Testament: 'We'll Make the New Big 4 - Us, Exodus, Kreator, Overkill'

"Exodus was better than everybody at one point," says guitarist Eric Peterson.

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Testament guitarist Eric Peterson recently discussed the Big 4 of thrash metal, jokingly sharing an idea about the formation of a new titan team, the one featuring his band, Exodus, Kreator and Overkill.

During a Rock Hard Magazine chat, Eric was prompted to share his thoughts on the matter after an interviewer noted that there should be a Big 6 rather that a Big 4, adding Testament and Exodus as the new bands.

"We can keep adding numbers to it - the Big 10, the Big 5, the Big 4, whatever. It was the Big 5 for the last four years to everybody, that kinda makes sense, 'cause it's a pentagram."

Considering whether Testament or Exodus should make the mentioned Big 5, Peterson said, "Depends on which era. Exodus was better than everybody at one point and we were a new band ... it depends on what stage you're talking about."

Saying that the current Big 4 lineup "makes sense" since Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax were the first thrash bands to reach international success, the guitarist added, "Testament was definitely there, but we were still back a little bit, we were kinda rising anew."

Getting back to the Exodus comparison, Eric stated, "Have we done better than Exodus at some point? Yeah, sure. But if there's a Big 6, that would be it.

"We'll make the new Big 4. It would be Testament, Exodus, Kreator, Overkill. There you go, new kids on the block," Peterson concluded.

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It might have been somewhat of a joking statement, but would you check out the New Big 4 live if it happened to become a reality? Let us know below.

60 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I say Death Angel deserves a place in there somewhere. Like, the Ultra-Violence is a masterpiece.
    Absolutely. But then again, by the time Overkill, Kreator, Testament and Death Angel had risen, tons of great memorable thrash bands were dominating the world. Impossible to pick a "big four" from those days.
    Testament and Death Angel are at the top of their game now. Their last couple of records and live shows have been killer! and I am a fan from the old school
    I always felt like Testament deserved a spot in the "Big Four" (Big 5?). Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax were the first successful innovators of the genre but bands like Testament, Exodus, Sepultura, Death Angel, Dark Angel, Overkill, Sodom... OK I have to stop myself... I'm a bit of a thrash fan...
    This is probably going to be shitstorm-inducing, but: in terms of discography consistency and especially quality of recent albums, Kreator blows away any of the "big 4". One of the greatest thrash bands ever.
    No shit storm here, I completely agree!
    I agree, violent revolution was exactly that, enemy of good, no question, hordes of chaos and phantom antichrist kick ass, in saying that, sodoms in war and pieces and epitome of torture are great also
    Urgh, why does everyone keep misunderstanding what the big 4 was to begin with? Those four bands are the big four because they were the only four thrash bands at the time signed to major record labels; it has exactly nothing to do with song writing quality when you get right down to it.
    When I see things like this, I think of the times when every kid wanted to be the coolest superhero in his gang.
    Vektor, Havok, Warbringer, and Evile would make a good big 4 for Thrash-revival
    and Suicidal Angels, Gama Bomb, Dust Bolt and so on.. new wave of Thrash is also big as ****, luckily
    i would call them the "other four" Exodus and Kreator for sure, the other two are highly debatable. one could argue testament and overkill, but to most, old testament sounds a lot like metallica, and overkill, they were good but what were they doing really that was groundbreaking? not that they weren't good, i just don't seen what they did different. Id throw voivod in there. Exodus, Kreator, Voivod, the last one is a tough one.
    I say go for it. Nothing wrong with more tours with great metal bands!
    what about some freakin annihilator? oh that's right, canadian thrash metal is only successful over-seas.
    If the new Exodus album with Zetro is as good as the last few albums from each of those other three bands, than this will be true!
    No offense to Testament or Exodus fans, but there is a reason that they're not a part of the Big 4 and it is to do with how a certain few bands were the showcases for a genre with many other bands in the wings. Its the same with the main 4 Seattle Grunge bands, they were the ones that were a showcase for the genre just like the Big 4. It was never to do with what band is better then the other, but which one could be more financially successful then the other.
    Death Angel comes to mind because they were lined up for a huge tour and were about to become one of the biggest thrash bands around before the tour bus accident. They've been struggling ever since and have recently come back to life to prove that they still kick ass!
    Absolutely! Act III is one of the most underrated classic thrash metal album EVER. They were right on the cusp of really breaking out to a much bigger audience.
    I was wondering this. IF Slayer decides to break up after this next album, who is going to replace them in the Big 4? I'd say Overkill would be a good replacement for them if that happens. Or maybe Exodus so Kirk can jam with them for a few songs.
    link no1
    Nobody will replace them. The 'Big 4' refers to those 4 bands in particular since they were the more popular bands that brought thrash into huge popularity. You think if they had a choice in this and it was a title that could just be mixed and matched all the time that Metallica and Megadeth would have willingly been in the same 'group' as each other?
    Actually the term specifically refers to those bands because they were the four signed to major labels before anyone else.
    I've heard that the Big 4 came out of 4 really ground breaking albums released in 1986, Reign in Blood, Peace Sells... But Who's Buying?, Master of Puppets, and Among the Living, which was actually released in early '87, but was released close enough to the rest to count. If we were to make the Big 4 out of the best thrash bands, then all we would do is end up arguing, since no one will agree. There's tons of great thrash out there and I say just enjoy it.
    Id say Death Angel instead of Overkill and I would b the next 4 best Thrash bands! I'd love o se those for live
    Agent 00Awesome
    Overkill are thrash titans man. They have to be in there.
    Yep, that is absolutely correct. I wonder how it happened that Overkill didn't replace Anthrax in The Big 4. Their first four albums are masterpieces, and, after all, Overkill was the first thrash band ever (the legend says).
    Sodom instead of Kreator and it'll be perfect. And Overkill as a headliner.
    The Teutonic big three Sodom, Kreator and Destruction I would pay more to see these three bands than any of the other big four,five or six that have been mentioned
    Yup. Took the words right outta my mouth. The Teutonic Three Tour. I workout to these three all the time, they just don't let up with intensity and brutality
    But thing about the "Big 4's" is size. Kreator is the bigger band, no matter what your preference is.
    I think the whole point of the big 4 was that they were American - there already is a German big four. Sodom, Kreator, Destruction, and, depending on who you ask, Tankard or Exumer. So I think the last member should be Death Angel. However, I do prefer Sodom over Kreator
    Death Angel or Dark Angel, really. Both great bands. Kreator belongs in the Teutonic Big 4 with Destruction, Sodom and Tankard, as we all know.
    I'm sorry, but Anthrax just doesn't fit with Metallica, Megadeth & Slayer. Such cheesy riffs & lyics. I saw Clash of the Titans in 91 (when everyone was in their prime) and Slayer & Megadeth absolutely crushed Anthrax. It wasn't even close. Among the Living was a great album, sure, but they never matched it.
    Exodus was better than most at one time, yeah, they definitely would be amongst some form of Big 4, not that that marketing gimmick even matters now. .. But Testament has always been known as a second-rate Thrash Metal band that got by playing watered-down MTV Thrash while everyone was getting into Death Metal specifically to get away from stale trash like them. They're only good album is one where they do nothing but rip off the Master of Puppet's formula. Who, outside particularly out-of-the-loop New-Wave Thrashers, actually takes Testament seriously?
    Agent 00Awesome
    What the **** are you talking about dude? Testament was always one of the heavier thrash bands. And they have a death metal album, which NONE of the big four have.
    One of the heavier Thrash Metal bands? Out of what, the Big 4? There's no way you can listen to more than 10 Thrash Metal bands and still think Testament was anywhere near "one of the heavier" or anything more than par-for-the-course. Maybe if all you consider is The Legacy, you could figure out a way to work Testament in there, but the rest of their Thrash albums? It's some pretty dazingly middle-of-the-road stuff. Where as The Legacy was Master of Puppets without all the filler, the rest were nothing but filler. And yeah, after Testament rode the Thrash train until the last possible moment, they started to do that weird Groove/Death fusion thing, probably because they couldn't decide whether to follow the mainstream and ape Pantera, or if they should try to continue pretending that they were that "underground legend" no one actually believed them to be and follow the rest of the Metal world into Death Metal. We're still talking about a Thrash Metal band that contributed to the sterilization of the genre in the first place, and then jumped on the Death bandwagon a good half a decade after it started, with more mediocre offerings that were even worse than their Thrash Metal albums. They were nothing special in the 80s, nor the 90s, and they're nothing special now. The only people who rate them any higher than the second-rate band they are, are the same kind of people who get all their Metal from Metal Hammer. Which is oddly fitting for a band who, during the prime, might as well have been MTV's pet.
    There would be THE BIG HUNDRED if it was up to me. There are too many great bands that get looked over and don't get the respect and credibility they deserve. But that's metal in general so **** it I guess
    metallica's big 4 status should be revoked as they are no longer thrash (or even metal). Testament didn't have anything close to st anger, load, reload etc. In fact when metallica was doing those albums Testament was inching closer to a death metal sound.
    They should be revoked? You are aware that Metallica was the band that broke through the media to make metal as prominent of a genre as it ever was right? Nevermind your opinion on Metallica not being Thrash enough because you might as well kick Megadeth and Anthrax out to for not making their first 4 albums in the last 20 years, because they haven't made something as heavy as their debuts until this resurgence those three bands have been going through recently.
    I have a more interesting proposition: make the big 4 of the new generation of bands. We have a tendency to look to the past. There is good reason to, but we almost negate and invalidate the new bands that are rising up. Here's what I would consider the new Big Four. Completely subjective by the way- -Revocation -Municipal Waste -Skeletonwitch -Toxic Holocaust
    Warbringer blew Skeletonwitch out of the water on their joint European tour, and were almost on a par with Testament when I saw them together. For me, it would be: -Municipal Waste -Warbringer -Gamma Bomb - Evile
    I totally agree with that "New Big 4". And while there are MANY other absolutely fantastic thrash bands besides those four, those four are undoubtedly the biggest ones, and the Big 4 has always been about size. There's a reason the original Big 4 consists of the bands that it does.
    Read a lot of interviews regarding exodus,they often said they made bad decisions as far as touring off the back,of there albums etc,they we a massive band at one point