Metal The Best Death Metal Bands  

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21.5k votes 1.7k voters 46.6k views 175 items

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. 

1
747 151
Death is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Death Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Technical death metal

2
432 152
Morbid Angel is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Morbid Angel Heavy metal, Death metal

3
563 227
Cannibal Corpse is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Cannibal Corpse Brutal death metal, Death metal

4
420 158
Obituary is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Obituary Heavy metal, Death metal

5
420 164
Carcass is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Carcass D-beat, Goregrind, Melodic death metal

6
318 136
Suffocation is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Suffocation Deathcore, Brutal death metal, Death metal

7
279 115
Bolt Thrower is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Bolt Thrower Doom metal, Heavy metal, Grindcore

8
352 156
Nile is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Nile Technical death metal, Brutal death metal, Death metal

9
275 119
Entombed is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Entombed Death 'n' roll, Heavy metal, Death metal

10
330 160
Deicide is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Deicide Heavy metal, Death metal

11
162 61
Vader is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
marcoanjos1982 added Vader Thrash metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

12
186 78
Autopsy is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
JorgeBizarroAldea added Autopsy Goregrind, Heavy metal, Grindcore

13
334 179
Behemoth is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Behemoth Thrash metal, Technical death metal, Black metal

14
176 83
Immolation is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Immolation Technical death metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

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15
249 133
Dying Fetus is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Dying Fetus Goregrind, Technical death metal, Heavy metal

16
197 98
Dismember is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Dismember Melodic death metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

17
180 88
Cryptopsy is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
JorgeBizarroAldea added Cryptopsy Deathcore, Technical death metal, Heavy metal

18
223 120
At the Gates is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
marcoanjos1982 added At the Gates Thrash metal, Melodic death metal, Heavy metal

19
199 105
Opeth is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
marcoanjos1982 added Opeth Doom metal, Thrash metal, Progressive metal

20
158 77
Gorguts is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Gorguts Technical death metal, Heavy metal, Experimental metal

21
209 114
Possessed is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Possessed Thrash metal, Rock music, Black metal

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22
255 147
Sepultura is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Sepultura Nu metal, Heavy metal, Extreme metal

23
199 108
Bloodbath is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Bloodbath Heavy metal, Death metal

24
149 73
Celtic Frost is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Celtic Frost Doom metal, Glam metal, Thrash metal

25
170 91
Necrophagist is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
marcoanjos1982 added Necrophagist Progressive metal, Technical death metal, Heavy metal

26
131 65
Grave is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
JorgeBizarroAldea added Grave Heavy metal, Death metal

27
204 121
Gojira is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Gojira Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Groove metal

28
198 117
Decapitated is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Decapitated Technical death metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

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29
93 39
Cattle Decapitation is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
jotte added Cattle Decapitation Goregrind, Heavy metal, Deathgrind

30
93 40
Atheist is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
anil-resat added Atheist Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Technical death metal

31
149 85
Kataklysm is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Kataklysm Melodic death metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

32
151 87
Malevolent Creation is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Malevolent Creation Thrash metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

33
198 124
Arch Enemy is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
JorgeBizarroAldea added Arch Enemy Thrash metal, Melodic death metal, Heavy metal

34
114 60
Asphyx is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Asphyx Death-doom, Thrash metal, Heavy metal

35
120 68
Unleashed is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
possumprincess added Unleashed Melodic death metal, Viking metal, Heavy metal

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36
100 54
Incantation is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Incantation Black metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

37
161 110
Kreator is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Kreator Thrash metal, Gothic rock, Industrial metal

38
96 62
Massacre is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Massacre Heavy metal, Death metal

39
72 44
Carnage is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Carnage Heavy metal, Grindcore, Death metal

40
69 43
Sinister is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Sinister Heavy metal, Death metal

41
140 110
Children of Bodom is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Children of Bodom Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Symphonic black metal

42
99 73
Fleshgod Apocalypse is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
marcoanjos1982 added Fleshgod Apocalypse Melodic death metal, Technical death metal, Symphonic metal

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43
146 117
In Flames is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
In Flames Nu metal, Melodic death metal, Metalcore

44
128 101
Dark Tranquillity is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Dark Tranquillity Progressive metal, Melodic death metal, Heavy metal

45
57 35
Nocturnus is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Nocturnus Technical death metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

46
59 37
Mortician is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Mortician Goregrind, Heavy metal, Deathgrind

47
88 66
Krisiun is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Krisiun Technical death metal, Brutal death metal, Death metal

48
91 72
Aborted is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Aborted Goregrind, Technical death metal, Deathgrind

49
86 68
Hate Eternal is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Hate Eternal Technical death metal, Heavy metal, Brutal death metal

50
70 54
Cancer is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Cancer Thrash metal, Heavy metal, Death metal