There’s been an incredible number of world-beating thrash albums released over the past three decades but these five, genre-defining works, were the albums that changed the shape of thrash indefinitely….
Metallica – Kill ‘Em All (1983)
Metallica‘s debut needs little introduction. Alongside Slayer’s Show No Mercy and Metal Church’s self-titled debut, Kill ‘Em All introduced the world to a new breed of precociously talented musicians hungry for success and dedicated to destroying the hair/glam metal bands that ruled the airwaves.
This was a groundbreaking statement of intent from a band with nothing to fear. Here was a new sound that fused meticulous musicianship with the heavy-as-hell riffs of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and the speed and snarling belligerence of hardcore punk.
“Whiplash”, “Hit The Lights” and “Seek And Destroy” were all white-knuckle bursts of unparalleled power and fury while “The Four Horsemen” demonstrated compositional skill and a maturity that belied Metallica’s tender years (even if Dave Mustaine’s stamp was still all over it)!
In one fell swoop, Metallica defined thrash as a sub-genre in its own right and announced a wholesale change in metal. Pretty boy metal bands weren’t metal, Kill ‘Em All was metal and Metallica were the ugly, brash and ridiculously talented young oiks who were ushering in a new era for heavy metal.
Changed the shape of thrash? Kill ‘Em all gave birth to it!