As is often the case, Bruce Dickinson said it best. "I actually think the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is an utter and complete load of bollocks, to be honest with you," the characteristically blunt Iron Maiden frontman stated late last year when his spoken word tour swung through Melbourne, Australia. He added, "It's run by a bunch of sanctimonious bloody Americans who wouldn't know rock & roll if it hit them in the face. They need to stop taking Prozac and start drinking fucking beer."
Maybe the solution is that simple. Whatever the issue is, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has a piss-poor track record when it comes to giving metal bands their due. Yes, Sabbath and Metallica were inducted (in 2006 and 2009, respectively), as well they should have been, but otherwise, it's been pretty much nonstop snubs. Indeed, there's a good case to be made that the Rock Hall has proven itself to be so out of touch that no self-respecting artist should give two shits about being inducted or not. Either way, we asked you what metal bands not currently inducted should be ASAP, and you responded in droves. See the top five vote-getters below.
Motörhead's lack of a Hall of Fame spot is simply unforgivable. The band serves as the common ground between metalheads and punks, and did so even back when the two sects were violent rivals. They're the composers of, you know, a little song you might've heard of called "Ace of Spades." And they were, in their heyday, arguably the coolest motherfuckers to ever walk the planet. Lemmy and Co. indisputably changed the landscape of rock & roll and deserve to be honored for doing so.
Slayer's contributions to rock and metal are well-documented and impossible to deny. For the better part of 40 years, the quartet's shifting lineup has created some of the most iconic riffs, imagery, songs and albums in heavy music ever. When wearing one of the band's T-shirts in public, one must always be prepared to be accosted by a horns-throwing superfan who screams "FUCKING SLAYYERRR" without warning — if that isn't enough to secure a spot in the Hall of Fame alone, what is?
For many diehards, Pantera marked the turning point when heavy metal truly got heavy. It's not hard to see why the Cowboys From Hell got so many votes in this poll: Every member of the group brought something unique and inspiring, from Dimebag Darrel's outsider take on guitar work to Philip Anselmo's hardcore-inflected approach to metal vocals. Their influence on all heavy music that has followed in their wake is undeniable, and their importance to rock history is clearly and criminally undervalued by the self-appointed gatekeepers.
The idea that Judas Priest — progenitors of NWOBHM, leather daddies extraordinaire, and unchallenged defenders of the heavy-metal faith — aren't in the Hall of Fame already is laugh-out-loud absurd. Rob Halford's Instagram account deserves an entry on its own, so to imagine that the musicians who created British Steel and who continue to serve up unparalleled stage shows replete with multiple costume changes from Papa Hal, and display an unflinching dedication to staying at the top of their game don't have a place is an affront to everything badass in the world.
Face the facts: For many people, Iron Maiden completely embody everything that is "heavy metal." It's hard not immediately fall in love with the power of their riffs, the epicness of their compositions, how nearly every song is its own odyssey guided by the stories of Bruce Dickinson. The U.K. icons have built a legacy on blending the fantastical with the very real, communicating with skill the horrors of genocide as well as the stakes of facing off with Satan. They've transcended music — their angular logo and mascot Eddie are crucial pieces of pop culture and representatives of the genre. How can they not be in the Rock Hall already? Bruce said it best.