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Thrash Metal Diamonds

Ein Artikel von gargantouas vom 22.04.2004 (2667 mal gelesen)
The idea to write this article came right after I woke up and I though, what the hell? The only problem was that in the days of the big outbreak of thrash metal music (especially the BAY AREA scene) I was only around 6 or 7 years old. So, in no way I can capture on this article the feeling of Thrash Metal. Instead of doing something like the progressive metal special I though that it would be better to present some monumental albums of Thrash Metal to people that maybe are too new to have listened to those. Now there may be some thoughts as to: "Where in god's name is that album?” You have to think that I decided to present 5 of my favourite thrash metal albums and nothing else. I have also prepared a must have thrash metal guide so that you will be able to have a full picture of this metal scene and movement. Let's start shall we?



METALLICA
The last album of the unlucky Cliff Burton and for many the last quality album from the band. "Master Of Puppets" hit the record stores on the 21rst of February, 1986 and it was the big outbreak for the almost teenagers METALLICA. The previous two albums, "Kill Them All" and "Ride The Lightning" have established them as one of the most important underground acts on the US Thrash scene. "Master Of Puppets" was the album to put them also on the charts as it reached the nu. 29 worldwide.

1.Battery
2.Master Of Puppets
3.The Thing That Shouldn't Be
4.Welcome Home (Sanitarium)
5.Disposable Heroes
6.Leper Messiah
7.Orion
8.Damage Inc.

On this album METALLICA got rid of the bad production of "Kill Them All" and any epic/classic metal elements they introduced with "Ride The Lightning" and focused on style of songs like 'Hit The Lights', 'Fight Fire With Fire' etc... From the first song, the speed and aggression hit you to the stomach and 'Battery' leaves you only with the greatest neck pain out of the head banging. A surely dynamic start establishing the thrash metal Bay Area like sound for the band. The title track, well it just was meant to remain a classic as the 8 minutes of that song are all just amazing. Bands like DREAM THEATER still play a cover of that song, so this says a lot. Atmospheric moments like 'The thing That Shouldn't Be', 'Welcome Home (Sanitarium)' and 'Orion' (the best instrumental song ever...) keep the variation on the album while 'Disposable Heroes' (my personal favourite), 'Leper Messiah' and 'Damage Inc.' damages ears and neck.
After almost 20 years, "Master Of Puppets" remain on the playlists of many people and radio djs. After 20 years it is still the epitome and a reference for all the younger bands that try to give something to the heavy metal scene. I think that few would believe the impact that this album would have to the next generations as well as that it would remain a classic up to our days. "...And Justice For All" was the continuation without Cliff Burton, and for some people the first weak moment of METALLICA. I say that "...And Justice For All" is a good album, but not to the standards of this masterpiece. The title album also known as "Black Album" was the end of the Thrash Metal METALLICA and the start of a new hybrid that was meant to dominate the charts all over the world. I believe that "St. Anger" has nothing to do with the glorious past of this band and that it is one of their worst albums. Your thoughts are what it counts. I don't thing that you haven't listened to "Master Of Puppets", but if you haven't, well I don't think that you should wait any longer to go to the record shop of your town and buy it immediately.


SLAYER

Ok, why have I choose this album? Simply because it is my favourite. I have to be honest and say that I never enjoyed that much SLAYER until the release of "Seasons In The Abyss" in 1990. This is simply because the musicality of the band seemed to grow more as the years were passing. Some first signs have been introduced with "Reign In Blood" and "South Of Heaven", but always there was something that I didn't like that much out of these albums. However, the second favourite would be the debut album, "Show no Mercy" because it is fucking raw.

1. War Ensemble
2. Blood Red
3. Spirit In Black
4. Expendable Youth
5. Dead Skin Mask
6. Hallowed Point
7. Skeletons Of Society
8. Temptation
9. Born Of Fire
10. Seasons In The Abyss

Enough waffling, "Seasons In The Abyss" was the album that made SLAYER even bigger. Mixing their past with some new elements in their music, I believe they reached the top of creativity with this album. All the elements that characterized them as one of the speediest thrash metal bands (especially "Reign In Blood"), the elements that gave them a more melodic approach (some moments of "Show No Mercy" and "South Of Heaven") are present. The fast 'War Ensemble', the rhythmical 'Expendable Youth', the melodic 'Dead Skin Mask' and the simply classic title track are maybe the top moments of the album.
All I have to say is that "Seasons In The Abyss" contains ten songs that is the epitome of thrash/classic metal and if you haven't listened to it (something that I doubt) you should at least try listening to it. SLAYER with that album established their financial success and their recognition with songs that are truly masterpieces. Unfortunately, after that the band decided to change musical direction and "Divine Intervention" just didn't suit me. I believe that this was the last album that I was able to listen from this great band, of such a quality. I have to be honest and say that I was so much disappointed that I didn't followed the last these last few years, something that I have to do. Let us see then what the future holds.


SEPULTURA
I was very puzzled. I didn't know which album to present from this glorious band from Brazil. I just know one think. SEPULTURA changed my view on extreme music. They started as a brutal death metal band and they have evolved through the years to a band that simply...became monumental.

1. Arise
2. Dead Embryonic Cells
3. Desperate Cry
4. Murder
5. Subtraction
6. Altered State
7. Under Siege (Regnum Irae)
8. Meaningless Movements
9. Infected Voice

Either way, the first signs came with the release of "Beneath The Remains", where the band held the death metal elements in the front row, but some other elements started making their appearance shyly. Elements in music that would have changed the personality of the band. And what has come? One year after "Seasons In The Abyss", the band from Brazil answered all the question and left everyone speechless. "Arise" hit the stores and was hailed by everyone as the epitome of death/thrash. This is when the argue between the fans of the two bands started (SLAYER and SEPULTURA) as to which band is the best one. I simply vote for "Arise" since it touched me with its aggression, its power and its musicality. The title track sums up the speed thrash definition while songs like 'Dead Embryonic Cells', 'Desperate Cry' and 'Under Siege' are simply breath taking.
The storming moments are present throughout the album and Igor Cavalera becomes immediately one of the greatest drummers of the scene. Before "Arise" the band has some also very good moments that led to the peak of creativity. "Beneath The Remains" with the classic 'Inner Self' became one of the monumental death/thrash albums also; while "Schizophrenia" established them and made them known (the amazing 'Troops Of Doom' is on that album).
After the release of "Arise" the band simply disappointed me. The mediocre "Chaos A.D." tried to introduce some hardcore sounds and while it had some good songs, it simply never catches the creativity of "Arise". After that...simply disappointment since the band decided to follow folk tunes of their home country, something that is not band, but that led them to bad albums. Max Cavalera left the band and simply things weren't the same. For all those that haven't listened to "Arise", well...simply buy it.


TESTAMENT
One of the newer bands that came after the outbreak of METALLICA. Following the same roads, TESTAMENT came to life in 1987 with "The Legacy", as a thrashier approach to METALLICA. This changed through the years. Either way, the third studio album of the band hailed great recognition and remains up to now one of the most successful marriage of melody and thrash metal.

1.Practice What You Preach
2.Perilious Nation
3.Envy Life
4.Time Is Coming
5.Blessed In Contempt
6.Greenhouse Effect
7.Sins Of Omission
8.The Ballad
9.Nightmare (Coming Back To You)
10.Confusion Fusion

Apparently, "Practice What You Preach" is maybe my favourite thrash album (don't ask why, it is just so...) and I love every moment of it. From the powerful opening of the title track, to the amazing rhythmical sections of 'Envy Life' and 'Time Is Coming' to the two top moments of the album.
A special note to 'Sins Of Omission' which is one of the most rhythmical, hardest, melodic songs I have ever heard. Simply a masterpiece. Another note to 'The Ballad' that starts off an amazing dreamy acoustic ballad that concludes to a storming melodic thrash tune. A masterpiece.
After that album the band output "Souls Of Black" that contained some good songs ('The Legacy' became an MTV hit) but wasn't as good as the former try. "The Ritual" is one hell of an album (maybe their best) but it was hardly a thrash metal album. The soul of the band, Alex Scolnick left after that and the band suffered for a couple of albums. Eddie Murphy (the wizard of the death metal guitars) joined the band and for me they also lost their touch. None of their latest albums came close to "Practice What You Preach", however they are good enough. TESTAMENT is a band that worth your attention. If you don’t know them try this album and "The Ritual" first. You will not regret it.


ANNIHILATOR
From the moment I decided to write this, I decided to present five albums. This fifth album is chosen mostly because it comes from a country that hasn't that many bands and secondly because it contains a song that will remain forever as a classic. I hope that the MEGADETH fans will forgive me.

1. Crystal Ann
2. Alison Hell
3. W.T.Y.D.
4. Wicked Mystic
5. Burns Like A Buzzsaw Blade
6. Word Salad
7. Schizos (are never alone) parts 1&2
8. Ligeia
9. Human Insecticide
Either way, ANNIHILATOR came as a shining star on the thrash metal scene as shook every thing as an earthquake. On April 17th, 1989 "Alice In Hell" hit the stores and left the metal community speechless. Mostly because of the track named "Alison Hell". This one was the introduction of a new era. I keep on thinking why this album was so successful. I always come up with the same answer. It is because of the monumental guitar riffs and the unique style of Mr. Waters. From the intro 'Crystal Ann' one can understand that he has to face one of the greatest guitar players on the metal scene.
'Alison Hell' is just so well known. The whole album reproduces sharp riffs and hellish melodies with top moments 'Ligeia' and 'Human Insecticide'. The rhythm section tight and an album that break bones. A must have for all the metal fans and not only the thrash ones.
The band released the very good "Never Neverland" (contained 'Stonewall' and the amazing 'The Fan Palace') and slowly the sound became less and less harder until we reached the other masterpiece of the band, "Set The World On Fire". This one is mostly classic metal and not thrash. Jeff Waters decided that he didn't like this style and for the next years he returned to the thrash, extreme sounds with albums like "King Of The Kill" and the latest very good "Waking The Fury". I believe that none of them captured though the uniqueness of "Alice In Hell"...get it immediately if you don't own it.





THE MUST HAVE THRASH METAL GUIDE
I have forgotten a lot, but here are some albums out of the 80s that could get you into the feeling of thrash metal...
Metallica - Kill 'em all
Metallica - Ride the lightning
Slayer - Show no mercy
Slayer - Reign in blood
Exciter - Heavy metal maniac
Exciter - Violence and force
Anthrax - Fistful of metal
Celtic Frost - Morbid tales
Exodus - Bonded by blood
Exodus - Faboulus Disaster
Overkill - Feel the fire
Destruction - Infernal Overkill
Destruction - Eternal devastation
Megadeth - Killing is My Business...
Megadeth - Peace sells..
Megadeth - Rust in peace
Possessed - Seven Churches
Kreator - Pleasure to kill
Kreator - Coma of souls
Flotsam & Jetsam - Doomsday for the deceiver
Flotsam & Jetsam - No place for disgrace
Coroner - R.I.P.
Death - Scream Bloody Gore
Death - Human
Sacred Reich - Ignorance
Sacred Reich - The American Way
Sodom - Agent Orange
Sodom - Better Off Dead
Sodom - Code Red
Sepultura - Morbid Visions
Sepultura - Schizophrenia
Sepultura - Beneath the Remains
Toxik - Think this
Atrophy - Violent by nature
Death Angel - Act III

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