You know the names: Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer, and Megadeth. You know their albums, from ‘Among The Living’ to ‘Reign In Blood.’ These four bands help define the eighties thrash metal scene, and have lived on to become legends of the genre. Great rhythms, epic solos, and soaring vocals. Time to rank them!
4 — Slayer
Someone had to come in last. Slayer does on thing really well: fast. Out of all these bands, Slayer has the fastest rhythm playing and probably the heaviest song in Raining Blood. However, Kerry King’s guitar solos pale in comparison to the others on this list, and the band went a long time without putting out a great album. On the contrary, they never wavered from their original sound and themes. Slayer is unapologetically raw. They have never conceded to the market or let their polarizing lyrics suffer.
3 — Anthrax
Anthrax started things off right with their debut album ‘Spreading The Disease,’ and from there had a series of great albums all the way to 1990’s ‘Persistence Of Time.’ However, Anthrax then fell into a tailspin, abandoning the style that made them great. Enter 2011’s ‘Worship Music,’ a fantastic return to form featuring singer Joey Belladonna at his best and chugging riffs from Scott Ian. Anthrax has always been a bit more fun, and less serious than the others on this list, but don’t let that fool you; they’re a damn good metal band!
2 — Megadeth
If you want incredible lead guitar work, look no further than Megadeth. While they’ve always featured two guitarists, one has remained constant: Dave Mustaine. He is a downright incredible player and songwriter who (along with bassist David Ellefson) forged one of the greatest comeback stories in music history. Thier albums ‘Rust In Peace’ and ‘Countdown To Extinction’ are pure master classes of speed and aggression. It’s hard to go wrong with Megadeth.
1 — Metallica
The kings of metal reign supreme. Metallica wins out because of their range. They can do heavy–take ‘Damage, Inc’ or ‘Sad But True’–and they can do soft equally well. They’re dynamic, and most of that credit goes to James Hetfield. His vocal range is ear-opening, and his guitar playing is catchy and technically-proficient. Kirk Hammett, while an over-user of the wah pedal, has penned some great solos, to boot. And lest we forget past bassist Cliff Burton!