metal The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands

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List Rules Heavy Metal bands only. No other subgenres of metal

The greatest heavy metal bands include some of the most iconic names in music. Bands like Judas Priest and Black Sabbath paved the way for many of today's biggest acts. They're bigger than just heavy metal -- they're among the best rock bands/artists of all time. Which one is the best? That's up to you to decide with your votes. Vote up the good heavy metal bands you love the most, and vote down any that you just don't like. Also, feel free to add any heavy metal bands that might be missing from the list, and rerank the choices in the order you believe is the best!

Not surprisingly, some incredibly well-known heavy metal bands top this list, including Metallica, Pantera, Iron Maiden and Megadeth. Some newer bands are also included. Tool and Korn, for example, formed in the 1990s. Sadly, some of these bands don't include all of the original members (Alice in Chains, for example), but that doesn't mean they're forgotten, not popular, or not worth including.

Which heavy metal band is the best? Be sure to vote and don't forget to rerank this list your way, too.

1
+ - 4,685 1,440
Iron Maiden 
                    is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Iron Maiden New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Heavy metal Hard rock

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2
+ - 3,686 1,311
Black Sabbath 
                    is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Black Sabbath Doom metal, Blues-rock Power metal

3
+ - 4,185 2,040
Metallica 
                    is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Metallica Thrash metal, Rock music Heavy metal

4
+ - 3,116 1,141
Judas Priest 
                    is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Judas Priest New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal Power metal

5
+ - 2,677 1,349
Megadeth 
                    is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Megadeth Glam metal, Thrash metal Rock music

6
+ - 2,458 1,316
Pantera 
                    is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Pantera Glam metal, Thrash metal Groove metal

7
+ - 2,385 1,149
Ozzy Osbourne 
                    is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Ozzy Osbourne Doom metal, Glam metal Blues-rock

8
+ - 2,095 1,208
Motörhead 
                    is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Motörhead New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Thrash metal Rock music

9
+ - 2,373 913
Dio 
                    is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Dio Rock music, Power metal Heavy metal

10
+ - 2,392 1,220
Slayer 
                    is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Slayer Thrash metal, Groove metal Rock music

11
+ - 2,726 1,587
AC/DC 
                    is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
AC/DC Blues-rock, Boogie rock Rock music

12
+ - 2,155 965
Led Zeppelin 
                    is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Led Zeppelin Blues-rock, Classic rock Rock music

13
+ - 1,603 1,046
Deep Purple 
                    is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Deep Purple Blues-rock, Classic rock Heavy metal

14
+ - 1,477 1,261
Scorpions 
                    is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Scorpions Glam metal, Heavy metal Hard rock

15
+ - 1,322 1,137
Anthrax 
                    is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Anthrax Crossover thrash, Thrash metal Groove metal

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16
+ - 1,864 1,821
Slipknot 
                    is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Slipknot Nu metal, Groove metal Rapcore

17
+ - 1,296 1,305
Alice in Chains 
                    is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Alice in Chains Rock music, Grunge Heavy metal

18
+ - 1,596 1,554
Guns N' Roses 
                    is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Guns N' Roses Glam metal, Blues-rock Rock music

19
+ - 1,414 1,268
Tool 
                    is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Tool Post-metal, Metal Progressive metal

20
+ - 1,660 1,392
System of a Down 
                    is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
System of a Down Nu metal, Progressive metal Rock music

21
+ - 1,468 1,218
Mötley Crüe 
                    is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Mötley Crüe Glam metal, Rock music Heavy metal

22
+ - 1,326 749
Alice Cooper 
                    is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Alice Cooper Glam metal, Experimental rock Shock rock

23
+ - 1,183 824
Testament 
                    is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Testament Thrash metal, Groove metal Heavy metal

24
+ - 1,392 1,180
Kiss 
                    is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Kiss Glam metal, Rock music Heavy metal

25
+ - 995 810
Rainbow 
                    is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rainbow Blues-rock, Progressive metal Power metal

26
+ - 1,429 1,404
Rammstein 
                    is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rammstein Industrial metal, Gothic metal Industrial music

27
+ - 1,091 849
Van Halen 
                    is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Van Halen Glam metal, Rock music Heavy metal

28
+ - 1,173 1,336
Disturbed 
                    is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Disturbed Nu metal, Rock music Metalcore

29
+ - 1,261 1,425
Avenged Sevenfold 
                    is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Avenged Sevenfold Thrash metal, Deathcore Rock music

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30
+ - 998 1,113
Dream Theater 
                    is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Dream Theater Progressive metal, Rock music Heavy metal

31
+ - 1,036 905
Sepultura 
                    is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Sepultura Nu metal, Heavy metal Extreme metal

32
+ - 962 1,123
Def Leppard 
                    is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Def Leppard Glam metal, Rock music Heavy metal

33
+ - 989 1,007
Rage Against the Machine 
                    is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rage Against the Machine Crossover thrash, Nu metal Political hip hop

34
+ - 804 1,003
Queensrÿche 
                    is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Queensrÿche Progressive metal, Rock music Power metal

35
+ - 1,110 880
Queen 
                    is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Queen Pop music, Rock music Heavy metal

36
+ - 822 836
Death 
                    is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Death Thrash metal, Progressive metal Technical death metal

37
+ - 1,006 973
Rush 
                    is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rush Progressive metal, Rock music Heavy metal

38
+ - 871 848
Rob Zombie 
                    is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rob Zombie Horror punk, Noise rock Nu metal

39
+ - 861 868
White Zombie 
                    is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
White Zombie Horror punk, Noise rock Industrial metal

40
+ - 808 689
Mercyful Fate 
                    is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Mercyful Fate Doom metal, Thrash metal Progressive metal

41
+ - 713 511
Exodus 
                    is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Exodus Thrash metal, Groove metal Heavy metal

42
+ - 744 847
Twisted Sister 
                    is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Twisted Sister Doom metal, Glam metal Rock music

43
+ - 671 706
Accept 
                    is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Accept Glam metal, Thrash metal Power metal

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44
+ - 722 774
Helloween 
                    is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Helloween Progressive metal, Melodic music Power metal - Heavy metal, Progressive

45
+ - 884 713
W.A.S.P. 
                    is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
W.A.S.P. Glam metal, Thrash metal Rock music

46
+ - 966 1,174
Korn 
                    is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Korn Dubstep, Nu metal Industrial metal

47
+ - 667 869
Whitesnake 
                    is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Whitesnake Glam metal, Blues-rock Rock music

48
+ - 721 727
Lamb of God 
                    is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Lamb of God Thrash metal, Groove metal Melodic death metal

49
+ - 588 784
Amon Amarth 
                    is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Amon Amarth Melodic death metal, Viking metal Technical death metal

50
+ - 745 990
Five Finger Death Punch 
                    is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Five Finger Death Punch Nu metal, Thrash metal Groove metal