VARIOUS ARTISTS


"Thrashing Like a Maniac" (Earache; 2008)

Reviewed by Metal Mark

The thrash movement was huge between about 1985 and 1990 in many different countries. Even though this genre likely will never reach those heights of popularity again, there has been a resurgence of younger bands following in that style. This compilation includes mainly previously released tracks from sixteen of today's up and coming thrash bands including some of the biggest in the movement like Municipal Waste, Merciless Death and Toxic Holocaust. 

I loved this style back when it first emerged and ate up stuff by almost every new band that popped up back in the day. These younger bands play with largely the same energy and fire yet so many of them are relying on formulas that were created twenty some odd years ago and they just fail to bring, add or blend much of any new ideas into the fold. Most of the bands here fall into one of the following three categories:

A-Sounds like Slayer/Dark Angel
B-Sounds like the German bands: Sodom, Kreator and Destruction
C-Sounds like the Bay area bands: early Metallica, Testament and Exodus

All good bands to be influenced by, but most of the bands on this compilation just are not doing anything that you have not already heard. 

Now, almost every song here is good, but only two bands really stood out to be as being somewhat different. "Immortal Life" by Bonded By Blood had a very a frantic approach with the guitars just tearing through thrash riffs with far more intensity than most bands could even hope for. They were taking thrash, but moving beyond it by upping the pace and energy level a notch and it worked. 

The other band that made me take notice was SSS doing "Overload." The music here was sort of a standard pace, but as self aware as any of the songs on this album. The best parts of the song featured vocals which at least partially embedded the mid-late 1980s hardcore style that was both charged and confident. "Overload" sounded more like some of the better crossover music of the 80s yet still maintains their own flavor as well. 

Overall a decent compilation but, for the most part, terribly original.


Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2008 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 08 Jan 2016 11:33:10 -0500.