March Thrash Madness: Final Four
With an amazing championship matchup set between Kentucky and Kansas on Monday night, and a huge Wrestlemania card taking place tonight, I thought it would be fitting to unveil the March Thrash Madness championship matchup today also, feel free to post your thoughts and predictions, because it’s anyone’s game now.
Final Four: Match 1
Megadeth – Rust In Peace
Slayer – Reign In Blood
This first matchup of the final four is, without question, a heavyweight bout for the ages. It features two of the greatest thrash metal bands/albums of all time facing off for a shot at the title. One thing that makes this match a little more interesting is Dave Mustaine’s claim that he taught Kerry King all he knows about thrash. Both of these bands have absolutely humiliated their competition in the first and second rounds, particularly Megadeth who destroyed Nuclear Assault and Voivod. Slayer’s first round match up against was against Corrosion Of Conformity, however, their second round matchup against Exodus wasn’t near as easy. On paper, these two are matched up incredibly well against each other. Both bands have iconic logos and album art, both bands have iconic front men who play another instrument, and both of them have songs about war and violence. When you really break these two down it’s hard to decide song-wise which one really has the upperhand. Slayer has two of the greatest metal songs ever written in “Angel Of Death” and “Raining Blood” which match up incredibly well against Megadeth songs like “Holy Wars”, and “Hangar 18″, in fact, Slayer has a sort of upper hand in that deparptment. The thing is…though Slayers’ songs are faster, angrier, and much more aggressive, sonically speaking, Megadeth has a huge advantage. When you listen to “Reign”, you have to turn it up really loud, and even at top volume it isn’t quite loud enough, but when you put on “Rust”, as soon as that opening riff in “Holy Wars” hits, your stereo sounds like it’s about to explode from the sheer tenacity of the albums’ production value. Though Slayer are one of the greatest thrash bands of all time, they only have two real weaknesses, technical prowess and sound-quality, and those are the two things Megadeth has in droves. Megadeth is the overall winner of this contest, but it was well-played and came down to the very last second. with 10 seconds left on the clock, Dave Lombardo drove it up court and dished to Kerry King who nailed a jumper from the free throw line to go up by 2 and Marty Friedman kicked the inbound pass to Dave Ellefson who launched it downcourt to Dave Mustaine, Mustained dribbled one time and hit the jumper with one second left to win the game.
Final Score: Megadeth 101 – Slayer: 100
Final Four: Match 2
Metallica – Kill Em All
Overkill – The Years Of Decay
With the knowledge that the winner of this match would have to face Megadeth in the finals, the stakes got just a little higher for both the top seeded Metallica, as well as the Cinderella of the tournament, Overkill. Metallica came into this tournament as the number one seed and absolutely crushed the competition. Overkill entered the tournament as underdogs and had to pull off huge upsets of Brazilian powerhouse Sepultura, as well as their brothers from New York in Anthrax. Unlike the Megadeth/Slayer matchup, these two bands don’t match up nearly as well on paper. Overkill are gritty and angry, and their songs are all very epic and catchy, they even have a Trouble-esque doom song. Metallica’s album in the tournament is arguably the best thrash metal album of all time due to it being one of the very first; it has a very heavy punk influence and on songs like “Phantom Lord” it sounds like a riff any band in America could come up with, only play a million times faster. Like the last matchup, one album has a distinct advantage over the other with a better production value, but this time, the better production doesn’t necessarily mean it has beeter songs. When you listen to songs like “I Hate”, and “Eliminate” by Overkill, it’s clear that they had a good producer, and their lyrics are very snarky, and the songs don’t straight up punch you in the face the entire time. On the other hand, when you examine songs like “Whiplash” and “Seek And Destroy” from Metallica you can tell that Metallica are incredibly pissed off, and they will run over anybody in their way. Admittedly, i’m a huge fan of Overkill, but the thing is, though their songs have their own legendary style, they just can’t hold a candle to Metallica as far as attitude and hunger go, plus “we never stop, we never quit, cause we’re Overkill!” just isn’t as catchy. Metallica finally met an opponent that they couldn’t steamroll, however, they were able to win the game fairly easily thanks to James Hetfield stealing the ball in the waning seconds and passing to Cliff Burton, who then performed a backboard-shattering dunk over Bobby Blitz to put it away.
Final Score: Metallica 98 – Overkill: 93