Top 10 Rock and Metal Songs With Surprising and Unusual Elements

Such as: sax solo in a hard rock song, jazz in a metal song, lyrics in a binary code, musical dialogue, and any other things you find unusual.
Very often these surprising elements are awesome.

The Top Ten

1 Pictures of Home - Deep Purple

It has 5 solos on 4 instruments. Currently there are many songs with different solos but usually they are on less than 4 instruments. Besides, Pictures of Home was released in 1972 and it was quite unusual for that phase of music evolution.
Solos - a great drum intro, 2 cool guitar solos, 1 crazy keyboard solo and even a surprising bass solo!
It also has a catchy riff, pleasant vocals, playful melody and rhythm. - Metal_Treasure

2 Urgent - Foreigner

Instead of the expected guitar solo Foreigner put a sax solo which is pretty unusual to be heard in a hard rock song. This is one of the most memorable sax solos in rock history (from Junior Walker, who wasn't a bandmember). - Metal_Treasure

3 Wheel of Time - Blind Guardian

Similarly to Rainbow, Blind Guardian also used oriental folk tunes in this metal song - I always imagine belly dancers when I hear these tunes. Blind Guardian obviously learn from the best in the business (Ritchie Blackmore, Rainbow) but Blind Guardian took the idea to a whole new level. In addition, Blind Guardian put overlapping vocal harmonies like in Bohemian Rhapsody and spiced this mixture with a perfect symphonic orchestration. One of the best metal songs I’ve ever heard. - Metal_Treasure

Blind Guardian obviously did some reading, and I'm glad. A metal song about a book series that I love? What could be better? - Merilille

4 Flight of Torek - Aina

Jazz in a metal song?
I know what you think but Tobias Sammet would say "Why not? Watch me! "
Tobias Sammet (Edguy, Avantasia) sings jazz for 1 minute in the middle of a power metal song! And I really like it, Tobi sounds great (3:25-4:25). He sings the whole song, not only the jazz section. Aina is probably a side project or he was a guest musician. - Metal_Treasure

5 Gates of Babylon - Rainbow

Ritchie Blackmore used arabic scales that are unusual in rock and metal music because rock and metal are products of the Western Civilization. However, he perfectly blended these arabic elements with metal elements - riffs, rhythms, and so on. The song is about Babylon and arabic scales are just perfect. Gates Of Babylon is a masterpiece - a timeless and epic metal classic. - Metal_Treasure

6 Damien - Iced Earth

This outro is pretty unusual - these are whispered words combined with gregorian chanting in the background. Jon's reversed voice repeats the message that is also in the middle silent section of the song. So, if the song is played backwards, the true message can be heard. - Metal_Treasure

7 Age of Shadows - Ayreon

Part of the lyrics are a binary code and the song goes like that: "01101000, 00010010, 11100010... " (zero one one zero one, and so on...)
This song is a prog metal masterpiece and has many unique elements but lyrics in a binary code is really over the top. The song is about an alien race that needs help and sends the ASCII code:
01101000 - H
01100101 - E
01101100 - L
01110000 - P - Metal_Treasure

8 Die Eier Von Satan - Tool

@CastlevaniaFanboy128 - thanks for this brilliant addition! Is the recipe good? Have you tried it? - Metal_Treasure

9 All for One - Primal Fear

Awesome mini drum solo in the middle of the song right before the guitars solo. Drum solos aren't unusual in metal but they are typically found in the intro, not in the middle. Usually in the middle there are drum fills but this is way longer than a fill. And last but not least, this drum solo is the climax of the song and probably its most memorable element. - Metal_Treasure

10 Sails of Charon - Scorpions

Mindblowing guitar solo in the intro and not in the middle of the song. Currently there are many metal songs with solos in the intro but in 1977 it was really unusual. This is my favorite song by The Scorpions and my favorite riff from Uli. - Metal_Treasure

The Contenders

11 In the Name of God - Dream Theater

They used the morse code to say "Eat My Ass and Balls" - Metal_Treasure

12 Baba O'Riley - The Who

One of the first Rock songs to use a synthesizer, which was confusing and quite unique back then. - MontyPython

13 Lord of the Rings - Blind Guardian

When lyrics in the chorus say "Slow down", music speeds up! This is very odd because it sends controversial messages to your brain and I guess Blind Guardian did it on purpose. It’s really funny at live shows because when Hansi sings "Slow down", the crowd doesn't slow down and actually starts jumping, following the music that speeds up. And Hansi smiles. Pure genius. - Metal_Treasure

14 YYZ - Rush

I quote CastlevaniaFanboy128 - "the drum beat at the beginning is morse code for "YYZ" - Metal_Treasure

15 Spirit Horse of the Cherokee - Manowar

This is probably the most bizzare song I've ever heard. There are many unusual elements and it's better to hear them. - Metal_Treasure

16 As I Am - Dream Theater

@CastlevaniaFanboy128 - this is a great song, however I can't ignore one mistake - it is In the Name of God which has the morse code. - IronSabbathPriest

17 Lateralus - Tool

It's a cop-out to vote for this. But...meh. - AdamDestructorJr.

18 By the Pain I See In Others - Opeth

This is a massive 14 minute song. The first 10 minutes are like a twisted carnival. Then there is about a minutes silence, followed by a reversed sung passage, which actually appears unreversed on the song Master's Apprentices. And that reversed is the scariest thing Opeth has ever done. - IronSabbathPriest

19 Hunting Humans (Insatiable) - Rainbow

There is a unique musical dialogue between the guitar and the singer. I've never heard such a beautiful thing before. Ritchie Blackmore is an amazing songwriter. - Metal_Treasure

20 Kaptein Kaos - Trollfest

Funny folk metal with lyrics in the fictional Troll language (Trollspråk), which is a mixture of Norwegian and German. The video is very funny. - Metal_Treasure

21 Exit the Giants - Dead Brain Cells

Check out the song sample. - Metal_Treasure

22 Locomotive Breath - Jethro Tull
23 Viginti Trees - Tool
24 Summit - Giant Squid
25 Majesty - Blind Guardian

This is one of the fastest metal songs with clean vox (and also pretty heavy) but it opens with a waltz by Johann Strauss II ('The Blue Danube'). - Metal_Treasure

26 Stargazer - Rainbow

Again, arabic scales with radial symmetry in a metal song. The song is about Egypt. - Metal_Treasure

27 Still Life - Iron Maiden

There's a hidden message at the beginning which could only be understood by playing the song backwards. This was a joke and an intended swing back at the critics who had accused Iron Maiden of being Satanic. The backwards-message features Nicko McBrain mimicking actor John Bird's impression of Idi Amin, uttering the following phrase "What ho said the t'ing with the three 'bonce', do not meddle with things you don't understand...", followed by a belch. The phrase itself is taken from the satirical album The Collected Broadcasts of Idi Amin (1975) by Bird and Alan Coren. - Metal_Treasure

28 Ruby Tuesday - Rolling Stones

Flute part in a classic rock song

29 It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'N' Roll) - AC/DC

The bagpipes... enough said

30 Shipwrecked - Alestorm

Weird element...
pirates - AdamDestructorJr.

31 Brother Where You Bound - Supertramp
32 Power Metal Supreme - Silent Knight

The song it's musically quiet, but it's so incredibly dense it makes it unusually brutal - Doomed_God

33 Black No.1 (Little Miss Scare -all) - Type O Negative
34 Adornation - Abyssic
BAdd New Item