Thrash metal is a more aggressive subgenre of traditional heavy metal that is specifically characterized by its heavy rhythms similar to extreme metal, NWOBHM, speed metal, biker metal, and hardcore punk in aggressiveness and forcefulness.
Songs in the genre often use fast percussion and low-register guitar riffs, which are also fast and cutting. The lyrics of thrash metal songs often deal with social problems, often with direct and denouncing language. It was one of the first heavy metal subgenres to appear, with Queen's 1974 track Stone Cold Crazy being a landmark piece for the future sound of thrash metal. In this way, thrash metal is the basis and the greatest influence on extreme metal, which mainly includes death metal and black metal; In addition to having an important development (along with speed metal) in power metal, although this style took the music down a more melodic path. The genre has also peculiarly influenced other subgenres such as metalcore, this is demonstrated by bands like Trivium, Unearth or Chimaira as some of the most popular examples. It is worth highlighting the importance in the creation and evolution of the genre of the original bands better known as The Big Four of thrash metal, which are considered the most representative and in a foundational order.
Thrash metal in general is characterized by the use of fast tempos, more aggressive guitar riffs and with a greater use of palm mute, quite fast solos but with many notes that escape the tonality, giving it a characteristic sound, bass sounds quite pronounced inherited from the NWOBHM. Something very special in the style is the drums where pedal and bass drum alternate at speeds above 180 bpm, while it also uses double pedal or double bass drum and aggressive voices but without reaching the extreme of heavier styles such as black metal, perhaps the fast and aggressive speed is more inherited from hardcore punk however thrash acquires more technique when it comes to execution.
Most thrash guitar solos are played at high speed, as they are characterized by fragmentation, and use techniques such as sweep picking, legato phrasing, two-handed tapping, trill, and tremolo lever. Thrash metal guitarists are generally completely influenced by the NWOBHM.
Speed, rhythm and time changes also define thrash metal. Thrash tends to have an up-tempo feel which may be due in large part to its aggressive drumming style, a mix between NWOBHM drumming and hardcore punk. For example, thrash drummers often use two kick drums, or a double pedal, in order to create a fairly raw, fast, and powerful sound.
To keep up with the other instruments, many thrash bassists often use a pick. However, some prominent thrash metal bassists use their fingers, including Frank Bello, Greg Christian, Robert Trujillo, Jack Gibson, Steve DiGiorgio, and Cliff Burton. Several bassists use a distorted low tone, an approach popularized by Motörhead's Lemmy, Tom Araya (Slayer), David Ellefson (Megadeth), Cliff Burton, and Jason Newsted (Metallica), among others.
Thrash metal song lyrics include isolation, corruption, injustice, addiction, suicide, death, murder, war, and other ills that afflict the individual and society, including mutilations and other horrors. in more extreme examples. Humor and irony can sometimes be found, but they are limited, and they are the exception rather than the rule. The vast majority of bands that handle these issues are of the crossover thrash style.
Origin and influences