Top Ten Best Metal Lyricists


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The Top Ten

James Hetfield - Metallica
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.
Very amazing lyricist... He writes from the deep of his heart...


2Chuck Schuldiner - Death
Mind blowing lyrics, full of meaning,Chuck is #1 and will always own the crown.


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"


3Randy 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)


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

4Adam ''Nergal'' Darski - Behemoth
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..


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
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.


5Ville Friman - Insomnium
He writes amazing lyrics about pain and sorrow...


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

6Mikael Akerfeldt - Opeth, Bloodbath
He writes bueatiful lyrics about nature, Relationships, Life, Inner Struggles with opeth...


7Dave Mustaine - Megadeth
Just look at "My Last Words". He should be at the top of the list.

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.
[Newest]The best lyricist ever!

9DIO - Rainbow
"For every moment of truth, there's confusion in life" (Heaven And Hell, Black Sabbath)


10Hansi 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).

"Taste no evil, touch no evil ... All I think and feel is evil" (My Last Sunrise / Demons & Wizards).


The Contenders

11Dani 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


12Maynard 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.

13Matt Drake - Evile

14Tobias Sammet - Edguy

15Steve 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


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...

16Robb Flynn - Machine Head

17Phil Anselmo
Stone the crow cemetary gates drag the waters

18M. Shadows - Avenged Sevenfold
I hate this guy

19Jeff Waters - Annihilator

20Jon Schaffer - Iced Earth

21Warrel Dane - Nevermore

22Kai Hansen - Gamma Ray

23Tom Araya - Slayer

24Jari Mäenpää - Wintersun
One of the best in his sub-genre listen to "Starchild" and also check his previous work in Ensiferum its what made him. When I first heard Victory song I came in my pants.
One of the best lyricist I have ever heard look up "starchild" by Wintersun and "Victory song" by Ensiferum. and yes its in English

25Corey 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

26Fernando 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).


27Gene Hoglan - Dark Angel
Try lyrics of "Black Prophecies" to see what I'm talking about. Epic! And don't forget to give a listen to this song - thrash at its best.


28Mike Portony - Dream Theater

29Howard Jones - Killswitch Engage

30Mikael Stanne
From dark romanticism to psychological introspection, Stanne understands how best to use words to convey whatever message he desires. An impressive feat considering the swede writes his lyrics in and speaks perfect English.

31Ihsahn - Emperor

32John Gallagher - Dying Fetus

33Mark Hunter - Chimaira

34Matt Heafy - Trivium

35The Rev - Avenged Sevenfold

36Jesse Leach - Killswitch Engage

37Phil Labonte - All That Remains

38Steve Asheim - Deicide

39Michael Keene - The Faceless

40Tony Kakko - Sonata Arctica

41Serj Tankian - System of a Down

42Winston McCall - Parkway Drive
Poetic, deep, and full of meaning

43Neil Peart - Rush
His thoughts on lyrics: "I don't like lyrics that are just thrown together, that were obviously written as you went along, or the song was already written and the guy made up the lyrics in five minutes."


44Tim McIlrath - Rise Against

45Jonathan Davis - Korn

46Ian Fraser "Lemmy" Kilmister - Motörhead

47Geezer Butler
Wrote pretty much every song before dio entered the band.
Main lyricist in Black Sabbath, do I need to say anymore?
His lyrics will live on forever

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This list was created 1 year, 279 days ago and has been voted on over 100 times. This top ten list has been remixed 3 times.

Updated Tuesday, April 14, 2015

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