Top 10 Worst Metal Albums Ever

What is the worst metal album of all time? Your votes have been counted - can you bear to hear the results?

Ultimate Guitar

What are the worst metal albums of all time?

That's what we asked readers on Wednesday this week. Little did we know how bad it would get.

We've got to give you a warning before going ahead. Listening to these albums is a demoralising experience, and in no way represents metal as a genre. There's plenty of great metal music in the world, but you won't find it here.

Right, that's the warning out of the way. What is the worst metal album ever? You're about to find out.

10. Korn "The Path of Totality"

Korn heard that dubstep wizard Skrillex used to be a big fan of theirs growing up, so took a chance and roped him in to producing a dubstep/metal hybrid in the hope that it would spark off some new music revolution. The result confused Korn fans and scared away Skrillex lovers, leaving them to firmly distance themselves from the album and go back to their guitar roots on their next record.

9. Queensryche "Frequency Unknown"

When singer Geoff Tate was kicked out of Queensryche last year, he decided to turn his firing on its head and effectively fire the rest of the band by taking the band name with him. The problem is, there's now two Queensryches, and Geoff has tried cementing his claim to the name by rushing out a new album. It was so widely panned by fans that a remixed version was released on the week of its launch, and they even opened a competition inviting the biggest album hater to win a prize for posting a YouTube rant.

8. Iron Maiden "Virtual XI"

Mainden's lowest charting album since "Killers" in 1981 confirmed that singer Blaze Bayley, who fronted the band between 1994-99, wasn't working out. The album was relatively forgettable compared to the stregth of Maiden's catalogue elsewhere, and critics found it almost as dull as fans did.

7. Bullet For My Valentine "Temper Temper"

Their fourth album was a big let down for fans who had grown accustomed to better from the band. "Even the brighter musical moments struggle to get off the ground. It's a real shame," we said in our review at the time.

6. Spinal Tap "Shark Sandwich"

It might be a fictional album, but UG voters agree with the reviewer in the original documentary who gives it a simple two word review: "Sh-t sandwich."

5. Attack Attack! "Someday Came Suddenly"

Readers voted their entire catalog to the chart, so we're just including their lowest-rated album in our review section. I guess there's something about cliques guitar riffs, auto-tune vocals and tacky synth production that listeners don't enjoy.

4. Megadeth "Super Collider"

The new Megadeth album hasn't been a hit with fans, though the band blames piracy for poor sales which make it rank lower than previous effort "Th1rt3en." "Sales are way down for the entire music industry right across the board," said the band while excusing their poor sales, despite recent figures that show the music industry is in fact growing again.

3. Poison "Look What the Cat Dragged In"

Most of us find glam metal like this very hard to understand, but this album sold 4 million copies worldwide so they must be doing something right. Still, the band knew it wasn't exactly perfect, and singer Bret Michaels once called it a "glorified demo."

2. Metallica "St. Anger"

You've got to respect Metallica for taking a chance - but you don't have to like the results. The band wanted to strip back all the big choruses and solos, and replace them with a big screaming snare drum. The only head banging you'll do to this record is against a wall, repeatedly.

1. Metallica and Lou Reed "Lulu"

Where to begin. Lou Reed? The guitar sound? The table? It all sounded so promising; the world's greatest metal band unites with a renown '60s poet. We wanted to give it a chance, but when the concept album about European whores was finally released, it sank like a ship full of lead. Lou Reed sounded drunk, and James Hetfield was ridiculed for lines like "I AM THE TABLE" which he'll find hard to shake off. It's one of those cases where everyone around the musicians were too afraid to be honest and say it sounded awful. We'll forgive, but never forget.

Are these really the worst metal records of all time? Can you think of others which should have made the top 10? Let us know in the comments.

337 comments sorted by best / new / date

    How in the hell can you call Korn's Dubstep experiment a metal album? Korn's Take a Look in the Mirror was a metal album. What's number 11? Jay-Z. Absolutely stupid.
    You should try listening to the album instead of the UG hivemind before saying it's not a metal album
    It might have been better to call it the 10 Worst Albums from Metal Bands, but at that point you're just being a pedantic douche. I thought it was a pretty solid list.
    Ian Paul Gint
    Hm... That's what people voted. I don't agree with most positions either, but it's UG readers opinion - blame it on them (or us?) if you wish.
    This. People are blaming UG for making bad lists like these when it's the community who voted for them in the first place. It's a bit like shooting yourself in the knee and blaming the person who sold you the gun for doing so.
    Although, I forgive you, for the gold banner to the most popular post. That's a cool touch.
    Sewage Rat
    half of these aren't metal, and I have pretty broad definition of metal
    Have you ever heard of sub-generas? These are metal bands. LOOK I THE MIRROR!
    EXACTLY. this is the worst article ever.
    I could ask someone who's been listening to metal for about a month what the worst metal albums are and it would probably be better than this.
    Really? We're back on the "OMG this ain't metal, I know 'cos I listen to Slayer" again? Let's just accept that there are 10 shitty albums here...
    First of all, St. Anger was pretty good, not their worst album... second most people dont even consider KoRn as metal but then they do when they want to make the top 10 worst metal albums? If you dont think they are metal, dont include them in a best or worst in metal anything!!!! Another thing, UG is stupid for saying "they wanted to start a revolution" they wanted to try something different they weren't trying to invent a new genre and shove it into peoples faces! It was EXPERIMENTAL. And another thing, UG stated that KoRn was "leaving them to firmly distance themselves from the album" ummmm NO. They still talk about it now and still play songs off that album, I saw them play at ROTR and they played "Get Up!" and people went nuts and it also has more views on youtube than a lot of other metal songs. Finally, UG states "and go back to their guitar roots on their next record." the reason isnt cause of that album, its because their ex guitarist Brain "head" Welch is back!!! sometimes, metalheads can be so closed minded and become the thing they hate, mainstream pop fans. Just cause it doesnt "sound metal" doesnt mean its the worst thing ever. so if it doesnt have gallops, isnt fast and crazy solos its not metal and considered the worst?? People need to have open minds sometimes and remember what music is all about. these arent shitty. not all at least
    Yeah I've been watching Korn @ Hellfest on Youtube and the fans go ape at the songs off the P.O.T. album!
    eventually you will realize that "best and worst" lists are all a matter of opinion...and it is generally accepted that st anger was terrible, you may like it, but most of us with working ears understand how terrible it is (even lars has made fun of it, and himself for making it) and did you really write a paragraph on korn? the one band who used dub-step on their record? i think we have a fanboy who's out of mad bro?
    hey man, the dub step yeah was a big risk and yes i am a crazy fan for KoRn, i just wanted to point out how UG was trying to make it seem that they thought it was bad, which they dont, i mean its different not the "generic" metal but it still has a lot of great moments, no tampons here but yes i am mad lol at UG tho
    No, half of this isn't Metal because I listen to half of Norway, Sweden, and Great Britain's Metal line-up. Attack is not Metal. BFMV isn't Metal. And Korn is only Metal half of the time.
    How is BFMV not metal? I think they're mostly shitty, but what makes them not metal? Fast distorted guitar riffs (cheesy as they might be), fast drumming with lots of double bass action, songs about killing and violent imagery etc. Those aren't the only requisites of metal, but they certainly belong to the genre. Are they not metal because you think they're too emo?
    You mean to say: Really? We're back to list the things we hate? This list is like a Mustaine rant. It doesn't bring us closer to good music nor does it help us with improving our music skills or enjoy anything. It's a stupid list to start with.
    Well if you're concerned about the educational merit, you can always use these albums as tips for what NOT to do... I'm personally not; I just like lists.
    I think, and is just my thought,that St. Anger isn't bad at all...Ok, isn't the best of metallica (and really sounds pretty different) but is a demonstration of anger and that is the meaning of the album. Is like fighting against the walls, not productive but liberating. Is like reapeating MOTHERFUCKER so loud for almost 1 hour. Virtual XI must be in number 1, industrial amounts of shit!!!
    The article was pretty mainstream, most of the albums on the list are generally albums hated by metal fans around the globe and albums people talk trash about on Facebook. I was pretty sure "Lulu" was gonna be number one when I saw "Path of Totality" at number 10; and I'm really surprised "Dark Horse" isn't here, since it was a major hated album by the online metal community.
    every argument is invalid cause YOU CANT ARGUE ABOUT MUSICAL TASTE!!! "its good" "its not good" "It is" "no its not" blablabla.. come on guys.... why??
    So we've got a fictional record and two records released within the past couple months. Good to know UG readers have a good sense of actual crappiness. Not one Limp Bizkit album on the list. And Metallica's had efforts weaker than St. Anger, like Load and Reload. And though Lulu is by no stretch a "classic" metal album, it was an experiment that didn't really seem intended to count as a true metal album. Not that I disagree that parts of it are unlistenable, but I'd sooner forgive an experiment than a serious part of a band's discography that actually wasn't that good.
    Face R1pper
    UG is now officially the most uneducated website that attempts to represent heavy metal.
    I would say the people are the problem not the site, even though to a degree you are right, they could filter the votes as in eliminating non-metal albums.
    St Anger is much better than Death Magnetic...
    To a degree, i agree with you.. It's the last time we'll ever hear james' lyrics from the heart.. just cause of the stuff he was going through at that time. The pure aggression on that album is felt every time i listen to it
    Way Cool JR.
    "Look What The Cat Dragged In" does not belong on this list by any means at all.
    I agree. Scrap "metal" off the title of this list and I can see Poison even being #1.
    The number of people that can't tell the difference from being disappointed in a album, to a album actually being shit is too damn high!
    I'm tired of these mother ****ing genera-nazis on this mother ****ing website.
    Face R1pper
    It really is. Even if an album has one or two decent songs on it, that album should never be considered for the "worst album ever" when there are plenty of albums out there with zero good songs.
    Plus, I love St. Anger and Lulu. They don't deserve the hate they do.
    I like how Metallica have released two of THE worst records ever made yet everyone still gives a shit about them
    if you look at a poll of best metal albums ever, they are usually in the same spots (ie top honours). This is why people give a shit about them.
    I personally don't think Virtual XI or Super Collider are anywhere near as bad enough to make a "Top 10 Worst Metal Albums" list...
    despite my preaching about those 2 people still think they suck ass but all they are really are disappointing releases by 2 of the best metal bands around, there are waaaay worse albums out there
    St.Anger and Lulu deserve 1st and 2nd. Those albums are utter wank.
    I do like the path of totality, and Virtual XI is just not as good as other maiden records, but it's still better than most other metal albums.
    Going by those choices, the list should be called "top 10 worst albums from popular (usually) metal bands".
    Listen to this, then tell me Virtual XI sucks. Also, about St. Anger: "The only head banging you'll do to this record is against a wall, repeatedly." I headbang to this album every day. And not against a wall.
    How did Black Sabbath's "Never Say Die" not make the list? Even its own creators have said it's awful and are ashamed of it...when you have an album's VERY OWN CREATORS say it's terrible: that's says a lot, doesn't it? I think earlier comments were right regarding St. Anger...had most other bands did it, like say System of a Down for example, it would have been "critically acclaimed" (such as Toxicity) GUARANTEED. As a matter of fact, if you switched them around, had SOAD done St. Anger and Metallica done Toxicity, the reaction for each band would have been the exact same: "SOAD's St. Anger? GENIUS!!!" "Metallica's Toxicity? GARBAGE! BOOOOO!" Double-standard, jive-talking hypocrites!
    Face R1pper
    That doesn't really mean much for Never Say Die. Alot of artists say their own stuff is bad when they look at it 20 years later and see how things should have been done differently.
    I like Never Say Die. Now Forbidden and Born Again. Those two albums should have never happened.
    I love the Path Of Totality!! I HATE the dubstep in it, but take all that out and there is a lot of good synth, guitar, and Jonathon's melodies are AMAZING!!!
    Lists suck, but at least this one shows what's become of Metallica in the past 18 years.
    So many of the albums on this list are just "bandwagon" bad albums... some people don't like them, which is fine, but they make tons of other people say its bad without even having listened to it.
    Metallica takes both the first and second slot... Amazing how you could see the same band on lists of both the best and worst Metal albums of all time.
    "Temper Temper" is still a good album. Not their best, but it does not deserve to be on this list. Just listen to "Dead to the World." It brings a vibe of "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)." And "Dirty Little Secrets?" For those who saw the tour this year know what I'm talking about. When they brought out Lzzy Hale to duet with Matt on this, there wasn't a dry pair of underwear in the crowd. The opening track "Breaking Point" is just such a punch in the face. It's that powerful. Listen to the album before judging it, people. "Oh, other people don't like it, so I can't like it." "Oh, it's by Bullet, GAY." Fucking sheep.
    I did...terrible cliched lyrics, whiny lyrics, and watered down guitar parts that come out of nowhere.
    Taken from article: "The only head banging you'll do to this record is against a wall, repeatedly" I challenge you to listen to the whole thing without headbanging! It shouldn't be on the list but i can laugh at why its there.
    1. Bullet For My Valentine - Temper Temper 2. Design The Skyline - Nevaeh 3. Falling In Reverse - Fashionably Late 4. Anything We Butter The Bread With Butter related. 5. Anything Iwrestledabearonce related. 6. Attack Attack! - Attack Attack! 7. Queensryche - Frequency Unknown 8. Emmure - Felony 9. Abandon All Ships - Infamous 10. Woe Is Me - Genesi[S] I forgot to mention #9 and #10 a little earlier
    You, my friend, are awesome. Though personally, I've would've put Asking Alexandria in.
    I was going to, but each and every single one of these are just total trash. AA is somewhat bearable. And I say somewhat because Id rather listen to them than any of these bands on the list...or anyone in Young Money.
    I love temper temper!!! why the hell does it recieve so much shit and the Korn Album is quite good (not the best) so i completely disagree with one or two of the positioning s up there
    This article would perhaps have been more appropriately entitled "The 10 Most Hated Metal Albums Ever". There are definitely technically worse albums out there, such as anything by Whitechapel, but these are the most popularly bad metal albums, due in part to the bands' other successful albums.
    Oh my god, a band has some experimental albums, that means they automatically suck. Ala Load/ReLoad/St.Anger and if you consider Lulu a metallica album, then Lulu too. The big 4 all did experimental albums in the late 90's, but everyone only hates on Metallicas albums.
    Poison's album kicks ass! One of the best albums in the world. If it sucks, more than a half of metal albums suck. To guitarists: just try to play Poison songs. If you're good enough in that, like CC Deville, you'll get laid a lot of chicks! P.S. Sorry for mistakes in English, i'm from Russia).
    Sacred Blood
    Super Collider one of the worst metal albums? Did you guys even listen to it? It had the most melodic songs Megadeth has ever written, songs like Dance in the Rain, The Blackest Crow, Forget to Remember are pure class. Metal isnt all about fast riffs and shredding, there are much worse albums out there than that.
    Super Collider was a pretty good album. Attack Attack sucks so I'm happy to see that on this list. Temper Temper only had like one good song and that was Tears pt.2.
    Korn's album shouldn't be here. It might not of been their most popular but c'mon, respect the artists for trying to experiment and create NEW MUSIC. I can think of many 'carbon copy' metal bands out there who have no innovative thoughts of their own who should be in this list.
    What's new or experimental about dubstep? Fair enough, Korn never tried it before but that only suggests they jumped on the (painfully trite) dybstep bandwagon.
    Because dub step can go well with metal, it hadn't been done before and essentially created a new genre. Just because you don't like it doesn't mean it doesn't exist or have any value
    I will say though they went about it in the same way as Muse did with their "dubstep" song which was basically to just bash together the two genres and hope for the best. Dubstep (or brostep I guess) won't get any true popular integration into other genres until someone tries to mix the two subtly and cohesively.
    Check out The Howling from the UK. They subtly mix it with punk. YouTube 'Hole in my head'
    I had a listen to the Korn album for a laugh and reckon if they got rid of the vocals it would actually sound ok. disappointed iron maiden was in there. I stopped buying iron maiden when blaze bayley joined. Im not saying it was bad. it just wasn't the same without Bruiser.
    Am I the only one who loves Super Collider? Songs like The Blackest Crow and Don't Turn Your Back are amazing songs!
    I personally quite like Temper Temper. Was surprised to see it on there. Heard a lot worse over the years
    Having studying sound I've always heard people say how awful the snare was on St Anger. I never actually listened to the album but wow, that truly is one of the worst drum kit sounds I've ever heard.
    lulu was the joke of jokes. the shitstain of music. it was the retarded child between metal and terrible poetry.
    Took you guys long enough to post this, just to confirm what we already knew. I mean, Lulu has almost 500 upvotes on the first mention of it...