I inaugurate with this article a new section of the blog where I will periodically present to my readers a selection of the most relevant thrash metal records that have been published in a specific period of time. Frequency of publication will reflect of course the number of valuable releases from both emerging and major formations.
This first episode of the THRASH RADAR covers the most interesting albums that have been published between the beginning of the year and late January 2019.
Before starting with the albums, let me just explain one thing. Although I believe that I listen to almost every thrash record that’s released all over the world, it is not my intention to mention here every single LP which is published worldwide, but neither all the records that I had the opportunity to hear. Consider this as a good summary of the most important events, my selection of what I believe it’s worth to listen and keep with us. Please also consider that for some of the LPs that I’m presenting below I’ve already published a dedicated review on the blog. You will be provided with the link to access it.
“Theater of Despair”, by Violblast
The first good album of thrash that I had the opportunity to hear in 2019 comes from Spain, and this fact was far from being a surprise for me. I’ve discussed many times about the value of European thrash and the readers of this blog already know how many words of appreciation I have spent in particular for the quality of Spanish metal.
Violblast, from the province of Girona, are active since 2012 and they have published two full-lenght studio albums to date. Their last record, called Theater of Despair, contains ten violent and brutal tracks, all carrying a remarkable amount of aggressivity.
It was definitely a good start for thrash metal, even because the band has somehow identified a peculiar style for playing this genre of music, which consequently raised our level of attention. I have published a dedicated review for the LP, you can access it from here.
“Basado on Hechos Reales”, by Inferno
Violblast’s new album was not the only interesting release coming out from Spain during the month of January. We had in fact a second LP that’s worth to be mentioned, even if it’s value is not comparable to Theater of Despair. The record I’m talking about is named Basado en Hechos Reales (“Based on real events”) and it’s the second LP from Inferno, a quintet of metalheads from Ceuta.
Basado en Hechos Reales offers a more standard interpretation of mid-tempo old-school thrash metal, which these guys enriched with the introduction of nice groovy elements. The riffs are generally good and all the songs of the album are nice to hear, although, in the end, the LP results excessively monochromatic and linear, with the energetic impact of the first songs which tends to fade when we approach the central part of the record. Anyway, I’ll keep an eye on them.
“Trapped in Chaos”, by Dust Bolt
Third album of the list, and we’re still in Europe. Since the beginning of the year there was some expectation for the new LP from the German based band Dust Bolt, which play “Bay Area-influenced thrash metal, featuring crossover influences and killer melodies”. This is their own definition, but it’s actually a pretty good synthesis of their style of music, especially as regards the reference to old-school thrash.
Dust Bolt are active since more than ten years and they have released to date four LPs. If we consider their discography as a whole, their style of thrashing has certainly improved, becoming with the years more compact and and precise. Dust Bolt’s new album, named Trapped in Chaos, is absolutely well played and nice to hear, especially if you are a fan of mid-tempo thrash metal songs. As a matter of fact, Trapped in Chaos features some really good songs with catchy and intriguing riffs, in particular in the first part of the LP. Anyway, I really miss a touch of class, a truly memorable piece that could allow the band to emerge from the plethora of formations paying their tribute to the masters of thrash.
Dust Bolt are offering one of the best modern interpretations of Bay Area thrash metal, but they have to put something more special in their music if they want to become more relevant in the current metal scene.
“The End of Chaos”, by Flotsam and Jetsam
Nowadays chaos seems to be a recurring subject for thrash metal bands. According to Dust Bolt we’re trapped into it, but then we meet with Flotsam and Jetsam who say that chaos has ended. Who’s right?
The End of Chaos is the new LP from the American band, and it’s also one of the best of their entire discography, which has arrived today at the remarkable number of thirtheen studio albums. Compared to their previous releases we can immediately recognize that their latest record is heavier, and faster. It looks like the band wanted to demonstrate that they are still in good shape, and that they have no intention to give up on intensity or speed.
That’s one of the thrash metal albums that impressed me the most in the last few weeks and I’ve published a dedicated review of the LP. You can read it by following this link.
“Concrete Jungle”, by Fusion Bomb
From the tiny sovereign state of Luxembourg, in the heart of the Old Continent, four proud thrash metalheads have published in January 2019 their debut LP. They are the named Fusion Bomb and their album, Concrete Jungle, ideally closes their initial stage of musical development: from their formation back in 2010 in the small town of Noertzange (just over 900 inhabitants) to the release of their first full-lenght studio record.
Concrete Jungle, in its essence, is another entry in the wide family of albums which celebrate the classic style of thrash from California, which these guys play with passion and appreciable technical skills. The rhythmic section, in particular, is precise and powerful, especially for what concerns the bass of Michel Nippel which often provides the propulsive energy of the songs. Concrete Jungle is an album that all lovers of thrash will surely appreciate for its accessibility and freshness, and in any case its 37 minutes of duration flow extremely smoothly, mostly thanks to a good dynamic between the various tracks.
The aspect that perhaps needs to be improved for their future released is the quality of the riffs. Apart from some cases (such as the title track), the ones in their debut LP are not always catchy and unforgettable.
“666-Pack”, by Insanity Alert
The journey into the most interesting albums of the last few weeks concludes into the madness that’s brought by Insanity Alert, the thrash metal band from Austria that has just released the second LP of their discography: 666-pack.
Insanity Alert’s new LP is a damn funny and engaging album, a coarse mix of old-school thrash, punk, crossover and grind. 21 songs in 32 minutes, all seasoned with a teenage spirit and offering lyrics that deal with deep and complex social themes such as beer and parties. But beware: the guys from Innsbruck really know what they’re doing, and they do it absolutely well. There is a quantity of exciting riffs on this record to literally remain open-mouthed.
I really enjoyed the album, you can read here my review.
While waiting for the next bunch of LPs, you can enjoy the best and newest thrash songs by following the playlist THRASH METAL FEAST. It’s continuously updated with new tracks, so my recommendation is to follow it and visit regularly.