Music

The Best Death Metal Bands 

Reference
Updated November 25, 2019 32k votes 2.9k voters 76.9k views 156 items

List Rules While similar, black metal and thrash metal bands should not be included on this list of death metal bands. Be sure to only add bands that fall within death metal before all else.

Not to be confused with thrash metal and black metal, though both of which are instrumental in shaping its sound, death metal is one of the most popular subgenres of heavy metal. Known for its distorted guitars, aggressive drumming, and growling and screaming vocals, death metal emerged in the 1980s in Florida and is still one of the best metal genres today. Lyrically, death metal addresses exactly what you'd expect the genre to focus on. Satanism, the occult, religion, politics, mysticism and science fiction have all found their into death metal bands' lyrics. The best death metal bands have cult followings and among heavy metal bands, their fanbases are among the most rabid.

So, what are the best death metal bands? Well, bands like Death, Cannibal Corpse and Morbid Angel are at or near the top of the death metal bands list and deservedly so. They are among the most popular death metal bands and among death metal bands, are generally the most talked about bands within death metal. While many of the death metal bands on here achieved most of their success during the early 1990s, they were never considered mainstream metal bands. The lack of commercial appeal has allowed death metal bands to retain a strong base.

That said, it's up to you to determine what are the best death metal bands. If you notice someone on this list who is missing, feel free to add any death metal band that should be on this poll. This list answers the questions "who are the best death metal bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest death metal musician ever?" If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the band's music instead of just voting for the most popular death metal bands that you might've heard of. 

list ordered by
1
Death is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
2
Morbid Angel is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
3
Cannibal Corpse is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
4
Obituary is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
5
Carcass is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
6
Bolt Thrower is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
7
Deicide is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
8
Nile is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
9
Suffocation is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
10
Entombed is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
11
Behemoth is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
12
Opeth is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
13
Dying Fetus is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
14
Sepultura is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
15
Gojira is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
16
Autopsy is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
JorgeBizarroAldea added
17
Vader is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
marcoanjos1982 added
18
Immolation is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
19
Bloodbath is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
20
At the Gates is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
21
Decapitated is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
22
Possessed is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
23
Dismember is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
24
Cryptopsy is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
JorgeBizarroAldea added
25
Necrophagist is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands