Rolling Stone Magazine is known for their infamous reader polls and they recently asked their readers to come up with a list of the Top Ten Greatest Metal Bands Ever. Now, as a rock fan, you’re probably wondering how Rolling Stone readers define the metal genre. Here is their list. What I want to know is, do you agree and who would you put on your list?

  • 10.


    Tool incorporates visual art as well as long and complex albums that have garnered them worldwide success and critical acclaim. They are most closely associated with the prog rock movement a la Pink Floyd. I went to see their show in St. Paul at Roy Wilkins Auditorium during their tour behind Lateralus and it was one of the best concerts I have ever seen. The visual effects were just insane and the music sounded just like it did on the record. They are an amazingly talented group. If you’re a Tool fan and haven’t done so already, check out A Perfect Circle.

  • 9.


    Pantera is great angry/bad day music. They only had five albums, but they were five awesome albums. Pantera broke up in 2003. Sadly, hopes of a Pantera reunion were dashed when Dimebag Darrell was shot and killed on stage by a nutjob in 2004 while performing with his new group, Damageplan. I was lucky enough to meet Pantera when I was in college and they were a really cool bunch.

  • 8.

    Led Zeppelin

    One of my favorite bands of all time. They made heavy metal before anyone knew what heavy metal was.

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  • 7.

    Judas Priest

    Yes. Absolutely. Love these guys. If I ever held up a bank, I would be cranking Breakin’ the Law in my getaway car.

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  • 6.


    Dave Mustaine formed Megadeth after being booted from Metallica in 1981. Mustaine set out to be faster, heavier and better than Metallica. Faster and heavier, yes. Better? In my opinion, no, but it’s all subjective. By the way, if the opening bass line for Peace Sells sounds familiar, MTV News used it back in the day when MTV played music.

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  • 5.


    Someone switched out CD’s in my clock radio and instead of Enter Sandman waking me up at 4:30am, it was Slayer’s Raining Blood and I about wet the bed. I’m surprised they aren’t higher up on the list.

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  • 4.

    Iron Maiden

    With 36 albums released and more than two thousand live shows under their belt, Iron Maiden definitely deserves to be on this list, but higher than number four. Run to the Hills is one of my favorite songs to play as loudly as I can play it. Trying to play it on Rock Band? Not so much.

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  • 3.

    Black Sabbath

    Again, pioneers in this genre of music. MTV named them the Greatest Metal Band of All Time. VH1 placed them as the number two Greatest Artist of Hard Rock, behind Led Zeppelin. Rolling Stone itself even named Sabbath one of the kings of heavy metal in the 1970’s. How they ended up at number three is a bit of a head scratcher.

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  • 2.

    Dream Theater

    W. T. F. How the hell did they end up on this list? Though they have impeccable musical talent and have technical skills up the wazoo, heavy metal they are not.

  • 1.


    This one was not a shocker. I discovered them in the mid 1980’s and they still rank in my top ten favorite bands of all time. I have seen them several times in concert and it has never been a bad show. I did however want to Taser them following the release of St. Anger.

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