Had to slip an Iron Maiden album in there, should be in there in the first place if not for my mistake. 2 Metal albums, eliminate one.
Metallica's Metallica(Black Album)
Review by Steve Huey
After the muddled production and ultracomplicated song structures of ...And Justice for All, Metallica decided that they had taken the progressive elements of their music as far as they could and that a simplification and streamlining of their sound was in order. While the assessment made sense from a musical standpoint, it also presented an opportunity to commercialize their music, and Metallica accomplishes both goals. The best songs are more melodic and immediate, the crushing, stripped-down grooves of "Enter Sandman," "Sad but True," and "Wherever I May Roam" sticking to traditional structures and using the same main riffs throughout; the crisp, professional production by Bob Rock adds to their accessibility. "The Unforgiven" and "Nothing Else Matters" avoid the slash-and-burn guitar riffs that had always punctuated the band's ballads; the latter is a full-fledged love song complete with string section, which works much better than might be imagined. The song- and riff-writing slips here and there, a rare occurrence for Metallica, which some longtime fans interpreted as filler next to a batch of singles calculated for commercial success. The objections were often more to the idea that Metallica was doing anything explicitly commercial, but millions more disagreed. In fact, the band's popularity exploded so much that most of their back catalog found mainstream acceptance in its own right, while other progressively inclined speed metal bands copied the move toward simplification. In retrospect, Metallica is a good, but not quite great, album, one whose best moments deservedly captured the heavy metal crown, but whose approach also foreshadowed a creative decline.
Iron Maiden's The Number of the Beast
Review by Greg Prato
Even though Iron Maiden were on the brink of worldwide superstardom after their breakthrough sophomore effort, Killers, vocalist Paul Di'Anno left the band at the conclusion of their 1981 world tour. Many fans wondered if this would signal the end to one of metal's most promising new bands, but their worries were soon erased after hearing the 1982 masterpiece The Number of the Beast. Ex-Samson singer Bruce Dickinson replaced Di'Anno, and his strong, operatic vocals proved to be one of Maiden's most distinctive trademarks. And while the music on their first albums contained elements of punk, Beast was a 100 percent true heavy metal album, as Maiden's songwriting and sound continued to solidify. Topping the charts in the U.K., and becoming their first U.S. Top 40 record, The Number of the Beast spawned a pair of all-time classic metal anthems -- "Run to the Hills" (which dealt with the plight of the American Indian) and the demonic title track (which caused controversy among religious groups, who wrongfully labeled the band Satan worshippers). But, like its predecessor, not a single weak track is included -- "Invaders," "The Prisoner," "22 Acacia Avenue" (a follow-up to 1980's "Charlotte the Harlot"), and "Gangland" were all rocking highlights; the quieter "Children of the Damned" and "Hallowed Be Thy Name" were also featured. The Number of the Beast is quite simply one of the best heavy metal albums ever released.