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The Greatest Metal Albums of All Time

"I'll never forget when I first experienced heavy metal music. The high energy, galloping guitar riffs, and double bass drum beat created something that I'd never heard before. I was hooked.” When heavy metal fan, Sean Miller got his hands on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time list, he wanted to analyze the factors that made these albums “great”—including beats per minute, energy, valence, and popularity. As shown in the visualization, Rolling Stone credits Black Sabbath as the band that “mastered the sound of the genre, one that still resonates nearly 50 years later.”

Explore the visualization

  • In Black Sabbath’s Paranoid, the highest beats per minute is 183. Click on the dark red dot to see which song on the album has the most “musical thickness” according to Rolling Stone.
  • Marilyn Manson nabbed the highest valence score—the likelihood that it will make someone happy. Hover over the dark purple dots to see which song claimed the title.
  • Although Black Sabbath has the top album on the list, it also has the least popular song. Explore the light blue dots to find the song that missed the mark with the public.

Analyzing these metal albums felt like listening to the songs for the first time.

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