I suppose aspects of this short list change from time to time, but not drastically. I could have easily put more Maiden or Sabbath or whatever....but from my point of view (old and new), these are the best metal albums thus far. "Best" meaning, firing on all cylinders, planets in allignment, few if no flaws albums. Go ahead and throw rocks and post your list. Incidentally, I'm not intentionally old school....only that I'm looking at the genre as a whole. If the list were longer it would include Slayer, etc. etc. Also, I purposely avoided Tool and bands of that sort that, strictly speaking, don't fall under the conventional Heavy Metal standard. If I did, Lateralus would be #1. That's another list. 1. Metallica - Master of Puppets (say what you will about 'em before or after this, I really think this album is THE standard in metal) 2. Iron Maiden - The Number of the Beast (the first REAL metal album) 3. Opeth - Blackwater Park (whoa!) 4. Mercyful Fate - Melissa (Fantastic, I think so anyway) 5. Black Sabbath - Master of Reality (really, this album just represents ALL the Ozzy-era stuff. But it would be cheating to write all those titles in one spot) There it is. Let's hear/see yours. It's all a matter of taste in the end, so try not to tell me how much of an idiot you think I am. I'll return the favor.