Best Death Metal Bands


Don't agree with the list? Vote for an existing item you think should be ranked higher or if you are a logged in, add a new item for others to vote on or create your own version of this list.

The Top Ten

My favorite band of pure death metal (I mean that is just death metal and not a death metal sub-genre)... Chuck had one of the best guttural voices ever.


DEATH is number 1 and always will be the best band
RIP chuck
Amon Amarth is over rated, children of bodom isn't death metal or is it children of boredom. Some of best death bands are death, morbid angel, cancer, massacre, autopsy, deicide, obituary, cc, suffocation, unleashed, grave, dismember, bloodbath, carcass, asphyx, demonical, monstrosity, disincarnate, malevolent creation, the old schools the best and majority r from Florida where it all started with death
Truly death is the best. They perfected the death growl (seriously other bands make the death growl seem like the lead vocalist is suffering from severe acidity). Don't believe me? Just listen to the symbolic album. Just awesome, no words to describe...R.I. P chuck... If chuck was'nt dead then a slap-in-the-face-of-metal named 'avenged sevenfold' would'nt have existed
[Newest]The first and greatest!


2Cannibal Corpse
I understand why Death are first (I mean, they pretty much invented the Death Metal) but, let us be honest: Cannibal Corpse were the band that truly took the meaning of Death Metal and brought it up to a whole new level. Brutal blast beats, amazing vocal performances by both Barnes and Corpsegrinder and also some of the greatest artwork, riffs, albums, songs and even album/song names ever (F***** With A Knife, Hammer Smashed Face, Raped By The Beast and Make Them Suffer are amazing song names). This is why CC should be first. Death created the genre but Cannibal Corpse took it even further and is much more of an inspiration for the newer DM bands than Death.
Hammer smashed face, make them suffer are the real death metal songs. The real brutality, hate, violence is cannibal corpse. The slasher lyrics is like AHH!
Why Children of bodom is so high? Cannibal Corpse is much more greatness than this childs
[Newest]Why is death number 1?

3Children of Bodom
Children of Bodom honestly has some of the most complex melodies in each instrument, every one of their band members are amazing at what they do, not just Alexi, even though he's the most famous. They totally deserve to be number one because everything they make sounds AMAZING!
Man that's the best death metal band ever! I mean I heard every time I die 25 times in a row still it does not get old its so awesome! The music the lyrics and everything in the song is so awesome its the best death metal song I'v ever heard!
This band is my favorite death metal band! But my judgement is not bias and clouded. This band plays exceptional masterpiece! They are like hi breed death metal bands, their solos are one of the best! They may not be the most brutal or fierce but they sure ire things and and let headbangers bang! Listen to mask of sanity, evereytime I die, warheart, follow the reaper. It never gets old!
[Newest]Great guitars but not a fan of the vocalist overall a very solid band but not an all time great

4Morbid Angel
Morbid angel should be at least #2... They have made this genre. Actually death was first true death metal band.. But MA's contribution cannot be ignored.
CoB 17percent, In Flames 10percent and Morbid Angel 6percent are on crack dudes? Or you have not taste in music?
Morbid Angel should be number one, I feel Formulas Fatal to the Flesh is one of the greatest albums in all music. A co-inventor of death-metal, they also invented nu-metal and djent without realizing it (God of Emptiness) also a new style of industrial dance metal (Destructos).
[Newest]Everything you would want in a death metal band, and would think a death metal band should be. Amazingly brutal, sick riffs, guitar solos, and lyrical content.

5Amon Amarth
Amon Amarth rules... One of my fave bands and they definitely deserve to be higher up this list!
Awesome songs with awesome riffs. And the viking's feel to the music is unique and takes you to the great battles that must have been fought in those ages! Can't get tired of listening to them!
[Newest]Should be second only to Death... and let's face it: Vikings in metal mean instant awesomeness.

No one could create such a melody within the Death Metal genre like Mikael ever, and I can bet none will be able to create in future...
Please listen to 'Black Rose Immortal' before you vote any other band.


I'm trying opeth out for the first time and honestly I think there amazing I like death and nile more but that is because I've been listening to them for a long time so I can't really tell right now if ill like them more then nile cause death will be number one always but I can't wait to try out more songs
Opeth should be 1 of the top three!
Amazing songs deliverance, ghost of perdition, blackwater park and also soft ones like windowpane, isolation years are the best songs one can ever hear.
[Newest]Epic band, but they are PROGRESSIVE death metal.

Karl Sanders and Dallas Toler-Wade form one of the best guitar duos of all music genres. Combined with Kollias' inconceivable drumming technique and speed, as well as with all of their interest and unquestionable knowledge in the Egyptian lore and mythology, Nile is one of the greatest metal bands of all time and quite frankly the best death metal act. Their live performances and their studio recordings are some of the best I've ever seen in terms of quality, musically as well as overall performances.


Listen to Cast Down the Heretic or What Can Be Safely Written and tell me this band isn't the epitome of brutality...
Sepultura is thrash and nile is awesome DEATH METAL! Should not be in in 1st place but should be in top 10.
[Newest]This is the band that got me into death metal. Brutal and technical at the same time.

They are everything a Death Metal band should be. They have created lot of controversy and they are Anti-christ... And most importantly, they are also considered as one of the forerunners of the Death Metal scene of '80s.


This band truly deserves the 2nd place. Deicide is the purest form of Death Metal. I say this band is STILL pretty much underrated.
should be higher on the list, just listen to 'homage for satan' and 'scars of the crucifix' for some great death metal


[Newest]This band really sucks.

Seven Churches! No comments! The Best ever!
Easily first. If you look at my lists long enough, I have made a fair few lists about them


The pioneers of death metal!

This band has everything, whether you like grindcore, melodic death metal, death 'n roll, or just straight up death metal, they have it! They're the band that got me into death metal, and they'll always be my favourite
Personally I wouldve chosen either Death or Cannibal Corpse but Carcass also needs some love! You just can't forget about them!
Carcass is definitely in the top 3
[Newest]Can't forget the pioneers of both goregrind and melodic death metal!

The Contenders

Mind boggling death... Just pure blood... Wow I love behemoth... Behemoth rules
Even though Behemoth is not originally a death metal band. They have great atmosphere in their music, and also has death metal influence in their songs. Also their lyrics is very dark and morbid, powerful and strong.
Behemoth makes really extreme death metal. I must say that I uprated them because of Grom (even though it is actually black metal). Grom in my opinion Behemoth's best album

Number one in my mind. No-one sounds like John and their pounding grooves are second to none. Many other bands sound close to the same, but these guys are as original as Death and Sepultura, they deserve to be at least in the top 3.
Honestly cannot believe that Obituary isn't at least in the top 10. They are one of the most badass old school death metal bands ever. Along with Death, Morbid Angel, and Malevolent creation they practically created death metal. Go listen to Cause of Death and Slowly We Rot and then tell me that Obituary doesn't deserve to be at least in the top 10.
Obituary were always my favourite death metal band growing up, I really liked the idea that you didn't have to do insane blast beat drumming and death growls that you can't really understand to still sound evil and heavy! Still love this band to this day!


[Newest]Old school death metal at its best love everything this band has put out

Death metal supergroup! What's not to like? These guys can duplicate any school of the genre. They manage to bring out the best parts of all the classic scenes, being it Florida or Sweden. Their latest (last? ) album, "Fathomless mastery", is possibly the greatest death metal album to date.
I listened to Death Metal for years and believe me, this band is monster. I have never heard such brutality and seen such talent. In my opinion they dominate in this genre. Mikael mutilated, Peter devoured and Nick grinded. They are the perfect Death Metal band... Not growling unrecognizable like Brutal Death Metal bands and not growling too weak. This is and always will be my favourite band.
Listen to the song EATEN by this band people and you will definitely see why I have voted for this band. Be it lyrics, vocal or the music, this band is the most influential band ever.

This Band is awesome! Kataklysm are Magic!
One of the heaviest bands out there. only two good things cames from Canada beer and kataklysm
Why is this at no#20, this should definitely be in the top 10

15Arch Enemy
Personally think Children Of Bodom is best, but Arch Enemy's stuff comes a very close second. Michael and Christopher's guitar skills are incredible, along with Daniel's drumming and Sharlee's bass (not heard too much under the other instruments, but amazing when you do hear it). Not to mention Angela's vocals (more brutal than many male vocalists).

(Also, We Will Rise isn't a great Arch Enemy song in my opinion. I prefer their heavier stuff like The Last Enemy and My Apocalypse)


This band is just amazing with a female vocalist and what a song it produces you can just see a song like WE WILL RISE
Best metal voice ever
[Newest]I heard all music from all death metal band. But I strongly vote arch enemy band which is define death metal for me

Proves that French people can still be awesome... Gojira has awesome music with a lot of subtleties that are lost in most death metal- listen to the songs Esoteric Surgery or Flying Whales or Wolf Down The Earth
Out of all the Death Metal Bands I'm hearing these days GOJIRA gives me that Brutal Death Feeling. Gojira is Fresh Superheavy, and The Best for me!
Gojira is thriving in the metal industry today, have you listened to the L'Enfant Sauvage album? Stuff like that gives hope for the future of metal in this pop corrupted industry

All opinions aside, Suffocation basically created "technical death metal" with their EP "Human Waste" and debut album "Effigy of the Forgotten," 1990 and 1991 respectively. Absolutely absurd that Children of Bodom or Amon Amarth could possibly be in top 10, but no Suffocation.

The correct top 10 list should include: Death, Morbid Angel, Cannibal Corpse, Suffocation, Cryptopsy, Nile, and Deicide. Any top 10 without them is incorrect.
What! Suffocation should be in top 3... Nothing is more death metal than this band..
Amon amarth? Children of bodom? Yes I like that band.. But in the terms of death metal, maybe not
Lets be honest suffocation and CC are kings of brutal death metal. no top 10 is correct without Death, Possessed, Opeth, Cannibal Corpse, Carcass (kings of grindcore/goregrind, Deicide, Suffocation, Nile, Obituary and of course last but not least a tie between Cryptopsy and Morbid Angel.
[Newest]The standard bearer for brutal death metal

How is Necrophagist so damn low? This band's intricate riffs and beats are technically (pun intended) the best I have ever heard. The vocals are nice, the insturmentals are amazing, and no band has ever done or been able to do what they did. We do need that new album, though...
Necrophagist is amazing! I wish they would be a little faster with the releases, but you can't rush perfection!
Amazing solos and an incredible combination of melody and brutality

I'd like to set this song in my funeral)))
If you listen "Beneath the remains" and "Arise", Sepultura deserves to be at the top ten.
Awesome band can't believe its not in the top ten..

20In Flames
In Flames We Trust! If you are from Romania/moldova thumbs up!
In flames albums like the jester race, whoracle, colony or clayman are extreme. That is true melodic / death metal msic. I don't like as much the later albums like a sense of purpose or soapf which are alternative metal but there are very good(not as good as episode 666, jotun, embody the invisible or the jester race) songs in them that must be listed.
In Flames is the greatest band I have ever heard. Their melodies and timing shifts place them in a category above all other bands I have ever come across, in the metal genre or otherwise. I can't think of a single song on all 10 albums that is not amazing. Since I discovered them I cannot stop listening. The Jester Race might just be the best album ever.
Sounds of a Playground Fading surprised me, I didn't know Anders Fridén could sing like he does in the chorus of the title song and Deliver Us!
[Newest]Best band I've ever heard up until after clayman.

21Fleshgod Apocalypse
This band is really awesome!...I don't know where have this band been all my life...


Great band, they blend symphonies with tech death for an epic combination
This band is truly amazing, mixing orchestral/symphonic geners in their death metal songs makes it exceptionally unique. Also their drummer is extremely fast and precise while drumming. He can also nail a song at 270bmp at a live situation! This is truly one of my favorite metal bands.
[Newest]This is the best band alive.

This is my ultimate old-school DM band


Prefer Death, but this definiately should be in top 10

23Cattle Decapitation
These guys are INSANELY talented, and their vocalist Travis Ryan is about one of the most diverse and talented death metal vocalists out there
There lyrics is what wins for me. They know how cruel humans really are. From butchering, to animal cruelty, to homophobes. they know it all.

They are just one of the best death metal bands that I have listened to. Melodic death metal to be precise. Brendan Small just kicks major ass on the guitar and the drumming by Gene Hoglan is mind boggling. The death growl presented by Small is unique and doesn't go with other death metal bands that you listen to. If you want to know what I mean, you just gotta listen to tracks like "I ejaculate fire", one of my absolute favorite
Come on they're the 7th largest economy in the world
Dethklok are the BEST death metal band in the world, just watch the documentary on their band, Metalocalypse, no song beats Thunderhorse.
[Newest]Do anything for Dethklok

The best Polish Death metal band. I have listened to every record and none is poor.
Must be something in the water in Poland and these guys probably put it there. In my opinion the best band for having very cool recognizable riffs without sounding too melodic.
I can't believe that, this great band is in number 36. Absolutely ridiculous. This band should in top 20 of every list of death metal
[Newest]Great band they put polish death metal on the map

26Bolt Thrower
Is there a band which sound and messages are quite different from others, this is Bolt Thrower they must be in first 10 places. that's for sure
Need to be I the top 10. If you don't think so then you just don't know death metal.
Enter the realm of chaos! Your nightmare has just begun!

One of the greatest death metal bands
My Favorite Death Metal Band by far. This should be in the top ten at least.
Decapitated just knows how to write great death metal!

Fantastic band. Great riffs, great atmosphere, does not disappoint.

Can't believe they're not on here already.
Their legends, I can't believe they're so low on this list.
Meshuggah should #1 on this list because they take jazz music and put it in there own deathly way witch sounds so really good!

30Napalm Death
They should be in second place after cannibal corpse! The real grindcore britanian band best ever...
Wow their music gives me chills. No joke
Com'on guys! Napalm Death #30? By no way! This blogs belongs to teenagers or what! Napalm Death built the basis for grindcore along with Terrorizer.. where is PESTILENCE? No clues?


32Septic Flesh
One of the best Greek metal bands, and one of my favorite bands ever.
This is the most underrated death metal band ever
Best symphonic extreme death Metal
[Newest]The best that I have ever seen

One of the most technical bands ever. Unquestionable Presence is easily one of the best death metal albums of all time
0,6% is very few for ATHEIST! These guys can play pure death metal.

34Blood Red Throne
Just downloaded the song taste of god and it blew me away AWESOME! I recommend this band
Truly underrated, if you just listen to them they'll simply crush your ears!

Yeah, that's right, I think Krisiun is currently the best Death Metal band in the world, fast, hard and rough! Brutal lyrics with awesome riffing and drumming. Those guys are brothers of destruction, and in my opinion they've reached the level of Cannibal Corpse.
LIke a machine! The true warriors of death metal deserve much respect for the great musicianship and pure brutality.
First band on the list that emos hate.

This is a band incapable of bad music
Gods of their genre.
Superb band. They sound like amon amarth but better
[Newest]Awesome... Deserves to be in the to ten

37Infant Annihilator

38The Black Dahlia Murder
Even though they are melodic death are beasts surely have to be at top 5! Trevors vocals are awesome drumming are awesome guitars and bass too favorite band of mine and if you are talking about death metal you have to get in the list The Black Dahlia Murder
Sound great when there live
Really good beats
And vocals and guitar riffs are perfect

39Dark Tranquility
This bands deserves much higher.. Definitely in my Top 5.
Mine is the Grandeur of Melancholy of BURNING!
Love this band. Easily beats children of bodom.

Immolation being this low is an insult. They have been putting out masterful death metal of the highest quality for 20 years.


Masters of their craft, one of the originals of the genre. Robert Vigna is one of the most innovative and creative guitarist in metal. Can't say enough about this great band.
#40 are you serious they should be in the top ten if not top five

How in the name of all that is unholy is GORGUTS sitting below The Black Dahlia Murder, Meshuggah, Dethklok (!?!? ), Gojira, In Flames, Opeth, and Children Of Bodom!?!



Come on, COB and In Flames aren't even dm! Cryptopsy is insanely technical and brutal, but catchy at the same time. They deserve the top spot.
Hey you! Listen to cryptopsy! Why is children of bodom so high? They are good but not that good.
Way underrated lets see some more votes people only Canadian band I like
[Newest]The person who made this list is clearly a moron this band is beyond amazing


One of the first Death-Doom bands.




49God Dethroned
Blackened death metal at its best! Should be higher on the list

Great death metal band from germany, but practically unknown - which is how I like my bands


52The Faceless

53Scar Symmetry
Who says metal can't be an art form? Anyone who says that should listen to holographic universe by scar symmetry
Should absolutely be at top! Deepest growls and best clean vocals out there! Thanks Christian Älvestam!
Amazing new melodetah with some of the best vocals I've heard.


[Newest]AMAZING! Melodic Death metal band! M/

54Six Feet Under
Ex-Cannibal Corpse vocalist Chris Barnes is awesome with his new band. Six Feet Under is an excellent band which can beat most of the bands over it. (excluding Death, Morbid Angel, Obituary, Opeth, Autopsy, Deicide, Napalm Death, Carcass and Cannibal Corpse)


6 feet under should easily be in top five. Barnes rules! That this band is 53rd is an atrocity.6 feet under is better musically (as are barnes vocals) then cannibal corpse! ~
Six Feet Under should at top 10 death metal


56At The Gates
At The Gates may not be the most innovative or creative Death Metal band, but the perfection they bring to genre is mindblowing. Just listen to Blinded by Fear, Slaughter of the soul or The Swarm. Your outlook on Death Metal will never be the same. I will always place them in the top 10 of my favourite bands of all time. Deserves a top 5 spot anyday.
They are really sick! They have sutch great riffs and some very melodic riffs. The notes they play fits the ear just right. And same with the vocals.
"The Red in the Sky is Ours" is the best death metal album ever.




Brutal band, no doubt!
The best band there is. And I'm not just saying that.

61Vital Remains
Dechristianize is the single greatest death metal song of all time

62Enfold Darkness


64Abysmal Dawn


66Heven Shall Burn
All of there songs are amazing but there cover of black tears was unreal and of no avail was perfect!
Just listen to "A Dying Ember" and you'll realize why this band is the best death metal band.
Almost every song is great. Should be in top ten

Not Death Metal at all.


Gorgoroth should b number 1 in the list. Look at the voice. Lyrics. Drum blasting. Heavy guitar riffs. What more you need than this
It should b no1 in the list. Look at lyrics. Voice. Drum blasting. Heavy guitar riffs. What more you need than this. Listen to 'the devil is calling'

How the hell wasnt this band in this list?




They mixed Black Metal with Death Metal and Melodic Death Metal, sometimes they were labeled Melodic Black Metal.


Not death metal but heavy and badass! Should be higher on this list

72Spawn of Possession

Dismember (the album Death Metal is CLASSICK! ) should be in the top 15, along with their countrymen, Entombed, based on Like An Ever-Flowing Stream (and Entombed's Left-Hand Path) alone. Pioneers and keeping the flames alight! (although, they disbanded in 2011). Still, Dismember is essential, seminal DM, as is the Death n' Rollers, Entombed!

74Living Sacrifice

75The Crown
The Crown is a GREAT, underrated Swedish Melodic Death Metal Band. Eternal Death and DeathRace King are outstanding. They had a sick DM vocalist in Johan Lindstrom, but 2002's Crowned in Terror is outstanding! With the one and only Tomas Lindberg (of At The Gates fame) filling in on lyrics & vocals. They had a comeback album in 2010, with a new vocalist, Jonas StalHammar, which was admirable, though not mind blowing. Still, this little known band deserves much more recognition. They are the closest Swedish DM band to At The Gates, and blow In Flames and even Arch Enemy away. Check out their earlier works!

BAck street boys should be on number 1 slot they are so brutal, ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

Best album : Erebos

78Hour Of Penance

79Cephalic Carnage

80Profane Omen

81Dir En Grey

Very underrated. These guys were the definition of Death Metal. Not to mention, the keyboards are excellent in their sound. Although their latest album isn't so great, they're still the best.

Mike Flores is all that has to be said

Nice to listen it



87Edge of Sanity
One of the best prog death metal bands, very underrated!


89Pig Destroyer


91Defeated Sanity

92Broken Hope




So far, every single release from Revocation has been pure, epic metal madness! So... 109? I cannot accept that. They're not the greatest in Death Metal, but still worthy of a much higher placement.

Truly Amazing Old Skool Death Metal


99Malevolent Creation


Comments About This List

Featured Lists
Popular Lists
New Lists

Top Remixes of This List






see more...

Posts About This List

List Info

This list was created 5 years, 268 days ago and has been voted on over 3,000 times. This top ten list contains 172 items, has been remixed 29 times.

Updated Saturday, April 18, 2015

List Error Reporting

See an item on this list that's misspelled, duplicated, or doesn't belong? Let us know. Click here to report the error.