Probably the hardest top 10 list I have made as their are countless influential metal bands out there. I also decided to cut Led Zeppelin and KISS from the list. Although their sound and style can still be felt today in metal, they themselves aren't metal and I had to draw the line somewhere. In honor of Spinal Tap recording a new album, this one goes to 11.
#11 Motley Crue
In the 80's, no band was bigger than Motley Crue. Love them or hate them, they defined metal for an entire decade.
#10 Napalm Death
Napalm Death are the godfathers of the grindcore genre and have influenced bands from Carcass to countless death metal bands.
Led by the late guitarist Chuck Schuldiner, Death was one of the forefathers of death metal music.
Early Metallica was at the forefront of thrash along with Slayer, Anthrax, Megadeth and Exodus.
With Manowar's fantasy based lyrics, they have influenced many or today's top power metal bands from Hammerfall to Dragonforce.
Having started in the mid 70's, Motorhead's vocalist and axeman, Lemmy Kilmeister has influenced bands from black metal to thrash and beyond.
#5 Celtic Frost
Having influenced bands from Metallica to Nirvana, Celtic Frost introduced metal to a gloomy gothic sound and influenced countless black metal bands.
The bands blackened death metal sound and lyrics about religion influenced many of the metal bands today. Venom are a major influence on today's thrash scene.
#3 Judas Priest
One of the best bands out there with several timeless classics under its belt. Judas Priest has dominated the NWOBHM scene since its' inception.
#2 Iron Maiden
Still going strong today, Iron Maiden have been a force since the 70's.
#1 Black Sabbath
How could Black Sabbath not top this list? You can trace back so much to Sabbath, from guitar riffs to tones.