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21 Most Influential Metal Albums Of The 21st Century

This list is inspired by the popular metal blog, Metalsucks, list of the rsame name. In my ropinion that list was way fucking off and me being rthe nerd that I am I can't let this slide rwithout putting forth my own opinion as if it were fact. Rules to get on the list: Album must rhave been released after 1999 and must be metal. Also limit 1 album per band. So quick reveryone look at me and pretend that my opinion matters!! So what albums do you guys are rthe most influential/best of the 21st century? And what albums did I forget?? Also Here is the roriginal list:
26In Flames

Honorary Mentions
The Eye of Every Storm
24Dimmu Borgir
Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia
23Dark Tranquility
Voices of Omens
21Pig Destroyer

The Start of the list m/! One of the more iconic grind albums of the last 10 years also a really fucked up album in general. To me this album really shows a blurring between the line of hardcore and grind. Also some of the nastiest riffs I've ever heard are on this album, just jam to Towering Flesh. The concept and lyrics also add another dimension to this album making it more influential.
20The Black Dahlia Murder

Not really the most original album on this list, but what this album has done for the modern death metal scene is enough to make it iconic and help it earn an early spot on this list. I imagine without this album a lot of kids would have never gotten into death metal, I know without it there's a chance I would have necer found bands such as Immolation, Entombed, and Brutality. Also the album is really good and Deathmask Divine is one of my favorite ballads ever.

Truly one of the bigger albums Metalsucks left off their list, to me this album is what help to popularize melodic death metal with power metal and folk/viking influences and is the very definition of mutha fuckin epic m/! Just jam to Death and Healing and tell me that doesn't take you away to a snowy landscape where you are preparing to enter a bloody battle field where your only goal is to see your enemies driven before you and to see the lamentations of the women.
From Mars to Sirius

To me From Mars to Sirius is one of the more influential albums of the past couple years and on it Gojira show that you don't have to have dream theater esque songs to be progressive. The also demonstrate how to create and craft some of the heaviest riffs I've ever heard. The opening riff to Ocean Planet is definitely one way to open a fucking master piece of an album and a jarring experience to say the least. But then they also show great dynamic with Unicorn and Flying Whales. I seriously hope more bands seek to emulate these guys in the future.
17Machine Head
The Blackening

This album is truly an amazing return to form for the bay area band but it also serves as an album that helped to push boundaries in their sound as well as modern thrash. This album to me serves as counter programming to all of the crossover thrash bands that are popping up all over the metal scene and favors more epic song structures and dynamics, which as far as I am concerned is the high road in modern thrash. Also Halo is one of the best songs in the past decade.
16Shadows Fall
The War Within

One of the first successful albums of the new wave of american heavy metal or 2nd generation metalcore or whatever it is, and for good reason. This album truly is more unique than the rest of the scene in that it has a lot of thrash influences which makes this album pretty fucking metal. Also if not for this album I don't know if I'd have been introduced to some of the more extreme genres of metal and I know many people who share that sentiment. If metalcore scene had gone more in this direction it would be more well off than it's current incarnation.
Autumn Aurora

An album of atmosphere, Autumn Aurora truly helped push the boundaries of black metal in the early 2000's. They helped to forge an image that instead of being based around "Hail Satan!" is based around the beauty of nature which on first take doesn't seem all that metal, but give this a listen and tell me it isn't fucking awesome. How the album builds through the season of autumn, from the Summoning of rain to The First Snow is really well done.

Alright so I've heard multiple reports that this album is really not all that influential, but I am pretty sure if not for the flurry of technical riffs, jazz solos, and dissonant dynamic melodies portrayed on this album a lot of modern tech death bands would be very different. You can literally hear the influence of this album all over the music of bands like rings of saturn, arkiak, the faceless, Brain Drill, and later Decrepit Birth. Plus this album actually emphasized song writing more than the previously mentioned bands. Tell me that songs like Seven, Stabwound, Only Ash Remains, and The Stillborn One aren't iconic.
13The Dillinger Escape Plan
Miss Machine

This was one of the main albums I thought Metalsucks omitted I mean sure its not as influential as Calculating Infinity that album is another beast in entirety. But Miss Machine is no slouch. With a arsenal of of intense hardcore infused math metal juggernauts to the much more experimental aspects of the album such as Phone Home, Unretrofied, and We are the Storm this album truly finds Dillinger at their perfect equilibrium. This is what makes this album so influential the experimentation shown here is nothing less than interesting and if you listen to a multitude of bands from many different genres you can hear Dillinger creeping in their somewhere.
12Killswitch Engage
Alive or Just Breathing

Killswitch was probably the biggest metal band between 2004 and 2007 so sadly I guess just for that they kind of have to be included. I wasn't one of them since I popped my extreme metal cherry with Shadows Fall but think about how many kids who are currently who got into metal thanks to this album or end of heartache. Anyway this is still a great album with really well written and catchy as fuck songs. I mean just jam to Life to the Lifeless. Also I'm pretty sure this one of the first album that popularized good cop bad cop vocals.

I honestly shouldn't really have to explain this hopefully, but I'll give it a shot anyway. On Lateralus Tool redefined progressive music making dark atmospheres, polyrythms, unifying concepts of the spirit, and a creative use of dynamics the centerpiece of their master piece of an album. Just listen to the opening track The Grudge and tell me that's not one of the more most adrenaline pumping, intriguing, catchy, groovy, and heavy songs all seemingly at once. Just to further my point you can see Tools influence all the way from mainstream rock with the likes of Chevelle and Hurt all the way to more extreme and progressive bands such as Isis, Intronaut, and even Meshuggah.
The Mantle

The Mantle is Agallochs brightest moment..and by brightest moment I mean beautifully depressing moment. Truly the Mantle like Agallochs previous album Pale Folklore fully encompasses winter in album form. You haven't listened to Agalloch properly if you haven't taken a nature walk in the middle of a snowy January while jamming to this album (or Pale Folklore which I prefer just a bit to this master piece). Like Drudkh Agalloch were one of the first bands to incorporate beautiful post rock atmosphere and accoustic guitars into a harsh wintery black metal sound. Thanks to this band American Black Metal also has expanded greatly and has it's own titans such as this band or Wolves In the Throne Room or Nachtmystium. Truly a redifining of black metal in the most beautiful of ways.
Close to a World Below

While you could say Agalloch and Drudkh help add nature esque atmospheres into black metal you could say Immolation did something similar to Death Metal with this album. Except in this case the atmosphere behind the music is that of hell itself, pure molten fire that will easily melt you into a puddle of liquid blood n' guts. Just look at Put My Hand in the Fire for just a suffocating atmosphere and some of the most blasphemous lyrics in death metal. Unlike other supposedly blasphemous death metal or black metal albums that has lyrics that are just meant to shock, Close to a World Below's concept is more just driven by boiling hate. That's right this is truly a gimmick free Death Metal album. The music contained inside is no slouch either and the riffs and flurry of blast beats and hot atmosphere makes this my 2nd favorite death metal album.

On Panopticon Isis truly define and even perfect the genre of Post Metal as a heavy and majestic behemoth which slowly rises and builds all the while containing a beautiful atmosphere behind the music itself. Really Isis are most effective when they sit back and let the atmosphere do all the talking. Look no farther than the instrumental Altered Courses or the opening build of In Fiction where the atmosphere and a light drum pattern is what helps to push the music forward. This priority of atmosphere building into mammoth sized riffs has influenced most of the modern post metal or even some sludge and doom metal bands that have been popping up seemingly every where since the late 2000s. Still not of these albums can even hope to topple Panopticon's minamalistic beauty.
7Children of Bodom
Follow the Reaper

On Follow the Reaper Children of Bodom truly honed and perfected their sound of neoclassical melodic death metal. In my opinion if not for Bodom or this album key boards would not be as heavily used as they are now in metal music. Plus Children of Bodom even added some thrash and Black Metal into their mixing pot of genres and I hope I don't even have to go into Alexi's iconic guitar shredding. To back my claim even more in high school these guys were the second most popular band in both the metal, emo, and scene cliques besides avenged sevenfold (who were despised in the metal clique obviously). I know at least a couple of those dudes went on to form mediocre metalcore/melodeth bands where Bodom was the primary influence. In the end were some what responsible for this current boring metalcore scene? Yes, but are they still iconic and influential for metal in general? That's another Yes.
6Between the Buried and Me

Honestly this is one of the biggest and most influential albums released in the last five years and really could be seen as the revitalization of progressive metal and partially responsible for the dynamics seen in djent. Also BTBAM's policy of incorporating any genre they wish into their music doesn't hurt their chances on this list at all. Think of this album as the full realization of Mr Bungle combined with a metalcore/death metal backbone. Now a days whenever I hear any of these progressive tinged metalcore or just plain metal albums that goes into like a polka section or has a jazzy interlude my mind immediately goes to this album. And it's kind of impossible not to, before this album there really wasn't anything even remotely like this.
5Lamb of God
As the Palaces Burn

Lamb of God could easily be said to be the biggest metal band of the last decade and have truly influenced countless numbers of bands all across the genre's of metal. Admittedly Lamb of God aren't the most original band but what they are is just pure fucking metal. They are to the 2000's what Pantera was to the 90s. A heavy metal reality check to remind everyone that metal isn't polished and doesn't follow the rules but is more of a controlled chaos. Lamb of God specifically could be credited for helping to finally get rid of Nu Metal and revitalizing the metal scene in the early 2000s. Of course within a couple years this new wave of american heavy metal they created stagnated but contrary to that Lamb of God still remain influential and relevant to this day.

This was the number 1 album on Metalsucks list, and I think one could make a very sound argument that it's a well deserved spot for this album. Mastodon and specifically this album has really helped to popularize and revitalize stoner, sludge, and progressive metal in the last ten years. Do you think High on Fire's De Vermiis would have sold as much as it did with out leviathan being such a commercial and critical success, doubtful. Admittedly without bands like High on Fire, Sleep, and Neurosis Mastodon probably wouldn't exist in the first place, but still you could make an argument that without Mastodon their would be a big gap in modern progressive and sludge music all together. Also this is one of the first successful and coolest concept albums of the 21st century. And any one who doubts their prowess needs to check either Iron Tusk or the epic Hearts Alive.

This was obviously to me the most over looked album on Metalsucks list, a list Meshuggah didn't even appear on. Without Nothing and it's respective Reissue the metal world would be entirely different. Maybe for the better maybe for the worst but it's easy to say that without these iconic swedes bass oriented sound, ever swirling polyrythms, and chunky riffs the whole modern djent movement would not exist. How many bands can say that they helped pioneer two genres? Meshuggah can. Originally they pushed the boundries of progressive metal and then not even knowing or meaning to the create djent based entirely around their guitar tone and polyrythmic underbelly. Even though the guys in Meshuggah might not want credit for that second feet, they are still one of the most if not the most influential and important bands of the last ten years.
Blackwater Park

I mean even before Blackwater Park was released Opeth was already an iconic band creating masterpieces like Still Life, and My Arms your Hearse but on Blackwater everything came together perfectly and one of the best metal albums of all time let alone of the 21st century was born. On Blackwater Park, Opeth perfected the sound they had on Still Life striking the perfect balance between brutal death metal and emotionally charged acoustic passages. This contrast between absolute brutality and soft accoustic cleanly sung sections all within the same song is one of the many ways Opeth influenced the metal world with this album. You can here Opeths influence in Death Metal, in Black metal, in Progressive Metal, and Progressive music in general. Blackwater Park is the perfect representation of the most iconic progressive band of the 21st century in just what seems like a short lived one hour masterpiece.
Jane Doe

In the last 10 years the most prominent feature in metal is the blurring between hardcore and metal itself, and I'm not talking about metalcore with 10 breakdowns every song and an At the Gates riff for good measure. No I am talking about a hardcore with fully fleshed out metal riffs or a metal band that perfectly incorporates a breakdown, gang vocals, or hardcore shouts into their mix of double bass and heavy riffing. And I think this whole blurring of genre lines can really be traced all the way back to Converge's Jane Doe the most iconic, influential, and best album of the 21st century in my opinion. Not just that but every aspect of this album could be called influential, Jacob Bannons lyrics and their iconicly chaotic delivery, Kurt Ballous metallic riffs which at the time can be just as off the wall crazy as well as skull crushingly heavy, or the ever churning bass end of the band with Nate Newton's equally iconic vocals backing up Bannons. This album is the definition of influentiallity influencing it's respective scene as well as metal as whole. The metal scene was forever changed when this album was released over ten years ago and the fact that Converge are still around releasing just as iconic and as ferocious albums today is a testament to just how talented this group of musicians actually is.
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