"No Tomorrow," Metal Church. I'm calling this the year of the classic thrash band, as so many of my old favorites turned out fantastic records. Let's the get the playlist started with the return of Mike Howe to Metal Church, a most welcome reunion.
"Monster at the End," Anthrax. There will be a number of songs from For All Kings before this playlist is over, since it's just an incredible record from start to finish. This, though, remains my favorite track. It was the first song on the album to hook me, and I just love the groove of it.
"The Pale King," Testament. Many of the classic thrash bands rocked hard this year, but no one did it with quite the ferocity of Testament. Brotherhood of the Snake never lets up from the first song to the last.
"Lost," Death Angel. Keeping the thrash train going for these first five songs is Death Angel. If I've had one complaint about Death Angel over the years, it's that many of their faster songs sound similar melodically. I love it, though, when they do something a little bit different. This song is outstanding, and it gives Mark Osegueda a chance to stretch his vocals a bit, which is something they do too rarely.
"Just Because I'm Drunk," Jackyl. Because the first four selections were all hard-hitting thrash tracks, I decided to lighten it up for the final song of week 1. "Secret of the Bottle" will always be my favorite Jackyl drinking tune, but this one's a lot of fun, too.