Monday, January 19, 2009
Ugh. That last post left a yucky (and decidedly un-metallic) taste in my mouth. What better way to get things back on track than a quick countdown of the 5 MOST METAL songs in the history of the genre, Metal songs by Metalheads about the one subject that remains when all the other bullshit is boiled off: METAL. Come walk with me down the Hessian Path, Metal Brothers and Sisters, and explore with me the songs that have made us what we are: METAL WARRIORS!
5) METALLICA "METAL MILITIA" (from the 1983 album "Kill 'Em All")
Many of you may not believe what I am about to say, but I swear on The Sword of Crom that it is true: Metallica was once an awesome metal band. "Surely he can't be speaking of THAT Metallica", you screech incredulously, but I can assure you that it is so. And don't call me Shirley.
For about 5 years (say, '82 to '87), Metallica were the lords of the Metal Kingdom, pumping out no less than 3 solid albums of amazing thrash. "Metal Militia", from their debut, "Kill 'Em All", is a fine example of what they once were, a hard-partying, thrash metal beast, unstoppable and loud as fuck. But at some point, Metallica turned on their friend and master, and are now the avowed foes of all things Metal. Why this happened, I cannot say. Perhaps Metal wronged them in some way, or hurt their feelings, and now these sad minstrels spend their days playing sad dirges like "Unforgiven Parts 1-3", and recording terrible covers of Bob Seger and Lynyrd Skynyrd. I don't know what caused Metallica to turn their backs on Metal. Maybe their $40,000 a month "band psychiatrist" could tell us.
"Join or be conquered the law of the land
What will befall you
The metallization of your inner soul
twisting and turning"
"We are as one as we all are the same
fighting for one cause
Leather and metal are our uniforms
protecting what we are
Joining together to take on the world
with our heavy metal
Spreading the message to everyone here
Come let yourself go"
"On through the mist and the madness
We are trying to get the message to you
4) VENOM "BLACK METAL" (from the 1982 album "Black Metal")
Although Venom's MUSIC may not be the best example of awesome heavy metal (their sped-up take on blues-based rock was mastered by Motorhead and many others before them), Venom's heart was always in the right place, burning candles with Satan in the basement with the record player on 10. "Black Metal" the song (AND the album) gave a name to a new breed of metal, an ultra-Satanic, blaspheming speed-fest whose legacy still lives today. This song is Venom's call to arms, a rallying cry for the dirty and the disenchanted, a beacon of dark hope for society's outcasts.
Plus, on the album version of this song (not so much on the video below), Cronos totally starts making a bunch of weird grunting noises toward the end of the jam, like he's taking a huge dump. Now THAT'S Metal.
"Black is the night, metal we fight
Power amps set to explode
Energy screams, magic and dreams
Satan records the first note.
We chime the bell, chaos and hell
Metal for maniacs pure.
Fast melting steel, fortune on wheels
Brain hemorrhage is the cure
For BLACK METAL
lay down your soul to the gods rock `n' roll"
"Against the odds, black metal gods
Fight to achieve our goal
Casting a spell, leather and hell
Black metal gods rock `n' roll
Building up steam, nuclear screams
War-heads are ready to fight
Black leather hounds, faster than sound
Metal our purpose in life."
"lay down your soul to the gods rock `n' roll
metal ten fold through the deadly black hole
riding hells stallions bareback and free
taking our chances with raw energy"
3) 3 INCHES OF BLOOD "DEADLY SINNERS" (from the 2004 album "Advance And Vanquish")
Okay, okay. some of you might disagree with me here. 3 Inches Of Blood is so over-the-top that some have accused them of SPOOFING Metal, but I can assure you that that's definitely not the case. I saw these guys at a little club in S.F. called Thee Parkside last year, and I swear, their dedication to Metal was PALPABLE. These fuckers ARE NOT kidding. Frontman Cam Pipes has one of the most powerful, distinctive voices in Metal (comparisons to Rob Halford are well deserved), and this song showcases it perfectly.
Let's face it. It stopped being COOL to write songs about Metal about 20 years ago. But 3 Inches of Blood didn't get the memo, and the result is one of the best fucking thrash songs ever written. I don't care if it was on the Tony Hawk video game. I don't care if they went on OzzFest. This song FUCKING OWNS. HARD.
"flash of iron, leather, spikes, and swords!
mighty warriors with metal on their side!
enemies of metal, your death is our reward!
triumphant victory when you bring the steel to life"
"CRUSHING THE LIGHT!
STALKING THE NIGHT!
DEADLY SINNERS ALWAYS WIN!"
"kill the tyrants, endless conquest
with no mercy, straight for his heart
bloodlust will overtake, anger and violence
without warning, lightning strikes in the dark
strikes you in the dark
"we are ruling the night, winning the fight
taking it all right to the end
winning the night, ruling the fight
take on last step before you die!
AAAAAAAAAAAAAhh ….. C'MON!!
RULING THE NIGHT!
WINNING THE FIGHT!
TAKING IT TO THE END!
YEEEAAAAAHHHH !!! OW!!!"
2) EXODUS "BONDED BY BLOOD" (from the 1985 album "Bonded By Blood")
Local boys Exodus (along with Testament) were just about the only band around that could give Metallica a good run for their money in 1985. Singer Paul Baloff was a Metal madman, the epitome of what it meant to be a 'Banger and an outspoken proponent of the Metal lifestyle. To many, Baloff's word is law, especially on this, the title track from what is Exodus' BEST album by far. The lyrics on the whole Goddamn album are perfect, and Paul's veering-on-the-edge-of-insanity delivery just kicks it up another notch. It was a dark day when he got kicked out of the band, and a darker day when he died. Exodus has since spiraled into a chasm of mediocre jock metal, but take a minute to listen to this song, I mean REALLY listen to it, and remember the days when Metal was all you needed to get by. RIP Paul. And RIP Exodus.
Lyrical highlights (pretty much the whole song):
"black magic rites on this black evil night
begin with the slice of the blade
metal and blood come together as one
onlookers they gasp in dismay
taste the sweet blood of one another
sharing without any greed
bang you head as if up from the dead
intense metal is all that you need"
"metal takes hold death starts to unfold
it's loud like the worlds at an end
your in a blood fury the metal won't stop
onlookers they bang at command
cutting your palm and drinking your blood
the power that few others dare
you feed the need to go out and kill
the same need that your blood brother shares"
"murder in the front row crowd begins to bang
and there's blood upon the stage
bang your head against the stage
and metal takes its price
bonded by blood"
1) MANOWAR "METAL WARRIORS" (from the 1992 album "The Triumph of Steel")
Yeah, so I've gushed about this song before. So what. It deserves every iota of praise that can possibly be heaped upon its broad, manly shoulders. This song sums up everything right and true about Metal. It is an ode to a magical Brotherhood few can fathom, a tribute to the secrets we all share as Metalheads. In my mind, Manowar can do no wrong. They are the most Metal band EVER, and almost every song they've ever written is ABOUT METAL. I get it... I get it.
Manowar has no time for wimps or posers. They are too busy being the raddest bros in the universe, and kicking your face in with awesome Metal. LEAVE THE FUCKING HALL!!!
"Every one of us has heard the call
Brothers of true metal proud and standing tall
We know the power within us has brought us to this hall
Theres magic in the metal theres magic is us all"
"Now the world must listen to our decree
We dont turn down for anyone we do just what we please
Got to make it louder, all men play on ten
If youre not into metal, you are not my friend" (HARSH!!!)
"Heavy metal or no metal at all wimps and posers leave the hall
Heavy metal or no metal at all wimps and posers go on get out
Leave the hall!"