[floatboxright:
Primary Stylistic Influences:
+ SpeedMetal, NewWaveOfBritishHeavyMetal, HardcorePunk
]
[floatboxright:
Secondary Stylistic Influences:
+ Traditional Music/HeavyMetal,
]

'''Thrash metal''' is one of the two most popular metal subgenres among metalheads.[[note]]the other popular subgenre being DeathMetal[[/note]] Basically, it's a fusion of HardcorePunk and the music of the NewWaveOfBritishHeavyMetal (NWOBHM; you know, Music/IronMaiden). In slightly more detail, thrash metal, also known as "thrash", features very fast, riff-heavy guitar playing, and very fast drumming. Seriously, the drumming is impossibly fast... unless you're an actual thrash metal drummer, in which case, it's not.

Thrash metal began in the early eighties and was popularized mainly by the "Big Four" (Music/{{Metallica}}, Music/{{Megadeth}}, Music/{{Slayer}} and Music/{{Anthrax}}) as well as the three main bands of the Teutonic thrash metal scene in Germany (Sodom, Kreator, Destruction). By the 90s, its popularity began to wane as the genres it inspired (see below) began to overtake it in popularity, but it still had enough of a dedicated following to begin a "revival" of sorts in the 2000s (see the "New Blood" section). [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome In June of 2010, the Big Four of thrash metal played together on one stage for the first time ever in a historic concert tour in Europe.]]

Fellow metal genres DeathMetal, GrooveMetal and arguably BlackMetal evolved directly from thrash. Thrash metal evolved from SpeedMetal, and was instrumental in the creation of PowerMetal.

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!!Bands typically described as thrash metal include:

'''Old Guard'''
[[index]]
American West Coast
* Dark Angel (also ProgressiveMetal on their last album)
* Death Angel
* Music/ExodusBand
* Forbidden
* Heathen
* Hirax
* Lääz Rockit
* Music/{{Megadeth}}
* Music/{{Metallica}}
* Sadus
* Music/{{Slayer}}
* Music/{{Testament}}
* Tourniquet (also ProgressiveMetal and ChristianMetal)
* Torture
* Music/{{Violence}}
* Watchtower (also ProgressiveMetal)


American East Coast
* Music/{{Anthrax}}
* Carnivore
* D.R.I (later)
* Demolition Hammer
* Hallows Eve
* IcedEarth (later became PowerMetal)
* M.O.D
* Nuclear Assault
* Music/{{Overkill}}
* S.O.D
* Toxik (also ProgressiveMetal)
* Whiplash

Misc. American
* Anacrusis (also ProgressiveMetal)
* Exhorder (Mixed with GrooveMetal)
* {{Music/GWAR}}
* Metal Church
* Music/SuicidalTendencies (played crossover thrash from 1987 to either 1992 or 1994 depending on who you ask)

Teutonic (German)
* AngelDust (later became PowerMetal)
* Artillery
* Assassin
* Assorted Heap
* Destruction
* Despair
* Exumer
* Holy Moses
* Music/{{Kreator}}
* Living Death
* Mekong Delta
* Paradox, beginning with ''Heresy'' (formerly SpeedMetal)
* Protector
* SDI
* Music/{{Sodom}}
* {{Tankard}}
* Vendetta
* Violent Force

Brazilian
* Attomica
* Dorsal Atlantica
* Executer
* Explicit Hate
* Holocausto (also BlackMetal)
* Korzus
* The Mist
* Mutilator (also had elements of BlackMetal)
* MX
* Sarcófago (Mixed with BlackMetal and DeathMetal)
* {{Sepultura}} before ''Chaos AD'' (later became GrooveMetal; they became thrash again starting with ''Dante XXI'')
* {{Soulfly}}, beginning with ''Dark Ages''
* Torture Squad
* Vulcano (also BlackMetal)

Canadian
* Annihilator (fused with SpeedMetal and ProgressiveMetal; later material mixed with GrooveMetal as well)
* Anvil (YMMV, has more in common with Music/HeavyMetal with PowerMetal touches)
* Dead Brain Cells
* Exciter (though they may be SpeedMetal more than anything, they had elements of the genre)
* Infernäl Mäjesty
* Razor
* Sacrifice
* Music/{{Voivod}} (also ProgressiveMetal)

Misc.
* Aspid (Russian)
* Music/{{Coroner}} (Swiss) (also ProgressiveMetal)
* CelticFrost (Swiss) (Also BlackMetal and DeathMetal)
* Criminal (Chile)
* Hexenhaus (Swedish)
* Hobbs Angel Of Death (Australian)
* Mandator (Dutch)
* Mortal Sin (Australian)
* Onslaught (British)
* Sabbat (British)
* Music/{{Venom}} (British) (Also BlackMetal)

'''New Blood'''
* Abigail
* Austrian Death Machine
* Avenger of Blood
* Barbatos
* Music/BodyCount (kind of; they started in the 1990s)
* Bonded By Blood
* Dekapitator (sort of, they got their start in the late nineties)
* Demiricous
* Diamond Plate
* Music/{{Evile}}
* Fueled By Fire
* Music/GamaBomb
* Havok
* Hexen
* LichKing
* Muic/{{Machinehead}} ( also GrooveMetal)
* Mantic Ritual
* Mastery
* Merciless Death
* Music/{{Ministry}} (From ''Houses of the Molé'' onward, mixed with IndustrialMetal)[[note]]An interesting case, as while they had been around for as long as the old guard, they only started playing thrash late in their career)[[/note]]
* Music/MunicipalWaste
* Nervosa
* Profanator
* Razormaze
* ShadowsFall (between ''The War Within'' and ''Retribution'', mixed with MetalCore)
* Skeletonwitch (mixed with BlackMetal)
* Suicidal Angels
* Susperia
* Tantara
* Music/ToxicHolocaust
* Music/{{Trivium}} (mixed with Metalcore)
* Vektor
* Music/{{Warbringer}}
* Wastelander
[[/index]]
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!!Tropes common in this genre are:
* DarkerAndEdgier: Compared to its direct progenitor SpeedMetal.
** Within thrash metal, the Teutonic scene is the DarkerAndEdgier counterpart to the US scene.
* EpicRiff: Being one of the most riff driven genres of music, these are pretty common.
* FandomRivalry: While most thrash fans are perfectly content to listen to, both, Music/{{Metallica}} and Music/{{Megadeth}}, certain fans still argue about which band is better, which song is originally written by which bands, etc. Notable in that the bands themselves were far from friendly with each other for a long time.
** There is also a small rivalry between fans of Thrash Metal and BlackMetal.
* FollowTheLeader: While there were several thrash metal bands willing to take their own spin on thrash metal in its heyday, the genre had more than its fair share of copycat bands that record labels were more than willing to sign because of its popularity, no matter how unoriginal or uninspired (much like what happened with it's hated enemy, HairMetal). This happened again with the 2000s revival, with many bands happy to just imitate bands like Music/{{Slayer}}, Music/{{Exodus}}, Music/{{Anthrax}}, etc., without adding anything new to it.
* GatewaySeries: Music/{{Metallica}} is one for thrash, and often to classic metal as a whole.
* GenreKiller: Thrash never "died" as such, but the rise of newer subgenres (some of which were directly influenced by thrash), and the fact that some of the bigger bands in the genre underwent stylistic changes, lead to the genre's waning popularity in the 90s.
* GenreRelaunch: While there were still bands playing thrash metal throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, the genre suddenly saw a surge in popularity in the mid-2000s, mainly thanks to Municipal Waste. Labels such as Earache and Nuclear Blast capitalized on this, and by the end of the decade there were several well known acts playing "retro-thrash".
* {{Gorn}}: Not used as much as death metal, but still occasionally used, most famously by Slayer.
* HarshVocals: Used mainly by Teutonic thrash bands, but occasionally heard in bands from other scenes as well.
* LighterAndSofter: Lyrically, crossover thrash bands tend to be this compared to regular thrash bands, and many songs tend to be more humorous in nature, but they may be just as fast and intense musically, and sometimes more so.
* MetalScream: Often more of the operatic or snarling variety.
* MohsScaleOfRockAndMetalHardness: Generally ranges from 8-10 (ten being more rare). Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax are mostly an 8, Slayer and Testament are mostly a 9, and bands such as Demolition Hammer and Warbringer go to level 10.
* PowerBallad: "Semi-ballads" are pretty common, especially on earlier albums.
* ProtestSong: Being influenced by HardcorePunk, political songs show up frequently in thrash.
* RatedMForManly: Just try to deny it, whether you're a fan of the genre or not.
** This is evidenced by the joke "What has 2,000 legs and 2 breasts? The audience at a thrash metal concert."
* RockMeAsmodeus: A common there among the more extreme bands, most prominently Music/{{Slayer}}.
* TropeCodifier: Music/{{Metallica}} for more melodic or traditional thrash and Music/{{Slayer}} for the more extreme side of thrash. Music/SuicidalTendencies and Music/DirtyRottenImbeciles are this for crossover thrash.
* TropeMaker: It's not exactly clear who should get credit for playing the first thrash song, but it's generally agreed that [[Music/{{Metallica}} Metallica's]] ''Kill 'Em All'' is the first thrash album. Venom's ''Welcome to Hell'' is a possible UrExample.
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