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What makes Thrash metal...Well thrash?

Discussion in 'Old School Metal Discussion' started by Halberd3, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. Halberd3

    Halberd3 Member

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    Truthfully I've wondered sometimes. What sets thrash apart from more traditional heavy metal? Is it the riffs? The tempo? Guitar and bass tones? Chords and patterns? Palm muting usage? I've heard a good degree of palm muting get used in the more traditional stuff. Sometimes I honestly don't know. I mean I've heard stuff like Iron Curtain and Dexter Ward make stuff that sounded almost thrashy, mainly the tone but they get grouped into the traditional circle.

    So really what sets this apart from





    From this?



     
  2. CASSETTEISGOD

    CASSETTEISGOD Active Member

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    Beer makes me thrash.
     
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  3. Halberd3

    Halberd3 Member

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    No seriously. Musically speaking.
     
  4. zegonzales

    zegonzales New Metal Member

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    Everything you mentioned . In My opinion , Thrash is heavier , more agressive , and darker in the riff department than traditional Heavy Metal .
     
  5. Halberd3

    Halberd3 Member

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    So what does that make Dexter Ward and Iron Curtain? Their riffs sound very similar to thrash riffs but they're categorized under traditional.
     
  6. elohimeth

    elohimeth marțolea

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    my guess is alcohol. also rebellion and carelessness. then there's the occasional satanism but that isn't very specific to the genre.
     
  7. HadesRagnazrath

    HadesRagnazrath IHATEGRUNGE

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    First, the obvious. Thrash metal is fast. It doesn't necessarily have to be 200bmp with palm muted 16th notes and blastbeats, but it has to be at least on the upper side of midtempo. This is shared with speed metal, though speed is less integral to thrash.

    The thrash metal rhythm section generally abides by an 8th or 16th note skeleton, with different variations to create a more "jerky" sound. Triplets are employed extensively as well, and gallop style rhythms are also used. Examples include "Battery" by Metallica or "Impact is Imminent" by Exodus.

    Thrash metal is less melodic than speed metal, as well. Guitar melodies are few and far between, instead, the riffs sound like choppy patterns of notes. Evil sounding intervals and chords are used, and the vocals are harsh. Again we have e to differentiate from speed metal. Speed metal is generally as fast and often faster than thrash, but it tends to have a very steady, laid back sound in comparison. Listen to "Alison Hell" by Annihilator. That is not thrash, it's speed metal. The same goes for "Overkill" by Motörhead and "Exciter" by Judas Priest. Then compare that to almost anything by Megadeth, who use complex riffs, sudden fills, rundowns, groove sections, and especially tempo changes.
     
  8. HadesRagnazrath

    HadesRagnazrath IHATEGRUNGE

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    There is as much of that in speed metal as there is thrash metal. Note that I say speed metal as I think it makes a good background to highlight thrash characteristics against.
     
  9. Half_Can

    Half_Can Member

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    Thrash is influenced by punk music, originally what guys in Overkill, Metallica, Exodus, Slayer and Anthrax etc. were doing was fusing NWOBHM style metal with punk style beats and musical approaches. However, when one listen's to early metal classics like Deep Purple's Hard Lovin' Man from 1970 and Highway Star from 1972, we can pick up on palm muted, tremolo picked strokes to give the sound a 'chugging' feel, which is a staple of thrash with it's palm muted, fast tremolo picked riffs. Some thrash bands are political, some are Hail Satan and what I liked most about Overkill was they were really none of that, they just sang about hard, real life shit and problems.
     
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  10. CASSETTEISGOD

    CASSETTEISGOD Active Member

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    Hell, most of those thrash metal bands you named even covered punk songs.
     
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  11. Half_Can

    Half_Can Member

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    Agree with everything said here. Judas Priest's 'Exciter' which came out in 1978 sounds to me like it was heavily influenced by Deep Purple's 'Fireball'. If you listen to both songs, you'll see what I mean.

    I think Deep Purple were the earliest example of a lot of proto speed metal and thrash, and my theory, even if it may be slightly off topic, is that heavy metal music has three main 'grandfather' bands.


    Black Sabbath - brought the doom and darkness into heavy metal

    Deep Purple - brought the speed and virtuosity into heavy metal

    Led Zeppelin - brought the flair and sex appeal into heavy metal



    Off topic, yes, but this is my theory.
     
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  12. Half_Can

    Half_Can Member

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    Very true, and the covers were quite good, too.
     
  13. CASSETTEISGOD

    CASSETTEISGOD Active Member

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    I could take or leave them, but that's my stance on 99% of covers.
     
  14. schenkadere

    schenkadere Obey my dog!

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    I would say it’s less melodic. Vocals are more rhythmic than melodic. And a huge difference is the drum beats. That was one of the biggest differences I noticed when thrash came about when I was a youngster. Prime example being the blast beat.
     
  15. Assault_Attack

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    I am an old guy. I remember when speed metal 1st came along, Now called thrash? Is that right?

    I just thought it sounded like Black Sabbath on speed. The one big difference to me was the vocals. I still think the singers are just not that good. Almost more punk influenced.

    With maybe the exception of Joey Belladonna.
     
  16. Assault_Attack

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    I'm old so I agree 100%
     
  17. Halberd3

    Halberd3 Member

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    I think Blast beats are more in death and black metal than thrash. I've heard thrash use blast beats. But for the most part thrash is using that punk rock D-beat. Bass drum kick then snare. Sounds like a "Po-Ka-Po-Ka-Po-Ka-Po-Ka" sound to me.
     
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  18. HadesRagnazrath

    HadesRagnazrath IHATEGRUNGE

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    True, thrash metal uses more emphatic beats. Blastbeats in black metal and sometimes death metal create a more homogenous sound, which in turn produces a hypnotic effect. Thrash goes for opposite of that.

    Also important is the grouping. Thrash has more triplets and gallop type riffs.
     
  19. argonaut

    argonaut New Metal Member

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    Thrash also tends to have a vocal style where the words are shouted/sung in a way where they're not "shredding" their vocal chords. By that I mean like in the death metal bands that followed like Possessed and Death or the black metal band that preceded them (Venom). It's more comprehensible in some ways, you can make out all of what they're singing. Not saying that you can't figure it out with Possessed or Death, but there is a distinct difference in the vocal style of those genres.

    A prime example of great vocals in thrash is Anthrax, Joey Belladonna sounds really amazing. And when Tom Araya hits the high pitches, oh my.

    I do really like it when thrash crosses over into death metal though, like Slayer's Divine Intervention. The reverse is also so cool, like so many Death albums.
     

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