Top 10 Best Metal Songs of All Time

Metal music is more than just music. It's a way of life, a passion, a rebellion. It started in the late 60s, and since then it has grown into a huge and diverse genre with many different styles and sounds. From the pioneers of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin to the legends of Metallica and Slipknot, metal has always been a force to be reckoned with, a music that rocks your world and shakes your soul.

This list features the best metal songs ever, from old-school classics that made metal what it is to new-school gems that take metal to the next level. These songs are the cream of the crop, the ones that have killer riffs, awesome vocals, and epic vibes that make you wanna go wild and crazy.
The Top Ten
1 Master of Puppets - Metallica

Right from the start with the first riff, it's like a punch to the face. The buildup to the main riff is pure headbanging joy. Hetfield and Hammett keep unleashing riff after riff at amazing speed and with a punchy sound.

Together with Burton's bass and Ulrich's drums, it forms an impenetrable wall of thrash metal that keeps hitting you like a slap to the face.

The lyrics are some of the best ever in a metal song. Hetfield's angry vocals shouting "Pain monopoly... Ritual misery!" all the while hitting percussive downpicks on every riff is the stuff of legend.

Suddenly, out of the blue, comes a calm and beautiful bridge with a clean riff and a serene dual harmony, followed by Hetfield's soulful solo. Hetfield has an amazing haunting blues-rock lead playing, which I love.

Then, Hammett comes in with his absolutely insane solo featuring an ear-piercing pinch harmonic. Hammett ends on the highest note on the guitar, and the next riff played is probably the heaviest you can hear without downtuning.

"I will run through you... Now I rule you too!" as drugs take control of you and destroy your life. The masterpiece ends with haunting laughter, a perfect ending to a fast, frenzied song about the havoc caused by drugs in your system.

No one can be perfect, but Master of Puppets is as close as it gets to thrash perfection.

2 Hallowed Be Thy Name - Iron Maiden

I'll put it at number one on the Best Metal Song List. Why not? Sure, I can think of a couple more songs that would have valid rights to the top spot as well, but this song has every element a brilliant metal song should have. The song is epic in every way: the songwriting, the musicianship, and the production are all top-notch and have raised the bar for all metal that followed.

It's hard to single out any one performance, but Bruce Dickinson's vocals on this track are unparalleled by any singer in any genre on any planet. Okay, maybe that's a little over the top, but seriously, the vocals in this song are insane! This song is also my all-time favorite song, regardless of genre.

3 Holy Wars...The Punishment Due - Megadeth

I have to be completely honest. After being on this website for around 10 threads, I can see how Megadeth and Metallica bias this place. Now, my favorite is Megadeth. So, I don't take offense to it. I just feel it's very hard for a band other than those two to make it on these lists. Nevertheless, I vote for Holy Wars because it is my all-time favorite song. I think it's highly underrated by people too close-minded to consider music from other bands. Either way, those people have no effect on me enjoying this song. So, like I said before, I am voting for this.

4 One - Metallica

"One" essentially encapsulates every notable subgenre of metal. The more melodic parts in the opening draw from ballad-based metal songs on the softer side. The chorus, with its distortion, sounds a lot like sludge metal. The bridge, featuring the lines "Darkness! Imprisoning me!" serves almost as a precursor to alternative, nu, and even rap metal. The machine-gun riff is very reminiscent of groove metal. The final two-minute solo is pure thrash and speed metal goodness.

With its various parts and musical sections, the song has a structure reminiscent of progressive metal. "One" is not just a legendary metal song. It encapsulates the entire genre in seven and a half minutes.

5 Paranoid - Black Sabbath

Whoever says that Black Sabbath isn't metal can get out right now. Black Sabbath are the pioneers of metal and should be respected that way. Paranoid is an iconic song. It should be higher on this list. I think Black Sabbath and Judas Priest are on the same playing field since they came out around the same time. Paranoid is ORIGINAL metal. Although, I do also agree that Master of Puppets is a God-tier song.

You guys are all wrong. The best song is the one that started it all: Paranoid. It's disappointing that bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Korn, Slipknot, and even Linkin Park (who I don't see how can be classified as metal) are ranked ahead of Black Sabbath. Black Sabbath are the godfathers of metal.

6 Painkiller - Judas Priest

When this song came out in 1990, the first thought I had was that Priest came to rip the metal crown from Metallica's head. The song and album were so good that the band broke up. How could they top this album? I wonder if that's the reason Rob left? They really nailed it.

This is one of the most powerful songs I've ever heard. It's a masterpiece in the heavy metal genre. You're not truly living if this song doesn't give you shivers.

Overrated Metallica at the top, as usual. I remember a kid was saying, "You know, dude, I wonder what God was thinking when he made Lars Ulrich." A guy promptly replied, "He definitely wasn't thinking about 'Painkiller.'" Damn.

7 Iron Man - Black Sabbath

First off, "Master of Puppets" got me into music in general. It's the first song I tried to learn on guitar. I worship this song. But we are talking about "Iron Man." Without it, there would be no metal. It's the riff heard around the world. I have seen some truly atrocious things on this site, but with this, I draw the line.

"Iron Man" deserves nothing less than Number 1. Number 6 is an outrage. The songs "rated" above it are all phenomenal and deserve a spot on this list, but selling short "Iron Man" is about as metal as voting Lil Wayne as the greatest metal artist ever. It's just wrong.

8 The Trooper - Iron Maiden

This song is too good not to be in the top ten. Although my favorite Maiden song is Infinite Dreams, I say that The Trooper should be in the top ten because of how legendary and recognizable it is. And come on, is there anything better than The Trooper live? No one forgets the moment Bruce runs on stage in the red jacket, waving the Union Jack!

The best example of Heavy Metal in all ways. Musically, rhythmically, lyrically, and pretty much in every meaningful way, this song represents everything you need to know about Heavy Metal. This is true regardless if you're new to the genre or a veteran, followed, in my opinion, by Iron Man and Painkiller.

9 Enter Sandman - Metallica

This is my favorite song of all time, and I think it should be at least in the top 5. I'm a great fan of Metallica and I even love Master of Puppets. But personally, this is just my opinion. I mean, this song has everything: the intro, the solo, the lyrics, the drums. It is perfect!

This song is just awesome! Superb intro? Check. Great vocals? Check. Good lyrics? Check. Guitar solo? Awesome. This should at least be in the top five. Come on, guys!

This was almost Metallica's best song, but fell just short. I love the way all the vocals are and how it is written. I also love how the theme of this song is night.

10 War Pigs - Black Sabbath

There's way more to a metal song than how heavy it is, and that's what most people ("metal-heads") tend to forget or choose to ignore. War Pigs is the best metal song, in my opinion, purely because of how powerful it is.

I'm no Vietnam War buff, but I think everyone knows that America made a huge mistake by invading Vietnam. War Pigs takes advantage of this. It makes America look evil and stupid, which was, of course, bound to be embarrassing to America. That's why the name of the album was changed to "Paranoid." The song was powerful enough to force the band to change the name of the album, which is just the start of why this is the best metal song.

The Contenders
11 Holy Diver - Dio

How in the world is this not number one? This song is amazing, one of the best in history. Dio is a rock/metal legend, in my opinion. His voice is so amazing that you can listen to it for hours and not get tired of it. It's such a unique voice that you can hear it anywhere and know who's singing. I honestly think this should be higher on the list.

Rest in peace, Dio. We miss and love you.

A great song with such a simple, yet complex riff. It uses five power chords and is written in the key of C minor. Ronnie James Dio's first solo album was a masterpiece. Somehow, this song worked its way to the top of an album crowded with great songs.

12 Angel of Death - Slayer

All of the songs in the top ten are great, but I think that Angel of Death deserves to be in the top ten. According to me and many others, it's the best thrash metal song out there.

It's unfortunate to see this song ranked behind Metallica, which, in my opinion, is one of the worst metal bands. Sure, Kill 'Em All was good, and so was Master of Puppets, but their other albums are nothing compared to those released by bands like Pantera, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Megadeth, Slayer, Motörhead, Exodus, and many more.

It's time for people to realize that Metallica isn't that great and that Slayer is the best thrash band. They may have released the best thrash album ever, featuring one of the best metal songs ever, and that song is Angel of Death.

13 Chop Suey! - System of a Down

The best metal song hands down. This is the only band that has several amazing songs. Other bands only have like one. They are very underrated and super unique. They like to combine other genres into their music.

Chop Suey has a staggering 640 million views, while Metallica's best song is only at 140 million. Serj and Daron make the most powerful songs and love their people. Their voices are amazing, with Serj's screaming and slow melody, and Daron's nice soothing high-pitched voice.

And Shavo is crazy. This dude is flipping his fingers all over his bass, and it's amazing, producing the best noises in any song. And finally, John is the best drummer alive. There's no question. He makes the best transitions to beats in music. It's unbelievable.

14 Crazy Train - Ozzy Osbourne

I genuinely can't believe this song isn't in the top 10. The riffs and solo are spectacular, and the lyrics are deep yet uplifting. It's a celebration of descent into madness. The song gets everybody up and headbanging. Even people who don't like metal adore this song. It transcends the genre. This is a true defining song of metal and deserves to be ranked much higher.

I love rock, and this is one of my very favorite songs. How is it number 36 when bands like X Japan and Dir en Grey are in the top 20? Ozzy is one of the greatest metal artists of all time, and this is his best song, featuring a killer solo by Rhoads. This ranking is unreasonable.

15 Fade to Black - Metallica

Best Metallica song ever. Listen to the intro. The words (I know they aren't on here), the vocals - James Hetfield is brilliant. Kirk Hammett rocks the guitar. Lars Ulrich beats the hell out of the drums. And Robert Trujillo has got thunder fingers. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009! This band has been rocking since 1981 when the band was officially formed that October.

Everything in this song is perfect. There's no match for it! This is, by far, the best song in the world. There is no comparison. "Master of Puppets" is good because it has a classic riff, but "Fade to Black" has a "perfect" solo in addition to other things that "Master of Puppets" has. The beginning, the middle, and the end of the solo - how it practically fades to black - is an unbelievable masterpiece.

16 Cowboys from Hell - Pantera

Best Pantera song, but overall best metal song of the '90s. I respect Metallica, but Enter Sandman isn't my favorite. Add this and take away Sandman, and you have a great top ten.

This song is a really heavy and groovy tune. The beginning is a really good intro to a great song. Pantera, in general, is a great band, so this song is a great addition to their great collection of songs. I'm personally excited because they just got back together as a band.

This song is better than Walk, in my opinion. Well, in fact, it's better than any other song in the top ten.

17 Raining Blood - Slayer

Sorry, but this is one of the best songs in history. And I don't mean only metal, but also if you include classic rock like Floyd, Zeppelin, and the Beatles. Even Mozart, Beethoven, and Wagner. If you listen to it 10 times, you will not forget this song for your lifetime. This is not music. This is a world.

I don't know about you guys, but I love this song. It is an amazing song. It has the famous riffs, the brutal drumming, the badass vocals, the speed, and the awesome solos. Raining Blood has it all. Slayer has created a masterpiece with this one!

18 The Number of the Beast - Iron Maiden

What a song. I am horrified that this isn't in the top 10. It really is one of the best songs out there. How somebody could make a piece of music sound like that is beyond me.

Greatest metal song from one of the best bands ever! The best intro with the greatest vocalist ever. Bruce Dickinson is an artist who paints with words.

Firstly, Dickinson never writes songs. Steve Harris does. It has the greatest guitar riff in metal. Not at all satanic, but a warning against it. Long live Iron Maiden.

19 The Four Horsemen - Metallica

This is one of Metallica's most underrated songs, but this song rocks. From the intro, and then the thrashing along at the speed with which the guitars are played - it's so awesome that it draws you in and helps you visualize what they're singing about. This is an example of fine art. Metallica forever.

This album has some of the best Metallica songs. It ranks so low because people think it's awesome, but it's even better when you listen to it in your head because you can put yourself in James Hetfield's shoes.

This is the best Metallica song of all time for me. Maybe my ears just got tired of listening to Master of Puppets.

20 Cemetery Gates - Pantera

This is supposed to be a list of the best metal songs of all time? If you're true metal fans, you should be ashamed that one of the best songs by one of the best metal bands of all time is ranked a measly 19th. If you have any self-respect and respect for the immense contributions these legends have made to metal, you'd rank it in the top 10 at least.

Ranked at 12? This masterpiece should be at least in the top 5, or even above Master of Puppets. It has fantastic riffs, an amazing solo, deep and excellent lyrics, nearly perfect vocals, and a chilling intro. Anything else? This song is very emotional and has deep meaning if you try to understand it. It touches me every time I listen. This song is a masterpiece and will soon become legendary. Dimebag Darrell for the win. RIP legend.

21 Ace of Spades - Motorhead

This song is the definition of metal, and people still voted for mainstream Metallica just because they have the word "Metal" in their band name. I mean, come on, guys. Come on.

This is the greatest song of all time by the real fathers of heavy metal. Lemmy's vocals are simply on another level from others. This song just further states that.

Ace of Spades is the original speed metal hit, and if not for it, these other songs wouldn't even exist.

22 Afterlife - Avenged Sevenfold

What the hell? Afterlife is at 74. Such a masterpiece should be at least within the top 10. Come on, guys, this is the best song by one of the best bands ever, Avenged Sevenfold. Please vote for Afterlife and take it to the right position. Such a solo, such a melody, and, after all, such a song can never be out of the top 10. It's better than most of the songs in the top ten.

This features the greatest solo ever to be played, the most beautiful and well-written lyrics ever to be sung, and it's coupled with a fantastic orchestral part. You can't beat it. I'll tell you one thing: it's better than Master of Puppets, for sure!

23 Seek & Destroy - Metallica

What a song - pure classic metal. I love that riff, and I think some songs from Kill 'Em All made metal. Black Sabbath just started metal, but Metallica made it and inspired many metal bands. Oh, and Maiden also gave a different touch, which no one followed. Their style and songs are unique but purely awesome. No one writes like them, but they are second after Metallica.

As metal as it gets with the original members of Metallica. The classic of classic metal.

This song should Seek and Destroy its way to the top five!

24 Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath

The song that started it all. Everything about it is iconic, from the thunder and rain at the beginning to the terrifying riff to the Hendrix-style rave-up at the end. This is metal. That riff uses what is known as the tritone or "Diabolus In Musica," a sound that evokes fear and dread in the listener. I wish I was alive in 1970 to be able to hear this on the radio. It was a mission statement that music was just beginning to be truly understood. Music has never been the same since.

This is where it all started. Oddly enough, it didn't get better than it did on this particular track. I love that riff, and the fast bit at the end serves as an epic conclusion to one of the greatest songs ever.

25 Peace Sells - Megadeth

Should be higher, this whole album is sadly overshadowed by rust in peace and countdown to extinction. My personal favorite Megadeth album.

Peace Sells should at the very least be in the top 20, it's easily one of the best and most recognizable metal songs of all time, not to mention an absolute classic. It's up there with Holy Wars, Hangar 18 and Symphony of Destruction, if not better than those 3.

Come on the opening bass line was used for the MTV news cast for like 10 years. Face it Metallica isn't nearly as good as megadeth a should die in a hole. And not to mention that album they did with Lou Reed. Barf.

8Load More
PSearch List