Top 10 Death Metal Bands

The death metal genre got started in the late 1980s and has been going strong ever since. We’ve outlined what we think are the top 10 death metal bands of all times. As usual, we expect and encourage you to debate about the list we’ve provided.


death metal, chuck schuldiner, death
Death is considered to be one of the most influential bands in heavy metal and a pioneering force in death metal.

1 – Death. Death is the unanimous choice for the greatest heavy metal band of all time. There’s just no debating it. Chuck Schuldiner, the band’s lead singer and guitarist, was known as the Godfather of Death Metal throughout his time with the band. Schuldiner passed away in 2001 but his band’s seven records certainly left behind a tremendous legacy for heavy metal fans.


death metal, cannibal corpse
Cannibal Corpse is an American death metal band from Buffalo, New York

2 – Cannibal Corpse

Cannibal Corpse is second on this list only because of the greatness of Death, as they were undoubtedly one of the top death metal bands to ever live. Since their inception in 1988, they have been credited with developing the heavy metal genre to what it is today. Their innovative take on heavy metal catapulted them to become the top selling heavy metal band ever.



possessed band, death metal
Possessed. They are often called the first band in the death metal genre.

3 – Possessed

Possessed is quite possibly the oldest heavy metal band ever and, even if they aren’t, they certainly paved the way for what death metal has developed into today. While Possessed only released two full albums, they deserve the third spot on this list due to their incredible influence on the genre.


morbid angel, death metal
Morbid Angel was also influential in the transition of death metal from its thrash metal roots to its current form.

4 – Morbid Angel

Morbid Angel has made a name for themselves as producing some of the greatest lyrics that heavy metal has ever seen. They have been credited by many in the industry with bringing the high energy live performances that are the reason for its high popularity today.


children of bodom, death metal
Children of Bodom is a melodic death metal band from Espoo, Finland.

5 – Children of Bodom

Children of Bodom is on this list because of the greatness of every single member of their group. Alexi Laiho is the most famous of the bunch as the lead vocalist, but these guys are definitely one of the most talented bands of all time.


top 10 death metal, deicide, death metal group, heavy metal
Deicide’s high powered music has helped them grab the two and three spots for highest selling albums in heavy metal history.

6 – Deicide

Deicide was formed in 1987, making it one of the older bands that is still producing music today. Their high powered music has helped them grab the two and three spots for highest selling albums in heavy metal history.



Top 10 Death Metal Bands, suffocation
Suffocation – “American death metal’s most consistent and punishing standard-bearers” and their style as “brutal death metal”

7 – Suffocation

Suffocation were one of the first east coast heavy metal bands to really make it big. Starting in 1987 in Long Island, New York, they’ve been one of the pioneers of what many death metal band’s live performances look like today. Their mission statement was to become the heaviest band in the world and they no doubt have made a strong case to be just that.


carcass, death metal
Carcass is one of the pioneers of melodic death metal with their 1993 album Heartwork.

8 – Carcass

Surprisingly, Carcass wasn’t always a strictly heavy metal band. They got their start as a goregrind band but slowly made the successful transition to the heavy metal genre with their hit album ‘Symphonies of Sickness’.


Amon Amarth
Amon Amarth – The band base most of their song lyrics on Norse mythology, the Viking Age, and the pre-Christian world.

9 – Amon Amarth

Amon Amarth is a heavy metal band from Sweden that was founded in 1992. Their lyrics are fairly unique, as they mostly deal with the history and mythology associated with the Vikings.



Opeth – a Swedish heavy metal band from Stockholm.

10 – Opeth

Opeth is another death metal band from Sweden, getting their start in 1990. They’ve been a staple in the heavy metal industry since their inception, selling over 1.5 million albums to this point in their careers.

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