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.
list ordered by

1
4,841 1,967
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
5,648 2,864
Metallica is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Metallica Thrash metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

3
6,197 1,972
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
4,011 1,694
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
3,509 1,964
Megadeth is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Megadeth Glam metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

6
3,426 1,890
Pantera is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Pantera Glam metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal

7
3,227 1,632
Ozzy Osbourne is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Ozzy Osbourne Doom metal, Glam metal, Blues-rock

8
2,908 1,690
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
3,284 1,703
Slayer is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Slayer Thrash metal, Groove metal, Rock music

10
3,138 1,350
Dio is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Dio Rock music, Power metal, Heavy metal

11
3,622 2,053
AC/DC is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
AC/DC Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

12
3,013 1,354
Led Zeppelin is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
gamedemon24 added Led Zeppelin Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

13
2,112 1,503
Deep Purple is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Deep Purple Blues-rock, Classic rock, Heavy metal

14
1,929 1,808
Scorpions is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Scorpions Glam metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

15
2,672 2,430
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
2,216 2,081
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
1,769 1,601
Anthrax is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Anthrax Crossover thrash, Thrash metal, Groove metal

18
2,333 1,885
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
1,824 1,771
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
1,924 1,701
Mötley Crüe is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
trekx added Mötley Crüe Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

21
2,045 1,707
Tool is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Tool Post-metal, Metal, Progressive metal

22
1,615 1,228
Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Van Halen Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

23
1,836 1,672
Kiss is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Kiss Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

24
1,802 1,135
Alice Cooper is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Alice Cooper Glam metal, Experimental rock, Shock rock

25
1,928 1,858
Rammstein is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rammstein Industrial metal, Gothic metal, Industrial music

26
1,322 1,153
Rainbow is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rainbow Blues-rock, Progressive metal, Power metal

27
1,473 1,213
Testament is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Testament Thrash metal, Groove metal, Heavy metal

28
1,343 1,500
Def Leppard is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Def Leppard Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

29
1,796 1,930
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
1,665 1,782
Disturbed is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Disturbed Nu metal, Rock music, Metalcore

31
1,301 1,463
Dream Theater is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Dream Theater Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

32
1,102 1,336
Queensrÿche is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Queensrÿche Progressive metal, Rock music, Power metal

33
1,363 1,224
Sepultura is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Sepultura Nu metal, Heavy metal, Extreme metal

34
1,581 1,237
Queen is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Queen Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

35
1,260 1,151
Rob Zombie is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rob Zombie Horror punk, Noise rock, Nu metal

36
1,397 1,346
Rage Against the Machine is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rage Against the Machine Crossover thrash, Nu metal, Political hip hop

37
1,184 1,155
White Zombie is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
White Zombie Horror punk, Noise rock, Industrial metal

38
1,120 1,151
Death is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
AmericanNightmare added Death Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Technical death metal

39
1,438 1,530
Korn is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Korn Dubstep, Nu metal, Industrial metal

40
986 1,190
Twisted Sister is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Twisted Sister Doom metal, Glam metal, Rock music

41
902 1,005
Accept is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
mrblond added Accept Glam metal, Thrash metal, Power metal

42
991 1,011
Mercyful Fate is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Mercyful Fate Doom metal, Thrash metal, Progressive metal

43
1,115 1,004
W.A.S.P. is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
W.A.S.P. Glam metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

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44
920 797
Exodus is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Exodus Thrash metal, Groove metal, Heavy metal

45
956 1,038
Helloween is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
willyboymcoy added Helloween Progressive metal, Melodic music, Power metal - Heavy metal, Progressive

46
914 1,161
Whitesnake is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
mrblond added Whitesnake Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

47
1,034 1,020
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
832 935
Quiet Riot is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Quiet Riot Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

49
1,086 1,376
Five Finger Death Punch is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
1goodcupt added Five Finger Death Punch Nu metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal

50
839 995
Skid Row is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Skid Row Glam metal, Thrash metal, Rock music