While the 1980s on the whole gave us some of the most timeless heavy metal albums, one would be hard-pressed to find a year within the decade that presented more landmark records than 1986. In singularity, it was by far the best year thrash has ever had. Metallica made their major label debut and released one of the most genre-defining albums as well as one of the best metal has ever heard. Not to mention, Slayer and Megadeth each released landmark discs. But even the daunting shadow cast by those albums were still not enough to keep others in the dark.

Well-established acts were beginning to adapt to the changing times, employing what many considered to be the dreaded synthesizer. While cringeworthy on the surface, context is everything and things turned out remarkably better than expected. Speed was becoming the new standard, but other acts took the opposite approach, writing the next chapter in the book of doom that Black Sabbath had almost solely been authoring since 1970.

Count down with us as we take a trip to the past and look at the 10 Best Metal Albums of 1986. Be sure to let us know which ones are your favorites and what you think should be No. 1 on our list.

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