Top 20 Heavy Metal Bands
Heavy metal is a genre with a great history, and this has been written by legendary bands who laid the foundation for it to be a style that could develop. Nowadays, metal is an accepted and famous genre, and this has been made possible thanks to these 20 bands mentioned below.
The history of heavy metal has been plagued with controversy and the exponents of this genre have taken advantage of all this to promote their art. From accusations of Satanism to youth perversion, it’s hard to believe that metal grew out of the influences of bands like The Beatles. It was the rhythm of psychedelic rock combined with the addition of energetic guitars, like the style of Jimi Hendrix in “Purple Haze”, that really gave rise to the beginnings of heavy metal.
Among so many exponents of metal, there are bands that stand out from all the others, either because of their sound, their legacy or the number of years they have been in the business. These are 20 of the best metal bands .
1) Black Sabbath (1964)
Featured songs: Paranoid, War Pigs, Iron Man.
This band is one of the pioneers of the genre, not only because of its age, but also because of its musical proposal with dark lyrics accompanied by sharp guitars. Ozzy Osbourne, their main vocalist, is known as the “Lord of Darkness”, so it is not difficult to imagine the style of this great band.
2) God (1982)
Featured songs: Rainbow in the dark, Heaven and hell.
Ronnie James Dio was a rock ace and for that reason after his time in Black Sabbath he decided to start his own band together with drummer Vinny Appice. The band remained active until 2010, when it broke up due to Dio’s death.
3) Metallica (1981)
Featured Songs: The Unforgiven, One, Enter Sandman.
This thrash metal band was founded by James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich and, despite the years, is still active. It is so famous that many people who are not fans of the genre know about its songs and members, calling the genre “Metallica” by mistake many times.
4) Judas Priest (1969)
Featured songs: Painkiller, The Ripper, Breaking the Law.
Although it began as progressive rock, today Judas Priest is the best example of classic heavy metal in the musical world. This British band is still active and, together with Black Sabbath, is considered a forerunner of the genre and subgenres of power metal, groove metal, and thrash metal.
5) Iron Maiden (1975)
Featured Songs: Iron Maiden, The Trooper, Phantom of the Opera.
Iron Maiden is one of the most famous bands in the world, for its energetic songs, its presence on stage and even for the mascot that has accompanied them for more than 40 years: Eddie the head.
6) Rammstein (1995)
Featured songs: Du hast, Feuer Frei, Ich Will.
Definitely one of the most controversial bands in the world, Rammstein is one of the few groups that don’t sing in English. Despite that, they managed to bring industrial metal from Germany to every corner of the world.
7) Megadeth (1983)
Featured songs: Tornado of souls, Peace sells, Symphony of Destruction .
Upon being fired from Metallica due to his violent nature and drinking problems, Dave Mustaine had to find a band that could handle his strong personality. So he decided to found Megadeth and turn his new group into one of the most iconic exponents of thrash metal.
8) Slayer (1981)
Featured songs: Raining Blood, Angel of Death.
Along with Metallica, Megadeth and Anthrax, Slayer is part of the 4 most influential bands in thrash metal. Their album “Reign in Blood” has been awarded the title of “ The Heaviest Album of All Time ” by Kerrangi magazine, so it’s clear that when it comes to heavy metal, Slayer needs to be mentioned.
9) Halloween (1978)
Featured songs: I want out, Dr. Stein, Halloween.
Helloween is considered the father group of power and speed metal, making it a pioneering and outstanding band of the genre. Founded in Hamburg, their songs are not done in German, but they come with the attitude that only Germans can convey when entering the scene.
10) Dream Theater (1985)
Featured songs: As I am, Pull me under, Peruvian skies.
The technicality of Dream Theater is something that is critically acclaimed and knowing that it was a band founded at the Berklee College of Music, it is understandable why. Despite having left their studies to be able to give life to one of the best rock bands of all time, each of the members managed to preserve their musical knowledge that has characterized the progressive metal of the band.
11) Panther (1981)
Featured songs: Walk, Cowboys from hell, Uplift.
In the world of rock, Pantera is not just an animal, but the name of a pioneering groove metal band from Texas. The Abbot brothers gave life to this group in 1981 and, until 2003, they offered a great musical repertoire that manages to encompass the great qualities of heavy metal.
12) Motorhead (1975)
Featured songs: Ace of Spades, No class, The game.
Motörhead is a band that definitely never wanted to limit itself in musical terms, as they created hard rock, speed metal, classic heavy metal and even rock and roll songs. The London-born group remained on the top rock charts until their disbandment in 2015, and even today their legacy continues to inspire younger bands in the genre.
13) Anthrax (USA – 1981)
Thanks to its fame, metal was able to progress enough to spawn a large number of subgenres such as doom metal, industrial metal, glam metal, and even thrash metal . Anthrax is one of the greatest exponents of the latter.
14) Venom (England – 1979)
While some prefer the melodious sound of transverse flutes (you can find purchase options here), others love the noise of the guitar and long drum solos. For them there is Venom, a band that, despite the changes, has kept its metal essence from the beginning.
15) Mercyful fate (Denmark – 1981)
Most heavy metal groups move between the different variations of the genre to give an always new sound, and this characterizes the Danes from Mercyful Fate. This group was present in the movements of progressive metal, power metal, black metal and thrash metal.
16) Kreator (Germany – 1982)
It has already been said that heavy metal music is a subgenre that is found within rock and stands out for its characteristic sound with strength and power . In Germany, one of the great exponents of the genre was Kreator.
17) Celtic Frost (Switzerland – 1984)
It is impossible to mention all the groups that stand out in this genre and give each band the recognition it deserves , however, Celtic Frost cannot be missing from this list, as it is a band that managed to expand the heavy metal movement in Switzerland.
18) Stratovarius (Finland – 1984)
Stratovarius is a well-known band because, in addition to perfectly blending classical music with power metal, they also helped forge heavy metal into what it is today in Finland.
19) Manowar (USA – 1979)
Holding the Guinness World Record for the longest concert in history and the most powerful sound in the world, when it comes to Manowar you either love the band or hate it, there is no in-between.
20) Gamma Ray (Germany- 1997)
After leaving Helloween, Kai Hansen decided to found Gamma Ray and luckily this band is just as amazing as his first group.
We assure you that, among all these bands, you will be able to find the best heavy metal songs of all time, so if you want to start exploring this genre, it is best to start with the pioneer bands of the metal world.