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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

V.A.R. (CZECH)

Based on "Pod Vodou", these guys play melodic thrash which for the time sounds quite retro, but also quite toothless and soft. The tempo is mid to up at best, and somewhere towards the middle the music acquires the expected modern tendencies, which stay till the end, spoiling considerably the little impression made previously from this pretty pedestrian effort. The last three tracks abandon the thrash metal idea, one of which is a cover version of Black Sabbath's early hit "Children of the Grave" sung in Czech, and done awfully.
"Personal Destruction" is a much harder offering, containing vigorous intense retro thrash with good speedy riffs and sinister semi- declamatory vocals, but it is not exactly "Brutalni Chaos", like the opener's title tries to imply. There are whole 16 tracks here so expect a couple of more laid-back power/thrash metal numbers which are also cool although the gruff vocals kind of don't suit them too well.
"Za Put Minut Po Smrti" is really bad, post-thrash without any life and intensity, just rehashed mellow riffs to no end with power and heavy metal present more than the good taste allows. This would be a total waste of time for the thrash metal fan, and even the diehard fans of the band would be quite disappointed.

Personal Destruction Full-length, 1992
Z vislost Full-length, 1995
Pod Vodou Full-length, 1998
Rozdvojen ale schopen Full-length, 2001
(15 Years) Fast Like Bikila EP, 2003
Za Put Minut Po Smrti Full-length, 2007

Official Site

V.I.C. ROYAL (GREECE)

A heavy mix of post-thrash and hardcore with echoes of mid-90's Sepultura, and Puncture on the more industrialized moments. There is absolutely no temptation at a faster play: everything is stomping and mid-paced at best with a few alternative deviations (the cool ballad "Eternal", accompanied by a much better clean voice, compared to the harsh hardcore shouter on the rest). The guys lose it near the end, though, by epitomizing a mellower sound finished with another ballad ("Simply Alone Now"), this time too tender and not really relevant.

To Be Continued... Full-length, 2003

V12 (PORTUGAL)

The debut demo is 4 songs of edgy energetic speed/thrash metal clinging more towards the American models, along the lines of mid- periiod Helstar and Savage Grace. The music is speedy with melodic and sharp hooks taking turns under a not very good sound quality. "Tales of Glory" is the oddity here being a calm epic power metal piece with a very good bass bottom.

The only full-length the guys recorded only partially preserves the raw aggression of the demo settling for more moderate power/speed metal with not many shades of thrash: "Causa Perdida" is a good example of the latter being a cool semi-technical galloper. The sound quality is much better, and the musicianship has improved quite a bit (check the addictive leads on the excellent epic speedster "Negócio Das Almas", the highlight of the album), but as a whole this otherwise cool effort will fail to impress the thrash metal fan a lot.

Demo Demo, 1987
Claustrofobia Single, 1990
V12 Full-length, 1990
Demo 93 Demo, 1993

My Space

V3H3M3NT

This is good modern power/thrash, an interesting diverse stuff with heavy meaty riffs which never stay stale, but move around constantly switching from one tempo to another without ever reaching the very fast parameters. There are balladic instrumental inclusions ("Taurus"), excellent heavy atmospheric semi- ballads ("D-Caf"), and playful funky variations ("Fragments Of Insanity"). The singer is low-tuned, and his semi-clean tember could be barely heard at times. The problem is that there is not much speed here, and the monotonous riffs may tire the listener near the end where the longer and the more dragging songs have been placed.

One More Fix Full-Length, 2000

VACANT GRAVE (USA)

This band offers cool thrash/proto-death metal akin to Funeral Nation and Revenant (in the more technical parts). The music is aggressive and quite fast, bashing with full force at times, but leaves room for more technical exploits: the jumpy hectic "Room For 1 More", which comes served with nice, but short leads; the excellent mid-paced instrumental "Graven Scripture", which is the most melodic (except for the wild frantic ending), but is truly one of the best tracks. "Killer Instinct" starts as a ballad, and keeps it going for about 2-min, but after that the guys turn it into a stylish intense death/thrasher, with another cool lead guitar work implemented later on. "Supernatural Force" is also worth mentioning, which uses the main theme from the cult horror film "Halloween" in the beginning, but later evolves into a more aggressive thrasher, accompanied by a cool melodic section. The performance on the whole album is actually above average, and even the more ordinary immediate tracks come with interesting riffs and tempo changes: check out the last two jumpy, semi-chaotic numbers "Evil Deceiver" and "Vacant Grave". The band looked well set to give the fashionable at the time thrash/death metal mixture the desirable technical twist, but like Revenant they didn't last beyond the obligatory full-length debut.

Eternal Nightmare EP, 1989
Life Or Death Full-length, 1990

My Space

VAE VICTIS (GERMANY)

Based on "My Place in Hell", these folks can easily find a "place in hell" with their vicious black-ish brand of old school thrash which is quite intense and aggressive with some more or less appropriate blast-beats showing up here and there. Speed rules the proceedings, at times being overtly Germanic ("Greetings From Enola Gay"), at others being hypnotic and epic ("Face Your Fear"), at others being pure speed metal delight (the title-track). The singer croaks like a raven with an added more brutal death metal blend and fits the wild bashing camaraderie. Some of the musicians also play in the black metal formation Gleaming Empire.

Black Fucking Thrash Metal Full-length, 2008
My Place in Hell Full-length, 2011

Official Site

VAE VICTUS (CANADA)

Based on the demo: aggressive fast thrash which bears resemblances to Slayer's "Reign in Blood" and Dark Angel's "Darkness Descends", but the songs here are longer, and at least the leads are more proficient. The problem is with the fuzzy guitar sound which partially decreases the impact from this otherwise very hard-hitting music. The vocals are quite good, sounding like a cleaner, and a higher-pitched version of Tom Araya, with a pinch of Russ Anderson (Forbidden).

21 (wow, they're still alive?!) years later the band is back, and the album title shouldn't keep you guessing long what you will be listening to although the sound bears little resemblance to the one on the demo. This is indeed black/thrash metal sounding closer to black metal, still serving cool fast headbangers, more thrash-oriented. The constant blast-beats, however, ruin the impression, leaving little room for the thrash rhythms to develop, and often does the album end up sounding closer to Impaled Nazarene, rather than, say, Aura Noir, or the Japanese trend in the genre. The singer now is a pure black metal semi-shouter, and fits the music fine.

Demo Demo, 1987
Black Fucking Thrash Metal Full-length, 2008

VAFFEN (MEXICO)

These Mexicans offer intense, no-bars-held retro thrash which boasts a very good sound quality and good attached semi-clean vocals with appropriate shouty tendencies. The guys thrash on with conviction adding the more stylish hook ("Terror Infundado") here and there. Meaty lashing riffs will attack you from all sides, especially on merciless numbers like "Metzican Warrior" and the ultra- speedster "Tezcaltlipoka" which also comes with the finest lead work on the album. The guys relax at times with more laid-back crossover rhythms ("La Lakra"), which is perfectly acceptable, but they have to watch out for those frequent peaceful/noisy interludes coming between the actual songs bringing nothing more meaningful to the album. "Welcome To Mexico", like the title of the closer says... the new Mecca of thrash with Vaffen as its leaders.

Welcome To... 500 Años Full-length, 2010

Official Site

VAGABOND (GERMANY)

Based on "Thunderbolt", this act serve classic power/speed/proto-thrash done in a vigorous galloping fashion somewhat marred by the deep unmelodic vocals. The album is permeated by an officant epic atmosphere which doesn't get lost even on the speedy moments which are not that many. Consequently the delivery may bring some boredom near the end where more energetic pieces like "Back In The Stone Age" lie in wait to show the guys' interest in the 80's American metal heritage: Omen, Attacker, Liege Lord, etc. to whom this album is a faithful, albeit hardly exceptional, tribute.

Ignition Full-length, 2010
Thunderbolt Full-length, 2012

Official Site

VAGINATOR (CHILE)

This Chilean trio pulls out cool classic speed/thrash metal with touches of crossover; the music is quite fast, reaching a Wehrmacht-like intensity at times: "Masacre Vaginator". "Basura Callejera" is a nice aggressive speedy thrasher, followed by the drunken joke song "Demolicion (Los Saicos)", which is kind of underwhelming, breaking the monolithic brutal sound up to this point, although a big excuse is brought near the end, with a fast-paced thrashy exit. "Vaginas All Nite" is more moderate thrash/crossover, but "La Mataflaite" is brutal thrash at its best in the best spirit of the Swedes Merciless and early Pestilence.
"Vaginadictos" is a less serious and an inferior for that matter offering featuring more melodic thrash/crossover with sincere punk references. There are a few more brutal songs, but they are a little more than a mere aggressive bashing with very simplistic repetitive guitars.
The full-length relies on tracks from the demos to pull it through, so expect fast relentless thrash mixed with more laid-back crossover tunes all played in a carefree speedy manner. The surprise would be the new composition, the almost 10-min long "RockandRollicos", which is a rockish crossover delight of the merry unpretentious type despite its colossal length. This monstrous song influences the rest which is on the softer side with crossover reigning supreme seldom disturbed by the odd more aggressive thrashy break.

Demo-lici¢n Demo, 2008
Vaginadictos Demo, 2009
Thrash & Roll... A Tu Culo! Full-length, 2010

My Space

VALACAR (USA)

This act pull out rough, not very carefully rehearsed, old school thrash/crossover which is mostly on the melodic side suddenly dispersed by the awkward aggressive death metal break ("Throne of Skulls") which suits better the gruff semi-deathy singer. The music is very unpretentious with numerous jolly decorations which create an optimistic atmosphere not far removed from the one on the early Gwar releases.

Throne Of Skulls EP, 2012

VALCYRIE (SWEDEN)

This obscure gem is a real keeper: very well-executed technical thrash, fast intense stuff with good intelligible semi-death metal vocals. "At The Mountain" is an ambitious encompassing opener thrashing in a clever, but also pretty intense, manner for about 7- min, recalling both Messiah and Death from around the same time, only more thrash-fixated. "Reborn Into Reincarnation" is a more immediate ripping thrasher with lashing sharp riffs and a few good melodic leads. Then the bigger complexity returns with "Prepare To Suffer" which will also remind you of late-80's Metallica and Testament being a fast technical Bay-Area piece. "Symptom Of Brutality" is another seismic technical number combining immediate speedy sections with elaborate twisting ones to a fairly positive effect. The sound quality is very good, and later these talented musicians left a more memorable trace on the metal scene under the name Pathos, one of the most prominent acts to come out of Sweden (the guys had one demo released in 1992 as Depict Pathos).

Into the Questions of What? Demo, 1991

VALFIERNO (ARGENTINA)

Good edgy retro thrash flows from this 5-song demo which mixes hard riffs with soaring melodies no worse than early Paradox and Squealer, but there is harder thrashing to be heard on the Slayer-esque "Contrafuego", as well as heavier power/thrash on the closing "Escapando". The singer is a shouter of the expressive semi-clean type, and his antics suit well the intense musical delivery.

Sin Piedad Demo, 2009

My Space

VALIANT VELOCITY (USA)

A talented young outfit who specialize in highly-technical progressive classic thrash which is all-instrumental. Style-wise this is fairly elaborate stuff rubbing shoulders with Deathrow's "Deception Ignored" and Sieges Even's "Life Cycle", so prepare for some not very easy to swallow rifforamas on "Cosmic Mastery" which guitar wizardry, or rather "mastery", featuring the requisite dreamy passage in the middle, but what surrounds it may be a bit hard to fallow. Still, the guys are impeccalbe musicians who also provide several more intense headbanging sections on "Insulate Mass" that same piece being a labyrinthine piece of the hard-hitting type without any mellower distractions. "Forgery" is the most immediate cut here still thrashing with vision also graced by very cool melodic leads. "A New Product" is apparently the "the new product", a very entertaining roller-coaster with hard thrashing rhythms which are mostly of the mid-tempo variety, but their dramatic flavour should be a winner the blazing leads and the thundering bass bottom another asset. This is a really promising start for this formation who may be just as fine carrying on in the all-instrumental field without adding vocals (remember what happened to Mastery...).

Insulate Mass Demo, 2014

VALIENT THORR (USA)

Based on "Immortalizer", this band pull out decent melodic heavy/thrash metal which owes a lot to 90's Megadeth (circa "Countdown to Extinction"), and Exciter, when the music picks up more speed. Some songs are softer ("Tomorrow Police", "Nomadic Sacrifice") with a strong classic heavy metal spirit, but most of the time the guitars thrash with conviction and melody, and often with speed ("No Holds Barred", "Red Flag"). The sound is simplistic, but the guys nicely vary the tempos alternating more energetic tracks with heavier mid-paced ones. The lead guitar work is particularly good, but the leads are short, since the relatively short length of the songs (3-4min) hardly requires more.
The band's first two efforts have nothing to do with thrash, being pretty ordinary, uneventful blends of heavy, power and doom metal; have their moments, but would be a total waste of time for the thrash metal fan.

Total Universe Man Full-Length, 2005
Legend of the World Full-Length, 2006
Immortalizer Full-Length, 2008

VALKYRIA (RUSSIA)

The band's self titled debut is outstanding progressive thrash metal rubbing shoulders with late-80's Living Death and Mekong Delta. The very first riffs from the opener "Ravens" will prepare you for a classical music-inspired guitar wizardry combined with fast sharp riffage. The tempos stray into all directions with some parts seeming discordant and too chaotic, also infused with keyboards, which are a bit overused at times; this touch and some fast sections will draw comparisons with the 90's power/speed metal scene, but just when the listener starts to get a bit disappointed, comes a brilliant complex technical passage to save the day. The music is fast-paced with quite a few straight headbanging moments, and some really aggressive riffs: the instrumental "Valkyria". The singer plays a secondary role here, and his mid-ranged levelled tone is not really exceptional making him sound like Wolfgang Borgmann (the first Mekong Delta singer).

Like most of the Russian bands at that time, they got lost, and were back 9 years later with a shocking industrial Rammstein-like sound (apparently the guys were thinking carefully about their fans during that time as to what musical direction to follow: pun intended, the album title: "Thinking of You"). For the enormous relief to the metal world, "Mystical Mass" is a nice return to the progressive thrash of the debut. It is actually a remastered version of the debut to a point that some tracks you might find hard to recognize, because they come with a better production and a tighter musicianship.

"Popolni Riadu" is a more aggressive, thrashy version of "Thinking of You"; no traces of progressive thrash metal; apparently the re-release of the debut was made just to add some effortless cash to the guys' pockets, but not intended as a warming-up for another progressive thrash opus. The industrial metal fans will be delighted once again, and even the thrash metal ones might find something to like, since the guitars are quite sharp, and the pace is fairly dynamic, but it's obvious that the band have already moved on with no intentions to open pages long closed.

Valkyria Full-length, 1993
Thinking of You Full-length, 2002
Mystical Mass Full-length, 2005
Popolni Riadu Full-length, 2008

My Space

VALKYRIE (USA, LA)

The flag of American power/thrash is raised high again on this not very known effort. The band lash at times in a manner not too strange to Forbidden ("Alice's Nightmare"), but the overall approach is more serene calling to mind Liege Lord and Attacker, above all. There are plenty of catchy riffs to be savoured here as well as good emotional attahced clean vocals which cover several ranges with dexterity the higher ones particularly impressive reminiscent of John Leone (Attacker).

Alice's Nightmare Demo, 1987

My Space

VALKYRIE (USA, NJ)

American power metal meets thrash; the American metal scene was full of similar demos back in the 80's: good, energetic music along the lines of Savage Grace, Attacker, early Helstar, etc. with good, proficient solos and catchy, sing-along choruses.

Past, Present,... Demo, 1990

VALKYRIE (USA, TX)

A really good 3-song demo of blistering speed/thrash recalling Viking's "Man of Straw" and Helstar's "Distant Thunder" (please note that this demo precedes both albums with a few years). This is great headbanging music, quite fast, and even technical at times, with vocals which reach for the high notes quite often in a way not too dissimilar to Larry Portelli (Blessed Death). "Reign of Violence" starts with a very popular theme which I still have problems recalling... (help here, please).

Choosers of the Slain Demo, 1986

VALKYRIE'S CRY (USA)

These Canadians are a very good reminder of the power/speed/thrash metal scene of the 80's, crossing quite a few influences consequently sounding like neither of the old timers, but are reminiscent of more recent practitioners like the Danes Manticora, the Polish Hellfire, the Germans Sacred Steel, and the Finns Solitaire when they switch onto full-on speed. The album opens with the epic speed metal hymn "Iron Sword", but the cheesiness gradually fades away, first with "Black Knight" which is a battle-like speed/thrasher, and later on on the intense thrashterpiece "Beserker", which even blast-beats for a while. "Viking Warrior" adds a cool technical touch to the proceedings, plus mighty galloping riffs. "Blessed By The Mace" excels in the lead department, thrashing with force again, before "Ride Of Sleipnir" takes on the exuberant style of Helstar's "Nosferatu", by retaining the speed. "Vortigern" is a short technical speed/thrasher, again reminding of the Helstar magnum opus, but "Valkyrie's Cry" is direct speed metal with an epic atmosphere. "Headless Horseman" closes the album in a smashing speed/thrashing manner, despite the misleading doomy intro. The singer is a nice addition with his mid-ranged clean tember, sounding like a less emotional James Rivera who seldoms tries to scream. It's always good to hear a band fully dedicated to the roots of the genre by mixing all the basic styles so well without overdoing it.

Valkyrie's Cry Full-length, 2009

Official Site

VALLIS MORTEM (DENMARK)

This outfit specialize in vigorous old school thrash which mixes aggression and melody in a way Testament used to do it in the distant past adding a more brutal death metal vocal delivery to the proceedings. The guys thrash with passion in cuts like "Apostasy" and "Crusade" which don't miss in the lead department, either, with some great melodic solos present. There are more modern elements sneaking into the album, but they are not detrimental to the overall retro atmosphere.

Last Sundown Is Forever Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

VALOR (USA)

A good band from the 80's who pull out power/speed/thrash along the lines of Destructor and Hallows Eve, among other representatives of the American scene. These guys are better than both, bashing out quite aggressive pieces: the furious thrashers "Accept Him" and "Valor", the speed metal killers "Fight for Your Life" and "Masquerade", the mid-paced heavy pounder "The Flesh is Weak". The rest of the songs are slower with "Empty Tomb" being an intense mixture of doom and thrash. The singer has an original low-tuned semi-clean tone reminiscent of Jon Van Doorn (Deathwish).

Fight For Your Life Full-length, 1988

Fan Site

VALUME NOB (USA)

Based on "Residue And Bones": an interesting but melodic mix of thrash/crossover with a groovy vibe, and stoner/doom; the music resembles a more thrashy version of Phil Anselmo's Down. The bad news is that it stays closer to the doom side, and consequently doesn't create an enjoyable, headbanging atmosphere for the thrash metal fan. Don't get misled by the title of the song "Brutal Attack": this is the softest track here, being an insipid doomy blues; the rest is just a little bit better.

The EP is pretty close sound-wise to the full-length, but falls prey too often to the hardcore "traps", having a really hard time to recover after the fall. The two live tracks at the end restore the faith, if there ever was any in the first place, with their simplistic, but heavy hammering riffs.

The Most High EP, 2004
Residue And Bones Full-length, 2006

Official Site

VAMPIRE (GERMANY)

Melodic modern thrash/death, mostly mid-paced with a gothic shade, occasionally blasting out (parts from "Ballad of the Two-Faced", which has nothing to do with the ballad).

Crimson Dominion Demo, 1998

VAMPIRE (SWEDEN)

This Swedish bunch specialize in various energetic thrash which sits between the modern and the classic school. The riffs are sharp despite the slightly abrasive edge given to the guitars, and memories of old timers like Venom and Celtic Frost will inevitably arise from nostalgic brooders like "At Midnight I'll Possess Your Corpse" and "Ungodly Warlock". "The Bestial Abyss" brings sinister blacky atmosphere to the album along with the short brooder "Black Desert" which is vintage early Bathory. "The Fen" introduces more optimistic tones with its more light-hearted approach, but all goes to black/thrashing "hell" with the wild "Cellar Grave Vampire" and the headbanging closer "Under the Grudge".

Vampire Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

VANADIUM (AUSTRALIA)

Surprisingly good, and surprisingly classic-sounding for the time of release thrash with a heavy dark atmosphere recalling the late- 80's Metallica period, among others. The guys mix heavy crushing riffs with faster more intense moments quite well, like on the opening "The Damage Done", but the better tracks are mid-paced with a sharp razor-like sound, in a good headbanging tempo: "Preacher Of Hate", the dark menacing "Sabotage The System". "Fight" goes over the top, starting like a ballad, before moving onto furious grinding passages which in their turn are replaced by finally some cool thrash, and this mix goes on until the end; quite unexpected, having in mind the consistent character of the previously heard material; could be considered the highlight by some, or the awkward, offbeat track by others. The heavy ballad "Pain" is a winner seeing the singer, whose delivery resembles a slightly higher-pitched James Hetfield, and the lead guitarist do a very good job.

The Damage Done Full-length, 1995

VANAGLORIA (SPAIN)

These Spaniards provide nice power/thrash which is both modern and classic relying on heavy, crunchy rhythms which get dissipated on the few invigorating speedsters ("Donde Suben Y Bajan Las Mareas", "Rompiendo Con El Destino", the furious closer "Sindrome"). "Pesadillas De Otra Realidad" is a fine orchestral gothic doomster slightly influencing the following "Purificacion" which is faster, but preserves the operatic arrangements. The best moments are those which combine the two sides (the speed and the doominess) in one song ("Manipulador de Almas") creating a lot of dramatism in the process. The singer has a husky death metal tember which is hardly the right choice for this kind of music.

Involución Full-length, 2011

Official Site

VANISHER (USA)

The debut: modern melodic thrash with happy power metal moments; this is optimistic stuff which seldom bites with ferocity on a couple of more aggressive tracks: the headbanger "Spiraling Downward" and the sure-handed speed metal hammer "Feverish Crimes" which comes with great melodic leads. Otherwise the approach is mid-paced to semi-balladic with good clean attached vocals which are at times interrupted by gruffer death metal-ish ones. Some of the musicians were trying their hands on something harder with the deathcore formation Zero System before changing their name to the one here and softening the course.

"Unbound" hardens the course to a slight extent, and more aggressive cuts like "Seven Years Buried" and the speed metal joy "Ghosts Of Yesterday" will make the heads bang although the numerous softer sections will in their turn make them frown quite a bit. This is not bad music by any means; it's professionally done with a lot of heart put the guys aiming at the more romantic side of the metal fraternity, and would inevitably capture their attention with powerful semi-ballads like "Deceiver" and "Blood Red Sky". The melodic guitar work is admirable and will keep you hooked to the proceedings, but only in case of you put yor hard-boiled thrash aspirations aside.

The History Of The Saints Full-Length, 2010
Unbound Full-length, 2012

Official Site

VANITY 4 (HOLLAND)

Based on "Zo"n Politicon", this band offer classic thrash with a more avantgarde, semi-technical twist. The songs vary from funky variations to energetic thrash/crossover outbursts in the D.R.I., Nuclear Assault vein. Not bad, but the hectic approach, and the sudden, sometimes awkward switches from one style to another, might make someone dizzy.

Zo"n Politicon Full-length, 1994
Unsolicited Material Full-length, 1997

VANITY RUINS (GERMANY)

Modern Swedish thrash/death metal with a more brutal attitude consequently staying closer to death metal; the pace is quite fast with the odd cool intense thrasher ("Wait") roaming around.

Demo Demo, 2008
Retina Full-Length, 2008

My Space

VAPENCILENS (SWEDEN)

The debut: noisy hysterical thrashcore with sudden death metal "explosions" which are ultimately marred by the awfully fuzzy guitar sound the latter bringing the band close to the industrial practitioners (Strapping Young Lad, among others). This is heavy steam- roller music with the fast moments appropriately inserted, but the bad sound quality and the very shouty vocals are a detriment which is hard to ignore. With some corrections made in the future this band could make more heads turn; now this noisy pretension at music won't hold water for very long even among the industrial and metalcore fraternity.

The hysteria continues unabated on "Bottenskrap" which is an even noisier affair with the abrasive guitars and the super-shouty hysterical vocals. The volcanic effect of the guys' approach remains since the pace very seldom moves above the mid if we exclude the surprising fast thrash/proto-deathster "Starta Gatuvåldet" which stirs the mood big time although later nothing of the kind comes offered the songs becoming longer and more dragging. "Institutionaliserad" is a cool heavy shredder with industrial overtones, but don't bother with the closing "Sömn" which is just ambient noises creating plenty of atmosphere, but comprising almost no music at all.

HAT 101 Full-Length, 2012
Bottenskrap Full-Length, 2013

VAPULEADOR (ARGENTINA)

2 songs of classic aggressive thrash with screechy vocals and hollowly-sounding drums.

Thrash o Muerte Demo, 2008

VARGA (CANADA)

On "Prototype" the band, who is headed by Joe Varga, play modern, groovy post-thrash with industrial touches along the lines of later period Skrew, or Prong; not anything special with several passages which have nothing to do with metal, let alone thrash. "Oxygen" takes a turn miles away from the thrash metal genre.
"Enter the Metal ": this is one of the most amazing transformations these ears (and eyes, and hands, and...) have ever witnessed. From the rehashed unimaginative groovisms on the first couple of albums, this act has turned into some of the most accomplished progressive/technical thrash metal outfits of recent times. "Beginning of the End" is an awesome way to open the album with its labyrinthine sections and riffy twists which will remind of Coroner, Watchtower, and Deathrow. "Gamera" is both longer and faster with some addictive lead sections, among the riff tapestires which are second to none. "Mad Scientist" is a hard-hitting shredder of the more immediate kind, and "Plane Crash" is a more relaxed power/thrasher which spits more friendly rhythms for nearly 8-min. "No More Clean Air" is funky headbanger, quite eclectic, leaving the stage for the entry of the closer "Shark Attack" which is a Bay-Area thrashing number with echoes of Megadeth as well where also the very good clean vocals belong, maybe a tad lower-pitched than the ones of Dave Mustaine. Yes, indeed, "the metal" has entered, and hopefully it's here to stay...
"Return of the Metal" is chapter 2 from the guys' reunion saga, and as such it's quite similarly-structured to the previous effort, 6 lengthy compositions again, with numerous twists and turns which are quickly introduced with the opening "Three Section Staff". The complicated formula is gracefully followed by the remainder being addictively melodic on the hectic "After Life Comes", and technically puzzling on the Coroner-esque "Disfigured Gargoyle". "Evil Drifters" is a mid-tempo creeper with a hypnotic main riff reminiscent of Annihilator. Enters "Money Talks", and not only "money", but the guitars also start "talking" producing some great technical landscapes mixed with sudden headbanging passages to a fairly positive effect. "Far East Super Slaughter" to end this masterpiece with a portion of whirlwind riffage, stop-and-go techniques, and a nice dramatic accumulation near the end assisted by a nice technical rhythm. "Metal has returned", and Joe Varga and Co. seem like one of its most distinguished purveyors right now...

Prototype Full-length, 1993
Oxygen Full-length, 1995
Enter the Metal Full-length, 2013
Return of the Metal Full-length, 2014

Official Site

VARIX (GERMANY)

Based on the "Tribute to Fate" demo, this act play competent progressively-minded power/thrash which is not very fast, but pulls it out due to the proficient execution which shouldn't be a surprise having in mind that two of the musicians involved here also took part in the progressive/technical thrash metal masters Skeptic Sense. The music at display is not as exuberant, but delivers with its calculated complexity which recalls a more thought-out version of mid-period Iced Earth with flashes of old school speed/thrash ("Dreamgate") added here and there. The singer manages to keep up with the quality of the music with high-strung dramatic performance, maybe a bit too dramatic at times.

The "Harmonic Distortion" demo sees the band elaborating their sound with longer songs, but the ideas they have are not enough to make those longer tracks very interesting. On top of that the sound quality is murky making the guitars sound dull without an edge. They have done a much better job in recent years under the name Entente having produced two very good demos of classic technical/progressive speed/thrash.

Morbus Cron Demo, 1991
Tribute to Fate Demo, 1993
Harmonic Distortion Demo, 1995

VARUA INO (FRENCH POLYNESIA)

This is friendly post-thrash its only more intense effect coming form the low-tuned semi-death metal vocals. Expect mellow riffage clinging too much towards the ballad/semi-ballad often acquiring heavy metal tendencies after which it has problems getting out. The production is clear, and the guitars have a bite here and there (the more dynamic shredder "Incest"); it's just that there's not much here to appeal to the regular thrash metal fan.

Scum Full-Length, 1997

VASSAL OF DECADENCE (USA)

Instrumental death/thrash, more on the classic side, done by just one person (the name Dylan Berube); the music is an able cross between leads and riffs the latter taking a bit more space, and the fans will enjoy engaging gallopers like "Lust", or more restrained pounders like "Gluttony". Later on really speedy sweeps ("Violence", of course, is the sole exception) are nowhere to be heard the band finding their own path, of heavy mid-paced shred with the odd semi-technical shade ("Heresy"). The guitars are a bit fuzzy and give the whole effort a characteristic, archaic "colouring".

Inferno Full-Length, 2014

VASTATOR (CHILE)

Vastator mix traditional metal with excellent speed/thrash, similar to Agent Steel's "Skeptic Apocalypse". The bass work is particularly striking: this guy is one of the finest bass players in the world right now. "Guia Para Odiar a Tu Projimo" is actually a compilation of the band's older material, consisting of demos mostly, and reveals fine speed/thrash metal with direct mighty sharp riffs, quite fast-paced, and a singer who sings gruffly, semi-cleanly most of the time, recalling Mark Shelton from Manilla Road, but when he screams, he easily reaches John Cyriis, although this doesn't happen very often. Some of the longer tracks have their quiet, slower sections, but the predominant sound is quite intense, spiced by more melodic hooks and strong bass support.
"The Night of San Juan" is more varied and considerably slower, with some songs carrying a certain epic element, recalling, again, mid-period Manilla Road, and the concentration is not as much on speed anymore. The riffs are heavy, thrashy, but the lack of more energy makes them sound a bit forced. "Mongolian Mea" is a cool reminder of the debut, but there are not too many of the kind; the other attempt in this vein "Avenger" is more of a nod to the 90's power/speed metal scene.
"Hell Only Knows" is a fairly good comeback for the guys. The opening "Hell Only Knows" is explosive brutal speed/thrash/black, and the soaring hellish ala Rob Halford (think the "Painkiller") vocals sound almost surreal on this background. The aggression goes on on the excellent "Inner Fury", where one hears the previous Mark Shelton singing style coming back; this song is major intense thrash metal with a very good bass-bottom again. The epic sound is not too late to manifest itself on the excellent doomy "Soul Of Heroes". "Unbreakable" is 2-min of pounding power/thrash metal, but "Bloodline" keeps the album on doomy/epic fields for another while. "Pounding Hearts" is first-rate galloping power/speed metal ala Helstar, and "Evilution (The New Step)" rages on bringing forward brutal blast-beats: another surreal touch compared to the more controlled power/thrashy rest. "Mansi¢n En Llamas" provides a very desirable technical edge, and is very close to winning a place even on "Nosferatu". "Maxima Entropia" is a remastered version of an early track of theirs with a more accentuated bass bottom, and the closing "Monse¤or" is glorious speed/thrash in the best tradition of Manticora and Hellfire. These guys are back indeed, and in a way better than many of the much more famous names from the 80's.

"Machine Hell" is another commendable release although its relation to thrash metal is not very big the guys concentrating more on the power/speed metal side of the spectre, and the album comes as a capable blend of Judas Priest's "Painkiller" and mid-period Helstar (think "Remnants of War", above all). The band alternates fast tracks with slower epic ones, but it's on the 4th song, "X- Terminate", when they start thrashing with more power with the hellish Halford-esque screams brought to the fore again. Things don't get any faster from this one, though, and later on there is one tender semi-operatic ballad called "Reminiscense" lasting for whole 5-min. Energetic galloping riffs can be heard near the end ("Punado de Almas", and elsewhere), before another speed metal killer ("El Ultimo Grito en el Infierno") wraps it up nicely. Ha ha, this is not the end, however: it's the epic progressive opus "Caleuche" which closes on more than 11-min covering a wide range of moods and tempos. This effort definitely has its charm, and is not such a distant departure from the band's previous output, but still the thrash metal fan will not be highly amused by those softening tendencies.

Guia Para Odiar a Tu Projimo, Antologia 1988-1998 Full-length, 1999
The Night of San Juan Full-length, 2001
Hell Only Knows Full-length, 2007
Machine Hell Full-length, 2010

Official Site

VATICAN (USA)

This outfit provide playful speed/thrash which preserves its laid-back tone all over highlighted by very good emotional high-strung vocals ala less screamy David Wayne (R.I.P., Metal Church), or a more attached Mike Munro (Meliah Rage). Formidable gallops on "5th Of Metal" will make you jump around before "The Ripper" "rips" you apart with more intense speedy decisions. "Pleasure Grave" is more relaxed power metal, but the closing "Mistreater" is vintage early Agent Steel, a speed metal attack second to none with tasteful lead guitar licks. This was an auspicious start for this obscure act, and it's sad that they hid from sight right after it...

Answer to the Master Demo, 1990

VAULT (MALAYSIA)

Speedy retro thrash, jolly and unpretentious, turning to pure speed metal on the roller-coaster "Heavy Metal Attack" which influences the next two tracks leaving the thrash beginning a bit behind. The singer is gruff and low-tuned with a strong drunken shade. The guys also play similar, maybe a tad more melodic, stuff with their other formation Antacid.

Fuck off and Die!!! EP, 2009

VAULT OF PAIN (SERBIA)

Based on the full-length, this act provide heavy groovy post-thrash mixed with more appropriate faster outbursts the latter not far from the modern thrashcore arena. This is noisy repetitive stuff which at least keeps the steady mid-pace throughout with the aggro- shouty vocals being the major irritation alongside the constantly abrasive guitar sound.

It's Your Life EP, 2008
Devastation of Humanity EP, 2009
Devastation of Humanity Full-length, 2011

Official Site

VECTOM (GERMANY)

"Speed Revolution" will hardly cause a "speed revolution", but is a fine slab of the mentioned in the title style. All songs impersonate the genre very well, and this album, along with the early works of Helloween and the Germans Warrant's debut EP, have done a lot to establish speed metal on the European metal scene. Vectom's style is more simplistic and direct, with a clear nod to thrash, and unlike the other two aforementioned acts, they never break the speedy pattern, adding slower, mid-paced numbers. Variety is hardly the key-word when talking about this album, but this is a good headbanging fun all the way.

"Rules of Mystery", from a thrash metal point of view, is the lesser work; the speed is by all means here, but the guitar sound has become more proficient, and nice melodic hooks can be heard here and there, plus improved bass performance. The style now resembles Helloween quite a bit, as well as Iron Angel's "Winds of War", and "Why Am I Alive" finally pauses for a break, being a heavy/power metal number, not even half as fast as the rest of the songs. This is not too bad, by the way, since there are later on definitely more diverse, interesting songs, like the excellent "Feelings of Freedom", which is a nice blend of pounding, up-tempo riffage and very fast-paced one. When "Elixir or Death" comes with a more melodic and slower guitar sound one can't help, but frown a bit, since the obligatory solitary deviation has already been introduced, and now a second one of the kind would diminish the impact; a situation, saved by the much better speed/thrashing numbers "Caught by Insanity" and "Evil Run" at the end. The guys looked well set to join the forefront of the speed/thrash metal movement in Europe, but this remained their swansong.

Speed Revolution Full-length, 1985
Rules of Mystery Full-length, 1986

Vibrations of Doom

VEDONIST (POLAND)

Vedonist are one of the young hopes of the Polish metal scene, and the presence of two talented guitarists, who also take part in the speed/thrash masters Hellfire, ensure plenty of memorable guitar hooks. The comparison between the two bands, however, ends here, since Vedonist are decidedly the more brutal act, with their roots deep in the retro thrash/death metal camp. The music on the debut is brisk thrash/death metal with more nods to thrash, and very brutal low-tuned death metal vocals. The guys stick to the conventional, not very fast approach, with quite a few technical moments, which produce fine interesting numbers: "Host Of Human Desires", "Break The Disembodied Altar", which remind of Infernal Majesty's "Holier Than Thou". "A Moment Of Reflection" is a really good "acoustic versus lead" instrumental, followed by the closing 9-min opus "Anhedonia Society", which surprisingly sounds too conventional compared to the aforementioned much shorter tracks, and although the riffs are heavy and fast for most of the time, the slower, almost epic passages, albeit not that frequent, seem to lack focus and edge.
"The World Of Reversed Decalogue" is a much superior companion to the debut, again sounding closer to thrash. The lead guitar work is better, courtesy of the talented Xan (Hellfire), who overshadows the others on quite a few times, and the technical leanings are much more, producing the best songs from the band's discography: the nice thrashy monster with the "smelly" title "Anus Mundi", the fine technical riff-fest "Dead Chimneys Monument", the twisted symphony "Patients Of The Slaughterhouse", the 7-min of non-stop display of technical brilliance "Sonderkommando", and above all the closing "Lux In Tenebris Lucet", with Xan in top form gain, ably supported by the rhythm section, which is quite jumpy and hectic, and more aggressive with a death metal edge, which would make even their compatriots from Sceptic sit down and listen. This is a really cool album showing the guys more inspired playing with confidence and proficiency making waves on the technical metal scene although their full potential is yet to be realised.

"A Clockwork Chaos" is hardly this relisation the guys epitomizing a very mechanical robotic sound recalling Pestilence's "Doctrine" quite a bit even going into more abstract territories akin to Meshuggah ("At the Feet Of Christ") on occasion. The leads are the only "saviour" here their expert delivery ensuring the tids and bits of melody encountered their stylish mazey "outbursts" being too short, unfortunately. "Nhac Do" is the only reminder of the hectic unpredictable style of the preceding 2 albums; on the rest the sterile shredding may come as too much for the more classic-prone fanbase who may also be quite disappointed by the shift in style.

Awaking to Immortality Full-length, 2005
The World Of Reversed Decalogue Full-length, 2008
A Clockwork Chaos Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

VEHEMENT (ITALY)

Good retro thrash not miles away from the more recent Exodus efforts and the last Onslaught offering; so apart from the edgy retro guitars one will come across several modern moments which alternate throughout the album, as more preference is given to the former. There is a good balance found between the all-out fast thrashers which touch the Bay Area more than occasionally, and the slower moody ones. Watch out for the excellent "No Reason To Fight For" near the end, which seamlessly blends the two trends finished with a magnificent melodic doomy outro, very close to the best one on the metal scene: remember Candlemass's "Cry from the Crypt".

All That's Behind Full-length, 2008

Official Site

VEHEMENT (USA, Illinois)

Cool heavy classic thrash crossing the Slayer-esque aggression with the stomping approach on Sacred Reich's "The American Way" adding the odd proto-death riff ala Devastation from time to time (the excellent speedy thrash/deathster "Inhale The Mist"). The speed gets "lost" (but not "forever", thank god) on the galloping thrasher "Forever Lost", and on the short acoustic instrumental "Creation", which is really a nice atmospheric "creation". "Intergalactic Landmarks" jumps in mid-pace, too, but inserts cool technical licks which stay around for the next "Overtrolled" which is a fine blend of fast and heavy sections. The headbangers will welcome "Prepare For War", and especially the raging death/thrash closer "Procrehatred". The singer has a gruff semi-death/semi-angry tember which gives the album a slight modern "colouring". Some of the band members also helped Carcass Chris from Usurper around the same time with his side-project Eternal Hatred where they played pure classic death metal. Later they changed their name to Conglomeratorz with which they have two albums released.

Unbalanced For Mankind Full-length, 1999

VEHEMENT (USA, Indiana)

An obscure trio who specializes in the typical for the time groovy post-thrash the difference coming from the more brutal death- tinged vocals; the guitar work is predictably heavy, but the pace seldom varies, being in the mid-parameters. Some cool leads can be heard, and generally the riffage is really heavy and crushing, but 11 songs of the same heaviness are not very easy to carry, even by fans of Pantera and Puncture, to whom this album will most likely appeal.

Sour Ground Full-length, 1995

VEKTOR (USA)

Based on "Black Future", these guys pull out quite good technical/progressive speed/thrash metal sounding quite fast and aggressive for most of the time, a tendency clearly shown with the opening "Black Future" recalling late-80's/early-90's Kreator, among other acts. With each subsequent song things become more elaborate although the following "Oblivion" is also fast-paced incorporating elements from late-period Death and a couple of great melodic leads near the end. "Destroying the Cosmos" carries on in the same vein now recalling the speed metal scene of the 90's "decorating" the speedy approach with a nice balladic break and sparce blast- beats at the end. "Forests of Legend" is the first more serious take on a more progressive song-writing preserving the fast-paced riffage all over, also providing great balladic intro and outro. "Hunger for Violence" is exemplary speed/thrash with not much technicality, except for a short twisted Coroner-like riffage in the middle, racing with the speed of light. "Deoxyribonucleic Acid" is more controlled in the beginning resulting in more complexity, but also more melody in the lead department mostly; watch out for the second half where blasting death metal will reach your ears. "Asteroid" is all-out speed once again, no technical play here, even smelling crossover at times. The end will surprise even the most optimistic: two long compositions of exemplary progressive thrash combining fast headbanging sections, very technical guitars, mellower interludes, a bit of death metal, 90's power/speed, and more. This is quite a treat definitely reaching outside the thrash metal "box" to a wider gamut of fans, and can easily be classified as "the fastest progressive metal act in the world" at the moment.
"Demolition" is a sure-handed debut starting with one of the most impressive intros of recent years: the technical instrumental shred "Spiral Galaxy" which within less than 2-min will manage to warm you up in a way much better than many much longer songs, and to these ears remains the highlight of the album. Then the guy's staple high-speed technical delivery steps in with "Oblivion" (later remastered and included in the follow-up, again as a second song) and never steps down. If the former was a more conventional take on speed/thrash, "Fast Paced Society" puts the complexity on a much higher level with the mid-section being much slower than the rest albeit not bad at all with its meandering progressive structure. "Venus Project" begins in the most abstract spacey way with weird clinging guitars, but soon after the guys start moshing pretty hard touching death metal as opposed to another peaceful mid-break where the clinging weirdness comes back this time accompanied by great technical riffage. "Destroying the Cosmos", another piece later included on the sophomore album, follows a similar pattern with a calm surreal intro, but the speed here is more controlled, and the middle part is quite an experience bringing back the beginning supported by twisted illogical riffs which may puzzle the listener quite a bit who will partly be saved by the lead-driven blast-beats at the end. "Moonbase" is a monstrous composition lasting for nearly 13-min which breaks the "fast start-slow middle-fast end" pattern and is surprisingly laid-back in terms of speed creeping slowly forward with technical mid-paced riffs that are not bad at all creating a hallucinogenic claustrophobic atmosphere; it's just that to listen to them for a quarter of an hour without any more dynamic attempts made by the guys may prove a tiring experience to some. The closing "Tetrastructural Minds" predictably switches onto a faster play, and is a satisfying piece of clever up-tempo technicality with frequent slower pasages which again score high in the abstract twisted department.

Although the band's style may remind of several past and present practitioners, it clearly shows a tendency towards individuality and a more characteristic approach rather than conscious emulation and sticking to safer already established patterns. While the follow-up sees an act with already well honed "weapons" ready to do a damage on a wider scale, the debut is less convincing sticking to the aforementioned repeated formula for most of the time although when the guys decide to break it, this "break" takes gigantic proportions ("Moonbase") sounding like it would never end. While this is hardly a major setback, here comes the singer whose hysterical high-pitched black-ish rasps are not exactly the most suitable choice for the music, but again add up nicely to the original interpretation the band gives to the more though-out side of metal.

"Outer Isolation" is the next chapter from the cyber-progressive speed/thrash metal saga, which now offers a less bridled death metal brutality on the eye-opener "Cosmic Cortex": 10-min of intense varied music which, except for those blasting death metal moments, develops in a more moderate, less speedy, fashion. "Echoless Chamber" could easily fit into the first 3 Destruction full- lengths with its fiery stylish riffs although the puzzling mid-break would betray it. "Dying World" is a mid-paced creeper which gradually becomes faster and faster until it becomes the staple for the band progressive speed/thrasher in the 2nd half. "Tetrastructural Minds" sounds like a more technical version of the Swedish melo-thrash wave and will remind of Darkane, who are a fairly close soundalike elsewhere, too. "Venus Project" is a really stylish technical piece with a great quiet interlude, a clever puzzler with Coroner overtones. "Dark Creations, Dead Creators" is a short technical thrasher packing sharp hectic riffs within 3.5- min. "Fast Paced Society" is another complex mix of Destruction and progressive, a compelling piece with fast technical guitars and a few more melodic licks, mostly in the lead department. The closing title-track is top-notch progressive speed/thrash, a textbook of immaculate technical riffage and abstract more temperate passages, including a surreal, spacey one at the end. There's nothing here which doesn't seem perfect, if we exclude the surprising death metal inclusions in the beginning, and perhaps the characteristic husky vocals, which witch-like black metal qualities may be a pullback to some. It's clear that these guys are not kidding, but have all the serious intentions to play a major role on the scene at present, and for a good reason.

Demolition Full-length, 2006
Black Future Full-length, 2009
Outer Isolation Full-length, 2011

My Space

VELLOCET (GERMANY)

A blend of hardcore and thrash from the early days of the German thrash metal scene, but less impressive than the majority of the practitioners at the time. Their second album has nothing to do with thrash, being melodic heavy/power metal.

Captive of Reality Full-length, 1986
Welcome to Dimension Four Full-length, 1988

Vibrations of Doom

VELOCET (ARGENTINA)

Cool power/thrash with a classic edge; the album is a pretty decent mix of heavy, slower and speedy songs, featuring a nice ballad as well ("Almas Negras"). The shorter tracks are direct, intense all-out thrashers ("Autoeliminaci¢n", "Como el Tirge"), whereas the longer ones are more laid-back, but still deliver the goods with hard riffs and cool melodic hooks.

Cuando La Oscuridad Reine Full-length, 1999

Fan Site

VELOCIRAPTOR (COLOMBIA)

This Colombian formation play vivid energetic old school thrash/crossover with echoes of Tankard and early Nuclear Assault. Short speedy numbers follow one after another in a quick succession assisted by expressive semi-shouty vocals.

La Era De Los Lagartos Demo, 2010

VELOCITY (UKRAINE)

Melodic speed/thrash of the classic variety, not miles away from their neighbours from Russia Master's debut; the guys do not conceal their infatuation with the 90's power/speed metal scene as well, although full-blooded pieces of the kind are not that many. The guitar work is simplistic and direct with slight deviations into a more intriguing play mostly in the lead guitar department. The singer ruins things a bit with his harsh semi-death metal delivery, and some adjustment in this department for the future would be desirable.

Mir Ludei Pogriaz v Svete Demo, 2007

VELOSITY (USA)

Based on the "Deadly Ritual" EP, this band play competent old school thrash with references to the Bay-Area and Paradox's "Heresy". The delivery varies from more serious longer numbers (the speedy diverser "Deadly Ritual", the technical opus "Megadeath") to more direct stripped-down ones (the lashing speedster "Atrocities", the more relaxed speed metal-based "Motorizer"). The guys handle both sides well the music ably assisted by shouty semi-declamatory vocals.

The "Wide-Spread Devastation" EP is another confident affair the band thrashing with proficiency and complexity all the compositions now being lengthy and thought-out although the mosh is practically endless the guys now epitomizing the glorious sound from "Heresy" even tighter including in the vocal department where the singer is a dead ringer for Charly Steinhauer. The sound quality is very clear making the guitars sound like lashes the anthem "Thrash Metal" acquiring some Bay-Area tendencies to justify its encompassing title. The end comes in the form of the exquisite opus "New World Disorder" which is 10-min of consummate music, pretty much relentless technical headbanging till the end turning this number into one of the perennial delights in recent times including the wild deathy outro with blasting proportions. This is a no-brainer and the band shouldn't rehearse anymore with EP's, but should think of conquering the full-length arena.

Deadly Ritual EP, 2010
Wide-Spread Devastation EP, 2011

Official Site

VENDETTA (AUSTRALIA)

Based on "Backstab", this formation offer a more energetic version of the modern power/thrash trends by incorporating more vivid rhythms ("March"; the excellent intense speedster "Forgotten Road") along the prototypical quasi-groovy riffs which are not annoying since there is quite a bit of variety displayed here. The singer is a cool expressive semi-cleaner, and his soulful antics could fit any doom/stoner outfit on any day. The closing "Hooligans" is a fitting epitaph speed/thrashing in a jolly carefree manner recalling some of the crossover acts (Suicidal Tendencies, Leeway, Ludichrst, etc.) as well as Anthrax's more light-hearted moments ("We Got the Time", to name one example) in a good nostalgic way.

Underground Thunder Full-length, 2007
Backstab Full-length, 2011

Official Site

VENDETTA (BELGIUM)

A very buzzy guitar sound mars this otherwise energetic entry into the old school speed/thrash metal sector. The music is a lively roller-coaster slab with obvious nods towards the early German scene (Vectom, Iron Angel, etc.; but not Vendetta). Melodic slower deviations, like the clumsy "Changes Of Life", don't serve the band justice, despite the catchy leads; neither do mild heavy rockers like "Dragonfighters". An uneven effort as a whole trying to please too many fans with just 4 songs consequently ending up in the deep underground.

Season of the Witch Demo, 1987

VENDETTA (FINLAND)

Early speed/thrash metal along the lines of Vectom and Exciter with a classic heavy metal number at the end: "Search In The Darkness".

Search In The Darkness EP, 1986

Vibrations of Doom

VENDETTA (GERMANY)

These guys had done a very good job on both their albums and had even managed to sound more original than some of their colleagues despite the relative lack of popularity and success achieved by other less deserving acts. The debut is a sure-handed affair, which actually brought the Bay-Area sound to Germany. "Suicidal Lunacy" is a good opener with its both speedy and pounding guitars and the genuine semi-technical edge. The band combine more immediate shorter songs ("Go And Live... Stay And Die") with complex longer ones ("Drugs And Corruption"), which are the lesser side, since their length doesn't match the not very technical, and slightly repetitive nature of the guitar work involved. Fortunately, they're not too many, and the hard-hitting riffage heard for most of the time should win anyone in the end.

"Brain Damage" shows the band in an inspired form once again; within a short span of time the guys have managed to grow as musicians: the guitar sound is more technical, and the bass work is more impressive. Separate songs are quite good: the small semi-technical speed/thrashers "Brain Damage" and "Conversation"; the cool heavy semi-ballad (too many semi's here) "Precious Existence", which rivals any achievement in this field, including the much- vaunted Testament ballads; the great technical instrumental "Fade To Insanity": a smashing mixture of swirling leads and sharp riffs, started with an awesome bass performance: a variation of the Beethoven's "Ode to Joy". After it anything else would sound plain, but the two remaining tracks are quite good, the closing "Metal Law" being a really fine small speed/thrash number. The band seemingly had something more up their sleeve in the technical department, and their untimely disappearance (a very tipycal "syndrom" for the European scene: disappearance after two full-lengths) prevented them from making a more lasting impact on the scene.
A short, 3-track demo released in 2003 suggested that something new was in the makings in their camp, but it took four long years before it saw the light of day. "Hate" sticks out of the couple of more recent old veterans' reunions being vintage old school thrash metal for most of the time in a way not too dissimilar to same year's Onslaught's comeback album "Killing Peace". Cool modern "updates" ala more recent Annihilator could be heard ("Hannibal, "Rise For Revolution") in the guitar work, but the Bay Area-influenced sound, which was the base for their early works (the debut, more particularly), is pretty much intact. All songs are nice thrashers with the possible exception of "Prepare Your Self For Hostility" which is a slower, groovy number.

"Feed the Extermination" is much less interesting than its predecessor focusing on the previous album's flaws by epitomizing a less eventful, modern sound which introduces jumpy, proto-groovy rhythms which wear thin quite fast. The classic headbanging spirit is just a humble "assistant" here reflected in isolated faster passages. There are inept attempts at a more complex song-writing (the sleepy heavy ballad "Abuse"), but this is when the band sound boring and lifeless. "Trust in God" is a more vivid piece near the end, but that's pretty much it. Not that "Hate" was a masterpiece, or anything; but on this effort the guys seem to denounce their roots by taking a trite, uninspired direction, as though they try to apologize to their fans for missing "the golden" 90's.

Go And Live... Stay And Die Full-length, 1987
Brain Damage Full-length, 1988
Hate Full-Length, 2007
Feed the Extermination Full-Length, 2011

Official Site

VENDETTA (HONDURAS)

Based on "Bajo Un Cielo Violento", this act pulls out modern melodic thrash metal with gruff death metal vocals. The guitar sound is very noisy, and the pace is pretty relaxed being mid to slow-ish the latter sections coming with a shade of gothic ("Uno De Los Doce"). "Entrando Al Final" comes near the end to bring some life into the album with energetic galloping riffs ("Entrando Al Final"), but the closing "Infamia" "kills" it again with another portion of gothic-laden guitars.

Legion En Caos Full-length, 2008
Bajo Un Cielo Violento Full-length, 2009

My Space

VENEMOUS (MEXICO)

Intense ripping classic thrash expects you here played with the utmost intensity and with an admirable amount of professionalism the guys providing interesting rolling riffs not far from the ones on the early Destruction efforts although the approach is not really Germanic, but clings more towards the American standards (both the Bay-Area and the East Coast), and serves at times nice galloping sections ("Venemous") among the other raging moments. The closing "Bloodshed" is a more relaxed cut "flirting" with speed and crossover being purely instrumental.

Evil Massacration Demo, 2012

Official Site

VENESECTION (GERMANY)

Based on the "Dead Zone" demo, this band offer fairly good retro thrash in the Germanic tradition with gruff death-ish vocals. The tempo is energetic, never too aggressive, and only occasionally acquires death ("Innocent Death") or black metal proportions (the "Bonustrack", which is atmospheric and mid- paced).

Divided Soul Demo, 2004
Dead Zone Demo, 2008

Official Site

VENGANZA (SPAIN)

Based on "Contra El Fin Del Milenio", this obscure band offers classic speed/thrash metal which starts in the best possible way with the aggressive shredder "Diario De Un Hombre Muerto", but the next "Los Millones De Dios" reduces the speed, and is a nice semi- technical thrasher, resembling their compatriots Ktulu's "Orden Genetico". "El Gustillo Por Matar" goes even deeper into technical waters, and acquires an even softer approach. "Yo No Soy Juez" brings back some faster elements, but is more ordinary, influencing the following "Al Mundo Se La Suda". "Descabello" is more satisfying, recalling late 80's-Metallica with the dry technical riffs, an approach picked by the more dynamic "Sexo En La Sopa" and the closing "Iguales Ante La Ley", which also offers cool machinegun-like "fire" and a fine twisted technical ending. Despite the slight staggering witnessed in the middle, this album is a more than a dignified answer to the flood of 90's modern thrash efforts coming from all sides. The singer Silver Sol¢rzano is the same one who also takes part in the retro speed/thrash metal heroes Muro.

"Jaque Mate" is full of catchy retro speed/power/thrash metal which at times mixes all the three mentioned genres into one composition resulting in cool headbanging moments; still, there are quite a few pounding sections with a deep bass bottom. There is no technical play to be heard anywhere, and the guitar work is generally heavier than the one of the follow-up, and as a whole the music is closer to the one of the veterans Muro whose members are also involved here except for the drummer.

Jaque Mate Full-length, 1994
Contra El Fin Del Milenio Full-length, 1996

VENGEANCE (POLAND)

A "small" demo of 4 tracks of "small", badly produced, mostly mid to up-tempo thrash in the Slayer vein. The 2nd demo is another rough affair with a buzzy sound quality which is a pity since the musicianship is on a higher level, still pretty speedy and intense, but the pace varies, including a cool lyrical moment: the mid-paced melodic instrumental "Odam Historii" which contrasts with the rest, much shorter numbers where the bashing is guaranteed, although it comes with a more proficient character and a pinch of humour (the carefree crossover punker "Zydzi w Tatrach" at the end).

Small Thrash Demo, 1988
Words About Us Demo, 1993

VENGEANCE (USA, CA)

Quite a good blend of speed, power and thrash metal with a bit more aggressive vocals than the ones you might be accustomed to, close to the ones used by Tony Portaro on the first two Whiplash albums. There is a hardcore joke ("Salvation"), too. The style is actually not miles away from Whiplash mixed with heavier parts ala early Venom.

Demo Demo, 1987

VENGEANCE RISING (USA)

This Christian thrash metal band was the first one to give a more extreme edge to the Christian metal scene as an alternative to the radio-friendly metal of acts like Stryper, Bloodgood (their 2nd album "Detonation", by the way, is a brilliant speed/power metal affair, highly recommended), White Cross, Barren Cross, "Some Other" Cross, etc. The band started as just Vengeance, but later had to change their name due to legal claims made by the Dutch hard'n heavy rockers of the same name. The guys shared members with another early Christian speed/thrash metal band: Deliverance, in their spawning stages, and the music on the debut bears resemblances to the one of that band's debut crossing fast-paced speed/thrashers with more power metal- based tracks. The main difference comes in the vocal department, where one will hear the first attempts at a more growly death metal-type singing made by the band founder Roger Martinez. The aggression is probably bigger on the faster moments with nods to Slayer and Dark Angel ("Fatal Delay"), but on the other hand there are balladic parts on a couple of tracks, as well as touches of crossover ("White Throne") and even doom ("Ascension"); a diverse and a bit unfocused affair as a whole with also a couple of short brutal hardcore pieces scattered around.
"Once Dead" offers similar entertainment with less styles "courted" this time, thrash and crossover being the dominant ones. The pace is usually fast with blast-beats included on the 9-min long "The Whipping Post", which is a sprawling composition with doomy and balladic elements inserted as well, the latter being accompanied by nice leads; and on the shorter explosive "The Wrath To Come". "Into The Abyss" is the other exercise in longer more serious metal, but is more consistent than the previous one being mid-paced with a dark doomy atmosphere without any sudden tempo switches.

Internal conflicts led to all the band members abandoning Roger Martinez and forming Die Happy where the music took a much more melodic direction. Martinez was determined to keep the band alive, and summoned new musicians for the recording of "Destruction Comes", which offered straight retro thrash with a slightly dry sterile sound. The guys do not deviate a lot this time leaving those not very convincing style stretches aside, sticking to the up-tempo thrash formula with Slayer an obvious influence, and this effort could pass for their finest hour, adding to 1991's reputation as the last "fortress" of classic thrash. For those who would accuse the band in lack of variety comes "Thanatos": a softer piece, smelling doom/proto-stoner, and the closer "Raegoul" which is pure high-octane doom.
"Released Upon The Earth" starts surprisingly with the 6.5-min doom opus "Help Me" and some may start thinking that finally the guys have "sold their souls" to doom after the several "flirtations" with the genre made in the past. Well, not exactly since very soon after begins the moshing done in a cool, albeit not very speedy, classic manner again, with a few brutal "desserts" along the way: the death metal bomb "Human Dark Potential", which contrasts with the surrounding it much slower material. "Tion" is the other ball of aggression keeping the Slayer spirit alive setting the scene for the speed/thrashing roller-coaster "You Will Be Hated" at the end.

Human Sacrifice Full-length, 1988
Once Dead Full-length, 1990
Destruction Comes Full-length, 1991
Released Upon The Earth Full-length, 1992

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VENGEFUL GHOUL (TURKEY)

This new Turkish band offer mid-paced power/thrash with a classic vibe, and a singer who is also a member of another good Turkish thrash metal act: Electrocute (he both sings and plays the guitar there, whereas on this one he feels comfortable enough just handling the mike), whose delivery recalls Schmier, maybe a bit more throaty. One of the guitarists is a girl, something not very common among the metal fraternity. "Ruinous" breaks the monotony with more intense riffage and stylish Oriental leads, and remains the best song here.
The full-length elaborates the approach to the point of progressiveness at times, and is not a bad effort serving clever melodic numbers with a few dramatic build-ups ("My Crowded Solitude") which could have been more. Hard thrashing is hard to come by, but this is not the point here: the band don't aim at the thrash metal audience although the closing title-track is an admirable up- tempoer with some nicely executed "Painkiller"-esque flairs supported by the high-pitched of the otherwise levelled and not very emotional singer.

Premier Fury Demo, 2006
Timeless Warfare Full-Length, 2014

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VENOM (UK)

The fathers of black metal; Venom's sound is characterized by simplistic, basic riffs along the lines of Motorhead, with a more aggressive attitude. Their reputation rose to legendary proportions in the early 80's, largely due to their outrageous live performances, and their genuinely frightening satanic image. The raw simplistic, but sincere approach on the first 3 albums has been very influential on numerous future black/thrash metal acts, even nowadays. When "Possessed" was released in 1985 it became clear that with the increased music standards of the scene Venom had little to offer to compete with the up-and-coming speed/thrash metal forces from Germany and the USA, and even the ones from their motherland. Mantas was the first to abaddon... sorry, abandon, the sinking ship, but the other two quickly found a replacement (two, actually, both of them guitarists) for the production of "Calm Before the Storm", which took a more mainstream direction, and although in terms of sound and production qualities this album beat the previous output by miles, the raw direct spirit of those early efforts was nowhere to be found, having been replaced by retouched semi-thrashy guitars and not a really inspired song- writing; again the band didn't offer much in order to stand beside the already established "pillars" of thrash. Cronos was the next to pack his bags and leave, taking with him the two guitar players as well, but surprisingly Mantas returned after a not very successful attempt at a solo career, and with the recruitment of the Atomkraft singer Tony Dolan a new line-up was formed for the recording of "Prime Evil", which finally saw the guys pulling out better constructed, more meaningful thrash, featuring also a cool cover of Black Sabbath's "Megalomania". Unfortunately, this pulling together came at a time when thrash metal was stepping down as the dominant metal genre, and despite the release of another two competent efforts in the early- 90's, it was more than obvious that Venom would not be able to restore their glorious status.

After a short, but more successful than Mantas', career comprising two full-lengths of pretty decent heavy/power metal, with only slight hints at thrash, Cronos decided to reform Venom, and miraculously this coincided with the other two original members' plans. In 1997 the hellish trio was back in the game with the excellent "Cast in Stone", predating the retro thrash resurrection wave with a few years, and this is probably the band's best period music-wise. Abaddon dropped out after the recordings, and Mantas stayed around for just one more effort ("Resurrection"). All three albums are good power/thrash metal affairs with a firm classic sound, forceful songs in mid to up-tempo, with the occasional slower doomy pounder.

With only Cronos taking part from the original line-up, "Hell" follows the same pattern, maybe thrashing more intensely, with sharper riffs, and a harsher Cronos behind the mike. Because of the big number of tracks (13), there is quite a variety offered, which brings forward some quality moments: fast-paced speed/thrashers, slower, almost doomy songs (the closing dark instrumental "Dirge - The Awakening"), galloping power/thrash metal pieces, even really aggressive exercises in unadulterated headbanging thrash ("USA For Satan").
Cronos carries on with the new line-up, and here comes "Fallen Angels" to shatter your world to pieces (well, not exactly). The guys are obviously angry, and waste no time showing this, first with ultra-heavy pieces like "Hammerhead" & "Lap of the Gods", and second with thrashing speedsters like "Nemesis" & "Death Be Thy Name". The former are more strongly presented, but deliver with their solid crushing riffs. The 2nd half is more experimental, featuring the thrashcore delight "Punk's Not Dead", which is not a The Exploited cover, the lyrical acoustic instrumental "Lest We Forget" (now that's something new!), which is the closer; and the more complex power/thrasher "Fallen Angels". The 2 bonus tracks at the very end could have been omitted, though, both being slow bluesy/doomy cuts without any particular merits. There will be no surprises here, the band doing what is expected of them, Cronos sounding as evil and apocalyptic as always, the others assisting him in a direct bashing manner, leaving the melody and technicality for the other acts around.

Welcome to Hell Full-length, 1981
Black Metal Full-length, 1982
At War with Satan Full-length, 1983
American Assault EP, 1985
French Assault EP, 1985
Hell at Hammersmith EP, 1985
Japanese Assault EP, 1985
Nightmare EP, 1985
Possessed Full-Length, 1985
Scandinavian Assault EP, 1986
German Assault EP, 1987
Calm Before the Storm Full-length, 1987
Prime Evil Full-length, 1988
Tear Your Soul Apart EP, 1990
Temples of Ice Full-length, 1991
The Waste Lands Full-length, 1992
Venom '96 EP, 1996
Cast in Stone Full-length, 1997
Resurrection Full-length, 2000
Metal Black Full-length, 2006
Hell Full-Length, 2008
Fallen Angels Full-length, 2011

Official Site

VENOMENON (CANADA)

A trio from Montreal offering pedestrian modern post-thrash of the uneventful mid-paced type, and the guys' choice to make the tracks longer for the style (5-7min, plus one monstrous 10-min opus, which is actually not too bad sounding a bit melancholic with a touch of Katatonia) is just another mistake since there is almost nothing in terms of variety, just rehashed stomping riffs over and over. "Temple Of Lies" comes at the end to bring some energy into the effort, and succeeds to liven up the situation with merry crossover rhythms.

Too Fast For Time Demo, 2010

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VENSOR (CANADA)

This is pretty violent stuff done by three guys who used to paint their faces in a manner similar to Kiss, or to the later 90's black metal practitioners. Music-wise this sits somewhere between Wehrmacht and Cryptic Slaughter, fast raging riffs pouring from all sides with a bad buzzy sound and drunken gruff vocals. The music makes sense on the longer numbers, like on the mad thrashing instrumental "Terminal Breath", which is pure blitzkrieg thrash ala Slayer and Devastation.

Trash Till Death Demo, 1987

VERBAL ABUSE (USA)

The band started as a pure hardcore band on their first two works before switching to the more fashionable thrash metal later, by retaining their hardcore roots to a certain extent. This is probably the reason why some thrash metal fans might find their style not too appealing.

Just An American Band Full-length, 1983
Rocks Your Liver Full-length, 1986
Red, White and Violent Full-length, 1995

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VERBAL RAZORS (FRANCE)

Retro thrash with hardcore overtones sounding close to Hellbastard's "Natural Order", sustained in a fast energetic pace. "Cannibal Vegan" is a hardcore burst whereas the other 3 tracks are more on the thrashy side supported by cool mid-ranged semi-clean vocals.
The full-length is another merry uplifting roller-coaster the guys speed/thrashing with gusto "winking" at the hardcore/crossover arena at will. "The Graveyard" is a stop from the fast-paced "carnage" and this stop extends to a few moments from the following piece "Never Your Fault" arriving to crush your bones with killer speedy riffs, and till the end the tempo seldom falters the guys acquitting themselves with sharp biting riffs.

Settling of Scores EP, 2009
Verbal Razors Full-Length, 2014

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VERDADES PARIAS (ARGENTINA)

This formation plays the quite typical for Argentina melodic power/thrash metal known from the works of Hermetica, Horcas, Malon, Malicia, etc. Nothing extraordinary: cool mellow speedy guitars, soaring, but somewhat undeveloped, vocals courtesy of Eduardo Ezcurra: the singer who also sang for Malon; memorable sing-along choruses, several dancey ballads and... that's all.

Resistir Aun Muriendo Full-length, 2008

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VERDICT (GERMANY)

"Reflections of Pain" offers modern death/thrash metal of the swedish school with occasional nods to the past; professionally done, but merges with many other similar works released at the time.
"Generation: Genocide" is by all means the better achievement, with much better and tighter guitar work, faster tempos which don't change much, but create a steady, monolithic impression. It introduces quite a few classic metal elements, too, and some tracks carry the fine Death-spirit coming with good technical riffs ("Confession").

"Assassin:Nation" is not an entirely different story from its predecessor lashing fast blitzkrieg riffs on full-throttle even on the longer, more thought-out material which culminates on the excellent progressive cut "Acid Trip" and the technical shredder "The Creed". More elaborate compositions follow suit ("Taking Lives"), but they are kind of less eventful with the presence of softer, slower guitars pulling the end towards the less imaginative side with the repetitive nature of both the song-structures and the guitar patterns. The singer is the staple harsh death metal shouter who makes an effort to sound more attached, but should have tried harder.
"The Meaning of Isolation" is the next portion of the expected from the band melo-thrash/death serving both razor-sharp riffs and delightfully melodic tunes (check out the closing progressiver "The Meaning of Isolation") the speedy cuts dominating the scene some of them being really impressive lashers ("Layer of Lies", "First to Fight"). This is direct remorseless music which is professionally done and all; it's just that it's entirely up to the the listener to decide whether he/she wants to sit through this so familiar effort.

Reflections of Pain Full-length, 2002
Generation: Genocide Full-length, 2005
Assassin:Nation Full-length, 2009
The Meaning of Isolation Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

VERDICT DENIED (GREECE)

Excellent technical thrash which will remind you of Scariot's last two releases and the one-album wonder from Australia Bezerker. Great melodies with echoes from Crimson Glory's finest hours are intertwined with fine technical riffs to raise high hopes for this band's debut full- length which is in the makings.

"Condamned" is finally a fact, based on the 5 tracks already heard on the band's promos. The opening "Fake Abilities" is one of the 3 new songs, and is a lashing technical thrasher coming as a more aggressive 80's Crimson Glory mixed with the speed/thrash aesthetics of Paradox's "Heresy". "Dark Twisted Laughter" is quite a similar blend of sharp technical and more direct riffs, but "This Soul Of Black Is Mine" is a different story: a nice blend of a sinister acoustic ballad (1st half) and hard-hitting mid-tempo thrash (2nd half). "94 x 1 Vain (They Return)" is a more complex affair moshing in mid-pace with great technical hooks, but "Black Tango" beats it in this aspect being a heavy semi-balladic progressive opus with excellent guitar performance although more speed could have made it more appealing. "Twisted And Menacing My Stare" returns to the technical thrash patterns from the beginning, but "Battle Within" is more melodic power/thrash with a good memorable chorus. The "last act" "The Last Act" closes the album in a manner similar to the opener being energetic technical thrash with a cool doomy outro. This is by all means a promising beginning for the band although they could have put more effort in coming with a bigger number of new songs provided that this full-length comes after a lengthy 3-year pause.

Promo Demo, 2005
Promo Demo, 2006
Condamned Full-length, 2009

Official Site

VERDICT OF VENGEANCE (GREECE)

4 songs of brutal thrash/death/grindcore; a violent, albeit a cool, listen, very dynamic and exhausting for both the listener and the musicians, I believe. The songs are longish for the style, and are graced by fine melodic leads, sharp lightning riffs, and intellgible semi- hardcore/semi-death vocals.

Loyal Opposition EP, 2006

Official Site

VERDUGO (COLOMBIA)

2 tracks of aggressive old school thrash seeing the guys enamorated by early Kreator and Dark Angel spicing their venomous approach with several slower breaks and a few cleaner vocal insertions as "companions" to the dominant vicious death metal ones. The darkness is further dissipated by the stylish lead guitar work which is both of the screamy and technical type.

The "Renaced de los Muertos" concert suffers from a really bad sound quality so very few of the songs can be distinguished. The more stylish guitar licks present lift the quality up, but this is for most of the time just a bashing wall of sounds with the vocals completely buried in the mix.

The EP is another live recording, the audience now better heard, sounding again messy and not very well produced with a few more distinguishing Slayer-esque riffs ("Falso Profeta") sticking out of the mish-mash with a big effort. The guys are obviously fascinated with the live format, but this enamoration may "bury" them deep underground with no way to get out. Because there is a potential here...

Demo Demo, 2005
Renaced de los Muertos Live, 2012
Materia Informe del Caos EP, 2012

My Space

VERISMO (USA)

This fresh new trio enters the scene with a somewhat confusing "marriage" of several styles on their debut: traditional metal, 90's groovy thrash and thrash/crossover. At times this mix works, but often falls flat with the band trying to put all the listed styles into one song creating a kind of disjointed feeling, whereas a concentration on less variety might bring better results. There's certainly a potential here; it just needs to be expressed in a more coherent and less chaotic way.

City of Kings Full-length, 2007

Official Site

VERITATE (SWEDEN)

Based on the "Medical Miracles" demo: this band use a cool touch in the beginning, with the short "The Moonlight Sonata" intro, accompanied by a somewhat clumsy narrative. What follows suit is an effective, albeit uneven mix of doom, power and thrash (which is a loose definition here) metal with certain progressive overtones. The singer has a less operatic, but quite cool dramatic delivery, recalling the dark wave vocals, seldom adhering to sinister growling tones. The compositions are long, "courting" doom metal most, but the guitar work is heavy and sharp, reminding of Candlemass' "Nightfall". Nice Oriental melodies and background keyboards are also included. As a whole this is a work which will please the doom metal fans above all.

The debut demo is first-class doom metal with more frequent thrash leanings than the other one, more dynamic and aggressive, but still of no big value to the hard-core thrash metal fan.

The "The Chosen One" single is just two songs of dynamic power/thrash metal covering both styles quite well all this supported by confident keyboard implements and plenty of catchy melodic tunes recalling both early Blind Guardian and the Danes Manticora including in the vocal department where the singer has acquired a bit hoarser tones by retaining the dramatism.

Exploitation of Human Disturbance Demo, 2004
Medical Miracles Demo, 2006
Straight into Hell Full-length, 2008
The Rise of Hatröss Full-length, 2009
The Chosen One Single, 2010

Official Site

VERMEFUG (USA)

This is intense old school thrash with Slayer the prime target for worship. Vocal-wise the guy tries to spit "venom" in the manner of Pat Lind (Morbid Saint), and delivers being both vicious and comprehensive. The tracks are short, within the 1.5-2.5min perimetres, so there's not much ado here, just direct merciless bashing without any gimmicks. When the guys try to run from the pattern (the longer "Mothers Against Vermefug"; the frolic power/thrasher "Chick On A Stick"), they produce more meaningful and mellower music, and also more proficiently executed, with shades of speed metal. The closing "Dare To Be Stupid" should have been omitted, though: a hard'n heavy joy which has not much to do with the more aggressive nature of the preceding material; with the singer softening down his approach to better suit this tender stuff.

Wet Nightmare Full-length, 2009

Official Site

VERMILLION DAYS (GREECE)

This is some pretty cool intense retro thrash with crisp riffs and good swirling leads the latter close to being the highlight. The approach resembles the Pestilence debut the guys thrashing with gusto with sparce deathy leanings and the odd more technical hook ("Murder Thoughts"). The sound quality is quite clear boosting the guitars all the way through for the sake of the dumb bass and the low-tuned guttural death metal vocals which are intelligible and all, but just don't fit the more restrained musical approach.

In the Warfield EP, 2009

Official Site

VERMIN (USA)

Based on the 2nd demo, this band plays raw Venom-esque speed/proto-thrash in up-tempo, also recalling Voivod's "War & Pain". When they try to run away from the more dynamic formula, they produce something very boring and gragging, and miles away from speed/thrash: "Satan's Reign". The singer may strike a cord, though, with his brutal semi-death metal tone, a very early incarnation of the future death metal vocals.

Demo Demo, 1984
Rehearsal Demo Demo, 1984

My Space

VERS'OVER (BRAZIL)

Based on "House of Bones": not bad power/thrash metal with progressive overtones; the opening "Prologue" will not raise your hopes very high, being a pretty traditional speed/power metal number, but what follows is better. Of course, mixtures like that go along with cheesy moments, like acoustic sections, balladic breaks, sing-along choruses, but there are several thrashy pieces thrown in for good measure as well: the stomping heavy "Ruins Of Memory", and the excellent album closer "Dead Hour and Twelve Minutes", which with its galloping rhythm will remind you of Deadly Blessing, Attacker, Helstar, and other heroes from the 80's American scene.

Love, Hate & Everything in Between Full-length, 2000
House of Bones Full-length, 2003
Built Perspectives EP, 2005

VERSO (FINLAND)

Modern post-thrash, combining more dynamic speedy sections with clumsy groovy ones: a mix partially saved by more romantic progressive passages. The gruff-clean vocal duel is nothing special, won by the clean ones, which deliver better: check out "Gone Into My Blood" and "No Love Lost". The thrash metal fan will not find many headbanging moments here: "The Seasons End Grey" is the sole exception in this department providing sharp fast riffage; "Dead Earth Coming" thrashes with force in the beginning, too, but the detrimental melodic deviations take over quickly. As a whole this is melodic stuff with dark/gothic overtones which may eventually win some listeners over, but not with its faster sections, but when it serves high-octane doomy guitars: "Dead Earth Coming".

From Wings To Bare Bones Full-Length, 2008

Official Site

VERSUS HEAVEN (GREECE)

The guys from the classic heavy metal act Betrayed have decided to harden the course producing a cool mix of thrash and power/speed metal on a classic base. The album starts in an open carefree manner with the soaring "Betrayed", an obvious allusion to the other band, music-wise maybe a bit more aggressive with a few more intense thrashy breaks. "Art Without Pain" is already a full-on speed/thrasher. "Time Does Not Heal" is not exactly a Dark Angel cover, but is a satisfying melodic thrasher in a steady mid-pace which stays for a string of songs in the middle until the arrival of the short hard-hitter "Perfect Mask", a fine galloping instrumental with cutting lashing riffs. The latter piece lifts the album up followed by the aggressive shredder "Unexplored Land" which also boasts great melodic leads, "burying" the closing ballad "Forbidden" deep. The singer pulls out a good performance with his clean passionate voice sounding at times close to Bruce Dickinson.

Behind the Perfect Mask Full-length, 2010

My Space

VERWAINT (SWITZERLAND)

Based on the debut: an eclectic, maybe a bit unfocused and too jumpy for its own sake, blend of aggressive fast proto-death and more melodic thrash, with strong technical pretensions ala Terrahsphere and their compatriots Calhoun Conquer, but the guys too quickly turn from one passage to another, leaving most of them kind of unfinished. Still music of such a non-standard unusual nature has its charm, and in the 2hd half it starts making sense, actually, with the compositions becoming longer, progressively-tinged, and both the faster and slower sections getting longer as well, with more coherent and logical switches from one to another. The more laid-back parts contain a fairly intriguing abstract guitar play, quite close to the Japanese Doom and Voivod ("Manipulation of Normal Evolution"). The final "Non Calculable Hypothermia (Corpses Coolin to the Life)" is a really good example of more aggressive progressive thrash, starting with the theme from the cult horror film "Halloween", later expanding into a maddening surreal labyrinth of moods and avantgardism, with the speed left behind (except for the furious ending), with strange tunes and hooks aplenty, and off-beat twists and turns: quite an experience. At first, maybe even second, listen this album might sound like a total mish-mash, but those with ears for the strange and the off-the-path will discover quite a few moments to enjoy.

"Ohh! Rang Uhh! Tang" is a contrasting amalgam of very twisted progressive compositions ("Mein Nostradamus", "Topsyturvydum") and much more accessible shorter crossover ("Waiting For What?!", "It's Your Coin!?") ones. There are certain exits from thrash ("Consume") which remain complex and hard to swallow, and the overall sound is more melodic, clinging towards the hardcore/crossover spectre. All the speed and aggression let loose towards the end on the furious "Transmigration Of Souls", which is still "decorated" by eclectic avantgarde sections, but all is lost on the long dragging "Schiib"wuschr", which despite its colossal length (10-min) offers nothing too technical or elaborate, just a senseless concoction of toothless riffs and pointless deviations, with no direction whatsoever. If the debut had some sparkles of twisted genius here and there, here the band shows that all good can get quickly lost when there are no original ideas to back it up.

It Now Remains For Us To Explain Full-length, 1994
Ohh! Rang Uhh! Tang Full-length, 1994
Rollkragen Full-length, 1997

VESEN (NORWAY)

If we exclude the ugly album-title, what we'll be left with is cool black/thrash metal, quite aggressive, sounding like Absu's "Tara", or if you can imagine a more vicious version of the Japanese trend in the genre (Sabbat, Barbatos, Abigail). "Desperate Mindless Aggression", contrary to what the album title suggests, reduces the aggression far from a "mindless" state, and this time the sound is shared between early Bathory ("S.A.D.O.") and the German speed/thrash metal wave of the mid-80's ("Funeral Stench"). Still, brutal outbreaks can be heard here and there, like on the scary "Septic Surgery". Shifts into a more laid-back, heavier approach ala Celtic Frost are not too many ("Salvation/Death"), and more joyful rhythms in the spirit of the aforementioned Japanese acts can be caught, and generally it's the thrash metal fans who will be happier with this one.

"Goat Carcass Rising" is now an almost pure retro thrash offering, an entertaining roller-coaster sound which sits somewhere between early Slayer and Raise Hell except on the longer tracks ("AK-47") where the delivery goes into more atmospheric waters not far from Barathrum and more recent Satyricon. The problem is that this time the band has opted for a more moderate approach with the faster parts not being too many for the sake of the atmosphere which reaches operatic proportions on the doomy closer "Ave Nihil part II" helped by a sinister orchestral choir interference. Some of the musicians go up the music scale with the avantgarde black metal formation Smile Carved Sour with whom they're still on a demo stage; and develop further their doomy infatuation with the traditional doom metal outfit Devil.

"This Time It's Personal", folks, so don't expect the guys to show any mercy. Well, the truth is that the overall approach is not too far from its diverse predecessor the band again relying on slower patterns close to Celtic Frost and mid-period Bathory in the beginning coming up with a few cool epic black/thrashers ("Billions") in the 1st half. Still, the highlight remains the excellent sterile technical piece "Chained and Bled" in the middle, a total Voivod worship expertly done with the whole bleak abstract atmosphere and the dissonant rhythmic patterns. To expect more of the same would be too farfetched, but the following "Pressure" is a worthy dry shredder with an industrial edge. This edge remains for a string of songs seeing the band moving into new unexplored territories another testimony for that being the cold brooding doomster "Fear of Skin" which is an obvious nod to Khold and more recent Satyricon done with more professionalism. The exiting short post-blacker "Stabber" is catchy and singalong, and is a further sign for the experiencing at present metamorphosis from the guys which may be a disappointing tendency for their diehard fans, but there is too much good music to be heard here for this effort to be thrown away.

Ugly Full-length, 2005
Desperate Mindless Aggression Full-length, 2009
Goat Carcass Rising Full-length, 2011
This Time It's Personal Full-length, 2012

Official Site

VESPER (ITALY)

These Italians pull out classic black/thrash metal along the lines of early Celtic Frost and Slaughter. Faster and slower tracks get mixed, but the doomy mid-paced hypnotic approach of the Swiss takes the leading hand losing control (the brutal proto-deathster "Proliferation of the Planet's Cancer") here and there. Another aggressive attack will befall you near the end ("Analfisted by Satan"), albeit not as lasting, but the guys have taken care to relieve the pain a bit with the milder jollier take on the early Venom style on "Flesh for Masses" which puts the rest of the songs on a more dynamic level, all this finished with the cool up-tempo thrasher "H.K.H.K.H.P.". The singer is an obvious fan of Tom G. Warrior, and pulls the Swiss' gruff subdued semi-growls quite well. Some of the band members aim at a cleaner black metal sound with Vidharr, while others mix death and black metal with Abnader.

Possession of evil will Full-length, 2010

My Space

VEX (USA)

The band's style is similar to Bolt Thrower and Benediction, with a certain doze of thrash and more traditional melodic death metal passages. On "Thanatopsis" thrash metal is a distant memory replaced by death metal almost completely which comes with fast aggressive, often blasting, riffage mixed with heavy doom/death sections (check out the excellent atmospheric elegiac "Erosion" in the best tradition of My Dying Bride; or the faster epic-tinged "Era of Delusion" sustained in the spirit of mid-period Amorphis).

Sphereith Demo, 2002
Thanatopsis Full-length, 2010

Official Site

VEXED (ITALY)

Fast thrash/black metal of the raw simple type; enjoyable, by the way; reminds of Razor: their better days, and Slayer's "Show No Mercy". In every full- length the band include a cover version of their idols: Slayer ("Black Magic"), Sodom ("Blasphemer"), Destruction ("Total Desaster"), Kreator ("Pleasure To Kill").

"Void MMXII" is another capable addition to the band's catalogue the guys thrashing with passion after 6 years of absence from the scene unleashing a bullet after bullet at times inserting the odd merry punk/crossover tune (the appropriately titled "Black'n Roll"). The rest is fast and relentless with hardcore stepping in on the shorter material. Watch out for the hyper-speed cover of Venom's immortal "Black Metal" which is surprisingly placed in the middle and may pass by the listener's ears merging with the speedy melee around it which softens down one last time on the closing carefree speedster "Bastard Drink Faster". The vocalist's drunken semi-shouty tember is the perfect fit to this party thrash effort which should make the fans jump around with joy. Some of the musicians are also busy with the retro thrash formation Total Death.

Abyss Of Agony EP, 1999
Blood Upon The Void EP, 2000
Endless Armageddon Full-length, 2001
Nightmare Holocaust Full-length, 2003
Destruction Warfare Full-length, 2004
Hellblast Extinction Full-length, 2006
Void MMXII Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

VEXEN (CANADA)

A cross between the classic and the modern sound is on offer here which bears interesting "fruit", like the Annihilator-esque more technical "Fistfiler" and the cool up-tempo "Dogs Of War" although the gruff death metal vocals are not a nice "assistance", and some groove support could have been left out.

The full-length is straight-ahead retro thrash which may annoy a bit with the very boosted modern production, and the very expressive edge of the guitars which still take care of several nice melodic moments. The fast lashing sections are intercepted by a few sprawling decisions which bring the winds of groove with them, and don't contribute much except to reduce the dynamics. Fortunately, they disappear near the end for the final string of songs which are prime speedy shredders with an accentuated Germanic "sting".

Vexen EP, 2007
The Meek Full-Length, 2012

My Space

VIBRATHORR (CZECH)

Based on "Kingdom", these guys provide a more avantgarde version of the good (now already old) modern thrash with a more jumpy rhythm-section which also leads to a few headbanging moments ("Kingdom"; the explosive 2-min of brutality "This World Of Mine... Pt. 2") not far from Dew-scented and Maze of Torment. There are also shades of hardcore ("... And Hate Starts To Change The World") sneaking in near the end, to add more to the diverse nature of this offering, which may suffer a bit on the vocal side: the singer is a muffled semi-death metaller who gets lost at times amidst the musical landscape.

Self Excitement Generator Full-length, 2006
Kingdom Full-length, 2011

Official Site

VICE (USA)

Hardcore-ish thrash recalling Carnivore's debut which surprisingly picks up speed in the middle ("Skies of Fallen"), which immediately brings to mind Exciter and the Dark Angel debut. "Sweet Suicide", on the other hand, introduces power metal, but is a clumsy and an unconvincing closer to this not very impressive demo.

Demo Demo, 1986

VICIOUS CIRCLE (USA)

"The Art Of Agony" is a brilliant aggressive, but also quite technical, mixture of death and thrash metal. The predominant very fast tempo is intercepted by twisted technical passages, the latter taking a nicer shape on the less intense material (the hectic abstract "Neurotic Reminders"; the hallucinogenic Voivod-ish "Lord of Shit"). "I Remain in Filth" is standout speedy technical thrash/death in the best tradition of Pestilence and Atheist, followed by the creepy labyrinthine "Live Long and Suffer". The masterpieces do not end here, and the very next "Phantasia Through Agony" will make your head spin with its swirling riffs and the few weird proto-modern moments ala Coroner's "Grin". "Triple Murder Suicide" is vintage Pestilence's "Testimony of the Ancients" with an even more complex abstract twist. "Phantom Pains" is a hammering more controlled (speed-wise) technical thrasher, a marvellous nod to Coroner's "Mental Vortex". "Unfullfillment" finishes the album's flirtation with thrash, and is a total death metal brutality, of course with numerous technical "decorations", quite close to Hellwitch and Atheist. "Wishing the Djinn Away" is not too far behind, if we exclude the more laid- back thrash break in the middle. "Spiritual Deformity" is an encyclopaedia of technical death (not much thrash here), twisting and turning in many directions, recalling almost every practitiotner of the style of both more recent and not so recent times. "Written in Flesh" thinks about the thrash, to wrap it up as a closer, lashing fast technical riffs to an overwhelming effect, again recalling the escalating dramatism of the staple vortex Coroner delivery. A technical thrash/death metal fan's collection simply can not possibly exist without this album, which simply puts together all the trade marks of the genre, without sounding trite or derivative, giving a strong push forward to the style at "dry" for the technical side of metal times when neither of the mentioned in the review "veterans" from the technical scene were around.

It was the debut which has actually started this madness lashing out in a furious manner not miles away from the Sadus debut, but there is a presence of quite a few clever technical leanings, and this mixture easily reaches out towards the Hellwitch first effort, too: it gets wonderfully chaotic and jumpy ("Re-Creation") in a way also similar to Atheist's "Unquestionable Presence". Some of the best blends of aggression and technicality can one find here: the brutal death/thrashterpiece "Demons of My Past"; the ultra-fast fists of fury "Not Human" and "Mutated Form", where the speed may be a bit hard to handle, especially when it comes served with a big portion of twisted ever-changing riffs. "Dying Time" offers a slight relief with a couple of slower almost mid- paced riffs, but all hell breaks loose again very soon after on the whirlwind of hectic technical riffage offered on "Biomorphic Horrors". "Hypnosis" is a great closer, calming down, the only pure thrasher, thrashing in up-tempo with technicality in the spirit of Kreator's late 80's period, ending this excellent album in a less likely, but very welcome, restrained manner.

Cryptic Void Full-length, 1993
Live Long And Suffer EP, 1997
The Art of Agony Full-length, 2004

Official Site

VICIOUS CRUSADE (BELARUS)

A band who manage to combine folk, thrash, black, and death metal together; on the vocal side we have another combination: of rough semi-death vocals and female operatic ones. There is a use of instruments like violins, bagpipes, etc. It's hard to point at the most thrashy release: probably "The Unbroken", although it's also quite diverse and folk-ish. The wide variety of styles displayed by Vicious Crusade might not appeal to every thrash metal fan.

"Freedom Comes" focuses on the folk/pagan melodies, and consequently would not be a very big thrash metal fan's entertainment. Except for the thrash/speed delight "The Man With Heart Of Gold" there is no much aggression present, and the overall style is not very far from Skyclad.

Life That Kills Full-length, 1996
Faces Of Vice EP, 1997
The Unbroken Full-length, 1999
Messiah... Isn't it Me? EP, 2001
Forbidden Tunes Full-length, 2002
Freedom Comes Full-Length, 2009

Official Site

VICTIM YIELD (MACEDONIA)

A good thrash/death metal band coming from a country which doesn't have many traditions in this field, but this doesn't seem to be a problem for the appearance of quality acts like this. The sound is rooted in the late 80's/early 90's, "accompanied" by a double vocal attack: one of the more hysterical Jeff Walker-like type, the other being low death metal grunts, not too far from Chris Barnes himself. The music, however, is closer to thrash with nice tempo changes (from slower to mid-paced, to fast) without going into blast-beat extremes.

Sentenced To Live Demo, 2005
Voice of Consciousness Demo, 2005

Official Site

VICTIMIZED (COLOMBIA)

Based on the "Self Destroy" EP, this band pulls out cool retro thrash with some crossover overtones. The music is speedy and light- hearted, and the guitarists try to stick to the more melodic trends, ably supported by the good clean alternative vocals.

Brain Damage EP, 2007
Self Destroy EP, 2009

Official Site

VICTIMIZER (DENMARK)

Based on the 2nd EP: vintage old school speed/thrash akin to early Destruction, Sodom and Cranium; good stuff featuring two covers: Motorhead's "Ace Of Spades" (but of course!) and Nunslaughter's "In The Graveyard".

"The Final Assault" waves the flag of German speed/thrash metal high, only seldom slowing down for the odd mid-section. Things slightly get out of control on "Demons in the Night", which becomes more extreme adding some black and death metal, a situation "worsened" by the vicious black metal vocals which spring up at the same time. An "excuse" is immediately brought to the fore, in the face of the glorious speed metal joy "No Escape from the Jaws of Hell" and the raging speed/thrasher "Pentagram Warfare". "Running Wild in Nuclear Street", despite its very promising title, is the only not as fast track, stretching into power metal. The band members have another project: the death/black metal outfit Church Bizarre which seems to occupy the bigger portion of their time of recent years.

Communist Crusher EP, 2003
Rapid Thrashing Violence EP, 2007
The Final Assault Full-length, 2007

Official Site

VICTIMS OF INTERNAL DECAY (USA)

Based on the demo, these guys indulge in aggressive thrash which offers several time and tempo-changes in a way not too far from the Infernal Majesty debut to which this obscure effort owes a lot. At times the band ger carried away refusing to speed up for prolonged sections (check out the dark pounder "Death Dealer") and indeed, the speed is missing for longer periods than the thrash metal fan's heart would be able to hold. The end compensates for that not without the help of the rigorous hardcore-ish closer "You Stink You Suck". The singer is not bad at all with his forceful quarrelsome semi-clean tember. Some of the musicians are still around with the stoner/doom formation Griefhammer and the grind/death metal "monsters" Domesticide.

Democrazy Demo, 1989
Victims of Internal Decay Full-length, 1993
Resin 67 Sessions Full-length, 1996

Official Site

VIGILANT (HOLLAND)

Based on the "Dramatic Surge" demo, these guys could have found a place under the thrash metal sun easily. Their style fits nicely between the more pounding sharp music of Mandator's "Perfect Progeny" and the sophisticated, intelligent technical thrash of Usurper (Holland). The music is fast-paced without moving into more aggressive waters, despite the clear death metal-ish vocals, recalling Martin Van Drunen's shouts on the Pestilence albums. Only 3 songs (the last one is actually a very good instrumental) provide you with a non-stop riff-fest which many full-length albums would find hard to match.
The "Oppression" demo is an exemplary extravaganza which will bewilder the listener from the very first note of the opening title- track providing some of the most puzzling time-signatures. Later on things get more dynamic, but the head-scratchiness remains served in a semi-headbanging manner on "Visions Of A Dying World", and twisted to Mekong Delta-sque proportions on the mazey "Biomorph". "Beyond God's Creations" is more quiet with a few balladic throw-ins, and the bass bottom is second to none along with the exuberant stop-and-go riffs which predate their culmination on "Mental Vortex" with two whole years. This is a no-brainer for the progressive/technical thrash lovers, worthy contemporaries to Dutch acts like Sacrosanct, Usurper again, Donor, and even Pestilence if you like.

Dramatic Surge Demo, 1988
Oppression Demo, 1989

VIGILANTE (USA)

After Helstar folded in the late 80's, James Rivera decided to continue his career under this name. This 6-track demo is quite a worthy slab of technical/progressive power/thrash, more complex than the style on "Nosferatu", but not as hard-hitting, although some of the riffs will make you headbang in no time, despite their quite elaborate nature. This great collection had two weak spots, though: "Lost to Be Found, Found to Be Lost" and "Black Silhouette Skies". Very ironically, those were the two tracks which were included in the new Helstar "Multiples of Black", leaving the rest much better material aside. On that album Rivera was helped by the same musicians who took part in the recording of the Vigilante demo. Later those guys formed the much inferior groovy thrash act Eternity Black. "Sinister Deity", the great little blistering thrasher, was later included in Destiny's End's brilliant "Breathe Deep the Dark", another "child" (and the best one so far) of Rivera's. This demo, along with the Helstar demo "Demolition" (which is played by the same musicians, and for many is considered the real beginning of Vigilante), was re-released under the title "The James Rivera Legacy", and is included in the Helstar discography.

Vigilante Demo, 1991

VII ARCANO (ITALY)

Based on the "Merciless Distortion" demo, this band, whose line-up through the years has included more than half the constellation of the Italian thrash/black/death metal undergournd, play intense, frequently aggressive, thrash/death metal with the odd technical leaning ("Bloodlust Deficit"), rooted in the old American school.
"Inner Deathscapes" boosts the guitar sound up to the point of annoyance giving the music a strong modern edge. The approach is seldom aggressive and super-fast sitting in the mid to up-tempo parametres with stretches towards doom metal the latter not bad, actually, reminding of the Dutch doom/death masters Beyond Belief.

Gather My Blood Forever EP, 1995
Inner Deathscapes Full-length, 2001
Nothingod Full-length, 2005
Merciless Distortion Demo, 2007

Official Site

VIKING (USA)

The band's works are on the opposite sides of the music spectre: "Do Or Die" is apparently inspired by the aggression unleashed by "Reign In Blood" and "Darkness Descends", may be with a more direct and a less musical delivery. Still, one can not completely ignore its sincere stripped-down bashing approach which also shares some of the hardcore aesthetics of same year's Sacred Reich's "Ignorance", and must have been an influence on another exercise in aggression which came before the end of the decade: Evildead's "Annihilation of Civilization". There's no speed lost on this one, all tracks are short fast bullets nailing you down, with only "Valhalla" offering a relief with its mid-paced heavy riffage. Full of energy, but pretty one-dimensional, this effort shows the guys following faithfully well-established models with not too many traces of originality in their style.

Listening to the sophomore album, it makes it hard to believe that these are the same people playing here: "Man Of Straw" is one of the better achievements of the genre from the late-80's with its epic atmosphere, a much better sound quality and occasionally technical nature. Still there is speed and intensity aplenty: the opener "White Death" which thrashes aggressively, but in a much more controlled and convincing way than any track on the debut. The follower "They Raped the Land" carries on in the same spirit, as though the guys wanted to show how much better they can deliver this side of the genre. Towards the middle things start getting more complex and slower with the longer, but still energetic "Winter", and the slightly underwhelming classic heavy metal- styled cover of Pat Benatar's "Hell Is for Children". But things go back to the aggression from the beginning with the awesome smashing "Creative Divorce". The closing "Man of Straw" tries to compensate for the relative lack of technical riffs and pours down great stylish guitars, again served in a fast-paced uncompromising manner. Brett Eriksen, the band's guitar player, later took part in one of the last masterpieces before the genre's demise in the early-90's: Dark Angel's "Time Does Not Heal".

Do or Die Full-length, 1988
Man of Straw Full-length, 1989

Vibrations of Doom

VILE (USA)

Based on the 2nd demo, this act play messy raw thrash which is mostly on the heavy stomping side with a thundering bass bottom which is nothing special, but deafens the other instruments quite a bit. The guys just go through the motions apparently well aware of their limited musical skills serving one-dimensional chaotic music which eventually creates a hypnotic feeling due to the never- changing nature of the riff-patterns topped by attached dramatic shouty semi-declamatory vocals ala Phil Rind (Sacred Reich) which are by far the highlight. Some of the musicians also made one more demo in 1989 under the name Destitute.

Vile Demo, 1986
Demo #2 Demo, 1987

VILE POLITICS

Rough hardcore-ish modern thrash mixing fast and slow passages with gruff semi-shouty vocals ala Wattie (The Exploited).

The Beginning EP, 2008

VILEFUCK (SWEDEN)

These guys offer aggressive retro thrash/proto-death in the spirit of Morbid Saint and Incubus' debut. The shreds are brutal, but professionally executed, and later on there are slower moments to be savoured. "Fuck the System" borders on death metal, and "Thrash and Destroy" after that acquires more stomping qualities at a certain stage to alleviate the situation. "Invisible War" is another heavy pounder, introducing the interesting closing opus "Maze" which rolls on with fast, galloping riffs for more than 8-min to a fairly positive effect, not forgetting about the brutal blasting sections in the beginning. The singer is a subdued semi-death metal rasper who sits somewhere between early Mille and Rogga (Merciless).

What Lies Ahead Is Already Dead Full-length, 2009

Official Site

VILIPENDIO (BRAZIL)

Based on the full-length, this band play varied modern thrashcore which meanders through its confusing delivery throwing blues, funk, groove, and punk into the mixture. There are a few dynamic songs, mostly near the end, but the majority are scattered mid- pacers without too many hard-hitting moments. The singer is a suitable not very shouty, and not very angry, throat who even manages to elicit the odd more melodic tune.

15 Abismos Full-length, 2001
Um Segundo de Glória Full-length, 2007

Official Site

VILLAINIZER (CANADA)

Based on the full-length, this Canadian (since there is only one person behind all this: the name Rob "The Arab Villain", also a member of the power/speed/thrash metal masters Sixguns Over Tombstone) offers catchy classic speed/thrash with fast sharp riffs and very cool Oriental leads. The man honours Kreator and Tankard, above all, but there are also moments from the Bay-Area ("Eye the I in Kill"), and "Terrorplane" is a sure-handed speed metal winner followed by the short explosive thrash/crossover anthem "Lockerbomb". The guy's "infatuation" with terrorism and bombs reaches the culmination on the final "Post Bombem (A Song for Osama)" which is a raging thrasher (no relations to Slayer music-wise despite the title references) with again, Tankard, a prime influence. Vocal-wise the man is a dead ringer for Tom Angelripper, and his antics are intelligible with a certain spiteful edge (after all, see the lyrical concept behind the album).

"Reign in Terror": the epic/pagan intro "Chant" misleads big time since there's no change of direction here, the good old speed/thrashing starting right after with the explosive "Turbanator" the guy spicing his venomous approach with plenty of catchy melodic tunes some of them genuine Oriental motifs. The music is now more polished, and the rough early Tankard "pyrotechnics" are seldom heard the man trying to come up with his own individual style as hard as this endeavour can be in the contemporary oversaturated scene. The Oriental connection remains for the most of the material presented disappearing for the final string of tracks which are full-on speed/thrash with infectious melodic leads. Another reference to Slayer comes with "Raining Bombs" which this time is also a music-wise allusion the guy thrashing with passion recalling the mentioned American veterans. There's nothing wrong here all this served with a very good sound quality and the staple attached Angelripper-esque vocals.

The Villainizing EP, 2010
I Bomb New York Full-length, 2011
True Me(n)tal EP, 2012
Reign in Terror Full-length, 2013

My Space

VILLAINS (USA)

Based on the debut: death/thrash/black metal with hateful vocals; mid-paced, reminiscent of old Celtic Frost and their compatriots Usurper, with a few faster passages.
"Lifecode of Decadence" is much more dynamic with the faster numbers dominating: the cool classic speed/thrasher "Headless Excruciator", where one can hear good high-pitched shrieks ala King Diamond; the vicious thrash/death killer "Scumbag Preacher"; the brutal black/death metal bomb "Crawl To The Cave"; the terrifying black metal outrage "Blacklisted". The slower tracks now carry the post-black/groovy spirit of acts like Thorns and more recent Satyricon, and the last "Necks In The Noose" is a good attempt at symphonic black metal ala Bal-Sagoth.
"Road To Ruin" concentrates more on the atmospheric blacky side, and as such delivers almost as good coming as a weird blend between Thorns and early Voivod. The fast moments have been reduced to a mimimum (parts from "Acid Punk" and "Narc Violence"), and those will remind you of the black/thrashy boogie of more recent Darkthrone. This is avantgarde stuff with only the vicious raspy vocals remaining to recall the band's earlier output. This is eclectic music with interesting dissonant riffs some of them even recalling the surreal post-black landscapes of Virus, and although there is not much real thrash metal to be heard, this effort is a nice entry into the more offbeat, left-hand-path side of music.

"Never Abandon the Slut Train": who wants to abandon the "slut train"?! The sweetest train in the world... Now seriously: the band haved messed it up big time here providing mish-mashy amateurish music which mixes early Venom and Bathory with slower proto- Hellhammer riffs to a not very positive effect. "Corrosion Explosion" manages to restore some faith in the middle followed closely by the cool twisted energizer with the entertaining title "Drinking Double Acting Single", those two tracks coming with a better sound quality as though having been recorded more recently than the rest. This is by all means a setback compared to the previous offering the guys returning to the rehearsal/demo stages both production and music-wise. Unfortunately, one can never be sure that with music like that around there will be any "sluts" left on this "train"...

Drenched In The Poisons Full-length, 2007
Lifecode of Decadence Full-Length, 2009
Road To Ruin Full-length, 2011
Never Abandon the Slut Train Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

VILLAINY (HOLLAND)

Based on the 2012 demo, this Dutch trio pull out consistent semi-technical surreal thrash with both modern and classic shades with a wide gamut of tempos and moods covered, early Celtic Frost an obvious influence on the shorter and more immediate "City of Secrets" which is mostly macabre mid-paced rhythms with a few semi-lead passages. The other track is an engaging 9-min opus with strong progressive tendencies touching the discordant abstract atmosphere of the early-period Voivod efforts. The singer has a mean death/blacky tone which is always comprehensive and perfectly matches the sophisticated, but sinister music.

Demo Demo, 2011
Demo Demo, 2012

Official Site

VINDER (GERMANY)

This band was formed by members of the heavy metal heroes Tyran' Pace, who, as you know, lost their singer Ralf Scheepers to Gamma Ray in the distant past, and here have decided to give a more aggressive edge to their traditional metal style. The album wastes no time proving its worth in the thrash metal department, moshing out from the very beginning with the brisk thrashy opener "Dust to Dust" and the following "Demon's Hate", which is more of a power/thrash mix, but delivers the goods all the same. "Trash of Society" (no, there's no mistake in the title) slows down a bit, introducing melodic guitar harmonies ala Iron Maiden among the harder proto-modern riffage. "F.U.C.K. This" is a good mid-paced stomper with tasteful lead guitar work, courtesy to Oliver "Oli" Kaufmann who, apart from Tyran' Pace, also takes part in the modern power/thrashers Runamok. "Mr. Knowitall" is a reminder of the guys' heavy metal roots: a cool hard'n heavy anthem, but "Slave" comes splashing with furious sharp riffs and fast tempos. "Pandora's Box" preserves the headbanging atmosphere in a slower, more laid-back power metal manner. "TV Kid" scores high in the speed/thrash metal department after which arrives the only filler on the album: the soft, somewhat pointless rock semi-ballad "Visions of Time", which doesn't really deserve to carry the album-title. Fortunately the closer "Whore Babylon" doesn't betray the energetic pace producing more intense thrashy riffage as a finishing touch, not forgetting about catchy melodic hooks. This is a cool debut which makes a fine bridge between the softer and the more extreme side of metal by finding a good balance between the two sides, with more nods towards the harder one.

Visions of Time Full-length, 2006

Official Site

VINDICATOR (UK)

A 3-song demo providing retro speed/thrash with more intense death metal vocals. The guys play fast with very cool lead guitar work, a situation ruined quite a bit by "Don't Believe A Word", which is a soft hard'n heavy piece, making no contribution to the tone of the remaining two tracks, and is a fairly underwhelming exit from this energtic slab of the good old speed/thrash.

Undead In Leather Single, 2011

VINDICATOR (USA)

The guys from the progressive thrash metal band Violent Night formed this band after failing to produce the necessary attention towards their previous formation, which is really strange, and unjust, having in mind the good quality of the Violent Night music. With Vindicator they concentrate on more simplistic, straight-in-your-face classic 80's thrash (based on the debut) crossing the Bay-Area style with Germanic influences. The tracks are short, fast-paced, full of catchy, but hard-hitting riffage, and lyrics and song-titles making references to numerous 80's veterans (check them out to get a better idea).
The split is another delight for the retro headbangers moshing out with force with the opening "The Dog Beneath The Skin" which sets the tone for what follows, with only "Humanarchy" deviating into clamer mid-tempo grounds. "Old & Decrepit" is a nice epic thrash instrumental, with which finishes the original part of this effort; the rest is 2 covers: the punk legends Anti-Nowhere League's "I Hate People" and "U.S.S.A." of the speed/thrash masters from the 80's Indestroy.

"The Antique Witcheries" doesn't betray the classic sound, but the apporach is laid-back this time with obvious power metal elements, and one will be relieved to hear the nice short headbanger "Fear Monger" after a string of mellow power/thrashers. After 2 soft short instrumentals the guys bang the head again with "Quarry Rats" and with the vigorous speedsters "Raze the Dead" and the early Metallica worship "The Antique Witcheries". Fortunately the speed and energy remain until the end, and there is seldom slowing down even to mid-pace. After the shaky underwhelming start the band find the way to do it right not before long, and this effort is almost as convincing as the debut sounding more diverse, mostly to a positive effect. Some of the musicians give way to their more aggressive nature with their side-project Cryptic Stench where the concentration is on brutal death/grindcore.
"United We Fall" is a faithful follow-up speed/thrashing onward relying on several more melodic tunes in the power/thrash metal mould ("Hail To The Thief") where the melodic leads are particularly good. Still, the prevalent attitude is fast-paced and more intense even on longer more serious takes on the genre like "Divided We Stand...United We Fall" which is a diverse offering with a sprawling balladic section. There's nothing really extraordinary or groundbreaking going on here, but as a fitting effort into the band's catalogue this album puts no foot wrong.

There Will Be Blood Full-length, 2008
Outbreak of Metal Vol. I Split, 2009
The Antique Witcheries Full-length, 2010
United We Fall Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

VINGADOR (BRAZIL)

While the whole world is waiting for a follow-up to Agressor's excellent "Victim of Yourself", the guys appear under a different name and play more melodic power/thrash which lacks the sharpness of the aforementioned effort. Actually, they initially emerged as Dark Side, but later decided on a name change. The focus is more on mid-paced pounding riffage, but moshers like "Circle of Death" will make any headbanger's day easily, and the latter will also savour the excellent lead guitar work. Still, this album holds no candle against "Victim of Yourself", and the fans should pray the band continue under their old moniker.

Dark Side Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

VINGANCA SUPREMA (BRAZIL)

Classic speed/thrash/crossover reminiscent of early S.D.I. and Nuclear Assault; the guys thrash with force, seldom slowing down, with the vocalist unleashing the wailing semi-clean pitch of Reinhard Kruse (S.D.I.) down to the -T-. The guitar work is simplistic and one-dimensional, but there is a lot of sincerity in the approach.

Vingança ao Vivo Demo, 2005
Terror Demo, 2006

Official Site

VINLAND WARRIORS (CANADA)

Based on "Oath to My Friend", this band offers cool modern thrash, sometimes with an industrial edge, recalling Ministry and Skrew ("Stand Up for Odin"), at other times nicely speeding up with energetic melodic Swedish-styled guitars ("Life"), at others acquiring more melodic epic tendencies ("I'm a Viking"). This is enjoyable, diverse stuff, which will delight fans of all fields of metal.
The debut has no ties to thrash, but is a cool melodic punk/crossover effort. "Dear Mother" is more aggressive, but the punk-ish atmosphere is all over. "Fuck You" is again a take on the lighter crossover sound.

Free Your Spirit Full-length, 1997
We Don't Care Full-length, 2001
Action Reaction EP, 2002
Final Battle Full-length, 2004
Dear Mother Full-length, 2006
Fuck You Full-length, 2007
Oath to My Friend Full-length, 2007
Hand In Hand We Stand Full-length, 2008

VIO-LENCE (USA)

The band came splashing on the scene with "Eternal Nightmare": a steam-roller-like thrash metal attack which remains one of the best thrash metal albums from the Bay-Area all these ears. Once "Eternal Nightmare" reaches your ears with its merciless intense fast- paced riffage, you know you have to prepare for a lot of moshing. Sean Killean has been one of the most characteristic vocals in thrash, and his high declamatory antics, not far from John Connely (Nuclear Assault), give the desirable jolly crossover shade to the songs. A bomb after bomb falls with only "Phobophobia" showing a little mercy with its heavy mid-paced approach.

After such a strong debut it's always the follow-up which goes away with all the blame for not being as good, but in the "Oppressing The Masses"'s case the band have no reasons to worry: the sophomore effort is certainly not as compelling as the debut, but is a pretty satisfying work of classic Bay-Area thrash. "I Profit" promises the same headbanging emtertainment, thrashing quite intensely through its 7-min, seldom slowing down. "Officer Nice" is not too far behind, speedy and aggressive, and things look pretty good, with the leads perhaps sounding more proficient. "Subterfuge" is a bit less intense, but there's no heaviness lost on it. "Engulfed by Flames" keeps the moshing going, and it's on "World in a World" where for the first time the guys abandon the fast-paced pattern, but only in the 1st half, for the sake of more mid-tempo riffage. "Mentally Afflicted" is again more mid-paced, but "Liquid Courage" comes thrashing with full force, paving the way for the closing "Oppressing the Masses", which is all-out speedy thrash, sounding like a leftover from the debut. Although the approach is not too different from the one on their first album, it's obvious that the band have not gone out with all the guns blazing on this one, sounding more restrained and less sharp even on the fastest tracks. Still, it's a good headbanging fun all the way, with no signs of any shifts towards a more serious song-writing, which has started to take over on the works of some of their contemporaries (Anthrax, Forbidden, Flotsam & Jetsam, Nuclear Assault, Sacred Reich, etc.) that same year.

"Nothing To Gain" is one of the less painful and less compromising answers to the modern 90's trends given by 80's veterans, and as such is not bad at all, although it remains the band's weakest achievement in their discography. It combines all-out retro thrashers, groove-laden modern numbers, dry almost industrial doomy ("Psychotic Memories") compositions as well, and "Welcoming Party / This Is System" is a cool attempt at more urbanistic technical thrash ala "...And Justice for All". Less than a year later the guitar duo Phil Demmel and Robb Flynn were already ready with their new act: Machine Head, that is, to unleash upon the world the modern thrash monster "Burn My Eyes". Demmel found time to release one more album in 1996 under the name Torque, helped by the Vio-Lence bassist Deen Dell, which walks the same early Machine Head road. Early in the new millennium he joined efforts with the drummer Mark Hernandez (Heathen, Forbidden, Defiance, etc.) for the production of one more effort, more in the induistrial thrash territory, as Technocracy.

Eternal Nightmare Full-length, 1988
Oppressing the Masses Full-length, 1990
Torture Tactics EP, 1991
Nothing To Gain Full-length, 1993
They Just Keep Killing EP, 2003

My Space

VIOLATE (CROATIA)

Good retro thrash with hard-hitting riffs and somewhat unsuitable angry hardcore vocals; the tempo is up, and the leads are quite cool with a melodic blend nicely contrasting to the lashing riffage.
The full-length is a mellower affair with more melodic guitars and descents to power metal which overtake the whole space in the middle with long, not very impressive, compositions with dubious thrashy merits. These merits come near the end with "Ancient Legacy" and the galloping shredder "Sick Addiction" which lift the mood up before the closing "Under Pressure" tries something more progressive and complex to mixed results again. This is a new path taken by the band, but kind of seems not very suitable at this stage.

Sick Addiction EP, 2009
Burn the Memory Full-Length, 2013

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VIOLATED (NORWAY)

Based on the "Outbreak of Metal Vol. II" split with the Poles Destroyer, these Norwegians pull out vintage classic thrash metal mixing quite a few influences: at times the music is fast akin to the German school ("Out of Focus"), at times is heavy and pounding sounding like slower Devastation ("Lack of Empathy"). The sound quality is crystal clear making all the instruments clearly heard especially the razor sharp guitars and the powerful semi-death metal vocals the latter again coming close to Rodney Dunsmore (Devastation).
"Only Death Awaits" contains all the 5 songs from the split, leaving only 3 new tracks for the fans to enjoy: "What You Give Is What You Get" which is a mid-paced creeper much inferior to the preceding blitzkrieg duo; "Human Illusion" which is late 80's Slayer worship with its heavy pounding riffs; and the peaceful acoustic instrumental "Apokalupsis Eschaton".

Bearing The Weight Of the World Demo, 2005
Reign Of Violence Demo, 2007
Outbreak of Metal Vol. II Split, 2009
Only Death Awaits Full-length, 2009

Official Site

VIOLATOR (BRAZIL)

Arguably the finest Brazilian retro thrash metal band from the new generation; these guys throw a bridge over the Atlantic ocean and bring together the two big scenes of thrash: the Bay Area and the German one. "Violent Mosh" comes crashing with 6 tracks of pure classic thrash metal; the guys show skills in both the speedy aggressive and the slower heavier department, although the former suits them better. Stylish semi-technical riffs could also be heard.

One of the best metal debuts in recent years, "Chemical Assault" is an encyclopaedia of classic thrash at its best. It takes no prisoners with its blistering fast-paced delivery. It thrashes like there's no tomorrow, serving some of the most aggressive and fastest numbers in quite a while: "Destined to Die", but when the guys add more technical riffage, things pretty much hit the top: the brilliant Destruction-like "Brainwash Possession", and the superb instrumental after it: "Ordered to Thrash"; no slow breaks here, this is a non-stop thrash assault till the end.
These guys are experts at long EP's, their latest one containing 7 whole songs (the one before that was 6). "Annihilation Process" doesn't disappoint, though, featuring the same blitzkrieg retro thrash already heard previously; a fast uncompromising attack on the senses crossing the border towards proto- death on the bombastic "Give Destruction or Give me Death". The EP is finished with a nice speedy cover of their compatriots Executer's "You'll Come Back Before Dying" from their debut "Rotten Authorities".
"Scenarios of Brutality" fortunately doesn't direct the ship towards more brutal waters, and this effort is the staple for the band blitzkrieg classic thrash done the right way. So expect fast dynamic cuts shot with the maximum intensity for most of the time the guys adding a cool technical "sting" ("Endless Tyrannies") here and there. There will be a lot of moshing around here; just try to sit still on impulsive headbangers like "Dead To This World" & "Respect Existence Or Expect Resistance"; you'll seriously defy the laws of nature, and will be respectively punished! Retro thrash can seldom be served with so much intensity and catchiness brought together on almost very track: thrash till death!

Violent Mosh EP, 2004
Chemical Assault Full-length, 2006
Annihilation Process EP, 2010
Scenarios of Brutality Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

VIOLEMOSH (USA)

Aggressive, raw thrash metal reminiscent of Hallows Eve's more intense material, with certain proto-death metal overtones spread around.

Of The Dead EP, 1989

My Space

VIOLENCE SPREAD (ITALY)

Cool, intense old school thrash ala Anthrax with the same uplifting moshing spirit present, as well as the infectious shouty choruses. The riffs are crisp and sharp, and the singer delivers with his mean-ish semi-clean tember. One could not possibly sit still on compulsive headbangers, like "Violence Spread", or the speed/thrash roller-coaster "Food of the Gods". The sound quality is pretty clear, giving the desirable boost to the cutting guitars. All the band members are also busy in the death metal formation Nimroth, although at this stage they only have one demo released under that name.

Food Of The Gods EP, 2010

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VIOLENCIA (PERU)

Classic death/thrash attack is unleashed here, but the sound quality is really bad making the guitars fairly noisy, especially on the faster parts. The delivery is close to the early 90's French school (Massacra, Agressor) with the speed predominating, reaching a grinding pitch near the end, to the slower breaks accompanied by brutal death metal growls.

Hermandad de Muertos Full-length, 2007

Official Site

VIOLENT AGGRESSOR (BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA)

These "violent aggressors" from Bosnia offer "violent" "aggressive" retro thrash which echoes Morbid Saint, Gammacide and Slayer so expect no mercy on this roller-coaster which shoots a "bullet" after "bullet" with the utmost intensity, and should win the listener with its insistent barrage which seldom comes death metal-decorated: "Total Aggression" (the guys seem to like this word, hey!). ThE surprise is probably thrown at the end "wish to kill" being a heavy power/thrashing stomper with catchy sing-along potential even; but, expect a hard thrashing exit in the best tradition of Slayer. The band were previously known as just Aggressor, and some of the musicians also parade as the black metallers Satan.

Unleash the Evil Full-Length, 2014

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VIOLENT ATTACK (PARAGUAY)

By far one of the finest thrash metal albums of 2006 (and arguably the best debut in the field that same year), these guys unleash a full-out speed/thrash "attack" which will satisfy fans of the speedy side of the German scene (Iron Angel, Toxic Shock, early Destruction) as well as those who like more recent fast players like Cranium and Solitaire. This is very intense and fast music which never slows down for a single second; a must for those who like their thrash metal fast and aggressive.

The Final Massacre Full-length, 2006

VIOLENT DEFINITION (GREECE)

This is the new band of ex-Crucifier members: two songs of intense fast Slayer-esque thrash metal with sharp riffs, in a very good sound quality, with forceful gruff, but intelligible, vocals.

Promo Demo, 2010

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VIOLENT FORCE (GERMANY)

A buried treasure in the German metal underground, Violent Force come up with the essence of German speed/thrash metal combining the more speedy side of the scene (Angel Dust, Iron Angel, etc.) with the more aggressive one (Kreator, Sodom, etc.). There is no speed and intensity spared here: check out the crushing brutal wonder "Soulbursting", or the less-than-2min pure thrashing explosion "Vengeance and Venom". The songs are graced by cool, but short leads, which simply can't be too long on a such aggressive recording. "Sign of Evil" in the middle calms down riff-wise, as it is more speed metal-based, sounding like a very undeserved leftover from the early Helloween albums. But after it the brutal delivery comes back, carrying risks for broken necks from the headbanging one might subconsciously fall into, when listening to this. This is thrashing madness at its uncompromising best, easily one of the best and most intense acievements of the 80's German metal scene.

Malevolent Assault of Tomorrow Full-length, 1987

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VIOLENT FUN (ARGENTINA)

This is direct heads-down old school thrash played with the utmost intensity topped by "violent" "funny" death metal vocals which are not bad at all, and even carry a shade of melody at times. The guys have "fun" thrashing like demented acquiring the odd more light-hearted speed metal character ("Violent Fun", of all tracks) to relieve the "pain" from this enjoyable explosive effort.

Southern School Of Annihilation EP, 2012

VIOLENT HATE (BRAZIL)

Based on the split, these latecomers on the Brazilian metal scene play good old school thrash metal with a certain Bay Area- influence (Exodus, in particular) and an interesting dark, brooding sound recalling another Brazilian band- The Mist. "Hand Of A Witch" is a nice "detraction" from the predominant style, moving into a heavier direction ala Celtic Frost.

"Preaching" moves towards a more brutal death metal sound alternating longer doom-laden tracks with much shorter more aggressive ones, the former bringing a strong echo of Benediction and Asphyx. The final "Preaching" is the only more thrash-based number, still raging wildly with direct sharp riffs.

Curse Of The Evil One/In Between The Truth Split, 1993
Preaching Full-length, 1995

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VIOLENT MARV (CANADA)

This band offers a multi-layered work where thrash, progressive, death metal, alternative and even jazz meet. The music has the necessary edge, especially on the shorter compositions ("Slave To The Grind"), but the chaotic, jumpy structures are quite common as well, including those where thrash, or death metal are nowhere to be heard ("See Spot Die"); but on the other hand there are the numbers which come with a fairly aggressive sound, with a pinch of grind ("Brick By Brick") even. Certainly, the more complex songs are those which go away with all the praise: the excellent modern progressive thrasher "Colliding Circles", which carries the glorious Death spirit, if we exclude the bad clean vocals; the heavy, dry Meshuggah-esque "Palm Pilot Suicide Note" which, again, is ruined by the alternative ending and the bad semi-clean vocals at the end; the 12-min closer "M.A.R.T.H.A." which is slightly underwhelming because of the lack of speed and the monotonous heavy riffage with an industrial shade.

Synesthesia Full-Length, 2006

VIOLENT NEW BREED (USA)

This "violent new breed" is hardly the most "violent" one around at the time specializing in heavy modern thrash of the more dynamic variety similar to early Pantera going beyond this influence with a couple of more extreme death metal-laced riffs ("Greed"). The singer is moderately angry and quite comprehensible despite his lower-tuned tember.

Missing Time Demo, 1999

VIOLENT NIGHT (USA)

Based on the "Thrashed To Death" compilation (which doesn't exactly deserve its violent scary title; neither do the band themselves), Violent Night's style is based around technical/progressive thrash metal which is frequently of a high standard featuring really classy numbers: "Gift Of The Nile" is worth mentioning with its magnificent Oriental riffs, which also remain for the less impressive, but faster and more aggressive "The End". The main riff from "Censor Reality", on the other hand, will remind you of Metallica's "Seek And Destroy". The more immediate, speed/thrashing tracks also work quite well: "Lock Horns", and are not "deprived" of more intriguing sections. The only unfocused moment is the heavy modern-ish "Soldier" which kind of doesn't match the stronger material presented on the rest of the album.

Gift of the Nile EP, 2005
Thrashed To Death Best of/Compilation, 2006

My Space

VIOLENT OMEN (UKRAINE)

The demo: after the very cool electronic ambient/trance intro two guys hit us with a modern mix of thrash and death metal with not very overt technical/progressive tendencies. The music packs a punch with sharp riffs and numerous tempo changes, some of which are pure blasting outbreaks. The singer is a low-tuned semi-whisperer with a black metal shade.

"Infernal Express" is more oriented towards thrash metal this time reminding of the classic school as well, but still pretty intense at that not far from Death's later-period. The guitars are sharp and tight seldom slowing down hitting the top on the good Kreator cover of "Tormentor" which is followed by another nice faithful cover: Dark Angel's "We Have Arrived".
"Lunatic Revenge" is a surprisingly fresh offering seeing the band having grown as musicians now sounding quite frenetic and technical at times. "Omnipresent Beast" is already an engaging, hard-to-follow opener with its ever-changing rhythms and time- stretches. The guys never let the speed go down, and the songs generally develop in up-tempo with good stylish leads and a few really cool melodic hooks ("Doomed Masquerade"). "Marathon Of Madness" is a wild frantic headbanger followed by the excellent shredding instrumental "Lunatic's Revenge" which pierces skulls with its ultra-sharp, drilling riffs. Plenty of style at display there is on "In The Last Moment" which is a meandering cut with fine surreal riffage and a brutal bashing passage near the end. From this moment on the guys step on the pedal and produce a final string of fast, intense thrashers which flow into the bonus tracks: a really nice accelerated version of Black Sabbath's "Symptom Of The Universe" done in an impressive cutting, shredding manner; Death's "Zombie Ritual" sustained in a faithful bashing fashion; and a song from their debut: "Waste Of Flesh" done without any changes also featuring their old singer Faunus.

"L.U.N.A.C.Y.": the Ukrainian "lunatics" are here again with another mind-scrathcing effort which overwhelms the listener with loads of technical riffs from the very beginning on the opening "No Future". Things only get more elaborate from this moment on with "Contradiction Mine" and the hectic speedster "Initials Of A Maniacs". The overbusy musical approach knows no rest although "Book Of Lie" is a bit more relaxed. Follows the title-track which is speedy to the point of blasting at some point. The band manage to keep the high speed flowing without breaking the super-technical decisions which reach Toxik and Realm-like heights on the progressive rager "Suffer Count:52" near the end. The closing "Panzer Combat" is a bit more direct with proto-galloping riffage keeping the headbangers happy for just under 5-min. The guys move forward quite confidently, and their Russian counterparts already have a very strong contender for top position on the technical pedestal over there.

Follow Us Demo, 2009
Infernal Express Full-length, 2010
Lunatic Revenge Full-length, 2011
L.U.N.A.C.Y. Full-Length, 2013

My Space

VIOLENT PLAYGROUND (USA)

A very appropriately chosen title; the band's sound is an enjoyable combination of the two styles mentioned in the album title: heavy slow-ish thrash with blues overtones; will not appeal too much to blues fans, though.

Thrashin Blues Full-length, 1988

Vibrations of Doom

VIOLENT SOLUTION (FINLAND)

This act features future members of the heroes Amorphis. The music is good classic thrash in various paces which breaks a death metal ground on "Paralysis" with a few unexpected blast-beats; consequently producing surprises in the death metal department later on "Individual Nightmare" the aggressive musical delivery supported by the not very audible low-tuned death metal vocals. The production is really muddy, but the guys push on with relentless barrage which shadow can by all means be felt over the Amorphis debut.

Paralysis/Individual Nightmare EP, 1990

VIOLENT VIRTUES (UK)

Modern dry thrash/death metal; fast stuff with a few groovy breaks to which the brutal semi-angry vocals suit better.

Violent Virtues EP, 2009

VIOLENTADA (CANADA)

This young Quebec trio, who actually consists of Colombian immigrants, belong to the more straight side of the genre acquitting themselves with excellent aggressive retro thrash metal akin to Devastation's "Idolatry" and Atomica's "Disturbing the Noise". "In The Village of Death" is raging thrashing/proto-death metal madness full of lashing riffs and screaming leads topped by forceful semi-death metal shouts. "Open Fire" is a speed/thrashing roller-coaster with clever semi-technical hooks, with the guy screaming/shouting "Open Fireeeee!" to an apocalyptic effect, to these ears recalling the similar short chorus from Exumer's "Fallen Saint". "Insomnia" has a great stylish lead intro quite reminiscent of the guitar maestro Alex Scholnick (Testament), but later starts thrashing with no remorse producing another fine portion of intense furious music. "Silence So Loud" is a very fitting closer to this short opening chapter moshing out far'n wide in the same "controlled aggression" fashion, with fiery riffs and a heavy stomping mid-section. Although consisting of only 4 songs, this little effort is a pretty exhausting listen of non-stop headbanging thrash, and one would be left to wonder how he would be able to put up with a full-length of such an intensity. Hopefully he won't be left to wonder for long... so expect "Idolatry 2" any time soon!

Screaming Skulls Demo, 2010

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VIOLENTO (CHILE)

5 tracks of rough retro thrash which gets the message through with lashing guitars, screaming leads, and tortured death metal vocals. The guys play fast, but not very tight the sound getting dissipated by the buzzy guitars a bit taking away some of the riff sharpness. The German 80's movement is an obvious influence early Kreator coming as the main target for worship although there are times when the music gets less controlled ("Tropas del Mal") with an obvious "wink" at the death metal field.

Violencia Social EP, 2012

VIOLENTOR (ITALY)

The debut: a young Italian trio comes up on the scene to present us with semi-intense old school speed/thrash metal along the lines of early Whiplash, Exciter and the Finns Solitaire. "Genocide", on the other hand, is a jolly piece which strongly reminds of the Metallica cover of Diamond Head's "Helpless". The problem is that, like with the more recent Exciter output, there is no variety to the approach at all, and all songs tend to blend together into one speedy melee without any particular highlights, the vocal performance itself not a very valuable asset featuring rough drunken semi-shouts recalling Lemmy at his least sober.
"Rot" would hardly surprise the listener delivering a similar brand of frolic speed/thrash which this time is a bit mellower with more simplistic structures bordering on hardcore. The situation hasn't moved towards Motorhead above any other influence so expect no variety and no aggression whatsoever, just merry speedy rhythms lasting from beginning to end without the slightest variation the sole exception being a few moments from the closing "The Last Sentence" which is on the border between the staple for the band style and classic hard'n heavy for a while. Yes, indeed, the band may think of changing their name: it just doesn't fit the soft stuff they play...

Violentor Full-length, 2011
Rot Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

VIOLET BLOOD (SPAIN)

A 3-song demo of retro speed/thrash metal in the early Germanic tradition citing mainly Helloween and Iron Angel; the music here is probably happier than the one associated with the German school and one can hear all trade marks of the genre here: guitar duels, catchy choruses, soaring leads, etc. The end is left for the quite cool faithful cover of Helloween's immortal "Ride the Sky" with the singer unleashing this characteristic Kai Hansen pitch down to the -K-.

Prelude Zero Demo, 2006

Official Site

VIPER (GERMANY)

This is one of the first thrash/death metal blends to come out of Germany. The music is mostly fast in the 1st half, and is quite close to later period Protector ("A Shedding of Skin" and beyond), including the vocals. The 2nd half sounds like a completely different band: it's entirely instrumental (except for "The Break", which is literally a break from the purely instrumental tracks), quite melodic, a mixture of power and thrash, but a lot better than the first; this is really professional music boasting genuinely technical riffs and plenty of intriguing guitar melodies (the aforementioned "The Break" is a masterpiece of technical power/thrash metal with an Anacrusis flavour). "Thought About Death" is a cool dark take on the famous opera "Carmina Borana". "Beer Here", which closes the album, is a nice idyllic acoustic instrumental, pretty much in spirit with the second half of the album. Apparently this is a collection of two separate works of the band, but it's not very likely this to be a reflection of their demo stage, since the sound quality is crystal clear.

Bringers of Disaster Full-length, 1991

VIRA (DENMARK)

3 EP's displaying an act who specializes in frequently interesting technical thrash/death metal borrowing from quite a few veterans to come up with an encompassing mixture between 90's Coroner (think "Grin"), early Meshuggah, Gojira, Darkane and their compatriots Konkhra on the faster moments; the latter are not too many since the guys try to "draw" complex bleak pictures of the abstract mechanical kind, and succeed although the stomping sterile guitar sound may tire someone if listened to regularly. This is music which will require several listens before grasped fully, and fans of the direct stripped-down delivery may get confused more than just a bit.

Deadbeat Club EP, 2008
Recurrence EP, 2008
Re-Design EP, 2009

Official Site

VIRAGO (FINLAND)

Based on the 1989 demo, this band offers regular classic thrash in various tempos, but with a gruff sound quality and rough hoarse vocals. There is a brooding, dark feeling within, which may remind of the Brits Deathwish, but the musicianship here is more simplistic, also touching Slayer ("Sacramental Warfare") on the more intense sections.

Rehearsal Demo, 1988
Demo Demo, 1989

Fan Site

VIRAVOID (USA)

Based on the compilation, which the band released under their new name Dawn of Wolves, this act play intense old school thrash bordering on death metal at times in a way not too different from early Sadus and the Pestilence debut. The sound quality is crystal clear and the guitars cut deep with maddening tempos and a few more technical throw-ins. Tracks like "Burn the Books" suggest at future transformations (Dawn of Wolves are largely a black metal act) with their rapidfire speedy approach ala Impaled Nazarene, but fit very well into the overalll pretty aggressive picture which eventually acquires full-fledged death metal qualities on the final rager "Death by Metal".

Death by Metal! EP, 2006
Thrown to the Wolves Compilation, 2011

VIRGIN KILLER (COLOMBIA)

Based on the debut demo, these "speeders" will convince anyone that their pompous demo titles are well deserved the guys resurrecting the old school speed/thrash sound down to the -T- with their inspired, albeit a bit naive, approach resembling Pile Driver and early Whiplash the incessant speedy barrage assisted by capable Schmier-esque vocals. Rest assured that you won't get tired of some uninspired fast-paced delivery the band wisely spicing things up with the odd galloping moment ("Careless", the power metal-infused instrumental "Virgin Killer" which is not a Scorpions cover). The guys don't bother to reach any extremes speed-wise, but try their hands on merrier Motorhead-ish tunes with the roller-coaster "No Time To Lose" before they "wink" at the German school (Angel Dust, in particular) with the excellent closer "Ready To Kill".

Speed Metal Merciless Demo, 2010
Speed Metal Soldiers Split, 2012

VIRGIN SIN (SWEDEN)

This band's first demo dates back from 1985 which means that they could have possibly been one of the first extreme metal acts to appear in the Scandinavian region, although with a name like this the last thing one would relate this band to, would be thrash metal. But, indeed, their perseverance finally paid off, albeit some 25 years later. What the sound on this first demo was, I have no idea (maybe someone out there could help!?), but on their full-length these guys play quite average speed/thrash metal along the lines of early Razor, or early Sodom, with a couple of riffs taken from the NWOBHM- scene.

Make 'Em Die Slowly EP, 1999
Seduction of the Innocent EP, 2003
Brotherhood of Freaks Full-length, 2007

My Space

VIRGIN SNATCH (FINLAND)

Modern thrash metal; although most of the time their music is along the lines of Terror 2000 or Dew-Scented, there is a doze of groove thrown in for good measure to probably attract the Pantera/Machine Head fans. The vocals are of the dual type: shouted, hardcore-ish and clean (which are quite good, by the way: check out "You Know Where" from "In The Name Of Blood") ones.
"We Serve No One": and this is the right stance since the band thrash with passion here, and one can easily learn to ignore the not very frequent metalcore breakdowns ("Fingerprints") enamorated by the excellent lead guitar work. In the 2nd half the approach becomes jumpier and angrier the participation of fast-pacers like "Under Fire" not that widely covered. "Promised Land" is a nice soulful ballad, and "Devil's Ride" is a fitting atmospheric doomy closer.

"Act of Grace" is a more aggressive affair than its successor, and as such provides more headbanging fun its intensity reflected in rigorous pieces like the galloping "Through Fight We Grow" and the more technical piece of aggression "Don't Get Left Behind". The downpoint is by all means the closer "It's Time" which is an off-context tender ballad having absolutely nothing to do with the previous more brutal material.

S.U.C.K. Full-length, 2003
Art Of Lying Full-length, 2005
In The Name Of Blood Full-length, 2006
Act of Grace Full-Length, 2008
We Serve No One Full-Length, 2014

My Space

VIRGIN WITCH (MEXICO)

This title is actually well-chosen: the guys definitely possess the ferocity of the future death metal performers, and provide 5 tracks of aggressive fast thrash/death metal not miles away from early Death and Massacra. The singer has an awful hysterical shouty voice, but the music packs a punch, with audible guitars and a cool cover of Overkill's early hit "Fatal If Swallowed", where the singer mysteriously finds a way to adjust his vocals to the style of the song, and even sounds better, distantly recalling Bobby Ellsworth.

Death Metal Demo, 1987

VIRTUAL (HOLLAND)

An ex-member of Thanatos and Second Hell, Mark Staffhorst (also a current shredder in Project Pain), has taken care of this opus with the help of other musicians from the Dutch underground scene, and this remains his most impressive achievement at this stage. This is heavy sharp classic thrash with progressive tendencies at times recalling Helstar ("Language of Machines") when it starts galloping to oblivion; at others nodding towards the Bay-Area when it speeds up intelligently (think Forbidden and Testament, above all: "Sacrifice"). Super-fast and super-lyrical passages come entwined on the unpredictabe "A Sweet Hell" and from then on the delivery becomes less expected the band complicating things in a manner not too strange to Realm even, first with the hectic instrumental "Confusion" which will indeed "confuse" you with its ever-changing riff-patterns; then with the shredding technicaller "Corridors" which could have been written by their compatriots Paralysis for their debur EP "Arctic Sleep". The album finishes with the nice semi-ballad "The Man in Me" which sees the otherwise really good forceful clean singer trying something more tender and fragile. A nice "oasis" amidst the barren 90's, this effort shows Holland a fertile area for one of the first "seeds" which have sprung up to lead to a new era in thrash metal.

Language of Machines Full-Length, 1996

VIRTUAL VOID (CZECH)

These Czechs specialize in heavy, proto-groovy thrash/death which seldom delivers with all the guns blazing ("Die as Warriors") so the trite mid-paced patterns will wear thin long before the end. "Throne" is surely a waker with its brutal grinding rhythms, but the heavy, quasi-doomy at times ("Heaven Full of Shit", the closing steam-rolling sleeper "Further on Northwards"), saga is seldom interrupted... at least for those who would care to hear it till the end.

"Ride to Hell on Fucking Whorles" is a more dynamic affair the band now paying their fair tribute to Motorhead this more dynamic side blended well with more expressive post-deathy undercurrents not far from mid-period Entombed. The two aspects alternate throughout and bear some good "fruit": the crusty roller-coaster "Attack Of The Damned"; the raging thrashy headbanger "Bastards and Liars"; the heavy galloper "The Mob" with the shadow of early Celtic Frost looming heavily over; etc. "The World Where I Was Born Is Dying" is full-fledged psychedelic doom ala early Cathedral compensated by the final string of short direct pieces the saga finished by the pleasant abrasive proto-speedster "Heaven Full Of Shit". The singer is an attached death metal grunter, surprisingly intelligible strangely fitting this rough, but listenable, barrage.

Dictatorship Full-length, 2003
No Time for Heroism Full-length, 2010
Ride to Hell on Fucking Whorles Full-length, 2013

Official Site

VIRUS (CZECH)

2 songs of nice dynamic semi-technical thrash, still classic-sounding, recalling the early efforts of their compatriots Arakain, as well as the Polish Turbo's "The Last Warrior". Fast and technical riffs are well mixed accompanied by cool higher-pitched semi-clean vocals.

Virus EP, 1991

VIRUS (UK)

A band from the more underground side of British thrash metal; their sound is fast, often brutal with proto-death qualities. "Pray for War" has a lot of hardcore attitude, and at times may recall the NYHC scene, similarities also in the vocal department. The leads are quite good, but simply do not fit this kind of music. On the other hand, "To The Death" and other tracks will remind you of early Bathory, with its simplistic direct riffage. Vigorous intense thrash can be heard on "Risen From Death To Die", but to these ears the best track remains the ambient interlude "Night Siege", totally off-context, but a stylish and a desirable break from the boring bashing.
"Force Recon" is way better, and now the style is aggressive thrash with stretches towards death metal. The leads continue being superior to the rest, but here they don't sound as misplaced. "Viral Warfare" is a very good varied instrumental with good tempos and riffs, even with technical leanings, with nice balladic intro and outro. "No Return" is heavy and mid-paced, contrasting to the other much faster material; check out the 6-min of non-stop brutal thrash/death mosh "Hungry For Blood". The end is a pleasant surprise: quite a cool, albeit very metallic, take on the main theme from "The Munsters" TV show.

"Lunacy" tones down the aggression from the previous releases a bit, and adds a slight more melodic and technical edge to the guitars, all this well expressed on the opener "Seeing Is Believing". The title-track even takes a soft crossover direction, with the exception of the furious death metal ending. "Bad Blood" immediately compensates with fast aggressive thrash, and "The Pain Will Pass" adds a less compromising hardcore attitude into the proceedings. "State of the Art" is jolly punk-ish thrash ala The Exploited, and "My Life" is not far behind. Enough with the tenderness, one may say, and here comes the brutal proto-death "A Sense Of Freedom" and the more moderate technical closer "Don't Get Even...!". The guys definitely had the energy and competence to join the death metal cohorts, but they disappeared with one Best of Compilation (under the title "Warmonger") springing up later in 1993.

"A New Strain of an Old Disease": another attempt at a comeback made from the UK, this time in the form of a 4-song EP. 20 years later the guys sound hungry for thrash, although the style here is hardly the most faithful continuation to the more appealing diverse mix offered on "Lunacy". Still, no complaints since the musicianship is on a relatively high level sharing quite a bit of the German speed/thrash metal aesthetics along with the intense semi-declamatory vocals which sit somewhere between Mille and Tom Araya, and the sound quality is pretty good if we exclude the very screamy leads and the slight buzz coming from the guitars again. "Testify to Me" at the end pulls a more aggressive proto-death sound, but the approach is closer to Rigor Mortis rather than the more unbridled bashing heard on their earlier output.

Pray for War Full-length, 1987
Force Recon Full-length, 1988
Lunacy Full-length, 1989
Raped By Mutants EP, 2009
A New Strain of an Old Disease EP, 2013

Vibrations of Doom

VIRUS FROM HELL (UK)

3 (the first track is an orchestral intro, not bad) songs of good up-tempo speed/thrash mixing the Bay Area sound with 80's Paradox, resulting in intense headbanging music, assisted by gruff semi-clean vocals, which at times try to unleash something higher-pitched, and admirably succeed. The songs blend speedy and slower pounding sections, which frequently take turns within a small space (the songs are no longer than 3.5-4min), making them an interesting unpredictable listen.

Threat Demo, 2009

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VISCERAL (ARGENTINA)

Based on their self-titled debut, this band do not stray from the established 90's thrash metal laws; they prefer to keep their music mid-paced to slow, with occasional faster sections, and slight shades of Pro-Pain-like hardcore. It's hard to give an example for a real close sound- alike; 90's Overkill mixed with early Pro-Pain, plus a certain doze of groove would probably fit best.

Visceral Full-length, 1998
Arrancado del Sistema Full-length, 2001

VISCERAL ATTACK (UK)

The EP: 5 tracks of blitzkrieg retro thrash/crossover with direct riffs and a good bass bottom. The music is more thrashy than, say, the one of D.R.I. and early Prong, but the carefree hardcore spirit is all over (check out "V For Visceral") also strengthened by the forceful hoarse semi- shouty vocals.
The thrash/crossover saga continues unabated on the full-length which is a long version of the same stuff encountered earlier on the EP. Things get out of control a bit at times the band bashing violently and "viscerally" the whole time still remaining within the D.R.I. and Prong confines. There is no sophistication, no technical pretensions": it's bare-stripped mosh all the way.

V For Visceral EP, 2008
Quick and Severe Full-length, 2010

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VISION PURPLE (USA)

So after Realm and Toxik there was... Vision Purpple. These hugely talented folks took over from those two acts and continued the technical/progressive thrash performance for another couple of years, albeit on a more underground, quite obscure, level. The band were first called Silo where they already showed their less ordinary skills which reached their culmination on the demos featured here. So what we have here is highly stylized speed/thrash with numerous choppy, vortex-like passages which create a more individual character as shades of the aforementioned bands can be traced although the guys here try to carve a niche for themselves, and admirably succeed seamlessly mixing (based on the "Black Market Earth" demo) fast furious sections with very complex ones. Compositions like the spiral-like "Hostage London" and "Opinion Pool" are masterpieces of clever, elaborate metal which are hard to beat even by the best moments from "Deathrow's "Deception Ignored" or Mekong Delta's "The Music from Erich Zann". "God For A Day" alone is an encyclopedia of everything we call technical thrash also finding time for a few virtuoso lead sections. This not very known effort was pretty much the climax of technical thrash in the States...
The "Staring at the Sun" demo is 4 numbers of more complicated stuff now the guys epitomizing a not very hard to follow delivery which sees them acquiring purer progressive "appliances" not far from Toxik's "Think This" and even Atheist's "Unquestionable Presence". The twisting Coroner-like structures on "Staring At The Sun" are a bit easier to absorb, but the rest even predates what Spiral Architect managed to achieve on their only album transcending the borders of thrash towards more elusive cosmic dimensions. It's a crying pity that these geniuses never managed to realise their potential on an official release...

Demo Demo, 1989
Black Market Earth Demo, 1990
Vision Purple Demo, 1991
Staring at the Sun Demo, 1992

VISITOR (USA)

Very cool power/thrash metal similar to Steel Reign and Attacker; the album opens in a great galloping, intense way with "R.I.P." The predominant tempo is mid-paced, and some guitar melodies are quite compelling, with an Oriental shade ("Visitor", which also boasts stupendous speedy riffs). The singer has a great emotional, dramatic, clean voice, and handles both the lower and the higher tones with dexterity. "America's Demise" comes towards the middle with fast headbanging riffs, followed by an even faster one: "Innocent", which is also graced by cool technical guitars. A really good album, reminding of the glorious 80's American sound, and pretty much one of its kind at those times.

Visit"r Full-length, 1993

VISNU (GERMANY)

These "young guns" pull out potent classic thrash with a modern production resulting in a sound quite close to the approach on the Exodus works after the reformation. "Hailing To Destruction" gives a nice boost to the demo opening it with sharp aggressive riffs of the Bay-Area type. "Balisong" keeps the intensity high adding the odd heavier stomping moment, the former finding a bigger space on the excellent galloping "Time For Blood". The end is pretty much in the vein of the opener: "Infected" is energetic vigorous thrash spiced with a couple of more pounding sections. The singer is a cool asset with his hoarse semi-clean delivery which needs just a little to reach the legendary antics of Chuck Billy, also adding, in the latter's vein, the gruffer more brutal tember whenever needed.

Time for Blood Demo, 2009

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VITA IMANA (SPAIN)

Based on "Uluh", these Spaniards provide dramatic, also atmospheric post-thrash with very heavy guitar work, the latter spiced with soulful balladic/acoustic insertions. So among the dispassionate groove one will come across a few beautiful moments which may sound awkward at first, but will settle in after a few listens. The guys overdo it on the monstrous 10-min closer "Uluh" which is just rehashed groovy riffage on a slightly abrasive, also psychedelic, base never changing the sleepy doomy tempo for a split second.

"Oceanidae" tries to run away from the dreamy elegiac fields, and "rude awakenings" are certainly provided, like the intense groovers "Equilibrio" and "Ablepsia". Later one will encounter the mid-paced energizer "Manos De Sangre" which even speeds up near the end. The top, or the bottom, depending on the taste, is reached on the 9.5-min title-track at the end which is a melancholic mechanizer with doomy overtones, an impressive epic Godflesh-esque composition which would mesmerize the industrial fans, above all, and the ones who are fascinated with the more recent works of the Canadians Gorguts ("Colored Sands").

En Otro Lugar Full-length, 2010
Uluh Full-length, 2012
Oceanidae Full-Length, 2014

Official Site

VITAL GORE (USA)

This is the good old thrash/crossover done in a slightly messy, rough manner the guys lashing out in a vigorous stripped-down way "spitting out" short, direct tracks with a few exceptions where the sound gets just a tad more serious and slower. This is fun stuff reminding of the 80's in a nice, nostalgic way including with the slightly messy sound quality.

Demo Demo, 2011

VITRIOL (VENEZUELA)

This outfit indulge in classic thrash/crossover of the more aggressive kind seldom branching out into something more brutal (the death metal-tinged outrage "Death by Vitriol"). On the other hand, more melodic speedsters like "Mephisto" are optimistic and catchy the guys achieving the requisite balance also creating the appropriate underground setting with the slightly muddy sound production.

Night Of The Death EP, 2009

VIU DRAKH (GERMANY)

Based on "Death Riff Society", this band offers quite well-played classic thrash/death metal with a Floridian vibe (think early Morbid Angel, above all) with an uncompromising attitude and touches of the Bolt Thrower steam roller-like approach. Most of the songs develop at pretty fast tempos, with at least half of them offering cool technical deviations: "Mutant Gods", the multi-layered "Burn", others rivalling even Suffocation in the knack of mixing aggression and technicality: "Peaches And Cream". One would hardly think that these guys would ever show any inclination to slow down, but here comes "Caravan" out of the blue, to offer pounding technical riffage, sounding like more technical Bolt Thrower, or Asphyx. "Blade Spirits" is a pure old school death/thrash metal delight, a glorious reminder of the heydays of the genre, whereas "Worst Disease" once again focuses on the less standard nature of the guys' music, providing twisted riffage not miles away from Immolation at their best. Then there is a radical turn towards death metal for 3 consecutive tracks, before the closing cover of Motorhead's... you all guessed right: "Ace of Spades", relieves the pressure to a big extent, with no traces of death or thrash metal being a very faithful and capable rendition of this immortal hit.

Back to the Chaos Full-length, 1998
Take no Prisoners, Grind them All and Leave this Hell Full-length, 2000
Prime Beef Between my Teeth / Life is a Battlefield (Fixed) Split album, 2002
Death Riff Society Full-length, 2002

Official Site

VIVID REMORSE (SPAIN)

Based on the EP, these guys specialize in minimalistic modern post-thrash of the moody atmospheric variety which sounds faster and intense on occasion: the jumpy "Overdosed". The rest is heavy and a bit monotonous with nice more clever, also balladic, inclusions on the semi-technical groover "Last Defeat".

"The Seed Of Malaise" is an elaboration on the approach from the EP adding more dynamics which borders on crossover (the optimistic speedster "The Bed You Lie In"), or comes with a thick proto-death metal shade (the interesting semi-technical shredder "Mental Disorder"). In the long run it remains an entertaining listen covering several influences including a very good ballad ("Lizzy's Rain") and a nice acoustic instrumental (the closing piece of serenity "Ocean's").

"Down To The Wire" is more ordinary-sounding the barrage being on the unexciting modern side the whole time without any borrowings from other genres this time the guitars coming with an abrasive hardcore edge which could have been better used if the band had voted to speed up the proceedings at times which, sadly, happens only on the short shredder "L'angoixa de L'existència". The rest is one pedestrian mid-tempo saga which would largely pass unnoticed after a first, and even second, listen.

Welcome To My Stormy Nights EP, 2009
The Seed Of Malaise Full-length, 2010
Down To The Wire Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

VIVID X (RUSSIA)

A very obscure Russian band, Vivid X present us with quite cool technical/progressive thrash ala Coroner, Mekong Delta, and the Russian one-album-wonder Aspid, based on the two EP's. At times the music takes a more aggresive turn towards technical death metal (the shorter songs), but these moments are rare. There are the traditional for the genre twisted riffs, complex song structures and weird tunes. There are also fast-paced, more accessible sections, accompanied by superb lead guitars as well as tracks which "flirt" with the modern sound for a while before suddenly turn into a head-spinning technical passage. The vocals are low meanish, semi-clean ones, occasionally interrupted by gruff, death metal ones and are not good, and that's why it comes as no surprise that the music takes a much bigger room on the album stretching into several excellent pure instrumental pieces.
The full-length contains an almost entirely new material except for two tracks from the EP's, but the music has lost its technical touch. The song- structures remain relatively complex, but the riffage is not as sharp and dynamic, and all the songs are mid-tempo compositions (the exception: the more energetic hardcore-tinged "Scaffold") with meandering fusion-esque rhythms resembling Cynic's "Focus" which here is the main target for worship if we exclude a couple of more modern elements thrown in, including the techno/industrial version of "Ice" at the end.
At this stage the band will not be able to produce a follow-up since this formation is no more, some of the band members concentrating more on their other project: the death/grind "monster" with the very similar name VX.

V.X. EP, 2002
Id. (Images) EP, 2002
V.Xtremal Progress Full-length, 2004

Official Site

VIVISECTION (USA)

This US trio pull out 3 songs (one for each person) of intense thrash/death with sparce blasting tendencies and very fuzzy guitars. The vocals belong to the growly death metal camp, and the overall approach could come close to mid-period Carcass on the more inspired moments (the twisted semi-technicaller "Season of the Witch").

Living Dead Demo, 2011

Official Site

VIXIT (MEXICO)

A good speed/thrash metal act with nods to the German scene- Warrant, Liar, Not Fragile; some tracks have a hard, thrashy edge, but most of the material is more melodic, kind of preceeding the future 90's power/speed metal scene. Mixtures of this kind were not too common in those days, and Vixit actually deliver the goods quite well. "Reflejo Aspra" is a fine instrumental, closing this enjoyable release.

El Poder del Metal (The Power of Metal) Full-length, 1991

VLAAR (INDONESIA)

These Indonesians pull out speedy crusty, and generally fairly diverse, thrashcore which turns to a diferent "animal" here and there also offering plenty of melody ("Akv Bukan Iron Maiden" which is apparently a tribute to Iron Maiden although it doesn't recall any of the songs of the Brits except for isolated bits). There is also black metal ("Majikan Haji Kohar") thrown in later on so there's a little for everyone including a cover of Manowar ("Metal Warriors") at the end. The singer should tone it down for the future, though: his hysterical rending screams are a detriment to the more inspired musical approach (check the Manowar cover for a better impression).

S.A.T.R.V Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

VOCIFERA (BRAZIL)

2 songs of rough classic thrash/proto-death which abrasive guitars are curiuosly blended with surreally melodic leads with a technical "sting", among several not bad interesting stomping passages ("Hypocrisy"). The tempos vary, sometimes suddenly alternating, and the vocals are of the dual death metal type (brutal low vs. higher screechy).

Vocífera Demo, 2012

Official Site

VOCIFEROUS (POLAND)

The European answer to Absu: so expect a mix of black and thrash metal with both furious raging sections and slower atmospheric passages. Usually both sides are mixed into one composition, with the exception of a couple of songs occupying the middle which bash with no mercy, and are pure black metal madness. As a whole the Poles are less thrash-inclined compared to their American colleagues, and would make the black metal fans happier.

Vociferous Full-length, 2009

My Space

VODU (BRAZIL)

One of the finest bands to ever come out of South America; the band's debut is more speed metal-oriented, with very good guitar work recalling Helloween and their compatriots Viper (their drummer, actually, was also a full-time member of Viper, as well as Volkana). Some of the numbers thrash admirably ("This is not Your World" which could perfectly fit on the Agent Steel debut, for example), suggesting at bigger things to come.

"Seeds of Destruction" is a masterpiece of speed/thrash metal which the Brazilian metal scene is yet to equal. This is great smashing music, still quite fast (check out the ultra speed crusher with a crossover flavour "Keep on Fighting"), which will remind you of Agent Steel's "Unstoppable Force" and Toxik's "World Circus", among other gems. The intensity is only reduced on some parts from the longest, and arguably the best, song: "What's the Reason" which offers balladic atmospheric moments which, however, quickly alternate with awesome fast and heavy riffs.

The EP contains two well-played live tracks from their previous works, but then comes the awful cover of The Clash's "Should I Stay Or Should I Go" (I would personally suggest you'd better go). Things get better with the cool energetic, even technical at times, speed/thrash instrumental "No Way" which is accompanied by another instrumental piece: the closing 1-min bass performance "A Sound For Gabilla".

"Endless Trip" is another fine slab of the good old speed/thrash metal which may pull back some in the beginning with the overlong orchestral/lead-driven instrumental title-track which really sounds as though it would be "endless". But then comes "Silent Pain", a major speed/thrasher with forceful heavy sections intercepting the fast ones; the singer is always the same on all works singing in a semi-clean hoarse manner at times trying his throat for a higher-pitched tone to a not very positive effect, the latter technique applied on this number quite a bit. "Don't Be Used" is an aggressive thrasher, easily the band's most extreme offering. "Waiting for Nothing" is a complex longer affair mixing stomping power metal riffs with more energetic ones. "Journey To The Unknown" is a cool precursor to the 90's speed/power metal wave, a glorious speedster with catchy choruses (and here the singer's limited range shows up clearly) and merry galloping rhythms. "Welcome To The Dream" thrashes in a crushing mid-tempo fashion with a fine speedy twist near the end, and "The Way To Escape" is another purer exercise in speed metal with another melodic chorus added; watch out for the brutal thrashy exit, though. "Silent Madness" and "Endless Street" are blended together both offering speed/power/thrash metal amalgams in a vigorous up-tempo. "Only You Can Help Yourself" is not too far in the speedy delivery, but is softer and kind of underwhelming betraying the sharp guitar sound, although the fans will get another sing-along chorus and a couple of headbanging galloping hooks. This is all nicely done again, and is a worthy epitaph to the guys' career who disappeared without a trace somewhere into the "Amazon jungles" (I guess?) soon after...

The Final Conflict Full-length, 1986
Seeds Of Destruction Full-length, 1988
No Way EP, 1989
Endless Trip Full-length, 1991

Vibrations of Doom

VOICE OF DESTRUCTION (SOUTH AFRICA)

South African thrash metal, well done at that; they are probably the first metal band there, as their first demos date back from 1988 although the music on them is more hardcore-oriented. In their more thrashy days their hardcore roots are still audible with a wide variety of genres taking part: death, classic heavy metal and quite a considerable amount of doom (the fact that the band's name figures on a few doom metal sites is actually well grounded). The mixture, however, works quite well most of the time; a good and original band.

"Bloedriver" is an interesting album mixing doom/death with splashing thrashy riffs. The edominant style is doomy and atmospheric, but all of a sudden arrive the blasting thrashers ("Religion", J.M.S.P.") to stir the mood as well as short takes on brutal grindcore ("Goodbye") quite misplaced, if you ask me, having in mind the heavy and more serious nature of the music presented on the rest. No other noisy surprises as most of the other material is well done atmospheric doom/death.

Voice of Destruction EP, 1995
Bloedrivier Full-length, 1996
Bloedrivier 10th Anniversary Special Edition Full-length, 2006

Official Site

VOICE OF RUIN (SWITZERLAND)

Based on the full-length, this act plays typical modern thrash with both slower groovy and faster, more intense passages included on almost every track to produce a dynamic, but fairly predictable, listen. The guitars come with a strong omnipresent buzzy tone, and the singer is a synthesized death metal growler.

The Crash EP, 2009
Voice of Ruin Full-length, 2011

My Space

VOICE OF TRANQUILLITY (PHILIPPINES)

2 tracks of competent old school thrash with good crisp guitar work and brutal low death metal vocals; the guys play in mid to up- tempo with sharp, but also melodic, riffage which is also helped by the crystal clear sound quality.

The Army of Hades EP, 2009

My Space

VOICE OF TREPIDATION (USA)

Modern power/thrash metal which boasts very crisp sharp guitar work often dissipated, but in a good way, by melodic insertions although the heavy rhythms should satisfy the 90's trends' fans without a problem despite the lack of truly groovy sections. "March Of The Darkones" is a nice 2-min jumpy thrasher, closely followed by the energetic speedster "The Grand Demise" as the two best moments; the rest is a bit monotonous and mid-paced with the rough semi-death metal vocals not the best assistance provided.

The Godless One Full-Length, 2011

VOICES (HOLLAND)

Another interesting technical entry from the Dutch underground: intriguing weird technical/progressive thrash metal recalling both Mekong Delta and Deathrow; these guys' "voices" should have been heard back in those days... It starts with the labyrinthine hypnotic "Loner" which is a "lonely" twisted hectic piece in mid-pace. Then comes "The Walker" to produce another portion of "walking" puzzling, jumpy riffs intercepted by bass-dominated jazzy breaks. The hectic patterns are repeated on the other material which later bears the more intense pounding "Individuals", the compelling balladic extravaganza "Irreversible Disposession", and the bizarre mazey oddity "Sacrifice Of Sanity" which is a not very easy to swallow concoction of jumpy bassisms, excellent melodic solos, and elaborate riff landscapes. This is a really good offbeat effort coming out of the hands of former members of Jagannath, and even manages to beat their compatriots Donor's debut "Triangle of the Lost". The singer is a cool asset with his not very attached, but expressive, clean tember recalling Milo from Deathrow.

This Mass Of Confusion Demo, 1997

VOICES FROM BEYOND (ITALY)

A promising young act pulling out vigorous modern thrash metal which keeps the tempo up with several descents into slower mid-paced moments which only take one "victim": "Don't Change Your Mind", and probably the nice emotional semi-ballad "Welcome You". The rest is quite brisk with the lashing speedster "Day of Rebirth" leading the pack, both in the riff and lead department. The closing "From Beyond" aims at more complex progressive territories, and is a cool more technical epitaph to this release which also boasts fine clean, dramatic high-pitched vocals.

The Gates of Madness Full-length, 2010

My Space

VOID (GREECE)

Based on the first 2-song demo, this act plays heavy mid-paced power/thrash, still more classic-sounding, with good orchestral arrangements supported by an unobtrusive keyboard background. This is dark brooding stuff with sudden faster "explosions", good semi-screaming leads, and cool mid-ranged semi-clean vocals.

In the Beginning There Was... Single, 1992
The Season of Misfortune Demo, 1992

VOIDD (JAPAN)

Based on the debut, these guys may have started the prolific in Japan black/thrash metal scene. The music is simplistic aggressive black/thrash with hardcore-ish outbursts ("Pain"), which sounds more appealing when it slows down ("Disposable Life", the intense steam-rolling "Cult Of The Dead"). A good touch is the short acoustic outro "Desperate Truth".

The follow-up is sustained in a more frank hardcore fashion this time leaving little from their black metal heritage concentrating on short, generally up-tempo, tracks with a few more stylish touches: funk, grunge, and even aggressive thrash/death on "Forsaken" which also features an original abstract deviation ala mid-period Voivod. The singer quarrels in a drunken death metal manner, but his antics suit the very laid-back musical delivery.

Desperate Truth Full-length, 1993
Texas Chainsaw Full-length, 1996
Dokurock Full-length, 1999

Official Site

VOIDHANGER (POLAND)

The debut: these Poles specilaize in intense, occasionally brutal, concoction of thrash, black and death metal which comes with a boosted, crisp guitar sound and forceful, semi-shouty death vocals. Speed is pretty much the order of the day here, and in this train of thought the band come close to the rapid-fire delivery of acts like Torture Squad, Maze of Torment and Ravage. Thrash is given quite a space here with short "bombarders" like "Son of Cain" and "Dead Whore's Corpse", whereas on the other material the frequent blast-beats may come as too much for the regular thrash fan. The approach all over is pretty straight-forward, but a few licks ("Carnivorous Lunar Activities") here and there suggest at a bigger technical proficiency which would hopefully find more room on later releases. Some of the band members also play in the black/death metal outfit Infernal War, and the industrial black/death metallers Iperyt.

The EP is another aggressive effort the band moshing out with a lot of fury and speed, death and thrash leading the pack reminding of Torture Squad and Defleshed. More controlled thrashing can be heard on the cool "Silent Night, Deadly Night", and more technical death metal takes the upper hand on "Crumbs Of Divinity" which precedes the closing cover of Bathory's 'Sacrifice" done in a more brutal death metal-ish fashion, but still preserving the carefree bashing spirit of the original.

"Working Class Misanthropy" continues the brutal "carnage" without any mercy shown in the execution which is violent stripped-down bash with several sudden melodic deviations (the epic shredder "Dni Szaranczy"). Niceties of the kind, however, are not easy to spot amidst the raging hyper-speedy guitars which leave very little room for subtleties; this is aggressive, but listenable, barrage which shows an act not willing to compromise with their staple no-bars-held approach.

Wrathprayers Full-length, 2011
The Antagonist EP, 2012
Working Class Misanthropy Full-Length, 2013

My Space

VOIGHT KAMPFF (FRANCE)

Aggressive, but also quite intriguing, classic thrash/death with modern leanings; the songs are not totally devoid of melody and here comes "Emotional Response" to demand some "emotional response" from you with its nice melodic hooks ala the guys' compatriots Misanthrope. Later things become more interesting with the speedy progressive opus "Dangerous Days" and the weird technical creeper "In The Name Of God" which will remind you of both the Voivod period with Eric Forrest and Coroner's "Mental Vortex". Niceties of the sort are not to be come across later as the guys keep death/thrashing in a more conventional manner also overdoing it in the interlude/intro/outro department introducing too many breaks between the actual compositions. The shadow of the aforementioned Misanthrope looms heavily here, but this is good thought-out music which should keep the listener hooked for most of the time.

More Human Than Human Full-Length, 2012

Official Site

VOIVOD (CANADA)

One of the true auteurs of thrash metal; one would probably strongly disagree with this definition when listening to the raw, naive, but strangely compelling and listenable noise on "War & Pain", which was a dignified answer to the more extreme experimentations from the other side of the Atlantic, on the works of Hellhammer and early Celtic Frost, although its bigger fixation to thrash is more than obvious. Still, compared to the tighter, more professional sound from the same year efforts of Metallica and Slayer, this compulsive, but flawed release could not possibly hold water for very long. Some more noise was produced on "Rrr"""aaarrr" (the "roaring" title already prepares the listener for what to expect), but this time the final result makes much more sense, and some more original decisions are hard to be disguised, even by the most chaotic numbers. Those decisions found their complete realisation on "Killing Technology", the band's magnum opus, progressive thrash at its finest; with its weird song-structures, original arrangements, and inimitable surreal spacey guitars, this album remains one of the peaks of the whole metal scene. "Dimension Hatross" followed a similar pattern, but it also contained more weird, abstract stuff which didn't quite sound like thrash. That same stuff became the base for a string of albums which had very little to do with thrash metal, with the avantgarde innovative "Nothingface" leading the pack. With the recruitment of Eric Forrest in the mid-90's Voivod came back on the right track again for two fine technical thrash efforts, albeit with a more modern, industrialized sound, very well conformed with the tastes of the time. The band's desire to play again with the original line-up from the 80's put an end to Forrest's spell (another reason was a car accident which put Forrest in bed for a long time) with them, and brought forth Jason Newsted (yeah, that same one!), but the music clings towards the band's non-thrash metal period (1989-1993), miles away from the high standards set by these greats almost 20 years ago.

In August, 2005, the band lost one of its founders, the talented guitarist Denis "Piggy" D'Amour, who passed away after a long fight with cancer.
"Target Earth": listening to this album, one can only wonder why the band wasted so much time producing this string of tepid unexciting efforts which the fanbase had to endure ever since the band's reformation more than 10 years ago. Or probably they have decided to pull themselves together and pay one really worthy tribute to Piggy (R.I.P.), and possibly brush away the competition (the Poles Myopia are doing a great job at the moment impersonating the Voivods having released 3 albums of vintage "Killing Technology"-era styled thrash). Because this is easily one of the five best Voivod efforts, not only due of its "winks" at almost the whole band catalogue, but also due to the visionary approach (yes, that's still possible nowadays, folks!) which still sees the guys looking forward at some unseen from the rest future drawing paths very seldom explored, if at all.

The title-track starts twisting and turning in unpredictable ways establishing the futuristic abstract tone which is directly taken from "Killing Technology" and "Dimension hatross", but not in a shameless self-raping way, but in a reshaped mutated form with an adapted modern feel and a more dissonant guitar edge which comes courtesy of the Piggy replacement Daniel Mongrain (having acquired the moniker Chewy to suit the band's traditional comic alias vogue), a guitar virtuoso who has proven himself way beyond the shadow of a doubt in some of the finest technical Canadian metal acts around: Martyr, Cryptopsy, Gorguts, Quo Vadis, etc. The rough guitar edge on the opener shows that the band would hardly resist to their thrashy infatuations of yore, and "Kluskap O'Kom" is already the staple mechanical shredder which may even make you headbang at times. Don't expect two in a row, though, as the guys' creativity reaches further than that with the spacey oddity "Empathy for the Enemy" which is a direct nod to "Nothingface". "Mechanical Mind" is a brilliant 7.5-min progressive thrash opera which seamlessly blends "Killing Technology" with "Negatron" to a hallucinogenic effect. The discordant thrashisms of this number stay around for "Warchaic" which is a bit more chaotic and oblivious with more calmer breaks. The album takes a more surreal psychedelic direction from here with both "Resistance" and "Kaleidos" being interesting illogical thrashers with a quasi-industrial feel even touching early Treponem Pal. "Corps Étranger" brings back the faster headbanging rhythms and remains the only full-blooded headbanger till the end before the closing "Artefact" delves deeper into the futuristic discordant chaos encountered previously. Snake's voice sounds quite hoarse and a bit less indifferent compared to his previous delivery, and matches the futuristic musical landscapes drawn just perfect. This is the best possible start of the musical year 2013, a delightful, and quite unexpected at that, return to form of one of the most imaginative forces on the field. Rest in peace, Piggy...

War and Pain Full-length, 1984
Thrashing Rage EP, 1986
Rrr"""aaarrr Full-length, 1986
Cockroaches EP, 1987
Killing Technology Full-length, 1987
Dimension Hatr"ss Full-length, 1988
Nothingface Full-length, 1989
Angel Rat Sampler EP, 1991
Angel Rat Full-length, 1991
The Lost Machine/Jack Luminous EP, 1993
The Outer Limits Full-length, 1993
Negatron Full-length, 1995
Phobos Full-length, 1997
Live @ Musiqueplus EP, 2000
Voivod Full-length, 2003
Katorz Full-length, 2006
Infini Full-length, 2009
Target Earth Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

VOLCANIC SLUT (USA)

One musician is behind this 3-track EP of fast uncompromising thrash/proto-death metal very similar to the first 2 Death efforts. Expect fast blizkrieg riffs, apocalytic shouty vocals not far from the early ones of Chuck Schuldiner (R.I.P.), and a buzzy guitar sound which takes away some of the guitar sharpness.

Blasphemaster EP, 2010

VOLCANO (JAPAN)

Another worthy band from Japan, Volcano play good power/thrash metal with excellent, at times neo-classical guitar work, courtesy of She-Ja: the man also responsible for the guitars on the Gargoyle albums. The music is not very heavy, it's more on the melodic side, but the musicianship at display is truly impressive, especially the mind-bending solos. "Violent" is the band's most thrashy and "violent" effort which spares no speed and high musicianship on great tracks, like the opener "Kill All Of Me" (which comes served with some of the finest leads around) and the aggressive, crushing "Ghost". This strong duo is followed by less impressive, but still good numbers: the speed metal delight "Brain Dance", the modern power/thrasher in the modern day Overkill- vein "Fear Of The Scarlet", the speed/thrasher "Devil-May-Care-Boy", which even picks up a death metal-like aggression for a while. In the middle one will come across soft heavy metal pieces, one of which is really bad: a pointless mixture of groove and pop-metal, and even a shade of stoner/doom. The exiting two songs are almost identical to the first two: blistering speed/thrash with fabulous guitar performance, more than compensating for the disappointing middle part. The singer is a high-shouter, but not in the irritating, sreechy way, recalling the first Loudness vocalist Masaki Yamada.

"Davi" starts in an impressive manner with the intense thrashing "Absurd", the band's most aggressive achievement. This is quite misleading, though, since what follows is not even half as fast and interesting: power metal-laced songs, again reaching the bottom with bland modern pop- metalish ones in the middle. "Progress" arrives a bit late to save the day, but is a satisfying fast-paced thrasher. The following "No Way Man" is slower, but is not bad, with up-tempo galloping rhythms. "In The Black" is a long, 7-min semi-ballad, and the next "Barbwire", which is the album closer, tries hard to compensate for the wasted time with smashing speedy riffs, exiting the album in a flying thrashy manner. In the long run one can not help, but like the music here, although as a whole this is quite an uneven affair, which paved the way for the band's departure from the thrash metal field, seen on the following EP's, which are pretty much in the spirit of the not really good softer compositions the band used to place in the middle of the full- lengths.
"Mythology" introduces two guys from Youthquake, a bassist and a drummer, who assist Nov and Co. in the production of this new chapter from the band's career which sees them returning to their more thrashy patterns of old. Don't expect full-blooded thrash here, please: speed, power, and their more recent post-thrash days are all covered almost in equal dozes, but all will hail speed/thrashy hymns like "Dead Men Tell No Tales" and "Warrior's Play". The guitar work is traditionally on a high level with the melody paid special attention, sometimes more than necessary, but all is blended well to ensure this album's wide appeal staying faithful to the similar approach of fellow compatriots like Sex Machineguns, Hellbound, Cocobat, etc.

Spring of Life EP, 1994
Violent Full-length, 2000
Die Hard EP, 2000
Davi Full-length, 2001
Living Corpse EP, 2004
The Viper's Path EP, 2005
Mythology Full-length, 2011

Official Site

VOLKANA (BRAZIL)

4 girls and one guy (on drums); Volkana appeared relatively late on the Brazilian metal scene, but their two albums kept the genre alive there, albeit for a while. The style is typical old school thrash, mostly heavy and mid-paced: more serious and thrashy on the debut, and less striking on the sophomore release, with a clear rock-ish vibe, acquiring groovy moments from the 90's scene on 'Mindtrips", with a couple of lighter moments, like the Ramones' cover of "Pet Cemetary" on the debut.

First Full-length, 1991
Mindtrips Full-length, 1994

VOLKSSTURM (RUSSIA)

This is pretty interesting old school thrash, mixed with doom/deathy moments ala early Tiamat with very brutal guttural vocals and beautiful characteristic keyboard ornamentations, the latter recalling Nocturnus quite a bit. The feeling is very dark, despite the few more melodic moments, a foreboding atmosphere well captured in the heavy guitar tone and the frequent, but never overdone, doomy sections ("Ritual of Reborn" is the only pure doom metal cut, very well done at that, with echoes of Cemetary as well). "Liquidator" is a splashing headbanger, lashing fiery riffs for about 3-min, and the following "Gib Mir Patronen" acquires purer speed metal shades. Time for another doom/gothic piece: "Lost It All", which is more lyrical clinging towards the ballad, despite the thundering riffage, boasting the finest keyboard melodies, which here are simply addictive. It's a pity that the band never recorded anything else: this original take on the genre needed a few more efforts to find its fuller realisation.

When You Fall Down Full-length, 1993

My Space

VOMIKAUST (USA)

The "Filth" demo: a raw bad sound quality leaves not much to be enjoyed from this primal take on the retro black/speed/thrash metal sound which also touches death metal ("Suicidal Possession") occasionally, and the guitar work at times may remind you of Mike Scaccia (Rigor Mortis). The music is consistently fast the whole time, and the singer is an authentic black metal rasper.

The "Punishment of Existence" demo begins with a very slow doomy intro ala early Candlemass with funeral overtones, but very soon after the "massacre" begins with the fierce deathster "Stricken" which is both technical and brutal to a pretty positive effect. "Welcoming End" is another sure-handed technical piece seeing the guys changing the approach towards death metal much more with black and thrash showing up here and there, but just for a change. The 2 guys involved here also take part in various other death and black metal acts: the brutal death metallers Extremely Rotten; the black/death metal hybriders Ov; etc.

The EP is just plain blasting noise, the band just going over all limits to produce the most brutal sounds of their career although the tunes on the extreme black/thrasher "Of Filth And Death" may catch the listener's attention. "Suicidal Possession" also contains a few aggressive thrash shredding sections which work well with the more intense death metal implements. The last song is a cover of the US black metal pioneers Von, "Devil Pig", taken from their debut demo, and is pure evil misanthropic black metal.

Filth Demo, 2009
Punishment of Existence Demo, 2010
Morbid Way to Suffer EP, 2012

My Space

VOMIT (USA)

Meet the short underground version of "Reign in Blood" which was even released before the Slayer album. These are 3 songs of merciless bashing thrash marred by a bad sound quality, but the inspired bashing should have won them a steady fanbase, albeit for a very short while: "Fallen Empire" is one of the first geniune takes on vicious death metal this side of the Death and Protector demos from around the same time. The band never lasted longer to make a more lasting impression, but this short compulsive outburst should be heard by more.

Vomithrash Demo, 1986

VOMIT OF DOOM (ARGENTINA)

Based on the "Fatal Assault" demo, this act indulges in primitive raw retro black/thrash which becomes more comprehensive on the energetic cover of Sodom's "Outbreak of Evil". The rest is messy with distorted guitars and shouty death metal vocals. Some of the band members can also be seen in the death/black metal horde Abominablood.

Satan's Vengeance Demo, 2010
Fatal Assault Demo, 2010

VOMIT THE HATE (TUNISIA)

This band plays wild, frantic technical thrash/death metal with shorter compositions, brutal low-tuned death metal vocals, and brilliant lead guitar work. The leads are clearly the highlight of the album, surpassing the aggressive fast riffage most of the time. The rhythm is frequently fast, with adherence to blast-beats, whenever necessary, interrupted by stylish, slower technical sections, some of which are worthy of bands like Suffocation or Necrophagist (check out "Independent (The Gate)") even. On the other extreme we have the short, grinding "Break the Chains". Another great track is "Mutilate...For My Hate", which will remind you of Carcass' mid-period which is probably the closest sound-alike to this strong release, although the Africans are faster, and more hectic. Check also the nice melodic guitar lines on the brilliant closing instrumental "Horizon" which nicely contrast to the very fast riffage. With a couple of more albums of the kind, these guys could easily put the North African metal scene on the metal map.
The "Premortem Rot" EP is 4 songs of fast hectic thrash/death metal the latter clearly dominating this time making this short effort a close companion to the last Necrophagist album, except for the very brutal low-tuned growls.

Of Ignorance And Self Destruct Full-Length, 2008
Premortem Rot EP, 2010

Official Site

VOMITILE (CYPRUS)

Based on the full-length, this act indulge in classic thrash/death played with intensity the guys relying on speed more and succeeding in bringing the primal atmosphere of the late-80's when this hybrid was born. The singer may be a distraction with his very rough shouty tember which is plain noise for at least half the time. The approach is direct and straight except for a few more intricate deviations ("Decapitation Of The Gods") which are ably compensated by brutal sincere death/proto-grindy cuts (the closer "Cesspool Of Blood And Hate").

Rotting Life EP, 2010
Igniting Chaos Full-length, 2013

Official Site

VOMITOR (AUSTRALIA)

This band is a kind of a side project for some of the Gospel of the Horns members; the style is cool old school thrash with not many shades of black metal (reference to the Gospel of the Horns style)- maybe a few in the spirit of Venom. This is a direct take on the first days of the genre, with simplistic, but potent forceful guitar work in the vein of early Slayer, Dark Angel, Hallows Eve, Kreator, Sodom, etc.

One would be surprised to see these guys alive and well after a very long absence. "Devils Poison" is a much more brutal affair than the tepid debut, raw merciless bash adding death and black metal to the thrashy wall of sound. The first 2 tracks will cause you a headache with the constant downpour of fast aggressive abrasive guitars, but the band know mercy shown with the longer mid-paced "Saga of the Rage". Still, the majority of the songs are speedy "outbreaks of evil", early Sodom the most obvious influence also displayed in the song-titles ("Beast of Sodom") with a doze of early Celtic Frost and Hellhammer added on the slower sections; the atmosphere of the early black/thrash metal scene is very well captured including the sinister semi-whispered vocals crossing Tom Angelripper with a lower-pitched Schmier.

"The Escalation" is not exactly an "escalation" from the guys' previous output, but carries on in the same no-bars-held manner this time bashing quite brutally the blast-beats very frequently adhered to, to the point of Cryptic Slaughter-esque madness only that the musicianship here is on a lower level. Actually, there is hardly a calm moment (the closer "Horrors of Black Earth" can qualify as one with its sleepy heavy metal rhythms, totally off-context) on this ultra-violent slab which sounds way closer to black metal now due to the underground sound quality applied so well, and the witch-like vicious vocals.

Neutron Hammer EP, 2002
Bleeding the Priest Full-length, 2002
Devils Poison Full-length, 2010
The Escalation Full-Length, 2012

My Space

VOMITORY (GERMANY)

A band from the less impressive side of German thrash metal; despite some technical pretentions displayed throughout their works, this is just an average blend of classic and modern thrash with awkward funky passages which will remind you of a lesser Mordred. More concentration on the more aggressive side of the band's music (because they definitely have it) would have been better. Actually "Hour of Truth" starts in a cool headbanging fashion with the intense "F.T.A. (aka "Fuck The Army"), but after it the guys introduce more unusual guitar moments, which seldom deliver the goods: "Witches & Demons". The leads are the strongest point, saving both works from sinking; check out "The Bringers of Faith". The more aggressive and straight-forward side of the music works better: "Future Shock".
"Baschlasophobic" again starts with a strong opener ("Warchild", which is not a Running Wild cover; even the funky section on this one is fairly interesting), but later the music loses steam despite the heavy riff-work which unfortunately is chaotic and choppy, almost to a jazzy extent. The funky elements are more frequent and other awkward decisions like the inclusion of one tender, 7-min long ballad ("A Little Song About Dying": I can see quite a few hard-core thrashers "dying" on this one...), make this album the lesser achievement of the two.

Hour of Truth Full-length, 1991
Baschlasophobic Full-length, 1993
Rawhead Full-length, 1996

VOMITOSE (SWITZERLAND)

Dishevelled, scattered post-thrash with a few more technical pretensions which will remind of the early Treponem Pal works. There are very playful, unserious pieces which border on crossover, and generally the mish-mash is pretty big the climax being the ultra- boring, ultra-long (10-min) doomster "Le Souffle". The singer is probably on the more convincing side with his authoritative semi- clean croon which holds some melody whenever necessary.

Ode Full-Length, 1994

VOMITRON (USA)

This is a side project of Peter Rutcho who graced with his presence good thrash metal acts, like Blistered Earth and Crotalus. The music here is mostly instrumental, and is a solid mix of many styles, thrash metal being the main one. The musicianship is on a high level, including heavy, thrashy riffs and nice acoustic passages. There is a certain use of keyboards, but it's tasteful and well suited. There is a very interesting slightly electronic version of the hit "Ghostbusters" with synthesized vocals, almost as good as the one of Xentrix, and a version of Testament's "First Strike Is Deadly" which sounds so much like the original that I kind of wondered whether there wasn't some mistake, and this song had been somehow added to my version of the album. A really cool work of non-standard metal; will appeal to fans of many sub-genres.

Vomitron Full-length, 2007

My Space

VON HELSING (USA)

The line-up includes former members of other thrash metal bands: Nuclear Assault and Primal Scream. This demo is a real treasure: the style is excellent speed/power/thrash metal, rubbing shoulders with the Agent Steel debut and Helstar's "Remnants of War". The singer has a very powerful voice, a nice cross between Warrel Dane and John Cyriis. The music is intense and fast-paced, but there are cool slower sections, too. "Fight Zone" is a magnificent speed/thrasher which would easily pass the exam even for "Unstoppable Force".

Demo Demo, 1987

VON SKELETOR (USA)

This is the band where Nick Menza put more effort outside his engagements with Megadeth. The style on their only demo is a slightly uneven mixture of power, speed and thrash, miles away from Megadeth, recalling Exciter or a more aggressive Motorhead in the faster sections (which are not that many).

Injection of Death Demo, 1991

VOODOO (ARGENTINA)

Heavy groovy post-thrash mixed with doom/sludge; so this is not going to be the headbanger's paradise as the music is mid-paced to slow-ish, and the doom metal lovers would be happier here.

Matar o Morir Full-length, 2007

Official Site

VOODOO (CHILE)

A heavy mix of modern and classic thrash, at times thrashing like there's no tomorrow ("El Lamento Del Chakal"), at times slowing down to doomy/epic dimensions ("La Ultima Reflexion") surrounded by a sinister black metal atmosphere in the vein of Barathrum and Khold.

Visiones de Horror Demo, 1999

VOODOO GODS (USA)

Heavy modern thrash with a buzzy guitar sound and brutal death metal vocals; the guys mix it up providing both fast and slow moments the latter coming with a few cool melodic licks including a couple of really stylish leads. There are a few nice technical leanings on the longer material ("Rise of the Voodoo Ostinati" which comes with a brilliant balladic "acoustic vs. leads" outro) which may get a fuller shape on the eventual full-length: there's definitely a potential here...

Shrunken Head EP, 2012

VOODOO TERROR TRIBE (USA)

Based on the debut, this is modern post-thrash with an alternative, even semi-progressive edge, coming also from the cool, clean vocals; the sound lacks a bite, and is more along the lines of mid-period Machine Head and 90's Flotsam & Jetsam. The guys often fall into the groovy "traps" as well, a situation slightly repaired by their sense of melody, well expressed on the melodic, semi- balladic breaks. This is far from being an all-out thrash affair: fans of classic heavy metal, progressive, and even grunge will find something to like here.

The EP is a much better offering with a thicker sound and more aggressive rhythms seeing the vocalist now singing in an attached dramatic manner with a deep clean voice. Hard industrialized thrashing can be heard on "Twenty12", but later the mellowness takes over, and despite the cool balladic insertions and the ambitious operatic arrangements the approach lacks a bite degenerating to bitter sludgy groove on the closer "Never Died Before".

Mandala Full-length, 2005
Alone In Pain Full-length, 2007
Symptoms of Sin Full-length, 2009
Stand to Reason EP, 2012

My Space

VOODOOCULT (USA)

This band is a curiosity: Philip Boa, the leader of the electronic pop band called the Voodoo Club, decides to play some is a better offering metal for a change. Not only that does he decide to do that, but for some mysterious reason he seems to know quite a few of the finest musicians from the metal field (they might have been fans of his band?!) including Shuck Schuldiner (R.I.P.), Waldemar Sorychta (Despair, Grip Inc.), Dave Lombardo and Mille Petrozza. With such a line-up one should expect nothing short of a masterpiece, but apparently Philip Boa has no experience handling metal heroes of this calibre, and the result on the debut is just slightly above average modern power/thrash with no big merits except for the very promising opener in the Grip Inc- vein "Killer Patrol". With an entirely new line-up featuring more big, although not as distinguishing, names: Gabby Abularach (Cro-Mags), Jim Martin (Faith No More), Markus Freiwald (Despair), Boa manages to pull out a more impressive sophomore effort with an aggresive, industrial sound calling to mind Ministry and Skrew. The music is more versatile containing very wild, bordering on grindcore, pieces ("Death Of A Kung Fu Fighter"). The band finally seemed set to take off, but the project fell apart soon after.

Jesus Killing Machine Full-length, 1994
Voodoocult Full-length, 1995

My Space

VOODOOPRIEST (BRAZIL)

Based on the full-length, this new formation offer retro blitzkrieg thrash/proto-death with echoes of their compatriots Torture Squad and Sepultura, but the approach here is more technical and more melodic the latter making some numbers ("Religion in Flames") addictive listens. "Warrior" is a fiery deathster, but elsewhere the delivery is more clever the riif-patterns "bludgeoning" the listener with a cool sophisticated edge hitting the top on the short hectic "Swallowed by the Waters" near the end. The vocals are aggressive death metal-ish and are not exactly a match to the better music.

Voodoopriest EP, 2013
Mandu Full-length, 2014

Official Site

VOOR (CANADA)

Both demos show a band who played cool speed/thrash metal reminiscent of Exorcist, but less adventurous and more aggressive. The vocals are the highlight here, being one of the most extreme ones at that early stage of the genre's development; have definitely been an influence on some death metal singers later: Chuck Schuldiner(R.I.P.), for example, his vocal style used on the early Death albums.

Demo Demo, 1985
Evil Metal Demo, 1985

My Space

VORACE (CHILE)

This is modern post-thrash which marches forward with heavy abrasive guitars and frequent industrial and grungy insertions. The tone is mid-paced and a tad jumpy, and this inevitably produces more serious "fruit": the mechanical opus which relies on almost deathy dramatism to pull it through, along with the doomy outro ala early Cathedral. The vocalist rends his throat adding more noisy environment to the already not very tolerable musical pitch.

1113 Full-Length, 2014

VORACE (GERMANY)

This effort is concocted by just one person, Claude Hostettler, who indulges in pretty decent thrash/death blending the dominant retro sound with a few more modern touches. The shorter, more immediate tracks ("The End", although it is not "the end") are mixed with more officiant doomy cuts ("Foul Waters"). The initial slower delivery is nicely "broken" by the galloping "Fade Eyes", but the guys' staple pounding approach settles back soon after interrupted again on "The Fucker" which is the final "fucker" speeding up a bit with consistent mid to up-tempo rhythms.

Vorace Full-length, 1998

My Space

VORACIOUS SOULS (GERMANY)

Based on the "No Way Out For You" demo, this band offer power/thrash metal akin to other German metal acts from around the same time: Tyrant, early Accuser, Risk. The music varies being straight-forward and speedy at times, but it also moves towards a more technical territory, and some of the guitar lines are really original; but they're not that many to make this music really standout. This is stuff we have all heard many times before and after, and after a well spent headbanging time, there's not a big chance one will remember much of it.

Captured EP, 1987
No Way Out For You Demo, 1988
Fear Demo, 1990

VORACITY (SWITZERLAND)

Very good heavy thrash reminiscent of Evildead's "The Underworld" and Exhorder's "The Law", so apart from classic riffs, there are modern ones as well. The tempo is quite energetic despite the abundant presence of crushing stomping guitars, and the singer is quite good with his gruff, but effective voice recalling both Phil Rind (Sacred Reich) and Kyle Thomas (Exhorder).

Manipulation EP, 2002

Official Site

VORAX (ARGENTINA)

Based on "La Oscuridad", this act plays happy power/speed metal for most of the time assisted by edgier thrash metal sections. The music shifts from heavy proto-modern numbers to pure classic speedsters, but at least half of the songs are mid-paced with sharp crunchy riffs and cool epic overtones. The singer tries hard, but his gruff mid-ranged clean tone sounds strained and unemotional. "Requiem" is a nice semi-ballad with good melodic leads, much superior to the other exploration of this style: the romantic acoustic closer "Casi Un Himno".

Por Sentimiento Pesado Full-length, 2000
La Oscuridad Full-length, 2005

Official Site

VORIAN (SINGAPORE)

These youngsters from the Far East pull out cool modern melodic thrash/proto-death which is fast and relentless for most of the time also coming with a cool technical edge at times, topped by barely audible guttural death metal vocals. This is really good stuff which manages to capture the manic complexity of their compatriots Sanity Obscure even (check out the hectic chopper "Bend\Break \Bleed"). "A Deflagration Of Wings" is the more direct reliever with an overt crossover edge, and the final "D.U.C.K." is a not very good funk/bubblegum joke which ruins the good impression further with a bad hardcore exit. Apparently this is still a jam session, but the band clearly have a vision if they manage to leave those non-metal distractions aside which shouldn't be a problem.

Autocracy EP, 2012

VORKUTA (ARGENTINA)

This is retro thrash/crossover with speed metal tendencies, characterized by short (1.5-2min) tracks with catchy sing-along choruses; energetic uplifting stuff with expressive clean, albeit a bit thin, vocals. The guys thrash with no remorse despite the melodic guitar edge and the slightly muddy sound quality.

Ser O No Ser Aniquilados Full-Length, 2011

VORTECH (FINLAND)

Excellent thrash/death metal with industrial elements; the music is not too far from the industrial masters Skrew, at least on half of the songs. "The Institution" starts in a way very similar to the first two Skrew albums: with crushing up-tempo riffage and harsh, semi-whispered vocals; the twist comes in the form of a faster-paced section, recalling the experimentalists The Kovenant. "Terra Ultimatum" is awesome industrial thrash with an aggressive Fear Factory-like passage thrown in. "Crescent Moon" has shades of Dimmu Borgir-like black metal in the beginning, before settling down for the smashing thrashy guitars. "Mind Awakening" is a nice technical thrash/deathster, combining abstract sections in the Coroner ("Grin") vein with brutal death metal ones. "Apoapsis Mentis" is an ambient industrial instrumental, but is quite cool: "a calm before the storm", the storm coming in the form of the brutal industrial death metal number "Judgement of the Amenti". Another "storm-calm" combination comes later: the cool technical death/thrasher "Sycophant Gods", which plays the role of the storm, and the pure electro-industrial closer "End Game", which is... well...

"Wasteland" gives preference to death metal and industrial, and consequently leaves thrash behind for most of the time. Still, it is not completely lost, and nice technical thrashy pieces, like "Instigate Hostile Reaction", or the raging death/thrasher "Impulse" are here to save the day for the thrash metal fan. But it won't be for long, since the rest has no ties to thrash, and the final result sounds like a mix of early The Kovenant, The Project Hate and Bal-Sagoth, all this mixed on a strong industrial base.
"Deep Beneath" brings back the more technical edge of the debut which was considerably lost on "Wasteland", but alas, thrash metal isn't given much space again. The music is even more strongly industrialized and gothic shades have sneaked through. Nevertheless, it is a fairly good slab of industrial death metal, and more thrashy numbers, like the nice up-tempo "Retribution" and the closing "So They Rise" sound more like occasional throw-ins rather than intentional inclusions.

"Posthumanism" is pretty much in the same vein as its predecessor having very few ties to thrash (but you must check the ultra- extreme thrasher "Humanity: Static", and the furious headspinning death/thrash closer "Shedding the Flesh"), concentrating instead on apocalyptic industrial death metal at times leaning towards cyber post-black ala The Kovenant's "Animatronic". This is actually quite an enjoyable effort for fans of the modern trends, and not many are the acts nowadays who could bring all extreme metal styles in one album without sounding awkward or overdone; good futuristic extreme metal for the new, and why not next, millenium.

"Devoid of Life" is the next in line larger-than-life affair in the band's catalogue this time smelling more thrash despite the frequent blasts and the orchestral background. Mid-period The Kovenant remain the main influence, or inspiration if you like, but there is plenty of aggression to be encountered here: the intense thrash/deathster "Demon In the Circuitry", the soaring speedster "Unveiling the Future". "The Apocalypse" is an effective doomy "sleeper" which kind of sets the scene for the closing "Grains of Reality" which is a nice quiet operatic/ambient all-instrumental composition. Those two kind of compensate for the exhausting blasting heard on at least half of the tracks.
"The Occlusion" is a harder offering, a full-blooded industrial thrash/post-thrash affair with plenty of razor-sharp riffs, but also with deep dark overtones not far from the gothic movement. At times industrial rules the pack ("The Origin"), at others thrash takes over ("Forgotten World"), but most of the material falls somewhere between Front Line Assembly's "Hard Wired" and KMFDM. "Flatlined" is a very good operatic ballad with a participation of female vocals, but the doomy dirge on "Confined" will drown everyone despite the cool electronic implements incorporated. This is feelgood edgy music which has both a dance potential (check out the dance floor winner "Legacy System") and vigorous headbanging moments.

Extinct EP, 2004
Asphyxiation EP, 2005
Conclusion Full-length, 2006
Wasteland Full-Length, 2007
Deep Beneath Full-Length, 2008
Posthumanism Full-Length, 2009
Devoid of Life Full-length, 2012
The Occlusion Full-Length, 2014

My Space

VORTEX (CROATIA)

Yes, "thrash is alive" in Croatia, in case of anyone has doubts about it, and these guys are the living proof for it with their nice brand of brisk retro speed/thrash which mixes sharp hard with more melodic riffs. The songs are either fast-paced headbangers, or more laid-back pounders as priority is given to the former which in the middle take a really furious turn: the explosive trio "Bonebreaker", "No Way Out", and the very aptly- titled "Thrash Holocaust", the latter a Destruction-like spinning roller-coaster. The pressure gets higher with another thrash attack: "Running Killing", which makes the closing power/thrasher "Arise on the Streets" a pretty mild affair. Still, there will be few disappointed with this sincere slab of full- fledged retro thrash metal well supported by semi-clean, slightly hoarse, vocals.

Thrash is Alive Full-Length, 2010

VORTEX OF CLUTTER (TURKEY)

Based on "Source of Sickness", this act plays atmospheric thrash/death metal which starts with a cool lead-driven intro, before the stomping heaviness of the opening "The Land Withouth Sunshine" overtakes you. The melodic tunes increase later on with the mid- paced base preserved all over to produce decent gothic-tinged stuff with a touch of melancholy. The "idyll" will be rudely broken with "Conscientiouns Objection" which is a raging thrasher in the 1st half with several blasting sections present. But that's it from the more aggressive side since afterwards the sound acquires more sleepy dimensions which never leave till the end. The singer is a brutal low-tuner, but his guttural inclusions are comprehensive and unobtrusive.

The "The Ghosts of a New Generation" EP is an elegant affair with melody, aggression and a pinch of technicality mixed well together to a pretty positive effect. The guys thrash with gusto seldom letting things out of their control (the wild blasting on "Cocktail", which is an otherwise cool technical/progressive piece). The compositions are longer with a few more thought-out arrangements which are accentuated by the cool melodic tunes ("The Ghosts of a New Generation"). The mid-tempo moments now are just an addition to the much more energetic approach.

Everlasting Journey EP, 2009
Source of Sickness Full-length, 2011
The Ghosts of a New Generation EP, 2012

Official Site

VORTEX OF INSANITY (USA)

A power/thrash metal band founded by two members of Indestroy; the style is not a direct follow-up to their old formation, since it's more modern, slower, and much less impressive. The beginning is quite promising, though: the energetic semi-technical thrasher "The End Is Nigh" and the heavy mid-paced "Social Decay", which set the tone for what would follow. "What You Get" is more modern-sounding with an alternative edge. "Immoral Standing" brings back the more aggressive riffage, but after that things go down quickly with a lot of groove introduced and slower, less imaginative, samey dragging numbers which would hardly make the listener give this below average work another spin. Obviously confused, and not very happy, with what they had "cooked" here, the guys put an end to this formation soon after.

Social Decay Full-length, 1994

VORTICE (SPAIN)

Groovy post-thrash with cool sharp guitar riffs, but the pace is pretty much the same, a bit choppy, slow-ish although some maybe unintentional surreal moments strangely remind of the very cool one-album project Blood From The Soul ("To Spite The Gland That Bleeds"), and even early Treponem Pal. The singer is not the most pleasant semi-hardcore/semi-death metal shouter.
"Zombie" is very close in both spirit and execution to the debut being jumpy heavy post-thrash which despite its repetitive nature is not bad sounding, hypnotic and monolithic most of the time now even more reminding of Blood from the Soul. It even speeds up occasionally to up-tempo, but it's the pounding hectic groovy riffage which makes this effort a more engaging listen.

Human Engine Full-length, 2008
Zombie Full-length, 2010

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VOX INTERIUM (POLAND)

Based on "Yearning", this band indulge in modern thrash/death which is nothing special compirising unimaginative heavy rhythms which only takes off when the guys get "possessed" by fuller-fledged death metal ("Creators of Rules") and start shredding with more force. The brutal low-tuned death metal vocals dominate the proceedings the man's commanding performance seldom clouded by the more clever technically-executed tracks ("Deadly Injection"). Near the end the connoisseurs will recognize Gorefest's "Reality When You Die" from the Dutch's magnum opus "False" done faithfully if we exclude the annoyingly modern boost given to all the instruments on this particular track. The actual end is a cool peaceful lead-driven instrumental ("Into the Heart") which reveals another quite lyrical, not encountered previously, side of the band.

Zymosis of Souls Full-length, 2001
X-Nine Full-length, 2004
Yearning Full-length, 2004

VOX MORTEM (BRAZIL)

A pretty decent debut of retro speed/thrash metal mixing the more intense Bay-Area sound of "Eternal Nightmare" and "The Ultraviolence" with Slayer on the shorter material, with more controlled power/speed/thrash metal on the longer one. This longer material varies quite a bit, from doom-laden numbers ("False Redemption") to more clever, semi-technical exercises ("Veias Abertas"), to sheer speed metal joys ("The Worst Creature") with a strong 90's spirit. The closer is by far the highlight: "Do Principio ao Caos"- excellent raging speed/thrash in the best tradition of Rigor Mortis and the Finns Solitaire.

The Worst Creature Full-length, 2008

Official Site

VOYAGE OF SLAVES (USA)

Based on the demo, this formation provide the good old speed/thrash mixed with harsh guttural death metal vocals. The leads are particularly striking taking quite a bit of space to a positive effect splitting the intense roller-coaster riffage. The approach is not very aggressive despite the fast pace, and the guitars come with a cool melodic edge serving the odd slower section (the closing stomper "Blood On The Blade") whenever needed.

Demo Demo, 2009
Victorious EP, 2012

Official Site

VRAWSCHE (USA)

This is the brainchild of just one man, Brian Canzanella, and he acquits himself with an intense mixture of black and thrash which "bears" long complex compositions where blast-beats "marry" more moderate thrashy rhythms plus the obligatory atmospheric sweeps the latter recalling mid-period Katatonia. Progressive heights are reached on the relatively short "Entombed Existence", and the following "Osatan" picks up the hint with a bigger focus on the more clever riffage resulting in a better ending than expected which also draws a more promising future. Canzanella sings in a subdued death metal-ish fashion similar to a higher-pitched whispering.

Entrance Full-Length, 2013

Official Site

VREDE (ARGENTINA)

Groovy 90's post-thrash with a hardcore edge; the music is quite jumpy and choppy, but this is nothing technical. It's not bad at all, and fans of the modern trends will definitely like this, especially those who like mid-period Prong (1989-1991) and Helmet; it even speeds up quite a bit here and there: "El Fluido", which comes with aggressive death metal riffage. The closer is a sprawling, industrial doomy opus ("Lo Unico Que Tengo"), which is monotonous, and maybe overstretched, and would even appeal to fans of Godflesh.

Raiz Full-Length, 1995

VTA (ITALY)

Based on the demo, these Italians (aka Vesuvian Thrash Attack) offer wicked misanthropic black/thrash metal which crosses early Bathory with early Sodom to a not very negative effect. The dominant fast pace is broken by semi-doomy epic numbers ("Total Hell"), which work well among the raging rest (check out the furious "Nuclear Devastation", and the excellent Destruction worship "Nuclear Devastation" which riffs will remind you of the Germans' immortal "Curse the Gods").

Vesuvian Thrashing Attack Demo, 2005
Archdukes of Hell Vol. 1 Split, 2006

Official Site

VULCANO (BRAZIL)

A cult Brazilian metal band, Vulcano lay the foundations of the more extreme side of the South American metal movement along with Sepultura and Sarcofago. Their vicious brutal black/thrash metal has been an influence on hundreds of bands. "Bloody Vengeance" was released the same year when Sepultura's "Morbid Visions" came out, predating Sarcofago's "I.N.R.I." with one year, and is a brutal merciless exercise in thrash/proto-death, which despite the sloppy production and sound quality will overwhelm the listener with its open extreme super-fast approach which is only abandoned on the much slower, but cool doom/black metal closer "Bloody Vengeance".
The band were not willing to lose the inertia, and "Anthropophagy" came less than a year later. In terms of production and sound not much has been improved, but the guitars come with both more edge and melody, although the music again is seldom more than a non-stop fast bashing, sometimes "painted" by a more stylish slower inclusion. "Fallen Angels" tries to sound similar to "Bloody Vengeance", but abandons the sinister black metal overtones, and ends up sounding like a traditional doom opus ala Saint Vitus, totally out-of-context. No more mistakes of the kind till the end, as the music gets back to the aggressive speedy patterns, with "Megathrash" going beyond what its title promises, moshing out like full-blooded death metal, influencing the vicious grinding closer "Upright".
I don't know "Who Are The True", but it's definitely not Vulcano. With their 3rd release the guys have decreased the speed and aggression to an extent that often do they sound like an entirely different band. Even if you manage to overcome your initial shock, you would hardly find anything to like from this mild unimpressive thrash/crossover offering which at times loses the little edge it has, and goes straight into punk/hardcore ("Fuck Them", "Do You Remember"), or a blatant heavy/power metal territory ("Flies Around The Shit"). The only proper hit is done with "Witche's Sabbath", which is a remake of one of their early songs, and is a cool speed/thrasher in the Whiplash debut spirit. The first flop the Brazilian thrash metal scene ever produced, this effort could very deservedly be called the "South American "Cold Lake"" seeing Vulcano losing their position on the front row of Brazilian metal.
Inevitably having realized their mistake, the band were quick to try to restore some faith with "Ratrace", and they do a job no worse than the one done by Celtic Frost on "Vanity/Nemesis". Now the music is way more intense, and some of the early aggression has been partially captured, although it is not the focus here. The final result is good up-tempo to faster thrash, with the tempos often changing within one song. Some dry technical edge goes through the album, distantly recalling their compatriots Holocausto same year's "Negatives", although here the technical tendencies never develop into a whole song. There is a lot of energy involved, especially in the 2nd half, where some numbers are more than just reminders of the band's not very distant past: the explosive "Time to Change", the furious speed/thrashfests "The Lungs Of The Earth" and "Just A Matter Of Time". Having failed to arouse the necessary amount of interest in the fanbase, who by that time had already embraced their new idols, the band saw no reason to continue their career, and split-up soon afterwards.

The thrash metal resurrection wave didn't leave the guys indifferent, and here they come with "Tales From The Black Book" which shows that the band haven't lost their penchant for raw and aggressive music. To talk about a return to the very roots would be a kind of an overstatement as this recording sounds like a mix of their last full-length "Ratrace" and the less intense material from their first 2 efforts. Still, there is no speed lost, as most of the tracks are heads-down fast thrashers, seldom acquiring extreme proto-death tendencies ("Face of the Terror", "Troubled Mind"). The only slower deviations are the last 3 songs where the guys have apparently gotten tired thrashing with force: the epic thrash piece "The Sign Carved on the Door"; the awkward power/speed metal number "Obscure Soldiers"; and the heavy doomy closer "Bestial Insane".

"Five Skulls and One Chalice": the seismic Brazilians are back after a lengthy 5-year pause which shouldn't be a surprise having in mind the numerous other projects in which the band members are involved: the death/grind "monsters" Hierarchical Punishment; Chaosmaster, a mix of classic heavy metal and black similar to Bewitched; the death metal outfit Chemical Disaster; among others. The lads are in fine form, though, thrashing their souls out reaching proto- death heights early with the explosive "Hide Your Hate", and later carrying on in a brisk headbanging fashion: the mellower speed/thrasher "The Harvest", the more intense Slayer-esque "Holocaust (The Second Assault)". The title-track is a nice blend of fast and slower galloping riffs with a shade of speed/power metal. Later on there is another exercise in a death-laced thrash attack: "The Seventh Seal" which leaves its mark on the following 4 numbers which are intense pieces of old school thrash metal, the closer "Legioes Satƒnicas" being a cool nod to the early German scene (Kreator, Destruction). If the previous album was an up-and-down affair trying to cover as much ground as possible, this one pulls no punches with its uncompromising much tighter approach. The only practitioners, who remained true to the thrash metal faith, and still operating from the "team" which started it all back in the mid-80's from Brazil, Vulcano should remind of themselves on more regular terms.
The band's presence on the scene is becoming more regular (so our prayers were asnwered! Yeaaaah!), and fortunately not for the sake of the quality: "Drowning in Blood" is a pure headbanging old school thrash attack from beginning to end which holds onto tight fast riffage with the odd pinch of hardcore ("Prison in the Hexagon"). Tracks like "100 & 50" & "Zodiac Attack" are thrashing "grinding machines" as well as almost every other track with only "Chapel on Fire" breaking the border of the good behaviour with less controlled blasting passages. "Anything at least a bit slower?", I hear some of you ask; well, yes, there is one relieving cut: "Infamous Poet" which is pure traditional 80's doom with balladic overtones disrupting the thrashing "peace" which gets restored on the closing "The Evil Always Returns", an aggressive proto-death metal-laced number. The guitar sound could be an annoyance, the only one, though, coming with a strong abrasive edge which is a "testimony" for the time of release since it gives the album a certain modern "colouring".

"The Man, The Key, and The Beast" come together for the creation of another chapter of the band's now voluminous discography. Expect no remorse the guys intent on spraining as many necks as possible till the end of this old school roller-coaster. Intense fast thrash is the order of the day from the get-go served at times with a more relaxed crossover feel ("Church At A Crossroad") as an antidote to the main no-bars-held delivery ala Slayer encountered on the rest. The title-track is a pounding mid-pacer, but its relatively laid-back nature is well compensated by the proto-death rager "Dead Water" after it which sets the tone for an ensuing "carnage" where death metal reigns supreme for a while ("The Wizard"). The exiting trio of cuts brings back the more controlled Slayer-esque approach making this offering the most aggressive album the guys have produced ever since their reunion. It's probably a bit sad that their old comrades/compatriots from the riotous 80's are not around to provide a worthy competition...
"Wholly Wicked": the "vulcanic" Brazilians are back in action, and they threaten to turn into one of the most prolific veterans since the reunion vogue started. Expect no remorse from them all the way the band thrashing with force the guitars coming with an overboosted edge which may be annoying at times due to its reverberating nature. Things get nasty on "Daughters of Pagan Rituals" which includes a few brutal blast-beating passages, and later on lightning speedsters ("The Return of a Long Night") will cross your way some coming with a pinch of hardcore ("Tormented"). More blasts, of the spacey surreal type this time, arrive with "Malevolent Mind" which leaves the reliefs for the closing "Blowing Death" the latter calming things a bit with a portion of heavy mid-tempo riffs. Another job well done; next chapter, please...

Bloody Vengeance Full-length, 1986
Anthropophagy Full-length, 1987
Who Are The True? Full-length, 1988
Ratrace Full-length, 1990
Tales From the Black Book Full-length, 2004
Five Skulls and One Chalice Full-length, 2009
Drowning in Blood Full-length, 2011
The Man The Key The Beast Full-Length, 2013
Wholly Wicked Full-Length, 2014

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VULTURE (BRAZIL)

Based on "Destructive Creation", these guys provide modern thrash/death metal which is energetic and all, but is nothing unusual on the contempopary scene, and even 10 years earlier it would have sounded pretty ordinary. The tempos change throughout creating a dynamic picture which will remind of early Dark Tranquillity, above all, except in the vocal department where the singer is a forceful low-tuned brutal growler. Soaring melodies can be caught ("No Way To Follow"), of course, and generally the sense of melody is conveyed properly; it's just that in an oversaturated scene like the one we enjoy today, this effort would hardly make any impact.

Test of Fire Full-length, 2005
Through the Eyes of Vulture Full-length, 2008
Destructive Creation Full-length, 2011

Official Site

VULTURE (HOLLAND)

This is one of the very first Dutch metal bands, with their demos dating back from 1984, where, of course, the style had not much to do with thrash, but is enjoyable heavy/power/speed metal. "Fatal Games" is a smashing debut drawing resemblances to Forbidden's "Forbidden Evil", among others. The guitars are actually more technical, and cling towards "Twisted into Form" on quite a few times. The music is generally fast, topped up by very good high-pitched vocals, close to Russ Anderson (Forbidden again). "No Romance" slows down, but only a little, and comes up with the heaviest guitars on the album, a great number. "Coitus Tormentus (Hard Love)" is a brilliant technical speed/thrasher, the highlight of the whole album, with smashing riffs and leads, which will remind you of the first American acts who tried more technical stuff: Ulysses Siren and Have Mercy.

"Easier to Lie" is a very good effort as well, but is heavier, more aggressive and somewhat more technical, and consequently less immediate. The songs have become longer, and some pieces have this technical, late 80's Metallica charge: "Near Death", which actually works very well. Some tracks surprisingly suggest at future tendencies to come: the heavy, groovy number "Remember Me". Still several songs carry the glorious speedy spirit of the debut: "Kicked From Both Sides", which also comes with a heavier rhythm now and again. "Greater Cause" is an exercise in heavy crushing power/thrash, which starts as a ballad, and keeps the tempo slow throughout. The band would have made an impact on the 90's scene no worse than Pantera or Machine Head with the hard- hitting, proto-groovy sound displayed here, but they were never heard of again.

Fatal Games Full-length, 1990
Easier To Lie Full-length, 1993

VULTURE LORD (NORWAY)

Based on the "Blasphemy" EP, these guys pull out sinister evil black/thrash with semi-whispered horrifying vocals which are quite effective on the energetic, speedy music. Early Bathory with a more aggressive, thrashy edge plus more aggressive 90's black-ish parts, would be a good description; "Lord of Vice" is a cover of the Brits Deliverance, but here made in a much more aggressive, vicious manner. "The Ride Of Satan" is pure black metal madness, fast and relentless.

Profane Prayer Full-length, 2003
Blasphemy EP, 2006
Desecration Full-length, 2008

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VULVANIAX (NORWAY)

This outfit specialize in weird atmospheric melodic thrash which suddenly switches onto more aggressive stuff and vice versa. The guitars are very abrasive and generally the sound quality is not very good, but is on par with the bad drunken shouty death metal vocals. The blend is not completely without merits, and "Milking Me Dry" is an interesting amalgam of melody and speedy passages which get translated well on the longer "Hades" which combines heavy doomy riffs with vivid galloping ones.

The EP Previously Known As The Need A Drummer EP, 2009

VX (SPAIN)

Based on the debut EP, these Spaniards offer decent dynamic old school speed/thrash which comes a bit more bashing at times ("Amor Lliure") with a hardcore edge, and is generally a safe pick for the headbangers who would be happy to hear intense bashing cuts like the dramatic proto-deathy "Patada En La Boca" and the short explosive closer "Speed Maniac" where the guys should have tried harder to step the pedal on the speed in order to justify the song-title.

Holocaust Musical EP, 2009
Contraataque EP, 2010

Official Site

VX36 (USA)

Based on "A Violent Existence", this act offer intense modern thrash with some groovy and hardcore tendencies. The guitars are lashy and sharp and the tempos change constantly creating a dynamics of the playdul variety despite the harsh aggro-vocal delivery. There are slight moments of death metal ("Darkness") as well as "calms before the storm" (the quiet acoustic instrumental "Calm Before The Storm") the "storm" being the closing "The Storm" which is a raging headbanger with strong classic overtones, a side of theirs which the guys should explore more fully in the future.

VX36 Full-length, 2008
A Violent Existence Full-length, 2012

Official Site

VYATHIST (USA)

A young act who offer a decent mixture between modern and a bit of classic power/thrash with both semi-progressive and epic overtones, both more strongly felt on the more classic-sounding material. The songs are not very fast, some of them even sounding doomy and bluesy to a mixed effect, and the obligatory groovy implements ("I Will Delete Me" and elsewhere) kind of spoil the picture which is also not helped much by the flat unemotional semi-clean vocals.

Faceless, Dreamless Full-Length, 2011

VYNDYKATOR (USA)

Bob Mitchell (Attacker) is behind the mike here and his characteristic high-pitched vocals will be immediately recognized. He is helped by his former colleague from Alchemy X Chris Scorsese on drums, and the guitarist Rob Oriani who sadly passed away in 2006. The epic opener "Deceiver", in the best tradition of Attacker's debut, and the following ambient/doom interlude "Eternal Rest" (yes, indeed, you can have a rest on this one) don't promise too much thrash, but things get harder from this moment on clinging between thrash and power metal with a dark shade not far from Sanctuary. High-speed antics along the lines of "Second Coming" are nowhere to be found, unfortunately, but the other extreme is covered pretty well: check the excellent doom metal hymn "Tapping The Vain". "Mr. Murder" is exemplary brooding power/thrash which develops into an awesome speed/thrasher in the 2nd half. The final "flighty" "Flight Of The Wombat" is a very cool instrumental with galloping qualities, but the fan will be a bit disappointed with the short length of this effort which, just when starting to get interesting, has to end so abruptly. The band are no more, with Mitchell reforming Attacker two years later.

Heaven Sent from Hell Full-length, 2002

Official Site

V_LD (FINLAND)

Thrashy hardcore, fast and intense, a bit one-dimensional, but packs a punch with its uncompromising attitude. The drawback would be the wide variety of bad vocals which growl, scream, and rend without waiting for each other to finish. "Waiting For The Angels To Cry" is a cool doomy track with epic overtones, nicely opposed to the preceding much faster material.

Boycott Your Life Full-length, 2006

Official Site

VTETSEK (USA)

Based on the split with the Japanese Mind of Asian, this act offers nosy raw thrashcore with surprisingly cool short leads which starkly contrast to the simple repetitive riffs and the drunken harsh vocals.

Tinea Cruris EP, 2002
The Castrator Album Full-length, 2004
V"etsek EP, 2005
Euro Tour 2008 EP, 2008
Infernal Command Full-length, 2008
V"etsek / Mind of Asian Split album, 2008

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VORGUS (SWEDEN)

Based on "Vorgusized", the band play black/thrash metal influenced by bands like Celtic Frost, Venom and Motorhead (the latter are paid respect with a cover of "(We Are) The Road Crew"- thank god, this is not "Ace of Spades" again). The music is not very aggressive except for the Impaled Nazarene cover of "Total War - Winter War" which speeds things up a bit.
"Hellfueled Satanic Action" is faster and more dynamic and now there's almost nothing to relate it to black metal the music being energetic speed/thrash of the old school, well played with simplistic riffs and catchy arrangements akin to Exciter and Destructor, the more aggressive elements being the husky death metal vocals. The speed gets "broken" nicely on the power/doom metal hymn "Headhunter", and not so nicely on the sotf hard'n heavy number "Kill To Live To Kill". The closer, however, carrying the tender title "My Beloved", is blasting death metal madness seeing the music matching the viciousness of the vocals at the end.

V"rgus is the Law Full-length, 2001
The Evil Dominator Full-length, 2002
Pure Perkele Full-length, 2003
V"rgusized Full-length, 2004
Hellfueled Satanic Action Full-length, 2009

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