Thrash metal

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Thrash metal

Development phase: The early 1980s years
Place of origin: USA  - Germany .
Stylistic precursors
NWoBHM , hardcore punk
Metallica , Slayer , Megadeth , Anthrax , Exodus , Sodom , Kreator , Destruction , Overkill
Instruments typical of the genre
Electric guitar  - electric bass  - drums
Stylistic successor
Death Metal  - Black Metal  - Groove Metal  - Digital Hardcore
Important local scenes
San Francisco Bay Area  - New York  - Ruhr Area

Thrash Metal ( . English thrash , thrash ',' fight ',' beat '; sometimes falsely trash metal case) is a fast and extreme brand of metal , the beginning of the 1980 year was born.


Thrash Metal is often referred to as the fusion of the energy and speed of Hardcore Punk with the techniques of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and was therefore too punk-oriented for some early Metalworkers. The original Thrash Metal is primarily characterized by fast and precise riffing . Often only the open E-string was used in conjunction with power chords . Thrash Metal is widely seen as the starting point for the extreme styles of Metal. The LHP Thrash Metal Primer names the punk and skater subculture, where the expression to thrash stood for slam dancing and the typical drum beat , as the origin of the genre term. Pushead wrote about hardcore and metal in the Californian skater magazine Thrasher , founded in 1981, followed in 1982 by the compilation New York Thrash by Reach Out International Records (ROIR) with New York bands like Bad Brains , Beastie Boys and Kraut and in 1983 the first Thrash Bash- Concert in Columbia, Missouri with performances by Die Kreuz and local bands The Croppy Boys and Causes of Tragedy . The cross between hardcore and metal has also been referred to as crossover . According to Marcel “Lubricant” Schirmerr from Destruction , the style name originated in the song Whiplash from Metallica , but according to Scott Ian from Anthrax the initiators were not yet aware of the emergence of a new scene.

The themes of violence as well as social and individual problems are typical of the lyrics of Thrash Metal bands. Some of the early bands played with satanic themes, which in traditional metal usually only serve to consciously provoke, rebel and emphasize one's own freedom and were therefore often mixed with descriptions of war and social grievances or were later replaced by them. Peter Steele ( Carnivore , Type O Negative ) described Thrash Metal as “the music of urban rot” and the “pale cousin of rap ”.

History of Thrash Metal

The beginning in the 1980s


The prehistory of Thrash goes back to the late 1970s. Two bands in particular are generally considered to be the greatest influences: Motörhead and Venom , whose album Welcome to Hell "really got the search for more brutality rolling". While AOR bands like Journey and glam metal bands like Mötley Crüe were popular in the United States , young heavy metal fans demanded harder and more extreme metal. So new bands like Exodus and Death Angel on the west coast or Overkill and Anthrax on the east coast emerged. In Europe, too, especially Germany, part of the scene was playing harder and faster music. In the beginning, however, this movement only existed underground through fanzines , tape trading and word of mouth .


In general, Kill 'Em All by Metallica from 1983 is often referred to as the first real thrash metal album, although the album Heavy Metal Maniac by the Canadian thrash band Exciter was released before Metallica's debut album, the band Exodus in 1983 “zu Belonged to the great hopefuls ”, but made his debut later with Bonded by Blood , and Cliff Evans of the British band Tank whose debut album Filth Hounds of Hades , released in 1982, was“ the very first mix of heavy metal and punk ”and the best thrash metal -Album specified. Kill 'Em All combined “high speed with precision, a certain, still rudimentary technique - and above all a lot of aggression”. The Metal Hammer even describes the title Whiplash on it as "perhaps the most important original Thrash song ever". Along with Kill 'Em All , Slayer's debut album Show No Mercy from the same year is considered the “birth” of the genre , which sounded “more brutal and evil” as the first. In contrast to other original Thrash Metal representatives, the band did not present themselves in jeans, T-shirts, leather jackets and optionally also cartridge belts, but in leather clothing and corpsepaint and their guitarist Kerry King with nail bracelets. While the roots of Metallica's debut album were more in the rock 'n' roll style of Motörhead, Slayer's album was "more of a riff record, closer to Venom". In addition to Metallica (who originally came from Los Angeles and later moved to San Francisco), many other major thrash bands also hail from the San Francisco Bay Area , including Exodus, Testament and Death Angel. Roughly it can be said that bands like Exodus, Slayer or Dark Angel pursued a more brutal and less melodic style, while bands like Metallica, Megadeth or Death Angel were more diverse, melodic and a little more adventurous. Among the "five early Thrash debuts" is Anthrax's Scott Ian, along with Kill 'Em All and Show No Mercy Exodus' Bonded by Blood , Killing Is My Business… And Business Is Good! from Megadeth and Fistful of Metal from his own band.

Megadeth at a concert in 2005 at Sauna Open Air

Another important local thrash metal center was the New York / New Jersey area on the US east coast. In this area , bands such as Overkill, Anthrax, Nuclear Assault or Demolition Hammer emerged, some of which were under the influence of hardcore punk , and the pioneer label Megaforce Records was also based in New York, which released the debut albums of Metallica, Overkill and Anthrax, among others .

Kreator live 2009 in Krakow .

Another flourishing underground scene developed in parallel in the Ruhr area in Germany. The musicians came from the working class, their fathers "were almost all miners , construction workers or steelmakers , the mothers were usually housewives". Their taste in music caused a lot of problems with non-metallers: Miland "Mille" Petrozza from Kreator was kicked out of his school "because he dared to wear leopard pants and rivets," which others were forbidden by their parents, and they had to stop their metal T-shirts “smuggled out under the sweater. Going to school with it was absolutely out of the question ”. The local rockers forbade them from wearing frocks , so they made t-shirts instead; “Then they stood in front of us in the outdoor pool and couldn't help us,” as Frank “Pelle” Below notes. But there was a strong sense of togetherness, and the older members of the scene supported the younger ones and didn't give them the impression that they were “'just' the little ones”. The Carl colliery in Essen was an important location for concerts and meetings . The first demo recordings in the German scene were made independently of the US bands. The American bands, which just like them were getting harder, louder and faster, were enthusiastically received by them: "We were bloody beginners, and the Americans already sounded divine back then, which drove us all the more," said Marcel "Lubricant" Schirmer from Destruction looking back. According to Tom Küppers from Metal Hammer , the question, "[w] he influenced whom, [...] can no longer be clearly clarified today anyway"; After the impression of Andreas "Stoney" Stein, and his experiences with Americans, who asked him reverently "whether I really know Tom Angelripper ", the German bands influenced the US "at least as much as they influenced us" . Jürgen “Ventor” Reil from Kreator mentions a conversation with Gary Holt from Exodus about “that we might have 'borrowed' a certain riff from them […] And then Gary said, 'Oh, I really thought we had that from you '. We laughed each other out loud. "


The band Chainsaw from Essen , founded in 1984, had a pioneering role in the Ruhr area scene with their only LP Hell's Burnin 'Up! . A characteristic of German Thrash Metal was the wide range of styles with which Thrash interacted there. For example, the speed metal bands Helloween and especially Running Wild once had a much rougher style based on the "speed thrash" of the early days, while on the other hand Sodom , Kreator and Destruction, the three most important German thrash metal Bands, a huge influence on Death and Black Metal . Other important representatives were or are Living Death , Violent Force , Tankard and Angel Dust .

In 1985 there were already magazines like Kick Ass after its merger with Powerthrash , which reported exclusively on Thrash Metal bands. The height of the thrash metal movement was between 1986 and 1988. One of the highlights is considered to be Slayer's Reign in Blood . During this time, some bands began to break away from pure Thrash Metal: Metallica's Master of Puppets was released in 1986 , which still had Thrash Metal elements, but expanded the genre boundaries and therefore, from the point of view of the anthrax guitarist Scott Ian, was not a real Thrash- Metal album was more; The band had "created something that was much bigger than Thrash Metal"; Anthrax ' Among the Living is too catchy in Ian's opinion and therefore only half a Thrash Metal album. The Italian band Bulldozer experimented with samples , symphonic elements and triggered drums on their album Neurodeliri , released in 1988 , after Roadrunner Records broke up with them and they no longer hoped to be successful. At that time, such effects were to be regarded as "almost revolutionary", especially in Thrash Metal. Sometimes 1988 or 1989, at least with regard to Bay Area Thrash, is referred to as “Thrash Metal Depression”, because the enthusiasm in the scene died down a bit at that time. The thrash trend has been supplanted by the death metal trend, with only a few thrash metal bands like Slayer being able to survive and also being adored by the younger generation of death metal fans. As a result, many Thrash Metal classics were temporarily available for a dollar because there was no interest in them. In response to the death metal trend, black metal relied on old thrash metal bands.

In the 1980s, some bands began to expand the style with more complex song structures, more modern texts and other musical subtleties (complex rhythms , electronic effects, etc.) with increased technical skills . Sometimes after the 2nd Wave of Thrash one speaks of Techno Thrash or Progressive Thrash. Examples of bands of this style are Voivod , Watchtower , Coroner , Mekong Delta and Toxik .

In terms of US Thrash, the bands Anthrax, Megadeth, Metallica and Slayer are referred to as the Big Four of Thrash. In Germany one speaks of Sodom, Kreator and Destruction as the "Trinity of Teutonic Thrash" or the "Triumvirate of Thrash".

The neo-thrash of the 1990s

Machine head

In the early 1990s, the “big” Thrash bands and metal in general suffered from chronic failure with the popularity of grunge and alternative rock . Metallica and Megadeth now played music that was more melodic, less aggressive and therefore called "soft" by the older fans, which brought Metallica in particular a greater degree of recognition worldwide. Other bands did not follow this trend and became disoriented. Some bands like Death Angel or Exodus broke up, Overkill ( I Hear Black ) and Testament ( The Ritual ) confused their fans with stylistic experiments and Anthrax parted ways with their singer Joey Belladonna.

While at the beginning “[f] ast everyone […] was furious about how a Thrash Metal band could dare to allow new influences”, bands like Machine Head and Sepultura “ came along and did something similar, in places uses the same samples. They were then celebrated everywhere as the absolute innovators. ”Existing groups such as Pantera or Prong also turned to a style called“ Neo-Thrash ”or Groove Metal . This was based on the Thrash of the 1980s and modernized it with rougher vocals and catchier song structures without penetrating into the mainstream like Metallica during the times of the black album . In contrast to the heroes of the previous decade, musicians like Phil Anselmo , Dimebag Darrell (Pantera) or Robb Flynn (Machine Head) were much more telegenic and, in relation to their status as musicians, much more aloof. Pantera, for example, set themselves the goal of “being the toughest”.


In the underground (mainly in Norway and Sweden) some bands between Thrash and Black Metal such as Bewitched , Aura Noir , Gehennah , Infernö , Guillotine and Scepter emerged , whose style became a trend within the underground and therefore there in the second half of the 1990s was judged negatively; the bands, whose members had previously played mostly in black or death metal bands and were now oriented towards traditional thrash metal, were accused of sounding old and only playing this music as fun and side projects alongside their actual bands. In Australia, a scene formed around befriended bands such as Deströyer 666 , Vomitor , Hobbs' Angel of Death , Nocturnal Graves and Gospel of the Horns , whose typical style from Howitzer of Gospel of the Horns as “[t] he mixture of real old -School -Black -Metal and a [sic!] Very raw [sic!] Kind of Thrash ”. In it "influences of old Celtic Frost , Bathory , Venom and Sodom - but also own elements" can be found; Independence is important for the musicians.

In the early 2000s, the reunification of old bands such as Destruction or Exodus led to a revival that brought a new generation of Thrash Metal with it and continues to this day. From around the mid-2000s, many of these new bands released their debut albums, which often received excellent reviews. This gave them many opportunities to play as the opening act for a large thrash metal band. These bands include Gama Bomb (as the opening act for Exodus and Overkill), Evile (Megadeth), Suicidal Angels (Kreator) and Battalion (Destruction). Kreator also returned to Thrash Metal after an experimental phase in the 1990s. Metallica also oriented itself partly back to the style of the 1980s with the album Death Magnetic in 2008 . The German revival also includes the Hamburg power and thrash metal band Warpath , which was founded in 1991 and disbanded around 1996. The band has been active again since 2014, and their first album since their comeback was released in 2017.


Thrash metal fans in the Fantasy nightclub, 1994

Bands and albums

A selection of Thrash bands and their most important LPs:

For an overview of the bands represented in Wikipedia see Category: Thrash Metal Band .

Individual evidence

  1. "" Vel, vi har ikke noe i mot det, men vi synest at det he suffered for punkete "." Metalion : Cities . In: Slayer , No. 2, 1985, p. 9. Quoted from: Jon Kristiansen : SLAYER. N ° 1 to 5 . Rosières en Haye: Camion Blanc 2009, p. 90.
  2. a b c d e f g h i j k Jan Fleckhaus, Christof Leim: The origin of hardness . In: Metal Hammer , March 2008, p. 34.
  3. a b c d e f g h i j k l m The LHP Thrash Metal Primer., February 24, 2009, accessed August 18, 2010 .
  4. Messiah . In: Slayer . No. 5 , 1987, pp. 10 (English).
  5. Metalion: Exxor . In: Slayer . No. 5 , 1987, pp. 6 (English).
  6. Black Uniforms . In: Slayer . No. 5 , 1987, pp. 27 (English).
  7. Black Uniforms . In: Slayer . No. 5 , 1987, pp. 31 (English).
  8. ^ Neutron Rain . In: Slayer . No. 5 , 1987, pp. 5 (English).
  9. Slaughter Lord . In: Slayer . No. 5 , 1987, pp. 13 (English).
  10. a b c d e f g Kill 'Em All or Show No Mercy? . This is how the protagonists of the scene think of the two albums . In: Metal Hammer , March 2008, p. 39.
  11. a b c d Jan Fleckhaus, Christof Leim: The origin of hardness . In: Metal Hammer , March 2008, p. 40.
  12. "[King] Diamond represents one of the only performers of the '80s Satanic Metal who was more than just a poseur using a devilish image for shock value." Michael Moynihan, Didrik Søderlind: Lords of Chaos , First Edition, Feral House 1998 , ISBN 0-922915-48-2 , pp. 15f.
  13. ^ A b Benjamin Hedge Olson: I AM THE BLACK WIZARDS: MULTIPLICITY, MYSTICISM AND IDENTITY IN BLACK METAL MUSIC AND CULTURE . Bowling Green State University, May 2008, p. 13.
  14. "Slayer so reveled in Satanic imagery more than any other North American tape of Their time. However, like Venom, Slayer's Satanism was almost exclusively for show and provocation. Singer Tom Araya is, in fact, a professed Catholic and his explanations of his musical forays into Satanism are confusing at best. "Benjamin Hedge Olson: I AM THE BLACK WIZARDS: MULTIPLICITY, MYSTICISM AND IDENTITY IN BLACK METAL MUSIC AND CULTURE . Bowling Green State University, May 2008, p. 17.
  15. ^ A b Benjamin Hedge Olson: I AM THE BLACK WIZARDS: MULTIPLICITY, MYSTICISM AND IDENTITY IN BLACK METAL MUSIC AND CULTURE . Bowling Green State University, May 2008, p. 25.
  16. ^ "Peter Steele of gothic Metal band Type O Negative (and former frontman of the late '80s" neo-barbarian "Speed ​​Metal act Carnivore) accurately characterizes Thrash Metal as a form of" urban blight music, "a palefaced cousin of Rap. “Michael Moynihan, Didrik Søderlind: Lords of Chaos , First Edition, Feral House 1998, ISBN 0-922915-48-2 , p. 26.
  17. a b Jan Fleckhaus, Christof Leim: The origin of hardness . In: Metal Hammer , March 2008, p. 37.
  18. a b Kill 'Em All or Show No Mercy? . This is how the protagonists of the scene think of the two albums . In: Metal Hammer , March 2008, p. 37.
  19. a b Jan Fleckhaus, Christof Leim: The origin of hardness . In: Metal Hammer , March 2008, p. 35.
  20. a b c Tom Küppers: Metal in the pot . Ruhr thrash. In: Metal Hammer . Axel Springer Mediahouse GmbH, Berlin June 2010, p. 42 f . ( [1] [accessed September 2, 2010]).
  21. a b Tom Küppers: Metal in the pot . Ruhr-Thrash Part 2. In: Metal Hammer . Axel Springer Mediahouse GmbH, Berlin July 2010, p. 46-48 ( [2] [accessed September 2, 2010]).
  22. Jan Fleckhaus, Christof Leim: The origin of hardness . In: Metal Hammer , March 2008, p. 39.
  23. Tom Küppers: Metal in the pot . Ruhr-Thrash Part 2. In: Metal Hammer . Axel Springer Mediahouse GmbH, Berlin July 2010, p. 49 ( [3] [accessed September 2, 2010]).
  24. Tom Küppers: The early makers . Between success and failure. In: Metal Hammer . Axel Springer Mediahouse GmbH, Berlin August 2010, p. 42 ( [4] [accessed September 21, 2010]).
  25. "De skal bare skrive om Thrash Metal grupper som SODOM, POISON, IRON ANGEL, EXODUS, etc." Power Thrash & Kick Ass . In: Slayer vol. 2 1985 , p. 17. Quoted from: Jon Kristiansen: SLAYER. N ° 1 to 5 . Rosières en Haye: Camion Blanc 2009, p. 107.
  26. Frank Albrecht: Ilona lets it rip . In: Rock Hard , No. 267, August 2009, p. 52.
  27. Michael Moynihan , Didrik Søderlind: Lords of Chaos , First Edition, Feral House 1998, ISBN 0-922915-48-2 , p. 29.
  28. Björn Thorsten Jaschinski: SIGH. Yoko, the cannibal . In: Rock Hard , No. 275, April 2010, p. 73.
  29. ^ A b Paul Schwarz: Of Thrash and Trueness . CoC talks to Appolyon from Aura Noir .
  30. fp: Cuatro X - Hatefront., July 8, 2006, accessed February 16, 2015 .
  31. Tobias Jagusch: TERRORBLADE - Of Malice And Evil. Dearly Demented, accessed February 16, 2015 .
  32. Tom Küppers: Metal in the Pott Part 5 . The nineties . In: Metal Hammer , October 2010, p. 83.
  33. ^ Frank Stöver: Diabolical Masquerade / Bewitched . In: Voices from the Darkside , No. 9, 1996, p. 37.
  34. Frank Stöver: On the edge of total chaos !!! . In: Voices from the Darkside , No. 9, 1996, p. 50.
  35. disaster . In: Tales of the Macabre , No. 5.
  36. ^ Soulburn . Don't Forget the Ancient Feeling ... It Still Rules! . In: Tales of the Macabre , No. 5.
  37. a b Nifelheim . In: Tales of the Macabre , No. 6, p. 46.
  38. Götz Kühnemund : Gospel of the Horns . No more aesthetic nonsense! . In: Rock Hard , No. 306, November 2012, p. 43.
  39. ^ Bohnenstengel, A., Maier, C. (1994): We are a large family . In: Münchner Stadtmagazin issue 05/1994 page 3, 40–44