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VOIVOD Dimension Hatröss Album Cover Dimension Hatröss
4.27 | 40 ratings
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VEKTOR Terminal Redux Album Cover Terminal Redux
4.30 | 21 ratings
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CORONER No More Color Album Cover No More Color
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
4.41 | 7 ratings
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VEKTOR Outer Isolation Album Cover Outer Isolation
4.18 | 35 ratings
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WATCHTOWER Control And Resistance Album Cover Control And Resistance
4.20 | 25 ratings
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VOIVOD Killing Technology Album Cover Killing Technology
4.13 | 33 ratings
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VEKTOR Black Future Album Cover Black Future
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)
4.17 | 9 ratings
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MEKONG DELTA Lurking Fear Album Cover Lurking Fear
4.20 | 7 ratings
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INVOCATOR Weave the Apocalypse Album Cover Weave the Apocalypse
4.20 | 7 ratings
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REVOCATION Great Is Our Sin Album Cover Great Is Our Sin
4.19 | 7 ratings
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WATCHTOWER Energetic Disassembly

Album · 1985 · Technical Thrash Metal
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The first true Progressive Metal band of all time

Manic technical insanity. There was nothing even remotely close to the progressive technicality going on in metal (or anywhere else aside from Jazz) at the time of this release. So far ahead of it's time that it can still be called an impressive anomaly of musical prowess today.

The music on display here is 5 star material. There are just a few unfortunate problems that really drag it down; first of all, the vocalist isn't great. Especially where every other member is an absolute virtuoso at their instrument, the weak vocalist really stands out. To his credit, he does write some interesting lyrics, especially for the time. The guitar and drum tones are also pretty bad, although the bass sounds great (it's audible).

Regardless, it's probably this album that spawned hyper technical metal, and pushed the genre to even further extremes without simply playing heavier. Groundbreaking and influential, but more importantly still an amazingly entertaining record to this day.

SADUS Red Demo

Demo · 1994 · Technical Thrash Metal
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"Red Demo" is a demo release by US, California based thrash metal act Sadus. The original cassette tape demo was self-released in 1994. It was the last release by the band to feature guitarist Rob Moore. Despite having released three albums at this point, and being a relatively well known name in thrash and extreme metal circles, Sadus were without a label after their deal with Roadrunner Records ended. Thus the need for releasing a demo to shop for a new label. It would be three long years in addition to the two that had already passed since the release of "A Vision of Misery (1992)" (the band´s third full-length studio album) before the band were signed to Mascot Records for the release of "Elements of Anger (1997)".

"Red Demo" features 4 tracks and a full playing time of 15:14 minutes. "In the End", "Power of One", and "Fuel", would appear on "Elements of Anger (1997)" in re-recorded versions, while it wouldn´t be until 2006 with the release of "Out for Blood", that "Black March" would appear on a studio album (also in a re-recorded version), albeit only as a bonus track.

The material is in the trademark aggressive thrash metal style that Sadus have played since day one. It´s a bit more mature and varied than the first couple of releases by the band, but the core style is intact. The quality of the material is relatively high and the sound production is decent too, so all in all "Red Demo" is a fairly good quality demo release, and it serves it´s purpose well, which is shopping for a new label. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

MESHUGGAH Contradictions Collapse

Album · 1991 · Technical Thrash Metal
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"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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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.


Album · 2008 · Technical Thrash Metal
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"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.

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