Best Thrash Metal Bands


Don't agree with the list? Vote for an existing item you think should be ranked higher or if you are a logged in, add a new item for others to vote on or create your own version of this list.

The Top Ten

Metallica are only only famous for their first 4 albums, how can they be the best Thrash band if they can't even keep true to their own genre? Megadeth's Mustaine has some extremely creative stuff and is a beast on the guitar. James, Dave, Lars, and Cliff. If this line up had existed, It would be out of the question.
99 ways to vote this to best
Just listen trust or peace sells so your hooked!
Fastest and heaviest thrash metal band on earth!
Good to see the best thrash metal band at its place. Slayer should get second place, though. Dave is a genius and stayed true to his music.


[Newest]The greatest band ever. They never stop composing music. Every song has its own speciality, perfection, art, talent. None of the other band is as great as Megadeth. Dave make powerful riffs, solos and very awakening lyrics which Metallica can't do. Obviously Megadeth deserves first rank.

More comments about Megadeth

Their first four albums are amazing. They weren't as awesome after that, but those first four are enough for me to say Metallica is my favorite metal band.
Wow, Metallica are only famous for their first four albums? What about The Black Album, which has sold as many copies as every Megadeth album combined? And Dave stayed true to his music? You're joking, right? What about Youthanasia, Cryptic Writings, and Risk, huh? Metallica are sellouts, and Megadeth aren't? That's weird, because Dave Mustaine himself has stated that Risk was supposed to be Megadeth's breakthrough in the commercial rock scene, and that it was intended to be a #1 album. And in any case, Megadeth aren't even truly thrash metal, they are closer to speed metal because they aren't very heavy. And whoever says Metallica isn't heavy, listen to the opening riff of Fight Fire with Fire then try and tell me they aren't.
At least Megadeth had a better and more metal comeback with the 'system has failed' in 2004! Metallica is still sleeping
Metallica's last album was death magnetic. Megadeth's last album was super collider. They both sold out but Metallica did it better and James Hetfield is vocally superior to Dave Mustaine. Lars Ulrich is actually a good drummer as you can hear on their first four albums and he knows when to use the double kick and when not to unlike on many megadeth records where it loses it's impact. Kirk's solos are very good although maybe not quite as shreddy and fast as mustaine's they fit better and sound like he is actually playing to the song rather than just fitting as many notes as posible into a short space. The band members in Metallica have been more constant than megadeth and when there has been a change in the lineup it has been because of death (Cliff) or violence (Mustaine) or very strong drug addictions (Also Mustaine). What song do you like more? Mechanix or The Four Horsemen? Metallica are just better/have more class/are cooler than Megadeth. I still like Megadeth a lot.
What has Metallica done in the last 20 years? Oh yeah…sued Napster. Great work guys.
[Newest]Simply the best, it's a fact.
More comments about Metallica

Metallica please stay out of this for once and fans actually vote for music that's actually GOOD not just cause its Metallica. First 4 albums were spectacular now there total garbage. Slayer never disappoints their music is amazing Start to Finish there the best there will ever be
Yeah, well Slayer plays the same song over and over for the most part.
I think Slayer is the best thrash metal band because they uphold the best qualities of the genre-lightning speed, raging aggression, full on rebellion and lyrical themes involving apocalypse, religion and war!
Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer together all changed the world, lead the revolution and spawned some of the most explosive and electrifying music ever but Slayer takes the crown because not only did thrash provide much needed adrenaline and power into music but Slayer injected a lethal dose of wickedness and intensity into the genre
Whoever said Megadeth is the heaviest and fastest Thrash Metal band is WRONG! Slayer is the heaviest and fastest Thrash Metal band. Ever heard Chemical Warfare, Flesh Storm, Dittohead, Hallowed Point, Born Of Fire, Consfearacy, Hate Worldwide, Payback, Necrophobic, Jesus Saves, Killing Fields, Snuff?
[Newest]Only thrash band in the top 3

More comments about Slayer

Testament is one if the greatest thrash metal bands ever. Disputably the best vocalist, Chuck Billy, and best lead guitarist, Alex Skolnick, in thrash. Kick ass from The Legacy to Dark Roots of Earth and forever. Chuck Billy beat heart cancer and still maintains a great voice. Plus the only selling out they've done was experimenting with death metal.
From begining to present day their dedication and relentless drive to keep creating even when through all the changes in the past, to battle through all that crap, get back together and not miss a beat is amazing! In fact they just keep getting better! Rise up!
Testament, metal gods that have put out solid albums year after year rock on! hell look at m name... skolnick is their guitarist


[Newest]Testament never claimed to have created the sound known as thrash. However, they did it the better than anyone else. They seem to get heavier and heavier. The song writing keeps evolving. They are like Rush in so many ways. Testament's dedication to craft will get the respect it deserves. Like Motorhead, Anvil, and Dio, time will prove that Testament is the real thing.

Nowadays, Kreator is in my opinion the leader of the thrash metal. Their music is brutal and fast, yet it also comprises a lot of melodic stuff.
Kreator always stay true to their roots. And are still making great albums today. The big 4 have always lived off their former glories. Kreator deserve to be top of the tree. Phantom Antichrist is a masterpiece.
Great songwriting... From endless pain to Phantom Antichrist. For me the best!
[Newest]Enemy of God is the best thrash song I've ever heard.

Anthrax is one of the big four of Thrash


Metallic and Megadeth might be better but not by a lot. Anthrax's songs are full of kickass riffs and solos, the drumming in every song is superb and the singing... It's amazing. Such an underrated band. One of the best metal bands of all time for sure.
Anthrax should be number 4 they are a really good band they just had a lot of tough breaks so many memorable songs listen to medusa, madhouse, I'm the man, caught in the mosh, Indians, nfl, among the living, got the time, and then the john bush era was great too more a groove meta style best songs with bush was only, born again idiot, inside out, crush there's a reason there in the big four and not testament but don't get me wrong testament was great too I just think anthrax were a lot better
[Newest]Anthrax is the most underrated of the big four. This is mainly an issue today, as there seem to be a lot of people who aren't really into them, which is an issue if you ask me..

Most Brutal Concerts. Just listen to Bonded by Blood. Every song on there is great. Love all the other bands in the top ten too, but for me Exodus defines Thrash.
I didn't like their old stuff, and I couldn't believe after listening their newer works that I missed this amazing band. The re-released bonded by blood named "Let there be blood" was one of the most amazing albums I've ever heard. Their new songs kick-ass, insane riffs, amazing solos. Away megadeth - exodus!
Alongside Anthrax, and to an extent Metallica, Exodus is one of the most influential heavy metal bands out there. They, along with Metallica, are the earlier documented band of the thrash metal movement, being formed in 1980. Not only did they help get the thrash movement out of the Bay Area, but some of Exodus's members would go on to do bands such as Possesed, which is the first death metal band, meaning that Exodus started thrash, death, and to an extent, black metal.
[Newest]Exodus are the real thrash metal!

There are no bad Overkill albums, You can listen to their discography for years without getting bored!
I grew up being a huge Megadeth fan, and still is. But when I first heard Overkill, not too long ago by the way, I was blown away. All their albums are rooted in thrash but very different from each other. In my opinion, they have only gotten better over the years. There last 2 albums are some of my favorite thrash metal I have heard in a long time. Megadeth did some good stuff in the early 2000's and Anthrax's newest album was quite good, but everything Overkill does is great..
Overkill is the most authentic thrash metal band ever and feel the fire and the years of decay their best albums
[Newest]Most consistent metal band I've ever heard

I love how the "big 4" are in the top four. But Sepultura deserves AT LEAST to be in the top ten


Many think that the band died when Max left, but the band has good songs of this era like Convicted in Life


Are you remember on Schizophrenia, Beneath the remains or Arise? One of the best thrash metal riffs in all time.But the "new Sepultura" is also good.RESPECT!
[Newest]There one of the most underrated bands of all time

One of the greatest thrash bands of all time. Listen to agent orange, tapping the vein, nuclear winter and m-16 and tell me they aren't up there with the rest of them
Sodom is so much more powerful than any other Thrash Band. Thrash is about aggression, and Sodom is the most aggressive band there is. I'm a little angry they are this low.
The ultimate German war machine. Sodom is perhaps the best thrash band to headbang to.
Tom is just BADASS.
M-16 is my favorite thrash album to date.
Loved Code Red and In War and Pieces too.
[Newest]Just listen to Agent Orange and trust me, you'll fall in love with Sodom

The Contenders

They did something nobody except metallica could do... Get a number 1 cd. And they even did something that nobody at all could do, stop grunge dead in it's tracks. Walk is one of the greatest songs of all time, if not the best. I would even dare to say that they eclipsed every other thrash band in history. Including the one's who influenced them. R.I.P. dimebag
Phil Anselmo is a better singer than James Hetfield
Dimebag is a better guitar player than Hetfield and Kirk Hammett combined.
Vinnie Paul is a better drummer than Lars Ulrich.
Pantera are better than Metallica in every aspect.
These guys, especially Dimebag with his soloing, made thrash popular throughout the 90s. They should be a lot higher, in the top 4 most definitely.


[Newest]NOT thrash metal. READ: NOT thrash metal.

This Band is just so awesome
I've never seen a Band that Plays their Songs so toght live
Sure it isn't that cool that ist only Jeffs band but he's just pro
Listen to Alison Hell, King Of The Kill, The Fun Palace, Set The World On Fire and The Trend.
If you're Areal Thrasher you will have to like one of These tracks
Personally my favorite thrash band, although I see a lot of bands on this list that aren't thrash, so I guess voting for what fits the list doesn't matter
Just Listen To Fun Palace! This Is One Of The Best Thrash Metal Bands Ever!

Destruction is the perfect band of Thrash. Metallica can't be compared with Destruction. Destruction is the best of Thrash.
Wow, Slipknot and LOG is just above this, sad to see the direction our youth are going. Anyway, they're not thrash!
True Thrash Metal, should be in the top 10.
[Newest]Deserves a top 10 spot.

If you take the best songs from each one of the other bands in this list and the from that compilation you take only the best songs, you'd would only get fillers compared to what Coroner has to offer.
Amazing how their aggressive impetious music is so sophisticated at the same time. Despite the fact that their career was just about 7 years long, they evolved from being just thrash metal band to very high level of musicality. Just check their albums Mental Vortex and Grin, compare them to Metallica 90's sloppy stuff, and you'll make sure who's the boss here!
Grab all greatest hits of any band here and they would still be weak compared to Mental Vortex or No More Color

Best Thrash band ever undoubtedly, shame on musical world
[Newest]Very under rated and under exposed band

15Death Angel
Absolutely great thrash band the ultra violence is one of the only proper all the way through thrash albums! And is way better than anything metalica a have put out as a whole piece. Plus there are too many bands on the wrong list and too many missing. Log, machine head, voivod etc where's dark angel!
Death Angel is awesome!
They're unique and very jazzy!
It's like a jazz band playing on distorted amps.
Really happy that they got back together and eagerly awaiting their next album!
Slayer should be number 1 and Death Angel should be much higher in this list
[Newest]Not only were they amazing back when the classic albums came out, but the dream calls for blood is a masterpiece

I know Metallica, mega, slayer, and anthrax are legendary, but you gotta give it up for this new generation thrash metal beasts!
I think the song cult is my favourite song
Just listen to Skull to revitalize your faith in modern thrash metal. It's epic.

17Unleashing Vengeance

Love the guitar in this band


Beer metal, awesome, heavy and fun, also good THRASH, another great band from Germany!
Seriously guys? 20? I mean, Die with a beer in your hand, Zombie Attack, Empty Tankard, Need Money For beer
This are from the teutonic 4. Why aren't they at least at 10?


Great band, great albums, feel bit sorry for them, deserved better recognition.
They are very underrated


I absolutely love Metallica, but they are getting old, and you've got to keep up with the times, man. Havok is the future of thrash metal. They are wicked fast, insanely heavy and they have AMAZING guitar solos. My vote goes to Havok, simply because of the fact that, as much as I hate to say it, Metallica is no longer thrash metal. Just heavy metal.
Havok is a great band, and all those other thrash metal bands are lame. This band is so angry, it makes me want to break stuff. Havok makes havoc.
Wow! These guys blow me away. defiantly sound like old school crap and not over produced... I LOVE IT! These guys are fantastic.

Masters of thrash man. These Satanic slayers are truly awesome, and should totally be in the top 5. The guitar work, bass, and drumming paired with the lyrical themes are stunning, fun, and exhilarating.
Should be in Top 5 at least...
Not only thrash, but they influenced Black Metal so much


25Nuclear Assault
Should be in top 5!
Danny Lilker is one of the most awesome bassists ever. And undoubtedly Nuclear Assault beats Anthrax any day.
Don't agree? Just listen to their albums 'Game Over' or 'Handle With Care' for some very special Thrash!


26Metal Church
The first record kicks ass from start to end, crank it up and rip the knob off!
These guys are number two in my opinion just under Metallica. The Dark is my fifth favorite album of all time.

27Machine Head
There's no limit to Machine Heads talent according to me. The wide use of vocal ranges I rare within metal, and the speed and heaviness of the guitars creates a mind altering experience. In other words: Machine head rocks!
Just listen to Burn my Eyes, The More things change... Yeah basically every album except Supercharger and The Burning Red, except if you're into Nu metal
Machine head have never let me down, even with Burning Red and Supercharger. They set an example to the bands that played post-thrash music such as Evile and Soulfly.
Around for years and keep getting stronger. Last three albums stack against anything out there. Heavy, technical and great. Add to that Burn my Eyes and what more do you want?

28Dark Angel
Speedist thrash metal band ever. darkness descends

My favourite band after megadeth. but they aren't thrash metal band. they are progressive, thrash, heavy, speed metal together. sorry for my bad English
Nevermore is way more creative and talented than Slayer and Anthrax put together.
One of my favorite bands, Jeff Loomis, enough said, not thrash though

30Lamb of God
OK, the only reason I picked this one is so that I can say... What? Lamb of god is groove and metalcore, not close to thrash, I can understand pantera but these guys should not be on this list at all! Theyve never played thrash at all. Who ever made this list doesn't have a clue about thrash.
Groove metal is a sun genre for thrash metal. Pantera should be in the big 5 even.


Lamb of god should be in top 2

31In Flames

They are better than anyone american thrash band!


I'm a Thrasher, listen to tons of trash bands. But ' hell, when I heard Onslaught, I went crazy.

33Sacred Reich
American way was pure thrash at its best!

Immortal is a band --black thrash influences like the vader

Genial and innovative conception of thrash.
Best polish thrash metal band m/


37Stormtroopers of Death

Best Thrash band formed outside the 80s. If you've never heard them before check out "Fast Paced Society" and "Hunger for Violence" once you're assimilated from these go buy Black Future and Outer Isolation because they're 2 of the best thrash albums ever made.

39Celtic Frost

40Flotsam and Jetsam
Very under rated thrash band
Listen to Hammerhead, N.E. Terror or No place for Disgrace. One of the greatest Thrash out there

41Seventh Angel

Great band with big Megadeth influence

This list serves no purpose to indicate which band is better than which other. People usually vote for metallica and megadeth because those are the first thrash bands they get into and therefore have the fondest memories associated with hence all other bands are pale in comparison. The only good thing about this list is that maybe the people who vote for the top 4 bands will hopefully take a look at what's lower on the list. I personally dig toxik, metallica and pantera because they are so melodic. If you're into more evil dissonant music then slayer, kreator, sepultura are you're things. Voivod are the best of both worlds.

44Lazarus A.D.
People need to hear the onslaught! Amazing thrash album should be in the top ten! Outstanding band
They are the best modern thrash band out and they are extremely underrated. Look them up and see for yourself.
The Onslaught is one of the best TM Alben ever!

I'm my opinion Anvil are not a thrash band. I do believe they invented thrash though. In 1982 Anvil gave us "Metal on Metal". This album was mostly traditional Heavy Metal except for the last track "666". This song was definitely a thrash song. There is no doubt in my mind that the big four were listening. One year later Slayer, Metallica, and Anthrax were born. Megadeth followed soon after the Metallica split. Anvil created that sound. They ventured into thrash many times, but always stayed loyal to classic Metal. I think Anvil has been denied this truth for too long. They started the thrash movement.
Should be in top 10 these guys are the pioneers of thrash metal!


One of the best thrsh bands to come from Germany, and Germany produced a lot of great thrash bands.


The best thrash metal album ever : Slaughter in the Vatican
Slaughter in the Vatican heaviest thrash album ever

50Suicidal Angels
Best thrash in greece! M/
Amazing band blown away! Listen to apokathilopis

My favorite Thrash band. I love the no-classical elements in their music. They are way better than slayer and anthrax and can even stand up up to the very best of Metallica, Megadeth, and Testament.
Even Though they're Christian, they still stand up to the big four.


52Lost Society
The future of thrash. Grooving riffs, sick solos, very highly skilled players, and yes, they are from Finland
Super thight and creative new but still 80s sounding thrash. I love it!

It's kind of sickening that this band isn't on this list already, yet Trivium, Bullet For My Valentine, As I Lay Dying, and Slipknot are extremely overrated, let alone on this list at all.

Artillery should be in the top 15, perhaps top 10. They're the Iron Maiden of Thrash Metal.
What the hell! I'm disgusted seeing pantera bullet for my valentine trivium and other non thrash bands. How the hell can a true thrash metal fan not like artillery. All albums are kickass. Seriously it's a must as they are pure thrash
One of the heaviest and fastest thrash metal band I've ever heared, in my opinion artillery should be in the top 5.

These guys slay! Some of the fastest and darkest riffs of the classic thrash era, criminally underrated.
Forbidden is in the top 10. By far the most underrated thrash band in history.


56Deep Purple
Haha seriously who would consider deep purple thrash metal? Awesome band though
Deep Purple are awesome but they aren't thrash band!
They had the most popular riff in history

57Toxic Holocaust
Dude, this band is AWESOME.

Jason's still got it with his swift bass playing and great vocals

Paradox was amazing! Should be much higher on this list in my opinion
Great thrash metal band! Why it isn't here?

60D.R.I. (Dirty Rotten Imbeciles)
Listen to beneath the wheel

Cool band


South Africa's finest are also one of the top thrash metal bands. They have a very original sound and do what they truly feel. Listen to Power of the Brave, Force of Final Impact or What is Wrong
South Africa's finest deserve a chance up there with the classics. Watch a live show and your mind will be changed forever


Deliverance is a christian thrash metal in the 80's. The riffs are mean and awesome. One of my favorite album of them is Weapons of our warfare.



Check out blood fire death by this band. Great album.
Blood Fire Death is one hell of a thrash album
Blood Fire Death isn't thrash, dumbasses. Still great album though

More along the lines of death metal, but nevertheless, these guys are some of modern metal's most talented musicians. Very tight.

69Dead Horse
What?! Dead Horse should at least be higher than Slipknot. They're great! They got some rythmic grooves


One of the best!

Living in a whirl wind

73Living Death
Very strong band with big influence to Mekong Delta, etc

Amazing! Listen to Eternal Nightmare and you'll see how badass this band really is. Amazing vocals and killer riffs
Killer riffs on Eternal Nightmare.

Brazilian thrash metal band formed in 2002. They are awesome.
One of the best old school thrash metal bands! Underrated band...

I love rotor with pluit phobia and gatoloco

77Darkest Hour

Such an amazing thrash band they had so much potential. Why did they have to disband.


80Acid Drinkers
Surprising, fresh and funny metal. Great stuff!
Best polish metal band

81Vortex Croatia
You just have to listen to "Thrash Metal Holocaust" and then you will surely know why this band is the successor of the good old Metallica. With some notes of Megadeth inside!

82Fear Factory
Fear factory is a kick ass band

83Mantic Ritual




87Laaz Rockit


89The Haunted

No Raven? One of the founders of thrash metal. Metallica opened for Raven on their Kill 'em All tour.

One of the most underrated thrash. Their sound became doom in their third album but the first two albums are definitely worth it.

Another underrated thrash bands of the eighties. One of the best thrash metal band that didn't get much appreciation.


94Fog of War



97Shadows Fall

This band needs some popularity!


100Cerebral Fix

Comments About This List

Featured Lists
Popular Lists
New Lists

Top Remixes of This List

Posts About This List

List Info

This list was created 5 years, 36 days ago and has been voted on over 4,000 times. This top ten list contains 143 items, has been remixed 51 times.

Updated Sunday, April 26, 2015

List Error Reporting

See an item on this list that's misspelled, duplicated, or doesn't belong? Let us know. Click here to report the error.