Top 100 Metal Albums of All Time

Top 100 Metal Albums of All Time

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As any regular reader of this blog will be aware, I have something of an a complete and utter obsession for lists, particularly lists of albums. I guess it’s got something to do with a desire to always have something semi-curated to inspire me to start listening. Well, I thought I’d put together a sort of go-to playlist for those moments where I’m indecisive over what to listen to next; something that I can shuffle with no fear of landing on anything tremendously poor.

To construct the playlist, I used Rate Your Music‘s charts system, using the various options to give me the top 100 metal albums of all time (you can see the chart for yourself here). Now as Rate Your Music allows its users to (obviously) rate their music, the site’s charts and ratings are fluid and ever-changing, so certain albums can of course drop out of this top 100, or move up and down, as well as albums making their way into the top 100. So this is essentially just a snapshot of how this particular list looked when I brought up the data to construct my playlist. Also, I removed any extraneous bonus tracks and such from my playlist, so as to be left with what one might describe as the ‘canon’ tracklist.

  1. Black Sabbath – Paranoid (1970)
  2. Metallica – Master of Puppets (1986)
  3. Black Sabbath – Master of Reality (1971)
  4. Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath (1970)
  5. Metallica – Ride the Lightning (1984)
  6. Slayer – Reign in Blood (1986)
  7. Megadeth – Rust in Peace (1990)
  8. Opeth – Blackwater Park (2001)
  9. Tool – Ænima (1996)
  10. Tool – Lateralus (2001)
  11. Death – Symbolic (1995)
  12. Iron Maiden – Powerslave (1984)
  13. Iron Maiden – The Number of the Beast (1982)
  14. Black Sabbath – Sabbath Bloody Sabbath (1973)
  15. Rage against the Machine – Rage against the Machine (1992)
  16. Kyuss – Welcome to Sky Valley (1994)
  17. Iron Maiden – Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (1988)
  18. Judas Priest – Painkiller (1990)
  19. Metallica – …And Justice for All (1988)
  20. Opeth – Still Life (1999)
  21. Alice in Chains – Dirt (1992)
  22. Black Sabbath – Vol 4 (1972)
  23. Rainbow – Rising (1976)
  24. Death – Human (1991)
  25. Slayer – Seasons in the Abyss (1990)
  26. Faith No More – Angel Dust (1992)
  27. Isis – Panopticon (2004)
  28. Black Sabbath – Heaven and Hell (1980)
  29. Agalloch – The Mantle (2002)
  30. Iron Maiden – Iron Maiden (1990)
  31. Death – The Sound of Perseverance (1998)
  32. Mercyful Fate – Don’t Break the Oath (1984)
  33. Judas Priest – Sad Wings of Destiny (1976)
  34. Metallica – Kill ‘Em All (1983)
  35. Electric Wizard – Dopethrone (2000)
  36. Morbid Angel – Altars of Madness (1989)
  37. Agalloch – Ashes against the Grain (2006)
  38. Death – Individual Thought Patterns (1993)
  39. Dio – Holy Diver (1983)
  40. Atheist – Unquestionable Presence (1991)
  41. Mercyful Fate – Melissa (1983)
  42. Converge – Jane Doe (2001)
  43. Burzum – Filosofem (1996)
  44. Burzum – Hvis lyset tar oss (1994)
  45. Dissection – Storm of the Light’s Bane (1995)
  46. Iron Maiden – Piece of Mind (1983)
  47. Ulver – Bergtatt (1995)
  48. Slayer – South of Heaven (1988)
  49. Motörhead – Ace of Spades (1980)
  50. Queensrÿche – Operation: Mindcrime (1988)
  51. Neurosis – Through Silver in Blood (1996)
  52. Judas Priest – Screaming for Vengeance (1982)
  53. Opeth – Ghost Reveries (2005)
  54. Emperor – Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk (1997)
  55. Megadeth – Peace Sells … but Who’s Buying? (1986)
  56. Sepultura – Beneath the Remains (1989)
  57. Emperor – In the Nightside Eclipse (1994)
  58. Kyuss – Blues for the Red Sun (1992)
  59. Motörhead – Overkill (1979)
  60. Mastodon – Crack the Skye (2009)
  61. Edge of Sanity – Crimson (1996)
  62. Mastodon – Leviathan (2004)
  63. Candlemass – Epicus Doomicus Metallicus (1986)
  64. Iron Maiden – Somewhere in Time (1986)
  65. Dismember – Like an Ever Flowing Stream (1991)
  66. King Diamond – Abigail (1987)
  67. Immortal – At the Heart of Winter (1999)
  68. Isis – Oceanic (2002)
  69. Boris – Boris at Last: Feedbacker (2003)
  70. Judas Priest – Defenders of the Faith (1984)
  71. Immolation – Close to a World Below (2000)
  72. Judas Priest – Stained Class (1978)
  73. Helloween – Keeper of the Seven Keys Part II (1988)
  74. Sepultura – Arise (1991)
  75. Blind Guardian – Imaginations from the Other Side (1995)
  76. Opeth – My Arms, Your Hearse (1998)
  77. W.A.S.P. – The Crimson Idol (1992)
  78. Autopsy – Mental Funeral (1991)
  79. Black Sabbath – Sabotage (1975)
  80. Neurosis – A Sun That Never Sets (2001)
  81. Rainbow – Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll (1978)
  82. Candlemass – Nightfall (1987)
  83. Dream Theater – Images and Words (1992)
  84. Diamond Head – Lightning to the Nations (1980)
  85. Primordial – To the Nameless Dead (2007)
  86. Neurosis – Times of Grace (1999)
  87. Deftones – White Pony (2000)
  88. Carcass – Necroticism: Descanting the Insalubrious (1991)
  89. Entombed – Left Hand Path (1990)
  90. Bathory – Blood Fire Death (1988)
  91. Darkthrone – A Blaze in the Northern Sky (1992)
  92. Coroner – Mental Vortex (1991)
  93. Dream Theater – Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory (1999)
  94. Mayhem – De mysteriis dom Sathanas (1994)
  95. Tiamat – Wildhoney (1994)
  96. Darkthrone – Transilvanian Hunger (1994)
  97. Helloween – Keeper of the Seven Keys Part I (1987)
  98. Bruce Dickinson – The Chemical Wedding (1998)
  99. Gorguts – Obscura (1998)
  100. Entombed – Clandestine (1991)

I’ve embedded the Spotify playlist below, although it looks as though only the first 200 tracks seem to embed, so you can find the whole thing on Spotify here. It’s the sort of thing I’ll be going back to over the coming weeks, months, and most likely years, so if you do want to follow it, I’ll be making sure it’s always up to date with the most recent ratings.

I’d be very interested to hear anyone’s thoughts on this list, and if they find it as useful a ‘go-to playlist’ as I’ve been finding it. Do you think it gives a good representation of the best that metal has to offer? Remember, if you want to influence the list, you can sign up to Rate Your Music for free and assign albums your own ratings. If you do, you can find me here.

spotify:user:nexion218:playlist:4IlhJjmAXCDmh1Pdautd5s

Author: Andrew R Craddock

Metal and Spotify enthusiast, freelance copy-editor, writer, jolly nihilist.

4 thoughts on “Top 100 Metal Albums of All Time”

  1. The playlist looks like an absolute blast, as should be expected when you create a list packed end to end with classics. If you don’t like the list there’s an excellent chance the genre just isn’t for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been finding it a great go-to playlist, as I’d hoped it would be, for when I’m not sure what to listen to. It’s quite addictive, though, since the quality is so consistently high, and before you know it, it’s been a week and you haven’t listened to any *new* music!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I know this might be a bit controversial, but I’ve never been the biggest Metallica fan, and while with the benefit of time I’ve been able to understand, appreciate and enjoy Master of Puppets, there are still a lot of albums (on this list) that I’d put above it. Mercyful Fate’s Don’t Break the Oath is, for me, the perfect metal album.

      Liked by 1 person

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