Each month on my radio show I will be letting people choose from my top 10 albums from my favourite genres and decades.
So I thought it would be great opportunity to do a monthly blog detailing my personal journey with each subject. Also a small review of my favourite 10 albums from each genre.
So let's get started, first up for February is...
Certainly one of my favourite genres ever. I was too young to remember Thrash breaking around 83 and even in the classic era of 86 I was still listening to stuff like: Sabbath, Motorhead, 70s Rock and I had become obsessed with Maiden.
It wasn't until around 88 that I caught the Thrash bug, when the big 4 released the albums ...and Justice For All, State Of Euphoria, South Of Heaven and So Far So Good So What. Once I heard these and was blown away I naturally delved into all their back catalogues and the rest is history.
I think my love of Thrash stems from just a youthful enthusiasm to want to hear something heavier and faster than had gone before. Plus the popular perception of what Heavy Metal was at the time was stuff like Bon Jovi, Def leppard and hair bands in general and it used to piss me right off. I needed something heavy
Metallica's amazing One video is what did it for me still one of the best music video's ever made and the ferocity of Justice blew me away. The drums take center stage and James voice is my favourite on any record really aggressive and spiteful It's just a shame about the bass. Although I would say song craft is probably better on Masters & Ride.
Anthrax were probably the biggest of the big 4 in the UK at the time. I remember the single Make Me laugh charting and Antisocial got top 10, but it was the live video from Hammersmith 87 that really did it for me. Filmed on the Among The Living tour a superb live video that got me obsessed with that album.
I first heard Megadeth like most things on Tommy Vance Friday Rock Show the song was Mary Jane an underrated Megadeth track in my book. Love their back catalogue but for me they reached a peak with Rust In Peace. It still has the thrash of the 80s but with a much heavier production and mustaine's voice is killer.
I discovered Slayer on a short lived TV series called Heavy Metal Heaven playing live on the South Of Heaven tour and was instantly a fan. I realised that this was somewhat faster and darker than had gone before. I listened to South Of Heaven first so I didn't have the sense that Slayer had changed their sound, it was only until I heard Reign In Blood for the first time that I thought holy shit.
Other bands I was getting into at the time were Testament who seem to have much more of a groove in their music than other bands especially with Practice What You Preach. Exodus had Fabulous Disaster out. Nuclear Assault had Survive., In the UK Onslaught were making waves with In Search of Sanity, but no sooner had I started to getting into this music it started to die off. Didn't stop me though as I started discovering loads of old bands like Kreator, Sepultura, Voivod, Whiplash, Destruction, Celtic Frost and so on.
So to sum up, a great decade with some of the greatest bands ever some of which are still going today. I am proud to have witnessed it if only briefly.
Here are my top 10 80s Thrash Metal albums. In alphabetical order
A thrash album you can really sing to yet does not let up on the speed and heaviness. Some killer break downs that they would label mosh part in the lyrics. One of the first bands to make the term popular. Probably in my top 3 Thrash albums of all time. Best Songs: Among The Living, Caught In A Mosh, I Am The Law, NFL, Indians, Imitation Of Life
Problems with recording ment it came out a year later than it should have been. One of the more violent and brutal albums to come out at the time. It has the riffage and an exuberance for Metal that is kind of unmatched. Best Songs: Bonded By Blood, And Then There Were None, A Lesson In Violence, Piranha
A Lot of people would go for Pleasure To Kill as their favourite and that's fair enough but for me Extreme Aggression just tips it. I love the guitar sound on this album and mille's vocal attack is ferocious, and there are lot's of mid paced break downs that are brutal as hell. Best Songs: Extreme Aggressions, No Reason To Exist, Betrayer, Bringer Of Torture
The German bands brought a more raw nasty version of Thrash Metal almost proto Death and Black Metal and Destructions debut is no exception. An unrelenting barrage of speed, growls and screams this album destroys. Best Songs: Tormentor, Bestial Invasion, Thrash Attack, Antichrist
The album that started it all. The idea to take Punk and the NWOBHM and what you get is Kill 'Em All. You could pick the other Metallica albums i guess but for me this is their only full on thrash album. Must have been a shock to hear such speed and crunching guitars at the time. An absolute classic. Best Songs: Hit The Lights, The Four Horsemen, Whiplash, No Remorse, Seek And Destroy, Metal Militia
Testament brought a bit of mid paced groove to their Thrash Attack but were still able to throw it down with the best of them. They also had Chuck Billy one of the best Metal vocalist ever who is able to shout, sing and death growl all in one song. They also got Alex Skolnick one of the most technically proficient guitarists. The New Order has the majority of their classics a great album. Best Songs: The New Order, Trial By Fire, Into The Pit, Disciples Of The Watch, The Preacher
My favourite album by Megadeth is Rust In Peace but that's the 90s so I'm going for another great album by the band Peace Sells. This band had a Jazzy quirkiness to them that was different, also they were a lot more political than most bands at the time. Mustaine's unique vocal style lent a menace to the music and of course they were the best musicians. Peace sells was technically and commercially a breakthrough for the band. Best Songs: Wake Up Dead, The Conjuring, Peace Sells, Devils Island
One of the lesser known Thrash Metal bands on my list so consequently one of the most underrated. This is just in your face no messing over the top Thrash and I love it. Brutal vocals and superfast riffing makes this an essential listen. Best Songs: Stage Dive, Stirring The Cauldron, Spit On Your Grave, Nailed To The Cross
SLAAAAYEEEEEEERRR sorry I can't help myself. With Reign In Blood they made a landmark album in production and brutality that has never been matched. With 10 songs in less than half an hour it crushes your senses. As Gene Hoglan once said everyone just stop what you're doing because you can't top this. It surprises me how popular it is being so fast and brutal but it stood the test of time and still sounds as fresh and as vital today. I think this is my favourite Thrash album of all time. Best Songs: Angel Of Death, Piece By Piece, Altar Of Sacrifice, Jesus Saves, Postmortem, Raining Blood
Another political motivated band that also brought in a hardcore element to their music. They were one of the only bands to use blast beats in some of their songs. They had a crazy high pitched vocalist in John Connelly and the legendary Dan Lilker. They attacked the music media, politicians, wrote songs on equal rights, environment and the obligatory nuclear war. Best Songs: Rise From The Ashes, Brainwashed, F#, Survive
So I hope you liked my blog look out for the next one in February.
In the mean time feel free to vote for 1 or some of these albums at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/metaldevastationnetwork/
and type in the search Vote Thrash. Cheers