The 10 Essential Metal Albums You NEED To Own

If you think you’ve got the most metal music collection around, then you better make sure you’ve got these classics in there! Because we love all things metal, we’ve put together a list of the ten most absolutely essential metal albums of all time – the albums you can’t afford to not have in your collection. If you’re just starting to get into metal music, then this list is your new best friend. These albums are your gateway to the world of heavy music – so make sure you give each of them a listen!

But enough talking, let’s get to the albums themselves! So crack your volume up to a 11, put on your blackest top and get ready to head bang to these absolute classics!


1. Master of Puppets by Metallica

It’s impossible to take any list of metal albums seriously unless it has at least one Metallica record on it! There are many fantastic albums by the band could have made it on this list, like Ride the Lightning or Kill ‘Em All, but we personally thought Master of Puppets deserved the spot. It’s one of the most influential metal albums of all time for a reason, featuring awesome classic like ‘Disposable Heroes’, ‘Damage, Inc.’ and of course ‘Master of Puppets’, with all of them coming together to form one incredibly heavy experience! Just plain awesome.

2. Reign in Blood by Slayer

Like Master of Puppets, this 80s underground hit did an incredible job of defining thrash metal as a genre, featuring absolute classics like ‘Angel of Death’ and ‘Raining Blood’. It’s the album that pretty much made us fall in love with Slayer… It received pretty much universal acclaim when it was released and we still love it to death now. It’s one of those albums that’s never going to get old – so stick it on now!

3. Paranoid by Black Sabbath

To sum this album up in a single word: epic. It’s impossible to list all the reasons we love Paranoid, with the album just oozing with incredibly iconic tracks. ‘War Pigs’, ‘Paranoid’, ‘Hand of Doom’… And you’d be hard-pressed to find someone not familiar with ‘Iron Man’s incredible main guitar riff. Since its release, Paranoid has gone on to be one of best-loved heavy metal albums of all time and for a very good reason. We can’t get enough of it!

4. The Number of the Beast by Iron Maiden

Do we really need to explain why this album is on our list? Okay, fine. Like Master of Puppets pretty much defined Metallica’s sound, The Number of the Beast really took Iron Maiden to the next level. The album features killer track after killer track – from ‘Invaders’ to ‘Hallowed Be Thy Name’, it’s just wall-to-wall awesome! If you’ve been looking for a way to get into the world of Iron Maiden, we can’t think of a better place to start!

5. Vulgar Display of Power by Pantera

While their name might not be as universally recognisable as say Metallica or Iron Maiden, Pantera is easily one of the best metal bands around. Vulgar Display is frequently seen as one of the best metal albums of the 1990s and, well, of all time, featuring iconic tracks such as ‘Mouth for War’ and ‘Hollow’. If you’ve never listened to this band before, we definitely recommend you check them out! Your metal music collection will really never be complete without Vulgar Display in it!

6. Highway to Hell by AC/DC

I’m on the highway to hell, on the highway to hell… Sorry, got lost for a second there. But how can you hear that track’s name without wanting to shout out its awesome chorus?  While some might argue that Back in Black is AC/DC’s best album, with have an undeniable soft spot for Highway to Hell. Not just because of its iconic title track but also because of awesome songs like ‘Touch Too Much’ and ‘Night Prowler’. Really, if you haven’t heard this album yet, what are you waiting for?

7. Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses) by Slipknot

Slipknot’s third album shows the band doing what they do best, being filled to the brim with instant-classic tracks. We particularly love ‘Before I Forget’, which might just be the best song that the band have ever put out! If you love nu metal as much as we do and haven’t checked this album out yet, do yourself a favour! This album just has it all and definitely belong in everybody’s metal collection!

8. Holy Diver by Dio

Another one of the old school iconic 80s metal bands, Dio put out ten albums over their career, each of them being pretty great. However, we would argue that they never managed to top their incredible debut, Holy Diver. Featuring lead vocals from former Black Sabbath frontman Ronnie James Dio and more awesome songs that you can shake a stick at – such as superbly heavy title track – we really can’t recommend this album enough. So if you haven’t experienced Holy Diver yet, crank your speakers up to max volume and give it a listen! You won’t regret it!

9. Waking the Fallen by Avenged Sevenfold

In terms of modern metal bands, few come close to Avenged Sevenfold. Every album in their discography is fantastic in its own way, from the intensely awesome Sounding the Seventh Trumpet to last year’s bold and conceptual The Stage. Our favourite, however, has to be Waking the Fallen. It saw the band achieve huge success, featuring incredibly heavy songs such as ‘Eternal Rest’ and ‘Unholy Confessions’. Check it out if you haven’t yet!

10. Appetite for Destruction by Guns N’ Roses

Guns ‘N’ Roses debut album is an incredibly influential one, acting as a key inspiration for a legion modern metal bands. But beyond its influence, Appetite for Destruction is just a fricken awesome album, featuring iconic tracks such as ‘It’s So Easy’, ‘Paradise City’ and, of course, ‘Sweet Child o’ Mine’. Also, we challenge you find a more incredible album opener out there than ‘Welcome to the Jungle’! Some might argue that Appetite for Destruction is a ‘rock’ album rather than a ‘metal’ one, but we think this album’s legacy in relation to modern metal music makes it an essential addition to this list.

So there you have it – Blue Banana’s top ten essential metal albums! What do you think? Do you agree with the list? If not, then tell us why we’re wrong on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! We’d love to know what metal albums are your favourites.

Written By BlueBanana