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
4,955 2,031
Black Sabbath is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Black Sabbath Doom metal, Blues-rock, Power metal

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2
6,331 2,024
Iron Maiden is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Iron Maiden New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

3
5,782 2,936
Metallica is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Metallica Thrash metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

4
4,084 1,745
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
3,583 2,021
Megadeth is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Megadeth Glam metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

6
3,499 1,940
Pantera is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Pantera Glam metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal

7
2,967 1,734
Motörhead is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Motörhead New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

8
3,282 1,681
Ozzy Osbourne is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Ozzy Osbourne Doom metal, Glam metal, Blues-rock

9
3,352 1,750
Slayer is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Slayer Thrash metal, Groove metal, Rock music

10
3,196 1,385
Dio is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Dio Rock music, Power metal, Heavy metal

11
3,694 2,110
AC/DC is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
AC/DC Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

12
3,086 1,402
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
2,157 1,548
Deep Purple is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Deep Purple Blues-rock, Classic rock, Heavy metal

14
1,975 1,851
Scorpions is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Scorpions Glam metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

15
2,754 2,493
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
2,275 2,129
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
1,800 1,648
Anthrax is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Anthrax Crossover thrash, Thrash metal, Groove metal

18
2,404 1,920
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
1,860 1,810
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
1,656 1,264
Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Van Halen Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

21
2,103 1,739
Tool is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Tool Post-metal, Metal, Progressive metal

22
1,959 1,745
Mötley Crüe is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
trekx added Mötley Crüe Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

23
1,835 1,172
Alice Cooper is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Alice Cooper Glam metal, Experimental rock, Shock rock

24
1,351 1,186
Rainbow is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rainbow Blues-rock, Progressive metal, Power metal

25
1,869 1,724
Kiss is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Kiss Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

26
1,970 1,897
Rammstein is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rammstein Industrial metal, Gothic metal, Industrial music

27
1,371 1,536
Def Leppard is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Def Leppard Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

28
1,493 1,247
Testament is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Testament Thrash metal, Groove metal, Heavy metal

29
1,844 1,968
Avenged Sevenfold is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Avenged Sevenfold Thrash metal, Deathcore, Rock music

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30
1,329 1,496
Dream Theater is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Dream Theater Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

31
1,118 1,369
Queensrÿche is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Queensrÿche Progressive metal, Rock music, Power metal

32
1,705 1,818
Disturbed is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Disturbed Nu metal, Rock music, Metalcore

33
1,622 1,265
Queen is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Queen Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

34
1,392 1,249
Sepultura is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Sepultura Nu metal, Heavy metal, Extreme metal

35
1,437 1,368
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
1,287 1,175
Rob Zombie is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rob Zombie Horror punk, Noise rock, Nu metal

37
1,209 1,182
White Zombie is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
White Zombie Horror punk, Noise rock, Industrial metal

38
1,147 1,178
Death is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
AmericanNightmare added Death Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Technical death metal

39
1,486 1,556
Korn is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Korn Dubstep, Nu metal, Industrial metal

40
1,129 1,035
W.A.S.P. is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
W.A.S.P. Glam metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

41
913 1,034
Accept is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
mrblond added Accept Glam metal, Thrash metal, Power metal

42
970 1,070
Helloween is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
willyboymcoy added Helloween Progressive metal, Melodic music, Power metal - Heavy metal, Progressive

43
938 822
Exodus is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Exodus Thrash metal, Groove metal, Heavy metal

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44
1,012 1,218
Twisted Sister is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Twisted Sister Doom metal, Glam metal, Rock music

45
1,003 1,037
Mercyful Fate is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Mercyful Fate Doom metal, Thrash metal, Progressive metal

46
930 1,192
Whitesnake is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
mrblond added Whitesnake Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

47
856 1,026
Skid Row is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Skid Row Glam metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

48
1,065 1,043
Lamb of God is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Lamb of God Thrash metal, Groove metal, Melodic death metal

49
843 965
Quiet Riot is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Quiet Riot Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

50
1,119 1,403
Five Finger Death Punch is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
1goodcupt added Five Finger Death Punch Nu metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal