bands/musicians The Best Classic Metal Bands  

6.0k votes 626 voters 14.7k views 54 items Embed

List Rules Only bands that play classic metal style; no nu metal or extreme metal of any sort

When heavy metal first emerged at the beginning of the 1970s, naysayers would have never suspected that the bands from those early years would be considered some of the classic metal bands. These outfits are widely considered among the top heavy metal bands of all time, and with good reason. They are recognizable and their songs are some of the greatest songs in metal history. 

So, who are the best classic heavy metal bands? Every lists must have Black Sabbath at or near the top. The Birmingham, UK natives pretty much invented the genre, and all of heavy metal. Between Ozzy Osbourne's vocals and Tony Iommi's guitar, the entire foundation for all heavy metal bands was laid. If not for Sabbath, bands like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden or even Metallica may not have existed. Even the best classic metal bands owe a debt of gratitude to Black Sabbath. No matter which edition of Black Sabbath you like - Ozzy or Dio edition - they are easily the most influential classic metal band. 

What band should be at the top of the list of classic metal bands? If you're a heavy metal fan and know everything there is to know about the top classic metal bands, then you should have your voice heard. This list answers the questions "who are the best classic metal bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest classic metal musician ever?" if you notice that a popular classic metal band isn't on this list, feel free to add them. (54 items)
list ordered by

1
292 57
Black Sabbath is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Black Sabbath Doom metal, Blues-rock, Power metal

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2
316 68
Iron Maiden is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Iron Maiden New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

3
250 54
Judas Priest is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Judas Priest New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal, Power metal

4
205 49
Dio is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Dio Rock music, Power metal, Heavy metal

5
187 73
Ozzy Osbourne is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Ozzy Osbourne Doom metal, Glam metal, Blues-rock

6
164 74
Scorpions is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Scorpions Glam metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

7
153 71
Motörhead is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Motörhead New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

8
189 110
Metallica is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Metallica Thrash metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

9
114 59
Megadeth is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
tpengitore added Megadeth Glam metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

10
115 80
Queensrÿche is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Queensrÿche Progressive metal, Rock music, Power metal

11
45 23
Accept is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
udoudo added Accept Glam metal, Thrash metal, Power metal

12
45 41
Quiet Riot is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
MarkLuscombe added Quiet Riot Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

13
80 97
Manowar is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Manowar Power metal, Heavy metal, True metal

14
39 35
Savatage is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
mohamed-said added Savatage Melodic Rock, Progressive metal, Power metal

15
43 45
Pantera is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
harry-pittman added Pantera Glam metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal

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16
77 101
Skid Row is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Skid Row Glam metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

17
37 39
Dokken is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
MarkLuscombe added Dokken Melodic Rock, Glam metal, Rock music

18
35 41
Ratt is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
MarkLuscombe added Ratt Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

19
63 97
Rob Zombie is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Rob Zombie Horror punk, Noise rock, Nu metal

20
46 70
Diamond Head is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Diamond Head New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal, Heavy metal

21
37 55
Overkill is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
RobertPhelps added Overkill Thrash metal, Groove metal, Heavy metal

22
54 88
White Zombie is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
White Zombie Horror punk, Noise rock, Industrial metal

23
21 27
U.D.O. is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
udoudo added U.D.O. Power metal, Heavy metal, Speed metal

24
41 68
Warlock is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Warlock Glam metal, Heavy metal, Traditional heavy metal

25
12 13
Krokus is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Trey Guyton added Krokus Heavy metal, Hard rock

26
12 19
Blind Guardian is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Alex Gaginsky added Blind Guardian Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Power metal

27
32 61
Disturbed is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
NicholasChabiram added Disturbed Nu metal, Rock music, Metalcore

28
13 23
Stryper is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
MattSchwarck added Stryper Glam metal, Nu metal, Rock music

29
11 20
Trouble is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
strangeways added Trouble Psalm 9, The Skull, Trouble, Manic Frustration, Plastic Green Head, Distortion Field

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30
28 62
LOUDNESS is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
LOUDNESS Glam metal, Progressive metal, Rock music

31
8 19
Doro is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Alex Gaginsky added Doro

32
37 86
Godsmack is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Godsmack Nu metal, Groove metal, Rock music

33
3 17
Aria is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Alex Gaginsky added Aria Heavy metal

34
24 85
Stone Sour is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Stone Sour Nu metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

35
16 72
X Japan is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
X Japan Glam metal, Thrash metal, Progressive metal

36
11 63
Angra is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Angra Progressive metal, Power metal, Heavy metal

37
4 33
Ezo is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
MarkLuscombe added Ezo Glam metal, Heavy metal

38
8 62
Gorky Park is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Gorky Park Glam metal, Heavy metal, Progressive rock

39
7 66
the GazettE is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
the GazettE Nu metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

40
6 63
Sacred Warrior is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Sacred Warrior Heavy metal, Traditional heavy metal, Christian metal

41
5 58
White Wizzard is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
White Wizzard Heavy metal, Traditional heavy metal

42
6 70
Stage Dolls is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Stage Dolls Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

43
4 56
Railway is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Railway Heavy metal, Traditional heavy metal

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44
4 58
Cauldron is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Cauldron Thrash metal, Heavy metal, Traditional heavy metal

45
3 48
Brother Firetribe is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands

46
4 60
Darkseed is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Darkseed Death-doom, Gothic metal, Heavy metal

47
4 61
Cauldron Born is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Cauldron Born Power metal, Heavy metal, Traditional heavy metal

48
4 72
Banda Calypso is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Banda Calypso Glam metal, Power metal, Heavy metal

49
3 58
Doomsword is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Doomsword Doom metal, Viking metal, Power metal

50
3 61
Uruha is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Classic Metal Bands
Uruha Nu metal, Heavy metal, Glam rock