metal The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands  

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Originally by Ranker Community
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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
7,509 3,788
Metallica is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Metallica Master of Puppets, Ride the Lightning, Metallica

2
6,463 2,609
Black Sabbath is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Black Sabbath Paranoid, Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell

3
7,969 2,712
Iron Maiden is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Iron Maiden The Number of the Beast, Iron Maiden, Powerslave

4
5,126 2,294
Judas Priest is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Judas Priest British Steel, Screaming for Vengeance, Hell Bent for Leather

5
4,521 2,615
Megadeth is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Megadeth Rust in Peace, Peace Sells... but Who's Buying?, Youthanasia

6
3,806 2,203
Motörhead is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
shisu added motörhead Ace of Spades, 1916, No Remorse

7
4,557 2,455
Pantera is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Pantera Vulgar Display of Power, Cowboys From Hell, Far Beyond Driven

8
4,172 2,136
Ozzy Osbourne is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Ozzy Osbourne Blizzard of Ozz, Diary of a Madman, The Ultimate Sin

9
4,704 2,600
AC/DC is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
AC/DC Back in Black, Highway to Hell, Let There Be Rock

10
3,925 1,790
Dio is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Dio Holy Diver, The Last in Line, Sacred Heart

11
4,203 2,219
Slayer is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Slayer Reign in Blood, South of Heaven, Seasons in the Abyss

12
4,040 1,794
Led Zeppelin is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
gamedemon24 added Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin, Led Zeppelin IV, Led Zeppelin II

13
2,671 2,002
Deep Purple is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Deep Purple Machine Head, Live in Japan, Deep Purple in Rock

14
3,604 3,140
Slipknot is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Slipknot Slipknot, Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses), Iowa

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15
2,433 2,380
Scorpions is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Scorpions Blackout, Love at First Sting, Animal Magnetism

16
2,999 2,618
Guns N' Roses is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Guns N' Roses Appetite for Destruction, G N' R Lies, Use Your Illusion I

17
2,827 2,135
Tool is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Tool Ænima, Lateralus, 10

18
3,157 2,440
System of a Down is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
System of a Down Toxicity, Hypnotize, Mezmerize

19
2,216 2,102
Anthrax is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Anthrax Among the Living, Fistful of Metal, Spreading the Disease

20
2,427 2,201
Alice in Chains is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Alice in Chains Dirt, Alice in Chains, Facelift

21
2,302 1,534
Alice Cooper is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Alice Cooper Welcome to My Nightmare, Hey Stoopid, Brutal Planet

What Would You Grab in a Fire?

22
2,166 1,618
Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Van Halen Van Halen, 1984, Diver Down

23
2,436 2,142
Mötley Crüe is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
shisu added Mötley Crüe Girls Girls Girls, Shout at the Devil, Dr. Feelgood

24
1,704 1,529
Rainbow is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rainbow Rising, Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow, Long Live Rock ’n’ Roll

25
1,664 1,873
Dream Theater is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Dream Theater Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, Images and Words, Metropolis

26
2,230 2,270
Disturbed is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Disturbed Ten Thousand Fists, Believe, The Sickness

27
2,503 2,330
Rammstein is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rammstein Sehnsucht, Rosenrot, Mutter

28
2,435 2,417
Avenged Sevenfold is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Avenged Sevenfold City of Evil, Waking the Fallen, Avenged Sevenfold

Rock Stars Who Died at Age 30

29
1,812 1,924
Def Leppard is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Def Leppard Hysteria, Pyromania, On Through the Night

30
2,299 2,220
Kiss is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Kiss Destroyer, Icon, Revenge

31
1,402 1,721
Queensrÿche is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Queensrÿche Operation: Mindcrime, Empire, Promised Land

32
1,760 1,624
Testament is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Testament Practice What You Preach, The New Order, The Legacy

33
2,187 1,642
Queen is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Queen A Night at the Opera, Queen, Innuendo

34
1,706 1,512
Rob Zombie is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rob Zombie The Sinister Urge, Past, Present & Future

35
1,963 1,943
Korn is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Korn Follow the Leader, The Vinyl Classics, Issues

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36
1,866 1,716
Rage Against the Machine is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rage Against the Machine Rage Against the Machine, Evil Empire, The Battle of Los Angeles

37
1,699 1,581
Sepultura is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Sepultura Chaos A.D., Arise, Beneath the Remains

38
1,208 1,399
Helloween is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
willyboymcoy added Helloween Keeper of the Seven Keys, Pt. 2, Walls of Jericho - Heavy metal, Progressive

39
1,518 1,518
White Zombie is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
White Zombie La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Vol. 1, Astro-Creep: 2000: Songs of Love

40
1,037 1,239
Manowar is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
mrblond added Manowar The Absolute Power, Louder Than Hell, Sign of the Hammer

41
1,445 1,502
Death is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
AmericanNightmare added Death Symbolic, Human, Individual Thought Patterns

42
1,118 1,345
Accept is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
mrblond added Accept Balls to the Wall, Restless and Wild, Metal Heart

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43
1,099 1,336
Skid Row is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Skid Row Skid Row, Slave to the Grind, Subhuman Race

44
1,283 1,528
Twisted Sister is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Twisted Sister Stay Hungry, You Can't Stop Rock 'n' Roll, Under the Blade

45
1,330 1,364
W.A.S.P. is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
W.A.S.P. WASP, The Crimson Idol, The Last Command

46
1,540 1,770
Five Finger Death Punch is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
1goodcupt added Five Finger Death Punch American Capitalist, The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell, Volume 1

47
1,168 1,489
Whitesnake is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
mrblond added Whitesnake 1987, Lovehunter, Slide It In

48
1,421 1,277
Lamb of God is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Lamb of God Sacrament, Ashes of the Wake, As the Palaces Burn

49
1,348 1,624
Marilyn Manson is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Marilyn Manson Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death), Smells Like Children, Portrait of an American Family

50
756 844
Ratt is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Trioxin245 added Ratt Invasion of Your Privacy, Out of the Cellar, Detonator