Top 100 Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Bands of All-Time

After polling the little demonic beings living within my thick fat hairy skull, an imperfect list of the Top 100 All-Time Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Bands was born. We hope you despise it.

Insincerely Yours,

The Management

P.S. When you are done vomiting blood all over the list, test your metal wits on the Sporcle quiz: “Gears of Rock Top 100”


  1. Black Sabbath
  2. Metallica
  3. Iron Maiden
  4. Slayer
  5. AC/DC
  6. Judas Priest
  7. Motorhead
  8. Led Zeppelin
  9. Megadeth
  10. Pantera
  11. Ozzy Osbourne
  12. Kiss
  13. Aerosmith
  14. Motley Crue
  15. Anthrax
  16. Guns n’ Roses
  17. Alice Cooper
  18. Scorpions
  19. Queen
  20. Van Halen
  21. Def Leppard
  22. Alice in Chains
  23. Deep Purple
  24. White Zombie
  25. Venom
  26. Dio
  27. Rush
  28. Overkill
  29. Accept
  30. Mercyful Fate
  31. Cream
  32. Marilyn Manson
  33. Diamond Head
  34. Machine Head
  35. Thin Lizzy
  36. The Misfits
  37. W.A.S.P.
  38. Ted Nugent
  39. Ministry
  40. Poison
  41. Exodus
  42. Type-o-Negative
  43. Ratt
  44. Sepultura
  45. The Ramones
  46. Pearl Jam
  47. Journey
  48. Bon Jovi
  49. Dream Theater
  50. Twisted Sister
  51. Danzig
  52. Fear Factory
  53. Tesla
  54. Quiet Riot
  55. Soundgarden
  56. Metal Church
  57. Joe Satriani
  58. Steve Vai
  59. Sammy Hagar
  60. Kreator
  61. Lamb of God
  62. Testament
  63. Faith No More
  64. Cinderella
  65. Tool
  66. Corrosion of Conformity
  67. Saxon
  68. Mastodon
  69. Stone Temple Pilots
  70. Cannibal Corpse
  71. Skid Row
  72. Korn
  73. GWAR
  74. Helloween
  75. Suicidal Tendencies
  76. Hatebreed
  77. Armored Saint
  78. Down
  79. Rage Against The Machine
  80. Primus
  81. Whitesnake
  82. Life of Agony
  83. Vision of Disorder
  84. Slipknot
  85. Biohazard
  86. Warrant
  87. Queensryche
  88. Extreme
  89. Mr. Big
  90. Living Sacrifice
  91. Black Label Society
  92. Deftones
  93. Sick of It All
  94. Living Colour
  95. Sevendust
  96. Foo Fighters
  97. Lita Ford
  98. King’s X
  99. System of a Down
  100. Nirvana

Now that you have studied the list, test your memory with the “Gears of Rock Top 100” game at


4 Responses to “Top 100 Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Bands of All-Time”

  1. go over the list again and edit it, some of these bands are not metal bands or heavy, metal has changed too, so some bands are not the same as the new metal bands coming up, they are great bands and some of the best ever, but to classify them against current is unfair in the fact that styles of metal arent even similar anymore.

  2. Nice list. But where is FASTWAY, DOKKEN, MAMA’S BOYS and KINGDOM COME?? They were certainly better than many on your list. Glad to see Diamond Head in there, but why did you include Journey, among others?? Kiss is also HIGHLY over-rated. They belong near the bottom.

  3. @Josh I agree that metal has changed a great deal over the years. There aren’t too many new acts on here because it takes years of proving it on the road; A band has to feel the power of being on top, hitting a low, a come back, and reconquering the world over again (repeat cycle). I was also thinking of the influential factor. 70’s hard rock bands (which can be easy listening compared to today) make the list because their then-heavy riffs rewrote how hard rock and heavy metal music was done. I also hate classifying the different types of metal. If something rocks hard, then let it rock. No need to create yet another subgenre for it. I think I picked up that wisdom from Ozzy a couple decades ago.

  4. @Powertrip Should I have included Monster Magnet too, lol (if that is what your name referenced)? Good call on the Dokken. Kiss is totally the most overrated band of all-time (perhaps the next Top 100 list?). However, what they brought to hard rock and heavy metal is legendary. The big stage show, blowing stuff up, blood spewing, making an ass out of yourself on stage, exploiting your fans hard-earned cash on ridiculous merchandise, etc. They showed that heavy music can be one giant party.

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