Since the very start of the genre, there has been an influx of high-quality heavy metal albums. It can be tough to choose ones that outdo all others. However, over the decades, several outstanding records have managed to stand the test of time. They continue to be enjoyed by heavy metal fans, both young and old.

The Number of the Beast by Iron Maiden

This atmospheric album was criticised upon its release for having very dark imagery. Despite this, it has endured. The title single continues to be considered one of the best ever by Iron Maiden. The band still perform it during their live gigs.

Paranoid by Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath was actually one of the first bands to spread the heavy metal genre around the world. Their track Paranoid has a very recognisable hook. People who want to learn the electric guitar will often start off by memorising the chords. Very few albums have been as influential as Paranoid.

Ride the Lightning by Metallica

Metallica grew in popularity thanks to the fast-paced and oppressive nature of their distinctive sound. Ride the Lightning helped to popularise them. For Whom the Bell Tolls has become a classic song, featured in numerous pieces of pop culture.

Reign in Blood by Slayer

This album belongs on the list of most popular albums thanks to one track in particular. Reign in Blood is considered by many heavy metal fans to be one of the heaviest and best of the entire genre. In fact, it has overshadowed the other works by Slayer.

British Steel by Judas Priest

Judas Priest helped to bring heavy metal into the mainstream with British Steel. While not as heavy as some of their contemporaries, Judas Priest managed to attain a high level of fame. Their single Breaking the Law stands out in particular.