• Basic Thrash Metal Definition (For Dummies)

  • Heavy/Speed Metal + Hardcore Punk

Thrash Metal ! Clearly inspired by the New Wave of British Heavy Metal along with hardcore punk and its fast tempos; Bands such as Diamond Head, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Accept, Venom, Motörhead (etc) introduced the fast-paced andanger-driven tempos that became the essential aspect of thrash metal as we know it today.

Early Contributors:

-Queen’s “Stone Cold Crazy” (1974) is technically credited as being the first “Thrash Metal” song, and which was later coveredby Metallica on “Garage Inc”.-Black Sabbath’s intro riff on “Symptom of the Universe” (1975) is another possible first thrash riff.

-Judas Priest had some thrash riffs on their ‘Stained Class” LP (1978), including “Exciter” and it’s drum intro.


-Motörhead’s “Overkill” LP (1979) is another major influence for the thrash explosion to come.


-Diamond Head’s 1980 debut album Lightning to the Nations.-Iron Maiden’s 1980 “Iron Maiden”.-Venom’s 1981 “Welcome To Hell” which was critical to the development of thrash metal and other genres (Black Metal).

  • Thrash Beginnings:

-The first thrash metal demo may very well be Metal Church’s “Red Skies” from late 1981.-Metallica (San Francisco’s Bay Area) released “Hit the Lights” on their first studio album, Kill ‘Em All, in July 25, 1983.


-Artillery (Denmark) recorded a demo in November, 1983. Their “We Are The

Dead” was not quite as fast as that of Metallicabut had similar riff ideas.-Slayer (California) put out their debut album “Show No Mercy” in December 1983, less than six months after the release of Kill ‘Em All.-Overkill released their second demo “Feel the Fire” in 1984 while Slayer unleashed their Haunting the Chapel EP.


-Metallica released “Ride the Lightning” in 1984 which showed more focus on composing.

-Anthrax released “Fistful of Metal” in 1984.



-Anthrax ‘s “Spreading the Disease”.

-Destruction (Germany) released”Infernal Overkill”.

-The German band Kreator released their debut album “Endless Pain”

-The Brazilian band Sepultura released their EP “Bestial Devastation”.

-Exodus’s “Bonded by Blood” and Slayer’s “Hell Awaits” were a bit more edgier and had a darker side than the first thrash albums.


-Megadeth debuted with the release of “Killing Is My Business… And Business Is Good!”.


This was a landmark year for thrash metal, with some of the greatest thrash albums of all time being released in this year.

-Sepultura’s thrash-death metal “Schizophrenia” showed major brutality, although their sound was still not well recorded.

-Dark Angel (a.k.a “the L.A. Caffeine Machine”) released “Darkness Descends”, a thrash metal masterpiece (Hello Gene Hoglan).

-Destruction’s “Eternal Devastation”.

-Nuclear Assault debuted with the punkish “Game Over”.

-Slayer’s “Reign in Blood” which is rated by many polls and magazines as the best thrash metal album of ’em all.

-Kreator’s “Pleasure to Kill” album.

-Megadeth put out the complex, technical “Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying?”.


-Metallica had “Master of Puppets”, which had again showed Metallica (Cliff)’s composing power.

-The German thrash metal band Sodom’s debut album “Obsessed by Cruelty”.

-Sadus’s “D.T.P.” (Death to Posers).


  • A More Diverse Time for Thrash Metal:

-Testament released their debut album “The Legacy” in 1987 and then quickly released 1988’s “The New Order” and 1989’s “

Practice What You Preach”.

-Kreator’s “Terrible Certainty” in 1987 and “Extreme Aggression” in 1989.


-Sodom’s “Persecution Mania” in 1987 and “Agent Orange” in 1989.

-Anthrax released “Among the Living” in 1987.

-Sepultura’s “Beneath the Remains” in 1988.

-Coroner’s “R.I.P.” in 1987 and “Punishment for Decadence” in 1988.

-Sabbat’s “History of a Time to Come” in 1988.


-Suicidal Tendencies’s 1988 “How Will I Laugh Tomorrow When I Can’t Even Smile Today”.

-Forbidden’s “Forbidden Evil” in 1988.

-Sadus’s “Illusions” in 1988<.

-Destruction’s “Release from Agony” in 1988.

-Vio-lence’s 1988 Eternal Nightmare.

-Kreator’s “Coma of Souls” , Sepultura’s “Arise” and Slayer’s “Seasons In The Abyss” in 1990.


** “Rust in Peace” (1990) by Megadeth is sometimes thought to be the last good classic thrash metal album.

Soon, the genre got filled with many bands that did not really give much of a new sound to the genre and that did lead to it’s inevitable demise. (until recent times when Thrash Metal witnessed a revival).