, including his notorious falcettos, are brought here with a solid pinch of power/speed/thrash ending up being arguably the finest tribute to Mercyful Fate/King Diamond made ever also reflected in the masks the guys wear on their faces the latter a mixture of Kiss, King Diamond, and Brandon Lee's (R.I.P.) "The Crow"; and also in the very album-title which is a total nod to Mercyful Fate (the marvellous sinister cut from "Don't Break the Oath"). The resultant blend is captivating alternating operatic pompous arrangements with direct moshy sections the latter not really aggressive, just more intense than the dominant officiant delivery. Overall the band sound like a more brutal version of the recent acts from Sweden who started down the Mercyful Fate path (In Solitude, Portrait), but there's more dynamics here reflected in numerous galloping moments ("Smell of Blood") and excellent short headbangers ("Escape From the Bloody House on the Hill", the speedy blitzkrieger "Walking Through the Flames of Hell"). The complexity and the sudden musical decisions of the Danish maestros are nicely captured on the more elaborate material like the operatic "The Time Has Come" and the dramatic pounder "The Shadow of the Devil". At times those structures are subdued by more aggressive riffage ("Under the Sign of the Evil"), especially on the encompassing closer "The End of the Beast", a ripping power/thrasher with heavy volcanic riffs superseded by hard fast passages: watch out for the brutal shreds near the end, major necksprainers accompanied by wailing screaming vocals which at their more normal are vintage Tim "Ripper" Owens and Rob Halford. Yes, this is indeed a "hell theater" so no one would feel sorry attending some of the guys' performances...

Reincarnation of Evil Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

HELL TORMENT (PERU)

Based on the full-length, this band, who is only represented by one musician the pseudonym Hell Warrior, plays fast'n furious black/thrash/death which is a full-blooded blasting entertainment from beginning to end with not a very clear distinction between songs. Near the end, surprisingly, the guitars take a more jocund tone with a more thrashy edge without losing too much from the speed also offering a very nice lead-driven balladic closer ("El Dia Final") which only suffers from the guttural semi-declamatory vocals which at least on this one don't rend their lungs out as is the case on the other material.

Opening the Gates of Hell Full-length, 2008
Heaven Burns Today EP, 2009

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HELLACAUST (CANADA)

Black/thrash metal becomes quite popular in Canada threatening to overtake the technical metal field with which this country has been proud for so many years. Joking, of course... But, seriously, this band pulls out very fast and aggressive black/thrash (te first 2 albums are considered) which would make even Necrodeath proud. The music also recalls Hellwitch, but isn't as technical. This is a full-fronted aural assault, done professionally, which will make you headbanging for days.
"What Is Not" is another violent affair the guys moshing out in the utmost manner with black, thrash and a bit of death metal blended well black metal again leading the pack although the highlights clearly belong to the parts where death metal takes the upper hand: the excellent technical shredder "No Regret". "Hold the Line" is a 7-min brutalizer, a chaotic maddening composition which is on the brink of falling apart at times. The saga is finished with a very cool cover version of Sodom's "Agent Orange".

Dark Age Descending Full-length, 2002
Inevitable Dementia Full-length, 2006
Disgust Full-length, 2008
What Is Not Full-length, 2014

Official Site

HELLARISE (BRAZIL)

A 4-song demo of minimalistic modern thrash/death metal of the melodic proto-gothic variety played by girls only; so expect melodic hooks, mid-tempo for most of the time, sparce cleaner female vocal inclusions, and even catchy sing-along choruses ("Human Disgrace").
The single is just one song titled "More Mindless Violence" and it's an energizing shredder sustained in the staple for the band mid-pace with a cool speedy passage in the middle, assisted by vicious macabre semi-death metal vocals behind which one would have problems recognizing the girl.

Demo Demo, 2010
Single Single, 2012

Official Site

HELLBASTARD (UK)

Hellbastard hail from the vast punk/hardcore scene which was particularly strong in the UK, and their roots have remained there despite some serious attempts at thrash metal made later in their career. Their best album from this thrashy period is by all means "Natural Order" which is pure thrash metal attack with their hardcore past only slightly hinted at. This album actually offers good music with great leads and a fast energetic tempo providing really great headbanging moments ("I Beg In Blood", "Natural Order"). Slower, but still hard-hitting songs come up towards the middle ("There Is No God,...", "Neon Storms"), as well as one melodic rosk-ish number ("Live as Mortals"), obviously the joke song. The vocals remain in the hardcore camp, but they kind of take a secondary role here, as more room has been given to the better music.
The second veterans from the 80's UK scene to get back in the game after Onslaught, Hellbastard pull no punches sacrificing the punk/hardcore sound of "The Good Go First... Hate Militia" to bring back the more aggressive thrashy approach from "Natural Order", and as such "The Need to Kill" delivers almost as well. It seldom thrashes with all-out speed, the tempo moving from up to mid the whole time, with only the closing "Business Pig Hole" moshing out on full-throttle. Still, it stays clear off the modern elements which managed to sneak into the Onslaught comeback release, offering a firm old school sound. The last 6 tracks are re-recorded versions of songs from their previous works.

The "hellbastards" are here again with a short work (the "Sons of Bitches" EP) which sees them mixing awkward groovy fillers ("Wolfsong - Arcadia") with their typical faster blitzkriegers ("Sons of Bitches"), but expect more surprises later on: the dreamy balladic saga "System Whore", an energized version of their hit of old "We Had Evidence", and a short non-music exit ("Throw The Petrol Bomb"). This is neither good nor bad; it just sees the guys having fun apparently warming-up before embarking on another full-length recording.
"Freal" begins with the definitive headbanger "In Praise of Bast", but it's the most misleading start witnessed recently; the guys go all over the place from there producing the 8-min heavy metal anthem "We Are Coven" which sets the friendly tone for the whole album. The guys just pleasantly shred in a laid-back power metal-ish fashion for most of the time only rarely reminding of their vicious past ("Social Hand Grenade"), not to mention the biggest detriment, the tearful ballad "Paws": for lost lovers only... Yes, correct, it can easily pass for the biggest flop for 2015 on the thrash metal circuit: it would be hard to beat even by the biggest amateurs out there...

Heading For Internal Darkness Full-length, 1988
They Brought Death EP, 1989
Natural Order Full-length, 1990
Blood, Fire And Hate Full-length, 1999
The Good Go First...Hate Militia Full-length, 2000
Eco-War EP, 2009
The Need to Kill Full-length, 2009
Eco-War EP, 2009
Sons of Bitches EP, 2012
Feral Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

HELLBENT (USA)

Based on "The American Demise", this act try to bring the "demise" of America with this modern thrashism which is not very aggresive, and clings towards the metalcore arena at times. The guys shred with passion, though, without producing anything truly striking, but cuts like the title-track will make the fans headbang easily. Still, the rest is too peaceful to make this abllum the surest pick for the thrash metal crowd who wouldn't be too impressed by the "gruff-clean" vocal duel, either.

Hellbent EP, 2012
Southern Brutality Full-length, 2014
There Will be Violence EP, 2015
The American Demise Full-length, 2016

Official Site

HELLBOMB (RUSSIA)

Rough thrashy crossover/hardcore with a strong crusty vibe. This isn't only one-dimensional bash, but also offers cool mid-paced Celtic Frost-esque anthems ("Black Metal Gestapo"). "Der Grosse" is on the other extreme, though, a fast aggressive deathster; the remaining cuts walk the "nomansland" between those two as the final "Man Discovers Fire" is a curious progressive cruster with stomping hypnotic riffs.

Hatebombs from Hell Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

HELLBOOZER UNION (FINLAND)

With Barathrum on hold for the moment, some of its members don't want to take it easy doing nothing, and have teamed up with other Finnish acts' members for the creation of this jolly raw tribute to Motorhead which is certainly more aggressive with a strong blacky shade (based on the "Devouring Crucified Whores Servants" demo) and throaty drunken death metal vocals. This is party stuff which is a decent antidote to the the brutal rhythms of Impaled Nazarene with a cool tribute to Celtic Frost at the end (the dark sleeper "Morbid Fate").

Heavy Me(n)tal Demo, 1999
Rehearsal Demo, 2007
The Awakening of the Intolerant Overlord Demo, 2008
Rupla Sessions Demo, 2010
Raw Mixes from the Forthcoming Attack! Demo, 2011
Devouring Crucified Whores Servants Demo, 2012

Official Site

HELLBOUND (SPAIN)

Based on the "No Resurrection" demo, this act pulls out aggressive death-laced thrash metal with sparce slower purer thrash stretches ("Against the Wall"). The singer is gruff with a style closer to death metal, and the guitar work is diverse ranging from very fast to slow proto-doomy moments impeded by the bad sound quality.

Night of Living Dead Single, 1988
No Resurrection Demo, 1990
Forgotten the Past Demo, 1993
Gravelust EP, 1996

HELLBOUND (SWEDEN)

This act serve modern groovy power/post-thrash which is "ornated" by a dancey industrial edge not very far from the one witnessed on the works of KMFDM or Rammstein. The songs are catchy and simple with memorable choruses, but the guitar performance is less striking sticking to repetitive chugga-chugga formulas where there's no room for too much melody the exception being isolated hooks from the closer "King Of The Fire". The singer has a gruff, not very melodic, tember and he uses it mostly to semi-shout in a dispassionate robotic fashion.

Through Hell And Muddy Waters Full-Length, 2013

HELLBOUND (USA)

Based on the "Transcend the Flesh" demo, this band serve dark potent old school thrash with gruff very shouty, almost hysterical, death metal vocals. The leads are good, albeit very screamy suiting well the raging riffage which at times comes with a more stylish technical "sting" ("Ties That Bind"). The bass work is also quite good thundering in the background, disappearing on the closing thrashing/death metal rager "Of My Being", another more technical, appetizing "monster" at the end.

Demo Demo, 1990
Apocalyptic Visions Demo, 1991
Transcend the Flesh Demo, 1995

HELLBOX (FINLAND)

Based on "Infernothing": this is a pretty decent black/thrash metal band which will bring you back to the days of Venom, Celtic Frost and Bulldozer. It even puts all these acts to shame with the opening "Infernothing", which is a blasting aggressive black/thrash at its best, but remains the only one of its kind. The situation, however, comes quickly under control with the sinister mid-paced "Coin Under Tongue", another great hypnotic track. Then the band lose it for a while with the hardcore-ish shorter "Liar Liar", but waste no time to come back on track with the equally as short, but much better Slayer-esque "Vulture". "Helldriver" is probably the other not very convincing moment: jolly playful rock-ish thrash. After it the guys fail to capture the earlier aggression and the remaining songs are more melodic, acquiring a certain hardcore shade, staying quite close to early Venom with one cool deviation: the heavy Celtic Frost-like "Eviction from the Grave", followed by the closing "Christmas Suicide" which is excellent speed/thrash with nice melodic hooks. Some of the musicians also play death metal with Panzerium and Nephritis with whom they're still on a demo stage.

Sadisticlaw Full-length, 2003
Infernothing Full-length, 2006

Official Site

HELLBREAKER (COLOMBIA)

The demo: well-played classic thrash "courting" the early German scene, above all; the guys play fast with sparce references to death metal ("Hades Whore"; the sweeping thrash/deathster "Rites Of Death"). The guitar work is a bit thin, but is professionally executed despite the constant speedy barrage encountered. The singer semi-growls in a screamy hysterical fashion, but kind of suits the merciless musical approach. The guys have two more similar black/thrash formations: Abductor and Persecutor with which they're still on a demo stage; and they are also active with classic heavy metal formation Steel Hammer.
The full-length debut is a decent affair with sweeping fast-paced passages which again pay tribute to the German school as the raging pieces follow one after another to a dizzying exhausting effect due to their non-stop speedy aesthetics. The guys lose the latter once only, on the heroic Bathory-sque epicer "Fullmoon Necromancy"; the rest is an example of how little mercy is shown to the "unfaithful souls", those who don't fall for this kind of music.
"Thy Serpents Coven" is way more controlled the guys playing with the appropriate amount of speed ("Hades Whore"), but nothing really extreme, preserving the good tone all over with speedy roller-coasters like "Infernal Cunt" and "Nowhere to Run" raising the flag of the 80's German movement high. "Black Rock'N'Roll" is a frolic nod to Motorhead, and "The Devil Rides Out" is a cool tribute to the 80's speed metal fraternity (think Exciter, above all).

Hell's Viper Demo, 2011
The Rise of the Unholy Viper Full-Length, 2014
Thy Serpents Coven Full-Length, 2017

Official Site

HELLBREATH (GERMANY)

Decent power/thrash metal with cool technical riffs, mostly mid-paced with slow, progressively-laced passages which are given enough space to develop as at least half of the compositions are lengthy reaching the 8-9min mark with ease. The album starts in a speedy tempo, by the way, with "Satan's Calling", but the guys fail to produce the desired effect, mainly due to the very thin guitar sound which when played at high-speed simply produces a not very pleasant chainsaw-like noise. When the guys keep it short, they lose it quite a bit, like on the bland insipid heavy metal hymn "Riding Free". Still, the other material is not completely without merits, and tracks like "Invasion Of The Undead" are cool intense thrashers, nicely mixing heavy pounding with fast energetic riffs. Although the music makes sense at times, they couldn't have possibly made an impact with this very bad singer whose amateurish throaty unmelodic vocals are so unsuitable that are very close to ruining everything.

Slave Of God Full-length, 1988

HELLBRINGER (AUSTRALIA)

The EP: these guys, who were previously known as Forgery, acquit themselves with direct speed/thrash metal of the old school with echoes of mid-period Sodom, above all, and a couple of heavier moments ala Celtic Frost ("The Rapture") assisted by forceful vocals ala Tom Angelripper. Still, the dominant approach is pretty intense the band managing to sustain the furious thrashing even on long tracks like "Spawns Of The Void". "The Hammer" is of the faster "hammers", still a pretty stomping number, overshadowed by the ripping speedster "Screams From The Catacombs" and the varied closer "My Fist Your Face" which ably combines fast & fiery riffs with slower doom-laden ones to produce the logical conclusion to this sincere tribute to the good old days.

"Dominion of Darkness" contains brand new songs and will lash you from all sides in the good old Germanic manner till you bleed. The mosh starts from the get-go and never stops coming with a macabre sinister tone more characteristic of the black metal acts and the Portuguese Alastor who are the closest soundalike. The pace varies as a range of tempos are covered within one song the speedy bullet-like approach ("Sermon Of Death", "Deceiver's Chamber") kind of more suiting to the guys' rapidfire delivery. "Necromancer's Return" is a gloomy brooding composition, but the speed assault continues on full-throttle after it "Hellbringer" being a softer tribute to the speed metal school before "The Rites Of Evil" rips you apart reaching an almost death metal-like intensity the latter also influencing the more ambitious, more complicated closer "Demon's Blood". The band have managed to fulfill the expectations and look a tough proposition to their counterparts from both Australia and the rest of the world.
"Awakened from the Abyss" is another merciless recording the band thrashing like demented with a few mid-paced respites along the way to alleviate the brutal, Slayer-esque delivery heard for most of the time. Fillings will fall on aggressive "bombs" like the Devastation-worship "Realm Of The Heretic", but be prepared for a more officiant, less restrained delivery on "Iron Gates". 6-min of semi-galloping magnificence await you on "Spectre Of Rebirth" which is also nicely technical with several elusive, more intricate decorations among the more brutal deathmetal-ish sections in the 2nd half. The title-track will remind of the Rigor Mortis exploits with the virtuous guitar work; and the closing "Dark Overseer" notches it up towards death metal to exit this satisfying effort with the requisire doze of primal aggression.

Hellbringer EP, 2011
Dominion of Darkness Full-Length, 2012
Awakened from the Abyss Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

HELLBUTCHER (ECUADOR)

The full-length: good intense retro thrash along the lines of the Germans Nocturnal and early Destruction; the music is fast with direct riffs and cool short leads. The vocals are vicious black metal ones, and at the end there are 3 covers: Hellhammer's "Massacra", Motorhead's... wow, you guessed right again: "Ace of Spades", and Sodom's "Agent Orange". Those covers, along with the preceding 2 original songs, are with an awful sound quality and are a very unpleasant contrast to the 1st much better, both music and sound-wise, half.

The EP is more relaxed with softer speed metal rhythms dominating this time with adherences to Exciter, Destructor, and Motorhead rather than the previously mentioned German acts, and the concentration on drinking also brings it closer to the not very sober Tankard territories. The title-track is a vicious speed/thrashing "nightmare" which translates its unbridled fury on the subsequent "Alcoholik Predator" suddenly turning this short effort into a violent moshpit melee to the listener's delight.

Blasphemy, Metal, War and Destruction Full-length, 2008
The Last Alcoholik Nightmare EP, 2012

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HELLCANNON (USA)

The EP: good violent classic thrash mixing Slayer with the Bay-Area producing a constant headbanging fun along the way; sharp screaming guitars interlace with slightly underwhelming low-tuned death metal vocals on all tracks the intensity only going a bit towards proto-death metal on the final mosher "Raiders of the Waste".

"Infected With Violence" is another ripper of a thrash which starts tearing apart from the get-go with the lashing opener "Leviathan" which begins very misleadingly with an ultimately quiet acoustic intro. "Chainsaw Ripping Death" is even wilder with proto-death tendencies expressed in sparse short blasts, and "Speed Killer" is hardly a "speed killer" moshing out with full force without slowing down. "Harbinger of War" is vintage early Angel Dust, glorious speed/thrash at its classic best. "Raiders of the Waste" is a short to-the-point ball of fury with a fierce deathy mid-break, and "Sacrifice By Fire" is finally the more death metal-oriented number, raging and blasting its way through in the best tradition of Defleshed and Torture Squad. "Act of Violence" calms the ball down thrashing more temperately this exhausting, but entertaining, death/thrash "package" finished with the more light-hearted "Armor From Hell" which is a nice echo of early Metallica.

"Terminal" is another attack on the senses probably a tad more moderate than the previous one, but still crushing all over with rippers like "Lost Cause" and the title-track "roaming" around. The second half is rougher since this is the band's first demo which is quite unbridled thrash/proto-death with pretty wild rhythms some of which have already been heard on the debut.
"Return to the Wasteland" epitomizes death metal into the hyper-active melee, more as an assistant, including the several less tamed hardcore outbreaks ("Disarmed and Deceased"). "Blood Moon Rising" and "Condemned" are prime headbangers leaving the more complex, technical escapades for the closer "For Those Who Have Betrayed Us" which still finds time for more brutal decisions including a portion of raging blast-beats.

Raiders of the Waste EP, 2009
Infected With Violence Full-length, 2010
Soothsayer EP, 2013
Terminal Full-length, 2014
Return to the Wasteland Full-length, 2017

Official Site

HELLCHAMBER (CANADA)

The EP: 3 songs of good retro power/thrash which shreds in a consistent mid-tempo with hard solid riffs and good expressive high-strung vocals reminiscent of Mike Munro (Meliah Rage) and David Wayne (R.I.P.) on the higher notes. The last track is a nice faithful cover of Judas Priest's "Electric Eye" the singer pulling excellent performance recalling Rob Halford quite a bit.
The full-length is another sure-handed cross between thrash and power metal recalling mid-period Metal Church more than just now and then. "Electric Eye" is here again as well as a few other tracks from the EP, but the new material isn't really exciting clinging more towards power metal the only more memorable moment being the instrumental lead-driven ballad "The Ballad of James Dean" which receives more hard-hitting support from the rhythm-section in the 2nd half.

Hellchamber EP, 2012
The Right to Remain Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

HELLCHARGE (FRANCE)

Based on the "Nuclear Zombification" EP, these guys offer retro thrash metal of the direct speedy Germanic kind with gruff death-ish vocals, short screaming leads, and a dirty underground sound. Some of the members are also involved in the death/thrash metal outfit Ninmah, and the black metal act Wisdom by Carnage.

Thrash Domination EP, 2008
Nuclear Zombification EP, 2009

My Space

HELLCIRCLES (ITALY)

Classic high-octane power/speed/thrash from Italy; the band boost the guitars a lot so that their cutting edge shouldn't be missed. Not to worry since the band have other tricks up their sleeve like the very cool clean dramatic vocals, and although very often does the sound cling towards the 90's power/speed metal canons few should be disappointed with the lashing power of "Let Us Unite", or with the Paradox-esque progressive twists on "Take or Give up". Certainly, for a diverse effort like the one here one should expect a number of laid-back power metal-friendly anthems ("Like a Hero"), but their number isn't dangerously big, and the headbanging fun is guaranteed, albeit served with a healthy "eagle fly free" twist.

Prelude to Decline Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

HELLCOMMAND (USA)

This is a 4-song demo of intense retro thrash/proto-death which is both fast and technical with long 6-8min compositions. The speed is predominant, but the interesting guitar work will keep the listener entertained. The guys slightly lose it on the 9-min opus "Live to Kill...Kill to Live" which awkwardly jumps from brutal blasting sections to very calm balladic ones the latter accompanied by great leads.

Demo Demo, 2009

My Space

HELLER (SERBIA)

Good classic Bay Area-influenced thrash metal made in Serbia; there are also other styles which could be heard on this album like classic heavy, doom metal and even grind on the very short, 11-sec long track "Adam I Eva".

Heller Full-length, 1989

HELLEVATE (USA)

Based on the full-length (which supposedly contains all the tracks from the EP), this is direct primal old school thrash which suddenly branches into glorious sing-along speed metal ("Urge To Kill, Rising!") from where the diversity gets too big with "God" being a sure-handed heavy metal "love affair" after which the band finally find the way to do it right with a string of intense speed/thrashy cuts which lose steam here and there (the Motorhead-ish relaxer "When Demons Preach", the epic power metal closer "Prepare For War"), but still provide the requisite headbanging entertainment. The vocalist doesn't bother to follow the music's swings sticking to a not very emotional semi-clean mid-ranged tone although his few attempts at higher-pitched shouts should be noted.
"Weapons Against Their Will" is the next in line highly energetic offering the band marching on with flying speedsters like "Blasphemer Deceiver" and "Hall Pass To Hell" offered abundantly at every corner. A few longer compositions like "Turris Mortem" strive for more melody and progressiveness, but in the case of the nearly 9-min "The Iconoclasm" the tediousness prevails over the genuinely interesting moments, and these more ambitious cuts kind of diminish the impact from the better, shorter material.

Hellevate EP, 2008
Hellevate Full-length, 2012
Kill Confirmed EP, 2014
Weapons Against Their Will Full-length, 2016

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HELLFIGHTER (UK)

This young outfit plays competent retro power/thrash metal which sounds nicely American on the opening "Tower Of Sin" before taking a faster direction on the energizing "A Lesser God". The energy stays around for another fast-paced number: "Legacy of Hate" which is "squashed" by the heavy steam-roller "Faith in Lies". Lashing Bay-Areasque thrash will meet you on the title-track, and things only get harder and sharper on the next "Revolution Within" before "Epitaph" calms the situation being a cool heavy/power metal anthem. A more ambitious semi-progressive song-writing can be noticed on "Bring Only Pain" which is a pounding semi-technical number. "Descent" will rip you apart with the last portion of straight headbanging thrash while the closing "Firewalker" will entertain you in a moderate mid-tempo fashion for about 7.5-min without offering anything more complex. The singer is quite good with his emotional semi-high tember and suits well the sure-handed musical delivery which also boasts a very clear sound quality.

Damnation's Wings Full-Length, 2011

HELLFIRE (CHILE)

Based on the "Decapitation" EP, this band play excellent classic fast and aggressive thrash akin to Slayer's "Reign in Blood" and Vio-lence's "Eternal Nightmare" with a more technically-inclined guitar work. "Sicario" is an awesome heavy technical thrasher which slows down recalling Metallica's late 80's period also featuring stylish technical hooks ala Death and Pestilence.
The self-titled debut is a cool slab of classic thrash which this time also looks towards the German scene mixing it with the aforementioned influences. The guys thrash fast'n hard adding nice technical licks on the longer songs ("Trust Went Hell") and provide a nice headbanging atmosphere the whole time. "Sicario", later included in the single reviewed above, is more lyrical and slower, "courting" the speed metal heroes from the 90's at some point, but is completely cancelled by the explosive "Veritas-Aequitas": super-fast thrash. After such a bombastic number a long dragging much slower and softer closer like "Tear Of The Sand" is hardly the most fitting continuation although the melodic Oriental hooks are quite catchy, and the overall approach on this one quite resembles the British masters of the late-80's Deathwish; still those shortcomings aren't enough to spoil the final positive impression from this capable rendition of the old school sound.

Rehearsal Demo, 1993
Rehearsal Demo, 2005
Trust Went Hell Single, 2006
Hellfire Full-length, 2007
Decapitation Single, 2007

Official Site

HELLFIRE (FRANCE)

Based on the 1985 demo, this band offers 3 songs of primal raw black/thrash metal which sound quite intense for the time of release although the sound quality is awful, and the singer is "buried" behind the instruments, and his brutal growling delivery hadn't been given the desirable exposure. The music meanders between the heavy twisted riffage of Hellhammer and early Celtic Frost and the faster antics of Bathory, but musicianship-wise this effort is much inferior.

Demo Demo, 1984
Demo Demo, 1985
Rehearsal Single, 1986

HELLFIRE (POLAND)

One of the brightest hopes of Polish thrash metal; the band's style is a mix of speed, thrash and power metal with touches of progressive. The music bears resemblances to 80's Agent Steel and Paradox; at times it's fast, at times heavier, at times quite technical with great solos. "Recoffination" is a sure-handed debut providing the listener with a solid doze of first-rate speed/thrash metal with really impressive pieces ("Invisible Death", "Sin") present boasting great choruses and superb guitar performance. The band show their more epic side with more ambitious numbers ("Grave Story"), which still thrash respectably. "Hellfire" is a worthy closer to this album, fast and brisk, with a touch of the 90's power/speed metal scene. "Satan's Cavalry" is a good, a bit more aggressive, version of their compatriots' Turbo's "Kawaleria Szatana" from their 1986 album of the same title.
If the debut was a strong beginning, "Requiem For My Bride" is more than a worthy follow-up. It has a more aggressive, more thrashy sound, and the guitars are much more technical, easily winning the tag "technical speed/thrash" for this album on quite a few moments. The fast pace has been preserved all over, but the speed/power metal atmosphere of the 90's isn't as strongly felt this time. Some songs are really superb takes on technical, expertly made metal: "Defection", "The Answer". The singer is suitable to the style with his melodic high-pitched voice, but might be irritable to those who prefer to hear more aggressive vocals with this kind of music.

Recoffination Full-length, 2003
Requiem For My Bride Full-length, 2005

HELLFIRE (SWEDEN)

This is the early incarnation of Merciless where the order of the day is intense speed/thrash metal in the early German tradition, Kreator's "Pleasure to Kill" being an obvious influence. So expect speedy simplistic music with gruff unrehearsed vocals with a bad sound quality which makes it hard for the listener to discern many similarities between this recording and the Merciless early output. Although listed as a "death metal" act here and there, this band can hardly be considered as an even slight influence on the spawning at the time death metal genre.

Death Revenge Demo, 1986

HELLFIRE BC (GREECE)

This band plays modern thrash of the dark mid-paced variety, a bit one-dimensional, but the guitars bite even on the more laid-back gothic-tinged moments, which grace at least half of the songs. "Vampires" is more refreshing with its faster headbanging riffs, influencing the following "Breakneck Speed" which hardly offers "breakneck speed", but is an enjoyable energetic thrash/crossover number. The last two compositions are purely instrumental: "To Shift Through Bitter Ashes" is slow doomy, lead-driven, and the closer "Life's Candle Ends" is a short 2-min acoustic outro.

Birth of the Nuclear Age Full-length, 2002

Official Site

HELLGEIST (SPAIN)

This band play energetic modern thrash with gruff death metal vocals. The music abandons at times the speedy delivery and goes towards the groovy side of the 90's trends ("Black Bells"). The leads are quite good all over, and "Mindead" is a nice technical piece with echoes of mid-period Megadeth. More interesting intriguing decisions can be heard later, but the guys are too impatient to indulge in the good old groove the latter not completely bad, even coming with a curious technical "sting": "Blood Faith". The closing "Hell"(not "geist"'s here) is another less ordinary winner, and generally the guys have quite a few original ideas which are waiting to be more fully capitalized on.

Hellgeist Full-Length, 2014

HELLGENOM (JAPAN)

These Japanese offer modern power/thrash with sparce epic elements. The approach is predictable, mid-paced and repetitive in the 1st half, but in the 2nd one things suddenly become more interesting with the energetic speedsters "Moment By The Truth", "Shout!Shout!!Shout!!!", and "Playng The Monster" livening the situation quite a bit. The singer has a curious interesting melodic blend which will remind you of Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys, Lard).

Begining Of The Insane Full-length, 2006

HELLHOLE (FINLAND)

A 3-songer of rough choppy "hellhole" thrash which ranges from stomping Celtic Frost-esque pieces ("Hellhole") to enegretic speedsters ("Running Wild"), to pleasant balladic rockers ("V") all within the span of 5-min. The production is a bit abrasive, and the singer has a not very convincing semi-clean tember which he uses mostly to semi-recite.

Demo Demo, 1986

HELLHOUND (JAPAN)

This band is similar to another Japanese band: Sex Machineguns. Like them they like to mix numerous styles like classic heavy metal, thrash, power, speed metal and even hard rock with a strong 80's flavour. It definitely has its moments, but the thrashy numbers are not that many to make it a really enjoyable listen for all thrash metal fans.

Welcome To Metal Zone EP, 2004
Tokyo Flying V Massacre Full-length, 2006

Official Site

HELLHOUND (USA)

Based on the compilation, this act are one of the better kept secrets from the US 80's underground. The compilation contains the 1985 & the 1987 demos and shows an outfit with a taste for the more technical/progressive side of the spectre. The 1st demo is still a bit naive with a lot of staple for the scene gallops boasting short rousers like "Flee The Bomb" which stand a bit awkwardly next to much longer sprawling epics like "Ice Age". The best of both worlds comes ably mixed on the final "Repression Of Life" which is a rigorous formidable opus setting the tone for the following demo; the latter begins with the consummate technical shredding title-track which will remind of Helstar's triumphant "Nosferatu". "Hammerslag" is another lengthy progressive epic with a lot of wild speed/thrashing which translates very well on the superb "The Asylum", technical speed/thrashing madness with great melodic leads. The only more immediate cut is the final "Hellhound" which sounds like a leftover from earlier recording sessions, but serves its purpose with its more linear, less pretentious riffage. The singer is a not very emotional clean throat who pitches it quite high at times to a slightly odd contrast with his main delivery.
The 2010 demo is the band's attempt to bring themselves back on the scene and based on the material presented, they have all the rights to do so; this is energetic retro power/thrash which sets the gallops on the opening "Circle of Trust", before "The Bleeding Edge" starts speed/thrashing with might recalling Have Mercy and Agent Steel. "As The Needle Drops" is a short vitriolic speedster, and the final "Killing Spree" again speed/thrashes more aggressively with a covert semi-progressive edge. This is a very good testing of the soil seeing the guys not having lost their penchant for invigorating old school metal.

"Nothing Left": wow, the band finally made it to the official release stage... One should give it to the "hellhounds". The four tracks from the demo are all here, but the guys open with the brand new cut "Red Sun, Black Sands" which is vintage galloping old school American power/thrash with the dramatic accumulations and the soaring infectious melodies. Two numbers from the demo follow suit before "Hollow of Faith" serves another portion of the good old power/thrash. The more aggressive spark is kind of missing up to this point, but comes "Dark Discovery" and its deadly gallops bring more vividness as well as the raging speedy section later on. "Blood Feud" is an angrier shredder, but the riff-work is not bad at all developing in a consistent mid-pace. The short speedster from the demo "As the Needle Drips" comes next, but it can't possibly stand on the way of the excellent progressive thrasher "Beyond Time and Space" which optimistic overtones and spinning guitars work just fine to finish this recording which actually gains quite a bit of inertia in the second half, by all means keeping the final impression on the positive side.

Rehearsal Demo Demo, 1984
Submit Or Die Demo, 1985
From The Ruins Of Yesterday Demo, 1987
Ice Age Best of/Compilation, 1998
Demo Demo, 2010
Nothing Left Full-Length, 2016

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HELLHUNTER (USA)

Based on the "Hunting For Hell" demo, these guys offer minimalistic mostly old school black/thrash, mid-tempo and doomy with very throaty semi-whispered black metal vocals. The songs are an evil rough mix of Celtic Frost, Venom and Darkthrone, the latter influence clearly felt on the only more dynamic number "Grave Desecrator". "The Satanik Grizzly" offers less serious, less evil atmosphere, crossover/black you can call it, if you like... good fun.
The full-length is here finally, and it won't disappoint those who fell in love with the guys' no-gimmick, unpretentious approach. The music is expectedly black/thrash modelled after the previously mentioned acts this time more dynamic and faster (check out the evil headbanger "Grave Desecrator"). Later on we have a sinister tribute to Motorhead ("Evil Nun"), but the rest doesn't stretch too far from earlier established patterns the latter helped by the very suitable witching, raspy vocals.

Hunting For Hell Demo, 2007
Demo Demo, 2008
Now... You Are His Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

HELLIAS (POLAND)

One of the best Polish thrash metal acts, these guys started with rough EP "Noc Potepienia", which is a pretty aggressive affair with sincere proto-death qualities ("Kona Bog"), but on the other hand the band's creepy mid-paced atmosphere ("Modlitwa I") is already here, having a creepy doomy "colouring". This wasn't a bad beginning, but the buzzy guitar sound takes away some of the bite.

"Closed in the Fate Coffin" is a very cool effort the guys coming up with stuff worthy of Destruction and Sacrifice which are the main influences on the Poles except for their penchant for slower, more diverse numbers. Fast heads-down thrashers alternate with the staple mid-tempo crushers, both sides working very well the latter relying mostly on the good dark trilogy "The Pray". "Sentence of..." is a nice atmospheric balladic doominess, instrumental-only, followed by the intense closer "Queen of Death" which is good headbanging fun with short more lyrical digressions.

"Blind Destiny" is a relatively faithful follow-up to the strong debut thrashing far'n wide on the opening "Descent From the Cross", but the guys' infatuation with atmosphere and semi-technical hooks start soon with the excellent "Written to Loss". This approach culminates on the gothic ballad "The Rain", but when the next "Depths" follows exactly the same patterns, one may start doubting this album's thrashy qualities. All doubts will be left aside after the aural assault which is "Stones for the Man (The Last Leaves)", but more suggestive minimalism comes with "Silence in My Brain", which is creepy mid-paced thrash at its best. The problem is that the mid-tempo rermains for a long string of songs, and loses its initial effect. "No Devotion" is welcome as a saviour to provide another doze of hard thrashing, but the final cut "Rap-Sody Drink" is just a bad groovy joke, a not very dignified ending to this pretty diverse effort which, despite its undisputable musical merits, remains inferior to the more aggressive and more compact debut.

"Fakty..." is really bad, a below average post-thrash affair without any merits whatsoever.

"A.D. Darkness" is way better than its insipid predecessor although this is another modern post-thrash offering which at least this time shreds with power and dark gothic overtones which grow into several cool atmospheric compositions ("Anathema Forest"). "Vital" is a surprising hard-hitting thrasher leading to another similar exploration near the end: "Joseph Devil" which excels in the lead department, among other niceties. This is a much better exit for the band from the scene and can even qualify as one of the more convincing post-thrash albums from Eastern Europe from the 90's.
"Eight Cardinal Sins": yes, this album arrives after eight cardinal sins.. sorry, long years, and the fans will want to know whether it was worth the wait. Judging by the inspired opening headbanger "Devilish Circle" one would be tempted to say "Yes! By all means!" although this effort is far from a constant speedy downpour, and the listener will come across the staple for the previous recording modern elements which come with an intrigung progressive flavour on "Ant Democracy". "Mental Violence" is a flashy semi-technical speedster, and "Deliverance" is an interesting varied composition which blends fast uncompromising with quiet, meditative sections to a fairly positive impression. Another highlight is the aggressive thrash/deathster "Twelve Angry Man", and its terminal velocity is nearly matched by the closing "Judas the King" which supersedes two more diverse balladic pieces. The band have a covered a wider ground here, at this stage by all means for the better, and have consequently bettered their last opus.

Noc Potepienia EP, 1988
Closed in the Fate Coffin Full-length 1991
Blind Destiny Full-length, 1993
Fakty... Full-length, 1996
A.D. Darkness Full-length, 2009
Eight Cardinal Sins Full-Length, 2017

Official Site

HELLION (UKRAINE)

This is modern thrash/death, heavy and mostly mid-paced with rough, hardcore-ish vocals. There are attempts at a more technical play ("Creatures of My Mind"), but the guys quickly give it up. More energy added on future works wouldn't be a bad idea; now all tracks seem to merge into one another being in the same tempo with repetitive riffs.

Strong Enough Full-length, 2006

Official Site

HELLIONS (HUNGARY)

Based on the "A Lengok Tenca" demo, these Hungarians offer edgy, but also melodic, modern power/post-thrash with some really cool lead guitar work. The tempo is peaceful mid without any adventurous experiments, and the singer delivers with his attached mid-ranged clean tone.

Demo Demo, 2003
A Lengok Tenca Demo, 2004

Official Site

HELLISH (CHILE)

Based on "Grimoire", these folks deliver sinister classic black/speed/thrash with early Bathory mixed with more modern renditions of the mix like the one of the Portuguese Alastor, for example. The pace is fast and relentless the guys showing no mercy on ripping headache causers like "Assassin Mind" and the not so "silent" "Silent Night". The closing title-track is a very cool atmospheric instrumental with an imposing mid-paced 1st part before all hell breaks loose in the 2nd one where the band rip the aether with the last portion of speedy, vitriolic riffs. The vocalist is a mean shrieky raven, a perfect fit to the tireless musical melee. Some of the musicians also take part in the speed metal warriors Armoured Knight.

Theurgist's Spell EP, 2015
Grimoire Full-length, 2016

Official Site

HELLISH (POLAND)

These Poles serve mostly furious black metal with the casual shade of thrash. Expect numerous blasting sections ala early Impaled Nazarene, plus the odd tribute to the gloomy/doomy side of the genre ("Banished into the Light of the Dark"). The band members take part in numerous other projects around the Polish underground: Mystes, Empheris, Morysian Fog, all of them belonging to the black metal field.

Azathoth EP, 2008

HELLISH CROSSFIRE (GERMANY)

The base for the debut is classic speed/thrash although this is not an exact take on the Iron Angel style which debut is the "godfather" of this act, but there are influences from death and black metal, albeit not too many. The music doesn't stray from the winning formula of early Destruction and Sodom's "Persecution Mania"; Rigor Mortis' debut could be another good reference point. The songs here are longer, and the guys nicely alternate between fast-paced and slower sections all the time. The singer has a gruff, but suitable voice, not miles away from Bruce Corbitt (Rigor Mortis).

"Bloodrust Scythe" is another high-speed metal attack, a fast riff-downpour with nods to both black and death metal. Other styles are "courted", too, like the mellow heavy metal section on "Black Injection", for example, or the doomy deviation on "Orgasmic Rush" which will also remind you of early Celtic Frost (check also the nice melodic leads on this one). "Speed Hunter" richly deserves its title serving 3-min of pure classic speed metal, followed by two similar, but longer, songs, the closing "Too Tough to Die" going away with all the "laurels": excellent speed/thrash with epic overtones crossing Rigor Mortis with a more recent Destroyer 666.

Slaves Of The Burning Pentagram Full-length, 2006
Bloodrust Scythe Full-length, 2010

My Space

HELLISH GRAVE (BRAZIL)

These Brazilains provide old school speed/thrash with apocalyptic black metal vocals with a pinch of early Schmier. The musical approach is close to early Bathory having the same arcane pristine charm which suddenly grows into something more elaborate resembling the early "ramblings" of Voivod (the more stylish shredder "The Last Candle Lit" which even boasts cool melodic leads). The sound quality is quite clear sharpening the guitars quite a bit although the barrage-like delivery doesn't give the guitarists too many chances to shine.

At the Devil's Cross EP, 2012

Official Site

HELLISH OUTCAST (NORWAY)

Based on "Your God Will Bleed", this outfit, who rose from the ashes of the classic thrash formation Mammon, provide stylish semi-technical modern thrash/death which begins with the wonderfully atmospheric shredder "The View, So Disgusting" which still remains a pretty brutal cut. The "massacre" carries on unabated the band serving fast complex music in a way not far from Dim Mak mixing brutal passages with spacey dreamy ones (check out "Genocide"). Some groove can be heard ("Muffled Screams" and elsewhere), but overall this is a pretty decent entry into the metal catalogue with its own face which is yet to be further explored. Some of the musicians have been involved, and still are, with 66Crusher and Byfrost.

Raping-Killing-Murder EP, 2008
Your God Will Bleed Full-length, 2012
Stay of Execution Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

HELLISH UNDEAD (BRAZIL)

Noisy semi-amateurish stuff which consists of violent messy barrage paying homage to both Slayer and the early Brazilian scene. The sound quality is awful leaving the fan to guess what's going on for at least half the time the horrible singer trying to outshout the musical mess creating further annoyance at least to those who would bother listening to this beyond the first track.

Satan Annihilating Christians Demo, 2012

Official Site

HELLIXXIR (FRANCE)

Based on "War Within", this is good modern power/thrash metal with balladic doomy moments. The style slightly recalls the Canadian one-album wonder Zions Abyss, but the Frenchmen are more thrash-oriented (check out the excellent aggressive "Mr. Hyde", the highlight of the album). This band are really worth checking out as their music will find its way into the hearts of both thrash and doom metal fans.

"Corrupted Harmony" is a full-on thrash assault the band lashing out riffs with passion although speed isn't exactly the order of the day the dominant pace being mid the shorter numbers ("Oppressions") giving the album the requisite fast-paced boost. The sound is strictly modern also graced by a few flashes of stylish melo-death progressiveness ("Birth of the Evil") the minor groovy distractions ("Declaration of War") left for the end.

The Cypress Forest Full-length, 2003
War Within Full-Length, 2007
Corrupted Harmony Ful-Length, 2011

Official Site

HELLKOMMANDER (BRAZIL)

This band is a side-project of Poisonhell: the Farscape frontman, who here gives way to his infatuation with the vintage old black/thrash metal (Celtic Frost and Venom) sound. The music will also remind you of Motorhead as well as the singer who tries his best to impersonate Lemmy, but in a harsher, more aggressive manner. "The Cursed" is a high-octane sinister doom metal number worthy of old veterans like Saint Vitus and Revelation. "Nuclear Graves" is a sudden switch onto brutal fast-paced death/thrash metal lasting for a bit more than 2-min.

Death to My Enelies Full-Length, 2007

HELLKRUSHER (UK)

Based on "Buildings for the Rich": this steadfast British act offer energetic, but one-dimensional mix of thrash/crossover, punk and some rock-ish attitude ala Motorhead. The result comes as a more laid-back, and less serious version of D.R.I. and early Prong.

Dying For Who EP, 1992
Buildings for the Rich Full-length, 1993
Why Must We Die? Split album, 1994
Fields of Blood EP, 1994
Doomsday Hour Full-length, 1996
Wasteland Full-length, 1998
Victims of Hate EP, 2000

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HELLMASTERS (USA)

Thrash metal with a rock'n roll spirit; references to Motorhead are inevitable as well as to Gehennah and Bewitched from Sweden. This is an enjoyable unpretentious "party" stuff.

I Would Kill For Rock'N Roll Full-length, 2002

HELLMINTH (SWEDEN)

Based on the "From Life to Death" demo, this band play a marginally more complex brand of retro thrash which borders on Bay-Areasque histrionics on "Incubus", but there's more direct bashing covered on the shorter material which also features the surprisingly lyrical short instrumental "Falling Into Obscurity" from where missing are the gruff smei-shouty/semi-death metal vocals.

Awake of the Morbids Demo, 1990
From Life to Death Demo, 1991

HELLMOUTH (USA)

The debut: thrash/crossover, quite fast and intense, often bashing out in a pure hardcore fashion; on the other hand, the middle is occupied by longer, slower and more melodic tracks, which even smell ballad and stoner/doom at times. There's no speed lost later on except on the awkward stoner/doom industrialized closer "The Masters Have Poisoned The Slaves".
"Gravestone Skylines" is the better effort offering more aggressive music which isn't pure thrash metal at times, even laced with the odd more brutal death metal hook. Still, less controlled hardcore outbreaks are not completely left out, neither are outrageous grinding "jokes" ("Hands Like Spiders"). Again the middle is left for more moderate slower tracks, but this time their number isn't annoyingly big, and the riffs bite more.
"Oblivion" returns to the more stripped-down thrash/crossover roots from the debut the band lashing like demented the moments of respite coming in the form of longer, quasi-industrial dirgers ("Blood Fire "), the opposite being the short, 2-min at the most, bashing crusters like "One Million Hells" and "Dementia From The Vine".

Destroy Everything, Worship Nothing Full-length, 2009
Gravestone Skylines Full-length, 2010
Oblivion Full-Length, 2017

Official Site

HELLNIGHT (NORWAY)

Based on the "Piracy and Horror" demo, Hellnight play an enjoyable blend of thrash and rock'n roll rhythms which will remind you of Hellmasters (see the review above) or a lighter version of Entombed's mid-90's period ("Wolverine Blues", etc.).

"Murder Entertainment" is quite diverse: it contains brutal black metal insertions not too far from Darkthrone ("Compannions"), but compensates with the merry rock-ish thrasher "Fellowship of Gore". "Entertainment" is another happy number, but slower, with a heavier rhythm and a certain amount of groove.

Piracy and Horror Demo, 2006
Murder Entertainment Demo, 2007

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HELLOCAUSTOR (CZECH)

This is a "bestial thrash attack" which doesn't hide its fascination with the early German school (Kreator, early Deathrow, Destruction), unleashing fast furious riffs to no end, keeping the tempo up, the crisp guitars nicely boosted by the very good sound quality. The characteristic, spinning Destruction rhythms have been adapted very well, the aforementioned Germans the main influence on the band, although the end is preserved for a cover version of Kreator's "Tormentor", which is done with style faithfully delivering the roller-coaster speedy riffage of the original. The singer kind of disappoints with his minimalitstic semi-whispered deathy tember which doesn't quite match the nicely screamy nature of the music.

Bestial Thrash Attack Full-length, 2009

Official Site

HELLPREACHER (USA)

This is the band from where the Rotting Corpse guitarist Roger Gallardo started his career. An excellent 3-song demo of speedy thrash metal with great piercing riffs and a really intense, fast delivery which can only be compared to Angel Dust's "Into the Dark Past", but this one is more aggressive. With three songs only these guys put easily to shame the more speedy efforts from the American metal scene at the same time of Blessed Death and Destructor, and even Whiplash. Gallardo would have done great if he had stuck with this band for longer.

Resurrection Demo, 1986

HELLRAIDER (CHILE)

Members of another classic thrash metal purveyor, Disaster, play here to produce a decent slab of the good old school stuff, confident well-played music staying true to the German school (Darkness, Necronomicon, Minotaur) with a touch of mid-period Sepultura. The songs are fast without any unnecessary "decorations" shooting sharp riffs from all sides which come all in an energetic up-tempo with frequent, but not very long, slower pounding sections and very good bass support ("Bloody Mosh").

The 5Revenge of Porkhead Full-length, 2010

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HELLRAISER (CHILE)

Pretty cool retro thrash of the fast, intense variety crossing the Exumer debut with late-80's Kreator. The fast pace descends at times to gallops ("Conduciendo Tu Rabia"), or comes pleasantly technical ("Extincion") with shades of mid-period Death. "Forzados A Sucumbir" and "Oscuro Deber" are sweeping speed/thrashers with also echoes of Paradox's "Heresy", but "Regreso-Torrentes De Vida" and the closing "Venganza" are pure thrashing madness in the best spirit of early Kreator. The singer also walks in Mille's shoes unleashing hellish mean semi-screams very much along the lines the German's early singing style. What will bemuse the listener is the good sense of melody expressed all over, especially on the excellent leads, giving the album a cool surreal shade not typical for many works of the style.

Ceder Es Rendirse Full-Length, 2011

HELLRAISER (DENMARK)

This "slow death tape" will "kill" you with a competent rendition of the thrash/crossover formulas at the time reflected in tight speedy riffs, a few hardcore references, and shouty semi-clean vocals with a more expressive quarrelsome blend. The tracks vary in length, but the delivery doesn't change much throughout remaining fast and stripped-down also helped by the suitably rough production which doesn't stand on the way of the musicians. The band really mess it up on the Anthrax cover of "Among the Living" turning this immortal hit into a mish-mash of discordant riffs and noisy drums, not to mention the absolutely unsuitable vocal approach where the guy shouts his lungs out. Later they pull it out better with the lashing "Antichrist" and the speedy roller-coaster "Love to Hate", and with 15 whole songs here it was obvious that the guys were prepared to hit the full-length stage which sadly never happened.

Slow Death Tape Demo, 1988

HELLRAISER (RUSSIA)

One of the bunch of Russian thrash metal bands who appeared in the early 90's. Unlike Koma or Aspid, Hellraiser's music is of a more conventional nature similar to early Zhelezny Potok. "We'll Bury You!" sticks to the Bay Area patterns offering longer, but slightly one-dimensional, tracks which hit the top on the monotonous 9-min long "Dark Side of You". Those of you who have lost their patience after this one, and have turned their players off, have missed out, because not long after that the songs become shorter, with more catchy riffs, and a more aggressive attitude; check out the very cool headbanger "Snakes In The Kitchen". "No Brain No Pain" offers a more technical and a heavier guitar sound aiming at Metallica's late 80's period. The music is still rooted in the 80's, but the songs are longer, and plodding pointless numbers, like the doomy "Witch", lessen the impact of the better material.

We'll Bury You! Full-length, 1990
No Brain No Pain Full-length, 1994
03 Full-length, 1997

HELLRAPER (FRANCE)

80's black/thrash obviously influenced by Venom with elements of speed and even power metal, but the production is so bad that it sounds more like a rehearsal which the band must have done half-drunk (or completely) with no any serious intentions whatsoever.

Feed Bitches With Satan's Seed Demo, 2003

Official Site

HELLRAZOR (USA)

An ordinary mix of power and thrash, but not very eventful, mostly mid-paced, reminding of an edgier more recent Iced Earth. By all means the moments where the guys speed up are the better ones, like on the galloping "Possession", or the cool speed/thrash number "Stacked Up". The final "3am" is a surprisingly brisk speed/thrasher as well, and hopefully the band will pay more attention to this side of their repertoire for the future. The singer isn't a total waste singing in a levelled John Schaffer-like tone, and his forceful high-pitched screams ala Halford could have been more.

In the Wild Full-length, 2008

Official Site

HELLRAZORS (AUSTRIA)

An sinister sounding recording of mostly classic black/thrash which comes with a portion of tasty melodic, but also macabre guitars ("Suicide Massacre") which don't exactly race with the speed of light, but provide the requisite headbanging atmosphere when needed. The vocals are forceful semi-shouty death metal ones, and suit the evil environment without stretching themselves too much.

Funeral EP, 2013

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HELLRIPPER (UK)

The debut: This new act, who's actually just one man the name James McBain, plays direct old school speed/thrash with not very overt blacky overtones resembling Motorhead on the corrosive opener "Flesh Ripper", before the following "Total Mayhem" turns the tables towards pure unadulterated Germanic speed metal. "Black Mass Sacrifice" is a more furious thrash-fixated piece, but the optimistic tone set by the previous two cuts remains, the latter kind of lost on the sinister tribute to early Bathory made with the closing rager "Trial by Fire", a violent bash carved by a portion of very cool melodic leads. James sings in a husky semi-shouty death metal-ish tone and fits perfectly the simplistic in-your-face musical approach.
"Coagulating Darkness" moves more towards the carefree style from the Metallica debut the hellish blacky vocals strangely fitting the roller-coaster music which also shows proficiency in the lead department (check the brilliant melodies on "Anneliese"). James has by all means advanced as a musician shredding with mroe dexterity as evident from the more intricate material like the perennial speedster "Within the Everlasting Hellfire" and the more complex thrash/deathster at the end, the title-track.

The Manifestation of Evil EP, 2015
Coagulating Darkness Full-Length, 2017

Official Site

HELLS PARISH (USA)

Modern post-thrash with dramatic death metal insertions; an interesting concoction which drags a bit here and there (the doomy sections on "Hellscape"), also on the quasi-balladic numbers at the end which are rudely interrupted on the final "Death Returns" which contains a raging speedy passage, something which the listener would not encounter too often here.

Hells Parish Full-Length, 2012

HELLS PARISH (USA)

This is standard modern thrash which crosses the Swedish melo-thrash/death formulas (think the more laid-back, mid-paced side) with the more moderate and thought-out style of later-period In Flames resulting in stuff which holds no surprises whatsoever, except probably for the nice gothic semi-ballad "Iron Curtain" which could find a place on Cemetary's godly "Godless Beauty" any time. This is calm not very eventful music which doesn't quite win a lot from the harsh unmelodic semi-shouty death metal vocals.

Shadows Rise Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

HELLSCOURGE (BRAZIL)

Based on "Unmerciful Blasphemies", this duo indulge in fast blitzkrieg speed/thrash/death which also introduces the casual black metal ("Where Legions Rise Stronger") sweep. The band rage on the relative moments of calmness provided by the stomping doomy section ("Cathedrals Of Hate") or the more frolic "winks" at the power/thrash metal movement ("Glory To The Devil's Son"). The rest is a true dedication to the very fast parametres of the style the barrage accompanied by a not very clear pristine sound quality and attached comprehensive semi-shouty death metal vocals. The guys are very active on the Brazilian metal underground mostly participating in black metal projects.

Hell's Wrath Battalion Full-length, 2011
Unmerciful Blasphemies Full-length, 2012

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HELLSEEK (COLOMBIA)

The guys here opt for officiant, heavy battle-like thrash/death which is more on the modern side with long diverse compositions like the 7.5-min opus "Marionettes Of War" where hard death/thrashing meets more laid-back sections. "Hannibal Lecter" moves up the speedy scale making the 2nd half way more dynamic with steam-rolling rages ("Human Enemy Of All") disturbing the peace including the less tamed blast-beats on the closing "Marionettes Of War".

Human, Enemy of All Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

HELLSERMON (DENMARK)

Based on the debut demo, this band plays old school black/thrash metal crossing early Bathory with the extreme aggression of Impaled Nazarene. The singer will literally bring hell to your house with his apocalyptic raspy vocals. The three members are active performers on the Danish underground taking part in numerous acts mostly belonging to the black and death metal fields.

Caressed By Hellfire Demo, 2000
Brimstone, Sulphur And Blood EP, 2001
Tool Of The Reaper Demo, 2001

HELLSHOCK (USA)

Based on the "World Darkness" EP, these guys provide crusty retro thrashcore which is suitably speedy and brisk topped by aggressive shouty death metal vocals. This is unptetentious stuff also sharing some of the frolic aesthetics of Motorhead ("Grey City") where the bass produces some impressive fill-ins and cool melodic leads.

Warlord EP, 2005
World Darkness EP, 2005

HELLSHOCK (USA, ILLINOIS)

Based on "They Wait For You Still", this act plays a mix of modern and retro thrash metal with touches of hardcore. The album starts explosively with the fast & furious "Low Men In Yellow Cloaks" later introducing a slower heavier material still containing more faster surprises later on: the energetic speed/thrashers "Darkness Will Endure" and "Tell Me It Ends Well" the latter starting in a great heavy doomy manner with very cool melodies. The vocals are the downpoint being more brutal than the music, in the low-tuned death metal camp.

Only the Dead Know the End of War Full-length, 2004
Shadows of the Afterworld Full-length, 2005
They Wait For You Still Full-length, 2009

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HELLSHOT (USA, ILLINOIS)

This band pull out modern thrashcore which doesn't lack dynamics regardless of the absence of any speedy sections. The production is a bit rough with slightly hissing guitars, and the vocals are shouty, but attached and authoritative and generally leave a rather positive impression.

Sickening Society Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

HELLSLAUGHTER (POLAND)

There's only one guy known from the line-up, who has reportedly borrowed very heavily from the American death/thrash legends Sindrome to the point of plagiarism, in the band's spawning stages. On this EP at least the guy has tried to produce something more individual on the first 2 songs (the other three are re-recorded versions of the first demo), although the music is again along the lines of the aforementioned act, the main difference being the very brutal hardly intelligible low-tuned vocals and the more frequent presence of more stylish semi-technical hooks ("Satan").

Blood of God EP, 2008

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HELLSPEAK (USA)

This band play melodic power/speed/thrash, more on the classic side, with reverberations from the 90's power/speed metal movement. The faster numbers mix with not as exciting slower ones, and to these ears the star of the show is the singer whose passionate emotional tember rules over the proceedings with ease. There's not much thrash to be savoured here, but this is good professionally done music with some tasteful melodic lead guitar work as well.

The Slaughter Rule of Agony EP, 2013

Official Site

HELLSTORM (ITALY)

Based on the debut, this Italian outfit pull out sincere bashing classic thrash/death which isn't far from early Sadus and Merciless, and is graced by some of the finest lead guitar work to be witnessed on a thrash metal album. The wild barrage is nicely intercepted by the longer progresively-inclined shredder "Across The Lands Of Grey" which is a fine atmospheric cut with some fine leads again. A few more niceties of the same would have been great, but the bash carries on after that getting under control on the bit slower "Doomed By The Moon" which, after all, has to justify its title. A bigger diversity awaits you on the closing title-track which is another more varied number with outstanding guitar work which is sadly not matched by the shouty raven-like vocals which simply lack depth and range to compete with the much better music adhering to pure hardcore rendings at times. Some of the musicians are also active with another death/thrash metal outfit: Irreverence.

The Legion of the Storm Full-length, 2003
CorpseHunters EP, 2010
Into the Mouth of the Dead Reign Full-length, 2012

Official Site

HELLSTORM (MALAYSIA)

A rough classic-sounding mix of proto-thrash, power and speed metal which is ultimately ruined by the awful shouty synthesized vocals which are all over the place deafening the noisy guitars for most of the time. There are covers of rock bands thrown in the middle, and generally the mood is Motorhead-ish with light-hearted rhythms and catchy melodies although things would have been much more attractive if it wasn't for those horrible vocals which on the last couple of tracks acquire a devilish blacky tone.

Ribut Neraka 666 Full-length, 2011

Official Site

HELLSTORM (NORWAY)

The debut: a hellish trio playing vicious brutal black/thrash metal blasting through the speakers in no time adding also elements of doom and death metal along the way; there's a fair bit of thrashing here, but the hyper-blasts are too many for the thrash metal fan to fully embrace this stuff.
"Sacrifice Sacrifice" is a much more controlled offering the band now softening down to the point of no recognition eliciting some radio-friendly retro power/speed/thrash which sits somewhere between the rock'n roll boogie of Motorhead and the crossover rhythms of The Accused and Ludichrist assisted by throaty semi-shouty vocals with a drunken flair. Things get stylishly melodic and semi-technical on the frolic speedster "Fight For Evil" which serves its purpose to wake up the band for another temptation of a more aggressive delivery: "Voices From The Graveyard" which is fast'n tight unlike the following "Forces Of Death", an epic cut with a fast-paced ending. The two sides alternate till the end which comes in the form of the speedy cutter "Blasphemous Assault", a fitting epitaph to this surprisingly restrained effort which sees the band taking a softer, but more interesting, direction.

Fucking Bleed Full-length, 1999
Sacrifice Sacrifice Full-Length, 2012

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HELLTHRASH (CANADA)

3 songs of intense badly produced retro thrash with noisy drums and very unpleasant underground death metal vocals. The approach is close to the early German school (Vectom, early Destruction) bordering on speed metal on the rough cut "Fuck the Police" with a less controlled blasting section on the final rager "Abysm of Fear".

Terror, Death, Destruction Demo, 2011

HELLTHRASHER (CANADA)

A brutal, ugly mix of thrash and grind-core, with short, ultra-fast songs, and various vocal styles; not for the squeamish.

Demo Demo, 2004

Official Site

HELLVETICA (SWITZERLAND)

The debut: this band pull out heavy ravaging modern thrash with dramatic build-ups the latter borrowing a trick or two from the death metal camp. Sadly, the relative lack of speed and more interesting moments doom this effort to oblivion despite the curious industrial edge the guitars acquire in the second half, and the several more dynamic patterns introduced later on (the brutal deathy passages on "Blood on Their Hands"; the sophisticated galloping aesthetics of "Fading Away"). The singer is versatile staying within the shouty death metal confines for most of the time, but occasionally adding slightly cleaner and also harsher shrieky tones to his repertoire.
"Against The Odds" is very similar in execution to its predecessor the guys thrashing with verve and panache, trying to remain within the up-parametres for most of the time resulting in quite a few energetic pieces ("HVA", "Reborn", "Roadkill", etc.) which clearly dominate over the more restrained mid-paced material among which one will savour the hectic jumpy "Broken Wings".

Your Last Breath Full-Length, 2011
Deadly Eyes, EP 2014
Against The Odds Full-length, 2017

Official Site

HELLWITCH (USA)

A legendary band whose very aggressive, but at the same time quite technical, blend of thrash and death metal made them stand out of the pack back in the late-80's/early-90's. Their style has been a very big influence on the technical death metal movement which flourished in the mid/late-90's; even nowadays few are the bands who can mix those two sides of metal as well. "Syzygial Miscreancy" is an explosive debut which along with Atheist's debut the same year put technical death metal on the metal map sweeping the listener from the very first moment with the opening chaotic technical and very fast riffs of "Nosferatu": a peerless brutal ball of technical fury. The later material is even more impressive, excelling both in the technical and aggressive department: "Viral Exogence", a masterpiece of brutal technicality, the death metal killer "Sentient Transmography", followed immediately by the slightly more conventional thrashers "Pyrophoric Seizure" and "Purveyor Of Fear". The first genuine technical thrash/death metal album, this work remained the band's only full-length release for quite some time.

"Terraasymmetry" sounded like a good "testing of the soil" before another album: "Terraasymmetry" is an awesome twisted technical piece which boasts superb guitar work and sudden blasting sections coming out of nowhere, only to be replaced by another portion of swirling jumpy riffage. "Satan's Wrath" is surprisingly more ordinary, a pretty straight thrasher which starts like early Celtic Frost in a heavy stomping manner before speeding up later with a slight technical edge. "Dawn of Apostasy" is a brutal technical death metal piece with a nice thrashy slower break in the middle.

The band called it quits just when the technical side of death metal had started to take a more certain shape. They missed the golden age of the genre to re-appear in 2005 with another EP. If we exclude the hysterical screechy vocals, which might get on your nerves quite a bit, the rest is pretty much in the vein of the band's older material. The music is technical, but not as flamboyant, and the sound stays closer to thrash with the few exceptions of scattered blast-beats. Technical numbers like "Mythologicalies" and "Epitome Of Disgrace" reach the level of the previous achievements, showing the guys in a very inspired form, but another inexplicable disappearance followed suit. Apparently one full-length seems to be enough, and for the future it would be no surprise if another EP arrives from their camp.

"Omnipotent Convocation": well, one full-length apparently isn't enough and the band finally made a follow-up to their mythical first effort. On top of that they sound quite angry and out of control judging by the furious ultra-aggressive death metal opener "Neolithic Journey". The thrash begins from the second track "Mysteria" which is vintage later-period Death, a technical death/thrashterpiece coming as a small surprise having in mind that the guys seldom sound like someone else. "Days of Nemesis" is finally a take on their staple inimitable sound, a speedy aggressive mix of thrash & death metal, and this is what one will hear till the end: hectic frequently brutal technical thrash/death metal. "Mythologicalies" is a great twisted labyrinthine number abandoning the aggressive approach for the sake of stylish technical decisions, the highlight here. "Final Approach" is the "final approach" to pure death metal, very similar to the opener since there is no time for more. The closer "Sought To Beguile" pulls out awesome speed/thrash of a more straightforward nature, a commendable closer to this very good comeback effort from the "fathers" of technical thrash/death metal.
The demo is another display of wild, unbridled imagination the band continuing with their chaotic stylish histrionics which find a full expression on the opening brutalizer "Days of Nemesis", a fast amorphous shredder which knows no rest; neither does "At Rest" which follows marginally more orthodox paths with a linear thrashy motif that gets interrupted by the encompassing title-track where one will come across quiet balladic passages, speedy brutal outbursts, superb technical crescendos, and heavy stomping rhythms. "Torture Chamber" is a wild thrash/deathster which doesn't rely so much on technical execution, and "Fate at Pains End" is a nod to the Floridian death metal scene with unbridled aggressive strokes and swirling screamy leads.

Syzygial Miscreancy Full-length, 1990
Terraasymmetry EP, 1992
Anthropophagi Demo, 1994
The Epitome of Disgrace EP, 2005
Omnipotent Convocation Full-length, 2009

Official Site

HELMSPLITTER (USA)

The debut: this young act play modern thrash/death which tries to be original and stylish, but the prevalent bash doesn't give too many chances for anything less ordinary to develop fully. In the middle the music loses steam the guys thrashing in a more restrained manner resulting in a string of not very impressive slower tracks which later make room for a few more elaborate compositions among which the final "Tearing Through Oblivion/Days of Loathing" is a live duo merged together to a frustrating noisy, quaisi-industrial effect.

"Enraptured by Suffering" is a more brutal offering death metal stepping in to lead the show accompanied by a solid doze of crust and hardcore on the shorter, more intense cuts. Slower passages are inevitably inserted, but they never develop into a full song still giving the album a heavy volcanic atmosphere. Blast-beats are incorporated quite a bit wisely missing from the merry stoner/doomster "Days of Loathing" near the end which recalls the exploits of mid-period Cathedral, and influences the closing "Summon the Leeches" which is high-octane, almost funeral, doom.

Storms of Genocide Full-Length, 2011
Enraptured by Suffering Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

HELPLESS (UK)

These "helpless" Irish metallers do a decent job here to bring the sound of the Bay-Area on UK ground, and if it wasn't for the really bad sound quality, one could have enjoyed this more thoroughly. Still, the guys are unperturbed by the obstacles on the way, and provide cool meaningful thrash along the lines of Xentrix and Metallica the singer overtly impersonating Chris Astley (Xentrix), and does a fairly good job in the process. "Colourless Money" is a fine complex thrasher with an enchanting balladic break. On the contrasting side we have the "evil" speedy "Evil Dead", which isn't a Death cover, which is boosted by quite nice screamy leads. The guys later turned to grindcore under the name Lesshelp.

A Need for Aggression Demo, 1991

HELPNESS (CZECH)

Based on "Fatal Formation", this act pulls out modern post-thrash which comes as a clumsy, underdone version of the Black Album. The riffs are heavy and a bit monotonous with bluesy overtones well suiting the deep clean soulful vocals which try to capture the rough passion of James Hetfield, but to not a very successful result. This is peaceful laid-back stuff which won't make you headbang a lot, but will at least make you move around with nostalgic memories of the "lost" 90's.

"A Certain Way" is in a fairly similar vein, maybe a tad more intense, reflected in the few speedy numbers ("H.F."), but generally the pleasant post-thrashy rhythms are the prevalent fashion here and will not create too many headbanging moments, but would ultimately please fans of the Metallica "Load"/"Reload" era.

"Dvojka" is a rough post-thrash affair with heavy-handed riffage and too many balladic moments to be a recommended listen even to post-thrash fans. It clings towards power metal at times and these are the passages which go away with the more able musical merits. The singer is nothing special, either, singing in a dispassionate sterile manner trying to reach more lyrical heights on the aforementioned balladic sections.

Memento mori Full-length, 1996
Dvojka Full-length, 2001
Gallery of Generations Full-length, 2003
A Certain Way Full-length, 2006
Fatal Formation Full-length, 2010

Official Site

HELSLAVE (ITALY)

Based on the full-length, this act offer very traditional Swedish melo-thrash/death which sounds painfully predictable and trite for most of the time. Fast, melodic riffs come in a quick succession to mildly entertain the listener who wonrquote t need a very big strecth of the imagination to guess how this effort will develop from start to finish. "Blinding Wrath" is more of a mid-paced crowd pleaser, and the closing "Helslaver" is a heroic anthem ala Amon Amarth with a more friendly rhythm-section in the middle.

Ethereal Decay EP, 2013
An Endless Path Full-length, 2015

Official Site

HELSTAR (USA)

One of the greatest American metal bands; the band's beginnings are firmly on American power metal ground, one of the finest achievements of the genre. On "Distant Thunder" the band entered the thrash metal arena in an impressive manner, paying tribute to the first genuine speed/thrasher at the end: Scorpions' "He's a Woman, She's a Man" . "Nosferatu", which came a year later, is one of the definitive technical power/thrash metal releases of all times. Having reached the summit of their career, the band split up.
James Rivera refused to put the Helstar spirit to rest, and with his new band Vigilante continued in the same vein, with this band's demo being vintage later period Helstar with some immaculate progressive thrash metal pieces present (it's featured in the band discography under the title "The James Rivera Legacy", along with the "Demolition" demo). "Multiples Of Black", the only album released under the Helstar name in the 90's, includes songs from the Vigilante demo, resulting in a moderately successful attempt at complex, modern-sounding progressive thrash metal. There's little to remind of old Hesltar here, the "new" material also including an excellent cover of Judas Priest's "Beyond The Realms Of Death". Rivera finally put the Helstar spirit to rest after this one, and he has been seen in different bands around including several of his own new projects.
Having been teasing the fanbase with the release of several Best of Compilations and one live album, the band are finally back in action. I'm sure that quite a few of you have been on the edge of their toes to hear what this work would sound like, after the flop which "Multiples Of Black" was, but the guys gave a hint at the musical direction including two of the songs from their new album at the end of the 2007 Best of Compilation.

The female gothic voice in the beginning of the opening "The King Of Hell" may literally scare you that those two tracks heard on the Compilation were just a trick, but once the blasting guitars overwhelm you, you'll go back straight to the glorious 80's accompanied by smashing riffs and the apocalyptic vocals of Rivera who reaches Rob Halford-like heights with ease and confidence; no kidding, this song is classic thrash at its best, seldom heard in the new millennium. It doesn't mislead as the rest follows close with "The Plague Called Man" offering more technical decorations ala "Nosferatu", but this is as far as this album goes to reach the brilliance of the band's magnum opus. The technical flamboyance of the latter is clearly left aside, and this album sounds like a direct continuation to "Distant Thunder" which to some may be the better option. "When Empires Fall" slows down bringing 10-ton hammers to do the damage which in their own turn call some groove for help, the only more modern-sounding section here. "Wicked Disposition" is the other song which could possibly pass the test for "Nosferatu" and could be considered the highlight mixing smashing straight riffage with a more stylish play. "Pain" scores high in the headbanging department: a short merciless thrasher, something new, and totally welcome, in the band's sound. "In My Darkness" is the obligatory heavy semi-balladic track which the guys have mastered so well on previous recordings (remember "The Curse Has Passed Away" from "Nosferatu"), followed by the most ambitious composition "Garden Of Temptation" which definitely has its complex progressive parts, but there are quite a few mighty sharp riffs to be appreciated as well during its 9-min. "Tormentor" and "Caress of the Dead" are already familiar to the fans from the compilation both being solid heavy galloping pieces, thrashing hard with force, making this effort one of the best comebacks ever attempted by 80's veterans, and a sure top ten pick for many metal fans for 2008, who could sigh with relief that one of the big legends of the 80's are alive and well, with no signs of "betrayal".
"Glory of Chaos": having almost come on top of the thrash metal resurrection movement with the excellent "King of Hell", James Rivera and Co. do not waste time consolidating their reputation with another effort two years later. So, is this album better than the last one? Can it touch "Nosferatu" (I know very well, this is the most nugging question asked by you, folks!)? Well, the answer to the latter is definitely, "No"; it's obvious that the guys have no intentions to compete with their masterpiece at this stage, and perhaps this is the best decision as of now...
The answer to the former: I will leave it up to you, simply because there is a radical direction taken towards pure thrash metal here which makes this release a different "animal" from anything the band have recorded previously. Power and speed metal are still present, of course, but those styles' role has been diminished to just a supportive one to the all-out thrash metal attack. This is clearly Helstar' most aggressive achievement, and the opener "Angels Fall To Hell" promises exactly that: merciless headbanging thrash with melodic "ornamentations", mostly in the lead department (check out the gorgeous intro; the guitarists leave their hearts on this album), topped by the hellish Halford-esque screams of Rivera. "Pandemonium" is even crueler lashing fiery riffs all over whcih remain for the heavy mid-pacer "Monarch Of Bloodshed", which is slower also introducing more clever guitar work. "Bone Crusher" will indeed try to "crush your bones" stepping the pedal up the speed scale, preserving the more stylish semi-technical guitar work, ending up being a standout diverse thrasher with piercing leads. "Summer Of Hate" is a smashing 10-ton hammer, the only genuinely slow number, a menacing dramatic proto-doomster. "Dethtrap" will throw you into spasmodic headbanging: a fierce thrash assault, never heard on the band's works before, but this is not all: "Anger" is equally as aggressive relieved by the casual mid-paced break. "Trinity Of Heresy" is a glorious galloping speedster, a wink back at the band's heritage, and the only contender for the "Nosferatu" tracklist here; a great song, by the way, arguably the highlight, strengthened by a romantic balladic interlude. To some the best may yet to come with another exemplary intense thrashmania ("Alma Negra") which will finish you for good, if the previous "explosions" failed to do so: shattering speed/thrash, a non-stop attack from beginning to end with a few short more intriguing "reliefs" in the middle, topped by the unholy apocalyptic screams of Rivera (the man gives a top-notch performance all over, arguably the most versatile one of his career). This exhausting, but utterly compelling, listen is finished with the great acoustic instrumental "Zero One", a fine epitaph to this thrashterpiece, a sure top ten pick for 2010, not only from a thrash metal, but also from a general metal, point of view.
The bonus tracks are two covers: Saxon's "Heavy Metal Thunder" done in the same carefree heavy metal manner; and Scorpions' "Animal Magnetism": a very cool take on one of the first doom metal classics in metal history, nicely preserving the sinister crushing dramatism of the original.
"This Wicked Nest": with the band already having tried almost anything throughout their career, remains the question whether they would feel like revisiting their back catalogue (the "Nosferaru" fans give an ear here) for an elaboration of former achievements... Even another full-on thrash assault ala "Glory of Chaos" should be just fine, but the guys have decided to move it around a bit this time, and the final result is another great work which retains all the aggression from its predecessor by also adding a more technical twist to the "carnage" including the great melodic leads consequently also echoing "The King of Hell" in a fairly good way. Everything is perfectly in place on the opener "Fall Of Dominion", and the rest of the songs just have to follow the winning formula, "Eternal Black" with a more direct speed metal flavour in the vein of Destiny's End; the title-track with some shattering brutal gallops; "Souls Cry" with a portion of sophisticated technical riffs, the closest to "Nosferatu" piece. "Isla De Las Munecas", the instrumental, tries to touch the untouchable "Perseverance and Desperation", but its more carefree and more straight-forward character leaves something to be desired. Then comes some high-octane doom on "Cursed" which would make Candlemass proud; before "It Has Risen" breaks your neck with the next slab of Destiny's End-esque speed/thrashiness. "Defy The Swarm" is a more elaborate shredder, still thrashing wildly throughout its more than 6-min, leaving the closing "Magormissabib" to finish you for good with another merciless eruption of hard-hitting, cutting riffs. Needless to say, Mr. Rivera is in top form all over his versatile performance covering a wide range of nuances, and the female support which comes at the end is more than welcome to bring in more atmosphere to this perennial roller-coaster which should have no problems topping many charts for 2014.
"Vampiro": where there's vampires, there's greatness... The band have finally decided to answer their fans' prayers, and the title already says a lot: the much coveted follow-up to "Nosferatu" may be a fact, after all. This is easily one of the ten best metal albums since the beginning of the new millennium, and a really marvellous continuation of the band's magnum opus. One can't possibly not admire the band for managing to reach a second pinnacle in their career, something very few acts can brag about. "Awaken Unto Darkness" may be a not very pleasant surprise, though, dooming with the finest way into the song before the band start speed/thrashing with all the vigour they can summon in the 2nd half these marvellous, avalanche-like crescendos recalling Destiny's End debut. "Blood Lust" follows suit where the staple for the band steel gallops reign supreme interrupted by virtuoso classical accumulations; brilliant stuff. "To Dust You Will Become" carries on with the classical histrionics thrashing harder putting the gallops up front again. "Off With His Head" is stupendous technical thrash with Coroner-esque stop-and-go rhythms gracing the beginning before the guys unleash their speed/thrashing exploits the latter handsomely covered on the next "From The Pulpit To The Pit". "To Their Death Beds They Fell" "flirts" with the epic and sows down abit, only for all hell(star) to come pouring on the raging instrumental "Malediction" which even notches it up to death metal proportions due to the abridged dramatism, not to mention the sweeping classical duels. "Repent In Fire" is classical speed/thrash at its finest the guitars weaving miraculous landscapes of razor-sharp metal, not to mention the amazing lead sections. "Abolish The Sun" is a doom metal anthem with speedy quirks in the 2nd half; and "Black Cathedral" is the progressive opus with a bigger emphasis on the impetuous gallop again seamlessly flowing into the closing ballad "Dreamless Sleep".
It seems as though the album of 2016 has already been released. Hats down to the band for defying the expectations and rising to the challenge, not fearing to reach for their finest work by producing another splendid hour for the metal fan.

Burning Star Full-length, 1984
Remnants Of War Full-length, 1986
A Distant Thunder Full-length, 1988
Nosferatu Full-length, 1989
Multiples Of Black Full-length, 1995
The King of Hell Full-Length, 2008
Glory of Chaos Full-length, 2010
This Wicked Nest Full-Length, 2014
Vampiro Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

HEMATIC (AUSTRALIA)

These Aussies specialize in dark morose modern thrash which relies on long hypnotic compositions which will manage to hold the listener's attention due to the changing paces and the several more offbeat gimmicks used (atmospheric acoustic passages, slight industrial/ambient moments, etc.). This is minimalistic music which may attract fans from the Godflesh and Soulstorm side even, along with those who enjoy bleaker landscapes ala Mindrot and Minushuman.

Ace of Cups Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

HEMATOMA (PORTUGAL)

A good piece of classic 80's thrash metal; the songs are mostly in the mid-tempo with a slight hint of groove, but also featuring cool semi-technical riffs and nice headbangers: "Sleep", despite the sleepy title, is a very good example of the latter. Hopefully the full-length will hit us soon...

For Yours We Wait EP, 2005

Official Site

HEMLOCK (USA)

Heavy death/thrash metal of the modern, 90's type with horrible hardcore vocals; the music isn't as groovy as you might think, but is quite energetic; the sound is somewhat mechanical and dry recalling Meshuggah, but the guitar work is much more ordinary, more along the lines of Puncture or No Return's "Seasons of Soul".

Moonmaniac Demo, 1996

HEMLOCK (USA, Las Vegas, NA)

Based on "No Time For Sorrow", this band play typical modern post-thrash sometimes descending to hardcore-ish heavy/thrash ("Backstabber"), sometimes jumping on the melodic death metal wagon ("Beautality"). There's a big doze of groove involved which suits well the gruff, death metal vocals which are accompanied by a few other styles as well. The straight intense thrashers ("The Reason") aren't too many, and the dominant tempo is mid-paced with numerous melodic leanings.
"The Only Enemy" is sustained in the same post-thrashy groovy vein as its predecessors so there's nothing new to be heard except for several more intriguing faster-paced passages ("Where Angels Fear To Tread") which are rather isolated on the playful not very engaging groovy background. The clean vocal insertions are more regularly present now, and they are the better-sounding compared to the dispassionate deathy growls which rule the show for most of the time.
"Mouth Of The Swine" is the next in line groovy post-thrashy saga which this time is served with more playful, more dynamic rhythms which reach thye climax on the merry hymn "The Wrong Song". The rest is just jolly, optimistic groovisms with a ncie technical surprise near the end: "All the Heroes Have Gone and Died", a jumpy shredder in the best tradition of mid-period Prong, its ingenious style partly captured by the more melodic, doomy closer "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Greediness".

Shut Down Full-length, 1999
Pigeon Holed Full-length, 2001
Bleed The Dream Full-length, 2004
No Time For Sorrow Full-length, 2008
The Only Enemy Full-Length, 2012
Mouth Of The Swine Full-Length, 2015

Official Site
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HEMOPTYSIS (USA)

Based on the full-length, these guys offer modern thrash metal with classic leanings and cool nods to the 90's power/speed metal scene ("M.O.D."). The music is energetic without being very fast boasting dynamic headbangers, like the death-laced "The Cycle" to which the gruff death metal vocals suit the best. Still, most of the tracks don't develop beyond the mid-pace graced by softer riffs and numerous melodic touches typical for the Swedish school.

Who Needs a Shepherd? EP, 2008
Misanthropic Slaughter Full-length, 2011

Official Site

HEMORAGY (FRANCE)

Based on "Jesus King Of Wine", these guys offer melodic power/thrash metal with a classic vibe. The music is enjoyable with cool lead guitar work, but not very hard-hitting in the 1st half; it will probably remind you of Meliah Rage's early period, or Laaz Rockit's "Know Your Enemy". With "Ghost Riders" things become really interesting: a mighty thrasher which raises the level admirably, and what follows is by no means worse: the stomping crusher "Jump into the Bestial Pit" which even has a Celtic Frost shade, followed by another fast-paced track: "The Final Horseriding". "Guitar Killer" is a pure riff-fest, richly deserving its pompous title which would make you listen to the first half of this album again, just to check if you haven't slept through it the first time. Although a bit uneven, this effort is a promising start, and with a bit more focus next time these guys could be one of the new stars on the French metal scene.

"HeadBang Till Death" hardly deserves its title (the guys like it pompous!) being much inferior to the debut from a thrash metal point of view, especially when one hears the opening title-track which is mild power/thrash metal of the heavy stomping variety. Things get a bit more intense on the galloping "Sold-Out", but that's all. Yes, seriously; the rest is nothing more than merry-go-round mid-tempo power/thrash metal developing in a samey repetitive manner recalling the approach Exciter acquired for "Unveiling the Wicked" and "O.T.T."; in other words, the "thrash" tag is very loosely attached to the music the guys not really bothering to change things with something faster inserted. Consequently it's the power and heavy metal fans who will be happier with this calm peaceful release which also introduces a cute female bassist, also handling the back vocals.

"The Thirst World War" is a tad harder than its predecessor speeding up more, but the majority of the material is again in the heavy/power metal camp more intense pieces like "1518" and the engaging, even technical, closer "The Thirst World War" (which provides a nice merry theme in the middle which could have been taken from some film) a rare phenomenon. This effort is another indication that the band are not very interested in thrash metal anymore, at least not at the present moment.

Demo Demo, 2003
First Blood Demo, 2004
Jesus King Of Wine Full-Length, 2007
HeadBang Till Death Full-length, 2010
The Thirst World War Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

HEMOTOXIN (USA)

The demo: death/thrash quite close to later-period Messiah ("Choir of Horros", "Rotten Perish") with a bigger emphasis on death metal perhaps. The sound quality here is worse, but the band are inspired and their intense shreds deliver most of the time assisted by lightning fast, but intelligible, lead sections (check out "Abstract Atrocities"). "Maze of Torment" is... yes, right, a Morbid Angel cover from the immortal "Altars of Madness", done well with the noisy drums impeding the proceedings a bit. After it death metal takes over for the final "At the End of Eternity" which is indeed ""the end" of this effort pulling out traditionally strong lead performance plus a very cool epic outro. This is a style yet unpolished with stretches into several directions, but there's by all means a potential, and its realisation shouldn't be a problem.
The EP is a sure-handed elaboration on the demo the band now sounding like a well polished machine going up the technicality scale quite a bit reminiscent of later-period Death more than occasionally although the faster moments are more, albeit short and not that aptly done. In the middle comes a capable cover version of their main influence's "Lack Of Comprehension" followed by the already heard on the demo "At The End Of Eternity". The best is, however, left for last and the closer "A Journey Through Dreams" is a standout speedy instrumental which should lead the "pack" on the full-length again leaving a lot of promise hanging in the air unrealised fully.
The full-length is here seeing the band offering a brand new material without changing their staple style which remains in the technical thrash/death metal confines. The album opens with the melodic speedster "Beyond Creation". Melody and speed remain blended aptly later on with sparce outbursts of brutality (the blasts on "Terraforming" and elsewhere) plus a few more elaborate landscapes ("Divinity In Torture"; "Andrea" the latter coming with nice flamenco guitar insertions) served with another appropriately chosen cover: Death's "Suicide Machine" in case of the listener wonders to whom the music on offer here reminds him/her so much the whole time. The Death-worship ground is covered more than well, but the expert execution and especially the masterful lead guitar work (despite its rare screamy overtones) make this effort a recommended listen.

The "Alchemist" EP: the band should keep all their fans happy with this short effort as well as all those who still remember the glorious later-period Death heydays. Death metal seems to take over in the band's repertiore "Incessant Existence" being a full-fledged technical deathster with a captivating quiet exit. The deathy surprises continue with the longer and more exuberant "Postwar Civilization"; before the final "After Forever", which is... but of course a Black Sabbath cover, make you look for hangkerchiefs to wipe the tears of nostalgy, delivered fairly faithfully except, of course, in the vocal department.
"Biological Enslavement": the band continue their conquest on the metal scene with this top-notch effort which shreds with might from the very opening intro "Decadence" the latter also foreboding a lot of technical death metal to come. Well, the actual opener "Regression" brings back the thrash to blend with the more aggressive deathy rhythms and the band as well as the Death fans will be happy all over. However, the Death influence has been shaken off quite a bit later on as the guys have entered a more individual zone with spastic twisting numbers like "Minus Human" and the short lashing hecticer "Not of This World". Hyper-active technical death metal reigns supreme on "Forgotten Faces" which also notches it up in the melodic department; and "The Alchemist" is the already familiar cut from the previous EP which also nrings back the Death shadow. "Bleak Prognosis" rages hard with super-speedy crescendos before "A Journey Through Dreams" serves a hefty progressive boost on an intense death metal background the cannonade spiced by breath-taking melodies for the umpteenth time. "Transparent Eyes" is a more traditional speedster with echoes of Death again, but the melodic duels on it are nothing short of outstanding even with this Swedish flair covertly making itself heard. The band are still on the crest of the wave, but a further strife for a bigger individuality should be pursued in the future if the top is the target.

Demo Demo, 2012
Divinity in Torture EP, 2012
Between Forever... and the End Full-Length, 2013
Alchemist EP, 2014
Biological Enslavement Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

HENKER (ITALY)

This not very known Italian outfit acquit themselves with good dark thrash covered by macabre doomy overtones which are not an impediment for the guys to come up with some really intense speedy passages. The prevalent tone is gloomy and sinister also helped by the scary Tom G. Warrior-like vocals which both sing and recite at various stages of the demo.

Blasphema Demo, 1987

HENRIETTA (HOLLAND)

These Dutch "Henriettas" specialize in modern power/thrash/crossover the mellow music hampered by the brutal death metal vocals. "Hooks And The Art Of Pleasure" is an intense headbanger, but the rest is too busy with the numerous melodic hooks to try to match it: check out the rousing heavy metal hymn "Apparitions In The Falk". The band eventually manage to thrash their hearts out at the very end with the exiting duo of lashers among which "Book Of The Dead" is a short bursting thrash/crossover delight, and the closing "They Live" is a smashing shredding instrumental.

Dead by Dawn Full-Length, 2015

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HENYCH 666 (CZECH)

Henych 666 is the alias of one of the leaders of the Czech underground metal movement, having taken part in the legends Torr, among other acts. His new formation provides not very impressive groovy post-thrash which still holds surprises for the more aggressive fans (the raging bombastic shredder "Psychonaut"), including a cover version of the Prague rock band Plastic People's "Magicke Noci".

Psychonaut Single, 2011

Official Site

HERBICIDE (CANADA)

A solitary demo offering fast uncompromising thrash/crossover topped by interesting, high-strung semi-declamatory vocals. The delivery recalls Wehrmacht boldly crossing towards the more brutal histrionics of early Cryptic Slaughter on "Fatal Pricking". This is brutal messy music which is still worth hearing out of curiosity despite the bad sound quality and the musicians' not very ample musical skills.

Demo Demo, 1987

HEREAFTER (CANADA)

Rough squashing power/thrash mostly in mid-pace with gruff vocals which mostly semi-shout aggressively. "Burned" is a more dynamic cut, a wholesome headbanging thrasher, but the rest is closer to the heroic antics of acts like Omen, Jag Panzer, and Liege Lord.

The Last Winter EP, 1992

HEREAFTER (MALAYSIA)

Based on "Government Conspiracy", this band offers good old school thrash metal spiced with a few modern throw-ins reminiscent of the last couple of Kreator albums; the singer is a close resemblance to Mille also adding some of the German's more vicious early shouts. The boys open with the energetic "This War Is Our War", followed by the stomping "Secrecy Of The Government", and both approaches take turns in equal dozes, the show being stolen by the 7-min of intense speedy shred "Nuclear Battlefield", a compelling song worthy of Darkness and early Deathrow. At the end the band pays tribute to one of their idols: Sodom, with a cool faithful cover of "City of God" taken from the Germans' self-titled effort.

Terrorstrial Full-length, 2008
Government Conspiracy Full-length, 2010

My Space

HERESY (COSTA RICA)

A trio from Costa Rica who specialize in chuggy heavy, mostly modern, thrash which adheres to energetic galloping riffs ("Awakening") and some really wild speed/thrashing ("The Human God") later on. The 2nd half offers more thought-out compositions ("Involution") with shades of power metal which stays around till the end softening the approach also elongating the songs at the end, but to no big avail. The vocalist is a suitable gruff semi-cleaner who emits passion at will and could be considered the highlight.

Worldwide Inquisition Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

HERESY (ITALY)

Modern thrash of the heavy mid-tempo variety; the riff steam-roll forward, seldom assisted by a more melodic hook. Hats down to the guys for the excellent ballad "Like The Wind In The Trees" and the great intense semi-technical headbanger "Last Breath" right after it. But that's pretty much it since later the guys try to capture the magic of the aforementioned ballad resulting in all the other songs being not very convincing semi-ballads which lose the sharpness almost completely, and the closing ballad "Alone In The Dark", albeit not bad at all, fails to impress in the same way.

Heresy Full-length, 2004
Knights Of God Full-length, 2009

Official Site

HERESY OF THIEVES (UK)

The EP: modern thrash/death metal which clings between Dark Tranquility and Terror 2000; the guitar work is quite good, and the pace is mostly fast with a certain use of blast-beats. The singer's shouts are too high sometimes and could be annoying to some; there are also low death metal growls involved.
The full-length is a better more complex affair with loads of technical jumpy riffs packed in songs no longer than 3-min at the most. This is an intense listen, but the guys stay within the confines of the hectic mid-tempo patterns so don't look for any faster sections the exception being the wild chaotic death/thrasher "As The Dust Settles", the best track here. This is the reason why at some stage the more level-headed fans might want to take a break from it, and this is why they will miss the excellent technical closer "Riddled With Inconsistency" which boasts briliant melodic guitar performance, which in its turn will raise the question: where the hell were those guitars before?!

The Code EP, 2006
The Montana Complex Full-length, 2008

My Space

HERETIC (AUSTRALIA)

These Aussies deliver direct sripped-down retro speed/proto-thrash resembling Motorhead and early Exciter. This is laid-back, friendly stuff which has its more intense, speedy moments ("Black Metal Punks", "Sexkommander"), but the majority of the tracks are frolic party rockers ("Godless Masters, Savage Bastards") accompanied by gruff, drunken semi-clean vocals.

Underdogs Of The Underworld Full-Length, 2016

HERETIC (HOLLAND)

This band specializes in melodic, mostly mid-tempo thrash, an approach which is hard to be compared to any of the existing acts; this is melodic stuff coming close to the works of the Swedes Bewitched when it speeds up a bit, and the Finns Barathrum when things get darkes and doomier. This isn't bad, but the approach is too samey with every song sounding almost identical to the preceding one with the one-dimensional Cronos-like vocals hardly being the best asset.

Black Metal Holocaust Full-length, 1999
Devilworshipper Full-length, 2003
Germaniacs_Live in Oberhausen Full-length, 2009
Gods Over Humans, Slaves Under Satan Full-length, 2009

Official Site

HERETIC (UK)

The "Saltergate" EP contains two tracks one of which ("Slatergate") is aggressive death metal with a hardcore attitude, but it's the other one ("Isle of Dogs") which will delight the thrash metal fans with its clever technical riffs ala Kreator's "Coma of Souls" and the somewhat abstract atmosphere.

In Extremis Demo, 2005
Heretic Demo, 2006
Saltergate EP, 2007

Official Site

HERETIC (USA)

This is the band from where Mike Howe (ex-Metal Church) started his career in metal (he sings on the full-length debut). He is clearly the star of the show with his great vocals pretty much along the lines of the ones he later used in Metal Church. That's why comparisons between these two bands are inevitable; the band's style is not as aggressive as the first two Church albums, but is definitely more thrashy than the period with Mike Howe. The EP is pure power metal with timid touches of thrash. The old singer Julian Mendez does a cool job although his voice is not as impressive staying in the higher registers most of the time recalling Jeff Martin from Racer X.

The full-length jumps on the thrash wagon keeping the power metal elements by adding some speedy ones as well. "Heretic" starts the album in a energetic speedy manner, in the vein of Savage Grace and Tension, but its fast tempo is only matched once later on, by the speed metal killer "Let 'em Bleed"; the rest of the material comes as a mix between power and thrash metal of the softer variety typical for early Overkill. There is also one very nice acoustic instrumental thrown in the middle: "Pale Shelter". The guys were meant to make an impact on the scene if it wasn't for Howe's untimely exit to revitalize the Metal Church career. The co-operation between the two bands continued throughout the 90's as well, with two other members joining David Wayne's (R.I.P.) new formation Reverend.

All hail the unheralded comebacks! The band are back in action after aeons spent away from the scene, with only 2 original members present: the guitarist Brian Korban (also ex-Reverend) and the first singer Julian Mendez, the same one who sang on the debut EP before moving on with the power metal outfit Stone Soldier for the release of 2 obscure demos in the mid/late-80's. The rest are not new faces, mind you, the bass player Angelo Espino having taken part in half the thrash metal constellation through the years (Hirax, Predator, Uncle Slam, Anger as Art, Reverend again, etc.) as well as the other guitar player Glenn Rogers who in his turn has played in Vengeance Rising, Deliverance, Hirax again, and a few other Vengeances (Vengeance, Steel Vengeance).

"A Time of Crisis": with Mendez being away for so long one may doubt his abilities to match the others, but the man acquits himself with a relatively attached singing although his current tImbrE is mid-ranged at best with hoarse overtones fitting the hard shred which is heavy and thunderous not far from the guys' previous power/thrash blend. "Tomorrow's Plague" is an intense opener, but soon after the band epitomize a heavier, almost doomy (check out "Remains") sound with closer ties to power rather than thrash metal. Merry speedsters like "Heretic" are a rarity the rest being not very imaginative or striking power/proto-thrash showing the musicians sparing themselves with an underwhelming performance which finds some consolation on the closing stylish balladic, lead-driven instrumental "Let Me Begin Again". Considering the pedigree of the band members one certainly expected more, and hopefully this conglomerate of stars would find the way to a more convincing performance in the future.
"A Game You Cannot Win" sees the hertic crew up for more challnges, and although this proposition can't really pass for their finest hour, it at least shows them in a decent shape moshing with more verve as evident from the energetic "Demonized" and the more ambitious title-track. "Relentless" is pure 80's speed metal done right, deserving its title on all counts, and "Master At Her Game" tries to match it with lively, bouncy riffs these cuts trying to compensate for the sizeable number of milder, a bit monotonous power metal anthems.

Torture Knows No Boundary EP, 1986
Breaking Point Full-length, 1988
A Time of Crisis Full-length, 2012
A Game You Cannot Win Full-length, 2017

Official Site

HERETICA (ITALY)

The EP: modern Swedish thrash/death metal which hesitates between all-out speedsters ala early Dark Tranquillity and heavy pounding moments akin to Cemetary. The mix isn't very convincing favouring more the slower semi-gothic side to which the deep death metal vocals are a perfect match.
"Omnia Sunt Communia": all the songs from the debut EP are here to take part in an uneven diverse saga which stretches from simplistic, stripped-down hardcore to more serious modern thrash/death metal both sides often mixed into one track to a not very positive effect. "Fino All'ultimo Bandito" is a curious piece, a nice epic doom metal hymn with a sudden brutal death metal break.

The Hunt EP, 2006
Omnia Sunt Communia Full-Length, 2011

Official Site

HERETICAL RESPONSE (ITALY)

Intense rough thrashcore which doesn't shy away from grind ("Envision") as well as a few jumpy crossover-ish funkisms ("On the Run"). The vocals are harsh shouty, semi-death metal ones.

Envision EP, 1997

HERETICS (CHILE)

This formation provide epic death/thrash which is calm and not very eventful until the arrival of the short raging "Alchemist". The rest, however, is business as usual, mid-paced dramatic riff-patterns, intercepted by chaotic screamy leads, rolling on in a morose brooding fashion acquiring doomy qualities ("The Dark Side Secrets") the oppressing atmosphere also helped by the gruff low-tuned death metal singer.

Wisdom from the Ancient Altars Full-Length, 2005

Official Site

HERETIQUE (POLAND)

Based on f1ldblquote De Non Existentia Deirdblquote , this outfit specialize in shreddy modern thrash/death which doesnrquote t go beyond the mid-tempo, and the incessant stomping nature of the music may tire the listener at some stage. The approach is more death metal-inclined includign in gthe vocal department the guy having a guttural deep baritone.

Ore Veritatis Full-length, 2012
De Non Existentia Dei Full-length, 2016

Official Site

HERITAGE (BRAZIL)

Stars from the Brazilian thrash/death metal constellation (Psychotic Eyes, Blasthrash, Flagelador, Comando Nuclear, etc.) have joined forces here to pay another tribute to the glorious 80's with tis prime slab of classic thrash which is nothing short of worthy with inspired headbangers like "The Watcher" and "Eradication Immaculate Existence" amply provided. Ripping shredders like "Lepers In Hysteria" will remind of the Angel Dust debut whereas shorters like "Bewitchment" "flirt" with more technical rifforamas. "Dr. Chaos" is another admirable more technical achievement the remaining numbers clinging more towards the moderately bashing side the shouty semi-death metal vocals a perfect fit to this entertaining, hyper-active roller-coaster.

Ominous Ritus Full-length, 2017

Official Site

HERITAGE (GERMANY)

This band featured two members of the death/thrashers Protector. The style has very few resemblances to Protector, but is good speedy thrash metal along the lines of Necrodeath and Kreator with slight shades of death metal and good Mille Petrozza-like vocals.

Patient Zero Demo, 1988

HERMETICA (ARGENTINA)

One of the leaders of the Argentinian metal scene along with Lethal and Horcas; Hermetica are the most melodic of the trio combining thrash, speed and power metal. Their first two works contain the harder, more aggresive material, and are the band's most popular efforts. Later their music partially lost its edge, and the more modern releases have introduced more melodic classic heavy metal elements.

Hermetica Full-length, 1989
Interpretes EP, 1990
Acido Argentino Full-length, 1991
Victimas Del Vaciamiento Full-length, 1994

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HERO'S LAST RITE (CANADA)

Cool modern technical thrash metal of the interesting dynamic variety; the singer is the prototypical semi-shouter, but the music delivers offering intriguing hooks and cool melodic leads. Even more intense classic moments can be caught: the good technical galloper "Hero's Last Rite". Another clever technical shredder comes after: "Hopeless Genocide" which even blast-beats at some point; and another one near the end: "No Regard" which is hectic and a bit mechanical in a way not too different from Coroner's "Grin" and mid-90's Voivod. The end is a bit surprising, but well worth hearing, coming in the form of the tender acoustic ballad "Bleed" which sees the singer in a fine form to pull out very good clean emotional performance as a finishing touch.

Inevitable Is the End Full-length, 2010

Official Site

HEROD (AUSTRALIA)

Based on the "The Curse of the King" EP, this band treads modern power/thrash metal waters which immediate "neighbours" are stoner/doom and alternative. The peaceful predictable sleepy mid-tempo of the first two songs is rudely interrupted by "Genocide Solution" which thrashes in the best tradition of mid-period Megadeth. When "The Curse of the King" continues in the same vein, even adding more aggressive riffage, one can't help but correct his initial not very positive impression despite the soft balladic closer "Jagged Visions".

Execution Protocol Full-length, 2002
For Whom The Gods Would Destroy Full-length, 2004
Rich Man's War, Poor Man's Fight Full-length, 2006
The Curse of the King EP, 2009

Official Site

HERRATIK (AUSTRALIA)

A good debut which features a mix of thrash and death metal, not too far from the first two Six Feet Under albums, but with Gothenburg-style guitar work at times and a more thrashy attitude including a nice acoustic instrumental: "New Era".

Wrath-Divine Full-length, 2006

Official Site

HERRUMBRE (URUGUAY)

Based on "Perros Cimarrones", this is power/thrash metal similar to Horcas and Hermetica (it seems as though the Argentinian and Brazilian bands have established the standards for the rest of the continent to follow). When the guy sings in Spanish, things are not too bad, but on the last song which is a cover of Judas Priest's "Metal Gods", the singer's pronunciation is simply laughable.
"Tierra Madre" isn't radically different from the the previous albums; maybe it comes with a harder guitar edge although in terms of speed again not much has been served. One may gasp wide on the excellent melodic lead section on "Revicion", but pleasures of the kind are not that frequent if we exclude the cool dramatic speed/thrasher "Cyber Club" which mixes pounding escalating riffs with direct fast-paced ones the latter also well translated on the closing "Legionario". The singer sings better here (if that's the same one) his more attached antics even taking the upper hand on some tracks.

Tiempo Arriba Y Sangre Adentro Full-length, 1999
Perros Cimarrones Full-length, 2003
Tierra Madre Full-Length, 2007

Official Site

HETERODOX (NEW ZEALAND)

Groovy post-thrash which suddenly becomes pretty aggressive on the jumpy speedster "Paradox Within" (yes indeed, a "paradox"). This remains the only more interesting moment on this otherwise pedestrian uninspired effort which also suffers in the sound department giving the guitars an annoying buzzying tone.

Demos Demo, 2011

Official Site

HETEROGENOUS ANDEAD (JAPAN)

Based on the full-length, these folks deliver hyper-active classic speed/thrash which main asset is the diva behind the mike, laconically named Haruka, who provides a soprano-like high-pitched falcetto, her angelic contribution often interrupted by a gruff death metal vocalist. The band race with the speed of light for a large portion of the time, a delivery that merges all songs into one big hyper-active melee from which one can easily distinguish the more moderate power/thrasher "Tentacles", the more atmospheric, keyboard-ornated "Unleashed", and by all means the closing lyrical ballad "Fleeting Dawn" Haruka making a really fine emotional showing. And, kudos should be paid to the guys (and a girl) for managing to sustain a whole 10-min opus ("Demise of Rein") in a high-speed mode without slowing down even for a split second.

Undead EP, 2015
Deus Ex MacHina Full-length, 2017

Official Site

HEVEIN (FINLAND)

A promising young band from the always full of surprises Finnish metal scene, who play somewhat progressive thrash with classic heavy metal parts, and a strong use of violins which immediately calls to mind the Dutch Blind Justice. Hevein are more melodic than this other band with calm acoustic parts present as well as female vocals in addition to the clean and more thrashy ones used on the album.

Sound Over Matter Full-length, 2005

Official Site

HEVILAN (BRAZIL)

This band pull out crunchy power/thrash with echoes of the Germans Brainstorm and later-period Iced Earth which relies on melody more the virtuous leads a particular highlight all over. The guys provide soaring epic sections to an imposing, albeit softening, effect since there are quite a few faster-paced ones as well which also show their infatuation with the 90rquote s speed/power metal movement. Things get harder on the short brutalizer ldblquote Desire of Destructionrdblquote in the 2nd half which immediatey brings other tasty ldblquote fruitrdblquote after it: the excellent speed/thrashy roller-coaster ldblquote Sanctum Imperiumrdblquote , the razor-sharp shredder ldblquote Dark Throne of Babylonrdblquote , the Manticora-esque progressive opus ldblquote Son of Messiahrdblquote . This impressive string of winners isn't very appropriately finished with the overlong ballad ldblquote Lonelinessrdblquote which deserves its title, but by no means has the right to be placed here, at least not as a closer to this otherwise frolic epic take on the good old power/speed/thrash which also boasts very good emotional high clean vocals. Some of the band members are also active with the progressive metal outfit Sinrise although at present they only have one demo released in 2002.

The End of Time Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

HEX (USA)

Two people are behind this creepy minimalistic take on modern technical post-thrash which develops mostly in mid to slow pace, with slightly monotonous but consistent riffage, with a few sudden jumps onto more aggressive moments, but with several adherences to ballads and doom as well. The singer does a good job without shining too bright with his mid-ranged clean voice with a hoarse twist. This isn't bad at all, but more energy and speed could have made the technical passages more noticeable.

Our Synthetic Soul ... Full-length, 2003

Official Site

HEXA MERA (BELGIUM)

This formation play choppy modern post-thrash blended with direct melo-death rhythms. The mixture is at times brutal ("Hear My Call"), at times openly groovy and jolly (The Endless War") the gruff shouty death metal vocals never changing throughout quarrelling incessantly to a not very positive effect.

Descent Into Decay EP, 2011

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HEXAFIEND (USA)

Heavy modern thrash with a thick stoner/doom flavour dominated by the thundering bass; the guys stomp in a constant mid-pace which reaches proto-galloping heights on "Red Horizon", but elsewhere this may prove too sleepy for the regular thrash metal fan. The singer is a gruff, hoarse semi-reciter, but fits the seismic character of the music.

Hexafiend Full-Length, 2016

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HEXAURUS (ARGENTINA)

An Argentinian trio who provide decent retro power/thrash characterized by very good emotiona clean vocals. "Saurito's Rage" is a promising energetic speed/thrashing opener, but later on the vigorous delivery decreases expressed in the galloping "Fight Your Fears" and the more diverse progressive closer "Break You Down". The rest clings more towards the mid-tempo side with stagerrings in the direction of the semi-ballad, atmospheric not very egdy music.

Saurus Full-length, 2017

Youtube

HEXECUTOR (FRANCE)

Based on the full-length, this act serve fast relentless old school thrash which mixes well with more orthodox speed metal ("Hélène Jégado"). The guys produce a masterpiece in the face of "Visitation Of A Lascivious Entity", 8-min of flashy, inspired shreds and blazing leads, not to mention the gorgeous speed/thrashy background. The high level musicianship remains for the other cuts elevating "Phalanx Of Damnation" to the ranks of another prime speed/thrashing progressiver, albeit infused with more virtuous melodic tunes. The vocalist is a bit of an acquired taste, though, with his harsh semi-deathy baritone which he strains at times to unholy shrieky attempts. Some of the band members are also involved with the death metal formation Venefixion.

Hangmen of Roazhon EP, 2014
Poison, Lust and Damnation Full-length, 2016

Official Site

HEXEN (USA)

The debut: a cool power/speed/thrash metal album, fairly intense at times, but containing quite a few nice melodic passages as well. It opens with the nice speedy piece "Seditions In Peacetime" which is full of catchy melodies and nice melodic leads. The next "The Serpent" begins in a nice melodic pagan/epic fashion, but the speedy guitars start later although the epic feeling remains, and is even aggravated by really cool melodic hooks. "Redemption" is a short, softer power/speed metal number, and "Mutiny And Betrayal" slows down in the 1st half producing cool epic power metal ala Falconer; the second half speeds up, but again in a more melodic manner. "Bedlam Walls" brings back the more thrashy patterns from the beginning, but "As The Future Awaits" is softer and more laid-back, looking back at the epic power metal heritage, where half of this album belongs. "Desolate Horizons" is a serious pull-back: a peaceful, "leads vs. acoustic" instrumental with no shades of speed/thrash metal at all. The closer "Heal A Million... Kill A Million" well deservedly carries the album-title being a nice energetic thrasher, still graced by a couple of nice melodic leads. As a whole, this is an encompassing stuff, which will be of interest to a wide gamut of metal fans.
"State of Insurgency" is a better effort, more thrash-oriented, having in mind the original compositions, starting with the heavy mid-paced piece "Blast Radius", which boasts great leads and a strong bass-bottom, and a fine speedy section near the end. The real madness, however, begins with the raging thrash delight "Gas Chamber", which sounds as though directly taken from the Angel Dust debut. "Past Life" thrashes with no mercy as well, cooled down by a slower lead section in the middle. "Knee Deep In The Dead" opens with slower, pounding riffs, but the guys don't want to lose the inertia, and less than a min later the guitars speed up again. "Chaos Aggressor" has a beautiful, acoustic intro, but the mighty galloping rhythms take it over although this track remains the most melodic one. "Bedlam Walls" is the same aggressive thrasher also heard on the debut, but served with a sharper edge and a more technical approach. "The Serpent" is another, slightly reworked version of a song from the previous album, a worthy speed metal killer. "No More Color" is not a Coroner cover, but is a great speed/thrash number with a nice melodic edge. Three more remastered versions of old songs follow, which come almost unchanged, before the explosive closer, carrying the album-title, shoots all mercilessly: exemplary aggressive thrash, with lashing guitars and a great lead performance, accompanying the nice atmospheric, slower break in the middle; watch out for the super-fast finishing moments on this one. The original material is really cool, but who needed those remastered versions?! With the effort put into making these old songs just a bit more "updated", the band could have pulled out another couple of new headbangers; now this work would rather serve more as a reminder of the guys' yet unrealised potential.

"Being and Nothingness": the guys annoyed the last time around with the inclusion of some older tracks left unchanged and not contributing to the band's stature a lot. The band have learnt their lesson well and this time there are no pitfalls of the kind. The music flows in a speedy, clever fashion sounding moderately elaborate without too many unnecessary complications. The opening duo introduces the more complicated formulas, but comes "Private Hell" and things become a bit more relaxed with speed/thrash reigning supreme crossing into a Death territory with the excellent melodic piece "Walk As Many, Stand As One" which features some of the greatest melodic leads for the past several years. "Stream Of Unconsciousness" tones down the speed and settles for more clever arrangements with the leads leading the show once again. "Indefinite Archetype" is exemplary technical/progressive thrash with a few unexpected turns, and "The Nescient" is a more immediate galloper with haunting melodies which here contrast with the harsh deathy vocals. The final "Nocturne" is an engaging 15-min saga which is just too much to swallow and will overwhelm the listener with the very eventful approach. There are a lot of memorable moments, of course, like the stylish use of keyboards in the beginning, among other niceties, but all this comes piled too quickly for the regular fan to be able to grasp it properly. Still, this album seems to be the band's finest hour so far seeing them adding new elements to their delivery without losing their initial speedy appeal.

Heal a Million...Kill a Million Full-length, 2005
State of Insurgency Full-length, 2008
Being and Nothingness Full-length, 2012

My Space

HEXEN MARTYR (USA)

Quite cool obscure effort of energetic classic thrash with lengthy epic compositions where a lot of melody has been provided with echoes of Iron Maiden (check the dual tunes on "The Final High"). Every subsequent song gets longer and more elaborate until the album reaches the 1-min "Black Death" which is mostly on the doomy epic side. Thrash returns for the closing "Faces of Death" which is an intelligent brooding piece with semi-galloping guitars. The singer is a mid-ranged cleaner who could have used more emotion during his performance.

Atonement....Burn the Witch Full-length, 1993

My Space

HEXENHAMMER (USA)

Black, power and thrash metal shake hands on these two demos; the songs are longer: 6-7 min, but the music isn't technical, but by no means boring; it has this slightly black-ish quality typical for some later bands like the Finns Barathrum, or the Swedes Bewitched. The tempo is mostly mid-paced to slow, almost doomy, but the thrashy guitars are always there to keep the listener on his toes. "I'm Alive" speeds up, and despite its monotonous character, has an almost hypnotic effect with its repetitive, but impressive main riff. This is an unconventional interesting take on thrash metal which proved influential on some future acts.

Hexenhammer Demo, 1989
Underground Demo, 1990

HEXENHAUS (SWEDEN)

The finest thrash metal band that the Swedish metal scene ever produced the guys all coming from the more speed metal-fixated outfit Maninnya Blade under which name they produced one full-length in 1986. The band's style is excellent technical thrash of the mid-paced variety with relatively complex song-structures and fabulous guitar work courtesy of Mike Wead: arguably the finest Swedish guitar musician after Yngwie Malmsteen, and the only member of the band from the early days who didn't take part in Maninnya Blade. Their first 3 albums are a must have representing the 80's European technical thrash metal movement at its best. The band disappeared in the early 90's with Mike Wead taking part in other Swedish bands (Abstrakt Algebra, Memento Mori, etc.). Hexenhaus got together again in 1997 for the recording of their last album "Dejavoodoo" which sounds a lot more like the bands with whom Wead had been involved during the long break; this is progressive power/doom metal with few hints at thrash seeing the band taking a new direction well co-ordinated with the modern tastes. After that Mike Wead joined the King Diamond team and the rest formed Fifth Reason: a very good progressive power metal band who continued the style of "Dejavoodoo" with more nods to the old Hexenhaus sound.

A Tribute to Insanity Full-length, 1988
The Edge of Eternity Full-length, 1990
Awakening Full-length, 1991
Dejavoodoo Full-length, 1997

HEXER (USA)

The 1st cassette is 3 songs which are pure early Bathory worship, the only difference being in the vocal department, where we have an unholy high-strung rasper of the very scary witch-like type. The 2nd "hymn" moves more towards Emperor in the middle for a change, but this underground sound can not be mistaken: this is a prime take on the very early days of black metal, when things were genuinely evil and misanthropic...

Cassette I EP, 2011
Cassette II EP, 2011

Official Site

HEXHORN (POLAND)

This young Polish outfit specialize in not very exceptional modern thrash/death metal this particular blend already done thousands of times. The guys stick to the more atmospheric, less speedy side of the amalgam with a lot of epic moments, but the approach is more playful and less Viking-prone than the one of Amon Amarth: think the Finns Gandalfand mid-period Cemetary, but without the memorable song-writing of the latter. The singer is a subdued death metal growler who is intelligible for most of the time.

Waking of Death Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

HEXLUST (USA)

The demo: old school thrash, well done, with fast intense riffage reminiscent of early Kreator with some crossover moments on "Toxic High", and two covers: Sodom's "Sodomy and Lust" and Sepultura's "Troops of Doom".
The full-length is an intense old school thrash "monster" which resembles "Pleasure to Kill" quite a bit in terms of execution: the singer is more on the screechy death metal side, and doesn't leave a very positive impression with his hysterical rendings. The music, however, is nothing short of relentless and will make you headbang till you drop, at times for whole 7.5-min ("Baphomet Dawn"). "Imminent Retardation" is a short violent explosion which influences the remaining cuts which towards the end become just not very sensible bashes also coming with a worse sound quality, probably leftovers from early demo sessions.

Rehearsal Demo, 2008
Manifesto Hexcellente Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

HEXX (USA)

Hexx began as a classic heavy/power metal band, but quickly adapted their style to the more fashionable speed/thrash metal sound on their sophomore album. Their initiation into thrash begins with "Under The Spell" which mixes power, speed and thrash metal in a way not too different from Laaz Rockit's "Know Your Enemy". The music is not too hard-hitting yet, but energetic pieces like "Out Of Control" and "The Hexx" stir the mood well.

The band discovered completely their potential on the "Quest For Sanity" EP, a masterpiece of technical thrash recalling even Coroner at times. This is full-blooded thrash now, no shades of power metal anymore. The guys play intensely on the first three songs which are great crushing thrashers, the last of which: "Mirror Of The Past", features nice technical hooks to suggest at what would come very soon. "Racial Slaughter" preserves the aggression, even goes one level up, but the guitars are simply brilliant, providing a mighty riff-fest all the way. "Sardonicus" follows in the same vein by increasing the technicality. The "Bonus Jam" at the end is, of course, a joke piece.

"Morbid Reality" elaborates on the technical aspect, but the sound has become much more aggressive, at times being all-out death metal. Some songs are great compelling exercises in fast, technical death/thrash: "Birds Of Prey", but the shorter, more accessible and more thrash-based tracks ("Blood Hunter") work almost as well. The guys aren't out for speed only, and some songs are slower, but still quite complex experiences: "Fire Mushrooms", but the other extreme is also covered with the ultra-brutal grinding title-track which, combined with the swirling technical riffs, could cause you a headache. Another joke song, this time longer and better, is included: "Spider Jam" (the guys like those jams), also placed at the end, a surreal psychedelic lead-driven trip. With all these interesting sretches towards more or less expected directions resulting in undisputably fine moments literally at every corner, this album is very close to a masterpiece. The band could have definitely improved on later releases, but this remained their last legacy to the metal world.
"Wrath of the Reaper": the veterans are testing the soil once again to see how many new fans they can convert for their cause. 26 years is a fairly long hiatus to be erased instantaneously although "Macabre Procession of Specters" tries hard to win back the band's very old fanbase, I mean the one from their very early days when the style was more in the power/speed/thrash metal mode. Fast crisp rhythms and soaring attached vocals will by all means convince anyone that the guys still have it in them, and continue down the speed metal path with "Screaming Sacrifice", a sure "Painkiller" leftover the singer acquiriing more shrieky Halford-esque parametres. "A Slave in Hell" is an inspiring galloper glorifying the 80's American scene, and "Swimming the Witch" adds more fuel to the classic power metal roster. A string of more power metal-based cuts follows until the arrival of "Exhumed for the Reaping", an impetuous speed/thrashing shredder with fast lashing guitars and a few more intriguing progressive configurations. "Circle the Drain" carries on in the same direction simplifying the delivery a bit recalling the Judas Priest magnum opus again, and "Wrath of the Reaper" is a great more elaborate piece with clever arrangements still retaining the speed for most of the time. "Certificate of Death" stomps and pounds its way being the closer, but expect quite a few energetic implements as well as more engaging riff-formulas. As a whole this is another valuable addition to the guys' catalogue although there will surely be fans who will mourn the band's more technical, death metal-laced days.

No Escape Full-length, 1984
Under The Spell Full-length, 1986
Quest for Sanity EP, 1988
Watery Graves EP, 1990
Morbid Reality Full-length, 1991
Wrath of the Reaper Full-length, 2017

Official Site

HEXXED (UK)

Based on the "Transgression" demo, these guys from Belfast play excellent technical/progressive thrash/death metal. If you can imagine a more vicious and heavier version of Coroner, "assisted" by quite a few time changes and swirling riffs which would fit perfectly even on a Mekong Delta album... With the technical metal scene coming to power again, this band could play a major role if given a chance by the labels.

The guys are finally ready with their full-length and it would be interesting to see whether they have managed to preserve the compelling complexity from their demos. The answer will be different to different fans since now the band has shifted a bit by giving a drier more mechanical edge to their sound with the opening "Engaging the Flow" a vintage modern Coroner's "Grin" puzzle, with the next "The Sound of Thought in Torsion" further aggravating the cold clinical feel with another portion of precise mechancial shreds. Then comes the electronic oddity "The Electric Mind Pt.1" which is 6.5-min of spacey ambience ala Clock DVA and Cocteau Twins, followed by another awkward choice: the quiet dreamy ballad "Rewire". Later on the music returns to the metal patterns, but provides bland repetitive riffs with an indifferent robotic vibe recalling a mid-period Meshuggah with "The Electric Mind" "killing" the album almost completely being another industrial ambient nonsense. The closer "Triclopics" is a cool twisted technical piece, but it will make one even more disappointed hearing the guys wasting so much space previously for "nothing". To the thrash metal fan this effort would hardly be a delight except on a few occasions, but those who look for modern actualized works with a progressive/industrial twist, will find quite a bit to like here.

Perish The Sacred Demo, 2000
Transgression Demo, 2003
Where Gods Look Away Single, 2005
The Synapse Collision Full-length, 2010

Official Site

HICSOS (BRAZIL)

The demo: intense, still retro-sounding, thrash with hard splitting riffs and a few more technical "excursions" ("Prophecies") all this evolving around a mid-paced background which gets shattered at the end on the aggressive closer "Cry of Souls". The vocals are angry and shouty, but have their semi-melodic leanings in a way not far from Chris Astley (Xentrix). The production quality is really bad making the guitars too buzzy.

"Technologic Pain" would hardly bring you any "technologic pain" the music being right as rain old school thrash without any inventive flairs crossing Sacred Reich with the heavier Slayer period by adding the casual shade of groove ("Urban Scene") here and there. Hard-hitting thrash will inevitably reach you on tracks like "Mea Culpa" and "Violence and Blood", but this is not really the main purpose of the exercise here. The singer has a forceful semi-shouty/semi-angry voice who fits the music and could even be viewed as the highlight at times.
"Eatin' Concrete" is more deeply involved with the modern canons of the 90's, but the classic rhythms still shine here and there on the more energetic material which comes with a shade of hardcore/crossover echoing the early exploits of Pro-Pain.

Suicide Illusion Demo, 1995
Eatin' Concrete Full-length, 2004
Technologic Pain Full-length, 2007
Circle of Violence Full-length, 2013
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Official Site

HIDDEN (FINLAND)

This obscure formation specialize in choppy mid-paced thrash with more aggressive death metal vocals. "Pain Under Purity" breaks the idyll with passion being a fast-paced proto-deathster. After it the order is restored, first with the more complex "Hidden To Be Found", then with the crunchy semi-headbanger "Threat" which show a more serious, more stylish, side of the band which, unfortunately, was never given a full display.

Deliverance Demo, 1991

HIDDEN (JAPAN)

based on the "embalm" demO, this japanese act play outstanding progressive/technical thrash which is also served wiith a crystal clear sound quality. The opening "Lunatic Theater" is a consummate shredding cut bringing the best from acts like Watchtower, Sieges Even, and Realm the brilliant music assisted by very high-strung, dramatic clean vocals. After these 8.5-min of sheer proggressive thrash magnificence one would find it hard to imagine a distinguished follow-up, but the guys don't slouch, and here comes the 10-min stomper "Without Soul", a sinister crushing number with serpentine riff-patterns and enchanting melodic, classical leads. "The Beginning of the End" continues with the intricate "carnage" with hectic, overlapping riffs built around fast-paced structures the leads creating breathtaking pictures of melodic beauty rivalling those of Kai Hansen and Andy LaRocque. The final "Baptized By Sorrow" is a captiivating balladic instrumental again with a strong classical vibe recalling Vivaldi. This is a truly grandiose listen which may be the most "hidden" gem from the Japanese underground, an inspired work of art which should be heard by more.

Trial to Dictate Demo, 1992
Promo the Biginning of the End Demo, 1992
Embalm Demo, 1994

HIDDEN ENEMY (RUSSIA)

Intense raging retro thrash/death which boldly "flirts" with grindcore making the amalgam too brutal at times; the execution is quite proficient, and the crisp production only enhances the guys' skills which offer more technical decisions on "Hrupkie Nadejdui". The singer is a gruff death metal semi-shouter, but his antics are comprehensive and adup to the aggressive character of the music.

Prokliatuj Put Full-Length, 2017

Official Site

HIDDEN INTENT (AUSTRALIA)

The full-length introduces an act "intent" on giving a more modern spin on the classic trends, and fans of the rougher side of the Bay-Area (Defiance, above all) will be quite pleased to hear this inspired semi-technical barrage. Things get more dynamic bit by bit, and "Through Your Eyes" is a major lasher which simply crushes with volcanic crunchy riffs which get well translated on the following "Betrayed" and "Die Inside". "Good Friday Thrash" notches up the technicality a bit, and is another ripping piece. A string of more laid-back cuts follows, but the fun on them is still on a high level, and "Creature of Habit" near the end sees off the listener with the final portion of rapidfire riffage since the closer "Black Hole" is more on the progressive, semi-technical side with more elaborate arrangements among which some space for wilder shreds is still left making it a dignified epitaph to this cool roller-coaster. The singer isn't bad at all with his hoarse semi-shouty tember which borders on hardcore, and his sudden shrieks are a cool addition showing a vocal versatility which should be explored further.

Demo Demo, 2012
Walking Through Hell Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

HIDDEN MENACE (USA)

This band is virtually one person only: the multi-instrumentalist Randy Roland who never took part in any other formation. Based on the 1989 demo, this is cool power/thrash metal which sounds close to Savage Grace, Griffin and Nasty Savage's debut. The music is heavy and mid-paced even acquiring doom metal tendencies ("Born Too Late") at times. It creates a somewhat monotonous impression as there's no speed involved at all, and all the songs tend to merge into one another.

Demo Demo, 1989
Hidden Menace Demo, 1991
Seven Doors of Death Demo, 1992
Corrupted Judgement Demo, 1998

Official Site

HIDDEN REMAINS (HOLLAND)

Based on the "Premature Burial" demo, these obscure guys pull out quite classic-sounding for the time speed/thrash marred by an awful sound quality and not very convincing angry quarrelsome vocals. The music otherwise packs a punch and a few cool riffs (check out the clever moshing death metal-laced closer "Paralysed") can be heard the band having a good sense of changing the pace at the appropriate time without overdoing it.

The debut demo serves 4 tracks of speedy impetuous retro thrash the guys trying to stand up to par with the Bay-Area standards and at times they have no problems reaching the intensity of works like "Eternal Nightmare" the vocals very similar to those of Chuck Billy (Testament). The relentless fast pace is nowhere broken except at the beginning of the closing "Stitched" which is a very cool balladic lead-driven intro ala Alex Scholnick ((Testament again). The bass plays a very prominent role and the sound quality isn't bad giving a fair share to all the instruments including the very good melodic leads.

Six Feet Under Demo, 1992
Premature Burial Demo, 1994

HIDDEN TIME (RUSSIA)

A good 3-song EP of energetic classic thrash with a slight technical edge and great melodic leads which recall the Swedish metal scene of more recent times, but are too good to be ignored. The last track slows down and takes more power metal-based dimensions. The duel between the main death metal vocals and the clean ones is well done and isn't annoying.

The full-length offers diverse melodic modern thrash/death metal in a heavy mid-tempo, but the "idyll" is abruptly broken with "Fake Life/Real Pain": brutal semi-technical thrash/death of the Swedish variety. "9th Deadly Sin" provides a cool industrial/dance edge ala Rammstein and Pain kind of influencing a couple of songs after it before the arrival of the Bolt Thrower-esque steam-roller "Good Way To Kill", and the excellent cold technical mechanical closer "Fatal Error".
"Special Fuck Off" is just one song, the title is... well, which is groovy atmospheric post-thrash very similar to Prong's "Prove You Wrong" with a catchy chorus, and more brutal, but intelligible, death metal vocals. Some of the guys also play purer death metal with a more melodic edge in Edenbeast.

Out Of Control EP, 2007
Fake Life/Real Pain Full-length, 2010
Special Fuck Off Single, 2014

Official Site

HIDEOUS INVASION (DENMARK)

This band is a side-project of the guys from the speed/thrashers Victimizer who here offer more aggressive music of the classic death/thrash metal hybrid. Based on the debut demo, the music is mostly fast with sparce blasts present, and a slight technical edge in the guitar department. Both thrash and death metal are well covered with a good balance between the two styles, with a slight domination of the latter probably also helped by the very brutal death metal vocalist. Watch out for the brilliant melodic gothic/doomy exit on "Ancient Warfare".

Death And Satan Demo, 2006
Combat Grind Demo, 2008
Death Lives Again/Combat Grind Split, 2009

Official Site

HIDEOUS SUN DEMONS (HOLLAND)

This band was founded after members from the 80's veterans Lunacy and the more recent retro thrashers Incursion Dementia got together. The music here is strictly for the modern groove lovers being a peaceful sleepy mix of power metal, post-thrash and stoner/doom. There are a few leanings towards the ballad both heavier and purely acoustic, as well as inept attemps at funky thrash ("Why Is It?").

Twisted Full-length, 1995

HIDEOUSMASH (CHILE)

One of the most basic and rawest-sounding recordings to ever grace these ears, this effort is so much underground that it has no chances to come up on the surface even million years from now. Otherwise this is evil macabre black/thrash blending doomy sections in the vein of Beherit and Barathrum with super-fast insane ones not far from Impaled Nazarene and early Burzum. The sound quality is, needless to say, awful making it hard to believe that there were three people involved here. The singer tries hard to deafen the instruments shouting his lungs out, and creates the impression that he doesn't use a microphone; a natural talent, that is... although his hysterical ramblings may pull you back way before the end.

Crisis Full-length, 1999

Fan Site

HIGH HYPNOTIC (FINLAND)

Modern thrash with hardcore vocals which sometimes are mixed with some cleaner ones, and an overall style not miles away from The Haunted, including the Swedes' more experimental period (their last two albums).

High Hypnotic Demo, 2004
Pink Noise Conductor Demo, 2005
Armed and Dangerous Demo, 2005

Official Site

HIGH SCORE PROJECT (RUSSIA)

Thrashy power progressive metal, all-instrumental stuff done by just two people, lead-dominated with not much hard riff-work throughout, but full of great memorable tunes with allusions to other musical pieces, both classical and mainstream. The tempo is mostly mid with a certain number of jumpy/proto-funky moments scattered throughout, and flashy Shrapnel-like guitar work all over even touching Yngwie Malmsteen at times.

Nintendo Metal Full-Length, 2010

HIGHEST PLACE (CANADA)

Based on "Dilemma's", this band offers really complex weird stuff, which uses early Psychotic Waltz and Watchtower's "Control & Resistance" as a base, but at least half of the compositions here are overdone elaborate pieces with odd time signatures, balladic inclusions, suddenly changing tempos, and more. For that reason the shorter more immediate tracks are way better: the short technical explosion "About Setting Illusions On Fire". The level of musicianship of the guys is unquestionable, but they need to clear out their ideas a bit, which they have managed to do on the heavy almost doomy progressive thrasher "When It Looks Like An End..." and on the closing curio "Inertia" which is a strange, but listenable combination of hard riffage and melodic progressive leanings (some of the mid variations are really worth hearing, coming with a nice Oriental shade) ala more recent Sieges Even with a semi-jazzy edge. This is music to sit down and listen to, and as such has its merits despite the flaws on the longer songs which can certainly be smoothened on later efforts.

First Sight Full-length, 2004
Dilemma's Full-length, 2005

Official Site

HIGHRIDER (SWEDEN)

Based on "Roll for Initiative", this band deliver uplifting Motohead-ish speed/proto-thrash with a more abrasive, noisier edge. THe lead guitar work is quite good giving the album a more proficient aura the latter also provided by the longer, marginally more elaborate material ("A Burial Scene"). The shorter cuts like "Batteries" come with a more stripped-down crossover flair, but the real fun here would be the diverse roller-coasters like "The Greater Monkey" and "Emotional Werewolf" where even the good old rock'n roll can be heard on top of some arcane 70's keyboards. More aggressive sounds can be come across on the impetuous "Roll Dee Twenty", but it's the epic and the doom that shake hands on the closing "The Rope And The Blade" the party aptly assisted by shouty, harsh vocals which don't really sing, but still provide the requisite pathos with their high-strung rendings.

Armageddon Rock EP, 2016
Roll for Initiative Full-length, 2017

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HILOTZ (SPAIN)

Based on the full-length, this Spanish trio provide modern melodic progressive/technical thrash/death which can be quite extreme ("Minak Barnean Dirau") and bashing with overt death metal leanings, but bears some nice "fruit" like the progressive headbangers "Hilketa" and the more intense "Iluntasunaren Esklabu" which also boasts great melodic leads. The "Ankerkeria" trilogy shows the band's more lyrical side, but also their more proficient repertoire as part 2 is immaculate technical thrash with a lot of atmosphere added to the virtuoso performance. Part 3 is another mind-scratcher with its mazey arrangements and sudden fast-paced sections some of which are pure bombastic black metal to which the screechy raven-like vocals seem to suit the best. The closer "Amildegian" is a moody atmospheric, all-instrumental shredder which closes this very good effort with style making this young formation a hot proposition on the European metal scene.

Hil ala Bizi EP, 2012
Giza Ankerkeria Full-length, 2016

Official Site

HIMERA (RUSSIA)

Based on "Hishnik" ("predator", in English), this band play melodic power/thrash metal sounding quite close to the more recent releases of their compatriots Master. This is peaceful mid-paced stuff with cool clean vocals and semi-heavy abrasive guitar work.

Hishnik Full-length, 2003
Agonia Full-length, 2005

Official Site

HIPERION (SPAIN)

Modern/classic power/thrash which is definitely on the melodic side, but outrages like the proto-blasts on "I Am Hiperion" may startle the less prepared, including the more vigorous cuts like the hard-hitting mid-tempo shredder "Inform Me" or the sweeping speed/thrasher "Stinking". "Titan" brings a more complex, progressive delivery, but the closer "Welcome To My Place" is a moodkiller with its romantic semi-balladic inclinations. The singer isn't bad with his versatile tember which usually sits within the mid-ranged semi-clean confines.

Humanoids Full-Length, 2016

HIPNOID (BRAZIL)

Melodic heavy/thrash metal reminiscent of 90's Flotsam & Jetsam or Amnesia.

Mankind Full-length, 2001
Chaos Full-length, 2005

Official Site

HIPNOSIS (CUBA)

Modern post-thrash mixed with a heavy doze of doom; this concoction works, actually, at times coming close to Helmet, at others recalling the melancholic gothic/doom heroes Katatonia and End of Green. There's also a certain industrial vibe going through the album ably helped by the very good keyboard background and the abrasive heavy guitar sound. Expect no speedy surprises here, this is mid-paced at best stuff assisted by good emotional clean vocals reminding of Eric A.K. (Flotsam & Jetsam) quite a bit.

The Chosen One Full-length, 2004

Official Site

HIRA (ITALY)

This obscure formation specialize in modern groovy power/thrash which merges with its surroundings simply because it has nothing to offer except rough chugga-chugga riffs performed to no end. "Il Sogno" is a cool look back at the 80's heritage with its more dynamic sharp riffage; and "Spara Cazzate" after it is a nice merry speedster making the 2nd half way more appetizing also thanks to the cool semi-hoarse, clean vocals.

A Mali Estremi... Full-Length, 1995

HIRAX (USA)

The band's vicious style, consisting of short speed/thrash metal outbursts topped up by the wailing high-pitched vocals of Katon W. DePena, remains one of the more impressive moments of the 80's thrash metal scene. 15 years later the band resurfaced with "Barrage Of Noise" which contained some furious thrash of the old school, but this time the songs are longer and somewhat heavier. This was a decent, but not a very impressive release, and no one suspected how hard these guys would hit with their next offering "The New Age Of Terror": a stunning piece of classic thrash metal at its most shining best. With a new EP released in 2007, virtually in the same striking vein, Hirax are obviously getting ready to hit us hard again pretty soon.

"Chaos And Brutality" offers another package of four tracks (these guys seriously want to release prematurely all their tracks from the eventual full-length; will there be any surprises left there at all!?). It starts with a cool heavy, mid-paced, short instrumental ("100 000 Strong") before it starts thrashing awesomely with "Chaos & Brutality". "Lucifer's Infierno" serves as an intermission to the next piece "Walk With Death" which is another cool, mostly mid-paced thrasher. I guess, with one more EP of the kind, the band might not need to release a new album. But one never knows...

Yes, one never knows indeed, and here comes the full-length "El Rostro de la Muerte" which is more than just a pleasant surprise for the fans containing only one song from the last two EP's ("Chaos and Brutality" from... well), the other 12 being an entirely new material. A number of the kind should prepare the listener for a diverse package, but the guys meet all the expectations putting the speed high with the opening mosher "Baptized By Fire" and the blitzkrieg speed/thrasher "Flesh and Blood", and losing it very seldom along the way. "Eradicate Mankind" is only a tad more controlled followed by the aforementioned "Chaos and Brutality" which thrashes far and wide served intact from the EP, before the title-track slows down with pounding riffs and a nice catchy chorus. Threre's no mercy shown on the furious "Blind Faith", and heads will roll on the aggressive "Horrified" which may "horrify" even the Slayer fans with its uncompromising proto-death laced approach. But take it easy, since the album doesn't acquire any death metal proportions later on, but introduces a fine more controlled short epic instrumental ("Battle of the North"; don't expect Immortal-influenced music here, folks). This less than 2-min serenity is hardly enough since right after the music takes a much more extreme turn with the raging "The Laws of Temptation" where De Pena (who is on top form the whole time) screams his lungs out to an apocalyptic effect. "Death Militia" is a 2-min oddity, containing just lead-driven noise in the first half, before it starts thrashing fiercely once again in the second one. "Broken Neck" will deliver its promise to break your neck with its fast intense riffage, and if you survive, the first half of "Violent Assault" will help you recover with much slower almost doomy riffs. A romantic tender piano tune on "Cuando Cae la Oscuridad (When Darkness Falls)" precedes the final "Satanf1rquote s Fall" (which is not a Mercyful Fate cover) which closes the album in an expected speed/thrashy manner reducing the speed a bit adding also a couple of more melodic hooks. There will be no disappointed with this spontaneous (a word which can not be used too often nowadays, especially when pertaining to veterans' works) slab of classic thrash which is every bit as good as "The New Age Of Terror" also seeing an act easily outgrowing the "shadow" of their early 80's output.
"Immortal Legacy": a 5-year gap is closed with this new release which sees the veterans thrashing like in the good old days. Nothing less was expected from them, anyway, and the beginning is a blitzkrieg assault with fast sharp guitars tearing the air leaving room for some imposing gallopisms on "Victims of the Dead" and the more speed metal-oriented "Tied To the Gallows Pole". More aggressive thrash arrives with "Deceiver" and the more technically-flavoured "Immortal Legacy"; before we are served a curious short lead-driven melodic intro named "S.O.W.". Another heads-down thrasher ("Violence of Action") follows suit before another instrumental, the bass shredder "Atlantis (Journey To Atlantis)", provides another surprise along the way. The end is brutal as expected with the shattering bonus track "Mephistopheles" which closes this album in a sure-handed manner. This is a perennial entertainer for the thrash metal fan who will find no moment boring here, and will already remember to start preparing his top ten candidates putting this one on the list.

Raging Violence Full-length, 1985
Hate, Fear And Power Full-length, 1986
El Diablo Negro EP, 2000
Barrage of Noise Full-length, 2001
The New Age Of Terror Full-length, 2004
Assassins Of War EP, 2007
Chaos And Brutality EP, 2007
El Rostro de la Muerte Full-length, 2009
Immortal Legacy Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

HIRELING (RUSSIA)

Based on the full-length, these three Russian folks deliver raw unpolished modern thrashism which is ultimately marred by the buzzy sound quality. The band hardly needs a better one, though, since the musicianship is just above amateurish trying to mix fast and slow tempos on almost every song to an unconvincing, muddling effect. The lead guitar makes sense on ldblquote To My Friendsrdblquote , and ldblquote I Don't Want To Hurt Yourdblquote is a passable semi-ballad ruined by the bad unrehearsed semi-clean vocals.

Before the Hell EP, 2013
Society Creates Slaves Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

HIRVIO (FINLAND)

Based on "Hypnos", this act offer fuzzy underground retro death/thrash which hisses its way through a myriad of diverse compositions ranging from brutal ragers like "Vanhojen Jumalten Tuli" to rousing marching doomsters like "Noitavasara". There's a lot of atmosphere permeating the album which has an appropriate very old school production and convincing forceful mid-ranged death metal vocals.

Mustan Kauhun Kuninkaat Full-length, 2013
Vihan Peive EP, 2013
Hypnos Full-length, 2014

Official Site

HIT THE NAILS (FINLAND)

Modern-ish thrash/post-thrash which has energy aplenty ("Total Lifewasting"), but watch out for relatively friendlier stompers like "Spiders" and "The Game" which are still nicely carried by the rough, but warm and attached semi-shouty death metal vocals.

In Nails We Trust Full-Length, 2017

HJALLARHORN (NORWAY)

Despite the title of their last demo, this band aren't entirely classic heavy metal defenders. Their music has a certain doze of more modern-sounding thrash, not too far from modern day Overkill, or Metallica's Black Album as well as stoner/doomy riffs.
"MercyfulMotorDeth" is more of a classic "beast" the band power/thrashing with quite a bit of melody dooming with the best out there ("Rebirth") at times, and generally headbanging suprises like "The Beast Divine" aren't such a frequent phenomenon. "The Conqueror Worm" is a cool moderate galloper, but this is largely radio-friendly peaceful music with the power/heavy metal audience the prime target.

Six Track Metal Attack Demo, 2004
Trilogy of Lightning Demo, 2006
New Wave Of Classic Heavy Metal Demo, 2007
Iron Clad Soldiers Full-length, 2009
MercyfulMotorDeth Full-length, 2015

Official Site

HMR (RUSSIA)

Based on the EP, this band plays unpretentious modern post-thrash with heavy and power metal elements thrown in. This is mild stuff with melodic guitars and cool clean vocals which would entertain the heavy/power metal crowd more since there are hardly any attempts at a faster more aggressive play.

Russkaia Stal EP, 2006
Protiv Vseh Full-length, 2008
Prosto i Grubo Full-length, 2009
Kontrolnui Vuistrel Full-Length, 2012
Ad uje Zdes Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

HMR (USA)

The full-length: this act offers modern power/thrash metal of the heavy type with frequent references to stoner/doom. Consequently not much headbanging thrash is to be encountered: "Cockring" is a cool exception being an intense speedy piece, and the opening "The Ultra-Violent Wax" is a cool merry Motorhead-ish roller-coaster, but the rest lacks an edge merging into one heavy, somewhat tedious, whole. "Religion Of The Sick" is 12-min of ponderous clumsy doom bringing the album really down at the end.

The demo is a better offering more deeply immersed in the old school and is a generally good reminder of the glory days of American power/thrash. "Rivethead" is a wild headbanger, but later on the guys slow down still remaining heavy and entertaining the closer "Speaking In Tongues" the real winner here with its hard-hitting semi-technical riffs and nice melodic leads.

Therapy for Anger Demo, 1995
Religion of the Sick Full-length, 1996

My Space

HOAX (FRANCE)

Based on "Ego Eater", this is a combination of thrash and classic heavy metal, somewhat similar to mid-period Exciter ("Long Live the Loud", above all) or Hellmasters. Most of the time the pace is quite energetic and the music packs a punch in a jolly playful way.

"Pressure" is a really heavy industrialized affair, having already embraced the post-thrashy tendencies producing something not too far removed from their compatriots Treponem Pal's debut. Certainly, the approach is more dynamic recalling the band's vivacious debut at times ("Soul Corridor"), but the guitars are too abrasive shattering all classic illusions quickly. Still, the consistent hammering tone of the album doesn't annoy: the band find a good balance between the steam-rollers and the more playful numbers, the former not shying from doom too much ("One World").

"Brainstorm at Dawn" is in a similar to its predecessor vein, developing in a dynamic industrial, post-thrashy direction, the cold mechanical atmosphere now even more accentuated on futuristic cuts ala Killing Joke and mid-period Prong, like "Let it Rip" and "Conscience". Long quasi-progressive draggers like "Little White Sun" could have been left out, though, and could have been replaced by jumpy technical pieces like the closing "Few Days", which show the more stylish, but seldom audible, side of the band.

Ego Eater Full-length, 1991
Pressure Full-length, 1994
Brainstorm at Dawn Full-length, 1995

HOBBS' ANGEL OF DEATH (AUSTRALIA)

This band released a fairly good Slayer-influenced debut in 1988 which offered fast intense music for most of the time, as well as longer more elaborate songs ("Marie Antoinette"), including more melodic guitars and cool atmospheric quiet breaks. Seldom could one catch more stylish semi-technical hooks ("Brotherhood"). It was interesting to see whether the band would give more room to their more ambitious, and arguably more intersting side, but they got lost shortly after this release.

"Inheritance" comes after a long, 7-year hiatus, with very few fans remembering the band. It's far from disappointment, though, with some of the songs thrashing with full force in a great old school way ("Depopulation", the brutal, death-tinged "Skeptics"). The band's more technical side, which remained to be further developed, has found realisation on heavy slower numbers ("Revenge"), but later the diversity is quite big with acoustic instrumentals; pure death metal explosions; the inevitable "flirtations" with the modern groovy sound; tracks with a lighter crossover spirit; and one excellent smashing speed/thrasher as a finishing touch ("Lost Faith").
"Heaven Bled": Peter Hobbs is back witn an entirely new line-up having borrowed musicians from the Italian thrashers Violentor. So it should come as no surprise the opening "Il Mostro di Firenzi" titled in Italian, a ferocious death/thrasher ala the Dutch Thanatos and Torture Squad. The madness only becomes bigger on the next "Walk My Path" regardless of the beautiful melodic lead sections; and "Final Feast" is almost a full-blooded deathster making this new opus the guy's most brutal recording blast-beats incorporated at every opportunity even on the longer, more serious title-track. The band's actual musical skills start shining on the two closing compositions, "Hypocrites" which is a cool dramatic shredder with semi-balladic insertions; and "Abomination" which closes the album with heavy doomy riffs. Hobbs hasn't changed his effective forceful, semi-clean vocal delivery, and leads the show with panache feeling confident enough to take a more prominent part this time in the new retro thrash revival.

Hobbs' Angel of Death Full-length, 1988
Inheritance Full-length, 1995
Heaven Bled Full-Length, 2016

My Space

HOBGOBLIN (USA)

Heavy, mostly modern thrash with a groovy edge, but not stale, with some more jumpy tracks ("Short Cut") present, a situation spoiled by "Moms on Meth": an awful stoner/funk/hardcore track.

Demo Demo, 2008

My Space

HOCNIS (BRAZIL)

Modern thrash of the groovy type with very good bass performance which speeds up on occasion: the hardcore-ish "Insane Vision", which is a vicious dramatic piece topped by the expressive semi-death metal vocals.

Demo(niac) EP, 2010

HOG (SWEDEN)

This is cool heavy modern thrash ranging from dramatic pounding thrashy doomsters ("Serpent Coil") to heavy volcanic mid-paced shredders ("Remembrance "). "Into the Chasm" is a very good example of the guys' characteristic seismic delivery, and the other cuts follow the model pretty closely the latter spiced at times by more dynamic insertions ("Devoid"). The vocal duel is also on the better side both the shouty death metal and the emotional clean vocals leaving a positive impression.

Arahant Full-Length, 2016

HOKUM (GERMANY)

Based on the "No Escape" EP, this very talented outfit serve fairly capable technical thrash/death with swirling paces, suddent twists, and a few heavy doom-laden passages. The wild piece of technical brutality "Manticore" opens this effort and although it's a largely death metal affair, later on the listener will come across several thrash-prone cuts: the superb technical fiesta "Silent Assassin", a glorious reminder of Pestilence"s "Testimony of the Ancients"; and the creepy Coroner-esque progressiver "Face The End". This isn't "the end", though, which arrives with the two-part "Goats", both compositions (the first one contains a fantastic lead section) jumpy modern listens kind of betraying the more technical tone of the prevalent material again alluding to Coroner, "Grin" in particular. The singer is nothing special rending his throat in a shouty death metal-ish manner.
"Pi" is a strong continuation the band now bringing their level very near the one of consummate "craftsmen" like Atheist, Coroner again, Alarum, and the Czechs Scenery. In other words, we have really good technical/progressive thrash/death devoid of the frequent speedy extremes of the debut EP, but utterly delights with the serpentine twisting sections which acquire a surreal abstract flavour on "Live To Suffer", before "Into The Wall" fills the space with virtuoso bassisms and shattering technical riffs. Comes "Sloth" which is anything but a "lazer"; this is another perfect display of technical mastery setting the scene for the arrival of the 8.5-min instrumental opus "The Dawn Of Change" which is mostly calm jass and funky intricacies laced by a brutal section near the end; good stuff. The funky infatuations carry on on "How Long", but not for "long" as "The Key" provides "the key" to some elaborate progressive thrash with atmospheric lead passages. The title-track, another instrumental, is a great finish with meandering vortex-like guitars and the casual more intense insertion. The singer is more restrained now, again belonging to the death metal genre, but having a more comprehensive and more attached tone.
"The Creation Of Pain" is the next in line complex exercise in technical proficiency which this time is completely devoid of death metal preserving the thrash for the opening title-track which marches on in a steady up-tempo, before the serenity settles in with the following "Inexorable", and is seldom interrupted later on as the approach becomes an appetizing blend between Alarum's "Eventuality" and Aftermath's "Eyes of Tomorrow"; so expect mostly minimalistic creepy stuff with standout musicianship mainly in the lead department. The calmness perhaps gets too big in the second half solely shaken by the closer "Eroded" which brings back the thrash with a cool consistent main motif.

First Blood Demo, 2005
No Escape EP, 2006
Pi Full-length, 2008
The Creation Of Pain Full-length, 2011

Official Site

HOLE IN THE SKY (UK)

With the band showing their tribute to Black Sabbath from the get-go, one shouldn't wonder why their brand of post-thrash mixed with stoner/doom sounds like a desirable (that's relative) updated version of the Sabbaths' early days; music-wise only, though, since in the vocal department we have an apocalyptic vicious mean semi-shouter of the whispered type who actually matches the sinister music landscape which consists of heavy mid-paced riffs spiced with the odd sense of melody. This is dark brooding music, a bit monotonous, but not completely without merits even recalling the macabre morose experiments on Celtic Frost's "Monotheist".

Hole In The Sky EP, 2013

HOLIER THAN THOU? (USA)

The debut: good fast-paced thrash/crossover: short, explosive tracks, which are not mindless bashing, but come with nice sharp thrashy riffs, and even catchy choruses, albeit of the shouty, hardcore-ish variety. On the most aggressive moments the guys are close to Cryptic Slaughter, but most of the time the music flows in the spirit of Ratos de Porao and early Prong.
"Riviera Sessions" contains a much softer material (apparently sessions on the tempting Riviera can never produce good results...) although the majority of the songs are in the same vein: short intense crossover thrashers with a bigger shade of punk this time, and pure heavy metal jokes thrown in: "Sex & Death", which is a Motorhead cover.

Holier Than Thou? EP, 2000
The Hating of The Guts Full-length, 2001
Riviera Sessions Full-length, 2003

My Space

HOLLOW (BRAZIL)

These Brazilian "spirit soldiers" thrash in a heavy modern fashion recalling Sepultura's "Chaos AD" quite a bit. The singer is an attached death metal semi-shouter and does a good job energizing the atmosphere which doesn't really go up to the speedy parametres, but manages to keep the listener's attention with good pounding rhythms and tasteful semi-melodic guitar work.

Spirit Soldier Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

HOLLOW (CHINA)

This is laid-back post-thrash with a few touches of hardcore which give this otherwise mellow effort a more aggressive colouring ("Grind", which is not exactly grind, and thrashes with a bigger conviction as well at some stage). The singer is clean with a good deep voice who just doesn't fit the picture too well and is consequently not given much space.

Hollow EP, 2007

Official Site

HOLLOW (NORWAY)

A cool mix of post-thrash, more intense modern thrash, and a bit of power metal. The guys are well versed in creating appealing melodic landscapes, and quite a few memorable choruses have been thrown in, ably supported by the good deep clean vocals and the heavy, but laid-back, guitars. The music is mid-tempo all around, but the thundering rhythm-section would be satisfying to the fans: check out the hammering riffs on "Close Your Eyes" which also smells doom. Near the end a lot of hearts will melt on the quiet piano-driven ballad "Twisted Life", the compensation coming right after on the energetic closer "Out Of Control" which lashes riffs with style and catchiness. This is pleasant stuff with a big crossover potential and will remind of the GZR efforts ("Black Science", above all) and a more aggressive version of the first two Volbeat albums.

Dark Thoughts Full-length, 2010

My Space

HOLLOW (USA)

Based on the debut demo: this band is the first vehicle for the guitar virtuoso Ralph Santolla (Deicide, Obituary, Death, etc.). He doesn't have to shine too much here since the delivery is not very demanding except on the colossal (14-min!) "Storyline", which is still pretty straight-forward for most of the time, and the vivid semi-technicaller "Cry of an Innocent Man". THe title-track is ann imposing ballad which rivals everything from the Testament and Metallica repertoire in this field, ruined by the rough semi-death metal vocals.

When I Awake Demo, 1993
God in Hell Demo, 1997
Slaughtering the Wicked EP, 2008

Official Site

HOLLOW GROUND (USA)

Modern post-thrash with an alternative edge, calm and pretty uneventful if we exclude the odd jumpy moment, attempting something more progressive with more sprawling balladic sections not too far from Opeth, but the latter are clearly overdone stretching into whole songs near the end. In addition, the rough groovy riffs on the rest of the material ruin the intentions as well as the very uneven "duel" between the brutal death and the clean alternative vocals.

Devir Full-length, 2010

HOLLOW HEAD (BRAZIL)

Dark, gothic modern power/thrash which recalls Paradise Lost and mid-period Sentenced quite a bit including in the passionate gruff semi-clean vocals. "Ghosts" livens up the situation with a portion of vivid more dynamic rhythms, and "Dancing with Fire" near the end justifies its "fiery" title with another outburst of less bridled energy before the closing "Time to Fight" wraps it on with impetuous galloping riffs showing a band who should give it more brutal for the future since this is where their real power lies.

Poverty of Mind Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

HOLLY MADDUX (USA)

This act provides an extreme mix of thrash, death and industrial which isn't a total waste if we exclude the slightly boring groovy sections which stand no chance against the dynamic Swedish-influenced passages. The leads are quite cool, both melodic and technical, but the overdone vocal participation is hardly an advantage: one can hear husky black-ish, brutal growly, and even clean female ones at the end.

Homegrown Full-Length, 2009

HOLOCAUST (USA)

There's not much aggression to be savoured here, if any at all, this act providing dark sombre rhythms seldom leaving the mid-tempo mixing "remnants" form the 80's with the governing trends of the time eventually surrendering to the groove the 2nd half consisting exclusively of dragging groovers full of boring tedious riffs where falling asleep is guaranteed if one doesn't wake up from the scary death metal vocals which break the intolerable monotony with the odd higher shout the latter also intercepted by the dynamic Carnivore-sque closer "Dementia" on which even the singer takes a more melodic turn resembling early Peter Steele (R.I.P.) with the nice melodic leads another fresh element thrown into the otherwise totally stale approach.

Aggression Full-Length, 1994

HOLOCAUST (UK)

This legendary NWOBHM act never made it to the first echelon, although in the beginning they were right along Iron Maiden, Saxon and Venom as one of the more distinguished repersentatives of the wave. They lost inertia after the release of their good debut "The Nightcomers", but in the late 80's they decided to pay tribute to the fashionable at the time thrash metal genre. To talk about full-blooded thrash in the band's output, is too farfetched, but this heavy sharp sound will definitely make quite a few extreme metal fans listen with care.
"The Sound of Souls" is a fine small piece of progressive/technically-minded proto-thrash which begins in a fairly intense manner with the energetic speed/thrasher "This AnnihilationX". "I Smash The Void" carries some of the experimental spirit of the Voivod works from around the same time: heavy, almost doomy, eclectic composition. "Dance Into The Vortex" is a superb display of technical avantgarde musicianship which also thrashes with full force, and combined with the abstract riffage makes for a really compelling listen. More heavy eclecticism arrives with the instrumental "Curious" which wakes up in the second half to bring forward great non-conventional energetic labyrinthine guitar work, in other words: expect another, this time instrumental, progressive thrash brilliance. "Three Ways To Die" goes over the top, though, lasting for more than 12-min, combining several styles within its very hard to swallow structure with thrash being the predominant one, but the frequent time changes, the very abstract riffage (these guys are pioneers in the field, only second to Voivod probably; at that time Anacrusis were still bashing in a pretty direct manner), some of which is simply marvellous, not miles away from the vortexes created by the German representatives of the genre (Mekong Delta, Living Death, Deathrow) a few years earlier, will require several repeated listens before one puts two-and-two together. This EP could have been a solid base for a strong follow-up, but...

The band disappeared, leaving this short work hanging awkwardly in their discography, a situation further worsened by the release of the very non-metal, let alone thrash metal-bound, follow-up "Hypnosis of Birds" in 1992, after which the guys hid from sight once again, but this time this was followed by an enormous sigh of relief. "Spirits Fly" came four years later, and saw the band go back to the metal field, but it was "Covenant" in 1998, which finally remembered that in 1989 there was something started, and left unfinished.

"Covenant" continues exactly where "The Sound of Souls" left off; once the opener "Leper's Progress" starts thrashing in an avantgarde, abstract, but also quite intense way, one knows that this time there won't be disappointed. Well, "Salt Heart" is the exact opposite to the opener sounding like a leftover from "Hypnosis of Birds", but "Return to Dust" grabs you by the throat shortly after with its heavy doomy guitars preparing you for the coming of the progressive, 17-min (!) long opus "The Battle of Soaring Woodhelven" which contains a solid doze of thrash of, expectedly, the more complex type mixed with more laid-back atmospheric sections, dreamy acoustic balladic interludes, and more. Despite the massive length of the song, the guys manage to keep the listener interested in the proceedings, frequently switching moods and tempos. "Valley of Megiddo" is a fairly original mixture of several moods with a great main pounding doomy riff which flows into the next "Mount Thunder", which develops the guys' interest in doom further, and the 2nd half comes as a relief turning to speed/thrash for inspiration, finished with a nice progressive passage. "We Shall See Him As He Is" is a slower dark progressive track, whereas "Alexander" (which is another tribute to Alexander the Great, done in a way no worse that Iron Maiden themselves) extends into another progressive song of epic proportions.
"Primal" is the band's most consistent, and arguably best, achievement; it comes as a more thrashy version of Kreator's "Outcast", with a more technical edge. It has this unique dark sound which very few other works can be proud of. "Iron Will" will grab you with its heavy hypnotic abrasive riffage: watch out for the opening riffs which will throw you into an Anvil direction ("Forged in Fire"). "Black Box" adds more dark atmosphere carrying on in the same brooding, mid-paced manner. "Hell On Earth" is the obligatory very heavy doom-charged number, followed by the shorter, progressive "Transcendence" which is melodic, and kind of off-the-track. "Fools (Bring On The Light)" is a more energetic technical thrasher after which things become more intense, with "Made Righteous" which thrashes in a heavier doomy fashion. "It's Your Dream" is not too far behind, but is faster, with a more pounding rhythm section, and a shade of Ministry-like industrial. "They Colonize" is an apocalyptic gloomy composition which speeds up a bit with a monotonous, but interesting, main theme. "Colossus" is the ultimate doomy thrasher, whereas the last (not "lost") "Lost Horizons" finally reminds of the more progressive side of the band's style with a more laid-back, heavy metal riffage which is almost nowhere to be heard on the other tracks.
The music on this album is stripped from the more elaborate decorations and the sprawling progressive songs which may be a drawback to some, but the final result is a tight compact sound which acts as one whole without sounding samey and one-dimensional, with biting sharp numbers which get their message through more directly, without much ado. Whether this would be the dominant tendency in the band's music from now on remains to be seen, but it's really hard to predict the next step of one of the most original acts on the metal scene.

The Sound of Souls EP, 1989
Covenant Full-length, 1998
Primal Full-length, 2003

Official Site

HOLOCAUSTO (BRAZIL)

The band's debut was typical for the Brazilian metal scene of the 80's: raw very aggressive and fast thrash/proto-death, quite extreme even for the Brazilian standards, with very basic musicianship involved which places it at the bottom of the ladder for 1987, below the works of Sarcofago, Sepultura and Vulcano. "Blocked Minds" very surprisingly softened the course, bringing other influences on the table: Prong (the hardcore intensity and the vocals), Razor (occasional faster tracks: "Hunger"). The music is more professionally done, mostly mid-tempo, and the guitars have an interesting dry sound, which became much more fashionable later in the 90's. "Negatives" was a huge surprise, a very unexpected, but a truly impressive change into technical/progressive thrash metal ala Voivod. The dry sound of the guitars remains, but the riffs are much more intriguing and interesting, still retaining a strong edge and an energetic pace ("Austroptecus Tecnologicus", "Muted By Fear"). Even the most technical numbers also flow nicely with not much complexity going on ("Negatives", "Congratulations, Mr. Money"). Later the band radically modernized their sound to the point of absurdity and completely lost their significance to the thrash, and even the metal, world in general.
The EP sees the guys return to thrash metal territory also bringing quite a bit of death metal to aggravate the proceedings. This is a total rendition of the debut, primal chaotic bash with brutal guttural death metal vocals. "Escarro Napalm" makes some sense with its more stylish barrage, and "Eu Sou a Guerra" is a cool reminder of early Possesssed; but don't expect anything along the lines of "Negatives".

Campo de Exterminio Full-length, 1987
Blocked Minds Full-length, 1988
Negatives Full-length, 1990
War Metal Massacre EP, 2016

Official Site

HOLOCAUSTO (CHILE)

Death/thrash of the heavy pounding variety, crossing the modern and the classic tastes in equal dozes, but seldom speeds up, and at some point one may get tired listening to this one-dimensional wall of sound topped by very brutal low-tuned vocals not miles away from the ones offered by Chris Barnes, maybe a tad more intelligible.

B-316 Demo, 1999

HOLOCAUSTO (COLOMBIA)

The full-length debut: this a really cool mix of thrash and doom on the longer tracks with brutal death metal vocals. The melodic riffs are simply addictive as well as the more quiet orchestral sections. Still, there's plenty of thrash to be heard, especially on short speedy delights like "Destino Final" & "Mental Torture", or the brutal thrash/deathy cut "Existencia" which bashes violently for just under a min. "Postrauma" is another enjoyable more serious thrasher with melodic hooks the latter a staple gimmick for the band used quite aptly at the most appropriate time. This isn't an uneven effort, on the contrary, both sides are well balanced giving it a nice characteristic sound on its own which has a lot of potential for a future development.
The demo is a rough affair with slower and faster songs mixed awkwardly on a noisy background the band seemingly quite far from the professionalism displayed on their only official release the latter solely displayed on the intriguing melodic dark piece "Iconos" which is a short intense cut with a memorable main theme. The singer quarrels throughout trying to overshout the noisy musical picture and succeeds with his aggro-rendings ornated by a darker deathy shade.
"Seres Inertes" is a heroic power/thrash affair starting with then galloping hymn "Imperio". The gallops are well translated on the following "No Hay Tiempo", before "La Espada De La Muerte" recalls the band's infatuations with doom metal from the debut. "Orcos" thrashes with more passion, but also with more melody being a cool instrumental, and the closing title-track will cause major headaches all around with its furious riffs breaking the morose atmosphere at the end.

Utopia Demo, 1996
Tortura Mental Full-Length, 2011
Seres Inertes Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

HOLOCROSS (USA)

The band's debut was good Razor-like thrash metal, probably less intensive (compared to "Shotgun Messiah"). 17 years later, the sound hasn't moved a bit, featuring the same aggressive old school sound; this time the guitar work is sharper, albeit a bit dry, and the singer varies his approach more often. The intensity admirably picks a proto-death character at times ("Painful Reminder", "The Bludgeoning"), but the music's more attractive side are the heavier slower pieces recalling early Meshuggah ("Ded Bolt", "Deathrattle") with their impassionate mechanical atmosphere. Some softer power/thrashers (the closing "A.I.M.") are also included to add up to the interesting varied nature of this album.

Holocross Full-length, 1988
Hypercaust Full-length, 2005

Vibrations of Doom

HOLOSADE (USA)

Power/thrash metal, poorly produced, similar to early Helstar and Tension, with direct nods to classic heavy metal ("Nightmare Reality"), but not as impressive. The singer does a good job with his clean mid-ranged voice which easily picks higher notes without sounding annoying. The guys only seldom thrash with force ("Look Into The Mirror", "Madame Guillotine"), but even those moments come served with more melodic heavy/power metal hooks. "Psycho" is a great speed/power track, though, with powerful riffs and an energetic galloping tempo, and "Welcome To Hell House" is not too far behind, being more melodic, but fast and energetic all over. Still, there could have been more of the kind to make this album more appealing to the thrash metal fan.
"A Circle Of Silent Screams" is actually the band's 1994 demo which was intended as a full-length, but never saw the light of day as such. Here the sound has been improved although the old school feel has been retained all over the guys speed/thrashing with inspiration as evident from the "eagle fly free" galloper "Masquerade" and the excellent shredding progressiver "The Return". "Computer World" is another highlight, a varied speed/thrasher with a few cool melodic licks, and "Eastern Promise" is the progressive power metal composition the band have always wanted to produce, a really good cut with elusive Oriental motifs. "Little Miss", despite its friendly title, is a formidable steam-roller, and "Once Uopn A Nightmare" is another hard-hitting opus with an insistent main riff. The closer "Babylon's Burning" moshes around for about 3-min adding the carefree crossover flair to make this very cool effort a very well kept secret all these years, and a promise for a more prominent presence of the band on the scene.

Hell House Full-length, 1988
A Circle Of Silent Screams Unreleased Album, 2015

Vibrations of Doom

HOLY BATTALION (POLAND)

Based on the debut demo, this act plays pretty decent old school thrash, mostly fast-paced, in a way not far from Paradox mixed with a more aggressive "sting" (there is also a song titled "Scorpion") ala late-80's Kreator. The guys shred well, but the sound quality is really bad marring their efforts quite a bit.
The "Breaking the Face" demo suffers from the same bad sound quality, but the music remains enjoyable, fast and relentless, again staying true to the German metal laws, this time even producing something more thoughout and technical: "The Ballad", which is not really a ballad, but is a nice diverse number with several tempo changes breaking the speedy patterns; "Sinner's Confession", a prime speed/thrasher with progressive overtones akin to Paradox's "Heresy". The speed gets high again on the very difficult to recognize cover of Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" which is turned into a wild Kreator-esque mosher without too many ties to the original.

Cosmic War Demo, 1989
Breaking the Face Demo, 1990

HOLY CROSS (FRANCE)

Based on "Place Your Bets", this is frolic mild power/thrash/speed which carefree character is somehow not quite matched by the harsh semi-clean vocals which could have been more high-strung for this "eagle fly free" kind of music. Heads may bang in agreement on a couple of more dynamic galloping passages, but generally this is entertainment for the soft souls, those who prefer their power metal spiced with the odd more aggressive riff.

Under the Flag Full-length, 2009
Place Your Bets Full-length, 2013

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HOLY DEATH (BRAZIL)

This is intense fast-paced thrash which suffers from an awful sound quality which tones down the instruments and puts the vocals up front. Otherwise the band shred with force the bass playing a major role with its constant pyrotechnics, with the leads following suit the latter too short and again, marred by the bad sound. The aforementioned vocals are on the more attached semi-declamatory side and can be quite clearly heard, for better or worse.

Mutants for President! Demo, 1989

HOLY MOSES (GERMANY)

The first female fronted thrash metal band from Germany, Holy Moses are often considered the best representative of the genre right after the "holy three"(you name them). "Finished With The Dogs" is a thrash metal classic which established the band as a major force on the German metal scene. Its follow-up took a heavier and more technical, even progressive at times, delivery, but was equally as effective. "Terminal Terror" showed that the band had still more to offer, with its sure-handed technical approach to the style. This was obviously the band's creative peak, as their career started going down after this one, first with "Reborn Dogs" where the guys tried to sound more aggressive, even death metal-like, and second with "No Matter What's The Cause" which made things much worse with its groovy modern sound (this is the only Holy Moses album in which Sabina Classen doesn't participate). The new millennium saw the band finding its way to the forefront of thrash metal once again with another string of quality releases.

"Agony of Death" is probably the band's finest achievement since the beginning of the new millennium, seeing the guys (and a girl) thrashing with gusto and inspiration. The compositions are longer than the ones witnessed on previous releases, but in terms of technicality there's nothing too extraordinary. There are moments from the Swedish scene (the slower atmospheric sections on "World In Darkness" and "Pseudohalluzination") as well as a nice keyboard background provided on the excellent "Dissociative Disorder"- some great leads are there, too), and all of the songs end in a more sprawling, but effective manner, with ambient/orchestral themes which for a thrash metal album could be viewed as somewhat pretentious and overdone, especially when they're too long ("Delusional Denial": a great small technical thrasher, a strong reminder of "Terminal Terror"). The tempo is quite energetic (except on the stomper "Schizophrenia"), and the riffs are sharp; Classen sings in a more controlled, but still vicious way. The final offers more aggressive thrashing mixed with clever semi-technical riffs, with "The Retreat", and on the opposite side we have a nice dark mid-paced smasher ("Through Shattered Minds/Agony Of Death") with, again, an overlong ambient outro which closes the whole album, and is actually quite compelling and captivating (it's a popular operatic theme which I have problems recalling).

"Redefined Mayhem": the band try to "redefine" their "mayhem" here after another lengthy hiatus, and on the opening "Hellhound" they all sound quite hungry including the "hell"ish Sabine Classen behind the mike. The delivery is a tad more engaging than the one witnessed on the few previous efforts, and the tracks now come with a sophisticated technical edge which comes modernized and boosted, not having much to say on the slower material ("Into The Dark"). However, it reigns supreme on vigorous semi-technicallers like "Sacred Sorrows" and the dramatic headbanger "Process Of Projection". "Fading Realities" is another less ordinary number with its insistent technical motif which turns to pure speed metal on the following "Liars". Run for cover on the shattering proto-deathster "Redemption Of The Shattered" which is a fairly new insertion into the band's repertoire, and may come as quite a surprise. "Delusion" may be somewhat "delusional" with its slow pensive rhythms which also stay around for the closing "One Step Ahead Of Death", a doomy oblivious piece with not much relation to the preceding "carnage", and having absolutely nothing to do with the actual, closer: the over 1-min of brutal hardcore under the title "The Dirt". There's plenty of good stuff to be savoured here, and with whole 13 cuts served one would indefinitely find something to frown upon, albeit very rarely.

Queen of Siam Full-length, 1986
Finished with the Dogs Full-length, 1987
The New Machine of Liechtenstein Full-length, 1989
World Chaos Full-length, 1990
Terminal Terror Full-length, 1991
Reborn Dogs Full-length, 1992
No Matter What's the Cause Full-length, 1994
Master of Disaster EP, 2001
Disorder of the Order Full-length, 2002
Strength Power Will Passion Full-length, 2005
Agony of Death Full-Length, 2008
Redefined Mayhem Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

HOLY ORDER (CANADA)

First-rate technical thrash along the lines of Coroner and Infernal Majesty; this is great music as the guys are not "strangers" to more aggressive riffage ala Slayer ("Hateful Rage") or fine speedy smashers ("Crack Down"). This is an encyclopaedia of expertly crafted classic technical thrash metal, highly recommended.

Hateful Rage EP, 1990

Fan Site

HOLY PAIN (FRANCE)

This French act specializes in classic power/speed/thrash straddling the road somewhere between Manticora and mid-period Blind Guardian. "Among Religions" is an energetic affair with more concentration on speed metal, and as such will bang the heads quite often. There are a few more modern insertions with echoes of Children of Bodom and more recent Lyzanxia ("Let Me Die"), as well as the odd slower cut ("Agony"), all sustained in a heavy, hard-hitting fashion with a very clear, boosted guitar sound. The vocalist isn't bad with his authoritative mid-ranged tember reminiscent of Matt Barlow (Iced Earth).

"Rebellion" is the lesser achievement the guys having become much more modern-sounding, having lost the speed as well, sticking to chunky, jumpy riffs leaning strongly towards the Gothenburg scene on quite a few moments which in its turn leads to plenty of melodic hooks which should keep you entertained some of them coming with nice Oriental "ornamentations". "Family Secret" is a cool speedster of the more laid-back type, and the title-track is a more serious thrashy shredder, but the rest merges together into one passable modern power/thrash metal opera without too many ups and downs.

Last Sigh Full-length, 2006
Among Religions Full-length, 2008
Rebellion Full-length, 2010

Official Site

HOLY PRISON (ISRAEL)

This is old school thrash done competently with ripping riffs and fast tight tracks. The band keep it both simple (the direct smasher "Killinghood") and complex (the long elaborate lasher "Above Death") the energy never lost even on the happy power metal anthem "Roads To Freedom" and also nicely blended with a more technical play on the closing "The Darkest Side". The singer is a bit of a pullback, though, with his hardcore shouty tember.

Bloody Hell Demo, 2012

HOLY SCEPTRE (USA)

This is pretty good retro speed/thrash in the vein of Agent Steel's "Unstoppable Force" and later-period Laaz Rockit. "Dark Deeds" is a ripping opener, a dramatic speed/thrasher with solid galloping riffs and soaring vocals ala Bruce Dickinson. "The Return" also leaves a trace boasting a good "duel" between the leads and the thundering bass which is obviously the guys' leading instrument. "Modern Day Jesus Freaks" is 3.5-min of heavy crushing riffage, a vintage thrasher with dramatic tempo changes; not even a rehearsal for the magnum opus "Demoniac", which is a larger-than-life piece with numerous tempo changes, nice melodic leads, hard thrashing moments, and a very good bass intro reminiscent of Cliff Burton's (R.I.P.) "(Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth" from the Metallica debut. "Infanticide" is a wild technical shredder with thunderous bass support and shades of death metal. The aggressive technicality continues on the final "Condomnation" which also brings back the awesome galloping riffage from the beginning, along with furious proto-deathy sections which see the guys equally as capable of pulling out more brutal stuff when needed. Anyway, regardless of how good the music was, and how many influences were well embedded into it, this talented act never managed to develop them any further.

Knowledge of the Holy EP, 1994

HOLY TERROR (USA)

Holy Terror were founded by the former Agent Steel guitar player Kurt Kilfelt. His new band impresses in a manner no worse than his old band, offering a pleasant deviation from the standard thrash formula, and are one of the more respected American speed/thrash metal bands. Their style is speed/thrash with NWOBHM elements and guitar harmonies which will remind you of Iron Maiden. On top of that we have very interesting vocals which range from nice clean ones to proto-death growling, to slightly strained, but effective husky ones. This guy is a real find with his unique ability to create some of the most infectious choruses; they're not exactly melodic and sing-along, but the way he delivers the lyrics on them is one-of-a-kind.

"Terror and Submission" starts in an uncompromising speed/thrash fashion ala Agent Steel's debut with the lightning "Black Plague". Later the album offers another, very interesting material: the galloping power/thrasher "Evil's Rising", the speed monster "Mortal Fear". For a while the sound descends to more common, but still impressive heavy/power metal ("Guardians of the Netherworld", "Distant Calling"), before returning to the speed/thrash metal field with "Terror & Submission". "Tomorrow's End" excels in speed (the album stays more on the speed metal side, but this is hardly a complaint), and "Alpha Omega" closes the album in a remarkable way featuring superb dual lead guitar attack.
"Mind Wars" also starts in a fairly aggressive way with the smashing fast "Judas Reward". The speed even increases for the follower "Debt of Pain", and later the guitars become sharper and heavier, and the songs longer. Again there are classic heavy metal tracks roaming around ("The Immoral wasteland"), but the rest is speed/thrash at its best: check out the killing aggressive smashers "Do Unto Others" and "No Resurrection", and the glorious album closer "Christian Resistance", a speed metal classic seldom surpassed after all these years. With these two albums this band quickly joined the front echelons of speed/thrash metal, but like many others from the same time didn't last long to enjoy this status more.

Terror and Submission Full-length, 1987
Mind Wars Full-length, 1988

Official Site

HOLY WAR (GREECE)

The noisy guitar background may be an annoyance to some who may not be able to enjoy a lot from this otherwise capable take on the old school thrash idea which "flirts" with Vio-Lence's "Eternal Nightmare" except on the moments where it suddenly gets too officiant and stomping ("No Future (React)"). The end is preserved for a cover of the Greek hardcore legends Xaotiko Telos ("Zoume Sto Skotadi").

Demo Demo, 2011

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HOLYCIDE (SPAIN)

Based on the full-length, this act provide intriguing classic thrash which is quite scattered and semi-technical on the opening "Afterworld Remnants" the band also throwing in some death metal into "the furnace". The title-track follows the same path with brisk speedy riffs, but the technical pretensions gradually disappear replaced by more orthodox headbangers ("Eager to Take Control", "Motorhead"). "Losers" near the end is a Detente cover adding more to the carefree roller-coaster feel of the album despite the gruff not very passionate semi-death metal vocals. The musicians also play in the death metal veterans Avulsed, and the doom/death formation FamishGod.

Toxic Mutation EP, 2015
Annihilate... Then Ask! Full-length, 2017

Official Site

HOLYWARS (SWITZERLAND)

A capable outfit who specialize in all-instrumental retro thrash, something which other acts (Mastery) have tried previously, more or less successfully. The delivery is both simplistic and complex as both sides alternate the latter more thoroughly represented on the longer numbers ("R'e9solution", the Metallica-worship "Psychose"). The problem is that the guitar work is exactly the same on every track: hard-hitting chugga-chugga riffage with very little melody present, no leads at all, a regular alternation of fast and slow tempos, and that gets repeated over and over the sole exception being "Purgatoire" which serves a couple of more melodic motifs near the end. This is all professionally done, but ends up sounding too one-dimensional and mechanical in the long run.

Requiem Full-Length, 2013

HOME STYLE SURGERY (FINLAND)

The full-length: these Finns specialize in quite cool varied classic thrash which has its more intense side (the raging proto-deathy "bullet" "Moshbusiness") and seldom lets the tempo down with some curious twisted technicality ("City that God Forsook") also "roaming" around. The more complex moments grow into the stylish longer closer "Three Mothers" which also resembles the more elaborate "flirtations" of early Destruction with its dominant speedy approach and the frequent change of pace. The production is suitably rough with echoes from the past, and the only minor throwback would be the gruff low-tuned death metal vocals which at times shout and scream randomly creating a lot of "painfilled" noise.

The "Two Essays of Disturbing Human Behaviour" demo is exactly two "essays" of precise technical thrash which weave their tapestries in a way not far from Megadeth's "Rust in Peace". The songs are full of unexpected time and tempo shifts with plenty of fast-paced rhythms to satisfy even the most pretentious headbanger. "Sachiko Ever After" is built around vigorous galloping riffs which later metamorph into spastic atonal guitars and a few other weird decisions. This is a great hint at what may befall the listener on a subsequent full-length, and an album of similar music would be a sure winner on the metal scene, even worldwide.

Painfilled Noise Full-Length, 2013
Lethal Experiment EP, 2013
Two Essays of Disturbing Human Behaviour Demo, 2014

Official Site

HOMESTELL (FRANCE)

Based on "Desecrated Empyrean", these guys play heavy crushing groovy thrash/death metal which at its most dynamic recalls early Fear Factory ("Murderous Factory": the name may be an allusion to the Americans; "Schematic Century"), but there are moments where the music softens down bordering on alternative. Still, there's a lot of thrashing of both the fast and the pounding mid-paced type, and "Autopsy" is a cool touch being an industrialized doomy instrumental.

D'e9sillusions Full-length, 2007
Desecrated Empyrean Full-length, 2009

Official Site

HOMICIDA (CHILE)

These Chileans pull out 4 tracks (the debut demo) of energetic retro speed/thrash recalling the early Overkill efforts; the music packs a punch despite the fuzzy guitar sound, but the singer doesn't leave a very positive impression with his harsh throaty shouts.

"Renacer Sat'e1nico" is a 4-tracker which delivers in the same way: intense uncompromising speed/thrash of the old school, played on full-throttle, but ruined by the bad unrehearsed vocals which shout drunkenly all over. The riffs cut without too many melodic adherences seldom "disturbed" by the short screamy leads.

Sacrificio Demo, 2009
Matando Cristianos Demo, 2009
Renacer Sat'e1nico Demo, 2010

Official Site

HOMICIDE (ITALY)

The Promotape is just 2 tracks of groovy, industrialized post-thrash with bad shouty vocals. The music isn't very eventful being jumpy, but derivative, sounding like a poor man's Fear Factory ("Mother Pulse Machine", which is an obvious nod to the Americans' "Scumgrief" from "The Soul of a New Machine") on the more inspired moments.
The "Retaliation Fall" demo is a gem which offers some of the best retro thrash to ever come out of Italy. "Misleading Reality" is a ripping cut with clever progressive guitar work which on "Darkness Vortex" becomes slower and choppier, but equally as enchanting. "W.O.W./Pepite II" is a short bubblegum/punk joke, but the next "Shadowed Truth" is a virtuous technicaller with ripping guitars and swirling rhythms. The closer "Flying on the Wings of Time" is another standout progressive thrash number recalling Paradox plus an added more brutal proto-deathy boost and several very cool bass implements. This is a really great obscurity which remains one of Italian metal's finest moments.

We on the Cross Demo, 1992
Retaliation Fall Demo, 1993
Self Determined Breed Demo, 1995
Promotape Demo, 1997

HOMICIDE HAGRIDDEN (ITALY)

Based on ldblquote Dead Black Sunrdblquote : Slayer-worship done with style (think their late 80's period); the vocals are in the hardcore camp with the exception of the ones on the dark, haunting opener "Dead Black Sun", and at times resemble the ones Tom Araya himself was using on "God Hates Us All". The guitars are both sharp and with a nice melodic edge, and the music never gets too aggressive, and fast-paced numbers like "The Hunt" and "Screams" are not quite common. The guys concentrate on heavy, but also semi-technical riffs ("Constriction") with a distinctive dark edge. "Scorn" is a particularly impressive song starting in a funereal doom metal fashion before turning into a much more intense thrasher.

ldblquote USrdblquote is not far stylistically from the debut now even sounding closer to Slayer including the Americansrquote updated modern-ish transformations during the 90rquote s. This is good energetic stuff all over the singer now impersonating Tom Araya down to the -T- to the point that one may think that Tom has lended his vocal abilities here for a change. After the dynamic opening duo of tracks the band produce the dark/rdblquote blackrdblquote creeper ldblquote Black as Warrdblquote , but the guysrquote adherence to speed this time seldom gets challenged; even the relatively lengthy 5-min shredder ldblquote Dimension Zerordblquote rarely comprises a staggering slower section. The other calm moment on the album would be the meditative doom/thrasher ldblquote Sign Of The Deathrdblquote at the end which closes the album with a nice stylish bass-driven balladic outro. The huge 8-year gap is hardly felt here the band thrashing like in the good old days content enough to follow faithfully one of the genrerquote s biggest heroes.

"Effect Lucifero" continues the infatuation with Slayer now impersonating them even more the singer displaying more versatility with cleaner, less shouty deviations this time. No complaints, though, because there are enough motifs here for one to see that the guys aren't mere copycats and the good clean vocals springing up here and there are just one indication of that. The mosh is very extensively covered with lashing riffs waiting at every corner, and few will be those to sit tight through pieces like "Lie to an Angel & "Lethal Agreement" the latter notching it up to a death metal intensity even, the highlight on this effort the closing progressiver "The Unsaid" a close second. The band don't disappoint, and their old fanbase should be kept thoroughly satisfied as well as those who love the good old Slayer to bits.

Where Angels Work EP, 2000
Dead Black Sun Full-length, 2004
US Full-Length, 2012
Effect Lucifero Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

HOMO SAPIENS (GREECE)

This act indulges in cool, energetic speed/thrash of the old school. The guitars are crisp recalling the ones from Pile Driver's "Stay Ugly", acquiring a more galloping aspect ("Hypnosis") on occasion. The rest is pretty speedy, "Shark Attack" (which isn't a Wehrmacht cover) being a furious piece with raging riffs, followed by the more controlled speed metal-based closer "War Infection". The singer has a convincing semi-clean tember which he uses in a detached, semi-declamatory manner.

Hypnosis Demo, 2011

My Space

HOPE (CROATIA)

Based on "Battle Within", this is a Christian band who play modern thrash/death metal which boasts nice speedy headbangers ("Eyes Of The Deceiver", "Redemption") along with cool deviations, like the epic-tinged "In Temptation (Homage a B.S.)", or the gothic, Lake of Tears-like "Unconditional Love". And let's not forget the brilliant intro and outro which are more than just artificial ways to begin and end an album.

More Than Words Full-length, 2003
Light of the Salvation Full-length, 2005
Battle Within Full-length, 2007

Official Site

HORCAS (ARGENTINA)

Horcas are the one of the three most significant thrash metal bands from Argentina. Their style is not too different from the one of the other two (Lethal and Hermetica), being speed/thrash/power metal with nice guitar work and good vocals. After 2 fine albums the band took a break, and 5 years later were ready again with a new offering; the style was slightly adapted to the modern tendencies, but quite a few of the songs were still hitting as hard as their older material.

"Reviviendo Huestes" begins quite intensely with the first two tracks being prime speed/thrashers. Later on predictably the album "courts" power metal, but without losing completely its aggressive edge. Unfortunately pleasant surprises are nowhere to be found except for isolated sections from separate songs, and the final remake of their old hit "Solucion Suicida" which preserves the fine galloping tempo of the original alongside the addictive chorus.

"Por Tu Honor": the uplifting "eagle fly free" approach of the Horcas is in full swing here, and the guys haven't sounded so classic in ages which should by all means be a plus. Still, there's not much thrash to be savoured the band early settling for the not very eventful mid-paced delivery which occupies a healthy space from the middle before "Sembrando Venganza" comes speed/thrashing down in the 2nd half, an approach which doesn't quite find the needed support later on another, and the final, outburst of energy being the closer "Guerreros". Fans of the band shouldn't be disappointed, especially now that they're not such a regular presence on the scene anymore.

Reinar'e1 la Tempestad Full-length, 1990
Oid Mortales el Grito Sangrado Full-length, 1992
Vence Full-length, 1997
Eternos Full-length, 1999
Horcas Full-length, 2002
Demencial Full-length, 2004
Asesino Full-length, 2006
Reviviendo Huestes Full-length, 2008
Por Tu Honor Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

HORD (FRANCE)

Modern thrash/death metal with an abrasive synthesized guitar sound; the approach is dynamic constantly switching between fast frantic and slower heavy sections the latter slightly dominating giving this effort an atmospheric gothic shade.

The Waste Land EP, 2010

HORDA (HUNGARY)

Based on the full-length: industrialized cold groovy post-thrash sitting somewhere between early Treponem Pal and Puncture; expect meaty crushing riffs and a few more dynamic tempos which may satisfy the headbangers although the delivery is dry and mechanic loosening up a bit on the closing "Az Ordog Koz'e9nk 'c1llt" which features a nice balladic lead-driven section and is the only more melody-tinged composition.

The demo doesn't break any new ground, but is intriguing enough with its alternation between fast and slow moments always retaining the crushing steam-roller heaviness of the guitars which only falters on several more laid-back passages ("Venomous"). The singer has a suitable harsh semi-death metal tone reminiscent of Lars Goran Petrov (Entombed) and Al Yurgensen (Ministry) and possesses enough dramatism despite his dominant semi-declamatory/semi-shouty delivery.

The self-titled full-length is in tone with the band's dominant style the robotic mechanical riffage ruling the proceedings from beginning to end containig a fair amount of atmosphere. "Thrown Down Disguise" is a cool industrial headbanger which inserts a solid doze of dynamics which is later dissipated, but in a great lead-driven manner, on the excellent atmospheric closer "Matter Of Taste".

Horda EP, 2000
T'edz Elet Full-length, 2008
Demo Demo, 2012
Horda Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

HORDE OF ANACHRON (CANADA)

A mix of death and thrash metal sounding like a more thrashy Deicide; technical stuff as well and quite diverse constantly changing tempos from fast to slow and vice versa. "Fixed to the Volatile" is a bit more modern with melodic Swedish leanings, but watch out for technical opuses like "The Forged Sky" and "Celestial Demise of the Impure", or the black metal-tinged fury "The Chamber Beneath the Bard". The shorter numbers ("In the Path of the Tyrant", "Dawn of Invincibility", the closing "Funeral Winds" which also has a strong black metal shade) are straight death/thrash bullets without many deviations except for the very good melodic leads which are strong rivals to the sharp technical riffs for the highlight on this cool varied effort.

Aeons of Damnation Full-length, 2009

Official Site

HORDE OF TORMENT (USA)

This band were known under the name Pestilence earlier. The style here is better: good aggressive thrash with somewhat strained hardcore-ish vocals. The music is in the vein of the Canadians Overthrow, or Violence's "Eternal Nightmare", but the guitars at times have this genuine technical edge, plus the occasional adherence to death metal. It's albums like these which tried to keep up the flame of classic thrash metal alive in the early 90's.

Product of a Sick Mind Full-length, 1991

My Space

HORDES OF THE APOCALYPSE (SWEDEN)

The full-length debut: crusty modern thrash/death done by two guys who vary their blitzkrieg approach with more moderate numbers and create a cool party atmosphere not far removed from Motorhead or Tank, in the 2nd half even serving radio-friendly hard'n heavy to a slightly disorienting effect. "Chainsaw Scumfuck" thrashes harder with a few speedy escapades, but this is more of a hit-and-miss affair which doesn't exactly know which audience to centre on.
"Une Nuit Dans Le Cimeti'e8re": the prolific Swedes waste no time, and after a string of demos arrives the full-length to put an end (at this satge) to their nerver-ending supply of jolly feelgood speed/proto-thrash which suddenly gets too aggressive with shades of sinister death metal on "Night of the Amnesiacs". Elsewhere the guys remind of Voivod's more friendly period ("Fleshy Blonde She-Zombie"), or plainly exit the speedy metal field with soaring epic arrangements ("A Cult of Blood-drinking Aristocrats") the latter gracing at least half of the songs. This is party stuff the guys obviously having fun jumping for joy along with the punk and the hard rock fraternity.

Now They Are Everywhere! There Is No Escape! Full-Length, 2015
By Sword, By Pick, By Axe, Bye Bye EP, 2016
The Melting Body Horror Experience EP, 2016
A.I.D.S. EP, 2016
Une Nuit Dans Le Cimeti'e8re Full-length, 2016

Official Site

HORDES OF THE BLACK CROSS (AUSTRALIA)

Based on the full-length, these Aussies play an epic bombastic form of black/thrash which opens in a more linear thrashy manner with "The Stalker's Poison", but black metal slowly takes over and establishes the atmospheric orchestral arrangements and the hyper-blast insertions. Shades of Bathory ("Storms In The Abyss") can be felt on the more laid-back material, but there's too much blasting here to please the level-headed thrash metal fan if we exclude the cool Alastor-esque "Law Of Death". The vocals are, needless to add, of the shouty raven-like type and "croak" their way with authority and quite comprehensively.

Hordes of the Black Cross EP, 2011
Dawn of War, Nights of Chaos Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

HORFIXION (CANADA)

A very worthy technical death/thrash metal band, another fine addition to the very technical Canadian metal scene. The band's style kind of reminds of another Canadian band, Martyr, but is less adventurous and more deeply rooted in thrash. "Disynchronize" is a great debut with not very long technical numbers circling around the mid-tempo. Although this isn't the band's most complex release, great technical riffs are present all over (the title-track, "Human Machine") along with the direct headbanging ones ("Rage"). "Tears of Sand" is a very stylish track with calmer dream-like guitars.

"Instigators of Chaos" begins the way Death's "Symbolic" did, in an energetic and technical manner. But after that the sound takes an even more technical direction for a while with the brilliant twisting "Different Man": a masterpiece of technical thrash/death. Then the energy comes back, even accompanied by blast-beats ("Minefield", "Misfortune") this time and superb melodic guitar work ("Emotional Storm"). Later come two longer more elaborate songs with strong nods to Martyr and Death followed by two short deviations: the less-than-1-min grindcore bomb "V.A.B.", and the marvellous acoustic instrumental "Magma".
"Self Inflicted Hell" is the band's most thrashy effort with great headbanging sections all over which dominate over the technical ones. The guitar sound is thicker and heavier recalling late-80's Slayer ("Digitalized Existence"). Their fans might have been a bit disappointed as the guys have abandoned the technical exuberance replacing it with more standard thrash patterns which also work well for most of the time.

The band got lost for quite a bit, but their more stripped-down approach from "Self Inflicted Hell" is intact on "The Art of Agony" which again may be a disappointment to the fans of the old works since there's almost no technicality involved: this is direct vicious old school thrash metal with elements of proto-death, well played, fast and tight reminiscent of more recent No Return (minus their last release "Manipulated Mind"), but in the sea of similarly-styled efforts of more recent times this one is hardly the highlight. With 13 tracks presented here it's a shame the guys haven't felt the urge to pull out some of their staple awesome technical hooks relying instead on good steady, but hardly original or impressive, guitar work.

Rage EP, 1999
Disynchronize Full-length, 2000
Instigators of Chaos Full-length, 2002
Self Inflicted Hell Full-length, 2004
The Art of Agony Full-length, 2009

Official Site

HORLET (USA)

Based on the full-length, this band offer standard modern thrash/death which is modelled after the Gothenburg patterns seldom surprising with something out of the box (the nice heavy dramatic progressiver "So Far Away"; the unexpected blasting sections on the diverse shredder "Gypsy"). The band don't rely on speed too much and their more epic approach may tire at some stage as well as the frequent acoustic/balladic intros/outros inserted among the songs. The singer is the staple subdued shouter in the vein of Mikael Stanne (Dark Tranquillity). Some of the guys took part in the death metal formation Dead Broke before they apparently went "dead broke" and disbanded a few years earlier.

EP EP, 2010
The Keys of Life and Death Full-length, 2013

Official Site

HORN OF THE RHINO (SPAIN)

Based on "Grengus", these guys offer a more dynamic, thrashy version of the good old sludge/doom; a ground already well covered on their first 2 recordings which were released under the name Rhino. Certainly, the music stays closer to doom with several more energetic passages roaming around to make the head bang (the speedy delight "To Ride The Leviathan"; the few deathy sections on the closing "Waste For Ghouls"). The singer is expectedly rough and hardcore-ish in a way not too far from Mike Williams (EyeHateGod).

Weight of Coronation Full-length, 2010
Grengus Full-length, 2012

Official Site

HORRESCO REFERENS (FRANCE)

Based on "...Of Our Souls", this band offer a very diverse blend of styles: the base is 80's thrash metal akin to early Metallica and Exodus, but there are furious death/thrash attacks as well as atmospheric black metal moments; oh, and let's not forget the classic heavy/power metal riffs which pop up here and there. The singer should be given a medal for his talent to change his vocal style according to the music at present. The overall atmosphere is somewhat operatic, something which formations, who have gathered with the clear intention to make a metal opera, have failed to achieve.

The Cesspit Full-length, 1999
...Of Our Souls Full-length, 2003
Deus Sex Machina EP, 2005

Official Site

HORRIBLE CREATURES (CZECH)

Based on the full-length, this act specialize in a modern/classic thrash blend which displays some intricacy ("Prisoner of Disease"), but the more simplistic formulas bordering on hardcore ("Chaos") are just around the corner making this effort a slightly uneven affair regardless of the presence of primal headbangers like "Choke". The vocals are very shouty reaching the hysterical parametres, but somehow suit the modern abrasive guitars.

Depressive Hunt EP, 2015
Pitfall Full-length, 2017

Official Site

HORRID (USA)

Based on the full-length, these guys play pretty cool tightly executed classic thrash/death with major echoes of Death's seminal "Spiritual Healing" and Pestilence's first 2 efforts (think "Consuming Impulse" more) showing maturity in the musical department whereas vocal-wise the album has a lot to do to catch up: these scary death growls are not an exact match to the superior music. The band play on with displays of technicality dispersed throughout ably assisting the fast-paced riffage also helped by the expert blazing screamy leads. Thrash/death can seldom come more compelling than here nowadays: just listen to compulsive headbangers like "Evisceration" or the more straight-forward basher "Invokers of Satan" which stand well next to more elaborate offerings like "Possessed by Death" and "Infernal Crucifixion". No complaints that for most of the time the album is more on the death metal side with "Torture" near the end excelling in a more thrash-fixated shredding except for the horrifying blasting section at the end. Hats down for the engaging closing title-track which lashes intelligent fiery riffs for nearly 9-min making this band one of the hottest propositions on the US scene right now.

Worship of Death/Invokers of Satan EP, 2008
Horrid Full-length, 2011

Official Site

HORRIFIC DISEASE (JAPAN)

Based on the full-length, these Japanese samurai play old school thrash/death which is fairly aggressive including in the vocal department where the guy shouts deafeningly overshadowing the instruments. "Hateful Praying" is a more moderate mid-paced smasher, and later on "Your Own Justice" is another seeming respite from the dominant "carnage" which finishes with the entertaining melo-thrash/deathster "The Pissed Punisher".

Disease from Hell EP, 2012
Outbreak Full-length, 2015

Official Site

HORRIFIER (USA)

A decent entry into the retro power/thrash metal catalogue of recent years; the album starts with the instrumental speed/power metal happiness "The Ultimatum" which doesn't promise much thrash, bit is vigorous enough to prepare the listener for the next "E.B.E.", intense headbanging thrash with a few slower "reliefs". "Premonition" is a heavy stomper with outstanding lead guitars, followed by a string of more ordinary power metal hymns which lose the thrash metal idea until the closing "Stalingrad" which speeds up with energetic galloping rhythms. The beginning and the end are way superior to the middle the latter still a good reminder of the American 80's power metal scene's heydays.

Grim Fate Full-length, 2010

Youtube

HORROR (RUSSIA)

Based on the debut demo, this obscure act pulls out capable retro thrash of the dark brooding kind with brutal death metal vocals and a couple of atmospheric orchestral implements. The music is mostly mid-paced, but watch out for intense technical speedsters like "Animal in Human's Skin" the latter compensated by the rough exercises in early Celtic Frost ("I See"). The sound quality is fairly primitive, but these guys had some good ideas bordering on the progressive, and it would be good to check whether those tendencies had been developed on the second demo. Some of the band members also play pagan black metal in Mor.

Zone of Violence Demo, 1995
Zlye Miry Demo, 1997

HORRORSCOPE (POLAND)

A capable band playing modern thrash metal of the more laid-back variety, not very fast and dynamic, but cool enough, with recent Overkill and Annihilator being obvious influences. The style doesn't change a lot throughout the albums; maybe the later works have become a bit more aggressive, somewhere along the lines of Testament's "The Gathering".

"Delicioushell" carries on thrashing the hard way with dry mechanized guitars, and as such doesn't sound too different from its predecessors, except for several more classic-sounding moments: the intense proto-death shredder "Avoid the Counterfeit"; the energetic speedsters "The Scar" and "World Remains Insane"; the more technical Bay-Area thrasher "World Remains Insane", again recalling Testament. This is by no means a bad effort, professionally done and all: it's just that there are quite a few acts at the moment offering similar music, and it would take more effort and originality for the guys to manage to stick out of the sizeable pack.

Wrong Side of the Road Full-length, 1999
Pictures Of Pain Full-length, 2001
The Crushing Design Full-length, 2005
Evoking Demons Full-length, 2006
Delicioushell Full-length, 2010

Official Site

HORSEMEN (BRAZIL)

Based on the full-length: five "horsemen" from Brazil are riding the winds of the classic thrash movement, doing a fairly good job, especially in the more elaborate sector where stylish shredders like "Nutcracker" and "Fueled Brutality" belong. "Imminent Colision" diversifies the band's palette with less speedy, stomping rhythms which fortunately doesn't become a dominant tendency in the second half, the band gaining inertia again with brisk speedsters like "My Onslaught" and "Self-Destruction". "Speed Demon" is pure 80's speed metal joy, but the final "Splintered Steel" is an assured hard-hitting thrashing anthem making this effort a cool entry into the retro thrash fodder from the South American scene.

Wish of Rebellion EP, 2013
Thrust with Full Force Full-length, 2017

Official Site

HORSEPLAY (USA)

Messy chaotic thrashcore sounding as a not very serious rehearsal due to the amateurish musicianship and the careless attitude. These are short cuts, neither of them finished, in various tempos including a few grindy outrages, topped by violent shouty quarrelsome vocals.

Booze, Blow And Horseplay EP, 2010

HORSES HAVE PEOPLE TEETH (USA)

This is weird stuff based around modern semi-technical thrashcore which is full of both jumpy and dissonant riffs, plus the odd stoner flavour ("Sympathy For The Flies") added. It definitely has echoes of the stylish sludginess of Mastodon, but here it's served with a less serious attitude (also reflected in the relatively short song-length (2-2.5min)) and a pinch of industrial (the diverse progressive crossover piece "Flat Black"; the Neurosis-like doomster "Black Shepherd"). The vocals are too noisy shouting not very pleasantly the whole time, and some refinement in this sector would only increase the band's potential in the future.

Ugly Animals Full-Length, 2011

HOSPITAL OF DEATH (UK)

This band pull out (based onn the debut) a good blend of energetic, riff-based power/speed metal ala "Painkiller" and thrash; cool and catchy stuff, with the traditional infectious choruses, but this is where the cheesiness stops. The rest is a riff-fest which beats other "Painkiller" imitators, like Centvrion, Iron Saviour, etc. The guitar work is excellent often displayed by fast, but also melodic, leads. Of course, there is a ballad, but it's quite good: "We Go Together", which nicely opposes to the quite fast tempo of the other material where one can find truly impressive smashing speed/thrashers: "Fear the Ambulance" (these guys have really embraced hard the medical/hospital idea- no kidding!), "Ooh, That's It" (this song features a magnificent lead guitar section in the middle!).

"Surge Kill Steal" follows the style established on the debut faithfully, but the sound has moved away from the "Painkiller"-worship a bit, for better or worse, and now quite a few moments from the 80's American power/thrash metal scene can be heard: Helstar, Liege Lord, Attacker, etc. The 90's power/speed metal happiness is captured on a couple of more moderate tracks ("The Iron Matron", "Deadly Wheels Of Steel"), but the galloping horse power of songs like "Let's Go Apeshit" and "Helms Deep" can't be denied. "Stairway To Hell" begins in a disappointing clumsy mid-paced manner, but near the end it turns to raging thrash which remains the most aggressive part of the album. Compared to it the rest of the material is mild to say the least, offering not much thrash, and consequently ending up sounding not as striking and full-on as, say, Cage's "Science of Annihilation", settling for a calmer power/speed metal sound. By no means a bad album, it would find a wider audience than just the average thrash metal fan.

Beer, Bithces, Blood Full-Length, 2008
Surge Kill Steal Full-length, 2009

Official Site

HOSTAGE (USA)

Hardcore-ish modern post-thrash with very unpleasant hysterical shouty vocals; the music isn't completely without merits the band capturing the magic of early Pro-Pain on more inspired cuts like "Year Of The Rat" and "Repeat Offender". Still, the delivery doesn't hold any surprises for the more initiated the mid-paced riffs wearing out by the end. And these vocals...

Desensitized To Violence Full-Length, 2011

HOSTAGE OF FATE (GREECE)

Two Greeks are behind this interesting album-title and otherwise not very striking modern melodic thrash/death metal which tries to find its own "face" by inserting moody atmospheric moments (think Nightfall, Rotting Christ) into the Swedish formula, but they mostly succeed in breaking the pattern on the cool technical mid-pacer "In Your Darkest Hour", and less successfully on the larger-than-life 10.5-min closer "At the End, God Refused to Die" which is instrumental-only and comprises sprawling meditative passages suddenly broken by rude headbanging "awakenings" this amalgam creating a somewhat incoherent feeling with a few interesting ideas left unfinished.

At First, Man Tried to Create God?.?.?.?and He Succeeded. Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

HOSTILE (UK)

Modern post-thrash with shades of groove and metalcore; "Dig Up The Power" is a more energetic thrasher with a retro feel, but the rest is just jumpy rehashed riffs, much inferior to the really stylish lead guitar work which this pedestrian effort simply doesn't deserve.

Eve Of Destruction Full-Length, 2011

HOSTILE RAGE (USA)

Based on the "On the Rampage" demo, this band plays glorious speed/thrash metal which sounds quite close to the German school: Paradox, Toxic Shock, early Exumer, with moments from the American power/thrash metal scene present, too. The tempo is fast, but the sound is quite heavy, with an excellent deep bass bottom. "The Last Temptation" slows down a bit, but introduces fine technical riffs ala Testament and late 80's Metallica, before it speeds up near the end.

The debut demo is more faithful to the American standards rather than the early German scene, now sounding close to early Whiplash and Blessed Death, with a pinch of more playful speed metal ala Exciter ("Dead Meat" which could be placed on "Violence & Force" any time).

The "Uncontrollable Urge" demo is another potent underground release sustained in a more carefree crossover manner with short uplifting tracks which still possess the "sting" to bite excluding the jolly punk number "Bodies" which is a sure reference to Sex Pistols' "Anarchy in the UK". "Life With Honor" is a more full-blooded speed/thrasher, also featuring some inspired leads, which shows a band not willing to make any compromises with their staple sound regardless of the vogues of the time.

Demo Demo, 1988
On the Rampage Demo, 1989
Adrenalin Flow Demo, 1990
Furious Brutal Loud Demo, 1994
Uncontrollable Urge Demo, 1996

HOSTILE REACTION (SWEDEN)

Modern industrialized thrash metal, well done, with nice melodic choruses and a heavy, almost doomy tempo; quite atmosheric at times, too. The vocal style varies quite a bit as well; the sound might remind you of another Swedish industrial band- Misery Loves Co., but here the music is less aggressive featuring really cool riffs.

Demo Demo, 2004
Demo Demo, 2005

Official Site

HOSTILIDAD (ARGENTINA)

Based on the 2009 demo, this band plays old school thrash/death metal mixing slow doom-laden with fast aggressive passages. The guitar work is quite stylish adding nice Oriental "ornamentations" from time to time as well as the odd technical riff. The singer unleashes a really brutal low-tuned growl which better suits the slower parts which in their turn are reminiscent of Bolt Thrower.

The debut demo is strictly on the slower side consequently being more melodic with the faster parts going straight for the Swedish death metal camp. There's not much Bolt Thrower to be heard this time, the guitar work being much less heavy and not as battle-like, the only reminder of the Brits being the guttural Karl Willets-like vocal delivery.

Demo Demo, 2007
Demo Demo, 2009

Official Site

HOSTILITY (USA)

This band, who later had a more lasting career under the name of Pale Horse, play an intriguing mixture of Floridian death metal, thrash and doom which manages to sound quite complex at times. The style is even more appealing than the one of Pale Horse being of a less ordinary nature with really stylish moments present here and there.

Soon Comes the Return Demo, 1991

HOSTILITY (USA)

Run-of-the-mill groovy post-thrash with stoner/doom monents; sleepy mid-tempo, boring uneventful guitar work, and one cool tender ballad: "Goodbye", where the angry shouty vocals are replaced by a fine clean voice.

Brick Full-Length, 1995

HOSTIS (MONTENEGRO)

Modern thrash which starts with the ambitious instrumental title-track which thrashes with passion. The vocals hit on the next "Beneath The Machinery Of Demise", and one may be pulled back due to their brutal guttural deathy flavour. The thrashing "carnage" is on full-throttle, though, the guys "dissipating" the rigorous riff-patterns with tasteful melodic leads. "In Shadow Of The Crucified" goes towards more progressive Paradox-esque waters, and the closer "Gods Are Dead" follows the same direction adding more impetuous Swedish death metal leanings to the diverse saga.

Hostis Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

HOT BUTTERED ANAL (USA)

The debut: the band name might pull back some, but the music could win fans of the more melodic punk-ish side of 80's thrash/crossover. The music is an enjoyable jolly blend of The Offspring and Lawnmower Deth. A very surprising touch is the two excellent acoustic ballads "Magnum" and "Heads in the Garden", the highlights of the album.

"Lies" is another thrash/crossover parade coming with both melodic punky and brutal grindy sections. At times the riffs acquire a dry sterile Voivod-ish character ("Just Try It") and things become more interesting for a while. Still, one shouldn't expect too many "distractions" from the band's formula the other one being the jolly country cut "Duct Tape and Sausage" which sounds as though having been intended for another act.

Please Kill Me Full-length, 2007
Lies Full-Length, 2008

Official Site

HOT GRAVES (USA)

Based on the "D-Beat Death Dirge" demo, this act offers crusty abrasive thrashcore with heavy doomy implements recalling both early Celtic Frost and Amebix. These guys' approach is more aggressive, though, bordering on proto-death ("Rotted") at times, although melodic "reliefs" are also provided: the merry cover of Bad Religion's "Yesterdays" at the end to which the brutal death metal vocals are hardly the best "solution".
The "Desecration Time" demo offers a similar mix between crusty thrash/deathcore and seismic doomy riffs; the approach is generally up-tempo with the slower passages being short and secondary.

"Knights in White Phosphorus" is a crusty portion of death/thrash which develops in the same abrasive up-tempo from beginning to end, sometimes sounding pleasantly thrash/crossover-ish, sometimes grinding with passion ("I Claim Your Blood (In The Night)"). The odd exception to the rule is the thunderous doom/deathster "Dirge ov the Apokalyptik Horde", which remains the best song with the closing melo-death corer "Desecration Time" a close second.

D-Beat Death Dirge Demo, 2008
Goatshed Deathrash Annihilation Demo, 2008
Demo Compilation 2008/2009 Best of/Compilation, 2010
Desecration Time Demo, 2010
Knights in White Phosphorus Full-length, 2011
Desecration Time 7" EP, 2011

Youtube

HOTH (USA)

This American horde pull out dynamic modern thrash which develops in a both energetic and fairly melodic manner the generally serious approach to song-writing reflected in relatively short numbers which hit admirable heights in the 2nd half on the excellent orchestral "The Frozen Wastes of Hoth" and the intense Voodoocult-esque shredder "Torn Asunder by a Wampa" before the progressive complexity of the closing "The Rancor" embraces the listener with a portion of dreamy balladic tunes the latter the best contrast to the rough guttural death metal vocals.

Infinite Darkness Full-Length, 2012

HOTOPSY (FRANCE)

Generic 80's thrash metal, made a few years later; the music is energetic and all, but other bands have done a better job. The guys are all over the place trying to sound varied and interesting; the music is sometimes jumpy and chaotic, sometimes with a softer power/speed metal flavour. Of course, there are times when they thrash aggressively which is their most appealing side, and this is when the sound comes close to Demolition Hammer even. A genuine technical edge sparkles here and there, like on the best song on the album "Follow The Light", but those moments aren't too many to make the music stand out.

Follow The Light Full-length, 1992

HOTROD MAYHEM (GERMANY)

This young formation play typical modern thrash with sharp lashing riffs which don't stay in the fast-paced parametres for too long, but mostly move forward in a heavy seismic fashion surrounded by frequent melodic "decorations" which only disappear on the short headbangers ("Contermination Overdose", the closing hardcore outrage "Where Do You Go"). The vocals are the staple for the genre death metal shouts. Some of the band members also take part in the thrash metal outfit Caress, and the much more renowned thrashcore stalwarts Undertow.

We Are at War Full-Length, 2014

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HOTZIKARA (SPAIN)

These Spaniards pull out your average post-thrash spiced with hardcore which is of the calmer, mid-paced type; and that's sad since there's never any temptation at a faster play. From the aggro-vocals, to the groovy patterns, to the jumpy breakdowns: everything sounds all too painfully familiar and unimaginative for anyone to pay attention the whole way through.

Hotzikara Full-Length, 2011

HOUSE MASTER (ITALY)

Pretty decent retro power/thrash akin to early Megadeth and Laaz Rockit's "Know Your Enemy"; the songs are all nice mixtures of fast blitzkrieg riffs and heavier mid-tempo ones: check out the awesome power/thrasher "Twisted", or the brilliant title-track which after the nice slower mid-paced crush in the beginning turns into a furious speed/thrash crescendo at the end. "In Times of War" is pure unadulterated headbanging thrash, and the closer "The Hell Swallow You!" is a wonderful semi-technical speedster in the best tradition of Megadeth. Mentioning the latter, one should also say a few words about the singer who does a very good job with his dramatic semi-high melodic delivery seamlessly crossing Dave Mustaine with Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth (Overkill).

J.B. Demo, 2008

HOUSE OF SUFFERING (USA)

Katon W. DePena from Hirax entertains himself here with three other buddies for the recording of this 2-song demo of semi-balladic 90's post-thrash which isn't completely bad, but is light years away from the super-fast blitzkrieg thrash of his main act. He sings in a restrained pretty low-tuned manner with a gruffer hardcore-ish shade to better suit the uneventful peaceful music.

Wired/Youth Single, 1992

HOUSE OF THUMBS (AUSTRALIA)

The full-length: chaotic modern thrash/death metal which, despite the obvious dynamic attitude, fails to deliver relying too much on metalcore to pull it through, with very sudden switches from very fast grinding to slow proto-industrial sections and vice versa the whole time except on the last two compositions where the music stays within the dry mechanical semi-technical parametres, and delivers in a way no worse than mid-period Meshuggah and Baghead. The problem is that the previous material isn't even half as interesting leaving this effort hanging more on the duller side of things.

The "Strangle Fiction" EP is very similar style-wise to the full-length delivering a bit better with more concentration of clinical sterile riffage without too many unnecessary metalcore intrusions. The problem is that this jumpy semi-technical music evolves in a constant mid-pace which may tire the listener if lasting longer, but in this case those 5 tracks would be a safe pick for fans of Voivod's "Phobos" and heavy industrial stuff in the vein of Soulstorm and Godflesh, and even later-period Skrew (the more dynamic stomper "Centipede").

Strangle Fiction EP, 2007
Crossing The Rubicon Full-Length, 2010

HOVNO (POLAND)

A dirty sound makes this effort not very attractive; the music is otherwise a contrasting mix of 90's groovy post-thrash and more aggressive thrash/death metal of the old school where the guys don't shy away from the casual blast; the guitar sound is very thin, however, having an annoying echoing, drilling impact. The singer is an awful synthesized shouter, and the bad news is that he tries to play a very important role here singing almost the whole time to a repelling effect.

Prt Nebo Smrd Demo, 1994

HOWITZER (USA)

Based on ldblquote The Echoes of Prometheusrdblquote , this band specialize in modern post-thrash with stoner/doom elements thrown in. The resultant sound is seismic and super-heavy the guys having fun straddling the path between Crowbar and Lair of the Minotaur with ease providing both intense thrashy and volcanic doomy moments even ldblquote winkingrdblquote at the more technical side of the genre (ldblquote Clarityrdblquote ). The singer shouts in an angry attached manner and leaves a generally positive impression suiting well this earthshaking effort which is stylishly finished with the more spacey Mastodon-esque cut ldblquote The Travelerrdblquote .

Rise to Power Full-length, 2008
In Our Name Full-length, 2010
The Echoes of Prometheus Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

HOWLIN' MAD (GERMANY)

Heavy thrash reminiscent of Holy Moses and mid-period Accuser, with slightly unpleasant gruff death-ish vocals; good stuff with Sabine Classen guesting on vocals on "Drunk Till Emptiness". The riffs actually crush admirably, and the majority of the tracks are nice up-tempo thrashers, which stir the mood, although they flow in the same vein without any variations.

Insanity Full-length, 1990

HOWLING (USA)

One of the most hard-working figures from the US underground, Mr. Elektrokutioner (Beyond Hell, Eternal Suffering, Loathsome, Festered, among many other acts), has summoned under a new banner some of his comrades from those other bands he is/was involved with including the infernal female growler Vanessa Nocera (also Loathsome, Scaremaker, Wooden Stake, etc.) who provides hellish semi-shouty intense death metal vocals which make her the most aggressive female vocalist on the scene at present. The music favours thrash metal more staying more on the modern side the guys (and a girl) not shying away too much from the familiar Gothenburg formulas bringing the winds of classic thrash ("Traumatic Transmutations") on occasion. The slower doomy variations work almost as well (check out the great melodic licks on "A Night in the Crypt") and overall the mood is varied the speedy numbers dispersed among a group of solid atmospheric pounders the latter containing nice melodic lead guitars (check out those on the closing "When the Hills Ran Red"). Elektrokutioner is mostly notorious for his involvements with extreme death and black metal acts, but this effort may just be his best one so far: there's quite "a beast conceived" here which still has a potential for growth although the musicians' preoccupatons with numerous other outfits makes the band's future uncertain.

A Beast Conceived Full-Length, 2013

HUERIS (NORWAY)

3 songs of primal retro thrash which is intercepted by several atmospheric gothic interludes and several stylish melodic leads. Otherwise this is stuff right as rain played with more focus on speed and nods towards the Bay-Area. The singer has an attached semi-declamatory voice and his antics are often supported by the other band members for the creation of a few shouty choruses.

Demo Demo, 2011

HUGE BABY (UK)

These "huge babies" offer alternative post-thrash of the quasi-industrial variety with grunge and avantgarde decisions thrown in, more or less expectedly. There isn't much energy at display "Rollacoasta" being the sole exception the closing "Black Mama" proudly entering the doom metal field surrounded by imposing noisy landscapes.

Portait Of Ahead Full-Length, 2013

HUINCA (CHILE)

Based on ldblquote Sic Semper Tyrannisrdblquote , these Chileans play modern post-thrash which is both melodic and edgy clinging more towards the former side topped by acceptable semi-clean hardcore vocals. The tempo is mostly mid and may wear out at some stage since the band seldom offer anything more stylish or more energetic. The approach gets more eclectic and calmer in the middle where the guys try to experiment more with sounds resulting in a few funky/grungy/alternative mish-mashes. The 2nd half is a bit more interesting with the intense mechanical headbanger ldblquote Rapa Nuirdblquote , the intriguing progressive/crossover extravaganza ldblquote Guerrerordblquote , and the thrash/crossover closer with a mid-90rquote s Voivod flair ldblquote Who Is Next?rdblquote . The band were previously known as Stonehenge when they played classic speed metal and released a solitary demo in 1998.

Huinca Full-length, 2006
Sic Semper Tyrannis Full-length, 2012

Official Site

HUMAN (SPAIN)

Pedestiran modern post-thrash which holds a few more pleasant surprises (the energetic classicer "Perspectiva"), but generally the guys haven't tried very hard to be anything than just a run-of-the-mill addition to the dying 90's species. At least the singer doesn't quarrel that hard, even tries to sing with a cleaner tember at times.

Perspectiva Full-Length, 2004

Official Site

HUMAN ABSTRAKT (USA)

Modern groovy post-thrash which sounds like a very unsuccessful blend of Tourniquet's "Vanishing Lessons" and Eidolon/Nevermore; there are attempts at a more meaningful play, but they get lost in the blatant generic music. On top of that, there are very strained shouted hardcore-ish vocals involved which, if the music hasn't pulled you back completely, would finish you for good.

Psychological Blindness Full-length, 2002

Official Site

HUMAN BASTARD (GERMANY)

This band features Rudi Goerg, the singer who once was a member of the progressive thrash metal act Lost Century. The music here is a little more than modern thrash/death metal, recalling the Swedish practitioners of the genre and their compatriots Dew-Scented with more complex song-structures which should be perfected on future efforts to make this band stick out.

A Plague Called Humanity Full-length, 2002

HUMAN CLUSTER (ITALY)

A 3-track promo of modern thrash/death, which has its moments: the speedy intense "Losing Time", but this is nothing that hasn't been done so many times before.

Promo Demo, 2007

Official Site

HUMAN DECAY (ITALY)

Based on the full-length, this formation play fairly stylish technical thrash/death with beautiful melodies ("Vampiri") some of which are simply addictive. Melody and technicality come seamlessly "married" on the superb "Sbornia" which grows into the formidable stomper "Meschini Traditori". The technical cavalcade continues after that, first with the jumpy "Brucia!", then with the slightly more linear thrasher "Sperma Benedetto". A commendable achievement is the 7-min progressiver "Frammenti di se Stessi" which is later followed by a more twisted version of the previously mentioned "Sperma Benedetto". This is a very cool effort which sees Italian metal having picked quite a bit of inertia in front of the rest of Europe for the last 5-6 years.

Figli di Dio EP, 2014
Cleptocrazia Full-length, 2015

Official Site

HUMAN DEVASTATION (ITALY)

A 3-song demo of rough aggressive classic thrash topped by unpleasant subdued death metal vocals; this is stuff of the one-dimensional bashing variety, but one can discover more intriguing melodic hooks on the Oriental-infused "Scarabs Infestation". Still, this is semi-amateurish music which sees the performers at a starting phase in their development.

Demo Demo, 2011

HUMAN DIRGE (ITALY)

Based on the demo: 3 tracks of good intense thrash/death metal with technical pretensions; the singer has a cool clean pitch and suits the aggressive music quite well. He especially shines on the slower Bolt Thrower-like passages (check out "Unclean Alb") where he starts to wail in a way no worse than Messiah Marcolin (Candlemass, Memento Mori). The music is close to early Pestilence with perhaps more melody involved. The sound quality is also very good with crisp biting guitars.

Embryo EP, 2007
Seventy Times Seven Demo, 2009

Official Site

HUMAN DUST (GERMANY)

This lengthy 7-track EP presents another practitioner in the 90's post-thrash saga which here is served with a good sense of melody which results in a couple of cool atmospheric moments that take away from the guitars' heaviness, but this is hardly a pullback since this same heaviness had been featured on hundreds of other albums at the time as well as the aggro-vocals which here come more forceful, death metal-tinged. "Black" starts thrashing more intensely, but the dominant tone is mid-tempo with a few doomy staggerings (the excellent melancholic "The Breed").

Moribund EP, 1998

HUMAN EVIL (USA)

Out of the 6 songs on this demo, 3 are covers: "Lesson in Violence"(Exodus); "Creeping Death"(Metallica); "Die by the Sword" (Slayer). The guys' musicianship is much inferior to any of those great bands and the covers are simply awful, especially "Creeping Death" which has nothing of the technical flamboyance of the original, and is just laughable. The 3 remaining original tracks are a lot better showing an obvious fascination with the aggressive thrash of "Reign in Blood", but the songs are longer and more varied (with slower heavier rhythms involved).

Rehearsal Demo, 1988

Fan Site

HUMAN FAILURE (SWEDEN)

Based on the follow-up, this band play modern atmospheric thrash metal with gothic elements and dual vocals: one death metal-like, the other clean recalling the German doomcore masters End Of Green. There's some stylish guitar at work, and the tempo changes including one pure doom metal number at the end: "Doomed To Forever Wander".

Human Failure Full-length, 2002
Tales From A Hollow Eternity Full-length, 2003

HUMAN HEAD (MEXICO)

Based on the full-length, this act pulls out old school thrash with an abrasive guitar sound and angry semi-death metal vocals. The songs contain both fast and slow moments, sometimes mixing both tendencies into one song ("Inner Tyranny"; the cool galloping power/thrasher "Senile Dementia") to a positive, cumulative effect. The final "The Head" is a mellow crossover cut also introducing sparce modern elements ala more recent Pro-Pain. Some of the guys can also be seen in the progressive death metal formation Under Moonlight Sadness.

Bipolar Disorder EP, 2008
Inside the Head Full-length, 2010

Official Site

HUMAN INFECTED (CHILE)

3 tracks of intense speedy retro thrash ala Devastation and Torture with slightly unpleasant shouty semi-death metal vocals; the energetic riffs are spiced with good short melodic leads. "Humankind Extermination" turns to brutal blasting death metal for a while in the middle, and may be a bit scary for the unprepared breaking the consistent monolithic thrash sound.

World Genocide Cult EP, 2010

HUMAN INFECTION (USA)

Based on "Curvatures in Time", these folks specialize in aggressive technically-minded thrash/death which is "plagued" by frequent blast-beating sections, but this only ensures the big dynamics of this recording which also introduces a brutal guttural throat that leads the proceedings with authority and panache recalling Chris Barnes (Cannibal Corpse). Expect no merciful slow passages here, everything has been carefully measured up to guarantee the listener's hammering into oblivion. For the more serious "customers" comes the closing title-track which is an overwhelming cavalcade of super-fast technical sweeps even beating the Cryptopsy exploits in this field. The band members are involved in numerous other projects: the deathcorers Carnal Deformity, the death metal cohort The Pear of Anguish & War Without Reason, etc.

Infest to Ingest Full-length, 2011
Curvatures in Time Full-length, 2014

Official Site

HUMAN PARANOID (GERMANY)

Based on the demos: this is well executed aggressive old school thrash calling to mind Slayer, Kreator, Necrodeath. The guys play fast and intensely for most of the time, very seldom crossing the border towards death metal: "Anal Rippers". "New Frontiers" is the sole exception, where the band slow down, coming up with heavy, slower, gothic-tinged riffs ala later period Cemetary; the vocals are also along the lines of that band, very similar to the ones used by Mathias Lodmalm on the early Cemetary albums.

"Breed Of Cain": if we exclude the abrasive hoarse, semi-death metal vocals, the rest is worth checking out. The album takes off with two fast-paced Slayer-esque numbers, before turning to heavy doom with "Sch'f6ne Jugend". These "underwater stones" are on the way later on ("Human/Paranoid"), but can hardly stop the attack from carrying on, with "Thrash Till Death", "The Pillager", "Symbols Of Progress", and others. A very unnecessary version of the heavy doomster "Human/Paranoid" is placed at the end with the only difference from the original being the added female vocals which are quite good, by the way, but to listen to these monotonous slow riffs for a 2nd time on the same album, is hardly the best choice for a thrash metal fan's entertainment.

"Stillborn Resurrection" starts again in a sweeping tempo with the knock-out title-track and "Darkroom Alliance". The vocals this time are all-out death metal acquiring very vicious tones at times. The guys' infatuation with doomy sounds is fast to appear on "New Frontiers", cancelled by the following group of smashing thrashers. "Myrmidons Of Paranoia" could be considered the next stop from the thrash bus, and although there's enough doom in it, it provides several interesting creepy moments, along with cool melodic leads and a faster galloping rhythm. Another moshing trio comes after that leaving room for the closer "Shock Blower" which is another dark sinister slow piece of the more laid-back, dreamy type.

Promo Mai 2003 Demo, 2003
Pathogenes Of War Demo, 2004
Breed Of Cain Full-length, 2006
Stillborn Resurrection Full-length, 2008

Official Site

HUMAN PRICE (POLAND)

Not a bad mix of classic and modern thrash coming close to Exhorder's "Slaughter in the Vatican" on the best moments; there's a good balance between the fast and the heavier sections, but the angry breaks kind of come a bit too much for just a 5-track demo...

Sell Out Demo, 2008

Official Site

HUMAN RAGE (SWEDEN)

Groovy 90's power/thrash metal with angry vocals and guitar work which is more melodic, and manages to pull out some good tunes. The clean vocals which can be heard at times, are cool, with a deep doomy tember, and kind of better fit the soft music. The delivery is mid-paced at best with references to the stoner/doom metal scene.

Birth Full-length, 1997

HUMAN SHIELD (ITALY)

4 tracks of heavy modern thrash with classic Bay-Area overtones (think Defiance and Metallica); the influence of the Black Album is more than obvious as well as the one of mid-period Meshuggah on the drier more unmelodic sections ("Camp Delta") which in their turn are compensated by melodic rockish/bluesy tunes ("Game Of Shame"). There's good bass work all over, and the singer isn't bad with his semi-clean proto-James Hetfield tone.

Human Shield EP, 2008

Official Site

HUMAN SLAUGHTER (GREECE)

This is raw, primal retro thrash of the unpolished, less developed kind with crossover aesthetics topped by throaty semi-death metal vocals. The guys bash hard, but pretty one-dimensionally, honouring one of their idols: the Brazilians Ratos de Porao with a cover of one of their early hits "Lou Lou Lee" which is 1.5-min of pure punk/hardcore joy.

Victims Of Ignorance Full-Length, 2010

HUMAN SUIT (GERMANY)

Modern death/thrash metal of the Swedish school, at times paying tribute to the legendary At the Gates with more inspired intense sections ("Puppet On A String"), at times revealing more technical surprises: the melodic sophisticated "Revenge Of The Toy Soldier", at others bashing out to the death ("When Disspossesors").

Demo Demo, 2007

Official Site

HUMANS' DESTROYER (COLOMBIA)

This formation offer fast proto-deathy thrash which is varied and generally interesting with the melodic hooks inserted and the fast riffage which mostly holds onto the Germanic patterns in the field (early Destruction, above all) the dynamic delivery somewhat hampered by the muddy sound quality which doesn't give the guitars the desired sharp edge. The singer is messy shouting awkwardly at times, at others sticking to a brutal deathy semi-growl never managing to sound convincing and on par with the better music.

Demon's Thrash Eon Demo, 2009

HUMANICIDE (USA)

Thrash/crossover, quite fast and heavy at times, with meaty crushing riffs reminiscent of Hatrix, but more simplistic, and with a more aggressive attitude.

Impressive Incision Demo, 1988
Human Right/Sick EP, 1991

HUMONGOUS (USA)

This is amateurish raw barrage which is reminiscent of early Exciter except in the vocal department where the guy sings in a less shouty fashion also semi-reciting quite a bit. The band bash with no mercy, but with little sense as well turning to more aggressive thrash: the last "Proven Ineffective" which also recalls the hardcore practitioners from around the same time (DRI, Rumnble Militia, above all).

Persecute the Unfaithful Demo, 1987

HUMUNGUS (USA)

Based on the full-length, this act provide playful uplifting, roller-coaster speed/thrash which is more on the speed metal side probably resembling the Brits Blood Money and the Germans Tyrant the vigorous music aptly supported by cool high-strung clean vocals. "Martial Law" is an infectious galloper with good screamy leds, and "Heavy Metal Parking Lot" is the radio-friendly "distraction" being a catchy heavy metal hymn kind of influencing the folowing numbers which never quite manage to find the way to the thrashy "bloody" roots. Still, this album remains pleasant fun of the more laid-back type which will also catch the attention of fans from other walks of metal.

Drinkin' a Beer EP, 2011
Shark Castle EP, 2012
Warband Full-length, 2015

Official Site

HUNGARICA (HUNGARY)

Hungarica is a side project of two members of the veterans Moby Dick. The music here is modern, groovy and melodic, a mixture between heavy metal and thrash, not too far from the more recent Moby Dick offerings.

Nem Keresek 'daj Haz'e1t Full-length, 2007

Official Site

HUNGER (USA)

This band were founded by Ron Rinehart and Eric Meyer from Dark Angel after the latter split up. Traces of the heavy technical style displayed on the last Dark Angel release are nowhere to be found here: based on the 1st demo, this is a typical 90's product: groovy post-thrash, slower and groovier than the early works of Pantera and Machine Head, and consequently less impressive.

Demo Demo, 1993
The Official Demo Series Vol. 1 Split, 1999

HUNTER (POLAND)

One of the lesser bands from the Polish metal scene, Hunter mix thrash with traditional heavy metal; their debut is their most thrashy and best effort, whereas on the other two the mixture clings more towards the heavy metal side. "HellWood" is more in the speed metal camp and is rich on catchy melodies and balladic interludes. There is not much thrash to be heard and it's of the less impressive modern groovy variety.

"Kr'f3lestwo": the guys keep reminding of themselves, albeit not very frequently, and this album is another chapter from their discography. The sound is again a hesitation between post-thrash, power metal, and of course full-fledged thrash. A stylish use of violin can be noticed now which goes well with the dry dynamic riffage as the culmination of the symbiosis is reached on the quite cool "Sztandar". The bad news is that this song overshadows the rest by miles and the remaining material would sound plainly bland compared to it. The band don't bother reaching any musical heights, but even as merely passing practitioners they have a lot of catching up to do.

"Imperium": the guys are apparently quite content being shadows of their peers Turbo (from the same country) since they follow exactly the same pattern of modernized, radio-friendly power/post-thrash which is boring and disposable even by the 90's standards containig nothing to make it recommended even to the most unpretentious fanbase.

Requiem Full-length, 1995
Medeis Full-length, 2003
T.E.L.I... Full-length, 2005
HellWood Full-length, 2009
Krolestwo Full-Length, 2012
Imperium Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

HURLANT (USA)

An obscure demo still rooted in classic thrash metal sounding like a more technical Anthrax, or the one-album-wonder Wrekking Machine. The riffs are sharp and semi-technical, and the pace is energetic, without being very fast or aggressive, with some nice twists. The singer might be a bit of a pullback, though, with his slightly dispassionate voice, but he's hardly a distraction from the good music.

Hurlant Demo, 1991

HURON (UK)

Based on "The Dead Stay Dead", these guys indulge in modern progressive thrash which tries to capture the manic flamboyance of their compatriots Biomechanical, but their more appealing side are the straight-ahead thrashers ("Santa Muerte", "Psychosis") which deliver better with their lashing direct riffs. The hyper-active numbers ("Bastard King") are a bit overdone bringing the delivery close to any other extreme progressive metal act nowadays excluding the closer "Solace" which is cleverly concocted with ripping guitars and a few not very predictable turns, not to mention the excellent screamy lead section. The vocalist shouts in a forceful manner even managing to actually sing on the casual more lyrical passsage.

Cheyne Stoking Full-length, 2009
Mary Celeste Full-length, 2011
War Party EP, 2012
The Dead Stay Dead Full-length, 2015

Official Site

HURTLOCKER (USA)

Based on "Embrace The Fall", this is modern thrash metal with more intense death metal-sections ("They", "Disgust"), and an overall style not too far from Carnal Forge, for example. The bad news is that at times the sound smells metalcore, but not too often to "force" the hard-core thrash metal fans to "crucify" them.

Fear in a Handful of Dust Full-length, 2006
Embrace The Fall Full-length, 2007

Official Site

HUSH (FRANCE)

Based on "Fury", these folks unleash classic power/thrash which settles for the mid-tempo parametres with sudden flashes of speed ("No Faith No Soul", the optimistic roller-coaster "Burn the Money") which are too far in-between to make any impact. The vocalist does a decent job with his horse clean-ish tenor recalling Kerrmit from The Germans Tyrant.

Erotic Game Full-length, 2008
Fury Full-length, 2016

Official Site

HUSKVARN (LATVIA)

The band's debut is excellent, tecnically-minded thrash metal similar to Torture's "Storm Alert", but heavier and slower. The opener "Dark Side" is an imposing dark, pounding track, but the next "Last Scream" adds some intensity which is present on almost every song afterwards accompanied by heavy riffage, and is only lost on the album closer "On The Road" which is a more light-hearted heavy/power metal number, a slightly underwhelming way to end this otherwise cool album.

"Bomb Brain Melodies" is a shift more in a death metal direction, but the music remains of a high quality. This is still not very brutal stuff despite the presence of a few scattered blast-beats. The pounding guitar sound remains and this brings this work close to the Dutch Asphyx. There's one cool ballad as well: "Follow Our Trail", accompanied by a great acoustic guitar which is immediately compensated by the most brutal and fastest song "Progressive Epidemic". Afterwards the slower tempo returns "broken" by occasional exercises in a more dynamic play: the cool technical, Death-influenced "Crazy Death". The last number "Zudusais Laiks" is pure funereal doom with a faster break, quite appropriate, having in mind the overall heavy dark nature of the album.

On The Road Full-length, 1991
Bomb Brain Melodies Full-length, 1995
Sadistika EP, 2006

Official Site

HYADES (ITALY)

This band are one of the wave of retro thrash metal bands from Italy which flooded the scene in the past 6-7 years. Hyades' sound is firmly Bay Area-based with touches of Annihilator and Megadeth. Their debut is perhaps the better release with sharp guitars and really good technical moments: "Picture of a World" (which contains riffs directly taken from Artillery's "Khomaniac" from "By Inheritance"), as well as several headbanging winners: "Abuse Your Illusions". Bland misplaced heavy metal hymns will surprise you: "Fight For Your Right", with their non-thrash nature, but fortunately they are kept to a minimum. The follow-up introduces modern "updates" ala the new Exodus, but the classic sound still dominates, and up-tempo thrashers like "Buried in Blood" and "Pharmageddon" deliver the goods in a major way. I don't know about the worst (pun intended), but the best from these guys is yet to come unless, of course, they vote to delve deeper into modern thrash...

"The Roots Of Trash" may not show you "the roots of trash", but will at least try to lead you to "them". This effort crosses a few influences once more with the Bay-Area sound leading the pack again pinched with a certain doze of modern elements which on the opening "I Belong To One" can hardly stand on the way on the intense headbanging riffs. Then comes "A.F.M.S." which pounds in a heavy mid-paced manner to a point that it carries away the next "United In The Struggle", which makes attempts at winning the top prize for "metal hymn of the year" with its catchy chorus and cheesy attitude. "Worse than The Silence" is a cool short dynamic thrasher, but it's "The Great Deceit" which goes away with all the "laurels", thrashing far and wide, alternating fast and slower moments, even adding a couple of more intriguing riffs. It overshadows the rest, which consists of two thrash bombs ("Still In The Trash" & "Alive But Dead"), the softer but still dynamic power/thrasher "The Moshing Reel", and the cover of The Offspring's biggest hit "Come Out And Play" as a finishing touch. The band's drummer and bassist are probably one of the most hard-working lot on the Italian scene, also keeping alive 2 other formations: the modern death/thrash outfit Subliminal Crusher with whom they already have whole 3 albums released, and their 1st band: S.R.L. started in the distant 1995, again more modern-sounding, but coming close at times to the material heard on the Hyades releases.

"The Wolves Are Getting Hungry": "the wolves are getting hungry" for some more thrash, and it shows from this new affair. The music is a cross between the classic and the modern trends, not radically different from the one already heard on the bandrquote s previous efforts. The modern leanings may come as a bit too much for the more hard-core fans, but biting cuts like "The Apostles of War" and "Heavier Than St (Hyz IV)" should keep them happy with their cutting, fast-paced riffage. The rest of the material is less impressive, mid-paced and kind of repetitive without any particular highlights seeing the Italians content enough to tread on the modern day Exodus and Onslaught path. It may take a bit of time for the ldblquote wolvesrdblquote to feel full again...

No Bullshit... Just Metal EP, 2002
Abuse Your Illusions Full-length, 2005
And the Worst is Yet to Come Full-length, 2007
The Roots Of Trash Full-length, 2009
The Wolves Are Getting Hungry Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

HYBRID (GREECE)

A potent mixture of semi-technical thrash, modern day Annihilator, and straight heavy metal; there are more than necessary quiet balladic moments which bring the sound close to Iced Earth at times; "Ruins of Mine" will remind you of Black Sabbath's "Planet Caravan". There are quite a few heavy crunchy riffs ala Nevermore and Eidolon, but they are usually followed by more melodic passages which tone down the thrashiness a bit. "The Will to Create" is a nice up-tempo number, but the rest doesn't leave the mid-paced field. The vocals are a find sounding like a very good mixture of Matt Barlow (Iced Earth again) and Roberto Dimitri Liapakis (Mystic Prophecy).

The Will To Create Full-length, 2007

My Space

HYBRID (UK)

Three tracks of energetic Bay-Areasque thrash: think Metallica, Testament, and respectively Xentrix. Sharp crisp riffs, cool attached clean-ish vocals, quite impressive technical "excursions" ("Discriminated",agreat dynamic speedster)... everythig is done with professionalism to ensure the listener's entertainment who will also savour the more elaborate arrangements on the interesting, not very predictable "Death's Door".

Passive Solution Demo, 1988

HYBRID HEAVEN (MEXICO)

First-rate technical thrash/death metal which will remind you of another technical act from Mexico: The Zephyr (their sophomore release, in particular). The music isn't too aggressive, but is full of energy, and apart from the precise technical riffs there's a big amount of melody present, both in the lead and the riff sector. "The Rise Of The Wrath" is an excellent multi-layered opener, introducing both the technical and melodic aspect of the band's style. "The Mask" is a nice speedy track, emphasizing more on melody, but all is made up in terms of technicality on the fine "Anchored To The Blindness": complex hectic technical thrash/death with very sudden time changes. "Passed Futures" is dry mechanic technical thrash deprived of the melodic decorations heard previously, but sounding quite cool relying mostly on the great elaborate riffs to pull it through. "Marking Passage With Blood" speeds up again to quite fast dimensions recalling the Swedish scene with a technical twist. Time for more complex technical shredding with "The Sores Of Roots" which allows some fine melodic hooks to sneak into its structure. "Solitary And Weak" is a nice fast-paced technical death/thrasher, but watch out for the final "Pretending Fullness", a technical riff-fest of the highest order shredding in a great retro speed/thrash fashion with numerous vortex-like twists and turns ala Sieges Even and Mekong Delta. The sound quality is top-notch, and hopefully the guys will surprise us with a new material on the eventual full-length, rather than re-recording the songs heard here. Whatever the decision they make, rest assured that music of such quality will never disappoint: fans of thrash, death and progressive metal, stay put.
The EP is just two songs the title-track a superb disorienting cut with some of the most eccentirc time-signatures this side of Martyr and Theory in Practice, a jarring halucinogenic listening experience that never settles for one single rhythm for longer than a few seconds, on top of great jazzy configurations. "A Subtle Perfidy" comes from the Necrophagist school of dazzling guitar acrobatics the band still serving the obligatory dizzying time and tempo changes the latter concentrated in the middle, making this tractate not very easy to swallow, the leads pacifying the situation providing the necessary melodic respites. Another amazing short instalment from one of the most original acts of recent years which will sadly remain their last legacy as reportedly they had split up recently.

The Textures of Spirit Full-Length, 2008
A Seductive Addiction EP, 2010

My Space

HYBRIS (POLAND)

These Poles offer complex modern thrash/death which is reflected in 3 lengthy compositions among which "Egyptian Darkness" is a particularly impressive galloping shredder. "Mystic Circle" is a creepy technicaller ala Atheist and is another highlight despite the slightly generic nod to Death made at the end. The singer is a deathy shouter, and his efforts are somehow clouded by the not very clear sound quality.

Blinded Thoughts EP, 2014

Youtube

HYBRIS (USA)

This new act are here to make a difference with their hard-hitting, but also stylish and technical, delivery which relies on a speedy base and quite a few quirky elaborate arrangements to pull it through the latter needing a little bit to reach the heights where Toxik and Realm belong. Still, the ironclad character of the music never disappears and intense shredders like "Collision" and the formidable galloper "Insidious" will make any fan's day with ease. "Emperors" is more on the heavy jumpy side, and "Volcano" gives a strong technical boost to those jumpy sections. "Hubris" is an intelligent headbanger with very good leads, and the final "Cult of Doom" tries to justify its title with a portion of doom-laden riffs and dark balladic passages. This is good original stuff also gaining from the good consistent mid-ranged clean vocals. Some of the musicians play an entirely different kind of music with the sludge/doom formation Centurions Ghost.

Heavy Machinery Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

HYD (USA)

This band was founded by two future members of the doom masters Solitude Aeturnus, just shortly before the career of the more renowned band had started, and this is the reason why they had only managed to make this recording; which is a pity since the guys pull out good power/thrash with a certain technical edge. "Awakening & Rise Of The Black Witch" is a crunchy heavy number with an epic shade, followed by the great faster, galloping "Dimmendark" in the best tradition of Helstar and Deadly Blessing; the guitar work on this one is simply amazing and could put to shame even some of the Shrapnel performers. "Sanctuary Lost" slows down a bit and will indeed remind of Sanctuary, "ornated" by a nice atmospheric acoustic break. "A Perilous Quest" returns to the more technical patterns nailing crushing riffs and superb bass bottom; another quiet section awaits you in the middle before the track speeds up. The singer is not bad, but music of the kind would benefit from a more emotional dramatic delivery; he sings one-dimensionally with levelled mid-ranged clean vocals. No traces of doom on this one, and there's no evidence as to whether this formation was later transformed into the other band.

Sanctuary Lost Demo, 1988

My Space

HYDRA (ITALY)

Based on the "Into the Crypta" demo, these Italians pull out cool inspired, technical old school thrash the guys already showing their skills which would later make them one of the finest technical death metal outfits in the world under the name Aydra. The approach is dynamic with a frequent change of tempos as evident from the diverse shredder "Skeleton's Messenger" where some great melodic leads spring up as well. The band take a more progressive shift on the last string of songs where the final "Crypta" is also a wild headbanger with massive complex riff-patterns. The only complaint comes from the vocalist who rends his throat in a not very pleasant shouty, hardcore-ish manner.
The full-length arrives to see the band resurrected for a few more efforts, but the official stage has been reached without the guys' previous technical prowess. The sound on display is dry, mechanical and modern and contains very little from the stylish riff-patterns the band were throwing at will at the listener in the past. The title-track is a more intriguing sterile shredder, and "Circles" is an interesting melodic progressive/semi-technical instrumental; alas, the rest is just moderately exciting the band now sounding as just one of the many modern thrash metal practitioners.

Near the Graveyard Demo, 1988
Sons of Rhan Demo, 1989
Into the Crypta Demo, 1991
Heaven's Tree EP, 2012
Darkchild Full-length, 2016

Official Site

HYDRA (JAPAN)

Based on the debut, these Japanese warriors indulge in excellent progressive/technical old school power/thrash which resembles Attacker's "Soul Taker" providing a similar blend of immediate fast-pacers and more serious, ambitious longers. The music packs a punch despite the slightly uneven disposition of the compositions throughout, but one can't possibly ignore the dramatic power of the rising hymn "Computer Syndrome" which also acquits itself with a furious speedy passage somewhere in the middle. Even the mid-paced shredder "The Undertaker" has its charming moments, like the jazzy ending, etc. More drama comes with the epic progressiver "Changes For Primary Form", but the following "Dark Seed" is a short sweeper, before the balladic opus "Phantom Of Carnival" engulfs all. "Stone" is a choppy progressive thrasher with several virtuoso passages, and "Mind Wars" is a jumpy proto-galloper with prominent bass cuts, another ambitious, not very easy to swallow piece. "Purgatory Way" is a consummate technical track, the highlight here; the guys finally manage to achieve a symbiosis between their interesting ideas and the clever execution of the latter greatly recalls old heroes like Realm, Toxic and Sieges Even. After such a climactic song there should be time for rest, and the closing "Guardian Angel" is a cool acoustic ballad which sees the otherwise very high-strung clean singer in a more laid-back lower-pitched, and arguably more preferrable, side. The guys have done a very good job here, and one may invest some time in finding the follow-up...

"Long Way to Lord and Other Stories" starts in a raging fashion with the very appropriately-titled "Anger", direct blitzkrieg thrash with some virtuous guitar work which gets nicely translated on the following "Naked Kingdom" that is more complicated, but by no means more laid-back. "Loveless" calms the ball down and introduces a heavy pounding rhythm-section which stays around for a string of officiant epic compositions which influence the remaining cuts which are more on the mellow power metal side the saga finished with the 10.5-min "Children Of Sun", a cool, albeit too overlong, nod to Queensryche. As a whole this album isn't as striking focusing on progressive metal more abandoning the more aggressive patterns so well incorporated on the debut.

Exhibition of Malice Full-length, 1999
Long Way to Lord and Other Stories Full-length, 2009

Official Site

HYDRA VEIN (UK)

This is probably the only British band who sound like their German counterparts. The style on both albums is fast and energetic with frequent more technical passages recalling Destruction's more technical period. The songs are quite memorable differing from each other, not only because of the guitar work, but also of the vocal delivery which is not too far from Tom Angelripper (Sodom), but lower-tuned, and with a certain semi-melodic blend. The guys' ambition reaches far on the excellent, long technical pieces ("Right to Die" and "Harlequin" from the debut, for example). "After the Dream" is more aggressive and a tad less complex although the difference isn't too big includign in the engaging riff-patterns which on the latter are ven more accentuated on. This is very good stuff recommended not only to fans of German thrash. Like most of the British thrash metal acts of that period, the band split up after just two albums.

Rather Death Than False Of Faith Full-length, 1988
After The Dream Full-length, 1989

Official Site

HYDROGEN (SWEDEN)

Modern thrash metal meets hardcore... enough said.

Now Is No More Full-length, 2007

Official Site

HYENA (BELGIUM)

An excellent demo of fast-paced intense thrash along the lines of Kreator, Destruction and Hypnosia; this is great headbanging stuff with smashing hard riffs and an uncompromising speedy delivery. The sound quality is a bit muddy, but the sheer intensity and inspiration put in the recordings more than makes up for it.

Seconds To Death Demo, 2007

Official Site

HYPERTENSION (SWEDEN)

The debut: a power "hypertense" trio from Sweden which death/black/thrashes in a way akin to Deceased and later-period Destroyer 666 with fast melodic guitars which acquire nice galloping dimensions ("Across The Holy Graves") here and there. There's plenty of energy at display on the shorter material, and vigorous speedsters like "Everlasting Exile" and "The Pandemic Has Begun" will make many fans' day in no time. So there's indeed "hypertension" to be experienced, especially towards the end the assault stopped by the closing 8.5-min title-track which is an epic cut with operatic arrangements and several sincerely speedy passages. This is a nice offering with a few contrasting sides incorporated without disturbing each other a lot strengthened by forceful semi-shouty death metal vocals. Some of the band members also play in the death metal formation Decay.

"Distant Thunders Call" is another old school basher although the melody has been increased quite a bit cancelled at times by furious blast-beats ("Creation Dies", the chaotic delight "The Tension Rises"). Still, it's business as usual on carefree speed/thrashing cuts like "Nightlife Survival" and "Salvation Of Steel" where the flag of the good old speed/thrash metal is raised high with dignity. Time for grieving with the morose sombre doomster "Ferocious Oppressors Forgotten", before the speed metal joy returns for the final two cuts the final "Cross Of Time" calming down a bit with a portion of softer less intense guitars.

Primeval Tyrants Prevails Full-Length, 2013
Distant Thunders Call Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

HYPNOS (CZECH)

Based on "The Revenge Ride", this act specialize in muscular intense thrash/death which rips through the speakers with might containing the compulsory for the time technical "sting" (the excellent shorter "Evil Awaken"). The band spice their venomous approach with some slower pounders ("Journey Into Doom", "I Am The Wind") as though to alleviate the "pain" from all-out ragers like "Endorsed By Satan" and "Spider-Werk". The vocalist is a forceful death metal growler who fits the aggressive musical delivery just fine.

In Blood We Trust Full-length, 2000
The Revenge Ride Full-length, 2001
Rabble M'e4nifesto Full-length, 2005
Halfway to Hell EP, 2010
Heretic Commandoendash Rise of the New Antikrist Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

HYPNOSIA (SWEDEN)

Even if this band never record again, there would be hardly a thrash metal fan of more recent times who will fail to recall their merciless blitzkrieg approach to our favourite thrash. Their only album and the EP are exemplary intense semi-technical old school thrash which is quite impressive from a relentless, fast-paced point-of-view. The base of the band's aggressive sound is Kreator, but you will also hear Slayer, Sepultura, Violence, Dark Angel, Necrodeath. In other words, this is an encyclopaedia of high quality retro thrash.

Violent Intensity EP, 1999
Extreme Hatred Full-length, 2000

Official Site

HYPNOSIC (SERBIA)

So there were Serbian bands who hadn't remained indifferent to the great German acts like Destruction, in this case. A 4-song demo of first-class speedy thrash akin to early Destruction; the swirling Destruction-like riffs are all over the demo, making this an essential listen for fans of the German band. Listening to this, you would probably start recalling moments from the Destruction albums, which the riffs here remind you of ("Bored", for example, is quite close to both "Total Disaster" and "Mad Butcher"). The vocals could be the only downpoint sounding like a not very good shouted version of James Hetfield.
"Art Of Terror" moves a bit away from the Germanic patterns, now also "courting" Sepultura ("Arise"), and as a whole the music has become more aggressive with shades of proto-death: "Treat Surprise" is a nice reminder of Death's early period, and "Savage Thrash Brain" is a "savage" piece of intense thrash/death well supported by the gruff, but comprehensive, death metal vocals which come with a pinch of Max Cavalera.

Demo Demo, 1989
Art Of Terror Demo, 1990

HYPNOSIDE (SPAIN)

Based on "Tattooed Angels", this band specialize in modern power/thrash with epic overtones with friendly riffs which don't go for the speed a lot, but should please fans of later-period Iced Earth, above all, with their heavy rhythm-section which branches at times into more dynamic galloping crescendos ("Betrayers of Blood") with echoes of Cage. The singer leaves a positive impression with his dramatic clean tember handling the higher registers with dexterity.

45 Minutes to Born & Die Full-length, 2010
Tattooed Angels Full-length, 2013

Official Site

HYPNOSIS (CANADA)

3 songs of dark sinister thrash in various paces with echoes of their compatriots Infernal Majesty, and Morbid Saint on the more immediate "No Escape to Death". "No Escape (You're Sure To Die)" is a brilliant progressive thrasher with plenty of twists and turns some of which vcan be even worthy of acts like Atheist, Hellwitch, and Disciples of Power. The muddy sound quality can't stand on the way of the inspired musicianship which is also nicely accompanied by very good forceful semi-declamatory vocals ala Chris Bailey (Infernal Majesty again). A nice obscure gem from the always reliant Canadian metal scene...

No Escape to Death Demo, 1991

HYPNOTHETICALL (ITALY)

This is some kind of a supergroup with former members of Power Quest, Arthemis, and Gory Blister, among others, having gotten together to produce this progressive power/thrash "opera" (based on "Dead World") which is quite similar to the more recent efforts of their compatriots Eldritch the main difference being the bigger length of the separate compositions and the relative lack of speed. This isn't very engaging since the heavy riffage gets too repetitive by the end only missing on the closing ballad "Bloody Afternoon" which is a purely acoustic instrumental. The singer is a dead ringer for Terence Holler (Eldritch) having the same passionate emotional tember.

"A Farewell to Gravity" is more laid-back now being pure modern progressive metal without too much thrash to be heard except on a few genuinely shredding moments ("Brainstorming Line" which is a clever puzzler even recalling Coroner).

Thorns EP, 2003
Dead World Full-length, 2009
A Farewell to Gravity Full-length, 2013

Official Site

HYPNOTIC FACE (CZECH)

Hypnotic Face play a modern mixture of heavy metal and thrash along the lines of recent Annihilator. There are intense groovy parts and an interesting use of clean Burton Bell-like vocals. Unfortunately, the thrashy moments are not too many to keep the thrash metal fans' interest for long.

Written by Life EP, 1999
The End Of Sanity Full-length, 2004

Official Site

HYPOCRITE PROJECT (TURKEY)

Cool modern industrialized thrash, quite atmospheric and creepy with nice, but sparce lead guitar work and devilish black-ish, semi-whispered vocals; the music is full of intriguing gimmicks typical for the industrial scene, suggested from the very start with the haunting highly-charged "Intro" and the dark industrial thrasher "Hypocrite" in the best tradition of the industrial thrash experts Malhavoc, and the mid-paced, not very sharp riffage perfectly matches the minimalistic tendencies of the album. There's even time for more intense faster moments ("Hyper Hypocrisy"; the progressive, keyboard-laced "The Mountain"), two very cool Celtic Frost-like numbers: "Ice & Fire" and "A.T.O.D", one very interesting industrial semi-ballad "The Long Way", and one excellent dynamic cyber-thrash closer "Perseverance" ala The Kovenant's "Animatronic".
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A Full-Length, 2008

HYPOKRAS (FRANCE)

An aggressive fusion of thrash and death metal not miles away from the pioneering works of their colleagues (and compatriots) Agressor, Loudblast, Massacra; these guys excel in aggression and speed, and "court" death metal more frequently, inserting blast-beats whenever an opportunity arises, and tracks like the slower steam-roller, Bolt Thrower-influenced "Heretik Whores" are not that many. "Humanicide" stretches towards grindcore near the end, but the fine peaceful closing instrumental "Ars Moriendi" provides the needed "calm after the storm".

Dead and Hungry Full-length, 2002

HYPOXIA (USA)

Based on the full-length, this formation serve brutal thrash/death with gurgling death metal vocals; scary stuff. The dellivery is fonder of death metal and thrash doesn't have too many chances to shine stifled by the frequent blast-beats and the even more regular nods to the Floridian movement. "Unspeakable" is a nice hint at things more technical, but elsewhere the approach is pretty orthodox still played with admirable professionalism.

Public Execution EP, 2013
Despondent Death Full-length, 2015

Official Site

HYPERTHERMIA (USA)

Based on the f1ldblquote True Freedomrdblquote demo, this unknown trio undulge in stomping retro thrash which is characterized by clever semi-technical patterns not far removed from Forced Entry, and attached clean vocals which constantly ldblquote meanderrdblquote between the mid and the high registers. The band complicate things at times more than necessary (check out the chaotic shredding on ldblquote Liberty Or Deathrdblquote ), but fail to achieve the desired result settling instead for calmer more peaceful rhythms on the balladic ldblquote Suicide (Sweet Death)rdblquote where, for some very mysterious reason, the otherwise cool singer has decided to acquire a harsher, not very suitable, tone. ldblquote Don't Tread On Merdblquote at the end is finally a more coherent technical number lashing stylish riffs in a dramatic mid-tempo reaching heights reminiscent of Nasty Savagerquote s ldblquote Penetration Pointrdblquote and early Coroner.

The guys disappeared for whole 13 years before re-emerging with ldblquote Ballistic Mindshadesrdblquote , an effort which hardly sees them in the brightest light. This is bland noisy groovy post-thrash which wouldnrquote t have struck a cord even back in the 90rquote s. The constant dry sterile guitar background would tire the listener well before the end since to distinguish one song from another would be a nearly impossible task. The only more energetic cut is the 1.5-min closer ldblquote Emptyrdblquote which is a rough hardcorer ala Madball; the rest is just unpleasant quasi-industrial noise without any merits.

Warfare Demo, 1989
True Freedom Demo, 1991
Ballistic Mindshades Full-length, 2004

HYSTE'RIAH GBC (SWEDEN)

This band were formed when two Swedish thrash metal acts (God BC and Hysteriah) merged together. This album beats in quality the previous achievements of the two bands; this is fairly good 80's thrash with semi-technical tendencies, not too far from Hydra Vein, or the Erosion debut. The combination of fast, intense and technical riffs works fine on every song, sometimes coming with a jumpier tempo and a strong bass bottom: the nice "Land of Democracy". "Cafe Of Hope" is the odd, slower, heavy track, quite good as well; the rest is a blistering display of speed and technicality put together.

Snakeworld Full-length, 1991

HYSTERESIS (FRANCE)

The EP: semi-technical thrash still rooted in the 80's; "Sun Black Deed" is a stylish opener sounding both dynamic and technical providing interesting rhythms and riffs. Then the music gets less interesting for a couple of songs which are mid-paced and more ordinary. "DTRT" is the other piece where more thought-out metal can be heard, but the pace is too one-dimensional and the overall approach is less striking. The title-track is a shocking closer betraying the classic sound served so far: an industrial techno dance track ala KMFDM and Rammstein.
The full-length is a boring rehashed affair sticking to dull, repetitive groovy chugs and frequent references to industrial and electronics; which only merits are the beauriful Oriental motifs on "Ru 486", and the energetic, faithful cover of Discharge's "State Violence-State Control" enhanced by a few very good leads.

Art Is Entertainment EP, 1994
Screen Anarkia Full-Length, 1999

HYSTHERESY (FRANCE)

Old school thrash/death metal which clings more towards the British scene of the late 80's/early 90's (think Benediction, Bolt Thrower), rather than the more prolific French one from around the same time. The guys insert orchestral atmospheric moments and softer passages where the guitars take a more melodic edge. Although the music stays closer to death metal most of the time, it's not very fast or brutal, and the nice rhythm guitar-driven sections ala Bolt Thrower are quite common with some of the songs possessing the same battle, war-like atmosphere ("The Past, My Last", which could perfectly fit into "...For Victory", for example).

Insane Dreams Full-Length, 2008

HYSTERICAL VISION (CANADA)

A very obscure, but worthy band; this is excellent progressive atmospheric thrash/death which could be compared to the French act Misanthrope, but more thrash-oriented (at the time when this album was released, the Misanthrope efforts were still quite avantgrade and eclectic, and they switched to that style a few years later). Fans of the more uncompromising nature of metal might be disappointed as here the concentration is clearly on atmosphere and melody, rather than aggression and sharp riffage. The slower atmospheric sections "decorate" every song here, and are perhaps a bit overused, but the brilliant lead guitar, the stylish technical riffs and the original musical decisions largely compensate for that.
The demo contains stupendous technical/progressive thrash/death metal the band at this early stage obviously seriously thinking over the prospect of joining the cohorts from their homeland although the delivery remains more thrash-fixated with the brutal shouty death metal vocals the main more aggressive ingredient. "Stress" is a "stressed out" technicaller with mazey configurations and blazing melodic leads, and the title-track is an even more complex shredder with stomping passages creeping forward their stride intercepted by sudden speedy sweeps the latter smelling death metal quite a bit even beating acts like Pestilence and Quo Vadis at their own game on the most stylish moments. "Free-lance" is the next in line exemplary technical riff-fest with slower, but equally as mazey, applications the guitars weaving tapestries of infernal complexity worthy of Martyr and Theory in Practice. "Heart Beat" is a marginally more orthodox offering the guys concentrating on the speed more for a change although the highlight again is the not as intense atmospheric, also quite intricate, mid-section and the beautiful melodic lead pirouettes. Although the full-length is another commendable work of metal art, from an entirely different aspect though, this short effort here is a true milestone in the annals of Canadian metal.

Body Stranger Demo, 1994
Les Inteats Humains Full-Length, 1995

HAMATOM (GERMANY)

Based on "Wut", this act provides dry, sterile post-thrash with strong industrial undercurrents. The riffs are steam-rolling and heavy, and a few cool Oriental motifs can be heard ("Fremd") which bring a nice digression from the cold mechanical guitar "attack". There are borrowings from the Metallica Load/Reload era, several dancey tunes akin to Rammstein, and two peaceful acoustic ballads on which the angry synthesized vocals acquire a fine clean shade.

"Wenn man vom Teufel spricht" (the full-length) is another merry affair, a bit more vivid than the previous efforts and a tad less mechanical in its execution. The music becomes too uplifting and melodic in the 2nd half "flirting" with folk melodies from various countries; before the hammering closer "Man Muss Nicht Sterben Um In Der H'f6lle Zu Sein" wraps it up in a surprisingly aggressive fashion with references to Rammstein and Die Krupps on a pompous operatic base.

Nein Full-length, 2005
Wut Full-length, 2008
Stay Kr'e4nk Full-length, 2010
Wenn man vom teufel spricht EP, 2011
Wenn man vom Teufel spricht Full-length, 2011

Official Site

HAMMER (POLAND)

Apart from Turbo and Wolf Spider, there was another capable thrash metal act from Poland from the old days. H'e4mmer are probably less experimental and more conventional than the other two, but their music is full of energy becoming quite intense actually, on the first two albums. "H'e4mmer" is a good debut, offering intense, but also intriguing semi-technical guitar work: the frantic, but satisfying opener "On Ma Granat". Later the aggression remains, but the technical performance steps down; still the album delivers the goods on all counts, with smashing speedy thrashers, like "Mask" and "Sza".

"Shermann" features tighter and sharper guitar work, but the energy and speed have been reduced, for the sake of more complex riffs on the longer tracks: "The Oddest Dreams", "Destroyer". But the more direct thrashing pieces are by no means less striking: "Different", the longer, but very aggressive "Rage".

"Terror" starts in a way very close to the debut with expert technical riffage on the opening "Terror" which admirably speeds up at the end. "Streetfighter" is a nice companion piece to the opener, but "Shut Up" goes way ahead with smashing jumpy guitars, cool bass implements, and great straight speedy passages. And here's where the more interesting part of this album ends. Right after comes the big shock "Inside Looking Out": a very disappointing pop-ish funky number which tries to liven up in the middle with more up-tempo riffage, but only messes things up even more; it's hard to be taken as a joke, coming in the middle of the album lasting for whole 7-min. It's very close to ruining everything considerably decreasing the impression made by the next speed/thrasher "Monsters". "Angels Wrath" slows down again, but doesn't really disappoint with heavy meaty riffs. "Old Man" tries to be technical, but the mixture of slower and faster guitars doesn't really work out. Fortunately the closing "Stick the Banner" leaves the experiments behind, and thrashes hard and directly without any gimmicks.

The band left the scene for about 12 years, only to come back encouraged by the thrash metal renaissance of recent years. The music on "SCHH - 1" is a direct take on their old style, intense thrash with the obligatory occasional more technical decorations.

Hammer Full-length, 1989
Shermann Full-length, 1990
Terror [PL] Full-length, 1991
SCHH - 1 Full-length, 2003

Official Site

HELL BELL (MEXICO)

Evil gloomy black/thrash metal with early Celtic Frost the most obvious influence; at times the music takes more playful dimensions not far from mid-period Venom, but on the other hand tracks like "Pain Crew" are pure misanthropic doomy bile ala Khold and early Barathrum. "Wolf Command" contains more dynamic riffage, and "Back to the Grind" is typical Exciter-esque speed metal with a very abrasive guitar sound. The singer tries to imitate the early Tom G. Warrior style, but quite often just spits hatred in a gruff death-y manner.

Devilish Metal Demo, 2005
Praying for a GOoD Fukk. Demo II Demo, 2009

My Space

HEMSYTHREIXCK (FRANCE)

There's a really high quality to be found in the French underground metal scene of the 80's. This is excellent Slayer-esque thrash with great sharp, quite technical at times riffs, and nice lead guitar; aggressive and mostly up-tempo with occasional very speedy breaks. It opens with a cool instrumental piece ("Codex Popuhl-Vuh") which is followed by a superb technical number ("The Gaudriole") where the guitar work will make even some of the Shrapnel heroes envious. The vocals are a bit on the dull side with an impassionate, listless tember, slightly recalling Efstathios "Staffi" Agoropoulos (Rumble Militia). If having been given the chance, these guys could have been worthy competitors even to ADX and Massacra.

Le Christ Pantocrator Demo, 1988

H-GEORGE (ITALY)

H-George is the vocalist and guitarist in this Italian quartet who specialize in modern power/thrash metal (based on the demo) not far from more recent Annihilator mixing fast and slower numbers in a similar fashion. The sound quality is crystal clear, and although the guitar pyrotechnics can't reach the level of Jeff Waters at this stage, they still manage to shred with passion producing the necessary amount of sharp biting riffs.

Neurotic Demo, 2008
Slave Of Society Full-length, 2010

Official Site


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