is possibly the most popular subgenre of metal among metalheads. Basically, it's a fusion of Hardcore Punk
and the music of the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal
(NWOBHM; you know, Iron Maiden
). In slightly more detail, thrash metal, also known as "thrash", features very fast guitar playing, often with a signature "chugging" sound, 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" (Metallica
) as well as the three main bands of the Teutonic thrash metal scene in Germany (Sodom, Kreator, Destruction). Nowadays it's a bit old-fashioned, but still sufficiently popular that it has seen a "revival" of sorts in the 2000s (see the "New Blood" section). 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 Death Metal
, Groove Metal
and arguably Black Metal
evolved directly from thrash. Thrash metal evolved from Speed Metal
, and was instrumental in the creation of Power Metal
Bands typically described as thrash metal include:
American West Coast
American East Coast
- Dorsal Atlantica
- Explicit Hate
- The Mist
- Sarcófago (Mixed with Black Metal and Death Metal)
- Sepultura before Chaos AD (later became Groove Metal; they became thrash again starting with Dante XXI)
- Soulfly, beginning with Dark Ages
- Torture Squad
- Vulcano (also Black Metal)
- Aspid (Russian)
- Coroner (Swiss)
- Criminal (Chile)
- Hexenhaus (Swedish)
- Hobbs Angel Of Death (Australian)
- Mandator (Dutch)
- Mortal Sin (Australian)
- Onslaught (British)
- Sabbat (British)
- Venom (British)
- Austrian Death Machine
- Avenger of Blood
- Body Count
- Bonded By Blood
- Dekapitator (sort of, they got their start in the late nineties)
- Diamond Plate
- Fueled By Fire
- Gama Bomb
- Lich King
- Mantic Ritual
- Merciless Death
- Municipal Waste
- Suicidal Angels
- Toxic Holocaust
- Trivium (mixed with Metalcore)
Tropes common in this genre are:
- Darker and Edgier: Compared to its direct progenitor Speed Metal.
- Within thrash metal, the Teutonic scene is the Darker and Edgier counterpart to the US scene.
- Gorn: Not used as much as death metal, but still occasionally used, most famously by Slayer.
- Harsh Vocals: occasionally employed, doing it to much leads to confusion with Death Metal.
- Metal Scream: Often more of the operatic or snarling variety.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: 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.
- Rated M for Manly: 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."
- The Scrappy: Became this in its original era due to the massive popularity of the genre leading to record companies signing anything even remotely thrashy, which in turn resulted in the formation of tons of incredibly derivative and samey acts that still got snatched up; in short, thrash had started to mirror glam, its sworn enemy. This repeated itself with the "thrash revival" by way of tons of bland, unoriginal acts getting snatched up just by virtue of playing thrash and earning the ire of the metal community once more.