The 1980s may perhaps be one of the greatest eras of heavy metal music ever. The “Decade of Greed” gave birth to modern metal, spawning an influx of multi-talented hard rock bands across thrash, glam, hair, death, and grindcore music. The Big Four: Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Anthrax, were indisputably the metal kings of the 80s, creating immortal legacies with electrifying guitar solos, exceptional tenor vocals, and unparalleled energy across their records and live performances. The eighties unarguably influenced modern metal bands throughout their unapologetic disposition and powerful sound. Legendary groups Iron Maiden and Judas Priest curated millions of teenagers' mixtapes, and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Guns N' Roses and AC/DC remain forces to be reckoned with as they continue to sell out stadium tours and write original music.
Which of these talented musicians do you believe are the greatest 80s metal bands, and who deserves GOAT status at the top of this list? Vote below for your favorite 1980s heavy metal groups across the decade, and feel free to check out their discography lists afterwards if you'd like to discover more of their best albums.