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Most Underrated Metal Bands
Anvil are a Canadian heavy metal band from Toronto, Ontario, formed in 1981. The band consists of Steve “Lips” Kudlow (vocals, guitar), Robb Reiner (drums) and Chris Robertson (bass). To date, the band has released sixteen studio albums, and has been cited as having influenced many notable heavy metal groups, including Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax and Metallica.
Sepultura is a Brazilian heavy metal band from Belo Horizonte. Formed in 1984 by brothers Max and Igor Cavalera, the band was a major force in the thrash metal and groove metal genres during the late 1980s and early 1990s, with their later experiments drawing influence from alternative metal, world music, nu metal, hardcore punk and industrial metal.
Sepultura’s early influences were heavy metal groups such as Iron Maiden, Metallica, Celtic Frost and Slayer, and death metal bands like Possessed and Death. Andreas Kisser affirmed that “without Slayer, Sepultura would never be possible”.
Sepultura’s music comes in a wide range of heavy metal musical styles. The band has been described mainly as thrash metal and death metal. Another genre the band has been commonly categorized under is groove metal. The band later on started experimenting elements of other musical genres such as hardcore punk, industrial metal, alternative metal, world music and nu metal.
8. Diamond Head
Diamond Head are an English heavy metal band formed in 1976 in Stourbridge, England. The band is recognised as one of the leading members of the new wave of British heavy metal movement and is acknowledged by thrash metal bands such as Metallica and Megadeth as an important early influence.
Diamond Head are probably most famous among heavy metal fans for their influence on Metallica. Metallica have acknowledged them as an important early influence and have covered Diamond Head songs at gigs such as “Sucking My Love”, “Am I Evil” and “The Prince.” The earliest known recordings of these songs are a rehearsal demo recorded at then-bassist Ron McGovney’s house in March 1982. The Metal Up Your Ass live demo, recorded in November of that year, featured a live rendition of “Am I Evil.” “The Prince” was also played, but the tape ran out too soon to catch it. “Sucking My Love” exists on various bootlegs that have been circulating since 1982 along with a recording on the early demo No Life Til Leather.
Pro-Pain is a New York City-based heavy metal band formed in 1991 by vocalist and bassist Gary Meskil and drummer Dan Richardson, both former members of Crumbsuckers.
Their debut album Foul Taste of Freedom was released in 1992, displaying hardcore punk and rap metal influences, after which the band was signed to Roadrunner Records, who reissued the album the following year. Their second album The Truth Hurts was initially banned due to the sleeve artwork, featuring a picture of a stitched-up woman after an autopsy.
6. Deep Purple
Deep Purple are an English rock band formed in Hertford in 1968. They are considered to be among the pioneers of heavy metal and modern hard rock, although their musical approach changed over the years. Originally formed as a progressive rock band, the band shifted to a heavier sound in 1970. Deep Purple, together with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, have been referred to as the “unholy trinity of British hard rock and heavy metal in the early to mid-seventies”. They were listed in the 1975 Guinness Book of World Records as “the globe’s loudest band” for a 1972 concert at London’s Rainbow Theatre, and have sold over 100 million albums worldwide.
5. Iced Earth
Iced Earth is an American heavy metal band from Tampa, Florida. It was formed in 1984 under the name The Rose, then Purgatory by guitarist and main songwriter Jon Schaffer and original drummer Greg Seymour.
Iced Earth has commonly been described as heavy metal, thrash metal and power metal. When asked about the band’s musical style, Jon Schaffer, Iced Earth’s chief songwriter, said: “We’re a metal band. That’s what we are. We have every dynamic from Pink Floyd to Slayer and everything in between.”
Iced Earth’s music has evolved and shifted several times during the band’s history. On the group’s 1990 self-titled debut album, the band’s sound was characterized by time changes, acoustic passages and Iron Maiden-type galloping rhythms.
4. Metal Church
Metal Church is an American heavy metal band. They originally formed in San Francisco, California in 1980 before relocating to Aberdeen, Washington the following year and briefly using the name Shrapnel.
The band is credited as a formative influence on the thrash metal subgenre, melding the aesthetics of the new wave of British heavy metal and American hard rock with “incredibly tight musicianship” and “piercingly screeched” vocals. Early lyrical topics such as conflict and paranoia later expanded into philosophical and social commentary.
3. Dream Theater
Dream Theater is an American progressive metal band formed in 1985 under the name Majesty by John Petrucci, John Myung and Mike Portnoy while they attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. They subsequently dropped out of their studies to concentrate further on the band that would ultimately become Dream Theater.
The original members, Mike Portnoy, John Petrucci and John Myung, have strong influences from progressive rock bands such as Rush, Yes, and Pink Floyd, heavy metal bands such as Iron Maiden and Judas Priest, various speed metal bands, and even the glam metal of the day.
Savatage is an American heavy metal band founded by the Oliva brothers Jon and Criss in 1979 at Astro Skate in Tarpon Springs, Florida.
Savatage and its former variations started out as a heavy metal band, incorporating Jon Oliva’s powerful, sometimes screamed vocals accompanied by Criss Oliva’s heavy guitar riffs and fast, melodic solos. When bassist Johnny Lee Middleton joined in 1986, the band took a step in the direction of radio-friendly hardrock due to label pressure, but to no success.
Savatage’s main influences include Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, AC/DC, Van Halen, Rainbow, UFO, Rush, The Who, Metallica, Pink Floyd, Queen, Motörhead, Scorpions, Accept, Saxon and Jethro Tull.
Annihilator is a Canadian thrash metal band founded in 1984 by vocalist, guitarist, bassist, songwriter, engineer, producer, mixer and mastering engineer Jeff Waters and former vocalist John Bates. They are the highest-selling heavy metal group from Canada in Canadian history, having sold more than three million albums worldwide. Along with Sacrifice, Voivod and Razor, Annihilator is credited as one of the “Big 4” of Canadian thrash metal.