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The 30 Greatest Metal Debut Albums Of The Last 30 Years

The cover of Slipknot’s self-titled debut album
Slipknot: one of the 30 greatest debut albums of the last 30 years

Metal Hammer magazine is 30 this year. To mark this momentous occasion, we’ll be looking back over the last 30 years in metal – the legendary icons, the classic albums, the epic gigs, the most memorable milestones. Let’s face it, the last 30 years have been nothing if not eventful.

We’re kicking off by looking at the 30 greatest debut albums released during Metal Hammer’s lifetime. Since 1986, literally thousands of bands have taken a metaphorical bow on metal’s stage. Some of them promptly turned around and walked straight off, never to be heard of again. But many more stuck around for the long haul, building hugely successful careers on the back of their opening salvo.

These are the very best debut albums released over the last 30 years. From the feral hard rock of Guns N’ Roses’ Appetite For Destruction, death metal’s groundbreaking brutality or the industrial revolution of Nine Inch Nails in the late 80s, through the era-defining 90s nu-metal of Korn and Slipknot, right up to current standard-bearers such as Mastodon, Baroness and Babymetal, these are 30 reasons metal – and Metal Hammer – has survived so long.

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Founded in 1983, Metal Hammer is the global home of all things heavy. We have breaking news, exclusive interviews with the biggest bands and names in metal, rock, hardcore, grunge and beyond, expert reviews of the lastest releases and unrivalled insider access to metal's most exciting new scenes and movements. No matter what you're into – be it heavy metal, punk, hardcore, grunge, alternative, goth, industrial, djent or the stuff so bizarre it defies classification – you'll find it all here, backed by the best writers in our game.