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Thrash metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal music characterized by its fast tempo and overall aggression. The songs usually use fast percussive beats and low-register guitar riffs, overlaid with shredding-style lead work. The lyrics often deal with social issues and reproach for The Establishment.

Four American bands—Anthrax, Megadeth, Metallica, and Slayer—are credited with pioneering and popularizing the genre. The Clash of the Titans tour (1990–1991), which featured Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax.

1. Tom Araya 

Tomás Enrique “Tom” Araya Díaz (born June 6, 1961) is a Chilean American musician, best known as the bassist and vocalist of the American thrash metal band Slayer. He is easily recognizable for his very shouty and fast vocal style and high falsetto screams.

2. Dave Mustaine

David Scott “Dave” Mustaine (born September 13, 1961) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, actor and author, best known as the co-founder, guitarist, and lead singer of the American thrash metal band Megadeth, and well known as the original lead guitarist for the American heavy metal band Metallica.

3. James Hetfield 

James Alan Hetfield was born on August 3, 1963. American musician, singer and songwriter. Best known for being the co-founder, lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist and main songwriter for the heavy metal band Metallica. His range from growls to more melodic vocals shows what a talent he is.

4. Chuck Billy

Charles “Chuck” Billy (born June 23, 1962) is an American vocalist, who is best known as the vocalist for the thrash metal band Testament. His vocal style has changed considerably over the years from a clear, high pitched thrash style to a lower register approaching a death grunt.

5. Joey Belladonna

Joey Belladonna (born Joseph Bellardini, October 13, 1960) is the American Thrash Metal singer, best known for leading the band Anthrax. He also sings and drums for the cover band Chief Big Way. Joey Belladonna possesses a tenor vocal range.

6. Bobby Ellsworth

Robert Ellsworth (born May 5, 1959), best known as Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth, is the lead vocalist of New Jersey thrash metal band Overkill. He has been the lead vocalist of Overkill since its inception in 1980, and he and bassist D.D. Verni are the only constant members. Although a bassist, he focuses on vocals in the band.

7. Miland ‘Mille’ Petrozza

Miland “Mille” Petrozza (born 18 December 1967) is a German guitarist and singer. He is best known for being the lead vocalist and guitarist of the band Kreator (which he started playing in as Tyrant in 1982 and renamed into Tormentor in 1984).

8. Paul Baloff 

Paul Baloff (April 25, 1960 – February 2, 2002) was an American singer, most notable for his time in thrash metal band Exodus. Baloff joined Exodus in 1982 as lead vocalist to complete the lineup which included Hammett, guitarist Gary Holt, drummer Tom Hunting and bassist Geoff Andrews.

9. Steve Souza

Steve “Zetro” Souza (born March 24, 1964) is an American vocalist, best known for his work with the thrash metal band Exodus. He also sings for the death/thrash metal band Tenet. Souza recently announced his new thrash metal project, Hatriot. He was also the lead singer for the thrash metal band Legacy (later known as Testament).

10. John Connelly

John Connelly (born July 28, 1962) is an American musician and a New York City high school teacher. He is the vocalist and guitarist of New York City thrash metal band Nuclear Assault. Connelly started as a roadie for thrash metal band Anthrax. He formed the band Nuclear Assault in 1983.

11. Tom Angelripper

Thomas Such (born 19 February 1963), better known by his stage name Tom Angelripper, is the founding member and main songwriter of German thrash metal band Sodom. Angelripper also founded a band called Onkel Tom Angelripper which plays metal versions of schlagers, drinking songs and Christmas carols.

12. Robb Flynn

Robert Conrad “Robb” Flynn (born Lawrence Matthew Cardine; July 19, 1967) is the lead vocalist and guitarist for the heavy metal band Machine Head. Flynn formed the band along with Adam Duce, Logan Mader and Tony Costanza after leaving Bay Area thrash band Vio-Lence.

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