Top Ten Best Metal Lyricists
The Top Ten
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's my favorite, but I'm surprised that Geezer Butler isn't in the top 10. He did write a substantial portion of Ozzy's lyrics in Black Sabbath.
This guy is God! I was almost sure to see James on the top of the list before even clicking on the list.
The words he use is what made me addicted. He's not number one for me but one of the top ones.
All my life, it seems
Just a crazy dream
Reaching for somebody's star,
Like an open door
That you've passed before,
But you never had the key.
(A Light in the Black)
Tonight we run.
We can hide in the dark
When the moon steals the light
From the dying sun.
(Like the Beat of a Heart)
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)
"They say that life's a carousel, spinning fast, you gotta ride it well!
The world is full of kings and queens who blind your eyes and steal your dreams, it's Heaven and Hell!
And they'll tell you black is really white, the moon is just the sun at night and when you walk in golden halls you get to keep the gold that falls, it's Heaven and Hell! "
"Don't look behind
'cause a tear that never dries
Can only make you blind."
(Like the Beat of a Heart)
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"
Lyrics were deep and meaningful. Every word meant something and contributed to the story perfectly.
The album "Symbolic" has the best lyrics in all of extreme metal.
Poetry near the level of Roger Waters.
Just look at "My Last Words". He should be at the top of the list.
The most politically and socially aware lyricist,much better than the ones above him in this list.
James Hetfield is in the top of list are you kidding😂 this man is the king of lyrics the king of metal
He wrote the lyrics and compositions (with Andre Olbrich) for all of their original songs.
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).
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...
Top 3 are Harris, Hetfield, and Mustaine.
Great singer and lyricist who writes pure emotions! Once you hear it you will be addicted
Fantastic lyricist! One of the best out there.
Henrik is just the best!
The best lyricist ever!
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!
Dani Filth is number 1 and it's not even close. There are two classes of lyrics in rock/metal. Dani Filth, and everyone else. Period, he is a god of word usage.
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
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)
By far the most deep lyrics
Number One In My Book For Sure. When It Comes To Bad Ass Lyrics, RaNdy's The Best Hands down
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.
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
He writes bueatiful lyrics about nature, Relationships, Life, Inner Struggles with opeth...
"Generals gathered in their masses, / Just like witches at black masses." - War Pigs
"The blood runs free, / The rain turns red, / Give me the wine, / You keep the bread." - God Is Dead?
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
So crucify the ego, before it's far too late
And leave behind this place so negative and blind and cynical
And you will come to find that we are all one mind
Capable of all that's imagined and all conceivable
So let the light touch you so that the words spill through
And let the past break through, bringing out our hope and reason
Before we pine away.
"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.
Arguably the best.. his use of metaphor is unparalleled! And he touches everything from mental issues and suicide to politics, historic events, personal stories, religion, the media's influence, love and hate. Here's a few of my favourite examples:
About God and the meaning of life;
"We contemplate oblivion as we resonate our dissonance in godless, random interpretation.
The universe still expands, mankind still can't understand how to define you.
So hide your face and watch us exterminate ourselves over you.
Welcome to the end my friend, the sky has opened"
"The victim who self-crucifies can't realize Christ is a weapon, that chisels at our lives.. (Deconstruction)
The martyr takes his aim and wounds the holy man, and on the eighth day God made the art of war
And laughing planned the end"
About the dopaminergic system in the human brain and the risk of feeling entitled to one (flawed) ideology/way of life;
"And one by one we crawl, and two by ...more
Undoubtedly One of the best lyricists in metal along with Nillo Sevanen (his bandmate. The lyrics can even move a rock to tears
He writes amazing lyrics about pain and sorrow...
Stone sour and slipknot lyrics u can feel when there said. Whether it's the emotional rage of Iowa, or any individual song. Corey has a writing style like no other. Something sad like bother to something enraged like heretic anthem. Not to mention his huge vocal range the second biggest in popular music.
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
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).
There are probably very few visitors of this website who understand his German lyrics. Being German, I'm amazed by his often allegorical lyrics. "Reise, Reise" and "Deutschland" are great examples of his songwriting.
Stone the crow cemetary gates drag the waters
5 different main bands.
The guy literally writes and Sings different in each band. Few do that.
Abigail enough said