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... read more

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.

3 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.

4 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... read more

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.

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... read more

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 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
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... read more

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:... read 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... read 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"... read 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,... read more

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... read more

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

17 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.

18 Mercyful Fate Mercyful Fate was a Danish heavy metal band from Copenhagen, formed in 1981 by vocalist King Diamond and guitarist Hank Shermann.
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 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... read more
21 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.
22 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.
23 Fear Factory Fear Factory is an American industrial 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.
24 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.
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... read more
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