R.I.P. Re-Thrash: 2002-2012
Joseph Schafer of Invisible Oranges has penned a must-read post-mortem for Re-Thrash, the revisionist history metal sub-genre that was all the rage towards the end of the ’00s:
It appears safe at this point to pronounce the thrash revival officially dead. I can’t think of the last notable piece of work from that scene to remain on my iPod—either Havok’s Point of No Return or Vektor’s Outer Isolation. Both of those works dropped in 2011. That makes for one year with no signs of life, except for another release, like clockwork, from Municipal Waste.
It hadn’t occurred to me until reading Schafer’s piece, but he’s right. No longer are labels going all-in with young, mediocre thrash bands with the hopes of catching lightning in a bottle. The lower tier of bands that labels rushed to sign in the mid-late ’00s — the Gama Bombs and Eviles of the world — have all faded from the spotlight (despite this new track by the latter). The middle tier bands like Warbringer and Havok that experienced some widespread success are still kicking around, although I’m not sure they turned into the great saviors of the metal industry that their labels hoped they’d be. Municipal Waste are still going strong, but perhaps the early bird really does get the worm. Meanwhile, those bands that weren’t really re-thrash but had a thrash base and ultimately offered much more, musically speaking — the Revocations and Skeletonwitches of the world — are still going strong. What does that say? a) Revivalist movements are always going to be passing fads, and b) Great music trumps all.
Schafer gives an in-depth overview of re-thrash’s genesis, peak and subsequent decline. Read his excellent piece here.