Top 10 Most Influential Metal Bands

Metal Bands That inspired you to (try) to make music :D

The Top Ten

1 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.

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

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! - ryanrimmel


Paved the road for metal - SoldierOfFortune

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2 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.

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! - rock2metal

maiden started real metal sure there was sabbath and preist but maiden were the first to be really heavy

Maiden are my fave band, the three awesome guitar players work so well together

Even Eddie is more famous than most bands.

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3 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.

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

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.

Dude, really? Black Sabbath was HUGE even before Metallica came out. - Gruunge

They didn't influence, but they are very good - SoldierOfFortune

They are good

4 Death 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.

And don't forget the more than legendary Sound of Perseverance - DejanKalinic

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

The pioneers of death metal

Chuck Schuldiner literally invented the death metal genre

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5 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.

Painkiller is the standard every metal band should strive for

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 - Sabbath

This is the most influential Metal band ever, just after Black Sabbath, period.
The list must be like this:

1) Black Sabbath
2) Judas Priest
3) Iron Maiden
4) Motorhead
5) Scorpions
6) Metallica
7) Venom
8) Van Halen
9) Saxon
10) Accept

Ok, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Queen, Thin Lizzy, Kiss, Alice Cooper, Rush, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Rainbow, UFO are Metal (pionners and very influential to the genre) too. But they also are strongly inside others categories like Hard Rock or Prog Rock, sometimes even more than Metal. And also does others very famous bands like definitely Leppard, Whitesnake, Guns N Roses and Motley Crue. So that list represents, the most solid those who more represented the essence of Heavy Metal and the influence to the whole scene, I think.


11) Ozzy Osbourne
12) Dio
13) Queensryche
14) Megadeth
15) Helloween
16) Pantera
17) Slayer
18) Twisted Sister
19) Celtic Frost
20) ...more

6 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.

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

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.

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

They are the reason thrash/black/death metal exist today. If it wasn't for Venom them there would be no Death, Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Mayhem, Emperor, Burzum etc. Venom for me is by far the most influential band of all time. Their 2nd album is so much influential that the entire Black Metal genre is named after it. I love other bands like Judas Priest, Mötorhead etc too but Venom a little more 🍻🤘

7 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.

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.

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'.

Pantera should be at number as no band were more talented in there sound was different in most songs and were faster and tighter than any other. The true metal gods.

Pantera was so influential band but they don't create Groove metal, it was done by Exhorder from new orleans, Pantera give shape to that sound.

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8 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.

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). - bighercules

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. - Metal_Treasure

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

It all began... - waldo

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9 Motorhead Motorhead 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.

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!

Motorhead at 12? People are just voting for their favorite bands.

Motorhead at number 11? Should be at number 1, or 2. They invented so many genres it's ridiculous.

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10 Slayer 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.

Some of the first and most important thrash bands

The Contenders

11 Bathory 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. - GREYBOYY

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

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

Metallica & Megadeth! m/

13 Slipknot Slipknot Slipknot is an American Heavy Metal band formed in 1995 from Iowa. The band is best known as one of the pioneers of the New Wave of American Heavy Metal during the late 1990s - 2000s and are distinguishable by the band's clothing choices, consisting of black/red jumpsuits and horror inspired masks. more.

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

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

Not influential at all and they're terrible.


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14 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.

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.

Led Zep are not metal. Never been. Shouldn't be on the list. - Metal_Treasure

15 Lamb of God 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.

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

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

LAMB OF GOD FOREVER THE #1 metal bands in the universe.

This must be on top #1

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16 Celtic Frost Celtic Frost Celtic Frost was a Swiss extreme metal band from Zürich. They are known for their heavy influence on extreme metal genres.
17 Cannibal Corpse 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: more.

While death may have invented death metal. (and therefore still are more influential) It was Cannibal Corpse who made death metal truly brutal. The low growls of Chris Barnes was more extreme than any others at the time. Even those who doesn't usually listen to death metal likes them. A lot of extreme metal bands still mention Cannibal Corpse as one of their biggest influenses. Also they were played in Ace Ventura!

18 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 - 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. - Metal_Treasure

19 Meshuggah Meshuggah Meshuggah is a Swedish progressive metal band from Umeå, formed in 1987. They are credited with crafting the Djent subgenre. Meshuggah's line-up consists of founding members vocalist Jens Kidman and lead guitarist Fredrik Thordendal, drummer Tomas Haake, who joined in 1990, rhythm guitarist Mårten more.

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

INFLUENTIAL, not who you like!

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".

20 Napalm Death 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.
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7 years, 233 days old

Top Remixes (9)

1. Black Sabbath
2. Iron Maiden
3. Venom
1. Black Sabbath
2. Deep Purple
3. Led Zeppelin
1. Black Sabbath
2. Death
3. Iron Maiden

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