Metal The Best Death Metal Bands  

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24.3k votes 2k voters 50.7k 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
890 188
Death is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Technical death metal

2
543 173
Morbid Angel is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Heavy metal, Death metal

3
521 181
Obituary is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Heavy metal, Death metal

4
369 138
Bolt Thrower is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Doom metal, Heavy metal, Grindcore

5
639 291
Cannibal Corpse is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Brutal death metal, Death metal

6
421 177
Deicide is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Heavy metal, Death metal

7
468 205
Carcass is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
D-beat, Goregrind, Melodic death metal

8
361 163
Suffocation is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Deathcore, Brutal death metal, Death metal

9
395 184
Nile is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Technical death metal, Brutal death metal, Death metal

10
209 77
Vader is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
marcoanjos1982 added Thrash metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

11
311 141
Entombed is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Death 'n' roll, Heavy metal, Death metal

12
221 89
Autopsy is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
JorgeBizarroAldea added Goregrind, Heavy metal, Grindcore

13
208 89
Immolation is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Technical death metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

14
294 149
Dying Fetus is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Goregrind, Technical death metal, Heavy metal

15
371 212
Behemoth is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Technical death metal, Black metal

16
238 122
Opeth is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
marcoanjos1982 added Doom metal, Thrash metal, Progressive metal

17
217 110
Dismember is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Melodic death metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

18
207 104
Cryptopsy is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
JorgeBizarroAldea added Deathcore, Technical death metal, Heavy metal

19
228 119
Bloodbath is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Heavy metal, Death metal

20
294 165
Sepultura is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Nu metal, Heavy metal, Extreme metal

21
182 88
Gorguts is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Technical death metal, Heavy metal, Experimental metal

22
249 136
At the Gates is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
marcoanjos1982 added Thrash metal, Melodic death metal, Heavy metal

23
230 125
Decapitated is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Technical death metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

24
166 82
Celtic Frost is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Doom metal, Glam metal, Thrash metal

25
234 131
Gojira is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Groove metal

26
228 129
Possessed is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Rock music, Black metal

27
146 71
Grave is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
JorgeBizarroAldea added Heavy metal, Death metal

28
110 47
Atheist is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
anil-resat added Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Technical death metal

29
184 103
Necrophagist is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
marcoanjos1982 added Progressive metal, Technical death metal, Heavy metal

30
131 65
Asphyx is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Death-doom, Thrash metal, Heavy metal

31
162 91
Malevolent Creation is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

32
105 48
Cattle Decapitation is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
jotte added Goregrind, Heavy metal, Deathgrind

33
223 143
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
159 93
Kataklysm is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Melodic death metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

35
186 116
Kreator is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Gothic rock, Industrial metal

36
130 72
Unleashed is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
possumprincess added Melodic death metal, Viking metal, Heavy metal

37
111 57
Incantation is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

38
105 66
Massacre is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Heavy metal, Death metal

39
71 44
Mortician is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Goregrind, Heavy metal, Deathgrind

40
156 125
Children of Bodom is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Symphonic black metal

41
162 131
In Flames is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Nu metal, Melodic death metal, Metalcore

42
74 49
Sinister is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Heavy metal, Death metal

43
74 49
Carnage is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Heavy metal, Grindcore, Death metal

44
107 81
Fleshgod Apocalypse is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
marcoanjos1982 added Melodic death metal, Technical death metal, Symphonic metal

45
97 72
Krisiun is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Technical death metal, Brutal death metal, Death metal

46
138 112
Dark Tranquillity is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Progressive metal, Melodic death metal, Heavy metal

47
62 41
Nocturnus is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Technical death metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

48
80 59
Cancer is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

49
94 74
Hate Eternal is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Technical death metal, Heavy metal, Brutal death metal

50
69 51
Benediction is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Heavy metal, Death metal