Thrash Metal

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Thrash metal is a subgenre of heavy metal that is characterized by its fast tempo and aggression. Thrash metal songs typically use fast, percussive and low-register guitar riffs, overlaid with shredding-style lead work. Thrash metal lyrics often deal with social issues using direct and denunciatory language, an approach which partially overlaps with the hardcore genre. The "Big Four" bands of thrash metal are Anthrax, Megadeth, Metallica, and Slayer, who simultaneously created and popularized the genre in the early 1980s.

The origins of thrash metal are generally traced to the late 1970s and early 1980s, when a number of bands began incorporating the sound of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, creating a new genre and developing into a separate movement from punk rock and hardcore. This genre is more aggressive compared to its relative, speed metal, and can be seen in part to be a reaction to the lighter, more widely acceptable sounds and themes of glam metal.

Thrash metal generally features fast tempos, low-register, complex guitar riffs, high-register guitar solos, double bass drumming, and aggressive vocals. Most thrash guitar solos are played at high speed, as they are usually characterized by shredding, and use techniques such as sweep picking, legato phrasing, alternate picking, string skipping, and two-hand tapping. Thrash lead guitarists are often influenced by the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement. Thrash guitar riffs often use chromatic scales and emphasize the tritone and diminished intervals, instead of using conventional single scale based riffing. For example, the main riff of Metallica's "Master of Puppets" is a chromatic descent, followed by a chromatic ascent based on the tritone. Rhythm guitar playing is characterized by extensive palm muting and down picking to give the riffs a chugging sound, along with extensive use of the pedal point technique (creating what can be considered a distinctive, 'thrashy' sound). Speed, pacing, and time-changes also define thrash metal. Thrash tends to have an accelerating feel which may be due in large part to its aggressive drumming style. For example, thrash drummers often use two bass drums, or a double-bass pedal, in order to create a relentless, driving beat. Cymbal stops/chokes are often used to transition from one riff to another or to precede an acceleration in tempo. To keep up with the other instruments, many thrash bassists use a pick. However, some prominent thrash metal bassists have used their fingers, such as Frank Bello, Greg Christian, Jack Gibson, Steve DiGiorgio, Robert Trujillo and the late Cliff Burton. Several bassists use a distorted bass tone, an approach popularized by Burton and Motörhead's Lemmy.

Lyrical themes in thrash metal include isolation, alienation, corruption, injustice, addiction, suicide, murder, warfare, and other maladies that afflict the individual and society. Humor and irony can occasionally be found, but they are limited, and are the exception rather than the rule.

Inclusive thrash metal music subgenres:
  • Crossover thrash, often abbreviated to crossover, is a form of thrash metal that contains more hardcore punk elements than standard thrash. It is sometimes referred to as punk metal, though this is generally incorrect due to the existence of other music genres that combine forms of punk rock and heavy metal, such as grunge, crust punk, and more recently metalcore and its subgenres. While thrash metal is heavily influenced by hardcore punk, the overall sound of crossover thrash is more punk-influenced yet more metal-sounding and aggressive than traditional hardcore punk and thrashcore. The term was coined by the band D.R.I. with their album Crossover, released in 1987. The term 'crossover' is based on the metaphor of crossing over from one genre into the other, thus capturing artists the operate within the transition zone between thrash metal and hardcore punk. With the metaphor comes the conception of directionality, such that the genre is applied to hardcore and crust punk artists who have crossed over into thrash metal territory, such as D.R.I., Discharge, The Exploited, The Accüsed, Agnostic Front and Suicidal Tendencies (who eventually ventured into alternative metal), and thrash metal artists who crossed over into hardcore punk territory, such as Nuclear Assault and S.O.D. A number of death metal bands (especially those of the first wave of Swedish death metal) draw on hardcore punk, mainly because their members listen to crossover thrash - these bands are included under the death metal subgenre here at the MMA.
  • Death-thrash combines elements from thrash metal and death metal. The most common type of death-thrash is based on thrash metal music (often played a bit faster than standard thrash metal) with growled vocals. Sepultura's "Schizophrenia", "Beneath the Remains", and "Arise" are considered examples of death-thrash. Given that death metal is derived from thrash metal, many early death metal bands played a style that was anchored thrash metal and could be considered death-thrash. Many of those artists are included under the death metal genre here on MMA.
  • Technical/progressive (or tech/prog) thrash metal is considered a legitimate genre by some (or even two legitimate genres), while others argue that it is a pseudo-genre. Bands included in this genre take emphasize technicality in their music, in the form of complex riffs and/or complex song structures, while others apply the ethos of progressive music more broadly without straying from their basic thrash metal sound. Examples of artists that are sometimes considered tech/prog thrash metal acts are Dark Angel, Death Angel (especially on "Act III"), Annihilator, Artillery (especially on "By Inheritance", "When Death Comes", and "My Blood"), and Invocator. Releases like "Master of Puppets" and "...And Justice For All" by Metallica are quite progressively oriented with complex song structures and numerous sections per song. Some bands like Voivod, Antithesis and Watchtower took the progressive approach so far that they are primarily considered progressive metal artists rather than thrash metal artists.
  • Blackened thrash metal is thrash metal with black metal elements. Its thrash metal basis is more primitive and akin to early German thrash metal. Examples of blackened thrash metal bands are Assaulter, Aura Noir, and The Metaphor. It should be mentioned that much early black metal, such as Venom and Hellhammer/Celtic Frost actually had its roots in thrash metal.


Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thrash_metal

Written by Time Signature.

Sub-genre collaborators (+ child sub-genres & shared with Speed Metal and Groove Metal):
  • Vim Fuego (leader)
  • Nightfly

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METALLICA Master of Puppets Album Cover Master of Puppets
METALLICA
4.54 | 258 ratings
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MEGADETH Rust in Peace Album Cover Rust in Peace
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METALLICA Ride the Lightning Album Cover Ride the Lightning
METALLICA
4.46 | 211 ratings
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ANNIHILATOR Never, Neverland Album Cover Never, Neverland
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4.43 | 73 ratings
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SEPULTURA Beneath the Remains Album Cover Beneath the Remains
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ANNIHILATOR Alice in Hell Album Cover Alice in Hell
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METALLICA ...And Justice for All Album Cover ...And Justice for All
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4.32 | 201 ratings
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EXODUS Fabulous Disaster Album Cover Fabulous Disaster
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4.37 | 48 ratings
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ANTHRAX Among The Living Album Cover Among The Living
ANTHRAX
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DARK ANGEL Darkness Descends Album Cover Darkness Descends
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4.44 | 23 ratings
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FORBIDDEN Twisted Into Form Album Cover Twisted Into Form
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SEPULTURA Arise Album Cover Arise
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thrash metal Music Reviews

SYMBOLIC Mea Culpa...

Album · 2006 · Thrash Metal
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siLLy puPPy
SYMBOLIC started out in 2002 and was founded on the Black Sea coast of Varna, Bulgaria by Stanimir Stavrev (vocals), Nikolay Bonev (guitar), Vasil Harizanov (guitar) and Nikola Nikolov (bass) with Vladimir Marinov (drums) joining two years later. This band got its start playing covers of old school metal bands from the oldies but goodies including Death, Testament, Carcass, Megadeth and Paradise Lost amongst others but once it started writing its own material settled on a distinctly old school thrash metal sound of the early 90s.

The band’s debut album MEA CULPA (means “My Fault” in Latin) celebrates the beauty of the early 90s thrash scene with original scores offering glimpses into the wonderful works that appeared some 30 years ago. While this album is short and just clocks in under 29 minutes, it’s like a veritable time machine into the past although at the time of release in 2006 it was only a decade removed from the peak of the thrash craze that started in the 80s and sorta peaked ten years later. This album was released on the Area 51 label which strangely is located in Colombia!

SYMBOLIC pretty much, uh well, symbolizes how much fun thrash metal of the early years was! This band’s main focus is on those crunchy galloping guitar riffs that stampede at high tempo frenzies much in the vein of early Megadeth, Forbidden, Overkill and Annihilator just to name a few however the musicians are all on top of their game with a heavy bass and drum rhythm section and excellent display of thrash vocals performed by Stanimar Stavrev who was made for the part. The addition of virtuosic guitar soloing is the stuff right out of the “Rust In Peace” era of Megadeath but this band is careful to stray to close to the classics and crafts very original sounding tunes.

MEA CULPA opens with a clean guitar arpeggiated intro piece titled “27 Prayer” that finds a clean guitar harmonizing with an electric guitar counterpart along with swishy Black Sea sounds of the waves against the shore. Beginning with “Overdose” the palm muting thrash riffs are unleashed and it’s an energetic frenzy for the duration. Packed with lightning fast thrash metal riffs, stellar drumming performances and a tight knit instrumental interplay, this band sounds like it emerged some time in 1989 and rode the first wave of thrash metal with bands like Testament or Sodom. The production is perfect as well with a nicely balanced mix that allows each instrument to be heard perfectly.

Added to the superb musicianship and perfectly delivered vocals, the tracks are all instantly addictive with nice hooks and catchy melodic constructs that just reek of top class act. If this band had emerged ten years earlier in a nation not impeded by the Iron Curtain antics of Moscow then perhaps it could’ve been one of the bigger acts of the era because SYMBOLIC has certainly mastered the art of thrashing like a motherfucker. This is a highly satisfying head banging experience throughout its run. The only flaw i can detect is that the intro is a bit too long and doesn’t blend in with the second track as well as it could but considering this band came from a far flung placed like Varna, Bulgaria and pretty much put all this together alone, overall MEA CULPA is a really impressive debut from this virtually unknown artist.

ANNIHILATOR King of the Kill

Album · 1994 · Thrash Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Annihilator have to be for my money, one of the absolute best Thrash Metal bands. Their greatest hits album calls the band ‘The Canadian Metallica’ and their virtuosos guitarist Jeff Waters ‘Canada’s answer to Eddie Van Halen.’ In terms of fame and size, this may be way off, but in terms of quality it is dead on. Their debut and sophomore albums, Alice In Hell and Never Neverland are near peerless masterpieces of the genre, full of concert classics. The blistering and incendiary lead guitar is some of the most impressive on any classic Thrash album.

Annihilator are a bit like Death, Nine Inch Nails or Megadeth in terms of having one key member and a revolving door cast of contributors. Their fourth album is their fourth in a row to feature a different singer. This time, lead guitarist Jeff Waters pulls the full Mustaine and becomes the singer. He may not be the most technically accomplished singer the band have ever had but he really suits the material. In fact; he pulls the full Schuldiner and is the bassist and rhythm guitarist too. The only other member on the album here is drummer Randy Black (Later of W.A.S.P, Primal Fear and Destruction).

As with many Thrash bands, they fell off the radar a bit in the ‘90s when Grunge and Alternative ruled the world. The extra interview tracks on the remasters of their ‘90s albums explain how their manager convinced them not to even put out their albums in North America during this time.

That’s a shame. Most fans only know the band for their first 2-3 albums. Less famous however, is the 1994 King Of The Kill album. For a Thrash band in the ‘90s this is a damn fine album and it’s a shame it isn’t better known. It remarkably well produced and clear without losing any bit. The lead guitar work is just as good if not better than before. There are some really memorable songs.

Fans of the band’s earlier thrashier material will fan in love with the concert favourite title track. Its tight riffing and punchy double kicks are everything that’s right with Thrash Metal. (About big cats. Jeff later comments it should have been ‘Queen of the Kill’ instead, as the female big cats actually do the hunting). ‘Second To None’ is equally hammering and would fit well on either of the band’s first two albums.

If you enjoyed the ballad from their third album you’ve got ‘In The Blood’ which is a more tasteful ballad with some nice classical guitar lines, or you enjoyed the slow quiet sections from the loud/quiet tracks on Never Neverland, then ‘Hell Is A War’ uses the same sort of style and tones but combines it with some mid-paced Pantera grooves and some Thrash. In the ‘90s some Thrash fans took umbridge with Thrash bands incorporating any Groove, but Annihilator do it right here.

There are admittedly a few other Groove moments that don’t work so well, like ‘The Box’ and ‘Annihilator’ which may be a bit too slow and repetitive for fans of the band’s technical, speedy, 200-ideas-per-song approach of yesteryear, but which add a bit of diversity to proceedings in all fairness. (The band made a mistake using ‘The Box’ as the opening track when the album was first issued, but future versions remedied this by making the title track first, which flows much better).

Speaking of diversity; fans of the band’s more eclectic and varied third album Set The World On Fire, will also find lots to love here. ‘21’ for example combines the Exodus’ ‘Brain Dead’-esque Thrash fun of ‘Knight Jumps Queen’ with the Van Halen worship of ‘Snake In The Grass’ and ‘Sounds Good To Me.’ You’ve also got the on-the-nose ‘Speed’ which lets Jeff show his guitar chops off further and ‘Fiasco’ is almost like a Thrash Metal version of something like ‘Romeo Delight’ or ‘Unchained.’ You can see how the band would come to cover aforementioned party-anthem later on their self-titled album.

I am a Thrash guy first and foremost. I got into the band for tracks like ‘Welcome To Your Death’ and ‘Wicked Mystic,’ fast, hard, aggressive and intense. That being said, one of the surprising album highlights here is the pure hard rock, cheeseball headbanger ‘Bad Child.’ It taps into the same AC/DC loving hard rock vein that the band would later drill on ‘Shallow Grave’ a few albums down the line. If you want pure catchy fun, this is the track for you.

There are also two very fine instrumentals in ‘Bliss’ and ‘Catch The Wind’ for the guitar aficionado. Jeff has a very unique and distinct musical vision and you can tell if he has written something right away.

Overall; King Of The Kill is another excellent album from Annihilator, and fans of Jeff’s Thrashier and more Hard Rock styles will both find a lot to like here. There’s also a few experiments but enough of what the fans want remains. It certainly retains the same quality the band are known for, even if you may not see it on quite so many Best Thrash Albums Ever lists as others. It may not be their most pure-Thrash album, but just in terms of being a good album, this is a must have.

ANNIHILATOR Refresh the Demon

Album · 1996 · Thrash Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
If Canada’s Annihilator are an underrated band, and their albums after the classic first debut and sophomore releases, (such as albums three & four; Set The World On Fire and King Of The Kill) are underrated by the media, then the albums after that are a triple-threat of underrated, being underrated by even their fanbase.

The best among those for me, is the Refresh The Demon album. The 1996 follow up to King Of The Kill, was the second album in a row where after a period of line-up instability, guitarist Jeff Waters took on vocal duties as well. This makes it the first studio album in their career to have the same singer as the previous album.

Stylistically; the album is very much a sequel to King Of The Kill. There are even some direct analogues, such as both having brief guitar based instrumentals, both having ballads, both having a few groove metal tracks that raise eye brows among the older fans, both having a ‘Knight Jumps Queen’/’Brain Dead’ style song with an in/out guitar line and rhythmic vocals, and a couple of true blue classic thrashers that raise horns with older fans.

This is a brilliant album, better than a Thrash album from 1996 is likely to be for most bands. Its arguably an even tighter, well rounded version of King Of The Kill and if you that album, this one is a must own. You can consider them a pair. They’re the two albums with Jeff singing but a live drummer and no drum machine (unlike the next album, 1997’s Remains).

Highlights include the speedy title track, its pure Waters-Thrash, the kind of thing that could have fit on the first two albums, ‘Pastor Of Disaster’ which is the aforementioned ‘Brain Dead’-style fun one, and ‘City Of Ice’ which is like a blend of ‘80s Judas Priest and ‘70s Van Halen.

If you are a big Thrash fan, there’s a lot of albums released in the ‘90s that are disappointing. Refresh The Demon ‘aint one of ‘em. Not by a long shot.

ANNIHILATOR Criteria for a Black Widow

Album · 1999 · Thrash Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Canada’s superb Thrash Metal band started off strong, releasing their best two albums first, and the next three albums they released were also pretty darn good, but the critics and audiences drifted away. Then they released the ill-fated and misguided Remains album in 1997, and needed a major rethink to get back on track.

1999’s Criteria For A Black Widow was that rethink. The linear notes on the reissue state it was originally meant to be called Sonic Homicide but the record label at the time changed it. The big talking point on this record is that the line-up from the band’s classic debut Alice In Hell was back. The artwork harkens back to Alice In Hell. There’s even an instrumental track called ‘Schizos (Are Never Alone) Part III’ which harkens back to parts I & II of the same name from the debut too.

(Also, confusingly, there’s a track called ‘Back To The Palace’ that clearly refers both lyrically and musically to ‘The Fun Palace’ from not the debut, but the sophomore record. Hey its still calling back to some of their best material, but slightly off theme!).

Now; in terms of righting the ship, this album is undoubtedly a huge step up from the controversial Remains album which preceded it. Unfortunately however it didn’t reach the insanely high quality of the band’s near-perfect debut album. Arguably, its not even the best album they released during Thrash Metal’s wilderness period in the 1990s. King Of The Kill and Refresh The Demon were a lot better than you’d expect for their lack of fame, its just the grunge focused times and lack of record label/press support that hindered their success.

That’s not to say it’s a weak album, its just not the huge return to form and game-changer it was intended to be. There’s still some damn fine material to be found. The Pantera-influenced ‘Nothing Left,’ the speedy ‘Double Dare’ and the title track that never was especially, ‘Sonic Homicide’ are all worth checking out.

There are however a few draw backs, such as a few underwhelming tracks like the disappointing ‘Punctured’ and ‘Criteria For A Black Widow’ which don’t quite reach the band’s usual high standards, and returning singer Randy Rampage doesn’t quite recapture the old magic here either. This material would mostly probably have suited lead guitarist Jeff Waters singing on it like the last few albums.

Its not the worst Thrash Metal album from 1999 (Just ask Megadeth what they were up to at this time); but if you were expecting Alice In Hell part two, expect into one hand… you know how the old saying goes.

SEPULTURA Quadra

Album · 2020 · Thrash Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Ever since Max left, legions of fans have been turning up their noses at new Sepultura albums with a verve normally saved for Bailey-era Maiden or Ripper-era Priest, but with a duration equivalent only to Derris-era Helloween.

Every so often, I’d see someone who really liked a Green-era Sepultura album, or an album like Dante XXI get a positive review in a magazine, but on the whole, the vast majority of the public seem to have decided that the band was over when Max left. Me included until about 3-4 years ago, when I bought their Live In Sao Paulo DVD on a friend’s recommendation and slowly started collecting the studio albums with Derick.

When I started collecting Green-era albums, I felt almost like a bit of a weirdo collecting them though, as despite my one good friend’s fandom, I almost fear I am wasting my money on albums so ignored and dismissed by the public. 90% of the time if I read something about Sepultura it was about how great the olden days were, or about how unloved the latter days are.

Then something interesting happened. In 2017, Sepultura released Machine Messiah, and it seemed like every review, blog, facebook comment and stray discussion was positive. Not just ‘good for a modern Sepultura album’ but full on, unqualified praise. Good, period. Sepultura, the band who could do no right in the public’s eye, had released an album everyone if not liked, then at least agreed was good. Maybe it was the Dream Theater influenced ‘Iceberg Dances’ that swung the pendulum of public credibility? Who knows. The bottom line was Sepultura were praised again.

I don’t know if aforementioned praise has revitalised their confidence, or they just landed upon the perfect line-up and got better with each album featuring that line-up, or indeed if its just inexplicable lightning in a bottle no one could predict… but 2020’s Quadra is a masterpiece. Its not ‘good for a modern Sepultura album’ its more like ‘possibly the best Sepultura album.’ This is undeniable album-of-the-year material, but more than that. You know when you hear an album, and you just know its special. Crack The Skye? The Blackening? Endgame? Sometimes you just get that ‘I’m hearing something special’ feeling, you know it’s a classic even before time has passed.

Its damn tempting to say the secret to this album’s success is drummer Eloy Casagrande. The man is quite possibly the best drummer in the genre right now. He throws in latin and world music beats sure, it is Sepultura after all; but he can also Thrash like Dave Lombardo, prog out like Thomas Pridgen and bounce like John Otto. Just listen to drum-centric ‘Raging Void’ and then all out Thrasher ‘Isolation’ one after the other to see what I mean. The man is amazing.

Another thing that its tempting to attribute the albums startling quality to, is the bells and whistles. Its almost like a Fleshgod Apocalypse album at times with the God-Of-War style hell-choirs and apocalyptic sounds, guest female vocals and dynamic production job. The album sounds gigantic. It sounds like an actual giant. Just listen to album closer ‘Fear, Pain, Chaos Suffering’ to see what I mean. It sounds like a videogame boss-fight where the player faces off against a giant/titan/colossus/take your pick of huge thing.

For a while, I also thought the secret to this album was the lead guitar. OK, I like Andreas Kisser, and for the past few years I particularly liked his rhythm work on tracks like ‘Choke’ and ‘Sepulnation’ …but I’d never consider him an amazing guitarist. Over the years however, he has clearly been listening to a lot of prog metal and become a crazily good lead player. Some of the guitar solos and leads on this record are fantastic. So unique, so interesting, so invigorating. Just check out the instrumental ‘The Pentagram’ or the track which follows it ‘Auetem’ for solid guitar gold.

All those factors certainly contribute to what elevate this album to that ‘special’ place, but I guess the main factor is simply the song-writing and the flow. Every song is needed. Every song contributes something new, but works well against the previous material. There’s no filler, but there’s no repetition either. It strikes a hell of a balance.

Furthermore; Where some other Sepultura albums like Nation or Kairos are jumbled and too varied for their own good, and others like Roots and Against are bloated and in need of an editor, this album just feels like one perfect, consistent, cohesive, singular journey. Wikipedia states it is structured in four parts, to represent the four classical arts, but it really flows like one story from beginning to end. It starts out fast and mean as hell, turns groovy, gets varied then turns prog. Sort of a summary of their career over the course of one record.

Overall; this is one hell of an album. A monster against which all their future efforts will be judged. An amazing sequel to the lauded Machine Messiah and a new standard for quality for aging bands in general. If you had told me in 2005 that Sepultura would release an album this brilliant this late in the game, then I’d have been very sceptical, but I’ll be damned it seems they’ve only gone and released arguably one of the best albums in their whole career

(Ps. For context; as above, this is coming from someone who spent the better part of the last 20 years thinking this band essentially began and ended with Chaos AD and the first half of Roots, so you can trust this is not just blind fanboy devotion).

thrash metal movie reviews

S.O.D. 20 Years of Dysfunction

Movie · 2005 · Crossover Thrash
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Vim Fuego
'20 Years Of Dysfunction' celebrated the anniversary of the release of the venomous `Speak English Or Die'. Recorded in three days, this relatively short album created huge waves in both the metal and hardcore scenes at the time. Sgt. D stomped into town, annoyed everyone and promptly left again. What started as Scott Ian's hardcore/metal crossover brainchild became Billy Milano's lovechild. S.O.D.'s vocalist has become its biggest fan, and pieced together its recorded history like a fan would.

Like Metallica's seminal `Cliff `Em All' video, the live footage here is mostly bootlegged, although generally of a better quality than the Cliff Burton memorial due to technological improvements.

This is an incredible compilation. For sheer power and head banging, fist pumping enjoyment, there is no better way to start any show than with "March Of The S.O.D/Sgt D & The S.O.D." Scott Ian stomps about the stage like a short, bald Godzilla, destroying buildings and eardrums with his flaming six-string. His polar opposite Dan Lilker is anchored to the stage, skinny and hirsute, head in a THC cloud, sub-sonic bass strung impossibly low. Charlie Benante sits at his drumkit, akin to a manic alchemist, turning gold leaden, amazing all with the dark arts of his craft. Enter Billy Milano. Larger than life in both persona and build, Milano bellows like a wild rhino, and like a rhino looks both comic and dangerous at once.

The ballads are a definite highlight. The original "Ballad Of Jimi Hendrix" provides the template for the rest of the ballads: steal a riff from a dead artist, play it twice and shout "you're dead!" Kurt Cobain, Tupac Shakur, Biggie Small, Frank Sinatra, INXS and Jim Morrison all get the treatment. Offensive? Of course. Hilarious? You bet!

Another prime moment of comedy was Milano encouraging a stage diver to jump, so he does- up and down on the spot...

The package includes extensive extras. Pick of the bunch is an interview with producer Alex Perialas, he of "What's That Noise?" infamy. There's an interview by Metal Maniacs reporter Liz with Billy, which covers all things S.O.D. Surprisingly, Billy also included a 9/11 tribute. All New Yorkers were affected by the 2001 terrorist attack, and he witnessed the World Trade Center towers collapse. For someone so often derided for being an insensitive, politically incorrect oaf, Milano's tribute is both thoughtful and poignant.

The largest part of the extra features is the raw material from which the main feature is cut. There are five mini-concerts from around the world, captured during the `Bigger That The Devil' tour, but featuring only `Speak English Or Die' songs.

Included is the audio CD of the infamous `Pussywhipped', bootlegged in 1985 during one of S.O.D.'s initial seven shows. The quality is dodgy, as you'd expect, but it's been cleaned up a little, and the vitality and energy of the original performance remains intact.

The 21-year-old Billy Milano is like a kid whose dreams have all come true at once. Here he is, a singer with limited ability, little different to the assembled audience, backed by three of the world's top thrash musicians. He gives his performance absolutely everything, and it's quite possible to picture the veins bulging, the sweat flying, the fists and eyes clenched as he shouts his way through "Milano Mosh", "Milk", "United Forces", or any of the other tracks. His performance as a screaming harridan on "Pre-Menstrual Princess Blues" is hilarious.

The great thing about the ratty production quality is that all three instruments come through loud and clear. There was nothing technical to tackle, so all the emphasis was on speed and power. Charlie Benante kicks “Speak English Or Die” along faster than the studio version, as he does with a number of tracks, and you get the feeling he could play faster still. Dan Lilker’s bass is so distorted it almost sounds like a guitar, a sound as thick as a prehistoric mammoth-swallowing tar pit. Scott Ian thrashes his guitar like a madman, but never misses a note, sharp and vicious throughout.

As in all S.O.D. performances, there are some priceless moments of spontaneity: Charlie was supposed to play the lead on "United Forces", but it was a little difficult from behind the drum kit; Scott broke his guitar on "Kill Yourself", which forced Dan and Charlie to improvise while he fixed it; and Billy's idiotic introductions to pretty much every song. “Diamonds And Rust” appears three times throughout the show, while “The Ballad Of Jimi Hendrix” receives three consecutive airings.

There are a few non-studio album rarities which pop up here, but were also included on the platinum edition reissue of ‘Speak English Or Die’. “Momo” and “Vitality (Milk Part Two)”, originally by Crab Society, both appeared on the 1992 ‘Live At Budokan’ album, while the cover of Inferno’s “Ram It Up Your Cunt” appeared on the Megaforce ‘Deeper Into The Vault’ compilation. Last track “Not” is exclusive to ‘Pussywhipped’, not that it’s much of a hidden treasure.

The best thing about the inclusion of `Pussywhipped' is that it's a small but important slice of metal history, which is far better presented in this format than on some twelfth generation cassette tape, and the band might finally make something from it.

This is an extensive collection of S.O.D. memorabilia, presented raw and unpolished, just how the band was. The volatility of the relationships between the band members may be such that there might never be any more output from S.O.D. ever again, but the snarling, cigar chomping skull Sgt. D will be remembered forever.

METALLICA The Big 4: Live from Sofia, Bulgaria

Movie · 2010 · Thrash Metal
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progshine
I'm reviewing this as a Metallica release cause, well, it seems like one Metallica release with 3 good guests (not trying to bash the other bands, not at all, you'll see on the review).

Anthrax: Great show full of energy, you can see the joy on the band members faces, also, Joey Belladonna vocals are pretty in shape, specially for a 50 years old man. The fact all of them are using the same t-shirt is very nice, shows the unity of the band, no egos involved, one for all, all for one and a good metal show. Rate: 4

Megadeth: Dave gathered great musicians, they're not really new (but sounds as a one man band with guests). Guitars and bass (David Ellefson is one of the great metal bassists ever) are great. But what the f**k is his voice here? What Dave's trying to do with all that falsettos? Is a pain to watch him singing. And he seems worried and nervous the whole show. I never really watched Megadeth live, so I can't say if he's always been like that. Rate: 3

Slayer: The band hit the stage and their hardcore/thrash/metal fast sound comes right to your face. Kerry King accessories (braces and chains) are a little too much on my opinion, but so are the Jeff Hanneman boots xD But their guitars models are very cool. I do like Slayer and they were the one I wanted to see most, but on stage they look like a prog/hardcore/thrash act, cause it looks like the same song over and over. But still, they have great energy, still 'angry' after all this time and Tom Araya's voice still great. Rate: 4

Before Metallica hit the stage a couple of interviews about the Dio death, all of those guys are fans, for sure.

Metallica: Of course they are the 'big brother' here, playing doubled amount of time than the other bands. And you can say whatever you want to say, but few bands can put up a show like these guys do. They made every penny worth. And James Hetfield is singing better than ever, and in a crooner kinda of microphone xD Trujillo is always a fun scene, walking like a 10 pound Gorilla on stage. And I'm sure I'll never like Lars drumming. And every days that passes one idea comes to my mind stronger and stronger, I really would like to see a James solo album, he would do some serious good thing alone, for sure. But, they'll not have a bigger rate for me, cause of one thing, the show IT IS great, but it's the same show over and over the past 2 tours, same songs, same sequence and even James using the same words with the audience. Rate: 4

All in all, it's worth to watch, with a beer on your side will be even better, even if you do not drink (like myself) xD

KREATOR Live Kreation-Revisioned Glory

Movie · 2003 · Thrash Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
This DVD from the Violent Revolution era captures Kreator at their best as the energetic virtuosos deliver a career spanning set of classic metal, mixing old and new together in a monstrous performance.

The first thing you'll notice is the unusual green filter over the video, and the fact that the show is split between two different venues, with half the songs live from a concert in Spain and half live from a music festival, the change over between shows being filled with short documentary sections with cameos from other Metal bands (usually drunk) and footage of the band getting ready.

If you can get past these facts, you'll find an amazing DVD to enjoy but if you can't stand that sort of thing you'd be better off buying Kreator's 'Live At The Pulse of Kapitulation,' DVD which is one entire concert, without interruptions or strange green filters.

Anyway the performance the band put on is incredible, delivering the songs with feeling and making the music heavy yet very clear. They make the songs from the nineties sound heavier and thrashier and the 80's classics Clearer and more modern sounding creating a even playing field for the material.

The production is pretty decent too, a nice deep kick drum sound, audible bass guitar and sharp chunky guitar sound. Mille is awesome as ever, barking and growling away like its still 1988. The DVD also contains a history section that mixes a very short documentary with all the bands music videos; nothing life changing, but definitely worth the one viewing.

There are also two bonus songs, the classic concert closing duo of 'Flag of Hate,' and 'Tormentor,' Live from With Full Force Festival although the camera work is much better and the visuals are brighter the sound is muddy and unclear so you will probably not bother with them all that often.

The main feature is as good as any metal DVD from the first half of the decade, and pretty much a no-brainer for any Kreator fan; Highlights include the aggressive and technical 'Reconquering The Throne,' and the infectiously catchy 'Violent Revolution,' as well as a storming rendition of the furious 'People of The Lie.' If you're into concert DVDs and into all eras of Kreator this is very much the DVD for you.

KREATOR At the Pulse of Kapitulation: Live in East Berlin, 1990 (DVD/CD)

Movie · 2008 · Thrash Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Kreator are a very important band in the Thrash Metal story, one of Germany's biggest ever bands and a bone fide classic act for metal overall.

This DVD is a fantastic reissue of the historic Live In East Berlin Concert, (which comes in Cd and DVD form here)with a documentary and an amusing horror video called Hallucinative Comas.

The Tracklisting is amazing, containing all of their classics such as 'Toxic Trace,' 'Flag of Hate,' 'Tormentor,' and 'Pleasure to Kill.'

The Band's performance is energetic and exciting; singer Mille interacts with the crowd on a regular basis. Ventor gets a Drum solo and also performs lead vocals on an excellent rendition of 'Riot of Violence.'

Kreator blast through songs like 'Some Pain Will Last,' 'Awakening of the Gods,' and 'Under The Guillotine,' furiously, performing the technically challenging and incredibly fast material with ease and flair.

Most important is the sound; for such an old concert the sound is amazing, much better than other DVDs of similar era concerts. The material is brilliantly mixed and available in 5.1 or stereo; with clear drums, chunky 'full,' guitar sounds and totally audible vocals.

The documentary is pretty interesting, describing the difficulty East German fans had even getting access to metal music, magazines or t-shirts; how the concert came to be, and the impact it had.

For a Kreator fan this cannot be recommended highly enough, the wonderful sound and excellent tracklisting make this one of the best Thrash Metal DVDs money can buy. If you want to hear music from the 'Terrible Certainty,' or 'Extreme Aggression,' albums played live then this is the DVD for you.

MEGADETH That One Night - Live in Buenos Aires

Movie · 2007 · Thrash Metal
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Kingcrimsonprog
Megadeth’s That One Night: Live In Buenos Aires is arguably the band’s finest live effort and certainly one of their best DVDs. The band are absolutely on fire in terms of performance and energy, the crowd are going wild for the band and the setlist is superb, what more could anyone ask for in a concert ?

In terms of the actual DVD; the Audio/Visual quality is top notch and the whole performance is captured well, with a good job made of the mixing, camerawork and editing. Everything is utterly professional and well handled, nothing is cheesy or over the top which just allows the music to do the talking.

Surprisingly; apart from frontman Dave Mustaine, even though the band’s line up at the time didn’t feature any musician responsible for the albums from Rust In Peace – Cryptic Writings, or indeed David Ellefson who was on every single Megadeth album until The System has Failed, the band put down a storming performance and seem to be at the top of their game, reveling in their success and fired on by the manic crowd.

(Then) New members Glen Drover on guitar, James MacDonough on Bass and on Shawn Drover on Drums are all great additions to the band, and it isn’t difficult to see why Glen lasted another studio album and Shawn remains with the band to this day.

The concert includes all the classic Megadeth material you would expect like ‘Peace Sells…,’ ‘Holy Wars… The Punishment Due,’ ‘Symphony Of Destruction,’ and ‘In My Darkest Hour,’ as well as some less played numbers such as ‘I’ll Be There,’ and the superb ‘Set The World Afire.’

Additionally, their then new The System Has Failed record is well represented and the songs fit well into the set along side all the fan favourites.

That One Night’ was filmed in 2005 and released in 2007 and is still a brilliant live document and perhaps unsurpassed by later releases. I remember being hugely impressed with it when it was new, and watching it back now my opinion has not changed at all, which is surely a good sign. All Megadeth fans should all consider picking up a copy, this is an utterly fantastic concert and would serve as a fine introduction to the band. I highly recommend it.

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