The Best Classic Metal Bands

List Rules
Only bands that play classic metal style; no nu metal or extreme metal of any sort

When heavy metal first emerged at the beginning of the 1970s, naysayers would have never suspected that the bands from those early years would be considered some of the most classic metal groups. These old school acts are widely considered among the top heavy metal bands of all time, with original styles and some of the greatest studio albums and songs in metal history. 

So, what are the best classic heavy metal bands? Every list must feature Black Sabbath at or near the top. The UK natives pretty much invented the genre, and all of heavy metal. Between Ozzy Osbourne's vocals and Tony Iommi's guitar, the entire foundation for all heavy metal bands was laid. If not for Sabbath, bands like Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, or Metallica may not have existed. Even the best traditional metal artists owe a debt of gratitude to Black Sabbath. No matter which edition of Black Sabbath you like - Ozzy or Dio edition - they are easily the most influential classic metal band. 

If you're a heavy metal fan and know everything there is to know about the top classic metal bands, then make sure that your voice is heard. This list answers the questions "who are the best classic metal bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest classic metal musician ever?"