Old-school thrash metal warms the cockles of my olde, sinewy heart. Canadian thrash warms them even more. Having grown up on a Canadian thrash diet of Exciter, Annihilator, Anvil, and others, a solitary tear comes to my eye when some young upstarts attempt to bring the glorious past back to life. When Vancouver thrashers Terrifier’s second album, Weapons of Thrash Destruction, landed in my promo bin, I donned my denim vest1, my studded leather wristbands, and my kamikaze headband, and I sat back in my lawn chair with the stereo volume beyond acceptable, hoping to be taken back to a simpler time in life.

It’s been six years since Terrifier’s first release, Destroyers of the Faith, and during that span the five-piece has had a lot of time to hone their craft. In fact, you can see YouTube videos of a handful of tracks from Weapons of Thrash Destruction dating back to 2013. These guys have put the “school” back in old-school thrash, having studied the ways of masters such as early Exodus and Slayer, along with “Metal Militia” era Metallica. The results are a speedy, ripping romp through the early 80s, with the appropriate subject matter influences firmly in place. Take opening track “Reanimator,” for instance: the band watched the movie, loved it, and wrote a song about it, just like every thrash act did in 1984. Lightning riffs, impossibly fast drumming, and a blood-curdling scream kick things off, and the band proceeds to go balls-out for the next 43 minutes.

The template has been set and Terrifier don’t want to deviate much at all. That’s a good thing. “Skitzoid Embolism” of course is based on “Total Recall” and pulls an intro sample right from the movie, with Arnold screaming, “You blew my cover!” Conan the Barbarian serves as the inspiration for album closer “Sect of the Serpent.” Much like olde-school thrash, the lyrics are entertaining, not sociologically pertinent. I mean, how seriously can you take a song entitled “Drunk as Fuck?” Singer Chase Thibodeau spews the words out with a nasal, sphincter-tightened, out of breath enthusiasm that suits the music perfectly, with the occasional growl thrown in for variety. Brent Gallant and Rene Wilkinson provide riffs galore here, fast, staccato, dual guitars hard-panned left and right just like they should be (the excellent “Violent Reprisal” best illustrates this), with plenty of variety and change-ups within and amongst the songs, along with vicious shredding. Kyle Sheppard’s drumming more than keeps up, with nightmarishly fast fills and glorious speed throughout. Bass is hinted at, and even present in a couple of songs (really, bass player in a thrash band may be the most inconsequential role in music), but Alexander Giles does an admirable job when audible.

If there’s anything that mars Weapons of Thrash Destruction, it’s the sense of sameness that settles in as the album progresses. Really, this can infect any thrash/speed record, with the same key, tempo, and vocal deliveries permeating almost every song. This is not a genre that thrives on variety, after all. Thankfully, as mentioned above, the nine songs here fly by in 43 minutes, and while a few of them could be stripped back by a minute or so, there’s nothing truly bad on the album. The aforementioned “Reanimator,” “Violent Reprisal,” “Skitzoid Embolism,” “Sect of the Serpent,” and the short change-up “Riders of Doom” are all standout tracks. Those not into thrash will find it a bit tiresome, but fans will be into the goofy lyrical themes and overall musical competency of Terrifier.

With new bands like Ranger, Striker, and Suppressive Fire all putting out well-received retro-thrash offerings over the past year it can be hard to keep pace, but Terrifier more than hold their own against these newcomers. The music is fast and tight, the riffs are complex and fun, the production, solos, and vocals are all spot-on, and there’s plenty of humor to boot. In other words, everything one should want from a thrash album is on Weapons of Thrash Destruction. Can it get tiresome after a while? Sure, if you listen to it more than once in a sitting, or if you’re not into thrash. But taken for what it is, Terrifier have released a very good platter of guilt-free speed for us olde fellows to enjoy.

Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Test Your Metal Records
Websites: facebook.com/terrifierthrashers
Releases Worldwide: January 20th, 2017

Show 1 footnote

  1. Weren’t we supposed to hang ourselves with our vests? – Steel Druhm
  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    “Weapons of Thrash Destruction” is a fucking awesome title for a Thrash Metal album!

    • Reese Burns

      I’m surprised that nobody’s already taken it, and disappointed that I didn’t think of it first..

  • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

    No short list of Canadian Thrash Metal bands should leave Razor out.

    • Huck N’ Roll

      You are 100% correct, Juan! Although for some reason I never listened to Razor as a kid, so didn’t include them here.

  • The embedded track makes me want to listen to ‘Austrian Death Machine’!

    • Juan Manuel Pinto Guerra

      Get to the choppa!!

  • The Unicorn


    I will stop shouting now.

  • Dead1

    Decent if superfluous thrash ditty. Better than last Testament and Death Angel and by the sounds of it, new Overkill.

    • Name’s Dalton

      Loved the Death Angel album, and I’m going to order this Terrifier album. So good.

  • brklyner

    Looks like their photographer was using the Large Forehead filter.

  • EnslavedEld73


  • Carlos Marrickvillian

    Might be the first album from this year I’ll check out

  • Tofu muncher

    Reading the second paragraph (about Reanimator) actually made me laugh till tears ran down my face, or maybe made me cry, realized I was being silly, then laughed. Am sentimental when it comes to old school thrash.

  • gerard espinosa

    Not bad, but frankly that 3.5 should have been rounded down to 3.0 (my personal opinion ofc), since the new Testament album got the same 3.5…

    • GardensTale

      Honestly, at first I really dug the new Testament, but the back half is seriously lacking and because of that I have not picked it up at all after the first few weeks.

      • gerard espinosa

        I have to admit that since “low” I am more of a Testament fanboy, but I see your point.

      • Reese Burns

        For me, it’s Seven Seals that kills The Brotherhood if the Snake’s momentum, I can’t get into that song at all.

        • André Snyde Lopes

          Not Canna-business? That song is a cringe-fest.

        • GardensTale

          Extra shame when it comes after Stronghold, which brought the house down in concert.

  • James Utvandraren

    Sounds awesome. Now, if only I could purchase said album without hopping into my time machine to 1987 and order it through snail mail from the label. Can’t find it anywhere.

  • Tyr

    Like Vektor, great music…crap vocals.

    • Gage

      Nice bait

    • pint_of_porter

      On first listen, I would agree. I really wanted to like the Vektor record, but I haven’t been able to get past the vocals. Just discovered Terrifier today, and the riffs and songs are ripping. But the vocalist? Gonna take multiple listens.

  • Oscar Albretsen

    Full thrash feel with the band logo. Gotta like that! Okay, I’ll listen to the song, now.

    • Oscar Albretsen

      Edit – well thrash generally isn’t for me, but it sounded good (for a thrash band).

  • sir_c

    1984 called, they want their thrash back.
    Must say, every now and then I do like some ferocious Kill-Em-All-attitude top speed metal that goes balls deep until it rips.
    Today is such a day

  • Austin Lovell

    Man, I still keep coming back to this album. Reanimator may be my favorite track of the year. Great review. Sums up the record perfectly.