"The Big 4" fulfilled a lot of thrash fans dreams back at the start of the 2010s, but over the years there's been support for Exodus as the fifth band that should have been included in that grouping. And over the weekend, Anthrax's Scott Ian lent credence to that idea, sharing more praise for the Bay Area thrashers by stating that Exodus' Bonded by Blood was actually the best debut album by any of the "Big 5."

The album celebrated its 36th anniversary on Sunday (April 25) after initially being released back in 1985. The crushing debut was definitely one of the key albums in launching thrash metal in the United States.

Ian stated in a posting about the record, "This beast came out 36 years ago. Best debut album of the Big 5? I think so."

There has been support for Exodus over the years being mentioned as the next band to be included if the scope was expanded beyond "The Big 4." Megadeth's Dave Mustaine was asked in 2018 about the possibility of more shows under the "Big 4" name and suggested that if Metallica didn't want to or was unavailable, he was open to the idea of the three other bands touring with Exodus.

"I think if you asked the three of us [Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax] that [question] our camps would probably say yes," Mustaine told Eddie Trunk when asked if the other groups in the 'Big 4' would be interested in playing another show together. "If Anthrax, Slayer and Megadeth all want to do it, and Metallica [don't], then what do we do? The 'Big 3'?"

"I'm sure that a lot of people would like to see that," he continued. "And that may be what it is. You know, you may end up having it be the 'Big 3' plus number five, if we have Exodus play with it."

Guitarist Gary Holt, who plays in Exodus and joined the latter era lineup of "Big 4" band Slayer, told Full Metal Jackie that he liked the idea of expanding things out even further, sharing love for the German thrash bands of that era.

"Kreator, Destruction and Sodom were there in the very beginning too, and they were there before a lot of the American thrash bands that people like throwing in these hypothetical arguments. I don’t limit it strictly to United States soil. I think the Germans have should have a voice in this as well."

There had even been a petition circulated on Change.org to change the "Big 4" to the "Big 5," though the petition did not signify who should be the fifth band and only acknowledging that a handful of groups including Exodus had a right to be mentioned alongside Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeth and Slayer.

PLAYLIST: Follow Loudwire's 'Early Thrash' playlist on Spotify, featuring 150 genre-defining songs.

The 40 Best Debut Thrash Albums of All Time