Best Thrash Metal Albums


The Top TenXW

1Rust in Peace - Megadeth

Amazing riffs, amazing solos, amazing bass playing and Dave is one of the better thrash metal singers.

Hangar 18, Holy Wars, Tornado of Souls, Rust in Peace... Polaris - all great songs. This akbum has some of the best riffs and guitar solos ever written, Marty Friedman and Dave Mustaine really show what they can do in this album!

Simply the best.. Everything is amazing about this album and I don't think anyone can do any better..

Not even close. Rust is the best thrash metal album period. Whether you're a mega dave can or not this is the one.

V39 Comments
2Master of Puppets - Metallica

So the mighty 'Master of Puppets' is on its knees, gobbling off Mustaine's patchy 'Rust in Peace', huh? I'd say it's an abomination, but they've both sold-out, so both should be moved down the ladder, no? Oh! Unless this is a biased post? Ah, I see now. History has already spoken about what the greatest thrash album is - 'Master of Puppets' - so at-least bump Megadeth's best album, 'Peace Sells...' to the top. That way, Mustaine fans at-least can put up a fair fight for-and-against the GREATEST thrash album of all time. Hey, you win some and you win some.

First, Metallica have written 5 of the greatest thrash albums ever made - and you then move onto Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax, Tesrament etc. James Hetfield and co. Were regarded as the greatest metal musicians and vocalist on the planet from 'Ride The Lightning' on, because no-one knew what on Earth was going on when they released 'Kill 'em All'. If this thread is an opinion piece, fine, so be it. But Metallica at their best (a decade) were the founders of the greatest metal genre of all time, and no-one has surpassed their first 5 albums. This is simply a fact, and if you think differently, you're younger than 40. Master of Puppets shall never be equalled, and thrash cannot be re-invented, because Metallica already invented it. It's as simple as that.

Had to go with this one, but it was a HARD choice. Most of the albums here are either from Megadeth, Metallica or Slayer, which are my favorite thrash metal bands. But I have to say Master of Puppets is a masterpeice, from beginning to end.

This is the best thrash album of all time. It is even better than rust in peace. - Rambles

V26 Comments
3Reign in Blood - Slayer

Hey Guys, are you really voting the most overrated band in history (Metallica) over Slayer?! I've seen more retarded fanboys here than how much Children of Bodom currently has! I was gonna vote for Rust in Piece but I can't help it but put this up at #2. Master of Puppets doesn't even HAVE an awesome guitar solo! END OF RANT

Master of Puppets has multiple guitar solos which are amazing...

Reign In Blood has influenced no-one, just like Megadeth and Metallica's best, because they can't be replicated. It's chemistry, biology, the zeitgeist of the times that made the greatest of the great great. You can't rewind time. You can only bicker over what great band is greater than another, but considering I'm a fan of all of them it's a moot argument.

Lol! 'Kill 'em All' is the only thrash album made by Metallica. And 'Master of Puppets' sucks compared to 'Reign in Blood'. I'm a huge Slayer fan, but even Jeff Hanneman had to 'Fade to Black' as the great man's eulogy. Metallica invented thrash, so therefore, by default, define what it is and isn't. 'Reign in Blood' is brutality personified, but I can turn on 'Fight Fire With Fire', 'Trapped Under Ice', 'Battery', 'Damage Inc.' 'Blsckened', 'Shortest Straw' and 'Dyers Eve' anytime I want and match 'Reign in Blood' twice over in length and aggression. To deny Metallica is to deny Slayer - and every other thrash band that came after them.

The greatest, most influential thrash album of all-time

V24 Comments
4Ride The Lightning - Metallica

Hey there, fanboy Roy. You have heard 'Call of Cthulhu', 'Orion', and 'To Live Is To Die' right? What about 'For Whom The Bell Tolls'? 'Escape'? Sure, most of Metallica's songs have structure, but nearly every song on the planet does, so what's your criticism with that? The problem with Megadeth - as unique a talent as Mustaine is - is that their songs lack structure. The best Megadeth songs have structure, like Devil's Island, Symphony of Destruction, Foreclosure of a Dream, Hook in Mouth etc. And you imply that Metallica being more popular is somehow a bad thing. Not everything popular is great, admittedly, but the reason Metallica is so popular is because they were incredibly great during their first decade, and their lyrics and song structures are mind-blowing. That's why they're regarded as superior to Megadeth. You know it's sad but true.

What makes you think Metallica fans are divided and haven't already created the greatest thrash albums of all time? This poll? I like this poll, but all the major publications on the planet aren't divided over what the greatest metal album of all time is - 'Master of Puppets'. It's a fact.

If Metallica fans weren't split over Master of Puppets and Ride the Lightning, Metallica would easily take back #1. Tornado of Souls is the only truly great song on Rust in Peace, but the two Metallica albums I mentioned have many amazing songs.

Master of Puppets' songs are all the same structure, intro, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, occasional interlude, solo, chorus, outro. Metallica only gets credit for being a more famous band. - Roy_Aspiros

So 'Trapped Under Ice', 'Fade to Black', 'For Whom the Bell Tolls', 'Fight Fire with Fire'...don't contain as good a riff and lick output as Megadeth? This album is often preferred over 'Master of Puppets' itself! That's how mighty it is.

V9 Comments
5Bonded by Blood - Exodus

Ok, I'll go with the Dukes-led 'Let a There Be Blood' remake on this one. This album is an immense remake - and not the cash-in many think - because this classic deserved a remake. From the classic opener 'Bonded by Blood', 'A Lesson In Violence', 'Piranha', 'No Love', 'Deliver Us To Evil',.'Strike of the Beast' plus the real bait being the previously unreleased track with Hammet 'Hells Breath.', this is exactly how to honour an already timeless classic. This version is the one to own because very few thrash bands can claim to be playing this sort of thrash today, bar Testament. 9/10.

If Exodus had fate go their way, we'd be talking about them, not Metallica. They had the great Kirk Hammet, were already creating a stir in 1979, but record deal issues and Hetfield and Ulrich poaching Hammet sealed their fate. There is a Big 5, don't worry about that.

I just listened to the whole album for the first time. It changed my views of this list. This album is better than Megadeth by a long shot.

Timeless classic of thrash metal. Easily the best thrash metal debut of all time. Deserves to be in the same league as Reign in Blood and Rust in Peace.

V11 Comments
6Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? - Megadeth

This album is very unique in many ways jazz fusion meets Dave's crazy riffs. Amazing solos and tuned 1/4 step down -- crazy stuff and way ahead of it's time.

Hands down, Megadeth at their best. The production values are timeless, and there are songs on here that Mustaine won't play because of theur subject matter. But that can't stop the fans blasting them till the day they day. I believe this one is in the top ten metal albums of all time in Rolling a Stone, and deservedly so.

Yep! Megadeth's best, by a big margin too. 'Devils Island', 'Black Friday', 'Wake Up Dead' was Megadeth at its finest. This was before they became a solo project and were a band. 9/10 release.

Day=die. Forgive the auto correct.

V9 Comments
7Kill 'Em All - Metallica

Metallica's epic first 5 albums are all thrash albums. People who think otherwise are suggesting they didn't invent it, hence don't define it. Thrash does not have to be fast, satanic, gory, or out-and-out aggression. Why? Because Metallica said so, that's why.

I think Metallica get what they deserve. I'm their biggest fan, but I refuse to listen to anything after the Black Album. I think it's fair to criticise them for their output since 91-or so.

Pure Thrash. By the way- it seems it has become "cool" to hate on Metallica. It's not.

It's not underrated! It probably nets them each $1,000,000 a year. It's just that they consistently releases better and better albums. It's the album that started this whole thread.

V17 Comments
8Among the Living - Anthrax

Let's be articulate about why each album deserves its spot. Among the Living is a thrash album delivered by a speed metal band. But, due to its brutal riffs, Benante's syncopated double-kicks, Ian and Spitz's frenetic riffing, and Bello's groovy bass-lines it's a hard album to pigeon hole. Spreading the Disease was definitely a speed metal album, but this must go down as one of the most brutal speed metal albums of all time that it's basically a thrash album. I have a headache.

I think it's sad that everyone got sold the idea that there ever has been a Big 4 full-stop. It's gimmickry, that's all. Mustaine was there at the start, as was most of Exodus, as was Metallica and Slayer. The day that thrash becomes a Big 4 circle jerk (like that crap dvd release - Hanneman's appearance aside) is the day I'll go do donething else with my time. Sure, some filled arenas whilst others didn't, but early Death Angel were as good as Anthrax, as was Testament, Forbidden, Overkill etc. Quality thrash is quality thrash. Sheesh! I like all the great exponents of it, rich or poor.

Incredible album. Joey Belladonna is the best thrash metal singer and this album is just amazing!

They're a speed metal band, but this monster does blur the boundaries a bit with its comedy. Great album, no doubt, so I won't argue over semantics. 9/10

V7 Comments
9Beneath the Remains - Sepultura

I thought I would see Kreator and Testament albums at top but all Metallica, Metallica, Metallica and Metallica! - GREYBOYY

Beneath the Remains is actually not that raw. It's a quantum leap from Schizophrenia and is one of the most fantastic riff-fests around. It is so damn creative it's not funny, and Andreas's solos were gold. The production needs a remaster is all. 10/10.

Lol! The reason it's Metallica, Metallica, Metallica, Metallica, Metallica is because of their genre-defining first 5 thrash albums that haven't been bested. It's almost boring how great they were. PS: I'm a big early Sepultura fan.

Unbelievably heavy and raw

V5 Comments
10The New Order - Testament

Ok. I believe Rust in Peace is by far the greatest metal album ever and deserves its place at number one. However, I voted for The New Order because it is WAY too low on here and should be recognized as an amazing thrash album. Honestly people, those albums in the top ten are great, but this needs to replace and justice for all in terms of thrash. If I could only listen to five albums for the rest of my life, this would be one of them. So I would therefore put it in the top ten.

Seriously, too much Metallica on here and not enough Testament. Somebody fix this before I lose my faith in fellow thrash fans who voted on here.

Spot 10 on the all-time greats list ain't anything to be ashamed about.

The Legacy should be before this one, as good as it is.

V7 Comments

The Newcomers

?Soul Sphere - Born of Osiris

Brutal, progressive deathcore from a band on the rise. It's technical, heavy as hell, and has a touch of class that many of the older bands lack. They're musicianship is pure showmanship, and puts most musicians out to pasture. The future of metal is bright on many fronts, and these guys are right up there.

?Point Blank - Nailbomb

When Cavalera could play quality thrash. A one-off supergroup.

The Contenders

11Pleasure To Kill - Kreator

Absolute raw in-your-face brutality. Nothing can beat this thrash beast. It tackles RiB down and owns it.

So you thought Reign In Blood was brutal? Dude, you didn't hear anything. This album delivers more aggresivness than any Slayer's in their entire carrer. It's so insane you will love it. Just listen to it, will completly change your view of thrash metal for good.

Yeah, 'Under the Guillotine' is a beast. One of the most violent albums released in thrash history. How good was the 80's?

Raw and evil, merciless

V6 Comments
12...And Justice for All - Metallica

Place number 12? Quit the bias. Metallica invented thrash, so every single one of their albums - including the 'Black' album - are, by definition, the greatest thrash albums ever made, no matter which you prefer. Every thrash album from 'Kill 'em All' on must be measured against Metallica's first 5 releases. 'Master of Puppets' is regarded as the greatest thrash album ever made, and has not been rivalled in any way, shape, or form - unless you compare it to their other four earlier releases. I regard 'And Justice For All...' as their most triumphant record. They came out smoking after Burton's death and made the most technical love letter to him by playing out of their skins. It's production is immense, despite the in audible bass, and Hammet, Hetfield and Lars were regarded as the best musicians in metal that year, and the year before, and the year before that...Throw on 'Dyers Eve', 'Eye of the Beholder', 'Harvester of Sorrow', 'One'...and crank it! Yes, they suck, but for over a ...more

Now Master of Puppets was the most progressive thrash album of all time, but although I don't believe Justice is the superior album, I do listen to it more because of its progressive production and material. Like Ride, there's a fair bit of material they won't play live (probably because they're too old to pull it off), but Shortest Straw, To Live Is To Die, Dyers Eve, Eye of the Beholder are some of the greatest progressive thrash tracks ever made. They felt they lost their way with this album, but I couldn't disagree more...

I think this album deserves much better place. I feel that everybody has kind of overlooked it because there is no cliff and bass is very quiet and the production is not that good, but I actually like itbecause it makes unic sound to it. If you listen to the actual music it is band's best performance to this day. Best solos from metallica, best singing, hands down best drumming and the riffs are magic. I ask everybody to have it honest listen before judging it. Sorry for my english.

The 5th greatest metal record in metal history, according to Rolling Stone Magazine. This band were so good that they're almost boring people to death by their greatness. The Michael Jordan of thrash.

V12 Comments
13Seasons in the Abyss - Slayer

'Blood Red', 'Spirit in Black', 'Dead Skin Mask', 'Seasons in the Abyss' are some of the best tracks Slayer ever made. Most mentioned were sinister, foreboding, atmospheric, and technical. Yes, 'Reign in Blood' is thrash personified, but do you know how many fans dug Slayer's more restrained and thoughtful songs? Plenty! I think they're too one-dimensional now and they should go back and reference their other 4 earlier albums for future releases.

Reign in blood riffs were repetitive but still good but I prefer this much more listen to war ensemble and the title track. Its like south of heaven and reign in blood combined.

Yep! The last of Slayer's progressive releases. It's a fitting finale to their early days, 'A Decade of Aggression' aside.

V6 Comments
14The Years of Decay - Overkill

No-one buys any Metallica releases after the 'Black Album' anyway, unless they're young or stupid or both. And I regard Metallica as the greatest band of all time, but once they sold-out I took it hard, but now have a good variety of quality Overkill releases - though I was a fan anyway.

Yes. Overkill are very consistent, well-respected, and have not compromised their values in any way, unlike others.

Very underrated band and album. Stop wasting your money on Metallica's crap. Buy real deal

This should be way higher than 14. This is the best Overkill album. - Rambles

V9 Comments
15Extreme Aggression - Kreator

Kreator still smoking it after a plethora of equally brutal releases. Their best albums left Ventor doing what he does best, drumming, and left Petroza doing what he does best, crushing your skull with his riffs and vocals.

16Alice in Hell - Annihilator

Excellent technical thrash - fast, technical and sophisticated riffs and solos.
By the way, not only Annihilator's album but also the albums by Dark Angel and Coroner are flawless and should be in the top 10. - Metal_Treasure

Jeff Waters was born with a guitar in his hand, and came out the womb wailing on it. Beast!

Yeah, it's a killer of an album.

V4 Comments
17Release From Agony - Destruction

Yes, this album was Destruction's attempt to dethrone Master of Puppets. The production is similar, it's extremely technical, and although I think it falls short of Master of Puppets, these incredible musicians had the balls to try. One of the best.

Perhaps the best thrash album of all time destruction manages to create intricate progressive song structures while still being heavy. - 17MaCarollo

'Sign of Fear' is worth the price of admission alone.

18Handle With Care - Nuclear Assault

Now this is one I must track down. I'm ashamed that I don't own it.

19Schizophrenia - Sepultura

Sepultura reach the pinacle of their musicianship with only their 2nd album. The sound on this album is much darker and heavier than on arise or beneath the remains and the song structures are 10x harder to play. - 17MaCarollo

Underrated Sepultura thrash album. 'Troops of Doom', 'Escape to the Void' etc. All kill it.

20Arise - Sepultura

Really! Please, just listen to songs like Dead Embrionics Cells, Orgasmatron, Arise, Desperate Cry. This is the best album of Sepultura definitely. - JrG

I love it, but the production is flat. Still a gold album.

Sepultura's 3rd best, behind 'Beneath the Remains' and 'Chaos AD'. It is great though, no doubt.

PSearch List

Related Lists

Best Albums From Thrash Metal's Big 4 Top Ten New Wave Thrash Metal Albums Best Thrash Metal Debut Albums Best Technical Thrash Metal Albums Best Thrash Metal Albums Not Released by the Big Four

List StatsUpdated 28 Nov 2015

1,000 votes
304 listings
4 years, 122 days old

Top Remixes (30)

1. Reign in Blood - Slayer
2. Kill 'Em All - Metallica
3. Rust in Peace - Megadeth
1. Release From Agony - Destruction
2. Schizophrenia - Sepultura
3. Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? - Megadeth
1. Ride The Lightning - Metallica
2. Rust in Peace - Megadeth
3. Master of Puppets - Metallica

View All 30


Add Post

Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.