Teutonic thrash metal

Teutonic thrash metal is a regional thrash metal music scene that originated during the 1980s in Germany. Along with Bay Area thrash metal, East Coast Thrash metal and Brazilian thrash metal, it was one of the great thrash metal scenes of the 1980s. Teutonic is a medieval term for the Germanic people.

Two influential bands in early Teutonic thrash metal were Destruction, from Lörrach, and Holy Moses, from Aachen. After hearing Venom, both bands soon changed their sound to their new and permanent sound in a matter of weeks.

Other bands soon followed. In 1982, the Gelsenkirchenbanda-based Sodom released their first demo, Witching Metal. In its early days, Sodom was highly influenced by NWOBHM, to the point that they believed it was a trio of bands like Motörhead, Tanque, Raven and Venom, who also featured powerful trio line-ups. Their style featured raspy vocals, muted palm guitar riffs, and frantic double bass drums. It wasn’t until the release of their second LP, “Persecution Mania”, and the contribution of guitarist Frank Blackfire to move away from their original sounds and themes that they became a thrash metal band forever. Essen’s Kreator formed and released their debut album, Pain Without End, in 1985.
Destruction would release their debut album, “Overkill hell,” the same year. Also around this time, Germany-based SPV Records created their Hammer to Steam imprint label, a label designed primarily to sign metal bands. Noise Records was founded soon after. These two labels would help spread the Teutonic thrash metal scene globally.

Teutonic thrash metal would come from Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Switzerland. The biggest band out of Germany that was part of the scene was Coroner, a highly technical and progressive thrash metal band from Switzerland that stood out for having dark lyrics and guitar work performed by Tommy Vetterli (who later joined Kreator).

Many bands soon broke up or changed their sound, resulting in more backlash against the scene. Kreator started making their music more melodic with gothic and industrial influences, while Sodom would try a death/thrash style for an album and then switch to a more punk, hardcore-influenced sound. Destruction would instead face a period of instability that led them to part ways with frontman Schmier, releasing a thrash album without him (Cracked Brain), then trying to go radio and less “thrashy” with the poorly received The Human Cannonball with less success. Meanwhile, Schmier would start Headhunter, achieving some success with a series of three power-thrash albums similar in sound to some of the Anger releases.