"When the music of the eighties comes to mind, you often think of hair bands, and one hit wonder new wave groups. Yet the mid to late eighties was a great time to be a fan of hardcore, speed / thrash / death metal, and the other genres and sub-genres that metal and punk morphed into.
For every Metallica, there were innumerable smaller bands trying to get their music out into the world. There were also several go-to guys working behind the scenes who understood the music, and knew how to record it right, namely Randy Burns (Megadeth), Scott Burns (Sepultura), Casey McMackin (Randy Burns’ engineer), Alex Perialas (Anthrax), and Colin Richardson (Carcass, Machine Head). Now for Guitar International, they all take a look back on their careers and track the evolution of extreme metal from the eighties to today.
If you were a thrash / speed / death metal fan back in the eighties, you saw the names Randy Burns and Casey McMackin on the back of a lot of albums. Burns usually produced, McMackin usually engineered, and their partnership first came together on the Megadeth classic Peace Sells.
Before their merger, Randy played guitar in bands, and had a little home studio. Burns at first wasn’t looking to be a producer, but as a favor he recorded a neighbor’s punk band, and soon word got around that he knew what he was doing.
Burns then worked as an engineer on a punk compilation album called Hell Comes to Your House in 1981 (the album reportedly cost $550, and featured Social Distortion among many other L.A. punk bands). Burns’ production work on Hell got him another engineering gig, the self-titled debut album from Suicidal Tendencies."
Continue reading about Possessed, Megadeth, Dark Angel, Anthrax, Testament, Napalm Death and Carcass.