The most influential metal albums of your life (100 of them)

karljant

Ancient Mariner
Well let's see what metal you're made of. Note that this list won't feature some bands I don't consider to be metal per se (like Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin, Boston, Alice In Chains or Tool just to name some) or some albums from metal bands that are better suited in other categories (One Second and Host by Paradise Lost, Ghost by Devin Townsend and later Ulver albums are good examples).

I created 7 categories for 100 records:
  • Early Metal: 10 albums
  • Classic Heavy Metal: 15 Albums
  • Thrash/ Speed Metal: 15 Albums
  • Groove/ Industrial Metal: 15 Albums
  • Extreme Metal: 15 albums
  • Doom/ Post Metal: 15 albums
  • Prog Metal: 15 albums

So... let's go:

1- Early Metal:
  1. Iron Maiden - Killers
  2. Black Sabbath - Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
  3. Judas Priest - Sad Wings Of Destiny
  4. Judas Priest - Stained Class
  5. Iron Maiden - Iron Maiden
  6. Judas Priest - British Steel
  7. Black Sabbath - Paranoid
  8. Judas Priest - Sin After Sin
  9. Black Sabbath - Vol 4
  10. Judas Priest - Killing Machine

2- Classic Heavy Metal:
  1. Iron Maiden - Somewhere In Time
  2. Judas Priest - Painkiller
  3. Iron Maiden - Powerslave
  4. Iron Maiden - Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
  5. Iron Maiden - Piece Of Mind
  6. Bruce Dickinson - Chemical Wedding
  7. Iron Maiden - The Number Of The Beast
  8. Judas Priest - Screaming For Vengeance
  9. Judas Priest - Defenders Of The Faith
  10. Helloween - Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part 1
  11. Sanctuary - The Year The Sun Died
  12. Sanctuary - Refuge Denied
  13. Dio - The Last In Line
  14. Ozzy Osbourne - The Ultimate Sin
  15. Mercyful Fate - Melissa

3- Thrash Metal:
  1. Slayer - Reign In Blood
  2. Megadeth - Rust In Peace
  3. Anthrax - Persistence Of Time
  4. Metallica - And Justice For All
  5. Sabbat - History Of A Time To Come
  6. Anthrax - Among The Living
  7. Metallica - Master Of Puppets
  8. Slayer - South Of Heaven
  9. Sepultura - Arise
  10. Testament - Low
  11. Slayer - Seasons In The Abyss
  12. Megadeth - So Far So Good So What
  13. Kreator - Coma Of Souls
  14. Metallica - Ride The Lightning
  15. Testament - The New Order

4- Groove/ Industrial Metal:
  1. Fear Factory - Demanufacture
  2. Strapping Young Lad - City
  3. Sepultura - Chaos AD
  4. Strapping Young Lad - Alien
  5. Godflesh - Selfless
  6. Gojira - L'Enfant Sauvage
  7. Fear Factory - Soul Of A New Machine
  8. Gojira - From Mars To Sirius
  9. Ministry - Psalm 69
  10. Misery Loves Company - Misery Loves Company
  11. Pantera - The Great Southern Trendkill
  12. Pantera - Far Beyond Driven
  13. Godflesh - Hymns
  14. Meshuggah - Nothing
  15. Pantera - Vulgar Display Of Power

5- Extreme Metal:
  1. Bolt Thrower - Realm Of Chaos (Slaves To Darkness)
  2. Entombed - Wolverine Blues
  3. Carcass - Necroticism (Descanting The Insalubrious)
  4. Entombed - Clandestine
  5. Carcass - Heartwork
  6. Death - Individual Thought Patterns
  7. Terrorizer - World Downfall
  8. Death - Symbolic
  9. Samael - Above
  10. Dark Tranquillity - The Gallery
  11. Bolt Thrower - Those Once Loyal
  12. Death - Human
  13. Death - Leprosy
  14. Napalm Death - Harmony Corruption
  15. Obituary - Cause Of Death

6- Doom/ Post Metal:
  1. Rosetta - Wake/Lift
  2. Cult Of Luna & Julie Christmas - Mariner
  3. Paradise Lost - Draconian Times
  4. Cult Of Luna - A Dawn To Fear
  5. Paradise Lost - Icon
  6. My Dying Bride - Turn Lose The Swans
  7. Cult Of Luna - Vertikal
  8. Paradise Lost - Shades Of God
  9. Candlemass - Epicus Doomicus Metallicus
  10. Type O Negative - Bloody Kisses
  11. Process Of Guilt - Erosion
  12. Neurosis - A Sun That Never Sets
  13. Rosetta - Quintessential Ephemera
  14. Cult Of Luna - Eternal Kingdom
  15. Celtic Frost - Into The Pandemonium

7- Prog Metal:
  1. Devin Townsend - Infinity
  2. Cynic - Traced In AIr
  3. Voivod - Phobos
  4. Ihsahn - Àmr
  5. Voivod - Dimension Hatross
  6. Devin Townsend - Terria
  7. Mastodon - Blood Mountain
  8. Tiamat - Wildhoney
  9. Cynic - Focus
  10. Devin Townsend - Ocean Machine
  11. Mastodon - Leviathan
  12. Control Denied - The Art Of Existence
  13. Mastodon - Remission
  14. Queensryche - Rage For Order
  15. Opeth - Still Life
 
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Diesel 11

As you scream into the web of silence...
Most important album of my life is The Beatles’ Pastmasters Vol. 2 and there is no way I can rank anything beyond that, let alone list 140 albums split between seven categories. Holy shit.
 

Jer

Abysmal display of mental decay
Yeah, if you can’t narrow down the most influential metal albums in your life to way less than 140, you’re doing it wrong. I mean, just how much influence could each of those have had? (Less than 1%, that’s how much.)
 

Dityn DJ James

A coma stole my name.
Great idea for a thread @karljant ! I HAVE to put together a list when I get home (my prog section isn't going to be extremely varied lol). The whole "early" metal thing is a little vague but I think I get what you mean (UFO, Black Sabbath, Scorpions, etc.).

Your thrash section is very interesting. Lot of love for Sabbat
 

karljant

Ancient Mariner
Most important album of my life is The Beatles’ Pastmasters Vol. 2 and there is no way I can rank anything beyond that, let alone list 140 albums split between seven categories. Holy shit.
Only Metal albums. Some of my top albums of all time aren't here also. Love by The Cult is my number 1 album of all time... and there are many others that come to mind like Paradise Lost's One Second, Tool's Fear Inoculum and Lateralus, The Young Gods' L'eau Rouge, Peter Murphy's Lion, Nine Inch Nails with The Fragile and Pink Floyd with Wish You Were Here just to name some.
 

karljant

Ancient Mariner
Yeah, if you can’t narrow down the most influential metal albums in your life to way less than 140, you’re doing it wrong. I mean, just how much influence could each of those have had? (Less than 1%, that’s how much.)
Depends on how much you can take. There are many facets in human life. Each of these albums bring huge memories along the almost 44 years of my lifetime. That's how much: no statistics can explain the experience.
 

karljant

Ancient Mariner
The whole "early" metal thing is a little vague but I think I get what you mean (UFO, Black Sabbath, Scorpions, etc.).
Exactly! And Van Halen, Some Accept, etc...

Your thrash section is very interesting. Lot of love for Sabbat
Love Sabbat! So underrated... Andy Sneap was one hell of a mind when it comes to music and continues to be (although in a different manner).
 

Cosmiceddie

Back From The Edge
AC/DC - Powerage
AC/DC-Highway To Hell
Kiss - Dynasty
Iron Maiden - Iron Maiden
Iron Maiden - Brave New World
Def Leppard - High 'n' Dry
Def Leppard - Hysteria
Bruce Dickinson - The Chemical Wedding
Krokus - Metal Rendez-vous
 
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Jer

Abysmal display of mental decay
Let me try to honor the spirit of the thread without the volume of content. Assuming hard rock is fair game here too.

AC/DC - Back In Black
Def Leppard - High ‘N’ Dry
Metallica -
Ride The Lightning

My older brother listened to a lot of hard rock and metal in the early 80s when I was a kid, and these three albums in particular stuck with me from that time.

Dokken - Tooth And Nail

The first CD I ever bought for myself. Haunting, catchy, great vocals from Don Dokken and guitar fireworks from George Lynch. I still love it.

Megadeth - So Far, So Good...So What!

My brother had bought this CD and told me to listen to it. I was totally enraptured by “Into The Lungs Of Hell”, but hated Mustaine’s voice on the rest of the tracks. Over time I got used to Mustaine’s voice and came to love this album. It’s still a sentimental favorite.

Yngwie Malmsteen - Rising Force

This album of mostly instrumentals opened my mind to the possibilities of what you could do with a guitar, and began a love of the neoclassical style.

Iron Maiden - Powerslave

The first Maiden album I ever bought, and the one that spurred me into deep fandom.

Queensrÿche - Operation: Mindcrime

My first concept album, and what a doozy it was. I had avoided listening to it for a while because my brother had always talked about how much Queensrÿche sucked (I think he saw them open for someone else on the Rage For Order tour when they had big hair and shoulder pad jackets and he didn’t like what he saw), but what an amazing record this was. Still the gold standard for metal concept albums.

Gamma Ray - Land Of The Free

Searching for new music in the American wasteland of 1995, I stumbled upon this album and my mind was blown. It was like every 80s melodic metal band that I loved had been thrown in a blender with Queen, and after I got used to the major-key elements I began a love affair with power metal.

Skyclad - The Answer Machine?

I had previously tried out The Silent Whales Of Lunar Sea, but found it to be too rough around the edges for my taste. A few years later, Skyclad embraced the folkier aspects of folk metal while keeping their biting, pun-filled lyrics, and the result was absolutely brilliant. This album is the standard by which I judge all folk metal.

In Flames - The Jester Race

I hate death metal. No, really, I pretty much hate it. And then I heard this album, and it made me rethink everything. Here the vocals were low enough in the mix to serve as percussion instead of just shredding my eardrums, so the album was like one big instrumental that happened to have lyrics if you felt motivated to dig in and find them. Later albums cranked up the vocals in the mix so I couldn’t get into them, but this album is a very rare example of death metal that I like.

Luca Turilli - Prophet Of The Last Eclipse

What if Kai Hansen and Yngwie Malmsteen had a love child that dropped acid at a rave and recorded a concept album? You’d get this bizarre bouncy, synthy, sci-fi neoclassical power metal album that lives in a universe of its own.

Powerwolf - Lupus Dei

I didn’t know that I needed a werewolf-themed gothic metal band with pipe organ as a main instrument until I finally heard it, and then it was suddenly obvious that I’d had a gaping hole in my heart that had finally been filled. I really adore this album. The band meandered through somewhat different sounds afterward, finally settling into the power metal space later on; but they never quite reached these same heights again. Still, the baritone singer with pipe organ and electric guitars is an awesome combo.

Mekong Delta - Wanderer On The Edge Of Time

I had stumbled upon In A Mirror Darkly first and thought it was OK, but this album is the one that kind of blew my mind. A chaotic whirlwind of different styles of prog rock and metal, glued together by classical guitar and crushing mechanical riffs. It doesn’t sound like it should work, but it totally does.

There — 14 albums that all had a significant impact on my views on music.
 
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karljant

Ancient Mariner
Megadeth - So Far, So Good...So What!
Underrated as hell! Great pick... also my first Megadeth album a friend of mine recorded me when it came out. Still love this record to this very day and songs like the two punch entry of Into The Lungs Of Hell/ Set The World Afire, In My Darkest Hour and Hook In Mouth are among my favorites from Mega Dave. Liar and 502 are also really tripped out thrashers. Of course 2 years later I would turn on the radio and listen to Hangar 18 (followed by Painkiller ... I remember as if yesterday) and got completely blown out. Nevertheless SFSGSW remains as my nº 2 favorite Megadeth album to this very day

In Flames - The Jester Race

I hate death metal. No, really, I pretty much hate it. And then I heard this album, and it made me rethink everything. Here the vocals were low enough in the mix to serve as percussion instead of just shredding my eardrums, so the album was like one big instrumental that happened to have lyrics if you felt motivated to dig in and find them. Later albums cranked up the vocals in the mix so I couldn’t get into them, but this album is a very rare example of death metal that I like.
See what I mean when I say 100 is not enough? I had to leave this record and Whoracle out, as well as the absolute classics that are Slaughter of The Soul and Terminal Spirit Disease from At The Gates and The Mind's I by Dark Tranquillity when it comes to Melodic Death Metal alone :( . Moonshield and Artifacts Of The Black Rain are simply among the best songs ever penned in the genre

Skyclad - The Answer Machine?

I had previously tried out The Silent Whales Of Lunar Sea, but found it to be too rough around the edges for my taste. A few years later, Skyclad embraced the folkier aspects of folk metal while keeping their biting, pun-filled lyrics, and the result was absolutely brilliant. This album is the standard by which I judge all folk metal.

Great album. Not my favorite from the band (the first 3, Irrational Anthems and Folkemon are a must) but still Skyclad being what they were in the late 90's: still one of the best Folk Metal acts in the world. Walkiyer's vocals are once again superb (I always loved all the projects featuring this guy) and so are the arrangements.
 
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Jer

Abysmal display of mental decay
Not my favorite from the band (the first 3, Irrational Anthems and Folkemon are a must)
Folkémon is a close second for me. I also like Prince Of The Poverty Line, Irrational Anthems, and Oui Avant-Garde A Chance. Before those albums is a little too rough for my taste. I also like the post-Walkyier stuff, but the loss of his lyrics is a big blow.
 

karljant

Ancient Mariner
I also like the post-Walkyier stuff, but the loss of his lyrics is a big blow.
Yup... me too. Still enjoyable but a little mellow.
Folkémon is a close second for me. I also like Prince Of The Poverty Line, Irrational Anthems, and Oui Avant-Garde A Chance.
Once again agreed... these guys during the Walkiyer era could do no wrong.
 
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karljant

Ancient Mariner
Great idea for a thread @karljant ! I HAVE to put together a list when I get home (my prog section isn't going to be extremely varied lol). The whole "early" metal thing is a little vague but I think I get what you mean (UFO, Black Sabbath, Scorpions, etc.).

Your thrash section is very interesting. Lot of love for Sabbat
Hey James... got that list already? ;)
 

Cornfed Hick

Ancient Mariner
Yeah there’s no chance I’m listing 100 albums here, but I will say my “gateway” album to metal was Piece of Mind. I was 12 or 13 years old. That led to everything else: other Maiden, Priest, Sabbath, Dio, and so on. And immediately before that it was Pyromania, which people can disagree whether it is truly a metal record.
 
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