Metal The Best Death Metal Bands  

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22.6k votes 1.8k voters 48.1k 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
785 163
Death is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Technical death metal

2
457 162
Morbid Angel is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Heavy metal, Death metal

3
585 241
Cannibal Corpse is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Brutal death metal, Death metal

4
439 171
Obituary is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Heavy metal, Death metal

5
429 179
Carcass is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
D-beat, Goregrind, Melodic death metal

6
300 122
Bolt Thrower is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Doom metal, Heavy metal, Grindcore

7
362 166
Nile is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Technical death metal, Brutal death metal, Death metal

8
325 149
Suffocation is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Deathcore, Brutal death metal, Death metal

9
347 169
Deicide is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Heavy metal, Death metal

10
179 68
Vader is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
marcoanjos1982 added Thrash metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

11
283 132
Entombed is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Death 'n' roll, Heavy metal, Death metal

12
198 82
Autopsy is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
JorgeBizarroAldea added Goregrind, Heavy metal, Grindcore

13
189 84
Immolation is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Technical death metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

14
262 140
Dying Fetus is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Goregrind, Technical death metal, Heavy metal

15
343 196
Behemoth is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Technical death metal, Black metal

16
202 103
Dismember is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Melodic death metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

17
210 113
Bloodbath is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Heavy metal, Death metal

18
269 156
Sepultura is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Nu metal, Heavy metal, Extreme metal

19
229 129
At the Gates is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
marcoanjos1982 added Thrash metal, Melodic death metal, Heavy metal

20
164 83
Gorguts is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Technical death metal, Heavy metal, Experimental metal

21
218 122
Possessed is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Rock music, Black metal

22
183 97
Cryptopsy is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
JorgeBizarroAldea added Deathcore, Technical death metal, Heavy metal

23
209 116
Opeth is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
marcoanjos1982 added Doom metal, Thrash metal, Progressive metal

24
154 79
Celtic Frost is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Doom metal, Glam metal, Thrash metal

25
208 120
Decapitated is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Technical death metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

26
137 68
Grave is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
JorgeBizarroAldea added Heavy metal, Death metal

27
174 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
213 127
Gojira is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Groove metal

29
124 63
Asphyx is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Death-doom, Thrash metal, Heavy metal

30
155 90
Malevolent Creation is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

31
154 90
Kataklysm is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Melodic death metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

32
96 45
Atheist is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
anil-resat added Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Technical death metal

33
96 46
Cattle Decapitation is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
jotte added Goregrind, Heavy metal, Deathgrind

34
206 133
Arch Enemy is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
JorgeBizarroAldea added Thrash metal, Melodic death metal, Heavy metal

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
105 57
Incantation is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Black metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

37
169 114
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
72 46
Sinister is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Heavy metal, Death metal

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

41
65 41
Mortician is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Goregrind, Heavy metal, Deathgrind

42
104 79
Fleshgod Apocalypse is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
marcoanjos1982 added Melodic death metal, Technical death metal, Symphonic metal

43
146 119
Children of Bodom is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Symphonic black metal

44
92 69
Krisiun is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Technical death metal, Brutal death metal, Death metal

45
150 125
In Flames is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Nu metal, Melodic death metal, Metalcore

46
132 108
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
59 40
Nocturnus is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Technical death metal, Heavy metal, Death metal

49
90 71
Hate Eternal is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Technical death metal, Heavy metal, Brutal death metal

50
74 57
Cancer is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Death Metal Bands
Thrash metal, Heavy metal, Death metal