What is the greatest Metal album ever? Something to ponder…


3117816Here we go, a “fun” exercise in Heavy Metal debate, one of the more controversial question’s in Metal music history. What Metal band made the greatest Metal album ever? I like to cut to the chase by having this debate as “all inclusive,” meaning every Metal genre get’s involved here. This without doubt, becomes a personal issue for most Metal fans, I can accept that for I take this topic very personal as well. I never like to get caught up with which genre of Metal is better, nor do I like to get childish and say Slipknot is better than… 

The age old question of what is the greatest Metal album ever has more of a historical importance to it. This is really an open ended question, for what merits the album to be the greatest anyway? Does the greatest Metal album have to be from the onset of Heavy Metal, say the late 1960’s – early 1970’s? Would this be due in part for the greatest Metal album would be the cornerstone and/or building block of the future of all Metal music? It is an obvious acceptance in the world of Metal music, that “hit” singles do not constitute any appreciation, applause or adulation amongst real Metal fans. Metal music, as a rule, is underground, dark, no hits needed please. The Heavy Metal and Hair Metal genres have garnered most of the “hit” singles for us, that is fine with me. My main point I am conveying here is it should not be necessary for the greatest Metal album ever to be loaded with radio friendly hit songs.

There are many ideas to consider when choosing the greatest Metal album ever, the list could actually be endless with criteria! Here are some questions that could be posed to this debate:

1. Is the album groundbreaking for it’s Metal genre?

2. Is the album representative of a sound that is fresh & new while still staying true to Metal?

3. Musically, is the album cutting edge? Is the album musically basic?

4. Does the greatest Metal album incorporate several Metal genres? Does it bestow influences of past Metal?

5. How memorable should this Metal album be? Quite memorable for me I am sure.

6. Is the greatest Metal album ever – created by a powerhouse/well known Metal band, or a more “fan favorite” underground Metal band? 

7. Just as I feel about the hit singles approach, I do not/never have given any credence to the sales figures or chart position of any of my favorite Metal albums, I leave that to the “Pop” & “bubble gum” music world thank you.

8. Is this greatest Metal album ever a concept album? Could it possibly be an EP?

9. Could the greatest Metal album ever be just instrumental? Partial vocals? 

10. Could the album cover have any influence on how a person feels about the music? I could not be swayed by the album art when making a decision on the greatest Metal album ever.

Well, it is all about preference when it really counts. Many Metal fans want their greatest Metal album to be the heaviest music there is out there, while other Metal fans may opt for history being made in the music, on this album. I really do not see any wrong or right way to judge, I feel it becomes far too personal a choice for me to truly make. This is why I have to chuckle when some music critic in the mainstream media comes up with a personal choice of the greatest Metal album of all time. A bigger chuckle for me is when a readers choice poll gets printed in a mainstream music magazine and it is the classic, cliche’ unveiling of a Metal album that is thrown down your throat – that this is the Metal album of the ages.

For those who feel I should be more adventurous and just say which Metal album is what I consider to be the greatest of all time, well, here are a few candidates I feel are worthy. Forgive me for not being able to say which album I deem as the all time greatest Metal masterpiece. I am guilty of loving all Metal and I am infatuated with too many Metal albums to nail it down to just one greatest. Here is my top ten list, not in any particular order, for nominees of the greatest Metal album of all time.

1. Metallica – “Master of Puppets”

2. Queensryche – “Operation Mindcrime”

3. Black Sabbath – “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath”

4. Slipknot – “All Hope Is Gone”

5. Jimi Hendrix Experience – “Are You Experienced”

6. Led Zeppelin – “Physical Graffiti”

7. Slayer – “Reign In Blood”

8. Rush – “2112”

9. Black Sabbath – “Black Sabbath”

10. Motorhead – “Ace of Spades”

In a perfect world, sure, I would pick one of these fine Metal albums above and bestow it as the greatest ever. I am certain my list of nominees are quite different than my fellow Metalhead fans out there, some may agree partially to my list. Tomorrow, for heaven sake, this list of mine could change in a heartbeat! That is how amazing Metal music is for me, I could honestly come up with another list of 10 nominees for greatest Metal album ever! Somewhere out in the world of Metal music, is the greatest Metal album ever recorded. It is definitely being listened to and enjoyed by an unknown number of Metalheads, at this moment you are reading this article. Rest assured, this list is not set in Metal stone for me, yet I do reflect back to these Metal releases each and every time that I ponder the greatest Metal album ever…

One Response to “What is the greatest Metal album ever? Something to ponder…”

  1. well this list might not be in “metal stone” but it IS in “blog stone”, so I think you should just pick your #1 and quit beating around the bush! 😉

    *I think it’s perhaps SLIPKNOT but you might be too shy to admit it . ha ha (just kidding).

    I think it’s METALLICA “Master of Puppets”, which certainly gets my vote for TOP 5 at least, along with SLAYER’s “Reign in Blood”.

    Hendrix = greatest guitarist ever

    Led Zeppelin’s “Physical G.” is my fav. (Kashmir #1 track for me as well) & every RUSH LP rules, some more than others.

    BUT these three are not metal to me. so, I will re-arrange your list:

    1. Metallica – “Master of Puppets”
    2. Slayer – “Reign In Blood”
    3. Black Sabbath – “Black Sabbath”
    4. Motorhead – “Ace of Spades”
    5. Queensryche – “Operation Mindcrime”

    Fun post!

    Rock on….(yes Metal Rules)

    Curt King
    Demolish #1 List Maker

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