Editor’s Note: Pete has a simple goal with this column – keep thrash metal alive. He’ll explore key bands. albums and movements in the scene every month. To kick things off, he’ll take a look back at thrash’s history and his own journey with the genre. … When I first got…
As someone who likes to keep an eye on all things Australian and thrash metal, I’d been looking out for the second full-length effort from Adelaide up-and-comers Hidden Intent for some time. Yet, when Fear, Prey, Demise dropped digitally back in February, it somehow completely passed me by—as I imagine…
If you’re not convinced that we’re currently deep in the middle of the metalcore resurgence, then the simple fact that tomorrow sees the release of the first Bleeding Through record in over six-years should lay those doubts to rest. You’ll have to wait until then for Jordan to tell you just how good Love Will Kill All is, but this seems like as good an opportunity as ever to look back upon the career of a band who were foundational to the dominant heavy metal movement of the new millennium, and who certainly carved out a strong following for themselves, yet who—in retrospect—feel somewhat overlooked compared to their peers, especially considering the sheer quality and consistency of their output. You might say, that their genre’s Testament and, if new single “Fade Into The Ash” is anything to go by, it would also seem they haven’t lost any of that edge in the more than half-decade interim.
Due to the way we’ve decided to divide up the time zones, correspondence with an international audience from the humble southern continent of Australia often feels akin to looking into the past. Yet, despite this perceived futurism, Australian culture often trails its American and European counterparts by some distance. So it is that, while the northern thrash revival has come and (more-or-less) gone, the Australian metal scene is currently experiencing the biggest genre boom it has undergone since thrash metal originally emerged in the mid ‘80s. Back then, we brought our own quality acts to the fold, most notably in the form(s) of Mortal Sin and Hobbs Angel of Death, and the Allegiance in the ’90s. Yet, while the style had effectively remained dormant since then, the last five-to-ten years have seen an explosion in the amount of world-class thrash metal bands to have emerged from these southern shores.
Every once in a great while we have calendar years that see iconic releases across a range of styles. It is rare that we see this happen in just one particular style. 1987 was one such year, though, as the entire spectrum of heaviness saw iconic records drop like so many tears from the eyes of mainstream pop music stars that these albums would devour. At the time, it didn’t seem like this was any different of a year for music until fans started to take a look at their growing record collections and what would spin out from the influence of so many landmark albums.
A man who overcame a failing kidney. A performer who was just about to take his leap at the ring. A rapper who came back and said “fuck it, this is me”. All of these statements are true about Stef Alexander aka P.O.S. and the back-story of his struggles have been told over and over again (our abridged version is below) so in this edition of HLT we’re going to look at the curious case of Stef and how he got his mojo back by producing one of the best LPs of 2017.
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.
Iron Reagan is made up of the singer and bassist from Municipal Waste, Darkest Hour’s old drummer, and DRI’s Crossover DNA. Then again, if you’re at all familiar with the thrash revival scene then you probably already know that about this band. And you can probably take a healthy guess about what their latest album on Relapse, Crossover Ministry, sounds like. All hints of predictability aside this is a rollicking throwback to the heyday of thrash when bands like Testament, Exodus, Forbidden, and so many others were as likely to be found shredding guitars and skateboards as digging themselves out of the pit.
Last year I took it upon myself not only to organize and compile our own staff’s AOTY list, but to take things one insane step further and compile a bunch of lists from major metal or metal-covering publications and websites into one MEGA AOTY list to rule them all. Eden and I then analyzed the list and made some (mostly snarky) comments about the metal journalism industry and how they approach these sorts of things. Though I still 100% stand by what we wrote there and the conclusions we drew from it, I was really interested in seeing how well some of them would stand up to another year to use as a data point. Thankfully, this year I had a lot of help in all of our list-making efforts thanks to fellow editor Noyan, who put a ton of work into coming up with the method we ended up using to aggregate our lists (if you haven’t already, you should absolutely read his post delving into the nitty-gritty of that methodology) and then did the actual number-crunching.
Testament’s new album, Brotherhood Of The Snake, is likely to please the faithful and even more likely to be ignored by anyone else. While the band delivers typically strong riffs and decent vocal melodies, there is nothing particularly new or groundbreaking. It is, not surprisingly to those who have followed the band for decades, simply another Testament album.