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Review: Various Artists - Thrashing Relics Volume 2: Underground Thrash Metal from Finland 1988-1989
Various Artists
Thrashing Relics Volume 2: Underground Thrash Metal from Finland 1988-1989

Label: Bestial Burst
Year released: 2019
Duration: 1:07:15
Tracks: 18
Genre: Speed/Thrash

Rating: 3.75/5

Review online: March 14, 2019
Reviewed by: Luxi Lahtinen
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Thrashing Relics Volume 2: Underground Thrash Metal from Finland 1988-1989

Rated 4/5 (80%) (2 Votes)
Review


Another series of Finnish underground speed/thrash metal has seen the light of day. Thrashing Relics Volume 2: Underground Thrash Metal from Finland 1988-1989, introduces three Finnish speed/thrash metal bands—Terrific Verdict, Ashen and Sacred Crucifix—that were all there in the late eighties, building up a relatively solid underground metal scene in Finland, every band sounding very different from each other.

Terrific Verdict, a three-piece thrash metal band formed in 1987, recorded a couple of demos during the years 1988-89 before calling it quits (in 2017 they regrouped again), played intense, in-yer-face and riff-orientated thrash on their two demos often compared to Teutonic thrash forces like early Kreator, Sodom, Assassin and Destruction. Both of their demos—a 6-track from 1988 and 6-track from 1989, were well received worldwide during the most hectic tape-trading times. They undoubtedly represented the top elite of Finnish thrash metal wave back in those days, gaining a pretty remarkable underground following.

Ashen, on the other hand, were a bit of an oddball among Finnish speed/thrash bands back in those days. Musically, there was a clear Megadeth touch to their sound but they didn't sound as complex or as pro as Dave's troops. In 1988, they released a 2-song seven-inch EP, titled The Payback, which featured the title track, in which Megadeth's influence is most evident, and "(Having a) Good Time", which was an 'okay-ish' track, excluding Mikael Oresmaa's vocal parts which sounded horrible due to his awful English pronunciation.

Like the icing on the cake, last but not least we have Sacred Crucifix: an ominous and evil sounding thrash metal act from the far north of Finland in a city called Kuusamo. These northern thrashers were far heavier and sinister sounding on their debut demo (called Realms of Darkness), released in 1989, than anything else that was produced in Finland at the time. It could be said that it was kind of a game changer to hear a band from northern Finland that sounded so dark, heavy and diabolic compared to some "lighter" speed/thrash metal patrols of the southern part of the country. Vocalist Mike Mertanen's demonic vocals were also closer to death metal growls than your typical thrash vocalist back then, really adding more evilness of all sorts to their sound. The original Sacred Crucifix lineup ceased to exist in 1990, unfortunately.

If you are curious about the Finnish underground speed/thrash metal scene, this compilation might be one of the better starting points to start exploring the scene when, for example, the "Big Four" had already recorded their most classic albums.

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