Best Heavy Metal Bands

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The Top TenXW

1Iron MaidenIron Maiden are an English heavy metal band formed in Leyton, East London, in 1975 by bassist and primary songwriter Steve Harris. They were known for some big hits such as The Trooper, and The Number of the Beast, and as of 2015, the band sold over 90 million albums.

Well, before voting for Metallica blindly.. You might want to listen to maiden... Just once...
1) Something Heavy? 2 minutes to midnight, Montsegur, Where Eagles Dare...
2)Awesome riffs? Rainmaker, Afraid to Shoot Strangers, Dance Of Death
3)Superb Solos? The Trooper( YES, AGAIN), Stranger in a Strange Land
4)Excellent Intros? No More Lies, Fear Of The Dark...
5)Best Vocals? Flight Of Icarus, Run to the Hills...
6)Epicness and awesome lyrics? Hallowed Be Thy Name, Rime Of the Ancient Mariner
7) Real Heavy Metal? Any thing by IRON MAIDEN!
UP THE IRONS! From India

Iron Maiden is heavy metal at it's best...
They have better live shows, better songs.
They have the best bassist. They have a great singer, great drummer and great guitarists...
Their songs have amazing solos, intros, riffs, vocals, drums, bass, lyrics that have deep meaning, etc.
And the best of all - they have been consistent for 30 years... And are still kicking ass.

Up the Irons! From India.

Iron Maiden rule...
They have been consistent over the years... And they will go on forever...
I bow to Maiden... They influenced many a band... Up the Irons!

Just hear Wasted years

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2MetallicaMetallica is an American Thrash Metal band formed in 1981 . The original lineup was James Hetfield (Vocalist and Rhythm guitarist), Dave Mustaine (Lead Guitar), Lars Ulrich (Drums), Ron McGovney (Bassist). The group came into mainstream from their Self-Titled album and the hit single "Enter Sandman". ...read more.

One cannot resist such titillating lyrics as they lithe and throb from mastered instruments of pleasure as they seductively taunt and slowly tease all our most forbidden places with rhythms... Base lines... Solos... Versus... Unlike any prior... Like the naughty little girl... Lured so skillfully and willfully her most delicious desires... As each song, lip and breath... Move slowly working and working every sense of our being to a ones ultimate metal deliverance. Perhaps matched only by my pure carnal lust for all things naughty... Metallica is just that good.

No other bands can provide the energy that Metallica demonstrates. They have even perfected the heavy metal ballad through the years, which no other band has pulled off!

Metallica pretty much defines heavy metal for me. Metallica was the reason I started playing guitar. They are the reason I want to get a degree in music. Avenged Sevenfold are my next favorite but aren't as good as some other people Iron Maiden. I like where a7x is on this list. Four might be a little too high but top ten is good. But seriously though, Johnny Christ isn't nearly the best bassist ever. He just picks the guitar part on a bass. He is pretty much playing guitar on the bass. He is ridiculously overrated.

I love Metallica but they aren't really heavy, more thrash. They are one of the best thrash bands of all time though.

Gods of metal

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3Black SabbathBlack Sabbath are a Heavy Metal band formed in Birmingham, England in 1968 by guitarist and songwriter Tony Iommi, Singer Ozzy Osbourne, Bassist and Main Lyricist Geezer Butler and Drummer Bill Ward . The band got into mainstream after improving after their debut album got negative feedback . In 1978, ...read more.

Black Sabbath behind slipknot. Who came up with this list?

Geezer Butler, the Godfather of Heavy Metal. He wrote the first heavy lyrics, he is the best

People! These dudes literally defined the genre 'Heavy Metal'. They started the whole business and are the best, most hardcore heavy metal band that has come out. They live, breathe and sleep heavy metal. These dudes are the true gods. Tony Iommi- that dude kicks ass hard and Mr. Ozzy with his awesome vocals scares the pants of everybody else on this list. They rule. Period

Voted for them just to try to get Metallica down. Maiden's best.

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4Judas PriestJudas Priest are a British heavy metal band formed in Birmingham, England, in 1969. The band has sold over 45 million albums to date.

Judas is the definition of heavy metal, when the NWOBHM started around the '70s they brought the unique sound of the heavy metal, fast and heavy riffs, with the double bass gunfight of the painkiller album, down to the earth basslines ready to kick you of the chair and Halford, that's right Rob 'METAL GOD' Halford, one of the greatest(i assume people still have taste) singer in the whole world, awesome vibrato and high pitched banshee screams that I didn't hear even in horror movies, and the deep epic and technically perfect sound and co-ambition of the band that makes a perfect ambient with the two guitars K. K and Tipton (as said before the first band to include 2 guitarist) so this is not about respect for the oldies this is about knowing facts and having a bit of musical taste to make a difference between HEAVY METAL like judas priest and almost metal like avenged sevencrap or the poor bastards from Metallica whom have gotten over the age, in their 40s and can't pull a quick song ...more

wtf! judas priest is what straight up heavy metal is all about... I can't believe this, vox, guitars, drums everything about them is plain EPIC! jus listen to their unique sound... THAT IS METAL...!
should have been in top 5 at least... - riasathrazin

It's so sad that about 60% of kids at my school don't know a thing about heavy metal, let alone the often overlooked metal gods, Judas Priest. All great musicians, and contributed a lot to rock and metal music.

I feel you, my friends look at my Megadeth sweatshirt and say "they spelled it wrong"

They inspired the Death Metal genre.

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5MegadethMegadeth is an American thrash metal band from Los Angeles, California. The group was formed in 1983 by guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassist David Ellefson, shortly after Mustaine's dismissal from Metallica.

Genius band! They are gods of Thrash and Speed metal. Dave Mustaine is great composer and great guitarist. Also Nick Menza, David Efelson, Marty Friedman, Chris Poland, Gar Samuelson and Chris Broderick are also great musicians.
Megadeth's albums:
"Rust In Peace"
"Peace Sells... But Who's Buying"
"Countdown To Extinction"
"Youthanasia"
"Killing Is My Business... And My Business Is Good"
"The System Has Failed"
"Th1rt3en"

Are almost a definition of Speed metal and Thrash Metal genres.
Mustaine is also a god of Guitar riffs and solos. Before voting on someone else listen to:
- last riff of "Wake Up Dead" from "Peace Sells... But Who's Buying"
- intro riffs and solo of "Holy Wars... The Punishment Due" from "Rust In Peace"
- last riff and solo of "Hangar 18" from "Rust In Peace"
- solo and riffs of "Tornado Of ...more

Should be top 5. Brilliant band dave is arguably the best guitarist in the world. The band has continued to perform at a high level and overcome adversity many times.

7th?! Bloody hell this band has to be better than Metallica!
The worlds best comeback ever!
MUSTAINE rules!

Their the best

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6PanteraPantera was a Heavy Metal band formed in 1981 by guitarist Dimebag Darrell and drummer Vinnie Paul. The group got into mainstream after changing from Glam Metal to Groove Metal. The band's most successful album is "Vulgar Display of Power" . ...read more.

their music is heaviest. only this make pantera in at least 3. dimebag is legend!
pantera good! good

no respect for dimebag darrell?

Beast songs n albums like cowboys from hell and theyre very underrated

No one can ever match the guitar skills of dimebag darrell

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7SlayerSlayer is an American thrash metal band from Huntington Park, California, formed in 1981 by guitarists Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King.

Definitely one of my favorite bands for sure. Not the most talented musicians, but their songs are loved worldwide, and are timeless metal masterpieces.

Wow, my friend! Are you know what you say? :) slayer is not most talented musicians? Are you joking? :) reign in blood is heaviest metal album ever and you say they ain't most talented? I love others band but slayer must be higher than this!

Why these metal anti-gods didn't make it in the top ten is beyond any grasp of reality. With the combo solos of king and hanneman, the guteral screams and wails of araya, and drum master Dave Lombardo ( same level as Neil part and John Bonham). Four of the fiercest thrashers from show no mercys raw hate fueled lyrics all the way up to world painted blood. They have never let the hardcore fans down the same way so many other bands have (cough Metallica cough).

The only reason Slayer isn't higher on the list is because they're too heavy for most people, which is itself a statement of how agonizingly brutal this band was and still is. The guitar work is extremely fast yet harmonious between the two masters, which allows them to carry Araya's voice on simple riffs while he recites dark poetry, and cut in with screeching fast solos, many of which involve both guitars for added emphasis on certain parts. During this, a man named Dave Lombardo is making sure things are kept at a ludicrous pace, and while Slayer does have many slower paced songs these are usually lyrically more adept than those that are built directly from Lombardo's ungodly speed. Slayer may not have written the best songs, but they didn't try to, they just wanted to make the most kickass music they could, and what is metal if not a musical interpretation of kicking ass?

There is none better but maybe Black Sabbath. These guys are the best.

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8SlipknotSlipknot is a Heavy Metal band formed in 1995 from Iowa. The band released their first album in 1999 and was well received by critics and fans. The group gained success after the release of their second studio album, "Iowa". ...read more.

Maggot till I die m/
And seriously.. Look at your list..
Led zeppelin? Seriously? No doubt zeppelin is legendary.. But it's rock.. Not heavy metal.. Same goes for AC/DC
To me.. Slipknot is the best band in the world.. Their music is unique.. Long live the 8 and RIP Paul

For me it's world's best band... It's music is unique... Every time it comes up with new ideas... New hopes... And this band never disappoints its fans... It is an amazing band... It should have been in the first position.. And long live slipknot... And RIP paul gray

Best band since 1999 to hit the metal scene they have their own style and it involves heavy songs like diluted, my plague, scissors, iowa, and can also create songs like snuff, and sircle that's what I like most about them the have let the world know that they are the best because their songs have corey's hardcore screamo vocals and the next moment he has clean vocals that shows so much emotion slipknot deserves a spot in the heavy metal hall of fame!

Most unique and in my opinion best aged band. Just like Marilyn Manson and Disturbed every album the bands gotten better and the music absolutely amazes me every time

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9Avenged SevenfoldAvenged Sevenfold is an American heavy metal/metalcore (early) band, that was formed 1999 in California . Their longest lineup of members was M . Shadows (Vocals), Synyster Gates (Lead Guitar), Zacky Vengeance (Rhythm Guitar), Johnny Christ (Bass Guitar), and The Rev (Drums) . ...read more.

You know that M. Shadows voice is the same in the music video and live..
You know that Johnny Christ has awesome fingers playing the bass..
Zacky vengeance & Synyster gates can play the guitar right and left handed...
You that I've saved the best and lastly Jimmy the rev sullivan can play the drums awesome & can play the vocals at the same time.

Even better. To my iommi lost two fingertips on his left hand, so he learned to play lefty - ryanrimmel

R.I.P REV awesome drummer was awesome in his parts of songs so sad he died

M shadow has best variety screams and clear, rev (R.I. P) was the best drummer ever, syn and zacky are best guitar duo ever and johnny christ is the best bassist, no doubt about it best heavy metal band.

I have known this band since I was 7 and I am a very big fan of this band. Dear God is my favourite song

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10MotorheadMotörhead were an English heavy metal band formed in June 1975 by bassist, singer, and songwriter Ian Fraser "Lemmy" Kilmister, who was the sole constant member; guitarist and songwriter Larry Wallis; and drummer Lucas Fox. The band's harsh vocals and fast paced tempos helped inspire speed metal and ...read more.

AWESOME! If Led Zeppelin is the most classic rock band, Motorhead is the most classic metal.

Whoever is singing in that band is a beast at this style of singing. - LCS3BEASTMODE

Motörhead is far superior to half the bands above it. The only ones I'd pout up against it would be Black Sabbath. These are the bands who created heavy metal.

Three words.. "Lemmy is God".

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The Newcomers

?Electric WizardElectric Wizard are an English doom metal band from Dorset, England. The band formed in 1993 and have recorded eight full length albums, two of which are now considered to be genre landmarks.

And just now has it finally been added. Electric Wizard is a great, but very underrated band. - ElectricCorpseSlayer

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The Contenders

11DisturbedDisturbed is an American heavy metal band from Chicago, Illinois. The band comprises vocalist David Draiman, bassist John Moyer, guitarist Dan Donegan, and drummer Mike Wengren.

I LOVE DISTURBED! Disturbed has saved my soul so many times! I can't get enough of Disturbed, they plain-out rule the world and blow away every other band! I am intoxicated with Disturbed, they are the BOMB! VOTE DISTURBED! People who don't like Disturbed don't know how to live!

Disturbed has been my best friend since the first album came out. David Draiman's voice just gives it the perfect effect. Man!

I like the sounds of Disturbed instruments. The lead singer has the perfect voice for rock music. I enjoy listening to their music, it is fascinating.

They are the best...

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12DioDio was an American heavy metal band formed in 1982 and led by vocalist Ronnie James Dio, after he left Black Sabbath with intentions to form a new band with fellow former Black Sabbath member, drummer Vinny Appice.

R.I.P.
The Godfather of metal, he is the one who first created the devil horns hand signal that is now famous around the world as a symbol of heavy metal.
One of the greatest voices of all time, even in his last years.

Amazing, R.I. P A true metal God. Dio the most influential vocalist. Every power metal band takes a page out of DIO's book

Try to find another singer that can last 50 years in a business of young talent and still school the youngsters. He started singing do-wop music in the 50's and ended up being THE touchstone voice of heavy metal... That's nuts and pure talent!

I like Avenged Sevenfold and slipknot more than Dio, but I think Dio deserves to be ahead of them

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13Led ZeppelinLed Zeppelin were an English rock band formed in London in 1968. The group consisted of Robert Plant (Vocal), Jimmy Page (Guitar), John Paul Jones (Bass, Keyboard) and John Bonham (Drums). The band's heavy, guitar-driven sound, rooted in blues and psychedelia on their early albums, has earned them recognition ...read more.

Led Zeppelin is the greatest BAND of all time. They shouldn't be on the list because they're NOT heavy metal, they are a HARD ROCK BAND! There's a difference between HARD ROCK and HEAVY METAL! But for the sake of this list, THEY SHOULD BE NUMBER 1!

led zeppelin rocks and going to california is my favorite song of all time and stairway to heaven, kashmir too!

Led Zeppelin is one of the best rock bands however I have voted in the Heavy Metal category because I think a heavy metal is influenced by Led Zeppelin and other bands that were not strictly 'heavy metal' such as Killing Joke. The magazine Rolling Stone described Led Zeppelin as "the heaviest band of all time".

One of the best bands ever

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14AnthraxAnthrax is an American thrash metal band from New York City, formed in 1981 by guitarist Scott Ian and bassist Dan Lilker.

Just for the sake of giving Anthrax some attention on here, I'll give 'em some lovin':

Anthrax are arguably the greatest heavy metal band of all time. Are they my favorite? Probably not, no. But trust me when I say that they deserve hella recognition. Back when they got started, they became one of the most influential speed metal of not just the 80s but of all time, being regarded as one of the members of the Big Four of the Thrash.

By the time 1990 had rolled around, Anthrax was getting ready to release the incredibly mature and well-developed 'Persistence of Time', a record which demolished the typical expectations of the Anthrax fan with absolutely pummeling riffs and conceptual themes of nuclear holocaust and the need for peace. Following this ridiculously kick-ass album, Anthrax collaborated with Public Enemy and released the song 'Bring the Noize'. This popular song is often seen as the catalyst for the fusing of rap and rock/metal which, like it or not, dominated ...more

Anthrax is part of the Big 4 they deserve to be up there.

I love these guys way too much not to vote for them! They are for sure a top ten heavy metal band

Way underrated.

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15Lamb of GodLamb of God is an American heavy metal band from Richmond, Virginia. Formed in 1994, the group consists of vocalist Randy Blythe, guitarists Mark Morton and Willie Adler, bassist John Campbell, and drummer Chris Adler.

You gotta be kidding me!
Log in 13th? It should be third.. Just behind iron maiden and Metallica!
Listen to laid to rest, walk with me in hell, black label and omerta to believe it yourself.. Also now you've got something to die for... I haven't heard a bad song by this band yet!

Lamb of God has some of the best lyrics I've ever heard in any band of any genre. They are one of the few bands I've ever heard whose music and lyrics come together like clockwork. They've had consistently amazing albums throughout their career and their live shows are nothing short of cathartic. I understand that it's competing with older bands that have seniority when it comes to this genre of music, but lamb of god is the best band all around when considering anything within the past 10-15 years.

What's wrong with you all! Guys! This is the best heavy metal band for me and I think it must be in the top 5 or not even top 5 but the first and you must listen first then judge they're really awesome!

Come on now this band is insanely awesome

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16System of a DownSystem of a Down formed in 1994 as an Armenian-American rock group from Glendale, California. The band name is sometimes shortened to System or SOAD. ...read more.

Not even 15? System of a Down is epic! You need to hear chop suey, lonely day, streamline, I can go on forever naming great songs. I kinda knew metalica would be first (and I am happy about that I love metalica) bot System of a Down is epic and so is children of bodom.

System of Down is a band to which I have no words to describe m/.
Listen to spiders, chop suey, sad statue, byob, aerials, psycho, sugar and much more un describable songs of them. The epic band ever. May it become a saga..

What? This should be number #1... Darons guitar skills are awesome.. Combined with serjs and shavos music skills... Why... System of a Down must be at least intop 5 bands.. This band headlined download and had the most greatest audience of all time... System of a down rules... They are the best

Very good band

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17Guns N RosesGuns N' Roses is an American hard rock band from Los Angeles formed in 1985. The classic lineup, as signed to Geffen Records in 1986, consisted of vocalist Axl Rose, lead guitarist Slash, rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin, bassist Duff McKagan, and drummer Steven Adler. Apart from hard rock they are also ...read more.

Guns N' Roses is a great band, but they're not metal. They're hard rock.

Guns N' Roses is one of the greatest bands ever! Period. Purely EPIC and one of a kind. To me up there with Zeppelin and Sabbath as the best ever! But they are not heavy metal. They are hard rock. I would say Heavy Metal wise a few of my favorites are MANOWAR, TNT, Burning Starr, Sabbath, Maiden, Warrior, Tsunami and also love some Malmsteen.

Guns N' Roses should be in the Top Ten

They are not metal nor will they ever be they are hard rock.

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18ScorpionsScorpions are a German rock band formed in 1965 in Hanover by Rudolf Schenker. Since the band's inception, its musical style has ranged from hard rock to heavy metal.

Even though they have a huge fanbase, I still consider them very underrated. Yes, songs like Big City Nights, Rock You Like a Hurricane, and No One Like You were very big, but that's the 80's. What about the 70's Scorpions? Polar Nights, Sails of Charon, Virgin Killer, Hell Cat, and Catch Your Train? All AMAZING songs that get overlooked, and mostly never even looked at. Even in the 80's they still had amazing songs like Tease Me Please Me, The Zoo, Raised on Rock, China White, and Blackout. Just an amazing band. I don't believe they deserve to be #1, but at least in the top 10.

Scorpions are fathers of German heavy metal, one of the best rock bands in the world. Although they ate way underrated, cause they are german band, they have a combination of talent, technical skils and masterpiece that make them best of the best!

Scorpions Lonesome crow album is a testament that they are the ancestor of Heavy guitar riffs and should be considered as the principal element of the emerging of Heavy metal genre.. In Trance, Virgen Killer with Uli Roth cemented them as certified Forefathers of Heavy Metal..

I have always regarded Scorpions as the first metal band.

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19QueensrycheQueensrÿche is an American heavy metal band formed in 1982 in Bellevue, Washington, out of the local band the Mob.

Oh my god guys seriously!? This band released Operation Mindcrime the greatest album ever, but everything else is a steaming pile of feces.

Unmistakable voice! Melodic riffs!

I like 'Rage for Order' better. It is a lot more progressive and experimental than 'Operation Mindcrime' - as great as that album is. Check out Evergrey's 'The Inner Circle' if you want a more metallic progressive album. It's a conceptual masterpiece.

They have one of the best vocalist ever.

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20Five Finger Death PunchFive Finger Death Punch is an American heavy metal band from Las Vegas, Nevada. Formed in 2005, the band's name is derived from a fictional martial arts maneuver in the 2003 film Kill Bill.

Ivan Moody is under rated. This band has talent at all positions, amazing talent... The fact that their material continues to get better and better with each album should prove their worth of a top 5 spot for artists currently producing music. This list is hilarious because its more over voted than American Idol. Love what you love, but just keep fk'n rocking'!

You got to be kidding me. Five Finger Death Punch can't be the 45th best heavy metal band. 5FDP should join the top tens as well as Godsmack, Bullet For My Valentine, Lamb of God, SOiL, and also Drowning Pool, too.

How has this band not been added yet? Definitely in my top 3!
Listen to their new album American Capitalist, its EPIC!

They have the feeling of authority that may says "listen to me"

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List StatsUpdated 30 Aug 2016

19,000 votes
352 listings
7 years, 115 days old

Top Remixes (135)

1. Iron Maiden
2. Queensryche
3. Avenged Sevenfold
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1. Iron Maiden
2. Dio
3. Edguy
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1. Slipknot
2. Metallica
3. Iron Maiden
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