Friday, June 10, 2005

Top 100 Metal Songs, 80-71

UPDATE 1/5/2010: Check out my new list, The Top 50 Metal Albums of The Last Decade

In case you missed them . . .
Introduction, 100-91, 90-81

#80: “Angel of Light” by Mercyful Fate
Time (1994)

King Diamond and Mercyful Fate have had an immeasurable influence on heavy metal music since their debut in the early 80’s, cited by such monsters in the music world as Metallica and Dave Grohl. King Diamond’s over-the-top Satan-worshipping lyrics, in a scary low growl and incredible falsetto, are here in spades, in the company of the band’s signature rhythm and top shelf guitar solos. He believes in all that he has seen, and he has seen the Angel of Light: Lucifer.
This is from Vincent Jeffries, All Music Guide:
As always, the distinctive frontman King Diamond leads the way on Time with his epic (if a little silly) lyrics and bizarre vocal range that defined the group's sound. Often overshadowed by Diamond's theatrics, the other bandmembers (guitarist Hank Sherman, bassist Sharlee D'Angelo, and relative newcomer Snowy Shaw on drums) do their usual fine job cranking out retro and near thrash metal riffs with biting precision.

He fails, in his review, to mention this song of worship.

#79: “Another Brick in the Wall” by Korn
Greatest Hits, Volume 1 (2004)

I never thought I’d say it, but Jonathan Davis covered a song much better than Layne Staley did. Classic song done flawlessly (as opposed to their rendition of Metallica’s “One”) in Korn’s signature style, and Jonathan’s vocals sound more like they did in the movie Queen of the Damned, which is a very good thing (not necessarily the movie, I mean his vocal style in the movie).

#78: “The Heretic Anthem” by Slipknot
Iowa (2001)

Everyone thought Slipknot would soften up after their first CD to widen the audience. The Des Moines nine-some (nonet?) said “Fuck you” and instead got even heavier, with this song a big highlight. The whole song is at a crushing pace with Corey Taylor’s powerful voice screaming “If you’re 5 5 5 I’m 6 6 6!” In effect, I believe, accusing others of being commonplace and generic.

#77: “Passive” by A Perfect Circle
eMOTIVe (2004)

Wow. This is probably APC’s best song, very hypnotic and powerful. So why did they put it in the middle of a big pile of shit hippy war-protest cover songs, a terrible remix, and a very poor cover of Zepp’s “When the Levee Breaks”? And why did they put it in the pile of shit movie Constantine? Despite all the shit piled on this song, it definitely does not stink. Billy Howerdel’s unique guitar style and Joshua Eustis’s sparse drumming definitely allow Maynard’s voice to shine on this one.

#76: “Blast off to Nowhere” by Powerman 5000 featuring Rob Zombie
Tonight the Stars Revolt! (1999)

Despite Spider’s insistence that he not be known as “Rob Zombie’s brother,” he brought the sib in for what Mr. Zombie made into PM5K’s best song (which it will probably remain, since their latest album sucked). Spider’s low and scary voice is accented by Rob’s very scary (and, my fiancée says, sexy) voice, and the guitar solo (a rare thing these days) is well-executed.

#75: “Trouble” by Danzig
Thrall-Demonsweatlive (2003)

Glenn Danzig (who, according to my fiancée, also has a sexy voice) claims that his biggest influences are Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley. On this one, he pays homage to the latter, and he does it well. This was still in Glenn’s early solo days (if you don’t count Samhain) and so he had not yet given over to the industrial or nu-metal stylings of his later work. The lyrics seem to be custom-made for the man who is known as possibly the evilest of all musicians, and the riff/solo translate well into John Christ’s guitar.

#74: “Bleed” by Soulfly featuring Fred Durst
Soulfly (1998)

This is the highlight of Max Cavalera’s first effort post-Sepultura, and it’s very good (and probably, in retrospect, embarrassing). It hits hard, and the chorus is a responsive “Bleed! Bleed! Bleed! Bleed! Bleed!” Very, very violent, and Durst’s monologue toward the end doesn’t manage to ruin it.

#73: “Bring Her Down (To Crippletown)” by Rob Zombie
The Sinister Urge (2001)

What’s that? Electric organ music? As with most Zombie songs post-White Zombie the chorus is what makes it work. The hook is very fast and addicting, as a hook should be, and the electric organ is a very nice accent in Zombie’s 50’s-horror-movie/heavy metal style.

#72: “By Demons Be Driven” by Pantera
Vulgar Display of Power (1992)

As if “A New Level,” “Walk,” “Fucking Hostile,” and “This Love” haven’t already beaten your body into a bloody pulp by this point in the album, these Texas boys just don’t stop. It’s definitely signature Pantera style with the high accents to the bottom-heavy riffs always bringing “Cemetery Gates” to mind. The solo is a little weak, (sorry Dimebag, RIP) keeping this one low on the list.

#71: “O Fortuna” by Carl Orff
Carmina Burana (1936)

What’s that you say? Latin chanting by a choir with a classical orchestra without electric guitars does not qualify as “heavy metal?” I dare you to say that again. This is heavy metal before Tony Iommi played with a broken amp. In fact, if Orff had been born 50 years later I suspect that he would have wanted to play with the Sabbath. This song builds more adrenaline than almost any “heavy metal” song out there, and overall, if heavy metal were played on violins and sang by a choir, this is exactly what it would sound like.

I told you there’d be a surprise on the list. Log on next week for a (slightly) smaller surprise.

Jump to . . .
70-61, 60-51, 50-41, 40-31, 30-21, 20-11, and the Top Ten

UPDATE 1/5/2010: Check out my new list, The Top 50 Metal Albums of The Last Decade

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