Various Artists
Thrashing Like a Maniac

It’s no surprise that Earache took the liberty of releasing a compilation of strictly new school thrash ‘revivalists’, as their roster boasts more of these bands (Bonded by Blood, Evile, Municipal Waste, SSS, Gama Bomb, and Violator all appear here) than any other major metal label. Thrashing Like a Maniac, just as any good comp should, does a good job of exposing and promoting some of the best young bands the genre has to offer.16 tracks of pure mid/late 80’s styled thrash of varying influences make up the album, most of which I was already familiar with, but I was introduced to a couple more bands as well. The female fronted Decadence hailing from Stockholm being one such band, and a damn good one at that. Their contribution to the album, “Corrosion” is just that – a corrosive and volatile thrash assault that stands up easily next to any of the bands (Municipal Waste, Merciless Death, Fueled by Fire, Evile) on this compilation that have thus far been soaking up the bulk of attention in the movement. Deadfall, Lazarus, Mutant and Send More Paramedics are the others that I had not previously been exposed to, and while they have some solid material on show here, it’s easy to see why they’ve been overshadowed by the ‘big boys’ – their songs just aren’t as strong as the others and don’t leave as much of an impact. With Lazarus and Mutant, it’s almost comparable to taking the second/third wave of Bay Area thrash bands and holding them up next to the first – it’s good, but not as good. With Send More Paramedics, it’s just more of a personal tastes thing, as I’m very selective with the crossover I enjoy and get into, and they just don’t do it for me. Also, the vocals nearly sound like Kreator’s Mille Petrozza attempting a punk delivery, which ends up being kinda irritating. Deadfall on the other hand, was fairly enjoyable for me, somewhat reminiscent of The American Way-era Sacred Reich, which I’m a big fan of with it’s slightly more groove laden, mid-paced approach.

The biggest chunk of remaining bands here (Evile, Fueled by Fire, Warbringer [all three of which I’ve previously done full album reviews of for this site], Bonded by Blood, Dekapitator, Gama Bomb, Merciless Death) sound firmly rooted in Bay Area 1985, bringing to mind the likes of Exodus, Metallica, Testament and early Slayer with their speedy and lacerating approach, and all represent the sound well. Gama Bomb I think would be more of an acquired taste, as their approach to vocals is so terribly bad it’s awesome – kind of a quick, almost spoken word thing with several horribly off-pitch highs – clearly not for everyone, but I sometimes like that kind of goofiness. Then there’s of course Municipal Waste, widely regarded as the source of this thrash ‘revival’, and their D.R.I influenced brand of crossover. They more than appease my selectiveness that I spoke of, as they execute the style perfectly on “The Art of Partying”. Brazilian thrashers Violator stick a little closer to the more aggressive German style of Kreator, Sodom and Destruction, but also, no surprise here, sport a healthy early Sepultura influence on “Atomic Nightmare”. Toxic Holocaust’s “War is Hell” is a bit of a mish-mash of the Bay Area and German sounds, topped off by a decidedly more black metal style vocal, which makes them comparable to the likes of Skeletonwitch (who really should have been on this comp as well) without the melody.

My only gripe would be that two of my faves from the movement, Skeletonwitch and Hyades (who both made an appearance in my top 10 albums last year), were not included. Other than that, this is an excellent compilation of the best young thrash bands out there. If you’re a fan of thrash or interested/intrigued by this new wave of thrash bands you really can’t go wrong dishing out your cash on Thrashing Like a Maniac, as it would serve as a great starting point for exploring the movement.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Larry "Staylow" Owens
May 12th, 2008

Comments

  1. Commented by: swampthang

    prolly one of the greatest comps ever. its my gta4 music


  2. Commented by: Staylow

    Are you playing on the 360? If so, do you have that album on the 360? How do you get music on it to play while playing GTA4? I’ve been playing it too, and can’t figure it out – the music on there is so lame…


  3. Commented by: swampthang

    put the cd in yur box rip it to the console, then during game hit the home button aka middle button with xbox symbol on it scroll down to bottom where it says select music and then select tunes hit home and yur set


  4. Commented by: swampthang

    easy peezy lemon squeezy


  5. Commented by: Staylow

    Cool – thanks man.


  6. Commented by: swampthang

    no problemo homie


  7. Commented by: Erik Thomas

    Larry-you play? whats your gamer tag?

    mines Lustmord56


  8. Commented by: Staylow

    Not online – yet. Rachel and I are moving into a new place at the end of the month, so I might then.


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