Best Heavy Metal Albums Of 1987

After 1986 any year would be a letdown, but 1987 was pretty strong in its own right. Once again it was a great mix of genres, with thrash bands like Anthrax and Testament, more extreme groups such as Death and Napalm Death, and other bands that encompassed doom, death and black metal. Here are my selections for the best heavy metal albums of 1987.

01
of 10

Anthrax - Among The Living

Anthrax - Among The Living
Anthrax - Among The Living.

Anthrax are a group I've come to appreciate more and more as the years go by, and Among The Living was their best album. The songs had a message and were catchy yet still very intense and aggressive.

"Caught In A Mosh" is the highlight of this album, along with other great songs such as "Indians," "I Am The Law" and the title track. Anthrax have always been a band with a sense of humor that is also willing to address serious subjects, which is a great combination.

02
of 10

King Diamond - Abigail

King Diamond - 'Abigail'
King Diamond - 'Abigail'.

His second full-length solo album was also King Diamond's tour de force. His vocal performance on Abigail is outstanding as he sings with great power and range. The harmonies are also excellent. The storyline of the album is also very riveting and compelling and gives the listener an emotional connection with the material.

Even though it is technically a solo album, the contributions of guitarist Andy LaRoque and drummer Mikkey Dee help take the album to an even higher level.

03
of 10

Celtic Frost - Into The Pandemonium

Celtic Frost - Into The Pandemonium
Celtic Frost - Into The Pandemonium.

Celtic Frost's third album continued their streak of appearances in our annual top 10 list. After To Mega Therion the band faced high expectations, and with Into The Pandemonium they met and sometimes exceeded those expectations.

In an unusual choice, the album kicked off with a cover of Wall Of Voodoo's new wave song "Mexican Radio" and the band showed a lot of diversity in styles, ranging from dreamy female vocals to the dark metal style of their previous work.

04
of 10

Helloween - Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part I

Helloween - 'Keeper Of Seven Keys Part 1'
Helloween - 'Keeper Of Seven Keys Part 1'.

Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part I is Helloween's best album. It finds the German power metal band in top form. It also was the first album with vocalist Michael Kiske.

It has the usual epic themes and soaring vocals that fans of the group have come to know and love, but Helloween came up with their best songs and musical performances on this album, which puts it a step above the rest of their catalog. Highlights include "Future World" and the 13 minute epic "Halloween."

05
of 10

Bathory - Under The Sign Of The Black Mark

Bathory - Under The Sign Of The Black Mark
Bathory - Under The Sign Of The Black Mark.

Bathory were one of the most important extreme bands to come out of Sweden. Under The Sign Of The Black Mark was their third album, and marked a big step forward. The production was far superior to their early releases, and their brand of black metal was epic, raw and powerful.

Quorthon and company were about as extreme as it got in the mid '80s The highlight of the album is the classic "Enter The Eternal Fire."

06
of 10

Savatage - Hall Of The Mountain King

Savatage - Hall Of The Mountain King
Savatage - Hall Of The Mountain King.

Savatage really hit their stride with their fourth album Hall Of The Mountain King. They fully embraced progressive metal, and this was their first concept album. The title track got some MTV play, and it one of the strongest songs on the album.

It's a well-rounded album with fast and heavy songs along with more moderately paced tracks and a couple of instrumentals. Jon Oliva's vocals are powerful and memorable, and many think this was Savatage's best effort.

07
of 10

Napalm Death - Scum

Napalm Death are one of the originators of grindcore, and their debut album brought extremity to a new level. The band packed 28 tracks of chaos onto Scum, with many songs clocking in at under a minute.

The music was played at breakneck speed with screaming, unintelligible vocals from Lee Dorrian. This is a powerful and intense album packed with bone crushing riffs and lightning fast guitar and drums.

08
of 10

Voivod - Killing Technology

Voivod - Killing Technology
Voivod - Killing Technology.

Voivod's third album continued their development. Although they would reach even higher levels of complexity and songwriting skill, Killing Technology showed that they were well on their way.

It blends the more intense sounds of their earlier albums with increasingly more complicated arrangements and longer songs. Probably the best track on this album is "Ravenous Medicine," which holds up as one of Voivod's finest songs.

09
of 10

Testament - The Legacy

Testament - The Legacy
Testament - The Legacy.

Testament are a Bay Area thrash band whose debut album came a few years after groups like Metallica and Megadeth were already dominating the scene. They were well known to thrash fans, but never made that leap to popular success like some of their contemporaries.

The Legacy followed the thrash metal blueprint, but Testament infused it with their own style and personality that made it unique. Testament has released several good albums over the years, but their debut remains their best.

10
of 10

Death - Scream Bloody Gore

Death - Scream Bloody Gore
Death - Scream Bloody Gore.

This is a pioneering album in the death metal genre. Even though it isn't as good as some of their later work, Death helped pave the way for a lot of extreme bands.

Scream Bloody Gore is raw and brutal with all the trappings of what would become death metal. If you're a fan of death metal, you need to own this album to hear what it sounded like at the beginning.