I would like to preface this article with the concept that having gratitude is one of the most important decisions a person can make in their life. There’s almost no limit on the amount of things to be thankful for. You may find gratitude in the unwavering support of your loved ones, the fact that against all odds you exist in a time where you’re able to eat regular warm meals and have a protective roof over your head, or maybe you’re lucky enough to own your very own cute dog to show the world on social media. Whatever it is, I’m very glad you see how lucky you are. However, I would like to express to you now that all those examples, as well as everything else you love is frighteningly impermanent. So naturally, the only thing to do in the face of this life-leveling revelation is give thanks to the one thing that truly never dies, heavy metal. Feel free to listen to all of these songs as well as many more metal songs about metal on our Thanksgiving Spotify Playlist.
16. Sabaton – “Metal Crue”
I once had a debate with this vocalist about the origins of power metal. Now, whether the first power metal band is Rainbow or Helloween isn’t the point (it’s Helloween by the way, he’s clearly taken in too many tank fumes to know better). The point is Sabaton gives history lessons like no other band and in this case they run down a massive list of metal bands you should be listening to as a self-respecting metalhead.
15. Accept – “Metal Heart”
Far into the distant future of 1999, Accept describes a world where humanity suffers facing its demise. The story continues with possibly robots or maybe cyborgs, I’m not really sure but you get to sing “metal heart!” a lot so that’s gotta count for something.
14. Masterplan – “Headbangers Ballroom”
You know how being a person can be super lonely? So does Masterplan. This power metal supergroup exemplifies how it feels to let go of your stresses and pain when you walk into whatever dirty venue you decide to go see metal shows at.
13. Emerald Sun – “Planet Metal”
It may seem that sometimes you’re the only person in the room who understands the true power of metal. However, did you know there’s a planet just for metalheads? Yeah, there is, Emerald Sun says so. This song is power metal 101 and even has its very own alien drum bunny (if you get that reference DM me because we’re now best friends).
12. Helloween – “Heavy Metal (Is the Law)”
Helloween has put out some of the most genre-defining metal albums of all time. Yet before creating a subgenre on their own they were still creating metal anthems filled with driving double bass rhythms and singable choruses. Plus, they call us all wizards in this one which is super metal.
11. Strapping Young Lad – “Far Beyond Metal”
Strapping Young Lad was like a heavy metal sledgehammer. There’s not much that needs to be said that Devin didn’t make clear in this song but if you needed any reassurance the legend himself Oderus Urungus helps get the point across. That point being, “Don’t you fuck with metal!”.
10. Amon Amarth – “Metal Wrath”
Amon Amarth may be singing about Viking weaponry when they say “it’s in our souls, metal is the way!” but I choose to live in a world where murderous bloodshed is replaced with spending too much on vinyl reissues and tour shirts, thanks for the anthem Amon Amarth.
9. Judas Priest – “Metal Meltdown”
It’s very difficult to pick one Judas Priest song for a list about being metal. However, “Metal Meltdown” is relentless and expresses the pure unstoppable momentum of metal.
8. Dream Evil – “The Book of Heavy Metal”
You want to feel powerful, bro? You want a riff to take your metalness up to eleven? I know that sounds stupid but, Dream Evil wouldn’t care so you shouldn’t either. Just blast this song and let that riff and chorus make you more metal than you thought you could be.
7. Venom – “Black Metal”
There may not be a more visceral and direct song on this list. Venom has no interest in beating around the bush, just doing stuff with Satan and being metal. “Lay down your souls to the gods rock ‘n roll! Oh! Black Metal!”
6. 3 Inches of Blood – “Deadly Sinners”
3 inches of blood was waving the metal banner in a time when metalcore was running rampant and nu metal was on its third wave. “Deadly Sinners” is an open threat to those not willing to stand strong for true metal. “Enemies of metal, your death is our reward!”
5. Manowar – “Metal Daze”
This entire list could be Manowar songs. Unfortunately, most of their songs are about how metal Manowar is, or how strong and loud Manowar is, or how many ladies Manowar kisses. “Metal Daze,” however, feels more like an anthem for all of us, “’cause there’s only one thing that sets me free, heavy metal loud as it can be!”
4. Pantera – “Goddamn Electric”
Pantera was one of those bands that had the ability to transform anything they were able to connect with. In some cases that was changing the perspective of the metal world and in other cases it was giving a puberty ridden and mulleted teenage boy the false confidence he needed to get though his daily life. Regardless, Pantera lyrically gives the nod to Sabbath, Slayer, and shows us how to live with an eternally youthful perspective with this song.
3. Metallica – “Whiplash”
Kill ‘Em All has a few choice tracks that would fit on this list. As badly as I wanted to put “Metal Militia” on here, twelve year old me wouldn’t let me forget how badly my neck hurt the day after seeing Metallica play “Whiplash” live. If you haven’t felt the experience described in this song you missed some fundamental metal lessons.
2. Lost Horizon – “Sworn in the Metal Wind”
If there’s a war cry that would let loose the metal warriors onto the masses it’s the first four vocal notes of this song. This song quickly unleashes galloping rhythms and melodic guitars while reminding us all that being metal gives us strength. “Every warrior has a gash on his sword, don’t forget you are metal not some ass kissing whore”.
1. Primal Fear – “Metal is Forever”
Primal Fear lay out every aspect of what makes metal so special in this song. This is heavy metal in its purest form. There is no need to do any convincing, if you’re metal and you put this track on you’ll understand and remember why metal is the only thing worth being thankful for.