The 10 Most Influential Metal Albums

True music fans know of the power and complexities of metal. What might just sound like dissonant noise to some is profound and moving to many.
Here are the ten most influential metal albums by guest contributor Jason Phillip.

Black Sabbath – Paranoid

Black Sabbath’s second album was a revolution for the band and music. Even those who aren’t metalheads can recognize hit songs like “Paranoid, “Iron Man,” and “War Pigs.” Sabbath laid a foundation for metal with this album.

Burzum – Filosofem

Black metal pioneer Varg Vikernes (aka Burzum) adheres to some very hateful ideologies. However, his fourth album, Filosofem, is a disturbing work with atmospheric power that reminds us of the need to separate the art from the artist sometimes.

Converge – Jane Doe

Mathcore veterans Converge had been around for a while before Jane Doe came out in 2001, but it was this album that cemented their status as legends. It’s a powerful, explosive statement overflowing with emotion from beginning to end.

Deafheaven – Sunbather

No metal album this decade has been the subject of more debate than Deafheaven’s sophomore effort. Some find it brilliant, while others believe the black metal/shoegaze genre fusion to be detrimental. Whatever your thoughts on Sunbather are, it’s impossible to listen to it and not have some sort of reaction.

Electric Wizard – Dopethrone

The slow-moving power of doom and sludge metal is perfectly exemplified on Electric Wizard’s third album, along with the psychedelic flair of stoner metal.

Iron Maiden – The Number of the Beast

Few moments in music are as goosebump-inducing as the opening to The Number of the Beast, Iron Maiden’s first number one album. It’s the kind of thing that lets you know the album you’re listening to is going to be a 666-star success.

Slayer – Reign in Blood

Dubbed “the heaviest album of all” by Kerrang!, Slayer’s third album delivers the heaviness fast and hard, with ten tracks in less than 30 minutes. When you hear lead singer Tom Araya war cry “raining blooooood” and the storm sounds that follow on the closing track, you’ll feel like you’ve just weathered a storm yourself.

Megadeth – Rust in Peace

Megadeth’s fourth album is the one where everything came together, and they became thrash giants as a result. Lead singer Dave Mustaine displays remarkable range with his voice, and the instrumentation and production are impeccable. Megadeth will be performing with at this year’s Chicago Open Air Festival, along with previously mentioned Slayer, as well as Kiss, Korn, Ozzy Osbourne, and Slayer.

Metallica – Master of Puppets

You can’t get much more metal than Metallica. They have “metal” in their name, after all. The thrash giants’ third album is their magnum opus. With a lean eight tracks, the band gives full force on every song. Metallica continue to headline arenas, and this album reminds us why they got so big.

Tool – Lateralus

Progressive metal is a genre that had to happen, given how vital experimentation is to the genres. Lateralus reminds of why Tool are such masters of the genre, blending technical wizardry with Maynard James Keenan’s triumphant vocal prowess.

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