Heavy metal music is a genre of rock music that has been around since the late 1960s. It was created by blending elements of blues, rock, and psychedelic music to create a louder, heavier sound with distorted guitars and aggressive vocals.

Heavy metal has evolved over the years to include a wide variety of subgenres such as thrash metal, death metal, and black metal. Despite its evolution, heavy metal continues to be popular among music fans around the world.

Table of Contents

History of Heavy Metal Music

Heavy metal music originated in the late 1960s with bands such as Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Deep Purple.

These bands created a sound that was harder and more aggressive than the traditional rock music of the time. This new sound was quickly embraced by fans and soon spawned a whole new genre of music.

Over time, heavy metal went through many changes and new subgenres emerged, such as thrash metal, death metal, and black metal.

Importance of Heavy Metal in the Music Industry

Heavy metal has become an integral part of the music industry. Many fans around the world are devoted to the genre and there are even festivals dedicated to it.

Heavy metal has also had a major influence on other genres of music, such as punk and alternative rock. The influence of heavy metal can be seen in the sound and lyrics of many popular music groups today.

Criteria for Selecting the Best Heavy Metal Songs

Choosing the best heavy metal songs is a subjective process, and everyone has their own opinion about what makes a great heavy metal song.

However, there are a few basic criteria that can be used to judge a song. These include the intensity of the music, the complexity of the song structure, the strength of the lyrics, and the overall atmosphere of the song.

In addition, a great heavy metal song should make a lasting impression and have a unique sound that sets it apart from other songs in the genre.

Top 45 Heavy Metal Songs

1. Black Sabbath – “Paranoid” (1970)

Black Sabbath’s “Paranoid” is widely considered to be one of the most influential heavy metal songs ever written.

It was the title track of the band’s second studio album and was released in 1970. It showcased the heavy metal sound that Black Sabbath had created and helped to popularize a new genre of music.

The song has an intense and driving sound, with heavy riffs and intense drumming. The lyrics of the song are dark and memorable, dealing with topics such as paranoia, death, and war.

The song has become a classic and is often credited as one of the most important heavy metal songs of all time.

2. Iron Maiden – “Hallowed Be Thy Name” (1982)

Iron Maiden’s “Hallowed Be Thy Name” is one of the most popular heavy metal songs of all time.

Released in 1982, the song tells the story of a man on the brink of execution and showcases the powerful vocals and guitar work of Iron Maiden’s iconic lead singer Bruce Dickinson and lead guitarist Dave Murray.

The song has become a staple in Iron Maiden’s live performances, and its intense lyrics and emotional delivery make it one of the most memorable heavy metal songs ever written.

The song features fast-paced drumming and a series of iconic guitar solos which have become synonymous with the band.

3. Metallica – “Master of Puppets” (1986)

Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” is a classic heavy metal song that was released in 1986. The song is notable for its complex song structure, which features numerous changes in tempo and time signature.

The song’s lyrics also center around themes of addiction and control, focusing on a character who is unable to escape the power of an unknown force.

Musically, the song features intense guitar riffs and solos, and aggressive drumming. The song is widely considered to be one of the most important and influential heavy metal songs of all time, and it has become a staple in Metallica’s live performances.

4. Slayer – “Raining Blood” (1986)

Slayer’s “Raining Blood” is a classic thrash metal anthem that was released in 1986. The song is known for its intense and aggressive sound, which features fast-paced guitar riffs and slamming drums.

The song’s lyrics focus on a world destroyed by war, and its apocalyptic themes are reflected in the music’s dark and chaotic sound.

The song is widely considered to be one of the best thrash metal songs of all time, and it has become a staple in Slayer’s live performances.

The song’s iconic guitar solos and pounding drums have become synonymous with the band, and its message of destruction and death has made it a classic of the heavy metal genre.

5. Judas Priest – “Painkiller” (1990)

“Painkiller” is the title track of Judas Priest’s fourteenth studio album, released in 1990. It is one of Priest’s most successful and popular songs, with its fast-paced heavy metal riffs and Halford’s iconic vocals.

The song is considered one of metal’s all-time greatest anthems and has been covered countless times by various acts across the metal and rock genres.

The song features a powerful drum beat, speedy lead and rhythm guitar riffs, and Halford’s powerful, soaring vocals.

The song’s energy is infectious and has been known to incite crowds into a frenzy during Priest’s live performances. Its thunderous rhythm and Halford’s passionate delivery have been cited as some of the defining elements of metal music.

Painkiller is one of Judas Priest’s most well-known and beloved songs, and remains a staple of metal music and culture.

Its influence continues to be heard in the works of countless bands, and it remains one of metal’s most enduring anthems.

6. Megadeth – “Holy Wars…The Punishment Due” (1990)

Megadeth’s “Holy Wars…The Punishment Due” (1990) is an iconic thrash metal song that is renowned for its intense political and religious themes, as well as its complex technical musicianship.

The song’s lyrics, written by Dave Mustaine, focus heavily on Middle Eastern politics and relationships between different religious groups.

Mustaine’s words are delivered in a powerful and aggressive way that perfectly fits the song’s intense musical composition.

The song is a great example of how metal can be used to convey powerful messages in a hard-hitting and thought-provoking manner.

Musically, “Holy Wars…The Punishment Due” is very complex and technical. The song is composed of multiple guitar riffs that build upon each other to create an intense wall of sound.

The song is also characterized by its fast-paced drumming, as well as its melodic and harmonic solos.

The song is a great example of the technical musicianship that Megadeth is known for, and shows how metal can be used to create intricate and interesting compositions.

7. Pantera – “Walk” (1992)

“Walk” is a track from Pantera’s 1992 album Vulgar Display of Power, and showcases the band’s signature groove metal sound.

The song’s heavy groove, intense drumming, and hard-hitting guitar riffs create an electrifying energy.

It’s an anthem of determination and defiance, with singer Phil Anselmo’s assertive lyrics declaring, “I’m gonna walk/Though it’s against the grain/I’m gonna walk/Though it’s against the pain.”

The song’s power and energy, combined with its defiant message, make it an iconic and enduring track from Pantera’s career.

8. Motörhead – “Ace of Spades” (1980)

“Ace of Spades” is a heavy metal classic and a signature song for Motörhead. Released in 1980, it is perhaps the most recognizable song from their discography.

The song is renowned for its fast tempo and electrifyingly aggressive sound. This is emphasized even more by Lemmy Kilmister’s distinctive, gravelly voice that gives the song its unique character.

The lyrics are also memorable, with lines such as “You know I’m born to lose, and gambling’s for fools, but that’s the way I like it, baby, I don’t wanna live forever”.

The song was extremely successful, reaching number 15 on the UK Singles Chart in 1980. It has also been recorded by numerous other artists over the years and is featured in many video games and films.

It is safe to say that Motörhead’s “Ace of Spades” has solidified its place in the canon of heavy metal music.

9. Dio – “Holy Diver” (1983)

The classic heavy metal track “Holy Diver” was released in 1983, and it quickly rose to fame with its mythical and fantasy-inspired lyrics combined with Ronnie James Dio’s powerful vocals.

The song follows the story of a brave soul searching for truth in a chaotic world, with lyrics such as “Caught in a trap / No turning back”.

Additionally, the heavy guitar riffs and thunderous drums add to the intensity of the track, along with a dynamic chorus that proclaims “Holy Diver! / You’ve been down too long in the midnight sea”.

With its unique blend of mythic narratives and hard rock power, “Holy Diver” has been a fan favorite for decades and is still a classic rock staple today.

10. Ozzy Osbourne – “Crazy Train” (1980)

“Crazy Train” is a song released by British heavy metal vocalist Ozzy Osbourne in 1980. The song has become a classic of the genre and is one of Ozzy’s most beloved songs.

It features a memorable guitar riff that has become an iconic part of rock music. The song describes the sense of despair and confusion associated with living through turbulent times, with lyrics that focus on themes of insanity and disillusionment.

The song is a retrospective look at the chaos of the 1970s and the song’s lyrics reflect a sense of being on a wild and unpredictable journey.

The song also features a prominent guitar solo from Randy Rhoads, which was considered revolutionary at the time. “Crazy Train” is a timeless classic that still resonates with fans of Ozzy Osbourne and heavy metal today.

11. Anthrax – “Caught in a Mosh” (1987)

Anthrax’s song “Caught in a Mosh” was released in 1987 on their album Among the Living and quickly became an anthem for the thrash metal genre.

The song is intense and aggressive, featuring fast-paced guitar riffs, pounding drums, and powerful vocals. The lyrics paint a vivid picture of the mosh pit experience, with frontman Joey Belladonna’s commanding voice leading the charge.

The chorus “Caught in a mosh, I’m not alone/Caught in a mosh, I can’t go home” perfectly encapsulates the feeling of being surrounded by the energy and chaos of a live performance.

“Caught in a Mosh” has become one of Anthrax’s most recognizable songs, and it continues to be a fan favorite at shows.

12. Sepultura – “Roots Bloody Roots” (1996)

Sepultura’s 1996 heavy metal anthem “Roots Bloody Roots” is an ode to their Brazilian heritage. From the opening track of the album of the same name, the song captures the spirit of the band’s homeland with its tribal drums and mesmerizing vocal chants.

The heavy guitar riffs and thunderous percussion give the clash of the indigenous and modern worlds an epic feel.

The lyrics, which were written by the band’s guitarist and vocalist Max Cavalera, take a defiant stance against oppression and captivity.

The title of the song is taken from a line in the 1892 poem “Independence” by Brazilian poet Olavo Bilac. The song is an anthem for those who are fighting for freedom, and it has become a rallying cry for many political causes around the world.

Sepultura’s “Roots Bloody Roots” was also influential in the genre of thrash metal, and it has been credited with helping to shape the sound of modern metal music.

The song has been covered by numerous other bands, including Soulfly and Trivium. It has also been featured in the soundtrack of the video game Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, and it has become one of Sepultura’s most beloved songs.

13. Opeth – “Blackwater Park” (2001)

Opeth’s 2001 album “Blackwater Park” is an ambitious and progressive metal masterpiece that established the band as an innovator in the genre.

From its opening track “The Leper Affinity” to its final track “Patterns in the Ivy”, “Blackwater Park” is an intense journey that seamlessly blends death metal, doom, and progressive rock.

Lead singer and guitarist Mikael Åkerfeldt’s growling vocals and technical proficiency on the guitar are on full display throughout the album, and the band’s intricate arrangements challenge and reward the listener with each listen.

Additionally, “Blackwater Park” features guest appearances by Peter Lindgren (guitar) and Per Wiberg (keyboards), which add to the album’s sonic diversity and complexity.

To this day, “Blackwater Park” is hailed as one of the best metal albums of all time, and it stands as a masterful example of Opeth’s capacity to blend different styles of metal into a cohesive sound.

14. Tool – “Schism” (2001)

Tool’s “Schism” was released as the first single from their 2001 album, Lateralus. It was the band’s first single to reach the top 10 in the U.S.

Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart, peaking at number 5. The song earned a Grammy nomination for Best Hard Rock Performance at the 44th Annual Grammy Awards.

Musically, “Schism” is a progressive metal and alternative metal song, featuring complex drumming and time signatures.

Lyrically, the song is open to interpretation, with many believing it speaks to the alienation the band felt from their audience following the release of their previous album.

The song has continued to be a fan favorite over the years, appearing on several greatest hits compilations and live albums.

The music video for “Schism” was also nominated for a Grammy award for Best Short Form Music Video at the 44th Annual Grammy Awards.

The video was directed by Adam Jones and features the band performing underwater in an abandoned oil tank.

The song has become a staple of the band’s live performances and remains one of their most popular songs to date.

15. Dream Theater – “Pull Me Under” (1992)

“Pull Me Under” is a song by American progressive metal band Dream Theater, released in 1992 as the first single from their second studio album, Images and Words.

The song is one of Dream Theater’s most successful singles, reaching the number one position on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart in the United States.

Lyrically, “Pull Me Under” reflects on life’s struggles, telling of a man who is determined to carry on despite the difficulties he faces. Musically, the song is characterized by its heavy riffing, complex drumming, and thick vocal harmonies.

It also features some of Dream Theater’s signature instrumental flourishes, such as the two-minute instrumental break in the middle of the song.

“Pull Me Under” has gone on to become one of Dream Theater’s most enduring songs, having been performed live during almost every tour since its release.

The song has also appeared in many video games and television shows and has been covered by numerous artists.

16. System of a Down – “Chop Suey!” (2001)

“Chop Suey!” is a song by the Armenian American metal band System of a Down. It was the first single off their second album, Toxicity, which was released in 2001.

The song was a massive success for the band, peaking at number one on US Alternative and US Mainstream Rock charts, as well as the UK Singles Chart.

The song is notable for its powerful and provocative lyrics, which tackle themes of identity, betrayal, and guilt. The chorus of the song includes the line “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit,” which is an apparent reference to Jesus’ words on the cross.

The music video for “Chop Suey!” was directed by Marcos Siega, and was filmed on an abandoned military base in California.

The video features the band performing the song in the middle of a chaotic desert landscape. The video was well-received and won an MTV Video Music Award for Best Rock Video in 2002.

The song is considered to be a classic of nu-metal and has been featured in several video games and films. It remains one of the band’s most popular songs and continues to be a fan favorite to this day.

17. Avenged Sevenfold – “Bat Country” (2005)

“Bat Country” is the lead single from Avenged Sevenfold’s third studio album, City of Evil (2005). The song was released as a single in 2006 and it was written by M. Shadows, Zacky Vengeance, and The Reverend Tholomew Plague.

The song is about a person who is overwhelmed by the culture and lifestyle that he has found himself in. The song reflects a sense of paranoia and fear as the singer questions the reality of the situation, envisioning himself as a “bat out of hell”, and desperately searching for a way to escape.

The song is supported by a hard rock sound, which fits in with the dark, frenzied atmosphere of the lyrics. The heavy guitar riffs and the pounding drums create a tense atmosphere that evokes a sense of danger. The song also features a guest guitar solo from Synyster Gates, which adds an extra layer of intensity.

“Bat Country” is a powerful track that captures the essence of the band’s sound. It is a perfect example of how Avenged Sevenfold can create a heavy, yet accessible rock track that is rooted in a sense of anxiety and desperation.

18. Mastodon – “Blood and Thunder” (2004)

Mastodon’s 2004 single “Blood and Thunder” is a hard-hitting metal anthem that showcases the band’s powerful musical talents.

The song is driven by an intense, distorted guitar riff and thundering drums. The verses are carried by lead singer Troy Sanders’ roaring vocals, which alternate between clean singing and screams.

The chorus is a chanted call-and-response of “Blood and Thunder!” which further emphasizes the song’s heavy sound.

The lyrics address themes of inner strength, determination, and perseverance, making “Blood and Thunder” an inspiring anthem for any metal fan.

With its heavy riffs and intense vocals, “Blood and Thunder” is an iconic track from Mastodon’s early career and is sure to be a classic of the metal genre for years to come.

19. Slipknot – “Duality” (2004)

“Duality” is a song by the American heavy metal band Slipknot, released in 2004 on their third album Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses).

The song is one of Slipknot’s most successful singles, reaching number one on the US Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks and staying there for five weeks.

It also peaked at number two on the UK Top 40 Rock Chart and number four on the US Billboard Hot 100, making it the band’s highest-charting single in both countries.

The song’s lyrics focus on the duality of human nature, with some of the lyrics being “Inside my shell I wait and bleed/The deadly dream of lies and greed/It seems I’m lost in all I said/The darkness screams of emptiness.”

The song’s musical composition is heavy and driving, with a fast-paced rhythm and powerful guitar riffs. It has been described as a “roller coaster ride of emotions” and “one of the most intense and aggressive songs Slipknot has ever produced.”

The music video for “Duality” was released in July 2004 and was directed by Shawn Crahan. It depicted the band members performing the song in a sawmill surrounded by flames, with intercut shots of the band members in a variety of costume designs.

The video was met with critical acclaim and was nominated for several awards, including a Best Rock Video nomination at the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards.

“Duality” is one of Slipknot’s most popular and influential songs, and has been featured in a number of video games, including Rock Band 2, Guitar Hero, and Tony Hawk’s Project 8. The song continues to be a regular fan favorite at Slipknot concerts and has become one of the band’s signature songs.

20. Gojira – “Flying Whales” (2005)

Gojira’s 2005 single, “Flying Whales,” is a progressive metal song from their album ‘From Mars to Sirius’.

The song tells the story of a giant whale that is soaring through the skies, a metaphor for the struggles of a group of people searching for their lost home.

The song has a strong, melodic chorus that serves as an anthem of hope for those searching for a way back home.

Musically, the song is driven by heavy riffing and soaring solos and is a testament to Gojira’s musical evolution. The song has been featured in various video games and is often cited as a highlight of Gojira’s discography.

21. Lamb of God – “Redneck” (2006)

Lamb of God’s “Redneck” is a hard-hitting, fast-paced single from 2006’s Sacrament album. The song features aggressive guitar riffs, pounding drums, and vocalist Randy Blythe’s angry delivery.

The lyrics are filled with rage and frustration, reflecting the band’s displeasure with the political climate of the time.

The song was a hit with both critics and fans alike, further solidifying Lamb of God’s legacy as one of the most influential metal bands of the 2000s. With its driving riffs and powerful lyrics, “Redneck” remains a fan favorite to this day.

22. Meshuggah – “Bleed” (2008)

Meshuggah’s “Bleed” was released in 2008 as the first single off of their seventh studio album, obZen.

The song showcases Meshuggah’s signature blend of extreme metal and progressive music, featuring intense blast beats and intricate polyrhythms coupled with complex song structures and discordant riffs.

The track’s heavy and unrelenting sound is complemented by a unique vocal style from frontman Jens Kidman, including guttural screams, spoken word passages, and shouted lyrics.

The song’s lyrics are largely cryptic but appear to deal with themes of self-reflection, isolation and insignificance.

The song also addresses themes of mortality, with Kidman singing “I bleed for this / I bleed for all that once have been / I bleed for all that will be gone / I bleed for all that I have done.” The lyrics reflect the band’s nihilistic attitude, with Meshuggah questioning the validity of existence and the role of the individual in the grand scheme of things.

Musically, “Bleed” is a brilliant example of extreme metal, as the band masterfully combines numerous different styles to create a powerful and unique sound.

The song is full of complex time signature changes, as well as angular riffs and haunting melodies that all come together to create a dark and heavy atmosphere. The track also features intense drumming from Tomas Haake, as well as some brilliantly executed fretless bass lines from Dick Lövgren.

23. Ghost – “Square Hammer” (2016)

Ghost released their third single “Square Hammer” in 2016, off their album “Popestar”. The heavy metal track features a blend of hard rock and pop music, reflecting the band’s unique style.

The song’s title refers to a tool used by carpenters that also happens to be a metaphor for the hard-hitting and powerful sound of the song.

The lyrics of the song focus on the narrator’s introspection and self-reflection, as they grapple with their personal struggles.

Through a mix of religious and metaphorical imagery, the narrator recognizes that they must take control of their destiny and find their own strength in order to move forward.

The music video for “Square Hammer” features the band performing in a dark and desolate graveyard, reflecting the song’s solemn and introspective themes.

In the video, the lead singer Papa Emeritus III is seen as a minister of the occult, dressed in his signature outfit of a black cassock, miter, and skull mask.

The black-clad figures that accompany Papa Emeritus III in the video serve as a reminder of the band’s themes of darkness and mystery.

The single was very successful for Ghost, as it reached the top 30 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart, as well as the top 10 in Sweden, Finland, and Norway.

It has since become one of the band’s most recognizable songs, cementing its place as one of Ghost’s rock classics.

24. Rammstein – “Du Hast” (1997)

Rammstein’s “Du Hast” was released in 1997 as the second single from the German industrial metal band’s debut album, Herzeleid.

The song, which is one of the band’s most popular, is a re-working of the German phrase “Du hast,” which translates to “you hate.”

The lyrics, which are in both German and English, explore the topics of love, betrayal, and revenge.

Musically, the song features distorted guitars, heavy drums, and aggressive vocals. The song has since been covered by many different artists, with the most notable version being performed by Marilyn Manson in 2006.

As of 2021, the song has been streamed over 200 million times on Spotify, making it one of the most popular songs ever recorded in Germany.

25. Death – “Crystal Mountain” (1995)

Death’s 1995 track “Crystal Mountain” is an iconic heavy metal song that has become a staple in the band’s live shows.

The track features a powerful and intense vocal delivery from Chuck Schuldiner, accompanied by a heavy guitar riff and a thundering rhythm section.

The song has been described as “dark, heavy, and intense”, and has been covered by numerous bands over the years.

The lyrical content of “Crystal Mountain” deals with themes of mortality and the afterlife, as expressed through a metaphorical journey to a mountain that represents spiritual growth.

The chorus of the song states “I’m going to Crystal Mountain, the place where I will find my soul” and is widely regarded as one of the most powerful lyrics written by Schuldiner.

“Crystal Mountain” was released as a single in 1995 and was featured on Death’s fourth studio album, Symbolic. The track is considered one of the defining songs of the band’s discography and continues to be a fan favorite at live shows.

26. Machine Head – “Davidian” (1994)

“Davidian” is a song by American heavy metal band Machine Head, released in 1994 on their debut studio album Burn My Eyes. It was the band’s first single and continues to be one of their most popular songs.

The song is about the Waco siege of 1993, where federal agents surrounded a religious compound in Texas owned by the Branch Davidians and a 51-day siege ensued.

The song’s lyrics are critical of the government’s actions, as well as the media’s portrayal of the events and are highlighted by Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn’s commanding vocal delivery.

Musically, “Davidian” is an intense and powerful mix of thrash metal and groove metal, with a rapid-fire rhythm section and a thunderous guitar riff.

The song was a commercial success, reaching number 11 on the US Billboard Mainstream Rock Songs chart, and it has been praised for its powerful lyrics and intense musicality.

27. Alice in Chains – “Them Bones” (1992)

Alice in Chains’ single “Them Bones” was released in 1992 as part of the band’s second album, Dirt. The song’s hard-hitting sound is instantly recognizable and remains a classic in the heavy metal genre.

It features a chorus of distorted guitars, pounding drums and eerie background vocals, all of which combine to create a powerful and memorable track.

The lyrics to “Them Bones” address themes of mortality, with lead singer Layne Staley’s gripping vocals conveying a sense of desperation and resignation.

In the song, Staley sings of walking through a desert and seeing the bones of his loved ones, leaving him with a feeling of overwhelming sadness and dread.

The single was a major success for Alice in Chains, and it was highly praised by critics and fans alike. The band has even stated that “Them Bones” is one of their most beloved songs, and it remains a staple of their live performances.

28. Queensrÿche – “Eyes of a Stranger” (1988)

“Eyes of a Stranger” is a classic song from the progressive metal band Queensrÿche. It was released in 1988 as part of the band’s second full-length album, Operation: Mindcrime.

The song tells the story of a man who has had his world turned upside down by sudden and unexpected changes.

He finds himself struggling to cope, as nothing is the same anymore. The lyrics are full of despair and anguish, as he bemoans the events of his life and he is left with only the eyes of a stranger.

Musically, “Eyes of a Stranger” is an example of the band’s classic sound. It features dense guitar riffs, layered vocal harmonies, and a powerful drum and bass section.

The song also contains some of the band’s signature keyboard and synthesizer sounds that they would later become known for.

Queensrÿche’s “Eyes of a Stranger” has become a classic in the progressive metal genre, and it is often cited as one of the band’s greatest songs. It serves as a powerful reminder of the darkness that can be found in life, and it is a reminder to stay strong in the face of adversity.

29. Korn – “Freak on a Leash” (1998)

“Freak on a Leash” is a single by the nu-metal band Korn, released in 1998. The song, which was included on the album “Follow the Leader”, was an instant hit and became one of Korn’s most successful and recognizable singles. It was nominated for two Grammy Awards, winning one for Best Metal Performance.

The lyrics deal with the struggles of life and how difficult it can be to cope with all the pressures and expectations society can throw at you.

The music video for the song, directed by Todd McFarlane, features the band performing in a dark, post-apocalyptic world filled with demons and other menacing creatures.

The video helped popularize the band in the mainstream, and it’s considered to be one of the most iconic music videos of the 90s.

30. Testament – “Into the Pit” (1988)

“Into the Pit” is a song by American thrash metal band Testament, released in 1988 as the second single from their third studio album, The New Order. The song was written by guitarist Eric Peterson and vocalist Chuck Billy, and produced by Alex Perialas.

The song is known for its aggressive, high-energy sound, and features a fast-paced, heavy guitar riff from Peterson, as well as a driving rhythm section from bassist Greg Christian and drummer Louie Clemente. Billy’s powerful vocals are complemented by a strong lyrical narrative about facing death in the hope of finding inner strength.

The song was a commercial success, reaching #23 on the US Mainstream Rock chart, and becoming one of Testament’s most recognizable songs. The video for the song was also popular and received considerable airplay on MTV.

“Into the Pit” was praised by critics for its combination of aggressive metal and thoughtful lyrics, and is often cited as one of the band’s best songs. It remains a fan favorite to this day and is regularly performed live by the band.

31. Candlemass – “Solitude” (1986)

Candlemass’s “Solitude” is an iconic doom metal track from their 1986 album Epicus Doomicus Metallicus. One of the band’s most recognizable songs, “Solitude” is a powerful and dramatic anthem and has become a staple of the genre.

The song opens with a simple but dramatic guitar melody that foreshadows the doom-laden atmosphere of the rest of the track. The lyrics are filled with sorrow and loneliness, and the vocals are haunting and plaintive. As the song progresses, the mood intensifies with a heavy and lumbering rhythm section that is reminiscent of the heavy metal sound of the 1980s.

The song’s emotional climax comes in the second half of the track, when the vocals and guitar work together to create an ear-shattering crescendo before the song fades out. The song’s lyrics also add to the song’s atmosphere: “The frozen winter night/I’m all alone in my mind/It’s so hard to find solace in solitude”.

32. Venom – “Black Metal” (1982)

Venom’s debut album, “Black Metal”, was released in 1982 and is widely considered to be a benchmark in early extreme metal. The sound of the album was a mix of metal, punk, and hardcore, making it stand out in a genre that was still in its infancy.

Lyrically, the album was dark and satanic, with themes of death, destruction, and evil. Themes like these would become staples of the genre.

Musically, the album was fast and aggressive, with crunchy guitar riffs and pummelling drum beats.

Bass lines were often distorted and distorted vocals screamed out every line. Songs like “Buried Alive”, “In League with Satan”, and “Countess Bathory” became classics in the metal scene and are still listened to today.

The album has been highly influential and has paved the way for many other bands to follow. Venom’s “Black Metal” is an essential album in the history of heavy metal.

33. Deftones – “Change (In the House of Flies)” (2000)

The hit single from Deftones’ 2000 album White Pony, “Change (In the House of Flies)” is an insightful and hauntingly beautiful exploration of the concept of change, loneliness, and desire.

Vocalist Chino Moreno sings of a lonely girl, struggling with accepting change and her inability to control her own destiny.

The moody instrumentation, which includes lush strings, ethereal guitars, and a heart-thumping rhythm section, create an atmosphere of emotional longing and desperation.

The song speaks to the idea of accepting our own mortality and finding beauty in the inevitable changes that come with it. The song has become a staple of Deftones live sets, and its powerful message has resonated with fans worldwide.

34. Type O Negative – “Black No. 1” (1993)

Type O Negative’s single “Black No. 1” was released in 1993 and is a gothic rock song. With lyrics written by frontman Peter Steele, it tells the story of a woman who has ascended to a higher plane of existence after leaving her lover.

The song features a haunting guitar riff and heavy use of reverb, creating a dark and eerie atmosphere. The music video for the song, which was directed by the band’s drummer Johnny Kelly, also adds to the haunting feel with its spooky visuals.

Throughout the video, clips from classic horror films are spliced together to create an even more unsettling atmosphere. “Black No. 1” is a staple of Type O Negative’s repertoire and is one of the band’s most well-known songs.

35. Fear Factory – “Replica” (1995)

Fear Factory’s 1995 release of “Replica” was a game-changer in the emerging industrial metal genre.

One of the first songs to experiment with the sounds of industrial and metal, “Replica” heavily featured samples from movies and other electronic sources, as well as aggressive growled vocals, tight drums, and heavy riffs.

The song is an exploration of themes such as technology, consumerism, and alienation, and its intense sonic output set the stage for countless metal bands to follow in its footsteps.

The lyrics of “Replica” criticize the industrial world, with the main idea being that technology enslaves people, and they are merely cogs in a giant machine.

The song expresses a sense of dystopia and despair, reflecting the nihilistic attitude of the 1990s.

36. Soundgarden – “Rusty Cage” (1991)

Soundgarden’s “Rusty Cage” was released in 1991 on their third studio album, Badmotorfinger. It was the third single from the album and peaked at number six on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.

The song’s lyrics are about being held back by life’s cages and wanting to break free. Lead singer Chris Cornell’s screamed vocals and Kim Thayil’s heavy guitar riffs make this an intense and powerful song.

The music video for “Rusty Cage” featured footage of the band playing live, with the song’s title appearing as graffiti in the background.

The video was a hit and was nominated for several MTV Video Music Awards. “Rusty Cage” has become a fan favorite over the years and is now considered one of Soundgarden’s signature songs.

37. Carcass – “Heartwork” (1993)

Carcass’ 1993 album Heartwork was the band’s fourth album, and arguably their most successful. It marked a turning point in the band’s sound, with a more melodic approach than their previous albums, as well as faster tempos and a more accessible sound overall.

The album was praised for its musical diversity and featured multiple guest musicians, including former Napalm Death drummer Mick Harris and ex-Cradle of Filth guitarist Paul Allender.

It was also the band’s first album to feature vocalist Jeff Walker, who had previously performed on Carcass’ 1989 album Symphonies of Sickness.

Heartwork features a wide variety of musical styles, from grindcore to death metal, as well as more melodic elements.

The album’s lead single, “Heartwork”, is a particularly noteworthy example, featuring a chorus that is almost pop-punk in its catchiness. Other standout tracks include the groove-laden “Embodiment” and the high-energy thrasher “Buried Dreams”.

Heartwork remained a fan favorite in the years after its release and has since been cited as a major influence on bands ranging from metalcore to deathcore. It is also widely regarded as one of the most important albums of the 1990s metal scene and has been certified gold in the United States.

38. Arch Enemy – “Nemesis” (2005)

Arch Enemy’s “Nemesis” is a single from their 2005 album, Doomsday Machine. Released in June 2005, the song is an example of the band’s signature heavy metal sound.

It features guitarist Michael Amott’s blazingly fast and intricate riffs and a soaring vocal performance from vocalist Angela Gossow.

The song is an anthem of strength and resilience, as Gossow declares “I’m the enemy of chaos, I’m the force of your own will”. Her fierce delivery serves as a rallying cry to listeners, encouraging them to stand up for themselves and fight through the darkness of life.

Musically, the song is intense and powerful, with its driving rhythm section and vibrant guitar solos. The song continues to be a fan favorite and has become one of Arch Enemy’s most beloved and enduring tracks.

39. In Flames – “Take This Life” (2006)

In Flames’ 2006 single “Take This Life” is a hard-hitting, hard-rock anthem appealing to fans of metalcore. The song is rooted in an aggressive blend of metal, alternative, and punk rock, resulting in an intense, driving sound. The song’s main riff is an infectious one that lingers long after its initial impact.

The lyrics of “Take This Life” are as powerful as its musical backdrop. The song speaks of embracing life and its challenges and encourages listeners to take control of their own lives and make the best of it, despite any obstacles.

The band provides a rousing chorus of “Take this life, and make it yours,” providing an empowering message of self-empowerment.

The song was released as the lead single from the band’s 2006 album Come Clarity, and was their most successful single to date, reaching No. 1 on the Swedish Singles Chart.

It also became a significant hit in other parts of Europe and the United States and was featured on the video game Guitar Hero III. “Take This Life” remains one of In Flames’ most popular songs, and is still a fan favorite at their live shows.

40. Behemoth – “O Father O Satan O Sun!” (2014)

Behemoth’s 2014 album “O Father O Satan O Sun!” features the band’s signature mix of extreme death metal and black metal. This album marks a shift in Behemoth’s sound as they blend elements of symphonic metal and folk metal into their music.

The album features a range of dynamic and heavy tracks, with the title track, “O Father O Satan O Sun!” as the centerpiece. This track stands out as a powerful, intense, and anthemic composition.

It is full of dark imagery and boasts an incredibly catchy chorus that has become a signature of Behemoth. The album also features two epic cinematic instrumental pieces that add to the overall intensity of the album.

“O Father O Satan O Sun!” is sure to please any fan of extreme metal, and is without a doubt one of Behemoth’s most intense releases.

41. Amon Amarth – “Twilight of the Thunder God” (2008)

Amon Amarth’s “Twilight of the Thunder God” is an epic and powerful metal song that showcases the band’s signature melodic death metal sound. The song was released as a single from Amon Amarth’s eighth studio album, Twilight of the Thunder God, in 2008.

The lyrics of the song are based on Norse mythology and tell the story of Thor as he battles the giants during Ragnarok. The song’s rousing chorus, along with its driving guitar riffs, pounding drums, and soaring vocals, create a powerful and epic soundtrack to the ancient Viking battle.

The song has become one of Amon Amarth’s most beloved songs and is often performed during their live shows. It is a fan favorite and a must-hear for anyone looking to experience the band’s unique brand of melodic death metal.

“Twilight of the Thunder God” is a powerful and captivating song that has become an important part of Amon Amarth’s discography. It is a testament to the band’s ability to craft epic and powerful metal anthems that pay homage to their Norse heritage.

42. Danzig – “Mother” (1988)

The single “Mother” from Danzig’s self-titled debut album was released in 1988 and is one of the band’s most recognizable and iconic songs.

The track begins with an intro that features a brooding and menacing church-like organ. Lead vocalist Glenn Danzig then sings the chorus before launching into the song’s signature heavy metal riff.

The lyrics to “Mother” focus on the idea of a mother figure who is a source of comfort and security in a chaotic world.

The song is notable for its dark, intense atmosphere, which has made it one of the most iconic metal songs of the 1980s. The music video for the song was also a huge hit, and featured a large bonfire, a giant cross, and a horde of hooded figures. The video cemented the song’s status as a classic metal anthem.

43. Meshuggah – “Demiurge” (2012)

Meshuggah’s “Demiurge” was released in 2012 as a single, but appears on the band’s eighth studio album, Koloss. The single was met with critical acclaim and is considered one of the band’s best tracks.

“Demiurge” is an intense, groove-laden track that showcases Meshuggah’s signature polyrhythmic style. The track is a perfect example of the band’s ability to create complex and powerful music while still making it accessible to a wider audience.

The song’s lyrics are also thought-provoking and explore themes of existence and control. It is a testament to Meshuggah’s songwriting ability, and the track is just as popular today as it was upon its initial release.

44. Trivium – “In Waves” (2011)

“In Waves” is the fifth studio album by the American metal band Trivium, released in 2011. The album saw the band move away from the thrash metal sound of their previous three records, and instead embrace a more melodic and technical sound.

The album was produced by Colin Richardson and Carl Bown, who also worked on Trivium’s previous two albums, and was recorded at Sound Farm Studios in Jamaica, Iowa.

The album includes some of Trivium’s most successful singles to date, such as “In Waves”, “Built to Fall”, and “Dusk Dismantled”. It was well-received by both critics and fans alike, with praise for its diverse sound. Many critics have noted that “In Waves” is one of Trivium’s most mature releases to date.

The album debuted at number 11 on the US Billboard 200 chart and number 3 on the UK Rock Albums chart. It was also certified Gold in the US for sales exceeding 500,000 copies. Additionally, the band supported the album with a world tour that lasted throughout 2011 and 2012.

45. Baroness – “Borderlines” (2019)

Baroness’ 2019 single “Borderlines” is an emotionally charged rock anthem that takes on the personal struggles of identity, identity confusion, and personal barriers.

The song’s lyrics describe feelings of being “trapped in a world of walls,” and reflect the sense of being unable to break through the barriers set by oneself and society.

Vocalist John Baizley’s passionate performance conveys the desperation of the narrator’s situation, while the intense instrumentation builds a sense of urgency.

The song culminates in a powerful chorus that delivers an uplifting message of resilience and perseverance.


In conclusion, heavy metal songs have had an immense impact on music and culture for decades, from their beginnings in the late 1960s to the modern day.

This genre of music has been able to stay relevant by constantly evolving throughout the years, taking influences from various styles such as punk rock, death metal, and even classical music.

The influence of heavy metal can still be felt today through its many sub-genres as well as its presence in popular movies and television shows. It is impossible to deny that this genre of music has left a lasting mark on our culture and history.


What is the definition of a heavy metal song?

Heavy metal songs are a type of rock music that usually incorporates aggressive lyrics and loud, distorted guitars. It is typically characterized by strong rhythms and fast tempos and is often played at a high volume.

What are some of the most popular heavy metal songs?

Popular heavy metal songs include Metallica’s “Enter Sandman,” Iron Maiden’s “The Number of the Beast,” AC/DC’s “Back in Black,” and Judas Priest’s “Breaking the Law.”

How fast are heavy metal songs usually played?

Heavy metal songs are usually played at a relatively fast tempo, typically ranging between 160 and 200 beats per minute.

What instruments are typically used in heavy metal songs?

Heavy metal songs usually feature electric guitars, bass guitars, and drums. Other instruments such as keyboards, violins, and saxophones may also be used depending on the particular song.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here