I've done punk songs, now it's time to pay tribute to it's older brother. Metal. I'm not going to attempt to classify every song here as Heavy Metal, Black Metal, Thrash Metal...fuck it! Just metal! It really was the first genre of music that i gave my heart to and it still reminds somewhere for me to hide my head in frequently. No other theme this week except awesome metal tracks...here's 10. Oh yeah...NSFW lyrics all over dis.
1. "Everything Ends" - Slipknot
Let's start off with the nine. Slipknot were brought into my world as I was leaving high school and entering college. Their album Iowa was released in 2001 and blew my mind. Track #5 "Everything Ends" had a large hand in that. Front man Cory Taylor wrote this about a young and misguided attempt on his own life over, what else, a girl. Metal has a very sharp and dangerous exterior, which is why many music fans tend to be skeptical, but underneath that are some great and heartbreaking stories.
2. "Run To The Hills" - Iron Maiden
Holy shit this song is so effin' good. Britain's Iron Maiden are one of those bands that everyone knows, but not everyone can name one of their songs. This is for you. A cynical look at Europe's conquest of the Native American inhabitants of the New World, it's actually the rhythym section on full force here. The drums and rumbling bass conjure the image of a stampede of horses charging into the fog of war in the great plains of North America. Metal has a knack for epic lyrics...usually involving war or death in some way.
3. "Here To Stay" - Korn
Korn were one of the centre pieces of bringing a fresh sound to metal in the 90's. Using funk elements and at times a clear hip-hop influence they were able to reach an audience outside of the usual acid-washed, long-haired stereotypical metal crowd. Thats not to say the energy and power of metal wasn't there, Take "Here To Stay" which was actually off of Their 2002 album The Untouchables, a soaring and triumphant return to the ear shattering and mind bending music they were renowned for.
4. "Forest" - System Of A Down
I've mentioned System's political and socially conscious place in the music world before, but stripped down to their music they are a metal group. 2001's Toxicity catapulted them into the ionosphere without surprise. Every track on that record is a revelation. For some reason "Forest" always was one track from the album that I would constantly go back to.
5. "Cowboys From Hell" - Pantera
Pantera were prominent in the late 80's and 90's metal scene. Their musicianship, energy and unapologetic attitude toward critics made them the perfect metal poster children. "Cowboys From Hell" was what finally made the world turn and appreciate Pantera, it's a 5 minute lesson of riff-ography and general badassery. It really showed that metal can be loud, powerful and melodic. Almost perfect.
6. "Immortal Corrupter" - Gwar
Gwar take alot of heat for being a joke. While they're the first ones to accept it and give it right back, what they aren't known for is incredibly well written metal songs, which is a shame. So this entry is mainly on here to shine some light on the masterpiece that is their 2001 album Violence Has Arrived. Namely the song "Immortal Corrupter" from start to end it's a savage ride of metal power chords, machine gun drumming and clever and infectious vocals of Oderus Urungus (aka Dave Brockie). When I do my Top 100 Metal Songs this will be in the top 10. Truth. It's that good. And no, I didn't forget spellcheck, 'Corrupter' is spelt that way on the album sleeve. Who gives a fuck. When you record a song this important, spelling errors are the last thing you should be concerned with.
7. "Something Inside Of Me" - Wicked Wisdom
Something from the women of the metal world, of whom there are many and they are dangerous. Wicked Wisdom features non other than Jada Pinkett Smith on lead vocals, yep thats Will Smith's wife. She actually proves herself a very capable lead singer in the metal world. This song would always get wedged in my memory, it's hard to forget
8. "Her Ghost In The Fog" - Cradle Of Filth
This song is downright cool. Cradle Of Filth's albums weave stories that find their roots in all sorts of mythology and tales. "Her Ghost In The Fog" is actually a powerful and epic love story. A young, beautiful woman is raped and killed by men of the clergy. The woman's lover finds her and pieces the clues together to find those responsible. The 5 priests are later burned alive in their church in retribution. Some very impressive guitar work and drumming throughout this song, as well as very suiting male/female vocals in an almost operatic fashion.
9. "Waste" - Skrape
I honestly do not know much about Skrape, but if you're a metal fan and can track down a copy of their debut release New Killer America, for god's sakes do it. A buddy of mine at the old radio station found this gem buried under a pile of whatever cds we were sent free that week and we took a chance on it. Just well crafted, high-intensity metal. Exactly what we were looking for. "Waste" is just one of many good songs off the album. Try also "Sunshine", "I Know" and "Broken Knees".
10. "Invisible Kid" - Metallica
You're goddamned right I did it. Metallica is my favourite group, so how could I not include them? I also decided to include a track from the controversial album St. Anger hoping to get some comments. I know it's picked on often, but i have yet to hear a convincing reason why it's a bad record. And i'm not in denial.
"Invisible Kid" is one of many excellent tracks off St. Anger and album full of energy, rage, passion and about 9 million "Fuck You's" screamed right in your face.