Best Thrash Metal Bands

The Top Ten

Megadeth Megadeth is an American thrash metal band from Los Angeles, California. Megadeth was formed in 1983 by guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassist David Ellefson, shortly after Mustaine was fired from Metallica. They have released 15 studio albums to date, and have gone through many lineup changes, with Dave ...read more.

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.

If Metallica are only famous for their first 4 albums, then so is Megadeth. Countdown To Extinction is for Megadeth what the Black Album is for Metallica. - Adrian_4

99 ways to vote this to best
Just listen trust or peace sells so your hooked!
Fastest and heaviest thrash metal band on earth!

Trust and Peace Sells aren't even thrash. Their fastest songs are Rattlehead and Good Mourning / Black Friday. - Alkadikce

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.

First 4 albums are absolutely incredible, ESPECIALLY So Far So Good, So What and Killing is my Business

Metallica Metallica 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.

I grew up listening to Metallica religiously. I even liked their later stuff. In my opinion Metallica > Megadeth. I never really enjoyed Megadeth as much.

I'm tired of Metallica fans and Megadeth fans going against each other. They're both amazing bands. They both have bad albums, and they both have amazing albums.

I might have the weirdest list, but my top five are
1 - Metallica
2 - Testament
3 - Megadeth
4 - Slayer
5 - Death Angel

Slayer Slayer is an American thrash metal band from Huntington Park, California, formed in 1981 by guitarists Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King. They rose to fame with their 1986 album Reign in Blood, and is credited as one of the big four of thrash metal bands, the others being Metallica, Megadeth, and Anthrax. ...read more.

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

Such mixed responses: the bottom line is all four bands in the top 4 right now are all number 1 best thrash metal band

Should be number 1. Slayer is the only one of the big 4 to produce consistently good albums throughout their career.

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?

Kreator, Sodom, Demolition Hammer, Dew-Scented are heavier than Slayer

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.

This may not be my favourite thrash band ever, nor a band that produced the greatest thrash album of all time. But it gets my vote for being the only band I know that has no terrible album in its discography. I recently listened to their 2020 release and again, beats my expectations as always...

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.

The Ritual is kinda selling out, but I don't mind it

Demonic is nowhere death metal, yes, the vocals are unclean but it's more groove/industrial metal with growls - Alkadikce

amazing riffs, solos and drumming. You can actually hear the bass (not like some other thrash bands) and also Chuck has an unique eargasmic way of singing

MUCH better than Exodus. Has great early stuff like their first three albums and awesome modern stuff like their last 2. PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREEEACH

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 ...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.

Nowadays, Kreator has turned from the wonderful melodic thrash genre you're talking about to generic metalcore. - Alkadikce

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.

Why is Metallica first place? Metallica WAS a really great band with awesome Songs, yeah, but they aren't Thrash anymore. Kreator also had his ups and downs, but they were Thrash, they are Thrash and they will be Thrash for all times.

I think this List should look like that:

1. Kreator
2. Sodom
3. Megadeth (also no more real thrash, but more than Metallica
4. Slayer
5. Metallica
6. Sacred Reich ( one of the most underrated bands

And for the end only one question:
Who put Venom, Machine Head, Suicidal Tendencies and Soulfly on this list? Also great bands, but no Thrash.

Great songwriting... From endless pain to Phantom Antichrist. For me the best!

Overkill

There are no bad Overkill albums, You can listen to their discography for years without getting bored!

Everything is good. His voice, drums, everything. Top 3 favorite bands for me

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..

I grew up with the trash movement and experienced the birth of speed. I still buy every new release by the Big Four and their (supposed) little brothers; Testament, Exodus and Overkill. However, Overkill wins on pure consistency. While the others were breaking up, taking a long hiatus or releasing steaming piles of St. Anger, Overkill weathered the storm and continually produced quality thrash albums. While the next generations were paying ridiculous prices to go watch Linkin Park lip sync, I was paying twenty bucks a ticket to watch Bobby Blitz scream his balls off. They never disappoint. Overkill is the true thrash band in every sense of the genre.

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

Anthrax is underrated, they are the best out of the big 4 today and every album they put out with Joey belladonna is excellent

Anthrax is one of the big four of Thrash

Great addition to the comments, it really enhances my perception of Anthrax as a band - dubsinthetubs

"Shouldn't be in the big 4" my ass. First 3 albums kick ass and they have good stuff spread around nowadays, definitely the least accessible of the big 4 but very interesting.

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.

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.

Exodus are the greatest Thrash band, better than Metallica or Slayer, they're just.. Metal in its Purest Form!

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.

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.

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

It is fun looking at this list in the future because on three of the big 4 on in the top 5 - germshep24

1) Sepultura
2) Slayer
3) Testament
4) Kreator
5) Exodus
6) Anthrax
7) Overkill
8) Death Angel
9) Havok
10) Venom

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

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!

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.

Top 3 thrash bands ever, their demos are 10 times heavier and rawer than Venom but made during the same time. In the Sign of Evil is a pure masterpiece, their early stuff kicks ass and their new melodic-thrash stuff is incredible as well.

Persecution mania and agent orange are pure classics and tapping the vein is one of the most underrated thrash albums in existance.

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

One of the heaviest Thrash band of all time. Even heavier than Slayer.

Demolition Hammer is probably heavier than both, although heaviness in thrash has very little relevance to quality in my opinion. The heaviest thrash bands are often monotonic and heavy for the sake of being heavy, and they would get sub-par if we would take some of the heaviness away (this applies for Sodom as well). If I want heavier music than regular thrash I will listen to death metal instead. - Alkadikce

The Contenders

Pantera Pantera was an American Heavy Metal band formed in 1981 by guitarist Dimebag Darrell and drummer Vinnie Paul. The band started out as a Glam Metal act in the 1980s with little success. After discarding their original lead vocalist and enlisting Phil Anselmo, the band signed a major record deal with ...read more.

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.

Exactly, metallica is more emotional, that's all they got on Pantera really.

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

Good, but there groove metal, not thrash.

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.

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.

Perhaps the most accessible thrash metal band ever with Paradox, even above Metallica and Testament. Not something negative at all

The old albums are great but so are the new ones. The Dream calls for Blood, The evil Divide and Humanicide kick ass. Plus they're one of the best and most intense live bands

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.

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.

Metallica is my too 1 but this band need some recognition

My personal top 5
1- metallica
2- slayer
3- megadeth
4- annihilator
5- exodus
6- anthrax
7- havok
8- testament
9- death angel
10- kreator

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.

Awesome band Jeff Waters is definitely one of best Guitarist in metal

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.

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.

Good back then. Still good. They are the gods of thrash (maybe next to Exodus... maybe)

Razor Razor 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".

Easily the best thrash metal band to come out of Canada. Give their album Violent Restitution (their best work) a listen and you'll see why.

Love the guitar in this band

Good as hell

Havok Havok is an American thrash metal band from Denver, Colorado. Formed in 2004, their members currently consist of David Sanchez, Nick Schendzielos, Pete Webber, and Reece Scruggs.

They are so underrated. Best band and is never boring to listen to

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.

Please, get these guys to the top 10. There is no modern thrash band that plays with half the intensity and energy as Havok. Listen to Time is Up and you'll understand

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.

Coroner Coroner 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 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!

Very overlooked band, even though everyone who knows them loves what they accomplished over their five album run. They are essentially the Rush of thrash metal. Very progressive and we'll structured music. Their older material is very neoclassical speed/thrash metal but each album became more progressive than the last.

Unleashing Vengeance

So low here? I guess no one listens to UV... It's not just thrash, It's Progressive/Blackened/Folk Metal/Metalcore Inspired Thrash with experimental touches on later cd's... Can any of the so vault big 4 say they have this kind of technical quality as songs such as RFID, Spawn of Madness, Gullible spawn of deception, etc? I didn't think so... UV may be mostly a solo project but the music UV wrote was sick... It was extreme, loud, technical, experimental, and it had lots of touches of different kinds of music thrown in, not all of that music being metal... It makes this band/project sound a lot more unique... I don't listen to thrash much, but this does it for me. Absolutely no other thrash band sounds exactly like this one...

Hexx

Not exactly thrash.

Trivium Trivium is an American Heavy Metal band from Orlando, Florida, formed in 1999. Their frontman, Matt Heafy, lead guitarist Corey Beaulieu and Bassist Paulo Gregoletto are the band's most consistent members and have appeared in every album since. ...read more.

It's a joke that Trivium are on this list at all. They, along with Bullet For My Valentine Slipknot and As I Lay Dying, are all just different kinds of metal"core". Whiny lyrics with occasional growls over boring riffs and by the book solos.

Trivium ignore all pigeonholes, and with 'Vengeance Falls' have become a classy modern metal band. They're not the best of the best, but they have countless influences to draw upon. The longer metal evolves, the less you will be able to label anyone. They're a thrash band, and a damn good one.

Trivium sucks! Take this off the top ten list for god sakes!

Matt Heafy has a good voice & can sing unlike Dave Mustaine & many other so called heavy metal legends.

Dew-Scented Dew-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.

Nevermore Nevermore is an American progressive metal band from Seattle, Washington. Formed in 1991, they are known to incorporate elements from various styles such as power metal, modern hard rock, classic heavy metal and technical thrash metal. The band has been on hiatus since 2011, due to personal issues between ...read more.

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 has plenty of thrash elements in their music to be on this list.

One of my favorite bands, Jeff Loomis, enough said, not thrash though

Trash not thrash

Vektor Vektor is an American progressive thrash metal band from Tempe, Arizona. The band was formed under the name Locrian around June 2003, but changed their name to Vektor in 2004.

For modern thrash, these guys are surprising. Usually modern thrash riffs sound watered down, boring and recycled. These guys' riffs are literally extraterrestial. I hate prog and pizza thrash, but their final album is a 10/10 masterpiece. Give it a listen.

Best new wave of thrash band. Should absolutely be top 10 at least, they're in my top 3. Vektor IS the future. The way they transcend the line between thrash and death, death and black, black and thrash, all with progression is beautiful. Not to mention it's all very sci-fi feeling. Terminal Redux was the best album of 2016 by far. This band is amazing and you should absolutely check them out. This band lets me be both a prog snob and a 4/4 pleb (no that's not a band thing) at the same time, and I love it for that.

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.

Terminal redux was better then metallica's black album and I dare to say master of puppets
just go listen to charging the void
and guys I know what I am talking about I have a metallica and megadeth and slayer when I listened to terminal redux I threw them all

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.

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.

Everyone above Venom has stated their influence, Metallica did tons of Venom covers back in the day

Should be in Top 5 at least...

Evile Evile are an English thrash metal band from Huddersfield, formed in 2004. The band's debut album, Enter the Grave, was produced by Flemming Rasmussen at Sweet Silence Studios in Copenhagen, Denmark and was released worldwide in 2007 by Earache Records to critical acclaim by fans and critics alike.

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.

Underworld is a really good song.

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