21 Bands Like Anthrax (similar music you’re guaranteed to love!)
Anthrax is an American heavy metal/thrash metal/alternative metal band from New York City, USA formed by Scott Ian and Dan Lilker in 1981. The band are considered to be one of the “big Four” bands of the thrash metal genre along with Metallica, Slayer and Megadeth. Anthrax collaborated with the rap band Public Enemy in 1991 on the track “Bring The Noise” one of the first thrash metal bands to ever collaborate with anyone from the rap genre.
If you like Anthrax and you’re looking to expand your musical horizon keep reading for 21 examples of bands that sound like Anthrax.
Megadeth released their first album in 1985 called “Killing is my Business… and Business is Good!” It was released on the independent record label, Combat Records. They got spotted by Capitol Records who produced their second album “Peace Sells… but Who’s Buying?” a year later. Since then they have sold 38 million albums worldwide and have recently released their latest album, The Sick, the Dying… and the Dead!”
The release of their third album “Master of Puppets” in 1986 led to Metallica’s commercial success. With increasing success with each subsequent album release, they began experimenting with other musical genres before returning to their roots in thrash metal.
Due to the subject matter covered in most of their songs, Slayer have been subjected to delays, album bans, lawsuits and criticism from members of the public and religious groups. This hasn’t prevented them from being cited as one of the most influential thrash metal bands of all time. With their third album, “Reign in Blood” being described as one of the heaviest and most influential.
The release of their third album “Practice What You Preach” in 1989 saw Testament achieve mainstream popularity. This led to the release of more albums in the mid 90s that all proved to be popular. By 1995 they were dropped by their record label Atlantic because they had begun to experiment in a more “Death Metal”influenced sound. This never stopped the band from performing or recording until in 2001 when they stopped due to their lead vocalist Chuck Billy getting diagnosed with cancer. In 2005 with his cancer in remission they began working as a band again and have sold more than 14 million albums worldwide.
Overkill achieved their first mainstream success with their second album “Taking Over” which was released in 1987 and reached number 191 on the Billboard 200 chart. They have sold more than 16 million albums worldwide and are one of the most successful East Coast thrash metal bands of all time.
It was their third studio album “Fabulous Disaster” which was released in 1989 that gave Exodus the recording contract with Capitol Records that catapulted them into the limelight. All in all, they have sold more than five million albums worldwide.
Annihilator are the highest selling Canadian thrash metal band in history. With 18 studio albums and over three million album sales worldwide, they have been producing top thrash metal since 1984. Their second album, “Never, Neverland” became their only album to chart in the UK, reaching number 48 in the UK album charts.
8. Death Angel
Death Angel are often cited as one of the leaders of the second wave of thrash metal bands from the 1980s. They signed for Geffen Records in 1989 and released their only album for the label “Act III” the following year. Soon after, their drummer Andy Galeon was injured in a bus accident which meant the band disbanded until 2001 when they reformed and are still performing and recording to this day.
9. Armored Saint
Armored Saint were formed in 1982 and after splitting in 1992 they reformed in 1999 and are still performing and touring. They have released 8 studio albums, one EP, 2 live albums and one compilation album.
Kreator have released 14 studio albums since they formed in 1982. With their second studio album “Pleasure to Kill ” considered to be one of the most influential albums of the thrash metal genre. They have overall album sales of more than 2 million worldwide so far.
11. Sacred Reich
Sacred Reich are from Phoenix, Arizona and were first formed in 1985. They split in 2000 and reformed in 2006, they have recorded 5 studio albums, 3 EPs, 2 live albums, and one video album. They are considered to be one of the leading members of the second wave of thrash metal artists from the late 80s.
Formed in Germany in 1982, Destruction released their first EP “Sentence of Death” in 1984. Their first album “Infernal Overkill” was released the following year which also coincided with them touring throughout Europe and the United States.
13. Metal Church
Originally formed in San Francisco under the name of “Shrapnel”, before moving to Aberdeen, Washington, Metal Church are considered to be a mainstay of the Seattle heavy metal music scene of the 1980s.
German thrash metal band Sodom achieved their first commercial success with their third album, “Agent Orange” which was one of the first thrash metal albums to ever enter the German album charts. Their most recent studio album “Genesis XIX” was released in 2020 and overall, the band has sold more than 2 million albums worldwide.
The Pantera album “Far Beyond Driven” debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart when it was released in 1994. They were formed in 1981 and performed for a number of years before in-band tensions caused them to split in 2003.
Tankard are a German thrash metal band and were formed in 1982 and have continued to perform thrash metal songs that centre primarily around beer and alcohol related subjects. One of the best examples of their work is the 1995 album “The Tankard” which was their last album with Noise Records.
17. S.O.D. (Stormtroopers Of Death)
S.O.D. were formed in 1985 and are one of the first bands to fuse thrash metal with hardcore punk into what is often called crossover thrash. Their instrumental track ”March of the SOD” taken from their debut album, “Speak English Or Die” was used as the intro anthem for the Headbangers Ball for a number of years.
This British band’s first two albums are considered to be major influences on the thrash metal music genre. Their second album proved to be so influential, that its title was used to name a new genre – Black metal.
Forbidden was formed in 1985 in San Francisco, USA. Their debut album “Forbidden Evil” was considered to be a classic thrash metal album. With their second album being seen as a “masterpiece” within the tech-thrash genre.
Evile are a British thrash metal band formed in Huddersfield in 2004. According to Kerrang!, Evile are responsible for “Carrying the genre’s whole ‘revival’ on their shoulders.” So far they have released 5 studio albums with a 6th in the pipelines due for release soon.
Onslaught have released 7 studio albums, 4 singles, one compilation and a live CD. They were formed in Bristol UK in 1982 and were active until 1991 and then again since 2005. With influences from hardcore punk and new wave heavy metal, Onslaught are now a 100% thrash metal band.
Did We Include Your Favourite?
That’s our 21 bands like Anthrax, did we include your favourite? Let us know in the comments.