This one has been a long time in the making because heavy metal is one of my favorite subgenres. This ain't no big thing for me to do, either, because this type of music was my intro to the metal world and will forever hold a special place in my heart.
King Diamond, that's who. The man has a string of excellent albums to his name, making the decision brutal, and my pick might seem a bit cliché to those who know his discography well. But Abigail comes out on top because it encapsulates what heavy metal is and should mean: over the top falsetto vocals, zesty guitar riffs, melodious lead work, and stampeding double bass? Yes, please, with an order of classic horror story on the side.
5. Uno más... Throwin' a curveball with this one: Savatage's Hall of the Mountain King. I'm in total agreement that the production sounds extremely dated, but it isn't the music, so you'll get over it. Hall of the Mountain King is home base for such classics "Beyond the Doors of the Dark," the self-titled track, and "White Witch." But really, the whole album is perfect and arguably the climax of the band's career. The Oliva bros and co. are in prime form on this one. Nab on next record shopping spree. You'll thank me.