Every hardened rivethead remembers the day they were turned on to heavy metal. For me, it was in 1979, when I first heard Black Sabbath’s “N.I.B” off the band’s self-titled debut. I was very fortunate because I then began to explore other albums by this band, including Heaven and Hell and Mob Rules. In 1981, I saw Black Sabbath with Dio perform live in Albuquerque, New Mexico. From this point on, I expanded by listening sphere, learning about other bands, such as Iron Maiden, King Diamond, and countless others.
Decades later, I continue to discover all types of heavy metal bands, from the darkest of black metal and the most brutal of death metal to the most majestic of power metal and the most depressing of gothic metal.
So, where does a potentially new headbanger start off, given that the modern metal scene has so many offshoots tailored to very specific tastes? This list attempts to cover the gamut of metal. It does not touch on all genres, nor does it even begin to tap into the depth of the heavy metal genres. However, it does serve as a beginning that should enable new listeners to begin their journey down the righteous path of molten metal.