Top 10 Heaviest Metal Bands

This list is not a compilation of the "best" metal bands, but rather the "heaviest" metal bands. It represents the best among the "heavy" ones.

The criteria used for this list include: quality of music, style, skill, and the intensity with which you can bang your head to the music.
The Top Ten
1 Cannibal Corpse Cannibal Corpse is a American death metal band from Buffalo, New York, formed in 1988. The band is known for their graphic album covers, explicitly violent lyrics and song titles like "I C** Blood" The group got into mainstream after performing the song "Hammer Smashed Face" in the 1994 film Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. In 1995, vocalist Chris Barnes left the band to focus on his new death metal project... read more

Cannibal Corpse is the most hardcore, aggressive, and kick-ass band I have ever heard. I enjoy many of the bands above, but they are nowhere near as hardcore as Cannibal Corpse. This is one of the rare bands you find that can sound like they do. Bands like Bring Me the Horizon and Pierce the Veil do not even need to be close in the ranking, as they are not hardcore, and are not the best bands out there. This band knows how to scream and make riffs, unlike so many other bands.

Cannibal Corpse is the most hardcore, heaviest, and one of the best bands of all time. Look at their album covers... They're gross, and kind of creepy but awesome. And even the lyrics are so gross, violent, and aggressive, making a perfect death metal band and even the heaviest band.

Just look them up on iTunes and read the names of all their songs on the "Butchered at Birth" and "Tomb of the Mutilated" albums. The names of their songs are absolutely HORRIFYING. Sodomy-filled lyrics are enough to make them the heaviest.

2 Slayer Slayer was 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... read more

Slayer released some of the heaviest albums of all time such as Reign in Blood and Seasons of the Abyss. Even their name just screams heavy band. I personally find them heavier than Cannibal Corpse because I find that E, Eb, and D/Drop D are the heaviest tunings (the most common thrash tunings) and that Slayer's vocals are just the right range to be heavy. Many people would disagree, but it's an honest opinion. I find some Cannibal Corpse songs heavier than others, but I think Slayer just beats them out.

If you disagree that they are heavy, just listen to Angel of Death or Raining Blood loud through good sound equipment, and feel the music crushing you.

Slayer may be a "heavier" band than Metallica, but they all represent the same era of being created. There will be a time when Slayer, Metallica, Megadeth, and all together will be satanic stories for the kids, and there will be a time when these are "hippy" prog metal. To me, Slayer is more like a faster style thrash metal than Metallica, while Metallica is deeper and heavier... But to get the hippies to leave the premises, I would choose Reign in Blood over Enter Sandman.

3 Behemoth Behemoth is a Polish blackened death metal band from Gdańsk, formed in 1991. They are considered to have played an important role in establishing the Polish extreme metal underground.

Come on, guys, this list is not about voting for your favorite band. My favorite metal bands are Lamb of God and Pantera, and not to mention, I'm not a very big fan of Behemoth. But, I have to agree their music is extremely heavy. Take Slaves Shall Serve for example. The song itself sounds like it wants to kill you.

Behemoth isn't called by some "The Kings Of Black Metal" for no reason. They're one of the only actually good blackened death metal bands. The combo of the extremely heavy elements of Death metal and the evil-sounding noisiness of Black Metal is rarely this perfect.

Have you already heard "Slave Shall Serve"? "He Who Breeds Pestilence" maybe? No? Then go and check out the most heavy band in existence. Sure, there is more mainstream stuff like "Cannibal Corpse" or more 8th empty string 0-0-0-0-0 like "Meshuggah", but this one is true hell, and in an artistic way also.

4 Nile Nile is an American technical death metal band from Greenville, South Carolina, United States, formed in 1993. Their music and lyrics are inspired by Ancient Egyptian/Near Eastern mysticism, history, religion, and ancient art, as well as the works of H.P. Lovecraft.

This is a popularity contest. Nile is way heavier than all these other 9 bands, Cannibal Corpse deserves to be on the list, not the other 8. Dying Fetus, Misery Index, Mortician, Malevolent Creation, Suffocation, Carcass, Beheaded, Morbid Angel. All those bands should be here. Not those other bands that are mentioned. People just don't know what heavy is or they are completely uneducated when it comes to heavy music.

Metallica, Pantera, Slipknot, and Black Sabbath in the Top 10? Even Slayer is way too light compared to Death or Black Metal. Brutal Death Metal like Nile is pretty much one of the heaviest music types you can find out there.

Annihilate the wicked on this page. Nile is an amazing band who really understand technical death metal. Enough said, and those who think a musically oblivious 8th grader is voting, well, I am a musically smart 9th grader.

5 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, especially the drumming. They released their most recent album, “The Violent Sleep of Reason”... read more

Not only is Meshuggah's tone and overall vibe by far the heaviest on this list, but their lyrics also push the bar to a whole new level of dark poetry. There couldn't be a stronger juxtaposition between the whiny, insipid lyrics of many "core" bands, splattered with unnecessary F-words, and the rich imagery and hellishly uncanny lyricism found in Meshuggah.

This band is definitely the heaviest on the list. Most bands you'll hear at least one or two songs in an album that aren't as heavy as the others, sometimes more. However, Meshuggah only makes heavy music, and, to me, is the heaviest sounding band I've ever heard.

Not much explanation here, it's Meshuggah. They were playing djent like 30 years before it existed. The combination of prog, djent, and death metal has never sounded so good. The guitar tuning is so low it's probably in hell by now. That, and having a tractor on the drums and yelled vocals, are enough to give someone an anxiety attack.

6 Metallica Metallica is an American Heavy/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"... read more

Music, in general, is very subjective. It's all about the person listening to the song, etc. But, briefly to the point: Metallica, during their time categorized as "heavy metal", produced the Black/Metallica album. It is, and still remains, very heavy in sound, feel, and performance.

Yes, it was produced very well. It contains many good songs, some so good that they could be thought to be made simply for the purpose of making money, or just to ensure that future kids have some tunes to play to their chicks.

"Sad But True" is a good example of a very heavy song musically. There are much faster, slower, deeper, and louder bands/songs out there. I would love to challenge Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth, and Moonspell to make a cover song of Ozzy's "Mr. Crowley"... Oh wait... They are "heavier", so why shouldn't/couldn't they cover "Enter Sandman"? They could, but they don't want to?

In the end, we can look back in history to the great classical composers (Mozart, Beethoven, etc.). They were the "heavy metal" of their time. Following the adapters to the day where everyone has been influenced by someone, none of us metalheads can disagree that Metallica introduced us to a new style of sound. Define heavy for yourself, and then you can define your heavy metal band. Others are just merely overdoing something or are predecessors.

7 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 Warner Music Group via Atco Records. Around this time, Pantera underwent a major change in their musical... read more

Although the list is messed up, Pantera would definitely be the heaviest of the bands mentioned in the top 10. Listen to 5 Minutes Alone. God, that song is heavy! One of the heaviest riffs ever made in the history of metal. No song I have heard can match up to the heaviness of this song. And trust me, I listen to a lot of metal.

This list is lying. Pantera are obviously heavier than Metallica, Slayer, and pretty much every other band ever (except for maybe Cannibal Corpse)! Don't believe me? Here's my proof:

- Cowboys from Hell
- Vulgar Display of Power
- Far Beyond Driven
- The Great Southern Trendkill (especially this one, it's the best metal record of all time, right up there with Pantera's previous two efforts)
- Reinventing the Steel

Listen to all of these (in order), and I guarantee you will think that I am right. If not, then that's fine, it's probably just because Cannibal Corpse out-heavies them by just a little bit...

8 Infant Annihilator Infant Annihilator are an English/American deathcore band based in Hull, East Yorkshire. The band was formed in 2012 by drummer Aaron Kitcher and guitarist Eddie Pickard.

Heaviest band I know. Just look at the lyrics and listen to the sheer brutality. I don't know what people have against deathcore. It's just as heavy or heavier than death metal. Maybe it's the way the people in the bands look. Or maybe death metal fans are jealous of the success of bands like Suicide Silence. Check out the band Callenish Circle.

The heaviest band on the planet. If you don't believe me, listen to the album "The Palpable Leprosy of Pollution". "Pinned Down and Fisted" has the most intense riff I've EVER HEARD.

I'm sorry, but Slayer sounds like nursery rhymes compared to this. The guitars, drumming, vocals, heck, even the lyrics are heavier. I was going to pick Cattle Decapitation, but due to the lyrics, I decided on IA.

9 Anaal Nathrakh Anaal Nathrakh are a British extreme metal band formed in 1999 in Birmingham, England. They are currently signed to Metal Blade Records.

Musically, nothing really competes against Anaal Nathrakh in regards to heaviness. Black Metal with strong influences of Grindcore and Industrial Music, it's an effective combination to establish something uniquely heavy, which this band succeeds at. In fact, the music is so chaotic, even bands like Cannibal Corpse sound rather mellow in comparison.

Heaviest band ever. Castigation and Betrayal is the most unfairly heavy song ever, 30 seconds of extremely heavy doom metal, 3 minutes of insanely aggressive death metal, and back to those 30 seconds. That song alone makes them the heaviest band ever, not to mention Pandemonic Hyperblast is the second heaviest song ever, behind that.

I think they should be number one honestly. They're basically the total annihilation of mankind in music form. Just listen to tracks like "I Am The Wrath Of Gods And The Desolation Of The Earth," and you'll see what I'm talking about.

10 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 on putting humans in the situations that animals are subjected to, for example animal testing, slaughter,... read more

Bands that can get really heavy:

Popular bands:
Slayer, Metallica, Pantera, Slipknot

Black/death/core/grind bands:
Cannibal Corpse, Anaal Nathrakh, Cryptopsy, Devourment, Behemoth, Nile

Other extreme bands:
Sodom, Kreator, Sepultura, Morbid Saint, Dark Angel, S.O.D, Gojira

Slow bands:
Black Sabbath, Candlemass, Black Tongue

Yes, these bands can get super heavy. Fight Fire With Fire by Metallica is an example of one of the heaviest songs ever, as is Heretic Anthem by Slipknot, March of the SOD by S.O.D, Disciple by Slayer, Mourners Lament by Candlemass, and God Is Dead by Black Sabbath. And most of the black/death/core/grind songs.

But none of them come close to Cattle Decapitation. The Carbon Stampede is like the heaviest song in the world. They make Cannibal Corpse sound like silence.

Honestly, when people think that Slipknot is heavier than Cattle Decapitation, they do not deserve to be called metalheads. This band has it all: lyrics with an actual meaning (not just melodramatic, pseudo-angry nonsense), mean riffs, insane drumming, and by far the most diverse vocalist in all of modern metal.

The Contenders
11 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 driving force, Chuck Schuldiner, is acknowledged as the "Godfather of Death Metal." Death released... read more

Some people don't know the definition of heavy. We're talking chunky riffs, layered raw sounds, relentless tempo, growling vocals, and technicality here. Not popular bands and certainly not nu metal!

Death is the final form of metal music development. It is the absolute. Without any posing or being heavy for the sake of sounding heavy. It's raw, melodic, and as metal as it gets. It is metal in its pure form.

Death! In my opinion, one of the best and first bands in real death metal. Their old school sound is much heavier than nu metal!

12 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.

Lamb of God is heavier than most bands, but there's no need to compare them with extreme Thrash Metal (such as Slayer) or BDM (such as Cannibal Corpse), even some Deathcore (if you consider deathcore as metal). There are two reasons: 1, LOG's music, mostly, is slow or at mid-tempo. 2, They have pretty melodic riffs. Rate the bands for their heaviness, if Cannibal Corpse and Slayer are at 10, the Beatles at 1, I think LoG should be around 7.5.

I love Black Sabbath. With that said, no other band besides Meshuggah should be on this list with Lamb of God. The first Slipknot album was decent, Metallica isn't half bad, and I do enjoy Pantera. Cannibal Corpse is a total joke, so there's that. The rest, I can totally do without. Especially on a "Heaviest Bands" list. Seriously, what.

Lamb of God is amazing. Nobody does vocals like Randy Blythe. He kicks ass. Their material is amazing and everything they have is kick-ass, heavy, badass, and metal as hell! They are heavier than half the bands on this list and although they aren't the heaviest ever, they are without a doubt one of the best ever!

13 Decapitated Decapitated is a Polish technical death metal band formed in Krosno in 1996. The group comprises guitarist, founder and composer Wacław "Vogg" Kiełtyka, vocalist Rafał Piotrowski, bassist Paweł Pasek, and drummer Michał Łysejko.

Very technical, fast, and heavy death/groove metal band. If you think Cannibal Corpse is either too gruesome for you, or you're a Meshuggah and Slipknot fan, you'll easily get into these guys. System of a Down is hard rock and CoF is mall core. What's next, Bathory being the heaviest on this list? I hope not.

14 Dying Fetus Dying Fetus is an American death metal band originally from Upper Marlboro, Maryland. Formed in 1991, the group is known for their consistently hook-laden song structures, characterized by blast beats, complex riffing, slam riffs and heavy breakdowns.

Powerful drums, speed, low tuning, brutal vocals. Dying Fetus is the definition of heavy. This should be number one on the list without a doubt.

This band and Infant Annihilator are the heaviest bands I listen to.

The name and the music... Says it all.

15 Separatist

I kid you not, these guys should be in the top ten. Like seriously, why are bands like Slipknot, Iron Maiden, and Metallica high up on this list? No hate to them, but this list is for the HEAVIEST bands. "Isolation" by Separatist is one of their songs that prove they are worth being put at a higher rank on this list.

16 Black Tongue

Yo, this list is so inaccurate. Black Tongue is heavier than nearly every single band above them on this list.

Their slow and doom-core-like style makes them heavy and brutal.

This band is so heavy, mixed with Deathcore and Doom Metal.

17 Broken Flesh
18 Strapping Young Lad Strapping Young Lad was a Canadian extreme metal band formed by Devin Townsend in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1994. The band started as a one-man studio project; Townsend played most of the instruments on the 1995 debut album, Heavy as a Really Heavy Thing. By 1997, he had recruited permanent members; this line-up, which consisted of Townsend on vocals and guitar, Jed Simon on guitar, Byron Stroud... read more

This appears to be a popularity contest, rather than what is really "heaviest". I love Slayer, Slipknot, etc., but nothing can compare to SYL (except maybe Meshuggah) for heaviness.

Stop what you're doing. Go and listen to 'Oh My God' by Strapping Young Lad. Come back and vote then.

How Strapping Young Lad is not the first on the list is beyond my comprehension.

19 Iron Maiden Iron Maiden are an English Heavy Metal 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 guitarist Adrian Smith, and drummer Nicko McBrain. Smith left the band in 1989 and was replaced by Janick Gers... read more

Black Sabbath has nothing to do with extreme metal. It's a classic blues-rock band, then it became a hard rock/heavy metal band. Metallica and Megadeth have some heavy songs, but there are much poppier metal bands. Slayer is among the heaviest, but Iron Maiden is more melodic and with complex songs, and with a much better vocalist!

Ridiculous! Everybody knows that Iron Maiden is the heaviest band of all times! No one could compare. No one could even come close to Iron Maiden!

What? 8th place? You people don't understand the influence Number of the Beast had on metal.

20 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 masks... read more

I love Metallica and Slipknot, and I'm okay with Slayer, but Metallica was the true heavy metal in the 80s with songs like For Whom the Bell Tolls and Master of Puppets! But Slipknot is a very heavy metal band, with dark lyrics, Corey's vocals, the downtuned guitars, and the masks. Metallica has gotten softer, while Slipknot is getting harder and more awesome. I mean, they weren't what they were like in Iowa and Subliminal Verses, but they said the next album is darker than Iowa and Subliminal combined! Their darkest songs are Eyeless, People = S***, and Heretic Anthem. Well, to me, Maggots for life!

I love Slipknot and when I get older, I will show my children this band. When I first heard of Slipknot, I was already addicted to it. I found Betraying the Martyrs after Slipknot, and I love them too. Then, after them, I found Dead by April. Their music sounds a little like dubstep in the beginning, and I love them. The first song I heard by Slipknot was Psychosocial. For Betraying the Martyrs, it was Let It Go, and for Dead by April, it was Beautiful Nightmare. Also, I like Black Veil Brides, and the first song I heard by them was In the End. Mine and my girlfriend's song by them is Rebel Love Song, but it's not really metal.

21 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 Mustaine being the sole constant member... read more

This band is just as heavy as Metallica. Metallica is not that heavy compared to any death metal, black metal, or doom metal band, especially funeral doom metal bands.

Metallica's heavy? Heavier than Megadeth, Lamb of God, and Slayer? Ha ha. Really, there should be some sense among people. Come on.

Still rocking after all these years. Better than the rest. Enough said. From Killing is My Business to Super Collider, better quality.

22 Deicide Deicide is an American death metal band formed in 1987 by bassist and vocalist Glen Benton and drummer Steve Asheim. They are known for their blasphemous and satanic lyrics which have resulted in bans, lawsuits and criticisms from religious groups and the public. Frontman Glen Benton is also known for being a theistic satanist, even going as far as to repeatedly branding an inverted cross into his... read more

This should be higher than Metallica, Iron Maiden, Megadeth, and especially Black Sabbath.

Deicide rules the world!

23 Cryptopsy Cryptopsy is a Canadian technical death metal band from Montreal, Quebec, formed in 1988. The band has sold over 300,000 records.

How are these guys so low? Graves of the Fathers is the heaviest song in existence, and that's just one song. The whole None So Vile album is soul-crushing.

Cryptopsy, Cattle Decapitation, and Periphery need to be higher.

Their album "None So Vile" is probably the heaviest death metal album ever.

24 Nails Nails is an American powerviolence band formed in 2009 in Oxnard, California. The band has achieved a cult fanbase and is very well received by fans of grindcore and death metal. Nails is currently signed to Nuclear Blast.

If you don't agree with Nails being the top choice, I guess You Will Never Be One of Us.

You haven't heard heavy until you've heard of these guys.

Every single song is a face-melter. You haven't heard heavy until you've heard these guys.

25 Infernal War Infernal War is a Polish black metal band formed in Częstochowa in 1997. The band is known for their extreme anti-christian and WWII lyrics, leading them to be mislabeled as a NSBM band. Critics describe the band as "brutal black metal."

Basically, Nile but more raw and less technical.

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