Iron Maiden. Forever my number one band. With Bruce Dickinson supplying not only some of the greatest vocals in heavy metal, but some of the greatest vocals in music period, and Adrian Smith and Dave Murray blending that with fret-melting guitar madness, Steve Harris writing mysterious and intruiging horror-inspired lyrics, and Nicko McBrain topping it all off with crushing drum work, you get not only the greatest band in heavy metal, you get the greatest band ever. End of. Full stop. Period.
Take one of the most powerful, most ranged, pitch-perfect vocalists of all time, two twin-guitar masters who never fail to strike you with a stunning guitar solo, lyrics that master the art of songwriting and drumming that grabs you into the song, your result is....Judas Priest. The Metal Gods.
Though when Lemmy begins to sing it sounds like he has been smoking for 40-years (which isn't bad, as he's probably been smoking for around 50 years), his unmistakable contribution to heavy metal certainly makes up for it. Only a fool would question that. Motorhead are responsible for some of the greatest guitar solos ever recorded (Yes, you can probably see by now I am a sucker for guitar solos), perfectly-timed drumming and taking heavy metal as we know and inserting 50x the attitude, I think it's safe to say Motorhead are a pretty damn awesome band. Oh, and not to mention they have one of the coolest names ever that countless acts have tried to rip-off.
The ones who started it all. The heavy metal originaters. Ozzy's wailing vocals and Iommi's exotic guitar riffs really set the mood when you listen to this band. Lyrically, another horror-themed band, with dark, mythical lyrics and slow, almost spooky sounds they created that would later evolve into Doom metal shot this band into my top 5 bands a long time ago. No one would be stupid enough to dare compete with their skillful standards, not even the stupidest of the stupidest.
Possibly the most underappreciated band of my top 5, an incredibly skilled and musically affective 3 man band who were never quiet given enough credit for what they were worth, and what they did for the metal genre. They created instantly recognizable riffs for doom metal fans, breath-taking guitar solos and amazing vocals. They played a hand in creating doom metal, and were one of the main contributers to defining the doom metal sound. This band never misses on every occasion, and have indirectly influenced a lot of metal bands without them even knowing it. Whether they influenced their favorite bands, or whether it was a direct influence. Either way, they are a truly amazing band.