Essential Metal Albums

Black Thunder

Ancient Mariner
Name some of the best metal albums in your opinion:

Mine would be:

Iron Maiden - The Number Of The Beast
Judas Priest - Painkiller
Iron Maiden - Powerslave
Metallica - Master Of Puppets
Megadeth - Rust In Peace
Dio - Holy Diver
Judas Priest - British Steel
Ozzy Osbourne - Blizzard Of Ozz
Metallica - Ride The Lightning
Black Sabbath - Heaven And Hell
Dio - The Last In Line
Black Sabbath - Paranoid
Bruce Dickinson - The Chemical Wedding

Cornfed Hick

Ancient Mariner
Good poll idea, and good starting list.  I would put the two Dio-era Black Sabbath albums, Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules, ahead of Last in Line, and I would add:

Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath
Iron Maiden - Piece of Mind
Guns 'n' Roses - Appetite for Destruction
Judas Priest - Screaming for Vengeance

EDIT:  whoops, Heaven and Hell is already on Thunder's list. 


Ancient Mariner
This list contains some arguably Heavy Metal classics and albums that perhaps not made by all-out Metal acts, helped to forge the very core of Heavy Metal. I tried to encompass all eras, since late 60's 'til the 2000's. And bear in mind that this is no more than 40% of the wonderful universe of Heavy Rock Metal, so more albums might be added as I discover 'new old or new new' sounds.

Black Sabbath - Never Say Die!, Paranoid, Master Of Reality, Vol 4, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, Mob Rules, Born Again, The Eternal Idol
Iron Maiden - Iron Maiden, Killers, The Number Of The Beast, Piece Of Mind, Powerslave, Somewhere In Time, Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son, The X Factor, Brave New World
Rush - Fly By Night, A Farewell To Kings, Hemispheres, Permanent Waves, Moving Pictures, Signals, Grace Under Pressure, Counterparts
Deep Purple - In Rock, Machine Head, Fireball
Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin, Untitled, Physical Graffiti
Jethro Tull - Aqualung, Benefit, Thick As A Brick, A Passion Play, Songs From The Wood
Uriah Heep - Look At Yourself, Demons & Wizards
Budgie - Budgie, Never Turn On Your Back On A Friend
Alice Cooper - Billion Dollar Babies, Killer, Love It to Death, School's Out
Grand Funk Railroad - Grand Funk, We're An American Band
Queen - A Day At The Races, Queen I, Queen II, Live Killers, A Night At The Opera
Faith No More - The Real Thing, Angel Dust, King For A Day...Fool For A Lifetime
Wishbone Ash - Wishbone Ash, Pilgrimage, Argus
Judas Priest - Sad Wings Of Destiny, Stained Class, Killing Machine, Unleashed In The East, Point Of Entry, Screaming For Vengeance, Defenders Of The Faith, Painkiller
Captain Beyond - Captain Beyond, Sufficiently Breathless
Thin Lizzy - Jailbreak, Bad Reputation, Johnny The Fox, Black Rose, Live And Dangerous
Jimi Hendrix - Are You Experienced?
Pink Floyd - Animals, Obscured By Clouds, The Dark Side Of The Moon, Wish You Were Here, Ummagumma
The Who - Who's Next
Metallica - Ride The Lightning, Master Of Puppets, ...And Justice For All, Black Album
Megadeth - Peace Sells... But Who's Buying?, Rust In Peace, Countdown To Extinction, Youthanasia
Voivod - Killing Technology, Dimension Hatröss, NothingFace, Angel Rat
Celtic Frost - To Mega Therion, Morbid Tales/Emperor's Return
Sepultura - Beneath The Remains, Arise, Chaos A.D.
Carcass - Necroticism (Descanting The Insalubrious), Heartwork
Cathedral - Forest Of Equilibrium, Soul Sacrifice, The Ethereal Mirror, Supernatural Birth Machine
Arch Enemy - Burning Bridges
Alice In Chains - Facelift, Dirt
Anthrax - Among The Living
Exodus - Bonded By Blood
Candlemass - Epicus Doomicus Metallicus
Motörhead - Overkill, Ace Of Spades, No Sleep 'Til Hammersmith
AC/DC - Highway To Hell
Diamond Head - Lightning To The Nations
Tank - Filth Hounds Of Hades
Tygers Of Pan Tang - Spellbound
Soundgarden - Badmotorfinger, Superunknown
Aerosmith - Get Yout Wings, Toys In The Attic
Lynyrd Skynyrd - (Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd), Second Helping
Spiritual Beggars - On Fire
System Of A Down - Toxicity, Mesmerize, Hypnotize
The Cult - Love, Ceremony
Therion - Theli
Triumph - Rock 'N' Roll Machine, Progressions Of Power
Van Halen - I, Diver Down, 1984
UFO - Phenomenon, Force It, Lighs Out, Strangers In The Night
Scorpions - Fly To The Rainbow, In Trance, Lovedrive, Blackout, Love At First Sting
Bruce Dickinson - Accident Of Birth, Balls To Picasso, Skunkworks, The Chemical Wedding
Guns N' Roses - Appetite For Destruction, Use Your Illusion I & II
Rainbow - Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, Rising
Paradise Lost - Gothic, Icon, Draconian Times, Symbol Of Life
Ozzy Osbourne - Blizzard Of Ozz, Diary Of A Madman
Mercyful Fate - Melissa, Don't Break The Oath, In The Shadows, Into The Unknown
King Diamond - Abigail
Living Colour - Time's Up
Discharge - Hear Nothing, See Nothing, Say Nothing
Death - Human, Symbolic, The Sound Of Perseverance
Slayer - Show No Mercy, Reign In Blood
Dio - Holy Dive, The Last In Line
Cynic - Focus
Kiss - Kiss, Hotter Than Hell, Dressed To Kill, Destroyer, Creatures Of The Night
Helloween - Keeper Of The Seven Keys (Parts I & II), Master Of Rings
King Crimson - In The Court Of The Crimson King (An Observation By King Crimson), Red
Van Der Graaf Generator - Pawn Hearts, H To He, Who Am The Only One
Atheist - Unquestionable Presence
Amorphis - Tales From The Thousand Lakes, Elegy


I'd say every Megadeth excluding KIMB up to Youthanasia, plus The System Has Failed, and then maybe Train of Thought by Dream Theater as well.

Black Thunder

Ancient Mariner

1. I don't think Sabbath's Born Again should be on the list. With Gillan's vocals, it's too bluesy...
2. I would put Rush's 2112 over any other album.
3. Floyd's Wish You Were Here and The Wall are the peak in their carrier IMO.

But it's the matter of taste  :)


Ancient Mariner
I disagree with you on both first comments (Born Again is spectacular and you must have not listened to it properly as the only bluesy track, vocally speaking, is Keep It Warm; the title track is perhaps the most wonderful Heavy ballad ever made. 2112 saved Rush's career, but it's far from their finest moment, although it contains some classics like A Passage To Bangkok, The Twilight Zone and the anthem Something For Nothing. Some of the best lyrics ever written, inspired by a graffiti Neil saw on a wall, in Chicago I think, on the previous tour) and Wish You Were Here is really a masterpiece. The Wall has the same amount of genius and naff stuff, specially the second album, past Comfortably Numb. Animals is the best and Obscured By Clouds is vastly overlooked.

Black Thunder

Ancient Mariner
I forgot Caress Of Steel, I always considered as their breakthrough album, it contains some REALLY overlooked songs like "The Necromancer" and "The Fountain Of Lamneth", the other 3 are not really great, but this album is their root of success.

Black Thunder

Ancient Mariner
1. Freewill (Permanent Waves)
2. Red Sector A (Grace Under Pressure)
3. Red Barchetta (Moving Pictures)
4. Subdivisons (Signals)
5. A Passage To Bangkok (2112)


Ancient Mariner
I've already seen some great hardrock/metal albums in this topic. I'd like to add:

Iron Maiden - No Prayer For The Dying
Iron Maiden - Fear Of The Dark
Black Sabbath - Master of Reality
Black Sabbath - Sabotage
Black Sabbath - Eternal idol
Black Sabbath - Headless Cross
Black Sabbath - Tyr
Black Sabbath - Cross Purposes
Bruce Dickinson - Tyranny of Souls
White Spirit - White Spirit
Samson - Head On
Samson - Shock Tactics
Killers - Murder One
Helloween - Walls of Jericho
Helloween - The Time of the Oath
Helloween - Better Than Raw
Gamma Ray - Sigh No More
Gamma Ray - Land of the Free
Gamma Ray - Somewhere Out in Space
Gamma Ray - Powerplant
Iron Savior - Iron Savior
Iron Savior - Unification
Iced Earth - Night of the Stormrider
Iced Earth - Burnt Offerings
Iced Earth - Alive in Athens
Candlemass - Nightfall
Candlemass - Tales of Creation
Candlemass - Candlemass
Solitude Aeturnus - Into the Depths of Sorrow
Solitude Aeturnus - Beyond the Crimson Horizon
Solitude Aeturnus - Through the Darkest Hour
Solitude Aeturnus - Adagio
Judas Priest - Sin After Sin
Judas Priest - British Steel
Kiss - Music From The Elder
Manowar - Battle Hymns
Queensrÿche - Queensrÿche
Queensrÿche - The Warning
Queensrÿche - Rage For Order
Queensrÿche - Operation Mindcrime
Slayer - South of Heaven
Fight - War of Words
Brainstorm - Metus Mortis
Brainstorm - Ambiguity
Trail of Tears - Disclosure in Red
Domine - Dragonlord
Nocturnal Rites - Tales of Mystery and Imagination
Nocturnal Rites - The Sacred Talisman
Edguy - Kingdom of Madness
Deviser - Unspeakable Cults
Six Feet Under - Haunted
Virgin Steele - The Marriage of Heaven and Hell - pt II
Absu - The Sun of Tipareth
Running Wild - Black Hand Inn
Running Wild - Death or Glory
Running Wild - Blazon Stone
Running Wild - Pile of Skulls
Primal Fear - Primal Fear
Primal Fear - Nuclear Fire
Primal Fear - Black Sun
Primal Fear - Devil's Ground
Grave Digger - Tunes of War
Grave Digger - Knights of the Cross
Grave Digger - Excalibur
Grave Digger - Rheingold
Gates of Ishtar - A Bloodred Path
Gates of Ishtar - The Dawn of Flames
Gorefest - False
Gorefest - Erase
Napalm Death - Diatribes
Napalm Death - Mass Appeal Madness
Napalm Death - Enemy of the Music Business
Eidolon - Hallowed Apparition
Metal Church - Blessing in Disguise
My Dying Bride - As the Flower Withers
My Dying Bride - Turn Loose the Swans
My Dying Bride - The Angel and the Dark River
My Dying Bride - The Light at the End of the World
Jacobs Dream - Jacobs Dream
Blaze - Silicon Messiah
Steel Prophet - Messiah
Amorphis - The Karelian Isthmus
Tierra Santa - Indomable
Tierra Santa - Sangre de Reyes
Ancient - Svartalvheim
Epica - The Phantom Agony
Epica - The Divine Conspiracy
Epica - Design Your Universe
After Forever - Prison of Desire
After Forever - Decipher
Pink Floyd - Meddle
Pink Floyd - A Momentary Lapse of Reason
Pink Floyd - The Division Bell
Magnum - Chase the Dragon
Magnum - The Eleventh Hour
Dimmu Borgir - Stormblast
In Flames - The Jester Race
Soilwork - The Chainheart Machine
Soilwork - Steelbath Suicide
The Arcane Order - The Machinery of Oblivion
At The Gates - Terminal Spirit Disease
At The Gates - The Red in the Sky Is Ours
At The Gates - With Fear I Kiss the Burning Darkness
Sear Bliss - Phantoms
Scar Symmetry - Symmetric in Design
Scar Symmetry - Pitch Black Progress


Ancient Mariner
Some amazing stuff, Foro, specially Master Of Reality (how could I forget it?), Napalm Death (I'd put Utopia Banished or From Enslavement To Obliteration), Gorefest (False, Erase and Soul Survivor are fantastic), The Karellian Istmus is really great!!! :edmetal:, Queensrÿche, Solitude Aeturnus (Rob Lowe is a fantastic singer! He would be one of my choices for taking Bruce's place back in 1994), My Dying Bride and White Spirit album is amazing and little known - I strongly recommend it.


I don't know if anyone else here is a Dream Theater fan, but I think Train of Thought is an extremely underrated album.  It seems to be most people's least favorite DT album, but at the moment it's probably my favorite.  :eek:


Ancient Mariner
Sorry, Prowler, mate, but I can say that I can listen to 3 or 4 songs from Dream Theater, at most. I already listened to all their albums (except the last one) during the 90's, later in the 00's I tried again, and I really thought I was going to become a fan of theirs, but I detest this band. Its boredom is unmatched.


Ancient Mariner
Cheers mate! :)

Actually reading your list made me post mine. I saw that you posted "Tales.." from Amorphis, and then I thought: Fuck, we should also mention some doom/death/black. :)

I will also add these ones:

Gorefest: Erase (I like it less than False, but still great in a different way)
Napalm Death: Mass Appeal Madness
Solitude Aeturnus: Adagio

I wish Rob Lowe would talk to Iommi (maybe in a couple of years when the time is right):
Why? --> Click
Still, Solitude Aeturnus' own material is so strong, and greatly underappreciated in their own country. Come on Americans, give these Texans a chance! Fantastic guitar solos as well. Behold the mighty:
Solitude Aeturnus - Days of Prayer (1998)


Jeffmetal said:
Sorry, Prowler, mate, but I can say that I can listen to 3 or 4 songs from Dream Theater, at most. I already listened to all their albums (except the last one) during the 90's, later in the 00's I tried again, and I really thought I was going to become a fan of theirs, but I detest this band. Its boredom is unmatched.
I wouldn't call them my favorite, but the reason I like TOT is its a little more metal then their other stuff and LaBrie tones down the Dickinson imitating a bit.  I get where your coming from though.


Ancient Mariner
Hey, Foro, maybe they don't like 'cos it's too genuine metal for 'em. And I got it right away why RL shoud talk to Iommi. Imagine he singing live When Death Calls, Jerusalem, Cross Of Thorns, The Shining or Eternal Idol?!


Wow, very difficult to pick out just a few of what I think are Essential Metal albums... I'll give it a go... in no particular order.

Iron Maiden - The Number of the Beast
Black Sabbath - Heaven and Hell
Judas Priest - British Steel
Accept - Restless and Wild
The Gathering - Mandylion
Helloween - Keepers I & II
Anthrax - Among the Living
Armored Saint - March of the Saint
Pantera - Cowboys from Hell
Metallica - Master of Puppets
Rush - 2112
Testament - Practice What You Preach
Tygers Of Pan Tang - The Cage
Heathen - Breaking The Silence

Damn, there so much more... I could go on for days... but just off the top of my head, those are some great albums.

Up The Irons!!! :edmetal: