If you know us here at “E.D. – Music, Movies, Etc.,” you know we enjoy reviewing and discussing the music of many genres, but you also know our favorite genre/subgenre to talk about is thrash metal. The Big Four and more, David Malone and I love it, as does contributor Andrew Keating.
In addition, Mr. Malone and I have both mentioned, in previous content, that we feel we’re in the midst of a new stage of the thrash revival. Of course, there was the period some refer to as the “New Wave of Thrash Metal” in the early to mid 2000s, but that movement had, more or less, petered out by the early 2010s, due in part to the generally low quality of the music it produced, even from its frontrunners. But then – seemingly centered around new releases from some of the biggest ‘80s thrash bands, like Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax, Metallica, Death Angel, and Testament – thrash got a bit of a restart beginning around the middle of 2015, with 2016 and 2017 seeing many high quality, metal thrashing mad LPs from old and new thrashers alike.
Unfortunately, thrash bands have not grabbed metal media attention here in 2018 (not yet anyway) as much as they did in ‘16 and ‘17, yet maintain hope and be not deceived, several quality albums have hit the scene this year, and I hope you thrash fans, and heavy metal in general fans, will take note.
Here are a few 2018 thrash LP releases I think you all should check out.
“Part 1” covers January 2018 to June 2018. “Part 2” will cover July 2018 to December 2018.
Accuser’s The Mastery (Released January 26)
The Mastery by Accuser is good German thrash from an underrated, old, thrash metal band. This album, like most of their work except maybe that of their first couple records, is not groundbreaking by any means, but it will sure do if you’re in the mood for aggressive, thundering, Teutonic thrash.
Deliverance’s The Subversive Kind (Released February 23)
Here’s an album I’ve been trying to convince folks to give a chance since it released in February. It’s even one of my top five albums of the year thus far! I know some fans, many of them the sort who have followed this Los Angeles band since they formed in 1985, were disappointed with The Subversive Kind because they miss the days of Deliverance’s melodic hook choruses. . . and it certainly didn’t help that Jimmy P. Brown hyped The Subversive Kind as Deliverance’s Reign in Blood. Reign in Blood this certainly isn’t, but that’s all right! I love it for its speed, heaviness, aggression, and commitment.
Suicidal Tendencies’ “Get Your Fight On!” EP (Released March 9)
The “Get Your Fight On!” EP from Suicidal Tendencies – another, more well-known, Los Angeles thrash outfit, these guys fitting more in the crossover thrash realm – doesn’t have much new, but it does have some fun instrumental work and is certainly worth checking out for Suicidal fans. If you’re new to the band, “Get Your Fight On!” probably won’t impress you much, and it may even confuse you. It really seems to be more of a supplemental to 2016’s World Gone Mad, but it’s most definitely worth checking out for those of you “in the know.”
Mental Coma’s “Visons” EP (Released March 30)
Though Mental Coma released an excellent technical thrash debut LP, Fragments of Democracy, in 2016, this Danish outfit is still deep, deep underground, and I think it’s their time to come up a bit. I love Mental Coma’s aggressive, technicality-leaning, thrash sound, and I can’t wait for them to release their sophomore album. Until then, their “Visions” EP will have to do. It’s technically-minded, death metal-tinged thrash, where the guys are showing a more focused sound in three tracks.
Mindwars’ Do Unto Others (Released April 13)
Do Unto Others deserves your attention despite its somewhat unexciting title. It’s the third LP from Mindwars, who describe their forming thus in their Facebook “About” section: “MINDWARS was created in the fall of 2013 by . . . Mike Alvord formerly of HOLY TERROR and Roby Vitari formerly of JESTER BEAST and HEADCRASHER, [who] met by chance in 1989 when HOLY TERROR was touring Europe in support of their 1988 release Mind Wars. . . Approximately 25 years later Mike and Roby reconnected through the internet and discussed creating something musically that they both believe has been lost. The result is MINDWARS.” I find Mindwars to be a retro speed/thrash band with heady lyrics, NWOBHM epicness, a hardcore griminess, hard rock sensibility, and modern metal heaviness and power.
Power Trip’s Opening Fire (Released April 27)
Power Trip – from Dallas, Texas – demanded the metal world’s attention last year with the hardcore thrashing Nightmare Logic, pound for pound one of the most exciting thrash albums in years. Now they’ve released a compilation of previously unreleased tracks, and it’s still a killer thrash album! At least Opening Fire should help tide you over until Power Trip unleashes their third studio LP, whenever that may be.
Trauma’s As the World Dies (Released May 11)
Once, a band was an important part of a metal revolution called thrash, even introducing the great bassist Cliff Burton to Metallica, and they released a highly coveted LP in 1984, Scratch and Scream, before fading away in 1985, together only four years. Then, they got back together in 2011 to support the re-release of Scratch and Scream; released a new LP, Rapture and Wrath, in 2015; and released a third LP, their best, in 2018. That band: Trauma. Their new album: As the World Dies. It’s amazing to me that we have these guys back, and I really do think As the World Dies is their best studio effort, especially instrumentally.
Nervosa’s Downfall of Mankind (Released June 1)
If you’re a thrash fan and haven’t heard Nervosa yet, check them out ASAP. Nervosa is an all-female thrash band from Brazil that will rip your face right off! Their new album, Downfall of Mankind, contains their best work yet. I do wish they’d move past almost solely worshiping the past, but they have taken a step in the right direction on Downfall of Mankind. Also, there are two tracks on Downfall where Nervosa let on the first a thrashy female side show and then on the second a Brazilian side. It’s been cool to see these gals succeed without their music necessarily showing they’re female, but I would like to see them take advantage of some of their own uniqueness. As with my comment about past worship though, I think they’ve taken a step in the right direction here.
As mentioned in italics above, “Part 2” will cover more great thrash LPs, and there are several to look forward to, such as Black Fast’s Spectre of Ruin (I’ve been needing some new tech thrash, and a band with two guys who actually have jazz degrees should do the trick!), Metal Allegiance’s Volume II: Power Drunk Majesty (The thrash All-Star team for the win!), Flotsam and Jetsam’s End to Chaos (Flotsam and Jetsam’s last, their 2016 self-titled LP, was probably their best since their sophomore album, No Place for Disgrace, in 1988.), and probable new material from Suicidal Tendencies, Soulfly, Impalers, Toxic Holocaust, Maniac Abductor, and more!
Oh, and if you’re into thrash metal history, check out David’s review of Anvil’s 2018 speed metal LP, Pounding the Pavement.
Have you heard any of the albums above? If so, what did you think of them? Also, if you know of other records I should have included on this list, or if you know about some other, exciting, upcoming thrash releases, tell us in the comments below!