Copyright (c) 2007-2014 THE THRASH METAL GUIDE


0-9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

S.A. SLAYER (USA)

At this early stage of the genre's development one shouldn't expect very forceful thrash, and this is not the case here. This is the band where Ron Jarzombek (Watchtower, Spastic Ink) showed his great skills for the first time, although here he barely hints at his much bigger potential (well, the style doesn't give him many opportunities to do that). The music is mostly traditional power metal with sparce thrashy elements, catchy and entertaining, an obvious influence on the future thrash metal scene.

Pree To Die EP, 1983
Go For The Throat Full-length, 1984

Vibrations of Doom

S.C.E.P.T.R.E. (FINLAND)

This band has ties to the early speed metal heroes Agent Metal. This 3-song EP shows the guys pulling out classic thrash/crossover with brutal death-ish vocals. The tracks are short mixing fast and slow sections, only once going out with all the guns blazing: the short brisk speedster "S.C.E.P.T.R.E.".

Retaliation EP, 2001

Official Site

S.D.I. (GERMANY)

S.D.I.'s self-titled (the SDI abbreviation stand for "Satans Defloration Incorporated") debut was an instant thrash/crossover classic, the best achievement in this sub-genre to ever come out of Germany. Light-hearted, very catchy, and quite fast and intense all at the same time, this album has lost nothing of its initial magic all these years. This trio differed from their American counterts (Nuclear Assault, D.R.I., Prong, etc.) mostly based on the stronger speed metal aesthetics coming straight from the early efforts of Destruction, Vectom and Warrant, plus the very memorable shouted choruses, a staple mark for the band, and pretty much one of a kind at those times. Along definitive thrash/crossover hymns ("Quasimodo", "Absolute Banger", "I Don't Care", "Take Off Your Hands") stand the pure hardcore outbursts ("Wanker", "Chainsaw Massacre") and, of course, the so popular at that period "I Wanna Fuck Ya"; at the time when most acts were shying away from using directly this frank direct request/invitation/promise/expression, disguising and veiling it under various preposterous euphemisms, these guys shouted it out loud and clear without any fears, and kudos should be paid for them for this "chivalry". Speed metal is also covered with the more melodic, but very memorable "Panic in Wehrmacht", but watch out for "You're Wrong": a marvellous ballad with a furious crossover finish and one of the best choruses ever heard on a thrash metal album; and for the closer "Bloodsucker": a curious moody doom/thrasher. Rainhard Kruse acquits himself with a cool mid-ranged semi-clean tember which nicely fits both the harder and the softer songs.

Despite the catchy and appealing material offered on the debut, one couldn not help but see this band as a bit more than the occasional "antidote" to the more serious and more technically-proficient music which the German scene was offering aplenty at the time, but this "antidote" threatened to become a constant presence on the thrash metal fan's "menu" with "Sign of the Wicked". One of the 10 best speed/thrash metal efforts to ever come out of Germany, this album is a bit more than half hour of sheer metal brilliance: diverse, melodic, technical, catchy, you name it. Once the acoustic intro to the opening "Comin' Again" starts, one instantly knows that this will not be the carefree unpretentious music heard on the debut, and indeed this number is a standout speed/thrashy tour de force with progressive overtones, and it seemed as though this band looked well-equipped to join the increasing group of technical acts which was becoming ticularly big in Germany (Deathrow, Sieges Even, Living Death, Destruction, etc.). Well, not really, as the title-track carries little of the technical charge and energy of the first one, but is an utterly compelling piece of doomy sinister thrash with an addictive main riff. "Megamosh" (the guys shout their name here as well) is the only reminder of the more simplistic debut being a straight bashing thrash hymn closing on a little more than 2-min. "Alcohol" slows down again, but the chunky riffage and the memorable chorus make it another keeper. "Quick Shot" is the analogue to "I Wanna Fuck Ya" with explicit sexual lyrics and mighty speedy guitars. The attack continues on "Always Youth" which scores high in the chorus detment again. "Long Way From Home" switches onto a more melodic speed metal-based approach quite reminiscent of the first two Blind Guardian albums, but the diverse thrashy mid-break will totally delight you with the ever-changing rhythms and the fine melodic sing-along chorus insertion. "Killer's Confession" is more aggressive speed/thrash, but another brilliant melodic deviation awaits you in the middle which touches the ballad with marvellous lead guitars and simply amazing bass performance which is very strong on the whole album making Kruse one of the best bass players of the 80's. "Fight" begins somewhat tastelessly with a guy reciting something in Turkish, but rest assured that later on there will be no one disappointed with this sincere slab of speed/thrash with a pinch of crossover which doesn't forget about the more melodic experimentations which here come as a nice "duel" between the bass and the lead guitar followed by another, this time not as exciting, balladic section which at least shows Kruse in a fine vocal form; he does a good job behind the mike trying to scream high at times, and succeeds, at times offering cool melodic lines, but still his bass pyrotechnics by far overshadow his vocal abilities.

Having found the right way to thrash with the best, the band looked well set to join the very upper echelons of world thrash metal, and one more album of the same stuff could have placed them there. Well, "Mistreated" is hardly this album; it had hardly come as a pleasant surprise to the fans being more melodic clinging towards power/speed metal with very little thrash present, decidedly more complex, and far less catchy. The longer numbers in the beginning are unnecessarily interrupted by spoken or balladic passages which serve to no purpose but kill the inertia and confuse the listener. Still, if you adjust your senses to this mellower offering, and manage to overcome your initial surprise, you may enjoy the jolly speedster "Night of Tears"; the energetic "leftovers" from the debut "Violence" and "Kiss Ass"; and possibly the mid-tempo steam-roller "Mother". The rest will be by all means a letdown, especially the clumsy heavy-handed metal anthem "We Want More" and the AC/DC worship at the end shamefully carrying the band name ("S.D.I."). The guys exited the scene in a not very impressive manner, with only the guitarist Rainer Rage later having been seen in the power metallers Enola Gay.
To my utter surprise I found out that this band had another full-length, released in 1991; but to my utter disappointment, it contained very bland heavy metal with no traces of thrash and speed metal whatsoever. A few more dynamic songs still pack a punch, but they would make one even more upset, reminding him of the much better past: "Ruling The World", "Mad World". "Mistreated" already suggested at the changes, but wisely stopped on the edge, without crossing the border towards undesirable music fields; with this obscure release the guys have done it. Classic heavy metal was falling from grace, along with thrash at those times, and S.D.I. had done a cool job keeping it alive, but their hard-core fans had hardly been fascinated having heard this, to put it mildly.

Satans Defloration Incorporated Full-length, 1986
Sign of the Wicked Full-length, 1988
Mistreated Full-length, 1989
Unreleased Full-Length, 1991

My Space

S.E.K. (GERMANY)

This act is actually only one person: Necron, who is also a member of quite a few German metal acts. The style is old school black/thrash metal in the early Bathory vein, but not as fast and violent as the very early works of the Swedish hero (R.I.P.); it has a more playful, crossover edge, and Necron feels comforle enough singing in a minimalistic, raspy terrifying tone, recalling the sounds emitted by the Orcs from "Lord of the Rings".

Mehr NSgel fnr das Schwein Demo, 2004

Official Site

S.F.D. (AUSTRALIA)

Based on the "Destruction of the Youth" demo, these guys offer diverse stuff of the classic type which on the most extreme moments comes close even to the Cryptic Slaughter debut (check out the first 2 tracks which are furious exercises in thrash/death/grindcore of the comprehensive listenable variety). The 2 songs in the middle take a nice turn towards more stylish semi-technical thrash still pretty classic-sounding with the speed decreasing almost to the point of disappearance. The latter returns, however, for the last two numbers which are fast, but more restrained, takes on thrash/crossover. The singer doesn't change throughout, though, singing in a gruff semi-death metal manner the whole time.
The debut demo is a much more controlled offering serving cool merry thrash/crossover with jolly good rhythms, but with a cool biting guitar edge as well and very nce bass support. The band shred with speed and most of the tracks will stick in the fan's mind thanks to the memorable riff-patterns (check out the perennial crossover hit "Boundary Of Will" whcih overflows with catchy tunes) and the cool short melodic leads. The singer semi-recites here, but in an attached forceful fashion and further adds to the positive impression this short effort leaves not without the help of the good sound quality which only "stumbles" on a few opening riffs.

Dematerialize Demo, 1992
Putrid Decay/Legion Demo, 1992
Destruction of the Youth Demo, 1993

S.G.M. (USA)

Melodic thrash/crossover with a jolly, punk-ish attitude, mostly mid-paced, without any fast aggressive ts.

Aggression Full-length, 1988

S.I.C. (AUSTRALIA)

A cool entry in the thrash/crossover sub-genre of the faster more brutal type, crossing early The Accused with Wehrmacht; the tracks are short seldom going over the 2-min limit, except for "Brown Paper Bag Man", which tries its hands on purer thrash, and is less intense. The rest is very fast extreme stuff without any gimmicks.

Screaming In Churches EP, 1988

S.I.D.E. (RUSSIA)

Classic power/speed/thrash metal with several modern leanings; the guitar work is good, but the sound is a bit buzzy and the singer is a not very suile death metal growler. The guys know when to slow down although the faster passages are better despite their clinging towards the Swedish school at times. Some of the musicians have done a better job in the mid-90's under the name Horror releasing 2 demos of stylish progressive thrash.

Voronviking Demo, 2000

S.L.U.T. (GERMANY)

Heavy groovy post-thrash with ultra-angry quarrelsome vocals; a painfully familiar picture, isn't it? And indeed these guys never try anything outside the box just grooving onward with repetitive seismic galvanizing riffs all the way acquitted by the very good sound quality which boosts the bass and gives the guitars a really heavy crushing edge.

Mindfuck EP, 1996

S.N.F. (CHILE)

A good demo with awesome Alex Skolnick -like guitar work, courtesy of Ilvaro Soms (who later moved to another Chilean metal band, Dorso). The music is Testament-influenced and something else which is hard to define (perhaps it's the joke punk-ish moments like "Mr. Harry").

...Acting Like A Fool Demo, 1989

My Space

S.N.P. (ITALY)

Based on "Scarface", this act offers a bland relaxed version of the 90's post-thrash. This is a mild semi-grungy effort with strong balladic/doomy overtones which flows in the same sleepy fashion from beginning to end which many of you won't even bother to reach.

All Is an Endless Nothing... Empty Words Empty Promises EP, 1992
Excess Full-length, 1996
Scarface Full-length, 2003
Valthellina Full-length, 2008

Official Site

S.O.S. (BOLIVIA)

This Bolivian trio indulge in rough badly produced classic thrash/crossover with bad shouty drunken vocals which are barely audible at times. This is just a bit more than plain noise the guys bashing with reckless abandon the screamy thin leads being either (depending on the taste) a major highlight, or a major annoyance, still preferrable to the dominant semi-amateurish barrage.

First Blood Demo, 2010

Official Site

S.O.S.! (POLAND)

Based on the "Kto jest the Best?" demo, this band play your average 90's post-thrash which is so ultimately trite and unimaginative that one may not believe that behind it are ex-members of the thrashers Necrophobic. This is playful unpretentious music which, when it livens up, goes directly into hardcore ("Hipopotam"). "Kapuce" is a joke based on Judas Priest's lame hit "United" sung in Polish and... that's it. The rest may make you dance around on the more jumpy moments.

Nie rzucim ziemi... Demo, 1997
Kto jest the Best? Demo, 1998

S.O.S.A. (USA)

A very well produced demo done by members of some renowned acts: Blind Illusion, Defiance, Hell's Kitchen, etc. The music has a few stylish throw-ins, but doesn't have the necessary dynamics to pull it through all the way. The choppy rhythms haves their reference to Defiance, but theay wear thin after a few tracks, and the actual highlight would be the raging thrasher "Demonic Attack", with the short proto-deathy exploder "Faulty Knees" a close second. The singer is a rough hardcore semi-reciter who is the major pull back here.

Demo Demo, 1990

Official Site

S.R.L. (USA)

This outfit, who have fairly long history with 4 full-lengths and 4 EP's released since 1995, indulge in derivative modern thrash which has all the dynamics and hooks, but should be superior having in mind that behind the music we have veterans from the Italian thrash metal scene, members of Fear Traders, Subliminal Crusher, and Hyades. The guys go through the motions with professionalism, it's just that the execution has no soul and carries on an autopilot for most of the time, and the great infectious hooks on "Pensieri Dal Buio" could hardly save the day. "Ricordatevi Di Jack" is a nole steam-roller with some really squashing riffs, but again this is nothing one could lose his/her sleep over, and would hardly arouse the fans' interest in tracking down the band's lengthy discography.

De Humana Maiestate Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

S.S.A. (USA)

Modern thrash which sounds quite close to Tourniquet's "Vanishing Lessons", but far less good; this is mid-paced stuff, with a certain amount of groove, and one very cool short instrumental "Herbie Perogie", which nicely mixes funky elements with hard-hitting riffage. The rest is too one-dimensional and boring, without any other highlights, with one tender ballad as a finishing touch ("Sunshine").

Deal With It Full-Length, 1994

S.T.A.G. (ITALY)

Look no further than the gothic-tinged style of mid-period Cemetary ("Godless Beauty", in ticular) with the vocals dead ringers for the Mathias Lodmalm early singing style, assisted by more vigorous galloping power/thrash metal sections. The guitar work is too melodic, and fits better the slower doomy and the balladic more quiet passages which also come aplenty.

8 p.m. Full-length, 2009

My Space

S.T.I. (BRAZIL)

Cool aggressive thrash metal ala Sepultura and Atomica, with some punky ts and hardcore-ish outbursts in the vein of S.O.D. ("Eternal Shit"). The songs are short fast outbursts with sharp riffs and gruff throaty vocals.

Twen Two Visions Full Length,1993

S.T.R.E.E.T.S. (CANADA)

Based on the debut: energetic brisk thrash/crossover along the lines of early Broken Bones and early Rumble Militia, in other words there's not as much thrash as hardcore/crossover; interesting guitar decisions can be caught from time to time, but the emphasis is clearly on catchiness and melody. The songs vary from short speedy 1-1.5min to heavier slower ones, closing around the 5-min line ("Skate In The Heart"), but without the fast-paced riffage the latter are a bit more than a waste.
"Bo Bo Gnar Gnar" is in a very similar vein comprising of short catchy crossovers with brisk melodic guitars and not a lot of thrash involved. The guys have fun pulling out this merry crossover stuff which now also sounds close to Excel, No Mercy, and respectively, the Suicidals.

Worms Full-length, 2002
Bo Bo Gnar Gnar Full-length, 2003
Invaders From Gnars Full-length, 2005

Official Site

SAARS (CZECH)

Modern thrash metal which tries to spice the intense groovy sound of 90's Pantera with more laid-back hardcore moments ala Biohazard or early Pro-Pain, but except for the more energetic slightly technical ala Meshuggah "Public Assault", all this is too pedestrian and painfully familiar.

Public Assault Demo, 2006

Official Site

S-CORE (FRANCE)

Based on "Gust Of Rage", this is modern aggro-thrash with elements of hardcore, which unfortunately loses its edge and intensity on some tracks, but the smashing steam-rolling riffs for most of the time will keep the Pantera fans entertained.

Fat And Wet EP, 2001
Riot... Process Engaged Full-length, 2003
Gust Of Rage Full-length, 2007

Official Site

SABAZZ (JAPAN)

Based on the debut, these Japanese samurai produce aggressive bashing old school thrash with clear death metal pretensions at times. This is merciless intense stuff with Slayer an obvious influence, as well as Devastation and Merciless. Expect a few slower joys ("Joy Threats. Let No Lust Be Lost") which come with a pinch of playful hardcore ala early Pro-Pain. "Sed Ribs. Thrash Me Tender" would not thrash you much "more tender", despite its more laid-back crossover "colouring". The singer is a forceful deathy semi-shouter, and at times his antics are not very easy to decipher.

The Intolerable Absence of Evil Full-length, 2000
Your Weight in Blood and Vows Full-length, 2001

Official Site

SABBAT (JAPAN)

One of the oldest Japanese metal bands, the band's style has mutated throughout the years starting with primitive Venom-influenced black/proto-thrash metal on the first EP's to a combination of thrash, black and death metal on the 90's releases with the Venom-influences being present all the time, although by the time of "The Dwelling" the band's approach has evolved into a more complex, serious one the latter album containing only one 1-hour long composition, a larger-than-life symphony with numerous infuences, still remaining a pretty thrashy affair sharing some of the King Diamond operatic dramatism at times. The more elaborate arrangements stay around for "Karisma", but "Satanasword" is full-on old school speed/thrash metal, a compelling mix of sweeping melodies and sharp furious riffs.
"Sabbatrinity" produces no surprises, but those who have got accustomed to the band's delivery, will by all means be entertained by this appealing speed/thrashy boogie delivered in a carefree roller-coaster manner, slightly hardening the course on more "serious" speedsters, like the excellent melodic opus "Total Destruction", which contains nice operatic variations and virtuoso lead sections. "Witchflight" is a cool reminder of the early 80's German scene sounding like a leftover from Destruction's "Sentence of Death", and the other "witch": "Witch Hammers", is a more laid-back crossover piece. "Ravens Tell" is a more aggressive story thrashing more intensely recalling Rigor Mortis with the interesting melodic insertions ala Mike Scaccia; a great track with operatic overtones again which get nicely transferred on the next "Witch's Torches (Version 1)" (too many "witches" today; and some come with "torches", so be careful!). "Karmagmassacre" reaches almost progressive proportions with more complex dramatic escalating rhythms, and the last "witch" comes in the form of an instrumental: "Witch's Weed", a really good lead- only piece showing the lead guitarist in a really inspired form, and one shouldn't be surprised if the guy comes up with a solo album (quite a typical phenomenon for the Japanese scene of recent times) in the near future to fully display his talents.

Sabbat EP, 1985
Born by Evil Blood EP, 1987
Desecration EP, 1989
The devil's sperm is cold EP, 1989
The Seven Deadly Sins EP, 1990
Envenom Full-length, 1991
Evoke Full-length, 1992
Disembody Full-length, 1993
Sabbatical Devilucifer EP, 1994
Fetishism Full-length, 1994
Bloody Countess Full-length, 1996
The Dwelling Full-length, 1996
Karisma Full-length, 1999
Karisma Full-length, 2000
Satanasword Full-length, 2000
Karmagmassacre Full-length, 2003
Sabbatrinity Full-length, 2011

My Space

SABBAT (UK)

Often considered the finest British thrash metal band, Sabbat have a very original sound with a unique pagan atmosphere, frequently imitated, but seldom achieved. "History of a Time to Come" is a sure-handed debut, eslishing immediately the band as a major thrash force on the UK metal scene. Along with the more direct, headbanging thrashers (the opener "Cautionary Tale", "Hosanna In Excelsis"), there are longer, more ambitious songs, which are not technical achievements per se, but are quite interesting: the heavy stomping "Horned Is The Hunter" which introduces the genuine pagan touch; the intense semi-technical thrashing fury "I For An Eye"; the excellent mix of crushing doomy riffs and sharp, faster, galloping ones on "Church Bizarre".
"Dreamweaver" is a masterpiece of classic thrash metal; the sound is darker and heavier with sharper and more technical guitars. "Clerical Conspiracy" starts with crushing up-tempo guitars followed by a nice short acoustic ballad ("Advent of Insanity"). Then three exquisite long dark pagan thrashers follow suit: one of the finest moments of the whole UK thrash metal scene; they sound like one small album together, being mid to up-tempo, slowing down to atmospheric doomy moments, but very soon pick up respecle speed thrashing with full force here and there. This incredible trilogy kind of overshadows the exiting two tracks, which are otherwise good intense pieces, containing the most aggressive guitar work, especially the closing "Mythistory", which is a fabulous pagan riff-fest at its best. Worth mentioning are the demon-ish, vicious vocals of Martin Walkyier: one of the most unique voices in metal.
After Martin Walkyier left to form Skyclad, it became obvious who the driving force behind the band's unique style (also displayed on the first two Skyclad albums) was; "Mourning Has Broken" is much weaker than the previous two offerings, although the Walkyier replacement, who was taken from the one-demo-wonder Desmatron- Ritchie Desmond, does a fairly good job behind the mike with his more melodic, dramatic, clean style. The songs preserve the complexity, but the intensity is gone, or at least to a considerable extent. Some tracks stretch towards progressive metal ("Theological Void"), but their overlength, and the lack of any more energetic thrashy riffs, place them on the not very impressive side. "Paint The World Black", albeit a ballad, captures the essence of the band's atmospheric style better than the faster material, and gives a good opportunity to Desmomd to dislay his vocal talents. Actually the style here is seldom pure thrash metal: the exception is the excellent up-tempo instrumental "Dumbstruck"; power metal has come to stay, and often takes the upper hand, especially on the last three elaborate affairs, where at one point you might not be sure whether you listen to the same song, although "Without a Trace" tries hard to save this album from sinking "without a trace" inserting interesting technical guitar lines; but it's overshadowed by the fine, short acoustic closing ballad "Mourning Has Broken" with an episodic, but very effective, ticipation of Desmond.

History of a Time to Come Full-length, 1988
Dreamweaver (Reflections of Our Yesterdays) Full-length, 1989
Mourning has Broken Full-length, 1991

My Space

SABLE (HUNGARY)

Based on the "Rebirth" EP, these guys offer modern thrash/death metal, at times slower and pensive, at others very fast and blasting. The singer is a gruff death metal semi-shouter.

The Black Art EP, 1999
Rebirth EP, 2003

Official Site

SABRETUNG (AUSTRALIA)

The EP: a young Australian thrash metal band who turn to the 80's for inspiration, and have obviously found it in the thrash/crossover side of the scene, in ticular D.R.I., Corrosion Of Conformity's more thrashy works, and D.B.C.'s debut. The problem is that these young Australians get tired of keeping the music at a faster more aggressive pace and slow down to mid-tempo, even slower at times. This can be easily fixed on later efforts as the guys definitely have a lot of energy, and the musicianship at display is not bad at all.

The full-length debut is finally a fact and the listener will easily hear the difference from the more direct EP; the guys have moved more towards the purer thrash metal spectre with a sound not far removed from more recent Kreator, still sounding pretty classic on thrashing bombs like the Slayer-esque "The Thing", or the hectic closer "Eliminate the Weak". "Chainsaws" is an obvious "leftover" from the EP, a jumpy hardcore-ish track, and "Barbarian" is a shift from the dominant speedy delivery into a melodic mid-tempo Oriental composition; there are several of the kind here, but they are not an impediment. Neither are the cool forceful semi-shouty vocals.
f1ldblquote Collisionrdblquote is another roller-coaster which bangs the head with passion even adding some death metal-ish dramatism (ldblquote Collisionrdblquote ) for good measure. The thrashiNg shred never stops ably supported by nice melodic leads which are close to being the highlight (check the ones on the ldblquote sadisticrdblquote ldblquote Sadistic And Mercilessrdblquote ). A relative moment of peace would be the mid-paced stomper ldblquote Endless Winterrdblquote in the middle with the leads doing the bigger ldblquote damagerdblquote again. After it the mosh continues reaching Slayer-esque proportions on ldblquote The Return (Enthroned)rdblquote , the situation even improved on the final ldblquote Hedonistic And Mercilessrdblquote which is a fine more complicated composition reaching for the technical to exit this album with the style it by all means deserves.

The Price Is Pain EP, 2006
Conquest Full-length, 2011
Collision Full-Length, 2012

My Space

SACCAGE (CANADA)

Based on the demo, this outfit provides a hestitation between the classic black/thrash formulas and the more updated, blasting nuances, the final result being fast, intense music with vicious half-black/half-death metal vocals. Overall, if we exclude the wild hyper-blasts, the approach is not too far from their compatriots Megiddo; the guys here are a bit faster perhaps, with shorter tracks and a dirtier sound.
The full-length is a wild old school affair mixing thrash and black trying to keep a respecle speed throughout, and indeed the riffs are lightning fast at times adding the odd hyper-blast to the proceedings. The final result comes close to mid-period Impaled Nazarene mixed with the more recent Darkthrone escapades, when it slows down. Still, this intense effort has its listenable moments, and the guitars are clearly heard even bringing the odd melodic shade at times (the final "Cirrhose du Foie") which opposes to the rough shouty death-ish vocals.

La D'82rape arnak Demo, 2008
Tool Edit D'82rape Squad - Alcoholocaust Split, 2009
Death Crust Satanique Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

SACCARA (GERMANY)

This obscure act offer energetic hardcore-ish thrash in the tradition of early Rumble Militia and D.R.I. This is not too bad, by the way, since the guys add stomping slower riffage when needed, and some songs are really intense takes on crossover/thrash: "Urlaub im Knast", "Acceleration of Annihilation", "Wasted Money". Certainly, there are compositions which are direct exercises in brutal proto-grindcore: "Pickel Dir Einen".

Urbi et Orbi Full-Length, 1990

SACKRACE (HUNGARY)

An intriguing album mixing modern thrash metal with stylish Voivod-ish technical riffs (think both "Killing Technology" and "Negatron"). There are also shades of early Meshuggah and Equinox. The music is mostly mid-paced with numerous interesting moments as well as stylish lead guitars. The riffs are quite choppy and technical, quite mechanical and dry at times, but never too complex or abstract. The vocal styles also vary according to the style meanderings, although neither of them is suile to the much better music; some of them are shouted hardcore-ish ones, others are clean alternative ones, and those could be quite irritating with their absolutely non-metal blend.

Pain in the Fist Full-length, 1997

SACRAMENT (FINLAND)

The band's style calls to mind the Canadians Eidolon, their early, less thrashy period. Powerful, dark sound which could fit even Nevermore very well; heavy songs which never drag or lose coherence, aggravated by good, mid-ranged vocals.

Confuse My Mind Demo, 1999
Beginning of the End Demo, 2000
Escape From Reality Single, 2001
Walls of Hate EP, 2003

Official Site

SACRAMENT (GERMANY)

Based on "Agony", the band's style is close to early Iced Earth and Meliah Rage, but lacking those bands' flair and stylish guitar work, without any ticular claims at a more original or a non-standard play. There are pure thrash headbangers, and they are definitely the better and more attractive side of the band's music (the very good "Scat the Dark Eyes Aglow", and "Prophets of Doom"). "Guilty", on the other hand, has a pagan/viking flavour, and would fit on any of the early Falconer albums. "Feed the Memory" is a magnificent acoustic ballad, and is very close to being the highlight of the whole album. The few attempts at a more technical play are directly stolen from other bands (riffs from "Seed of Scorn" are taken from Annihilator's "Alison Hell"; the beginning of "Thin End of the Wedge" is a direct nod to Artillery).

Agony Full-length, 1995
Withered Dreaming EP, 1999
Aguante! Full-length, 2006

Official Site

SACRAMENT (USA, IL)

Badly produced, but energetic thrash; the guys definitely have ideas to pull it through, and at times the music gets really inspired and interesting, but the sound quality and the annoying hardcore-ish vocals impede the proceedings. The pace varies from heavy and pounding moments similar to Nasty Savage's debut, to up-tempo Slayer-esque ones, plus one chaotic early Voivod-ish number: "AFU".

Demo Demo, 1988

SACRAMENT (USA, PN)

Arguably the finest Christian thrash metal band; the debut is an aggressive uncompromising offering in the vein of Dark Angel's "Darkness Descends" and Devastation's "Idolatry": a relentless fast assault with quite a few clever semi-technical riffs present as well as nice melodic touches in the lead detment.
"Haunts Of Violence" tones down the aggression, and concentrates on the more technical play, already hinted at on the debut, resulting in a really enjoyable listen. The music is still fast-paced, but the slower, technical breaks are more frequent, as well as the tempo changes, which don't stay in the speedy ametres for too long. A good example for these tempo changes is the heavy slow-ish number "Souls in Torment" which flows in a slightly sleepy fashion, until it's interrupted by a much faster intense passage in the middle, after which it calms down again. Unfortunately Sacrament had apently no more to give to the thrash metal fans, and disappeared soon after.

Testimony of Apocalypse Full-length, 1990
Haunts of Violence Full-length, 1992

My Space

SACRAMENT LA (USA)

Yes, you guessed right, the band come from Los Angeles, but the sound is vintage San Francisco Bay Area thrash (at least they didn't have to look for inspiration much further), akin to Forbidden's debut, and the Germans Pyracanda (their debut, too). The tempo is fast-paced, except on the heavy stomper "Getta Life".

Getta Life Demo, 1990

SACRAMENTAL SACHEM (USA)

Based on the "Anxiety" EP, this band plays pretty cool classic speed/thrash metal sounding close to the Poles Hellfire on the faster moments which should have been more. "Pedestal Of Lies" offers both speed and more elaborate progressive arrangements. The former gets lost tially on the next "Anxiety" which acquires a nice doomy vibe, before "Weapons Of The Gods" shoots you at close range with its a bit less than 3-min of intense thrash. "Sentenced To Live" is a mid-paced thrasher with appropriate galloping insertions, and "S.E.E." follows the same path speeding up a bit to recall more recent adox as well. The singer does a good job with his clean mid-ranged tember holding both emotion and aggression the latter helped by sce more extreme proto-death grunts. The band later changed their name to Fuelblooded moving up the aggression scale towards modern thrash/death metal.

"Recrucifiction" is pure death/doom ala early My Dying Bride and Anathema, comprising long stretched compositions with an omnipresent keyboard background which will also remind of the Swedish doom/gothic masters Tristitia. It sounds so distantly removed from the following EP that one may not be sure whether he/she listens to the same band, the singer using the most guttural tone possible to produce some of the most sinister, underground-sounding voices on the scene at the time.

The Dolcinites Were Wrong EP, 1992
Recrucifiction Full-length, 1995
Anxiety EP, 2001

SACRARIO (BRAZIL)

The debut: an obscure gem from the Brazilian scene; this band pulls out exemplary aggressive thrash in the mid-period Sepultura mould ("Beneath the Remains", "Arise"), and Devastation ("Idolatry"). Actually this album sits comforly between the two aforementioned acts, and could easily pass for a lost Sepultura release. These guys are probably a bit more aggressive, touching proto-death at times. The first two tracks are furious fast-paced thrash at its best, and such intense delivery inevily requires a break, and it comes in the form of "Drug Addiction": a nice mid-paced, very heavy piece. But that's it, since immediately after the assault carries on, producing brilliant raging moments: "To Die is the End ?"; "Wasted Land", which is a bit more controlled, but nicely insert the only technical moments on the album, recalling Pestilence's "Testimony of the Ancients": "Extreme Unction". The closing "Divine Existence" again steps the pedal on a more technical approach, but the stomping smashing riffs take over. This is a must-have for fans of the more brutal side of thrash metal, and is definitely not for the faint-hearted.
"Stigma of Delusion" is a capable follow-up thrashing with gusto most of the time, this time with a stronger technical edge, well obvious on the opening title-track, a furious semi-technical headbanger. The rage goes on the next "Reborn In Chaos", but "Infernal anoia" shows a taste for crushing mid-paced riffs in the beginning, before the "carnage" starts over later on. "Back For Blood" finally shows consistency in the mid-tempo detment, recalling late 80's Slayer quite a bit. "Frozen Dusk" is very similar to the preceding song, and when "Trauma" begins in the same heavy slow manner, some may start frowning, albeit not for long since this number starts thrashing hard in the 2nd half. "God Against God" is a pure speedy thrash attack, but the closing "Covenant" "flirts" with slower riffs again, "depriving" this album from the necessary final headbanger. This effort is not a full-on "massacre" comed to the debut, and the Sepultura influences have been left behind, now the more intense moments sounding quite close to early Pestilence and Slayer as the latter are given more than a few nods on the slower ts. The decrease of speed is noticeable, and some may find this a drawback, but overall the fierce approach from the debut is quite well translated on at least half of the tracks.

"Beyond the Violence" is again a more controlled affair the compositions being diverse with an alternation between fast and slower moments. Some of them escape this description and lash steel riffs like a forging anvil: "Maze of Suffering", but on the other hand we have engaging heavy stompers in the best tradition of late-80's Slayer: "Mercilless Tyrant". The sophisticated technical edge introduced on the previous album sneaks in ("Dead in Human Form") here and there, but generally this effort is pretty straight-forward. The problem is that it is only 6 songs, and there is a kind of an unfinished feel attached to it; probably due to some of the band members' involvement with the thrashers Distraught...
The EP is a 4-tracker containing 2 original songs: "Asesinos De Mentes" which is a heavy moody piece in mid-pace; "Screams Of Agony" which is a fast raging ripper ala Slayer: and 2 cover versions: Sodom's "Agent Ornage" done well without any alterations; and Exodus' "Bonded by Blood" rendered with a slightly more laid-back riff-section than the one of the original.

Catastrophic Eyes Full-length, 2007
Stigma of Delusion Full-length, 2010
Beyond the Violence Full-length, 2012
Asesinos EP, 2012

My Space

SACRED ALLY (CANADA)

Based on the full-length, this Canadian act plays cool retro power/thrash metal with both speedy and epic tendencies, plus a certain number of beautiful Iron Maiden- styled guitar harmonies. The guys start pretty intensely with the energetic headbanger "Math", before the Muppet Show tribute "Kermit The Prog" turns to epic to deliver, except for the straight thrashing exit. "Despair" rides the wind far'n high being a soaring awe-inspiring speedster, and the next "Uzumaki" (a tribute to a very good bizarre Japanese horror film) is a galloping number with a cool memorable chorus. More elaborate, progressively-tinged, speed metal ala Manticora comes on "Valour And War"; the approach gets a bit more melodic on "High Seas", an obvious nod to Falconer with addictive folkish melodies and fiery speedy rhythms. "Final Juggernaut" closes the album summing up the epic, the folk, the speed, and the power/thrash in flying colours also adding a nice acoustic folk-tinged break. This is pretty diverse stuff which will entertain a wide gamut of fans, but those into Blind Guardian, Manticora, and the Poles Hellfire will be the happiest.

Balls Deep In Metal EP, 2007
Reality Hammer Full-length, 2011

Official Site

SACRED CHAO (GERMANY)

This band was formed by Thorsten Bergmann and Atomic Steif (both ex-members of Living Death), after the Living Death guitarists Reiner Kelch and Frank Fricke decided to spend more time with their other project Mekong Delta, and could be considered the continuation of Living Death, albeit for a very short while. Since Bergmann and Steif had no rights over the band name, they decided to name their new act after a song from the "World Neuroses" album: "Sacred Chao". Steif had previously lended his drum talents to the one-album-wonder Violent Force, and this time it was that band's bass player Lemmy to give the guys a hand in the recording of this 4-song EP, which would be a big surprise for the Living Death fans, and not a very pleasant one at that. These are 4 tracks of very bland unimpressive heavy/power/speed metal, with no ties to thrash at all, and with the Bergmann vocals taking an even more melodic tone. The guitars completely lack an edge, and the few moments where the music speeds up a bit are ruined by the very ordinary derivative riffage. It was really good that this project lasted for just this effort. The Kelch brothers (the founders of Living Death) did a much much better job on the comeback Living Death album "Killing in Action" two years later.

Sacred Chao EP, 1989

Vibrations of Doom

SACRED CRUCIFIX (FINLAND)

The first band formation dates back from the late 80's, and they have been releasing demos on irregular bases, right until this time. Heads down for the band's perseverance to finally get the opportunity to release a full-length. This album obviously includes songs from all their periods, but the style is pretty consistent, being old school death metal with hints at thrash, somewhat along the lines of Massacre, or Massacra. Their later period is more technical also drawing resemblances to Death.

"Shallow Grave" is mostly in the death metal camp and is very well-executed technical stuff which stretches from fast-paced intense numbers (the excellent opener "The Wound - The Blade", "Sectarian") to slower complex opuses ("Single-Handedly", "I Will Kill"). The guys seldom go for just speed for its own sake, and all speedy tracks have their slower stomping moments, which may be a drawback to some, since the only two really fast songs are the aforementioned ones. The rest stays in the mid-paced sector, with deviations into more quiet progressive territories ala later-period Death. There are slight shades of Swedish death metal, but again of the less aggressive variety. The complexity fluctuates, being more accentuated on some tracks, on some being left aside, but because of the lack of opposition on the side of the more intense riffage, it doesn't shine the whole time. Fans of late-period Death, Extol, Wetwork, Acid Death will like this effort, but fans of the more aggressive brand of the genre may not be too happy.

Aeon of Chaos Full-length, 2004
From Beyond to... EP, 2008
Shallow Grave Full-length, 2009

Official Site

SACRED CURSE (BRAZIL)

Based on the debut, this band plays cool Bay-Area-influenced thrash, sounding close to Forbidden's debut and Exodus. The music is fast and energetic with sharp cutting riffs. "My Reflections" is a deviation into a more melodic crossover direction, which is followed by a couple of laid-back softer tracks, carrying on in the same vein, maybe a bit more intense. Their number is probably bigger than necessary, and at some point the listener might stop looking for aggressive thrash riffage, until the last two songs: "Utopy", which returns to the thrashy style from the beginning, and the instrumental "Fuckin' Up", which is not as hard (and definitely not "fucked up"), featuring cool melodic guitars.

Sacred Age Full-length, 1992
The Raw Truth of Man Full-length, 1996

SACRED DEATH (USA)

This is brutal wild thrash with less controlled proto-death metal undercurrents and slower, almost doomy, passages which bring the necessary diversity. The bash is quite relentless with touches of more light-hearted crossover ("Morbid Curiosity") ala The Accused and early Broken Bones. The closer "Sacred Death" is a truly impressive achievement: stylish semi-technical thrashing mostly in up-tempo, all-instrumental, with more inspired performance and a few really intriguing decisions; something which was definitely pointing at a brighter future if the guys had lasted longer.

Only Death is Sacred Demo, 1987

SACRED DENIAL (USA)

Thrash/crossover of the more aggressive thrashy type; the approach resembles the one of early Nuclear Assault, but here we have very bad whining semi-clean drunken vocals which very often just powerlessly balllessly shout. The music sometimes acquires a more laid-back Motorhead-ish edge ("Some Curiosity"), but be preed for full-blooded thrashers as well ("Brother's Inventions", "Conquer", the explosive Slayer-esque "Take a Look Around").

Sifting Through Remains Full-Length, 1988

SACRED LEGACY (MALDIVES)

"Apocalypse" is a cool atmospheric debut of energetic modern thrash metal which is seriously marred by the awful synthesized shouty vocals. The title-track is a sure- handed opener thrashing in up-tempo, followed by the glorious speedster "Hysteria", a fast sweeping piece with an almost death metal-like intensity. Then "King Of Heroes" calms things down with heavy choppy riffs, a tendency followed by the aggro-smasher "Crave For Blood", which still remains pretty intense and energetic. This approach is stuck to for a string of songs until the final "Blood Hunt" which is a fine lasher with a classic spirit with great leads which take over near the end. There is nothing wrong with music of the kind which clearly shows that modern thrash metal is the order of the day on those islands (their compatriots Serenity Dies walk pretty much the same path); but some improvement in the vocal detment should be done soon...
"Undying Heart" is similar to the debut, at least in the beginning, starting again with a fast thrasher ("Beast of Darkness"), and "Black Velvet t 1" (t 2 never appears) is the expected more relaxed speed metal number with no relations music-wise to the Alannah Myles' hit of the same title (maybe on t 2- ha ha!). "Forgot" is nice melodic speed/thrash metal with good melodic leads, which are actually on a high level the whole time, but "Gods Legends" is more on the more ordinary power/thrash metal side, an impression corrected by another vigorous speedster ("Dragon Wars"). No more surprises of this nature, the rest being melodic, all-instrumental, and not very eventful embracing the power metal idea tighter than any other one. The end leaves this effort inferior to the edgier debut, and despite the relative lack of the annoying vocals, which are identical with the ones on the debut, it still doesn't strike a cord as strongly now the band sounding more like a 90's power/speed metal act more than occasionally.
"The Legacy Begins", and there's nothing to stop it; the band don't generally betray their staple approach emitting melodic modern speed/power/thrash which this time is more contrasting to the harsh death metal vocals. Heads will bang on the more aggressive material ("The Legacy Begins"), but the more officiant epic tone on the other tracks would hardly enchant the more hard-boiled fanbase. The progressive lovers would be fascinated, though, on the last two numbers where the delivery becomes more elaborate and more melodic.

Apocalypse Full-length, 2007
Undying Heart Full-length, 2008
The Legacy Begins Full-Length, 2011

Official Site

SACRED REICH (USA)

This band started quite promisingly with "Ignorance", which featured energetic fast thrash played with the utmost intensity. The guys made themselves heard with fast smashing riffs, short (3-4min) explosive numbers, and the forceful authoritative vocals of Phil Rind. Within a bit more than half an hour they managed to shake the ground no worse than two other seismic efforts produced a year earlier (Slayer's "Reign in Blood" & Dark Angel's "Darkness Descends").
Then came "Surf Nicaragua" less than a year later, which saw the guys diversifying with the merry rock tunes on the title-track; pounding in a heavy, thunderous way on "One Nation"; producing a cool faithful cover of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs"; and finally inserting some speed ala the debut on "Draining You Of Life", which is still pretty moderate, comed to the two live numbers following suit, both cuts from the debut, and coming with a very good sound quality.
"The American Way" is the band's magnum opus boasting some of the heaviest riffs around at the time, built around a solid mid-pace, which gives the album a unique, characteristic aura. Stomping, volcanic riffs pour from all sides, and their visceral effect largely compensates for the relative lack of faster-paced moments, the exception being the short ripping thrasher "I Don't Know", and a few isolated passages from "Crimes Against Humanity" & "Who's to Blame", the latter also introducing mellow balladic moments. The final "31 Flavors" is the joke closer, a bluesy funk/jazz cut, which still sounds enjoyable and fresh, despite its very non-metallic nature.
"Independent" is surprisingly melodic, with a laid-back power/thrash metal sound and quite a few balladic touches. It is still classic-sounding all the way, but thrash metal has lost its primal role, and overall one may find difficulties recognizing the act who once caused an earthquake with their debut, with Rind sounding pretty friendly, his aggressive semi-declamatory antics not even hinted at.

"Heal" is a much more aggressive offering with harder riffs and a bigger concentration on speed, and a much angrier Rind behind the mike. The problem is that the sound is strictly modern with groove having settled in quite comforly, bringing the approach close to Pantera from around the same time. Refreshing cuts are the energetic cover of the US act Oingo Boingo's "Who Do You Want to Be?", famous for the ticipation of the famous film soundtrack composer Danny Elfman, a constant companion of Tim Burton; and the more classic-inclined thrash/crossover piece "Seen Through My Eyes". The band are reportedly back on the scene, but at from a compilation album, containing remastered versions of the debut and the "Surf Nicaragua" EP, nothing else has come up from their camp yet.

Ignorance Full-length, 1987
Surf Nicaragua EP, 1988
Alive at the Dynamo EP, 1989
The American Way Full-length, 1990
A Question EP, 1991
Open Book/The Big Picture Single, 1993
Independent Full-length, 1993
Heal Full-length, 1996

Official Site

SACRED STEEL (GERMANY)

This band was formed after the one-album-wonder Tragedy Divine split up. The guys started quite well with "Reborn in Steel", resurrecting the old school American power/speed/thrash metal sound of the 80's, bringing to mind all the heroes from the period: Agent Steel, Attacker, Omen, Anvil, Exciter, etc. at a time when very few acts felt tempted to look so far back. The music packs a punch, highlighted by the high, soaring vocals of Gerrit P. Mutz, which are clearly an acquired taste, and might annoy some when hitting the higher tones. The next two albums repeated the eslished on the debut formula almost note-by-note, and were consequently a disappointment, showing the band acting a little more than just the next "victim" to the so widely spread in Germany "Running Wild" syndrome (a band playing the same stuff over and over, with no any intentions to move just a bit away from the trite pattern, named after... well...). "Slaughter Prophecy" is a big improvement, seeing the guys hardening the course, with more thrash added, and Mutz inserting some unholy death metal growls from time to time. Most of the tracks are forceful speed/thrash metal killers, with razor-sharp guitars and cool memorable choruses.
"Iron Blessings" already sounds familiar, staying true to the music heard on the predecessor, although very heavy pounding power/thrashers deliver the goods no worse, sacrificing the speed for the sake of the steam-rolling crushing riffage. "Hammer of Destruction" is a full-take on the 80's speed metal sound, with a few deviations from the model, crossing again Agent Steel, Attacker and Exciter in a commendable way, also featuring a very cool cover version of Jag Panzer's "Generally Hostile" from the Americans' debut "Ample Destruction".
"Carnage Victory" promises good speed metal-based fun with the opening "Charge Into Overkill" and "Don't Break The Oath" (no relations to Mercyful Fate music or vocal-wise), but this time the band have decided to mix it up, and here comes the slower epic "Carnage Victory", followed by the even softer, semi-balladic "Broken Rites". The speed comes back with a vengeance on the excellent "Crosses Stained With Blood", but later on the pace decreases leaving the final damage for "By Vengeance And Hatred We Ride" which speed/thrashes with full force in the 1st half, but in the 2nd one the riffs become clumsy with a shade of doom. The guys try to offer more variety, for better or worse, like they used to do before, but in the present case the music is a step down from their more inspired stripped-down approach heard on "Hammer of Destruction" and elsewhere on their back catalogue.

The "Pounding Inferno" EP continues the more aggressive tendencies from the previous full-length (reportedly it contains songs which were left out from the "Iron Blessings" sessions, including the title track), and thrashes with force on the opening "Pounding Inferno" which is a maddening speed/thrasher at its best. More classic speed metal in a cleaner form arrives with "Children of the Spirit", before "Hell Insanity" moves up the thrash scale again. "Unholy Majesty" recalls the band's more epic period being slow and semi-doomy. "A Curse Upon Your Name" is ripping headbanging thrash metal once again, but "Iron Blessings" is an ultra-heavy piece with Gerrit P. Mutz adding a few more death metal-based growls to aggravate the brutality of this unstoppable steam-roller. And after that begin the covers, the 1st one being a sheer death metal madness: Death's "Zombie Ritual" played by-the-book with Muts growling no worse than Chuck Schuldiner (R.I.P.) himself. The next one is on the other extreme: Raven's "All for One", a mild heavy rocker. Things get a bit harder on the Nasty Savage cover of "Metal Knights" from the Americans' debut which is epic power metal; but the speed/thrash metal fans will have their final fun on Tankard's "(Empty) Tankard", done very faithfully as well (actually, all of the songs are played very close to the originals), with Muts impersonating the hellish shouty antics of Andreas "Gerre" Geremia down to the -T-. With its length of 10 full-blooded numbers this effort could easily be viewed as a full-length, and as such delivers every bit as good as the guys' two albums before it.
"The Bloodshed Summoning": this album sees the band returning to their more aggresive thrashy approach of yore, not completely but at least on half of the album, as now things decidedly sound more intriguing with the technical insertions on "No God-No Religion", the galloping epicness of "When The Siren Calls", the raging headache causer "Under The Banner Of Blasphemy", etc. The album staggers again in the middle with a string of less impressive, less energetic, compositions, but the end compensates with shorter more vogorous cuts which are crowned, for better or worse, by the Misfits cover of "Dig up her Bones" which is sustained in a jolly merry-go-round punky manner, hardly the best closer to this otherwise not bad adition to the band's voluminous catalogue.

Reborn in Steel Full-length, 1997
Wargods of Metal Full-length, 1999
Bloodlust Full-length, 2000
Slaughter Prophecy Full-length, 2002
Iron Blessings Full-length, 2004
Pounding Inferno EP, 2006
Hammer of Destruction Full-length, 2006
Carnage Victory Full-Length, 2009
The Bloodshed Summoning Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

SACRED STORM (USA)

Based on the "Extreme Assault" EP, these guys offer vintage retro speed/thrash metal with cool semi-technical guitar work. The music recalls adox's early output, but at times it goes into more aggressive fields (the blast-beats on "Extreme Assault", which justify its title pretty well). "Skullcrusher" and "Virus" "crush" in a more laid-back slower way, but the closing "Confessions of a Killer" is a brisk speed/thrasher with nice melodic hooks.
"Man Versus Machine" has a more modern sound, although the stylish guitar work is already here; still, this effort is not as satisfying. The guys don't rely on speed at all, although the album begins in an energetic up-tempo fashion with "Man Versus Machine" and "Thunderchariot", but very soon after acquires a heavier slower approach which doesn't change until the end, so what one will hear is heavy pounding mid-paced riffs, quite similar on each track, except on the closing "The Revelation", which is indeed a "revelation" with cool leads, a few faster moments, and a nice large instrumental t, albeit of the more melodic variety.

Man Versus Machine Full-length, 2007
Extreme Assault EP, 2009

Official Site

SACRED THRASH (ARGENTINA)

These guys are one of the oldest metal acts in Argentina, having virtually started the whole scene with Lethal, Horcas and Hermetica. Based on the EP, they pull out mid-paced atmospheric thrash with gothic overtones, coming mostly from the keyboard implements, and the gruff death-ish, Crematory-like vocals. The heaviness comes too much, perhaps, on songs like "Injusticia", which is quite doomy and gloomy, but is nonetheless a satisfying slab of slower thrash. "Patria o Muerte" starts with an overlong orchestral intro, but later on the guys show no mercy, thrashing with full force, without forgetting about the genuine gothic edge, which makes their style quite unique, by the way. "Maldita Polucion" is a sudden switch onto full-blooded headbanging thrash.

Demo Demo, 1991
Injusticia EP, 2006

My Space

SACREDEATH (BRAZIL)

This is modern thrash/death which begs to differ mostly thanks to the diverse vocal lines which range from semi-clean epic to rending blacky ones often within one composition. In the music detment a lot of sophistication also shows up (the power/thrasher "Bestial Nights"), and generally the guys don't bash senselessly, but adhere to more melodic gimmicks (the "flirtation" with the semi-ballad on "Punishment of Gods"; the excellent elegiac doomster "Lacerate the Mortal Soul") from time to time. This is not very fast music which is done with thought and competence without any excesses.

Spreading Death Full-length, 2011

Official Site

SACRIFICE (CANADA)

One of the most prominent Canadian thrash metal bands; their debut was quite raw and primitive, recalling Possessed's "Seven Churches", sounding well more aggressive and intense on quite a few times. Still, it's worth hearing with its appealing primal approach, coming as the most extreme official full-length release at this stage, beating the Possessed's aforementioned album and the first 2 Bathory efforts in terms of both musicianship and speed. The Canadians are probably more varied than the 2 other acts, adding slower pounding riffs ("Homicidal Breath", "Burned at the Stake") here and there, but brutal bombs like "Warrior of Death", "Infernal Visions", "Burned at the Stake", and "Necronomicon" could easily pass for the first genuine death metal pieces, the latter boasting some of the most extreme unholy screams on the scene. "The Exorcism" is one of the first attempts at aggressive speedy instrumental-only metal, offering relentless thrashing with a cool semi-technical edge. The bigger complexity of the follow-up is nowhere felt, even the longer, almost 6-min long "Beyond Death" bashes hard from beginning to end. After listening to this spontaneous outburst of aggression, the thrash metal fan's ears should have been well preed for what came in the next few years, right up to the first full-on death metal attacks from Florida, and even beyond.

"Forward To Termination" is a masterpiece of well-thought, but quite uncompromising and aggressive thrash metal; arguably the band's finest achievement. The instrumental brilliance "Terror Strikes" opens this album magnificently, recalling Destruction, both music and vocal-wise, as Rob Urbinati's vocals have this unique raspy blend as well, a not very common phenomenon on the scene. The album speeds up ahead, until it reaches the awesome epic riff-fest "Flames of Armageddon", which shows the more complex and ambitious side of the band. It is followed by another, equally as complex, and even technical number: "The Entity". The songs which follow go back to the aggressive patterns of the beginning, as the intensity remains until the very end.

"Soldiers Of Misfortune" is a strong follow-up, keeping the fast pace throughout, again including more varied interesting songs with various tempos and riffs: "Soldiers of Misfortune"; "Truth (After The Rain)", which is more than 10-min long, and tries to follow the high model of "Flames of Armageddon", but fails, simply because it forgets to sound energetic and thrashy, but concentrates on atmospheric, semi-complex, melodic guitar work and on an unnecessarily long acoustic outro.

"Apocalypse Inside" offers a more abrasive guitar sound, and tries to keep the energy from the previous recordings, and succeeds in the beginning, with the first two tracks, but then "Flesh" comes in, and the tempo slows down, with heavy guitars. Still, the rest is not a total waste, relying on more melodic guitar hooks, which are quite appealing ("Salvation"), and even technical and haunting ("Beneath What You See"). Just when you start thinking that this album will have no more speedy thrashers, comes the up-tempo "Incarcerated", but it is soon followed by slower, almost doomy tracks, which leave no room for any faster moments later. Although less impressive than the previous band's output, this album still delivers the goods much better than the modern-sounding works of many 80's acts released around the same time. The band frontman Rob Urbinati along with the bass player Kevin Wimberley later formed Interzone, with which they paid their tribute to the 90's trends.

An unexpected return for these legends with "The Ones I Condemn", and an excellent one at that: from the furious openig instrumental "We Will Prevail" the assault begins and never lets loose. Fast razor-sharp merciless thrash will nail you down, more melodic and semi-technical on "Give Me Justice" and more aggressive, with a proto-death shade on "The Great Wall". "Tetragrammaton" is placed in the middle: a slow doomy 2.5-min composition, after which "Atrocity" nicely changes the course into a more galloping controlled pace, but only for a while, since "Hiroshima" is another heads-down up-tempo thrash piece. "The Devil's Martyr" is ultra-aggressive Slayer-esque thrash, and with the end of the album coming one may start to ask for those longer elaborate songs, which were a considerable t from the band's older output. The good news is that yes, there is one: the closer "Desolation Alive", which lasts for more than 7-min, and is a great way to end this effort with clever arrangements, changing tempos, addictive melodic hooks, and a couple of more intense riffage in the middle and near the end. The bonus material is in the form of two remastered tracks: "Burned At the Stake" from their debut, and "The Entity" from "Forward to Termination".

Torment in Fire Full-length, 1985
Forward To Termination Full-length, 1987
Soldiers of Misfortune Full-length, 1991
Apocalypse Inside Full-length, 1993
The Ones I Condemn Full-length, 2009

Official Site

SACRIFICE (JAPAN)

A less known, but a pretty decent Japanese band; the debut is a heavy, mid-paced affair sounding like a mixture between Carnivore and Venom with weak, hardcore vocals. It's a bit monotonous and one-dimensional, but is strangely listenable with its naive, but sincere approach; it includes more up-tempo numbers for stirring the blood ("Tank", "Redrum"), but at other times the music almost completely loses its edge, sliding down to pure heavy metal ("Lucifer Smiles").
"Total Steel" carries on in the same vein, but features more proficient, and faster guitar work, but worse shouty hardcore vocals (the ones on the debut were of the nosy, low-tuned, semi-clean type, sounding like a more melodic Cronos). The rock-ish numbers are here again ("Dancing Death Valley": I don't know about the Death Valley, but you might find yourself dancing on this one). Their swansong "Tears" is their heaviest, but also very modern-sounding work; it manages to thrash quite well: "Breaking the Silence", "Time Slips Through...", and the sound is more energetic comed to the first two offerings, but the groovy tendencies have found their way into it ("Down to You"), but just a little for a start.

Crest of Black Full-Length, 1987
Total Steel Full-length, 1990
Tears Full-length, 1992

Vibrations of Doom

SACRIFICE (SOUTH KOREA)

This is a brand new album coming from South Korea to offer us more heavy groovy post-thrash with hardcore vocals not too far from Pro-Pain. The music is not too stale, and moves around, becoming too aggressive at times ("You Know The Truth"), and "Tribal" is a nice chunky thrasher. Just when one thought that the 90's sound has been fading away into obscurity, here come acts from the distant corners of the world (the Far East in this case), to give it another breath of fresh air...

Burning Rage Full-length, 2007

Official Site

SACRIFICED (BRAZIL)

Cool retro power/thrash metal with very good mid-levelled female vocals which remain the highlight; the music is mid-tempo with gothic overtones, and the guitar work is too melodic to survive a more difficult thrash test.

Sacrificed EP, 2009

SACRIFICIAL (DENMARK)

Sacrificial appeared around the same time as Invocator, but they were less lucky, and when their full-length debut came out, Invocator already boasted a second full-length release. So what do we have here? Sacrificial's debut takes a place between the two Invocator releases; it's aggressive and technical like the debut, but shares the modern production and attitude of the second one. The music most of the time is pure thrash with a classic edge maybe more conventional than the one of Invocator and with more frequent slower sections, which are quite intriguing, by the way, because this is where the riffs twist and crush with passion. "Destitute of Compassion" is the only track which is closer to death metal, and surprisingly recalls the Swedish Gothenburg sound which at that stage was not yet fully developed (everything may have started in Denmark back in those days!?). Like Invocator, the guys don't need long compositions to show their technical skills, and it's the shorter tracks which carry a bigger technical charge ("Conducted Strain", "Edmund, A Butler's Tale"), and are the better ones. Reportedly on later works the band moved towards plain Swedish death metal with less thrashy elements.

Forever Entangled Full-length, 1993
Erect:Eloquent:Extinct Full-length, 2000
AutoHate Full-length, 2002

Official Site

SACRIFICIAL BLOOD (USA)

Based on the Split with Zombie, these guys offer simplistic old school speed/thrash in the vein of early Whiplash and Hallows Eve. This is rough, mostly energetic music with raw production qualities and brutal death metal vocals. The band enjoy making covers, and here come two: "Shellshock" (Tank), and "Searchlights" (OZ), decently done, with the music taking a more accessible melodic turn, adapted to the classic hard'n heavy style of those two acts. Some of the musicians also entertain themselves with the thrash/punk hybriders A.S.D.
Finally a full-length release ("Unholy Fucking Hatred") from these guys, and it doesn't disappoint comprising vicious retro thrash/death metal with a slightly thin guitar sound. The more aggressive, death metal-oriented cuts ("Sacrificial Blood"; the wild shredder "Unholy Wrath") are well mixed with more moderate speed/thrashers ("Reign Of Hate"; the black metal-tinged "fury" "Desolate"), as the latter deliver more, both in terms of melody and diversity (check out "Crushing The False"). The shorter tracks are very close to hardcore ("Chaotic Compulsion"), and the guys' infatuation with classic heavy rock springs up again, first with the heavy/power metal hymn "Infernal Creation", and at the very end with the edgy, and pretty faithful at that, cover version of Rainbow's "Kill the King" (covered by several thrash metal acts through the ages: ADX, Heathen, Liege Lord, etc.) with only the brutal vocals spoiling the mood.
"SoulS for Sale" offers the next slab of old styles: power, speed and thrash which are covered in almost equal dozes speed/thrash dominating on overpowering bulldozers like "Tyrant of Pain" and "The Pack". The overall tone is still more on the friendly side except, of course, for the rough death-ish vocals which work on the faster numbers, but are hardly very fitting for the sweet heavy metal tunes on the title-track, for example. The spirit of Motorhead can be felt on a few roller-coasters near the end, to add more to the ty tone of this carefree recording.

Chaotic Compulsion Demo, 2003
Toxic Zombies Demo, 2003
Crushing the False, Destroying Everything Best of/Compilation, 2004
Eternal Hell and Damnation Split, 2005
Sacrificial Blood/Zombie Split, 2006
Promo Demo, 2007
Unholy Fucking Hatred Full-length, 2011
SoulS for Sale Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

SACRIFICIAL DAGGER (FINLAND)

A good 3-song demo of speedy Germanic thrash in the spirit of early Destruction and Kreator; fast-paced sharp riffs and rough death metal vocals.

First Sacrifice Demo, 2006

Official Site

SACRIFICIAL SLAUGHTER (USA)

Based on "The Great Oppression", these guys serve brutal devastating classic thrash/death which will sweep you from the very first cords, and won't let you loose till the "gory" end. This is calculated precise extremity which even "flirts" with the offbeat and the technical: check out the stylish riffage on "Demand Degradation". On the other hand, we have relaxed corey cuts as well ("Communion of Lies") which are still played with the speed of light. Later on grindcore comes to help for a while on a couple of songs turning this album into a varied riff-fest all played with competence wihout leaving any unpleasant aftertaste. The 2nd half is mostly ruled by death metal the numbers sounding more aggressive and a tad less controlled the "madness" finished with the title-track which is standout technical thrash/death with dramatic undercurrents. Not for the faint of heart, this recording will make many extreme metal fans happy, including those who like their music with apiinch of originality.

The Rebirth Full-length, 2002
Spontaneous Suicide Full-length, 2009
The Great Oppression Full-length, 2013

Official Site

SACRIFICER (CHILE)

Based on the "Sudden Death" EP, this act lashes out aggressive thrash/proto-death akin to Hellwitch when it adheres to a more technical play, and early Kreator when it bashes in a direct stripped-down manner. Both influences are well covered, ably intercepting each other, keeping the high speed the whole time, which only gets lost a bit on the fine galloping thrasher "Signature of Blood" where the vicious black-ish vocals don't suit too well. The guitar work is really cool with sharp riffs and proficient, albeit screaming, leads.

Society Of Destruction Demo, 2003
Society of Destruction & Covering Underground Demo, 2004
Sudden Death EP, 2004

SACRILEGE (UK)

A female-fronted thrash metal band, and quite impressive at that, having previously been a t of the UK punk movement where several UK thrash metal acts had come from (Onslaught, Cerebral Fix, Hellbastard, etc.). It has ties to two other more famous acts from the UK: Benediction and Cerebral Fix, since members of those two bands had played here. "Behind the Realms of Madness" is one of the first attempts at thrash from the UK, and as such has its both good and bad sides; "Life Line" opens the album in a fairly energetic way: a cool mix of thrash and hardcore/punk. Later the songs get mostly mid-paced, but more hard-hitting and more enjoyable, with the presence of another happy thrash/crossover number: "A Violation of Something Sacred". The style has its obvious Venom influences, but is more professionally done.
On "Within the Prophecy" the band forge a unique one-of-a-kind sound: mid-paced monotonous thrash with long sprawling tracks without too many tempo changes; maybe it doesn't sound very attractive, but is a fairly enjoyable listen, considering its weird nature. The concentration is mostly on music, and Simpson's involvement is not as big, although here she sings much better than the rough, throaty way she used on the debut. The guitars are sharper, and the sound is this time closer to Cerebral Fix. "Search Eternal" is a monstrous 11-min long opus which starts as a doom metal track, but later moves back to thrash.

"Turn Back Trilobite" shifts towards doom metal by retaining some of their thrash roots, another strong release which would by all means appeal more to doom metal fans, as well as to progressive metal ones, since the song-structures are more complex. Some may find this album the band's magnum opus, and well deservedly so. "Father Time (Beneath the Gaze)" opens it in a mighty doom fashion with heavy riffs, and Simpson's vocals taking a great melodic passionate edge. "Silent Dark" is a more dynamic doom/power/thrasher boasting more complex arrangements and a great doomy exit. "Soul Search" will make you cry (and probably start searching for your soul): one of the greatest ballads to ever come out of the metal circuit spiced with fine leads and a cool thrashy twist near the end. "Awaken (Suryanamaskar)" is the ultimate doom metal hymn recalling Candlemass' "A Cry from the Crypt" from "Ancient Dreams" with its proto-thrashy galloping rhythms, but this one beats it with some of the finest Oriental tunes ever put on a metal album. "Key To Nirvana" again sticks closer to doom, and is another massive composition setting the tone for the coming of the progressive 3-t opus "Into The Sea Of Tranquility" which may be considered a downpoint being balladic solemn doom throughout its nearly 12-min, but at this point the listener is already well aware that this album is a different "animal". The closer "Equinox" promises more entertainment for the doom maniacs as a finishing touch making this effort the main rival to the four 80's Candlemass releases for the "doom metal album of the decade" award. One more effort in the same vein could have eslished the band as a major force on the field provided that doom metal was the only 80's sub-genre which continued to flourish through the 90's, but the band members went their seate ways untimely ending a very promising career.

Behind the Realms of Madness Full-length, 1985
Within the Prophecy Full-length, 1987
Turn Back Trilobite Full-length, 1989

Vibrations of Doom

SACRILEGE BC (USA)

A good thrash metal band who never made it big despite the big potential on display here. The debut is a relentless fast thrash attack, which is not mindless bashing, like it often happens in the metal underground, but comes with great riffs, slower breaks, good, albeit short leads, and really cool bass implements, and at least one slower, stomping ala Celtic Frost track ("Skinned Alive"). "Too Cool to Pray" is less aggressive, with more clever guitar work, shades of crossover as well, and the leads are longer and more melodic; it still remains a good headbanging fun all the way.

ty With God Full-length, 1986
Too Cool To Pray Full-length, 1988

SACRILEGIO (MEXICO)

Based on the EP, this act indulge in energetic galloping speed/power/thrash metal which steadfastly follows the paths carved by their neighbours from the North. The guys know their craft shredding with vigour the singer being a bit high-strung and hoarse, but still carrying the requisite doze of melody. The sound quality is not great making the guitars too fuzzy at times. "Agonia" is a more aggressive aedbanger, but the rest is more in the power/speed metal camp the band providing soaring melodies aplenty.

Sacrilegio EP, 1991
Un Poco M'e1s Full-length, 1995

SACRILEGIO (PUERTO RICO)

Based on the Split, this young band pulls out fairly satisfying classic power/speed/thrash metal which opens with the galloping power/thrasher "Gods Of The Underworld", before moving onto sheer speed/thrashing fury, with "Black Purity" and "Lepanto". The end is again in a more moderate slower, epic pace: "Maldito Amancer", another very cool crushing mid-tempo piece, which preserves an even nicer fast-paced closing section with very cool melodic guitar hooks.
"The Ultimate Abomination" is a sure-handed debut starting with a song from the split, with a slightly changed title: "Dark", instead of "Black", "Purity". More temperate speed/thrash comes with "Pagar~n con Sangre" which is a flying Helloween-esque number, a tendency continued on "Karma", which thrashes harder, with another soaring "eagle fly free" composition ("Zona Cero") following suit. Then another piece from the split is included ("Gods of the Underworld"), before "Beyond the Darkness of Night" sweeps you with great larger-than-life speed/thrash in the best tradition of the Polish Hellfire, mixing speedy riffs with technical ones to a very positive effect. "Lepanto", from the split again, assists nicely right after, but "Shadows of Fear" goes away with all the glory, being a standout slab of epic technical thrash admirably speeding up in the second t to frenetic headbanging tempos. "The Fall (of The Traitor)" is a short melodic power/thrash instrumental, but apently this "traitor" is alive and well, and is the topic of the next number (of the same title) which makes itself heard in a glorious speed/thrashing manner ala adox's "Heresy". The closing "Abomination of Desolation" will scare you, first with its title suggesting that it might be a direct take on the brutal Morbid Angel style, and second with with its aggressive rapid-fire approach, and is the most extreme offering thrashing high'n low never slowing down even for a split second. I don't know about "The Ultimate Abomination", but this is definitely one of the "ultimate" speed/thrash metal gems of recent years, a tour de force which will make the fans take acts from this small country/US state with a big doze of respect from now on. Some of the musicians involved here also play in the much more restrained progressive metal outfit Solvo Animus.

Reloj de Arena Demo, 2004
Dark Purity Demo, 2006
Thrash Clash Volume 3 Split, 2008
The Ultimate Abomination Full-length, 2009

Official Site

SACRIMENT (CANADA)

Modern laid-back thrash hesitating between the groovy school and the more dynamic Swedish trends. Unfortunately, the music lacks speed repeating the same peaceful mid-paced structures which come gothic-ornated at times, and additionally "kill" the little sharpness the riffs have.

Sacriment Full-Length, 2009

SACRIPHYX (AUSTRALIA)

Two guys, also taking t in many other acts from the Australian inderground, are behind this project which evolves around epic thrash/death metal with battle-like overtones which are infused with melody and several less tamed hyper-blast black metal shades. The music is officiant and mostly mid-tempo topped by a brutal death metal semi-shouter who leads the pack with his forceful rendings.

The Western Front Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

SACRIVERSUM (POLAND)

Based on the debut demo, this is death/thrash metal ala Incubus and Loudblast. The vocals are very brutal low-tuned, and the tempo is generally extremely fast, seldom spiced with more technical decisions ("Dreams Of Destiny"). "Taste Of Defeat" is more atmospheric death metal with shades of doom, which kind of suggests at the future direction in which the band were heading: except for the debut full-length, the band's other releases are more in the gothic/death metal camp. Later in the 90's they also founded another act: Artrosis, with a style quite similar to their more recent works.

Dreams Of Destiny Demo, 1993
The Shadow of the Golden Fire Full-length, 1994
Soteria Full-length, 1998
Beckettia Full-length, 2000
Mozartia Full-length, 2003
Sigma Draconis Full-length, 2004

Official Site

SACROSANCT (HOLLAND)

Sacrosanct were formed by the former Pestilence guitarist Randy Meinhard who, unlike his former colleagues, preferred to remain within the confines of thrash metal. The band started with "Truth Is - What Is", a fairly good album, albeit a bit heavy-handed at times, with quite a few stylish moments scattered throughout (check out the surreal intro to "Execrated (They Will Be)", for example, or the fast-paced technical mid-break on "The Die Is Cast") which, combined with the more conventional, energetic material delivers on all counts. The bass performance is top-notch, though, overshadowing Meinhard's pyrotechnics on quite a few times. As a result the album works as seate pieces, rather than one whole, with some songs really hitting hard both in the headbanging and technical detment: the ambitious progressive closer "Truth Is What Is", the Pestilence debut's reminder "Disputed Death", the complex meandering opener "Dimension Of Violence". Sadly, the flat hardcore vocals are absolutely no match to the much better music.

All flaws, however, were removed for the second album, which is a really impressive work of technical/progressive thrash metal; with longer songs, more complex structures ("Astrayed Thoughts" is one of the finest achievements of the whole progressive thrash metal scene), and some stupendous guitar performance, both in the technical and melodic detment (the marriage of both is simply marvellous on "Mortal Remains" and "Illusive Supremacy": this one has a great balladic beginning and ending), this album sticks out even on a very high quality metal scene like the Dutch one. There are still quite a few energetic riffs present (the intense headbanger "With Malice Prepense", sounding like a leftover from the Pestilence debut), although the music is predominantly mid-paced, with a darker, gloomier, even doomy ("Hidden Crimes Untold", and the mid-section on "Mortal Remains" again) sound and fine very stylish technical breaks. The bass excels again, and the vocalist this time sounds much less irritating, moving his tember more towards the semi-clean field.
The band tried to make some "amendments" to answer to the demands of the 90's with "Tragic Intense", instead of joining the progressive/thrash metal wave which just started in their neighbour Germany, and took a direction towards progressive/power metal, by also further elaborating on the doomy side of their music, straying quite a bit away from the technical thrash base consequently ending nowhere with the hesitation which path to take. The reason for this not very convincing work may be due to the leaving of the very talented bassist Gerrit Knol who, along with the singer Michael "Mike" Lucarelli who sang on the first 2 albums, continued their career under the name Genetic Wisdom. The other half, the bass player Remco Nijkamp and the guitarist Michael Cerrone, were responsible for one standout progressive power/thrash metal album under the name Imperium ("Too Short a Season", 1993).

Truth Is - What Is Full-length, 1990
Recesses For The Depraved Full-length, 1991
Tragic Intense Full-length, 1993

SADHU (SOUTH KOREA)

Intense thrash/death metal with a modern flavour; so expect a fairly even mix of fast proto-classic sections and heavier groovy ones supported by gruff death metal vocals. The music is closer to thrash producing some really fine pieces (the "perfect" Perfect Crime"; the excellent technical Pestilence-sque "Spreading Black"), although the more death metal-inclined ones are not too far behind ("Reincarnation") adding to the overall aggressive atmosphere which is only dissipated on the somewhat pointless groover "Labyrinth" at the end.

The Trend Of Public Opinion Full-length, 1996

SADIKO (MEXICO)

This is vicious twisted thrash/death metal which adheres to grind every now and then, creating a brutal incoherent picture. The songs are short, and almost every idea the guys have had remains unfinished with the compositions sounding like rehearsals for something even worse.

Sadiko Demo, 2006

Official Site

SADISTIC GRIMNESS (SWEDEN)

"Asteni" is a relentless brutal mix of black, death, and a bit of thrash metal. This is constantly fast stuff with hellish black/death growling vocals. To these ears the highlight is the doomy creepy sinister "Asteni" which is placed in the middle, apently playing the role of the interlude, after which the music gets even more vicious and intense. "Spiritual Serenity" is an interesting closer crossing furious technical death ala Morbid Angel with ambitious cosmic arangements in the spirit of Bal-Sagoth.

Vicious Torture Full-length, 2004
Asteni Full-length, 2009

My Space

SADISTIC HUMOR (CANADA)

This obscure act should have been better known, mainly thanks to their last demo which shows some truly inspired technical/progressive thrash along the lines of Realm and Watchtower. The first 2 demos feature cool, albeit quite frequently rough, thrashing which evolves around lengthy compositions with a power/speed metal flavour also added recalling Aftermath and Destructor. "Labyrinth" ia nice instrumental, the best cut from their early stages, displaying sparkles of more mature musicianship. The 5 tracks from the last demo, "Transload", are a revelation the guys pulling all the stops technicality-wise. "Followers" is an engaging pounder, and may fail to prepare the listener for the complex patterns introduced on the title-track. "Broken Wing" is a hard-hitting cut with a nice chorus aggravated by the very good clean soulful vocals reminiscent of Eric AK (Flotsam & Jetsam). "Infection" is an awesome hectic shredder in the best tradition of Realm with an accentuated bass bottom. "The Swarm" is a more abstract technicaller in the vein of early Watchtower the bass remaining on the highlight side along with the leads which are more expressive here with a cool atmospheric flair. This very unknown act is a very good example of the technical metal made in Canada, and should be mentioned alongside Voivod, Savage Steel, D.B.C. and Annihilator.

R.I.P. ...Thrashing into Oblivion Compilation, 2010

SADISTIC MERCENARY (CHILE)

This Chilean trio offer retro thrash/proto-death with morbid sinister black/death metal vocals ala Nuclear Holocausto Vengeance (Beherit). The music makes sense and is surprisingly comprehensive for a live recording the guitars clearly heard for most of the time showing an act capable of playing more complex arrangements on top of their more immediate barrage also varying tempos avoiding the blast-beating "traps" and consequently engaging the listener in following the eventful proceedings. A full-length with a better production should follow soon: there is a potential lying in wait here...

Live at Dismember Metal Fest Demo, 2012

Official Site

SADISTIC PAIN (USA)

Based on "Same": a 2-song demo of heavy, almost doomy thrash: "Mr. Morbid", and a somewhat pop-ish power/thrasher: "Dogpile"; think Motley Crue meets early Laaz Rockit. The horrifying band name is not deserved at all, and clearly doesn't do the band justice, especially if they were aiming at the massive heavy metal crowd.

Same Demo, 1991
Sadistic Pain Demo, 1993

SADISTIC RAGE (USA)

This demo comes as a small version of Slayer's "Reign in Blood": fast aggressive thrash slightly bordering on death metal. "Vision of Death" is longer (5-min), and brings forward some heavier atmospheric moments.

No More Games Demo, 1988

SADISTIC VISION (CANADA)

This is fairly cool technical thrash with more brutal proto-death passages and very mean clean vocals, which has by all means been an influence on the technical wave which started later in the 90's from the same country; and later graced the technical death metal legends Gorguts with one of its finest members: the drummer Steve MacDonald (R.I.P.), who also founded the black/death metal outfit Asgard, who still continue to carry his legacy after his untimely passing. Back to Sadistic Vision: this is clearly not an immedaite listen, as the music at first might strike you as too chaotic and illogical. The songs are short (3-4min), but are packed with stupendous technical riffs and twisted time-changes. "The Law Of The Jungle" offers a rawer and more brutal sound, whereas "Pris Au Piege" is a more polished and more refined, but still quite aggressive slab of well done technical thrash/proto-death. If you can imagine a more aggressive version of Watchtower's debut... These guys had definitely had a "vision", but why "sadistic"?

The debut demo is a really brutal affair rivalling the first 2 Cryptic Slaughter albums with ease on the more outrageous moments. The jumpy busy riffage betrays a more technical performance in the near future, but at this stage this is just chaotic, albeit listenable, bash "courting" grind, death and hardcore in a disorderly fashion, still managing to get the better out of this violent concoction.

Demo Demo, 1988
The Law Of The Jungle Demo, 1989
Pris Au Piege Demo, 1990

SADISTIK RITUAL (USA)

Based on the 1st demo, this band play decent "sadistik" thrash with steam-rolling qualities not far from Nasty Savage's "Indulgence" and Deathwish's "At the Edge of Damnation" with a rich dark sound hampered by the bad sound quality. The music is still on a more basic level the singer trying to incorporate this forceful authoritative scary tember of Nasty Ronnie adding a more brutal deathy edge to it also spiced with the sce Tom Araya-esqe scream ("Empire"). The pace varies as the stomping punishing rhythms ("Judgement Day") seem to work the best.

Demo Demo, 1988
Deal With Darkness Demo, 1989

SADOCRUSH (SWEDEN)

Based on the "True Evil" demo, these two corpse-painters pull out really "evil" misanthropic black/thrash metal with morose doomy tendencies quite close to Khold and early Bathory. Fuzzy hypnotic riffs, sce hyper-blasts, and wicked semi-whispered vocals; oh, and the odd surreal lead ("Goatfire")...

Deathorgasm Demo, 1998
True Evil Demo, 2000

My Space

SADOKIST (FINLAND)

Based on the "Horrors from Hell" demo, this act plays evil speedy black/thrash metal recalling Absu and the Italians Vexed; brutal stuff as a whole, constantly fast, occasionally blasting in a less controlled manner with vicious harsh black metal vocals. The guys' dedication to the black metal idea takes bigger proportions on their other band Necro Angel, although some other band members take it easier on the more laid-back heavy/black metal mixture offered by another project: Purgatrdblquote r.

Evil Sado Fuckin' Metal Demo, 2008
Sadomatik Angel Attack Split, 2009
Blackest Hell Primitive: The demos Infernal Best of/Compilation, 2010
Horrors from Hell Demo, 2010

My Space

SADOTANK (HOLLAND)

Brutal, aggressive thrash which comes as a blend of Sadus' debut and early Kreator; some occasional interesting guitar melodies could be heard, but most of the time this is fast bashing, with not much musicianship involved.

Alcoholic Hellnoise Full-length, 2007

Official Site

SADUS (USA)

One of the true greats of US death/thrash metal, Sadus' beginnings were quite brutal and uncompromising, with the explosive proto-death/thrash sound on "Illusions", which is one of the "four aces" of extreme thrash metal from the USA (the other three, for the less initiated: Slayer's "Reign in Blood", Dark Angel's "Darkness Descends", and Incubus' "Serpent Temptation"). The sophomore release was an improvement in terms of musicianship and technicality, but much of the irresistible primal aggression of the debut was lost. "A Vision Of Misery" jumped high in the technical death/thrash detment, featuring stupendous riffs and inimile bass performance (DiGiorgio is the man!). Unfortunately Digiorgio's involvement with numerous other bands kept the band at bay until 1997, when "Elements Of Anger" saw the light of day. A colossal achievement, it pretty much summed up everything which modern technical death/thrash metal was about. It failed, however, to generate the necessary interest, and Digiorgio put an end to Sadus once again. 9 years later he seems to have found some time to record under the Sadus name again (something which happens less and less regularly, unfortunately...); "Out For Blood" goes even further into modern, even industrial at times, technical territories, and is not a very immediate listen, but is another great effort on all counts, also paying tribute to Chuck Schuldiner (R.I.P.) with the song "Freedom", and featuring Chuck Billy as a guest vocalist on the closing "Crazy".

Illusions (Chemical Exposure) Full-length, 1988
Swallowed in Black Full-length, 1990
A Vision of Misery Full-length, 1992
Elements of Anger Full-length, 1997
Out for Blood Full-length, 2006

Official Site

SAGITTARI (CZECH)

Based on "Albert Fish", these guys play modern power/speed/thrash with crunchy riffs and an unobtrusive keyboard background. This is melodic stuff with good attached clean high-strung vocals and numerous catchy choruses. The pace varies the whole time, but the number of the speedy cuts is enough to satisfy the headbangers who will be delighted on intense pieces like "Memento Mori" and "Albert Fish".

Zarikavac hadu Full-length, 2008
Albert Fish Full-length, 2012

Official Site

SAGROS (COLOMBIA)

Based on the 2-song "For Your Blood" single, this act plays well-constructed retro thrash of the Bay-Area type which is both fast and slower, both sides mixed on both songs, the title-track being a ticularly ripping cut with crushing riffs and a few nice melodic insertions. The singer is a shouty semi-death metaller.
The 2nd EP is a more brutal offering the band having moved towards the bashing side of the spectre (think Evildead, Slayer, early Sadus) with the title-track producing angry brutal music with interesting semi-technical riffage on the longer "Terroristate" which "betrays" the classic idea with a pinch of the modern school sneaking in in the guitar detment.
The full-length carries on in the same bashing vein producing good old school thrash along the lines of Slayer and Devastation with a slight death metal edge at times (the proto-blaster "Falsa Victoria"). The riffs fly at high speed making this album a headbanger's top choice since even the longer more elaborate compositions ("For Your Blood") seldom take a pause from the incessant barrage. "The Agony Inside" is a very cool lead-driven instrumental, and the shredder "Asesinos" is a "wink" at the more technical side of the genre which is also hinted at on the more laid-back closer "Wrath Intense Pain" which finely captures some of the later-period Death progressive magic.

Paths of the Death EP, 2004
Freedom Lies in Chains EP, 2007
For your Blood Single, 2010
Anger Blins The Mind Full-length, 2012

Official Site

SAGUE (ARGENTINA)

3 songs of an uneven rough retro speed/thrash/death metal mix with even rougher vocals which alternate with melodic mid-ranged ones the latter by far the better choice. The music jumps from very fast, almost grinding, sections to very quiet balladic ones ruining in the process the monolithic pounding mid-paced passages.

Un Grito En El Silencio Demo, 2008

SAHON (SOUTH KOREA)

Sahon started in an awesome fashion with "Made in Judecca", aggressive 80's thrash metal with a more modern production similar to Slayer and Devastation, topped by death metal-styled vocals. The follow-up added more "spices" in the variety: death metal, hardcore, even grind; not bad, but too wild at times.
"Brutally Compelled" is an excellent return to the more thrashy style of the debut, but this time the music is faster, a tad more technical, the vocals angrier, and the final result generally more satisfying.

Made in Judecca Full-length, 2002
Kill... But... (Shut Your Fucking Mouth) Full-length, 2003
The Feeble Mourning EP, 2005
Brutally Compelled Full-length, 2007

SAIGON KISS (UK)

This formation pull out modern power/thrash/post-thrash which stays more on the less dynamic side with mid-paced numbers following each other generating quite a bit of melody, but litle else. The better moments are arguably the ones which "flirt" with punk ("Insanity Looms") in a more serious modern fashion closely followed by the several faster "excursions" ("Scarlet Horror"). The tone becomes a bit more serious towards the end where the band show their more proficient nature thrashing with more brains promising more interestiing things to come on future releases.

Death'85 And Hell Followed Full-Length, 2012

SAINT LUCIFER (AUSTRALIA)

This band play a mild radio-friendly form of the good old power/proto/post-thrash which comes with bluesy, doom/stoner, and hard'n heavy influences all put together into one song sometimes. Thrash is not very heavily applied despite the presence of members of the local thrash heroes Mortal Sin (the drummer Wayne Campbell).

The New Messiah Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

SAINT SPIRIT (BRAZIL)

Based on "The Ways of Faith": this Brazilian trio from heaven unleash straight retro thrash with shades of death metal. The better, more thoughtout, side of Brazilian thrash is an obvious influence (Dorsal Atlantica, Acid Storm, MX), but the guitar sound of this band is heavier, and not as fast, although it's not a "stranger" to relentless headbangers ("Worship Me", "Antropogical Blues", etc.). Near the end the guys loosen up a bit, with "I Cry For Live", which is a mix of heavy, doom and thrash metal, and the thrash/crossover closer "Losing My Religion" which is not an R.E.M. cover: don't get scared...
"Vanitas Vanitatum" tries to vary things a bit with a drier proto-modern guitar sound, but generally the approach is not radically different from the previous efforts being fast direct thrash, which refuses to elaborate on the more stylish moments from its predecessor, opting instead to branch out into stripped-down hardcore on the shorter pieces ("Pentecostal Disaster"). The singer is clouded by the better music being a hoarse semi-death metal shouter.

Against Saints and Sinners Full-length, 2003
The Ways of Faith Full-length, 2005
Vanitas Vanitatum Full-length, 2011

Official Site

SAITOR (USA)

Decent thrash metal with crossover moments recalling Harter Attack and Nuclear Assault; the music is quite energetic and fast throughout, reaching out to Slayer sometimes ("Church of Flesh").

Demo Demo, 1989

SAKADOYA (MOROCCO)

Derivative modern thrash from North Africa this way comes. The execution possesses the requisite amount of proficiency, but except for the bombastic operatic inclusions the rest is kind of predicle and not really engaging. On top of that the band refuse to speed up a lot ("Resistance Victory" arrives near the end, but that's about it) which deprives their approach from the necessary lively moments. The beautiful Oriental motifs embedded will remind of both early Orphaned Land and Melechesh and should be used more profusely in the future, as well as the more stylish technical inclusions which again appear at the end on the closing "Back To The Age Of Slaves" to make it the highlight on this competent, but pedestrian offering.

Back to the Age of Slaves Full-length, 2009

Official Site

SAKREME (FINLAND)

Based on the "Suicide Six" EP, this band play fast'n tight retro thrash with nice crisp riffs and somewhat indifferent shouty semi-death metal vocals. The mosh goes on full-throttle even on the more elaborate material ("No One to Lead on"; the excellent atmospheric progressive closer "Suicide Six" which mixes breath-taking balladic passages with forceful speedy ones) the guys shredding on the edge of a Slayer-esque aggression "Absence" being the only number where the speedy passages are "absent".
"Born Alone, Die Alone" is a retro crusher the band playing in the expected classic fashion spicing their approach with casual references to the modern school which also come from the harsh shouty semi-death/semi-hardcore vocals which are hardly the band's main asset. The energy gets lost in the middle to the fans' disappointment the guys indulging in a couple of less impressive heavy cuts, but comes "Exhale" and things get back on track hitting the top with the excellent melodic speedy shredder "Living In Misery" and "Sweet Junk". But that's not all since later comes the complex semi-technical opus "Statue Of Imagination" which boasts the finest lead sections on the album among some intriguing riff-formulas. The other exercise in more ambitious thrash "Asylum" staggers a bit due to its over-reliance on the ballad, an all-instrumental composition which shreds its way quietly and unobtrusively, maybe too quietly for the regular thrash metal fan's taste. At least the closing "Spread The Hate" "spreads the hate" with more passion the guitars thrashing with assured galloping rhythms.

Ei Kompromisseja EP, 2007
The Ultimate Sacrifice Full-length, 2009
Setbacks and Failures Full-length, 2009
Born Alone, Die Alone Full-Length, 2011
Suicide Six EP, 2012

Official Site

SAKRIFICER (USA)

An excellent 3-song demo of speedy thrash metal along the lines of early Destruction and Toxic Shock; the "Ice Burial" EP goes up both the aggression and speed scale now sounding quite close to Kreator's "Pleasure to Kill" which to some may be a pullback since this time there is only speed, speed and speed to be heard without any deviations with "Bestial Command" rushing forward into more brutal proto-death metal territories.
"Relentless Torment": an intriguing short intro ("Prophesied Imminent Doom") of screamy twisted leads intertwining with macabre doomy rhythms welcomes the listener before the band unleash their "relentless torment"... sorry, old school thrash attack which is very close to mid-period Destruction, among other veterans from the German 80's scene. The guys shred with no remorse, the short screamy leads a ticularly nice touch, their intense delivery subtly touching the death metal realms ("Decrepit Tombs", the short explosion "Beyond Ancient Gates") before they offer equally as vitriolic purer speed metal numbers ("Torment Of Putrefaction") in the best tradition of the Angel Dust debut. The singer is an able assistant to the incessant speedy musical approach with his forceful semi-shouty death metal tone coming as a higher-pitched early Tom G. Warrior.

Unholy Thrash Assault Demo, 2006
Ice Burial EP, 2008
Relentless Torment Full-Length, 2012

My Space

SALEM (ISRAEL)

This gigantic 12-song demo doesn't show the biggest Jewish act in their brightest light: this is very pristine amateurish thrash/death which in terms of brutality could have passed for an underground gem back in those days, but now it's just plain noise with chaotic rhythms and random song-structures. Everyone involved must have been learning his instrument during the recording because there are very few musical merits at play, if any at all. Among the seemingly more "serious" numbers there are short bursting hardcore outrages inserted further confusing the listener as for which fanbase this whole mess had been intended. Thrash was apently not a big t of the guys' nature, and consequently they turned to death metal later to become one of the leading acts from the Middle East. Some of the guys try to return to their thrashy roots, but in a much more proficient and modern-sounding manner, with Nail Within.

Destruction Till Death Demo, 1987

SALEM (SLOVENIA)

Fairly good aggressive thrash which comes as a more technical, and probably better, version of Rigor Mortis' self-titled debut, or the Flames (Greece) albums from around the same time. The album contains fairly interesting guitar decisions (great leads on "Incubus"), as well as stylish bass performance (the instrumental "Vampirella"). The guys are not strangers to brutal, death metal ts ("Cotton Mather's Nightmare"), and the pace most of the time is actually quite fast and relentless. The band were clearly ahead of their time, and this album could have served as a lesson for well executed thrash/death metal for the future practitioners of the style.

The Sleep Of Reason Full-length, 1987

SALEM JUSTICE (UK)

Blue-sy rockish semi-thrash, mixing the light-hearted Motorhead-ish aesthetics with more intense hardcore riffs, but the inclusion of groove and awkward jazzy/funky sections make this more of a failed attempt at slightly "updated" laid-back old school stuff, rather than a satisfying listen. The shorter songs are by far the more appealing side, being cool "hardcore-meets-early Venom" variations, while the longer ones mix too much within to strike a cord. The singer tries to save the show, by adding forceful throaty semi-clean shouts ala early Peter Steele (Carnivore, Type-O-Negative), but at some point gives up merging with the unimpressive rest.

Envirusfear Full-length, 1996

SALEM SPADE (USA)

A 3-song demo of pedestrian 80's thrash metal with slight semi-technical pretentions.

Sleepless Demo, 1989

SALEMS LOT (USA)

A cool mix of American power metal and thrash; this is heavy, almost doomy at times music with nice progressive touches and long 5-7min songs. The vocals are rough, throaty, and do not suit the music too well. There is, of course, at least one up-tempo track with an Exciter/Motorhead flavour: "Salems Lot".

Demo Demo, 1989

SALLAH (USA)

This is eventful, almost progressive-sounding (on the longer material), black/thrash. There’s a lot of less sensible bashing to be heard as well which creates quite a contrast with the more meaningful songs. Generally the compositional skills of the band are not on a very high level with scattered motifs carelessly stitched together (enchanting atmospherics with brutal blast-beats on several pieces) which won’t make much sense to the thrash metal fan who will mostly jump around on the short headbanger “Three Trials”, and by all means on the ultra-fast cover of Venom’s “Black Metal” at the end which is quite enjoyable, by the way.

Fortune and Glory Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

SALUTARY (HOLLAND)

A decent proto-modern entry into the genre with consistently heavy mid-paced riffs in the beginning, before the coming of "Hypocrisy Of A Man" which is a vigorous death/thrasher with clever technical pretensions. The technicality goes up a bit on the intriguing Voivod-esque "Hysterical Manifestation", but there is no time for those tendencies to develop any further since the remaining 4 tracks are live versions of 2 songs from this demo, with an older material added in pretty much the same vein.

Violated Holiness Demo, 1997

SALUTE (UK)

Based on "The Underground", this act plays cool heavy doomy thrash akin to early Celtic Frost stretching into whole doom passages, which loses nothing of its thundering intensity when it speeds up: "Dr. Faust", again in a manner close to the early efforts of the Swiss. The guitar work is a bit monotonous, but its crushing heaviness will keep you entertained especially when it descends to pure unadulterated doom: the classic doom masterpiece "Six Deep". The singer is a perfect match to the music with his gruff tone, a mix between Tom G. Warrior and Michael Williams (Eyehategod). The guys are occupied with two other acts: the black metal outfit Vanguard with which they have one demo released, and the more atmospheric ambient black metal project Tanhauser Gate with which they are on the same one-demo stage.

Break-Neck Speed Triumph EP, 2005
Above the Law Full-length, 2007
The Underground Full-length, 2009

Official Site

SALVATION (GERMANY)

The German progressive/technical thrash metal wave, which many considered had begun with the Depressive Age debut in 1992, had actually started a year earlier, by several original one-album wonders that remained undeservedly buried in the underground: Of Rytes' "Without", Brainamputated's "Can't Get Enough", and Salvation's "From Where". Of the three, the latter is the most complex and diverse seeing the band sharing something with the progressive power metal field as well. "Real Values" is an atmospheric, but also dynamic, opener offering a great "duel" between stylish technical and haunting melodic hooks on a solid mid-pace, without forgetting about the memorable chorus. "Human Insertion" follows a similar path by adding an unobtrusive keyboard background, and "Nightmares" is the prototypical dark progressive/power metal opus ala Lethal and Crimson Glory. "Savoir Faire" is a clever sophisticated, all-instrumental, take on technical thrash, and "Inner Conflict" increases the complexity to reach the heights of Watchtower and Deathrow done in a heavy pensive fashion alleviated by another easy to remember chorus to which the emotional clean singer is the perfect match. "Burning Assault" starts in a very twisted technical way before settling for a more conventional delivery recalling Xentrix, including in the carefree chorus detment once again. "A Look Inside" is a seamless mix of power, progressive, and thrash metal reminiscent of early Eldritch, followed by the last temptation at more complex progressive: the multi-layered semi-balladic "1991". Like with the case of Of Rytes' "Without", there is not a very frequent change of tempos, and the overall approach may seem pretty sleepy at first listen, without too much happening, but those who choose to spend more time with this effort, will definitely be rewarded for the investment.

From Where Full-length, 1991

SAM BLACK CHURCH (USA)

This act fast intense thrash/crossover which bears resemblance to the Brits Hellbastard, but the real highlights here would be the hints at something aggro to come soon: "Big Barbeque" is vintage groovy post-thrash predating the sweeping vogue of the 90's with a few years. The majority, however, are fast blitzkrieg numbers which will make the head bang without an effort. The singer has an interesting voice which is both gruff and melodic singing with attachment without hitting any high registers; may remind at times of Jon Van Doorn (Deathwish) or even Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys, Lard) on the more whining sections. The band continued their career through the 90's with 2 full-lengths and a couple of more EP's released before they split at the dawn of the new millennium.

Unincorporated EP, 1989

Unofficial Site

SAMAEL'S FALL (ITALY)

Based on the full-length, this band offer energetic crunchy modern post-thrash which has both sharpness and melody the guys even inserting the casual more brutal death metal passage ("Beyond The Violence"; the excellent diverse closer "Crucified & Nailed" which even shows some technical skills) whcih surprisingly sits well among the prevalent groovy downpour. This is squashing steam-roller music ably asssisted by angry shouty death metal vocals.

Bang Your Head EP, 2011
Till Now Full-length, 2013

Official Site

SAMATAS (GREECE)

2 songs of cool retro thrash/crossover ala Rumble Militia with fast and slower (not many) rhythms embedded well staying more in the up-tempo with crushing riffs and cool hoarse semi-clean vocals sounding like a more passionate Tommy Victor (Prong).

New Age Suppression Demo, 2008

My Space

SAMCHUNG (SOUTH KOREA)

Based on "Way of Men", these guys pull out modern hardcore-ish thrash, sometimes clinging more towards Pro-Pain, sometimes branching out into something which is too mixed to be defined, even containing classic heavy metal hooks ("Combative Spirit", "Filled With Spirit"). This is far from full-fledged thrash, although pieces like the speedy headbangers "Way Of Man" and "Red Rats" will definitely stir your blood.

Talchuljeukshi Gaejukeum Full-length, 1998
Life is So Fucking Beautiful EP, 1999
Vengeance is Mine Full-length, 2000
United We Stand Split album, 2004
Way of Men Full-length, 2005

Official Site

SAMHAIN (DENMARK)

A 3-song demo of a good blend of the heavy style of early Celtic Frost with quite fast and aggressive thrash; all three tracks combine both styles: slow crushing riffs alternate with cool speedy guitars. Later the guys continued their career under the name Desexult.

The Courier Demo, 1985

SAMI ANTTILA (FINLAND)

Based on "Moment of Clarity", this act pull out modern thrash which is both mechanical and groovy and melodic and catchy, keeping a good balance between the two sides the riffage being constantly heavy and thundering. Attempts at a more speedy performance are not a rarity (check out the dynamic "Lost"). Aggressive stomping deathiness can be heard on "Dead, Gone", but it will be "Horror Defined" which will scare you the most with its sudden switches to blasting death. "We Stand Alone" near the end will make you headbanging for about 3-min with sweet memories of the Swedish school if you can tolerate the inclusion of the clean melodic vocals which accompany the main throaty death metal ones.

See Through the Lies Full-Length, 2011
Moment of Clarity Full-Length, 2012

SAMORRA (GERMANY)

The breathtaking 1-min lead intro remains the best t from this laid-back groovy power/post-thrash metal work, which is not a total waste, especially with this great lead guitar work, which overwhelms the rest completely. A few more dynamic power/thrashers can be caught ("Sorrow Within", "Your Holiness"), but the music simply is too toothless and soft to catch the thrash metal fan's attention for long, if at all.

Religion of the Unbroken Full-length, 2007

Official Site

SAMSARA (AUSTRALIA)

Decent energetic thrash metal crossing the modern with the classic sound; most of the time the guys play in up-tempo, and come up with a couple of cool headbangers ("Cruelty", "Enslaved"). The band runs away from the formula with the alternative melodic instrumental "Chloe", which is quite dreamy, and is not bad; and the heavy groovy track "Samsara".
"Instinct Over Influence" concentrates more on the modern side of the genre, but remains fast and intense shooting the odd more classic bomb: "Steel Trap". The songs develop in a direct speedy manner with clear touches of hardcore on the shorter material, the instrumental "The Divide" being the sole exception: a very nice dreamy atmospheric track ala Katatonia.

The Emptiness Full-length, 2007
Instinct Over Influence Full-length, 2010

My Space

SAMSARRA (USA)

Decent retro power/thrash metal in mid-pace with heavy riffs reminiscent of Testament's "Souls of Black" including in the stylish lead guitar work; the sound may wear out at some point since the riffs are too one-dimensional offering very little variation from one song to another, and the end is underwhelming with two live tracks with a bad sound quality included, and two tender acoustic ballads following them.

The Unbeliever Full-length, 2008

Official Site

SANATORIUM (MACEDONIA)

One of the few thrash metal bands from Macedonia, Sanatorium play modern mid-paced thrash with numerous balladic and acoustic moments on "No More"; professionally done, but a kind of one-dimensional, and not really engaging. It's their first demo, which contains the better material, with some really fast-paced thrashers ("Ultra Speed", "Grad") and other, heavier, more technical numbers in the spirit of late 80's Metallica ("Epidemija na Omraza"), and an overall better guitar sound.

The Edge of Sanity Demo, 1992
No More Full-length, 1996
Sanatorium Full-length, 2001

Official Site

SANCTION (CHILE)

Based on the "Endless Maze Of Demise" demo, this act offers fast intense retro thrash/death metal with original semi-progressive elements the latter greatly boosted by the stylish bass work. The music comes as a mix between Immolation and mid-period Death, and as such is closer to death metal perhaps, but the bad shouty vocals are a major detraction.

Human Final Holocaust Demo, 2010
Endless Maze Of Demise Demo, 2011

SANCTIONS (USA)

This not very known outfit play crunchy classic power/proto-thrash with progressive touches which starts with the epic elegiac opener "Time Worth Buying", but things get harder later on although the approach remains within the Sanctuary's "Into the Mirror Black" and the one-album-wonder Sardonyx realms the excellent singer also doing a similarly good job with his emotional passionate tone. "Wicked Wonderland" is a dramatic shredder notching it up a bit in the aggression sector in the middle although nothing changes pace-wise the delivery being constantly in the mid field with a more frequent interference from the ballad near the end.

Sanctions Full-Length, 1996

SANCTITY (USA)

Modern thrash metal with a certain Swedish-vibe, but closer to the sound of bands like the French Lyzanxia (minus their debut, of course), and more groovy. There are fast and slower numbers, and the singer will also keep you alert with his switches from more brutal death-y vocals to semi-clean ones ala James Hetfield, to quite good clean ones. This is good music although it's hardly something you haven't heard before.

Road to Bloodshed Full-length, 2007

Official Site

SANCTORUM (UK)

Based on "Ashes Of Redemption", these guys don't bother to break the trite formula of modern thrash metal with the typical for the style alternation between faster and slower sections, the latter not bad, actually, avoiding the groovy "traps" for most of the time, adding to the dynamics of the former. The guitar players excel in melody, both in the riff and the lead department, leaving the closer "Take It All" to "carry it all" with the sharpest and most vigorous riffs on the album despite the virtuoso melodic lead break at the end.
"Old Ghosts/New Wars" continues the modern thrash trend without breaking any new ground. This is one-dimensional stuff with casual moments of intensity (the headbanging passage on the opening "Before We Let Go"; the urgent riffage on "False Idols"). "City of Ghosts & Born of Scars" is an interesting galloper, but its less conventional comes superseded by ordibary Swedish melo-thrash/death moments later which stay all the way to the boring sprawling semi-balladic closer "When All's Said and Done".

Penumbra EP, 2004
The Heavens Shall Burn Full-length, 2006
Ashes Of Redemption Full-length, 2008
Semper Fidelis Full-length, 2011
Old Ghosts/New Wars Full-length, 2014

Official Site

SANCTRUM (SWEDEN)

Based on the "Hold Your Ground" demo, Sanctrum play typical Swedish thrash metal of recent times akin to The Haunted and Carnal Forge, plus the also quite typical Gothenburg influences in their sound.

Sanctum Demo, 2003
Sanctrum Demo, 2004
Hold Your Ground Demo, 2005
From Ashes to Infinity Demo, 2006

Official Site

SANCTUARY (USA)

This cult act was transformed into Nevermore during the 90's, and became one of the most essential bands on the scene, up to present times. The debut is a nice slab of American power/speed metal, but on "Into The Mirror Black" the guys grabbed thrash for the throat, by giving it a stylish progressive colouring, although a big doze of power metal still remains. The music on this very good album is quite heavy and crushing, mostly in mid-tempo, which may be a disappointment for the fans of the debut, but the top performance of everyone involved: the excellent soaring vocals of Warrel Dane, the fabulous bass-bottom provided by Jim Shepd, the constant pounding riff-section of Jeff Loomis, will guarantee the listener's satisfaction the whole time. The dark bleak landscape "drawn" by the Nevermore works is already here, and brooding masterpieces, like "Epitaph" and "Taste Revenge", could easily make any Nevermore fan happy. "Long Since Dark" will keep the debut lovers on the edge of their seats, albeit for a while, and indeed it has a lot in common with the brisk speedy style of the first album. "Eden Lies Obscured" is a feast of the sorrowful, depressing type, clinging towards the doom metal genre, a tendency further continued on the following "The Mirror Black". "Seasons Of Destruction" livens up, thrashing harder, and is the most immediate track. "One More Murder" softens the tone, again recalling the debut a bit, being sustained in a more light-hearted speed metal manner, but the final "Communion" will literally bury you, with its massive heavy riffage, including the funereal doomy closing minutes; Loomis unleahes some very cool leads there as well, and Dane shines all over, too, with his dramatic emotional singing. A great work, and quite unique in its approach to progressive power/thrash metal, although comisons to mid-period Fates Warning and Crimson Glory are inevile, it remained the last in the band's short catalogue, although Nevermore is pretty much the same band, minus the guitarist Sean Blosl and the drummer Dave Budbill, with a style not miles away from the one displayed here, only more modern and clinical-sounding, with more emphasis on technical riffage rather than melody.

Refuge Denied Full-length, 1988
Into The Mirror Black Full-length, 1990
Into the Mirror Live / Black Reflections EP, 1990

SANCTUM (USA, CA)

A really cool demo of speed/thrash metal released at the same year with Angel Dust's "Into the Dark Past", and sounding not too far from it, at least on the two speedy numbers. "Nothing Left" slows down, sticking to the American power metal field.

Demo Demo, 1986

SANCTUM (USA, WA)

Based on the debut EP, this act pulls out heavy battle-like thrash/death metal with obvious nods to Bolt Thrower including the Brits' earlier faster approach. The guitars crush on the slower sections, but the more speedy ones go straight into hardcore territories at times, and the singer is not very convincing with his semi- shouty throaty voice.
The self-titled EP is only 3 songs which this time offer more invigorating and faster stuff, "Sanctum" being pure death metal madness, again with a Bolt Thrower flavour. The other two pieces cling more towards thrashcore for which the low-tuned death metal growler doesn't suit quite well.

Enslaved EP, 2005
Sanctum EP, 2006
On the Horizon Full-length, 2008

My Space

SANCTUS (USA, Minnesota)

A nice obscure entry into the American underground scene of the 90's comprising energetic classic choppy power/thrash with nice melodic attempts and a generally laid-back delivery which doesn't try very hard in the thrash detment, but pulls it out thanks to the proficient musicianship and the good emotional semi-high vocals the latter's efforts hampered somewhat by the muddy sound quality.

Done With Reliance Demo, 1993

SANCTUS (USA, New York)

Good American speed/thrash metal ala Agent Steel's debut, Deadly Blessing, and Indestroy; these guys are more aggressive than those bands, and cool technical licks could be caught (the excellent smasher "Disloyalty"). "Gutter Bitch" is quite an aggressive number which thrashes no worse than Slayer on their best day. The singer is quite impressive with his high-pitched voice, sounding like a blend of John Cyriis (Agent Steel) and Eric A.K. (Flotsam & Jetsam).

Accept the Blessing Demo, 1988

SANGED (ITALY)

This Italian act play inspired old school thrash which has both the speed and the melody. The guys play with force the riffs being quite sharp boosted, more or less appropriately, by the sce blast-beating section. Moshers like "Slave Bees" would hardly be forgotten soon, but the guys should follow up soon with another recording in order to shape the iron while it's still hot...

The Threat Of Aggression Demo, 2011

SANGRE ANTIGUA (ARGENTINA)

Based on the split, this act offers early Germanic speed/thrash, crossing the fury of Kreator's "Pleasure to Kill" with the menacing avalanche-like approach of Angel Dust. The singer is perhaps less interesting with his gruff hoarse, "all over the place", delivery which would better suit some hardcore band.

Thrash Slash Vol. 2 Split, 2009
Sentencia de Muerte Demo, 2009

My Space

SANGRE PICHA (COLOMBIA)

Good edgy Bay-Area thrash of the heavier variety ala Defiance and late-80's Metallica; another close call would be the Italians In.Si.Dia. The riffs are heavy, mid- paced contrasting with the melodic leads, which are cool, but somewhat naive and repetitive. "A 120 Frente A La Muerte" and "Huir O Morir" speed up admirably, breaking the slightly monotonous feeling created by the solid, but one-dimensional steam-roller sound. "Aventuras" is not too far behind, although the beginning is very mild, in the power metal mould. As a whole the 2nd t is much more varied, with every track containing fast ts, including the short explosive thrashers "Redentor" and "Evolucion Irremediable" at the end.

Evoluci'a2n Irremediable Full-length, 1997

My Space

SANGRIENTAL (ARGENTINA)

This outfit indulge in rough classic thrash with the obligatory galloping speed metal insertions. The singer falls behind, though, with his scary hysterical death metal pitch. The guys vary the tempos quite a bit even coming up with the odd heavy/power metal cut ("Descontrol"), but keeping the dark riffage all over. The guitars bite with a clear sharp edge, and more speed in the future would only give them more exposure since now this heavy, mostly mid-paced, approach kind of undermines the guitarists' talents.

Sin Miedo A Morir Demo, 2012

SANGUINARIA (PERU)

Based on "Mundo en Sangre", this band plays melodic power/thrash metal with weak amateurish high-strung vocals. Otherwise the music makes sense: "Vision Diabolika" is cool more intense speed/thrash, and explorations into the more progressive/epic form are also worth mentioning ("Peste Humana", "Desolacion"), although from a thrash metal point-of-view not much happens inside them. Despite its cheesiness and naivety, "Presagio Final" is a good power/speed metal hymn ala more recent Helloween and Gamma Ray. "Sangre Fuego y Terror" is the other more ambitious composition, but the guys lose coherence here and there throughout its more than 9-min, and start thrashing with full force at some point as well.

Mundo en Sangre Full-length, 2001
Entre el Bien y el Mal Full-length, 2001
Gladiadores del Metal Full-length, 2004
Metal Attack Full-length, 2006

Official Site

SANGUINARY (USA)

An excellent demo: the opener "Bathing in Chaos" is a fast-paced thrasher with great sharp riffs and swirling leads, and vocals buried in the mix. The other three songs are longer, less immediate exercises in technical thrash (the vocals still remain barely audible, except on the screaming attempts); the tempo slows down and the guitars become much heavier. "Crisis of Conscience" has a great fast middle t, which nicely contrasts with the remaining almost doom-laden ones. This is music which would appeal to both thrash and doom metal fans, but the doom metal fans shouldn't expect something in the Candlemass vein; this is more intense and aggressive stuff.

Self-Desecration Demo, 1989

SANHEIM (RUSSIA)

A 3-song promo of rough classic speed/thrash ala early Razor and Hallows Eve ("Black Knight"), plus two covers: Venom's "One Thousand days in Sodom" and Motorhead's "Iron Fist", not bad but ruined by the unpleasant gruff death/black metal vocals.

The "Corpse Attack" demo is more aggressive, now pure thrash metal all the way, well done, nicely touching Slayer ("The Lifter") on the more aggressive moments. The songs are sustained in a fast energetic pace seldom sounding less serious (the Motorhead-ish deviations on "Dead Emotions", which also features the only heavy breaks on the demo), although some may complain about the singer whose gruff unrehearsed death-metal tember is below the usual standards for this kind of music.

The EP is another decent entry into the classic thrash metal field, a varied effort with both fast and slow sections alternating throughout the songs which never become too fast, but deliver with their consistent riffage and stripped-down delivery. The vocalist this time sounds more rehearsed, but doesn't stray too much from his dark sinister tone.

Black Knight Promo, 2009
Corpse Attack Demo, 2010
Bringer Of Death EP, 2011

My Space

SANITARIUM (USA)

There is one musician here doing everything, the name Frank Birkner, and he provides crunchy mid-paced power/thrash which is more on the classic side, but the modern edge of the guitars betrays its origins. This is generally simplistic pounding stuff which gets its fair share of complexity on the longer cut "Soldier of Misfortune" and especially on the over-ambitious instrumental closer "Beyond the Seas of Madness" which is 10.5-min of calm mid-tempo shred without any highlights if we exclude the more interesting balladic interludes the latter used quite extensively. Fran sings in a not very passionate sterile semi-clean fashion and merges with the pedestrian character of the music.

Sanitarium Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

SANITARIUS (USA)

The band's style is a fine cross between classic and modern thrash metal. There is aggressive Bay Area riffage to be heard, but one can also hear a certain presence of groove as well as stylish technical guitars ala Jeff Waters. The tracks are energetic, but not very fast being of the mid to up-tempo variety. Despite the good quality of the material presented on these 3 EP's, one could sense that there is more to come from this band in the future.
"Eterna" fulfills all the promises from previous efforts with its good sense of melody (the opening "Belive") reflected mostly in the very good lead guitar work. "Monoxide" is a stylish technical shredder in a dynamic pace which influences the following "adigm". Then comes the title-track which is a tad heavier with exemplary lead sections. Its relative simplicity is not encountered anywhere later since the remaining compositions are elaborate headbangers with other nuances embedded within, fairly eventful listens with the singer also doing a good job with his attached semi-clean high-strung voice.

Nuclear Trauma EP, 2005
Sanitarius Demo 2006 EP, 2006
Eyes To The Soul EP, 2007
Eternal Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

SANITATION SQUAD (USA)

These youngsters pull out melodic speed/power/proto-thrash od the old school which also has its more carefree crossover side ("'84 By Candlelight"), and generally doesn't try to please the thrash metal crowds only serving plenty of melodic moments at every arising opportunity. The singer is a melodic mid-ranger who pitches a bit higher at times managing to sound convincing all the way.

Inside Room 101 Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

SANITY'S RAGE (BELGIUM)

Very good energetic Bay-Area influenced thrash; the band play with competence and inspiration with sharp riffs which also bring the Channel Zero debut to mind. The tracks (minus one) are lengthy (5-7min) and there are attempts at a more intriguing play which could serve as a good base for a strong full-length.
The full-length is finally a fact, the band take it easy, don't rush to anywhere which is a shame since the music at display here is not bad at all. The guys carry on in a sure-handed classic fashion crossing direct with more technical patterns on almost every song: check out the hectic ones on "Aberration Mandatory" which even "flirts" death metal at some point. Sincere stripped-down thrash can be caught on "Kisses With Fangs", but generally the guys' heart lies with the more elaborate arrangements to which belong at least half the songs including the dramatic closer "Thumbs Up For The End Of The World". The singer has a cool semi-clean tember which acquires less audible semi-whispered qualities at times the latter overtaken by the crisp guitars which offer a great headbanging ending to this entertaining roller-coaster.

The Rage of One EP, 2006
You Are What You Swallow Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

SANITY BURNS (UK)

Your "sanity" will "burn" while listening to this very uneven tribute to the old school which is close to the early Metallica antics in the beginning with a pinch of more stripped-down early speed metal ala Exciter and early Overkill. The guys start deviating from the chosen path too much after the opening trio, "Killed in Action" being a moderate power metaller which carries the "winds of tendernes" after it reflected in the serene ballad "Embers" and a string of bland heavy rockers which pull this effort deplorably down that most of you would turn it off way before the end; and for a good reason since till the end we have heavy/power metal hits with barely hints at thrash which would make the fan wonder as to who needed such an invigorating start as the band's target is by no means the thrash metal audience.

Sanity Burns Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

SANITY OBSCURE (SINGAPORE)

This Singaporean act carry the influences on their sleeves( check the band name), but will they be able to live up to the standard of Believer's magnum opus? Based on the full-length, the music is not a very close soundalike to the early style of the aforementioned Americans, but is intriguing and clever enough to catch the attention of any technical thrash/death metal fan. The atmospheric intro "Dreams - Manifestations" is an engaging start after which the guys begin their surreal journey into the "jungle" of the progressive/technical side of the genre including unobtrusive keyboards, haunting bass-isms, odd time-signatures, intense husky death metal vocals of the dual type (the more vicious, Kelly Shaefer-esue ones are more preferrable than the low-tuned guttural ones), and more. Mentioning Shaefer, the references to Atheist are more than passing the Singaporeans using the same sudden switch of tempos and piling of puzzling riffs at the less expected times including frequent speedy passages which never sound awkward and would also recall other more technical practitioners of the past (and present) like Hellwitch, Terrahsphere and Coroner (the drier, more mechanical shreds on the closer "Afflicted Mind"). The compositions are never too long, some may even consider them too short for this kind of music (the longest one barely reaches 4-min), so don't expect show-off musicianship done for its own sake: there's none here. And, like Atheist again, the album is short and to-the-point, in this case failing to reach the half-hour mark, but the twists and turns during this timeframe are more than enough for the listener to want to take a break at some point. This is a maturely constructed effort with a lot of thought put into its making, showing a lot of promise at this early stage of the band's career, and hopefully they will be able to keep those high standards on future efforts. The EP is a cool rehearsal for the ambitious full-length comprising 4 cuts of cleverly-concocted technical thrash which starts with the hectic Coroner-esque title-track where the bass rages with style topped by a couple of melodic leads. Then the "false" will be "thrashed" with the next "Thrashing The False" which excels in the choppy riff detment among a few intense speedy passages. The other 2 pieces are more relaxed from the technical side relying more on atmosphere saving the technical exuberance for the full-length.

Dethrone the King EP, 2008
Subterranean Constellation Full-length, 2012

Official Site

SANKTUARY (CANADA)

Based on the full-length, this trio play conventional old school speed/power/thrash metal targeting the 80's scene of their neighbours, above all, and succeeding in producing attached dramatic music with good melodies and even better emotional clean vocals which even capture some of the oblivious blend of Rick Emmett (Triumph). The album is divided into longer and shorter numbers the latter being more carrying the more aggressive charge of this effort which clings more towards the speed/power metal side reminiscent of Savage Grace and Griffin, but it's by all means worth checking out due to the truly memorable songs and the finely reflected old period from the genre's development. So it's not exactly "something fierce", don't be afraid... give it a try.

Sanktuary EP, 2008
Black Magic Brew EP, 2010
Something Fierce Full-length, 2013

Official Site

SANTA CLAUS (USA)

An obscure trio who offer jolly thrash/crossover which can be quite hard-hitting even touching the extreme aesthetics of early Cryptic Slaughter ("Cross the Line", "Just Like That", etc.) at times and for moso f the time the style is closer to thrash with several sincere hardcore, very short (1-1.5min), tracks thrown in the middle. The sound quality is very muddy, and the singer is a listless declamatory punker who deafens the instruments a bit when in action.

Rocks in Your Stocking Demo, 1988

SANTUARIO (BRAZIL)

The band shares this split with three other acts, one of which is Korzus (the other two are not related to thrash). The guys offer two songs of brisk galloping American power/thrash in the vein of Savage Grace and Attacker. The vocals are cool clean mid-ranged ones which need a little adjustment in the high register detment.

S.P. Metal II Split album, 1985

SANTUARIO (DOMINICAN REPUBLIC)

Based on the debut, this band offers heavy crushing groovy thrash which doesn't shy away from doom, and even funk all this on a hammering riff-base which doesn't waste time with leads or melodic tunes topped up by very angry shouty vocals.

Adicto al Kaos Full-length, 2002
Brutalismo Full-length, 2004
Santuario Full-length, 2005

Official Site

SAPIENCY (GERMANY)

Modern thrash/death metal which sticks more to heavy mid-paced patterns, and as such may tire at some point, especially on the mellower semi-balladic passages ("Mercy", "Wake Up" (yes, indeed, guys, wake up!)). This is not adventurous, but generic stuff, done professionally, but without much enthusiasm. Probably more of the aforementioned enthusiasm has been shed for the works of the progressive metallers Force Trankill where the two guitarists also take t, or for the melodic power metal otufit Everfest graced by the same two guitar players.

Fate's End Full-length, 2010

My Space

SAPROPHYTE (CANADA)

This young Canadian act plays stylish technical thrash/death metal blending fast deathy with quirky jumpy rhythms on the opening dynamic "Different Faces", but "Finesse" is already an offbeat industrial ballad, and the unpredicility becomes really big when "Arterial Abcesses" rushes in with dry clinical Meshuggah-esque riffs. "Death Waltz" can hardly pass for waltz, but is a nice hectic technicaller, before "Mask of Sanity" exits this short effort with style adding another portion of complex mechanical shred. This is an interesting sound which has its rough edges, but with more refinement it could easily turn into a nice addition to the technical scene in their homeland.

Decompose EP, 2011

My Space

SAPROS (POLAND)

A 4-song EP providing one track of heavy proto-modern thrash of the aggro-type and 3 more belonging to the energetic Bay-Area thrash fraternity resulting in good headbanging music close to the Forbidden debut and Death Angel's "The Ultra-Violence". The riffs are sharp and lashy, and the singer is not bad although his semi- shouty tember may annoy at times when reaching for the higher notes.

Time to Kill You EP, 2008

Official Site

SARAM (PERU)

The "Sinners" demo contains 4 tracks of gloomy dark thrash/death with some of the deepest death metal growls ever heard; if it wasn't for the bad sound quality one could have enjoyed this sinister mix of heavy mid-paced riffage and doomy depressing passages, the latter being not far even from masters like Runemagick or early My Dying Bride. The last "Glory To The Forgotten Spirit" is a sudden unexpected take on blasting black metal, not a very cool touch with furious unintelligible guitars and unpleasant apocalyptic, very hysterical vocals; the song still contains a sprawling doomy t, but it considerably ruins the monolithic wall-like impression created by the preceding material.

Sinners Demo, 1998
Metal Mayhem Genocide Demo, 2004
Embrujo EP, 2005
Sinners Best of/Compilation, 2007

SARATAN (POLAND)

The demo boasts crystal clear production. What we have here is a good effort: dark, powerful thrash which would probably remind you of Nevermore, plus more standard modern thrash metal ts. One would think that with such a talent at display it would be a piece of cake for the band to find an interested label to sign them.
"The Cult of Vermin" is a good debut, elaborating on the music displayed on the demo. "Future Is Grim" is an excellent modern technical energetic thrasher, but their other, slower, more atmospheric side quickly shows up, with the following "Path Of Mistakes". Later both sides take turns, with the faster, more technical being the more attractive one, later producing awesome, Nevermore-like songs: "Serve The Death", who seem to be the main influence on the band. A couple of short, moody instrumentals are also thrown in. Watch out for the great acoustic flamenco guitar on the closer "Vermin", which also boasts a pounding, hypnotic ending.

"Antireligion" is a different "animal" being faster and more aggressive beginning in an open intense manner with the first two tracks the second one "Antireligion Pt. 1" even adhering to spasmodic blasts. After the calmer mechanical (which is actually the main word to describe the guitar work here) "Dead Inside" comes another bombastic semi-blaster "My Demise" followed by the intense speedy "Reject Adonai", but the 2nd half is more moderate with all songs mixing slow and fast sections except for the closing "Antireligion Pt. 2" which is more ambitious and technical with another portion of fast raging riffs well mixed with the very good melodic leads and the several clever technical moments. This new offering sees the guys in a drier more clinical, less emotional, light now the approach being closer to modern acts like Altered Aeon and Biomechanical although the Poles, on this album in ticular, are not as fond of technicality which to some may be a setback comed to their older efforts.
"Martya Xwar" is another abrasive modern thrash offering the band now soundign even more ordinary and noisier "courting" later-period Sepultura quite a bit trying to impress the fanbase with some offbeat compositions, like the overlong balladic/doomy quasi-industrial cuts "Silent Sound Of Mourning" and the hammering closer "Asmodea". Shades of the band's more interesting past spring up for a moment on the dramatic shredder "God That Disappears", but this effort is just not good seeing the guys losing the bits of originality they bravely displayed in the beginning.

Infected with Life Demo, 2006
The Cult of Vermin Full-length, 2007
Antireligion Full-length, 2010
Martya Xwar Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

SARCASM (SLOVENIA)

"Crematory" is a surprisingly good release which mixes thrash, speed and classic heavy metal. The vocals are an acquired taste, having a ticularly high-pitched tone. Then the band got lost to resurface some 13 years later. The bad news is that the high-pitched singer, who had given such a distinctive face to the band on the debut, has been replaced with another, very average one. The music has lost its impact although it still is the same mixture of the three aforementioned styles. There are very cheesy moments ("Sarajevo By Night") which ruin even more the not very positive impression from the rest of the album. Certainly Sarcasm were a lot more capable than this.
"Revolt" is much more satisfying now pulling out cool speed/thrash of the classic type again interrupted by stomping heavier numbers. The mixture works well although the fan's heart will be sold for the speedy side where nice headbangers like "Crematory Generation" and "Divja Kri" belong, and especially the short brutal smasher "Mutant Hamsters", and the glorious speed metal hymn at the end "Metal Mania". More technical guitars can be heard on the galloping early Iced Earth-esque "Dealer", as well as slight balladic leanings on "Bang You're Dead".
"Igra Narave" is the comeback album, but shows the band in a different light having moved towards the 90's power/speed metal scene with a touch of the groovy movement. "Skles" of their much better past can be heard on the hectic technical shredder "P.P.N.", but the rest is seriously underwhelming with just one more "blast from the past" at the end: the short speedy closer "Zena".
Something to Believe In" will give you "something to believe in" with its faithful rendition of the good old speed/thrash which is nicely spiced by several interesting melodic stompers ("Demons"). "Voices of Verdun" thrashes with force, but "Ghosts in the River" is the "pain reliever" with its mellow balladic style. Later on the focuus is on the faster-paced numbers some of which are graced by cool melodic leads ("We Are at War") and catchy sing-along choruses. The closer "Surrender" even lashes proto-deathy riffs as a finishing touch the otherwise melodic singer serving a portion of more aggressive tones to better suit the approach.
"Thrash": wow, if this is not an original title... anyway, the guys have chosen it wisely, and the musical approach nicely reflects the title choice. This is modernly produced retro speed/thrash which sees the guys thrash with gusto sticking to fast-paced riffs dissipating the energy with the odd slower cut, but generally this effort is all about intensity and the band should have no problems winning the headbangers' hearts with the sharp guitars and the frenetic pace. The vocallist this time is not as melodic his mid-tanged, not very emotional, antics still providing the edgy support to the vigorous musical delivery.

Crematory Full-length, 1989
Igra Narave Full-length, 2002
Divja Kri Full-length, 2003
Revolt Full-length, 2006
Something to Believe In Full-Length, 2011
Thrash Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

SARCASM (SWITZERLAND)

This is the other band of Theo Hilfiker from Infected. This 4-track EP is far less impressive than the very good full-length of his other act, being your average modern groovy post-thrash trying to bring more life to the standard picture in the form of "Innocent Loser", which is faster and edgy, but is completely cancelled by the following funky joke "Spacecake", which judging by its length (5-min), was disappointingly apently not considered a joke by the band.

In-Sect EP, 1993

SARCASM (USA)

Based on the "Man of God?" demo, this band play rough thrash/crossover ala Hellbastard with short, 2-min maximum, songs which mostly contain intense mid-paced riffs. "'To The Death" is a furious deathster, deserving its title with the aggressive guitars and the small portion of wild chaotic leads. The singer shouts in a more restrained for the style fashion also semi-reciting at times. The guys later changed their name to Maximum Penalty, but there's no information as to what style they played under this moniker.

War Song Demo, 1986
Man of God? Demo, 1986

SARCASTIC (CZECH)

This is rough semi-amateurish thrash with gruff semi-clean inexpressive vocals which on the high notes manage to sound close to Kerrmit (Tyrant (Germany)). The music is served in different paces the mid-paced more accentuated on the uneven riff-patterns carved by the odd screamy lead section. The sound quality is a bit muddy, but the guys pull themselves together to overcome this trammel on the closing shredder "Souls' Hunter" which also shows their penchant for a more serious song-writing whcih never materiallized.

Sarcastic Demo, 1992

SARCASTIC (MEXICO)

Based on the demo, this act plays typical for the time thrash/death metal with the Floridian school an obvious influence, early Death in ticular. The vocals are vintage early Chuck Schuldiner (R.I.P.), whereas the music is more thrash-based, quite fast without losing it: check out the explosive piece of brutality "No Forgiveness". The other 4 songs are not too far behind speed-wise with "Power" slightly relieving the pressure pounding in a more mid-tempo manner in the beginning later also offering more melodic hooks.

No Forgiveness Demo, 1990
Nacimiento Hacia Las Alturas Full-length, 1992

My Space

SARCASTIC (NORWAY)

This is simplistic rough thrash in mid-tempo very close to early Venom and Sacrilege, "Slow Asphyxiation of Internal Strangulation" being a ticularly impressive cut: heavy stomping thrash in the best tradition of Sacrilege's "Within the Prophecy" with a few more diverse speedy sections. Later on there are a few shorter faster songs where the spirit of Slayer shows up for a bit. The singer remains the same throughout, a throaty mid-ranged death metal growler.

Day of the Dead Demo, 1990

SARCASTIC ANGEL (PORTUGAL)

Based on the "Haunting the Prayers" demo, this band plays power/thrash in the American tradition, elaborating things a bit, resulting in long, a bit clumsy numbers, with the final result sitting somewhere between inferior Liege Lord and the Manilla Road more up-tempo efforts. The sound quality is very bad, with the bass put too much in front, leaving very little room for the guitars to be heard. Not that there is much to hear, since the riffs are repetitive and monotonous, producing only one more dynamic speed/thrasher (the title-track).

Time To Change Demo, 1991
Haunting the Prayers Demo, 1992
Steps Demo, 1994

SARCASTIC EXISTENCE (SWITZERLAND)

A rough obscure demo which is influenced by Hellhammer and early Celtic Frost with faster breaks those reminiscent of Messiah. In other words, these guys follow their more renowned compatriots by also adding the appropriate more brutal death metal passage the latter coming with a sophisticated technical edge. It''s a pity that the sound quality is really bad taking away considerably from the musicianship which is not on such a basic level. The singer is hardly audible his unearthly grunts distantly resembling the early attempts at "singing" of Andy Kaina (Messiah).

Judgement of the Dead Demo, 1992

SARCAZM (RUSSIA)

Fast energetic modern thrash/death metal with a slightly dirty guitar sound which doesn't give a chance to the otherwise good leads to be heard clearly; the delivery is close to the one of Dew-Scented and Corporation 187, although to these ears the slower battle-like riffs deliver in a better way ("Satan's Revenge").

Just Hate Us Demo, 2007

SARCAZM (SWEDEN)

Modern thrash metal not too far from Sepultura's album that same year ("Chaos AD") with horrible synthesized vocals, and a rough hardcore-ish cover of Metallica's "Motorbreath" at the end, also ruined by the angry throaty vocals.

Breath, Shit, Excist... EP, 1993

SARCOFAGO (BRAZIL)

With its merciless brutal sound the first two Sarcofago albums are highly influential on the future black and death metal movement, along with the early works of their compatriots Sepultura, Vulcano, Sextrash. "I.N.R.I." contains extremely vicious aggressive stuff, probably a closer companion to Protector's same year's "Misanthropy" even than Death's "Scream Bloody Gore", although here the concentration is more on black metal. Merciless very fast, bordering on grind, songs are served one after another, seldom spiced by heavier doom/black passages, which are necessary otherwise one may not be able to stand through this exhausting visceral experience. Listening to this album one wouldn't need a very big imagination to see where the roots of the most extreme modern acts (Impaled Nazarene, The Berzerker, Marduk, etc.) lie. The musicianship is on a basic level, but this is not an obstacle for the fan to appreciate this sincere early slab of primal untamed brutality.
"Rotting" tones down the aggression, and music-wise this is a much more proficient effort, although this may be a pullback to some. The speed is not so much accentuated on, and the slower passages are longer and more frequent, all this well expressed on the excellent opening "Alcoholic Coma", which boasts solid riff-work with semi-technical leanings. "Tracy" is long 9-min epic black/thrash metal, a potent mixture of raging fast and heavy doomy riffs. The remaining tracks repeat the same formula, with only "Sex, Drinks, & Metal" blasting out the whole time, being much shorter, also graced by a fine melodic section. The infatuation with aggression and speed here has been diminished to a big extent this time the guys relying more on thought-out arrangements and more complex guitar work.

"Laws Of Scourge" takes an even more sophisticated approach, and although it was crucified by the majority of the band's fans, is actually a decent work, concentrating on the death/thrash metal side of the band leaving their black metal roots far behind. Both the melody and technicality are raised one level up, and the final result is cool technical thrash/death, at least in the beginning, sitting somewhere between mid-period Death and early-90's Messiah. The speed is omnipresent, often reflected in furious short blasts, but the more technical hooks are all over them. After 2 fast-paced brisk technical death/thrashers the band surprisingly slows down big time, for the otherwise good epic atmospheric doom opus "Midnight Queen": something completely new in the guys' catalogue. "Screeches from the Silence" speeds up, and contains breathtaking melodic keyboard-driven passages. "Prelude to a Suicide" is heads-down sinister doom, and may justify its title with the more faint-hearted. "The Black Vomit" is a ball of fury, sounding like a leftover from the debut, but when "Secrets of a Window" slows down for the upteenth time, one may really consider listening any further, especially when he hears the very soft acoustic interlude. "Little Julie" will hardly make even "little Julie" happy being another dark slow doom/thrasher. "Crush, Kill, Destroy" expectedly proves its title right, lashing out furious guitars and nice melodic leads, trying also to reach the first 2 songs in the technical sector. The metal fraternity saw the band in a new light with this recording, for better or worse, which closed the 1st period of their history.

Afterwards the band's career went down the hill, first with "Hate", which wasn't a total waste, trying to marry their vicious thrash/death/black metal style with the modern industrial tendencies, resulting in a very uneven affair, still quite fast and relentless, but totally lacking spontaneity and originality, sounding mechanical and unnatural, with the drum machine used the whole time worsening the situation. The guys hit the bottom with the awful modern "thrash-meets-black-meets-death-meets- industrial-meets-something too terrible to be defined" brand on "The Worst" (a very appropriately chosen title, by the way), the drum machine constantly creating super-fast artificial noise, stifling the guitars more than just occasionally. "Crust" was unnecessary, seeing the band now following those who learned from them (the Australians The Berzerker, in this case), blasting all the time in a very unpleasant dry fashion producing something which one may have difficulties calling music.

INRI Full-length, 1987
Rotting Full-length, 1989
The Laws of Scourge Full-length, 1991
Crush, Kill, Destroy EP, 1992
Hate Full-length, 1994
The Worst Full-length, 1997
Crust EP, 2000

My Space

SARCOMA INC (NORWAY)

Many bands these days try to put all extreme metal styles into one, and few are those who manage to do that well. This band, which consists of to musicians only (also involved in Limbonic Art, Zyklon, Trail of Tears, Dimension F3H, etc.), unfortunately, do not belong to this group as their music is black, thrash and death metal of the unsurprising and generic type.
"Psychopathology" is another larger-than-life offering, but packs more punch combining the orchestral arrangements of early Emperor with the operatic aesthetics of Bal-Sagoth and the blasting outrages of Impaled Nazarene. So is there any thrash metal at all here? Well, there is, on the slower and longer material: ts of the atmospheric Immortal-esque "Suicidal Death", and the closing doomy thrasher "Torment Rides Forever": a brooding steam-roller track.

Torment Rides Forever Full-length, 2004
The Dark Prophecy Full-length, 2005
Psychopathology Full-length, 2008

Official Site

SARCOPHAG (BULGARIA)

This not very known Bulgarian formation indulge in direct simplistic speed/thrash with echoes from early Living Death, above all, only that the very muddy sound is a major obstacle for the guys' sincere efforts. "Minuta Za Mrtvite" is a major ripping galloper solely ruined by the weak impotent vocals, and again the bad sound quality. "Robija" is a more serious attempt at thrashing, but is served in a live setting which further hampers the proceedings among which one may distinguish some clever technical riffs.

Minuta Za Mrtvite EP, 1988

SARDO (USA)

These are the same guys, who are actually brothers (family name Sardo), who started their career with pre-Agent Steel act Spectre, and whose sister married none other than John Cyriis himself. Based on the debut demo, this band indulge in fast furious thrash/crossover which is not as wild as the one of Cryptic Slaughter, but is not that far from it. The guys calm down a bit in the 2nd half with more moderate speed/thrashisms, but this is really aggressive stuff with good clean semi-shouty vocals. The band try something more serious at the end with two longer compositions, and "Baptized" is actually not a bad gloomy proto-doomster. Some of the band members reached the full-length stage under the name Thrustor with two albums released.

Demo Demo, 1986
SARDO Demo Demo, 1987

SARDONIC (BRAZIL)

Based on the "Illusions of Life" demo, these Brazilians offer primal amateurish modern power/post-thrash which suffers from a truly bad sound quality which gives a very hollow sound to the drums, among other annoyances. The band try to bash the old school way ("Impunity") at times, but those sections soon grow into pure hardcore without much sense. The singer shouts in an angry quarrelsome manner, not really singing.

Illusions of Life Demo, 1994
Decease Peace Demo, 1995

SARDONIC (GERMANY)

Based on the EP, this band plays fast intense thrash/death metal of the retro type closer to the early Swedish school: think early Cemetary, Entombed, Merciless. The music is more death metal-based ranging from furious (but never blasting) sections to more controlled heavier ones where the sound smells mid-period Bolt Thrower as well.

Say 10 Full-length, 2004
Symptomaniac Full-length, 2006
asites EP, 2009

Official Site

SARDONYX (USA)

An interesting and unknown band; the roots of their music are deep in American power metal, but there are quite a few thrash riffs as well as progressive passages. The bass work is striking, and slightly overshadows the other instruments. The vocals are especially good with a nice mean edge not miles away from Dave Mustaine, but more diverse and dramatic. The tracks are long and quite atmospheric, but always interesting with stylish riffs and time changes. "Corridor of Light" is a masterpiece of progressive metal which could easily put to shame many much more famous acts from this field. "Ft. Drum" is an excellent 2.5-min technical thrash instrumental, which will remind you of Savage Steel's "Do Or Die". There is a certain epic atmosphere as well, but not in the cheesy, 90's way.

Majestic Serenity Full-length, 1994
Linear Progression EP, 2005

Official Site

SAREPTA (GERMANY)

Based on the "S.U.N.K." EP, this act plays playful groovy thrashcore with angry Phil Anselmo-sque vocals, maybe a bit gruffer with a semi-death metal shade. The music is too reliant on the groove, but there are a couple of heavier, seismic moments which may catch your ear.

Mind Wipe Full-length, 1995
S.U.N.K. EP, 1997
Soulscars Full-length, 2001

Official Site

SARGON (PANAMA)

The debut EP: modern Swedish thrash/death metal, fast and melodic, maybe more thrashy than their Swedish counterts, as is evident from the nice energetic "Crestfallen"; still the overall approach smells Dark Tranquillity quite a bit.
"In Contempt" is a further evolvement from the approach on the EP thrashing in a modern deathy fashion alternating between fast and slower numbers occasionally blasting with passion ("Restless", which also contains great thrashy ts); and "Dead In Vain" uses the inertia after it to produce a fine portion of healthy energetic thrash. The final "Thrash N' Roll" delivers to justify its title providing an entertainment not far from Carcass' "Rot'n Roll", except for the fast t at the end. The drummer Alex Marquez is a well-eslished authority on the metal scene having taken t in renowned acts like Malevolent Creation, Demolition Hammer, Hellwitch, Disincarnate, etc.
The "The Bitter End" EP is a faithful follow-up to the material heard on the band's works so far being energetic modern thrash/death which this time is "plagued" by more frequent slower sections including a merry speed metalish tune on the closing "Thrash N' Roll" (which is a re-worked version of the song from the album) which doesn't quite deserve the "thrash" t of the title.

Vehemence EP, 2009
In Contempt Full-length, 2011
The Bitter End EP, 2012

My Space

SARISSA (GREECE)

This act is one of the best kept secrets of the Greek metal underground. Their debut demo is a fine slab of classic heavy/power metal following the American standards (early Laaz Rockit, Jag Panzer, Griffin), but for some mysterious reason this effort failed to produce an interested label in signing the guys, and they had to wait for 7 long years before their first official full-length release saw the light of day. Only one song from the demo had survived ("Macedonian Army"), the rest sounding a little heavier and a bit slower, with strong epic overtones and well-embedded keyboard melodies, this time bringing also the Swedish epic metal pioneers Heavy Load to mind. The high quality of the music on offer could not be denied, but the band hid from sight once again.
The time of the action is 2004, and the band are apently alive and well. No questions about what happened during those long 10 years of absence from the scene, since "Masters of Sins" "apologizes" for it with a heavy crushing sound mixing power and thrash metal to a fairly positive effect. The guitars are both sharp and heavy, nailing a riff after riff with the utmost intensity seldom leaving the mid-pace, with the odd galloping rhythm ("To These Powers (I Swear)") springing here and there. The atmosphere is quite dark, touching the one created by Eidolon and Hexenhaus, but in the vocal detment this band beats both by a long shot: the singer Nick Iglezos is a treasure providing a unique vocal performance on every single song, covering all ranges, staying mostly in the mid-ametres producing standout dramatic singing sometimes following the guitar melodies, but his occasional brutal growls and emotional high-pitches are by no means less impressive. Style-wise the music is quite close to the last Hexenhaus album, their continuation Fifth Reason, and Memento Mori and Abstrakt Algebra on the slower moments. The guitars are classic-sounding, and the leads this time are brilliant, never too long, mixing melodic with screamy hooks, and their "duel" with the operatic sinister keyboard background creates dramatism seldom achieved even by acts like Therion and Bal-Sagoth. Pree to run for cover on the closing "Hypocrisy Crusade", which comes splashing right after the peaceful semi-balladic "The Struggle", to scare everyone with brutal hyper-blast riffage in the beginning, which gets repeated throughout the song the latter remaining a pretty intense experience, offering aggressive operatic thrash/death/black ala Bal-Sagoth and early Therion, with Iglezos singing in a rougher more low-tuned manner. Well, this well kept secret now seems quite revealed, and hopefully the band will come up with something new before 2014...

Demo Demo, 1987
Sarissa Full-length, 1994
Masters of Sins Full-length, 2004

Official Site

SARJAN HASSAN (MALAYSIA)

Based on the spit, this act plays straight-ahead thrash/crossover sitting somewhere between early Prong and Wehrmacht, on the faster sections. Impulsive stuff with short tracks, which at times bash in a direct hardcore manner.

Demo Demo, 2005
People Again - Sarjan Hassan Split, 2009

My Space

SARKE (NORWAY)

Sarke is the name (or pseudonim) of a Norwegian black metal stalwart who has also taken t in other black metal acts (Khold, Old Man's Child, etc.), helped by the legendary black metal guru Nocturno Culto (also Darkthrone, Satyricon), who provides the vocals (all the other instruments are handled by Sarke). The music is very faithful to the old school (Venom, Celtic Frost) being mostly mid-paced and gloomy with nice keyboard implements, but of the background-like, not the omnipresent Dimmu Borgir-type. The music considerably loses speed ("The Drunken Priest", "Frost Junkie") on quite a few tracks, but acquires this effective hypnotic vibe quite characteristic of the last couple of Satyricon albums. This is eerie minimalistic stuff which may find more acceptance among the black metal circles, but is interesting enough to capture the attention of a wider audience.
"Oldarhian" follows a samey path producing a dark psychedelic take on the retro black/thrash metal idea which is well expressed on the minimalistic creepy opener "Condemned". The dark saga carries on with the macabre doomy "Pilgrim of the Occult", before "Pessimist" brings another solid doze of gloomy "pessimism" with its doom-laden Celtic Frost-like riffs. "Flay the Wolf" speeds up nicely with a lush keyboard support creating an intriguing eerie feeling. "Captured" is a sinister doomy semi-ballad influencing a string of tracks until the coming of the definitive doom metal hymn "Burning of the Monoliths", a sorrowful morose composition. Some more energetic optimism is highly necessary here to dissipate the darkness, and the closing "The Stranger Brew" does exactly that pulling out cool faster rhythms reaching Motorhead-like light-heartedness on the closing moments. This is good stuff which will keep you entertained with its unpretentious, but strangely effetive, approach which also benefits from the good Tom G. Warrior-like vocals and the good sense of dark oppressing atmosphere characteristic of acts like Thorns, Barathrum, Alastis, etc.
"Aruagint" carries on with the atmospheric saga which this time brings the winds of traditional doom: check out the elegiac "Jodau Aura", and even the short jumper "Ugly". Some dissonant psychedelic groove comes served on "Strange Pungent Odyssey" before "Walls of Ru" introduces a bit more dynamic riffs the latter "killed" by the balladic outro. Still, the melancholy comes too much near the end the guys grooving psychedelically in a steady hypnotic manner with only the sce blasting passages on the closer "Rabid Hunger" providing some "light in the tunnel". There's very little thrash to be heard here, and the band are now in the more recent Satyricon league, with all the potentiial to reach post-black dimensions soon.

Vorunah Full-length, 2009
Oldarhian Full-length, 2011
Aruagint Full-Length, 2013

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SARKOMA (USA)

Considering the time when the band's full-length debut was released, it would come as no surprise that the style is typical modern thrash close to Pantera and Machine Head with a more playful, crossover spirit.

Complety Different EP, 1992
Integrity Full-length, 1994

SAROS (USA)

"Five Pointed Tongue": atmospheric lyrical progressive black/thrash metal sharing moments with the doom metal scene as well; this is engaging stuff, which will require your attention. There are no very fast moments, and the length of some of the compositions surpasses those of the Opeth material with ease, and are equally as compelling if, of course, you are a fan of the sprawling progressive genre. There is a lot of thrash to be heard, so don't shy away, even those who like the classic side of the style. The two shorter tracks ("Sleeping Beast" and "Collapse of the Tower") raise the flag of thrash metal high, especially the latter, which is a very cool up-tempo thrasher, whereas the former is more of a power/thrash metal mixture.
The full-length is less interesting, from a thrash-metal-point-of-view, and is totally immersed in the doom/black metal idea in the beginning, again with long songs, this time sounding quite one-dimensional. Thrash metal hits in the 2nd half, with the mid-paced piece "Devouring Conscience", which unfortunately turns into ponderous doom near the end, to the listener's utter dismay. And that's basically all which can attract the ear of the regular thrash metal fan; the rest is not bad at all, but it comes mostly as a mix between Opeth and In the Woods, with a pinch of Katatonia-like melancholy thrown in here and there.

Five Pointed Tongue EP, 2006
Acrid Plains Full-length, 2009

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SATAN (UK)

This legendary British act are responsible for one of the finest moments from the whole NWOBHM wave: their fabulous debut "Court in the Act". Although it's too early to talk about thrash metal on this one (although this was the very year when the genre was born, in the USA), mighty speed metal killers, like "Trial by Fire", "Break Free" and the brilliant galloping instrumental "The Ritual", all these coming with the finest guitar work around at the time, were some of the most aggressive songs produced in Europe back then, and were by all means a big influence on the coming more extreme styles.

It was obvious that the guys would join the thrash metal legions on future efforts, but their next step was really hard to predict: they changed their name to Blind Fury, obviously to avoid any "black metal" tags, but the music presented on their only album was much softer, and more ordinary heavy metal, which was surely a big letdown for their fans. Fortunately, having realized their mistake, the band were back in the game with their old name, and "Into the Future" was a good return to form: "Fuck You", despite its obscene title, is first-rate speed metal, with brilliant leads and hard-hitting riffs. "Hear Evil, See Evil, Speak Evil" slows down, sounding like a leftover from the Blind Fury album; "Ice Man" is another more energetic number, with a catchy chorus. "Key to Oblivion" is a smashing speed/thrash metal track, and the band's first genuine thrashy attempt, although it is still more speed metal-based.

"Suspended Sentence" is all-out thrash metal for most of the time except for the more power metal-sounding "11th Commandment". The band have always been technical players, but here their musicianship reaches the top: the excellent progressive power/thrasher "Avalanche of a Million Hearts", the brilliant technical thrash opus "Suicidal Justice", the crushing opener "Who Dies Wins", which features superb lead performance. "S.C.U.M." is a more light-hearted, but very cool speed/thrasher. "Vandal" is more aggressive, really intense, and could pass for the most aggressive track here along with the faster headbanging "Calculated Execution", which is classic thrash at its absolute best. This effort remains, after all these years, one of the finest achievements of the whole UK scene laying the foundations for two more albums, albeit not as striking, which the guys released under the name iah.
"Life Sentence": the "Satans" are here again, in the complete line-up responsible for their seminal debut, and it seems as though the whole NWOBHM horde will be back in action (Angel Witch, Hell, Tank, among others) soon. For this act in ticular one may wonder which side of their diverse career they will choose to explore further: would they carry on thrashing on full-throttle like on the iah albums; or would they pursue their speed/power metal roots from "Court in the Act"? Of course, no one wants to even think that the guys would repeat the embarrassment which the Blind Fury affair was...
Well, those who bet on the return to the band's very roots were right: "Life Sentence" sounds like the most logical continuation of the guys' debut, albeit coming some 30 years later. It's a sure-handed speed/power metal delight with thrash not saying much except on isolated riff-patterns. The guitar sound has such a unique old school feel that one may really think that all this had been recorded in the early/mid-80's and deliberately left buried for the band to strike hard at some later stage. And they do strike hard mixing simplistic more direct numbers with more elaborate ones producing a classic which would inevily be viewed as one of the highlights of 2013.

Court in the Act Full-length, 1983
Into the Future EP, 1987
Suspended Sentence Full-length, 1987
Life Sentence Full-Length, 2013

Vibrations of Doom

SATAN'S HOLOCAUST (GERMANY)

Based on the "Death's Revenge" demo, these obscures provide some of the most torturous and agonizing, and respectively brutal, sounds ever recorded in Europe in the 80's. The guys mix the doom/black/thrashy "atrocities" of Hellhammer with ultra-fast death/thrashing outbreaks easily surpassing the early Sodom attempts at music in terms of chaos and amateurish performance. Needless to add, the sound quality is very bad making the vocals barely heard, but that's perhaps for the better since they are just some raw shouts, very incomprehensive. Reportedly on the 2nd demo the guys had joined the grindcore cohorts which were quickly growing in number following the path carved by their Brtish colleagues.

Death's Revenge Demo, 1986
Lattensepprquote s Return Demo, 1986

SATAN'S HOST (USA)

This band was founded by the singer Harry Conklin after he left Jag Panzer. The music is more aggressive than the one released by Panzer being forceful power/thrash metal along the lines of Liege Lord, Helstar and late-80's Manilla Road. The guys keep very good dynamics starting with the galloping "Black Steele", which flows into the speed/thrash attack "Into the Veil". "Metal from Hell" and "King of Terror" rage on uncompromisingly, on the latter Conklin adding some unholy shrieks. "Strongest of the Night" is only a bit slower, being an evil sinister power/thrasher. "Standing at Death's Door" is pure pounding power metal ala Jag Panzer, and is the only filler here. "Hell Fire" speeds up again, adding a nice epic melodic chorus. The last "Souls in Exile" preserves the speed and the epic, thrashing hard for about 7- min, before the peaceful balladic finale.

Conklin left shortly after the release of this album, which was supposedly followed by another one, under the title "Midnight Wind": a mysterious affair, which never saw an official release, and is nowhere to be found, although it's listed in their official discography as an 1987 release. He sang for Titan Force after that, and had a short spell later with both Riot and Ballistic.

The band had gone missing for more than 10 years, to re-emerge in the late 90's with only the guitarist Patrick Evil a "survivor" from the initial line-up. Fans of the debut will be shocked to hear their new material, which is full-blooded black metal, crossing the old with the new trends, often quite brutal and vicious. Their modern works are strictly for black metal afficionados, and are good in their own right, but have not even a shade of their old style.

"By the Hands of the Devil" sees the band abandoning their evil black metal ways, although the opening title-track will scare you with its blasting fury, a sure- handed death metal madness with the excellent powerful clean vocals of Harry Conklin, yes, that same one who sang on the band's debut, albeit very contrasting, to the brutal musical approach; the veteran is clearly the star of the show with his standout performance covering a wide range of pitches: from the dramatic antics of DIO (R.I.P.) to the high-pitched screams of Halford: all is here. Then comes "Shades of the Unlight" which is a potent blend of speed, thrash and death metal of the more epic type featuring great melodic hooks and choruses; followed by another great number: the power/speed/thrasher "Demontia", a vigorous progressive epic hymn with again great choruses. "Before the Flame" stretches into whole 8-min providing more laid-back epic power/thrash with the obligatory super-fast implements. "Bleeding Hearts of the Damned" is a very good atmospheric ballad, but "Black Hilted Knife" is an aggressive speed/thrashing shredder, with "Revival" going up the aggression scale into death metal territories once again to produce an encompassing sound with haunting Oriental melodies. "Fallen Angel" blasts again with the speed of light, and may tire you since relief from this fast downpour is seldom offered, except in the form of isolated passages from the songs. Many will be surprised to hear the closer which is a very good original version of The Beatles' "Norwegian Wood", done in a very energetic blasting fashion suiting perfectly the style of the album. This is a welcome shift for the band into more acceple fields showing them dealing with several styles with ease without messing it up, still far from their power/thrashy roots which may sound a bit overdone at times due to the music's hyper-speedy nature.
"Virgin Sails" is closer to the band's old 80's sound being really good power metal with not much thrash again. The modern production gives a great boost to the cutting guitars, but the greatest piece of news is that Harry Conklin is back in the band, and his inspired versatile performance is pretty much the highlight.

Metal from Hell Full-length, 1986
By the Hands of the Devil Full-length, 2011
Virgin Sails Full_length, 2013

Vibrations of Doom

SATAN'S PROPAGANDA (GERMANY)

It's great to be Satan nowadays, isn't it? He gets everything for free, even "rock". These guys pull out music which indeed has a rock-ish vibe, but is way more aggressive than your regular Motorhead emulator. The closest soundalike would be mid-period Impaled Nazarene, but the Germans never go for speed for its own sake, but keep things mid to up-paced, the former side reminiscent of Barathrum at times, plus the more carefree interpretations of the good old hard'n heavy ("Christobserver") and the obligatory tributes to punk ("Written in Goatsemen"). The title-track is not as impressive, being a somewhat clumsy epic heavy metal cut lasting for whole 5.5-min. The other "rock" tribute, "Rock the Nun Until You Cum", is way more energetic even reaching the early speedy boogie aesthetics of the Exciter debut. The singer is the prototypical raspy semi-shouter, helped by his comrades on the catchy sing-along choruses. An annoyance would be the very buzzy guitar sound, which may have been used intentionally, in order to recapture the primal evil atmosphere of the early black metal recordings.

Rock for Satan Full-length, 2011

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SATAN'S WPATH (GREECE)

This act consists of just two members one of whom is Tas Danazoglou, a famous authoriy in the doom metal world with service done in heavyweights like Great Coven and Electric Wizard, among others. His pedigree is more than obvious on the dark heavy opener "Leonard Rising-Night of the Whip", but things get serious very soon after on the raging speedster "Between Belial and Satan" which is an appealing cross between early Whiplash and the German school. "One Thousand Goats in Sodom" is a galloping number of the power/thrash type (after all, this is "galloping blasphemy" we are talking about, title-wise a reference to the Venom classic ""One Thousand Days in Sodom"). "Hail Tritone, Hail Lucifer" is epic doom at its absolute finest before "Galloping Blasphemy" expectedly livens up the situation with the following "Death Possessed" another headbanging cut. The attack never stops later on the last stop from it being the doomy galloper at the end "Satan's Wrath" which blends the two sides into one entertaining diverse epitaph with loads of memorable melodic tunes ala Iron Maiden including the cool Oriental outro in the vein of "Powerslave". Danazoglou provides a guttural low-tuned death metal tone behind the mike; not too bad, although a more attached melodic singer could have been more fitting.
"Aeons of Satan's Reign" is another appealing effort the guy opening with the early German speed/thrash worshipper "Only Satan is Lord" before the epic galloper "Die White Witch Die" softens the situation. The staple doomy dirges start with "Archfiend" which still contains a faster-paced break in the 2nd half. "Ecstasies of Sorcery: is another major speed/thrasher, and later on one can heard a couple of similar up-tempo cuts ornated with a very good taste of melody the latter taking over on the longer slower pieces towards the end ("Lives of the Necromancers") before the versatile slosing title-track overwhelms the listener with swirlinf fast sections, dark doomy ones, and some amazing melodic lead guitar work, plus the fine melodic doomy exit. The man has done a very good job here satisfying several layers of metal fans by providing a capable amalgam of styles.

Galloping Blasphemy Full-Length, 2012
Aeons of Satan's Reign Full-Length, 2013

SATANARCHY (SWEDEN)

Energetic thrash/crossover spiced with heavy guitars in the vein of early Celtic Frost from time to time; jolly, catchy, simplistic riffs will you find here aplenty. Rarely are some tracks cool exercises in slower, doomy music ("Behold The Dragons Of The Revolution"), and to these ears this side seems the more attractive one; the singer also helps in this direction with his gruff Tom G. Warrior-like delivery.

Disgraceful World Full-length, 2002

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SATANIC DYSTOPIA (UK)

Simplistic classic thrashcore served on a harsh noisy background with a lot of crust thrown around. The guys bash violently without any sophistication also touching death metal here and there. In the 2nd half the situation gets under control and the slower numbers present there smell early Celtic Frost ("Black Stallion") quite a bit except for the shouty death metal singer who doesn't se himself rending his throat mercilessly.

Double Denim Shotgun Massacre Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

SATANICA (ARGENTINA)

These guys specialize in heavy mid-paced thrash of the classic type; despite the bonus the music gets for sounding classic at the time, points are taken away for its one-dimensional delivery and the bad semi-death metal singer. Oh, and the sound quality is not that good making the leads too screamy, although the ones on "Bestias Uniformadas" are really cool, both technical and melodic.

Anesthetizing The Reality EP, 1994

Official Site

SATANICA (JAPAN)

Based on "After Christ, the Devil Comes", this Japanese act pulls out decent retro speed/thrash mixing early Whiplash with more meaty guitars ala Angel Dust and Iron Angel. Two blistering speed/thrashers open the album in a high note, after which the band have problems going back to the more aggressive patterns: "Mad Beast" shows the guys' more lyrical side being a cool semi-ballad, and "Whisper of Chaos" and "Sacrifice Hunter" are slightly confusing proto-modernish numbers in mid-tempo at best. Then the glorious speedy sound returns for another three pieces, although they are more of nods towards the 90's speed/power metal heritage, all this finished with the operatic epic instrumental "Golgotha". The singer is quite cool, though, having a dramatic high-strung voice also possessing abilities in handling the lower registers. Two of the members also take t in the classic heavy metal act Witch's Kiss.
"We Are Satan's Preacher" is another sure-handed effort, speed/thrashing with melody, the opening "Evil Metal" being a ticularly "evil" cut ala Pile Driver and Exciter. "Show No Mercy" is a more uplifting speed metal roller-coaster, before "Witch Doctor" reduces the speed a bit to more moderate power/thrash, which also stays around for "The Grudge" (could e a tribute to the Japanese cult horror film?), which concentrates more on melody to a fairly catchy effect. "Soldier of Death" is a sinister doomster, but be preed to mosh around on the next "Kill or Lose", which is classic speed/thrash at its best. "Black Assassin" is a heavy steam-roller with the staple melodic leanings, dragging the short pounding "Valhalla" along with it; before the final "Razor Holocaust" which is a re-recorded version of a song from their debut, wraps it up with the closing portion of hard speed/thrashing rhythms in the best tradition of early Whiplash and Pile Driver again.

Knights in Satanic Service Full-length, 2004
After Christ, the Devil Comes Full-length, 2007
We Are Satan's Preacher Full-length, 2010
Black Assassin EP, 2011

Official Site

SATANIKA (ITALY)

After a long string of EP's, the band are finally able to produce a full-length ("Satanikattack") and it shows them in a bright (albeit unholy) light for the production of pretty decent retro black/thrash, helped by none other than Mr. Bobby Gustafson (Overkill, Skrew, Grip Inc.). The tempo is quite intense with major headbangers ("Atomic Curse", "Razor Maniac") roaming around intercepted by aggressive, blasting black metal cuts ("Morbid Priest"). "Fetish Bitch Kult" is a cool shift into doomy sinister thrash, followed by a short string of more moderate numbers, before the arrival of the closer "Brain Damage" which is a return to the speedy patterns. The singer is a typical black metal rasper with a characteristic, reverberating tone. The band's founders also have a few other projects: the symphonic black metal outfit Lord Vampyr; and the black/death metal hybriders Nailed God.
"Nightmare" is another speed/thrashy roller-coaster the shadow of the guys' German peers looming over the album, the one of Sodom ticularly heavy. This is pretty much "Agent Orange" of the new millennium, fast intense music with slight touches of proto-death (hello, "Tapping the Vein"!) and a few winks at the good old Destruction ("Mask of Satan" has riffs taken directly from the immortal "Curse the Gods" at the beginning before it introduces wild ultra-brutal blasts later on). There is seldom shift from the fast pace, but there are a few more friendly rhythms ("Blood Orgy of the She-Devils") incorporated, but the ferocity of blasting madnesses like "The Executioner" stifle those attempts another one of which is the epic proto-blacker "Carnal Violence".

Atomic Curse EP, 2010
Brain Damage EP, 2010
Mutilator EP, 2010
Re-animate the 80's EP, 2010
Satanikattack Full-length, 2011
Metal Possession EP, 2011
Infection Full-length, 2012
Nightmare Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

SATHANAS (USA)

Based on the "Ripping Evil" EP, this band offers typical old school black/thrash metal with a dirty, 80's underground sound and crushing heavy, mostly mid-paced riffs, plus vicious black-ish snarls for vocals. There wasn't another band at that time to play something similar to them, but their music has definitely had its influence on the more restrained (and better) side of the black metal field (Barathrum, Khold, Thorns, late period Satyricon). Reportedly on their later official releases the band have speeded up a bit, and their style incorporated elements from death metal which, at least on this EP, are nowhere to be found.

Ripping Evil EP, 1993
Black Earth Full-length, 1996
Armies Of Charon Full-length, 1997
Thy Dark Heavens Full-length, 2001
Cruentus Diabolos EP, 2002
Warlords Of Death EP, 2003
Hex Nefarious Full-length, 2003
Flesh for the Devil EP, 2005
Entering The Diabolic Trinity Full-length, 2005
Crowned Infernal Full-length, 2007

Official Site

SATISFIRE (BRAZIL)

This Brazilian outfit delivers pretty basic, semi-amateurish retro speed/proto-thrash which is mostly soft and merry crossing early Venom with Exciter, also adding really good lead guitar work here and there which is far superior to the rough riffage which jumps into all direction without producing any positive impressions, only rarely creating a slight headbanging atmosphere, but never through a whole song. The singer does further damage with his hoarse, unrehearsed drunken tember, and his annoying semi-shouty antics can hardly be called singing.

Demo Demo, 2005

SATUREYE (SWEDEN)

Classic thrash metal (think Destruction, Kreator) meets the Gothenburg death metal sound; professionally done, very energetic and fast (except for the two doomy modern thrashers "Filled With Dust" and "In Mercury" at the end, which bring to mind the Kreator experiments on "Renewal", and Coroner's "Grin"), but hardly memorable, simply because there are hundreds of bands nowadays who tread the same path.

Where Flesh And Divinity Collide Full-length, 2004

Official Site

SATYRASIS (USA)

Modern thrash/death metal ala Dew-Scented and Corporation 187; the guys here vary things a bit more perhaps with cool melodic hooks thrown in here and there, but generally the songs flow in a predicle fashion, mostly in up-tempo which makes the stylish closing "Cyclopean Shores" the highlight: a frantic progressive/technical thrash affair starting and finishing in an atmospheric balladic manner, the in-between containing a potent blend of furious straight riffs and swirling Coroner-like sections with creepy sinister riffs and chaotic leads; those tendencies should be developed further... with ideas like these it's a shame that the guys prefer to follow safer, well-trodden paths most of the time.

Creation of Failure Full-length, 2008

Official Site

SAUd (USA)

Frolic simplistic thrash/crossover the guys performing on a semi-amateurish level showing their obvious fascination with the dying at the time punk scene including the singer who plainly semi-recites in an animated, stoned fashion the whole time. The barrage is mostly in an up-tempo, the more interesting moments being the closing "Suicide Generation" which is more inspired aggressive bash with Slayer-references, with sce adherences to something more lyrical ("Anguish"), but this one-dimensional raw music is strictly for completists only.

Demo Demo, 1986

SAURON (USA)

This band's debut will bring you back to the days when German thrash metal was just beginning to take shape (the mid-80's). This is furious speed/thrash assault in the vein of early Destruction, Kreator and Sodom. The raw-ish production quality and the buzzying guitar sound are also perfectly conformed with the era. If you manage to overcome the feeling of nostalgy, what awaits you is a headbanging riff-fest finished with a raging (and faithful) cover of Kreator's "Total Death".

Thrash Assault Full-length, 2004
Satanic Assassins EP, 2006

Official Site

SAVAGE (MEXICO)

3 songs of messy bashing thrash ala early Slayer and Whiplash; the approach is samey, up-tempo without many variations and the sound quality is so bad that one will have problems hiding his/her smile the whole time listening to the noisy hollow drums and the very amateurish declamatory vocals. Apently some of the musicians' cellar has served as recording premises. Well, one has to start from somewhere, right?

Thrash Y Guerra Demo, 2011

SAVAGE AGGRESSION (COLUMBIA)

Fast direct thrash of the retro type: think early Kreator ("Pleasure to Kill", above all) and Exumer's "Possessed by Fire". The guys play with gusto with sharp biting guitars seldom pausing for a break (ironically, the only real one is on "Thrash Metal Attack"). The singer is a good Mille emulator rasping in a similar to the German's early vocal delivery. Some of the band members can also be seen in another retro thrash metal act: Alcoholic Force.

Satan's Strike Full-length, 2010

My Space

SAVAGE CHOIR (USA)

A very obsure formation who actually manages to create one of the more interesting progressive power/thrash metal works from the US underground. A very high-strung, almost hysterical, tember hits you from the very beginning, not far from the early histrionics of Warrel Dane (Nevermore), but this is more out there. Anyway, the music is nothing short of outstanding starting with the lengthy eventful opener "Coron, The Bringer Of Plague". Then comes more aggressive progressive thrashing ala Realm on "Death's Winter Rain" which would be a no-brainer for the technical metal lovers with its constant swirling riffs and sudden fast-paced sweeps. The complexity slightly drops for the next "My Dying World" which is shorter and more simplistic, but "Obey The Voice" is already a puzzling epicer with echoes of Sanctuary and Fates Warning. Stylized technical gallops will overwhelm you on "War Gods Of Atyrix", and you won't help, but notice how close this recording sounds to Helstar's same year's "Nosferatu", only wilder and more thrash-prone (check out the maddening "Trois Pieces Breves"). The brutality goes over the top for a while, on the chaotic proto-deathster "Season Of Hatred", but comes the closing "The Messiah", and the situation is under control once again although this number is quite complex with numerous nuances, mostly on the heavy epic side, with a few faster-paced outbursts, echoing the Canadian masters Savage Steel. This is an album which should get a much wider exposure: technical/progressive power/thrash seldom comes more compelling than the music offered here.

Winter of Probator Full-Length, 1989

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SAVAGE DEATH (USA)

This is an obscure, but essential band who have played a role in the establishment of death metal in the late 80's. The band's music is vicious speed/thrash metal with proto-death ala Possessed's "Seven Churches" moments and a Slayer-like intensity. It's amazing how these guys were never given a chance for an official release, considering the fashionable at the time (or maybe a bit before its time) sound at display on their demos.

Mass Genocide Demo, 1985
Crucified in Hell Demo, 1986

SAVAGE MESSIAH (UK)

This band are the continuation of Headless Cross, a cool act who released two EP's and one demo before splitting up. The music on this album is better, and more thrash-oriented than the "classic heavy metal meets thrash" mix of Headless Cross. This is actually good stuff, energetic and sharp, with a certain Bay Area flavour: think a less technical early Testament. The slower mid-paced thrashers seem to work better, at least for me: the excellent galloping "Heavens Gate". "Conspiracy In Silence" is a great ballad, with a fine performance by the singer, whose main style slightly recalls John Bush (Armored Saint, Anthrax), but lower-pitched, and more varied.
"Insurrection Rising" crosses the Bay-Area sound with slower less intense moments, with Testament again remaining an influence (their early-90's output). This time the faster numbers are the more appealing, since the slower ones are considerably softer, clinging towards the ballad ("In Absence of Liberty") quite a bit, with a certain shade of power metal ("Vigil of the Navigator") as well, and their number is too big to make this effort a sure pick for the thrash metal fans. The band relies on melody too much, and it's obvious that they want to touch a wider audience, but, like in the case of Evile's "Infected Nations", this "expansion of the horizons" needs future refinement, before one shouts out: "British thrash is coming of age!".
"Plague Of Conscience" is another larger-than-life offering which crosses thrash, speed and power metal concentrating on melody more, which comes aplenty in both the riff and lead detment. The songs are mostly in the mid-paced ametres with thrash stepping forward on "All Seeing I", which is a sophisticated semi-technical number with echoes of early Megadeth. "The Accuser" comes a bit late near the end, being a really invigorating short headbanger, and does its job to wake up the sleeping spirits, since after it comes another more intense thrasher: "Shadowbound", a fast-paced shredder with a few effective pounding sections. "The Mask Of Anarchy" closes the album in a moderate semi-balladic fashion killing the inertia accumulated with the last 2 numbers acquiring progressive dimensions with its epic length (8.5-min) and several mood changes. The band are still faithful to their versatile style touching the hearts of many a metal fan from several genres, and as such there should be no disappointed with this new release.
"The Fateful Dark" starts reassuringly with the ripper "Iconocaust" which is speed/thrash at its most classic best. The attack carries on in a more relaxed fashion with "Minority of One" and in a more epic, sing-along, manner with the soaring "Cross of Babylon". "Hellblazer" is a major invigorating galloper already making this effort the band's finest hour despite the points taken for the ballad "Live as One Already Dead". The title-track channels early Iced Earth with its shredding mid-paced rhythm section; but the speedy surprises are not finished yet, and here comes "Hammered Down" to "hammer" you “down”. Hopes for redemption may be raised by the more laid-back galloping delight “Scavengers of Mercy”, but expect a neck-spraining exit in the spirit of adox later. The band have tried harder here, and their fans can only embrace them tighter after listening to this inspired addition to their catalogue.

Spitting Venom Full-length, 2007
Insurrection Rising Full-Length, 2009
Plague Of Conscience Full-length, 2012
The Fateful Dark Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

SAVAGE SKULL (USA)

6 songs of very cool intense thrash of the old school, which will shoot you straight to hell with the furious opener "Speed Demons", but this is just the beginning, since later on comes the proto-death/thrash bomb "Beyond The Morbid Gates" and the merciless "Into The Depths Of Terror", a direct leftover from early Massacra or early Sadus; the rest follows the pattern pretty closely. Another band from the past this EP may remind you of, is Morbid Saint. This is controlled brutality with sharp fast riffs and vicious semi-death vocals ala Darren Travis (Sadus).

Beyond the Morbid Gates EP, 2008

My Space

SAVAGE SPAWN (USA)

A pleasant surprise from the States in the face of these "savages" who may have intentionally chosen their name since their sophisticated technical delivery will remind of the Canadian veterans Savage Steel (check the reviews below) in more ways than just one. The opening "Hand me My Axe" will "hand" you a nice portion of fast-paced brisk technical thrash in the best tradition of Megadeth's "Rust in Peace" as well as the aforementioned Canadians although later the approach takes a more aggressive turn. Then comes the short "Lemmy" which is stripped-down thrash/crossover, an obvious nod to the Motorheads and their leader although the lead section here would be hard to match even by the most devoted Shrapnel performers. "Behind the Mask" is devastating thrash to the death the leads again shining very brightly. “Time for thrash” with the next brutalizer “Thrashin' Time” which sees the technical delivery from the beginning brought back in style. “Living Picnic” shows no mercy again and by that time the headbangers will be quite exhausted. “Scarab” is another more technical display of musicianship, but wait till you hear the over 7-min of aggressive speed/thrashing shredding “K.I.A” which is a riff-fest second to none. More relaxed straight-forward thrashing on “The Forge” before the guys step on the more technical pedal for “Throw Down the Gauntlet”, and the “super critical” closer “Super Critical Mass”. The singer is perhaps not such a shiner with his gruff deathy baritone recalling Tom G. Warrior, and he needs some catching-up to do in the future. But this is not a complaint at all this recording coming as one of the most highly recommended releases from the thrash metal circuit of recent times.

Savage Spawn Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

SAVAGE STEEL (CANADA)

A not very known Canadian thrash metal band whose debut was a pretty decent mixture of thrash and power metal, beginning not with a nightmare, like the album-title suggests, but with the long, complex, but fairly interesting "Hit From The Rear", which has a nice intense thrashy break in the middle. The complexity continues on the following "The Betrayel-Chambers of Darkness", but there's no thrash on it: just cool, mid-paced progressively-laced power metal. The remaining songs are much shorter and direct, and "Nightprowler" is a nice little speed/thrasher. "A Night On The Horizon" is the other more dynamic track of the mid-paced, semi-technical variety. The singer Paul Gleneicki possesses a cool mid-ranged tember, but his high-pitched attempts are quite piercing, and sometimes annoying.
"Killing Time"(recorded before, but released after "Do Or Die") is an improvement over the debut in every detment, with a couple of really inventive riffs and more edgy tracks. It actually "Begins with a Nightmare" (in case of you wonder whether the guys indeed have a song of this title), which is a cool heavy semi-technical power/thrasher. Later things become more interesting, with the aggressive thrash killer "Can't Stop"; the stylish up-tempo semi-technical "Dead and Gone" and "Liar Liar"; the short, but utterly satisfying technical instrumental "Killing Time": the highlight of the album; the fine galloping power/thrash number "No Falling Angel". Gleneicki here adheres to his higher tones much more often, and his screams could easily rival high-singing masters like Mike Soliz (Watchtower), Gary St. Pierre (Hawaii, Vicious Rumours) and Bob Mitchell (Attacker).
Based on the debut (the sophomore album was not known to anyone at that point), one could hardly expect what these guys would come up with: "Do Or Die" is astonishing technical thrash which remained just an underground phenomenon although his influence on the future development of this sub-genre is undeniable. Effortlessly played with loads of brilliant technical riffs pouring from all sides, "Do Or Die" is a compelling tour de force from beginning to end. The frantic, hectic opener "Do or Die" will throw you into aggressive proto-death technical waters, where acts like Terrahsphere and Dead & Bloated (both bands could have been influenced by this album) belong, and this is even the least technical track here. "Enough is Enough" slows down, but only a little, and we have another intense technical thrasher to enjoy. "Time After Time" starts in a fairly aggressive manner once again, but during its 6-min it features quite a few head-spinning time changes, and a whirlwind of sharp riffs. "Better Late Than Never" is more moderate, slower, but the vortex-like technical guitars, which stop just for a split second, in order to continue in an even more abstract way immediately, will delight you all over (this ticular formula was later picked by Coroner, and perfected on "Mental Vortex"). "Men of War" is a remastered version of a song from the previous album: the weakest one there, actually, but here it sounds much better, with a harder, more biting and technical guitar sound. "Evil Eye" is a superb fast-paced technical masterpiece, which even provides a short brutal proto-death break. The last song "Get Me Out of Here" is in the same merciless vein, but the guitar work reaches further, with a stupendous super-technical middle section.
Gleneicki manages to finally sound more restrained, nicely recalling Bruce Dickinson at times, without completely losing his high-pitched screams, even adding sinister growly deathy "decorations" from time to time. The band's guitarist Marshall Birch is a first-rate technical shredder (his style could have been an influence on Jeff Waters), and it's a pity that he never recorded anything else after the guys split up. This incredible album is the first sign that there is something in the water in Canada, and virtually gives an early start to the technical scene in that country (I, of course, exclude Voivod with their abstract, surreal, inimile style), laying the basis for the appearance of other similar masterpieces, like "Alice In Hell", Disciples of Power's "Ominous Prophecy", the Sadistic Vision demos, etc.

Begins with a Nightmare Full-length, 1987
Killing Time Full-length, 1987
Do Or Die Full-length, 1988

Official Site

SAVAGE STREETS (CANADA)

This band play fast bashing thrash/proto-death which clings betwen the modern and the classic school the thin drilling guitar sound a major obstacle at times for the listener to fully embrace the musicians' skills which still make major lashers like "Sewercide" and the raging "King Tiger" sure picks for all thrash metal fans. "Warwhore" is a short explosive closer to this manic display of prime old school thrash shredding which should come with a better production next time, and a bit longer since this effort only contains 6 songs closng on just under half an hour. Maybe it's because some of the band members are quite busy with the black/thrash formation Fornication.

FILTH/ROT/WAR Full-length, 2012

Official Site

SAVAGE THRUST (USA)

Cool speed/thrash metal in the vein of Agent Steel and Toxik's "World Circus" with cool high-pitched vocals and powerful sharp riffs. "Acid Bath" is a heavy stomping opener, not realy suggesting at the more aggressive nature of the other material, except at the end, when it speeds up for a few seconds. "Speed or Bleed" richly deserves its title: an awesome speed/thrash number with a nice technical edge, quite aggressive. "Madman Marz" carries on in the same spirit with more direct punishing riffs. The rest is not too different, offering a great headbanging fun all the way.

Eat 'Em Raw Full-length, 1990

Official Site

SAVIOR (USA)

Based on the demo, this is well-constructed aggressive classic thrash/death with expressive vicious death metal vocals. It's a pity that the guys hadn't gotten q wider exposure having in mind the up-and-coming death metal vogue where they could have fitted just fine, in a way no worse then Merciless and Loudblast. The band shift the pace starting with the explosive "Propaganda" before moving onto a more technical and dramatic delivery without changing the song-length (3-4min). "What Once Was" is a ticularly stylish achevement, a standout blend of melody and technicality in the best spirit of Pestilence's "Testimony of the Ancients". On the other hand, the final "Insanity Plea" is bashing death metal at its purest graced by short, but impressive, screamy leads. This is so good that one would barely sleep before tracking down the full-length hoping at the same time that the band would rise from the ashes one of these days for at least one mote "temptation"...

Brutal Tradition Demo, 1992
Exploitation Full-length, 1994

SAVIOR FROM ANGER (ITALY)

Quite good power/thrash metal of the old school which starts with the crushing thrashterpiece "Claustrophobia" after which the speed decreases for the proto-modern "Victim Of Rage", but immediately picks it up on "No Way Out" which thrashes hard in a fine Bay-Area manner. A couple of mid-paced power/thrashers follow before "Mindstruck" brings the Bay-Area spirit back. Later on there is one excellent ballad: "Through This Life" where the very good melodic singer rules; he performs very well everywhere controlling both the lower and the higher registers with ease. More headbanging thrash comes as a finishing touch with "Shock Wave" and "Puncture Of Submission"; the latter is a bonus track, but, man, these guys unleash hell of a brutal thrash there nicely contrasting with the very melodic vocals. This is a promising debut which will make quite a few heads turn in the months to come.
"Age of Decadence" is a bit on the mellow side the band mixing power and thrash in equal dozes with very little vicious thrashing involved this time. The compositions are not very eventful mid-paced hymns the bigger dynamics carried by isolated numbers ("Concatenation") which impact is greatly "stolen" by ballads ("Warrior Princess") and other tender gimmicks. The bonus track "Bloodline" sticks out oddly at the end with its intense speed/thrashing rhythms, and is not really deserving since the band plainly take it easy this time from the more speedy side of the spectre relying on melodic relaxed riffage to please a bigger range of fans.

Lost in the Darkness Full-length, 2009
Age of Decadence Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

SAWCHAIN (SWEDEN)

Based on the "Architecture of Evil" demo, this band prefer to stay within the confines of the style which represents their homeland best in the past few years: modern thrash/death metal recalling Terror 2000 and Corporation 187.

Abra Cadaver Demo, 2002
Monument Of Hate Demo, 2002
Architecture of Evil Demo, 2004

Official Site

SAWHILL SACRIFICE (FINLAND)

3 tracks of excellent intense classic thrash/death metal; fast relentless music with vicious apocalyptic death metal vocals. The delivery is quite close to the Merciless debut, so expect plenty of headbanging fun and risks for sprained necks all over. The sound quality is very good giving the lashing guitars a strong sharp edge, especially on the speedy semi-lead sections (check out the thrash metal fan's adise "End" at the end).

Sawhill Sacrifice Demo, 2010

Official Site

SAWTHIS (ITALY)

Modern post-thrash mixed with metalcore; by all means skippable with not much to hold on to, just rehashed jumpy riffs and terrible shouty vocals which in this case stay more on the death metal side. This is actually the continuation of thrash/deathsters Sothis who released one album in 2006 of much more aggressive and more appetizing music.
"Youniverse" would be another waste of time for the thrash metal fans being full of metalcore references and other annoying gimmicks which see a band not willing to pursue a thrash metal career. With that being the case that's enough said...

Egod Full-Length, 2010
Youniverse Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

SAX (CZECH)

Based on "Zona Strachu", Sax play fast, technical thrash metal with great bass performance. This is really high quality stuff; reminds me of the Dutch techno-thrashers Usurper, but faster, or Koma from Russia. The music takes more chaotic and frantic dimensions, bringing the sound close to Terrahsphere as well ("Rudy Mor"). Such intense delivery definitely tires, and here comes a heavy, slower track in the vein of late 80's Slayer ("Du'9aen'e1 Smrt S P'f8fchutf Olova"). But that's the only song the guys take a break on, and later thrash even more aggressively (the death-tinged "Killer Hammer"). The last song "Ten, Kdo P'f8ePil" is the culmination of this impressive release, a fine blend of very speedy and precise technical riffs.
The debut showed slight pretensions at the death metal field, which were supposed to develop further on the follow-up, but "Moravske Narez" loses the technicality somewhere, although the great bass work and the speed are almost intact. Still the music is more ordinary this time, and more aggressive, but not death metal, reminding me of Turbo's "Dead End" at times.

Zona Strachu Full-length, 1991
Moravske Narez Full-length, 1993

Official Site

SAX PIJAK (CZECH)

The band was formed after the Sax singer Pavel Pij'e1k left the other band (reportedly under not very pleasant circumstances). If we come this album and the second Sax album, we will find out that both efforts are not miles away from each other, but this one here delivers the goods in a better way. It is more aggressive, more technical, and overall faster, and comes as a fine combination of Gammacide's "Victims of Science", Sepultura's "Arise" and Invocator's "Excursion Demise". It touches death metal occasionally ("Smeti'9at8 Perverzity", "UPiteFn'e1 Svi'f1a"), and some of the songs are really quite fast. To release a thrash metal album with a strong 80's flavour in the mid 90's, was definitely a challenge to oppose to the fashion at the time, but Pavel Pij'e1k was probably just looking for a way to show to his old band who the real thrash metal talent was, and having managed to do that in a good way, he probably left the music scene soon after that.

V'e1lka Nerv'fa Full-length, 1993

SAXO (MALAYSIA)

Generally the average thrash metal fan approaches bands from the more exotic countries with caution and prejudice with the firm belief that quality metal from such distant lands could only come out of Japan. With bands like Saxo around things might change; these guys play fairly good metal which has its roots in thrash, but there are also moments from traditional and power metal (and three ballads). The music is more on the melodic side, and recalls some future bands from Japan, like Sex Machineguns and Hellhound.

Satu Perjuangan Full-length, 1991

SCAAR (SWEDEN)

Modern thrash/death metal similar to many other Swedish acts, with heavy groovy ts ala Pantera and Exhorder.

The Second Incision Full-length, 2005

Official Site

SCAFFOLD (RUSSIA)

Based on the "Labyrinth of Pain" demo, these guys mix thrash and death metal in a quite cool manner. The bass performance is really outstanding, and slightly overshadows the rest. The music is pretty fast, but also quite technical; there are balladic ts which are nice "calms before the storm". At their best, the band manage to combine aggression and technicalty in a way not worse than mid-period Messiah ("Choir of Horrors", "Rotten Perish"), or even another good Russian band: Koma (their debut, and the demo after). The downpoint is the guys' penchant for frequent blast-beats which do not seem to match the otherwise technical approach too well.

Origin of Debility Demo, 1993
Labyrinth of Pain Demo, 1994

SCALPING SCREEN (FINLAND)

Based on "13 Revolting Strains", this band offer ordinary, unimaginative modern thrash/death metal with good forceful Phil Anselmo-like vocals. The music covers all possible nuances which can be encountered on the modern field, but there is too much concentration on groove, and at times the sound comes close to Pro-Pain ("Two Face"), switching completely to hardcore for a while ("Dead End", "Images Of Reality" and elsewhere).
"Twelve Out Of Chamber" doesn't stray from the chosen path, but there is hardly any death metal to be heard, and the sound overall is more consistent, keeping a good energetic tempo the whole time, with Pro-Pain again being the closest soundalike, and probably Sick of It All on the more intense sections ("Deal", "Collapse"). "Fight for Life" is a cool speed/thrasher, but the rest smells hardcore quite a bit.

13 Revolting Strains Full-length, 2003
...Blood Out Full-length, 2005
Twelve Out Of Chamber Full-length, 2009

My Space

SCAMP (DENMARK)

Groovy jumpy post-thrash, which comes as more aggressive, and more technical Clawfinger at times; yes, the sound is quite technical on some ts ("A Familiar Word", "Strategy", the cool heavy Prong-esque "You"), but tries not to stray too much from the trite formula.

Re-Draft EP, 2005
Mirror Faced Mentality Full-length, 2008

My Space

SCANDIUM (GERMANY)

Based on the "Public Nuisance" demo, this act specialize in crushing speed/thrash which crosses the more thrashy aesthetics of early Angel Dust with the more restrained speed metal histrionics of Scanner. The music packs a punch an all counts turnig to pure aggressive thrash towards the end on "Let The Existance Live Or Die". The singer is a cool semi-cleaner who semi-recites for most of the time, but his antics are comprehensive and appropriate.
The "Out of Silence" demo is a turn towards more technical and more atmospheric music. The riffage is creepy and seldom too fast the technical chops flowing mostly from the brooding "Behind The Scenery". "Live Or Let Die" is more on the semi-balladic side, and the final "Politicans" is a merry power metal hymn, a kind of an underwhelming epitaph to this otherwise worthy, promising effort. Som eof the musicians are active nowadays under the name Mass Murder Machine; the style is classic thrash.

Cruel Executer Demo, 1985
Frontiers of Hell Demo, 1986
Public Nuisance Demo, 1989
Out of Silence Demo, 1990

SCANXION (UK)

This underground British trio comes up with 2 songs of jumpy doomy thrash, which moves from slow heavy passages to faster more intense ones, clearly concentrating on the former, and as a whole this stuff will hardly appeal to the headbangers, especially when those speedy ts come up all of a sudden, and feature pure senseless bashing. There is quirky atmosphere created by the gloomy monotonous riffage, and this approach could have turned into something more stylish in the future, but the band had reportedly switched onto grunge/alternative rock in the vein of Nirvana and Fugazi, on their next 3 demos of the early 90's.

The Poetic Justice EP, 1990

Official Site

SCAPE.GOAT (FRANCE)

Modern thrash with hoarse, hardcore vocals; the music is energetic and edgy, mostly up-tempo, and with some slower, melodic implements which work quite well combined with the sharp riffage ("Synergy", "Blank Army").

Zero Demo, 2006

My Space

SCAPEGOAT (GERMANY)

This act could be considered the continuation of the German speed/thrash metal act Defender, who released one demo and one EP in the late 80's. The line-up also includes Tosse Basler- the singer of another underground "hero": Poison Asp, as well as the drummer Alex Koch from the black metallers Mystic Circle. Based on "Goddog of Prey", this band plays typical 90's modern power/post-thrash, blending groovy and fast ts, but lacking both edge and heaviness in both the guitar and the vocal detment. Often is the music pure hard'n heavy ("Stoker"), and as such could attract a wider circle of fans.

Purify Full-length, 1995
Until You turn to Dust EP, 2000
Goddog of Prey Full-length, 2002

Official Site

SCARECIN (USA)

A cool 3-song demo of aggressive Slayer-influenced thrash; the only thing which differs it from their mighty compatriots, is the more stylish leads, which are short, but well-constructed.

Demo Demo, 1990

SCARECROW (GERMANY)

This band, who had tried their hands on a more speed metal-based sound under the name Beatifix a few years earlier, deserve to be better known mainly for the reason that they manage to forge their own unique sound which is a blend of dark heavy, semi-technical thrash and enjoyable more melodic numbers. The vocals are the downpoint being weak and indifferent of the declamatory, semi-singing variety. Actually if you remember the first two albums of the British Sacrilege, then you might get an idea about the style here (check out the very ambitious, 12-min track "Condemned To Be Doomed, part2") although the approach of the Germans is a bit more varied and more technical. The first part of that same song, which is the opener, is a fine instrumental piece, shredding in an awesome mid to up-tempo thrash manner, with aggressive bashing parts alternating with more controlled galloping ones, also featuring a cool balladic lead-driven passage and standout lead guitar work everywhere else. "In the Beginning", supposedly the intro, is curiously placed as the 2nd track, killing the gained inertia to a great extent, being plain thundering noise accompanied by an indifferent chanting voice. "I Owe You..." continues the curiousity mixing heavy almost doomy elements with chaotic abstract riffage not too far from early/mid-80's Voivod. "Nuclear Radiation" is nothing like the previous one offering more laid-back thrash/crossover, but with "Personal Problems" the more serious song-writing returns to the fore with dark sinister riffs ala Infernal Majesty (as well as the "personal problems"- ha ha!). Then comes the aforementioned 12- min opus which sounds almost identical to the previous track, the reason for the bigger length being the stretched balladic passages. More softer thrash/crossover as a finishing touch with "Eternity", to which the very thin melodic punk-ish vocals are a much better match.

Condemned to Be Doomed Full-length, 1988
No Reason to Be Sad EP, 1989

SCARECROW (POLAND)

Ultimately vicious thrash/black/death, fast and brutal, with simplistic guitar work and a raving mad singer, who rends his lungs out; short tracks, with a tinge of grind even: not for the squeamish side of the thrash fanbase.

Deo Optimo Maximo Demo, 1989

SCARED TO DEATH (GERMANY)

This thrash trio from Germany plays energetic modern thrash metal with classic leanings ("Extreme Aggression", which is not a Kreator cover being much less aggressive than the Kreator song, and hardly deserves its violent title; the intense speed/thrash riff-fest "Dark Harvest"). The horrible industrialized vocals on "Paint The White House Black" ruin an otherwise good jolly speed/thrashing piece. The guys manage to sound convincingly on the slower longer tracks, too: "Crucifixion" which offers interesting dark pounding riffs; the cool bonus track at the end "Deine Zeit" which is more melodic with a crossover shade.
"Fatal Destroyer" is another "fatal destroyer" thrashing with passion and with a more overt classic flavour. The songs are generally fast-paced with quite a few melodic "ornamentations" both in the riff and lead department. "Trail of Death" has a more officiant epic "colouring", but the wilder headbanging side ("Manic Mullah", "Crew of Vengeance") seems to be the more attractive one. The title-track is a more serious shredder with a more elaborate rhythm-section which remains more on teh quiet side after that until the arrival of the final "Progress Denied" which thrashes hard with a portion of really cool melodic leads.

Deathconstruction Full-Length, 2008
Fatal Destroyer Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

SCARIOT (NORWAY)

Scariot are very close to grabbing the title "the best Norwegian metal band of modern times", and well deservedly so. Their debut album offers a cool, albeit an uneven mix of power, thrash and death metal. It jumps from straight-forward Swedish death metal ("Crimson Tears") to pure cheesy heavy/power ("Cruisin'", "False Power"), and it's near the end when thrash metal sneaks in ("Sister"), but still crossed with melodic power metal hooks. "The Bad Man" is finally a truly satysfying number, being a heavy, but also speedy thrasher. The duel between the gruff, low-tuned death metal vocals and the soaring clean ones does not work all the time, and as a whole this album leaves quite a bit to be desired.
"Tongueless God" is a nice switch to technical thrash with brutal death metal vocals, and great leads. The music is mid-tempo and heavy, with occasional takes on Swedish death metal ("The Cynic"). Some tracks are really impressive exercises in technical metal ("Death Request"), whereas some go into progressive territory (the nice atmospheric instrumental "Tongueless God").

"Strange to Numbers" is a big improvement over the predecessor cleared almost completely off all other influences (the exception: the laid-back heavy metal number "Lady X"), and concentrating on the thrashy side, again technical, with a unique dark sound, recalling Nevermore. The death metal vocals, which were not doing such a good job earlier, are gone, and the new singer has a poweful, clean voice, much more suiting to the music. This is a tour de force consisting of great complex tracks with mighty riffs, Oriental melodies, more direct intense headbangers ("Broken Circle - Cutting Glass", "Clear Mind"), and really infectious choruses (the closing, progressively-laced "Inner Mica"). The music is never too fast, but is often up-tempo, and emanates a lot of energy.

The band looked well set to conquer the metal scene, and not only in Norway, but the singer Oddleif Stensland deted, to found his own band (Communic is the name; he had already tested the soil previously with a demo, under the name Ingermanland, which worked great), leaving the others hanging for 4 long years, when finally Daniel Olaisen, the band's founder, and its actual face, summoned a stellar cast, consisting of the almighty Steve DiGiorgio, and two members of the progressive metallers Spiral Architect, for the recording of "Momentum Shift". If those who have crossed the band off the list after the Stensland deture, have to put them back, and much higher than the first time: this is first-rate technical thrash, which has something in common with the previous album, but goes way further, perfecting the technical guitar sound, without forgetting about the more aggressive side of thrash ("Nothing"), and about the genuine Oriental tunes, which here are even more, and are simply brilliant (check out "Slaves", containing one of the greatest choruses of the past few years). A marvellous cover of Death's "Symbolic" arrives near the end, to make this work even more compelling, and also make it one of the main pretenders for the "album of the year" award of 2007.

Deathforlorn Full-length, 2000
Tongueless God Full-length, 2001
Pushing For Perfection EP, 2002
Strange to Numbers Full-length, 2003
Momentum Shift Full-length, 2007

Official Site

SCARLET ANGER (LUXEMBOURG)

Based on the full-length, these lads provide intense proto-modern thrash akin to Dew-Scented and Corporation 187. The band know their craft playing with gusto unleashing piercing leads and cutting riffs alternating the speed from the opening duo ("New God Rising", "My Battlefield") with a couple of more laid-back stompers ("From Fool To King", "Face Of Evil") later on. Both sides take turns occasionally intercepted by a few more clever decisions (the technical Annihilator-esque riffs on "Prince Of The Night"). The singer is a forceful semi-cleaner who possesses both aggression and melody displayed at various moments throughout the album.

Kill the King EP, 2011
Dark Reign Full-length, 2012

Official Site

SCARLET SKY (BRAZIL)

Despite some modern implements, the debut retains quite a bit of the 80's sound and is a good work of interesting minimalistic thrash metal which sounds kind of mechanical and dry without strictly belonging to the 90's school. The music is not aggressive and nicely combines up-tempo riffs with stomping, Celtic Frost-like ones ("The Cannibal"). More intense numbers are a rarity ("Death Angel", the short aggressive "Hurted Innocence"), and the closer "Guru" is an ambitious technical track with cold dry riffage recalling the style later adopted by Voivod a few years later. The vocals are very annoying, by the way, being bad undeveloped semi-hardcore shouts, and one might find it really hard to believe that they are delivered by a girl.

"The Portrait of a Nation" sounds more modern and more laid-back not strictly belonging to the thrash metal field the whole time ranging from crossover ty numbers ("Body Bags"), to high-octane proto-groovy doomsters ("Dogs At Night"), to weird avantgarde cover versions (the surreal industrial take on The Doors' "Strange Days"; the more faithful wild interpretatuion of The Exploited's "Why?"), to "remnants" from the past (the brutal retro shredder "Witch Of The Streets" which comes accompanied by nice classical semi-acoustic guitars; the frantic mix of heavy steam-rollers and raging proto-blasting sections "Brazil Champion"). There are certainly displays of bad taste, like the awkward "Pussy Power Rap" which is a jumpy pointless groover, and overall this exuberant amalgam doesn't really strike as too impressive coming with an awful noisy abrasive synthesized guitar sound, on top of other annoyances.

Scarlet Sky Full-length, 1993
The Portrait of a Nation Full-length, 1994

SCARRED (LUXEMBOURG)

Based on "Gaia-Medea", these folks provide modern thumping thrash/death with escalating dramatic developments bordering on the progressive, and inevile "excursions" into the post-thrash realm. The blend works for most of the time except on the moments when jumpy groove takes over the latter suddenly intercepted by compulsive neck-spraining sections ("The Great Pan(dem)ic") some of them reaching blast-beating heights ("Low"). The more abstract side (the technical post-deathy dirge ala later-period Godflesh on "Mosaic") is more attractive, especially when it's more dynamic ("The Knot") with stylish technical "decorations". The guys overdo it a bit on the oveRlong closer "Medea" which is whole 11.5-min the 2nd half being just doomy/balladic tunes with industrial undercurrents.

New Filth Order Full-length, 2009
Gaia-Medea Full-length, 2013

Official Site

SCARRED BY BEAUTY (DENMARK)

A 3-song EP of noisy abrasive modern thrash/death metal with touches of metalcore; the music is chaotic with sudden constant switches from one pace to another creating a complex, but incoherent, focusless picture.

We Swim EP, 2009

My Space

SCARRED MIND (BELGIUM)

Based on the full-length, these guys offer a mix of classic and modern thrash with good lashing guitar work and ordinary hoarse semi-shouty vocals. The music moves from all-out headbangers even touching Slayer ("Hollow Eyes", the speedy roller-coaster "Scarred"), to moody doomy pieces ("Seven"), to jolly crossover ("Fuck Off") happinesses.

The Sweet Taste Of Sickness Full-length, 2004
The Anomaly EP, 2008

Official Site

SCARS (BRAZIL)

Typical modern death/thrash metal, led by the singer of the split-up technical death metal wizards Strangulation; the aggressive attitude is perhaps a bit more than usual, which places this EP closer to death metal territory most of the time; no traces of technical play here. However, this is not a complaint at all as the sheer energy and speed involved would win almost anyone in the long run.
"Devilgod Alliance" is a better effort, now deeply immersed in retro thrash, fast and relentless, with fewer more brutal death metal moments. The album starts in a crushing manner with a fast thrash duo, before "Feast of the Damned (Red Death t I)" crushes your skull in the best tradition of mid-period Sepultura with heavy mid-paced riffs. "Diabolization" continues the assault with more aggressive death metal guitars and a nice balladic interlude, which ripens into the excellent short acoustic instrumental "Five Minutes Before Darkness", which may remind you of the intro to Destruction's "Curse the Gods". "Inner God Death" is the only full-blooded tribute to death metal, after which the enjoyable thrash show carries on uninterrupted for 4 more tracks, until the coming of "Devilgod Alliance": another slower smashing steam-roller. The end is put in the form of an Overdose cover of "Scars" from their 1995 album of the same title, that same album apently being the "godfather" of the band.

The Nether Hell EP, 2005
Devilgod Alliance Full-length, 2008

Official Site

SCARS OF ARMAGEDDON (USA)

This act offer a slightly progressive brand of power/thrash which has its epic inclinations as well, and boasts a very good soulful singer who brings a lot of dramatism to the proceedings. The guys vary things quite a bit overdoing it a bit on the longer numbers ("Our Dying Day", "Edge of Darkness") with too many musical decisions accumulated, but few would complain when the galloping shredder "The Return" hist them, or the moshing speed/thrashing closer "Versus God" which is swirling piece with super-fast sharp guitars.

Never Sleep Again Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

SCARS SOULS (BRAZIL)

Based on "Highbreed", this act plays edgy thrashy progressive power metal supported by nice emotional female vocals (the name is Andr'82a Palmieri, and she is also responsible for the unobtrusive keyboard background springing up from time to time) which are not too far from Doro Pesch, maybe a tad more melodic and attached. The album opens in an attacking manner with the galloping "Addiction", but the next "Warnings" is already a more laid-back progressive composition. The complexity goes up on the 9.5-min opus "Feelings" which mixes heavy sharp guitars with elaborate semi-balladic arrangements to a fairly positive effect recalling mid-period The Gathering. "Open Letter" is a dreamy ballad with very good vocal performance, cancelled by the short intense power/thrasher "Hybrid"; nothing progressive here, just straight dynamic shred. "allel Systems" is another exercise in a bigger complexity, this time all-instrumental, relying mostly on meaty doomy riffs blending well with the fine keyboards. "Solitute" beats everything in terms of length (12-min) and elaborate structures producing a satisfying "cocktail", albeit a bit overlong, of hard-hitting passages and mellower balladic ones. "Y O K A N" follows a similar pattern, closing on just above 10-min, but the guitars are edgier, and the pace is faster resulting in the best song on the album, a fairly nice slab of complex progressive power/thrash which never loses the intensity exiting in an admirable doomy orchestral fashion. The "final impressions" come from "Final Impressions", and they may not be the best ones, since this closer is a pure acoustic ballad, and brings little to the album's diversity provided that there already were quite a few more quiet moments encountered previously. Still, this is a cool effort which target is not exactly the thrash metal fanbase, but those who love the more versatile and thought-out side of metal would do no wrong tracking this work down.

Troia Full-length, 1998
Highbreed Full-length, 2006

Official Site

SCARSNEAR (RUSSIA)

A melodic brand of thrash and death metal, roughly done, with a buzzy sound and low-tuned guttural vocals. The guys stick to monotonous mid-pace, bordering on doom/death ("Polnoch") at times in a way not too far from early Pyogenesis. The few melodic touches could have been more appealing if it wasn't for this awful sound quality.

Demo Demo, 2006

SCARVE (FRANCE)

One of the better French metal acts for the past ten years, Scarve play potent technical industrial death/thrash metal with a modern sound, which is as close to bands like Meshuggah as it is to Atheist or later period Death, but with a nice thick modern production, and a strong presence of industrial metal. On the longer songs the guys spread further adding some progressive elements, and combined with the quiet passages, smell Opeth quite a bit. Two vocal styles attack you here: one in the death metal-mould, the other clean, and quite good. Perfectly conformed with the demands of the contemporary French metal scene, Scarve are surely one of its leaders nowadays.

Six Tears of Sorrow EP, 1996
Translucence Full-length, 2000
Luminiferous Full-length, 2002
Irradiant Full-length, 2004
The Undercurrent Full-length, 2007

Official Site

SCATTERBRAIN (USA)

Formed by ex-members of the thrash/crossover band Ludichrist, Scatterbarin play thrash sounding like a less serious Mordred ("Fool's Game") plus funky metal ala Faith No More. This is, of course, a loose description as there is more happening throughout the bands' career. If you like fun thrash, but Anthrax are too heavy for you, and Faith No More are out of the question, with only one track related to the genre ("Surprise, You're Dead"), then Scatterbrain seem like the perfect choice.

Here Comes Trouble Full-length, 1990
Scamboogery Full-length, 1991
Mundus Intellectualis Full-length, 1994

My Space

SCATTERED (MACEDONIA)

Quite good classic power/thrash metal of the 80's American type with both epic and progressive tendencies not far from Liege Lord's "Master Control" and the Germans Pcychotron. The album begins in a more restrained epic fashion with two more moderate numbers, but comes "The War of Life", and things get aggressively thrashy. "Anger Slave" is a heavy pounder with a cool faster galloping break near the end which provides great melodic hooks. "Mirror" is an excellent dark power/thrasher with speedy overtones, the latter completely overtaking the short headbanger "Reflections", which still finds time for swirling technical decisions. Things get serious once again on "Epic Liberation" which is indeed "epic" with its nearly 9-min of top-notch technical thrash which is a tour de force of complex technical riffage and faster more direct sections, and a fine epic exit (which is, actually, the only more epic t of the song). The final "Equilibrium" starts in a fast & furious manner, and your head will start banging spontaneously, before the sound acquires slower, almost doomy, shades in the 2nd half. This is an impressive convincing debut which may make one take acts from this small European country more seriously from now on.

Introspection Full-length, 2010

My Space

SCAVENGER (ESTONIA)

This compilation displays an act indulging in technical death/thrash metal of the classic type not far from Morbid Angel, also vocal-wise, but the Estonians' sense of melody is bigger, and their music's complexity is higher even aiming at the progressive field on the longer compositions (the atmospheric doomy "Labyrinth"). The main flaw would be the sudden jumps from technical mid-paced to furious blasting passages those switches coming unheralded the latter lasting for just a few seconds, but are quite frequent.

Keeper of the Knowledge Best of/Compilation, 2001

Fan Site

SCAVENGER (IRELAND)

This is an original band who manage to combine power, thrash and traditional heavy metal with doomy depressive passages, not too distant from the last few Katatonia albums. This combination works well (check out "Ethereal Journey" and "Daydreams In Dystopia"), and Scavenger have all the rights to be considered one of the prime bands on the Irish metal scene of recent years.

Madness To Our Method Full-length, 2004
Keeper of the Knowledge Best of/Compilation, 2001

Fan Site

SCENARIO II (HOLLAND)

Modern thrash/death with symphonic arrangements which give it a somewhat pompous operatic appearance at times, not without the help of nice female vocals and the occasional keyboard background. Early In Flames is a good reference point, plus a pinch of Bal-Sagoth and mid-period Therion due to the epic song-structures. The guitars possess both edge and melody, and are given enough chances to produce something faster and more energetic. The vocals are of the brutal low-tuned death metal type, but have a slight shouty shade which makes them clearly heard.

Uniforms of Death Full-length, 2009

Official Site

SCENERY (SZECH)

One of the better practitioners from the technical death/thrash metal field for the past 10 years; the debut is the band's most aggressive, and arguably their finest achievement. The music is a seamless mix of Coroner's "Mental Vortex" and Pestilence's "Testimony of the Ancients", relying on both speedy intense and complex thought-out passages, a full expression of which is found on the excellent opener "After Life Before Life". "Bethrayer of Life / Destructor of People" is a technical/progressive masterpiece, a bit more moderate speed-wise, but "Why Won't You Listen to Me?" is already more dynamic with nice melodic semi-balladic insertions. "The Drowning Shadow of Mankind" is a complex dream-like take on thrash with numerous tempos and moods, mostly instrumental with sce vocal ticipation. It influences the rest of the songs which are similar labyrinthine exercises in technicality without many fast "temptations", but totally satisfying with the high level of musicianship and the original ideas thrown in.

"Philosophy Of Ages" loses all the speed the debut had, and the concentration is on complex structures, mazey arrangements, and quite a few fine melodic hooks which nicely alternate with the sharp technical riffs. Now the sound has moved more towards late-period Death and Atheist with several fusion/jazzy passages ala Cynic. What may annoy the listener is the inclusion of a couple of longer semi-balladic passages which are usually placed in the middle of the tracks, and are hardly necessary (I mean length-wise) since at least half of the songs start in a quiet balladic manner. The bass work is great recalling the one of Steve DiGiorgio on the Death efforts. One may mourn the lack of more dynamic moments although the more elaborate approach will by all means delight fans of the style, especially those who will find time to listen with care.

"Continuity" is not far style-wise from its predecessor, but is kind of better since some of the intensity has returned resulting in a few very cool speedy passages, but on the other hand there are purely balladic vocal sections where the singer abandons his gruff semi-death metal delivery, and "unleashes" his nice clean vocals (could be another singer?). Still, this album delivers on all counts lashing technical riffs from all sides boasting the presence of pleasant more speedy "surprises", like the galloping "Behind Horizont" and especially the great progressive opus "Evolution Mirror", a feast for the ears with smashing fast sections, virtuoso harder- to-swallow ones, a nice keyboard background at times, and a haunting acoustic ending.
The lengthy break is put an end to with "Mental Confusion" which won't disappoint the lovers of technical music who will twist and turn trying to follow the numerous moods and time-changes on the atmospheric opener "Mist Of Reality" which is followed by the equally as complex head-spinner "Malleus Maleficarum", a mazey number with outstanding bass performance and a few operatic inclusions. "Abyss of Awaken" is a shorter, but hardly more relaxed piece the guys changing the pace on this one to a fairly disorienting effect leaving the more dynamic moments for the weird dry sterilizer "Mental Confusion" which dissipates the futurism with some great melodic leads. "Armful Of Eternity" could be considered some of the pinnacles of surreal abstract technical thrash/death ever, a colossal cut with echoes of Diskord and Serdce. These 4-min of technical brilliance would overshadow everything elsewhere, but the band carry on, first with the more moderate "Apostate" which hist the top in the lead detment, and second with the 2-min instrumental extravaganza "Hallucination" which is obviosuly an interlude with its mellow spacey arrangements. The closer "Sieve Of Infinity" is another sheer display of technical mastery, a labyrinth of time and tempo-changes with dissonant rhythms galore and sudden faster-paced passages. This is a true masterpiece of intelligent music for the thinking thrasher (for the rest this may indeed be not much more than "mental confusion") and should find a well deserved place in many top tens at the end of the year.

The Drowning Shadow Of Mankind Full-length, 1997
Philosophy Of Ages .... Full-length, 2002
Continuity Full-length, 2006
Mental Confusion Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

SCENERY OF THE BLACK MASK (RUSSIA)

Modern groovy mid-tempo thrash with rough death metal vocals and a rich dark sound; "Bitch Bride Suicide" is a very cool take on the atmospheric avantgarde style of the Australians Alchemist, and the last track "Warzone" is a cover of the Danes Konkhra.

Bitch Bride Suicide EP, 2009

SCENT OF REMAINS (USA)

The already proven groovy formula is given a slight more complex twist here, but not hard enough to make this effort stand out despite the several clever moments and the good lead guitar work. Nice clean vocals jump up on "No Excuses" to replace the gruff death metal ones and leave a much more positive impression. They make one more appearance on the closer "Uno Mas Tiempo" to "duel" with the "monster" for the making of a nice creepy progressive modern thrasher, the highlight of this otherwise pretty average effort.
"Under a Blackened Sky" treads a similar to the debut path, the bad post-thrashing in a sure-handed, but not very exciting, way adding a big doze of nice melodic leads along the way those additions constrasting with the brutal growls which appear from time to time as assistance to the much better mid-ranged semi-clean main vocals which already impressed much better on the debut. The approach may bore the listener near the end since the variety is sadly lacking, the groove settling too comforly into the song-structures to make this effort a truly compelling listen even for the post-thrash lovers.

Mind.Thought.Fear Full-length, 2010
Under a Blackened Sky Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

SCENTERIA (SWEDEN)

Modern death/thrash metal with the Gothenburg school a clear influence; good stuff sounding like a thrashy version of Dark Tranquillity. The guys have a good sense of melody which works well with the energetic up-tempo riffs. The music is pure thrash most of the time, except for the closing "The Abyss" which comes with a genuine gothic edge ("Forever Lost"), which could have been emphasized on a little bit more, since it gives the style the necessary touch of originality. "Infected War" is a cool stomping thrasher which nicely changes the tempo for a while. Cool keyboards could be heard in the background ("Reign Of Hate") from time to time.

Art of Aggression Full-length, 2004

Official Site

SCEPTER (USA)

Many bands have tried, but few have succeeded as well as Scepter to bring the old Celtic Frost sound back to life. There is little offered here at from classic Celtic Frost, but with cool music like that one doesn't really care for more.

Metal Supremacy EP, 1996
I'a6m Going To Hell Full-length, 1998
Fucking Metal Motherfuckers Full-length, 2003

SCEPTIC (POLAND)

The techno death metal wizards Sceptic have taken a break from their intense complex death metal schedule with this fairly good technical/progressive thrash opus. The music remains elaborate, but the Death-influenced guitar work is not that widely covered; instead some touches of Pestilence"s "Testimony of the Ancients" could be felt: the opener "Unbeliever's Script", but the rest shows an obvious Coroner (sitting between "Mental Vortex" and "Grin") influence, interrupted by melodic death metal-styled leads. The tempo is mid-paced with numerous twists and turns, great guitar performance, albeit not as hard-hitting as on their other efforts, featuring one good slower atmospheric track: "Controlled by Mind", compensated by the fastest song on the album "Shapeless Entity", which again brings Pestilence, and Death, to mind. "Voices from the Past" is a good quiet instrumental, which is not really necessary, and is 7-min long, since earlier there already was one similar track; a long, and not very necessary, tribute to Death's "Voice of the Soul". "Waves of Destruction", the album closer, is another atmospheric, less riff-based number, which might make the listener frown a bit, as there were quite a few of them here. This album was universally criticized by both critics and fans, since it was quite a deture from their very effective style, but for fans of the more technical and atmospheric side of thrash metal it will be by all means a really engaging listen. Later the band safely returned to their old sound.

Unbeliever's Script Full-Length, 2003

SCEPTIC AGE (TURKEY)

This is interesting complex retro thrash which suffers from the bad noisy production. The guys shred with style diversifying things with various elements all within the thrash confines making the songs long and quite eventful the dramatic technicaller "Brain in Chains" being a nice combination of cutting riffs and sudden fast-paced passages. The singer is not on with the music his semi-clean indifferent approach lacking the depth and dramatism to fit the more elaborate nature of the music.

Brain In Chains Demo, 1990

Official Site

SCEPTRE (INDIA)

Based on the full-length, these guys play modern-ish heavy thrash, more dynamic and less groove-based, seldom leaving the mid-pace. The riffs are pounding and heavy, but are varied and do not merge into one another with the casual more classic hook thrown in ("Charred", the nice short instrumental "Twilight's End"). One may wish to hear something faster, and "Quicksand" comes in to fulfill those wishes banging hard in an old school Defiance fashion. This song must have tired the guys a bit, since after it they offer a much more melodic power metal composition: "Search", and another instrumental, this time acoustic and quiet ("Circles Of Silence"). After this "rest" comes a time for another headbanger ("Revolution") which closes the album with both meaty and speedy riffs featured inside.
"Age Of Calamity" thrashes harder with heavy dramatic riffs ("Wrath Of God") which are just about to tumble into heads-down death metal. "Prophesy Deceit" is a more relaxed technical pounder, and later on things take a desired headbanging turn, first with "Fatal Delay" and then with the more aggressive death metal-laced shredder "7 Seals". As a whole this is a better effort showing the guys ready to compete with the rest of the world for the conquest of the thrash metal throne.

Sceptre EP, 1999
Now or Never Full-length, 2008
Age Of Calamity Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

SCIENTIC (DENMARK)

A new talented act is rising; these guys from Denmark pull out state-of-the art technical/progressive power/thrash which combines the best from nevermore, Chaoswave and the Germans Psychotron and twists it through a more progressive perspective ala Zero Hour and Manticora (also from Denmark) resulting in encompassing numbers full of surprises, like the unobtrusive orchestral background on "Reality Lost"; the catchy shoruses on "Oceania"; the bombastic keyboard implements on "Anthropogenic"; puzzling Coroner-esque riffage on "Holonomic Confusion". On top of that one will come across precise intelligent shreds around every corner which move from a mid-paced chugga-chugga section to a faster-paced sweeping one in no time. The singer provides perfect support with his warm emotional clean tember which resembers Warrel Dane (Nevermore) and Chris Salinas (Zero Hour).

Empire of the Mind Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

SCHIZO (ITALY)

The band's debut is a good piece of very aggressive thrash/proto-death mixed with slower longer tracks, not too far from Necrodeath, and quickly won them a cult status. They apently decided to try their hands at more quality thrash after a very long break. "Cicatriz Black" is pretty much in the same vein: a frantic mix of outrageous death/thrashers and more restrained melodic pieces (check out the instrumental "The Sicilian Clan" at the end).
"Sound of Coming Darkness" is probably the band's finest hour; it's too bad it's only 4 songs. This is high-class heavy technical thrash which on the best moments even touches Sadus' "Elements of Anger". There are no speedy tracks to be found, like on their full-lengths; heavy, smashing riffs assault you from beginning to end (there are some timid attempts at a faster play on "Built With Bricks of Shame", but they get quickly buried under the wall of sinister technical guitars), accompanied by low-tuned death metal vocals.
"Hallucination Cramps" is a wild brutal affair featuring fast aggressive thrash/death metal the whole time and as such can easily pass for the band's most extreme effort so far. Furious blasting sections take turns with calmer Slayer-esque ones, the only mercy shown on the mid-paced smasher "Absent" and on the very cool elaborate, almost progressive-sounding, closer "Executionerves", a nice mix of dark doomy rhythms and semi-technical steam-roller guitars.

Main Frame Collapse Full-length, 1989
Sound of Coming Darkness EP, 1994
Cicatriz Black Full-length, 2007
Hallucination Cramps Full-length, 2010

Official Site

SCHIZOID (NICARAGUA)

Excellent modern technical thrash which sounds pretty close to Voivod's "Negatron" and E-Force's "Evil Force", but is more varied than both. The album begins with the manic technical shred on the hallucinogenic masterpiece "The Awakening", before "Breeding Malaise" brings some stomping doominess with formidable heavy riffs and a great fast technical deathy ending ala mid-period Death. "The Deception" clings towards the old school, and is a satisfying speed/thrasher of the more standard type. Not to worry, though, as the more complex delivery comes back on the 8-min cold mechanical opus "Paths", which is followed by a cool short balladic instrumental with the appropriate title "Within The Silence". The approach reaches super-technical progressive dimensions on the multi-faced "Asylum Pt. 1" which is 13-min of quirky rhythms, hectic time-changes, a few pounding passages, and abstract speedy parts with a dry sterile shade. The closer "A Call To Arms" is a sure-handed epitaph to this diverse, but by all means satisfying, effort lashing in a similar to the opener mid to up technical fashion, getting nicely brutal in the middle for another cool nod to Death, before the final portion of technical riffage convinces the listener beyond the shadow of a doubt that this talented act may stand proud even on an oversaturated scene as the US or the Brazilian ones.

Asylum Full-length, 2005

SCHIZOPHOBIC (USA)

All-instrumental modern thrash metal of the peaceful type concentrating on melody more; the guitar work is good accentuating on the leads, but there is not much speed covered, the tempos not changing much throughout making all the 3 tracks sound like one big symphony. Still, this is not completley without merits coming with a very good sound quality and catchy melodic hooks.
The full-length is a more cleverly-constructed affair with more edge and more individual numbers. The melody is certainly here, but its role is not that dominant, and some really intense sections ("Second Omen"; this one is a serious thrasher) will make you jump around. The other material settles for the not so eventful mid-pace, but the shredding is not bad at all the final "Razorblade" trying to justify its title by pulling out the most aggressive "razorblade" riffage on the album turning into an admirable headbanger at the end.

Shock Therapy EP, 2010
Schizophobia Full-Length, 2011

SCHIZOPHRENIA (SWEDEN)

Based on the "Crime Time" demo, this new band plays a blend of classic and modern thrash of the more melodic variety, mostly mid-tempo, with an Annihilator-influence in the guitar work, and heavy metal tunes thrown in for good measure ("Special Agent"), plus a cover version of Vio-lence's "Calling in the Coroner".

Just for Giggling Demo, 2006
Crime Time Demo, 2006

Official Site

SCHIZTOME (UK)

Based on "The Art of Dying", this band plays a frenetic mix of thrash, death, hard and even grindcore. The opening "The Art Of Dying" starts the album in a thrashy headbanging fashion, but later on the other styles come onto the scene, and things get wild, but entertaining, although the guys favour hardcore more, as well as grind (the fierce brutal "Symbiotic Disharmony", the 1-min hyper-blast monster "Return To The Pit").

Puritanically Unreconstructed Full-length, 2003
The Art of Dying Full-length, 2005

My Space

SCHOOL OF VIOLENCE (USA)

This is simplistic melodic heavy/thrash metal with a hardcore spirit, more in the mid-paced range with a jolly uplifting attitude. Some songs are a direct take on the Motorhead style: "Man at the Top", others suddenly exit the thrash metal field going straight into heavy metal territory ("Reign Of The Clown", etc.). The thrash metal fan might frown on quite a few times on the toothless guitars, but the band's intention was hardly to please this ticular side of the metal spectre.

We the People...? Full-length, 1988

SCHWEISSER (GERMANY)

The band's first three full-lengths and the EP's surrounding them are fine representatives of the 90's metal scene: modern, aggressive, groovy thrash with an industrial flavour at times, featuring also vicious death metal tunes and a saxophone; the latter extra feature adds a ticularly unusual touch to the music, making them one of the more interesting practitioners of modern thrash in Germany. With the genre's fading away in the late 90's, the band adopted a more accessible, non-thrash, alternative approach.

Schweisser EP, 1990
...auf der Autobahn zur Holle Full-length, 1992
Eisenkopf Full-length, 1994
Willkommen im Club Full-length, 1996
Malaria EP, 1996
Friss Scheisse EP, 1997
Heiland Full-length, 1997
Bitte warten Full-length, 2000
Vermissen Single, 2000
Pororoca Full-length, 2006

Official Site

SCIENCE FICTION (CZECH)

This is really good; and indeed, once the brilliant lead-driven intro grabs you, you know that there will be many pleasant moments with this one. Well, the lead guitarist remains the star of the show, but the rest do their best to at least assist him competently, and as a result we have professionally executed dark/gothic modern thrash metal with an industrial edge, full of nice melodic hooks, most of them with a strong Oriental touch. The riffs are really heavy (check out "Schizofrenie"), and nicely contrast to the breath-taking guitar melodies and the keyboard background, which is constantly present, but is not irritating at all. The tempo is mid-paced for most of the time seldom intercepted by slower softer numbers: the cool atmospheric "P'f8fzrak". The 2nd t is less hard-hitting, and the riffs lose their edge, coming overshadowed by the fine leads almost completely on quite a few times (this guy should move to a more renowned band; his talent is too big to remain unrecognized: check out his amazing performance on "Prokletf"). "Vyvrhel" wakes up for a more aggressive and more up-tempo play near the end, and the final "Cherokee" brings something more elaborate on the le being a very good progressive number, where the lead guitar steals the show for the upteenth time on this album.

I.N.R.I. Full-length, 2001

SCIENCE OF DEMISE (SWEDEN)

Based on "Bloom", this band indulge in progressive modern post-thrash which is too eventful for the regular fan comprising complex passages, epic twists, Oriental motifs, and more. The pace is not very fast the band moving forward in an officiant doomy manner the jumpy complicated picture assisted by low-tuned death metal vocals. The guitars have both a melodic and a mechanized dry vibe which nicely intercept on every song making them an interesting engaging listen.

Final Act of Purification EP, 2009
Submerge Full-length, 2011
Bloom Full-length, 2013

Official Site

SCORCH (USA)

Heavy, intense, groovy post-thrash with a strong industrial edge; the tempo is slow-ish, almost doomy, and the guys refuse to put more energy into the proceedings. As a result their music is monotonous and repetitive, despite the intense, but one-dimensional riffage.

Faces Full-length, 2003

Official Site

SCORCHED EARTH (USA)

Based on "Devils in Iron", this is a cool mix of some well executed energetic thrash and some mostly mid-paced, heavy death metal riffage. The heaviness is further aggravated by the inclusion of groovy ts, going at times into sludge/doom-territory.
The debut is a rawer, less polished affair mixng the two sides not too well, relying on long compositions which include quite a few slower, doomy sections the latter again not very well blended into the overall alalgam. The fast ts have a rushed hardcore-ish feel to them which is further aggravated by the forced shouty death/hardcore vocals.

Thy Kingdom Crushed Full-length, 2000
Gods, Kings, and Conquerors Full-length, 2003
Devils In Iron Full-length, 2006

Official Site

SCORNAGE (GERMANY)

The band walks the fine line between the old school and modern thrash; so bands like Sodom and Slayer are as much influences on the band's style as The Haunted or Dew-Scented. Fans of the aforementioned acts will find a lot to like here. Both albums offer good energetic, headbanging, up-tempo thrash, occasionally mixed with heavier, slower sections. The approach is a bit one-dimensional, and the songs tend to merge together.
"Born to Murder the World" is straight, direct retro thrash, well done, leaving the modern elements far behind for most of the time. The guys play fast and tight, sometimes adhering to brutal death metal intensity ("The Scent Of Things To Come"), sometimes offering sprawling, but interesting (don't read technical or progressive) thrash opuses, offering intense thrashing for about 10-min ("Born to Murder the World"). Still, the band's real power lies in the shorter, more immediate bombs ("If We Really Knew", "Dead and Gone", "There are no Innocents"), which send their message home in a more convincing manner. The end is preserved for the encompassing, again a bit lengthy "And Now He Rises", where the guys insert all that was previously heard on the album, including a short blast-beating section to boost it up. Besides the feeling of deja-vu, which will not leave the listener the whole time, including strong resemblance to same year's Kreator's "Hordes of Chaos", Scornage are perfectly all right as one of the classic thrash metal defenders, even in a saturated field like the one we are enjoying nowadays.
"ReaFEARance" is another capable offering returning to the more modern patterns from the band's beginnings although this is not a real pullback the guys ripping a riff after riff with the utmost intensity producing some definitive headbangers along the way: "Frozen Throne", "We Bury Our Dead Alive" which even blast-beats for a while. The attack is almost non-stop the aforementioned blast-beats re-appearing here and there ("Fury") later on the classic spirit admirably recaptured with the intense Kreator-worship "In A Cage" and the ultra-speed/thrasher "The Holy Rape" which will make all your fillings fall out. The final "Sbed Again" is a owrthy exercise in a more technical play again following the more recent style of Kreator. This is by no means worse than its inspired predecessor; it just shows that the band are falling into a certain niche which will inevily satisfy their core fans, but may make them "lazy" to look for new horizons to explore...

Ascend EP, 2000
Aggression EP, 2001
Sick of Being Human Full-length, 2004
Pure Motorized Instinct Full-length, 2006
Born to Murder the World Full-Length, 2009
ReaFEARance Full-length, 2012

Official Site

SCORNFORGER (FRANCE)

This formation plays direct speed/thrash of the modern school with fast ripping riffs and screamy death metal vocals, which are at times intercepted by lower-pitched growls. The intensity is seldom interrupted (the mellow power/thrash on "1692"), and unstoppable galloping pieces like "Hell Ride" and "Panick Attack" will keep the spiritis high, those also carrying a certain classic flavour. The closing "Satan's Whore" is a heads-down retro headbanger finishing this energetic effort with style, and more moments like this in the future would only increase the guys' appeal. They also play in two more acts: the death metal outfits Dividead and Unchained.

Neighbours are Livin' Dead Full-length, 2011

Official Site

SCORNGRAIN (FINLAND)

The title of their debut can give one a clue as to what to expect from this band: this is modern, industrial thrash sounding like a mixture between Fear Factory and ...And Oceans with raspy black metal vocals mixed here and there with clean and death metal ones. The music packs a punch with meaty sharp riffage well blended with the purely electronic industrial landscapes which will also remind you of the cyber-black/thrashers The Kovenant. On the other hand, "Cyberwarmachine" is a pure headbanging piece ala early Skrew, and "Killing Breed" is an excellent sinister steam-roller. "4D Religion" is intense industrial thrash shred, and just before the end one will encounter one more aggressive offering: the more industrial-tinged "Dawn Of Hypocrite Dod". The closer "No Funeral For The Last" is a u-turn from the guitar-driven mayhem heard so far, into atmospheric keyboard-infused stuff with fine orchestral arrangements.

"Utopia.anoia.Perversions!" is more heavily undustrialized, and a more melodic affair as a whole, but in this case this doesn't mean the inferior one. This album sums up the best from the apocalyptic electronic landscapes of Front Line Assembly and the more riff-based approach of acts like Skrew, Die Krupps, and Swamp Terrorists. The guitars bite strongly on more than half of the tracks, and their role remains pretty big in the 2nd half pulling out a few very cool edgy thrashers ("Cure Equals Suffering", "Age of Disgust", the short explosive headbanger "Once In a Knifetime", the crushing riff-monster "Cure Equals Suffering"). The final "Fade And Vanish" is an imposing thrash/doom/industrial amalgam coming close to the orchestral grandeur of Front Line Assembly's "Hard Wired". With almost all of the industrial thrash metal heroes long gone, this act should be paid respect for doing a good job in keeping this rare nowadays "breed" alive.

Cyberwarmachine Full-length, 2004
0,05% Full-length, 2006
Utopia.anoia.Perversions! Full-length, 2010

Official Site

SCOTOMA (CYPRUS)

Based on the "I want to Fly" EP, this band plays a slightly alternative version of the 90's groovy post-thrash metal formula spiced with more original semi-technical guitars, but the band's choice to use several vocal styles one of which is utterly annoying, being clean of the alternative variety, ruins things quite a bit. Not that the music is anything special, especially with the inclusion of the very non-metallic ballad "Moment of Silence", which may remind you of Queensryche's "Silent Lucidity".

Scotoma Demo, 1994
Outside the Slaughter House Demo, 1995
Bloodbrothers Best of/Compilation, 1996
Realife Demo, 1996
Desert Fish Single, 1997
I want to Fly EP, 2004
Sonic Arts 2.0 Best of/Compilation, 2005
Killing The Machine EP, 2007

Official Site

SCOURGED FLESH (AUSTRALIA)

Based on "Welcome to the End of the World", this band plays a blend of modern and classic thrash, mid-paced with heavy guitars and a couple of melodic implements. The approach is kind of samey on all tracks since the guys totally refuse to speed up, even for a little bit, and soft funky vocal experimentations, like the ones on "Extinct", are simply laughable. "Episodes of Hate" finally contains a more speedy energetic material for the headbangers, at least for those who are still around to hear it. The band members have two side-projects: Burial Grounds, where the music is harder and faster, still in the thrash/death metal realm; and the similarly- styled Grave Forsaken.
"Bury the Lies" offers the same mid-paced one-dimensional music with very few faster surprises, but there is a nice female vocal ticipation on a couple of tracks which suit well the morose doom/gothic atmosphere of the album.
The debut sounds very close to its follow-up offering not very exciting mid-tempo riffs with a death/gothic shade, and the guys' steady refusal to speed up even for a short bit makes things even less appealing, except, maybe, for the short hard'n heavy shift on the closing "Wait For The Other Side". On top of that in the vocal detment we have a very brutal low-tuned growler who doesn't really improve the situation with occasional guttural Chris Barnes-like screams.

Released from Damnation Full-length, 2006
Bury the Lies Full-length, 2007
Welcome to the End of the World Full-length, 2009

My Space

SCRAM (GERMANY)

Based on the full-length debut, these guys try hard to be the new Kreator, doing their best to sound like this legendary band used to in the 80's. They do a decent job when staying close to this pattern, trying at times to move away from the main influence, but it's these moments which show that the band still have to put a lot of effort in order to make a more lasting impression on the metal scene.
"Rich, Rotten & Poor" shows a more individual face, this time more polished and thought-out, the guys adding death metal to the proceedings, although still the shadow of "Pleasure to Kill" is pretty obvious on the faster and shorter material. The musical proficiency is bigger, also reflected in a few more lyrical moments: the mid- paced opus "Daily Insanity", which will scare you with its sudden ultra-speedy mid-break. "Desaster Out Of Ashes" is another dramatic piece without too much speed present, a cool shredder of the less ordinary kind. The listener may start getting a bit annoyed after "Deepest Black" also refuses to accelerate, but the final "Death" is a keeper with its steel lashing riffs showing another act intent on playing a more prominent role on the European thrash metal scene, and this time they by all means sound more convincing.

Suicide Kills EP, 2001
Radial Neuropathy Full-length, 2004
Rich, Rotten & Poor Full-length, 2010

Official Site

SCRAPER HEAD (BRAZIL)

Aggressive thrash/death metal of the classic variety which is not constantly fast, but offers slower shifts ala late 80's Slayer ("Torpid Thoughts", the heavy semi-ballad "Suicidal Tendence", which has very little to do with the band cited in the title). The riffs are simplistic, and the approach is one-dimensional and samey on the faster tracks, topped by gruff death metal-ish vocals. The songs are short barely going over the 3-min mark.

Lost in a Dream Full-Length, 1997

SCRATCHED SURFACE (BRAZIL)

Based on "The Silent Flood", these guys play modern choppy thrash with metalcore leanings and unpleasant noisy shouty vocals. The style is quite predicle with not too many claims at originality or sophistication except for the few atmospheric passages which come ambient-ornated and are a nice touch, the most stylish t of this pedestrian offering.

Look Away Blind EP, 2005
Nine Novembers Fall Full-length, 2008
The Silent Flood Full-length, 2011

Official Site

SCREAM ALLEGIANCE (UK)

This British act offer a modern take on the power/thrash metal hybrid which sticks to steam-rolling riffs which are not "strangers" to more dynamic patterns (the galloping rhythms on "Your Prayers Will Not Be Answered"; the speed metal killer at the end "Easy Prey"), and generally manages to avoid the groovy pitfalls along the way. The singer has an authoritative clean tember which doesn't have a very big range, but commands the proceedings with confidence recalling J.D. Kimball (Omen- R.I.P.).

Scream Allegiance EP, 2012

SCREAM MEANS FEEL (RUSSIA)

An energetic mixture of modern and classic thrash with lashing riffs and subdued grolwing death metal vocals at times interrupted by better clean vocals which take the upper hand on a few numbers. The guys shred with no remorse spitting a riff after riff with an admirable intensity which decreases in the 2nd half replaced by a few more laid-back semi-balladic moments.

U Chertui Full-Length, 2012

SCREAMING SAVIOR (CHINA)

Based on "Infinity", this band plays modern thrash/black with orchestral arrangements strongly recalling mid-period Dimmu Borgir and early The Kovenant. This is good diverse music which emits a lot of atmosphere, and the major complaint would come from the overuse of the keyboards which stifle the guitars at times. "Pray to the Chthonic" is a very cool balladic prelude, and the closing "Across the Boundary of Cosmos" is a more technical rendition of the main bombastic theme on the album with a good pounding guitar support. The vocalist is the staple husky raven seldom helped by emotional clean insertions.

Eclipse of the Dark Lunar Full-length, 2009
Ocean of Asura EP, 2011
Infinity Full-length, 2012

Official Site

SCREAMS OF ERIDA (USA)

Based on the EP, this band play modern thrash with elements of metalcore, from which the music loses a lot, since there is hardly an intense headbanging element to be heard, and often do more aggressive passages get choked with a very blunt metalcore break. Mid-paced melodic stuff is what you'll get here; skippable.

Burn The World EP, 2005
The Red Testament Full-length, 2006

Official Site

SCREAMZ (GERMANY)

A mix of modern and classic power/thrash metal quite close to Xentrix's "Kim" with the Brits' album's characteristic heavy balladic sound well epitomized. Both sides are well balanced, with "Fighting Fingers" coming up boldly with vigorous galloping riffs, closely followed by the crossover happiness "Live in the Gutter" at the end. The rest is still edgy sticking to sharp mid-paced riffs supported by semi-gruff clean vocals which hold a nice melodic pitch the whole time.

Cash Full-length, 1995

SCRIPTURA (FRANCE)

Monotonous uneventful groovy post-thrash with harsh semi-shouty vocals; the guitars drag except for the more lively moments when the music turns to pure hardcore. There are attempts at a more industrial sound ala Treponem Pal, but the guys very soon give up treading those waters.

Deep Stoned Full-length, 2008

My Space

SCROK (BRAZIL)

A 3-songer which sees a band ready to crush majorly in an old school fashion playing right as rain thrash sustained in a solid mid-pace with the casual faster deviation ("Creeping Children Tales"). The sound production is a bit rough and the vocalist is gruff with a drunken tember trying to shout at times forcing his throat in a not very healthy manner. The guys are doing a much more melodic job with their other act, the symphonic metallers Dark Season.

Devastation EP, 2011

Official Site

SCROTUM (FRANCE)

Based on the 1st demo, this band varies things from Celtic Frost-laden ("Carnage (The Antechrist)") to shorter very brutal and fast, with a shade of grindcore ("Slatanic SS Wehrmacht"), tracks. "Black Death" is almost 8-min long, but contains a little more than straight raw bashing.

German Command Demo, 1988
Second Slaughter Demo, 1989

SCRUFFY TEARAWAYS (USA)

Fast aggressive thrash/crossover with short explosive songs; the guitars are more thrashy than the average thrash/crossover act, but the song-writing follows the pattern closely.

Demo Demo, 1988

SCUD (BRAZIL)

The demo is 2 songs of dynamic mid-tempo thrash with cool melodic tendencies aptly expressed on "Shout" where semi-balladic passages take turns with heavy seismic riffs to a dark morose effect recalling the guys' compatriots The Mist.

Shout Demo, 1993
Clouds Taken by the Wind Full-Length, 2006

Official Site

SCULPTURE (HOLLAND)

Another one-album wonder from the full of pleasant surprises Dutch metal scene; this is standout thrash/death metal with progressive tendencies. The music is dark and moody, mid to up-tempo, and never becomes too aggressive. The album starts with the complex technical "A Contemplation Of David", which is the longest and most intricate composition. "Sodom" is much shorter, but the technical charge remains intact. "No Liberation" adds some death metal intensity, and the next "Spiritual Matrix" is a very cool energetic thrasher; those two lose the technicality somewhere, which returns with the good jumpy thrash/death number "No Respect". "Scorning" slows down once again, introducing gothic-tinged passages, a "legacy" which is carried by the dreamy, soft "Dawn Of Eternity". At this point the listener is almost ready to accept the new, Cemetary or adise Lost-influenced, face of the band, but "Grinding Sacrifice" brings the sound back to thrash of the more up-tempo variety. "Death To Death" is a tribute to the doom/death metal scene which was ticularly strong in Holland at that time. The closer "Twilight Traps" apologizes for the lost inertia on earlier ts being a very cool technical death/thrasher still including moody slower sections.
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Spiritual Matrix Full-length, 1998

Official Site

SCUMSHOT (GERMANY)

Excellent thrash metal of the classic school, occasionally clinging towards crossover territory; the songs are speedy to up-tempo, with nice sharp riffs and semi-hardcore vocals (which might be a drawback to some).

Raise Full-length, 2006

Official Site

SCYTHE (CUBA)

This Cuban outfit indulge in aggressive thrash/death which is way more death than thrash. The band stick to the Floridian formulas which give them plenty of opportunities to blast out at will, but at the same time the controlled passages are also quite a few the mid-paced break present on almost every track to provide the needed dynamics which is constantly assisted by brutal grunting death metal vocals.

Drawned in Blood Demo, 2005

SCYTHE (USA, CA)

Retro thrash metal of the raw prime variety ala early Razor and Hallows Eve; the guitar sound is very fuzzy, and takes away a considerable t from the fun. This is generally fast stuff with very screaming leads and gruff declamatory vocals.
"The Seventh Day" is more proficient with sharper more polished riffs with again Razor remaining the main influence, with a couple of more intense riffage ala Devastation and Slayer ("The Seventh Day") thrown in as well; watch out also for the fast blasting section on "Human Discretion". This is good aggressive stuff which may be a warm-up for the guys' future full-length release...
"Defying to Exist": it's fair play to the guys to provide 9 brand new songs without touching those from the preceding EP. Otherwise the approach is similar retro thrash with shades of mid-period Sepultura this time, including from the transitional "Chaos AD" which influences the opening duo, both being pounding mid-pacers. The mid-pace dominates despite the presence of several vigorous tracks (the death-laced "End Of Days" and "Hit" bothalso recalling later-period Protector) and the tribute to "Arise" "asite" which is a nice headbanger. Still, their presence is not enough to please the fans who will be expecting an all-out assault similar to the one on the EP, and may remain quite disappointed with this heavy, steam-rolling stuff which also sees the guys in a more modern, and less impressive, light.

Out From Below Demo, 2008
The Seventh Day EP, 2010
Defying to Exist Full-length, 2012

My Space

SCYTHE (USA, IL)

This is bombastic operatic black/death/thrash which still gives plenty of room for the guitars to cut and bite without speeding the whole time also keeping a good sense of melody also reflected in the presence of some deep clean vocals and quite a few more epic moments (check out "Beware the Scythe" for both). Things become seriously dramatic on the excellent "Tyrannical Stranglehold" and "Opus Dei of the Dead" which come with heavy doomy, officiant riffs, but the speed/thrashy boogie is just around the corner ("Tunguska Death Ray"). Both sides alternate throughout to create a nice atmosphere on this effort which would be of interest to fans of all the three aforementioned genres in equal dozes although to these ears the slower, more dramatic side of the album seems to work the better (also reflected in the cool minimalistic closer "Planet of the Humans" which would remind of Impaled Nazarene's brilliant "Blood is Thicker than Water" from "Suomi Finland Perkele"). Some of the musicians also play in the gothic metal project Nightshade.
"Subterranean Steel" is moodier and heavier than its predecessor the approach now clinging towards the doomy/proto-doomy side on at least half the tracks, and "The Grunting Dead" in the middle would be a rude awakening for those who have adjusted to this peaceful style with its brutal deathy outbreaks. The situation improves after this one "The Bray Beast" being another more energetic piece with some super-heavy shreds, and "Nights of Terror" baing a cool short bombarder with dark Celtic Frost-esque overtones. The closer "Thunder Hammer" even branches out into some wild untamed black metal to ensure the album's crossover potential which should appeal to a wide gamut of metal fans.

Beware the Scythe Full-Length, 2012
Subterranean Steel Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

SCYTHES (FRANCE)

These guys offer energetic thrash/death metal of the old school (think their compatriots No Return and Massacra) with bad shouty semi-death vocals. The guitar work is good, especially the short, but proficient leads, mixing fine melodies with ultra-fast sections. Although the approach clings more towards the death metal side, some fine up-tempo thrashers can be easily found ("The Pain Inside Myself", "Reclusion", the heavy "Enemy", the closing speed/thrashfest "Absence of Pleasure"). Seldom do the guys excel in a more technical play: "First Five Years", which is slower, but is full of interesting riffs and hooks.

Deathscreamer Full-length, 2007

Official Site

SCYTHESYS (SPAIN)

Cool intense old school thrash sustained in a dominant fast-paced fashion the band thrashing on remorselessly with a tinge of crossover on the shorter cuts (the 2-min ripper "Born to Kill"). This is inspired stuff seeing an act knowing their craft, including in the vocal detment where the singer unleashes a mean semi-clean tember with appropriate shouty insertions.

Born to Kill Demo, 2011

Official Site

SCYTHIAN (UK)

A fairly good mix of early German thrash (think Exumer, Destruction, Sodom) and epic/viking metal along the lines of mid-period Bathory and Enslaved. The blend works well, "helped" by more aggressive riffs in the death/doom mould ala Bolt Thrower and Beyond Belief at times. There is also a raging cover version of Bathory's "Holocaust" from "Blood, Fire, Death" at the end.
The full-length offers just three new songs, the rest being taken from the demo. "Ares Guide My Blade" is an aggressive fast-paced thrash/deathster; "Open Steppe" is a mix of furious thrash/death/black metal and more moderate epic sections; "Kurgan Funeral Chant" is the 8.5-min closer which is the prototypical thrash/black/death/epic/viking amalgam ala Destroyer 666.

Suffering to the Conquered... Demo, 2007
To Those Who Stand Against Us... Full-Length, 2009

My Space

SCYTHIAN OATH (USA)

A 3-track demo of excellent technical power/thrash metal, a style not quite typical for the American metal scene at the time, with great stylish technical riffs which will remind you of Juggernaut, but the music of this band is faster and better bringing to mind Aftermath and Agent Steel in the speedy sections.

Shadow of the Torturer Demo, 1985

Fan Site

SE, JOSTA EI PUHUTA (FINLAND)

Fast intense thrash/death metal which mixes modern and classic influences the former leaning more towards the Swedish school. The music is predominantly fast with the closing "Ovat Uneni Veren Tahrimat" being a furious piece of pure old school thrash metal.
The sophomore effort is another energetic blend of thrash and death, well done, with sharp lashing riffs which cling more towards the thrash side. The speed is intercepted in clever, semi-technical way with a few haunting melodic passages involved ("Menetettyyn atiisiin") as well. Those same passages spring up more often in the 2nd half which still acquits itself with the odd speedster ("Ikuiseen Kadotukseen", and especially the ripping shredder "Silla on Monet Kasvot"). This is a cool, professionally executed effort which finds a good balance between aggression and melody.

Ne, Joista Ei Puhuta Full-length, 2010
Musta, Kylmf1'84, Syv'84 Ja Samea Full-length, 2011

Official Site

SEA OF TRANQUILLITY (USA)

Based on the "The Dead of Winter" demo, this band, whose line-up features Peter Clemens: the vocalist and bassist who has also taken t in Invasion, Shades of Grey, Skullview, etc., plays dark morose thrash/death metal which on the faster moments is not far from early Death and Massacre, but there is a certain amount of heavy, almost doomy, sections recalling Bolt Thrower quite a bit. Still, there is a lot of dynamics on offer both of the lashing and galloping type, with "Bait and Switch" being a full-on thrashing mosher, pretty one-of-a-kind since the approach is closer to death metal for most of the time. "As I Watched from Below" is an exquisite technical piece ala Pestilence and Coroner and, of course, later-period Death mixing twisting riffs with straight headbanging ones to a fairly positive effect. The singer suits the music with his brutal low-tuned growl recalling early Chuck Schuldiner (R.I.P.).
"The Omegan Ruins" offers a similar blend of twisted proto-doomy death metal and faster thrashy sections, the former the dominant ones, although they sedom branch out into pure doom ("Lone Traveler's Journey"). "A World Without A Name" is a more intense piece thrashing hard for a bit more than 7-min, but moments of the kind are not many at all. "Tinge Of Agony" is the odd exploration of more technical fields, done in a minimalistic slow-ish fashion, which suits well the generally gloomy atmosphere on the album.

The Dead of Winter Demo, 1995
The Omegan Ruins Full-length, 1998
Sonic Cacaphony Demo, 2000
The Pale Man Full-length, 2004
Ne, Joista Ei Puhuta Full-length, 2010

Official Site

SEANCE (SWEDEN)

Seance produced two quite good death metal albums in the early 90's, before splitting up, only to re-appear under the name Witchery 5 years later, with a style firmly rooted in classic black/thrash (except for their last effort so far, where the guys expand their "horizons" beyond the "ones" of thrash). Witchery is put on hold, and here comes a new Seance release ("Awakening of the Gods") which retains some of their old sound, by enriching it with a solid doze of thrash. As a result we have a satisfying work of classic thrash/death metal quite close to the French school (No Return's "Contamination Rises", Massacra, etc.). The music is energetic, not very fast, with the obligatory more technical sections ("They", "Invocation"). Occasionally do the guys adhere to more brutal elements ("Your Time Has Come"), which are tastefully used, as well as the bass wizardry displayed on the 1-min instrumental "Flight Of The Wicked". Most of the time this is all-out thrash with the more aggressive "decoration" coming in the form of the vocals. "Choose Your Enemy" is the filler here, slower and unfocused with a modern groovy flavour, but it's merciless blitzkrieg thrashers like "Prisoner 666" and "Wasted" which will keep you on the alert. This is by all means a sure-handed comeback for the band, although the future of the eventual follow-up is uncertain, with the guys planning to release a new Witchery material in the near future.

Fornever Laid To Rest Full-length, 1992
Saltrubbed Eyes Full-length, 1993
Awakening of the Gods Full-length, 2009

Official Site

SEARING I (SWEDEN)

Professionally done, but prototypical thrash/death metal of the Swedish school; some good, hard riffs and melodic solos, but this debut as a whole brings nothing new to the scene.

Bloodshred Full-length, 2005

Official Site

SEASON OF THE SPRING (USA)

Entertaining alternative post-thrash with good clean carefree vocals; the few hard-hitting riffs are "drowned" (but not in such a bad way) in melodic, proto-grungy rhythms creating something which is really hard to define: maybe if you can imagine a blend of Skid Row's "Slave to the Grind", the Black Album, and Depressive Age's "Electric Scum", then you'll probably have a decent picture about what's going on here. The songs sound like rehearsals for longer compositions, since they all end around the 2.5-min mark, not leaving a very deep trace in your mind. The closing "Silence Of Patience" is a fine semi-ballad which kind of predates the Metallica approach on "Until It Sleeps" 3 years later.

Season Of The Spring Full-Length, 1993

SECLUDED VIOLENCE (USA)

The sound quality is bad, and diminishes the impact from this otherwise cool demo of moderately aggressive thrash obviously influenced by Slayer ("Hell Awaits") and Dark Angel ("We Have Arrived"), but having also other, heavier moments, where the guitars and the bass try to sound more original (not very successfully, though). "Curse" is an ambitious 8-min doom-laden thrasher which is the highlight here although it betrays the predominant fast-paced style of the demo.

Demo Demo, 1988

SECOND HELL (HOLLAND)

A surprisingly brutal band for that time: thrash metal in the vein of Kreator's "Pleasure To Kill", very well done with good melodic solo work. It's beyond me how these guys never made it big as they were more vicious and better musicians than many other bands back in those days.

Prophets of Hell Demo, 1985
Metal Deadness Split, 1986

My Space

SECOND REALITY (GERMANY)

Based on the debut, this act plays heavy thrash which clings between the modern and the classic trends sometimes sounding angry like Pantera and Machine Head, sometimes moshing in a mid to up-tempo fashion ala Overkill and 90's Testament. Both sides are not too bad, actually, as the shorter thrashers ("Cancer Until Vanished", "Relatives Reduction") are more appealing than a couple of longer ("Aquis Submersus"), a bit clumsy, tracks although those latter ones try to capture the steam-roller heaviness of the Germans Warpath. The singer emits the prototypical for the time angry semi-shout, in this case a bit more growly.

Monolith Full-length, 1997
Source Trait's Full-length, 1999

My Space

SECRECY (GERMANY)

Secrecy are mostly progressive/power metal band, but on both their albums there are stunning thrashy outbursts (similar to later period Eldritch) that one could only wonder what would have happened if these guys had concentrated on this, more aggressive and more attractive side of their music. The band's style is actually fairly interesting: they don't sound like anyone else, and the vocals are of the very melodic type which, when mixed with the more thrashy moments, make for a really compelling listen.
"Art in Motion" starts quite promisingly, with the up-tempo thrasher "Trisomie XXI", but then the music switches onto progressive power metal, but goes back to thrash in the second half, for the galloping "Coroner's Inquest", the following short technical instrumental "Like Burning One's Boat", and the brilliant riff-fest "Inside You" at the end.
"Raging Romance" begins in the same raging (but not romantic) manner, with an aggressive thrashy opener ("Observer From Above"), again followed by a string of softer tracks, before exploding once again with the speed metal-based "This World's Wisdom". One more thrashy delight comes near the end: the up-tempo "Ideology", which will remind you of Attacker's "Second Coming".

Art in Motion Full-length, 1990
Raging Romance Full-length, 1991

SECTAS (MEXICO)

Based on "Ideas Falsas", these guys offer good power/thrash metal of the old school, thrashing out in the best tradition of the Bay Area heroes in the beginning, also boasting solid clean vocals. The album opens with an intense speed/thrashing duo, before calming down on "Ansias De Poder". "Muerte Segura" serves more melodic speed metal ala early Blessed Death with a great bass support, followed by the 1.5-min thrash/crossover delight "Agelasta". "Una Razon Mas" is softer power metal, and leaves its trace on the remaining songs, except for the closer "Fuera De La Realidad", which returns to the speed/thrashy patterns with a more melodic crossover shade.

Ideas Falsas Full-length, 1996
Sectas Full-length, 1998

My Space

SECTION BRAIN (CZECH)

Aggressive semi-technical thrash reminiscent of Torture's "Storm Alert" or Sepultura's "Beneath The Remains"; the vocals are of the death metal type, and the band rely on long elaborate tracks which never lose pace or sound stale. The songs move in a heavy mid-paced manner, when all of a sudden comes a fast, aggressive section, and again abruptly interrupted by a more quiet, more technical, or a lead guitar-driven one. There are a lot of time changes within the songs, and maybe at times the band get carried away, changing them too soon, before they manage to develop into something more sensible (actually, just when one starts to like a certain passage, it suddenly changes into another one, leaving you disappointed). Well, not for long, since the guitar work is really impressive, and the riffs are sharp and tight, dominating over the leads in terms of both time and execution. The album leaves you asking for more because, in spite of the considerable length of the individual tracks, there are only five real songs, with the last one being a bad 2-min joke ("The Czech Way"; fortunately, this is not the Czech way!). This band could have really gone far.

Hospital of Death Full-length, 1993

SECTION 8 (USA)

A heavy dark take on the classic thrash metal idea which is marred by the muddy sound quality and the brutal death metal vocals which only suit the several "excursions" into doom/death and , of course, the final brutalizer "Wrath Of God" which is pure unadulterated death metal. The band members are still around with the death/grindcore "monsters" Lividity, and the death metal outfit Embrace Damnation.

Holy Deprivation Demo, 1994

SEDITION (USA)

Superb technical thrash metal, recalling Forbidden's "Twisted into Form", but more aggressive and a bit more adventurous: smashing technical riffs, great solos, and standout bass bottom reminiscent of Steve DiGiorgio. And let's not forget the vocals which are a nice mixture between David Wayne (R.I.P.) and Russ Anderson (Forbidden), maybe a bit more dramatic. This is engaging music, with tempo changes and vortex-like riffs aplenty, staying in the mid to up-tempo range; demos of such a high level of musicianship are a rarity in the metal underground (maybe the Germans Flaming Anger's first demos come close).

Sedition Demo, 1989
Demo Demo, 1990

SEDUCTIVE BLASPHEMY (USA)

Based on the "Necessary Evil" demo, this band manage to mix speedy riffage ala Forbidden and Hirax with heavier "South of Heaven"-like ones, and they still find time to include a light-hearted rock'n roll number: "Roadkill". The follower "Hellbound" compensates with more aggression in the Dark Angel-vein.

Necessary Evil Demo, 1989
Communion of Hatred Demo, 1991

SEDUCER (USA)

Based on "Sin Speaks", these guys offer a heavy modern mix of doom and post-thrash, so expect mostly crushing pounding riffs with the occasional feast for the headbangers: the crossover happiness "Black Sheep", the aggressive mosher "Sour Blackened Tooth". From a doom metal point-of-view the album delivers most of the time, especially on the excellent macabre cover of Black Sabbath's "Electric Funeral". "Narrow Minded" "acquits" the other side of their music being a super-heavy hectic groovy industrialized thrasher as well as the closing minutes from the closing "Disrespectful" which thrash with gusto finished with a nice sinister orchestral outro.

Sin Speaks Full-length, 1993
Trials And Tribulations Full-length, 1994

SEDULITY (USA)

Based on the EP, this is decent modern thrash with numerous Oriental motifs which work well embedded into the officiant mid-paced landscape which is topped by attached forceful semi-death metal vocals. Some faster rhythms arrive with "Black Skies" which are later tly picked by "Prisoner to Time" the latter also boasting a nice melodic lead section. Then comes the excellent "Ambivalence" which is pure later-period Death worship (including pasages directly borrowed from the Schuldiner's (R.I.P.) catalogue) if we exclude the uncontrolled blasts inserted at some stage. Apently the guys have kept the most pleasant surprises for the end since the closing "Inherit Ignorance" is another standout thrash/deathster of the fast dynamic variety. After the tedious start the band find the way to do things right, and hopefully they would deliver more consistently next time.
"The Valley of Dying Stars" is a commendable achievement the band serving cool a classic/modern hybrid which inserts a few stylish gimmicks (the imposing keyboards on the opening "Relative Dimensions"; great soaring leads on "Dreamscape Serenity") making this effort hard to put into a niche: perhaps if you can imagine a "marriage" between Sacrifice and later-period Arch Enemy, but more melody-prone than both; seriosuly, some of those melodies will haunt you: check the ones on "Circled in Blood": pure magic! Elsewhere the guys gallop around the prairies into oblivion ("A Face on the Water") in the best spirit of the 80's; or again pay a tribute to later-period Death ("Scarred and Chained") with style. "Seven Cities" is a more ambitious progressive cut followed by the superb instrumental "Spiritual Darkness" which touches Death's "Philosopher" in the end with the virtuous bassisms included. The closing "The Valley of Dying Stars" is another seamless combination of clever progressive passages and harder thrashing which carries on for just above 7-min including sce blasting sections which are another stylish touch accompanied by another great melodic tune. This is a really cool effort seeing the band quickly rising to the upper echelons of US thrash and surely the best for/from them is yet to come.

Integral Spirits EP, 2009
The Valley of Dying Stars Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

SEED OF SERPENT (USA)

This is classic power/thrash which develops in mid-pace with a few more energetic galloping moments ("Tonight You Must Die"; the epic "horses" on "Ragnarok") recalling the glorious 80's. More technical and more speedy stuff comes served on "Human Waste" which will remind of the first technical act from the States Ulysses Siren, and Deus Vult. More curious riffage arrives with "The Formula" which is a dramatic shredder with good virtuous leads the positive impression cemented by the closing "Ice Man Cometh" which is a soaring melodic power/speed/thrasher with great melodies. The singer is a fitting addition with his attached semi-clean tember who can sound both emotional and brutal on demand.

Hail To Fire EP, 2012

SEEDS OF BAPHOMET (GERMANY)

Based on the 2-song promo, these guys play vintage classic thrash; "Undead Bloodlust" is a speedy number reminiscent of the Exumer debut and Toxic Shock, whereas "Hypnosis" is slower and heavier, more in the tradition of Infernal Majesty's "None Shall Defy" (kind of reminds me of the song with the same title).
The full-length would be indeed a "torture tour" the band thrashing with passion now shredding more aggressively without too many shades of speed metal. The up-tempo patterns still predominate some coming with a more friendly shade: the catchy crossover happiness "None for All", but watch out for unexpected "detonators", like "Detonation" and "Keep the Fire Burning" theb latter also served in a remastered way at the end, albeit without any major alterations. This is a faithful tribute to the guys' motherland the major distinction being the several infectious melodic tunes which make this album a more memorable release in the long run.

Unleashed Wrath Demo, 2004
Promo Demo, 2007
We Kill EP, 2007
Torture Tour Full-length, 2011
Prey EP, 2013

My Space

SEEDS OF CORRUPTION (USA)

This outfit indulge in choppy groovy post-thrash which moves forward in a clumsy lazy fashion with repetitive not very hard riffage except on the more lively "The End" which, albeit being the shortest track, delivers the goods with its more eventful guitar pattern. The rest is boredom further deepened by the unemotional flat hardcore vocals.

Plant the Seeds Demo, 2010

Official Site

SEELENFRIEDEN (GERMANY)

Based on "Schattengott", this band plays fairly cool thrash metal with touches of melo-death which walks the fine path between the classic and the modern Swedish sound, not too far from early Children of Bodom with a more aggressive edge. The sound is never too fast or brutal, and the guitars often take a more melodic, playful, but also a darker, edge, coming close to Cemetary's "Godless Beauty", or Sentenced's "Amok", or deviates into nice pagan thrash: "Primo Inter es", ala Bifrost. There are enough all-out thrashers to satisfy the more level-headed fans ("Der Heiland", "Licht im Niemandsland"), which are graced by very good guitar performance of the melodic variety. The guys haven't forgotten about the speed metal fans, and here are some delights for the Helloween, or early Running Wild lovers: "Niemals Mein", "Schattengott". Sharp and melodic riffs seldom come better mixed than here: check out the marvellous "Dein Geist Sieht Mich", or "Blumen aus Blut". The closer "Wehe dem Fleisch" is a glorious mix of speed, thrash and death metal featuring the most aggressive guitar performance on the album, putting an end to this entertaining album which will find quite a wide audience among the metal fraternity.

Rufe Aus Dem Nirgendwo Full-length, 2001
Schattengott Full-length, 2006

My Space

SEELENWINTER (GERMANY)

These guys were previously known as Damien Breed under which name they released a good progressively-laced power/thrash metal album. Well, the music here (based on the debut) is not very similar to that one (and it's a pity); the band have never played fast, but here doom/gothic metal seems to have taken the upper hand, and the thrashy riffs are not that common. At first listen it might completely pull back the thrash metal fans, but if you give it another chance, you might start enjoying this laid-back stuff, which will remind you of the gothic metallers Lake of Tears ("Forever Autumn", in ticular), and even Opeth in the more progressive structures. "Where Death and Life are Still Friends" is probably the only full-blooded thrasher, but it's still quite melancholic and "out there".
"If Soul Turns Into Flesh" is full-fledged doom, well done, but having nothing to do with thrash. It holds absolutely no surprises for the thrash metal fan this time, the band bidding farewell to the music scene in an imposing doom-laden fashion.

Seelenwinter Full-length, 1995
If Soul Turns Into Flesh Full-length, 1996

SEETHE (UK)

Based on the full-length, this band play modern thrash with groovy implements which slightly kill the inertia accumulated. Still, the headbanging will go on almost till the end with energizers like "Our Hope Remains" and "Price to Pay". The vocals are on the angry quarrelsome side, and their rending antics tear the ait in a way no worse than Gary Meskil (Pro-Pain), maybe a bit lower-pitched with a shade of death.

A New Beginning EP, 2004
One on One EP, 2006
Through Conviction Full-length, 2012

Official Site

SEGADOR (ARGENTINA)

Noisy abrasive modern thrash which is mostly stomp and groove accumulated on top of each other casually spiced by the more dynamic passage the latter reaching proto-deathy proportions on the title-track in the middle. The situation improves from then on, and other more aggressive riffs can be savoured till the end ("Depredador", the closing "Insurreccion"). The singer shouts incessantly also supported by another, even more annoying, shouter both creating additional noise to the overdone musical melee.

Asesinos Full-Length, 2013

SEITA (HOLLAND)

Based on the full-length, these guys play the expected these days modern thrash/deathcore which is "graced" by heavy stomping riffage and very shouty hardcore vocals. Still, the guys know how to put more energy into the proceedings pulling out a few aggressive cuts ("Godlike", "The Riot Starter inside Everyone"), and the lead guitarist knows his deal unleashing good short screaming leads. The two sides are blended well all over the faster one being the more attractive reaching Slayer-esque extremes on the closing "Ditadura".

Imprint Forever EP, 2008
Asymmetric Warfare Full-length, 2012

Official Site

SEIZE THE DAY (BULGARIA)

Based on "The Fading Chapters of Humanity", these Bulgarians provide cool modern thrash which ranges from intense Dew-Scented-like ragers to mellower opuses where some clean mid-ranged vocals appear to "duel" with the main throaty semi-death metal ones. The guitars are crisp and sharp and their cutting edge makes the music sound more aggressive than it actually is. There are enough fast-paced numbers ("Liberty Or Death", "Chnaged") to satisfy the hunger for headbanging, but the real highlight here would be the excellent closer "The Final Chapter" which is a progressive melodic composition with awesome speedy passages and some of the catchiest melodic leads around.
"The End of Everything" is actually "the beginning of everything" for the band being their debut, and as such intro duces the staple melodic guitar approach which is more melodic for a start and also rubs shoulders with post-thrash. The lead guitarist is again the star of the show with exemplary pyrotechnics the latter nicely accentuated on the more interesting material, like the cool original blend of doom and hard-hitting thrash "Praying For Mercy". In the 2nd half the band step on the pedal more, and produce the nice headbangers "alyzed" and "Suffocate". The singer has an attractive raspy clean tember which he doesn't risk too much except on the closing death/thrash rager "Killing Spree" where he suddenly turns into a brutal death meal grunter (if that's the same singer) for about 3-min.

The End of Everything Full-length, 2012
The Fading Chapters of Humanity Full-length, 2013

Official Site
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SEKA (USA)

Thrash/crossover similar to the Rumble Militia debut, not very fast, with some modern "updates" thrown in.

Love Shim Full-length, 1993

SEKATOR (POLAND)

These Poles pull out crunchy modern thrash which shares a lot of the proto-modern abrasiveness of more recent Slayer (think "Diabolus in Musica") even managing to come up with something wildly energetic (the classic headbanger "Red Spider" with Slayer again the prime influence; the sudden short blasts on the closing "Barbaric Minds") and generally this short effort doesn't lack dynamics emulating the guys' American peers quite aptly for most of the time.

Vermin Demo, 2011

My Space

SEKHMET (UK)

First-class classic thrash, quite energetic and intense, reminiscent of Mandator's "Perfect Progeny", Vio-lence's "Eternal Nightmare", and Slayer. The bad news is that there are only 7 tracks, the first of which is short 3-min instrumental. The vocals are a bit rough, having this unique James Hetfield blend. The guitars crush admirably with heavy up-tempo riffs and nice semi-technical touches. With bands like this one around the British thrash scene will soon get out of its dormant state.

Last Stand Full-Length, 2007

SEKMETH (FRANCE)

Modern thrash with a double vocal attack: one clean, the other death metal-ish. The music is not very aggressive, staying in the mid-tempo, with slight groovy tendencies. "My Funeral" is a cool piece, containing more intense headbanging riffage, tially ruined by the very melodic alternative ending.

An Opressive Day EP, 2008

My Space

SEKTOR (GERMANY)

This is aggressive modern thrash/death metal which develops in a heavy remorseless manner despite the good sense of melody displayed all over. Shades of Dew-Scented and more recent Kreator are more clearly felt, but expect some orchestral deviations on the more diverse "A Fire Burns"; and a few more inriguing riff-patterns on the closing headbanger "Ritual". The singer is a rending death metal shouter who seldom tries to escape from the trite formula with a few lower-pitched attempts.

Alpha Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

SELF DESTRUCT (USA)

The line-up includes future members of the death metallers Vital Remains. Based on the "Scath Dilapidation" demo, death metal is the order of the day here, too although quite a few thrash remnants can be heard here and there. The music is quite aggressive featuring blast-beats scattered throughout.

Cannible Mutants Demo, 1989
Scath Dilapidation Demo, 1990

SELF-DESTRUCTION (HUNGARY)

Besed on the demo, this is cool dark gothic-tinged thrash with good clean vocals which sometimes stray from the path with the casual death metal growl. The music is mid-paced, quite heavy, and it often recalls the works of some veterans from the Hungarian metal scene: Moby Dick, Akela, etc. There are balladic moments as well as moments from the 90's thrash metal scene.

Demo Demo, 2006
Ember Full-length, 2007

Official Site

SELVAGERIA (BRAZIL)

Based on the "Metal Invasor" 2-song demo, these guys offer intense Germanic thrash in the vein of early Destruction and Angel Dust with fast riffs and gruff low-tuned vocals which at times try to scream quite high. The self-titled debut is a really cool roller-coaster speed/thrashing effort again in the Germanic vein moshing non-stop with excellent direct guitar work which inserts the odd melodic tune when needed. The music develops in a brisk fast-pace and will literally make you cry with memories of "Infernal Overkill" (Destruction) and "Change from Reality" (Toxic Shock). The opening speedy trio is followed by the slightly slower "Aguias Assassinas" which boasts nice leads and a good alternation of tempos. Then comes the lightning speed "Hino do Mal" and the more complex speed/thrashfest "Unitao Total", with the last couple of tracks strictly left for straight-forward old school German speed/thrash. The singer remains gruff low-tuned with the same interesting unexpected adherence to high-pitched screams which fit very well into the upbeat picture. Without bringing anything new to the scene, this band are nonetheless a valuable addition to the growing legion of retro thrash metal acts from Brazil.

Demo Demo, 2005
Metal Invasor Demo, 2005
Selvageria Full-length, 2009

My Space

SEMEFO (MEXICO)

A very obscure entry into the all-instrumental thrash metal field; the music is not all-out thrash the whole time, but comes served with doom and power metal. The album opens with "Snuff Movie", offering a nice mix between slower doomy and much faster riffs with a proto-death edge. "El Canto Del Chivo" is a heavy doomster with a surprising very brutal death metal break near the middle. "1000 Cortez" is an intense galloper with a heavy bass-bottom, the tendency continued on "Mojolo", a very cool piece with heavy technical guitars and, again, sce doomy implements. "Ted Bundy" is a compelling mix of high-octane doom and fast blitzkrieg thrash, both sides fighting for domination to the listener's utter delight; another shocking moment would be the grinding passage near the end, but wait till you hear the exiting twisted technical riffs: a marvel. "Lf1lquote rvarium" is in a similar vein, but doom metal predominates to a very heavy squashing effect ala early Cathedral. Then comes the instrumental version of Black Sabbath's "Into the Void": an expertly done pretty faithful rendition of this great hit. The closer is "Church Of The Dead", another fine exercise in pure unadulterated doom accompanied by female chants, apently assisting during an elaborate evocation ritual. This is a very pleasant surprise crossing several styles with ease, and as such would please fans of many sides of the metal spectre in almost equal dozes.

Llquote rvarium Full-Length, 1997

SEMEN OF SATAN (GERMANY)

This is raw amateurish stuff, and since the musicianship is on a pretty low level, one may not get much fun with this. Otherwise this a mix of hardcore, thrash, heavy metal as well; the speed is almost intolerable for the time of release: check out the blasting "Harder Faster", but don't expect anymore than pure senseless bashing, sounding way worse than the very first rehearsal of an inexperienced teenage thrash act. The singer doesn't really sing, but rambles and quarrels with a rending throaty voice, completely stifling the other instruments when in action. Even the early efforts of another extreme German metal act: Poison, sound well more polished, but the completists should definitely have it.

Demo Demo, 1984

SEMIC STAINS (GREECE)

The debut demo contais 3 songs of cool semi-technical thrash/death metal with varied tempos, not very sharp guitars, and an awkward vocal duel between clean and raspy black-ish vocals. Another 3 tracks come from the "This Cage" demo showing the guys having grown musically to pull out convincing, again semi-technical, stuff, but with more intense riffs and a better sense of melody. The sound is strictly modern and this time the vocals are better sticking to the husky death metal pattern ala Kelly Shaefer (Atheist), only lower-pitched.
The full-length continues the semi-technical modern thrash/death metal saga already inaugurated on the demos, and one would have no complaints listening to this brisk vivid music which on a few oblivious moments goes into Swedish melo-death territories (“Shudders On the Cross”). The tempos alternate as more preferences are given to the hard-hitting thrashers (“The Martyrdom Altar”) which number diminishes in the 2nd half the latter filled with not very impressive calm progressivers the brutal closer “Final Release” being a very rude awakening, a “final” outcry of aggression served on a more thought-out base with a cool Oriental motif.

Sworn to Silence Demo, 2003
This Cage Demo, 2010
Secrecy of Thoughts Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

SEMILLA ANIMAL (SPAIN)

Based on the debut, this band indulge in modern groovy post-thrash which serves one angry groover after another very seldom deviating from the chosen path with the odd more aggressive death metal cut ("+ de 2000"). This is unexciting one-dimensional stuff with quarrelsome aggro-vocals of the deathy semi-shouty type.

Escarnio Full-length, 2006
Metal Salvaje Full-length, 2011

Official Site

SENANDIOMA (BRAZIL)

This is raw thrash/proto-death metal with shades of hardcore; primitive guitar work topped by bad unrehearsed death metal vocals, seldom spiced with the casual more stylish leads ("Morbid Night", which is a frenetic speedy shredder).

Welcome To War Demo, 2004

My Space

SEND MORE PARAMEDICS (UK)

Few are the bands nowadays who can bring us back to the glorious thrash/crossover sound of the 80's. Send More Paramedics is definitely one of them. Although thrash metal takes the bigger share from the band's music, there are also direct nods to bands like D.R.I. and Nuclear Assault. Some Slayer-like aggression is also present here and there ("The Unclean" from "The Awakening").
The band's debut is more hardcore-based, and the vocals are really annoying with their undeveloped screamy tember; the music has a somewhat mechanical feel although there are no industrial elements used. It is not a total waste with some tracks carrying the thrashy spirit, with energetic riffs and a slightly chaotic delivery which at times might bring to mind early Voivod.

"The Hallowed and The Heathen" takes no prisoners and is the real initiation into hard-hitting thrash for the band. Some shades of hardcore are still around ("Zombie Crew", which will also remind you of Pro-Pain), but the Slayer-esque riffs have taken over, and most of the songs are very energetic headbangers.

A Feast For The Fallen Full-length, 2002
The Hallowed and The Heathen Full-length, 2003
Tales Told By Dead Men Split album, 2005
The Awakening Full-length, 2006

Official Site

SENILE DECAY (CANADA)

One of the lesser bands from Canada of the 80's, this band specializes in simplistic thrash ala early Destruction with the singer trying hard to sound like Schmier. The problem is that the guys lose focus too often, and start bashing really vicious hardcore, or switch onto a doom-laden Celtic Frost-like passage at the most inappropriate time. The fast riffs pack a punch at times, though: check out the 1.5-min explosive "Confusion".

Comatose Until I Croak Demo, 1986

My Space

SENSACION TERMICA (ARGENTINA)

This is merry optimistic modern thrash which mixes hard-hitting riffs with mellow decisions which would definitely evoke the memories of metalcore. Expect no surprises at all, just mellow renditions of old trite themes served in a mid-pace with shouty vocals sometimes to the point of hysteria plus the obligatory cleaner inclusions which, needless to say, do a much better job.

Sangre, Dolor Y Furia Full-Length, 2012

SENSE O'VIERA (MALAYSIA)

These are the same woulgy who are also in charge of Militant Attack. To come the two bands would be extremely difficult since on this recording here what one will hear is just plain noise, everything coming together in a horrible mess (could be a live recording) which bears some distant resemblances to early Messiah, with the ridiculously shouted raw vocals completely overshadowing the instruments most of the time.

Dayak Warrior Demo, 2007

My Space

SENSEI (SWEDEN)

3 songs of edgy modern thrash metal with gruff guttural death metal-styled vocals; the guys play with gusto mixing both heaviness and melody the latter covered more widely hitting the top on the excellent galloping speedster "The Absence of Presence" where a few classic leanings can also be encountered.

Demo Demo, 2010

Official Site

SENSELESS REMAIN (GERMANY)

This obscure German combo pulls out competent retro Bay-Area thrash along the lines of mid-period Testament and Defiance. The tempo is mostly mid, with adherence to heavy doomy riffage (the 8-min stomper "Revenge & Hate", "Forbidden Humor"). There is no much variety between songs, with only "Who Cares?" thrashing faster at the end, closing this album in an unlikely speedy manner. The vocals are gruff, semi-death metalish, but suit the morose pounding character of the music. All the band members continued their career after this only effort, founding a couple of alternative rock acts with no relations to metal, let alone thrash.

Revenge & Hate Full-length, 1993

SENSLIS KILLING (USA)

An awkward mixture of thrash, Motorhead, hardcore, and some funk-ish moments ala Mordred and Re-Animator; the thrash metal fan might lose his patience while waiting for riffs to headbang to.

Chainsaw Boogie EP, 1990

SENTENCE (COSTA RICA)

Aggressive fast thrash/death quite close to the approach of the Swedes Merciless on their debut; the difference is that these guys slow down more often with doomy/gothic sections bringing also another Swedish act to mind: Cemetary, and more ticularly their debut "An Evil Shade Of Grey". So as a whole we have a more death metal-fixated effort of the early Swedish school, with vocals very similar to the ones of L-G Petrov (Entombed). "Devastating Wrath" is one of the very first exercises in instrumental death metal, second only to Death's "Cosmic Sea" perhaps, although there are no similarities between the two pieces, this one being a straight-forward intense shred without any technical pretensions.

Devastating Wrath Full-length, 1992

SENTENCE OF DEATH (ITALY)

This act presents 3 songs of intense thrash of the classic type seeing the guys thrashing with passion with fast bashing sections aplenty the melodic deviations almost non-ezistent except for the sce lead sections which are the only mitigated sophistication. The riffs are pretty samey on all the tracks forming a fierce wall of sound which is broken by the pounding drums and the rough shouty deathy singer. The musicians are now active under the name Flamethrower where the style is more comprehensible retro speed/thrash.

In Business With Satan Demo, 2008

My Space

SENTENCIA (ARGENTINA)

This is both heavy and dynamic modern speed/power/thrash metal with several classic references which bring the sound close to the Bay-Area (check out "La Venganza de tus Sue'a4os"). The guys prefer to mosh in a crushing mid-pace, but they sound pretty pissed at times, too, like on the openly aggressive speedy bombs "Lo Que Siento" and "te del Sistema". Still, the highlight remains the nice varied closer "Puerto Argentino", which is a first-class speedster in the early German vein. The singer is a find with his versatile delivery ranging from gruff semi-clean to pretty high emotional vocals changing the approach the whole time to a fairly positive effect.

Antologia Full-length, 1994

SENTENCIA (VENEZUELA)

A pretty faithful to the 90's fashion album providing a slightly faster twist to the trite groovy formula with a few intense proto-death metal passages. Sepultura's "Chaos AD" is a close call, but the music here is drier and less imaginative with not very pleasant throaty hardcore vocals.

Sentencia Full-length, 1995

Official Site

SENTHENCIA (ARGENTINA)

This is power/thrash sounding painfully familiar (no need to cite the influences from their homeland here) clinging between the modern and the classic school. The tempo is mid at best, and the highlight seems to be the nice semi-balladic cut "Lo Que Vos Buscas" which impact is lessened by the hoarse hardcore vocals.

Demo Demo, 2011

SENTINEL (USA, MA)

This is pleasant stuff: modern technical thrash/death metal with a heavy mechanical side, which doesn't stand on the way of the ultra-fast grindy ts which grace every song turning it into a wild deathy exercise with just hints at thrash the latter sounding close to Altered Aeon and Biomechanical. "Locust Cult" tones it down, and results in an engaging quasi-progressive listen ruined by the bad shouted deathy vocals.

Sentinel EP, 2011

Official Site

SENTINEL (USA, NEW YORK)

A 2-song demo: both songs are standout speed thrashers in the tradition of Agent Steel's debut, graced by nice vocals which will remind you of John Cyriis on the higher tones.

Sentinel Demo, 1986

SENTINEL (USA, TX)

This obscure demo shows a band who pull out pretty potent speed/thrash with both bashing and technical tendencies crossing the more lashing aesthetics of Sentinel Beast (see the review below) and Destructor with the more sophisticated delivery of Have Mercy and Ulysses Siren. The first 5 songs are live recordings, but the sound quality is surprisingly good, the guitars nicely cutting through the speakers accompanied by weaker, but still passable, clean semi-declamatory vocals. Then those same tracks (with very few exceptions) are offered as rehearsal, all-instrumental, versions in the 2nd half, but they sound worse both in terms of sound quality and execution. "Blitzkrieg" (not featured in the live session) is a really blitzkrieg cut, fast'n furious, recalling the approach on Slayer's "Show no Mercy"; the other highlight being the more serious technical "Intellect Without Discipline" which is only included in the live performance.

Demo Demo, 1986

SENTINEL BEAST (USA)

One of the first female fronted speed/thrash metal bands, and one of the quite a few bands where Debbie Gunn displayed her vocal skills; here her voice is harsher and more aggressive. This band offers a cross between the aforementioned styles and American power metal ("Corpse"). The guys se no speed and intensity, and tracks like "Depths of Death" ,"Evil is the Night" and most of the rest, are major headbangers. "Mourir" is a short speed/power metal number with great melodic guitars showing the band's more technical side. A very cool cover of Iron Maiden's "Phantom of the Opera" is also included. Gunn's deture to join Znowhite led to the untimely demise of this cool band.

Depths of Death Full-length, 1986

Vibrations of Doom

SENZA VITA (ITALY)

3 tracks (there is one boring unnecessary intro, which doesn't count) of melodic power/thrash metal with only one faster track: "Necronomicon", but "La Fanteria" is interesting long progressive power/thrash, and "Inferno" is a very cool Scorpions-like ballad.

SenzaVita Demo, 2009

SEABLE SOUL (USA)

There is nothing "psycho" or modern here, allusions made by the album-title; this is classic power/thrash of the American school, with a few technical leanings and a good bass support. The songs are all mixtures of fast and slow riffs, sometimes suddenly taking turns, without any warning, making the tracks kind of clumsy and incoherent. The middle is preserved for the more romantically-inclined fans, with the melodic epic "Deadpan" and the ballad "When The Moonlight Hits My Skin". This middle kind of influences the rest, which never speeds up, and is mostly mid-paced with more melodic guitar work, with another tender moment later on: the short ballad "Only You" (not an Elvis Presley cover, folks, relax!).

Psychodomesne Full-length, 1996

My Space

SEATOR (POLAND)

Based on the "Mein Kampf" demo: a very bad sound quality leaves little to be heard, but one could distinguish quite brutal and fast, but amateurish thrash/proto-death akin to the early efforts of the Brazilian bands Sarcofago, Vulcano, Sextrash, etc. The guys try to spice things with slower sections ala Messiah's "Extreme Cold Weather", but this is where you can hear the guitars more clearly, and this leaves you even less impressed.

Rehearsal Demo, 1987
Mein Kampf Demo, 1988
Another Messiah Demo, 1989

My Space

SEPELIO (PERU)

The debut demo is a mixture of thrash and power metal, but very badly produced, with a very thin guitar sound. Otherwise the guys march on with speedy, energetic riffs which had definitely deserved a better sound back in those days. The band mix a slow and fast material, inserting the odd balladic break ("No lo Dejes Morir"), and it's good that on those moments the shouty hardcore vocals are sed to the listener. There is also an attempt at a more serious, more epic-flavoured, song- writing (the closer "Exhumacion"), again hampered by the hissing guitars.

Personajes del Terror Demo, 1990
Salidos de la tumba Demo, 1994

SEPELIO (SALVADOR)

Death/thrash metal of the Floridian school with a few stomping Benediction-like passages; the sound quality is not very clear, and the vocals are too brutal and shouty. Still, the guys put their effort into the proceedings, and consequently come up with several cool intense sections: the death speedster "Cazador de Almas", and the deadly early Death-influenced smasher "Sepelio", etc. A few years later those musicians appeared again, but under a different name: Era de Miseria, but the style has nothing to do with their old one, being pure hard'n heavy.

Cazador de Almas Demo, 1998

SEPREVATION (UK)

The single: 2 tracks of intense bashing retro thrash with a hardcore tinge topped by brutal death metal vocals; this is direct barebone stuff with Slayer and Morbid Saint prime influences except in the sparce slower sections where some very cool melodic leads sneak in very unexpectedly.
The EP is another intense affair with all the required "tools of the trade" necessary for the fan's entertainment present including a very clear sound quality. The band thrash on without any useless tricks echoing early Sadus and Gammacide on the more aggressive, death-tinged cuts ("Prophet Of Death"). "Sea Of Thoughts" would be a surprise, but by all means a pleasant one: a slower much more techhnical composition with meandering riffs and a sudden blasting "explosion" at the end. The sweeping tempos won't leave you time to recharge, but fortunately these 5 ripping tracks close on just over 15-min so you won't be utterly exhausted.
"Consumed" is another "all consuming" affair the guys thrashing with power again pouring fast brutal riffs from all sides effortlessly touching death metal ("Servants Of Suffering") at will. The maddening speed on some of the numbers may make the less prepared faint: check out "Sarcophagal Chamber". "Dreams" is more relaxed and more speed metal-oriented, and this is where some addictive melodic hooks appear. Several more stylish arrangements show up on the slower and more controlled "In Torment They Burn" as well on the chaotic shredder "Sea Of Thoughts" which is a prime twisted technicaller in the best tradition of the wizards Vicious Circle. After this one everything will sound pedestrian, and the remaining songs are just violent bashers the closing "Between Two Worlds" being a very cool atmopsheric semi-progressive thrash/deathster ala early-90's Messiah. The guys have done a fairly good job againnd may rightfully look at the top of the thrash metal movement in the UK.

Seprevation Promo Single, 2012
Ritual Abuse EP, 2012
Consumed Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

SEPTEKH (SWEDEN)

Based on the demo, these Swedes play classic thrash of the speedy, proto-deathy variety. The approach is simple and direct bordering on hardcore ("Hoards Of Memnon") at times as opposed to the intense death metal vocals which take a mean, almost hysterical pitch on the final death metal madness "Galbatorix".

Demo Demo, 2009
Not Quite What I Had in Mind EP, 2009
The Seth Avalanche EP, 2012

Official Site

SEPTERRUS (AUSTRALIA)

A new act from Australia providing classic speed/thrash in a straight no-gimmicks fashion the only deviation from the righteous path being the vocal "duel" which is strictly in the death metal camp. The speedy melee from the begining gradually comes under control, first with the steam-roller "Undefeale", then with the doomy delivery on "For Flesh and Future". In the 2nd half things get back to normal with the perennial mosher "Solstafir" which suddenly turns to a genuine hectic techncaller in the middle. Elaborations on this number's flamboyant style are, alas, not offered anywhere later, but "Nothing of Value" is a more intricate thrasher with several pace shifts during its 6.5-min. "Therion" is another less ordinary headbanger which raises the technicality a bit only for the latter to disappear again on the closing "What's Left to Die for" which is a heavy smasher in mid-tempo, the least adventurous song on the album despite its catchy hypnotic guitars. Some of the band members are also involved with power/thrashers Knightmare.

Tacit Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

SEPTIC CHRIST (GERMANY)

Based on the debut, these "septic" Germans provide cool energetic retro thrash where speed is pretty much the order of the day bringing the winds of hardcore at times also due to the shouty quarrelsome vocals. "Permitted by God" is the change into mid-paced mosh which never gets tempted to speed up. After that the guys continue "thrashin' with style" with the song of the same title wrapping things up with the intense closer "No Respect" following suit fathfully. This is a dignified rendition of the good old style which never claims any pretensions at originality, and as such is a good headbanging fun all the way.

Infected Existence Full-length, 2009
Guilty As We Were Born Full-length, 2012

Official Site

SEPTIC FATALITY (UK)

2 songs of brisk energetic speed/thrash of the old school with ripping guitars and high-strung semi-clean vocals. The guys rely on direct stripped-down riffage payring tribute to both the Bay-Area ("Power Of The Warrior") and the German school (Toxic Politics") and a very clear sound quality.

Reanimation EP, 2012

SEPTICMEN (HUNGARY)

Based on "Negative", this band pulls out cool "classic meets modern" thrash of the heavier variety. The songs move from mid-paced, groovy, Machine Head- styled ("Cursed", "Gravitation") ones to energetic thrashers ("The Final Step", "Az utols= lTpTs") in the Sepultura, or late 80's Slayer mould.
"Transit" is a big disappointment now full-fledged groovy post-thrash, an ultimately boring toothless affair without a trace of the classic leanings which could be heard on the previous release except for the more energetic "Vox" and the up-tempo roller-coaster "Sacrifice".
"Origo" is a heavy affair, offering industrialized modern thrash with dry sterile guitars and even more listless robotic vocals. Otherwise the music is decent having plenty of crushing moments, as well as a few aggressive speedy outbursts. There are also mellow post-thrash passages, supported by tender balladic ("Tango") interludes.

Dogma Full-length, 2000
Origo Full-length, 2004
Central EP, 2005
Negative Full-length, 2007
Transit Full-length, 2009

Official Site

SEPTIKOPHAGUS (USA)

This is brooding atmospheric, mostly instrumental, modern thrash which has strong shades of black and doom metal. The music is jumpy in mid-pace for most of the time, but the dominant tone is stomping with quiet passages dispersed throughout. "Shred Phelps" eleveates this effort to surprisingly high technical dimensions with its hectic shredding patterns and not very predicle time-signatures, and shortly after the guys' prowess bears one more attractive "fruit": the short technical death metal extravaganza "Vomitsunami". Despite the few scattered skles of genius, this offering leaves a serious aftertaste with its casual musicianship and a fuzzy sound production.

Scrotal Annihilation EP, 2012

SEPTIMA (SWEDEN)

Based on the "Death Row" demo, this is modern thrash metal similar to Carnal Forge and The Forsaken; "My End" borrows riffs from Destruction's "Curse The Gods".

Born In Sin Demo, 2002
Sonett To Death Demo, 2003
Arise Demo, 2004
Rest In Pieces Demo, 2005
Death Row Demo, 2006
Walk To The Purgatory Demo, 2007

Official Site

SEPUKU (UK)

3 songs of intense thrash/death which try to be both very fast and technical at various stages of this small effort eventuallly giving the later ingredient up and concentrating on the bash which suits them better. The band play competently, but are ultimately hampered by the awful buzzy sound quality which makes the guitars sound like chainsaws creating an odd "duel" with the forceful vicious death metal vocals ala Killjoy (Necrophagia).

Demo Demo, 2011

SEPULCHRAL (PUERTO RICO)

Based on the "Fuck Your God Worship Satan" demo, this act plays an aggressive blend of thrash, black and death metal mixing fast and slow passages the whole time managing to sound not far from early Destroyer 666. The sound quality is not very clear, though, and the brutal death metal singer is put too much up front deafening the guitars on quite a few times. Some of the musicians are also seen in the heavy metal "heroes" Rodney Infernal, and the grindcore "monstrosity" Auschwitz.

Rehearsal Demo, 1997
Enemy of the Cross EP, 2005
Fuck Your God Worship Satan Demo, 2008

Official Site

SEPULCHRAL DEATH (HOLLAND)

This is the early attempt of members of Usurper and Thanatos to play thrash metal, and the final result is not bad at all, despite the rough production. This is actually quite aggressive for the time thrash/proto-death metal, sounding pretty confidently death metal-based on "Schizophrenic Doom" and especially on the really brutal "Praising Death". It's undeniable that this effort is one of the very early exercises on pure death, sounding not miles away from the Protector debut. To talk about technical thrash, like in the Usurper case, here is out of the question, except for a few more clever guitar hooks on "Mutual Repugnance", but shades of this demo can clearly be traced on the later Thanatos works.

Praising Death Demo, 1986

SEPULCRO (PERU)

One of the first metal bands in Peru, Sepulcro play heavy power/thrash metal with a wide range of moods: from doomy songs to quite aggressive ones (based on the compilation). Some tracks have quite an epic feel, like the 10-min instrumental "Los Gritos Del Silencio". Some numbers from the middle (songs 5-9) are with a better and heavier sound having almost no traces of power metal left, concentrating on a full-out thrash metal assault. Based on this t only it looked as though Sepulcro were a very worthy competition to their more renowned, but often less deserving, Brazilian counterts.

Sepulcro Demo, 1989
Power's Trace Demo, 1990
Sepulchral Voices Best of/Compilation, 2006

My Space

SEPULCRO VACIO (COSTA RICA)

Quite good speed/thrash of the more complex variety, paying tribute to the spawning stages of European speed metal (Helloween, Warrant) on the fast compositions, which are by all means the better side. The slower ones are more riffy, and smell "thrash" more, but the guitar work is less flashy, and some moments are a bit dragging. Nothing wrong with "Tiempo Consumado": cool heavy thrash in mid-pace, with a catchy chorus, tially ruined by the very brutal death metal vocals, which are hardly the best choice for this kind of music. The other highlight is the intense speed/thrasher "Sepulcro Vacio", which also boasts very good lead guitar work. Cool stuff as a whole with no major flaws except, of course, the vocals, which may arouse your interest in starting to track down acts from this Latin American country.

Seres Inmortales Full-length, 2007

Official Site

SEPULTURA (BRAZIL)

One of the most celebrated bands in thrash metal history, Sepultura began in a fairly raw, brutal manner, and although from musical aspect these beginnings are very little to write about, their influence on the future more extreme genres is undeniable, with their early efforts (the "Bestial Devastation" EP and "Morbid Visions") considered one of the early forerunners of the black/death metal movement. "Schizophrenia" sounded like pure thrash, still missing something in both the production and the music detment, but the band soon shook the world with the landmark "Beneath The Remains": aggressive merciless thrash/proto-death at its most shining best. "Arise" (one of the best-selling thrash albums of all times) catapulted the guys straight to the top, sounding more restrained, but equaly as compelling as its predecessor. Sepultura adopted a more modern style on the not so bad "Chaos AD" as an answer to the 90's demands, and is their last work related to thrash. With Max Cavalera leaving to form Nailbomb, the band radically changed their style into groove/hardcore/tribal and everything in between.
"Kairos" sees the veterans back on their feet to an extent pulling the strings harder to produce this cool modern industrialized post-thrash effort which will remind you more of mid-period Ministry, early-90's Prong, Swamp Terrorists, among others. The sound is potently dark and heavy with echoes of "Chaos AD", too, with dry dispassionate guitars which create the necessary cold atmosphere. The good faithful cover of Ministry's "Just One Fix" could have been expected, and fits well into the overall picture, albeit done in a more restrained, less speedy, manner comed to the original. "Dialog" is the closest to the guys' more recent nu-metal "explorations", but delivers, mainly due to the expert melodic leads. "Mask" would be quite a surprise being a brutal death metallish number, although it can hardly be viewed as a return to the band's roots, but is more along the lines of the Swedish school. More pleasantries later: the pure nod to the old school with the ultimate thrasher "No One Will Stand", which completely cancels the confusing noisy undustial closer "Structure Violence (Azzes)". Everyone involved has done a good job with Green acquitting himself with a forceful sterile delivery without a shade of emotion aptly avoiding the angry, shouty pitfalls so characteristic of the style.
"The Mediator Between Head and Hands Must Be the Heart" may win prizes for the longest title of the year, but music-wise it delivers almost as well. The opening "Trauma Of War" is a major headbanger its fist-pumping qualities sternly confirmed by the following "The Vatican" which is a shattering thrash/proto-deathster with cool semi-technical overtones. At this stage the listener can't help, but be pleasantly surprised seeing the band moshing out like in the good old days... but here comes a reminder of the guys' more recent escapades: "Impending Doom", a groovy bulldozer which suddenly turns to violent post-thrashy melee on a sting of songs before "Griefg" brings in some doomy misery to a pretty morose effect. The aggressive beginning finds its match in the raging dramatizer "Obsessed" at the end which wraps it up with aplomb which is kind of not very deserving having in mind the not very striking middle t. Still, "Beneath the Remains 2" is hardly the band's objection, and this album fits into the its catalogue without any reasons to make it feel like a flop of a "betrayal".

Morbid Visions Full-length, 1986
Schizophrenia Full-length, 1987
Beneath the Remains Full-length, 1989
Arise Full-length, 1991
Third World Posse EP, 1992
Refuse/Resist EP, 1993
Chaos A.D. Full-length, 1993
Kairos Full-length, 2011
The Mediator Between Head and Hands Must Be the Heart Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

SERACRUSIS (UK)

Based on the "Dystopian Reality" EP, this act provide crunchy complex modern post-thrash which ranges from ultra-long numbers to short more immediate ones covering a wide gamut of influences including the one of their compatriots Sylosis who are honoured with a good energetic cover of "Empyreal" from their sophomore album "Edge of the Earth". The singer has a dry mechanical semi-shouty voice with more brutal deathy tendencies.

The Downfall EP, 2012
Dystopian Reality EP, 2013

Official Site

SERAPH (USA)

The line-up includes two Vietnamese brothers who assist their colleagues in the production of this heavy modern slab of 90's post-thrash which is consistently heavy with a doomy vibe and cool comrehensive James Hetfield-like vocals. The Black Album is an obvious influence except on the cool energetic closer "The Innocent of Darkness" which is a faster affair with a nice "duel" formed between the heavy guitars and the suddenly sprung-up violin.

Awakened EP, 1995

SERBHERUS (BRAZIL)

Aggressive old school black/thrash metal, a very faithful rendition of the early 80's Brazilian scene; in other words we have amateurish, but inspired relentless assault, occasionally spiced with more laid-back slower elements, where the guitars take a cool melodic edge. Often does the music adhere to the typical for the genre blast-beats, where the guitar sound becomes too dull and unlistenable. The guys get carried away on a few tracks, which go over the 7-min limit, without offering anything more than merciless raw bashing. The singer is far from an asset with his gruff hoarse voice which he tortures by letting it try some higher tones from time to time.

Guardipo das Sombras Demo, 2004

SERDCE (BELARUS)

This great band firmly belong to the progressive metal genre. Their debut is excellent progressive power/thrash reminiscent of Control Denied, later period Eidolon, and Helstar's "Nosferatu". The tempo jumps from dream-like atmospheric moments to really aggressive thrashy outbursts, suggesting at more extreme things to come. The guitar work is outstanding featuring awesome Chuck Schuldiner (R.I.P.)-like riffs, and a couple of very stylish leads. The last track is a fine instrumental piece which, despite the lack of many hard-hitting riffs, is rich in atmosphere and haunting melodies.
"Cyberly" is a full-fledged technical/progressive death metal opus rubbing shoulders with the best of the genre: Atheist, Death, Martyr, etc., finished with a very cool cover of Death's "Scavenger" from "The Sound of Perseverance".
"The Alchemy Of Harmony" is an exquisite work of super-technical death metal, a surreal multi-faced journey, which doesn't offer much to the thrash metal fan, but is a truly captivating listen on the more serious thoughtful side of the music field.

Aritmia Full-Length, 2001
Cyberly Full-length, 2004
The Alchemy Of Harmony Full-length, 2009

My Space

SEREGON (UK)

An excellent EP ("Kingdom of the Blind") which will bring you back to the days when Sepultura were unreachable (think "Arise"). Quite a few riffs actually have an interesting technical edge also recalling Kreator's late 80's period ("Extreme Aggression", "Coma of Souls"). The music is both fast and technical, great stuff, making their eventual full-length one of the more eagerly awaited releases at the moment.
"A Future Expired" is two tracks of more aggressive faster-paced thrash metal with the technical leanings slightly left behind on the first number ("Band of Brothers"). "Replicators" is about 9-min long, and this is where the technical flair is brought back mixed with very heavy punishing riffs and an ultra-fast ending section.
"The Movement": the full-length finally arrives after a long string of EP's and the band carry on unabated thrashing the neighbourhood confidently the technical skles not very widely covered: "Hallowed Are The Ori" is a less ordinary Voivod-ish spacer with a memorable main riff-section, and "Policed Brutality" after it serves a portion of stylish more absract headbanging rhythms the latter disappearing for the closing "The Infestation Fixation" which is another more intriguing number with "oblivious" dissonant guitars at the end. The overall delivery has a certain mechanical feel which wasn't so strongly felt on the EP's and could be a sign of a bigger metamorphosis to come on future recordings.

Kingdom of the Blind EP, 2007
A Future Expired EP, 2008
Disposable Suffering EP, 2009
The Movement Full-length, 2013

My Space

SERENITY DEFILED (AUSTRALIA)

This act play a more classic blend of thrash and death metal which is quite close style-wise to the one allready heard on their other project The Harrowed and the other act with which some of the musicans were involved in the not so distant past: Fury. The guys mix the tempos easily switching between super-fast grinding sections and dramatic stomping ones often within one song the former leading the pack making this effort a fairly intense listen also graced by some dazzling melodic lead guitar work which clearly overshadows the rest.

Where Chaos Reigns Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

SERENITY DIES (THE MALDIVES)

Modern thrash metal, but not of the groovy variety, quite energetic with sharp expressive guitars; the opener "Killing Machine (The Apocalypse)" strangely reminds me of the Voodoocult's self-titled album with its cold mechanical riffs. The mechanical and sterile sound remains through the rest of the album, but is not awkward at all; on the contrary, it gives these guys' music quite an original touch. The leads are ticularly good, and very often some technicality ala Megadeth sneaks through, and fans of this band's more melodic 90's period will find a lot to like here. But all of a sudden this well-eslished "serenity dies", and "Murder" splashes with aggressive guitars ala more recent Kreator. That's the only "distraction" here, though, with the rest returning to the modern, semi-technical style of the first half. The album closer: "The Deceiver", is probably the only, but mitigated failure, which strays from the path into more gothic-tinged territories in the vein of Lake of Tears and Sentenced. This is a really pleasant surprise; it's good to know that even in the most remote and exotic corners of our planet there are people who care for thrash metal.
The "Hacksawcracy" EP is a more ordinary take on the modern side of thrash metal with the staple more melodic elements which only get more exciting on the final "Dystopian Law" which is a clever semi-technical piece with good sterile riffage. The rest is pretty pedestrian without any highlights, although some may be moved by the cool melodic leanings on "Hacksawcracy".

Murder Full-length, 2006
Hacksawcracy EP, 2010

Official Site

SERENITY IN FIRE (BRAZIL)

Noisy fuzzy thrash of the old school "courting" Slayer, above all, but the wall of fuzz is really big at times for one to be able to catch a riff or two from it, that same wall accompanied by a throaty brutal semi-death metal singer who shouts with passion without any subtlety all the way through. Some of the band members are also busy with the classic heavy metal formation Espada Negra.

Begin of Destruction Demo, 2010

My Space

SERIAL KILLER (BRAZIL)

An interesting mix of aggressive death metal vocals and clean folk-ish ones; the sound quality is very bad, but one can recognize modern thrash riffs and melodic death metal ones. There are a couple of almost pagan/black metal-sounding tracks as well: "13th Warrior". If it only had a better sound...

Serial Killer Demo, 2005

My Space

SERPENT'S TONGUE (GERMANY)

Modern melodic thrash/death metal of the slower mid-paced type; the guys rely more on melody and atmospheric softer ts which give the demo a gothic touch ala mid- period Sentenced ("Amok").

Into the Burning Deep Demo, 2008

Official Site

SERPENT CROWN (USA)

This outfit indulge in retro power/thrash which suffers from the bad sound quality and the not very serious attitude on the side of the musicians who branch out into less controlled thrashcore at times. This uneven recording has its charm, though, thanks to the semi-technical natureof the guitars and the very stylish lead guitar work which is melodic with a nice Oriental flavour. The music is predominantly mid-paced with heavy thundering riffage assisted by shouty, a bit annoying, highly- strung vocals. The closing "Children Of The Night" is a great cut blending fast with slow sections to a pretty positive effect focusing on the music more.

Serpent Crown EP, 2011

SERPENT MOVES (GERMANY)

This is a curious brand of gothic progressive thrash/death metal with an ominous dark atmosphere, mid-paced tempo, quiet balladic sections, which definitely has its moments. The guitar work is really good, and the riffs are sharp, but there is no speed involved, although the time-changes, some of which come out of nowhere, are quite interesting, as well as the duel between the low-tuned death metal growls and the excellent clean operatic vocals. "Never" is a cool intense thrasher, graced by a nice melodic guitar line, but the rest is more complex with a dream-like quality, similar to the more recent works of the Greeks Septic Flesh.

Curse Of Time Full-length, 1998

Official Site

SERPENT OBSCENE (SWEDEN)

Based on the self-titled debut album, these guys pull out an aggressive, old school mixture of thrash and death metal. The music is very fast, with frequent blast-beats, and has a lot in common with the early bands from the French wave from the late 80's-early 90's: Agressor, Loudblast, Massacra, the Germans Ravage as well. The tempo slows down for the fine thrasher "Pestilent Seed": a nod to the German masters Destruction and Kreator. This song is like an intermission, placed in the middle, after which the aggression continues unabated till the end, becoming quite violent: the ultra fast and brutal "Act of Aggression".
"Chaos Reign Supreme" sees the band pouring the same brutal stuff, this time even faster and more aggressive, with more frequent adherence to blast-beats, staying closer to death metal most of the time. Whereas the debut was more varied, with some occasional deviations from the all-out speedy tempo, here all songs flow in exactly the same way: merciless bashing, for which one doesn't need a very high level of musicianship, and this is not the case here.

Serpent Obscene Full-length, 2000
Devastation Full-length, 2003
Chaos Reign Supreme Full-length, 2006

My Space

SERPENTINE FIRE (MACEDONIA)

A 2-song demo of quite good mid-paced retro power/thrash in the vein of Meliah Rage and Heretic, with very good dramatic, semi-clean vocals, which cover all ranges with dexterity. The shorter track "The Madman's Dream" speeds up in the second t, turning into a nice speed/thrasher.
The full-length is a good effort, showing no mercy at the very beginning with the sinister Helstar-ish opener "Pain", classic speed/thrash at its finest. "Out To The Light" is cool mid-tempo thrash, setting the scene for the coming of the crushing "Metal Magic". The "Instrumental" is, of course, an instrumental, which nicely returns to the speedy moments from the beginning. More heaviness on "The Angel With Regrets" which is fine dark power/thrash recalling Nevermore and Communic. "The Game" is intense thrash mixing slower with faster sections after which comes the already heard on the demo "The Madman's Dream", and the speed goes even up on the excellent "The World As We Know It" in the 1st t; the 2nd one calms down offering a cool balladic exit. "Insanity" finishes the album in an awesome smashing fashion, never speeding too much, with sharp riffs and an imposing doomy ending. The vocalist this time makes a few attempts at a higher singing, and his gruff emotional tember delivers the whole time.

Demo Demo, 2007
Out To The Light Full-length, 2008

My Space

SERPENTOR (ARGENTINA)

One of the hopes for Argentinian thrash metal along with Osamenta and Malicia, Serpentor are influenced by Testament and the Bay Area scene as a whole, but on the more aggressive moments the Slayer-influence could also be felt (on the band's second album there is a very good cover of Slayer's "Reign In Blood" sung in Spanish).
Their self-titled debut is a very promising beginning, mixing faster tracks ("Justicia") with more laid-back ones ("Vomitando Odio"). Seldom does the sound get quite aggressive and fast ("Condenado Al Infierno"), but there's no death metal here. "Final Sangriento" is in the same vein, bearing no surprises, being another good work of classic 80's thrash, maybe more melodic. The vocals are close to Max Cavalera, changing into gruff, semi-death metal ones, whenever necessary.
The EP follows the same path, ticularly recalling early Testament, both in the music and vocal detment, although the singer Guillermo Romero has still a long way to go before he reaches the unique semi-melodic falcetto of Chuck Billy. The music is not that fast, and there are plenty of pounding rhythms to be heard: "Controlando La Naci=n". "Final Sangriento" is the most melodic, but also the best track here: a fine laid-back speed/thrasher with catchy hooks, a slightly modified version of the title track from the preceding full-length. The last song "Angeles De Las Tinieblas" is a cover version of the Argentinian rock veterans V8.
"Privaci'a2n Ileg'a1tima De La Libertad" is built around the songs from the preceding EP, and as such doesn't stray from the Bay-Area path- early Testament, in ticular. The album is a mixture of faster and slower mid-tempo tracks as the former predominate some of which are cool headbangers with a fine melodic edge: "Estado de Resistencia", the excellent speedster "Torturador" with a taste of adox as well.

Serpentor Full-length, 2001
Poseido Full-length, 2004
Final Sangriento Full-length, 2007
Ley Siniestra EP, 2008
Privaci'a2n Ileg'a1tima De La Libertad Full-length, 2009

Official Site

SET ON END (NEW ZEALAND)

Groovy post-thrash with vicious evil vocals, lacking dynamics and variety, sitting somewhere between Biohazard and mid-period Machine Head.

Means to an End EP, 2009

My Space

SET TO DESTROY (USA)

A lengthy 7-song (kidding: the tracks are very short, within the 1-2min range) EP of pure retro thrash/crossover; the guitars are edgy and thrashy, the tempo is fast and energetic, and although this definitely sounds like a rehearsal for something bigger to come soon one can not help but mosh around and have fun like in the good old days.

Drink By Day, Swerve By Night EP, 2009

SETH (SPAIN)

This is jolly unpretentious power/thrash which still delivers the goods in the more intense department with the soaring speedster “La Cuenta Atras” and the proto-galloper “Silent Tears”. The singer has a gruff semi-clean voice and he’s often helped by his brothers in arms for the creation of several shouty choruses, and of the good acoustic ballad “Nightmares” where female voices can also be heard.

T.V. Life Demo, 1995

SEVEN ENDS (HOLLAND)

Based on the full-length, this act plays thrash/death of the more classic kind recalling their compatriots Thanatos on the more inspired momments (the more technical cut "To the Worms"). The guys mix things up with slower sections which never grow into a whole song, but provide the necessary deviation. The singer growls in a husky semi-deathy/semi-blacky manner and suits the intense musical approach which lacks originality and variation, but is sincere and enthusiastic enough.

Seven Ends EP, 2011
To the Worms Full-length, 2012

Official Site

SEVEN KINGDOMS (USA)

Based on the self-titled sophomore album, this act plays good classic power metal with hints at thrash touching both the 80's American and the 90's power/speed metal scenes in almost equal dozes. The songs are fine mixtures of slower and faster passages as on the latter the band "courts" the Canadian one-album-wonder Messiah Force whose singer is also a woman/girl; did I mention that the vocalist here is female? And a pretty good one at that well fitting the vigorous energetic music. The "gods of speed metal" Helloween are "courted" on the excellent "Into the Darkness", and the following "Eyes to the North" is an excellent Oriental-tinged power/thrasher with forceful aggressive riffage. The title-track comes at the end providing 9-min of brisk classic speed metal boldly bordering on thrash on the more intense sections which come in the middle also introducing more brutal male semi-death metal vocals; a commendable way to finish this satisfying listen which will please a wide gamut of metal fans by keeping them almost equally as happy.
The debut is a more aggressive, and arguably a better, affair, and in the vocal detment we have quite a difference: the girl is missing, and the male singer is deep clean doom/gothic-like, but not very emotional, and is helped by frequent brutal death metal growls which are absolutely no match to the much more melodic musical delivery. The album opens with the mild power metal hymn "Blackwater Rush", but "Dragonflight" steps in, and the more intense speed/thrashing starts on full- throttle despite the melodic leads and the catchy chorus. Time for some carefree speed/power metal happiness, and "Eyes Of Summer" will fully satisfy this need with the soaring guitars and the sing-along choruses. No more happy times with "Stormborn", another intense speed/thrasher with the obligatory melodic "reliefs", which are not annoying at all, and actually provide a cool contrast to the furious sections some of which border on proto-death. The alternation between the two approaches continue with "The Bloody Meadow", a melodic epic power metal piece, immediately followed by the speed metal rage "The Long Night". Surprisingly, the next track is another major headbanger: "We Do Not Sow (The Legacy of Black Harren, t I)", fast aggressive thrash with a fine balladic break in the middle. The "massacre" carries on with full force on the heroic speed metal winner "Watchers On The Wall" which boasts a great memorable chorus. More moderate speed metal of the galloping thrashy type is served on "Towers of Hubris (The Legacy of Black Harren, t II)" again accompanied by a nice quiet interlude. The final damage is done by the closer "Winter Comes" which doesn't betray the speedy spirit of the previous material lashing fast steel riffs and melodic leads for just above 7-min. This is a promising beginning of the band's career, and some may definitely mourn the loss of aggression on the sophomore effort despite the obvious improvements made in the vocal detment.

Brothers Of The Night Full-length, 2007
Seven Kingdoms Full-length, 2010

Official Site

SEVEN SCARS (IRELAND)

Groovy modern post-thrash which is dynamic and doesn't sound stale; it can even make you headbang quite a bit at times ("The Need To Bleed", "Turn to Stone").

In God We Rust EP, 2008

My Space

SEVEN SEVERED HEADS (USA)

A 3-song demo of heavy mid-paced thrash/death with slightly hysterical shouted vocals; the music slows down at times on the verge of doom metal recalling Asphyx.

Seven Severed Heads Demo, 2005

My Space

SEVEN STEPS OF DENIAL (HOLLAND)

These Dutch fellows indulge in crunchy modern/classic thrash with very good melodic leads which stand proud against the shredding riffs which cover all tempos including several balladic/semi-balladic moments in the middle (the cool "Die Before Darkness"). Intense gallopers like "Last Days" will lift the mood high, but the 2nd half is not as impressive with retouched mid-pacers that don't have the requisite bite and edge clinging more towards the epic power/thrash metal side their epic appeal not quite matched by the gruff semi-clean vocalist.

From Ashes Full-Length, 2014

SEVEN STITCHES (PORTUGAL)

Modern thrash metal with classic borrowings, and touches of stoner/doom in the guitar detment ("The World Is For Sale"); the tempo is mostly in the mid-range, but it still holds surprises for the listener, like the excellent intense "Confront The Fear Of Being Different" which, without leaving the mid-tempo, introduces cool death metal riffs. "Down The Earth" is an aggressive death/thrasher after which come 3 tracks from their 1st demo "Follow the Destiny", which are run-of-the-mill groovy post-thrash pieces.
"When The Hunter Becomes The Hunted" is a more aggressive affair with clear shades of death metal, both in the music and vocal detment, and as such is a more satisfying listen adding the odd more technical hook ("From the Sky", which is a nice atmospheric number with great melodic tunes). The slower doomy elements haven't disappeared completely, but are more dynamic ("The in Between") intercepted by clever intriguing riffs. The music very seldom reaches blasting extremes, and almost every song features heavier pounding sections, including a nice balladic passage on the closing "Until You Get Dry". Some of the musicians play similar stuff with Spoiled Fiction.

The Face Alone Does Not Reveal The Man EP, 2006
When The Hunter Becomes The Hunted Full-length, 2010

My Space

SEVEN YEAR KISMET (UK)

Based on the full-length, these guys offer a dynamic mix of modern fast and groovy thrash which delivers, especially with intense moshers like "Into the Arms of Avarice" around. There are a couple of mild acoustic short instrumentals thrown in, and they create a nice contrast to the heavy pounding riffs and the very brutal death metal vocals.

When Fear Takes Form EP, 2007
Not Without Incident Full-length, 2009

Official Site

SEVENTH ANGEL (UKRAINE)

Modern power/thrash with epic inclinations coming as a mix between early Children of Bodom and a more aggressive Falconer. The vocal duel between the gruff blacky rasper and the deep clean baritone is a bit awkward, but the more energetic ventures into 90's power/speed metal are not too inappropriate ("Pravilnui Kurs").

Seventh Angel Demo, 2002

SEVENTH ANGEL (UK)

One of the unique thrash metal bands from the UK, Seventh Angel play heavy, one-of-a-kind, somewhat progressive thrash which will require attention to be fully grasped. At least half of the songs are long (8-9min), without too many tempo changes with slow, almost doomy moments which create a kind of a dark, depressing atmosphere. Of course, cool energetic thrashers are still present, but it's in the more complex, longer material where the guys truly shine; these tracks are not deprived of up-tempo sections, but there are also quiet moments, and heavy, almost doomy at times riffs. "The Torment" contains the faster and the lighter material, and one could find himself jumping around on tracks like "Tormented Forever", or "Expletive Deleted", but the album closer "Katie" will startle you with its sprawling structure and meaty, heavy riffs.
On "Lament for the Weary" the music has lost its edge, and quite a lot of speed has been sacrificed for the sake of slower, heavier and more technical riffs, and more frequently inserted peaceful acoustic passages, although "Full of Blackness" breaks the "idyll" with a splash in the middle, with its furious intense guitars. This is not music for an everyday listen, but it will be a rewarding experience for those who like the more serious, thought-provoking side of thrash metal (including lyric-wise as the band, in this aspect, belong to the Christian movement).
A very unexpected, unheralded comeback from these underground heroes, "The Dust of Years" sees them paying more atention to doom metal this time, with the singer Ian Arkley singing in a more downtuned death-like manner, the same one he perfected so well on his doom/death metal project My Silent Wake. The problem is that he finds it hard to bid farewell to the slow side of metal, and the music presented here has more in common with the acts Arkley got involved (some of them his own "children") after the Seventh Angel split-up: the aforementioned My Silent Wake, Ashen Mortality, Century Sleeper, etc. with which he explored the fields of doom far and wide, to quite a positive effect, by the way. There are also sce furious death metal breaks thrown in, so is there any thrash metal at all? Well, just a bit, and it's of the heavy doomy variety with only "In Ruins" jumping on the more dynamic up-tempo wagon. As a whole this effort is not a direct continuation of their old output, and it would also be of bigger interest to fans of doom: think Dark Millennium, Morgion, My Dying Bride, at from the already mentioned bands.

The Torment Full-length, 1990
Lament for the Weary Full-length, 1992
The Dust of Years Full-Length, 2009

My Space

SEVENTH GATE (USA)

A decent slab of technically-minded classic thrash metal mixing faster with heavier slower songs all supported by strong bass and short screaming leads. The slower material predominates, and near the end things take a slightly doomy direction with the speed decreased quite a bit which is clearly a drawback since the riffage gets too repetitive. The singer has a gruff semi-clean voice reminiscent of Phil Rind (Sacred Reich).

Metal for the Masses Full-length, 1996

SEVER THE MASSES (USA)

This US trio pull out a mix of modern and classic thrash which creeps forward in a brooding mid-tempo manner surprisingly getting more vivid on the longer material ("The Nameless"; the crunchy progressiver "The Power of Change"). The guys' serious attitude takes more sleepy proportions later (the semi-balladic/semi-doomy groover "Catharsis") and the situation only worsens from here the songs becoming boring clumsy exercises in groovy post-thrash the closing "Welcome to the Wasteland" tially breaking the monotony with a few spasmodic deathy blasts. The vocalist rends his throat in a semi-shouty/semi-deathy manner and remains intelligible throughout.

The Path Unknown Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

SEVERE DISGRACE (BRAZIL)

3 songs of intense retro thrash/proto-death showing a band fonder of speed and the German school, Destruction, above all. The guys shred with passion helped by the good production if we exclude the slight buzzy noise in the drum detment. The vocals are of the subdued semi-whispered type, but their scary qualities are a nice addition to the uncompromising delivery. Some of the band members have also taken t in the black/thrash metal formation Diablerie.

Disciples of Aggression Demo, 2011

My Space

SEVERE WARNING (USA)

The band is mostly a power/speed metal outfit with shades of thrash, mostly on the 1989 demos; the music is not bad at all, but they never made it to the full-length stage.

Death to false Metal Demo, 1987
Severe Warning/Mutant Soldier Split Split, 1989
A Good Day...But for Who?! Demo, 1989

Official Site

SEVERED EXISTENCE (USA)

Very well executed dark gothic thrash metal; the vocals belong to the death metal field, and there are also fast death-ish attacks (the short, aggressive "Die For Innocence"), but the music is generally mid-paced with heavy crushing riffs, really nice melodic touches ("Why Life Lies Cold"), and a dark brooding atmosphere. This band have managed to forge something really original here, although it would hardly appeal to gothic fans (except, maybe, for the closing "Severed Existence", which comes with heavy doomy guitars ala Cemetary, and good semi-clean vocals): the sharp guitar work and the intense delivery strictly belong to the thrash metal genre.

The Limbs of Humanity Full-length, 2002

Official Site

SEVERED FIFTH (UK)

Modern post-thrash borrowing from the Black Album as well as from the groovy heritage of the 90's; the mixture is bearable if we exclude the awkward "gruff-clean" vocal duel and the very long (7-min) tender ballad "Forgotten Heroes". The headbanger "The Blackening" comes after it to apologize, but those moments are not very frequent, with maybe the mid-paced crusher "End Of Days" coming closer.
"Liberate" flows in a similar vein, but the guitar tone is more aggressive, and the headbanging sections are not that sce. The riffs are heavy and sharp, and the vocals this time are more convincing also introducing a more forceful semi-clean tember which goes well with the hammering music.

Nightmares By Design Full-Length, 2010
Liberate Full-Length, 2012

SEVERITY (AUSTRIA)

Intense dynamic old school thrash along the lines of early Holy Moses; this is fast-paced stuff with apocalyptic shouty vocals which are not far from the ones of Rob Urinari (Sacrifice), maybe a tad more hysterical. Music of the kind may not exactly cause you "severe brain damage", but will make you mosh around with passion pouring sharp razor-like guitars galore on exploders like "The Machinator" and "F.O.Y.D." as well as on almost every other number.

Severe Brain Damage Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

SEVIDICA (AUSTRALIA)

These guys deliver frolic speed/thrash of the old school which ranges from short blitzkrieg speedsters ("The Outcast") to stomping doomy numbers ("Cruelty"). The band know their craft spicing things up with more complex arrangements (the dramatic epic anthem "Without Ceremony") and short "acoustic vs. leads" ballads ("Seed"). The singer is a guttural death metal throat who comes interrupted by better soaring clean vocals ala Burton Bell (Fear Factory). Some of the band members were previously seen in the death metal purveyors Defiled.

Seed Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

SEWERCIDE (AUSTRALIA)

2 songs of cool retro thrash with Sodom the main point of reference (think "Agent Orange", above all) including in the assured vocal detment. The guys thrash with conviction in up-tempo with harsh, abrasive guitars which create a nice old school atmosphere with numerous headbanging moments.

Severe Trauma Demo, 2012

SEX MACHINEGUNS (JAPAN)

The name could hardly be connected with thrash metal, but on their first two albums, this band would literally catch you with your pants down with nice speed/thrashers topped by great guitar work and melodic high-strung dramatic vocals. "Sex Machinegun" is a really good debut opening with the smashing speed/thrasher "Burn" which will literally "burn" you with its furious, sharp, but at the same time melodic guitars. The album is quite varied, offering some pure speed metal delights in the vein of the 90's power/speed metal scene ("Devil Wing", "Hanabi-La"), featuring some of the most infectious choruses one might encounter. "High Speed Samurai" doesn't deserve its pompous title, being not as fast as some other tracks. "Japan" is a sheer classic heavy metal number which might annoy you, since there's been awhile since the last thrashy riff has been heard. But you don't have to wait much longer: soon comes the intense thrasher "Sex Machinegun", followed by a couple of more speed metal-based ones, but the closer "Family Rest Bomba" thrashes again with aggression and style, adding cool technical licks as well.
"Made in Japan" (these guys love their country!) starts quite promisingly with "Progressive Ojiichan": an interesting hectic power/thrasher, tially ruined by the awful industrial vocals. Later one would find out that those industrial vocals were just a solitary experimentation (thank god!). As a whole this album is more satisfying than the debut with really great tracks: the excellent speed metal masterpiece "Illusion City", the aggressive thrashing "Estheticien", the nice combination of power, speed and thrash "Serial Killer", the mighty speed/thrash opus "Iron Cross", which comes with the most aggressive riffs on the album. There are no light heavy metal tracks to ruin the impression; the speed and intensity are all over the place, even going a bit over the top, with the intense little thrasher "Onigunsow". The closer "Yellow Card" manages to sound even technical, with nice choppy, hectic riffs, nicely contrasting to the fast-paced ones.
Later their style adopted a more traditional power/heavy metal sound, but some headbanging thrashers are always present to keep things interesting.
"SMG" is a merry speedy roller-coaster mixng modern proto-groove with the free'n easy style of Motorhead and Tank. The guitars have an edge at times, even proto- thrashing here and there, but overall the mild approach of their more recent works has been preserved, without any unnecessary risks taken.

Live Fire EP, 1997
Sex Machinegun Full-length, 1998
Made in Japan Full-length, 1999
Barbe-Q Michael Full-length, 2001
Tariyou EP, 2001
Ignition Full-length, 2002
To The Future Tracks Full-length, 2003
Heavy Metal Thunder Full-length, 2005
Made in USA Full-length, 2006
Cameron Full-Length, 2008
45'f8 Full-length, 2009
SMG Full-length, 2011

Official Site

SEX MESSIAH (JAPAN)

This EP contains only 2 songs, both of the intense black/thrash variety, well more brutal and vicious than the music offered by their compatriots Abigail, Sabbat and Barbatos. Think a less intense and a more retro-sounding version of Impaled Nazarene, with the obligatory mid-paced break in the vein of Celtic Frost on "The Curse".

Wish You Were Dead EP, 2009

My Space

SEXOTURICA (USA)

This is another band formed by the Metallica (and ex-Flotsam & Jetsam) bassist Jason Newsted. Here, instead of Devin Townsend, he has invited Andreas Kisser from Sepultura to help him with the recordings (Tom Hunting (Exodus, Angel Witch)- the drummer, takes t in both projects). Based on the split with his other band IR 8, this is definitely the lesser band with an almost hardcore-ish sound bringing to mind Nailbomb, with a more light-hearted attitude, despite the ambitious, 7-min long "Zone of Death". The band name is formed from the names of the three acts where the members come from (Sepultura, Exodus, Metallica).

SpermogoDemo Demo, 1995
IR8 vs Sexoturica Split, 2003

Official Site

SEXTON (CROATIA)

Aggressive Slayer-esque thrash with touches of death metal; fast intense music with gruff death-ish vocals and cool melodic slower numbers thrown in ("The Cold War").

Fade Out Full-length, 1992

SEXTRASH (BRAZIL)

With their brutal proto-death sound Sextrash fit very nicely along other representatives of the more aggressive side of Brazilian thrash metal like Sepultura, Sarcofago and Vulcano; "Sexual Carnage" is by far the band's finest achievement with its raw vicious thrash/proto-death approach and frequent blast-beats.

XXX EP, 1989
Sexual Carnage Full-length, 1990
Funeral Serenade Full-length, 1992
Rape from Hell Full-length, 2006

Official Site

SEYMINHOL (FRANCE)

These epic heavy metallers have given a nice thrashy twist to their music to the point that some may not be able to recognize the band at first listen. The sound now has moved towards the progressive power/thrash metal realm where acts like the Swedes Pathos and the Canadians Eidolon belong. The French's guitars are more crunchy, and they are a bit more dynamic the latter expressed in a great way on the opening "The Old Man's Tree", a seamless blend of heavy smashing riffs and quiet balladic breaks. "Pretium Doloris" is a hectic jumper with a furious speedy section and a slight keyboard background, and "Suicide Obsession" is even heavier with doomy overtones and an even better keyboard support. "A Blank Chamber" is an exemplary dark thrasher recalling Sanctuary's "Into the Mirror Black" with a fine female vocal ticipation near the end followed by a supreme up-tempo thrashy break and a nice lead-driven chorus; too many things to watch out for here, eh! "Nail And Spear" continues the damage in an aggressive heavy manner with a great balladic "relief" in the middle introducing another melodic chorus. "Pendulum Motion" is a very good ballad with the singer shining all over with his dramatic clean delivery and the casual, but effective, adherence to the higher registers. "Ecstasy In Sin" is a more ordinary modern semi-groovy thrasher overshadowed by the speedy closer "Apocryphal Anthem" which serves another slab of hard-hitting dark thrash with the obligatory nice melodic chorus. This change of direction is more than welcome, although their hard-core fans may be quite startled at first since the epic "decorations" are almost completely gone, and the guitars have a decidedly more aggressive darker edge taking considerably away from the band's more carefree optimistic sound of old.

Ov Asylum Full-length, 2009

My Space

SGIAN DHUB (RUSSIA)

Modern power/post-thrash which develops in a merry radio-friendly fashion not engaging the listener a lot who should be mildly entertained on the edgier "Exultation of Beasts" which emits a portion of hard-hitting riffs toped by mid-ranged semi-clean vocals which suddenly exhibit a much better cleaner side the latter causing sax-driven interludes and sudden virtuoso lead sections. You don't get the diverse picture...

Careless And Ruthless EP, 2013

SHAARK (CZECH)

Members of the death metallers Krabathor and Master have gotten together to play some thrash for a change. Based on "Sinn Fein" the guys give preferences to the modern 90's scene, despite the brisk retro thrashing opener "Politics". Later on the music takes a modern orientation, not too far from Cyclone Temple and Flotsam & Jetsam's "Quatro". Skles of the classic sound can still be heard ("On The Edge") as well as pointless very tender instrumentals ("The Change (For Marcelle)"; this change might work for Marcelle, but not for us...), which ruins the angry sound, and the remaining 3 tracks are softer, crossover-tinged, with the bonus track being another very melodic non-metal deviation.

Sinn Fein Full-length, 1995
Propaganda Full-length, 1997
Suicidal Society Full-length, 2000
Again With Hatred Full-length, 2006

Official Site

SHACKLES (AUSTRALIA)

Based on the "Coup de Grace" demo, this band offer a mix of slower atmospheric tracks with a certain pagan/epic element ala later period Destroyer 666 ("Converted to Evil"), and really cool headbangers in the vein of Sodom's "Persecution Mania" and Exumer's "Possessed by Fire" ("Child Saint").
The debut demo is raw, but energetic Germanic speed/thrash, this time also adding Destruction to the other already mentioned influences. "Iron Crosses" tries to break some death metal ground, and is a cool aggressive number, with a nice, contrasting to the simplistic riffs, lead guitar work. "Trophies Of War", on the other hand, settles for more laid-back speed metal ala Iron Angel's "Winds of War".
"Traitor's Gate" is a different "animal", epitomizing a style not far from the early works of their more renowned compatriots Destroyer 666, fiercely mixing black, speed, thrash and death metal, safely walking on well-trodden paths. Some epic touches are also added to the already overdone mixture, including one full-fledged epic monster (the closer "Orgy of Corpses"), to ensure the album's wide appeal. The songs are not very short, but the musicianship is so simplistic, that this is hardly necessary. The guys' sense of melody has to be acknowledged, though, and speed/thrash metal hymns like "Exorcised Remains" and "Malignant Expulsion" may end up big hits in someone's player. "Exhumed From a Watery Grave" is a marvellous short acoustic instrumental, another plus in the band's discography.

Orgy of corpses - Rehearsal slaughter Demo, 2005
Coup de Grace Demo, 2006
Inquisitor's Curse Single, 2007
Traitor's Gate Full-Length, 2009

Official Site

SHADE (POLAND)

Atmospheric progressive thrash metal with quite a few gothic elements and gruff death metal vocals, supported by other clean, but not that convincing, ones. This is mid to up-tempo stuff with cool heavy guitars, not very technical, and good more immediate thrashers ("Meanders of Imagination (VII)"), albeit infused with keyboards, which are all over the album, but not in a very annoying way. The thrash metal fan will not enjoy pure gothic pieces ("Stoneflowers"), but crushing doomy thrashers, like "... Light (t One)" and the nice progressive thrash closer "Birds" will surely make his day; but he needs to close his ears for those keyboards, which at least on this last song are a bit overused.

Sounds of Memory (Chapter...Echo) Full-length, 1997

My Space

SHADES BEFORE DAWN (BRAZIL)

This Brazilian outfit play an awkward mix of classic thrash the oncoming 90's trends resulting in an uneven effort which has its raw charm (the intense shredder "Timesteps", "Gardens Of Despair"), but another big detriment is the awful noisy sound quality which deafens the several atmospheric keyboard passages which at least can be better heard on the closing emotional ballad "Twilight Wind" where the otherwise rough semi-clean singer manages to pull out inspired attached performance.

The Enlightment Demo, 1991

SHADES OF DEVASTATION (USA)

Pretty cool all-instrumental music crossing the staple progressive structures with a healthy doze of thrash and death metal. The approach is modern with a dry, mechanical guitar sound and the tempo is almost mid. The leads are not very long as the focus is clearly on the riffage which is pretty heavy and doesn't contain any overt technicality although the hectic patterns on "Break the Distance" may make your head spin a bit. There is an unobtrusive keyboard backgroung as well which takes more space on the excellent atmospheric heavy ballad "Ghosts Of Haunting Memories". The final "The Grand Despair" is really "grand" being a 10.5-min opera of swirling riffs, hard-hitting sections, orchestral arrangements (an opera, indeed: check the closing passages), and quiet balladic breaks. Few will complain after hearing this engaging, thought-out music, despite the abundant supply of all-instrumental efforts of recent years.

Shades EP, 2011

SHADES OF GREY (USA)

The band's style ranges from more simplistic, early Slayer-like thrash on earlier works, to somewhat more technical one on the last demo. Both styles have their cool sides, like the jumpy, hectic, but quite intense "House Of Fools", or the aggressive direct thrasher "Legions of Corruption" from the debut demo. "Under the Skeptic's Eye", on the other hand, serves more sophisticated intensity with more clever riffs which still don't stand too much on the way of neck-sprainers like the indomitable "So Who's Your God". The style on the last effort crosses the pounding aggression of Sacred Reich with the more technical side of the Bay-Area the more ambitious delivery toned down by the presence of two live performances of tracks from their older demos.

1st Demo Demo, 1988
2nd Demo Demo, 1989
3rd Demo Demo, 1989
Under the Skeptic's Eye Demo, 1991

SHADES OF RETRIBUTION (INDIA)

This is a modern hybrid between post-thrash and a bit more hard-hitting thrash, generally pleasant feelgood music in mid-pace with good melodic leads. "Mora Xo" is an admirable volcanic shredder with super-heavy guitars and brutal death metal vocals which are a bit mellower on the other numbers. This is a bit monotonous effort with a consistent seismic sound which may wear thin at some point, and may win some fans from the doom metal spectre.

Xongram Full-Length, 2010

Official Site

SHADOW DEMON (USA)

If the Agent Steel sound after the reformation is to your taste, then you have to track this band down: power/thrash with interesting choruses and a more ambitious song-writing. The lead guitar work is good, and the riffs have this genuine dark brooding edge. The music is mid to up-tempo, with interesting orchestral choruses, carrying slightly the happy spirit of the speed/power metal movement of the 90's. The songs are long (the opener "A Dream of Dreams" alone is 9-min long), but there is no technical performance here, just heavy pounding riffs aplenty. "Brave Murder Day" has no relation to Katatonia, although it starts as a gothic-tinged ballad, before it speeds up. "Sea of Oblivion" will scare you with its brutal opening riffs, but later it slows down, still remaining quite energetic with great haunting guitars thrown in.

Grimoire of Ruin Full-length, 2006

Official Site

SHADOW HOST (RUSSIA)

This act established themselves as a leading one on the Russian scene with a string of consistently high quality albums which were more on the speed/power metal side with echoes of early Blind Guardian and Persuader. With "Bringer of Revenge" the guys made a jump at the thrash wagon, and now their new face is more along the lines of Paradox and Manticora. The guys' penchant for memorable, catchy choruses makes every song distinguishable from the others, and the speedy riffage creates multiple headbanging opportunities with hard-hitting songs like "Demon Hunter" and "Back To The Shadowland" which are balanced by the other, more serious progressive aspect: "Secret Left Untold", the heavy semi-ballad "Beware Your Dreams", the eventful speed/thrashing closer "Facing The Truth". The singer is truly a find with his versatile dramatic performance coming as a more melodic version of Hansi Kursch (Blind Guardian).
"Apocalyptic Symphony" is not a sloucher continuing in the same relentless speed/thrashy vein from the get-go with the awesome flying opener "Lunacy Divine". "Treason" is pure sharp thrash ala the last Helstar album ("Glory of Chaos"), and later on the guys get obsessed by thrash for a while abandoning the more intricate formulas moshing out pretty hard for a string of songs until the arrival of the more laid-back speedster "Divide and Rule". Don't expect two in a row, though, and "Reborn in Hate" is another merciless piece with echoes of Slayer and Vio-Lence. Som efans may not be enchanted with the metamorphosis witnessed here since since the album for most of the time is pure direct thrash also recalling adox's "Riot Squad" "Seeds of Sorrow" near the end being the only genuinely mid-paced cut the closer "Seeds of Sorrow" offering the last portion of fast rapidfire riffage to a squashing effect. In the end this effort is not bad at all; on the contrary, it would appeal to the hard-core thrash metal base much more the guys at this stage giving freedom to their more aggressive, brutal nature. The vocals remain on the same high level, not changing their approach to suit the more intense musical delivery.

Bringer of Revenge Full-length, 2011
Demon Hunter EP, 2013
Apocalyptic Symphony Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

SHADOW OF DEMISE (USA)

A heavy blend of death metal and modern groovy thrash; not bad, with nods to the first two Six Feet Under albums including a very close similarity in the vocal department. The more up-tempo death metal-laced songs work better ("De-Evolve"), whereas the rest kind of lacks energy, even smelling doom at times ("Dog God").

Premature Burial Full-length, 2006

Official Site

SHADOW'S FAR (SWITZERLAND)

Based on the demo, this band don't stray too far from the established Swedish thrash/death formula, playing an energetic brand of this blend, staying closer to thrash. The last track is graced by some fine Oriental tunes to suit the title: "Dubai By Night", although this is the most melodic, and the slowest one here.
"As Black Turns Red" is something more of the same, again "courting" thrash metal more, and the whole album is sustained in a brisk headbanging atmosphere, in mid to up-tempo with the characteristic Oriental motives again preserved for the end which comes in the form of the nice short instrumental "38'000".

Lost in Contemplation Demo, 2003
Eleven Sins Full-length, 2007
As Black Turns Red Full-length, 2009

Official Site

SHADOWS FX (BRAZIL)

A very obscure act who pull out thrash/death metal of the classic variety which sometimes comes "ornated" with more stylish elements: "They Dig My Grave" is a furious blasting piece, which suddenly switches onto atmospheric progressive metal ala Opeth, but not for very long; after all, the guys have to bash like mad, there's no time to waste. Well, but this same bashing is gone for "Blood Street", which is a cool mid-paced crusher in the tradition of Obituary; the singer also reminds of John Tardy at his most agonizing performance. "Tomorrow's Desolation" is an atmospheric, keyboard-laced doom/death song which is long on both atmosphere and execution, but now the listener is completely confused as to what to expect later on. "Finis Glori Mundi" is a great short "leads versus acoustic" instrumental after which the thrashing returns finally with the excellent galloping "Death Penalty" which offers more: a stylish technical section in the middle, more aggressive riffage ala Slayer, and even furious blast-beats near the end. "Death Lament" starts as doom metal again, but later the guys speed up nicely and produce another portion of cool thrashy riffage. "War Feelings" closes this interesting release with style being an energetic progressive thrasher with great melodies and numerous tempo changes.

Shadows FX Full-length, 2001

SHADOWMORE (POLAND)

Decent retro thrash in the spirit of the Brits Xentrix, so expect mostly mid-paced Bay-Area tinged stuff with mid-ranged semi-clean vocals. The guitar work is sharp, but pretty samey, and except for the slightly faster "Dead Point" there's not much happening in the headbanging detment.

Out of Sight EP, 2009

My Space

SHADOWSPHERE (PORTUGAL)

Although the band name might pree you to hear some power/speed metal of the new generation, you'll be perhaps a little surprised; not much, because the music is just run-of-the-mill modern Swedish thrash/death. Their sophomore effort is the better one with sharper, more thrash-oriented guitar work and good melodic solos.
"Inferno" is another sure-handed slab of the good old Swedish thrash/death coprising energetic, but also pretty melodic, music which this time features fine female vocals as opposed to the gruff deathy main ones. All out speed, however, is seldom attempted despite the lashing quality of the guitars. "Suicide Reign Of Salvation" is a cool headbanger, but the rest is "plagued" by catchy choruses and infectious melodic hooks which deliver in a different, less aggressive, way also helped by the short acoustic instrumental "The Hurtlocker" and the imposing operatic epitaph of the closing "Alone At The End Of The World" where the female singer completely takes over to a fairly positive effect.

Darklands Full-length, 2003
Hellbound Heart Full-length, 2006
Inferno Full-length, 2012

Official Site

SHADOWS DECAY (COSTA RICA)

A complex version of the good old thrash served in relatively long compositions (6-8min) where more intense thrashing co-exists with more elaborate decisions the blend assisted by capable high-strung clean vocals which are on the verge of becoming too high-pitchy at times. "Peace in Hell" is more on the stomping heavy side recalling later-period Xentrix (think "Kim") which are the closest reference point. The production is quite good balancing the guitars between being sharp and melodic. It all could have been a tad faster, but there would be a next time for this up-and-coming youngsters...

Peace In Hell EP, 2013

SHADOWS OF DAWN (USA)

Based on the EP, this act play a more ambitious version of the modern Gothenburg thrash/death reflected in longer numbers and more sprawling arrangements some of which are pure lead-driven ballads. There is some headbanging ground covered, but those moments get lost in the dominating progressive passages which reach out for Opeth too often to make these guys stick out of the crowd.

Of Death and Ruin Full-length, 2009
Heliacal Rising EP, 2011

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SHADOWSEER (USA)

Based on the full-length, this act serve friendly retro speed/power/thrash metal which begins in a more immediate direct fashion with the first 2 numbers the introduction of progressive which "invades" the album also bringing the winds of epic with it. It stays around for a string of compositions "killing" the energy since the approach is strictly mid-paced and officiant wrapping it up with the overlong (9.5-min) closing saga "Before the End of Life". The singer suits the mellow nature of the music with his warm clean emotional tember, and he can pass for the finest performer here his high-pitched antics quite impressive (check out the closer again).

In the Company of Evil EP, 2010
Shadowseer Full-length, 2014

Official Site

SHADOWVEIL (GREECE)

Melodic speed/thrash metal with more progressive leanings at times, similar to the Italians Brutaliator and more recent adox on the more intense moments. "Dropping The Veil" is speed/thrash at its smashing best, ably supported by the more melodic, but still pretty edgy, "Silent Voices", but the guys vary things adding good heavy ballads ("Elusive Emotions") which show the good emotional mid-ranged vocalist in a bright light.

Promo CD 2006 (Remastered) Demo, 2006

Official Site

SHAH (RUSSIA)

One of the first (and best) Russian thrash metal bands, Shah played straight-forward thrash metal on their first two albums somewhat similar to Anthrax (the debut), but slighly more technical. The debut is a really heavy affair with sharp guitars and fast tempos, albeit with a muddy sound quality; the songs are quite long for a first effort, but they are not mindless bashing, and come with cool semi-technical hooks which culminate on the fine technical thrasher "Reason X": one of the band's finest achievements.
"Beware" is in the same vein with a slightly more technical edge (the fine heavy thrash piece "Threshold Of Pain") and a much better production; the sound is not as heavy, and some tracks come as mixtures of speed and thrash not too far from their compatriots Master's works from around the same time, and Metallica and Megadeth ("Bloodbrothers" with its galloping rhythm will definitely remind you of Metallica's "The 4 Horsemen"); still, it's a commendable slab of thrash with lighter, but memorable, compositions.
"P.S.I.H.O." showed a slightly more modern and technical approach, with the speed reduced quite a bit, and a sound close to mid-period Megadeth ("Countdown to Extinction", maybe even "Rust in Peace" on the best moments), and was a bit of a surprise, but a quality work like this one one can easily learn to appreciate; some bland groovy tracks could have been left out, but the better moments are definitely more.

Madness Demo, 1988 (?)
Escape from Mind Full-length, 1988
Beware Full-length, 1989
Terror Collection Best of/Compilation, 1991
P.S.I.H.O. Full-length, 1993

My Space

SHALLOW GROUND (USA)

This band play modern power/speed/thrash which at its more inspired touches more recent adox with the exception of the gruff proto-death metal vocals. Still, the overall approach seldom takes off the band shredding one-dimensionally in a prevalent mid-pace for most of the time with only the leads being on a higher level. There are a couple of cool tunes thrown in, but withoout the necessary amount of dynamics the band would hardly make their style more appealing on an eventual full-length.
The full-length evolves around the songs from the EP so don't expect anything too ground-breaking on the rest: this is a bit less ordinarily served modern power/speed/thrash which starts in a more promising manner with the complex speed/thrasher "Shallow Ground", already heard on the EP, and the short direct bombarder "Death & Destruction". "The End of Everything" is a cool up-pace shredder full of optimistic soaring melodies. The album captures a complicated progressive Manticora-sque ground with the interesting oopus "Before The Dawn", an approahc which is later admirably repeated on the excellent epic stomper "Cleansing of the Hollow". The guys relax at the end on the short crossover joy "I.D.G.A.F" (aka "I Don't Give a Fuck") adding to the diversity which delivers the goods thanks to the new material, and the band could have pulled themselves together for another 5 songs rather than offering the same ones from the EP.

Shallow Ground EP, 2010
The End of Everything Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

SHALLOW WATER GRAVE (USA)

Modern thrash of the energetic variety, but nothing unusual, albeit with a good sense of melody (the very cool "Persist And Persevere"), and some fine intense headbangers ("In The Aftermath") with a shade of Slayer.

Suspension of Disbelief Full-length, 2006

Official Site

SHAME YOURSELF (POLAND)

These Poles serve rough hardcore-ish modern post-thrash which is noisy and loud, but contains a few melodic "reliefs". The approach is mostly mid-paced with sudden faster sections and wears thin after a few songs down the line. The singer is quite brutal for this kind of music with his rending death metal tember. Imposing classic galloping riffage one can her on "Slave of Masturbation" near the end which is a prelude to the longer, but also less exciting, closer "Hell" showing an act steadily following long since eslished patterns.

Wonderfuck Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

SHAPE SHIFTER (GERMANY)

An excellent 3-song demo of classic 80's thrash; the music is energetic, but not very fast, with meaty heavy riffs ala Slayer's late 80's period, mixed with nice technical guitar work ("Legions" is a great track, a fine example of the latter). Hopefully an official release is in the makings...

Collateral Damage Demo, 2004

Official Site

SHAPESHIFT (GERMANY)

The EP shows an act playing modern groovy post-thrash with several more intriguing moments the latter sounding like a more aggressive Tool, but the music is pretty repetitive to strike a cord, and more melodic hooks are scattered throughout to show the guys' interest to conquer other territories outside the thrash metal spectre in the future. On drums we have the talented Hannes Grossmann: the man who also plays in Blotted Science, Obscura, Necrophagist, and other super-technical acts from the scene.
The debut demo is by far the band's finest achievement, complex progressive power/thrash with numerous twists, which never develops beyond the mid-tempo, boosted by very heavy guitars and cool clean attached vocals recalling the Dan Swano singing attempts through the years (remeber Nightingale, Godsend, etc.). "Perfect Life?" provides the necessary headbanging variation, and is a solid technical galloper ala Helstar's "Nosferatu". "Next Stop: Garden Eden" is a multi-layered composition with puzzling riffs and a morose doomy atmosphere. "Mind Curtain" is a more ordinary progressive metal cut, but "Principles" is a prime 3-min shredder with razor- sharp riffs on a pounding base. The final "Reproach" speeds up for a while again, also serving the oblgatory more elaborate passage ala Psychotic Waltz and the Germans Complex 7. This is a really promising beginning, and one may wish to track the full-length down in order to see if those promises have been realized more fully...

Confusedated Demo, 2004
Fragments Full-length, 2007
The Freal-EP EP, 2009

Official Site

SHARDS OF HUMANITY (USA)

This talented trio play (based on the full-length) excellent technical classic/modern thrash with echoes of E-Force and Skeleton Crew plus an added doze of death metal which becomes immediately evident from the impetuous opener “Fractured Frequencies”. Hectic performance replaces it on the next “Astral Agony” which is more on the dramatic side, and “Aphoticism” is an exemplary up-tempo shredder with a less controlled deathy break in the middle. The obsession with speed is even bigger on “Shards Of Humanity” which thrashes on in a calculated stylish fashion. More choppy hectic technicality served with “Internal Rot” which relaxes from the fast-paced side before “Species Ensnared” carries on with the “carnage”, this time in a more immediate manner. The closing “Suspension” is 7-min of dramatic mid-paced smash which is kind of underwhelming compared to the much more dynamic material offered earlier, but is nonetheless an engaging original epitaph to this sure-handed debut.

Shards of Humanity EP, 2012
Fractured Frequencies Full-length, 2014

Official Site

SHARON TATE'S BABY (USA)

This is entertaining very energetic thrash/crossover which can be both aggressive and mellow on demand as the shorter material is decidedly the more intense one. Both sides deliver as the guys don't take themselves very seriously which is not a problem for them to provide vivid inspired stuff which reaches the highest pitch on the nice speedy closer "Return Of The Living Dead" whcih is further boosted by an excellent bass bottom on top of the good semi-declamatory punk-ish vocals.

Demo Demo, 1989

SHATTER (CZECH)

Energetic thrashcore which offers both fast and slow numbers both mixed well throughout although near the end the album loses steam a bit sticking too much to more repetitive groovy patterns wrapping it up with a weird ambient semi-electronic instrumental ("Apple Town").

Black Comedy Full-Length, 2009

SHATTER (GERMANY)

Based on "Miscreated Reflection", these guys come up with a cool fusion of thrash and death metal, more on the classic side, with good guitar work which emphasizes on biting, but melodic riffs. The pace is up-tempo, never too aggressive, resulting in cool headbanging tracks, supported by not very suile brutal death metal vocals, which sometimes sound synthesized ("Kill the Church") to produce an even more confusing effect.

Inward Discord Full-length, 2001
Thousand Scars Full-length, 2005
Miscreated Reflection EP, 2006

Official Site

SHATTER MESSIAH (USA)

This band was founded by Curran Murphy: a famous figure in the metal world having done service in bands like Nevermore, Annihilator and Faustus. From the bands listed only Nevermore could be cited as an obvious influence. Although the dominating style is dark power/thrash metal with progressive overtones, also recalling the Germans Psychotron and the Canadians Eidolon, the band reach hands towards more distant ones: both albums include a few fast parts, and some of the heaviest moments would fit even on death or black metal releases. When the guys keep it short, they thrash like there's no tomorrow ("God Burns Like Flesh" (guess from which of the two albums!), to give one example) and the music picks up considerable intensity. In other words, the overall result is definitely on the positive side and with a more focused, less scattered sound for the future, things could reach further.
"Hail the New Cross": the guys paused to take a breath which took the shape of a 6-year hiatus. Not much has changed since the early days, though, the band serving a modern-ish "cocktail" of power and thrash with dark sombre overtones the crushing heaviness of Nevermore felt ("How Deep the Scar") strongly at times; at others more impetuous speedy cuts appearing out of nowhere ("Loyal Betrayer", "Gods of Divinity") to bang the head for a while. "Mercenary Machine" near the end provides a curious portion of more technical riffage, and the final "This Addiction" drags the album down with its uninspired blend of doom and the semi-ballad. This is not really a bad effort, but is hardly a step forward from an act who are supposed to fulfill a lot of expectations, and have failed to do so with whole 3 releases so far.

Never to Play the Servant Full-length, 2006
God Burns Like Flesh Full-length, 2007
Hail the New Cross Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

SHATTER SILENCE (JAPAN)

Derivative modern thrash/death metal with a few more technical deviations, quite melodic as well; there is a lot of energy put into the proceedings, and the headbangers will generally not be disappointed as the guys play on full speed for most of the time. The several more stylish jumpy moments ("Our Future Will Not Rot Forever") could have been extended since they carry the desirable digression so it remains to be seen how things will turn out on future releases...

Opening of the End Full-length, 2010

Official Site

SHATTERED DESTINY (USA)

These guys specialize in modern power/thrash with more complex tendencies. The music meanders through the spectre being at times intense ("Deceitful Heart"), at times more laid-back ("Oblivion") with strong orchestral overtones. Generally the pace is mid with quite a few jumpy decisions and pretty heavy riffage which needs more dynamics. The singer is not bad with his attached clean delivery sticking to consistent mid-ranged notes with a pinch of the higher registers.

Fragments EP, 2012

Official Site

SHATTERED REALITY (USA)

This act started as Rude Awakening when they released 2 demos in the early-90's of decent classic thrash. The album here is a blind imitation of The Black Album down to the hoarse James Hetfield-like vocals. The music is mid-paced and not very imaginative and not many would be those who would be willing to stay with it till the end. "Revolution (The Solution)" in the 2nd half is a surprising ripper, and later on we have "Climbing The Walls" which is a galloping wonder followed by the clumsy doom/ballad "Why". The end is the highlight with two energetic headbangers correcting the impression from the uneventful start raising the moshing bar high leaving the Black Album influences far behind.

Forget to Remember Full-Length, 1994

Official Site

SHATTERPOINT (CANADA)

Based on "Consequences", this band plays pretty decent modern thrash close to their renowned compatriots (or rather, compatriot) Annihilator of the mid-90's ("King Of The Kill" in ticular, which is good since this is one of the few good Annihilator albums). The problem is the singer who alternates from low-pitched metalcore to semi-clean vocals (kind of the ones used by Machine Head on their later releases), to low death growls. This calls for a big talent, but as a matter of fact he doesn't leave a very good impression. "Crushing Down" is a very good headbanger (if we exclude the not very convincing, groovy ending), the best track on the album. Reportedly, the band have expanded their horizons outside the mere Annihilator-worship on the follow-up, and have done a better job.
"Dead Precedence" indeed has very little to do with Annihilator, but without a model to look up to, the guys have messed it up playing ordinary, occasionally groovy, modern post-thrash livened up by more up-tempo thrashing numbers ("Torn At", "Gone", "Dead Precedence") from time to time.

Consequences Full-length, 2004
Dead Precedence Full-length, 2006

Official Site

SHAY OFER (ISRAEL)

This is the name of a versatile musician from Israel who produces not very original modern thrash also rich in atmosphere mostly sticking to dark pounding riffage with some progressive pretensions which are not clearly defined and at times grow into too sprawling operatic sections ("Humanity's Dusk") to no purpose. The short numbers are to mellow to hold water, and the end is clearly underwhelming being a quiet tender ballad ("Just Wanted To Say..."). This sounds as a rehearsal the guy makes before embarking on a more serious career, and as such may be viewed as a not bad first effort.

...And the World Shall Burn Full-length, 2011

Official Site

SHE SAID DESTROY (NORWAY)

Based on the "Armageddon, Anyone?" demo, this band pull out an intriguing, sometimes chaotic, mix of thrash of the mechanical modern type and death metal with a certain technical edge, which works very well on "Swallow My Tongue". "Joy To The World (The Coming Of Kali)" is more straight, but the heavy crushing riffs are hard to be ignored. "Armageddon, Anyone" picks up more aggression and is quite an intense technical death/thrasher with a dry Meshuggah-styled beginning and ending.

"Time Like Vines" includes all the songs from the reviewed demo, slightly remastered, plus another solid selection of varied ones, starting with "Time Like Vines": a nice combination of dry mechanical riffs and aggressive death metal sections. "Der Untergener" is a cool technical death/thrasher, spiced with more quiet progressive passages ala Opeth. "Beyond the Borders of Our Minds" is direct death metal madness, after which another excercise in more complex metal comes: "Shapeshifter", again mixing brutal riffage with the obligatory sprawling progressive t. "Becoming the Morningstar" preserves the more melodic sections, but the riffs are slower, albeit still technical and crushing, with a shade of the Swedish scene.
"This City Speaks in Tongues" is more brutal, and leaves a little room for thrash metal amidst the raging black/death. The good thing is that the technicality hasn't disappeared, but on the contrary, is more frequently adhered to, resulting in really good technical numbers: the excellent Coroner-influenced mid-paced vortex "An Age of Leeches", the awesome twisting Cynic and Atheist worshipper "Tea and Toast at the Very End of Time". But this is not all since the guys push the pedal later on to produce faster and more aggressive, but equally as technical, songs: the nod to Morbid Angel "No Zen", the smashing technical headbanger "Consider This a Warning". The closer "Servitude" is a completely different "animal" opting for a slow doomy mechanical sound with a nice final mid-break.

Demo Demo, 2003
Video clips Autumn Demo, 2003
Armageddon, Anyone? Demo, 2004
Human all too human Demo, 2004
Time Like Vines Full-length, 2006
This City Speaks in Tongues Full-length, 2008

Official Site

SHE WAS ASKING FOR IT (RUSSIA)

Modern thrash/death metal with numerous metalcore decorations; wild chaotic stuff with screechy black-ish vocals, finished with a brilliant orchestral violin/piano- driven piece which is by far the highlight.

Thanks Maria For Suffering EP, 2010

SHEER IGNORANCE (UK)

Direct bashing death/thrashcore of the heavy, crusty type on a noisy, chainsaw-like, background; brutal death metal vocals and simplistic, dissonant at times, guitars shake hands here, plus the addition of cooler atmospheric, blacky moments ("Blood Sludge").

Conditioning EP, 2011

SHELF (GERMANY)

Only one person, the name is M. Reichelt, is responsible for this weird eerie mixture of industrial, thrash, doom/gothic, and black metal with a rich keyboard background and deep declamatory vocals. The music is very atmospheric focusing on the industrial and gothic side more, but still manages to produce the excellent dark technical thrasher "Frozen Senses" at the end which is a compelling mix of macabre keyboards and sharp complex riffage topped by dramatic sinister choirs.

Frozen Senses Demo, 1998

Official Site

SHELLSHOCK (JAPAN)

Like most of the Japanese thrash metal bands, Shellshock also refuse to follow the conventional paths of the genre. The EP and the first two albums are cool retro thrash with not very overt hardcore tendencies. "Mortal Days" is the band's finest hour: a cool and varied effort with heavy riffs and rough angry vocals. Even the slower more melodic tracks ("Balance Of Society") are well done with a slight hardcore edge. The only annoyance is the soft punk-ish "Mortal Days" which very undeservedly carries the album title, which would better suit the speedy thrash/crossover delight "Killed By Myself", or the nice pounding closer in the Vio-Lence vein "The Cage". On later releases there is a lot of experimentation with the modern 90's sound including quite a few moments outside the thrash metal grasp.
"Shi" is the comeback album for the band, but in this case it the guys have turned to modern semi-technical post-thrash, and have managed to come up with an original, offbeat work. This is an eclectic affair which shouldn't be a surprise coming out of Japan, and at times this album even touches the twisted histrionics of their compatriots Doom: the hallucinogenic hectic "Ikomiki Ichi Hai", the minimalistic creeper "Ikomiki Ni An", the more aggressive puzzler "Ikomiki San Ro", the chaotic noisy experiments on the closing "Ikomiki Shi Sin". It sounds like an entirely new beginning for the band which at this stage sees them joining the less conventional echelons of the metal scene with which their homeland has always been proud.

Self Defence EP, 1987
Mortal Days Full-length, 1989
Protest And Resistance Full-length, 1990
Fiel L)rm Full-length, 1992
Graythem...Of Chaos EP, 1994
Shi Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

SHESHINE (RUSSIA)

Brutal thrash/death metal with a very bad sound quality and even more brutal death metal vocals which come synthesized, and awfully try to scream higher to an even more frustrating effect. Otherwise the music makes sense at times being fast, intense and hectic, even managing something more technical on the closing "The Way Of Virtue" which is a very cool mazey complex track with twisted spiral-like guitars (could have been written by anoter band?).

The Way to Death Demo, 1992

SHIFT (USA)

The guys from the progressive metallers Mystic Force have hardened the course a bit on this modern alternative power/post-thrash metal offering which mixes groove with more intense thrashy ("Sins", "Gone Wrong") sections, but hardly leaves a more positive impression than the musicians' main act: it's a pretty pedestrian affair with just a few more stylish moments: the mechanical technical thrasher at the end "Without A Soul"; the abstract creepy 1-min instrumental "Choir Of The Damned". The rest is just non-engaging mid-paced to slow-ish riffs with an abrasive indistrial shade.

Creating A Monster Full-length, 2006

Official Site

SHINING VOID (ITALY)

These Italians offer modern melodic thrash which adheres to metalcore breaks, clean vocals (mixing with the main brutal death metal ones), and other equally as unimpressive tools. The overall approach is faithful to the Gothenburg school, although one would hardly come across any up-tempo passages, the guitars producing a lot of lyrical/balladic sections some of them coming with a more acceple melancholic/gothic flavour.

Origin of Your Beauty EP, 2010

Official Site

SHIT WIZARD (USA)

These "shit wizards" play rough crusty thrashcore with very brutal low-tuned death metal vocals. This is one-dimensional bashing music, but is not exactly "shit metal": the guitars can be distinguished, and the riff patterns, albeit very simple, are comprehensive and accessible.

Shit Metal EP, 2012

SHITFUCKER (USA)

Based on the "I.N.R.I - F.O.A.D." EP, this "shitty" (also "fucky") act brings the cataclysmic grindy approach of early Cryptic Slaughter mixed with abrasive moments ala Hellhammer; a very contrasting blend as a whole, and if it wasn't for the awful sound quality one may have enjoyed this stuff more, especially the atmospheric doomy closer "Cloned Sheep for Butchery" which comes pleasantly industrialized in a way not too dissimilar to Godflesh. Some of the musicians attempt something more thrashy and punky with Reaper.

Human Disorder EP, 2006
I.N.R.I - F.O.A.D. EP, 2008

My Space

SHITKILL (USA)

The silly name hides a decently executed take on the old school thrash which borrows from Slayer's heavier period (1988/90) including the impersonation of Tom Araya done by the singer who is a dead ringer for his renowned compatriot, and a fairly good one at that. The sound becomes more modern in the 2nd half where some proto-groove sneaks in the songs getting heavier again reflecting Slayer's more recent "modern" period. The steam-rolling nature of some of those tracks is admirable ("Human Spirit") even coming with a few more dynamic headbanging riffs with a deathy tinge, but generally the focus is on squashing volcanic riff-patterns without too much variation.

ShitKIll Full-Length, 2011

SHIT FOR BRAINS (GERMANY)

The "shitty" name may have been an obstacle for the band to find wider audience, despite the presence of Matthias Hechler: the guitarst who is a full-time member of the German gothic masters Crematory. Based on "Vortex Cordis", these guys pull out competent modern technical thrash, quite close to the French one-album-wonder Aleister. On the more inspired moments the sound also recalls their compatriots Depressive Age: the awesome progressive thrasher "Bloodmoney". The band sometimes leaves the technicality behind, to concentrate on more smashing riffage: "Playing God", which despite the hammering guitars can still be defined as semi-technical. Other tracks are considerably slower, still quite technical, bordering on doom: "Global Assessment Score". The vocal variety is quite big: we have main hardcore-ish shouts as well as occasional clean ones in the vein of Jan Lubitzki (Depressive Age), semi-clean ones, and brutal death metal growls. The middle is occupied by a couple of shorter, less elaborate numbers which keep the intense thrashing going, without too many technical deviations. The acoustic version of the best song "Bloodmoney" ruins the pace almost beyond repair, a situation saved by the technical pounder "Septic Selves" and the aggressive explosive "Recoil". The closer "Me, Myself And I" is another disaster: dreamy, balladic and boring spoiling the final impression to a considerable extent leaving the listener bewildered as to what mark to give this effort.

The EP comes after a long 10-year break, but is hardly necessary, seeing the guys having lost their technical skills, or at least having forgotten them in the 90's, and they offer us bland unimpressive modern post-thrash which would have sounded outdated even 10 years ago. After hearing this, one would probably advise the band to take it easy if they plan on releasing a full-length any time soon.
The debut is another commendable achievement, at least for the most t, consisting of just 6 numbers, but they are lengthy and thought-out crossing the modern and classic school expertly creating numerous complex moments along the way. The opening "Book Of Condolence" is a heavy later-period Metallica-sque cut with a few twists and turns, but "Playing God" is a fast technical shredder with echoes of Coroner and Deathrow. "Act of Grace" is more laid-back with very good bass support and is more on the avantgarde side with the eclectic decisions and the choppy main rhythm. "Subsonic Friction" is also more on the slower half of the spectre the heavy riffage from the beginning brought to the fore again with a few funky variations dispersed. "Recoil" is dramatic progressive thrash with skles of speed and a fairly intense ending. The final "Me, Myself and I" is an awkward jumpy ballad which disappoints with its uneventful delivery, and pulls this effort towards the "golden middle" of the German progressive/technical thrash metal wave from which the album is an indelible t. The follow-up is a superior, more coherent, achievement whereas here the band let their experimental spirit fly higher to mixed impressions.

Lukewarm Full-length, 1993
Vortex Cordis Full-length, 1997
My Silence EP, 2007

Official Site

SHIVER (PORTUGAL)

Based on the demo, this act pull out not bad classic thrash with brutal underground death metal vocals. The guys try hard, and the music is not completely without merits with varied tempos offered throughout, plus a few catchy melodic leads. The sound quality is quite good, and the band wisely and apltly avoid the groovy traps along the way playing with inspiration and energy.

Psycho Friend Demo, 1994
CD 2000 Full-Length, 2000

Official Site

SHOCK (RUSSIA)

A classic mix of power, thrash and speed metal with a couple of modern throwings; the tempo varies the whole time, the dominant one being mid, but interesting with different riffage on the tracks and cool attempts at less conventional melodic insertions. The bass is quite good, and the singer is not bad, either, with his levelled clean tone with a cool gruff shade reminiscent of his compatriot Mikhail Seryshev (Master).

Mir Obezlichen Full-Length, 2010

SHOCK (USA)

Cool melodic speed/thrash metal recalling Tank and mid-period Exciter ("Long Live the Loud", "Unveiling the Wicked"); although some of the song-titles are too promising: "Sonic Assault", "Full Speed Ahead", there is nothing aggressive, or too fast here. "Slashing to Live" even has a strong heavy metal (Judas Priest) flavour.

Demo Demo, 1986

SHOCKWAVE (HOLLAND)

This obscure Dutch band play thrash metal of the old school mixed with occasional modern "updates". The guitar work is good, and some of the melodic lines are simply great (check out the opener "Tears"), as well as the leads. "Why?" carries a fine technical edge, which can also be heard on the intense thrasher "Lost in Life". "M.I.A." follows with even more aggressive riffage, and "Different Colours" spices things up with modern groove and rappy vocals, amidst the raging thrashy riffs. "Someone" is a ballad which "apologizes" for the lost energy with fine up-tempo moments in the second half. "Chucky" is an odd number which wastes 2-min with just lyrical guitar play, before it introduces bad groovy sounds, which the intense thrashing that comes later can hardly save from sinking. "Reprise" is even more confusing being a short 2-min techno/electronic piece. The ending is not too impressive, either: "P.P.", which is melodic thrash/crossover, with very little to remind of the aggressive thrashing of the earlier material. A fairly uneven work as a whole, this album tries to mix as many styles as possible on a solid thrash metal base which, at least in the 1st half, delivers the goods no worse than the latest offerings of Slayer and Sepultura from the same time.

Lost In Life Full-length, 1994

SHOCK BOX (USA)

Based on the demo, this act provides mellow post-thrash with playful heavy/power metal overtones: think Skid Row and early Laaz Rockit. Don't get pulled back: this is dynamic music graced by cool attached clean semi-clean vocals ala David Wayne (R.I.P.) also bringing some punk-ish aesthetics due to the simplistic, carefree execution.

Damned Demo, 1993
Droppin The Bomb Full-length, 1995

Official Site

SHOCK TROOPERS (ITALY)

Based on the 2006 promo, this is well-executed fast-paced thrash/crossover, clearly old school, recalling quite a few veterans from the 80's scene: Slayer, Nuclear Assault, D.R.I., Razor.
"Blades and Rods": a nice shredding Oriental-tinged intro welcomes you into this entertaining thrash/crossover affair which this time comes served with a bigger doze of melody without stifling the hard riffage. The music is predominantly fast with Slayer touched on the more aggressive ts with ease ("Vice", "Road Thrash"). Jolly speedy crossover numbers will one find aplenty here assisted by gruff semi-hardcore, but comprehensive, vocals akin to Bob Reid (Razor).

Bad Reality Demo, 2004
Promo Demo, 2006
Shock Troopers Full-length, 2007
Blades and Rods Full-length, 2010

My Space

SHOOTER (SPAIN)

This is industrial post-thrash with suggestive atmospheres and a few creepy semi-technical decisions trying to combine the hard discordant aesthetics of mid-90's Voivod with a more stripped modern thrashcore approach the combination working mostly on the longer "From The Eyes Of The Martyr" whereas on the other 2 songs ("Scars On Land" is a brooding quasi-doomy instrumental) the patterns are a bit too dragging and repetitive to strike a cord including the vocals which are harsh of the semi-shouty type, but suit the bleak landscape which needs a little to stand beside mechanical works of hopelessness like Godflesh's "Streetcleaner", for example.

Recharged Demo, 2012

SHORT SHARP SHOCK (UK)

Vintage 80's thrash/crossover, well done; the hard-hitting riffs will make you headbanging like crazy, the way 80's acts like Nuclear Assault, Sonick Plague and Blessed Death have made you to. The band's style is characterized by jolly, punk-ish atmosphere, also bringing them close to Municipal Waste at times, but the Brits' music is more aggressive and more classic-sounding.
"The Dividing Line" is another solid slab of retro thrash/crossover, but here the attitude is less serious, and the concentration is clearly on the crossover side. Still there is a lot of intense headbanging thrash to be heard: there are whole 20 tracks here, with just 3 of them passing over the 2-min line, and the tempo seldom decsends to mid, so there's no moshing lost on this one. The middle t is occupied by a few more laid-back crossovers ala Suicidal Tendencies for the guys to take a break, and continue the damage. Oh, and let's not forget the closing "Unrest In The Northwest", which beats all records in terms of length, providing slightly more than 4-min of pure unadulterated thrash to wrap it up nicely.
"Problems to the Answer" is another roller-coaster of more temperate thrash/crossover, with crossover/hardcore prevalent seldom branching out in more brutal grinding ("White Bread") ts. The approach this time is fairly close to S.O.D. (their legendary debut, above all), its appeal further increased by merry-go-round power/speedsters like "Tales out of School". The last two songs are longer: "Dismantle the Dream", which is a light-hearted power/speed/crossover hybrid; and the instrumental "Strangenotes" which is a nearly 8-min extravaganza sacrificing the more dynamic thrashy beginning for a peaceful piano-driven ambient exit.

SSS EP, 2006
Short Sharp Shock Full-length, 2006
The Dividing Line Full-length, 2008
Problems to the Answer Full-length 2011

My Space

SHOTGUN CURE (CANADA)

This young trio specializes in brisk, edgy retro thrash which "courts" the Bay-Area movement with both heavy and speedy riffs supported by hoarse semi-clean vocals which hesitate between the semi-declamatory and the mean-ish singing type. "Sustainment" opens the EP in a dynamic crunchy manner with piercing, screaming leads before "Exercise This" comes thrashing down in a fast less compromising fashion, a nice reminder of Testament's heydays, with memorable hooks and cool choruses the latter slightly ruined by the singer's thin delivery. "Unswayed" takes a more serious, almost progressive, turn, still remaining dynamic and intense for the bigger part with a certain modern guitar edge at times which screams "Exodus of the new millennium". "Shotgun Cure" is a prime galloper with sharp riffs and another portion of modern, proto-groovy throw-ins in the midlle, which could have been spared this time since they simply are no match to the vigorous headbanging "surroundings" which are nice nods to early Metallica. The closing "Iron Shadow" gallops along with the mustangs from the prairies pretty much in the vein of the preceding track raising the flag of the old school high in a way no worse than "The Four Horsemen" itself; nothing off-context here this time if we exclude a very short acoustic insertion, just classic speed/thrashing shred with energetic riffage and fine melodic insertions. The guys are already well rehearsed to enter the studio for the recording of their eventual full-length: let's see how big a competition they will manage to produce to their American counterparts...
"Swarm": here comes another EP which sees the guys in a good shape once more soundig both angrier and more technical the compositions now are a tad longer with shades of the more modern movement ("Our Altered Remains"), and with less speed involved this time which can be viewed as criticism despite the more clever guitarisms involved this time. The band seem well content to stick with the shorter format, and as such their work may just sound even more appetizing based on the subtle changes incorporated with each subsequent effort.

Depravity Unleashed EP, 2011
Swarm EP, 2014

My Space

SHOW NO MERCY (USA)

Don't expect aggressive thrash ala Slayer, hopes raised by the band name: this is thrash/crossover with a certain modern edge, and elements of groove; quite fast and intense at times ("Cities of the Red Night"), at times slower with shades of stoner/doom ("Death is My Religion").

Death Is My Religion EP, 2007

My Space

SHOW YOUR FACE (GREECE)

Modern thrash/death metal which hesitates between the groovy heritage of the 90's ("Fatality") and the more intense Swedish delivery ("Innocent Cries"). There are also a couple of mid-paced smashers with good sharp riffs which seem to be the best t. The singer is a typical angry semi-shouter who doesn't impress, but is not a detriment, either.
"Apnea" is a much better-sounding record although clinging more towards the groovy heritage this inclination bearing several nice "fruit" in the beginning, like the catchy playful hit "Forgotten", or the chaotic jumpy technicaller ("Born Dead" which is technical groove at its absolute best). The 2nd half is way more stylish the band summoning their more intriguing skills to make more heads turn, first with the excellent unpredicle headbanger "Through Flames", then with the captivating progressive spaceyness of "Self Denial" and the closing "Infected" the latter a very cool melodic complexer with a few addictive melodic tunes including a final speedy portion in the spirit of later-period Death. This is a really cool effort seing the guys breaking out of the formularized "chains" taking a path of their own which would surely bring other niceties later.

Unleash Full-Length, 2011
Apnea Full-Length, 2013

SHOWER (ESTONIA)

The debut is a decent slab of technically-minded Bay-Area thrash not too far from the late-80's Metallica efforts. The guitar work is heavy, galloping and energetic on the opener "Bad Friends", and pounding and mid-paced on the next "Abandoned". The mid-tempo tone remains for a couple of numbers in the middle acquiring slight proto-modern tendencies, and it's near the end when "Mirror Man" livens up with crispy dynamic riffage. Still, the end is kind of underwhelming bringing back the stomp even adhering to blues/ballad on the sleepy closer "Blues Form".

"Humiliator" mixes both trends again, but is the better and the more classically-oriented listen. It begins in a sure-handed energetic manner with the mid-paced instrumental "Wizard`s Circle", but moves onto more hard-hitting and faster semi-technical thrash on "Deep in Lies". "Kingdom of Darkness" slows down being a slightly clumsy semi-ballad, and "Cruelty For Fairiness" does little to bring back the sharpness thrashing in a jolly crossover fashion. Things look brighter once again with the brisker, albeit still more mid-tempo, "Familiar Strangers", and it's "Humiliator" which finally reminds of the Metallica-influenced numbers from the debut with its heavy technical riffage and faster rhythms. "Wounded Wolves" can safely be put in the same camp although it offers a more optimistic sound not far from 80's Anthrax, and will remind you of the "Spreading the Disease" opener "A.I.R.". "Midnight Date" closes the album in a more sleepy melodic way, but the sound fits better the mid-levelled semi-clean vocals which cling between Mike Muir and Daniel ''Dan'' Clements (Excel).

Brain Piracy Full-length, 1990
Humiliator Full-length, 1992

Fan Site

SHRAPNEL (AUSTRALIA, Brisbane)

A 4-track demo of classic speed/thrash along the lines of the Whiplash debut with a shade of American power metal: the closing moments from "Rotham's Fire", which is an otherwise a blistering speedy number, with a good sense of melody shown by the guitar players in the form of a couple of really nice melodic hooks and leads. The guitar sound is a bit muddy, and the singer is not a very big asset with his low-tuned semi-whispered delivery which adds a sinister note to the proceedings, but could hardly be called singing.

Bogan Thrash Attack Demo, 2008

My Space

SHRAPNEL (AUSTRALIA, Perth)

Members of the black metallers Dybbuk have decided to give a more speed/thrashy twist to their raw primal black metal sound, and this album offers exactly this: an intense classic mix of black and thrash metal crossing early Bathory with the more speedy aesthetics of acts like Toxic Holocaust and Alastor (Portugal): check out the perennial speedster "Trample The Altar". This is entertaining fast music ably supported by vicious black-ish vocals and good short leads of the screaming type. The final "The Power Is Mine" is 8-min of more atmospheric semi-epic black/thrash ala early Enslaved.

Hellbound Full-length, 2010

My Space

SHRAPNEL (INDIA)

A modern laid-back blend of power and thrash metal with gothic overtones the latter recalling mid-period Lake of Tears. The tempo is mid for most of the time, and the guitar work is a bit repetitive, pretty melodic contrasting to the gruff semi-death metal vocals, which are comprehensible again reminding of the ones of Daniel Brennare (Lake of Tears) which he used on the early albums.

Intellectual Pursuit Full-length, 2004

My Space

SHRAPNEL (UK)

Fast headbanging retro thrash is offered here with Slayer the prime target for worship; well done, a non-stop moshfest with direct lashing riffs and slightly unsuile hardcore-ish vocals. The guys are not strangers to more melodic hooks ("No Saviours"), but most of the time you'll be worried about your neck (and even tooth fillings), especially on the brutal mosher "Surgeon" at the end.
"The Virus Conspires" is a full-on attack from the get-go the band thrashing like demented all the way through, the modern production boosting the guitars to the point of literally cutting the listener. The speedy crescendos come from all sides at times more aggressive ("Braindead") on the edge of proto-deathiness, at others served in a more elaborate fashion ("The Virus Conspires"). "Red Terror" is a sock-blower, a rapidfire shooter which will recall "Reign in Blood" in many nostalgic ways, and will also bring other vitriolic cuts after it, like "The Watchers". The voclas are not as hardcore-tinged, and will remind you of Tom Araya, all his periods.

No Saviours EP, 2009
The Devastation to Come EP, 2010
The Virus Conspires Full-length, 2014

My Space

SHRAPNELL (USA)

Catchy groovy post-thrash which is comforly jumpy and heavy with several nice virtuoso lead sections and not bad attached semi-cean vocals. Things get a bit more serious at times (the thrashing dramatizer "I Don't Give", the galloping speed/thrashing bomb "Pure Hell" with echoes of Scorpions' "He's a Woman, She's a Man") and they elevate this effort on a higher level. The sound quality is also quite clear and it's a wonder why this act never went above the underground level provided that they played a very fashionable, and fairly comptetent, at the time brand of music.

Shrapnell Demo, 1994

Demo Download

SHREDDER (USA)

The 1st demo: 4 songs of speed/power/thrash metal akin to Destructor and Sentinel Beast; the tempo is energetic and up with the exception of "Vegele Soup" which is strictly for "vegeles only" being a boring heavy stomper.
The 2nd demo: the band continue the classic "carnage" unperturbed by the modern vogues, but the musicianship is not on a very high level brutalizing the environment beyond repair with the proto-grind "atrocity" "Demolished Illusions". The speed/thrashy aesthetics is still here, but it's clear that the band are unsure as to which direction to follow during those "dark" uncertain times.

Demo Demo, 1989
Demo Demo, 1993

SHREDDING CONSEQUENCES (MEXICO)

The workaholic Carlos Garcia (also Makina, Acrostic, Gothic, among other acts) tries his hands on more classic-sounding thrash which may remind you of Kreator of the new millennium with a boosting modern production. The guys se no speed, and the guitar work is crisp and sharp topped by more aggressive death metal vocals of the higher type. When the sound gets slower ("Chaos Monger Madness"), the guitars take a more technical turn, although to these ears the straight-ahead thrashers ("You Make Me Sick", "Worlderness") deliver better. "Profit Anarchy" is a really good hectic technical thrasher in a good tempo, but this is the only moment when the "shredding" can really lead to some "consequences", and tially on the somewhat chaotic closer "Revenge", which disappoints in the 2nd half, pulling out a slow groovy/industrialized passage where the vocals become too rending and hysterical. For the good guitar work thanks should also be given to the female guitarist Rene, who ably helps Garcia.

Against The Corporate World!!! Full-length, 2008

Official Site

SHREDDING THE ENVELOPE (USA)

One man is responsible for the music here, the name Dave Reffett, assisted by a pleiad of guest stars among whom are Glen Drover (Eidolon), the omnipresent Chris Poland, George Lynch (Dokken, Lynch Mob), the guitar virtuoso Joe Stump (also Holy Hell). So what have these guys mixed here: cool classic power/thrash which starts mildly with the feelgood anthem "Caravan of Cannibals", before "Standstill and Scream" starts thrashing with ultra-heaviness and a very fast proto-death laced intro and outro. Later on both trends are mixed, as the headbangers will be delighted to hear 8-min of pure unadulterated blitzkrieg thrash in a constant fast pace on the closing "Shredding the Envelope". The more romantically-inclined will find their favourite in "I Just Don't Want To Say Goodbye", a bluesy ballad with good heavy guitars. The rest is of the heavy mid-tempo variety with "Ruby Avalanche, Red Flood" worth mentioning with its lively speedy breaks.

The Call of the Flames Full-length, 2009

My Space

SHREDEAD METAL (USA)

This act serve heavy sludgy post-thrash which doesn't hide its fascination with the doom metal cohorts as well as the more crunchy side of the 80's American metal scene: check out the catchy power/thrasher "Behind the Mask". Those dynamics are seldom encountered later on: "Block Out the Sun" is a short hardcore-ish "exploder" leading a short string of similar numbers, but generally the guys are deeper engrossed in the sludge/doom metal idea the deep gruff semi-shouty synthesized singer suiting every shade the music has without showing too many singing skills.

Behind the Mask Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

SHREDHEAD (ISRAEL)

Modern thrash of the aggro-type meets thrashcore supported by throaty death metal vocals. The music is varied, moving from all-out headbangers ("Knife In A Gun Fight") to more moderate, more serious, numbers ("Rise", which is not a Pantera cover). This is all adequately done, but the workmanlike approach and the numerous cliches used throughout will hardly make this effort the fans' favourite.

Human Nature Full-length, 2011

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SHREDNEKK (SWEDEN)

These Swedish newcomers pull out modern semi-technical thrash/post-thrash which at times "shreds" with power ("Sacred iah"), at others indulges in pure epic doom ("Concrete Garden"). Still, the adherence is to thrash for most of the time, and "I Am Anarchist" is a prime headbanger ala Dew-Scented with a ncie semi-balladic outro. Unfortunately, there is a number of groovy fillers as well as other attempts at doom metal (the overlong title-track) which are a bit too many as a finishing touch.

The Suicide Tribe Full-Length, 2014

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SHRINE (PORTUGAL)

Fairly good classic thrash metal with a dark atmosphere, recalling Deathwish (but more technical), or the French Witches; the album starts with the chaotic, aggressive "Luminous Green" which sounds as though at any moment the sound will turn to death metal. But no: "The Masonry" bashes aggressively as well, but the stylish bass implements and the clever technical sections strictly belong to the thrash metal camp: check out the marvellous melodic hook at the end. "In The Machine" slows down to almost doomy dimensions showing that this work would be quite a diverse story. Another fast-paced thrasher follows suit: "Here M. G. R.", and then the sound gest more complex and slower once again, for the intriguing technical piece "La Danse des Morts". "Ophelia Dreamed" is a fine technical thrash instrumental, easily the highlight of the album. The last song "Calcutah Plow" is not too far behind being a longer, progressive exercise in thrash, an encyclopaedia of superb, swirling riffage. A fairly good album which remains the highest achievement of the Portuguese thrash metal scene after all these years.
The unreleased album shows a shift in direction towards tad more simplistic approach the songs infused with nice Oriental touches ("Alright", "Come"). Some tracks in the middle become elongated and contain more clever arrangements ("Highest Sun", the closing instrumental atmospherer "The Forever Statue" which contains some of the most addictive hooks around) with beautiful lead sections. The sound production is a bit abrasive, and the singer now is a clear death metal semi-whisperer who doesn't interfere too much.

Perspective Full-length, 1994
Servants of the Glow Unreleased, 1996

My Space

SHUD (FRANCE)

Death/thrash metal which will remind you of early Protector, or Agressor; based on "De Profundis", this is cool music with a nice dark atmosphere rubbing shoulders with Infernal Majesty's "None Shall Defy" in this aspect, but the approach is more aggressive, frequently alternating very fast with slow passages on the longer tracks ("Light Of Knowledge"). On the shorter ones the band bash without mercy ("World Of Terror"), but the music makes sense. "Blind Fold" is quite an awkward piece, thrown in the middle, being a melodic crossover nonsense. "Emotion Machine" is also out of context being more laid-back, but at least it thrashes faster, and at the end it justifies its place here offering furious closing riffs.

More Than Death - Volume I Split, 1990
De Profundis Demo, 1990
Beyond the Real Demo, 1991
Promo 1992 Demo, 1992

SHWORCHTSECHAYE (ISRAEL)

Excellent aggressive technical death/thrash metal akin to Hellwitch; here the tempo is a bit more varied including heavier slower passages and breaks ala Atheist and Cynic; at from the vicious snarls which go with this style, one can hear a more brutal death metal growl "accompanying" them. Hopefully at from Salem, Melechesh and Orphaned Land we might soon have one more big name on the metal map from the Middle East.

14-Minute Dive EP, 2000

My Space

SIA RADIKAL (LATVIA)

This is your average post-thrash for the new generation. The music is jumpy and crunchy with the casual more clever twist, as well as the more aggressive adherence to purer thrash ("Taisnibas"). The abrasive edge of the guitars may recall some acts from the industrial scene (Swamp Terrorists, later-period Skrew, etc.); the latter disappears for the cool balladic closer "Vel Tur Ir Cels", which boasts the most proficient execution on the album.

Monokars Full-Length, 2011

SIANYDE (UK)

This is classic power/proto-thrash which comes with very buzzy guitars and good clean vocals. The band try to play it more complex, which comes for the sake of the fast sections, which are not many at all, replaced by thundering, 10-ton riffs (check out "Under Dark Skies") with a doomy flavour. It can not be termed "progressive", but the song-structures are clever despite their somewhat monotonous nature.

Under Dark Skies EP, 2011

SIAX (CZECH)

Based on the debut, these Czech purveyors pull out competent old school thrash/death metal which come sserved with an elusive semi-technical edge (the fast stylish shredder "Necrosadus") recalling mid-period Pestilence whereas on the longer material the shadow of Sepultura (think "Arise" and "Beneath the Remains", above all) is quite strong. The band mix the tempos so there's no boredom to be witnessed despite the not very eventful delivery which only drags for a bit on the overlong "Fist Of Pestilence". The vocalist is a semi-shouty death metaller with a comprehensive and forceful approach.

Inquisition Full-length, 1993
Progeria EP, 1995
Land Of Stones Full-length, 1998

Mp3 Downloads

SIBAT (PHILIPPINES)

2 songs of noisy crusty thrashcore in a constant up-tempo with buzzy guitars and monotonous shouty vocals.

Demo Demo, 2010

SICK DISTORTION (SERBIA)

Modern melodic thrash metal which mixes peaceful balladic passages with a few hard-hitting rhythms ("The Pain"), but generally this is calm mid-paced to slow stuff with shades of gothic and doom ("Kataklizma").

Sick Distortion Demo, 2007

My Space

SICK FAITH (COLOMBIA)

Based on the full-length, this act play some "sick", but also "faithful" modern-ish thrash which rips the air with razor-sharp guitars, swirling fast tempos, and forceful shouty vocals. There is room for melodic deviations, of course, and the overall approach recalls more recent Kreator quite a bit: check out the progresive speed/thrashing "symphony" "Tyrannical Government Model", or the dramatic proto-galloper "Ashes Of Illusions". Direct fierce thrashers like "Forgotten Humanity" and "Killing Scorn" deliver the goods no worse, and will cause numerous neck sprains worldwide. This is a cool effort with a major headbanging potential which sees a young act rising from the Andes ready to rival the more eslished names on the scene.

Agents of War EP, 2012
Blinded Nation Full-length, 2013

Official Site

SICK FROM HATE (USA)

This is aggressive thrash/proto-death which is more than just senseless bash the guys managing to produce something not very far from the Sadus debut with a bigger emphasis on death metal perhaps (yes, no kidding!). The ultra-fast downpour gets under control on the dark stomper "Nightmares Of Death" which rhythm-section will remind you of Death's "Scream, Bloody, Gore". Three short rages follow to put these obscures in the anals of the first death metal acts and into the list of those who were destined to remain unheard. The band members also played in two other acts arounnd the same time: the only slightly less intense death/thrashers Necromansy with whom they amazed the underground with 4(!) demos released in one year (1986); and another death/thrash formation Sounds from Hell.

Demo Demo, 1987

SICK VIOLENCE (CHILE)

Classic speed/thrash metal quite close to early Whiplash and the Portuguese Alastor; so this is direct speedy stuff with vicious black-ish vocals which come unpleasantly screamy at times trying to hinder the better musical delivery. That same delivery is constantly fast, and despite the complete lack of variety, it will be a cool listen for those who enjoy retro "no-gimmicks" speed/thrash metal all the way through.

Metal Bitch Full-length, 2010

SICKLEAVE (SWEDEN)

This band manage to mix modern and classic thrash quite well on their two demos. The music stays more often in the classic camp, recalling the Brits Xentrix and Metallica. At times there is an inclusion of nice clean vocals (the semi-ballad "asite").

180 Demo, 2005
So Far, So Good, So Sickleave Demo, 2005

Official Site

SICKNESS (CHILE)

A 4-song demo which introduces raw, badly produced, mid-paced thrash wtih classic touches. The sound is really messy, and doesn't do justice the several cool calm balladic breaks. Otherwise the pace is mid with clumsy riff patterns, which also stay around at the end on the very amateurish cover of Accept's "Metal Heart", ruined in every conceivable detment, especially in the listless semi-declamatory vocal performance.

Demo Rehearsal Demo, 2005

SICOCIS (USA)

Four guys from Vegas concentrate on modern progressive thrash, which opens with the impressive orchestral intro "Preminitions". The following compositions are diverse offerings blending shrap, edgy riffs with sprawling balladic/semi-balladic passages. There is not much speed to be encountered, the closest to the headbanging ametres being the atmospheric galloping opus "Hourglass", which boasts fine Oriental motifs. On the more ambitious songs ("Corridors Within") the band show an obvious fascination with their Swedish peers Opeth, as well as a penchant for more pompous gothic arrangements (the symphonic closer "Revelations End (act 3)"). A vocal "duel" can be heard throughout, the better side being the clean side, the other being a much less expressive low-tuned guttural death metal one.

Sicocis Full-length, 2012

Official Site

SICOMOTOR (CHILE)

This is decent power/speed/thrash metal which relies on speedy, intense cuts, both in the form of short explosive ("Escupiendo Al Cemento") and longer, more thought- out ones ("Ser Chiloe"). "Sico-Sis" is a more pure thrasher, almost instrumental-only, followed by the excellent speed metal killer "Sicomotor"; the guys relaxing on the closing "Ya No Estan", which is more moderate power metal. The singer is in the semi-clean registers, having a cool mid-ranged pitch with a gruff, drunken shade.

Majando La Isla Full-Length, 2011

SIDE EFFECTZ (BRAZIL)

Thrash, death metal and grindcore come together on this album mixed in almost equal dozes. This is actually an entertaining listen with short 1.5- 2min songs where fast blast-beats alternate with thrashy riffs of the classic school. The vocals are strictly in the brutal death metal camp. Although the ultra-fast aggressive sections take a considerable place here, they are not annoying, and nicely go along with the energetic thrashy ones.

Traitors Execution Full-length, 2002

My Space

SIDER (BULGARIA)

An excellent obscure entry into the progressive thrash metal genre; this is also quite energetic speedy music which suits well the long (8-9min) compositions which never drag because of that. To come the guys' (and a girl) approach would not be very easy since there are elements of the 90's power/speed metal wave present as well, plus a cool, albeit overdone at times, presence of keyboards. The music shares some of the progressive semi-epic qualities of the Swedish scene of around the same time (the last Hexenhaus album, Pathos, Abstrakt Algebra, Memento Mori, etc.) when it slows down, but thrash metal is much wider covered, even on the slowest compositions: the mid-tempo shredder "Room of Dreams". The 10-min opus "Metamorphoses of Emptiness" is a pensive doomy track with balladic elements, and kind of doesn't fit into the much more dynamic picture very well; could have been well viewed as a leftover from an Abstrakt Algebra, or a late 90's Candlemass album. "Realised Insanity" restores the faith big time right after that offering heavy thrashy riffs on a dramatic keyboard background. Another monumental 10-min effort follows suit: "Edge of Absurd", which is way more satisfying than the previous one providing complex twisted riffs on a heavy steam-rolling base; please, ignore the exiting quirky funky rhythms near the end. "Dying World" is a standout technical speed/thrasher, a fast intense number, before the closing "Faith" smashes you with another 10-min portion of thought-out progressive thrash, quite speedy at times as well, the latter tendencies creating a very nice contrast to the dreamy semi- balladic passages. The singer is not bad at all, singing in a calm mid-paced tone, seldom changing the pitch, but sounding well attached and emotional recalling the last Hexenhaus vocalist Thomas Lyon.

Labyrinth Full-Length, 1997

SIDEBLAST (FRANCE)

A fast and aggressive blend of thrash and death metal staying closer to death metal most of the time; there are quite a few cool thrashy riffs, but they get mixed with even more blast-beats (maybe to justify the band name?), and this might pull back the regular thrash fan. Some clever, technical play ala Morbid Angel could be heard here and there, but the guys' desire to play as fast as possible leave the technical attempts somewhat unfinished, although some of them deliver the goods: "Flight of a Moth". The bonus track is an interesting semi-technical death metal cover version of Sepultura's "Arise".

Flight of a Moth Full-length, 2007

Official Site

SIDIUS (HOLLAND)

Based on the single, this is cool technical thrash/death metal of the modern type. At their best the guys reach Morbid Angel and even Suffocation, but their willingness to insert as many super-fast blast-beating sections as possible ruins the impression a bit. Still tracks like the jumpy twisting "Thrown Back" and the excellent longer technical death/thrasher at the end "The Unexpected" are nice takes on quality aggressive technical metal.

Obsessed By Darkness Demo, 2002
The Devourment Single, 2005

Official Site

SIEGED MIND (RUSSIA)

Based on the "Restless" demo: these guys pull out first-class technical power/thrash/death metal along the lines of late period Death and Chuck Schuldiner's (R.I.P.) side-project Control Denied. The vocals are strictly in the death metal camp (with rare inclusions of semi-clean, doomy ones), but the music is closer to thrash, and even power/speed at times. The guitar melodies are quite nice, and slightly overshadow the technical riffage, but this is hardly a complaint. There is no much aggression involved, but the tempo is energetic, interrupted by slower, atmospheric passages, graced by great lead guitar work. "Restless Time" will remind you of Death's "Destiny" from "Individual Thought Patterns". "My Way" is a cool, more quiet instrumental with power/epic sections, after which the demo loses its both aggressive and technical edge, ending with the cool melodic, progressive power/thrash metal opus "Edge of Pain".

"Emptiness" is a brilliant debut in the best tradition of later period Death. The sound quality is muddier than the one on "Restless" (surprisingly!; that same demo was later re-released as the full-length "Eternal" in 2005)), but this is not a big detraction for one to hear some great technical riffs and nice melodic hooks. The guys try to keep an energetic tempo throughout, and admirably succeed. The singer does a good job with his gruff delivery, similar to the early Schuldiner (R.I.P.) vocals. The lead work is also good, but is a bit uneven, on some songs hitting the top ("Thoghts Of Wisemen", "Revelation"), on others shorter, and not that striking. Watch out for the technical masterpiece "Emptiness", which at from the smashing technical riffs is graced by a marvellous balladic interlude. The closing "Revelation" is a more ambitious turn to progressive song-writing, and here one can hear superb more melodic hooks, as well as Gothenburg-styled guitar "duels" ala Dark Tranquillity.
"Lost Life In Evidence" is vintage Death again, but sounds surprisingly aggressive and closer to the Americans' earlier period citing "Human" in terms of both music and lyrical content. The opening "It Became an Evernight Sensation" is an aggressive slab of abrasive technicality also coming from the slightly thin guitar sound, followed by the short lead instrumental "...In Evidence". The leads are in top form for the next "Lost Life" which is a fine speedster of a more straight-forward nature. "Mortal Illusions" is a return to a more technical ground by preserving the speed, but the technical prowess reaches the top on the hallucinogenic "Drowning in Madness" which is a sweeping labyrinthine piece with a nice doomy ending. "A Matter of Principle" is not too far behind relying more on stylish semi-Oriental melodic hooks, speedy passages and escalating dramatic sections in a way not far from "Low Life" from "Spiritual Healing". The end is another delight for the Death fans: a very cool cover of "Leprosy" with an added technical boost.
The band members are keeping themselves busier with their other project: the gothic/doom metal act Forgive-Me-Not with whom they already have 6 full-lengths released.

Emptiness Full-length, 1995
Restless Demo, 1998
Lost Life In Evidence Full-length, 2000
Eternal... Full-length, 2005

SIEGES EVEN (GERMANY)

This Sieges Even album would be of only interest to thrash metal fans. "Life Cycle" up to this point remains the best Watchtower-worship, even surpassing the Americans at times, and is a masterpiece of progressive/thrash metal. There is a lot to hear here, the riffs swirl and turn in the most unexpected directions, bordering on absurdity on the most twisted sections, interrupted by great atmospheric, quiet passages. The guys do not forget to throw more straight- forward moments for the headbangers, and here come the blistering "Apocalyptic Disposition", which is still accompanied by more complex riffage, and great melodic leads. "The Roads to Iliad" is one of the greatest instrumentals in metal history, a feast of technical guitar wizardry seldom equalled even by the best Shrapnel performers. With this one actually ends the lighter t of the album, as the next two songs are longer, and more elaborate, with more loose, almost jazz-like structures, especially the multi-layered 13-min long magnum opus "Straggler From Atlantis", which is a small album in itself, with the many time changes and numerous melodies and riffs included. The clean, high vocals are an acquired taste, although they never go for the very high tones, and sound as a mix between Alan Tecchio and John Arch. This phenomenal album, along with same year's Deathrow's "Deception Ignored", put technical/progressive thrash on a very high level, and has been a big influence on later practitioners of the genre: Helstar ("Nosferatu", James Rivera's Vigilante), Psychotic Waltz, Skeptic Sense, Mind-Ashes, etc. Having reached their creative peak with their very first effort, Sieges Even could do nothing else, but change their style, in their case into progressive rock/metal, still quite good, but of no interest to thrash metal fans.
The demo is already on a sky-high level with its inspired complex delivery which is evident from the opener "Kristallnacht" which is a prime shredder in coverign a wide range of paces, and the professionalism of the guys is hide to hinder although the very messy production and the hissing guitars do their best to obstruct the proceedings. "Tell-Tale Heart" exudes plenty of dramatism on a swirling pounding base which almost reaches proto-death dramatism, among other mind-shattering musical "excursions". "Enigma/Traveling Through Time" are 2 compositions entwined together to create some of the finest moments on the whole progressive metal scene: a progressive thrash opera second to none, this is a textbook for all practitioners of all that is called technical and elaborate in music. "Unknown" is a macabre brutal piece again with more overt tones of proto-death, a more immediate cut with a few vitriolic puzzling passages to boggle the mind further. The voice of Franz Herde at this stage is still thin and not very rehearsed, his higher attempts sounding quite laughable reminding of early Warrel Dane. After hearing this, one shouldn't be surprised at the grandiosity which "Life Cycles" turned out to be.

Demo Demo, 1987
Life Cycle Full-length, 1988

Official Site

SIFILIS (PORTUGAL)

Playful modern post-thrash borrowing heavily from Flotsam & Jetsam's mid-90's period, finished with an entertaining crossover cover of the Megadeth hit "Pece Sells...", done in a more optimistic melodic manner, with the bad punky vocals an obstruction to the jolly uplifting riffs.

The Slay Begins Demo, 1997

Official Site

SIGHTLESS (FINLAND)

A good mixture of brutal classic death metal and thrash with a two-vocal assault: one a deep growl, the other higher-pitched, resembling a more hysterical Mille Petrozza. Probably to increase their appeal, the guys insert melodic guitar lines from the Swedish school from time to time.

Withered Garden Demo, 2001
Promo Demo, 2004
Recrucify Demo, 2005

Official Site

SIGHTS SET AT MIDNIGHT (USA)

Based on the full-length, this is typical modern thrash/death metal which, when fast, is a decent slab of headbanging music, but there are numerous slower metalcore breaks, some of them accompanied by weak clean vocals, which still are better than the even weaker shouty hardcore main ones.

Sights Set at Midnight EP, 2008
Bloodlines Full-length, 2009

My Space

SIGMA (CHILE)

Based on "Mortales Moshers", these Chileans play classic thrash/crossover with more concentration on the thrashy aspect, also offering slower heavy tracks ("Humanidad Caotica", "Cambio De Sistema"), but the odd grindcore number is just around the corner: "Fuck Cop", as well as the hardcore joy "Slam More". The rest is heads-down thrash, tially ruined by the fuzzy guitar sound, and the slightly strained hardcore vocals.
"Viene En Mascre" clings between the more aggressive approach of early Prong and Cryptic Slaughter, and the more playful delivery of early Ratos de Porao. Some thrash heights are reached on the cool headbanger "You Are A Worm (Cover Betrayed)", which betrays the band's formula of short direct tracks, and boldly thrashes for more than 6-min, mostly in mid-tempo, with heavy crushing riffs.

Mortales Moshers Full-Length, 2001
Viene En Mascre Full-Length, 2002

SIGN OF EVIL (ITALY)

"Venom Metal" this is indeed, although the guys speed up to thrash/crossover dimensions at times ("Rape Me In Hell (With Werewolf From Kult)"), but for most of the time this is a competently done Venom-worship sustained in a more energetic manner, kind of recalling the Brits' more expressively thrashy period ("Prime Evil", "Temples of Ice"), topped by very cool high-strung clean vocals with a dramatic gruff blend.

Venom Metal EP, 2010

SIGNUM (ARGENTINA)

Decent modern power/thrash with unsuile growling death metal vocals; the music is mid-paced and peaceful with shades of gothic, but a lot of energy occasionally emits from speedsters like "Burn This Place", which are not a very frequent phenomenon. This is professioanlly done and all, but will hardly make anyone fall in love with it.

Burn This Place Full-Length, 2010

SIGNUM MORTIS (CHILE)

Retro speed/thrash with gruff death metal vocals: some tracks come decorated with more intense death metal blasting riffs, and generally there is no lack of energy here, with only one composition descending to mid-pace: the cool melodic galloper "Libertad", which also brings the winds of modernism for a while. The rest is pretty fast stuff featuring nice sharp riffs and the odd tinge of melody akin to Rigor Mortis and early Agressor.

Sangrienta Humanidad EP, 2010

SIHIRATOR (BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA)

The "Moshus Pejgamberov" EP is 5 tracks of pretty good retro thrash with sharp vivid riffs, fast pace, and slightly unsuile gruff death metal vocals. The guys thrash with gusto and competence coming close to the "merciless" approach of the Swedes Merciless at times except for the several stomping moments ("Egzekucija Hodze") which are also quite good as well as the melodic leads, which are short, but deliver. This is a promising start which should further be extended into a full- length to finally put this European country on the metal map.
The "Mracna Strana Svjetlosti" EP is another commendable short effort, the band now seeming fully preed to hit with a longer offering soon. This is awesome speed/thrash with rough, subdued death metal vocals and very cool melodic undercurrents which are supported by a strong bass bottom. "Snovi Jednog Nevjernika" slows down with formidable pounding riffs, before turning into another raging speed/thrashy crescendo with great techical death metal shades at the end. "Udji U Moj Dzennet" is again not the fastest number in the world, at least not in the beginning, but later on develops in a merciless speedy fashion, reaching early Angel Dust heights with ease, and not without the help of more clever technical decisions, where the bass again plays an important role. The closing "Gdje Vjecno Odzvanja Tisina" starts in an imposing gothic/doomy fashion ala early Nightfall, but expect the obligatory faster sections later on, which turn into another nod to Angel Dust and all the other good speed/thrash metal practitioners from the 80's. The band shouldn't hesitate, and continue testing the soil: the time is right for a more ambitious undertaking...

A.S. Demo, 2010
Moshus Pejgamberov EP, 2010
Mracna Strana Svjetlosti EP, 2011

Official Site

SIL KHANNAZ (MALAYSIA)

Based on "Berdiri Antara Panji-Panji", these guys come up with good technical thrash/death metal which owes something to later period Death, although here the focus is more on melody rather than technicality. Still the riffs cut with technical precision on quite a few moments, and the approach in general is not fast. Swedish-styled guitars can be heard here and there, and the complexity takes bigger proportions ("Santapan Campa") here and there producing fine progressive moments. "Al-hulm Al-Araq" offers more up-tempo riffage, and "Mastica Ibni Israel" hits the top with some furious sections. After that the music takes calmer directions, but keeps the technicality on a high level. The closing "Teras Besi" is a melodic gothic track with nice soaring melodies followed by the real closer "Airmata Palastine", a short acoustic instrumental.
The debut shows the band not yet fully perfected the technical thrash/death metal formula with a sound much closer to death metal. Still this is a good effort, slightly hinting at the guys' bigger potential, on more technical tracks like "Sinner Burning...", or the excellent Pestilence-like "Legion of Damned". There is a variety here, not all songs are fast and aggressive; "Frantical Scream" is a cool mid-paced number with a gothic atmosphere. On the other hand we have short blasting tracks, like "Debauch Absorption" and "Beyond My Darkest Moment" which may cause you a headache with their ultra-fast chaotic riffs. The guitar work is on a quite high level all over, especially on the two aforementioned technical numbers, and the closing "Conception of Madness", which is a fine mix of speedy and heavy pounding riffs.
"Gerbang Kayangan" comes as a disappointment after the debut with less technical and much less aggressive guitars without many fast-paced moments. Actually the tempo is seldom really dynamic ("Debauch Absortion" is the exception), and most of the tracks evolve around atmospheric gothic moments with sce more intense outbursts ("Pendita Gila" is the other thrashy delight, but it comes too late to correct the impression).
"Bara Pawaka" is more proficient music-wise than its predecessors, but hasn't yet acquired the technical tendencies fully. So we have more standard modern thrash/death metal which livens up with the occasional highly-charged technical masterpiece: "One`s Mind", which comes in the middle, and would possibly make you go back to the beginning, just to check whether you have missed something more of the same previously; no kidding, this is perfectly crafted late-period Death worship. The Death influence is further accentuated with the Death cover "Within the Mind", very well made, followed by another nice cover version: King Diamond's "The Candle"; the vocals try at times to resemble the King, and admirably succeed. The cover version mania carries on, with a faithful interpretation of the Judas Priest's immortal hit "The Ripper"; the singer here tries to imitate the Metal God, but gives up at some point, and starts growling. The Celtic Frost's "Usurper" comes next, to crush your skull. The end is preserved for a great melodic speed/thrash/epic metal anthem, called "Samarkhand", which could be another cover, but to these ears it sounds pretty new. As a whole the guys have given us quite an amalgam, which has its good moments, albeit being in the form of songs already heard before; hey, and don't forget "One's Mind": this song alone will make you cry.

Conception of Madness Full-length, 1993
Pendita Gila EP, 1995
Gerbang Kayangan Full-length, 1997
Bara Pawaka Full-length, 2000
Darah Muda Full-length, 2003
Berdiri Antara Panji-Panji Full-length, 2006

My Space

SILA UDARA (RUSSIA)

Pretty decent classic thrash/crossover with a few more modern gimmicks inserted, as well as several more frank hardcore sections. The tempo moves from mid to up the whole time, and the songs' length increases with the passage of time, reaching much more complex, almost progressive, dimensions towards the end with a certain number of laid-back, balladic passages present, and the album consequently losing its crossover spirit, with only the hoarse, but clean and froceful, vocals reminding of it.

Sila Udara Full-Length, 2011

SILENCE (FRANCE)

This progressive rock outfit started their career with this excellent slab of power/thrash-oriented, all-instrumental shred which mixes hard, razor-sharp riffs with beautiful atmospheric passages, and the obligatory lead ts, the latter carrying a lot of melody, producing some of the most addictive tunes of recent times, comprising brilliant spiral-like cuts recalling the great Tom Scholz (Boston) with its characteristic blend of melody and technicality. There is a fair balance achieved between the riff and lead sections, the former being really sharp and intense with a shade of industrial at times, except on the several short balladic pieces, where the influence of Yngwie Malmsteen is pretty obvious (remember "Crying" from "Trilogy") in a good way. There are not any show-offy sections, and the compositions are not very long, all wrappped in a calming atmospheric "veil", which is aptly supported by the cool, unobtrusive keyboard background. Later the band took a much more melodic direction, releasing 4 more albums of solid progressive metal/AOR.

The Fifth Season Full-length 1997

Official Site

SILENCE (USA)

In the early 90's quality albums like this probably made people think that thrash metal would never fall from grace. The music on display is both stomping and fast, more on the faster side, the songs are long, the highlight being the 10-min very diverse "Necromantic", but the band manage to keep them interesting, not without the help of some interesting leads: check out the opener "Vision". "Voice of the iah" starts as a ballad, and one wouldn't bother too much, if it had stayed this way, since it's really good, but the guys have other plans, and what follows is some stupendous fast-paced thrash which will keep you headbanging throughout the whole 6-min. Late 80's Metallica might be a good reference point, as well as Anthrax's best period (1986-1990). The band spice things up with some shorter, more immediate thrashers, too ("Pitbull", "Death by Womba").

Vision Full-length, 1990

SILENCER (USA)

The compilation "Found On The Sun" features a fine multi-faced collection of tracks; the 1st half provides good headbanging thrash, with tracks like "Apollocide" and "The Bruising Beast" being sure-handed thrash winners. "Structures" is a fine, adox-like speed/thrasher; "This Mystic Image" is a cool mid-paced power metal number, suggesting at the other side of the band's style to come soon. "Cold War" is a long track, with an epic flair, mixing power, speed and thrash in a way no worse than the Danes Manticora. "Megalith" brings back the intense thrashing, but this time with a genuine technical edge. "Wrathchild" is, yes-you guessed right, an Iron Maiden cover, which is followed by a couple of live songs, which are clearly in the power/speed metal camp, with no traces of thrash. "Kozmos" comes with full force, being another smashing thrash metal number, with some stupendous leads. "Missing Hope" is a heavy ballad, followed by another speed/thrash assault: "Industrial Command" (no traces of industrial here). The last song "Morning Star" is a cool mid-paced power/thrasher, stylishly ending this cool diverse compilation.
Their last (and present) period is the most disappointing: "Death Of Awe" is unimpressive modern death/thrash metal sounding like anyone else out there.
"Divisions" is again your pretty average modern thrash, this time containing no shades of death metal, except for the gruff vocals. The tempo is not as dynamic, and there are just a few more up-tempo moments (the dry "D.E.A.T.H.R.A.Y."; the cool headbangers "Betrayal and Massacre: An Overture to Germania" and "Suppressor"). The rest is uneventful proto-groovy stuff with no highlights whatsoever.
"The Great Bear" is an oddity which many fans will simply discard as the next flop by a once hopeful band. The truth is that although this is hardly a masterpiece, this strange effort has something to offer with its offbeat progressive approach which blends power, a bit of thrash, post-thrash, and groove to a diverse, and at times not very easy to get into amalgam which revolves (lyric-wise) around the US/Russian competition for the conquest of space in the 1960's/1970's. So expect numerous samples, interludes, and even the Russian national hymn as a finishing touch to this ambitious, but flawed release which sees the band taking a U-turn from their conventional more recent modern thrash/death past into a not very well trodden path. At this stage things sound a bit messy here and there, and the thrash metal fan will be expecting in vain to hear some riff to bang his/her head to; but the future albums might be no-brainers if the guys manage to polish their approach and bring more focus on the composing of the actual songs.

Kozmos EP, 2000
Black Flames And Burning Worlds Split, 2001
Structures EP, 2002
Found On The Sun Best of/Compilation, 2003
Death Of Awe Full-length, 2005
Divisions Full-length, 2009
The Great Bear Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

SILENT AVENGER (CZECH)

This is melodic thrash with epic overtones; the sound clings between the classic and the modern school, and develops in a peaceful calm tone with numerous melodic "ornamentations" and the odd galloping rhythm the latter "killed" by the several balladic interludes which are not bad, by the way, and are assisted by very good lead guitar work. The main problem is that the music may tire the listener with its reluctance to speed up and its somewhat repetitive nature, a situation tly saved by the stylish keyboard insertions which should have been more. The singer merges with the music singing in a sleepy one-dimensional fashion without ever breaking his clean mid-ranged tone.

Ke Hvezd~m Full-length, 2010

Official Site

SILENT CIVILIAN (USA)

Modern thrash, not miles away from Trivium and the likes; these guys here adhere more often to other genres, breaking the otherwise biting, energetic sound of the guitars, and the clean vocal interruptions are not as appropriate as the ones on the works of the aforementioned band.

Rebirth of the Temple Full-length, 2006

Official Site

SILENT DARKNESS (USA)

This band refused to lay the banner of classic thrash to rest, and this obscure effort is a faithful tribute to all things old school sustained in a consistent heavy mid-pace with a volcanic bass bottom and a bit underwhelming, not very clearly heard, semi-clean vocals. "We The People" at the end turns to more intense headbanging thrash for a change and wins.

Dementia Demo, 1992

Official Site

SILENT DECAY (GERMANY)

Modern power/thrash metal which has it all: catchy melodic guitar lines, groove, balladic passages, even smells metalcore at times. The classic thrash metal fan will not be fascinated, especially when he hears that there is this annoying mixture of hardcore-ish and clean vocals, which every third contemporary metal act uses.

The Pain Of Creation Full-Length, 2007

SILENT DISASTER (TURKEY)

Cool modern power/thrash with a heavy crushing rhythm section, good mid-pace, and two nice attempts at more classic-sounding headbanging stuff: "Fight In My Mind" and "Red and Gold". The leads are really good, but the vocals are not very suile, being gruff semi-death metal ones.

And The Earth Is Blind EP, 2009

My Space

SILENT EYE (SOUTH KOREA)

Based on "Hell Hound", these guys pull out good power/thrash of the old school. "Golgotha" is a nice headbanging opener, followed by the more melodic, but faster "Hell Hound", where cool melodic guitars are thrown in. The melody takes the upper hand later on, but the thrashy riffs remain on most of the songs, like the excellent machine gun-like "Crush Into The Fate", the killing intense technical thrasher "Anubis": a riff-fest at its absolute finest, the highlight of the whole album. The peak being reached with this one, the band settle for a more laid-back power/speed/thrash metal mix which still produces very good results: the keyboard-driven speed metal bomb "Tears", and the great closing "Nll": another speed metal track graced by great leads and a nice chorus.
The debut is closer related to thrash, and is the better work, displayed early with the smashing opener "Fear Of Abyss". "Buried Soul In The Castle Wall" is a slower stomping power/thrasher, followed by a very good original cover of Iron Maiden's "Hallowed Be Thy Name", including nice angelic female vocals in the beginning. The better is yet to come, though, with "Land Of Dead": a brilliant speed/thrashing number, the speed metal killer "Suicide By Illusion", which boasts great leads, and the magnificent intense technical thrashterpiece "Grievance". "World Of Thousand Years" starts like black metal ala Dimmu Borgir, but later the guys serve another technical thrash delight finished with a great balladic passage. "Darkness Walking Through The Hallway" starts with a long-ish bass intro, but later doesn't betray the gained technical inertia, adding more aggressive faster riffs to the proceedings, which suddenly flow into a very cool melodic quiet interlude, before speeding up admirably near the end. "Dear Jane" again misleads in the beginning starting with soaring black metal melodies, although it never switches onto thrash metal which shouldn't be a complaint, as up to this point the guys have managed to satisfy even the most capricious thrash fans, but evolves into a majestic gothic number with a symphonic touch ala Bal-Sagoth. This album could be considered one of the finest achievement of the South Korean thrash metal scene, and is also a sign that Japan might soon be overtaken by its smaller neighbour as the leading metal force in the Far East.
The self-titled EP is another strong offering, featuring 4 tracks of blistering speed/thrash, this time more melodic, staying closer to speed metal, infused with a big doze of happy keyboard melodies. The guitarists give themselves a lot of freedom in the melodic sector producing overwhelming passages, which would not have been too appropriate on the other, more riff-oriented works. The vocals are higher, quite soaring, but are well fitting into the overall more laid-back picture. This is a short lesson on how modern speed metal should sound which comes as a break for the guys between the more aggressive thrashy full-lengths.

Buried Soul In The Castle Wall Full-length, 2001
Silent Eye EP, 2003
Hell Hound Full-length, 2006

Official Site

SILENT IMAGES (SWEDEN)

3 songs of stylish technical thrash on the modern side with a few sections which betray the guys' origin. The band alternate the pace the whole time, but there is seldom a very fast passage to be encountered, the domina3t tempo being jumpy and mid. "Realpolitik" is a wild shredder lifting the mood up quite a bit even recalling Atheist's "Jupiter" in a few ways. The singer is a rending deathy growler seldom intercepted by more appropriate clean insertions. There is a lot of promise in this short effort which sees an act well equipped to march with the finest out there.

Silent Images EP, 2014

SILENT OVERDRIVE (GERMANY)

Based on the full-length: ordinary modern post-thrash with a lot of groove, clean vocals, angry basic ones, etc.; there are cool headbanging moments ("Lost Your Belief"), but they could hardly be distinguished among the much less inspired rest, unless you pay serious attention, to which the music won't lead you.

Babylon Nation EP, 2005
Disease Full-length, 2006

Official Site

SILENT SCREAM (GERMANY)

Based on the debut: interesting power/thrash with an alternative edge, a distant echo from Depressive Edge and Lost Century; the music here is less adventurous, seldom relying on speed, which is a shame, since when it's on full throttle, the results are impressive: the speed metal delight "Fallen Angel". Later on the sound favours power metal more, in a way not too dissimilar to mid-period Squealer. Near the end the guys remember to insert more intense numbers for a change: "This Is Life", and the cool varied closer "Silent Scream".

Bow Down and Pray Full-length, 1998
Serenades of Fear Full-length, 2004

Fan Site

SILENT SCREAM (USA)

The album title betrays the Slayer-influence, but this is more of a death metal album mixed with thrash. The music is pounding and heavy with a strong bass-bottom and aggressive death metal vocals which come as a mix between Chuck Schuldiner (R.I.P.) and John Tardy. The sound also recalls Death at times, especially when it introduces more melody ("From The Darkest Depths Of The Imagination"). The album has its pure direct headbanging thrashers ("Open Season"), and those which come longer, decorated with more stylish moments ("Theatre Of The Depraved"). The leads are short, and often ignored, which is a shame, since they are proficient, and are a welcome contrast to the punishing rhythm section. Near the end the guys try something more complex with the last two compositions being longer with cool semi-technical riffs, but those moments are kind of unfinished, with the band again relying more on their trade mark heavy guitar work.

From the Darkest Depths of the Imagination Full Length,1992

My Space

SILENT SCYTHE (SWEDEN)

A good power/thrash metal band whose sound is modern-ish, and at times comes quite close to Iced Earth and Mystic Prophecy, ably supported by good vocals which sound like a cross between Matt Barlow and Tim "Ripper" Owens. "Longing For Sorrow" opens like a typical modern Swedish album, with "Longing", featuring all the staples of the genre, if we exclude the very catchy chorus. "Old World Disorder" adds some groove, mixed with melodic interludes, recalling Nevermore and Iced Earth. "My Only Family (My Only Enemy)" carries on in the same vein, but is more simplistic and softer, but this is the predominant style from now on. The last song ("To Each His Own") is much longer than the rest, but doesn't betray the mid-paced power/thrash metal style witnessed previously; more intricate technical sections can be heard as well as quiet acoustic ones, but there's nothing progressive here. The actual final number is an acoustic live version of an older composition of the band ("Unknown").

Longing For Sorrow Full-length, 2003
Suffer In Silence Full-length, 2004

Official Site

SILENT STORM (RUSSIA)

The debut demo: modern thrash with atmospheric gothic overtones, with a few more aggressive outbreaks ("Psycho", which also contains a couple of more twisted technical riffs); otherwise the music is mid-paced at best with the guitars having a mechanical fuzzy sound, and the singer is hardly intelligible with his brutal low-tuned tember.
The "Blood Red" demo is a major improvement over the debut one being quite good technical/progressive thrash/death ala late-period Death and the Czechs Scenery. A couple of more aggressive blasting moments are scattered around, but the concentration is clearly on complex intriguing arrangements, clever technical riffs, varied tempos, all this nicely summed up on the good cover of Death's "Crystal Mountain" at the end.

Mental Nails Demo, 2009
Blood Red Demo, 2010

SILENT STRAIN (CANADA)

This is the band where Dave Padden (Annihilator) tries to do something outside the shadow of Mr. Jeff Waters. Whether you will like this act or not depends to a certain extent on how you feel towards Padden who is largely considered one of the weakest (if not the weakest) singers ever recruited by Waters. The music has nothing to do with Annihilator being generic modern groovy thrash mixed with some Swedish death metal elements. The musicianship is below , and Padden doesn't do much to save the day: he tries to give a more brutal edge to his voice to better suit the music reaching hardcore-heights at quite a few times, but when he unleashes the vocals he used to use on the Annihilator albums, plus more melodic ones, the final mixture is not really striking. Listening to this, one would probaly advise Padden to take it easy for the time being feeling more comforle under the "cloak" of Annihilator.

Demo Demo, 2006

Official Site

SILENT TERROR (GERMANY)

First-class technical thrash, quite unique and original; the band alternate moody, slower, but very technical passages (think the Germans Of Rytes and Coroner's "Grin" (but more aggressive)), with a few very fast moments ala Necrodeath and Atheist. The tracks are long-ish, one of them even almost hitting the 10-min mark, but there is so much happening inside that you would hardly notice that, and it definitely requires a few listens before you start fully appreciating this very complex stuff. There are also great atmospheric, acoustic sections, as well as really abstract ones (fans of Cynic's "Focus" and Pestilence's "Spheres", beware!), but the concentration is clearly on the more up-tempo, hard-hitting side. The vocals are similar to the vicious, mean snarls of Kelly Shaeffer (Atheist) (these are probably a bit more vicious); a very obscure, but highly recommended effort.

Humanity...Sold Out Demo, 1991

SILENXCE (HOL)

This album is obviously a compilation of the band's demos, the last one dating back from 1990. "Better Late Than Never", as the saying goes. Never late, though, for some more classic speed/thrash metal, and this is exactly the case here: for fans of early Angel Dust and adox these guys are a must. The album starts in a blistering, speedy way, with "Crucial Incision", a smashing speed/thrasher. "Agent Orange", which is not a Sodom cover, blasts in a similar fashion, as well as most of the other tracks which follow suit. Especially interesting is "Respect the Act", which breaks the pattern by adding some really cool Oriental hooks. The only time when the guys take a break from this intense thrashing is on the intro, and on the short melodic interlude in the middle "Infernal Ending".

Search For Distant Lights... Full-length, 2003

SILICON HEAD (HOLLAND)

Some of the guys from the death/gothic/doom metal masters Orphanage have decided here to mix the sound of their previous band with the trendy groovy approach of the time. As a result we have the 90's post-thrash style served with a heavy pinch of a heavy/doomy twist. Not bad, but the tracks are divided: some of them belong to the groovy genre, whereas others are a direct take on the Orphanage sound. Seldom do the band try to put the two sides together (the very good intense "The Conversation", the jumpy "No Direction"), which is a pity, since when that happens the album is very close to taking off. "Hear" is a masterful acoustic ballad, something which Orphanage can do better than anyone else, with a fine female vocal ticipation.

Bash Full-length, 1997

SILMERIA (FRANCE)

This French act offers modern thrash with a slight progressive twist, a nd a few more intense death metal moments (including the brutal low-tuned vocals). Except for those death metal moments, which speed up quite a bit, the rest develops in a predicle mid-pace with more quiet balladic sections springing up from time to time. There is a lot of atmosphere present in a way not far from their peers and compatriots Misanthrope, but here one will come across slower, doomy cuts ("Watchtower", the dark crusher "Quadruple Degats"). "A Lampoon To God" is a merrier hardcore-ish piece, and "Kamikazee" is an energetic modern thrasher, which influences the closing "Chtulhu F'Taghn", an aggressive death metal-laced piece with a nice balladic interlude. There are by all emans attempts at a more serious song-writing, but it seems as though the guys can't be bothered complicating their approach too much at this stage.

The Triumph Of Death (Metal?) Full-Length, 2011

SILO (USA)

This is a side-project of the technical thrash wizards Vision Purple so expect virtuoso swirls on every corner, great lead sections, and good clean vocals without too many experimentations. After the warming-up title-track comes the behemoth opus "Eggplant" which is supreme progressive thrash with puzzling riffs galore and some of the most enchanting lead passages of the late-80's. Such a masterppiece is hard to beat, but here comes "Genetic Pit" which is another brilliant piece that embraces the best from their compatriots Toxik and Realm and melds it together in a seamless symbiosis one may end up listening to over and over. This one-demo-wonder, along with the Vision Purple output, can easily pass for the the American underground scene's finest hour.
The "Too Young To Die" is a more immediate affair the guys speed/thrashing more directly with a lot of passion producing in the end some notable more progressive achievements: the opening shredding title-track. The rest is more straight-forward and shorter "The Passing" still making heads turn with its stylish hooks and twists thrown in. The Unknown track at the end is a tribute to the Bay-Area, ripping technical mid-tempo thrash with sharp cutting guitars and great leads.

Too Young To Die Demo, 1989
No One's Home Demo, 1989

SILVER CYPHER (USA)

A cool power/thrash metal debut with a dark, moody atmosphere; the music is mid-paced to up-tempo with some off-beat moments, like the 10-min epic track "Conflict In Tristram", the 1-min lead guitar performance "The Fall Of Man", and the last song with the strange title "1d3r", which has a strong alternative vibe.

Yesterday's Tomorrow Full-length, 2007

Official Site

SILVER ORIONIS (SWITZERLAND)

Silver is the alias of the guy who is behind this project. He uses modern thrash as a base for his exploits which evolve around semi-complex mid-paced riffs which grow into several long elaborate compositions, but the musicianship on thsoe is nothing special making them slightly dragging listens, especially the semi-balladic oddity "Reflection". In the 2nd half the guy infuses more atmosphere, and "The Garden" hits the right notes with its creepy rhythms and escalating dramatism. "Straight-Arrow" is the desirable more dynamic cut, and "Timelines" is another more cleverly-concocted progressive opus, but reast is just passable. Silver is not a big talent as a singer his baritone trying to capture the magic of James Hetfield, and actually succedding here and there.

Axia Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

SIMBIOZ (UKRAINE)

Based on the full-length, these Ukrainians pull out quite good technical thrash/death which is along the lines of later-period Death on the faster moments, but there are complex passages wher the guys (and a girl, the soprano vocalist who appears from time to time) unleash some awesome vortex-like riffs which also bring Atheist and Coroner to mind. On the shorter tracks the band play pure headbanging thrash without too many technical gimmicks, but most of the material is unobtrusively complex although there is no song longer than 5-min here. The musicianship all over is top-notch with very good lead guitar work accompanying the great riff-patterns well boosted by the very clear sound quality.

Sruivaiushii Teni EP, 2004
Tainui Vechnuih Snov Full-length, 2006

Official Site

SIMERIANS (ARGENTINA)

Decent classic thrash metal with with gruffer proto-death moments; first the lead guitarist shows his talents on the excellent atmospheric intro "Lugubres Presagios", before the others get involved on the varied energetic mosher "Inpolitica" which also introduces a couple of more stylish decisions, the latter further developed on the fine technical speedster "Tiempos De Guerra". "Persiguiendo a La Muerte" is a diverse 10-min opus the guys thrashing there in a more conventional mid-tempo leaving the final "damage" to an overlong balladic outro. The singer is a suile rough death metal growler similar to Mike Browning (Nocturnus).

Tiempos De Guerra Demo, 2009

SIMPLE AGGRESSION (USA)

This band's debut is one of the better thrash/funk albums around. It leaves behind the attepmts made in the genre from Re-Animator and Mordred, for example. The important thing is that these guys never forget that they are a thrash metal act above all, and the thrashy guitar dominates although the funky moments are also quite a few, but they are not annoying, and are not left without a thrash "company" like it had happened on lesser works. The music is ably supported by very good vocals, melodic ones, fitting the band's style very well; might remind you of a more hoarse version of Faith No More's Mike Patton. It is nice to hear an album in the mid- 90's "stripped" from the typical for the time groove with a nice fresh take on thrash metal.
"Gravity" "gravitates" too much towards the modern 90's trends, and has almost nothing to do with the debut music-wise being a slightly more complex version of the modern groovy metal.

Formulations in Black Full-length, 1993
Gravity Full-length, 1996

SIMULACRA (GREECE)

The line-up features Fotis: the guitarist who later joined another fine Greek act, Utmost Contempt. This is stylish dark technical thrash of the modern type, quite close to Coroner's "Grin" and Aftermath's "Eyes of Tomorrow". The riffs are quite complex and creepy, and although the band seldom speeds up, in the end one can not help, but be moved by this unique approach. The singer is not an asset, and his rending hardcore-ish shouts could be a serious obstacle to some. "Forever Angel" is quite an interesting composition, which starts in an expected sleepy very complex mode, but suddenly bursts into a fast passage, which flows into a melodic, almost crossover deviation, before it settles for the technical arrangements from the beginning. "Second God" is a minimalistic technical thrash masterpiece, also adding some more dynamic guitar work ala Coroner's "Mental Vortex". "Rapture" lasts for more than 9-min, and may be considered the downpoint here, since the band's delivery is hardly suile for such a long song, and despite a few lively moments here and there, it ends up sounding a bit boring, and on top of that the bad singer has decided here to ticipate more actively, worsening things even further. As a whole this is quite an unusual read of the modern technical thrash genre, and an obvious influence later on Utmost Contempt.

...Towards Rapture? Demo, 2000

SIN PIEDAD (ARGENTINA)

This Argentinian outfit acquit themselves with dynamic modern thrash which relies on both sharpness and melody both sides ably blended together for the production of another capable Gothenburg worship, low on originality, but high on musicianship and production qualities. Most of the tracks race with the speed of light and this is this short effort's main saving grace. The singer is a throaty semi-shouty death metaller who, despite his efforts, can't be heard very clearly at times.

Condenado a Vivir EP, 2012

Official Site

SINATE (NEW ZEALAND)

Based on "Beyond Human", this act plays intense crunchy death/thrash metal of the modern type, a dynamic affair despite the frequent nods towards the groovy scene. There is a lot of headbanging thrash to be encountered some of which comes with twisting technical sections ("One Day Closer"), some with jumpy steam-roller riffs ("Final Vision"), some with an open old school attitude ("Waiting To Die"). "Psycho Society" is a nice combination of heavy groovy and sharp speedy riffs summing up the album's influences quite well near the end, and the closer "The Last War" will rip you at with a violent grinding break in the middle.
"To the Death" is in a similar vein ripping fast'n tight riffs supported by a crisp sound quality and generally good, albeit fairly predicle, arrangements. The speedy delivery predominates, but this is hardly a complaint since this is when the band sound the most convincing except on the several blast-beating moments. The band members also have another project: 8 Foot Sativa where the style is prety similar, maybe a tad less intense.

Beyond Human Full-length, 2005
Violent Ambitions Full-length, 2006
To the Death Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

SINATHROP (HUNGARY)

This is modern post-thrash with an intriguing technical flavour. The riffs are jumpy with a dry mechanical echo reminiscent of mid-period Prong and the Canadians Obliveon. The inevile groovy "traps" are also around, and the guys don't bother circling them, but jump straight into them creating the unnecessary repetitive patterns the latter aggravated by the dry dispassionate semi-clean vocals.

Pray For God EP, 2008

Official Site

SINDONE (ITALY)

Based on the "Multiverse" EP, Sindone play an interesting brand of power/thrash metal; the sound is definitely modern, but is rich in atmosphere which brings them at times close to the gothic metal acts. The vocals are also worth mentioning: on one side we have semi-death metal ones, on the other one come the more traditional ones which sound like a more hoarse and angrier Kai Hansen. The music is mostly heavy and mid-paced, but "System Failure" speeds up respecly showing that, when necessary, these guys can thrash along with the best out there. "Proton" comes as a complete surprise, though, near the end, being a complete ambient track with no guitars or vocals, also atmospheric, but scarily non-metal. Hopefully this is just the casual offbeat song, but not a hint at some future direction taken?

Time Leave My Life Demo, 1995
A Symbol Of Power EP, 2000
Multiverse EP, 2004

Official Site

SINDROME (ARGENTINA)

Argentinian thrash metal has been witnessing a revival in the past few years with the coming of bands like Serpentor, Malicia and this one. Sindrome are the most modern sounding of the lot, with riffage not too far from the later works of the Argentinian thrash metal legends from the not so distant past Lethal. The band's music is mostly heavy and mid-paced with occasional skles of modern groovy post-thrash which are quickly buried in the predominant classic riffs. When the guys decide to speed up, they thrash with force ("Fuera De Lin", the aggressive Bay-Area-esque "Desata Tu Lo"), no worse than any other big name out there.

Sindrome Full-Length, 2006

SINDROME (USA)

This band should have had a big influence on the spawning death metal genre: their 1st demo is relentless, aggressive proto-death metal drawing comisons to Possessed's "Seven Churches" or Slaughter's "Strappado".

Into The Halls Of Extermination Demo, 1987
Vault Of Inner Conscience Demo, 1991

Official Site

SINGLE BULLET SOLUTION (USA)

Modern thrash/death metal ala Terror 2000 and Corporation 187. This fast energetic music with a good sense of melody ruined by the very deep death metal growls, and the several shifts into metalcore.

EP EP, 2009

SINGLE BULLET THEORY (USA)

Based on "IV", this band plays modern thrash with more thought-out progressive tendencies breaking the intesne approach, which relies on heavy sharp riffs and sce metalcore breaks. The longer compositions are too varied, the leads stealing the show completely there, as well as the more aggressive deathy sections ("Hands of the Wicked"). Still, the musical prowess on the 10-min instrumental "saga" "Auctioneer of Souls" should be noted, the major damage done by the very good leads again, on top of contrasting tempos and more atmospheric dramatism. "Samsara" is another more ambitious piece, combining melo-death/thrash with more moderate progressive leanings. This is not completely without merits, actually, fitting well into the already depleted NWOAHM catalogue (think Suidakra, God Forbid, Trivium).
"Route 666" is more ordinary, with an agrier and more conventional delivery, owing much to Machine Head's "The More Things Change...", consequently adhering to heavy, a bit repetitive, riff patterns with the casual faster piece ("Automatic Impulse") thrown in. "Imperfect Fit" is a more stylish technical cut, with the next "Revamp/Rebuild" sharing some of its flair with slower, almost doomy, guitars. The 2nd half as a whole is more diverse, with the more energetic melo-thrasher "Route 666", and the laid-back alternative closer "Bone Machine". The shouty vocals are an expected addition, as well as the sce metalcore leanings.

The Anatomy of Being EP, 2000
Route 666 Full-length, 2003
Behind Eyes of Hatred Full-length, 2004
On Broken Wings Full-length, 2007
IV Full-Length, 2011

Official Site

SINISTER (DENMARK)

This is stylish, at times quite wild, technical thrash/proto-death along the lines the guys' compatriots Invocator (the guitarist had played in that formation at some stage) and Atheist's "Piece of Time". Frantic fast-paced rhythms interlace with slower labyrinthine ones making each of the 3 tracks interesting eventful listens. "Boundless Delusions" spices the situation with some melodic hooks and could be viewed the highlight on this short, but quite impressive, effort. The singer is a dead ringer for Kelly Shaeffer (Atheist again), maybe a bit more strained and throaty. The band later carried on under the name Chiro Therium where the style mutated into a modern form of groovy post-thrash.

Fractions of Minority Demo, 1990

SINISTER (USA, OH)

This band's line-up included musicians who later took t in other thrash metal acts: Mystik, Metalourd, Wretch. If these guys had continued with this band, they would have probably done a better job than the one with the aforementioned ones; this is awesome speed/thrash which manages to sound quite fast, but it's in the heavy, slower numbers where the band really show their class ("The Kill", "Feeding Ground"). This is great music which will remind you of many 80's heroes: Griffin, Agent Steel, Aftermath, Helstar, Savage Grace, etc.

Demo Demo, 1988
Demo Demo, 1989

SINISTER (USA, WI)

Two demos of first-class energetic technical thrash; the guys manage to combine the intensity of Vio-lence's "Eternal Nightmare" ("The Pawn", "Sentence of Fear") with the complex riffage of bands like their compatriots Wrath, or the Dutch Mandator ("The Witch", or the brilliant technical feast "Distortions of Reality"). Everything is very well-executed here: the razor-sharp riffs, the great bass bottom, and the excellent vocals which are more forceful and aggressive on the first demo, and more melodic and higher-pitched on the second one.

Up From the Abyss Demo, 1988
Last Hope Cemetary Demo, 1989

SINISTER BLACK (USA)

A late comer on the classic 90's thrash metal scene pulling out energetic music sounding close to the Forbidden debut and even Rigor Mortis on the faster moments, but there are quite a few slower pounding sections, some of them even sounding proto-groovy at times, as well as one bland heavy rocker: "Footstep from Hell". "Roadkill" at the end will smash you with brutal proto-death riffage as though the guys were preing for entering the death metal arena which never happened.

Court of Corruption Demo, 1990

SINISTER REFLECTION (USA)

An obsure US trio providing bland insipid 90's post-thrash with hardcore, grunge, and even electronics meshed in.

Sinister Reflection Demo, 1994

SINISTRAL (USA)

Interesting progressive power/thrash which will engage you from the very first chords (the ones after the short acoustic intro) of the opening isntrumental "The Lucifer Effect", which is a labyrinth of moods and complex music on a sterile, mechanical base, reminiscent of the Dutch avantgardists Kong and the Americans Odyssey. "The Minimalist" would be a pullback to some: first, introducing the bad deathy, semi-shouty vocals; and second, decreasing the technical delivery almost to the point of disappearance. But then comes the vortex-like instrumental piece "Home Sickness", and things get back on track delivering with complex arrangements and very cool technical leads. The unimpressive vocal performance continues on the creepy dry shredder "Distancing", which works music-wise with stylish minimalistic riffs in a doomy, slow-ish pace, creating a lot of macabre atmosphere. Then arrives another all-instrumental composition, "The Letter", which is abstract modern thrash with industrial undercurrents and very good leads. "Jester" wraps it up nicely in the end, another vocal track, which is vintage early-90's Coroner, a great technical cut with serpentine swirling guitars and a few faster sections (speed is never dominant here), a dramatic number with the standout musicianship. if we exclude the not very convincing vocal delivery, the rest is top-notch technical metal which only benefits from the bigger space taken by the music.

The Lucifer Effect Demo, 2011

SINKING (FINLAND)

Groovy post-thrash quite close to the works of Machine Head mixing heavy riffage ala "Burn My Eyes" with their more melodic period. There is the obligatory "duel" between the angry vocals ala Phil Anselmo and semi-clean ones, which are not bad, by the way, and somehow remind me of a more aggressive version of Peter Steele (Carnivore, Type-O-Negative). Some up-tempo thrashers stir the mood here: "This Could Get Burned", "Bowls For Bowling", but the rest is average at best.

New Trinity Full-length, 2006

Official Site

SINN (FRANCE)

Modern thrash metal which sounds quite fast and cool ("Kill Your Idol", "No Heaven Beyond") at times, but the rest of the songs are slower and far less hard-hitting.

The 666 X Murder Project EP, 2003

Official Site

SINNER (ARGENTINA)

This obscurity from the South American underground serves edgy pounding power/thrash which is still more on the old school side despite the slight aggro-shades in the vocal detment. The guys thrash with heavy, mostly mid-tempo in the 1st half, guitars bringing Xentrix and early Testament to mind, and even the muddy sound production can't conceal the compulsive headbanging moments on the excellent Bay-Area worship "No Other Man". "Shadows" begins with a haunting lead-driven section, and could swear that this must have been Alex Scholnick (Testament) to pull this out so expertly; the rest of the track is another very cool nod to the Bay-Area with its brisk semi-technical passages.

Chronicles Of Extermination Demo, 1994

SINNING IS OUR SAVIOUR (USA)

On their full-length debut this band come up with a fairly good blend of melodic death metal slightly influenced by the Gothenburg school, and thrash. The music is not always fast with frequently changing tempos and nice technical touches. The sound might remind you of the Canadians Quo Vadis, especially the more technical guitar work.

Recording Session Demo 2003 Demo, 2003
Painted With Utter Desolation Full-length, 2004
Sinning Is Our Savior Demo, 2004

Official Site

SINOPSIS (CHILE)

This band play thrash/crossover with cool fast thrashy guitars, not too far from the Brazilians Ratos de Porao, clinging between their more hardcore-based and their more thrashy period.

Speedcore Overdose Demo, 2005

SINS OF THE FATHER (AUSTRALIA)

Intense crushing modern thrash with steam-roller riffs which at times transform into cool energetic headbanging moments ("Fear Of Reality"), but the more clumsy groovy moments are also around ("Black Cat"). The singer growls in a harsh semi-shouty manner recalling a more deathy version of Kirk Windstein (Crowbar).

Sins of the Father Full-length, 2011

My Space

SINS OF THE FLESH (USA)

Based on the full-length, this act pulls out thrashcore not far from the Cerebral Fix debut and the early efforts of Hellbastard. Expect fast music, short tracks and raw semi-shouty vocals, plus a few nods to doom near the end reflected in seate ts from certain songs.
The EP is 3 tracks of more serious thrash with more brutal, now clearly death metal, vocals. A pull back might be the loss of speed, the sound now sticking to repetitive mid-paced riffs, which are certainly missing on the 1.5-min exploder "Skip Skool", which is stripped-down hardcore ala the debut.

Greed Full-length, 1988
Know Your Enemy EP, 1989

Fan Site

SINTANIC (USA)

Melodic post-thrash with groovy and stoner/doom borrowings; at their best the guys slightly touch the alternative twists of Tool, but the material on offer is too soft to hold the thrash metal fans' attention, except if they are also big lovers of Metallica's "Load" and "Reload" which can also be cited as soundalikes.

Sintanic EP, 2010

SINTILLION (USA)

Based on the "Nation in Pain" demo (which is 8 songs long, and could easily pass for a full-length with its very good sound quality), this band mix genuine technical moments with more conventional, headbanging ones, in a way not too far from Living Death's "World Neurosis", or even Megadeth's "Rust in Peace". Both styles are mixed in equal dozes, so just when you think that the music has become too complex, here comes a cool straight riff which will make you jump around; but you have to know that very soon you'll have to stop, because the next technical t is very nearby. As a matter of fact, the technical play is more concentrated on, but is never of a very elaborate nature; there are speedy ts, there are mid-paced as well as slower ones, all nicely blended together. With their music firmly rooted in 80's thrash with the coming of the new trends in metal, it's understandable why these very talented musicians never made it to the first division although they richly deserved that.

Nation in Pain Demo, 1990
Cripsy Elevator Crunch Demo, 1993

SION (ARGENTINA)

Based on the debut, this band play state-of-the-art progressive thrash with enchanting balladic passages where the leads reign supreme. The guys thrash with force on quite a few moments, and "Entre La Luz Y La Oscuridad I" would easily fascinate fans of Watchtower and Toxik with its labyrinthine structure and not very predicle time-changes. Thwe title-track leads the pack towards more abstract waters with its dissonant riffage and expressive bass support, and things go futher down the rabbit hole, first with the hectic pounder "Bajo Prueba", then with the wild cacophonic thrasher "Dependencia Externa" which is "saved" by a portion of very good melodic leads; the rest reaches a death metal intensity with echoes of Sadus and Death. The closer "Espera Dolorosa" is a bit on the more immediate side (finally!) with some nice melodic passages, but all jaws will drop on the puzzling section ala Coroner near the end. This is a really admirable achievement, and one would be quite curious to check out whether this compelling ultra-stylish, complex approach has been sustained on the sophomore release...
"Prisma" is a progressive jazzorama with no ties to metal whatsoever; it's a fairly interesting release with the quirky rhythms and the illogical arrangements, but it'll hold no candle for the thrash metal lovers.

Reflexiones Full-length, 1999
Prisma Full-length, 2001

Offical Site

SISTHEMA (ITALY)

Based on "Bioelectric Violent Sisthem", these Italians pull out mechanized industrial post-thrash quite close to the Danes Grope, maybe a tad more dynamic ("Naked Skin" is a cool robotic headbanger). Still, the monotony is hard to get by, especially on heavy doomy exercises like "Sickman". The band shifted their style towards the gothic sector on subsequent releases, preserving some of the dryness of the guitars, plus adding nice female vocals to support the not very starking main shouty hardcore ones.

Bioelectric Violent Sisthem Full-length, 1998
The Fourth Discontinuity Full-length, 2001
Black Leaves Falling Full-length, 2008

My Space

SITHLORD (AUSTRALIA)

A thrash/black/death metal band; the base is the German school- Destruction, Kreator, but there are more brutal ts on both works which will remind you of Darkthrone, early Bathory, Satyricon, Necrodeath, among others ("Holy Virgin's Demise"). You can even hear the Australian National Anthem performed with a thrash metal intensity as an introduction to the EP; might serve as the opening of some major event there...

Labyrinth To The Gods EP, 2000
The Return to Godless Times Full-length, 2002

SITUACION HOSTIL (PERU)

Based on the demo, this band plays abrasive thrash/crossover of the classic type. There is hardcore, punk, and harsh semi-death metal vocals, but the speed is not so much accentuated on the overall approach leaning towards the heavy mid-paced side also reminding of the Germans Warpath on the more intense moments.

Abracadabra Demo, 1989
Situaci'a2n General Split album, 1999

SIX BEER (MEXICO)

Based on the debut: cool thrash mixed with heavy/power metal; will appeal to fans of both genres. The music is mid to up-tempo, with slightly rough semi-clean vocals. Don't expect to hear a full-fledged thrasher: all songs mix the aforementioned styles, some sounding more intense, some clinging more towards the heavy/power metal side.
"Vida Futura" is more aggressive the band thrashing with force on a few tracks. The songs are longer, but those ones are the lesser achievements where the guys let themselves loose more than necessary, often ruining the preceding thrashy passage with bland, insipid hard'n heavy rhythms. However, the shorter, more direct numbers could make a few thrash heads turn, although the end is quite dull, preserved for two long boring ballads.
"Angeles Ca'a1dos" returns to the more laid-back power/thrash formula, but wins on all counts with its catchy hooks and galloping passages which get nicely translated on a couple of more vigorous cuts ("Apocalipsis", "Cuando la Luz se Escape de tus Ojos"). The mid-paced "idyll" reaches the inevile ballad near the end: "Six Michelada" which is a tender romantic piece with a good vocal performance which takes a more melodic turn here without losing its traditional hoarse blend. The final "El Fantasma" is also a ballad, but is way better with its more dynamic guitars and very good leads.
ldblquote Mentes Perdidasrdblquote is nothing special serving rough modern-ish post-thrash with doomy tendencies (ldblquote No Vivirasrdblquote ) so donrquote t expect anything headbanging here the muddy sound quality additionally presupposing a not very eventful delivery. Later on the band entertain themselves playing pure hard rock ldblquote Ni Escape Ni Piedadrdblquote being the only more energetic number here speed/thrashing in a surprisingly classic fashion near the end.

Lengua de Serpiente Full-length, 1989
Vida Futura Full-length, 1993
Mentes Perdidas Full-length, 2002
Angeles Caidos Full-length, 2007

Official Site

SIX DEGREES OF SEATION (CZECH)

Based on "Triotus, Tricephalus and Tribadism", this band plays a cool mix of doom and thrash, more on the melodic and modern side, but edgy enough to keep the fans interested. The music is mid-tempo for most of the time, but sudden very fast proto-death outbreaks are quite frequent as well, albeit short. There are nice balladic moments, too, where the otherwise good emotional semi-clean singer takes a mellower direction.
"Moon 2002: Nocturnal Breed" is a similar mixture, probably a bit more melodic with more concentration on power and doom metal, and the vocal performance is more diverse this time also featuring cool female ones. A wide gamut of moods and emotions has been covered well supported by catchy choruses, melodic hooks, keyboard implements, and a few blast-beat passages.
"Of Us" continues the diversity of the previous works, but its concentration on thrash is bigger, and as such it would be of a bigger interest to fans of the genre. The delivery is melodic and modern with touches of power metal, mid-paced with sce blasting outbursts. "Of Common Guilt" is a nice exception to the formula thrashing hard and fast, but the middle is occupied by much slower compositions with adherence to doom, a situation livened up by the last three numbers: the edgier, but still more mid-tempo "For John", the more dynamic proto-death metal-laced "Felicitas", and the speed/thrashing closer "For Jack".

Moon 2002: Nocturnal Breed Full-length, 2002
Triotus, Tricephalus and Tribadism Full-length, 2005
Chain-driven Sunset Full-length, 2007
Of Us Full-length, 2010

Official Site

SIX IN LINE (SWEDEN)

3 songs of more radio-friendly old school speed/thrash ornated with the odd power metal hook and the more stylish lead section. The not very pleasant side are the rough drunken vocals which could have been more acceple if they weren't hissing hysterically for most of the time. The guys infuse the effort with merrier crossover rhythms ("We Intend To Hang You"), and generally the diversity in the musical detment is quite big the guys never settling for one riff-pattern for very long.

U Shud Hev Invtd Me EP, 2011

SIX POUNDER (MEXICO)

This act pull out modern dynamicthrash with volcanic riffs and several cool faster passages: check out the merry galloping riffage in "Rise in Terror" which also boasts the finest lead guitar work on this effort. "The Marksman" is pure retro thrashing fury, an unexpected breath of fresh air which gives a nice boost to the album followed by another fast-paced ripper: "The One" which is the highlight here with its various tempos lashing curring riffs. A bit of groove sneaks in here and there, but this album should be a sure pick for fans of the more vivid side of the modern trends.

Ruled By Anger Full-Length, 2012

SIX REASONS TO KILL (GERMANY)

Based on "Another Horizon": this band offers run-of-the-mill Swedish thrash/death metal which doesn't lack energy and dynamics, but all the annoying gimmicks are here as well: the recently acquired by the genre practitioners metalcore breaks, the very melodic hooks, the clean vocals, etc. Still the guys have an idea of what cool headbanging thrash is, as is evident from songs like "Another Horizon" and "Weak In Darkening". The pure aggressive death metal attacks are not too bad, either: "Massgrave Memorial", and could have been more.

Kiss the Demon Full-length, 2000
Reborn Full-length, 2005
Another Horizon Full-length, 2008

Official Site

SIX STRING SUICIDE (GREECE)

There is only one person responsible for this, going under the name Tasos Kiliaras. This guy comes up with an energetic mixture of thrash and hardcore, and gives an additional aggressive edge to the music with his gruff, but effective, semi-death metal vocals. He does a ticularly good job on the leads, which are short, but proficient, with a cool melodic blend at times. The music actually stays closer to thrash, and is mostly up-tempo, with the exception of the groovy doomy "King of the World", and the stomping heavy instrumental at the end "Sick Society". The other songs are quite good intense thrashy pieces with hard headbanging riffs.

Piss Around the World Full-length, 1998

SIXGUNS OVER TOMBSTONE (CANADA)

These are the same guys who also play in the folk metallers Shadowblade. Here the music is harder and better being a mix of power, speed and thrash ("Anti-Photon" is a major heavy galloping thrasher; and "Boot Hill" is great heavy riffy thrash in mid-tempo) metal with excellent dual guitar melodies (as well as leads) and a pinch of folk on the slower material, which is not very frequent. The singer is a nice addition with his melodic, but also forceful tember, covering all ranges with dexterity, even gruffing at times wherever needed. "Solar" is a pleasant surprise towards the end thrashing with a certain doze of technicality, with a brilliant twisted speedy ending. More galloping riffs follow on the energetic speedsters "Fire from the Sky" and "Hallows Eve" which close the album in a fine brisk fashion making a really satisfying cross over the major metal genres from the 80's.

Sixguns Over Tombstone EP, 2007
Putting Revenge on the Map Full-length, 2009

My Space

SIXKILLER ZERO (UK)

Based on the 1st EP, this band plays an atmospheric brand of the 90's post-thrash, the mood marred by the throaty semi-death metal vocalist. The dynamic moments are not too many ("Say What You See"; the surprising headbanger at the end "My Da Could Beat Your Da In A Fight"), and despite the not very usual approach to the style, it all wears thin, even on an EP.

The Rise of the Robot of Satan EP 2006
Battle Royale EP 2008

My Space

SIXTY NINE (BELGIUM)

Thrash/crossover similar to D.R.I.; Sixty Nine are more aggressive and vary things a bit more with sudden slower breaks and interesting riffs, but the general mood is pretty much the same.

Just For The Fun Full-length, 1988

Vibrations of Doom

SIZED (BRAZIL)

A capable emulation of mid-period Sepultura borrowing both from the more classic spirit of "Arise" and the heavy more modern sound of "Chaos AD". As a result we have an alternation between fast and slower numbers with more carefree crossover tracks ("Way to It All", well sustained in the spirit of the Sepultura cover of New Model Army's "The Hunt") thrown in. The guitars are a bit noisy, but this is hardly a hindrance for major crushers, like "Insufficient", to sound aggressive and moshy. Still, the buzz favours the heavier songs more the latter also boosted by the angry semi-shouty singer.

Confronting The Mirror Full-length 2010

Official Site

SJK (BULGARIA)

Based on "The Metal Chronicles t I", these Bulgarians play cool modern power/thrash metal quite reminiscent of both Judas Priest's "Jugulator" and Fight's "War of Words" with a capable singer who pulls out pretty cool high-pitched performance, as opposed to his equally as impressive dominant mid-ranged one, very close to the antics of the Metal God spiced with the less piercing semi-screams of Tim "Ripper" Owens. The band is skilful in delivering heavy, mostly mid-tempo, tracks with crushing riffs, screaming leads, and a good sense of melody (check out "Worm In A Brain"). "Venom Grace" is a vivid headbanging number, but "Crossroad" is the compulsory ballad. "House of Cards" is a dramatic power/thrasher with intense rhythms, but "Clouds Of Doubt" goes away with all the laurels being the highlight here: a compelling 8-min progressive song with jumpy riffs and engaging melodic decisions. The final "Eternity" is an edgy thrasher with lashing guitars in a galloping pace finishig this stylish effort with aplomb. Although Tim Owens tries to keep this ticular breed of metal alive with his projects Beyond Fear and Charred Walls of the Damned, these guys seem to pull it out in a better, more inspired, way, and it would be interesting to check whether this style has been eslished from the beginning.
The debut is already a sure-handed heavy affair, epitomizing the guys' staple sound quite well, maybe slower and heavier with a crushing rhythm section, and stylish technical/jazzy insertions ("Smokejack") here and there. More classic-sounding power/thrash metal can be heard on "Seeker", but this leads to the loss of dynamics near the end where the guys indulge in doomy/bluesy explorations, the biggest embarrassment being the remake of the opening "Euthanasia", turned into a dancey industrial KMFDM-like anthem to a not very positive effect.

Euthanasia Full-length 1999
Worm in a Brain Full-length 2002
The Metal Chronicles t I Full-length 2005

Official Site

SKAFFOLD (RUSSIA)

Melodic thrash/death metal with sce blast-beats and a dual vocal attack: low growls versus screechy hysterical ones. The music is closer to death metal, and is graced by stylish technical "decorations" ruined by the hollowly-sounding drums. The At the Gates influence is pretty obvious although on the slower tracks ("Jizh Navsegda" (Life Forever)) the band run away from it going into a doom/death metal direction. The progressive pretensions are not very well grounded despite the beauty of the several balladic moments ("Kazn" (Prison)) which smell Opeth quite a bit.

Ia Znaiu Pravdu (I Know the Truth) Full-Length, 2010

SKELETAL AUGURY (CHINA)

Black/thrash metal maniacs from China who after the insane blasting opener "Skeletal Augury" settle for cool up-tempo thrash by preserving the husky sinister croaky vocals. The thrash attack carries on until another black metal madness ("Funeral Mutilate") in the middle. More speedy thrash comes after that with a shade of Impaled Nazarene on "Total Maniac" and a couple of other tracks before "Temple of Blood" closes the album in a heavy doomy manner. The guys insert film sample dialogues in the beginning of almost every track, sometimes getting carried away with this touch, forgetting to stop it before it starts to annoy.
"Bless of Destroyed, Raped, Dismembered Flesh": the brutal black/thrashy saga carries on on full-throttle on this opus which is more professionally done although in terms of aggression nothing has been lost. The approahc has become more technical with clever death metal licks "tearing the silence" now more often, and thrash now taking a bigger space making headbangers like "Black Hydra" and the semi-technical riff-fest "Barbaric Realm" the highlight on the album. The end is actually occupied by purely thrashy pieces which sound quite classic and will lift the mood up.

Victory of the Holocaust Full-length, 2009
Bless of Destroyed, Raped, Dismembered Flesh Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

SKELETAL DAMAGE (UK)

This UK trio specializes in not very exciting or eventful modern thrash which breaks the proto-groovy monotony at times with the odd brutal death metal inclusion. Rare displays of style (the long engaging "The Dogs of War") are not excluded, neither are more energetic, jumpy riffs ("Blue on Blue"). Te 2nd half is actually more interesting, featuring the cool diverse "Of False Hope", which boasts great melodic leads and several breathtaking balladic interludes. The closing "Night Turns to Day" is a surprising deathster of the semi-blasting type, and delivers to produce the final headbanging portion, this time spiced with a few more technical decisions. The singer is a not very impressive semi-shouter, but suits the not very demanding musical approach.

Fire and Forget Full-length, 2011

Official Site

SKELETAL EARTH (USA)

Based on the EP, these guys come up with classic sounding thrashy death metal which combines the groovy steam roller-like sound of Obituary with the grinding aggression of Morbid Angel, plus more light-hearted crossover moments. There is even one attempt at semi-technical performance ("Sybil") which could have reached somewhere if it were longer.
"Eulogy For A Dying Fetus" is a frenetic, wild mix of thrash and death, quite chaotic at times, but strangely listenable and compelling, and even technical ("Psych"). The tracks are short, within the 2-3min range, and the music packs a punch all the time with good aggressive riffage. If you listen carefully, there's no way you will miss the cool cover version of Van Halen's "You Really Got Me".
"De.Ev' O.Lu' Shun" offers a more serious attitude with slower longer compositions and added modern 90's elements ("Dreamscape", which also serves straight headbanging thrashy riffs at some point). The sound is considerably softer, and tracks like the slower groovy "Hypochrist", or crossover delights like the closing "Dr. Love", are not a rarity taking turns with old school headbangers ("Absence Of Intimidation"). As a whole this album is inferior to the strong debut showing the guys more mature and more diverse, but not better.

Eulogy For A Dying Fetus Full-length, 1991
Dreighphuck EP, 1993
De.ev' o.lu' shun Full-length, 1994

SKELETON (USA)

Based on the "Never Slow Down" demo, this is excellent power/thrash metal (which actually slows down) with a more aggressive edge than the one which usually goes with the style. The vocals are melodic, resembling Michael Coons from Laaz Rockit (the ones he used on the first two albums). The music is not far from Laaz Rockit's "Know Your Enemy" and Helstar's "Remnants of War".
The "Requiem" demo is just 2 songs: "Requiem" is a nice soulful ballad, but "Hammerhead of Fury" is blistering speed/thrash metal with ripping riffs in the good old Bay-Area style.
The "Happy World" demo contains 2 songs which have embraced the 90's modern post-thrash idea, and 2 others to oppose to them: "Blood of Life", which is a smashing mosher ala Anthrax with a few slower mid-tempo moments, and the final "Opposites Attract" which is a wild speed/thrasher with fine technical implements.

Never Slow Down Demo, 1988
Requiem Demo, 1990
Happy World Demo, 1992

Official Site

SKELETON CREW (FRANCE)

Based on the full-length: one of the finest moments from the French metal scene of the new millennium: stylish, quite technical at times, atmospheric dark/gothic thrash. The tempo is mostly mid-paced, but the riffs crush admirably, with nods to both the modern and the classic school with several quite intense shredding sections on the first two tracks which are also the fastest. Some of the songs are quite complex with different time and tempo changes alternating, but not in an annnoying way, and the dark-sounding guitars create quite a dramatic environment. The thing that may annoy, though, is the two vocal styles used: one is in the gothic/death metal-camp being subdued semi-whispered, but it's the other one which does the damage being from the clean gothic/alternative variety, and could be skipped for the future; what could be another pullback is that on the moments with those vocals the sound gets a bit more melodic, with a more clear shade of gothic.
The EP contains the title-track, also featured on the full-length, plus 2 other songs which are in the same cutting atmospheric mode, mid-tempo gothic-infused cuts with semi-whispered/semi-deathy vocals. The delivery is kind of more restrained with more laid-back guitar work still missing the visceral effect of the succeeding effort.
"Mirror of Shadows" is more on the gothic/power metal side with thrash not present very frequently. The singer is still on the amateurish, gruff semi-clean side sounding close to early Carl McCoy (Fields of the Nephilim), including the music at times which is dark and mid-paced touching doom metal quite often.

Mirror of Shadows Full-Length, 1997
Shining Blood EP, 2000
Unmuted System Full-length, 2005

Official Site

SKELETON PROOF TANKS (USA)

Based on "Grief", this is heavy old school thrash/death metal akin to late-period Protector with grindcore breaks ("Surgery Of Fecal Sores").

Out of the Hydra's Teeth EP, 2005
Conflagration Full-length, 2005
Grief Full-length, 2006

My Space

SKELETONS (UK)

The sludge masters increase their repertoire with some modern thrash here, and the result is a more dynamic affair with a strong post-thrash flavour. Watch out for the short explosive deathster "Skinning Angels" which would be a rude awakening even for the hard-boiled headbangers. After this truly scary moment the effort picks up quite a bit of energy, and the 2nd half is way thrashier than sludgier. The band die-hard fans would hardly feel betrayed here; on the contrary, they'll feel appropriately intoxicated by the several dynamic "injections" which show another dimension to be explored further by the band.

Tombs Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

SKELETONWITCH (USA)

Melodic death meets thrash, and somewhere along the way a black metal singer. The black metal vocals are one side of the show; on the other one we have low death growls. The solos on the band's debut are from the classic heavy metal school. So, as a whole, we have a fusion of styles which would make this band appealing to fans from several sides of the metal circuit.
"Beyond the Permafrost" is the band's finest hour so far with a stronger concentration on thrash, excellent melodic guitar lines and cool speedy riffs. The sound is definitely classic if we exclude sce touches from the Gothenburg school. "Baptized in Flames" is probably the only track which could be classified as melodic death metal; the rest is nice classic thrash of the more melodic variety.
"Breathing The Fire" follows on the steps of its predecessor quite closely, serving decent retro thrash in an energetic tempo, with distant echoes of melo-death ("Released from the Catacombs" and ts of other songs) at times. The fast pace for most of the time makes the atmospheric mid-paced sleeper near the end "Strangled by Unseen Hands" the highlight of the album, with the closing raging more modern-sounding thrasher "...And Into The Flame" a close second.
"Forever Abomination" is another decent offering crossing thrash with melo-death again keeping the energy high with short (2.5-3min) vivid tracks although the guitars lack an edge, a slight compensation offered in the more technical sector ("Choke Beyond Betrayal"). Black metal spings up timidly on the more extreme cut "Shredding Sacred Flesh", suiting the expressively raven-like black metal vocals, and the closing "My Skin Of Deceit" also keeps the intensity high, relying on purer death metal riffage as a finishing touch. The band have found their own niche and stick to it without too many deviations, but one more album of the same may just remain unnoticed.
"Serpents Unleashed": the guys keep on churning classic/modern thrash worships and indeed, this effort has no chances to get noticed in the sea of similar works at present. This is so pedestrian by modern standards that only diehard fans of the style may really enjoy it thoroughly till the end where one will find frolic melodic speedsters ("Unending, Everliving"), short ripping thrashers ("Blade On The Flesh, Blood On My Hands"), nods to the melo-death movement ("This Evil Embrace"), and the closing "More Cruel Than Weak" which is the highlight with its more eventful, less predicle, delivery and sharper guitars.

At One with the Shadows Full-length, 2004
Worship the Witch EP, 2006
Beyond the Permafrost Full-Length, 2007
Breathing The Fire Full-length, 2009
Forever Abomination Full-length 2011
Serpents Unleashed Full-Length, 2013

My Space

SKELETOR (HOLLAND)

Modern thrash/death played with intensity and a bit of technicality; the guys vary the delivery quite a bit ranging from intense speedsters (the opener "Bound In Blood", the stylish proto-blaster "New Skin For The Old Ceremony") to groovy steam-rollers ("Unbroken") to more complex, almost progressive, exercises in the craft (the closer "Perpetual Death"). The lead guitar work is quite good (check the closer again) and the vocals are fitting, maybe a tad more brutal for the style grunting with passion on quite a few times. Some of the band members also take t in the Swiss black/death metal act Tribes of Ca'8bn.

Skeletor Full-length, 2010

My Space

SKELETOR (NEW ZEALAND)

This power trio indulge in a heavy seismic blend of modern post-thrash and stoner/sludge which is not very exciting since the mid-pace is seldom broken topped by not very pleasant shouty death metal vocals. "Impending Doom" near the end is a faster cut with sudden blasting passages inserted to a fairly disorienting effect, and remains the most interesting moment on this eruption-causing effort.

Skeletor Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

SKELETOR (USA)

Melodic thrash with a modern edge and dual vocals: one clean, the other from the death metal type. The last track is a surprisingly nice touch, being a take on some popular evergreens ("Green Sleeves" and the likes).

Baked Alaskans Demo, 2000

Official Site

SKELETORY (GERMANY)

These Germans offer laid-back modern/classic thrash with progressive overtones. There is still some energy at play: "Taste of Blood" is a diverse cut with several speedy sections, and "Remnants Of Humanity" is a dynamic lasher echoing more recent adox "Electrify" being the closest reference. The other two compositions are a bit heavy-handed, mid-paced and a bit monotonous. The singer is not bad, though, his mid-ranged clean antics fitting the music again reminding of the adox frontman Charly Steinhauer. The band were previously known as Silenced under which name they released a solitary album in 2007 of a pretty similar style, maybe a tad more aggressive.

Cause of Death EP, 2011

SKELTERIA (USA)

Two guys are behind this dedication to the old school thrash metal idea which is sustained on full spead ahead for most of the time. The guitars have a sterile, computerized feel to them, and the vocals are strongly synthesized and not very clearly heard. "Midnight" is a subdued, more melodic power/thrasher, but the rest is fast and kind of one-dimensional, a situation livend up by the final "Open the Coffin", which is a varied piece mixing slow funeral doom sections with the staple speedy ones. This offering could have had more soul, though: it's obvious that the musicians have used the computer a lot during the recordings...
The self-titled album is anothe retro thrash affair "graced" by a dirtier sound which surprisingly favours the energetic delivery which cites Slayer and Atomica as influences: check out the intense roller-coasters "Desensitized to Death" and the 7-min of intense moshing thrash "Funeral For a Dream". The not very rehearsed shouty vocals are an impediment, though, since they occupy quite a bit of space, and the thin leads, albeit mellidc and occasionally stylish, are another minor annoyance deafening all the rest creating the impression that all the othe instruments have been silenced for the lead guitarist to show his skills unobstructed. Later it beocmes evident that this time there is just one guy behind the recordings, the name Evan Kotner, seeing the band's line-up going towards complete disappearance.

The Nightmare Begins Full-length, 2011
Just for the Hell of It EP, 2012
Skelteria Full-length, 2012

Official Site

SKEPTIC SENSE (GERMANY)

One of the few bands who managed to impersonate Realm and Deathrow without sounding ridiculous; even the vocals are quite close to the ones of Mark Antoni (Realm), but are a tad more controlled on the higher tones. This is standout progressive/technical thrash rubbing shoulders with other groups from the genre like Sieges Even, Deathrow, and even Mekong Delta. The guys like to keep things simple with short, but eventful songs (tempo changes and riffs, I mean, not off-beat non-metal elements). The tempo changes all the time, and this creates a somewhat chaotic feeling, but on every subsequent listen you'll find that there is nothing out-of-hand here, and everything is logical and coherent. "Human Indulgence" is the band's tribute to the faster, more aggressive side of thrash, and could be well placed on Toxik's "World Circus", or Forbidden's "Forbidden Evil", for example. The music is not very easy to get into at first, but you'll be rewarded for the invested time. This bad is one of the representatives of the progressive/technical thrash metal wave which started in Germany in the early 90's, and one of its finest representatives; very highly recommended.

Presence Of Mind Full-length, 1994

My Space

SKEPTOR (USA)

This talented young act provide excellent complex progressive thrash summing up the best from the veterans Toxik, Realm, and Intruder. The guys start very ambitiously with the long eventful opening title-track which thrashes wild amidst head-scratching, elaborate sections. There's no technical ground uncovered on the following puzzler "Key to Power" which shreds to no end creating spiral-like structures also leaving room for one final fast-paced moment. Then comes "Tyrant" which is ripping headbanging thrash to the bone. "Savage Metal" is exactly what the title promises: brutal thrash with some of the most cleverly-concocted intricate guitar arrangements this one echoing the Dutch masters Expulsion. "Disciples of the Fourth Branch" is another super-technical portion of thrash reaching the extreme complexity of acts like Deathrow and Skeptic Sense with ease with mind-scratching decisions galore waiting at every corner. The closing "Sentenced to Death" is a wild speedster with furious tremolo pickings and the obligatory odd time-signatures, the long lost Toxik composition from "World Circus". The singer is an exemplary high-stringer easily "flirting" with the Rob Halford falcetto whenever necessary pulling out commendable performance all over. This is a truly unique achievement, a highly recommended album which already puts the band fairly high up in the rankings from the start.

United We Stand...Together We Fall Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

SKIES OF REDEMPTION (USA)

This US trio indulge in staple Swedish melodic thrash/death metal which is more on the controlled side without missing completely in the speedy department. The compositions elongate with time also becoming more technical ("Wages of Internal Conflict") with echoes of Anata and their compatriots Arsis. "Skies of Redemption" is a more serious progressive cut and despite the reduction of speed remains the highlight. The vocals are of the brutal shouty death metal variety and may be considered a pullback to an extent.

A Passage Through Tribulations Full-Length, 2009

Official Site

SKIN RIPPER (COLOMBIA)

Cool retro thrash which comes in various tempos with a characteristic dark sound which may remind of Deathwish and Hallows' Eve's better moments. The musicianship is clever with a few serious attempts at a more complex song-writing (don't read progressive here): check out the diverse opus "March of Fallen Souls", but the jollier, crossover, side of the genre hasn't been completely ignored, either: the closing punky hymn "Jail Breakers".

Jail Breakers EP, 2011

Official Site

SKIN SLICER (CANADA)

A new Canadian trio from hell unleashes straight retro speed/thrash with apocalyptic black-ish vocals. The music is very close to the works of the Portuguese Alastor and the Japanese acts Abigail and Barbatos. So expect mostly up-tempo riffs ("Born In Hell" is the only slower doomy heavy track) with short leads, lighter heavy metal anthems ("Metal Warriors") and a few short thrash/crossover happiness-es ("Heavend Is Destroyed").

Made in Hell Full-length, 2008

My Space

SKINLEPSY (BRAZIL)

Intense old school thrash pours over the unsuspecting listener which can be viciously aggressive ("Crawling as a Worm" at times "decorated" with the casual death metal-ish throw-in. Generally the tempo is quite fast the guys showng no remorse touching their renowned compatriots Sepultura's mid-period with ease if we exclude the deliberately dry sterile guitar sound which could be lessened on future efforts. The singer semi-shouts in a forceful deathy manner, not as convincing as Max Cavalera, but not far. The band members are also active with the death/thrash formation Desaster, and the grindcore veterans Siegrid Ingrid.

Condemning the Empty Souls Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

SKINNER (USA)

This is a project of ex-Imagika members among whom is the singer Norman Skinner (also Machine Called Man, etc.). The band's music is a mix of speed, power and thrash recalling the early days of the father band including the excellent "And so It Burns" since the concentration is clearly on thrash regardless of the several balladic passages, the progressive leanings (the more toughtful closer "The Enemy Within") and the infectious melodic lead guitars. Skinner is in fine form covering several ranges with ease without losing his characteristic hoarse blend which comes curiously mixed with brutal death metal insertions on the aforementioned closer.

The Enemy Within EP, 2012

Official Site

SKIPTOE (USA)

Based on the "Throwing Dirt" demo, Skiptoe play thrash/crossover with no borrowings from the groovy 90's post-thrash scene having in mind the time of release; this is old school music, not really heavy, recalling Excel and C.I.A.

Throwing Dirt Demo, 1994
Mortal Lies Demo, 1994
Live at WREK Live album, 1996
Mortal Lies - The Demos Best of/Compilation, 1997

SKIRMISH (FINLAND)

Based on the full-length: pree for a constant "skirmish" of modern melo-death/thrash riffs along the lines of Carnal Forge and Maze of Torment. A few more abstract, Meshuggah-sque ("Insurgency") elements can be felt as well as nice epic pounding rhythms ("Mystery in a Blazing Dream") ala Amon Amarth, but overall the eslished formula is seldom broken coming with guttural, low-tuned death metal vocals.
"Jet-Black Days" is more complex, with more serious arrangements, and some of the songs come with a good sense of aggression ("Replacement") as opposed to the more morose ones. The album picks steam a bit by bit until it reaches the end where "Terminal Embrace" is a shattering thrash/deathster with loads of hard-hitting riffs and a few enchanting melodies coming from the lead detment.

Four Devouring Pieces EP, 2006
Undefined Phobias EP, 2008
Skirmish EP, 2010
Through The Abacinated Eyes Full-length, 2011
Jet-Black Days Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

SKITARG (SWEDEN)

This act, who have the penchant to paint their faces in a manner not too far from Kiss, produce (based on "DEN H'8fRDASTE J'8eVELN") modern thrash with a few epic and more tender balladic sections lacking the energy and vigour of their compatriots from the Gothenburg school relying instead on melody and catchiness which brings pleasant clean vocals as opposed to the much more brutal main death metal ones. The tempo is mostly mid without too many highlights, a situation saved by the very good lead guitar work and the several more dynamic cuts ("De Lever!"; the closing grinding outbreak "Reich'81bersturmf'81hrer Drdblquote rrvakt").
"Tarmageddon": the modern thrash saga carries on unabated here served in a more dynamic fashion this time although again there's not much speed to be savoured, and some sprawling, not very eventful, ballads ("LIV-negativ", the elegiac "Kast-abort") may seriously stretch the fans' nerves. The sound is quite epic-tinged creating a feeling that the guys are getting ready to embrace the folk/pagan vogue some time in the future.

Skitarg Full-Length, 2010
DEN H'8fRDASTE J'8eVELN Full-length, 2011
Tarmageddon Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

SKITZO (USA, NJ)

An excellent 3-song demo of technical power/thrash metal; the band has an approach which is based both on the more complex style of Sieges Even and Watchtower and the more aggressive lashing one of Helstar and the Dutch alysis. "Progressive Psychosis", a very appropriately-titled song, by the way, is a great example of mixing the two sides sounding both energetic and galloping, and twisting and meandering the latter accompanied by an unobtrusive keyboard background; there is a lot to hear here: sharp hitting riffs, sce acoustic implements, faster headbanging sections, labyrinthine passages, etc. "The Killer Instinct" is an aggressive mid-paced smasher which loosens up a bit on the technical side in the 1st half, but wait till you hear the super-twisted riffage near the end: exemplary technical thrash ala Coroner's "Mental Vortex" in a creepy doomy pace. "Too Late For Repentance" is the ultimate technical/progressive thrasher: a surreal hallucinogenic composition with great bass support; precise technical, at times quite abstract, riffing; brilliant fast technical leads; a nice speedy mid-passage, and more. The singer is a cool addition with his attached clean, at times quite high-strung, tone trying to capture the inimile blend of Mike Soliz (Watchtower) on a few times. It's a pity that acts like this never managed to produce an official release: this small gem could have been the backbone of a full-length masterpiece...

Progressive Psychosis Demo, 1990

SKITZO (USA, CA)

You might find it hard to believe, but Skitzo are one of the oldest metal bands in the USA: their first demos date back from the distant 1985. Their predominant style is aggressive, well- constructed thrash mixing both the classic and the modern sound throughout the different periods of their career. "Synusar'Sukus" is probably the band's best effort, still closer to the classic sound; this is very aggressive stuff with nods to death metal ("Leatherface"), and the best ts are where the band don't play very fast, but crush impressively with heavy doom-laden riffage ("Grinding Gears"). Such intense stuff could wear down both musicians and listeners quickly, and this is the reason why the last three tracks are nothing more than senseless joke-songs with not much music involved.

Derragerous EP, 1989
The Skulling EP, 1991
Evilution Full-length, 1992
Synusar'sukus Full-length, 1994
Psychobabble Full-length, 1996
Got Sick! Full-length, 2000
Hellavator Musick Full-length, 2002
Heavy Shit Full-length, 2005
Five Point Containment Full-length, 2007

Official Site

SKLEPMASTER (CZECH)

This is modern thrash/death metal which comes served with brutal, low-tuned, ultimately incomprehensive vocals, running from the Gothenburg patterns by sticking to darker, more brooding riffage. The guys try to mix things up, alternating fast and slow sections on almost every track, the later kind fo working better, coming with a nice doomy shade ("Devil In My Face").
"Accursed Through Eternity" is an elaboration on the EP the dark gloomy tones ably translated as well as the cool melodic tunes. Again, the emphasis is not so much on speed as it is on mood and atmosphere which are also aptly reflected in the several short acoustic interludes including a dreamy ambient closer. The vocals again remain the downside their rough brutal character hampering the musical proceedings to an extent.

The Unforgiven Sin EP, 2011
Accursed Through Eternity Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

SKOLOPENDRIA (RUSSIA)

3 songs of energetic classic thrash with a boosted modern production; the guys shred well sticking to energetic, a bit jumpy crossover-ish rhythms, "Rojdenie" being the exception: a groovy, sleepy cut with abrasive riffs. The singer is all right with a not very attached clean tone shouting unpleasantly with a synthesized blend at times (the aforementioned "Rojdenie").

Bejat Demo, 2011

SKRAMASAX (CZECH)

An early incarnation of this band included future members of quality thrash metal acts like Calibos and Section Brain, who did not survive long ehough in the band to take t in the recordings of this album. But even without them the guys manage to pull out worthy speed/thrash metal along the lines of Iron Angel and Toxis Shock. The first t is more melodic with a certain power/thrash metal flavour, but the second half picks up speed admirably, still finding time for one long (7-min), heavy, almost doomy number: "Smrtici Znameni", followed by the smashing Slayer-esque thrasher "Lovec Lidi". This was a promising debut, and considering that the Czech metal scene had become active a bit later than the major ones, this band could have perfectly served as one of its backbones through the 90's (if, of course, they had continued in the same vein).

Dark Powers Full-length, 1991

SKREW (USA)

This great band was formed by Adam Grossman, one of the legends of industrial metal, after he put an end to his previous formation Angkor Wat. The band came on the scene with a splash with their excellent debut of sharp, riff-oriented thrash (there is a three guitar attack present on every album), "decorated" with industrial elements which have started to turn into a trend in the early 90's. "Dusted" continued in the same uncompromising fashion, being another stellar work, this time with an increased presence of industrial. "Shadow of a Doubt" threw a certain "shadow of a doubt" over the band with its less aggressive, slower, groovy and choppy sound, sounding like a not very convincing attempt at a more technical and interesting play which misused the triple guitar support quite a bit. "Angel Seed XXIII" followed on the steps of its predecessor, speeding up a bit, and generally containing a more thrashy and heavier material. As a matter of fact, if you give the last two albums a few more spins, you might find that they are not too bad; they have their moments as well and show that the guys have moved on although in a less impressive way comed to the beginning.
"Universal Immolation": After a long period of silence the industrial masters are testing the soil with this 4-tracker which sees them treading the waters already stirred by their last 2 albums which means that there's no "back to the roots" here, but the fan will have to prepare for dark brooding riffs with a big doze of groove thrown in the short shredder "Empires" the sole reminder of the band's glorious beginnings. New tricks: the lower-tuned death metal vocals of Adam Grossman, and the sudden blasting black metal insertion on "Nazarene Lash". So ger ready for the larger-than-life opera which should follow...
"Universal Immolation" the full-length: Mr. Adam Grossman and Co. return just a few months later with a full-length, and not surprisingly (judging by the album-title) have included all the 4 tracks from the preceding EP. Combined with 5 new songs, however, these tracks deliver in a much better way and make this new offering way superior to the band's last two lacklustre full-length affairs. The opener "Rise" doesn't promise much being groovy modern dirge along the lines of "Angel Seed"; neither does the following "Blind Deaf And Dumb" which is a groovy creeper of the sombre kind. Enters "Empires", and things start moving aorund with more dynamic riffage which even borders on the technical and progressive in the middle. From this moment onwards the situation hits pretty much the top, first with the technical headbanger "Nazarene Lash" which even blast-beats for a while in a less controlled black-ish fashion; then with the diverse sinister "Hijack" which is a doom-laden piece with funereal atmosphere. "Chaos" starts to "reign" with the coming of "Chaos Reigning", another morose cut, and just when the proceedings become too macabre and monotonous, arrives "the Lie" to "lie" to everyone that this will be another bore providing a requisite doze of hard-hitting energetic passages which reach a headbanging pitch somewhere in the middle. The closing "Omega" is a hard shredder with cutting guitars and a few dramatic build-ups which hit the blast-beats again for a bit before the fine surreal ending wraps things up.
Industrial is barely present here the band now sounding like a fully accomplished modern thrash metal outfit who have made some adjustments, all for the better, to their established, but declining main approach, and now look well equipped to shine with the brightest out there if, of course, they decide to appear more regularly on the scene. And, the more brutal death metal vocals introduced are not courtesy of Grossman, but are handled by a new throat, the name Hunter Townsend, who si also a full-time member of the metalcore heroes Prey for Sleep.

Burning in Water, Drowning In Flames Full-length, 1991
Dusted Full-length, 1994
Shadow of a Doubt Full-length, 1996
Angel Seed XXIII Full-length, 1997
Universal Immolation EP, 2013
Universal Immolation Full-Length, 2014

My Space

SKULL (COLOMBIA)

A Colombian trio whose vocalist and bassist looks like Lemmy Kilmister quite a lot, but the resemblances with the Brits end here since the music on offer here is nice classic speed/thrash metal with early Metallica and the Whiplash debut being the main influences. The guys spare no speed on the first 2 songs before they decide to come up with "Ferro", which sounds too crossover-ish in the beginning, but later on turns into a major headbanger again. After another fast-paced song ("Lonely Wolf") the sound quality drops for the remaining 4 ones which are apparently leftovers from the band's earlier days, although the style is the same, with a Bulldozer cover coming up at the end ("Cut Throat").

A Night Of The Battle City EP, 2009

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SKULL CRUSHER (HOLLAND)

Although present on the same tape with Second Hell, this band are not as brutal and intense. Their music is more along the lines of bands like Warrant (Germany) and Tyrant (Germany): speed metal mixed with melodic thrash; music which will definitely not crush your skull (pun intended).

Metal Deadness Split, 1986
No Boundary for Hell Demo, 1986

SKULL CRUSHER (THAILAND)

Cool intense retro speed/thrash metal with vicious black metal vocals which are more on the hysterical screamy side, but are not very annoying. Shades of black in the musical detment can also be felt ("Order from Hell"), of the blasting type, but the rest is cool energetic stuff with Alastor and Iron Angel's debut the closest soundalikes.

In the Name of War Demo, 2010

My Space

SKULL HAMMER (CANADA)

This Canadian outfit acquit themselves with cool classic speed/thrash which has plenty of energy and sharp, ripping riffs producing something not far from the Metallica debut ("Hammer Fist" is a sure reminder of "Hit the Lights" and "Whiplash"). Then arrive the deviations in the middle: the intense shredder "Welcome to Camp Blood" which even acquires slight proto-death tendencies for a while; the more engaging longer "The Age Of Steel". The 2nd half returns to the optimistic speedy formula wrapping things up with the sweeping speedy closer "Destroyers Of The Faith". The singer is a forceful semi-cleaner who spices his approach with the odd clean note, producing a convincing attached performance all over.

Destroyers of the Faith Full-length, 2012

My Space

SKULL HAMMER (USA)

This US trio plays typical 80's American power/thrash metal mixing the heavy dark sound of the Nasty Savage debut ("Fear The Truth") with more intense riffage ala Blessed Death and Destructor ("Demons Roulette").
"Pay It In Blood" is an elaboration on the EP offering a similar mix between faster and slower numbers as both sides deliver as the preferences would probably go towards the former where the approach again recalls Destructor, and early Whiplash on the more intense moments. In the middle the album loses steam quite a bit with a string of mild toothless heavy/power metal hymns ("The Gladiator", "Blasphemy", etc.), but near the end a hefty compensation is provided, first with the furious thrasher "Born Evil", and then with the sinister galloper "Convicted of Conviction". The closing "Hit By God" is a doomy unfocused affair again "courting" power metal more. The singer is not a detriment although his mid-levelled gruff semi-clean delvery is not very expressive lacking the necessary emotional blend to these ears sounding not far from the old Omen vocalist J.D. Kimball (R.I.P.).

Fear the Truth EP, 2008
Pay It In Blood Full-length, 2010

My Space

SKULL HARVEST (GERMANY)

Well done: a live album right after just one demo; this is a feat. Otherwise this is heavy mid-paced thrash with hoarse semi-death metal vocals. At times the music slows down to a doom/death pace ("Harvest Desire") which sounds like a hesitation as to what direction the band should go, rather than an intentional variation.

Demo Demo, 2001
Live At K1, Elmshorn 24.02.01 Live album, 2001

Official Site

SKULL PIN (USA)

This act pull out jumpy groovy post-thrash with doomy elements whicu is quite heavy and crushing, and strangely dynamic at the least expected places. The resultant mixture is not bad if we exclude the final string of songs which are mere groovers without any merits the assured angry vocals being the best oart there.

The Perfect Harmony for Doomsday Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

SKULL VULTURES (CANADA)

2 songs showing an act fascinated with the more technical side of the modern thrash movement, not far from Gojira and Biomechanical. "Reclaim" is more immediate and more dynamic, whereas "Only Darkness" is more complex, but also features notable guitar work with a progressive flavour. The singer is nothing special, and could be considered the weak link with his slightly hysterical shouty death metal/hardcore-ish tember.

Skull Vultures EP, 2014

SKULLBREAKER (GERMANY)

German thrash metal mixing classic and modern elements, with Dew-Scented being a close soundalike; nothing to lose your sleep over: fast one-dimensional thrash with no hooks or technical riffs whatsoever.

Total Thrash Terror Full-length, 2005

Official Site

SKULLCRUSH (MACEDONIA)

Germanic thrash played by the book with more adherences to speed metal; the band play with competence if we exclude the not very clear sound quality which may have been applied intentionally as a nod to the old school. The band soften down in the middle relaxing with less intense guitars and mid-tempos, but the ending is worthy in the form of the headbanging hit "Nepokor". The singer doesn't quite shine with his gruff drunken semi-clean tone which completely lacks emotion and depth.

Skullcrush Full-Length, 2009

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SKULLCRUSHER (COLOMBIA)

These Colombians had concentrated on the raw brutal side of classic thrash metal, the one with the proto-death tendencies, and probably this stuff would have had some appeal if it wasn't for the awful underground sound quality which makes all into one big mass of sound of the fast aggressive type with early Messiah perhaps the most likely influence.

Who Cares Demo, 1991

SKULLCRUSHER (BRAZIL)

This is a 4-track demo of interesting dark brooding thrash, which may remind you of the works of their compatriots The Mist who perfected this approach a year later on "The Hangman Tree"; the music is a cool mix of doomy pounding riffs and faster sections which never go over the up-tempo. On the more intense ts the guys touch Rigor Mortis ("Remains Of A Cruel War"), and some stylish guitar work is not a "stranger" to the proceedings, but the not very good sound quality spoils things a bit. "The Worst Intentions" is a captivating semi-technical number, also recalling early Coroner, graced by good bass performance. The singer has already acquired a semi- death metal tone, but his delivery is intelligible and well suited to the moody music.

Protect Your Soul Demo, 1990

SKULLCRUSHER (MEXICO)

Intense blitzkrieg old school thrash moving forward in a steady speedy manner assisted by not very pleasant shouty hardcore vocals. Things never get out of control although the approach is on the border of death metal at times the guys shredding really brutally on the more inspired moments ("Bullets of Blood").

Skullcrusher Attack EP, 2010

Official Site

SKULLCRUSHER (SWEDEN)

This is the first attempt of the musicians from Freevil to play music, and they come up with modern groovy thrash/death metal, very similar to later period Massacra ("Sick", "Humanize Human"). In other words we have slightly one-dimensional mid-paced stuff which livens up for the casual number ("The New Conspiracy", and especially the explosive bomb "Breaking Point", which pleasantly surprises with melodic leads as well), but this makes the rest even more unimpressive and unappealing.

Tortured To Death Demo, 1997

SKULLFACE (GREECE)

There is only one guy behind all here, going under the name Nikk, who acquits himself with fast classic thrash not far from mid-period Flames, sometimes relaxing with soft crossover, sometimes bashing in a more extreme proto-death fashion. As a whole the man entertains himself here trying his hands on many influences, and generally this effort is hard to be taken seriously despite the few good thrashy moments. The vocals provided are of the husky semi-whispered type carrying both a black and a death metal blend.

Halloween Sacrifice Full-length, 2008

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SKULLPL8 (USA)

A mix of modern thrash and death metal; reminds of Six Feet Under's "Haunted" (especially in the vocal detment); it also features cleaner non-death metal vocals.

Standing in Blood Full-length, 2002
Planet Hell Full-length, 2003

Official Site

SKULLPTURE (CHILE)

Based on the full-length: this is rough, badly produced retro thrash/death metal with noisy guitars and very brutal low-tuned vocals. The guys adhere to a fast play without any unnecessary gimmicks, sticking to the death metal formula more, thrash being present on the calmer numbers ("Necrofagia") which are not too many, and carry a nice technical charge.
The demo comes with a very clear sound quality, offering intense thrash/death with more dominant death metal tendencies, quite close to Benediction and Asphyx. The singer doesn't hide his fascination with Dave Ingram (Benediction, Bolt Thrower), which is ticularly evident on the faithful cover of the Brits' "Subconscious Terror" near the end.

Demo Demo, 2010
Skullpture...The Sinister Art Full-length, 2011

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SKY CHURCH (PHILIPPINES)

Based on "Unaware/Unwarned", these guys pull out cool energetic modern thrash with a groovy edge. The heavy stomping sound alternates with brisk fast-paced riffage, and as a result on quite a few times the fans can get their doze of intense headbanging: check out the short explosive "Bomber", which definitely deserves its bombastic title, or the smashing Pantera-sque "Call Upon". The singer further brings the band closer to the Americans with his angry potent Phil Anselmo-like delivery. The jollier more light-hearted moments are directly taken from the textbooks of Lawnmower Deth ("Confusion"), or early Suicidal Tendencies ("Futile"), and are not bad, either.
"Unaware/Unwarned" is a better effort the band having incorporated several more aggressive death metal elements which come intertwined with more stylish technical riffs. The resultant "therapy" has a strange proficient "aura" which works despite the dominant mid-pace (rudely broken with the excellent death metal-ish technicaller "Behind My Wound") and the not very pleasant brutal death metal vocals. The bass plays a prominent role here thundering its way "behind the curtains" all the musicians reaching their highest potential on the 2 closing numbers: "Sucking Up My Brain" which is an oddity with the sudden mixtures of intense death metal shredding and cool melodic tunes; and "Agony" which is a heavy crunchy track apently written earlier with great melodies and a virtuous bass interlude reminding of Metallica's "Orion". It seesm as though the guys are "aware" of their musical skills, but they shouldn't keep themselves deep in the underground by releasing albums so sporadically.

Urge of the Human Device Full-length, 1996
Unaware/Unwarned Full-length, 2000

My Space

SKYCLAD (UK)

Martin Walkyier formed this band after he left Sabbat, and on the first Skyclad works it clearly shows who the mastermind was, behind the other band's success. Skyclad's debut is a much better follow-up to "Dreamweaver" than the Sabbat last effort, with the characteristic pagan atmosphere and sharp riffs. Once "The Sky Beneath My Feet" hits you with its superb combination of hard-hitting guitars and genuine atmospheric moments, you know that this will not be an ordinary experience. "Trance Dance (A Dreamtime Walkabout)" elaborates on those atmospheric moments by retaining the steel riffage. "The Widdershins Jig" is the first real hint at the band's future metamorphosis: a nice laid-back epic violin-driven heavy/power metal piece. After it the songs become more complex starting with the great riff-fest "Our Dying Island", also "decorated" by stylish epic passages. Another long more elaborate affair awaits you: "The Cradle Will Fall", this time coming with genuine technical sections; a tendency continued on the following "Skyclad". "Moongleam And Meadowsweet" is a marvellous ballad, with a striking acoustic guitar performance, serving as a "calm before the storm", because then comes the closing track "Terminus": a smashing stomping semi-technical thrasher which will literaly make you count the days until the band's next release.
"A Burnt Offering for the Bone Idol" promises a similar entertainment, at least on the energetic power/thrashing opener "A Broken Promised Land", with a stronger presence of the violin, which from now on will be one of the main instruments used by the band. Later on the thrash metal fan will realize that there won't be too many aggressive riffs, like on the debut, but he will definitely appreciate numbers like the up-tempo "Salt On The Earth (Another Man's Poison)", the stomping thrasher "Karmageddon", or the closing heavy doomy/thrashy track "Alone In Death's Shadow". This transitional album preed the ground for a change in style into quite original, and pretty much one-of-a-kind at the time, folk/heavy/power metal, a sub-genre where Skyclad still remain unbeaten.

The Wayward Sons of Mother Earth Full-length, 1991
Tracks from the Wilderness EP, 1992
A Burnt Offering for the Bone Idol Full-length, 1992

Official Site

SKYDANCER (SPAIN)

"Way of Deted" offers modern melodic thrash/death metal with a small classic twist. The music is dynamic switching between fast and slower sections the whole time leaving room for one laid-back power/heavy metal hymn at the end ("Embrujada").
"Land of the Grim" is in a similar vein, maybe the classic throw-ins are a bit more common, but the riffs' sharpness is ultimately sunk in sweeping melodies which reach heights in the lead sections (check out "Ancestral Lands"). Keyboards have been incorporated adding further to the melodic dramatism which is noteworthy on the closing opus "The Galician Exile" which finishes this effort with more style than it actually deserves.

Pozo de L~grimas Full-length, 2007
Endorsed by Self-destruction Full-length, 2009
Way Of Deted EP, 2010
Land of the Grim Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

SKYTURK (TURKEY)

Even the "sky" can't help these Turks who pull out inimaginative noisy thrash which, despite its classic pretensions, suffers from such a bad sound quality that even more renowned musicians wouldn't be able to correct the impression. This is pounding thrash which varies the pace in a way similar to the Brits Deathwish and later- period Messiah, and the final "Prince Of Death" is a nice atmospheric progressive cut, featuring a great flamenco guitar passage; it's just that with the constant buzz accompanying the music the listener would be ultimately distracted and not without the help of the unpleasant shouty vocals.

Phantasm Or Real? Demo, 1998

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SLAMMER (UK)

Slammer have often been referred to as the British answer to Metallica (although Xentrix could be considered a very close call, too), and while this has not been completely ungrounded, this doesn't really describe the band's sound accurately. The roots of the music are firmly in the Bay Area scene, but at from Metallica, there are also shades of Testament, Defiance and others, and Slammer seldom reach the technical heights typical for the Metallica's later 80's period, although they almost equal them in terms of heaviness.
"Work of Idle Hands" contains the heavier, and arguably the lesser material (certainly here the opinions can be divided). The songs are energetic with sharp riffs slowing down on the longer ones: "God's Prey", which is surprisingly catchy and memorable, not without the help of the very good "Chuck Billy meets James Hetfield"-like vocals (this guy is a bit higher-pitched, and maybe more melodic). "Hellhound", on the other hand, is longer, but comes thrashing in a fairly aggressive manner, and is the highlight here.
"Nightmare Scenario" adds more technicality to the proceedings, a tendency obvious on the very 1st song: "What's Your Pleasure?", with the choppy guitars, bass breaks, more stylish leads, and great Oriental melodic hooks. On the best moments the sound actually comes close to Metallica's late 80's period, but there is more melody in the approach. Even the faster more immediate thrashers ("In The Name Of God", "Architect Of Pain") are served with a decidedly more technical edge. The music is not as fast anymore being replaced by more complex technical one, a great example of which is the last track "Corruption", a marvellous closer which deserves to be even on "...And Justice For All".

Work of Idle Hands Full-length, 1989
Insanity Addicts EP, 1990
Nightmare Scenario Full-length, 1991

My Space

SLAPDASH (SWEDEN)

The technical thrash act Rosicrucian decide to change their name, and consequently, their style. While there is nothing wrong with the name Slapdash (whatever that may mean: hasty and careless), the change in music is quite disappointing: the new style is your average modern thrash ala Pantera, with some of the technical brilliance of Rosicrucian only timidly showing here and there. A kind of relief that they never recorded again.

Bound EP, 1995
240.25 Actual Reality Full-length, 1996

SLASHER (BRAZIL)

The debut: a decent blend of modern and retro thrash with angry, but subdued, not very shouty, vocals. The album is a mixture of fast classic and slower modern tracks the latter overtaking the space in the 2nd half diminishing the impact from this otherwise not bad offering somewhat reminiscent of the last two albums of their compatriots MX.
"Katharsis" is another "slashing" affair perhaps clinging more on the modern side this time the boosted edge of the guitars now an advantage despite the diminished speedy delivery. In the 2nd half the album gets lost in repetitive modern thrash patterns killing all the inertia with the dragging closer "All Covered in Blood" which is a bland blend of power metral and post-thrash.

Broken Faith EP 2009
Pray For The Dead Full-length 2011
Katharsis Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

SLASHING DEATH (POLAND)

Based on the "Kill Me Coz I Can't Stop" demo, this is thrash/crossover which in terms of speed and brutality surpasses even Wehrmacht and Beyond Possession. The music is quite intense bordering on grindcore with short 1,1.5-min tracks. The aggression leaves some room for more melodic, punk-ish numbers, though: "Power".

Deathly Ceremonic Demo, 1988
Live at Thrash Camp Demo, 1988
Irrevocably And With No Hope Demo, 1989
Kill Me Coz I Can't Stop Demo, 1990
Kill Me Coz I Have No Hope Best of/Compilation, 1992
Kill Me Coz I Can't Stop/Irrevocably & With No Hope/Live at Thrash Cam Best of/Compilation, 2004

SLAUGHTER (CANADA)

A cult thrash metal band; "Strappado" is a raw and brutal affair, sounding like early Celtic Frost mixed with Possessed's "Seven Churches", which delivers the goods in a respecle manner. The opener "Disintegrator Incinerator" will shock the unpreed with its brutal, fast proto-death-ish riffs in the beginning, although the continuation is much slower, but almost as impressive: "Nocturnal Hell" is a fine, monotonous, hypnotic track in the best tradition of Celtic Frost. "F.O.D. (Fuck of Death)" carries on in the same vein, before "Tortured Soul" kills those who survived the first brutal attack with another explosion of aggressive merciless guitars, this time served with a heavy doomy break. Later on both styles take turns, but the songs become shorter, and the faster numbers come with an even bigger death-ish edge, with "One Foot In The Grave" boldly jumping the "fence" towards grindcore.
"Not dead Yet" should have been the band's real initiation into the death metal field, which they "courted" so well on the debut. Well, but no: similar to Possessed the guys have chosen the thrash metal path, and have chosen wisely, because with the much improved musicianship this great album is what "Eyes Of Terror" was for Possessed: a sure-handed take on more thought-out, even semi-technical at times, thrash. The speed remains for most of the time, but the more polished guitar sound brings now the style closer to acts like Vio-Lence and Rigor Mortis. The slower songs ("Threshold Of Pain") do not carry the Celtic Frost legacy, but have a sound of their own, maybe resembling Slayer's late 80's period. The second half is a true revelation: "Time Warp" is a nice little semi-technical thrasher recalling early Coroner, as well as the longer more complex "The Dark". "Astral Projektor" is a fine speed/thrasher with a nice guitar work reminiscent of Mike Scaccia (Rigor Mortis, Ministry), and "Telepathic Screams" is a masterpiece of up-tempo atmospheric thrash with technical, but not fully developed, tendencies. This work screamed for a follow-up, which was to elaborate on the stylish skles scattered throughout, but like it was the case with Possessed, it remained without any continuation, still being more than enough to secure the band a place among the finest practitioners of the genre from Canada.

Nocturnal Hell EP, 1986
Strappado Full-length, 1986
Not Dead Yet Full-length, 1990

Official Site

SLAUGHTER (POLAND)

Despite the bad sound quality, this demo could pass as one of the first attempts at death metal on Polish ground. The music is a very fast and brutal fusion of thrash an death metal, similar to the first two Death albums, and Kreator's "Pleasure to Kill", but kind of more vicious and relentless. In the vocal detment again we have a Kreator resemblance, as the guy is definitely influenced by Mille Petrozza, although his voice is more aggressive and hysterical. The last track "Fucking Thrash" is intended as a joke (noone can fuck with thrash, you know that!), but it alone can break your neck if you try to headbang to it. Seldom can one hear so much sheer speed involved; this very obscure demo could have been an influence on Impaled Nazarene and other extreme metal bands.

Into the Darkness Demo, 1989

SLAUGHTER COMMAND (GERMANY)

Bashing black-ish thrash with not very pleasant screechy raven-like vocals. The music packs a punch and the riff-patterns are not bad at all despite the hissing reverberation accompanying the guitars for most of the time. Purer thrash arrives with "Adamantium Rage" and improves the situation the remaining numbers all possessing the razor-sharp retro spirit which doesn't get betrayed even on longer compositions like the Impaled Nazarene-sque "Impious Verses/Dragged to the Altar". More thrashing roller-coasters later on with "Camp Blood" and the vicious thrash/deathster "Interceptor" before the title-track wraps it on more compplicated landscapes along the lines of mid-period Destruction. Som eof the musicians indulge in more orthodox black metal with Moredhel.

Ride the Tornado Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

SLAUGHTER DENIAL (ITALY)

Based on the full-length, these Italians provide a modern thrash/death mixture which in this case means that some groove is inevile, but it comes with a nice aggressive flavour ala early Pantera (think the period with Phil Anselmo, not the very early one), also recalling Slipknot (yeah, those same ones) in the intense guitar detment. The album has the necessary amount of energy flowing out of the cuts in the 2nd half like "Treachery" and "Reedemer Butcher". "Chilling Abduction" is a cool more technical, jumpy track, and the final "Mind Diverted" is a more industrial take with an overlong voice sample finishing it, the latter not involving the hysterical shouty vocals which are at times interrupted by more appropriate death metal-tinged ones.

Eyes of Madness EP, 2010
Treachery Full-length, 2011

Official Site

SLAUGHTER HOUSE (USA)

Pretty generic old school thrash metal sounding like many other bands from the same reriod with little originality or appeal whatsoever.

Slaughter House Full-length, 1990
Face Reality Full-length, 1991

SLAUGHTER LORD (AUSTRALIA)

This obscure Australian band feature two Mortal Sin members, but their music is far from the Metallica-esque one of their more renowned compatriots. Slaughterlord never got lucky to have an official release, and their raw primitive, Slayer-influenced thrash bordering on death metal at times, have reached the ears of a very limited number of thrash fans. The compilation is an uneven mixture of very messy amateurish songs and nice thrashers with good riffs, surely a sign that, if having been given the chance, these guys could have become something more than just an underground phenomenon.

Demo Demo, 1986
Rehearsal Demo Demo, 1986
Taste of Blood Demo, 1986
Thrash 'til Death Best of/Compilation, 1998

SLAUGHTER SHACK (USA)

Based on the demo, this act play a playful form of thrash which is not exactly crossover-laced, but clings more towards Re-Animator, the Mordred debut and Anthrax on the more aggressive ts. The fast sections are not many at all, and the band at some stage seem quite content shredding in a calm power metal-ish manner the rough semi-clean vocals not very fitting on the last couple of cuts which are more on the sleepy side. despite the clear sound quality, the band can hardly convince anyone that they can produce something more interesting.

Slaughter Shack Demo, 1989
Fuck You/Fuck You Too Split, 1992

Official Site

SLAUGHTER STRIKE (CANADA)

Bashing raw retro thrash/death metal which ranges from outrageous grinding ("Into The Slaughter", "Lone Wolf Dementia") to atmospheric doomy ("Carnal Promises") compositions all accompanied by low-tuned semi-whispered death metal vocals. The pace is usually fast, but one-dimensional, and the drums are too hollow stifling the other insturments on quite a few times.

At Life's End EP, 2010

Official Site

SLAUGHTERCHRIST (USA)

These guys had tried hard to "slaughter christ" with their only demo of fairly interesting vicious intense thrash/death which, despite the garage sound quality, manage to pull out interesting twisted riffs on a semi-technical base which relies on several tempo-changes and a thundering bass bottom. The overall delivery recalls Infernal Majesty and even early Coroner (the interesting unpredicle twister "Faith"; the excellent closing progressive saga "Revolving Death") with its meandering arangements and more stylish musical decisions plus the oblivious proficient lead sweep which is another highlight, albeit not very frequently applied. The guys relax for a bit with the short more direct "Pray (Prey)", but on the other material they really do a good job except probably in the vocal detment where the guy just semi-recites in a dark scary death metal way. The band could have been major stars on the burgeoning at the time death metal circuit if they had lasted longer. Some of them also took t in the short-lived death/thrash metal outfit Baphomet who released a solitary demo in 1987.

Reflections of Things to Come Demo, 1990

Official Site

SLAUGHTERDAY (GREECE)

This is classic thrash with an abrasive guitar sound which blasts out at times in a not very controlled blacky fashion ("Slaughterday") which breaks the otherwise monlithic sound which is quite close to early Celtic Frost and Hellhammer, if we exclude the hysterical shouty vocals which come served with a pinch of black metal. A cover of ramones' "I Don't Care" is thrown in at the end, sustained in the appropriate punky spirit except for, again, the bad vocals.

Rulers Command From Iron Thrones Demo, 2011

Official Site

SLAUGHTERED (CHILE)

Two songs of intense speedy classic thrash with a pinch of hardcore; there is some Slayer influence in the guitar work, as well a few scary death metal shouts unleashed on "Chilean Horror Homicide", as opposed to the main gruff semi-hardcore vocals.

DxTxF Demo, 2008

My Space

SLAUGHTERED GRACE (USA)

Ordinary pedestrian thrash metal close to Hallows Eve; "Music For The Dead" is a nice short instrumental, but the rest is average at best.

Call This Planet...Slaughtered Grace Full-length, 1989

SLAUGHTERED PRIEST (GREECE)

This act, which consists of oly two "satanists" (one of whom, the alias Ungod, is a "notorious" figure on the Greek underground, taking t in numerous black metal projects), plays cool sinister black/thrash of the old school, mixing energetic up-tempo numbers ala early Bathory with heavy doomier ones in the spirit of Khold. Sce abstract blasts ala early Satyricon can be caught ("Antihumanity"), as well as heavy stompers in the best tradition of Celtic Frost: "I'll Keep Burning Your Cross". "Your Temple" suddenly switches onto a more technical play, being a very good intense thrasher. The vocals are mean snarly, coming as a mix between early Quorthon (R.I.P.) and Gard from Khold.
"World Wide War" is the more proficient effort, thrashing faster with a better sound quality although the mixture from the debut remains. The vicious Bathory sound returns with "Proud To Be A Sinner" ably supporting vintage old school speed/thrashers like "Lightnings Of Vengeance", the speed delight at the end "Unholy War", and the excellent diverse opener "W.C. (World's Coffin)". "Rise Against Humanity" crosses over the good behaviour with more extreme black semi-blasts, and "Slaughtered Priest" is sinister doomy black/thrash metal in the best tradition of Khold and more recent Satyricon.
"Serpent's Nekrowhores" is a cool, albeit too short (6 songs only), effort of merry-go-round classic black/thrash which develops in an energetic speedy fashion for most of the time this time recalling the Japanese practitioners in the trade (early Sabbat, in ticular) and Toxic Holocaust with its non-stop barrage of roller- coaster guitars which surprisingly moves up the technical level on a few longer cuts ("Serpent's Nekrowhores", which also scores high in the melody detment; "Vomiting Your Inner Self" which is a dramatic thrasher with genuine atmospheric moments). Fans of the band should by all means be happy the guys staying faithful to their roots without sounding repetitive or boring.

"Confess Your Sins" will make you "confess your sins" big time especially with the "speed metal attack" unleashed upon you with the explosive opening "Speed Metal Attack". The mosh carries on on full-throttle the speedy approach getting a bit merrier towards the middle clinging more towards speed metal the guys never losing it producing an intense sound not far from the one of Solitaire and Alastor. "Thrash The Witch" would rather "speed the witch" with its relentless fast barrage before "Bloodthirsty Pentagram Bitch" loses it quite a bit with its more stripped hardcore-ish approach. No any complaints, though, on the excellent closer "Demonic Terror" which combines melodity and ferocity in an impressive manner making this effort arguably the band's finest hour.

Eternal Goat Reign Full-length, 2008
World Wide War Full-length, 2009
Serpent's Nekrowhores Full-length, 2011
Confess Your Sins Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

SLAUGHTERHAMMER (GERMANY)

An ultimately raw and brutal recording of fast amateurish thrash/proto-death with very extreme growling vocals which only emit some unintelligible sounds of the semi- vomitting type. The music is constantly fast and clearly favours the early death metal sound sounding well more vicious than the Death debut, for example, but the musicianship is of such a low quality that one would hardly wonder why he has never heard of it after all these years; this is just a wall of guitars and bass with hardly any drum work at all. If Hellhammer had released pioneering twisted brutality of the slower doomy kind, this act here had aimed at the other extreme, but the Swiss' music skills were way better.

Zombie Surrender Demo, 1986

SLAVATOR (SWEDEN)

With three demos released in just one year (now that's what I call productivity) it's obvious that the band want their voice to be heard. The titles of some of the demos (and split) already give you a clue: the guys play old school thrash metal with nods to the German scene of the 80's, and a shade of Slayer and Evildead. The music is fast and aggressive most of the time: simplistic, but true to the high models.

Demo Demo, 2005
Sacrificial Homicide Demo, 2005
Thrash Metal Warfare Demo, 2005
Hellish Thrash Assault Split, 2006

Official Site

SLAVE (COSTA RICA)

If we exclude the not very pleasant fuzzy background noise, the rest is pretty acceple old school thrash which is full of energy in a way not too different from Slayer's "Reign in Blood" and Evildead's "Annihilation of Civilization". The guys here are perhaps more sophisticated, especially in the lead detment where some cool moments can be caught despite the screamy nature of the guitars. Still, the pace is pretty fast for most of the time the slower passages not a very frequent occurrence. The closing "Thrashed" will do more than just "thrash" you: this is a squashing proto-death cut which will nail you down with its merciless downpour of riffs lasting for just above 2-min. The semi-declamatory death-laced vocals are not really an asset but are suile and not distracting.

Brutality Demo, 2011

SLAVE TO MISERY (GERMANY)

The album-title might incline you to think that you'll come across some technical thrash here, but this is not the case. This is modern melodic thrash metal with a certain amount of groove present, but also nice melodic leads and riffs, and a somewhat gothic atmosphere bringing to mind early Lake of Tears. So you can imagine that this would be pretty far from a "technical adise", although it's not bad at all with its dark semi-depressing guitars.

Technical adise Full-length, 2004

Official Site

SLAVE ZERO (IRELAND)

Old school thrash with death metal vocals; the music is a hit-and-miss affair: there are some nice moments, the 10-min epic thrasher "When Science Turns To Hope" which reminds of the similar exploits of the Finns A.R.G., and a cool cover version of Death's "Zombie Ritual"; but there are quite a few tracks which sound uninspired and derivative. This could, however, be forgiven as the band definitely have potential, and these flaws can be easily smoothened on future efforts.

The Defiant Stand Full-length, 2002
The Pain Remits EP, 2006

Official Site

SLAVER (BRAZIL)

This band is another one where M'e1rcio Cambito, the singer and guitarist of the new Brazilian thrash metal heroes Violator, displays his talents. This 3- song demo is a direct take on the early Destruction blistering speed/thrash style. This is excellent intense fast-paced stuff, hitting you like a hammer ("Thrash Forces" is the new thrash metal hymn), touching Kreator's "Pleasure to KIll" on the more intense ts ("Slaver"). Cambito gives a new shade to his vocals, here coming as a lower-pitched gruffer version of Schmier, trying some quite cool semi-shrieks in his vein (check out "Slaver" again). Hopefully his engagements with his main band wil not keep the fans waiting long for the eventual full-length.

Thrash Forces Demo, 2006
Brazilian Thrash Massacre Split, 2007

My Space

SLAVERY (BRAZIL)

Death/thrash metal resembling Hellwitch and early Massacra; very energetic, with two vocals quarrelling throughout the albums: one of the regular death-type, the other a vicious snarl. "To Kill in Cold Blood" is a fine combination of thrash and death metal with fast tempos and a dark brooding atmosphere. The album has its more brutal uncompromising side ("Devil's Triangle") which, when given a more technical edge ("World of Tears"), touches Hellwitch and Morbid Angel, but it's energetic thrashers like "Burial To Crowd" and "Silence Is Agony Of Die", which would please the thrash metal fan more, and should have been more. "Immortality" is a nice technical death/thrashing piece started with a marvellous acoustic intro.
"Immortal Dismalness" is mostly aggressive relentless thrash metal with a more technical edge, this time sounding quite like Hellwitch, although the more immediate numbers ("ased onHeartless By Face") are not miles away from early Kreator ("Pleasure to Kill") as well. The break from the intense delivery is in the form of "Flatlines": a fine slower, gothic-laced song, after which the sound becomes more brutal, with death metal coming back for a while, as a remastered version of the best track from the debut "World of Tears" (at least to these ears the difference between the two versions is very small). "Melancholies Of A Soul" is a marvellous closer: a lead-driven atmospheric instrumental followed by the equally as enchanting short orchestral outro "Melancholies".

To Kill in Cold Blood Full-length, 1992
Immortal Dismalness Full-length, 1994

SLAVERY (CHILE)

"Collapse" offers heavy thrash which hesitates between the classic and the modern school. The mixture works well, and the music is mostly mid-paced, acquiring more melodic tendencies ("Damned Sunset"), brought by atmospheric offbeat moments. When the guys put more energy into the proceedings, they can come up with cool more energetic thrashers: "No More", which is arguably their more preferrable side. On the other extreme we have the dark doomy "I Live In Torment".

Collapse Full-length, 1997
Rencor EP, 2005

Official Site

SLAVERY (GERMANY)

The debut: these guys play decent classic power/thrash with quite a few epic throw-ins ala Falconer; as a result the music will also remind you of the Swiss Drifter and Bifrost. The speedy outbreaks scattered throughout are the better side since they give the music a desirable boost, and the dominant mid-tempo wears thin after a few listens not containing very interesting guitar work although the singer is a find with his emotional clean delivery again recalling the early (and also present as of this writing) Falconer singer Mathias Blad.
"Dawn of Mankind" comes with a more modern sound and more conventional song formulas which don't contain a lot of thrash sticking to moderate power/speed metal patterns consequently feeling more comforle staying closer to the 90's trends in the style. The speedy crescendos on "Collective Suicide Salvation" are a cool deviation from the eslished calm patterns, but those moments are very rare the only saving grace of this saga being the very good dramatic vocals which surpass the other performers by miles.

Lost Reality Full-length, 2009
Dawn of Mankind Full-length, 2012

Official Site

SLAYER (USA)

An essential band for every self-respected metal fan; theirs was the first real thrash metal album, along with Metallica's "Kill'em All". The band made revolution with the groundbreaking "Reign In Blood" which pushed the boundaries of the genre to its extremes. After such a masterpiece an inevile change of style followed suit, but Slayer did it in the best possible way, opting for a heavier, slower and an overall darker sound on the next two. They recorded sporadically during the 90's lying in wait for the old school days to return, killing the time by making covers of their favourite punk bands ("Undisputed Attitude"), or experimenting with the modern style ("God Hates Us All"). "Christ Illusion" captures only tially the vintage Slayer sound of the 80's, but is a sure step in the right direction; setting up the scene for another revolution in thrash?
Well, the truth is that Slayer were probably the only ones from the old "dogs" of thrash who never messed it up without experimenting with other styles outside the thrash metal spectre, without splitting-up during the "dark ages", either, and although "Diabolus in Musica" and "God Hates Us All" were by no means vintage Slayer, they were at least pretty decent more "updated" slabs of thrash, their impact further strengthened by the fact that during the times they were released very few were the brave ones to even entertain the idea of a "classic thrash resurrection", let alone talk aloud about it. "Christ Illusion" saw the guys shaking off the modern elements from the last two albums, and it looked as though the "fathers" of the genre would be able to lead the pack again during the movement's second peak.
So, will Slayer be worthy leaders of the pack in 2009, a very successful for metal in general year? After listening to "World Painted Blood" two, three and more times, the answer is: "Yes", "Yes", and again: "Yes", because this is the best Slayer album since "Seasons in the Abyss", despite the few annoyances along the way, like the mechanized guitar sound and Araya's sce shouty quarrelsome vocals which he acquired more recently. The title track lifts the mood up in an energetic up- tempo, opening confidently despite a few modern "leftovers" in the middle, but is completely overshadowed by the rest which starts with the thrashing madness "Unit 731" which will throw the listener with a splash straight into the middle of the 1980's, and the next "Snuff" will keep him buried there with the staple Slayer creepy mid-paced riffage also added. "Beauty Through Order" begins in a crushing mid-tempo manner, before turning into another whirlwind of fast headbanging riffs very soon after. The mayhem carries on unabated on the next two songs until "Human Strain" which is a slower sinister sleeper, followed by the proto-modern "Americon", but this slight loss of inertia comes fully compensated on the full-on aggression on "Psycopathy Red". A time for a rest is needed after this exhausting number, and "Playing with Dolls" is the last relatively relaxing "stop from the train", again mid-paced and not as intense, before the closing "Not of This God" smashes everything around with its furious riffs. Slayer simply had no right to flop now, in a time when the genre they helped eslish is pretty much on top of the music scene once again, both in terms of quality and quantity, and although this is not "Reign in Blood 2" (some albums only "live" once), it is a perfectly acceple mix of fast aggressive and heavy slower compositions, in a way quite similar to "South of Heaven" and "Seasons in the Abyss". It doesn't quite reach the level of those two (their dark brooding atmosphere and musical depth can not possibly be matched), but it clearly shows an old-timer more than well equipped to compete with both their old colleagues and the new up-and-coming forces on the field.

Show No Mercy Full-length, 1983
Haunting the Chapel EP, 1984
Hell Awaits Full-length, 1985
Reign in Blood Full-length, 1986
South of Heaven Full-length, 1988
Seasons in the Abyss Full-length, 1990
Divine Intervention Full-length, 1994
Live Intrusion EP, 1995
Serenity in Murder EP, 1995
Undisputed Attitude Full-length, 1996
Diabolus In Musica Full-length, 1998
God Hates Us All Full-length, 2001
Eternal Pyre EP, 2006
Christ Illusion Full-length, 2006
World Painted Blood Full-length, 2009

Official Site

SLAYGROUND (PARAGUAY)

These South American newcomers serve fresh, "critically thinking", blitzkrieg retro thrash sustained in an up-pace with several melodic "ornamentations" which can't possibly stand on the way of ragers like "Carnage" and "Bonded by Violence" the latter leading the show supported by the casual more relaxed crossover cut ("The Coroner"). There's plenty of thrash "metal up your ass" here, like the title of one of the songs here describes so well, that few will be those disappointed afte rhearing this sincere downpour whcih also boasts good attached shouty semi-clean vocals.

Critical Thinking Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

SLEEPER'S GUILT (LUXEMBOURG)

Really cool retro power/speed/thrash with nice atmosphere and sharp cutting riffs; all nuances are immaculately presented on the opening "Price To Pay" before "World in Ashes" introduces more laid-back progressive passages with a balladic undercurrent. "The Promise" is a wild thrasher with more clever insertions sounding like a more aggressive version of Sanctuary's "Into the Mirror Black". "Dancing All Alone" is a dramatic power/thrasher with choppy riffs, and "Stay" embraces the progressive motifs once again this time with a stronger emphasis on the balladic arrangements. The final "Raven's Fight" is an encompassing 10-min opera which blends wild thrashing with pensive doomy moments excelling in the lead detment as well. The singer is by all means an asset with his deep clean tone which elicits emotion and passion in a way not far from Warrel Dane.

Sleepers' Guilt EP, 2012

Official Site

SLEEPING VILLAGE (IRELAND)

Based on the self-titled demo, this act pull out decent stomping thrash which is also graced by a very good sound quality. The music loses steam later on with a string of longer not very exciting compositions where the bass player wins the highest marks for his standout performance. The ne dis on the more technical side the guys offering several mixes of the same songs for the listener to choose which one he/she thinks is better. This is good stuff and the band could have capitalized on it if perhaps located in a more metal-prone country.

Eternal Darkness Demo, 1991
Sleeping Village Demo, 1992

SLICED PIMPLES (DENMARK)

A very enjoyable band who play wild and furious crossover/thrash not too distant from S.O.D.; the album is only half- hour long consisting of 12 songs. The guys infuse their intense sound with a great sense of humour and some punk-ish touches including a version of a Danish children's song.

Brains Condemned To Serious Laughter Full-Length, 1988
Fuckin' Serious Guess Why...? Full-length, 1989

SLIMER (INDONESIA)

This band plays decent old school power/thrash with crisp, edgy riffs and somewhat annoying shouty, hardcore-ish vocals. The music is mostly mid-paced, but is not stale and repetitive, the guys varying things with melodic hooks and piercing leads. The closer "Tanda Luka" is a nice lyrical ballad, ruined to an extent by the gruff, not very emotional, vocal delivery.

Otak Sampah Full-Length, 2011

SLIPKNOT (USA)

Don't get terrified, folks: these are not the Iowa-based showmen; this is a 6-track EP of fast, aggressive thrash/crossover. The guys are more intense than D.R.I., but less vicious and brutal than Wehrmacht.

Slipknot EP, 1989

SLOD (GERMANY)

This outfit, the acronym standing for "Seven Lines of Death", have fun thrashing in the good old school manner the harsh semi-shouty death metal vocals the only awkward moment. Otherwise the team know what they do and provide energetic crisp riffs, and cuts like "Friend of Enemy" and "Revenge" will stir the fan's blood in no time; the latter will have to pree to be smitten by the polished technical fury of the closing "District of Death" which is an ambitious undertaking with progressive/atmospheric undercurrents and could serve as a template for the production of something striking later.

Line I: In Your Eyes Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

SLOGAN (HUNGARY)

On their demos Slogan mix jolly crossover/thrash with more serious, almost technical, riffs. The singer has an awful voice, and does a good job to ruin everything. On the full-lengths thrash metal is no longer existent; the style is progresive metal with just a few merits.

Forgotten Moods Demo, 1990
The Art of Ego Demo, 1992
Speci_l V_szontekercseknek +S Gyurmahabarcsoknak Full-length, 1994
Voluntary Swoon Full-length, 1994
Nincs Best of/Compilation, 1997

Official Site

SLOW DEATH FACTORY (DENMARK)

This band is a side-project of the Illdisposed guys, who here have joined efforts with two others from the thrashers Demolition Inc. Alas, this collaboration offers nothing more than boring groovy post-thrash, mid-paced to slow with heavy guitars which seldom pack a punch. The energetic speedy sections ("Behavioral Abnormalities") are very few, and the borrowings from stoner/doom, hardcore and even gothic do not seem to help a lot.

From the Gutter to Your Ears Full-length, 2008

Official Site

SLOW DECAY (GERMANY)

Based on the "Fridge" demo, these unknown Germans play energetic hard-hitting thrash with echoes of Slayer and Kreator. The guys know their craft shredding like the time was the most prosperous one for this kind of music with short blazing leads coming out of nowhere to assits the fast-paced riffage. The muddy sound quality tries hard to impede the proceedings, but the inspired musicianship overcomes it although the singer could have been a bit more attached: his semi-harcore-ish recitals are put too up front in the mix deafening the instruments when in action.

Fridge Demo, 1990
Scenotest Demo, 1991

SLOWGATE (SWEDEN)

Based on "Nordic Rage": this band play quite common modern POST-thrash; their music is not very groovy, and has energy, although it is melodic stuff with power and heavy metal moments added as well. The 2nd half is the better one with longer and edgier tracks sharing something with the Metallica's Black Album.
"Force of the Unknown" is a more varied affair woth quite a bit of aggression offered in the beginning, of the modern The Haunted type with casual death metal throw- ins which are way superior to the bland groovy passages. "Moving the Clouds" is a fairly stylish composition which mixes haunting progressive with raging thrash and alternative to produce a hallucinogenic piece with clean vocals quarrelling with the main gruff death metal ones. The other highlight would probably be "Split Personality Syndrome": a sprawling doomy progressive track; or alternatively the short brutal ball of fury "Hit My Face" near the end.

Force of the Unknown Full-length, 2002
Nordic Rage Full-length, 2005

Official Site

SLOWMOTION APOCALYPSE (ITALY)

On both albums this band stick to the well eslished pattern of Swedish thrash/death metal along the lines of The Haunted, Carnal Forge and the likes. There are no surprises here, although this is by all means professional work, and hardly is there a band from Italy at the present moment who are better practitioners of this style than these guys.

My Own Private Armageddon Full-length, 2005
Obsidian Full-length, 2007

Official Site

SLUDGE! (USA)

Based on the demo, this act indulges in noisy sludge/doom with modern post-thrashy tendencies. The strong buzz of the guitars is a detriment for the music to be appreciated fully, but if you can imagine a mixture of Crowbar and Pantera, accompanied by shouty, angry vocals, then the picture should be not far from complete. The riffs move up the speed scale ("Twisted Thoughts For Sweetie") at times, and create some thrashy dynamics here and there, but this is mostly for the doom metal fans with its heavy thunderous riffage and the seismic rhythm-section.

Alone & Twisted Demo, 1998
Behavior Modification Theory Full-length, 1999
As a Man Thinketh Full-length, 2002

SLUG (BRAZIL)

Based on "Points Of View", this outfit specialize in modern playful post-thrash which crosses the doom-laden easthetics of The Flotsam's "Quatro" with the more radio-friendly shreds of Skid Row's "Slave to the Grind". The blend works and the fans will have good fun jumping around on the more dynamic material which is mostly mid-tempo, especially on the extremely catchy anthem "Fight Against Myself" and the more intense shredder "V.V.". The singer delivers with his forceful semi-clean tember which he doesnt strain too much, and even manages to give it a more melodic inflection from time to time (the closer "Out of Your Minds").

Shattered Full-length, 1997
Points Of View Full-length, 2002
Not For Sale Full-length, 2005

Official Site

SLUGGARD (AUSTRALIA)

Only one guy is behind this project, known with the initials B.F., and he entertains himself playing wicked retro black/thrash metal mixing heavy Celtic Frost-esque passages with ultra-fast blasting ones supported by unholy low-tuned grunts which are very hard to comprehend.

Sluggard Demo, 2010

SLUGNUT (USA)

Based on "All the Splendor and Rot", Slugnut pull out nice Bay Area-influenced riffs along the lines of early Metallica and Exodus, supported by black metal, with the overall sound not too far from the Swedes Witchery, or Raise Hell's second album. This is simplistic music, not very fast and aggressive, but having enough headbanging moments to keep the thrashers happy, with production qualities recalling the 80's, and some crossover atmosphere bringing to mind Nuclear Assault.

Spasmatic Straightjacket Recital Full-length, 1996
All the Splendor and Rot Full-length, 2005

Official Site

SLUGS (DENMARK)

This band was formed by two members of the Danish thrashers Sacrificial. Based on the "Rotten" demo, the style is not miles away from the guys' previous band, but is not as aggressive although it's still a thrash/death metal hybrid of the modern type. The music is more melodic, slower and groovy, with a couple of more up-tempo thrashers, like "Anti-Revolutionary", stirring the mood.
The "Halfway to Hell" demo is a very mild playful affair which has not much to do with either thrash or death metal. This is rocky stuff which would be hard to classify as even post-thrash. At their best the guys manage to capture the high-octane merriment of Down and Spirit Caravan, so you can imagine that for thrash fans this would be a waste of time; a big waste...

Sex, Slugs & Rock'N'Roll Demo, 2001
Rotten Demo, 2003
Halfway to Hell Demo, 2005

Official Site

SLUMK CORRECTIONAL (SYRIA)

Based on the "Dreaming Underneath Destruction" EP, this Syrian band offer thrash/death metal with nods to both the classic and the modern school. The sound ranges from aggressive to more laid-back, but the highlight here is the nice Oriental melodies, embedded in the music so well that the only band who have managed to pull them so well, are Orphaned Land (and Melechesh, of course, both acts from Israel). Another cool touch are the female vocals which further enhance the good impression from this talented band.

Dreaming Underneath Destruction EP, 2005
F.T.U.N. EP, 2007

Official Site

SLUTVOMIT (USA)

Based on "Swarming Darkness", this formation offer classic black/thrash with an evil atmosphere reminiscent of the Japanese examples in the field: Sabbat, Abigail, etc. Both styles get mized on almost every song except on the short outbursts ("Bombing the Chapel", "Servants of Satan") where the style is pure blasting black metal. On the other hand, we have energetic thrashers like "Eden Ablaze" to dissipate the darkness as well as more ambitious shredders: the final "Harbringer of Doom". The singer is an unholy witch-like shouter who suits well the macabre musical approach.

Turning the Cross Towards Hell EP, 2011
Swarming Darkness Full-length, 2013

Official Site

SLYTRACT (HUNGARY)

Competent decently executed modern death/thrash metal with a slight technical edge; the guys play with inspiration blasting some furious pieces: the opener of the way "Antidote", the Swedish-influenced track "Answer". "Marching Through The Defeated" is a short intense composition, rich in both speed and technicality, probably the highlight. The epic death metal sound of Amon Amarth is paid tribute with "Between & Under", but the thrashing continues intact on "As The Corners Take Shape" and the slower crunchy closing "Localized" (there is actually one peaceful ambient outro after this one).
"Existing Unreal" offers a more mechanical, sterile sound which retains the technicality mostly reflected in the very jumpy rhythm-section and the quick tempo- changes, Despite the cold atmosphere, some cool melodies ("Prevailing Millions") can be caught, as well as calmer epic moments ("Nothing Seen Within"). Groove reigns supreme on the steam-rolling "Shall They Learn War Anymore", with raging death metal superceding it on the following "Millenary Venus"; but expect right modern thrash with crushing riffage on "My Mist", and an interesting gothic/thrash/industrial "cocktail" on the final "Nexus", where the brutal death growls are intercepted by good clean vocals.

Explanation: Unknown Full-length, 2008
Existing Unreal Full-length, 2011

Official Site

SMALL EXPERIMENT (POLAND)

This is a "small experiment" in atmospheric dark modern thrash with elements of gothic; catchy Oriental hooks intercept with haunting keyboard melodies topped by not very suile low-tuned death metal vocals. The overall delivery comes as a mix of early Theatre of Tragedy and Cemetary on a crunchy thrash base. Attempts at a fast play ("Someone Is Going To Die") are very rare, but there is a lot of mood and dramatism packed in these 5 pieces of darkness.

In My Old Age...Only Lust And Rage EP, 2011

SMASH CORPS (USA)

Classic thrash/crossover, well done, with sharp direct tracks; at from the all-out thrashers ("Confused") one could hear slower mid-paced ones ("Alcoholic"), as well as the odd more laid-back groovy number ("No Hope"), which is also served with more upbeat moments. "Don't Piss Me Off" is an interesting technical song showing the band capable of pulling out more serious music.

Premeditated Full-length, 2008

My Space

SMASH POTATER (USA)

Based on the "Zom-Beez" demo, this comically-titled band plays some serious thrash/crossover which is intense and fast with biting guitars and a very clear sound quality. I see quite a few of you out there jumping compulsively on the instant moshing hit "Livin' to Thrash, Thrashin' to Live (Geezer Mosh)" to thrash everything around: this is indeed thrash/mosh till death! The singer is another good asset with his expressive semi-declamatory delivery spitting his antics in a vicious, but also melodic, way.
The "Smash" demo is another 3-tracker, and offers another short assault on the senses, fast'n furious thrash which this time comes with a noisy guitar sound and a nice cover of Exodus' "Faster Than You'll Ever Live to Be" from "Fabulous Disaster". "Dude, I'm Wearing My Glasses!" betrays the band's crossover inclinations, but all this is done with a lot of intensity with a clear aim at the headbanging side of the fanbase.
The 2012 EP is another fairly intense affair the band thrashing with no remorse shooting short painful "bullets" the latter boasting the odd cool short screamy lead section. This is seriously neck-spraining and ear-splitting the latter thanks to the piercing drilling sound of the guitars which may get on your nerves even on a small effort like this.

Smash Demo, 2010
Christ-Smash Demo, 2010
Zom-Beez Demo, 2011
Horrific Halloween Double Creature Feature Split, 2011
The EP EP, 2012

Official Site

SMERSH (RUSSIA)

A decent blend of classic and modern power/thrash metal in mid-pace with progressive overtones; sudden technical outburts ("Patriot"; the excellent abstract Voivod- esque "Proshai Nabsegda") make this effort even more confusing since they are far superior to the much more peaceful rest. The listener will inevily wake up on the vigorous galloping speedster "Vremya Nas Zovet" near the end which is a nice reminder of the American 80's scene's heydays. The overall style actually recalls the Russian legends Black Obelisk who in a similar vein delivered competent progressive heavy/power metal with the occasional more intense thrashy passage.

Vek Chumui Full-Length, 2009

SMILIN' LIAR

An alternative form of post-thrash with dry mechanical riffage and bad vocals which go into quite a few directions. The tempo is not energetic at all ("Embrace the Impact" is the sole exception) being quite jumpy and hectic without being interesting, and the softer balladic side of their music is much more attractive ("Screaming Through Actions").

Loaded Language Full-Length, 2003

SMILING SACRIFICE (USA)

Rough bashing thrashcore which is a pretty intense affair with short explosive tracks following in a quick succession the more moderate material bordering on sincere punk, but both sides seem to work well despite the really messy sound qality. The singer is a mean punker with a cool high-strung semi-shouty tone suiting perfectly the merry unpretentious music.

Speaking Of Death... What Are You Doing Tonight? Demo, 1987

SMIRNOFF (GERMANY)

This very obscure band offer standout fast-paced thrash sounding like a mix between Slayer's "Reign in Blood" and early Destruction. At times the speed comes too much ("Total Flegma", "Fuckin Oberek"), pulling the sound into an undesirable hardcore direction, but here the guys' sense of humour finds a wonderful expression in some nice melodic guitars, based on children's cartoons themes. "Apokalipsa" will catch you absolutely unpreed with its ultra- brutal sound, a vicious mix of death and black metal, preceding the future death and black metal scene with a few years. The vocals are very effective sinister semi-whispers, serving more as a background, rather than put in the front.

Nicht Zu Schnell Demo, 1988

SMIRNOFF (POLAND)

Based on the first demo, this band offer very aggressive blasting death/thrash ("Zemsta", the pure black/death metal madness "Apokalipsa") metal mixed with ultra-heavy slower tracks ("Total Flegma"). The faster material is the predominant one, and this vicious brutal recording could easily pass for the most brutal underground work in the whole of Europe at the time: a surprisingly forceful ball of fury and aggression. Reportedly on future releases the guys softened the course quite a lot (which is really sad, if it's true) moving to ordinary thrash/crossover.

Nicht Zu Schnell Demo, 1988
O.K. !? Demo, 1989
Fuck me Tender Demo, 1990
B=ljon Der Demo, 1995

Official Site

SNAG (USA)

An interesting mix of the fashionable at the time groovy post-thrash and brisk intense retro thrash with a Slayer flavour; both approaches are well blended together intercepting each other at the most appropriate time, the classic influences maybe a bit more accentuated on, some of them being pure bashing extreme thrash/proto- death ("Indestructible", "Guilty Until Proven Innocence") leaving the Slayer influences far behind. Expect hard-hitting relentless music with a downpour of sharp fast riffs, accompanied by gruff, but intelligible, semi-clean vocals and memorable shouty choruses ala Anthrax.

Beginning to End EP, 1992
Awakened State Full-length, 1995

SNAIL'S PACE (ITALY)

These Italian "snails" play naive playful thrash with more serious Bay-Areasque arrangements at times. On the longer material ("Stream Of Consciousness") the music captures the calculated technicality of Metallica and Heathen, but the silly shouty choruses diminish the values of this recording. The bad sound quality is another detriment, but overall this effort kind of deserves its very obscure status.

States of Human Regression Demo, 1990

SNAKE EYES (POLAND)

An uneven mix of classic and modern thrash staying truer to the crossover patterns on at least half of the tracks which doesn't give many chances to the more clever guitar riffs to develop. Still, on the longer compositions there is more to be heard in terms of musicianship and more elaborate song-structures, if we exclude the very thin leads and the gruff low, not very comprehensible, death metal vocals. Some of the guys involved here give a southern/sludgy twist to the modern thrash metal formula with their other band Death Lot Lizard whereas others concentrate on pure classic death metal with Incinerate Infection.

Beware Of The Snake Full-length, 2010

My Space

SNAPJAW (ROMANIA)

4 tracks of decent classic/modern thrash metal which is atmospheric and mid-paced for most of the time, sounding dry and sterile, but in a good way; "Maniac" is a good number, speeding up a bit, thrashing hard at times. The awful rending vocals should be replaced, though: this guy sounds like being in constant agony, with no relief whatsoever (maybe the singing causes him so much pain?). Cerebral Fix with a more mechanical drier edge could be a good reference point.

Murder Is Only Flesh Deep EP, 2008

My Space

SNIFFILIS (SLOVENIA)

A cool mix of classic and modern 90's power/thrash metal with a lot of dynamics varying the pace the whole time the dominant one being mid, but there will be a lot of jumping around on all-out moshers like "Antikrist" and "Sved". The crossover joy hasn't been neglected, either: the merry jumpy instrumental "Ded Ket" (could mean "dead cat"?!), and the closing "Bazileus" comes with interesting progressive arrangements. The singer ruins the picture a bit with his hoarse hardcore tone.

Sniffilis Full-length, 1994

SNIPER (GERMANY)

Based on "Seducer Of Human Souls": the classic 80's sound of bands like Slayer, Sodom, Destruction, the Bay Area bands are brought to us for the upteenth time this millennium, this time mixed with old school Floridian death metal. The result is crushing, occasionally fast, music which will delight both thrash and death metal fans. At from the all out thrash assaults, the guys try something more technical, and although now these are only skles here and there, this could later bring better results.
"Plasmodium" is 4 songs of raging death/thrash, pretty fast stuff, but offering little outside the so often used Gothenburg formula, except maybe for "Darkness Descends" (which is not a Dark Angel cover) which comes with a more controlled technical delivery.

Your World is Doomed Full-length, 2004
Seducer Of Human Souls Full-length, 2006
Plasmodium EP, 2010

Official Site

SNYPER (UK)

Based on the first two demos ("Manifestations" is actually only one song and an intro, and is more speed metal-based), these guys come up with a fairly interesting brand of speed and thrash metal with a dark technical sound and good bass and guitar work both nicely displayed on the instrumental "Beginning of the End". This is music long on both atmosphere and musicianship with very interesting melodies and splendid "duels" between the guitars and the bass. The overall sound is close to the Mexicans Toxodeth, but here there is no trace of a show-off or a "one-man-rules-it-all" performance. The vocals are in the death metal camp, but they fit the dark ominous sound very well.
The "The Citadel" debut demo is just one song which is an intense diverse speed/thrasher with a pounding rhythm-section and very good technical leads; a really good start for the band who after a long string of good demos disappeared without realising their potential.
The "Manifestations" compilation is a weird affair containing a few tracks from the first 2 demos, but nothing from the "Ephexis" demo, and just 2 songs from the "Something Illusionary" one. Still, it features whole 12 compositions, reportedly most of them from the unreleased full-length "4 What It's Worth" scheduled for release in 1991, so apently the guys were hiding those gems (and gems they are indeed) somewhere under a stone to resurface some 23 years later. There won't be any disappointed with this dark atmospheric slab of the good old school thrash which begins with the imposing dark shredding on "Death Rite At Sunset" with which the band took t in the Thrash Assault split with 9 other British bands in 1989, also featured on the "Obituary" demo. Indoctrinate" follows suit which is a dark hypnotic mid-paced sleeper with a few more inventive tecnical shreds. A duo of familiar from the demos songs follows before the title-track from the unreleased album hits with another portion of less dynamic, almost balladic, riffs accompanied by fine lead sections. "Feel Not, See Nothing" from the "Something Illusionary" demo is a heavy technical cut the technical tendencies further developed on the next "Circle Of Pain" which also introduces imposing bassisms. "Manifestations" from the debut demo is an excellent progressive number concentrating on the melodic hooks and the great melodic leads. "Beginning Of The End/Penance" carries on in the same vein speeding up a bit near the end to grow later into another track from the "Something Illusionary" demo, "Sacred Blade", before "No Death So Sad" wraps it up with a seamless bend of fast and slow sections in the spirit of Nocturnus with a breath-taking doom/balladic finish. The deep low-tuned death metal vocals are a perfect fit to the dark brooding music which could have been of some interest to doom and death metal fans as well with its frequently oppressing atmosphere and menacing rhythm-section.

Manifestations Demo, 1988
Obituary Demo, 1988
The Citadel Demo, 1988
Ephexis Demo, 1989
Something Illusionary Demo, 1990
Manifestations Best Of Compilation, 2013

SO I SCREAM (POLAND)

Modern thrash of the more melodic semi-groovy variety; the band insert quiet, atmospheric, gothic passages, and as a result we have quite a few tracks which sound like a thrashy mid-period adise Lost ("Narcissism", "Imponderabilia", "Underdog"). Unnecessary exercises in frantic hardcore ("?!?") are scattered throughout as well as awkward blends of fierce death metal and the aforementioned calmer moments. This is quite an uneven mix of several styles, not working very well together, and some refinement in the future would be good.

The End of Tolerance Full-Length, 2007

SO I SIN (AUSTRIA)

Based on the full-length, this band specialize in modernized Slayer-ish thrash, at least in the beginning, which looks at the Americans' more recent releases spicing the delivery with softer post-thrashy rhythms ("Pure Veil of Darkness") and gothic atmospherics the latter not very far from adise Lost. The aggressive thrashy nature of the album gradually disappears in the 2nd half to be replaced by mellow friendlier riffage which wakes up on the final cut "Real Deal", a hard-hitting thrasher with ripping guitars. The singer tries to emulate the more recent style acquired by Tom Araya, and does a good job at that.

Craving for Desire EP, 2007
Sichart Full-length, 2013

Official Site

SOAKING WET (HOLLAND)

This is prototypical classic thrash with a few jumpier sections, with shades of crossover and hardcore. The delivery can get quite wild ("Wall Of Silence") at times, but also watch out for more stylish, elaborate compositions ("Looking For Me") where the approach is mid-paced at best. The production quality is quite raw, but at least it doesn't obstruct the cool clean singer who leads the show with attached, semi-declamatory punkish antics.

Cry in Wonder Demo, 1991

SOASHYANT (IRAN)

Dark atmospheric modern thrash metal, rich in melody, but lacking in sharpness bringing the winds of power metal here and there. "The Last Fly" is a great balladic isntrumental, standing proud beside the scary doomy shredder "Wolf", which is a cool heavy piece with nice Oriental implements. The singer doesn't impress much with his rough semi-death metal delivery playing a secondary role to the better music.

Soashyant Full-length, 2010

My Space

SOBER TRUTH (GERMANY)

Based on "Outta Hell", these guys play jolly dynamic post-thrash which even manages to sound technical on the closing "Leave me Alone"; still, before this more intriguing moment the music seldom leaves the predicle groovy mode assisted, maybe not very deservedly, by the excellent diverse vocals which move from a forceful James Hetfield-like delivery to a deeper doomy one at the appropriate time.

Riven Full-length, 2008
Outta Hell Full-length, 2010

Official Site

SOBIBOR (COLOMBIA)

Cool energetic retro thrash metal with nice headbanging pieces, occasionally interrupted by the odd slower track: the melodic closing power metal number "Sobibor" or the doomy dragging "Danzando Con La Muerte" which kind of breaks the fine pace of the album although the guys have no problems recapturing it again, this time with a shade of crossover ("Furia Y Metal").
The trio is back with "Misantropia" which again mixes straight-forward speed/thrash with crossover elements the latter being more frequent than on the debut bringing a merry optimistic attitude on soaring speed metal anthems like "Pacto De Sangre" and "Mujer o Demonio (El Martillo De Las Brujas)". A darker, more aggressive sound comes forward on "Vencer o Morir" which is even graced by a few blast-beats before the optimism returns on full-throttle with "Requiem". "Dementor" is a really "demented" speedster, a very fast piece which is followed by 2 laid-back punk/crossover variations the final one being a rendition of a Ramones' track.

Furia Y Metal Full-length, 2006
Misantropia Full-Length, 2012

My Space

SOBIBOR (FINLAND)

A very good demo of intense Bay Area thrash metal reminiscent of Vio-Lence and Exodus.

The First Execution Demo, 1990

SOCAVON (COLOMBIA)

Atmospheric dark thrash metal topped by very brutal low-tuned death metal vocals which don't quite suit the much more melodic music; this same music borrows readily from gothic and doom, and at times comes pretty close to adise Lost's magnum opus "Shades of God". "Guerra" is a surprising headbanging piece in the middle, but the rest never leaves the mid-pace, and may depress you with its gloomy funereal atmosphere.
"Cenizas del Palacio" thrashes harder with a more open death metal edge, even adhering to black metal hyper-blasts (the opening "Noche y Niebla"), and despite the more aggressive musical approach the keyboards have sneaked into the sound quite a bit. Actually, the mid-paced songs are very few (the operatic doomster "Lagrimas Del Pasado"; the atmospheric steam-roller opus "Lamentos"), the rest being intense thrash/death metal the way they used to play it in the early-90's. The "duel" between keyboards and guitars is appealing, though, and gives the album a characteristic orchestral flavour, recalling Nocturnus and early Therion.

Pasos en Sangre Full-length, 2003
Cenizas del Palacio Full-length, 2009

Official Site

SOCIAL DECAY (USA)

Based on the 1992 demo, these guys don't care about any modern trends, but go head-over-heels into classic thrash territory pulling out very good thrash in the tradition of later period Helstar ("Distant Thunder", in ticular). This band maybe rely more on slower, heavier, and less technical guitars. "Social Decay" jumps on the American power metal wagon, but is a great number with nice melodic vocal lines and an infectious chorus.

Demo Demo, 1992
Insights of Reality Demo 1995
Bipolar Disorder Demo 1996

SOCIAL DESPAIR (GREECE)

This is intense thrash/proto-death which acquires more frivolous hardcore aesthetics at times ("Civil War", "Society"), but those awful brutal guttural vocals just don't fit the latter stretches. "Technology Kills" is an explosive, half a min grinder, and if we exclude those deviations, the rest is an aggressive slab of the good old thrash with a Slayer, Devastation vibe.

Social Despair EP, 2007

SODOM (GERMANY)

One of the "holy three" of German thrash metal, Sodom's beginnings were unpromising and amateurish, going towards black metal; that's why "Persecution Mania" came as a surprise with its tight and catchy thrash metal sound. "Agent Orange" was a worthy follow-up, but the troublesome 90's saw the band throwing themselves into the opposite extremes from the intense, death metal-like sound on "Tapping The Vein" to the punk-ish spirit of "Till Death Do Us Unite". "Code Red" showed some light in the tunnel, and "M-16" almost brought down all competition on their knees, being a stellar album, arguably the band's magnum opus. Despite the more restrained and melodic sound on "Sodom", Sodom haven't said their final word yet.
"The Final Sign of Evil", as you can easily guess by the album-title, is a re-recording of the "In the Sign of Evil" EP, plus seven other songs which were never released before under any form, and were originally written for that same EP. The line-up who recorded this album is exactly the same who took t in the first one: Tom Angelripper, Chris Witchhunter and Grave Violator.
One of the band's founding members: Chris Witchhunter, passed away on September, 7th 2008, reportedly due to "decompensation of his organic system".
The band started the millennium in flying colours with the excellent "M-16", but Angelripper (or other reasons?)'s side-occupations put them on hold, before they appeared after a lengthy 5-year pause with the mild unimpressive self-titled effort. They tried to "apologize" with the re-recording of "The Sign of Evil", but this was hardly what the fans expected with a new material so sporadically released. It's the beginning of the new decade, and Sodom are back in the game with a new full- length, "In War and Pieces", with only Angelripper on board from the original line-up. The war themes are brought back, so shall we have another old school thrash roller-coaster? Well, to an extent, at least in the 1st t where the guys really try hard to sound as classic and intense as possible. "In War and Pieces" is a sure-handed opener mixing slower and faster ts to a positive effect. Then "Hellfire" comes thrashing down with force, before "Through Toxic Veins" slightly calms the situation down with a more laid-back galloping delivery. "Nothing Counts More Than Blood" carries on in the same vein with a few more energetic headbanging ts added, before "Storm Raging Up" slows down in a heavy stomping manner, with a nice speedy "apology" at the end. "Feigned Death Throes" is a slow semi-balladic sleeper, something new in the band's repertoire, but delivers with its hypnotic proto-doomy riffs. "Soul Contraband" is a more intense pounder with a few proto-modern sections, and could be considered a filler. The acoustic intro on "God Bless You" may scare you provided that there were a couple of slower tracks previously, and indeed later on the song is not a very pleasant surprise with its melodic modern riffage and the clinging towards the semi-ballad again. Another sleepy filler follows suit, "The Art of Killing Poetry", and before the listener gets completely pulled back, comes "Knarrenheinz" to save the day moshing far'n wide reaching Slayer-esque extremes. The closing "Styptic asite", unfortunately, is another waste with its retouched guitars and anemic delivery exiting the album in a fairly unsatisfying fashion. By all means better than its predecessor, this album is hardly the best answer to the big competition which the guys face nowadays, and in order to not be left behind by both new and old names, Angelripper and Co. should put more effort into it next time.
"Epitome of Torture" is a more fitting entry into the veterans' repertoire than the last couple of albums the band having not thrashed so wildly since the time of "M-16". The opener "My Final Bullet" also shows a penchant for more melodic licks whcih can be heard on quite a few of the other songs as well. "S.O.D.O.M." is a direct ear-splitter followed by a string of similar fast "bullets" some of them served with a portion of heavier stomping aesthetics ("Epitome Of Torture"), others jumping on the proto-death metal wagon ("Stigmatized") recalling the so promising "Tapping the Vein". "CANNIBAL" is the obvious filler, a mid-tempo speed/proto-thrasher which doesn't add up to the album's ferocious nature, neither does it provide the best possible break of the experienced "carnage". The gand carry on after it with the smahsing "Shoot Today Kill Tomorrow" again introducing a more brutal moment of death metalness on "Invokating The Demons". After the machine-gun intensity of the appropriately-titled "Katjuschka", which starts with the popular tune from the Russian World War II hymn of the same title, comes the closing duo which is a bit underwhelming with its temperate speedless nature, but shows a not very frequently witnessed, lyrical, side of the band which strongly reminds of the Kreator endeavours to spice it up in a more restrained vein on "Phantom Antichrist".
The band have made a successful attempt at catching up with their compatriots at a time when they were dangerously falling behind both older and newer acts, and will continue to stay on the front echelon for another while. Returning to the very front echelon, however, has been postponed until another commendable release.

In the Sign of Evil EP, 1984
Obsessed By Cruelty Full-length, 1986
Expurse of Sodomy EP, 1987
Persecution Mania Full-length, 1987
Agent Orange Full-length, 1989
Ausgebombt EP, 1989
Better Off Dead Full-length, 1990
The Saw Is The Law EP, 1991
Tapping the Vein Full-length, 1992
Aber bitte mit Sahne EP, 1993
Get What You Deserve Full-length, 1994
Masquerade In Blood Full-length, 1995
'Til Death Do Us Unite Full-length, 1997
Code Red Full-length, 1999
M-16 Full-length, 2001
Sodom Full-length, 2006
The Final Sign Of Evil Full-length, 2007
In War and Pieces Full-length, 2010
Epitome of Torture Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

SODOMA (BRAZIL, JO'c3O PESSOA, A'cdBA)

Based on the "Renascida em Trevas" demo, this is brutal thrash/death of the more classic variety with even more brutal low-tuned death metal growls; the guitar work is good, with quite a few technical licks, bringing the sound close to Morbid Angel at times. The music alternates super-fast sections with really cool up-tempo technical ones decorating some songs with the casual keyboard refrain ("Rainha Das Concubinas").
The debut demo is a rougher offering with a thin guitar sound surrounded by fuzzying noise and brutal death metal vocals. The band mix things by adding slower, pounding passages to the dominant pretty fast approach, where some good bass performance can be caught. The music clings more towards death metal with frequent nods to the Floridian school (think Brutality, Monstrosity).

Sadomazocristo Demo, 2005
Renascida em Trevas Demo, 2008
Sempiterno Agressor Full-length, 2011

Official Site

SODOMA (BRAZIL, NATAL, RIO GRANDE DO NORTE)

This is melodic speedy stuff quite close to the works of their compatriots Vodu and Viper's debut. So this is mostly speed metal with shades of thrash on the more intense moments. This is fast energetic music of the soaring, uplifting type and a sure precursor to the future 90's speed/power metal wave. The sound production is quite muddy disfavouring the guitars, but boosting the thundering bass. "Sodoma" is a more aggressive piece, but the next "Divina Tormenta" is a pure epic power metal joy the speed returning with full force on the last 2 numbers. The singer has a leveled clean temer who never tries anything adventurous, but sings in a dispassionate articulate manner with the casual higher semi-shout.

Prisioneiros Do Absurdo Demo, 1987

SODOMIZER (BRAZIL)

The band's debut is good classic heavy/power metal with a sound close to old veterans like Metal Church, Malice, Tyrant (USA). The sophomore album is harder with nods to the speed/thrash metal scene: Exciter ("Bring Your Dead"'s main riff will remind you of "Violence and Force"), Whiplash, Exodus ("Cenobites", for example, sounds like a leftover from "Bonded by Blood"), accompanied by good aggressive Paul Baloff (R.I.P.)-like vocals. This is enjoyable, fast-paced and catchy, stuff with only one track reminding of the debut: the power metal-based galloper "Heavy Metal Horror".
"Jesus Is Not Here Today", say the Brazilians, and indeed, he would hardly be around with titles like "Let's Satan Take Your Soul" and "When The Devils Order Is Better Obey", so he would miss since the new album is another cool slice of the good old speed/proto-thrash, more melodic than its predecessor, quite faithful to early Exciter again, except that the songs are longer and more thought-out, without offering anything too complex music-wise, just fiery speedy riffs with the obligatory mid-paced insertions. This is mild feelgood music which will also bring to mind Tank and Motorhead, even early Bathory on the "evil" touches.

Tales of the Reaper Full-length, 2004
The Dead Shall Rise to Kill Full-length, 2007
Jesus Is Not Here Today Full-length, 2011

Official Site

SOFISTICATOR (ITALY)

This is a direct stripped-down retro thrash assault the guys moshing out in a simplistic, crossover-shaded, fashion reaching speed metal heights on the frolic headbanger "Total Flatulence War (Beans Attack!)" which is an excellent energetic cut. The remaining material is probably less flashy with a more frank hardcore attitude the band trying to capture the early Celtic Frost steam-roller intensity on "Ivo The Woodman" which splits the album into two, the 2nd half carrying on in the same speedy vein. "Thrash & Clean" could have been faster, though, rather than being a tribute to the squashing style of Cerebral Fix; and the closer "Mantas (The Thrashmaker)" is a short half-min joke sustained in a carefree crossover manner (could be a nod to Mantas from Venom?!). There is not much Sodom to be heard here in case of the album-title is a reference to the Germans' 1992 effort.

Camping the Vein Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

SOGRAFALTH (FRANCE)

Based on the full-length, this band offers dry proto-modern thrash with synthesized semi-clean vocals mixed with more brutal death metal ones. The music is fast and energetic with technical overtones, sometimes descending to more ordinary groovy trends. Still, bombs like the proto-death one "Cannibal Chameau" and the smashing opener "1'8are Fois" will make your day as well as, probably, the atmospheric more laid-back closer "La Kette".

Tous Maudits Best of/Compilation, 1998
Super Metal Fight EP, 1999
Blague Metal EP, 2004
So Far, So Good... Sogra! Full-length, 2007

My Space

SOILENT GREEN (USA)

Thrash/crossover, not too far from Nuclear Assault with nice lead guitar work, which one wouldn't expect to find on such a release. Some tracks are more melodic, with a clear hardcore shade ("Contemporary Look at the Futuristic Past"), others are heavy and stomping ("Fast Forward"), but the best side of the music is the fast-paced, chaotic thrashers ("Gent Range", "Malfunction"). "Processed Humanity" elaborates a bit with some more complex, technical guitars, and is probably the finest track here. The singer has a cool, high-pitched tember, similar to John Connelly (Nuclear Assault again).

Processed Humanity EP, 1988

Vibrations of Doom

SOKYRA PERUNA (UKRAINE)

Based on "Invictus", this band plays a heavy blend of hardcore, thrash and black/pagan metal. The guitar work is not very sharp, and the guys are not very fond of speed merging most of the tracks into a heavy, somewhat boring, mid-paced melee. The singer is a harsh semi-death metal growler who never changes his pitch making him sound quite misplaced on the numerous more melodic sections.

Eyes Full of Rage Full-length, 1998
European Unity Full-length, 1999
For All We Have and Are Full-length, 2003
I Mertvym I Zhyvym I Ne Narodzhenym Full-length, 2006
Invictus Full-length, 2010

Official Site

SOLDIER (SPAIN)

This new formation serve relaxed merry-go-round classic power/speed/thrash which is characterized by attached high-strung vocals which never scream, but provide the necessary dramatic environment. The badnews is that the energetic beginning gets lost almost completely in the middle where the band insert too many mellow balladic sections which badly mar the 2nd half which is only saved by the short speedster "Destroyers" and tially by the semi-galloping diverse closer "Maniac".

Gas Powered Jesus Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

SOLDIERY (MEXICO)

A 4-song demo of energetic classic thrash which doesn't hide its fascination with the neighbouring Bay-Area, and some tracks easily reach the primal aggression of "Eternal Nightmare" ("Demons From The Sky", the explosive headbanger "The Thrashing Soldiery"). The singer is an asset with his dramatic semi-clean delivery, also expert at hitting the high registers when necessary (check the final seconds from "Brainwashed Killer"). The guys shred with passion and force and it would be no surprise if they end up being picked by some label very soon.

Demo Demo, 2010

SOLEMN STATEMENT (GERMANY)

God whispers" here in a modern thrashy fashion tinged with hardcore here and there. So expect plenty of energy served here with brisk lashing riffs and a few choppy proto-groovy breaks. The band have a good sense of variety reflected in the cool heavy semi-ballad "Empty Space" although the angry quarrelsome singer whose rendings are quite close to the one of Mr. Al Jurgensen (Ministry), slightly ruins it not making any compromises with his mechanic shouty delivery.

God Whispers EP, 2012

Official Site

SOLICITUDE (GERMANY)

Based on "Beneath", the band's style is heavy dark thrash with brooding gothic atmosphere and slight shades of black metal ("Crystal Lake"). For some reason this EP reminds me of the Brits The Nefilim. The second t of the EP is heavier with longer and more varied tracks, but somehow loses its thrashy appeal.

Burn Full-length, 1997
Regnum Irae Full-length, 1999
Beneath EP, 2002
Alteration Full-length, 2005

Official Site

SOLID CORE (SWEDEN)

Based on the "Inner Noise" demo, this is a decent attempt at mixing classic and modern thrash, topped by semi-death metal vocals. The result is more on the modern side, and some cool guitar melodies from the Gothenburg school could be heard.

Inner noise Demo, 2004
Shattered Dreams Demo, 2005

SOLID IMPACT (PORTUGAL)

These guys take t in this act to offer us nothing more than the trite modern post-thrash with several metalcore, and even Rage Against the Machine-like, leanings. There is nothing "solid" here, just repetitive annoying riffs and patterns assisted by even more irritating shouty vocals.

Remastered Underground Prints Demo, 2003

Official Site

SOLIPSISM (PUERTO RICO)

This 3-track demo offers cool aggressive thrash metal of the classic school with proto-death passages, and some of the most tortured and agonizing vocals you might have heard in a while. The production quality is bad with a fuzzy guitar sound, but the music packs a punch, also featuring a brutal grinding section on the second song "Only Death Is Real".

Only Death is Real...? Demo, 2004

Official Site

SOLIPSIST (USA)

Based on the "Extinction Protocol" EP, these guys offer modern thrash which is both intense and groovy both sides constantly alternating throughout except on the monumental closer "Ghost of Remembrance" which is 10-min of atmospheric meanderings ala more recent Opeth and an overlong balladic epitaph. The singer is an angry death metal semi-growler.

Medicate the Masses EP, 2007
The Human Equation Full-length, 2010
Extinction Protocol EP, 2012

Official Site

SOLITAIRE (FINLAND)

The best Finnish metal band "born" during the new millennium so far; few are those of the new acts who can fit into the definition "speed metal" better than Solitaire. So what we have is speed, speed and... thrash. The band effortlessly switch from one style to the other, making every album an entertaining listen. With so much speed and energy at display, it's hard to actually point at a soundalike; the neighbours Cranium come closest from the more recent bands; from the veterans Agent Steel, and more ticularly their first album, could be a good reference point. There is no technical play or variety in the Solitaire style, but who cares when the music is that good.
"Predatress" is again classic speed metal in its purest form. You have here 11 high-speed antics which at times come in a slower galloping pace ("Predatress"), at times with a pinch of early Metallica ("Leather Scream"), at others with nice epic overtones ("Iron Justice"). "Rat Studded Maniac" is the sole deviation from the formula being a softer hard'n heavy anthem. You know what to expect from Solitaire; this will never be a complex proggressive affair, but fans of the good old school speed/thrash will hardly find more entertaining music to listen to nowadays.
The "Freefall" single is 2 songs showing the more carefree hardcore-ish side of the band's style; the tracks are pretty fast, of course, but the approach is light- hearted with a crossover/hardcore mood; is this a hint at a future change of direction? (ha ha-don't get scared! But...)

Rising To The Challenge Full-length, 2002
Extremely Flammable Full-length, 2004
Invasion Metropolis Full-length, 2006
Predatress Full-Length, 2008
Freefall Single, 2010

Official Site

SOLITARY (CANADA)

This obscure band specialize in stomping power/thrash which can be both balladic and calm, and edgy and dynamic (the title-track). The style is still more on the power metal side,a nd the friendly atmosphere is ably aggravated by the melodic leads and good soulful clean vocals.

Blind the Truth Demo, 1992

SOLITARY (UK)

Based on the full-length debut: this band makes a fine bridge (although too late) between the 80's thrash metal movement and the 90's aggro tendencies. At from the classic Bay Area-influenced riffs one can hear heavy groovy sections in the Pantera and Exhorder-mould. The final result is quite good: this is very cool crushing music which will remind you of the Exhorder debut and Sacred Reich's "The American Way" (the latter band are shown respect with a nice steam-roller cover version of "The American Way").
"Requiem" offers the same mixture, but the highlights are a bit more: the fine Bay-Area delight "Keep Your Enemies Closer" leading the pack. "15 Years" delves really deep into groovy waters, but rest assured that the guys have taken care to keep the listener entertained, and here comes the excellent cover version of Testament's "Into the Pit" to keep the album flowing. Time for more groove with "Spineless", then the headbangers will rejoice once again, for "Hatred", and this is how classic and modern thrash take turns till the end with more preferences given to the modern side of the genre.

The Human Condition EP, 1996
Fear Demo, 1996
Nothing Changes Full-length, 1998
Requiem Full-length, 2008

Official Site

SOLITARY CONFINEMENT (GERMANY)

Based on the "Die Qual" demo, this act specializes in modern thrash/death which can be both aggressive and technical blending both nuances in wild, not very long structures topped by hoarse death metal vocals. Sce hardcore-ish moments can be caught the latter taking a bit away from the intensity which is commendable all the way through, and it would be ineresting to see if it has been preserved for the full-length.

ty Death Demo, 1990
Poluted Earth EP, 1992
Die Qual Demo, 1994
Einzelhaft Full-length, 1996

SOLITUDE (JAPAN)

This act is the continuation of Sacrifice; expect quite a metamorphosis here as the music is much more melodic clinging between the classic heavy/power metal trends and the 90's post-thrash tendencies. There is also alternative, ballads, funk, and what not; no wonder the guys sank without a trace later: this is hardly the best way to continue the career of a once good band.

Virtual Image EP, 2001

Official Site

SOLITUDE (MEXICO)

Based on the debut, this band specialize in a more complex progressive form of modern thrash metal with expressive shouty death metal vocals. The guys shred with competence reminding of both later-period Arch Enemy and the French Lyzanxia. The songs develop in mid to faster galloping paces with loads of memorable melodic hooks before "Dream Inside a Dream" awakwnes to pour aggression into the album with a portion of faster, more intense passages. Still, this digression doesn't influence the subsequent material the band fonder of the calmer delivery which is again "broken" in a way by the more dynamic closer "Our Soul in Solitude" which is a reminder of the guys' main source of inspiratiion: the Swedish school. On the follow-up the band harden the course and come up with a stylish brand of technical death metal by preserving the Swedish influence.

The Glorious Shine of Life Full-length, 2001
Introjection Full-length, 2006

Official Site

SOLITUDE (TURKEY)

Although this is a fine band and all, it leaves me worried whether Blaster, a very cool band whose members have founded this band, will record again. Anyway, this is not an exact substitute for Blaster; the music is a bit less technical clinging towards a more aggressive, Slayer-esque mode. There are some nice Oriental touches ("From The East"), too. Good job, but you couldn't possibly expect less having in mind the musicians involved.

Stands for the Void Demo, 2003
Dangerous Force/Solitude Split Split, 2004

SOLITUDE (USA)

Based on the "Fall of Creation" demo, this band pull out heavy thrash with slight technical touches along the lines of Testament's "Practice What You Preach" and Evildead's "The Underworld", but with a very timid lead guitar, and moments which kind of suggest at the coming groovy tendencies in the 90's. This is not bad at all; the tempo is good, never fast ("The Afterlife" is the sole exception), and there are loads of headbanging riffs. The singer has a good powerful voice sounding like a blend of Phil Rind (Sacred Reich) and Chris Astley (Xentrix). Reportedly their full-length debut has fully embraced the 90's modern sound at which this demo only slightly hints.
"From Within" is your average modern groovy post-thrash with a thick heavy guitar sound, but more up-tempo moments are not completely ignored ("No Future", "Alter the Red", and above all, the intense thrasher "Poisoned Population"), and as a whole this album is not actually lacking energy. "From Within" is a fine short acoustic instrumental which breaks the album into two ts.

Sickness Demo, 1988
Fall of Creation Demo, 1990
From Within Full-length, 1994

SOLUS (CANADA)

Based on the "Our Frosting Hell" EP, these guys pull out cool semi-technical thrash/death metal which opposes to the trends in their own motherland by concentrating on heavy mid-paced riffs spiced up by genuine abstract moments, quite close to Coroner's "Grin" ("Tainted Slowly"). The vocals are brutal low death metal growls rarely accompanied by clean operatic ones.

"Slave of Mind" offers heavy mid-paced music with a clear modern flavour. There is not much technicality involved, and the repetitive nature of the guitars will tire the listener, but if he stays with the album until the end, he will experience its finest moments: the hectic technical groover "Strain", and the only "temptation" at a faster play "Core" which blasts out with the best out there on a few times.

Slave of Mind Full-length, 1996
Our Frosting Hell EP, 1998
Universal Bloodshed Full-length, 1999

SOLVO ANIMUS (PUERTO RICO)

Based on "The Ways of Men", this power trio, whose line-up features members from all the distinguished acts from the island (Dantesco, Sacrilegio, Narval, etc.), specialize in very good progressive power/thrash which boasts a dark rich sound which at times may recall the Swedish scene (Memneto Mori, Hexenhaus, Fifth Reason, Memory Garden): the opener "End of This Realm", but at others it branches out into less defined power/thrash in mid-pace maybe recalling mid-period Iced Earth (the title-track); at others it's straight-ahead speed/thrash ("Victory at Zion") without any gimmicks. "Just Us" tries something jumpy and technical for over 3-min, and "Truth or Lies" is a cool nod to the 80's American scene before the galloping "Fountain of Dreams" notches it up the progressive scale. "Free" thrashes really hard with technical implements, and "World of No Tomorrow" is another scary shredder with heavy dramatic riffs and several speedy sections. "Silent Revenge of the Gypsy" is another major ripper with galloping moments aplenty again, and the closing "Seven Days" is a tad milder epitaph with its with loads of virtuous melodic leads flowing from all sides. The vocalist is truly a find with his soaring dramatic pitch reminiscent of Bruce Dickinson, the best possible coverage for this excellent effort.

Solvo Animus Full-length, 2009
The Ways of Men Full-length, 2013

Official Site

SOMBER (SWEDEN)

A hesitation between the classic and the modern sound which is pretty dynamic moving from heavy groovy to fast headbanging sections the whole time both sides equally distributed along the album. The approach inevily resembles early The Haunted on the better moments, with a surprising shift into laid-back, mellow post-thrash near the end, with a cool semi-ballad ("A Machine Corroded"), something which The Haunted themselves started doing at some later stage; and "Whiskey And Brew", which is a pure doom/stoner joy ala Orange Goblin.

The Black Machine Full-length 2008

Official Site

SOMEDAY I COULD KILL (USA)

A power trio who "someday could kill" someone with these heavy modern doom/sludgy/post-thrashy riffs which never develop beyond the mid-pace, but sound convincing, especially on the more balladic moments ("Into Distortion") where they come with a more emotional charge. "Rock The 40" is a frolic rocker livening up the doom-laden situation established by the rest which turns into full-blooded doom near the end on "White Persia" and the more melancholic closer "Lashing Back".

Where the Wolves Rest Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

SOMETHIN AWFUL (USA)

This obscure effort is your average galloping American power/thrash on the more minimalistic side: think Griffin and Aftermath. The longer compositions ("Before And After") contain some cool balladic sections, but there's enough energy to be savoured on more immediate moshers like "The Uprising". The singer shouts in a way no worse than Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth (Overkill) himself, and some of the more epic tunes will also remind you of early Overkill ("Somethin Awful"; make sute you don't miss the great virtuoso lead passages on this one).

Demo Demo, 1989

SONIC FLOWER (PORTUGAL)

Groovy post-thrash with an alternative and also grunge edge; nothing to die for, lacking emotion and dynamics. The band members have another project: The Last of Them, where they play almost the same stuff.

Tripnoziak Demo, 2001

My Space

SONIC PULSE (USA)

This young outfit play frolic, but also quite intense at times, power/speed/thrash retaining the high energy even on longer, seemingly more thought-out compositions like "Bong Zombies" and "Sonic Pulse" staying firmly on classic ground for most of the time inevily "winking" at the 90's power/speed metal movement on occasion. "Eye Of The Beerholder" is another engaging piece with blistering speedy sections and very cool melodic lead guitar work. The approach smells Manticora and Hellfire on the more soaring moments ("Beyond The Black Hole"), and generally the mood is uplifting also helped by the good dramatic vocals which share a hoarse clean blend not dissimilar to Hansi Kursch (Blind Guaridan) and Lars F. Larsen (Manticora again). Som eof the band memebrs released one more album the same year of classic speed metal under the name of Seax, and also play in the thrash metallers Sk'81ll Hammer.

Lager Than Life Full-length, 2012

Official Site

SONIC VIOLENCE (UK)

Based on "Jagd": these guys are one of the pioneers of the industrial sound in England, taking a well-deserved place right beside Godflesh and Pitch Shifter. Unlike them, this band adhere to more intense thrashy riffage, but the music has the same monotonous one-dimensional quality going along with the style. The lack of speed might tire the listener, especially at the time of release, when recordings of this kind were very rare. On the last tracks, where the length increases, the band switch onto pure gloomy doom with industrial overtones. Reportedly on later works the guys have chosen the heavy industrial path to follow.

Sacrifice To Strength EP, 1989
Jagd Full-length, 1990
Casket Case Full-length, 1991
Transfixion Full-length, 1992
The Blastecyst Mixes EP, 1993

SONICK PLAGUE (USA)

This is jolly uplifting thrash metal that we have here. The riffs would remind you of early less technical Megadeth, or Mordred's "In This Life". The band incorporates very cool moments: country, latin, rock'n roll ones (check out "I Don't Wanna Relax") which work great in the overall optimistic sound; this is good "ty" thrash all the way.

What's The Purpose Full-length, 1988

SONNY RED (FRANCE)

Melodic modern groovy post-thrash with all the gimmicks for the style although the clean side of the vocals here is quite good. Some more energetic numbers actually deliver the goods ("A New Eye").

Extent Of Soul Full-length, 2006

My Space

SONS OF JONATHAS (BELGIUM)

This band is the new band of Xavier Carrion, the guitarist who has taken t in two of the most celebrated Belgian thrash metal acts Channel Zero and Cyclone. The style here is more aggressive being a mix of thrash and death metal; the music is good offering both slower atmospheric and speedy tracks. There is a shade of groove coming from the later Channel Zero efforts, but the cool cutting riffs stifle them quite a bit. At their best the guys reach even Death ("Final Call"), but another very attractive side of theirs is the pure speed delights ("Listen & Obey"), or the smashing heads-down thrashers ("Sons of Jonathas"). "House of Torment" is an odd ambient atmospheric number placed in the middle, absolutely out of context. The rest, however, is really worth checking out being good professionally executed thrash/death metal.

The Death Dealer Full-length, 2005

My Space

SONS OF WAR (BRAZIL)

Brutal thrash/proto-death, fitting just perfectly into the thrash metal picture in Brazil at the time; the sound quality is awful, but this is a live recording, but one would hardly expect a better sound in the studio, since the musicianship is very amateurish, and the "singer" tries to rule the show talking to the audience, rending his lungs out for some awful semi-death metal grunts which often completely "choke" the timid musical attempts of the other players.

Live at Heavy Rock Festival Demo, 1987

Fan Site

SOON TO BE FORGOTTEN (NORWAY)

Based on the self-titled demo, this band acquit themselves with modern death/thrash which is not miles away from the Swedish school, early Dissection an obvious influence. The guys vary the approach always staying on melodic ground with interesting hooks and tunes making all the 3 3-4min compositions pretty eventful listenings without stepping onto any technical of progressive territories. The singer is an expressive semi-shouter who assists capably without taking too much space.

Soon to Be Forgotten Demo, 2006
Kill the Band! Demo, 2007

My Space

SOOTHSAYER (CANADA)

An enjoyable band who manage to sound different on almost every song from their debut; the style is firmly thrash, but they spice things up with instrumentals, ballads and jolly punk/hardcore passages. One can not help, but have "a good time" while listening to this album.
Another unheralded reunion and it's a good thing that the band have decided to present a similar concoction of merry styles as the majority of the numbers are strictly in the thrash/crossover camp although there are not too many speedy moments to be savoured the guys shredding in a dominant mid-tempo with casual bursts of aggression the latter leading to pure punk/hardcore outbreaks ("Enough", the energetic closer "Anatomy Is Dead Sickness" which is a slightly updated version of an old anthem). The vocalist is a sure-handed attached semi-shouter who doesn't hide his more melodic "soul" which goes well with the jolly optimistic mood of the music.

Have A Good Time Full-length, 1989
Troops of Hate Full-Length, 2013

Vibrations of Doom

SORCERER (HOLLAND)

The mainman here is Mike Van Mastrigt who later went onto bigger glories with the death metal acts Sinister and Houwitser. The music here has no shades of death metal whatsoever, but is heads-down speed/thrash reminiscent of Angel Dust and Toxic Shock; "Terror Reigns" is one of the finest examples of the typical German speedy thrash metal: a merciless speed/thrash assault at its best.

Living of Blood Demo, 1987

SORCERER (POLAND)

A promising young Polish band; the style on the EP is mostly speed/power metal not too far from Blind Guardian, but "ornated" with folk-ish and epic moments. The demo would be of bigger interest to thrash metal fans: a very good speed/power/thrash metal piece recalling another fine Polish act, Hellfire. The epic and folk-ish elements are still present, but the overall sound is more aggressive with more complex song-structures bordering on progressive metal which would find its further realization into the (hopefully) full-length.

Metalowa Husarya (The Last Hussars of Metal) EP, 2004
War Sower Demo

Official Site

SORDID DOCTRINE (USA)

Crossover/thrash metal; the shorter tracks are pure hardcore, and are placed in the beginning. Their speed and energy are completely absorbed by the slower stomping "Gasoline Man" which strongly recalls the Carnivore debut. The next 2 songs are ordinary simplistic thrash/crossovers, but the last "The Walls Have Eyes" slows down again bringing forward heavy smashing riffs.

And Then the Rain Came Demo, 1987

SORE PLEXUS (GERMANY)

Yes, before Spiral Architect there was Sore Plexus... This masterpiece sounds like a distant and harder to swallow echo from the German technical/progressive thrash metal scene, which left a memorable trace on the metal field in the early/mid 90's. This is one of the last great outcries from the 90's, a marvellous combination of very complex passages and a couple of straight sections (mostly in the lead detment), resulting in a state-of-the-art affair, preceding the aforementioned Swedes' release by a year, with the similarities between the two works more than passing. The level is already sky-high on the magnificent opener "Cardriver's Weekend", a progressive thrash brilliance last heard on the last Watchtower album, or on Sieges Even's "Life Cycle". "Gypsy Shred" is another great number mixing stunning technical riffs with more direct aggressive ts. "P.Domain" is a whirlwind of ultra-technical guitars and more controlled slower semi-balladic moments. The vocals add up to the original atmosphere being clean with a semi-alternative blend, which on the higher tones come close to Buddy Lackey (Psychotic Waltz), but this guy is more dramatic. Some sce short acoustic (3 altogether) ballads are added as interludes. "Flyger My Chung" is another exercise in exemplary progressive metal, this time more melodic, which tones down the more aggressive riffage from the first couple of tracks: a tendency later continued on "Aloi", before "Die Nasty Qui" steps the pedal again producing great headbanging moments interrupted by vortex-like sections where the guitars switch from one time to another just like that. "6 A.M." is a triumphant number, in the mid-paced sector, for the more level-headed fans with technical sections ala Helstar's "Nosferatu", decreasing the complexity a bit. The best, however, is yet to come, with the closing "Choco Frights", which carries on in the same vein, more complex than the predecessor, with a cool jazzy section in the middle, and a splendid imposing balladic outro. This is one-of-a kind work, which could not possibly be spoiled by a follow-up, and logically after that this very obscure act sank without a trace in the underground where the greatest technical metal bands belong.
The EP is much more than just a warm-up for the full-length: this is actually one of the most impressive short works from the technical/progressive music spectre. The opening twisted riffage of "Paperhat" already gives an idea at what is going to happen here: very complex, thought-out multi-layered music, which sounds like an echo of the already extinct German progressive/technical thrash metal scene of the early/mid 90's, without forgetting about the very roots of the genre as well: Watchtower, that is. The surreal melodic Jello Biafra-like vocals are perfectly fitting to the already very abstract avantgarde picture. "3'n Slow" is one of the finest atmospheric progressive thrashers offering wonderful labyrinthine moments mixed with the quiet semi- balladis ones: a masterpiece worthy of Cynic even. "Shaft!" is more straight-forward to an extent, a short pause, before "Shakkapully" takes you over again with a whirlwind of super-technical guitars and illogical at first listen ts. "Boneless Chicken" is the crown of this little masterpiece: smashing technical thrasher with a brilliant balladic mid-break, and some of the most head-spinning riffs around; add a couple of equally as twisted, but also melodic leads, plus a few more direct headbanging hooks, and outstanding vocal performance, and you know that you will spend many hours listening to this; oh, the more peaceful balladic ending is just one of the delights. With a very little discography left behind, this band remains one of the most essential acts in the history of technical metal.

Visual Agnosia EP, 1997
Haptephobic Full-Length, 1999

SORE SIGHT (GUATEMALA)

This act would be a ldblquote sore sightrdblquote (pun intended) with their dark elaborate, but melodic and catchy, brand of classic power/thrash which mainly suffers from the hysterical shouty vocals which starkly contrast to the otherwise proficient guitar work which even ldblquote flirtsrdblquote wirth the more technical (check out the complex passages on ldblquote Nocturnardblquote ). The album is divided into two ts: short more immediate songs and complex, sometimes overdone, cuts with a lot of musicianship present, to not always very positive impressions. Still, the melodic hooks are quite attractive and the switches to calmer passages, where nice flamenco guitars can also be heard, are handled with care for most of the time and donrquote t sound awkward. There are quite a few interesting ideas thrown in here, but their ultimate realisation is apently left for the indefinite future since the band are put on hold at the moment.

La Muerte Llama Full-Length, 1999

SORGSEN (ARGENTINA)

3 tracks of modern thrash metal with a shade of mid-period In Flames with death metal vocals, mostly in mid-tempo with a couple of sharp moments, but also with an overlong quiet section on "Prefiero Las Sombras" which is an otherwise cool dark doomy thrasher.
The full-length is way thrashier the band now moshing in a more classic, more serious, manner the strictly modern production betraying the time of release. The compositions are much longer with frank progressive pretensions although the riff-patterns seldom shift from the direct path. Interesting melodies with an Oriental twist grace "Hatesource", but the not very melodic shredding on the other material kind of wears thin after a while. Things go over the sense of good taste on the overlong (both lasting over 10-min) "The Last Time" and "Into the Oblivion" which contain a few intricate sections, but overall are just modern tedious crunchers without many highlights, the latter a bit more attractive with its ambient bass insertions. The singer shouts in a more attached death metal manner still playing a second fiddle" to the superior music.

Arguing With Death Demo, 2006
Human Behaviour Full-Length, 2010

Official Site

SORROGATE (GERMANY)

Heavy/power metal reminiscent of Tank and Raven, but with a more modern attitude and touches of thrash, plus a cover version of AC/DC's "Whole Lotta Rosie".

Spinalonga Full-length, 2005

Official Site

SORROWED (FINLAND)

This outfit acquit themselves with a modern brand of thrash and death metal which is both aggressive ("I Am Pain") and melancholic and playful ("Hateregret") with a strong shade of mid-period Sentenced. Still, for the most t the riffs cut with power despite the several radio-friendly rhythms encountered. The singer is a forceful death metal semi-shouter who is ably assisted by the catchy melodic hooks which are at times interrupted by spasmodic blasts ("Ending"). The band members also play a more pure brand of death metal with Snowgarden, and more laid-back gothic metal with Fragile Hollow.

At The Ruins Full-length, 2012

Official Site

SORROWFALL (FINLAND)

This is melodic modern thrash/death metal not far from Dark Tranquillity's The Mind's I" and the early works of the Danes Withering Surfaces. So expect generally moderate music with up and mid-tempos taking turns on a romantic melodic base which gets rudely "awoken" at times (the intense piece "The Sleeper Awakens......The Curse of Our Kind"; the more classic-sounding speed/thrasher "A Shadow Gathers"). In terms of melody this effort probably scores higher even than the aforementioned Dark Traquillity album, but in terms of sharpness it has to catch up with most of the similar stuff out there.

Prayers of the Faithless Full-length, 2007

Official Site
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SORROWED (FINLAND)

Based on the "The Dreams of Children" demo, this band offers long atmospheric exercises in melodic thrash/death metal of the modern school. This is peaceful mid-paced stuff with brutal low-tuned vocals and nice melodic "ornamentions". The tracks are all lengthy within the 7-8min range, but the deviations are in the form of slower doom/gothic-laden passages ala mid-period Cemetary and Lake of Tears where the influence of the guys' other project Fragile Hollow is more than clear.

Dreams of a Better Tomorrow Demo, 1999
The Dreams of Children Demo, 2002
Ending Demo, 2003
Dead in Flesh Demo, 2003

Official Site

SORS IMMANIS (GERMANY)

Based on the "Instant Termination" demo, these obscure technicallers are one of the German progressive/technical thrash metal wave's best kept secrets. This little gem begins with an excellent intense instrumental of the technical, but also fast, variety before the vocals hit on "Art Of Brutality" which is a creepy doomy piece without too many more stylish decisions; those same vocals are of the vicious semi-death metal type distantly recalling Mille Petrozza, but are expressive and forceful enough. "Insanity Rules" is another more complex speedster, followed by the similar, but more wild shredder "Instant Temptation". As a whole the overall delivery comes quite close to Kreator's more technical period ("Coma of Souls", above all), and may easily pass for the most aggressive output from the aforementioned wave.

Last Tribunal Demo, 1987
Hidden Truth Demo, 1992
The Fragility of Beauty Demo, 1993
Haunted Demo, 1994
Instant Termination Demo, 1995
Beyond the Red Demo, 2000

My Space

SORTS (ESTONIA)

Based on the self-titled EP, this band plays atmospheric old school black/thrash metal sounding like a slower more dreamy early Burzum with a pinch of Celtic Frost- esque heaviness. The vocals are subdued semi-death metal ones well suiting the brooding minimalistic tone of the music. The guys are occupied with numerous other black metal projects: Loits, Manatark, the black/thrashers Must Missa, etc.

Made in Nightonia EP, 2010
Sorts EP, 2011

My Space

SOTER (HONDURAS)

This is edgy modern power/thrash which bites more "painfully" here and there, but overall develops in a calm mid-pace with references to hard'n heavy. The sound quality is quite good giving the guitars an expressive edge which is the reason why the weaker clean mid-ranged vocals can't be heard very well at times.

Eterno Silencio Full-Length, 2011

SOTHIS (ITALY)

This young Italian band pull out (based on "Fusion") an energetic thrash/death metal hybrid of the modern type, well done, with nice melodic hooks and sharp riffs, quite fast and brutal at times, but nothing really extraordinary. Some clean vocals can be heard, as opposed to the shouty death-ish ones. A few tracks carry the classic touch ("R.I.P."), and with some more of them for the future this band could stick out ot the horde of The Haunted and Carnal Forge followers.

Fusion Full-length, 2006
Egod Full-length, 2010

Official Site

SOUL ASSASSINS (BRAZIL)

Besed on the demo; these Brazilians play retro thrash with a slightly abrasive guitar sound and gruff death metal vocals. The music packs a punch being dynamic without being very fast, and the bass work is really good assisting the sharp, but buzzy, riffs well. The leads are also worth mentioning being melodic, but short, and without the buzz they would have sounded better.

The full-length debut only tly deserves its ambitious title (the guys don't bother changing titles sticking to the "thrash attack" one) being old school thrash metal of the dark moody type not far from the Brits Deathwish; this is still pretty cool music of the minimalistic less flashy type. The delivery is moderately fast, but the sound quality is quite muddy, giving a strong boost to the bass which plays an important role. The guitars are not very sharp, but deliver with their brooding tone and the short, but effective, leads. The singer is the same death metal gruffer, but this time he is kind of more suile having in mind the "pessimistic" musical approach which moves from more direct headbangers in the beginning to more epic-sounding gallopers towards the end.

Thrash Metal Attack Demo, 2006
Thrash Attack Full-length, 2007
Get Thrashed Split, 2009

Official Site

SOUL CYCLE (USA)

Modern all-instrumental thrash/death metal of the Gothenburg type, early In Flames a ticularly obvious influence; the music is not very varied staying in mid-pace for most of the time, although the guys leave enough room for the riffs to develop without overdoing it in the lead detment, and a couple of more melodic balladic sections can easily be caught, stretching into whole pieces ("Landscapes to Infinity") in the middle. This is an easy smoothly-flowing listen, despite the few more ambitious semi-progressive passages which could have benefitted from more intense riffage here and there.

Soul Cycle Full-Length, 2010

SOUL DEALER (SPAIN)

These Spaniards specialize in calm modern power/post-thrash which is on the soaring side at times (the optimistic opener "Lullaby to the Gods"), but oftentimes does it cling towards the groovy formulas which produce the very cool ballad "Wearing Thin", among other calmer moments the latter mostly gathered in the 2nd half which pulls the album down, a situation partly saved by the very good emotional singer who leads the show with panache and is the best performer here.

A Price to Pay Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

SOUL EATER (MEXICO)

Cool speedy thrash metal of the old school with gruff death metal vocals; the overall approach is quite close to Rigor Mortis and early Whiplash, and tracks like "I Will Rot For Food", "Thrash Metal Dogs" and "Angel Rapist" are major headbangers as well as almost every other one. "Soul Eater" is less controlled blasting out in a furious death metal manner near the end. The lead guitarist is close to being the star of the show with his proficient both melodic and technical, albeit not very long, leads which hit the roof on "A.C.S.", which is the only slower song; that same guy is not too far from Mike Scaccia (Rigor Mortis again, Ministry) although in the riff-detment nothing too technical comes up. "Blasphemy" is more laid-back speed metal, but the closing "Satanic Discharge" thrashes its soul out also touching the early German speed/thrash metal scene, adding the odd blast-beating section. This young outfit really know their craft showing a surprising level of maturity at this very early stage of their career.
The promo is 4 songs of aggressive thrash/death seeiing the guys going up the aggression scale towards Merciless Death and Gammacide. The singer is omnipresent, but in a good way, and his scary brutal growls add up nicely to the music's brutality. There is no mercy shown anywhere: this is devastating speedy stuff with a very clear sound quality.
"In the Land of the Blind" contains all the songs from the promo, and the rest shows no compromise with the band's staple delivery a bullet after bullet shot with the utmost intensity: "Sea Of Corpses", "Red Alert", "Toy Box. etc, all graced by a death metal flavour including in the vocal detment where the guy can really scare the unpreed with his hellish semi-whispered antics. The music develops on a super-speed level for most of the time not leaving much room for any more experimental sections which timidly show up on the more stylish shredder "Ungoliant", and on the furious Cryptopsy-esque "Crown Of Wisdom". The guys' infatuation with death metal is clearly displayed at the end, on the cover of God Dethroned's "Villa Vampiria" whic is delivered in a more moderate thrashy manner which in this case is the right decision.

Satanic Discharge Full-length, 2009
Hymns Of Possession Promo, 2011
In the Land of the Blind Full-Length, 2013

My Space

SOUL FACTOR (BRAZIL)

This Brazilian trio specializes in angry post-thrash crossing later-period Sepultura with more industrial cyber tones, without leaving a very positive impression. The singer is suily angry, the music suily heavy; it's just that this all sounds too painfully familiar.

Timeline Full-length 2003

Official Site

SOUL RELEASE (USA)

This project is the brainchild of Art Caveretta from the death metallers Igzordium who is the sole performer here. Based on the full-length, this is all-instrumental power/thrash with a classic "sting" and not very overt technical edge. The music packs a punch with steady meaty riffs and sudden lead sweeps the latter never dominating leaving plenty of space for the riffs to be heard. The tempo is mid, but it has its headbanging potential ("Blood In The Moonlight") with the consistent hammering riffage and the dynamic setting which slackens a bit on the more power metal-based dreamer "Dimensional Dust". "Freudian Slip" is a creepy crawler with macabre doomy rhythms, but the final trio softens down a bit with a more accentuated guitar virtuoso edge: the man just wants to show his talents to the full.
The EP is 4 tracks in the same vein mixing power and thrash metal staying more on a power metal ground also introducing keyboards which were missing from the previous effort plus an increased presence of lead sections again with a virtuoso flavour.

Beyond the Light Full-length, 2011
Blood of the Dragon EP, 2013

Official Site

SOUL VOMIT (PAKISTAN)

Based on the debut demo, this guy (under the alias Dark Soul) produces 3 tracks of simplistic underground black/thrash which follows early Bathory quite faithfully, if we exclude the Swede (R.I.P.)'s faster infatuations since this is dark mid-paced stuff which suffers from a very muddy sound quality and slightly distorted guitars, which may have been done like that intentionally since they give the music a very raw, primal shade. The singer is a brutal black/deathy growler who can't be heard very clearly.

Silence of the Unreal Demo, 2004
New World Holocaust Single, 2009
Inquilaab Zindabad Single, 2009

Official Site

SOULBREACH (SWEDEN)

Look no further than the usual Gothenburg-influenced thrash/death metal so typical for the metal scene of the past few years. The guys have a nice sense of melody reflected in the excellent lead guitar work, and the music is competently done, but there are quite a few bands out there who offer pretty much the same.

My Dividing Line Full-length, 2007

Official Site

SOULDECEIVER (ITALY)

It's "mankind's mistake" to not have discovered this talented young outfit who specializes in pretty decent semi-progressive/technical thrash/death metal which begins with the creepy dark technicaller "Memories of Centuries", before it rips you at with the massive speedy compelxity of "Cold Eternity", a hectic dramatic number with sce clean vocals as opposed to the typical main semi-shouty death metal ones. "The Other Side" is an aggressive fast shredder ala At the Gates and later- period Death, and "Automa X" is a twisted up-tempo track with a slower epic passage. "Awakening in Reality" is a more moderate song with sudden faster breaks and very good leads. "Alchemical" is a fine 3-min instrumental with sharp technical riffs intercepting quiet balladic lead-driven sections. "Predominant" is a slower, almost doomy, composition, but "Doomed" is ironically much faster followed by two stomping numbers with more ordinary guitar work. The technicality gets lost in the 2nd half which may leave the listener a bit disappointed after the fairly intriguing beginning leaving the more complex arrangements kind of hanging in the air waiting for the next effort to come to be elaborated on...
"The Curious Tricks of Mind" is sustained in a cold, more mechanical vein with slight industrial adherences which kill the attempts at speed almost completely. As a result the whole album develops in sterile manner the melodic relief coming from the leads (the excellent dreamy "Phase C"). There's not much to relate this effort to the debut, this new one sounding like a less experimental warm-up before entering the Meshuggah-esque realms on full scale.

Mankind's Mistakes Full-length, 2009
The Curious Tricks of Mind Full-length 2011

My Space

SOULFADE (GREECE)

The Rehearsal, which contains the same track list as the debut demo, is well-executed dark power/thrash with early Iced Earth a close reference point, as well as Sanctuary's "Into the Mirror Black" on the heavier doomier moments ("Soulfade"). The songs nicely mix slower and faster sections, some of them turned into porgressive opuses ("The Dark Side of My Soul") with balladic interludes and quite a few rhythm changes. "Crystal Tear" is a cool instrumental with a nice "duel" between the guitars and the bass which is standout even deafening the guitars at times. Two good covers are included at the end: Sepultura's "Inner Self", and Kreator's "People of the Lie".
The "Sculpture of Human Innocence" demo is with a better sound quality containing 4 songs, the first of which ("Dreams") is a nice lead-driven short instrumental followed by the excellent progressive thrasher "Sculpture of Human Innocence", a heavy crusher with dark overtones akin to Nevermore. "More Than an Illusion" is brooding doomy thrash, and the doom stays for the last "The Path" which is 9-min of creepy technical music recalling late-80's Metallica a bit ("To Live is to Die", "One"). The singer is not bad, but his mid-ranged semi-clean, not very emotional, tone is not on with the better music.

Marked Angels Demo, 1999
Rehearsal Demo, 1999
Sculpture of Human Innocence Demo, 2000

Official Site

SOULFIRE (MEXICO)

Two guys are behind this roughly produced, but energetic, mix of thrash and death metal of the modern type with slightly fuzzy guitars and a generally fast tempo topped by hoarse unintelligible death metal vocals.

Dying Path of Perdition Demo, 2008

My Space

SOULFRACTURE (UK)

Very goog thrash/death metal with a certain Gothenburg-influence, not too far from Corporation 187 or Dew-Scented, but these guys are a tad more aggressive, and their riffs are more hard-hitting.

Ashes Of Existence Full-length, 2007

Official Site

SOULGATE (GERMANY)

This band play intricate progressive death/thrash metal with power metal elements added, and a few more aggressive, faster sections. The whole has its moments, especially when the guys pull out awesome riffs ala Death and Pestilence, but their ambition is to beat those bands in terms of complexity, and the elaborate song-structures sometimes go beyond the normal thrash metal fan's level of comprehension, bringing the complexity not too far from Zero Hour, for example. The musicianship is undeniable, and the songs never lose coherence; it's just that one listen might not be enough for one to fully appreciate this multi-layered music.

Soulgate EP, 2002
Scorn EP, 2003

Official Site

SOULHAVOC (FINLAND)

Typical melodic thrash/death metal obviously influenced by the dominant style in their neighbours Sweden; these Finns do not stick to speed, but vary things with mid- tempo melodies, heavy slow gothic-laced tracks, melodic leads, and enchanting acoustic passages ("Ending. Prelude To Chaos").

Obituary Full-length, 2009

Official Site

SOULITARY (TURKEY)

Modern thrash, not bad at all, with energetic brisk riffs, which sometimes come out of the blue (Each Time", "La Resistance"), but are appropriately inserted for most of the time. The sound gets quite aggressive occasionally ("Hellish Torture"), but the moments when the guys concentrate on melody more ("Serenade Of War"), seem to work better.

MorteLies Demo, 2004

My Space

SOULLESS (USA)

Based on "Agony's Lament", this band offer quite good modern thrash/death metal rubbing shoulders with Invocator's last offering and modern day-Kreator with the obligatory presence of the Gothenburg sound. Without being too fast or brutal the music flows nicely featuring cool technical riffage and melodic lead guitars. There are also very good vocals sounding like a meaner and angrier Schmier.
"Forever Defiant" is another strong effort which tones down the technical riffage a bit, but keeps the energetic tempo on the same high level. The "carnage" in the beginning is quite similar to the one witnessed on the previous 2 albums, but later on the music acquires more intelligent flourishes with strong echoes of mid/later-period Death despite the songs' relative short length (3-4min). The calmer moments this time are longer (the creepy doomy atmospherics on "As Darkness Dawns"), and generally the Swedish influence is not so strongly felt the band thrashing in their own niche including in the individual speedy interpretation of Rainbow's "Kill the KIng" at the end the gruff singer leading the pack in a sure-handed way and his attached raven-like semi-shouts stand well as Dio's (R.I.P.) replacement.
The debut is a decent release mixing slower with more aggressive compositions, and the two styles mentioned above by leaving more room for death metal. The singer at this point is still a hoarse hysterical shrieker still trying to find his most suile vocal delivery. Somewhere towards the middle the band manage to come up with a couple of intense cool tracks: "Down Hell's Path", "Lost" (a very good song reminiscent of mid-period Carcass), and the closing "The Darkening of Days" is another quite well done intense Carcass worshipper.
"In Death's Grip" is a masterful achievement, the band's magnum opus. The band start with the short blitzkrieg "The Crippler" to set the tone for this roller-coaster of a retro thrashterpiece with the shadow of mid-period Carcass still looming gracefully over it which immediately becomes more technical on "Serpent Reaper" never losing the technicality even on the shorter numbers later on ("It Ends Tonight", "Bury the Cross", etc.). Creepy dramatism settles in on "Death's Icy Grip", and great melodic leads spring up on "Burnt Earth" before the slower "Sinner Without a Soul" "buries" you under a wall of heavy seismic riffs. The band pay tribute to the US speed/thrash metal veterans Destructor with a cool intense cover of "Take Command" from their debut "Maximum Destruction". And finally the encompassing technical speedster "World of Ruin" at the end wraps it up nicely showing a talented, undeservedly unknown, act on the top of their game.

The Darkening Of Days Full-length, 1999
Blissfully Damned EP, 2000
Agony's Lament Full-length, 2002
Betray The Light EP, 2005
Forever Defiant Full-length, 2007
In Death's Grip Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

SOULNERVE (HOLLAND)

This album is done by just one musician, the name Stephan Brus, who acquits himself with modern Swedish thrash/death which hardly bears any surprises for the seasoned fanbase. The music is professionally executed, but it very faithfully follows the path carved by acts like In Flames and Dark Tranquillity that it leaves nothing to the listener's imagination. Melodic energetic stuff with a lot of melody the latter contrasted by the very harsh shouty death metal vocals which in their turn are interrupted by not much better clean ones.

The Dying Light Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

SOULQUAKE SYSTEM (SWEDEN)

Based on "Angry by Nature, Ugly by Choice": typical representative of the 90's groovy post-thrash scene, stretching towards hardcore, grunge, alternative, and what not; classic thrash maniacs, stay away as far as possible. Pantera fans: if you like to dance a bit for relaxation after an exhausting moshing session on "Vulgar Display of Power", this is the stuff for you...

Angry by Nature, Ugly by Choice Full-length, 1996
A Firm Statement Full-length, 1998

My Space

SOULS AT ZERO (USA)

Wrathchild America changed their name after the avantgarde thrash they offered on "3D" although the style here is not miles away from there. It's less adventurous, slower, and more modern, with a more restrained sound which might not appeal to the more pretentious thrash metal fans.

Souls At Zero Full-length, 1993
Six-T-Six EP, 1994
A Taste For the Perverse Full-length, 1995

My Space

SOULS FOR SALE (USA)

Typical modern thrash metal, the main difference from the pack coming from the very low-tuned brutal death metal vocals. The guys play fast and tight, keeping the music's headbanging potential pretty high leaving this effort high on energy and dynamics, but ultimately short on ideas and originality.

Beyond the Walls Full-Length, 2010

SOULS MIGRATOR (MEXICO)

This act specialize in melodic modern thrash with brutal death metal vocals which scream and screech to an apocalyptic effect marring the atmosphere created by the minimalistic, but effective, musical approach. So this is mostly mid-paced laid-back music which becomes a bit more energetic ("Punishment") at times, but would hardly bang anyone's head due to the mellow nature of the style which acquires strong balladic and gothic tendencies on the melancholic closer "Taken Life" which introduces very good female vocals for a while.

Voices Inside of Me Full-Length, 2011

Official Site

SOULSCAR (CANADA)

This band mix melodic death with thrash metal and two vocal styles from which the clean ones are a bit annoying with their alternative blend. There are similarities to Annihilator in some of the riffs, and to Arch Enemy in the guitar harmonies. The songs are catchy and vary from slower atmospheric ones to fast thrashing headbangers.

'Character Assassination Full-length, 2002
Victim Impact Statement Full-length, 2004
Endgame Full-length, 2006

Official Site

SOULSCARRED (NORWAY)

Based on the "Personal Holocaust" demo, this band offers crunchy modern/classic thrash which clings between the mid and the up-tempo, with a few attempts at a more technical play ("Left in Misery") which will bring to mind the Bay-Area and adox's "Heresy". The thing which may annoy is the gruff shouty hardcore-ish vocals which are very thin, and lsoe their range at quite a few times.
The "Morbid ody" is just 2 tracks which develop in a more laid-back modern thrash fashion with nice lead guitar work and energetic, but laid-back, riffage which carries quite a bit of melody, also supported by the better at this stage vocals which semi-shout in a comprehensive, semi-clean manner.

Morbid ody Demo, 2002
Personal Holocaust Demo, 2003
Face Your Fears Demo, 2007

Official Site

SOULSCREAM (BRAZIL)

This act pull out jumpy unpretentious modern thrash with hardcore tendencies and quite a few interesting melodic hooks which are a desirable contrast to the brutal growly vocals. Still, it's the melody which matters more here and from a more intense aspect this effort would not strike a cord the guys never sustaining one song in a fast relentless tempo till the end the final "Possession" goig out with all the "laurels" containing both the most aggressive and the most melodic (leads) moments on the album.

When Darkness Falls EP, 2011

SOULSIDES (BELARUS)

This is epic power/thrash metal with melodic guitars, semi-progressive arrangements, and somewhat inexpressive mid-ranged clean vocals. The guys were previously known under the name Orion. Don't except the music to develop beyond the casual galloping rhythm ("Head over Heels"), so the headbangers should stay away, although those who like the more melodic side of the genre, as well as the folk/epic metallers Falconer, and even early Skyclad, will find quite a bit to enjoy here.

Pershi Krok Full-Length, 2009

Official Site

SOULSTORM (GERMANY)

Melodic power/speed/thrash, very close to their compatriots Liar, sounding like the album Liar never recorded, but with a better guitar performance: check out the leads on "Undignified". "Bad Boy", "Your Dream" and "My Freedom" are cool more intense speed/thrashers, but the rest of the material is a hit-and-miss affair, mixing more aggressive sections with very melodic ones, including ballads, etc. The singer is not a winner with his levelled indifferent singing reminiscent of Killing Joke.

Soulstorm Full-length, 1991

SOULWOUND (FINLAND)

Although the band name has been taken from a Fear Factory song, the style is very good old school thrash metal similar to Slayer's more restrained period (1988-1990).

The Severance Demo, 2006
Wasteland Demo, 2007

Official Site

SOUND MIND (CANADA)

Based on the debut demo, this act indulge in sharp hard-hitting power/thrash with dark reverberations reminiscent of Sanctuary and Aftermath. The music can seldom pass for full-fledged thrash, but the guys have fun unleashing those heavy ship-sinking riffs with a cutting edge which gets dulled on the longer tracks ("The Battle Has Been Joined") where the guys' epic infatuations bring them close to acts like Fates Warning and Slauter Xtroys. The singer is by all means a merit with his dramatic high-strung voice with which he covers quite a few octaves.

We Never Heard of You Either Demo, 1991
Sound Mind Demo, 1993

SOUNDBRINGER (CROATIA)

After the last Drinking Skull offering showed the band switching to gothic-tinged thrash, the Croatian metal scene needed some fresh thrash metal power to replace them. Soundbringer need a little more to be fit for the job. Their style is power/thrash of the old school, more frequently clinging towards the power metal side, with nice dual guitar work ala Iron Maiden and good vocals, if we exclude the pronunciation and the accent which might cause difficulties for the listener to recognize the English lyrics. This is by all means a talented band, but more emphasis on thrash metal on future works would be desirable.

Only Kings And Horses Demo, 2005
Najgori Hrvatski Knez Demo, 2007

Official Site

SOUNDER (BRAZIL)

These guys provide 10 "hell hymns" of aggressive Slayer-esque thrash, "courting" the Americans' magnum opus "Reign in Blood" above all. This is a really good reminder of the heydays of the genre, although at from extreme aggression all the way one will seldom hear anything else; maybe the casual heavy stomping rhythm, and another casual, this time a whole half number: the mid-paced steam-roller "Sounder (Crucial Battle)"; the 2nd half is merciless speed/thrash with very screaming, but more intelligible than the ones of Kerry King, leads. "Soldiers from Hell" near the end calms down a bit, showing respect towards the speed metal scene and a bigger sense of melody. "Thrash metal lives", however, on the closing "hymn" "The Thrash Metal Lives", albeit of the slower mid-paced variety in the 1st half, and as a finishing touch the guys certainly let all hell break loose in the 2nd one, thrashing with force. The two Andre's in the band (Evaristo & Melhado) also entertain themselves in Magister, where they play a more melodic brand of progressive metal with no traces of thrash.
"Praise be to Death" is another intense offering, full of hard-hitting riffs and vitriolic leads. "Praise be to Death" is the staple aggressive Slayer-esque opener, and the following "Madness" is another "mad hatter". "Fuck, Kill and Smile" pauses for a rest, providing the obligatory heavy riffage in a more relaxed mid-pace, and "A Friend to Lucifer" is vintage early Celtic Frost (think the Swiss' faster side). "Who Needs Radio?" speeds up nicely, with "I Serve Satan" lashing brutal riffs left and right, bringing the sound back to Slayer territory. "The End (of Your Life)" is 2-min of pure unbridled aggression, but you will have no choice, but sit down for a break, on the doom-laden macabre piece "Motherfucker Church". "Extinguish the Humans" is another splash of fury, with a proto-death colouring, that same colouring remianing for the closing "Drag You to Hell", which turns to pure death metal at some point. The vocalist has a clear semi-death/semi-hardcore tember, which is a fitting "companion" to the no-bars-held musical approach. There's no betrayal of the band's staple delivery here, and as a result the fans will get their expected portion of full-on retro thrash with a slight deathy twist near the end.

Hell Hymns Full-length, 2008
Evil Sides EP 2010
Praise be to Death Full-length 2010

My Space

SOUNDKRASH (GREECE)

This outfit pulls out heavy deathy post-thrash which possesses some of the playful qualities of early Six Feet Under (allusions also made (probably) with the EP title), but is less dynamic, the exception being the title-track which is a more energetic mover with a few groovy breaks. The singer is a brutal low-tuned death metaller, not exactly Chris Barnes, but surely scary and authoritative.

Warfare EP, 2011

SOUNDS OF POLARITY (USA)

This band, whose line-up is completely unknown, pull out quite intriguing, competent progressive thrash which begins with the ambitious 8-min title-track which also offers pelnty of dynamic fast moments. The complexity diminishes for the next 2 compositions which are stylish speedsters in the spirit of Vektor and Flaming Anger before another larger-than-life opus, "Alias Government", hits with its whirlwind of furious technical riffs and vitriolic time-changes; the quiet interlude on this one is also worth of note as well as the formidable galloper "March of the Political Swordsman" and the raging headbanger "Potleoz". The elaborate arrangements are here to stay at the end on the closing duo from which the closer "Proselytes of the Dehumanized Cult" is a standout progressive thrasher with imposing speedy crescendos. The singer is quite good with a dramatic clean tember able to high-pitch with passion whenever necessary; and the production is crystal clear making the guitars resound like clocks in a gothic cathedral.

Plan B...Annihilation Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

SOUNDSTEM (CANADA)

This Canadian trio pulls out decent power/thrash metal with a modern vibe, trying to come close to the mid-90's Megadeth patterns, and succeeds at times, when it doesn't slow down to doom metal, like it happens on a few tracks. Expect no headbanging moments, the music is mid-paced at best, with one very cool ballad offered: "Another Night", plus a cover of the Foreigner hit "Jukebox Hero" at the end, not very well done, adding a considerable amount of groove and grunge which takes away quite a bit from the original's dynamics.

Soundstem Full-length, 2008

Official Site

SOUNDSURGERY (AUSTRALIA)

Based on the debut, this outfit plays pretty intense industrial thrash, heavy crushing music which owes a lot to Ministry and Swamp Terrorists with an adde doze of samples and noises which kind of dissipate the otherwise cool music. The guitars cut with force whenever they can be heard clearly assisted by rough deathy vocals which acquire a cleaner hardcore-ish tember at times. This is a trendy recording well co-ordinated with the tastes of the time, and may be inetresting to hear what the guy have concocted on the follow-up.

Syndustry Full-length, 1995
Free Moving Radical Full-length, 1997

SOUTHERN DEATH THREAT (CANADA)

A heavy groovy mixture of modern thrash and stoner/doom ala Down; the music is heavier than the one offered by Down, and some 10-ton hammers can seriously injure you: "Wanted Sevenfold", the 2-min stomper "Frontline"; add the odd tender country ballad ("Beyond Forever", "Rusty"), and you know that this will only be the next one-time, just for the record, listen.

Southern Death Threat Full-length, 2007

My Space

SOUTHERN DOSE OF REBELLION (CANADA)

Based on the full-length, this act plays intense dynamic post-thrash with expressive steam-roller riffs which march forward providing the odd more technical time-signature (the intriguing pounder "Slaying The Lamb"). The guys relax a bit in the 2nd half with more radio-friendly rhythms ("Dethroned") where the approach even shares some bluesy overtones. "The Art of Confession" lifts up the energy big time with its dramatic arrangements influencing a couple of numbers after it which gives a worthy more dignified finish to this heavy roller-coaster which also benefits from the forceful aggressive semi-death metal vocals. Oh... don't forget to check out the brilliant lead section on the closing "Retaliation Before Submission".

SDR EP, 2012
Retaliation Full-length, 2013

Official Site

SOUTHERN DRINKSTRUCTION (ITALY)

Modern thrash with references to hardcore and southern doom/stoner; the music is quite energetic often fast and intense with the heavier inclusions being quite approriate never slowing down too much. "Super Strong Fast Glue" is the odd brutal almost grinding 1-min joke, and "From North to South" is the only exercise in pure stoner/doom. Watch out also for "Love Story": jolly rock'n roll with a faster crossover twist where the brutal death metal singer doesn't quite fit.

Drink With Us Full-length, 2009

Official Site

SOUTHERN FRONT (USA)

The ""southern front" seems pretty solid with acts like this one: these guys specialize in intense modern thrash with certain classic support which gets nicely technical on occasion ("System Erased"), even semi-progressive ("Amnesia"; this one also thrashes hard at times), or fast and intense ("Join or Die") in the spirit of Slayer even. This is a varied entertaining effort which loses a bit from the brutal low-tuned death metal vocals, not really suile for the music.

Join Or Die Full-length, 2010

My Space

SOVEREIGN STEEL (USA)

Power metal with some thrashy tendencies, similar to other American bands like Tyrant and Meliah Rage; "Dark Hour " is the demo's highlight, reminding of Attacker with its galloping rhythm.

Demo Demo, 1988

SOZIEDAD ALKOHOLIKA (SPAIN)

A cult thrash/crossover band, but not very known outside their homeland; their debut is good aggressive, hardcore-tinged thrash metal, not too far from the best works in this field from the 80's, with a nice joke, blues-ish track at the end ("Rockamblus"). The modern tendencies of the new decade have affected their sound which becomes decidedly groovy later on, but the intensity of their delivery pretty much remains intact. Their last two efforts are kind of disappointing, less heavy, with certain shades of metalcore.
"Sesion#2" is a potent blend of more recent Pro-Pain (just a few tracks in the beginning) and more intense speed/thrash/core akin to their compatriots Storbais. The music is full of energy and vigour, and the speed in the middle reaches Wehrmacht-like heights, but played with a jollier attitude. "Civilizacion Degeneracion" is a brutal slab of proto-death which would put to shame even acts like Merciless and Loudblast. The metalcore elements are completely gone, and this effort could be viewed as one of their best ones seeing the guys going back to their roots.
"Cadenas De Odio" is another thrash/crossover opus, this time sounding more modern-ish, the band moshing with passion in the beginning, seldom breaking the speedy tone, which is at times pure merry crossover ("Contra Las Cuerdas") played just for the fun of it. There are times when the guys display their more aggressive, thrashy side ("Cadenas", "Apestf1~is"), and generally the band try to mix things up more in the 2nd half, where several purely mid-paced numbers ("Presunto Culpable", "Hipocres'a1a Santa") with a more modern tone, spring up. As a whole this effort is by no means superior to its predecessor, the guys again spreading their wings wider to mixed results.

Soziedad Alkoholika Full-length, 1991
Feliz Falsedad EP, 1992
Y Ese Que Tanto Habla... Full-length, 1993
Ratas Full-length, 1995
Diversiones...? Full-length, 1996
No intente hacer esto en su casa Full-length, 1997
Polvo En Los Ojos Full-length, 2000
Tiempos Oscuros Full-length, 2003
Mala Sangre Full-length, 2008
Sesion#2 Full-length, 2009
Cadenas De Odio Full-length, 2011

Official Site

SPACE CHASER (GERMANY)

Based on the full-length, this act provide energetic retro thrash aiming at early Tankard, above all, inserting a slight crossover "sting" here and there. The numbers flow effortlessly without any strain, and the band march on with sharp guitars, vitriolic tempos, and sparce more elaborate arrangements ("Watch the Skies"). The short "Saucer Attack" is more on the speed metal side, and the leads there are quite great with an overt Oriental flair; watch out also for the ones on "Space Chaser" as well: some mighty stuff there. The hard, but frolic, thrashing carries on till the end making this effort a very welcome addition to the already voluminous horde of classic thrash purveyors.

Decapitron EP, 2013
Watch the Skies Full-length, 2014

Official Site

SPACE EATER (SERBIA)

Based on the two demos, this band play standout retro thrash metal which will remind you of many great bands from the 80's: Helstar, Agent Steel, Forbidden, Heathen, Wargasm. The music is up-tempo, seldom goes into full out speed, but when it does, the result is nothing short of outstanding ("Crush Kill Destroy", a nice fast thrasher). The rest is by no means worse with heavy meaty riffs and excellent clean vocals.
"Merciful Angel" fulfills all the promises shown on the demos (not only due to the inclusion of some of the better tracks from them), this time concentrating almost exclusively on Agent Steel from the aforementioned influences (including this band's more recent sound), increasing the speed a bit, but also preserving all the other elements which made their demos so appealing.

"Aftershock" is another impressive speed/thrash metal "monster" wasting no time nailing you down with the opening speedster "Say Your Prayers", before all hell breaks loose even "worse" on the aggressive thrasher "Abort" which comes with both galloping and fierce blasting moments. "Divide & Conquer" is another lasher, quite aggressive one, with a genuine technical edge. "Up on These Shores" is more diverse with slower passages thrown in, but "FAA" is all-out speed once again crushing with both power and technicality for more than 7-min, a masterpiece of classic speed/thrash metal, the band's finest achievement so far. "Quantum Leap" and "Retreat" are vintage Bay-Area thrash ala the Forbidden debut, but "Crush, Kill, Destroy" is ultra-speed metal to the death. "Anti-Psychiatry" is a very surprising, but very welcome, turn to creepy modern technical thrash ala mid-90's Voivod and E-Force in the beginning, but later on the rage goes on by preserving the technical edge. "Relationshit" closes the album in a fast straight fashion lashing awesome direct riffs to a destructive effect. The singer is a find with his clean emotional high-strung delivery not far from the one of Russ Anderson (Forbidden), maybe a bit cleaner and lower. Fans of the old days of the genre will rejoice once again and may want to check out the demo of the other act: Fatality, where members of this band also play.
"Passing Through the Fire to Molech" won't disappoint the band fans who will mosh around like demented throughout the album the eventful opener "Unjagged" already promising quite a bit with its semi-technical hooks, nice melodies, brutal deathy outbursts, and the memorable chorus. Things get a bit scary on the following title-track with its dramatic death metallic accumulations, but this number is another "nail in the thrash coffin" the headbanging atmosphere partly "ruined" by the interesting "Daisy Cutter", but the actual damage would be done by the maddening brutalizer "P.O.W." and the super-speedster after it "Ninja Assassin". Till the end the up-tempo approach never falters as the closing "In Hospital" brings back the more technical flavour with a few intriguing decisions and the exiting portion of good melodic leads.

Live at Studio 6 Demo, 2005
Bombs Away! Demo, 2006
Merciful Angel Full-length, 2007
Aftershock Full-length, 2010
Passing Through the Fire to Molech Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

SPANKING HOUR (ITALY)

Based on "Divination", these guys offer catchy hook-driven modern post-thrash quite close to Prong's 90's period only that here the style is prone to longer compositions where not much happens although the band try hard to entertain the listener with a frequent change of rhythms and sharp guitars which never lose their friendly tone despite their almost constant quasi-industrial tinge. Near the end the folks kind of overdo it with two gigantic (9-10min) songs fro whcih the final "The End" is a monotonous dragging groover with abrasive overtones the ticipation of the otherwise not bad angry semi-shouter brought to the minimum.

Revo(so)lution Full-length, 2010
Divination Full-length, 2013

Official Site

SPARAGMOS (POLAND)

Based on "Conflict", this is industrial thrash which borrows from Fear Factory, and the Canadians Soulstorm in the heavier moments. There is a certain amount of groovy riffs ala Pantera, too, as well as more intense death metal passages and quite a few quiet alternative ones where there is the inclusion of cleaner vocals as opposed to the basic death metal ones.

"Invitation from Host of Wrath" is pretty good aggressive thrash/death metal in the vein of the French Agressor and Loudblast. The Poles are more technical, with better lead guitar work, and their singer has a deeper, more brutal death metal tember. The music is constantly fast ("Scream of Pompey" and "Cage" are the only deviations from the pattern into slower fields), with a frequent use of blast-beats. There is also one joke song with a rap rhythm near the end: "Dick Duck".

Invitation from Host of Wrath Full-length, 1992
Error Full-length, 1994
Conflict Full-length, 1999

SPARTACUS (HOLLAND)

Based on the "What's So Funny?!" demo, this act serve brisk energetic thrash with Bay-Area overtones. The band play on with vigour and a sophisticated technical edge wiht allusions to early Testament, above all, and one may find it quote interesting that the singer sounds very close to the more brutal deathy metamorphosis of Chuck Billy in the late-90's, predating him with almost 10 years. The guy here is perhaps more serious in terms of his belonging to the death metal realm, and more shouty which at times can be distracting from the fairly good music whcih is also not a "stranger" to more melody as evident from the licks engaged on the final "The Chase And Seek Of The Bismarck" which is an admirable technical shredder finishing this effort with style.

Luftangriff Demo, 1988
What's So Funny?! Demo, 1991

Official Site

SPATER (USA)

Based on "Desolate Endeavour", these guys offer hectic modern thrash with crossover tendencies. The riffage is crunchy seldom going for something really speedy and not before long one may get tired of this frolic edgy saga which becomes less and less serious with each passing song reaching stoner/doomy/bluesy grounds near the end. The singer is an attached semi-shouter who holds quite a bit of melody as well which the simplistic music doesn't quite deserve.

Festering Memoirs Full-Length, 2004
Desolate Endeavour Full-Length, 2012

SPAWN (HOLLAND)

Based on the debut demo, this unknown band plays atmospheric gothic-tinged thrash with brutal death metal vocals. The guys alternate fast with slow passages all this done on an omnipresent keyboard background, the final result not too far from the early Therion works, except for the fact that there is quite a bit of doom/gothic ala their compatriots Orphanage at play here, stifling the more dynamic moments. Apently the guys were not quite sure which path to take during those transitional times, so it would be interesting to check which one they had chosen on the next demo.

Before The Silence Demo, 1995
Dawn Razor Demo, 1997

SPAWNED FROM HATE (UK)

This is weird aggressive modern/classic technical thrash/death metal which offers a few inriguing dissonant riffs and several interesting time-changes with echoes of both Immolation and Suffocation. This is stylish stuff impeded by the very brutal low-tuned guttural vocals and the awkward stomping groovy implements on the closing "Biotech Contagion". The sound quality is a bit muddy not doing a favour to the expressive, not very predicle, guitar delivery.

Withered And Decayed EP, 2012

SPAZZTIC BLURR (USA)

An enjoyable amalgam of many contrasting styles which will make your day if you don't take it too seriously (and it's not meant to be). This is actually a side project of two Wehrmacht members, and this album shares some of the speed of the main band. Thrash, hardcore, grindcore, punk, jazz and more have found place here. Of course, like it happens with wild mixtures of the kind, you might find some of the tracks unappealing and downright stupid, but if you approach this release with a slight smile on your face, it's guaranteed that it'll become much bigger by the end of it.

Befo Da Awbum Full-length, 1988

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SPEAR OF LONGINUS (AUSTRALIA)

Wow, here come a band from Australia who do not share members with Destroyer 666. This is not, however, a problem for the guys to provide an energetic, occasionally brutal mixture of black and thrash, not miles away from early Destroyer 666 spiced with softer punk tunes from time to time. This is not a mish-mash, like some of you may think, but is enjoyable headbanging stuff, simplistic and direct.

Domni Satnasi Full-length, 1997
Nada Brahma EP, 1999
The Yoga Of National Socialism Full-length, 2002
Black Sun Society Full-length, 2004
Nothing is Forever, and, Forever is Nothing Full-length, 2006
.....and the Swastikalotus Full-length, 2007

Official Site

SPECKMANN PROJECT (USA)

The workaholic Paul Speckmann also managed to release one album under his own name, and again he managed to come with some cool music; this is excellent heavy thrash metal similar to Abomination, maybe a bit more dynamic (the fine up-tempo thrashers "Rabid Anger" and "Fallen From Grace"), with the staple slower doomy tracks still present ("Mangled Dehumanization"). Some Slayer-esque aggression could be picked rarely ("Pay To Die"), a direction which Speckmann later pursued harder with Master.

Speckmann Project Full-length, 1992

SPECTERS OF MADNESS (CANADA)

Thrash/crossover, fast and energetic, but the bad sound quality diminishes the music's impact considerably.

Point of No Return Demo, 1986

SPECTRAL (GERMANY)

Based on "Dawn Of Gods", this band quite nicely melt black, thrash and epic/viking metal together throwing the sound from all-out relentless thrashing to quiet atmospheric passages. The style brings to mind Destroyer 666 and Bifrost, but the Germans have a more aggressive thrashy approach.
"Gateway to Death": the Viking saga is on full-throttle here, but the guys have inserted moments from the 90's speed metal movement, and the overall approach is milder then before also accompanied by an unobtruisve keyboard background. Still, this is pretty much epic speed metal with shades of thrash and black, plus a nice epic doom cut: "Death of a King" with Doomsword/Manowar overtones. It remains to be seen, though, when this more meloidc trend in the band's catalogue has begun...

Teutonic Symphony EP, 1999
Barbaric Assault Full-length, 2001
Dawn Of Gods Full-length, 2004
Stormriders Full-length, 2007
Evil Iron Kingdom Full-length, 2009
Gateway to Death Full-length, 2012

My Space

SPECTRAL BIRTH (AUSTRALIA)

Excellent old school thrash metal of the German school; for fans of Kreator, Sodom, Destruction. The vocals are close to Mille Petrozza's, and are perfectly fitting to the overall aggressive brutal sound. It's probably just a matter of time before these guys become the leaders of the Australian thrash metal scene.

Sinful Dreams / The Turbulence Full-length, 2004

SPECTRAL FLOOD (AUSTRALIA)

Peaceful laid-back post-thrash which may one day reach Tool-esque heights, but for the moment it's not as adventurous and more on the semi-balladic side for at least half the time. Nice dynamic shredding dramatism appears on the closing "Wolves" which will move the spirits around, but there'll not be any causes for moshing around here. The singer is suile to the serene tone of the album with his deep melodic voice with an alternative blend reminiscent of Chris Cornell (Soundgarden).

Diving Into A Blind World Full-Length, 2012

SPECTRE (USA)

Based on the "Amerika" EP, this act play cool retro power/thrash along the lines of early Viciour Rumours, Meliah Rage and Metal Church. There's hardly any "rock of death" to be encountered, like the title of one of the songs suggests; this is too radio-friendly to make heads bang, and although "Know The Spectre" at the end is a cool semi-technical speedster, the music doesn't really take off except for the good soulful singer who leads the show in an assured authoritative fashion. The musicians were also involved in the power/thrashers Drone, and are still active at present with another power/thrash metal formation: Deadlands, with one album released in 2012.

Spectre EP, 1991
Amerika EP, 1991
Flight 19 EP, 1993

SPECTRE DRAGON (GERMANY)

Based on "Beyond Creation", this is first-class German speed/thrash metal which recalls all the great names from the 80's: Destruction, Exumer, Kreator, Deathrow (the early works), etc.
"Under Hell's Command" is another winner, but it thrashes in a heavy manner, with the opener "Demonized", which will crush quite a few skulls before it's over. The next "Psychopath" speeds up nicely, but in a more melodic way. The real moshing begins with "Deceiver's Blood", which lashes steel riffs from all sides. "Human: Ambrosia" changes the course once more to pounding mid-paced thrash, and is a cool song, influencing the following "Hate Don't Rust", which is a bit more dynamic, but all fades before the bombastic speed/thrash/death metal closer "Shadow World", which unleashes all the aggression, even blasting out for a while. Now the search is for the debut, which may be another captivating listen judging by the veery long legend-telling title.

Thitherward, Where Ye Are Cast, Is This Blest Pantheon'dds Vast Past Full-length, 1998
Under Hell's Command Full-length, 2002
Beyond Creation Full-length, 2005

My Space

SPECTRES (USA)

This new act provide modern semi-technical thrash on an elusive progressive base which is mostly accentuated by cool melodic leads and jumpy structures which border on math and djent ("Exorcise Your Rights"). Opeth-esque ethereal atmosphere sneaks on the ambitious 10.5-min opus "Tremble Before Us", but it depletes all the band's arsenal, and the remaining material just rehashes the ideas from the beginning with several more interesting Oriental motifs present ("E Pluribus Unum"). The closer "Blood of Our Rulers" is 9.5-min of wasted time, a dodgy mix of quasi-industrialisms and quiet balladic passages; purposeless stuff despite a few nice melodies.

Ghosts of Revolution Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

SPEED AGGRESSION (COLOMBIA)

This is indeed "speed aggression" in the vein of early Destruction, but served with a really bad sound quality and not very convincing semi-shouty quarrelsome deathy vocals. Otherwise the messy sound is conquered by the inspired, albeit derivative, musicianship which consists of fast lashing riffage which shifts from the pattern at the end with the short hardcore-ish outburst "Borracho Con Honor".

Ebria Religion EP, 2012

Official Site

SPEED DEMON (USA)

These undergrounds offer brutal relentless speed/thrash/proto-death/grindcore which is pure chaos for most of the time, but in terms of aggression this effort deserves to be mentioned. The sound quality is very bad and at times the listener should use his/her imagination to stitch things together. The closing "Speed Demon Kills" is the only track which comes with a better sound quality on which the guys mix Exciter-esque speed metal with brutal early Cryptic Slaughter-like grind/hardcore. Some of the "musicians" did a much better job in the thrash metal outfit Piranha.

Chemical Dependency Demo, 1987

SPEED KILL HATE (USA)

The Overkill guitarist Dave Linsk formed this band to give way to his more aggressive nature. The style is faster and heavier than the Overkill one, and is much more oriented towards the classic thrash of the 80's than the last few Overkill albums; pretty cool stuff if we exclude the vocals, which are firmly in the modern camp, sounding not too far from Phil Anselmo. This release contains fast sharp riffs aplenty as well as really cool leads, and hopefully this will not be their only effort.
Linsk and Co. are ready with a follow-up to their cool debut, and "Out for Blood" already causes you a headache with the very 1st track, "No Remorse", which is a major thrash/proto-deathster, setting the tone for the heavy, aggressive tone of the album, which constantly moves from a modern to classic delivery, and vice versa. "Breeding Hate" is a thundering mid-pacer, which influences a couple of tracks in the middle, until the arrival of another speedster: "Slain", again graced with a touch of death metal, the latter reigning supreme on the maddening "Brotherhood of Arms", and the brutal closer "The Cleansing", which turns to violent bashing near the end, before the surprising quite, lead-driven exit. This is a good blend of two contrasting styles, supported by throaty, deathy vocals which still remain secondary to the uncompromising musical approach.

Acts of Insanity Full-length, 2004
Out for Blood Full-length 2011

My Space

SPEED KILLS (ITALY)

This is retro thrash/crossover which is on the more laid-back side including elements from power and heavy metal the resultant concoction echoing acts like early Laaz Rockit, the Germans Liar, and early Exciter. "Son Of The Gun" is a cool edgy closer, but the rest dosn't really have a bite trying to please fans of all the aforementioned styles. The singer is good, though, with his slightly drunken clean tember leading the optimistic "show"in a confident authoritative manner.

Badass Death Demo, 2012

Official Site

SPEED METAL HELL (BRAZIL)

Vintage 80's Germanic speed/thrash metal in the Angel Dust, Iron Angel, Toxic Shock vein, well done; the Brazilians add a genuine semi-technical edge to the compositions: "Brutality Of Terror", but the more immediate speed/thrash attacks seem to work better: "Damned Son", the 3-min explosion "Speed Metal Hell". "Behind All" is a great 7-min speed/thrashing opus with fine melodic interludes, stylish lead guitar work, and fast razor-sharp riffs. The singer is not the biggest asset with his gruff, raw delivery, coming as a less polished version of K. Weber (Toxic Shock).

Speed of Death Demo, 2006

Official Site

SPEED THEORY (UK)

Based on the debut, these Brits offer energetic modern groovy thrashcore which borrows from death and stoner/doom on various occasions making the album a diverse and at times a pretty thrashy ("Vengeance Is Mine") listen. The singer is a shouty death metaller who is comprehensive for most of the time seldom assisted by not very convincing clean inclusions.

Hit the Dirt Full-length, 2006
Blood Money Full-length, 2008

Official Site

SPEEDBOOZER (USA)

Think the early Motorhead stuff played in a more intense proto-thrashy manner; so this is merry thrash'n roll which has its more aggressive moments ("Drop the Nukes"), but the joy would be pretty big for one to really pay any attention to them. Needless to add, the tracks tend to merge into each other all played in the same merry-go-round speedy fashion. A cover of Tank's "Heavy Artillery" is not to be unexpected since the style here also courts the NWOBHM heroes as well. The singer is obviously "drunk", but his antics come with a darker death metal tone, still resembling the ones of Lemmy.

Speedb'f6ozer Full-Length, 2013

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SPEEDHAMMER (CHILE)

Based on the "Under the Command of Hate" demo, this act offer rough primal classic speed/thrash coming straight out of the early Whiplash and Hallows Eve efforts, only that this is way inferior in terms of execution. Most of the time this is plain amateurish noise further hindered by awful shouty death metal vocals. Deeply underground it belongs...

f0 Evil Speed Metal Demo, 2012
Under the Command of Hate Demo, 2012

SPEEDICA (HOLLAND)

Based on the "Shadows of Tomorrow" demo, this is a really good speed/thrash metal band of the German school (Exumer, Toxic Shock, Angel Dust, etc.) and the Americans Agent Steel with good, mid-levelled melodic vocals. The band mix aggressive fast songs ("Radiation Wastelands", and most of the rest) with cool slower tracks ("Lady Obsession") in a truly impressive way. Some of the tracks are longer for the style (the obscenely titled, but very enjoyable more technical speed/thrasher "Fucking for Pleasure"), but the interesting tempo changes and the stylish gutar work keep them alive and dynamic. The end is preserved for 4 live tracks, one of which is a good Death Angel cover: "Voracious Souls" from "The Ultra-Violence". Members of this band later formed another good (at least on the debut) act: Form.
The "Voyage Into The Fifth Dimension" demo is more thrash-oriented, and the approach is darker and heavier. The guys still play at high speed, but the riffage is sharper, although the guitars are a bit muddy due to the not very clear sound quality. The songs are lengthy (5-6min), with short "outbreaks of evil" ("Expulsion Of Evil") scattered around. "Souls Of Despair is a major speed/thrasher with steam-rolling galloping riffs and great memorable tunes, turning into a furious speedster near the end. The singer remains on a fairly high level, singing in an expressive clean dramatic manner, this time resembling Eric A.K.( Flotsam & Jetsam), especially on the higher tones.

RCompositions Of The Past Demo, 1989
Shadows Of Tomorrow Demo, 1989
Live demo (1992) Demo, 1992
Voyage Into The Fifth Dimension Demo, 1992
Live Live album, 1998

Official Site

SPEEDWOLF (HOLLAND)

2 songs of jolly Motorhead-ish roller-coaster speed/proto-thrash assisted by rough drunken vocals which try to capture the inimile tone of Lemmy. This is very laid-back stuff also with punk-ish and hardcore overtones on "Hell and Back".
"Ride With Death" sees the guys having all the right to be called "Motorhead" of speed/thrash metal, with both songs from the EP having taken their "seats" here. This is the style of the Brits given a bit more boost in the guitar detment, and with an increased presence of the melodic licks. The speed is kept at a respecle frequency, with a few more temperate mid-pacers scattered around. "Never Twice" is uplifting speed metal, as jolly as this style could possibly get; and "I Can't Die" is your merry crossover with a speedy vibe. "Death Ripper" smells more serious thrash, but these "ty animals" quickly abandon idea, and return to the happy- go-lucky formula with the excellent melodic speedsters "The Reaper" & "Ride With Death", the latter also echoing early Exciter quite a bit. The singer is as tipsy as ever, his antics now sounding more aggressive, with a shade of mid-period Jan-Chris de Koeijer (Gorefest).

Denver666 EP, 2010
Ride With Death Full-length, 2011

Official Site

SPEEDY CLAXTON (USA)

The typical for the 90's, and nowadays as well, post-thrash is presented here relying on heavy groovy riffs and a couple of pretty cool tender balladic sections. Surprises, like the vigorous galloper "R & R" and the classic American power metal delight "Last Temptation", are not that many, unfortunately, although to these ears the highlight remains the high-octane doomster "Selective Schizophrenia": a great atmospheric piece of first-rate traditional doom. The singer is not bad, although his mid-ranged semi-clean, slightly dispassionate, vocals could have benefitted from a few more dramatic higher tones.

Plague Full-Length, 2010

SPEEDY DOG (THAILAND)

Melodic speed/thrash is offered on "Heavy Mod", which carries the name of the guys' first formation which played pure heavy metal. Here the guys play faster with clear nods to the early German school of the mid-80's, and a very nice, but a very surprising, nod to the progressive/technical thrash sub-genre on the last song which could easily find place on Voivod's "Killing Technology" with its surreal oblivious rhythms and illogical time changes.

Heavy Mod EP, 1994
Rate X Full-length, 1994
Democrazy Full-length, 1995

My Space

SPEEED (CANADA)

The band line-up includes two former Annihilator members and the legendary Jack Frost who has taken t in quite a few bands throughout the years (Seven Witches and Savatage, among them). His guitar performance here is less impressive, but the band's style doesn't really require it being modern groovy thrash with industrial touches and a cover of Bob Seger's hit "Ride Like The Wind", but we have heard better versions of the same song (Saxon).

Powertrip Pigs Full-length, 1999

SPEERETH (SPAIN)

Based on "Resistir es Vencer", this band mix thrash/crossover of the more melodic, mid-tempo type with modern 90's groove; at times the guys move to all-out thrash ("Odio Acumulado"), and it's these moments which keep this album floating.

Algo Hay Ke Kemar !!! Full-length, 1994
Resistir es Vencer Full-length, 1995

SPELLBINDER (ESTONIA)

Death/thrash metal, modern sounding, heavy and mid-paced most of the time recalling the French Massacra's last two albums with occasional crossover elements ("Dead World") and brutal grinding breaks.

SBR Full-length, 2004

Official Site

SPELLBOUND (GERMANY)

Excellent classic speed/thrash metal with a modern production reminiscent of adox and Destruction; their new album moves things towards the other side of the ocean featuring well played Bay Area-influenced thrash: one of the most perfectly executed thrash metal releases of 2007, finished with a nice faithful cover version of Exodus' great hymn "And Then There Were None" from their legendary debut.

Incoming Destiny Full-length, 2005
Nemesis 2665 Full-length, 2007

Official Site

SPELLBOUND (JAPAN)

Speed/thrash metal of the more melodic variety sounding like a more thrashy version of Tank and Raven.

Escape EP, 1991

SPEWGORE (CANADA)

Based on "Chipped Teeth Broken Fingers": very good retro thrash metal of the more energetic intense variety, which acquires hardcore tendencies on the slower material ("Choke", "Suffocate"). There are also clever semi-technical moments ("Knuckle Sandwich"; "Spit", which is a great smasher, with the best guitar work on the album). The riffs flow effortlessly alternating more aggressive bombs (the short, slightly less than a min "Loose Cannon" and "Headsplit") with more melodic speed metal-based numbers ("Everything Hates Me"). The thrash roller-coaster reaches its peak on mighty headbangers, like "Powertrip", or the more technical cannon "Evil Lurkes", or the furious speed/thrashing closer "Final Words", which still finds room for a few melodic hooks. Overall this is a fairly entertaining addition to the Canadian scene which should encourage more acts from there to take t in the classic thrash metal renaissance. The guys' performance has apently impressed Gord Kirchin quite a bit since these are the same musicians who also take t in the newly reformed Piledriver under the name The Exalted Piledriver.

The debut is another solid offering: thrash mixed with hardcore on the shorter tracks; a very wild and entertaining stuff, providing energetic up-tempo numbers aplenty: the mighty explosive "Death Lives", the more hardcore-tinged "Aggression Released". The album is not for all-out speed the whole time, and here comes "Suffocate" to offer a couple of slower stomping riffage. Later on the attack continues with the hammering "Murder One", the more laid-back crossover "Canadian Pride", and the classic speed/thrasher "Major League Greed". "Headsplit" is more experimental, providing more pounding hardcore ala Pro-Pain, mixed with direct bashing ala Sick of It All. "Choke" is the other "pause" from the intense delivery: crunchy hardcore-ish track, which is completely smitten by the blistering speed/thrash delight "Final Words", and by the brilliant furious closing cover version of Kreator's "Under the Guillotine".
The EP is 6 tracks of nice retro thrash, touching a more technical ground on the jumpy "Power Trip". Two covers await you here: their legendary compatriots from the distant past Razor are honoured with the versions of "Evil Invaders" and "Shotgun Justice". "Death Lives" and "Murder One" are already familiar to the fan from the debut, and "Evil Lurks" is a live recording of one of their earliest compositions, a nice heavy up-tempo thrasher.
Get ready for the next "breakneck therapy" on "Breakneck Therapy", another commendable offering from these entertaining Canadians who can not simply let the fans down coming up with intense sharp thrash which even manages to sound genuinely technical (the surreal speedster "Idiots") on these short tracks nicely recalling the Swiss Lunacy. The sound is decidedly more thrashy, and there is seldom a break from headbanging here reaching the climax on prime neckbreakers like "Guts And The Gory" and "Pure Adrenaline" which is, like the title says, "pure adrenaline" all the way, but, please, watch out for those brilliant dissonant rhythms ala Voivod at the end. "Dying Down" is the only softer offering reminding of the Suicidals, with the following "Rodeo Song" being the ultimate crossover hymn. Even without Razor, with Voivod straying further way from thrash with each subsequent release, the Canadian scene should not fear of losing its role in the genre's revival with good young acts like this one around.

Spewgore Full-Length, 2006
If You Know What's Good For You EP, 2007
Chipped Teeth Broken Fingers Full-length, 2008
Breakneck Therapy Full-length, 2010

My Space

SPEWTILATOR (USA)

Based on the "Thrash N Splash" demo, these guys indulge in old school, "thrashin'n splashin'", stuff which comes served with not very pleasant hysterical black metal vocals, which are in their turn interrupted by brutal low-tuned ones. The blasting death metal cuts here and there are not very desirable with the songs barely going over the 2-min mark, comprising direct lashing riffs with barely any leads present.
The "Inhale Awaits" EP nods at Slayer with the title, but music-wise it has very little to do with the renowned Americans. The style is diverse black/death/thrash which is atmospheric, aggressive, and doomy at various stages, the best side seeming to be the tribute to Celtic Frost at the end with the cover of "Into The Crypts Of Rays" done with panache and faithfully the only throwback being the brutal death metal vocals which at times give way to more acceple semi-clean ones with a shade of Tom G. Warrior.

Thrash N Splash Demo, 2009
Get Conjured EP, 2010
Inhale Awaits EP, 2012

Official Site

SPIDER KICKERS (GREECE)

Based on "VIII Division": excellent thrash/death metal which will bring you straight back to the heydays of the genre; you have a lot to enjoy here: there are fast technical numbers ala Massacra or even Hellwitch; there are heavier, slower ones reminiscent of late 80's period Slayer and Possessed; "VIII Division" with its funereal atmosphere and heavy, smashing riffs will remind you of Celtic Frost and also some doom-death metal acts like the Dutch Beyond Belief, for example. This album could easily win "the best debut for 2007" award, and will surely make to the top ten of many thrash metal maniacs.
The debut is only 6 dongs, the last two of which are taken from the band's 2nd demo. The music is a raw, unpolished mix of thrash and death, much closer to death metal, often bashing without mercy, but also without any big musical merits. "Recognize the Corpse" sounds like a slightly better version of the debut, again "courting" death metal much more, and its significance to thrash metal is very little. It was good that later at some point the band have found the way to quality song-writing which on those two efforts is not very often felt.
"Alcoholic" is a more brutal affair with more frequent blast-beats consequently favouring death metal more again staying close to early Massacra. The technicality again doesn't take a very big space ("Infected Society" comes to mind), but the tireless aggressive bashing doesn't wear off also helped by the stylish leads ("Alcoholidays") and the approriately inserted thrashy breaks.

The Northwest Emperor Full-length, 1997
Recognize the Corpse Full-length, 2001
VIII Division Full-length, 2007
Alcoholic Full-length 2011

Official Site

SPIDERHUNT (RUSSIA)

This is decent gloomy thrash which can be pleasantly fast-paced ("To Overwhelm The World") with nice galloping riffs ("In Extremes") settling in gradually. Epic progressive overtones emerge with "The Bloodred Roses Of Death", but their meloidc aesthetics never meet a match later if we exclude the ambient instrumental oddity "Vulnerant Omnes Ultima Necat" which lasts for whole 6.5(!)-min. The dispule decisions continue through the 2nd half with the overlong doomy opus "Genocide The Apocalypse Silence" which makes short exploders like "The Fatal Contradiction" more than welcome. The singer is a low-tuned growler who is a secondary performer without intruding himself too much. Reportedly on their early efforts the band used to play a form of black/doom.

Hell on Earth Full-Length, 2013

SPIDERWORKS (GREECE)

Based on the debut, this band plays excellent Bay-Area thrash akin to early Testament to a point that some numbers here could well stand on the Americans' debut: check out "Neurolink", "Planet Sun". The singer doesn't try to hide his infatuation with Chuck Billy, but does a very good job singing in a forceful emotional manner, handling the melodic ts quite well, too. "Pleasuredrone" is a masterpiece of more thought-out serious thrash with sharp technical riffs. Speed and technicality come very well mixed on "Biomechanoid", and the closing "Valley of Stone" slightly changes the course towards technical galloping thrash more along the lines of later period Helstar, but is a satisfying piece of dark pounding riffage and nice swirling leads. The band could have turned into worthy competitors of Flames back in those days, but the modern trends took their toll, and on their next effort they radically changed their style to modern alternative rock, with almost nothing to remind of their strong debut.

Black Full-length, 1990
Shiver Full-length, 1992
Relatively Clean Full-length, 2000

Official Site

SPIDKILZ (ITALY)

This act plays energetic classic speed/thrash assisted by venomous intense female vocals courtsey of the former White Skull vocalist Elisa "Over" De Palma. Elisa unleashes a powerful mean-ish voice which stands somewhere between Dawn Crosby (R.I.P.) and Lynda "Tam" Simpson (Sacrilege), but higher-pitched and kind of more emotional than both. "Fear Of Death" is a fitting opener with its fiery galloping riffs, and "I Will Crush You" is an uplifting speedster. Time for a pause with the cool heavy ballad "In Tears", but all is recaptured with a vengeance with the short merciless headbanger "Fashion". More "tearful" moments with the closing "The Distance" which is a very good ballad rivalling the best achievements in the style boasting very cool solos among the attached antics of Elisa who may prove herself as one of the more capable female singers on the field if the band last longer.

The Ultra Demo, 2011

Official Site

SPIKE THE TOMB (USA)

Pree for a modern thrash/death metal attack with the Swedish school very well covered. This is predicle, but inspired, stuff with sharp riff and soaring tunes the latter giving the album a somewhat cheesy "colouring" similar to early Children of Bodom. The sound quality is crystal clear favouring the guitarists who acquit themselves with a few stylish melodic leads, among other "niceties".

Gods Be Forgotten EP, 2012

Official Site

SPINA BIFIDA (BRAZIL)

Doom and modern thrash try hard to co-exist, and this symbiosis could have produced better results, if it wasn't for the weak rough hardcore vocals, and the slightly short compositions which leave things a bit unfinished. The doomy side is more attractive ("Rain (My Blood On The Sidewalk)", "Espelho (Tenue Limite Da Sanidade)"), and from a thrash metal point of view this album will not score high, simply because there are no headbanging riffs here. There are a couple of sharp riffs to be heard, but the guys leave them no chance due to their infatuation with the slower doom-laden ones.

Atmosphera Mortis Full-length, 2000

SPINAL (CHILE)

Quite cool Germanic speed/thrash metal in the vein of early Kreator; the guys play fast and tight, and in the slower heavy ts a certain Slayer influence can be felt as well. "Painful Torture" is more aggressive touching death metal with ease, and "System Go Off" is brutal "Pleasure to Kill"-like thrash. The singer does a decent job with his semi-clean tember ala K. Weber (Toxic Shock).

Dictator From Hell Demo, 2009

SPINALCORD (JAPAN)

This act was previously known as Aushvitz, when the guys were playing heavy/power metal, and the style here is not miles away from there, maybe faster and more thrash-fixated. The album develops in a brisk speed metal pace recalling their compatriots Sex Machineguns and Volcano, the first 2 tracks being vintage speed metal classics. "Hysteria" is more edgy speed/thrash with a couple of furious fast passages, but "Calling" is a pullback with its modern groovy much softer rhythm. "Shishi Metsuretsu" speeds up by retaining the modern approach, but the classic sound returns with "Daylight" which is bombastic speed/thrash metal ala adox. "FuturRhythm" is optimistic 90's speed/power metal, but the album sinks in mediocrity right after that with 3 toothless tender hard'n heavy numbers, before "Doukoku" brings the speed/thrash metal attack back. Like with the aforementioned acts, including other Japanese bands (Gargoyle immediately comes to mind), the guys try their best to cross many metal styles, and despite the frowns the listener may experience along the way, this effort as a whole will warm the hearts of a wider spectre of metal fans.

Remember Me Till Your Dyin' Day Full-Length, 2009

SPINE (USA)

These guys play your average 90's groovy post-thrash with heavy meaty guitars and semi-angry shouty vocals. The music may tire the listener at some point being consistently mid-paced to slow with references to stoner/doom and crunchy alternative ala Helmet. A couple of shorter numbers with a touch of hardcore liven the situation here and there for a short bit being 1-2min long.

Disruptive Influence Full-length, 1995

SPINEBELT (USA)

Based on "The Throne of the Hive", this act plays predicle indsutrialized post-thrash with alternative undercurrents, and frank descends into blues/stoner. The guys pay tribute to their idol Christopher Walken with a song carrying the actor's name. The pace is mid of the minimalistic type with slight shades of keyboards, and the vocalist is not very angry, managing to deliver more melodic chords on the mellower moments.

A Small But Very Permanent Hell EP 2001
The Throne of the Hive Full-Length, 2000
Beautiful Songs for Ugly Children Full-length 2002

Official Site

SPIRAL ARCHITECT (NORWAY)

Have you ever wondered what would possibly come out if you mix 30% of Watchtower's 'Control & Resistance", 30% of Psychotic Waltz's 'Social Grace", 25% of Fates Warning's "No Exit", and 15% of Cynic's 'Focus"? You spin this blend first the upward then the downward spiral and throw it over a grill where the ashes of a Toxik rehearsal for "Think This" still smoulder. There is a fair chance the concoction you would get would sound something like the album reviewed here. However, there is a warning for you: there is a very small chance that you would be able to distinguish between seate compositions. The good news is that you would hardly care about that gaping at wonder at the plenty of original rifs, never heard before time-signatures, bassims and jazzisms coming out of the blue, among many other pleasantries (that depends on the taste, of course). If one manages to overcome the infernal complexity of this recording (although this would be next to impossible), one should find something he/she would like: there is thrash, there is power metal, there is death metal, there is the aforementioned jazz, there are admirable bass pyrotecnics, but above all there is progresive, loads of progressive. So you can imagine that this is music for a specific frame of mind; one which has already comforly swallowed the classical abstractisms of Mekong Delta and the piles of dissonant illogical riffs on Gorguts' "Obscura". To these ears the only acts who come close to this organized, and ultimately stylish, cacophony of sounds are the Romanians Psycho Symphony, the intelligent German "psychos" Sore Plexus, and tids and bits from the 90's demos of the Poles Astharoth; so don't look for too many analogues of this album on the contemporary scene.
To describe this album on a song-by-song basis would be really hard since it works as one whole opera of some of the most complicated musical landscapes to ever grace the scene. Although to many this may sound as nothing more than a chaotic accumulation of twisted ideas for its own sake, this album hides quite a few pleasures for the thrash metal lovers with some really stylish hard-hitting riffage. The problem is that one would never be able to hear this riffage again since the riff-patterns here never get repeated and the only thing left to do is to push the "replay" button over and over. This effort is by all means an acquired taste which has found its quite a few detractors over the years, but there are at least two times as many who bow before its perverted genius shades of which one keeps finding after 10, even 15 listens. Those who would prefer something a tad easier to swallow, but equally as mind-challenging and a bit more thrash-fixated, may try the informal continuation of this band: Twisted Into Form (don't expect too much Bay-ARea thrash ala Forbidden there).

A Sceptic's Universe Full-length, 2000

Official Site

SPIRAL MADNESS (POLAND)

Good thrash/death metal of a very simplistic nature mixing Venom and early Bathory with the Gothenburg sound, but with a better and more modern production. The music packs a punch, and the guys show their good sense of melody on quite a few tracks. The vocals are brutal, throaty death metal-ish, which suit well the dark mid-paced delivery. Some songs take off towards harder thrashy dimensions ("Becoming Like Steel", "Wolfhearts"), and "Helpless" offers agggressive blast-beats for a while, but most of the tracks fit the aforementioned description with the exception of the bonus track at the end "Koszmar", which is a pure gothic number.

The Beserk Crowning Full-length, 2004

Official Site

SPIRALSEA (HOLLAND)

This is a diverse album: on one side we have direct fast thrash akin to Slayer or Devastation; on the other one, we have stylish technical play ala Coroner and Kreator (their late 80's period). The songs are long so there is enough space to give way to both influences to develop, and the mixture works quite well. Some songs can not be simply classified, since they contain everything inside, like the heavy, fast and technical at the same time "Balance", or the hectic and chaotic "The Sea Floods", which starts in a very aggressive, but also technical manner, before it turns into a crushingly heavy doom-laden piece in the second half. The album opener will startle you a bit: it's only 2-min long, but it will offer you an interesting technical play as well as a main riff which is very similar to the main one from Metallica's "Jump in the Fire". Then things get really interesting with the next smashing number "Passed Away" which is a perfect combination of aggression and technicality, with more concentration on the latter. The other songs follow a similar pattern, except "Misere", which is a very heavy, slow, doomy song, but highly effective. This is a satisfying achievement which stands proud among the sea of high quality works from the Dutch metal scene.

Essence Full-length, 1993

SPIRIT CRUSHED (ARGENTINA)

This is heavy crushing thrash, done in a live surrounding, with a both classic and modern edge. The guitars weigh a lot, their hammering aesthetics diminished by the noisy sound quality, but they don't lack energy, and tracks like "Hacia el Horizonte" are decent headbangers with intense riffage bordering on death metal. The singer is the real detraction here, trying to cover as many pitches as possible, his main one being a muffled death metal one. But he screams, shouts, rends, and what not to a not very positive effect, clouding the better musical delivery.

Irreversible Demo, 2011

SPIRIT CRUSHER (POLAND)

3 songs of old school thrash/death which starts in a fairly imposing way with the haunting intro to "Hunger" before moving onto heavy pounding music with references to doom so this is not going to be the headbanger's adise although the guys know their craft and pull out cool twisted sounds assisted by deep throaty brutal death metal vocals whcih would by all means be more suile for the other project they are involved in: the death metallers Goathorns.

Primary Hunger Demo, 2011

Official Site

SPIRIT DISEASE (FINLAND)

Based on the full-length debut, these guys offer a fast-paced modern hybrid of thrash and death metal, close to... yes, you guessed right again, At The Gates (the band name). This is nothing unusual, if we exclude a few ultra-fast sections with a certain grindcore flavour scattered around the album, and one cool atmospheric doomy number ("The Deathlike Gloom") ala mid-period Bathory and Barathrum.
"Retaliation" is the next chapter in guys' career, seeing them serving the same melo-death/thrash stuff, which again comes more brutally-decorated on occasion, with wild grindy deviations, which never stretch into a whole song, but their sudden appearance will keep you on the edge of your seat. The singer is a brutal low-tuner, who was also a t of the split-up heavy metal outfit Grain (previously known as Vestigia Terrent where the style was classic speed/thrash metal)), but not as a singer, of course, but as a bassist.

Redemption Denied EP, 2004
Annihilation Full-length, 2006
What's God Got To Do With It? Single, 2006
Retaliation Full-length 2011

Official Site

SPIRITS OF DARKNESS (GERMANY)

Prototypical modern thrash/death metal of the Swedish type, mixing epic sections ala Amon Amarth, faster headbanging ts in the tradition of Dew-Scented and Final Breath, and a few blasting breaks in the vein of Dark Tranquillity. "Warcry" is a kind of pointless heavy/power metal influencing the next "The End", which is not exactly "the end", since after it there are two more extreme death/thrashers.

Tales Of Violence Full-length, 2009

Official Site

SPIRITUAL DEMISE (POLAND)

Two members are known from this young outfit who offer pretty cool classic speed/thrash metal quire reminiscent of the Headhunter debut, except in the vocal detment where the singer is a not very impressive hoarse semi-cleaner. "Born To Lie" is an awesome opener, a speed metal winner which turns into a harder thrashing number ("Spiritual Demise"), before "Soviet Joke" brings more clever riffage to the already fairly compelling speed/thrashing picture. "Between The Lines" is a formidable mid-pacer with a nice balladic break and a strong bass-bottom. "Release" tries to preserve the mid-pace, but the guitars take a drier, proto-modern edge accompanied by more aggressive deathy vocals. "Mirror Friend" brings some Bay-Area riffs ala Testament by upping the pace, but generally thye 2nd half is not as interesting the compositions being slower and samey, with the closer "Back To Thrash" returning, of course, to the speedy delivery providing energetic galloping rhythms with echoes of the underground legends Exorcist and early Overkill. If the album was sustained in the same energetic vein as the one from the beginning, we would have talked a minor masterpiece here; now the diversity offered is not very well spread over the album, making the 1st more intense half way superior to the 2nd more laid-back one.

Between the Lines Full-length 2009

My Space

SPIRITUS SANCTI (SWEDEN)

Based on the 2006 demo: these guys come up with cool melodic thrash/death metal staying very close to the patterns coming from their homeland. There are quite fast ("Origo"), slower stomping songs ("Bleed For Me"), all this served with nice melodic guitars.

Human Unknown Full-length, 2002
Demo Demo, 2003
Demo Demo, 2006
Promo Demo, 2007

Official Site

SPIRITUS MUNDI (USA)

Based on "The Evil That Balances the Universe", this band which consists if just two members, pull out an intelligent blend of old school power and thrash with nice melodic hooks bringing winds of nostalgy for the lost times. The approach is probably closer to power metal the guys never bothering to speed up a lot mos tof the numbers being heavy poundes with an epic undercurrent reminiscent of Jag Panzer and Warlord. The singer is a very good asset with his forceful emotional clean tone. The guys overdo it a bit at the end on the closer "How The Mighty Have Fallen" which is an overlong 11.5-min opus stomping forward in a relentless, but not very eventful, march-like fashion to no end.

Trinity Full-length, 2006
An Insignificant Passage in the Space-Time Continuum Full-length, 2009
The Evil That Balances the Universe Full-length, 2011
American Dystopia Full-length, 2011

My Space

SPITBLOOD (ESTONIA)

Heavy groovy post-thrash with more aggressive death-ish vocals, but with the typical for recent times annoying clean singing implements; the music is mid-paced at best with really noteworthy 10-ton hammers (War Zone"), but without any attempts at a more dynamic play.

Questionable Ethics Full-length, 2006

My Space

SPITEFUL (PORTUGAL)

Based on the full-length, these guys play average modern post-thrash clinging mostly towards the groovy side despite the presence of a couple of more edgy riffs. Actually, at least half of the tracks begin in a forceful headbanging manner, but soon do they slide down to ordinary repetitive groove.

Upheaval EP, 2002
Persuasion Through Persistence Full-length, 2009

Official Site

SPITHEAD (BELGIUM)

Thrash/death metal, quite aggressive at times ("Mildew In The Coffin"), but also spiced by quiet atmospheric sections. There are times when the guys stick to the pure thrashy patterns ("Dilapidated Temples", the excellent closer "Eye Among The Blind"), and come with great crushing headbanging riffs.

Indolent Infected Death Demo, 1992

SPLAT (USA)

An excellent take on 80's thrash along the lines of Wargasm's "Why Play Around" and Helstar's "Distant Thunder"; there are effective technical moments as well as aggressive faster ones. "Mourners' Bench" is a supreme technical thrasher suggesting at the band's hidden potential which remained unrealised.

Proclaimed Insane Demo, 1993

SPLATERED ANIMAL (USA)

This is an inspired, albeit a roughly produced, affair which keeps the flame of American power/thrash metal alive during its zenith with cool intense riffage (in the beginning) in mid-tempo and very good highly-strung shouty vocals. Thrash metal almost completely disappears by the end of this obscurity the guys concentrating on the power metal side more so this demo would be of a bigger interest to fans of Jag Panzer, Griffin, and Heavy Load.

The Guillotine Demo, 1989

SPLATTERPUNK (CANADA)

Quite impressive thrash metal similar to Sacred Reich's "The American Way" with more choppy and technical riffs as well as a few modern ts ala Pantera and Exhorder. The guys admirably speed up when it's needed producing great headbanging pieces ("Vicious Circle"), also recalling Anthrax at their best. The last song "This Infinite God" is a fine 8-min opus summing up all that this album is about: a great slab of heavier proto-modern thrash metal.

This Infinite God Full-length, 1992

SPLEEN (ITALY)

Aggressive shredding stuff with Vio-Lence's "Eternal Nightmare" and Torture's "Storm Alert" paid more special attention with a few "winks" at the early German school. The bashing roller-coaster gets nicely interrupted with the galloping power/thrashy delight "Persecution" which is an uplifting melodic number with a nice bass-driven interlude. This piece kind of influences a string of sogs which are mid-paced at best, but "Sacrifice" arrives and the situation becomes quite brutal once again. The singer shouts in an attached semi-clean manner leading the "assault" with professionalism not far removed from the one of Sean Killian (Vio-Lence) and Gerre (Tankard). The band changed their name later in the 90's to Stormlord.

Unfaithfull Throne Demo, 1991

SPLIT LIP GRIN (USA)

A decent atmospheric, and also technical, mixture of death, black and thrash which pulls all the stops from the very beginning with the multi-layered masterpiece "Internalocus", a rare expert display of atmospheric progressive technicality dispersed by the odd more aggressive passage. Such compelling complexity is not achieved further on the guys moshing out in a more straight-forward fashion blending fast and slow riffs the latter taking over towards the end on the epic doomster "Blame Yourself" which also introduces clean vocals to help the more brutal death metal main ones. The awesome start has no match anywhere later on, but even with a more ordinary approach the band still manage to deliver preserving the atmosphere for most of the time.

The Hallowed Place Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

SPLIT POINT (USA)

This is playful 90's post-thrash which develops in a predicle mid-tempo and proto-groovy riffs with not many temptations at a faster play ("Victim Healer"). Shades of stoner and grunge come easy to intertwine with the optimistic mellow rhythms which may pull back the regular thrash metal fan way before the end. The singer is probably the main asset here with his attached semi-clean tember ala Jello Biafra (Dead kennedys, Lard).

Triflection Full-Length, 2013

SPLITTING SOCIETY (GERMANY)

4 songs of typical melodic energetic thrash/death metal with very brutal low-tuned vocals whose effect simply had to be diminished, in this case by sce semi-clean James Hetfield-like ones. The music is not fast, it actually clings more towards the mid-tempo gothic side of the genre, with the enchanting melodic hooks leading the pack the whole time.

Close Your Eyes Demo, 2009

Official Site

SPOILED FICTION (PORTUGAL)

Uneventful groovy thrash metal with slight shades of death, slow to mid-tempo, with one-dimensional repetitive riffs.

Way To Live Demo, 2007

My Space

SPOONFUL OF VICODIN (USA)

2 songs of a thrashy hardcore/grindcore mish-mash which tries to serve the chaotic noise of the early Hellhammer efforts on a more modern industrial base. Unfortunately, the guys are much more concentrated on creating noise rather than music.

Spoonful of Vicodin EP, 2008

SPREADING DREAD (CZECH)

This band's style hesitates between the more direct Swedish formulas and the more complex approach of acts like Darkane and Altered Aeon. The latter side seems to deliver the better reflected in intense intellectual moshers like "Bastard Brain" and "Revelation of Dreads". Still, more technical prowess would have been beneficial especially on the overlong elegiac doomy closer "Repentance" which is saved by the excellent lead guitars the latter on a pretty high level the whole time. The singer is not that impressive being a low-pitched death metal growler who fits into the provided modern thrash/death musical melee with a twist. Some of the band members had a heavy metal/hard rock project a few years earlier under the name Delirium with which they released two demos.

...Sanatorium... Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

SPRING BREAK (USA)

Based on the "Super ty Brothers" split with Cross Examination, this act pulls out brutal grinding thrash with occasional death metal leanings, with a dual vocal attack (one very brutal low, the other higher and very screechy) and short explosive 2-2.5min songs.

Demo Demo, 2004
Altars of Radness EP, 2005
Spring Break / Zombie Ritual Split, 2007
Super ty Brothers Split, 2007

My Space

SQUAD (CHILE)

Despite the death metal-based Martin Van Drunen-like vocals, this is not very brutal stuff; based on the full-length debut, this band mix aggressive thrash/crossover ala Spazztic Blurr and Attitude Adjustment with jolly punk melodies topped by hoarse drunken vocals.
The "Back From Grave" demo is another more classic-based stuff, full-on thrash/crossover with simplistic melodies and riffs and an energetic pace the music suffering from the muddy sound quality. "UNreal" at the end is a bit different being pure retro thrash with more expressive guitars, and the final "Invisible" is a jolly punky instrumental with jolly tunes lasting for 1.5-min. The singer preserves his rough delivery boosting it up a bit with a more shouty antics from time to time.

Gallinazeous Death Full-length, 1989
Back EP, 1997
Back From Grave Demo, 1999
Thrashback Single, 2001

Official Site

SQUADRON (UK)

Based on "Age Of Conspiracy": this is thrash metal closer to the the modern sound with a slight industrial edge and shades of crossover ("Violence") and groove ("Now Hear This"). Most of the songs are well thought-out within the 5-6min range, and some of them boast cool semi-technical riffs bringing to mind mid-90's Voivod and Coroner's "Grin". The music is never very fast, except for the death metal-tinged "Enemy of God" (which features genuine interesting guitars, as well as heavy doomy riffs in the middle, and is arguably the finest song here); it actually barely reaches the mid-tempo. The vocals are not miles away from Tommy Victor (Prong), mixed with a more aggressive death-ish tember, plus annoying synthesized ones.

"Our Time Will Come", the band's debut album, is a much more melodic affair with very few ties to thrash, if any; this is punk/crossover, jolly playful stuff. "Combat, Battle, and Burn" moves towards thrash/crossover, and somewhat reminds of the first two Voivod albums, but the music is still more on the melodic side, with really good long tracks where a more original, even technical play can be heard: "Unter Dem...", "Soldier & Saviour", but this is "balanced" with the inclusion of a couple of pure punk numbers: "Just Like Sheep", etc.

Full of Shit EP, 1990
Our Time Will Come Full-length, 1990
Take the Sword Full-length, 1991
Combat, Battle, and Burn Full-length, 1994
Unter Dem Hakenkreuz EP, 1995
Suppression of Faith Full-length, 1998
Age Of Conspiracy Full-length, 1999
Fields of Destruction EP, 2002

SQUEALER (GERMANY)

The band started quite well with their first two full-length albums being quite good classic speed/thrashers. "Make Your Day" is a strong debut, the more melodic of the two, more speed metal-based, with nice melodic leads ("A Little Piece of Death") and longer, more complex tracks. Surprisingly, it's those longer songs which sound more thrashy and heavier ("Make Your Day"). "The Wanderer" is a rock'n roll joke; could be a cover of some evergreen, but I doubt it. "Tears of Hate" is an enjoyable speed/thrash number, with a good bass bottom and sharp, but melodic guitars. This song, and the last one (the smashing bomb "The Man Who Never Was"), give the album the desirable thrashy edge, which it was kind of missing at first.
"Wrong Time, Wrong Place?" begins imposingly with "Liar", which is a full-blooded aggressive thrasher. But then comes a heavy, stomping piece ("Make Your Day"), some of which we already had on the debut. The rest follows this pattern, nailing crushing heavy riffs, which stop for the tender ballad "Hellcome to Heaven", and for the melodic break on "Love To Hate You". Just when one starts to get tired of this slightly monotonous, one-dimensional approach, comes the nice technical piece "Don't wanna Be Like You": a side which the band haven't revealed at this point. "Who's Afraid of Yellow Snow?" closes the album in the same headbanging fashion as the opener: cool intense thrash metal spiced with nice funky bass guitar.
A 4-year break followed and the band returned, but this time they have decided to go with the flow, and have adopted some of the fashionable 90's power metal tendencies by preserving some of their potent thrash metal sound on "The Prophecy". "Confrontation Street" features Gus Chambers from Grip Inc on vocals, and the style is modern thrash metal now, somewhat along the lines of Grip Inc, but less impressive and more groovy. The guys have a fascination about Depeche Mode, having done covers of two of their songs (on "Enjoy The Silence" they even invited David Wayne (R.I.P.) to take t).
After the not very convincing "Confrontation Street", "The Circle Shuts" comes as a pleasant surprise. The band bid farewell to their infatuations with the modern power/speed metal scene on their previous release, and this one is heads-down thrash, clinging between the modern and the classic school, by "courting" the latter more. "The Sources of Ignition" is a cool up-tempo opener, with sharp meaty riffs and nice melodic choruses. Next comes the steam roller "Mask of the Betrayer": another heads-down thrasher which punishes in a slower heavier manner adding another great chorus. "New Saviour" slows down even more to almost doomy dimensions, but is a satisfying piece of stomping power/thrash metal. Certainly, the guys haven't forgotten about their more tender balladic side where they have proven their worth a long time ago, and here is "Grey": a fine heavy ballad, one of the best songs on the album, with the exclusion of the slightly annoying siren-wailing outro. "Godlike" thrashes in a less intense, again somewhat doomy manner, and one might start asking himself where the speedy thrashing from the beginning had gone. Well, it returns, in quite an impressive way, with "These Urges", and the following "Thrasher" defends its title with nice headbanging rhythms. "Martyrs of the Half Moon" is slower, but the jumpy guitars and the great chorus again, make this track quite memorable. "I Came for You" begins with cool twisted technical riffage, and although this tendency never develops further, this is one of the most intense compositions with great riffage and creepy slower sections. "Once Fallen" is the 2nd ballad which could have been left out with no remorse ruining the ending a bit despite the presence of the cool modern thrashing closer "The Circle Shuts". Still, this album scores high in the band's discography, ranking right beside their first two efforts, even beating them on the best ts.
The "Human Traces" EP contains 4 songs which combine power, speed and thrash metal in a jolly carefree mode recalling mostly the American scene with a pinch of Warrant/Vectom-like speed metal.

Human Traces EP, 1990
Make Your Day Full-length, 1992
Wrong Time, Wrong Place? Full-length, 1995
The Prophecy Full-length, 1999
Made For Eternity Full-length, 2000
Under The Cross Full-length, 2002
Confrontation Street Full-length, 2006
The Circle Shuts Full-Length, 2008

Official Site

SREVERING IMAGES

Naive, but inspired and intense, bash which evolves around classic thrash which is both fast and stomping marred by the really bad messy production. The musicianship is a tad better the band thrashing out with a relevant number of slower tracks present. The singer is a scary death metal growler who changes the pitch to alower one on the last 3 numbers which are better produced and have obviously been written at a later stage those being pure death metal.

Death And Despair Full-Length, 2012

ST. HOOD (FINLAND)

"Sanctified": edgy intense thrashcore ala Pro-Pain and Madball; good tempo, hard riffs and a generally more thrashy attitude than the two aforementioned acts. The fast tracks predominate, which is good since on the slower material the guys have the tendency to drag a bit, in a Biohazard manner ("Deep Breath", "Stone Soul").
"For The Dead": better stuff, energetic and thrashy in mid to up-tempo, with barely touches of hardcore, moshing out without going into any extremes. The singer is the typical angry shouter, but his emotional antics are the perfect match for the brisk optimistic music.

Sanctified Full-length, 2004
For The Dead Full-length, 2009

Official Site

ST. MUCUS (FINLAND)

Based on "Natural Mutation", these Finns specialize in "naturally mutated" modern post-thrash which doesn;t hide its fascination with The Black Album although in the 2nd half the diversity becomes bigger with echoes of doom, grunge and alternative boldly venturing into the album to very mixed feelings on the side of the listener. The guys changed their name to Am I Blood later, and released a string of efforts modelled very closely after the aforementioned Metallica album with very few other influences present.

Evacuate the Bowels EP, 1994
Natural Mutation Full-length, 1995
Am I Blood Full-length, 1996

STAAR (FRANCE)

Two guys are behind this dark atmospheric thrash/black metal offering which is cold and misanthropic in a way not too far from Khold, only that here the aim is at creating more dramatism with longer compositions which bring the winds of doom with them as well all this intercepted by short quiet interludes. The sound quality is really muddy, but this only agravates the sinister atmosphere which may also attract fans of Burzum's "Filosofem", and as a whole will enchant fans of the doom/black metal sagas rather than the thrash metal lovers.

Staar Full-Length, 2011

Official Site

STAGEWAR (GERMANY)

Based on the "Living on Trash" demo, these guys offer a modern mix of power and post-thrash, quite an uneven one sounding mellow and soft for most of the time with no headbanging effect, the exception being the intense headbanger "Foul Breath".
The "Living on Trash" full-length only includes the song of the same title from the demo; the rest is a similar brand of melodic modern thrash mized with power metal, resulting in peaceful, radio-friendly antics with melodic hooks and a few more technical decisions ("Shell Shock"), plus an occasional skle of lead genius (the closing short jumper "Sweating Blood").

Tools of Power Demo, 2004
Dead or Alive Demo, 2005
Pressure Demo, 2006
Living on Trash Demo, 2007
Living on Trash Full-length, 2011

Official Site

STAGNANT (SLOVAKIA)

This is typical heavy groovy post-thrash which many bands from the 90's were practicing (these guys are closer to 90's Overkill than to Machine Head and Pantera) more or less successfully. This band rely more on groove and heaviness, rather than speed and aggression, and there are melodic playful moments, bringing them close to bands like Precious Death and 90's Flotsam & Jetsam. The guitar work at times is quite good, especially the meandering leads, and this band definitely had more to show to the world, but nothing has been heard of them since then.

Painful Reality Demo, 1996

STAHANOVTSY (RUSSIA)

Varied stuff ranging from direct thrashcore bursts to atmospheric gothic/doomsters, with at least half of the songs having this weird dark Carnivore-sque shade, although the singer here is miles away from the deep emotional dramatism of Peter Steele most of the time feeling comforle enough with his semi-declamatory tember, adding the odd brutal death metal growl here and there.
The "Penerator Shahtui" EP offers a similar "cocktail" with the outbreaks now being pure death/grindcore ("Kopaiu Ugol"), but the more peaceful stuff delivers in a much better way (the clever semi-technical "Ugol"). The closing tender balladic instrumental "Vernite Shatam" could have been skipped, though.
"Shanta Slabakov Ne Terpit" is more consistent, and the most thrashy affair so far. It develops in an intense thrashy manner, with heavy steam-rollers alternating with much faster death-laced numbers. The gothic flair is still present ("...Po Prozvischyu Sem") on more moderate songs, but they are overtaken by the more speedy material some of which is again openly grindy ("Obval").

Nije Ada Ugoli Est Demo, 2007
Penerator Shahtui EP, 2009
Shanta Slabakov Ne Terpit Full-Length, 2011

STAHLTRAGER (GERMANY)

This is the next in line band founded by Atomic Steif, the former Living Death drummer, who later on took t in half the thrash constellation in Germany: Assassin, Holy Moses, Sacred Chao, Sodom, Violent Force. His new band play heads-down retro thrash metal with a straight, take-no-prisoners approach sounding closest to Holy Moses perhaps, from the aforementioned acts, and ticularly their finest hour "Finished with the Dogs". So expect 13 songs of pure headbanging delight, with few pauses for a break: the mid-paced, stomping "Diabologue", with a slightly chaotic ending; and the odd groovy track "When I'm Gone". "World Died Away", which is the last song, and is a very ambitious take on a more serious, thought-out song-writing, and is a cool track in itself, but has no place on such an album being slow, groovy, modern, betraying the energetic classic delivery of the rest, and inevily starts gragging near the end being whole 9-min long. But you can easily skip this one going back to the unadulterated thrashing played earlier.

Thorax Full-length, 1999

Official Site

STAINLESS (POLAND)

Power/speed metal with a few thrashy leanings; melodic stuff as a whole with good clean vocals and polished guitar work not offering much to the thrash metal crowd.

Stainless Full-length, 1994

STAKE (FINLAND)

Based on the 2-song demo, these Finns indulge in heavy stomping power/thrash with less conventional, quirky elements: funky variations, quiet balladic breaks, sudden technical crescendos the latter not far from the stylish "excursions" of their compatriots Stone; etc. The sound quality is very good and the singer does a good job with his levelled mid-ranged clean tember.

Land of Pain Demo, 1990
Going Nowhere / Dreams of Modern World Demo, 1990

STALINGRAD (CANADA)

Heavy steam-rolling thrash of the modern type softening down here and there to power/thrash metal, but the rough feeling won't leave you largely thanks to the brutal death metal vocals. The riffs weigh, and do not give a lot of room for the speed to develop, although the guys know how to create a headbanging atmosphere: the fast Slayer-esque "Con Of Man", and the more varied "Asphyxiation". Inevily some groove sneaks in ("Sins"), but the rest is a crushing monolithic sound which gets nice melodic dimensions on the closer "Battle Of Stalingrad" both in the lead and the riff detment.

Stalingrad Full-length, 2008

My Space

STALINGRADO (VENEZUELA)

This band offer classic speed/thrash which is pretty intense the band lashing out spitfire riffs like demented on hyper-headbangers like "Insurgencia" and "C.C.E.I.". This is brutal music similar to Morbid Saint and early Sadus the guys seldom breaking the ultra-speedy formula consequently bringing no variety, in this case still for the better.

Shturmovik Demo, 2011

STALINORGEL (SWITZERLAND)

Tnere is just one guy operating here, the alias Karnov the Apokalyptron, who indulges in primitive, raw black/thrash with very buzzy guitars and computerized drums, which create a little bit than plain artificial noise. The "music" resembles early Bathory and Hellhammer, alternating between fast and slow moments, assisted by scary semi-whispered vocals. There are also a couple of ambient interludes ala Burzum thrown in ("The Last Gate"). The man has a few other projects (Ghost Kommando, Forgotten Chaos, etc.), most of them belonging to the black metal genre, plus the death metal/crust outfit Total Carnage, which is again Karnov himself only.

The Cult is Dead Demo, 2011

STALWART (RUSSIA)

Based on the full-length debut: progressive death/thrash metal with strong musicianship and dark gothic passages; the music is strictly modern reminding of the Swedish Death/Gothic masters The Project Hate. A nice original touch are the more melodic choruses opposing to the angry semi-death metal main vocals. The band insert massive orchestral passages ("Dive to Nowhere") which are hardly appropriate for a thrash metal album, but pack a punch, and are quite listenable. Don't expect any straight headbanging riffs here: this is unconventional stuff sounding wonderfully abstract at times ("Machine's Deadly Breath"), at times nicely mixing very complex and very hard-hitting sections ("Envenomed by Reality"). The guys pay a full tribute to their infatuation with orchestral music: "Wall of Solitude", which is cancelled by the superb aggressive thrashy riff-fest in the early Meshuggah vein "Captive of Madness". "Betrayed" sounds like a longer, and a more progressive, continuation of that same song, thrashing technically and fast, if we exclude the slightly overlong atmospheric orchestral middle section. When the next "Beyond the Horizon" carries on in the same energetic spirit, featuring some of the finest technical riffs around, you know you're already completely sold, although the sudden keyboard implement in the middle might make you frown a bit. The other thing which one might not like a lot, is the clean vocal insertions, accompanying the more brutal, death metal ones. "The Tower of Babel" is a multi-layered masterpiece of progressive thrash metal spicing things with some speedy guitars suddenly breaking the "idyll". The last song is an excellent cover of Mercyful Fate's "Egypt", perfectly adjusted to the band's flamboyant style.

"Abyss Ahead" follows the same pattern with a stronger thrash metal shade, but is not as good, relying on melody and atmosphere quite a lot. "System Is Insane" is a mighty opener, a progressive thrash/death opus at its finest with exemplary technical guitar performance, melodic slow atmospheric sections, and episodic brutal blast-beating outbreaks, all this perfectly combined. "My Destination" is heavy and mid-paced, with a fine twisted mid-section, but otherwise somewhat underwhelming. Don't get pulled back, because "Souls Prison" comes quickly, serving another portion of thought-out technical thrash/death metal with exemplary complex ts, smelling Coroner quite a bit, and more direct thrashy passages. "The Warning" slows down again, retaining some of the technical performance, but the gothic shade stifles it. "Divine Damnation" is another feast for technical metal lovers, more straight-forward than the other two, but crushing admirably. "Naked Core" is an exercise in atmosphere again, and it's obvious that the guys have decided this time to alternate the two sides of their music, but this alternation is over with the coming of "New Dimension", which excels in the atmospheric detment, but would leave the fans of the technical field cold. "Virus Of Aggression" is an aggressive thrasher, more direct for most of the time, followed by "The Heretic" which safely brings the sound back to the more controlled softer patterns; but watch out for the furious and also technical final minutes, which come straight out of the Suffocation/Necrophagist textbooks. Both the intro and the outro are fine orchestral instrumental pieces, which further aggravate the dark brooding atmosphere which this album has aplenty. Still, it leaves a lot to be desired in the technical department: the guys only on occasions pull all the stops technicality-wise; maybe more of that will come on the next effort...
"Manifest of Refusal": the 4-year hiatuses continue unabated in the band's discography as well as their infatuation with larger-than-life pictures which this time are more on the brutal side served with a boosted production which makes the guitars sound too noisy. The style is now death metal with both technical and deathcore tendencies with not much thrash presented so its relation to the pages of this website is merely passing.
"Annihilation Begins": so the mechanical sterile delivery has started here the guys epitomizing the Meshuggah histrionics quite well abandoning the warmer darker sound of their previous recordings. The opening title-track promises a lot of technical fun, not entirely different from the one of old, but later on it kind of gets drowned into the sea of abstract robotic riffage from which only a few "chosen" more energetic tracks ("Truth That Kills", the deathy semi-brutalizer "Riding the Edge of Catastrophe") can come out alive. The closing "Terminal Silence" is a cool progressive opus, but it only reinstates the newly chosen direction which was perfected on the following album.
The EP lacks the technical prowess of the succeeding efforts, but is a cool atmospheric thrashy offering with several semi-technical decisions ("Gorge of War") which at this stage serve merely as deviations from the dominant path. More technical bravery comes up at the end on the final "Brainless Beholders" which is a creepy puzzler drawing lanes to be explored by the abnd in the near future.

Jerk EP, 2001
Dive To Nowhere Full-length, 2004
Abyss Ahead Full-length, 2008
Annihilation Begins Full-Length, 2009
Manifest of Refusal Full-length, 2012

Official Site

STAM1NA (FINLAND)

Unconventional thrash metal with more laid-back heavy metal and even alternative passages; the style is similar to another Finnish band, Mokoma, but less thrashy and more diverse. It might sound too "out there" to some thrash metal fans, but there are quite a few cool progressive/thrash moments here to completely ignore it.
"Nocebo" is another melodic effort with post-thrash echoes, among other influences. There are clever progressive overtones all over which make the album an intriguing listen including an unobtrusive use of keyboards and catchy choruses. "Ei Encorea" near the end has a few more intense moments for the headbangers, but the rest is mellow progressive alternative metal of the optimistic, feelgood type.
"SLK" is spacey progressive power/post-thrash which clearly focuses on the progressive side serving the casual brutal piece ("Panzerfaust") which starkly contrast with the much calmer rest. "Heikko Ehkä" is another ripper with clevelr technical arrangemnets including a short blasting passage, but the other material should better be left alone, at least by the thrashers.

V)kivaltakunta EP, 2003
Stam1na Full-length, 2005
Uudet kymmenen k)sky) Full-length, 2006
Viimeinen Atlantis Full-length, 2010
Nocebo Full-length, 2012
SLK Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

STAMPKASE (FINLAND)

Noisu abrasive industrialized post-thrash with a less overt alternative flair which grooves its way in a repetitious, not very exciting manner which livens up nicely on the faster "Random Shot" which is indeed a "random shot" among the less inspired rest which becomes quite ambitious on the final title-track, a 9-min "orgasmatron" with echoes of Godflesh and Soulstorm. The vocalist shouts too much to be a valuable asset deafening the instruments when in action.

Mechanorganism Full-Length, 2013

STARING INTO FIRE (USA)

This is a mellow blend of modern post-thrash and power metal which is sustained in a mid-tempo the whole time recalling a better version of the last couple of Anvil efforts. The guitar sound is a bit abrasive, and the vocals are semi-clean inebriate ones again reminiscent of the ones of Lips (Anvil again).

Staring Into Fire Full-Length, 2013

STARKWEATHER (USA)

Based on "This Sheltering Night", this act plays groovy industrialized post-thrash with an avantgarde semi-doom/sludge touch. This is an interesting blend which may drag a bit on the longer tracks which are pure sludgefests with a pinch of Fudge Tunnel and Godflesh topped by agonizing synthesized vocals. There are a few industrial/ambient interludes thrown in as well so you can imagine that this effort would hardly be the thrash metal fan's adise although as a less ordinary take on the genre it's definitely worth a listen.

Starkweather EP, 1993
Crossbearer Full-length, 1994
Into the Wire Full-length, 1995
Croatoan Full-length, 2005
This Sheltering Night Full-length, 2010

Official Site

STARYI SKLEP (RUSSIA)

Based on "Teatr Koshmarov", these guys (two of them are brothers: Alexander and Sergei Sorokin) pull out cool retro thrash metal which starts in a fast headbanging manner with "Eshafot", but the heavy stompers are just around the corner, and here comes "Genocid", slower with nice guitar hooks. The moshing goes on with full force on "Proklyatie Pokoynogo Knyazya", which goes over the edge with a few blast-beats, but those moments only aggravate its volcanic effect. "Stena" is a cool wall ("stena" means "wall" in Russian) of hammering mid-paced riffs, but "Slomannye Igly" is a setback, a jolly soft punk/crossover piece, which is apently the "break", since right after "Tolpa" will crush your skull with its speedy sharp riffs. "Teatr Koshmarov" is a masterpiece, a seamless mix of raging thrash and marvellous atmospheric progressive passages. "Molot Ved'm" is not far behind, although this is heavy doom with epic overtones. An immediate compensation for the lost speed comes with "Zastava", a speed metal killer with excellent dual leads. The closer "Mertvoe Litso" is a sinister mid-tempo power/thrasher, a more laid-back finish to this really nice slab of pure unadulterated old school thrash.
"Bez Kozhi" is a good, albeit not an exceptional, effort beginning with the curious mix of crossover and raging thrash "Paskudstvo", before "Sukiny Deti" continues in a brisk Bay-Area manner. The variety carries on, with "Zheleznyi Chelovek", which is a minimalistic mid-pacer, but "Koronaciya Duha" shows no mercy, thrashing far and wide with sharp fast riffs. Time for a bit of technicality, with the slower, but interesting "Nezrimyi Vrag". "Zatknis'" is furious thrash of the crossover type again, lasting for a bit more than 1-min, after which the guys calm down, serving two tracks of laid-back power metal. The moshing returns with "Moi Pohorony", but the end is strictly preserved for the happy 90's speed/power metal sound, and this is exactly what the closer "Bat'ka Ataman" delivers. The diversity on this album is not such a big asset, throwing the sound into quite a few directions, leaving the monolithic thrash delivery from the debut a bit behind. If the first effort brought the band close to Russian acts like Master and even Kruiz, now this more varied approach recalls Korrozia Metalla and D.I.V. more than the other two.

Teatr Koshmarov Full-length, 2007
Bez Kozhi Full-length, 2009

My Space

STATE OF CONFUSION (UK)

Based on the debut demo, this act plays quite good classic, Bay-Areasque thrash which is fast and tight recalling Imagika's "And so It Burns" and early Exodus. The guitars are sharp and crucnhy at times with a slight technical edge ("Violence Breeds Violence") at times, ably supported by the strong bass bottom and the virtuous leads. The singer is a cool emotional semi-cleaner whose expressive antics soar nicely above the expertly executed musical background.

Rituals Of Reality Demo, 1991
Black Horizon Demo, 1993

STATE OF INTEGRITY (AUSTRALIA)

Based on "Did We Choose to Suffer", these Aussies indulge in dynamic modern thrash which jumps up and down the whole time alternating heavy groovy with fast headbanging passages by also spicing the situation with the odd semi-technical hook (the title-track; the more complex clloser "Castrated Corruptions"). The band play on with conviction and the listener will have to appreciate the nicely varied character of this recording which also comes with a slight retro flair and a good sense of melody (the excellent balladic instrumental "For Those Who Have Fallen"). The singer has a deep low-tuned death metal tember which is seldom intercepted by slightly higher rasps.

The Fourth Season of Revelations Full-length, 2005
Did We Choose to Suffer Full-length, 2012

Official Site

STATE OF MIND (USA)

Excellent raw aggressive thrash metal reminding me of D.B.C.'s debut and Evildead with a slight doze of hardcore; "Blacklisted" puts the style on another more extreme level with its sheer brutality packed in a bit more than 1-min. Even on the longer tracks the band manage to keep the intensity and speed at a respecle level; this is a nice obscure gem from the more brutal side of the thrash metal spectre.

Mass Persecution Full-length, 1990

STATEMENT OF CLAIM (GERMANY)

Modern alternative post-thrash which doesn't stay around calm, but "courts" other genres like doom/gothic, death metal, and the ballad. The brutal death metal vocals are no match to the music, and the clean ones which spring up from time to time are surely the righter choice. The guys have another project: the more aggressive and coherent death/thrash metal outfit Scapegoat.

Promo CD Demo, 2008

Official Site

STATION ELEVEN (FINLAND)

Modern thrash metal blending brisker Annihilator-like riffs with slower groove, plus occasional nods to mid/late-90's Metallica. The whole "mess" lacks an edge and dynamics leaving the singer to lead the pack, and he doesn't disappoint with his versatile voice moving from aggressive semi-death metal growls to cool deep clean vocals ala James Hetfield the whole time.

Visions From A Tainted Mind EP, 2005

Official Site

STATIUS (USA)

The EP offers a symphonically-tinged mix of thrash, death and power metal which sounds not too far from Children of Bodom with an added aggression akin to the heroes from the Gothenburg scene. The lead guitar work is really good overshadowing even the symphonic/keyboard implements which are quite a few, by the way, and are courtesy of Sean Sykes, the son of John Sykes from the legendary Irish rockers Thin Lizzy.

Demo Demo, 2008
Arcane Fables EP, 2009

My Space

STATUE (FINLAND)

Like National Napalm Syndicate, these guys released one album before disappearing from the Finnish metal scene, but their only album remains one of the better achievements from there. The sound is