While thrash used to be the dominating subgenre of metal back in the day, thrash metal has been experiencing one hell of an incredible revival over recent years.
Though the likes of Metallica, Megadeth, Exodus, and other iconic thrash bands are still going strong to this day, there are also quite a few relatively younger thrash acts that have been keeping the genre not only alive but also building upon the sonic template that those legendary bands first established.
Of all the thrash bands who have emerged in the scene since the start of the 2000s, these are the 10 bands that are keeping the genre alive.
Among the younger bands that get shouted out the most for keeping thrash alive, Power Trip is typically one of the first to get mentioned. The Texas act was formed in 2008, but it was with the release of 2017’s Nightmare Logic that they skyrocketed big time in the metal world. The utterly aggressive beatdowns of their drumming and bass, along with the relentless crossover shredding of their guitar work comes together to offer experiences that will ignite folks with an extreme rush. Unfortunately, things have been on hold for Power Trip since the tragic passing of their frontman Riley Gale (who died in 2020). The band’s future is not super clear at the moment, but if they do find themselves in a place where they are comfortable to perform again, the metal community will surely be excited to hear their return.
This one-man blackened thrash/speed act is thrilling af. Blending the sonic ferocity of bands like Venom and Megadeth, Hellripper frontman James McBain has proven himself to be a remarkably talented artist. For those who like their thrash to lean more into themes of the occult and general creepiness, this is the band for you. Along with various splits and EPs, McBain has released three studio albums, his most recent having come out this year and titled Warlocks Grim & Withered Hags. And while we’re still early into 2023, McBain’s latest makes for a truly kick-ass banger from beginning to end, and it’s likely to appear on several end-of-the-year lists when the time rolls around.
Since their formation in 2004, Denver, Colorado’s Havok has released five studio albums of nonstop intense thrash metal. Havok has been noted as one of the key figures in the late 2000s, early 2010s thrash revival scene, using a variety of genres like hardcore and death metal to offer exciting spins to their brand of adrenaline. The band’s most recent studio album is V. If you are looking for a band that embodies the utter ferocity of ’80s Exodus, Havok is who you need to check out first.
Featuring members from Power Trip, Impalers, Creeping Death, Skourge, and ANS, Fugitive is one of the younger bands to appear on this list; yet, in the one release they have put out thus far, they have made one hell of a statement. By pulling elements from each of the aforementioned bands together, Fugitive creates tunes that exude rip-roaring adrenaline; wicked-sounding riffs meet clashing drums and pummeling bass, with vocals screeching and growling throughout. There’s a gritty presentation to Fugitive’s music that is abrasive; unlike the more upbeat “pizza thrash” bands, Fugitive is more interested in providing folks with songs that are vicious and in-your-face.
Another band that has been cited as a key act in the thrash revival scene of the 2000s, Warbringer offers their audiences bad-ass roaring metal. Over the course of their career, and since forming in 2004, they have released six studio albums, with their most recent being 2020’s Weapons of Tomorrow. Warbringer’s brand of crossover makes for an infectious experience that has the power to stir anyone into a moshing mood. With each new release of theirs, Warbringer’s songwriting and technical performances only get tighter.
Featuring ex-Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo, Faith No More singer Mike Patton, Michael Crain of Retox, and Justin Pearson of The Locust, Dead Cross is an extraordinary supergroup. Blending hardcore and thrash together, the band delivers abrasive-sounding compositions; from technically intriguing rhythms that display abrupt time signature shifts and drastic changes in atmospheric mood, the music of Dead Cross can be a lot to digest at times. But in that artistic effort, the band creates a form of thrash that offers lots of intellectual depth (both from a technical and lyrical perspective).
Having formed in 2010 and originally from São Paulo, Brazil, Nervosa is one of the best bands around that blend thrash with death metal. Sonically they channel the aggression of bands like Sepultura into their material, and over the course of their career, Nervosa has made one hell of a name for themselves. Their latest studio album is 2021’s Perpetual Chaos, which delivers menacing thrash that has the power to get you to compulsively start headbanging. Among the younger bands revitalizing the genre, this is absolutely an act that is only going to get bigger with more time.
This New York crossover act delivers crushing displays of thrash and hardcore that exude intense rage. Each of the band’s songs features instrumentation so riveting and intense, that it’s impossible to stand still whenever Mindforce is playing. Their music comes across like a spiritual successor to Anthrax, if not a little heavier sounding than the legendary thrash band. Their latest studio album, last year’s New Lords, is a record we absolutely adore, and we’re super excited to see where else this band goes with their artistry.
Take a little bit of Cro-Mags, a little bit of Overkill, and a little bit of Megadeth – stir all that together – and you have yourself Drain. The band’s explosive presentation of crossover is undeniably sick; while Drain provides a revitalized take on the sound (thanks to strong production work and their stellar performances), the band’s music is full of nostalgic vibes that will make you feel like you are living in the golden era of ’80s thrash and hardcore punk.
This band has been really making waves lately, and not just because of their awesome thrash metal, but because of their unique presentation. SpiritWolrd has married the likes of thrash and death metal with a western-horror presentation that shocks in the way that Slayer used to back in the day. Their 2022 album DEATHWESTERN features a plethora of rip-roaring death-thrash tracks that will melt your fucking eardrums (in the best way possible). The instrumental extremity of SpiritWolrd is nothing short of amazing, and honestly, among the other bands featured on this list, it could be debated that they are one of the heaviest.