bands/musicians The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands  

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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.

1
+ - 5,095 2,481
Metallica is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Metallica Thrash metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

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2
+ - 4,390 1,700
Black Sabbath is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Black Sabbath Doom metal, Blues-rock, Power metal

3
+ - 5,555 1,787
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
+ - 3,620 1,486
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
+ - 3,176 1,722
Megadeth is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Megadeth Glam metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

6
+ - 3,036 1,652
Pantera is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Pantera Glam metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal

7
+ - 2,876 1,444
Ozzy Osbourne is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Ozzy Osbourne Doom metal, Glam metal, Blues-rock

8
+ - 2,593 1,484
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
+ - 2,948 1,507
Slayer is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Slayer Thrash metal, Groove metal, Rock music

10
+ - 2,830 1,190
Dio is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Dio Rock music, Power metal, Heavy metal

11
+ - 3,256 1,884
AC/DC is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
AC/DC Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

12
+ - 2,684 1,193
Led Zeppelin is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Led Zeppelin Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

13
+ - 1,923 1,317
Deep Purple is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Deep Purple Blues-rock, Classic rock, Heavy metal

14
+ - 1,758 1,587
Scorpions is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Scorpions Glam metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

15
+ - 2,340 2,198
Slipknot is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Slipknot Nu metal, Groove metal, Rapcore

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16
+ - 1,968 1,874
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
+ - 1,577 1,431
Anthrax is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Anthrax Crossover thrash, Thrash metal, Groove metal

18
+ - 1,598 1,593
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
+ - 2,056 1,689
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
+ - 1,726 1,516
Mötley Crüe is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Mötley Crüe Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

21
+ - 1,789 1,533
Tool is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Tool Post-metal, Metal, Progressive metal

22
+ - 1,397 1,082
Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Van Halen Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

23
+ - 1,595 999
Alice Cooper is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Alice Cooper Glam metal, Experimental rock, Shock rock

24
+ - 1,651 1,483
Kiss is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Kiss Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

25
+ - 1,720 1,674
Rammstein is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rammstein Industrial metal, Gothic metal, Industrial music

26
+ - 1,359 1,071
Testament is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Testament Thrash metal, Groove metal, Heavy metal

27
+ - 1,201 1,011
Rainbow is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rainbow Blues-rock, Progressive metal, Power metal

28
+ - 1,596 1,728
Avenged Sevenfold is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Avenged Sevenfold Thrash metal, Deathcore, Rock music

29
+ - 1,480 1,610
Disturbed is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Disturbed Nu metal, Rock music, Metalcore

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30
+ - 1,188 1,350
Def Leppard is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Def Leppard Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

31
+ - 988 1,205
Queensrÿche is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Queensrÿche Progressive metal, Rock music, Power metal

32
+ - 1,240 1,093
Sepultura is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Sepultura Nu metal, Heavy metal, Extreme metal

33
+ - 1,191 1,329
Dream Theater is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Dream Theater Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

34
+ - 1,218 1,212
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
+ - 1,385 1,100
Queen is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Queen Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

36
+ - 1,092 1,033
Rob Zombie is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rob Zombie Horror punk, Noise rock, Nu metal

37
+ - 1,229 1,154
Rush is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rush Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

38
+ - 1,012 1,015
Death is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Death Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Technical death metal

39
+ - 1,038 1,045
White Zombie is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
White Zombie Horror punk, Noise rock, Industrial metal

40
+ - 876 1,053
Twisted Sister is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Twisted Sister Doom metal, Glam metal, Rock music

41
+ - 1,235 1,390
Korn is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Korn Dubstep, Nu metal, Industrial metal

42
+ - 920 887
Mercyful Fate is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Mercyful Fate Doom metal, Thrash metal, Progressive metal

43
+ - 810 889
Accept is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Accept Glam metal, Thrash metal, Power metal

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44
+ - 837 695
Exodus is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Exodus Thrash metal, Groove metal, Heavy metal

45
+ - 1,022 899
W.A.S.P. is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
W.A.S.P. Glam metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

46
+ - 859 946
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
+ - 806 1,056
Whitesnake is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Whitesnake Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

48
+ - 909 895
Lamb of God is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Lamb of God Thrash metal, Groove metal, Melodic death metal

49
+ - 742 833
Quiet Riot is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Quiet Riot Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

50
+ - 957 1,219
Five Finger Death Punch is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Five Finger Death Punch Nu metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal