music The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands  

Ranker Community
Originally by
329.9k votes 18.9k voters 354.1k views 436 items Embed

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
6,337 2,026
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

The Best Metal Songs About Missing Someone The Best Genres of Music

2
4,961 2,033
Black Sabbath is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Black Sabbath Doom metal, Blues-rock, Power metal

3
5,793 2,938
Metallica is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Metallica Thrash metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

4
4,089 1,746
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
3,586 2,024
Megadeth is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Megadeth Glam metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

6
3,502 1,942
Pantera is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Pantera Glam metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal

7
2,970 1,736
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
3,285 1,685
Ozzy Osbourne is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Ozzy Osbourne Doom metal, Glam metal, Blues-rock

9
3,357 1,750
Slayer is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Slayer Thrash metal, Groove metal, Rock music

10
3,199 1,386
Dio is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Dio Rock music, Power metal, Heavy metal

11
3,699 2,112
AC/DC is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
AC/DC Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

12
3,093 1,404
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
2,159 1,551
Deep Purple is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Deep Purple Blues-rock, Classic rock, Heavy metal

14
1,978 1,853
Scorpions is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Scorpions Glam metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

15
2,756 2,498
Slipknot is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Slipknot Nu metal, Groove metal, Rapcore

The Best Metal Songs About Evil The Worst Albums by Great Bands

16
2,277 2,131
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
1,802 1,650
Anthrax is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Anthrax Crossover thrash, Thrash metal, Groove metal

18
2,405 1,922
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
1,861 1,812
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
1,658 1,265
Van Halen is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Van Halen Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

21
2,104 1,742
Tool is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Tool Post-metal, Metal, Progressive metal

22
1,961 1,747
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
1,837 1,173
Alice Cooper is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Alice Cooper Glam metal, Experimental rock, Shock rock

24
1,353 1,187
Rainbow is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rainbow Blues-rock, Progressive metal, Power metal

25
1,872 1,725
Kiss is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Kiss Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

26
1,972 1,897
Rammstein is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rammstein Industrial metal, Gothic metal, Industrial music

27
1,373 1,537
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 1,248
Testament is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Testament Thrash metal, Groove metal, Heavy metal

29
1,846 1,969
Avenged Sevenfold is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Avenged Sevenfold Thrash metal, Deathcore, Rock music

16 Celebrities Whose Children Committed Suicide Stupid Things Couples Fight About

30
1,330 1,497
Dream Theater is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Dream Theater Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

31
1,120 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 1,820
Disturbed is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Disturbed Nu metal, Rock music, Metalcore

33
1,622 1,267
Queen is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Queen Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

34
1,392 1,250
Sepultura is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Sepultura Nu metal, Heavy metal, Extreme metal

35
1,437 1,370
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
1,288 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
1,210 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
1,487 1,557
Korn is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Korn Dubstep, Nu metal, Industrial metal

40
1,129 1,036
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
914 1,035
Accept is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
mrblond added Accept Glam metal, Thrash metal, Power metal

42
971 1,071
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
938 823
Exodus is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Exodus Thrash metal, Groove metal, Heavy metal

The Greatest Fictional Singers The Best Howard Stern News Pranks Performed by Captain Janks

44
1,012 1,219
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 1,039
Mercyful Fate is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Mercyful Fate Doom metal, Thrash metal, Progressive metal

46
931 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
857 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
1,066 1,044
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
843 966
Quiet Riot is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Quiet Riot Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

50
1,120 1,404
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