Top Ten Best Metal Lyricists


The Top TenXW

1James Hetfield - Metallica

From 'Ride the Lightning' up to and including the 'Black' album, James, as a very young man, penned some of the most poignant and poetic lyrics any metal musician has ever concocted. From capital punishment, child abuse, corruption, perception, addiction, religion...the master did it all. Even the great Maynard James Keenan has acknowledged how great Metallica's first 5 albums are. People consider Hetfield as a drunkard, but despite his issues with the drink, he spoke for a generation of kids, as a kid, for a decade. I was barely learning how to talk to a girl while this genius was busy critiquing the world.

He knows what he's doing when he puts pen to paper and writes a song...

This guy is God! I was almost sure to see James on the top of the list before even clicking on the list.

Het is very good, almost a poet. - Metal_Treasure

V5 Comments
2Chuck Schuldiner - Death

Mind blowing lyrics, full of meaning,Chuck is #1 and will always own the crown. - GREYBOYY

Very amazing lyrics about society... And about humans... He is my favourite lyricist... Try "The Flesh And The Power It Holds", "Crystal Mountains", "Empty Words", "Symbolic", "0 Tolerence", Lack Of Comphersion". "Suicide Machine" - nooreldeen

3DIO - Rainbow

Dio didn't write lyrics, he wrote poetry and poetic philosophy.

"For every moment of truth, there's confusion in life" (Heaven And Hell, Black Sabbath)

"Don't write in starlight
'Cause the words may come out real
Don't hide in doorways
You may find the key that opens up your soul
Don't go to Heaven cause it's really only Hell
Don't smell the flowers
They're an evil drug to make you lose your mind" (Don't Talk To Strangers, Dio) - Metal_Treasure

4Hansi Kürsch - Blind Guardian

Some of the most intelligent lyrics out there - dark, hopeless or aggressive, Hansi's lyrics always create vivid images in your mind, strong emotions or unexpected turn /different viewpoint.
He wrote the lyrics to 12 albums – 10 with Blind Guardian and 2 with Demons & Wizards.
His early lyrics for Blind Guardian were aggressive and violent, while his later lyrics reminded of Dio's fantasy style. Lyrics for Demons & Wizards focused more on personal struggles, fears, painful memories, depression and unhappy life events (death, suicide, baby born with Down Syndrome).

"Nightfall quietly crept in and changed us all" (Nightfall / Blind Guardian)
"Taste no evil, touch no evil ... All I think and feel is evil" (My Last Sunrise / Demons & Wizards)
“When the moon child is crying and silence has broken the darkest truth” (Time What Is Time / Blind Guardian).
- Metal_Treasure

5Tobias Sammet - Edguy

Very rich vocabulary despite English is not his mother tongue.
My favorite lyrics (not typical for him - it's a bonus track):
"Vienna has got Mozart
Chopin they had in Paris (kind of)
The Catholics got the Pope
England's got the Beatles
And even more so:
England's got Steve Harris

England's got Steve Harris
And if that wasn't enough for you
England's got Bruce Dickinson
And on top of it - the other ones
In Iron Maiden too, yes it's true" (Edguy - England, 2014, bonus track). - Metal_Treasure

6Dave Mustaine - Megadeth

Just look at "My Last Words". He should be at the top of the list.

7Randy Blythe - Lamb of God

Very amazing lyricist... I think he is the only lyricist who can come with a double-meaning songs... And sometimes hidden meanings... Try "11th Hour", "Omerta", "Laid To Rest" "Walk With Me In Hell", " Descending", "Ghost Walking", "Hourglass" " Vigil" (vigil some people look to it as an anti-christian song... But look deep and you will find it a song about iraq war and politics and about Gorege B. W) - nooreldeen

Number One In My Book For Sure. When It Comes To Bad Ass Lyrics, RaNdy's The Best Hands down

8Henrik Fevre - Anubis Gate

Great singer and lyricist who writes pure emotions! Once you hear it you will be addicted

Henrik is just the best!

Fantastic lyricist! One of the best out there.

The best lyricist ever!

V4 Comments
9Adam ''Nergal'' Darski - Behemoth

Best lyricist ever even though Metallica is my favorite band these guys are true poets he is by far the best with hetfield as a 2nd I'm a professional musician and I see this guy as a lyrical genius and I take notes from him

He does it very well mixing philosophy with history,his lyrics is really intersting subject and hard to understand..and also in the early album he wrote very well lyrics about nature and paganism with a touch of sorrow.. - nooreldeen

These days they write about Satanism and Thelema (Now) but unlike many Satanic bands they're not into cliche lyrics, Satan blah blah blah, Antichrist and and blah, their lyrics are strong but with bad meanings. - GREYBOYY

10Jeff Waters - Annihilator

The Newcomers

?Bruce Dickinson - Iron Maiden
BAdd New Item

The Contenders

11Ville Friman - Insomnium

He writes amazing lyrics about pain and sorrow... - nooreldeen

Undoubtedly One of the best lyricists in metal along with Nillo Sevanen (his bandmate. The lyrics can even move a rock to tears

12Mikael Akerfeldt - Opeth, Bloodbath

He writes bueatiful lyrics about nature, Relationships, Life, Inner Struggles with opeth... - nooreldeen

13Dani Filth - Cradle Of Filth

Honestly, I feel that Dani Filth should be on the very top of the list. He has a very high intellectual ability when it comes to writing poetry. I feel that he has the most complex writing ability than any one else in the metal music industry.

Dani Filth is the best lyricist I've ever heard, better than all metal, hip hop or poetry writers I've ever heard. The way he delivers the gothic stories, the imagery and the complexity in his poetry is just perfect!

He does very amazing poetry lyrics with gothic themes... Even I don't like gothic themes but I have to admit that Dani Filth is Genius - nooreldeen

14Steve Harris - Iron Maiden

Listen to anything from the 80s best lyricist in the band but sometimes he wrote questionable songs like From Here To Eternity, The Angel and the Gambler but Iron Maiden's lyrics and musical style will be nothing without Steve. Deserves more recognition than Hetfield who's lyrics nowadays is dry, plain, and uninspired

Very amazing lyricist... Try "Hallowed Be Thy Name", "Dance Of The Death", "The Final Frontier", "When The Wild Wind Blows" and other great lyrics written by steve harris - nooreldeen

What the hell is harris doing here? N hetfield sucks at writing songs... None of his stuff Makes any sence... Harris should be at the top of dis list...

15Jon Schaffer - Iced Earth
16Maynard James Keenan - Tool

"But enough about the collective Judas, who could deny you were the one who illuminated your little piece of the divine." Maynard should be celebrated along with Whitman.

As below, so above I imagine.

Drawn outside the lines of reason.

Push the envelope, watch it bend.

An amazing lyricist with a powerful voice backing it.

Anyone who knows anything about writing will tell you how good Maynard is as a lyricist.

17Kai Hansen - Gamma Ray
18Corey Taylor - Slipknot, Stone Sour

His words are deep and you can't help but feel torents of emotion rain down upon you as he blasts it out of the mike

19Matt Drake - Evile
20Fernando Ribeiro - Moonspell

This guy is not just a good lyricist - he's a poet (published three poetry books).
"It's when life's so precious that every moment hurts" (a line from the song WhiteOmega, 2012). - Metal_Treasure

BAdd New Item

Related Lists

Best Death Metal Lyricists Best Metal Bands Best Metal Songs Best Metal Guitarists Best Heavy Metal Bands

List StatsUpdated 9 Oct 2015

54 listings
2 years, 92 days old

Top Remixes

1. Chuck Schuldiner - Death
2. Randy Blythe - Lamb of God
3. James Hetfield - Metallica
1. Adam ''Nergal'' Darski - Behemoth
2. James Hetfield - Metallica
3. Matt Drake - Evile
1. DIO - Rainbow
2. Hansi Kürsch - Blind Guardian
3. Tobias Sammet - Edguy



Add Post

Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.