Modern thrash albums worth noticing. Going to order these roughly chronologically.
90s to 2000 - Hypnosia hit a similar formula to The Crown with this album, with fast, energetic death/thrash. The vocals are great, and the riffs are all heavy as hell. This is an all round nice listen, probably doesn't score too highly for memorability but fundamentally pretty damn enjoyable.
Black In Mind
Falling pretty much halfway between their usual power metal fair and standard thrash on this album, Rage managed to put out a pretty phenomenal set of tracks on this one. The title track is thunderous, heavy, and fast, and the more melodic moments are far darker than your average power metal album. Plenty of chunkier moments litter the album, such as the downtuned Alive But Dead, Until I Die and the lumbering In This Nameless Time.
Dreaming Neon Black
I put Politics of Ecstasy on my main list so I'll opt against putting that here again, but their following album Dreaming Neon Black is just as acclaimed and pretty well known for its concept, discussing religious indoctrination and abduction. The thrash riffs are little less emphasized on this one compared to heavy grooves, but tracks like Poison Godmachine had plenty of viciousness to get the job done alongside the more mellow ballads present.
One of Testament's best albums, The Gathering might not have guitar solos but its all star lineup (Eric Peterson, Chuck Billy, Dave Lombardo, and Steve Di Giorgio) really results in a pretty magnificently heavy album. Besides some chunkier, murkier, death metally tracks, D.N.R., Legion of the Dead, and Fall of Sipledome really deliver some truly great thrash moments.
One of the better Sodom albums and a big step up from a lot of their lackluster 90s output, Code Red picks up around where Tapping The Vein left off. Not quite as densely packed with good tracks as their 80s output, but a good album with very heavy production.
People seem to not like this album much but it's sick. The riffs are techy af and there are plenty of juicy leads. It has some really catchy moments when it slows down as well.
Without a doubt one of the strongest thrash albums since the rise of grunge, this one executes on every relevant level. The riffs are catchy as hell and fast as anything. Rebel Angel and Total Satan are personal favourites but this album is amazing.
The Haunted Made Me Do It
A solid effort from the swedes. It has some really great riffs and leads thanks to having the members of At The Gates involved, which becomes more evident on some melodeathy sections in Trespass and Hollow Ground. There are some great thrashers here though.
2001-2009 - Really kicking off the wave of 80s thrash bands regaining relevance was Kreator with the highly accomplished Violent Revolution. Never quite as visceral as their earlier output, but with some great melodies and choruses to make up for it, Violent Revolution really helped usher in a new wave of good thrash albums. Mind on Fire and Second Awakening are particularly good, but the title track is as a good a place to start as any.
Destruction found part of their way back to their former strength with All Hell Breaks Loose, but The Antichrist is a pretty excellent effort by them thanks to the evolution of Schmier's vocals to a new, furious snarl. Thrash Til Death and Nailed to the Cross are the big winners here.
Beast of Bourbon
A biiiiig hitter for the German band, Beast of Bourbon is probably the best modern thrash album not released by Vektor or Overkill. Basically every track is the same but who cares when they're all this good? Die With A Beer In Your Hand is the obvious standout with its title but it's also one of the best tracks here.
Shovel Headed Kill Machine
Yeh Tempo is good too but Shovel Headed Kill Machine marked an evolution in the sound of Exodus towards the weird, scrunchy, darker thrash metal they really epitomized in the late 2000s. Going Going Gone, Deathamphetamine and 44 Magnum Opus really sound like the title - rugged, crude, and steely.
Weird, progressive thrash. It definitely has a tonne of Dream Theater influence, but the riffs and aggression are definitely thrash esque at the very least. Worth a listen.
This album might have inadvertantly ruined thrash for the rest of time by helping kick off the retro-thrash scene, but it's actually pretty good. The riffs are there, and the tracks don't waste time kicking into gear with some nice, chunky riffs. Still we have this band to blame for the fact that bands like Havok exist and have fans.
The Formation of Damnation
Testament's comeback from their early 2000s inactivity was this juggernaut, which is good enough that I'm mentioning it over the decent efforts from Kreator and Sodom throughout this time. The death metal elements still remain, but the combination feels so organic here, and the drums really propel the tracks up to being some of the best from this period. Check The Persecuted Won't Forget if nothing else.
This band also helped ruin thrash but this album is pretty great. Quick, thrashy and spirited crossover, with plenty of catchy riffs to help you ignore the fact that you hate seeing the band's logo on snapbacks at music festivals.
Worlds Torn Asunder
2010-current - Warbringer are one of the few modern thrash bands I pay attention to, thanks to the superior standard of songwriting and more diverse influences found on this album. One of the least derivative thrash albums of the retro-revival, Living Weapon, Enemies of the State, and Demonic Ecstasy are all worth an introductory check.
Terms of Surrender
A really excellent album. Clearly comparable to Vektor thanks to their hyperactive space-thrash style, but with a bit more accessibility and speed.
This album impressed me much more than I expected. Far heavier than their 80s output and with some additional progressive influences on tracks like By a Thread, Forest, The World Is Turning Without You and An Imperfect Way To Die. Does feature an alarming amount of 8 strings but thankfully it doesn't get too egregious
Whilst the band have steadily shifted ever closer to technical death metal, Deathless still has a great bit of thrash influence in there to keep it fresh. Scorched Earth Policy really gets speedy and thrashy with its quick, darting riff, along with Labyrinth of Eyes. As usual, Revocation succeeds in delivering a better range of tones and riffs than other modern thrash bands.
You probably already know about this one if you're a sputnik regular, but in short, this one is a fantastic journey through Vektor's spacy thrash landscape. The ideas here are pretty nutty tbh. Worth listening to for sure.
One of the best retro-thrash albums in terms of sheer speed and raw aggression. Kind of a monolithic crossover/Slayer hybrid. Great stuff.
In His Infernal Majesty's Service
This album is great, mean, raw thrash metal. Sits in a nice little pocket between black metal and death metal as well, with several of the best aspects of all 3. Really great stuff all round, personally like Oathbreaker and Netherworld Emperor the most.
Totally forgot this album the first time, but this is easily one of the best out there so I feel like a total fool for that. Easily some of the most accomplished songwriting in thrash, maybe ever but definitely in the 2000s. Super consistent, but personal favourites are the title track, Bring Me The Night, Give A Little, Endless War and Killing For A Living. Stellar.