A holiday in Rome people will not forget
The tires on the popemobile are slashed
A switch of a blade and a thrust through his stole
Steal his rings and pawn them in for cash

-- Exhorder - Slaughter In The Vatican

EARLY MAN - Death Potion
USA 2010

1. Death Potion 2. Brainwash At Birth 3. Someone Elses Nightmare 4. Nine Riders 5. Fight 6. Unseen Tormentor 7. Through Chemtrails 8. The Undertaker Is Calling You 9. Killdrone 10. I Am The Child Of Evil 11. By The Serpents Breath You Seethe 12. Six Mothers Of The War God

Early Man's Death Potion is a varied piece of work. While the band's traditional metal origins are still audible on many songs, the general notion towards a thrashier territory is clear. The result is a mixture of two worlds, with almost precisely a fifty-fifty ratio of high-speed thrashers to more moderately paced stompers. The fastest pieces are quite well executed, and while the rest of the album is not too bad either, the band could have easily improved the outcome by having a couple of more energetic and speedy tracks instead. Even in its current state Early Man's offering is fairly appealing, with a tasty guitar sound and some satisfying riffage. Death Potion is more promising than actually fulfilling, but it certainly creates high hopes for the future.

EGZEKUTHOR - Hateful Subconsciousnes
Poland 2010

1. Hateful Subconsciousness 2. The Final Attack 3. Immortal Sinner 4. Welcome To Gotham 5. Oblivion Hill 6. Merciless Death (After Merciless Life) 7. Born To Kill 8. Degenerated Madness 9. Merciless Death 10. Pestilence Of Hate 11. Holy Desecration 12. Into The Holocaust

Like they used to say, at least get the name right. Despite its recent (and apparently long delayed) release, Egzekuthor's Hateful Subconsciousnes (sic) is literally like an artifact from the past that would have been more fitting in the scene twenty years ago, with an authentic rough sound quality and all. The album is not a complete throwback, though. While some parts may appear like they were produced a bit hastily, there are hints of more ambitious songwriting in effect every now and then, and the audible result is far from really simplistic. For a lengthy release even without the bonus tracks, the effort is respectable. And yet it is probably mostly for the curiosity and historical value that someone might want to grab this one, as there is not much to make it stand out otherwise.

Note: The CD release also contains all tracks from the band's original Hateful Subconsciousness demo as a bonus.

ELIMINATOR - Krieg Thrash
Germany 2012

1. Raging Shrapnel Hail 2. Merciless Beast 3. Eliminator 4. Warfare 5. Of Sheep, Shephards & Filthy Sermons 6. Satana 7. Impact Of Evil 8. Tunes Of Might 9. Kill With Speed 10. Gargoyle Of Prague 11. The Night Is Ours

In all honesty, there is nothing particularly "krieg" about this album, but that doesn't mean Eliminator's debut wouldn't have its moments. Starting from the artwork, it should be clear that this band knew how to appeal to the primitive urges of man. You know, with smooth colors and all - although it must be said that Celtic Frost's Emperor's Return did make a much more mature impression back then. As for the content, this release follows the principle of "louder is better" and it works to some extent. There are no sluggish moments to speak of, most of the time the high-speed attack is consistent and forceful enough to justify its existence. Eventually Krieg Thrash is only left short of really notable for the same reason as countless others before (and probably after) this one, namely the near total lack of catchy riffs and hooks that would help you recall even the slightest portion of the album afterwards.

END OF MAN - End Of Man
Philippines 2004

1. Discord 2. The Scourge 3. Devoted Mistake 4. Third Factor 5. Servitude

Something of an unexpected find, End Of Man's self-titled mini album sounds a tad more versatile than the most typical recordings in the genre. It is not too difficult to hear a definite Death Angel influence in the band's music, not only considering the vocals, which can be even sort of refreshing in the contemporary scene. From a technical point of view, the production is a bit unbalanced as the buzzing guitar seems to receive almost too much attention at times. Musically this release also ends up showing more promise than it actually can deliver. It starts out sounding fairly powerful but then the impact gradually fades as no real conclusion is reached. At least there are signs of slightly more creative thinking, despite the mixed quality of the output in the end.

END OF MAN - Power, Corruption And Lies
Philippines 2008

1. Questioning 2. Depression And Suicide 3. Power, Corruption And Lies 4. Hate Attrition 5. Invocation Of The Flesh 6. Blood Betrayal 7. Pit Of Death 8. Pagkagat Ng Dilim

While End Of Man's debut release was interesting though surely somewhat rough around the edges, their full-length Power, Corruption And Lies turned out to be a lot more convincing and well thought-out on the whole. The production has gone through a complete overhaul, now sounding much sharper, brighter, and better balanced than previously. Whereas the band's earlier material could be kind of inconsistent in both quality and pace, this album is quite a streamlined and speedy affair for the most part. Maybe the only major hindrance is the lack of catchiness - although the band's sound in general is quite appealing, these riffs are not nearly as memorable as some of Death Angel's original works from the 1980s, for example. That aside, this is clearly a product with properties above the average level.

Greece 2013

1. Urban Crime 2. War In The Streets 3. Power Of Hate 4. Corrupted Media Propaganda 5. Vision Of The Youth 6. Habits Mutation 7. Handicapped Corpse 8. Thrash Rider

Despite the fact that Thrash Rider sports some pretty dumb looks on the surface, you got to give the band a chance. And in this case the music is not that bad, if fairly predictable and repetitive on the whole. The most notable detail may be the vocals that resemble the style of old Flames as well as the first "retro" thrash bands in the late 1990s - in other words, they are pretty rough but probably kind of fitting in this context. So although Thrash Rider may not become an album you'd like to keep around for repeated listening, it is not a hopeless effort either. And still you cannot help but wish that, after thirty years of thrash metal, even minor bands could come up with something better than this.

ENDOVEIN - Waiting For Disaster
Italy 2010

1. Endless Prophecy 2. Forrest Gunner 3. Lynched By Fate 4. Fallout Terror 5. Problem Of Humanity 6. Kick In Your Ass 7. Slaves Of The Matrix 8. Sono Stufo! 9. Don't Forget 10. Endovein Are Adrenaline... For Your Fuckin' Summer!!!

There is something about Endovein's Waiting For Disaster that prevents the album from falling to the bottom of the crop despite its formally rather typical characteristics. Musically this is mostly quite average thrash metal, but the band's good-natured and often outright uplifting sound adds a certain positive vibe to the output. There are not exactly any highly memorable songs or even too notable individual riffs, yet the unconstrained feel of this album as a whole makes it a lot more easy to bear with it than some other more somber productions. While Waiting For Disaster is by no means likely to become a long-time favorite in the genre, it is surely a safe choice for an occasional listen.

ENDOVEIN - Supreme Insatiable Need
Italy 2013

1. Endo (Scopic) Vein 2. S.I.N. (Supreme Insatiable Need) 3. Riot Against The Modern World 4. Becoming Lucifer 5. Daily Show 6. Path Of No Return 7. Psychosis 8. No Walls, No Doors 9. Restless Grudge 10. Consumed 11. Ignorance Grows Strong 12. My Worst Fears Came True

Sometimes they surprise you, in a major way even. In comparison to Endovein's debut album that was unexceptional though still quite listenable, the band's sophomore release is a definite step towards greatness. Supreme Insatiable Need is a serious take on somewhat technical, intriguing thrash metal with good non-simplistic compositions, hard-hitting riffs coupled with inspired guitar work in general, as well as easily a lot more versatile singing than in your average band. The effect is distinctive, memorable and stylish, something like Wolf Spider at their prime yet with a bit more edge. When this album also features the same kind of upbeat feel as its predecessor, it must take a real cynical mind to fail to see the appeal. Maybe it's not the heaviest or fastest stuff as a whole, but for that there are enough of contenders already, most of them having only varying success. With Supreme Insatiable Need Endovein opted for something different for a change, and the results are highly commendable.

United Kingdom 1989

1. Lord Of Darkness 2. The Blast 3. Thrash Ritual 4. The Blades 5. Battle Cry 6. Brain Damage 7. Yukk 8. War Path 9. Back From The Dead 10. Energetic Krusher

Probably one of the most obscure British thrash bands, Energetic Krusher played some of the heaviest thrash metal on their full-length release. Path To Oblivion is musically rather consistent and the brutal assault is fairly convincing though at the same time almost completely lacks any originality, except for the vocals that are quite hilariously overdone low growls and give this album some unintentional comical feel. Like said, although the music on the whole is extremely heavy and pounding, mostly it sounds very samey without much difference between individual tracks, which just makes this album a bit tiresome experience. Energetic Krusher certainly seemed to have some clear direction in their music, this time the result was just not that impressive to begin with.

ENFORCER - Violent Speed Assault
Chile 2007

1. Onslaught Of Steel 2. Death Aggressor 3. Destructive Reaction 4. Evil Rage 5. Savage Noise 6. Crush The Faith 7. Terminal Slaughter 8. Stay Insane 9. Malevolent Force 10. Violent Speed Assault

Enforcer could not have chosen a more fitting title for their album. Violent Speed Assault is one of those releases that can make Slayer seem slow and Tankard downright progressive in comparison. The band's sound is unrefined and unpretentious, and there is almost a rushed feel to it. There is such a frantic tempo on every song that it appears they could have just utilized one and the same drum track for the whole album. Complete with gruff vocals and guitar solos that often appear like careless splashes at best, Enforcer's style can sometimes remind you of Incubus from the late 1980s, but Violent Speed Assault lacks a definite edge and some additional heaviness that Serpent Temptation had. In small portions an album like this can still be fairly entertaining, but in the long run it can turn out quite repetitive if not played sparingly.

ENRAGED - Presence Of Fear
USA 2003

1. Worth 2. Fits Of Rage 3. Waiting To Fall 4. Circle Of Hell 5. Bury The Priest 6. Funny Farm 7. Serial Killer 8. 731 9. Nothing There 10. Dead Friend

In a sense, Enraged's Presence Of Fear has some characteristics of its own though not quite in the most optimal way. Most tracks demonstrate fairly satisfactory riffage and pacing, laying the groundwork necessary for ordinary but acceptable thrash metal. However, the vocals can be something of an acquired taste at first, so plain and blunt that they add to a certain hardcore-ish feel that can get on your nerves almost immediately. Never thought that bare shouts could sound so tedious, but this album proves it can be done. In all fairness, the style does grow on you after a few tracks, but it may still be irritating to some. With those reservations, Presence Of Fear appears quite unexceptional and trouble-free for the most part.

ENTROPY - Ashen Existence
Canada 1992

1. Ashen Existence 2. Necrothon 3. Darkness Weaves 4. Machine's Way 5. Exalted Sith 6. Psionic Dissection 7. Traces Of Time

It is quite surprising to find an album of this high quality released during the final years of the vanishing thrash metal scene. Nonetheless, Entropy's Ashen Existence really hits the mark. The debut of this group must be one of the best "unknown" albums ever heard, composed of highly complex but fully consistent thrash metal. The sound of this album is unique and stylish, a wall of captivating riffs and distinctive vocals that range from high screams to low growls with ease. Despite the longest tracks approaching ten minutes, there is no dull moment as these songs roll like an unstoppable machine. The only blatant flaw is the weird Psionic Dissection which is just an incredibly bad piece of death metal, complete with such a poor sound that you would think it had been meant for a demo tape instead. But if you can skip past one track, the rest is about as good as it gets. Although Entropy didn't maintain their original style on later recordings, Ashen Existence remains one of the better releases in the genre.

EPIDEMIC - Artificial Peace
Greece 1991

1. Intro 2. Addiction 3. Waiting The Execution 4. Artificial Peace 5. Religious Greed

With no deep knowledge of Epidemic's origins in advance, you certainly could not determine by their sound only that Artificial Peace is a Greek thrash metal release, as this kind of recording could have been basically produced anywhere in the world. The sound quality is quite heavy and fitting, and the band appear simply competent by all measures, but as far as pure originality goes this release is not guaranteed to receive any honorary mentions for its less than innovative style. Still, based on the presentation only there must have been some serious effort behind it all, and you cannot help but feel sympathy for this band's work. If Epidemic had just possessed some more genuine vision in their music then who knows where they could have ended up, instead of making not much more than a minor albeit interesting side note in history.

EPIDEMIC - The Truth Of What Will Be
USA 1990

1. AMX 2. Live Your Death 3. In Fear We Kill 4. Thigh Rubbage 5. Three Witches 6. Finer Thing In Life 7. Hands Of Ruby 8. Silent Torture 9. Six Seconds

For a demo based release, the production of Epidemic's The Truth Of What Will Be is surprisingly good and certainly better than on some other more processed albums. As this preliminary mini album came out two years before the band's first official release, the music is still quite raw and somewhat undeveloped. The tracks vary between short, even hardcore-ish bursts and longer, thrashy pieces that are still far from the band's later, almost grindcore-ish style. The band sound very heavy and show a lot of dedication, it's just that a bit more controlled approach might have resulted in a more convincing outcome. As a whole, The Truth Of What Will Be is not too impressive despite making a nice collector's item.

EPITAPH - Tranquillity
Sweden 1992

1. Fate 2. Total Massacre 3. Concealed Insanity 4. Brainwashed Nation 5. Deceit 6. Maniac Souls 7. Tranquillity 8. Morbid Craving 9. Private Hell 10. A Desease Called Life 11. Nuclear War

Of all the minor thrash metal albums that most people never heard of, Epitaph's Tranquillity must be among the most obscure ones. For better or worse, the immediate impression is not very inspiring. Despite numerous tempo changes and at least assumed attempts at variety, all tracks manage to sound repetitive and stale almost without exceptions. It feels like there were ideas only for a couple of songs at most, but somehow the material was stretched to cover the length of a full release. The timeworn production and especially the low-key guitar tone only add to the overall dusty feel of the whole recording. Of course, these are always subjective matters, but one must seriously ponder if the most interesting aspects of Tranquillity are completely non-musical. After all, experience shows that time tends to pass rather slowly when this album is playing.

EQUINOX - Auf Wiedersehen
Norway 1989

1. Stop! 2. Auf Wiedersehen 3. The King 4. Pharaoh Dance 5. Violins 6. The Floating Man 7. House Of Wonders 8. Realm Of Darkness 9. Dead By Dawn

It is certainly not too often that you encounter a band of Norwegian origins playing classic thrash metal, but Equinox were such example and not bad at all. The debut album Auf Wiedersehen must be the most straightforward of their releases although it is not without some slight technical touches already. Nevertheless, the band's powerful style of music makes the backbone of this album. Especially the first few minutes raise high expectations as Stop! and the title track in particular are quite memorable stomping thrashers. Even though some of the album runs in a more ordinary vein, the sound remains consistent until the very end. While the whole thing is not of outstanding quality, the songs are well done and have even some originality, which is clearly more than you could expect from a less known release. Auf Wiedersehen no doubt deserves some more listening time than on average - if you have a chance to find this item nowadays, that is.

EQUINOX - The Way To Go
Norway 1990

1. Fine By Me 2. Inner Self 3. Skrell 4. Godamadog 5. Quest For Fire 6. Conveyer Of Truth 7. Flower Power 8. What It Is Worth

The second Equinox album is not a simple case. It seems that the band wanted to expand their style outside the most one-dimensional view to thrash metal, ending up with a product that can be occasionally puzzling enough to leave you scratching your head. The Way To Go is not really out of place in this company, but the difference to the band's debut is clear. With a noticeably more technical approach to songwriting, a few of the most original songs here may simply have something of an unnerving effect on a casual listener. Then again, if you get your kicks out of slightly unusual rhythms then this album can be quite an interesting treat. The Way To Go is not so experimental as to completely put you off the track when listening to it, but Equinox definitely took some liberties to distinguish themselves from the mass with this one.

EQUINOX - Xerox Success
Norway 1991

1. Xerox Success 2. Souls At Zero 3. Lost Control 4. Jabbermouth 5. My Sweet TV 6. Now! 7. Slave To The Whim 8. Nothing At All 9. Damned 10. Succumb To The Law

Xerox Success is quite possibly the heaviest Equinox release to date, as well as more straightforward and accessible than its immediate predecessor. The music is not as deliberately disorienting at times as it was on the band's previous release, although touches of more technical aspirations are still audible every now and then. The quirky Jabbermouth is something that you could have expected to hear on The Way To Go, but most other tracks are more conventional than that. The band's output tends to sound powerful and coherent though sometimes also a bit flat in comparison to their earlier recordings, as there are no such strong hooks that would necessarily draw and hold your attention. That said, you cannot fail to notice the feel of consistent quality that persists throughout Xerox Success. The album does have a genuine style of its own, which is actually a characteristic feature of all Equinox recordings.

ERADICATOR - The Atomic Blast
Germany 2009

1. Possessed By The Devil 2. Capital Punishment 3. War In My Head 4. Thrashing Through The Pit 5. Never Surrender 6. Trigger To Apocalypse 7. Place Of No Return 8. When Bullets Drop Like Rain 9. Nothing But Ashes Remain

Eradicator did wisely to start The Atomic Blast with the best track of the album, as Possessed By The Devil could be a fine opener for almost any release. Unfortunately, one snappy and even memorable piece is not quite enough to make the day, and the rest of the material sounds more routine-like and boring. Eradicator's sound is very clear and clean, which sort of emphasizes the impersonal feel of many of these songs. As far as songwriting goes, most tracks after the opening piece provide only occasional interesting moments. Not only that but the pacing is quite uneven, with a couple of too many downright sluggish tracks in the middle of this album. While the effort on the whole is still worth some recognition, The Atomic Blast does not succeed in fulfilling the initial promise.

ERADICATOR - Madness Is My Name
Germany 2012

1. Madness Is My Name 2. Baptized In Blood 3. Final Dosage 4. Born Of Hate 5. Judgment Day 6. Immortal Sacrifice 7. Last Days Of Defiance 8. Parasite 9. At The Brink Of Death 10. Evil Twisted Mind 11. Nuclear Overkill

Maybe Eradicator's first release didn't turn out in the best possible way, but Madness Is My Name somewhat improves the matter. Again, the production is very clean and refined, but the outcome sounds more healthy, evenly paced, and not nearly as tedious as the previous album at its worst. Especially the guitar department is worth a special mention - with some notably harmonic leads and brief melodic touches, certain parts manage to bring even Iron Maiden to mind, which is not necessarily a bad thing at all. The music is still firmly in the thrash metal realm though quite polished for such. After the lackluster impression that The Atomic Blast made, this follow-up does seem to deserve a careful nod of approval after all.

EROS - Road To Wisdom
Brazil 1990

1. Universal Warriors 2. Target Of The Eagle 3. Road To Wisdom 4. Terrorist 5. The Prophet's Words 6. Atomic Messengers 7. Lost Empire

It must be admitted that Eros obviously had what it takes to play in a credible style. Road To Wisdom presents a neat form of thrash metal in the sense that there is little reason for technical nitpicking, and musically this album is actually surprisingly full-featured for a debut release. After a powerful start it tends to lose some momentum, though, as most individual songs are not overly distinctive and there are not too many riffs that would make a truly memorable impression. It is still quite a sympathetic recording and the band's sound is pretty cool on the whole, just not consistently strong enough to raise the bar notably above the usual semi-standard level. Road To Wisdom contains some sufficiently effective riffwork and an appealing soundscape overall, for more than that you need to look a bit further than this release.

EROSION - Mortal Agony
Germany 1988

1. Erosion / Way Of Force 2. The Unborn 3. Bilharzia 4. Aftermath 5. False Prophets 6. Paralyzed / Mortal Agony 7. Nuclear Frost 8. Into The Void 9. Humanity 10. The King

Erosion's debut album starts off as a truly fierce attack of German thrash metal. Mortal Agony sports riffs like machine gun fire with respectable intensity, and although some of it unarguably starts wearing out before the end of this album, there are still not too many releases with this kind of relentless activity. The general sound is crunchy and harsh, fitting the music more than well enough. The most striking pieces are those fast thrashers like Bilharzia and the title track that are played with absolutely no holds barred, whereas a couple of less frantic mid-tempo pieces are more on a dull side. Erosion did manage to get something right on this release, and as a positive surprise in its class Mortal Agony is definitely worth a special note.

EROSION - Thoughts
Germany 1990

1. H 2. The Scourge 3. Thought 4. You Belong To Us 5. Are You God? 6. Nightmare 7. Strike 8. Chance

Thoughts is such a plain presentation for a thrash metal album that you will hardly find anything more ordinary very soon. Erosion's growing hardcore tendencies are still mostly audible only on the vocals that have become very dull and tiresome shouts, other than that this album follows the most typical route. For the record, the shredding guitar sound is still pretty good, but as there are almost no memorable songs except for the instrumental Strike, a lot of technical potential just goes to waste. Most of the time this album feels like it could have been put together only to appeal to the masses who would go after anything with a thrash metal stamp on it. Thoughts is technically and formally very adequate, but this is not much of help when the actual content almost completely fails to draw you to it.

EROTIKILL - Virgin Speed
USA 1990

1. Maniac 2. Slay Ground 3. Metal Cry 4. Victim 5. Patriot 6. Betrayer 7. P.O.W. 8. Enemy In Our Midst

You cannot really blame those few people who possibly had a glimpse of this album in the old days but then decided to skip it by the looks only. Although Erotikill's Virgin Speed may look like a perfect example of a stereotypical heavy rock album from the late 1980s, it actually contains a good dose of fairly satisfying speed/thrash metal. The most positive aspect of this album must be the production which is heavy and crunchy, giving the music a nice street-credible quality. While the band's sound is generally good, some of these songs can appear a bit too basic and simple, but then again, it must be admitted that Erotikill were at their best playing fast and straightforward no-frills thrashers like Victim and P.O.W. It is true that the effort has not stood too well against time, but the overall impression is still at least carefully positive.

ERUPTION - Lifeless Paradise
Slovenia 2009

1. Prayers, Betrayers 2. Monumental Mind 3. The Auditors 4. Democracy 5. Electrifried 6. Playing With Matches 7. Twisted Reality 8. Inner Wasteland 9. The Sands Of Time

At first Eruption's debut release can appear rather banal, even dull with its plain and undecorated sound. But after the initial moments pass, Lifeless Paradise starts to grow albeit slowly. This is largely due to the persistent woven riffwork that eventually sort of manages to drive the message home. Most of these riffs would not score in a serious contest on an individual basis, but sometimes it happens that full songs end up being more than just a sum of their parts. Although far from distinctive, the band's modest style appears more authentic, even honest, than that of many of their contemporaries. Bonus points may be given for lyrics that seem like some actual thinking went into them, instead of the usual nonsense commonly found in these circles. While Eruption can be hardly labeled as prominent contenders in the genre, there's something about Lifeless Paradise that saves it from total obscurity.

ERUPTION - Tenses Collide
Slovenia 2012

1. Fractured 2. Celestial God 3. Enter The Hive 4. Selfcaged 5. Last Transmission 6. Unknown Dimensions 7. The Forlorn 8. Unparticled Matter 9. Empty Shells

Eruption's first full-length managed to become something of a keeper despite its seemingly ordinary characteristics. Fortunately, Tenses Collide reaches the same level of quality and actually even improves a bit. Initially this album, too, is likely to come across as rather unexceptional without any flashy gimmicks, then it gradually proceeds to win you over with its emphatic riffage and steady, refined form of delivery. Again, individual songs should not be expected to impress right away, but the consistent stream of consciousness has a downright calming effect in the long run, and you could call this thing even stylish without appearing pretentious. The more you listen to Tenses Collide, the more convincing it starts to sound, and that's pretty much the exact opposite of the disposable nature of an awfully lot of other stuff these days.

ESTIGIA - Insubmission
Spain 1989

1. Insubmission 2. Dissident 3. Fuerzas De Seguridad 4. The Wall 5. Bad Living 6. Lobotomy 7. A Sickly Earth 8. N.W.O.

A worthy addition to the small group of Spanish thrash metal bands from the late 1980s, Estigia honored the trademark characteristics of the genre in high detail. As far as a vigorous presentation and hard-hitting riffs are considered, Insubmission should give any unsuspecting listener a good run for their money. From the very first moments, this album sounds powerful enough that you are not likely to drop out before due time. The initial promise holds out until the end, that is, the energy level remains consistent through the album while the band do not totally forget some necessary variation in their song structures. On the instrumental side Estigia actually show more than usual ambition, which is a nice bonus. It could be easy to think of Insubmission as just another standards compliant thrash metal album on the surface, but actually it bears a bit more than that.

ESTIGIA - Trip To Nowhere
Spain 1995

1. One Way System 2. Trip To Nowhere 3. Another View 4. The Restless Hearing 5. Split Personality 6. Inserts

The follow-up to Estigia's classic debut is a bit of a surprise, a mini album that preserves traditions in a respectable manner despite the long years between Insubmission and this release. Trip To Nowhere sounds a lot heavier and tighter than its predecessor, and the vocals are noticeably more extreme as well, but this is still thrash metal in a classic vein that we are talking about. Although the increasingly forceful nature of the band's music is more than evident, in this case heaviness and speed still go hand to hand and the resulting album is far from dull. While Trip To Nowhere can sound quite different to those who are already familiar with Estigia's original style, it is not a waste of time in the slightest as the band's output remains fairly convincing and memorable.

EUDOXIS - Open Fire
Canada 1991

1. Ultimatum / Open Fire 2. Tormented We Fall 3. Progressive Mental Deterioration (Dementia) 4. Omnipotent Phantasies 5. The Gathering 6. Reach The Sun 7. Reflections Of A Lost Past

Even though Eudoxis were veterans of speed/thrash metal in Canada, it took quite a long time before the band's full-length release Open Fire saw the light of day. The result is a collection of fairly nice ideas but definitely not the most intense effort around. The style is actually sometimes surprisingly similar to Mortal Sin's customary rhythmic sound, fox example. In case of Eudoxis the production could have been a bit more rough, as now the final mix seems to be missing some edge. While the songs feature satisfying basic riffage, many of them are notably lengthy affairs and not always interesting enough to avoid occasional boredom. Also, today this album sounds simply very antiquated and not only in a good nostalgic way. At least there are enough of memorable moments on Open Fire that it survives the competition with dry feet, despite some drawbacks.

EUGENIC DEATH - Crimes Against Humanity
USA 2012

1. Crimes Against Humanity 2. Indictive Deity 3. Medication Time 4. The Devil Waits 5. Plagued By Ignorance 6. Epitaph 7. The Practice

It is a rare event that an album can make you spontaneously desire to turn the volume all the way up, but Eugenic Death's Crimes Against Humanity succeeds in that task. One major reason is that this thing simply comes across as a lot more authentic piece of work than most other contenders' products do. The band's approach is very down-to-earth, almost underproduced at times, and every now and then the performance positively manages to draw your attention - be it for the gruff yet nicely fitting vocals, plain but quite effective riffs, or just some undeniably classy guitar solos. From no-nonsense thrashers like The Devil Waits to the powerful instrumental Epitaph, Crimes Against Humanity is a release of unpretentious and honest American thrash metal. It must be a sign of something done right when you want to play the album again immediately after the first round.

EVIL OFFERING - We Bring Your Death
Chile 2004

1. Insanes Dreams 2. Christian Lunatic 3. World Of Shit 4. Humanity Disarmed 5. I'm Rotten 6. Red Death

Although Evil Offering's We Bring Your Death has been marketed as a mini album, it is actually only a couple of minutes shorter than the band's subsequent more official full-length release, therefore it would seem fair to consider this as a full-fledged debut album already. Obviously the songs are on the lengthy side, which is not a problem in itself. More troublesome is that certain tracks seem somewhat hastily arranged, with several sections that do not fit together in the best possible way. Most of the time the band stick to typical high-speed antics, while the vocals often appear reminiscent of Vio-lence in the late 1980s though not quite as obtrusive. There are short moments of slight interest but these are fragmented around, and by the time you have sort of warmed up this album already ends - it almost starts to win you over, but not quite.

EVIL OFFERING - Wake Up For Another Nightmare
Chile 2010

1. Heretic Cult 2. The Rest 3. Enemy 4. Burn With Me 5. Cold Blood 6. W.U.F.A.N. 7. Thrashing Madness 8. Thirld World Mediocrity 9. Collective Psychosis 10. Sweet Creatures

Wake Up For Another Nightmare demonstrates that there has been some clear progress since We Bring Your Death, at least in most areas. On this release Evil Offering's sound is tighter and more focused than in the past, and almost all songs comply with the same time limit, running no longer than three to four minutes. Although the band's output is still rather stereotypical at best, the outcome is more coherent and better formulated this time. The production is otherwise quite adequate, but for some reason the vocals seem not to find their place in the mix, being either too much in the background or just generally a tad misplaced. That aside, there is virtually nothing distracting about this album, making it almost a foolproof choice of the most unsurprising type of thrash metal.

EVIL SHEPHERD - Sowing Death
Belgium 2010

1. Sowing Death 2. Last Breath (Final Reign) 3. Spilling The Blood 4. Acid Rain Of Death 5. Satanic Attack 6. Chemical Wipeout 7. Priesthunt 8. Annihilation Prophecy 9. Till Death 10. A Time To Die 11. Radiation Plague 12. History Of Violence 13. Nail It To The Cross

Now this is more like it. If there were more bands like Evil Shepherd in the contemporary thrash metal scene, the genre might seem a lot more healthy and less stale. Sowing Death feels equal to a much-needed injection of a good dose of fury. Most tracks are short and violent and delivered in such an unapologetic manner that the result is a total frenzy. It would be a little wonder if this band's drummer didn't suffer from severe cramps after the recording sessions. With such a vicious edge to the music, this album should be capable of shaking off the cobwebs for anyone for a great while - if Acid Rain Of Death at the latest doesn't nail it for you then probably nothing will. Only time will tell if Sowing Death truly has what it takes to become a minor cult classic over the years, but for now it is easily one of the more enjoyable recent releases.

EVIL SINNER - Evil Sinner
Belgium 1989

1. Thrashers 2. Evil Sinner 3. Don't Kill The Animals 4. The Gang 5. Fate 6. Death To You 7. Mosh (Part One)

Evil Sinner surely knew their way around the genre although the results were not too groundbreaking. These Belgian thrashers' debut release contains probably everything deemed necessary for a standard thrash metal album; an attitude aggressive enough, raw vocals, and generally fairly high intensity from start to finish. The problem is, none of it really sticks. There is no single track that one could honestly find likeable or even less forgettable than the others as they all sound pretty much the same. The riffs are mostly generic and really unmemorable. Unfortunately, a good attitude does not guarantee originality or even slightly interesting songs here. Wish there was something more positive to say about this album, but the total lack of inspirational moments doesn't give much reason to be impressed.

EVIL WHIPLASH - Rituals Of Punishment
Colombia 2010

1. Soldiers Of Evil 2. Tears Of Hate 3. Macabre Rituals 4. Dawn Of The Dead 5. A.P.P. (Anti Poser Patrol) 6. Satan Arise 7. Toxic Thrash

It's a slight pity that none of the current thrash metal bands has adopted the moniker of Evil Gummy Bear yet. That would surely make some headlines with minimal effort. But let's get back to business. If asked to make an educated guess about the style of Rituals Of Punishment, most people would probably get it right at the first attempt. This release is not unlike the products of numerous other small league thrash metal bands around the world - the album sounds reasonably loud and proud, whether it's for a good reason or not. You won't find samples of great poetry or philosophical statements here, it's more like your typical straightforward thrashing with little actual creativity involved. It must be said that technically the band's sound is satisfactory, clear and lively. Just everything else is rather cliched and unexciting at best.

EVILDEAD - Annihilation Of Civilization
USA 1989

1. F.C.I. / The Awakening 2. Annihilation Of Civilization 3. Living Good 4. Future Shock 5. Holy Trials 6. Gone Shooting 7. Parricide 8. Unauthorized Exploitation 9. B.O.H.I.C.A. (bonus)

Upon the release of Annihilation Of Civilization Evildead's sound was notably more fresh than that of most other bands of the time. There is simply no fluff or flashy gimmicks in these songs, and the vocals have a slight hardcore-ish edge which adds to the concise feel of the music. At first the band's rampage may sound even too terse and difficult to grasp, but one only needs to compare it to the unfortunate vast amount of sluggish presentations out there in order to understand the benefits of Evildead's approach. Occasionally there's even something Anthrax-like in the band's style, and the guitar attacks of Garcia and Gonzalez work extremely well together. The album ends with the hilariously tasteless CD bonus track B.O.H.I.C.A. that doesn't exactly promote your average family values. Great, pure thrash metal is what Annihilation Of Civilization delivers in a splendid way.

EVILDEAD - The Underworld
USA 1991

1. Intro (Comshell 5) 2. Global Warming 3. Branded 4. Welcome To Kuwait 5. Critic / Cynic 6. The 'Hood 7. The Underworld 8. He's A Woman / She's A Man 9. Process Elimination 10. Labyrinth Of The Mind 11. Reap What You Sow

On The Underworld Evildead took a slightly more controlled as well as heavier approach. The music is admittedly more firmly structured and shows development over the debut release, but it also lacks some of the wild energy that made Annihilation Of Civilization so enjoyable in the first place. These songs appear to feature more of the standard stop-and-go style, and while tracks like Global Warming and Branded are very effective pieces, the whole album is not quite of the same high quality. Especially the second half could have been better in that sense - for example, the cover version of the old Scorpions song He's A Woman / She's A Man sounds just weird and unnecessary on this album. The Underworld is a dose of fairly good thrash metal but clearly more average than the band's first release.

EVILE - Enter The Grave
United Kingdom 2007

1. Enter The Grave 2. Thrasher 3. First Blood 4. Man Against Machine 5. Burned Alive 6. Killer From The Deep 7. We Who Are About To Die 8. Schizophrenia 9. Bathe In Blood 10. Armoured Assault

For some reason Evile's Enter The Grave is not an easy album to embrace. Primarily this may be just due to the very unexceptional nature of the band's music. While their sound is quite refined and smooth, most songs on this album are not prominent enough to raise the bar above the average level. Except for a couple of subtle intros that provide a temporary break from standard pounding, it all tends to sound the same with no special distinction or quality. The closing track Armoured Assault does deserve a separate mention as it eventually manages to gain something back with its totally relentless feel - if only there had been more songs like this. In the class of well-produced and fluent thrash metal Enter The Grave has some value, but it might be worth noting that there is a real risk of falling into boredom every now and then during this album.

EXARSIS - Under Destruction
Greece 2011

1. Resist 2. Religious Violation 3. Killing Command 4. Thrash Is Back 5. Dying Earth 6. R.I.P. (Resurrection In Progress) 7. The Return 8. Annihilation...

The debut release of Exarsis belongs to the group of most straightforward and commonplace thrash metal albums, with very little experimentation on any aspects of the style. These tracks cover pretty much all the most typical topics you could imagine, including politics, religion, war, and pollution. Not to forget an occasional song about the virtues of playing thrash, too. Even with a couple of instrumental pieces, there is practically nothing about the whole thing that would somehow raise the flag for special interest. The pace is rather fast and consistent which not a bad feature to have, and the album is far from overlong, but that aside, Under Destruction lacks any notable traits that would be needed to set it apart.

EXARSIS - The Brutal State
Greece 2013

1. Annihilation... Proceed!!! 2. Mind Poisoning 3. Addicting Life Waste 4. Vote For Crisis 5. Dying Earth 6. Toxic Terror 7. Surveillance Society 8. Apathy, Ignorance, Oblivion 9. Suicide Disorder 10. Under Destruction

With The Brutal State the style of Exarsis obviously matured to such extent that the output can be safely deemed satisfactory without any major reservations. On the surface, the production has been improved a lot, most audible in the guitar that does not sound as hollow as on the debut album, and the vocals have evolved into a frantic form of expression that is keen enough to draw attention. The subject matter is still about the most conventional you can find in these circles, and this album cannot exactly be called a milestone of any kind. However, the speed remains more than sufficient, and the presentation shows clear progress since Under Destruction - a sign that this band could be in for something if they continue on this path.

EXCRUCIATION - Last Judgement
Switzerland 1987

1. At The Edge Of Madness 2. The Silence 3. Hateful Pain 4. Desperate End (Nuclear Nightmare) 5. Mirror Of Eternity

Emerging from the Swiss scene, Excruciation's Last Judgement contains a dose of some very moody old thrash metal. Except for the slow and brooding Hateful Pain, this mini album is not really short on speed although it probably would not make it to the pole position in a serious thrashing contest. What really deserves a special note is the unique menacing and gloomy feel that this music so effectively passes on to the listener. It could be compared to Sodom's earliest efforts, but here the style is realized in a slightly more refined and convincing format. The production sounds antiquated enough to make the dust fly, but this actually contributes to the overall memorable impression by a notable amount. For the purpose of getting some idea about thrash metal in its most old-fashioned form, Last Judgement is surely an album more than appropriate to play.

EXCRUCIATOR - By The Gates Of Flesh
USA 2010

1. Nuclear Exmortis 2. Fatal Fornication 3. The Edenwitch Of Torment 4. Malevolence Impure 5. By The Gates Of Flesh

At this point most people could be forgiven for expecting a new release like this to feature yet another generic thrash metal band playing by the numbers. But Excruciator beat the odds, kind of. In times like these when some of the most stereotypical and bland thrash metal albums could be almost played in kindergartens without much fuss, By The Gates Of Flesh manages to sound genuinely malicious, rotten, and politically incorrect. This is done in a charming old-fashioned way, too. Instead of hitting the top gear all the time, the focus is on building up a specific type of menacing feel, and most of the time it succeeds. This is not to say that Excruciator's mini album would be a highly exemplary or original release, yet it certainly sticks out among a lot more uninspired productions these days.

USA 2011

1. Devouring The Flesh Of My Master 2. Skulls Of The Abyss 3. Disciples Of Menace 4. Hunter Killer 5. Destruction 6. Eviscerator 7. Wretched 8. Nuclear Exmortis 9. Metal Forces

After Excruciator's promising debut release, it is not too surprising that Devouring applies the same formula without any radical changes. The production does appear a tad brighter than previously, which alone is enough to reduce the effect even so slightly. In addition, the band's sound and attitude are still better than on average, but what worked out fine on a short mini album seems to lose some of its original appeal on a longer release like this. Essentially it is a matter of recycling the same patterns and ideas a bit too faithfully during the length of this album, and the final impression is inevitably somewhat more repetitive. In this sense By The Gates Of Flesh remains a stronger recording, although Devouring is a satisfactory product as well, just with some bits and pieces of weariness starting to show through already.

E-X-E - Stricken By Might
USA 1987

1. Slaughter Disorder 2. Stricken By Might 3. Autopsy 4. Metal Hell 5. Slayer 6. Martial Law 7. Warchild 8. Fatally Wounded 9. Seek And Destroy 10. Crib Death

E-X-E started their short existence as a band mixing elements of conventional power metal and more furious speed/thrash metal. Although the band looked like a bunch of deliberate posers in the beginning, Stricken By Might is a fairly interesting though unavoidably patchy release. The album starts off fine with some fast, intense tracks and blatantly catchy riffs, but in the middle it degenerates into third-rate heavy metal cliches before fortunately returning back to the right direction near the end. Really, when the band can pull off such fine thrashers as Autopsy and Fatally Wounded, pointless and plodding tracks like Metal Hell are just a major nuisance. The most striking example of the talent this band must have had is the closing track Crib Death, a dark and devastating piece that even Slayer could be proud of. Despite its high points, Stricken By Might is something of a mixed bag and not completely successful as such.

E-X-E - Sicker Than I Thought!
USA 1990

1. Three Years Later / Dismembered 2. Another Chosen Life 3. Sexploitation 4. Innocent Betrayal 5. Chamber Of Sorrow 6. Second Coming 7. Horrors Of The Mind 8. No One To Pray To 9. I'm Sanctified 10. Infected

Compared to Stricken By Might which tried to combine both conventional and thrash metal influences, Sicker Than I Thought! is a full-speed thrash album. There were some changes in the band's line-up between this and the debut release, the vocals in particular are much different on this album as the new vocalist is rather high-pitched. The music is laudably fast and there's a lot of obvious attempt to make some impact with this album, but in the end it's just your run-of-the-mill urban thrash metal. Occasionally the fast, harmonic guitars result in some memorable moments like on Chamber Of Sorrow though these are not too frequent. It would have been nice to find more virtue from this one, but the truth is that Sicker Than I Thought! is not too remarkable by any standards.

EXECUTER - Rotten Authorities
Brazil 1991

1. You'll Come Back Before Dying 2. No Destiny 3. Rotten Authorities 4. Flight To The Other Side 5. Money 6. Humbug Lines 7. Violence 8. To Clean The Filthiness 9. O.A.O.

Executer certainly had the trademark Brazilian thrash metal sound in their music early on. Rotten Authorities is like a textbook example of the local scene, filled with rampant riffs that weave a web of frantic and nervous tracks. It goes like so many others, promoting minor interest based on its face value only, but then again, you can hear only so much without getting totally bored. However, Executer did have a power source of their own and this album is by no means among the worst of its kind. In fact, Money would be one of the better tracks on almost any album. Despite the formula being repeated almost unchanged over and over again, it's a little wonder how well it turns out in the end. While it's probably the completionists who get the most value out of this one, Rotten Authorities is not to be skipped by casual listeners either.

EXECUTER - Psychotic Mind
Brazil 2003

1. Intro 2. Lost Angels 3. Suffering And Pain 4. No More Racism 5. Message To The Weak Ones 6. Involuntary Suicide 7. Chaos Memories 8. Psychotic Mind 9. Black September

Maybe Executer were not a big player in the old scene, but somehow the band seem to have found their musical niche in the new millennium. Except for upgraded production values, Psychotic Mind oozes old school approach to thrash metal done in the right way, resulting in one of the more memorable releases in recent years. Sticking faithfully to their original style with nasty vocals and all, the revived band prove that if something worked fine in the old days, nothing prevents it from happening again. Most of this album features somewhat simple but also very catchy riffs, often with an Exodus-like twisted quality in them. Although Executer's style can be almost too repetitive for their own good, it is definitely not only for pure nostalgia reasons that Psychotic Mind triumphs over a great number of more generic albums made before it.

EXECUTER - Welcome To Your Hell
Brazil 2006

1. And The Rottenness Goes On... 2. 13 3. Lead Years 4. Sick World 5. Murderer's Lies, Salvation Of The Powerful Ones 6. My Hell 7. Inspiration For Crime 8. The Big Black Abyss 9. Cause And Effect 10. Power Thrashing Death

Welcome To Your Hell is quite a satisfying continuation of Executer's return to the scene. Whereas Psychotic Mind honored one and the same traditional formula until the very end, this follow-up album carries some slightly more varied touches on it. The vocals are still as nasty as ever, and then some - occasionally to the extent of causing minor irritation in a casual listener's ears, but better this than some total weakling on the microphone. As these songs still recycle pretty much the same tested and tried elements despite some variation in them, the result may not initially sound as fresh as on the previous release, but it is still enough to leave many other bands behind. Possibly it's a certain routine starting to show through that makes Welcome To Your Hell appear a bit less infectious than Psychotic Mind at first, but that is no reason to ignore a good thrash metal album.

EXECUTION - Perversions And Blasphemy
USA 2013

1. From The Grave 2. Sarcophagus 3. Midnight Ritual 4. Sabbatical Massacre 5. Execution 6. Black Curse 7. Perversions And Blasphemy 8. Burning The Earth 9. Rotting Away 10. Sworn To The Evil

Although the first minute of Execution's Perversions And Blasphemy makes a pretty atmospheric and nice short intro, the album turns out much more straightforward than its initial promise would suggest. While this is a fairly adequate implementation of "evil" thrash metal, complete with matching artwork that is guaranteed to offend certain circles, the outcome is a little bit too basic and unvaried to really hit the mark. There is no question about the band's credibility in what they are doing, their performance is rather sufficient to meet the requirements for this kind of style, and sometimes you can still sense the same sort of excitement as in the very beginning. But as a full-length release Perversions And Blasphemy could have used some more color, not just mostly black and white.

EXHORDER - Slaughter In The Vatican
USA 1990

1. Death In Vain 2. Homicide 3. Desecrator 4. Exhorder 5. The Tragic Period 6. Legions Of Death 7. Anal Lust 8. Slaughter In The Vatican

Over the years there have been many arguments about the stylistic similarities between Exhorder and another well known band. As Slaughter In The Vatican was self-released as a demo (missing only The Tragic Period) already in 1988, it's not that hard to see where the original ideas came from. This must be among the heaviest albums of all time, with lyrics full of nihilistic rage against society and religion. As for the music, it certainly provides an impenetrable wall of sound although some tracks seem a bit dumb. Even though the extreme, straight-to-the-point execution occasionally pays off (like on the shattering Homicide), the best track on the whole album must be The Tragic Period, a terrific, crushing piece that definitely stands out among the less diverse tracks. In a sense, Slaughter In The Vatican may be a bit lacking in content, but you got to give some real respect to the uncompromised nature of this album.

EXILE - Suspended Society... Mutilated Variety
Jordan 2012

1. Forthcoming Of Terror 2. Legions Of Death 3. World Of Guilt 4. The Damned 5. Wtf! 6. Suspended Society... Mutilated Variety 7. Absolute Evil 8. Iron Hands 9. 1536°c 10. A Man With Power 11. Coronation Of Disgrace

Adding another geographical dimension to the scene, Exile's debut release is somewhat mixed-up and dry but still fairly credible for an attempt at non-simplistic thrash metal. The general sound of Suspended Society... Mutilated Variety is pummeling and notably restless, with frequent moments of discord that appear to promote internal confusion. A lot of the time these songs seem to be running in several directions at once, and the strained vocals and semi-tricky riffwork contribute to the slightly chaotic impression. Except for the last track that is just a piece of plain death metal and therefore out of place, this is by all means a listenable product, but a certain lack of consistency and harmony can be detrimental to the cause - in practice you have to be on your toes all the time or accept the risk of missing potentially important details along the way.

EXODUS - Bonded By Blood
USA 1985

1. Bonded By Blood 2. Exodus 3. And Then There Were None 4. A Lesson In Violence 5. Metal Command 6. Piranha 7. No Love 8. Deliver Us To Evil 9. Strike Of The Beast

Although the debut of Exodus deservedly got a permanent position in the hall of thrash metal fame already based on its classic status only, some of this album has not aged quite as gracefully as certain other releases from the same period. Most notably, the late Paul Baloff's vocalization can appear awfully tone-deaf a lot of the time though this sort of adds to the violent and rough charm of it all. Maybe the only other minor gripe is about the cheesy "metal" lyrics in some songs, but this just applies to many other early efforts as well. As a whole, Bonded By Blood is more than a decent piece of straightforward thrash metal with solid guitar work and a very consistent style, but in retrospective it may not appear like such an untouchable work of brutal art anymore.

EXODUS - Pleasures Of The Flesh
USA 1987

1. Deranged 2. 'Til Death Do Us Part 3. Parasite 4. Brain Dead 5. Faster Than You'll Ever Live To Be 6. Pleasures Of The Flesh 7. 30 Seconds 8. Seeds Of Hate 9. Chemi-Kill 10. Choose Your Weapon

With Pleasures Of The Flesh Exodus added some unexpected variety to their thrash metal formula, resulting in a noticeably more diverse album than Bonded By Blood. In the vocal department Paul Baloff had been replaced with Steve Souza whose style was a bit less raw yet easily distinguishable, actually very similar to the old AC/DC when Bon Scott was still their vocalist. Of the new songs, Brain Dead is just brilliant in all its catchiness and simplicity, while the title track and Chemi-Kill are maybe the best and most prominent examples of the band's new more versatile style. Despite not being quite as direct as its predecessor, Pleasures Of The Flesh was a promising change of pace and it remains a fine thrash metal album to this day.

EXODUS - Fabulous Disaster
USA 1989

1. The Last Act Of Defiance 2. Fabulous Disaster 3. The Toxic Waltz 4. Low Rider 5. Cajun Hell 6. Like Father, Like Son 7. Corruption 8. Verbal Razors 9. Open Season 10. Overdose (bonus)

Fabulous Disaster seems almost like a direct follow-up to Pleasures Of The Flesh although it is somewhat more crunchy and dry in the sound department. Musically this album was quite typical for Exodus at this point, without any great surprises or innovations. The Last Act Of Defiance and Open Season in particular are some good fast thrashers while the long and crushing Like Father, Like Son could well be the most impressive piece on the whole thing. Of the two cover songs, Low Rider sounds plain goofy whereas Overdose is nothing more than a faithful re-rendition of the original. In any case, their inclusion on this album was a fairly odd choice. In the end, Fabulous Disaster may not be as vivid and memorable as Pleasures Of The Flesh but its general crunchiness sort of compensates for that.

EXODUS - Impact Is Imminent
USA 1990

1. Impact Is Imminent 2. A.W.O.L. 3. The Lunatic Parade 4. Within The Walls Of Chaos 5. Objection Overruled 6. Only Death Decides 7. Heads They Win (Tails You Lose) 8. Changing Of The Guard 9. Thrash Under Pressure

If a heavy guitar sound was all that matters then Impact Is Imminent would be a winner. The first few moments of this recording can appear very promising with their excessive crunchy guitar wall. Unfortunately a lot more than that is needed for a good album, and this is where Exodus fell short at a critical moment. Impact Is Imminent must be the band's most one-dimensional release with a really monotonous feel and repetitive as well as unmemorable riffs. The production is beyond thick and heavy, but it doesn't really help when the music is boring as hell. Almost none of the creativity present on the previous albums can be found here, instead the songs are mostly filled with very formulaic pounding. This is easily one of the least impressive Exodus releases to date, even taking into account the band's attempt at a more groovy style later in the 1990s.

EXODUS - Tempo Of The Damned
USA 2004

1. Scar Spangled Banner 2. War Is My Shepherd 3. Blacklist 4. Shroud Of Urine 5. Forward March 6. Culling The Herd 7. Sealed With A Fist 8. Throwing Down 9. Impaler 10. Tempo Of The Damned

As a new Exodus studio album in more than ten years Tempo Of The Damned had some extremely high expectations to meet. It is pretty safe to say that despite some drawbacks the outcome gives even some of the most classic Exodus releases a good run for the money. Only a few seconds into the album and you cannot fail to recognize the band's unmistakable sound in the intro of Scar Spangled Banner, a prime example of twisted Exodus riffs at their best. War Is My Shepherd follows closely in the same vein, while Blacklist is a killer mid-tempo stomper. After that, the quality gets more uneven - while it never drops really low, some of the later tracks just do not hit you with the same kind of energy as the first ones. However, the band sound as tight as ever, Souza's vocals are positively venomous, and the production couldn't be more fitting. If the whole album was in the same class as the first three tracks then Tempo Of The Damned would be an all-time thrash metal classic already, now it is still one of the better newer releases in the field.

EXODUS - Shovel Headed Kill Machine
USA 2005

1. Raze 2. Deathamphetamine 3. Karma's Messenger 4. Shudder To Think 5. I Am Abomination 6. Altered Boy 7. Going Going Gone 8. Now Thy Death Day Come 9. 44 Magnum Opus 10. Shovel Headed Kill Machine

With most of the band's original line-up gone, Shovel Headed Kill Machine turned out to be a surprisingly vital Exodus album. Rob Dukes may not be the most original vocalist out there, but his voice is raw and powerful and does not deviate too much from the old Exodus style. Musically this album is more consistent than Tempo Of The Damned although it also lacks the catchiest riffs found on that one. While everything is technically solid, there are no easy hooks to be found from these tracks. Sometimes the pounding sound wall is almost in danger of becoming one-dimensional enough to remind you of Impact Is Imminent, but fortunately this newer effort has a far greater amount of pure nasty spirit to back up the riffage. In fact, this thoroughly mean and punishing feel of Shovel Headed Kill Machine may be its biggest saving grace, and the most furious moments of this release are without comparison. Definitely not an easy album to hear for the first time, even less so to get into, but in the end it will get through you if just given enough time.

EXODUS - The Atrocity Exhibition... Exhibit A
USA 2007

1. A Call To Arms 2. Riot Act 3. Funeral Hymn 4. Children Of A Worthless God 5. As It Was, As It Soon Shall Be 6. The Atrocity Exhibition 7. Iconoclasm 8. The Garden Of Bleeding 9. Bedlam 123

There should be little doubt about The Atrocity Exhibition... Exhibit A being the most ambitious Exodus release to date, therefore it is a pity that the music does not represent the band in their top form. Shovel Headed Kill Machine was kind of refreshing with its aggressive approach, the same does not apply here. Most songs are long and often quite tedious experiences, and a couple of them you could call nearly worthless in a traditional sense. The album is not a total loss, though - Funeral Hymn is not too bad after it really gets going, and Bedlam 123 is a fair straight-out thrasher although very unexceptional as such. In this company, the title track may be the most interesting piece of work, a fairly effective offering of high-speed drama and slower crunch even though also this one starts to suffer from its length after some point. With a particular harsh and cold feel to it, it is apparent that Exodus took a direction of their own here, but it is a different thing altogether whether this path is really the best one to follow.

EXODUS - Exhibit B: The Human Condition
USA 2010

1. The Ballad Of Leonard And Charles 2. Beyond The Pale 3. Hammer And Life 4. Class Dismissed (A Hate Primer) 5. Downfall 6. March Of The Sycophants 7. Nanking 8. Burn, Hollywood, Burn 9. Democide 10. The Sun Is My Destroyer 11. A Perpetual State Of Indifference 12. Good Riddance 13. Devil's Teeth (bonus)

Exhibit B: The Human Condition is a problematic album. Clearly this is a more coherent release than The Atrocity Exhibition... Exhibit A, with less experimentation on the modern side of things, but it is still hard to call it good. On a typical Exodus scale, the riffs appear quite ordinary, not to mention seriously repetitive. Most tracks drag six to seven minutes or even longer, while there are hardly enough of thrills for a portion of that. When the total length of this recording approaches eighty minutes, the result unavoidably appears bloated for no good reason. The lyrics are filled with invariable hate and angst that has become a trademark for Exodus these days, and their only function seems to be to complete the general bleak and depressive feel. Exhibit B: The Human Condition is undeniably a consistent product, even a bit more traditional than its predecessor, but it can be a very tiresome experience to wade through this album even once.

EXORCIST - Nightmare Theatre
USA 1986

1. Black Mass 2. The Invocation 3. Burnt Offerings 4. The Hex 5. Possessed 6. Call For The Exorcist 7. Death By Bewitchment 8. The Trial 9. Execution Of The Witches 10. Consuming Flames Of Redemption 11. Megawatt Mayhem 12. Riding To Hell 13. Queen Of The Dead 14. Lucifer's Lament 15. The Banishment

Apparently conceived as more a short-lived studio project than a serious band, Exorcist must be one of the strangest acts in the history of thrash metal. Whatever the motives behind it all, Nightmare Theatre is definitely interesting. The music is very old-fashioned and atmospheric speed/thrash metal with some catchy riffs, a hint of melody, and a few haunting though sometimes overly dramatic intros/outros that add to the blackened feel of this album. Despite its age, the material still sounds fairly strong and even original today. Too bad the sound quality leaves something to be desired. That, and the fact that the cover art of this release is particularly uncute - which on the other hand just seems to match the theatrical nature of the whole thing.

EXORCIZPHOBIA - Something Is Wrong
Czech Republic 2012

1. Let's Skate 2. Questions 3. Something Is Wrong 4. Disfigured Humanity 5. Intro To Clarity 6. Legalized Slavery 7. Not Too Late 8. Cave Of The Ancients 9. It's The Right Time To Detect And Respect Your Self 10. Beer And Weed

While Exorcizphobia's first full-length album may not be a complete throwaway, Something Is Wrong keeps repeating certain maneuvers and patterns a bit too long and with too few changes. The production lacks a definite punch, and although there is nothing terribly wrong with these songs, the material is clearly quite generic and disposable. Despite the fact that the average track length is pretty short which should help in avoiding boredom, there are simply no individual elements that would catch any serious attention, and as a whole this album ends up sounding monotonous and bland. It is just too difficult to imagine listening to this one even months from now.

EXPLICIT HATE - A View Of The Other Side
Brazil 1988

1. Invasion From Inside 2. The Mirror 3. The Other Side 4. No Life 5. Insanity Future 6. Suicidal Mankind 7. The Trip

Something of a surprise from the Brazilian thrash metal scene, Explicit Hate mixed some notable ferociousness of their own into the typical formula. The sound of A View Of The Other Side is not too far from usual standards as far as songwriting goes, but venomous vocals and a vicious attitude add a genuine touch to the music, being sometimes reminiscent of Kreator with a similar rough quality. In addition to this hint of passionate ambitions, the music is at least semi-creative; decent riffing at a decent pace, fortunately with good enough production values. Although these generally lengthy tracks do not necessarily possess truly memorable characteristics, the album on the whole provides a fair dose of intense thrashing - while it may sound like a complete cliche, you could actually choose a lot worse than this.

EXTREMA - We Fuckin' Care
Italy 1987

1. We Don't Care 2. Play Again 3. Metal Thrust 4. Get Ready To The Shell-Shock

It should be no big wonder if it seems difficult to find people familiar with Extrema's We Fuckin' Care, as this short mini album is definitely not one of the most common items in its class. Featuring some rather lightsome speed/thrash metal with a notably uplifting feel, this release almost perfectly serves as a brief virtual trip to the late 1980s scene. Play Again is actually quite a fine piece, and the rest of the album plays with no major headaches as well. Certainly there is nothing in Extrema's sound that would make it clearly distinguishable from many other performers, but somehow the band managed to capture some genuinely positive attitude on this recording, and that is actually a lot more than one can usually hope for.

EXTREME ATTACK - ...In The Name Of Thrash Metal
Ecuador 2013

1. 666 2. Final Judgement 3. Metal Slave 4. Hell Is Your Destiny 5. War Never Ends 6. Sinners In Heaven 7. War Is Shit 8. Hell's Priests 9. Assassin 10. Thrash Metal

There is a specific kind of albums that has become increasingly common in the scene over the years, and that means those releases that come and go without much attention - they are good for one listen or so, then you are likely to start looking for something else. It is practically near impossible to try to find anything novel to say about each of them, therefore Extreme Attack's ...In The Name Of Thrash Metal can be just described as another fair but utterly and completely unremarkable example of this style. The music flows fast and fluent, yet there's very little worth of actual interest in it. Let's just say that words fail me on how ordinary this release eventually turned out to be.

EXUMER - Possessed By Fire
Germany 1986

1. Possessed By Fire 2. Destructive Solution 3. Fallen Saint 4. A Mortal In Black 5. Sorrows Of The Judgement 6. Xiron Dark Star 7. Reign Of Sadness 8. Journey To Oblivion 9. Silent Death

Hailing from Germany, Exumer were nowhere near the most generic thrash metal bands in the scene. Possessed By Fire can be quite an energetic release with its catchy riffs and straightforward, fast songs. The band's style is comparable to the earliest works of Exodus, but what really makes this album rise above the average is the nice enthusiastic feel of the whole thing. Tracks like A Mortal In Black and Xiron Dark Star contain some very simple yet so powerful riffs that it is worth a note. Even though not all songs are equally striking and time may have eroded some of the best edge of it all, the overall impression remains positive.

EXUMER - Rising From The Sea
Germany 1987

1. Winds Of Death 2. Rising From The Sea 3. Decimation 4. The First Supper 5. Unearthed 6. Shadows Of The Past 7. Are You Deaf? 8. I Dare You 9. Ascension Day

Exumer's sound became slightly harsher but also more ordinary on their second album. Although Rising From The Sea still appears energetic enough, the music doesn't sound as fresh as on the preceding release. With less catchy riffs than before, these songs seem more indistinguishable on average, despite the obvious effort put into it. This difference might not be so drastic if the band's rather simple approach to songwriting didn't start to show signs of wearing out at this point. The situation is not helped by the fact that the production quality simply pales in comparison to Possessed By Fire. While it does get a bit better towards the end, the result cannot really hold a candle to the intensity of the band's debut.

EXUMER - Fire & Damnation
Germany 2012

1. Fire & Damnation 2. Vermin Of The Sky 3. The Weakest Limb 4. A New Morality 5. Waking The Fire 6. Fallen Saint 7. Crushing Point 8. Devil Chaser 9. I Dare You 10. Tribal Furies

Released almost precisely 25 years after Rising From The Sea, Exumer's Fire & Damnation suggests that the band tried hard to rejuvenate their traditional sound. And it actually works, to a limited extent. This album is quite a heavy and violent affair, not too far removed from Exumer's original 1980s works. Everything sounds pretty much like you would expect to hear from a veteran band at this stage, and the only major drawback must be that most songs simply don't make the same kind of impact as some of their older counterparts. The re-recorded version of Fallen Saint in particular can remind you of the difference, despite the fact that this track employs the same kind of heavy production as the others. Fire & Damnation is not a bad album by any means, it just doesn't sufficiently distinguish itself from the average pack anymore.