Top 10 Best Alternative Metal Bands

The Top Ten
1 Tool Tool is an American alternative metal/progressive metal band, that was formed in 1990.

The band is set together between Maynard James Keenan (Vocals), Danny Carey (Drums), Adam Jones (Guitar) and since 1995 Justin Chancellor (Bass).

The band is known for their influences from electronic... read more

Tool is definitely the most alternative metal band ever. The band uses the strangest bass and drum play and mixes this with all kinds of sound effects until it's all good. Maynard's voice expresses anger in a different way than other metal bands do. It's more a deep hate, but you can only get to this when you lose yourself in its complex lyrics and music.

System of a Down is also a really alternative metal band but doesn't come near Tool in musical compositions, lyrics, and vocals. And seriously, people, Linkin Park, Breaking Benjamin, and Three Days Grace aren't even metal! And Avenged Sevenfold is the boy band of metal. They aren't even alternative!

2 System of a Down System of a Down, formed in 1994, is an Armenian-American alternative metal group from Glendale, California. The band name is sometimes shortened to System or SOAD. They've always been a very political band since their inception. Often being against genocide and war most notably in songs like: Pluck,... read more

I'm not sure anyone has had as much of a groundbreaking, brash, yet melodic sound like them. They can switch from something beautiful and honest to something unusual and absurd in a split second, yet still hold true to what the song was about and even save face in the process. Pure talent.

I have to say, System of a Down has to be one of the best bands ever. The music is so amazing that you can't stop listening to them.

The best songs are the older ones (albums: System of a Down 1998, Toxicity, and Steal This Album), but some of the newer ones (albums: Hypnotize and Mesmerize) are good too. I know the band is over, but they should really make more music. They still go on tours.

3 Breaking Benjamin Breaking Benjamin is a American post-grunge/alternative metal/rock band formed in 1998. The bands members all changed in the time between 2010 to 2014, with the exception of Ben Burnley (Vocals). The Ex-Members included Chad Szeliga (Drums), Aaron Fink (Guitar) and Mark Klepaspi (Bass)... read more

The reason a great alternative band brings havoc is simply voice work. Ben, in this respect, is a truly extremely underestimated person. His energetic voice work can change everything in every metal/heavy metal/rock piece you've heard, ever. Breaking Benjamin wouldn't be anything without this badass voice.

Of course, their instrumentalists do their great part. The new lineup also has a great drummer, and the guitars, if anything, have improved a lot.

The first and only band in my life whose songs are all amazing is Breaking Benjamin. It's incredible that I liked each and every song of this band. When I first listened to them, I wondered how I could have missed this band for all the past years. And yeah, Breaking Benjamin have made me feel like a rockstar. They deserve to be at the top of the list. When it comes to alternative metal, Benjamin rules.

4 Linkin Park Linkin Park is an American alternative rock band formed in Agoura Hills, California, in 1996. The current members include Mike Shinoda (vocals, keyboards, rhythm guitar), Brad Delson (guitar), Dave "Phoenix" Farrell (bass), Joe Hahn (DJ), and Rob Bourdon (drums). Linkin Park is associated with a mixture... read more

What? Slipknot is better than Linkin Park? You've got to be kidding me.

First of all, Corey can't even scream for 18 seconds straight. Second, Linkin Park's vocalists are cleaner than Slipknot. Third, they have more meaning in their songs. And last, LINKIN PARK is the best alternative band in the world!

Even though Linkin Park used a variety of genres within their musical career, they are well known for a lot of alternative metal/nu metal songs such as "One Step Closer," "Papercut," "Given Up," and "Points of Authority."

It's undeniable that Linkin Park is one of the most well-known bands of all time. That's why they deserve to be rated higher.

5 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... read more

If we compared Korn with songs like Falling Away from Me, Freak on a Leash, Coming Undone, Twisted Transistor, Somebody Someone, Make Me Bad, Clown, and Alone I Break, surely Korn would beat System of a Down.

But actually, System of a Down is more successful and popular than Korn. The System of a Down album from 2001 was the most successful metal album in 2001, but not the best.

One of the few angsty teen bands that are actually good, and where the angst feels real. I mean, just listen to the song Daddy, a very disturbing song, yet my favorite by Korn.

6 Alice In Chains Alice in Chains is an American grunge/alternative metal band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1987 by guitarist and songwriter Jerry Cantrell and original lead vocalist Layne Staley.

Alice in Chains is a band that people either hate or hold as epic. They have a way of expressing emotions that people find hard to even comprehend.

In hard times, they have given me and members of my family hope and self-respect. If it were me, they'd be at the top of this list. May you live within all you touch, Layne Staley. RIP.

Alice paved the way to bridge alternative or grunge with metal. They were the influence for a lot of today's alt-metal bands, including Tool, who have had Staley sing with them. Maynard has sung with Alice as well.

7 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. They have released a total of 9 studio albums. Some of their most popular songs are Change (in... read more

These guys are the TRUE definition of alternative metal. Linkin Park and Korn are nu-metal, Tool is progressive metal, Rage Against the Machine and Slipknot are heavy metal, and Three Days Grace, Breaking Benjamin, and Disturbed are just modern metal. Alice in Chains doesn't even come close to fitting the criteria of alternative metal, and System of a Down just sounds like...

Deftones set a massive example for alternative metal. They are so underrated nowadays. Some of these bands don't even qualify to be labeled as alternative metal, just because they're not alternative.

Deftones were no ordinary band. The guitar riffs made you pumped up, the bass was thumping, and the drumming was so experimental. And Chino's voice was the beginning of something new. That's all I have to say.

8 Rage Against the Machine Rage Against the Machine is a rap metal 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.

Rage is the best, hands down! Know Your Enemy, Killing in the Name, Bullet in the Head, all great songs with awesome guitar by Tom Morello.

The best mix of rock, rap/hip hop, and funk I've ever listened to. Not to mention, their political lyrics add to the great music too.

Nobody mixes rock, hip hop, and funk quite like them, or as well as them.

9 Faith No More Faith No More is an American alternative metal 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.

At one time, until about a year ago, I was like a lot of the world and thought that all they had was Epic. Boy, was I wrong! They are awesome. Epic is not even their best song. They are as good as any of the bands in front of them on here. They might not get the radio play, but just look up these songs: Last Cup of Sorrow, Falling to Pieces, From Out of Nowhere, Midlife Crisis, and their best song, The Real Thing. The Real Thing has to be one of the best songs ever.

What is Faith No More doing at the bottom of the top ten? They are credited with inventing alternative metal. They are the best alternative metal band, but System of a Down, Tool, and Breaking Benjamin are more popular.

10 Slipknot Slipknot is an American metal band formed in Des Moines, Iowa in 1996. The band is best known as one of the pioneers of the New Wave of American Alternative Metal during the late 1990s - 2000s and are distinguishable by the band's clothing choices, consisting of black/red jumpsuits and horror inspired... read more

Ever since alt-metal became defined as the most emotional sub-genre in terms of lyrical content and power behind a song, no band has exhibited more emotion in their discography than Slipknot, and my mind will never be changed from this. Hearing the behind-the-scenes notes and interviews from the band about Iowa and .5: The Gray Chapter is gut-wrenching, to say the least. I'm yet to see a band get close to matching the prowess of this group.

Haha. You must be kidding me, right? System of a Down, Tool, Breaking Benjamin, and Disturbed above Slipknot? Are you kidding me?

Slipknot was the world's best metal band in the 00s and one of the best of all time. You can't beat these gods.

The Contenders
11 Three Days Grace Three Days Grace is a Canadian post-grunge/alternative rock band formed in Norwood, Ontario in 1992 with a line-up consisting of guitarist and lead vocalist Adam Gontier, drummer and backing vocalist Neil Sanderson, and bassist Brad Walst. Their original name was Groundswell until they changed it to... read more

One of the greatest bands of our time. Their songs are catchy, dark without being depressing, and inspirational. They also send a strong message of hope and tell you not to give up, no matter how bad it gets.

This band has helped me through some really rough times. And Adam Gontier's voice is so unique and powerful. Just amazing.

Three Days Grace has something in every song that makes it special. When I first listened to Animal I Have Become, I felt so much tension and inspiration.

Few bands can create such dark and meaningful songs embraced with so much quality. Adam's vocals are simply amazing, and the instrumentals are phenomenal.

12 Disturbed Disturbed is an American alternative metal/nu-metal/hard rock band from Chicago, Illinois. The band comprises vocalist David Draiman, bassist John Moyer, guitarist Dan Donegan, and drummer Mike Wengren. They are known for songs like "Down With the Sickness" and "Stricken".

Another one of my favorite bands. David Draiman's voice is more unique and powerful than any other around. These guys have been amazing from the start with "The Sickness" record. Now they are one of the kings of heavy/alt-metal.

Disturbed is the best band ever. Every song is aggressive and has a deep meaning. That is what I seek in an alternative band! Disturbed is not a better band than Breaking Benjamin because they are a little bit better in vocals. Thanks to Ben Burnley.

David Draiman has a better voice than Chester. Disturbed is much better than Linkin Park. Disturbed must be number 1!

13 Avenged Sevenfold Avenged Sevenfold is an American heavy metal band, that was formed 1999 in California. Their longest lineup of members was M. Shadows (Vocals), Synyster Gates (Lead Guitar), Zacky Vengeance (Rhythm Guitar), Johnny Christ (Bass Guitar), and The Rev (Drums)... read more

Okay, A7X is my favorite alternative metal band (and of all time), and because of that, I am biased in my decision that they are the best. Synyster Gates (Guitar) - his rhythm guitar and melodies are extremely good. His playing is smooth yet ridiculously fast.

Zacky Vengeance (Guitar) - His rhythm guitar is brilliant, though you don't really pay that much attention to him in the band. M. Shadows (Vocalist) - He isn't the greatest of singers and he whines a lot in his lyrics, but his vocals change often, making it a brilliant experience to listen to.

The Rev (ex-drummer, now deceased) - His drumming is insanely tight. His rhythms are brilliant, and he is the best drummer I have ever heard play. Johnny Christ (Bassist) - His bass skills are good, but as with Zacky, you don't really pay attention to him.

Arin Ilejay (new drummer) - We haven't heard him play yet, but from the previews of the new Avenged Sevenfold album, I think we can safely say that the band will keep their reputation for tight drumming and insane guitar solos.

14 Helmet Helmet is an American alternative metal band from New York City formed in 1989. Founded by vocalist and lead guitarist Page Hamilton, Helmet has had numerous lineup changes, and Hamilton has been the only constant member.

This is not true. Helmet should be higher on the list, at least the 4th best alternative metal band. Hamilton has a strong, powerful voice that can beat any other alternative metal band. That is why Helmet deserves to be in the top ten.

Helmet has created this genre, and every band here is inspired by them.

They influenced many metal bands out there. Should be in the top 10!

15 Primus Primus is an American funk metal 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",... read more

They're amazing. No failed album, and each member is extremely talented (seriously, the drummer, the bassist, and the guitarist all have mad chops). Their live jamming is tremendously underrated, they are very entertaining, and their way of composing songs is totally unique. They're one of the most original bands ever.

Their style falls into various categories, and one of them is alt-metal. Indeed, songs like Tommy the Cat and Jerry Was a Race Car Driver really have an alt-metal sound.

Les Claypool is one of the best bass virtuosos, and I can't see how Linkin Park is above Primus.

16 Chevelle Chevelle is an American alternative metal band that formed in 1995 in the Chicago suburb of Grayslake, Illinois. The band was originally composed of brothers: Pete Loeffler, Sam Loeffler and Joe Loeffler.

Chevelle should be way closer to the top of the list. They are unique, talented, and just pure awesome. Their songs never get old, and each one is one of a kind. Pete's voice is amazing. I would kill for his vocals. Pete can show anything from sadness to anger to complete hatred in his voice. Either way, his voice is beautiful.

Their lyrics are amazing. Each song has its own deep meaning. Their melodic sound is the best. The electric guitar is great, the drums are great, and the bass is just perfect.

When I listen to them, I just get lost in the music, and I'm pretty much in my own "happy world" haha. All in all, Chevelle is most definitely the BEST alt-metal band you will ever come across.

And come on, Breaking Benjamin, Linkin Park, Avenged Sevenfold, Three Days Grace, seriously? No! Yeah, they may be pretty good bands sometimes (ahem, except Linkin Park...), but they are far from alternative metal. We need more bands like Chevelle, Tool, and Deftones. Mainly Chevelle. But yeah... come on. Get real.

17 Evanescence Evanescence is an American alternative rock/alternative metal band. It was founded in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1995 by singer/pianist Amy Lee and guitarist Ben Moody.

The singer has such a beautiful voice. Their songs have deep meanings that many enjoy.

It doesn't make my ears burst like some other music I've heard. It's soft at times, though they are still capable of making it sound like metal, which is just awesome. Those of you who like some dark music should definitely give this band a try.

This list is disgusting. Evanescence is the best alternative metal band, alongside Linkin Park, and Amy is the best singer.

Evanescence has the most beautiful songs (in a heavy guitar way) I have ever heard.

18 Nine Inch Nails Nine Inch Nails is an American industrial rock band, founded in 1988 by Trent Reznor in Cleveland, Ohio.

Are they alt-metal? Well, they're great either way.

19 Soundgarden Soundgarden was an American grunge/alternative metal band formed in Seattle, Washington, in 1984 by singer and rhythm guitarist Chris Cornell, lead guitarist Kim Thayil, and bassist Hiro Yamamoto. Chris Cornell died on May 17th, 2017.

My favorite grunge band. Seriously, why haven't more people voted them up?

Classic '90s band vs. modern rock radio? I hope the choice isn't that hard.

They are much more alt-metal than LP. While Chester is great, Chris Cornell is amazing! Kim Thayil is way better than Brad Delson.

Overall, vote up Soundgarden!

20 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 ... read more

Rammstein is my favorite band. They introduced me to the world of metal. The German language in their songs makes it 100 percent more brutal. When you translate their lyrics, you will love them twice as much. I'm not surprised that they are restricted in Germany for those younger than 21.

I understand why this is so low. Firstly, it is German, and (almost) nobody wants to listen to another language. Secondly, it is industrial, not alternative, but they are still the best.

Well, I will vote for them anyway since I love Rammstein, but they are mainly industrial metal, so I understand why they are so low on this list.

21 A Perfect Circle A Perfect Circle is an American alternative rock supergroup formed in 1999 by guitarist Billy Howerdel and Tool vocalist Maynard James Keenan.

Definitely deserves to be right behind (or in front of) Tool! Maynard James Keenan is awesome in all his bands. A Perfect Circle needs to at least be in the top 10, as they sound awesome, and I'm sure many would agree!

MJK's main project, Tool, is well-deserving of its #1 spot. But to have his second project of similarly incredible quality so low at #44? Disappointing. This needs to be higher.

Much better than these posers. Tool, Primus, Melvins, APC, and Helmet are the real deal, folks.

22 Melvins The Melvins are an American sludge metal band that formed in 1983 in Montesano, Washington. They usually perform as a trio, but in recent years have performed as a four piece with two drummers.

They invented sludge! If it wasn't for them, genres like grunge and sludge wouldn't even exist.

Soundgarden and the Melvins should be much higher on this list.

23 White Zombie White Zombie was an American heavy metal band that formed in 1985. Based in New York City, White Zombie was originally a noise rock band, and was known for its later heavy metal-oriented sound.
24 Red Red is an American Christian alternative metal/alternative rock band from Nashville, Tennessee. The band was formed in 2002 by brothers Anthony Armstrong (guitarist) and Randy Armstrong (bassist), along with lead vocalist Michael Barnes.

I honestly think Red should deserve a spot at least in the twenties. I, and I'm sure many others too, feel that Red is under-credited too much. They are an amazing band that can go from slow and soft to sharp and heavy. The way in which they approach music is something new and very exciting.

Each song they have created has its own unique voice, which I find pretty awesome. Hell, whenever I introduce Red to people who definitely express their dislike for anything related to metal (whether it even be alternative rock), they fall in love with them and tell me how much Red's music is amazing and something they've never heard before. Red deserves a higher place, and I hope people soon come to realize just what an amazingly creative and talented band they are.

25 Skillet Skillet is an American Christian rock band formed in Memphis, Tennessee in 1996 and based in the United States.

Skillet is just such a great band with some great music.

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