Top Ten Most Influential Metal Albums


The top ten most influential metal songs of all time. Remember that its all metal songs! Don't agree with the list? Vote for an existing item you think should be ranked higher or if you are a logged in, add a new item for others to vote on or create your own version of this list.

The Top Ten

Master of Puppets - Metallica
Even if it's not my favorite album, I gotta admit that there isn't a single album that influenced so many bands like this one do. It's a masterpiece, can't deny!
MoP... One of the few albums you can play all the way through without getting bored


Not my favorite from Metallica, but definitely most influential. How can you even consider Guns N Posers or led zeppelin metal anything thing? They belong in the hard rock catergory.
[Newest]Great album, but to be honest, without Black Sabbath, there would be no Master of Puppets.

2The Number of the Beast - Iron Maiden
See, Metallica is, although a great band, not as influential as the leaders of NWOBHM (sharing the title with the LEGENDARY Judas Priest).
When we say influential, there should either be a Black Sabbath album or a Judas Priest album or and Iron Maiden album up there. Metallica's Master Of Puppets, does not deserve the first place in my opinion
MUCH better than Master. In fact, Master wouldn't have happened without this. And since the list is most influential...
It has revolutionized the way we think about metal today.


[Newest]Just awesome in so many ways

3Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath
This may not be the best album. It may not even be close to Black Sabbath's best albums. But you can't possibly say that it is not the most influential. This album practically created Metal.


Though this album may not be the BEST metal album in terms of quality, still Black Sabbaths debut not being number 1 is outrageous. It was the first real heavy metal album in history, and an album made 16 years later by a band that was probably influenced BY Black Sabbath is just...
This is the album that started it all, all Metal comes from this. There can't be something more influential than this!
[Newest]This is not a greatest albums list, it is a most influential albums list. So why are master of puppets and number of the beast higher than the first heavy metal album. Master of puppets is better, but certainly not as influential as Black Sabbath

4Rust in Peace - Megadeth
Maybe there might be a better metal album someday, but I doubt it. It's gonna have to be called something other than metal because rust in peace IS metal.
Amazing album. The best in the world


I love James way of writing a song especially in his early days. And my surroundings always were into Metallica and not into Megadeth. It is a shame that this band really came up into my life when I was older >25, but since then it never left me. Metallica for sure is one of my favourite bands in Metal and it was like breathtaking, when I was first listening to the Master Of Puppets Album. But when I first listened to the whole Rust in Peace, it was like, how is someone even able to write such songs. It is not like yeah this riff is awesome, it is more like you listen to a great riff and then comes the solo which makes the song even better. I mean when you listen to a song, then you for sure will lay more interest in the riff structure and the solo is a cool fill but barely influence the sounding of a song. Friedman in my opinion is such a genius on the guitar and his shredding stuff is so unique. Dave wrote a song and then Marty came up and used Daves feelings in this song to make a solo that makes every song perfect from the beginning to the end. And that's just it, Master of Puppets is also so amazing, but Kirk isn't making a Solo in a kind that has happened on Rust in Peace. So for me Rust in Peace compared to all the Metal Albums I know so far, is "the one" that came closest to perfection.

5Reign In Blood - Slayer
You can't underestimate how influential this album is. A masterpiece.


Thus beast of an album influenced a lot of bands such as Pantera, Cannibal Corpse and many other extreme metal bands. It's not the most influential but gave birth to the roots of Death, Black and Groove Metal.
Inspired loads of Death metal and black metal bands with the Satanic imagery, fast paced and heavy songs
[Newest]Not my favourite album on the list but this is the album that basically created the death metal genre.


6Kill Em' All - Metallica
James Hetfield and Dave Mustaine were the greatest song writing duo that metal has ever seen. I'm glad we have two great bands now, but it's a shame that we didn't get to hear more of what these two could do together.
Kille Em' All is faster than Master of Puppets, even though I love and own all of the albums in this list, I like Kill Em' All


Dave gets WAY too much credit then he deserves


7Paranoid - Black Sabbath
This should be the top 3 why is it down here at 29!?
What? This the greatest metal album of all time
Ask anyone in metal what they think is the most influential metal album of all time. It'll be this, or Black Sabbath's Black Sabbath.
[Newest]This album is pioneer of heavy metal!

8Cowboys from Hell - Pantera
One of the most amazing albums ever. Has one of the very few metal songs on it that can actually make me almost cry when I listen to it.
Birth to Groove Metal and Awesomeness


9Scream Bloody Gore - Death
I'm tired of seeing people voting to their favorite albums instead of the influential ones.


The creation of death metal
This album created death metal

10Sad Wings of Destiny - Judas Priest
I my opinion it's the best album of all time. Without it, heavy metal wouldn't be the same today. In the end you can say, that this was the first real metal album.
Not the best but the most influential

They changed british metal from the bluesy sabbath to the newer melodic maiden
I wouldn't vote this as the greatest metal album, but it should be considered the most influential just for the scope of bands and musicians it influenced and its longevity.

The Contenders

11Ride the Lightning - Metallica

12Korn - Korn
It's the rawest most emotionally draining album ever made... Singing about personal demons is scarier than chanting about evil spirits... A revolutionary album that changed the phase of heavy music forever! Truly a masterpiece...


Heavy in a different way to every other album in this list and better than every other metal album I've ever heard. The songs make me want to slam my fist through a window
This album is started the new genre and generation.

13British Steel - Judas Priest
One of the best Heavy Metal albums ever also with Number of the Beast, Master of Puppets, Rust in Peace, Black Sabbath and Reign in Blood
MOP? Seriously? JP and Maiden are WAY MUCH MORE INFLUENTIAL!

14Appetite for Destruction - Guns N' Roses
This is how a metal album is done!


15Back in Black - AC/DC
Laugh Out Loud.. What is AC/DC doing on this list?
What is Guns N' Roses doing on this list?
What is Led Zeppelin Doing on this list?
Ok all of them are great rock bands.. But why they are in "most influential metal albums"


I think a lot if people misread most influential metal albums. Not all are metal but they influenced metal


16Black Metal - Venom
This should be at least in the top 5. Instead of voting for master of puppets just because you like it. Think of this, an influential album is one that has an impact on music, brings new techniques and styles to the table, and revolutionizes heavy metal. This album not only influenced thrash metal, particularly slayer, but it also coined the term Black Metal, and was the first album to use extreme satanic lyrics. This album was the main influence for all of the Scandinavian Black Metal Bands.


17Rising - Rainbow
An extremely influential metal album released in 1976 and a metal masterpiece.
It helped to define and strengthen this baby genre (metal) in the mid 70s.
Metal epicness was introduced with all its aspects - epic songs, epic vocal performances, and also epic, fast and technical instrumental sections (credits to Ritchie Blackmore and Dio).
On this album are songs like "Stargazer" and "A Light In The Black".
Credits for inventing several subgenres like power metal, neo-classical metal, and so on. Dio's star also began to rise.
For me this is a top 3 album because of its importance - without this album you can't explain the fast and non-bluesy sound of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden in the late 70s.


18Led Zeppelin IV - Led Zeppelin
It's not metal, not even close to metal. Led Zep did not influence metal and did not invent metal. They distance themselves from anything related to metal, too.
Among the greatest rock bands, definitely Queen sound closest to metal. Or, to put it that way: metal bands sound more like Queen than like Led Zep, ACDC or Guns N' Roses. No wonder Queen released a song in 1974 (Stone Cold Crazy), labeled "thrash metal before the term had been invented". It was 9 years before Metallica! Metallica obviously noticed the thrash potential of this song and did a cover. Cheers!
Forget about Led Zep and say hello to Queen!
Pink Floyd influenced prog metal.
Another rock band that really influenced metal was Thin Lizzy (A dozen of their songs are even considered metal). Some of their biggest fans are Metallica, Iron Maiden and Vader, to name a few.


19Morbid Tales - Celtic Frost

20Screaming for Vengeance - Judas Priest

21Bonded by Blood - Exodus

22Blizzard of Ozz - Ozzy Osbourne

23Powerslave - Iron Maiden

24All Hope Is Gone - Slipknot
No one was influenced by this.

25Bathory - Bathory

26Rage Against the Machine - Rage Against the Machine

27Images & Words - Dream Theater
This album made prog metal popular, it should be at least top 10


28Machine Head - Deep Purple
Highway Star - one of the first metal songs ever.
It's widely considered as the prototype of speed metal.


29Effigy of the Forgotten - Suffocation

30Dressed to Kill - Kiss

31Among the Living - Anthrax

32Death Penalty - Witchfinder General

33Dr. Feelgood - Motley Crue

34Roots - Sepultura
Influenced lamb of god and machine head from a groove standpoint, and it is sometimes considered the first nu-metal album


35Death Magnetic - Metallica
Marks the sheer longevity of Metallica's supreme skill in churning out immortal tracks that will be remembered in the annals of legendary metal songs. Ten years hence, All Nightmare Long, The Day That Never Comes, My Apocalypse, Suicide And Redemption, Cyanide and Broken, Beat and Scarred will be not only metallica but metal classics. Death Magnetic is an epic offering to the Metal Gods.

Oh wait, Metallica are the Metal Gods. My bad
An album by Metallica which has a masterpiece songs, idiots misunderstood this album. Because its by the new Metallica that still is the best metal band.
My favourite album of all time; however this is NOT an influential album.

36Keeper of the Seven Keys - Helloween
This is the best album for me! It's simple amazing! Helloween did a great work on it, principally on Eagle Fly Free, Keeper of the Seven Keys and March of Time

37Heaven and Hell - Black Sabbath

38Inri - Sarcofago

39An Ocean Between Us - As I Lay Dying

40Vulgar Display of Power - Pantera

41Overkill - Motörhead

42La Vie En Rose - D'erlanger

43Hybrid Theory - Linkin Park

44Cruelty and the Beast - Cradle of Filth
I love master of puppets but this just wipes the floor

45Operation: Mindcrime - Queensryche

46Suicidal Tendencies - Suicidal Tendencies

47Led Zeppelin I - Led Zeppelin

48Slipknot - Slipknot

49System of a Down - System of a Down
Classic metal album, totally heavy and unique from anything else out there

50One X - Three Days Grace

51Blue Blood - X Japan

52Art of Life - X Japan

53Vol. 3: the Subliminal Versus
What? All Hope is Gone is better than this album? Hey! This song contains Before I Forget, Duality, etc... Almost all of the song of this album are the best songs. But not all the songs from the All Hope is gone album are the good one.


54Meteora - Linkin Park

55Minutes to Midnight - Linkin Park

56Chaos A.D. - Sepultura
Seriously, this was not on the list and Roots were. Cavalera Bros. At their best.

57Alive or Just Breathing - Killswitch Engage

58Lightning to the Nations - Diamond Head
One of the first metal albums, inspired Metallica, Megadeath, and many more.

59Dethalbum III - Dethklok

60Ashes of the Wake - Lamb of God

61Human - Death

62The Sickness - Disturbed

63American Capitalist - Five Finger Death Punch

64Sagas - Equilibrium

65Awake - Skillet

66Comatose - Skillet

67Aenima - Tool

68Metropolis PT 2: Scenes from a Memory - Dream Theater

69Holy Diver - Dio

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This list was created 6 years, 258 days ago and has been voted on over 1,000 times. This top ten list has been remixed 6 times.

Updated Thursday, April 16, 2015

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