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 Bands A-Z: Black Sabbath
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 1. Black Sabbath



 2. Judas Priest


 3. Metallica



 4. Iron Maiden



 5. Pantera



 6. Slayer



 7. AC/DC



 8. Motorhead



 9. Kiss



 10. Motley Crue



  Honorable Mentions



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  The MTV Metal Brain Trust


The Brain Trust has spoken and now the readers have weighed in. Check out their top 10s and share your own in You Tell Us.



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Metallica may have invented thrash metal, but Slayer injected the form with a near-lethal dose of undiluted evil.

Although they essentially started as a Judas Priest cover band, Slayer — bassist/vocalist Tom Araya, guitarists Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman and drummer Dave Lombardo — quickly evolved. Inspired by classic metal, hardcore punk, horror movies and a hunger to destroy, the band wrote brutal, unrestrained songs that were disturbing, controversial and took heavy metal to new extremes.

Of course, Slayer weren't just devastating and frightening, they were also incredibly influential musically. Their downtuned rhythms, infectious guitar licks, graphically violent lyrics and grisly artwork set the standard for dozens of emerging thrash bands, and Slayer's music was directly responsible for the rise of death metal. Today, the band are far from the fastest, most disgusting or most dangerous outfit — and they don't even support death metal, which they refer to as "Cookie Monster music." Yet Slayer's recent live shows and recordings prove they remain both menacing and undeniably vital.

Like many of their peers, Slayer's sound is anchored in the dual guitar rhythms of King and Hanneman, but while the two have created some of the fastest and tightest thrash-metal riffs of all time, their leads are savage, sloppy and often atonal, sounding not unlike animals being tortured — and that's what makes them so identifiable. Slayer aren't about subtlety; they're about excess and overload, yet through the years they've learned to use dynamics and atmosphere to make their impact even more pronounced — and Dave Lombardo's impossibly fast and complex drumming is the final nail in the coffin.




Reign in Blood (1986), South of Heaven (1988), Seasons in the Abyss (1990).






"That was the first band that was like, 'Oh, you can't listen to them because they're Satanic.' At the time, I was around a lot of religious people, and on Hell Awaits [Slayer] had all this backward-masking stuff, and I'd be spinning the record backwards and they'd be saying, 'Join us, join us,' talking about Satan and all this cool devil sh--. I was sold, man. I loved it. And they were so f---ing fast. I love Dave Lombardo's drumming. It's cool stuff to this day." — Jonathan Davis, Korn

"The innovators create building blocks for new bands. You can hear Slayer's influence in all kinds of bands, and without them, extreme metal would be quite a bit different. They added a lot to the musical vocabulary of death metal and extreme metal in general." — Alex Webster, Cannibal Corpse

"They're so consistent with the intensity and primal ferocity of their music, as far as the riffs and vocals and drumbeats that really just cause manic frenzy and mayhem as soon as the notes bust in. Every record has this progression and this new energy, but also all the things you know and love about Slayer. They were a band that was always teetering on the lines of death metal and mixing the speed and the thrash with almost black-metal imagery. A lot of people were drawn to it because it was almost taboo." — Jamey Jasta, Hatebreed




Does the "the band that everyone's parents hate" make your top 10? Check out reader thoughts and share your own in You Tell Us.




NEXT: Megadeth's Dave Mustaine says, 'As a young boy, listening to [this band] just resonated with me.' ...
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