The Top Thrash Bands Who Didn't Make the Big Four

(Gibson) Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax are collectively known as thrash's Big Four the cornerstones upon which the entire thrash movement is built, and the compass one uses to orient oneself when navigating the turbulent waters of that aggressive, precise, angry, powerful metal variant.

But thrash does not begin and end with those four bands. For each one of the Big Four there are dozens more who trod similar ground but never quite made the leap to superstardom. Here are the great thrash bands that came mighty close to dislodging one of the Big Four but didn't quite get over the line.

1. Exodus: Another classic Bay Area thrash stalwart, Exodus was formed in 1980 by Kirk Hammett and Paul Baloff, with Hammett's guitar tech Gary Holt stepping up to the co-axeman role early in the group's history. While Hammett went on to bigger things with Metallica, Holt and Co. released the classic Bonded by Blood in 1985, and a few more albums before calling it a day after 1992's Force Of Habit. A 2001 reunion led to several new classics, including 2010's brutal Exhibit B: The Human Condition. Most recently, Holt was drafted into Slayer to sub for Jeff Hannemann while he recovers from surgery. Check out the full Top 10 here

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