An offshoot of the New Wave of British Metal, speed metal emerged at the end of the 1970s and early 1980s. The genre can be described as extremely fast (speed metal isn't just a clever name), melodic, heavy/hardcore, and aggressive. Furthermore, speed metal showcases both solos and a technical precision that demonstrates how truly talented the best speed metal bands are. The increased tempo, power chords, and more authoritative sound helped define speed metal to its legions of fans.
So, what are the best speed metal groups of all time? If you're going to talk about speed metal bands, you have to include the names Motorhead, Anthrax, Judas Priest, Metallica (during those early years) and Helloween. All of these speed metal rockers played an important role in shaping the genre, and its popularity remains strong today. The best speed metal artists have been able to play some of the biggest arenas (and even stadiums) in the world, which is a testament not only to their popularity, but also their skill as musicians.
That said, it's up to you to determine which speed metal bands are the best. This list answers the questions "what are the top speed metal bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest speed metal musician ever?" If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the bands' music (albums and songs) instead of just voting for the most popular, newer/modern, or famous speed metal bands that you might've heard of.