Gothic Slam

Gothic Slam
Thrash metal band from New Jersey, USA.

Killer Instinct Gothic Slam - Killer Instinct (Torrid) 1988

1. "Skankin" (3:40)
2. "Living To Survive" (4:07)
3. "Stryker" (4:57)
4. "Bedlam" (3:19)
5. "Tormentor" (2:42)
6. "Killer Instinct" (2:59)
7. "Stand Up And Fight" (3:38)
8. "Fought For Death" (3:44)

Gothic Slam were a thrash metal band from New Jersey, USA that were formerly knows as Stryker. "Killer Instinct" was their first release and thus far has only been released on vinyl and cassette. (My copy is on vinyl.) Their style is urban thrash metal with a bit of groove and a whole lot of East Coast attitude. For the most part Gothic Slam stear clear of speed-for-speed-sake, technical wankery and artistic embellishment and rely more on heavy mid-paced riffs and memorable songwriting. Lyrically it's all about the morally sick society we live in, not unlike something you would expect from Suicidal Tendencies or Anthrax.

Just a Face... Gothic Slam - Just a Face in the Crowd (Epic) 1989

1. "Why Not" (1:35)
2. "Who Died and Made You God" (4:33)
3. "Battered Youth" (5:03)
4. "Thunder & Lightning" (4:08)
5. "Fell the Pain" (3:11)
6. "Cry Freedom" (5:50)
7. "Violence Imprisoned" (4:36)
8. "Keep the Faith" (2:45)
9. "Demented Obsession" (3:54)
10. "Contract Killer" (3:49)

New Jersey, my home state, and the State which gave birth to such giants as Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, and Gothic Slam. Never heard of Gothic Slam? Me either. How is it that a thrash band as good as this, on a major label, during the height of thrash metal mania is not more well known? I actually discovered this band while doing a search on Thin Lizzy on the net, and was pleasantly surprised when I finally was able to hear their pulverizing rendition of Thin Lizzy's classic "Thunder & Lightning." Gothic Slam play ultra-heavy, groove-laden thrash metal, not unlike early Metallica, Testament, or Overkill. The band puts an emphasis on riff-work over speed, so as to avoid doing the down-beat, thrash metal polka. Add to that the smooth, screamin' vocals and the powerful production by ex-Raven drummer Rob "Wacko" Hunter and you've got yourself one heck of a mosh-fest. Lyrically the band stays away from the "look how evil I can be" type lyrics that prevailed in '89 and goes for the more "politically incorrect, observation of a sick world, depression, politics and no hope" type of thing, not unlike Anthrax or Suicidal Tendencies. Anyhow, as I said, I am quite amazed that this band wasn't much more well known.

Gothic Slam drummer Dave Chavarri also recorded with Laaz Rockit and M.O.D.

Gothic Slam had a video that was in regular rotation on Headbangers Ball for the song "Who Died And Made You God".

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