Some of the most memorable metal songs are still being played today. They’re even being covered by other bands. With a new generation playing along, and old, they’re hard, fast, and fearlessly loud. Metal grinding music with lyrics that have meaning and symbolism all over the place. Most of them originating out of garages and bedrooms all across America and Europe mainly. In the meantime, metal-maniacs everywhere attempted to cover their favorite band’s songs in their parent’s garages with loud agonizing vocals and wailing lead guitars screaming through their Marshall or Peavey amplifiers for the pure fixes of metal mania.
List of Top 10 Best Metal Songs of All Time until in 2017
10. Angel of Death (Slayer)
Slayer has two songs on this list because they are pure metal. This song plays tribute to those that breathe death and darkness; the meaning behind this song is the angel of darkness. In the beginning of this song, Tommy Araya (singer) blares out a scream like no other, it’ll make windows bust out. This song has riffs and leads by Jeff Hanneman whom also wrote the song, which make you want to bang your head which metal fans end up doing within seconds. It’s the 1st song of the 1986 album Reign in Blood. The meaning behind the song: Detailing the World War II terror of Nazi physician’s Josef Mengele’s and his human experiments at the Auschwitz. The song ends with drummer slowly pounding away at his drums like a heartbeat that’s getting ready to stop… the Angel of Death is near is what it signifies.
9. Rainbow in the Dark (Dio)
Written by Ronnie James Dio (vocalist/songwriter) and Jimmy Bain (bassist) wrote this song which became one of a handful of songs Dio fans will remember from the early 80’s. It was also the most anticipated at their concerts worldwide. The second single on their album “Holy Diver” in which released in 1983. Lyrical quality, yes, musically inclined by all band members, yes…and the two lines which illustrate some darkness that sheds light to the meaning a bit: Do your demons, do they ever let you go? / When you’ve tried, do they hide, deep inside / Is it someone that you know…
Delivering that darkness for a song is something you hear when you’re alone and singing it as loud as you want only makes you feel a little better as a metal fan! Although, when you’re hearing it live at a concert, it does feel like you’re over the rainbow. Along with Dio’s voice and Vivian Campbell’s guitar riffs and leads, it compiled into one of the top 10 best metal songs ever. An image of a “rainbow in the dark” is blackness: this is dramatic. The visual and voice mix well together making it a hit; in fact, it’s been on so many “top lists” for best metal songs, that alone says a lot.
8. Trooper (Iron Maiden)
“You take my life and I’ll take yours too!” is the beginning of this song and metal maniacs cry it out at all the Iron Maiden concerts with such emotions. Again war and shedding blood for land and honor; Heavy metal at it’s finest. It was on the fourth album which released in June 1983. Being the second single on this album, “Piece of Mind”, it was heard on the radio in the U.K. (and landed at No. 12) and in the U.S. (landed on No. 28). But, because it didn’t get much airplay, it had the potential to go to No. 1. Although, when Maiden played it on tour, this was the song everyone went crazy for along with Number of the Beast. Bassist, Steve Harris wrote this metal song that was never going away; in light of history, he wrote about the Crimean War and “The Charge of The light Brigade” which was a poem but also factual. The charge of the British light cavalry was led by Lord Cardigan. They went against the Russian forces during the Battle of Balaclava (October 25, 1854). So, once again, war, blood, country, and honor are the themes here for Maiden.
7. Breaking the Law (Judas Priest)
Leadman and songwriter Rob Halford gave way to the legal ways in this song; talking about how frustration hit those in England. One of the infamous riffs in metal music. It’s the single from the 1980 British Steel album which paved way to the meanness of metal and no holding back when it came to lyrics and riffs. Millions of young adults and teens came to realize that this was their anthem song for rebellious acts. Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing add to the Bitish invading metal song of the 80s. There are absolutely no solos AT ALL! Didn’t need it with these lyrics and the video showing them breaking into a bank ripping off a platinum album from the safe. It was the economic situation of England that inspired him for the song, as Halford confessed to Billboard. It sure connected to those metal fans because the decision to break the law when life was not connecting with those living, it became dangerous for parents worldwide.
6. Ace of Spades (Motörhead)
Considered a hard rock song, it’s troubling not to put them in the metal category because they are faster and heavier than what came out the year this album was released. One of the best of Ian Fraser “Lemmy” Kilmister who wrote and sings this song while playing bass down low, physically too. Even Metallica’s bassist, Cliff Burton took notice of this. At the opening of the bass riff, ‘Philthy Animal’ Taylor drums powerful in it and moves everything forward as the song relinquishes into a spell binding metal song and begins the frenzy. Then comes in ‘Fast’ Eddie Clark whom rips a guitar solo thereafter a sudden break. “You know I’m born to lose, and gambling is for fools, but that’s the way I like it, baby…I don’t want to live forever!…And don’t forget the Joker!” Adding to the song is songwriter Larry Wallis and naturally the dramatic deep and low drummer Lucas Fox adds to this killer metal band. As Lemmy wails, it makes your body go in a state of thumping and pulsating spasms fast-like. The Ace of Spades became of the earliest metal songs to this date which was refreshing to the ears of those who love hard rock and metal forever.
5. Raining Blood (Slayer)
This is one of the Top 10 Best Metal Songs of All Time until 2017. This song is thumping in the beginning of this song. It came out in 1986, credited to be one of the best songs that Slayer ever came out with. Kerry King and Jeff Hanneman, both the guitarists, are forthcoming with fast and furious licks. One of the “big four” thrash metal groups of all time. The fast tempoed beats can not be beat. With the wammy bar, both guitarists keeps Slayer’s musical style together. Hard hitting drumming and fast double bass all pulls in together while Tommy Araya on lead vocals, and bassist, coupled with the two guitarists makes these riffs in this song pure metal. Horse wailing sounds and guitar leads make this song of bloody riffs that scale across Hanneman’s guitar neck, and King’s. Shouting evil light into metal fans’ ears that echo to this day. It makes you want to head bang throughout the entire song; but, it’s Slayer singing of genocide. Lyrics were written by King and Hanneman. The true metal fan knows that it’s all due to the four metal musicians. Influential, but with lyrics like this, there’s no wonder that lawsuits and bans were given to this band in certain cities.
4. Paranoid (Black Sabbath)
This song released in 1970 with Tony Iommi as lead guitarist and young Ozzy Osbourne as vocals. Heavy metal can’t be any heavier than Sabbath and with Geezer Butler continuously bassing and Bill Ward thumping on the drums in the background, it all unfolds to one of the best metal songs ever. All four musicians were established after this album and with it, they only hyped them up for more. It was different because of it’s gloomy like and dark somber chords. Iommi comes in with a great lead that almost every true guitarist should know as part of their basic guitar lessons. With the classic Sabbath tempo, it’s mysterious, violent, and with the tight bass lines, it still gets played today. Ozzy, near the end of the song, pleads to listeners to “enjoy life, but it’s too late…”, but maybe for him it is? NOT, he goes on and like the album title, it manifested into a whelm of heavy metal fans world-wide along with it. Dark, eery almost but during the Vietnam war going on, it gave them more ammo for their music as they were underground, true to their music metal fans.
3. The Number of the Beast (Iron Maiden)
Metal maniacs woke-up with this song! ‘Woe to You Oh Earth and Sea, For the Devil sends the beast with wrath…’ was the beginning of this classic. A chilling deep voice starts it; it sounded like horror film actor, Vincent Price. It wasn’t him, in fact, it’s black radio and television personality, Barry Clayton. Like the title of the album, released in 1982, the song is an iconic metal song. The voice of Dickinson and Steve Harris’ deep bass, along with the horror-themed lyrics made it a hit. After the second stanza, Dickinson starts out with a massive cry out (Yeeeee–aaaahh!). History was made. The legendary scream of agonizing wailing almost sounds wolf-like, but with a higher pitch. Written by Harris who was inspired by the horror flick, The Omen, and a little inspiration from a poem Tam o’Shanter (Robert Burns, 1790), a true metal song was born. Musically speaking, the tempo is fast, with the guitar playing solos, and singing bring it together. It only builds up to Adrian Smith shredding on guitar while being relieved by Dave Murray who jams out all the way to the end.
2. Crazy Train (Ozzy Osbourne)
Ozzy really let loose when he split from Black Sabbath. With him going solo, this led him in a crossroads with gifted and talented axe-man Randy Rhoads. The first single in the album began a riveting ride to the beginning of the song with Ozzy laughing loud and Rhoads coming in with a guitar slide and strumming the main riff in the first 15 seconds of the song. Both, chords and leads with confessing lyrics and Ozzy’s vocals makes this song great. Rhoad’s finger-mixing scales and riffs also pulls this song together making it one of the Top 10 metal songs of all time. The first single in Ozzy’s first debut album, “Blizzard of Oz”, stayed in top of the charts for awhile when it was released in 1980. Rhoads, Ozzy, and Bob Daisley wrote it. The hot topic was the Cold War and the annilators that gave those growing up in the 80’s a “crazy ride” when hearing it. What do you expect during the Reagonomic years? It kept Ozzy fans’ ears and eyes on his band for decades to come.
1. Master of Puppets (Metallica)
This song is 10 1/2 minutes long and will never rest in peace. But, that’s okay for metal-militia fans worldwide. The song is the true anthem of metal for those that love metal music. Vocalist/guitarist, James Hetfield and drummer, Lars Ulrich, with longtime lead guitarist Kirk Hammett and bassist Cliff Burton were the geniuses behind this song; it put them in the mainstream. Fans anticipated the opening of their concerts because they knew this song would be played (or Battery). It begins with a slow guitar instrumental by Hammet, then Hetfield comes in…then Ulrich and Burton come in together to compile one of the greatest metal songs ever to be played. It gained national exposure when it hit the air-waves in the U.S. Radio stations all across the nation felt it’s power and knew that there was something special about it; it even ranked #1 on a 100 Greatest Riffs (Total Guitar). Although, it was released in France first in July 2, 1986, metal-heads say it has to do with the master of controlling human behavior and their weaknesses (i.e. behavior, drugs, or whatever). Any weakness that pull us away from our dreams is basically the meaning of this fast metal song; Ulrich once said this in an interview. The guitar riffs, the drumming, the backdrop of Burton’s bass, and naturally Hammet’s guitar leads became the most unforgettable metal song to go down in history.
So, these above are the Top 10 Best Metal Songs of All Time until 2017. If you grew up in the 70’s or 80’s, then you should know the music genre of metal. When metal music first hit the radio waves, bands such as Metallica, Dio, Slayer,…to name a few, might of blared out of your stereo speakers. Their music might ring a bell if you haven’t heard it in awhile. These were are truly the Top 10 metal songs ever played till 2017.