There are few things sweeter than a great riff, the kind that grabs you by the spine and shakes you hard, your head bobbing like the top of a rag doll. Yet, perplexingly, I’m not a big fan of most thrash, a genre where the riff is king. The “classic” thrash vocal style has something to do with that. But that’s not to say that I’m averse to all thrash. I’ve found from experience that I like it just fine when it’s caked with filth, when it’s raw, punked-out, and covered in crust.
An aura of the infernal helps, too, which is probably why I’ve become a fan of black thrash, though that’s a subject for another day. What I’ve got for this day is new music and a new video from three bands whose servings of thrash are so so jammed with filth they will stop up your toilets for a week — and the riffs may leave you convulsing, too: Hellbastard (UK), Toxic Holocaust (U.S.), and Eldritch Flamethrower (U.S.)
Hellbastard came into being somewhere in late ’84 or early ’85. Some say they were the band who created the “crust” wave of the 1980s. Some say they coined the genre name “crust” with their 1986 demo release Ripper Crust. But by 1992 the band had fallen apart. They re-formed in 2008, and now they have a new five-song EP on the way, which will be released on vinyl by Patac Records on November 15. I’ve only just begun listening to it, and it’s damned good — so good that I wanted to say a few words about it right away.