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Who is the Steve Harris of Thrash Metal?

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by davidjackson, Feb 12, 2014.

  1. davidjackson


    Sep 10, 2011
    Hi guys,

    I've recently started listening to a lot of heavier metal and thrash including Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, along with newer stuff like Killswitch Engage, Trivium, FFDP and Skeleton Witch etc.

    Although I like the growly pick tone that a lot of the bass players have in these bands I was wondering if you could recommend any particular players who really stand out and drive the band. The reason I have asked about the "Steve Harris of Thrash Metal" is that I am interested in bass players who are really at the heart of the band and define the whole sound by the way their bass comes through.

    I've already started listening to some Alex Webster clips but who else would you suggest I check out?

    PS: Although I love the music I'm too old to get the squabbles about what is metal core/post-metal core/screamo/djent/black metal/death metal etc.

    I might not be able to define thrash but I know it when I hear it!
  2. vbchaos


    Sep 5, 2011
    Groningen, The Netherlands
    Uncompensated endorsing user: fEARful
    First that comes to my mind is clearly Cliff Burton. The bassist of the band that defined "thrash metal". He did some outstanding things and as far as I am into this genre (I might be a bit too young) he defined how a bass should sound in Thrash Metal
    Next one would be Ellefson for me - Although he did not write all the riffs himself, he played the bass in the first line and very audible with riffs that were just as catchy as the guitar parts. Very cutting sound
    Obese Chess likes this.
  3. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    I like a lot of Dan Lilker's stuff (early Anthrax, Nuclear Assault, Brutal Truth, and others)... he is definitely a strong presence but i don't know if he really has an identifiable sound.
  4. davidjackson


    Sep 10, 2011
  5. DeathFromBelow

    DeathFromBelow Never Forget. Banned

    Dec 23, 2010
    Horten, Norway
    No problem. The man is a monster. :)
  6. Bassist_5LX

    Bassist_5LX 38 Year Veteran Touring/Studio Bassist Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist:Spector Basses / Ampeg / D'Addario
    David Ellefson

    A.K. likes this.
  7. crapusername


    Sep 26, 2005
    North Kent.UK
    endorsing artist: Dean guitars, Marshall , Rotosound strings
    Digiorgio by a country mile. No one comes close imo
  8. dozicusmaximus


    Mar 18, 2009
    Austin, TX

    Cynic (Sean Malone)

    Might not all be thrash... but whatever, the bass playing is what you want to hear.
  9. vbchaos


    Sep 5, 2011
    Groningen, The Netherlands
    Uncompensated endorsing user: fEARful
    That stage looked awesome back in the time, and still does :)
    Bassist_5LX likes this.
  10. billgoodwin


    Mar 28, 2011
    Jean-Yves "Blacky" Theriault - VOIVOD....no other like him and his signature blower bass.
    Stormchaser likes this.
  11. sotua


    Sep 20, 2004
    SF Bay Area
    Check out a band called SOEN. The music sounds very Tool-derivative, but that rhythm section is out of this world: Steve diGiorgio and Martin Lopez.
    RickyT and Pedulla-Player like this.
  12. LDonnie


    Aug 3, 2008
    Frank Bello and Cliff Burton come to mind
  13. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
    CaseyJ likes this.
  14. Unrepresented

    Unrepresented Something Borderline Offensive

    Jul 1, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    CaseyJ likes this.
  15. Bassisgood4U

    Bassisgood4U Banned

    Jan 30, 2014
    I have to go with Cliff Burton, too. Metallica might have ended up being Cliff's band, just like Harris is to Maiden. Several things make me feel this way:

    1. The three guys in Metallica moved upstate just to play with Cliff. There had to have been some deals/ultimatums involved, or maybe they just did as he suggested. He was THAT good..and had more "big time" experience from his earlier established band Trauma. Also something to think about; Cliff was the only real virtuoso of the band when he joined Metallica. They grew around Cliff's influence..and attitude.

    2. Having a full 5 minute bass solo(Pulling Teeth) is a big deal, considering Cliff wasn't even around during the writing process of what became the first album. "We'll give you carte blanch if you stick around, Cliff!"

    3. 'Master of Puppets' would have been a completely different album, without Cliff. Who else would get a whole 8 minute song based almost entirely on the bass guitar(which included guitar-like bass solos, along with 8 or so tracks of backing bass)? You don't "let" a musician contribute THAT much. With 'Master of Puppets' being their most successful and best album to date, I bet the management, record label, and band would've stuck to the "Cliff formula".

    Can you tell I like Cliff?
    filler83 and Sartori like this.
  16. philvanv

    philvanv Gerbil Turds, Kitsap County Turd Core

    Jul 2, 2012
    and at the bottom it says thank you, and now you can shag off
    Agreed and one cant forget the bassists for DRI and Dark Angel stand out rythem and excellent timing.
  17. DevilOfBurden


    Aug 3, 2013
    Has to be Cliff Burton for me. The 3 albums he made with Metallica have some amazing bass playing!
  18. Hamlet7768

    Hamlet7768 Here to chew gum and rock. Still have gum.

    Jun 5, 2011
    Cliff, of course!

    But also Greg Christian is pretty beastly.
    M Sharp and CaseyJ like this.
  19. Timi Hansen of Mercyful Fate really does it for me, his tone is just always there and works really well in the band situation.