Best NWOBHM Bands

The top ten best New Wave of British Heavy Metal bands. A full list can be found here.

The Top Ten

1 Iron Maiden Iron Maiden Iron Maiden are an English heavy metal band formed in Leyton, East London, in 1975 by bassist and primary songwriter Steve Harris. The most critically acclaimed period for the band was from 1983-1989. With vocalist Bruce Dickinson, bassist Steve Harris, lead guitarist Dave Murray, rhythm guitarist Adrian more.

First heard of iron maiden late 70’s when a friends uncle shared a bootleg cassette with his young nephew.
I have been a fan ever since. First saw them live in Ipswich (at the Gaumont) in early 1981. - Diz9000

The Trooper, number of the beast, Run to the hills, Hallowed be thy name, Aces high, Powerslave, Iron Maiden, Prowler, Fear of the dark, Wasted Years, Ghost of the navigator, Can I play with madness, Still life, 2 Minutes to midnight. Long live Eddie the Head! Up the Irons!

I just recently got into Iron Maiden. I started at their debut album 'Iron Maiden", which is where everyone should. Work up to the acclaimed Number of the beast. Their first 2 with Paul Di'anno are very good. Bruce Dickinson era is great also but don't not listen to their first 2 albums just because he is not lead singer. Iron Maiden is the overall flagship band of the NWOBHM and always will be.

Hallowed Be Thy Name, Run to the Hills, Iron Maiden, Prowler, Aces High, 2 Minutes To Midnight, The Trooper, Still Life. I know there is more but how can you vote against that?

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2 Saxon Saxon Saxon are an English heavy metal band formed in 1976, in South Yorkshire. As one of the leaders of the new wave of British heavy metal, they had eight UK Top 40 albums in the 1980s including four UK Top 10 albums and two Top 5 albums.

Trust me, Maiden was my Champion for many many years, and the still make the shortest of short lists (Murray and Harris are still the gold standard for their respective instruments)... Priest grew on me over time, but they weren't my favorites during the heyday, they just didn't resonante with me like Maiden / Saxon / (love to add an oblique angle like an Armored Saint, but they are not Brits)... But year in, year out, decade in, decade out... in the final analysis, after tens of thousands of listens to the complete comprehensive catalogues, other bands just play classic British Heavy Metal; SAXON IS BRITISH HEAVY METAL

Definitely Leppard shouldn't be anywhere close to this list. They're not metal, they're classic rock.

Judas is easily the best NWOHMB, but Saxon and Maiden should be fighting for 2nd. Voting Saxon, because well, they deserve.

I personally can't see Iron Maiden or Judas priest as New Wave... I've always associated them with classic heavy metal. Saxon are my personal favourite New Wave... band. I read they influenced Metallica. How much more do you want before you're awed by their greatness?

Saxon pretty much defined NWOBHM, along with Iron Maiden and Judas Priest. These three bands should be the "NWOBHM Big Three".

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3 Judas Priest Judas Priest Judas Priest are a British heavy metal band that formed in Birmingham, England, in 1969. They are often referred to as one of the greatest metal bands of all time, and are even commonly called “The Metal Gods”, after one of the songs on their 1980 album “British Steel”. more.

This is the second most important metal band of all time after Black Sabbath, should be No. 1 on this list. At least above Saxon.

The very band that inspired Maiden. They have more diversity between albums, better guitarists and overall much more melody and songwriting talent. With that said, Maiden does indeed have better live shows and I like Bruce Dickinson slightly more than Halford; not to mention that BD's aged a bit better than Halford.

Best metal band of all time... Greatest drum intro like painkiller, guitar solo like in a touch of evil well I would say that's completely insane... The vocal pitch can never be compared with any heavy metal singers... Keep banging your head...

Judas Priest actually wasn't really a NWOBHM band. They are credited to being sort of the leaders of the second wave after Zeppelin, Purple, and Sabbath had already established the genre earlier. Priest jumped on the NWOBHM band wagon by polishing their sound and struck it big on 1980s British Steel.

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4 Venom Venom Venom are an English extreme metal band formed in 1979 in Newcastle upon Tyne. Coming to prominence towards the end of the new wave of British heavy metal, Venom's first two albums—Welcome to Hell and Black Metal—are considered a major influence on thrash metal and extreme metal in general.

Venom singlehandedly invented not one, but two new music genres out of their first two albums alone. Without them, Thrash Metal wouldn't exist and neither would black metal. They should be #2 after Maiden of course.

Probably the most unique and revolutionary band here - ryanrimmel

Too satanic

5 Motorhead Motorhead Motörhead 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 more.

Without Motorhead there would be no thrash metal, and no Ace of Spades. Go listen to Overkill and tell me if they know how to make music.

Motorhead and Venom were very influential in the creation of Thrash, Speed, Death, and Black Metal

Lemmy is awesome and so are there songs they should be in the top 3!


6 Diamond Head Diamond Head Diamond Head are an English heavy metal band formed in 1976 in Stourbridge, England. The band is recognised as one of the leading members of the new wave of British heavy metal and is acknowledged by thrash metal bands such as Metallica and Megadeth as an important early influence.

Should be joint first with the Leps and Maiden - sorry but Priest and Motorhead were NOT NWOBHM bands - whoever voted for them doesn't knows what NWOBHM was!

Diamond Head are NWOBHM period.

Underrated amazing band, way more people should listen to them

Their 1st album is very good and is literally guitar riff heaven. But they sort of fell off a cliff after their debut. They changed styles within and album and their debut is the only one in their discography to sound so amazing.

7 Angel Witch Angel Witch Angel Witch are a British heavy metal band which formed in London, England in 1977 as part of the new wave of British heavy metal movement.

ANGEL WITCH, the group, the song, the album, just the very best of the NWOBHM era.

The guitarist is so under-rated - JaxLeppard1

Listen to "Straight from hell".
One of my favourite bands!
So underrated..

8 Satan

Best British band after iron maiden

Awesome songs, awesome name

Released only good stuff so far. 11/10.

Best Band - blackdroid

9 Def Leppard 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.

They shouldn’t have been lumped in with the movement, they were separate from it. Then again hard rock and metal were considered almost the same back then.

Definitely definitely LEPPARD LEPPARD

Definitely Leppard take a lot of crap for leaving the NWOBHM, their producer (mutt lange) glossed up their production and rounded off their rough edged sound. Their 1st 2 albums, On through the night, and High n dry are extremely good. They were one of the leaders of the NWOBHM at this time but then thing happend.

10 Witchfinder General Witchfinder General Witchfinder General were a heavy metal band from Stourbridge, England. They were part of the new wave of British heavy metal scene and have been cited as a major influence on the doom metal genre.

Soviet Invasion is the single best NWoBHM of all time!

The Contenders

11 Tygers of Pan Tang Tygers of Pan Tang Tygers of Pan Tang are a heavy metal band, part of the new wave of British heavy metal movement. They formed in 1978 in Whitley Bay, England, and were active until 1987. The band reformed in 1999 and continue to record and perform.

Listen to "Suzie Smiled", and you'll know what NWOBHM was.

12 Grim Reaper

Grim Reaper is one of the most forgotten metal bands that could have stood with the giants like Maiden and Priest. See You in Hell is one of the best NWOBHM albums ever. SEE YOU IN HELL MY FRIEND

Too underrated. - EddieVanHalen2001

13 Blitzkrieg

Brian Ross rules!

14 Praying Mantis
15 Samson Samson Samson were a British hard rock band formed in 1977 by guitarist and vocalist Paul Samson. They are best known for their first three albums with future Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson, then known as "Bruce Bruce", and drummer Thunderstick, who wore a leather mask and performed on stage in a metal more.

If it wasn't for this band we wouldn't have the Iron Maiden that we have today, cause this was Dickinson's first band, and the band that really helped Iron Maiden get where they got

16 Dio Dio Dio 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.

They are more like new wave of american heavy metal.

I love Dio, but he wasn't even British. This is the New Wave of BRITISH Heavy Metal.

17 Raven
18 Tokyo Blade

Brilliant guitar playing on their first two full length albums. Just listen to, If heaven is hell"

19 Tank

Did you guys know that ZP Theart recently joined them. - Caleb9000

20 Girlschool Girlschool Girlschool are a British heavy metal band that formed in the new wave of British heavy metal scene in 1978 and frequently associated with contemporaries Motörhead.

Bo! you stink!

21 Demon

Great band who didn't (and still don't) to the heavy metal norm. Classy songs with great melodies and a singer who sounds more Joe Cocker than Joe Elliot. Well worth checking out.

Demons first two al;bums are classic NWOBHM fayre, and are two of the best records of that era. Then we get to their classic material The Plague, Breakout, British Standard Approved etc, mixing the classic NWOBHM sound with what would laterly be called prog metal. Demon have to be one of the most influential bands of the whole era (and remember people NWOBHM was a movement NOT a genre - and yes Priest and Motorhead are great bands, but they are NOT NWOBHM.. Both were well established before the term was coined (by Sounds writer Malcome Dome) in March 1979) - jonwisbey

Legendary NWOBHM act, the first two albums with are classics of the genre.

Certainly the best band I have heard..the music sounds great even now..

22 Quartz

1977 Debut was produced by Tony Iommi enough said

23 UFO UFO UFO are an English rock band that was formed in 1969. They became a transitional group between early hard rock and heavy metal and the new wave of British heavy metal.

They have a whole catalogue of awesome songs

24 Pagan Altar

Amazing band, so underrated

25 Dark Star

Lady of mars, say no more!

26 Bitches Sin

Ooh Ain't Life a BITCH!

27 Black Sabbath 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.

They aren't NWOBHM.

Really simple: not NWOBHM
They CREATED metal, thry were the first and best metal band
They don't belong to this list - Rocker00

28 Holocaust
29 White Spirit

The best debut album by all the NWOBHM bands, followed by Angel Witch and Iron Maiden.

30 Witchfynde

Great versatile nwobhm band, just give"id rather go wild" stab in the back or"give em hell a twirl Magnifico!

So damn underrated. Its an atrocity that these guys never made it big. They are the essence of heavy metal

Iron Maiden is the best but this band deserves to be WAY higher on the list. I'd put it in the top five easily

31 Savage

Great band!

32 Cloven Hoof
33 Y&T

Great band BUT they are American

34 Hell
35 Heavy Pettin'

Catchy great tunes say no more

36 Pantera Pantera Pantera was an American Heavy Metal band formed in 1981 by guitarist Dimebag Darrell and drummer Vinnie Paul. The band started out as a Glam Metal act in the 1980s with little success. After discarding their original lead vocalist and enlisting Phil Anselmo, the band signed a major record deal with more.


37 The Handsome Beasts
38 Trespass

You can't miss Their "One of these Days". The Riff is so catchy, I can listen to it non stop.

Trespass is just about as popular as the following statement gleep glarp gloop shabalabadingdong

39 Elixir
40 Battleaxe
41 Avenger

There first album Bloodsports was under rated

42 Shy

Great melodic metal

43 Gillan
44 Nile Nile Nile is an American technical death metal band from Greenville, South Carolina, United States, formed in 1993. Their music and lyrics are inspired by Ancient Egyptian/Near Eastern mysticism, history, religion, and ancient art, as well as the works of H.P. Lovecraft.


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List Stats

700 votes
44 listings
8 years, 211 days old

Top Remixes (6)

1. Iron Maiden
2. Def Leppard
3. Saxon
1. Saxon
2. Iron Maiden
3. Satan
1. Iron Maiden
2. Angel Witch
3. Diamond Head

View All 6

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