Most Influential Traditional Heavy Metal Bands

The most influential 'TRADITIONAL' Heavy Metal bands!
I request the visitors not to add Thrash Metal, Death Metal or any other subgenre bands in this list! Just pure Heavy Metal bands should be added.

The Top Ten

1 Iron Maiden 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.

Every metal band since the 80s has been influenced by Iron Maiden at some point. The galloping effect of their guitars was a massive influence on the entire thrash metal genre. Bruce Dickinson's high vocals have influenced many a vocalist.

I can't put the amount of joy in words that comes to me when I see a list without any slipknot, Avenged Sevenfold, or Linkin Park.

This band is fantastic! Nothing would ever be the same without Maiden! They're original beyond any reasonable doubt, and the list of bands whom they have inspired just keeps on going and going... And going!

They invented power metal

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2 Black Sabbath Black Sabbath Black Sabbath were a Heavy Metal band formed in Birmingham, England in 1968 by guitarist and songwriter Tony Iommi, Singer Ozzy Osbourne, Bassist and Main Lyricist Geezer Butler and Drummer Bill Ward. The band got into mainstream after improving after their debut album got negative feedback. In 1978, more.

The band has since experienced multiple line-up changes, with Tony Iommi the only constant presence in the band through the years
Black Sabbath are cited as pioneers of heavy metal. The band helped define the genre with releases such as quadruple-platinum Paranoid, released in 1970. They were ranked by MTV as the "Greatest Metal Band" of all time - vishwarajvithuvivi

Black Sabbath, are THE GODS of ALL things metal and rock. EVERYONE in Iron Maiden was inspired by them, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. Which is why Black Sabbath deserves 1st place. The pioneered everything we know.

Followed sabbath since 1970 until Ozzy was sacked and never liked any of the replacement singers. Sill listen to sabbath's first 8 albums to this day but now on mp3 player. Nothing will ever beat them.

More bands have cited Black Sabbath as their main influence than Deep Purple. Also, metal is not based on classical or blues, it can be either. Metal is something you can headbang too. Don't treat metal like this, metal is the people's, a way of life. Metal. - SoldierOfFortune

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3 Judas Priest Judas Priest Judas Priest are a British heavy metal band formed in Birmingham, England, in 1969. The band has sold over 45 million albums to date. They received a lot of popularity due to their big hits Breaking The Law, You've Got Another Thing Comin', and Living after Midnight which were played on the radio a more.

"Metal Gods"! The greatest and most influential heavy metal band that ever was or ever will be! Fronted by none other than the greatest voice of metal and rock Rob Halford, along with Glenn Tipton and K.K. downing, the best guitar duo in history of metal, they definitely are the best... However, as the father of the whole genre, Sabbath does deserve the first spot and Priest is perfect on being 2nd, exactly where they belong... THIS IS THE PAINKILLER!

All hail the 'Metal Gods'!
This is the BEST metal band ever to compose a song and to play a live concert.. However Black Sabbath deserve the first place... And overall this list is ok!
Keep the horns up!

Priest is the obvious choice as second most influential band after Sabbath. The leather and studs look the heavy riffs and Halfords screams make them the Metal Gods.

Deserves to be number one, I love Judas Priest and Iron Maiden equally, Black Sabbath is doom metal, so not them. Both Maiden and Priest are influential, but Priest came first and even influenced Maiden.
Iron Maiden = Judas Priest > Black Sabbath - CostcoHotDogs

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4 Deep Purple 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.

DEEP PURPLE is pioneer of heavy metal!

The greatest hard rock band all time!

The inventors of heavy metal - they invented the pattern of metal music as we know it now: non-bluesy rock music, mostly based on classical music. In the late 70s Judas Priest and Iron Maiden continued in this direction - Judas Priest and Iron Maiden didn't sound like the bluesy Led Zep, they didn't even sound like the bluesy and slow Black Sabbath.
After Judas Priest and Iron Maiden, things got even more evident: behind the riffs of Holy Wars and Master of Puppets you can hear classical music structures. God bless Ritchie Blackmore.
Nothing is more influentia than that - most influential doesn't mean most popular in this case.
Facts about metal invention are different from the most popular myths and legends about its invention. - Metal_Treasure

Deep Purple over sabbath

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5 Metallica 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.

Not traditional heavy metal. Literally, on every heavy metal list on this website people put in Metallica even if they don't belong on it, like putting Metallica at 3 on most influential heavy metal bands. Just stop. - Gruunge

One, Fade to black, Master of puppets, Battery, I could go on. Metallica are the gods of Metal!

They were influential as a Thrash band, but not traditional Metal. They shouldn't be here - ryanrimmel

Not much influential as a traditional metal band. - zxm

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6 Dio Dio Dio was an American heavy metal band formed in 1982 and led by vocalist Ronnie James Dio, after he left Black Sabbath with intentions to form a new band with fellow former Black Sabbath member, drummer Vinny Appice.

Without him, no mano-cornuta! He's a legend of the traditional heavy metal

7 Motörhead Motörhead Motörhead were an English heavy metal/Hard Rock 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 more.

OH please these guys are awesome they even don't have bad songs... Songs like THE GAME (yeah H'S entrance music), hell raiser, born to raise hell, ace of spades are one of the few they are the influence for many metal bands.. Respect them

Lemmy is god, a true inspiration to metal and rock

They are NOT metal, never been - Lemmy himself stated that in 2011:
"We were not heavy metal. We were a rock'n'roll band. Still are. Everyone always describes us as heavy metal even when I tell them otherwise. Why won't people listen?" - Metal_Treasure

8 Rainbow 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. Judas Priest and Iron Maiden used the formula of Rainbow and Deep Purple: non-bluesy heavy sound, mostly based on classical music. The bluesy formula of Black Sabbath and Led Zep wasn't used in the metal development because this formula led to heavy blues rock and not to heavy metal.

Also, 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. - Metal_Treasure

9 AC/DC AC/DC AC/DC are a Australian hard rock band, formed in November 1973 by brothers Malcolm and Angus Young, who continued as members until Malcolm's illness and departure in 2014. They were fronted by Bon Scott until his untimely death due to alcohol poisoning in 1980, after which they hired Brian Johnson to more.

Though they do have certain traits of heavy metal in their songs, AC/DC is Hard Rock, not metal, and as so should not be on this list.

They only have one or two songs that are heavy metal, it doesn't mean they are metal.

They aren't metal asss

10 Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin were an English rock band formed in London in 1968. The group consisted of Robert Plant (Vocal), Jimmy Page (Guitar), John Paul Jones (Bass, Keyboard) and John Bonham (Drums). The band's heavy, guitar-driven sound, rooted in blues and psychedelia on their early albums, has earned them recognition more.

They are NOT metal, never tried to become a metal band and never been - not every heavy sound is heavy metal sound. Moreover, Led Zep themselves have ever refused to be labelled as metal. - Metal_Treasure

They pretty much invented heavy metal. The true hard rock origins. How can you get anyone influential than that.

bad ass

They have nothing to do with metal and it's invention. Too bluesy to be metal. Not every heavy sound is heavy metal sound (metal sound is non-bluesy and for that reason Guns N Roses and ACDC were labeled as non-metal, too). Led Zep themselves have ever refused to be associated with metal.

Facts about metal invention are different from the myths and legends about its invention.

Everybody who wants to understand early metal evolution should pay more attention to Deep Purple and Rainbow - Judas Priest and Iron Maiden continued in this direction (non-bluesy heavy sound). The sound of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden was different from the bluesy Led Zep and even from the bluesy Black Sabbath and there were reasons for that. - Metal_Treasure

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The Contenders

11 Accept Accept Accept is a German heavy metal band from the town of Solingen, originally assembled by former vocalist Udo Dirkschneider, guitarist Wolf Hoffmann and bassist Peter Baltes.

The first speed metal song!

Love accept should be in front of deep purple

Second best metal band from germany
They made the first speed metal song

12 Scorpions Scorpions Scorpions are a German rock band formed in 1965 in Hanover by Rudolf Schenker. Since the band's inception, its musical style has ranged from hard rock to heavy metal.

Avenged Sevenfold aren't traditional heavy metal and most bands here are thrash bands. Scorpions rule m/ - admonlee

Uli Jon Roth invented the dive bomb

One of the first heavy metal bands

The heroes of heavy metal

13 Mercyful Fate Mercyful Fate Mercyful Fate was a Danish heavy metal band from Copenhagen, formed in 1981 by vocalist King Diamond and guitarist Hank Shermann.
14 KISS KISS Kiss is an American hard rock band formed in New York City in January 1973 by Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons and the band's original manager, Lew Linet.

KISS rocks! They are music, madness and make up all in one, you wanted the best and you got the best!

15 Diamond Head 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.

A huge influence on thrash metal. One of the first things Metallica ever did was cover Diamond Head.

Is A7X on every single list?

16 Ozzy Osbourne 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.

Well, Black Sabbath was nothing without Ozzy!
He was the person who led the band with his epic vocal quality.
And he was far beller with his own project!

But, respect to Iommi too. - Nord666

17 Thin Lizzy Thin Lizzy Thin Lizzy are an Irish rock band formed in Dublin in 1969. Their leader Phil Lynott was composer or co-composer of almost all of the band's songs, and the first black Irishman to achieve commercial success in the field of rock music. Thin Lizzy's most successful songs, "Whiskey in the Jar", "Jailbreak" more.

They are a rock-to-metal band (late 70s-early 80s) but they really influenced metal and many of their songs are considered metal, especially their last 2 albums - 1981, 1983. Some of the biggest Thin Lizzy fans are Metallica, Iron Maiden, Vader and Mastodon, to name a few. They all state they were influenced by Thin Lizzy and did many covers. - Metal_Treasure

Their riffs are killers, some solos and basslines are remarkable, too.
Recommended songs and their covers:
Angel Of Death (it's probably their darkest song and my favorite; covered by Vader - death metal style; Gamma Ray - another great cover)
Cold sweat (covered by Kalmah - death metal style; Megadeth)
Killer On The Loose (covered by Paul Di'Anno; Southbound)
Massacre (covered by Iron Maiden)
Emerald (covered by Mastodon)
Thunder And Lightning (covered by Assassin; Gothic Slam)
Whiskey In The Jar (covered by Metallica but it was already a cover, not original Thin Lizzy song). - Metal_Treasure

18 Iced Earth Iced Earth Iced Earth is an American heavy metal band from Tampa, Florida. It was formed in 1985 under the name Purgatory by guitarist and main songwriter Jon Schaffer and original drummer Greg Seymour.

May not be old, but it's classic metal style.

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19 Avenged Sevenfold Avenged Sevenfold Avenged Sevenfold is an American alternative metal/metalcore (early) band, that was formed 1999 in California. Their longest lineup of members was M. Shadows (Vocals), Synyster Gates (Lead Guitar), Zacky Vengeance (Rhythm Guitar), Johnny Christ (Bass Guitar), and The Rev (Drums). more.

Hmm.. Did not expect this down here... Not a traditional band either, though is my favorite band of all time, and to the retard who commented below, are you illiterate? Led Zeppelin isn't metal at ALL, they're classic rock, but its INFLUENTIAL

Neither traditional, nor influential. - zxm

1999? Not traditional.

This doesn't belong here.

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20 Venom 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.

One of the main inspirations of any black/speed/thrash band. Rode the new wave right into Hell. - thrashy

Yeah, but this list is on traditional metal and Venom are not. - Metal_Treasure

They are Extreme metal but we are talking about traditional metal here. They shouldn't be on the list. - Metal_Treasure

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List Stats

700 votes
41 listings
5 years, 364 days old

Top Remixes (6)

1. Black Sabbath
2. Iron Maiden
3. Judas Priest
1. Deep Purple
2. Rainbow
3. Judas Priest
1. Black Sabbath
2. Iron Maiden
3. Judas Priest

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