Which rock and metal bands enjoyed their greatest success with their fourth studio albums?

As it turns out, four is a magic number for a select few rock and metal acts who achieved some of the best commercial and critical successes with their fourth studio album. In this feature, we revisit four classic fourth studio albums representing acts from the classic rock, grunge, thrash and hair metal eras.

They say you have your whole life to write your first album, get to experiment and show growth with your second and bring everything together on your third. But what does the fourth album bring? In many cases, it's really the first time the label steps away figuring you've already established your identity and group's truly take hold of their career without the backing. So it's an interesting time for most acts, who navigate what they want moving forward.

There are plenty of great "fourth" albums, but these four set the standard. In fact, one act's album (cough... Led Zeppelin) is often referred to as Led Zeppelin IV.

READ MORE: Robert Plant Feels He's Become the Guy on 'Led Zeppelin IV' Album Cover

In the case of these bands, they all hit home runs with their fourth studio albums. Check out these iconic fourth studio albums and let us know which other bands you feel did their best works on album No. 4.

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