To Thrash or to be lame...

I've spent the last several days reliving my youth by listening to so much thrash you wouldn't believe. It was sparked by a conversation with friends regarding Lars Ulrich's drumming. So in celebration of my revitalized love for thrash, I'm going to recommend some thrash albums you may not have ever heard of:

1) Flotsam & Jetsam - No Place for Disgrace (1988)

Mostly known as Jason Newsted's original band, Flotsam has continued on through 2001. No Place for Disgrace is a strong guitar driven album with your typical range of thrash lyrics for the time, politics, death, fantasy, anti PMRC messages. There are some low points on the album, but the high points more than make up for them. Being outsiders of the Bay Area (they are from Arizona) did not help them. They did get short rotation on Mtv with their song "Wading Through the Darkness" off of 1992's Cuatro, having stepped back from thrash, with stronger songwriting, and a more polished, pop sounding recording. But the day of Metal was at an end and wouldn't return until midway into the 2000s.

2) Forbidden - Twisted into Form (1990)

Fast, dark, brutal. One of the members of the Bay Area's second wave of thrash and peers with Testament. Plagued with poor management and lack of exposure from flailing label, combat, they never got the credit or popularity they deserved. With dark proto-deathmetal riffs, and talented musicians, this album is definitely worth the listen. Also Paul Bostaph's (drummer: Slayer '94-'01, Exodus '05, Testament '93 & '08) first band.

3)Anacrusis - Manic Impressions (1990)

Cutting Edge, talented, creative. They bordered on progressive with off times, cutting guitars, intelligent lyrics. Unafraid to take chances, at the end of the day Metalblade did absolutely nothing to help the band get the notice they deserved. I've read that some people think this lack of exposure is criminal. Their legacy is ultimately ironic because their last album (Screams & Whispers - 1991) could have survived the downfall of thrash if anyone had listened to it, due to it's popular sensibilities and they fact that they stepped back from thrash and became more accessible. Obvious carriers of Voivods torch.

4) Forced Entry - As Above, So Below (1991)

Exceedingly Technical, interesting, sometimes juvenile, this is a solid Thrash album from the Heyday of Thrash! However, having virtually no thrash scene in Seattle did little to help propel these guys. Some regular rotation on Headbangers ball didn't do it either. Ironically it was the brewing label sponsored punk revival/grundge wave that would ultimately put these citymates, and most of the other thrash bands, down for the count just a couple of years later. This album stands up with sharp recording, interesting time signatures, and brutality.

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