Buy the Latest Thrash Metal Band T-Shirts Online
Buy the Latest Thrash Metal T-Shirts Online
Thrash Metal. A sub-genre of Heavy Rock that has enjoyed success for three decades now.
It was a break from the Blues-based old style of Classic Rock music that divided both camps along a fairly strict demarcation line.
Thrash metal represents power, speed, noise and inflicts an assault on the eardrums sending shockwaves through the mind, soul and body.
Ignited by a jackhammer beat to demolish bedroom walls and raise parental blood pressure although it's been around so long it can cross the generational divide.
Nowadays you will see fathers and sons, or even mothers and daughters sporting the Thrash Metal t-shirt at festivals all around the world.
Lyrics are angry, they're full of rage and spite as front men like James Hetfield and Dave Mustaine snarl and sneer at the madness of the world.
But brilliant technique abounds among the brother and sisterhood of the Thrash Metal community.
For within their ranks you will find some of the best musicianship in the world.
And you will also discover some of the best artwork in the music business. Macabre images, imaginatively created and beautifully executed
Today the overlords of this music are still Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax, the 'Big Four' who still making their mark well into the 21st century.
Of course the art is macabre in keeping with the lyrics and the image.
It is the Theatre of Doom. There is the ever-present fascination with the inhumanity of the world we live in. The album covers and the souvenirs are a visual expression of the words. They depict death, war, disease, destruction, pestilence and even Armageddon itself.
But all the time proselytizing for the cause of peace and love as a positive message infuses the songs beneath all the ferocity. Anger at the world, extreme angst and frustration beloved by teenagers appalled at how their elders and their rulers run the earth.
Metallica have never really been dislodged from their throneand have more or less maintained their crown as the top Thrash band in the world.
The memorable cover by artist Don Brautigam for the 1986 album 'Master of Puppets' is a favourite t-shirt. Also 'Ride the Lightning' as well as 'And 'Justice For All' are still popular today. Usually the t-shirts on which the art is displayed just have to be black like their legendary album of 1991 that rocketed them into the status of superstars.
But the best hair in metal must belong to Dave Mustaine although you will rarely find him depicted on the chests of the Megadeth following.
No, it will normally be the 'Vic Rattlehead' skeletal icon from the brilliant artwork of Ed Repka that marked out the 'Peace Sells' and 'Rust in Peace' albums inspired by the Cold War of Mutually Assured Destruction.
There is that word 'peace' again as Mustaines lyrics rail against the nuclear arsenals that could ultimately destroy our species.
However, more than any other Thrash Metal band of the old guard it has to be Slayer who perhaps most deserve the adulation of the masses.
Back in the 1980s they were at least 20 years ahead of their time and have served as the inspiration for many bands of today. With Kerry King reigning supreme on lead guitar and Tom Araya on vocal they remain as relevant and significant as ever in the rock canon.
But Thrash has its fun side and who better to convince us than Anthrax. More than any other of their contemporaries they exude the humour and party atmosphere of the best.
They've used samples, they've produced comic records like' I am the Man' with snippets of dialogue and Metal-Rap. They even collaborated with Public Enemy on a re-worked and guitar-fuelled version of 'Bring the Noise' and are still regarded as one the best live acts in Thrash.
Pantera may be long gone as a band and tragically their influential guitarist Dimebag Darrell is no longer with us.
But their music and their image is still as strong today. When singer Phil Anselmo joined they never looked back and their exalted triumvirate of albums 'Cowboys From Hell', 'Vulgar Display of Power' and 'Far Beyond Driven' are rightly lauded as classic Thrash albums. They gatecrashed us into the 1990s like a storm.
And one song still resonates today more than any other. The familiar riff of 'Walk' will get dance-floors full, heads banging and hair flowing through the air.
And Nuclear Assault, formed in 1984, joined the ranks of Megadeth especially with their colourful depictions of genocidal mushroom clouds and symbols of death and devastation. They were co-formed by Danny Lilker who had been sacked from Anthrax which led him to develop a more aggressive sounding style of metal music. At the time of writing they are still recording and touring.
But the new breeds continue the tradition of mayhem and decibel-blasting metal.
Bands like Machine Head and Lamb of God are unrelenting in their intensity and passion providing the generator that keeps the mosh pits spinning.
Perhaps one of the best bands are Killswitch Engage who have been called the 'Def Leppard' of Thrash Metal
That's because they have the temerity to weave melody and sensitive guitar work amidst the screaming vocals and blistering power chords.
With the voice of Jesse Leach and the manic playing and perfoming of Adam D in particular they carry on the fun side of metal that Anthrax brought to the party.
It would be impossible to ignore the contribution of Slipknot to the metal music scene. A masked carnival of demonic rock n' roll troubadours who have taken Thrash Metal to further extremes.
Naturally there are many heavier groups out there as the genre has branched off into more intense sub-cultures such as Speed Metal, Hard-Core, Grindcore and Death Metal.
But Slipknot have managed to balance a brutal extravagance with a fairly mainstream appeal and popularity. They are also one of the most incredible bands to play on stage. Anarchy rules when they take over the amps and the hordes of 'maggots' obey their every whim in the theatres, stadiums and summer fields wherever they gather to worship.
Where did all this begin?
As usual it was the Imperial sway of England that spread the magnificent scourge of Thrash Metal across the civillized world.
Certainly Black Sabbath were a massive influence on their descendants.
Also Venom were the instigators of the cult of Black Metal as they invented a new style of rock music back in the early 1980s.
But unarguably Thrash Metal was spawned from the thunderous one hundred miles an hour Blitzkreig that is Motorhead. And none other than Lemmy Kilminster who is truly the High Priest of Thrash Metal. Ever since he got thrown out of Hawkwind back in 1975 Lemmy has remained at the top of the heap.
Feted by the best and adored by the masses Lemmy is untouchable as embodying all that Heavy Metal represents. In fact Motorhead are one of the few bands that can bridge the chasm created by the Thrash Metal school of rock.
They are loved by the old brigade as much as the young pretenders and bands like Metallica have pledged their allegance as well as other modern superstars like Slash and Dave Grohl.
The 'Iron Cross' and the 'Ace of Spades' are readily familiar among their logos and artwork. But without a doubt the all pervasive 'Snaggletooth' symbol has become one the most iconic images associated with Heavy Metal and is still proudly sported today by the loyal Motorhead following.
Whichever band you follow you will surely be wearing a piece of art when you buy that all important piece of apparel. The Thrash Metal t-shirt.
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