While it's fun to rehash the glory days of heavy metal and its emergence upon the worldwide scene and subsequent global dominance, the '80s started nearly 40 years ago. Nostalgia only offers so much and if you're not living in the present day, you're missing out! Metal has a whole new face in the modern era while plenty of its elder statesmen from the old millennium continue to push boundaries and demonstrate their staying power.

That's right, this list of the 50 Most Important Metal Bands in the 21st Century isn't just limited to bands who formed or put out their first record in the 2000s (we already did that one, remember?), it's for the bands who have evolved the genre, brought it to new and different heights or valiantly preserve the old ways as the first guard watches over everything that came after them.

Some like to complain that metal just doesn't have that "it factor" it possessed during the '80s and in the extreme metal underground explosion of the early '90s. We say they're wrong. Just take a look at the 50 Most Important Metal Bands in the 21st Century below and we'll prove it.

Top 10 Metal Bands Who Released Their First Album in the 21st Century

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