Top 10 Heavy Metal Albums
Now I know every metal head can make a top 10 metal album list and most likely everyone is going to have a different list. I have to be honest, it is a hard list to make and can have mixed reactions. With lists like these, we always see comments like “What, no (insert album or band here) instant dislike." So, to make it clear, this is my personal list of top 10 metal albums in history.
10. The Glorious Burden by Iced Earth
Probably the best album Iced Earth has ever made, but it’s hard to judge since all their albums are great. Everything is perfect, from Tim “Ripper” Owens vocals, to the emotional guitar riffs from Jon Schaffer, and the hint of orchestra during the Gettysburg trilogy. If the United States had a metal album as the national anthem, this would be the one. The entire album is about historical events, ranging from America’s Declaration to 9/11. Some European history is included, such as Napoleon at Waterloo and The Red Barron. If all this interests you, check this album out.
9. Wheels of Steel by Saxon
This is the album that made Saxon and put them on the spotlight. If you plan to go for a joy ride, looking for a fight, or just all out fun, this New Wave of British Heavy Metal album is for you. Fast guitars, fun lyrics, and a group of guys that mean business, this album has it all. The most known songs on the album are "Motorcycle Man" and "Wheels of Steel", but I think all nine songs are equally as great. If you ever get a chance to see these guys and meet them, I would highly recommend it because they are probably one of the most inspiring bands you will meet.
8. Crusader by Saxon
Another great Saxon album with a bit of a turn from their previous albums. This is definitely my favorite Saxon album because it has a little bit of history, a little bit of fun rock n’ roll, and a little bit of what you fancy. "Crusader" could possibly be their most powerful song, and would make you want to go on your own personal crusade. "Just Let Me Rock" and "Bad Boys Like to Rock and Roll" are songs that let express what you really want from rock and metal. If you haven’t heard of this album, now is the time to check it out.
7. Once by Nightwish
Nightwish is one of my most favorite bands, and it is hard to pick a favorite album from them during Tarja Turunen's era with the band. I picked Once because this is the first one I listened to fully and is probably the epitome of their work. This album is beyond epic, and a lot of work went into making this. From the start, the album punches you in the face and keeps at it throughout the whole album. I personally enjoy "Dead Gardens" and "The Siren" most on the album because they have those highs and lows in metal songs that just make you asking for more. Most people in the metal community have heard of Nightwish at some point, so if you haven’t and are somewhat curious, start with this.
6. Iron Maiden by Iron Maiden
Who could argue with this album making the list? This is probably one of the most significant metal albums of the eighties because it set the standard for the bands that were to come through the decade. Between this and "Killers", some people claim this is Iron Maiden’s best work, and who could fight that? I think this album can speak for itself, so if you haven’t heard this, you have a hole in your metal collection that needs to be filled now.
5. Dianno by Paul Di'Anno
The most obscure album on the list, probably the most controversial, and probably one you have never heard of. After Iron Maiden, this was Paul Di’Anno’s first solo effort. I consider this metal because it has the metal influence and Paul Di’Anno will always fit with the metal community. Definitely, this album sounds like a soundtrack to an eighties B-movie, but I think it is a breath of fresh air and I enjoy it so much, I have to put it on this list. You may or may not like this project, but at least give it a try.
4. Call of the Wild by Lee Aaron
Never heard of Lee Aaron? Don’t worry most people have not, but if you have, I think we can agree Lee Aaron deserves a place in metal history. This album is the start to Lee Aaron moving towards a commercial sound, but it works perfect for this album. It takes you on an adventure and gets the emotions running, that’s why it is on this list for me. If those two things are checked, then an album gets an “A” in my book, and Lee Aaron passes on nearly every album for me. It may or may not be your cup of tea, but you should hear this album at least once.
3. Metal Queen by Lee Aaron
I told you nearly every Lee Aaron album is a masterpiece, and this one easily tops the list in my book. This is Lee Aaron’s anthem album, and takes you on an adventure that keeps you curious as to what is next. I loved every song on this album instantly from first hearing. For me, this is one of those albums that put metal's best foot forward. If you have never heard of Lee Aaron before and are somewhat curious, this is the place to start.
2. Piece of Mind by Iron Maiden
Again, who could argue with this album ranking high on the list? The start of this album with "Where Eagles Dare" is enough to blow your socks off and could arguably be one of the best metal songs in history. I imagine every person that has even a hint of interest in metal has heard of this album at some point. From beginning to end, this is an album that takes you on an emotional adventure, closing with a "To Tame a Land" in what goes in frenzy to what sounds like a farewell goodbye to job well done. If you haven’t listened to this album in its entirety, the time has come to make that happen.
1. Somewhere in Time by Iron Maiden
No one could convince me otherwise that this is the best album made in the history of albums. That includes among all genres. I love the futuristic theme to this album, and every element of this album brings tears to my eyes. It is my hope someday that Iron Maiden can play this album in its entirety as part of a tour, but it probably will never happen. No song on this album is beneath another, but my personal favorite would be "Déjà vu." If I could only recommend one album to listen to for a newcomer, this is the one I would choose.
© 2019 Jason