Thrash ’til Death – Big Four times four, part 2

Last week, I came up with an idea for a Big 16, so to speak. My personal favorite Thrash Metal bands, divided into four seperate groups, each led by a genuine Big Four band. Is there more to it? Not really, I just like to write about Thrash Metal.

So when you make the jump, keep in mind that I’m basically just listing my favorite thrash bands. Success, influence and critical acclaim didn’t play a part in my list but simply personal preferences.

So, what are you waiting for? Make the jump. Now!

Thrash ’til Death – Big Four times four Part 1

Slayer are definitely the heaviest of the Big Four, just look at Kerry “Burger” King’s belly. But seriously, Slayer pretty much single-handedly created Death Metal with ‘Reign in Blood’. Although a Thrash Metal band, they were notably heavier and faster than other thrash acts and their lyrical content included occultism, satanism, war etc., which contrasted with the usual lyrics about social issues of other bands of the time.

The usual issue metalheads have with Slayer is that over the years, the band never significantly changed their sound, which I can’t agree with. Basically, just listen to ‘Reign in Blood’ then ‘Diabolus in Musica’ and then ‘God Hates us all’. If you don’t hear extreme differences, then you must be deaf.

My personal favorite Slayer song is ‘Seasons in the Abyss’ and although actually my least favorite of the Big Four, I just can’t help but get goosebumps when listening to my favorite Slayer tunes.


Sepultura are a double-edged sword to me. Started as a Death Metal band, shifted their sound to Thrash Metal, then to Groove Metal and then Hardcore. If a genre was popular, chances are Sep played it. In contrast to bands who jumped on a bandwagon, Sepultura always created instant classics, whenever they changed the genre though. Be it ‘Morbid Visions,’ a classic early Death Metal album, ‘Schizophrenia,’ a full on Thrash Metal album or ‘Chaos AD,’ one of the most important Groove Metal albums, next to Pantera’s and Machine Head’s early work.

I won’t get into detail about their latest “reunion or no reunion” drama because I’ve already written enough about it in the last couple of months. Let’s just say it got annoying real quickly, a long time ago.

Even though I’m a fan of Groove Metal, my favorite Sepultura song actually comes off their Thrash Metal album ‘Schizophrenia’ and is called ‘Troops of Doom’.

Kreator, along with the other two big German Thrash Metal bands Destruction and Sodom, had a huge impact on the rising Death Metal scene in the early to mid-80’s, just like Slayer. Heavy, fast and aggressive probably best sums up Kreator’s sound.

Fun fact: I met Kreator vocalist Miland “Mille” Petrozza in 2005 in Essen, Germany. At the time he worked as a bouncer at a venue where Six Feet Under played that night.

My favorite Kreator song comes off their 2005 album ‘Enemy of God’ and is called ‘Voices of the Dead’.

Exhorder are most famously known as the band that inspired Pantera’s sound or what most people claim is that Pantera stole Exhorder’s sound. While you can definitely hear that Exhorder had an influence on Pantera, these two bands sounded way different anyhow. Pantera’s (‘Cowboys from Hell’) sound was based on British Heavy Metal, mainly Judas Priest, and Exhorder’s sound was clearly thrashier and faster.

The who-stole-what debate sadly overshadowed Exhorder’s existence. The band released two extremely good albums but never really had any kind of mainstream success. After breaking up in 1992, the band reunited in 2008 and are set to release a new album some time in the future. More news on that soon right here at Dose of Metal.

My favorite Exhorder song is the titletrack of ‘Slaughter in the Vatican’.

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