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True thrash metal, back from the dead! | Trash Cookies

Categorized | Music, Music Reviews

True thrash metal, back from the dead!

Posted on 01 July 2008 by Craig

It’s often said that musical genres and sub-genres die off with time. As a lifelong punk, hardcore and metal fan I have often smirked when various forms of media proclaimed my favorite styles of music ”dead”. Styles may lose popularity but they all have die-hard fans that will never let it go. Such is the case of that infamous 1980’s creation; thrash metal. The 80’s gave us, by my calculations, 17 billion thrash metal bands. From the death thrash of Possessed to the crunch-core of Exodus to the proto-black metal of Bathory and Sodom to all those bands from Germany, the decade was a toxic stew of evil, adolescent, fun loving, E-chord crunching thrash metal. The Vh1 version of metal history will tell you that this genre died with the first broadcast of “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. The truth is that a new generation has put on their white hi-tops, sleeveless denim jackets and are waving the flag of thrash metal revival.

municipal waste

One of the most popular bands leading the throw back metal resurgence is Richmond Virginia’s Municipal Waste. Since 2000 the Waste has been refining a hardcore/metal crossover style. The “Waste’em All” album on Six Weeks Records is a perfect punk/metal hybrid. They have since shed some of their punk/hardcore influence and are sounding more and more like a classic thrash metal band. They are currently on Earache Records and have released two more full lengths; “Hazardous Mutation” in ’05 and “The Art of Partying” in ’07. The Waste has a killer live show and has toured all over the world. This band is a hell of a lot of fun. With songs like “Head Banger Face Rip” and “The Thrashing of the Christ,’’ Municipal Waste uses a lot of humor. They’re sort of like the metal equivalent of a Troma movie.

Toxic Holocaust

Portland, Oregon’s Toxic Holocaust is an old school, one-man, thrash monstrosity. Joel Grind is the metal monger behind Toxic Holocaust. He takes his cues from albums like Onslaught‘s “Power From Hell” and early Bathory records. This metal is fast, raw, primitive and primal, with a proto-black metal feel. Since ’99 Toxic Holocaust has released two full lengths, “Evil Never Dies” and “Hell on Earth” as well as some ripping splits, 7 inches and comp songs. Relapse Records are releasing the bands upcoming album “An Overdose of Death”. Donnie Paycheck from Zeke is going to play drums on this one; it might burn your face off!

merciless death

Merciless Death from Canyon Country, California is a band that is dedicated to thrash metal authenticity. Their sound is a mix of the rawness of early Possessed and the more polished riffing of Exodus or early Slayer. The band has released two full lengths, “Evil in the Night” in 2006 and “Realm of Terror” in 2008. Both records are testaments to classic 80’s thrash metal. The cover art to “Realm of Terror” is done by the great Ed Repka, whose art has graced the covers of seminal 80’s thrashers such as Megadeth, Nuclear Assault, Death and Possessed among others. A Merciless Death album would fit right in that stack.

bandanos

Just like it did in the 1980’s, Brazil is cranking out some full bore, old school thrash metal. Sao Paulo’s Bandanos, has a shredding new debut CD on 625 Records, incredibly titled “We Crush Your Mind with the Thrash Inside”. They play some raging crossover thrash that pays tribute to mid-80’s Accused and Venice Ca, thrashers Excel. The bands MySpace proudly claim they are the “son’s of Venice Beach”. Violator is another current Brazilian thrash power house. They take their influence from the most seminal of 80’s thrash acts like Slayer and Nuclear Assault and, well, pretty much stop there. In fact an ad for their new CD “Chemical Assault” boasts that the album has “no new influences and no trendies at all. Only old school thrash metal, nothing more”.

violator

heavy artilleryOf course no sub-genre of music is complete without a record label to support it. Well consider the current thrash resurgence complete thanks to New York’s Heavy Artillery Records. Calling themselves “A new force in old school metal,” Heavy Artillery has a healthy roster of current thrash acts. Check out their ‘’Speed Kills … Again!” compilation. This comp features the afore mentioned Toxic Holocaust and Merciless Death as well as fellow retro-thrashers Warbringer, Enforcer, and the “Germanic” thrash of Avenger of Blood (they sound exactly like Kreator.) The compilation is a cool and cheap way to find out what this label is all about.

This particular genre band wagon is filling up fast, but there are some really great bands playing this style. Check the “friends” list on the MySpace page of any of the bands mentioned here. There are a lot of bands playing just about every possible form of thrash metal .The current thrash resurgence may not be adding much to the modern musical lexicon, but it is an awesome display of musical passion. These dudes love this stuff and are dedicated to bringing it back.

1 Comments For This Post

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  1. matt Says:

    If I wasn’t flat on my back recovering, I’d be doing the toxic waltz!

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