bands/musicians The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands  

Originally by
297k votes 17k voters 334k views 374 items Follow Embed

List Rules Heavy Metal bands only. No other subgenres of metal

The greatest heavy metal bands include some of the most iconic names in music. Bands like Judas Priest and Black Sabbath paved the way for many of today's biggest acts. They're bigger than just heavy metal -- they're among the best rock bands/artists of all time. Which one is the best? That's up to you to decide with your votes. Vote up the good heavy metal bands you love the most, and vote down any that you just don't like. Also, feel free to add any heavy metal bands that might be missing from the list, and rerank the choices in the order you believe is the best!

Not surprisingly, some incredibly well-known heavy metal bands top this list, including Metallica, Pantera, Iron Maiden and Megadeth. Some newer bands are also included. Tool and Korn, for example, formed in the 1990s. Sadly, some of these bands don't include all of the original members (Alice in Chains, for example), but that doesn't mean they're forgotten, not popular, or not worth including.

Which heavy metal band is the best? Be sure to vote and don't forget to rerank this list your way, too.
list ordered by

1
+ - 4,565 1,831
Black Sabbath is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Black Sabbath Doom metal, Blues-rock, Power metal

The Best Metal Songs About Cheating The Best Singing Drummers

2
+ - 5,320 2,669
Metallica is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Metallica Thrash metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

3
+ - 5,862 1,870
Iron Maiden is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Iron Maiden New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

4
+ - 3,783 1,578
Judas Priest is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Judas Priest New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal, Power metal

5
+ - 3,301 1,839
Megadeth is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Megadeth Glam metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

6
+ - 3,192 1,765
Pantera is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Pantera Glam metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal

7
+ - 3,029 1,519
Ozzy Osbourne is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Ozzy Osbourne Doom metal, Glam metal, Blues-rock

8
+ - 2,731 1,570
Motörhead is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Motörhead New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

9
+ - 3,076 1,603
Slayer is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Slayer Thrash metal, Groove metal, Rock music

10
+ - 2,975 1,254
Dio is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Dio Rock music, Power metal, Heavy metal

11
+ - 3,410 1,947
AC/DC is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
AC/DC Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

12
+ - 2,808 1,256
Led Zeppelin is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Led Zeppelin Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

13
+ - 1,994 1,387
Deep Purple is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Deep Purple Blues-rock, Classic rock, Heavy metal

14
+ - 1,830 1,675
Scorpions is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Scorpions Glam metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

15
+ - 2,477 2,302
Slipknot is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Slipknot Nu metal, Groove metal, Rapcore

The Best Metal Drummers of All Time The Top 500 Musical Groups/Artists of All Time

16
+ - 2,068 1,957
Guns N' Roses is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Guns N' Roses Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

17
+ - 1,643 1,508
Anthrax is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Anthrax Crossover thrash, Thrash metal, Groove metal

18
+ - 1,684 1,675
Alice in Chains is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Alice in Chains Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal

19
+ - 2,170 1,774
System of a Down is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
System of a Down Nu metal, Progressive metal, Rock music

20
+ - 1,814 1,589
Mötley Crüe is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Mötley Crüe Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

21
+ - 1,892 1,614
Tool is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Tool Post-metal, Metal, Progressive metal

22
+ - 1,490 1,140
Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Van Halen Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

23
+ - 1,684 1,053
Alice Cooper is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Alice Cooper Glam metal, Experimental rock, Shock rock

24
+ - 1,737 1,557
Kiss is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Kiss Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

25
+ - 1,809 1,756
Rammstein is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rammstein Industrial metal, Gothic metal, Industrial music

26
+ - 1,254 1,066
Rainbow is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rainbow Blues-rock, Progressive metal, Power metal

27
+ - 1,404 1,136
Testament is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Testament Thrash metal, Groove metal, Heavy metal

28
+ - 1,683 1,818
Avenged Sevenfold is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Avenged Sevenfold Thrash metal, Deathcore, Rock music

29
+ - 1,557 1,680
Disturbed is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Disturbed Nu metal, Rock music, Metalcore

16 Celebrities Whose Children Committed Suicide The Worst Qualities in a Woman

30
+ - 1,259 1,411
Def Leppard is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Def Leppard Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

31
+ - 1,042 1,263
Queensrÿche is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Queensrÿche Progressive metal, Rock music, Power metal

32
+ - 1,284 1,159
Sepultura is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Sepultura Nu metal, Heavy metal, Extreme metal

33
+ - 1,473 1,146
Queen is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Queen Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

34
+ - 1,291 1,269
Rage Against the Machine is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rage Against the Machine Crossover thrash, Nu metal, Political hip hop

35
+ - 1,237 1,389
Dream Theater is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Dream Theater Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

36
+ - 1,166 1,078
Rob Zombie is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rob Zombie Horror punk, Noise rock, Nu metal

37
+ - 1,092 1,090
White Zombie is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
White Zombie Horror punk, Noise rock, Industrial metal

38
+ - 1,050 1,074
Death is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Death Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Technical death metal

39
+ - 922 1,104
Twisted Sister is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Twisted Sister Doom metal, Glam metal, Rock music

40
+ - 1,311 1,452
Korn is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Korn Dubstep, Nu metal, Industrial metal

41
+ - 948 939
Mercyful Fate is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Mercyful Fate Doom metal, Thrash metal, Progressive metal

42
+ - 846 936
Accept is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Accept Glam metal, Thrash metal, Power metal

43
+ - 870 741
Exodus is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Exodus Thrash metal, Groove metal, Heavy metal

The Worst Albums by Great Bands The Best Bars and Pubs in London

44
+ - 1,062 936
W.A.S.P. is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
W.A.S.P. Glam metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

45
+ - 858 1,090
Whitesnake is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Whitesnake Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

46
+ - 891 983
Helloween is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Helloween Progressive metal, Melodic music, Power metal - Heavy metal, Progressive

47
+ - 956 953
Lamb of God is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Lamb of God Thrash metal, Groove metal, Melodic death metal

48
+ - 780 874
Quiet Riot is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Quiet Riot Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

49
+ - 1,005 1,281
Five Finger Death Punch is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Five Finger Death Punch Nu metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal

50
+ - 776 935
Skid Row is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Skid Row Glam metal, Thrash metal, Rock music