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I first started working on this series about four years ago. It has been through many revisions, rewrites, and re-visitations since then.

But here’s the thing: metal history doesn’t stop!

So let us consider this coverage of more “recent” events (since 2010 or so) as a bonus.

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After the 1990s, which saw the rise of experimentation away from thrash metal with varying degrees of success, the genre was due for another sea change. New sounds were cropping up everywhere in the music world (not all of them good by any means), and in the midst of it all the old guards felt compelled to rediscover their original brazen sound. Just as all good things must come to an end, so must all bad things as well.

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Thrash metal became the go-to form of underground metal in the 1980s as a reaction to glam metal in the United States, but its reach would extend far beyond the New York and Bay Area scenes that spawned them in North America. A worldwide thrash movement began to develop in the 1980s, featuring a different spin on the American thrash metal movement epitomized by the Big Four and others.

Bear in mind that American thrash metal was inspired by songs like Black Sabbath’s “Symptom of the Universe.” Although the international scene is still broadly considered to be “thrash,” it sounded a bit different from what one may traditionally think of as thrash. In many cases, the speed and aggression of thrash metal outside the U.S. is turned up even further to the point where it may not be death metal, but it sure is close. Extreme metal scenes in continental Europe and elsewhere are more likely to take influence from the bands in this section of metal history than from the Big Four.

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