Writer and Blogger PhillyRockRadio.Com
Megadeth is no stranger to heavy metal, as they are one of the pioneers of thrash metal as well as a member of the "Big 4." (Capitol Records,1986) This was Megadeth's sophomore album and it truly put them on the map as a force to be reckoned with. Everyone know's the story of Dave Mustaine and his falling out with his former band Metallica. Nonetheless, he was able to produce this masterpiece of a record that combined speed metal and thrash with powerful lyrics full of meaning. Megadeth's mission statement was to be the fastest, heaviest, and angriest band in heavy metal. Well, Peace Sells did not disappoint and earns it's place in the top 25. The album debuted at #76 on the US Billboard 200 in 1986 and has since went on to sell over one million records and remains at 'Platinum Status.'
Metallica always seems to find themselves on the top metal albums list quite often. In fact, the Black album has set all types of records for album sales. This album has now went 16x Platinum and is still going strong on a weekly basis. Wow...over 16 million records. The album debuted at #1 when it was first released in 1991 and was highly anticipated after a long hiatus. Metallica was coming off the And Justice For All record and had not released any material in a long while. Nonetheless, Hetfield/Lars and company backed up their prowess by releasing an album that is not only a top heavy metal album, but also tops in all categories. This album probably belongs higher, but Metallica appears on here often and this was their most mainstream record, which in a true heavy metal list, puts them a little lower than the numbers would show.
(Def American,1990) The fifth studio album released by Slayer happens to be one of their best overall metal records. The album debuted at #40 on the Billboard Top 200 and is easily one of their highest selling albums to date. Combine the tandem of Kerry King and Jeff Hannemann on guitar with Dave Lombardo on drums and the power vocals of Tom Araya and this album has all of the makings of a masterpiece. The record features a few great metal songs including "War Ensemble", "Dead Skin Mask", "Expendable Youth", and the title track "Seasons in the Abyss." Almost every Slayer show will have these songs on it's playlist. This was actually the final album to feature Lombardo on guitar. However, it still remains one of their best albums today. It received high critical acclaim and has been nominated as one of metal's all time best albums by many outlets including Loudwire, Kerrang, and Rolling Stone. Slayer is sometimes criticized for the vulgarity of their lyrics; however this album stayed true to the goal and repertoire. Seasons in the Abyss belongs in everyones album catalog whether a veteran or a rookie.
System of a Down has sold over 40 million records world wide. The band definitely brought their A game when recording Toxicity. Their sophomore album debuted at #1 on the US Billboard Top 200. In fact, System of a Down had three albums that went all the way to number one. Of course, it did not hurt that the band was produced by Rick Rubin who is one of the all time great producers in the music industry. The album had three singles; "Chop Suey"' "Toxicity" and "Aerials." All three of these songs achieved stellar commercial success. System became one of the most popular bands during the late nineties and early 2000. Blabbermouth actually gave the album a perfect 10/10...only the 21st album to attain that feat. All of the other top critics gave "Toxicity" above average reviews. The record has sold over three million copies worldwide!
Black Sabbath shows up on this list quite often as the forefathers of Heavy Metal. This was their ninth studio album and the first to feature Ronnie James Dio. The album was released in 1980 where it debuted at #28 on the Billboard Top 200. Heaven and Hell gained huge commercial success and generated a ton of positive reviews. It was actually their highest charting album since Sabotage in 1975 and is the third highest selling Sabbath album of all-time. In essence, Dio revitalized the band that had been on a decline the prior few years. Although Ozzy was gone and focused on his solo career, Sabbath did not miss a beat. Four songs were released as singles including the title track, Neon Knights, Children of the Sea, and Die Young. The album also featured some other hits including Lady Evil and Wishing Well. Nonetheless, Dio was able to eventually win the crowd over as he had a much more powerful vocal range than Ozzy. No one can deny that Black Sabbath with Ozzy was their best lineup, but Ronnie was a close second.
Anthrax is one of the "Big 4" of metal and their third release was the best of their career. Produced in 1987, It debuted at #62 on the US Billboard Top 200. The album was extremely fast and tight with their east coast blend of thrash. The album was packed with hit songs including the title track "Among the Living", "Caught in a Mosh," "I am the Law," Efilnikufesin (N.F.L), "A Skeleton in the Closet, and "Indians." A few of the songs on the album were loosely based on Stephen King books. More importantly, the album was dedicated to Cliff Buton (former bassist of Metallica), who had died one year earlier in a tragic car accident. Revolver Magazine has the album in its Top 14 must own thrash albums and it will remain one of the top heavy metal records. Anthrax made a huge difference in the late eighties and this was their signature album.
This is the second Metallica album to make the list. It was their fourth studio album and was released in 1988. The band had been through some adversity in the past few years with the death of all star bassist Cliff Burton and was much anticipated. It was the first album to feature Jason Newsted on bass. And Justice For All was a more progressive style with epic riffs and complex songs with a dynamic sound. Three songs from the album were released as singles including "Eye of the Beholder," "Harvester of Sorrow," and "One," which was nominated as a Grammy Award finalist. The song took top honors putting Metallica even further from their competition in the metal community. The album reached #6 on the US Billboard Top 200 and has since sold over eight million copies. There is a good chance that this will not be the last Metallica masterpiece.
This was the third album from the upstart band from northern Washington. It is not only one of the better heavy metal albums, but it is also one of the best concept albums to ever be released. 1988 was a huge year for the metal community and Queensryche struck gold with this album. As a concept album, it is also a rock opera. The story features a recovering drug addict who gets caught up in a bad situation with a violent mafia group. It sold 500,000 copies in only one year making it one of the highest grossing records in a one year period. The album has since went platinum and remains on the radar of many of Metal's best critics. This is a must own for any die hard metal fan and is a gem that flies under the radar.
Judas Priest is another on of the fathers of heavy metal and Screaming Vengeance was an instant classic. At number seventeen on the list, the album debuted at #17 on the US Billboard Top 200 in 1982. Since then, it has sold over 2 million copies and went 2x Platinum. Priest had already released many epic records, but this one was over the top. The record begins with "The Hellion" which is an instrumental that powers into the power metal song "Electric Eye." Rob Halford, Glen Tipton, and KK Downing were credited with writing most of the material. The alum also features the mega hit, "You've Got Another Thing Coming" which is one of the most iconic metal songs played on the radio and it never gets old. This was the bands best piece of work from top to bottom.
This was the second album release by the Danish band Mercyful Fate. The band was formed in 1981 by King Diamond and was part of the first wave of black metal. Don't Break the Oath is a timeless classic and is sometimes considered the best extreme heavy metal ever. Released in September of 1984, the sophomore record received a ton of positive reviews. Despite the band's preoccupation with the occult, the group produced some of the best metal of the early eighties. This is one of the surprise albums to make the list but it definitely makes the grade.
"Leviathan" is the second studio album by Mastodon in 2004. It was also a concept record and it was named the best metal album of the 21st century. There were four tracks that were released as singles including "Iron Tusk," "Blood and Thunder," "I am Ahab," and "Seabeast." The album is loosely based on the novel Moby Dick by Herman Melville. A few of the tracks also appear in a number of video games.
This was the debut album for the forefathers and was released in 1970. It charted at #23 on the US Billboard Top 200 and has since went platinum. According to founding member Toni Iommi, the entire album was recorded in one day. In essence, this was the birthplace of heavy metal. It used heavy rock and blues with extra distortion. Regardless of some negative reviews this album has to be in the top 25 due to the significance of Black Sabbath and their "creation" of heavy metal.
Ronnie James Dio became a household name in the seventies with the band Rainbow, and his career took off after joining Black Sabbath. This debut solo album was released in 1983, and it became the most successful album of Ronnie's career. The band was compromised of Dio (Vocals, Vivian Campbell (Guitar), Vinny Apice (Drums), and Jimmy Bain (Bass). Two singles were released from this album; "Rainbow in the Dark" and Holy Diver, both being metal songs that are heard on the radio daily even today. The album received stellar acclaim and it hit #56 on the US Billboard Top 200. It has since sold one million records and Platinum status.
This was the second album release by the band Judas Priest. An all time classic with some killer metal tunes. Between the dual guitar of Glen Tipton/KK Downing and the screaming vocals of Rob Halford, this album was another true testament of heavy metal. It definitely put Priest on the scene and definitely made a huge impact on the evolution of heavy metal as a music genre.
No heavy metal list is complete without Motorhead. And this was their fourth album and definitely the most successful of their catalog. In fact, this may be the first album to that truly spawned thrash metal. The metal community is eternally grateful to Motorhead.