I’ve been a metalhead since 1984, so over the years I have heard quite a bit of metal. Picking ten was hard, putting them in order would be near impossible. So after much thought here are my top ten favorite heavy metal albums, in no particular order.
Candlemass – Nightfall: Heavy riffs, amazing leads, great production and the vocals of the one of a kind Messiah Marcolin add up to an amazingly diverse doom metal masterpiece.
Metallica -Master Of Puppets: Hands down the greatest thrash metal album of all time, one of the greatest metal albums of all time and perhaps THE metal album of the 80’s. 55 minutes of near perfection in metal.
KISS – Music From “The Elder”: A concept album??? KISS?!?!?! Yep and it’s a good one. Deemed a failure by many, including the band, but one could argue that the band never sounded better.
Megadeth – Rust In Peace: Megadeth’s best album and the second best thrash album of all time. The riffs and leads played by Dave Mustaine and Marty Friedman are insane. Mustaine never sounded better vocally. The perfect mix of aggression and melody.
Zero Hour – The Towers Of Avarice: Four equal parts creating the ultimate prog/technical metal album. Erik Rosvold sounding like the offspring of Ronnie James Dio, Geoff Tate and Freddie Mercury. The Tipton twins, Jason and Troy, locked in on guitar and bass taking the listener on a roller coaster ride of riffs. Mike Guy laying down the rhythm to this insane musical journey. As if that were not enough, it’s also a concept album.
Shadow Gallery – Tyranny: A concept album on par with the greats. Mixing the influences of Queensryche, Metallica, Pink Floyd, Kansas, Queen, Dream Theater and Yngwie Malmsteen into a unique blend of prog metal that unlike other bands in the genre is the perfect mix of prog and metal. There is plenty of space for keyboard and guitar solos. Like the great concept albums the story is quite an emotional journey.
Queensryche – Operation: Mindcrime: Queensryche’s finest moment and one of the best concept albums in any genre.
Epica – Design Your Universe: My introduction to symphonic metal and the heavenly voice Of Simone Simons. A perfect mix of metal, thrash, death metal, progressive rock and classical music.
Sepultura – Beneath The Remains – Arise:
Two from the once mighty Sepultura. Sepultura did not invent thrash, but they sure perfected it. With back to back albums they produced two classics of the genre. Led by one of the best voices and riffmeisters in thrash, Max Cavalera. The band also features two of the most overlooked musicians in metal, Igor Caverlera on drums and Andreas Kisser on lead guitar. Kissesr lays down some of the most melodic leads in thrash.
Honorable Mention: Albums that were close to making the top 10:
Extol – Burial
Stryper -In God We Trust
Overkill – The Years Of Decay
Extreme – III Sides To Every Story
Tourniquet – Pathogenic Ocular Dissonance