Bleed on me
I've taken all your trust in me
And thrown it away
Plead for me
I've stained your pride
But you still want me to stay

-- Forbidden - Rape

FACINORA - Hell Is Here
Brazil 2010

1. Hell Is Here 2. Source Of Madness 3. R.I.P. (Religion Is A Plague) 4. Intro 5. Empty Illusions 6. Living In Reality 7. War Between Selfish 8. Despair 9. Terror 10. The Evil

In some ways the sound of Hell Is Here is rather typical for Brazilian thrash metal albums of late. With overall very adequate technical values, not only regarding the production, this release is safely on the heavier side of the genre. It comes as no great surprise that the presentation is simply solid. Riffs are quite unexceptional but serve their purpose, and the band's combined output is convincing enough to make an impression that is a bit more than the sum of its parts. Hell Is Here may not bring anything new to the table as far as songwriting goes, neither does it catch your attention with any striking characteristics in the band's performance. It's just a professional, well-made thrash metal album - not too exciting as such, but not really boring either.

FAFF-BEY - Doesn't Feel Like Laughing... It's The Second Funeral
Finland 1990

1. Doesn't Feel Like Laughing 2. Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band The Second 3. Six Feet Under Ground 4. The Eyes Of Mephistopheles 5. I'm So Sue 6. Bleed For Me 7. Meet Me On The Meat Hook 8. I Drink Your Blood 9. Cunt Wanking Men 10. The Second Funeral

Between their earliest, more hardcore-ish works, and later heavy rock oriented releases, Faff-Bey recorded a nice album of very keen thrash metal. In comparison to the norm, Doesn't Feel Like Laughing... It's The Second Funeral can seem like an unruly piece of work, and not only due to some unusual naming conventions. Equipped with razor sharp riffs and positively chainsaw-like guitars, the best and most piercing tracks like Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band The Second and Bleed For Me are simply quite refreshing performances. Although the band's unrestricted onslaught is sort of rough around the edges, the music has some uplifting quality which is not often found elsewhere.

FAITH OR FEAR - Punishment Area
USA 1989

1. Lack Of Motivation 2. C.D.S. 3. Punishment Area 4. Rampage / Nothing Uncommon 5. Have No Fear 6. What Would You Expect 7. Darkside 8. Shadow Knows 9. Ripoffs 10. Time Bomb 11. Instruments Of Death

Faith Or Fear were one of those thrash metal bands who never released more than one album during their original activity in the late 1980s. Punishment Area is a decent effort with actually a surprisingly more versatile sound than what some of the other lesser bands put out at the time. There's even some genuine creativity put into the songs although the music on the whole is not too memorable except for some small snippets. Tim Blackman's vocals are a bit on the emotionless side, but they are quite suitable for the music anyway. Punishment Area is not the most generic thrash metal album around but certainly not one of the most significant releases either.

FALLEN ANGEL - Faith Fails
Sweden 1992

1. Premier Parish 2. Ice 3. Spectacle Of Fear 4. Faith Fails 5. Injection - Overdose 6. At Night 7. Dental Surgery 8. Hangover 9. Another One 10. Visions Of Terror

Fallen Angel played some interesting speed/thrash metal on their only full-length release. Well produced and featuring a lot of memorable hooks in songs, Faith Fails is a stylish and intense demonstration of this band's music. Although the vocals sound a bit immature at first, this album is quite a professional piece of work, and the only thing that really prevents it from rising above the average is a certain superficial feel that can be sensed at times. Other than that, these tracks have stood against time pretty well and make it easier to give the album a spin every now and then. The guitars in particular have some fine moments with a few truly intriguing riffs. Though some parts of Faith Fails can appear a bit banal, this album is a nice example of old thrash metal done with style.

FALLEN ANGELS - Rise From Ashes
USA 2008

1. Rise From Ashes 2. Cerebral Infection 3. Looking Over The Walls Of Despair 4. Slaves In Words 5. The Essence Of Violence 6. Cries Of The Dying 7. Silent City 8. Massacred By Madness

If a vicious attitude was the only thing that matters then Fallen Angels would be a winner. Rise From Ashes features a heavy dose of hardened thrash metal with no soft moments or signs of weakness anywhere in sight. The band sound very determined, the vocals are appropriately rough barks, and in general the whole thing has a credible harsh edge. But while variation is not totally unheard of, most songs tend to sound quite similar to each other more often than not, which adds to the occasional feel of boredom. In some ways the band's grim approach resembles Crucified Mortals but does not quite have the same kind of impact. Rise From Ashes is by no means weak, the album is certainly better than many more restrained offerings nowadays. It's just that you may have to be careful and listen to it in short portions only, in order to avoid growing tired of it too quickly.

FALLEN ANGELS - Engines Of Oppression
USA 2010

1. Engines Of Oppression 2. Forever Burned 3. The Veil 4. Minds Of No Emotion 5. Rebirth 6. Legacy Of Pain 7. The Gates Of Irony 8. Descension Into Madness 9. To Dust 10. Remembrance 11. Laid To Rest

Although Engines Of Oppression is only the second release from Fallen Angels, the band could be already labeled as one of the most consistent acts in the scene these days. The general tone of this album is little less unforgiving than its predecessor, and it may again take some time before you are fully able to adapt to this serious heavy approach. The main difference must be the increased instrumental proficiency which usually shows in short acoustic parts that are immediately followed by the most intense thrashing bursts. It seems like the band started to develop a melancholic style of their own, something that is maybe not yet completely brought into effect here. Apart from that, the same points apply here as on Rise From Ashes - while the band's sophomore effort is filled with more ambition, it is not necessarily a radical step up from their debut release.

FANTOM WARIOR - Fantasy Or Reality
USA 1987

1. Chosen Fate 2. Psychotic Mind 3. Don't Criticize 4. Final Call 5. Backstabber 6. E.R.C. 7. Not Sure 8. Kill Rip Destroy

Another long lost minor thrash metal band of the 1980s, Fantom Warior (sic) never had much of a chance to reach the ears of a casual listener. This is a slight pity as Fantasy Or Reality is nowhere near the worst of its kind, in fact this album provides a pleasant surprise with its powerful content. There are some fresh ideas, even hints of originality in this music, and the riffs are mostly very adequate. Just occasionally the band's output sounds almost rushed, as several tracks are quite short although they get their point through. Not holding back any speed, fine thrashers like Psychotic Mind, Backstabber, and especially the wondefully hard-hitting Final Call ensure that this is one of the more memorable albums from the old underground scene. Whoever designed the cover art certainly deserves to get slapped around a bit, though.

FARSCAPE - Demon's Massacre
Brazil 2003

1. Demon's Massacre 2. Assassin 3. Doctrine Sickness 4. Hatebreed 5. Unholy Cross 6. Violent Sacrifice 7. Funeral Lust 8. Carrasco Do Metal 9. No Remorse To Kill 10. Sacrifice

As time goes by, it must be getting increasingly difficult to stand out of the crowd when it appears that everything has been said and done in the field of thrash metal. Farscape's initial approach to the problem is vastly conventional and therefore does not feature any outstanding qualities - Demon's Massacre can be considered quite a stereotypical representative of the genre in almost every way. In this comparison, even the band's fairly energetic performance appears just typical at best. As most of these tracks effectively manage to escape all memory, it is not only on occasion that Farscape end up sounding seriously derivative. For a debut release, Demon's Massacre is not without value, but somehow even the Sacrifice cover song at the end turns out to be more interesting than all the previous tracks together.

FARSCAPE - Killers On The Loose
Brazil 2006

1. Under The Loudness 2. Thrash Until You Drop 3. Killers On The Loose 4. Captors Of Hate 5. Celebrate My Death 6. Bizarre Sex Machine 7. Wild Rocker 8. Mutilation / Thermonuclear Devastation

Farscape's Killers On The Loose is slightly more diverse than the band's debut, but not necessarily for the better. Despite its title, Thrash Until You Drop is quite an easy-going piece of speed metal, in this company only comparable to light jogging at most, and Wild Rocker is literally a sleazy rock song. While the rest more closely follows the usual standards, every now and then there are moments when this album manages to sound even more lackluster than Demon's Massacre. Whether it is a matter of the band trying just too much or not nearly enough, the outcome does not sound authentic enough to give a highly credible impression. It is more like thrash metal just for the sake of it, and there is only so much that you can get out of that kind of thing. In this case it seems that Farscape exploited the possibilities, all few of them, already with their first release.

FARSCAPE - Primitive Blitzkrieg
Brazil 2013

1. Palace Of Bones 2. Fallen Household 3. Behind The Sweet Mask 4. Morbid Convent 5. Sucked Into Another Reality 6. Homicidal Explosion 7. Dr. Death 8. Night Tripper 9. Primitive Blitzkrieg

After a couple of less impressive Farscape albums, Primitive Blitzkrieg starts off in a fairly promising manner, with something of a nastier tone than before. The first couple of tracks should be actually keen enough to draw and hold your attention until the end although this initial momentum does not quite last through the whole album. With already a few years since the release of Killers On The Loose, it becomes apparent that Farscape's style has matured to a certain degree, and the material and its presentation are not nearly as uninspiring as some of the band's older works. There's still a gap between this and some better albums in the scene and you may find yourself dozing off every now and then, but at least there is now clear and notable improvement over the past.

FASTKILL - Infernal Thrashing Holocaust
Japan 2004

1. Torture Inception 2. Kill For Pleasure 3. Sense Of Ignorance 4. Drenched In Blood 5. Lust And Desire 6. Agony 7. Evil Force 8. Feel The Hatred 9. Eternal Pain

Fastkill must be the result that you get when the characteristics of Vio-lence and Holy Moses from the late 1980s are added together, then multiplied together and finally added together again. Infernal Thrashing Holocaust effectively combines the riff-o-rama of Eternal Nightmare with the crazy drive of Finished With The Dogs, and the outcome feels like someone put a gun to your head and forgot to count to three. On top of it all there is a little dog yelping relentlessly, or actually it is the band's vocalist but you couldn't tell the difference anyway, even less decipher the hysterical vocabulary without a lyrics sheet. As far as sheer madness goes, Infernal Thrashing Holocaust is simply without comparison on this side of the new millennium and possibly the funniest thing in thrash metal since the original days of Holy Moses and Finished With The Dogs. Humor-impaired, conservative, and easily offended individuals are best advised to keep a mile away from this album like it was a plague.

FASTKILL - Nuclear Thrashing Attack
Japan 2007

1. Nuclear Devastation 2. Bloodbath 3. Die In Pain 4. Kill And Possess 5. Annihilation Betrayer 6. Hate, Destruction, Kill 7. Human Flesh 8. Sickness 9. Hunted Victim 10. S.D.T.D.

At the first thought it would seem impossible to make a decent follow-up to the large-scale nuclear blast that was called Infernal Thrashing Holocaust, but obviously that didn't stop Fastkill. The first moments of Nuclear Thrashing Attack are highly deceiving, as the surprisingly mid-tempo opening track is essentially just a warm-up of engines. Immediately after that, the usual chaos ensues as the band speed up to their customary level and beyond. Although one can at times sense hints of a tad more refined approach than previously, there is no doubt that this album is practically no less intense to average ears than Fastkill's debut. The only aspect where Nuclear Thrashing Attack may be slightly left behind its predecessor is that at this point the whole unruly behavior can be already expected, therefore it does not appear novel anymore. That aside, there is still a perfectly good reason why this band is called Fastkill and not Slowtorture.

FASTKILL - Bestial Thrashing Bulldozer
Japan 2011

1. Kill Fast 2. In Thrash We Trust 3. Die In The Pentagram 4. Stench Of Hell 5. Terminal Disease 6. Guillotine Attack 7. Toxic Tormentor 8. Endless Game 9. Tortured Again 10. Merciless Onslaught

Maybe only Fastkill can get away with a title like Bestial Thrashing Bulldozer. Then again, it just shows that none of the band's original wild attitude has been lost over the years. This release honorably continues and extends the over-the-top thrashing frenzy that was introduced to the world on Infernal Thrashing Holocaust, and you can be certain to recognize the band's inimitable sound at the latest when the absolutely hilarious vocals kick in. The songs are relentlessly fast and furious, and "crazy" wouldn't be a sufficient word to describe this music. The only sensible thing that any major concert promoter could do is to book this band up for a mega world tour for the next couple of years or so, in order to make sure that the maximum number of people get to see the light. Until then, your best bet is to obtain multiple copies of Bestial Thrashing Bulldozer together with earlier parts of Fastkill's thrashing trilogy, and give them to your friends, relatives, and any unknown people in the street to spread the word. This album is beautiful.

FATAL EMBRACE - The Ultimate Aggression
Germany 1999

1. Follow Your Nightmare 2. Under My Sadistic Reign 3. You Deal In Pain 4. The Last Rites 5. Point Of No Return 6. The Ultimate Aggression 7. Nocturnal Anguish 8. Breeder Of Insanity 9. Hate Remains 10. Bonded By Blood

While the roots of Fatal Embrace reach back to the early 1990s, the band's first full-length album saw the light of day relatively late. But their long history shows in a positive way, as The Ultimate Aggression is in many ways more mature and complete than an average debut release. The band's sound is very heavy and pounding in a certain nice old-fashioned way, simply quite forceful even in comparison to countless other runners in the game. In particular, the vocalist deserves an honorary mention for his extremely powerful yet most of the time fully intelligible delivery, a total opposite of weak and whiny or just overly harsh styles. If such crushing tracks like The Last Rites and Breeder Of Insanity leave you cold, it's hardly the band's fault. The last track is indeed an Exodus cover and well-played as such, but the main impression of this album comes from the original material.

FATAL EMBRACE - Legions Of Armageddon
Germany 2002

1. Warmaster's Revenge 2. 666 (Massacre In Paradise) 3. Legions Of Armageddon 4. Mentally Perversion 5. Returned To Hell 6. Trapped In A Violent Brain 7. Spellbound By The Devil 8. Depraved To Black 9. Wargods Of Thrash

Following the solid approach to thrash metal established on The Ultimate Aggression, Legions Of Armageddon is another powerful release from Fatal Embrace. It may not appear quite as novel as their first album since the content is practically the same with few actual differences, but the band's strong sound remains intact. The most intense tracks like 666 (Massacre In Paradise) and Trapped In A Violent Brain definitely hit the mark, but it seems that on the whole The Ultimate Aggression had some more distinctive songs. Now it almost feels like a certain numbness creeps in before the end of this album. The foundation is still robust, although this time the outcome could have utilized some more interesting developments as well.

FATAL EMBRACE - Dark Pounding Steel
Germany 2006

1. Born In Blasphemy 2. Assassination 3. Don't Sacrifice My Soul 4. Storming In My Mind 5. Evil Dead 6. Beyond The Bridge Of Death 7. Damned Will Be Thy Name 8. And The Evil Walks Your Way 9. In Black Years Of Pain 10. Dark Pounding Steel

The title of Dark Pounding Steel is pretty accurate for the music contained within. The overall sound is essentially very similar to the band's earlier works, although it appears that the result has still no match for the best hooks found on The Ultimate Aggression. Maybe the biggest issue with this recording is that it simply does not raise any kind of response that wouldn't have been caused by the previous releases already. Except for the Death cover song Evil Dead, most individual tracks are not that memorable, and the easiest thing to remember about this album is indeed its consistent pounding sound. Dark Pounding Steel is still not a bad effort, but if you are just getting into Fatal Embrace then it's better to start with their earlier albums rather than this.

FATAL EMBRACE - The Empires Of Inhumanity
Germany 2010

1. The Last Prayer 2. Wake The Dead 3. Nothing To Regret 4. Haunting Metal 5. Another Rotten Life 6. Empires Of Inhumanity 7. Into Your Face 8. Rapture For Disaster 9. The Prophecy 10. Way To Immortality 11. Ravenous 12. Killers

The debut album of Fatal Embrace was a fairly memorable release in its own right, but it seems that the band's output on subsequent recordings has never quite reached the same level. The Empires Of Inhumanity continues in a similar vein, featuring competent yet eventually quite forgettable thrash metal. There are no distinctive characteristics to speak of, even fewer actual highlights among these tracks, and in the end the album just plays effortlessly in the background until you notice it's actually over. And while the cover version of Iron Maiden's Killers provides some deviation from the norm, musically the choice seems puzzling and unnecessary. On the surface The Empires Of Inhumanity may be another fair effort from this band, but as such it is unlikely to raise any great interest among other than the most dedicated fans.

FATALITY - Beers From The Grave
Canada 2009

1. Victims Of The Dead 2. Bleed Me Useless 3. Uncivilization 4. No Use For The Living 5. Today I Will Hang 6. Meet Me At The Graveyard 7. Fatality 8. Thrashterpeice

There is a good reason why Fatality's debut album is bound to get buried in the scene without much fuss. Although Beers From The Grave is quite formally correct as far as typical standards of the genre are considered, it doesn't change the fact that this is essentially thrash metal from the farm league. The band's performance has something of a fresh tint to it and there is no apparent lack of adequate energetic spirit here. But when you give it some proper thought, there's little doubt that the recording has nothing to stick to your head on a permanent basis - in reality, this is about as forgettable as it gets. With some better and more distinctive songs, Fatality probably could play it out as good as most other bands out there, but the material on this album is simply not strong enough.

FATALITY - Psychonaut
Canada 2013

1. Enter Purgatory 2. Thoughts Collide 3. Monstrous 4. Before The Collapse 5. Towards Disaster 6. Psychonaut 7. Satan's Shepherd 8. Thrashterpiece II

When a band's first album leaves a lot to be desired, it becomes a crucial test whether they can make up for it with another release, or even make it at all. Psychonaut proves that Fatality had what it takes to beat the odds after all. While Beers From The Grave was nothing to write home about, the follow-up is noticeably more technical, imaginative and entertaining. The band's sound is better balanced and produced, and you could even call this album an outright creative piece of work. The feel of these songs is often adventurous, lightsome and playful, and that's not in a bad way although a certain lack of heaviness can sometimes appear puzzling. Most tracks don't really stick after just a couple of listenings, so it'll take more time than on average to get familiar with this release, something that also makes Psychonaut much less of a disposable quality than its predecessor.

FIAR - Illusion Of Reality
USA 2012

1. Euphoria 2. Masked By Evil 3. Psychopath 4. Inhumane 5. Beginning Of The End 6. Violent Instinct 7. Driven By Metal 8. No Man's Land 9. (unnamed) 10. Illusion Of Reality

For a piece of rather basic but trustworthy underground thrash metal, Fiar's Illusion Of Reality makes a fair proof that some of the most fundamental principles of this genre continue to remain valid. The sound is unpolished yet strong and prominent enough that the music does not just pass through your ears without a trace, although most songs are not very memorable by any means. It is quite an acceptable piece of work, and mainly this album just suffers from being released in a time when satisfactory productions tend to get buried in the mass of recordings that rarely stand out, usually sounding much too similar to each other. In a different day and age, Illusion Of Reality could have appeared like the best thing since sliced bread, now it only raises mild curiosity at best.

F.K.U. - Sometimes They Come Back... To Mosh
Sweden 2005

1. Sometimes They Come Back... 2. To Mosh 3. Fury 58 4. Die Toten Core 5. Moshoholics Anonymous 6. Paraskevidekatriaphobia 7. Agent Amy Steel 8. F.K.U. Says NO 9. C.H.U.D. 10. C.H.U.D. Pt. 2 11. Maniac Cop 12. Zombie Attack 13. Grave Robbing Mania 14. Motel Hell 15. Marine Marauders 16. Four Fingers Fatal To The Flesh 17. Disciples Of The Mosh

Freddy Krueger's Underwear sounds like a name that would be more fitting for some crazy Australian punk band instead of a Swedish thrash metal act. But F.K.U. is really of the latter type, a group with an obvious non-serious approach to their work. That aside, Sometimes They Come Back... To Mosh sounds surprisingly conventional as far as the music itself is considered. If the humorous lyrics were ignored, this album would represent almost typical B grade thrash metal that would have perfectly blended in the scene during the early 1990s. The lyrical content is focused on moshing and cheap references to horror movies, most of which is mildly amusing but also quite forgettable in the long run. Among the best parts are a couple of abrupt blatant jokes like Paraskevidekatriaphobia and occasional, kind of novel tribute songs like Agent Amy Steel. It is far from the hilarious over-the-top style that their countrymen Cranium used to practice, but you could say that in this day and age there's some room for bands like F.K.U. as well.

F.K.U. - Where Moshers Dwell
Sweden 2009

1. Welcome To Your Nightmare 2. Where Moshers Dwell 3. Twitch Of The Thrash Nerve 4. Faster Than The Shark 5. The Pit And The Poser 6. Dead Coroner 7. Almost Metal 8. Hate Your Guts (Love Your Brain) 9. Bedilia - Back For Cake 10. Worms 11. Sleepwalker Texas Ranger 12. He Knows The Drill 13. Six Feet Underwear 14. Phantom Killer Attack 15. Blairsville Blues 16. Horror Metal Moshing Machine 17. Highway To Horror

Where Moshers Dwell is a clear improvement over the previous works of F.K.U. in many ways. While this album may still be musically on the typical side of things, the execution is more intense and focused which does pay off to some extent. The sound is tighter and more consistent, and the most frantic tracks like Faster Than The Shark are simply quite entertaining scorchers. Maybe it can also provide some brief amusement to see if you can identify all the movies and TV shows that the lyrics continue to derive their inspiration from. It is still not the greatest piece of thrash metal, and the long-term value of F.K.U. and their music may be questionable, but the amount of effort behind Where Moshers Dwell is notable enough so that the presentation does not appear like a complete one trick pony.

F.K.U. - 4: Rise Of The Mosh Mongers
Sweden 2013

1. Moshocalypse Now 2. Rise Of The Mosh Mongers 3. Black Hole Hell 4. Cannibal Detox 5. The Uberslasher, Pt. 1 6. Scream Bloody Mosher 7. Esox Lucius 8. The Uberslasher, Pt. 2 9. At The Mountains Of Madness 10. A Nightmare Made Thrash 11. 112 Ocean Avenue 12. The Uberslasher, Pt. 3 13. Marz Attacks 14. Terror Train 15. The Uberslasher, Pt. 4 16. They Feed In The Dark 17. Anthem Of The Moshoholics 18. Mirrors Painted Black (bonus) 19. The New Flesh (bonus)

If comic book thrash metal with horror-themed songs sounds sufficiently interesting then 4: Rise Of The Mosh Mongers could be among the most fitting choices. Basically this is just another example of what F.K.U. can deliver, almost relentlessly fast thrashing with occasional stomping moments. It cannot be denied that the album sounds professional, everything is well played and produced, but it is difficult to become enthusiastic over the generic and somewhat sterile studio sound. While this band must be a riot when performing live, there is very little that would really set this music apart. The lyrics could be about your daily shopping list, and that would make no practical difference - creating real atmosphere takes a bit more than this album is actually capable of. Again, the most entertaining thing may be to test whether you can recognize all the horror film references, which should not be that hard considering the number of blatant hints provided.

FLAMES - Merciless Slaughter
Greece 1986

1. Murder 2. Legend 3. Beloved Dead 4. Moorgle 5. Werewolf On The Hunt 6. Cocksuckin' Slave 7. Evil 8. Infidel

Flames surely were not a common example of a Greek speed/thrash metal band in the 1980s. In addition to having possibly the most uncute cover in these circles ever, Merciless Slaughter functions as something of a bridge between the band's oldest, more traditional material, and later pure thrash metal. Murder opens the album already in that intense thrashy vein that would be in full force on the next release, and a couple of other tracks follow the same high-speed approach. Then again, there is still a fair share of less frantic performances as well, and in comparison to later Flames recordings this one is easily the most antiquated of the bunch. Nothing wrong with that, though, and if you can put up with some old-fashioned antics then Merciless Slaughter should be capable of providing a few entertaining moments, too.

FLAMES - Summon The Dead
Greece 1988

1. Eastern Front 2. Summon The Dead 3. Kill For Mummy 4. Alcoholic & Beer 5. Legend II (The Demon's Mind) 6. Legions Of Death 7. Avenger 8. Slaughterhouse 9. Ballad Of A Skinbeating Maniac

Making a clear difference from the earlier works of Flames, the style of Summon The Dead is quite standard but still interesting heavy thrash metal - sometimes surprisingly similar to typical German bands of the time but with a twist of its own, while the vocal delivery can remind you of Exorcist. The music is very energetic, guaranteed to create some positive vibes based on its fresh sound alone. Although this album suffers from a mediocre production which makes it sound rather messy and rough, the songs more than compensate for this. Avenger in particular must be one of the coolest thrashers around. Even if their style was nothing that hadn't been heard before, Flames managed to add a good dose of fresh appeal to their sound. If you can look past the shortcomings in the production department, this album is likely to turn out quite enjoyable.

FLAMES - Last Prophecy
Greece 1989

1. Revenge 2. Deathra 3. Agnostic Front 4. Destiny Of Hate 5. Red Terror 6. Silo 7. Acid Rain 8. Drinking All Night

Last Prophecy follows closely in the vein of Summon The Dead, with little difference between these albums. The songs may lack a little bit of the unchained feel of the previous release, but on the other hand the result appears more consistent in comparison. This time there are no such absolute killer tracks as Avenger (Agnostic Front may be the closest contender) but no really bad ones either, and some of the heaviest riffs here more than fit the bill. Considering the sound quality, this album is slightly better and sounds even a bit heavier than its predecessor although the production is still far from perfect. If Summon The Dead caught your attention then Last Prophecy is a safe companion for that one, with no radical surprises.

FLAMES - Nomen Illi Mors
Greece 1991

1. Jesus Christ 2. Trust The Liar 3. Sea Of Blood 4. Pollution Attack 5. Initium 6. Legend III (Final War) 7. After The Dark 8. Reign 9. Trapped Into Your Nightmare

Something of a curiosity item in the Flames discography, Nomen Illi Mors is kind of infamous for its unintended release in the first place, although the album has since then been more or less approved by the band despite its shady origins. Comprised of non-final studio outtakes of new Flames material at that point of time, these songs are mainly interesting for their historical status as they tend to lack the same kind of catchiness that was present on the previous albums. The impression is further diminished by the sound quality that would seem more appropriate for some obscure underground demo. Considering the unconventional background of this recording, it is not surprising that the production leaves a lot to be desired. And yet, despite all the drawbacks, Nomen Illi Mors definitely holds some value. After all, this is from the time when the original ideals of the genre still had not been completely worn out and reduced to lifeless imitation of the same old thing.

FLAMES - In Agony Rise
Greece 1996

1. Savage Brains 2. Oath Immortal 3. Throne Of Pain 4. Never Ending Suicide 5. Pollution Attack 6. Shadows 7. Denied 8. Human Inhumanity 9. Reborn 10. Frei Statt Bayern 11. Revenge (bonus) 12. Red Terror (bonus)

Continuing their efforts further to the 1990s, Flames made an album that did not drift too far away from their legacy sound while it did develop the band's style by a fair notch. Although the general feel of In Agony Rise is somewhat more restricted and not quite as energetic as on Summon The Dead and Last Prophecy, there are some cool pieces to be found here as well (Savage Brains and Reborn immediately come to mind). The downside is that despite a couple of standout tracks this album on the whole is a bit too unsurprising and predictable to really make a distinctive impression, therefore the result does not quite match the older releases. It's a good thing to see the band sticking to the traditional approach, though, and in that sense In Agony Rise is still a fair addition to anyone's collection.

FLEGMA - Blind Acceptance
Sweden 1992

1. Black Rose Of Hades 2. Bitch 3. Holocaust 4. Nagasaki -45 5. Blind Acceptance 6. World Of Lies 7. Touch Of Death 8. Raped To The Core 9. Punisher 10. Skullfuck 11. Slave

On the surface, Flegma's Blind Acceptance appears like a strong offering at first. The opening track Black Rose Of Hades actually makes sort of a novel impression with its steady tempo - if Motorhead had played thrash metal in the beginning, it could have sounded something like this. But it doesn't take too long before you realize that almost all tracks run at the same pace and most of them even sound nearly identical from start to finish. It is not really bad but even in the short run the music can get quite monotonous if you listen to more than one track a day. This is a slight pity as Flegma certainly had some style, and their output on this album is definitely as consistent as it gets. With no variation whatsoever the result just doesn't get any high points in terms of long-lasting appeal.

FLOTSAM AND JETSAM - Doomsday For The Deceiver
USA 1986

1. Hammerhead 2. Iron Tears 3. Desecrator 4. Fade To Black 5. Doomsday For The Deceiver 6. Metalshock 7. She Took An Axe 8. U.L.S.W. 9. Der Fuhrer 10. Flotzilla (bonus)

The classic debut release of Flotsam And Jetsam is a collection of fast and nicely flowing thrash metal with some rather ambitious compositions. The band's singer Eric A.K. had a high-pitched and kind of appealing voice which sounds very distinctive and appropriate for the music. Among the several highlights of this album are the massive title track and its direct follow-up Metalshock, both epic songs with an amusing story to tell. Of course, this release may be nowadays better known for the fact that Jason Newstedt played on it, but Doomsday For The Deceiver is still an interesting piece of old thrash metal in its own right, and one of the most remarkable recordings this band ever made.

FLOTSAM AND JETSAM - No Place For Disgrace
USA 1988

1. No Place For Disgrace 2. Dreams Of Death 3. N.E. Terror 4. Escape From Within 5. Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting 6. Hard On You 7. I Live You Die 8. Misguided Fortune 9. P.A.A.B. 10. The Jones

Flotsam And Jetsam's second album had a lot more serious tone than their debut. Except for the most unnecessary cover song of all time (Elton John's Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting which seems totally out of place), No Place For Disgrace has almost a melancholic feel while the music still remains reasonably fast and thrashy. As a result from good songwriting, this release actually features some of the band's most stylish work, including the highly dynamic tracks Dreams Of Death, Escape From Within, and I Live You Die. Apart from the stupid cover song, the only real drawback is the production as the cheap buzzing guitar sound can get irritating at times. Nevertheless, musically No Place For Disgrace is directly comparable to Doomsday For The Deceiver in quality, and safely among the better albums from the old scene.

FLOTSAM AND JETSAM - When The Storm Comes Down
USA 1990

1. The Master Sleeps 2. Burned Device 3. Deviation 4. October Thorns 5. No More Fun 6. Suffer The Masses 7. 6, Six, VI 8. Greed 9. E.M.T.E.K. 10. Scars 11. K.A.B.

It seems that after the band's move to a major label, Flotsam And Jetsam's style became more polished and less aggressive. When The Storm Comes Down is still fairly heavy and there are some fast-paced moments here and there, but a certain slowdown of music is evident. The songs are generally more thoughtful than before, which can make this album sound a tad boring in the long run. It is certainly a professional effort, but also rather unexciting and uninspiring. While the previous two releases had a great deal of energy and even fresh ideas, When The Storm Comes Down doesn't exactly appear too original or interesting anymore.

FOG OF WAR - Fog Of War
USA 2009

1. Fog Of War 2. Death Penalty 3. Enforcer 4. Kills On Contact 5. M.O.S.H. 6. Six-Packin' Heat 7. M.C.T. 8. Blood Of A Thousand Sons 9. Taking Over 10. D.O.A.

Fog Of War's self-titled debut release is essentially a document about the band's ambitions at an early stage, more like a proof of concept than anything else. As such, it shows many promising factors that may evolve together into something notable later on. There are some interesting intros, the guitar has good unrestrained moments, and the vocals are more than keen enough. Yet this recording as a whole sounds somewhat immature. While the songs are quite intense bursts, the general feel seems busy just for the sake of it. The title track may be the most memorable piece on the whole thing, after that the moment of surprise is over and no other parts exactly stand out. The album has a good energetic drive, but anything less than that would be already an immediate failure in this field. This is certainly not the most derivative piece of thrash out there, but any further development would be welcome.

FORBIDDEN - Forbidden Evil
USA 1988

1. Chalice Of Blood 2. Off The Edge 3. Through Eyes Of Glass 4. Forbidden Evil 5. March Into Fire 6. Feel No Pain 7. As Good As Dead 8. Follow Me

Forbidden were one of the more interesting bands coming from the US west coast in the late 1980s. Forbidden Evil is a convincing debut release, featuring some inspired guitar work and a lot of memorable songs. Russ Anderson's vocals are very powerful and distinctive, and the music is generally more original and stronger than what many other bands of the era had to offer. There's some roughness in the sound but the overall production is sufficiently heavy and clear. Although the first half of the album from the furious Chalice Of Blood to the striking title track appears more impressive than the second and the band sound a bit immature at times, on the whole Forbidden Evil contains some of the better thrash metal of the time.

FORBIDDEN - Twisted Into Form
USA 1990

1. Parting Of The Ways 2. Infinite 3. Out Of Body (Out Of Mind) 4. Step By Step 5. Twisted Into Form 6. R.I.P. 7. Spiral Depression 8. Tossed Away 9. One Foot In Hell

Forbidden's second release took a step into a lot heavier and more controlled direction. The general tone of Twisted Into Form is dark and classy and the music is less flashy than on Forbidden Evil. Considering vocals and guitars, this more focused approach is only good as the music now involves more conviction and credibility. On the other hand, a couple of tracks sound a bit too forced (Step By Step in particular is such example) although there's a bigger number of vivid, crushing tracks as well. Twisted Into Form shows some essential development in Forbidden's sound, though, and the resulting album is very impressive and directly comparable to Forbidden Evil in quality.

FORBIDDEN - Distortion
USA 1994

1. Distortion 2. Hypnotized By The Rhythm 3. Rape 4. No Reason 5. Feed The Hand 6. Wake Up! 7. Minds "I" 8. All That Is 9. Undertaker 10. 21st Century Schizoid Man

After some problematic years in the music industry, Forbidden finally returned with their third album. Distortion carries the customary Forbidden sound, now with some additional diversity incorporated in the music that remains heavy though not quite as fast as before. The band still had their roots in thrash metal, and in the end Distortion is not too radically different from Twisted Into Form. The quality varies a bit too much, though, as some tracks are just excellent whereas others sound forced and less impressive. The first few songs in particular are stronger than the rest of the album (the overlong King Crimson cover 21st Century Schizoid Man with its distorted vocals is plain horrible). Distortion is a fair release on its own but not quite on par with the first two Forbidden albums.

Note: This album has been released with at least three different covers depending on the record label. The original (and most politically incorrect) cover was drawn by Kent Mathieu who created the cover art also for the first two Forbidden albums.

FORBIDDEN - Omega Wave
USA 2010

1. Alpha Century 2. Forsaken At The Gates 3. Overthrow 4. Adapt Or Die 5. Swine 6. Chatter 7. Dragging My Casket 8. Hopenosis 9. Immortal Wounds 10. Behind The Mask 11. Inhuman Race 12. Omega Wave

Omega Wave should be one of the most anticipated releases in many years. The album starts off with a grandiose intro that sounds very fitting for a comeback album of this magnitude. Musically there are strong echoes from the early 1990s in Forbidden's discography - the fastest tracks resemble the level of energy on Twisted Into Form whereas the general variety and songwriting notably bring Distortion to mind. While the band's sound is still fairly easily distinguishable, this is unmistakably a modern-day recording with all its boosted production values. Russ Anderson's imposing voice was a notable factor on the older releases, and although his output remains distinctive enough, it appears somewhat processed and even a tad overproduced to some extent - the latter actually applies to the whole recording. In the end Omega Wave is a decent, solid thrash metal album, nothing more and nothing less. While the style is even surprisingly similar to Forbidden's original works, the impact is not necessarily on the same level when you consider that this band used to be great.

FORCED ENTRY - Uncertain Future
USA 1989

1. Bludgeon 2. Kaleidoscope Of Pain 3. A Look Through Glass 4. Anaconda 5. Octoclops 6. Unrest They Find 7. Morgulon 8. Foreign Policy

It can be surprisingly tiresome to listen to some thrash metal bands who didn't start until the very late 1980s or early 1990s. Forced Entry's debut album Uncertain Future is just one example of a release that doesn't exactly get high points for its content as far as the originality of music is considered. The band do sound very heavy but that's about the only good thing. On the downside, the whole album sounds very strained, especially considering the vocals, and despite the obvious effort put into it the tracks are often plodding, tedious pieces of work. Some fresh energy might have helped this one a lot, now the result is rather dull and pointless. Probably it shouldn't be for the musical values to include Uncertain Future in your collection.

FORCED ENTRY - As Above, So Below
USA 1991

1. Bone Crackin' Fever 2. Thunderhead 3. Macrocosm, Microcosm 4. Never A Know, But The No 5. We're Dicks 6. Apathy 7. The Unextinguishable 8. As Of Yesterday 9. When One Becomes Two 10. How We Spent Our Summer Vacation

Forced Entry's second release showed some progress in the band's style, and thanks to the more dynamic production As Above, So Below does not appear as dry as the debut release. For a while this album even manages to sound really promising as Bone Crackin' Fever is a total steamroller for a song. Unfortunately, the initial highly favorable impression doesn't last through the whole album. Although these tracks are slightly more diverse and appealing than those on Uncertain Future and there's a good deal of complexity in the music, the songwriting is not quite distinctive enough to make this album rise above the average. At least As Above, So Below is somewhat more convincing than the band's debut and occasionally it sounds even quite fine.

FORTRESS - Modern Days Society
Poland 2011

1. Modern Days Society 2. Anniversary Song 3. Living In The Gutter 4. We Rule The Night 5. I Am A Threat To The Law 6. Cyberviolence 7. Apocalypse... Now! 8. I Like To Watch

Like so many other releases out there, Modern Days Society would be completely fine in the sense that it is pure thrash metal - if that was the only thing that matters. On the downside, this thing seriously lacks memorable riffs, and there's not too much distinction between songs. The sound quality is about as clean as in practically almost every modern production, and the band's style doesn't exactly have any characteristics that would compare favorably with most other acts in the field. Like said, if it's enough that an album sounds like any thrash metal album is supposed to sound then this one will surely fit the bill. But some of us might be looking for a bit more than that.

FROM BEYOND - Thrashin' Machine
Belgium 2003

1. Death Machine 2. Into The Arena 3. Nightmare 4. The Dark Order 5. Epilogue

With some albums it is almost too easy to write them off as blatant retro thrash attempts that have little value of their own, but From Beyond's Thrashin' Machine turned out to be something of a rough gem. Right from the very beginning there's some notably good audible energy on these songs, making the output sound like an equally nasty but more precise version of Kreator from the late 1980s. The effect is positively lethal although the drum sound is occasionally so sterile that it borders on annoying - whereas the guitar is consistently sharp and perfect. Surely the material is far from innovative, but you can say that the band made the best of it. Not to forget that songs like Death Machine and Nightmare are simply some riveting pieces.

F.T.G. - After The Promise
Malaysia 1992

1. Fire 2. Unwanted Messiah 3. Tale From The Under 4. After The Promise 5. Break The Spell 6. Kid Of The Day 7. Land Of Dreams 8. Mistress Of Destruction

Although F.T.G. (aka Freedom That's Gone) must be a well-known act in their local scene, their early (and most relevant) releases like After The Promise seem to have been scarcely available in the western world. On this album, the band's music wouldn't have any exceptional qualities if it weren't for the gruff vocals that occasionally sound almost like they were recorded underwater. The riffwork is sufficient though far from remarkable, the sound quality is satisfactory, and everything plays out without any noteworthy problems other than the generic feel of it all. It is your typical thrash metal of varying pace, with no real highlights or terrible blunders. That could be even the most novel thing about After The Promise, namely the fact that it does not differ from the norm in either good or bad despite its exotic origins.

F.T.G. - Spirit To Rebel
Malaysia 1994

1. Spirit To Rebel 2. Farewell To Goodness 3. When A Soldier Cry 4. Lies 5. Display Of Hate 6. Soul Warrior 7. Decide 8. Child Of Anger 9. Sinner Will Pay 10. Dream

As far as songwriting goes, it is obvious that Spirit To Rebel follows closely the same formula that was utilized on After The Promise. On a positive note, the average speed seems to have been improved, and except for a couple of deliberately slower pieces most songs on this album contribute to a snappier feel than on the band's previous release. The general impression is not quite as dry either, and there's even one genuinely distinctive piece as the mid-tempo track When A Soldier Cry features some fairly memorable guitar lines. Most of the time Spirit To Rebel is still of some rather standard variety with no surprises in any area, which might be actually considered a benefit in case you're looking for a truly safe pick.

FUCK OFF - Another Sacrifice
Spain 1988

1. No Return 2. Maniac 3. The Last Flight 4. Awaiting Your Death 5. Blood In The Night 6. Another Sacrifice 7. Sueno Maldito 8. Born To Die 9. Black Magic

This band's sole existence must have caused hilarious moments in record stores in the past: "Hello, what are you looking for?" "Fuck Off." Seriously though, there's more to it than just the amusing name. Another Sacrifice was the debut album of this Spanish group and not such a bad one at all. The production is surprisingly adequate, and the vocals have an original nasty tone in them, which is probably the most distinctive feature of this record. It's not exactly a showcase of memorable riffs, quite the opposite, and this is one of those albums where you'd be hard-pressed to remember individual songs from it (except for the faithfully rendered version of Slayer's Black Magic, of course). The general good sound and attitude of the band eventually leads to something of a positive impression, though. Not really a highlight of the genre but worth a listen if easily available, that's what this album is mostly about.

FUCK OFF - Hell On Earth
Spain 1990

1. Embrion 2. Witch (Hell Below The Belly) 3. Blasphemy 4. Midnight Confession 5. Whom You Never To Say His Name 6. Don't You Have Fear 7. Hell On Earth 8. Inquisition 9. In Your Grave 10. Cyclone

Hell On Earth was quite a familiar-sounding follow-up to Another Sacrifice. While this album features a different vocalist, there are no great stylistic differences although the new singer's strong accent occasionally adds some unintentional humor to the mix. Although the mood has essentially remained unchanged, some tracks are slightly more memorable than those on the previous release, mostly due to their good steady pace. Still, it would be stretching it a bit to call any of these riffs downright catchy. It seems as if the band's sound had matured by a small but audible measure, which probably shows best in the instrumental Cyclone - even though the average quality of this track does not quite justify its length of nearly ten minutes. Apart from that, there are no real surprises to be found on Hell On Earth, which just proves that the band had a consistent style already in the beginning.

FUCK OFF - Smile As You Kill
Spain 2013

1. Azor 2. Doomed From The Cradle 3. Gardens Of Stone 4. Smile As You Kill 5. The Priest 6. We Are Back In Town 7. Impera La Corrupcion 8. People In War 9. Long Live Rock & Roll

From the band whose name shall not be spoken in vain, Smile As You Kill is yet another addition to the string of more or less successful comeback releases by old thrash metal acts. Although there is not much of the original line-up left, the style remains nicely traditional if also awfully ordinary. Musically the album is really not that impressive - while the band's original works in the late 1980s had something of a genuine anarchistic touch to them, that effect seems to have worn off a long time ago as here the feel is more routine-like and even subdued sometimes. It may still be more an authentic thrash metal experience than the products of many newer groups, but to be honest, nostalgia could be as well the most important reason for someone to grab this release in today's world.

FUELED BY FIRE - Spread The Fire
USA 2006

1. Ernest Goes To Hell 2. Thrash Is Back 3. Striking Death 4. Spread The Fire!!! 5. Betrayal 6. Massive Execution 7. Metal Forever 8. Dreams Of Terror 9. Command Of The Beast 10. Chaotic Punishment (bonus) 11. Put To Death (bonus)

The first release of Fueled By Fire seems to have drawn influences from several directions at once, and the output is not the most coherent or memorable. Spread The Fire sounds like a recollection of numerous long forgotten thrash metal albums from the late 1980s, while a couple of less frantic moments with galloping guitars bring even Iron Maiden to mind. At times this non-refined approach kind of works for the band's benefit, as there is some refreshing quality in the way how riffs and guitar solos are almost casually thrown around. The "metal" lyrics of this album are terribly dumb, but as bad as it may sound, there are some other contemporary bands that actually perform even worse in this aspect. On a grand scale of things Spread The Fire can appear completely unremarkable, and still it sort of manages to beat expectations in the sense that this is far from the real bottom of the crop.

FUELED BY FIRE - Plunging Into Darkness
USA 2010

1. The Arrival 2. Rising From Beneath 3. Within The Abyss 4. Unidentified Remains 5. Plunging Into Darkness 6. Eye Of The Demon 7. Evoke (Intro) 8. Evoke The Curse 9. Amongst The Dead 10. Sickness Of Humanity 11. Mass Infestation

Fueled By Fire's debut was a mixed bag at best, ambitious but ultimately disjointed and forgettable. Plunging Into Darkness is something better. Starting with an appropriate build-up intro, this album truly kicks off with Rising From Beneath that must be one of the most lethal thrashers in a long time. Unfortunately not all tracks on this release can boast the same kind of killer riffage, and especially the songs running in a more mid-tempo vein don't flow too well. In all honesty, the band try to make the best of it, regardless of the material at hand. Their performance sounds genuinely angry, convincing, and well-planned - certainly miles ahead of the usual going through the motions that too many acts like to demonstrate. While Fueled By Fire still seem to aim higher than they are eventually able to deliver, it is a fact that Plunging Into Darkness shows clear improvement over the band's earlier works.

FUELED BY FIRE - Trapped In Perdition
USA 2013

1. Catastrophe 2. Suffering Entities 3. Forsaken Deity 4. Profane Path 5. Defaced Mortality 6. Rotten Creation 7. Pharmaceutical Extermination 8. Symbolic Slaying 9. Obliteration 10. Abeyant Future (Outro) 11. Depiction Of Demise (bonus)

Moving even further from the rather simple grounds that Spread The Fire was based on, Fueled By Fire's continued efforts in the genre demonstrate a certain level of persistence that is required for making a career out of it. Trapped In Perdition is an ambitious and non-simplistic album that is eventually only left short of true greatness by its repetition of the same unvaried formula a bit too far. While Plunging Into Darkness had prominent highs and lows, this release is more like a stream of dark consciousness that in a way appears more promising than it actually sounds. It is a very coherent piece of work, and the increased technical aspects work fine to some extent, yet the outcome seems to lack real hooks and distinctive features. The band's enduring development for the better is surely commendable, though.

FUNERAL NATION - After The Battle
USA 1991

1. After The Battle 2. In God We Trust 3. Your Time Has Come 4. The Dark 5. Reign Of Death 6. Misery 7. In Silence 8. Midnight Hour 9. Molded From Sin 10. Eternal Promises 11. State Of Insanity 12. Sign Of Baphomet 13. The Abyss

If it weren't for Slayer and Infernal Majesty in their early days, Funeral Nation's sound could have been rather novel. Now the feel of After The Battle should be quite familiar to almost everyone, complete with the general satanic theme. However, the result seems to lack some of the appeal found in older recordings. Most of the time this album tends to repeat itself, and many tracks appear somewhat uninteresting, even dull in the long run. Often the band's playing sounds just a bit too tense and forced. Although the output has a certain level of grim quality, it could have been beneficial to have some more dynamic and unconstrained sound. After The Battle has its moments, but on the whole this thing could have used some improvement.

FURIOUS BARKING - Theory Of Diversity
Italy 2008

1. Decompression State 2. Always From Inside 3. The Last Stop Is Mortuary 4. Lives In Incubator 5. Every Indetermination Is Complete 6. Homo Superior 7. Which Theory 8. Way Of Brutality

It rarely happens that a recording is kept waiting to be released as long as Theory Of Diversity. As it finally turns out, Furious Barking's full-length album has some features that prevent it from becoming just another faceless release. With a focus on thrash metal with strong technical leanings, the band's sound as a whole is not of the most stereotypical kind. A notably worthy detail is the vocals that have been stripped of all gimmicks and still appear almost overwhelming in power, despite their slightly hollow sound. Musically this album can be a bit challenging as the riffs are far from catchy, also the songs sometimes only progress in a fairly plodding manner. The way this band avoided taking the easy way out is respectable, though, making Theory Of Diversity a practical opposite of the most disposable kind of thrash metal these days.