Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Top 100 Metal Songs 70-61

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, 80-71

#70: “The Unnamed Feeling” by Metallica
St. Anger (2003)

The best song of the latest album from the band that Sully of Godsmack called the “Gods of Heavy Metal.” As the last single it didn’t get a lot of attention, but the lyrics actually help this song rather than hurting it (“I’m frantic in your soothing arms, I cannot sleep in this down-filled world. Found safety in this loneliness but I cannot take it anymore.”) The vocal stylings also help this one stand out against the other songs on the album.

#69: “Something Told Me” by Coal Chamber
Dark Days (2002)

Fans of the band rate their last studio album lower than their others, although I maintain that it’s their best. The band keeps up their good, powerful rhythm and Dez’s unique vocal style on this song.

#68: “Hand of Doom” by Black Sabbath
Paranoid (1971)

From the album that put heavy metal on the map comes this song about self-destruction, later covered by many bands (including Slayer) and revisited thematically by every grunge and post-grunge hard rock band. “Push the needle in. Face that sickly grin. . . .”

#67: “Get Born Again” by Alice In Chains
Music Bank (1999)

I believe this is the last original track by the band that’s cited as a huge influence by everyone now that Layne Staley’s dead. Very compelling lyrically as well—a criticism of people who think that playing the role of the Christian and paying lip service to God will get them into heaven.

#66: “House of God” by King Diamond
House of God (2000)

He’s been called the best vocalist in death and black metal, and over twenty years in the business hasn’t seen any diminishing in his talent. This album combines a love story with a story about finding Christ’s body in the basement of a church in the woods. This particular song is some kind of demented and desperate love story with a compelling chorus that showcases King’s entire vocal range.

#65: “Happy?” by Mudvayne
Lost and Found (2005)

The highest-rated song of this year on the list! Mudvayne departs a bit from their quasi-math metal style on this album, but the bass is as compelling as ever and the vocals always improve. The title says it all—“Happy?”

#64: “Pig” by Coal Chamber
Coal Chamber (1997)

What can I say about a song that opens with the vocalist squealing like a pig? It has low-key verses and a powerful, fast chorus, and it’s found a place in the pig sty of my heart.

#63: “Wicked Pussycat” by Danzig
I Luciferi (2002)

I just realized that I placed two songs with animal sounds right next to each other in the list. On this one the guitar mews like a cat. The metaphor is great (“I like the way you lick your fur” and “I like the way you swing your tail”). One of the better songs on what is not one of his best albums (you’d have to look to his first four for that) but this song really stands out in the evil man’s collection.

#62: “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin IV (1971)

Everyone knows the all-time most-played song on the radio, so I only have to justify its presence on a list of heavy metal songs. The reason it’s here is that it follows (and likely originated) an oft-used heavy metal format, so in that sense it sounds like a heavy metal song. By that I mean that the song is mellow throughout, up until the end where it really rocks hard. For a few examples there’s Tool’s combined songs “Parabol” and “Parabola” (which are really just one song) as well as Pantera’s “Suicide Note” parts 1 and 2 (same thing), Evanescence’s “My Immortal” (although not the original album version), Mercyful Fate’s “Melissa,” Metallica’s “Fade to Black” and “Nothing Else Matters,” and probably countless others that I can’t think of.

#61: “Shake Your Blood” by Probot featuring Lemmy Kilmister
Probot (2004)

Dave Grohl’s labor of love for heavy metal finally paid off when the album was released last year. Every song on the album features a more or lesser-known vocalist who influenced Grohl musically, most notably Max Cavalera (Sepultura, Soulfly), King Diamond, and Lemmy of Motörhead fame. This song is the best of the bunch, and I highly recommend the video to anyone who is a fan of Lemmy or of scantily-clad women (I think you can find it on Launch).

Jump to . . .
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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