Greatest Metallica Albums

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Vote for your favourite Metallica album. This includes live, cover and EPs.

The Top Ten

1 Ride the Lightning Ride the Lightning

Greatest metal guitar sound ever made! Truly a masterpiece.
Totaly something new and trendsetter back in 1984 for the metal and the whole music like a parthenogenesis!
Of course master, kill, black and justice are equal but I had to choose only one album...

MoP's best songs are better than RtL's best songs, but all the songs in RtL are great...

1-Ride the Lightning, all the songs are great
2-Master of Puppets, best songs
3-Kill'em all, Anesthesia is just kickass
4-METALLICA/The Black Album, good bass
5-...and Justice for All, I'm bassist, maybe that's why I don't like AJFA so much, because of the lack of audible bass
6-Death Magnetic, good songs, it's like a mix of a new Metallica with the old Metallica
7-Load and ReLoad, some good songs
8-St Anger, I like St.Anger, Frantic and Invisible kid, but the rest of the album is ****, in a bad way

Also:
2.5(someplace between 2 and 3)-S&M, I love classical music, and the mix of the classical feeling with metal is great in this album
7.5(someplace between 7 and 8)-Garage stuff, think I don't like what Metallica likes, besides Turn the Page, Whiskey in the Jar and Tuesday's gone, I hate all the other covers...

- doodad

Perfectly summed up, although I'd have Puppets ahead of Lightning- but only just... I'm sure you wrestled with that one too.

I'm kinda sad this get's out-shined by Master of Puppets. I know it's personal preference, but This album, along with Kill em all, are the Metallica albums where I'm able to listen through the entire album. Maybe Escape's not that great, but it's not terrible, and the rest of the album is just incredible. Their greatest album.

1. Ride the Lightning- Besides Escape, the entire album contains masterpieces. Best songs: Like I said, everything I said besides Escape, but I still kinda like that song.

2. Kill em All- a lot like Ride the Lightning, I just prefer that album a little bit more. Best songs: Hit the Lights, Four Horsemen, Anethesia, Whiplash, Phantom Lord, No Remorse, Seek and Destroy, Metal Militia.

3. Master of Puppets- Rip me to shreds if you want, but am I the only one who doesn't like the title track? I just find it to be boring. Rest of the album's great though. Also, probably their best production. (Guitar sound, Bass sound, etc.) Best songs: Battery, ...more

Scratch that, MOP is garbage compared to this. - SwagFlicks

V 132 Comments
2 Master of Puppets Master of Puppets

The best album of the humanity. Just excellent, true masterpiece! Amazing sound and truly an inspiration for all music fans (not only metal)!

Metallica at their very best and where they finally worked together as a rare and unique whole. The pinnacle of songwriting and technique for them. Just look at 'Orion', 'Welcome Home Sanitarium' and the titular track for songwriting. For heaviness, 'The Thing That Should Not Be' and for riffs, the bridge in 'Damage Inc. ' (at 3:14) is arguably their most accomplished riff. Not to mention the groove that follows when the drums come in. And for solos 'Disposable Heroes' is where Hammett took his playing to the next level. The intensity just keeps building and building.

Their greatest album. Period.

Master of Puppets was to 80's metal what Paranoid was to 70's metal. Like that album, every song here has meaning. I like to think the album has a continuing theme of war and its effects. Almost like a full album dedicated to the subjects of For Whom the Bell Tolls on Ride the Lightning or One on And Justice For All. Disposable Heroes is obviously about forgotten soldiers. The title track is about drugs, something in which many a soldier has tried. Sanitarium is obviously about insanity. This could quite obviously refer to PTSD or other mental disorders associated with war. Maybe this isn't the album's intention but for me it makes it more enjoyable. Even if you don't agree with me, we must acknowledge its brilliance. Cliff Burton was never better on bass. I.e. Orion. But as a whole the band works great. After and justice for all the band could never recover what they created.

Well, I think this is their best album because all the songs are great. I love all of these. Ride The Lightning have great songs, but there are weaker songs too.

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3 ...And Justice for All ...And Justice for All

My favourite Metallica album, because it features Metallica in a time of despair; Cliff has died, their brutality and anger in the form of music presented as this album. James' riffage and songwriting is absolutely brutal and the complexity of their songs is unlike never before. Kirk's solos are even more wild, disregarding most of his previous pentatonic roots and following a more classical approach, and Lars' drumming... Just listen to Dyers Eve.

Blackened is an outright crazy song and absolutely sets the tone for the album; wild, fast and the main riff is an absolute bitch to play. The interlude makes the comeback seem so much more awesome, and Kirk's solo is wild and crazy.

And Justice For All follows Master of Puppets and Ride the Lightning; the title track having an awesome solo and an interlude in the middle where everything breaks down. In this song, it's so long that everything is on such a large scale.

One is by far one of the greatest songs ever ...more

My old comment I put on the black album was before I heard every metallica song, now after listening to each metallica song my studio album listing is:

1.... And Justice for All
2. Load
3. Death Magnetic
4. Master of Puppets
5. Ride the Lighting
6. Metallica (The Black Album)
7. Kill 'Em All
8. St. Anger
9. Re-Load

Reasons:

... And Justice for all has allot my my favs on there how is is 6th, Load is a very good album in my opinion, they are slow and have great meaning, death magnetic is pure awesome bringing back some of thier old sound, master of puppets was an epic, but I never really got into leper massiah and Dissposible hero's, ride the lightning is also an epic and all songs are good, but I never really got into some of the songs on the album, the black album's singles are very good but the rest of the album is boring to me, kill 'em all is brilliant, the opening metallica album, but the sound quality is not that great but otherwise ...more - dragon13304

The last of the classic trilogy and the end of an era for Metallica. Their heaviest album, the first progressive metal album ever made and with the most complex rhythm parts this album is a diamond!

Metallicas best but there are several other albums just behind this one.
So by having to pick only one it has to be ajfa but just.

V 97 Comments
4 Metallica (Black Album) Metallica (Black Album)

Black Album had 5 hit-singles by itself
Enter Sandman
Nothing Else Matters
Unforgiven
Sad But True
Wherever I May Roam - Rigney89

That doesn't mean the album is better than the others because it's more popular - MorbidCannibalSlayer

The Black Album.
The reason that 90% of metalheads from 1991 and beyond starts to listen to metal. This album maybe is not as thrash as their 80s stuff holy mother of god is heavy as hell! What can I say for the production and the songwriting. Black album is one the last great rock n roll in history! A truly classic!

Simply the best Metallica album I've ever heard, the lyrics are great, drums and guitar rhythms so nice. Try to listen the intro of wherever I may roam and listen to the beating of the drums haha so cool.. Master of puppets,... And justice for all and ride the lightning are great albums but the black or I may say the snake album is the greatest Metallica ever...

This album is overrated and not good. It was the beginning of Metallica's downfall as they abandoned thrash.

V 63 Comments
5 Kill 'Em All Kill 'Em All

The most metal album metallica ever made and of course the greatest metal album of all metal, period! What a raw and amazing sound!

Though I like this album, I'm sorry fans of the debut but Ride The Lightning is a COLOSSAL step up. Kill Em All is good, and is possibly the most atmospheric album they've made which I love it for, but it's problem is this: all the songs are tooaalike, they aren't adventurous. It's like Metallica came along and thought "we'll make an album to establish our sound " but not to blow everyone away or experiment. I know they're completely different but just as an example: when Linkin Park made their first studio album, straight away they thought you know what, we're gonna take the world by storm, every song is gonna be unique and blow people away, and they did it and that's why Hybrid Theory is huge. But Kill Em All is the opposite, the songs just aren't standout enough. Don't get me wrong, this album is good, it's dark and really atmospheric, but in terms of skill and bringing the elements together then Ride The Lightning is WAY better. Just compare Fade To Black from Ride The Lightning ...more - EvilAngel

This list is the worst joke on the internet! Kill 'em All is the greatest thing to be produced by Metallica through their entire career! (2. Ride The Lightning 3. Master of Puppets 4... And Justice for All)
you will get to listen to greatest thrash metal solos on this album, you will find Hetfield doing his best vocal job here and obviously Cliff's greatest bass tracks!

So, why its not no. 1?
I guess you people are voting albums on the basis of their popularity! That's just unfair! Come on, vote KeA up! - BrutalTruth

This and Justice are the best. There is little to no variation in sound on all of Master, and the Black Album is only up here because of all the people they picked up after Nothing Else Matters. Where my St. Anger fans at? Get out of here

V 71 Comments
6 Death Magnetic Death Magnetic

This definitely doesn't deserve sixth. This is better than that by far. We call ourselves true Metallica fans and then we just keep listening to their old music. This album should be fourth at least. Yes, master of puppets and black are better, but this album deserves better. In fact, this is one album where the songs are consistently amazing. In ride the lightning, there are some divine ones, but some that are not great. Here, almost every song is divine. I can bet my life, if cyanide, the day that never comes, judas kiss, all nightmare long, suicide and redemption, broken, beat and scarred, unforgiven 3, my apocalypse were in and justice for all, these songs would be worshipped. But no, we have this narrow view that Metallica is no longer the band that used to be. And this is where we fail them as fans.

MOP is better, but dude, Black Album is NOT better than this. This is better.

I never say Death Magnetic should be placed first, but this album can be considered as the return of metallica after their tedious St. Anger...
The solos in judas kiss and the day that never comes are just great... This album cemented metallica's rating as no 1 metal band... - mushthaqshaji

New Metallica is not always bad. If you compare between Enter Sandman and All Nightmare Long. It has same greatness and between The Day That Never Comes and Nothing Else Matters. It just same as great. In this album, they bring Black Album sound, St. Anger power and some of Master Of Puppets sounds. Yeah, just like the Re-Born of Metallica. And why Load is so high? Never listened The House Jack Built and Ronnie? Fuel and Dirty Window are better than that and these album (including DM) deserve higher than Load.

My Top Ten:
1. Ride The Lightning
2. Death Magnetic
3... And Justice For All
4. Master Of Puppets
5. Black
6. St. Anger
7. Reload
8. Load

Brilliant album from start to finish. If only fans didn't have this insular view that "old Metallica is good, new Metallica is bad", many would realize what an incredible album this is. All Nightmare Long, Broken, Beat & Scarred, The Day That Never Comes, My Apocalypse and That Was Just Your Life could EASILY be solid tracks on any of Metallica's first four (in fact, had they actually been on those albums, people would love these tracks a lot more) and the rest are by no means weak. Please revisit the album before voting; it's easy to forget how impressive this album when all the chatter's about their first four.

V 35 Comments
7 Load Load

The roots of this music. Simple as that. A truly masterpiece, a diamond record. Metallica knows how to be great songwriters there is variety, simplicity, incredible melodies and rhythms. Lyrics full of meaning. A record that you are able to find sabbath - skynyrd - grudge - hendrix and other more. People were unfair to this album. This is not a mop or justice or even a black album. This is sth else and you should estimate it with its own terms. A wonderful example why metallica are huge musicians and not just metallheads, sth that we are able to see also to other musical creation such as lulu snm garage inc and of course reload itself. A BAND WITH BALLS

If any other band had written this album, it would be hailed as one of the greats, but thanks to 'tallicas fantastic catalogue, it seems bleech compared to the rest. Still an awesome album.

I don't think load is anywhere close to the worst Metallica album. But I have to say I can't believe st. Anger has gotten any votes whatsoever. - Chris-1

This album is so underrated. It's sad that some so-called "fans" of Metallica hate this album just because it's not thrash.

V 24 Comments
8 Reload Reload

ReLoad is my personal favourite. The album has everything except thrash, but that is perfectly fine. There is no song in this album I don't like which is why I think this album is excellent as a whole. I also like Metallica's earlier albums, mainly because they contain my favourite songs by them, but they contain also some songs I dislike. This is the best album as an entity.

What? Load An d st. Anger are aheead of this? With songs like fuel, unforgiven 2, the memory remains and fixer its till on no. 10. Its one of Metallica's best ever albums.
Its first modern rock album. Vote for this people

Yeah it came after, but this album is better than Load hands down. Why is it 8th while load is 7th? The only song I even liked of that album was King Nothing, while in this album you've got Fuel, Unforgiven 2, and the memory remains?

Reload is better than load it should be number 7

V 14 Comments
9 Garage, Inc. Garage, Inc.

This is simply the easiest Metallica Album to listen to from start to finish. Every song on the record is awesome!

Another good album, and probably their last good one. Their remake of turn the page needs more recognition. So what is another good song, it's also has probably the most tasteless lyrics, but yeah a good song.

All songs on this album are cover (in case you didn't know) it is still a great album Tuesdays gone whiskey in the jar merciful fate and turn the page are great covers and Metallica made them better so seriously listen to those song this isn't that bad of an album better than st anger load and reload

Metallica can make any song sound great.

V 6 Comments
10 S&M S&M

The orchestra sound so awesome in the back.
metal and classical together who would've thunk it eh? - rocker1796

This album is so amazing because it has all of their best songs in my opinion AND the orchestra just makes them sound even more badass and incredible

Just think of the awesome sound of Metallica and the epicness of an orchestra...MOTHER OF GOD

Hear this epic Version of Call of Khtulu on this Album and you understand why this Albums must be better than 11

V 4 Comments

The Newcomers

? Hardwired... to Self-Destruct Hardwired... to Self-Destruct

I gotta be honest this album is so amazing, I absolutely love every song on this album there's not one bad song, Spit Out The Bone, Halo On Fire, Moth Into Fame, Atlas, Rise! And Dream No More are the best songs on the album, this album is better then the Black Album in my opinion!

Great album overall with some killer songs! Spit out the bone has to be one of the greatest metallica songs ever made and time will make it a classic. Accompanied with Atlas rise, moth into flame etc it is awesome. Some tracks make me feel dissatisfied with being too repetitive and plain for metallica's standards like manunkind and murder one. I feel it fell short of the greatness of death magnetic and some of the old classics but overall it is a master piece!

In my Opinion, this is the best thing they have done since Justice. Everything between had been good, they don't do anything less than that however this is just Awesome. I think the second disc is much better than what people are saying however yes the first disc is just perfection.

This is deserves the sixth position in my opinion. It's their best album since 1991. Every song is awesome with the exception of murder one and ManUNkind. Halo On Fire and spit out the bone are one of the best metallica songs ever in my opinion!

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The Contenders

11 St. Anger St. Anger

St. Anger is really underrated... Yeah it's different, but everyone needs to quit the bitching and listen to this album in full. Maybe I like it because I listen to most kinds of music... I don't now. But yeah stop the bitching

This album is full of anger, rage and has a frenetic rhythms, competes with many of the best albums of nu metal.
Unleashes all the rage you have inside.

Musically this album is very different. Not their best, but it deserves recognition; however, it's horrendously underrated. Songs like Frantic and St. Anger are great. Besides, this record emotionally is really good - the result of years of decay, alcohol, and the bassist leaving the band. It results in lyrics like "if I could have my wasted days back, would I use them to get back on track? " that are good.

How can this piece of $£|+ album have 2% of the votes the drums are horrible there is no bass this album has no guitar solos. The only song that isn't garbage is the unnamed feeling which is actually a pretty good song.

V 30 Comments
12 Live S***: Binge & Purge Live S***: Binge & Purge

How is this way down here? The Seattle video in paticular is my favorite live album of all time... by anyone! The only complaint I have against it is that the setlists from the 3 concerts are remarkably similar. Could have tried to throw in a few different ones on for each show (Hit the Lights, Fight Fire with Fire, Disposable Heroes, Damage Inc, Phantom Lord, No Remorse-all great songs that don't appear on this album)

Seattle 89' was absolutely amazing. Amazing set, crowd was into it, Tallica at their best.

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13 Beyond Magnetic Beyond Magnetic

Just got this EP... And it's safe to say it's a beast! I can't believe these weren't on death magnetic! My favorites in descending order are as follows:
Hate train
Rebel of babylon
Hell and back
Just a bullet away

This is an awesome album... All songs are brilliant...
Surprised how they were not included in death magnetic.
Just love the solo in "just a bullet away"

This is a good album I like it better than death magnetic they should have recorded two new songs and they could have made it a studio album.

V 6 Comments
14 Garage Days Re-Revisited Garage Days Re-Revisited
15 No Life 'Til Leather No Life 'Til Leather

4 words, dave mustaine is awesome

V 1 Comment
16 Through the Never (Music from the Motion Picture) Through the Never (Music from the Motion Picture)

I think it's great! Many of my favorite songs. And good quality!

V 1 Comment
17 Cunning Stunts Cunning Stunts

Come on guys, This is badass! It deserves to be higher on this list

V 2 Comments
18 Power Metal
19 Quebec Magnetic Quebec Magnetic
20 Presidio Album

Listened to Temptation, worst song ever. Didn't even make it to St. Anger.

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List StatsUpdated 23 Jan 2017

6,000 votes
23 listings
9 years, 170 days old

Top Remixes (158)

1. Kill 'Em All
2. Master of Puppets
3. Ride the Lightning
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1. Master of Puppets
2. Death Magnetic
3. ...And Justice for All
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1. ...And Justice for All
2. Master of Puppets
3. Ride the Lightning
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Thrash Talk #7 - And Justice For All (Metallica)
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