Sunday, January 08, 2006

Omitted from the Top 100 Metal Songs List

Since I originally compiled my Top 100 Metal Songs list, I have expanded my horizons a bit. No, I haven’t started listening to rap or top 40 stuff, but I have delved more deeply into the realm of metal, seeing what lurks in its shadowy corners. Here are some of what I’m calling honorable mentions, but there are probably a few gems that belonged on the list (and maybe in a very high rank . . . I will not make a new list any time soon because that was a lot of work).

Trivium is a fairly new metal band. I’m not sure exactly what category they would fall into exactly, but I would say they’re a mix of death metal, hardcore, and just a pinch of (*gasp*) emo. Their album Ascendancy (2005) does not contain a low point. It hits hard the whole way through and does not take prisoners.

Lamb of God is equally new, and equally heavy. They are very much similar to Trivium, but they lean more to the death metal side of the spectrum. Their album Ashes of the Wake (2004) similarly kicks ass and takes names, as the opening monologue to “Omerta” suggests.

I excluded DevilDriver in the first list, thinking that they were just a poor man’s Coal Chamber, including frontman Dez Fafara (sp?). Their self-titled (2003) album is just that, without anything in particular to stand out. However, they came back with a vengeance and a complete sonic makeover on The Fury of Our Maker’s Hand (2005). They are truly and purely a death metal band on the latter, and Dez’s vocals are infinitely better than those of any other frontman in that sub-genre. Particularly, the song “Hold Back the Day” definitely deserved a place in the top half of the list.

I had previously dismissed Death as just another death metal band with what I call a constipated demon vocalist. What I didn’t know was that their 1998 album The Sound of Perseverance overcomes the handicap that the bad vocals give it, and is truly a superb album that deserves all the credit due a great album.

Iced Earth is another matter. I bought one of their albums back in my middle teenage years, and I don’t think I was ready for it. Now, I gave them another chance, and they’re actually very good. I don’t know if they would have made the list, but if they had it would have been for “The Reckoning (Don’t Tread on Me)” from The Glorious Burden (2002), featuring the guy who had until now replaced Rob Halford in Judas Priest. But sorry, Judas Priest still doesn’t deserve a place on the list. And neither does Iced Earth’s biggest influence (I assume) Iron Maiden. While both are good bands, they simply fall short of the kind of greatness I expect to garner a place on the list. Some may say I favor newer bands, but I think a lot of that is the simple fact of musical evolution leading to newer and better things, just like natural selection. Also, those people failed to notice Motörhead, Black Sabbath, and Mercyful Fate claiming several places throughout the list. Sure there’s a lot of really bad stuff out there now that’s getting a lot of attention (Trapt, Theory of a Deadman, etc.) but time will show those to be as useless as Mötley Crüe.

Meshuggah is a band I think I simply overlooked. These Swedes sound a lot like Sepultura with an advanced degree in mathematics. They are heavy and they use absolutely insane time signatures in their music, and at first it just sounds like noise. But the more you listen to it the more it grows on you. I’ve had Destroy Erase Improve (1995) for about six or seven years now, and I have no idea why I missed “Future Breed Machine” for a high spot on the list. Also worth mentioning is Chaosphere (1998), which is, without a doubt, their best album.

A good old friend of mine has turned me on to Avenged Sevenfold and Atreyu. I just thought I’d mention them here because they’re worth giving a listen, but neither one deserves a place on the Top 100 Metal Songs. They’re far too emo for that.

I’ll keep you posted if there’s anything else I discover that I wish I would have put on the list.


  1. Never even heard of any of them??? Makes me wonder if I'm missing anything?? It's like a foregin country or something.
    Where does this music have it's roots? In what I'd call Hard rock or does it have to do w/eightys punk stuff? I doubt if I would like it, but A little bit of history w/be interesting?

  2. Never mind, Already looked it up on wikpedia

    Interesting, 'Grand funk Railroad' who I love was instrumental in leading the way into Metal. Also, some other bands I love, 'Deep Purple' (who you dissed,remember) 'The Who' and more that I really like. Very interesting.

    The thing is(for me) I lost interest in this type of music when it moved away from 70's stuff into harder heavier music that i felt was definitely directed at the young male population. It could be that I was just too old.

    For me, now, It's nostalgia. It's easier & maybe really does sound better to play a CD then a LP. But, the excitement of finging a LP that I used to love in 'pristine' condition knows no bounds<----corny, I know.
    I do get some satisfaction in knowing that you will be there, someday! :)

    P.S. I keep thinking of my Grandma turning on the T.V. & getting into 'Lawrence Welk'.

  3. How 'bout Coheed & Cambria? Are they "metal" enough for the list? I've been listening to them of late for some reason, and they've really grown on me :)

  4. It's nice to see you're interested in the history of metal. Sometime soon I will post a list of ten albums that are absolutely essential for anyone who considers themselves a fan of heavy metal, and it may give some insight into the history of metal.

    As for Coheed & Cambria, someone here let me listen to them a bit. It was alright, almost an emo Dream Theater, but I didn't care for it.

  5. Oh, I've been into metal since the 80s. Each year, I put down the cufflinks and suit, put on the tanktop that shows off my tattoo of Jimmy Page's 1959 Les Paul, and go to Ozzfest. Can't get enough metal as far as I'm concerned :)

  6. im just gonna say that these bands werent really delved from the shadows... they are rather "popular" for true metal bands. if you wanna go into the shadows... delve deep. youve scratched the surface of metal, broken free of your "hard rock" that is mellow enough to be found on FM radio