|the next 25|
a little addendum. if you didn't find an album you expected on the top 25 it may well be here.
Release from Agony
There's a dark, gloomy edge to this album that keeps it a level above the other 2 classic Destruction releases. Slightly more technical and certainly more progressive as well, this a pretty stellar effort from the band.
A little more speed metally, but no slouch at all. The riffs are awesome, and the guitar leads on tracks like the phenomenal Nice Dreams really carry this one up a tier. Accessible, and with nice levels of progressive influence and technicality.
Not really anything new in the realm of technical thrash, but one of the best executed albums in that style. Schizophrenic guitar work combines with a more regimented songwriting style that keeps it musically grounded enough to really work. Machinery is also one of the best thrash tracks I can think of, so this certainly is a high tier album.
This seems like Laaz Rockit's answer to Rust In Peace. Massively amplified levels of technicality results in this album having some nice twisting riffs and some of the best soloing of any thrash album. Whilst a little dry in the middle, the opening salvo of In The Name Of The Father And The Gun and Into The Asylum really gets things off to a great start, whilst the closing instrumental Necropolis is a fantastic display of the band's huge advancement from Annihilation Principle.
|5||Flotsam and Jetsam|
No Place for Disgrace
An excellent work of thrash metal, with a fair bit of technical flair mixed in with a straightforward assault. There are some great hooks throughout, and the riffs really ascend once they speed up in some chorus segment. The bass also has some great moments, such as on album highlight Misguided Fortune.
Metal Church - Metal Church (Metal Church) is one of my favourite tracks.
More seriously, this band again falls a bit more into the speed-metal template, but they hit upon some realllllly good tracks on this one. As stated above, the title-track is a favourite, and the great vocals and drums throughout really make this one ace album.
Compared to a lot of crossover, this album is a bit more sinister and dark, with some great aggressive riffing and a nice, dense mix and some great riffs. Honestly reminds me a lot of Sodom so if you haven't done so already, give this one a big check.
Born to Expire
Easily one of the best sounding thrash albums out there on a production level. The kick drum is as good as Epidemic Of Violence but since it's not as frantic pace wise it doesn't count for as much. That said, the riffs are usually really great, with a nice crossover edge that isn't too all encompassing. Tracks like Rise and Fall, Enforcer and the title track are already pretty heavy, but the closer Unexpected is frankly crushing. You know the bit I'm talking about.
One of the classic melodic thrash albums, with a nice thick production job and some really great harmonized riffs throughout. The guitar solos are also frankly amazing. Personal favourites are Sweet Dreams, Light Entertainment, and Back To The Stone Age.
Finished with the Dogs
Another one of the most extreme thrash albums out there, this one really works when the aggression is maximized on tracks like the utterly exceptional Current of Death, but slower tracks like Corroded Dreams get the job done as well. A good German classic to check out.
The Music of Erich Zann
This album is one of the best progressive thrash albums out there, and was one of the closest to sneaking into my top 25. It can do fast, frantic thrash on tracks like the opener Age of Agony, progressive twists like with Memories of Tomorrow, and meatier chugging like on I, King, Will Come. A well rounded and often exceptional album.
Control and Resistance
Tech thrash's techiest hour. This one techs around with a bad vocalist wailing like the Quiet Riot vocalist on helium, but the teching sure is good and it definitely does it. The prominent jazz influences on Mayday in Kiev cements it as my favourite but this whole album definitely has a lot to like in the riff department.
Tankard sings about beer and riffs like German thrasher men. On this album they were particularly good at both, with the wild Total Addiction opening up great for other highlights like the title track and Traitor. Slightly amplified technical aspects keep this one ahead of Zombie Attack and The Morning After.
Often a little overhyped, Darkness Descends is still an extremely heavy, thrilling thrash metal album with some great highlights like The Burning of Sodom's sheer relentless speed and Merciless Death's great bass opening. Not quite as evolved as some later extreme thrash albums, but definitely a great album.
Twisted into Form
More technical than their first album, Twisted Into Form really excells with its guitar leads, which really carry the opener Infinite and Step by Step. The title track also deserves credit for its great groove, but all round this album is really good.
For Whose Advantage?
Known for being British, melodic and having the only vocalist in the world who sounds anything like Chuck Billy, Xentrix really produced a great album with For Whose Advantage, but you could really go with Shattered Existence as well. Besides the superb title track, Black Embrace is particularly good.
A pretty well recognized classic, this album has some really great riffs thoughout, which is the main thing you'd ever really want from this genre. Otherwise the album is somewhat standard, but the riffs are what matters really. Personal favourites include Phobophobia and T.D.S.
The Politics of Ecstasy
This is one of my favourite albums, but I decided against putting in the top 25 since it's less overtly thrashy than most of the others here. The songwriting throughout on this album is pretty exceptional; dark, mechanical, and twisted. The absolutely phenomenal opener The Seven Tongues Of God only serves to prelude the coming excellence of Lost and the closing epic, The Learning. Really a must listen if you like progressive thrash.
Into the Mirror Black
On a related note to Nevermore, Sanctuary produced their own great progressive thrash album with Into the Mirror Black. The riffs are great, but the biggest highlight has to be Warrel Dane, who had more range here than in Nevermore and who has some exeptional moments on the title track and Taste Revenge.
Another melodic thrash classic, the German band has since done many other good albums, but Heresy has to be top of the heap. The vocals are great, the riffs are great, and most importantly, the guitar leads are reallyyyyyyyyyy great.
Handle With Care
This album is one of the most classic crossover albums, and for good reason. The roaring bass really adds tonnes of energy to the already amazing riffs and tracks like Critical Mass, Surgery, and Search And Seizure. The overall energy really carries this one up a notch.
I Hate Therefore I Am
The overall package here is strong enough, with great riffs and drums, but the vocals really carry this up to being one of the best thrash metal albums. The songwriting package really helps serve them, too, particularly on the amazing title track and Words Are Just Words, which is one of the few really good thrash ballads.
Pretty famous for the young age of the musicians when this was recorded, The Ultra-Violence nonetheless has some really great riffs and sophisticated songwriting, particularly on the long title track. More straightforward thrashers like Kill as One are excellent as well.
Day Into Night
To finish off, two more modern thrash albums. Quo Vadis have been called both thrash and technical death metal, but on Day Into Night they resemble a faster, more technical and more melodic Metallica. Tracks like Hunter/Killer and On The Shores Of Ithaka have riffs that riff beyond their years. The melodies and lead work are also exemplary.
The reigning champions of thrash metal, Vektor hit it big straight away with their debut full length Black Future, mixing the cosmic wizardry of Voivod with technical thrash and black metal influences. Despite some somewhat overlong epics, Black Future really hits it home with its neatly arranged songs and amazing riffs, such as on Deoxyribonucleic Acid and the title track.
That's it for now, but there are probably about a million more great thrash albums out there, since practically any metal band worth their salt in the 80s released one.