The 1990s were not the best decade for heavy metal (aside from the rise of death and black metal in the underground), as numerous top flight acts that dominated the preceding decade began to stumble in the wake of the grunge takeover and Pantera's muscle-flexing groove. Thrash in particular did not fare well, struggling to stay relevant with half-baked implementations of current trends in heavy music.

Generally, metal bands that carried over into the '90s were given a hall pass and all their wrongdoings were forgiven, but it wasn't all bad! With this list, we aim to redeem the maligned reputation of the frenetic, punk-fueled metallic genre throughout this trying decade, highlighting truly undeniable classics that helped to offload the water that was spilling onto the steadily sinking ship.

Who can forget the way Megadeth's Rust in Peace helped inject fresh blood into a tiring scene with some of the most dizzying songwriting and overtly technical guitar wizardry that immediately thrust the band on top? How about Slayer's tempo-shifting mania on Seasons in the Abyss or Kreator's ironclad Coma of Souls? Those aren't just some glimmering examples of '90s thrash, they're benchmarks in the stylistic evolution of the genre.

Scroll through the gallery above as we count down the 10 Best '90s Thrash Albums!

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