The 2017 Top Ten Metal Bands – how do we rate the Greats? First of all, there are so many EXTREMELY impressive Metal bands that don’t even get much air time or recognition that it makes creating this list almost impossible. I made this list based on personal opinion, album sales and overall popularity. To be truly honest, I have heard local bands with just as much or more skill – so this isn’t to knock all the bands out there waiting to be discovered! The work just as hard or harder!
I understand the discussion about heavy metal and its variants is actually a very sensitive subject because there are loads of metal bands and everyone has their own opinions, for certain. Your opinions are welcome and there is absolutely no reason for you to feel bad. For most part, I hope you will agree. Enjoy the read and comment below!
2017 Top Ten Metal Bands
I am sure many of you will agree when I say Disturbed in particular, has been pretty reliably great from their start. Disturbed an American rock band that was formed in the year 1996. This band originated from Chicago, Illinois. Disturbed has released six studio albums – five of those albums debuted at number one on the Billboard chart. Disturbed took a break in October 2011 so that members could focus on side projects and then returned in June 2015, releasing their first album in five years, “Immortalized”, on August 21, 2015.
Straight out of the gate, their haunting cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s, “The Sound of Silence” has really pushed them into super-stardom – which can be difficult to do for metal these days! Above you can see the legendary performance on “Conan” that really catapulted them into any fame they didn’t already possess. Distrubed’s members include: David Draiman, Dan Donegan, Jon Moyer and Mike Wengren. They have earned their spot in the list of 2017 Top Ten Metal Bands!
Don’t chop my head off for placing Megadeth and Anthrax at 8 and 9! LOL. It’s really hard to really rank the top 10! They are all so different and so flippin awesome, to say the least. Megadeth actually just released their newest album, “Dystopia” which in my opinion, may very well be their masterpiece. Every single song is riddled with skill and amazing riffs on guitar and some VERY intricate drumming from Dirk Verbeuren! The current line-up, according to Megadeth’s website is: Dave Mustaine Lead Vocals, Lead, Rhythm, and Acoustic Guitars, David Ellefson Bass Guitar Dirk Verbeuren Drums and Kiko Loureiro Lead, Rhythm, and Acoustic Guitars. One of the big 4 — they are a force to be reckoned with and more than deserve their spot in the 2017 Top Ten Metal Bands!
Anthrax formed in New York City and while there have been many member changes – their metal is a style like no other! They are a Thrash Metal band that was formed in the year 1981 by Scott Ian and Danny Lilker. They have released ten studio albums and their current band members include Scott Ian, Charlie Benante, Frank Bello, Joey Belladonna and Rob Caggiano. Their first studio album was released in the year 1984 and it was called ‘Fistful of Metal’. Their latest album came out in 2011 called ‘Worship Music’. My personal all time favorite song by Anthrax has got to be a toss up between “Belly of the Beast” or “Time”. Take a listen – what do you think?
Motorhead is an English heavy metal band. They were formed in the year 1975 by Ian “Lemmy” Fraser Kilmister. Motorhead has a sounds that puts them into the Heavy, Speed and Thrash Metal categories. Their latest line-up of band members included Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister, Phil ‘Wizzo’ Campbell and Mikkey Dee. They have come up with 22 studio albums. The first album, “Motorhead”, was released in the year 1977. Their latest album came out recently in the year 2015 and was titled, ‘Bad Magic’.
Sadly, Lemmy passed away on December 28, 2015, only four days after his 70th birthday in his apartment in Los Angeles. He was ill and had passed away to due prostate cancer, congestive heart failure, and cardiac arrhythmia. Despite trying to live a healthier life, after previous medical scares, we still lost this amazing, dedicated musician.
Pantera blasted out of Arlington, Texas. This American heavy metal band that was formed by the Abbott brothers (“Dimebag Darrell” Lance Abbot and Vincent Paul “Vinnie Paul”) in the year 1981. They remained active until the year 2003. They were into Groove, Thrash, Heavy and Glam Metal. Pantera released nine studio albums with the first release occurring in the year 1983, titled “Metal Magic.” Pantera’s final album, “Reinventing the Steel” was released in the year 2000.
Tragically, the cold-blooded murder of Lead Guitarist, DimeBag Darrell while on stage performing a show with new band, “Damage Plan” on December 8, 2004, and some not-so-friendly worlds rattled off by Pantera vocalist, Phil Anselmo, put a nail in the casket for any reconcilliation of the Pantera we all love. There had been previous issues within the band – but this really marked the end. Most metal fans will agree – Pantera deserves their spot in the top 10 and probably always will!
While many top 10 lists tend to list Metallica as the #1 Metal Band, I tend to disagree. You can’t put them as number one and place the bands that inspired them behind that – just seems wrong! Metallica’s current band line-up includes the founding members Hetfield and Ulrich, their longtime lead guitarist Kirk Hammett (Originally from Exodus) and monster bassist, Robert Trujillo (Formerly of Black Label Society, Suicidal Tendencies, Infectious Grooves, etc).
Metallica is one of the “Big Four” metal bands – heading up the “Thrash Metal” scene along with Anthrax, Megadeth, and Slayer. Naturally, having different members, they have developed a different sound throughout the years, while still sticking to the basis of being a Thrash Metal band.
Many old school metal listeners feel Metallica “sold out” but I completely disagree. As a musician, your sound is always evolving. Their millions of fans prove that no matter how Metallica evolves, their fan base continues to grow with each generation. With 10 Albums in their discography, “Hardwired…to Self Destruct” being released in 2016 – this band isn’t going anywhere!
4. BLACK SABBATH
Black Sabbath is a band I didn’t get into until I was a little older, with the help of my husband. I mean I knew I loved the song, “Iron Man”, but who doesn’t? It’s when you really sit down and listen to the Bill Wards’ drums on songs like, “A National Acrobat” – where you really get to realize these guys are absolutely fantastic musicians as well and the creativity never fades. Black Sabbath is another English rock band from Birmingham. Black Sabbath was formed in 1969.
The current lineup of band members for Black Sabbath includes: Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne and Geezer Butler. They bring other musicians on tour. Black Sabbath released around eighteen studio albums. The first one came out in the year 1970 and was called ‘Black Sabbath’. The latest album was released in 2013, entitled “13” – which was actually a GREAT album. One of the original metal bands – how could they NOT be on the list of 2017 Top Ten Metal Bands?
3. JUDAS PRIEST
I think most people, even if they aren’t a metal fan, know at LEAST one song by Judas Priest and therefore they MUST be on the list of 2017 Top Ten Metal Bands! This is a British heavy metal band that came out of Birmingham. The band was formed in the year 1969. They are known primarily for Heavy and Speed Metal styling. Their current band members include Ian Hill, Rob Halford, Glenn Tipton, Scott Travis and Richie Faulkner. They have released around sixteen studio albums with the first one released in the year 1974 called ‘Rocka Rolla’. The latest album from Judas Priest was released in 2008 called ‘Nostradamus’.
2. IRON MAIDEN
I really have to say, sticking Iron Maiden behind Slayer was a touch one – they should share the #1 spot, therefore, I placed them in the #2 spot of the 2017 Top Ten Metal Bands. Iron Maiden is an English heavy metal band and they hails from Leyton. The band was formed in the year 1975 by bass player, Steve Harris. Their current members include Steve Harris, Davy Murray, Adrian Smith, Bruce Dickinson, Nicko McBrain and Janick Gers. Interesting thing about this band is that the lead singer is actually a pilot and they tour on their own Boeing – c’mon, that’s pretty impressive! Iron Maiden has released 38 albums, including 16 studio albums, 11 live albums, 4 EPs, and 7 compilation albums. Especially relevant, they are still going strong!
Most true Metal fans will agree that Slayer is the quintessential Metal Band and deserve the #1 spot on the 2017 Top Ten Metal Bands list. This American heavy metal band formed in California. The band got together in 1981, all thanks to the guitarists Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King. They are into Thrash and Speed Metal and their band members include Tom Araya, Jeff Hanneman, Kerry King and Dave Lombardo. They have released eleven studio albums with the first one, “Show No Mercy” coming out in the year 1983. The latest album from Slayer, “Repentless” was released in 2015 featuring, “Repentless”, “You Against You” and my personal favorite, “Pride and Prejudice”.