When it comes to metal music, there are different levels of the genre. From the glam sounds of hair metal to the growls or thrash and everything in between, metal offers something for every rock and roll fan. The singers wail, they roar and many of them hit notes that make other singers just look on in wonder.
There are very talented metal singers every step of the way, and while many have similar sounding voices, the best of the best have a sound that is uniquely their own. Here are 13 of the best metal singers who have established themselves as the best of all-time.
Lemmy rocked his fans up until his death in 2015 and left behind some of the most iconic metal music of anyone. The metal lead singer started working in rock music in the '60s and then founded Motorhead in 1975. The band ended up as one of the most recognizable in metal music thanks mostly to Lemmy's gravely voice with "Ace of Spades" as the band's signature tune.
12. Mike Tramp
Hair metal bands don't get a lot of respect but when fans look for the best voices of the genre, Mike Tramp of White Lion often leads the way. The band was not one of the bestselling acts of the '80s but they were highly respected and have some songs that remain standards today, with "When the Children Cry" leading the way. Tramp is still working today, moving into country music.
11. Axl Rose
When looking at the best voices in rock music in general, Guns N' Roses lead singer Axl Rose often leads the discussion. The band was one of the most successful metal bands of all-time and their recent reunion proved that fans love them now as much as ever. There is no denying Axl's vocal talents on songs such as "Paradise City" and he remains the most recognizable metal singer to this day.
10. James LaBrie
When it comes to Dream Theater, the band sits at the forefront of the progressive metal scene and might be the best of them all. James LaBrie does so much with his singing talents for the band, both in spoken word, operatic highs and everything in between. Dream Theater has mastered the idea of the concept album and it all rests on the amazing vocals of its lead singer, as evident in songs like "Pull Me Under."
9. Phil Anselmo
Pantera actually got their start in the '80s as a glam metal band but that all changed when they hired a new metal singer named Phil Anselmo. When Anselmo came into the group with his trademark growl, they quickly transitioned into the thrash metal band that started putting out amazing hits like "Walk." Anselmo soon left the band to work on a solo project and never played with them again after Dimebag Darrell died after a concert shooting.
Maynard James Keenan is an interesting metal singer. While he is best known for his work as the lead singer of Tool, he also spends a lot of time with his side projects in A Perfect Circle and Puscifer. His voice is well-known thanks to songs like "Sober" and he proves with his other bands that there are no limits to what he can do on the mic.
For a short time, Skid Row was the most popular metal band on the planet but just as soon as they lit fire, they quickly flamed out. Their first album was a monster success and their second was equally good, albeit less successful. Sadly, lead singer Sebastian Bach had a falling out with the band and things never were the same. Bach still performs and proves the voice that sang "18 and Life" is still as glorious as ever.
6. Mike Patton
Mike Patton made it big with his band Faith No More but he always seems to be looking for more. The singer has a very unique voice and can actually hit six different octaves when performing. He has also worked in the band Mr. Bungle and proved his musical talent with an album of Italian opera songs titled Mondo Cane. However, he has always come back around to Faith No More with songs like "Easy."
Arguably, the most famous metal singer of all-time is Ozzy Osbourne, both for his solo work and his early career with metal legends Black Sabbath. Ozzy has made music now for over 50 years, where he has sold over 100 million solo albums and is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Black Sabbath. Just listen to "Crazy Train" to hear Ozzy at his best.
4. Geoff Tate
When it comes to the best of the metal singers, it is all about hitting those high notes that makes fans so excited. No one really matches up to former Queensryche lead singer Geoff Tate when it comes to this talent. While Tate is no longer with the band due to personal issues, he still performs today and sounds just as amazing singing songs like "Eyes of a Stranger" as he was when he recorded it over 25 years ago.
There might not be a more beloved metal singer than Ronnie James Dio. The man who fronted both his own band Dio and the legendary Black Sabbath, Dio was respected and honored by his fellow metal musicians. Dio, who is the man who really popularized the metal "devil horns" passed away in 2010 but his music lives on with his signature song "Holy Diver" still one of metal's true staples.
Iron Maiden is the band that remains the grandfather of metal music -- one of the most iconic metal bands of all-time. This is both for their overblown stage act, their bombastic albums and the fact that Bruce Dickinson has one of the best metal voices in the history of the music. Dickinson remains a pioneer of the operatic metal singing style and sounds as good at the age of 60 as he did when he was a young man singing songs like "Run to the Hills."
1. Rob Halford
When looking for the best metal singer of all time, look no further than Rob Halford. The lead singer of Judas Priest has arguably the greatest voice of anyone who uses the operatic tenor metal styling and no one comes close to the notes he can hit. While Rock and Roll Hall of Fame voters still haven't given them the respect they deserve, no one can discount the brilliance of the voice of the man who sang "You've Got Another Thing Comin'."