Thrash Metal


Ancient Mariner
I'm not being funny, but (since you've typed this three times now) is trash some sort of Thrash sub-genre?
Back when I first got into thrash (late 80's) a buddy of mine said some of the snare drums sounded like the drummer was beating on a TRASH can. From that point on, when a drummer was playing very fast we would say "He's got some serious trash canning going on"


I warmed to thrash a little more slowly than my peers when it was new in the mid-80s -- I liked Metallica, but some of the other thrash that was around was less approachable -- probably by design. Also, a lot of thrash vocals were not my cup of tea; the production on some of those mid-80s albums was terrible (it tended to sound thin & nasally through high-school parking lot boombox speakers, at least until Rick Rubin got hold of Slayer, and the excessive reverb on subpar vocals didn't make them sound any better); and that fast kick-snare-kick-snare-kick-snare beat on seemingly every other song got kind of cliche after a while and made me think many of the lower-tier bands were just trying to rip off "Whiplash" over and over.

BUT -- there was some good stuff in there too. Testament is my favorite of the second-tier thrash bands; those first couple albums still sound heavy as !%$&, and Chuck Billy's voice worked really well for the genre. Death Angel was another.

There are still some Bay Area bands putting out stuff that may or may not fall strictly within the "thrash" genre boundaries, but definitely comes out of that tradition. "Hell Fire" is highly recommended. Another is "Potential Threat," the bassist from Death Angel also plays in.


Ancient Mariner
Saw Death Angel live last night open for Anthrax and Slayer in Dallas at Gas Monkey Live. DA was the band I was most excited about seeing live so I hauled ASS getting to that show to ensure I would not miss them. Arrived 30 minutes prior to hitting the stage so I was able to grab a good place on the floor to see them. Sounded KILLER! Wish the set could have been longer. Audience was into them!

Met Ted (one of the guitarists) at the merch table (bought a shirt). Told him I drove four hours to see them so he shook my hand. Then asked about a song called "Don't Save Me" off the previous CD The Dream Calls For Blood. That is one of the rare DA songs where Rob does not play all the lead. Ted and Rob battle back and forth VERY fast. I asked why the studio version had the lead in the center channel where we could not tell who was playing which lead instead of separating each guitarist lead to their own channel. He said "that is just the way Jason (their producer) did it". I told him that is why I prefer the live version on The Bay Calls For Blood. He shook my hand again.


Ancient Mariner
A shot I took when I saw Metal Church reunite with Mike Howe on vocals in Chicago at Reggie's two nights before meeting my fellow Forum Fans at Maiden in the United Center:



Ancient Mariner
Saw Hatchet, Helstar, and Flotsam & Jetsam last night at a place I have never been to before right on the Texas coast in a little town called San Leon. The venue was called 18th St Pier. Roomy, good size bar with plenty of tables and bar stools. Small place in front of stage for pit or standing. After last night , I believe the reason for more stools and a small area in front of the stage is because the shows are so LONG at this place. Before Hatchet went on, there were about four local bands. We arrived at 7:45 and a band was already playing. Hatchet did not start until after 10:00! This meant Flotsam did not start until almost Midnight. The only complaint I have about the place is that because it is not in city limits of Houston, that means smoking is allowed inside. After five hours, I smelled pretty bad.

Anyway, all three bands sounded amazing. Even though I am a native Houstonian (like Helstar), I wish the two bands had been switched. I would rather see Hatchet play the longer set. They played five songs. When I hear (& watch) them, I can tell the influences are Death Angel, Death (musically, not vocally), and Sepultura. Very retro thrash. On every song (except for the last one), Julez played the first solo and Clayton the second. They switched this for the last song. I also liked that the singer Julez talks to the audience in between each song and announces each song (for those not familiar with the bands' music).

This is something Helstar could have learned from. They played seven songs and I think James announced maybe two songs. They went from one song into the next and if it weren't for the ability to look up a setlist ahead of time and follow along with the lyrics (thank god for the internet), I would have had no clue what they were playing (not that familiar with their material).

Finally Flotsam took stage and were spot on!
Eric's voice during Iron Maiden was PERFECT. He nailed the fast singing for the final song Doomsday For the Deceiver. BTW, the intro to that song was played over the PA. At about the 1:45 point, Michael started playing live. The only songs they played that I am not that familiar with was Smoked Out which was very enjoyable and included a great guitar duel between Michael and Steve (which Michael conceded!). Hard On You was probably the song with the most group participation as far as screaming the lyrics back at the band. During I Live You Die, Eric wore a helmet that looked it came from a B version of Game of Thrones. Only disappointing part was that on other dates of the tour, they have been playing Suffer the Masses, but they skipped it last night.

Lead guitar credits for new songs:

Seventh Seal - Steve/Michael/Steve/Michael
Monkey Wrench - Steve
Life Is A Mess - Michael
Iron Maiden - Steve
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