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 / Hard Rock 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 more.

Granted Sabbath Invented metal but that doesn't earn rights to the summit of the list where Maiden rightfully sit purely based on longevity and quality of music within the genre.

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!

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 John "Ozzy" Osbourne, bassist and main lyricist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward. more.

Founders of metal

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.

3 Judas Priest 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.

"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.

Simple the most influential heavy metal band ever

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

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

Because Metallica is Metallica... Metallica is LIFE! Metallica is everything a person can ask for! A dream! Not SAD BUT TRUE, but CRAZY (great) BUT TRUE! - joaocarvalho

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 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.

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 1979, after which they hired Brian Johnson 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 was 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 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

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 always 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

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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.

Their style has ranged from hard rock to heavy metal (even though they see themselves more like a pure rock n roll band) and their influence, especially between 1972-1984 era, has been tremendous for the evolution of metal. Albums like Fly to the Rainbow, In Trance, Virgin Killer, Taken by Force, Lovedrive, Animal Magnetism and Blackout contain songs way ahead of their time. Also one of the most consistent live performers ever, even today in their early seventies. Very underestimated...

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

1 Comment
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.

All this is influenced by hippies. Fts

19 Avenged Sevenfold Avenged Sevenfold Avenged Sevenfold is an American heavy metal 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.

Avenged Sevenfold isn't metal

1 Comment
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

21 Primal Fear Primal Fear Primal Fear are a German metal band formed in 1997 by Ralf Scheepers and Mat Sinner. They play heavy metal, power metal and speed metal. Primal Fear remind of Judas Priest but Primal Fear are faster and heavier. They use twin (dual) lead guitars. Ralf Scheepers voice reminds of Rob Halford.

A current band but they play an updated version of traditional metal of Judas Priest type and they show excellent musicianship - remarkable vox, drums, guitars, bass.

Currently not many bands play traditional metal and I really appreciate what Primal Fear do - they remind us of the pure metal sound and it's good. Primal Fear are the most successful attempt to revive traditional metal by adding some fresh air.

Songs: King For A Day, Strike, Rebel Faction, All For One, Diabolus, Blood on your hands (all released from 2005 to 2014). - Metal_Treasure

22 Armored Saint Armored Saint Armored Saint is an American heavy metal band, formed in 1982 in Los Angeles, California. Since 1990, the band has consisted of John Bush on vocals, Joey Vera on bass, Jeff Duncan on guitar and the Sandoval brothers, Phil and Gonzo on guitar and drums, respectively.
23 Pantera 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.

What is pantera doing down here? They've written so many metal anthems! Walk, Cosboys from Hell, Cemetery Gates!

24 UFO UFO UFO are an English rock band that was formed in 1969. They became a transitional group between early hard rock and heavy metal and the new wave of British heavy metal.
25 Manowar Manowar Manowar is an American heavy metal band from New York City, New York. Formed in 1980, the group is known for lyrics based on fantasy and mythology.
26 Testament Testament Testament is an American thrash metal band from Berkeley, California. Formed in 1983 under the name Legacy, the band consists of vocalist Chuck Billy, guitarists Eric Peterson and Alex Skolnick, bassist Steve DiGiorgio and drummer Gene Hoglan.
27 Korn 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.

Not traditional.

28 Budgie Budgie Budgie are a Welsh rock band from Cardiff. They are described by author Garry Sharpe-Young as one of the earliest heavy metal bands and a seminal influence to many acts of that scene, with fast, heavy rock (an influence on the new wave of British heavy metal being played as early as 1971. The band has more.
29 King Diamond King Diamond Kim Bendix Petersen, better known by his stage name King Diamond, is a Danish heavy metal musician. He is known for his extensive vocal range, usually sung in falsetto. King Diamond was originally known as the vocalist for Mercyful Fate, but has become notorious for his horror themed Concept albums more.
30 Pentagram Pentagram Pentagram is an American heavy metal band from Alexandria, Virginia, most famous as one of the pioneers of heavy metal, and the subgenre of doom metal in particular.
31 Queensrÿche Queensrÿche Queensrÿche is an American progressive heavy metal band formed in 1982 in Bellevue, Washington, out of the local band the Mob. They released their self titled EP in 1984, but didn’t gain notoriety until the release of their critically acclaimed album Operation: Mindcrime in 1988. As of now, they more.

Two words: Operation: Mindcrime
Why would you not include the all mighty Ryche as one of the most influential metal bands of all time.

32 Van Halen Van Halen Van Halen is an American hard rock band formed in Pasadena, California, in 1972. From 1974 until 1985, the band consisted of guitarist Eddie Van Halen, vocalist David Lee Roth, drummer Alex Van Halen, and bassist Michael Anthony.

37?...really? - EddieVanHalen2001

33 Mötley Crüe Mötley Crüe Mötley Crüe was an American metal band formed in Los Angeles, California on January 17, 1981. The group was founded by bassist Nikki Sixx and drummer Tommy Lee, lead vocalist Vince Neil and lead guitarist Mick Mars.
34 Celtic Frost 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.
35 Uriah Heep Uriah Heep Uriah Heep are an English rock band formed in London in 1969 that was one of the top rock bands in the early 1970s. Twelve of the band's albums have made it to the UK Albums Chart (Return to Fantasy reached No. 7 in 1975). Uriah Heep's distinctive features include a massive keyboard sound, strong vocal more.
36 Jerusalem
37 Poison Poison Poison is an American glam and hard rock band that achieved great commercial success in the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s.
38 Guns N' Roses Guns N' Roses Guns N' Roses is an American hard rock band from Los Angeles formed in 1985. The classic lineup, as signed to Geffen Records in 1986, consisted of vocalist Axl Rose, lead guitarist Slash, rhythm guitarist Izzy Stradlin, bassist Duff McKagan, and drummer Steven Adler. Apart from hard rock they are also more.
39 Plasmatics

Wendy O' Williams is the best female Metal vocalist I've ever heard. Slowly leaving Punk, they later became a more Heavy Metal sound after working with KISS.

40 Railway

Along with Accept and Scorpions one of the best Trad Heavy bands from germany

41 Visigoth

They are a new band but they sound extremely traditional

42 Savatage Savatage Savatage is an American heavy metal band founded by the brothers Jon and Criss Oliva in 1978 at Astro Skate in Tarpon Springs, Florida.

Savatage is just GREAT!

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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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