Friday Top 10: Most Influential Metal Bands

Remember when I posted my wacky comments on Kerrang! magazine’s Top 10 of the most influential rock bands of the last 30 years? Well, it’s time to post the metal equivalent of that Top 10, only we’re not limiting ourselves to time, so it’s the most influential bands of metal history.

Also, only metal bands can make the list. Not bands that aren’t metal themselves but influenced a wide array of metal bands, so exclude AC/DC, Deep Purple etc.

Now, make the jump to see if my list is better than Kerrang’s list.

It is.

Bathory, pretty much, single-handedly created the Black Metal sound, especially the infamous production work and vocals, and influenced thousands of BM bands coming after them, including the early (true) Norwegian Black Metal scene — Burzum, Mayhem, Immortal, Darkthrone, just to name a few.

Pantera may not be the innovators of Groove Metal but they certainly influenced much more bands than other Groove Metal bands. Be it Machine Head, DevilDriver or — ugh — Throwdown, there are still a lot of bands who takes lots of influences from the Cowboys from Hell.

One may wonder why Judas Priest only made #8 on my list but try not to forget that this list was written by a completely ignorant jerk. I’m trying to weigh out the bands that influenced the biggest amount of bands and Priest certainly do belong on this list but they’re just making the 8th place in my mind.

Fear Factory’s vocalist Burton C. Bell came up with the “good-cop, bad-cop” vocals that combine shouted (or growled, on FF’s early output) with melodic, clean vocals. Most Metalcore bands blatantly ripped that style off.

Listen to just one song off At The Gates’ album Slaughter Of The Soul, and you pretty much just heard the entire inspiration for the Metalcore genre. Combine At The Gates with Fear Factory and you’ve got Metalcore without the bad parts.

The father’s of Death Metal — Death. You could argue that Possessed played Death Metal before Death but they certainly never influenced as much bands as Chuck Schuldiner and co.

And another band that had a huge influence on Death Metal and, obviously, Thrash Metal — Slayer. Besides influencing loads of bands, the band also influenced metalheads around the world to yell “SSSLLLAAAYYYEEERRR!!!” whenever they’re drunk. The ultimate war cry.

Metallica’s legendary first four albums influenced almost every metal band that came after them. Their subsequent albums may be controversial but surely influenced a wide array of more mainstream metal bands.

After over 35 years of innovating and beautifying Heavy Metal, that included multiple farewell tours, Iron Maiden can surely claim to be one of the most influential bands, not only in metal but in all of music. Also, don’t forget that Eddie is pretty much the flagship metal mascot.

One album, Black Sabbath’s self-titled debut album, changed all of music, created Heavy Metal and later spawned their own genre, Doom Metal. People who haven’t heard Sabbath’s debut from 1970, simply don’t know Heavy Metal history. Black Sabbath are, without a shadow of a doubt, the most influential metal band of all time.

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