Technical Thrash Metal

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technical thrash metal top albums

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VOIVOD Dimension Hatröss Album Cover Dimension Hatröss
VOIVOD
4.29 | 38 ratings
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VEKTOR Terminal Redux Album Cover Terminal Redux
VEKTOR
4.30 | 21 ratings
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CORONER No More Color Album Cover No More Color
CORONER
4.22 | 28 ratings
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MADROST The Essence of Time Matches No Flesh Album Cover The Essence of Time Matches No Flesh
MADROST
4.41 | 7 ratings
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VEKTOR Outer Isolation Album Cover Outer Isolation
VEKTOR
4.18 | 35 ratings
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WATCHTOWER Control And Resistance Album Cover Control And Resistance
WATCHTOWER
4.20 | 25 ratings
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VOIVOD Killing Technology Album Cover Killing Technology
VOIVOD
4.13 | 32 ratings
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VEKTOR Black Future Album Cover Black Future
VEKTOR
4.07 | 37 ratings
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MEKONG DELTA Dances of Death (And Other Walking Shadows) Album Cover Dances of Death (And Other Walking Shadows)
MEKONG DELTA
4.17 | 9 ratings
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MEKONG DELTA Lurking Fear Album Cover Lurking Fear
MEKONG DELTA
4.20 | 7 ratings
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INVOCATOR Weave the Apocalypse Album Cover Weave the Apocalypse
INVOCATOR
4.20 | 7 ratings
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REVOCATION Great Is Our Sin Album Cover Great Is Our Sin
REVOCATION
4.19 | 7 ratings
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Visitations from Enceladus
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CRYPTIC SHIFT
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technical thrash metal Music Reviews

MESHUGGAH Contradictions Collapse

Album · 1991 · Technical Thrash Metal
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UMUR
"Contradictions Collapse" is the debut full-length studio album by technical thrash metal act Meshuggah. The album was relased through Nuclear Blast Records in January 1991. The original vinyl version of the album features 8 tracks while the CD version features a 9th bonus track in "Cadaverous Mastication". Meshuggah formed in 1987 (shortly functioning under the Calipash monicker) and released the "Ejaculation of Salvation" demo in 1989 and later the same year the "Meshuggah (Psykisk Testbild)" EP. There has been one lineup change since the release of the EP as drummer Niklas Lundgren has been replaced by Tomas Haake.

Stylistically the material on "Contradictions Collapse" is technical thrash metal. Lead vocalist/rhythm guitarist Jens Kidman has a voice and vocal style which is somewhat similar to how James Hetfield of Metallica sounded in the 80s, although generally a bit more monotone and raw and shouting. Comparisons to the most technical moments on Metallica´s "...and Justice for All (1988)" are also valid enough, but Meshuggah are ultimately an even more technically complex and brutal monster. There´s often a fusion edge to the drumming, and lead guitarist Fredrik Thordendal has a jazz/fusion solo style which is strongly influenced by Allan Holdsworth. "Contradictions Collapse" is not an easily accessible release and the material takes a bit of time and a few spins to remember. Given enough spins hooks begin to appear in memorable riffs and drum patterns or a catchy vocal phrase here and there. The point is that the album is more memorable than it may initially appear.

"Contradictions Collapse" features a powerful and detailed sounding production. It´s not the most well balanced sound production out there, and while it´s nice to actually be able to hear the bass on the metal production, the metallic toned bass is a little too dominant in the mix. The guitars should have been slightly higher placed in the mix and the bass a little lower and the album would arguably have prospered from it. Considering it´s a 1991 thrash metal release, "Contradictions Collapse" is still a well produced album though, so the balance of the instruments in the mix is after all a minor issue. Upon conclusion "Contradictions Collapse" is a strong debut album by Meshuggah and while it´s not a perfect release, and fans of the band´s subsequent releases aren´t guaranteed to enjoy this (it sounds very different from the ultra heavy, complex, and groove laden extreme metal of later works), it´s a succesful release on its own terms. Fans of technical late 80s/early 90s thrash metal are recommended to give this one a listen. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is fully deserved.

VOIVOD Dimension Hatröss

Album · 1988 · Technical Thrash Metal
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Unitron
Voivod's always been in their own metallic science-fiction world, ignoring trends that come and go for the most part. Even with a dud here and there, I know I'm always going to get an album that sounds like Voivod and only that.

I've never been able to pick between Killing Technology and Dimension Hatröss as my favorite album, the former nails a cold and caustic sci-fi thrash world, while Hatröss is Voivod's take on more melodic thrash where hooks rule.

Songs like Chaosmöngers and the sweet titled Macrosolutions to Megaproblems have some of thrash's most infectious choruses, and Chaosmöngers will often randomly start playing in my head, as a testament to its catchiness. Despite his unique nasally snarl, Snake can sing great melodies, but with his own twist to compliment Piggy's dissonant thrash riffs and solos.

After eight songs of sci-fi thrash, the album closes out with a cover of the 60's Batman theme song. It's a lot of fun, something that all the best thrash bands remember to have. After this album, the band would go in a direction closer to just spacey heavy metal before bringing thrash back in the mid 90's.

BIOMECHANICAL Cannibalised

Album · 2008 · Technical Thrash Metal
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UMUR
"Cannibalised" is the 3rd full-length studio album by UK progressive power/thrash metal act Biomechanical. The album was released through Earache Records in February 2008. It´s the successor to "The Empires Of The Worlds" from 2005.

"Cannibalised" continues the "hard to define" music style of "The Empires Of The Worlds (2005)", which means that it´s a combination of thrash/groove metal riffs, screaming US power/heavy metal styled vocals, progressive ideas, and symphonic orchestral keyboards. Although the tracks feature regular vers/chorus parts, "Cannibalised" is not an easy listening experience, which is due to the many influences fighting for domination and often the tracks are multi-layered and quite busy. At times it´s quite a chaotic listen and as a consequence some tracks (like the title track) take several listens to fully grasp.

The 10 tracks on the 48:05 minutes long album are very hard edged and energetic, and it´s only a few times during the playing time that Biomechanical turn down the volume and allow room for more mellow parts (like the case is with "Breathing Silence"). Other than those occasional moments where the listener is allowed to breathe a little, you´re constantly bombarded with pretty extreme screaming vocals (think of Rob Halford on steroids), very fast-paced frantic riffing, and aggressive rhythms.

This approach to playing/singing of course requires great skill, and Biomechanical have that in abundance. The instrumental part of the music is very impressive, and lead vocalist John K. is an incredibly powerful and talented singer too. His performance could have prospered from a little more restraint and focus on melody, instead of almost constantly screaming at the top of his lungs, but it´s still impossible not to recognize how skilled he is.

"Cannibalised" features a powerful sounding production, which is obviously the work of a professional, but when it comes down to it actually lacks a bit of clarity, and the already busy music often ends up even more chaotic sounding that it already is. So I´m a bit biased when it comes to evaluating "Cannibalised", because on one hand I´m very impressed by the musicianship and the often jaw-dropping moments of technical bliss that is a result of that, but on the other hand the songwriting could have been more memorable, and the sound production more detailed and clear sounding. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

HELLWITCH Syzygial Miscreancy

Album · 1990 · Technical Thrash Metal
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Warthur
Hellwitch's extremely terse debut album (it's only 25 minutes long) has them issuing a torrent of extreme technical thrash, largely occupying the most extreme end of the thrash metal spectrum where it starts to bleed into death metal.

It may seem like splitting hairs to talk about them playing a blend of death metal and technical thrash as opposed to a mix of thrash metal and technical death, but it's arguably accurate: the technical aspects of Hellwitch's sound tend to be more in line with the sort of technical experiments arising from thrash metal (such as the work of Annihilator or Watchtower) than death metal (such as latter-day Death, Cynic, or Atheist). Overall, it's pretty decent, though it feels like a band who'd produced as many demos as Hellwitch had really ought to have more ideas to bring to the table for their debut album than are on display here.

SADUS A Vision of Misery

Album · 1992 · Technical Thrash Metal
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UMUR
"A Vision of Misery" is the 3rd full-length studio album by US, California based thrash metal act Sadus. The album was released through Roadrunner Records in March 1992. It´s the successor to "Swallowed in Black" from 1990. Sadus had been relatively successful with "Swallowed in Black (1990)", but gained even further notice from the metal scene when bassist Steve DiGiorgio was asked to join the recording lineup of the groundbreaking "Human (1991)" album by Death. After finishing up his work with Schuldiner and co., he was back in Sadus for the recording of "A Vision of Misery".

Stylistically the music on "A Vision of Misery" continues the furiously fast-paced, aggressive, and technically well played thrash metal style of "Swallowed in Black (1990)" (albeit with quite a few more mid-paced sections than before). It´s slightly less frenetic this time around though, and there is a bit more sophistication to the songwriting too. The guitar solos are for example a bit more memorable than on the predecessor and occasionally even feature a hint of melody. The tracks also feature more catchy hooks, although it wouldn´t exactly be the truth calling this accessible music. This is still first and foremost very aggressive thrash metal played with great technical skill. In other words, it´s unmistakably the sound of Sadus. They are branching out a bit though and tracks like "Machines" and "Deceptive Perceptions" show a side of them we haven´t heard on the preceding releases. A less aggressive, more atmospheric and varied side.

As mentioned the musicianship is on a high technical level. Sadus are a really well playing act, from the pounding aggressive drumming, to the razor sharp fast-paced guitar riffs, to the rapid dog snarl of the vocals, to the fretless bass playing. Everything is delivered with tight precision yet with great organic sensibility. The well sounding production follows suit. It´s raw, organic, and powerful sounding. Quite a bit more detailed than the sound on the predecessor, and upon conclusion "A Vision of Misery" is a step up from the previous releases by the band. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

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