Idol Listening: Nightrage Guitarist Marios Iliopoulos’ Top Ten Favorite Metal Songs of All Time
Multi-national melodeath outfit Nightrage will release The Puritan on April 24 via Despotz Records (pre-order it here). To get a look into some of the long-running band’s influences, we asked guitarist Marios Iliopoulos to share his ten favorite metal songs of all time — no easy task! — and he compiled an unsurprisingly solid but refreshingly varied playlist. Check it out below, along with his own explanations of why he chose each song.
Check out the new Nightrage song “Desperate Vows,” which premiered here at MetalSucks last month, at the bottom of this post.
1) Metallica – “Battery”
What can you say about this song? From the classical acoustic beginning to the Thin Lizzy-like glorious harmonies to the sharp thrash riffs, James plays like there’s no tomorrow. A masterpiece in metal that will stay forever fresh! Hetfield singing his heart out, and the sound and production is still to this day amazing and untouchable.
2) Iron Maiden – “Aces High”
One of Iron Maiden’s signature songs. They begin with hypnotic Thin Lizzy harmonies, the bass guitar sounds like a lead instrument from the mighty Steve Harris, and Bruce’s vocals are so perfect, high pitched and fit the war theme of the song. Dave and Adrian’s guitars are in perfect harmony, spitting out great riffs and solos, and Nicko McBrain’s drumming is so energetic and powerful, creating one of the best metal songs ever.
3) Testament – “Disciples Of The Watch”
This song made me understand what thrash metal is and how you need to play thrash riffs. It also has amazing hard rock leads with a great feel. Testament wrote an anthem that makes you want to headbang forever. And what a great chorus that is! Then the bridge before the solo, so thrashy, and the lead so beautifully executed by Alex. My God, every time I listen I got chills down my spine. Chuck Billy shows his great death metal vocal abilities, and Eric Peterson is a master of playing triplets. He is like the son of James Hetfield that wants to do it better. Thrash metal perfection, love them to death.
4) Whitesnake- “Crying In The Rain”
What an amazing song — such emotional and passionate vocals from David Coverdale. Guitarist John Sykes is so underrated; he is one of the best. Drummer Aunsley Dunbar has unbelievable groove. You can’t deny that this is one of the best heavy pieces of music ever written — so powerful and emotional at the same time. Great hooks, great riffs.
5) Mercyful Fate – “A Dangerous Meeting”
It grabs you from the very beginning, so scary and haunting. From the great riffs and solos by Denner and Sherman to the voice of King himself, it’s out of this world. Amazing song with the greatest riffs ever played. What a great dark metal atmosphere they have created here, so mysterious and so sinister and painful.
6) Pantera – “Heresy”
Pantera invented style on their own. You can call it “groove metal” or whatever you want, but they are the masters of the heavy metal groove and this song is the epitome of that. Dimebag spits riffs like a maniac, and his solos can sound like James Hetfield and Randy Roads in one… he is perfect. Vinnie’s drumming is so brutal and groovy and he hits SO hard. Phil is one of the greatest vocalists and frontmen metal has ever seen.
7) Death – “Low Life”
Chuck is a God and he created death metal all by himself. With this song he proves that you can still play death metal and be musical. His vocals, riffs and solos are phenomenal. James’s leads are amazing as well and they make all the difference in the world — so melodic and musical within the death metal mayhem that Chuck created.
8) Sepultura – “Inner Self”
This song taught me what is a good riff is and how you can create great songs from great riffs. Max delivers an amazing performance on vocals. His brother Igor’s playing is so passionate; his drumming makes the song so energetic. They have groove, they thrash like no one else, they are hungry, and they don’t give a fuck.
9) Pestilence – “Twisted Truth”
This song showed me that you can be creative when you play death metal. The atmosphere and the emotions that they create are so sinister. The second solo that Mameli plays is one of the best and most atmospheric solos in metal. The way they use synths and strings and blend them within the death metal format makes this song a masterpiece.
10) Xentrix -“Crimes”
The next Metallica, in my opinion. So underrated and so fucking awesome, this song is one of my favorites. Chris’s vocals and lyrics are so amazing; he’s singing about the faults of humanity, and he inspired me to write emotional lyrics. Their harmonies are marvelous. I’m so glad that they’re back. I remember playing their cassette tape Shattered Existence nonstop back in 1989. So inspiring and fun at the same time.