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The 11 Greatest Metal Albums Of All Time

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Heavy metal got it's beginnings in the late 1960's, powered it's way through the 1970's when everyone thought it was going to die and stormed into the 1980's. We had hair, glam, thrash and everything in between in that decade and in the 90's things got even heavier. Now in the 2000's we have metal bands that combine all the aspects into one killer sound. Loudwire.com counted down the top albums of each decade.  So lets go ahead make a super list.  The best of the best.


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11

System of a Down - Toxicity

 
 

System had already been around for a little while, but took the world by storm with the record. It was the hard SOAD that fans had already loved, but with a couple big hits it became a monster album for the band. The title track 'Toxicity' quickly became a favorite of mine, plus you have tracks like 'Chop Suey', 'Aerials' taking radio by storm it also had a lot of other great songs on it like 'Shimmy', 'Bounce' and 'Prison Song' that metal heads could really get into. The mosh pit was never the same.

 
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10

Motley Crue - Shout at the Devil

 
 

The Crue were probably the toughest guys wearing makeup and heels that you could come across. Glam rock mixed in with punk rock influences made for one great album. Motley Crue were one of the biggest bands to come out of the 80's hair metal scene and still bring it strong to this day.

 
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9

Judas Priest - Painkiller

 
 

One of the most loud and aggressive Priest albums ever. It sold millions and was the last album Rob Halford did with the band for a long, long time. 'Painkiller' kept that trademark Priest sound, while also instilling aspects of modern metal to it as well. Classic fans loved it was well as fans of the heavier stuff.

 
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8

Anthrax - Persistence of Time

 
 

Another end of an era effort for a great metal singer. Anthrax lost Joey Belladonna for a long time after 'Persistence'. He just recently rejoined the band and out his signature vocals onto their latest effort 'Worship Music'. Anthrax put it all out there with this record. Songs like 'Belly of the Beast' , 'In my World' and 'Keep it in the Family' really give you a feel of where they were at this point in time. Fantastic record.

 
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7

Megadeth - Peace Sells...But Whose Buying

 
 

When Dave Mustaine was kicked out of Metallica it was a dark time for him. he was angry and upset and made it his goal to be bigger than they were. His answer was Megadeth's 1986 album 'Peace Sells...But Whose Buying'. It's not only as metal as they get, but it's also a great political record that makes some big social statements.

 
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6

Slipknot - Iowa

 
 

This is easily one of the scariest records of all time. If the music didn't freak you out, than the live show did. Slipknot really got into theatrics when touring on this record. They were pretty much everything your parents didn't want you listening to, times 100. It got rave reviews from critics and is about to celebrate it's 10th anniversary.

 
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5

Deep Purple - Machine Head

 
 

If you could only have one Deep Purple album in your collection, it would be this one. 'Highway Star', 'Space Truckin' and of course 'Smoke on the Water'. One of the best metal albums of the 1970's, but they weren't calling it metal back then. You can talk about Sabbath and Motorhead, but you have to toss Deep Purple in the conversation too when it comes to the best all time.

 
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4

Slayer - Reign In Blood

 
 

Not the music you bring home to mom. Slayer's 'Reign In Blood' is one of the heaviest metal records of all time. Debatable as to whether or not it is the heaviest, but I'll leave that up to you guys to decide. It was evil, political and provocative. That's why it's one of the greatest all time.

 
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3

Iron Maiden - Number Of The Beast

 
 

Where do you begin with "Number'? Bruce Dickinson's vocals are a work of art on this one. Every single track is fantastic. One of the best classic British heavy metal records of all time. Steve Harris lays down some of the best metal bass lines ever plus the screaming guitars. Hard not the throw it at number one, in my opinion.

 
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2

Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath

 
 

Can you say evil? It's the album that kicked heavy metal into high gear and inspired, and continues to inspire heavy metal bands to this day. From the art work to the lyrics it was easily one of the darkest albums ever. I once learned the bass line to 'Black Sabbath' and chills ran up my back. I thought I was summoning the devil, so I stopped and ran. It's that powerful.

 
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1

Metallica - Master Of Puppets

 
 

Obviously we could have done a whole list dedicated to the mighty Metallica. Arguably though, this is their best effort. 'Master Of Puppets' is one of the heaviest records I own. Every single song is driven hard. Not just hard riffs, but hard vocals from James Hetfiled really make this one. It's been voted time and time again as the best metal record so it's only fitting that it sits atop our list.

 

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