The 22 best old-school thrash metal songs
Are you an old-school thrasher? Celebrate the glory days of thrash with this ultimate mixtape of undeniable classics
Metal Hammer writer Dom Lawson has been a diehard thrasher since he was a spotty teenager, so who better to make the greatest mixtape ever? He has plundered his record collection and created the ultimate old-school thrash compilation. Crank it up and bang your head!
Metallica – Metal Militia
A ferocious statement of intent from the biggest of the Big Four, promising “the metallisation of your inner soul!” Metal up your ass, indeed.
Exodus – Piranha
Gleefully vicious insanity from Paul Baloff and the Bay Area kings. Quite possibly the most outrageously thrrrraaaaasssshh song ever recorded.
Overkill – Rotten To The Core
Still a staple of these New York veterans’ live sets nearly 30 years on, this is the sound of metal on steroids and cheap street speed. Fucking lethal.
Anthrax – Caught In A Mosh
Testament – Into The Pit
Does exactly what it says on the thrash tin. If you want to know why Testament are many people’s favourite non-Big Four thrashers, listen to this. Loud.
D.R.I. – Couch Slouch
A seething blast of flat-out thrashing skate-punk from the masters of the genre. Short, sharp, snotty and delivered at neck-wrecking velocity.
S.O.D. – Kill Yourself
Onslaught – Metal Forces
Proof that the British thrash scene had plenty to offer, Onslaught’s early records were dirtier, nastier and heavier than most. The title says it all.
Dark Angel – The Burning Of Sodom
The only band capable of challenging Slayer for the coveted “most vicious band in thrash” trophy, Dark Angel kicked opened the gates of hell with this gem.
Kreator – Pleasure To Kill
Slayer – Angel Of Death
Possessed – The Exorcist
Destruction – Bestial Invasion
Suicidal Tendencies – War Inside My Head
Raging thrash from a gang of skate-punk hoodlums from Venice Beach, Los Angeles, this legendary anthem marked a high point for the crossover scene.
Voivod – Tribal Convictions
Sacred Reich – Death Squad
Best known for the wilfully daft Surf Nicaragua, Sacred Reich remain criminally underrated. This opening track from their debut album is utterly crushing.
Sepultura – Inner Self
Nuclear Assault – Critical Mass
Faster, heavier, angrier... Nuclear Assault upped the ante for the entire thrash scene, injecting hefty doses of hardcore grit and rampant adrenaline. This is 100 per cent killer.
Sabbat – A Cautionary Tale
The scything riffs of Andy Sneap collided with the inspired lyrics of Martin Walkyier and British thrash suddenly had its own unique standard bearers.
Xentrix – No Compromise
Forget the Ghostbusters cover... this was Xentrix’s finest moment. Three minutes of breathless precision and Bay Area-meets-Preston riff madness. Fuck yes.
M.O.D. – The Accident Scene
Billy Milano’s post-S.O.D. crew kept the flag flying for obnoxious lyrics delivered at a blistering pace. This warped car crash fantasy will rip your fucking face off.
Megadeth – Holy Wars... The Punishment Due
Obliterating all-comers with a jaw-droppingly audacious display of technical precision, Megadeth circa 1990 were unstoppable. This is epic thrash perfection.