Top 5 Death Metal Bands

Metal-heads unite! In this post, you’ll discover the top five metal bands of all time. Each band not only made some ass kicking music but also influenced and inspired other musicians. 

On our Top 5 list of death metal bands, you’ll find information on each band, including where you can listen to their music.


The original American death metal band is Death. They are widely acknowledged as the pioneers of the genre, and their first album, Scream Bloody Gore, has become almost a legendary recording. It was the sound of Chuck Schuldiner, the band’s lead guitarist and songwriter, that gave birth to this new musical genre. Their song “Left to Die” is often referred to as the anthem of death metal. Almost all American death metal bands cite them as an influence and often cover one or more of their songs. 


The best progressive metal band is Opeth. They were the first progressive metal band, although they now play a more mainstream form of the genre. Good thing too, because their music is so damn heavy! They’re especially known for their heaviness on the album “Damnation”, but all of their albums are excellent! They’re good friends with Katatonia’s Jonas Renkse, and Porcupine Tree’s Steven Wilson.

Cannibal Corpse

Cannibal Corpse was formed by Chris Barnes and Jack Owen who recruited bassist Alex Webster and drummer Paul Mazurkiewicz. Steve O’Brien was also recruited as the band’s guitarist but left in 1989 because of personal differences with the other members. The band’s first release was “Eaten Back to Life” which was followed by “Butchered at Birth” in 1991. Then the group released “Tomb of the Mutilated” in 1992 and finally “Hammer Smashed Face” in 1993. This was the year when the band signed to Metal Blade records.

Chris Barnes and Paul Mazurkiewicz have been in the music scene for a long time. Barnes has been in numerous bands including Bulldozer, Slaughter, Leather Christ and many others. He is one of the most heavily tattooed musicians out there and he has become a well known person for his stage performances as well as his heavy metal music.

Cannibal Corpse was one of the earliest death metal bands, and their music has had a major influence on the genre. They’re also very successful, having sold about two million albums worldwide.

Morbid Angel

Morbid Angel is an American death metal band. They are one of the most influential bands in the genre. The band was originally formed in 1983 by Trey Azagthoth, David Vincent, Brian “Possessed” Pennington and Mike Browning under the name Morbid Angel.

Morbid Angel’s first album was 1989’s Altars of Madness. This was described as the best death metal album of all time by the AllMusic review. Following this, several other bands picked up on Morbid Angel’s unique style, and death metal grew in popularity as a result.

In 1991, Morbid Angel released their second album Blessed Are the Sick. The band were already experiencing problems at this point. Several members had left and been replaced, including guitarist Richard Brunelle and drummer Pete Sandoval.

Need more metal, don’t miss our Top Metal Singers of All Time


The British extreme metal band Carcass was founded by guitarist Bill Steer and drummer Ken Owen in the 1980s. The band was an early pioneer of grindcore. They disbanded in 1995 after releasing six albums, but reformed in 2007 without original drummer Ken Owen. 

The band is known for their unusually high death metal tempos, extremely fast and driven instrumentation, and deep-rooted “grindcore” roots. Bill Steer is the sole member of Carcass to have sung since the band’s formation.

Carcass have been cited as an influence on a wide range of extreme metal genres, including death metal, grindcore and extreme metalcore. The band was inducted into The “That Metal Magazine” Hall of Fame in 2003.


Each of the top five bands has a very different style and sound. However, they all have one thing in common: They are all extremely heavy. Let us know some of your favorite death metal bands in the comments below.