Metallica’s brand of hardcore speed metal makes it one of the world’s greatest and most adored metal bands. Did you land here looking for bands like Metallica? If you enjoy listening to bands like Metallica we have curated a list of similar bands that you might want to check out. Metallica started as a punk-metal hybrid band in San Francisco’s Bay Area, soon becoming one of the musical bands worldwide. Metallica famously developed the head-banging subgenre of speed metal in the early and mid-1980s and changed how metal music was perceived. In their span of 4 decades and various line-up changes, Metallica has made sure to speak highly of the artists/music/bands that have inspired them. The decades have allowed Metallica to evolve and vary in their musical style, opening up wide-scope artists to fit in.
List of Bands Like Metallica
Megadeth is an American thrash metal band formed by Dave Mustaine (vocalist/guitarist) in Los Angeles in 1983. Before creating this band, Mustaine was the original lead guitarist of Metallica. Though he never appeared on their albums, he has been cited for 4 songs in Kill ‘Em All and 2 songs from Ride the Lightning. Megadeth is considered one of the ‘Big Four’ thrash metal bands, along with Metallica, Anthrax, and Slayer, for their contribution and influence in the genre.
Megadeth’s songs feature complex arrangements and fast rhythm sections, lyrical themes of war, religion, politics, death, and personal relationships. The band won its first Grammy Award in 2017 for the song Dystopia in the Best Metal Performance category. If you are a fan of bands like Metallica, there’s a good chance you will also appreciate Megadeth.
The American band Slayer was a thrash metal band formed in Huntington Park, California, in 1981. The band initially consisted of members Kerry King (guitar), Jeff Hanneman (Guitar), Dave Lombardo (Drums), and Tom Araya (bassist/vocalist). The band’s breakneck tempos and jagged riffs have set the bar for speed metal and made them a part of the ‘Big Four’ bands of thrash metal.
The band teamed up with hip-hop producer Rick Rubin. It developed a sound that would revolutionise the genre with its breakthrough Reign of Blood. Some of Slayer’s musical career’s best songs are Raining Blood -This is the heaviest record of the album and Seasons in the Abyss – Has a Hellish atmosphere. So if you are searching for bands similar to Metallica, you might want to try listening to Slayer.
3. Iron Maiden
There is a good chance you may have heard of the band. Iron Maiden is a top-rated English Heavy metal band formed in London in 1975 by songwriter Steve Harris. Many critics have stated that the band elevated heavy metal into an art form by proving that academic and musical inspirations can coexist. Metallica’s Lars Ulrich once stated that despite being a huge Diamond Head fan Iron Maiden is probably the one that inspired Metallica’s music the most.
Ulrich also found the Iron Maiden album cover is cooler than theirs and appreciated seeing how much the band cared about their fans. With 41 released albums, 4 Eps, and 7 compilations, there is a lot of Maiden’s awesome heavy metal music to dig into. If you are a big fan of bands like Metallica, you should try listening to Iron Madden. They might just become your new obsession.
Also Read: Bands like System of A Down
The final of the Big Four thrash metal bands, and a part of this list is Anthrax. The band was formed in New York City in 1981 by rhythm guitarist Scott Ian and bassist Dan Lilker. They were amongst the first few thrash metal bands to emerge on the east coast of America.
What made the band so special was how they always made the show’s audience feel like they were part of the party. They deliberately avoided the denim and leather aesthetic. Penning I’m the Man bridged the punk/metal/rap communities, and it earned Anthrax a rightful place in music. You will surely appreciate Anthrax if you can’t get enough of artists like Metallica.
The Heavy metal band Slipknot formed in Iowa in 1995 and were themselves huge fans of Metallica. In the early years, the band consisted of 9 members, including Shawn Crahan, Joey Jordison, Corey Taylor, and Paul Grey. Slipknot is well known for its attention-grabbing aggressive style of music and its energetic and chaotic live shows.
Following the release of their self-titled debut album in 1999, Slipknot rapidly rose to fame. Frontman Corey Taylor has been a fan of Metallica since he was a teenager and credited them as a ‘Blueprint’ for their career longevity. Slipknot opened for Metallica in the European leg of the “Jägermeister Music Tour,”. Slipknot’s dark-toned records are a great substitute for music like Metallica, check them out.
This band needs no introduction, the Australian rock band AC/DC formed in Sydney in 1973 and has been a pop culture sensation for generations. Originally the band consisted of members Dave Evans, Angus Young, Malcolm Young, Larry Kriedt, and Colin Burgess. With Malcolm’s death in 2014 and various changes, Angus remains the only original member today.
The band is not necessarily similar to Metallica, but their mix of hard rock, blues rock, and heavy metal (simply called rock and roll by them) produced some incredible singles. Highway to Hell continues to be one of the most popular songs ever made. Suppose you want to listen to iconic Metal bands like Metallica. In that case, listening to AC/DC will be one of the BEST decisions you ever made.
If you have been following Metallica for a while, then you may know that it’s become a tradition for the band to pay tribute to artists who come from the cities or the countries they are playing in. For example, Metallica covered Rammstein’s ‘Engel’ from their Berlin show in 2019. You can listen to the cover in the link below.
Rammstein is a German Neue Deutsche Härte band formed in Berlin in 1994. The band’s line-up consists of Till Lindemann, Richard Kruspe, guitarist Paul Landers, Oliver Riedel, Christoph Schneider, and Christian “Flake” Lorenz. Deutschland and Du hast are some of their best singles. Suppose you are on the lookout for bands similar to Metallica. In that case, Rammstein’s industrial metal, hard rock, and gothic metal will be a great addition to your playlist.
8. Guns N’ Roses
In the world of heavy metal/hard rock, only a few bands dominate the ground of merchandise. You are sure to spot people wearing T-shirts by Metallica, AC/DC, and Guns N’ Roses anywhere you go. It’s not just because they have very aesthetic musical artworks but every single one of the bands is as iconic as their counterpart.
The hard rock American band Guns N’ Roses originated in Los Angeles in 1985. They have sold more than 100 million records worldwide, including 45 million in the United States; this makes them one of the best-selling acts in music history. As luck would have it, both the band had a tour together in 1992 called The Guns/Metallica tour, and without a doubt, the show was a massive success. So for music like Metallica, Guns N’ Roses Sweet Child O’ Mine should be a perfect pick for you. Check it out.
Motörheadwere an English rock band formed in London in 1975. The band consists of Lemmy, Larry Wallis, and Lucas Fox. Most often classified as heavy metal, Motörhead has been credited with being part of and influencing numerous musical genres like thrash metal and speed metal.
In an interview, Metallica’s Lars Ulrich mentioned that Motörhead were responsible for uniting fans of all genres at a time when music was, as he put it, “way more segregated”. Metallica has always spoken highly of the band and if you wish to listen to music like Metallica then Motörheadis a terrific choice.
Also Read: Bands like Tool
10. Pink Floyd
The highly popular Pink Floyd was an English Rock Band formed in London in 1965. Their early psychedelic music with extended compositions, philosophical lyrics, and elaborative live shows distinguished them from the musical groups. Some of Pink Floyd’s albums, like The Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall, are among the best-selling albums of all time.
Pink Floyd and Metallica are an example of two great bands with not much in common except Metallica’s Kirk Hammett’s love for Pink Floyd. He said, ‘I love Shine on You Crazy Diamond’ because there is a riff in that song, but it’s so sideways and around the back. When you listen, it’s blues.’ So if you want to listen to epic bands like Metallica, Pink Floyd should be a great addition.
Here are a few hardcore bands like Metallica that didn’t make the list, but you can check them out nonetheless:
- Lamb of God
- Judas Priest
- The Rolling Stones