The 10 Worst Metal Bands of the ’80s


Look, the ’80s are back in style in every way, and that’s totally cool. It means pop music is more bearable than it’s been in a long time.

But there’s a disturbing trend happening right now in metal. It’s not quite that some top acts are aping the decade’s worst aspects, but they’re definitely starting to verge into some of the less-flattering trends. For instance, much love to Dallas crossover thrash band Power Trip, but the reverb addiction has got to stop.

To give some helpful hints on what to avoid in the future, here are 10 metal bands from that decade who absolutely sucked, and you should avoid sounding like at all costs.

See also: The 10 Most Metal Deaths of Metal Musicians

10. Tesla
Christ, these guys were awful, and they have so much to teach about what not to do. First, it doesn’t matter if the riffs and solos are hard to play. If they’re strung together with as little logic as this, it doesn’t work. Second, intellectual subject matter doesn’t make your lyrics any less cheesy or horrible.

9. Def Leppard

Yeah, they made a lot more cash betraying their New Wave of British Heavy Metal roots, but you respect Iron Maiden a hell of a lot more than you do Def Leppard, don’t you? Lesson here: Don’t Sell Out for cash.

8. Twisted Sister
Gimmicks like Dee Snider’s can only hide how bad your music is for so long. At some point, people will notice, and your next stop is a fate worse than death: VH1.

Sex lyrics are one thing. Hell, good metal bands wrote some pretty nasty stuff at times. Megadeth’s “Mechanix” comes to mind. If “I fuck like a beast” is the most clever thing you can come up with, though, maybe you should stick to writing about other things.

6. Anthrax
Stay away from rap. It’s just embarrassing, no matter what. Also, even if you manage to snag the coattails of a movement, you still have to have good songwriting to back it up. Otherwise, you can join Dee Snider over at VH1. Oh, wait.

5. Poison
Avoid writing a power ballad at all costs. Even Iron Maiden did one, but it’s uncouth.

4. Warrant
If you know your album doesn’t have a chance in hell of having a hit, don’t compromise your principles and write a goofy song you think might catch on just to throw a bone to the radio. It may come to define you for the rest of your days.

See also: How to Determine if Something Is Metal as Fuck

3. Stryper
By now Christian metal bands have more than established themselves as a credible force (see: The Devil Wears Prada, Norma Jean), so we won’t even rip on them for that. Just, for Your Savior’s sake, don’t dress like a bumblebee. You’re going to ruin it for all the good Christian metal bands.

2. Nitro
There’s a weird line you don’t want to cross with technical proficiency: get too perfect, too soullessly robotic in your playing, and you will come off more as a joke than a musician worth the world’s time. We don’t understand it either, but it’s true.

1. Winger
Don’t, under any circumstances, be this guy.

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