Top 10 Best Heavy Metal Songs of All Time

Heavy metal, characterized by its amplified distortion, extended guitar solos, and emphatic beats, has been a cornerstone of the music industry for decades.

Primarily, it was the heavy and thrash metal songs from the 80s and 90s that defined the original metal genre. These songs, with their raw power and innovative soundscapes, set the stage for what was to come. They pushed the boundaries of what was musically possible, creating a sonic experience that was as intense as it was unforgettable.

So, what are the best heavy metal songs of all time? Some might argue for the classics, those tracks that have stood the test of time and continue to influence new generations of musicians. Others might champion the underdogs, the hidden gems that, despite their lack of mainstream recognition, have a special place in the hearts of true metal aficionados.
The Top Ten
1 Hallowed Be Thy Name - Iron Maiden

This is the perfect heavy metal song. It has everything: Steve Harris' galloping bass, Dave Murray and Adrian Smith in that perfect, uncanny sync, scorching guitar solos (one from each of the boys), and Nicko McBrain pounding the living daylights out of those drums as he was born to do. Bruce Dickinson belts it out like nobody else in the business. The song doesn't repeat to fade like so many others. That final, sudden, decisive machine-gun rat-tat-tat-tat of an ending leaves the heart pounding.

Yeah, yeah, yeah - Hallowed Be Thy Name!

2 Master of Puppets - Metallica

This song will indeed become your puppet master because, for some reason, my head is banging and my foot is tapping uncontrollably. There's a big reason why. I don't want to write a 20-paragraph review on this page because instead of wasting your time reading it, you should plug in your headphones and prepare for awesomeness.

Love the sudden intro. It feels hard and yet sort of fluid in the motion of the music in several parts of the song, and the vocals are impeccable. It's a really good song. You don't hear many like this very often. I also like how the song cools down in the middle, then starts to pick back up again.

3 Paranoid - Black Sabbath

Paranoid and Sabbath were the founding fathers of Metal. Without Black Sabbath, great bands that succeeded them wouldn't have existed as we know them today. That deserves respect.

Paranoid is one of my favorite heavy metal songs and will be one of the most representative heavy metal songs. God bless heavy metal forever!

What else can you say about a song that not only helped invent punk but also has one of the best driving rhythms in heavy metal?

4 One - Metallica

I just listened to "...And Justice for All" after a pretty long break. It's just insanely good. When it first came out, I was about 14, and the empty sound of it really freaked me out.

Looking back now, you can really appreciate where the sound and the anger and the lyrical content came from after losing Cliff. The whole album is about loss, and the ultimate expression of this is "One" - the story of a man who has lost everything. Metallica at their lowest and very best.

Yes, Master of Puppets is an amazing heavy metal song, but it's too overrated. One is truly an amazing song. All the solos in it are amazing, the vocals are outstanding, the bass is calm yet fun to play, and the drumming is amazing. The drums on the breakdown feel like machine-gun fire pumping into you. Metallica at their best.

5 War Pigs - Black Sabbath

What can I say? War Pigs is one of Sabbath's ultimate songs. Ozzy's voice has a nice droning and emotional quality, the riffs are great and unforgettable, and it has some of Bill Ward's best drumming ever.

This is a seminal Heavy Metal song and one of the best Metal songs ever. If there had never been Black Sabbath, half of the bands here wouldn't exist because Sabbath was the original Metal band.

Black Sabbath invented heavy metal.

"War Pigs" is a timeless classic that no one can ever touch. Let's not forget "Into the Void." Now, that is the greatest metal song of all time!

6 Crazy Train - Ozzy Osbourne

I absolutely love Crazy Train. It has that perfect Randy Rhoads guitar in there, which I think the guitar solos were probably one of the best, if not the best, besides Ozzy's amazing vocals.

The combination of Randy Rhoads' guitar riff and solo says all that needs to be said about how awesome this song is. Ozzy kills it as well on a chorus that will never get old.

The best song of all time. Can't get tired of it.

7 Holy Wars... the Punishment Due - Megadeth

This sounds as good today as when I first bought the album. It's fantastic metal at a time when Metallica released the Black Album. Dave isn't a great singer, but this song rocks!

Best song ever made. This, compared to Master of Puppets, is 1000 times better. Stop with your Metallica whining. They're not the best band anymore. It's all about the money now.

Love the riffs, and the vocals are very good for Dave Mustaine. This song defines the thrash metal genre. Just listen and be amazed.

8 Painkiller - Judas Priest

This is a kick-ass song by one of the greatest metal bands since the dawn of time. I'm sick to death of people talking up Metallica's songs. I'm a die-hard fan of theirs, but they're sellouts and only have a handful of good albums. They just don't compare to bands like Priest, Iron Maiden, and Black Sabbath.

This song is the essence of heavy/speed metal! Fast, brutal, and unstoppable, this song makes people lose their minds!

Much better than any other song in this ranking! This is the Painkiller - the best metal song ever!

9 Iron Man - Black Sabbath

People vote for Metallica because it's the only metal they know. People vote for Black Sabbath because they know all about metal.

Although this is not the best-known heavy metal song, it is the most famous of Black Sabbath, and it features one of the most epic electric guitar bass lines in music. I still do not understand why songs like Paranoid and Master of Puppets are ranked above this one. Those songs don't even count as heavy metal. Paranoid is Proto Punk, and Master of Puppets is obviously a Thrash Metal song.

10 Fear of the Dark - Iron Maiden

What else do you want? You have everything that makes a genre and many generations shiver: an epic intro, some transcending lyrics, two different yet amazing solos, and divine vocals. Even though I am not objective when I say it should be first, every metal-loving person on earth should listen to it to fully understand metal.

No. 25? What the hell? How is it this low on the list? This is an amazing song. They might not be one of the best bands ever, but this song is AMAZING. Definitely one of the best metal songs. Just listen to it once, and you'll love it!

The Contenders
11 The Trooper - Iron Maiden

This song takes me to a different level every time I listen to it. The rolling barrel rhythm, killer soloing, vocal harmonies... and to top it off, the intense lyrics in that last verse - pure genius! This has got to be the single greatest metal song ever created.

Another classic heavy metal song by Iron Maiden from their fourth album, Piece of Mind. This one should be in the top 5, along with Hallowed Be Thy Name.

Just listen to the intro. It totally gets you hooked. It is so good there is not much explaining I'll do to show its greatness.

12 Holy Diver - Dio

They all have clouded judgment because they have been down too long in the midnight sea.

Very powerful vocals and cool riffs!

Epic song. I consider Dio to be the greatest and most underrated singer of metal.

13 Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath

Not only did this song help create heavy metal, but it also contributed to the subgenre of doom metal. It's comical that they used to play this song in jazz and blues clubs in late '60s Birmingham.

This song right here is the definition of heavy metal. It also has one of the heaviest solos I've heard. A song doesn't need to be all fast to be heavy. This is proof of that.

The first doom metal song, very different and strong guitar riffs for the year 1970.

14 Cowboys From Hell - Pantera

This was thrash metal taken to a much higher level. It's got speedy solos, crushing riffs, and Dimebag's smashing solid-state guitar tone!

This defines fast metal and is a blow to the face to those who say metal is not worth listening to. Just love it.

Dimebag Darrell, the guitar god. I don't say that Pantera is the number one metal band, but I can claim that he is the best metal guitarist in the world. Rest in peace, Dimebag.

15 Run to the Hills - Iron Maiden

Great song, should be higher up, but if it was up to one or two individuals, I would say the whole top ten would be Maiden!

I love this song so much! Why is this not in the top 10?

16 Rime of the Ancient Mariner - iron Maiden

I love this song. Great riffs, great everything. I always can't wait after the slow part, as that is where the fun begins.

This should be at number one. THE best heavy metal song of all time. A masterpiece by the best band in the world.

My favorite Maiden song and one of metal's finest.

17 Ace of Spades - Motorhead

Really? This is a song that everyone knows, way more than Master of Puppets.

This shows that you don't have to be thrash to be fast.

The most amazing song I've ever heard, hands down.

18 In My Darkest Hour - Megadeth
19 Sign of the Southern Cross - Black Sabbath

This is a joke, right? If this isn't in the top 10, then there really is no point to this list.

20 For Whom the Bell Tolls - Metallica

Great song. This is one of those songs that you should put on and listen to before a football, baseball, hockey, or basketball game to get you pumped up. The intro is spectacular. Deserves higher on this list.

My friend introduced me to Metallica with this song. It's great for writing action-themed books, especially when an armored column is moving through a town at high speed.

I love the beginning of the song with that hard and amped-up feeling I get whenever I listen to it. I love how the lyrics connect to the official music video, too.

21 Creeping Death - Metallica

That's a hell of a song! See the video at Moscow '91. Best thrash song ever!

22 Raining Blood - Slayer

How the hell is this only number 39?! Raining Blood is one of the very best songs of all time and should at least be in the top 5, maybe even number 1. It's an epic song.

Really great song. Lots of thrash and heavy stuff in there, definitely a thrash metal classic.

One of the fastest thrash metal songs of all time at one point. Jeff lives on.

23 Walk - Pantera

You see mosh pits within 10 seconds of the intro when this song is played live. That's how you define heavy metal through a single song. Listen to the song and come back headbanging for the saviors of metal in the new era!

The ultimate song to get pumped up before stepping onto the ice to thrash people!

It is awesome, and you feel the music very nicely.

24 Psychosocial - Slipknot

This surely is the best Heavy Metal song of all time.

This song introduced me to heavy metal!

Best Heavy Metal song by Slipknot in 2008!

25 Heaven and Hell - Black Sabbath

If you want a real list of Heavy, you must put this song in first place. This is the only song you can freely say "it's the best," I think. It's a classic song at all.

Then, you can place "War Pigs" or "Children of the Grave." And then, it's time to vote for Motörhead, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Megadeth, and others.

This song is the DEFINITION of heavy metal. Yes, I love Slayer, Metallica, Anthrax (true dark heavy metal bands), as well as '80s classics like AC/DC, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and even '70s bands like Deep Purple, Black Sabbath (with Ozzy), and Led Zeppelin. But this song simply captures THE SPIRIT of heavy metal. A MASTERPIECE!

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