Thrash Metal

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The Origin Of Thrash

The history of Thrash Metal and its roots can be traced back further than most would think, All the way back to 70's with bands like Black Sabbath, Accept, Judas Priest, Motorhead, and even Led Zeppelin. Of course, the Punk scene was also a decisive factor in the creation of Thrash Metal, early thrash bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Exodus would take the fast aggressive attitude of these bands such as The Sex Pistols and apply this to the new sub genre of Heavy Metal know as Thrash.

The Early Years

Thrash Metal began as a mix between the aggressiveness of Punk and Hardcore and the riffage of NWOBHM Band like Judas Priest and Iron Maiden. Punk had somewhat of a "Do It Yourself" attitude which would be adopted by thrash metallers. Thrash Metal tended to focus on Social issues with a somewhat Nihilistic view on current events, and added fast riffs, and Shreddy soloing to there concoction.

The early 1980's would release some essential albums by some essential bands that would pave the way for thrash. Motorheads 1980 album "Ace Of Spades", Venom's 1981 album "Welcome To Hell" and 1982's "Black Metal" are without a doubt a kickstart to the genre. These albums featured fast paced songs and increasingly fast drum work which would be the trademarks of the genre. There would be many Thrash bands to rise and iconic thrash albums. from the debut of Slayer with "Show No Mercy" in 1983 along with Metallica's "Kill Em All". 1984 saw Overkill release there first self titled demo, and Anthrax's "Fistful Of Metal".

The genre would continue to grow, and at a faster rate than ever before. In 1985 German Thrash band Kreator would release "Endless Pain", Megadeth would release "Killing Is My Business...And Business Is Good!", and Exodus would release "Bonded By Blood". Many more bands would take to heart the new approach to music, which at the time, was almost a revolt to the glitz and glamor of the hair metal scene. Testament, Nuclear Assault, Watchtower, and Annihilator would spawn up and continue to add strength to the genre. As the 80s came to close, Thrash began to become even more musically oriented instead of mainly lyrically focused, Creating an even firmer foundation which would lead to the creation and birth of Death Metal

Thrash In Different Areas

Bay Area Thrash:

East Coast:


Thrash In The 90's

Thrash Metal in the 90's would see even more iconic releases from the most well known Thrash bands Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Testament, and Anthrax. These were there commercial high points for these bands and proved Thrash could survive the grunge era which helped take down the hair metal scene. As the 90's progressed Metallica, Anthrax, and Megadeth would change there sound somewhat to a different format than there previous releases.

But despite this, Some bands still retained the overtly aggressive nature of the genre and push out there brand of thrash. 1990 saw the debut of Iced Earth's self titled album. They combined fantasy like lyrics of power metal but with the fast riffage and complex drum work of Thrash Metal. And without doubt, what would a thrash sum up of the 90s be without mentioning the mighty Pantera? Pantera would release some of the heaviest material to date with there debut "Cowboys From Hell", "Vulgar Display Of Power" and "Far Beyond Driven", While not having so much in common with thrash bands, And quite obviously more oriented towards the groove side of metal, where as thrash is usually straight ahead riffage, the attitude of the band nevertheless contains many elements of thrash. Many bands of the 1980s such as Kreator, Slayer, Annihilator, Exodus, Nuclear Assault, and Testament while remaining off the radar compares to the success of bands like Metallica, would still release albums that stayed true there foundations.

Thrash Revival?

Many argue that the thrash scene died, and some still argue that it is dead. But whether these people like it or not, thrash has seen an increase in newer bands, and older bands releasing excellent quality material as of late. Bands like Trivium now look to the Thrash ancestors for inspiration and an approach to there style of music. Sanctity uses Thrash elements seen in early Megadeth, Metallica, and Slayer to compose there music, and the best example of the Thrash Revival would be the band EVILE. Using the old school elements in there music from the vocals, drums, bass, and the guitar, they created an album that could have been released in 84 or 85, in 2007.

Older thrash bands would release new albums that were testament to the strength of Thrash, Megadeth released "United Abominations", Sodom's self titled album, Slayer "Christ Illusion", Kreator's "Enemy Of God", Exodus' "Atrocity Exhibition...Exhibit A", and Overkill's "Immortalis" have been released in 2006-2007 and are an optimistic look at the future of thrash.

Essential Thrash Metal Albums

01. Metallica - No Life 'Til Leather (1982)
02. Metallica - Kill 'em All (1983)
03. Slayer - Show No Mercy (1983)
04. Metallica - Ride the Lightning (1984)
05. Exodus - Bonded By Blood (1985)
06. Stormtoopers of Death - Speak English Or Die (1985)
07. Metallica - Master of Puppets (1986)
08. Megadeth - Peace Sells (1986)
09. Slayer - Reign In Blood (1986)
10. Testament - The Legacy (1987)
11. Coroner - R.I.P. (1987)
12. Anthrax - Among the Living (1987)
13. Suicidal Tendencies- How Can I Laugh Tomorrow When I Can't Even Smile Today (1988)
14. Sepultura- Beneath The Remains (1989)
15. D.R.I- Thrash Zone (1989)
16. Sodom- Agent Orange (1989)
17. Overkill - Years of Decay (1989)
18. Megadeth - Rust In Peace (1990)
19. Pantera- Cowboys from Hell (1991)
20. Coroner - Mental Vortex (1991)
21. Anacrusis - Manic Impressions (1991)
22. Pantera- Vulgar Display of Power (1992)
23. Testament - The Gathering (1999)
24. Exodus - Tempo of the Damned (2004)
25. Violator- Chemical Assault (2006)
26. Evile - Enter the Grave (2007)