We've showcased the talents of individual instrumentalists and now it's time to celebrate what they've done with those instruments! Here, we're taking a look strictly at songwriting in metal whether it's from one key writer, multiple members or the entire band and counting down the best.

Breaking down this list was especially difficult because of the vast range of writing credits attributed to different members of each band. Where available, we analyzed the contributions from each member in bands where the songwriting was split between most of the group's members, like Iron Maiden and Judas Priest for example. Some musicians who have contributed to the writing may not appear with their bandmates in the gallery above as their credited songs were not deemed as essential to the overall efforts of the band's work.

Also taken into consideration was the complexity of the music as far as arrangements and utilization of all members goes. Did the band stick to the standard ABABCAB format or did they explore different ways of crafting their parts, adding nuances to certain moments that made their work diverse from song to song? The ability to diverge from the standard and still come out successful is something that will be celebrated in this list as well as innovation and influence.

Now that we know the rules, return to the top of the page and scroll through the gallery as we count down the 50 Best Metal Songwriters of All Time!

Top 50 Hard Rock + Metal Live Acts of All Time

10 Bands That Have Never Made a Bad Album