From Metallica to Black Sabbath: Slayer’s Kerry King picks his 10 favourite metal albums of all time

No band hits harder than Slayer. Since 1981 the band have been like an earthquake shaking the very core of every metal scene. Five years later, Dave Lombardo and Kerry King found their match in producer Rick Rubin to deliver one of the defining albums of the metal genre, 1986’s masterpiece Reign in Blood. Ever since that moment, King’s face has been etched onto the side of metal’s Mount Rushmore.

King and Slayer are known as one Big Four of thrash with the likes of Anthrax, Megadeth and Metallica for company. It means his word on the genre’s finest moments is one worth listening to. During a campaign with Rolling Stone, King provided his ten favourite metal albums of all time, and it’s a showcase of the most outstanding talent the genre has to offer, as well as a perfect playlist to listen to.

King’s taste is pretty impeccable. He’s been the lifeblood of Slayer and worked alongside Megadeth, Pantera, Rob Zombie, and the Beastie Boys. It’s a legacy King is clearly aware of as he tells Rolling Stone: “I thought about
picking one of Slayer’s records. I could have picked Reign in Blood but then I would have had to leave off one of these other great bands, so I didn’t.”

King showcased his love for some of the classics of the genre. On picking the esteemed AC/DC album Highway to Hell, King told the publication: “A lot of my picks could have went a lot of ways. I love Powerage. I love If You Want Blood You’ve Got It. All the early AC/DC stuff is so awesome, but Highway to Hell, besides it being Bon Scott’s last album, there’s just no duds on there. It’s super, super polished, too. It’s got maybe a darker vibe.”

King also found room on his list of the ten greatest metal albums of all time for Metallica’s landmark LP Master of Puppets. Describing the 1986 album as having a “billion great songs” on it, he also picks out his favourite Metallica track of all, selecting ‘Damage Inc’ as “the best song they ever wrote. That’s coming from a hardcore-thrash kid. I could justify including it by that.”

King also showed his appreciation for another metal legend selecting the work of Ozzy Osbourne twice. Calling his 1975 effort with Black Sabbath, Sabotage a “very heavy record,” King also paid homage to Diary of a Mad Man from Ozzy’s solo repertoire. Saying he could have easily picked Ozzy’s debut solo venture, he picked the 1981 record because “It seemed more heavy to me with ‘Over the Mountain’ starting the record. That song is heavy as fuck. That came out and I was like, ‘This is cool.’ And the song ‘Diary of a Madman’ is just so spooky with the intro. It’s haunting. And ‘Believer’ – shit, that’s a great song.”

King completes his list with an array of heavy-hitting talent, including Exodus, Iron Maiden, Mercyful Fate, Judas Priest, Rainbow and Venom. It makes for one hell of a session. Read the full interview here.

You can find the full playlist of Slayer’s Kerry king’s ten favourite metal albums of all time below.

Slayer Kerry King’s favourite metal albums:

  • Highway to Hell – AC/DC
  • Sabotage – Black Sabbath
  • Bonded by Blood – Exodus
  • The Number of the Beast – Iron Maiden
  • Stained Class – Judas Priest
  • Melissa – Mercyful Fate
  • Master of Puppets – Metallica
  • Diary of a Madman – Ozzy Osbourne
  • Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll – Rainbow
  • Black Metal – Venom

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