Metal Bands That Should Have Been Bigger


Amon Amarth. Here's our tally of metal bands that should have been bigger.

Amon Amarth is one of our metal bands that should have been bigger РAuthor Anne Erickson, Photo via Tomas Gid̩n

While some metal bands are extremely popular around the world, others are simply metal bands that should have been bigger. Metal is a somewhat niche genre, but there are more than a handful of bands that have become household names. Towering bands and metal musicians such as Metallica, Iron Maiden and Ozzy Osbourne are known throughout the world by both metal fans and non-metal fans. But, these other underappreciated bands have all the qualities of a stellar metal band, too. In their honor, we present our tally of metal bands that should have been bigger. It’s worth noting that all of these bands are successful. They’re just not at the level of a Metallica or Iron Maiden.

Metal Bands That Should Have Been Bigger

Alien Weaponry

New Zealand metal band Alien Weaponry is big in their homeland, and they’ve certainly earned a name around the world. But, they’re nowhere near mainstream when it comes to popularity. With their straight-ahead metal sound and catchy songwriting, Alien Weaponry is the kind of band that could, and should, break big. The band formed in 2010, so time is still on their side, and one day, they could become huge. Their latest release is 2021’s “Tangaroa.”

Amon Amarth

Of all the names on this list, Amon Amarth is the most popular. These guys have made Viking metal huge around the world. Since the early 1990s, the Swedish melodic metal band has been making music and touring, making a name for themselves and their very unique brand of Scandinavian metal. It’s dramatic and beautiful. I saw them at Mayhem Festival back when that event was a touring metal festival, and they blew me away. Their stage show even had a full-sized Viking ship. So, these guys are big, but they could be much bigger. I hope someday they will.


Even though this list is in alphabetical order, if I had to pick a No. 1 metal band that should have been huge, it would be Anvil. Even Slash has famously said that Anvil was a huge inspiration and should have been much, much bigger. Anvil was on the cusp of stardom, but the Canadian metal band just never took off. Thankfully, they’re still together, making music and touring. Their latest release, “One and Only,” arrives June 28, 2024. So, there’s still time to get the Anvil word out there.

Burning Witches

Switzerland heavy metal band Burning Witches churns out a consistent catalog of fantastic power metal music, always layout out wild shredding and sharp, commanding vocals. The all-female band is huge in their homeland of Germany and they’re popular around the world, but they could be much more popular. Most people haven’t heard of Burning Witches, and that’s a shame. Perhaps this will be their year. I love how Germany keeps churning out solid power metal bands. They’re really tops in that metal subgenre. When it comes to metal bands that should have been bigger, Burning Witches is one of them.


Brazil heavy metal band Crypta are incredible. The group is as heavy as it gets, serving up brutal death metal with very classic heavy metal sounds. They all-female band is fronted by vocalist and bassist Fernanda Lira, and boy, does she have a strong set of pipes. There’s still time for this band to blow up, and I hope they do.

Primal Fear

German power metal band Primal Fear produces some of the most glorious heavy metal music you’ll ever hear. It’s over-the-top, but in a good way. Lead vocalist Ralf Scheepers is often called the German Rob Halford, and he really does have Halford’s incredible, operatic pipes. But, Scheepers has a style all his own. The band is big in Germany, but I don’t see why they aren’t as big in the U.S. Metal fans are missing out. Check out some catalog highlights, including 2020’s “Metal Commando” and 2023’s “Code Red.” It’s certainly one of our metal bands that should have been bigger. Scheepers also guests on my band Upon Wings’ single, “Eternal Way.”

If you’d like to send in an under-the-radar metal band for consideration to highlight, please do so. Contact me at

Anne Erickson
Posted by Anne Erickson | Features, Metal, Music