Below are what we, the staff of Metal-Rules.com, have collectively
decided are the best and most influential heavy metal albums of all
time. We scored a list of some 400-500 albums to determine the top 100.
There is absolutely nothing scientific about the ranking that appears
below; it is simply the collective opinion of a group of true metalheads.
Not everyone will agree with the list or all the items in it, and that's
fine, we make no apologies for having an opinion and sharing it with
you! This is not meant to be the only definitive list in existence, but it
does reflect the common interests of everyone who writes for this
webzine as of September 2003.
The Top 10
#1. Metallica -
Master of Puppets
Metallica are a band that opened many doors for a lot of
fans/bands. They also opened many doors and provided a lot of listeners
with a gateway to other more extreme bands. Sadly, much of their
material post "the black album" hardly qualifies as heavy metal, but in
their prime this band dealt out thrash metal that was second to none!
Just listen to "Damage Inc." or "Battery" and even today they still
stand up against what has come along.
#2. Iron Maiden -
Number of the Beast
It is of no surprise that IRON MAIDEN comes close to the top spot.
Culling fans from all areas of the metal spectrum, Iron Maiden, clearly
are one of the true innovators in heavy metal. The intro to the track
"Number of the Beast" has become one of the "prayers" of heavy metal
with just about every fan knowing it word for word.
#3. Metallica -
Ride the Lightning
Arguably Metallica's heaviest album, the glorious RIDE THE LIGHTNING
comes in at #3! This was the album that really started getting Metallica
recognized around the world. It was followed up with MASTER OF PUPPETS
which is really what put them on the map. However, the impact of RIDE
THE LIGHTNING was definitely felt with "hits" like "Fade To Black", and
"For Whom The Bell Tolls" to lesser hailed (but equally memorable)
tracks like "Escape" and "Creeping Death" .
#4. AC/DC -
Back in Black
Some of you youngsters will no doubt say "WTF is a classic rock band
doing in a heavy metal list?" It is true that AC/DC has become darlings
of the classic rock radio circuit, also their recent performance with
the Rolling Stones in Canada to several hundred thousand people only
goes to show that their appeal extends well outside of the metal realm.
All this aside, that does not mean that their contribution to heavy
metal in the 70's and 80's should be ignored! BACK IN BLACK is not only
one of the best heavy metal albums of all time, it is also one of the
best selling "normal" albums of all time as well!!
#5. Slayer -
Reign in Blood
REIGN IN BLOOD is hailed by many as the definitive Slayer
album. Clearly most of us here at Metal-Rules.com agree, as the album
comes in at #5. As I've said before, listening to this album is like a
religious experience. "Angel of Death" is one of the best Slayer songs
ever written. The whole album plays like the soundtrack to hell. Learn the sacred words of praise, hail SLAYERRRRRRR!!!
#6. Iron Maiden -
Iron Maiden's POWERSLAVE is a monster of an album. After the success
of NUMBER OF THE BEAST and its follow up PIECE OF MIND, Iron Maiden was
hard pressed to deliver an album that would match its predecessors. They
would not disappoint as POWERSLAVE, with its instant classic tracks
including "2 Minutes to Midnight" and the epic "Rime of the Ancient
Mariner" would cement Iron Maiden at the forefront of the metal world
and spawn the massive and seemingly never-ending World Slavery Tour.
#7. Iron Maiden -
Piece of Mind
Maiden again? Yes, again...making for the third entry in our top 10!
Many people consider this the pinnacle of Maidens career and with tracks
like "The Trooper", "Still Life", "Die With Your Boots On" and "Flight
of Icarus" it is hard to disagree.
Piece of Mind turned 20
years old this year and forever will be a classic of the metal genre.
#8. Dio -
Ex-Rainbow, ex-Sabbath vocal god Ronnie James Dio comes in at #8.
Pushing to his 60's, this old goat can still easily kick the ass of the
majority of singers on the scene.
#9. Slayer -
Seasons in the
SEASONS IN THE ABYSS is considered by some to be the
last "classic" Slayer album. Songs like the evil title track and speed
metal masterpieces like "Born of Fire" and "War Ensemble" have become
fan favorites standing shoulder to shoulder alongside the band's past
#10. Judas Priest - Screaming For
Rounding out the top 10 is SCREAMING FOR VENGEANCE, the
quintessential Priest album in the eyes of many. Fronted by the “metal
god” Rob Halford, Priest have been one of the defining bands of the
metal movement. “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming” helped to create a new
generation of metalheads and showed to the world that Metal Rules!!
Well there you have it, a look at the best heavy metal albums of all
time!! It will be interesting to re-do this list in another 5 and 10
years to see if more material from the 90's and 20XX creeps into the
Thanks for reading,
EvilG, Rick, & Metal-Rules.com.