Reign in Blood: The Taxonomy of Thrash Metal

Welcome back to our Taxonomy series, where we break down umbrella genres like progressive metal, post rock and doom metal and outline all of the progressions and subgenres that have matriculated over the past few decades. The dissection of thrash metal you'll find below contains a detailed dissection of the most crucial genre in extreme metal style. Thrash led to incredible innovations over the years, and in turn, a multiplicity of styles has made its way back into the genre's core traits to form some of the most forward thinking metal coming out today. Seriously, many of the bands mentioned below have released records less than a year ago, and in some cases, less than a month. There's a ton of ground to cover here, so without further ado, let's riff on some of the best thrash you can use to mosh in your bedroom.

With Strange Aeons Even Death May Die: Lovecraft In Metal

Since its inception, metal has been deeply entwined in the world of both fantasy and horror. The almost-unanimous pick for the genre’s first album, Black Sabbath’s self-titled debut, instantly separated themselves from other bands at the time with their lyrics about unintelligible and dark figures in the night, wizardry, and possibly rock’s first true tip of the hat to the genius author H.P. Lovecraft. With the title of the album’s third track, “Behind the Wall of Sleep,” Black Sabbath not only revolutionized heavy music from a sonic standpoint, but lyrically as well. Bassist/lyricist Geezer Butler’s fascination with black magic and campy horror flicks in the early years of the band could certainly be looked upon as the genesis from which the Lovecraft obsession in metal truly began.