Top Ten Most Influential Metal Albums

jamie30jamer
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...

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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!

It may not be the best metal album, but for sure the most influential. It's a great album for sure. - Metarock

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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.

It created a new Genre that has,over the years,defined Heavy Metal and Thrash Metal I thing MetallicA overdid themselves on this one.

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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.

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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

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

Dave gets WAY too much credit then he deserves - Sabbath

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 f...ing 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

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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 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 should be number 1

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9 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

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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

Listen to Stargazer. It paved the way for classically-influenced/eastern-influenced metal.

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

The birth of a legend, every following album is better than the previous. One of the few bands in the history that never released a bad album or song. Just pure bliss. RIP Chuck.

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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

This album revolutionized heavy metal and turned thrash metal to a groove metal sound thanks to dimebags shredding riffs and phil's insane vocals.. tracks like domination, cowboys from hell, heresy are hit

14 In Rock - Deep Purple

14? Are you kidding? This album pretty much invented metal. - Metarock

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

MOP? Seriously? JP and Maiden are WAY MUCH MORE INFLUENTIAL!

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

21 Bonded by Blood - Exodus
22 Pleasure to Kill - Kreator
23 Master of Reality - Black Sabbath
24 Stained Class - Judas Priest
25 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

It's not metal though…it's hard rock.

26 Lightning to the Nations - Diamond Head

One of the first metal albums, inspired Metallica, Megadeath, and many more.

27 Blizzard of Ozz - Ozzy Osbourne
28 Appetite for Destruction - Guns N' Roses

How can it not be this?! 'mm

Not Metal - christangrant

This is how a metal album is done! - xxld1k

29 Bathory - Bathory

The first black metal album.

30 Seven Churches - Possessed

First death metal album ever.

31 Welcome to Hell - Venom
32 Dressed to Kill - Kiss
33 Images & Words - Dream Theater

This album made prog metal popular, it should be at least top 10 - ryanrimmel

34 All Hope Is Gone - Slipknot

No one was influenced by this.

Haha is this a joke?

35 Vulgar Display of Power - Pantera
36 Death Magnetic - Metallica

Marks the sheer longevity of Metallica's supreme skill in churning out immortal tracks that will be remembered in the annals of legendary metal songs. Ten years hence, All Nightmare Long, The Day That Never Comes, My Apocalypse, Suicide And Redemption, Cyanide and Broken, Beat and Scarred will be not only Metallica but metal classics. Death Magnetic is an epic offering to the Metal Gods.

Oh wait, Metallica are the Metal Gods. My bad

My favourite album of all time; however this is NOT an influential album.

An album by Metallica which has a masterpiece songs, idiots misunderstood this album. Because its by the new Metallica that still is the best metal band.

This isn't new Metallica. This is their old style - Sabbath

37 Roots - Sepultura

Influenced lamb of god and machine head from a groove standpoint, and it is sometimes considered the first nu-metal album - ryanrimmel

38 Dr. Feelgood - Motley Crue
39 Powerslave - Iron Maiden
40 Keeper of the Seven Keys - Helloween

This is the best album for me! It's simple amazing! Helloween did a great work on it, principally on Eagle Fly Free, Keeper of the Seven Keys and March of Time

41 Holy Diver - Dio
42 An Ocean Between Us - As I Lay Dying
43 Screaming for Vengeance - Judas Priest
44 Slowly We Rot - Obituary
45 Psalm 69: The Way to Succeed & The Way to Suck Eggs - Ministry
46 La Vie En Rose - D'erlanger
47 Operation: Mindcrime - Queensryche
48 Cruelty and the Beast - Cradle of Filth

I love master of puppets but this just wipes the floor

49 Slipknot - Slipknot
50 Don't Break the Oath - Mercyful Fate
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List Stats

1,000 votes
97 listings
10 years, 19 days old

Top Remixes (14)

1. Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath
2. The Number of the Beast - Iron Maiden
3. Ride the Lightning - Metallica
ryanrimmel
1. Paranoid - Black Sabbath
2. Master of Puppets - Metallica
3. Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath
1234567890q
1. Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath
2. The Number of the Beast - Iron Maiden
3. Paranoid - Black Sabbath
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