Greetings! My name is Thomas Nadelhoffer. I am a professor of philosophy at the College of Charleston. I have been a fan of heavy metal since my teenage years during the 1980s. Back then, I was a die hard fan of punk and thrash metal--a love that hasn't dissipated. So, I decided to dedicate some of my downtime during the corona virus pandemic to put together a compendium of thrash metal (purposely broadly construed to include crossover, crust punk, death metal, grindcore, groove metal, metalcore, technical thrash, thrashcore, and traditional thrash metal). The compendium covers from the 1960s to the 2020s. The 1,030+ albums that I have selected thus far are all listed in chronological order. I only selected albums that I either like or that were influential in the development of heavy metal more generally or thrash metal and its offshoots more specifically. In order to make this chronology manageable, I also limited myself to no more than three albums from each band except for Black Sabbath (for obvious reasons) as well as my favorite thrash pioneers from the U.S. (Anthrax, D.R.I., Metallica, and Slayer), Germany (Destruction, Kreator, Sodom, and Tankard), and Brazil (Korzuz, Ratos de Parão, and Sepultura).
Obviously, this list betrays my biases and preferences—e.g., I am especially fond of traditional thrash, crossover, and thrashcore and I am not especially fond of death metal. So, the former genres are well-represented whereas the latter is not. Obviously, I don't pretend this list is exhaustive. If you have albums you think belong in the compendium, post your suggestions in the salient blog post. I have created a single post for each decade beginning with the 1960s (see below). This will remain a work in progress. I hope you find my COVID-19 inspired project useful. This is what happens when a professional researcher and metal nerd has too much time on his hands. On a related note, in the coming weeks and months I will start adding links to relevant entries on Wikipedia and to videos of the albums from my list that are available on YouTube. Stay tuned. Also, the overwhelming majority of these albums are available on Amazon Prime’s paid music service. I don't say this to plug the service. I merely mention it because if you are already member, you should be able to find most of these albums there. Finally, I have also developed a similar chronology for doom metal called The Compendium of Doom. So, you might find that of interest as well.
p.s. Because I construed thrash metal broadly, it was admittedly difficult to distinguish some crossover and thrashcore bands from some heavier hardcore bands. My goal was to be as inclusive as possible. I used crossover pioneers like Suicidal Tendencies and D.R.I. as my benchmark. I nevertheless suspect some people will think that I have mislabeled some hardcore bands under the thrash banner. This is endemic to an exercise such as this one which requires one to make somewhat arbitrary distinctions.