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Bay Area thrash metal

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Bay Area thrash metal

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Bay Area thrash metal, or "Bay Area Thrash", referred to a steady following of heavy metal bands in the 1980s who formed and gained international status in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. Many have attributed the scene as the starting point of thrash metal, speed metal, and even early-stage death metal.



Although Metallica had initially formed in Los Angeles, it wasn't until their relocation to the East Bay area that Cliff Burton and Kirk Hammett joined as bassist and lead guitarist, sealing the band's first, formulative line-up.

Burton's friendship with other local acts, notably Oakland's Exodus (Kirk Hammett was previously in the band) and Testament, and San Francisco's Death Angel - among others - strongly vitalized the scene, leading to intensive touring and tape-trading that would cross borders and seas, and eventually graduate to record signings.

El Sobrante's Possessed would bring a turning point to the genre with 1985's Seven Churches, regarded as the first album to cross over from thrash metal to death metal for the largely "growling vocals" and subject matter dealing with horror and the occult. In addition to the inspiration of black metal, it would predate other albums, such as Slayer's Reign in Blood and Death's Scream Bloody Gore, which had also been regarded as influential to the two genres.


By the early 1990s, the scene had mostly died down, with many groups disbanding, going on hiatus, or venturing to musical styles deemed more commercial or accessible at the time. Oakland thrash metal band Vio-lence, for instance, would dissolve, leading guitarist Robb Flynn to form and front Machine Head, which would popularize the groove metal genre (sometimes referred to as "half thrash", or "post thrash") along with Pantera.

In August of 2001, a small "reunion" of Bay Area thrash metal bands organized Thrash of the Titans, promoted to help Testament vocalist Chuck Billy, who had been diagnosed with cancer. The original Vio-lence line-up (minus Machine Head's Robb Flynn), a reunited Death Angel (minus original guitarist Gus Pepa), Heathen, Anthrax, Sadus, Stormtroopers of Death and Exodus were among the performers. In an unfortunate twist of fate, Exodus' singer Paul Baloff died from a stroke the following year.

On July 9th, 2005, a "sequel" concert, Thrash Against Cancer took place, which featured Testament, Lz Rockit (a very early Thrash band from the area) as well as Hirax, with Death Angel guitarist Ted Aguilar.

Notable bands

Blind Illusion
Death Angel
Epidemic (band)
Lz Rockit
Machine Head (early works)
Sacrilege B.C.
Ulysses Siren
Warning S.F.

External links

Heavy metal
Black metal - Death metal - Doom metal - Folk metal - Glam metal - Gothic metal - Grindcore - Industrial metal - Neo-classical metal - Power metal - Progressive metal - Symphonic metal - Thrash metal
Other topics
Fashion - History

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Music Sound, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.