Greatest Metallica Albums

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

The Top Ten

1 Ride the Lightning Ride the Lightning Product Image

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...

If Metallica (plus a few other songs) discography was based on what if album tone videos... up to the Black Album.

What if... was on Metallica albums?

Kill Em All Album (tone via YouTube)

Hit The Lights
The Four Horsemen
Jump In The Fire
Anesthesia (Pulling Teeth)
Phantom Lord
No Remorse
Aces High
Am I Evil

Ride The Lightning Album (tone via YouTube)

Ride The Lightning
For Whom The Bell Tolls
Fade To Black
Seek And Destroy
Creeping Death
Spit Out The Bone
The Call of Ktulu

Master Of Puppets Album (tone via YouTube)

Fight Fire With Fire
Master of Puppets
Welcome Home Sanitarium
Disposable Heroes
Trapped Under Ice
Leper Messiah
Dyers Eve
Damage Inc

... And Justice For All Album (tone via YouTube)

... And Justice For All
Moth Into Flame
The ...more

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...

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

2 Master of Puppets Master of Puppets Product Image

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.

Most fans will say that Metallica sold out with the black album, but it was Master of Puppets when everything started going wrong. MoP is essentially a clone of Ride The Lightning, but without it's intensity and dark atmosphere. Production feels very weak and most of the songs try to copy Master of Puppets and fail. The only good songs are Disposable Heroes and the ending of Leper Messiah. Here is what the list should be.

1. Ride the Lightning
2. Kill 'Em All
3-10. Trash music

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.

3 ...And Justice for All ...And Justice for All Product Image

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!

"their heaviest album" Kill 'em All is objectively heavier
"the first progressive metal album ever made" long songs don't make it progressive, they don't incorporate elements from other genres or contain lots of multiple different sections

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

This album gets labelled as near-prog too often. Just because you abuse song lengths by stretching riffs and vocal lines to the max to waste time, it does not make it progressive. Many people, whenever they see a song is 7-9 minutes, are led to the misconception that it has multiple different sections, even if it obviously just an overgrown verse-chorus song. Short acoustic intros (title track) can also fool people. Only Blackened has more structure compared to its length apart from One, but is not any more complex than your average 6-minute thrasher. The title track and The Frayed Ends of Sanity are the same song two times with a solo in between.

4 Metallica (Black Album) Metallica (Black Album) Product Image

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

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!

Kind of surprised tat this is down at 4th. One key characteristic of this album is every song sounds different. This was not the case in some of their earlier albums. And Justice For All is most guilty of this as all songs on it sound the same except with different lyrics and slightly altered rhythm, with the exception of One.

Their black album generated not only some of their best songs, but the highest quantity of great songs from one album, beginning with their opener, Enter Sandman. Then comes Sad But True, Holier Than Thou, The Unforgiven, Wherever I May Roam, Through the Never, and Nothing Else Matters.

Some people say that this is not a good album and that it was just more radio-friendly, but as someone who owns all Metallica studio albums (except St. Anger, because let's just forget about that), their black album is still my favorite because they focus on the rhythm of their songs rather than making them fast and thrashy. Now don't get me wrong, I love thrash ...more

Better than at least three of their first four albums. Definitely should share the top spot with Ride the Lightning.

5 Kill 'Em All Kill 'Em All Product Image

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

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

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!

Raw, thrashy and powerful, with great riffs, lots of fast solos and a very atmospheric sound. You can feel their anger and how they wanted to make their place. Established a new genre. My second favourite after RTL.

6 Death Magnetic Death Magnetic Product Image

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!

1. Death Magnetic (heavy and catchy and I love the majority of the album)
2. Hardwired (I enjoy every song)
3. Master of Puppets (solid album)
4. AJFA (Has a few that I like very much)
5. Black album (decent album with 2 great songs God That Failed and Unforgiven)

This is my favourite Metallica album because it is really heavy and trashy at the same time.

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...

7 Load Load Product Image

Load really is a fantastic album. The reception of this album when it was released became such a bizarre cultural phenomenon., Fans issued very strong and oddly passionate opinions on how Metallica somehow betrayed them or how they sold out because they changed it up a bit and got haircuts. Load is the logical successor to the Black album. It's amusing to me that nobody saw this coming.

Load has stood up remarkably well 20+ years later, call it whatever you want -- metal, hard rock, alternative -- it doesn't matter what it is; it's an album only Metallica could create. Load and Reload have some of the finest guitar sounds in their entire discography. The production is fantastic and no other albums, have those rich, deep, heavy tones like Load does. Even Reload was a bit thinner in places.

The songs are much more fleshed out, sometimes too much so, but it's a picture of a now matured and life wearied group who commited to new ideas and directions but still keep their ...more

Not as popular as some of the 80's stuff (which I also love) but Load is their best album, every song is just amazing! Outlaw Torn, Hero of the Day, Bleeding Me! Hearing these songs live (which is rare I know) just gives me chills

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.

8 Hardwired... to Self-Destruct Hardwired... to Self-Destruct Product Image

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

While this record is pretty divisive, I'd say it's extremely underrated and brought the band back to the forefront.

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.

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!

9 Reload Reload Product Image

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 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

Dude, this is really their best album. I mean, I have no clue why albums like st. Anger, Load, and others are ahead of this. Some albums like master of puppets and black album may give this one some competition, but 9th? You gotta be kidding

10 Garage, Inc. Garage, Inc. Product Image

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!

The Contenders

11 St. Anger St. Anger Product Image

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

Sheer power. Who needs solo's if rhythm itself grabs you by the throat.

The heaviest Metallica album, there are even Alternative Metal Songs in there.

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.

12 S&M S&M Product Image

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

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

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

13 Beyond Magnetic Beyond Magnetic Product Image

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.

14 Live S***: Binge & Purge Live S***: Binge & Purge Product Image

1989 Version of Metallica is the best Metal band ever

An awesome live album.

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)

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

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

This is my best live album

17 No Life 'Til Leather No Life 'Til Leather Product Image

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 Quebec Magnetic Product Image
19 Cunning Stunts Cunning Stunts Product Image

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 Some Kind of Monster Product Image

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 Lulu Product Image

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.

I'm amongst the minority who think this album is actually pretty cool. Being a fan of Lou Reed and the Velvets as well as Metallica, I think the album achieves its purpose. It's a conceptual collaboration between groundbreaking musicians more than it is an album. Metallica churn up a wall of sound with some pretty wicked noise as the background to Lou's rambling.I don't find myself coming to it regularly, but here or there if I'm in the mood for it I'll throw it on and listen until I get tired of it. It's not a Metallica album. I've always seen it as a Lou thing.

Not just the worst Metallica album, it's the worst rock album EVER!

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

BAdd New Item