Billy Corgan is best known as the frontman of the alternative rock band Smashing Pumpkins, but he is also a huge fan of heavy metal. In fact, he has cited Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi as his hero and has incorporated metal influences in his music. In a recent interview, Billy Corgan revealed his top 10 greatest heavy-metal bands of all time. Here are his picks and why he thinks they are the best.
Slayer is one of the most influential and extreme metal bands ever. Their fast, aggressive, and brutal style defined the thrash metal genre and inspired countless other bands.
Billy Corgan praised Slayer for their “uncompromising” attitude and their “incredible” riffs and solos. He also mentioned their classic album Reign in Blood as one of his favorites.
9. Mercyful Fate
Mercyful Fate is a Danish band that pioneered the black metal and progressive metal genres. Their dark, occult, and theatrical themes and imagery set them apart from other bands.
Billy Corgan admired their singer King Diamond for his “amazing” vocal range and their guitarist Hank Shermann for his “inventive” and “melodic” playing. He also cited their album Don’t Break the Oath as one of the best metal albums ever.
Dokken is an American band that rose to fame in the 1980s with their catchy and melodic hard rock and glam metal songs. Billy Corgan appreciated their singer Don Dokken for his “great” voice and their guitarist George Lynch for his “phenomenal” and “technical” skills.
He also enjoyed their albums Tooth and Nail and Back for the Attack. Billy Corgan also named Dokken as one of the greatest heavy-metal bands.
7. Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath is widely regarded as the godfathers of heavy metal. Their doom-laden, blues-based, and riff-heavy sound created the blueprint for the genre and influenced generations of musicians.
Billy Corgan revered their guitarist Tony Iommi for his “genius” and “iconic” riffs and their singer Ozzy Osbourne for his “unique” and “expressive” voice. He also loved their albums Paranoid and Master of Reality.
Accept is a German band that helped shape the speed metal and power metal genres. Their energetic, anthemic, and catchy songs also made them popular among metal fans.
Billy Corgan respected their singer Udo Dirkschneider for his “powerful” and “raspy” vocals and their guitarist Wolf Hoffmann for his “classic” and “heavy” riffs. He also liked their albums Balls to the Wall and Metal Heart.
Rainbow is a British band that was formed by the legendary guitarist Ritchie Blackmore after he left Deep Purple. Their diverse and progressive sound ranged from hard rock to neoclassical metal.
Billy Corgan admired Blackmore for his “brilliant” and “innovative” playing and his various singers, especially Ronnie James Dio, for their “fantastic” and “emotional” performances. He also recommended their albums Rising and Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll. Billy Corgan named Rainbow as one of the greatest heavy-metal bands.
4. Judas Priest
Judas Priest is one of the most influential and successful metal bands ever. Their powerful, fast, and melodic sound defined the heavy metal genre and spawned many subgenres.
Billy Corgan praised their singer Rob Halford for his “incredible” and “versatile” voice and their twin guitarists Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing for their “awesome” and “harmonious” riffs and solos. He also mentioned their albums British Steel and Screaming for Vengeance as classics.
Pantera is one of the most popular and respected metal bands of the 1990s. Their groovy, heavy, and aggressive sound revitalized the metal scene and influenced many modern bands.
Billy Corgan honored their singer Phil Anselmo for his “intense” and “dynamic” vocals and their guitarist Dimebag Darrell for his “amazing” and “original” riffs and solos. He also named their album Vulgar Display of Power as one of his favorites.
Savatage is an American band that started as a heavy metal band and evolved into a progressive metal band. Their complex, symphonic, and conceptual sound also made them unique and distinctive among other bands.
Billy Corgan admired their singer Jon Oliva for his “passionate” and “dramatic” voice and their guitarist Criss Oliva for his “beautiful” and “melodic” playing. He also enjoyed their albums Hall of the Mountain King and Gutter Ballet. Billy Corgan named Savatage as one of the greatest heavy-metal bands.
Megadeth is one of the “Big Four” of thrash metal, along with Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax. Their technical, fast, and intricate sound made them one of the most influential and acclaimed metal bands ever.
Billy Corgan revered their singer and guitarist Dave Mustaine for his “genius” and “visionary” songwriting and his “incredible” and “complex” riffs and solos. He also cited their album Rust in Peace as the best metal album of all time.
The Bottom Line
These are the top 10 greatest heavy-metal bands according to Billy Corgan. Do you agree with his choices? What are your favorite metal bands and albums? Let us know in the comments below. Also don’t forget to check out Smashing Pumpkins’ new album Atum: A Rock Opera in Three Acts.