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What If The Big 4 Metal Tour Was The Big 8?
Empress Eve   |  @   |  

The Big 4

Metal Sucks posed a question this week: If The Big Four were The Big 8, which bands would be the next four in the group?

If you’re unaware, The Big 4 Tour is comprised of thrash metal giants Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax. The tour is scheduled to arrive in just one city this April in the United States, much to the dismay of metalheads across the nation who wanted the tour to hit more cities.

I’ve seen some reactions from fans who aren’t in total agreement with this touring line-up, stating that not every band on the bill fits the “Big 4” mold. I happened to think it’s a great bill, but I’ve wondered what other bands would fit nicely on this tour.

So, if The Big 4 Tour was actually The Big 8 Tour, what four additional bands do you think deserve to be on it?

Check out my picks below and let me know what yours would be.

My Picks:

1: Metallica
2: Slayer
3: Megadeth
4: Anthrax
5: Testament
6: Manowar
7: Overkill
8: Mercyful Fate

Here’s justification for why I picked each band, aside from the fact that I love them, and also note, I only choose bands who got their start on the thrash metal scene in the 1980s, as I feel that that’s what this tour is meant to represent.

1- Metallica
Obvious: They’re the big draw, greatest moneymaker, widest appeal. Deserves top billing without a doubt.

2- Slayer
Of their peers, there’s no other band Slayer could possibly open for except Metallica. Slayer fans are no joke: Slayer plays, they will come, and possibly rip the seats out while they’re at it. The band, which currently has their original line-up and except for a few drummer swaps over the years, is still as they were. They’ve had the staying power to earn them this billing.

3- Megadeth
Megadeth has had staying power all these years as well, even with the massive amount of line-up changes. But one aspect has always been the same: guitarist/singer Dave Mustaine is always at the forefront. His signature playing and growling are on every tune. While his former bandmates in Metallica might have surpassed him in every way, Mustaine can at least brag that his name and reputation alone can sell a Megadeth tour.

4- Anthrax
The last of the big four, New York-based Anthrax was always one step behind the Top 3. They started out as a straight thrash metal band and in the late 1980s had the balls to venture into the world of rap — with a cover of Public Enemy’s “Bring The Noise” as well as their original rap “I Am The Man” — and somehow make metalheads listen to it and actually enjoy it. But while their crossover might have brought them some extra fame and fortune at the time, it probably also alienated some of their original fan base. The departure of their amazing singer Joey Belladonna didn’t help much either, although they gained new fans with his replacement Armored Saints’ John Bush. The old school fans have always wanted Belladonna back, and now that he is, Anthrax fits in perfectly on this Big 4 tour.

5- Testament
Testament recently got off tour with Slayer and Megadeth, where they filt the billing perfectly. Since they broke onto the thrash metal scene in 1987 with their recording debut The Legacy, Testament has been fighting the good fight. Chuck Billy’s distinct vocals combined with Alex Skolnick’s [he fucking rules!] virtuoso guitar solos make Testament one of the greatest bands around, and in all honesty, I’d say they are neck-and-neck with Anthrax for that fourth slot.

6- Manowar
Born to live forevermore, Manowar are the self-proclaimed Kings of Metal, and we’re inclined to believe them, because they live for metal. Oh, and while other bands play, Manowar kills — that’s pretty heavy! Has this band ever sold out? Fuck no. Are they indeed made of steel, not clay (as am I, by the way)? You bet your ass. And do they actually believe that they’re metal warriors riding mighty steeds wielding the finest steel? YES, mother f-ers, they do! They live for metal, they ARE metal, and the band can still blow your speakers with rock and roll. There’s no doubt they belong on a mega-metal tour with the likes of the aforementioned bands.

7- Overkill
On their 1988 album Under The Influence, Overkill said, simply stated, that they came to shred, and shred they have for over 25 years. Singer Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth and D.D. Verni have been keeping the metal fires lit since 1980s, even though they never achieved the level of success as the other bands. Overkill will not die.

8- Mercyful Fate
Talk about keeping the metal torch lit, is there anyone more dedicated than King Diamond, solo artist and frontman for Mercyful Fate? I say no. While the other bands live for metal, King is the embodiment of all things heavy, dark, and forbodding. What better way to open a Big 8 tour with the demonic sounds of King and Mercyful Fate. If you’re a Metallica fan, then you already know that Fate was a big influence on them. Oh, and you know how the Devil and heavy metal are so closely associated — well, King is in league with Lucifer. Seriously, while other bands just rode on the whole Devil image, King actually loves him some Satan — now that’s authenticity.

While there’s several other bands I think would be great as say bands 9-15, but if you’re looking for the top 8 thrash metal bands, I have to go with these.

Now let me hear you, my metal brethren, which bands would you want on a Big 8 thrash metal tour?


  1. where’s Motorhead? (I’d get rid of Testament.)

    Comment by Joe Rioux — January 28, 2011 @ 7:59 pm

  2. Manowar and King Diamond thrash?. Noooooo.

    If you speak of american bands Overkill and Testament are obvious as Exodus and perhaps Death Angel.

    If you look all round the world, Kreator, Sodom, Destruction and Sepultura are in the equation.

    My big eight of world thrash all around the world:


    Comment by Los — January 28, 2011 @ 8:01 pm

  3. I’d put Dream Theater and Iron Maiden on there for dammmn sure. Not as straightforward metal, granted, but still awesome.

    Comment by Cooper — January 28, 2011 @ 8:13 pm

  4. Well Venom and Exodus should be there, Venom because back in the day when these bands started out they all had one thing in common,they all opened for Venom, even though musically their not quite on the same level of talent as Slayer and the others (at least on their studio albums)they put on a great live show,and Exodus was there back in the day too and kick ass both in the studio and live and actually with the exception of Slayer I think Exodus would blow the other bands off the stage,even though their all great live, Exodus produces the type of crowd and energy as Slayer at their live shows,It would be cool to see some of the new big bands on the bill like Slipknot,but I don’t know if this tour is just for old school thrash.

    Comment by maddfiend — January 28, 2011 @ 8:34 pm


    Comment by JC — January 28, 2011 @ 9:03 pm

  6. 5.Testament
    6.Death Angel
    8.Metal Church

    Comment by L.S. — January 28, 2011 @ 9:44 pm

  7. 5. Testament
    6. Overkill
    7. Lamb of God (obviously not 80s but flying the flag for heavy music)
    8. W.A.S.P. (not really thrash however very aggressive and raw 80’s metal)

    Comment by Mario C. Manson — January 28, 2011 @ 10:02 pm

  8. This does bring back a lot of memories. Great lineup!!

    Comment by Jerry — January 28, 2011 @ 11:31 pm

  9. Just paid for my tickets!!!

    Comment by Cindi — January 29, 2011 @ 2:32 am

  10. 5. Testament
    6. Exodus
    7. Overkill
    8. Kreator

    Comment by Frank — January 29, 2011 @ 3:19 am

  11. 5.Testament

    Comment by ron — January 29, 2011 @ 6:48 am

  12. 5 – Iron Maiden
    6 – Judas Priest
    7 – Testament
    8 – Sepultura
    9 – Dream Theater

    Comment by Pete — January 29, 2011 @ 8:25 am

  13. You got it all there Eve. That’s truely the must have list for the Big 8. \m/

    Comment by Richard — January 29, 2011 @ 9:35 am

  14. 5.Testament
    Just about any of the other bands mentioned are not what anyone should call the big 8! WASP? Really? I mean I dig them but part of the original thrash scene? I think not. Same goes for Maiden and Priest, Sepultura, Pantera, Dream Theater, Kreator, Lamb Of God,. LOVE those bands but not really what we are talking about here. If you wanna go that route, then I wanna see Queensryche and KISS. But they just don’t fit. Death Angel and Venom were influential but they were barely a blip on the scene and I bet that more than half of the people who go to the american date(s) have no clue who they are/were.

    Comment by Alex Rude — January 29, 2011 @ 9:35 am

  15. Definitely Motorhead and Exodus. Them, in addition to the eight above, would make for a complete, nutritious metal meal…and I’m talking strictly about smaller-venue bands (Metallica didn’t always play huge arenas, right?). If the point of the tour is to relieve and relish in our 80’s metal memories (I’m thinking of L’Amour, former Rock Capital of Brooklyn), I don’t think we should include those bands who were already huge arena acts while we were still pumping our fists and thrashing our heads in tiny rock clubs, which means no Judas Priest and no Queensryche. While they’re undoubtedly awesome metal bands, they were in a different category than the Big Four (and Eight) in the 80’s. Or maybe I should shut the F up and go back to sleep…

    Comment by JenD — January 29, 2011 @ 10:19 am

  16. Relieve? Try relive. Yeah, that works much better.

    Comment by JenD — January 29, 2011 @ 10:37 am

  17. 5. Testament
    6. Overkill
    7. Exodus
    8. Nuclear Assault

    Another question might be, who are the Big 4 of the 80’s Hair Metal era? I’d go with W.A.S.P., Motley Crue, Van Halen, and Bon Jovi.

    Comment by Greg Davies — January 29, 2011 @ 12:01 pm

  18. well I’m gonna bring a different flavor – my personal flair, if you will lol – to this list, since as you know, the cruechik is more a hair metal girl…so…without further ado, this is my fantasy Big 8 Tour…
    1. Motley Crue (shocking)
    2. Def Leppard
    3. Poison
    4. Bon Jovi
    5. Whitesnake
    6. W.A.S.P
    7. Tesla
    8. Queensryche (I know…but they had big hair, humor me)

    Comment by CrueChik — January 29, 2011 @ 1:18 pm

  19. Lots of people have Exodus on their lists, and I totally understand. I thought about putting them on, since Bonded By Blood is one of my favorite albums of all time, but I was a fan of the Paul Baloff stuff, and a few tunes from Fabulous Disaster. But otherwise, I haven’t kept up with them. But, yeah, they were pioneers – Kirk Hammett came from their ranks, so they are worthy.

    Comment by Empress Eve — January 29, 2011 @ 1:29 pm

  20. you have to have Exodus in there

    Comment by suarez — January 30, 2011 @ 10:15 am

  21. Suicidal Tendencies (I miss those fuckers sooo much), Queensryche, Pantera, Helmet.

    Comment by Teddy — January 30, 2011 @ 7:35 pm

  22. You all have made great points. Here’s my picks:

    7.Nuclear Assault
    8. Motorhead

    Comment by Fierste — January 30, 2011 @ 8:09 pm

  23. Guys, pull your heads from out your bums. Half the bands you are talking about are not thrash metal bands and in some cases are not even from that era!!!!! That totally is outside the spirit of what this event was about.

    WASP, Dream Theatre, Sepultura,Mercyful Fate Lamb Of God etc are not thrash metal bands in any shape or form.

    My picks for to complete the big 8 would be

    5. Exodus
    6. Testament
    7. Overkill
    8. Sacred Reich

    Job Done.

    Comment by Greg Clarke — January 31, 2011 @ 8:00 am


    Comment by Nik — January 31, 2011 @ 8:33 am

  25. Exodus
    Suicidal Tendencies

    ……..that would be my additional 4. Death could be substituted for Kreator, Sodom, Celtic Frost, Death Angel, Heathens, Storm Troopers Of Death, M.O.D., Overkill, Testament or Carnivore.

    Comment by Grant S. — February 3, 2011 @ 12:32 am

  26. @Alex Rude

    Kreator and Sepultura (well, their older stuff, like Schizophrenia) are actually considered thrash. Kreator had a pretty decent influence on the German/European thrash scene in the 80’s.

    ……………oh, and this is just to say…..Possessed would have to play. Add that to my list above.

    Comment by Grant S. — February 3, 2011 @ 12:38 am

  27. 1. Do away with Metallica put Dimmu Borgir in their place.
    2. Slayer
    3. Iron Maiden
    4. Mercyful Fate, if not just King Diamond himself.
    5. Death
    6. Testament
    7. Obituary
    8. Soulfly

    Comment by Walctalsha — February 3, 2011 @ 1:14 pm

  28. Sorry folks didn’t see you wanted 80ish bands. But anyway 80ish or not my list stands.

    Comment by Walctalsha — February 3, 2011 @ 1:20 pm

  29. 5.) Testament
    6.) Machine Head
    7.) Exodus
    8.) Meshuggah

    Comment by Pagan — February 3, 2011 @ 8:41 pm

  30. Slipknot should be one . *my opinion*

    Comment by nachan96 — February 4, 2011 @ 9:40 pm

  31. I dont care what ever some body else says I have to pick 1.overkill 2.kreator 3.death angle 4.exodus or testament.I would the bands I stated to be in the top 8.I would like to take out metallica and put overkill in the top 4 because 1.overkill has never put out a crapy album and 2.metallica became pussies around the 1990s and 3. overkill will never stop makeing great thrash albums,EVIL.NEVER.DIES!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by overkillforever — February 6, 2011 @ 1:02 pm

  32. Part of big 8,1.overkill 2.kreator 3.death angle 4.exodus or testament.I also would like to take out metallica and put in overkill because 1.they never put out a crapy album 2.metallica sucked ever since the 1990 3.overkill will never stop making great thrash music so all I have to say is long live OVERKILL!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by overkillforever — February 6, 2011 @ 1:22 pm

  33. Hey overkillforever you just named 3 of my fav. bands overkill,kreator,and death angle o and I would pick testament for number 4

    Comment by longliveoverkill — February 6, 2011 @ 2:20 pm

  34. cool

    Comment by overkillforever — February 6, 2011 @ 3:12 pm

  35. I can’t believe that nobody has mentioned Helloween. The’ve been around a long time too.

    Comment by metalDan — February 13, 2011 @ 11:04 pm

  36. To go along with the big four, Id add Testament, Exodus, S.O.D. and Overkill.

    Comment by Stone — February 14, 2011 @ 6:27 am

  37. Definitely Suicidal Tendencies, Exodus, and Venom.

    Metal Church? Sacred Reich?

    I’m a huge Iron Maiden fan, but I don’t think they belong in this group…

    Comment by MetalUpYours — March 2, 2011 @ 7:11 am

  38. Thrash/Speed Metal Top 8 tour (I personally would opt for top 10+)
    Since the top Big Four are agreed upon in Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth & Anthrax here is a well due & do respect Speed/Thrash 101 for all YOU Metal Maniacs… … ….
    ARCHENEMY: The original 1983-1985/6 ARCHENEMY Speed n’ Thrash Metal Maniacs from Los Angeles CA. (Huntington Park, CA)!!! They had a huge following as band mates were only in Jr. High & High School! They started out with brothers Steve Mares (Guitarist) & Joseph “JoJo WAR DRUMMER” Mares (Vocals) recruited Kenneth Loayza (Drums), Alfonso Gutierrez (Bass) & Ted (Guitarist)…Steve & Joseph Mares would hang out in the garage of many, many SLAYER practices as they (Slayer) studied thier “Show No Mercy” songs before putting them onto vinyl…tearing up the L.A. backyard party’s & well ahead of their time so to speak…after ARCHENEMY Steve Mares went onto create L.K.K. (Latch Key Kids) in 1985_which was managed by his brother Joseph Mares….
    ARCHENEMY: Reunion is definately a possiblilty–Vinyl has been issued as well as NOW on CD! More info at Facebook *Joseph Mares (Denver, Co.) or at Facebook Snake Pit Magazine-Laurent Remander (France)

    The Big Four & then some…
    5) Exodus: are still around touring….
    6) Kreator: are still around touring….
    7) Cryptic Slaughter: No longer together (Joseph “JoJo WAR DRUMMER” Mares -ARCHENEMY- & Scott Peterson – Cryptic Slaughter knew each other in Jr. High)
    Possessed: are still around touring….
    8) Excel: No longer together….
    9) Suicidal Tendencies: are still around touring…punk thrash style….
    10) Sacred Reich: 2011= ???
    11) Bloodcum: 2011=???
    12) Napalm Death: are still around touring….
    13) Nuclear Assault: 2011=???
    14) Sodom: 2011=???
    15) Destruction: 2011=???
    16) Venom: 2011=???
    17) Insanity: 2011=???
    18) Dark Angel: 2011=???
    19) NASHOBA: can find on iTunes under artist= Nashoba Album= Fury Within
    soo I deceded to up it by 11 AND add some HardCore same era Punk bands to the mix as well—>
    1) L.K.K. (Latch Key Kids) ONLY the’ original L.K.K. from 1985-87!!!
    2) Dr.Know
    3) D.R.I.
    4) R.K.L.
    5) M.D.C.
    6) S.O.D.
    7) Gang Green
    8) BeaWulf
    =+= “Welcome to Venice” is a name/title with many more punk bands….

    *Joseph Mares of ARCHENEMY is JoJo WAR DRUMMER for the (Professional sports) MLL (Major League Lacrosse) team the Denver Outlaws

    Comment by Joseph Mares — April 6, 2011 @ 8:10 pm

  39. overkill,iced earth,kreator,atrophy(if they get back back together)

    Comment by ironbound — May 29, 2011 @ 6:49 pm

  40. 5) Exodus
    6) Testament
    7) Overkill
    8) Metal Church

    Comment by Seiffo — March 19, 2012 @ 5:30 am

  41. 1)Megadeth

    Comment by metalmania — April 23, 2015 @ 12:38 pm

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