After first hearing Black Sabbath, thrash metal would soon overtake and consume my musical world. I remember the days when my mind was freshly exposed to Slayer, Metallica, Megadeth and all the rest, I was flawed and have not looked back since. The Big 4 was undoubtedly one of the most historical events in metal history. An event which saw 4 household name metal bands take to the stage and deliver their immortal music to thirsty metalheads from all around the globe. Seeing as Slayer is retiring, I thought in my hopeful ways, that the Big 4 might happen again, and it led me to this article, so here we go.
Anthrax - Among the Living
I always took a liking to Joey Belladonna's voice, and this release was no exception. I managed to catch Anthrax on their 2013 Australian festival tour and was taken back by the energy in their performance, this album is no different. From start to finish, the signature sound of Anthrax would come to full fruition with Among the Living, which has proven to be an array of classic songs which many can recite the lyrics to. Songs like, Indians, Caught in a Mosh, I Am the Law, have been engraved into the metal genre's DNA. This album is arguably the band's breakthrough album and also their finest hour, it is definitely a thrash masterpiece and will be remembered forever.
Slayer - South of Heaven
Don't get me wrong when I say this, I love Reign in Blood, but for me personally, Slayer really matured when it reached South of Heaven. Unlike its predecessor, I always gravitated more to South of Heaven for its diversity in what Slayer can write. This album has some of Slayer's heaviest and most underrated moments, and the song writing is diverse and intricate. The classic South of Heaven, Spill the Blood, are prime examples of the band's ability to slow it down and concentrate more on song structure rather than sheer speed. This album is a classic in the metal world, with dark, provoking lyrics, memorable riffs, blistering drums and everything else that Slayer will be remembered for.
Megadeth - Rust in Peace
Rust in Peace will go down as one of the most memorable and game changing moments in my musical journey. The album, given to me as a birthday present, would turn my world upside down, sending me into a frenzy of delight. I would sit and listen to this album all day, everyday, memorising every riff, note and drum beat. The songs are heavy, perfectly written and Mustaine's unconventional song writing style and riff ability led to an absolute masterpiece of an album. I think this album should be a staple in any metalhead's beginnings as it is an undoubtable showcase of skill, thrash, but also progressive song writing that broke the boundaries of what thrash metal is limited to.
Metallica - Master of Puppets
It is impossible for me to explain what this album means to me. Master of Puppets, will forever be my favourite album and there has never been a single piece of music that has left me as flawed as this. From start to end this album changed the game, its influence is undeniable, and it, in my opinion is the best album to ever come out of the metal genre. The song writing is phenomenal, memorable and the music has an unattainable rage which is raw and genuine. This album showcased the potential metal had outside of its formulaic approach. The lyrical content is thoughtful and diverse, accompanying an array of songs which were crafted with a masterful hand. I have lost count of how many times I have heard this album, my estimate is about 500... and I will forever be enthralled at this timeless piece of art.