A simple but probably challenging thread

if i was asked to name the most perfect album i've ever heard it'd probably be the captain beyond s/t, but it'd still only scrape into my top 10 of all time at best. in metal, hvis lyset tar oss probably. also stuff like king of the dead, sad wings, reign in blood, all very near perfection.
No one's saying any of these are perfect, I think. I.E. my pick is not their best vocal performance and has probably my least favorite song in the whole discography. OP is just asking you to name the album you most enjoy listening to.
I never have had a definitive favorite album, it can change daily.
Sometimes it's not even a metal album.
If I have to pick the metal album that has really inspired me and got me seriously listening to metal again after I nearly gave up on it, it would be Colors by Between the Buried and Me.
One of the most emotionally intense albums to have come out in recent years.
Opeth - My Arms Your Hearse

A rare exercise in the ghostly demonic forlorn narrative within a Progressive Death Metal concept album with murky production, which I can listen to all the way through with pleasure.
Arcane Sun - s/t

Ever since I found this album back in 2001, I've come back to it many times, and never come away disappointed, bored, or in a hurry. A combo of death metal, black metal, piano, harsh and clean vocals all under a doom umbrella, it remains something I treasure more than any gold.

just a random news flash, sentinel records ireland are repressing that soon, according to their site.
I'm going with Enslaved's Isa on this one. I reflect on many fond memories whenever listening to this and it is one of the very few albums that I enjoy every bit of.
It's a mental implosion to even answer such a question. I have so many different songs strung along different albums that bring back memories of different stages of my life so far. Some of these albums I've never really enjoyed completely or never heard in their entirety except for a few songs.
It really matters on what mood/setting I am in, and not to mention I'm always discovering new music and better hooks.
I could make a list of perfect albums I love, but no way am I going to choose one.
I'm going to go with Forbidden's Twisted Into Form. While ticking all the thrash requirements boxes (speed, great solos, awesome drumming etc.) there is a lot more to this album than any other thrash album I can think of. Complex, unpredictable and progressive song arrangements abound, great usage of time signatures and odd beats. Paul Bostaph demonstrates just what a machine he is. The riffing is utterly relentless and absorbing... there's always something interesting going on even under every vocal line. Oh, and Russ Anderson's vocals kick ass, going from gritty and low to high and soaring, and using everything in between. A couple of sublime acoustic moments too. And lyrics far more interesting than most thrash bands...
this is challenging... And I'd have to say my favorite METAL albums are constantly changing, but at this moment in time I would have to go with

Agalloch-The Mantle

I picked this for its uniqueness out of a list that includes SMRC, Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk, Filosofem and In Abhorrence Dementia. Generator is the album I've listened to more than any other, period, and it never gets old. I love everything about it, from the dark, apocalyptic mood and themes to the hypnotic industrial style drumming from Faust, to the guest vocals of Attila, to the effective use of synths and Latin choral chants peppered throughout. And the guitar-work is diverse and creative. This is the apex of industrial-style Black Metal, combining industrial atmosphere with mechanical and danceable rhythms. The only album to come close to this sound is Blacklodge's SolarKult, another of my favorites, but Aborym have superior riffs to complete a masterful composition.
It's in the 'General Metal Discussion' sub-forum as opposed to 'Non-Metal', make of that what you will

For some reason picking a favorite metal album is much harder than picking a best album of all time. I guess that's because I have different genres to suit my different needs.

Might have to go with Kill 'Em All. Ample Destruction and some Summoning was in the running but i've been listening to KEA for around 12 years and it still kicks my ass.
Depending on my mood, this could be anything of the following: Ulver - Bergtatt, Opeth - Blackwater Park, Windir - 1184, Aeternus - Beyond the Wandering Moon, Agalloch - Ashes Against the Grain or Sacramentum - Far Away from the Sun.

But if I had to choose one, I'd most likely go with Disillusion - Back to Times of Splendor. It sweeps me away every time, so epic, so beautiful.
Hmm, another user posted Abramelin - s/t, that's close to my favourite.

Alchemist - Austral Alien would be my favourite album, and has been for some time. Its melodic, progressive, experimental and ferocious all at the same time.