Heavy Metal spans several main genres. These diverse groups break down into numerous sub-genres. With whatever the listener is interested in they can jump from a straight pounding riff to loud screaming high energy thrash. With metal hitting hard in the ’70s there has been a ton of albums to pick from. Everyone’s list is different, these top 10 albums were influential on my personal journey into metal! Do you agree? Let me know in the comments!

10. Linkin Park – Meteora [LINK]

Quite possibly the most commercially successful album on this list, Meteora was released in 2002 by Linkin Park. Since its release, it has sold over 27 million copies worldwide and is the highest-ranking album on Billboards Alternative Songs chart. This second studio release from the band contains the tracks “Faint,” “Numb,” and “Breaking the Habit.”




9. Metallica – The Black Album [LINK]

Released in 1991, the Black Album debuted at number 1 on music charts in ten countries. It marked a significant change in the band’s sound with a stringer focus on slower and more hard rock-based songs. The album features iconic tracks such as “The Unforgiven,” “Nothing Else Matters,” and “Enter Sandman.”




8. Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath [LINK]

Released in 1970, this debut self-titled record has been identified as the very first heavy metal record. Recorded in a single day, this album contains classic metal tracks such as “NIB,” “The Wizard,” and “Black Sabbath.” At its height, it reached number 8 on the UK album charts and number 23 on the Billboard charts.





7. Opeth – Blackwater Park [LINK]

Produced by Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree), Blackwater Park was released in 2001. The record did not hit any charts when it first debuted, but has instead slowly built a cult following and is highly revered as one of the band’s best works.





6. Iced Earth – Horror Show [LINK]

This is the sixth studio record from Iced Earth, released in 2001. It stood out because of the strict horror movie theme and its strong step towards a more power metal sound. The record has fan-favorite tracks such as “Dracula,” “Jack,” and “The Phantom Opera Ghost.”





5. Iron Maiden – Fear of the Dark [LINK]

Released in 1992, Fear of the Dark is this ninth studio record from Heavy Metal pioneers Iron Maiden. This album featured some experimental tracks for the band’s normal sound, such as “Be Quick or Be Dead,” and “Wasting Love.” This was also singer Bruce Dickinson’s last album before taking a seven-year break from the band. He returned in 1999.




4. Periphery
– Periphery II: This Time It’s Personal

P2 was released in 2012 and named by Guitar World Magazine as their #3 album of the year. This album welcomed in the band’s current recording line-up and cemented the bands signature sound.





3. Between the Buried and Me – Colors [LINK]

Revered by many as the band’s magnum opus, Colors has been widely quoted as being groundbreaking within the metal genre. The album was produced by Jamie King and was the first Billboard charting record from BTBAM.





2. In Flames – Come Clarity [LINK]

Debuting at #58 on the Billboard Top 200 chart in February of 2006, this is eighth studio album from Swedish icons In Flames. Demonstrating their compositional prowess with tracks such as “Take This Life,” “Come Clarity,” and “Crawl Through Knives.”





1. Killswitch Engage – Alive or Just Breathing [LINK]

Alive or Just Breathing is the second record, and first label release from metalcore icons Killswitch Engage. With strong backing from Roadrunner Records, the album quickly gained public notice and has become a staple within the metalcore genre.





Do you agree with our list? Let us know in the comments below. What are your top 3 favorite Heavy Metal Albums?

article by jd mcgibney [website]

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