Thrash Metal

Thrash Metal is a sub-genre of Metal that originated around 1980's when music needed a good ass kicking. The four most famous Thrash Metal bands are referred to as "The Big Four".

Just The Facts

  1. Thrash Metal is a cross between Punk and Heavy Metal from the UK.
  2. "The Big Four" is a term for the four greatest Thrash Metal bands: Slayer, Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax
  3. Metallica sold out during the 90's, Megadeth broke up, Anthrax started doing Heavy and not Thrash, which left Slayer to keep thrashing. The 90's weren't very good to Thrash...
  4. Megadeth is the most musical, Slayer is the most brutal, Metallica is the most famous, Anthrax is the most fun.
  5. I'm gonna be mentioning the words "The Big Four" a lot.

The Beginning of Something Potentially Bad or Awesome

During the 60's and 70's, America's musical tastes were starting to develop after all of that Jazz and Ragtime when the little kiddies were finding out about the Europeans were making this sort of ruckus with all of these instruments. Bands like Motorhead, Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath (to name a few) were starting to get more popular around the world and created a type of music called Heavy Metal. Seeing as that the underground in America took that as a blessing and listened to that shit. ALL. DAY. LONG.

Now fast forward to around late 70's, a band by the name "Leather Charm" was about to recreate that sound but in a brutal way. It worked, but the band was in shambles and therefore, they broke up. That didn't stop the main songwriter of the group, James Hetfield, from making kick-ass music.

He went to the newspaper, when he finally met up with a European drummer. Who sucked. Big time. His name was Lars Ulrich. One thing lead to another, and all of a sudden it (didn't wind up being a gay relationship, but instead) lead to the song called Hit The Lights. That song, ALONE started a whole revolution in the underground music circuit. Who do you have to thank? James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich, Dave Mustaine and Ron McGovney.

I can't help but say it. They kinda look like douches.

The "Big Four" of Thrash Metal

Okay, in theory there has to be a cause for every problem. If Thrash Metal had been the problem in the music business, then the cause has to be because of the big four. Like I said, the song that started this whole controversy is the song "Hit The Lights". And now class, I hope you paid attention. What band created the song? Don't know? You fail. The answer is...


Current Band Members: James Hetfield (Vocals/Rhythm Guitar) Kirk Hammett (Lead Guitar), Robert Trujillo (Bass), Lars Ulrich (Drums)

Like I said, Hit The Lights was created by Metallica HOWEVER, the only two at the time was Hetfield and Ulrich. Slowly picking away on how to kick ass. In order to actually make the song SOMEWHAT decent after recording it already was to get more band members. At the time it was Dave Mustaine (Lead Guitar) and Ron Mcgovney. After a short amount of time, McGovney left the band because he had it with Mustaine and his stupid little pranks. Being METAL as they always as they were, they carried on with Cliff Burton, the new bass player. I like to refer to him as the man who took bass playing to a whole new level.

I also like to associate him with the phrase, "IS HE PLAYING GUITAR OR A FUCKING BASS? I'M SO CONFUSED!"

And after countless amount of touring, they were told to come down to New York City! To record their debut album "Kill 'Em All". During the drive to New York, Mustaine thought that increasing his douche powers by drinking like a mofo would be a great idea! That didn't really work out as well as he thought, since it got him kicked out of Metallica, DURING THE DRIVE. As if it weren't creul enough.

They recruited Kirk Hammett from another Thrash Band in San Francisco and carried on with recording Kill Em All (and stealing half of Mustaine's ideas during the process.) And that's how Metallica carried on during their time as an awesome Thrash Band.

Now, since McGovney had given up on playing music, this left Mustaine with a bad taste in his mouth, and fire in his eyes. And there was only one way he could get back Metallica. That's by forming the fastest Thrash Band of the Big Four:


Current Band Members: Dave Mustaine (Vocals/Guitars), Dave "Junior" Ellefson (Bass), Chris Broderick (Guitars), Shawn Drover (Drums)

Now, do any of you know what it feels like to ride on a bus from New York to Los Angeles for three days straight? Yes? Good for you. No? Well, Dave Mustaine did. He hated Metallica SO much and he was ready to come back and kick their ass. Bent on revenge, he had worked on a song that'll SURELY annihilate Metallica called Megadeth. That didn't happen, but instead the song was called Set The World Afire and the band was called Megadeth.

He wasn't gonna take any shit from anyone so he immediately recruited band members. He got a bassist (and to this day, his best friend) Dave Ellefson, otherwise known as Junior, Gar Samuelson, a drummer who probably would've married Heroin. On the spot. If it was legal. Yeah. And finally, Chris Poland, who was jealous that Gar got into the band (considering he was his buddy) and got down on his knees and asked to join the band. It worked. Next thing that happened:

Epic. Anyway, he released the first album "Killing Is My Business... and Business Is Good!" but he was madder than ever when he found out that Metallica took his ideas and put it on their album. The biggest feud about it was the song "The Four Horsemen" by Metallica and the original version of the song "The Mechanix" by Megadeth. The feud continued on, but Megadeth STILL kicked ass.


Current Band Members: Tom Araya (Vocals/Bass), Kerry King (Guitar), Jeff Hanneman (Guitar), Dave Lombardo (Drums)

Now, while we had Metallica and Megadeth on a battle to the death on who can kick more ass than the other, two guitarists were trying out for a band they wanted to be in. Their names were Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman. Shortly, while they were waiting to try out, they started jamming togther. Jeff really liked the idea of the two starting a band together. Kerry's answer? "FUCK YEAH!" And that's how Slayer started out.

Now while jamming out in Kerry's garag- I mean SATAN'S DUNGEON OF DEATH, they obviously had to get hungry. Considering they were hungry and it was tuesday night, they ordered a pizza instead of the usual "Glam Metal Fan Kabob". The pizza boy came with the food, but saw that they were playing to AC/DC. He wanted to try, and he did pretty well on the drums. The pizza boy was the new drummer of Slayer, and his name was Dave Lombardo.

The final one to come into the band was Tom Araya, a respitory therapist that had a good set of pipes, can scream like a girl (sometimes literally) and do this.

It's so hard to ignore it because it's just so COOL!

He was a doctor at the time, but also played bass. Which was what Slayer needed. He was also the reason that Slayer had managed to produce Show No Mercy (the first Slayer Album) and their first tour in Europe even though it cost him his job to save lives (which I have to say, nice trade-off)... but it doesn't matter. Why?


20 years ago to now, and they still have bigger balls than you.


Current Lineup: Joey Belladonna (Vocals), Scott Ian (Rhythm Guitar), Rob Caggiano (Lead Guitar), Frank Bello (Bass), Charlie Benante (Drums)

Okay, now of all of the big four, the majority comes from the west coast, specifically from California. Meanwhile in the east coast, New York centered band Anthrax was soon being formed around the same time Metallica was formed. It all started with Scott Ian who had a dream of becoming a musician.

And now he's giving me the finger.

When his mother couldn't accept the fact of Scott doing something like this, when she tried to talk and talk and TALK her son out of doing this act, she had to (I shit you not) resort to hypnotism. Unfortunately, this hadn't gone the way she had planned. Scott was locked in, and he really did become a part of one of the biggest acts in thrash, Anthrax. With the line up of Charlie Benante, the drummer whose feet won't stop, Dan Spitz, who traded his guitar for Swiss watches, Neil Turbin and Danny Lilker, Scotty boy was ready and willing to release Fistful of Metal, where only a year later, they released Spreading The Disease with Frank Bello, who's mouth should've gotten him in trouble a long time ago, and Joey Belladonna.


Other Influential Thrash Bands

So, now that we explained the people who REALLY started Thrash Metal, it's time to salute the bands that DID start Thrash Metal along with the Big Four but wasn't credited. Let's start off with...


If you want to give them a demeaning nickname, they're the band Kirk Hammett was in before joining Metallica.

It's funny because I'm an asshole.

But yes, the band had begun when Kirk Hammett was out looking for people in his band until he met THE MOST METAL PERSON TO EVER WALK THE EARTH, Paul Baloff. This had led to obtaining Tom Hunting, Gary Holt and soon Jeff Andrews to work on a demo tape. Then Jeff left to make Death Metal and Kirk left to make money, and was replaced by Rick Hunolt and Rob McKillop. What happened after?

Two naked siamese twins being ripped apart. Metal.

After the album, THE MOST METAL PERSON TO EVER LIVE was kicked out for drinking, drugging (being a metal head) and got Steve "Zetro" Souza and continued on to release Pleasures of The Flesh and Fabulous Disaster. Weird thing about this was that Zetro was a part of a band called Legacy who is now known as...


Yes, the story was that Zetro had joined the Pre-Testament incarnation of Testament. In reality, he was the second the vocalist to come into the band, when in reality it was Eric Peterson and Greg Christian that started it all. Then drummer Louie Clemente came along and when Alex Skolnick, coming fresh out of Satriani Academy with Kirk, they were set. One problem: A jazz band had taken the name The Legacy, so it meant that Legacy was now Testament. That doesn't stop them from naming their first album that!


Anyway, they were widely known for the albums Souls Of Black, Practice What You Preach, The Gathering. With the release of The Formation of Damnation we can see why I regard these guys as the Tier Two version of Metallica.





New Thrash Bands

Remember that these guys can still kick ass, but when the 90's came the Big Four hit a spiral of shit, leaving tier 2 of the many other thrash bands I haven't mentioned in this article to pick up the pace and kick ass. They have proved to be more influncial in the 90's (Pantera's a good example). Now with bands like that influencing the new generation, we have birth of the 2000's version of the "NEW" Big Four of Thrash. Let's begin.


The most notable/popular to the underground, or should I say, the general Thrash Metal community. Often though, they are compared as Metallica copycats and Slayer ripoffs. They don't. They also had a bassist that died... in Sweden... who was also black... which sucks.

How could a man with a face like this die?

The band has so far released two albums. Enter the Grave (why they've been accused as Slayer rip offs) that will not hold back in ripping your face off like a bitch, and Infected Nations (which is why they are ripped on being too much like Metallica... I think). The band is also from the UK, which means that they've got metal infused in their blood. No pussy 90's crap from the British!

For the record, the man's beard is getting more kickass.

Gama Bomb

If Evile, as much as their music will destroy you in an instant, doesn't please you, then their counterpart Gama Bomb will. They are fun loving, ninja style, comic driven Thrash band from Ireland. That's right, Ireland! You know what that means! BOOZE FOR EVERYONE!

Damn it Paul! When I say fingers up, it doesn't exclude you!!

They've released three albums to this day, Survival of The Fastest, Citizen Brain and the recent Tales From The Grave In Space (which was released FOR FREE, and still beat Citizen Brain in sales)! and have finished touring with Bonded by Blood (we'll get into them later) and Evile.

Municipal Waste

Again, Gama Bomb is the fun-loving comical counterpart to Evile, but Municipal Waste is the American equivilant to BOTH. Fast and kick ass like Evile, funny and party driven like Gama Bomb. Difference is that 1) Their parties are the dangerous version of anything Andrew W.K. can come up with, and that's saying something. 2)they come from a tiny town in Virginia, while the UK Thrashers come from a tiny... country. So you know what that means! PARTYING FOR EVERYONE!

Um... fine. Metal.

They've released four albums (the most a new thrash band has released) Waste 'Em All (and Evile is getting ripped on for sounding like Metallica?), Hazardous Mutation, The Art of Partying and Massive Agressive. They also make quiz shows look so metal!

Bonded By Blood (NOT THE ALBUM)

As the name implies, yes they are a new Thrash band from the mexican area of California, taking after the name of the first Exodus album Bonded By Blood. It kicks ass and so do they! They are most comparable to, yes, Exodus, like Evile to Slayer, and Opeth to that sweet little pet you had that was nice in public but in private, was constantly trying to knaw your balls off.

Oh the pizza... the glorious, glorious pizza...

They've released two albums. Feed The Beast and Exiled To Earth, which screams Exodus influence. You know I'm right. They are also the only band (I know of) that has successfully covered the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Theme Song! I personally don't know whether I should be headbanging or laughing like a kid...


Kinda suprising how I missed these guys, huh?

Regardless, Warbringer is a Thrash Metal band from California. Believe me when I say that these guys are like any other thrash band ... but with mutant powers. I swear, no thrash band plays like that without going insane or doing drugs!


They've released two albums so far, War Without End: their debut album, which makes them more scary than you think, and Waking Into Nightmares: the album I like to refer to as the "Does the drummer come with an off switch!?" album.They are currently in the studio working on their third album. One must keep in mind that with Waking Into Nightmares (can we stop with the W's now, please?), they had worked with the legendary king of unappreciated solos, Gary Holt of Exodus.

Unappreciatedway Olosay Ingkay

Why They Kick Ass


And This:

And probably most important, this: