10. Venom – Welcome To Hell (Neat Records, 1981)
Released in December 1981, Welcome To Hell is the debut studio album of the English Heavy Metal band Venom. Today the album is considered a major influence on Thrash Metal and Extreme Metal in general. The rough sound of this album crystallised the elements that later became known as Death and Black Metal.
9. Dio – Holy Diver (Warner Bros. Records, 1983)
Released in May 1983, Holy Diver is the debut album of the American Heavy Metal band Dio. It is also, their most critically acclaimed and most successful work. The album incorporates strong melodic hooks and more than the genre’s usual share of velvety, classical-bases pyrotechnics (Martin Popoff). This album is an essential purchase for every metal fan out there.
8. Slayer – Reign In Blood (Def Jam Recordings, 1986)
Released in October 1986, the album is the major label debut of American Thrash Metal band Slayer, and it was described by Kerrang! magazine as “the heaviest album of all”. MTV praised Slayer’s “downtuned rhythms, infectious guitar licks, graphically violent lyrics and grisly artwork”. Reign In Blood defined the sound of the emerging US Thrash Metal Scene in the 1980’s, and today it is still considered one of the best Heavy Metal albums of all time.
7. Pantera – Cowboys From Hell (Atco Records, 1990)
Released in July 1990, Cowboys From Hell, is Pantera’s fifth studio album and it represented a huge change in the band’s sound. Influenced by several Thrash albums from 1986, 1987 Pantera changed its original frontman with Phil Anselmo and went from a Glam Rock sound to a much more heavier and aggressive one. Today the album is credited as “defining” Groove Metal.
6. Motörhead – Ace Of Spades (Mercury Records, 1980)
Released in November 1980, it was the band’s debut album in the United States. The album’s ferocious, loud proto-thrash playing style appealed equally to punks and heavy metal fans alike, establishing Motörhead as one of the most influential bands in the 1980’s. The title track is for many the definitive Motörhead anthem.