Most Influential Extreme Metal Bands

Extreme Metal an umbrella term that covers a number of Metal's heaviest subgenres, including Thrash Metal, Death Metal, Black Metal, and Grindcore. Vote for the ones who raised the bar, brought new stuff to the table, and influenced bands forever.
The Top Ten
1 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 7 studio albums, and are the band that started the Florida Death Metal scene. They were known for their death metal classics Lack of Comprehension and Crystal Mountain. Death ended in 2001 when Schuldiner died of Brain Cancer.

Death created this new form of Metal in Florida, and within a few years, some of Death metal's biggest names came from Florida. Deicide, Morbid Angel, Obituary, and Atheist came up, and Cannibal Corpse from New York came to Florida to record. Every Death Metal band owes a debt to Chuck and Death.

2 Venom Venom are an English extreme metal band formed in 1979 in Newcastle upon Tyne. Coming to prominence towards the end of the new wave of British heavy metal, Venom's first two albums—Welcome to Hell and Black Metal—are considered a major influence on thrash metal and extreme metal in general.

'Welcome to Hell' was the first true extreme album. Their first 2 albums alone created the fast, abrasive style of thrash, coined the term 'black metal' and started the satanic image and lyrical theme of most black metal, and it had a prototypical guttaral vocal style. They created thrash and part of black metal directly.

Without a doubt, it's Venom.

3 Mayhem Mayhem is a Norwegian black metal band formed in 1984 in Oslo, regarded as one of the pioneers of the Norwegian black metal scene. The band is also known for the infamous events surrounding them including the 1991 suicide of vocalist Dead (in which former guitarist Euronymous took pictures of Dead's corpse and used one of them as the front cover for one of their live albums) and the 1993 murder of Euronymous by former member Varg Vikernes, of Burzum.

Mayhem spawned the most notorious scene in Metal history: Norwegian Black Metal. After Mayhem started, bands like Satyricon, Darkthrone, Burzum, Emperor, Immortal, Gorgoroth, etc. They were so controversial along with some other bands, they became internationally known, and helped spawn black metal as we know it.

4 Celtic Frost Celtic Frost was a Swiss extreme metal band from Zürich. They are known for their strong influence on the development of extreme metal. Formed in 1981 as Hellhammer, the band became Celtic Frost in 1984 and was active until 1993.

Celtic Frost was formed after the members' original band, Hellhammer was not well received. Like Venom, they pioneered Extreme Metal, with elements of thrash, Death, and black metal which influenced bands forever.

5 Bathory Bathory was a Swedish Black/Viking Metal band formed in 1983 by Quorthon and Jonas Åkerlund. Bathory's first 4 albums layed the blueprint for Scandinavian Black Metal. Quorthon is often credited with creating the "shrieking" vocal style of Black Metal. Their 5th album, Hammerheart (1990) displayed old school Heavy Metal with a Nordic folk twist, creating Viking Metal. Majority of their work was Viking Metal , but Bathory is most well known for their first 4 , which proved influential to many future Black Metal bands. Bathory ended in 2004 when Quorthon died of heart failure.

The influential Swedish First Wave Black Metal band. Quorthon took Cronos' vocals and ramped them up. He created the gutteral, shrieking black metal vocals that were used in Norway years later. Of all First Wave Black Metal bands, Bathory sounds the most like a Norwegian band. Their 5th album, Hammerheart created Viking Metal, a popular Folk.Metal subgenre. They heavily influenced 2 subgenres, Black and Viking Metal.

6 Slayer Slayer is 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. more.
7 Napalm Death Napalm Death are a British grindcore/death metal band formed in Meriden, West Midlands, England, in 1981. While none of its original members remain in the group, the lineup of vocalist Mark "Barney" Greenway, bassist Shane Embury, guitarist Mitch Harris and drummer Danny Herrera has remained consistent for most of the band's career.

They created the early British Grindcore scene. Although Grindcore is likely the most hated subgenre, Napalm Death was well received, placing in the charts above bands such Sonic Youth and The Pixies. Napalm Death not only spawned grindcore, but they brought us the blastbeat. A drumming technique used in all forms of extreme metal.

8 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 Six Feet Under. He was replaced by George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher of the band Monstrosity, who has remained as the frontman since. more.

They are the band that spread Death Metal everywhere. They became the most popular and notorious band in the genre. Also, politicians brought them attention in order to shame them, which spread Death Metal further, making it more popular. The band even gained Jim Carrey's attention, and they were featured in Ace Ventura, which spread Death Metal everywhere.

9 Darkthrone Darkthrone is a Norwegian black metal band. It formed in 1986 as a death metal band under the name Black Death. In 1991, the band embraced a black metal style influenced by Bathory and Celtic Frost and became one of the leading bands in the Norwegian black metal scene. Their first three black metal more.
10 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".

With their first two albums, Kill 'Em All and Ride The Lightning reaching underground success, their third effort, Master of Puppets has since become one of the most important heavy metal albums ever, as it became the first thrash metal album to be certified platinum. The title track has since become the band's most played song live. more.

Although Thrash Metal was around thanks to Venom, Queen, and Overkill. Metallica, along with Exodus, started the Bay Area Thrash Metal scene. As Metallica gained lots of popularity, bands like Megadeath, Slayer, and Testament came along, as well as the East Coast Thrash bands like Anthrax and Nuclear Assault. Although they have since Abandoned their thrash roots, they have undoubtedly changed Metal forever.

The Contenders
11 Cradle of Filth Cradle of Filth are a British extreme metal band that formed in Suffolk in 1991. The band's musical style evolved from black metal to a cleaner and more "produced" amalgam of gothic metal, symphonic black metal and other extreme metal styles.
12 Dimmu Borgir Dimmu Borgir is a Norwegian symphonic black metal band from Oslo, Norway, formed in 1993. The name is derived from Dimmuborgir, a volcanic formation in Iceland, the name of which means "dark cities" or "dark castles/fortresses" in Icelandic, Faroese and Old Norse.
13 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” on October 7th, 2016. Meshuggah's line-up consists of founding members vocalist Jens Kidman and lead guitarist Fredrik Thordendal, drummer Tomas Haake, who joined in 1990, rhythm guitarist Mårten Hagström, who joined in 1992 and bassist Dick Lövgren since 2004.

Meshuggah was the first really heavy Progressive Metal band. Prog Metal was usually associated with clean vocals, like Queensrÿche, Dream Theater, Fates Warning, etc. They were extremely heavy whilst maintaining great prog musicianship. Their guitar style involved down tuned, palm muted guitar. A style dubbed 'Djent'. Bands like Animals as Leaders and Periphery owe a debt to Meshuggah.

14 Possessed Possessed is an American thrash/death metal band, originally formed in 1983 in the San Francisco Bay Area. Noted for their fast style of playing and Jeff Becerra's guttural vocals, they are routinely called the first band in the death metal genre. Possessed is the sometimes credited with being the first death metal band, and some credit them for coining the term "death metal".

The 1st gasthly voice and the 1st death metal record of the history even today Becerra's vision is making a real influence put this band in their right place in the top 5! And Becerra in the number 1 as a non stop person and musician!

15 Morbid Angel Morbid Angel is an American death metal band based in Tampa, Florida. UK music magazine Terrorizer ranked Morbid Angel's 1989 debut Altars of Madness first in its list "Top 40 greatest death metal albums".
16 Carcass Carcass are a British extreme metal band from Liverpool, who formed in 1985 and disbanded in 1995. A reformation was enacted in 2007 without one of its original members, drummer Ken Owen, due to health reasons.

Well they started off by releasing 2 very aggressive albums, Reek of Putrefaction and Symphonies of Sickness. These albums helped pioneer the Grindcore genre along with Napalm Death. The gorey lyrics and grotesque covers from these albums helped spawn a microgenre known as Goregrind. They switched to a pure Death Metal sound later on, and eventually released "Heartwork". Heartwork is an early Melodic Death Metal album, and was very influential to future Melodeath bands everywhere. Since, Carcass has been playing Melodeath, and established themselves as one of the most influential bands in Grindcore and Death Metal

They're brilliant at whatever style of music they play. They have a very solid catalogue, I'm not into Grindcore, but they have great ones such as Necroticism, Heartwork and Surgical Steel. Highly influential within the Grindcore realm along with Napalm Death, and within the Melodeath realm along with Swedish bands like At the Gates

Highly influential, being considered pioneers of "Grindcore" and "Melodic Death Metal" or whatever. They are a fantastic band, and Necrotisicm is an amazing album

17 Mercyful Fate Mercyful Fate was a Danish heavy metal band from Copenhagen, formed in 1981 by vocalist King Diamond and guitarist Hank Shermann.
18 At The Gates At the Gates is a Swedish melodic death metal band from Gothenburg, and a major progenitor of the Gothenburg sound.

At The Gates were a part of the Swedish Death Metal movement in the 90s. Their last album, Slaughter of the Soul, added elements of Traditional Heavy Metal. This spawned the very popular Melodic Death Metal genre. Bands like Children of Bodom, Amon Amarth, Dark Tranquillity, In Flames, Arch Enemy, and Insomnium are all here because At The Gates started this new style. Easily one of the most underappreciated bands.

19 Dissection Dissection was a Swedish extreme metal band. They formed in 1989 by Jon Nödtveidt and later disbanded in 2006, followed by Nödtveidt's suicide. Their sound is usually described as "melodic blackened death metal".
20 Paradise Lost Paradise Lost are a gothic metal band that formed in 1988 in Halifax, England and are considered by some to be one of the pioneers of the death/doom genre and of the gothic metal genre.
21 Burzum Burzum is an influential black metal solo project of Norwegian musician and writer Varg Vikernes. Burzum came to prominence at the beginning of the Norwegian Black Metal scene in the early 1990s. Vikernes was imprisoned for 21 years for the murder of Mayhem guitarist Euronymous, and charges of church more.
22 Fear Factory Fear Factory is an American heavy metal band that was formed in 1989. During the band's career, it has released nine full-length albums and has evolved through a succession of styles, including industrial metal, death metal, groove metal, and thrash metal.
23 Dark Tranquillity Dark Tranquillity is a Swedish melodic death metal band from Gothenburg formed in 1989. They are one of the longest-standing bands from the original Gothenburg metal scene.
24 Katatonia Katatonia is a Swedish metal band formed in Stockholm in 1991 by Jonas Renkse and Anders Nyström. The band has released nine studio albums spanning the course of three decades, and their tenth studio album, The Fall of Hearts was released on May 20, 2016.
25 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 more.
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