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 | 280 ratings
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MEGADETH Rust in Peace Album Cover Rust in Peace
MEGADETH
4.47 | 238 ratings
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METALLICA Ride the Lightning Album Cover Ride the Lightning
METALLICA
4.44 | 229 ratings
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ANNIHILATOR Never, Neverland Album Cover Never, Neverland
ANNIHILATOR
4.40 | 78 ratings
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SEPULTURA Beneath the Remains Album Cover Beneath the Remains
SEPULTURA
4.38 | 99 ratings
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FORBIDDEN Twisted Into Form Album Cover Twisted Into Form
FORBIDDEN
4.50 | 25 ratings
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ANNIHILATOR Alice in Hell Album Cover Alice in Hell
ANNIHILATOR
4.38 | 66 ratings
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SEPULTURA Arise Album Cover Arise
SEPULTURA
4.35 | 102 ratings
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ANTHRAX Among The Living Album Cover Among The Living
ANTHRAX
4.35 | 85 ratings
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METALLICA ...And Justice for All Album Cover ...And Justice for All
METALLICA
4.30 | 217 ratings
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FLOTSAM AND JETSAM Doomsday for the Deceiver Album Cover Doomsday for the Deceiver
FLOTSAM AND JETSAM
4.37 | 40 ratings
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DARK ANGEL Darkness Descends Album Cover Darkness Descends
DARK ANGEL
4.42 | 25 ratings
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thrash metal Music Reviews

MORTAL VISION Mind Manipulation

Album · 2021 · Thrash Metal
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UMUR
"Mind Manipulation" is the debut full-length studio album by Ukraine thrash metal act Mortal Vision. The album was released through Redefining Darkness Records in October 2021. Mortal Vision formed in 2019 and released the "Madness of Messiah" single in October 2019.

The two non-album tracks featured on the "Madness of Messiah" (2019) single show a band heavily influenced by late 80s/early 90s death/thrash Sepultura (and to a lesser degree 1987-89-era Sodom), and the material on "Mind Manipulation" continue that formula too. The riff style, the solo style, the drumming, and the lead vocals, which sound a lot like Max Cavalera, are all features of the band´s music that lead your thoughts toward the Brazilian band and the late 80s/early 90s era of their discography. So it´s difficult to talk about Mortal Vision without mentioning Sepultura, and "Mind Manipulation" is not an album you put on to listen to something new and innovative.

But while this is hardly unique music, Mortal Vision thankfully slay in the execution of their material. These guys are hard-edged, aggressive, and very well playing/singing, and the tracks are also well composed and effective death/thrash tunes, that you can both bang our head to and mosh around breaking furniture in your house to. Death/thrashy sonic violence performed with passion and conviction.

Featuring 8 tracks and a total playing time of 33:25, it´s a short, to-the-point type of release, and it´s not the most varied release out there. In fact it´s slightly one-dimensional and the songs don´t quite stick the first time you listen to the album. They sound a bit too much the same, but as mentioned above this is still high quality death/thrash metal performed by a well playing unit, and as the music is packed in a powerful, raw, and well sounding production too, this is a good quality debut release by Mortal Vision. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

NOCTURN Shades of Insanity

Single · 1990 · Thrash Metal
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UMUR
"Shades of Insanity" is a single release by Dutch death/thrash metal act Nocturn. The single was released through Old World Records in 1990. Nocturn formed in 1989 and were a relatively short-lived act releasing this single and their debut full-length studio album "Estranged Dimensions" (May 1991) before disbanding.

The A-side would appear in re-recorded form on "Estranged Dimensions", but the B-side track "Travelling Beyond" is exclusive to this single release. Stylistically Nocturn play an aggressive and powerful type of death/thrash metal with a raw snarling vocalist in front. The music is predominantly technically well played and fast-paced thrash metal, but there are occasionally heavier death metal traits to be found. Artists like Invocator, Merciless, and fellow countrymen Dead Head are valid references (there is a Kreator influence here too).

"Shades of Insanity" features a raw, orgaic, and powerful sounding production, which suits the material well. It´s unpolished and perfectly suits the unhinged and ferocious nature of the material. Upon conclusion "Shades of Insanity" is a good quality death/thrash metal release and it´s recommendable to fans of the genre. Nocturn may be one of the more obscure artists on the scene, but their music is well worth investiging further. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

NATIONAL NAPALM SYNDICATE National Napalm Syndicate

Album · 1989 · Thrash Metal
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UMUR
"National Napalm Syndicate" is the eponymously titled debut full-length studio album by Finnish thrash metal act National Napalm Syndicate. The album was released through Parlophone Records in September 1989. National Napalm Syndicate formed in 1986, originally using the National Napalm Storm monicker but changed to the current one that same year.

"National Napalm Syndicate" started out playing a raw and savage type of thrash metal influenced by the German trio of Sodom, Destruction, and Kreator, but also by Bathory and Hellhammer. They slowly started incorporating some crossover influences and also a strong Bay Area thrash metal influence over the course of their four demo tapes, and therefore the music style on "National Napalm Syndicate" is a combination of more than one thrash/crossover metal style. Some tracks are raw and savage sounding thrash metal while others feature more hardcore influences and while they are still pretty raw thrash metal tracks, the mood is slightly less dark on those tracks. The material are generally pretty fast-paced (although heavier mid-paced sections are also common) and aggressive though (featuring some nicely energetic drumming). The vocals vary between an aggressive snarling vocal style (which is the vocal style used on their early releases) and a more typical shouting/talking crossover thrash metal vocal style. The lead guitar work deserves a mention too. Not that it´s particularly dominant, but when leads occur, they are very well played and bring dynamics and texture to the music.

Quite a few of the tracks on the album are re-recordings of demo tracks from the band´s demo days. Every track from the January 1988 "At the Time of the Fullmoon" demo are included in re-recorded versions. The album features an organic, raw, and sharp sounding production job, which suits the material well. The intensity of the music is brought out and showed to the world through the production choices made, and it´s a perfect sound for the material featured on the album. It may not be the most unique sounding thrash metal release, but the savage energy and the high level musical performances make it a damn entertaining one. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

NATIONAL NAPALM SYNDICATE Painful Ten Hours

Demo · 1987 · Thrash Metal
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UMUR
"Painful Ten Hours" is the first demo by Finnish thrash metal act National Napalm Syndicate. The demo was independently released on cassette tape in March 1987. The material featured on the demo was recorded at SM-Studio, Oulu, Finland, on the 14th of March 1987. National Napalm Syndicate formed in 1986, originally using the National Napalm Storm monicker but soon changing to the current one. They are considered one of earliest extreme metal act from Finland.

Extreme in this case should not be understood as if National Napalm Syndicate were an early black metal or death metal act, but they are definitely in the more extreme end of the thrash metal spectrum. Raw, aggressive, and primal sounding thrash metal strongly influenced by the early releases of Sodom, Destruction, and Kreator, but also artists like Bathory and Hellhammer. Lead vocalist Vesa Ruokangas has an impressive raw snarling vocal delivery, and his performance here is definitely one of the highlights of the demo (reminding me of early Quorthon, although a slightly less blackened version).

The 3 tracks on the 12:37 minutes long demo are all performed by a well playing band, who understand how to handle their instruments and the demo also features a relatively well sounding demo sound quality, so there´s lots of promise found on "Painful Ten Hours". The primal energy and the raw aggression carry the songs forward, but it wouldn´t have been as effecful if the band weren´t as well playing as they are. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

MIND-ASHES The Views Obscured

Album · 1997 · Technical Thrash Metal
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UMUR
"The Views Obscured" is the debut full-length studio album by German technical/progressive metal act Mind-Ashes. The album was released through AFM Records in January 1997. Mind-Ashes formed in 1993 and released the "Soul Manipulation" (1994) demo and the "Thoughts" (1995) EP, before getting signed for the release of "The Views Obscured". The band released two further albums and then disbanded in 2003.

The first thing you notice when listening to "The Views Obscured" is the high level musicianship. These guys are technically skilled and they incorporate loads of that technical skill to their music. To my ears especially two artists come to mind and that´s Sanctuary and especially Death/Control Denied. Mind-Ashes use many of the same types of scales, rhythms, and notes that Chuck Schuldiner were known for using, and may I add on an equally high performance level. The musicianship on this album is at times jaw-dropping virtuosic. The vocals are a combination of raw shouting and slightly more melodic singing and screaming. It´s definitely one of the assets of the album that the vocals are so diverse.

"The Views Obscured" features a sound production, which is clear, powerful, and detailed, perfectly suiting the complexity and sophistication of the music, but still presenting it in a raw and powerful fashion. The songwriting is interesting too, and the progressive song structures are intriguing and keep the listener on his/her toes. I consider "The Views Obscured" a bit of a lost gem to those who are interested in technical/progressive metal and it´s too bad it´s almost impossible to come by anymore. Hopefully it´ll see a reprint one of these days, and a chance for the album to be given a second opportunity to be noticed. A 4 star (80%) rating is deserved.

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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