5 Favorite Non Big 4 Thrash Metal Bands

As a lifelong metalhead, I love Thrash Metal. Most people generally love or acknowledge the existence of the Big 4 Bands of Thrash Metal. Those bands are Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax.

What is thrash metal?

“Thrash metal (or simply thrash) is a subgenre of heavy metal music characterized by its overall aggression and often fast tempo. The songs usually use fast percussive beats and low-register guitar riffs, overlaid with shredding-style lead work. The lyrics often deal with social issues and reproach of The Establishment, using direct and denunciatory language, an approach borrowed from hardcore punk.”

However, there are so many great bands outside of those big 4 bands that people should check out. Here are 5 of my personal favorites.


In the past 10 or so years, Thrash Metal saw a new wave of bands. One of the top bands from this reemerging scene is Havok. They are part of a subscene called Crossover, which generally is more punk or hardcore in the music’s pacing and vocal approach. Still, they are definitely one of the best bands from that scene and have been tearing the house down on many great tours.


Overkill is, one of, if not the very first Thrash Metal bands. If nothing else, they have been very consistent in their releases over the past 30 or so years. Even their newest release is one of their best.


Kreator is one of the top bands of the scene that are from Germany. The German thrash metal bands are a lot heavier than American bands with some black metal influences in their sound. Kreator is probably my favorite from that particular scene.

Their album they released in 2017 is probably my favorite, which is nothing short of amazing that a band can still release some of their best material 30 years into their career.

Death Angel

Death Angel has its up and downs for the past 25 years, but they seem to finally be here to stay.

They also released on their best albums, The Evil Divide, in 2016, which I highly advise checking out. Also, their first album, “The Ultra Violence” is also a beloved classic.


If I had to include a 5th band in the Big 4, I would easily select Testament. They are just that damn good. They are a criminally underrated band.

Also, if you ever played Rock Band 2, they had a song or two on the disc. Just a good thing to note as part of their legacy.

I saw these guys live years ago and they killed it.

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