Thrash Metal

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Thrash metal is a subgenre of heavy metal that is characterized by its fast tempo and aggression. Thrash metal songs typically use fast, percussive and low-register guitar riffs, overlaid with shredding-style lead work. Thrash metal lyrics often deal with social issues using direct and denunciatory language, an approach which partially overlaps with the hardcore genre. The "Big Four" bands of thrash metal are Anthrax, Megadeth, Metallica, and Slayer, who simultaneously created and popularized the genre in the early 1980s.

The origins of thrash metal are generally traced to the late 1970s and early 1980s, when a number of bands began incorporating the sound of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, creating a new genre and developing into a separate movement from punk rock and hardcore. This genre is more aggressive compared to its relative, speed metal, and can be seen in part to be a reaction to the lighter, more widely acceptable sounds and themes of glam metal.

Thrash metal generally features fast tempos, low-register, complex guitar riffs, high-register guitar solos, double bass drumming, and aggressive vocals. Most thrash guitar solos are played at high speed, as they are usually characterized by shredding, and use techniques such as sweep picking, legato phrasing, alternate picking, string skipping, and two-hand tapping. Thrash lead guitarists are often influenced by the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement. Thrash guitar riffs often use chromatic scales and emphasize the tritone and diminished intervals, instead of using conventional single scale based riffing. For example, the main riff of Metallica's "Master of Puppets" is a chromatic descent, followed by a chromatic ascent based on the tritone. Rhythm guitar playing is characterized by extensive palm muting and down picking to give the riffs a chugging sound, along with extensive use of the pedal point technique (creating what can be considered a distinctive, 'thrashy' sound). Speed, pacing, and time-changes also define thrash metal. Thrash tends to have an accelerating feel which may be due in large part to its aggressive drumming style. For example, thrash drummers often use two bass drums, or a double-bass pedal, in order to create a relentless, driving beat. Cymbal stops/chokes are often used to transition from one riff to another or to precede an acceleration in tempo. To keep up with the other instruments, many thrash bassists use a pick. However, some prominent thrash metal bassists have used their fingers, such as Frank Bello, Greg Christian, Jack Gibson, Steve DiGiorgio, Robert Trujillo and the late Cliff Burton. Several bassists use a distorted bass tone, an approach popularized by Burton and Motörhead's Lemmy.

Lyrical themes in thrash metal include isolation, alienation, corruption, injustice, addiction, suicide, murder, warfare, and other maladies that afflict the individual and society. Humor and irony can occasionally be found, but they are limited, and are the exception rather than the rule.

Inclusive thrash metal music subgenres:
  • Crossover thrash, often abbreviated to crossover, is a form of thrash metal that contains more hardcore punk elements than standard thrash. It is sometimes referred to as punk metal, though this is generally incorrect due to the existence of other music genres that combine forms of punk rock and heavy metal, such as grunge, crust punk, and more recently metalcore and its subgenres. While thrash metal is heavily influenced by hardcore punk, the overall sound of crossover thrash is more punk-influenced yet more metal-sounding and aggressive than traditional hardcore punk and thrashcore. The term was coined by the band D.R.I. with their album Crossover, released in 1987. The term 'crossover' is based on the metaphor of crossing over from one genre into the other, thus capturing artists the operate within the transition zone between thrash metal and hardcore punk. With the metaphor comes the conception of directionality, such that the genre is applied to hardcore and crust punk artists who have crossed over into thrash metal territory, such as D.R.I., Discharge, The Exploited, The Accüsed, Agnostic Front and Suicidal Tendencies (who eventually ventured into alternative metal), and thrash metal artists who crossed over into hardcore punk territory, such as Nuclear Assault and S.O.D. A number of death metal bands (especially those of the first wave of Swedish death metal) draw on hardcore punk, mainly because their members listen to crossover thrash - these bands are included under the death metal subgenre here at the MMA.
  • Death-thrash combines elements from thrash metal and death metal. The most common type of death-thrash is based on thrash metal music (often played a bit faster than standard thrash metal) with growled vocals. Sepultura's "Schizophrenia", "Beneath the Remains", and "Arise" are considered examples of death-thrash. Given that death metal is derived from thrash metal, many early death metal bands played a style that was anchored thrash metal and could be considered death-thrash. Many of those artists are included under the death metal genre here on MMA.
  • Technical/progressive (or tech/prog) thrash metal is considered a legitimate genre by some (or even two legitimate genres), while others argue that it is a pseudo-genre. Bands included in this genre take emphasize technicality in their music, in the form of complex riffs and/or complex song structures, while others apply the ethos of progressive music more broadly without straying from their basic thrash metal sound. Examples of artists that are sometimes considered tech/prog thrash metal acts are Dark Angel, Death Angel (especially on "Act III"), Annihilator, Artillery (especially on "By Inheritance", "When Death Comes", and "My Blood"), and Invocator. Releases like "Master of Puppets" and "...And Justice For All" by Metallica are quite progressively oriented with complex song structures and numerous sections per song. Some bands like Voivod, Antithesis and Watchtower took the progressive approach so far that they are primarily considered progressive metal artists rather than thrash metal artists.
  • Blackened thrash metal is thrash metal with black metal elements. Its thrash metal basis is more primitive and akin to early German thrash metal. Examples of blackened thrash metal bands are Assaulter, Aura Noir, and The Metaphor. It should be mentioned that much early black metal, such as Venom and Hellhammer/Celtic Frost actually had its roots in thrash metal.


Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thrash_metal

Written by Time Signature.

Sub-genre collaborators (+ child sub-genres & shared with Speed Metal and Groove Metal):
  • Vim Fuego (leader)
  • Nightfly

thrash metal top albums

Showing only albums and EPs | Based on members ratings & MMA custom algorithm | 24 hours caching

METALLICA Master of Puppets Album Cover Master of Puppets
METALLICA
4.53 | 284 ratings
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MEGADETH Rust in Peace Album Cover Rust in Peace
MEGADETH
4.47 | 240 ratings
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METALLICA Ride the Lightning Album Cover Ride the Lightning
METALLICA
4.43 | 233 ratings
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ANNIHILATOR Never, Neverland Album Cover Never, Neverland
ANNIHILATOR
4.40 | 79 ratings
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SEPULTURA Beneath the Remains Album Cover Beneath the Remains
SEPULTURA
4.38 | 101 ratings
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FORBIDDEN Twisted Into Form Album Cover Twisted Into Form
FORBIDDEN
4.49 | 26 ratings
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ANNIHILATOR Alice in Hell Album Cover Alice in Hell
ANNIHILATOR
4.38 | 67 ratings
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SEPULTURA Arise Album Cover Arise
SEPULTURA
4.33 | 104 ratings
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ANTHRAX Among The Living Album Cover Among The Living
ANTHRAX
4.33 | 87 ratings
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METALLICA ...And Justice for All Album Cover ...And Justice for All
METALLICA
4.30 | 221 ratings
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FLOTSAM AND JETSAM Doomsday for the Deceiver Album Cover Doomsday for the Deceiver
FLOTSAM AND JETSAM
4.38 | 41 ratings
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DARK ANGEL Darkness Descends Album Cover Darkness Descends
DARK ANGEL
4.43 | 26 ratings
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This list is in progress since the site is new. We invite all logged in members to use the "quick rating" widget (stars bellow album covers) or post full reviews to increase the weight of your rating in the global average value (see FAQ for more details). Enjoy MMA!

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thrash metal Music Reviews

CYCO MIKO Lost My Brain (Once Again)

Album · 1996 · Thrash Metal
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UMUR
"Lost My Brain! (Once Again)" is the first solo album by Suicidal Tendencies frontman Mike Muir, released under the Cyco Miko monicker. The album was released through Epic Records in January 1996. After the release of "Suicidal for Life (1994)", that incarnation of Suicidal Tendencies more or less disintegrated, and although Muir opted to continue the band, he did have some downtime, where he could spend time on this solo project.

Stylistically the material on the album aren´t similar to the the last couple of releases by Suicidal Tendencies nor to the funk metal of Muir´s other project Infectious Grooves. Instead Muir has gone back to his punk/hardcore roots and the listener is therefore treated to a simple and melodic type of punk rock, with the occasionally harder edged hardcore moment. I am at times reminded of The Ramones, so the music is not as hard edged or aggressive as the early output by Suicidal Tendencies.

"Lost My Brain! (Once Again)" features a well sounding production and the musicianship is also on a high level. Muir´s distinct sounding voice and singing style will probably always be an aquired taste, but to my ears he does a great job here and his vocals provide the music with a touch of originality. Highlights include album opener "I Love Destruction", "Nothing to Lose", and especially "Ain't Mess'n Around", but while not all tracks are equally remarkable, there´s nothing of sub par quality here, and "Lost My Brain! (Once Again)" is upon conclusion a quality release and a 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is deserved.

ATTITUDE ADJUSTMENT Out of Hand

Album · 1991 · Crossover Thrash
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UMUR
"Out of Hand" is the 2nd full-length studio album by US, California based hardcore/crossover thrash metal act Attitude Adjustment. The album was released through In Your Face Records in 1991. It´s the successor to "American Paranoia" from 1986. There have been quite a few lineup changes since the predecessor, as lead vocalist Andy Andersen has been replaced by Kevin Reed, guitarist Chris Scaparro has been replaced by Sean Sutton, bassist Rick Strahl has been replaced by Eric McIntire (who played guitar on the debut album). Drummer Chris Kontos is the only remaining member from the debut album who still plays the same instrument (and he too would soon leave to join Machine Head) .

Stylistically the material on "Out of Hand" is aggressive hardcore/crossover thrash metal. It´s well performed, raw, and powerful. Sometimes more hardcore oriented than thrash metal ditto and sometimes the other way around. Song lengths are predominantly around the 2 minutes mark and are short and aggressive burst of energy with lyrics about politics, drugs, and social/mental issues. So basically this is US styled hardcore/crossover thrash metal as most people expect it to sound. The occasional humour of some of the contemporary artists in the style (artists like Suicidal Tendencies and D.R.I.), is not present here and Attitude Adjustment generally have a pretty serious approach to their music.

"Out of Hand" features a raw and powerful sounding production, which suits the material well, and upon conclusion it´s a good quality hardcore/crossover thrash metal album. It´s not one of the albums in the genre, which sticks out much, but there´s nothing wrong with the quality and a 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

ANTHRAX Persistence Of Time

Album · 1990 · Thrash Metal
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UMUR
"Persistence Of Time" is the 5th full-length studio album by US, New York based thrash/heavy metal act Anthrax. The album was released through Megaforce Worldwide/Island Records in August 1990. It´s the successor to "State Of Euphoria" from 1988 and features the exact same lineup who recorded the predecessor and the band also again opted to hire producer Mark Dodson, in spite of the sound production on "State Of Euphoria (1988)" often being criticized. It would be the last Anthrax album to feature lead vocalist Joey Belladonna in the lineup (he would return to Anthrax in 2010), as he was subsequently fired and replaced by Armored Saint singer John Bush.

Stylistically Anthrax take a darker and heavier turn on "Persistence Of Time", and more or less leave the humour of the early releases behind (the cover of Joe Jackson´s "Got The Time" is an exception and a light moment on an otherwise relatively dark album). Dodson has created a powerful and heavy sounding production, which is a perfect fit for the material. The album features several strong tracks, and nothing is sub par or unremarkable. Even tracks like "H8 Red" and "Discharge", which aren´t often mentioned, are quality material.

"Persistence Of Time" features high level musicianship on all posts. The band are a strong unit delivering sharp rhythms and riffs, blistering guitar solos, and Joey Belladonna´s distinct sounding voice and vocals in front. It´s not always easy to write vocal melody lines on top of aggressive and heavy music, but Belladonna manages to incorporate enough melody and catchy phrases to make the music memorable, but not too much to make it less thrashy and raw. Upon conclusion "Persistence Of Time" is a high quality thrash metal release by Anthrax and a 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

MEKONG DELTA The Music of Erich Zann

Album · 1988 · Technical Thrash Metal
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The Spotlight Kid
Mekong Delta are one of those bands that manages to stand apart, creating music which is truly unique in sound, scope and approach and "The Music Of Erich Zann" is no exception. In fact it might be the bands most ambitious offering in terms of their controlled insanity. Granted that the vocals by Keil can be a deal breaker for some with his totally bizarre and unique approach, however that's one of my favorite elements of this first incarnation of Mekong Delta's career. Sometimes singers come along who aren't conventionally good singers but they are so weird and unique in their delivery and ideas that they become just as captivating as those vocal gods we all know and love and Keil fits that mold for me on the first 3 Mekong Delta albums but especially here. I feel like this album gets unfairly maligned because yes the production is horribly thin and small sounding, however if you can look past that aspect the rewards are great. The crazy riffs, insane drumming, percolating bass lines and extravagant vocals make for a totally unique and wild ride. Harnessing the horror of Lovecraft, Mekong Delta created an album that while not for everyone is so loaded with creativity and originality and just down right bizarre coolness that for those with an adventurous spirit this album is sure to become a favorite as it has for me. a technical thrash metal classic.

SODOM Obsessed by Cruelty

Album · 1986 · Thrash Metal
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UMUR
"Obsessed by Cruelty" is the debut full-length studio album by German thrash metal act Sodom. The album was released through Metal Blade Records in May 1986. "Obsessed by Cruelty" was actually recorded twice and therefore exists in two different versions. The first recording session was released by Metal Blade Records in the US and the second recording session was released through Steamhammer Records in Europe. Apparently the latter mentioned label was not satisfied with the original recording and refused to release it, so Sodom were forced to record the alternate version to have the album released in Europe.

Stylistically "Obsessed by Cruelty" pretty much continues the raw old school thrash/speed metal style of the "In the Sign of Evil" EP from 1984. Raw barking vocals, aggressive riffs and rhythms, and a generally dark and occult atmosphere is a valid description of the content of the album. The music style is in many ways similar to the first releases by contemporary artists and fellow countrymen in Kreator and Destruction. Influences are probably artists like Venom and early Slayer. So this is old school thrash metal with a lot of speed/traditional heavy metal elements.

"Obsessed by Cruelty" features a sound production which is decent enough for the time, but it´s not particularly well sounding. It suits the rawness of the material well, but the production doesn´t exactly enhance the power of the music. The early releases by Sodom are often mentioned among some of the seminal proto-black metal releases, but I´m not sure I hear the black metal connection on "Obsessed by Cruelty", other than the fact that the music is raw, primitive, and dark (which are descriptive features which can be applied to a lot of heavy metal). The vocals are for examle not black metal oriented at all.

Upon conclusion "Obsessed by Cruelty" is decent quality release if you enjoy early 1980s raw and dark thrash/speed metal, but personally I think it comes off a bit too primitive for a 1986 release. Consider some of the other thrash metal releases from the same year (releases by Slayer, Dark Angel, Kreator...just to mention a few), and put this one up against them, and it just pales. I know "Obsessed by Cruelty" is considered a classic teutonic thrash metal release from the 1980s but I think I´m stretching with a 3 star (60%) rating.

thrash metal movie reviews

MEGADETH Megadeth - VH-1 Behind the Music Extended

Movie · 2001 · Thrash Metal
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martindavey87
The Megadeth episode of VH1’s ‘Behind the Music’ series is pretty much exactly what it says it is; a look at the history of one of heavy metal’s most beloved bands. The VH1 name gives this a bit more credibility and authenticity than your typical unofficial band biography, and as such, this features interviews with band members past and present, as well as other people associated with the band at one point or another.

Looking candidly at Dave Mustaine’s expulsion from Metallica, the bands early days and their later attempts to break into mainstream territory, as well as Mustaine’s endless battles with addictions, other than being a bit outdated now, (being released in 2001), this is overall a very interesting watch, and a worthy addition to any Megadeth fan’s collection.

METALLICA Some Kind of Monster

Movie · 2004 · Thrash Metal
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martindavey87
‘Some Kind of Monster’ is an interesting look at the personal problems that arise amongst band members after having worked together throughout careers that span decades. The biggest rock band in the world is on the verge of breaking up, with one member leaving, one member in rehab and one member being the most hated man in music. It’s compelling viewing, that’s for sure.

However, it’s been often stated that this will appeal to Metallica fans and non-fans alike, and I do consider that a bit of an overstatement. I’m a huge, huge die-hard fan of the band, but at two hours and 10 minutes in duration, and a couple of hours of extra material, even I find this quite a tedious viewing at times.

Essentially, it boils down to the egos of two men, James and Lars, and goes on to become nothing more than “Temper Tantrum: The Movie”. Still, it’s always fun and interesting to see what musicians I admire get up to when they’re not on stage. The process of recording their 2003 dud of album ‘St. Anger’, what they do in their spare time, the auditions for a new bass player and the endless promotional events they partake in.

While this isn’t essential viewing to the average movie-goer, fans of the band will enjoy this stripped and bare movie that shows that even rich and famous rock stars have egos and emotions, and the tolls that that stardom takes on them.

METALLICA Classic Albums: Metallica - Metallica

Movie · 2001 · Thrash Metal
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martindavey87
This is basically a DVD highlights package of the two Metallica VHS releases, ‘A Year and a Half in the Life of…’ that the band released in the early 90’s. A harmless enough watch, which looks at the making of one of heavy metal’s most iconic albums, we’re given a track-by-track look at the process of writing and recording each song, and there’s some additional material with band members reflecting upon the album years later.

It’s interesting to watch, but it mostly comprises of footage we’ve already seen in countless other videos, and it lacks all the emotional depth of Metallica’s 2004 movie ‘Some Kind of Monster’.

Still, while it’s hardly going to be the most riveting thing you’ve ever watched, if you’re a fan of Metallica it’s certainly not a bad way to kill two hours.

METALLICA The Videos 1989-2004

Movie · 2006 · Thrash Metal
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martindavey87
Let’s face it, when it comes to music videos, Metallica have had some absolute bangers, and some absolute stinkers. Some of them, such as the iconic ‘One’ and ‘Enter Sandman’, have become heavy metal classics, which stand up as well today as they did upon release. Then there’s the not-so-classic ones… ‘Hero of the Day’, ‘King Nothing’ and ‘The Unforgiven II’, all of which are great songs, but the videos could easily be any other generic rock band from that era.

With that said though, this is a cool disc for any die-hard Metallica fans. Music video compilations are obsolete now thanks to YouTube, but it’s still cool for a collector to have these on DVD, especially if they insist on owning everything a band puts out.

METALLICA Cunning Stunts

Movie · 1998 · Thrash Metal
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martindavey87
It feels like a lifetime ago that I bought this DVD! Back in 2002, at the impressionable age of 15, this was such an awe-inspiring show to watch. Metallica were (and still are) so much larger than life, and everything about this home video release was amazing.

The main show, despite being at the peak of Metallica’s mid-90’s alternative rock era, shows a band who could rock out with the best of them, and while the set list may not hold up amazingly well by today’s standards, it’s still brimming with heavy metal and hard rock anthems.

There’s an abundance of extras that show the behind-the-scenes process of the show and it’s titular stunts, and the pre-show footage is a blast to watch, so much so, that lurking somewhere out there is a home video my friends and I (all aged 15 and in our first band) made of us embarrassingly recreating many of the scenes.

While Metallica has certainly released better home videos and DVD’s, ‘Cunning Stunts’, with its top notch sound and picture, and brimming with fantastic visuals, still holds up just as well today as it did 20 years ago.

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