Heavy Metal World Records: Five of the Loudest Bands Ever

From the get-go, these Aussie maniacs were set on becoming the world's loudest band with the help of Angus Young's Gibson SG-powered wall of amps. During the Back in Black tour, AC/DC hit 130 dB, but had to lower it a few notches due to promoter complaints.

These veterans of speed metal have always known they were louder than the rest -- just give a listen to their third album, Everything Louder Than Everyone Else. And with Lemmy's thrashing bass playing, the band regularly hits between 120-123 dB.

Deep Purple
At London's 3,000-seat Rainbow Theater in 1972, Deep Purple's 117 dB of sound in such a small space left three fans unconscious. Of course, The Guinness Book of World Records took notice and crowned Deep Purple the world's loudest band.

Led Zeppelin
In 1969, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association measured Zep's performance of "Heartbreak" at 130 dB.

These New York metal legends ruined the metal record book for everybody else--in 1984, Guinness recognized them for the loudest musical performance on the books at 129.5 dB. Perhaps realizing that the record offered some dangerous hearing-damage incentives, Gunness stopped tracking this particular world record soon after.

During a 2009 show, Gene Simmons and company reportedly clocked in at 136 dB but were forced to turn it down after the police responded to neighborhood complaints.

The Ten Most Metal Deaths of Metal Musicians
The 10 Coolest, Scariest, Freakiest Songs About Heroin
9 Metal Stars Dead Before Their Time
Can We Stop Inventing New Metal Subgenres?
9 Tips for Using A Fake ID To Get Into A Show

Follow us on Twitter and friend us on Facebook

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

One correction: 'Everything Louder Than Everyone Else' is not Motorhead's third album. That distinction goes to 'Bomber'. 


Blue Cheer, Golden Gate Park, 1967. We didn't have all those fancy volume meters back in the old days :), but I swear I haven't heard so well since.

Now Trending

Phoenix Concert Tickets

From the Vault