music 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
+ - 3,952 1,442
Black Sabbath 
                    is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Black Sabbath Doom metal, Blues-rock, Power metal

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2
+ - 4,995 1,586
Iron Maiden 
                    is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Iron Maiden New Wave of British Heavy Metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

3
+ - 4,517 2,192
Metallica 
                    is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Metallica Thrash metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

4
+ - 3,325 1,260
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
+ - 2,874 1,481
Megadeth 
                    is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Megadeth Glam metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

6
+ - 2,651 1,435
Pantera 
                    is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Pantera Glam metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal

7
+ - 2,567 1,250
Ozzy Osbourne 
                    is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Ozzy Osbourne Doom metal, Glam metal, Blues-rock

8
+ - 2,270 1,300
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
+ - 2,553 1,006
Dio 
                    is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Dio Rock music, Power metal, Heavy metal

10
+ - 2,593 1,329
Slayer 
                    is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Slayer Thrash metal, Groove metal, Rock music

11
+ - 2,913 1,705
AC/DC 
                    is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
AC/DC Blues-rock, Boogie rock, Rock music

12
+ - 2,333 1,057
Led Zeppelin 
                    is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Led Zeppelin Blues-rock, Classic rock, Rock music

13
+ - 1,720 1,152
Deep Purple 
                    is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Deep Purple Blues-rock, Classic rock, Heavy metal

14
+ - 1,585 1,369
Scorpions 
                    is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Scorpions Glam metal, Heavy metal, Hard rock

15
+ - 1,412 1,244
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
+ - 1,722 1,670
Guns N' Roses 
                    is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Guns N' Roses Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

17
+ - 2,006 1,962
Slipknot 
                    is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Slipknot Nu metal, Groove metal, Rapcore

18
+ - 1,406 1,415
Alice in Chains 
                    is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Alice in Chains Rock music, Grunge, Heavy metal

19
+ - 1,527 1,371
Tool 
                    is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Tool Post-metal, Metal, Progressive metal

20
+ - 1,785 1,510
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
+ - 1,550 1,334
Mötley Crüe 
                    is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Mötley Crüe Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

22
+ - 1,417 846
Alice Cooper 
                    is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Alice Cooper Glam metal, Experimental rock, Shock rock

23
+ - 1,199 935
Van Halen 
                    is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Van Halen Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

24
+ - 1,246 919
Testament 
                    is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Testament Thrash metal, Groove metal, Heavy metal

25
+ - 1,533 1,493
Rammstein 
                    is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rammstein Industrial metal, Gothic metal, Industrial music

26
+ - 1,483 1,291
Kiss 
                    is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Kiss Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

27
+ - 1,077 884
Rainbow 
                    is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rainbow Blues-rock, Progressive metal, Power metal

28
+ - 1,272 1,439
Disturbed 
                    is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Disturbed Nu metal, Rock music, Metalcore

29
+ - 1,373 1,537
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
+ - 1,074 1,189
Dream Theater 
                    is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Dream Theater Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

31
+ - 878 1,074
Queensrÿche 
                    is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Queensrÿche Progressive metal, Rock music, Power metal

32
+ - 1,055 1,206
Def Leppard 
                    is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Def Leppard Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

33
+ - 1,104 970
Sepultura 
                    is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Sepultura Nu metal, Heavy metal, Extreme metal

34
+ - 1,066 1,086
Rage Against the Machine 
                    is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rage Against the Machine Crossover thrash, Nu metal, Political hip hop

35
+ - 1,212 958
Queen 
                    is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Queen Pop music, Rock music, Heavy metal

36
+ - 945 914
Rob Zombie 
                    is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rob Zombie Horror punk, Noise rock, Nu metal

37
+ - 1,090 1,037
Rush 
                    is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Rush Progressive metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

38
+ - 921 931
White Zombie 
                    is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
White Zombie Horror punk, Noise rock, Industrial metal

39
+ - 879 908
Death 
                    is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Death Thrash metal, Progressive metal, Technical death metal

40
+ - 799 919
Twisted Sister 
                    is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Twisted Sister Doom metal, Glam metal, Rock music

41
+ - 852 769
Mercyful Fate 
                    is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Mercyful Fate Doom metal, Thrash metal, Progressive metal

42
+ - 940 785
W.A.S.P. 
                    is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
W.A.S.P. Glam metal, Thrash metal, Rock music

43
+ - 769 578
Exodus 
                    is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Exodus Thrash metal, Groove metal, Heavy metal

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44
+ - 725 772
Accept 
                    is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Accept Glam metal, Thrash metal, Power metal

45
+ - 779 837
Helloween 
                    is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Helloween Progressive metal, Melodic music, Power metal - Heavy metal, Progressive

46
+ - 1,053 1,264
Korn 
                    is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Korn Dubstep, Nu metal, Industrial metal

47
+ - 733 934
Whitesnake 
                    is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Whitesnake Glam metal, Blues-rock, Rock music

48
+ - 807 1,076
Five Finger Death Punch 
                    is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Five Finger Death Punch Nu metal, Thrash metal, Groove metal

49
+ - 672 723
Quiet Riot 
                    is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Quiet Riot Glam metal, Rock music, Heavy metal

50
+ - 784 795
Lamb of God 
                    is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Heavy Metal Bands
Lamb of God Thrash metal, Groove metal, Melodic death metal