Thrash Metal was a movement largely started in America in the mid 1980s but which then spread to Canada, UK, Europe and even Brazil. Basically Thrash took the NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal) sound (eg. Iron Maiden, Saxon, Diamond Head) and made it faster and more raw sounding, sometimes including elements of Hardcore Punk in the mix.
One distinctive aspect of Thrash Metal is the chugging guitar sound, created by palm muting.
The Big Four Thrash bands, who were the most popular and best selling during its mid-late eighties heyday were Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer. Anthrax came from New York, the other three from California. Other important Thrash bands from California were Exodus, Dark Angel and Testament. Other important bands from the east coast were Overkill and Nuclear Assault.
There was also an important scene in Germany, which threw up Kreator, Sodom and Destruction. Elsewhere there was Sabbat from the UK, Annihilator and Voivod from Canada and Sepultura from Brazil.
There are three main starting points to Thrash Metal, commonly considered the best Thrash albums. These are:
1. Metallica - Master of Puppets (1986)
2. Slayer - Reign in Blood (1986)
3. Megadeth - Rust in Peace (1990)
I would also reccommend these albums:
Exodus - Bonded by Blood (1985)
Kreator - Pleasure to Kill (1986)
Metallica - Ride the Lightning (1984)
Slayer - Seasons in the Abyss (1990)
Megadeth - Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? (1986)
And to see the full scope of how Thrash can expand its style in more progressive or more mainstream directions, also check out these:
Metallica - Metallica (AKA the Black Album) (1991)
Voivod - Dimension Hatross (1988)
Anthrax - Among the Living (1987)
And here are some Youtube videos to watch. Basically one for each of the Big Four:
Here's Megadeth's video for Peace Sells:
Here's Slayer performing Raining Blood live (and showing how extreme Thrash metal could be):
Here's Metallica showing a more delicate and progressive side to Thrash, performing their hit single One live:
And finally here's a video of the early Anthrax song, Madhouse:
Last edited by goth metal raver; 08-06-2011 at 18:20.
Record Label Executive
I enjoy your articles ! Keep it up. Nice to see Voivod listed since they're a Canadian band.
I like all genres of metal as well everything else in music.
Last edited by SteveO; 14-06-2011 at 22:58.