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Melodic thrash metal: does it exist?

“Melodic” – this term has become a trend in modern rock music. Someone is annoyed by that, someone doesn’t care. Yes, there is melodic death metal, which everybody accepts. And how about other genres? Closer to the point: are there the melodic thrash metal bands? Does melodic thrash metal exist at all?

I’m raised on thrash and groove metal. My musical mindset was formed by the bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Pantera, and Machine Head. This is my basement, and the rest of music stuff (softer, mostly) is overbuilt on it. Dare to say: I’m pretty good in thrash and groove, so I can discuss it competently.

I was kind of confused, when I heard “melodic thrash metal” for the first time. There is a number of distinct genres in my head, and I clearly understood the difference between them. Heavy metal – mostly mid tempo, tritone and diminished supertonic are “rare guests” there; speed metal – heavy metal, but faster; thrash metal – mid or high tempo, tremolo and chromatics are okey, all revolves around tritone and diminished supertonic; groove metal – thrash metal, but slower and/or darker. That’s my brief classification. So, let’s find melodic thrash metal there!

What do we think hearing “melodic”? It’s something softer for ears, closer to pop. Initially “melodic” was equal to “musical”. Considering this fact, even brutal death metal and grind-core are the melodic genres! But let’s cut people some slack for their arrogance, and admit the “pop” meaning of the term.

I hate, when some musicians call their music “melodic metal”: this is classic heavy, man! Nevertheless, I can stand with “melodic thrash metal”, because I found the reasons this sub-genre to exist.

Have you ever thought about why people count Metallica as thrash metal band? You know, they have a lot of different stuff. And now compare Metallica and Slayer – who is really thrasher now? They don’t play similar “thrashes”, do they? So, this is a starting point of my understanding of melodic thrash metal.

For me, melodic thrash metal is rather a bunch of songs of different bands, not a metal genre. That’s easier to exam with specific tracks, and you can have fun finding their too. Here is the examples of melodic thrash songs (imho, of course): “Master Of Puppets”, “One” (Metallica), “South Of Heaven”, “Seasons In The Abyss” (Slayer), “She-Wolf”, “44 minutes” (Megadeth). The tracks are not alike, but they have got kind of soft, as well as stuff, that determines thrash metal genre: tremolo, tritone, chromatics etc.

My conclusion. Melodic thrash metal does exist, at least as a bunch of tracks. This sub-genre have the harmony and performance basement of classic thrash, but it can be got by wider audience. Pure melodic thrash metal bands might be, but I couldn’t find them yet. Have you any thoughts about that, friends?

Tags: melodic thrash metal bands, Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, thrash metal bands


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