Thrash never really died, of course, because Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, Anthrax, Testament, Exodus, Voivod, Death Angel and more of their '80s-born peers never went away -- at least not for very long, or all at the same time. But once death metal, black metal and grindcore starting revving up their even uglier (OK, more "extreme") engines in the late '80s, it seemed like fewer and fewer new bands were opting for the old-school speed metal route. But that problem finally started to correct itself around 2003, when Portland, Oregon's Toxic Holocaust and Richmond, Virginia's Municipal Waste put out debut albums that clearly harked back to the halcyon '80s epoch of lightning-riding, chapel-haunting, disease-spreading, blood-bonding and/or park-frolicking. In the decade since, other bands on this playlist followed suit.
The two biggest hotbeds of modern-day neo-thrash seem to be California (home of Bonded by Blood, Fueled by Fire, Hatchet, Holy Grail and Warbringer) and Great Britain (with Deceptor, Evile, Mutant and SSS). But bands still come from all over, both within the U.S. (Denver's Havok, Wisconsin's Lazarus A.D., Pittsburgh's Mantic Ritual, Ohio's Vindicator, Massachusetts' Lich King, Ohio via Brooklyn via L.A.'s Early Man) and outside these borders (Mexico's Voltax, Ireland's Gama Bomb, Sweden's Dr. Living Dead). Some of the bands take themselves less seriously than others -- the more "hardcore crossover" neo-thrashmaniacs tend to do lots of zombie songs, for instance -- and a few might sound more 1983 or 1990 than 1986. But that's just nitpicking, dude. Like Fueled by Fire say, "Thrash Is Back"!