I don’t know a single person who likes thrash metal that doesn’t romanticize the “old school days”. The time of big hair, white high tops, and getting hammered on shitty beer. Surprisingly, they found the time to make music back then. Thirty-somethings like myself were just babies back then, it was our parents that took part in those moments. Jealous we may be, but with the gift of the internet we have access to the precious music that came out of that era. And while “Bonded By Blood”, “Ride The Lightning”, “Coma of Souls”, and “Spreading the Disease” are fantastic works of thrash metal mayhem, this group of lads is here primarily to show you the underground gems, the hidden secrets of thrash metal’s golden age. So I present to you, 10 of the best old school underground albums (in no particular order)
- Target – “Mission Executed” Aarrg Records – 1987 I’m going to start with my favorite album on this list. Belgian thrashers Target and their first full-length record “Mission Executed” are a speed metal slaughter of the ears. Almost every song in this 35 minute masterpiece is an anthemic neck breaker. This album was actually produced on Mekong Delta frontman Ralph Hubert’s label. The band went on to release one more album (another good one called “Master Project Genesis”) before splitting up. Click here to listen
- Desultory – “Into Eternity” Metal Blade Records – 1993 The biggest act on the list can go next. This Death/Thrash album by Swedish thrashers Desultory was so good it got picked up by Metal Blade Records. They had nowhere to go but up, then Stefan Pöge left the band in 1995, leading to the disastrous “Swallow The Snake” in 1996. Band was never heard from until 2010 and has another album coming out in June of 2017 entitled “Through Aching Aeons”. Click here to listen
- Acridity – “For Freedom I Cry” Prophecy Records – 1991 Many of these underground gems are the product of a band splitting up before getting noticed. Definitely the case with these American thrashers from Texas. This was their first and only full-length album. There was definitely something there, on songs like “Lethal Idol” you hear the early Metallica type heavily melodic solos, and it wasn’t the fastest type of band similarly. Just good old fashioned heavy riffage. Click here to listen
- Infected – “Dark Century” Far Out Records – 1989 Another case of a band’s sole release. Swiss Death/Thrash band Infected put out this combative effort and then called it quits shortly after. If you can put up with rough quality and like sharp, cutting riffs with deep death metal vox over it, this one is for you. Click here to listen
- Antidote – “Total” Shark Records – 1994Ok so you’ve seen the album cover, PLEASE don’t run away. I’ll even be honest and admit that the first track “Cold” isn’t much good. This Finnish progressive thrash metal album will probably not be quite a few people’s cup of tea. I think progressive doesn’t been to describe the type of thrash this is. But if you like prog and want to know what the missing link is between Pink Floyd and Vektor, here you go. Only 2 songs shorter than 5 minutes and they’re 4:47 and 4:50. So get your bongs out, flip on the blacklight, and enjoy the ride. Click here to listen
- Morbid – “December Moon” Self-Released – 1987(Original Demo Cover 1987)(2000 Re-Issue cover – Reaper Records) This album is the shortest (being a Demo) and packs the most star power. This album features Mayhem vocalist Dead (R.I.P.), Entombed Guitarist Napoleon Pukes and Entombed A.D. drummer Drutten. The who’s who of Swedish metal made this black/thrash masterpiece. It’s only four songs, but it’s four absolute ragers. Dead’s ghastly vocals bring this work to a level unknown to the thrash gods. This is a must have for any thrasher that likes any kind of old school European metal. Click here to listen
- Asphyxia – “Exit: Reality” Rumble Records – 1991For those that haven’t been following THRASHMANIA\m/ for that long, I fucking love Belgian thrash metal. It’s no surprise to me at all that my two favorite albums on this list are from Belgium. If you’re looking for the album that sounds the most like a traditional thrash metal album, this is your pick right here. Asphyxia are phenomonal at churning out anthemic songs with hyper catchy riffs. Click here to listen
- Overthrow – “Within Suffering” Epidemic Records – 1990 These Canadian thrashers took no prisoners with this brutal offering. Very Demolition Hammer or Morbid Saint sounding brutal thrash type of record. Unfortunately, like many others on this list, they disappeared shortly after this release. Click here to listen
- Sacrilege – “Within The Prophecy” Under One Flag Records – 1987These British thrashers started out as a UK Crust Punk band in the mid 80s and then ended up as a Doom Metal band in the late 80s. But in between those two moments there was 1987 where Sacrilege unleashed this epic album upon us. You can see how this band turns into a Doom band, the riffs on this album are an impenetrable dark stream, its like listening to lava flow. Click here to listen
- Silent Scream – “From the Darkest Depths of the Imagination” Tombstone Records – 1992Yes, the album cover looks like a clown threw up on it. But this California Death/Thrash record checks all the boxes when it comes to harmoniously combining California Thrash Metal with Florida Death Metal. Intense and unrelenting, this record is perfect for the Obituary fan looking for underground thrash/death. Click here to listen
So there you have it. Hopefully I’ve given you a couple good records to add to your collection.
One reply on “10 Old School Underground Albums Everyone Needs To Hear”
Wow, blows me away. I´m always searching for new old stuff, this is amazing. Underground AND of high Quality!
Thank you for sharing your knowledge 😉