For much of their 30 years together, Metallica has reigned as the biggest metal band in the world. Over the following pages, we'll examine the nine studio albums (plus one covers collection) that helped them get to and remain atop that lofty perch, and ask you to pick the best song from each one.

Along the way you'll see not only the evolution of Metallica's individual and collective songwriting and performing skills, but the effort of an undeniably hard-working and forward-thinking group who are always willing to take chances in order to pursue and conquer an ever-expanding list of career accomplishments.

For the most part we expect this will be a whole lot of fun, but as you'll see there are some pretty difficult choices to be made. Good luck!