Rolling Stone recently asked Ozzy Osbourne to list his Top Ten Metal Albums of all-time. Loudwire.com has done the same poll this year with the likes of M. Shadows from Avenged Sevenfold, Kerry King of Slayer, and Bill Ward from Black Sabbath. If there is a common thread to each of these lists, Metallica was the only group on everyone’s ballot and Judas Priest made everyone but M. Shadows list, what’s up with that! But bands like Venom, At The Gates, and Type O Negative got a shout-out by these heavy metal icons. Here at Mike’s Daily Jukebox, we’ll submit our list of the Top 10 Metal Albums submitted in alphabetical order. Before you get all worked up over who’s classified as Heavy Metal or Hard Rock, we’re going with albums that get you headbanging, loud guitar solos, and a whole lot of attitude.
AC/DC – “HIGH VOLTAGE” 1976 You wouldn’t be wrong putting “Back In Black” in this slot but there was something raw and out of control with AC/DC’s early work.
ALICE IN CHAINS – “DIRT” 1992 Although my favorite Layne Staley song, “Nutshell” wasn’t on this album you can’t deny the guttural screams on tracks like “Rooster”, “Them Bones”, “Would?”, and their masterpiece “Down In A Hole”.
BLACK SABBATH – “PARANOID” 1970 The title track is arguably the greatest three minutes of heavy metal music ever! Add in “Iron Man”, “War Pigs”, “Faeries Wear Boots”, and the underrated “Rat Salad” and you’ve got a heavy metal starter set.
GUNS N’ ROSES “APPETITE FOR DESTRUCTION” 1987 Took the 80s Hair Metal scene and kicked its ass. “You know where you are, you’re in the jungle baby and you’re gonna die!” From start to finish, a PERFECT album that broke sales records and remains one of the biggest selling albums of all-time.
JUDAS PRIEST “SCREAMING FOR VENGEANCE” 1982 Really wanted to put “Stained Glass” here for the influence it left on heavy metal music. But “Electric Eye”, “You’ve Got Another Thing Coming”, and “Devil’s Child” pushed the U.K. metal gods onto center stage on MTV and added a machismo kick to their “British Steel” sound.
METALLICA “MASTER OF PUPPETS” 1986 Thrash metal entered the mainstream with Metallica’s tour-de-force album, “Master Of Puppets”. Critics couldn’t deny this masterful benchmark of pure talent, incredible sequencing, and those lightning quick guitar solos and heavy beats. If we were ranking these 1 to 10, this one would be on top.
MOTLEY CRUE “TOO FAST FOR LOVE” 1981 While Journey, Foreigner, and REO Speedwagon were battling it out on the charts, Motley Crue reinvented Glam Metal with an explosive debut album that ignited a decade of metal music on MTV. The raw energy here captured the Sunset Strip rockers at their dirtiest and it’s an essential metal classic.
OZZY OSBOURNE “BLIZZARD OF OZ” 1980 Would Ozzy be able to maintain his success after getting kicked out Black Sabbath? One listen to his debut album featuring Randy Rhoads on lead guitar and the definitive answer was a resounding YES! “Crazy Train” and “I Don’t Know” are the showcase songs but it’s a well balanced collection. The only argument is only nine songs total including the 50 second instrumental “Dee”.
TOOL – “LATERALUS” 2001 Kerrang! named it the top metal album of 2001 and the single “Schism” won a Grammy for Best Metal Performance. Tool combined metal, Prog-Rock, mathematical rhythms (including the Fibonacci sequence), Buddhist chants, and alternative rock rhythms into a challenging album that required multiple listens to soak it all up.
VAN HALEN – “DEBUT” 1978 If Metallica doesn’t take the top spot overall, it would go to Van Halen 1. Eddie Van Halen’s “Eruption” remains one of the ultimate guitar solo songs. Add in “Ain’t Talkin’ Bout Love”, the Kinks cover “You Really Got Me”, and the raw energy on “Jaime’s Crying” and you’ve got a top to bottom masterpiece.