music The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands  

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

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
6,640 2,171
Iron Maiden is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Iron Maiden New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

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2
6,164 3,097
Metallica is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Metallica Thrash metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

3
5,259 2,135
Black Sabbath is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Black Sabbath Doom metal, Blues-rock, Power metal

4
4,292 1,854
Judas Priest is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Judas Priest New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal, Power metal

5
3,761 2,129
Megadeth is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Megadeth Glam metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

6
3,704 2,041
Pantera is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Pantera Glam metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal

7
3,138 1,804
Motörhead is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
shisu added motörhead New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

8
3,476 1,771
Ozzy Osbourne is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Ozzy Osbourne Doom metal, Glam metal, Blues-rock

9
3,527 1,849
Slayer is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Slayer Thrash metal, Groove metal, Rock music

10
3,904 2,205
AC/DC is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
AC/DC Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

11
3,337 1,461
Dio is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Dio Rock music, Power metal, Heavy metal

12
3,281 1,477
Led Zeppelin is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
gamedemon24 added Led Zeppelin Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

13
2,254 1,645
Deep Purple is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Deep Purple Blues-rock, Classic rock, Heavy metal

14
2,070 1,965
Scorpions is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Scorpions Glam metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

15
2,942 2,622
Slipknot is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Slipknot Nu metal, Groove metal, Rapcore

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16
2,430 2,225
Guns N' Roses is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Guns N' Roses Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

17
1,890 1,742
Anthrax is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Anthrax Crossover thrash, Thrash metal, Groove metal

18
2,585 2,007
System of a Down is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
System of a Down Nu metal, Progressive metal, Rock music

19
1,985 1,889
Alice in Chains is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Alice in Chains Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal

20
1,937 1,246
Alice Cooper is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Alice Cooper Glam metal, Experimental rock, Shock rock

21
2,261 1,820
Tool is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Tool Post-metal, Metal, Progressive metal

22
2,055 1,821
Mötley Crüe is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
shisu added Mötley Crüe Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

23
1,756 1,343
Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Van Halen Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

24
1,412 1,265
Rainbow is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rainbow Blues-rock, Progressive metal, Power metal

25
2,083 1,970
Rammstein is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rammstein Industrial metal, Gothic metal, Industrial music

26
1,473 1,609
Def Leppard is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Def Leppard Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

27
1,956 1,829
Kiss is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Kiss Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

28
1,820 1,902
Disturbed is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Disturbed Nu metal, Rock music, Metalcore

29
1,379 1,580
Dream Theater is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Dream Theater Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

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30
1,543 1,326
Testament is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Testament Thrash metal, Groove metal, Heavy metal

31
1,964 2,044
Avenged Sevenfold is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Avenged Sevenfold Thrash metal, Deathcore, Rock music

32
1,744 1,322
Queen is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Queen Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

33
1,160 1,442
Queensrÿche is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Queensrÿche Progressive metal, Rock music, Power metal

34
1,387 1,225
Rob Zombie is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rob Zombie Horror punk, Noise rock, Nu metal

35
1,541 1,418
Rage Against the Machine is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rage Against the Machine Crossover thrash, Nu metal, Political hip hop

36
1,462 1,307
Sepultura is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Sepultura Nu metal, Heavy metal, Extreme metal

37
1,281 1,234
White Zombie is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
White Zombie Horror punk, Noise rock, Industrial metal

38
1,596 1,624
Korn is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Korn Dubstep, Nu metal, Industrial metal

39
1,208 1,242
Death is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
AmericanNightmare added Death Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Technical death metal

40
1,018 1,136
Helloween is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
willyboymcoy added Helloween Progressive metal, Melodic music, Power metal - Heavy metal, Progressive

41
1,168 1,100
W.A.S.P. is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
W.A.S.P. Glam metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

42
951 1,093
Accept is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
mrblond added Accept Glam metal, Thrash metal, Power metal

43
1,065 1,278
Twisted Sister is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Twisted Sister Doom metal, Glam metal, Rock music

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44
975 881
Exodus is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Exodus Thrash metal, Groove metal, Heavy metal

45
907 1,085
Skid Row is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Skid Row Glam metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

46
970 1,259
Whitesnake is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
mrblond added Whitesnake Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

47
1,040 1,099
Mercyful Fate is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Mercyful Fate Doom metal, Thrash metal, Progressive metal

48
812 1,022
Manowar is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
mrblond added Manowar Power metal, Heavy metal, True metal

49
1,207 1,472
Five Finger Death Punch is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
1goodcupt added Five Finger Death Punch Nu metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal

50
1,140 1,087
Lamb of God is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Lamb of God Thrash metal, Groove metal, Melodic death metal