Best Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Bands of the 90s

The Top Ten

1 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.

Kings of Metal. Best live band ever and I've seen 100s.

Pantera is probably the best heavy metal band ever and they kept metal alive in the 90's better than slayer and Metallica

No need to explain, when you think of the 90's these guys are the second to pop up after Nirvana

No need to explain these guys are the first band you think of when it comes to 90's metal.

2 Blind Guardian Blind Guardian Blind Guardian is a German power metal band formed in the mid-1980s in West Germany. They are often credited as one of the seminal and most influential bands in the power metal and speed metal subgenres. Heavily influenced by Queen, they use the technique of overdubbing. They also incorporate large more.

One of the metal bands that kept underground metal alive - great musicianship and creativity; developed their own unique style and sound.
Their albums Nightfall In Middle-Earth (1998) and Imaginations from the Other Side (1995) are considered as essential power metal albums.

They are the only metal band I know that has been improving over time - every next album is better than the previous one (altogether 10 awesome albums). Similarly to other people, I'm also beginning to think that Blind Guardian are comparable to Iron Maiden and Judas Priest in terms of quality and consistency. - Metal_Treasure

Best power metal band ever

3 Guns N' Roses Guns N' Roses Guns 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 more.

Most overrated band of all time

They are number one in my book!

Should be Number one

Most popular band of the 80s/90s needs to be in the #1 spot!

4 Iced Earth Iced Earth Iced Earth is an American heavy metal band from Tampa, Florida. It was formed in 1985 under the name Purgatory by guitarist and main songwriter Jon Schaffer and original drummer Greg Seymour.

Best best under rated band

90s - not the best timing for new metal bands but these guys were (and still are) awesome.
Dante's Inferno (1995) - one of the most epic metal songs (16:26) and one of the best. - Metal_Treasure

5 Metallica 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.

How is Metallica so low? Almost every modern heavy metal band took inspiration from them! They are the greatest thrash metal band of all time!

Awesome as hell band

90's Metallica sucks.

90's Metallica was pretty good, especially with the Black album if you haven't noticed. - PhoenixAura81


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6 Annihilator Annihilator Annihilator is a Canadian thrash metal band founded in 1984 by vocalist, guitarist, bassist, songwriter, engineer, producer, mixer and mastering engineer Jeff Waters and former vocalist John Bates.

Awesome technical thrash metal.
Songs: Phantasmagoria, Imperiled Eyes, Sixes and Sevens, King of the Kill, The Fun Palace, 21. - Metal_Treasure

7 Korn Korn Korn is an American Nu-Metal band from Bakersfield, California, formed in 1993. The band's current lineup includes founding members Jonathan Davis, James "Munky" Shaffer, Brian "Head" Welch, and Reginald "Fieldy" Arvizu, with the addition of Ray Luzier, who replaced the band's original member, David more.

Korn REALLY popularized the
Nu metal genre they're definitely one of my favorite bands


8 Alice In Chains Alice In Chains Alice in Chains is an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1987 by guitarist and songwriter Jerry Cantrell and original lead vocalist Layne Staley.

Why is Nirvana ahead of Alice in chains? I never got that. - Sabbath

I love their song Rooster

Alice in Chains #1 Guns n roses only had one good album

Great band aic and pantera were the best heavy metal bands of the 90's

9 Death 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.
10 Iron Maiden Iron Maiden Iron Maiden are an English Heavy Metal / Hard Rock 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 more.

Should be number 1

Accident of Birth & The Chemical Wedding are metal classics! 2 of the greatest albums I've ever heard.

The Contenders

11 Savatage Savatage Savatage is an American heavy metal band founded by the brothers Jon and Criss Oliva in 1978 at Astro Skate in Tarpon Springs, Florida.
12 Megadeth 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.

This band had some great records in 90's with there best lineup they the all time classics rust in piece (still thrash metal) and the more heavy metal albums countdown to extinction, youthNasia, and cryptic writings only bad album was 1999 hard rock attempt risk people think of them more of an 80s band but the 90's definitely had there best lineup and a lot of good records

First of all: "Rust in Peace" is from 1990, so it counts in. If that metal masterpiece and best metal album of all time does not convince you that Megadeth should be in the top (alongside GN'R and Pantera), there are two next awesome records: "Countdown to Extinction" (1992) and "Youthanasia" (1994)... First half of 90's were the golden years for Megadeth.

Should be #1, best mix of technical playing and song quality.

An incredible band that reinvents their sound. Should be higher on the list.

13 Tool Tool Tool is an American progressive/alternative/post-metal band, that was formed in 1990. more.

It's sad that Limp Bizkit is above them

Tool and Pantera were the best metal bands in the 90's

It's truly sad that such a huge band is this low on the list.


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14 Nirvana Nirvana Nirvana was an American grunge band that was formed in Aberdeen, Washington in 1987. Nirvana disbanded after Kurt Cobain committed suicide in 1994. The drummer of the band, David Grohl, went on to start the Foo-Fighters, an alternative rock band. more.

Yeah I agree with @Metal_Treasure here they are not a hard rock or heavy metal band. - zxm

Nirvana's a bit overrated and definitely isn't metal

They were good, a bit overrated though.

My opinion is I like Nirvana way better then pantera. Nirvana should be #1

15 Rage Against the Machine Rage Against the Machine Rage Against the Machine is a rock band formed in Los Angeles, California. The band consists of vocalist Zack de la Rocha, bassist Tim Commerford, guitarist Tom Morello and drummer Brad Wilk.

When it comes to Rap Metal they beat KoRn and limp bizkit by a LONG shot

Great band pretty much invented nu metal way before korn

16 Limp Bizkit Limp Bizkit Limp Bizkit is an American nu metal band from Jacksonville, Florida, formed in 1994. Their lineup consists of Fred Durst, Sam Rivers, John Otto, and Wes Borland.

U r joking right? It's great that "numetal" artists r included but to put these yackoffs above System..,Tool etc. Is blasphemous.

17 Marilyn Manson

Manson deserves a higher spot. He brought back the amazing live performance showmanship that died after Alice Cooper, Kiss, Oz...passed their prime. Tourniquet is my favorite and AS best album

Hell yeah

18 Children of Bodom Children of Bodom Children Of Bodom is a melodic death metal band from Espoo, Finland. Formed in 1993, the group currently consists of Alexi Laiho, Janne Wirman, Henkka Seppälä, Jaska Raatikainen and Daniel Freyberg.
19 Soundgarden Soundgarden Soundgarden is an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1984 by singer and rhythm guitarist Chris Cornell, lead guitarist Kim Thayil, and bassist Hiro Yamamoto.

Very metal sounding band even though they are labeled as grunge just like Alice in chains

20 Gamma Ray Gamma Ray Gamma Ray is a power metal band from Hamburg, northern Germany, founded and fronted by Kai Hansen after his departure from the German power metal band Helloween.
21 Dream Theater Dream Theater Dream Theater is an American progressive metal band from Boston, Massachusetts. The band was formed in 1985 under the name of "Majesty", only to change its name to Dream Theater later. more.

Absolutely fantastic impressive band!

Dream Theater is the best band and musically better than any other band on the list and should number 1 none of the other bands can compare to the mastery that is DT.

They are Good.

22 Nine Inch Nails Nine Inch Nails Nine Inch Nails is an American industrial rock band and, founded in 1988 by Trent Reznor in Cleveland, Ohio.
23 Deftones Deftones Deftones are an American alternative metal band from Sacramento, California. The band, which was founded in 1988, consists of Chino Moreno, Stephen Carpenter, Frank Delgado, Abe Cunningham and Sergio Vega.
24 Skid Row Skid Row Skid Row is an American heavy metal band, formed in 1986 in Toms River, New Jersey. They were very successful in the late 1980s and early 1990s, with their first two albums certified multi-platinum.

Skid row is d one/bas rules!

25 Type O Negative Type O Negative Type O Negative was an American gothic/doom metal band formed in Brooklyn, New York City in 1989. Their lyrical emphasis on themes of romance, depression, and death resulted in the nickname "The Drab Four".

Type o negative should definitely be higher on this list.

26 Obituary Obituary Obituary is an American death metal band formed in October 1984 in Tampa, Florida, United States, under the name Executioner, then changed the name's spelling to Xecutioner before eventually changing their name to Obituary in 1988. The band comprises vocalist John Tardy, drummer Donald Tardy, guitarist more.
27 System of a Down System of a Down System of a Down formed in 1994 as an Armenian-American Alternative Metal group from Glendale, California. The band name is sometimes shortened to System or SOAD. more.

This list has obviously been created by a country western aficionado. You are too stupid to even mention the slights.

It is painfully sad that System of a Down, NIN & Tool, - 3 of the most original feckin awesome lyrically and musically genius artists of all time - are rated so low. what? Where's American Head Charge,AvS, Ministry? ? At least you put Pantera and AiC in a reasonable the way I didn't see Mudvayne and Vision of Disorder anywhere either : ( Sheila Luke

28 Fear Factory Fear Factory Fear Factory is an American heavy metal band that was formed in 1989. During the band's career, it has released nine full-length albums and has evolved through a succession of styles, including industrial metal, death metal, groove metal, and thrash metal.

Loved them!

29 Sepultura Sepultura Sepultura is a Brazilian heavy metal band from Belo Horizonte. Their first album, Morbid Visions presented a proto-black metal sound with Wagner Lamounier of Sarcófago. Sepultura's sound varies by the album, from thrash metal, groove metal, and even death metal.
30 Slipknot Slipknot Slipknot is an American Heavy Metal band formed in 1995 from Iowa. The band is best known as one of the pioneers of the New Wave of American Heavy Metal during the late 1990s - 2000s and are distinguishable by the band's clothing choices, consisting of black/red jumpsuits and horror inspired masks. more.
31 Gorgoroth Gorgoroth Gorgoroth is a Norwegian black metal band based in Bergen. Formed in 1992 by Infernus, the band is named after the dead plateau of evil and darkness in the land of Mordor (a fictional location in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings).
32 In Flames In Flames In Flames is a Swedish melodic death metal band from Gothenburg, Sweden, formed in 1990. more.
33 Pentagram Pentagram Pentagram is an American heavy metal band from Alexandria, Virginia, most famous as one of the pioneers of heavy metal, and the subgenre of doom metal in particular.
34 Primus Primus Primus is an American rock band based in San Francisco, California, currently composed of bassist Les Claypool, guitarist Larry LaLonde and drummer Tim Alexander. Les Claypool is regarded as one of the best bassists of all time for his slap-bass ability in notable songs like "My Name Is Mud", "The Toys more.
35 Rammstein 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.
36 Burzum Burzum Burzum is an influential black metal solo project of Norwegian musician and writer Varg Vikernes. Burzum came to prominence at the beginning of the Norwegian Black Metal scene in the early 1990s. Vikernes was imprisoned for 21 years for the murder of Mayhem guitarist Euronymous, and charges of church more.
37 Carcass Carcass Carcass are a British extreme metal band from Liverpool, who formed in 1985 and disbanded in 1995. A reformation was enacted in 2007 without one of its original members, drummer Ken Owen, due to health reasons.
38 Godsmack Godsmack Godsmack is an American rock band from Lawrence, Massachusetts, formed in 1995. The band is composed of founder, frontman and songwriter Sully Erna, guitarist Tony Rombola, bassist Robbie Merrill, and drummer Shannon Larkin.

There self titled album (1998) was one if the best albums from the 90's

39 The Offspring The Offspring The Offspring is an American punk rock band from Huntington Beach, California, formed in 1984. Formed under the name Manic Subsidal, the band consists of lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Dexter Holland, bassist Greg K., lead guitarist Kevin "Noodles" Wasserman and drummer Pete Parada.

Great band but not hard rock and certainly not metal.

Great punk band! Best albums are smash and Americana.

40 Queensrÿche Queensrÿche Queensrÿche is an American progressive heavy metal band formed in 1982 in Bellevue, Washington, out of the local band the Mob. They released their self titled EP in 1984, but didn’t gain notoriety until the release of their critically acclaimed album Operation: Mindcrime in 1988. As of now, they more.
41 Foo Fighters Foo Fighters Foo Fighters are an American rock band, formed in Seattle in 1994. The band was founded by Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl after the death of Kurt Cobain and the dissolution of his previous band. The band consists of Dave Grohl (lead vocalist, rhythm guitar, main songwriter), Pat Smear (rhythm guitar), Nate more.
42 Nightwish Nightwish Nightwish is a symphonic metal band from Kitee, Finland. The band was formed in 1996 by lead songwriter and keyboardist Tuomas Holopainen, guitarist Emppu Vuorinen, and lead singer Tarja Turunen. It's currently formed by Tuomas, Emppu, lead vocalist Floor Jansen, bassist and vocalist Marco Hietala, more.
43 Stratovarius Stratovarius Stratovarius is a Finnish power metal band that formed in 1984. Since their formation, they have released 16 studio albums, 4 DVD and 3 live albums.
44 Anthrax Anthrax Anthrax is an American thrash metal band from New York City, formed in 1981 by guitarist Scott Ian and bassist Dan Lilker.

New vocalist, new genre (groove metal) except 1990's thrash metal persistence of time everybody forgets them in the 90's but they were great with john bush great tracks including only, inside out, crush, bring the noise, got the time, belly of the beast.

This band should be easily top 5. They were one of the band's who started trash..come one people

45 Acid Bath Acid Bath Acid Bath was a seminal American sludge metal band from Houma, Louisiana that was active from 1991 to 1997. Acid Bath combined doom metal roots with influences from black metal, death metal, gothic rock, blues, folk, and country.
46 Slayer Slayer Slayer is an American thrash metal band from Huntington Park, California, formed in 1981 by guitarists Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King. They rose to fame with their 1986 album Reign in Blood, and is credited as one of the big four of thrash metal bands, the others being Metallica, Megadeth, and Anthrax. more.

It's seasons in the Abbys that is there classic album

47 Skyclad
48 Ayreon Ayreon
49 Faith No More Faith No More Faith No More is an American rock band from San Francisco, California, formed in 1979. Before settling on their current moniker in 1983, the band performed under the names Sharp Young Men and later Faith No Man.
50 Red Hot Chili Peppers Red Hot Chili Peppers The Red Hot Chili Peppers is an American funk-rock and alternative rock band, that was founded in 1983. more.

They are neither hard rock nor metal. Shouldn't be on this list. - Metal_Treasure

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500 votes
64 listings
5 years, 196 days old

Top Remixes (7)

1. Metallica
2. Pantera
3. Alice In Chains
1. Limp Bizkit
2. Nirvana
3. Pantera
1. Pantera
2. Blind Guardian
3. Guns N' Roses

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