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 Product Image

It has revolutionized the way we think about metal today.

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...

some of the best metal anthems are from this album - hallowed be thy name, run to the hills, 666-number of the beast...

2 Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath Product Image

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.

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 is not a greatest albums list, it is a most influential albums list. So why are master of puppets and number of the beast higher than the first heavy metal album. Master of puppets is better, but certainly not as influential as Black Sabbath

3 Master of Puppets - Metallica Master of Puppets - Metallica Product Image

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

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.

Each and every song is a masterpiece. Honestly you're mentally challenged if you don't admit this album deserves number one

4 Reign In Blood - Slayer Reign In Blood - Slayer Product Image

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

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

Not my favourite album on the list but this is the album that basically created the death metal genre.

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

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

6 Kill Em' All - Metallica Kill Em' All - Metallica Product Image

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...

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

Dave gets WAY too much credit then he deserves

7 Black Metal - Venom Black Metal - Venom Product Image

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.

Second most important metal album after sabbaths debut, pretty much launched everything that came after it (slayer, metallica, bathory, pantera, death).

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.

8 Sad Wings of Destiny - Judas Priest Sad Wings of Destiny - Judas Priest Product Image

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

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.

9 Paranoid - Black Sabbath Paranoid - Black Sabbath Product Image

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...

What? This the greatest metal album of all time

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

It has to be in my opinion the most influential death metal album of all time

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

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 Contenders

11 Rising - Rainbow Rising - Rainbow Product Image

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.

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.

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

12 Machine Head - Deep Purple Machine Head - Deep Purple Product Image

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.

13 Cowboys from Hell - Pantera Cowboys from Hell - Pantera Product Image

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

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 In Rock - Deep Purple Product Image

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

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.

15 Ride the Lightning - Metallica Ride the Lightning - Metallica Product Image

This is Metallica's best album to me.

16 Korn - Korn Korn - Korn Product Image

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...

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 British Steel - Judas Priest Product Image

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 Back in Black - AC/DC Product Image

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"

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

Not Metal

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.

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

Should be above AC/DC by default...

20 Led Zeppelin I - Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin I - Led Zeppelin Product Image

Not metal

21 Bonded by Blood - Exodus Bonded by Blood - Exodus Product Image
22 Master of Reality - Black Sabbath Master of Reality - Black Sabbath Product Image
23 Pleasure to Kill - Kreator Pleasure to Kill - Kreator Product Image
24 Stained Class - Judas Priest Stained Class - Judas Priest Product Image
25 Lightning to the Nations - Diamond Head Lightning to the Nations - Diamond Head Product Image

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

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