Thursday, December 26, 2019

the Top 10 Thrash Albums of 2019

It's that time of year again, to sort through the top 10 albums of all the respective genres, then use them, to compile the top 10 albums of the year. Next month I am making the top 10 lists for the decade, though to be blunt this is the decade's weakest year for music; Especially when it comes to new artists. There are only 3 on this one.  but Thrash is a sub-genre that is rooted in the 80s.  I am; giving a brief explanation as to why these albums stand over their peers in lower positions on the list. The very fact these bands made it on the list speaks to how great these albums are so it's not a slight that the number 8 album is above the 9th album, there is something that just gives it an edge that makes me want to listen to it more.

After all we can try to look cool and pick the hippest bands for a list, but at the end of the day what makes an album the best is that it makes you want more, you look forward to listening to it again. Sure you can bitch and complain about your favorite band not being on the list. However I listen to five new albums a day so yes I heard your favorite album and was not impressed. No, I do not care what you think about it.;I do hope you can find your next favorite on this list. There are links to reviews of these albums if you want to check out audio on these guys. Anyways here are the top 10 Thrash albums of 2019.

10-Indestructible Noise Command-"Terrible Things"  

hese guys are a band whose name I remember from the 80s , but don't recall every actually hearing them. They are very high energy like a more hard-core version of Testament. They use a catchy yet repetitive formula most of the time . Would not say they are cutting edge in terms or originality the energy and precision they put into these songs is impressive. This earned them a spot here.

9-Sacred Reich -"Awakening"

This classic thrash band from Arizona Two members of this line up played on "Ignorance". The drummer played on "Independent" . As far as bands reforming I guess that is pretty acceptable. Their sound has both changed and stayed the same. I think some of it is Rind's vocals are smoother in some places where they used to be gritty. This gives it a more rock n roll feel than thrash. A similar change as say Metal Church, who made the transition a little more gracefully in terms of songwriting. Not as aggressive glory days, it does grow on me.

8-Overkill- the Wings of War"

 I used to love these guys in the late 80s. The opener finds the bands returning where I left off with them in the early 90s before the coming of grunge threw thrash bands a curve ball along with them scrambling to make their own "Black Album".It might not be as good as there classic material which this album made me want to go and search for , but far far as post "Horrorscope" albums go it fits nicely. Recalling more of their classic sound than Sacred Reich's latest did.

7-Metal Church-"Damned if You Do"

 Mike Howe and Kurdt Vanderhoof are the only members from the "Blessing In Disguise" era of the band, which is not the original line up, but a great incarnation of the band that I accept . Howe's voice sounds just as great as it did on "XI". There is a darker and more melodic tone, their song writing might not be as aggressive as it once was but Howe's vocals give them the ability to do more than Overkill


6-Bestial Lord<- br=""> - "Black Mass Wedding" 

At times they come across like a more metallic version of Acid Witch. Their riffs have a great deal of groove to them that gives things a more musical quality than what death metal would become. Perhaps this is because it pays more homage to a time when death metal first splintered off from thrash. It's a solid homage to old school metal, that holds more hook than Metal Church this time around, 
<- br="">
<- br="">

5- Haunt- "If Icarus Could Fly"

 I like Beastmaker, but I also grew up in the 80s when this kind of metal was big. So I have a mixed relationship with this sort of thing as I was already listening to Judas Priest and Iron Maiden in 1983. The first song starts off a little heavy on the guitar solos. The chorus is a little happy. Church's vocal is more in the Diamond Head range, perhaps a little lower and more laid back. The guitar harmonies feel more Priest than Maiden to me. His voice is not aggressive, so it gives a mellow vibe atop this. If you are smoking a bunch of pot you may not even notice. If I did a sub-list of best proto thrash this would win it. Since there is no such thing it takes 5th place.

4- Flotsam & Jetsam - the End of Chaos" 

 Picking up where they left off on "No Place For Disgrace" . I liked " When the Storm Comes Down", but the production was odd like they were trying to sound like "And Justice For All..." Truth be told this band was a casualty of the 90s as grunge  displaced real metal and the bands did not know what to do. Few were able to hang touch like Slayer . I guess at the time I assumed Eric AK could no longer hit the high notes , rather than he was conforming to the times and operatic singing was not cool anymore. His voice sounds better than the bulk of his peers. He is not jumping up into his falsetto screams. But he does hit higher notes in chest voice. He also has ample amount of grit . Their grit puts them over Haunt.

3- Death Wolf- "Come the Dark" 

y time I say this album really surprised me then spoiler alert  that mean I like what I am hearing. I have learned to go into most albums with low expectations to spare me from disappointment. I review so many albums , just think how depressed I would be if I went into every album hoping it was going to be the best thing ever. These guys used to have a more punk slant to their sound , not that has gone more in a thrash direction. The thing that is great about this band however is that they are darker than your average thrash band. The darker sound elevated them above the competition.

2 -Death Angel- "Humanicide" 

It was the fact that their 1988 album "Frolic Through the Park" found the band diverting from the thrash sound every open  else had already latched onto, that made me drawn to them. Since reforming I do not hear as much of that coming from them. Instead they are straight up thrash. Like death metal the genre can become one dimensional, but as the album progresses the add the other shades I grew up loving. It's this signature that puts them over Death Wolf.

1-Exhorder- "Mourn the Southern Skies" 

If you are a fan of Pantera, then you need to know these guys. Having formed in 1985, this New Orleans band played a big part in why Pantera went from power metal and hair spray to the Cowboys from Hell that they became. They start off the album with gritty thrash that gives you the middle finger. They kill trend of Southern grooves with "Asunder" and write Slayer caliber riffs. The vocals are mean yet hold melody like another singer we know. They are relentless and continue to hit you with sharp riffs and barbed melodies. They are a step ahead of every other band on this list, though it was a tough call between this and Death Angel.

No comments:

Post a Comment