The damning realization of gloom and doom is among us: we are already half way through the year 2017, and in appropriate fashion it is time for a list! You’ll see plenty of these feature pieces pop up on Metal Wani over the coming days and weeks, and mine revolves around the top five thrash metal albums to be released in the past six months. Despite many of the acclaimed legendary acts having released new records in the last couple of years (Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax, Testament, Metallica, Sodom and more), there is still plenty to enjoy when it comes to thrash metal in 2017 so far.
- Kreator – ‘Gods of Violence’
Kreator’s fourteenth studio release ‘Gods of Violence’ was the first since 2012’s Phantom Antichrist, and was like its predecessor produced by Jens Bogren (Amon Amarth, Opeth, Dimmu Borgir, Rotting Christ). The further continuation of melodic elements in the album’s instrumentation as opposed to the straight-forward aggression heard in Kreator’s earlier work added a new touch to its sound, while tracks such as “Fallen Brother”, “Satan is Real” and “Gods of Violence” have become some of the most praised songs in the genre in 2017 so far.
- Havok – ‘Conformicide’
Over the course of the 2010s, Colorado metal band Havok has emerged as one of the key contemporary players in modern thrash metal following a string of acclaimed releases – the most recent of which is 2017’s ‘Conformicide’. The first for Century Media Records and their fourth album overall, ‘Conformicide’ marks Havok’s place as one of the most important current bands in their scene, and their history of touring with genre legends Exodus, Sepultura, Death Angel and more definitely proves that.
- Warbringer – ‘Woe to the Vanquished’
The next couple of releases featured on this countdown are going to be of more ‘in the now’ bands, and the first of those groups to be included on this list is Warbringer. A band that toys with the idea of blending traditional thrash with more melodic elements at times, Warbringer’s 2017 release ‘Woe to the Vanquished’ marked the return of ‘Worlds Torn Asunder’-era guitarist Adam Carroll back into the band, as well as the 11-minute epic “When the Guns Fell Silent” bringing the record to an eventual conclusion – a must-own for fans of thrash when it comes to the genre’s releases in the last few years.
- Power Trip – ‘Nightmare Logic’
One of the best things about this style of music is the amount of new bands coming through, influenced by the past but also with the aspiration to bring their own unique style to the genre. Perhaps the most exciting example of that in 2017 is Power Trip, with their 2017 release ‘Nightmare Logic’ being the sophomore effort following ‘Manifest Decimation’ four years prior in 2013. Old-school thrash is definitely worth your time but if you’re on the look for the newer bands coming through that justify being checked out, Power Trip’s album ‘Nightmare Logic’ is a great place to start.
- Municipal Waste – ‘Slime and Punishment’
I couldn’t leave out Municipal Waste, could I? I’ve already reviewed this album in more detail (definitely check out what I thought of it, by the way) but just to briefly sum up again why ‘Slime and Punishment’ is one of the definitive thrash albums released in 2017 so far is simply due to the talents of Municipal Waste when it comes to crafting fun crossover songs that beg to be seen live. While I feel this album fails to live up to some of the band’s prior work, it is still an undeniably solid achievement and worth of the Municipal Waste name.
And that’s my list for what I consider to be the top 5 thrash metal albums that have been released in 2017 so far. Of course I could not include absolutely everything to have come out in the past six months when it comes to thrash, so that’s why I’ve included a handful of runners-up below, again covering more accomplished acts and other bands who you may not have heard of yet. Thanks for reading!
- Overkill – ‘The Grinding Wheel’
- Tankard – ‘One Foot in the Grave’
- Annihilator – ‘Triple Threat’
- Iron Reagan – ‘Crossover Ministry’
- Sanctuary – ‘Inception’