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The Greatest Metal Songs of All Time

Last week Vh1 aired their 40 Greatest Metal Songs of All Time special. Some of the picks are leaving us scratching our heads instead of banging our heads, so in an effort to understand how these lists are brought about we asked our crew and our metal hearted brethren over at antiMusic to come up with their lists of the Greatest Metal Songs of All Time. Instead of one master list, we've been posting a few of the individual lists each day that show not only different tastes of metal heads but Korn-free lists that are made by people with a real love for metal not just industry insiders.  The result is the conclusion that metal means different things to different people and that's what makes it the Greatest form of music of all time! 

Today we have lists from  ProgPrince and a special guest list from Mark Strigl (Talking Metal podcast). 


Iron Maiden - Aces High
One of the most exhilarating metal songs ever written and arguably one of the finest in Maiden's catalogue, possessing incendiary speed and a great intro. 

Ozzy Osbourne - Crazy Train
You know a metal song has truly reached greatness when it's sampled in a hip-hop song years later(even though it's strangely unflattering and annoying at the same time). This song has such a great groove and memorable opening riff. 

Pantera - Cowboys From Hell
Despite many people's preference of Vulgar Display of Power and Pantera's later, heavier work, this particular song sticks out to me. It's a bit glam, but it rocks harder than 'Ahnold's' pecs are and is full of attitude. One of the most fun songs in metal. 

Meshuggah - Soul Burn
A very controversial band, but no one can deny the individuality of their riffing style. One of the best examples of their trademark audio chaos tempered with a more traditional thrash approach can be found here. 

Faith No More - Surprise! You're Dead!
Was a great synthesis of punkish vocal spurts, rapping sections, and good groovy heavy metal, not to mention that Mike Patton is one of the most distinctive vocalists ever. FTN might have inspired a whole slew of mallcore bands because of their rapping style, but at their core they were a metal band and a damn cool one at that. 

Overkill - I Hate
What is more metal than a song entitled 'I Hate You'? Pure, unbridled misanthropy in a nifty little thrash song which you can really empathize with if you sit down and read the lyrics. 

Dream Theater - Erotomania
I've always had a fondness for instrumentals, and this one is one of the best. Never losing its coherency like The Dance of Eternity from Scenes from a Memory, this is almost six minutes of sonic bliss. 

Disembowelment - The Tree of Life and Death
One of the best doom songs ever recorded, though I haven't heard as much as Mark. Painfully slow with tortured vocals, a cavernous reverb effect, and choice thrashy sections 

Queensryche - Silent Lucidity
Probably borderline metal, but one of the dreamiest, most goosebump-inducing ballads out there. Just timeless. 

Pain of Salvation - Beyond the Pale
The closing track to Remedy Lane. The sense of longing and despair is so great in the lyrics to this song and it is generally one of the most emotional, touching songs I've ever heard. 

Soundgarden - Black Hole Sun
A mix of heavy metal and grunge often, Soundgarden created some very soulful music, and this is one of their finest offerings. 

Alice in Chains- Rooster
Once again, a band whose metalness is questionable, but Rooster is a great ode to the Vietnam War with a neat trancelike tempo and epic vocals. 

Mark Strigl

This is a special guest list from Mark Strigl, co-host of the Talking Metal podcast. We couldn't do a list like this without asking him to join in!
1. "Fade To Black" - Metallica
"Ride the Lightening" was a ground breaking record that became a blue print for the perfect thrash album: start the album with a soft sounding classical intro that evolves into complete thrash chaos, and end side 1 with a song that resembles "Fade to Black."
2. "Welcome to the Jungle" - Guns N Roses
From the very first note of Slash’s descending pentatonic scale soaked in delay you are hooked. A true masterpiece that makes every kid from the cornfields to the suburbs of middle America want to hop the next bus to Hollywood and embrace L.A.’s dark side.
3. "Green Manalishi (With The Two Prong Crown)" - Judas Priest
Who would have guessed that one of the greatest metal songs of all time is actually a Fleetwood Mac song? Shortly before Peter Green left Fleetwood Mac and shortly after he lost his mind he wrote this song. Judas Priest took an already well-crafted song and made it into a masterpiece. 
4. "Snowblind" - Black Sabbath
The best song off one of the best albums ever made. A tribute to the band’s drug of choice. Ozzy’s vocals cuts through this tune like a razor blade. Sabbath
at their best.
5. "Power and the Glory" - Saxon
The title cut off Saxon’s best album. Saxon is a band that never received as much success as their NWOBHM brothers Def Leppard and Iron Maiden, but they should have. If you don’t know Biff Byford, you don’t know metal.
6. "I Love It Loud" - Kiss
This song came off of Creatures Of the Night, an album that marked Kiss’s return to hard rock. When doing press for the album, Kiss referred to themselves as a "heavy metal band". This song backed up that statement.
7. "2 Minutes to Midnight" - Iron Maiden
Murder, conspiracy, war, terrorism, abortion, the occult, the end of the world, and one of the hottest opening guitar licks ever... This song has it all.
8. "On Fire" - Van Halen
Van Halen’s heaviest song ever. When Dave did his first solo tour after leaving VH, he wanted to convince fans that he still rocked hard and he wasn’t "Just A Gigolo," so he included this song in his set every night. I was convinced.
9. "Holy Diver" - Dio
At 13, the album cover scared the shit out of me. Ronnie James had made great music in bands such as Black Sabbath and Rainbow, but in 1983 it was time for him to make it on his own. And make it he did... This is the title track off of one of the greatest metal records of all time. Nobody is more metal then Dio.
10. "Ace Of Spades" - Motorhead
I know this song is over-played, but you just can’t beat it’s intensity. The first metal band to truly embrace the power and attitude of punk.
11. Aenema - Tool
Is Tool metal? Not sure. What is for sure is that this is one of the heaviest most intense songs to come out of the 1990s. Inspired by a comedy routine by the late Bill Hicks.
12. Demon Cleaner - Kyuss
Before Queens of the Stone Age, there was a band called Kyuss. Pour on the sludge and sing along. Stoner metal insanity.

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Mark Hensch (Thrashpit Editor)
Keavin Wiggins (antiMusic Editor)
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Matt Hensch (Thrashpit)
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