For the mainstream metal fan, 1991 may not have yielded such rich rewards as years past, but metal as a whole was in a very healthy place in regards to the pursuit of new developments, mainly in the extreme faction. Still, there was a fair amount for the more traditional headbanger, as evidenced by our picks for the 32 Best Metal Albums of 1991.

On the big, flashy, arena level, Ozzy Osbourne dropped his No More Tears record, an absolute behemoth in every way that boasted some of the singer's most commercially successful songs. And, well, there's that little ol' thing called The Black Album by Metallica that forever changed the landscape of heavy music, serving as the necessary gateway to metal for generations of soon-to-be metalheads.

It was a time of wild experimentation where funk metal was a very real thing and jazz-fusion began to creep into the Florida death metal scene in the earliest onset of what we now regard as progressive/technical death metal (there is a difference between progressive death metal and technical death metal, but we'll save it for a doctoral thesis, should we ever go down that road in life).

Viking metal was in bloom, death metal was splintering into even more directions than the two mentioned above, and, of course, who could forget that 1991 was the year Type O Negative delivered their distinguished first album? Not us, that's for sure.

Relive all the mayhem of this quintessential year and view the 32 Best Metal Albums of 1991 directly below and check out the 25 Best Rock Albums of 1991 here.

32 Best Metal Albums of 1991