Break out your chains, leather and…lace? This top 10 is all about heavy metal bands, going from the originals from the late 60s all the way to the present day, from the heaviest of music to the cheesiest, this isn’t just about your normal metal bands, this about everyone. Why? Cause this list isn’t about the 10 best metal bands in history, it’s just my 10 personal favourite. So remember, this list has nothing to do with a band being better than another, this is literally my 10 most favourite metal bands right now at this very moment. So please keep that in mind when reading this list.
Why am I not just doing a top 10 metal bands of all-time list? Because that’s subjective and I don’t listen to every single band or have a massive staff that have that musical range. So it makes no sense to do that, so instead I’m focusing on my own personal top 10.
Yes, a band whose frontman is professional wrestler Chris Jericho is on my top 10 all-time metal band list. Remember this is my personal favourites, not best overall. I really do believe that Fozzy is a super underrated band and with each album they keep getting better. Their first two albums which consisted of covers wasn’t really that great. When All That Remains came out, it was a decent album where their tracks were now original. The music was still very heavy and Jericho’s singing really sounded a lot better, likely due to the fact that this was his own songs to sing to, rather than emulating someone else. Then Chasing The Grail was released and holds my favourite all-time song from the band, Wormword, a nearly fourteen-minute epic track. Followed by newer albums Sin and Bones (which features M. Shadows on one track, Sandpaper) and Do You Wanna Start A War, the band has really shown their chops as a legitimate metal band. Unfortunately to most casual listeners, knowing the lead singer is a professional wrestler seems to turn them off the band, which is disappointing. Give them a listen if you never have before, I strongly suggest the following songs: Wormword, Lights Go Out, Sandpaper, Spider in my Mouth.
I love bands who mix weird genres into metal music and Enter Shikari is no different. The first time I listened to their debut album, Take to the Skies, I was immediately hooked by the uniqueness of their music. I believe I got onto them because of NHL 08 now that I think about it, Sorry You’re Not A Winner was a track in that game. The mixture of heavy metal (which seems to be argued between people, but it sounds metal to me, which for this list is all that matters) and electronic music was so different to me that I couldn’t help but notice it. Following albums like Common Dreads and A Flash Flood of Colour only cemented their spot in my playlists for possibly the rest of my life, it’s still very weird to me that my favourite song by the band is called Gandhi Mate, Gandhi. Their newest album though, The Minesweep, haven’t really gotten into that one.
All right, some legendary bands everyone knows. I missed the boat on this band because of the whole being born in 1988 thing. But I remember first hearing of the band with their The Black Album songs like Enter Sandman and Nothing Else Matters. It took some time though before I would dig back into their old tracks, as I never really had the initiative to do so. Then Guitar Hero and Rock Band changed my mind on that and god damn are the original albums good! Tracks like Master of Puppets, Blackened, Seek & Destroy, For Whom The Bell Tolls, the pure aggressiveness of those songs were just badass. And then with the band getting their groove back with Death Magnetic, it finally allowed me to experience Metallica in the present day, rather than catching up with the older stuff. And while I don’t listen to them as much as I used to, they are still a fantastic group when you listen to anything not from St. Anger.
The original metal band many would argue (because Led Zeppelin is not metal, stop it), Black Sabbath even though I don’t listen to them often, they’re on this list purely for the value of listening to the original heavy metal tracks like Black Sabbath, Iron Man, War Pigs and Paranoid and just being so mesmerized by listening to the music that created my favourite genre of music. There’s still a ton of music I haven’t listened to from them, I will admit, a lot of it simply being that there’s a ton of their songs that are either a bit off to me, perhaps not hard enough for me, or just because I have a tough time listening to much older tracks, as sound quality is something that can bother me when listening. Although Ronnie James Dio can make an old record still sound fantastic, so there’s that. And with Black Sabbath, it’s mostly about listening to the original stuff, the new stuff is certainly hit and miss, End of the Beginning is a nice callback to the old music, it does carry that feeling of Black Sabbath with it. But like Metallica, it’s a nostalgic listen more than a consistent one.
The first time I heard The Madness and the Damage Done, I could not believe what my ears were hearing…then I heard Fisheye and my brain exploded. “METAL AND FUCKING JAZZ?!!!” I thought in my own head listening to those tracks, it made no sense to me how those two genres of music would come together, let alone sound as good as it does. “Blackjazz” is now a thing and it’s fantastic. Following up the Blackjazz album with One One One, with tracks like I Won’t Forget and The One Inside, they really put themselves in a place where I cannot ignore them. Also, the intro to How Your Story Ends may just be the best and most badass intro to a song ever, holy shit that saxophone! And with their newest album International Blackjazz Society and the first single from it The Last Stand, it’s almost like they’ve found a way to sort of mainstream that sound. They’re fan-fucking-tastic!
This is a band that legitimately scared the shit out of me when I saw them at a younger age. I also honestly didn’t get the music the first time I listened to it. Then I started working factory jobs and suddenly People = Shit and (sic) sound so much better. The pure aggressive nature of the band is what really attracts me to them, songs like those I listed before are shining examples of that, there’s no stopping with them. More mainstream songs however like Psychosocial are still fantastic tracks that are a little bit easier to play in front of unsuspecting listeners. And being able to watch their music videos now without be creeped out is awesome, I love that I can watch the music video for The Devil and I without being freaked out by it. And obviously there’s value in the masks and the stage presence this band has, there’s very few bands that can come close to the freak show that is Slipknot.
From the freak show to the badass show, Judas fucking Priest, man! Another one of those bands I was extremely late to the party on, it took until watching VH1’s Heavy: The Story of Metal before I ever took a look at these guys (the #1 band also falling into this category) and once I did, holy shit did my mind blow and subsequently expanded to allow a ton of more music into it. British Steel, Killing Machine, Screaming for Vengeance, Painkiller, the albums just never stopped coming, more and more tracks being added to my playlists, it was a phenomenal time for me as a listener. It’s also so amazing to see how different frontman Rob Halford changed his image with age, it’s weird seeing him now and thinking this guy was clean shaven with short, blonde hair. Also the discovery of him being gay makes it even cooler and actually kind of hilarious that one of the gods of heavy metal, which is viewed as such a macho straight male kind of genre, does not fall into that category. It’s kind of funny when you think about it, these guys really brought in leather to the genre and it was taking that from the homosexual cupboard so to speak, but straight men thought it was so badass, they took it on without question. Love it!
Yep, a metal band that consists of a bunch of dudes in makeup and has three teenage Japanese girls as their vocalists is placed above bands like Sabbath, Priest, Metallica and Slipknot. BABYMETAL is my fucking jam right now, man! The first time I heard Gimme Chocolate, I was hooked instantly. I absolutely love Japanese culture, I think nearly anything they touch is pure gold, they know how to make even the weirdest concepts work and a heavy metal band with J-Pop influences worked tremendously. After a fantastic entry with their debut album, we just recently got their second album, which I wasn’t even sure would exist given the idol system in Japan, in Metal Resistance and it shows how the band is evolving. With their success largely outside of Japan, the music is becoming more Westernized, while keeping the spirit of the original album. You may not hear tracks as blatantly J-Pop as Doki Doki Morning, but tracks like Meta Taro still exist. But with these amazing tracks like Karate and The One now in their playlist, they’re headed in a direction I am more than happy to follow and I hope they stick around long enough for a third album, though my fear is the band will continue on, but refresh the singers with younger talent instead of letting them do this (if they want to continue on, of course) until they grow old, which would be the band members first at this point.
I will never tire of listening to this band, Dream Theater could release a single song that’s over two hours in length and I will listen to it. Mind you it’s been a tough transition with legendary drummer Mike Portnoy no longer with the band (that’s okay, I got The Winery Dogs out of this), but there are newer tracks I’m still into. The majority of my listening though are there 2000s albums, Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, Train of Thought, Octavarium, Systematic Chaos and Black Clouds & Silver Linings. Anything older and newer has been hit and miss for me, but those five albums are fucking phenomenal. The heavy riffs, the guitar solos, the keyboard solos, the amazing drum fills, it’s all there with this band. It’s amazing that a band this talented never garnered any legitimate mainstream attention, but then again the mainstream music industry is retarded and rewards looks over talent more than anything, but I digress. Also, this band being one of the few acts I’ve gone to see live (cause I’m not a concert go-er, I don’t like big crowds), really puts them in a high place for me.
But then again, there’s still the #1 band on this list and they just happened to be the headliner of the show I watched Dream Theater open…
There is no band in the history of music that I respect, love and have listened to more than Iron Maiden. This is a band that released their first album in 1980 and minus the two albums that Blaze Bayley replaced Bruce Dickinson for, every album has been fantastic and just keeps staying the status quo as the best metal band of all-time for me. The original Paul Di’Anno albums: awesome! The seven albums leading up to Bruce’s temporary departure from the band: amazing! And the newest five albums from them, when most of these acts tend to be nowhere near as good as their 80s and 90s work? I’d honestly put two of these albums in the top 5 all-time Maiden albums. Come to think of it, I think I have my top 10 list for next week! But yeah, there’s nothing I can say about Iron Maiden that isn’t me gushing, the guitarists (all three of them!) are phenomenally talented, their bassist is just as good, the drums are fantastic and come on, Bruce Dickinson is possibly the best metal frontman of all time. AND I HAVEN’T EVEN MENTIONED EDDIE YET!!! This band is the fucking best man, and I will argue everyone to no end on this!
So I hope you enjoyed this list, don’t forget to leave your own personal top 10s in the comments below!