Metal The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands  

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Originally by Ranker Community
555.8k votes 32.2k voters 508.1k views 520 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
10,229 3,654
Iron Maiden is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
The Number of the Beast, Iron Maiden, Powerslave

2
9,733 5,375
Metallica is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Master of Puppets, Ride the Lightning, Metallica

3
8,661 3,450
Black Sabbath is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Paranoid, Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell

4
6,515 3,260
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
5,906 3,537
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
6,242 3,160
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
4,944 3,036
Motörhead is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
shisu added Ace of Spades, 1916, No Remorse

8
5,441 2,869
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
5,533 2,911
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
6,077 3,408
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
5,044 2,489
Dio is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Holy Diver, The Last in Line, Sacred Heart

12
5,336 2,522
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
5,051 4,111
Slipknot is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Slipknot, Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses), Iowa

14
3,408 2,829
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
3,956 2,876
Tool is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Ænima, Lateralus, 10

16
4,052 3,506
Guns N' Roses is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Appetite for Destruction, G N' R Lies, Use Your Illusion I

17
4,356 3,233
System of a Down is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Toxicity, Hypnotize, Mezmerize

18
3,132 3,178
Scorpions is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Blackout, Love at First Sting, Animal Magnetism

19
2,951 2,763
Anthrax is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Among the Living, Fistful of Metal, Spreading the Disease

20
3,364 2,820
Alice in Chains is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Dirt, Alice in Chains, Facelift

21
3,042 2,126
Alice Cooper is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Welcome to My Nightmare, Hey Stoopid, Brutal Planet

22
2,944 2,281
Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Van Halen, 1984, Diver Down

23
3,129 2,758
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
3,144 3,000
Disturbed is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Ten Thousand Fists, Believe, The Sickness

25
2,190 2,535
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
3,375 2,990
Rammstein is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Sehnsucht, Rosenrot, Mutter

27
2,164 2,176
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
3,379 3,120
Avenged Sevenfold is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
City of Evil, Waking the Fallen, Avenged Sevenfold

29
2,399 2,545
Def Leppard is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Hysteria, Pyromania, On Through the Night

30
1,879 2,266
Queensrÿche is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Operation: Mindcrime, Empire, Promised Land

31
2,459 1,987
Rob Zombie is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
The Sinister Urge, Past, Present & Future

32
2,848 2,476
Korn is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Follow the Leader, The Vinyl Classics, Issues

33
3,006 2,197
Queen is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
A Night at the Opera, Queen, Innuendo

34
2,824 2,966
Kiss is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Destroyer, Icon, Revenge

35
2,187 2,118
Testament is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Practice What You Preach, The New Order, The Legacy

36
2,213 2,027
Sepultura is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Chaos A.D., Arise, Beneath the Remains

37
2,612 2,211
Rage Against the Machine is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rage Against the Machine, Evil Empire, The Battle of Los Angeles

38
2,082 1,933
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
1,540 1,936
Helloween is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
willyboymcoy added Keeper of the Seven Keys, Pt. 2, Walls of Jericho - Heavy metal, Progressive

40
1,870 1,990
Death is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
AmericanNightmare added Symbolic, Human, Individual Thought Patterns

41
2,084 1,695
Lamb of God is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Sacrament, Ashes of the Wake, As the Palaces Burn

42
1,439 1,802
Accept is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
mrblond added Balls to the Wall, Restless and Wild, Metal Heart

43
1,341 1,763
Manowar is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
mrblond added The Absolute Power, Louder Than Hell, Sign of the Hammer

44
1,969 2,201
Marilyn Manson is listed (or ranked) 44 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

45
1,476 1,833
Skid Row is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Skid Row, Slave to the Grind, Subhuman Race

46
2,209 2,352
Five Finger Death Punch is listed (or ranked) 46 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

47
1,648 2,047
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
1,526 1,982
Whitesnake is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
mrblond added 1987, Lovehunter, Slide It In

49
1,656 1,822
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
1,130 1,571
Saxon is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Denim and Leather, Crusader, Power & the Glory