Technical Thrash Metal

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technical thrash metal top albums

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VOIVOD Dimension Hatröss Album Cover Dimension Hatröss
VOIVOD
4.32 | 46 ratings
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CORONER No More Color Album Cover No More Color
CORONER
4.33 | 33 ratings
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VEKTOR Terminal Redux Album Cover Terminal Redux
VEKTOR
4.30 | 21 ratings
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VEKTOR Outer Isolation Album Cover Outer Isolation
VEKTOR
4.18 | 35 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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WATCHTOWER Control And Resistance Album Cover Control And Resistance
WATCHTOWER
4.20 | 26 ratings
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VOIVOD Killing Technology Album Cover Killing Technology
VOIVOD
4.17 | 39 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
4.22 | 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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VEKTOR Black Future Album Cover Black Future
VEKTOR
4.04 | 39 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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Earth Boiling Dystopia
Album
SCYTHELORD
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Bionic Swarm
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CRYPTOSIS
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Death Technology
Single
CRYPTOSIS
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Transmissions of Chaos
Split
VEKTOR
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Transmissions of Chaos
Split
CRYPTOSIS
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Transcendence
Single
CRYPTOSIS
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technical thrash metal Music Reviews

CORONER Mental Vortex

Album · 1991 · Technical Thrash Metal
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UMUR
"Mental Vortex" is the 4th full-length studio album by Swiss thrash metal act Coroner. The album was released through Noise Records in August 1991. It´s the successor to "No More Color" from 1989. The three-piece lineup who recorded all three predecessors is intact: Tommy T. Baron (Tommy Vetterli) on guitar, Ron Royce (Ron Broder) on bass and vocals, and Marquis Marky (Markus Edelmann) on drums.

Stylistically "Mental Vortex" is quite different from "No More Color (1989)". The material on the 8 track, 47:30 minutes long album is still technical thrash metal, but the pace has generally been lowered and the tracks on "Mental Vortex" are predominantly mid-paced and heavy, and features fewer fast-paced sections than the case was on the predecessor. It´s audible that Coroner at this point in their career felt they needed to experiment and develop their style a bit more drastically than they had done between the first three releases (not that there wasn´t great development of sound between those releases too) and paired with the general change on the thrash metal scene in those years, "Mental Vortex" is very much an album of it´s time. Coroner have not "softened" their sound or have begun to incorporate alternative metal elements like some of their contemporaries did in those days, so it´s more a matter of songwriting approach and a refusal to be labelled "just" a thrash metal act. Their brilliant cover of "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" by The Beatles is an example of that. There´s an occasional dark, almost dreamy psychadelic touch to some of the tracks, which is a new element too, but Coroner don´t go overboard with those ideas.

"Mental Vortex" features a detailed and powerful, but also pretty sterile, sound production, which has robbed Coroner´s music of the organic touch it possessed on the previous releases (I´m not surprised that the album is produced by Tom Morris). It´s still a professional and well sounding production job, but it´s just very different from the sound on the predecessors. The playing is as always on a very high level. Especially guitarist Tommy Vetterli delivers one killer riff after another, and his solo work is extraordinaire (and often neo-classical influenced). Sometimes the technical shifts in rhythm sound a bit forced and awkward, disrupting the flow of the tracks, but other times those sections work pretty well.

In addition to the above mentioned cover of "I Want You (She's So Heavy)", highlights include "Son of Lilith" and "Semtex Revolution", but "Mental Vortex" is pretty consistent in both quality and style. So upon conclusion it´s another high quality release by Coroner. It doesn´t exactly reach the heights of "No More Color (1989)", which was always going to be a difficult task, but it´s still an interesting release in its own right. It shows development and reeks boldness, which are parameters I value greatly, so while this is not what I would call Coroner´s best release, I still think a 3.5 - 4 star (75%) rating is fully deserved.

DEFIANCE Beyond Recognition

Album · 1992 · Technical Thrash Metal
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UMUR
"Beyond Recognition" is the 3rd full-length studio album by US thrash metal act Defiance. The album was released through Roadracer Records in March 1992. It´s the successor to "Void Terra Firma" from 1990. There have been no lineup changes between the two albums.

Stylistically the music on "Beyond Recognition" is rooted in the Bay Area thrash metal style and there are more than a few references to especially Testament. When that is said, Defiance have in keeping with the trend at the time, incorporated quite a few groove metal riffs and rhythms and an occasional alternative edge to their music.

The instrumental musicianship is strong with some sharp riffs, solos, and drumming, and when lead vocalist Steev Esquivel keep to singing his most raw vocals (when he sounds most like Chuck Billy) things are moving along alright...but he really shouldn´t have tried his hands at singing clean vocals. It sounds a bit out of tune, and the vocal melodies aren´t particularly memorable either. It´s not a horror to listen to or anything like that, but it´s not exactly a positive either.

"Beyond Recognition" features a fairly well sounding production job, and upon conclusion it is a decent thrash/groove metal release. Compared to other contemporary releases in a similar style, it doesn´t stand out much though, and that´s probably a large part of the reason why they never reached anything but underground status and success. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

CRYPTOSIS Bionic Swarm

Album · 2021 · Technical Thrash Metal
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Nightfly
It’s not often I give out a 5 star review as there’s not that many albums that are without even a few minor flaws. In the case of Bionic Swarm, the debut album from Dutch technical thrash metal band Cryptosis I had to make one of my rare exceptions, such the quality on offer here. This is their debut album but they were previously active as Distillator since 2013 so they’ve had time to cut their teeth and it shows.

Cryptosis occupy a similar place to Voivod and Vektor with their spacey and futuristic thrash metal. They’ve even just released a split with the latter recently. Naturally being added to our technical thrash metal sub here on MMA the music is complex as expected. It’s often very fast though not relentlessly so and busy. The songs often have strong and memorable melodies so it’s not one of those total guitar wankery exercises with style over substance. Far from it in fact as the strength of the melodies, often having a melancholic vibe helped by their use of mellotron, is one of the albums greatest strengths. There is also plenty of prog elements on display so fans of prog metal may find it to their liking if they are not averse to the vocals usually associated with more extreme metal genres. It’s an album that’s best listened to as a whole as every song as it comes is my new favourite! Another reason is it’s also a concept album of eight connected stories according to the band set in the year 2149. Naturally the playing is top notch with some blistering fret work and fast, precise and busy drumming – essential for this sort of stuff of course. The icing on the cake is the clear and powerful production allowing every nuance and intricacy to shine through.

Bionic Swarm is an album I’ve played often in the last few weeks, on heavy rotation in the car and at home. Deservedly so as well as at the time of writing it’s my favourite album of 2021 so far. Essential listening for fans of extreme metal, but also well worth a listen for prog metal fans too.

VEKTOR Transmissions of Chaos

Split · 2021 · Technical Thrash Metal
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UMUR
"Transmissions of Chaos" is a split release by US technical thrash metal act Vektor and Dutch technical thrash metal act Cryptosis. The split was released through District 19 in February 2021. It features 4 tracks and a total playing time of 20:03 minutes. Vektor are well known as one of the more prolific contemporary technical thrash metal acts and the two new Vektor tracks on "Transmissions of Chaos" actually mark a return to the scene after a longer recording hiatus following the release of "Terminal Redux (2016)" (the band´s third full-length studio album). Cryptosis on the other hand are a less known acquaintance having only released a couple of singles by February 2021. Two of the single tracks make up their contributions to "Transmissions of Chaos". They would release their debut full-length studio album "Bionic Swarm" in March 2021. They did however work under the Distillator monicker in the years 2013-2020 playing a more regular type of thrash metal and releasing a couple of studio albums under the monicker, so these guys are also pretty seasoned musicians/composers.

Vektor open the split with their two tracks "Activate" and "Dead by Dawn", and it´s immediately audible that Vektor have changed and developed their style and sound a lot in the years since "Terminal Redux (2016)". They still play their own brand of technical thrash metal (sci-fi themed and Voivod influenced), but lead vocalist/guitarist David DiSanto has opted for a different singing style to his usual high pitched screaming, and now performs more regular snarling thrash metal vocals. But as a new thing in the world of Vektor he now also performs melodic clean vocals (on "Dead by Dawn"), and the new vocal approach provides Vektor with a few more weapons for their arsenal and dare I say a more accessible sound.

The two Cryptosis tracks "Decypher" and "Prospect of Immortality" aren´t far from the Vektor tracks in terms of sound and style. Cryptosis also play a sci-fi themed technical thrash metal style with progressive elements and it was definitely a smart move by the Austrian District 19 label/management company to promote newcomers Cryptosis on this split with the more well known Vektor. Upon conclusion "Transmissions of Chaos" is a high quality split release featuring strong compositions and stellar performances from both acts, and fans of technical/progressive thrash metal should take note here. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

CRYPTOSIS Transmissions of Chaos

Split · 2021 · Technical Thrash Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
UMUR
"Transmissions of Chaos" is a split release by US technical thrash metal act Vektor and Dutch technical thrash metal act Cryptosis. The split was released through District 19 in February 2021. It features 4 tracks and a total playing time of 20:03 minutes. Vektor are well known as one of the more prolific contemporary technical thrash metal acts and the two new Vektor tracks on "Transmissions of Chaos" actually mark a return to the scene after a longer recording hiatus following the release of "Terminal Redux (2016)" (the band´s third full-length studio album). Cryptosis on the other hand are a less known acquaintance having only released a couple of singles by February 2021. Two of the single tracks make up their contributions to "Transmissions of Chaos". They would release their debut full-length studio album "Bionic Swarm" in March 2021. They did however work under the Distillator monicker in the years 2013-2020 playing a more regular type of thrash metal and releasing a couple of studio albums under that monicker, so these guys are also pretty seasoned musicians/composers.

Vektor open the split with their two tracks "Activate" and "Dead by Dawn", and it´s immediately audible that Vektor have changed and developed their style and sound a lot in the years since "Terminal Redux (2016)". They still play their own brand of technical thrash metal (sci-fi themed and Voivod influenced), but lead vocalist/guitarist David DiSanto has opted for a different singing style to his usual high pitched screaming, and now performs more regular snarling thrash metal vocals. But as a new thing in the world of Vektor he now also performs melodic clean vocals (on "Dead by Dawn"), and the new vocal approach provides Vektor with a few more weapons for their arsenal and dare I say a more accessible sound.

The two Cryptosis tracks "Decypher" and "Prospect of Immortality" aren´t far from the Vektor tracks in terms of sound and style. Cryptosis also play a sci-fi themed technical thrash metal style with progressive elements and it was definitely a smart move by the Austrian District 19 label/management company to promote newcomers Cryptosis on this split with the more well known Vektor. Upon conclusion "Transmissions of Chaos" is a high quality split release featuring strong compositions and stellar performances from both acts, and fans of technical/progressive thrash metal should take note here. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

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