If you even say the phrase “The Big Four” in the general vicinity of a metal fan, there is a pretty decent chance that said fan will immediately launch into a rant about how the wrong bands are included in that classification, or otherwise the classification needs to be expanded; now you can count Scott Ian, who’s actually a genuine, bonafide member of The Big Four, amongst folks who feel this way.  Asked which band should be added to the list to make a Big Five, Ian tells Georgia Straight:

“The only other band really that it would make sense [to include] as far as American thrash-metal would be Exodus, because they were there right at the beginning as well. Their first album came out right at the same time as the rest of us. So I mean, to me, yes–if you were gonna add a fifth band, certainly I would think Exodus would be able to fill that slot very easily.”

Ian’s not wrong; Exodus is one of two bands that are most frequently raised by fans as possible additions to The Bigs, the other being Testament. (And it’s important to note that Ian specifies American bands, so that rules out any number of other possibilities.) The reason neither of those bands ever have been added said Bigguns’, I think, are pretty obvious: Exodus never enjoyed as prolonged a period of creative (or financial, I’d guess) success as Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, or Anthrax, and Testament came a few years later. Additionally, I suspect, there’s a marketing aspect to it; the fewer bands are part of the list, the more prestigious that list appears. I’m not saying any of these are good reasons not to add Exodus or Testament (or Kreator or Death Angel or any number of other excellent bands I’ve heard people argue deserve a “promotion”) to the group… I’m just saying, y’know, this is why they haven’t been added.

That being said, I really think it’s high time we all just grew the fuck up and added Exodus and Testament to the list and call it The Big Six. That’s still plenty exclusionary, and really, at this point, The Big Four is kind of a bullshit thing that exists solely to sell yarmulkes (and other products), as demonstrated by the mere fact that the only people who seem happy with current Big Four list are members of the Big Four bands. Almost everyone I know says they’d rather go see some variation on The Big Four that includes band X but not band Y anyway, and Megadeth and Slayer practically acknowledged as much when they did a tour with Testament right in the middle of all the B4 concert brouhaha.

And if we’re judging these things by creative standards (as opposed to units sold), then consider this: Metallica have now been bad far longer than they were ever good. I know it’s quantity not quality, but I mean come on… have you listened to Dark Roots of the Earth yet? We seriously take Testament for granted; there’s like zero suspense as to whether or not their new album will be good, which is absolutely not the case with any Big Four band.

Also, given that Dave Mustaine turned out to be an anus of the stinkiest order, I would not be opposed to revoking his Big Four card.

Tell me what an idiot dickface I am and ask how dare I slight Voivod and Vio-lence that way in the comments section below.


[via Metal Insider]

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