Music

The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands  

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Originally by Ranker Community
825.3k votes 46.4k voters 634.7k views 443 items

List Rules Heavy Metal bands only. No other subgenres of metal

Creating some of the best metal songs of 2018, 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.

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26
Kiss is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Destroyer, Icon, Revenge
Kiss is an American hard rock band formed in New York City in January 1973 by Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons. Well known for its members' face paint and stage outfits, the group rose to ...more
27
Avenged Sevenfold is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
City of Evil, Waking the Fallen, Avenged Sevenfold
Avenged Sevenfold is an American heavy metal band from Huntington Beach, California, formed in 1999. The band's members are lead vocalist M. Shadows, rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist Zacky ...more
28
Queensrÿche is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Operation: Mindcrime, Empire, Promised Land
Queensrÿche is an American progressive heavy metal band formed in 1982 in Bellevue, Washington out of the local band The Mob. The band has released 14 studio albums, one EP and several ...more
29
Rainbow is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rising, Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, Long Live Rock ’n’ Roll
Rainbow were a British rock band led by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore from 1975 to 1984 and 1993 to 1997. They were originally established with Ronnie James Dio's American rock band Elf, but after ...more
30
Sepultura is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Chaos A.D., Arise, Beneath the Remains
Sepultura is a Brazilian heavy metal band from Belo Horizonte. Formed in 1984 by brothers Max and Igor Cavalera, the band was a major force in the death metal, thrash metal and groove metal ...more
31
Lamb of God is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Sacrament, Ashes of the Wake, As the Palaces Burn
Lamb of God is an American groove metal band from Richmond, Virginia. Formed in 1994, the group consists of vocalist Randy Blythe, guitarists Mark Morton and Willie Adler, bassist John Campbell, ...more
32
Testament is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Practice What You Preach, The New Order, The Legacy
Testament is an American thrash metal band from Berkeley, California. Formed in 1983 under the name Legacy, they are often credited as one of the most popular bands of the 1980s thrash metal ...more
33
White Zombie is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Vol. 1, Astro-Creep: 2000: Songs of Love
White Zombie was an American heavy metal band that formed in 1985. Based in New York City, White Zombie was originally a noise rock band. White Zombie is better-known for its later heavy ...more
34
Helloween is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
willyboymcoy added Keeper of the Seven Keys, Pt. 2, Walls of Jericho
Heavy metal, Progressive Helloween is a German power metal band founded in 1984 in Hamburg, Northern Germany. The band is a pioneering force in the power metal genre and their second and third studio albums, Keeper of ...more
35
Marilyn Manson is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death), Smells Like Children, Portrait of an American Family
Brian Hugh Warner, known professionally as Marilyn Manson, is an American musician, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, actor, painter, multimedia artist, and former music journalist. He is known ...more
36
Accept is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
mrblond added Balls to the Wall, Restless and Wild, Metal Heart
Accept is a German heavy metal band from the town of Solingen, originally assembled by former vocalist Udo Dirkschneider, guitarist Wolf Hoffmann and bassist Peter Baltes. Their beginnings can ...more
37
Manowar is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
mrblond added The Absolute Power, Louder Than Hell, Sign of the Hammer
Manowar is an American heavy metal band from Auburn, New York. Formed in 1980, the group is known for lyrics based on fantasy and mythology. The band is also known for a loud and bombastic ...more
38
Five Finger Death Punch is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
1goodcupt added American Capitalist, The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell, Volume 1
Five Finger Death Punch is an American metal band from Las Vegas, Nevada. Formed in 2005, the group's name is derived from classic martial arts cinema. The band originally consisted of vocalist ...more
39
Opeth is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Blackwater Park, Damnation, Ghost Reveries
Opeth is a Swedish heavy metal band from Stockholm, formed in 1990. Though the group has been through several personnel changes, singer, guitarist, and songwriter Mikael Åkerfeldt has ...more
40
Amon Amarth is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Twilight of the Thunder God, Versus the World, With Oden on Our Side
Amon Amarth is a melodic death metal band from Tumba, Sweden, founded in 1992. It takes its name from the Sindarin name of Mount Doom, a volcano in J. R. R. Tolkien′s Middle-earth. Their lyrics ...more
41
Godsmack is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Faceless, IV, Awake
Godsmack is an American alternative metal band from Lawrence, Massachusetts, formed in 1995. The band is composed of founder, frontman and songwriter Sully Erna, guitarist Tony Rombola, bassist ...more
42
Skid Row is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Skid Row, Slave to the Grind, Subhuman Race
Skid Row is an American heavy metal band, formed in 1986 in Toms River, New Jersey. They were very successful in the late 1980s and early 1990s, with their first two albums certified ...more
43
Whitesnake is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
mrblond added 1987, Lovehunter, Slide It In
Whitesnake are a rock band, formed in England in 1978 by David Coverdale after his departure from his previous band, Deep Purple. Their early material has been compared by critics to the blues ...more
44
W.A.S.P. is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
WASP, The Crimson Idol, The Last Command
W.A.S.P. is an American heavy metal band formed in 1982. They emerged from the same Los Angeles scene that spawned Van Halen, Mötley Crüe, Dokken, Ratt, Quiet Riot, Guns N' Roses and ...more
45
Mastodon is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Crack the Skye, Leviathan, Blood Mountain
Mastodon is an American heavy metal band from Atlanta, Georgia, formed in early 2000 and composed of bassist Troy Sanders, guitarists Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher and drummer Brann Dailor. ...more
46
Twisted Sister is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Stay Hungry, You Can't Stop Rock 'n' Roll, Under the Blade
Twisted Sister is an American heavy metal band from Long Island, New York. Twisted Sister's most well-known hits include "We're Not Gonna Take It" and "I Wanna Rock". Many of ...more
47
Faith No More is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Angel Dust, The Real Thing, King for a Day… Fool for a Lifetime
Faith No More is an American rock band from San Francisco, California, formed in 1981. The band was originally named Faith No Man. Billy Gould, Roddy Bottum and Mike Bordin are the longest ...more
48
Exodus is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Bonded by Blood, Fabulous Disaster, Another Lesson in Violence
Exodus is an American thrash metal band formed in 1980 in Richmond, California. Spanning a career of 35 years, Exodus has gone through numerous lineup changes, two extended hiatuses, and the ...more
49
Danzig is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Danzig III: How the Gods Kill, Danzig II: Lucifuge, Danzig
Danzig is an American heavy metal band, formed in 1987 in Lodi, New Jersey. The band is the musical outlet for singer and songwriter Glenn Danzig, preceded by the horror punk bands the Misfits ...more
50
Blue Öyster Cult is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Agents of Fortune, Tyranny and Mutation, Fire of Unknown Origin
Blue Öyster Cult is an American rock band from Long Island, New York, whose most successful work includes the hard rock and heavy metal songs " The Reaper", "Godzilla" ...more