The first metal band I really digged was Iron Maiden. I guess I was about ten years old.
I loved their music instantly. What was there not to love? All the songs had catchy guitar riffs and Bruce Dickinson’s voice was superb.
Years later when I went to high school I got to know some dudes that were into death metal. The genre was something I had to get accustomed to. To be honest, it really had to grow on me, but there was something that fascinated me and I was drawn to it.
The degree of loudness in the music was introduced to me backwards. Starting with Slayer and Obituary and followed by more popular bands like Metallica and Megadeth.
I got hooked and started listening to a lot of different metal bands and styles. I also started transcribing and playing a lot of metal on my guitar. My favorite metal bands became Sepultura, Death, Slayer, Pantera and of course Metallica and Megadeth.
I was hypnotized by Max Cavalera’s (Sepultura) heavy and diverse rhythm guitar parts, Marty Friedman’s (Megadeth) melodic speed soloing and Dimebag’s (Pantera) crazy wild bombastic riffs. There was so much creativity going on in all of these guitar players. An endless source of inspiration.
While these days I listen more to music that is totally the opposite like Ryan Adams and Damien Rice, I still get totally lost in the music whenever I put on a metal track.
There is so much to learn from listening and playing metal. If you want to learn about amazing rhythm, riffing and technique then metal is where you need to be. I developed a real sense of rhythmic feel and technique by listening and practicing all those bands.
So I decided to create a list with 50 of the best metal songs of all times.
The list below is in no particular order and incomplete, but it’s here to inspire you and to get to know some awesome metal songs, riffs, solos and bands you might not have heard of or just to refresh your memory of songs you haven’t heard in quite a while. There are also more songs from each band that are just as awesome but I tried to put in as much diversity as possible.
Take your guitar out of the stand, plug it in and learn to play some of the best metal songs ever!
Tip: Click on the song title to listen to the song and click on “Tab” to find the official guitar tablature.
Note: I want you to know I earn a small commission if you make a purchase through an amazon link to support the Guitarhabits website.
2 – Hallowed by the name – Iron Maiden
6 – Painkiller – Judas Priest
10 – Rime of the ancient mariner – Iron Maiden
16 – Black metal – Venom
17 – Freezing moon – Mayhem
22 – Territory – Sepultura
24 – Eagle fly free – Helloween
26 – Chopped in half – Obituary
27 – Babylon – Soulfly
30 – Crystal mountain – Death
33 – Evil – Mercyful Fate
36 – Blackwater Park – Opeth
38 – Kings of metal – Manowar
39 – Heartwork – Carcass
40 – Chapel of ghouls – Morbid angel
41 – Over the wall – Testament
44 – Balls to the wall – Accept
45 – Scum – Napalm death
46 – Lateralus – Tool
48 – Imperium – Machine head
49 – Dead But Dreaming – Deceide
50 – Punishment – Biohazard
So what’s your favorite metal song?
Please share in the comments.