#11 GWAR - With elaborate, bizarre and often gruesome costumes and makeup, GWAR's graphic stage performances often feature humorous enactments of politically and morally taboo themes with everything from satirizing and mutilating effigies of current political figures and celebrities. Since 1984 the band has been inciting audiences with their extreme brand of shock rock and have appeared on a number of talk-shows during the 1990's. Despite the death of lead guitarist Cory Smoot a.k.a. Flattus Maximus, last year, the band continues to proudly shock and offend the heavy metal world.
#9 SLAYER- The most extreme heavy/thrash-metal band in the world, Slayer is known for their speed, intensity and aggressive style. Drawing from intense imagery and lyrics laced with violent and anti-religious imagery, Slayer has been known for their highly-controversial music. With screaming lyrics from frontman Tom Araya and Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman's wild dual guitar solos, Slayer has earned it's place among thrash metal's 'Big Four' which also includes Anthrax, Megadeth and Metallica.
#8 Rob Zombie - Formerly the lead singer for White Zombie (1985-1998), Rob Zombie (a.k.a. Robert Cummings) has been a major part of the growing industrial metal scene. Heavily influenced by horror and sci-fi movies and the music of Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie has become a highly successful musician, film/TV/animation director, producer and screenwriter. Rob Zombie released his first solo album in 1998, Hellbilly Deluxe and has since then released 4 studio albums, several remix and compilation albums and four major films including House of 1,000 Corpses (2003), The Devil's Rejects (2005) and the remakes of the Halloween franchise: Halloween (2007) and Halloween II (2009). His latest film, The Lords of Salem is set to be released in 2013.
#6 Black Sabbath - The originators of the Heavy Metal sound, four young men from Birmingham, England formed a band in 1969 and with the release of Black Sabbath (1970) and changed heavy metal music forever! Since their original lineup until 1979 which included Tony Iommi, Bill Ward, Geezer Butler and of course Ozzy Osbourne, the band has gone through several lead singers in their 40-year history including highly-popular singer Ronnie James Dio, along with Ian Gillan, Glenn Hughes, Ray Gillen and Tony Martin. While the band has reunited and broken up on several occasions including a reunion with Ozzy in 1997 and then with Dio in 2006 also forming the side-band Heaven & Hell, most of the original members have reunited (unfortunately except for drummer Bill Ward) yet again for another tour. Black Sabbath relied heavily on the energy and reaction from the crowd brought on originally by singer Ozzy's natural showmanship and then later with Dio's performance-centered presence. The band has rarely used much over-the-top stage elements aside from heavily-used crucifixes symbols and fire effects, Sabbath has always been more focused on the music and crowd-pleasing tactics. Black Sabbath will ALWAYS be the #1 metal band!
#5 KISS - The originators of theatrical "shock rock", despite their appearance, KISS has always been more of hard rock than a heavy metal band, utilizing a more traditional rock & roll style music, KISS relies heavily on their unique make-up designs, costumes and stage shows. Formed in the early 1970's KISS has been dubbed "The Hottest Band in the World!" Although the original lineup including Paul Stanley, Gene Simmons, Ace Frehley and Peter Chris has changed over the years (with only Paul and Gene as the remaining original members), KISS has retained a huge following despite their decline in the early 1980's and their years without make-up until their reunion in 1996. With their use of pyrotechnics, fireworks, wire-work and not to mention Gene's blood-spitting and tongue. KISS remains the most popular rock band in the world with the highest commercial success thanks to their huge line of merchandising properties.
#4 Metallica - One of the most popular and successful heavy metal bands in the world, Metallica has been known for their energetic and crowd pleasing shows since their beginning in 1983. With sold-out shows and their knack for notorious year-long touring, Metallica has developed a huge fan base despite their decline in the late 1990's due to their changing image and developing music style. Though the band has been through a number of lineup changes; the most significant being the death of bassist Cliff Burton in 1986 and the departure of bassist Jason Newstead in 2000 and recruitment of Robert Trujillo in 2003.
#3 Motörhead - The LOUDEST band in the world! Motörhead has been turning up the volume since their debut in 1975. Frontman and bassist Lemmy Kilmister is the ideal rock star and is idolized by many in the rock community and whose band is regarded as one of the most influential of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal bands to emerge out of the late 70's.
#2 Ozzy Osbourne - The Godfather of Heavy Metal! Ozzy Osbourne is heavy metal personified, The Prince of Darkness himself has had a hugely successful solo career since he was fired from Black Sabbath in 1979. With some of the most virtuoso guitar players at his side like the late Randy Rhoads and until recently Zakk Wylde, Ozzy has brought heavy metal mainstream. Despite his crazier years in the 80's which was filled with onstage antics such as biting the head off a bat or wearing spangled-jump suits. From teenage-criminal to rock star, deadbeat to metal superstar, reality TV dad and metal god Ozzy Osbourne is the quintessential live metal show.
#1 Iron Maiden - THE most popular heavy metal band in the world! Iron Maiden was one of the first bands of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal to make it to worldwide acclaim. With current frontman Bruce Dickinson at the helm and their ever-present mascot Eddie making crowds of thousands cheer all over the world, Iron Maiden is truly the #1 Best Live Heavy Metal Band! With Dickinson's natural showmanship and ability to please the crowd, Iron Maiden always puts on a great show! Don't believe me...just watch this trailer from the documentary Iron Maiden: Flight 666:
Happy National Metal Day! Rock on \m/LINKS: National Metal Day on Facebook