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

U.G.F. (GERMANY)

Based on "Asebeia. Ataraxis.", this act provide abrasive modern post-thrash with elements of thrashcore on the faster moments which are quite a few, by the way. "Vast and Hollow" is a surprisingly nice ballad ruined by the not very pleasant shouty death metal vocals; and "Siege" is a highly dynamic headbanger, but the rest resides in the mid-tempo parametres despite the active guitar work and the versatile riff-patterns.

Fairy Tales from the Underground EP, 2007
U.G.F. Full-length, 2014
The Taste of Rust EP, 2015
Asebeia. Ataraxis. Full-length, 2016

Official Site

UBERGEHEN (COLUMBIA)

These Columbians pull out fast retro speed/thrash metal with slightly noisy guitars. The approach is close to early Whiplash including in the screechy vocal department. The music is a bit more complex, though, trying to come up with nice melodic hooks for which the thin fuzzy guitars are hardly the best tool. Some of the musicians are also involved in the classic heavy metal formation Regnvm.

Visiones de Horror EP, 2007

Official Site

UDK (CHILE)

Groovy thrash (based on the debut) which offers nothing new but heavy, rehashed riffs, and the refusal of the guys to add more up-tempo elements, makes this album a really tiring affair. The band were previously known as Trauma, back in the early-90's, when they were playing classic thrash reflected in a few demos released.

"From Sacred to Profane" is a more aggressive affair thrashing more intensely on occasion. The singer is a pretty brutal death metal growler who dominates the seismic musical landscape which shies neither of doom, nor of a few balladic lyrical passages ("Black Dressed System") which are graced by surprisingly catchy melodic tunes (check out the exiting "Outro (The Bitter End of Pain)": melancholic proto-doom with a genuine Katatonia vibe.

Hand That Feeds Full-length, 2003
From Sacred to Profane Full-length, 2008

My Space

UGANGA (BRAZIL)

"Caos Carma Conceito": laid-back modern thrashcore sitting somewhere between Madball and Pro-Pain relying both on more speedy and more varied elements (semi-rap, groove, blues/ballad) to produce uplifting unpretentious stuff slightly spoiled by the angry gruff vocals.
"Opressor" is an intense frolic offering with nods to the national musical heritage of the mentioned in the name African country... kidding, of course; but this is squashing stuff with some admirably fast-paced surprises ("Moleque de Pedra") which will stir the blood and will make one jump around, especially on the very cool cover version of Vulcano's "Who are The True" near the end.

Atitude Lótus Full-length, 2003
Na Trilha do Homem de Bem Full-length, 2006
Caos Carma Conceito Full-Length, 2010
Opressor Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

UGLOR (USA)

This obscure formation specialize in twisted, chaotic thrash/death which combines the less polished side of early Celtic Frost with the rehearsal tapes of Atheist to an apocalyptic effect on the brutal puzzler "Wigature" which could easily qualify for the Hellwitch debut as well. "Beefy Choad" is a really weird Voivod-ish shorter, and "Gut Reactions" is just a tad less mind-scratching being purely instrumental with offbeat rhythm changes which grow into the violent shredder "Comatose". "Wasted Time" is a supreme technical piece with abrupt time and tempo-changes on a more relaxed crossover base; and "Eleventy Two" is another short cut of a more conventional this time nature. The final symbiosis "Bub's Revenge/Shibby Hoax" is a noisy epitaph not featuring much music except for the several bluesy chords. The vocals are all over the place being calm, clean, shouty, deathy, and even hysterical on a few high-pitched screams. This is an original, avantgarde, albeit fairly unpolished, work which would take a couple of listens before it settles down, but like the good wine... Previously the band were known as Warmonger when they only managed a solitary demo in 1985.

The Wild Boar Full-Length, 1990

Official Site

UGLY BUT PROUD (USA)

Based on the full-length, this act plays a feelgood mix of the good old thrash/crossover and a bit of the 90's post-thrash. The music is light-hearted relying on both speed and melody as the former never goes beyond the friendly Motorhead-ish boogie. "Born To Thrash, To Suffer, To Die" would be a "rude awakening" with its intense galloping riffage, but the pressure would be majorly relieved with the following "Brother Song" which is a soft acoustic ballad. "Idle Thoughts" is a cool heavy power/doom metal cut, but right after another "bomb" awaits you: "No Hope For Redemption", a more energetic thrasher with playful rock-ish leads which are quite proficient everywhere, by the way. The singer has a drunken semi-clean tember which is not completely devoid of melody and seldom shows his more emotional "colouring" staying more on the hardcore side of things.
The “Knuckles From Nowhere” EP starts with a nicely done excerpt from a famous opera which these ears have problems recalling (could be Puccini's "Tosca") before the opener "Death Clowns" introduces the simplistic inspired barrage of the Metallica debut. Things become a tad more relaxed on the next "No Hope For Redemption" (also featured on the full-length later) which is more speed metal-based (think early Overkill), reaching the peak of the happiness with a string of short crossover-laced cuts among which "King Zeus" is very close to being a death metal piece for a while with its brutal guitars.

Knuckles From Nowhere EP, 1987
Bein' Ugly Is Alright Full-length, 1994

My Space

UGLY DEADMAN (RUSSIA)

This "ugly" formation specialize in friendly optimistic thrash'n roll, nothing really "toxic" here, as the soft approach may not keep the fans perennially happy although cuts like "City of Red Nights" will move the heads, albeit in a dancey rocky manner. The hysterical rending vocals are too extreme for this kind of music, and would definitely be more suitable for tne black metallers Demons of Guillotine, the other band the guys are involved with.

Toxic Legacy Full-length, 2017

Official Site

UGLY OGRE (ESTONIA)

Speed, thrash and pagan metal are blended here impeded by the not very clear sound quality; fast and slower compositions are mixed together in almost equal dozes both sides offering energetic, albeit buzzy, guitars topped by rough death metal vocals. The pagan atmosphere is well created despite the lack of many musical merits.

Vihkan Ilu Full-length, 1999

My Space

UHF (FRANCE)

A very badly-sounding, and generally an amateurish effort of fast brutal thrash with proto-death merits, but the awful sound leaves nothing to be heard from the vocals and from the bass also giving the guitars a screechy thin sound, and the suspicions are immediately for a one-man-show who may be drunk or stoned, or maybe just learning how to play half a dozen instruments simultaneously.

Demo Demo, 1985

UIGG (CANADA)

The debut: black/thrash of the fast aggressive type; the music is all-out retro thrash metal for most of the time, if we exclude the couple of more intense blasting parts, and overall the delivery is not too distant from Deathwitch or Desaster. "Sadistic Reprisal" is a stylish minimalistic mid-paced stomper with a few technical leanings, amd although the other songs are all faster, each one has at least one slower pounding section. The last "The Harbinger" is 13-min long, and apart from the intense classic thrash riffs one can enjoy (surely depends on the taste) a 5-min quiet atmospheric mid-break and a much shorter furious black metal passage, to which the vicious raspy black metal vocals suit better. Half of the line-up also takes part in the more aggressive death/thrash metal outfit Church.

"Of Moose and Men" is another intense affair now adding shades of death metal to the proceedings, the latter of the stomping, war-like type (but don't think Bolt Thrower immediately; this is more in the choppy, Beyond Belief-like, direction). The speed has been reduced quite a bit, the band now smashing forward with pounding, thundering riffs with a touch of groove. "Master Hunter" is a cool speedy headbanger, but the rest doesn't bother to reach it in this aspect, except for the hectic technicaller "Monstrosity" at some point, and the several scattered blasting breaks here and there. "Onslaught" is an engaging closer, though, a 9-min saga which moves on with heavy, seismic guitars and a few stylish leads. The vocalist now sounds angrier, with a hardcore-ish flavour.

To Punish and Enslave Full-length, 2008
Of Moose and Men Full-length, 2011

Official Site

ULTHRASH (SPAIN)

Based on the "Innocence's Corpses" demo, these guys offer heavy thrash/death metal akin to Asphyx and early Death. The songs mix slower and faster guitars the whole time seldom adhering to blast-beats and stomping doomy sections. Some of the musicians also play purer death metal with Invadeath which is a continuation of the more thrash metal-based act Knife.

Vital Abhorrence Demo, 1992
Innocence's Corpses Demo, 1994
Live Apoc. 6.8 Demo, 1998

Official Site

ULTIMATE HOLOCAUST (ITALY)

These Italians serve fast intense old school thrash with harsh semi-whispered death metal vocals. The delivery is mostly up-tempo and a bit monotonous with a few blasting extremes ("Reportage") present alongside more laid-back speed/thrashers ("Gambler's Theatre", "Lord of Replication") the latter by all means the highlight on this inspired, but hardly memorable effort.

Blackmail the Nation Full-Length, 2015

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ULTIMATUM (AUSTRALIA)

Based on the "Let The Missiles Fly" demo, this band richly deserves to be better known: this is quite a unique style which is mid-paced, occasionally up-tempo ("Seryer") with a dark, haunting quality, quite atmospheric at times with slow doomy breaks and stylish semi-technical guitars. There is a Mercyful Fate-like dramatism involved in a very good way. Another band who practice a similar style is the American band Dementia although their music is less varied and perhaps less interesting than the one on display here.

Let The Missiles Fly Demo, 1990
Doomed Youth Demo, 1991

A Free Demo

Videos

ULTIMATUM (CANADA, ONTARIO)

A very unknown, but decent effort of diverse retro thrash which goes from clever, semi-technical pieces ("Deserved Fate") to sprawling, maybe a bit unfocused longer ones (the slow dragging "The Iron Age"; the more successful and up-tempo "The Siege of Caffa"; the good, semi-balladic closer "The Prime Abaser"), to furious thrashers ("Left Of Center"). "Soul Progression" is a nice short, 2-min lead instrumental, showing the lead guitarist in top form, and it's sad that he never performs as great on the other material; well, the leads on the nice stomping "The Executioner's Song" are also quite good.

The Iron Age Full-Length, 1995

ULTIMATUM (CANADA, QUEBEC)

This outfit specialize in a nice eventful mix of classic (more) and modern (less) thrash which will delight the listener with its refrences to the Bay-Area (the cool melodic headbanger "Legacy Of Hate"). The title-track is a heavy shredder, but "Atmosphere" will be an eye-opener with its intense vitriolic guitars. "Culture Of Death" is a more stylish sophisticated piece with more technical riffage, and the closer "Valley Of Decay" is a cool nod to late-80's Metallica with the galloping rifforama enshrouding it. The singer isn't very impressive, though, his semi-declamatory antics not very clearly heard at times, and not resembling much singing.

The Days of Our Lives EP, 1996

ULTIMATUM (USA)

It seems as though the Christian thrash metal scene can not produce a bad band; Ultimatum are another proof to this rule. This is a very good 80's thrash metal band whose style recalls the Bay Area acts, but at the same time it also sounds close to David Wayne's (R.I.P.) Reverend, with a singer who is a dead ringer for Steve Souza from Exodus (and a very good one as such). Their debut is more melodic power/thrash with very catchy, sing-along songs, but the band harden the course on later releases, turning them into one of the better thrash metal works from the American metal scene of the past few years.
"Into the Pit" is an impressive comeback for the band after a long, 7-year break. The album contains both more melodic numbers ala the debut, and heavier ones along the lines of their more recent outputs. This time there are some faster thrashers which stir up the mood ("Exonerate", "Transgressor") plus a cool cover version of Iron Maiden's "Wrathchild". "Into the Pit” is a bluesy instrumental with nice guitar work.
"Lex Metalis" is the band's tribute to their "teachers" from the past, containing covers only, with a balance between the classic heavy metal( Saxon ("Denim & Leather"), Judas Priest ("Steeler"), Quiet Riot ("Metal Health"), Twisted Sister ("Sin After Sin"), Motorhead ("Iron Fist"), Iron Maiden ("Wrathchild")) and the thrash metal school (Metal Church ("Ton of Bricks"), Metallica ("Creepin' Death"), Megadeth ("Motorpsycho"), Vengeance Rising ("Can't Get Out"), Mortification ("Gut Wrench"), Overkill ("Powersurge")). The guys don't aim at any originality, rendering the songs faithfully the exceptions being "Ton of Bricks", which is a violent brutal thrasher sounding way more aggressive than the Metal Church original; and "Sin After Sin", here turned into a piece of jolly light-hearted thrash/crossover.

Symphonic Extremities Full-length, 1995
Puppet Of Destruction Full-length, 1998
The Mechanics Of Perilous Times Full-length, 2000
...Til the End! EP, 2006
Into the Pit Full-Length, 2007
Lex Metalis Full-length, 2009

My Space

ULTIMOS DE CUBA (SPAIN)

Melodic power/thrash metal influenced by Motorhead and Tank; "Un Millón de Ratas" is a good energetic debut mixing faster-paced numbers ("Sacrilegio", "Oraciones Etilicas") with melodic, heavy metal ones ("El Ultimo Papa", "Jako Mate"). Seldom can one come across really good galloping, up-tempo power/speed metal tracks ("Hatajo de Carbones") in the best tradition of Attacker and early Laaz Rockit. "Un Million de Ratas" is a really nice thrasher, the only full-blooded representative of the genre which comes with the best melodic leads on the album. "El Final", which is... yes, you guessed right, the closer, is the other more aggressive song here recalling the Metallica debut with its fast lashing riffs.

Un Millón de Ratas Full-length, 1991
Bolsas Negras Full-length, 1993

Fan Site

ULTO DIVINA (GREECE)

Based on the "The Ego Inside" demo, this act offer uneventful pedestrian 90's post-thrash of the more playful kind (if we exclude the surprising proto-death shredder "Ta Rassa Tis Ntropis") with shades of crossover ("Paranoia"). Apparently the band are fond of more "paranoic" states since the end is occupied by the cover of Black Sabbath's hit of the same title done in a slightly abrasive industrialized fashion the rough deathy vocals not very suitable to the more peaceful music. The guys also operated under two other names at around the same time: Leprosy where they played classic thrash/death metal; and they pull out, up to this day, pure death metal with their other formation Obsecration.

Demo Demo, 1995
The Ego Inside Demo, 1996

ULTRA-VIOLENCE (ITALY)

Based on the full-length debut, this act provide "ultra-violent" classic thrash whcih crushes through the speakers with full force creating plenty of headbanging fun the cutting riffage greatly helped by the very good crispy production. The leads "steal" some precious moments among the riffy "carnage" and fight for the highlight here with their Shrapnel-like virtuosity. The mosh never ends on this roller-coaster except on the 9-min long doomy creeper "The Voodoo Cross", an immediate compensation for this overlong digression offered right after: the short hardcore explosion "You're Dead!". Then everything falls back to its normal flow the final "Ride Across The Storm" blasting with passion in an attached black metal manner in the beginning later turning into a melodic modernizer, another deviation from the norm which is hardly necessary. The singer shouts in a dry sterile fashion the whole time and viciously opposes to the melodic attempts made by the guitar players.
"Deflect the Flow" is the next in line retro speed/thrashing madness which comes coolly crossover-decorated ("Why so Serious?"; yes, indeed, "Why?") with more serious attitude provided on the slower cuts ("Gavel's Bang"). "In the Name of Your God" is a nice melodic roller-coaster influencing the remaining numbers except for the raging headbanger "The Way I'll Stay" near the end which almost overshadows the closer "Fractal Dimension" the latter boasting the greatest leads on the album.

Wildcrash EP, 2012
Privilege to Overcome Full-length, 2013
Deflect the Flow Full-length, 2015

Official Site

ULTRAHEAD (USA)

And aggro it is the band not hiding their fascination with the ruling trends on the scene at the time although they do speed up quite a bit (" Face Down") at times, albeit with a strong sense of hardcore. For a large portion of the time it's business as usual, though, the groove ensuring pleasure for all Pantera and Helmet lovers with seismic "behemoths" like "Pleasure" and "Employed In Texas". "75" is an unusually lyrical balladic cut the rending shouty vocals ruining the picture a bit.

Definition: Aggro Full-length, 1995

ULTYMA (CANADA)

A promising 3-tracker which sees a bustling newcomer on the Canadian scene; "Liberation" is a nice semi-technical speedster in the best tradition of classic Artillery; "Shepherd of Mayhem" is a more elaborate galloper with echoes of Paradox; and "Final Breath" is a more linear all-instrumental speed/thrasher with progressive pretensions. The singer is a pretty decent attached clean timbre who at times tries more dramatic higher-pitched antics.

Liberation EP, 2017

ULVEDHARR (ITALY)

The full-length debut: the Italian metal scene has turned into the leading one in Europe in recent years with thrash developing at a fairly quick rate probably second only to death metal. This act mixes the classic roots of the genre with more epic death metal rhythms the approach suddenly abandoning the settled officiant mid-tempo for the sake of short fast-paced sections: check out the perennial death metal delight "Onward To Valhalla". The second half serves some really cool epic pieces those long cleverly-composed numbers with quite a few interesting moments. As a whole this blend works if we exclude the dispassionate shouty death metal vocals.
"Total War" produces a similar blend with death metal now more widely covered, leaving thrash to occupy larger portions of the title-track, the more diverse shredder "Wrath of Brenn", and the bashing "Master of Slavery". "The Dark Age" towards the end can pass for another thrashing delight mixed with soaring melo-death "excursions" the latter the dominant force here.

Viking Tid EP, 2012
Swords of Midgard Full-length, 2013
Total War Full-Length, 2017

Official Site

ULYSSES SIREN (USA)

The name doesn't really serve the band justice because this isn't some dull space/progressive rock act, but a full-blooded technical thrash outfit at its early best. The approach is quite aggressive without being too fast; it's just that the riffs hit you like a hammer with their steel technical precision; hey, we're not talking very complex stuff here: think Have Mercy (the first demo) and Savage Steel's "Do Or Die" (the second demo). "Terrorist Attack" contains the faster and more immediate material whereas the 1987 demo excels in the guitar performance and simply crushes. In 1985 how many bands were playing such great technical metal? Not a single one. This band have definitely affected the later works of Helstar, Liege Lord, and even Megadeth, if you like. Ulysses Siren are a very good example that thrash metal seldom comes any better than during its very first days.
Wow, these guys are back from the grave... it should be considered a great year, this and the previous 2014, with some unsung heroes from the US underground (Anacrusis, Wrath, among others) having returned to haunt us again, all with some really impressive releases. And here we are listening to one of the pioneers of technical thrash on US territory. Nothing short of outstanding, this short effort comprises sharp intricate riff-patterns as evident form the opening title-track which also reminds of the once glorious Bay-Area. "Bludgeoned Mass" is even more complex, but the steady galloping rhythm will keep you on tne alert along with the virtuous screamy leads. Then comes "Lethal Inception" which marches forward in a more restrained mid-paced fashion superseded by live recordings of two of their old songs: "Leviathan" and "The Ritual". This is surely a testing of the soil before the band hopefully embark on a full-length "adventure"...

Terrorist Attack Demo, 1985
Demo Demo, 1987
Above The Ashes Best of/Compilation, 2003
Justifiable Homicide EP, 2015

Official Site

UMMON (FRANCE)

Previously these guys were known as Abyssal Suffering under which name they exercised some pretty brutal death metal. Under the new moniker they have decided to twist the musical reality big time with these 3 all-instrumental tracks which are a weird combination of thrash, industrial and fusion all this mixed on a buzzy sound background which still can't stop the musicians from showing their skills. This is an avantgarde affair which may sound too chaotic and incoherent at first, and even at second, listen, but those with ears for the stylish offbeat music will find quite a few moments to savour which will throw them from the mechanical sterile landscapes of mid-90's Voivod to the hard-to-decipher structures on Gorguts' "Obscura", and everything in-between. There wouldn't be too many moments of boredom here, contrary to one of the song-titles ("Children of Boredom"), but the regular thrash metal fan will be quite puzzled for most of the time.

Retreat Demo, 2011

Official Site

UNBLESSED (USA)

Based on the debut, this band play competent "unblessed" old school Bay-Area thrash. Thumbs up for the guys to pull out one of the finest ballads of the 90's: "Deaths Wings", a great song which pretty much overshadows anything else. This same anything else covers a wider area of influences, from hard-hitting thrashers ("Out Of My Head") in the vein of Powermad, to pleasant power metal anthems (the cool rousing Savatage-sque "Victims Of Destiny"). The singer is a particularly valuable asset with his high-strung emotional voice which he twists through several octaves without sounding ridiculous or strained.

Unblessed Full-length, 1993
The Devil's Fifth Full-length, 2011

Official Site

UNBORN (CZECH)

Based on "Six Ways of Suffering", this act specializes in choppy modern thrash with good melodic guitar work which reaches heights in the lead department. The guys shred with passion ("Surprising Resurrection") at times where the approach takes fine more speedy dimensions, but overall this is not a very intense offering sticking to the mid-pace more. "No Second Chance" is an excellent more technical piece, and "Living In Illusion" invades your privacy with brutal blasting sections. The singer is a semi-death metal shouter who tries to sound attached to the better music.
"Awaken to Reality" will "awaken" you "to reality" wiht its more classic-inclined approach in the beginning and steely guitars among which one can catch quite nice balladic moments ("Chemotherapy of the Government") where the lead guitarist simply shines. The modern flavour inevitably returns in the middle for a string of not very imaginable post-thrash cuts, but the best comes later in the face of the aggressive death-laced "Faces in the Mirror" and the cool headbanger at the end "Till my Last Breath". The singer tries much harder this time and his semi-shouts now even carry a tad of melody reminiscent of early Flo Schwarz (Pyogenesis).

Voice of Hate Full-length, 2007
Six Ways of Suffering Full-length, 2011
Awaken to Reality Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

UNBORN (POLAND)

An early, quite brutal thrash/death metal hybrid, another decent addition to the very extreme Polish underground which literally gave birth to the death metal movement in Europe in the late 80's with its numerous similar practitioners of very aggressive and fast music. The tracks begin in a more laid-back thrashy fashion, but later develop into cacophonous blasting experiences where death metal and grindcore shake hands more than now and then. Not "unborn", but the exact opposite: from small obscure demos like that death metal was born...

Unbirthday Demo, 1990

UNBORN (UK)

Based on the "Truth Against the World" EP, this band comes up with good Slayer-influenced thrash which is not as aggressive as "Reign in Blood", but is more along the lines of the faster songs from Slayer's heavier period (think "War Ensemble" and "Silent Scream"). This is so much Slayer that if Tom Araya takes over the vocals, you might find it hard to tell the difference; the problem is that the singer has a hysterical, hardcore-ish voice which spoils the impression a bit (but this, of course, depends on the taste). There is a very sparce use of lead guitar, so this is the other difference from the mighty Slayer; most of the time this is pounding riffs which will keep you headbanging for long.
The debut EP is a faster affair, and if we exclude the bad shouty hardcore vocals, everything else is almost perfect. The music is intense thrash again close to Slayer, this time touching their more aggressive days with all the pieces closing around the 2-min mark. "One Hundred And Forty Four Thousand" is an excellent atmospheric darker contrasting with the other blitzkrieg bursters which still sound as though being drafts for bigger songs which never materialized. The closing "Oaken Grove Erecting Dragon Temples" is a captivating doomy cut with great haunting tunes again, sadly, too short.

Ancestral Pagan Roots EP, 1996
Truth Against the World EP, 1997

My Space

UNBREAKABLE (NORWAY)

Modern thrash, spiced with a couple of more classic thrash/crossover moments, but rest assured that they will be fully compensated by the obligatory groovy interceptions. Still, when the guys thrash they know well what they're doing ("Persistence"), and this happens on at least half of the tracks (the EP is whole 8 songs long).

Strength Through Adversity EP, 2009

My Space

UNBROKEN BONES (RUSSIA)

Based on the "Battalion of Bones" demo, this act indulge in energetic direct retro thrash/crossover with more overt hardcore undercurrents. The delivery is quite energetic the guys just having fun playing merry optimistic, also quite dynamic at times, tunes with a huge pogo potential.

Demo Demo, 2012
Battalion of Bones Demo, 2012

Official Site

UNCENSORED (FRANCE)

This young French outfit acquit themselves with decent modern thrash which mostly "suffers" from the rough shouty hardcore-ish vocals which are at times assisted by even more absurd hysterical ones. Otherwise the guys thrash with gusto using a lot of melodic tricks along the way without breaking any speed barriers although the headbangers haven't been completely ignored, and the galloping riffs on "Destroy" will make anyone jump around not without the help of the very good sound quality.

The Strongest Hate Full-length, 2014

Official Site

UNCHECKED AGGRESSION (USA)

Modern power/thrash metal reminding of the Machine Head releases around the same time ("Supercharger", in particular); it has more aggression (unchecked, I guess), probably: the intense opener "Smell Of Blood", the Pantera-sque "Plateau Of Anguish", but this tendency is quickly abandoned for the sake of more catchier, softer riffs which will also remind you of the Metallica's least impressive period ("Load", "Reload"): "Sniper", "Eat the Fire" (so you can see how within the span of 20 years people, from "jumping in the fire", have started to "eat" it), etc. "Heroes" is a cool heavy metal hymn offering good laid-back riffs and nice leads.

The Massacre Begins Full-length, 2002

Official Site

UNCLE FESTER (USA)

Crisp vivid old school thrash with stomping mid to up-tempo compositions graced either by cool screamy leads ("Freedom"), or accentuated by rousing galloping rhythms ("W.D.F.A."). "Solace" is a quiet acoustic instrumental, and the closer "Toy Soldiers" is a heavy volcanic hymn with sharp cutting guitars. The singer has a convincing semi-clean tenor which he strains at times to the higher registers to a rather positive effect. The band were more famous under the name Level when they played a modern brand of doom metal with two EP's and one full-length released.

W.D.F.A. Demo, 1992

My Space

UNCLE SLAM (USA)

A cool thrash metal band with ties to Suicidal Tendencies; the music, however, is more thrashy than the one offered by the Suicidals although it is not too radically different. The debut is an intense, albeit a fairly enjoyable listen, starting with the explosive slab of aggression "Weirdo Man", and the slightly more controlled "The Ugly Dude". "Judgement Day" calms "the ball" down sounding like a more aggressive Exciter, but "Micro Logic" retuns to the higher speed, and "Contaminated" pretty much hits the top reaching an almost Wehrmacht-like hyper-speed insanity. After this exhausting track the rest sounds quite mild staying on the edge between thrash and crossover in an energetic up-tempo providing the casual "break" from the pattern: the slower funky "Eve of the End" near the end. The singer Todd Moyer is just the perfect fit for this kind of music with his powerful delivery ala Mike Muir and a more vicious Lemmy.

"Will Work for Food" again contains nice energetic thrash with a few crossover (never "suicidal") tendencies plus an interesting thrashy cover version of Led Zeppelin's "Dazed And Confused". The music is brisk Bay-Area thrash clinging between the all-out speed attack of the Forbidden debut and the heavy pounding riffing of Defiance with probably only "Will Work for Food" betraying the Suicidal ties with its uplifting jolly riffage. The former by all means leads the pack leaving the latter playing the role of an occasional support on some tracks ("Cold Fire" is the only song which pounds from beginning to end, and partly the slower doomy closer "It Can Happen").
"When God Dies" doesn't offer as many pleasant surprises anymore provided that the band was one of the few old-timers who proceeded with the old school sound without any compromises. The thrash has been diminished to a big extent, the speed completely gone with it as well, replaced by softer crossover moments and more modern-sounding guitars. The guys try their hands on ballads, funk, doom, and even blues. It still sounded more convincing than the numerous "flops" released that same year despite its obvious "flirtations" with the 90's trends.

Say Uncle Full-length, 1988
Will Work for Food Full-length, 1993
When God Dies Full-length, 1995

My Space

UNCOMPOSING (USA)

The multi-instrumentalist John Haughm is responsible for everything here; he is the same guy who also takes part in Agalloch, Sculptured, and numerous other bands from all walks of metal. This demo is one of his first attempts at music, and it should be no surprise the not very high quality of the music which is a dark mid-paced thrash/black/death metal amalgam with a bad sound quality and very amateurish semi-clean vocals. The longer songs have a strange surreal avantgarde feel to them created by monotonous mid-tempo guitars whereas the shorter ones are pure death-y outbursts with weird keyboard implements which are not of the sinister atmospheric Nocturnus/Therion type, but sound very close to the 70's acts (Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, etc.) deepening further the eclectic nature of this effort. It could have developed into something interesting later, but Haughm moved on forming both Agalloch and Sculptured several years later.

Northernmost Epic Demo, 1994

UNCREATION'S DAWN (FINLAND)

Based on "Lightning Hammer Falls", these guys offer a diverse mix of black, thrash and a few purely epic/heavy metal sections. Of course, Destroyer 666 comes to your mind almost immediately, and this is a good reference point. The guitar work of the Finns is probably more technical with chaotic hectic moments included, even recalling Morbid Angel, and really cool leads, not very typical for such style.

Uncelestial EP, 2004
Lightning Hammer Falls Full-length, 2004
Death's Tyranny Full-length, 2006

My Space

UNDAMAGED (PUERTO RICO)

This demo reveals an act faithful to the forceful sound of Sacred Reich's "Ignorance" so we have fast-paced straight thrash with shades of hardcore, and vocals which are very close to the ones of Phil Rind (Sacred Reich again) mixed with a more vicious pitch ala Max Cavalera at times.

Die Before Seeing The Light Demo, 1991

UNDEAD (CHILE)

Chilean teenagers are responsible for this 4-track demo of raw energetic slab of retro thrash with a very poor sound quality which puts the deafening drums too much forward. Otherwise the guitarists try their best to come upfront to produce something resembling the early practitioners from their neighbours Brazil (the early efforts of Sepultura, Dorsal Atlantica, Holocausto, etc.). The leads are not bad, and with a better sound quality would make a bigger impact. The singer delivers an aggressive semi-declamatory tember except for the times when he plainly shouts apparently intent on stifling the noisy drums. Well, it's still a rehearsal, after all...

The End Arrives-Rehearsal Demo, 2008

Official Site

UNDEAD (RUSSIA)

This Russian outfit indulge in brisk classic thrash which crosses the German heritage with Sacrifice the deviations being the nice melodic leads and the casual keyboard "intrusions" the latter adding a surreal atmospheric touch to the proceedings. Several pompous epic tracks roam around ("D.I.S. (Death Intelligence Service)") the latter not very aptly supported by spasmodic blasts and it's good that those numbers are not so many the fast atmospheric thrashers ("Spirit In Torments", "The Call of Blood") leading the pack assuredly. The closing "Astral Flight" is a briliant balladic lead-driven instrumental, the highlight on this cool, but flawed effort which is also "graced" by husky subdued death metal vocals.

Death Intelligence Service Full-Length, 2011

Official Site

UNDEAD VISION (SWITZERLAND)

Based on the full-length, this band specialize in stomping modern thrash which has its more brutal side ("Future Evolution"), but its the more officiant battle-like factor ("Revolt", "Crop Circle") that seems to fascinate more reminiscent of Bolt Thrower, Asphyx and Facebreaker. The vocalist is a deep guttural death metaller who doesn't deafen the instruments, but complements them without much interference.

Undead Vision EP, 2015
Modern Slave Full-length, 2017

Official Site

UNDER AL KRITIK (DENMARK)

Based on the full-length: unpretentious merry-go-round thrash/crossover with an open punk attitude, both music and vocal-wise. There are a few cool nods to Motorhead where the music takes a slightly more serious turn, but generally this is party stuff done with a big sense of humour.

Insomnia EP, 2008
Under Al Kritik Full-Length, 2009

UNDER COLD SUN (SPAIN)

The debut: these guys can perfectly fit into the NWOAHM movement pulling out modern crunchy stuff close to Chimaira and God Forbid with a bigger portion of faster-paced moments which still can't hold against the sea of heavy seismic riffs which are consistent, but get repeated on every track without fail. "Alone" is a smashing headbanger also helped by a very good bass bottom, but this is the only sign of more energy on this passable, but not very inspired recording.
"Apocalyptic Destruction" boasts a crisp biting sound, but other than that it's business as usual for these purveyors of the modern metal canons who seldom break the mould with the odd more energetic cut ("Outcry Of Pain", "The Long March") where the shadow of the Gothenburg movement looms heavily.

...Prepare For Pain Full-Length, 2012
Apocalyptic Destruction Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

UNDER EDEN (USA)

The debut: a cool fusion of Swedish-styled death/thrash metal (Carnal Forge, The Crown) and heavy, groovy riffs sounding like a more aggressive version of Pantera.
"The Science of Self-Defeat" is an edgy offering balancing between aggression and melody in the first half the latter kind of more strongly present, not without the inclusion of several epic, Amon Amarth-esque moments ("Dreaming Infinity's Fall", "Serpent Birth"). The speed disappears quite a bit in the second half which is mostly mid-paced epicers with the casual blast-beat thrown in. The groove is gone completely now the band having epitomized fully the Gothenburg melo-death standards.
"An Aeons Long Shadow": the melo-thrash/death carnival is on full-throttle here the guys finding the right balance between aggression and melody, the shorter material ("Eclipsing Even Darkness") expectedly tending to the former side. "Catalyst Massacre" is an ambitious progressiver again reminding of Amon Amarth, coming in the middle, influencing the second half which is more moderate save for the closing ball of fury "Aeon Omega The Strand Unravels".

The Savage Circle Full-length, 2005
Phoenix on Frozen Wings EP, 2008
The Science of Self-Defeat Full-length, 2011
An Aeons Long Shadow Full-length, 2017

Official Site

UNDER PRESSURE (BRAZIL)

Dramatic intense thrash/death ala Nocturnus and mid-period Messiah with a lot of atmospheric touches the latter also recalling Infernal Majesty. This is really cool stuff with a sophisticated technical edge which works well paired with the fast sharp riffs on "Evil Mankind"; or with the more ambitious progressive arrangements on "Memories". "Empire Of The Hills" closes the effort in a more direct bashing way again exuding more style than what usually goes with this kind of music making this obscurity a really nice find.

Red Horizon Demo, 1994

UNDER SIEGE (HOLLAND)

Based on the "Gloating" demo, this formation provide clumsy bluesy post-thrash which is plain sleepy for most of the time developing in the least exciting radio-friendly manner. It has a few nice lead-driven melodies within, and the vocals are quite passionate and attached; but the hard-core thrashers should avoid this like the plague...

Niet Seken, Gewoon Luisteren Demo, 1989
Gloating Demo, 1993

UNDER THE ABYSS (FRANCE)

Based on "A Future to Behold", this band play modern groovy thrash/post-thrash with overshouty semi-death metal vocals. The pace shifts the whole time acquiring covert metalcore tendencies ("Living Ghost") where better cleaner vocals appear as well.

A Wavering Path Full-length, 2010
A Future to Behold Full-length, 2015

Official Site

UNDER THE INFLUENCE (AUSTRALIA)

Beased on the debut, this act plays jumpy semi-technical modern proto-thrash with industrial overtones bringing to mind Treponem Pal and mid-period Prong. The guys spice it up with a few softer balladic and more playful alternative deviations which bring the diversity, but "kill" the heaviness quite a bit. The singer stays attached with his semi-angry shout again reminiscent of the Prong frontman Tommy Victor.

UTI I Full-length, 2006
UTI II Full-length, 2008
The Brutal Harsh Honest Truth Full-length, 2010

Official Site

UNDER THE STONE (USA)

Modern thrash/death metal meets metalcore somewhere along the way; doesn't sound too appealing, and it isn't, if we exclude a few more twisted technical riffs which sound as though the guys have made a mistake putting them here. The gruff-melodic vocal duel is another annoyance among the other typical for this mix banal gimmicks.

Under The Stone Full-Length, 2011

Official Site

UNDERAGE (MEXICO)

This Mexican outfit indulge in dramatic melodic power/thrash with very good lead guitar work which overflows with Oriental themes. The band move on in mid-tempo unleashing their less bridled spirit on the shorter numbers ("Ghoulish War") which aren't that many, as a matter of fact, and the heavy officiant tone easily settles on the rest helping in the production of the progressive closing title-track which sees the lead guitarist Pancho Villa... sorry, Poncho Lopez as the new guitar hero from North America.

End of Days Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

UNDERBRED (ITALY)

A groovy post-thrash affair with emo-tones and cooler stoner/doom references; heavy, occasionally dynamic, stuff ala later-period Misery Loves Co. with not bad semi-clean vocals.
The EP is more of a noisemonger with its abrasive guitars and choppy rhythms. It can hardly be classified as even post-thrash, but there a few harsher riffs to be heard which also bring the band close to Biohazard.

Metal Morphosis EP, 1998
Instinct Full-length, 2001

UNDERCODE (CROATIA)

Based on "Post-Apocalyptic", this band play a more retro brand of power/thrash which is more on the mellower side with casual echoes from the 90's post-thrash movement. Then "Driven" starts thrashing with "drive" in the middle, but rest assured that this won't happen again the cool tender ballad "Believe in Me" provided right after to alleviate "the pain". Despite the very radio-friendly nature of the 2nd half, "Final Fight" will raise a few hairs on your head with its fist-pumping riff-bravery the latter not supported by the calm balladic closer "The Curse of Staying Alive". The vocalist isn't bad at all with his assured clean mid-ranged, not very adventurous baritone.

Enlightening the World Full-length, 2002
Post-Apocalyptic Full-length, 2015

Official Site

UNDERCROFT (CHILE)

Based on "Ruins of Gomorrah", these Chileans pull out dry modern thrash which meanders in a brooding semi-technical fashion relying on a heavy crunchy rhythm-section which all of a sudden gives way to a much faster passage ("Black Magik Witches") the latter turning boldly into a blast-beating one in no time. The calm and brutal moments alternate unevenly defying the listener's expectations who shouldn't stay put for most of the time since apart from those irregular switches nothing too complex takes place. The end would be a surprise at least for those who would be able to recognize Twisted Sister's "The Beast" from "Stay Hungry" done in a heavy groovy manner the singer preserving his deep guttural growls all over the riffage the latter the main reminder of the Sisters' hit. An even bigger surprise may be the fact that some of the musicians are also full-time members of the German classic heavy metal act Tonus. Small world...

Evilusion Full-length, 2002
Lethally Growing Full-length, 2006
Ruins of Gomorrah Full-length, 2012

Official Site

UNDERFLOW (POLAND)

Based on the 1st demo, these guys play pleasant melodic thrashy gothic, atmospheric and mid-tempo, quite close to Sentenced circa the "Amok" era. The guitar work evolves around melodic hooks, killing the little sharpness the riffs have, although the latter break loose from the "prison" on the final "Extinguish", which jumps straight on the steam-rolling Bolt Thrower war/death metal wagon.
The "Mind Flayers" demo has more edge although nothing too fast or aggressive happens except for a short super-fast grinding section on "Mind Flay II". The music is again mid-paced with gothic overtones, and the singer sings even deeper and more scarily. "Caesars Of Claw" is a nice more dynamic track at the end, again sounding close to the more speedy numbers from Sentenced's "Amok".

Demo Demo, 2003
Mind Flayers Demo, 2004

Official Site

UNDERGANG (SWEDEN)

The line-up includes Johannes Wanngren, the new underground thrash guitar hero (also Dr. Living Dead, Leprosy) of Sweden. Based on the “...And You Will Live in Terror” EP, this is Wanngren’s least serious involvement with the scene the music being wild chaotic thrash/crossover/core with very short (1-2min) outbursts serving for tracks those generally played quite fast supported by semi-clean shouty vocals which plainly slubber on the more aggressive cuts (the grindcore outrage “Slave (Infest)”). In other words, you’ll be “fucked”, like the title of the closing number says it so well.

Klipp Dig och Skaffa Dig Ett Jobb! EP, 2004
Putting the ARM in ARMAGEDDON EP, 2004
Armageddon Sessions Full-length, 2004
THRASH! The Power of Undergĺng EP, 2006
Apocalypse... Now! EP, 2007
...And You Will Live in Terror EP, 2009
The Mother of Armageddon Full-length, 2011

My Space

UNDERGROUND GROOVE FRONT (GERMANY)

As evident from the name, this act deliver modern abrasive post-thrash (based on "Asebeia. Ataraxis.") the groovy barrage accompanied by throaty death metal vocals. The approach is energetic, though, despite the several doom-prone cuts in the middle. "Siege" is a hardcore-ish headbanger, and "Damage" is the more aggressive, speed/thrash-oriented rouser.

Fairy Tales from the Underground EP, 2007
U.G.F. Full-length, 2014
The Taste of Rust EP, 2015
Asebeia. Ataraxis. Full-length, 2016

Official Site

UNDERKILL (GERMANY)

This new act offers a blend of classic and modern power/thrash which, after the energetic opening speedster "Solidity", slows down to not very dynamic mid-pace with just a few escapades (the galloping moments on the final "Nuclear Rape"; the closing section of the light-hearted "Life is War"). The result is passable, not very eventful, stuff with relatively sharp riffs, decent semi-clean vocals, and songs which develop in a samey manner without any visible highlights.

Judas Hole Full-Length, 2011

UNDERLORD (USA)

Pure old school black/thrash influenced by the old heroes: Venom, Bathory, Celtic Frost; the music is simplistic, but quite heavy, and delivers the goods, with elements from doom, death and even classic heavy metal ala Angel Witch also present.

Triumphant Battles Full-length, 2000
Rise of the Ancient Kings Full-length, 2003

Fan Site

UNDERNEATH (CHILE)

These talented Chileans come up with a fairly interesting and listenable blend of thrash and gothic/doom ala mid-period Paradise Lost. Mixtures like this tend to favour the slower side of it, and this one is no exception, but intense riffage, like on "Haunting Myself" or "Fragmented" could easily beat even the most dedicated to the thrash metal genre acts. The guitars on the faster tracks have this genuine technical edge, and one would wish these moments were more. "Cold Embraces" is probably the highlight: a very cool stomping thrasher, again with the technical guitars taking the upper hand here and there. "Deprived" and "A Dreadful Garden Of Loathe" are not too far behind: atmospheric heavy combinations of thrash and doom. "Fragmentado" is another great number with a few smashing technical breaks mixed with hammering doomy riffs. The closing "Voluntad Marchita" is a nice galloping speed/thrashing number, interrupted by dreamy atmospheric passages. Mixtures of the kind are not a very common phenomenon on the scene, and it's really good to hear such a professionally done one, making those two contrasting style co-exist so well.

Perceptions Full-length, 2005

UNDERNEATH THE GUN (USA)

Based on "Forfeit Misfortunes", this is typical modern thrash/death metal with a dual vocal attack (no clean singing, fortunately: both styles are quite vicious), good Gothenburg melodies, solid lead guitar performance, and nice technical touches ("Looking Deep Into Shallow Water") which, alas, remain unfinished. The songs are not very long, energetic, up-tempo, with the occasional slower breaks which sometimes smell metalcore ("Rising Words").

You Prepare the Bodies, I'll Get the Ice EP, 2006
The Awakening Full-length, 2006
The Awakening EP, 2008
Forfeit Misfortunes Full-length, 2009

My Space

UNDERPAIN (BRAZIL)

This band rose from the ashes of the progressive thrashers Fides who split up after the release of three demos a few years earlier. The style here is more laid-back, more on the progressive power/proto-thrash side, and the monotonous mid-tempo may tire the fan at some stage since there is not much excitement generated by this calm pensive approach to the genre which has the edge and all, but variety is not the strongest asset of this album. The singer at least does a very good job with his emotional clean mid-ranged tone, never risky, but confident and attached all the same.

Endless Circle Full-Length, 2010

Official Site

UNDERTAKER (POLAND)

Based on the Promo, this act specializes in modern groovy post-thrash with heavy, doomy guitars and gruff low-tuned death metal vocals. The guitar sound is a bit distorted, but doesn't stand too much on the way of the performers who unleash hell on the last track "Him" which is a cool headbanger with good brisk deathy rhythms. Some of the musicians are currently engaged in the pagan black/death metal formation Casus Belli.

Hardness Demo, 1994
Promo Tape Demo, 1996

UNDERTAKER (USA)

This obscure outfit produce pretty acceptable power/speed/proto-thrash surrounded by a certain occult flavour with a unique Mercyful Fate feel; the demo is faithful follower to Omen, Attacker, Savage Grace and the aforementioned Danes with a few more complex attempts (the 8-min galloper "Hellementary School"), seldom aiming at a pure thrash metal territory (the intese diverser "Eternal Entity (Demon Of Forever)" which aptly mixes crushing speedy riffs with officiant epic ones). "Res Ipsa Loquitur" is a great 2-min speedy instrumental sustaned in an awesome galloping tempo also featuring a great bass bottom. The singer is quite a find with his versatile performance very close to the one of King Diamond himself (think the Mercyful Fate albums) unleashing some piercing screams whenever feeling like it, to accompany his dominant mid-ranged semi-clean delivery.
The full-length is excellent power/speed/thrash with the characteristic Mercyful Fate-like atmosphere present all over again relying more on the staple galloping pace, stepping the pedal harder on the longer compositions: "Electric Death" which is a crushing steam-roller with ultra-heavy, tank-like riffs. "Psycho Pyro" tries to match it in terms of heaviness, and enters into the fields of doom at some stage. "Savage Messiah" mixes both sides crossing lashing fast guitars with seismic doomy ones. This same mixture is encountered once more ("Waiting To Die") before the end until the closer "Who Am I" wraps it up with the final portion of speedy riffs delivered in a more dramatic, thrashy manner. The vocalist this time sticks to a more ordinary approach still risking his vocal cords in the higher registers whenever appropriate, sounding even more exciting again in a manner quite similar to the King. This album was a dying, albeit resounding, echo from the already demised US scene, and logically faded away into the bleakness of the 90's, having missed its time with some 4-5 years.

World Demonation Demo, 1989
Malevolent Hostility Full-length, 1992

UNDERTAKING (HUNGARY)

A truly impressive demo which combines the speed aesthetics of the Exumer, Toxic Shock and Iron Angel debuts with great more technical guitar work ala Anacrusis. You will experience swirling leads, numerous tempo changes (the dominant pace is fast), excellent bass performance, and a few superb calm, semi-balladic moments ("The Runner") where the leads will make even Marty Friedman, or Jason Becker, cry. Listening to this demo would probably make you cry, too, regretting the fact that these guys never recorded again. "Badinerie & Mösh", a variation on a piece composed by Bach originally, is a marvellous 1.5-min, less serious, fast crossover number where, again, the lead guitars are outstanding. Don't get misled by the song-title "Viva Ceausescu"; this isn't an ode to the former Romanian leader: on the contrary, it denounces the whole communist regime, supported by the best performance on the demo from everyone involved. And finally, near the end, the guys give way to their aggression with the only more aggressive track "Cool Before Drinking" opting for more straight, bashing sound without any technical decorations. This is probably the best piece of thrash metal the Hungarian metal scene has ever produced.
The 1991 demo contains "Lullaby", a standout shredding techno-headbanger with curious melodic embellishments; "Reactor #4", a complex speedster with a lengthy atmospheric balladic intro; "Evil Dwarf", a formidable creepy mid-pacer initially before a fast-paced "skirmish" smites all to dust, the alternation between the two sides creating a poignant progressive atmosphere. The final "Bumble-Bee-R" is the classical instrumental immortalized by Joey de Maio/Manowar on "Kings of Metal", here turned into a tornado of super-fast technical sounds, something which Kat, alongside other guitar maestros, would be proud to have in their discography. Needless to add, this is another admirable display of talent from one of the most unsung heroes of the metal underground.

V12BB4U Demo, 1989
Demo Demo, 1991

UNDERTOW (GERMANY)

Based on "Don't Pray To The Ashes", this band plays modern post-thrash with metalcore and gothic elements. Diverse stuff as a whole clinging more towards the gothic side which kills the few edgy riffs inserted.

Slope Full-length, 1997
Harm On E Full-length, 1999
Unit E Full-length, 2002
34CE Full-length, 2003
Milgram Full-length, 2006
Don't Pray To The Ashes Full-length, 2010

Official Site

UNDERULE

Apologies for the insufficient piece of information about this band; this is quite energetic and fast mix of modern and classic thrash, with slight elements of hardcore (mainly coming from the vocal department), and a few more intense, death metal moments. The style is close to Dew-Scented. Although these guys have often been put in the hardcore department, based on this album alone, there's no much ground for that. The music here is much more thrash than the one on the Madball albums: the band to whom they've often been compared.

Misfortune Comes by Means of the Mouth Full-Length, 2000

UNDIVIDED (USA)

Based on "No One's Safe", this band play direct modern thrashcore which at its best recalls mid-period Pro-Pain and Madball. This is fast energetic stuff for most of the time which is divided into 2 parts: one consisting of short more direct tracks, and the other one which contains the longer, more thought-out (that's relative) material. The singer is an angry semi-shouter who unleashes more aggressive deathy proto-growls from time to time. Despite its fairly predictable nature, this effort can still make you jump with joy with spontaneous headbangers like "Why You Running", or jumpy merry-go-rounders like the closing "Just Walk Away" which will also remind of Biohazard and Rage Against the Machine.

Undivided EP, 2007
Until Death Full-length, 2009
No One's Safe Full-length, 2012

My Space

UNDYING INC. (INDIA)

Based on "Aggressive World Dynasty", this act offer modern mechanical thrashy groove which has quite a few technical attempts made due to the very jumpy rhythms involved, but the heaviness of the riffs is too big for many other "devices" to work properly. Certainly, comparisons to Pantera and Machine Head are inevitable, although they can't possibly be applied to the vocal department, where the guy shouts in the most hysterical manner, unleashing a few brutal death grunt as well. Music-wise this may grow on you with time since the guitars produce more stylish moments, like the very cool melodic leads on "Breeding Gods", or the rolling technical riffs on "Aggressive World Dynasty", and on the short busy puzzler "Evilution" which within a bit more than 3-min changes loads of riffs of the sterile, cold variety. Although more of the band's fans will be found among the 90's trends' lovers, this cleverly concocted, eventful stuff should find a wider audience.

Existence Failure EP, 2005
Preface to Erase Full-length, 2007
The Evilution of a Manimal EP, 2008
Aggressive World Dynasty Full-length, 2010

Official Site

UNEARTHED (USA)

This band were formed by ex-members of Iced Earth, assisted by the Nasty Savage bassist Richard Bateman. The music here is a good blend of power, thrash and doom metal. This is heavy music, which has certain shades of Iced Earth and the Nasty Savage debut, but the riffs will also remind you of acts offering similar mixtures like the Irish Cursed Earth, the Americans Dementia, or the Canadians Zions Abyss. There are no speedy moments to be found here, except for very occasional blast-beats ("Serpentine", which is a misplaced death metal-tinged track), but this is hardly necessary as the hypnotic, smashing riffs will by all means keep you happy, helped by the good, albeit one-dimensional semi-clean vocals (well, remember early Iced Earth...).

Imposition Of Faith Full-length, 2007

Official Site

UNEVEN (USA)

This is your a bit above average modern post-thrash brought into the new millennium without any very audible changes with the exception of a few really cool stylish wa-wa leads. The approach is not too stale, as a matter of fact, and things move around, all within the mid-papametres, but offering different riff pictures the better ones coming close to the proto-modern pioneering qualities of The Black Album. The sound acquires more officiant doomy tendencies towards the end, and it's good that the closing "You Make Me Evil" wraps it up with a final portion of faster harder guitars those well partnering to the expressive attached semi-shouty/semi-clean vocals.

Instrument of Revenge Full-length, 2012

Official Site

UNFAIR FATE (SWEDEN)

Creepy, atmospheric melodic modern thrash with a curious abstract edge which goes well with the frequent up-tempo sections ("Laceration"). A few ill-calculated balladic moments ("Beyond Light") kill the inertia quite a bit, and generally the 2nd half is more laid-back including the sleepy overlong doomster "Kings Of Old" the listener mildly awakened afterwards by the more dynamic closer "Chains".

Beyond Light Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

UNFOLD

Modern alternative post-thrash, sounding like a more aggressive Tool, but clumsier and less adventurous, clinging too much towards the ballad. Still some riffs weigh, but this is the time when the sound comes close to doom.

Eleventh Full-length, 2009

UNFORCED (ITALY)

This is rough unpolished thrash/crossover which doesn't lack energy, but is too sloppily produced with a very buzzy guitar sound and amateurish punky vocals. The guys slow down in the middle for the production of several boring exercises in more restrained power/thrash where at least the band show a bigger sense of melody among the not very pleasant noisy barrage.

The Strongest Law Full-Length, 1989

UNFOUNDED (UK)

Dispassionate industrial thrash is what's on ofer here, and the guys don't hide their fascination with Pitchshifter and Fear Factory, the delivery being jumpy and hectic with volcanic mechanized guitars and quite a few lyrical balladic passages the latter only missing from the short vivid groover "My Only Gain" at the end. The vocals are harsh listless shouts, quite reminiscent of Burton Bell (Fear Factory again).

Corrode EP, 1999

My Space

UNHOLIER (MEXICO)

Based on the first demo, this band pulls out dark depressing thrash/death metal mixing in a very drastic way very fast blasting sections with veery slow, almost funeral doom-like, ones. The latter work better because the guitars on them can be heard more clearly and also suit better the low-tuned agonizing vocals.
The "Revelations of She'Ohl" demo offers a similar uneven mix between very fast and very slow passages the fast ones now working better coming with cool melodic hooks even touching a more technical ground on the puzzling creeper "Accursed Ritualis". "Esoteric Bizarre Somnus" is nothing truly "bizarre" being just melancholic thrash/death with plenty of leads, a cool piece which can't be said about the remaining pieces which come with a worse sound quality as though having been recorded at some earlier stage. Still, this effort remains a less ordinary, atmospheric, take on the hybrid despite the rough sound and the not very clearly heard agonizing deathy vocals.

La Ronde Du Sabbath Demo, 1991
Revelations of She'Ohl Demo, 1993

My Space

UNHOLY (USA)

This band come up with energetic, but derivative thrash/death metal of the modern type; so expect nothing very original, just the run-of-the-mill material ala The Haunted, Carnal Forge, Terror 2000, etc., awkwardly spiced by slower, softer songs ("Beyond the Shroud", "Past This Flame").

Blood of the Medusa Full-Length, 2007
New Life Behind Closed Eyes

My Space

UNHOLY (SWEDEN)

The guitarist from the gothic/doomsters Left Hand Solution Janne Wiklund had pulled the strings harder earlier for this short-lived act who offer an energetic, and occasionally more brutal blend of thrash and death metal not far from the efforts of their compatriots Unleashed or early Cemetary. The bad thing is that the guys try to make their sound more appealing to the 90's crowds by adding groovy elements, and ruin things quite a bit. On top of that some of the most unrehearsed, hoarse hardcore vocals may you encounter here as well.

Metal North Split, 1993
Abused EP, 1994

UNHOLY FORCE (CHILE)

Based on the split with the "unholy" black/thrash warriors Miserycore, these guys provide a similar relentless speedy entertainment, very fast black/thrash with very few pauses along the way. The music skills here aren't as proficient as the ones of the other band, and there's at least one place where the band shows little mercy, but just a little: "Sacrifice", which is more laid-back stuff with nods to the Japanese school (Abigail, Sabbat, etc.). "Desatando La Ira Del Infierno" switches at some point to melodic Swedish death metal and also has a cool epic black/thrash middle passage, but the blasting sections ruin the rest. Some of the band members are also active with the black/speed metallers Hellpack, and the retro thrashers Disaster.
"Embrace the Unholy Death" continues with the speed/black/thrash metal saga frequent blast-beats tearing the air in a rushed, unbridled fashion interfering with the smoother thrashy passages which shine bright on the 80's anthem “Embrace the Powers of Death” and the impetuous death/thrasher “Satans Blood”. The last trio are pure black metal madnesses with the hyper-blasts and all the rest showing teh guys’ obvious enchantment with the dark side of metal.

Unholy Attack Of Satanic Force Demo, 2008
Unleashing Hell's Wrath Split, 2009
Embrace the Unholy Death Full-Length, 2015

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UNHOLY LUST (USA)

Aggressive relentless mix of thrash and death metal which, albeit one-dimensional, is good fun despite the gruff low-tuned death metal vocals. The band lashes directly with force producing short (2-3min) tracks where the slower breaks are very few. Still, the sound seldom reaches blast-beating dimensions, and the overall approach is close to Slayer's "Reign in Blood" and Necrodeath's "Fragments of Insanity".

Taste the Sin Through the Fire Full-length, 2010

My Space

UNHOLY MONARCH (USA)

This young formation play technically-minded thrash/death which begins with the more direct "Unearthing Mankind" before things take a much more intriguing turn on the next puzzlers "Perfecting Inhumanity" and "Malevolent Infestation" which are chokefull of super-technical decisions and abrupt time changes. "Planetary Attrition" is a faster piece of the a tad less technical type, a tendency continued on "Rebuilding the Monarchs" before "The Warring Factions Meet" increases the technical dramatism a notch. "Iconic Demise" is a furious speedy technicaller its raging qualities well translated on the bit more chaotic closer "Legacy of Secrecy". The singer covers several death metal vocal types his low-tuned growl being the most effective.

The Great Manipulation Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

UNHOLY ONES (CZECH)

This is modern post-thrash which at least manages to steer clear of the detrimental groovy "traps". The guYs seldom Leave the mid-tempo canons except on the aptly-titled "Thrash" where the sound moves towards more aggressive territories; later overshadowed by the excellent headbanger "Get Out", and partially by the ripping semi-technicaller "Feast" at the end. The singer is a brutal guttural, shouty death metaller who amazingly sounds quite intelligible for most of the time.

Inhale Full-Length, 2016

UNHOPED (FINLAND)

The demo is just two tracks of edgy retro thrash metal shifting tempos the whole time reaching a death metal intensity on "No Harm Done", also adding the odd modern colouring. The guys also have a death metal project called Sancteferia.
The full-length debut is a confident entry into the band's catalogue the 2 songs from demo included at the end. Otherwise this is ripping classic thrash with frequent stretches towards death metal in a way not far from Ravage and Torture Squad. The slower moments are not bad at all ("Tidal Wave"), and manage to come with a bigger musical proficiency seeing the guys shredding more cleverly. The singer adds a meanish blacky tone to his forceful vocals reminiscent of Maurice Swinkels (Legion of the Damned).
"Sonic Violence" is a "sonic violence" all right, but the band have toned down the aggression by half a notch, and now the approach is much thrashier the riffs flying from all sides not leaving the listener a chance to take a breath. Th epiercing screamy leads are another "asset" if one can learn to tolerate their unexpected application. "No Man's Land" is a surprising, much slower cut seeign the guys taking a break lasting for 7-min before they embark on another "slaughter" with the remaining three tracks one of which ("The Naked and the Dead") finally recalling their more brutal deathy debut.

First Blood EP, 2010
Mökkimayhem Part I Demo, 2010
Die Harder Full-length, 2011
Nuclear Death EP, 2013
Sonic Violence Full-length, 2016

Official Site

UNISON THEORY (ITALY)

Modern dry, sterile thrash which only excuse at melody are the scattered lead sections; the riffage is taken straight from the meshuggah school so expect numerous jumpy mathcore-like moments the cannonade accompanied by harsh shouty death metal vocals. Keyboard-infused passages are a rarity ("Omega"), but they are more than welcome giving the music a warmer, dramatic "decoration". The Gothenburg formulas are also applied here and there ("Project Shockwave") as well as clever, more technical song-writing ("Level 4") the latter by far the highlight on this otherwise pedestrian recoriing.

Arctos Full-Length, 2016

UNITED (JAPAN)

This is one of the oldest Japanese metal bands. Their work from the 80's is classic heavy metal, and has nothing to do with thrash. The first attempt at more aggressive music the band make on "Bloody But Unbowed" which still retains some of their classic heavy metal past, although thrash metal has already taken over. "Sniper" is a sure-handed opener, an up-tempo speed/thrasher with very good guitar work, recalling Metallica's "Kill'Em All". Then the music takes a heavier and a more aggressive turn with the stomping, semi-technical "Welcome To Amazing World" which is again a nod to Metallica, but their more technical period. This sound remains for a couple of tracks, elevating this album to the forefront of Japanese thrash metal. "(It's So) Hard To Breathe" returns to the faster, more immediate patterns of the opener, followed by the slower, and more melodic "Take A Bite Of Crime", which is a reminder of where the guys had started a few years ago. "Suck Your Bone" will make you mosh like crazy, but you can have a rest on the closing heavy/power metal hymn "Unavoidable Riot", which doesn't exactly do a good job to finish this cool album, but at this point the thrash metal fan has already been more than satisfied.
On "Human Zoo" the guys take no prisoners, and the style is heads-down thrash, and still remains their best release after all these years, and one of the finest creations of the whole Japanese thrash metal scene. "Violence Jack" is probably the best way to start this album being a smashing merciless headbanger. The sharp riffs flow from all sides, but sometimes come "wrapped" in slower song-structures, which bring to mind Exodus' "Fabulous Disaster": "Machinery Days". Inevitably "flirtations" with the 90's scene "roam" around: "Jungle Land", as well as thrashy ballads ala Testament: "False Majesty", a very cool track. The heavy, pounding, more technical sound which was present on the debut, and the expectations were that it would completely overtake here, finally comes with "The Sea Of Silence", but is slightly more modernized. After it space for more intense thrashing has been preserved ("Can't See The Light"), but this moment is "marred" by the presence of the next tender ballad "Over The Ocean", which simply has no place here. "Brothers In Arms" (which is by no means a Dire Straits cover) is a great 9-min opus, showing the band at their technical, complex best; it never speeds up, but the punishing steam-roller sound and the clever guitar decisions make it a rewarding experience. It could have perfectly served as a closer, but the final song ("Don't Let Peace Break Out") delivers the good on all counts, providing another doze of mighty fast-paced thrash metal.

Later on the band moved closer to the 90's trends, but their works never lost their classic appeal, and "Infectious Hazard" came as no surprise, being first rate full-fledged retro thrash all the way, producing really impressive headbanging pieces: "Cross Over The Line", "The Ruin Of A Memory", "Sonic Sublime", etc.; a great effort, which did a lot to restore the faith in the classic sound in Japan.
"Core" was a bit of a letdown, with its more conventional, modern thrash direction, but "Nine" was another no-brainer for the classic thrashers, thrashing relentlessly with even shades of proto-death on the most intense, and best, songs: "Deathtrap", the speed/thrash monster with great leads "Return". Some of the band's finest achievements are here: the mighty fast, dry technical "Undersea Suffering" and "Breeding Fear" (which comes served with an unexpected, but utterly coherent psychedelic doom ending): some of the finest moments from the contemporary Japanese music scene; the slower, but equally as technical masterpiece "The System Of Terror"; another exercise in longer heavy, complex thrash, this time a bit more modern-sounding "Tears"; the vicious ball of fury "Welcome To My Pain" which will simply break your neck, spiced with a more lyrical middle section. The band are still alive and well, but have apparently decided to leave some air for the other Japanese acts to breathe, before coming up with something else.
The band are back with a vengeance, with their new opus "Tear of Illusions", which will bring real tears (not "illusory") to your eyes with the heart-rending opening instrumental "Tear of Illusions", which obviously emulates the one of Metallica's "Battery", but in a very good way, also introducing heavy guitars later on. Then starts the assault, first with the damaging headbanger "My Inner Revenge", which doesn't quite bring any subtle technicalites, like the aforementioned Metallica song; and then with the brutal shredder "Fight Fear Kill", which is pretty much "Damage Inc." of the new millennium. "Hollow" tones it down a bit introducing dry technical riffs with a touch of early Meshuggah, but the speedy sections in the middle will keep you on your toes. "The Awakening" is lighter, with echoes of crossover, but is a major invigorating speedster, which will indeed "awake" you big time, also adding great lead guitar work. Prepared to be smashed down under with "Voice of Sanity", which is fierce thrash to the death, before the weird 2-min quasi-ambient instrumental "Requiem" befuddles you a bit. No confusions on the next "From the Evil That Is You", which carries on full-throttle to thrash your soul out, adding the desirable more technical digression. Heavy, hammering riffs await you on "In the Name..." from beginning to end, a heavy listening experience, which gets dissipated on "Pit of Fire", another fast-paced number. "Devil with Halo" is an ambitious progressive undertaking, lasting for whole 11-min, but delivers on all counts with interesting tempo-changes, impeccable sterile shredding, and the obligatory speedy passages which here come accompanied by stylish leads. "Fate" is the closer, another "nail in the coffin" thrashing far'n wide to exhaustion, before the exiting seismic doom outro enters to give an end to this no-brainer of a comeback, which sees the leaders way ahead of the pack, both in Japan and worldwide. The singer may be an acquired taste, although those who have listened to the band's previous output, should have no problems handling his authoritative, hardcore-ish shouts.
"Scars Of The Wasted Years" arrives barely a year after the preceding effort, and the band's fans will have no problems grasping this new offering despite its more melodic, openly crossover, nature. The guys obviously, and intentionally, cut themselves some slack here playing with a much bigger emphasis on melody, and although the faster cuts will make you jump around in no time, the slower and softer material ("Unavoidable Riot", "Jungle Land", "Color", etc.) will make you scratch your head more than just once as to why the band have included so many "deviations" this time. Intense Slayer-esque thrashers like "Cross Over The Line", "Violence Jack", and the closing explosion "Kill Your Sense" will keep you on the edge of your seats, but in an album of nearly 20 tracks they can not possibly be the dominant force. Even the harsh quarrelsome vocals sound retouched and kinder even trying several melodic tones on the slower numbers. The guys simply have fun here relaxing with more radio-friendly rhythms; clearly intended as a break from their intense more aggressive schedule...

Bloody But Unbowed Full-length, 1990
Beast Dominates '92 EP, 1992
Human Zoo Full-length, 1992
NO I.Q. Full-length, 1996
Burst EP, 1997
Reload Full-length, 1997
Distorted Vision Full-length, 1999
Infectious Hazard Full-length, 2001
Power Germanys EP, 2002
Core Full-length, 2002
Nothing Without a Fight EP, 2004
Nine Full-length, 2005
Tear of Illusions Full-length, 2011
Scars Of The Wasted Years Full-length, 2012

Official Site

UNITED FORCES (GERMANY)

Based on the "The Appearance" demo, these guys pull out great thrash ala Vendetta, Poltergeist, Mandator. The band spices things up with very strong bass work and heavy technical riffs. The tempo nicely flows from stomping parts to really energetic ones.

Kill Your Boss Demo, 1987
The Appearance Demo, 1988

UNITED MIND CLUB (RUSSIA)

Based on the full-length, this outfit serve modern industrialized thrash with quirky, offbeat decisions which distantly sides with the progressive metal fraternity. The approach lacks energy, though, and the mid-paced chugga-chugga riffage may wear thin at some stage. "Interview With the Beast" arrives towards the end to bring a portion of more dynamic rhythms, but is hardly a "saviour" being one of its kind.

The Last Performance EP, 2008
World Blood History Full-length, 2012

Official Site

UNJUST (USA)

Actually this band have been formed in 1990 when the band members were just in their early teens. Having gained experience by touring incessantly around the USA, they finally entered the studio. Reportedly their style in the beginning was classically inclined thrash, but on the official releases the music is pretty modern heavy thrash ala Pantera with contrasting clean vocals strangely recalling Mike Patton from Faith No More.

Thin Line Emotions Full-Length,1999
Makeshift Grey Full-Length,2001
Glow Full-Length,2003

UNKNOWN ADDICTION (AUSTRALIA)

This is modern thrash which blends groove with more dynamic arrangements without producing anything too memorable. The riffs are both sharp and heavy and in the 2nd half the music surprisingly elevates towards more technical territories with the stylish Megadeth-esque "Suffering and Pain" and the more intense closer "Why Can't I See" which inserts a few classic moments in the riff-department. Another relative highlight would be the monstrous 10-min "Land of the Fear" which is a varied composition of hard-thrashing and technical patterns mixed well together on top of some quiet balladic breaks. The singer is a subdued death metal proto-growler with a more expressive blend.

Leave Destruction In Your Wake Full-Length, 2012

UNKNOWN DARKNESS (GERMANY)

Energetic classic/modern thrash/death, not too far from Dew-Scented and another more recent German act: Bitterness; the tracks are up to mid-tempo with both heavy, edgy and melodic riffs taking turns, with "Freedom the End" adding a cool romantic gothic twist in the middle.

New Age Violence EP, 2009

UNKNOWN FEAR (FRANCE)

Based on the debut demo, this act provide raw bashing thrash without any certain direction which distantly recalls their compatriots Nomed with a pinch of hardcore and a fairly prominent bass bottom. The tempos change and there are sparkles of bigger musical mastery at times, but the bad sound quality is a major obstacle for the guys to shine.

So Strange Is the Unknown Demo, 1990
Suicide Demo, 1990
Hate in My Eyes Demo, 1991

UNKURED (USA)

These guys could have tried harder in the quantity department, but in the quality one they deliver in heaps and bounds: this is expertly-executed technical thrash/death metal mixing more quiet (that's relative) with really brutal strokes on each of the 5 songs "Dark Dominion" being a particularly aggressive death metal shredder. The overall song-structures resemble Atheist quite a bit including a similarity in the short length of the albums, but there is a less necessary technical show-off here (check the not bad, but slightly overdone pyrotechnics on "Taking the Abyss") which is more constrained on the cool instrumental "As Reality Melts" and especially on the excellent closer "Creations In Abomination" which is a prime atmospheric cut in the vein of mid-period Death and Nocturnus. The singer sounds like a lower-pitched Kelly Shaefer (Atheist) and is a fitting addition to the demanding musical landscape.
"Mutated Earth" is quick to elaborate on the excellent material offered on the demo although to these ears it's not even half as striking. The title-track opens the album with frenetic intelligent shreds which turn to spasmodic blast-beats at some stage in the 2nd half. "A Call From Eternity" calms the situation down after it with meditative progressive escapades. Then the death metal madness carries on with "They Live, We Sleep" before the instrumental "A World At Dusk" creates more progresive complexity. The guys finally find the way to impress to an extent on the last string of compositions which are lengthy progressive opuses still losing the plot here and there misplacing hyper-blasts and spacey deviations in a not very calculated fashion thus leaviing the listner bewildered and not really satisfied. On top of that the guitar sound is fuzzy and distorted dissipating the sharp edge heard on occasion. Sadly, the "mutation" here is not that positive leaving the band's potential to be realised some time in the future.

As Reality Melts... EP, 2013
Mutated Earth Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

UNLEASHED ANGER (SOUTH KOREA)

These South Koreans indulge in modern thrashcore with deathy shouty vocals. There are a few classic moments to be heard, but generally this is heavy proto-groovy stuff with several more optimistic, more energetic cuts ("Born to Fight, etc.). It's obvious that "hardcore is their life", like the title of one of the tracks (which is just 8-sec long) says so well.

Straightforward Full-length, 2006

My Space

UNLEASHED POWER (DENMARK/USA)

A very good progressive power/thrash metal band; their debut features high quality musicianship and very complex songs, full of tempo changes and cool riffs; the problem is that at times the music loses coherence with the many things happening within one song. The opener "Blindfolded" suggests at the big complexity with head-spinning passages, being at the same time intense and headbanging. "The Devour" is slower and not as technical, and could be a sign to some that this might turn into a mixed bag. Not for long, as "Entombed" brings back the nice mix of intensity and technicality, concentrating on the latter, with the guys getting carried away a bit. "Quintet Of Spheres" surpasses all expectations with its monstrous, 13-min length, which is at times truly compelling, at other times overtly complex and hard to swallow. After it anything else sounds easy and light, and it might be the reason why the remaining tracks might sound too ordinary, which would hardly be a complaint, especially after the closing aggressive thrasher "Unleashed Power" hits you right in the face. The vocal performance is quite good, being clean, melodic, mid-ranged.

All the flaws, however, were fixed on "Mindfailure" which saw the band in a very inspired form producing a masterpiece which could only be compared to Coroner's "Mental Vortex". This is heavy, smashing, but also very technical music. The mighty "Gateway To Deadly Sins" will immediately take you in Coroner waters, and will remind you both of "Metamorphosis" and "Divine Step" from "Mental Vortex": a riff-fest at its most shining best. "What They Don't Know" is the next whirlwind of stupendous technical guitars, followed by the faster, more straight "Mindfailure" which all of a sudden in the middle turns into a tornado of complex riffage for a while. "Cataclysm" is the equivalent of "Quintet of Spheres" from the debut being a long (almost as long) progressive thrash opus, but much more satisfying, in a very good dynamic tempo all the time, speeding up quite a bit near the end. "Nefarious" recalls again "Mental Vortex" with its incredible stop-and-go approach and steel technical guitars. "Section Terminal" is not miles away from its brilliance, but relies more on the headbanging side of the genre, and wins, of course although the guitar work is quite clever and elaborate on some parts. The new singer is an acquired taste with his gruff, semi-clean delivery, smelling Phil Anselmo at quite a few times.
"Absorbed" saw the band keeping the high level from the predecessor. This EP actually sounds like a smaller version of the preceding album with softer, less technical numbers present (the semi-balladic "Calendar") added, as well as quite aggressive, speedy thrashers: "Perpertrator of Dreams", still quite technical, with great leads. The guys have managed to "cope" both with the difficult third release and the "folllow-up after a very strong release" complex with flying colours, but this remained their last legacy to the metal world.

Quintet of Spheres Full-length, 1994
Mindfailure Full-length, 1997
Absorbed EP, 1999

Official Site

UNLIGHT (GERMANY)

Based on "Sulphurblooded", this act offers a mix of black and thrash metal of the fast aggressive kind staying closer to black, but the album is not completely deprived of more pleasant thrashy surprises ("By the Seventh Spell - A Blackthrash Symphony"), which are not that many, but serve as the desirable deviation from the relentless black metal downpour.

The Nordic Stormbringer Full-length, 2003
Inferno Full-length, 2005
Eldest Born of Hell Full-length, 2007
Death Consecrates With Blood Full-length, 2009
Sulphurblooded Full-length, 2010

Official Site

UNLIT FACE (SWEDEN)

Based on the full-length, this band play dark modern thrash with a dual vocal colouring: one very gutural deathy, the other soaring and clean. The approach clings towards the progressive with ethereal keyboards also added, generally for good measure; the numbers are lengthy ranging from 5-7min concentrating more on the evocation of atmosphere rather than on fast hitting character of the music: "Foundation" is a really cool headbanger, but the rest is too monotonous, seldom leaving the mid-tempo, to impress the oversaturated modern listener.

Your Truth Lies EP, 2012
Everlasting Transformation Full-length, 2016

Official Site

UNMASKED BRAINS (BRAZIL)

Based on the debut demo, this act play rough, not very rehearsed, retro power/thrash which is melodic and mostly mid-tempo with very screamy, but also melodic, leads. Thrash metal gets lost here and there, but at least serves its purpose on the short shredder "Lost Control". In the 2nd half the songs become long and a bit hard to follow another obstacle for which are also the muddy sound quality and the high-strung shouty vocals which are clean and intelligible, but deafen everything around when in action.
The full-length offers jumpy, at times semi-technical, music with admirable bass performance. All-out speedsters are not many at all, and the crunchy guitar tone occasionally acquires more modern tendencies before "Cloistered Life" "kills" all with standout quirky decisions, a really cool number with great leads as well. Outlandish musicianship also graces the short instrumental "Lost Control" which also relies on a few funky passages. The 8.5-min of diverse thrashing on "Controversies of the War" are another highlight the guys moving the approach from heavy, almost doomy, beginning to crisp up-tempo headbanging rhythms towards the end. "Little God Ivory" is a less serious speed/thrasher with dynamic riffs and again very cool lead guitars. "Life Has no Meaning" is more on the avantgarde progressive side leaving the closer "Corrupt" to wrap it up with more officiant steam-rolling sections which start jumping up-and-down at the end to another offbeat effect. This is a fairly interesting listen which will take a while to settle in, but will reward the more patient listeners with its intriguing, less ordinary delivery.

Unmasked Brains Demo, 1994
Garage Voices Split, 1994
Turning On Demo, 2013
Machina Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

UNNECESSARITY (CZECH)

This is squashing modern post-thrash with jumpy progressive tendencies which creep forward with massive seismic rhythms growing at times into cool industrialized opuses ("Variante"), or take a more abstract road (the surreal closer "Dogs of Village"). The vocals are on the intense shouty death metal side, and take quite a bit of space at times.

Humano Full-Length, 2012

UNPRAISE (SPAIN)

This young Spanish act specialize in complex modern thrash with not very overt death metal overtones. The approach is a bit clumsy and unfocused as influences and tempo changes get suddenly interrupted superseded by more or less appropriate ones including an elusive spacey section on the hyper-eventful "Solemn Bath of Distressing Frustration". Under a bigger control exercised the guys produce better results: the solid thrash/deathy shredder "As The Gorgon Feeds"; but later on the flaws remain except on the clever technicaller "Kratofania"; also marring the too scattered closer "Annotations of Impulsion Phobia" which is by all means a progressiver, but fewer touches offered could have been better. The singer is a typical death metal shouter.

A Subtle Taste For Tragedy Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

UNPURE (SWEDEN)

Based on "World Collapse", this band offers old school black-ish thrash influenced by early Bathory mixed with straight classic heavy metal elements in the vein of Motorhead and Tank. This is enjoyable, not very aggressive music with the vocals being a more vicious, and a slightly updated version of Quorthon (R.I.P.).

Unpure Full-length, 1995
Coldland Full-length, 1996
Trinity In Black Full-length, 2001
World Collapse Full-length, 2004

Official Site

UNREDEEMED (ITALY)

This new formation, among whom members of the veterans Death SS can be spotted, play modern thrash with shouty death metal vocals. The approach is mostly on the heavy stomping side consequently bringing a couple of ballads/semi-ballads ("Burning City") with it the latter occupying the middle. More interesting semi-technical thrash is offered in the 2nd half with "New World (DIS)Order", but this isn't enough to make this offering stand out even among the more modern tributes to the genre. The guys also practice a more dynamic form of the thrash/death hybrid under the name Deformachine.

Amygdala Full-length, 2015

Official Site

UNRELENTING FORCE (USA)

Intense fast retro thrash with a shade of hardcore; the guys don't shy away from death metal (the title-track) the very proficient leads being a stark contrast with the bashing, primal surroundings. "Elixir of Pain" is a cool more diverse shredder, and "Not Deceived" even slows down to epic proportions. The second half also features the melodic semi-ballad "In Hindsight", but you'll have to run for cover on the maddening deathster "Burnt Destiny".

Indoctrinate Full-Length, 2017

Official Site

UNSAFE (FRANCE)

Based on the "Human Toxin" demo, this band plays groovy post-thrash which at times comes with more energetic riffs: "Last Domination", and more stylish guitar work which could be compared to some Meshuggah moments from the Swedes' early period.
"Evilution" is an "unsafe" effort of heavy modern thrash which creeps forward in an evasive stylish way on "A Slaughter Game", but the unimaginative groove is already here on a string of tracks which do very little to keep things interesting. "Out of Place" is a bit "out of place" with its more dynamic riff-patterns which are not a frequent phenomenon here at all inevitably making the listener hesitant about the quality of the preceding two albums and consequently not very curious in tracking them down.
"Enter Dark Places" is a surprisingly vivid and energetic affair the band thrash/grooving with passion producing plenty of moshing around, albeit of the mid-paced variety. "Intentional Homicide" is a more aggressive cut, and the following "A Better World" is a more technical stylish piece which leads after it the excellent balladic iinstrumental "Shores Of Infinity" with a virtuoso performance on the lead guitar; and the spacey abrasive shredder "On The Edge Of A Precipice" which also thrash wildly at some point. The closing "Stimulate My Mind" is a heavy, "mind stimulating" quasi-doomster with a dramatic flavour, and is an overall fitting epitaph to this entertaining effort which only drawback would be the very boosted guitar sound.

Fake Reality Demo, 2001
Mutation Demo, 2005
Human Toxin Demo, 2006
Manipulative Progress Full-length, 2009
Masterpiece of the Absurd Full-length, 2011
Evilution Full-length, 2013
Enter Dark Places Full-Length, 2015

Official Site

UNSAINT (POLAND)

This is rough heavy modern thrash which relies a lot on atmosphere and dark brooding riffage which brings along several doomy passages ("Suicidal") which sound appropriate since there is not too much speed involved. The singer is a scary low-tuned growler with echoes of early Ville Laihiala (Sentenced). Some of the musicians also take part in the old school thrashers Interfector.

Worthless Sacrifice EP, 2012

Official Site

UNSCARRED (FRANCE)

This new formation, who's fronted by a girl on vocals, specialize in dynamic modern-ish thrash with traces of hardcore (the urgent bashing on "Head Shot") at times. Tracks like "Cross the Line" are more on the classic side, and "Rise" is a rousing galloper despire the groovy mid-break. "Meet Your Fate" is a lashing proto-deathster, a highly entertaining piece which has no match later since the guys (and a girl) settles for a heavier approach except for the more dynamic exit on the appropriately-titled closer "It's Over". The girl exudes a strong manly semi-shouty tember which still contains traces of more melodic, cleaner singing.

100 Lashes Full-length, 2014

Official Site

UNSCARED (GERMANY)

Based on the "Mosh Attack" demo, this band plays quite good classic speed/thrash, which starts in a great speedy fashion with "Mosh Attack", before taking a more aggressive thrashy approach on "Endless Times". The style is reminiscent of Destruction, Sacrifice, the Brits Hydra Vein, which means that apart from the standard bashing nice semi-technical hooks can also be heard. The guys keep a nice, energetic tempo the whole time with really fast, aggressive riffs on some tracks ("Friday 13th", "Unscared"). At the end there is a very cool speedy cover of Metallica's "Hit the Lights". The singer is a bit of a letdown with his screamy, high-pitched, harsh voice.

Hell is Now Demo, 2003
Mosh Attack Demo, 2004

Official Site

UNSCARRED (ITALY)

Based on the "Ruthless" demo, this band plays a mix of modern and classic thrash, which is assisted by a strong bass performance, but the guitarists manage to acquit themselves with intense, razor-sharp riffage ("Brainkilled") and some addictive melodic hooks (the final "I Burn!") which should have definitely been more (the latter, I mean) showing a belated, but quite attractive, side of the band's music. The vocalist is a passable semi-deathster, who doesn't possess emotion and range, but at least adds up to the appropriate dark-ish atmosphere with his subdued antics.

First tape Demo, 1995
Ruthless Demo, 2000
God created Man Demo, 2004

Official Site

UNSCARRED (USA)

Based on "Brutality 14", these folks come “unscarred” after this crunchy modern post-thrash which is not very eventful, and may bore the listener at some stage due to its repetitive, non-changing nature which is served in the form of moderately heavy friendly guitars accompanied by angry semi-shouty vocals. There is nowhere even a hint at “brutality”; on the contrary, there are a few very pleasant melodic leads to be encountered, on “Into Decay”; this is mild laid-back music with a certain stoner/doom potential.

Brutality Thru Heaviness Full-length, 1994
Brutality 14 Full-length, 2014

Official Site

UNSEEN EYES

A mild mix of power and thrash metal of the modern variety with mellow mid-paced guitars which suit really well the nice ballad "Song To The Night" which despite its peaceful character is quite a winner; another winner (depending on the taste, of course) may be the hard'n heavy variation "Addict To Rock n' Roll", or the classic heavy metal closer "Black Tears" sustained in the best tradition of Accept and Bonfire the only irritation being the monotonous throaty semi-clean vocals.

Psychedelia Full-Length, 2006

UNSEEN TERROR (UK)

Done by two members of Napalm Death within a few days, the band's full length is exactly what you could expect: brutal thrash/hardcore with obvious shades of grind. The production is very bad and flat, leaving no room for the bass to be heard, but the sheer intensity of the music is clearly a plus, and would leave noone indifferent to the proceedings (of course, I have in mind the fans of the more extreme side of thrash, because this music is definitely not for the squeamish).

Human Error Full-length, 1987
The Peel Sessions EP, 1989

Fan Site

UNSILENT (PORTUGAL)

An obscurity which shows clumsy unrehearsed thrash/proto-death with awkward tempo-changes, horrible semi-shouty vocals and an awful sound quality. The guys just have fun bashing with vigour knowing very well how limited their musical skills are.

Wearing Black Demo, 1990

UNSOULED (SPAIN)

Spain rises pretty strongly on the field of technical metal now adding this cool outfit to the list (Unreal Overflows, Continuo Renacer, Kill'Em, to name just a few). The music on offer here is progressive power/thrash in the vein of Scariot and Crown the Lost. The approach here is perhaps a bit less adventurous with nods to Metallica as well, similarities with the Americans in the vocal department at times, too. The tempo is mid to up relying on galloping rhythms quite a bit which deliver well ("Human Waste"). In the middle the approach takes certain balladic/semi-balladic dimensions including the closing "Last Cry for Angels" which is a very nice haunting acoustic instrumental. The singer gets lost amid the better music with his ordinary mid-levelled clean tember, and a couple of more forceful higher-pitched tones on his side could have been beneficial.
"Evolve" sees the guys "evolving" admirably by becoming more complex and at the same time a tad more aggressive the symbiosis working well on the dynamic opener "Built-in Obsolescence" which introduces clever hard-hitting thrash wrapped in atmospheric dreamy sweeps the latter disappearing for the galloping complexer "Melting People" and the cool eventful technical headbanger "0day". "AlieNNation" is a fine progressive opus with balladic passages intercepting heavier thrashy ones overtaking the end for a nice acoustic outro. They stay around for the short acoustic instrumental "Galapagos", but the "idyll" goes out the window after the chaotic twister "Timing Station" enters the scene. "Tracert" is a faster-paced shredder with good melodic leads followed by the more elaborate "Unmechanize The Complex" which twist and turns in ways unexpected for just over 5-min before a speedy exit calls it off. "Don't Cross The Border" comes splashig with brutal blast-beating sections, but those quickly come under control and never get on the nerves like in the Crown the Lost case, but get superseded by dreamy spacey passages of the pensive, sometimes lead-driven, variety which seldom find a more aggressive match. No more aggression apparently since the closer "Autumn Behind The Glass" is a very quiet tender acoustic instrumental which instills serenity as a slight aftertaste as the thrashing has been left aside for the finish. Nevertheless, the band have done a very good job once again expanding their arsenal with more tools which are to hopefully bring more pleasant surprises in the future.

Start Over Full-length, 2009
Evolve Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

UNTIMELY DEMISE (CANADA)

The EP: so, do we have "full speed metal" here: well, yes and no. The music on offer is a mix of thrash (mostly) and speed metal nicely recalling the Metallica debut, and the 80's American power/metal scene ("Human Condition") on the more galloping passages. This is good stuff with crisp energetic guitar work and good semi-high semi-clean vocals. Judging by the quality material here, it shouldn't be a problem for the band to find an interested label to finance the release of their eventual full-length.
And, yes, they did indeed find an interested label to finance their full-length debut, albeit too short closing on just above 30-min. The change of vocals is really striking, though: now we have a vicious black-ish rasp seldom spiced with a gruffer semi-shouty tone. The music is not a distant departure being the same energetic retro speed/thrash metal this time enriched with better, more melodic, lead guitar work clinging towards the modern trends at times. The guys start with ripping speed on the opening "Bloodsoaked Mission" which begins blasting scraily with the opening riffs later transcending into a pleasing headbanger with great lashing riffs which translate well on the following ripper "Forger Of Belief". "Hunting Evil" offers more technical decisions still remaining within the up-tempo confines. "Streets Of Vice" remains a more technical number with pounding galloping guitars and sparce blasting passages; this song shifts into modern waters for a while with Swedish-styled guitar harmonies. "The Unmaker" begins beautifully as a ballad, and later on transforms into a cool Bay-Area thrasher mixing faster and slower sections. "City Of Steel" is excellent melodic speed/thrash metal, again betraying the classic idea a bit, but making up with haunting melodies and compulsive moshing parts. The closing "Virtue In Death" has no choice but to exit this album with style, and it doesn't disappoint thrashing in a more restrained speedy manner. The cross between speed and thrash metal is by all means achieved although it's done at the expense of the more classically-inclined approach from the EP.
"Systematic Eradication" "systematically eradicates" all the competition from the scene with inspired semi-technical approach and some of the catchiest melodic leads around. There are quite a few influences embedded here, like the rolling Destruction-esque riffs on "The Last Guildsman", the elusive Swedish-like hooks on "Somali Pirates", the more technical shreds on "Navigator's Choice", the Bay-Area stomps on "A Warrior's Blood", etc. "Revolutions" is a bit more complex with touches of progressive which are also reflected in the more melodic vocals epitomized on it as opposed to the harsh mean semi-snarls dominating the landscape. The musicianship is again on a fairly high level, and this band should have no reasons to worry that they would sink into the vast sea of classic thrash resurrectors at the moment.
"Black Widow" starts in a fairly brutal deathy fashion with the swirling opener "Forgotten in Time", but later on things take the desired thrashy turn first with the frolic speedster "Enslaver", then with the excellent hectic, technical title-track. "Cancer of the Heart" is a moshing steam-roller again with a hefty technical flair, and "Anticolonizer" is a direct thrashing winner. "Calling Me Back from the Light" is a cool melodic distraction with progressive overtones, and "Sickening Repression" is the next in line fast-paced technical rager. The final "Holy Man" is a nice progressive thrash piece with oblivious chords interlacing with some harder thrashing. The actual closer is a reworked version of "Anticolonizer" which only difference comes from the drumming this time executed by none other than Shawn Drover (Eidolon, Megadeth).

Full Speed Metal EP, 2009
City Of Steel Full-length, 2010
Systematic Eradication Full-Length, 2013
Black Widow Full-length, 2016

Official Site

UNVEILS (INDONESIA)

These Indonesians offer a more melodic version of the well-known thrash/crossover by adding more relaxed heavy metal tunes which are signs of less conventional thinking, including the twisted stylish riffage on "M.O.F.S.F." which is a really nice touch, but at the same time serve to "kill" the more aggressive attempts at play which could have evolved into something close to the less ordinary takes on the genre, like the works of the Swiss Lunacy or the Germans Erosion (check the less ordinary headbanger "Solve Your Head", or the more diverse semi-technical "The Process Of Journey"), if given a chance. Still, this is just for testing of the soil, and on a full-length the guys should manage to develop all the ideas, thrown in here, further by giving them a more coherent shape.

Trick a Secret Demo, 2006

Official Site

UP THE TERROR (VENEZUELA)

Cool speedy crossover/thrash with a jolly uplifting attitude which at times comes very close to the legendary S.D.I. debut ("You Ate The Cow"), but the music will also remind you of other German veterans: Vectom, Tankard, etc. Apart from the brisk fast tempo there are also slower, almost classic heavy metal-like passages, which are suddenly interrupted by speedy riffs: check out the final "Drugaddiction", which contains a few straight pure rock tunes, nicely contrasting to the aggressive guitars.

Kill the Monkey Demo, 2008

My Space

UPCAST (RUSSIA)

Based on the "Dead Simple" EP: competent retro thrash with Slayer the main influence, their more "serious" late-80's period. "Siberia" leaves the boundaries of thrash metal for a bit with furious blasts, but the rest is moderate stuff with more frequent heavy mid-paced passages. The singer is in the low-tuned death metal mode.
The debut demo is two cover versions: one of Slayer’s “Angel of Death” done in a heavier stomping manner with a drier more mechanical sound of the guitars and an overall approach closer to mid-90’s Sepultura; quite an original take with catchy shouty choruses (“Angel of Death!”); and Metallica’s “Disposable Heroes” again sustained in a slower more modern-sounding fashion still preserving the obligatory speedy section the harsh semi-shouty deathy vocals not really a match to James Hetfield.

Legions of Thrash EP, 2009
The Fear EP, 2009
Dead Simple EP, 2010

My Space

UPON A SHALLOW GRAVE (USA)

Modern thrash/death metal with timid technical, but also metalcore tendencies, neither of them developed fully; the headbanging moments are not missing, but the core breaks are also too frequent, and as a whole this work may end up sounding somewhat annoying for the average thrash metal fan.

There Will Be No Solace Full-Length, 2008

UPPERCUT (GERMANY)

The band's debut is more death metal-oriented, from the modern school; the follow-up is a pleasant surprise: heads-down classic thrash, very well done; this is good headbanging, energetic thrash with clever guitar hooks thrown in, recalling Holy Moses' "Terminal Terror" on the more technical parts (the stomping "Neighbour In Hell", and the brilliant intense "Dead End": the highlight of the album). Behind the mike we have a woman, but it would be impossible to tell because she grunts in a way that would make any death metal singer proud.

Shroud Shifter Full-length, 2001
Reanimation of Hate Full-length, 2004

Official Site

UPRISING NOW! (MEXICO)

Based on the full-length, this act play fairly decent modern technical/progressive thrash which starts shredding with style from the very opener "Fun Game", a surreal atonal piece with very good melodic lead sections. "Motivation of the Blind" is another unorthodox piece recalling Coroner with its slightly illogical build-ups and the sudden fast-paced accumulations. "Freak Show" is a nice mechanical headbanger with twisted rhythms embedded more or less expectedly; and "Spiral" is a seamless mix of frolic, almost crossover-like, passages and more serious, elaborate ones which flow into the next "Transformed", a more laid-back number with oblivious, melodic guitars and a few faster-paced motifs. The closer "Point of No Return" is a more dynamic piece with pounding riffs which kind of leave the more stylish tendencies from the 1st half behind for the sake of more linear, less striking patterns.

Insane Therapy EP, 2009
Sordid Party Time Full-length, 2016

Official Site

UPSET NOISE (ITALY)

Based on "Nothing More to Be Said", this band plays thrash/crossover of the more laid-back type with merry optimistic riffs with a less overt punk influence at times which betrays the guys' past (the early-80's) when they were stalwarts on the Italian ppunk/hardcore scene. Things get nicely thrashy on edgier pieces like "No One's Concerned", but expect mostly unpretentious crossover drama ("Walking on My Brain") for most of the time with the odd hardcore outbursts ("Who Said") the desirable deviation. "Sex's a Crime" is the ultimate crossover hymn, and the closer "Non Voglio" is a surprisingly serious take on the heavy/power metal idea, slightly ruined by the gruff semi-shouty hardcore vocals which everywhere else are an otherwise nice addition.

Disperazione Nevrotica EP 1985
Nothing More to Be Said Full-length 1988
Growing pain EP 1989
Come To Daddy Full-length 1993

My Space

UPSIDE (ITALY)

Merry carefree thrash/crossover with a refreshing classic flavour; the band play with gusto adding the odd melodic tune to the direct speedy proccedings. The metariel presented is simplistic, but catchy the guys just having fun partying with plenty of sing-along choruses and frequent "flirtations" with punk. The singer also helps to create a jolly atmosphere with his clean uplifting delivery recalling Efstathios "Staffi" Agoropoulos (Rumble Militia).

Labirinti Della Menzogna Full-Length, 1993

URANIUS (CHILE)

This Chilean trio offers energetic classic speed/thrash metal with a boosted modern production; the direct approach from the two opening tracks gets replaced by a more technical one on "Hombre Paloma (Fucking Freak!)", which is a versatile entertaining composition still moshing with speed and clever semi-complex riffs. Right after it the sound goes back to the speedy patterns even touching death metal on the furious closer "Canuto Empalación!!!".
The "Mentira Global" EP isa clever speed/thrash metal affair, still treading the "nomansland" between the more conventional formula and the more technical ground, clinging more towards the more direct side probably, which even reaches a death metal intensity on "Enemigo En Mi Camino", its aggressive aesthetics cancelled by the jolly crossover closer "Mentira Global".

Insana Jarana en el Living EP, 2008
Mentira Global EP, 2011

My Space

URBAN ASSAULT (SOUTH AFRICA)

Classic thrash/crossover of the slower more melodic kind with cool expressive James Hetfield-like vocals, which run away from the pattern with gruffer more hardcore-based semi-shouts. Still, the guitars have an edge, and speed up here and there ("The Culling Time") in a more intense thrashy manner. The predominant attitude, however, remains playful and light-hearted recalling mid-period Suicidal Tendencies and Lawnmower Deth.

Don't Bother Running Full-Length, 1992

Official Site

URLO NERO (ITALY)

This is raw underground black/thrash, created by two men, which is both slow and depressing (Abbi Fede") and fast and relentless ("Agnello di Dio"). "Guerra Interiore" is a stomping cut with epic tendencies showing the guys covering a wider gamut of moods and influences which stick together topped by vicious witch-like semi-whispered vocals.

Abbi Fede Demo, 2012

Official Site

URN (FINLAND)

This band were intended as a side project for the Barathrum members, who were about to put an end to their career (there were 8 albums scheduled to be released under the Barthrum name: a long story), and were setting things to move to a more thrash-oriented sound. The debut is aggressive fast blackened thrash, with no traces of the moody atmosphere of the Barathrum works. The music is one-dimensional and all songs merge into one another. "Dawn Of The Devastation" leaves the sheer speed behind, and the sound has moved towards the old masters Venom: tedious, again one-dimensional, but this time mid-tempo black-ish thrash, which might be quite a boring experience. If you want to listen to higher quality black/thrash, then you should check out the guys' other band: Flame, where they have done a much better job.

I Am Your Nightmare EP, 1999
666 Megatons Full-length, 2001
Dawn Of The Devastation Full-length, 2006

Official Site

URSUS (COLOMBIA)

The debut: cool retro speed/thrash with a Germanic flavour: think Toxic Shock, Exumer, Vectom; the music acquires more melodic crossover tendencies ("Policia") at times, but retains the speed. The variety is not very big, the approach being mostly up-tempo with numerous melodic hooks, catchy tunes, some of them bordering on Helloween-like speed metal: the excellent "Hijos Del Metal".
"Fuerza Metal" concentrates more on speed metal, although the unsuitable rough death metal vocals ruin the intentions a bit. The approach is simplistic and sincere, ornated by a few catchy sing-along choruses of the drunken, party type. The tempo seldom goes down, but at the same time there is nothing to distinguish one song from another, all the tracks sounding samey with the same speedy boogie barrage present. The Argentinian heavy metal legends V8 are honoured at the end with a cool energetic cover of "Destruccion".

Hijos del Metal Full-length, 2008
Fuerza Metal Full-length 2011

My Space

URTO (ITALY)

The guys have the penchant to write long songs, and if they do that on the demo, imagine what will happen on the full-length. No complaints at all, as the music is quite cool reminiscent of Paradox's "Heresy", but with a more technical edge, and better higher-pitched vocals. The tempo is quite energetic, venturing even into a few blast-beats on the closer which is whole 9-min long, and the sharp riffs will keep you entertained the whole time. There is a lot of potential here...
Finally the guys came up with an official release, and the good news is that, unlike it often happens with talented acts who fail to capitalize on a very promising material after a long hiatus, these Italians manage to capture the magic of the demo, and even go beyond that. For fans of Paradox and the Bay-Area (this time this influence is more strongly felt) this bad is a must: heavy meaty guitars, supported by great leads, and frequently changing (but not to a head-spinning effect) tempos will make any thrash fan's day. "The Dilemma Remains" is the perfect opener, in a moderate mid to up-tempo, with a genuine technical edge ala Heathen's "Victim of Deception" and Metallica's "...And Justice for All". "Remote Control Seizure" thrashes with no mercy in the best tradition of "Heresy" (Paradox), accompanied by an even stronger technical element. "Free Will State of Health" carries on in the same vein, going straight for the throat, partially abandoning the technical leanings for a pure headbanging attack, accompanied by great bass performance. "Mind-Forged Manacles" compensates for the lost technicality on the previous one, and is a standout blitzkrieg technical thrasher, also recalling the obscure German masters Deztroyer, and the Polish Hellfire. "The Second Coming" is the already familiar from the demo 10-min thrash opus: a grand composition, never losing dynamics and pace, even for a split second, "adorned" with a couple of intense more technical arangements, although heads-down smashing thrash is the dominant force here. "The World Upside Down" is the only slower, mid-paced song, but watch out for the closing "Requiem for Brainwork", which boasts fine lead guitar work and mighty hammering riffs. The singer doesn's really shine, but his levelled semi-clean tember delivers in a way not too far from Charly Steinhauer (Paradox).

Numbers Demo, 2003
Upside Down Full-length, 2008

Official Site

URZAMOTH (BELGIUM)

This is black/thrash of the aggressive type. The band play with nor emorse adhering to spasmodic blasts for at least half the time, so prepare for a lot of rage in a way quite similar to early Impaled Nazarene. Thrash is not very well covered except on isolated sections, and overall this ultra-aggressive downpour would not be to everyone's taste.

Strength, Persistence, Achievement... Full-length, 2010

Official Site

USELESS

A very obscure band about which very little is known; otherwise this is standout aggressive thrash, fast and intense, reminiscent of Kreator's "Extreme Aggression" and Paradox's "Heresy". The guitar sound is a bit fuzzy, but the riffs are smashing, with a slight technical edge; the vocals are a find, albeit an acquired taste, very similar to the ones of Torsten Bergmann from Living Death (on the early albums): high-pitched, to the point of shrieking sometimes, but very well fitting to the music.

Demo Demo, 1990

USURPER (HOLLAND)

Classy technical thrash metal; the guys do not rely on too much aggression, but the riffs are quite impressive; stylistically this album will remind you of Target's debut, or Destruction's "Cracked Brain". The tempo is quite energetic, and the technical intensity never disappears, and even gets bigger on the faster parts. The guitars flow nicely without too many complex sections. The lead performance is economical and not very well presented; this is riff-driven thrash with a big headbanging potential (every song here).

Divine Spiritual And Intellectual Development Full-length, 1990

USURPER (USA)

The band who had "married" the vintage Celtic Frost sound; their style is more than just a mere Celtic Frost-worship, actually: there is a lot of old school thrash as well as death and black metal, especially on the later works. Not revolutionary, but their heavy, crushing sound will warm the hearts of many metal maniacs.

Diabolosis Full-length, 1995
Threshold of the Usurper EP, 1997
Skeletal Season Full-length, 1999
Necronemesis Full-length, 2000
Twilight Dominion Full-length, 2003
Cryptobeast Full-length, 2005

Official Site

UTHER SAYER (USA)

An all-instrumental modern thrash affair which shreds its way with crips vivid riffs as evident from the opening "Pathogen". Groovier patterns are by all means also presented ("Baker", "Threshold (...Of Oppression)") as well as balladic escapades ("Spirit Burner") which are "haunted" by really tasteful melodc lead sections. "Histrionic Personality" is a more intense mosher, but the highlight here seems to be the formidable steam-roller "Schizophrenia" and its ethereal, spacey ending.

Vivid Full-Length, 2016

UTMOST CONTEMPT (GREECE)

A 3-song demo of very technical thrash/death metal, akin to Cynic and Pestilence and Atheist's last efforts; this is multi-layered music which requires the listener's attention; it's not fast, with numerous twists and turns; at times it's almost dream-like, recalling another technical metal band: Scenery from the Czech Republic. It would be a pity if these guys had split without catching any label's attention.

Stranger Skies Inside Demo, 2002

Official Site

UTOPIAN TRAP (USA)

An excellent debut of classic progressive power/thrash; the guys find the perfect balance between the hard-hitting parts and the mellower ones, as the former are usually in mid-tempo, as seen from the two opening numbers. Then comes the progressive opus "Fragile" which is mostly instrumental with great "lead-riff" duels recalling the progressive metal legends End Amen. Darker, more immediate stuff comes for a couple of songs until "Rebirth" which is a great technical power/thrasher with the only up-tempo part which will lift the mood high. It will remain high on the following "A Promise of Paradise" which is a dynamic Oriental number with great leads and melodic hooks, just a bit slower than the preceding one, but quite enjoyable all over. The closing "Doctrine of Premonition" is a more quiet instrumental track with balladic overtones still containing a few raging parts. The singer is a perfect fit with his mid-levelled clean tember although he could have strained himself here and there to test the higher registers.
"The Human Price" has very few ties to thrash; "Wired Ruins" is a stomping shredder, but the rest is too sleepy and balladic excluding the technical cut "The Final Figure" which pours some more aggressive riffs over the otherwise timid foreground. Still, there are several though-out, serious progressive opuses which would engage the listener; it's just that the execution is way more restrained than the one of the debut lacking the bite and the verve that would have gone well with the complexity.

Fiction Fades Into Reality Full-length, 2010
The Human Price Full-Length, 2016

Official Site

UTSU-P (JAPAN)

This is a predictably less ordinary take on the genre (coming from Japan) which spins around modern post-thrash on a hard abrasive quasi-industrial base so there's plenty of noise accompanying the music fighting with the weird very angelic female vocals which can easily beat Anneke Van Giersbergen (The Gathering) and Live Kristine (Theater of Tragedy) in the emotional department on any day except on the moments when her voice comes heavily synthesized. The music ranges from ultra-heavy squashing to playful and dancey the latter sharing the "stage" with German heroes like KMFDM and Rammstein. The groove hasn't been forgotten, either, so there is plenty for the modern metal lovers to savour here.

Diarrhoea Full-Length, 2009

UZI SUICIDE

Fast fierce thrashcore with grinding tendencies sounding like an inferior and a worse produced version of early Prong; very short tracks, brutal shouty vocals, simplistic guitars- that describes it well.

Fall Tour Demo, 2003

UZOMI (BRAZIL)

Fast blitzkrieg Slayer-esque thrash metal with short 1.5-2min tracks and certain hardcore tendencies; the singer is a pure hardcore shouter, but the undemanding delivery hardly deserves a better one.

Uzômi Full-length, 2004

Official Site

UZZIEL (AUSTRIA)

This new formation pull out a mix between Swedish melo-thrash/death and more stomping groovy sections. The approach is not very exciting, and the awkward inclusion of clean vocals as opposed to the main shouty aggro-ones is just another trite gimmick despite the imposing gothic atmosphere which permeates some of the slower pieces ("I'm Dying"), and the several cool melodic lead sections again more prominently featured on the less dynamic material.

Torn Apart Full-Length, 2014

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