music 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
+ - 3,937 1,439
Black Sabbath is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Black Sabbath Doom metal, Blues-rock Power metal

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2
+ - 4,981 1,579
Iron Maiden is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Iron Maiden New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Heavy metal Hard rock

3
+ - 4,499 2,187
Metallica is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Metallica Thrash metal, Rock music Heavy metal

4
+ - 3,312 1,256
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
+ - 2,856 1,477
Megadeth is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Megadeth Glam metal, Thrash metal Rock music

6
+ - 2,641 1,432
Pantera is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Pantera Glam metal, Thrash metal Groove metal

7
+ - 2,556 1,247
Ozzy Osbourne is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Ozzy Osbourne Doom metal, Glam metal Blues-rock

8
+ - 2,262 1,297
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
+ - 2,548 1,002
Dio is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Dio Rock music, Power metal Heavy metal

10
+ - 2,584 1,324
Slayer is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Slayer Thrash metal, Groove metal Rock music

11
+ - 2,903 1,701
AC/DC is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
AC/DC Blues-rock, Boogie rock Rock music

12
+ - 2,328 1,052
Led Zeppelin is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Led Zeppelin Blues-rock, Classic rock Rock music

13
+ - 1,715 1,147
Deep Purple is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Deep Purple Blues-rock, Classic rock Heavy metal

14
+ - 1,583 1,365
Scorpions is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Scorpions Glam metal, Heavy metal Hard rock

15
+ - 1,406 1,240
Anthrax is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Anthrax Crossover thrash, Thrash metal Groove metal

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16
+ - 1,711 1,666
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
+ - 1,998 1,958
Slipknot is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Slipknot Nu metal, Groove metal Rapcore

18
+ - 1,395 1,412
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
+ - 1,521 1,368
Tool is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Tool Post-metal, Metal Progressive metal

20
+ - 1,780 1,505
System of a Down is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
System of a Down Nu metal, Progressive metal Rock music

21
+ - 1,545 1,328
Mötley Crüe is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Mötley Crüe Glam metal, Rock music Heavy metal

22
+ - 1,411 842
Alice Cooper is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Alice Cooper Glam metal, Experimental rock Shock rock

23
+ - 1,244 915
Testament is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Testament Thrash metal, Groove metal Heavy metal

24
+ - 1,193 932
Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Van Halen Glam metal, Rock music Heavy metal

25
+ - 1,530 1,488
Rammstein is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rammstein Industrial metal, Gothic metal Industrial music

26
+ - 1,480 1,285
Kiss is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Kiss Glam metal, Rock music Heavy metal

27
+ - 1,075 881
Rainbow is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rainbow Blues-rock, Progressive metal Power metal

28
+ - 1,266 1,435
Disturbed is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Disturbed Nu metal, Rock music Metalcore

29
+ - 1,366 1,532
Avenged Sevenfold is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Avenged Sevenfold Thrash metal, Deathcore Rock music

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30
+ - 1,070 1,186
Dream Theater is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Dream Theater Progressive metal, Rock music Heavy metal

31
+ - 873 1,072
Queensrÿche is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Queensrÿche Progressive metal, Rock music Power metal

32
+ - 1,050 1,201
Def Leppard is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Def Leppard Glam metal, Rock music Heavy metal

33
+ - 1,102 965
Sepultura is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Sepultura Nu metal, Heavy metal Extreme metal

34
+ - 1,061 1,082
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
+ - 1,208 952
Queen is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Queen Pop music, Rock music Heavy metal

36
+ - 940 911
Rob Zombie is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rob Zombie Horror punk, Noise rock Nu metal

37
+ - 1,084 1,034
Rush is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rush Progressive metal, Rock music Heavy metal

38
+ - 919 927
White Zombie is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
White Zombie Horror punk, Noise rock Industrial metal

39
+ - 874 904
Death is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Death Thrash metal, Progressive metal Technical death metal

40
+ - 797 912
Twisted Sister is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Twisted Sister Doom metal, Glam metal Rock music

41
+ - 851 765
Mercyful Fate is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Mercyful Fate Doom metal, Thrash metal Progressive metal

42
+ - 936 782
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
+ - 767 573
Exodus is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Exodus Thrash metal, Groove metal Heavy metal

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44
+ - 722 768
Accept is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Accept Glam metal, Thrash metal Power metal

45
+ - 775 835
Helloween is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Helloween Progressive metal, Melodic music Power metal - Heavy metal, Progressive

46
+ - 1,049 1,260
Korn is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Korn Dubstep, Nu metal Industrial metal

47
+ - 730 931
Whitesnake is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Whitesnake Glam metal, Blues-rock Rock music

48
+ - 671 718
Quiet Riot is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Quiet Riot Glam metal, Rock music Heavy metal

49
+ - 800 1,068
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
+ - 782 790
Lamb of God is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Lamb of God Thrash metal, Groove metal Melodic death metal