Top Ten Classic Metal Songs with the Best Vocals


The Top Ten

1 Hallowed Be Thy Name - Iron Maiden

If you want real music, listen to some alternative music like Halsey or something else. I am not a huge fan of that song at all.

Bruce Dickinson proves, once again, that he has one of the best voices in music history with this song off Number of the Beast. - Brobusky

So overrated

2 Painkiller - Judas Priest

Halford's voice... *EARGASM*

Rob's screams on this track are just legendary. - Brobusky

Yes, yes, yes! - Metal_Treasure

3 Victim of Changes - Judas Priest

Whiskey women don't you know that you are driving me inSANE! - SoldierOfFortune

Insane vocals for sure and a great song but I don't think this song is metal. Just saying. This isn't a problem because Halford has many great metal performances to choose from. - Metal_Treasure

The last part when he screams VICTIM OF CHANGE! - zxm

4 Kill the King - Rainbow

MIND-BLOWING performance from Ronnie James Dio. One of the all-time best vocal performances EVER recorded. - Brobusky

Amazing. RIP Ronnie James Dio. - DynastiSugarPop

"Mind blowing." Meh. Squealy forced tenor, kinda like Robert Plant on a bad day. Harmonies appear borrowed from Heart, who, in any case, sounded far better. Hodgepodge chord progression, and quite unimaginative guitar licks.

Eh. Maybe I just really like the song so I put it at number 1. I still think it's pretty good. - Brobusky

@visitor - we already know it: you hate metal and everything in metal (vocals, progressions, solos,…). By the way, Dio isn’t a tenor, he’s a baritone. And Dio doesn’t sound squealy at all. Plant is a very good singer but even on his best day Plant can’t sing this song better than Dio.
However, "Kill the King" isn't a vocal-oriented song and I wouldn't say this is the best from Dio. This song is written to demonstrate speed and raw aggression. - Metal_Treasure

5 Gates of Babylon - Rainbow

Ronnie James Dio has one of the best voices in metal, as this song proves. - Brobusky

6 The Number of the Beast - Iron Maiden

That might be the single greatest metal scream ever

You know why this song is on the list. - Brobusky

7 Child in Time - Deep Purple

Especially the screaming part - zxm

10 minutes of sheer epicness. - Brobusky

8 Wish You Were Dead - Overkill

Bobby Blitz's high note is one of the best ever in the song. That alone gets Wish You Were Dead a spot on the list. - Brobusky

9 Stargazer - Rainbow

This is Dio's greatest performance. Should even be above Gates of Babylon

10 Cemetery Gates - Pantera

The Contenders

11 My Last Sunrise - Demons & Wizards

If some of you don't know this song you should listen to it NOW. I don't wanna describe the vocals - this vocal performance should be heard. Vocals are from Hansi Kürsch of Blind Guardian. - Metal_Treasure

12 Rainbow in the Dark - Dio

I think this is one of the best vocals from Dio, if not his best. - Metal_Treasure

13 Angel of Death - Slayer

Me and my friend sent a voicemail to someone with the scream in this song
It was so much fun

The face-melting opener to Slayer's landmark 1986 album Reign in Blood has one of Tom Araya's signature screams right at the beginning to set the tone for this amazing song, with an amazing vocal performance. - Brobusky

14 One - Metallica
15 Beyond the Realms of Death - Judas Priest
16 Wheel of Time - Blind Guardian
17 Thorn - Blind Guardian
18 A Question of Heaven - Iced Earth

Shouldn't be on here. This came out in 1996 which was 22 years ago (a classic has to be 30 years or older).

@Aragorn98 - you are right about 30+ years but I'm not sure the author meant this definition of "classic".
I personally understood "classic metal" as traditional heavy metal (metal that isn't extreme, isn't prog, etc.)
But I think that most of the voters had no any definition in mind (neither yours nor mine) - people just voted for songs they like. - Metal_Treasure

19 Aces High - Iron Maiden
20 And Then There Was Silence - Blind Guardian
21 Dante's Inferno - Iced Earth
22 Caught Somewhere in Time - Iron Maiden

This is my favorite Bruce Dickinson performance. And there are a lot to choose from - Johnnyt800

23 Falling Off the Edge of the World - Black Sabbath

Not my favorite Dio vocals but still very good. I believe our visitor worked in the music business for 50 years but he hates metal so much that all his comments on metal are unreliable. He says Dio sounds like Robert Plant on a bad day but here’s a professional analysis of this Dio performance - it was written by a vocal coach (classical) from NY, who isn’t a metal fan and didn’t know the song/singer:
“This is a very fine singer. His voice is so naturally resonant - he reminds me of Freddie Mercury. He performs with perfect legato, clear diction, and a consistent, organic vibrancy. He arranges his resonance space to create a shallow snarl without setting up any resistance for his breath. You can tell how healthy his delivery is from the way he moves in and out of brief moments of harmony with the other tracks with impeccable intonation”. - Metal_Treasure

24 Paranoid - Black Sabbath
25 A Touch of Evil - Judas Priest
26 Between the Hammer and the Anvil - Judas Priest
27 Dreamer Deceiver - Judas Priest

Grossly underrated vocals from the metal God himself Rob Halford. From the deep lows in the beginning, to the insane high notes in the climax and closing. Beautiful song and melody all around.

BAdd New Item

Related Lists

Metal Songs with the Best Vocal Performances Power Metal Songs with the Best Vocal Performance Top 10 Obscure Rock and Metal Songs with Great Vocals Top 10 Metal Songs Where the Vocalist Provides Both Growls and Clean Vocals Top 10 Metal Songs of 2016 with Clean Melodic Vocals

List StatsUpdated 14 Apr 2019

27 listings
3 years, 118 days old

Top Remixes (4)

1. Painkiller - Judas Priest
2. My Last Sunrise - Demons & Wizards
3. Rainbow in the Dark - Dio
1. Child in Time - Deep Purple
2. Painkiller - Judas Priest
3. Victim of Changes - Judas Priest
1. Kill the King - Rainbow
2. Victim of Changes - Judas Priest
3. Hallowed Be Thy Name - Iron Maiden

View All 4

Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.