Top 10 Most Influential Metal Bands

The top 10 metal bands that most inspired you to (try) to make music or were the biggest inspiration and had the biggest influence on the metal industry.
The Top Ten
1 Black Sabbath Black Sabbath were a Heavy Metal band formed in Birmingham, England in 1968 by guitarist and songwriter Tony Iommi, singer John "Ozzy" Osbourne, bassist and main lyricist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward. more.

Together with Deep Purple, they gave birth to the genre. Also I believe that Tony Iommi was the one that popularized downtuning.

They created and popularized Heavy Metal. It is idiotic to not have Black Sabbath at #1. Not only were they the first true metal band, they also were the direct inspiration for quite a few major subgenres, Doom Metal, Sludge Metal, Stoner Metal, & Gothic Metal are all inspired by the mighty Sabbath!

Sabbath started metal, They created metal, if it werent for them, Metallica, Lamb of god, Megadeth, Slipknot and Iron maiden wouldn't exist, And what the heck is up with Slipknot, Lamb of god, and system of a down being on this list? They are good yea, But they didn't Influence

Still relevant today. They were one of the co-founders of Heavy Metal. Many lineup changes of the years, but nothing matches the original 4 members: Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler, Ozzy Osbourne and Bill Ward

2 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 more.

they are one the best metal bands in ALL the metal history, maybe the most influential band with Black Sabbath and Judas Priest.
Lamb of God and Slipknot should not be here because I think they are not influential bands because they are from this times; in my opinion, an influential band is the one who have influented so much bands in metal, like IRON MAIDEN!

Iron Maiden, the best band of the world. Thanks for being 34 years part of my life.

This is one band that can never be beaten it forgotten by any other...
Up the irons

The most influential modern metal band - no doubt!

3 Metallica Metallica is an American 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". more.

They actually should be number 1 since most of the world today wouldn't even know every band in this list (even Black Sabbath...or any other metal band for that matter) if it wasn't for Metallica.

Even people who don't like metal have heard of Metallica, the same can't be said about most others.

They are good

4 Judas Priest Judas Priest are a British heavy metal band that formed in Birmingham, England, in 1969. They are often referred to as one of the greatest metal bands of all time, and are even commonly called “The Metal Gods”, after one of the songs on their 1980 album “British Steel”. more.

Leaders of the NWoBHM, without them, metal would die away. Rob Halford set the stage for what being a metal frontman is. Also I believe that having two lead guitars is their idea.

It's getting old seeing Megadeth in the top 10 in every thing that has to do with metal. They are as gay as male cheerleaders. And so are their fans

Should really be above maiden. Black Sabbath at 1 makes sense.

One of the earliest metal bands.

5 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.

Essentially created the Genre of Thrash and Black Metal and pretty big inspiration for Death Metal. On a side note why is Slipknot number 4.

First band to go extreme and whether you like them or not, you have to admit that was a huge turning point for the genre.

Thrash Metal and Black Metal, all Extreme Metal bands were influenced by this band, from Death to Darkthrone.

Most influencial extreme metal band ever, Thrash Metal, Black Metal & Death Metal would never existed without them.

6 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 more.

Yeah everybody knows the invention of death metal, but don't undermine their influence on metal as a whole. Albums like Human and Symbolic explored the limits of metal.

When they heard the Possessed demo, chuck said:we should be like these guys. But they influenced Possessed later by Scream Bloody gore.

This guys were the reason of existance of Cannibal Corpse & Children Of Bodom and many others.

Deathcore melodeath would never exist without chuck may he rest in peace

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 more.

If this list was 'top metal bands' instead of 'influential metal bands' I would put Pantera at number simply for the fact that their music seems as heavy now as it did when it was released. As legendary as they were, I just don't think the same can be said for bands like Sabbath and Maiden. If it wasn't for Pantera we wouldn't be able to enjoy many of the top metal bands around now, due to Pantera being the frontmen in the charge against the post metal grunge era (Nirvana), when metal was no longer considered 'cool'.

They've influenced pretty much every modern metal band out there. Both Phil's vocals and Dimebag's riffs were groundbreaking.

It's all about infuence, isn't it?

So here's my list:
1. Black Sabbath - Founders of the metal genre, no discussion that they should be 1st.
2. Pantera - They shaped all modern metal as we know. Obvious second place.
3. Motorhead - They were crucial in developing the metal in 80's. Lemmy pretty much started merging Hardcore Punk with Metal and popularized this kind of music.
4. Judas Priest - They started NWoBHM movement and launched metal into mainstream in late 70's. They are way more important than Iron Maiden, no matter which band is better. "Irons" were just pursuing the subgenre, making awesome music, "Priest" were making something new (and awesome too).
5. Slayer - Although I like Metallica and Megadeth more, Slayer was the most influencial band of the big4 of thrash because of their more aggressive style. Death Metal and other extreme metal subgenres developed because of them. They were also important in developing the image of metal music.
6. Venom - ...more

I think Pantera should be at the 5 spot. Pantera invented groove metal, which is the sub-genre that many bands like Slipknot fall into. Slipknot should definitely not be in front of Pantera.

8 Deep Purple Deep Purple are an English rock band formed in Hertford in 1968. They are considered to be among the pioneers of heavy metal and modern hard rock, although their musical approach changed over the years. Originally formed as a progressive rock band, the band shifted to a heavier sound in 1970. Deep Purple, more.

Many bands of the 60s-70s played heavy blues rock or hard rock, believing it was heavy metal (many metal fans still make this mistake). Deep Purple played hard rock but also metal as we know it now: non-bluesy rock music, mostly based on classical music. For example, "Highway Star" is a metal definition: An entirely non-bluesy song based on Bach-like chord sequences. It's not their first metal song but it's the best.
Later this non-bluesy sound became the most important feature of metal music - Rainbow, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden made it more evident. Metal in general became a genre based on classical music - behind the riffs of Holy Wars and Master of Puppets you can hear classical music. R. Blackmore is a pure genius. "Highway Star" is widely considered as 'early speed metal'. Also a memorable riff, breathtaking technical solo and Gillan's great vocals.

They gave birth to the genre, together with Black Sabbath. Ian Gillan created classic metal vocals and Ritchie Blackmore pushed the limits of guitar.

I'm pretty sure most metal bands will cite three main bands as being most inspirational: Sabbath, Zeppelin, and Deep Purple. That being said, Ritchie Blackmore's technical ability was and will always be the best and fastest (just listen to his solo on Highway Star).

The inventors of heavy metal not influential enough for the top 3? Why so low?

9 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.

Major influence over extreme metal subgenres and also cited as influence by many modern metal bands. Definitelly a top10 material.

10 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 more.

I voted for them, because they happened to be exactly tenth on my list.

Dave Mustaine revolutionized metal riffs and heavily inspired the change in Pantera's sound which lead to the rebirth of the most influencial metal band of all time.

I get sore necks and head aches head banging to Megadeth all day!

The Contenders
11 Motorhead Motörhead were an English heavy metal band formed in June 1975 by bassist, singer, and songwriter Ian Fraser "Lemmy" Kilmister, who was the sole constant member; guitarist and songwriter Larry Wallis; and drummer Lucas Fox. The band's harsh vocals and fast paced tempos helped inspire speed metal and more.

They were the first to fuse hardcore punk's and metal's energy together. Without them, there would be no Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer or any bands that were inspired by them.

This is an awful list, as per usual on this site. How is Pantera ahead of Motorhead? What on earth...To me, the top 8 is just unassailable...Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Motorhead, Iron Maiden, Venom in some order, then Metallica, then Death and Slayer.

Motorhead influenced bands such like Metallica, these guys need to be at the top with Black Sabbath... but lets be honest you can only trust the first Black Sabbath album anyway! Motorhead all the way!

Thrash metal and even discharge were born of motorhead.

A and why is slipknot on this list?

12 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 more.

What, the most influential Black Metal band is not in top ten? This band was responsible for the Norwegian Black Metal scene.

Slipknot higher than Bathory? That's insane...

13 Rainbow Rainbow are a British rock band led by guitarist Ritchie Blackmore from 1975 to 1984 and 1993 to 1997. They were originally established with Ronnie James Dio as the lead singer and lyricist. Rainbow were ranked No. 90 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. The band has sold over 28 million albums more.

Without Rainbow and Deep Purple, nobody will e-v-e-r understand the process of metal invention and its evolution - in the late 70s Judas Priest and Iron Maiden continued in the direction of Rainbow and Deep Purple (non-bluesy heavy sound, mostly based on classical music). Judas Priest and Iron Maiden didn't sound like the bluesy Led Zep and the bluesy Black Sabbath.

Moreover, in 1977 Roger Glover (Rainbow bassist and ex-Purple bassist) became a producer of Judas Priest to help them. Not many believed in Judas Priest back then and they had no support, money, gigs, etc. So lets talk about influence.
Rainbow perfected the general pattern of metal music and also the speed metal sound, started by Deep Purple. Rainbow also invented at least 3 metal subgenres: power, symphonic, and neo-classical metal.
I'd say this is quite influential.

14 Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin was an English rock band formed in London in 1968 as the New Yardbirds. The group consisted of Robert Plant (Vocal), Jimmy Page (Guitar), John Paul Jones (Bass, Keyboard) and John Bonham (Drums) and was very much the child of Jimmy Page who even financed their first tour. He had tasted more.

Whether or not you think Zep is metal, it's certainly the biggest influence to have existed on the genre; nobody played hard rock/"classic metal" until Zep came around. Black Sabbath should be in second, they basically did Zep but a bit heavier with more distorted guitar. But that "metal" sound came from Zep

WHY IS SLIPKNOT ON HERE? They're not even really metal! Every band in the whole list is 5 stars (except Slipknot) so it was really hard to choose. Zeppelin are THE early metal band definition.

15 Slipknot Slipknot is an American Heavy/Nu-Metal band formed in 1995 from Iowa. 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 more.

Even just in the nu-metal catagory, Slipknot was not that influential. Korn and System of a Down are far more influential, and they are not that really outside the genre.

Slipknot definitely doesn't deserve to be in this top 10 list. How can you put slipknot in front of Pantera?

Slipknot is not a bad band but they don't deserve to be in this list at all.

They are influential not only in metal but other genres as well.

16 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.
17 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 more.

I'm surprised that they are this low.

18 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.

My favorite band, but they were influenced by Pantera and Slayer.

It gives me redneck when I see this in top 11. Holy cow this is better than the others

This must be on top #1

Dudes, you're forgetting the name of the list, it's not best bands it's most influential

19 Ozzy Osbourne John Michael "Ozzy" Osbourne was born on December 3, 1948. He is also known as ''The Prince of Darkness''. Ozzy is an English singer, songwriter, and television personality. He rose to prominence in the early 1970s as the lead vocalist of the band Black Sabbath. Osbourne was fired from Black Sabbath more.
20 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, more.

The godfathers of Djent. Bleed is one of the most iconic metal songs of all time!

They are more influential than the rest of these bands here, even townsend says that everyone imitates meshuggah in the end

A fearlessly experimental band that took groove metal to zany mathematical heights and helped popularize 7 and 8 string guitars. they also played a massive role in the creation of the modern "djent" "sub-genre".

They are one of the most influential Bands by far, sad that everyone votes for their Favorite band

21 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 more.
22 Diamond Head Diamond Head are an English heavy metal band formed in 1976 in Stourbridge, England. The band is recognised as one of the leading members of the new wave of British heavy metal and is acknowledged by thrash metal bands such as Metallica and Megadeth as an important early influence.
23 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 more.

In terms of being influential, Korn may not have created metal, but they created a major subgenre that dominated the mainstream unlike almost any other subgenre.

They created NU metal, whether you like it or not, it was the biggest subgenre in the late 90s and early 00s. They deserve top10.

There's no nu-metal without Korn. They invented it.

Korn and slipknot should switch places, because if one of them deserves to be that high it's korn

24 Kreator Kreator is a German thrash metal band from Essen. Their style of music is similar to that of their compatriots Destruction, Sodom and Tankard; along with those three bands, Kreator has been referred to as one of the "big four" of Teutonic thrash metal, and they are often credited with helping pioneer more.
25 Helloween Helloween is a German power metal band founded in 1984 in Hamburg, Northern Germany. The band is a pioneering force in the power metal genre, and their second and third studio albums, Keeper of the Seven Keys: Part I and Part II, are considered masterpieces of the genre.

They gave birth to power metal (which then lead to symphonic metal as well). No Blind Guardian, Nightwish or DragonForce without those guys.

Also, Kiske is a legend.

They helped Power Metal become what it is today. Also, I was afraid Black Sabbath was NOT going to be number 1.

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