The 10 albums that kept heavy metal alive

When hair metal was struck dead by grunge and alternatively at the turn of the 90s, traditional heavy metal also found itself on the chopping block. Histrionics and songs about warriors and wizards were about as far from cool as you could get in 1993, but that didn’t stop Sweden’s Hammerfall from leading the charge for a new generation of heavy metal stars to proudly proclaim their allegiance to the metal gods of old.

“Heavy metal is a powerful force,” says Hammerfall guitarist Oscar Dronjak. “It’s great to see it back… maybe not ‘in fashion’, but at least respected because it was very, very much disrespected for a long time.”

That in mind, we got Oscar to pick out ten records that kept the spirit of heavy metal alive during the genre’s darkest days…

Metal Hammer line break

1. Judas Priest – Painkiller (1990)

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