Friday, April 25, 2008

Thrash Metal Demo Attack

Perhaps one of the first signs of old age manifests when you realize that genres of music that you grew up with are all of a sudden being reclaimed and recycled. I look at the recent rise of bands like Skeleton Witch, Merciless Death, Toxic Holocaust, and Bonded by Blood and suddenly feel my body ache from the punishment it absorbed as I moshed and waltzed my way through the 80s. And then I find myself asking this:

Really? Thrash is back?

I find it somewhat disconcerting that the groundbreaking labels of the 80s (Earache, Metal Blade, Century Media, etc.) are spending their time rehashing past glories by signing new thrash bands. So much for pushing the envelope into new territory, eh? Makes me appreciate the black metal scene in a whole new way. Don't get me wrong; I have deep affection for thrash metal's galloping riffage and spastic intensity, but there's a reason that thrash crashed and faded in the early 90's. Frankly, it was getting tired and stale. You've got to admit that the style is rather limited. It's no wonder that death metal took over so easily.

When these bands started popping up a few years back, it seemed to be in the name of paying homage to past masters. But now what are we to make of all of this? There seems to be flipped-brim flannel shirt-wearing crew of moshers around every corner. I will concede that the newbies are good, but I question whether or not they're really adding something that wasn't there before or is needed now. After all, thanks to social networking and file sharing, there is still an abundance of classic-era thrash available for our listening enjoyment and consumption, from the signed and unsigned alike.

Well, at least all of this has gotten Ed Repka back into the cover art scene.

Anyways, I'm posting a couple of demos from the great yesteryear- one by Sacrilege BC and the other from Tyrranicide. Both of these bands are often left out of conversations about Bay Area thrash and undeservedly so. Perhaps it was because of their more overt political leanings and punk roots. They certainly did not lack the chops. I think bands like this serve as evidence that we don't need a resurgence in thrash. We still have a rich history from which we can still learn.

If you end up digging these, then I encourage you to seek out more bands from this era before delving into today's pool of offerings. I think you'll find yourself pleasantly surprised. And if you are already well-schooled in the history of thrash's golden era, feel free to leave recommendations in the comments section. If I find there is a solid demand for stuff like this, I'll dig deeper into the collection and post some more.

Click here!

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