2016 was one hell of a year for thrash metal with top tier releases from big names such as Testament, Death Angel, Anthrax and Metallica. 2017 has somehow managed to keep up the momentum, especially with releases from younger bands, showing that thrash metal is still a force to be reckoned with. Here’s my personal top five albums from the year!
5.) Kreator – Gods of Violence
Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Album number 14 from the Teutonic thrash titans demonstrates what a band can do after 35 years of experience and a drive to keep improving and refining their sound. ‘Gods of Violence’ came out in January but I’m still listening to it 10 months later. If that’s not enough of an endorsement you can check out our full review here.
4.) Overkill – The Grinding Wheel
Something happened in the early 2000’s to Overkill. Whatever it was changed them from a band that released “good” music to a band who releases “fucking awesome” music. ‘Ironbound’, ‘Electric Age’and‘White Devil Armoury’ are Overkill’s three most recent releases and while it may be an unpopular opinion they’re also my favourite. ‘The Grinding Wheel’ now means that their four most recent albums are my favourite… sorry ‘Feel the Fire’ you’ll have to make do with number five. For a more detailed look you can read our full review here.
3.) Warbringer – Woe to The Vanquished
Adam Caroll and Chase Becker are one of the best guitar partnerships in thrash metal. If you don’t believe me go listen to “Remain Violent” all the way through – just try not to think of Eric Cartman when John Kevill screams “respect my authority” at you. ‘Woe to The Vanquished’ takes a lot of inspiration from bands such as Exodus and Slayer but contains enough variety and experimentation to keep the listener engaged and surprised. You can check out our full review here.
2.) Lich King – The Omniclasm
Blisteringly fast riffs? Check. Machine gun drumming and vocal delivery that makes a Ferrari look slow? Check. Hilarious lyrics about how children are dirty little monsters who’ll sneeze in your mouth and infect you with flu? Check! ‘The Omniclasm’ is Lich King’s best album yet.
1.) Havok – Conformicide
‘Conformicide’ is a giant middle finger to anyone who thinks Thrash metal died in the 80’s. Havok have always been incredibly talented musicians but with the addition of new bass player Nick Schendzielo the band breaks into new territory and sound better than ever. A lot of newer thrash bands get flak for sticking too closely to the classic formula of the 80’s, thankfully Conformicide manages to retain what made that era’s music special while pushing the boundaries just enough to forge an original sound. You can check out our full review here.
It was no easy feat to narrow this year’s thrash releases down to a top five. We’re approaching forty years from the birth of thrash metal and the scene shows no signs of slowing down or dying off. There’s plenty of great albums that didn’t quite make my list including releases from Evil Invaders, Harlott and Tankard so why not post in the comments and let us know your top five?