Friday, September 13, 2019

MUSIC: The Invention Of Thrash Metal

Hawkwind with Lemmy from Motorhead in the early 1970's
Now don't quote all this 100% as facts because I am just going from memory and putting my thoughts down on it. I am saying this because I recently watched two pretty new documentaries "Inside Metal: The Rise Of LA Thrash Metal" and "Death: Death By Metal".

On these documentaries they are talking about the invention of Death Metal and the invention of Thrash Metal, so some of this is fact and some is approximate... for now.

The invention of Death Metal came from the album "Death- Scream Bloody Gore", the band Death (Chuck Schuldiner) played with Toronto band Slaughter (Slaughter - Strappado) and then quit.  Chuck Schuldiner then made the album "Death-Scream Bloody Gore", which all failed on Sony and he later retracted having done the band to start the Death Metal category in association with Polygram, Sony and Combat Records.  

Combat Records was initially on a sub label of Polygram "Banzai Records", after Polygram closed Combat was bought by Sony and then in their last few years they released the first Death Metal albums then it failed and they scrapped it.

"Death - Scream Bloody Gore" was the first actual Death Metal record released and it was by Sony at the end of Combat Records who are known for releasing Thrash Metal albums originally as a sub label of Polygram.

So the the first Death Metal album "Death - Scream Bloody Gore" was one of the last albums released on the Combat Records sub label just before they were bought by Sony. 

The band "Death" was the big push from Sony to launch Death Metal around 1990 which failed and they scrapped it. 

That is super important in Death Metal and Thrash Metal, Sony bought Combat Records and tried to run it big and then it failed. At that time which was maybe only two years they released the last Thrash Metal albums on Sony/Combat including the Venom albums Welcome To Hell, Black Metal and At War With Satan and some other Thrash Metal Albums along with the band "Death-Scream Bloody Gore" at the end of the larger Thrash Metal attempt. Then they closed it all.

At the same time Sony also tried to launch Death Metal under the Sony/Relativity name which carried Earache Records and sold albums like "Bolt Thrower" from England on Earache Records.

Like is also known as Sony/Combat/Relativity. 

Relativity was the distributor "RED"  and they carried the Earache Records albums for a couple years under the name Sony / Relativity. 

Then they were also Sony / Combat which issued Venom and Death directly on Sony under Combat Records.

So Venom and Death was the big push for about two years around 1991 to sell Thrash Metal and Death Metal in the mainstream, Death was the big band they put out on Sony for the Death Metal category name which failed, then they closed it.

After this Sony closed Combat and scrapped Earache / Relativity and abandoned Death Metal. Leaving Earache Records on it's own as an independent Death Metal label.

However, before all that happened Sony briefly directly signed Carcass, Entombed and Napalm Death for like one album each, which also failed and they scrapped it and returned the bands to Earache Records around 1995 at the end of the band Death.
After this that was the end mostly of Thrash Metal and Death Metal on Sony and where the Sony Venom pressings came from in the early 1990's. The Death Metal albums they released themselves and the others through Earache Records were all scrapped at Sony at that time.

If you want to "get" what they are doing on "Death-Scream Bloody Gore" the rhythm sounds like a cleaned up and "tightened" version of the sound of "Slaughter - Strappado" with added technical lead guitar parts and solos, the vocals on the album sound almost exactly like the band Possessed from the album "Possessed - Seven Churches" where the name Death Metal first appears as a song name.

So the band Death on "Scream Bloody Gore" was also recorded in California where Possessed is from, they are using an almost copy of the vocals on "Possessed - Seven Churches" where the term Death Metal originated with a cleaned up version of the rhythm section of the album "Slaughter - Strappado".

That is why I like "Death - Scream Bloody Gore" for it's "cult value" because it sounds like the rhythm section of "Slaughter - Strappado" with the vocals of "Possessed - Seven Churches".

Now what about Thrash Metal?

You have to go back to the mid 1970's to find the origins of Thrash Metal, they say in the documentary the rise of LA Thrash Metal they don't know who invented the term Thrash Metal but it comes from Neat Records and Venom in England around that scene and is British slang for "headbanging" meaning they are "thrashing around"...supposedly.

So Thrash Metal comes from British slang around Venom and Neat Records in England in like 1979.

They also say in the video that the term Speed Metal was around at the time before Thrash Metal. Now stop because this is the main story of this blog post.

The term Speed Metal according to the story comes from Lemmy from Motorhead.

That is just the legend of the origins of Speed Metal...The term Speed Metal comes from the song "Kings Of Speed" written by Lemmy when he was in Hawkwind according to Lemmy himself. "Kings Of Speed" is a Hawkwind song that supposedly launched the Speed Metal category.

The story is that when Lemmy was in Hawkwind he was addicted to methamphetamines "Speed" and wrote the song "Kings Of Speed" then Lemmy was kicked out of Hawkwind for being on drugs all the time in like 1975.

Lemmy played bass and sang vocals on three Hawkwind Records "Doremi Fasol Latido" (1973) , "Hall Of The Mountain Grill" (1974) and "Warrior On The Edge Of Time" (1975) all on the Record Label United Artists.

Hawkwind - Kings Of Speed:

After this Lemmy formed Motorhead and their is also two early versions of the song by Hawkwind and one by Motorhead on their first album "On Parole" which sounds like heavier Hawkwind.

Hawkwind  - Motorhead with Lemmy on bass and vocals:

Motorhead - Motorhead from "Motorhead  - On Parole" :

How Motorhead got their "Speed Metal" sound by mixing Hawkwind with Punk music. That is the invention of Speed Metal and Thrash Metal. 

Cronos from Venom worked at Neat Records or a Recording Studio for Neat Records or something in the 1970's and when they started Venom it was originally a "heavy metal band" like Motorhead.

Neat Records then added the heavier Punk sound with the Motorhead influences with Cronos singing and called it Thrash Metal which was released on the first Thrash Metal Record "Venom - Welcome To Hell".

Neat Records was formed to release the "New Wave Of British Heavy Metal" that is bands similar to Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. Neat Records put out stuff like Diamond Head and them which were smaller versions of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest along with the launch of Thrash Metal.

The "New Wave Of British Heavy Metal" was only three years long until 1981, then after that it was just called Heavy Metal...that's the bands Judas Priest, Iron Maiden and also Def Leppard.

Other bands like Diamond Head got buried because the the larger Thrash Metal scene that took off by 1985 with Metallica and Slayer.

After that back in Los Angeles Metallica formed based on bands like Diamond Head and Venom...Heavy Metal and Thrash Metal.

So Metallica launched off the Venom Thrash Metal album "Welcome To Hell" in Los Angeles and San Francisco with bands like Megadeth and Slayer. That killed smaller Heavy Metal bands like Diamond Head that were not as popular, at that time Motorhead also massively took off in the 1980's Heavy Metal scene with Venom, Judas Priest, Motorhead and Iron Maiden.

That is all where Speed Metal, Thrash Metal and Death Metal came from according to the stories, legends and actual album releases.


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