Top 10 Metal Musicians Who Started Significant Side Projects

Metal_Treasure
Projects can be metal or non-metal but musicians who started them must be metal.

The Top Ten

1 Mike Portnoy - Liquid Tension Experiment, Metal Allegiance, Adrenaline Mob Mike Portnoy - Liquid Tension Experiment, Metal Allegiance, Adrenaline Mob Michael Portnoy is an American drummer primarily known as the former drummer, backing vocalist, and a co-founder of the progressive metal/rock band Dream Theater. Known for his technical skill as a drummer, Portnoy has won 30 awards from the Modern Drummer magazine.

3 side projects. - Metal_Treasure

2 Tobias Sammet - Avantasia Tobias Sammet - Avantasia Tobias Sammet is a German metal musician, best known as the vocalist and primary songwriter of the power metal band Edguy, as well as the founder, main singer and bassist of the metal opera Avantasia.
3 Jon Schaffer - Demons & Wizards, Sons Of Liberty Jon Schaffer - Demons & Wizards, Sons Of Liberty Jon Ryan Schaffer is an American heavy metal musician. He is best known as the guitarist and last remaining original member of the Florida-based heavy metal band Iced Earth, which he formed in 1985 under the name "Purgatory".

He started 2 side projects, both are metal. - Metal_Treasure

4 Alex Skolnick - Alex Skolnick Trio, Metal Allegiance Alex Skolnick - Alex Skolnick Trio, Metal Allegiance Alexander Nathan Skolnick, is an American metal and jazz guitarist who is the lead guitarist of the Bay Area thrash metal band Testament, and heads the jazz band Alex Skolnick Trio.

A musician who started 2 side projects.
Alex Skolnick Trio is a jazz trio. Yep, our thrasher is also a jazzer. - Metal_Treasure

5 Mikael Akerfeldt - Bloodbath Mikael Akerfeldt - Bloodbath Lars Mikael Åkerfeldt is a Swedish musician, prominently known as the lead vocalist, guitarist, and primary songwriter of progressive death metal band Opeth, as well as being the former vocalist of death metal supergroup Bloodbath for three albums up until 2012. ...read more.

Bloodbath was founded in 1998 by friends Mikael Åkerfeldt, Anders Nyström, Jonas Renkse and Dan Swanö (Swedish metal musicians from different metal bands). - Metal_Treasure

6 Phil Anselmo - Down Phil Anselmo - Down Philip Hansen "Phil" Anselmo is an American musician who is best known as the former lead vocalist of the heavy metal band Pantera. He currently is the vocalist of heavy metal bands Down and Superjoint Ritual.

Formed in 1991. Because Pantera disbanded, it's not a side project for him anymore but it was for about 13 years. - Metal_Treasure

7 Ron Jarzombek - Blotted Science Ron Jarzombek - Blotted Science Ron Jarzombek is an American metal guitarist hailed as one of the most influential progressive metal guitarists and has been called "the Godfather of Technical Metal". He's best known for his work with WatchTower, Spastic Ink, and Blotted Science, featuring Alex Webster of Cannibal Corpse. His older ...read more.
8 Hansi Kürsch - Demons & Wizards Hansi Kürsch - Demons & Wizards Hansi Kürsch, born Hans Jürgen Kürsch, is the lead singer, lyricist, co-composer and bassist for German power metal band Blind Guardian . Heavily influenced by Freddie Mercury, he creates a huge choir effect by overdubbing his own voice multiple times in complex, overlapping vocal harmonies. He records ...read more.
9 David Ellefson - Metal Allegiance David Ellefson - Metal Allegiance David Warren "Dave" Ellefson is an American bassist and co-founding member of the American thrash metal band Megadeth from 1983-2002 and again from 2010-present.
10 Russell Allen - Adrenaline Mob, Allen/Lande Russell Allen - Adrenaline Mob, Allen/Lande

These are 2 side projects.
Technically, Allen/Lande was formed by Italian record company Frontiers but none of the band members are Italian and the main members are singers Russell Allen and Jørn Lande.
It even takes its name from its two singers, Symphony X vocalist Russell Allen and former Masterplan vocalist Jørn Lande. - Metal_Treasure

The Contenders

11 Tony Kakko - Northern Kings Tony Kakko - Northern Kings Toni Kristian "Tony" Kakko is a Finnish musician, composer and vocalist. He is mainly known as the vocalist, primary songwriter, and creative force in the band Sonata Arctica since 1996.

It was founded by 4 finnish metal singers but Tony Kakko is probably the most known among them. The others are:
Marco Hietala
Jarkko Ahola
Juha-Pekka Leppäluoto - Metal_Treasure

12 Dan Swanö - Bloodbath Dan Swanö - Bloodbath Dan-Erland Swanö is a Swedish musician who is currently the vocalist, guitarist, ex-bassist and ex-drummer for the band Nightingale, lately vocalist, keyboardist and drummer for the band Witherscape, as well as the Owner of Unisound but he achieved fame as the vocalist and songwriter of progressive ...read more.
13 Jonas Renkse - Bloodbath Jonas Renkse - Bloodbath Jonas Petter Renkse (born 19 May 1975, Sweden) is a founding member, songwriter, lead vocalist (1991–1994, 1997-) and ex-drummer (1991–1994, 1996–1998) of the band Katatonia; founding member, songwriter, bassist, backing vocalist, ex-guitarist (2004) of the band Bloodbath.
14 Jarkko Ahola - Northern Kings Jarkko Ahola - Northern Kings Jarkko Kalevi Ahola is a Finnish performing artist, composer and singer, best known as a metal singer. He is the vocalist, bass player and one of the three songwriters of the metal band Teräsbetoni. He also started a solo career as Ahola, a metal band.
15 Marco Hietala - Northern Kings Marco Hietala - Northern Kings Marko Tapani "Marco" Hietala is a Finnish heavy metal vocalist, bass guitarist and songwriter (Nightwish, Tarot).
16 Anders Nyström - Bloodbath
17 Juha-Pekka JP Leppäluoto - Northern Kings Juha-Pekka JP Leppäluoto - Northern Kings
18 Tobias Forge - Ghost

It was originally a project. And what a succesful one - SoldierOfFortune

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