My 30 Years as a Metal Head (part 3)

My 30 Years as a Metal Head (part 3)

I want to close out this series with a list. I’m a lists kind of guy, but in the end this is all about personal tastes. Also, I openly acknowledge that such a list may be for my enjoyment more than being helpful or perhaps interesting to anyone else. I have always enjoyed promoting metal and turning people onto different bands, so maybe there is some chance of doing that with this ridiculous list, 30 years in the making.


First, let me explain that I have not heard every heavy metal album nor do I have an interest in every sub-genre within the genre. This list only covers my personal favorites, and is broken down into three categories:

1. What I consider to be Metal Albums of Genius (Dominant artistic monuments that I believe deserve enduring artistic respect above all others. I think they generally sound like none before and encompass that band’s pinnacle creation. These are albums that don’t come around very often.)

2. My personal all-star list of albums that have endured the test of time for me and I never tire of.

3. Albums I have great respect for and also are essential albums in a band’s catalog.

There are plenty of other great albums out there that may be worthy of being on such lists, but I cannot list them all just for the sake of everyone else. These are simply the ones that RESONATE the most with ME and are stand outs among their peers at the time they were released. Of course, the more I thought about it and the more the list grew over the years the more I question the point of compiling such a long list at all. (Murray, the world gets it…You really love metal!) Note that I have included/removed some albums that may be questionable in the metal category, but my definition of metal may be different than others. Some of these you certainly have heard of, but there may be a few that are unfamiliar. Also, this list is constantly changing/updating, but after going back and forth for weeks I just have to draw the line. Enjoy!



METAL ALBUMS OF GENIUS (In order of release. Top three favorites with asterisk)

Powerslave -Iron Maiden

Master Of Puppets -Metallica *

Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying -Megadeth

Reign In Blood -Slayer

Act III -Death Angel

Blind -Corrosion Of Conformity

Songs For Insects -Thought Industry

Mods Carve The Pig (Assassins, Toads, And God’s Flesh) -Thought Industry

Demanufacture -Fear Factory

Destroy, Erase, Improve -Meshuggah *

Slaughter Of The Soul -At The Gates

Anthems To The Welkin At Dusk -Emperor

Obsolete -Fear Factory

Home -Sevendust

Blackwater Park -Opeth

Promethius (The Discipline Of Fire And Demise) -Emperor *



OTHER ENDEARING CLASSICS (in no particular order, with secondary favorites / essential albums in bands’ catalogs in parenthesis)

Ride The Lightning (Kill ‘Em All, Garage Days Re-Revisited, And Justice For All)

The Hall Of The Mountain King -Savatage

Speak English Or Die -Stormtroopers Of Death

The New Order (The Legacy / Practice What You Preach / Low) -Testament

No Place For Disgrace -Flotsam & Jetsam

Them -King Diamond

Return To Metalopolis -Chris Poland

Ghost Reveries (My Arms, Your Hearse / Deliverence / Watershed) -Opeth

Alive Or Just Breathing (Disarm The Descent) -Killswitch Engage

Demonic Art / The Sinister Supremacy (Layers Of Lies) -Darkane

Silhouettes -Textures

At War With Reality -At The Gates

Viva Emptiness / The Great Cold Distance / Night Is The New Day / The Fall Of Hearts -Katatonia

Extreme Aggression (Renewal / Cause For Conflict) -Kreator

Beneath The Remains (Arise / Chaos AD) -Sepultura

Void Terra Firma -Defiance

No Exit  (Awaken The Guardian / A Perfect Symetry) -Fates Warning

Handle With Care -Nuclear Assault

South Of Heaven (Seasons In The Abyss) -Slayer

Nothingface (Dimension Hatros / Target Earth) -Voivod

A Vulgar Display Of Power (Far Beyond Driven / Cowboys From Hell) -Pantera

Spheres -Pestilence

Individual Thought Patterns / Symbolic / Human -Death

Wolverine Blues -Entombed

Odium -Morgoth

None (Chaosphere) -Meshuggah

Heartwork -Carcass

Alpha-Omega -Cro Mags

Divisions (Death Of Awe / Kosmos / The Great Bear) -Silencer

Animosity -Sevendust

Hating Life (Soulless) -Grave

Traveler / Atavism –The Lord Weird Slough Feg / Slough Feg

Come Clarity (Sounds Of A Playground Fading / Clayman) -In Flames

The Wreckage Of Stars –Black Crown Initiate

White Pony / Diamond Eyes -Deftones

Rust In Peace / Dystopia / The System Has Failed (Youthanasia / So Far, So Good, So What) -Megadeth

The Chainheart Machine / A Predator’s Portrait (Steelbath Suicide / The Panic Broadcast / The Living Infinite) -Soilwork

Peace Of Mind (Number Of The Beast /  Somewhere In Time) -Iron Maiden

In Defiance Of Existence / Slaves Of The World -Old Man’s Child

Firedemon / Please…Die! -Carnal Forge

Arcturian -Arcturis

How Will I Laugh Tomorrow…When I Can’t Even Smile Today (Lights, Camera, Revolution / The Art Of Rebellion) -Suicidal Tendencies

Among The Living (Persistence of Time / The Sound of White Noise) -Anthrax

Scratch The Surface / Just Look Around -Sick Of It All (Yeah, I know they are considered “hardcore” but these albums hit very hard in a metal way)

State Of The World Address -Biohazard

Endlessly In Motion -Moth

Prolonged Farewells -Aggressive Persuasion

Imprint -Vision Of Disorder

This is Hell -Dimension Zero


Now you know. Don’t criticize. Just turn up the volume!