Best Thrash Metal Albums

The Top Ten

1 Rust in Peace - Megadeth Rust in Peace - Megadeth Product Image

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!

Best thrash metal album ever made in my opinion.
Yeah, of course it lacks structure, but that doesn't means it isn't a masterpiece.

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

Is there really any competition? This is the finest thrash metal album ever and will probably ever be topped. It is light years better than Master of Puppets, Ride the Lightning, or even Peace Sells. By the way, Reign in Blood shouldn't be in the top ten, or even top 15. Seasons in the abyss is way better. And come on, Master of Puppets isn't even really straight up thrash. It's mostly diluted with ballads, slow parts, repetitive riffs, and it's mostly heavy metal. Do you see Countdown to Extinction up here? No, because it's not really straight up thrash. But all the Metallica Fan-girls came to vote for it. Apply the same standards to Metallica that you do for Megadeth. If you're a Metallica fan, vote for Ride the Lightning. You know that album is way more thrash than Mop, and, if we're honest, better.

2 Master of Puppets - Metallica Master of Puppets - Metallica Product Image

Can't really choose between Master of Puppets and Rust in Peace. Yet, if you listen Master of Puppets and Rust in Peace with someone who does not like thrash genre at all, will go for Master of Puppets. That's why Master of Puppets is the most special one among the list in my humble opinion.

Best thrash metal album ever! Every single song on here is amazing. Even the more underrated ones like disposable heroes or leper messiah are still great! That just goes to show you how great this album actually is. Brutal guitar riffs, fast and exhilarating solos, and awesome vocals! Ride the lightning comes real close to Master, but I just feel that master of puppets was the pinnacle of what metallica could do! If you've never listened to this album, do so now!

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.

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.

3 Reign in Blood - Slayer Reign in Blood - Slayer Product Image

Thrash is the epitome of intensity, an NOTHING comes closer to this absolute masterpiece, the best thrash album hands down. Slayer is order through chaos, no-one combined thrash and punk like them. This is not meant to be liked, it just simply is, the band did not give a flying care about what people thought of their music.

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.

I'm a bigger Metallica fan than I am a slayer fan but come on just listen to it, probably the most heavy thrash album its intense and out right scary.

4 Ride The Lightning - Metallica Ride The Lightning - Metallica Product Image

Ride The Lightning is a Metal masterpiece in a few ways. For Whom the Bell Tolls does everything right. Incredible intro, great riff that,s memorable and vocals from Hetfield that gives you goosebumps every time. The structure of songs throughout the album is very solid, fast and slow tracks that sound equally great. Ride the Lightning opening riff is literally close to perfect and the song in general works so well. Megadeath does have some great songs, Symphony of Destruction, Peace sells and many others but no Megadeath album comes close to Ride The Lightning. Ride The Lightning is so good that there is no reason to skip any song on that album, full through any time. The actual complexity of Metallica generally, lyrically, instrumentally is the best of the best. This Album is one of the best Metallica ones and for sure the best Thrash album.

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.

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.

5 Kill 'Em All - Metallica Kill 'Em All - Metallica Product Image

Better thrash album than Ride the Lightning and probably even Master of Puppets

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.

Listen to The Outlaw Torn and Fixxxer, that might change your mind for Load/Reload. - awesomedp900

It's a good album, but honestly, does it deserve to be above Justice, Among the Living, and Pleasure to Kill?

This is really the only Metallica album I would classify as thrash. Metallica doesn't generally fit any specific genre. They are so amazing that they honestly have their own genre... Kill Em All is amazing though. Best thrash album ever.

6 Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? - Megadeth Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? - Megadeth Product Image

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.

Megadeth - the jazz speed metal band with some classical influences. The lineup of Mustaine and Ellefson alongwith Gar Samuelson and Chris Poland, 2 jazz virtuosos who grew up playing together, created a record that brought Megadeth to a much wider audience.
RIP Gar Samuelson.

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.

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.

7 Bonded by Blood - Exodus Bonded by Blood - Exodus Product Image

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.

8 ...And Justice for All - Metallica ...And Justice for All - Metallica Product Image

Actually the superior album Metallica wrote. This album embodies everything that Metallica used to be. Blackened was the perfect opening to an album full of thrash metal extraordinaire. The first riff is still mindblowing after all these years. The title song...And Justice For All is the most valuable indictment of the Western monetary democracy. Eye of the Beholder is a perfect example of how a song can be both thrashy and slow at the same time. Grooving and pounding away this song paved the way for many groove metal bands to come. The fourth song on this album doesn't require any appraise. One can be seen as the ultimate metal anthem ever and the epitomy of everything that made Metallica great. The Shortest Straw is an amazing song and made even better by Hetfield's outstanding vocal performance. The story about Cliff Burton's death is interlaced through this song and makes it a very genuine and emotional song. Harvester of Sorrow is simply outstanding. The song has an extremely ...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...

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

My favorite album of all time!
Personal top 5
1- AJFA
2- RIP
3- MOP
4-Raining Blood
5-Bonded by Blood
Honorable Mention to Vulgar Display of Power (arguably thrash)

9 Among the Living - Anthrax Among the Living - Anthrax Product Image

Unique compared to other thrash metal albums with a punk vibe

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!

10 Seasons in the Abyss - Slayer Seasons in the Abyss - Slayer Product Image

Their last iconic album and definitely their best album. I wouldn't go as far as to say they haven't had any good albums since like the guest below, they have had several good albums since, just none of them have a full album of good songs

'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.

Their second best album ever, in fact they haven't really made a good album since!

The Contenders

11 Beneath the Remains - Sepultura Beneath the Remains - Sepultura Product Image

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

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.

Sepultura one best classic and thrash masterpiece

Chaos AD is inside the top ten Thrash albums in history.

12 The New Order - Testament The New Order - Testament Product Image

Master of Puppets, Among the Living and Kill 'Em All being in the top ten is a joke. They can be influential thrash albums, but not the best. Master of Puppets has about three true thrash songs. Now, Among the Living, do I really have to explain why? It's Anthrax.. Kill 'Em All, again, barely sounds thrash. Sounds punkish. And Peace Sells... But Who's Buying is overrated and I hate the vocals and some of the lyrics on Bonded By Blood that seem like a young teen who's just getting into the genre would say. Other than that I agree with the remaining albums being in the top ten. Finally, this album by Testament, which I believe is their best, should be in the top top. The guitar, lyrics, production, it's what thrash should be defined as! All killer no filler, except that cover by Aerosmith which is the only song I don't like from this album.

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.

The New Order is now inside the top ten Thrash albums in history. It feels like we're approaching the end days or a new world order.

13 The Years of Decay - Overkill The Years of Decay - Overkill Product Image

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.

Overkill is better than metallica, I don't know how people say they are the best band, I mean they have released many albums, and just like 4 good ones

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

14 Pleasure To Kill - Kreator Pleasure To Kill - Kreator Product Image

"the heaviest album of 1986"
"even more brutal and crushing than Slayer's Reign in Blood"
"so fast and heavy... best album ever"

I get it. It's heavy. No denying, it is. But what else is there to say about this album? Where are the standout riffs, solos, basslines or the creative song structures? It's all about heaviness only.

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

It stands in line with Slayer's RiB and Dark Angel's Darkness Descends. A true timeless master piece of brutal thrash metal at it's best and an influence for all kind of extreme metal like death and black metal.

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

15 Alice in Hell - Annihilator Alice in Hell - Annihilator Product Image

Excellent technical thrash - fast, technical and sophisticated riffs and solos.

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

I think this should be in the top ten with instead of Master of Puppets, which is a pretty good album, but it's not pure thrash by any stretch of the imagination, and there is some obvious filler material. Not so on this thrashterpiece.

I only like King of the kill album, alison hell is best song

16 Extreme Aggression - Kreator Extreme Aggression - Kreator Product Image

I think Terrible Certainty is better, in addition to Coma of Souls and Pleasure to Kill. Great album, no doubt, but it never clicked with me. I know it has a bit of a "cult following", you could say.

Kreator is still in their prime

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.

One toughiest thrash metal album in history, what is ever made

17 Handle With Care - Nuclear Assault Handle With Care - Nuclear Assault Product Image

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

Probably their most thrash album. Less punk influence.

I'm not a fan, but Lilker is a beast.

18 Release From Agony - Destruction Release From Agony - Destruction Product Image

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.

When I first listened to this, I had only heard 1 Destruction song. This album totally blew me away.

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

19 Enemy of God - Kreator Enemy of God - Kreator Product Image

The true nature of Petrozza and Ventor exposed in one of the best records, no one can deny the aggressiveness mix down with the high levels of technical level developed in so few songs. A most be in any gadget of all thrashers...

Bitter album and pearl, loved album

20 Schizophrenia - Sepultura Schizophrenia - Sepultura Product Image

This is way better than Arise.

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.

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

21 Agent Orange - Sodom Agent Orange - Sodom Product Image

I'm surprised how underrated the European big 4 is all four of the bands were just as good as the American big 4 and personally believe the European Big 4 is more consistent than the American Big 4

Because the German big four is much less accessible and less commercial - Alkadikce

Sodom in a purple-patch of their career. They improved immensely, musically speaking, with their brand of thrash. That said, 'Sepulchral Voice' is still a classic.

This album is so much better the the first 10 on this list.
It's a classic the lyrics are amazing and every song is good.

Definitely one of the best on this list. I don't know why it is so behind.

22 The Legacy - Testament The Legacy - Testament Product Image

Burnt Offerings, Raging Waters, Over the Wall, First Strike is Deadly, The Haunting, and Alone in the Dark. This album is a thrash metal MASTERPIECE!

I think this is so low because Testament fans see The New Order at #10 and just vote for it to try to get it up higher. They're both great.

One of the greatest thrash metal albums in history.

Every single one of these songs are amazing, definitely deserves top 5.

23 Horrorscope - Overkill Horrorscope - Overkill Product Image

Very excellent, but overshadowed by Years of Decay.

Getting rid of Gustafson and replacing him with two new guitarists could have spelt disaster, but it didn't - just.

Many regard this as their best, and it's easy to see why. From the album opener 'Coma' to the closer 'Solitude', it is as solid as a rock, and it's all killer material. Highlights for me are 'New Machine', 'Horrorscope' and 'thanks For Nothing'. It's all good, though.

24 Arise - Sepultura Arise - Sepultura Product Image

Definitely my second favorite album of Sepultura after Schizophrenia.
This album had the problem where it was hyped as more brutal than Reign in Blood

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

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

Definitely not Thrash but Death, still an amazing album

25 Darkness Descends - Dark Angel Darkness Descends - Dark Angel Product Image

Wow! Why is this all the way down here. The list should go 1. rust in piece 2. reign in blood, and then this for number 3. This has all the fast riffs and great drumming of reign in blood and only falls sort from it by a little bit. Its a disgrace seeing this album all the way down here.

The embodiment of thrash metal. Fast, aggressive, and absolutely unrelenting. The most perfect vocal performance in thrash metal, some of the most intense drumming, and seriously chaotic guitar playing.

Proud owner of this beast on vinyl, and I don't know why they got rid of the vocalist on this one, because he was insane. The lyrics were damn good too. Dark Angel could have been anything...

Have you ever heard such OP drums in a mix before. And that is Hoglan when he was young. Listen to how he plays now. He's as good as Lombardo himself.

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