10 : Life of Agony – Seasons
From : Ugly, 1995
In the post-thrash 90’s metal lost it’s way a bit. But thanks to bands like Life of Agony it forged a new one. After the “interesting” “River Runs Red” they returned with this masterpiece. I loved every minute of it, even the surprise cover. It’s got one leg in Goth, one in Alternative. But the majestic Third Leg is firmly in the Metal scene and Seasons shows off all they can do – crushing riffs, catchy choruses, great lyrics and more emotions in 6 minutes than every UK Soap Opera has in a year. And, of course, Keith Caputo. Honestly his ( as he was then ) voice just shines out on everything he does and when you hear the sorrowful introversion that is “Seasons” you cannot help but be pulled into the sea of suffering. If you haven’t heard of it before – go listen to this. It’s part of the metal legacy.
9 : Megadeth – Holy Wars…The Punishment Due
From : Rust in Peace, 1990
Let’s face it, Megadeth were better than Metallica in the golden period. Like streaks ahead. The songs were better, the attention to detail on the guitar was better. All the leads weren’t covered in wah. And Holy War is the perfect example of that. Showing off their new drummer and lead guitarist (And new found heaviness), this track spanks off Rust In Peace with the sort of umph that you would normally only be able to achieve with a box of Viagra, two crates of Red Bull and a much diminished sense of restraint. The Remastered version here shows just how good the recording was, how excellent the songwriting was and how effortlessly they held up in the Big 4.
8 : Black Sabbath – War Pigs
From : Paranoid, 1970
As if we weren’t gonna include this! Some might argue it needs to go higher but some others might argue Black Sabbath’s eponymous opener for the eponymous album was better as a first track. I disagree. That siren, the bass and the chainsaw guitar tone is as about as definitive of what classic Metal sounds like as anything else. Well.. except for one…. Read on.
7 : Sacred Reich – Death Squad
From : Ignorance, 1987
More skank for your buck than anything else in the late 1980’s. When elbow-flailing was a thing on a metal dance floor, this was almost certainly the culprit. It has so much groove it’s almost unbearable. And a brave decision to place 1:30 before the track kicks in proper. But it worked. And you can hear that same love of just jumping around on every Sacred Reich track afterwards. It’s what turned me on to them. They took the best bit of a Thrash song – the half time middle 8 – and slammed it at the start. Pudding for starters? Don’t mind if I do.
6 : S.O.D. – March of the S.O.D. / Sergeant D and the S.O.D.
From : Speak English or Die, 1985
If you don’t know this opening riff you have failed at life. Good thing we were here. That would have been embarrassing for you otherwise. If you did know this then I don’t need so say any more. You get it. And why it’s so high up on this list. Not Sergeant D’s list. I’ve been on that list for 35 odd years and I still haven’t had my sisters tits mailed back to me yet, nor did he ensure I feasted on my own lips. I have a sneaking suspicion he has forgotten about me.