Bands to Make the Big Four of Thrash Metal the Big Five


The Top Ten

1 Exodus Exodus Exodus 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.

Honestly, there are only three logical options: Exodus, Testament, and Overkill. The reason I don't include Kreator is that they were more influential to death metal than to thrash. Exodus was one of the creators of thrash, so they deserve a shot. Testament has a huge following now, and is still making great music. Despite not being one of the first, they kept thrash alive through the early 90's. Overkill was, in my opinion, more influential in shaping the East Coast thrash scene more than Anthrax. Their consistency is greater than almost any other band. In addition, they continue to make good albums, such as Ironbound and Electric Age.

I voted for Overkill. I am more of a fan of Overkill than the others. Looking at it objectively, I would vote for Testament, though. What defined the "Big 4" was their popularity, and how they brought the thrash genre to metal fans as a whole. Testament is easily more popular than Exodus and Overkill, and they've popularized it much ...more

Exodus are definitely "Big 5"-worthy, not only because they are older than all the "Big 4" bands (having formed in 1979) and had Kirk Hammett as their guitarist in their early days, but they were the first Bay Area thrash metal band to exist. That predates Metallica, who hadn't even moved to the Bay Area until shortly after they hired Cliff Burton as their bassist. Not to mention, one of Exodus' early demos inspired Slayer to make "Show No Mercy", and they would inspire many bands of their generation such as Megadeth, Anthrax, Testament, Sepultura, Death Angel, Kreator and many others. Without Exodus, there would be no such thing as thrash metal or the bands of that genre.

Hell, why Big 5? I say; let's make it "The Thrashing Thirty"(or more than that). More Thrash Metal bands, the better.

Exodus and testament obviously

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2 Testament Testament Testament 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.

The most successful thrash band outside of the big four. Excellent thrash metal throughout their entire career. The Legacy, The New Order, and Practice What You Preach are all thrash metal albums of perfection.

How about a new Big 4 of Thrash? Instead of most commercially successful bands, just make it the bands who are most consistently true to the genre.
Kreator - surgeonsanic

Great band. If the Big Four had a fifth member, this would be it.

I like them better than Anthrax, they should have been the other one, and I still love Anthrax. - CostcoHotDogs

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3 Overkill Overkill Overkill is an American thrash metal band, formed in 1980 in New Jersey. They have gone through many line-up changes, with singer Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth and bassist D.D.

The reason Overkill deserves a place in the Big 4 or Big 5 is not because they've existed longer than all the Big 4 bands, but because they're the best thrash metal band ever.

Overkill is a highly underrated band, and my 4th favorite thrash band


4 Annihilator Annihilator Annihilator 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.

Annihilator! Never mind being in the big 5, these guys should already be in the big four!

Okay, Anthrax fills the big 4 mostly because the "Among The Living" masterpiece... so Annihilator with its "Alice in Hell" is almost that good as Anthrax...

They would make it less American... but there music is better than some of the big 4. - Lucretia

Without a doubt, in the Big-5. Awesome band with the best riffs.
Annihilator for the win, the most underrated band on this list. - Metal_Treasure

5 Kreator Kreator Kreator 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 more.

I think there should be a "big one" which is kreator... Better than Metallica slayer and anthrax

Kreator is the best Thrash metal band of 2000s. just listen to Hordes Of Chaos and Phantom Antichrist.

Big 4 is only in US...Kreator much better than Slayer...

6 Sepultura Sepultura Sepultura 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.

That guy who says Overkill sucks because of their vocals is a dork.

Imagine the irony of someone commenting that Overkill's vocals suck whilst endorsing Sepultura. what?!?

Morbid Visions and BEstial Devastation invented (along with Celtic Frost, Venom and Bathory) 2nd wave black metal

Most groove really though - Lucretia

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7 Death Angel Death Angel Death 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.

Why don't they get much attention?!

Wrong logo. This is Death Angel not Dark Angel.

8 Sodom Sodom Sodom 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.

This is a really tough one but I'm gonna have to go with sodom, only need to listen to the songs napalm in the morning, marines, agent orange and among the weirdcong to see why - wolphert

9 Metal Church Metal Church Metal Church is an American heavy metal band. They originally formed in San Francisco, California in 1980 before relocating to Aberdeen, Washington the following year and briefly using the name Shrapnel.

It's a mystery to me why Metal Church never gets the recognition they should have gotten long ago. They're way more eligible for the Big 4 or Big 5 rather than Megadeth or Anthrax.

Metal Church is one of the bands that deserves a place in "Big 5" because not only were they good friends with Metallica, but they were around a little earlier (having formed in 1980 and released their self-titled debut album in 1984) and were somewhat of a strong inspiration for the 80's and 90's power metal scene.

10 Venom Venom Venom 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.

Venom has never been a thrash metal band even though they influenced all the Big Four bands.

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The Contenders

11 Motorhead Motorhead Motörhead were an English heavy metal/Hard Rock band formed in June 1975 by bassist, singer, and songwriter Ian Fraser "Lemmy" Kilmister, who was the sole constant member; guitarist and songwriter Larry Wallis; and drummer Lucas Fox. The band's harsh vocals and fast paced tempos helped inspire speed more.

Motörhead isn't thrash metal, they're speed metal. - Therevengewedge

They are heavy metal - Lucretia

They created thrash

12 Pantera Pantera Pantera 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". As the pioneers of the New Wave of American Heavy Metal, They more.

Pantera is not thrash metal. Why are they even on this list, and why are they ahead of bands like Nuclear Assault, Dark Angel or Forbidden? I can't understand that. - MetalRiot

Pantera definitely doesn't belong in the Big 4 or Big 5 because they're not thrash metal.

Groove metal is a derivative form of thrash but it's not thrash anymore so I wouldn't consider Pantera here. - Metal_Treasure

I consider Pantera Thrash sometimes, it's not always like Floods or Cemetery gates, Domination and CFH are Thrashy - EliHbk

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13 Destruction Destruction Destruction 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.
14 Dark Angel Dark Angel Dark Angel is an American thrash metal band from Los Angeles, California formed in 1981. Their over-the-top style (extremely fast, heavy and lengthy songs with lots of tempo changes, lyrics and extended instrumental parts) earned them the nickname "the L.A. Caffeine Machine". Although Dark Angel had more.

Underrated band!

15 Savatage Savatage Savatage is an American heavy metal band founded by the brothers Jon and Criss Oliva in 1978 at Astro Skate in Tarpon Springs, Florida.

Why is Savatage on this list? They're not thrash metal, they're power metal. - MetalRiot

Correct me if I am wrong but they are not thrash metal

Power metal is not thrash metal, so I wouldn't put Savatage in a so called "Big 5" or "Big 6" or whatever.

Great band but not thrash metal

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16 Nuclear Assault Nuclear Assault Nuclear Assault is an American thrash metal band from New York City, formed after bassist Dan Lilker left Anthrax in 1984. After releasing five full-length albums and touring relentlessly throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, Nuclear Assault split up in 1995. They briefly reunited in 1997 and again more.

The fact that this band features Danny Lilker (from S.O.D. and the original bassist for Anthrax) isn't their only claim to fame. Along with bands like D.R.I. and Suicidal Tendencies, Nuclear Assault was part of the emerging crossover thrash scene of the 80's.

17 Voivod Voivod Voivod is a Canadian heavy metal band from Jonquière, Québec. Their musical style has changed several times since the band's origin in the early 1980s.

One of Canada's finest, along with Annihilator, Sacrifice and Razor.

Underrated band!

Killer band!

They should be above bands who are not completely thrash metal like Motörhead, Pantera and Venom.

18 Municipal Waste Municipal Waste Municipal Waste is a crossover thrash band from Richmond, Virginia. They performed at the UK's Download Festival on June 15, 2008. They also joined At the Gates on their "Suicidal Final Tour" along with Darkest Hour, Toxic Holocaust and Repulsion.
19 Suicidal Tendencies Suicidal Tendencies Suicidal Tendencies is an American crossover thrash band founded in 1980 in Venice, California by vocalist Mike Muir, who is the only remaining original member of the band. The band is often credited as one of "the fathers of crossover thrash".

Suicidal is somewhat Big 5-worthy because they not only helped pioneer the genre crossover thrash (which influenced and inspired bands such as Slayer, Anthrax, Sepultura, Nuclear Assault, Municipal Waste and many others), but they've sold over half a million records, with "Controlled By Hatred/Feel Like S*** ...Deja Vu" and "Lights...Camera...Revolution! " going gold in the U.S.

20 Onslaught Onslaught Onslaught are an English thrash metal band from Bristol, England. Initially active from 1983 to 1991, they reformed in 2004. The band initially drew influence from second wave hardcore punk bands such as Discharge and The Exploited, and then adopted a straight forward thrash metal sound.

Love this band. - Lucretia

Criminally underrated UK thrash metal band!

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