13 Amazing Bands Similar To Metallica

Written by Dan Farrant

Metallica has been a titan in the world of heavy metal and thrash since their inception in the early 1980s. Their unique blend of aggression, melody, and technical prowess has kept them at the forefront of the genre for decades.

If you’re a fan seeking to explore similar bands with that same magnetic energy, look no further! In this post, we’ll dive into 13 bands like Metallica that will electrify your playlist. From classics like Megadeth and Slayer to powerhouses like Lamb of God and Trivium, we’ve got it all for you. Read on! 

Metallica by Kreepin Deth (CC BY-SA 4.0)

1. Megadeth

Often regarded as one of the pioneering bands in the thrash metal subgenre, Megadeth has earned its place among the top 13 bands like Metallica.

Formed by ex-Metallica guitarist Dave Mustaine in Los Angeles in 1983, Megadeth effortlessly blends heavy metal and rock music elements to create their signature sound. Their powerful riffs, memorable lyrics, and gripping melodies have garnered them legions of loyal fans around the world.

With a discography boasting an impressive array of critically acclaimed albums such as Rust in Peace and Countdown to Extinction, Megadeth’s dynamic skills demonstrate their understanding of various music genres and definitely worth listening to.

2. Slayer

As one of the most influential heavy metal bands in history, Slayer has also secured its place in this list. With their aggressive sound and provocative themes, this American thrash metal band quickly gained notoriety in the music world since its formation in California in 1981.

Throughout their career, Slayer has released numerous groundbreaking albums such as Reign in Blood, South of Heaven, and Seasons in the Abyss. These musical masterpieces showcase their exceptional talent for fast tempos and intricate guitar riffs, both of which have helped reshape rock music as we know it today.

Aspiring artists from various music subcultures still regard them as major influences due to their ability to push boundaries within genres while staying true to their unique sound, much like Metallica.

3. Anthrax

Next up, we have one of the Big Four bands in heavy metal culture. Anthrax—alongside Metallica, Megadeth, and Slayer—has been rocking the music scene since its inception in New York City in 1981.

Their iconic albums, such as Spreading the Disease, Among the Living, and Persistence of Time, showcase the band’s unique blend of hard rock beats and fast-paced thrash riffs.

The band’s sound incorporates elements of punk, hardcore, and traditional heavy metal. Their guitar work is marked by intricate, high-energy riffs, and solos, resulting in a style that is both powerful and engaging—perfect for Metallica fans!

4. Pantera

Undoubtedly one of the most iconic heavy metal bands in history that is like Metallica is Pantera. Formed in Texas in the early 1980s, thrash metal and hard rock music heavily influenced the band’s music.

Pantera quickly gained a lot of attention for their energetic live performances and aggressive guitar-driven sound. They now boast sensational hits like “Walk,” “Cowboys from Hell,” and “Cemetery Gates.”

Fans of Metallica may find themselves drawn to Pantera’s raw energy, intense vocals, and powerful guitar riffs that showcase similar traits to Metallica’s musical style.

5. Lamb Of God

Another fantastic band that is quite similar to Metallica is Lamb of God. This Virginia-based group has been around since 1994, and they’ve made quite a name for themselves in the metal scene.

Lamb of God has released nine studio albums over the years, each with its own distinct sound and style. Some of their most popular songs include “Redneck,” “Walk with Me in Hell,” and “Laid to Rest.”

They’ve also toured extensively throughout their career, playing shows all over the world for legions of devoted fans, including in Metallica’s 2008–2010 World Magnetic Tour.

6. Testament

If you’re a fan of Metallica, chances are you’ll love Testament as well. This thrash metal band from California has been around since the 1980s.

After their debut album, The Legacy, Testament has released 12 more albums that showcased their heavy sound and technical musicianship, including Dark Roots of Earth and Brotherhood of the Snake.

Like Metallica, Testament has played an influential role in shaping the sound of modern heavy metal. They’ve also shared stages with some of the biggest rock music names mentioned here, including Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax.

7. Trivium

Trivium is a heavy metal band associated with Metallica due to their similar styles and sounds. Formed in Florida in 1999, this band has released nine studio albums thus far, including the Kerrang! Album of the Year winner Ascendancy.

Guitarists Matt Heafy and Corey Beaulieu are known for their fast-paced riffs and intricate solos, while drummer Alex Ben provides the powerful beats that drive their songs forward. On top of that, the vocals by Heafy are dynamic, ranging from melodic singing to aggressive screams. 

Trivium’s intense live performances have earned them a loyal fan base within the heavy metal subculture. Today, their influence in the world of metal is undeniable.

8. Machine Head

Yet another band that shares similarities with Metallica is Machine Head. Founded in 1991, this California heavy metal band has been bringing a unique sound to the metal scene for almost three decades.

Their music combines thrash and groove metal elements and contains hardcore punk and classic rock influences. Some of their top hits include “From This Day,” “Take My Scars,” and “Days Turn Blue to Gray.”

What makes Machine Head a name to remember are their live performances’ high energy and intense atmosphere. They have even toured with several big names in metal music, such as Pantera, Slayer, and Slipknot.

9. Sepultura

Brazilian heavy metal band Sepultura has gained international recognition as one of music history’s top thrash metal bands. The group shares many similarities with Metallica, including the heavy use of guitar riffs and fast-paced drumming.

By releasing smash hits like “Roots Bloody Roots” and “Refuse/Resist,” Sepultura has significantly impacted the development of modern heavy metal and inspired countless younger bands to explore different sounds and styles.

After a few lineup changes, Sepultura now consists of Derrick Green on vocals, Eloy Casagrande on drums, Andreas Kisser on guitar, and Paulo Jr. on bass.

10. Kreator

Another well-known heavy metal band and a rightful contender for this list is Kreator. Hailing from Essen, Germany, the band has been active since the early 1980s and are considered pioneers of thrash metal.

Like Metallica, Kreator’s music is known for its fast-paced guitar riffs, aggressive vocals, and intense drumming, all of which are elements that thrash metal fans love.

Their songs often touch on political and social issues, making them more than just head-banging music. With hit albums like Gods of Violence, Hate Über Alles, and Phantom Antichrist under their belt, it’s safe to say they’ve made their mark.

11. Exodus

Known for its heavy and thrash metal sound, Exodus is another band that shares similarities with Metallica. Established in California in 1980, the band has since released numerous albums that resonate with rock fans across the world.

Some of their top projects include their debut album, Bonded by Blood, and the 2014 Blood In, Blood Out, with “The Toxic Waltz,” their most popular song.

Like Metallica, Exodus has been an influential part of the metal music subculture, inspiring many other bands to follow in their footsteps. With dedicated band members who work tirelessly to produce quality music, it’s no wonder why Exodus is still making waves in the industry today.

12. Overkill

When it comes to bands like Metallica, it’s hard not to include Overkill. Established in New Jersey, this band has been around since the early 1980s and is often associated with the thrash metal genre.

Since its formation, Overkill has released various top-notch projects. White Devil Armory, I Hear Black, and Horrorscope are among the best of their 20 albums dropped.

Overkill’s music is similar to Metallica in that they both incorporate heavy guitar riffs, powerful drums, and intense vocals. However, Overkill tends to have a more raw and gritty sound compared to Metallica’s polished style.

13. Death Angel

Closing this list is Death Angel, another incredible California-based thrash metal band that has been active in the music industry for over three decades.

They have released many popular albums and EPs, including The Ultra-Violence and Humanicide, and are often compared to Metallica due to their similar style of music.

Fans of thrash metal will appreciate the unique sound of Death Angel’s music, which blends elements from various sub-genres, like traditional heavy metal and punk rock. On top of that, their songs often feature socially conscious lyrics that deal with important issues such as violence and injustice.

Summing Up Our List Of Bands Like Metallica

Many love Metallica’s heavy, aggressive, and fast beats. If you’re one of them, you’ll definitely want to check out these bands we just discussed. From Megadeth to Pantera to Lamb of God, there’s something here for every thrash metal or hard rock enthusiast.

We hope our post has expanded your music knowledge and provided you with some new bands to listen to in your free time. So what are you waiting for? Grab your headphones and see what the hype is all about!

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Dan Farrant, the founder of Hello Music Theory, has been teaching music for over 15 years, helping hundreds of thousands of students unlock the joy of music. He graduated from The Royal Academy of Music in 2012 and then launched Hello Music Theory in 2014. He plays the guitar, piano, bass guitar and double bass and loves teaching music theory.