thrash

The last few years have brought to the fore what we can only assume is the new generation of thrash. Thirty years removed from it's inception, thrash is showing us a new, young face, one loaded with the promise of upstarts like Havok, out of Denver, Colorado. It is within this unique promise and potential that the band has released their new record "Unnatural Selection." We sat down with frontman and mastermind David Sanchez and discussed his band, their new record, the future of thrash and the scene in the Rockies.

There are two reasons I do this. The first and most important reason is because I love music. The second reason is because every now and again, I am totally and pleasantly surprised. Let me cut to the chase before we get into the minutiae – Battlecross’ new album “War of Will” readily fulfills both of those reasons.

In recent years, we’ve witness a real revival of thrash as we once knew it. Bullet belts, gallop riff and west coast snarling are back in fashion. The more shows I go to, the more I’m seeing the return of denim, patch covered jackets and other paraphernalia ‘rescued’ from the early ‘80s that was such a part of thrash’s iconic birth. The pages of this very site have become littered with the exploits of a thrash resurgence, the genre reborn through a new generation and new eyes.

At the rate these albums have been coming out, I need to either invent a time machine so I can go back to 1983 and learn to love thrash, or stick my head in the sand for another three years until a new trend is established. The number of thrash albums hitting these days is astounding, considering how the genre was all but dead until The Big 4 came out of hibernation. It's great news for adrenaline starved fans, because nothing can pump the blood like good ol' thrash can, but it's slightly less inviting for people like me who have never been filled to the brim with youthful bile.

Despite all its loudly orated trappings to the contrary, metal is very much a genre that embraces the ideas of tradition and legacy. This really isn’t that surprising; all counter cultures recognize their own, and scrutinize members’ inclusion based on a selection of worthy criteria. In this sense, counter-cultures and underground movements aren’t at all different from the mainstream institutions they rail against, which is a sort of cruel, unyielding irony.

One of the things about the thrash renaissance that is most welcome is the remembrance of bands outside the Big Four. While the Bay Area bands, along with the New York scene, did define thrash and contribute countless classic records, the boundaries of the genre weren't compatible with America's. Thrash exploded everywhere, and nowhere more than Germany, which has solidified its legacy as the second home of thrash. In the dark years of heavy metal, when all but the biggest bands seemed forgotten, the German thrash scene was reduced to but a blip on the screen.

I suppose it was inevitable and we all should have seen it coming. In thrash’s latent, momentous revival, we’ve come up with new names to buffer the genre and kept the lion’s share of the classics alive as well. As the wave of metal resurrection continues however, studious fans will note that every facet of old thrash has been revitalized save one: we’ve been asking the question “who will be the new S.O.D?” Carrying on the legacy of the Stormtroopers of Death is a deceptively weighty task.

As is our custom, we close the annual Tribute Project with submissions and thoughts from around the metal sphere, as promised. A couple dozen people were nice enough to take time out of their lives and consider our question: "Out of all the artists who debuted or formed in 1983, which one has had the greatest impact on you personally or professionally?" the answers are varied, some heartfelt, some hilarious and many in between. Nonetheless, each one provides insight into the artist who gave it, and gives a glimpse into their dedication and fanhood. But enough.


M.DREW:
Speaking of Queensryche songs, if you ever really want to make a serious ‘Ryche fan angrier than all get out, tell him or her your favorite song of theirs is “Jet City Woman.” Watch the reaction. There might even be an eye twitch.


CHRIS: