Metallica changed their sound a lot over the years.
However you feel about their evolution (or devolution, depending on your view), you can’t deny their impact on heavy metal and on music in general.
They are one of the biggest bands of all time.
But they likely won’t release any new albums that are similar to their classic ones.
That’s why we set out to find some great bands like Metallica. If we can’t get a new Master Of Puppets style album from Metallica, perhaps some other groups can fill that void.
Keep reading for our favorite bands that sound like Metallica, or that resemble them in some other way.
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Bands Like Metallica
We begin this list of bands that are like Metallica with Trivium. This band is led by Matthew Heafy who has been keeping it alive ever since he was 13 years old.
The group changed its lineup multiple times over the years, with Heafy being the only constant member. Guitarist Corey Beaulieu also appears on all of the releases. The current lineup is rounded out with bassist Paolo Gregoletto and drummer Alex Bent, who has been with them since 2017.
Formed in 1999, the band focused on combining classic and contemporary metal styles. Over the years, they kept to this formula, and you can hear some significant metalcore and melodic death metal influences.
Of course, their style changed over the years as Matt Heafy and the band matured. They have some more thrash-oriented albums, like The Crusade.
It is quite different from their earliest material, like the debut record Ember to Inferno, which was mostly in the metalcore style.
Going into the 2010s, you can notice how they shifted more towards melodic death metal, like on the Vengeance Falls album. However, they’ve also explored softer hard rock and classic metal styles on Silence in the Snow and progressive metal on The Sin and the Sentence.
Avenged Sevenfold is another band that came out of this era. After the release of their debut album Sounding the Seventh Trumpet, they slowly started changing their style, especially with the recruitment of lead guitarist Brian Haner Jr., popularly known as Synyster Gates.
Coming albums Waking the Fallen and City of Evil saw them going more into the classic metal style. They achieved massive commercial success, even surpassing some of the new mainstream pop stars that were starting out back then. There are bands like A7X out there, but few were ever able to match the success.
While keeping it close to metalcore and modern metal, they added other unexpected elements. For instance, A Little Piece of Heaven from the 2007 self-titled album saw them exploring Broadway-style tunes.
Such an inventive approach was mostly due to their drummer James Sullivan, popularly known as The Rev. Unfortunately, Sullivan passed away in 2009.
Nonetheless, the band still kept exploring new territories, even going into some progressive metal territories on their 2016 album The Stage. But no matter the album, you could still hear their classic signature style which is mostly rooted in classic ’80s-inspired heavy metal.
Of course, you can’t avoid mentioning Megadeth on a list of bands that are like Metallica. After all, Dave Mustaine, who’s the mastermind and the only constant member over the years, was a member of Metallica before the recording and release of the Kill ‘Em All record.
Legendary thrash metal banger The Four Horsemen was originally written by Mustaine himself. And Megadeth’s debut album Killing Is My Business… and Business Is Good! features a song called The Mechanix that’s almost identical.
Although there’s been some bad blood between Mustaine and Metallica over the decades, we can’t help but notice stylistic similarities. But Megadeth has always been more technical and complex.
This is especially noticeable with Rust in Peace and Countdown to Extinction, where guitarist Marty Friedman took some part in the creative process. And his challenging guitar solo on Tornado of Souls is legendary.
Just like Metallica, Mustaine also changed his musical directions with Megadeth over the years. Nonetheless, if you’re into Metallica, there’s a high chance you’ll like most of Megadeth’s catalog as well.
Lamb Of God
What Metallica, Pantera, Slayer and the other metal greats of the 1980s and the 1990s did, Lamb of God took to a whole new level.
There are a lot of elements that are typical of both thrash metal and groove metal. You can even notice some of the more modern styles, like metalcore and melodic death metal.
Any of their records would be a good way to start. You could go back to 1999 when they were called Burn the Priest, or go with Ashes of the Wake from the 2000s, or go all the way to the self-titled record released in 2020.
Technically, bassist John Campbell has been the only constant member over the years. But the metal guitar duo of Mark Morton and Willie Adler is easily one of the best in metal music so far. You’ll hear anything from groove-filled yet thrashing riffs to soaring shredding lead sections.
If you’re into Metallica, then you will know that they’re a part of the so-called “Big Four of Thrash Metal.” Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax are the other three and they have definitely made huge changes to metal music during the 1980s and the 1990s.
But that Testament often unrightfully gets left out from that group of bands. This is really a shame as they have an abundance of awesome albums.
Aside from Chuck Billy’s recognizable and unique voice, one element that really makes Testament tick is guitarist Alex Skolnick. Although he has not always been in the band, Alex is the classic member and has even tastefully fused some jazz elements into his lead sections in Testament songs.
Another great thing about them is that they were never afraid to experiment with new styles. Although they’re still a classic thrash metal band, they’ve also had their death metal period with the Demonic and The Gathering albums in the late 1990s.
Of course, it’s impossible not to include Anthrax on the list of bands that are like Metallica. We know that many thrash metal aficionados would not completely agree on this.
But if you love Metallica and still haven’t gotten the chance to introduce yourself to Anthrax, then we suggest that you do so. You won’t be disappointed.
Starting back in the early 1980s, around the time when metal music was changing, Anthrax changed their lineup a lot over the years.
Through all the changes, the original guitarist and the mastermind Scott Ian kept things together, along with classic members like drummer Charlie Bennante and bassist Frank Bello.
Of course, vocalist Joey Belladonna is another classic member, although they’ve had a few other great singers over the years, like Neil Turbin on the debut record and John Bush throughout the 1990s and the early 2000s.
Several lead guitar masters have also passed through the lineup, but the classic one will always be Dan Spitz.
Flotsam And Jetsam
After the tragic passing of Cliff Burton, Metallica hired then-unknown bassist Jason Newsted. Although very talented, it his playing has often gone unnoticed during his time in the band.
What many rock and metal fans don’t know is that Jason had his own awesome thrash metal band Flotsam and Jetsam, with whom he recorded the group’s debut album.
Of course, this was his only release with Flotsam and Jetsam, but the band continued on with their work throughout the decades and are still active with 14 studio albums under their belt.
Compared to Metallica, they’ve always been oriented more towards the speed metal movement. If you’re into that kind of old school stuff and like what Jason Newsted has to offer, we’d recommend taking a listen to the band’s debut record Doomsday for the Deceiver from 1986.
Now we’d like to go back to the younger generation of metal musicians. Formed back in 2004, Evile came out as one of the new hopes of the genre.
Although they didn’t achieve commercial success like Trivium or Avenged Sevenfold, Evile is still one of the most exciting thrash metal bands of today.
Aside from Metallica, they’ve cited a lot of classic metal and thrash metal bands as influences, including Megadeth, Overkill, Slayer, Exodus, Annihilator, Sepultura, and Pantera, just to name a few.
At the same time, you can hear their own unique twist to the traditional thrash metal. So far, they’ve released five studio albums, and any of these is a safe bet if you want to get into them.
Thrasher from the debut album Enter the Grave has long been one of their most popular songs. It’s very reminiscent of the early Metallica stuff, so we’d advise you to start there.
While usually not as heavy as Metallica, Alter Bridge are a band that saw a significant increase in popularity among metal fans over the past couple of decades. The band formed after the dissolution of Creed.
Mark Tremonti, Brian Marshall, and Scott Phillips were free to look for a new singer, but they also wanted to disassociate themselves from the Creed name.
Singer and guitarist Myles Kennedy was the perfect addition. With him on board, they set out to record their very successful album One Day Remains.
Although it took some time to distance themselves from Creed fame, they’ve made a name for themselves. 2007’s Blackbird still remains a classic. This is mostly due to Mark Tremonti’s mind-blowing and emotional lead section on the album’s title track.
They’re usually not as heavy as Metallica, but there are certainly some parallels that we can draw between these two bands. This is especially the case with 2019’s album Walk the Sky, where they added some heavier riffs, which go hand-in-hand with Myles Kennedy’s awesome vocals.
Bands That Sound Like Metallica: Final Thoughts
If you give the above bands like Metallica a listen, you’ll notice a range of different sounds and styles. All have similarities to Metallica, but they are definitely not exactly the same thing.
They are on this list because of the similarities and because most Metallica fans also enjoy these bands. Of course, there are many more we could have included, but these are our favorites. You could also check out our list of bands like Slipknot for some more great metal tunes.
If you have some additional suggestions that you feel should be on this list, please let us know in the comments below.