Many heavy metal albums do not get the award recognition they deserve upon the time of release. However, this is often rectified with retrospective awards. Many of the best vintage albums have attained these prizes. Some of the most positively received ones include the following.

Master of Puppets by Metallica

The cover of this album is one of the most iconic in all of heavy metal. Tombstones stretch out to the horizon as giant hands control them with strings. The album begins with ominous-sounding acoustic guitars which open up the track Battery. The titular song Master Of Puppets remains a masterpiece. It continues to be recognised in the heavy metal top ten lists.

No Remorse by Motörhead

This band managed to crack the code for a perfect heavy metal sound with a straightforward formula. Lead singer Lemmy Kilmister barks out lyrics while performing a hyperactive bassline. Motörhead was around for four decades until Kilminster’s death. During this time their album No Remorse remained their most popular. The track Ace Of Spades is often given retrospective awards. In 2020 the band was shortlisted for inclusion into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Peace Sells … But Who’s Buying? by Megadeth

Dave Mustaine released this album soon after leaving Metallica. It sounds like rage incarnate. There are examples of shredding guitars and a sound that would later be characterised as thrash. A section of the album ended up becoming the intro sound for MTV News. The title track was featured on the soundtrack for Grand Theft Auto: Vice City which won numerous awards.

Diary of a Madman by Ozzy Osbourne

This was the second album released by Ozzy Osbourne after going solo from Black Sabbath. It is an excellent blend of gothic atmosphere and melodic pop sounds. Randy Rhoads provided the guitar, and this would prove to be his masterpiece. Rhoads has been posthumously recognised and awarded for his efforts on the album.