Most Important Albums in Thrash Metal History

christangrant
Without these albums Thrash Metal wouldn't be as popular as it would be today.

The Top Ten

1 Welcome to Hell - Venom

It's simple - no thrash without this album (1981). - Metal_Treasure

Thrash metal before Metallica!

2 Kill 'Em All - Metallica

Objectively, this album inspired so much of what thrash metal is. But I think that this shaped all future thrash metal. I'd say second most important is Peace Sells.

3 Reign In Blood - Slayer
4 The Years of Decay - Overkill

Supposedly this was the album (or one of the albums) that inspired Pantera work with Terry Date (who also produced this album) as the producer for "Cowboys From Hell".

Other albums like "Taking Over" and "Under The Influence" are awesome, but I agree that this is an important album.

Overkill are the kings of thrash metal.

One of their best!

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5 Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? - Megadeth
6 Alice In Hell - Annihilator

Supposedly this is what inspired Mustaine to make Rust in Peace. He even asked Jeff Watters to join Megadeth in '89 after hearing this record.

Classic!

7 Master of Puppets - Metallica
8 Bonded by Blood - Exodus

"Bonded By Blood" was somewhat more important than anything the "Big 4" had released up to that point (1985). Like the first two Metallica albums ("Kill 'Em All" and "Ride The Lightning"), "Bonded By Blood" inspired so much of what the Bay Area thrash metal scene is all about. Most people say that if the album had been released immediately after its completion in the summer of 1984, it would've been remembered just as much as "Kill 'Em All" or received credit for launching the thrash metal scene.

9 The New Order - Testament

Classic!

10 Among the Living - Anthrax

The Contenders

11 Pleasure to Kill - Kreator

This is one of the thrash metal albums that influenced the death metal genre.

12 Practice What You Preach - Testament

Not only was this Testament's first album to enter the top 100 on the charts, but it also helped build the band's status as one of thrash metal's finest bands. Thanks to the considerable amount airplay of "Practice What You Preach" and "The Ballad", the album has sold more than 450,000 copies in the years since its release despite never achieving Gold Certification.

13 Darkness Descends - Dark Angel

The album that introduced the mighty Gene Hoglan!

14 Cowboys from Hell - Pantera

After a period of transitioning, from glam (as heard on "Metal Magic", "Projects In The Jungle" and "I Am The Night") to metal (as heard on "Power Metal"), Pantera finally got not only their biggest break yet, but reputation as one of the world's biggest metal bands with their fifth album "Cowboys From Hell". It was the time of that album's release in 1990 that many thrash metal bands (including "The Big Four" aka Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax, as well as others like Testament, Overkill and Exodus) were at their creative peak. The success of "Cowboys From Hell" also allowed Pantera to embark on their first-ever tour, opening for up Suicidal Tendencies and Exodus in America and for Judas Priest on the "Painkiller" tour in Europe.

Rob Halford became a huge Pantera fan after hearing this album. He even joined them on stage when Pantera opened for Judas Priest and did a collaboration with them on his solo song "Light Comes Out Of Black". And more importantly, Rob's love for Pantera inspired him to form the band Fight, one of the bands he was in during his hiatus from Priest.

15 Extreme Aggression - Kreator

Probably the second best Kreator album, behind "Pleasure To Kill".

Not only was this Kreator's major label debut, but the album that finally broke the band in America, thanks to the airplay of their video for "Betrayer" on MTV's Headbangers Ball.

16 Control and Resistance - Watchtower

Technical thrash metal classic!

17 Beneath the Remains - Sepultura

This was the album that broke Sepultura outside of their home country Brazil.

Classic!

18 Forbidden Evil - Forbidden
19 The Legacy - Testament
20 Doomsday for the Deceiver - Flotsam and Jetsam

The only album F&J did with Jason Newsted before he went on to replace Cliff in Metallica.

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List StatsUpdated 18 Aug 2017

100 votes
43 listings
205 days old

Top Remixes (4)

1. Welcome to Hell - Venom
2. Kill 'Em All - Metallica
3. Reign In Blood - Slayer
Metal_Treasure
1. Welcome to Hell - Venom
2. Reign In Blood - Slayer
3. Kill 'Em All - Metallica
KobraKid
1. Welcome to Hell - Venom
2. Kill 'Em All - Metallica
3. Reign In Blood - Slayer
christangrant

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