bands/musicians The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands  

Originally by
309k votes 17k voters 341k views 401 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
+ - 4,695 1,906
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 Greatest Guitarists Of All Time

2
+ - 5,494 2,766
Metallica is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Metallica Thrash metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

3
+ - 6,025 1,925
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
+ - 3,898 1,642
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
+ - 3,407 1,900
Megadeth is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Megadeth Glam metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

6
+ - 3,313 1,828
Pantera is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Pantera Glam metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal

7
+ - 3,135 1,575
Ozzy Osbourne is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Ozzy Osbourne Doom metal, Glam metal, Blues-rock

8
+ - 2,825 1,633
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
+ - 3,193 1,654
Slayer is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Slayer Thrash metal, Groove metal, Rock music

10
+ - 3,059 1,309
Dio is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Dio Rock music, Power metal, Heavy metal

11
+ - 3,516 1,992
AC/DC is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
AC/DC Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

12
+ - 2,918 1,300
Led Zeppelin is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Led Zeppelin Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

13
+ - 2,054 1,447
Deep Purple is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Deep Purple Blues-rock, Classic rock, Heavy metal

14
+ - 1,884 1,746
Scorpions is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Scorpions Glam metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

15
+ - 2,580 2,366
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 Worst Albums by Great Bands

16
+ - 2,154 2,021
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
+ - 1,711 1,557
Anthrax is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Anthrax Crossover thrash, Thrash metal, Groove metal

18
+ - 2,260 1,831
System of a Down is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
System of a Down Nu metal, Progressive metal, Rock music

19
+ - 1,755 1,728
Alice in Chains is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Alice in Chains Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal

20
+ - 1,974 1,664
Tool is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Tool Post-metal, Metal, Progressive metal

21
+ - 1,876 1,648
Mötley Crüe is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Mötley Crüe Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

22
+ - 1,555 1,187
Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Van Halen Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

23
+ - 1,745 1,099
Alice Cooper is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Alice Cooper Glam metal, Experimental rock, Shock rock

24
+ - 1,793 1,618
Kiss is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Kiss Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

25
+ - 1,865 1,811
Rammstein is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rammstein Industrial metal, Gothic metal, Industrial music

26
+ - 1,290 1,118
Rainbow is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rainbow Blues-rock, Progressive metal, Power metal

27
+ - 1,435 1,179
Testament is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Testament Thrash metal, Groove metal, Heavy metal

28
+ - 1,304 1,454
Def Leppard is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Def Leppard Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

29
+ - 1,741 1,880
Avenged Sevenfold is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Avenged Sevenfold Thrash metal, Deathcore, Rock music

The 50 Most Absurd Translations of Film Titles The Best Things About Fall

30
+ - 1,613 1,733
Disturbed is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Disturbed Nu metal, Rock music, Metalcore

31
+ - 1,073 1,301
Queensrÿche is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Queensrÿche Progressive metal, Rock music, Power metal

32
+ - 1,323 1,198
Sepultura is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Sepultura Nu metal, Heavy metal, Extreme metal

33
+ - 1,341 1,313
Rage Against the Machine is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rage Against the Machine Crossover thrash, Nu metal, Political hip hop

34
+ - 1,531 1,195
Queen is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Queen Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

35
+ - 1,271 1,430
Dream Theater is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Dream Theater Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

36
+ - 1,221 1,115
Rob Zombie is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rob Zombie Horror punk, Noise rock, Nu metal

37
+ - 1,140 1,126
White Zombie is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
White Zombie Horror punk, Noise rock, Industrial metal

38
+ - 1,085 1,123
Death is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Death Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Technical death metal

39
+ - 963 1,151
Twisted Sister is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Twisted Sister Doom metal, Glam metal, Rock music

40
+ - 1,383 1,492
Korn is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Korn Dubstep, Nu metal, Industrial metal

41
+ - 875 972
Accept is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Accept Glam metal, Thrash metal, Power metal

42
+ - 1,087 969
W.A.S.P. is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
W.A.S.P. Glam metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

43
+ - 964 979
Mercyful Fate is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Mercyful Fate Doom metal, Thrash metal, Progressive metal

These Poetic Geniuses Wrote Your Favorite Songs of All Time The Best Organic Coffee Brands

44
+ - 892 773
Exodus is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Exodus Thrash metal, Groove metal, Heavy metal

45
+ - 887 1,125
Whitesnake is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Whitesnake Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

46
+ - 924 1,013
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
+ - 1,000 990
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
+ - 804 908
Quiet Riot is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Quiet Riot Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

49
+ - 1,049 1,328
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
+ - 812 965
Skid Row is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Skid Row Glam metal, Thrash metal, Rock music