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Thrashback Thursday: Dark Angel “Darkness Descends”
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Dark Angel Band Photo

When discussing the history of thrash metal, the contributions of legendary Los Angeles thrash band Dark Angel cannot be overlooked. The band’s second album, 1986’s Darkness Descends, is widely considered to be one of the seminal recordings of the genre. In fact, Revolver magazine placed the album on its “14 Thrash Albums You Need to Own” list.

The quality of the album owes more than a little to the fact that it was the first to feature powerhouse drummer Gene Hoglan who contributed heavily to the writing process. Hogan would go on to be a key member in both Death and Testament.

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Thrashback Thursday: Warbringer “Combat Shock”
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Warbringer War Without End Album Cover

Warbringer is a Los Angeles band that has been at the forefront of the new millennial thrash revival movement for over 10 years. Despite numerous lineup changes, the band has managed to build up a rabid cult following through a relentless touring schedule and the release of four high quality full-length albums.

Today’s Thrashback Thursday takes a look back to where it all started, Warbringer’s 2008 debut album War Without End. This is the first single and video from that album “Combat Shock.”

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Thrashback Thursday: Cavalera Conspiracy “Killing Inside”
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Igor and Max Cavalera

Today’s edition of Thrashback Thursday comes courtesy of Max and Igor Cavalera. The brothers who were once the heart and soul of Sepultura. The two had been estranged for over ten years following Max’s acrimonious split with the band, which the brothers had formed back in their native Brazil in the early ’80s.

When Igor also decided to break with the Sepultura camp the brothers reconciled, to the delight of thrash fans the world over. Their new project together was initially to be called Inflikted, but the name was already taken. They instead decided to call the band Cavalera Conspiracy and named their 2007 debut album Inflikted.

Killing Inside” was the single from Cavalera Conspiracy‘s 2011 sophomore album Blunt Force Trauma and is today’s featured Thrashback Thursday track. Check out the official video here below.

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Thrashback Thursday: Aura Noir “Black Thrash Attack”
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Aura Noir Band Photo

Aura Noir is a blackened thrash unit out of Norway that has been going strong since 1993. The band is led by bassist Apollyon who is also a member of the iconic black metal band Immortal. Their guitarist Blasphemer is also a former member of the notorious black metal band Mayhem.

Co-founding guitarist and singer Aggressor had to sit out a number of years due to injuries sustained while either jumping or falling (details are sketchy) from a third story window. In recent years, he has been able to rejoin the band although still heavily reliant on a wheelchair to get around.

The video below shows Aggressor’s first reunion with his bandmates in some time for a performance of the title track of their classic second album, 1996’s
Black Thrash Attack at Inferno Festival 2011 in Oslo.

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Thrashback Thursday: Diamond Head “Am I Evil?”
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Diamond Head Band Photo

Diamond Head may not be the same sort of household name that their contemporaries such as Judas Priest and Iron Maiden became during the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, but their influence is every bit as strong, if not more so. Diamond Head were among the first bands to experiment with marrying the raw power and speed of punk to heavy metal. The resulting sound would provide the building blocks of the thrash movement that lay just a few years away with Mercyful Fate, Metallica, and Slayer. Such was the influence of Diamond Head on this fledgling scene that Metallica would cover Diamond Head’s classic “Am I Evil?” on their very first album.

Check out this promo clip for Diamond Head’s original version of “Am I Evil?” from their landmark 1980 debut album Lightning to the Nations.

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Thrashback Thursday: Sacred Reich “The American Way”
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Sacred Reich band photo 1990

Sacred Reich was a thrash band from Phoenix, Arizona that was active from 1985-2000. The band was originally managed by Gloria Cavalera, who is most known for guiding the career of her husband, the legendary Max Cavalera of Sepultura, Soulfully, and Cavalera Conspiracy fame. Drummer Dave McClain would go on to attain wider fame as a member of Machine Head.

The band has reunited periodically since 2007 to perform select live shows, but there are no current plans for new recordings or any widespread touring. They did announced back on their Facebook page in December that they’d be playing for the first time in Brazil this June with their old friends, Sepultura, who are celebrating their 30th anniversary.

Here with the prophetic title track of their 1990 Metal Blade Records album, The American Way, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, is the highly underrated Sacred Reich.

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Thrashback Thursday: Angelus Apatrida “Blast Off”
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Angelus Apatrida Band Photo

Spanish thrash veterans Angelus Apatrida just released their fifth album
Hidden Evolution this past Tuesday via Century Media Records. The album has been garnering very positive reviews worldwide and the band is launching an extensive tour in support of the disc (see dates below).

For this Thrashback Thursday, we take a look back at the band’s superb 2010 album, Clockwork, via the official video for the track “Blast Off.” Crank it up and be sure to check out the new album and support this great band when they come to your town.

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Thrashback Thursday: “One” by Metallica
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Metallica And Justice For All Band Photo

I know what you’re thinking: “Ides has lost it. The old boy’s gone senile and forgotten that he just featured Metallica in last week’s Thrashback Thursday!”

Well, fear not dear reader, there is a reason for my redundancy. I awoke this morning to see an article which pointed out that today is the 26th anniversary of the release of the video for “One.” This was such a watershed moment in the history of thrash that I felt it remiss to let it pass without acknowledging it.

“One” is the last track on the first side (anyone remember album sides?) of the record that many (myself included) consider to be Metallica’s last great work,
… And Justice For All. It marks the moment that Metallica ceased to be an underground phenomenon and broke through to the mainstream, on their way to becoming the biggest metal band in the world. It was the first time that the band had made a video and the heavy rotation from MTV and other video outlets would propel the song to #35 on the Billboard charts, making it the Metallica’s first top 40 hit.

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Thrashback Thursday: “Hit The Lights” By Metallica
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Metallica Band Photo with Cliff Burton

I found myself the other day trying to explain to my kids the immense impact that Metallica had on the metal underground when they first burst onto the scene in 1982. That’s right kids; Metallica was an underground (and cutting edge) band once upon a time. Their debut album
Kill ‘Em All did exactly as it’s title promised. It was a manifesto… a declaration… Metallica were about to take over the world and indeed kill ’em all.

For the next eight years, through endless touring, tragedy and triumph, and four albums that would become the very pillars upon which modern metal is built, Metallica would rule at the forefront of the metal underground. There is no way to describe to someone who wasn’t there the amount of reverence that we metalheads held for this band during those years. And then came the black album and Metallica was no longer the metal world’s underground darlings. But that’s a story for another Thursday.

Here is the shot heard ’round the world, “Hit The Lights” the opening track of Metallica’s landmark debut album Kill ‘Em All.

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Thrashback Thursday: “Damien” By Iced Earth
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Ides Bergen   |  @   |  
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Iced Earth Band Photo

Florida’s Iced Earth are a long running institution in the metal world who have straddled almost as many sub-genres as they have had members. Well, OK, that last part is an exaggeration… over 30 different musicians have passed through Iced Earth since the band’s inception in 1985. The only constant has been main songwriter and rhythm guitarist Jon Schaffer. One former member of note is their long-time vocalist Matt Barlow who, after 9/11, decided that he wanted to make meaningful contributions to “the real world” and left Iced Earth to become a police officer.

Check out the track “Damien” from Iced Earth’s classic 2001 album
Horror Show. Barlow is the singer on this recording.

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