My Top 10 Most Influential Heavy Metal Albums Of All Time

Heavy metal today while not at its apex still produces some great and memorable bands. But where did it all start? What are the most important heavy metal albums of all time? Let me make one thing clear, the point of this article isn’t to name necessarily my favorite albums but the most influential albums that contributed largely to what heavy metal has become today. The albums are in no particular order.

1. Black Sabbath-Black Sabbath 1970. Black Sabbath are considered by most to be the godfathers of metal and rightly so. Although this is not my favorite release by them it was undeniably the birth of heavy metal.

2. Metallica-Master Of Puppets 1986. While not their first album, Master Of Puppets is easily their most influential. It brought thrash metal to the main stream and has inspired thousands of bands. It’s also my personal favorite.

3. Iron Maiden-Number Of The Beast 1982. The first album featuring the now legendary front man Bruce Dickinson. Including such tracks as “Hallowed Be Thy Name”, “The Number Of The Beast” and “Run To The Hills” Iron Maiden cemented their status as the premier British heavy metal band. Their influence can be found in bands from Megadeth to Trivium.

4. Slayer-Reign In Blood 1986. Think of this as a more aggressive, satanic “Master Of Puppets”. Although Slayer released albums before this “Reign In Blood” is the epitome of 80’s thrash metal and this is widely acknowledged by a large percentage of heavy metal fans.

5. Deicide-Deicide 1990. The definitive death metal album by the definitive death metal band. Despite some weaker later albums, their self titled album laid the groundwork for any and all future death metal bands.

6. Pantera-Vulgar Display Of Power 1992. Pantera is cited by many as single handedly keeping heavy metal on the map during the grunge and alternative wave of the 90’s. Never compromising the signature sound attained on “Vulgar Display Of Power”, they went on to release 4 more albums and one prior before their disbandment in 2003. Pantera is in my opinion, the most influential heavy metal band ever.

7. Fear Factory-Demanufacture 1995. Fear Factory has the thrash metal sensibilities and punishing drum attack of some of these other bands but incorporated a more industrial sound into their music. Using keyboards and sound effects they further identified their sound as uniquely theirs. They are well known for their staccato drum/guitar attack and that method is widely used today.

8. Sepultura-Chaos AD 1993. Brazilian thrash metallers hit the metal scene with this album in 1993. The metal mixed with tribal drumming and obscure instrumentation proved to be a credible formula. Not only is this album heavy metal, it entertained the notion of breaking away from traditional formula.

9. Megadeth-Rust In Peace 1990. Ex Metallica guitarist Dave Mustaine started “Megadeth” after leaving Metallica in the early 80’s. Often referred to as a guitar players album, “Rust In Peace” contains some of the most technical and impressive yet accessible guitar work ever recorded. The now legendary line up has created a true metal masterpiece that has been mimicked or borrowed from countless times.

10. AC/DC - Back In Black 1980. You can argue all day if AC/DC is actually heavy metal so let’s just assume that they are. This album that still sells well almost 3 decades later was a landmark for heavy metal. Incorporating excellent guitar work and great anthem like lyrics, any fan of metal would be hard pressed to not be influenced by AC/DC.

Honorable mentions: Judas Priest, Testament, Anthrax, Cannibal Corpse, Death, Morbid Angel.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know what you think, leave a comment.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The fact that you don't mention Judas Priest beyond a mention, considering they're the first pure Heavy Metal band in history (since Black Sabbath in the early Ozzy period, is, in my humble opinion, a very influential but in the end more of a Psychodelic Rock band), is a complete atrocity. :P