25 Best Rock Bands From Switzerland

The greatest Swiss rockers...

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25 Best Rock Bands From Switzerland
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Switzerland has long had a distinct cultural identity, despite its diversity of German, French, Italian, Romansh and other ethnicities. And though it's rather a small country, it has a lot talents and very diverse music scene.

So we prepared a list of 25 famous rock bands from Switzerland. Check it out below!

And before starting here's the (really lengthy) list of honorable mentions (we put it in an alphabetical order for your comfort) - you can skip it just by scrolling down if you want:

  • *Mañana
  • 69 Chambers
  • 77 Bombay Street
  • A Phobic Smile
  • Abinchova
  • Against Babylon Corporation
  • Amagortis
  • Apollyon Sun
  • Astral Silence
  • Atomic Flower
  • Atritas
  • Baba Shrimps
  • Baby Jail
  • Blutmond
  • Bonaparte
  • Borgne
  • Boy
  • Bölzer
  • Brainticket
  • Breach The Void
  • Camp
  • Cell Division
  • Cellar Darling
  • Chin Chin
  • China
  • Clepsydra
  • Cosmos
  • Cowboys From Hell
  • Crystal Ball
  • Dawn
  • Die Aeronauten
  • Division Kent
  • Double Pact
  • Dreamshade
  • Dub Spencer & Trance Hill
  • Edge
  • Electronical Suicide
  • Embalming Theatre
  • ENO
  • Famara
  • Fat Son
  • Favez
  • Forest of Fog
  • Fräkmündt
  • Godiva
  • Grauzone
  • Honey For Petzi
  • Hulk City
  • Impure Wilhelmina
  • Irrlicht
  • Jesus and the Gurus
  • Kadebostany
  • KAOS Protokoll
  • Kehlvin
  • Kovlo
  • Krokodil
  • L'Ensemble Rayé
  • Lacrimosa [NOTE: originally from Germany]
  • Leech
  • Legenda Aurea
  • Les Sauterelles
  • Life's December
  • LiLiPUT
  • Lunik
  • Mama Rosin
  • Melodiesinfonie
  • Menegroth
  • Metallspürhunde
  • Metamorphosis
  • Mirrorthrone
  • Mittageisen
  • Mr. Willis of Ohio
  • Mumakil
  • Must Have Been Tokyo
  • My Heart Belongs To Cecilia Winter
  • My Name Is George
  • Neviss
  • Nguru
  • Nordlicht
  • Nychts
  • Omophagia
  • Open Season
  • Oxido
  • Ølten
  • Paysage d'Hiver
  • Plüsch
  • Prader & Knecht
  • Prisma
  • Promethee
  • Rorcal
  • Rumpelstilz
  • QL
  • Saalschutz
  • Schammasch
  • Schnellertollermeier
  • Sens Unik
  • Shora
  • Shovel
  • Sierra
  • Silent Circus
  • Silent Memorial
  • Sinplus
  • Solange La Frange
  • Solitune
  • Span
  • Stimmhorn
  • Stoneman
  • Stress
  • Subzonic
  • Sun of the Blind
  • Swandive
  • Taktløs
  • The Animen
  • The Chocolate Rockets
  • The Beauty of Gemina
  • The Bianca Story
  • The Dead Brothers
  • The Hillbilly Moon Explosion
  • The Jamborines
  • The Labrats Bugband
  • The Monofones
  • The Peacocks
  • The Rambling Wheels
  • The Shell
  • The Shiver
  • Toad
  • Toboggan
  • Transit
  • Vanilla Muffins
  • Venetus Flos
  • We Invented Paris
  • Zatokrev
  • Züri West

And here's the actual list:

25. Monkey3

Monkey3 are on the edge of space-rock, stoner and progressive. With cosmic wall of sound, psychedelic vibes, their instrumental music put them on the map of the stoner/psychedelic rock scene.

24. Stiller Has

Stiller Has (German for "Silent Hare") are a musical trio founded 1989 in Bern, Switzerland. Considering themselves part of the "Kleinkunst," or "small stage art" scene, they have nonetheless become a cult band across the German-speaking Switzerland.

23. Messiah

Messiah are a cult death/thrash metal band, formed in 1984 in Switzerland. They were one of the first European extreme metal bands.

22. Patent Ochsner

Patent Ochsner have been one of the most influential proponents of the Swiss "mundart rock" scene. The band is best known for their poetic lyrics and their musical style which combines rock arrangements with world music influences. Along with other bands from the countrie's capital city of Bern, they belonged to the first generation of artists that reached a wider (yet only national) audience with rock music in a Swiss dialect.

21. Alastis

Alastis are a black metal band formed in 1989 in Sion, Switzerland. Gothic and industrial musical elements played an important role in their sound during their later career, starting as a rawer black metal sound before signing to Century Media records.

20. Lunatica

Lunatica were formed in Suhr, Switzerland in November 1998. Since the band's formation, Lunatica became one of the most known symphonic metal bands.

19. Nik Bärtsch's Ronin / Nik Bärtsch's Mobile

Nik Bärtsch's Ronin and Nik Bärtsch's Mobile, 2 unique bands from Zurich, were founded by the Swiss pianist, composer and producer Nik Bärtsch. All bands' releases are part of Nik Bärtsch's "Ritual Groove Music" cycle, which combines various musical styles from funk, new classical music to elements of Japanese ritual music. The insistent rhythms also suggest the minimalism of Steve Reich. Bärtsch has called their style "Zen-Funk."

18. Knut

Legendary Swiss sludge/mathcore band from Geneva, Knut were formed in 1994. They remain one of the most unique and influential bands on the sludge metal scene.

17. Breakdown of Sanity

Breakdown of Sanity are a progressive/technical metalcore band formed in 2007 in Bern, Switzerland. Since its formation, the band earned a name on the metalcore scene.

16. Cataract

Since 1998, Cataract have been evolving from a project band into one of Switzerland's premiere metal outfits and one of Europe's constant parameters in the modern thrash and metalcore genre.

15. Shakra

One of the most known hard rock/heavy metal bands from Swtzerland, Shakra were formed in 1997, and since that they shared the stage with such bands as Iron Maiden, HammerFall, Stratovarius and Guns N' Roses.

14. Triptykon

Triptykon is a Swiss dark/avant-garde/extreme metal band from Zürich, formed in 2008 by Thomas Gabriel Fischer, founding member of the pioneering metal bands Hellhammer, Celtic Frost and Apollyon Sun. The name of the band is the Greek word for "triptych", and is aimed at stating that Triptykon is founding member Thomas Gabriel Fischer's third project after Hellhammer and Celtic Frost.

13. Lovebugs

Lovebugs are a Swiss rock band from Basel, Switzerland founded in 1992. They are one of Switzerland's most successful bands with three number one albums in the Swiss charts.

12. Darkspace

Darkspace is an ambient black metal band from Bern, Switzerland, formed in 1999. The group is comprised of three members who call themselves Wroth, Zhaaral and Zorgh. Space-age names for an equally space-age project.

11. The Evpatoria Report

The Evpatoria Report are one of the most known Swiss post-rock/instrumental bands. The band was formed in January 2002, and it consists of two guitarists, a bassist, a drummer, and a violinist/keyboardist.

10. Hellhammer

Hellhammer were an early-1980s extreme metal band from Switzerland. They along with Venom were a vital influence on black metal, death metal and doom metal, although their sound is most accurately described as mid-paced, proto-black metal.

9. Sybreed

Formed in 2003 in Geneva, Sybreed combine inddustrial metal, groove metal and melodic death metal into their own genre, hailed as one of the greatest cyber metal bands nowadays.

8. Coroner

Coroner are a Swiss technical thrash metal band from Zurich, Switzerland formed in 1983. Their music combines elements of thrash, progressive rock, jazz, and industrial metal, and with their increasingly complex style of progressive rock-infused thrash, they are often labeled as "the Rush of thrash metal" by music critics.

7. The Young Gods

One of the most important names on the industrial scene, The Young Gods were formed in Switzerland in 1985. Since their formation they influenced many rock and electronic artists including Pitchshifter, Mike Patton, Sepultura, The Edge, Devin Townsend and David Bowie; i.e. asked in 1995 if his album "Outside" was influenced by Nine Inch Nails, Bowie answered: "The band that I was actually quite taken with was three guys from Switzerland called The Young Gods... I'd been aware of them previous to knowing about Nine Inch Nails."

6. Yello

Yello are a Swiss band formed in 1979. Though the band is widely known for their 1985 single "Oh Yeah," they are also a highly influential experimental band too.

5. Krokus

Krokus are a hard rock/heavy metal band from Switzerland formed in 1975. They received great success in North America during the 1980s.

4. Samael

Though started as a raw black metal band in 1987, Samael became one of the innovators for post-black metal styles, incorporating electronic sounds which would best define their genre as industrial metal nowadays.

3. Gotthard

Gotthard is a Swiss hard rock band, active since 1992. Their last eleven albums have all reached number 1 in the Swiss album charts, making them one of the most successful Swiss acts ever.

2. Eluvetie

One of the most prominent names on the folk metal scene, Eluvetie were formed in 2002. Eluveitie use both traditional Swiss and Celtic instruments alongside electric guitars and drums. Their music is known to be inspired by Gothenburg's melodic death metal Scene and their lyrics are written in a mix of English and Gaulish. They describe themselves as "The new wave of folk metal."

1. Celtic Frost

Celtic Frost are a hugely influential metal band from Zurich, Switzerland. They are known for their heavy influence on the extreme metal genres, from dark and avant-garde metal to gothic metal. The group was first active from 1984 to 1993, and re-formed in 2001 until their breakup in 2008.

Know more bands from Switzerland? Feel free to share them in the comment section below.

47 comments sorted by best / new / date

    EpiExplorer
    RIP Sybreed, born to soon and their influence forgotten too quickly. 
    joe164
    So happy to see Sybreed on this list, but a painful reminder of how good they were. I met them in Sydney when they played in front a die hard crowd of around 100 people (only) and we drank with the band before and after the show. It's criminal and baffling that they weren't more famous. 
    damillion
    Ironically one of the few bands I could think of deserving a spot is not on here: Silent Memorial. It's essentially a Dream Theater clone, so it's not exactly the most original band ever, but they're really good and the performance and song writing is solid.
    slash_015
    Shiver won a Band-Contest against (among others) Pink Floyd. Found this gem years ago. On my playlist ever since.
    benmc725
    Eluveitie is amazing. Kinda makes me sad that Anna and 2 others left but at least they started their own thing with cellar darling
    larry.bergschne
    I saw them open for Children of Bodom back in 2012. I had never heard of them before and was completely blown away
    FrogstarWorldA
    I missed that, will have to check out Cellar Darling. I saw them on the tour that Epica had to drop out of, they played an extra long set to make up for that, and it was fantastic.
    Chaos Logic
    Nice article but for me Samael should be on the top of the list, because they're the pioneers of industrial/black Metal.....beside some progressive rock bands are not listed, for example:Metamorphosis, Cosmos, Dawn.
    killpaddle
    Nice to see my country mentionned for something else than financial scandals Looks like a nice opportunity to promote swiss music. So, here's my band, we're called The Seven Seas and I hope you'd check us out !
    19lapins
    "The Rumbling Wheels" are actualy called "The Rambling Wheels" (also, they are awesome)  
    michaelgreine
    My guitar teacher is the keyboard player in Monkey3. He's so good at guitar i don't know why he plays keyboard in his band.. 
    kaosxrocker
    I basically just checked this list to see how high they put Gotthard. Fucking love that band, glad to see others do too.
    Zirk208
    Celtic Frost, Krokus, and 87 other bands I have never heard of.  I got some work to do.
    cbx47
    For the first time in ug history, I don't know any of the bands in the whole ranking