Favorite Heavy Metal Albums of All Time Pt. I

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A lot of folk not only know me as a writer, but also as a hardcore true metalhead. I have been since around 2001, and metal music has brought me out of some of my darkest times and is very near and dear to my heart.Here is a list of my favorite heavy metal albums of all time with a bit of information about each one. I’m dividing this into multiple blog entries because their are so many….

19

Album : Nightfall in Middle-Earth

Artist: Blind Guardian

Genre: Power Metal

This is it, the BIG album that got me into metal music to begin with. I was recommended this album on the sffworld.com message board nearly two decades ago when I was looking for music based around/inspired by literary works of fantasy. I bought this album and never looked back. It didn’t take long until I became a full-fledged metalhead.  It’s a concept album based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Silmarillion,” the epic, rousing choirs; the vocals of Hansi Kursch, and the instrumental talents of Andre Olbrich, Marcus Siepen, and Thomas Stauch are absolutely chilling and superb!
Noteworthy songs include Nightfall, The Curse of Feanor, Mirror Mirror, Time Stands Still (At the Iron Hill), and A Dark Passage.

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Album: Painkiller

Artist: Judas Priest

Genre: NWOBHM/Traditional Heavy Metal

Judas Priest is my favorite heavy metal band, period. “Painkiller” is undoubtedly their greatest album. They haven’t made an album of such bombastic power or heaviness since its release, I don’t care what anyone says. “Painkiller” is the pinnacle of Rob Halford-era Judas Priest, and shines like the light of a thousand suns in the metal world!
Noteworthy songs include Painkiller, The Hell Patrol, Leather Rebel, Nightcrawler, Touch of Evil, and Between the Hammer and the Anvil.

80

Album: Seventh Son of a Seventh Son

Band: Iron Maiden

Genre: NWOBHM/Traditional Heavy Metal

Although Iron Maiden is still absolutely great and titans in true metal, their music isn’t the same as it used to be; it’s more progressive-influenced traditional heavy metal than it is NWOBHM-style traditional heavy metal. And in my opinion, the greatest album of their old style before they made this change is their seventh release; “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son.” The feeling is absolutely otherworldly, the synths compliment the tracks, the melodies are monumental, and the lyrics are dark and ominous. The album is a foray into the unknown and supernatural world, and the closest to a concept album that Maiden has ever come.  I don’t hear nearly as much praise about this album as I do “Number of the Beast,” “Piece of Mind,” and “Powerslave,” but it deserves just as much if not more.
Noteworthy songs include all of them!!

1314

Album: Sacred Heart

Artist: Dio

Genre: Traditional Heavy Metal

The third release from the legendary Lord of Heavy Metal, and in my opinion, the best of his career. This album shines with some serious fist-pumping tracks, and does not disappoint. It was hard for me to choose between this and “Dream Evil” for the title of greatest Dio album, but this one really takes the cake for me. The epic title track is only the tip of the iceberg on this gem of musical steel. Its power and quality are undeniable, and it shows why Ronnie James Dio was an absolute genius of the heavy metal music world.
Noteworthy songs include King of Rock and Roll, Sacred Heart, Another Lie, Rock’n’Roll Children, and Hungry for Heaven.

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Album: The Triumph of Steel

Artist: Manowar

Genre: Traditional Heavy Metal

I remember buying this album in a music store in the Mall of America while on vacation with my parents and sister well over a decade ago, and when I popped it in my cd player for the first time, it brought my jaw to the floor and chills down my spine! Epic in every sense of the word! The Metal Kings truly won me over with their seventh album release, and turned me into an absolute Manowarrior. The power of the songs on this album is undeniable and sends me into absolute heavy metal bliss every time I listen to it. This is the Eric Adams/Joey DeMaio team at the top of their game!
Noteworthy songs include all of them!

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Album: The Fourth Legacy

Artist: Kamelot

Genre: Progressive/Power Metal

The second metal album I got back in my first foray into metal. Received it from my parents on my 20th or 21st birthday, if I remember right, and it did not disappoint. This album transported me into otherworldly landscapes, and Roy Khan’s vocals were beautiful beyond words. So many good memories are attached to this album. Spiritual, mystical, ethereal, otherworldly; listening to it is truly a divine experience that goes straight through the heart.
Noteworthy songs include The Fourth Legacy, Silent Goddess, Nights of Arabia, The Shadow of Uther, The Inquisitor, Glory, and Until Kingdom Come.

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Album: Legendary Tales

Artist: Rhapsody (Rhapsody of Fire)

Genre: Power Metal

Third metal album I received on my foray into heavy metal. Received this one on the same birthday I received Kamelot’s “Fourth Legacy.” I was astounded by this band’s ability to create an epic fantasy saga and have each one of their albums be a new installment in the series. The vocals of Fabio Lione are jaw-dropping, the guitar solos of Luca Turilli are glorious, and the keyboard work of Alex Staropoli is absolutely otherworldly. The choruses are rousing and epic, and will lift your spirits beyond words. If you listen to this album, and Rhapsody’s albums after it, prepare yourself to go on an adventurous journey you’ll never forget!
Noteworthy songs include Warrior of Ice, Flames of Revenge, Land of Immortals, Lord of the Thunder, and Legendary Tales.

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Album: Renegade

Artist: Hammerfall

Genre: Power/Traditional Heavy Metal

The fourth album that I had the pleasure of adding to my collection in my beginning days of journeying into heavy metal music. It was this band that blended traditional heavy metal and power metal together that eventually got me into traditional heavy metal acts such as Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Dio, Saxon, Accept, Manowar, Omen, and others. This album is absolute raw power and packs an earth-shaking punch! All Hail Hector! Let the Hammer fall!!
Noteworthy songs include Templars of Steel, Renegade, The Way of the Warrior, Destined For Glory, Champion, and A Legend Reborn.

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Album: No World Order!

Artist: Gamma Ray

Genre: Power Metal

No World Order! is the first album I bought from Gamma Ray. It’s their seventh album and is killer power metal powerhouse! It’s a concept album about the Illuminati, and is brilliant. This is the first exposure I had to the vocalist Kai Hansen, who is a huge inspiration to me. The sound to this album is as uplifting as it is catchy, and the songs are hit after hit after hit. Kai Hansen-era Gamma Ray can do no wrong!
Noteworthy songs include all of them!

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Album: Keeper of the Seven Keys Part I

Artist: Helloween

Genre: Power Metal

Ahh, the High Priests of Power Metal themselves, Helloween! Got introduced to these guys with this album, I have both Michael Kiske-era Keepers Ablums, Parts I and II, as well as the later Helloween albums with Andi Deris on vocals, and I can honestly say that I prefer the Kiske-era better. Every power metal and heavy metaller should have this album and its sequel. It is a power metal must-have and an absolute masterpiece!!
Noteworthy songs include all of them!

 

Stay tuned for Part II!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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