Greatest Metallica Albums

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

The Top Ten

1 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

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

As a Metallica Maniac I have no doubt that Ride is the Best...Although its very hard to choose a metallica album as the best but this one has four real masterpieces of all time Creeping Death, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Fade to Black and the epic Instrumental The Call of the Ktulu with the four horsemen perform their best (with Burton and Mustine still there)

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2 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.

Battery: 10/10
Master of Puppets: 8/10
The Thing That Should Not Be: 13/10
Welcome Home (Sanitarium): 8.5/10
Disposable Heroes: 7.5/10
Leper Messiah: 5/10
Orion: 9/10
Damage, Inc.: 9/10 - Glauberson

Flows very well.

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3 ...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

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!

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


... 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

A lot of people complain about the production.

First off, I actually think the snare sound is my favorite out of all their albums. I've never been a fan of the "fat sounding'' 80's snare. This snare sounds tighter then say, "Master of Puppets.''

Second, everyone says there's no bass. Okay, that may be true. It's obviously not as high in the mix as other albums. However, it also got mixed in with James' rhythm guitar parts. So, there is still certainly a low end.

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4 Metallica (Black Album)

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

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!

Metallica at their dope point - Pointingfingers

There are 3 songs on the album that I just enjoy
I totally adore the remaining 9

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5 Kill 'Em All

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

Easily the best Metallica album and definitely much better than the black album. It is the fastest and most aggressive LP they have ever put out and has like 10 songs but isn't too long. Every song is amazing and I never find myself skipping one. Pure metal front the back and is criminally underrated in my opinion. (plus you can also here Mustaine's influence all over this record, great stuff! )

Hit the Lights: 5.5/10
The Four Horsemen: 8/10
Motorbreath: 9/10
Jump in the Fire: 7.5/10
(Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth: 7.5/10
Whiplash: 9/10
Phantom Lord: 9.5/10
No Remorse: 11/10
Seek & Destroy: 9/10
Metal Militia: 8.5/10 - Glauberson

By far the best album by Metallica

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6 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.

Ride the Lightning has songs that are "not great"? Every single song on that album rocks! - Brobusky

Boring album. - MetalMan

This album is so important to metallica... After 20 years, the kings of thrash metal were back!
Also this albums have the best solos overall. U3, TDTNC, my apocalypse, etc, kirk just shows why he is considered one of the best guitarists of all time. Also James solo in suicide & redemption proves that the riff machine can do great solos.
Here are my grades for each song on the album
-that was just your life (9/10)
-the end of the line (8.5/10)
-broken, beat & scared (7.5/10)
-the day that never comes (10/10)
-all nightmare long (10/10)
-cyanide (9.5/10)
-the unforgiven III (9.5/10)
-the judas kiss (8/10)
-suicide & redemption (9.5/10)
-my apocalypse (9/10)
Now my personal favorite metallica albums
1- master of puppets (all time best album with wish you were here) (10.5/10)
2- death magnetic (I explained everything) (9/10)
3- ride the lightning (amazing songs but... escape is just bad) (9/10)
4- and justice for all (amazing songs like ...more

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

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7 Load

Bleeding me, Outlaw Torn and Until it Sleeps on the *same* album? You can't beat that.

The fact that Death Magnetic is ahead of Load is mind blowing to me. - Ronuh

Although I understand the 80's albums are the most influental from Metallica, I have to admit that this is the album I enjoy the most.

Underrated to the Max!

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8 Hardwired... to Self-Destruct

Here's my opinion:
Hardwired: Short, but kickass. All thrash and no holding back in this song. Could be longer. 9/10

Atlas, Rise: When they released this song, I wasn't feeling it because of Hardwired and Moth into Flame. After a while of listening to it, I started liking it a lot and it became one of my favorite songs. Amazing opening riff and guitar solos throughout. 9/10

Now That We're Dead: Took me the longest to like. I love the riff of the song. It's my favorite riff to play from the album on my guitar. Whammy guitar solo is badass, but to be honest, it's a little bland compared to the others. 8/10

Moth into Flame: One of the best songs released since songs on the Black Album. Great lyrics, guitar harmony, wah wah guitar solo, amazing intro. What more could you ask for? 10/10

Dream no More: Probably the more inventive song on A Side of the album. James takes his lyrics to a new higher pitch level in the verses, until the chorus, then it's crunch ...more

A band this late in their career releasing an album this phenomenal shows just how great of a band Metallica is. Their best album in my opinion based on sound, rhythm, production.

Load and Death Magnetic are above Hardwired? How?

Metalica's best album sonically since the Black Album, their best album musically since Justice. Every song on here has different roots, you can hear some old school Thrash riffs and solos reminiscint of the Kill/Ride/Master days, in songs like Hardwired, Atlas! Rise, and Halo on Fire, and songs like Spit Out The Bone just have Justice written all over them (sounds a lot like Dyers Eve! ). Now That Were Dead, Confusion, and Here Comes Revenge are three songs that I could see fitting perfectly on the Black Album, and there are even some traces of the Load/ReLoad Days, good traces, very good traces, in songs like Am I Savage? and Man Unkind. My favorite song on here is Moth Into Flame, which combines all of the best sounds from all of the different eras of Metallica and brings em into one awesome track! This is an amazing album, and if you get the Deluxe Version you get so many other cool 2016 live tracks of Kill/Ride songs, and some covers.

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9 Reload

Way better than load
Songs like fuel,devil's dance,slither,carpe diem baby and where the wild things are make this album so good - Idiot244

Slither and where the wild things are are two of their worst songs - lilrocketman

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.

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?

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

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10 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

Awesome Covers!

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The Contenders

11 St. Anger

Love this album. Better than kill em all, load, reload, death magnetic and hardwired - lilrocketman

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

A few good songs actually: st anger, some kind of monster... But the drums make it sound like crap. - danimey

Simply Metallicas best effort, it changed the course of metal and rock music forever

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12 S&M

This is most of the best Metallica songs stuck onto one album in the best recordings of most of them ever with one of the best orchestral pieces ever written by any composer, props to the now passed Michael Kamen for what he managed to achieve with Metallica here.

No leaf clover is better than any of their songs since load age

Rock with Rich of harmonics sounds.. just amazing..

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

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13 Beyond Magnetic

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"

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 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.

They should've made it a follow up to Death Magnetic instead of an EP. Because the songs that didn't make the cut for Death Magnetic (for some reason) are very cool. It would be like Load and Reload, But better. - GuyInANateGrinder

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14 Live S***: Binge & Purge

1989 Version of Metallica is the best Metal band ever - RichHomelessGreedyMan

Live in Seattle 1989...

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.

15 Garage Days Re-Revisited
16 Through the Never (Music from the Motion Picture)

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

This is my best live album

17 No Life 'Til Leather

4 words, dave mustaine is awesome

2 words: Dave Mustaine

The humble beginnings of Metallica are apparant on this great tape. Even as demo, it sounds awesome! Dave Mustaine killed it on the guitar.

18 Quebec Magnetic
19 Cunning Stunts

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

Awesome Concert!

One of my favorite conserts ever.

20 Some Kind of Monster

Lets do everything it takes to make Lulu last! Some Kind of Monster is actually a really good song, and probably my favorite on St. Anger

A good Live album. Has an edited version of Some Kind of Monster, which was better than the original, and six good songs from the original three albums. The worst track out of the live ones was Leper Messiah, and I still enjoyed it.

I just want to correct that guy below is not only a song it is a live album and the leper messiah version is amazing.actually is the first CD I ever owned

Wasn't it a documentary?

21 Lulu

Worst album in Metallica discography in my poinion

Terrible album I was so disappointed when I heard it, it's should never have even happened.

Actually, this is more of a Lou Reed album. The only parts Metallica worked on were compositions of the songs. Lou Reed wrote all of the lyrics and did composition work. - PhoenixAura81

Lulu isn't a personal Metallica album. It has no business being on this list - Sabbath

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22 Presidio Album

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

23 Power Metal

For people wondering it's a demo from a long time ago - Metalfan2112

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