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The GET THRASHED journey begins in the early 80s, where Metallica and several other bands laid the groundwork for what would become a lasting impression on the face of heavy metal music. These bands helped ignite local scenes in Los Angeles, the Bay area of California and New York City, which helped fuel a worldwide thrash metal movement. By the dawn of the 1990's, thrash bands had gone from playing backyard barbeque parties to headlining arenas and Metallica were on their way to becoming one of the biggest metal acts of all time. But as legions of headbanging, stage diving and moshing metalheads were flocking to see their favorite bands, the tides had begun to change. In the early 1990's, a changing musical landscape sent thrash spiraling back into the underground. Some of the musicians passed away, some returned to their day jobs and some bands broke up. While the music lived on, the scene was forever changed. Get Thrashed traces the rise, fall and impact of thrash metal; from its ... Written by
A fun, occasionally amusing documentary. However, there are some things that have to be set straight here.
First of all, the predictable old cliché of talking about the "Big Four", which somehow always annoyed me. (What is music? A sport? Are these four in the semifinals of some grand hypothetical thrash-band tournament?) Metallica and Slayer were/are extremely influential, hence their places in the "four" aren't questioned. Megadeth is a great, inventive band, too, but Anthrax was never even close to reaching the quality of the other three. If commercial success is the main basis in deciding who's "up there", then that's rather daft. Ian, one of the best rhythm guitar players, and Benante, a terrific drummer, certainly played a major role in the development of crossover with S.O.D., but Anthrax was rarely much more than a joke thrash band - that later developed into some laughable metal-grunge hybrid thanks to Ian's cash-lust i.e. his persistence in following trends. Their debut album was pitiful, more like a typically dull heavy metal album, and the vastly overrated "Among The Living" has some good riffs but also some rather cheesy pop-like singing as that absolutely awful vomit-inducing chorus in "Indians". They wrote some great songs, most of which are on STD, but none of their albums are classics. I could give a rat's ass about their supposed "pioneering" in creating "rap metal", with those talentless clowns Public Enemy.
Even worse, Overkill feature here far more prominently than they deserve, partly due to the fact that their original drummer had a lot to do with the making of this film. True, they'd been around from very early on. However, Overkill are more heavy metal than thrash, always have been, with those annoying screechy vocals. "In Union We Stand", their quasi-hymn, is so bad it could have easily been written by Manowar. Draw your swords out, kids! One person here even places Overkill in the main five thrash bands. Of course he would, he was wearing their shirt during the interview...
If any 80s thrash band deserves to be mentioned in the same breath with Metallica and Slayer, it's Exodus. There are only 2-3 thrash albums that can compete with "Bonded By Blood" in sheer consistency, sound-quality, song-writing, guitar-playing, drumming, and mood. Unfortunately, when Baloff got the boot, this band took a plunge and never recovered. "Pleasures of the Flesh" was quite good, but the following albums were average. I have to totally disagree with Hirax's singer who said that Exodus found the perfect replacement in Zetro Souza. Personally, I have never met a single thrash fan who doesn't hate his voice. Zetro neither has power nor can he sing: he always sounds as if he's trying to take a dump (and judging by his increasing weight, that's probably happening more often now). Perhaps these abominable vocals from Zetro sunk Exodus.
Unlike Exodus, one other great thrash band gets very little screen time (at least in the main feature), and that's Voivod. These guys were the most inventive of them all - if not exactly always playing thrash - and highly influential, plus they were part of the scene from day one.
For those who followed thrash closely in the 80s/90s, there aren't any major revelations in GT - with the exception of Dave Mustaine's claim to have practically invented thrash all by himself. He didn't say it in so many words, but that was pretty much the jist as he described how he "taught Kerry King and James Hetfield" the basics of rhythm-guitar playing. This typically bold, arrogant claim would sound silly if it weren't supported by Ian and Gary Holt. So could it be that Mustaine is the "Father of Thrash"? Let's not forget Venom in all this: they played the fast thrash riff before any of these guys.
For some reason his Grand Highness the Hetfield did not deem it worth his divine time to appear. It would have been more interesting to hear his take on the whole story than to listen to Ulrich ramble with his new Hollywood teeth shining like walrus tusks. Lars even had the gal to describe the mid-80s as a period in which "there was none of that crap about selling units, it was about the passion". This, coming from Mr.Napster himself, the guy who would sell his mother to get that next multi-platinum album... Then again, Ulrich always was the least likable personality in the thrash scene. His reputation as a dick follows him to all four corners of the world...
Gary Holt, Hoglan, and particularly Sean Killian were more interesting, fun, and to the point. ("I neutered my cat. Now's he's French". Great shirt.) Pantera's Phil was predictably zombified, drugged out of his tiny mind. It was fitting to see Devin Townsend's S.Y.L., because that band was one of extremely few who played brilliant thrash in the mid and late 90s. I can understand why useless new-generation metal bands like Slipknot, Lamb Of God, In Flames, Hatebreed, and Godsmack were invited to give their views, but all they said were things like "wow! Slayer is cool!". Their presence was more useful in an unintended way: they remind us just how low metal has sunk over the years. This decade has seen almost nothing new, just the same old 80s clichés being recycled, all the singers sounding the same, and bands without an iota of song-writing skills (e.g. Slipknot) being hailed as messiahs.
Grunge is being given here as a poor excuse why thrash died off. The the main reason lies in bands losing their edge, turning more commercial.
Make sure you see the bonus documentaries, 90 minutes in all, with brief but very interesting overviews of many other excellent thrash bands.
Ernesto Catalan?... Isn't that Spanish for "I'm a mongoloid metalhead"? Or "I write everything in single paragraphs"?
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