I haven’t shared much thrash metal on here. Well, to be more specific, I haven’t share much traditional “bay area” style thrash on here. To be honest I’m not the biggest fan of this style of thrash outside of a handful of bands like Overkill, Forbidden, Testament and few more that fit inside my fist. However, the one band that I believe owns this type of music is Heathen. I base this statement solely on their 2010 “comeback” album The Evolution of Chaos. 2010 also saw the release of Overkill’s incredible, return to form album Ironbound, which ruled my world then (and still does) so I was on the hunt for more under-appreciated thrash albums. Quite simply, Chaos is a masterwork of thrash metal. If you were to ask me what the best traditional thrash album is, I would tell you that as well as the best thrash song being “Leave No Stone Unturned.” I love this album. The riffs, the technicality, the soaring, near power metal vibe. Amazing. It’s so amazing I never went back and bothered to listen to any of their earlier albums, of which they only have two, spanning 23 years previous to Chaos. So today I finally went back and got their second album from 1991, Victims of Deception.
As I expected, this album is fucking spectacular. When this came out in 1991 and subsequently became the last album this band would make for 19 years, I would have been satisfied with this. It’s a testament to the strength of the band that after so long they were able to one up this album because Deception is another masterwork of thrash. The riffs, the compositions. Heathen is probably as close to art as thrash is ever going to get.
I’m not sure of what happened with this band and why there was such a lengthy hiatus between two albums. Maybe it was even in 1987 when they released their first album, thrash was already starting to get played out and in 1991 was in it’s death rattle, but it’s an injustice of massive proportions that Heathen is counted among the so called elite of this genre. Regardless of how history looks at this band, Heathen is worth putting in your ears. Over and over again.