Metal The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
687.9k votes 38.4k voters 554.9k views 509 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.

Ranker may collect a commission from links on this page. Prices & inventory are accurate as of publish date.
list ordered by

1
11,482 6,722
Metallica is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Master of Puppets, Ride the Lightning, Metallica

2
10,442 4,104
Black Sabbath is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Paranoid, Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell

3
12,065 4,449
Iron Maiden is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
The Number of the Beast, Iron Maiden, Powerslave

4
7,623 4,145
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
7,028 4,353
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
7,672 3,782
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
5,996 3,716
Motörhead is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
shisu added Ace of Spades, 1916, No Remorse

8
6,597 3,498
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
7,295 4,205
AC/DC is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Back in Black, Highway to Hell, Let There Be Rock

10
6,786 3,526
Slayer is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Reign in Blood, South of Heaven, Seasons in the Abyss

11
6,044 3,148
Dio is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Holy Diver, The Last in Line, Sacred Heart

12
6,486 3,224
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
6,499 4,941
Slipknot is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Slipknot, Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses), Iowa

14
5,021 3,627
Tool is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Ænima, Lateralus, 10

15
5,499 3,966
System of a Down is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Toxicity, Hypnotize, Mezmerize

16
3,998 3,668
Deep Purple is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Machine Head, Live in Japan, Deep Purple in Rock

17
4,923 4,344
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
4,218 3,411
Alice in Chains is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Dirt, Alice in Chains, Facelift

19
3,640 3,408
Anthrax is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Among the Living, Fistful of Metal, Spreading the Disease

20
3,690 3,949
Scorpions is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Blackout, Love at First Sting, Animal Magnetism

21
3,741 2,709
Alice Cooper is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Welcome to My Nightmare, Hey Stoopid, Brutal Planet

22
3,984 3,740
Disturbed is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Ten Thousand Fists, Believe, The Sickness

23
3,565 2,938
Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Van Halen, 1984, Diver Down

24
4,282 3,595
Rammstein is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Sehnsucht, Rosenrot, Mutter

25
3,769 3,405
Mötley Crüe is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
shisu added Girls Girls Girls, Shout at the Devil, Dr. Feelgood