Metal The Best Death Metal Bands  

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23.2k votes 1.9k voters 48.9k views 159 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
812 182
Death is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Technical death metal

2
494 165
Morbid Angel is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Heavy metal, Death metal

3
476 172
Obituary is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Heavy metal, Death metal

4
609 262
Cannibal Corpse is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Brutal death metal, Death metal

5
332 127
Bolt Thrower is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Doom metal, Heavy metal, Grindcore

6
383 171
Deicide is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Heavy metal, Death metal

7
438 203
Carcass is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
D-beat, Goregrind, Melodic death metal

8
197 71
Vader is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
marcoanjos1982 added Thrash metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

9
375 178
Nile is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Technical death metal, Brutal death metal, Death metal

10
339 158
Suffocation is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Deathcore, Brutal death metal, Death metal

11
206 86
Autopsy is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
JorgeBizarroAldea added Goregrind, Heavy metal, Grindcore

12
291 139
Entombed is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Death 'n' roll, Heavy metal, Death metal

13
195 87
Immolation is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Technical death metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

14
276 145
Dying Fetus is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Goregrind, Technical death metal, Heavy metal

15
349 201
Behemoth is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Technical death metal, Black metal

16
207 106
Dismember is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Melodic death metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

17
195 99
Cryptopsy is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
JorgeBizarroAldea added Deathcore, Technical death metal, Heavy metal

18
217 115
Bloodbath is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Heavy metal, Death metal

19
220 120
Decapitated is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Technical death metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

20
278 161
Sepultura is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Nu metal, Heavy metal, Extreme metal

21
236 133
At the Gates is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
marcoanjos1982 added Thrash metal, Melodic death metal, Heavy metal

22
220 124
Possessed is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Rock music, Black metal

23
213 119
Opeth is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
marcoanjos1982 added Doom metal, Thrash metal, Progressive metal

24
167 86
Gorguts is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Technical death metal, Heavy metal, Experimental metal

25
139 68
Grave is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
JorgeBizarroAldea added Heavy metal, Death metal

26
155 80
Celtic Frost is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Doom metal, Glam metal, Thrash metal

27
178 97
Necrophagist is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
marcoanjos1982 added Progressive metal, Technical death metal, Heavy metal

28
217 128
Gojira is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Groove metal

29
125 63
Asphyx is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Death-doom, Thrash metal, Heavy metal

30
156 90
Kataklysm is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Melodic death metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

31
98 45
Atheist is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
anil-resat added Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Technical death metal

32
155 90
Malevolent Creation is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

33
212 135
Arch Enemy is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
JorgeBizarroAldea added Thrash metal, Melodic death metal, Heavy metal

34
98 46
Cattle Decapitation is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
jotte added Goregrind, Heavy metal, Deathgrind

35
126 71
Unleashed is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
possumprincess added Melodic death metal, Viking metal, Heavy metal

36
107 57
Incantation is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

37
176 115
Kreator is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Gothic rock, Industrial metal

38
100 64
Massacre is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Heavy metal, Death metal

39
73 46
Sinister is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Heavy metal, Death metal

40
67 41
Mortician is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Goregrind, Heavy metal, Deathgrind

41
73 47
Carnage is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Heavy metal, Grindcore, Death metal

42
149 120
Children of Bodom is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Symphonic black metal

43
104 79
Fleshgod Apocalypse is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
marcoanjos1982 added Melodic death metal, Technical death metal, Symphonic metal

44
154 127
In Flames is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Nu metal, Melodic death metal, Metalcore

45
93 69
Krisiun is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Technical death metal, Brutal death metal, Death metal

46
134 109
Dark Tranquillity is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Progressive metal, Melodic death metal, Heavy metal

47
68 48
Benediction is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Heavy metal, Death metal

48
91 71
Hate Eternal is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Technical death metal, Heavy metal, Brutal death metal

49
59 40
Nocturnus is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Technical death metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

50
113 97
Six Feet Under is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
JorgeBizarroAldea added Groove metal, Death 'n' roll, Heavy metal