It’s a tough list to make, but after a long thought process, we’ve narrowed down 50 years of metal into a Top 10. These are the greatest metal albums ever made… period.

Call us Ozzy fanboys, but the iconic singer makes three appearances in this list for good reason. With Black Sabbath, Ozzy’s tortured vocals helped birth the first form of heavy metal. For our money, Paranoid and Master of Reality are the two most essential Sabbath albums, both making this Top 10. As for Ozzy’s solo career, his introduction to guitar god Randy Rhoads gave us another all-timer with Blizzard of Ozz.

No Top 10 is complete without Iron Maiden’s first record with Bruce Dickinson, The Number of the Beast. Beginning their transition from raw metallers to epic storytellers, Iron Maiden became the Beethovens of NWOBHM with cuts like “Hallowed Be Thy Name” and “Children of the Damned.” Of course, “Run to the Hills” and “The Number of the Beast” became timeless classics as well.

Perhaps it’s a bold claim, but we threw Tool’s 2001 magnum opus, Lateralus, on our list. We’ve previously named Lateralus the greatest album of the 21st century so far, bringing Tool’s spiritual and philosophical dynamics to its zenith. Fans use the messages within Lateralus as their personal compass, and that’s an achievement that few bands can claim.

Check out our picks for the 10 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time on the Loud List above.

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