The late 80’s and early 90’s of thrash may be coming one of my favorite eras for the genre. Certainly for the more obscure and overlooked bands of the time period, there seems to be an endless wealth of bands that just got lost is the tsunami of the Big 4 type bands. The early 90’s must have been extremely detrimental to the more underground thrash bands of the time, especially with all the bigger names changing directions musically in the wake of grunge and studio pressures. Some bands went softer for more appeal, and some just stopped all together. I wonder if that’s what happened to a band like Stygian, who released this their only full-length in 1992, when some might say was the end for that original thrash wave.
The album itself is some rip-roaring thrash, but there’s more than meets the ear here. This is more of that progressive/technical “thinking man’s” thrash that bands like Heathen, Cyclone Temple, or Voivod perfected. Not to compare Stygian to any of those bands other than approach, Stygian were going for something more than just thrash-y riff explosions. It packs a punch, no doubt but the musicality on display here is one to be reckoned with. There’s enough here to just enjoy it as a thrash album, just banging your head along to the riffs, and even in that regards it’s a killer album, but if you dig into it a bit, there’s a something more going on and it’s a rewarding discovery.
This is the kind of thrash that truly moves me. The genre is so pigeonholed and so aligned with the bigger names of the genre, so many thrash gems have been lost in time. I hope more of these keep coming in to the light and restore thrashes good name, because this one is fucking killer and I doubt it’s nearly as played as it should be.