Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Best Year In Metal Debate

I have found myself recently getting into Slayer more than I have in my life and it brought up a question in my head: What is the greatest year for Heavy Metal music?

Was it 1981, with the arrival of the NWOBHM and other new bands:
Mötley Crüe - Too Fast For Love
Ozzy Osbourne - Diary Of A Madman
Black Sabbath - Mob Rules
Def Leppard - High 'N' Dry
Iron Maiden - Killers
AC/DC - For Those About To Rock (We Salute You)

Kind of impressive but hardly earth shattering or plentiful enough to be considered the greatest. Maybe 1983:
Def Leppard - Pyromania
Iron Maiden - Piece Of Mind
Metallica - Kill 'Em All
Mötley Crüe - Shout At The Devil
Dio - Holy Diver
Ozzy Osbourne - Bark At The Moon
Slayer - Show No Mercy
Motörhead - Another Perfect Day

Um, no. Especially with terrible records from Black Sabbath and AC/DC (the albums don't even deserve mention) that year and it being just the beginning for Slayer and Metallica. Most metal heads will point to 1986 and, with this list of classics and strong efforts, who can argue:
Metallica - Master Of Puppets
Slayer - Reign In Blood
Megadeth - Peace Sells...But Who's Buying?
Iron Maiden - Somewhere In Time
Ozzy Osbourne - The Ultimate Sin
Samhain - November-Coming-Fire
Europe - The Final Countdown (!?!)

While that is a landmark year for metal, I contend that 1988 was actually better in terms of album quality and quanitity. Metallica came back with their commercial breakthrough (and arguably better album, though I don't believe so). Slayer returned with another thrash lesson, while Megadeth and Iron Maiden had better efforts than their '86 albums. Ministry is a bit of a stretch since all of their previous efforts were techno.

Metallica - ...And Justice For All
Iron Maiden - Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
Megadeth - So Far, So Good, So What
Ministry - The Land Of Rape And Honey
Slayer - South Of Heaven
Ozzy Osbourne - No Rest For The Wicked
Anthrax - State Of Euphoria

So, while I do believe that Master Of Puppets is the finest masterpiece of any on all these lists, I think the output of 1988 is more impressive. Any submissions, comments, votes?


Hector said...

1988 - Jizz in my pants! Can Europe and Def Leppard be considered Metal? I like Def Leppard, but I wouldn't categorize'em as metal.

The Zero said...

Take it up with wikipedia. Those were on their lists. They didn't even have Samhain!