The following albums are all interchangeable in ranking….so shift ’em about as you see fit!
Dark Angel – Darkness Descends [USA]
You can consider this landmark album interchangeable in its placing in this list, as many thrash fans will argue Dark Angel‘s Darkness Descends betters the albums ranked at numbers 1 & 2 with its unbridled ferocity, technical supremacy and relentless aural battery.
Album highlights include the rampaging “Merciless Death” and the progressively minded “Black Prophecies”, the first indication of the 100+ riffs per song and epic song length mentality the band would explore on later releases.
Moments of respite on this colossal album are few and far between, the eerie yet elegant bass intro to the aforementioned “Merciless Death” being one of them but for the most part Darkness Descends simply thrashes harder, faster and with more gritted teeth malevolence than any other album on the planet.
An immortal entry in the history of thrash metal!
Slayer – Reign In Blood [USA]
Trying to write a ‘fresh’ review of this metal masterpiece would be virtually impossible as everything has already been said – and argued over – time and time again. Suffice to say, 1986 is remembered as the greatest year in thrash because of Reign In Blood and the album nestled at number 1 (have you guessed what it is yet?).
So, what we will say is this…..
29 frantic minutes, 10 blistering tracks; this peak of thrash perfection was created by a band who epitomised the scene like no other. Dave Lombardo’s aggressive and revolutionary drumming, Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman’s piercing, puncturing riffs and Tom Araya’s growling bass and vocals somehow merging to create an extreme metal benchmark which transcended genre and solidified Slayer‘s position among the thrash elite.
Metallica – Master Of Puppets [USA]
A definitive release.
A game-changing collection of songs.
A band arguably at their peak, revelling in inexhaustible inspiration.
A passionate, progressive moment in thrash history that proved once and for all that thrash was going to change the face of metal as we knew it.
Metallica‘s Master Of Puppets is simply one of the finest metal albums in existence, regardless of sub-genre…..but then you already knew that!
Honourable mentions: Angel Dust – Into The Dark Past / Exumer – Possessed By Fire / Metal Church – The Dark (were they even pure thrash? Not really, hence not being included in the final 10) / Voivod – Rrröööaaarrr / Whiplash – Power and Pain