Best Thrash Metal Bands

Metalman37

The Top TenXW

1MegadethMegadeth is an American thrash metal band from Los Angeles, California. The group was formed in 1983 by guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassist David Ellefson, shortly after Mustaine's dismissal from Metallica.

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. - danuprankalayanamit

Mustaine is the best

V199 Comments
2MetallicaMetallica is an American Thrash Metal band formed in 1981 . The original lineup was James Hetfield (Vocalist and Rhythm guitarist), Dave Mustaine (Lead Guitar), Lars Ulrich (Drums), Ron McGovney (Bassist). The group came into mainstream from their Self-Titled album and the hit single "Enter Sandman". ...read more.

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 and Mustaine invented thrash. Metallica's first 5 releases are the gold standard, but you must acknowledge 'Peace Sells...' greatness, plus most other Megadeth's early releases greatness. 'So far...', 'Rust in Piece', 'Countdown to Extinction' etc. Yes, Hetfield was the superior lyricist and vocalist, but that was 15-years ago. He used to sing with venom and fury, but he just talks his songs out now. Megadeth is essentially a solo project, and Mustaine must be given due credit for his output. Megadeth are now superior to Metallica both live and in studio, whereas that wasn't the case way back when. Metallica at 1, Megadeth at 2, case closed.

Their first 4 albums were definitely thrash metal and then they went a bit too mainstream but the songs from death magnetic I've heard seem to be back to thrash metal - Jed230

V157 Comments
3SlayerSlayer is an American thrash metal band from Huntington Park, California, formed in 1981 by guitarists Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King.

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?

Slayer rules should be in the top of the list and metallica at 2 megadeth at 3. These three bands are the greatest thrash metal bands ever.

V124 Comments
4TestamentTestament is an American thrash metal band from Berkeley, California. Formed in 1983 under the name Legacy, the band consists of vocalist Chuck Billy, guitarists Eric Peterson and Alex Skolnick, bassist Steve DiGiorgio and drummer Gene Hoglan.

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.

Testament are easily the best thrash band ever considering their longevity, consistency and their stick to their roots (except their more commercial phase 1989-1992 Practice-Souls-Ritual). I find great albums in Exodus, Kreator, Destruction and Dark Angel discography, but from all of these bands I can name two up to maximum three albums I like. These bands are really good, I also found a good album among Death Angel and Flotsam and Jetsam recordings. Speaking about the big four hype I can easily skip the whole Metallica and Slayer (whatever they produced), however, I like some old Anthrax stuff (Disease, Living, Time). But same as for Megadeth (I absolutely love the Rust played live in LA Palladium, some tracks from Countdown and Dystopia) they both do not play the real thrash but more-less heavy metal mixed with NWOBHM/punk influences with some thrash flavor on top of it (sometimes more (from Killing to profoundly at Rust, Endgame and Dystopia), sometimes less ("ACDC"-rockish ...more

Testament, metal gods that have put out solid albums year after year rock on! Hell look at m name... Skolnick is their guitarist - alexskolnick13

Testament is a testament to thrash. They still kill it old school unlike the first three. If we were voting in 1988 then I would agree they should be in 4th place behind Metallica, Megadeth and Slayer. Now though they are one of the few true thrash bands around. They have always put out consistently great albums and there isn't a dud in their catalog.

V25 Comments
5KreatorKreator is a German thrash metal band from Essen. Their style of music is similar to that of their compatriots Destruction, Sodom and Tankard; along with those three bands, Kreator has been referred to as one of the "big four" of Teutonic thrash metal, and they are often credited with helping pioneer ...read more.

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!

Consistently awesome (minus some 90's albums).

V32 Comments
6AnthraxAnthrax is an American thrash metal band from New York City, formed in 1981 by guitarist Scott Ian and bassist Dan Lilker.

Anthrax is one of the big four of Thrash - D2Demon

Thrash Metal is my favourite music genre and I think that pretty much every band included in it has an incredible ability to compose music. but to my ears Anthrax, Slayer, Metallica, Megadeth and Testament have something that differenciates them from every other band; something that elevates them. Anthrax has one of the best vocalists ever and also afforded to combine Thrash Metal with Rap. Slayer has incredible speed and heaviness, Metallica has wonderful melodies, solos and some of the best lyrics in the history of music. I also liked his "experimentations" (Load, ReLoad and St. Anger). Megadeth is technically invincible and has lots of divine solos. Testament is basically a band that takes every peculiarity of a typical Thrash Metal band and brings them to a whole new level. These are the bands that I think should be in the top 5 (I don't mind the order) so I vote for Anthrax because they don't deserve to be any number below 5 in the list.

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 are one of the few thrash bands that still manage to be in top form these days. Worship Music and For All Kings are both far better than any Slayer album after 1994 and many Metallica album after 1991.

V33 Comments
7Overkill

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

Best hands down!

V40 Comments
8ExodusExodus is an American thrash metal band formed in 1979 in Richmond, California. Spanning a career of 37 years, Exodus has gone through numerous lineup changes, two extended hiatuses, and the deaths of two former band members.

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.

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.

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!

Way under-rated. Amazing riffs, power and lyrics!

V14 Comments
9SepulturaSepultura is a Brazilian heavy metal band from Belo Horizonte. Their first album, Morbid Visions presented a proto-black metal sound with Wagner Lamounier of Sarcófago. Sepultura's sound varies by the album, from thrash metal, groove metal, and even death metal.

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

Many think that the band died when Max left, but the band has good songs of this era like Convicted in Life - rock2metal

Sepultura always had been the best band. While Slayer still brings the same old to us, and Anthrax is not that good already, Sepultura still kicks our asses with new innovative elements like they always did this. Hell, music must be developing over time, it should never stay in the same old thrash metal traditions! We want something innovative!

I'd probably put them at 11 because they only did four or five thrash albums, as great as they were. Plus, they've done worse then Metallica by embracing nu metal.

V15 Comments
10SodomSodom is a German thrash metal band from Gelsenkirchen, formed in 1981. They have gone through many line-up changes, leaving bassist vocalist Tom Angelripper as the only constant member.

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 that kind of band that makes you wanna brutally murder everything around you. Killer guitar riffs and war lyrics take you to the battlefield where you can unleash your ultimate rage. They deserve a much higher spot on this list and are probably the greatest european thrash metal band. (Look, Kreator is great, but is nowhere near the aggression and wrath that Sodom delivers.) - sodomized

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.

SODOM is better than Kreator, point.

V12 Comments

The Contenders

11PanteraPantera was a Heavy Metal band formed in 1981 by guitarist Dimebag Darrell and drummer Vinnie Paul. The group got into mainstream after changing from Glam Metal to Groove Metal. The band's most successful album is "Vulgar Display of Power" . ...read more.

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. - petrucci75hammet

Pantera kicks ass but they are Groove Metal not Thrash Metal.

V34 Comments
12AnnihilatorAnnihilator is a Canadian thrash metal band founded in 1984 by vocalist, guitarist, bassist, songwriter, engineer, producer, mixer and mastering engineer Jeff Waters and former vocalist John Bates.

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

Jeff Waters has got to be the greatest thrash metal guitarist of all time. Listen to the albums Alice in Hell and Never Neverland if you're not convinced.

Just Listen To Fun Palace! This Is One Of The Best Thrash Metal Bands Ever!

Why do people think this is glam metal?

V8 Comments
13Death AngelDeath Angel is an American thrash metal band from Daly City, California, initially active from 1982 to 1991 and again since 2001. Death Angel has released seven studio albums, two demo tapes, one box set and two live albums.

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!

Their first three releases were remarkable, varied, and of the highest calibre. Yes, disaster struck at the height of their powers, but they could have been anything.

Not saying this should be top (that spot rightfully belongs to Megadeth, Metallica and Slayer) but Death Angel should be higher.

Holy crap these guys are underrated

V9 Comments
14DestructionDestruction is a German thrash metal band. They are considered one of the "The Big Four" of the German thrash metal scene, the others being Kreator, Sodom and Tankard.

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.

Thrash 'Till Death!

V2 Comments
15RazorRazor is a Canadian thrash metal band formed in 1984 at Guelph, Ontario. The group shot music videos for songs such as "Evil Invaders", "Shotgun Justice", "American Luck", and "Sucker for Punishment".V1 Comment
16CoronerCoroner is a Swiss thrash metal band from Zürich, formed in the early 80s. They have been called "the Rush of thrash metal" for their increasingly complex style of progressive rock-infused thrash. They garnered relatively little attention outside of Europe.

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.

I can't even express how happy I am just to see this band even featured within the top 100, let alone 13th!

Criminally underrated! Arguably one of the most underrated bands, that term is overused but Coroner is honestly the epitome of the word. Not to mention they are a trio on top of all; if you like Rush and thrash metal, this is the band for you.

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!

Vastly underrated band. Definitely one of the best thrash band ever...

V7 Comments
17Unleashing Vengeance
18HexxV1 Comment
19Dew-ScentedDew-Scented is a German thrash and death metal band. They have released eight studio albums and are currently signed to Metal Blade Records and Prosthetic Records.

Surprised to see them this high.

20VenomVenom are an English extreme metal band formed in 1979 in Newcastle upon Tyne. Coming to prominence towards the end of the new wave of British heavy metal, Venom's first two albums—Welcome to Hell and Black Metal—are considered a major influence on thrash metal and extreme metal in general.

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.

Easily one of the most influential bands in all of metal. Their first 3 albums were a big influence on thrash, black and death metal.

They practically created thrash for Gods sake. Get them to the top ten! - IronSabbathPriest

Venom? Thrash? I don't think so...

V3 Comments
PSearch List

Recommended Lists

Related Lists

Most Influential Thrash Metal Bands Best New Wave Thrash Metal Bands Bands to Make the Big Four of Thrash Metal the Big Five Best Thrash Metal Bands of the '80s, '90s, '00s Best Thrash Metal Bands of the 1980s

List StatsUpdated 8 Dec 2016

2,000 votes
182 listings
8 years, 154 days old

Top Remixes (79)

1. Testament
2. Kreator
3. Overkill
metaltater
1. Exodus
2. Kreator
3. Megadeth
Thrash_or_Die
1. Exodus
2. Megadeth
3. Testament
ThePierrasse

WRemix
View All 79

Posts

Add Post

Error Reporting

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