Into the Pit – Thrashin’ Through 2018

Look, I know my column is filled with super subjective opinions. I write for a music blog, I get to do this. I can troll the comment threads as good as any of them! I just choose to use my skills for the power of good. And we’re talking internet good, so being snarky and borderline mean-spirited for the sake of a really cheap laugh I don’t deserve.

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Release Day Roundup – 7/20/18

Each month, we always seem to come to the same conclusion when it comes to our Editors’ Picks column: Friday release days open the floodgates and unleash a seemingly endless stream of quality new music. But while some of our Editors and Contributors sit down gleefully each week to dive into this newly stocked treasure…

Black Fast – Spectre of Ruin

Few things in metal go together better than thrash and black. Black metal essentially evolved from thrash when the two were initially entwined in the first wave, and the second wave embraced some aspects of it via a full rejection of death metal as “fake”. While that may seem like an extremely subjective reason to disregard an entire group from your community, it did push the two subgenres closer together. Now we have a host of bands who combine these elements to push forth a new extreme metal, and Black Fast is doing a lot to bring the two ideas closer together.

Reprisal – None Survive The Sun

In order to understand why this Reprisal album is great, we need to break down its elements and try to understand the relationship between death metal and thrash metal. The genres are incestuous in their origins, with death metal borrowing more from its younger brother, thrash. So let’s say, for…

Death’s Door – July 2017

Welcome to our latest edition of Death’s Door. Wipe your feet on the mat, etc. There’s a lot to discuss this month, though frankly, I had my doubts at certain points about whether or not there would be. You see, July tends to be a musical doldrums for yours truly, with lots of leftover releases that didn’t make it into the prime Spring and early Summer release calendar clogging streaming services with mundane/barely serviceable drivel. Obviously, this makes for some not-so-great listening experiences. Thankfully, July pulled through regardless, delivering unto us another fantastic batch of death metal releases that can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the rest of 2017. So much so, in fact, that we are foregoing our new tracks section to focus exclusively on the great records released this month. So prepare yourself for some good stuff and thank your lucky stars, because hell hath no fury like a month without good death metal.

Reign in Blood: The Taxonomy of Thrash Metal

Welcome back to our Taxonomy series, where we break down umbrella genres like progressive metal, post rock and doom metal and outline all of the progressions and subgenres that have matriculated over the past few decades. The dissection of thrash metal you’ll find below contains a detailed dissection of the most crucial genre in extreme metal style. Thrash led to incredible innovations over the years, and in turn, a multiplicity of styles has made its way back into the genre’s core traits to form some of the most forward thinking metal coming out today. Seriously, many of the bands mentioned below have released records less than a year ago, and in some cases, less than a month. There’s a ton of ground to cover here, so without further ado, let’s riff on some of the best thrash you can use to mosh in your bedroom.

Black Anvil – As Was

On previous albums, Black Anvil’s blackened thrash always seemed to fall into a state of limbo. Triumvirate hit the black-thrash-for-the-masses nail on the head, but for what little progressive tendencies they exhibited (to be honest, this is definitely more Metallica-level progressivism than it is Dream Theater), it lacked the dynamism to make it truly interesting. They might as well have gone the route of a band like Skeletonwitch and cut the fat entirely in favor of a more lean and mean approach. In comparison, Hail Death felt like an overcompensation. More Watain-like in terms of progressive arrangements, the experimentation was worthwhile, but the record was hampered by too many forgettable moments, leading to inflated songs that felt like they were long for the sake of being long. While both albums are still damn good in their own right, it felt like the band had yet to find the balance that would showcase them at their best. As Was mostly reconciles this imbalance, and also brings some interesting new elements into the fold.