Your top 5 metal songs


As a good way to get some hints of good music I may have missed, I'd like for you to post your top-5 metal songs, all bands/categories. When I first got into metal in the (very) early 80s, there was only 2 categories of metal in Sweden - hard rock (as in Zeppelin) and heavy metal (Maiden, Priest etc). Today there seem to be almost as many categories as there are bands which I find really confusing at times :huh: So, I really don't care what the category is, just give me your top 5 metal/hard rock/whatever songs. I'll start myself.

1. Rime of the ancient mariner - Iron Maiden.
In my book, this is the ultimate metal song with deep, thought provoking lyrics performed with emotion and skills, great riffs and solos to die for. Absolutely brilliant.
2. Sign of the Southern Cross - Black Sabbath.
One of the best songs I've ever heard Dio sing. Beautiful, heavy and emotional all at the same time.
3. Before the dawn - Judas Priest.
This must be the best metal ballad ever*. Rob Halford prooves that he's got a set of pipes on him, to say the least...
4. Child in time - Deep Purple.
What can I say? Gillan had a set of pipes too :D
5. Fast as a shark - Accept.
I know, this isn't a heavy metal classic in terms of musicianship, writing, lyrics or anything. But it's a straight-forward rocker that always puts a smile on my face.

Bubbling under the line are a number of songs/bands that definitely could push their way in on a good day, Judas Priest from the start until the mid-80s have some really brilliant songs; Maiden's collective works deserve more spots on a list than any band I can think of; Metallica had a number of great songs in their early days; AC/DC; Rainbow; Lizzy...aarrgh, the list could be endless. Give me your minds ;)

*A contender to the title "best metal ballad" is a song by Motörhead: Don't let daddy kiss me. Has anyone heard this song? It's lyrics make the skin crawl and I feel really sad when I hear it? Maybe because I have a 3-year old daughter at home? *shivers*


The Angel Of The Odd

Iced Earth -Dante's Inferno
Manowar -Achilles...
Bathory -Twilight of the Gods
Warlord - Black Mass
Iron Maiden -Hallowed

Genghis Khan

Ancient Mariner
Anomica said:
*A contender to the title "best metal ballad" is a song by Motörhead: Don't let daddy kiss me. Has anyone heard this song? It's lyrics make the skin crawl and I feel really sad when I hear it? Maybe because I have a 3-year old daughter at home? *shivers*

I have heard this song.  You're right it is disturbing because it is so acoustic and subtle.  "Please don't let daddy tuck me in tonight".  :(  I swear I heard these lyrics even though they're not written down.  I can't express what this states about the mental awareness of that child.  The child's perspective is why it works so well.  But, I do not think this song is classified as heavy metal or even hard rock, despite being made by Motorhead.

My top five -- don't read too much into this.  In other words, it can change and does depending on mood.  This is probably the most recent account, in this order, of how the songs affected me.  I'll only do one song per band.

1. Paschendale.  This is one of few songs that make me want to cry.  Brilliant!  The music and lyrics combine to create a great emotion effect.  I can literally have all top five filled with Iron Maiden songs.  Others that can go here are: Hallowed Be Thy Name, Infinite Dreams, Rime of the Ancient Mariner and more.

2. My Last Words by Megadeth.  The hair on the back of my neck raises during this song.  It is fast, powerful, with high quality riffing.  It is a song about Russian roulette.

3. Young Lust by Aerosmith.  One of my favourite and earliest hard rock bands.  The songs starts with short, powerful guitar/drums.  It has a great solo and and cool hi-hat, guitar riff during a slow part.  The bass is incredible and most importantly the drumming is fast and superb, including the bass drum and the ending drum solo.  Lyrics are common to that of hard rock with an Aerosmith flavour.

4. Creeping Death by Metallica.  I could have chosen so many songs by this once-great band.  For more see by SMX -- My votes are under Genghis Khan, no duh!  (Do you like the plug?).  This song has high quality riffs.  The bast part starts about a minute before the solo, where the listener knows the band is preparing for something great, and lasts until the end of the song.  Anyone, who has heard it will know what I mean.  These sections are both heavy and melodic.

5. Painkiller by Judas Priest.  Frenzied.  I have just started into Judas Priest, sometime after Iron Maiden which happened in 2003.  But Priest's fast songs are so good.  It seems that every increase in tempo is accentuated in this song.  "This... is... the... pain... killer...". 

Some of other great bands that could not make it on this list today are AC/DC, Deep Purple, Motley Crue, Testament, Anthrax, Black Sabbath, Van Halen, Motorhead, Pink Floyd (not metal but many metal fans would agree they belong with other great musicians) and others.


Back From The Edge
Dear me, what a hard choice!

1. 'For the Greater Good of God' - Iron Maiden

2. 'You can't kill Rock and Roll' - Ozzy Osbourne

3. 'Kill Devil Hill' - Bruce Dickinson

4. 'Orion' - Metallica

5. 'Back from the Edge' - Bruce Dickinson


1 : Paschendale , Iron Maiden. I'll go one up on Genghis and admit that yes, I did cry the first time I heard this song. It was just so beautiful and so sad. When I bought Dance Of Death, it was the first track I went to, because I had heard a clip of it online somewhere and was intrigued (after all, most metal bands that reach their forties and fifties greatly decline in quality, yet here was Iron Maiden not doing that!) and I was interested in the title. As a bit of a history buff, I felt bad I did not recognize the name 'Paschendale ', but I did recognize it's alternate name : The Third Battle Of Ypres. Anyway, I put it on, and just sat there transfixed for eight minutes and twenty-eight seconds. I might not have even breathed. It's just so moving.

2 : The Mob Rules, Black Sabbath. It's hard to pick any single Black Sabbath song as being one of the five metal songs you consider the greatest (especially when you pick a non-Ozzy track!), but damn it all if this song is not the bounciest, most effervescent, energetic, pick-me-up song Sabbath has ever done. It's like the Dio-era version of Paranoid, only with a catchy, arena-like chous and hooks. The solo is amazing, and that towering, crunching main riff is ... also amazing. And Dio sounds amazing.

3 : Rust In Peace... Polaris, Megadeth. Yes, it's (mostly) where I got my name from, the SLBM of course being 'sea launched ballistic missile'. That opening drum riff is brutal, and the riffs, no less so. That chorus is the most complicated mess of a thing, yet you can still sing along to it. It's marvelous. I know I stand in the minority by considering this the best cut on Rust In Peace (but everything looks like crap after that magical, juggernaut of a 1-2 punch from Holy Wars... The Punishment Due and Hangar 18), but I don't really care: I love this song. I love singing to it.

4 : Looks That Kill, Motley Crue. Go ahead and say it if it makes you feel better: Motley Crue isn't a metal band, they're a 'glam rock' band. Whatever. I still say if you listen to just the music (and not look at the goofy way they looked at the time), it's undoubtedly metal. Early Crue sounds more akin to Motorhead or Judas Priest than 'glam', and Looks That Kill is no exception. It's driving, it's fist-pumping, it's bouncy, it's catch, hook-laden melodic metal with a punishing main riff. Admit it, you're just thinking about it right now, and if it doesn't make you want to at least bob your head in rhythm, you're probably dead.  :bigsmile: I think it blows everything else on 'Shout At The Devil' away... and have you seen the video? Woo!  :D

5 : Round And Round, RATT. If you didn't say it about Motley Crue, go ahead and say it about RATT; it doesn't bother me. I'm 21 years old and an unabashed fan of 80's and classic metal, and that includes hair metal, and if you don't like it (though this board is probably much more receptive than others :) ), that's okay. It doesn't bother me. If I listened to what other people told me to, I'd be listening to Fallout Boy or Yellowcard or something... but I digress! RATT! This song is awesome. The main riff is pretty good (though not what sells the song), and the wandering bass line makes it even better. The verses are great, and the chorus is extremely catchy and bouncy. But what really sells this song is the solo; in my humble opinion, it's one of the best solos in metal. It perfectly fits the tone and pacing of the song, and the dual-guitar harmonic part is simply amazing. Also, the video is one of the best videos ever. :)

Honorable Mentions: Anything by Iron Maiden, Megadeth's 99 Ways To Die and Set The World Afire, Black Sabbath's War Pigs, Sign Of The Southern Cross, and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath, a whole slew of Van Halen and Led Zeppelin, Dokken's In My Dreams and Bullets To Spare, Tesla's Love Song and Modern Day Cowboy, Skid Row's 18 And Life and Monkey Business... I could go on forever, but you get the idea. :)


Staff member
PolarisSLBM said:
1 : Paaschendaele, Iron Maiden.

However you choose to spell the name of the actual place, the Iron Maiden song is clearly spelled "Paschendale". Just look on your Dance Of Death CD to see for yourself. Complain about Maiden spelling it wrong if you like, but do not spell their song title incorrectly.


The Angel Of The Odd
____no5 said:

Iced Earth -Dante's Inferno
Manowar -Achilles...
Bathory -Twilight of the Gods
Warlord - Black Mass
Iron Maiden -Hallowed be thy name

I forgot my best song lately, The Ripper -Judas Priest......!!
with these lists in happens all the time, so this is an alterrnative list to follow this 2 minutes diamond :

Powrslve -Iron Maiden
Gettysburg -Iced Earth
Halloween -Helloween
the call of Ktulu -Metallica


Keeping an open eye on the Weeping Angels.
Anomica said:
there was only 2 categories of metal in Sweden - hard rock (as in Zeppelin) and heavy metal (Maiden, Priest etc). Today there seem to be almost as many categories as there are bands which I find really confusing at times :huh:
This sub-genre of a sub-genre of a sub-genre, Sweden has played a reasonable contribution in creating. Gothenburg metal? :p

This is tough, really tough. For my list, I will not include any Maiden or Maiden related stuff. And rather than 5 tracks, I will try to pick 5 bands that I rate very high and give, what I regards as, one of their best efforts. So:

Metallica - For Whom the Bell Tolls: No list of this type could be without early Metallica or indeed this track. Absolutely brilliant song and fantastic live. Thunderous riffs pounding along hard and heavy (how cheesy is that comment). ;)

Onslaught - Welcome to Dying: Superb power ballad (the opening is slightly reminiscent of 'Tallicas 'Fade to Black') - but at nearly 13 minutes long, it is just not enough. I've seen Onslaught live on many an occasion and this was always one the highlights of the gig.

Anathema - Closer: One track I could play again and again and again and never get bored of it. The build of this song, in my opinion - and I may well be correct, reminds me of something: it starts slow, builds along nicely getting faster and faster, then it reaches a point where the song must be at its climatic stage, then..... it slowly peters out. Now, what does that remind you of. ;) Here it is on YouTube.

Biomechanical - Enemy Within: Great pace to this track - the opener from a brilliant Album. The vocalist, John K, has to be one of the best screamers this side of Rob Halford. His mix of vocals - even within this track - is outstanding to say the least. From gritty to high operatics. I will never tire of recommending this album - to anyone who may care to listen.

Slayer - Ghosts of War: Slayer at their very best. Not much more can be said - two other tracks from South of Heaven are worthy of a shout (Spill the Blood and the title track), but this is far better than any other Slayer track. Although I do regard Reign in Blood as their best album, this is their best track.

And, well, just for the sheer hell of it - I'll add one more:

Xentrix - Back in the Real World: One of many brilliant tracks from quite possibly one of the greatest debut's by any band ever. And that is not an exaggeration, if you hear Shattered Existence you may well agree.

The biggest problem is that, if I was to do this list again in, say, a weeks time it may be different.


Right now, they would probably be (in no particular order):

Iron Maiden - The Educated Fool
Blaze - Stare At The Sun
Bruce Dickinson - Road To Hell
Judas Priest - A Touch Of Evil
Blind Guardian - Time Stands Still (At The Iron Hill)

Tomorrow, they'll be different. BTW, I spot a trend there. Can you tell it?  :bigsmile:


Perun said:
Tomorrow, they'll be different. BTW, I spot a trend there. Can you tell it?  :bigsmile:
I love these generic fickle threads :D

Off the top of my head right now:
Iron Maiden - Phantom of the Opera Probably the best song in the world.
Slayer - Angel of Death the epitome of thrash.
Metallica - Leper Messiah surprising?
Blind Guardian Mirror Mirror/Mordred's Song/And Then There Was Silence Do I have to pick just one?
Black Sabbath - War Pigs Either this or Victim of Changes from Judas Priest.  This song is probably one of the most influential of all time in terms of lyrics and music.

EDIT: I'll cheat and add in Manowar's Hail and Kill as well :p


:bigsmile: Hah, this is great. I get a lot of new interesting ideas of music I never listened to before. Thanks a lot, people!

@Polaris: if it's good music who gives a rat's ass about it's categorization? Hair, glam, death, power, black, heavy, thrash... :blink: :blink: Who gives a sh1t??? That's the problem I was adressing in the first lines of my post. When I first got into Maiden (The number of the beast, 1982, an orgasm of the mind :innocent:) as far as I can remember, there were hard rock, heavy metal, synth pop and disco (and all the others of course) but mainly 2 forms of music with heavy guitars, faster pace and a dirtier sound - hard rock and heavy metal. I don't care what the category is as long as it does something for me, at least gets my blood pumping a little faster.

@Albie: What's Gothenburg metal? I know of two at least semi-famous metal bands from Gothenburg, In flames and Hammerfall, and I wouldn't put them in the same category - if I was the categorizing kind of guy :smartarse: But since I'm not I guess you're right :D
My problem with all these different categories is basically that it creates difficulties for some of the young 'uns. If you're into glam, it seems you're not allowed to be into thrash or something else. It must be very limiting to their musical experiences. Thank god I'm and old bastard :ok:


Keeping an open eye on the Weeping Angels.
Anomica, try this link. In short, Melodic death Metal is sometimes referred to as Gothenburg metal. The innovators of this were bands such as Dark Tranquility and In Flames  - hence the name tag.


Ancient Mariner
Albie said:
Anomica, try this link. In short, Melodic death Metal is sometimes referred to as Gothenburg metal. The innovators of this were bands such as Dark Tranquility and In Flames  - hence the name tag.

And At the Gates.  Although, the Gothenburg scene is a bit stagnant-Dark Tranquillity are probably the most consistent band worth looking into.  Melodic Death has much better bands further afield (such as Skyfire and Amon Amarth-neither are Gothenburg yet both are MeloDeth).  Anyway...

This could change at any time, but...

1. Iron Maiden-Paschendale
Simply put, this is one of the most emotive, well-written and downright epic songs I have ever encountered. A brilliant performance by all the band, with some beautiful harmonies and synths, heavy riffs and awesome vocals and lyrics. Every time I hear this, at the least I lose myself in the music, at best I cry, it's so fucking beautiful.

2. Dark Tranquillity-Punish My Heaven
Another kickass track. Whenever I first listened to this, I thought it was a 7min track...there is so much going on in its 4 minutes, it feels much longer. There are so many time changes and riff changes, it's a joy to hear. Melodic Death metal does not get much better than this.  Uplifting stuff

3. Megadeth-The Conjuring
Sort of Megadeth's 'Black Magic', I suppose. A wonderfully sinister intro halts at Mustaine's 'Obey!', before coming in with a riff that commands that you bang your head. Some typically black humour in the lyrics department, and nice, memorable soloing, make this a track that will stay in your head for a while.

4. Judas Priest-Victim of Changes
I had put Beyond the Realms of Death down on MetalStorm.  And that was a month and a half ago.  Go figure.  Live (Unleashed in the East especially), this song slays.  The intro is just...indescribable.  And the entire band excel themselves on this's just really funky.  Rob's final scream of 'Victim of CHAAANGES!' just epitomises Priest.  As does Glen's solo.  *drools*

5. Dissection-Thorns of Crimson Death
As Daru Jericho said, this song has a brilliant, melancholic intro, which then crushes you with evil riffage. Not as fast as the other material on SotLB, but an uplifting chorus and nice interludes, plus that beautiful intro, make this my favourite Dissection song.

All epic, melodic, and all-round great tracks :D

EDIT: Added explanations for each track, lazily stolen from a similar thread on MetalStorm

(If we made this top 10 metal songs, I could just straight copy and paste...hint, hint :innocent:)

national acrobat

Ancient Mariner
Top 5, eh?

1. Black Sabbath - A National Acrobat  :innocent:
2. Iron Maiden - Hallowed Be Thy Name
3. Black Sabbath - Symptom of the Universe
4. Judas Priest - Prisoner of Your Eyes
5. Black Sabbath - Lady Evil

So what if I only know three metal bands? :p


Deluxe Edition
Staff member
At the moment, in no particular order:

Bruce Dickinson - No Way Out... to be Continued
Dark Tranquillity - Punish My Heaven
Iron Maiden - No Prayer for the Dying
Death - Flesh and the Power It Holds
Annihilator - Brain Dance

If you don't know them, Death is one of the most influental (surprise, surprise) death metal bands. They started out as pretty straight-forward death but over time evolved into something more melodic and progressive (much to the chagrin of all those death metal purists). Definitely a band worth checking out.

I don't really know what Annihilator are like - Freaky sent me this song (along with another one that's not quite as good) and it's absolutely brilliant, but I haven't explored their music any further yet.


.:The Final Frontier:.
I try to give my list without considering Maiden and related works (Bruce, Blaze & co.) for clear conflict of interest  :blush:
(songs in no particular order and subject to changes without notice  :p):

Black Sabbath - Over And Over
I think that most of the Sabbath albums in the '80's have great songs, thus it was a hard choice  :bigsmile:

Blind Guardian - Thorn
A powerful yet melodic song from a stunning album, Nightfall In Middle Earth.

Deep Purple - Knocking At Your Back Door
A real gem from the mark 2 reunion in 1984.

Savatage - Summer's Rain
Wonderful ballad, with a great solo from Criss Oliva.

Jorn Lande - Sunset Station
He isn't just a clone of David Coverdale, as some people say. He also does very good albums :p


No particular Order...

Sign Of The Cross - One of Maiden's masterpieces, with a bleeeeeding good instrumental section plus awesome guitar solos. Blaze's voice complements the feel of the song, and I regard it as one of Maiden's best.
Powerslave - Complete with what is for me, the best Maiden solo part, an powerful Egyptian riff, and Steve's signature bass attack. Definetely a masterpiece. Bruce is bloody awesome here too.
One - My favorite Metallica song, very introspective and has powerful riffs. The intro is just great and it leads to Kirk's soft wonderful solo. The last part (the machine gun) is very brilliant and shows another crazy Kirk solo.
Paradise City - For me, the best song to listen if you wanna go nuts. Axl goes nuts, Slash goes nuts, Duff goes nuts, Izzy goes nuts, Steve goes nuts. An extremely enjoyable song, and the end part is insane insane insane insane!
Ace Of Spades - Though short for a metal song, the vocals of Lemmy are perfect for the fun mood of the song. A great western feel, and perfect for headbanging.

Cornfed Hick

Ancient Mariner
1.  Rime of the Ancient Mariner - Iron Maiden (is it really necessary to ID the artist here?)
          - the ultimate Maiden epic; I liked it so much I bought a book of Coleridge poetry

2.  Disposable Heroes - Metallica
          -  my introduction to speed metal; wow

3.  Iron Man - Black Sabbath
          -  with your indulgence, an extended analogy: When American football players are considered for the Hall of Fame, a member of the nominating committee makes a speech stating the case for that player.  The speeches are almost always several minutes long, setting forth the player's statistics and accomplishments, and then a discussion usually ensues, followed by a vote.  The first year that John Elway (considered by more than a few to be the greatest quarterback who ever played) became eligible for the Hall of Fame, a sportswriter from Denver gave the shortest nomination speech on record: "Gentlemen, may I present for your consideration, Mr. John Elway.  Thank you."  Without any further discussion, Elway was immediately and unanimously elected.  In that spirit: Ladies and gentlemen, I present for your consideration, Iron Man.  Thank you. 

4.  Hallowed Be Thy Name - IM
          -  again, no explanation needed

5.  Welcome to the Jungle - Guns N Roses
          -  "you're in the jungle, baby, and you're gonna die" -- the ultimate L.A. dystopian anthem


for me its...
1.maiden-2 minutes to midnight
2.maiden-children of the damned sabbath-sign of the southern cross
4.death-crystal mountain


In no particular order...

Iron Maiden - Rime Of The Ancient Mariner
Metallica - One
Deep Purple - Child In Time
Slayer - Cult
Black Sabbath - Fluff