I’m just going to cut to the chase because I’m sick of justifying this: Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax are not the best thrash bands out there. Not even close. Sure, they have a handful of great albums between them but why so many thrash bands go criminally overlooked while these four reap all the praise is beyond me.
Take for instance, Cyclone Temple. This album was dropped in my lap by my buddy (who never lets me down on recommendations) and little did I know when I pushed play this was going to be one of the best thrash albums I’ve ever heard. I’m not even exaggerating. The reigning champion has been Heathen’s Evolution of Chaos and I don’t think the two are that far apart, creatively at least.
Both could be described as “thinking man’s thrash” and while that tends to conjure up the idea of the lyrics being heady, I’m more talking about the song writing. It’s sonically thrash, no doubt about it but the band interweaves progressive and technical skills so flawlessly they make it seem simple. The playing on this album is masterful. Now a good thrash album is only as good as the riffs and they’ve got them by the truck load and they do have the head banging, furious thrash moments that the genre is known for but there’s more thought going into the songs, the structure and the presentation.
Why is this band not more acknowledged? Who knows. Thrash is not a genre that celebrates it’s underground as much as other genres. The album did come out in 1991 when thrash was making it’s final stand and becoming less commercially viable, leading to bands either changing their sounds, going back underground or just disappearing entirely, but even in the great thrash revival of the mid to late aughts, nothing about Cyclone Temple. That’s just the way it works, I suppose.
After just one listen through, I could go on and on about this album (and my disappointment in myself for not finding a band with this album title earlier) but you just have to hear this one. Put this in your fucking ears and get ready to have your brain thrashed to pieces. This one is amazing.