Every single classic album is subjective depending on who you talk to. Even if you think that the next album by your favorite band is destined to be a timeless piece of art, there are just as many people who might consider it one of the worst things they’ve heard in their lives. Then again, you might not have that much of a problem marking these down as classics.
For all of the great anthems that have come and gone throughout metal history, each of these records have stood as benchmarks for their genre, taking the tropes that defined the genre at the time and spinning them into something completely different. Although not every band on this list was looking to change the world the minute they plugged into their amplifiers, you better believe that the rest of the metal world took notice real quick, with thousands of bands taking these records as a blueprint for what they would go on to do in the future.
In terms of perfection though, these are the kind of records that most of us are going to see only once in a lifetime, capturing that lightning in a bottle energy that very few people will ever be able to even come close to. The entire metal world seems to be a little bit on the nasty side for your average music fan, but this is about as close to a gold standard as the genre would get.
10. 10,000 Days - Tool
As metal was starting to enter the '00s, the stench of nu metal was still hanging in the air. Bands like Korn and Staind still had a firm grip on the cultural zeitgeist, and people hadn't really forgotten what Limp Bizkit had stirred up just a year before at the Woodstock 1999 concert. Metal was starting to look like a genre for neanderthals, but Tool was looking to build different sonic landscapes with their music.
Having already delved into the world of prog metal on Lateralus, their follow up 10,000 Days may be the most heartfelt album that they would ever create. While there had always been some cheekiness to Tool's music up until this point, there are a lot more heavy topics to cover on here, with Maynard James Keenan grieving over the death of his mother on the Wings for Marie suite, spanning across 11 minutes of him reflecting on her life and dedication to her faith even when things were at their most grim.
Maynard may have his heart on his sleeve, but the most savage tracks are the ones that are directed outward, having more than a few things to say about man's tendency towards violence on Vicarious and The Pot talking about the broken political system that was starting to become more apparent when the Bush regime took over. It may have taken an eternity to actually get a new album from the band after this, but if they had decided to call it a day on this one record, they still had a sturdy legacy to stand on.