Top 10 Best Modern Metal Bands

The Top Ten
1 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

The versatility, the musicianship, the tribute to classic metal, with the addition and willingness to experiment with something new that has not been beat to death, all contribute to how great this band is. Oh yeah, and Syn Gates is INCREDIBLE. His tone? His feel? Is he a technical virtuoso the likes of Steve Vai or Paul Gilbert? Maybe not quite there, though he is certainly close and possibly just as good but prefers to do things more musically.

But his ability to create this wicked mesh of dark carnival meets metal meets classical meets every other style you've heard is just insane. Everybody in this band is super skilled, and M Shadows is the male Janis Joplin of metal/hard rock in my opinion.

2 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

I am not a Slipknot fan but respect the skill they have. I do believe The Rev was a better drummer than Joey (RIP Rev), as you can see in songs like 'Beast and the Harlot' and 'Bat Country'. When comparing vocals, it is a personal preference, and I believe Syn has given more memorable solos. Both are metal, but Slipknot is closer to death metal, and A7X is closer to thrash metal. Please stop tearing down an amazing band, as they are very good and overlooked by music critics.

Slipknot was needed to bring heavy music to the masses. Iron Maiden brought needed melody to metal. Metallica brought speed and catchy rhythms to mainstream metal. Slipknot brought heaviness and breakneck ferocity back into metal, which was featured a lot in the underground. Slipknot was able to bring extreme metal elements to mainstream fans and make more expansive metal heads. What other band today has done that to their scale?

3 Mastodon Mastodon is an American heavy metal band from Atlanta, Georgia, formed in early 2000 and composed of bassist Troy Sanders, guitarists Brent Hinds and Bill Kelliher and drummer Brann Dailor.

All of the bands in the top ten are some of my absolute favorites. I wanted to vote for A7X, but then I realized that's what any "normie" metalhead would choose. I chose Mastodon because, well, it's Mastodon. The geniuses behind both sludge and progressive metal! Their later albums aren't as good as their earlier releases, but at least they didn't sell out unlike Metallica.

'Leviathan' is a certified hood classic, and 'Remission' is so damn underrated.

Skillful and broad in terms of musical styling, Mastodon mixes an uncompromising metal sound with a sweet and technical progressiveness. Their ability to switch from heavy riffs to intricate guitar and drum work never ceases to amaze me. No album sounds like the previous one. They epitomize the meaning of progression.

Brann Dailor's drumming style and fills are easily some of the best I have ever heard from any drummer. Mastodon is unrivaled in being the best metal band to rise to fame in the new millennium. The fourteen bands that precede them are not even in the same league (Avenged and LOG are cool, though).

4 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

With Serj Tankian on vocals, Daron Malakian on guitar and occasional vocals, Shavo Odadjian as bass guitarist and backing vocals, and John Dolmayan on drums, System of a Down is a well-known band. Serj Tankian has a very recognizable voice, and the band has a very diverse form of music seen in "Chop Suey!" and "Toxicity". This band continues to go strong. They have only made five studio albums, but a large amount of singles.

They're amazingly diverse in their compositions and pull it off almost every time. They've got the straight-up metal songs (Toxicity, Jet Pilot, B.Y.O.B., Cigaro, Prison Song, etc.), their more wacky, out-there songs (Vicinity of Obscenity, Needles, Radio/Video, Violent Pornography, Bounce, etc.), and their wonderful, ballad-style songs (Aerials, Hypnotize, Soldier Side, Question!, etc.), and it all works so well. They're recognizable almost instantly and have great musicianship, especially in the vocals section, with Serj and Daron supplementing it nicely.

Their drummer, John, is a serious force to be reckoned with. While he's no Danny Carey (I saw you on this list, Tool. I still love you), he's really good at what he does, from the straight-up blast beating to the progressive drumming. Daron's a great guitarist, able to pull off the fast-paced tremolo of B.Y.O.B., as well as the progressive chord structuring of Question!.

Overall, they're just a great band and very much deserve to be in the top three over Avenged Sevenfold, who are in no way special. Lamb of God, who are your generic metalcore band. And the "jump-up" edginess of Slipknot.

5 Lamb of God Lamb of God is an American heavy metal band from Richmond, Virginia. Formed in 1994, the group consists of vocalist Randy Blythe, guitarists Mark Morton and Willie Adler, bassist John Campbell, and drummer Chris Adler.

When Randy opens his mouth, a portal to Hell is opened, and the screaming voices of a thousand demons enter this world via his throat. When I think METAL, I think Lamb of God. They're heavy, they have grooves, their lyrics are meaningful and intelligent, they shred and, basically, they just rock.

There is nothing better in the metal scene, past or present.

Lamb of God is the absolute epitome of metal. They are the most metal metal band in history, picking up where Pantera left off. They're so heavy they make death metal sound like rock, and rock sound like nursery rhymes.

I love A7X, but I'd put them on the top of the rock list. I'd put Bullet For My Valentine on top of the steaming pile list where it belongs.

6 Gojira Gojira is a progressive metal band from Bayonne, France. The band was known as Godzilla until 2001. Gojira is composed of Joe Duplantier on vocals and rhythm guitar, his brother Mario Duplantier on drums, Christian Andreu on lead guitar, and Jean-Michel Labadie on bass.

Gojira is on their own level right now. When I think about fresh, newish metal, I think of them. They are definitely one of my favorite bands. I'm a huge Opeth fan, but they have gone progressive rock now (which I love as well) for the past ten years, so I can't really consider them modern metal. But those two bands (I would add Mastodon as well) have done more for metal than any of these blast beat, emotionless growl bands that have taken metal by storm. I love A7x as well, but there's no way they are number one.

Gojira has good depth, can go from beautiful to brutal in a well-timed transition, with beats reminiscent of the heaviest of metal sub-genres to the likes of math rock and jazz. They are great at conveying emotion without coming off as hacks or cheesy.

Well thought-out, unpretentious progressive metal without sacrificing heaviness or heart.

7 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".

With David Draiman on vocals, Dan Donegan on guitar, Mike Wengren on drums, and John Moyer on bass, this band proves to be one of the most influential bands of all time. With their very unique style of music, covers such as "Shout 2000" and "Land of Confusion" still haven't been topped. Even though they have been on a temporary hiatus since 2010, they still prove to be one of the greatest metal bands of all time.

They started off with the name Brawl, but in 1996, changed to Disturbed. David Draiman formed a band called Device in 2012 with Will Hunt (drummer of Evanescence), Virus (guitarist of Dope), and Geno Lenardo (guitarist of Filter) and have written songs like "Haze" featuring M. Shadows (singer of Avenged Sevenfold), "Vilify," and "You Think You Know." They have produced five studio albums and one compilation album, with four of the albums reaching number one on the Billboard 100 and three receiving platinum status.

8 Opeth Opeth is a Swedish progressive death metal band from Stockholm, formed in 1990 by David Isberg, who invited Mikael Akerfeldt into the band as a bassist. Isberg ended up leaving the band, which lead to Mikael becoming the band's vocalist, guitarist, principal songwriter, and driving force. Along with... read more

Opeth consists of high-class musicians and has delivered strong melodies with interesting dynamics and tempo changes over the last two decades. It was just a year ago that I discovered this band. Now, I own every single album and will remain a fan forever. They are undoubtedly one of the top bands of all time!

Sadly, the majority of musical consumers want their instant "fix" through catchy choruses and won't invest the time to let more complex compositions grow on them. Not so talented bands/artists constantly get media attention and commercial success due to their looks, a "cool" image, a single massive hit, or through releasing a few three to four minute radio-friendly songs that consist of the chorus from beginning to end.

A year later, the songs that were considered great compositions are considered embarrassing and will never be played again. I don't mind a catchy chorus, but to me, those wouldn't be as good without interesting verses and/or instrumental parts in between.

9 Ghost Ghost is a Swedish heavy metal band that was formed in Linköping in 2008. The band consists of five masked instrumentalists known as the Nameless Ghouls, and a demonic anti-pope known as Papa Emeritus. They have released four studio albums, one live album, and two EPs. Each album introduces a new version... read more

I saw Ghost live recently and have to say they were possibly the best band I've ever seen live. Cardinal Copia controlled the crowd like no other, and the whole audience sang along with every lyric.

These guys deserve to be way bigger.

Unique sound. Pretty fresh to the metal scene, but give it a year or two, and they will be big. Probably in my top 10 metal bands.

Surprised that they are so low here. They are so popular. Their music is so original, like a blend of Venom and Queen.

10 Trivium Trivium is an American Heavy Metal band from Orlando, Florida, formed in 1999. Their frontman, Matt Heafy, lead guitarist Corey Beaulieu and Bassist Paulo Gregoletto are the band's most consistent members and have appeared in every album since... read more

Trivium is the best modern metal band for a number of reasons.

1. They are very smart lyrically. A lot of their songs have a much deeper meaning than what's actually being sung.
2. The signature tone and guitar sound is something that Trivium has mastered.
3. They are flat out raw power metal and badass live.

If you haven't checked them out before, go listen to 'Throes of Perdition', or the whole 'Shogun' CD in general.

Trivium kicks ass!

Either this band or Opeth really deserve to be number one. They just define epic. I love how they combine extreme technicality with emotion and soulful playing.

Their album "Shogun" is easily one of the best metal albums I've ever heard, and I've heard a lot. I love all the bands on this list, but these guys are truly something else. Give their song "Into the Mouth of Hell We March" a listen.

The Contenders
11 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

They were a nu metal band at their beginning (Hybrid Theory). Just listen to "One Step Closer" or "Papercut". There are a couple of metal songs on the second and third album like "Faint" and "No More Sorrow", but everything after that is alternative/electronic rock.

They pretty much abandoned the metal genres, but they still deserve to be on this list.

I don't care what genre Linkin Park is, but for me, Linkin Park will always be a nu-metal band. The first three albums, plus "The Hunting Party," are really good. Without LP, I wouldn't listen to any "real" or "aggressive" metal.

12 Bullet For My Valentine Bullet for My Valentine are a Welsh metalcore band from Bridgend, formed in 1998. The band is composed of Matthew Tuck (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Michael Paget (lead guitar, backing vocals), Michael Thomas (drums) and Jamie Mathias (bass guitar). Former members include Nick Crandle and Jason James;... read more

Bullet For My Valentine emerges from frustrations, dissatisfaction, and much more. Who voted for A7X? This band sings of the reality between love and hate. They are a band that can piss off others on stage.

I don't know what these people mean about metal, but surely they just don't get Bullet For My Valentine from the heart. Bullet For My Valentine doesn't write in the name of lyrics. They are reality. Crushing riffs, harmonized lead lines, excellent drum patterns - Bullet For My Valentine calls for pain. This is a heavy metal band.

Anyone having doubts about this can go and check their knowledge about different subdivisions of the metal genre. Bullet For My Valentine IS THE BEST.

13 Black Label Society Black Label Society is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California formed in 1998 by Zakk Wylde.

Black Label Society should be number one. Why? Because they are the very thing a metal band should be. Guys playing for the fans and not caring about money, fame, or selling out. They have stayed true to the metal genre without selling out or going commercial.

Also, Zakk Wylde is basically one of the modern metal kings. Black Label Society is definitely the best modern metal band.

Because Zakk Wylde is an absolute beast. You really need to listen to Godspeed Hellbound and In This River.

Super underrated band, definitely deserves to be in the top 5 at least.

14 Five Finger Death Punch Five Finger Death Punch, often shortened to Five Finger or Death Punch, also abbreviated as 5FDP or FFDP, is an American metal band from Las Vegas, Nevada. Formed in 2005, the band's name comes from the kung fu movie The Five Fingers of Death.

The brutal sound Five Finger Death Punch can produce is incredible. There's no other like that. Ivan's screaming and singing vocals, combined with the dual guitars of Jason Hook and Zoltan Bathory, make a great combo. Not to mention, they can also manage to do softer songs and ballads, which are pretty good.

However, the best thing about them is the messages they put in their songs. Some are great for venting anger, others for conveying a true message. Many are relatable, and some, like "Stranger Than Fiction," embody all of these qualities. They're just the best in my opinion.

15 Meshuggah Meshuggah is a Swedish progressive metal band from Umeå, formed in 1987. They are often considered the fathers or founders of the djent metal sub genre due to their use of downtuned guitars. They are also known for their song “Bleed”, which is known for its extremely complicated instrumentation,... read more

Meshuggah have never had a soft moment in their entire (almost 30-year) history. They are pretty much the driving inspiration and responsible for all the modern djent and prog metal bands calling themselves 'metal', but failing to be half as heavy, influential, or long-lasting as these crazy bastards. Not to mention, they absolutely destroy live shows. They are an insanely awesome band who deserve more credit.

All I see is just Hard Rock kids taking the top positions. Meshuggah has been in the scene for more than 26 years. This is sufficient enough to showcase the virtuosity and experience they command.

16 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

Well, Tool is something else. They don't follow any rules. They just deliver their songs in their own way. Their bass parts are better than those of any modern or classic metal bands. Their songs are like drugs. You can't help falling in love with them. Rain is the best way to listen to a Tool song.

I remember, it was raining so hard, then I started listening to 'Right In Two'. It felt just like I got out from this world and went to a different galaxy, and that song was showing me the way.

Tool is just one of those unique bands. If you were to take this band and compare them with Avenged Sevenfold, Five Finger Death Punch, etc., Tool is on a whole new level. Tool has songs that have deep meaning and multiple views for interpretations. To me, they have the old school recipes for making genuinely amazing songs that create a timeless atmosphere. The others create mainstream success but are shortly forgotten.

17 Killswitch Engage Killswitch Engage is an American metalcore band from Westfield, Massachusetts, formed in 1999 after the disbanding of Overcast and Aftershock.

The best band in the world, in my opinion. With utterly brilliant and unique drumming and guitarist skills, they blow the minds of many metalers around the world to this day.

Another great band. I personally think the second album sounds better, but the first one is also good.

This is one of the best bands to see live! I saw them with Pop Evil, I Prevail, In This Moment, and Five Finger Death Punch.

18 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.
19 Between the Buried and Me Between the Buried and Me is an American progressive metal band from Raleigh, North Carolina. Formed in 2000, the band consists of Tommy Giles Rogers, Jr.

Between the Buried and Me are the greatest modern progressive death metal band and also the greatest progressive death metal band of all time. They are the Metallica of progressive death.

24th? These guys are doing what a lot of metal isn't doing nowadays: being creative. Listen to Parallax II, Colors, or Alaska to see what I mean!

20 Amon Amarth Amon Amarth is a Swedish melodic death metal band from Tumba, formed in 1992. The band takes its name from the Sindarin name of Mount Doom.

Come on, this makes a true metalhead sad to see all these crappy metalcore and nu-metal bands up there.

History and mythology in metal.

One of the more talented metal bands out there that aren't metalcore.

21 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

Korn may have defined the genre of "Nu Metal" according to the media, but in all actuality, they are not so easily classified. I freely admit that a few of their albums have missed the mark. However, when they get it right, they are a force to be reckoned with.

They are the only band I can think of that has managed to try something different every time they've released new music. Not only do they try new things, but in doing so, they still manage to have a unique and recognizable sound.

Of all the bands on this list, they should certainly be in the top three. Whether one wants to call them "Nu Metal," "Alterna-Metal," or something a bit harder to define, Korn has been rocking out for 23 years. They defined a genre and beyond. They're coming out with their 11th album in October 2016.

22 Pop Evil

I saw Pop Evil at a small venue with a mediocre sound system. "Take It All" kicked in, and good old rock and roll took over.

Check out Onyx & Up. Then you'll go back and get War Of Angels & Lipstick On the Mirror. If you like hard rock with a catchy ballad or two, you'll appreciate their work. "Torn To Pieces" about Leigh's late father, or any song with heartfelt longing, is an awesome song.

Check this band out.

This band is just EPIC. Their new album, Onyx, RULES. Welcome To Reality, Trenches, Fly Away, and more... What's not to like?

If you have never heard of this band, look up Last Man Standing and Trenches. You will not regret it. This band is going to become a hit - I know it.

23 Volbeat Volbeat are a Danish heavy metal band formed in Copenhagen in 2001. They play a fusion of rock and roll, heavy metal and rockabilly.

How are they not higher? They have the best frontman vocally on this entire list. The music is flawless, and they are so diverse in their influences (Elvis, Cash, 'tallica). They change up the direction in their songs on a dime better than any band on this list.

Definitely top five.

Fantastic songwriting, heavy dual guitar attack, a great rhythm section, and a very talented vocalist. It's a shame they're so low on the list. Check out anything off their latest album, and you won't be disappointed.

They're great live, too.

So many different types of songs. Really written for music lovers. Brilliant writing!

24 Cattle Decapitation Cattle Decapitation is an American Deathgrind band from San Diego, California formed in 1996. Cattle Decapitation's songs protest the mistreatment and consumption of animals, the abuse of the environment and touch subjects such as misanthropy and genocide of the human race. Much of their music is based... read more
25 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

Breaking Benjamin has been shifting through this list. I feel like they should, at least, be in the top 15. They haven't made a single bad song (that I've heard), and they are my second favorite band (not that my opinion matters, but I just thought I'd point that out).

What's wrong? This is an amazing band that deserves to be in the top 10. The melody, with metal in the chorus and touching lyrics, is the best combination ever!

Are you kidding me? BB is the best and should be in the top tens. They have about 50 songs, each one is breathtaking. Every song is amazing. Not one song you won't like. Why are they 23?

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