List of thrash metal bands

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Metallica expanded the limits of the genre by emphasising on speed and aggression to enhance their complex song structures. They were part of the Bay Area thrash metal scene.[1]

Various bands have played thrash metal at some point of their career. The genre evolved in the early 1980s from combining the drum beats of hardcore punk with the guitar style of the new wave of British heavy metal.[2] It emerged partially as a reaction to the more conventional and widely acceptable glam metal, a less aggressive, pop music-infused heavy metal subgenre which appeared simultaneously.[3]

Four American bands, Anthrax, Megadeth, Metallica, and Slayer, are credited with popularizing the genre, earning them the title of the "Big Four of Thrash".[4][5] In Germany, Destruction, Kreator, and Sodom led the Teutonic thrash metal scene, garnering the nickname "The Big Three of Teutonic Thrash".[6][7] The Clash of the Titans tour, which featured Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax, Testament, and Suicidal Tendencies, is considered to be the genre's pinnacle, after which thrash metal saw a decline in popularity throughout the 1990s.[8] Thrash metal has seen a resurgence in recent times, with many of the older bands returning to their roots with their new releases.[9] A new generation of thrash metal bands emerged in the early 2000s, drawing lyrical and visual inspiration from the older groups.[10][11]

Thrash metal was an inspiration for later extreme genres such as death metal and black metal. This list also includes certain bands which belong to the first wave of black metal. These bands essentially played thrash metal with a heavy emphasis on Satanic and occult themes in the lyrics and imagery.[12] Over the years, thrash metal has developed a few subgenres of its own, such as crossover thrash and groove metal.[13]

0–9[edit]

Band Formed Origin Note
3 Inches of Blood 1999 Canada [14]
3 Inches of Blood at Reds, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, 2005

A[edit]

Band Formed Origin Note
Acid Drinkers 1986 Poland [15]
Tomasz "Titus" Pukacki of Acid Drinkers
Acid Reign 1985 United Kingdom [16]
Aftermath (American band) 1985 United States [17]
Agent Steel 1984 United States [18]
Anacrusis 1986 United States [19]
Angel Dust 1984 Germany [20]
Angelus Apatrida 2000 Spain [21]
Annihilator 1984 Canada [22]
Anthrax 1981 United States [23]
Anthrax at Wacken Open Air, 2013
Anvil 1978 Canada [24]
Steve "Lips" Kudlow of Anvil at Wacken Open Air, 2013
Artillery 1982 Denmark [25]
Artillery, 2010
Atomkraft 1979 United Kingdom [26]
Atrophy 1986 United States [27]
Aura Noir 1993 Norway [28]
Aura Noir at Inferno Festival, Oslo, 2011
Austrian Death Machine 2008 United States [29]

B[edit]

Band Formed Origin Note
Battlecross 2003 United States [30]
Battlecross at Rock im Park festival, 2014
Believer 1986 United States [31]
Black Tide 2004 United States [32]
Blind Illusion 1979 United States [33]
Blood Feast 1985 United States [34]
Blood Tsunami 2004 Norway [35]
Pete Evil of Blood Tsunami, London, 2007
Body Count 1990 United States [36]
Ice T with Body Count, Prague, 2006
Bonded by Blood 2005 United States [37]
Bulldozer 1980 Italy [38]

C[edit]

Band Formed Origin Note
Carnal Forge 1997 Sweden [39]
Carnivore 1982 United States [40]
Carnivore at Wacken Open Air, 2006
Celtic Frost 1984 Switzerland [41]
Celtic Frost at Tuska Open Air, 2006
Cerebral Fix 1986 United Kingdom [42]
Confess 2010 Iran [43]
Coroner 1983 Switzerland [44]
Corrosion of Conformity 1982 United States [45]
Corrosion of Conformity at Reds, Edmonton
Crash 1991 South Korea [46]
Criminal 1991 Chile [47]
Anton Reisenegger of Criminal, live in 2013.
Cripper 2005 Germany [48]
The Crucified 1984 United States [49]
Crumbsuckers 1982 United States [50]
Crumbsuckers album rehearsal, 1989
Cryptic Slaughter 1984 United States [51]
Cyclone Temple 1989 United States [52]

D[edit]

Band Formed Origin Note
Darkane 1998 Sweden [53]
Darkane lineup
Dark Angel 1981 United States [54]
Dead Brain Cells 1986 Canada [55]
Death Angel 1982 United States [56]
Death Angel at Sauna Open Air, Tempere, Finland, 2010
Defiance 1985 United States [57]
Defleshed 1991 Sweden [58]
Deliverance 1985 United States [59]
Demiricous 2001 United States [60]
Demolition Hammer 1986 United States [61]
Deströyer 666 1994 Australia [62]
Destruction 1982 Germany [6]
Destruction at Festival AlternaVigo, 2009
Diamond Plate 2004 United States [63]
Dorsal Atlântica 1981 Brazil [64]
Dorso 1984 Chile [65]
Dorso, in a promotional photo, 2012
D.R.I. 1982 United States [66]

E[edit]

Band Formed Origin Note
Early Man 2003 United States [67]
Early Man, 2007
Embodyment 1993 United States [68]
Epidemic 1986 United States [69]
Evildead 1987 United States [70]
Evile 2004 United Kingdom [71]
Evile, Madrid, 2008
Exciter 1978 Canada [72]
Exhorder 1985 United States [73]
Exodus 1980 United States [74]
Exodus, 2012
Extol 1993 Norway [75]
Exumer 1985 Germany [76]

F[edit]

Band Formed Origin Note
Flotsam and Jetsam 1981 United States [77]
Jason Ward of Flotsam and Jetsam at Metalmania, 2008
Forbidden 1985 United States [78]

G[edit]

Band Formed Origin Note
Gama Bomb 2002 Northern Ireland [79]
God Forbid 1996 United States [80]
Grinder 1987 Germany [81]
Gwar 1984 United States [82]

H[edit]

Band Formed Origin Note
Hatesphere 1998 Denmark [83]
Hatesphere at Hamburg Metal Days, 2014
The Haunted 1996 Sweden [84]
Havok 2004 United States [85]
Heathen 1984 United States [86]
Kragen Lum and Jason Viebrooks of Heathen at Helfest, 2013
Hellhammer 1981 Switzerland [87]
Helstar 1982 United States [88]
Helstar in Aschaffenburg, Germany, 2009
Hermética 1987 Argentina [89]
Hirax 1982 United States [90]
Hobbs' Angel of Death 1987 Australia [91]
Hobbs' Angel of Death promotional photo, 2013
Holocausto 1985 Brazil [92]
Holy Moses 1980 Germany [93]
Hyades 1996 Italy [94]

I[edit]

Band Formed Origin Note
Infernäl Mäjesty 1986 Canada [95]
Intruder 1987 United States [96]
Intruder, Germany, 2004
Iron Angel 1983 Germany [97]

K[edit]

Band Formed Origin Note
Kekal 1995 Indonesia [98]
Jeff Arwadi of Kekal, the Netherlands, 2004
Korzus 1983 Brazil [99]
Kreator 1982 Germany [100]
Kryptos 1998 India [101]
Kryptos at Harley Rock Riders Season III, Bangalore, India, 2012

L[edit]

Band Formed Origin Note
Lääz Rockit 1982 United States [102]
Lamb Of God 1994 United States [103]
Lawnmower Deth 1987 United Kingdom [104]
Lazarus A.D. 2005 United States [105]
Legion of the Damned 2004 Netherlands [106]
Harold Gielen of Legion of the Damned at Metalcamp, 2009
Living Death 1980 Germany [107]
Living Sacrifice 1989 United States [108]
Loudblast 1986 France [109]
Lyzanxia 1996 France [110]
Lich King 2007 United States [111]

M[edit]

Band Formed Origin Note
Machine Head 1991 United States [112]
Phil Demmel of Machine Head, 2009
Malefice 2003 United Kingdom [113]
Dale Butler (left) of Malefice, with a fan, 2010
Mantic Ritual 2004 United States [114]
Massakre 1982 Chile [115]
Master 1987 Russia [116]
Megadeth 1983 United States [117]
Megadeth, 2010
Mekong Delta 1985 Germany [118]
Mekong Delta at Kilkim žaibu XII festival, Lithuania, 2011
Merciless Death 2003 United States [119]
Meshuggah 1987 Sweden [120]
Messiah 1984 Switzerland [121]
Metal Church 1980 United States [122]
Kurdt Vanderhoof of Metal Church, Germany, 2005
Metallica 1981 United States [1]
M.O.D. 1986 United States [123]
Mokoma 1996 Finland [124]
Santtu Hämäläinen and Marko Annala of Mokoma at Myötätuulirock, Finland, 2011
Morbid Saint 1982 United States [125]
Mordred 1984 United States [126]
Mortal Sin 1985 Australia [127]
Mortification 1987 Australia [128]
Municipal Waste 2001 United States [129]
Mutilator 1985 Brazil [130]

N[edit]

Band Formed Origin Note
Nailbomb 1994 United States [131]
Nailbomb, 2011
Nasty Savage 1983 United States [132]
Necrodeath 1985 Italy [133]
Necrodeath at Korxefest, Genoa, Italy, 2010
Necronomicon 1983 Germany [134]
Necronomicon promotional photo, 2013
Necrosis 1985 Chile [135]
Nevermore 1991 United States [136]
Nuclear 1998 Chile [137]
Nuclear Assault 1984 United States [138]

O[edit]

Band Formed Origin Note
One Bad Pig 1985 United States [139]
Onslaught 1983 United Kingdom [140]
Outrage 1982 Japan [141]
Overkill 1980 United States [142]
Overkill at Metalmania, 2008

P[edit]

Band Formed Origin Note
Pantera 1981 United States [143]
Paradox 1986 Germany [144]
Pentagram Chile 1985 Chile [145]
Pestilence 1986 Netherlands [146]
Patrick Mameli and Jeroen Paul Thesseling of Pestilence, 2011
Possessed 1983 United States [147]
Possessed at Jalometalli Metal Music Festival, 2008
Prong 1986 United States [148]
Prototype 1994 United States [149]

R[edit]

Band Formed Origin Note
Rage 1984 Germany [150]
Victor Smolski, Peavy Wagner, and André Hilgers of Rage, 2008, Milan, Italy
Ratos de Porão 1981 Brazil [151]
Ratos de Porão at Virada Cultural, 2007
Raven 1974 United Kingdom [152]
Raven, 2008
Razor 1984 Canada [153]
Razor in Toronto, Canada, 2008
Realm 1985 United States [154]
Revocation 2006 United States [155]
Rigor Mortis 1983 United States [156]

S[edit]

Band Formed Origin Note
Sabbat 1985 United Kingdom [157]
Andy Sneap and Simon "Jack Hammer" Jones of Sabbat at London Scala, London, 2008
Sacrament 1989 United States [158]
Sacred Reich 1985 United States [159]
Sacred Reich at Rock Hard Festival, 2014
Sacrifice 1983 Canada [160]
Sacrifice in Toronto, Canada, 2009
Sadus 1984 United States [161]
Sarcofago 1985 Brazil [162]
Sepultura 1984 Brazil [163]
Andreas Kisser of Sepultura at Virada Cultural, 2008
Seventh Angel 1987 United Kingdom [164]
Ian Arkley of Seventh Angel at Blast of Eternity, 2012
Sex Machineguns 1989 Japan [165]
Shadows Fall 1995 United States [166]
Brian Fair of Shadows Fall at Turock Open Air, Essen, Germany, 2014
Short Sharp Shock 2005 United Kingdom [167]
Skeletonwitch 2003 United States [168]
Skin Chamber 1991 United States [169]
Slayer 1981 United States [170]
Slayer at Hellfest, 2007
Sodom 1981 Germany [171]
Tom Angelripper of Sodom at Hole In The Sky, 2009
Soziedad Alkoholika 1988 Spain
Stormtroopers of Death 1985 United States [172]
Suicidal Angels 2001 Greece [173]
Nick Melissourgos of Suicidal Angels, 2012
Suicidal Tendencies 1981 United States [174]
Susperia 1998 Norway [175]
Cyrus and Elvorn of Susperia, 2011
Swashbuckle 2005 United States [176]
Commodore Redrum of Swashbuckle at Paganfest America 2009
Sylosis 2000 United Kingdom [177]

T[edit]

Band Formed Origin Note
Tankard 1982 Germany [178]
Tankard at "South of Heaven", Betong, Oslo, Norway
1999 Sweden [179]
Testament 1983 United States [180]
Testament at Sweden Rock Festival, 2008
Thanatos 1984 Netherlands [181]
Tonic Breed 2006 Norway [182]
Tourniquet 1989 United States [183]
Torturer 1989 Chile [184]
Toxic Holocaust 1999 United States [185]
Phil Zeller of Toxic Holocaust, Zal Ozhidaniya, Saint Petersburg, Russia, 2014
Toxik 1985 United States [186]
Trivium 2000 United States [187]
Matt Heafy of Trivium at With Full Force festival, 2011

U[edit]

Band Formed Origin Note
Ultimatum 1992 United States [188]
United 1981 Japan [189]

V[edit]

Band Formed Origin Note
Vektor 2002 United States [190]
Vengeance Rising 1987 United States [191]
Venom 1979 United Kingdom [192]
Venom at Hellfest, 2008
Violator 2002 Brazil [193]
Vio-lence 1985 United States [194]
Virus 1986 United Kingdom [195]
Voivod 1982 Canada [196]
Voivod at Masters of Rock, Vizovice, Poland, 2009
Vulcano 1981 Brazil [197]

W[edit]

Band Formed Origin Note
Warbringer 2004 United States [198]
Warbringer in Rostock, Germany, 2012
Watchtower 1982 United States [199]
Wehrmacht 1985 United States [200]
Whiplash 1984 United States [201]
Witchery 1997 Sweden [202]

X[edit]

Band Formed Origin Note
Xentrix 1985 United Kingdom [203]
Paul MacKenzie of Xentrix at Headbangers Open Air, 2014

Y[edit]

Band Formed Origin Note
Yyrkoon 1995 France [204]

Z[edit]

Band Formed Origin Note
Znowhite 1982 United States [205]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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