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 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 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!

Many Albums on This List are better than This one, but this is what created Heavy Metal and influenced what EVER was to come! - NjakDjak

V 17 Comments
3 Master of Puppets - Metallica 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 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

So heavy and so awesome! You really can't get any faster than this album! - AngryByrd

V 3 Comments
5 Rust in Peace - Megadeth 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

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

Worlds best metal album EVER. And it will always be. - metal4ever

6 Kill Em' All - Metallica 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

7 Sad Wings of Destiny - Judas Priest 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.

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

I wouldn't vote this as the greatest metal album, but it should be considered the most influential just for the scope of bands and musicians it influenced and its longevity.

V 1 Comment
8 Cowboys from Hell - Pantera 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

9 Paranoid - Black Sabbath Paranoid - Black Sabbath

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

What? This the greatest metal album of all time

Ask anyone in metal what they think is the most influential metal album of all time. It'll be this, or Black Sabbath's Black Sabbath.

Seriously? #11 Not EVEN top 10 this one should be at LEAST a top 3. it has 3 of the most inspirational songs of ALL TIME. Iron Man, War Pigs, AND Paranoid. what?!

V 3 Comments
10 Rising - Rainbow 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 Newcomers

? In Rock - Deep Purple 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. - Metal_Treasure

The Contenders

11 Machine Head - Deep Purple 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 Black Metal - Venom 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

V 1 Comment
13 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.

This album created death metal

This album was the death metal album! - AngryByrd

V 2 Comments
14 Korn - Korn 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.

15 Ride the Lightning - Metallica Ride the Lightning - Metallica

This is Metallica's best album to me.

16 British Steel - Judas Priest 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
17 Back in Black - AC/DC 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

V 1 Comment
18 Appetite for Destruction - Guns N' Roses Appetite for Destruction - Guns N' Roses

This is how a metal album is done! - xxld1k

V 1 Comment
19 Led Zeppelin I - Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin I - Led Zeppelin
20 Led Zeppelin IV - Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin IV - Led Zeppelin

It's not metal, not even close to metal. Led Zep did not influence metal and did not invent metal. They distance themselves from anything related to metal, too.
Among the greatest rock bands, definitely Queen sound closest to metal. Or, to put it that way: metal bands sound more like Queen than like Led Zep, ACDC or Guns N' Roses. No wonder Queen released a song in 1974 (Stone Cold Crazy), labeled "thrash metal before the term had been invented". It was 9 years before Metallica! Metallica obviously noticed the thrash potential of this song and did a cover. Cheers!
Forget about Led Zep and say hello to Queen!
Pink Floyd influenced prog metal.
Another rock band that really influenced metal was Thin Lizzy (A dozen of their songs are even considered metal). Some of their biggest fans are Metallica, Iron Maiden and Vader, to name a few. - Metal_Treasure

V 1 Comment
PSearch List

Recommended Lists

Related Lists

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

List StatsUpdated 20 Feb 2017

1,000 votes
93 listings
8 years, 204 days old

Top Remixes (12)

1. Paranoid - Black Sabbath
2. Master of Puppets - Metallica
3. Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath
1. In Rock - Deep Purple
2. Rising - Rainbow
3. Machine Head - Deep Purple
1. Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath
2. Led Zeppelin I - Led Zeppelin
3. Machine Head - Deep Purple

View All 12


Add Post

Error Reporting

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