Friday 5: Five Songs That Changed Metal
Happy Friday, MetalSucks reader! Welcome to MetalSucks Friday 5, our awesome series that appears every Friday (duh) on MetalSucks (duhh) and involves the quantity of five (duhhh).
Here’s how it works: A list of best/worst/weirdest/whatever five somethings is posted by one of your beloved MetalSucks contributors or by one of our buds (like you?). Then you, our cherished reader, checks it out, has a chuckle, then chimes in with a list of the same. No sweat, just whatever springs to mind, k? (Just like that movie about those losers working at a Chicago record store!) After all, it’s Friday — the day dedicated by the gods to mindless, fun time-wasting. Now let’s shut this week down!
Five Game-Changing Metal Songs
Chuck, co-host of the MetalSucks Podcast
Meshuggah — “Future Breed Machine”
from Destroy Erase Improve (Nuclear Blast)
When this album debuted, no one could have imagined something like it, nor could they see the ripples it would generate. Destroy Erase Improve made everyone look like idiots trying to head bang to it, myself included. So extremely different from their contemporaries, Meshuggah spawned an entire genre from their spastic style.
Death — “Mutilation”
from Scream Bloody Gore (Combat)
I can’t imagine what Death Metal would sound like without Chuck Schuldiner and Scream Bloody Gore. There were heavy genres of metal, but when Death stepped into the fray it showcased the possibilities, riffs, lyrics, and expert guitar in one simple but perfect song.
Slipknot – “Wait And Bleed”
from Slipknot (Roadrunner)
Briefly in the late ’90s (see line-up for Woodstock ’99), metal started to re-enter the mainstream, and much of that had to do with Limp Bizkit and Korn, but Slipknot followed with something actually aggressive and interesting. They could also manage radio-friendly song that spun on rock radio into oblivion like only Metallica had before.
Metallica – “Fade to Black”
from Ride The Lightning (Megaforce/Elektra)
When MS did a retrospective on Ride the Lightning a few weeks ago, I dove back into this album. I listened to it so much in the ’80s, I had not revisited it in years, but putting it into perspective is difficult 30 years later. No one had imagined Thrash metal turning into what happens on this record, and “Fade to Black” beautified a genre that tended lean toward crass and speed instead of grace and structure. I would call and request this song over and over until my favorite DJ actually played it one night at 3 am and I thought the world was coming to an end!
Mastodon – “Where Strides the Behemoth”
from Remission (Relapse)
After Nu Metal had run its short course, there was a void of imitation bands until Mastodon created the masterpiece Remission. Simply eyeballing what followed Mastodon, we see the door opening for so many bands that played heavy — but not extreme — metal music, yet finding acceptance from fans. Arty inspiration, massive riffs, dual vocals, entirely new, fresh, and distinct, “Where Strides the Behemoth” perfectly exemplifies a band that changed the ’00s.
Your turn! Have an awesome wknd!