For over a decade, thrash metal fans have had a definitive – if debatable – list of the top four bands in the field: Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax. (There has been some recent speculation, though, about expanding the group to include Exodus, so we’ll have to wait and see.)

But what about the rest of the genre? After all, metal has become immeasurably varied and vital over the last 50-plus years, with many other superb styles emerging thanks to the efforts of numerous awesome artists.

So, which of those subsections also deserve the spotlight, and who’s truly responsible for shaping them into what they became?

That’s where the following catalog comes in. Basically, we’ve broken down over two dozen other subgenres to explore why they’re significant and which four artists (each) have done the most to make them stand out. Without them, metal as a whole simply wouldn’t be the same.

The 'Big 4' of 17 Metal Subgenres

Everyone knows the 'Big 4' of thrash metal, but what about some other styles of metal?

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