3,670 votes 395 voters 10,858 views 48 items tags f p @

Best Classic Metal Bands

List Criteria: 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. (48 items)

Best Classic Metal Bands Bands/Musicians
Z
G Options
B Comments
& Embed
  1. 1
    + 187
    - 42

    Paranoid, Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell

    ; buy at  
  2. 2
    + 201
    - 49

    The Number of the Beast, Iron Maiden, Powerslave

    ; buy at  
  3. 3
    + 153
    - 42

    British Steel, Screaming for Vengeance, Hell Bent for Leather

    ; buy at  
  4. 4
    + 122
    - 39

    Holy Diver, The Last in Line, Sacred Heart

    ; buy at  
  5. 5
    + 123
    - 41

    Blizzard of Ozz, Diary of a Madman, The Ultimate Sin

    ; buy at  
  6. 6
    + 104
    - 45

    Blackout, Love at First Sting, Animal Magnetism

    ; buy at  
  7. 7
    + 99
    - 44

    Ace of Spades, 1916, No Remorse

    ; buy at  
  8. 8
    + 118
    - 66

    Master of Puppets, Ride the Lightning, Metallica

    ; buy at  
  9. 9
    + 62
    - 29

    added by tpengitore
    Rust in Peace, Peace Sells... but Who's Buying?, Youthanasia

    ; buy at  
  10. 10
    + 75
    - 50

    Operation: Mindcrime, Empire, Promised Land

    ; buy at  
  11. 11
    + 48
    - 60

    Skid Row, Slave to the Grind, Subhuman Race

    ; buy at  
  12. 12
    + 48
    - 64

    The Absolute Power, Louder Than Hell, Sign of the Hammer

    ; buy at  
  13. 13
    + 16
    - 16

    added by MarkLuscombe
    Metal Health, Condition Critical, QR III

    ; buy at  
  14. 14
    + 15
    - 15

    added by MarkLuscombe
    Tooth and Nail, Breaking the Chains, Back for the Attack

    ; buy at  
  15. 15
    + 16
    - 17

    added by MarkLuscombe
    Invasion of Your Privacy, Out of the Cellar, Detonator

    ; buy at  
  16. 16
    + 30
    - 44

    Lightning to the Nations, Rising Up, Canterbury

    ; buy at  
  17. 17
    + 38
    - 61

    The Sinister Urge, Past, Present & Future

    ; buy at  
  18. 18
    + 7
    - 6

    added by harry-pittman
    Vulgar Display of Power, Cowboys From Hell, Far Beyond Driven

    ; buy at  
  19. 19
    + 21
    - 33

    added by RobertPhelps
    Feel the Fire, Taking Over, W.F.O.

    ; buy at  
  20. 20
    + 32
    - 54

    La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Vol. 1, Astro-Creep: 2000: Songs of Love

    ; buy at  
  21. 21
    + 3
    - 3

    new! & added by MattSchwarck
    To Hell With the Devil, Soldiers Under Command, Against the Law

    ; buy at  
  22. 22
    + 24
    - 45

    Terror, Disillusion, Thunder in the East

    ; buy at  
  23. 23
    + 20
    - 39

    Triumph and Agony, Burning the Witches, Hellbound

    ; buy at  
  24. 24
    + 6
    - 11

    added by mohamed-said
    Streets: A Rock Opera, The Wake of Magellan, Edge of Thorns

    ; buy at  
  25. 25
    + 2
    - 3

    added by strangeways
    Psalm 9, The Skull, Trouble, Manic Frustration, Plastic Green Head, Distortion Field

    buy at  
  26. 26
    + 28
    - 57

    Faceless, IV, Awake

    ; buy at  
  27. 27
    + 13
    - 29

    added by NicholasChabiram
    Ten Thousand Fists, Believe, The Sickness

    ; buy at  
  28. 28
    + 3
    - 13

    added by MarkLuscombe
    EZO, Fire Fire, ESA

    ; buy at  
  29. 29
    + 19
    - 57

    Come What(ever) May, Through Glass, House of Gold & Bones – Part 2

    ; buy at  
  30. 30
    + 14
    - 52

    ART OF LIFE, Art of Life 1993.12.31 Tokyo Dome, Complete Singles

    ; buy at  
  31. 31
    + 11
    - 48

    Temple of Shadows, Aqua, Holy Land

    ; buy at  
  32. 32
    + 7
    - 47

    Hankou Seimeibun, Nil, Cockayne Soup

    ; buy at  
  33. 33
    + 6
    - 42

    Gorky Park, Moscow Calling, Protivofazza

    ; buy at  
  34. 34
    + 5
    - 46

    Master's Command, Obsessions, Wicked Generation

    ; buy at  
  35. 35
    + 5
    - 53

    Soldiers Gun, Commandos, Stage Dolls

    ; buy at  
  36. 36
    + 2
    - 30
    No image

    Heart Full of Fire, Live at Apollo, Diamond in the Firepit

    buy at  
  37. 37
    + 3
    - 44

    My Name Will Live On, Doomsword, Resound the Horn

    ; buy at  
  38. 38
    + 3
    - 45

    Over the Top, The Devil's Cut, High Speed GTO

    ; buy at  
  39. 39
    + 3
    - 48

    Banda Calypso, Volume 1, Banda Calypso

    ; buy at  
  40. 40
    + 2
    - 44

    Tomorrow's Lost, Burning Fortune, Into the Cauldron

    ; buy at  
  41. 41
    + 2
    - 45
    ; buy at  
  42. 42
    + 2
    - 45

    Ultimate Darkness, Astral Adventures, Give Me Light

    ; buy at  
  43. 43
    + 2
    - 45

    ...and Rome Shall Fall, Born of the Cauldron, God of Metal

    ; buy at  
  44. 44
    + 1
    - 41
    ; buy at  
  45. 45
    + 1
    - 41
    No image

    Climax, Railway II

    buy at  
  46. 46
    + 1
    - 43
    No image

    The Prophecy, Thunderlip CD

    ; buy at  
  47. 47
    + 0
    - 39
    No image

    Misanthropic Slaughter, Who Needs a Shepherd?

    buy at  
  48. 48
    + 0
    - 40
    buy at  
49 +

Something missing? Add it!

items 1 - 48 of 48

L List Options B Comments & Embed z Share Next List >