Misadventures in Heavy Metalling

Third Annual Scandinavian Metal Nominees for Best Country Music Song of the Year

Third Annual Scandinavian Metal Nominees for Best Country Music Song of the Year
Artwork by Matt Smith

As every metalhead knows, the Academy of Country Music Awards are not a highlight of the year. And despite all of the troubles that 2020 has presented thus far, it has not proven to be an exception in this regard. So, instead of being outright canceled, the ACM Awards were simply postponed from April 5 to September 16, which means that the 3rd Annual Scandinavian Metal Nominees for Best American Country Song of 2019 were postponed as well. Read on to learn which Scandinavian metal songs from 2019 could have been considered by the ACM for their deft handling of typical country music thematic content, but were ignored for not musically sucking!

You can catch up with last year’s metal nominees for best country music song of the year here, and the year before that here.

“Breathe in Colours”

Forever Still (Breathe in Colours)

A foot-tapping Danish ditty that captures all of the raw emotion associated with an unfaithful relationship as it derails, Forever Still’s Breathe in Colours is a heartfelt shout-out to all the lonesome cowboys and cowgirls who’ve ever witnessed their partners’ cheatin’ ways with their own two eyes. 

“Crack the Sky”

Amon Amarth (Berserker)

Trucks and guns? Or goats and hammers? Either way, the theme remains the same: intense offroad horsepower and the right to bear arms. As country as it gets. 

“Heart Like a Grave”

Insomnium (Heart Like a Grave)

The yearning for better times is a staple of country music, and Insominum serve the theme up as only death metalheads from one of the world’s most suicide-stereotyped nations can: with heartache, regret, and the irreversible blackening of their wasted souls. 


Abbath (Outstrider)

Abbath’s Hecate spells out in vivid detail the intense physical effects that a man feels throughout his entire body when he falls head over heels for a good country woman, especially when that good country woman happens to be a necromantic pagan Greek goddess. Ain’t nothin’ but a true Norwegian love song.

“Hervors Arv”

Månegarm (Fornaldarsagor)

Tradition, heritage, and the respecting of one’s elders are universal themes in country music, and Månegarm delivers those themes in stride with Hervors Arv, even if the elders in question are dead and must be awakened from the grave with the incantation of heathen runes in order to acquire an ancient dwarven sword. 


Heilung (Futha)

No Nordic musicians eschewed the city life more than Heilung in 2019, as the band clearly demonstrates with Norupo. Swing your partner round and round as you dance to this tune’s catchy lyrics about living off the land, doing things the good, old-fashioned way, and staying true to the simple life. 

“Ragnars Kvæði”

Tyr (Hel)

No “best of the year” country song list would be complete without at least one entry devoted to the trusty theme of leavin’ home and pickin’ fights. In Tyr’s Ragnars Kvæði, those fights don’t occur at a saloon, but the best barroom brawler still wins the undivided affection of the sexiest gal in town, so there’s that.


Hanging Garden (Into That Good Night)

Hanging Garden’s Rain is pure Southern Comfort for the post-break-up heartache blues. It’s all over now, you’re never getting back together again, and the only thing left to do is to break out the bottle of that smooth-drinking whiskey for the ongoing torrential downpour of emotional despair. 


Helheim (Rignir)

Perhaps the most overtly patriotic entry among this year’s nominees, Helheim’s Rignir rejoices in the time-honored country themes of God, guns, and glory, if by which one actually means: a one-handed pagan god of war, a tight noose, and complete and utter defeat. 

“Up North”

Borknagar (True North)

No other Scandinavian metal band delivered a more rousing ode to the love of home and country in 2019 than Borknagar with Up North. This one’s as nostalgic as it gets, especially when the band acknowledges that their home will eventually melt and vanish from the face of the earth.  

“82nd All the Way”

Sabaton (The Great War)

Actually, this one is literally about a U.S. Army war hero from Tennessee.

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