The Best Thrash Metal Album - Metal Storm Awards 2017

1.  Kreator - Gods Of Violence 450
2.  Power Trip - Nightmare Logic 172
3.  Overkill - The Grinding Wheel 65
4.  Havok - Conformicide 62
5.  Goatwhore - Vengeful Ascension 32
6.  Warbringer - Woe To The Vanquished 29
7.  Condor - Unstoppable Power 21
8.  Evil Invaders - Feed Me Violence 20
9.  Trivium - The Sin And The Sentence (write-in vote) 8
10.  Sepultura - Machine Messiah (write-in vote) 6
  Tankard - One Foot In The Grave 6
12.  Lich King - The Omniclasm (write-in vote) 4
  Warbeast - Enter The Arena 4
Total votes:

This Norwegian trio may be the youngest band of this category, but they bring back from the grave one of the older types of thrash for us to feast our filthy ears on. Soaked in punk, speed and black metal influences, Condor sophomore album goes for an extremely raw and catchier-than-rabies energy. Few retro albums feel as neccesary as this one: a reminder of how thrash should kick you in the face.

Belgium's Evil Invaders have unleashed a thrash beast, reminiscent of the ones that were crafted in days of yore. Reinforced with lightning speed, Feed Me Violence is long-haired, pimple-faced and unpretentiously immature or, in other words, a great soundtrack for an air-guitar competition with your friends. Fire-breathing riffs and electrifying solos will make you put on your tight jeans and your Show No Mercy t-shirt and head to the band's next available gig.

Seasoned veterans of the NOLA scene, Goatwhore have been forming their own style by throwing first-wave black metal, death metal, thrash metal, and a bit of that Southern sludge as well into a blender, but on this album they tweak the formula a bit, making some of the songs a wee bit more mid-paced by increasing the sludge potentiometer by a millimetre. However, the adjustment in pacing does not take away from the album's savage blast. Vengeful Ascension is still filled with speed-laden attacks as we are used to hearing from the band.

The Denver-based quartet produced a mammoth record for thrash standards that clocks in at just under one hour. Havok's fourth full-length explores more progressive and technical territory and reveals some of the band's Megadeth and Vektor influences. Political and religious lyrical themes are spat out over razor-sharp riffs, and Conformicide boasts a crystal clear production that does justice to the excellent rhythm section and reveals Nick Schendzielos as a bass force to be reckoned with.

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If Kreator proclaim themselves Gods Of Violence, who are we mere mortals to question them? The 21st century has been the Era of Kreator for sure, dominated by slashing riffs and molten melodies, melding catchy hooks and arena-sized presence with the uncompromising, primal bloodlust that the thrash genre had in its infancy and that too many veterans have aged out of. Kreator is an even Bigger 4 unto itself.

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The Grinding Wheel proves that Overkill are going through their second prime and in this album the band has adopted a more progressive sound, without compromising the sharp and direct thrashy assault that they are famous for. A release to further support that Overkill's output in the current decade is very close to, if not on par with, the stuff they released in the 1980s.

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Nightmare Logic is 2017's album of choice for the angry adolescent to headbang along to and for the older metalhead to walk down memory lane. A fun fusion between thrash, hardcore, and punk, it unleashes abundant raw energy and plenty of fierce riffs that will badly hurt your neck and crush your skull. Throwing an incendiary '80s-retro crossover/thrash party, Power Trip's sophomore release simply blows most thrash-revivalist bands out there to smithereens.

Tankard; those German Alcohol Thrashers sure don't have their feet in the grave just yet and their newest album proves just that. A familiar, yet somewhat modern approach of their signature thrashing sound can be heard all over One Foot In The Grave. In the business for over 3 decades, Gerre & co. still know how to keep their audience engaged and show no signs of slowing down.

Crushing guitars - check. Thumping bass - check. A vocalist who is no stranger to the thrash scene and has been around since the '80s - check. While Enter The Arena is only the third (and most likely last) album by Warbeast, it can hold its own alongside some of the biggest names in the genre. Nothing recycled here and the band sounds as fresh as ever.

Woe To The Vanquished is a traditional thrash metal release, featuring all the key trademarks of the genre and ditching most of the extensive experimentation manifested in its predecessor. It is fun and engaging with catchy riffs and sing-along tunes that make Warbringer's fifth full-length a safe haven for headbangers everywhere and a solid favourite for the band's fans.


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