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Old 08-31-2016, 11:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Wpnfire's Favorite Thrash Metal

I'm going to copy other users' threads devoted towards a specific topic and start my own.
I'm not sure what this thread is supposed to be. I want to talk about thrash metal I like here, but these entries are too short to be journal-worthy.

I have found quite a lot of thrash metal I like over the years. My taste in thrash metal is like my taste in any other genre. I like it to be melodic and frantic. If you are expecting to see discussion of the big three of Teutonic thrash, death-thrash, and thrash-black, prepare to be disappointed. If you mention Sodom in this thread I will decapitate you with a chainsaw. I'll be talking almost exclusively about mid-to-late-period thrash metal here, somewhere in the range of 1986-1992 - because those are my favorite years for thrash.

The albums mentioned here may not always be my favorite thrash albums. Sometimes one or two songs may standout enough for me to mention the album here.





Slayer – South Of Heaven


I could have started with Reign In Blood, or Rust in Peace, or any of the other notable albums, but the more I thought about it, the more I knew it had to be this. South of Heaven is a borderline favorite album for me, and it is inconsistent. Still, when it's right, this album fills me with immeasurable joy.

Obviously Reign In Blood is WAY better than this, but the doom-y sound of this album is very hard to find fault with. Everything that Slayer did on 'Reign is still here, but compared to that album the riffs have more melody, and Araya is far more mellow, a far cry from his piercing screams on Reign In Blood. That, combined with the tempo drop makes this an atmospheric album with a very doom-y sound to it. This entire album sounds like Bach's toccata and fugue in D minor in thrash metal form. "South of Heaven" has to be some sort of pinnacle of thrash-doom, with lots of slow, chugging riffs and that striking opening riff. Two of the tracks on here are doom-y enough to be on used as the inspiration for a track on DOOM and DOOM II each—another reason this album is awesome. DOOM is exactly the scenario that I imagine this album being played in. A journey through hell killing things.



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Old 08-31-2016, 11:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Phew. Coming up with that first entry was hard, but now it's time to get into the fun and the obscure.

Target - Mission Executed

Coming in at the still-ripe year of 1987, Target were ahead of the thrash field, playing pseudo-technical thrash. I've been playing this one for a couple of days now, and though I would rate this album as average, it does have some moments of absolute genius. One or two playthroughs will yield some great riffs, but they're few and far between. Still, those riffs are great.



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Old 08-31-2016, 11:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I love South of Heaven man. My favorite of their discography for sure, although Reign in Blood is extremely close. I also think Ghosts of War doesn't get enough rep, because that song is just plain ****ing awesome.
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Old 09-01-2016, 02:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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As big a fan of Exhorder as you are and you're not doing any death thrash?
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Old 09-01-2016, 10:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Batlord View Post
As big a fan of Exhorder as you are and you're not doing any death thrash?
I'm on the fence of whether Exhorder is death-thrash. I certainly have trouble calling them *just* thrash, but the only thing overtly death-y is the cataclysmic drumwork. I think Slaughter In the Vatican is what you find at the end of the road that reign in blood and the mid-80s "pure" thrash releases started. Overtly dangerous, violent, explicit thrash metal.

More to the point, I never said I won't talk about death-thrash. You should just not expect me to. If we call Slaughter In the Vatican death-thrash for the moment, there's only three death-trash albums I would even talk about in this thread.

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Old 09-01-2016, 10:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Demolition Hammer is one of them, right?
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Old 09-01-2016, 11:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Demolition Hammer is one of them, right?
Yup.
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Old 09-01-2016, 11:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Good.
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Old 09-06-2016, 12:02 PM   #9 (permalink)
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It took me a while to come up with this entry, but I really wanted to make sure I give this album the attention it deserves.

Dark Angel - Darkness Descends

There is a type of thrash referred to in thrash metal circles as "pure thrash." These are the most straightforward, frenzied, and speedy releases in thrash. The term is horribly vague, but once you separate out the raw, primitive thrash albums (i.e. the ones that still sound like aggressive speed metal) and the obvious fusion genres, what you have left is pure thrash. Bonded By Blood, Reign In Blood, and Darkness Descends, are notable pure thrash albums. Reign In Blood is obviously my favorite pure thrash album, but DD is a worthy foe of any thrash album, including Reign In Blood. In fact, I think it comes up just behind RIB.

Darkness Descends
is unfortunately far less known outside of the metal community than either of those albums. Its intensity is spread pretty evenly between the drumming, riffs, and vocals, and the instruments mostly play together. This wall of sound style of thrash that typifies Dark Angel's music and was unique for its time—certainly among the Bay Area scene—bears some sonic resemblances to death metal in that regard; and it has a similar effect on non-metal listeners that an average death metal album would have: it sounds completely impenetrable. Every second of this album is intense, and that is what makes DD a monster of an album.

This tight songwriting is what deals the deathblow to 90% of thrash. Rarely does the relentlessness break down into something less than all-out war. The riffs rampage along, Gene Hoglan relentlessly switches styles, rarely playing the same beat and using fills at will, and Don Doty makes no attempt to sing even somewhat coherently. It's a cacophonous album, but it's structured with cold, calculated precision. There's a reason Dark Angel are well known for their technically complex music. They're thrash metal surgeons, supplanting one section of a song's riff and drum beat with an entirely new section without losing intensity. Even between different tracks the album flows seamlessly.

I actually hated this album at first because I thought it was impenetrable. Over time, I warmed to this and now it's one of my favorite thrash albums ever.

Everything on this beast is listenable, but "The Burning of Sodom" is everything this album strives to be.


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Old 09-06-2016, 09:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Darkness Descends is an awesome record, but putting on the breaks just a bit on Time Does Not Heal let them really breathe. It might not have that hardcore punk intensity, but it is just so much heavier and more twisted.

It managed to incorporate more complex instrumentation and still be a true thrash album.

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