The 25 Best Metal Bands of All Time!

The 25 Best Metal Bands of All Time, #24: Napalm Death

  • Axl Rosenberg

The 25 Best Metal Bands of All TimeNapalm Death 25 Best Metal Bands List

MetalSucks recently polled over a hundred of metal’s most revered musicians, critics, journalists, artists, publicists, and industry insiders to find out which 25 bands represent the very BEST in the history of metal. Today we continue the countdown with England’s…

Napalm Death
22 Votes
278 Points

It is impossible to overstate the historical importance of Napalm Death to extreme music. To imagine a world without the British quartet is to imagine a domino effect of things we love ceasing to exist: grindcore, death metal, Decibel magazine, and, oh hey!, MetalSucks might all be but figments of one’s imagination if not for Napalm Death. (And since the band gifted upon the world one Justin K. Broadrick, who in turn gifted upon the world Godflesh and Jesu, one could easily argue that industrial and shoegaze each deserve a spot on that list as well.) “I wouldn’t be doing this if not for Napalm Death” is a phrase I’ve heard uttered by countless metal musicians (which isn’t even counting Broadrick, Carcass’ Bill Steer, or Cathedral’s Lee Dorian, all of whom got their start with ND); the band should basically be collecting royalty checks on everything metal-related which has been produced in the past twenty-seven years, since the release of their debut album, the oh-so-appropriately titled Scum.

Infamously, the line-up of Napalm Death that appears on side A of Scum is different from the line-up of Napalm Death that appears on side B of Scum — and no member of either of those line-ups is still in the band today. Naysayers might use this rather funny fact to argue that the band doesn’t belong on this list. Unfortunately for those people, they’re idiots, and that argument holds no water.

Because with the exception of the late, great Jesse Pintado, the band actually hasn’t undergone a line-up change since founding drummer Mick Harris left the fold in 1991… and three of the band’s four current members have been present since at least 1990’s Harmony Corruption. So this line-up has basically been together for a quarter of century, during which time they’ve pushed the envelope right over the fucking cliff again and again and again. No joke: the band’s most recent release, 2012’s Utilitarian, was as strong as anything the band has ever released… which is the same thing everyone said about 2009’s Time Waits for No Slave, 2006’s Smear Campaign, 2005’s The Code is Red… Long Live the Code, and… well, you get it. There’s no case of Metallica-itis here: if there’s a fountain of vitriolic youth, Napalm Death have clearly discovered it and bathe in it almost daily.

Napalm Death have done more than just retain their musical piss n’ vinegar, though — they’ve also maintained their strong sense of political morality. Napalm Death have never used their art as an outlet for bellyaching about ex-girlfriends or rock star excess, turning their attention time and again to actual issues which are worth discussing. The closest exception is 2000’s Enemy of the Music Business, and even there the band’s titular target represents a heftier threat than cheating wives and an abundance of nose candy.

Where would metal be without Napalm Death? We dread the day we have to find out.


#25 – Lamb of God (29 Votes, 277 Points)


Chris Alfano – East of the Wall, Gear Gods
Paul Allender – White Empress, ex-Cradle of Filth
Rob Arnold – The Elite, ex-Chimaira, ex-Six Feet Under
Alan Averill (aka A.A. Nemtheanga) – Primordial
Chuck B.B. – Artist
Matt Bachand – Shadows Fall
Micke Berg – Below
Chuck Billy – Testament
Randy Blythe – Lamb of God
Paul Booth – Last Rites Tattoo and Art Gallery
Jake Bowen – Periphery
Terry Butler – Obituary
Liz Ciavarella-Brenner – Publicist, Earsplit PR
Blake Charlton – Ramming Speed
Richard Christy – Charred Walls of the Damned, ex-Death, ex-Iced Earth, ex-Control Denied, The Howard Stern Show
Monte Conner – President, Nuclear Blast Entertainment
Bruce Corbitt – Rigor Mortis, Warbeast
Doc Coyle – ex-God Forbid
Sergeant D. – MetalSucks, Stuff You Will Hate
Topon Das – Fuck the Facts, Merdarahta
Anso DF – MetalSucks
Peter Dolving – Rosvo, ex-The Haunted
Ryan J. DowneySuperhero Artist Management
Sacha Dunable – Intronaut, Bereft, Dunable Guitars
Vince Edwards – Head of Publicity, Metal Blade Records
Excretakano – MetalSucks
Extreme Management Group
D.X. Ferris – Slayer ScholarThe 25 Best Metal Bands of All Time, #24: Napalm DeathMetalSucks
Ryan Fleming – Black Table
Jon Freeman – Publicist, Freeman Promotions
Matthew Friesen – Culted
Ville Friman – Insomnium
Mike Gitter – Senior Director of A&R, Razor & Tie
Frank Godla – Metal Injection, Meek is Murder
Mike Greene – Director of Digital Marketing, Razor & Tie
Shane Handel – Set and Setting
Jeff Hodak – Head of Sales, Razor & Tie
Terence Hannum – Locrian
John Hoffman – Weekend Nachos
Mark Hunter – ex-Chimaira
Don JamiesonThat Metal Show
Daniel Jansson – Culted
John Jarvis – Pig Destroyer, Fulgora
Gaz Jennings – Death Penalty, ex-Cathedral
Patrik Jensen – The Haunted
Rick Jimenez – Extinction A.D.
Kassa – Below
Mirai Kawashima – Sigh
“Grim” Kim KellyMetalSucks
Zeena Koda
Erik Kluiber – Gypsyhawk
Eyal LeviUnstoppable Killing Machine, Dååth
Jason Lekberg – IKILLYA
Adam Lindmark – Morbus Chron
Ryan Lipynsky – Serpentine Path, Unearthly Trance, The Howling Wind
Jonah Livingston – Ramming Speed
Bob Lugowe – Director of Promotions/Marketing, Relapse Records, Brutal Panda Records
James Malone – Arsis, Necromancing the Stone
Jose Mangin – Director of Music Programming, Sirius XM Liquid Metal
Bobby Mansfield – 16
Misha Mansoor – Periphery
Morgan McGrath – Live Nation
Mike “Gunface” McKenzie – The Red Chord, Stomach Earth, Nightkin
Vince Neilstein – MetalSucks
Eventansvarig Biostaden Nyköping – Below
Chris Ojeda – Byzantine
Casey Orr – Rigor MortisWarbeast
Rob Pasbani – Metal Injection
Anders Persson – Portrait
Chris Pervelis – Internal Bleeding
Karim Peter – Artist Relations, IndieMerchandising
Raphael Pinsker – Booking Agent, 3Thirteen Entertainment Group
Markus “Rabapagan” – Metsatöll
Josh Rand – Stone Sour
Emperor Rhombus – MetalSucks
Gus Rios – Gruesome
Tobias Rosén – Noctum
Axl Rosenberg – MetalSucks
Travis Ryan – Cattle Decapitation, Murder Construct, Nader Sadek
Marc Schapiro, Branch Marketing Collective
Zach Shaw – The Syndicate
Patrick Sheridan – Fit For An Autopsy
Alex Skolnick – Testament
Brian Slagel – Chairman/CEO, Metal Blade Records
Mark Solotroff – Anatomy of Habit, Bloodlust!, BLOODYMINDED
Steve “Zetro” Souza – Exodus, Hatriot
Kevin Stewart-Panko – Decibel, MetalSucks
Black String – Vampire
Jason Suecof – Audiohammer Studios
Bram Teitelman – Metal Insider
Nick Tieder – No Jacket Required Marketing, Indegoot
Tone Deaf Touring
Aaron Turner – Old Man Gloom, ex-ISIS, Hydra Head Records
Brody Uttley – Rivers of Nihil
George Vallee – Head of Publicity, Street Smart Marketing
Dirk Verbeuren – Soilwork, Bent Sea, Scarve
Jens Vestergren – Below
Jake Wade – Columns
Kelly Walsh – Publicist, Prosthetic Records
Mike Wohlberg – The Fat Kid Illustration
Wookubus – The PRP

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