the first 5 from "The Big 4"?

Few topics divide old school Metalheads like discussing the "Big 4 of Thrash". One thing MOST, though not all would agree on though, is that none has produced a truly GREAT, groundbreaking album since the early 90s. (yes, yes, I know, World Painted Blood, The System has Failed.. blah blah. Compared to the bands pre 95 work how good are they really?)

So I wanted to collect your thoughts impressions and comparisons on the albums that ARE usually considered the epitome, along with the first album that many purists point to for each band as going more mainstream (which is pretty much the 5th for all the bands)

SO that said lets start at the Beginning.... how do Slayer, Metallica, MegaDave and Anthrax stack up against each other (And WHY.. even a 1-10 rating for each album would be killer):






BQ- Favorite Band out of the big 4? Favorite Band Member? Why?

BQ2- General thoughts, rant etc comparing each bands Debut effort? Sophomore? Junior? Senior? errrr Post Graduate?

BQ3- Out of each bands last album: World Stained Blood, Death Magnetic, Endgame and We've Come For You All... what are your thoughts?

BBQ- Does Anthrax seem like Thrash's Red-Headed Stepchild to anyone else?


BBBQ- Do I need to ask smaller questions?

Update 2:


BBBBQ (just for kicks) favorite album from each band?

11 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    1. Show No Mercy...10+

    The one true Thrash Metal lp not directly influenced by Kill 'Em All. It's also the best album on this entire page. It doesn't sound like a debut, more like a band of seasoned veterans who combined all their influences and produce a perfect masterpiece.

    Kill 'Em All...10

    I'll never get bored of Kill 'Em All. The solos are brilliant, and he was only 17? GTFO...

    Killing is My Business...and Business is Good!...9.5

    It's speed and technicality are a first for any band, and the raw inyourfacedness really hits home. Songs like These Boots and Mechanix take away from what is otherwise brutal genius.

    Fistful of Metal...9

    I love it, and they are true thrash pioneers.

    2. Hell Awaits...10+

    It's technical, evil, brutal, inventive and has the perfect metal atmosphere.

    Ride the Lightning...10

    The guitar harmonies are one of a kind.

    Peace Sells, But Who's Buying? 9

    Too commercial for me, and a far cry from their debut. Dave is to blame for the rest of the thrash world believing that fast was uncool. MTV? bleh

    Spreading the Disease...9

    As much as I like it, too many boring songs like Gung Ho.

    3. Master of Puppets...10

    It would have an 11 rating had they not overproduced it and took away it's edge.

    Among the Living...9.99999

    More influential than the others, due to the fact that their SOD follwing of crossover fans picked this record up and helped bridge the gap between punks and metalheads. Scott Ians rythm work crunches like no other, and Dan's solo's are freakin awseome. And Charlie? WOW!!!!

    Reign in Blood...9.97

    Too short, but still what is there is perfect.

    So Far, So Good, So What?...9

    Guitar production is to thin

    4. Rust in Peace...10+

    Progressive Technical Thrash Metal Brilliance.

    ...And Justice for All...9.1

    If I could hear the bass I would like it more.

    State of Euphoria...8

    It's crap compared to their first 3 albums. Too happy

    South of Heaven...5

    I hate the lyrics, the tempo, the songwriting, and it puts me to sleep. It's really awful. Points for brutality.

    5. Countdown to Extinction...8.5

    Take away the Popeye vocals and it's a solid record

    Seasons in the Abyss...8.3 See above about South of Heaven with extra points for bringing back part of the Slayer atmosphere.

    Persistence of Time...8

    Just a tad better than their last failure.

    Black Album...3.5

    They ruined a good thing.

    BA: Megadeth

    Fav member is Gar Samuelson. 7/22/99 is always a black mark on my calendar. RIP old buddy. 41 is too young to die.

    BA2: I like all their debuts the best, but I'm a weirdo. They are so underrated. Seems everyone bashes them, causing me to believe that these folks weren't even metalheads when the debuts first came out. Topwaters....

    BA3 Endgame is my favorite, but the rest are good releases and much better offerings than what they have released in a very long time. My thanks to them for finally giving a fk what we the fans think.

    BBA: No, they have really earned my respect with how much they have been touring lately. And bringing Joey on tour there in 05-07 was brilliant and the best show I've seen in 20 years. I cleared out a 50 foot mosh pit I went so crazy.


    BBBBBBBBBBA: No, but sometimes I can't answer due to time restraints.


    Show No Mercy

    Kill 'Em All

    Fistful of Metal tied with Among the Living (I have to include both because they are like two different bands)

    Killing is My Business...and Business is Good!

  • 1 decade ago

    Again, great question.

    MQ1: Kill em All is the best album from the list, even though I loved Show No Mercy too.

    MQ2: In this round I like Peace Sells...But Who's Buying? The album name is my favourite for a start, and the songs in the album. The guitar solos in "Devil's Island" and "Good Mourning/Black Friday" are amazing.

    MQ3: Aww this is hard! I'd say a tie between Reign in Blood and Master of Puppets. I own both albums and love both. In fact, both albums are my favourite albums from Slayer and Metallica respectively. I like them because the guitar solos are just freakin' BADASS and the way the songs are written and performed...just plain LEGENDARY.

    MQ4: Rust in Peace

    MQ5: Seasons in the Abyss, because my favourite Slayer song "Dead Skin Mask" is on it!

    BQ: My favourite band out of the big 4 is probably Slayer. Kerry King and Jeff Hannemann are both amazing guitarists and have produced near impossible solos that I can never forget in a lifetime. On the other hand, Metallica is the first band out of the 4 I've gotten into, and Megadeth has the most influential albums.

    BQ3: World Painted Blood - pretty good, although not as good as Slayer's older albums.

    Death Magnetic - MUCH better than St Anger

    Endgame - some good solos but I thought the songs were a bit repetitive.

    We've Come for You All - haven't listened to it yet.

    BQ4: errr...kinda I guess. they're the least famous out of the 4

    BBBQ: yes you really do!

    BBBBQ: Slayer - Reign in Blood, Metallica - a tie between Ride the Lightning and Master of Puppets, Megadeath - Peace Sells, Anthrax - Among the Living

  • Adam
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Well, to start off I think they all have their similarities and their differences, as any bands in one genre have, although Anthrax would definitely be more of the black sheep in that whole mix but I do consider them as thrash as the rest, just in their own way. I honestly don't think you can say one of those bands was any better than any of the others since they were all very strong at one point (Even though most if not all had their low points too).

    The reason they all kind of suck so much now a days is not because they're "Selling out" as many people would say or any of that, I think they're just getting old to be honest. Very few bands music survives the phenomenon that is getting older and thrash is a perfect example of that. Even when you look at Slayer, sure I still think their newer albums kick tons of a** (No matter what you say :P) but I will say they're not nearly as good as their older albums.

    MQ: Killing Is My Bussiness

    MQ2: Ride The Lightning

    MQ3: Reign In Blood

    MQ4: ...And Justice For All

    MQ5: Seasons In The Abyss

    BQ: I would say Slayer but with Megadeth as a close second. Slayer just appeals to me so much cause they were really the most "metal" out of all of them in a way. Like, the evilness and the darkness. This all may sound very stereotypical of a teenage metalhead, but I really love all that stuff.

    As for who's my favorite band member, hmmm, that's a tough one. I think I would go with Dave Mustaine. He may be kind of an asshole but I really love his voice.

    BQ2: I think I basically got that out up above haha

    BQ3: I think only two albums that weren't bad on that list were World Stained Blood and Death Magnetic. I think the other two were pretty bad honestly.

    BBQ: As I said up above, I would definitely agree. Definitely Thrash but at the same time definitely the one out of the bunch that doesn't really fit.

    BBBQ: It wouldn't hurt :P


    Slayer - "Seasons In The Abyss"

    Metallica - "...And Justice For All"

    Megadeth - "Rust In Peace"

    Anthrax - "Among The Living"

  • 1 decade ago

    EDITED: (I realized that I had mixed up some album numbers)

    MQ1: Show No Mercy, I actually still listen to it every now and then, I can't say that for the others.

    MQ2: Ride The Lightning.

    MQ3: Master Of Puppets

    MQ4: ...And Justice For All

    MQ5: Seasons In The Abyss

    BQ: Metallica because they are the best of the 4. I don't have a favorite member.

    BQ2: All of the debuts are seriously overrated. The second albums of Slayer and Megadeth aren't really that amazing either, neither came into their own until their third albums imo.

    Albums 3 through 5 are my favorites by Slayer. I like what I've heard of post Seasons Slayer but nothing really excites me about it.

    I don't find myself listening to Megadeth that often but my favorite albums are 3 & 4, the only other one I ever listen to is Countdown. After that they just lost my interest altogether. From the few songs I've heard, I'm not missing much. I do plan to listen to Endgame one day but it is not a priority.

    I think most will agree that albums 2 through 4 are the best for Metallica.

    I'm one of the few people that doesn't think Metallica ever sold out. Sure, Black was more accessible and maybe they meant for it be, so what. It still sounded like nothing that preceded it so how exactly did they sell out? They hit their technical peak with Justice, should they have just kept doing the same thing over and over like Slayer ended up doing? I'm not a big fan of Load/Reload but if they just wanted to sell records they would have remade Black. I believe it took real balls to alienate the fans and make those albums. Say what you will about St. Anger, it was original. I don't love it but I do enjoy most of it. I like Death Magnetic a lot but I also feel that it might have been a compromise on Metallica's part, did they just make it because they were tired of being called sellouts by people that want them to sound like they did over twenty years ago? Were they just too lazy to make something original? Most of this is just speculation of course but it makes a lot more sense to me than the popular opinion.

    BQ3: All I've heard is Death Magnetic.

    BBQ: I never got into Anthrax, it's something to do with the production on the Belladonna albums I think. I really need to give them another listen. I wasn't until I heard a live recording that I was ever impressed and heard what their fans must hear on the albums. I wouldn't put them in my big 4, I think Kreator deserves their spot.

    BBBQ: They can be a bit daunting.

    BBBBQ: South Of Heaven, Master Of Puppets, Rust In Peace, & ???

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  • Joe B
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    1. SNM and KEA, KISMB, Fistful (Show No Mercy is actually my favorite Slayer album, where as kill em all and killing... are good but the bands definitely get better)

    2. RTL and Peace Sells, Spreading the Disease, Hell Awaits (Ride the lightning and Peace Sells are masterpieces, Anthrax's best work in my opinion, and a solid outing by slayer but not as good as their first, in my opinion)

    3.RIB and MOP, ATL, SFSGSW (Reign in Blood and Master of Puppets are two of the epitomes of metal, especially thrash. Mandatory listens for anyone trying to get into metal. Among the Living is solid. SFSGSW not my favorite megadeth album, by far the weakest of this bunch.)

    4. RIP and AJFA, SOH, SOE (Rust in Peace is megadeth's crowning achievement in my opinion. AJFA is great but has an odd sound and can get a bit long winded. Jame's lyrics aren't as clumsy or as lame,which Dave's can get at times even on RIP, the reason RIP isn't alone at the top here. South of Heaven is solid, and State of Euphoria is ok, best song is a cover.)

    5. SITA, Black, CTE, POT (The commercial group here. Seasons is great from start to finish. Black Album is one of those odd albums that is so underrated at the same time as being way overrated, has some great songs but some are way overplayed too. Countdown is good but is a step below either Seasons or the Black Album. Persistence of Time is another solid but not spectacular outing from Anthrax.)

    B1. James Hetfield. The best rhythm player on the planet, period. King and Hanneman, Mustaine, and Scott Ian are all also great.

    B2. handled earlier i suppose

    B3. World Painted Blood was good, sounded like slayer. That is what I can say about most of slayer's latest stuff, solid and sounds like them trying to sound like them if ya get what I mean. Death Magnetic was a step in the right direction. Some awesome riffs but cut the songs down man. Pretty much what St Anger should have been had they actually tried on St Anger. Endgame ok. We know you can play Dave haha. Haven't listened to Anthrax's new album actually.

    BBQ. Anthrax is without a doubt the red headed step child. They are an important band in metal history and a very good thrash band. They are clearly number 4 though. You can switch around the other three and have an argument for who is best, but Anthrax is clearly slightly inferior to the others.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago


    Show No Mercy: 7

    Kill Em All 8.5

    Killing Is My Business: 7

    Fistful Of Metal: 6


    Hell Awaits: 8

    Ride The Lightning: 9

    Peace Sells: 9

    Spreading The Disease: 6


    Reign In Blood: 9.5

    Master Of Puppets: 10

    So Far So Good So What: 7

    Among The Living: 9


    South Of Heaven: 8

    And Justice For All: 9

    Rust In Peace: 9.5

    State Of Euphoria: 6.5


    Seasons In The Abyss: 6.5

    Black: 5

    Countdown To Extinction: 7.5

    Persistence Of Time: 8

    BA: Metallica, they are the best. Their music is the best out of the four. And Cliff Burton for his sheer uniqueness.

    BA2: I find Anthrax and Slayer both to be pretty massively overrated, one of their spots should go to Testament, Imo.

    BA3: All were fairly lame, Slayer's was the worst though.

    BBA: They are, they're just not that good.

    BBBA: Nawwww


    Reign In Blood

    Master Of Puppets

    Rust In Peace

    Among The Living

  • 1 decade ago

    MQ1- Show No Mercy. Early thrash Perfected in my opinion. You can't beat Tom Araya's voice.

    MQ2- Peace Sells But Who's Buying. This is my favorite Megadeth album. Best line-up in my opinion.

    MQ3- Among The Living. I think this is Anthrax's best album. Persistence of Time is amazing, but Among The Living has a special magic to it.

    MQ4- And Justice For All. What a comeback after Cliff Burton's death! This album is well thought out and amazing, especially the lyrics.

    MQ5- Persistence Of Time. This is Anthrax's magnum Opus in my opinion - their most progressive work. It is an amazing album.

  • To avoid confusion, my answers will consists of the albums arranged from greatest to worst. Worst is not an insult in this case, as the last album might be a masterpiece in its own right but unable to match up to some of its competitors

    MA1- Kill Em All, Fistful of Metal, Show No Mercy, KIMB.

    The Kill Em All songs are what inspired Slayer, Exodus, Death Angel, Testament, etc., so that's a given as best answer. Fistful of Metal is, without praising it too much, a solid debut. Show No Mercy is Slayer playing Mustaine-tempo thrash, although musicianship is a bit juvenile. Speaking of juvenile musicianship, KIMB is last, because it was just Dave giving the finger to Metallica by cutting and pasting fast riffs into barely coherent songs, and the album doesn't have much to offer lyrically

    MA2 - RTL, Spreading the Disease, Peace Sells, Hell Awaits

    RTL=Best thrash album ever. It has enough of a Dave influence to be great thrash, and Kirk hadn't developed that insufferable signature style of his yet so the solos on this one are actually good. Spreading the Disease has Joey Belladonna's debut (best vocalist of the thrash era, IMO), and the riffs kick your a**. Peace Sells, kinda overrated but still one of the most important albums ever made. Here's where Dave stopped being spiteful and instead resolved to be a better musician, leading to some great riffs and solos (My Last Words solo is Dave's masterpiece). And Slayer? Well, ehh...

    MA3 - Master of Puppets, SFSGSW, Among the Living, Reign in Blood

    Not much to say here, Reign in Blood is fast, cacophonous, and 28 minutes long. So Far So Good has the worst production of any Megadeth CD (although it contains some of the best thrash songs ever written). Among the Living sees a decline in riffage (yes, that's a word) in favor of Metallica/Iron Maiden-esque hooks... and while I find some of the songs on MOP boring (yes, I know this statement is blasphemy for you), production is great, riffs are straight out of hell, and Cliff was a beast on this record.

    MA4 - RIP, Justice, South of Heaven, State of Euphoria

    RIP= Second best thrash album ever. The Marty/Dave trade-offs are insane (Lucretia, Hangar 18), and the riffs are iconic. Justice is Metallica's flawed masterpiece... The bass is inaudible, and the songs were put together like one big copy+paste. Still, its one of my favorite albums, but the band is obviously overcompensating for some kind of thrashers block by writing material that is beyond their level of skill (which is a lot of songs on the album went unplayed for over 10 years). South of Heaven is Slayer's first attempt at competent musicianship as opposed to their usual "boo boo satan f*ck" routine. and State of Euphoria is the only non-Bush album that doesn't grab my attention

    MQ5 - Persistence of Time, Seasons, Countdown, Black

    My favorite anthrax record, Persistence of Time had some of the most mature themes in the history of the band, some great thrash hooks, and one of the best cover songs ever (Got The Time). Seasons is Slayer's most musically competent release, proof that there's more to their band than just playing fast and yelling about Satan (too bad they didn't continue this pattern of progression). Countdown and The Black Album are kind of in the same league, the only reason I rank CTE over Metallica is because of the guitar work (Marty>Kirk, no matter how you look at it. Everything on the black album dwarfs in comparison to the trade-off solos on Ashes in Your Mouth). And even though the "hardcore fans" turned on Metallica because of this album, I'm not going to forget that the first Metallica song I heard was Enter Sandman, as well as the first metal album that I bought. I've just grown to dislike it more and more over the years, the only song that I listen to regularly is The God That Failed.

    Why the hell am I taking my time answering all these?

    BA - Megs, Marty, best guitarist ever (even that weaboo stuff he released is golden

    Youtube thumbnail


    BA2 - Debut efforts for thrash bands were never their best albums (except Testament). Slayer had potential, but their musical quality over the years reads like a graph of Enron stock. Megadeth fluctuates, but ultimately the musical genius at the head of the band pulls through. Anthrax had one great album with John Bush (Sound of White Noise), but his home will always be Armored Saint, and prolonged exposure to Anthrax resulted in a decline in musicianship for all members. and Metallica? Well, any topic, question, or comment about Metallica is a sh*tstorm waiting to happen. Great band overall (possibly the greatest), but they've been over-glorified and a large portion of the fanbase is retarded

    BA3 - Endgame>Death Magnetic>We've Come For You All>World Painted Blood. Endgame at the top because it's top-form thrash and Chris and Dave's guitar acrobatics never disappoint. Death Magnetic, because even Reload after St. Anger would've been a 5 star album.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    kill em all

    hell awaits

    reign in blood

    south of heaven

    black album


    slayer all good

    metallica sophmore and junior

    megadeth none

    antrax first 3

    world painted blood

    no small questions

    reign in blood slayer

    kill em all metallica

    fistful of metal anthrax

    rust in peace megadeth

  • 1 decade ago

    my scale

    7= lowest that's a good ****** album

    so you will see alot of 6.5s


    snm -6.5

    kea -7

    kimb -6.5

    fom -6.5


    ha -6.5

    rtl -9

    psbwb -9

    std -7.5


    rib -7.5

    mop -9

    sfsgsw -8

    atl -7.5


    soh -8

    ajfa -9

    rip -9

    soe - 7.5


    sita - 8.5

    black -8

    cte -8

    pot -6.5


    wpb -6.5

    dm 7

    endgame -6.5

    wcfya -6.5

    i don't believe there to be any real stinkers on the list just albums through time i don't care to listen too

    bbq- most definitely




    soe (oh yeah) it's different they are different

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