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These are the 50 greatest cult metal bands of all time. How many have you heard?

Cult metal bands logo
(Image credit: Future)

“History is written by the winners” goes the old saying, and that’s no less true in metal than it is in the real world. For every Metallica (opens in new tab), Black Sabbath (opens in new tab), Slipknot (opens in new tab) or Ghost (opens in new tab), there are thousands – no, make that tens of thousands – of fantastic bands who have been cruelly snubbed by fortune.

In the brand new issue of Metal Hammer (opens in new tab) we shower a little love on some of those bands by counting down the 50 Greatest Cult Bands Ever. By ‘cult’, we mean those bands whose brilliance and influence never gets the respect or attention it deserves beyond a handful of clued-in diehards.

Some of these bands were destined for greatness, only to have it snatched away by bad timing, music industry idiocy or heartbreaking tragedy. Others were so far ahead of their time people just couldn’t get their heads around them (and frequently still can’t). Then there were those who weren’t even aware of their own genius, and blinked out of existence before their influence could even register. And let’s not forget those who have reunited or are still forging their own, unique path.

You can see the list of 50 bands below, listen to the Spotify playlist we’ve compiled below and then go read about them all in the new Metal Hammer (featuring Gojira on the cover and available to buy here (opens in new tab)).  And while there’s undoubtedly gonna be some arguing, if it introduces you to a few bands you’ve never heard before, then we’ll consider our job done…

Metal Hammer line break

The 50 Greatest Cult Metal Bands Ever

Fall Of Efrafa
Super Junky Monkey
Ephel Duath
Made Out Of Babies
Toilet Boys
Nashville Pussy
Dir En Grey
Dog Fashion Disco
The Workhorse Movement
Impotent Sea Snake
Cop Shoot Cop
Ved Buens Ende
Treponem Pal
Discordance Axis
Manilla Road
Fudge Tunnel
Manhole/Tura Satana
Death SS
Pagan Altar
The Young Gods
Lääz Rockit
The Blood Brothers
Reverend Bizarre
Warrior Soul
Human Waste Project
Acid Bath
Woods Of Ypres

Cult Bands

(Image credit: Future)

Cult bands

(Image credit: Future)


(Image credit: Future)

Founded in 1983, Metal Hammer is the global home of all things heavy. We have breaking news, exclusive interviews with the biggest bands and names in metal, rock, hardcore, grunge and beyond, expert reviews of the lastest releases and unrivalled insider access to metal's most exciting new scenes and movements. No matter what you're into – be it heavy metal, punk, hardcore, grunge, alternative, goth, industrial, djent or the stuff so bizarre it defies classification – you'll find it all here, backed by the best writers in our game.