Here’s an alternate ‘Best Metal Songs of the ’90s’ list

Posted by on August 11, 2017

Metal Hammer released their “100 Best Metal Songs of the 90s” two days ago. Look, there are some good songs on that list, no doubt. But as someone who was a fan of metal during the glorious 1980’s, the 1990’s still sting as the decade when metal almost died and the world was introduced to the horror known as nu-metal. Certainly grunge had paved the path for extreme metal’s exit as soon as Nirvana hit the scene with “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” but grunge was tolerable, and, at times, quite enjoyable. It wasn’t, however, really metal. Nu-metal, on the other hand, was a complete disaster and caused a mass migration of metal fans over to other genres. With the exception of what has happening in the Scandinavian scene, the 1990’s were rather desperate times for those of us who rejoiced in the previous decade from beginning to end.

With that in mind, this list contains no grunge, no nu-metal, no post-“Justice” Metallica song, no Machine Head. Nothing with a DJ. It does reflect the tail end of the more important work from some of the best thrash bands that emerged in the 80’s and the early songs from Norway’s greatest artists who were largely still developing their sound (and their ability to record).

Now one always takes on a massive amount of risk when composing these types of lists, but let’s face it, taking on risks in the world of metal journalism is basically what I do.  So, log on to your facebooks and your twitters, get your keypads ready and start searching for your memes to post now, because here we go….

  1. “Heartwork”  Carcass
  2. “Seasons in the Abyss”  Slayer
  3. “I am the Black Wizards”  Emperor
  4. “Mother North”  Satyricon
  5. “Christian Woman”  Type O Negative
  6. “Egypt”  Mercyful Fate
  7. “Walk”  Pantera
  8. “This Love”  Pantera
  9. “Unsung”   Helmet
  10. “The Philosopher”  Death
  11. “Lack of Comprehension”  Death
  12. “How the Gods Kill”  Danzig
  13. “Rapture”  Morbid Angel
  14. “Arise”  Sepultura
  15. “Holy Wars”  Megadeth
  16. “Hanger 18”  Megadeth
  17. “War Ensemble”  Slayer
  18. “Lost at 22”  Life of Agony
  19. “I’m Broken”  Pantera
  20. “Solarfall”  Immortal
  21. “Nattestid Ser Porten Vid I”  Taake
  22. “My Girlfriend’s Girlfriend”  Type O Negative
  23. “Dirty Black Summer”  Danzig
  24. “God of Emptiness”  Morbid Angel
  25. “The Sun No Longer Rises”  Immortal
  26. “A Moment of Clarity”  Death
  27. “The Somberlain”  Dissection
  28. “Pyretta Blaze”  Type O Negative
  29. “Freezing Moon”  Mayhem
  30. Kathaarian Life Code”  Darkthrone
  31. “Tailgunner”  Iron Maiden
  32. “Dead by Dawn”  Deicide
  33. “Stone the Crow”  Down
  34. “Refuse/Resist”  Sepultura
  35. “Painkiller”  Judas Priest
  36. “Mourning Palace”  Dimmu Borgir
  37. “Gorgoroth”  Gorgoroth
  38. “Beg To Differ”  Prong
  39. “Auslander”  Living Colour
  40. “One Rode to Asa Bay”  Bathory
  41. “Ride”  Cathedral
  42. “Unchain the Wolves”  Destroyer 666
  43. “Loke”  Enslaved
  44. “Eye of the Witch”  King Diamond
  45. “Black Lodge”  Anthrax
  46. “Brand New God”  Danzig
  47. “Electric Crown”  Testament
  48. “River Runs Red”   Life of Agony
  49. “Got the Time”  Anthrax
  50. “Cold”  At the Gates

Songs that were “borderline” but didn’t make the cut because they were slightly too grunge, too rap-infused or too punk:

“Goddess”  Mind Funk

“Punishment”  Biohazard

“Dogman”  King’s X

“Low Self Opinion”  Rollins Band

“Running Into Walls”  Into Another

So while the 1990’s were pretty lousy for metal they did give rise to the True Norwegian black metal scene, so we can be thankful for that.  Unfortunately the greater black metal scene that many of these artists paved the way for has now been co-opted by the dull and lifeless black gaze and shoegaze that now dominates gentrified urban areas across the land that raises rents and clogs city sewers with incessant waxed beard clippings and far-too-expensive coffee grounds.   But like objectivity in the media, that scene will die as well.  I guess that’s something to look forward to.  


Commence complaints….  Now.

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