I could laugh and play
and live in any other way
Then the devil took my soul
The fortune and the fame
I knew I was not the same
and I know I'd never return

-- Testament - The Legacy

TANKARD - Zombie Attack
Germany 1986

1. Zombie Attack 2. Acid Death 3. Mercenary 4. Maniac Forces 5. Alcohol 6. (Empty) Tankard 7. Thrash 'Till Death 8. Chains 9. Poison 10. Screamin' Victims

Tankard must be the most consistent thrash metal band ever, not to mention one of the most productive. Zombie Attack introduced their simple and straightforward formula that has remained pretty much unchanged ever since - lighthearted and fast thrash metal, with a lot of the lyrics revolving around alcohol and moshing. Although some later releases would add small bits of variety, at this early stage there were only two positions in Tankard's gears, full speed and stop. As it can often happen on this band's releases, many of these tracks sound quite alike, but that aside Zombie Attack is a decent establishment of the customary Tankard style.

TANKARD - Chemical Invasion
Germany 1987

1. Intro 2. Total Addiction 3. Tantrum 4. Don't Panic 5. Puke 6. For A Thousand Beers 7. Chemical Invasion 8. Farewell To A Slut 9. Traitor 10. Alcohol

Chemical Invasion continued directly in the vein of Tankard's easy-going approach to thrash metal which started on Zombie Attack. From the very first notes, it should be clear what to expect, the only notable exception from the rule being the lengthy and fairly diverse instrumental For A Thousand Beers. On the whole, the sound of this album may be slightly more meaty than on the band's debut release, but actual musical differences are few and far between as usual. Despite some repetitive feel, you cannot help but sort of admire the accuracy and speed at which Tankard play through all their mosh pieces also on this album.

TANKARD - The Morning After
Germany 1988

1. Intro 2. Commandments 3. Shit-Faced 4. TV Hero 5. F.U.N. 6. Try Again 7. The Morning After 8. Desperation 9. Feed The Lohocla 10. Help Yourself 11. Mon Cheri 12. Outro

At first The Morning After could be mistaken for just another typical Tankard release, but there's actually something more to it. Although great variety does not really belong to the band's customary output, several songs on this album are actually more easily distinguishable from the others. The general feel is uplifting and even refreshing, and while the lyrics occasionally touch also serious topics, mostly this music is suitable for creating and maintaining a cheerful atmosphere. Among the most memorable tracks are the upbeat cover song Try Again and the total riot Mon Cheri, a love song in 44 seconds that you just got to hear to believe it. Even though The Morning After is not radically different from Tankard's other recordings, some nice touches make it a bit more distinctive than the norm.

Germany 1989

1. Alien 2. 666 Packs 3. Live To Dive 4. Remedy 5. (Empty) Tankard

Briefly put, Alien is like a compact summary of Tankard's whole discography. Every song on this mini album is about drinking or thrashing or both, and most of the time they are executed at a constant high pace that has become such a characteristic feature for the band. Nothing wrong with that, but at this point the novelty of this approach had worn off a long time ago. All tracks are quite joyful and easy to listen to, but it would be hard to identify most of these songs if heard outside the album context. All these factors make Alien almost a stereotypical Tankard release, just a bit shorter than usually.

TANKARD - The Meaning Of Life
Germany 1990

1. Open All Night 2. We Are Us 3. Dancing On Our Grave 4. Mechanical Man 5. Beermuda 6. The Meaning Of Life 7. Space Beer 8. Always Them 9. Wheel Of Rebirth 10. Barfly 11. Wonderful Life

Maybe a bad thing about Tankard's music is that in general it tends to sound good only in small portions. Sometimes even a full-length album of theirs can already become a bit tiresome experience, and this happens to be the case with The Meaning Of Life. Many tracks on this release basically seem like only moderately different versions of the same song played at the same tempo over and over again. Most of them continue to demonstrate the band's lighthearted attitude as usual, which is definitely a good thing, it just starts to get old at some point. In the end The Meaning Of Life is probably something that works best when played in the background, without paying too close attention to it.

TANKARD - Stone Cold Sober
Germany 1992

1. Jurisdiction 2. Broken Image 3. Mindwild 4. Ugly Beauty 5. Centerfold 6. Behind The Back 7. Stone Cold Sober 8. Blood, Guts & Rock 'n' Roll 9. Lost And Found (Tantrum Part 2) 10. Sleeping With The Past 11. Freibier 12. Of Strange People Talking Under Arabian Skies

In a way, Stone Cold Sober was a culmination of Tankard's work up to this point. One can immediately recognize their customary sound that had been refined to the top during the preceding years. Although most tracks on this album seem like they could have been put on almost any of the previous releases as well, by varying their riffs and minor details even slightly the band managed to give this recording something of a unique feel after all. The only more or less experimental track is the closing instrumental Of Strange People Talking Under Arabian Skies which must be one of Tankard's most original pieces ever. Stone Cold Sober is just how this band prefer to make it, unsurprising but solid thrash metal in Tankard's way.

TANKARD - Two-Faced
Germany 1994

1. Death Penalty 2. R.T.V. 3. Betrayed 4. Nation Over Nation 5. Days Of The Gun 6. Cities In Flames 7. Up From Zero 8. Two-Faced 9. Ich Brauch' Meinen Suff 10. Cyberworld 11. Mainhattan 12. Jimmy B. Bad

While Two-Faced initially seems to possess many of Tankard's trademark characteristics, it also differs from the previous releases to a small degree. Lyrics are generally more serious than before, and there is a bit more variety in tempos than you might expect from a typical Tankard album. It is still easy to recognize the sharp guitar sound almost instantly, and most tracks remain similar to the band's past works. Some lack of the usual happy spirit can make this release sound somewhat more average and not so uplifting though by no means bad. Also, while certain more varied tracks have their moments, too, this album clearly proves that constantly fast thrashers are the band's strongest area, formulaic or not. Some deviation from traditions put aside, Two-Faced is a fair pick for anyone who enjoys Tankard's style.

TANKARD - The Tankard
Germany 1995

1. Grave New World 2. Minds On The Moon 3. The Story Of Mr. Cruel 4. Close Encounter 5. Poshor Golovar 6. Mess In The West 7. Atomic Twilight 8. Fuck Christmas 9. Positive 10. Hope?

Whereas Two-Faced touched a tad more serious grounds, The Tankard took quite a lightsome direction. In fact, this release may be Tankard's lightest production to date. With a couple of exceptions (Grave New World in particular), the music has a notably happy feel despite some occasional serious lyrics, and it seems that the band slowed down a bit for this recording. As a whole this is not exactly a collection of classic material, although many tracks are perhaps more memorable than on an average Tankard album - cheerful hollers like Minds On The Moon and Fuck Christmas sound very relaxed and play in an enjoyable manner. It might appear somewhat inconsistent here and there, but some slight variation at times is only a good thing for this band.

TANKARD - Disco Destroyer
Germany 1998

1. Serial Killer 2. http://www.Planetwide-Suicide.com 3. Hard Rock Dinosaur 4. Queen Of Hearts 5. U-R-B 6. Mr. Superlover 7. Tankard Roach Motel 8. Another Perfect Day 9. Death By Whips 10. Away! 11. Face Of The Enemy 12. Splendid Boyz 13. Disco Destroyer

When almost everyone else had abandoned the traditional thrash metal genre, Tankard just kept going like nobody's business. After some semi-lazy features of the previous release, Disco Destroyer cranks up the speed again and becomes a better match for the old standards of fast thrash metal. The relaxed atmosphere of The Tankard is still maintained to a notable extent, but this time without sacrificing the band's original antics too much. Worth a special note, some lyrics are way over the top in this album's context - how many other blatantly happy songs about serial killers or undead rotting bones can you expect to find, really. Most importantly, this release contains several insanely catchy thrashers: Serial Killer, Queen Of Hearts, Tankard Roach Motel and the title track are guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Although it is definitely not something that would find its way to the hall of thrash metal fame, Disco Destroyer is actually one of the most entertaining Tankard albums.

TANKARD - Kings Of Beer
Germany 2000

1. Flirtin' With Desaster 2. Dark Exile 3. Hot Dog Inferno 4. Hell Bent For Jesus 5. Kings Of Beer 6. I'm So Sorry! 7. Talk Show Prostitute 8. Incredible Loudness 9. Land Of The Free 10. Mirror, Mirror 11. Tattoo Coward

It wouldn't be too difficult to forgive people for not keeping up with all the Tankard recordings out there. After all, Kings Of Beer took the band to the new millennium with hardly any changes in their style. In fact, compared to a couple of previous releases that featured at least small signs of variation together with a genuinely uplifting feel, Kings Of Beer represents the more formulaic side of the band. For example, while Flirtin' With Desaster has some hilarious lyrics of the worst taste, the song's chorus is awfully repetitive, and most other tracks do not stand out even that much. Hell Bent For Jesus and Mirror, Mirror may be the only slightly catchy tracks here - for other than that, this album can be downright boring at times. For long-time Tankard followers Kings Of Beer might be just another safe offering, but novelty or generally even semi-interesting songs surely aren't the strong points of it.

Germany 2002

1. Notorious Scum 2. Rectifier 3. Need Money For Beer 4. Ugly, Fat And Still Alive 5. Underground 6. Voodoo Box 7. Sunscars 8. Zero Dude 9. New Liver Please 10. Rundown Quarter 11. Alcoholic Nightmares

By B-Day Tankard's sound had reached such a level of maturity that some kind of stalling was only inevitable. From a technical viewpoint only, this album is more than adequate - certain modern production standards are particularly audible in the guitar sound which is a lot heavier than ever before in the past, to the point of starting to lose some of its customary sharpness. Musically this is clearly less than an average product from the Tankard factory pipeline. With riffs of little diversity and generally quite a one-dimensional presentation, B-Day can be an alarmingly typical thrash metal platter throughout. Not so long time ago Gerre's vocals still used to have an unmistakable tongue-in-cheek feel in them, but here the man sounds like any stereotypical thrash metal shouter out there. Although one might not be surprised by Tankard's state at this point, it remains a disappointing thing to observe.

TANKARD - Beast Of Bourbon
Germany 2004

1. Under Friendly Fire 2. Slipping From Reality 3. Genetic Overkill 4. Die With A Beer In Your Hand 5. The Horde 6. Endless Pleasure 7. Dead Men Drinking 8. Alien Revenge 9. Fistful Of Love 10. Beyond The Pubyard 11. We're Coming Back

By all intents and purposes, Beast Of Bourbon is like a carbon copy of B-Day straight out of the box. The songs sound nearly identical from start to finish, with very little difference, and in the end you cannot help but wonder how many tracks there actually were on this thing as you could hardly distinguish between them. Listening to this album means hearing the same banging repeated in such a thick-headed manner that it soon becomes totally meaningless. Again, the production values easily surpass those found on the oldest albums, but it appears that imagination was left behind a good time ago. Tankard certainly made some worthwhile albums back then, but these later releases could be almost taken as cautionary examples of what happens when automated programming is applied on thrash metal. Bonus points must be granted for the total riot lyrics of Fistful Of Love, though.

TANKARD - The Beauty And The Beer
Germany 2006

1. Ice-olation 2. We Still Drink The Old Ways 3. Forsaken World 4. Rockstars No. 1 5. The Beauty And The Beast 6. Blue Rage - Black Redemption 7. Frankfurt: We Need More Beer 8. Metaltometal 9. Dirty Digger 10. Shaken Not Stirred

Just when you thought that an overkill of Tankard albums had been already reached, the band go and release The Beauty And The Beer, yet another chapter in their musical adventures in beer-soaked thrash metal. It is no use to try to find any novel comments about this one, as everything that can be said about Tankard's music must have been said countless times already. As a small positive surprise, this release does appear to reach back to the old times, and these songs are not nearly as dull as previously. Also the instruments sound more balanced - the guitar in particular is not as blatantly in your face as it did on Beast Of Bourbon, for example. The Beauty And The Beer is still practically the same album that Tankard have been releasing for twenty years with only minor changes, but at least it is now done better than the last couple of times in the immediate past.

TANKARD - Thirst
Germany 2008

1. Octane Warriors 2. Deposit Pirates 3. Stay Thirsty! 4. Hyperthermia 5. Echoes Of Fear 6. When Daddy Comes To Play 7. Zodiac Man 8. G.A.L.O.W. 9. Myevilfart 10. Sexy Feet Under

For some reason it feels as if Tankard's previous album The Beauty And The Beer was announced just yesterday, but here we have again one more release from the band. It is seriously quite pointless to say anything specific about Thirst since all the avid Tankard fans must have already obtained it, and any aliens from outer space who are somehow not yet familiar with this band should rather start at the beginning of their discography and then decide if they want to continue from there. For anything else than that, there is little or no difference between Thirst and Tankard's previous works, and that's exactly all the information you should need to determine if it's worth the money or not. If it happens some day that thrash metal bands are given awards for their lifetime work, at this rate Tankard will be guaranteed to have seats in the front row.

TANKARD - Vol(l)ume 14
Germany 2010

1. Time Warp 2. Rules For Fools 3. Fat Snatchers (The Hippo Effect) 4. Black Plague (BP) 5. Somewhere In Nowhere 6. The Agency 7. Brain Piercing Of Death 8. Beck's In The City 9. Condemnation 10. Weekend Warriors

You may have heard this before, but there's a new Tankard album out there. What you may not have heard is an old story about a rural man who was invited to a wedding for the first time in many years. When the ceremony was over and the celebration began, the man cautiously walked around the elaborate tables of food, unsure about where to start, until he saw an ordinary boil of soup. Feeling relieved upon discovering such a familiar dish, hungry as he already was, the man grabbed a plate and filled it with soup. He ate a dose with great appetite, and then continued to take more of the same. Another guest happened to notice this and casually asked if he would like to try some of the other courses as well since, after all, there was a great variety available. The man shrugged and said: "I ain't eatin' but this." As for Vol(l)ume 14, it may sound slightly more sober than Tankard albums on average, but that aside, you can be sure that in its heart this is essentially about the same old familiar band doing what they know best.

TANKARD - A Girl Called Cerveza
Germany 2012

1. Rapid Fire (A Tyrant's Elegy) 2. A Girl Called Cerveza 3. Witch-Hunt 2.0 4. Masters Of Farces 5. The Metal Ladyboy 6. Not One Day Dead (But Mad One Day) 7. Son Of A Fridge 8. Fandom At Random 9. Metal Magnolia 10. Running On Fumes

The 15th full-length studio album from Tankard is out. And suddenly it seems that an awfully long time has passed since Zombie Attack was released in 1986. To be honest, A Girl Called Cerveza is far from the most exciting kind of music in today's world. Even more so when the history of the band and the whole genre is considered. But Tankard managed to carve their niche in thrash metal and hold onto it during the long years, especially in difficult times when most other performers were plain comatose or bailed out altogether. Quite fittingly, easily the best track on this album Not One Day Dead (But Mad One Day) is an actual self-reflection on all this. It cannot be denied that the sound of this band in their early days was usually a lot faster and snappier than now. Maybe some more imagination was involved in songwriting as well. Yet it would be pretty pointless to dissect an individual album for that. Because Tankard are already beyond the point where it stops making the slightest difference anymore.

TANTARA - Based On Evil
Norway 2012

1. Based On Evil 2. Mass Murder 3. Negligible Souls 4. The Debate 5. Human Mutation 6. Trapped In Bodies 7. Prejudice Of Violence 8. The Killing Of Mother Earth 9. Court Injustice

For a debut release, Tantara's Based On Evil has some genuine style. Certain elements on the opening title track bring the early sound of Vio-lence to mind, and similar influences from several other bands from the same era are clearly audible in this music. The album as a whole could have used some more memorable riffs, though, as now most of them are lacking in distinction. Also, the lengthy tracks would have benefited from a bit tighter focus. The massive loads of riff patterns are fairly impressive on the surface and the atmospheric guitar passages here and there give this album a classy touch, but many of these songs ultimately end up rather fragmented and hard to recall. For these reasons, the initial promise of this release is stronger than the eventual outcome which is left sort of unfinished.

TARGET - Mission Executed
Belgium 1987

1. Mission To The Andes 2. Hordes Of Insanity 3. They Walk In Front 4. Warriors Of The Holy One 5. Nuclear Waste 6. The Gathering 7. Under Dominion (Of Death) 8. Death Blow

Target's style seems to have had some resemblance to Living Death during their more technical period. The band's debut release Mission Executed starts off as quite interesting, although some of the novelty of its sound wears off soon before the end. The opening track Mission To The Andes in particular creates a strangely captivating feel with its clever riffs. The vocals have something of a nasty tone in them, which fits the general sound well. However, as said, the initial impression does not remain equally strong as most tracks somewhat repeat themselves. Technically the band sound completely fine and all, and there are some hints of an interesting and even original style throughout this album, but only occasionally the music really takes off. Obviously Target had some potential but Mission Executed is only a partially successful demonstration of that.

TARGET - Master Project Genesis
Belgium 1988

1. The Coming Of Chaos 2. Ultimate Unity 3. Digital Regency 4. Absolution By Termination 5. Dehumanization 6. March Of The Machines 7. Secret Of The Dome 8. Master Project Genesis

Target's second album is notably more complex and ambitious than the debut, with hints of even Mekong Delta coming to mind. Master Project Genesis turns out to be somewhat impressive based on its intriguing feel alone. Although the music is not too memorable due to its complexity, the outcome is very consistent and quite interesting. Compared to Mission Executed, this album shows progress in all areas except the vocals that sound weaker than before. Despite the very technical sound and the fact that it takes some time to really get into it, these songs manage to draw your attention in the long run. While some more straightforward tracks like Dehumanization appear almost immediately pretty effective, this is one of those albums that keep growing on you. Though not really a masterpiece, Master Project Genesis no doubt deserves its place in the more technical sector of the genre.

TENEBRA - Tenebra
Germany 1994

1. Whatever 2. Urges 3. Innocent Culprit 4. Pellucid Viscera 5. Among 6. Hurt 7. Mother's Gate 8. Exposed Senses 9. Lost 10. Re-Reborn 11. Breach Of Trust 12. Threatening Questions

Released way too late for its kind, Tenebra's debut album repeats the classic maneuvers in a tried and tested format but essentially gets no further than that. Actually it starts out pretty good enough, the first couple of tracks or so play quite effectively, but for the most part this album tends to sound almost the same with only minor variations. The vocals are quite plain and not the best of their kind for the music, though even a more powerful style probably would not have made much difference anyway. It is your typical middle-ground thrash metal to its fullest, and any hints of novel ideas must be more due to the casual listener's imagination without an equivalent in reality. If this release somehow doesn't sound too familiar then you can be sure that there is still room left for more of the same to listen through.

TERRAHSPHERE - Third In Order Of The Sun
USA 1991

1. Re-emergence Of Atlantis 2. Under The Black Moon 3. Plan Of Observation 4. New Clear Day 5. Inheritance 6. Time Corridors Of The Planeterrah 7. Scigoreality 8. What Was And Will Be Again

Terrahsphere surely showed some serious originality with their debut. Despite its appearance suggesting progressive aspirations, Third In Order Of The Sun is closer to conventional speed/thrash metal with a few peculiar touches. Except for a couple of spacey intros and some weird lyrics, the music is not overly technical or anything, but it has a certain quirky sound that can leave one pretty confused at first. The vocals are rather harsh and intense, and speedwise this album doesn't lack much, it's just that the band's style is somewhat unbalanced and the songs are generally too uneven. Only occasionally the result manages to catch some real attention like Under The Black Moon with its good pounding riff. Probably Terrahsphere could have been able to develop their style into something more effective later if they had remained active long enough.

TERROR FECTOR - Everlasting Hell Damnation
Japan 1994

1. Insane Blasphemous 2. Wrath Of God 3. Everlasting Hell Damnation 4. Sacrifice 5. Demonic Torture 6. Betrays World 7. In My Load

Terror Fector's Everlasting Hell Damnation does not strike the listener with highly original content, but the band's down-to-earth and consistent style gains some favorable feedback. These lengthy tracks flow in a uniform manner, and while there are indeed not too many stand-out moments to speak of, the result leads at least to a carefully positive impression. Worth a separate mention are the twisted low tone guitar lines that appear every so often, reminiscent of early death metal. This is not of unheard quality, but it certainly adds to the emphatic and oppressive feel of this album. Without a doubt, Everlasting Hell Damnation can be quite a heavy experience to the uninitiated people, but fans of the style surely get what they need.

TERRORSTORM - Neurotic World
Brazil 2003

1. Neurotic World 2. When The Hate Increases 3. Fuck Lack Of Understand 4. Bio Extintion 5. Hidden Fear 6. Criminal Behavior 7. Nightmare Despair 8. Into The Violence 9. Panic Sindrome 10. Fuck Lack (Alternative)

Neurotic World could be taken as a proof that a specific kind of true underground spirit is not dead. The ultimately lacking quality of Terrorstorm's debut release is overshadowed by the band's distinct and crude do-it-yourself attitude. The low-key production is an exact opposite of the annoying modern trend where everything is usually boosted to hell as if volume controls suddenly became extinct. Another noticeable aspect is the vocals that sound like rantings of an old witch, with occasional low grunts thrown in the mix. Often this band appear like a poor man's Executer, for a lack of better comparison. And still, despite it being evident that this album cannot be considered great even by sometimes loose thrash metal standards, and some less patient people may be inclined to throw it out the window before the first couple of tracks are over, Terrorstorm deserve all sympathy - even just for the fact that Neurotic World sounds way more honest than many other studio releases nowadays.

TERRORSTORM - Euthanasia
Brazil 2007

1. Africa Agonizes 2. Euthanasia 3. Infected By Evil 4. Hidden Enemy 5. As If Absolved Of Your Cruelties 6. Vivisection 7. Terror Land 8. Welcome To Mordor 9. The Illusion

Let it be made immediately clear that Terrorstorm's Euthanasia is not a good album in a traditional sense. The band's unpolished and unpretentious style has remained practically intact since their first release, and it is simply not something that would universally gain favorable points. The sound quality is not as blatantly a mixed bag as on Neurotic World, but it is still only barely on par with even average 1980s recordings. Against all these seemingly negative points, the biggest surprise may be that most of it doesn't really matter. In comparison to a number of better produced and more costly but still terribly dull releases, Terrorstorm's music appears almost refreshingly undeveloped yet downright credible. While it may sound pointless to some, there are moments when this kind of pure approach can hit the spot as well as anything else. Despite the lack of objectively fine properties, Euthanasia is far from a lost cause - but be warned that the charm of this album can be very rude indeed.

TESTAMENT - The Legacy
USA 1987

1. Over The Wall 2. The Haunting 3. Burnt Offerings 4. Raging Waters 5. C.O.T.L.O.D. 6. First Strike Is Deadly 7. Do Or Die 8. Alone In The Dark 9. Apocalyptic City

Testament's first album was quite a polished effort upon its release and possibly one of the best debuts ever, thrash metal with a notably classy feel. The songs are full of solid memorable riffs and creative solos, and although the music is basically straightforward and very energetic thrashing with a strong balls-to-the-wall attitude, it comes with a lot of fine touches. Especially Alex Skolnick's innovative and stylish guitar playing is guaranteed to catch your attention, with frequent melodic intros and interludes that contribute to the unique and refined style of this recording. The production undeniably lacks some dynamics but otherwise there's little to complain about. The Legacy is truly a classic album and perhaps the best Testament release ever, as the band never really surpassed the excellence of their debut.

TESTAMENT - The New Order
USA 1988

1. Eerie Inhabitants 2. The New Order 3. Trial By Fire 4. Into The Pit 5. Hypnosis 6. Disciples Of The Watch 7. The Preacher 8. Nobody's Fault 9. A Day Of Reckoning 10. Musical Death (A Dirge)

The New Order is musically still very stylish but also somewhat more generic than Testament's previous release. The songs are not quite as memorable as before and start to show hints of Testament's characteristic problem - when the band stick to streamlined fast thrash metal, they are as good as anyone (Into The Pit is a total killer track), but as soon as intensity starts to drop, the risk of boredom tends to increase almost in a linear manner. There are actually several tracks on this album that lack a definite sharp edge, most evident on the unnecessary Aerosmith cover song Nobody's Fault. On the bright side, Alex Skolnick's guitar is highlighted even more prominently here, now with two full instrumental pieces included.

TESTAMENT - Practice What You Preach
USA 1989

1. Practice What You Preach 2. Perilous Nation 3. Envy Life 4. Time Is Coming 5. Blessed In Contempt 6. Greenhouse Effect 7. Sins Of Omission 8. The Ballad 9. Nightmare (Coming Back To You) 10. Confusion Fusion

For their third album Testament obviously chose to change their style towards maybe a bit more "accessible" format, and the output was destined to divide opinions. Generally more moderately paced and relaxed than before, this release seems quite uneven in quality. There are some interesting and strong individual tracks here, The Ballad even kind of novel as a serious ballad, but also many flat and uninspiring performances that can make the album as a whole appear something of a sleep-inducing listening experience. In comparison to Testament's first two efforts, Practice What You Preach clearly lacks energy, and although the result is still a lot better than most of your generic thrash metal albums out there, it is also an example of this band in their most lethargic form.

TESTAMENT - Souls Of Black
USA 1990

1. Beginning Of The End 2. Face In The Sky 3. Falling Fast 4. Souls Of Black 5. Absence Of Light 6. Love To Hate 7. Malpractice 8. One Man's Fate 9. The Legacy 10. Seven Days Of May

After some more or less successful experimentation on their previous album, Testament returned to more conventional and righteous thrash metal with Souls of Black. Even though this release could be considered a tad formulaic, it remains one of the band's better and more stylish efforts since The Legacy, mainly due to the smooth flow of music. Most songs are consistent and powerful enough with a fairly good selection of riffs, and the production is rather crisp although Chuck Billy's vocals sound somewhat hollow at times. The general feel is more vivid than on the previous couple of releases, and Alex Skolnick's guitar solos are actually some of the best ever. Despite its slightly unfinished feel, this is a reasonably effective album and the last good classic Testament recording before the degradation of the original scene really started.

TESTAMENT - The Formation Of Damnation
USA 2008

1. For The Glory Of... 2. More Than Meets The Eye 3. The Evil Has Landed 4. The Formation Of Damnation 5. Dangers Of The Faithless 6. The Persecuted Won't Forget 7. Henchmen Ride 8. Killing Season 9. Afterlife 10. F.E.A.R. 11. Leave Me Forever

After years of highs and lows, The Formation Of Damnation must be something of a comeback release from Testament. Musically mostly fluent and undisturbing, the album flows in a satisfying way as can be only expected from the line-up behind it all. More heavy than fast, it sounds undoubtedly more restrained and not nearly as exciting than Testament's classic recordings in the past, but at least this album on the whole is more coherent than some of their works in the 1990s. Certainly the band could have played a couple of tracks in a faster vein, but unless you are a complete speedhound, it is hard to see why anyone familiar with Testament wouldn't find this one likeable, too. Others might want to think twice and start from the band's earlier albums instead, though.

TESTAMENT - Dark Roots Of Earth
USA 2012

1. Rise Up 2. Native Blood 3. Dark Roots Of Earth 4. True American Hate 5. A Day In The Death 6. Cold Embrace 7. Man Kills Mankind 8. Throne Of Thorns 9. Last Stand For Independence

Testament surely take their time making new releases these days. On the other hand this shows in a positive way, too, as Dark Roots Of Earth couldn't be further from a rush job. From a technical point of view this album may be one of the best produced works in recent years, without losing credibility or becoming overpolished in the process. Musically it is not exactly a speed demon, closely resembling The Formation Of Damnation in that sense, but the compositions are mature and the presentation is professional. Including the mellow ballad Cold Embrace, the overall impression is classy, stylish and nostalgic, a good example of what it means to age gracefully. If the original scene hadn't taken a nose dive in the early 1990s, probably a lot more albums would be like this nowadays.

THANATOS - Emerging From The Netherworlds
Netherlands 1990

1. Dawn Of The Dead 2. Outward Of The Inward 3. Bodily Dismemberment 4. Internal Deceit 5. The Day Before Tomorrow 6. War 7. Rebirth 8. Progressive Destructor 9. Impostors' Infiltration 10. Omnicoitor / Dolor Satanae 11. The Meaning Of Life

Getting deeper into death metal on their later recordings, Thanatos could have been mistaken for an ordinary thrash metal band with their debut. Emerging From The Netherworlds gives the listener a good run for the money as far as speed and intensity are considered. The most notable feature must be the vocals - while the rough barks and semi-growls are rather typical for the time, there is also a unique kind of hollow and hoarse howling featured on some tracks which tends to sound really strange when heard for the first time. But it is the overall picture that matters, and most of the time Thanatos pass the tests with few remarks. Helped by some blazing fast riff attacks like Outward Of The Inward and generally a good atmosphere, this album plays in a solid though somewhat undistinctive style. You can't really go too wrong with that kind of thing.

THE CRUCIFIED - The Crucified
USA 1989

1. The Pit 2. Diehard 3. Your Image 4. Getting A Grip On Things 5. Hellcorn 6. Rise 7. One Demon To Another 8. Unity 9. A Guy In A Suit And The Pope 10. Back To The Cross 11. Confidence 12. The Insult Circus 13. Thread 14. Crucial Moment

Now this is how thrash metal with an occasional tint of hardcore should sound like. The production of The Crucified's debut release is appropriately heavy, much unlike the tinniest sounding crossover albums of the 1980s. As for the music itself, it is convincing thrash metal with more good riffs than on average in the genre. Only the singer sounds somewhat plain and blunt more often than not, but that is something you can get used to over time. With this kind of good production and surprisingly mature sound, you may actually get an impression that The Crucified were way ahead of their time when this album was originally released. It is not exactly loaded with variety, but the quality is constantly high enough so that you are not likely to grow too bored with these songs anyway. Definitely a worthwhile release from The Crucified, even slightly refreshing in comparison to many other albums of the time.

THE CRUCIFIED - The Pillars Of Humanity
USA 1991

1. Intro 2. Hateworld 3. It's All About Fear 4. The Wrong One 5. Mindbender 6. Path To Sorrow 7. Fellowship Of Thieves 8. Focus 9. The Strength 10. Blackstone 11. So-Called Living, 1991 12. The Pillars Of Humanity

The Pillars Of Humanity is more streamlined, also one-dimensional at times when compared to The Crucified's debut album. It is still not half-bad though certainly not as interesting on the whole as the band's first release. Among the practical differences, the vocals sometimes tend to get slightly buried in the mix, while the overall sound of the band appears more unified than before. The songs are constantly fast attacks and rather nice as such, although this time it is harder to distinguish between them due to their general resemblance to each other. Maybe it's just that at this point The Crucified's style did not seem too novel anymore, no matter how well done the music is. Some criticism put aside, The Pillars Of Humanity does still make a good companion to its predecessor despite some simplifications in the band's sound.

THE FORCE - Possessed By Metal
Paraguay 2008

1. Aggressive Assault 2. Storm Of Steel 3. Evil World 4. Heathen's Attack 5. The Omen 6. Overlord 7. Possessed By Metal 8. Long Live The Metal Gods 9. Thrash Till We Die

It is rather unlucky that The Force chose to play most ordinary thrash metal, as one can take only so much of that kind before the cup finally runs over. As far as standard requirements go, Possessed By Metal is formally adequate, but there is little else to be said about it. Except for the long and somewhat ambitious instrumental Long Live The Metal Gods, this album does not stick out as noticeably energetic or otherwise remarkable in any way - it is just thrash metal for the sake of thrashing, with no deeper message whatsoever. As most people should already have a pretty good idea of the extent of competition in that area, considering both legacy and recent releases, it is useless to comment how effectively a generic album can get lost in the crowd without a trace. Unfortunately, the force is not strong with this one.

THE FORCE - Nations Under Attack
Paraguay 2011

1. The Barracks 2. Nations Under Attack 3. Doomsday 4. The Longest Day 5. Neckbreaking Metal 6. Nightlords 7. Fight Till The End 8. Stampede Of A Thousand Stallions

While the second album of The Force may not demonstrate any radical differences since their debut, together all the slight adjustments add up to a level where Nations Under Attack comes across as a pleasant small surprise. The main plot is again about thrash metal played at breakneck speed, but the improved production makes it sound a tad heavier than previously, and the band's attack appears more refined, confident and focused. It is also hard not to pay attention to the stylish guitar solos that give these songs some nice melodic touches. The instrumental side in general seems to be this band's strong asset, which remarkably becomes evident on the excellent closing track at the latest. Despite some reservations over their past works, Nations Under Attack proves that The Force have come into their own in this genre.

THE HORDE OF TORMENT - Product Of A Sick Mind
USA 1991

1. Product Of A Sick Mind 2. Viral Malignance 3. As I Lay Dying 4. Blood Justice 5. Liquidation 6. The Raven 7. Corruption 8. Final Solution

As a pretty obscure band born in the last years of the original thrash metal scene, The Horde Of Torment didn't really have much chance or time to gain higher recognition even though their music was definitely no worse than most of the stuff around at that time. Product Of A Sick Mind may appear somewhat ordinary at first, but the great intensity of this album gives it some extra boost over the lesser companions. The opening title track is quite an effective piece with its machine gun like rapid sound, and the rest of the album right up to Final Solution is very much in the same vein. In addition to the frantic delivery, the band's sound is made a bit more original by the vocals that are raw but clear and somewhat hardcore-ish. Even a relatively basic style like this can bring good results when done well enough as it's the case with this album. In all its plainness, Product Of A Sick Mind succeeds better than many of the more refined productions out there.

Sweden 1989

1. Intro: Evilution 2. He Speaks 3. Mulling Over Anaesthesia 4. Kill Each Other 5. To Whom Can You Turn 6. Beria, Show Him The Door 7. Imperial Leather 8. Justify The Means 9. I

Based on their only full-length release, The Krixhjalters seem to have had a healthy positive approach to their work. Evilution sounds like it was recorded in a good mood, as the band's style is fairly upbeat and lightsome, more agile than really heavy. The jovial feel aside, there is not much about the music that would be guaranteed to draw you into it. Most songs are passable enough to serve basic needs but there are no noteworthy tracks among them, and the riffs are quite unexceptional and forgettable. Despite some instrumental variation, this album can become quite boring already after a short introduction to it. While Evilution starts out sounding semi-interesting, the point is lost during the remainder of the album. By the time the whole thing is over, there is very little incentive to give it another listen.

China 2009

1. Intro 2. Winter Dead 3. Black Sea 4. Bay Area Beast 5. War Fuck Peace 6. Metaphor 7. Bloody Cult 8. Rising After Execution 9. Beyond The Gates Of Hell

The Metaphor's debut release may be something of an unexpected entry in the scene as far as its origins are considered, but as it turns out this album can hold its own in comparison to typical western productions. Establishing a specific formula already on the first song Winter Dead, the riffs are simple but quite catchy, and although the vocals are somewhat rudimentary at best, this recording as a whole is more than the sum of its parts. The music has enough of a credible feel to it, not to mention a fairly nice underground vibe, and it shouldn't be too hard to find this album likeable - a satisfying piece of uncomplicated thrash metal, that's what Metaphor is all about.

THE MIST - Phantasmagoria
Brazil 1989

1. Flying Saucers In The Sky 2. Smiles, Tears And Chaos 3. A Step Into The Dark 4. The Enemy 5. Hate 6. Barbed Wire Land (At War) 7. Phantasmagoria 8. Lightning In The Dark 9. Like A Bad Song 10. Faces Of Glass

In the Brazilian thrash metal scene The Mist had something of a distinctive sound of their own. This can be heard pretty well on the band's debut release Phantasmagoria that already shows originality and talent above the average level. Vladimir Korg was really one of the better vocalists in the field, and his decaying voice adds to the distinguishable style of The Mist by a notable amount. While the opening track hits you at high speed, several songs also exercise the band's tendency for heavy mid-tempo riffing which is used for a good effect. Generally this recording is still more straightforward than its even more ambitious follow-up. If you had to pick a thrash metal album that could be called "stylish" without sounding ridiculous, Phantasmagoria would be among the best candidates for that.

THE MIST - The Hangman Tree
Brazil 1991

1. God Of Black And White Images 2. Scarecrow 3. Peter Pan Against The World 4. Falling Into My Inner Abyss 5. The Hangman Tree - Act One 6. The Hell Where Angels Live 7. My Life Is An Eternal Dark Room 8. My Pain 9. The Hangman Tree - Epilogue 10. Broken Toys 11. Leave Me Alone 12. Toxin Diffusion (bonus)

The Mist's The Hangman Tree must be one of the better examples of sometimes unexpected variety in the field of thrash metal. Opening with the dark and divine God Of Black And White Images, this album separates itself from some more stereotypical aspects of thrash metal right at the start. With their general melancholic feel combined with very good production values, these songs feel like a heavy rain falling down. In this depressing atmosphere, Vladimir Korg's suffering vocals perfectly fit in, giving it the final touch. This album is not at its best in the middle, though - while the multi-part title track is rather ambitious, it gets a bit too ponderous in a couple of places. But when there's even adequate speed applied, The Mist's formula results in some of the more impressive thrashers around. With lyrics painting images like in a dark dream, the term "gothic thrash metal" couldn't be more appropriate to describe the style of The Hangman Tree.

THE MIST - Ashes To Ashes, Dust To Dust
Brazil 1993

1. Cross Child 2. Escape To The Arms Of Lord 3. Disaster 4. Blind 5. Naked Lunch 6. Hate

After a couple of highly characteristic albums, Ashes To Ashes, Dust To Dust appeared to present a slightly different side of The Mist. With radically changed vocals and some mechanical intonations, the band's new sound notably deviated from their established style but not necessarily for the worse. Opening with the captivating Cross Child, the music is still quite stylish and even original in its own way. Although the cold and sometimes almost robotic vocals may draw some attention at first, they fit these songs more than well enough. The long and ponderous Disaster is quite a dragging piece, but all the others sound better than that. Especially the last two tracks Naked Lunch and Hate make up for earlier occasional slowdowns, both being enjoyable scorching thrashers. Regardless of stylistic changes, this release can be considered another fine addition to The Mist's discography.

THE NO-MADS - No Hush Till Thrash
Poland 2003

1. War 2. Lonely Prince 3. Yesterday 4. Pleasure To Drink 5. Jerry RIP 6. Mortal Gift 7. Devils's Sign 8. Pain 9. O.O. Narodu

Admittedly a self-released album may be subject to practical limitations, but the full-length debut of The No-Mads still seems even surprisingly undeveloped. It is not a critical fault that the sound quality of No Hush Till Thrash leaves something to be desired, but the uneven material is more problematic. War is a hard-hitting opener, after that the focus does not remain as strong anymore. A Beatles cover song Yesterday is simply a puzzling choice, and there are also a couple of tracks sung in German, Polish, and whatnot. The harsh female vocals immediately bring Holy Moses to mind, but that's about the only reasonable comparison that can be made - on this release the music of The No-Mads was merely a far cry from the output of their more famous German peers.

THE NO-MADS - Deranged
Poland 2006

1. The Day After 2. Violence Riddled 3. Thrash Alkoholisation 4. Insane 5. False Queens Of Metal (Extermination) 6. The Caprice 7. Mercyful Hate 8. Keine Eintracht 9. I Am Your God Part I 10. I Am Your God Part II 11. The Return

In comparison to its predecessor, Deranged sounds a lot more advanced though still not necessarily too polished. With a fitting heavy production quality, The Day After opens the album in a highly convincing manner although most of the other songs can appear pretty banal after this. For a Polish band, The No-Mads have a peculiar tendency to insert an odd track sung in German language, which happens a couple of times on this album as well. As a whole the music may appear rather unremarkable, but the result is not quite as rough on the edges as it can initially seem, especially when the band's first release No Hush Till Thrash is considered. For fans of a specific kind of edgy thrash metal, Deranged should be a fair experience at least.

THE NO-MADS - The Age Of Demise
Poland 2009

1. Reverend Terrorist 2. Unter Der Bar 3. The Age Of Demise 4. Children Of The Reich 5. Point Blank Fire 6. Nanoman 7. Last Lift Down 8. A Moment Of Sobriety 9. Vamos!

Although The No-Mads surely could have used some improvement already early on, The Age Of Demise shows signs of a promising development. This album is more consistent and intense than the band's previous works, and while it is mostly still nothing too special, the highlights stand out. Tracks like the opening piece Reverend Terrorist are effective brutal attacks in your face, but it's the title track that collects most of the honorary points this time. While the song at first seems to play like a typical prediction of the end of the world due to its natural course, something in this relentless pace coupled with some appealing guitar lines eventually catches the eye for good. When the rest is at least on a satisfactory level, The Age Of Demise successfully crosses the fine line that separates albums even slightly above the average from those that never quite reach the goal.

THE UNSANE - Inverted Crosses
USA 1988

1. The Godsend 2. Clouds Of Death 3. Quicksand 4. Inverted Crosses 5. Legions Of Violence 6. Necronomic Forces

Thrash metal probably cannot get much more underground than The Unsane's Inverted Crosses. At first this mini album may appear like the leftovers from some bigger band's weekend rehearhals, but what do you know, the more you listen to it the better it starts to sound. Despite a constant rushed feel, this band were able to get their point through in a short and concise format. The songs are fast and simple, with almost an equal length for each track, but their unvarnished presentation carries a specific appeal of its own and the riffs are really not half-bad. Maybe it is only a lucky thing that the whole recording is not longer than this, otherwise the limited nature of the music might take its toll. Against the initial expectations, the cover art is not the only thing worth a second look on this one.

THINK OF MISERY - Poverty Is No Disgrace
Germany 1989

1. Surgeon 2. Poverty Is No Disgrace 3. Deportation 4. Caesium 137 5. Deadly Hatred 6. Think Of Misery 7. Conversion By Violence 8. No Compassion

By the looks of this album only, it would make more sense to expect even folk songs rather than genuine German speed/thrash metal from a band called Think Of Misery. Therefore the true nature of Poverty Is No Disgrace may come across as a small surprise, and not such an unpleasant one at all. Without any knowledge about the band in advance, the first half of this recording sounds quite effective with its dark and warm sound, not to forget some fairly appealing songwriting that eventually contributes to a positive impression. The rest of it does sound more generic though, and as a whole the thing is not fully as captivating as the first moments of it. Poverty Is No Disgrace is still a surprisingly nice effort of such little known origins, way better than you could reasonably wish for.

THORNCLAD - Coronation Of The Wicked
Sweden 1999

1. Coronation Of The Wicked 2. Master The Flesh 3. The End Of Sanity 4. Burned Within 5. Divine Departure 6. Two Leads One 7. In Written For Thoughts 8. Wounded Sun 9. Suffocator's Speech

It is pretty rare that a thrash metal album can be called stylish, but Thornclad's Coronation Of The Wicked fits the description. With a lot of varying tempos, melancholic passages, and even some downright decorative guitar lines, this is far from the most straightforward releases around, but the collection of songs here is actually more coherent than one might initially expect. The band's sound is generally quite heavy, thriving and crunchy, and the raspy, strong vocals add a touch of credibility to the mix. With the possible exception of the directly hard-hitting Master The Flesh, the individual tracks are not immediately too memorable, but the consistent atmosphere of Thornclad's music is easily distinguishable. While it would be an exaggeration to consider Coronation Of The Wicked first-rate, it has some deep, persistent quality that essentially makes a huge difference in comparison to all those disposable throwaway releases that one can find in great numbers nowadays.

THRASH OR DIE - Poser Holocaust
USA 2011

1. Fatal Fury 2. No Posers Allowed 3. Zombie Assault 4. The Return Of The Thrash Lord 5. Terrorvision 6. Moshpit Messiah 7. Fistfucking Metal 8. Doppelganger 9. Ripped To Pieces 10. Wake Up And Smell The Thrash

It would be too easy to label Poser Holocaust as a ridiculous piece of work. But folks who like muppets just cannot be all bad. So let's just say that before you embrace this album in public, be sure to have a pretty high self-esteem. Because this one is almost a guaranteed way to get yourself associated with "teh dumbz" regardless of whether it is really deserved or not. Musically the recording is not that bad, and the band seem to recognize the camp aspect and don't take themselves too seriously either. Yet all the prominent factors are still enough to make this release truly a guilty pleasure. From a conservative point of view, Poser Holocaust may appear utterly and completely pointless. But as long as there are people who enjoy the thing, be it the band or their audience, some honest fun will do no harm to anyone.

THRASHFIRE - Thrash Burned The Hell
Turkey 2011

1. Thrash, Beer And Violence 2. World Domination 3. Thrash Burned The Hell 4. Backstreet Junkies 5. Hell Performance Hall 6. Dead Collector 7. Angels And Drunk Witches 8. Kill The Fake God 9. No Mercy No Pain 10. Death Is Near 11. Silent Torture 12. Revolt

Arguably Thrashfire's Thrash Burned The Hell can seem awfully silly at the first sight, not exactly an exemplary product of intelligent design. And if it weren't for albums like Poser Holocaust then this one would be a serious contender for the most non-subtle thrash metal release in ages. It's as if the whole thrash metal genre didn't originally present an intelligent as well as unpredictable alternative to the most stereotypical and banal "rock all night" fare of the 1980s. But if you look past some worn-out antics, it can be a surprising thing to notice that this band actually managed to deliver a thoroughly intense though admittedly also rather monotonous performance on all counts. Therefore this album is not necessarily a useless pick, just mainly of importance for serious collectors only.

THRASHGRINDER - Seeds Of Revolution
Finland 2010

1. Traffic In Town 2. N.O.I.S.E. 3. What Are You Afraid Of? 4. Invisible War 5. Self Respected 6. Seeds Of Revolution 7. No Surrender 8. Lies 9. Disorder In The Court 10. Failed Future 11. System 12. We Don't Get It (bonus) 13. Riot Brigade (bonus)

Thrashgrinder's first full-length album is a slight positive surprise. The sound of Seeds Of Revolution is sharp and very speedy, and the band's energetic style results in a vigorous output. Apart from a few short crossover moments that are not too distracting, the music is pure healthy thrashing in a good sense. In comparison to certain bands of the same kind, the songs seem more complete and less abrupt here. With some good vocalization adding to the convincing feel, it should not be too difficult to find this album suitable for an occasional listen at least. Seeds Of Revolution may not be remarkable enough to warrant an unreserved recommendation, but it surely can put a great number of duller releases to shame.

THRASHIST REGIME - Fearful Symmetry
United Kingdom 2012

1. Prison Break 2. Unisol 3. The Die Is Cast 4. Set In Stone 5. Culture Of Vanity 6. Hotel Blast Terror 7. Scavenger's Daughter 8. Apocalyptic Epidemic 9. Vermin 10. The Grave 11. The Last Hunt

In the 1980s there was Acid Reign - nowadays we have Thrashist Regime. And while the former arguably showed more imagination on their recordings, Fearful Symmetry is not too bad for a debut release, if a bit pointless. Technically the quality leaves little to be desired, but most of these compositions and riffs are not very distinctive which can make a lot of this album sound rather unexciting. Add a perceptible notion of following the same maneuvers that an awfully lot of other bands have utilized already, and the resulting impression is only average at best. This is not to say that Fearful Symmetry couldn't be a start for something greater to come, but at this stage the promise is not fully evident.

THRASHLESS - Awaiting Rebirth
Estonia 2012

1. Misantrophic Death Dealer 2. Beyond All Evil 3. Merciless Death 4. Watch It Burn 5. Sanity Deprived 6. Bulletbelt Thrash 7. Mirrored Reality 8. Reborn In Hell 9. Above All 10. Awaiting Rebirth

What a way to name a thrash metal band. But as Awaiting Rebirth proves, Thrashless is not really a worthless act. What you will find here is a collection of common but sufficiently effective thrash metal, sometimes reminiscent of a great number of other bands out there who've been implementing the same approach already much longer, and yet it remains fairly listenable, most of the time. The only notable drawbacks might include the annoying but fortunately very brief moments of distorted hardcore-ish vocals on a couple of tracks - plus the fact that this album is far from the most original sample of its kind. But if forceful and straightforward thrash metal is your thing then this is not exactly a bad choice.

THRAW - Decoding The Past
Slovenia 2013

1. Obscene Anatomist 2. Induced Adrenaline 3. Beats Of Aggression 4. Pandemic Reflection 5. Injecting Hate 6. Factual Perspective 7. Insanity Is Unquestionable 8. Thraw

As far as carefully crafted studio productions go, Decoding The Past is from the more listenable end of the spectrum, possibly due to Thraw's already lengthy experience in the field after multiple demo recordings. The album starts off sounding a tad generic and not very inspiring, with slight technical leanings, but pretty quickly the band manage to kick off something more interesting by simply stepping on the speed pedal for a good measure. Arguably the singer could have tried utilizing a bit more weighty tone, but on the other hand the current style grows on you in no time. Despite the lack of any readily apparent outstanding qualities, it is not an unpleasant experience to listen through this release even several times in a row, which is largely due to the balanced sound quality and the consistent fluent delivery of songs. After slow beginnings, Decoding The Past actually turned out a satisfying piece of work and something of a keeper.

THRESHOLD - Within The Expanse
France 1991

1. Decaying Ice 2. Co Walker 3. Heady Steams 4. Mother Country 5. The Faceless One 6. The Hanging Garden 7. Bruised Memories

Usually a band labeled as "progressive" thrash metal is a good reason to skip the whole thing for good, but Threshold were one of those few groups that actually delivered what they promised. Within The Expanse is something else than just an excuse for unlistenable jazz or a variation of power metal - an album of technical but real thrash metal. Threshold were apparently not afraid of preserving genre characteristics like speed and heaviness while simultaneously pursuing more ambitious and complex directions. Sometimes the style works fairly well, but in the end this album does not quite reach the goal, mostly due to its rather unfocused feel. The emotionless vocals also make the music appear somewhat cold and sterile at times, though this may have been just fully intentional in the first place. At least those who are interested in less simplistic productions out there might find the result worth a closer look.

THY GATE BEYOND - Enemy At The Gates
Italy 2013

1. 1942 2. Enemy At The Gates 3. The Blade In My Flesh 4. Back From Thy Gate Beyond 5. For Whom The Storms Evoke 6. My Brain Is Dead... Reactivate It's Too Late 7. Under Iron Skies 8. The Culprit Chaos 9. Horror Paradise 10. Parabellum (bonus)

With a fairly long history already behind the band, it is not unexpected that Thy Gate Beyond's Enemy At The Gates sounds professional. But while this release is sufficiently powerful, somehow the natural flow is lacking - all the songs are technically adequate but musically not too exciting. At times you cannot avoid comparisons to Artillery and the like, with a slightly forced general feel. The good thing is that no tracks are unnecessarily lengthy, everything is kept pretty short and compact which can make this album seem to pass surprisingly quickly. It may not really be one of the most compelling efforts, yet giving it a try won't take too much of your time anyway.

Germany 1991

1. Intro 2. Gotta Bad Taste 3. Katharsis 4. Backwoods 5. Gore-Shriek Of A Hunchback 6. Midnitemeattrain 7. Total Sellout 8. Outburst 9. Evil Dead 10. Headless

With a surprisingly good and heavy sound, Catharsis is not too bad an effort from Tishvaisings (or "The art of the legendary Tishvaisings" as the whole title goes, obviously with deliberate humorous intentions only). Not exactly a stereotypical release for the German scene, this album plays in a nice although not too innovative manner all through. With a lot of semi-memorable, almost playful riffing here and there, the music has a slight edge over some more average attempts of this kind - a couple of tracks like Backwoods are almost there to make it to the hall of honorable mentions. Except for the good production the album appears more like a clever exercise on the genre antics than a serious project, though. As a whole, Catharsis has just enough qualities to justify the effort to go and check it out.

TORMENT - Experience A New Dimension Of Fear...
Germany 1991

1. Intro 2. Acid Rain 3. Religious Insanity 4. Shop 'Til Ya Drop 5. Bestial Sex 6. Motorhead 7. Chainsaw Massacre 8. Drunken Torment 9. Cry For Justice 10. Slaves Of Technology 11. Das Neue 12. Crucifixion 13. Ballad Of Peter's Dog 14. State Of War 15. Liebe Freunde von Torment

Let it be said that although even lesser bands certainly deserve to have their voice heard, Torment's Experience A New Dimension Of Fear... can make most other thrash metal albums sound highly respectable in comparison. If you needed an extreme example of differences between American and German schools of thrash metal, this would be a good candidate. Torment's output is simply very rough, noisy, and often downright ugly with brutal vocals that get tiresome surprisingly quickly, and drums that are sometimes so monotonic that the band could have as well used a drum machine there. With their sickening sound these tracks can practically leave a bad taste in your mouth, even just a couple of them being already more than enough. If there ever was anything high-spirited about this album in the first place, nothing of it has remained over the years.

TORMENT - Tormentation
Germany 2005

1. Intro 2. New World Terror 3. Tormentation 4. Porn Casting 5. Laws Of The Street 6. In The Name 7. Traitor's Fate 8. Politically Incorrect (And Damn Proud Of It) 9. Shop 'Til Ya Drop 10. The Calling 11. Not Dead Yet 12. Woman 13. Tribute To Traci (T. T. T.) 14. State Of War 15. Please Don't Touch 16. Bestial Sex 17. Heavy Metal Hooligans

Considering the band's early releases, expectations for a modern-day Torment album were not necessarily high. Therefore it was quite a pleasant surprise to notice that Tormentation is actually a very listenable piece of easy-going thrash metal. New World Terror effectively introduces the band's renewed sound that is a lot more relaxed as well as vigorous than in the past, not to forget some more intelligible vocals. In addition to competent thrashing this album also includes a few songs that could be almost directly from Motorhead's catalog. These are in no way distracting, and they actually add a certain merry vibe to the whole thing - the amusing Porn Casting with its shamelessly raunchy lyrics being a good example. Although the massive length of this album is partially due to several re-recorded pieces and cover songs, you get a lot of value for your money. Not only that, but Tormentation can be a real feelgood experience, too.

TORMENT - Tormentizer
Germany 2009

1. Tormentizer 2. Let's Get Extreme 3. Nothing To Repent 4. Heavy Metal Whorehouse 5. I Hate The System 6. Wind Of Change 7. Stalker 8. Temptress Crystal Meth 9. We Are The Boys 10. Politics And Religion 11. The Ones You Love To Hate 12. A Tribute

In thrash metal a grim outlook is sometimes taken for granted, but in Torment's case this kind of thinking does not apply. At the first sight Tormentizer appears to follow faithfully in the footsteps of Tormentation, one of the better albums in its class, but a closer look reveals that the band's sound has evolved further into a more laidback direction. With some increasingly Motorhead-ish tones audible in many songs, the music admittedly could have used a bit more energy at times, but then again it's the most joyful pieces that seem to make the most memorable moments here. For example, Heavy Metal Whorehouse fully brings the politically incorrect Porn Casting from the previous album to mind, demonstrating a thoroughly happy mood that is a total opposite of the typical pop-a-vein-in-your-forehead kind of grave approach. Tormentation is still Torment's best release to date, but Tormentizer should be enough to satisfy at least some of a similar appetite.

Germany 2010

1. Dawn Of War 2. Pleasure And Violence 3. Fuel Of Hate 4. Black Gold Ecstasy 5. Silent Death 6. Thrash Attack 7. M.A.D. 8. Scorched Earth 9. B.G.W. 10. Nuclear Winter 11. Dark Reckoning

It can be discouraging to grab an album like Torment Tool's Dawn Of War when you can predict with great certainty that the product is going to be more or less devoid of any unique characteristics. There is no doubt that this is a serious effort with proficient playing and competent thrashing, and the band appear fully committed to their cause. Although real highlights are few and far between, the most relentless tracks like Silent Death are worth a note. It's just that the sound of Dawn Of War on the whole is somewhat dry and not too appealing despite its very adequate formal and technical aspects. Also, one can only hope that contemporary bands would stop emphasizing their "thrash" attitude with pieces like Thrash Attack that add little value. Probably an average listener is intelligent enough to be able to evaluate a band's style and level of dedication without such banal hints anyway.

TORMENT TOOL - Under Friendly Attack
Germany 2012

1. 'till Death 2. Elitary Reproach 3. Behind The Mask 4. Redeemer 5. Partycrushers 6. Under Friedly Attack 7. Like Cattle 8. Pieces Of Perversion 9. Morbid Tranquility 10. Fallen Wolf's Revenge

It's not due to any specific detail that Under Friendly Attack sounds more attractive than its predecessor. Whereas Torment Tool's debut came across as a little bit tedious, the band's sophomore release is a better produced piece of work that appears both confident and credible. Songwriting is more interesting than previously, and every so often these tracks are actually able to catch and hold your attention with well crafted riffs and passages. Even the longest songs like Redeemer that runs past seven minutes manage to have enough of variety while keeping their focus. The outcome is by no means exceptional or original for thrash metal, but it is properly balanced and very listenable, making Under Friendly Attack an album that's well worth a recommendation.

TORMENTER - Pulse Of Terror
USA 2010

1. Gallery Of Reality 2. Absolution 3. No Anesthesia 4. Pulse Of Terror 5. Hunger For Violence 6. Messiah On Trial 7. Inhumanity Personified 8. A Season In The Plague 9. Severe Enforcement 10. Assault From Beyond The Grave 11. Dismantle The World 12. Pantheon Of Lunacy

A major part of the original thrash metal scene was largely made of albums that didn't always appear too special, memorable or innovative, but nevertheless contributed to the characteristic sound of the genre by small but important steps. Tormenter's Pulse Of Terror can be viewed as a modern-day counterpart of those releases. This album is actually very nicely recorded in the sense that it can create an awfully nostalgic effect despite not being an authentic 1980s release. Without better knowledge, it would be easy to mistake it for a lot older recording if it wasn't for the sound quality that is quite clear and pleasant, far from the worst of modern productions today. The songwriting does not draw attention in either good or bad, and the execution is on a satisfactory level. Include its notable length, and Pulse Of Terror can be deemed to give sufficient value for the money.

TORMENTOR - Violent World
Germany 2012

1. Intro 2. Black Area 3. Call For Sanity 4. The Hidden Beholder 5. Speaks Your Testament 6. Annihilation Of Life 7. Suicide Commander 8. Feed With Aggression 9. Violent World 10. Tormentor

The unpleasant part about being into thrash metal is that sometimes you are forced to encounter albums like Tormentor's Violent World that honestly don't do that much even after repeated listening. Despite some obvious Kreator influences and generally a fast-paced execution, the result is occasionally surprisingly pedestrian, even more so when you consider that contemporary acts like Toxic Trace have already been able to re-interpret the legacy a lot more effectively than this. Of course, Violent World can be just seen as Tormentor's first take on the subject and therefore it's not unusual to leave room for development. But as far as potential listeners' attention goes, this is probably not among the most urgent releases to pick up.

TORNADO - Amsterdamn, Hellsinki
Netherlands 2011

1. A Bold Statement 2. Hate Worldwide 3. 3 Of 8 4. Massive Extinction Impact 5. Eugenics 6. Ignorance Is Thy Name 7. Noora 8. Blue 9. Priesthood Pedophilia 10. Diva 11. Tunisia Uprising 12. Rise Disciples, Rise

The first few minutes of Amsterdamn, Hellsinki can be both intriguing and disconcerting at the same time. Somehow the mid-tempo choppiness of Hate Worldwide leaves more questions than answers about the direction. But after only a couple of short tracks into it, Tornado's first release really takes off. In spite of something of a deceiving start-up, the album as a whole does not lack speed. Neither is there any shortage of crunchy riffage that can be found in plentiful amounts. While the band's approach is a tad more diverse than the norm - just witness the short and delicate Noora - this is mostly and firmly a full-fledged thrash metal album and not half-bad at all. Even though the result cannot be called unconditionally striking at this stage, it surely sounds slightly more interesting than an average release in the scene.

TORTURE - Storm Alert
USA 1989

1. Ignominous Slaughter 2. Blood Portraits 3. Slay Ride 4. Terror Kingdom 5. Storm Alert 6. Enter The Chamber 7. Whips 8. Deceiver

The classy and melodramatic intro to this album feels initially quite misleading, as Torture's Storm Alert is basically a piece of the rawest thrash metal around. Despite the apparent roughness of music, the band incorporate a lot of nice touches in it, which makes the tracks more interesting than one might expect. Torture's sound is immediately familiar to anyone who has listened to Coven, as the bands are quite similar to each other as far as the extreme vocals and the general style are considered. As it's the case with Coven, it is sometimes a bit difficult to listen to Torture with a straight face even though the band don't take their delivery as deliberately over the top. Regardless of the slightly simple grounds that this music is based on, Torture manage to present some surprisingly effective thrash metal on Storm Alert, making it quite a nice representation of their style.

Switzerland 2010

1. Big Fat Lying Bastards 2. 84 3. Social Distortion 4. Monster 5. Atomic Suicide 6. Circle Mosh 7. Terror 8. Thrash Metal Und Dosenbier

The particular approach to thrash metal that Total Annihilation's 84 demonstrates is far from unconventional, but the heavy steamroller-like delivery gains the band some extra credit against most expectations. While the followed route is most of the time quite linear and narrow, the overall pace remains steady and rather consistent which adequately supports the form of powerful and direct thrashing that this release contains from start to finish. It is surely not an album for repeated or frequent listening, a lot of the content can be a bit too unvaried and burdensome for that, but at least the initial glance of the band's intentions is reasonably convincing.

TOXIC SHOCK - Change From Reality
Germany 1988

1. Breakout 2. Burning Down Your Life 3. Forbidden Lust 4. Mad Sounds 5. State Of Madness 6. Overloaded 7. Raging Speed 8. Left To Die 9. United Forces

From another less known group of German thrashers, Toxic Shock's debut Change From Reality sounds pretty typical in every sense. While the material is not exactly too distinctive, the feel of this album is somehow more uplifting and energetic than the norm, which makes it slightly more tempting to grab it for playing every now and then. The vocals sound a bit awkward at first with their heavy accent, but you soon forget to worry about it. The lengthy tracks are full of sufficiently hard-hitting thrashing although it's a bit hard to remember too much of the individual songs afterwards. Without any real faults the result is fairly consistent and enjoyable, and as long as you don't expect anything exceptional, Change From Reality should do quite fine.

TOXIC SHOCK - Welcome Home... Near Dark
Germany 1990

1. Intro 2. Behind The Guillotine 3. Change From Reality 4. Dragon's Eye (The Story Part I) 5. World Power Rules 6. True Insanity 7. One End 8. Welcome Home... Near Dark (The Story Part II) 9. Termination 10. The Challenge

With Welcome Home... Near Dark Toxic Shock adopted a notably duller sound than on their debut. The first thing you will notice is the production that is rougher and less clear than before. In addition, the vocals are now more harsh but also a bit less distinctive. Although the musical style has mostly remained the same, together with the mentioned changes the sound of this album on the whole is not as fresh and energetic as that of Change From Reality. Now the output is often downright tedious and flat, something that doesn't exactly make this album a longtime favorite. While the band's sound in the beginning was only slightly above the average, it was highly listenable when compared to this second effort.

Serbia 2011

1. Haunted 2. Witch From Hell 3. Slaughter 4. Religion Is Slavery 5. Tormentor 6. Butchered 7. Against The Cross 8. The Antichrist 9. Flag Of Hate

A lovely looking album we have here, or maybe not - your mileage may indeed vary. As the band's name suggests, the sound of Torment owes a lot to the original style of Kreator in the 1980s, complete with a cover version of Flag Of Hate. More often than not, these tracks advance at speed that goes seriously over the safe limits, and the most frantic moments can appear like they were recorded while falling from a half-mile tall skyscraper. Maybe it is a sign of modern times that despite all these seemingly chaotic characteristics, the delivery remains accurate and perfectly in control. As such, this album turns out better than expected. In the crowded contemporary scene it is important to avoid boredom at any cost, and that's where Torment succeeds by a safe margin.

TOXIK - World Circus
USA 1988

1. Heart Attack 2. Social Overload 3. Pain And Misery 4. Voices 5. Door To Hell 6. World Circus 7. 47 Seconds Of Sanity / Count Your Blessings 8. False Prophets 9. Haunted Earth 10. Victims

Toxik's brand of speed/thrash metal was so much a child of its time that today World Circus sounds so 1980s you wouldn't believe. The band's original style was pretty close to Agent Steel, especially considering the melodic but fairly high-speed songs, and vocals that are extremely high-pitched in the John Cyriis vein though not quite as sarcastic. To add to the distinctive Toxik sound on this album, Josh Christian's guitar playing is quite original and inspirational, at times even flashy though in a good, nostalgic way. Although the thrash metal factor varies quite a bit from track to track, the fastest pieces like the opening Heart Attack and the closing triplet of tight thrashers should not leave anyone cold - not to forget the awesome title track that gives a whole new meaning to dramatic songwriting. With blatantly catchy riffs spread all over this album, it's not that hard to see the appeal. If Agent Steel rings the bell for you and you don't mind absolute air siren vocals, then World Circus is a sure hit.

TOXIN - Aphorisms
Germany 1989

1. Dismembered Illusions 2. Aphorisms 3. The Prophecy 4. Land Of Despaire 5. Lord Of The Flies 6. Daily Inferno

With practically no information about Toxin in advance, expectations for this German band were originally nil. Therefore it has been surprising to find that their releases are among the better ones in the scene. The band's debut release Aphorisms is a notably powerful mini album with simply a very intense sound, combining vigorous vocals and pumped-up riffage that hardly leave anyone cold. The feel of this album is essentially more original and interesting than what many other minor league bands of the time were able to provide, and only occasionally the music seems to lose its direction for a while. With a surprisingly refined sound already at this early stage of the band, Aphorisms is no doubt worth some serious attention.

TOXIN - Misantrophy
Germany 1991

1. Two Sided Existence 2. Misantrophy 3. Retrospective 4. Disintegration 5. Destructive Ways 6. Lust For Life 7. Two Wishes 8. Wings Of Death 9. X.T.C.

Following Toxin's strong debut release, Misantrophy has a distinctive style of its own. The content of this album is a bit more intriguing and less straightforward than on Aphorisms, with continued emphasis on genuinely original riffs and interesting songwriting. Featuring some slightly increased technical touches, the feel of this release is somehow reminiscent of Mystrez even though Toxin's sound is still more energetic and not as complex, resulting in a better impression. Although there are two different vocalists in the band, the output remains fairly consistent and equally powerful. Pursuing a lot more ambitious directions than most other bands, Toxin produced music that has stood against time, making Misantrophy a strong contender in the field.

TOXIN - Cloned
Germany 1995

1. Deface 2. The 7th Journey 3. Alternate Reality 4. Cloned

For such a late release in the timeline of the original thrash metal scene, Toxin's Cloned is a mini album that could bring a tear to an old fan's eye (figuratively speaking, of course). Despite the title, there is nothing derivative or dull about this release. The opening piece Deface feels like you are being repeatedly hit in the head with a baseball bat, as the song is totally in your face with its even surprisingly heavy and aggressive sound. The first couple of tracks together are notably direct and powerful attacks, but Alternate Reality then shows that the band had not abandoned all variety. On average, these songs effortlessly put most modern-day recordings to shame as far as sheer creative spirit and spontaneous energy are considered. One technical detail alone reveals the time period when Cloned was made, and also the reason why not all production development since then has been favorable - when the album starts playing, you can safely turn the volume up, not the other way.

TRAITOR - Thrash Command
Germany 2012

1. Thrash Command 2. Brutal Exorcism 3. Merciless Hate 4. Death Division 5. Virtual Tormentor 6. Spiritual Warfare 7. Traitor 8. Raising Hell 9. Temples Of Doom 10. F.U.A.D. 11. Thrash Kommando

Thrash Command got everything that is necessary to make you either love it or hate it right at the first sight - a wretched band logo, a goofy title, and cheesy artwork. This kind of presentation felt awfully cheap already in the 1980s, even more so nowadays. And yet it may come as a small surprise against all these superficial signs that this release actually sounds better than it looks, at least for a couple of songs before the music starts to repeat itself. Traitor's output is by no means weak, and on some other day an album of this kind could pass close inspection withour major remarks. It's just that despite the level of energy, the delivery remains ultimately rather pointless. Which is enough to suggest that Thrash Command is probably yet another item that is going to be more collectable than listenable.

TRANSMETAL - Burial At Sea
Mexico 1992

1. Wishing A Funeral 2. The Call Of Death 3. Atrocious Obscurity 4. Profaner 5. Fear Of The Cross 6. The Road To The Graveyard 7. Exhumated 8. Tormented Brain 9. Burial At Sea

Being the leading thrash metal band in Mexico, Transmetal demonstrated strong compliance to the characteristic style of the thrash movement in their continent. The sound of Burial At Sea is rather muffled and raw though also quite strong in a certain primitive way, which somehow fits the music pretty well. The vocalist has such a heavy accent that without the lyrics sheet you might not be able to tell whether he is singing in English or Spanish. Like said, musically this album has an inimitable touch of Latin American metal though Transmetal's style is not quite as appealing as some of the better offerings from the local scene. While Wishing A Funeral and The Call Of Death even in all their roughness have some memorable moments, many other tracks tend to sound more uninspiring despite their energy. As a result, Burial At Sea is not a terrible effort but often it just drags a bit too much.

TRIZNA - Out Of Step
Russia 1995

1. Flash In A.S.S. 2. I'll Never Be Your Slave 3. France 4. Fear Of Life 5. Big White Horse / Cowboy 6. You Must Die 7. Unruly 8. S.O.S. 9. Merry X-Mas

Trizna's debut album has some genuine curiosity value. Out Of Step starts off with a speedy intro, and I'll Never Be Your Slave is a satisfying thrasher, one of the most balanced pieces on this album. The instruments sound mostly fine although the production is a bit hollow. It's some other aspects that make a slightly clumsy albeit also ambitious impression at times. In addition to some short experimental bits here and there, the list of songs includes a pompous power metal/rock piece, one humorous Christmas track in a true thrash metal vein - and a seemingly serious ABBA cover song, something that borders on ridiculous. Make no mistake, there is some pretty adequate and fast material on this release, but the quality is way too uneven. At least you can be sure that Out Of Step is guaranteed to sound more varied than the norm in this genre.

TURBO - Last Warrior
Poland 1988

1. The Last Warrior 2. Berud's Sword 3. The Trojan Horse 4. Seance With Vampire 5. Tempest's Son 6. Goddess Of Confusion 7. Angel From Hell

A legendary band from Poland, Turbo played more traditional metal during their first years but then evolved into a fine thrash metal band. Last Warrior is a full-blooded speed/thrash metal album with a surprisingly fresh sound. The latter feature is largely due to the riffs that are fast and heavy but also have some notably melodic touches. On the other hand, the vocals are quite harsh, almost overdone at times, and they can be a certain put-off to some. But the music is simply pretty good, especially the lengthy instrumental sections in some songs (Berud's Sword, The Trojan Horse) are very well done even though a couple of other tracks sound slightly clumsy in comparison. One cannot help but think that with a bit better vocals this album could have made an essentially stronger impact in the first place. Even with some limitations, Turbo's sound has some real style and it is easily distinguishable from a standard pack, something that alone deserves an honorable mention.

TURBO - Epidemic
Poland 1989

1. Salvator Mundi 2. AIDS 3. Ocean Of Tears 4. Loop Of Time 5. Crazy World 6. Anty N.R. Eve 7. Pleasure And Pain 8. Den Of Sorrow 9. 13.12.88

With Epidemic Turbo's sound became more refined, to some extent even classy. Especially the vocals are less rough than on the previous album and the production is somewhat cleaner than before, a factor that actually makes the band sound slightly less energetic. Whereas the lyrics on Last Warrior focused on fantasy topics, the general theme of Epidemic revolves around diseases and entropy of society and human body. Although the outcome is pretty stylish, the songs are not quite as distinctive anymore. Salvator Mundi is an impressive opener and Den Of Sorrow a good ending, but the rest is more average with only occasional highlights. It must be admitted that Epidemic has a genuine touch of class, but the result is just not as memorable as Last Warrior.

TURBO - Dead End
Poland 1990

1. Introduction 2. Everyone 3. Barbaric Justice 4. Blind Alley 5. Annihilate 6. Enola Gay 7. Evolution 8. The Raven 9. Dead End 10. Mortuary 11. Prophetic Sound

With a new vocalist and a lot heavier sound, Dead End was probably the heaviest Turbo album up to this point. Gone is the refined sound of Epidemic, this album is notably less melodic than the past efforts. Although the music is not as characteristic as on Turbo's older releases, it is not necessarily worse assuming that one can appreciate also this kind of more straightforward pounding. While this album lacks definite stand-out tracks and does not actually differ too much from the norm anymore, it's not completely without some inspired touches. Even with some slightly more stereotypical presentation, Dead End is a fairly well done piece of heavy thrash metal, just in a slightly different vein than the older Turbo albums.

TURBO - One Way
Poland 1992

1. Introduction 2. End User 3. Regression 4. Mental Alienation 5. Blasphemy 6. Refuse To Live 7. One Way 8. Scum 9. Disaster Area

Ending Turbo's classic run of albums, One Way is sound-wise not too far from Dead End. This may appear to be the most ordinary release of the bunch, and it is true that at this point of development Turbo had ended up sounding like a typical thrash metal band in every sense. There is little in the way of original ideas here, and the outcome does not draw you into it nearly in the same way as some of the band's best works. It is still a product of solid workmanship, and with such heavy riffs as found here this album is not really bad, just clearly more derivative and less distinguishable than any of its predecessors. As a complement to Turbo's discography this is nevertheless an essential piece, but not the one that you should start with in the first place.

TYNATOR - Living In Pain
USA 1989

1. Seed Of Descent 2. Unforgiven 3. No Life 4. Tinnitus 5. What Am I Doing Here 6. Dead Strike 7. Final Attack

Tynator's Living In Pain is again one of those releases that tend to leave you pretty indifferent regardless of how much time you put into it. It's a slight pity that musically this album fails to distinguish itself from the mass as technically it is not a bad effort at all. The riffs are smooth but quite unmemorable, and it's hard to say anything special about the music as it mostly just goes through your head without a trace. The vocals are surprisingly intelligible and the band's dark sound is sort of appealing, but other than that there's not really much to catch your attention. It's just fairly well done and all, but unfortunately there's no real reason to grab this one for listening very often.

TYPHOON - Take Good Care
Austria 1994

1. Visions 2. Time Waits Hungry 3. All Our Wars 4. Wait For Disaster 5. Evil Divine 6. Fearful People 7. Try Again 8. The Message

Coming seemingly out of nowhere, Typhoon could have made something of an impact if Take Good Care had been released a few years earlier. The band's style can be called technical speed/thrash metal, with vocals that sometimes appear even a bit too pretentious for the style. The music is generally fast except a couple of slower pieces, and most tracks are sufficiently varied, too. However, despite ambitious compositions this album essentially fails to deliver whole memorable songs. Somehow Typhoon's music manages to pass your ears as rather superficial and unimportant, more often than not, and the foremost feeling after hearing this album can be a slight disappointment. Take Good Care is admittedly an advanced piece of work, but that alone does not guarantee a good impression.

TYRANEX - Extermination Has Begun
Sweden 2011

1. The Weak Strikes Back 2. The Curse 3. As The Cross Crumbles 4. Dreamland 5. None So Cruel 6. Tormentor 7. Awakening The Dead 8. Road To Damnation 9. Extemination Has Begun

Extermination Has Begun shows that Tyranex definitely have a soft spot for the old metal scene. The debut album of this female fronted band delivers speed/thrash metal in a strong 1980s vein though naturally with a lot more modern production values. Maybe the general pace could have been higher, but then again it is obvious that more emphasis was put on actual songwriting than plain speed. As a result, it seems almost possible to distinguish between these tracks with little effort. Admittedly the vocals might have benefited from a bit more convincing and mature approach although they surely stick out even in their current form. While the presentation can border on cheesy at times, this is nowhere near the worst recent efforts in the field.