Friday 5: The Most Metal Pink Floyd Songs of All Time
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 set the controls for the heart of the sun!
The Five Most Metal Songs By Pink Floyd
Vince Neilstein, co-editor-in-chief, MetalSucks
5. “Atom Heart Mother”
from Atom Heart Mother (1970, Harvest)
Without “Atom Heart Mother,” the 24-minute, Side A symphonic centerpiece of the album of the same name, there would no Yes or King Crimson (in the forms that we know and love them today, anyway). Without Yes and King Crimson, there’d be no Rush. Without Rush, there’d be no Dream Theater. And without Dream Theater, there’d be no every single fucking prog metal band of today. End of story.
from Dark Side of the Moon (1973, Harvest)
The song is about the unstoppable passage of life’s precious moments and the inevitable pointlessness of it all. How much darker can you get??
3. “Welcome to the Machine”
from Wish You Were Here (1975, Harvest)
This song’s lyrical matter is almost as dark as “Time” (above): the inherent evilness of the music industry … and life. But what makes this song so dark is the music itself; those minor-7 chords, the pulsating keyboard backbeat and razor-sharp lead slices, the most morose acoustic guitar of all time and, weirdly — I’m just realizing this now — no drums except for a few rogue cymbal hits for emphasis.
2. “Young Lust”
from The Wall (1979, Harvest/EMI)
Sure, Pink Floyd’s most overtly “rock n’ roll” song was written to tell the story of Pink’s rockstar excess in The Wall, but it’s still a helluva rock n’ roll song. This is David Gilmour at his best: riffing, soloing, and singing. Oh, how I love his voice here! I’ve always preferred its smooth and at times gritty character versus the shrill shrieks of Roger Waters as heard on most of The Wall.
1. “One of These Days”
from Meddle (Harvest, 1971)
If we go only by metal sonic aesthetic, then “One of These Days” — the opening track to Floyd’s transition album from psyched-out space rock to full-on prog exploration — we find the band sounding like a proto-Morbid Angel. OK, not really. But the thunderous, echoed bass intro, the hard-hitting, distorted, slide guitar at the “drop,” and the driving (by Floyd standards) beat make this one of their heaviest tracks. Its single uttered vocal line, a guttural death growl with as wicked a tone as twisted intention — drummer Nick Mason’s only vocal in the entire Pink Floyd catalog — may have single-handedly inspired David Vincent all those years later.