Metal The Best Death Metal Bands  

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23.7k votes 2k voters 49.7k 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
851 188
Death is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Technical death metal

2
523 168
Morbid Angel is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Heavy metal, Death metal

3
504 177
Obituary is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Heavy metal, Death metal

4
356 135
Bolt Thrower is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Doom metal, Heavy metal, Grindcore

5
620 286
Cannibal Corpse is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Brutal death metal, Death metal

6
409 174
Deicide is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Heavy metal, Death metal

7
449 205
Carcass is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
D-beat, Goregrind, Melodic death metal

8
350 160
Suffocation is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Deathcore, Brutal death metal, Death metal

9
384 180
Nile is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Technical death metal, Brutal death metal, Death metal

10
202 74
Vader is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
marcoanjos1982 added Thrash metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

11
301 141
Entombed is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Death 'n' roll, Heavy metal, Death metal

12
214 88
Autopsy is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
JorgeBizarroAldea added Goregrind, Heavy metal, Grindcore

13
200 88
Immolation is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Technical death metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

14
284 147
Dying Fetus is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Goregrind, Technical death metal, Heavy metal

15
359 207
Behemoth is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Technical death metal, Black metal

16
211 108
Dismember is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Melodic death metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

17
200 101
Cryptopsy is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
JorgeBizarroAldea added Deathcore, Technical death metal, Heavy metal

18
221 117
Bloodbath is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Heavy metal, Death metal

19
222 120
Opeth is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
marcoanjos1982 added Doom metal, Thrash metal, Progressive metal

20
282 163
Sepultura is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Nu metal, Heavy metal, Extreme metal

21
223 122
Decapitated is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Technical death metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

22
240 135
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
171 87
Gorguts is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Technical death metal, Heavy metal, Experimental metal

24
223 127
Possessed is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Rock music, Black metal

25
143 70
Grave is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
JorgeBizarroAldea added Heavy metal, Death metal

26
158 81
Celtic Frost is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Doom metal, Glam metal, Thrash metal

27
224 130
Gojira is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Groove metal

28
179 100
Necrophagist is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
marcoanjos1982 added Progressive metal, Technical death metal, Heavy metal

29
128 64
Asphyx is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Death-doom, Thrash metal, Heavy metal

30
102 46
Atheist is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
anil-resat added Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Technical death metal

31
159 91
Malevolent Creation is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

32
100 47
Cattle Decapitation is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
jotte added Goregrind, Heavy metal, Deathgrind

33
216 138
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
157 92
Kataklysm is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Melodic death metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

35
108 57
Incantation is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

36
126 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
178 116
Kreator is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Gothic rock, Industrial metal

38
102 65
Massacre is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Heavy metal, Death metal

39
69 42
Mortician is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Goregrind, Heavy metal, Deathgrind

40
73 47
Sinister is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Heavy metal, Death metal

41
73 48
Carnage is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Heavy metal, Grindcore, Death metal

42
156 127
In Flames is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Nu metal, Melodic death metal, Metalcore

43
106 80
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
95 70
Krisiun is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Technical death metal, Brutal death metal, Death metal

45
150 123
Children of Bodom is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Symphonic black metal

46
136 110
Dark Tranquillity is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Progressive metal, Melodic death metal, Heavy metal

47
68 49
Benediction is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Heavy metal, Death metal

48
92 73
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 41
Nocturnus is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Technical death metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

50
115 99
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