Top 10 Most Important Albums in Extreme Metal History

1) albums that contained foundations of new extreme metal subgenres
2) albums that perfected new extreme metal subgenres
3) albums that popularized new extreme metal subgenres.

The Top Ten

Reign in Blood - Slayer Reign in Blood - Slayer Product Image

Still hits harder than most black, death, and grind.

Welcome to Hell - Venom Welcome to Hell - Venom Product Image

Template for all extreme metal genres. The first speed/trash/death/black metal album.

It's prominently described as speed metal, but it effected thrash more with more emergence of death metal as well.. I really love this album, I think every person who has listened to this album would say that it's made way too rough...lemme say - it was recorded in only three days...as a debut..It's awesome, I have this album, and of course who can forget Witching hour?

1981 - an album with speed metal and thrash metal songs.

Kill 'em All - Metallica Kill 'em All - Metallica Product Image

According to Metal Hammer's review of the 80s (issue of 1990-don't know exactly when as I kept only these pages for my small metal archive-the most important albums for extreme metal was (no particular order):
-WELCOME TO HELL (Venom)
-KILL 'EM ALL (Metallica)
-SHOW NO MERCY (Slayer)
I don't know why the third one is generaly underrated (253 in the list with greatest metal albums).

Not exactly extreme metal.

Thrash metal is considered extreme metal subgenre. It has "sonic, verbal and visual transgression", which somewhat defines "extreme" in metal. - Metal_Treasure

1983 - the album that popularized thrash metal.

The rest are garbage screamers

Bathory - Bathory Bathory - Bathory Product Image

@Ananya - I agree there are thrash elements and I wouldn't debate on this (thrash or speed) because the difference between thrash and speed metal was even smaller back then - thrash was a development of speed metal. Whatever it was, this album was very important, mostly for the black metal ideas in it.

MT, It's basically a black metal album, with some elements of thrash, NOT speed metal.

1984 - album with black metal and other elements (thrash, speed metal).

Morbid Tales - Celtic Frost Morbid Tales - Celtic Frost Product Image

1984 - the album contained black metal and thrash metal.
"The thrash metal intensity of Morbid Tales had a major influence on the then-developing death metal and black metal genres. It included elements that were adopted by the pioneers of both styles. The band's bleak and dead serious fashion style was also influential, including their corpse paint face makeup." (wiki)

Seven Churches - Possessed Seven Churches - Possessed Product Image

1985 - the official birth of death metal but Possessed had a demo released earlier: in 1984.

All hail Becerra, Torraro, Lalonde and Sus for their original legacy!

Black Metal - Venom Black Metal - Venom Product Image

One of the most amazing albums of all time!
People still debate if it's thrash or black, while most of the music in it influenced thrash, death and black metal...The lyrics influenced black metal...don't debate on it fellas...

This was the best albums from venom I playing al days when I was a young man my parents get mad about the so loud music. and when we play that record a trange thing happening in my house when I was alone a home with my girlfriend the devil came in my house. I was laughing but not my girlfriend. I was fan from that group I seen them the first live but now is not the same. sorry when the spelling our somme word is not koret

1982 - thrash metal and black metal.
Oddly enough, the title track (Black Metal) is a thrash song and not a black metal song.

Altars of Madness - Morbid Angel Altars of Madness - Morbid Angel Product Image

Death and Possessed may have been first, but this is where the line was definitively drawn. Also, just consider how innovative and technical it was compared to other death metal of its time.

This album was released in 1989 and set a new precedent for heaviness and extremity both musically and lyrically.Definitely one of the most influential metal albums of all times.Between Reign in Blood and this one two albums of Death were released but they didn't manage to be recognized for their importance in extreme metal history at that time.The flames of Slayer and Morbid Angel (and don't forget Metallica) burned a lot.
I'not a fan of Morbid Angel but this album is underrated the last decades.

Scream Bloody Gore - Death Scream Bloody Gore - Death Product Image

1987 - perfected death metal and made it more popular.

De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas - Mayhem De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas - Mayhem Product Image

The Contenders

At War with Satan - Venom At War with Satan - Venom Product Image

1984 - an album with thrash metal and black metal.

Rust in Peace - Megadeth Rust in Peace - Megadeth Product Image

This is a great album but it invented what? Umm, nothing. Just implemented more technical guitar playing being influenced by Annihilator's guitar work on Alice in Hell.

Not exactly an extreme metal album.

In the Nightside Eclipse - Emperor In the Nightside Eclipse - Emperor Product Image
None So Vile - Cryptopsy None So Vile - Cryptopsy Product Image

Cryptopsy is one my favorite bands and this album is just great to get into it ( I have this one )

Flo Mounier turned the drums into a whole nother instrument. The way he plays is like no ever album I've ever heard.

Flo Mounier... yeah, this machine. I was like, what kind of weapons he used instead of drums?

1996 - this album did not create technical death metal but it fully demonstrated the brutality of technical death metal and produced one of the heaviest and most brutal sounds in metal. Even now, 20+ years later, this album still sounds damn heavy and brutal.
None So Vile came out before Nile and Necrophagist debut albums.

Symbolic - Death Symbolic - Death Product Image

This should be at #1 spot, we are talking about the most inportant albums...

@visitor RE "This should be at #1 spot, we are talking about the most inportant albums..."
Exactly - we are talking about the most important albums and NOT about the best albums. This album is great but even Scream Bloody Gore was more important.

Show No Mercy - Slayer Show No Mercy - Slayer Product Image

Very underrated.

Slaughter of the Soul - At the Gates Slaughter of the Soul - At the Gates Product Image
Master of Puppets - Metallica Master of Puppets - Metallica Product Image
Peace Sells... but Who's Buying? - Megadeth Peace Sells... but Who's Buying? - Megadeth Product Image
Seasons in the Abyss - Slayer Seasons in the Abyss - Slayer Product Image
Ride the Lightning - Metallica Ride the Lightning - Metallica Product Image

Absolutly masterpiece.Guitar work is amazing.

Skydancer - Dark Tranquillity Skydancer - Dark Tranquillity Product Image

1993 - pioneered melodic death metal.
Carcass and In Flames released albums in the same year but several months later. I don't think they influenced each other's albums so all these 3 bands count. Also, a 4th band (At The Gates) released an album with melodic death metal in 1994.
There are still some discussions about who was the first so I mentioned all 4 bands.

Ace of Spades - Motorhead Ace of Spades - Motorhead Product Image

Absolutely disgusted that this album is so low. Without Motorhead, Metallica (who is one of the biggest bands in metal history) most likely never existed.

Very overrated.I think there are only 2 good songs

There's a big misconception related to Motorhead (and this album, respectively). Lemmy himself (R.I.P.) said many times they were not a metal band and explained why. Here's a quote about the speed metal bands people believe Motörhead have inspired: "They've just got the wrong bit. They think that being fast and loud is the whole thing and it isn't."
There are more details on my list Top 10 Surprising Lemmy Quotes About Metal and Motorhead

Outre' - Portal Outre' - Portal Product Image

The astonishing Outré is not only a highly disturbing slice of extreme music, but also an essential one." Metal Injection gave a positive assessment of the album, arguing that the band "challenges the very notion of what is death metal."

Don't Break the Oath - Mercyful Fate Don't Break the Oath - Mercyful Fate Product Image

The place of this album in this list will be decided by the voters, not from you metal treasure (if it's a voting list...)

Just to remind you: lyrics are about Satan and the occult which was probably influential towards the lyrical themes of black metal but music of this album isn't extreme - it's rather traditional heavy metal.
I mean, this album deserves to be mentioned on this list but shouldn't be very high.

8Load More
PSearch List