15 Thrash Metal Albums You Missed… | 2022

ALBUMS YOU MISSED… Is a yearly tradition of rallying behind overlooked and under-served releases that I’d either missed or that’d deserved more hype as the endless mill of new releases blazed throughout the year. This is decidedly -not- a “best of” list but rather a grip of underrated stuff that the general public should consume. The curation on this list aims for lasting quality, substance and variety but in the case of Thrash Metal it is more a matter of finding interesting variations as the sub-genre is not particularly popular right now in terms of new talent. — If you find something you dig go tell the band on social media and support them with a purchase! If you’d like your music reviewed, read the FAQ and send promos to: grizzlybutts@hotmail.com


ARTIST:AUTONOESIS
TITLE:Moon of Foul Magics
LABEL(S):Self-Released,
Mythic Ironworks
RELEASE DATE:August 25th, 2022

The second full-length from anonymous Toronto, Ontario black/death metal influenced thrash metal project Autonoesis continues to bend the absolutist reality of the sub-genre into a dark and fuming futurism wherein folkish rapture, melodic black stoicism, and technical death-thrash vertebrae manage to fit together in gloriously involved, immersive and largely longform pieces. Much as the likely still programmed drums still interject with their inhuman touch the guitar work on this album exceeds the standards of many comparable upper echelon, big label thrash bands around today. Though the whole conception seems to have been sparked from the late 2000’s uproar via Vektor we find the project in the midst of discovering their own voice here, though paying for a session drummer would really do this intense and hifalutin material more justice.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

ARTIST:AMORPHIA
TITLE:Lethal Dose
LABEL(S):Awakening Records
RELEASE DATE:September 30th, 2022

Kerala, India-based thrash metal trio Amorphia have approached their third full-length album the same way they’d approached the first two, that is to say that ‘Lethal Dose‘ is pure mid-to-late 80’s style ‘old school’ thrash metal entirely obsessed with intense riffcraft. You can hear the ’86-’88 side of German thrash in their riffs, particularly bands like Destruction, the hardcorish riff progressions of Erosion‘s ‘Mortal Agony‘ and the bluntness of Sodom in their riffs too, maybe with a hint of the swinging and shouting side of Shah in their rhythmic map. All of it kills for the sake of managing a strong thread of riffs within each well-arranged piece, very much in keeping with the street level thrash of a certain era which never gets old per my taste. I’ve got nothing but respect for a band that goes this traditional and manages to get it exactly right without feeling cheaply retro at all.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10.

ARTIST:WARCHEST
TITLE:Impending Corrosion [mLP]
LABEL(S):Suicide Records
RELEASE DATE:November 18th, 2022

If you’ll recall back in 2019 I’d particularly loved Santiago, Chile-based thrash metal band Warchest‘s second album ‘Sentenced Since Conception‘ for the brutal turn the band had taken. For this latest mLP they’re leaning a bit more ’86-’88 crossover/thrash metal and not the tuneful sort but the cold and hardcorish ripping type Cro-Mags would inspire with ‘Age of Quarrel‘. The interesting thing with this record is that it sounds authentically late 80’s per the drum sound and the way it has been mixed, sure to catch the ear of folks who love everything from Nuclear Assault‘s first album to Agnostic Front‘s ‘One Voice‘ while still being heavy enough for folks who discovered this sort of music via Power Trip and such. From my point of view this sound is brilliantly ‘old school’ and this made for many, many repeat listens even if it was somewhat different than I’d expected beyond the brutal almost death/thrash side of the band on the previous album.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10.

ARTIST:SADISTIC MESSIAH
TITLE:Dehumanizing Process
LABEL(S):Thrash or Death Records
RELEASE DATE:August 31st, 2022

São Paulo, Brazil borne thrash metal duo Sadistic Messiah have whipped out some of the best retro-minded thrash metal around today with ‘Dehumanizing Process‘, fusing the dramatic flair of bands like The Mist and Destruction with more raw, almost blackened vocal style which lines up with their mentions of Necronomicon (see: ‘Apocalyptic Nightmare‘) as part of their core influences starting out. While this one fires off to start and keeps it up for the most part the riffs start to drop off around the middle of the album and all of it needed 1.5 times the density of rhythm guitar interest to really knock it out of the park. Still, I’d found myself obsessed with this album during early September.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

ARTIST:HELLFUCK
TITLE:Diabolic Slaughter
LABEL(S):Godz ov War Productions
RELEASE DATE:September 9th, 2022

A quick look at Hellfuck‘s debut album might make you think you’re in for some ace black/death metal out of Poland but in fact you are in for one of the heavier thrash metal records of the year. This one comes from folks associated with Embrional, Stillborn, Throneum and Azarath but there is no sense of raw blackened death here, rather a traditional late 80’s thrash metal record with a daemonic bent. The style here is more-or-less if you took the polished protestation of Kreator‘s ‘Extreme Aggression‘, gave ’em a Pete Sandoval influenced drummer and cut short any grandstanding dramatics. ‘Diabolic Slaughter‘ knows its best in-the-pocket stance is a three and a half minute Petrozza-style barked kill anthem and they’ve got about ten of ’em here to fire off in under ~35 minutes. If you think you’re burned out on thrash, haven’t had any exposure this year, or don’t think the flagpole of hate is still worth riding definitely jump on this fantastic thrash record.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10.

ARTIST:INSECURITY
TITLE:Intruder of Reality
LABEL(S):Burning Coffin Records
RELEASE DATE:June 30th, 2022

After six years and several demo tapes Santiago, Chile-based crossover/thrash metal quartet Insecurity finally released their debut full-length and it does not disappoint in terms of delivering an ‘old school’ crossover influenced thrash record. Where ‘Intruder of Reality‘ falls apart for some people is also its biggest draw for nostalgic fandom in the sense that the focus of the record is all over the place between Crumbsuckers style buzz, Excel influenced knots of riff and melody, and sort of average nods to Anthrax and Hirax as we dig into the innards of the record. Despite existing under a similar umbrella a lot of these influences are so singular that they simply don’t play well with others and this’d be less of a problem if the whole thing were unified beyond the focused hammer which the rhythm guitarist provides throughout. “The Worst of Days” has a bit of everything I’d just mentioned, “Concrete Prisons” is probably my favorite song on the record but there isn’t a total flop or miss in the bunch. Anyhow, I didn’t see nearly enough folks touting this record online this year and it is a shame because this band served an exceptional, very well considered debut here.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

ARTIST:CRITICAL EXTRAVASATION
TITLE:Order of Decadence
LABEL(S):Redefining Darkness Records
RELEASE DATE:November 18th, 2022

You might recognize these Russian folks from Skyglow and Excruciation by Silence I’ve covered in the past but this one hails somewhere between earliest progressive death metal ideals and nearby late 80’s semi-technical thrash metal action. Following up on their excellent 2019 mLP this debut full-length showcases the band’s core influences with an excellent study of what’d made early Pestilence, Sadus, and Aspid still notable among classicist fandom. This is an essential record for death/thrash metal fans who appreciate some technical/virtuosic approaches given to melody and general variety.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

ARTIST:LABYRINTH
TITLE:Inside/Outside [Demo]
LABEL(S):Self-Released
RELEASE DATE:May 7th, 2022

Though it is only fifteen minutes long this first demo tape from Houston, Texas-based classic thrash influenced quartet Labyrinth is uniformly killer, a stellar blend of Bay Area bustin’ out a la Vio-lence and Heathen with some strong technical guitar work and exuberant vocals on this quick hit of personality from their crew. This thing hits like a tornado in that it rips it up on approach and then kinda keeps up the fuss around you while inside of the eye, passing slow and with shit flying around everywhere before it ends. Not the best way to describe their pretty professional gig but either way this is an inspired band, one to watch at the very least.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10.

ARTIST:FAUST
TITLE:Cisza po Tobie
LABEL(S):Szataniec
RELEASE DATE:September 30th, 2022

You’ve probably never heard of late 90’s formed and mid-2000’s split death/thrash metal band Faust unless you’re Polish or have gone deep into their underground in your research of oddities. I’ve scoured history of Polish metal many times yet I’d never heard more than a crusty tape rip of ‘Król moru i perła‘ (2000) years ago. Anyhow, they reformed back in 2019 and have released two death/thrash centered yet highly eclectic records since, often receiving the “progressive” tag even if it doesn’t quite fit. From my point of view their two most recent records reflect a bit of distinctly Slavic romanticism and sentimentality, not so much avant-garde bizarre music for the sake of it but ancient minded surrealism, a thoughtful and unique voice. That said, the bones of their music is usually thrash metal with some death metal groove in its action and some black metal ideas seeping around the edges of their more dramatic songs. A song like “Za tamtą górą” (or “Iskra pod śniegiem” for that matter) is many things at once but we can at least somewhat agree that thrash metal is some kind of impetus here. Something for folks who look deeper in the bag, staring at and appreciating every sort of marble they come across for its own traits and coloration.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

ARTIST:VÓRTIZE
TITLE:¡Tienes Que Luchar!
LABEL(S):Nube Negra Productions,
Suicide Records
RELEASE DATE:February 17th, 2022

Vórtize is a thrashing heavy metal solo project from Limache, Chile-based musician Javier Ortiz who is best known as the guitarist/vocalist for blackened thrash metal band Demoniac. Of course the genius of the artist shows quickly, thinking outside the box whenever the moment calls for it per expressive chorales and per opener “Mundo Bipolar” a bit of whistling to emphasize the major melody in hand. You know this record is really going to go places from the start and to be fair it is more of an exuberant heavy metal record than it is a pure thrasher but it fit well here nonetheless. Early speed/power metal from Argentina comes to mind, especially in terms of the unbreakable persistence of the vocals which might put off extreme thrash metal fans.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10.

ARTIST:WITCHMASTER
TITLE:Kaźń
LABEL(S):Agonia Records
RELEASE DATE:November 25th, 2022

Western Poland spawned cult quartet Witchmaster is a well-respected terror crew who’ve been at it in various forms since 1996 with most of their work fitting into the outrageous extremity of the 2000’s. As far as I recall I’d discovered them from a split with Adorior after their second album, either that or by recommendation when I was particularly obsessed with Deathwitch‘s first two records around that same time. Either way we have a band which applies the insane outrage of Sarcófago in similarly short bursts of rabid war-grinding grooves. The best songs of theirs tend to build on late 80’s thrash metal influenced rhythms: “Circle of Bayonets”, “Trails of Blood” and “Alle Gegen Alle” are great examples of early extreme thrash providing a murderous touch to their work rather than the usual Venom-amping we find in abundance per the popular black/thrash metal nodes today. That is to say these guys have built this thing on fast and short songs which don’t feel like a rote throwback and all of ’em come with riffs worth picking up a guitar for. Murder music front to back and underrated across the aboard.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

ARTIST:LACERTA
TITLE:The Age of Lacerta
LABEL(S):Self-Released
RELEASE DATE:October 14th, 2022

Lacerta is a heavy/thrash metal duo from Poland who’ve been at work on their debut full-length album for roughly six years, finding the skills and the chemistry to blend their interests in classic heavy metal, thrash metal, death metal and power metal and the result is not all that typical if we consider the sort of slapdash things people make without any practical consideration for performance and a full band. Because these folks are classics-minded it leaves ‘The Age of Lacerta‘ flying between many roosts, whirling many magicks, and this makes for a curious first listen wherein the feeling of a 70’s heavy metal record and a snarling thrash record don’t always gel instantly but the character the band developed over the course of many years has formed into something entertaining nonetheless. “Magnifying Glass” takes a few turns which might distract but the core hook/riff of the piece is yet in debt to the earliest days of speed metal and it counts for something that they make the connection between NWOBHM, speed metal, and a bit of Sadus-esque vocals for coloration. If you’re keen to witness the band kind of ‘grow up’ with their ideas, we get a window into the years as they pass within the full listen and without a doubt the best songs come later on in the record as their skills build. Real drumming is the next step, though, for sure.

Rating: 6 out of 10.

ARTIST:NEEDLESS
TITLE:The Cosmic Cauldron
LABEL(S):Uprising! Records
RELEASE DATE:January 7th, 2022

If we get down to the core of what Hungarian quintet Needless are up to on their second full-length album ‘The Cosmic Cauldron‘ scours the possibilities of melodic death/thrash metal (or, “melodeathrash” circa the 2000’s) wherein the serious tonality of Mors Principium Est meets a more typical sludgy and miserable modern metal sound. It really doesn’t work for my own taste due to a lack of variation in the vocals but I’d appreciated how much the compositions had sophisticated beyond ‘Heresy‘ (2019) and felt it was worth including here for folks looking for modern thrash-adjacent music.

Rating: 6 out of 10.

ARTIST:SADISTIC RITUAL
TITLE:The Enigma, Boundless
LABEL(S):Prosthetic Records
RELEASE DATE:May 20th, 2022

Despite having been a huge fan of Sadistic Ritual‘s debut full-length when reviewing it I’d not received any news or mention of this one. In fact I was surprised that there was no buzz surrounding it at all until I’d seen that ridiculously bold collage art album cover. It reflects some interest in the more tuneful and at times chaotic side of black/heavy metal which clashes with their core death/thrash metal action continuously throughout this unique and noisome record. The core idea here is pretty cool, a ghoulish vocal haunting a fairly traditional extreme thrash metal backbone with the guitarists presenting some moderate abstraction of forms throughout yet I’d found the result was topsy-turvy and forgettable. Nonetheless, you won’t find most anything that looks or sounds like this in 2022 and that counts for something in the ultra-traditional strictures of thrash metal adjacency.

Rating: 6 out of 10.

ARTIST:TERRÖRHAMMER
TITLE:Gateway to Hades
LABEL(S):Osmose Productions
RELEASE DATE:November 25th, 2022

Yanking out your shit-filled guts and fashioning a lasso for their next howling motörbike massacre Serbian thrashing black/speed metal band Terrörhammer cut like a hot knife through lard and jet on this brilliantly traditional second full-length album. ‘Gateway to Hades‘ kicks at the first wave black/speed metal deal with a heavier dose of post-‘Ace of Spades‘ fidgeting speed and plenty of necro metal attitude on this far more enthused and entertaining second full-length. I’d appreciated how they picked up the pace even more mid-way through with “Blizzard of Blood” but the album kinda loses steam after that point, the intro and first four tracks are the major draw overall. Check it out if you’re big on Barbarian and Bütcher.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

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