Best European Metal Albums of All Time

No Black Sabbath on this list folks. These are the best extreme metal albums ever to cross the pond.

The Top Ten

1 Iron Maiden - The Number of the Beast

How can this masterpiece be 4th? WTF is wrong with the world today? Bullet for my valentine is crap, Opeth is good, In flames and children of bodom are great, but they are a shadow of Iron Maiden! Up the irons!

Number of the Beast below Opeth and BFMV? Come on people, do you even know what metal is?

Laugh out loud, hardly call Iron Maiden extreme metal, whatever.


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2 Black Sabbath - Paranoid

Greatest album ever, across all genres, from all over the world - Boop

And "The Number Of The Beast" Is Literally NOTHING Compared To Paranoid. And Yet This Is 2 And That Piece Of Garbage Is 1? - 12cc

Black Sabbath (with Ozzy) cannot be touched when it comes to Heavy Metal. The legendary riffs, the spot on lyrics, the unique vocals... They define Metal and are still selling out venues to this day.

3 Rainbow - Rising

I'm SHOCK! This is the first power metal album ever is should be in the first places remove iron maiden brave new world and replace it with rainbow rising!

Brilliant and influential album - helped to define and strengthen this baby genre (metal) in the mid 70s.
Metal epicness was introduced with all its aspects - epic songs (credits to Ritchie Blackmore) and epic vocal performances (credits to Dio): ex. "Stargazer".

Another metal feature was also showcased here: Epic, fast and technical instrumental sections (ex. "A Light In The Black" with its awesome 4 minute long instrumental section in the middle - overall, impressive musicianship).
"Tarot Woman" is another great piece. - Metal_Treasure

4 Black Sabbath - Heaven and Hell

Best vocalist of all time in the best metal band of all time, then, best metal album ever!

Definitely their best and also most metal sounding album - almost all blues, psychedelic, jazz and funk elements found in their previous albums were successfully removed.
And yes, Dio's impeccable vocals gave this album a perfect finish. - Metal_Treasure

5 Judas Priest - Painkiller

Hah! What a joke, Children of Bodom and In Flames are ahead of the 'Metal Gods'! Get a life idiots. This is the albums which defined the Heavy Metal genre along with Black Sabbath's Paranoid.

Exactly, why are all modern bands above all the classic bands from the classic era 70's - 80's in these top tens.

Best heavy metal album all time

This album is really good, and one of my favorit metal albums of all time, but the other comment is wrong, this album was made in 1990 I believe, so it was not really one of the first metal albums of all time. But anyway its genius and I wish Judas Priest would have made more albums like this. Ecpecially the solo¬'s and vocals on this album is insane

6 Iron Maiden - Powerslave

Such a classic album. Maiden at their finest. "Aces High" and "2 Minutes to Midnight" are the songs that really got me into Maiden. These songs never get old. Great album art, too.

My history teacher in 1987 used to play alexander the great and take a break in his office for 10 minutes and called this a lesson. Classic album

last of their immortalizing thrilogy and, in my humble opinion, the best of their works, hands down!

7 Opeth - Morningrise

Not really my favorite album but there's no other opeth album on this list.. the night and the silent water is amazing.. but my favt opeth songs are the apostle in triumph, the moor and the entire blackwater park album.. OPETH RULES (not just Europe laugh out loud) - theapostleintriumph

MOZART of METAL... nuff said.. - metaniac

the greatest death metal band there is, Akerfeldt is a genius - Thurman91


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8 Black Sabbath - Master of Reality

The second best black sabbath

Much better than Paranoid - somekindofaguy

My favorite is the frosties tune -they're gonna taste great

9 Blind Guardian - Nightfall in Middle Earth

Now this is an unique band, it's hard even trying to place them into an specific metal genre. Their concerts are like a comunion with the fans, if you've ever been to one of their shows you know what I'm talking about. You might not jump as hard but you'll definitely sing one and every single chorus at least.

Mirror Mirror on the wall, Who's the best metal band?
That's the Blind Guardian!
From the Third Album to this album is best of best of them!

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10 Ace of Spades - Motorhead

A legendary album but I'm afraid it's not really metal. Lemmy himself states that they have never been a metal band - just faster / heavier Rock 'N Roll with some punk influence. - Metal_Treasure

The Contenders

11 In Flames - The Jester Race

Glad to see a well balanced Top 10 - classic albums on the top as it should be (The Number of the Beast, Heaven and Hell, Painkiller, Rising); 2 modern extreme metal bands (Opeth and In Flames); 2 modern non-extreme metal bands: Blind Guardian - developing something new and unique, and Primal Fear - keeping traditions alive and updated. Only Deep Purple's Machine Head is missing in the current top 10 in order to say - well done. - Metal_Treasure

How are Blind Guardian modern? They been around since the late 80's. - Rambles

This band spearheaded the Melodic Death Metal invasion and it can all be drawn back to this album. The definition of Swedish Death Metal is "The Jester Race"!

12 Primal Fear - Seven Seals

Released in 2005, this has been the most successful attempt to revive traditional metal of Judas Priest type by adding some fresh air. Songs are perfectly written and performed - memorable riffs, choruses, solos. Awesome twin lead guitars, harmonies. All band members showcase musicianship - remarkable vox, drums, guitars, bass.

There is no bad song on this album but 'All For One' stands out with its riff and even more - with the creative drumming in the middle. 'Diabolus' is flawless, too - epic and beautiful start to finish. 'Evil Spell' is a cool experiment - thrash beats on a non thrash song (I like it) . 'Demons And Angels' is pretty fast and touches on speed metal. - Metal_Treasure

13 Hatebreeder - Children of Bodom

Some of the finest guitar (and keyboard) work ever. This is balls to the wall, relentless, melt you're face off stuff. Very well written, a true wall of sound.

14 Deep Purple - Machine Head

"Highway Star" alone should win a spot in the top 10 - not only because it's an awesome track but because it's a metal definition: an entirely non-bluesy song based on Bach-like chord sequences.

Later this non-bluesy sound became the most important feature of metal music - Rainbow, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden made it more evident. Metal in general became a genre based on classical music - behind the riffs of Holy Wars and Master of Puppets you can hear classical music. Ritchie Blackmore is a pure genius.

"Highway Star" is widely considered as 'early speed metal'. Add to this it's memorable riff, breathtaking technical solo and Gillan's great vocals.
The legendary "Smoke On The Water" is on this album, too. - Metal_Treasure

the very best album by one of the very few heavy metal groups of all time. and, yes, they are British. also, they freaking rock. - qaz9999

15 Sonata Arctica - Silence

No doubt their best work and one of the best power metal albums ever! The vocals are breath-taking and the instruments are close to perfect! This album has it all from soft ballads like tallulah to power-metal anthems like black sheep. Perfect!

i just love tony kakko....and i love the way jani plays....and the songs are just wonderful. it's something that opened my eyes and made me see that there are different styles of metal not just death i really love power/symphonic..

Greatest Power metal album hands down. and great representation of the European style of metal!

16 Wishmaster - Nightwish

Get this band more popular! They deserve it! These guys are extremely talented artists with keyboard and operatic beauty mixed with epic heavy metal riffs! Even withe the new girl the music is still wonderful.

Beautiful album. Strong sensual music. Charming then another voice Tarja Turunen. So maybe she sings forever...


17 King Diamond - Abigail
18 Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath
19 Iron Maiden - Brave New World

The Album where Bruce Dickenson came back. This gave the band that euphoric feeling that inspires the greatest music. And the songs "Out of the Silent" "Blood Brothers" and "Thin Line Between Love and Hate" were some of the catchiest songs they've ever made! And of course their lyrics had deep spiritual meaning that gave goose bumps and pricked you to the bone.

20 Cradle of Filth - Cruelty and the Beast

Get over yourselves, his vocals kick ass. One of the darkest (and greatest) metal albums I've ever heard. A must have for any metal head's collection.

21 Blind Guardian - At the Edge of Time

A perfect album, 5/5: Wheel of Time, Sacred Worlds, Ride Into Obsession, Tanelorn, Valkyries, Curse my Name, War Of The Thrones, A Voice in the Dark - Metal_Treasure

22 Children of Bodom - Follow The Reaper

I love CoB most among all these selected bands and I think this album is best of CoB not sure about all of other bands Because I have heard a few of them

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23 Bullet For My Valentine - Scream Aim Fire

Over the top! Over the top! Right now is killing time! This song is amazing and the list of the songs on the album is amazing.

What the hell Fever Is doing down below... It's the very good album by bullet For My Valentine but fever is their best..

Yeah... Buller RULES...
Is The Best Metal Album For Me...

Does anybody else think that this band is a disgrace to metal music and should be kept far from the top 10? - Metal_Treasure

24 Iron Maiden - Killers
25 Blind Guardian - Beyond the Red Mirror
26 Judas Priest - British Steel
27 Arch Enemy - Wages of Sin

An album that is the ultimate combination of Swedish Death metal and hardcore. Great songwriting mixed with astonshing angry vocals. I punched a wall when I heard track tweleve...

28 Gamma Ray - Land of the Free
29 HammerFall - Chapter V: Unbent, Unbowed, Unbroken
30 Judas Priest - Screaming for Vengeance
31 Dimmu Borgir - Enthrone Darkness Triumphant

Modern Black Metal's leading force. Insane drums, awesome keyboards, original guitar, diabolical vocals... "Triumphant" in every way.

the sound this band produced on this album is unlike anything ever heard.

32 Mayhem De Mysteriis - Dom Sathanas
33 Cradle of Filth - Nymphetamine

This is my favorite gothic metal ever, this album really had that hot topic quality to it and that what I was into back in Jr high so Nyphetamine best album from Europe

34 Seventh Son of a Seventh Son - Iron Maiden

81? Impossible. - Kinaivan

Are you kidding? The Number of the Beast doesn't even come close to this. Absolutely brilliant album, probably Maiden's best

Best European Metal albums in my opinion (in no particular order):

Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
Nightfall in Middle Earth (Blind Guardian)
Keeper of the Seven Keys 1&2 (Helloween)
Painkiller & Screaming for Vengeance (Judas Priest)
Paranoid (Black Sabbath)
The Metal Opera pt. 1 (Avantasia)
Diary of a Madman (Ozzy)

35 Helloween - Keeper of the Seven Keys Part II
36 Helloween - Keeper of the Seven Keys

This is real metal! Real POWER METAL!
Are you understend that? I am in shock!
Helloween must be 1
Iron Maiden - 2
And Judas priest -3!

37 Necrophagist - Epitaph

This band is mind-numbing! Never before has there been a band with such finger-twisting guitar and such brutally insane death metal vocals. Simply amazing.

38 Coroner - Mental Vortex

This is the most technical album on this list - considered as one of the most technical and proficient albums of thrash metal. There were not many thrash bands in Europe in the 80s and early 90s.
This album is so good that should be in the top 10 (for its high level of complexity and musicianship).
Coroner is not among the most popular European bands but is among the best.

They are a thrash/technical thrash band from Switzerland, active from 1983-1996, 2010-present. - Metal_Treasure

Certainly one of the best technical thrash albums of all times, slightly under "Grin" for my personal taste, but still SO dark, stunning and brilliant. Thanks to these swiss thrashers!

39 Immortal - At the Heart of Winter

Pioneers of Black Metal in the nineties, this band reaches greatness with "At the Heart of Winter". Singer/Songwriter Abbath displays the best black metal vocals ever recorded.

40 Kalmah - Swampsong

A band that has found a perfect median between speed and harmony. And because they just keep getting better, this most recent release is their greatest piece of art. Finland's finest!

41 Scorpions - Blackout


42 King Diamond - Them
43 Bathory - Under the Sign of the Black Mark
44 Opeth - Blackwater Park
45 Bullet For My Valentine - Fever
46 Rammstein - Mutter
47 Black Sabbath - Sabotage

A battle of the inner soul and the bringing of enlightenment!

48 In Flames - Whoracle

A standout among standouts. One of many brilliant releases by In Flames. Not just good musicianship but very original writing and composition

49 Sodom - Agent Orange
50 Celtic Frost - To Mega Therion
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List Stats

1,000 votes
100 listings
12 years, 128 days old

Top Remixes (6)

1. Rainbow - Rising
2. Black Sabbath - Heaven and Hell
3. Blind Guardian - Nightfall in Middle Earth
1. Black Sabbath - Paranoid
2. Iron Maiden - The Number of the Beast
3. Judas Priest - Painkiller
1. Iron Maiden - Powerslave
2. Iron Maiden - The Number of the Beast
3. Black Sabbath - Paranoid

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