Metal The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands  

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Originally by Ranker Community
541.6k votes 31.3k voters 498.9k views 522 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.

list ordered by

1
9,911 3,534
Iron Maiden is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
The Number of the Beast, Iron Maiden, Powerslave

2
9,468 5,204
Metallica is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Master of Puppets, Ride the Lightning, Metallica

3
8,404 3,384
Black Sabbath is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Paranoid, Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell

4
6,342 3,164
Judas Priest is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
British Steel, Screaming for Vengeance, Hell Bent for Leather

5
5,753 3,449
Megadeth is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rust in Peace, Peace Sells... but Who's Buying?, Youthanasia

6
6,080 3,074
Pantera is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Vulgar Display of Power, Cowboys From Hell, Far Beyond Driven

7
4,825 2,966
Motörhead is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
shisu added Ace of Spades, 1916, No Remorse

8
5,322 2,790
Ozzy Osbourne is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Blizzard of Ozz, Diary of a Madman, The Ultimate Sin

9
5,394 2,841
Slayer is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Reign in Blood, South of Heaven, Seasons in the Abyss

10
5,922 3,334
AC/DC is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Back in Black, Highway to Hell, Let There Be Rock

11
4,916 2,433
Dio is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Holy Diver, The Last in Line, Sacred Heart

12
5,192 2,441
Led Zeppelin is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
gamedemon24 added Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin IV, Led Zeppelin II

13
4,904 3,991
Slipknot is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Slipknot, Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses), Iowa

14
3,320 2,751
Deep Purple is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Machine Head, Live in Japan, Deep Purple in Rock

15
3,853 2,783
Tool is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Ænima, Lateralus, 10

16
4,222 3,139
System of a Down is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Toxicity, Hypnotize, Mezmerize

17
3,920 3,426
Guns N' Roses is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Appetite for Destruction, G N' R Lies, Use Your Illusion I

18
3,034 3,117
Scorpions is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Blackout, Love at First Sting, Animal Magnetism

19
2,874 2,688
Anthrax is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Among the Living, Fistful of Metal, Spreading the Disease

20
3,281 2,744
Alice in Chains is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Dirt, Alice in Chains, Facelift

21
2,951 2,067
Alice Cooper is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Welcome to My Nightmare, Hey Stoopid, Brutal Planet

22
2,854 2,229
Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Van Halen, 1984, Diver Down

23
3,060 2,695
Mötley Crüe is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
shisu added Girls Girls Girls, Shout at the Devil, Dr. Feelgood

24
3,050 2,928
Disturbed is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Ten Thousand Fists, Believe, The Sickness

25
2,132 2,467
Dream Theater is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, Images and Words, Metropolis

26
3,287 2,929
Rammstein is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Sehnsucht, Rosenrot, Mutter

27
2,111 2,118
Rainbow is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rising, Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, Long Live Rock ’n’ Roll

28
3,278 3,055
Avenged Sevenfold is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
City of Evil, Waking the Fallen, Avenged Sevenfold

29
2,335 2,492
Def Leppard is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Hysteria, Pyromania, On Through the Night

30
1,830 2,208
Queensrÿche is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Operation: Mindcrime, Empire, Promised Land

31
2,394 1,929
Rob Zombie is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
The Sinister Urge, Past, Present & Future

32
2,758 2,417
Korn is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Follow the Leader, The Vinyl Classics, Issues

33
2,764 2,905
Kiss is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Destroyer, Icon, Revenge

34
2,906 2,148
Queen is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
A Night at the Opera, Queen, Innuendo

35
2,148 2,072
Testament is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Practice What You Preach, The New Order, The Legacy

36
2,537 2,160
Rage Against the Machine is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rage Against the Machine, Evil Empire, The Battle of Los Angeles

37
2,160 1,983
Sepultura is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Chaos A.D., Arise, Beneath the Remains

38
2,034 1,880
White Zombie is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Vol. 1, Astro-Creep: 2000: Songs of Love

39
2,007 1,648
Lamb of God is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Sacrament, Ashes of the Wake, As the Palaces Burn

40
1,499 1,887
Helloween is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
willyboymcoy added Keeper of the Seven Keys, Pt. 2, Walls of Jericho - Heavy metal, Progressive

41
1,822 1,938
Death is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
AmericanNightmare added Symbolic, Human, Individual Thought Patterns

42
1,900 2,138
Marilyn Manson is listed (or ranked) 42 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

43
1,394 1,758
Accept is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
mrblond added Balls to the Wall, Restless and Wild, Metal Heart

44
1,442 1,787
Skid Row is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Skid Row, Slave to the Grind, Subhuman Race

45
2,153 2,287
Five Finger Death Punch is listed (or ranked) 45 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

46
1,297 1,711
Manowar is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
mrblond added The Absolute Power, Louder Than Hell, Sign of the Hammer

47
1,607 1,992
Twisted Sister is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Stay Hungry, You Can't Stop Rock 'n' Roll, Under the Blade

48
1,481 1,940
Whitesnake is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
mrblond added 1987, Lovehunter, Slide It In

49
1,616 1,779
W.A.S.P. is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
WASP, The Crimson Idol, The Last Command

50
1,403 1,391
Exodus is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Bonded by Blood, Fabulous Disaster, Another Lesson in Violence