1990s 'Big Four' bands v2? Share your thoughts!

slapnutz

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Just something I was wondering after thinking back to the 'Big Four' tour with Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax. To me these are bands that were rooted in the mid-ish1980s originally and grew forth and lead the metal charge (or call it what you will).

My question is, which 4 OTHER bands would you say are the spiritual successor to them for a 'Big Four' of the 1990s so to speak? 4 bands that kept metal going during the days of grunge, etc...

I thought it was an easy question since just IMO I would have Pantera, Sepultura, Machinehead .....and.... dunno.... this is where I got stuck, I couldn't really think of a 'clear' forth band. I can think of several others but they are not as clearly distanced from the rest for me like Pantera, Sepultura.
Maybe Fear Factory? Death? Tool?(not quite typical metal) .... Korn? (moreso mid-90s contribution onwards rather than full decade but had a very large impact nonetheless)..... Testament....Deftones others?

Personally I still think #1 & 2 should go to Pantera and Sepultura but the rest aren't as clear for me at least.
What are you thoughts, who would be your big four 1990s tour? Feel free to share!

Note 1: Unfortunately try not to make this simply about your favourite 90s band (yeah I know Im mean) but moreso bands you truly believe had an impact to carry the metal flag during this time.
Note 2: Yes I know the original big four were still very VERY popular in the 1990s, but just for a change, I want to see ideas from you guys that dont repeat them again.:)
 
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bostjan

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The big 4 of metal of the 90's?

Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax, probably...

I mean, I know you said don't repeat them, but metal was still a healthy thing in the 90's, there just wasn't the mainstream hairmetal on the radio anymore, at least not with new songs.

You had your headbanger's ball and whatnot, where you could check out harder bands like Death and Cannibal Corpse and Morbid Angel, but mainly, they were playing videos from Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and, well, probably more Pantera than Anthrax, come to think of it. But anyway, every single band I mentioned was active in the 80's anyhow.

But also there was nümetal like Korn, Limp Bizkit, and Linkin Park. You had Disturbed getting really popular by 1999. Slipknot... System of a Down... There were also bands like Rammstein and Type O Negative that had at least one saturated hit in the mid-90's, and everyone at the time knew GWAR, but probably more their image or stage antics than their music.

I guess I'd stick with Metallica. Clearly the biggest metal band of the 90's, what with huge hits off of their selftitled album, Load, and Reload, as well as a couple really popular covers off of Garage, Inc. Megadeth is probably a distant second, since Countdown came out early in the 90's and was a huge record for metal, probably one of the most influential.

I'm inclined to say that Pantera would probably be third, what with their big break coming and becoming a household name because of it.

Fourth spot, IDK. Dream Theater got big for all of one minute in the 90's, but they certainly developed a diehard fan base, much like Slayer in the 80's. Commercially, Korn clearly did better, but came into the decade nearly halfway through, but their influence on metal cannot be overstated. Tool maybe somewhere in between as far as success, and still the fanatical fanbase, but they never really consistently did much as a band, honestly. An album here and an album there, and with them not really being a metal band, I'd have a tough time putting them on such a short list.

I'll put one more out there - Faith No More. Weird choice. But, Epic hit #75 on the standard Billboard charts, which you'd be hard pressed to find a contender for spot #4 on this list who did better against pop songs. Also, Faith No More basically ushered in alternative metal, which in turn spun off nümetal, which was the genre dujour of the decade. So, although FNM only had the one album hit in a way that contends with other music genres, and they didn't even last the decade, their influence reaches beyond anyone else's.

If it has to be all new bands, no matter what, it's going to look weird without Metallica on the list.

Anyway, it was the big four of Thrash... so maybe it'd be more fair to try to ask who would be the big four of nümetal or the big four of 90's deathmetal or the big 4 of alt metal or whatever.
 

Crungy

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Fear Factory is one that I rarely hear credited, or at least it was that way for many years. Dino was a pioneer with 7 string guitars and heavy music.
Obviously Vai with the first big 7 string and also Korn pushing it into the mainstream, Meshuggah, etc.

But in respect to the big four, Fear Factory has some thrash elements at times, upped the heavy factor and ran with it.
 

cardinal

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Not sure anything metal would be considered big in the '90s. Fear Factory for example was opening for Slayer in the late '90s still? I think I remember that's how I saw them, but it's kinda hazy now. Not really "big".

Pantera would seem to have a solid claim to any list of top '90s metal bands.

Korn had a pretty wide following at least where I was and was headlining tours. Are they "metal" though? That's sort of an unanswerable question (is AiC "metal"? Tool?).
 

Crungy

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@cardinal I mentioned FF as being a torchbearer per the op's post but was not implying they were huge like any of the big four. They're definitely not on that level.
 

MFB

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To this day I still have no clue how Anthrax are one of the big 4 as I've NEVER met a single person who has brought them up in conversation saying they're a big fan, or wearing a shirt of theirs, etc...

Only thing of their catalog I give a shit about is their "Bring the Noize" remix they did with Public Enemy, and that's because it was in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater
 

tedtan

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Aside from the original big 4, I’d go for Alice in Chains (yeah, I consider them metal rather than grunge) and Meshuggah.

From there, you have bands like Death, Canibal Corpse, Morbid Angel, In Flames, At The Gates, etc., etc. and it get hard to choose only two more.

Alice in Chains in the only mainstream band on the list, but the others were extremely important in the development of metal.
 

Riffer

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Pantera for sure. 100%. After that I would probably put Alice In Chains in there. Soundgarden was top tier too but I lean AiC. Also maybe TOOL? I was finding it hard to find a 4th but I came up with possibly NIN. I know, I know....."Not Metal". But they were huge in the 90s and it was HEAVY stuff.

So my list would go

Pantera
Alice In Chains
TOOL
NIN

But strictly metal I would go

Pantera x 4
 

MFB

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For 90s, I feel like the bands I saw on heaviest rotation were Korn, Slipknot, Pantera, and yeah, then I'd say Alice in Chains 'toeing' the line between grunge/metal
 

bostjan

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If you're counting AiC, what about RATM? I don't think "metal" when I hear them, but, let's face it, a lot of people think of them as being "metal." They were definitely hugely influential, and were quite popular during their heyday, which was definitely solidly in the 1990's.
 

Grindspine

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Pantera
Death
At the Gates
Fear Factory

More so in they all influenced the next decade of metal like the big 4 did the decade before IMO.
I would agree on this being pretty solid and influential. I have seen these live too, except At the Gates. Meshuggah really did not solidify a change in genre until Nothing was recorded and 8 string guitars started to become a recognizable thing in heavy music. They completely bore a torch after the 90s grove metal generation. Of course, the 2000s had a lot more of melodic metalcore and djent emerging.
 

mmr007

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Nope. I have friends who don’t even listen to heavy-metal and they could tell me who the big foor of thrash are but they’ve never heard of those other bands so there is no comparison
 

bostjan

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Nope. I have friends who don’t even listen to heavy-metal and they could tell me who the big foor of thrash are but they’ve never heard of those other bands so there is no comparison
Your friends never heard of Korn?! Weird.
 

Xaios

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Your friends never heard of Korn?! Weird.
A couple months ago I went on a work trip with a guy who'd never heard of Creed.

savingprivateryan-ww2.gif
 

mmr007

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Your friends never heard of Korn?! Weird.
Some friends. And I never mentioned Korn specifically but there were lots of very questionable bands on that list that I don't feel qualify as a "big four" redux. I can only see Pantera but no other band that fits within that genre. The big four were all thrash...not just popular metal. RATM was huge but like someone said their metal bona fides are questionable and they certainly don't belong on a list with Pantera because their music is not related.
 


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