Thrash of the Titans was a benefit concert held on August 11, 2001 at the Maritime Hall in San Francisco, California. The concert was a co-benefit for Testament vocalist Chuck Billy, who was diagnosed with germ cell seminoma (a rare form of cancer); and Chuck Schuldiner, leader of the death metal band Death, who was also battling cancer. The Master of Ceremonies for the evening was S.O.D. vocalist Billy Milano. The concert was organized by Walter Morgan. The show was announced in May 2001, and all 2300 tickets quickly sold out.
A benefit concert or charity concert is a type of musical benefit performance featuring musicians, comedians, or other performers that is held for a charitable purpose, often directed at a specific and immediate humanitarian crisis.
The Maritime Hall is a historic 3,000-capacity concert hall in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood that operated from 1995 through 2001 as a popular music venue and nightclub. It was located at 450 Harrison Street at the Sailors Union of the Pacific building.
San Francisco, officially the City and County of San Francisco, is a city in, and the cultural, commercial, and financial center of, Northern California. San Francisco is the 13th-most populous city in the United States, and the fourth-most populous in California, with 883,305 residents as of 2018. It covers an area of about 46.89 square miles (121.4 km2), mostly at the north end of the San Francisco Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area, making it the second-most densely populated large US city, and the fifth-most densely populated U.S. county, behind only four of the five New York City boroughs. San Francisco is also part of the fifth-most populous primary statistical area in the United States, the San Jose–San Francisco–Oakland, CA Combined Statistical Area.
The concert focused primarily on Bay Area thrash metal, a popular and influential metal scene in the 1980s and early 1990s (of which Testament played a big part), and featured the reunions of then-defunct Bay Area bands Heathen, Death Angel, Vio-Lence (minus Robb Flynn, who declined to participate), Forbidden Evil, Legacy (an early version of Testament), and then partially defunct Exodus (with Paul Baloff). As a result of the show, Exodus, Heathen and Death Angel all officially reunited and released new albums. Forbidden would reunite again in 2007 and released a new album three years later.
Heathen is an American thrash metal band originating from the San Francisco Bay Area, active from 1984 to 1993 and again from 2001 onwards. Despite never achieving commercial success, the band is often credited – alongside Exodus, Testament, Forbidden, Death Angel and Vio-lence – as one of the leaders of the Bay Area thrash metal scene of the mid-to-late 1980s, and they have gone through several line-up changes, leaving guitarist Lee Altus as the only constant member. To date, Heathen has released three studio albums: Breaking the Silence (1987), Victims of Deception (1991) and The Evolution of Chaos (2009).
Death Angel is an American thrash metal band from Daly City, California, initially active from 1982 to 1991 and again since 2001. Death Angel has released eight studio albums, two demo tapes, one box set and two live albums. The band has gone through several line-up changes, leaving guitarist Rob Cavestany as the only constant member; he and vocalist Mark Osegueda are the only members of Death Angel to appear on all of their studio albums.
Robert Conrad "Robb" Flynn is the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist for the heavy metal band Machine Head. Flynn formed the band along with Adam Duce, Logan Mader and Tony Costanza after leaving Bay Area thrash band Vio-Lence.
Also appearing at the concert were Anthrax, along with S.O.D. and Sadus, who are all friends of Chuck Billy's. Lȧȧz Rockit were scheduled to appear, but had to pull out at the last minute, due to singer Michael Coons being admitted to a rehabilitation center, and were replaced by Flotsam and Jetsam. M.O.D. were also scheduled to appear, but with the show running long, Billy Milano announced that M.O.D. would play a show in Oakland the next week, and that tickets to the Thrash of the Titans would be honored.
Anthrax is an American heavy metal band from New York City, formed in 1981 by rhythm guitarist Scott Ian and bassist Dan Lilker. The group is considered one of the leaders of the thrash metal scene from the 1980s and is one of the "Big Four" thrash metal bands with Metallica, Megadeth, and Slayer; Anthrax is the only one of the four from the East Coast, and often credited as one of the early thrash metal bands to emerge from there, along with Overkill and Nuclear Assault. The band has released 11 studio albums, several other albums, and 26 singles, including collaborating on a single with American hip hop group Public Enemy. According to Nielsen SoundScan, Anthrax sold 2.5 million records in the United States from 1991 to 2004, with worldwide sales of 10 million.
Stormtroopers of Death were an American crossover thrash band formed in New York City in 1985. They are credited as being among the first bands to fuse hardcore punk with thrash metal into a style sometimes referred to as crossover thrash. The band is also known for reuniting Anthrax members Scott Ian (guitars) and Charlie Benante (drums) with their former bassist Dan Lilker. The song "Chromatic Death" from their 1985 debut album, Speak English or Die, was the Headbanger's Ball intro anthem for many years.
Sadus is an American thrash metal band from Antioch, California, active from 1984 to 2015, and again since 2017. Originally a quartet, they are known for the unique, borderline death/black metal growling of vocalist Darren Travis, and speeding up thrash metal to levels previously unheard of with the help of bassist Steve Di Giorgio. Over the course of their 35-year career, Sadus has released five studio albums, one compilation album and four demos, and had only one lineup change, when guitarist Rob Moore left the band in 1993; instead of replacing him, the band has since continued as a trio.
Beginning with Heathen at 3 pm, the show featured ten bands, with Legacy taking the stage just after 2am. Legacy, a precursor to Testament, featured Steve "Zetro" Souza on vocals, John Tempesta on drums, and Alex Skolnick on lead guitar. Skolnick's appearance marked his first playing thrash metal since quitting Testament in 1993, and eventually led to his rejoining the band. Also appearing with Legacy were Paul Bostaph, the original drummer of Forbidden Evil (who was then with Slayer) and Steve DiGiorgio, bassist for Sadus and formerly of Death, Autopsy and Iced Earth. Chuck Billy himself joined Legacy for the last song of the night, "Into The Pit". The show featured many other guest appearances, including Steve Souza joining Exodus and Paul Baloff for a duet on "Brain Dead". Thrash of the Titans marked one of the last live appearances of Exodus frontman Paul Baloff, who died of a stroke just six months later, on February 2, 2002. Death's Chuck Schuldiner also died of brain cancer four months after the benefit, on December 13, 2001.
Steve "Zetro" Souza is an American vocalist, best known for his work with the thrash metal band Exodus from 1986 to 1994, and again from 2002 to 2004. He rejoined Exodus for a third time in 2014. Souza is one of two singers, along with Chuck Billy, for the band Dublin Death Patrol. He also sings for the death/thrash metal band Tenet. Souza recently announced his new thrash metal project, Hatriot. He was also the lead singer for the thrash metal band Legacy.
John Joseph Tempesta is the drummer of the Cult. He also played with several bands including: Exodus, Testament and White Zombie. He worked with former White Zombie singer Rob Zombie as a solo artist and served as drum technician for Charlie Benante, drummer for the heavy metal band Anthrax earlier in his career. He is referenced in the band's rendition of "Friggin' in the Riggin'", with lyrics about the band's crew members.
Alexander Nathan Skolnick is an American musician who is best known as the lead guitarist in the thrash metal band Testament from 1983 to 1993, and again from 2005. He has also performed with the Alex Skolnick Trio, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Savatage and Metal Allegiance.
In order of appearance:
Flotsam and Jetsam is an American thrash metal and progressive metal band that formed in Phoenix, Arizona in 1981. The band currently consists of vocalist Eric "A.K" Knutson, guitarists Michael Gilbert and Steve Conley, bassist Michael Spencer, and drummer Ken Mary. Flotsam and Jetsam went through several lineup changes over the years, and Knutson has been the only constant member of the band. They are also notable for featuring bassist Jason Newsted, who left the band shortly after the release of their debut album to join Metallica as Cliff Burton's replacement.
Forbidden was a thrash metal band from the San Francisco Bay Area. Formed in 1985 as Forbidden Evil, the group was founded by Russ Anderson and Craig Locicero, who were both ever-present members. Since their formation, Forbidden have broken up and reformed twice with numerous line-up changes. The most recent line-up of the band comprised Anderson (vocals), Locicero (guitar), Matt Camacho (bass), Steve Smyth (guitar) and Sasha Horn (drums). After breaking up for the first time in 1998 and briefly returning in 2001, Forbidden reunited once again in 2007 but has been on an indefinite hiatus since 2013.
Paul Baloff was an American singer, most notable for his time in thrash metal band Exodus.
Bay Area thrash metal, or "Bay Area thrash", referred to a steady following of heavy metal bands in the 1980s who formed and gained international status in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. Along with South Florida, the scene was widely regarded as a starting point of American thrash metal and death metal.
Testament is an American thrash metal band from Berkeley, California. Formed in 1982 under the name Legacy, the band's current lineup comprises guitarists Eric Peterson and Alex Skolnick, lead vocalist Chuck Billy, drummer Gene Hoglan, and bassist Steve Di Giorgio. Since its inception, Testament has had numerous lineup changes, leaving Peterson as the only constant member. Billy replaced original singer Steve "Zetro" Souza in 1986, prior to the recording of their first studio album, The Legacy, and has been a member of the band since. He and Peterson are the only members to appear on all of Testament's studio albums.
Charles "Chuck" Billy is an American vocalist, who is best known as the lead vocalist for the thrash metal band Testament.
Exodus is an American thrash metal band formed in 1979 in Richmond, California. They have gone through numerous lineup changes, two extended hiatuses, and the deaths of two former band members. Their current lineup consists of guitarists Gary Holt and Lee Altus, bassist Jack Gibson, drummer Tom Hunting, and lead vocalist Steve "Zetro" Souza. Hunting is one of the original members, and departed from Exodus twice, in 1989 and 2004, but rejoined in 2007. Holt joined the band about two years after its formation, and is the only member of Exodus to appear on all their releases.
Vio-lence is an American thrash metal band formed in 1985 in the San Francisco Bay Area. Throughout its existence, they released demo tapes, one EP and three studio albums. Vio-lence is best-known for their association with the 1980s Bay Area thrash metal scene, and often credited as one of the leading lights of the second wave of the genre, along with Pantera, Sepultura, Sacred Reich and Dark Angel as well as their Bay Area counterparts Testament, Death Angel and Forbidden. Their most stable line-up was Phil Demmel and Robb Flynn on guitars, Deen Dell on bass, Perry Strickland on drums and Sean Killian on vocals; this lineup recorded all their studio albums. After breaking up in 1994 and reforming for occasional live performances from 2001 to 2003, the members of Vio-Lence reunited in January 2018 for a benefit of Killian, who was battling with liver cirrhosis. The band announced their third reunion in January 2019.
The New Order is the second studio album by American thrash metal band Testament, released on May 5, 1988.
The Legacy is the 1987 debut studio album by American thrash metal band Testament. It was released on April 21, 1987.
First Strike Still Deadly is a studio album by Testament, released in 2001. It consists of re-recorded songs released on The Legacy and The New Order, as well as a re-recording of "Reign of Terror", which was originally on Legacy's Demo 1 and appeared as a b-side from the "Trial by Fire" single; the latter version also appeared on the 1993 EP Return to the Apocalyptic City. On some Japanese versions of this release, a different cover is present, and the disc is an Enhanced CD and includes a bonus QuickTime documentary with live clips of various incarnations of the band.
Tempo of the Damned is the sixth studio album by American thrash metal band Exodus. Released in February 2, 2004 via Nuclear Blast, Tempo of the Damned was Exodus' first studio release since 1992's Force of Habit. It was the last appearance of longtime vocalist Steve "Zetro" Souza until his return for 2014's Blood In, Blood Out as well as the last appearance of founding drummer Tom Hunting until 2007's The Atrocity Exhibition... Exhibit A. The album was also the last studio appearance of guitarist Rick Hunolt.
Impact Is Imminent is the fourth studio album by thrash metal band Exodus, released in 1990. Impact Is Imminent was Exodus' first album on Capitol Records as well as their first album to feature John Tempesta on drums, and their last to feature Rob McKillop on bass, though he appeared on their first live album, Good Friendly Violent Fun, which was recorded live in 1989 but not released until 1991. It was re-released in 2008 in a limited edition mini-album packaging to resemble the original vinyl release, including the inner sleeve.
The Best Of Exodus: Lessons in Violence is a compilation album by thrash metal band Exodus. Even though this compilation album was released after Impact Is Imminent, it contains no tracks from that album as Exodus had switched record labels by that time. The AC/DC cover "Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap" was recorded live on July 14th, 1989 at the Fillmore in San Francisco, CA. It was recorded during Exodus' "Fabulous Disaster" tour and can be found on their 1991 live album Good Friendly Violent Fun. "And Then There Were None" was recorded live at the Astoria in London, England on March 8th, 1989 during the "Headbanger's Ball Tour".
Another Lesson in Violence is a live album by the thrash metal band Exodus.
Thomas "Tom" Hunting is an American drummer, famous for his work with the band Exodus. He played on their first three albums, Bonded by Blood, Pleasures of the Flesh, and Fabulous Disaster. Hunting later left the band due to illness in 1989 and was replaced by John Tempesta.
DDP 4 Life is the debut album from Dublin Death Patrol, a thrash metal band formed by Testament vocalist Chuck Billy and Exodus vocalist Steve "Zetro" Souza and released on April 13, 2007.