Live to thrash, thrash to live

With recent news that Slayer would be doing one last world tour, we thought we would have a look back at Thrash Metal, or simply thrash. A subgenre of heavy metal which is characterized by its overall aggression and often fast tempo.

The songs usually use fast percussive beats and low-register guitar riffs, overlaid with shredding-style lead work. The lyrics often deal with social issues and reproach of The Establishment, using direct and denunciatory language, an approach borrowed from hardcore punk.

The genre evolved in the early 1980s from combining the fast drum beats and attitude of hardcore with the double bass drumming, heavy and complex guitar style of the new wave of British heavy metal (NWOBHM). 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. Thrash metal was an inspiration for subsequent extreme genres such as death metal and black metal.

Four American bands—Anthrax, Megadeth, Metallica, and Slayer—are credited with pioneering and popularizing the genre, and they have come to be called the “Big Four of Thrash”. The Clash of the Titans tour (1990–1991), which featured Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax, is considered the genre’s pinnacle, after which thrash metal saw a decline in popularity throughout the decade. Thrash metal has seen a resurgence in recent times, with many of the older bands returning to their roots with their new releases. A new generation of thrash metal bands emerged in the early 2000s, drawing lyrical and visual inspiration from the older groups.

A few highlights of our current Thrash items available:

ANTHRAX State Of Euphoria. 1988 Japanese limited edition 10-track Megaforce/Island label 45rpm double LP set pressed on high quality vinyl, housed in a gatefold picture sleeve with English lyrics in the centre, also includes Japanese lyric insert, poster and rare bonus bandana. This copy is housed in the original obi-stickered resealable bag.

SLAYER / ANTHRAX Signed Jacket. If you are a fan of either band then this is the item for you, what we have is a stereotypical mid 1980s ladies small sized black leather jacket, I can hear you saying what makes this special, well the previous owner was a huge metal fan and went to many shows. This has been signed by the full Slayer & Anthrax line-ups along with Megadeth’s guitarist Jeff Young, all in silver marker pen across the back. Please see our website for further details.

SLAYER Divine Intervention. Sealed 1994 US 10-track LP pressed on Red Vinyl, housed in a picture sleeve with deletion cut & lyric insert. This collector’s copy remains unopened & unplayed in the original shrinkwrap, an ideal purchase as it retains the three black & white artist/album title stickers methodically positioned on the outer shrink.

MEGADETH Rust In Peace. 1990 Spanish 9-track vinyl LP produced by Mike Clink & Dave Mustaine, including the classic singles Holy Wars… The Punishment Due & Hangar 18, complete with illustrated lyric inner, picture sleeve. The sleeve shows minimal shelfwear and the vinyl remains near ‘as new’ with little sign of play.

METALLICA Whiplash Sampler. Incredibly rare 1988 UK 4-track promotional-only sampler CD which features tracks taken from the first four albums, includes Whiplash, Ride The Lightning, Welcome Home [Sanitarium] and One. This was given to radio stations and comes with a custom black sleeve with red ‘Metallica’ logo and white tracklisting text. Now extremely hard to find in any condition, the disc shows just a little wear to the playing surface but remains in EX+ condition!

As well as the classic ‘big four’, and many of the bands that emerge in the ’80s, thrash is very much alive and well today. More bands are holding a candle to the icons that paved the way for them. Below are a few essential bands to check out.

Texan heavyweights, Power Trip, are currently one of the hottest up and coming bands in the genre. Combining thrash, speed, and death metal with a dash of heavy hardcore, they have been tearing up stages across the planet with their latest album, Nightmare Logic. Catch them on tour with Trivium, Code Orange, and Venom Prison in April.

A name that will probably not be new to anyone who knows thrash is Virginia party monsters, Municipal Waste. However, after years doing what they do best, they continue to churn out excellent records that race by at a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it pace. Last year they released their sixth album, Slime and Punishment, which is essential listening for any metalhead worth their salt.

Despite being in a state of flux as we speak, with their future currently to be determined, Arizona prog-thrash band, Vektor, are without a doubt, one of the best thrash bands to emerge in at least the last 10 years. Their 2016 album, Terminal Redux, was a spellbinding trip of progressive metal and thrash, with a conceptual science fiction narrative. If you check out one thrash record you don’t know, make it this one.

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