We can always debate which year was the most inspirational in metal music, or in which year metal music gave us the most trendsetting albums that influenced generation after generation of metal bands to come, right? The winning title might belong to any year, depending on when you were born.
However, the year 1984 was a very fruitful year for metal music though whether it was the one that brought us the most powerful and influential metal albums in terms of quality, is a topic open for some discussion.
Let's find out what some musicians thought about the albums that were released in 1984, some 40 years ago...
Our sincere thanks to everyone who participated in this 1984 metal albums feature.
All interviews conducted by Luxi Lahtinen.
What kind of role did the metal albums released in the year 1984 play in your musical career?
Ed Klinger (CALIGULA): I was 15 and Caligula didn't form until the following year, but I was already fully into the growing metal scene and looking back, this was really a great year for releases.
Ricard (PROSCRITO): Ave, Luxi! Glad to answer you back and bother your readers with some more ramblings. To be honest, I'm quite the impostor here, for I was born in 1992 and all my fervor for those albums belongs to my archaeological career, yet no less sincere nor unable to forge in fire real blood-chilling experience and nostalgia, mind you. Of course, I had to look up through Discogs notes to set dates straight for this essay. I'm such a mess even with those releases spawned during the last few years (I couldn't give a rat's ass about them compared with the ones mentioned in here, though). At least I'm being honest with ya, don't you think?
Markus Makkonen (SADISTIK FOREST/NERVESAW): 1984 was a very significant year for me personally. In many ways albums from 1984 showed the teenage metalhead in me how writing music should be done. As a metal-obsessed teenager some 8-10 years later, I was desperately trying to find all the worthy metal stuff out there and as there was not as much at that time, it was not as impossible a task as it would be today. 1984 has always seemed to be a period in metal when things were still hard hitting and tough. There was still plenty of Venom, Motörhead, NWOBHM and punk involved and the "finesse" that crawled into the metal forges later on was still very much unheard of. Things were RAW in the heavy metal world back then. As I was never really into "hair metal," albums from 1984 have always been to my liking for being the complete opposite of it. Also, it was a year of classics as there were several albums released that year that STILL are in daily rotation around the globe. What would you say of the likes of the first W.A.S.P. album, Morbid Tales by Celtic Frost, the first Bathory album, Powerslave by Iron Maiden, Perfect Strangers by Deep Purple, The Last in Line by Dio, Animalize by Kiss, Stay Hungry by Twisted Sister, or Psalm 9 by Trouble, for instance? I guess 1984 injected a lot of that direct, no nonsense feel into my musicianship. Gloomy feel, unpolished sound, and straightforward metal attack; that is what 1984 means to me.
Robert Benaquista (NEXUS INSIDIAS): Well, I was born in 1983. I recall seeing early videos from Van Halen, Mötley Crüe, Quiet Riot, and Twisted Sister in my youth on MTV and VH1, back when those channels actually played music videos. Although I didn't fully start getting into metal until I was a teenager in the '90s, I'd say that being born in the '80s sure helped expose me to metal in my youth.
Bruno Fontebasso (REDSPHERE): At the time I was a young child, and I hadn't yet discovered metal. But on the other hand, Slayer and Iron Maiden were bands that I discovered six years later.
Adam Sičák (MALOKARPATAN): I am too young to have been around then, but it's a year that has, among other things, spawned one of my most crucial musical inspirations ever; the magnificent Don't Break the Oath by Mercyful Fate. A huge part of the atmosphere I try to create in Malokarpatan is because of those magical 40 minutes. There are albums you put on just to rock out, but this one has a whole spiritual, eerie dimension to it and every second on it feels like walking through a world of lost spirits where it's an infinite All Hallow's Eve, with its shimmering candles in the cold autumn wind.
Adam Scott (CARDIAC ARREST): It is kind of hard to say since I was only a small child and wasn't aware of a lot of things, but as far as it doing anything for my musical career, definitely some of it was an influence, and paved the way for many more generations of bands, and gave me lots of years of musical enjoyment as a fan.
Lasse Pyykkö (HOODED MENACE): Very important actually, because some of those 1984 albums did not only serve as a kickstart for me becoming a fan of heavy metal, but they still manage to inspire me greatly. It's like there's an everlasting magic and power stored in that stuff. Be it the 1984 album from Maiden, Metallica, Mercyful Fate, Dio, Queensrÿche, Ratt, Priest, Yngwie, WASP, Van Halen, Manowar, or Dokken, they are all still totally essential and relevant pieces of music and an endless source for inspiration.
Nzambi (MIRUTHAN): In 1984, despite being quite young, I owned these albums on vinyl and spent countless hours in my bedroom listening to the mesmerizing combination of distorted guitars and fast drums. This experience ignited my passion for music, leading me to start with drums and eventually transition to playing guitar in Miruthan. The formative years immersed in metal truly shaped my musical journey.
Az Smith (CARCINOID): 1984 played a strong role in my musical career. I was lucky enough to grow up with my brother, who was about 10+ years older than me so I was exposed to a lot of '80s metal from three years old onwards. This included some '84 albums and, as time went on, I continued looking for killer albums of the era. Most of my favorite music generally is from the '80s and '90s. 1984 was definitely a standout year for metal and some of my all-time favorite albums are from that year!
Kathir (RUDRA): I consider 1984 as the pivotal moment for the burgeoning underground metal scene and the onset of thrash metal. The albums released during that year encapsulate the transitional phase of thrash metal, as it began to embrace more boldness and aggression. This period also saw the emergence of new subgenres, breaking new ground in the metal music landscape.
Toni Huhtiniemi (MUTANT BLAST): The year 1984 was an important year in my musical history, the most important album being Ride the Lightning, the songs and riffs from which I learned when I was 14-15. I also started listening to Powerslave when I was young, and especially "Aces High" has been an incredibly great and inspiring song. I started listening to Scorpions with a friend when I was 11-12 years old, and some years ago I also played in a Scorpions tribute band, so Love at First Sting is a very important album for me.
Finn Solemdal (RELENTLESS AGGRESSION): For me 1984 was a very important year music-wise. I had already started to play in a traditional rock/metal band some years before, but I wanted to go for something heavier. I discovered Metallica in 1983, and that was a big inspiration for me. I bought Ride the Lightning in September 1984, and I played it again and again and again. A lot of my friends borrowed the album from me, and when I finally got it back, it was worn out and I had to buy a new copy. The first Metal Church album was also great. The first two songs, "Beyond the Black" and "Metal Church" are killer songs! Other albums I listened to in 1984, were Voïvod - War and Pain, Manowar - Sign of the Hammer and Hail to England (not bad getting two albums released in one year!), Anthrax - Fistful of Metal, Iron Maiden - Powerslave, Judas Priest - Defenders of the Faith and the awesome Haunting the Chapel EP by Slayer. These albums inspired me to start a band called Hell Awaits (no points for guessing which band we stole the name from). The band only lasted until 1990, but in 2018 Yngve (vocalist) and me (Finn on guitar and bass) started the band up again, this time as Relentless Aggression.
What are your three favorite metal albums from that year and why?
Ed Klinger (CALIGULA): In no particular order:
1) Celtic Frost - Morbid Tales: Even amongst metal fans, Hellhammer was still a bit divisive. I had Apocalyptic Raids and loved it, so when this came out, I got it right away and wow! What a classic.
2) Metallica - Ride the Lightning: Great songs and crushing guitar sound.
3) Manowar - Hail to England: Underrated album, I think. The production was not the greatest, but it has two all-time classic songs, "Blood of My Enemies" and "Bridge of Death."
Honorable mentions if I may... and there are more, but:
Mercyful Fate - Don't Break the Oath
Bathory - S/T
Anthrax - Fistful of Metal
Ricard (PROSCRITO): I'm hard-pressed to say Powerslave, W.A.S.P.'s first, and War and Pain, because I've played them the most and they are closest to my heart, but I'll go the extra mile and say three (four) MLPs, for I love the format and I guess no one else will: Morbid Tales, Sentence of Death and Haunting the Chapel. You could add Apocalyptic Raids to the list as the missing link between Satanic Rites and Morbid Tales (with "Triumph of Death" as the most iconic and defining song I could think of when choosing among those) plus those two '84 tracks that would appear in Emperor's Return one year later. I always feel the urge to show my devotion and utmost worship for this, the best MLP (and best cover artwork, production, lyrical content, etc.) in metal history. Why those three? The former showcases my favorite band at its most feral, with the fiercest vocal tracks Warrior has ever delivered under the moniker, and because it features the best riff of all time (guess which one, right?), the pitch-black darkness of "Visions of Mortality" with the sacrificial images evoked by its lyrics, as well as the definition of blasphemy during the Biblical recitation of "Return to the Eve." I know Destruction's lyrics by heart and lost count on how many times I've spun that one (unfortunately with the less cool-looking standing band cover), the most twisted and diabolical riffage ever captured on wax, like old heavy metal on 'roids. As for the latter, Slayer at their most "mercyfulesque." I'm always in love with transitional records and this is the perfect passageway to the hellish current of Hell Awaits plus, it features "Captor of Sin."
And now, some cheating. I would've loved to include Psalm 9 in my ranking as the Chicago metal maniac I am, but let's be fair, I've always been more of a The Skull guy. The same goes for Violence and Force (more partial to the LPs bookending it). Honorary mentions for Barón Rojo's Al Rojo Vivo live (which includes their best songs, never recorded in studio settings), Ángeles del Infierno's Pacto con el Diablo, Running Wild's Gates to Purgatory (my favorite of theirs), Mercyful Fate's Don't Break the Oath as the flanger-fukked Satanic counterpart to the red-light evilness of Melissa and Manowar's Hail to England for the most vicious bass tone in HM. Perfect Strangers is still the best comeback album there is along with Brave New World, Fistful of Metal, my favorite Anthrax album, and it was also the year of At War with Satan, blah, blah, blah. Yes, I love Defenders of the Faith to DESSSS but my favorite Priest albums belong to the '70s and, while I like Cirith Ungol's King of the Dead as any respectable guy next door, One Foot in Hell is where it's at for me, so that one is my second best too. Same for Ride the Lightning versus Master of Puppets. Actually, I like Rrröööaaarrr way better than War and Pain, so that one hurts a bit less. Vitus' debut MLP deserves a mention, too. It's not my favorite of theirs (Hallows' Victim and Die Healing are), but the minimalistic artwork always gets me, as well as some of the darkest tracks they've ever recorded, e.g. "The Psychopath," "White Magic..." and "Burial at Sea." As for the mandatory Bathory debut we all love and know note by note and wear on our sleeves, read my next response...
Markus Makkonen (SADISTIK FOREST/NERVESAW): These are pretty easy. Ride the Lightning by Metallica would be the number one, as it is still my favorite album by them AND it goes easily in my TOP 5 albums of all time. It is the ultimate 1984 album for all the reasons that made the year what it was. War and Pain by Voïvod would be my second pick as that album is SO FUCKING METAL!! Headbanging mania ensues right after the first minutes!! The third album would be Hail to England by Manowar. Early Manowar records were simply the best stuff ever. Raw, loud, punchy, and no-nonsense in everything they did. Solid METAL in every meaning of the word.
Robert Benaquista (NEXUS INSIDIAS):
Metallica - Ride the Lightning. People can say what they want about Metallica, but Ride the Lightning is still a fantastic metal album. I remember first getting it on cassette when I was 12 years old. I was truly blown away when those heavy guitars kicked in on "Fight Fire with Fire." The rest of the album, including "For Whom the Bell Tolls," "Creeping Death," and "The Call of Ktulu," had a major influence on shaping my musical tastes and giving me more inclination to explore more and more metal. It was one of the albums that made me want to pick up a guitar and start learning it seriously.
Slayer - Haunting the Chapel. Although it's only an EP, it is one of my favorite Slayer releases of all time. It was one of the first releases I picked up that got me deeper into the darker side of metal, with lyrics related to the occult and Satanic imagery. The raw production, the songwriting, the blistering guitar solo, the lyrics paired with Tom Araya's vocals (which sound evil as fuck on this release), and the execution of "Chemical Warfare," "Captor of Sin," and "Haunting the Chapel" are just perfection in my eyes. I see it as the appropriate bridge between Show No Mercy, still a great album, but not as prolific as the releases that would soon follow, and Hell Awaits, a strong sophomore release with a much darker, heavier, and better approach that proved Slayer were a force to be reckoned with.
Iron Maiden - Powerslave. Although it doesn't quite outrank The Number of the Beast or Piece of Mind in my opinion, Powerslave is yet another classic release in a consistently strong series of Iron Maiden albums of the classic period. The legendary "2 Minutes to Midnight" and "Aces High" have influenced me to want to play more lead guitar and increase my rhythmic chops. And the closing epic "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" is a 13-and-a-half-minute masterpiece filled with substance, elaborate songwriting skills, adventurous excitement, and great storytelling lyrics that know how to successfully capture and command attention.
Honorable mentions: Celtic Frost - Morbid Tales, Metal Church - Metal Church.
Bruno Fontebasso (REDSPHERE): Powerslave by Iron Maiden, Metallica's Ride the Lightning and Celtic Frost's Morbid Tales. These albums had an impact on metal in general and influenced many bands, even today.
Adam Sičák (MALOKARPATAN): Number one I've already mentioned and explained, so that gives me the difficult task to pick only two more from that year. One has to be Defenders of the Faith as it's my second all-time favorite Judas Priest after Sad Wings of Destiny. The band entered a slightly more radio-friendly direction by then, but it almost feels stupid to say that because the album is so incredibly METAL. Just thinking of the bridge of "Jawbreaker" or the chorus of "The Sentinel" sends instant shivers down my spine and I feel sorry for people who don't feel that, haha! As much as I'd like to give the third spot to Metallica, I must pick Venom's At War with Satan because I think it's a very underrated record and a wonderful anomaly in their discography. Venom inspired by Rush's song structures? Count me in! Their epic mid-tempo songs were always my favorite.
I have to name a few honorable mentions such as Piledriver's Metal Inquisition, an incredibly evil sounding record for its time, and also the debut album from Cloven Hoof, where the eponymous song is one of the best and most atmospheric compositions in metal's history.
Adam Scott (CARDIAC ARREST):
1. Metallica - Ride the Lightning
2. Iron Maiden - Powerslave
3. Manowar - Hail to England
The reason for these three is simple, they are probably the ones I think of the most when it comes to that year in metal. Some had a massive influence in how I look at metal or how I do things as a guitarist in my band and write songs. Simply some of my favorites ever too.
Lasse Pyykkö (HOODED MENACE): While not actually better than Dio's The Last in Line or Don't Break the Oath from Mercyful Fate, W.A.S.P.'s debut album was one of the first heavy metal LPs that I got, so it holds a very special significance to me. I was already into Kiss, but W.A.S.P. appealed to me even more. They were heavier, more shocking and the songs were just brilliant from start to finish, no fillers really. For some time, they were the best band in my world. The album has stood the test of time really well and still sounds excellent. For those who don't know, we even recorded a cover of "The Torture Never Stops" as a bonus track on the latest Hooded Menace album, The Tritonus Bell. I guess that says something about the appreciation and love that I have for this album.
Iron Maiden's Powerslave has always been one of those almost-too-good-to-be-true albums for me. Those guitar harmonies never cease to inspire me or the epic quality of "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and so forth. In my opinion, this album is the pinnacle of their superb '80s discography and definitely belongs on my all-time top 10 metal albums list, if not top 5. I'd have wanted to see expressions on the faces of other heavy metal musicians of the time when they heard Powerslave fresh from the wrapping. Its brilliance must have been almost frightening to some. But there were some advanced sounds cooking on the other side of the pond as well, and it was way faster and heavier...
I'm, of course, talking about Metallica and their masterpiece (along with Master of Puppets) Ride the Lightning. As far as I can remember, it was probably this album that got me into thrash metal. They jumped from the neck-breaking speed and aggression of "Fight Fire With Fire" to a heavy and uncheesy ballad, "Fade to Black," to the epic realms of "The Call of Ktulu," and they delivered it all with such good taste, creativity and passion it was mind-blowing and it keeps inspiring me to this day. Like so many others, I owe a lot to these guys and to this particular album, not only for inspiration, but also for preparing my ears and opening my eyes for even heavier music.
Nzambi (MIRUTHAN): Metallica's Ride the Lightning was my favorite thrash album of 1984. It not only set standards for songwriting, but also in style for the metal genre. The album showcased their ability to combine aggressive riffs with melodic elements, creating a unique sound. Songs like "Fade to Black" and "Creeping Death" demonstrated their lyrical depth and musical prowess. Overall, Ride the Lightning solidified Metallica's position as one of the leading forces in the thrash metal scene.
The black metal genre experienced a significant milestone. Bathory, a prominent band, released their self-titled album. This release had a profound impact on the metal scene, altering its trajectory and providing it with a new avenue for exploration.
Anthrax released their debut album Fistful of Metal, which quickly became a significant milestone for the band. This album marked their entry into the metal scene and showcased their raw talent and energy. With tracks like "Metal Thrashing Mad" and "Deathrider," Anthrax solidified their place with one of the all-time best metal albums. The aggressive guitar riffs, thunderous drums, and intense vocals captivated fans and critics alike, making Fistful of Metal a must-listen for metal enthusiasts.
Az Smith (CARCINOID):
Hellhammer – Apocalyptic Raids/Celtic Frost – Morbid Tales: Hellhammer and Frost are definitely two of my favorite bands of all time. Both records were hugely groundbreaking and influential at the time and have definitely had the same impact on me over the years. From the guitar tones and unique chord progressions, note bends and the less is more approach, Tom G's unique soloing, the vocal style, drumming, and avant-garde influences.
Tom and co. still had the fire of all the killer punk stuff combined with all the best metal which sounded heavy as fuck at the time and still holds up in 2023. From punk, black metal, doom, thrash and death metal, both records have had a huge impact on bands and musicians ever since and basically everything I do musically is influenced by both Hellhammer and Celtic Frost.
Metallica – Ride the Lightning: Metallica are still my favorite band of all time (the first four albums especially) and Ride the Lightning was a huge influence on me and I learned guitar jamming to burnt CDR copies of their albums from the age of 12. "Fight Fire with Fire" is still one of the best songs they wrote, I covered "For Whom the Bell Tolls" in my first band in high school, and I would learn as least one riff from every song on this record.
I learned all my thrash chops by learning all the riffs and learning speed picking, palm muting, clean classical guitar, etc., etc. James and Kirk have always been a big influence on my playing.
Black Flag – Slip It In: Hopefully this record has enough metal/doom influences to be included. Black Flag is another one of my favorite bands. Henry Rollins intense vocal delivery, Bill Stevenson's killer drumming, but most of all Greg Ginn's guitar playing had this eerie darkness and sludgy but jazz style of playing which had a big impact on me and comes through in my playing at times. From tracks like "Obliteration to the Bars" and "My Ghetto." Amazing band and amazing album!
Honorable mentions to:
Anthrax – Fistful of Metal
Van Halen – 1984
Bathory - Bathory
Voïvod - War and Pain
Slayer - Live Undead
Kathir (RUDRA): They are:
Destruction - Sentence of Death: I appreciate the rawness of this album, which at times I feel was a quality that became more prominent in black metal much later.
Iron Maiden – Powerslave: What an epic album! This was the record that made me fall in love with Iron Maiden. It was an unforgettable experience to listen to this album while marveling at the album cover art. No other Maiden album had quite the same impact on me.
Slayer - Live Undead: I'm a Slayer fan more than any of The Big Four. This was the first album by the band that I listened to, and I knew right away that this was the band that would inspire me to form my own. The song "Antichrist" was the hook for me. It was only many years later that I realized it was a fake live album, but that didn't matter. It had already accomplished the irreversible task of making me a Slayer fan from then on.
Toni Huhtiniemi (MUTANT BLAST):
Metallica - Ride the Lightning: One of the best metal albums in every way.
Iron Maiden – Powerslave: "Aces High," "Powerslave," "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" - all 10/10 songs and the album is a pure classic.
Scorpions - Love at First Sting: "Bad Boys Running Wild," "Rock You Like a Hurricane," "Big City Nights" - the best Scorpions album.
Finn Solemdal (RELENTLESS AGGRESSION): I think I already answered which album was number one for me in 1984. It was Metallica's Ride the Lightning. The album opened up a new world to me. It was fast and furious but also with melodies and a lot of different tempos and rhythms. "Fight Fire with Fire" still sounds as good today as it did back in 1984. And you can say the same for the rest of the songs on the album.
I was a big Iron Maiden fan ever since I first heard them in the early '80s. Powerslave starts with two killer songs, "Aces High" and "2 Minutes to Midnight" and ends with the great and epic "Rime of the Ancient Mariner." It's far from my favorite Maiden album, that would be Piece of Mind, but in 1984 I played it a lot.
I didn't buy the first Omen album, Battle Cry, before 1985, but I have listened a lot to it over the years. Another example of a debut album that is killer. Epic metal songs with good songwriting and very well played. From opener "Death Rider" to album closer "In the Arena," it's just good, classic metal.
... and the toughest question for you: Do you see 1984 as the most important year for metal, quality-wise?
Ed Klinger (CALIGULA): I think 1985 and 1986 are hard to top in terms of the records that came out. But '84 was super important in that it was really establishing heavy music, especially the thrash/power metal bands that were really starting to define their sound.
Ricard (PROSCRITO): No way for me. To Mega Therion and Seven Churches are still the most relevant LPs of my collection, along with The Return......, Hell Awaits, Carnivore's s/t, Endless Pain, In the Sign of Evil and Infernal Overkill. Those are the defining moments in death/black metal history in my book (along with Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian, released in 1985 too and obliterating all remaining literature in terms of essence, violence and darkness, a.k.a. metal), without denying the importance of 1984 as its embryonic prelude, yet full of vision, determination and ambition. Hey, didn't Pentagram (USA) release their s/t in 1985 too, and Onslaught's Power from Hell? Razor, anyone? Savatage's The Dungeons Are Calling? And don't get me started with some deep cuts like Blessed Death. 1986-1987 marked the beginning of something else as well, but that's another story altogether. Thanks for the invitation, now crack a cold one open and spin "Burn in Hell" from Stay Hungry backwards on repeat in remembrance of a year that's still frozen in steel and sealed in blood.
Markus Makkonen (SADISTIK FOREST/NERVESAW): No. I do not. There have been great years for metal before and after, but I consider it to be the ultimate no-nonsense year in the business. You did not have to incorporate anything else than metal in your metal that year and this is the reason why so many of those albums released in 1984 stand out still today. From the discographies of the bands mentioned and when compared to the vast majority of metal releases out ever since. 1984 stands for quality. Metal was not yet perfected, but it was very effective.
Robert Benaquista (NEXUS INSIDIAS): While I have no doubts that it was a great year for metal, I don't see it as the single most important year for metal. Maybe it's because many great bands have emerged since 1984 and many legendary albums have come out before and since the year of 1984 showcasing unique styles, new production techniques, and refined songwriting that set the bar high for metal. Or perhaps I was still too young for that time period to fully experience 1984 as a fan of metal. That being said, the quality of metal that did get released that year was top-notch, and it was a year which saw more prominence in the thrash metal and proto-death metal genres that were massively influential to styles that would eventually emerge in the later '80s and early '90s and so on.
Bruno Fontebasso (REDSPHERE): For me 1984 was the year when the bands laid the foundations of metal.
No, for me the most important year is '86/'87 with bands like Slayer, Kreator, Sepultura, etc. These bands had such an impact on metal, and they left a mark on many people for life.
Adam Sičák (MALOKARPATAN): It's hard to disagree or try being a smartass here, it really was an incredible year. As a lover of NWOBHM, I could think of some earlier years of the '80s, or in contrast the latter part which was so amazing for the evolution of more extreme types of metal, but 1984 kind of ties all the best parts together. You have seminal works from classic heavy metal bands, early thrash metal beginning its world conquest and there was even Bathory with their debut record.
Adam Scott (CARDIAC ARREST): Hard to say, as I mentioned before, I was just a few years out of the womb. But I can say that era including that year was very pivotal for metal as a whole.
Lasse Pyykkö (HOODED MENACE): Possibly. The number of classic metal albums that were released in 1984 is ridiculous! It's not easy to pick only three favorites. Then again, 1986 brought us (more) some of the best metal albums ever released namely Slayer's Reign in Blood, Epicus Doomicus Metallicus from Candlemass and Master of Puppets by Metallica, all extremely influential records for my own musical development and career. Also the '86 albums such as King Diamond's Fatal Portrait and The Ultimate Sin from Ozzy Osbourne have had a huge impact on me, as well as production/soundwise the always fascinating Somewhere in Time by Iron Maiden is also a huge album from the same year, so for me personally 1986 is absolutely magical, but I would not argue with anyone that says 1984 is possibly the most solid year for metal.
Nzambi (MIRUTHAN): In 1984, Metallica's Ride the Lightning showcased their musical prowess, blending thrash elements with intricate compositions. Bathory's self-titled debut marked a pioneering moment in black metal, while Anthrax's Fistful of Metal contributed to the burgeoning thrash scene. These albums went beyond mere releases; they defined subgenres and provided a template for bands to experiment with sound and style. The impact resonated across the metal landscape, influencing musicians and shaping the diverse paths the genre would take in the years to come.
Az Smith (CARCINOID): I feel like the '80s in general was huge for metal, but 1984 is definitely one of the strongest years for metal in the '80s, in my opinion, as you can see from the albums I've mentioned. All albums/bands mentioned by me always seem to pop up constantly as a guitarist and have definitely shaped who I am as a guitarist in Carcinoid in 2023.
Kathir (RUDRA): When I look at the metal albums released in that year, it was breathtaking. So many great albums from just that year. Unbelievable.
Toni Huhtiniemi (MUTANT BLAST): Almost! It's impossible to say the exact ranking but it is in the top 5. Maybe 1984 was not the best one because lots of great thrash metal was just coming and the whole genre was just started a couple of years before. The best years in music history were 1982-1990, in my opinion.
Finn Solemdal (RELENTLESS AGGRESSION): 1984 is one of the best years for metal releases. I was a teenager and loved to discover all the new albums that were released during the '80s, but to me 1986 is the ultimate year. Just check out this list for '86: Slayer - Reign in Blood, Metallica - Master of Puppets, Dark Angel - Darkness Descends, Kreator - Pleasure to Kill, Sodom - Obsessed by Cruelty, Destruction - Eternal Devastation, Nuclear Assault - Game Over, Flotsam and Jetsam - Doomsday for the Deceiver, Onslaught - The Force, Assassin - The Upcoming Terror and Whiplash - Power and Pain. Four of these albums are on my thrash metal top 10 list! ;o)
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