Here are the top 10 metal bands that pioneered and paved the way for everyone that came after them.
1. Judas Priest
Judas Priest was formed in 1969 in the UK by Al Atkins, the lead vocalist and Brian “Bruno” Stapenhill, the bassist. Also on guitar is John Perry and John “Fezza” Partridge as their drummer. Judas priest has released 18 studio albums, 6 live albums. Their best selling album is Defenders of the Faith. Their albums have sold over 50 million copies, earning them a high rank in the greatest Metal bands of all time. Their current lead singer is Rob Halford, current bassist is Ian Hill, current guitarist is Richie Faulkner, current drummer is Scott Travis and no longer touring is Glenn Tipton that played many different instruments but had to unfortunately stop due to being diagnosed with Parkisons disease. Touring in his place currently is guitarist Andy Sneap.
According to RollingStone’s Readers Poll, Metallica is the #1 top Metal band. Known for doing whatever they want without worries of how the world will take it, Metallica released 10 studio albums, and 8 live albums. Fans love to criticize the band’s every move and still love what they do. It seems like no matter how far they push the bar, the stadiums remain packed and their shows sold out. The music is addicting and clearly ingenious, it’s no secret how this band remains to be the #1 metal band over the years.
Listen to their music across the years and see how much it varies. Their best-selling release of their career is The Black Album. Released August 12, 1991 it sold over 10 million copies!
3. Ozzy Osbourne
Ozzy Osbourne was the lead singer in black sabbath. He was fired in 1978 and decided to form his own band. Blizzard Of Ozz is the best-selling Ozzy Osbourne album of all time. Released on September 20th, 1980, the album has sold over 13 million copies worldwide. Ozzy released 12 studio albums and the first 7 went multi-platinum. He rejoined black sabbath to record their last album before they went on a farewell tour. Ozzy Osbourne has sold over 100 million albums combined with the sales from his time with black sabbath.
Dio was formed in 1982 after Ronnie J. Dio and Vinny Appice left their former band, Black Sabbath, because of disagreements over the mixing of Live Evil, which peaked at 37 on the Billboard Pop charts. The final members are Ronnie James Dio (RIP) as lead vocalist, Craig Goldy who played the guitar and keyboards, Simon Wright as the drummer, Scott Warren on the keyboards and piano, and Rudy Sarzo on bass. Dio released 10 studio albums and 7 live albums. Both their first album Holy Diver and their second album The Last in Line sold over 1 million copies in the US.
5. Black Sabbath
The Pioneers of Heavy Metal, Black Sabbath first introduced Metal to the world in 1968 when they started the band. Ozzy Osbourne was the original singer of the band until 1979 when they replaced him with Ronnie J. Dio. Black Sabbath has released 19 studio albums and 8 live albums. No metal band has ever been able to cover Black Sabbath songs as good as the original band.
There’s rumors of a new album coming soon, but no confirms just yet!
Their best selling release to date is Paranoid. Over 4 million copies were sold, it was also the best seller in the UK, the bands homeland.
6. Iron Maiden
Formed in 1975 by bassist and lead song writer Steve Harris, Iron Maiden has released 17 studio albums and 13 live albums. Leading the group to this day is frontman Bruce Dickinson. He took some time off from the band in the 90s to go solo but has since started touring again with the band. Known for their hardcore fans, Iron Maiden sells out shows like no other.
Their best selling album is The Number of the Beast, which sold over 8 million copies.
Slayer is definitely a killer band. Their loyal fans can be seen wearing their merch everywhere they go, the live concerts are even more insane. As soon as the band steps on stage, the crowd goes violent. Even when opening for Metallica, the Slayer fan base was evidently out wearing the Metallica fans. Slayer has released 12 studio albums, 2 live albums.
Their best selling album is ‘Reign in Blood’ released in 1986. The band still tours with the original lineup to date.
Megadeth was originally created by Dave Mustaine, the original guitarist in Metallica, after they fired him for having an alcohol problem and not getting along with everyone else. He planned to wipe Metallica off the grid but evidently failed. Even though the original plan didn’t play out accordingly, Megadeth made a name for themselves in the 80s. The have released 15 studio albums and 6 live albums. Megadeth ended up reuniting with Metallica in a 2010 show where four bands shared the stage.
Their best selling album is Rust In Peace released in 1990
Anthrax was formed in 1981 by Scott Ian, Dan Lilker and Dave Weiss in New York City. John Connelly later joined as vocalist. Paul Kahn also joined and played bass leaving Dan Lilker to play rhythm guitar with Scott Ian, Dave was later replaced by drummer Greg D’Angelo. The band released 11 studio albums and sold over 10 million copies worldwide.
Their best album peaked at number 7 in the Billboard charts and received a gold certification along with a few other albums.
10. The Scorpions
The Scorpions was created in Hanover, Germany in the year 1965 by Rudolf Schenker. The band went on to record 18 studio albums and 6 live albums. Their most successful album was “Love at First Sting”. The Scorpions is definately one of the best metal bands recognized everywhere they go with their sales of over 100 million records worldwide.