Listen we get it. Any list of something is a) purely subjective and b) link bait because people love it when things get ranked for them. But the list that Yahoo! came out with yesterday of the 10 Worst Metal Albums of All Time is one of the most ill-informed lists we’ve ever read. Using the release of the Lou Reed & Metallica album as a catalyst (a lazy move in itself), the article goes on to name some pretty solid albums as among the worst. Their first mistake happens even before the list starts, where author Rob O’Connor disqualifies any Sammy Hagar-era Van Halen albums for being “too obvious.” So that’s saying that Van Halen’s Gary Cherone-led III, which isn’t on the list either, is better than them? The next mistake is genre-based. Def Leppard might have been considered metal for their first three albums or so, but not only do they not consider themselves metal, but I doubt that any metal fan would consider them that either.
Then there are the albums that made the list. Ozzy Osbourne’s Bark at the Moon? Really? Not only is the title track a classic, but has he heard Down To Earth or Black Rain? Those are as forgettable as Ozzy albums come. And while we’re on the subject of Ozzy, the list names Black Sabbath’s final album with the Prince of Darkness, Never Say Die, as one of the 10 worst. First of all, no Black Sabbath album belongs on a list of the 10 worst albums of all time. Sabbath at their worst is better than some bands at their best. And Sabbath at their worst was definitely when they were without Ozzy or Ronnie James Dio as their vocalist. Another band that made the list was Iron Maiden, for Fear of the Dark. Wait, what? Bruce Dickinson’s final album before his 10-year hiatus from the band contains the title track, which is a live staple to this day. With no offense to Blaze Bayley, the two Maiden albums he sang on are far more unpopular than Fear of the Dark, which the author seems to have chosen based on its album title. Even some of the mid-‘oos albums with Dickinson back in the fold were less popular with fans, like Dance of Death.
Lastly, the list smacks of laziness. Guns N’ Roses’ Chinese Democracy has been so much of a punchline and an easy target that it barely warrants a mention, unless it was before the list like VH was. And the #1 “album?” It’s actually three albums, Metallica’s Load, Reload, and St. Anger. Naming three albums as the #1 worst album is about as confused and incoherent as the list itself. What about albums that real metal fans regard as terrible, like Celtic Frost’s Cold Lake, or newer albums like Morbid Angel’s Illud Divinum Insanus or Axel Rudi Pell’s The Ballads IV? Congratulations, Yahoo!, if you really stand by these selections as the worst metal albums of all time, you need to re-examine the genre of music you like. But if the article is just cheap trolling for hits and rebuttals like this one, then congratulations on accomplishing your mission, we hope you can sleep at night.