Top Ten Most Influential Metal Albums

The top ten most influential metal songs of all time. Remember that its all metal songs!

The Top Ten

1 The Number of the Beast - Iron Maiden

It has revolutionized the way we think about metal today. - clerkatron

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...

Best band, best album in all of the metal world... deserves number 1... up the irons...
PS: My personal favorite is A Matter of Life and Death...

V 2 Comments
2 Black 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. - UFasten8Me

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!

This should be number one, it created metal, and the title track is the first metal song. - CostcoHotDogs

V 21 Comments
3 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 - megadoug

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.

The shortest 45 minutes of your life! - AngryByrd

V 5 Comments
4 Reign In Blood - Slayer

You can't underestimate how influential this album is. A masterpiece. - GKW

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

Influenced groove and black metal? Bullcrap.

V 3 Comments
5 Kill 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
better... - TobyKilla

Dave gets WAY too much credit then he deserves - Sabbath

Kill Em' All started thrash metal, and that's a fact. - Worek

6 Rust in Peace - Megadeth

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 ...more

Actually I have to say, that this album is not that influential at all, because you can't really beat the top. It is the best album on this list, but this album is so complex that it will take a long time, to get some talented musicians together, to leave such a mark in musical history, like this dudes did. I don't like every song on this album, but some are so absolutely insane, that it is hard to make something stronger than this. So I've just rated this now, to make my point and I will rate Number of the Beast later, because that album really had an impact in musical history and is still beatable. Up the Irons! (To influence includes the opportunity to get beaten)

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
- metal4ever

V 1 Comment
7 Black 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. - ryanrimmel

PVed the way for thrash metal bands like Metallica, Black metal bands like Immortal and of course Death metal bands like Death

Agree 100% with ryanrimmel and it's at #5 on my personal list. - Metal_Treasure

8 Sad 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.

It has to be either this album or sabbath's first album. It's a toss-up. I give this the nod because I think that this is just a better album all around and Rob Halford's vocal stylings were way more influential to metal music than Ozzy's strange guttural wails.

Not the best but the most influential

They changed british metal from the bluesy sabbath to the newer melodic maiden

Absolutely correct observation - Judas Priest and Iron Maiden didn't sound like Black Sabbath because 'the bluesy sabbath' of the 70s wasn't metal - it was heavy blues rock. Judas Priest and Iron Maiden followed Ritchie Blackmore's metal ideas (Deep Purple, Rainbow) - a new genre, which is non bluesy and is basically classically inspired. - Metal_Treasure

The Top 3 albums that shaped the metal genre in its early development were:
1. Machine Head - Deep Purple;
2. Rising - Rainbow;
3. Sad Wings Of Destiny - Judas Priest.

Black Sabbath were not metal in the 70s - they were heavy blues rock. Black Sabbath joined the metal movement in 1980 after lots of stylistic changes in their sound and style. - Metal_Treasure

V 1 Comment
9 Paranoid - Black Sabbath

I think a lot of fans may be too young to know how unlike anything else, this album was. Though the first album was recorded and released before this one, Paranoid benefitted from a much wider distribution. When you hear Paranoid in the context of modern metal it might sound bluesy. But when you here it in the context of what was around at the time, it's stunning. Changed my life.

This should be the top 3 why is it down here at 29!?

Haha, except Iron Man all the songs are more than mediocre... - somekindofaguy

This is the one with Paranoid, Iron Man and War Pigs.

V 6 Comments
10 Rising - 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.
This is a top 3 most influential album - without this album you can't explain the fast and non-bluesy sound of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden in the late 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. - Metal_Treasure

There would be no Metallica without them. Lars credits them as one of his main influences. Also, it is where Dio got his start. They helped make metal more complex with Blackmore's classically influenced solos. - Edgelord

V 1 Comment

The Contenders

11 Machine Head - Deep Purple

This album should always be at #1 because it contains several songs, which defined all basic metal elements.

Highway Star - the first metal masterpiece. It's widely considered as the prototype of speed metal and metal in general.

Hard Lovin' Man - pure speed metal, too. Give a listen to this underrated song and you will hear everything you hear in 50% of the metal songs created later by other bands - the gallop, vocals/screams and song structure.

Ian Gillan was Bruce Dickinson's vocal idol for a reason. And obviously, Iron Maiden made this galloping style popular.
Deep Purple and Rainbow influenced directly and massively the NWOBHM and thus - the whole metal genre as we know it now. - Metal_Treasure

12 Scream Bloody Gore - Death

I'm tired of seeing people voting to their favorite albums instead of the influential ones. - GREYBOYY

Though Scream Bloody Gore kept more thrash influences ingrained in Death's music than later (Sound of Perseverance or Symbolic, their really good) era work, it's influence within the genre of death metal cannot be overstated.

The creation of death metal

It's the best band in the world

V 3 Comments
13 Cowboys 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 - Chalky3000

14 In Rock - Deep Purple

Oh man, I can't believe this list was created 8 years ago and I had to add at #93 one of the two albums that created metal.
In Rock by Deep Purple and Black Sabbath by Black Sabbath were these 2 important albums that started metal, both albums released in 1970.
Black Sabbath album contained the template for doom metal, Deep Purple album - for all metal subgenres that are fast. - Metal_Treasure

15 Ride the Lightning - Metallica

This is Metallica's best album to me.

16 Korn - 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... - darkangst

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.

It started a genre. If it's not one of the most influencial albums ever, then I don't want to live on this planet anymore.

17 British 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

V 1 Comment
18 Back 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" - nooreldeen

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

Not Metal - christangrant

Some people read correctly the question: most influential METAL albums?
Led Zep, AC/DC and Guns N' Roses are not metal.
Speaking of who influenced metal without being metal I have to list Paganini, Bach, Beethoven and Wagner but we can't put them here because their albums are not metal.
Where is Rainbow by the way? A really influential metal band with genre defining albums. - Metal_Treasure

19 Morbid Tales - Celtic Frost
20 Led Zeppelin I - Led Zeppelin

Not metal - christangrant

PSearch List

Recommended Lists

Related Lists

Most Influential Extreme Metal Albums Top Ten Lesser Known Metal Albums That Are Very Influential Top 10 Most Influential Nu Metal Albums Greatest Metal Albums Best Thrash Metal Albums

List Stats

1,000 votes
97 listings
9 years, 204 days old

Top Remixes (14)

1. Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath
2. The Number of the Beast - Iron Maiden
3. Ride the Lightning - Metallica
1. Paranoid - Black Sabbath
2. Master of Puppets - Metallica
3. Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath
1. Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath
2. The Number of the Beast - Iron Maiden
3. Paranoid - Black Sabbath

View All 14


Add Post

Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.