Ten more of my Favourite Metal Songs
Several years ago, I blogged about ten of my favourite metal songs. But there are so many other bands I want to talk about, so here are ten more of my favourite metal songs.
1. I am the Abyss – Shylmagoghnar
If I had to convince someone that heavy metal could be beautiful, I think this is the track I would choose. It’s dripping with atmosphere and beautiful melodies. Shlymagoghnar are a difficult band to pin to a genre, but melodic atmospheric black metal is a typical description of their sound. I like that they just make the music they want to make, and let their fans decide what labels fit them best. Incredibly the band consists of just two people, and their first album took over a decade to produce, as they learnt everything they needed to record and produce an album.
2. We’ve Had Enough – Nekrogoblikon
I don’t normally listen to death metal, but Nekrogoblikon’s Heavy Meta album is a real exception. First Nekrogoblikon are crazy, and their take on metal is as silly as it is frantic. Secondly Heavy Meta is a concept album telling the story of an immortal race of goblins trying to end their lives. As this track explains immortality is boring. This cynical and pessimistic take on eternal life is very metal, and I find it thought provoking. But the humorous lyrics, great riffs and rasping goblin vocals stop this becoming a shoe-gazing philosophy lecture.
I wish more bands did concept albums. I usually listen to random music chosen from a huge playlist I have curated, but I miss the simpler times of listening to one CD on repeat when I was a teenager. I really like that concept albums give me a great excuse to listen to music in a different way. Sometimes that track you thought was filler on an album becomes a much loved favourite after repeat listens.
3. The Fires of Ancient Cosmic Destiny – Gloryhammer
This is my favourite Gloryhammer song, but I feel a little guilty putting it on my list, as it contains major spoilers. This may sound like a strange thing to say about a metal song, but each song tells part of a larger story about an evil Wizard Zargothrax and those who stand against him. This is so much fun, I love that each album adds to what came before, weaving old and new characters together to create a Gloryhammer universe that stretches across time and space.
This the last song on Gloryhammer’s third album, so there’s a lot of story and lore to cover before you reach this track. I had to choose this song however as it is so epic. Gloryhammer’s music has grown more grandiose with each album, which has made me love it even more. The Fires of Ancient Cosmic Destiny is their longest song to date, and it has shocking plot twists and a juicy cliff-hanger when you least expect it. Elements like this leave me dying to know what happens next and waiting eagerly for another album.
4. Lai Lai Hei – Ensiferum
The first song I wrote about on this blog was by Stary Olsa, who specialise in medieval music. I love Folk metal for the same reasons I love that song. Something about the folk/medieval sound resonates with me unlike other kinds of music. Ensiferum were one of the first Folk Metal bands I ever heard, and this song was a gateway for me into this genre. I like this song has real progression, with different sections that all have a different feel to them. It starts with an incredible instrumental section until the minute mark when the heavy guitars kick in with a real bang. The first lyrics are in Finnish, while later parts are in English and sound completely different. Individually these would all be good songs, but when combined they become something special.
5. In Search of M-Theory – Vinnum Sabbathi
Hailing from Mexico, Vinnum Sabbathi offer a unique take on the doom-metal genre. Their stoner-doom sound is compelling, but my favourite part of their songs is definitely the use of found recordings. They all revolve around space exploration and many come from the NASA archives. This gives the songs a futuristic and retro feel at the same time. In Search of M-Theory is a classic example. The talk of space-exploration gives it an hint of optimism, strongly contrasting to the samples about impending ecological collapse. Then, fittingly that hint of optimism is crushed under the weight of unrelenting heavy guitar riffs.
It isn’t just the found sound recordings I love, but the way they combine with the instrumentals. There are no choruses, just a continuous feeling of doom. Some may wonder why people would listen to doom-metal. The best music isn’t about guitars, riffs or lyrics, but about feelings. Doom-metal understands this more than most genres, and Vinnum Sabbathi are a prime example.
6. Hypa Hypa – Eskimo Callboy
It shouldn’t work, but it does. Pop mixed with metal. They aren’t the first to try and blend these two polar opposites, but this one of the most successful pop-metal fusions I’ve ever seen. Usually bands simply alternate between the two genres for the shocking contrast between the two. Hypa Hypa sounds more like a pop song and a metal song being played simultaneously. It’s very catchy too, so I’ve listened to it over and over again. But I still can’t believe it works. Keep your eye on the drummer in the background, he’s really giving it his all in this video.
7. Tosh Lines – Orange Goblin
I really wanted to pick an Orange Goblin track, but I had a hard time choosing one to pick. Tosh Lines doesn’t represent the band’s usual output that well and I’m not sure I even consider it a real song, but I love it. Only eight lines long, this song is over in a flash. The lyrics are over almost as soon as they begin. Raw and delivered at break-neck pace, this is full of energy. Given most songs just repeat the same lyrics over and over to pad out the track, I like that Orange Goblin don’t drag this out and end it quickly. It’s much better to be left wanting more.
I will always remember how I discovered Orange Goblin. I was bored and wandering around a shop full of CDs. I decided to buy some albums from bands I’d never heard of. This is objectively a terrible way of finding new bands, and I cannot recommend it, especially now that you can preview all the music you want on youTube. Having said that, I some how had a perfect track record buying albums this way. Between the band name, album name, art, track names and even the fonts, you can imagine whether a band will be able to excite you. Orange Goblin and Bombay Monkey are two fantastic and completely different bands I discovered this way.
8. The One – Soil
Heavy metal isn’t thought of a genre for romantic ballads, but this song moves me. I don’t understand all the lyrics, Is it about unrequited love? I don’t know. But I do know that it feels like a very personal song about deep feelings and shows that this isn’t incompatible with heavy metal.
9. Diggy Diggy Hole – Wind Rose
This song started as a Minecraft catchphrase and has since taken on a life of its own. The first version of this song was a dance song, but Wind Rose are perfect for this song. They are a power/folk metal band from Italy whose songs are inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien and who dress as dwarves. If you had never heard of the meme, you’d be forgiven for thinking they wrote the song themselves. I love the way they fearlessly proclaim “We can never dig too deep”, reminding me of the Balrog and the desolate Mines of Moria from Lord of the Rings.
I’m surprised there isn’t more dwarf metal out there, especially given how successful pirate metal bands like Alestorm are. Metal is perhaps an better fit for Dwarves than pirates. We even see a dwarf working metal in the video. Like Hypa Hypa above, this is very catchy, and this version has now been remixed into a dance version. Who knows what the next chapter in this meme’s journey will be.
10. Marching on Versailles – Ad Infinitum
2020 was a rubbish year, but I discovered some fantastic bands during all the lockdowns and chaos. One of these bands was Ad Infinitum, a band formed from Melissa Bonny. She was a great singer with Rage of Light, but Ad Infinitum really lets show off her incredible voice. Silky, powerful, beautiful and epic, she can do it all. The guitars sound just as good, and there are some brilliant riffs in here. It’s comforting to know that even during all the chaos of 2020, there’s still lots of awesome music out there to discover.