Top 10 80s Metal Songs

#10: Hellhammer – Messiah

Hellhammer’s ‘Messiah’ is a thunderous onslaught of extreme metal that defined the landscape of the genre. Released in 1984, this iconic EP showcases the raw, unbridled power of Hellhammer, a band that laid the foundation for black and death metal. Tom G. Warrior’s ferocious vocals, combined with the relentless barrage of distorted guitars and pounding drums, create an atmosphere of apocalyptic aggression. ‘Messiah’ is a sonic journey into the abyss, with its primal energy and dark, occult themes. As a pivotal release in metal history, it remains a cult classic, influencing generations of musicians and embodying the essence of extreme music.

 

#9: Manowar – Battle Hymm

Manowar’s ‘Battle Hymn’ stands as a seminal anthem in the heavy metal pantheon. Released in 1982, this epic track captures the essence of the band’s bombastic, Viking-inspired ethos. With Eric Adams’ soaring vocals and Ross the Boss’s majestic guitar riffs, ‘Battle Hymn’ is a sonic declaration of war, transporting listeners to a mythical battlefield. Clocking in at over six minutes, the song’s grandiosity is matched only by its lyrical tales of heroism and valor. A true power metal masterpiece, ‘Battle Hymn’ is a rallying cry that resonates with the unbridled spirit of metal and solidifies Manowar’s status as kings of true metal

 

#8: Pentagram – Sign Of The Wolf

Pentagram’s ‘Sign of the Wolf’ is a doom metal anthem that reverberates with dark, primal energy. Featured on the band’s 1985 album ‘Relentless,’ the track encapsulates the essence of traditional doom with its slow, menacing riffs and Bobby Liebling’s haunting vocals. The relentless and hypnotic guitar work by Victor Griffin adds a sinister edge, crafting an atmosphere of impending doom. ‘Sign of the Wolf’ is a sonic journey into the abyss, a testament to Pentagram’s influence on the doom metal genre. It remains a cult favorite, celebrated for its brooding atmosphere and unwavering commitment to the dark side of heavy music.

 

#7: Metallica – Master of Puppets

Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” is a magnum opus in the realm of thrash metal. Released in 1986, the title track from the iconic album is a relentless sonic onslaught, showcasing the band’s technical prowess and songwriting genius. Clocking in at over eight minutes, it weaves intricate guitar harmonies, thunderous drum patterns, and hauntingly poetic lyrics. James Hetfield’s powerful vocals narrate a descent into addiction and control. The shifting dynamics, from blistering speed to melodic interludes, create an opulent tapestry of sound. “Master of Puppets” remains a timeless anthem, symbolizing Metallica’s ascent to metal royalty and defining an era in heavy music.

 

#6: Celtic Frost – Circle of Tyrants

Celtic Frost’s “Circle of Tyrants” is a dark and groundbreaking piece of extreme metal, featured on their 1985 album “To Mega Therion.” This track exemplifies the Swiss band’s innovative approach to the burgeoning black and death metal genres. Tom G. Warrior’s guttural vocals, coupled with the dissonant guitar work, create an ominous atmosphere. The song’s relentless pace, marked by fierce drumming, plunges the listener into a sonic abyss. “Circle of Tyrants” is a haunting journey, fusing elements of doom and thrash, and stands as a testament to Celtic Frost’s influence on the evolution of extreme metal, leaving an indelible mark on the genre.

 

#5: Slayer – Angel of Death

Slayer’s “Angel of Death” is a relentless onslaught of brutality that epitomizes the ferocity of thrash metal. Released in 1986 as the opening track of their landmark album “Reign in Blood,” the song is a sonic inferno, propelled by Dave Lombardo’s relentless drumming and Jeff Hanneman’s frenetic guitar riffs. Tom Araya’s visceral vocal delivery narrates the horrors of Nazi physician Josef Mengele’s experiments. The track’s breakneck speed, dark atmosphere, and unapologetic intensity cement its status as a thrash metal masterpiece, influencing countless bands and solidifying Slayer’s legacy as one of the genre’s most formidable forces.

 

#4: Megadeth – In My Darkest Hour

Megadeth’s “In My Darkest Hour” is a poignant metal ballad that reflects frontman Dave Mustaine’s personal struggles and emotional turmoil. Featured on the 1988 album “So Far, So Good… So What!” the song stands out with its melodic yet intense guitar work and introspective lyrics. Mustaine’s raw and emotive vocals convey a sense of despair and introspection, making it a powerful and cathartic listening experience. The track showcases Megadeth’s ability to balance aggression with emotional depth, solidifying its place as a classic in the thrash metal genre and resonating with fans for its honesty and vulnerability.

 

#3: Motorhead – Please Don’t Touch

Motorhead’s “Please Don’t Touch” is a high-octane rock ‘n’ roll anthem that epitomizes the band’s relentless energy. A collaboration with Girlschool, this track from the 1981 EP of the same name delivers a sonic punch with its thunderous basslines, gritty guitar riffs, and the unmistakable rasp of Lemmy Kilmister’s vocals. The song exudes a rebellious spirit, capturing the essence of Motorhead’s no-nonsense approach to music. “Please Don’t Touch” is a headbanging delight, merging the unbridled power of two iconic bands, and stands as a testament to Motorhead’s enduring legacy as pioneers of speed metal and purveyors of unapologetic, uncompromising rock.

 

#2: Iron Maiden – Rime of The Ancient Mariner

Iron Maiden’s ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ is a masterful musical adaptation of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s epic poem, featured on their 1984 album ‘Powerslave.’ Clocking in at over 13 minutes, the song is a progressive metal opus that weaves a vivid narrative through Bruce Dickinson’s powerful vocals and intricate guitar work by Dave Murray, Adrian Smith, and Janick Gers. The track mirrors the eerie, atmospheric journey of the cursed mariner, blending dynamic shifts, galloping rhythms, and haunting melodies. Steve Harris’s basslines provide a steady backbone, while Nicko McBrain’s drumming propels the listener through the tale’s highs and lows. ‘Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ showcases Iron Maiden’s ability to elevate storytelling within the confines of heavy metal, creating an enduring epic that captures the imagination and cements its place as one of the band’s most ambitious and revered compositions

 

#1: Judas Priest – Breaking The Law

“Breaking the Law” by Judas Priest, released in 1980, is a quintessential anthem of rebellion that has solidified its place in the heavy metal canon. With its iconic opening riff and Rob Halford’s defiant vocals, the song encapsulates the spirit of youthful defiance and nonconformity. The driving force of Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing’s twin guitars, coupled with Ian Hill’s solid bass lines and Dave Holland’s relentless drumming, creates a sonic force that resonates with the rebellious energy of the lyrics. The simplicity of the chorus and the memorable refrain make it a timeless and instantly recognizable track. “Breaking the Law” not only became a commercial success for Judas Priest but also a cultural touchstone, influencing countless bands and remaining a powerful symbol of metal’s rebellious ethos. The song’s enduring popularity is a testament to its universal appeal and the band’s prowess in crafting enduring and impactful metal anthems.

 

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Author: guyute