Top 10 Best Metallica Songs

Metallica is one of the most badass and influential heavy metal bands of all time. They started in 1981, have been kicking ass in the metal scene for over 40 years, and have released a library of epic songs that have become the anthems of a generation. With their innovative songwriting, virtuosic musicianship, and explosive live shows, Metallica has earned its place in music history as one of the greatest bands ever.

Picking just ten of the best Metallica songs is hard, because they have so many amazing classics that have lasted for ages. From their early thrash metal days to their later, more experimental albums, Metallica has always delivered awesome and powerful tracks that keep inspiring and entertaining fans around the world.
The Top Ten
1 One

My three favorite songs of all time are One, Inside the Fire by Disturbed, and Surfacing by Slipknot, but One is the ultimate best song that has ever been created, in my opinion. The song is so good I can almost feel the incapacitated soldiers' pain that you hear in the first half and the anger that you hear in the second half. Such a good job they did with the lyrics. I love the beautiful guitar play in the intro, the miserable-sounding verses and choruses, the fast-paced, angry singing (nearly screaming), and the awesome solos in this song. I have listened to it many hundreds of times and will hear it again thousands more.

2 Master of Puppets

Despite it being an 8-minute song, I could listen to this the whole way through all day. As a 13-year-old kid, I seem to be the only one these days who doesn't listen to Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber. Hard rock and metal for life!

No doubt, this is the best Metallica song ever! I can only reiterate how great the vocals, riffs, bass, drums, and all that awesomeness are! But for me, the best part of the song is that the lyrics are about drugs. Ahem, let me rephrase that. The lyrics are about the negative effects of drugs.

Next time you listen to it, listen closely to the lyrics or look them up, and you'll see that they are describing how drugs mess you up completely. It's not often that you'll find a heavy metal song that isn't glamorizing drugs but putting them down. Sweetness of a song.

3 Fade to Black

One of the top 10 metal songs of all time for sure. It features both one of the greatest guitar solos of all time and some of the greatest lyrics of all time. Metallica's magnum opus.

An incredible masterpiece. More meaningful than One or Master of Puppets, and it has one of the most incredible guitar solos ever. This song is incredibly deep and should be number one. I have never heard a song so wonderfully composed to be soft and pleasant but still heavy and epic. The way it fades away at the end stays true to the title. The musicianship with Kirk's shredding, Cliff's epic bass skills, James' singing, and Lars' drums - this song could not possibly be better. It takes the best of all music and combines it into one amazing song. Greatest song ever, in my opinion, and Metallica should get more credit for this song than they do.

4 For Whom the Bell Tolls

Great instrumental at the beginning, exploding into lyrics that will make your soulless piece of meat, you call a heart, skip a beat every 7 seconds. If you don't want to ride the lightning, next time, wear rubber boots.

My god, what can I say about this gem? The legendary opening of the song, one that a live version simply hasn't been able to capture. The rest of the song feels powerful and holds your attention. You don't realize it's about to end until it does, and then you're left wishing it was longer than the original five or so minutes. However, I feel increasing the length of time would have been a detriment to the song.

5 Enter Sandman

I find it funny that if you tell another Metallica fan this is your favorite song of theirs, they automatically assume you must be a casual who just doesn't truly know their true potential. I've listened to Metallica more than most artists, and I can honestly tell you this is my favorite. There's nothing wrong with that. This song is a masterpiece and every bit deserves its popularity, unlike some (Nothing Else Matters, Hardwired, Seek & Destroy).

Overplayed, yes. But that's not the song's fault. The fault lies with unimaginative DJs. Forget all of that overplayed B.S. It's easily one of the top rock songs of all time. If everyone can recognize it and yes, it's overplayed, yet you still like it a lot, it testifies to how great the song is. It has the power to overcome all of that baggage! Songs like this come along rarely.

Don't minimize this song's greatness because it might not be your personal favorite for whatever reason. But to deny this song's place in rock history is just stupid! Easily the best song ever from Metallica, nothing comes close!

6 Creeping Death

The best song on "Ride the Lightning," and while I don't think it's their "greatest song," in a way, I think it might be their most astonishing musical achievement. It's a perfectly constructed song, and nearly every aspect of it is perfect. Every riff is incredible, James's vocals are the best in any song he's done, the guitar tone is full and crunchy but not compressed or limited at all - it just roars.

The lyrics are fantastic, and the guitar solo is the best guitar solo Kirk Hammett ever did, in my opinion. His solo in "One" doesn't even really compare, I think. It's definitely flashy and fast as hell, but it carries no emotional interest or powerful musical moments.

7 Nothing Else Matters

This song is the meaning of music, the heart's art. Angels sing this work of art to the sinners in hell, one single time, letting the sound of silence echo in their souls. Far from the heart, when this piece of sky hits the eardrum, the trust you seek is found for a concise moment.

A passing moment. This song is a lamentation, the funeral and the birth of trust in proximity. Longing. Music is beyond time. The sound touches me and I never care, and I know. We are forever. I found a different view, a different way of looking at people, at distance, at the world, at life, at the spirit. And that is when I realize that nothing else matters.

No, nothing else matters.

8 Ride the Lightning

This should be in the top 5 at least. It has the best intro ever, very heavy and moving riffs, amazing lyrics, the most metal vocals you can ever hear from James, a very well-written and executed guitar solo by Kirk, solid drumming by Lars, and legendary bass by Cliff, which you can hear throughout the song. Seriously, this is Metallica at its peak!

How is this not first or second? This is a hard but obvious choice. Either Master of Puppets or Ride the Lightning. Probably their most famous songs, yet this one isn't (as I make this vote) in the top 10 even, never mind top 2! I even grew up listening to this song probably more than just about any other song.

9 Welcome Home (Sanitarium)

This song has some of the angriest lyrics Metallica ever had. "Dream the same thing every night/I see our freedom in my sight/No locked doors, no windows barred/No things to make my brain seem scarred/Sleep my friend and you will see/That dream is my reality/They keep me locked up in this cage/Can't they see it's why my brain says Rage/Sanitarium, leave me be/Sanitarium, just leave me alone!" I won't say these lyrics are meaningful because the only people that ever called me crazy were for other reasons. But James seems to be really angry in this song, telling people to leave him "alone!"

While the lyrics aren't too bad, the riffs and solos are just really good. The riff at 4:51 was the main reason this is one of my favorite Metallica songs, and the solos before and after the 4:51 riff were epic. The ending was nice, and the intro was one of Metallica's best.

The best part about the song is that there isn't really any Metallica song quite like it, unlike Damage Inc. and Dyers Eve, which are both pretty much the same, except for the fact that Damage Inc. had some good bass, while Dyers Eve didn't. While One and Fade to Black are also good, the intros are pretty much very similar. The Day That Never Comes is also a pretty good song, but I like this one better because of the anger shown in the song.

So basically, Welcome Home (Sanitarium) is a good Metallica song, and everyone should listen to this before even thinking about making a remix for this list. You'll really enjoy the song, especially if you are, or know someone that is considered "crazy."

10 Battery

Love the riff and lyrics.

Lashing out the action, returning the reaction.
Weak are ripped and torn away!
Hypnotizing power, crushing all that cower.
Battery is here to stay!

Probably the best opening track on a metal album. The acoustic guitar opens the song nicely, just to forcefully kick you back in your seat with the overdriven guitar taking the place of that sweet acoustic bit. Then the song just gets better from there. The vocals are some of the best delivered by Hetfield, and the guitar never gets boring or annoying. And just as this song is my favorite by Metallica, Battery has my favorite guitar solo of any Metallica song.

The Contenders
11 The Unforgiven

This song just makes any day better. It always makes me feel good, no matter if I'm angry. I just blast this song, and everything becomes better.

How many single hits are on this album? Five? How many other artists or "artists," if you can call some of them that way, have ever accomplished that? I don't think it's possible anymore. Metallica is simply the best. I thank my best bud ten thousand times for introducing me to this band. They're just... speechless, stunning how mere men can compose such amazing work!

No more the time when artists were composing with their hearts and souls. Now it's just repetitive crap with auto-tune. You can just take the soundtrack of one of their songs and take the lyrics from another song and put them together. You won't know the difference. I have a friend who keeps saying that all they do is scream and make noise and that rock/metal is dead. Then he says, "Rap is more popular because look at the views on YouTube." Sigh!

12 Seek & Destroy

The "Kill 'Em All" version is 6:56, but the "Ride the Lightning" version is 6:41. One thing I noticed was that the solo was sped up a bit, and I think the experimentation was really, really good. The only other version of this song was on "St. Anger". This song is one of the best on "Kill 'Em All," but upon further evaluation, the song will be on the "Ride the Lightning" "What If" album.

"Seek & Destroy" will make the transfer from "KEA" to "RTL." Final decision.

13 ...And Justice for All

This song is really underrated. It is epic. It's gorgeous. It's pure insanity. The whole "And Justice for All" album kicks ass, but this song (side to side with "Frayed Ends of Sanity") just kills any other you might think is the best Metallica song. It has a complex instrumental structure and a rising atmosphere that envelops you until the end. The concept and idea in the song are masterfully worked. The solos are great, and the breakdown after the solo is just orgasmic.

It sounds hollow, just like Doris. It is a perfect example that thrash metal can be complex and elegant, and not just speedy, rough crap.

14 The Four Horsemen

Their second-best song ever, I think, and off their first album. Simply epic. James's screamy vocals are pretty nuts, the "AW YEAH YEAH" is so cool, the guitar tone is raw and rips through the production, and Cliff's bass is perfectly produced so that it cuts through the rest of the production without being overpowering in volume, just as good bass production should be.

The lyrics are sweet, and the riffs are all epic. It's just so well constructed and is a clear precursor to Metallica's later epics to come, like the title tracks for "Ride The Lightning", "Master of Puppets", and "...And Justice For All".

15 The Day that Never Comes

The first half of the song is one of my favorite ballad-type beginnings to any song ever written. As the song progresses, the intensity, anxiety, speed, and complexity of the band take over, thus making it one of the most memorable songs Metallica has ever written.

Being a 16-year-old in 2012, 90% of my peer group listened to Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and others. Thus, I did not listen to Metallica until recently when one of my friends made me listen to this song! And my world opened up to Metallica. Therefore, this still remains my favorite Metallica song. Other songs I loved too were Fade to Black, Master of Puppets, and One.

16 Disposable Heroes

Great picking pattern that is guaranteed to make you rock. Proof that James Hetfield did not work out in the gym but played songs like this. Try not to dislocate your shoulder or arm while you practice it. Do not attempt at home. Two years and many dead arms later, I can manage it for one verse. James Hetfield is a very talented alien.

Disposable Heroes is amazing. The bass in this song is unmatched. No other song has nearly as good bass in it. Everything else just enhances it. The bass is amazing, and everything else just makes the song more powerful and hardcore. Brilliant song. I will never get tired of it.

17 Sad but True

Sad but True has a profound effect on all of us. It materializes the struggle with the inner side of mankind in a way that it appears as two completely different individuals, ultimately revealing that they are actually two sides of the same coin.

This is one of, if not Metallica's heaviest songs with the best lyrics. This song is meant to be heard loud, with the bass turned up. It pumps me up every time I listen to it, and I also sing along.

I think this is the ultimate heavy metal song. If you are new to the heavy metal genre, this is a great song to start with. What I like about Metallica is that they are heavy metal, but they still have rhythm.

18 Orion

I used to skip over this song when I first listened to Master of Puppets just because the intro was so long. I wish I could go back and slap myself because I was missing out. Orion is an absolute masterpiece, probably the most well-composed music Metallica has ever done. Awesome bass from Cliff, ridiculously heavy riffs, and a beautiful winding bridge.

Why is this masterpiece, showcasing the entire band's talent and being one of the signature songs of the late Cliff Burton, not even in the top 15?! I understand that the top 3 or even top 5 or 7 could be reaching due to the sheer number of great Metallica songs, but this definitely deserves more recognition than #16!

19 Blackened

That intro, that pace, those riffs, the meaningful and cheeseless lyrics, and probably the best display of Ulrich's drumming ever (it's hard to believe that the guy who plays in this album is the same as the one who played in the following). It's a pity the bass is almost mute, but you can search for enhanced versions on YouTube. It was a hard pick between this one and "Orion" and "One". But there's something in this juggernaut that moves me in a unique way. Superb.

As much as I love songs like Suicide & Redemption, Fade to Black, That Was Just Your Life, and a classic Spit Out the Bone, this song is what made me love the gods of metal Metallica. Blackened is just a masterpiece, and love them or hate them, they are the real reason why metal became so popular, as well as the likes of Black Sabbath, Motorhead, Judas Priest, and so many more. This is an instant classic!

20 Wherever I May Roam

This is the combination of great lyrics with great music. "Wherever I May Roam" is probably the most universal lyrics Metallica has ever produced. Even people living 1000 years ago could connect with the message behind it. No matter what we think, every one of us struggles for independence. These great lyrics (truly a masterpiece) are wrapped in very stimulating and exciting music.

Definitely in the top 1 to 3 of Metallica. For those fans who have not listened to this song, please sit and seriously listen to it. This is what Metallica is. The song will take you to a different world. James' vocals are outstanding. Listen to its riff, man! Kirk did it best. The lyrics are good too.

21 Damage, Inc.

Tough to choose between Dyers Eve, Disposable Heroes, Fade to Black, and this. The intro makes me think of Cliff rising to heaven with angel wings, wearing his denim and Misfits shirt, smoking a cigarette, and giving everyone the finger. Of course, he didn't die until after this song, but still.

This is absurd! How could this song be so low? "Damage, Inc." has the fastest instrumentals of all time. James says, "GO!" and it erupts into some of the best stuff ever created. I'm disappointed, Metallica fans, that so many of you have overlooked this gem.

22 Dyers Eve

I really don't know why all the Megadeth and Slayer fans think Metallica isn't thrash. Sure, they do have three slower albums, but the rest are hardcore. And you only have to listen to this song to understand what I am saying. I have listened to this song 330 times on my iPod, and the reason why is because of the hardcore riff, bone-crunching lyrics, and a skull-cracking solo mixed in with a very fast tempo throughout the whole song... THRASH 4 LIFE!

People obviously don't know Metallica very well. This is their most underrated and amazing song ever. It's pure anger. Every time I listen to this song, I feel like going on a killing spree. I love every single song in the top ten, but this should for sure be up there at the number one spot. I'm not sure why, but this song is too damn low.

23 The Call of Ktulu

The best track to end the best album. This track is full of atmosphere, epic riffs, excellent bass work (which adds to the atmosphere), and complex drumming. This track really builds up to that epic ending.

It's actually Dave Mustaine's song. (If you listen to "Hangar 18" by Megadeth, you'll see the riffs are alike.) But Dave was kicked out of Metallica, and that's why they never play it live. By the way, the song's name is "The Call of Ktulu" because Cliff loves "The Call of Cthulhu."

Another song with better lyrics than the music industry of today. This song has a virus that infects electronics, causing them to self-destruct. Even weapons blow themselves up.

24 Whiplash

I love the killer riff combined with the lyrics.

Adrenaline starts to flow.
You're thrashing all around.
Acting like a maniac.

This is the best early thrash Metallica song, along with "No Remorse." "Kill 'em All" is a great album that I appreciate more and more as I get older. But these two songs are the gems, in my humble opinion.

Songs like this made them able to progress and build a following throughout the early years. Then you get wee modern punks who think they know it all and call the early stuff crap.

25 Harvester of Sorrow

In my opinion, the intro riff is one of the most driving, darkest, and melodic riffs ever written. It was stuck in my head for three straight days the first time I listened to it. In my opinion, it belongs up there with legends like "Fade to Black" and "Master of Puppets." Right now, it's tied with "Master" for my favorite heavy song, while "Fade to Black" wins for the best ballad.

Here are my favorite Metallica songs:

1. Fade to Black
2. Harvester of Sorrow/Master of Puppets
3. To Live Is to Die
4. For Whom the Bell Tolls
5. Disposable Heroes
6. Nothing Else Matters
7. The Unforgiven
8. Blackened

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