Most Underrated Heavy Metal Bands

The Top Ten

1 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 a very complete band. The melodies are complex and perfect, as if each instrument's line was carefully planned - yet, it all sounds so intuitive. The vocals too are amazing, I mean, very few singers can perform Hall of The Mountain King (oh, those high staccato notes! ). The lyrics are just pure poetry, they come up with these intricate stories, and make them so universal that everyone can relate to them. I could spend the rest of my life just listening to Savatage and Beethoven. - amandamop

I hear of almost all of the bands above this all of the time, but I never hear anything about Savatage, and it's far better than most of those bands. The only reason I even learned about Savatage was because I looked at Trans-Siberian Orchestral's page on wikipedia. This band was both one of the first Thrash Metal bands and one of the first Symphonic Metal bands, they are hugely influential, but they rarely get the credit they deserve.

I have to admit that, while I liked Streets, my fave Savatage album will always be Sirens. I still remember buying it as an indie album with the original black and blue cover and being blown away by the production. Back in the 80s, buying an indie album was a crap shoot because a lot of them were poorly produced. Savatage was obviously ahead of the pack in that department and my fave era of the band was when Criss was there...mostly Sirens through Gutter Ballet (minus Fight for the Rock)

These guys are criminally underrated, in my opinion some of the albums Savatage have released are easily in the top 50 albums in the history of Heavy Metal. At least they got the success they deserved as TSO, shame Criss wasn't alive to be a part of that.

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2 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.

Diamond Head should be #1. They have great songs, plus bands such as Metallica and SLAYER have listed Diamond Head as a key influence. Metallica's song Am I Evil? Is actually a diamond Head song. - ryanrimmel

They directly influenced Metallica, and Lightning to the Nations is one of the greatest metal albums of all time. - Brobusky

The forefathers of all modern metal
Listen to 'Am I Evil' and you will be convinced

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3 Annihilator Annihilator Annihilator is a Canadian thrash metal band founded in 1984 by vocalist, guitarist, bassist, songwriter, engineer, producer, mixer and mastering engineer Jeff Waters and former vocalist John Bates.

Jeff Waters is the man in this band - his fast and technical riffs and solos are exemplary. He is one of the top 3 lead G players in thrash, sharing this honor with Marty Friedman and Alex Skolnick but never gets the same credits.
By the way, I think Alex is underrated, too, but not as much as Jeff. It's because Annihilator are even more underrated than Testament. - Metal_Treasure

Allison Hell and The Fun Palace are amazing songs. Very underrated,

In my opinion annihilator has the one of the best heavy metal guitarists ever who is criminally underrated too...

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4 Death Angel Death Angel Death Angel is an American thrash metal band from Daly City, California, initially active from 1982 to 1991 and again since 2001. Death Angel has released seven studio albums, two demo tapes, one box set and two live albums.

Theost underrated thrash band by far! Give them a listen, they are so good! - ryanrimmel

Death Angel Blows Chunks.One Of Worst Bands Ever.

5 Anvil Anvil Anvil are a Canadian heavy metal band from Toronto, Ontario, formed in 1978. The band consists of Steve "Lips" Kudlow, Robb Reiner and Chris Robertson.

Anvil defined metal back in the day. They were role models to Slash, Scott Ian, Lars Ulrich and other rock and metal profiles. Lemmy himself stated that he always liked Anvil. For some reason they never made it the whole way. That's the very DEFINITION of underrated! Avenged Sevenfold IS THE COMPLETE OPPOSITE! They are the most overrated bunch of douche bags I have ever heard of!

Laugh out loud top 3 are possibly the most overrated of all time. Laugh out loud how can bands that get played on the radio 24/7 be underrated. Anvil is a classic influential metal band that only started gaining popularity with a fan-made documentary that wowed critics. Savatage is another good pick.

I just saw Anvil October 6th in Toronto. They are incredible live. No drummer is as good as Rob Reiner period. I was blown away by the sheer energy. This band is still hungry 37 years later. Lips is a excellent front man and personality! His lead playing is impressive and original! A much more real from the heart concert experience.

Oh my God this band is so boring! I can't even tell how they made the fourth place - MetalGurja

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6 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 ...read more.

Really underrated p, they're never mentioned as one of the main influences of the later metal

Absolutely underrated - they are never mentioned among the greatest metal bands although they were really great. How many metal bands have had such super-talented musicians like:
Dio (RIP), Ritchie Blackmore, Roger Glover, Cozy Powell (RIP).

They invented a bunch of metal subgenres and lots of metalheads enjoy them now. Rainbow influenced directly the non-bluesy metal sound of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden.
Check out these genre defining songs by Rainbow:
From the 1976 album: Stargazer, A Light in the Black, Tarot Woman
From the 1978 album: Gates Of Babylon, Kill The King, LA Connection - Metal_Treasure

Dio!

7 Coroner Coroner Coroner is a Swiss thrash metal band from Zürich, formed in the early 80s. They have been called "the Rush of thrash metal" for their increasingly complex style of progressive rock-infused thrash. They garnered relatively little attention outside Europe .

They are considered as one of the most technical and proficient thrash bands - high level of complexity and musicianship.

They are a thrash/technical thrash band from Switzerland, active from 1983-1996, 2010-present. - Metal_Treasure

I truly can't believe Coroner is in the top 10 here...must be some smart metalheads contributing to this list. Absolutely one of the most underrated metal bands ever...and one of the most talented. Mental Vortex is one of the greatest death/extreme metal albums ever recorded. Period. A masterpiece to go along with the rest of a strong catalogue.

Coroner Rocks,Sorry,I Forget About You.

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, ...read more.

Extremely underrated - inventors of metal and nobody cares. - Metal_Treasure

9 Overkill Overkill Overkill is an American thrash metal band, formed in 1980 in New Jersey. They have gone through many line-up changes, with singer Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth and bassist D.D.

THE underrated thrash metal band.

Overkill has never gotten the recognition that they deserve. Amazing band. Every album is spectacular.

Most underrated metal band ever (along with Exodus). After 30 years they still sound fesh and hungry. Plus, their musicianship is amazing.

Overkill Rocks,Underrated For Sure!

10 Anthrax Anthrax Anthrax is an American thrash metal band from New York City, formed in 1981 by guitarist Scott Ian and bassist Dan Lilker.

Are you kidding me?
How the hell are they under rated?
They are one the biggest thrash legends for God's sake

I think Anthrax is better than Slayer, almost as good as Metallica, a bit better than Testament. Megadeth is the ultimate thrash band of all time in my opinion, But I do agree that Anthrax is underrated in the context of the big four. But in general, they get a lot of recognition. The Big 4 goes like this for me: Megadeth, Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer.

Whaat?!? Anthrax is not underrated has someone heard about the BIG 4? Anthrax is there, Anthrax IS the law

They are very underrated because people don't put them in the same class as megadeth and slayer when in reality I think anthrax is better than those bands - ryanrimmel

Anthrax kick Metallica's ass any day. In the early days, they were just savage. They've had more bad luck than they deserve throughout their careers but they've pulled through each time. Now that is Thrash 'Til Death!

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The Contenders

11 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). ...read more.

A7 is the most overrated metal band

HOW ARE Avenged Sevenfold UNDErrated?!

Most over rated band of all time after one direction - shivendra

I really like them and their "experimental" way of doing music...
The only thing I don't like is about fans that always say: "The Rev, the best drummer of all time", "Afterlife, the greatest song of all time", "Syn, the greatest guitarist of all time"
The problem is fans, not the band - Rocker00

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12 Saxon Saxon Saxon are an English heavy metal band formed in 1976, in South Yorkshire. As one of the leaders of the new wave of British heavy metal, they had eight UK Top 40 albums in the 1980s including four UK Top 10 albums and two Top 5 albums.

This is the stupidest list in the history of metal. SAXON behind avenged sevenfold, kiss, D.R. I, Overkill, Deftones? What! Saxon sould be AT LEAST #5.

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13 Soilwork Soilwork Soilwork is a Swedish melodic death metal band from Helsingborg. They are signed to Nuclear Blast. Formed in late 1995 by Björn Strid and Peter Wichers, originally under the name Inferior Breed, the band changed their name in late 1996 to Soilwork. V 1 Comment
14 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.

It's unbelievable that a band like Mercyful Fate is so underrated, they have been inspiration for great bands like slayer and Metallica. It is an amazing band and King Diamond's voice is outstanding.

I rarely see these guys mentioned but what is wrong with this list? The ONLY band that belongs in the top ten is Anvil, the entire list is almost completely made up of commercial overrated nu-metal and metalcore

Many Get Mad At Me,Mercyful Fate Is Overrated.One Of The Worst Ever,I Cold Come Up With Unsigned Bands That Can Smoke The Danish King On Stage.Just Listen To That Voice,Jeez.The Schmuck Rip Kiss Corpsepaint In The Eighties.Truth Hurts Bro.

15 Neurosis Neurosis Neurosis is a post-metal band, based in Oakland, California. They formed in 1985 as a hardcore punk band, and their sound progressed towards a doom metal style that also included influences from dark ambient and industrial music as well as incorporating elements of folk music. V 1 Comment
16 Living Sacrifice

Probably doest get as much recognition because they are a Christian band.

One of the best Christian Metal bands out there...

97 and 2000 albums are masterpieces, must listen

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17 Katatonia Katatonia Katatonia is a Swedish metal band formed in Stockholm in 1991 by Jonas Renkse and Anders Nyström. The band has released nine studio albums spanning the course of three decades, and their tenth studio album, The Fall of Hearts was released on May 20, 2016.
18 Blotted Science Blotted Science
19 Crimson Glory Crimson Glory Crimson Glory is an American progressive metal band that formed in 1979 under the name Pierced Arrow.
20 Exodus Exodus Exodus is an American thrash metal band formed in 1979 in Richmond, California. Spanning a career of 37 years, Exodus has gone through numerous lineup changes, two extended hiatuses, and the deaths of two former band members.

Recently discovered how awesome Exodus are. Fabulous Disaster is so good an album I bought it after listening to each song first. A true Thrash band that won't go down without a fight, so get off your ass and Toxic Waltz!

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List Stats

1,000 votes
183 listings
5 years, 138 days old

Top Remixes (8)

1. Blotted Science
2. Coroner
3. Overkill
loustewart318
1. Deep Purple
2. Rainbow
3. Annihilator
Metal_Treasure
1. Rainbow
2. Queensryche
3. Deep Purple
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