Metal The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands  

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5.6k votes 656 voters 19.2k views 80 items

While the movement known as the new wave of British heavy metal (better known to the masses as NWOBHM) started in the late 1970s, it wasn't until the 1980s that these British metal bands caught fire globally. Featuring elements of punk rock, progressive rock and a new, tougher sound, these British heavy metal bands featured elements like power chords, lightning fast guitar solo and epic soaring vocals that defined the songs. Lyrically, the songs took a more mythic, fantasy, almost mystical standpoint as compared to other heavy metal bands that came before them. Thus, they became popular with a different type (read, more rabid) audience in the metal community.

You've probably heard of a number of the best NWOBHM bands. Many of these bands are still touring years after their initial popularity. That's why you'll see the best NWOBHM outfits like Motorhead, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and Def Leppard on this list of new wave of british heavy metal bands. While there have been a slew of great metal bands to emerge from the UK over the years, this era of NWOBHM bands can count itself as one of the most successful in both metal history and music history. Several metal icons were in these bands and are among the greatest heavy metal bands of all.

So, what band can rightfully be considered the best new wave of British heavy metal band? That's not an easy question, but it's up to you fan of NWOBHM to determine what British metal band should be at the top of the heap. This list answers the questions "who are the best new wave of british heavy metal bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest new wave of British heavy 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 new wave of British heavy metal bands that you might've heard of. (80 items)
list ordered by

1
353 67
Iron Maiden is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

2
268 84
Judas Priest is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal, Power metal

3
228 75
Saxon is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

4
220 84
Motörhead is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

5
112 52
Blitzkrieg is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Heavy metal

6
118 58
Satan is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
RobinGallego added

7
128 71
Diamond Head is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal, Heavy metal

8
96 49
Grim Reaper is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal, Power metal

9
112 62
Angel Witch is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal, Heavy metal

10
95 52
Tygers of Pan Tang is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

11
84 47
Raven is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Heavy metal, Speed metal

12
69 36
Tank is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Heavy metal, Speed metal

13
161 111
Def Leppard is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
dan808 added Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

14
89 54
Girlschool is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Heavy metal, Punk rock

15
64 34
Tokyo Blade is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

16
67 37
Witchfinder General is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
Doom metal, New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Rock music

17
57 30
Cloven Hoof is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
RobinGallego added Power metal, Heavy metal

18
59 33
Samson is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

19
48 25
Savage is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
RobinGallego added

20
110 79
Venom is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal, Black metal

21
56 32
Holocaust is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
RobinGallego added Progressive metal, Heavy metal

22
59 37
Demon is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Heavy metal, Progressive rock

23
44 26
Jaguar is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
RobinGallego added Heavy metal, Speed metal

24
43 28
Pagan Altar is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
Doom metal, New Wave of British Heavy Metal

25
51 38
Fastway is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
Glam metal, New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Heavy metal

26
46 35
Praying Mantis is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

27
34 25
Quartz is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
RobinGallego added Heavy metal

28
30 23
Vardis is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Heavy metal

29
26 19
trespass is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
RobinGallego added

30
25 19
Ranker Video
RobinGallego added Heavy metal

31
21 15
Tytan is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
RobinGallego added Heavy metal, Hard rock

32
25 22
Hell is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands

33
30 28
Avenger is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
RobinGallego added Heavy metal

34
16 13
White Spirit is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
RobinGallego added

35
21 19
Bitches Sin is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
RobinGallego added

36
18 19
Ranker Video
RobinGallego added

37
12 12
Tysondog is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
RobinGallego added

38
15 16
Black Rose is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands

39
17 19
Saracen is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
RobinGallego added

40
15 18
Ranker Video
RobinGallego added Heavy metal, Hard rock

41
15 18
A-II-Z is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Heavy metal

42
12 15
Hollow Ground is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Heavy metal

43
14 18
Ranker Video
RobinGallego added

44
16 22
Ranker Video
RobinGallego added Heavy metal

45
1 3
Alien is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
whiskard added NWOBHM -

A band from the North East of England who briefly had a deal with Neat Records in 1982/83.They have appeared on the One Take No Dubs compilation as well as the 'Sixty Minutes Plus' cassette, All Hell Breaks Loose compilation and Neat Singles Vol 2. Members Derek Storey - vocals, Ron Anderson - guitar, Peter Whiskard - bass, Ken McKie - drums.

46
15 21
Elixir band is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Heavy metal

47
15 21
Ranker Video
RobinGallego added

48
10 15
Bleak House is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
RobinGallego added

49
10 15
hellanback is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
RobinGallego added

50
14 21
Persian Risk is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best New Wave Of British Heavy Metal Bands
RobinGallego added Heavy metal, Hard rock