21. Dio – Sacred Heart
Dio’s third album may largely be viewed as a ‘sell-out’, the change towards a more commercial, keyboard-heavy, radio-friendly vibe isn’t exactly subtle, but Sacred Heart should still be appreciated for some fine Pop-Metal songs.
The title-track, and “Rock N’ Roll Children” are Dio classics, Rock and Metal’s greatest vocalist utilising his mighty pipes to full effect and Vivian Campbell’s shredding on “Just Another Day” only proves how wasted he is in Def Leppard.
Scared Heart may not be in the same league as Holy Diver but it still has quality etched into every groove.
20. Helloween – Walls Of Jericho
A Power Metal and Speed Metal classic, Helloween’s debut was fast, fresh and had enough raw aggression and flair to rival even the mighty Iron Maiden.
The twin guitars of Kai Hansen and Mike Weikath are a revelation, all jackhammer precision and pace and positively bristling with barely-contained energy and enthusiasm for their brand of European innovation.
The opening and closing tracks showcase the band’s ability to mould mature and multi-faceted compositions, both “Ride The Sky” and “How Many Tears” providing ample inspiration for the burgeoning Power Metal scene that would emerge after this ground-breaking release.
19. Killing Joke – Night Time
On Night Time, Killing Joke’s Industrial-tinged, urban-warfare tirades were gone and accessible New-Wave anthems emerged in their place.
Deftly balancing fury with finesse, “Love Like Blood” and “Eighties” were the equivalent of a Heavy Metal Duran Duran(!) and highly inspirational.
Many will remember the furore over Nirvana’s ‘borrowing’ of the main riff from “Eighties” for “Come As You Are” and check out the baseline for “Love Like Blood”, Mötley Crüe had the nerve to rip it off wholesale for the main riff on “Dr Feelgood”.
Killing Joke would continue down the road to mainstream mediocrity for the remainder of the 80’s but it is on Night Time where their experimentation truly left its mark.