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The 20 Top Heavy Metal Songs Ever Recorded

Guest Post by Michael Grant

The 20 greatest Heavy Metal songs ever recorded

OK, here are the rules. This list is about great songs and why they are great due to their recording and production values. There are so many songs out there that others might think are better, but have you ever said to your self; “Ya know there is a good song here but I wish they did not use that drum sound, or, it’s not that tight, or, the production sucks.” Even the performances can be off.

The criteria for rating these songs is simple: The immediate visceral response I experienced from the aural assault presented.

You will notice that vocals are taken into account quite a bit cuz I’m a singer. No two bands are repeated but there are some same people who performed in different bands. Ballads are not included (because I said so – my list, my rules) and I do include 2 runner ups for each entry. Now, let the count down begin!!

20. BURNING BRIDGES Crimson Glory/Transcendence

This is one of my favorite metal records. Yes they looked silly with their masks and all but this disk is so rich with classic sounding material. Burning Bridges is so interestingly constructed. I love how the pre chorus is the extended main chorus riff sans vocals. They know how good their music is to pull a trick like that. It’s these little things that are why it is so special. I also love the beginning with that otherworldly melody. The drum sound is quite processed (they are real and played by a human contrary to belief) and the topic is a bit schmaltzy (Regret of abandoning a true love), but Midnight sings with such conviction that all the shortcomings are obliterated. This one is truly transcendent. Runner ups: Lady Of Winter, In Dark Places

19. FOR THOSE ABOUT TO ROCK…WE SALUTE YOU AC/DC/For Those About To Rock

AC/DC is a rock band and this is their Metal song! The beginning itself commands that you pay attention. Brian Johnson’s vocals are so searing and true you believe the message even if you don’t like rock. The riff is so simple yet so complete. Add cannon fire to the mix and you got a song for the Metal ages! I salute you AC/DC! Runner ups: Who Made Who, Back In Black

18. THE DAWN OF BATTLE Manowar/The Dawn Of Battle EP

This is taken from a three song EP that makes me wonder why this song was not just put on a record. I guess they wanted to make more easy money or they thought that the song was good enough to stand alone. I think it is the latter. New Manowar listeners get the true essence of the band in a nice neat package. It has all the staples… Gut wrenching verses, grandiose choruses with giant hooks, a quiet “if I should fall in battle” middle, and a blistering solo. Erik Adams really sings like a king here showing his full range. Also, Joey uses a regular bass instead of that somewhat annoying piccolo bass. A real winner! Runner ups: Blood Of My Enemies, Hail And Kill

17. DETROIT ROCK CITY Kiss/Destroyer

This was the first Metal song I ever listened to. Yes, it is a Metal song! I was 5 years old and was blown away by Paul Stanley’s white hot screams. Since then I have never looked back. It comes from a landmark album. I liked the effects drenched “God of Thunder” too but this is a pure song. Wonderfully produced by Bob Erzin and some of the hardest hitting drums from Peter Criss. Even that piano is heavy! It’s also cool how the lyrics turn suddenly frightening at the end and the car crash bit still brings chills. It really is a stand alone and I’m glad it broke my cherry. Runner ups: Do You Love Me, Larger Than Life

16. BLACK HORSEMAN King Diamond/Abigail

Abigail is regarded as King Diamond’s finest record. Everybody is right. He could never seem to get that once in a lifetime sound and production again. I choose “Black Horseman” because it is one of his most unique numbers. A labyrinth of styles that so seamlessly flow together as one. King sings with so much passion and genuine emotion. Every voice style he has he showcases here. It also has some of the most beautiful melodies he has ever composed. The lyrics are cool too. It all comes together with a climatic awe that ends with one of the best closing lines. The drumming is mesmerizing and the guitars saturate the soul. A real one of a kind. Runner ups: A Broken spell, Into The Convent

15. THE LEARNING Nevermore/The Politics Of Ecstasy

I’ll never forget how deeply involved I got into this song just after the first listen. I replayed it about 30 more times and almost forgot about the rest of the album. The possibility of A.I. is a subject I will always find fascinating. (Screaming In Digital and NM 156 from Queensryche also dabble in this….see below) Nevermore’s crushing score and Warrel Dane’s mind numbing lyrics give this subject a 9 minute plus workout. The record itself is the most sonically assaultive from the band. Warrel’s performance is that of bliss. From the heartfelt opening plea to the stabbing pre choruses to the de-resonating scream that caps the song, it is a journey that leaves no questions left to ask. This truly pierces the carbon soul. Runner ups: Dreaming Neon Black, The Sanity Assassin

14. HEADING FOR TOMORROW Gamma Ray/Heading For Tomorrow

Ralph Sheepers only sang on two Gamma Ray records before forming Primal Fear. I just love this song for the sheer scope of epic-ness. It is one of the most serious performances from Ralph who is a giant in the industry. I love how composer Kai Hansen (a less able but totally charming singer in later albums) gives us a full 16 minute unedited, unapologetic odyssey. Even the beginning tells the listener…”this is a huge song, your going on a journey!” At the end you might feel exhausted but so satisfied you are glad you went for the ride. Runner ups: Rebellion In Dreamland, All Of The Dammed

13. NICE DAY FOR A FUNERAL Overkill/Horrorscope

What? No “Wrecking Crew”, no “Elimination”, no “Rotten To The Core”?? No. It is this. This forgotten triumph from the Virgin Killers themselves! This is Overkill’s darkest moment. This song burns in you as if Blitz branded it to your brain! The riffs are straight forward, simple and unrelenting. The vocals come from the surface of the sun. The lyrics are so spot on disturbing that it’s like Blitz went into the mind of every suicidal soul and took the best lines of despair and futility. And that fucking solo! It still makes me weep. Dare if you will to take a dive into this dangerous and gut wrenching piece. You will never be the same. Runner ups: Who Tends The Fire, End Of The Line

12. SCREAMING IN DIGITAL Queensryche/Rage For Order

Rage For Order is my favorite Queensryche album. It is just so ahead of it’s time and it is Geoff Tate’s best performance. The world can go Mindcrime all it wants but the mold was broken here. I chose “Screaming” because it has personally influenced me big time on how I structure my vocals. The overlapping, the different characters with different voices and how Tate really sings across the riffs and not just with them. Again, I love the subject matter (A.I.’s again) and the buildup is very gripping. Also the use of different effects and sounds make this a true original. Runner ups: The Mission, Roads To Madness

11. MARCH OF TIME Helloween/Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part 2

The drummer I play with said it best…” This song is the template on witch every other power metal song is built from.” I couldn’t agree more. It is a glorious song. Filled with speed and souring vocals from the great Michael Kiske. (So what if he is a douche bag) I love how epic the presentation is and how each member gets a little moment in the sun with carefully placed “mini solos”. Cool topic, lyrics and tight as a drum. Oh how I miss the old Helloween days! Runner Ups: Twilight Of The Gods, How Many Tears

10. BEYOND THE BLACK Metal Church/Metal Church

And how black it is. This chugger literally broods with darkness. The production is astounding because it is so “wet” and cryptic, yet clear. I don’t think I’ll ever hear such a crisp, sweet drum sound again. The late David Wayne had to have recorded his vocals from some deep dark catacomb or something. The tom/guitar harmony at the beginning is worth the song alone. The song drips metal good enough to destroy any church! And that is why their Metal always conquers! Runner ups: We Watch The Children Prey, Battalions

9. THE SENTINEL Judas Priest/Defenders Of The Faith

This is one of Judas Priest’s best songs hands down. Defenders is my favorite disk from Priest. It’s not crooney like the early stuff or cheesy like the albums that came soon after. The obvious choice from this one would have been “Freewheel Burning” but that has a few bits that borderline on silliness. The Sentinel has a wonderful structure. I love how the story is told and how the title character is described. It has sophistication and maturity. The middle section is nice and moody and Rob Halford does some of his most spine tingling screams (Especially at the end.) It is played live quite often and never disappoints. One for the ages! Runner Ups: Painkiller, Sinner

8. LAST IN LINE Dio/Last In Line

I guess you could call this one “Dio’s Number Of The Beast.” It’s his perfect song. It has a great thoughtful intro that bursts into a riff that instantly tattoos to your brain. The lyrics, (classic Dio scribe that always makes one go… “I’m not quite sure what he really means by that”) is so much fun to sing along to. It is wrapped up in a perfect package. The guitar solo by Vivian Campbell is also fabulous. While “Rainbow In The Dark” and “Hungry For Heaven” were ultimately the product of producers, Last In Line remains one of his most respected songs that is considered by the record executives “a hit.” Runner ups: Don’t Talk to Strangers, Strange Highways

7. EDEN LIES OBSCURED Sanctuary/Into The Mirror Black

Definitely the most obscure song on the list (no pun intended). Bathed in one of the most melancholy yet progressive riffs ever, this song still makes me shudder in awe. Warrel Dane is one of the greatest lyricists in metal. His ideas and words are spellbinding. The album itself is so devoid of comic relief and this is a showcase true to it’s words of human double standards. It’s pinnacle of sadness and raw anger. The emotions conveyed are so real you can almost see his veins bulging and tears flowing. But nowhere is a false feeling found. This is the real deal. Runner Ups: Long Since Dark, Veil Of Disguise

6. DOOMSDAY FOR THE DECEIVER Flotsam And Jetsam/Doomsday For The Deceiver

There is a reason this song is also the album title, it is so worthy for the metal hall of fame! A crushing power thrasher! It’s almost like a movement from some dark opera. The topic has to be one of the most bizarre twists on clichéd standard metal themes. In short, it is the battle of Satan and his “marked” human survivors vs. the masses of followers of the heavy metal created creature called “Flotzilla” after a nuclear war. Oh and it is fought on some street with weapons consisting of “Thrashing jaws, slashing claws and, yes,POWER METAL!!” Before Jason Newsted became lobotomized in Metallica, he had the most fun doing this band. He has no fear bringing his F+J masterpiece to the public. The intro is patient, the riffs unstoppable, the singing is stratospheric and the bass playing is on par to Steve Harris. The listener has to be an expert to sing along to this beast. If the Deceiver dooms this day…then we have won it! Runner ups: I Live You Die, Metal Shock

5. THROUGH EYES OF GLASS Forbidden/Forbidden Evil

One of Metal’s most thrilling songs! On the first listen I said to myself, “I will never tire of this….EVER!” Too bad Forbidden was always relegated to being second banana to all the other thrash bands who rose to stardom. There is an ocean of talent in this band. Even though these days they are starting to be credited as a true pioneer of new thrash metal ideas, they still remain one of Metal’s most underrated acts. They were also a farm band to lots of musicians who went on to storied careers. Matt, Russ and Craig never got out though. This song is the absolute standout on what is a cool yet somewhat chaotic record. The rather standard topic of clairvoyance is met by smooth verses that are so well sung by the unlikely singer Russ Anderson who looks like your local back of the store butcher but sings with an otherworldly voice. The riffs are very advanced yet very accessible. The solo’s are something to behold! 2 ½ min of pure axe perfection. They sound shred filled but are actually very pre composed. I’ll never get bored of this over the top, out of this world thrash classic! Runner ups: Hypnotized By The Rhythm, Infinite

4. STARGAZER Rainbow/Rising

Rainbow have never really been a metal band. More of a rock band. But they just so happened to write and record one of metal’s greatest songs! This is due to the fact that Dio was involved. Seems like wherever Dio goes, the magic follows. The fine materiel recorded by Rainbow during the Dio years were mostly Renaissance Faire-esce or straight ahead pool hall rockers. They did manage to cut three Metalers though. The other two are “Kill The King” (a close second) and “Gates Of Babylon” (A bit too progressive yet still cool.) “Stargazer” is a wonder and a winner. The lyrics and the performance is so mystical. The riff is very hard hitting and deadly infectious. It stays the course the entire time only to climax to an ending that will literally give you the power to fly. It’s nearly a perfect song. To this day I can still see the slaves of the now fallen wizard rising with the Rainbow. Pure magic! Runner ups: Gates Of Babylon, Kill The King

3. MASTER OF PUPPETS Metallica/Master Of Puppets

Metallica’s greatest song. It’s their “Ninth Symphony”. Every riff is perfect. A difficult song to play and one that is so easy to ingest. James’ vocal performance is one we will sadly never hear again. This is also their best record. It is so well produced. The sound still shatters my every bone even after 25 years of listening to it. The chorus is designed for concerts. The solo from Kirk is haunting and gum scraping. The bridge sections, count em…four, are so memorable you can hum them note for note even if you haven’t given the song a spin in say, two years. The lyrics are masterfully written that it will remove every ounce of hope you can muster. (“Chomp your breakfast on a mirror!”) The song ends with one of metal’s heaviest riffs (a simple variation on the main verse riff)…EVER! Too bad that in these days this has been demoted to being partially played live in god awful medleys. Please guys! Treat this as if it were your son who is worthy of the crown. It is the only level it deserves. Runner ups: Ride The Lightning, Disposable Heroes

2. THE MOB RULES Black Sabbath/Mob Rules

I first heard this song while watching the movie “Heavy Metal.” The first thing I asked myself is…”Who is that band and where can I find the record?!” Well, I got the soundtrack and the Black Sabbath record at the same time! There are actually two different recordings. The Proper album version wins hands down. It is much tighter and just fucking rocks! I have studied the lyrics for years and I still don’t know what Dio is really talking about. I guess it has to do with anarchy or something like that but who cares! This song is so Metal and just fills one’s head with such unique imagery. Not just the lyrics but the whole sound of it all. It is one of the best live songs performed. When I heard the boys crank this show opener at the Beacon Theater in New York during the “Dehumanizer” tour I was in Heaven and Hell!! The assaulting riff is so simple and so perfect. I just love the part when Dio screams “The Mob Rules” at the beginning of the solo. A metal classic that will forever be written in stone! Runner ups: Falling Off The Edge Of the World, Children Of The Sea

1. THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST Iron Maiden/The Number Of The Beast

The greatest heavy Metal song ever recorded. Perfected perfection. Perfect. It will never be championed. It is an enigma unto itself. I still don’t know how they did it. Every second of this song rules. From the moment the voice over starts reciting the passage of Revelations you know you are in for the experience of a lifetime and producer Martin Birch made sure of that. The guitars begin followed quickly by the first chilling lines of Bruce’s intense yet restrained singing. It builds and builds with perspiring caged madness. Then it explodes with Bruce’s most chilling scream ever. From there you are given the most unforgettable three minutes of such focused intensity. The lyrics are only matched by Bruce’s fiery singing that keeps you in a chokehold. The chorus hammers the listener with the three sixes with deadly precision. The solos weave in and out to the cannon fire drumming of Clive Burr. Steve’s Bass solo is so famous that it is regarded as his best. This song is even better that Run To the Hills. (I love that to death too.) As it gets scarier with each passing phrase, you, like Bruce get mesmerized. I still cower when the line “Can’t avoid their eyes” is sung. I must have listened to this song over 30,000 times in my life and I’m still not used to it. It’s that fucking good. Funny thing is (and I hear this has happened to many people) is that I thought this was the album opener. The weird labeling on the record confused many. Another great aspect is the added “warning verse” at the end. What ballsy songwriting. The prose lyrics also come at you without blinking an eye. I can still crank this today and be out of breath at the end. The only bad thing is when it is performed live. It doesn’t even come close to the recorded version. The price for perfection I guess. Maiden can die knowing that they have created the greatest Metal song ever recorded. One that will never fall from the throne. Runner ups: Run To The Hills, The Trooper

10 HONORABLE MENTIONS They almost made it! In no order.

  • Angel Of Death- Slayer… Venom invented it, Slayer refined it. A classic thrasher.
  • Misery Loves Company- Anthrax… This is a Thrax song that nobody else cares about.
  • I Am A Viking- Yngwie Malmsteen… The Best song from Yngwie EVER!
  • Mastermind- Vicious Rumors… No one knew these guys. I did and I’m glad!
  • Hall Of The Mountain King- Savatage… Their masterpiece. So dramatic and Metal!
  • Komaniac- Artillery… Fleming Rassmussan produced this. Their only good record.
  • In Mourning- Megadeth… This is without a doubt their heaviest song. Black Friday!
  • Night Of The Unborn- Merciful Fate… Blood wet production and scary!
  • Gettysburg- Iced Earth… I have always had a soft spot for Ripper. He is awesome.
  • Heaven Is Hell- Accept… Udo sounds like he is slowly driving a screw into your skull.

Metal doth RULE!

Michael

Mike is the singer for Crescent Shield, a killer melodic metal band!

Another list of great heavy metal tunes: The 10 Best Epic Heavy Metal Songs

62 Comments

  1. Ryan LaMar

    Some great choices, Mike! I’d have left some of the rock bands out of the metal category, but even for those, they’re great songs.

    I’ll debate you on the King Diamond selection. I’ve always preferred “The Eye.” I think it was Andy Laroque’s finest guitar work on a KD album, and his licks really show.

    As for #1 metal song of all time, I’ll take you to task on that one too. You know it must be something special if one of the biggest Iron Maiden fans you know is going against an Iron Maiden song. I’d have to say Black Sabbath’s Black Sabbath. It started it all for the modern genre of metal, and it’s still a dark, brooding piece that works just as well today as it did then. Honorable mention: Ugly Kid Joe’s “Heavy Metal.” It’s a bonus track off their first CD, and while it’s a spoof of metal songs, it’s an awesome 20-second ditty.

  2. Mitleid

    Hey Ryan, I’ve never heard of a Metal song referred to as a “ditty”!!!

  3. Ryan LaMar

    Yeah, well, it’s tough for me to call something 20 seconds long a song. Heck, Manowar has drum solos longer than that!

  4. Sean Miller

    good choice of songs. Some I agree with and some I dont. As you said it is your opinion on the greatest! I think its great that we can get a bunch of metal heads together and they all have different ideas on what is the best. Im glad you included kiss as they deserve mention. I remember the first 2 metal albums I ever bought, Kiss alive and AC/DC Let there be rock. Funny though I havent listened to Kiss in forever (although I still own the cds) I too enjoy the dio era of sabbath (enjoying the new one). I think it would be so hard for me to come up with my top ten! Im sure somewhere in there would be Painkiller, heaven and hell, Kill em all, Bonded by Blood, one of the many from Overkill, and where would I start with testament! See hard to say :-) Thanks for the read

  5. Michael Grant

    Ryan, I love “The Eye” too. You are so right about Andy’s work. However the drums are fake. Abigail had a better sound. As for adding rock bands, these are the rock bands that happen to have a few songs that really churn me up the way metal does so that’s why they are there.

  6. Oliver K

    Hey Michael,
    Rebuttals and opinions, you said? Welllllll… :-)
    No, seriously, your arguments in favor of ‘Stargazer’ or ‘Beyond the black’, for instance, are to be seconded 100%.
    Vocals are important to me as well, and I’m not a singer, or a musician for that matter. So Warrel Dane, King Diamond, Midnight, Geoff Tate and the one and only Voice of God a.k.a. Dio are all top-notch in my book.
    I’d choose other songs and other bands, though. Let’s see…

    1. Zion’s Abyss – ‘Scarred for life’
    Perhaps the best epic power ballad ever committed to tape, by a Canadian band that never made it to vinyl back in the day, but has a cult following nonetheless.

    2. Warlord – ‘Lost and lonely days’
    Some of the most elegant arrangements and distinctive guitar playing in metal history – courtesy of William J. Tsamis (and, to a lesser extent) Mark Zonder.

    3. Helstar – ‘Angel of death’
    Written by bassist extraordinaire Jerry Abarca, this masterpiece from the album ‘Remnants of war’. Full of nifty details, melodic yet aggressive, firecracker finale.

    4. In The Name – ‘Gypsy’s way’
    These Canadians, formerly known as Kingsbane and Seven years’, produced just one album, but what an album it is. It has an outright sad atmosphere throughout and the playing and vocals are nothing short of mesmerizing.

    5. Savatage – ‘Sirens’
    Heavy. Atmospheric. Killer riff. Insane vocals. Classic.

    6. Destiny’s End – ‘First you dream, then you die’
    The ‘Cornell Woolrich/Francis M. Nevins tribute’ by Perry Grayson – with a riff and rhythm that are just skullcrushing. And again, James Rivera dots the i with his trademark high-pitched vocals.

    7. Black Sabbath – ‘Falling off the edge of the world’
    Never cared for Ozzy one bit – Dio with Sab, that’s the ticket. I could’ve listed any song off ‘Heaven and hell’/’Mob rules’, really.

    8. Leatherwolf – ‘Leatherwolf’
    Off the first EP (that was later expanded to an LP), comes this piece of metal madness by the one and only Triple Axe Attack. Dean ‘Drum Machine’ Roberts goes the extra mile on this one.

    9. Sanctuary – ‘Die for my sins’
    Warrel and the boys from Seattle-before-the-Great-Darkness recorded two seriously classic US-metal albums. This is the song that still kicks total a.. after so many years.

    10. Pagan Altar – ‘The crowman’
    Off the ‘Mythical & magical’ album comes this wonderful, gothic-themed piece of NWoBHM doom. The album never ceases to amaze me, however often I spin it. Guitars are just amazing on every track.

    11. Heart – ‘Mistral wind’
    Not metal, but still more metal than a lot of metal, if you know what I mean. A Greatest Songs Ever list without Ann and Nancy would be a disgrace. And what a blistering, epic track this is, too.

    12. Fifth Angel – ‘Call out the warning’
    Even more Seattle? Yes, these vastly underrated guys were kings of melodic metal, as this up-tempo track with fantastic vocals amply proves.

    13. Judas Priest – ‘Saints in hell’
    Man, were they heavy back in those days. So ‘Painkiller’ is heavier, you say? I don’t care – give me that late seventies, early eighties Priest any day.

    14. Winterhawk – ‘Free to live’
    One of the little known gems in US-heavy rock history, starring one of America’s greatest guitar players: Jordan Macarus. This long track is from the first Winterhawk album ‘Revival’ and, together with two other tracks of the same epic length, ranks among the best that heavy music history has to offer.

    15. Crimson Glory – ‘Azrael’
    Most people prefer the second album, but for me it’ll always be that first Crimson Glory LP. The way every element in this particular song works, the vocals, the lyrics: just amazing. The sinister intro alone is a work of art in itself.

    16. WatchTower – *pick any song from ‘Energetic disassembly’*
    Texas metal insanity. Words fail to describe it.

    17. Trespass – ‘One of these days’
    One of the songs that captured the spirit of the whole NWoBHM movement back in the day. Those duelling guitars with that melancholy in the melodies – how on earth did those Sutcliffe greenhorns come up with such brilliance?

    18. Psychotic Waltz – ‘I remember’
    Jethro Tull meets progressive metal with heroic lyrics of exceptional quality – long will the ‘Waltz be remembered.

    19. Crescent Shield – ‘Rise of the red crescent moon’
    *write your own comment here*

    20. Fear of God – ‘Drift’
    …or any song off the most intense, desolate metal album ever in terms of lyrics and overall atmosphere. Dawn Crosby R.I.P.

    Jeez, finally some spare time and I’m spending it on the internet, silly old me. But was that a comment worthy of your guest article, Michael?
    Cheers,

    Oliver

    • Cal

      Well most of these opinions are idiotic, however, to say Dio is the ticket with the greatest heavy metal band ever to live, ran by Ozzy, is just dumb. Most all of these opinions are people trying to be different and artistic and create these b side metal songs as the greatest of all time. At least Metallica was mentioned, once. Also a sin. Go hang out at the pool halls smoke camels and listen to Dio, leave the real metal to people who know it.

      • Dan

        Cal, you obviously are too young to know “real” heavy metal. You apparently think thrash is heavy metal, but if you were born in the 60’s, you would have grown up in the greatest era of heavy metal, 1975 to 1988. Black sabbath(Ozzy and Dio), Iron Maiden,Quiet Riot, W.A.S.P.,mOTLEY cRUE, Scorpions, Twisted Sister, and the true gods of metal Judas Priest. Hands down these are the kings of metal and would cover the first 30 songs, if not far more. There have been other great contributors like Metallica, but they are not true heavy metal.
        My personal pick for the #1 song is Maidens’ ” Fear Of The Dark” with “Metal Health” by Quiet Riot.

      • Shahir

        @Dan. I’m writing this as a rebuttal to the comment below by Dan, because I can’t seem to reply to that person directly.
        Are you serious? KISS, Motley Crue, Quiet Riot, Scorpions and Twisted Sister? Those are GLAM METAL bands. I don’t consider them to be true heavy metal. Sure the 80’s may have been a great time for metal (I’m 16 and most of my favourite metal comes from then) but metal has never stopped growing and there have been so many great songs from 1990 – present day. You called Metallica ‘not truly heavy metal’. That’s like saying Led Zeppelin is ‘not truly rock’ or apples are ‘not truly fruit’.
        I suppose you also don’t think thrash, black, death and doom metal is not metal either. THOSE SUB-GENRES ARE HEAVY METAL, YOU BETTER LEARN TO ACCEPT IT!
        You are probably older than me and I don’t like to disrespect those older than me, but this is something you need to hear – metal went on going after you stopped caring.

  7. Debbie

    Slayer….Honorable mention???? I’m crushed!!!

    Love the boys from Overkill, but I have to say Who Tends the Fire would edge out Funeral on my list, both great tunes. And Doomsday for the Deceiver, I think I need to go dust that one off, it’s been a while but a great song (and album cover)!

  8. admin

    Well I had never heard Manowar’s Dawn of Battle so I went and dug it up. It’s pretty killer!! Best thing i’ve heard from them since the 80s.

    And Oliver, you listed a bunch of metal bands i have never even heard, thanks for the heavy metal homework assignment.

  9. Oliver K

    @ Admin: …and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. :-)
    Reviewing what’s in the list, I noticed I failed to include songs by Lethal, Sacred Blade/Othyrworld, Sindrome, Armored Saint, Auditory Imagery, Vaudeville, Dream Theater (the first album with Dominici singing is my DT fave by far), Elixir, Omega Point, Realm, Toxik and a thousand others…

  10. Andrew

    What about Rob Zombie, White Zombie, or Slipknot??????

  11. Shelia Tuck

    OMG… RYAN LAMAR?! I knew that if I popped your name and Iron Maiden into Google, I’d find you!! You have to catch up with me! You have a doppleganger in my Symbolic Logic class!!! I know your last post was May 2009, so I’m hoping you’ll see this! Find me on face book under my first and last name!

    Oh, Ummmm, Iron Maiden was introduced to me by this guy. They’re great =)

  12. Samar

    I really appreciate the words that are written to describe “Master of Puppets” but i think.. and most of the real heavy metal listeners might think.. that Master of Puppets is the best heavy metal song ever written!.. It shud be at the top.. Think about it again.. Just like u said “It’s their ninth symphony”.. but it’s everyone’s ninth symphony.. and where are other songs by Slayer, Metallica and Pantera.. Metallica have some more great Songs like – Creeping Death, Battery, No Remorse.. think again… \m/ long live metal!_

  13. kobir

    where’s AC/DC back in black?

  14. Bernie

    I honestly have just gotten into metal, but Honor the Father by Dream Theater should be on any list in my opinion. There are a few great songs on here as well. Also “Confined” by As I Lay Dying will blow you away. Don’t forget your progressive/unique metal such as Buckethead. Peace out. Yes, I said peace out to a bunch of headbangers.

  15. Joel

    You have no Motorhead on this list!?!?!?!?!?!

    You have no idea of what you are talking about.

  16. George

    As for me some of those could not be considered “heavy metal”
    add some All That Remains, their new album overcome is the best, or maybe Five finger Death Punch, they are great as well. I personally like those two and cant forget trivium, shogun is their best album i think….Some of your songs i agree with and others i dont…but everyone is different so who is to judge whats the best…

  17. Claire Kamienski

    These are really bad, every heard of something called good heavy metal?

  18. AC\DC is not HEAVY METAL……………………ASS

  19. I am enjoying these songs, I needed some sugguestions on what music I should buy.

    Thanks.

  20. Gary

    The lyric you quote for Master of Puppets “(Chomp your breakfast on a mirror) is actually “Chop your breakfast on a mirror” i.e cocaine is your breakfast.

  21. TJ

    Sad. Sad. Sad. Kiss and AcDc ain’t metal, sorry. I like Led Zeppelin too but I don’t go pretending they are a metal band. U picked good songs, but for the wrong list.

  22. Biff

    I was listening to Iron Maiden “Number of the Beast” and decided to search for a list of the greatest songs and found this sight. I just figured that this song should be one of the best and sure enough it’s Number 1!!!!

  23. Grayson

    “Rainbow in the dark” was way better song than “Last in line”

  24. Grayson

    Where is “Flying high again” ? by randy rhoads!? I think that song would be Tied with “Number of the beast”

    • Dan

      I like how you said Flying High Again by Randy Rhoads rather than Ozzy Osbourne. :-)

  25. stuart

    I like your list. i would put Painkiller at the number 1 spot. It was the greatest comeback album of all time. Also Number of the Beast is not Maiden’s best song I don’t think. I like Die with your boots on, Prowler the, charlotte the harlot, 22 acatia avenue, Fear of the Dark, The trooper, and Hallowed be they name better than Number of the beast. I haven’t heard of a couple of those bands but defintetly like Manowar. Gettysburd by Iced earth should be up there. Its a freaking half hour masterpiece

  26. stuart

    also if you’re talking about greatest metal songs of all time and you mention Anthrax, you have to mention Its a Madhouse. Also there is Metallica’s new album. All Nightmare Long is an instant classic. megadeth Kick the Chaie, 1000 times goodbye, Washington is Next or Headcrusher are all fantastic Mustaine songs written this decade. and what about Ozzy’s Breaking all the Rules? I get chills to that one. and Tool’s…just kidding Tool sucks. I love Wild Child by Wasp, Denim and Leather by Saxon, Crash bang Wallop by Raven, and Fire Fight by Rammstein.

  27. stuart

    also there is this new band called Black Tide that put out a great album in 2008. Their song Shockwave is an instant classic. Metallica’s Whiplash rules. and you’re going to call me crazy but I love Metallica’s Bleeding me off of Load. Exodus’s Shovel headed Kill Machine was a monster track. Something else to think about, Vinnie Vincent Invasion’s Animal has monster riffs. I can’t agree with Yngwie because while he is the best metal guitarist ever, I don’t think his songwriting was ever up to par. the same can be said for van halen though I do love hot for teacer.

  28. Great list! I appreciate the Sanctuary/ Nevermore love. It amazes me that so many people haven’t heard their glory. Here’s my list, but it’s not in order because I change my mind all the time.
    1.) DIO: tie between Last in Line and Egypt: The Chains Are On

    2.) Sanctuary: tie between Eden Lies Obscured and Epitaph.

    3.) Megadeth : Holy Wars and Youthanasia and Five Magics

    4.) Queensryche : Just got into the band so I don’t know the titles, but there was one on Mindcrime II that gave me chills.

    5.) Rainbow: The Gates of Babylon

    6.) Metallica: Master of Puppets and Ride the Lightning

    7.) Black Sabbath with Dio: Sign of the Southern Cross and Mob Rules

    8.) Black Sabbath with Ozzy: War Pigs and Electric Funeral

    9.) Metal Church: The Gods of Wrath, The Dark, and Beyond the Black

    10.) Mercyful Fate: Again, I don’t know the song but it’s on “Don’t Break the Oath”

    11.) King Diamond: Blue Eyes

    12.) Scorpions: Still Loving You

    13.) Judas Priest: Screaming for Vengeance

    14.) Otep: Warhead

    15.) Iron Maiden: Run to the Hills

  29. milan

    well i think i”d have it this way
    1) symptom of the universe: sepultura’s version
    2) down with the sickness: disturbed
    3) rime of the ancient mariner: iron maiden
    4) suicide note part II: pantera
    5) all guns blazing: judas priest
    6) symbolic: death
    7) south of heaven: slayer
    8) killing in the name of: rage against the machine
    9) redneck: lamb of god
    10) she wolf: megadeth

    • mel

      omg finally someone who also appreciates Disturbed… i mean whats a greatest metal songs in history list without something by DISTURBED?

  30. L. Jones

    Good list dude. Read another posters comments and thought I’d chime in. NO FRIGGIN’ WAAAYYY is “The Eye” King Diamonds BEST album…….you’ve got to be JOKING!!!!!! LOL! For me it’s a tie between ABIGAIL and THEM. BEST DIAMOND RECORDS BY FAR. “The Eye” is when it all started going DOWNHILL IMHO. OK record but in NO WAY comparable to even FATAL PORTRAIT. Love The Black Horsemen……..

    • Dan

      L. Jones,

      totally agree with you there. first three KD albums are all gems. After that, the quality dropped, still some good albums but definitely not as good as the prior records.

  31. neil

    well metal covers a much larger spectrum than most have mentioned for me, but i think originality should play a bigger part so id like to give a salute to the pioneers of heavy metal who have continued to push the edge and change the face and sound of heavy metal over the years.

    top 10 creative genius metal:
    1. black sabbath
    2. motley crue
    3. metallica
    4. slayer
    5. pantera
    6. tool
    7. korn
    8. rage against the machine
    9. system of a down
    10. slipknot

    a true evolution of original sounds :)

  32. Darkside

    Here are my top epic metal songs in no order:

    1. Warlord — Deliver Us

    2. Ozzy Osbourne — Revelation (Mother Earth)

    3. Artillery — Don’t Believe

    4. Crimson Glory — Azrael

    5. Mercyful Fate — The Oath

    6. Iron Maiden — Phantom of The Opera

    7. Judas Priest — Dreamer Deceiver/Deceiver

    8. Queensryche — NM 156

    9. Slayer — Metal Storm/Face The Slayer

    10. Metallica — …And Justice For All

    11. Tank — The War Drags Ever On

  33. u better fuck urslf n die.
    where is
    a7x
    children of bodom and
    cradle of filth
    …..
    .
    .
    .
    .
    this three r da greatest. know it baby

    • Gaurav

      Really?? A7X? its fuckin metal-core shit,if you din’t know that already..children of Bodom is shitty band and COF sucks these days..you listen to sloppy mainstream stuff and and call them Best?Do you even know what heavy metal is?your comment proves that you really have no respect for heavy metal and mostly no idea what it is..
      Selection made here defines the true quality of heavy metal,and the way it was meant to be..Go listen to some real music and then you may comment here..

  34. Raining Blood

    hahahahaha…
    the most stupid list of all time……i think thrash metal is the most popular in metal ….and the silly ones forgot to put angel of death and raining blood in their so called metal’s top 10……don’t songs from the “BEST THRASH METAL ALBUM EVER RECORDED” deserve to come on yoour list..
    very very silly list…it’s like a 12 year old’s list…

    • Dan

      I don’t think a 12 year old would know most of the songs on the list. And Reign in Blood’s cool but call me crazy, I prefer Hell Awaits.

  35. by far metallica is my favorite metal band but this is a killer selection of metal although where is megadeths music im not getting it they are one of the best metal groups later metal heads.

  36. merrique

    hey there. i was just looking for some awesome metal songs to add to my playlist and stubmled aross your page, and i must say everything that you wrote about the song stargazer i agree whoeheartedly with, dio is my god. but iron maiden is my religion and i’m not being biased or anything like that, but you instantaneously had my full and utmost respect once i saw Maiden as your number one. i’d just thought i’d tell you that you couldn’t have chosen better, not that you need to be told. im a girl by the way not that that matters either. Metal Up Brothers and much respect from New Zealand

  37. assas

    Where is the painkiller,or the phantom of the ophera, stupid moda metal, fasion pijo!!!!

  38. Gaurav

    Awesome list..In the end its really a matter of taste,what’s best according to you may not be for everyone.There is no questioning about your deep knowledge and insight understanding..YOU ARE A TRUE METALHEAD!!

    • SHADOW

      oh my man..dont you forget MEGADETH…they are the founders of thrash metal…

  39. metallihead

    im really late. but. glam bands are not metal… n megadeth would be awesome if dave mustaine would stoooop singing. or talking at all. he sounds like fuckin tom petty… i hate tom petty. metallica are the gods of metal. bow down and praise.

  40. ferking kids

    AC/DC isn’t metal?

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!

  41. Shahir

    Great list – especially your top 10! (except for your choice by Metal Church – really??) Well, mine would be a bit different. I’m a massive fan of the older stuff, but I do love some new material such as Disturbed and Avenged Sevenfold. Thanks to you, I’ve got a nice wide variety of songs on my playlist now. THE MOB RULES! Dunno why it’s so underrated, next to H’nH it’s my fave Dio with Sabbath song. ( BTW, the song that struck me on ‘Heavy Metal’ was Sammy Hagar’s ‘Heavy Metal’! :P) I like your choice of ‘The Sentinel’ for JP, it’s a song that creeps into you and you get hooked by its imagery. But ‘For those about to rock’ and ‘Detroit rock city’? Not truly metal and I think the choices could have been different… ‘Angel of Death’ and ‘Hall of the Mountain King’ make good substitutes ;) But I was truly proud to see Iron Maiden on top! ‘The Number of the Beast’ is pure classic genius, and you’re right about their concert performance of it – it’s rather lackluster compared to the original brilliance. Personally, my choice would have been different. But good stuff nonetheless. \ m /

  42. Twright

    Like your list and like you said it’s your rules but Rage Against the Machine gotta be there up even your Honorable Mention. No band has been able to match the raw intensity of two distinct genres of heavy metal and rap with serious something to say like they did in the early to mid-90’s. Take your pick from any of the first 3 albums. Let’s start with some my personal favorites Settle for Nothing, Calm like a Bomb, Fistful of Steel, Born of a Broken Man,and Freedom.

  43. Iceman

    W.A.S.P. – I Wanna be Somebody should be in there somewhere. Also, what about White Zombie/Rob Zombie – too many classics to even list but Electric Head is pretty damn awesome.

  44. SHADOW

    WTF????…THERE IS NO METAL WITHOUT MEGADETH…..senseless list..

  45. creatrix

    Dream theater deserve its spot here,they have many great songs,Metropolis is thousand times better than AC/DC songs.Sabbath bloody sabath can’t be ignored at any cost,it has magic in it,its piteos that can’t perform it well like the studio version.

  46. Daniel

    Most of the songs on your list are good but personally I can’t consider Sabbath, Kiss or AC/DC metal. Yes they where the founders of what we have today but just too soft for my classification of metal. Oh and tony Martin’s headless cross was the best Sabbath album

    • Dan

      You don’t consider Sabbath metal!?!?!? Now I’ve heard it all. I suppose Elvis isn’t rock n roll either.

  47. Jease

    pantera \m/
    most of the band everyone mentioned are metal somewhere or the other. Metal is a huge genre. Covers them all

  48. Mark

    Some of my best in really no particular order:

    Black Label Society – Funeral Bell
    Soundgarden – Flower
    Iron Maiden – The Ripper (cleaner sound)
    Danzig – When the Dying Calls
    King Diamond – A Dangerous Meeting
    Silverchair – Pure Massacure
    Megadeth – Lucretia
    Metallica – Mercyful Fate
    Flotsome & Jetsom – Swating at Flies
    Anvil – Winged Assassins
    Wolf – Evil Starr
    Annihilator – Striker
    Savatage – 24 Hours Ago
    Savatage – Beyond The Doors Of Darkness
    Queensryche – Queen of the Ryche
    Transplants – Romper Stomper

    Check them out, sure most of you would like? there’s so many more….. tried to list some of my favs not on list(s)

  49. Mark

    covered on the Iron Maiden album “Catching Up With the B Sides.”

    • Dan

      As far as I know they never covered The Ripper. There’s a vid on youtube that says its maiden but its actually Iced Earth.

  50. Bill

    Thank god someone else noticed crimson glory not a bad song at all on their first 2 albums but my list in no particular order
    Dream dancer / lady of winter / crimson skies crimson glory
    Hallowed be thy name / revelations / rime of the ancient mariner – maiden
    Hand of doom / snowblind – ozzy sabbath
    Sign of the southern cross / children of the sea – dio sabbath
    Anything off the first 3 Metallica albums as well as the early nwobhm covers
    Road to madness / suite sister Mary queensryche
    Revelation mother earth – ozzy (my opinion randy rhoads greatest work)
    Seasons in the abyss holy wars iced earths question of heaven and more I’ve forgotten

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