Top Ten Bands that Got Less Heavy Over Time

Opposite of HEAVYMETALTHUNDER12345's list Top Ten Bands That Got Heavier Over Time. You can also include bands like Coldplay that were never really heavy but are now even softer. My music knowledge in most genres is pretty limited because I only listened to classical music until the age of 15, so feel free to add new items and remix.

The Top Ten

1 Megadeth Megadeth is an American thrash metal band from Los Angeles, California. Megadeth was formed in 1983 by guitarist Dave Mustaine and bassist David Ellefson, shortly after Mustaine was fired from Metallica. They have released 15 studio albums to date, and have gone through many lineup changes, with Dave more.

I'd say that they were still as heavy as they started at Rust in Peace. The less heaviness started at Countdown. Listen to Good Mourning Black Friday and tell me Peace Sells is less heavy than the original album. - MattAffterburner

I see your point. I wrote that because most songs on Rust in Peace (excluding Poison was the Cure and Take No Prisoners) are severely slower than the ones on the first two albums (compare Tornado of Souls with Wake up Dead), the lyrics are less dark and is overall more melody-centered. - Alkadikce

Megadeth should be higher than Metallica because:
1) Risk is less heavy than Reload (the least heavy Metallica album)
2) I think Megadeth started off heavier with Killing is My Business than Metallica with Kill 'em All
3) Metallica had less softening tendencies in their classic era (AJFA is heavier than MOP), while Megadeth was getting softer from the very beginning.
4) Metallica suddenly got softer with the black album and than suddenly even softer with Load and than the progress stopped. By Megadeth, it was permanent: KiMB... aBIG > Peace Sells > SFSGSW > Rust in Peace > Countdown > Youthanasia > Cryptic Writings > Risk when it comes to heaviness. - Alkadikce

2 Def Leppard Def Leppard are an English rock band formed in 1977 in Sheffield as part of the new wave of British heavy metal movement.

Other than the instrumentation, I don't find their later songs rock at all. Hysteria sounds like a guitarist joined ABBA. - Alkadikce

Their debut album was part of the NWOBHM, but after that it was several things, one of them being power pop, or something like that. Joe Elliott said that they wanted to be popular like the Beatles and Led Zeppelin, and become a household name, and not an underground metal band. So it was a choice. - Metal_Treasure

3 Dimmu Borgir Dimmu Borgir is a Norwegian symphonic black metal band from Oslo, Norway, formed in 1993. The name is derived from Dimmuborgir, a volcanic formation in Iceland, the name of which means "dark cities" or "dark castles/fortresses" in Icelandic, Faroese and Old Norse.

Classic example of a sellout band. The new material is more like symphonic metal with a few black metal shrieking here and there, although I don't find their old music that heavy with black metal standards either. - Alkadikce

4 Cradle of Filth Cradle of Filth are a British extreme metal band that formed in Suffolk in 1991. The band's musical style evolved from black metal to a cleaner and more "produced" amalgam of gothic metal, symphonic black metal and other extreme metal styles.

Their new songs sound like someone added some distorted guitar riffs to Coldplay songs and made a vocal cover with black metal shrieking, than threw in an orchestra following the melody. Lower than Dimmu Borgir because their old music was already less heavy than Dimmu Borgir's. - Alkadikce

5 Linkin Park Linkin Park is an American rock band formed in Agoura Hills, California, in 1996. The members currently include Mike Shinoda (vocals, keyboards, rhythm guitar), Brad Delson (guitar), Dave "Phoenix" Farrell (bass), Joe Hahn (DJ) and Rob Bourdon (drums). Linkin Park are associated with a mixture of Alternative more.

From Nu-metal to Pop...
The only reason some fans gave their last album "One More Light" (Pop album) a few positive reviews was simply because of sympathy for Chester Bennington's then-recent death. While I have the utmost respect & sympathy for Chester & his family, that doesn't change my opinion that the album sucked & so did their change in their style of music - Joeljohns249

Chester's death wasn't why I liked the album, I genuinely enjoyed - xEliHbkx

Why is everything so heavy? - Misfire

6 Opeth Opeth is a Swedish progressive death metal band from Stockholm, formed in 1990 by David Isberg, who invited Mikael Akerfeldt into the band as a bassist. Isberg ended up leaving the band, which lead to Mikael becoming the band's vocalist, guitarist, principal songwriter, and driving force. Along with more.

From death metal to progressive rock. That's a very big change. And it's very sad because Opeth were a great death metal band and one of the best metal bands ever. WERE. - Metal_Treasure

I'd say that even when listening to Blackwater Park I'd still say its pretty darn progressive. Prog death is the best. - MattAffterburner

From Death metal to Progressive Rock...
It's like Cannibal Corpse covering Pink Floyd albums - Joeljohns249

7 Helloween Helloween is a German power metal band founded in 1984 in Hamburg, Northern Germany. The band is a pioneering force in the power metal genre, and their second and third studio albums, Keeper of the Seven Keys: Part I and Part II, are considered masterpieces of the genre.

Probably Metal_Treasure can explain it better. He always says that after the departure of their classic members they became not bad, but mediocre and with A. Deris they turned cheesy. - Alkadikce

8 Deep Purple Deep Purple are an English rock band formed in Hertford in 1968. They are considered to be among the pioneers of heavy metal and modern hard rock, although their musical approach changed over the years. Originally formed as a progressive rock band, the band shifted to a heavier sound in 1970. Deep Purple, more.

After Ritchie Blackmore left, they don't have their metal elements. Bananas seems to have tried to follow mainstream music of those times, featuring some grungy riffs and rap-like vocals, while In Rock was one of, if not the heaviest albums when it came out. - Alkadikce

9 In Flames In Flames is a Swedish melodic death metal band from Gothenburg, Sweden, formed in 1990. more.

Classic example of selling out in metal - by gradually getting less heavy AND lowering the quality and complexity of the genres they played: from death metal to groove metal to metalcore to alternative rock. - Metal_Treasure

10 Death Death was an American death metal band formed in 1983 by Chuck Schuldiner. Death is considered to be one of the most influential bands in heavy metal and a pioneering force in death metal. Its debut album, Scream Bloody Gore, has been widely regarded as the first death metal record, while the band's more.

The latest albums are more progressive and contain soft instrumental sections (like the beginning of Flesh and the Power it Holds) and breakdowns. The vocals are also more melodic. Some thrash metal bands are heavier than Death in the 1990s.

I wouldn't put Death very high because in the 90s they got less brutal than in the 80s but they got more complex, more progressive and technical so it was actually an improvement. In the 90s Chuck just ditched a lot of hardcore punk and replaced it with more metal. I wanna add that in most cases getting less heavy is a sign of selling out but not always - if a band gets less heavy but music gets more demanding, that's not selling out - for example: compositions get more complex, instrumental parts get harder to play, and vocals harder to sing.

Getting less heavy does not necessarily mean getting worse, I know it, for that purpose, there's the list bands that didn't age well.

The Newcomers

? Paradise Lost Paradise Lost are a gothic metal band that formed in 1988 in Halifax, England and are considered by some to be one of the pioneers of the death/doom genre and of the gothic metal genre.
? Katatonia Katatonia is a Swedish metal band formed in Stockholm in 1991 by Jonas Renkse and Anders Nyström. The band has released nine studio albums spanning the course of three decades, and their tenth studio album, The Fall of Hearts was released on May 20, 2016.

The Contenders

11 Rammstein Rammstein is a German Neue Deutsche Härte and Industrial Metal band consisting of Till Lindemann (vocals), Richard Kruspe (guitar), Paul Landers (guitar), Oliver Riedel (electric bass), Christoph Schneider (drums) and Christian Lorenz (keyboard), that formed in 1994 in Berlin . more.

Of course for a true metalhead (although not everyone considers them metal) it's an unforgivable sin that they show up on YouTube after typing 'r'. I am pretty surprised they do. - Alkadikce

12 Avenged Sevenfold Avenged Sevenfold is an American heavy metal 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). more.

Eh, they were always on the borderline in terms of "heavy"
Just in a slightly different style from metalcore to a more modern hard rock/heavy metal sound - yungstirjoey666

From Metalcore to hardcore punk to a sort of hard-rock & heavy metal fusion...
This might be the only transformation on this list that was sorta good...but still I wish their vocalist would stop singing with such a nasally voice - Joeljohns249

Metalcore to prog rock - xEliHbkx

13 Maroon 5 Maroon 5 is an American pop rock band that originated in Los Angeles, California. Before the current group was established, the original four members, Adam Levine, Jesse Carmichael Mickey Madden and Ryan Dusick, formed a band known as Kara's Flowers in 1994, while they were still in high school.

From Funk Rock to Pop...
A transformation no one asked for...

14 Bring Me the Horizon Bring Me the Horizon is a British rock band from Sheffield, Yorkshire. Formed in 2004, the group currently consists of vocalist Oliver Sykes, guitarist Lee Malia, bassist Matt Kean, drummer Matt Nicholls, and keyboardist Jordan Fish. They are signed to RCA Records globally and Columbia Records exclusively more.

Not saying this is a bad thing, but I don't believe I've ever seen a band to do a complete sound change like this. Starting out as a pure Deathcore band, then a 90sish type of metalcore, then electric metalcore/ post hardcore, then post hardcore/ alt rock, then electric alt rock, now currently pop

From Deathcore to Pop.
What a transition

Definitely Bring Me The Horizon. Hey I do not sing, so...

I just wanted Count Your Blessings again UwU

15 Red Hot Chili Peppers The Red Hot Chili Peppers is an American funk-rock and alternative rock band, that was founded in 1983. more.

Mother's Milk and Blood Sugar Sex Magik have much more raw funk in them than the later albums. One Hot Minute is under the influence of metal. The two albums with Josh have minimal rock elements. - Alkadikce

16 Testament Testament is an American thrash metal band from Berkeley, California. Formed in 1983 under the name Legacy, the band consists of vocalist Chuck Billy, guitarists Eric Peterson and Alex Skolnick, bassist Steve DiGiorgio and drummer Gene Hoglan.

Put them on the last place because the tendency is only true until the 1990s. Every album was softer than the previous until The Ritual, the softest. - Alkadikce

17 Alcest

From pure black metal to shoegaze...
This might be the widest transformation on this list in terms of "heaviness" - Joeljohns249

18 Rainbow Rainbow are a British rock band led by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore from 1975 to 1984 and 1993 to 1997. They were originally established with Ronnie James Dio as the lead singer and lyricist. Rainbow were ranked No. 90 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. The band has sold over 28 million albums more.

Oh yeah. They were really heavy for a 70s band when Rainbow Rising came out, mostly because of Dio, and after he left, the went to pop rock. - MattAffterburner

19 Queen Queen are an English rock band formed in 1970. Members were Freddie Mercury (Vocals and Piano), Brian May (Guitar, Vocals), Roger Taylor (Drums, Vocals), and John Deacon (Bass Guitar, Vocals). Before forming into Queen, Brian May and Roger Taylor had played together in a band named Smile. Freddie Mercury more.

Queen-Sheer Heart Attack: Experiemenal Metal
A Night At The Opera-Jazz: Pop Metal
The Game: Pop Rock
Hot Space-The Works: Disco/Funk Rock
A Night At The Opera-The Miracle: Pop Rock
Innuendo-Mother Love: Ballad Rock

The problem is one album you left out: A Kind of Magic, which features at least two songs in the hard rock/metal genre: Princes of the Universe and Gimme the Prize. The Miracle also featured one of their heaviest songs: I Want it All. So they didn't get less heavy, they were simply an eclectic band. - truckturner

The worst change on the list. - MattAffterburner

20 Leprous Leprous is a Norwegian progressive metal band formed in 2001 in Notodden, Norway. The band gained prominence as the backing band for former Emperor frontman Ihsahn's live shows.
21 Van Halen Van Halen is an American hard rock band formed in Pasadena, California, in 1972. From 1974 until 1985, the band consisted of guitarist Eddie Van Halen, vocalist David Lee Roth, drummer Alex Van Halen, and bassist Michael Anthony.
22 Green Day Green Day are an American pop punk, punk rock, and alternative rock band formed in East Bay, California in 1986. The members include Billie Joe Armstrong (vocals and guitar), Mike Dirnt (bass), Tré Cool (drums) and Jason White (guitar) . Green Day are associated with punk rock, pop punk and alternative more.
23 Coldplay Coldplay are a British rock band formed in 1996. The band consists of Chris Martin (lead vocalist and pianist), Jonny Buckland (lead guitarist), Guy Berryman (bassist) and Will Champion (drummer and backing vocalist). Manager Phil Harvey is often considered an unofficial fifth member. The band renamed more.

From Alt-Rock/Piano Rock to Pop I guess, however I always found them poppy for some reason. - Userguy44

24 Whiplash Whiplash is an American thrash metal band. The band was founded in 1984 in Passaic, New Jersey by the three Tonys: Tony Portaro, Tony Scaglione and Tony Bono.
25 Taylor Swift Taylor Alison Swift is an American singer-songwriter. more.

I don't think country is heavier than pop. Remember this list is not about the ones who got worse over time.

Mentioning her as a band doesn't actually annoy me that much because it would be pretty useless to create the same list but with music artists just to include her, I have more concerns about what I describe in my initial comment

I wouldn't consider her old stuff "heavy".

26 Metallica Metallica 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". more.

From thrash to heavy to hard rock to alt, all the way back to their thrash roots

I'll be honest though, but I think that Load and Reload are better than Hardwired

From Pure Thrash Metal to thrashy Progressive Metal to Heavy Metal to hard-rockish Heavy Metal to Alternative Metal to generic Thrash metal back again...

Yeah... I'm speechless...

27 Fall Out Boy Fall Out Boy is an American pop rock band formed in Wilmette, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, in 2001. The band consists of vocalist and guitarist Patrick Stump, bassist Pete Wentz, guitarist Joe Trohman, and drummer Andy Hurley.

From Pop Punk to Pop...
Obvious sell-outs - Joeljohns249

28 Black Sabbath Black Sabbath were a Heavy Metal band formed in Birmingham, England in 1968 by guitarist and songwriter Tony Iommi, singer John "Ozzy" Osbourne, bassist and main lyricist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward. more.
29 Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin was 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 more.
30 Ramones The Ramones were an American punk rock band that formed in the New York City neighborhood of Forest Hills, Queens, in 1974. They are often cited as the first band to define the punk rock sound.
31 Amoral
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