Deceased – Thrash Times at Ridgemont High (Hells Headbangers Records)

Wednesday, 10th November 2021
Rating: 8.5/10

Curators of a great amalgamation of what makes underground metal special, Deceased beyond their original work always comes up with some of the best covers in all heavy genres. The title of this record of course a send up (or tribute) to the classic early 80’s high school/ coming of age movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High, with Thrash Times at Ridgemont High you’ll get twelve examples of the global versatility of the thrash genre – from artists that may (or may not) have been as well-known as they should be.

The encyclopedic knowledge of King Fowley aside, it’s all about staying true to the spirit, feel, and execution for these artists – just throwing in a bit of that vicious, raw Deceased-like stamp on the proceedings. We remember the Slayer-esque unbridled energy for “Sacrifice” by Canadian legends Sacrifice, ad three Canadian artists that appear on the record, but the surprise may be “Get Stoned” from Finland’s Stone – bumping up the tempo a touch while keeping the key guitar melodies, gang chorus vocals, and transitions on point. International bands like Artillery, Cyclone, and Bulldozer receive proper representation – as well as US acts like Whiplash and Rigor Mortis. Bassist Walter White lays down a sick, fuzzed out tone to start “Take This Torch” from speed metal legends Razor, the upper screams of ‘Sheepdog’ ideal for King to send shrieks to the grave. When the genre’s Big Four gained commercial acceptance, plenty of musicians stuck to the ideals of the early movement – primal performances and purity for what the best thrash original developed, a marriage of punk, hardcore, and early US/UK metal influences into a sound all its own.

Another essential release for those who love thrash, those who want to learn more about the deeper bands from the 80’s, as well as those who have a strong affinity for Deceased as artists.

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