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.
The Top Ten
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".

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.

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.

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.

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

I love Loudness, I like Maximum the Hormone, I like Galneryus, I like Versailles, I like Area51, I like Dir En Grey, I like EZO, and I like Aion. I was actually undecided between Loudness and X Japan, as both are spetacular and extremely influential overall. But in the end, X Japan had to win. Overall, they shaped the Japanese Music Scene, and their diversity and virtuosity is beyond belief. Some of the most talented musicians ever.

R.I.P. hide and Taiji

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.

4 Maximum The Hormone Maximum the Hormone (Japanese: マキシマム ザ ホルモン, Hepburn: Makishimamu Za Horumon) is a Japanese heavy metal band from Hachiōji, Tokyo. Their lineup has consisted of vocalist Daisuke-han, drummer Nao, guitarist Maximum the Ryo-kun, and bassist Ue-chan since 1999. Each member alternates... read more

How is that baby metal crap ahead of these guys?

I love their diversity and virtuosity!

5 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.

6 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... read 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.

7 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... read more

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.

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

8 Girugamesh
9 Loudness

With all due respect, Yes they're started this but their music especially the guitar riff is too flat & bland as the western 80s glam band. And the leader also the guitarist Akira Takasaki seems to have any shredder syndrome problem, have great skill but can't process interesting music. That's why they never reach Stadium-act level as X Japan (eventhough X Japan is a lot heavier band).

Akira Takasaki is an excellent guitarist. I like every member of this band and really like when Taiji Sawada was in Loudness. X Japan and Loudness are my two favorite Japanese bands.

10 Sex Machineguns
The Contenders
11 Anthem

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

12 Fastkill Fastkill is a Japanese thrash metal band that was established in Tokyo in 1996. They have a reputation for fast-paced compositions and aggressive musicianship, capturing the essence of 1980s thrash metal. Over the years, the band has built a strong fan following in Japan and internationally, contributing... read more
13 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?!?!?

14 D'espairsRay
15 Sigh
16 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... read 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!

17 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..."... read 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 full-length album with their latest EP being a close second.

18 Terror Squad
19 Deluhi

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

20 Detroit Metal City Detroit Metal City is a fictional death metal band from the Japanese manga and anime series of the same name, created by Kiminori Wakasugi. Despite being fictional, the band's music has been produced and released in real life, attracting a following among fans of the series. Their music is a satirical... read more
21 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... read more

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

22 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... read 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.

23 Sabbat

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

Black metal scythe is a classic.

24 Pay Money to My Pain
25 Siam Shade

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

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