When your average joe thinks of heavy metal, they think of bands like Metallica, Guns N Roses and even SoundGarden. Although they are all legends, these are more hard rock or alternative bands vs real metal.
The top 4 on our list are considered one of the top selling metal bands and also the most influential of all time. They are not only financial powerhouses, but loved and adored worldwide.
Guess most fans of these bands are still relatively young (30s to early 40s) but a lot of them are in their 20s as well. No, they are definitely not thinking about retirement just yet.
Anyways, let’s have a look at the top 4 most influential metal bands of the 90s. Of course everyone has their own list, however, you will find at least 1 to 3 of these bands on 90% of metal fan lists around the world.
These bands are as follows (Not in a specific sequence by the way):
If you know metal, you know Sepultura.
Sepultura is a Brazilian heavy metal band from Belo Horizonte. The group was formed in 1984 by brothers Max and Igor Cavalera. Sepultura has had several lineup changes, but its core remain the Cavalera brothers. In 1987, they released their first album, "Morbid Visions", which is considered a classic in the Brazilian heavy metal scene .
In the late 80s, a lot of thrash bands emerged in Brazil and soon Sepultura had to compete with bands like Overdose and Sarcófago, who were more successful at that time. In 1991, they released their second album "Beneath the Remains", which was more successful than their debut album and gained international recognition for the band. In 1993, they released “Arise”. This was the beginning and literally killed anyone that thought could outshine them.
Since then, they’ve released tons of classic and one of them was ‘Roots’. Probably the most unique heavy metal album of all time. First time ever in history, has someone so seamlessly mixed the tribal sounds of Brazil with the modern metal sound. The songs in this album were literally masterpieces in their own right.
Pantera is an American heavy metal band from Arlington, Texas. The group's most well-known lineup consisted of lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist Philip Anselmo, lead guitarist Dimebag Darrell, bassist Rex Brown, and drummer Vinnie Paul. The band released five studio albums with Anselmo as the only original member left in the group.
In 1983, Pantera released their first album “Metal Magic” which was a moderate success. In the following year, the band toured extensively throughout Texas and Oklahoma as a support act for other up-and-coming bands such as Van Halen and Ratt. In 1985 they released their second album "Projects in the Jungle" which was a commercial failure after being dropped by Capitol Records due to its poor sales figures. However, they soon bounced back with a plethora of albums and have cemented their name in the world of music. Legend and a half.
Their album ‘Cemetery Gates’ is considered one of the best music albums of all time.
Testament is a Bay Area thrash metal band that was formed in 1983.
Their debut album, “The Legacy”, was released in 1987 and became the first Testament album to enter the Billboard 200.
In their early years, Testament had a strong association with the emerging Bay Area thrash metal scene of the 1980s and 1990s. They have sold over 8 million albums worldwide which translates to 80 million in revenue. Granted they weren’t as big as international as Metallica but they had their solid place in that time. Their “Return to serenity” is one amazing song.
Slayer is a thrash metal band, formed in 1981 by guitarist Kerry King and drummer Dave Lombardo. Slayer has released 12 studio albums, two live albums, one EP and two compilations. They're best known for songs such as "Angel of Death," "Raining Blood" and "Seasons in the Abyss."
Slayer rose to fame with their 1986 release "Reign in Blood," and is credited as one of the "big four" of thrash metal bands alongside Metallica, Megadeth, and Anthrax.
The 90s were a great time for metal bands but their are still some amazing bands today who are downright killing it with their talent.
Who knows, metal just might make a comeback.
What goes around comes around right? Like the 80s synths are back (Think Stranger Things on Netflix).
So you never know.