Thrash Metal History (Overview)
Apr 12th 2009 Patrick Saad Miscellaneous

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  • 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).

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  • Maurice

    That’s what i call an article!!
    Perfect job man!From all sides:
    info, writing style, pics, font…
    \m/ Cheers!

  • Aram Henry Gyragossian

    awesome man .. the releases and stuff (Y)
    just a question .. this is only a classical thrash metal artical? without post-thrash (groove metal) and new thrash metal? and you had to mention ” Annihilator ” and ” exhorder ” in the above releases ..
    and what about ” Warbringer ” ??
    anyway Im just givin my opinion!:p
    awesome man keep it up (Y)

  • Patrick

    ey this is enno thrash metal until the early 90s … history (Y)
    hehe i know about Exhorder w Annihilator w Warbringer 😛 you cant mention all the thrash bands , this is just an overview for those who wish to get started in thrash metal

  • silo

    the title is HISTORY OF TRASH METAL. there was no groove metal / or new trash metal only the real trash metal. sweet patrick !m!

  • SerJ

    i only have to say … best review EVER ..
    antrax … “Fistful of Metal” … \respect

  • Aram Henry Gyragossian

    yeah in the history of thrash metal theres post thrash and new thrash, my friend .. and its THRASH not trash (mesh zbelee :S for fucks sake) haha ..
    the real thrash .. this is new :p
    anyways keep it up Patrick (Y)

  • SerJ

    Aram ma tetmniak … every1 bighalto -.- … OVERMOZ … souklin for life \wink

  • Firas Rahi

    man.. aba3refsh … a5ou maniouke 🙂 .. \m/

  • Patrick

    hehehe Aram well i only targeted thrash metal ; didn’t aim for new thrash , post-thrash , thrash-punk , thrash-death or any other subgenre … btw lets not go into the genre naming business … Let’s just keep it simple 😛

  • Patrick

    Btw what’s your favorite 80’s thrash albums ?

  • elie ma7fouz

    very good patrick! Did thrash metal receive any good or bad reaction from society when it first started?

  • elie ma7fouz

    btw abt megadeth’s third album “rust in peace” is not considered a thrash album … megadeth pretty much changed their style when Marty Friedman joined them, so rust in peace is considered to by pretty much heavy metal … Although their first two albums (killing is my buisness, and peace sells) have alot of thrashy material and speed

  • SerJ

    i agree with elie (Y)

  • Elie da3kour

    Reign in Blood no doubt!!

  • overload

    nice !!

  • Aram Henry Gyragossian

    who’s mr.Overload ?:p

  • Patrick

    Reign in Blood is epic no doubts ; STILL , the songs sound alike ! and are extremly short songs 😛
    i would go for Beneath the Remains or Kill Em All as the best of the 80’s thrash metal

  • SerJ

    MR.overload .. .. i agree with u ~