Top 10 Greatest Metal Bands Of All Time
The greatest metal bands of all time are 1. Metallica 2. Iron Maiden 3. Black Sabbath and more.
Metal is a genre of rock music that evolved in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It is easily recognized by its loud and heavy sounds paired with distorted guitars and extended guitar riffs.
Bands in the genre also have some of the most devoted and loyal fans in the entire music industry. While the genre is not suitable for mainstream consumption, fans have a deeper connection with their favorites.
Categorized into many sub-genres, from folk metal and Christian metal to heavy and death metal, here are the 10 best metal bands to have taken the stage:
Top 10 Greatest Metal Bands Of All Time
|Band Name:||Years Active:|
|Metallica||1981 - Present|
|Iron Maiden||1975 - Present|
|Black Sabbath||1968 - 2017|
|Slayer||1981 - 2019|
|Judas Priest||1969 - Present|
|Megadeth||1983 - Present|
|Pantera||1981 - Present|
|Motorhead||1975 - 2015|
|Anthrax||1981 - Present|
|Slipknot||1995 - Present|
10 . Slipknot
Slipknot is one of the best nu-metal bands in the world. They are famous for mixing elements of heavy metal with other genres like Hip-Hop and Punk.
Formed in 1995 in Des Moines, Iowa, the American metal band saw early success with the release of their debut self-titled studio album Slipknot, which is the band's best-selling album with 2 million sales in the US.
The band saw its first chart-topping album with its 2008 album All Hope Is Gone, which debuted at No.1 and stayed on the Billboard 200 chart for 70 weeks. It was Platinum certified by the RIAA.
With 10 Grammy nominations, Slipknot won its first-ever Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance for the single "Before I Forget" in 2006.
Anthrax is one of the best thrash metal bands on the list. It is an American band based in New York City, formed by Scoot Iam and Dan Lilker in 1981.
The band rose to prominence with the release of their third studio album Among the Living in Match 1987, which solidified their place amongst the greats and was certified Gold by the RIAA.
Their sixth studio album Sound of White Noise was its highest-charting album in the US, peaking at No. 7 in the Billboard 200, and was awarded Gold certification for selling over 511,000 copies.
The band's first single "Madhouse" from their 1985 album Spreading the Disease, is the most streamed song on Spotify raking up 53,515,320 plays.
As for the accolades, the thrash metal band has earned 6 Grammy nominations but has failed to win a single Award.
Motorhead is one of the best heavy metal bands of all time. Led by the late Lemmy, the band was formed in London in 1975.
The group's discography includes twenty-two studio albums, sixteen live albums, 5 EPs, and more. Their albums Overkill and Bomber established them as one of the greats of the genre.
The band's fifth studio album Ace of Spades became their best charting album in the UK, featuring at the #4 spot on UK Album Chart. It was also the band's only Gold-certified studio album by the BPI.
The title track peaked at the top of the UK Rock & Metal Singles and Albums chart following the death of frontman Lemmy in 2015. It is also the band's most streamed song on Spotify with over 375,925,689 plays.
Pantera is regarded within the top heavy metal bands category. They are also credited for the development and popularization of groove metal.
Originating from Arlington, Texas in the 1980s as a glam metal band, the band later transitioned into more heavy sounds.
They got widespread commercial success with their fifth studio album Cowboys from Hell, which sold 1.28 million copies in the US.
However, it was the 1994 album Far Beyond Driven, which hit the number 1 spot on Billboard 200, and was the band's fastest-selling album being certified Platinum by both the RIAA and CRIA.
The fourth single "Walk" from the 1992 album Vulgar Display of Power, is the group's most streamed song on Spotify with 313 million plays while the band has raked 5.536 million monthly listeners on the platform.
Megadeth is an American metal band formed in 1983. They are widely known as one of the big four of the thrash metal genre.
Although their first two albums Killing Is My Business and Peace Sells... but Who's Buying? were a moderate success, it was the band's third album So Far, So Good... got rose them to the spotlight.
The 1992 album Countdown to Extinction was Megadeth's best charting album in the US, peaking at the #2 spot, and is also the band's best-selling album with double platinum certification in the US.
The album is also the band's hottest single "Symphony of Destruction" which peaked at No. 71 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and is the metal band's highest streamed song on Spotify with over 249 million plays.
5. Judas Priest
Judas Priest is one of the greatest heavy metal bands of all time. They have been active since 1969.
Formed in in Birmingham, England, during the same period as Black Sabbath, it took the group a few years to tie the loose ends and gain a huge following.
Throughout their career, the band has released 18 studio albums, but none of them found success until the 1980 album British Steel, which is the band's best charting album peaking at the 4th spot on Billboard 200.
The album also spawned the group's most streamed song "Breaking the Law" on Spotify recording 216 million plays, whereas the best charting song goes to "You've Got Another Thing Coming" from their 1982 album which peaked at #67 on Hot 100.
At the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards ceremony, Judas Priest won their first ever Grammy for Best Metal Performance for the song "Dissident Aggressor".
Slayer is of the best metal bands of all time. Formed in 1981, their fast-paced and aggressive music has earned them a formidable place in this genre.
Slayer's discography comprises twelve studio albums, four live albums, and sixteen singles. Through which the band has sold 20 million records globally while 5 million the solely in the US.
Regarded as one of the "big four" of thrash metal alongside Anthrax, Megadeth, and Metallica, the band has achieved huge commercial success, earning them six gold and a multi-platinum certification from the RIAA.
The band's 2015 album Repentless saw its best-ever chart performance, peaking at No. 4 on US Billboard 200 while the 1986 album Reign In Blood spawned the most streamed Spotify song "Raining Blood" raking 163 million plays.
3. Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath is one of the best heavy metal bands on this list. Formed in Birmingham in 1968, the band is viewed as pioneers of the metal genre.
Releasing 19 studio albums over half a century, their self-titled debut album was instantly a huge hit, peaking at the 8th spot on UK Album Chart and also earning Gold certification.
However, it was their second album Paranoid, that propelled them to stardom. It peaked at the No. 12 on Billboard 200 chart and was ranked No. 1 on Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Metal Albums of All Time" list.
Fast forward to 2013, the release of their final album 13, was the first time in the band's history to chart at the top spot on Billboard 200 along with many other nation's album charts.
2. Iron Maiden
Iron Maiden secures the second top spot among the greatest heavy metal bands. This influential band was a pioneer of the British heavy metal movement.
Founded by Steve Harris in 1975, this London-based band is one of the most prolific metal bands, selling over 200 million records worldwide.
The band saw immediate success with the release of the self-titled debut album in 1980, which managed to chart at #4 on the UK Album chart which earned Platinum certification from BPI.
As for the accolades, the band has been nominated for a total of 455 awards of which it has won 365, including one Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance for the 2010 song "El Dorado".
Metallica is undoubtedly the best Metal band. They are considered the best of the big four of thrash metal alongside Anthrax, Slayer, and Megadeth.
Formed in 1981 in Los Angeles, the group found its breakthrough following the release of its third studio album Master of Puppets in 1986, regarded as one of the best heavy metal albums.
Among the six studio albums that topped the Billboard 200, their fifth album Metallica is the band's best-selling album globally and in the US, earning the band its first and only Diamond certification.
The single "Enter Sandman" from its 1991 self-titled album is one of Metallica's best-charting songs on Billboard Hot 100 at No. 16. It grossed almost 1.1 billion plays on Metallica's Spotify, which has 26.78 million monthly listeners.
The metal outfit has received numerous accolades including 9 Grammy Awards, 5 Billboard Music Awards, and 10 California Music Awards. They were eventually inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009.
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