Top 10 Most Talented Metal Musicians

Heavy metal, known for its amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, emphatic beats, and overall loudness, is a genre that demands a lot from its musicians. Whether they're delivering mind-melting riffs, executing breakneck drum fills, laying down the low end on bass, or belting out vocals that can range from melodic harmonies to guttural growls, metal musicians are a testament to the power of technical skill combined with raw, emotive energy.

But hey, let's not forget about the craft of songwriting either! Being a great metal musician isn't just about being able to shred or hit those high notes. It's about taking those skills and using them to create something unique, something that resonates with listeners. It's about pouring your heart and soul into a song, creating intricate compositions that can evoke a myriad of emotions.

So, who are the most talented metal musicians? That's a tough one. We're talking about a genre that's been around for decades, boasting a veritable pantheon of gifted individuals, each with their own unique style and contribution.

Maybe it's the guitarist who can make their instrument wail, scream, and sing, playing intricate solos at lightning speed. Perhaps it's the drummer who drives the music forward, their double bass drumming and intricate fills acting as the backbone of the band. It could be the bassist, often the unsung hero, who fills out the sound, creating a rhythmic and harmonic foundation. Or maybe it's the vocalist, their powerful voice soaring over the heavy instrumentals, delivering lyrics filled with emotion.

And who could forget the songwriters, the architects of the music, who take all these elements and weave them into something that not just sounds good, but feels good? Songwriting, after all, is a talent in and of itself - the ability to tell a story, to evoke emotion, and to create a sonic journey that listeners can lose themselves in.

So, here's your chance to vote for the musicians you believe have defined the world of heavy metal with their talent. This isn't just about technical proficiency or how many hit songs they've written. It's about recognizing the musicians whose work has moved you, inspired you, and rocked you to your core.
The Top Ten
1 Steve Harris Stephen Percy "Steve" Harris is an English musician and songwriter, known as the bassist, occasional keyboardist, backing vocalist, primary songwriter and founder of the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden.

Steve Harris is probably the best bassist in heavy metal, and not only is he a great bass player, but wrote a lot of great Iron Maiden songs by himself, which includes Hallowed Be Thy Name.

2 Chuck Schuldiner Charles Michael "Chuck" Schuldiner (1967-2001) was an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist, best known as the founder and vocalist, guitarist and bassist of the American heavy metal band Death. He is considered the most influential figure in Death Metal, with some publications referring to Chuck... read more

His lyrics can teach real values for someone's life and his music is soul touching. Chuck you live in the hearts of people that love you.

He's a better guitar player than Dave Mustaine, a good death metal singer, and a pretty good songwriter. Just listen to Cosmic Sea.

Daddy of Death Metal, one killer vocalist and top 5 best metal guitarists. Rest in peace, brother!

3 Dave Mustaine David Scott "Dave" Mustaine (born September 13, 1961) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, actor and author. Mustaine is best known as a pioneer in Thrash Metal, being the former lead guitarist of Metallica before his dismissal in 1983, leading to finding and becoming the front man of his own... read more

Mustaine is far ahead of Chuck. However that doesn't mean Chuck sucks.
RIP Chuck.

King of thrash metal, hands down!

4 Bruce Dickinson Paul Bruce Dickinson, known professionally as Bruce Dickinson, (born 7 August 1958) is an English musician, airline pilot, and broadcaster. He is most well known for being the lead singer in heavy metal band Iron Maiden and his solo career.Outside his career in music, Dickinson has pursued a number... read more
5 Ronnie James Dio Ronnie James Dio (born Ronald James Padavona; July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010) was an American heavy metal singer, songwriter and musician. He fronted and/or founded numerous groups including Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio and Heaven & Hell. He is credited with popularizing the "metal horns" hand gesture... read more

Both his vocals and lyrics are close to 10/10.

6 Ritchie Blackmore Richard Hugh "Ritchie" Blackmore is an English guitarist and songwriter, best known for his work in the hard rock/metal bands Deep Purple and Rainbow. He was ranked number 16 on Guitar World's "100 Greatest Metal Guitarists of All Time" in 2004, and number 50 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the... read more

A great metal guitarist with nice solos from Highway Star and Stargazer, who helped write some of the best songs by both Deep Purple and Rainbow.

Incredibly talented and innovative.

7 Hansi Kürsch Hansi Kürsch, born Hans Jürgen Kürsch, is the lead singer, lyricist, co-composer and bassist for German power metal band Blind Guardian . Heavily influenced by Freddie Mercury, he creates a huge choir effect by overdubbing his own voice multiple times in complex, overlapping vocal harmonies. He records... read more

An immensely talented singer, amazing lyricist and impressive composer. Besides, he was also the bassist until 1998. In addition, he can play guitar and piano very well. He said "When I started making music I had a stronger tendency to become a guitarist." Obviously he had many talents from the very beginning but it was a wise decision to focus on vocals and songwriting.

I want to add that the multi-layered backing vocals and overlapping vocal harmonies in his songs are not a studio magic. He records each vocal track individually because harmonizers and "perfect pitch" programs don't work with his voice, due to (1) distortion and (2) the natural double layer effects his vocal cords have.

8 Cliff Burton Clifford Lee "Cliff" Burton (February 10th 1962 - September 27th 1986) was an American musician, best known as the second bass guitarist for the American thrash metal band Metallica, recording three studio albums... read more
9 James Hetfield James Alan Hetfield was born on August 3, 1963. He is an American musician, singer and songwriter known for being the co-founder, lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist and main songwriter for the American heavy metal band Metallica.

Not only he is a great singer, but he is also a better guitarist than Kirk Hammett, and a better drummer than Lars Ulrich. He even played bass when recording Hit the Lights for the first time, until Ron McGoveny joined the band.

He has got great vocals.His rhythm and lead guitar skills are also good.I like his solos more than Kirk Hammett.

10 Jon Oliva John Nicholas Oliva, known as Jon Oliva, is an American composer, multi-instrumentalist and singer. Co-founder of the metal band Savatage and the rock opera Trans-Siberian Orchestra. He's got a real 4 octave range, able to morph the sound of his voice to any style, from John Lennon and Freddie Mercury,... read more

He is so talented that can write and record an entire metal album alone. He can play all metal instruments - lead and rhythm guitar, bass, drums, keyboards and piano. His vocals are mindblowing with a 4-octave vocal range (try Savatage - Hall Of The Mountain King).

The Contenders
11 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... read more
12 Rob Halford Robert John Arthur "Rob" Halford is an English singer and songwriter, who is best known as the lead vocalist for the Grammy Award-winning heavy metal band Judas Priest and famed for his powerful wide ranging operatic voice.
13 John Petrucci John Peter Petrucci is an American guitarist, composer and producer. He is best known as a founding member of the progressive metal band Dream Theater. Compared to his level of skill, John Petrucci is relatively unknown in the modern music industry.
14 Mike Portnoy Michael Portnoy is an American drummer primarily known as the former drummer, backing vocalist, and a co-founder of the progressive metal/rock band Dream Theater. Known for his technical skill as a drummer, Portnoy has won 30 awards from the Modern Drummer magazine.
15 Jeff Waters Jeff Waters (born February 13, 1966) is a Canadian metal musician and founder of the metal band Annihilator. He's best known as the guitarist for Annihilator, appreciated for his fast riffs and solos. Waters is also the primary songwriter in the band. Very often he has taken on the role of lead singer,... read more

He played all main metal instruments on his band official recordings except drums but he can play drums, too. Basically Jeff is an incredible guitarist with both lead and rhythm functions, and main songwriter. But he also did lead and backing vocals, played bass and acoustic guitar (try Annihilator - Alison Hell).

16 Michael Kiske Michael Kiske is a singer best known as the former lead vocalist for the German power metal band Helloween.
17 Dimebag Darrell Darrell Lance Abbott, also known as Diamond Darrell and Dimebag Darrell, was an American guitarist and songwriter best known as a founding member of two bands, Pantera and Damageplan, alongside his brother, Vinnie Paul. Abbott died in 2004 after he was shot by a mentally unstable fan.

Should be in top 10 at least. Amazing style. His intensity and heaviness with each riff and solo. All note choices are perfect for the outcome of the entire song. Even his riff writing and solos during their glam/speed/power metal days in the 80s (on their first four albums) is good. The overall songwriting on those albums was not very good BUT he never has a bad riff or solo. Fun songs on those albums just not great. Not every band is going to have a perfect discography but Diamond/Dimebag never stopped being himself.

18 Tobias Sammet Tobias Sammet is a German metal musician, best known as the vocalist and primary songwriter of the power metal band Edguy, as well as the founder, main singer and bassist of the metal opera Avantasia.

Excellent singing ability, writes songs for 2 bands in parallel (Edguy, Avantasia), played bass, keyboards, piano, organ. He founded Edguy at 14, Avantasia at 21.

19 Devin Townsend Devin Garret Townsend is a Canadian musician, songwriter and record producer. He was the founder, songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist in extreme metal band Strapping Young Lad from 1994 to 2007 and has an extensive career as a solo artist.
20 Clive Burr Clive Burr was an English drummer. He was a member of Iron Maiden from 1979 to 1982. Previously a member of Samson, Burr joined Iron Maiden in 1979 (coincidentally at about the same time Bruce Dickinson joined Samson).
21 Dave Lombardo David "Dave" Lombardo is a Cuban American drummer, best known as a co-founding member of the American thrash metal band Slayer.

It's amazing see her drumming! too bad that Slayer and him can't get along and it will be amazing see in the drummer site with Megadeth, along Marty of course, Wake up... Dave!

22 Mikael Akerfeldt Lars Mikael Åkerfeldt is a Swedish musician, prominently known as the lead vocalist, guitarist, and primary songwriter of progressive death metal band Opeth, as well as being the former vocalist of death metal supergroup Bloodbath for three albums up until 2012... read more

He is really very talented - great vox (both death and clean), guitars, songwriting. Hands down.

23 Mike Mangini Mike Mangini is an American drummer. Since 2010, he has been a member of progressive metal band Dream Theater, following the departure of founding drummer Mike Portnoy.
24 Lemmy Ian Fraser Kilmister, known as Lemmy, was an English musician, singer and songwriter who founded and fronted the rock band Motörhead. He was a bassist and a singer known for his raspy voice. He died in 2015 from cancer and other health problems.
25 Buckethead Brian Patrick Carroll, known professionally as Buckethead, is an American guitarist and multi-instrumentalist who has worked within many genres of music.
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