Greatest Japanese Metal Bands

Vote! Vote! VOTE! I want to see your opinions! It can be Heavy Metal, Power Metal, Progressive Metal, Symphonic Metal, Visual Kei, Alternative Metal, Experimental Metal, Nu Metal, Metalcore, Death Metal, Doom Metal, Neo-Classical Metal, Funk Metal, Industrial Metal, Speed Metal and even Folk Metal. Please under any circumstances DO NOT add Kat-Tun!

The Top Ten Greatest Japanese Metal Bands

1 BabyMetal Babymetal is a Japanese metal idol band. Their line-up consists of Suzuka Nakamoto as "Su-metal", Yui Mizuno as "Yuimetal", and Moa Kikuchi as "Moametal".

No matter what you say, babymetal is still metal and will always be metal. If you are a genre expert, how come you always stay on comment section spouting nonsense about "this is metal, that is not metal" thing. If you still want to stick to your rules, better keep quiet and listen to your choice of music. If those famous metal bands acknowledge them, who are you to say the opposite? Better make your own band and say that you are a true metal.

Overrated as all hell, not even a metal band either and before you say "BUT THEY ARE" please tell me how heavy "alt rock" riffs combined with several other styles of music including, Trance and even reggae is metal? The 3 girls can sing but that's about the only good thing about them. - MetalWorldOrder

This band is... Uh... Man I can't even figure out what to say. 3 teenage girls singing j-pop vocals and dancing to metal music. Fusing the two really makes for an interesting and oddly catchy and listenable combination. They've actually become a huge hit here in the States, with their debut album going high up on the charts and hitting #1 on the iTunes metal charts. They've even been praised by well-known metal artists like M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold, Matt Heafy of Trivium, Marty Friedman, and even members of Metallica have reacted positively to them. I'm a diehard metalhead who's listened to everything from Avenged Sevenfold to Black Sabbath to Dying Fetus to Satyricon, and I can say that this is probably one of the best metal acts to come out of Japan. - MetalFoREVer1228

Uniquely there are metal bands from Japan who combine j pop with metal and they are still young and beautiful

2 Dir en Grey Dir En Grey is a Japanese heavy metal band formed in 1997 and currently signed to Firewall Div., a sub-division of Free-Will.

One of the best metal band from Japan. Their song "Vinuskha" is a masterpiece!

It is hard to find words to describe the creative spectrum that Dir en Grey has made their own. Their compositions range from old school heavy metal to progressive, alternative metal, experimental, neo-classical metal while all the while the members incorporate the peak of instrumental skill- sets of the scene. The depth, the emotional power, the political and social contexts of their songs still search its equal and can hardly be matched by any of the other top-scoring J-Rock/J-Metal acts with similar international acclaim.

More than 15 years consistent with their genre and give different feeling in every album released, I can't stop my body to move when listen their song

They can do anything from alt rock to death metal. That is impressive - MetalFoREVer1228

3 X Japan X Japan is a Japanese heavy metal band from Chiba, formed in 1982 by drummer Yoshiki and lead vocalist Toshi.

Founding father, totally deserve and must be in the number 1. Started the metal scene and very first Japanese metal band can compete with Jpop musician on the Oricon chart.
"X Japan by far is the most famous & versatile. They plays heavist music and soft at the same time. Other metal bands have no guts to do that." - Marty Friedman

Long time band despite going inactive for a while but still a great band. Of the Japanese bands I listen to, I put them at number one no questions asked.

A dark, melancholic yet powerful feel, visual kei perfection

Its just amazing especially the times when Hide was alive. I just love there performances and songs.

4 Maximum The Hormone

Koi No Mega Lover? Zetsubou Billy? WHAT'S UP PEOPLE? These guys are awesome! Ryo and Nao are the Japanese brother and sister version of Dimebag Darrell and Vinnie Paul!

I love their diversity and virtuosity! - Flav

How is that baby metal crap ahead of these guys?

Wanna know metal, listen to them.

5 Intestine Baalism Intestine Baalism is a death metal band hailing from Tokyo/Kanto, Japan. The band was formed in 1991 as "Euthanasia" and changed 1992 their name to "Intestine Baalism", which is a term for the Sumerian god of the harvest. more.

What 47!? they are one of the best death metal bands in the world!

One of my favorite Death Metal bands. They combine Melodic Death Metal with Old-School Death Metal, which sounds very interesting and brutal. Listen to some of their songs and you'll fall in love with them: e.g. "Banquet in the Darkness", "Agony in the Stone Chamber".
If you are not into Melodic Death Metal or Death Metal you might skip this, but if not: Give them a try!

Wish more people knew about them. Also wish they would bring out more albums. - Flav

6 The GazettE The Gazette, originally known as Gazette, is a Japanese visual kei rock band from Kanagawa formed in early 2002. The band is currently signed to Sony Music Records.

Go and listen their DIM album. And you will know how great they are.

The GazettE is the best band in the world! Their songs hold messages, sadness & true emotions! Also, they're an inspiration n super hot

Best out of all jrock band

Grrreeeaaattt remember the urge!

7 Fastkill
8 Galneryus Galneryus is a Japanese power metal band, formed in 2001 by Yama-B (original vocalist) and Syu (guitarist). The band now consists of Syu (lead guitarist and backing vocalist), Masatoshi Ono a.k.a Sho (lead vocalist), Taka (bassist), Yuhki (keyboardist) and Morishita Fumiya (drummer). Galneryus are best more.

One of the best neoclassical power metal bands out there. Both singers that have been in the band are very great at their singing, the atmosphere in the music gives it an almost holy feeling that would make it sacrilegious to defy it, and Syu is an awesome guitarist.

Galneryus is the best power metal band out there. It deserves a place among the top 3! Both the singers are great and the music is divine. Listening to a song of galneryus gives off a feeling of intense satisfaction.

Op band

Galneryus is the best band I have ever listened to. If the songs of the above mentioned bands are good, then the songs of gallery us are epic.

9 Boris Boris is a Japanese experimental band formed in 1992 in Tokyo and composed of drummer Atsuo Mizuno, guitarist/bassist Takeshi Ohtani and guitarist/keyboardist Wata, with all three members participating in vocal performance.

Are you kidding me. BabyMetal is at number 1 while the gods Boris sit back here?!?!?

10 Girugamesh

Loud band, with some of the best attitudes in the business

Great they are awesome I love them

The Contenders

11 Sex Machineguns
12 Desecravity Desecravity is a technical brutal death metal band from Tokio/Kanto, Japan, which was formed in 2007 and is currently signed to Willowtip Records. They released 2 full-length albums so far, which are both very little known among metal fans. more.

This. Is. Brutal.

Like the most incredible thing I've seen in the Tech-Death world. Their album "Orphic Signs" is a Brutal Technical Death Metal masterpiece.

Just watch their music videos on YouTube and you'll see how incredible their instrumentation is. - Flav

13 Loudness

They Started the whole thing

Saw them here in Vegas and it was a blast. Husband saw them in Japan years ago.

They brought the genre to Japan. - Caleb9000

Best Japanese Band ever

14 Anthem

Easily the best band to come out of Japan. For those unfamiliar with them, check out Domestic Booty or Bound to Break - dubsinthetubs

15 Vomit Remnants Vomit Remnants is a Brutal Death Metal band from Tokyo, Japan, which was formed in 1997 and are currently signed to Unique Leader Records. They released besides 2 EPs and 2 split-albums only one full-length called "Supreme Entity" so far and are rather unknown among metal fans. more.

You like Slam? Then check this out!
Much brutal. Very slam. Such Death Metal. Wow. - Flav

16 Terror Squad

Very good Prog Thrash. - Flav

17 D'espairsRay

The best Japanese band ever...

18 Shadow
19 Abigail
20 Sigh

Black metal at its finest

21 Deadly Spawn Deadly Spawn is a Death Metal band from Tokyo, Japan, which was formed in 1997. One of the members was a former guitarist in Japanese Death Metal band Intestine Baalism, which explains the somehow similar sound. more.

This is pretty much Intestine Baalism 2.0.
If you like Old-School Death Metal with a melodic twist in it like old Dismember or Intestine Baalism: This is your music! - Flav

22 Imperial Circus Dead Decadence Imperial Circus Dead Decadence (ICDD) is a Japanese metal band with a lot of different influences. The band was formed in 2007 in Fukuoka. They have released 2 EPs and 2 full-length albums so far, which are received well among fans of Japanese extreme metal, especially their second full-length "Kuruoshiku...". more.

Easily my favorite band on this list. They have such a unique sound to them, for example, their vocals. I can think of 7 different vocal styles they use right from the top of my head (there are probably a few more styles I could think of if I actually went and listened through all their albums right now). They also have a habit off putting the orchestra versions of some of their songs on their albums as a little bonus since their 2014 EP. I'm pretty sure the band themselves have classified themselves as "Symphonic Decadence Metal" (don't quote me on that), but since that's actually a made up genre (obviously), they would most likely fall under the symphonic extreme metal genre, but because their style of music is so unique it's hard to classify them as anything particular (their bandcamp site classify them as symphonic black metal FYI). I have no words that could actually describe how awesome this band truly is.

My favorite one of their albums is their second ...more

Overwhelming Symphonic Melodic Death Metal (? )! Its not that easy to categorize their genre, since they have a lot of different influences, just try it out they are awesome!
Especially their second studio album is highly recommended! - Flav

23 Deluhi

Insane song composing skill.
You can really see the progress, their works always been better from time to time.

24 Detroit Metal City
25 Gotsu Totsu Kotsu Gotsu Totsu Kotsu is a Death Metal band from Tokyo/Kantō, Japan. Formed in 2000, they released 3 full-length albums so far, which all had success in the underground scene, but are still very little known in the metal community. Their band name comes from the name of an ancient samurai, which they also more.

Samurai Death Metal with Slap Bass, what else do you need?
This is like the Red Hot Chili Peppers of Death Metal or Maximum The Hormone of Death Metal. Only that they haven't released a single bad album. - Flav

26 Sabbat

Black metal scythe is a classic. - reay

Come on... they deserved some respect... they are the pioneer for Japanese black/thrash metal... and still one of the best... and no SIGH?

27 Pay Money to My Pain

English fluent j-metal

28 Crossfaith

One of the best innovative thing out there, the screaming make them the Japanese The Devils Wears Prada and the electric part just throw mainstream crap like Bring Me The Horizon out of the stage.

The best band I have ever seen live.

Dubstep and metal... they managed to merge them into perfection :D

'Why don't you take that drink and chug it?... EEEYAAHHH! '

29 Transgressor Transgressor is a Death/Doom metal band from Tokyo, Japan, which was formed in 1989 and split up in 2002. They released only 1 full-length, 1 EP and 1 split-album, before their break-up, but still their only LP "Ether for Scapegoat" is considered as a metal classic in the death metal underground scene. more.
30 Siam Shade

Siam Shade is awesome. A band that always believed in its sound and with all talented members.

31 Versailles

Perfect combination of power metal sounds and symphonic framework.

32 Yousei Teikoku

Nice atmosphere, the band's been evolving a lot through time.

Yui's got a very great voice. Nice instrumental.

Great band.

I simply fell in love with this band since I first heard them. Their music is something else with fantasy feeling!
Join the subjects!

Spectacual band. Hard driving guitars and Yui's amazing vocals. One of the best bands I've heard.

33 Onmyo-Za
34 Dragon Guardian

They are if DragonForce was more than just speed!

35 Fear, and Loathing in Las Vegas

Electronica metalcore. Insane drum parts, and ridiculous guitar parts that aren't even noticed in the first few listens because the focus is on the vocals. And damn, those vocals. Sure the cleans are autotuned but it's part of the sound. Nothing to stress over. But those black metal screams (that rip and are clean to the core) from the keyboardist (who is classically trained on piano and can play a beautiful melody in the midst of a hardcore song). Damn. This band doesn't leave any part alone, not even the bass. Beautifully put together if you take the time to sort out the chaos into individual parts. Even if you don't, the songs can be catchy, brutal, straight up weird. But this band has it all.

36 Serpent Serpent is a Melodic Death Metal Band from Kobe, Japan. They formed in 1993 as Awaken and changed their name in 1994 to Serpent. They split up in 2000, but reformed in 2002 and are still active. more.

Awesome Japanese melodic death metal with hints of symphonic, black and neoclassical elements in it.
Sadly they have only 2 albums, but both of them rule hard! - Flav

37 Band-Maid
38 Nocturnal Bloodlust
39 Blood Stain Child
40 Rise of the Northstar

They're french, not japanese - Escavan

41 Serenity in Murder Serenity in Murder is a Japanese symphonic melodic death metal band with black metal influences, formed 2009 in Tokyo. more.

This is very good symphonic melodic death metal! Especially their second album "The Highest of Dystopia" is a masterpiece.
Go listen to them, you won't regret it. You also won't believe that the vocalist is female. - Flav

42 Dead End

Best Band Period, Many styles and beastly Guitar Solo's

43 Moi Dix Mois

Greatest Japan Metal Band EVER!


One of the best bands in the world.

Amazing vocals! My favorite song of theirs is "Ageha. "

45 Lightning

If you don't belive me, listen yourself.

46 Thousand Leaves A Thousand Leaves is the 10th studio album by the American experimental rock band Sonic Youth, released on May 12, 1998, by DGC Records.
47 Coldrain

Favourite band, and met the whole band. They are incredible live and need all the recognition they can get.

Best Japanese band out there enough said

It's coldrain what do you expect

48 Deathgaze


49 Coffins Coffins is a Death/Doom Metal band from Tokyo/Kanto, Japan, which was formed in 1996 and is currently signed to Relapse Records. They released 4 full-length albums, 3 EPs and several split-albums so far, but are still little known in the metal community. more.
50 Abingdon Boys' School

Not metal but very good rock band.

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