Top 10 Best Thrash Metal Albums

The Top Ten
1 Rust in Peace - Megadeth

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.

The technical development in this record is amazing! Truly who can say which is superior? Dave or Marty... This record deserve to be in the top ten! And for the ones who think that metallica started or invented the thrash metal... that is a lie! A few songs give birth to our beloved thrash. prowler 1980, the ripper 1977, hellion/electric eye 1982, mob rules 1981 and practically all the number of the beast 1982; all this work funnel to give birth the thrash metal and this amazing record named Rust in peace!

I have been listening to every metal and rock type of music in many different languages for more than 20 years. One day thought to myself why I never listened any Megadeth album and after listening RIP and PSBWB I couldn't believe to my ears that something like these two albums were done. I had never felt amazed and surprised when I listened to any metal or rock album in my life like I felt for these two albums. They can never ever be replaced in my opinion.

Rust in Peace is just a phenomenal album, top to bottom. With its Superior production, the songs are unbelievable. Structure, intricate riffs and melodies, filled with guitar solos that no other thrash album can match, truly amazing. One of the rare occurrences where you do not say "one of the best", you say "the best thrash album ever recorded."

2 Master of Puppets - Metallica

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.

So the mighty 'Master of Puppets' is on its knees, gobbling off Mustaine's patchy 'Rust in Peace', huh? I'd say it's an abomination, but they've both sold-out, so both should be moved down the ladder, no? Oh! Unless this is a biased post? Ah, I see now. History has already spoken about what the greatest thrash album is - 'Master of Puppets' - so at-least bump Megadeth's best album, 'Peace Sells...' to the top. That way, Mustaine fans at-least can put up a fair fight for-and-against the GREATEST thrash album of all time. Hey, you win some and you win some.

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!

WOW! The only reason Megadeth beat Metallica is because all the Megadeth fans focus on beating Metallica. Come on! All of Metallica's albums beat any of Megadeth's album. Metallica has more originality and musicality than any other band EVER! Just look at any official list: Master of Puppets is 1st, Ride the Lightning is 3rd, and Rust in Peace is 16th or something.

3 Reign in Blood - Slayer

One of the most influential albums in heavy metal history! Death metal wouldn't even exist if it wasn't for Reign in Blood. It contains some of the finest songs ever made (Angel of Death, Necrophobic, Jesus Saves, Raining Blood etc.) Dave Lombardo drums like a madman on this record, and Tom's vocals are insane!

Lol! 'Kill 'em All' is the only thrash album made by Metallica. And 'Master of Puppets' sucks compared to 'Reign in Blood'. I'm a huge Slayer fan, but even Jeff Hanneman had to 'Fade to Black' as the great man's eulogy. Metallica invented thrash, so therefore, by default, define what it is and isn't. 'Reign in Blood' is brutality personified, but I can turn on 'Fight Fire With Fire', 'Trapped Under Ice', 'Battery', 'Damage Inc.' 'Blsckened', 'Shortest Straw' and 'Dyers Eve' anytime I want and match 'Reign in Blood' twice over in length and aggression. To deny Metallica is to deny Slayer - and every other thrash band that came after them.

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.

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.

4 Ride The Lightning - Metallica

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.

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.

If Metallica fans weren't split over Master of Puppets and Ride the Lightning, Metallica would easily take back #1. Tornado of Souls is the only truly great song on Rust in Peace, but the two Metallica albums I mentioned have many amazing songs.

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 Peace Sells... But Who's Buying? - Megadeth

This sophomore effort is simply remarkable, apart from the lousy I Ain't Superstitious cover. The song structures - plus the lack of them on Wake Up Dead, The Conjuring, Good Mourning/Black Friday - were either a fluke, a guy learning his craft, or genius. I also own the 25th Anniversary of this masterpiece and it contains a high-quality bonus live cd with the mighty Looking Down The Cross upon it. Do yourself a favour...PS: I'm an early Metallica fanboy, but love this album.

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.

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.

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.

6 Among the Living - Anthrax

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.

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.

It's honestly sad to see everyone bash this album. It's one of the finest releases in thrash metal and also one of the finest release in metal music history. There's no denying that I Am The Law is amazing.

Flotsam and Jetsam's AK owns Belladonna, and Anthrax only released two great albums. Two of my favourites albums - Spreading The Disease and Among the Living - plus Exodus should be part of this Big 4 nonsense. As should Forbidden, Testament, Defiance...why not have a Big 8 instead? Or a big 15? Who came up with this exclusive Big 4 crap in the first-place?

7 Bonded by Blood - Exodus

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.

Why is the top 10 mostly just megadeth and metallica albums? they're both awesome bands but why not have Bonded by Blood by Exodus at LEAST in the top 5? this album is awesome and underrated. You have classic tracks such as "Deliver us to evil" "And Then There Were None" and let's not forget "A Lesson In Violence" One of the most iconic tracks in all of thrash metal! Sick album by a sick band. Also, Feel The Fire by Overkill NEEDS to be in the top 10. That's also a really sick and amazing album. At least anthrax is in a fair spot.

The Paul Baloff 80's original 'Bonded by Blood' is the purists Exodus album of choice, but if you like the recent remake without Baloff (pictured here, and goes by the heading 'Let There Be Blood), then that is the one to own, because the guitar sound is furious, it is still one of the best thrash albums you can buy today, and it contains the Kirk Hammett written bonus track. Confused over which to buy? Both!

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.

8 Kill 'Em All - Metallica

Metallica invented thrash and you say they don't belong to any specific genre? That's absurd! They are thrash personified, whether it be fast, or slow, or mid-tempo, or ballad. Yes, 'Load' and 'Reload' fall into the Hard Rock category, but everything - including the 'Black' album - are, by nature, thrash. It's as simple as that! If you invented it, you own it. Period!

Metallica's epic first 5 albums are all thrash albums. People who think otherwise are suggesting they didn't invent it, hence don't define it. Thrash does not have to be fast, satanic, gory, or out-and-out aggression. Why? Because Metallica said so, that's why.

Re-iteration time. Metallica (Mustaine included) invented thrash. Every release before 'Load' (of crap) is thrash. They invented thrash, they define what thrash is, and they own it. How many bands on this thread can claim they invented an entire movement of metal? One! (Pun intended).

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.

9 ...And Justice for All - Metallica

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

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...

I think this album deserves much better place. I feel that everybody has kind of overlooked it because there is no cliff and bass is very quiet and the production is not that good, but I actually like itbecause it makes unic sound to it. If you listen to the actual music it is band's best performance to this day. Best solos from metallica, best singing, hands down best drumming and the riffs are magic. I ask everybody to have it honest listen before judging it. Sorry for my english.

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

10 Seasons in the Abyss - Slayer

'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.

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

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.

Love this one, but 'South of Heaven' is where it's at. Technical, progressive, and atmospheric...and that's 'Seasons in the Abyss' I'm on about. Both are superior to 'Reign in Blood'.

The Contenders
11 Beneath the Remains - Sepultura

This album is the definition of death-thrash!
This should be even higher...and should get more recognition as Slayer - Reign In Blood.
Music is subjective...and I get that but the technicality and the atmosphere of the whole album should be noticed more and appreciated for sure!

If Kerry king could do solos. Listening to this makes me sad cause I think about how truly God like perfect Reign in blood could've been.

I'm voting for this one. There's not a single crappy song on here at all! There's absolutely no filler too. Just a straight up hour of pure thrash metal. Sepultura are definitely one of my favourite bands ever.

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.

12 Pleasure To Kill - Kreator

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.

Raw, intense and crushing guitars, that rears its chaotic sound like a wall into a new dimension of violence - a necessary experience in the eighties.

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

So you thought Reign In Blood was brutal? Dude, you didn't hear anything. This album delivers more aggresivness than any Slayer's in their entire carrer. It's so insane you will love it. Just listen to it, will completly change your view of thrash metal for good.

13 The Years of Decay - Overkill

Here's why this is their best record and line-up: it had one of thrash's great young guitarists, Gustafson. He was so good that when Chris Poland went AWOL, Mustaine wanted him. It also contains Elsworth's excellent vocals. He could be agressive, emotive, and had a pretty good range. The drums double kick ass, and it also contains songs like 'Elimination', 'Nothing To Die For', Birth of Tension' and 'Evil Never Dies'. Excellent and diverse album.

Yes. Overkill are very consistent, well-respected, and have not compromised their values in any way, unlike others.

Perfect ten out of ten. Not as intense as reign in blood, Kill em all or Beneath the remain but it's still Trash metal.

Very underrated band and album. Stop wasting your money on Metallica's crap. Buy real deal

14 The New Order - Testament

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.

Metallica is barely even a thrash band people! If you think fade to black, one, amd nothing else matters are thrash songs then you are a Metallica fanboy who doesn't know what thrash is.

15 Alice in Hell - Annihilator

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.

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

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

Yeah, it's a killer of an album.

16 Extreme Aggression - Kreator

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 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.

17 The Legacy - Testament

Yes, it is great. No doubt about it. But how many great thrash albums were made in the 80's? I think we were spoilt rotten with choice, and if there could be 25 # 1 albums, this would be one of them. COTLOD was monstrous.

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.

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

One of the greatest thrash metal albums in history.

18 Handle With Care - Nuclear Assault

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.

19 Release From Agony - Destruction

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.

20 Agent Orange - Sodom

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.

21 Schizophrenia - Sepultura

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.

This is way better than Arise.

22 Horrorscope - Overkill

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.

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

Very excellent, but overshadowed by Years of Decay.

23 Darkness Descends - Dark Angel

I think the reason why the album didn't sell that well because someone probably didn't advertise this. This album is awesome and I wish it was one of the most sold album in 1986

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...

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. It's a disgrace seeing this album all the way down here.

24 Arise - Sepultura

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

Sepultura's 3rd best, behind 'Beneath the Remains' and 'Chaos AD'. It is great though, no doubt.

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

25 Ultra Violence - Death Angel

Wasn't the drummer 16 on this one? Weren't they all under 18? If I'm correct, this album is stark bonkers. I was learning 'Stairway to Heaven' on my crappy SG copy and these guys come up with this? Talk about eating some humble pie.

Youth gone wild. This band could have been anything. Someone throw 'Frolic Through The Park' and 'Act III' because I couldn't be bothered.

What a debut! 'Mistress of Pain', 'The Ultraviolence', you name it. Classic!

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