Considering that the ‘Big 4’ of thrash metal are Metallica, Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer, you’d probably say that one of them created the subgenre’s greatest record, right? Well, Anthrax’s Charlie Benante would disagree, as he feels that the “demo tape” of a certain Californian band reigns supreme.
The famed drummer recently spoke with Bravewords about the upcoming second leg of Anthrax’s 40th anniversary North American tour (during which they’ll be supported by Black Label Society and Exodus). When asked why the latter group replaced Hatebreed – who opened for Anthrax last summer – Benante explained that Hatebreed “couldn’t make it” and that Anthrax has “taken [Exodus] out a lot through the years.”
Perhaps a major reason why they’ve played with Exodus so much is that – according to Benante – Exodus made the best thrash record of all time. Specifically, he stated:
The first time I heard Exodus was their demo tape. Actually, a friend of mine gave it to me. Then, another friend of mine was doing a record label, Torrid Records, and they were going to put out the first Exodus record. That’s when I heard what the record was sounding like. To this day, I say the same thing – that first Exodus record, to me, is the best thrash record that’s ever come out. I always put that #1.
Obviously, he’s talking about their 1985 debut LP, Bonded by Blood (which Loudwire ranked at #2 on our list of the 10 Best Thrash Albums Not Released by the Big 4). That said, he does mention their “demo tape,” too, so he may’ve also been impressed by one of Exodus’ unofficial collections from 1982 or 1983. In any case, it’s interesting that he places it above something from the ‘Big 4.’
It’s also worth mentioning that near the end of the interview, Benante clarifies that there are “no plans” to film any of the upcoming shows with Black Label Society and Exodus.
So, what do you think of his pick for the greatest thrash LP ever? Are you planning to catch the trio of bands on tour later this month or sometime in February? Let us know!
The Best Thrash Album of Each Year Since 1983
A history of the best thrash metal albums, year by year.