The 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time

The most headbangable records ever, from Metallica's Black Album to Black Sabbath's 'Paranoid'

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Danzig, 'Danzig' (1988)
100
23/100

23. Danzig, 'Danzig' (1988)

By the time he formed his eponymous band in 1987, Glenn Danzig was already an underground hero, having spent the prior decade grinding it out with horror-punks the Misfits and gothic hard rockers Samhain. But Danzig's self-titled debut was the album that signified the frontman's arrival as a full-on metal icon, with its stark cow-skull cover art, greaser-gang-style band photo and bone-dry production by Rick Rubin, which accented the swaggering wallop of drummer Chuck Biscuits and squealing riffs of guitarist John Christ. "What he saw in the band is exactly the same things I saw in the band; the aggressiveness, the attitude, the whole deal, so it worked out very well," the singer said of working with Rubin. But what made Danzig an instant classic was the sturdiness of the songs, which definitively demonstrated that he was moving closer to the hallowed territory of idols like Elvis and Bo Diddley. The brooding parents'-worst-nightmare rallying cry "Mother," which targeted Tipper Gore, is just one highlight: Songs such as strutting death-blues opener "Twist of Cain," eerie power ballad "Soul on Fire" and the "Black Dog"–gone-biker-rock stomper "Evil Thing" – all bellowed out by Glenn like an undead Jim Morrison – signaled a brilliant new phase for this still-vital lifer. H.S.

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