Metal The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands  

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
574.3k votes 33.4k voters 519.8k views 516 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
10,066 5,578
Metallica is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Master of Puppets, Ride the Lightning, Metallica

2
10,605 3,800
Iron Maiden is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
The Number of the Beast, Iron Maiden, Powerslave

3
8,966 3,545
Black Sabbath is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Paranoid, Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell

4
6,732 3,390
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
6,093 3,654
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
6,455 3,258
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
5,095 3,133
Motörhead is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
shisu added Ace of Spades, 1916, No Remorse

8
5,612 2,972
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
6,259 3,524
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
5,714 2,996
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
5,219 2,566
Dio is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Holy Diver, The Last in Line, Sacred Heart

12
5,525 2,626
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
5,243 4,240
Slipknot is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Slipknot, Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses), Iowa

14
3,519 2,931
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
4,100 2,973
Tool is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Ænima, Lateralus, 10

16
4,513 3,337
System of a Down is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Toxicity, Hypnotize, Mezmerize

17
4,195 3,631
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
3,239 3,275
Scorpions is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Blackout, Love at First Sting, Animal Magnetism

19
3,055 2,848
Anthrax is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Among the Living, Fistful of Metal, Spreading the Disease

20
3,473 2,895
Alice in Chains is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Dirt, Alice in Chains, Facelift

21
3,152 2,205
Alice Cooper is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Welcome to My Nightmare, Hey Stoopid, Brutal Planet

22
3,051 2,364
Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Van Halen, 1984, Diver Down

23
3,219 2,852
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
3,256 3,092
Disturbed is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Ten Thousand Fists, Believe, The Sickness

25
2,280 2,612
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
3,491 3,082
Rammstein is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Sehnsucht, Rosenrot, Mutter

27
3,489 3,217
Avenged Sevenfold is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
City of Evil, Waking the Fallen, Avenged Sevenfold

28
2,243 2,250
Rainbow is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rising, Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, Long Live Rock ’n’ Roll

29
2,476 2,631
Def Leppard is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Hysteria, Pyromania, On Through the Night

30
1,941 2,335
Queensrÿche is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Operation: Mindcrime, Empire, Promised Land

31
2,539 2,058
Rob Zombie is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
The Sinister Urge, Past, Present & Future

32
2,962 2,547
Korn is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Follow the Leader, The Vinyl Classics, Issues

33
3,115 2,285
Queen is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
A Night at the Opera, Queen, Innuendo

34
2,910 3,062
Kiss is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Destroyer, Icon, Revenge

35
2,241 2,174
Testament is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Practice What You Preach, The New Order, The Legacy

36
2,288 2,086
Sepultura is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Chaos A.D., Arise, Beneath the Remains

37
2,692 2,291
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
2,138 1,986
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
1,590 1,992
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
1,941 2,041
Death is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
AmericanNightmare added Symbolic, Human, Individual Thought Patterns

41
2,159 1,749
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
1,484 1,861
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
2,273 2,432
Five Finger Death Punch is listed (or ranked) 43 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

44
1,384 1,822
Manowar is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
mrblond added The Absolute Power, Louder Than Hell, Sign of the Hammer

45
2,038 2,288
Marilyn Manson is listed (or ranked) 45 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

46
1,515 1,898
Skid Row is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Skid Row, Slave to the Grind, Subhuman Race

47
1,688 2,118
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
1,573 2,041
Whitesnake is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
mrblond added 1987, Lovehunter, Slide It In

49
1,701 1,877
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
1,166 1,630
Saxon is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Denim and Leather, Crusader, Power & the Glory