metal The Best Death Metal Bands

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Not to be confused with thrash metal and black metal, though both of which are instrumental in shaping its sound, death metal is one of the most popular subgenres of heavy metal. Known for its distorted guitars, aggressive drumming, and growling and screaming vocals, death metal emerged in the 1980s in Florida and is still one of the best metal genres today. Lyrically, death metal addresses exactly what you'd expect the genre to focus on. Satanism, the occult, religion, politics, mysticism and science fiction have all found their into death metal bands' lyrics. The best death metal bands have cult followings and among heavy metal bands, their fanbases are among the most rabid.

So, what are the best death metal bands? Well, bands like Death, Cannibal Corpse and Morbid Angel are at or near the top of the death metal bands list and deservedly so. They are among the most popular death metal bands and among death metal bands, are generally the most talked about bands within death metal. While many of the death metal bands on here achieved most of their success during the early 1990s, they were never considered mainstream metal bands. The lack of commercial appeal has allowed death metal bands to retain a strong base.

That said, it's up to you to determine what are the best death metal bands. If you notice someone on this list who is missing, feel free to add any death metal band that should be on this poll. This list answers the questions "who are the best death metal bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest death metal musician ever?" If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the band's music instead of just voting for the most popular death metal bands that you might've heard of. (181 items)

1
+ - 389 83
Death is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Death Thrash metal, Progressive metal Technical death metal

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2
+ - 248 72
Morbid Angel is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Morbid Angel Heavy metal, Death metal

3
+ - 329 130
Cannibal Corpse is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Cannibal Corpse Brutal death metal, Death metal

4
+ - 262 100
Carcass is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Carcass D-beat, Goregrind Melodic death metal

5
+ - 164 68
Entombed is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Entombed Death 'n' roll, Heavy metal Death metal

6
+ - 216 99
Nile is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Nile Technical death metal, Brutal death metal Death metal

7
+ - 212 98
Obituary is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Obituary Heavy metal, Death metal

8
+ - 188 87
Suffocation is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Suffocation Deathcore, Brutal death metal Death metal

9
+ - 201 95
Deicide is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Deicide Heavy metal, Death metal

10
+ - 122 54
Dismember is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Dismember Melodic death metal, Heavy metal Death metal

11
+ - 153 76
Bolt Thrower is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Bolt Thrower Doom metal, Heavy metal Grindcore

12
+ - 205 116
Behemoth is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Behemoth Thrash metal, Technical death metal Black metal

13
+ - 152 81
Dying Fetus is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Dying Fetus Goregrind, Technical death metal Heavy metal

14
+ - 91 39
Grave is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Grave Heavy metal, Death metal

15
+ - 100 46
Autopsy is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Autopsy Goregrind, Heavy metal Grindcore

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16
+ - 108 52
Cryptopsy is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Cryptopsy Deathcore, Technical death metal Heavy metal

17
+ - 139 75
Possessed is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Possessed Thrash metal, Rock music Black metal

18
+ - 114 59
Necrophagist is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Necrophagist Progressive metal, Technical death metal Heavy metal

19
+ - 136 75
At the Gates is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
At the Gates Thrash metal, Melodic death metal Heavy metal

20
+ - 94 47
Gorguts is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Gorguts Technical death metal, Heavy metal Experimental metal

21
+ - 102 54
Immolation is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Immolation Technical death metal, Heavy metal Death metal

22
+ - 138 82
Decapitated is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Decapitated Technical death metal, Heavy metal Death metal

23
+ - 132 79
Bloodbath is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Bloodbath Heavy metal, Death metal

24
+ - 47 15
Atheist is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Atheist Thrash metal, Progressive metal Technical death metal

25
+ - 85 44
Celtic Frost is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Celtic Frost Doom metal, Glam metal Thrash metal

26
+ - 86 45
Unleashed is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Unleashed Melodic death metal, Viking metal Heavy metal

27
+ - 112 65
Malevolent Creation is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Malevolent Creation Thrash metal, Heavy metal Death metal

28
+ - 76 40
Asphyx is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Asphyx Death-doom, Thrash metal Heavy metal

29
+ - 162 109
Sepultura is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Sepultura Nu metal, Heavy metal Extreme metal

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30
+ - 104 65
Opeth is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Opeth Doom metal, Thrash metal Progressive metal

31
+ - 126 84
Arch Enemy is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Arch Enemy Thrash metal, Melodic death metal Heavy metal

32
+ - 50 23
Vader is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Vader Thrash metal, Heavy metal Death metal

33
+ - 130 91
Gojira is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Gojira Thrash metal, Progressive metal Groove metal

34
+ - 97 66
Kataklysm is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Kataklysm Melodic death metal, Heavy metal Death metal

35
+ - 43 21
Cattle Decapitation is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Cattle Decapitation Goregrind, Heavy metal Deathgrind

36
+ - 63 39
Incantation is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Incantation Black metal, Heavy metal Death metal

37
+ - 109 82
Kreator is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Kreator Thrash metal, Gothic rock Industrial metal

38
+ - 104 80
In Flames is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
In Flames Nu metal, Melodic death metal Metalcore

39
+ - 72 51
Fleshgod Apocalypse is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Fleshgod Apocalypse Melodic death metal, Technical death metal Symphonic metal

40
+ - 65 45
Massacre is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Massacre Heavy metal, Death metal

41
+ - 30 14
Nocturnus is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Nocturnus Technical death metal, Heavy metal Death metal

42
+ - 47 30
Carnage is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Carnage Heavy metal, Grindcore Death metal

43
+ - 42 27
Sinister is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Sinister Heavy metal, Death metal

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44
+ - 97 79
Dark Tranquillity is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Dark Tranquillity Progressive metal, Melodic death metal Heavy metal

45
+ - 69 53
Krisiun is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Krisiun Technical death metal, Brutal death metal Death metal

46
+ - 43 31
Benediction is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Benediction Heavy metal, Death metal

47
+ - 89 77
Children of Bodom is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Children of Bodom Thrash metal, Progressive metal Symphonic black metal

48
+ - 40 29
Anaal Nathrakh is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Anaal Nathrakh Industrial metal, Technical death metal Black metal

49
+ - 39 29
Necrophagia is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Necrophagia Death metal

50
+ - 46 38
Cancer is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Cancer Thrash metal, Heavy metal Death metal