Developed in late 1960’s and early 1970’s, speed metal has large root in the United States and the United Kingdom. This type of music can be characterized by extended guitar solos, highly amplified distortion, and vehement beats. In terms of theatricals and volume, speed metal is the most extreme!
List of Top 10 Best Speed Metal Songs of All Time until in 2017
10. Lamb of God – Walk with me in Hell
Walk with Me in Hell is a 2008 single that was featured in American band Lamb of God’s live DVD. This song was released in July 2008 and has since then become of Lamb of Gods most downloaded song. This group has performed at Download Festival in 2007 and other events since then.
9. Motorhead – Ace of Spades
Ace of Spades was released in 1980 by British rock band Motorhead. This song was first released as a 7’’ vinyl single in 1980. It was later released by Bronze Records as a 12’’ vinyl – the band donned Santa outfits on the cover.
Motorhead have since performed this song on BBC Radio 1’s Rock on Saturday show, and on BBC TV show Top of the Pops.
Ace of Spades is listed as one of the most popular music rhythm games, Guitar Hero.
8. Ozzy Osbourne – Crazy Train
Crazy Train is Ozzy Osbourne’s first single on his solo album Blizzard of Ozz. It was released in 1980 with its main content pointing to the Cold War and fear of annihilation that existed during the Cold War period.
Crazy Train has since then reached number 49 on Billboard Top tracks chart in 1981. This song was also certified double platinum and as of 2010, it has sold 1, 750,000 downloads. As a solo artist, Ozzy Osbourne is best known for this track. It is the most popular and most recognized song. Crazy Train was ranked number 9 in Greatest Guitar Solo ever by readers of Guitar World. It has also been ranked as number 9 by VH1 on 40 Greatest Metal Songs and was finally named as 23rd greatest hard rock song of all times in 2009.
7. Black Sabbath – Paranoid
Black Sabbath released paranoid in 1970 from their Paranoid album. Paranoid is their first song on that album and has since been listed as number 4 on UK’s Single Chart and number 61 on Billboard Hot 100.
Paranoid has been ranked as number 1 on VH1’s 40 Greatest Metal Songs, number 11 on Q Magazine’s Top 100 Greatest Guitar Tracks, and number 250 on Rolling Stones 500 Greatest Songs of all Times.
6. Judas Priest – Painkiller
Painkiller is the opening song on British band Judas Priest’s painkiller album released in 1990. Painkiller was nominated for Grammy Awards for Best Metal Performance in 1991 at the 33rd Grammy Awards (this was the second year that award was presented).
Painkiller has been a worldwide sensation and it is still downloaded and played by speed metal fans all over the world – especially in the United Kingdom and the United States.
5. Metallica – One
This is one amongst the Top 10 Best Speed Metal Songs of All Time until 2017. One is a song from Metallica’s third and final single from their fourth studio album. One was Metallica’s first top 40 hit single. It reached number 35 on Billboard Hot 100 and was listed as number one in Finland.
Metallica have performed One on countless occasions some including; 31st Annual Grammy Awards show in Los Angeles in 1989 and at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards in 2004. This song has also won Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance, making it first ever to win in that category.
4. Black Sabbath – Iron Man
Black Sabbath is an English Band that was formed in 1968. Black Sabbath is a fantastic band that has had multiple line-up changes, with Tony Lommi being the only constant. This group was formed in Birmingham by guitarist and song writer Tony Lommi, main lyricist and bassist, Geezer Butler, drummer Bill Ward, and singer Ozzy Osbourne.
Black Sabbath are also described as psychedelic rock, blues rock, hard rock, and acid rock. Although they have gone through many changes, their music has stayed strong.
3. Megadeth – Holy Wars…The Punishment Due
Holy Wars is the opening track of the album Rust in Peace by Megadeth. This song was released in 1990 and has since become a favorite amongst speed metal enthusiasts. One main reason why it is on our list is because of its weird structure. At 2:26 after an acoustic bridge, it shifts to a slower and heavier section called “The Punishment Due”. It then shifts and picks up speed. Entire song is called Holy Wars.
Holy Wars’ lyrics were inspired by the Northern Ireland conflict. Its video shows footage of armed conflict mainly from Middle East. Holy Wars is approximately 6:32 minutes long and you will enjoy every single second of it.
2. Metallica – Enter Sandman
Enter Sandman is Metallica’s first single from their fifth album Eponymous in 1991. This song deals with a child’s nightmares (in the video, you can be able to see a young child praying while the Sandman sits and watches. It was written by Lars Ulrich, James Hetfield, and Kirk Hammett. This song has since then been awarded a platinum certification for achieving more than 1,000,000 copies shipped into USA.
Enter Sandman is featured in all Metallica’s live albums and DVDs that have been released in 1991 and have been played at countless award ceremonies and benefit concerts.
1. Iron Maiden – Hallowed be thy Name
Hallowed be thy name was written by Steve Harris and has since been credited as the best speed metal song of all times. Steve wrote this song in 1982 for Iron Maiden’s album “The Number of the Beast.” This song never ceases to amaze. From the bell tolling to the rush of the full band entrance, you will be instantly hooked to this song. Hallowed be thy name is still Iron Maidens most popular album, with exception of Maiden England World Tour 2012 – 2014.
This song is so popular that there have been countless versions released by artists such as Dream theater, Machine Head, Iced Earth, and Cradle of Filth.
When it comes to speed metal, it is incredibly hard to pinpoint which song was better or more popular than the other because, the list tends to differ from one individual to another. Here, we have compiled a list of some of the best speed metal songs of all times, ranging from 1980’s to 2008. We have selected them based on popularity, awards, and download numbers.
From Ozzy to Lamb of God, our list includes our top 10 most favorite and best speed metal songs of all times until 2017. We would love to know what you think about our list. Do leave a message below – or if you think there is a song that should definitely be added onto our list, we would love to hear your views so do comment below.