25. Master of Puppets, Metallica (1986)
Metallica was certainly building up to this moment in its career. The band’s third studio album proved that thrash metal was no longer an underground movement, but when perfectly precise and polished, could earn a broader audience. While the record didn’t completely push Metallica into the hard-rock mainstream, its aggressively melodic vibe showed that thrash was listenable. And, could also sell (the album earned platinum status in the United States). The title cut, “Battery” and “Welcome Home (Sanitarium)” still resonate as some of the great pure metal songs of all time, and should be appreciated through the beauty of vinyl.
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