Black Sabbath

Playlist: Vampires, and Monsters, and Ghosts, Oh My!

It’s my favorite time of year, Halloween! Keep the lights on and don’t look behind you, things are about to get spooky. This is the time that belongs to the creatures of the night that stalk their prey. Or maybe they just want some free candy, you never know. To get you in the mood for All Hallows Eve, here are some songs about our favorite hideous monsters.

“I Was a Teenage Werewolf” – The Cramps

Not all monsters are inherently bad. Some are just misunderstood. This Cramps song, based on the 1957 horror movie of the same name, talks about a young werewolf with his own problems. Like all good monsters, he doesn’t want to kill people, but he can’t help it. Throughout the song, he begs for someone to stop him and even pleads to “stop this pain” by the end of the song. It’s a slow-burning, rockabilly romp that reminds us no matter if you’re human or not, being a teenager sucks.

“Return of the Phantom Stranger” – Rob Zombie

A Halloween playlist isn’t complete without a Rob Zombie song. On this track from Hellbilly Deluxe, Zombie describes the goings-on of a mysterious creature only known as the Phantom Stranger. With Zombie’s low growl delivering the vocals and the lyrics mentioning a “shape-shifting” creature with a “wretched heart” that stalks throughout the night, it perfectly sets up a creepy tone. By the song’s end, you still don’t know what the Phantom Stranger is, but you know you don’t want to run into it. For more spooky times with Rob Zombie, check out “How To Make a Monster.”

“Would You Love a Monster Man?” – Lordi

This track by Finnish rock band Lordi doesn’t deny the horribleness of the monster in question. Instead, they ask is it possible for him to find love? Showing us another side of monsters, this creature just wants someone by his side as he terrorizes those around him. The track rages ahead assuring us that loving said monster isn’t a crime even though he readily admits he’ll kill just for the thrill of it.

“We Bite” – The Misfits

Seminal punk band The Misfits are unapologetic on this violent track. In under two minutes, the band screams about rampaging through the streets looking to rip out throats of the innocent. It’s unknown whether these are starving vampires or horrific creatures out for blood. Even though the song constantly repeats “I rip your throat/I drink your blood” it manages to be gruesome with the ferocity and brutal nature of the track. Then again it’s The Misfits; we wouldn’t expect anything less from them.

“Here Comes the Bride (The Bride of Frankenstein)” – Elvira

Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, has been a staple in all things horror since the creation of the character back in 1981. She’s done movies, comics, and even music. And her songs are wonderfully weird and cheesy. On this track from the 1994 collection, Elvira Presents Monster Hits, the Mistress of the Dark “sings” about the Bride of Frankenstein in all her horrible glory. The lyrics are corny with mention of her green pallor, stitched together body parts, and ghoulish nature while a gang cheerfully sings “Here comes the bride!” To make things cringy the song ends with a lame Shaft reference: “The Bride of Frankenstein! DUUUH!!/He’s one bad muther f-/(Shut your mouth)/Well I’m just talkin’ about Frankenstein.” It’s by no means a good song, but it’s hilariously entertaining.

“Bark At the Moon” – Ozzy Osbourne

This classic Ozzy track follows a creature, most likely a werewolf, as it terrorizes through town. The song tells the story of a creature the townspeople thought they got rid of when they buried him. He returns for vengeance and sets about causing chaos. It’s the perfect Halloween track that has a hilariously cheesy video to go with it. The clip depicts Ozzy as Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde drinking a mysterious potion and transforming into a werewolf. Looking at it now it seems silly that anyone would think it’s scary or that Ozzy is actually evil. It looks like a cheap b-horror movie you watch for laughs.

“We Suck Young Blood” – Radiohead

A truly haunting song, it’s not actually about vampires. Apparently, it’s about the exploitation of Hollywood and how they suck the life out of young talent. Still, with the macabre lyrics, chilling music, and shivering vocals it could easily be applied to the creatures of the night. Yorke sounds vulnerable yet creepy as he sings “Are you sweet?/Are you fresh?/Are you strung up by the wrists?/We want the young blood.” And the moody piano melody is ripped from a Gothic film. The song never has to get violent or gruesome to depict the horror of what’s going on.

“Release the Bats” – The Birthday Party

Serving as an influence on the then-emerging Goth scene, this track makes vampires seem cool and sexy. With a rockabilly swing, Nick Cave sings about a lady who doesn’t mind being bitten. She even hopes “those bats would bite.” Cave sounds delirious, yet thrilled as he screams “Release the bats! Release the bats” hoping vampires will come party with him. Cave and co thought vampires were cool long before Stephanie Meyers clumsily cashed in on the trend.

“Werewolves of London” – Warren Zevon

This classic rock track is surprisingly upbeat for a song about a werewolf on the loose. The lyrics follow a werewolf through the streets of London where he mutilates an old woman. But he also seems pretty mundane drinking Pina Coladas and searching for some good Chinese food. The song acts more of a warning saying when you hear him howling, you better stay away. And, as you would expect, the chorus features a bunch of howling. It’s one of Warren Zevon”s most well-known hits that started out as a joke.

“Night of the Vampire” – Roky Erickson

With a gloomy demeanor and a slow-burning guitar riff, this song was made for Halloween. There’s nothing creepy or gruesome about the track, but it gives off this sinister vibe. As Erickson sings about slipping in blood and painful vampire bites, you picture dead spooky forests covered in fog and a hooded figure in the distance. In 1997, Swedish death metal band Entombed covered the track for their self-titled EP. They put their gritty, hard edge spin on it, but the original reigns supreme.

“The Thing that Should Not Be” – Metallica

Leave it to Metallica to tackle one of horror’s most terrifying creatures: Cthulhu. In a mass of crunching guitars and intense percussion, James Hetfield describes the beast as lurking beneath the ocean waiting to cause destruction. Just staring at the creature will drive you insane as they point out in the song. The band references H.P. Lovecraft’s story “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” specifically. This wouldn’t be the only time Metallica has written about the great beast. They also spoke of the beast in Ride the Lightning‘s “Call of Ktulu.” Clearly, they’re big fans of the monster.

“Black Sabbath” – Black Sabbath

This song has already been featured on other Halloween playlists, but it fits right in. Its tolling church bells, Ozzy’s wailing, and the overall sense of doom make it an eerie song. While it may not be about one ghost, in particular, it’s based on an experience Geezer Butler had during the early days of the band. He woke up in the middle of the night and saw a spirit at the end of his bed. Whether it was real or just drugs, the image makes you shudder just thinking about it.

Which of these songs is your favorite? Which ones did I miss? Let me know in the comments!

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Playlist: I Think I’m Paranoid

Everyone gets paranoid from time to time. Sometimes you end up in the dark area of Youtube at 1:30AM and need to make sure the doors are locked. Or you’re sitting at home watching a movie when a thud makes you get up and search until you find it. It’s a normal feeling; some even say a little paranoia is good – it keeps you on your toes. But what happens when things go too far? It can turn into an unhealthy obsession, always checking over your shoulder. Or sometimes, there may actually be somebody behind you, watching your every move. These songs are for those times when you’re feeling on edge, thinking you’re being followed or watched. As some of these songs prove, you may not be alone.

“Who Can It Be Now?” – Men at Work

Sometimes there’s no greater dread than hearing an unexpected knock at the door. Is it the mail carrier? Or is it a kidnapper coming to take you away? That’s what Men at Work are wondering on this track. Collin Hay is paranoid and maybe a little agoraphobic as he sings about not leaving the house and feeling safest in his home. It’s a little weird, but who hasn’t pretended like they weren’t home when the doorbell rang? But then you start to question the singer as he assures us there’s nothing wrong with his state of mind and even worries that “the men” will come to take him away. The song doesn’t make you feel any better about being paranoid, but at least it has that killer sax riff.

“Somebody’s Watching Me” – Rockwell

This is the greatest and most ridiculous song dedicated to paranoia. Rockwell sings about coming home after a hard day and living in fear he’s not alone. He drops references to Psycho and The Twilight Zone while looking over his shoulder to see if he’s being watched (like that old Bugs Bunny joke). Though the singer is most likely being paranoid, we’ve all felt like there was something in the closet watching us in bed. Or even someone behind us as we sit in front of our computers…never mind. The song is cheesy, but what saves it is Michael Jackson’s hook. It proves that Jackson can make the most horrible songs sound good.

“Don’t Stand So Close to Me” – The Police

While the song could easily be used to describe how you’re feeling on the train during rush hour, the song is about an inappropriate student-teacher relationship. Sting croons about a teacher fretting over a student crush and what the consequences are if it gets out of hand. Of course, things do go further leading up to a confrontation with the rest of the staff near the end of the song. Oddly enough, Sting was an English teacher but he denies the song is autobiographical. The Police seem pretty paranoid and creepy as a later entry on the list will show.

“Paranoid and Aroused” – Korn

It’s all in the title. This song explores someone fighting off their demons and constantly feeling on edge, thinking the demons are going to win in the end. This person descends further into madness, medication being no help until they’re at the point of breaking and losing control. Though the title may make you think there’s something sexual happening while freaking out, there’s nothing of the sort. It’s more that the person can’t let their guard down for one second for fear something is out to get them.

 

“Paranoid” – Black Sabbath

What would later be known as one of Black Sabbath’s best songs, “Paranoid” is about a guy whose – well you get the idea. Ozzy waxes about not feeling emotions like love, happiness, and joy properly prompting him to think something is wrong with him. There’s nothing he can do except live with his fate. Notably, the guitar riff frantically races along representing the nervous energy of this poor guy. Though it’s one of the breakout tracks from the band’s second album of the same name, Geezer Butler has described it as a throwaway track; something to fill up three minutes. If you had to have a soundtrack for your paranoia, this wouldn’t be a bad song to have.

“I Think I’m Paranoid” – Garbage

One of Garbage’s biggest hits finds Shirley Manson not really sure who she is. She begs to be bent, molded and manipulated just to please someone or something. So what is she paranoid over? There are different theories ranging from wanting to please a guy to drugs. According to Butch Vig, the song has more to do with the music business than about someone who is actually paranoid, but the lyrics are still applicable. It’s probably the first song you thought of when you opened the playlist.

“Every Breath You Take” – The Police

This is one of the most misinterpreted songs in music history. Many believe it’s simply a love song; someone yearning for their loved one and not wanting to be lonely. Some have even gone as far as to make it their wedding song. Truth is, the song is from the perspective of a possessive ex-lover who cannot get over the person they lost. Keep that in mind the next time you hear the opening verse: “Every breath you take/every move you make/every bond you break/every step you take/I’ll be watching you.: Yes, this person is a stalker. It’s unsettling especially when you watch the video, which features Sting staring eerily at the camera. And people still couldn’t see this wasn’t a love song? Seems like The Police have some issues to work through.

“Obsession” – Animotion

 

This 80s one hit wonder seems like one of those oddly weird love songs that populated the decade. If you only pay attention to the opening verse, it seems like it’s about someone who wants someone else so badly they’re willing to do anything. A little weird, but not unheard of. It’s not until the second verse where things get unsettling: “I need you I need you/By sun or candlelight/You protest/You want to leave/Stay/Oh, there’s no alternative.” At this point, someone is being held hostage. Guess they were serious about the collecting and capture you line they sing before the hook. It’s one of those “Gotcha!” songs. You’re happily singing it without realizing it’s creepy as hell.

“Follow You” – Night Riots

This is another one of those “Gotcha” songs I mentioned earlier. The song is super catchy and Travis Hawley’s voice is so seductive you almost don’t realize how disturbing the song is: “I will follow you home/’Cause I know where you live/You’ll never be alone/’Cause I know where you live.” No matter how sweet it may sound when you’re hearing it, the song is about being a stalker. This guy doesn’t know the girl in question (“I saw your face inside the newspaper”) and proceeds to watch her undress because he’s convinced he’s in love. There’s nothing sweet and adorable about stalking someone no matter how good Hawley sounds while singing about it. It’s one of those songs that makes you stop and go “what the fuck is happening here?”

“Paranoid Android” – Radiohead

From the seemingly batshit lyrics to the constant sonic shifts, this song is paranoia incarnate. It begins softly with Thom Yorke whispering “please stop this noise/I’m trying to get some rest” already making his discomfort clear. It wastes no time getting weird with the next line “from all the unborn chicken voices in my head.” Right away we know something is not sitting well with this person. It continues in this fragile style until the bridge where gritty guitars take over as if to show this person’s breakdown. It’s haunting, yet beautiful all at once. Yorke was inspired to write the song after a nightmarish scenario in an LA bar. It’s claustrophobic, gritty, and intense and may just make you look over your shoulder when you hear it.

“I’m Afraid of Everyone” – The National

This song is a heartbreaking looking at paranoia and anxiety. It looks at someone trying to continue life in a normal fashion when everything around them is falling apart. Singer Matt Berninger croons “With my kid on my shoulders I try/Not to hurt anybody I like/But I don’t have the drugs to sort it out” showing the person on the verge of a breakdown. The music starts out fragile, like the person’s state of mind, and continually gets more stark and aggressive towards the end. Berninger ends with the line “Little voices swallowing my soul” hinting that the person has lost their battle with anxiety. It’s a haunting portrayal showing how serious the problem can get.

“One Way or Another” – Blondie

What starts out sounding like a playful is actually a disturbing account of being followed. Inspired by Debbie Harry’s ex-boyfriend, who stalked her after their broke up, the song is about someone hell bent on possessing someone. Harry sings about following them downtown, driving by their house, and stalking them through the mall. The song gets eerier as Harry grows instant on tracking down this person to the point where it sounds like she wants to harm them: “Lead you to the supermarket checkout/Some specials and rat food, get lost in the crowd.” The punk nature and Harry’s seductive vocals can’t hide how creepy this song is. And to think I used to sing this as a kid.

Which song puts you on edge? Which ode to paranoia did I forget? Let me know in the comments!

Everyday is Halloween Anthology – Ministry

Release Year: 2010

Rating: 6/10

Every band has a slow period between recording albums and touring. This makes it prime time for random compilation records to keep sales up. Greatest hits, remix, and sometimes rarities albums are what artists turn to hoping fans will eat it up. That must have been the case with this Ministry release. The band wasn’t satisfied with a straightforward compilation with only their singles or only remixes. They decided to do a hybrid release mixing hits with remixes and covers. Now the question is was it worth it?

This album isn’t sure what it wants to be. Is it a retrospective? A cover album? A remix record? The first half is nothing but classic Ministry songs re-recorded and remastered. Why? I don’t know. The songs, “NWO,” “Jesus Built My Hotrod,” and “Stigmata” all sound similar to their original counterparts. Sure, that may be the point, but it makes them unnecessary. It’s not like the band change the tracks drastically. Usually, it’s more distorted vocals that are hard to make out and louder gritty guitars. The remix of “Everyday is Halloween” is pretty good, but since it has more of a heavy metal vibe, it sounds like a Rob Zombie song.

You would think the saving grace would be the covers. Well, they’re not horrible. The band plays it straight with most of the songs, like “Paint it Black” and “Sharp Dressed Man.” They keep the same format and vibe of the track and add in lots of guitars. The same goes for “Thunderstruck” and “Stranglehold.” Whereas the latter track has an industrial groove, the former is pretty true to the original. The only problem is Al Jourgensen’s vocals don’t exactly work with the song. While these covers aren’t terrible, they’re pretty bland and forgettable.

The “Iron Man” cover is actually the best cover on the album. They take the unmistakable riff from the classic Black Sabbath track and integrate it with their fast paced, synth electro madness. Instead of keeping the dark and gloomy mood, they turn it into something chaotic, wild, and destructive. They really make the song their own without shitting all over the original. It’s something both Sabbath and Ministry fans will appreciate.

One of the strangest, yet more entertaining covers is Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab.” As you would expect, it’s the complete opposite of the original. It’s insanity incarnate with Jourgensen screaming “They try to make go to rehab/and I said/No!/No!/No!” It’s kind of an ironic cover since he had his own drug problems over the years. With the hard driving music, brutal nature, and aggressive vocals, the cover is certainly unique. It’s not necessarily good, but it’s so ridiculous and intense it’s hard not to like it.

Even though it’s an interesting idea, the album is unsatisfying. The remastered songs are pointless and most of the covers are bland. It seems like they needed to release something, did some covers, but needed more material to pad out the LP. It would’ve been better off if it was released as a short covers EP. The album is one of those forgettable albums that gets old after the first few tracks. After listening to this, I’m convinced cover albums are never a good idea.

Musical Rant: The Let Down of Band Reunions

Well, it’s finally here. The news is out, pre-sales started, and scalpers are ready. Guns N Roses are officially hitting the road this year. But not just a bloated Axl Rose with new young replacements to be his backing band. It’s Rose and most of the original members, minus Izzy Stradlin. Everyone is freaking out with excitement at the thought of catching the original bad boys performing together once again. But it seems like people are forgetting something. This is Axl Rose we’re talking about.

How many concerts has this guy walked out on or not showed up for? He infamously got the group banned from St. Louis because security didn’t deal with a guy who was taking photos of him. He’s known for his random rants and hissy fits as if anything can set him off. And he’s notoriously late. In 2010, the band got on stage an hour late causing them to play til 2AM. The crowd couldn’t take anymore and started walking out. Personally, I don’t think this reunion stands a chance. There’s a reason the band moved away from Rose in the first place. And it already got off to a rocky start with Rose canceling his appearance on Jimmy Kimmel.

This got me thinking about band reunions in general and I came to one conclusion: they suck. Sure, some of them are pretty successful, like Refused or Black Sabbath. But most of them are nothing but disappointing ventures that produce lackluster new material. Just look at Van Halen. It took two attempts to reunite them with David Lee Roth before it finally worked out. Even then their latest output hasn’t been great. And how about Blink-182? They set fans’ hope high with a reunion, new album, and tour. It looked like things were looking up until the band imploded. Now, they’re trying again with a new guy, but that’s a rant for another day.

When there’s bad blood between band members who then try to reunite are like that one friend you have. You guys used to hang out and talk, but somewhere along the line you stopped contacting them. Then one day you’re bored, they pop into your head, and you contact them out of the blue. And then you remember why you guys aren’t friends anymore. It seems when a lot of bad blood exist between bands there’s no amount of money that can heal those wounds. If it’s not a band trying to put their hatred aside for yet another reunion, it’s a band who haven’t done anything together in a while and release a new album. And man, is it disappointing.

This is another reason band reunions suck. They never seem to live up to expectations. Maybe it’s the fans putting too much stock into it. Maybe the band doesn’t work well together anymore. For one reason or another usually the new output is nowhere near as good as their past work. As I said before there are exceptions, but how about No Doubt? Gwen Stefani returned to the band in 2012, more than 10 years since their last album, and they released Push and Shove. It performed decently on the charts, but the album was overall unmemorable. Now, Stefani is out of the band, maybe. Some bands just can’t get it together after being apart for a considerable length of time. It seems something is lost when you don’t work with someone for over ten years.

I get it. Your favorite band getting back together is exciting and brings back so many good memories. You want those moments and good times back, but no matter how good something is the reformed band won’t live up to your expectations. The music won’t be as good, the vibe will be different, or they just won’t sound the same. No matter what you think, something is going to be different and chances are you’re going to hate it. But I guess you can’t blame a band for trying to recapture that old spark. After all, it’s worked out quite well for other bands, like Megadeth. Maybe we as fans need to remember when we hear a band is getting back together, it’s not gonna be perfect and it may just not work out at all. So don’t get those expectations up too high when buying those Guns N Roses tickets.

Playlist: This is the End of the World

Even though Donald Trump is running for president, we made it another year without the world imploding. It wasn’t that long ago when people didn’t think we’d make it to 2016. Whether it was nuclear war, Y2K, the Mayaen calendar, or Judgement Day, people felt the world was going to come to an end sometime soon. Still, it remains a topic of interest, especially for musicians. Several of artists envision what the end of the world will actually look like and it’s usually pretty scary. Here are a handful of songs about the apocalypse to remind you that not everyone thought we’d make it this far.

“Apocalypse Please” – Muse

Muse are no strangers when dealing with the end of the world. Many of their songs and videos reference it, but this track from Absolution does it best. The music comes marching in and sounds like it’s crashing down on you. Everything sounds like damnation before anything has started. As always, Matt Bellamy sounds sweet as he sings such fateful lines like “And this is the end/the end/this is the end/of the world.” As the music swells and Bellamy keeps pounding on the keys, the vibe gets steadily dramatic counting down to the moment where everything disappears. If there was a soundtrack for the apocalypse, this would be the first track.

“London Calling” – The Clash

Perhaps their most popular song, The Clash maps out the nuclear apocalypse on this single where they reference hiding in cupboards, the ice age, an enclosing sun, and “nuclear error.” The title itself is a reference to the BBC World Services identification during World World II. According to Joe Strummer the song came about from the events of Three Mile Island, which left him concerned about the state of the future. The track is also about the disintegration of the band. During this time they struggled with high debt, no management, and inner band disagreements. This is where the line about “phony Beatlemaina” comes in; they felt the punk rock bubble would burst at the end of the 70s. Unfortunately, they were right.

“Last Day on Earth” – Marilyn Manson

Like most of Manson’s songs, this one probably isn’t as cut and dry as we think, but it does have a lot of references to the apocalypse. In the track Manson finally finds his love, yet realizes it’s too late since the world is about to end. Featured on the excellent Mechanical Animals, the song is one of his most somber, depressing, and sentimental. Listening to the slow, echoing guitar riff and the swelling music gives you this sense of hopelessness. It also makes you think how would you spend the last day on earth with your lover. Though it is one of his best songs in his catalog, it does leave you shaken and isolated.

“The Final Countdown” – Europe

Whether you love it or hate it this song is one of the most ridiculous and overblown of the 80s. And it’s so much fucking fun to listen to. That iconic synth riff you sing out loud, shouting “it’s the final countdown!,” and the simple hook all make for an unforgettable song. Even though it has a party vibe, it’s actually about leaving behind an Earth that’s spent and finding life on another planet. Frontman Joey Tempest described the song as being both optimistic and apocalyptic. It’s exciting to be starting life on a new planet, but also sad to leave Earth behind, especially if loved ones were still there. This is one song that won’t ever die and has now found new life in a hilarious Gieco commercial. Thanks for that, Europe.

“Babylon’s Burning” – W.A.S.P.

Frontman Blackie Lawless was heavily inspired by the four horsemen of the apocalypse and the book of revelations for the band’s fourteenth album. This imagery pops up all over this song with references to clopping hooves, the number of the beast, and pale riders making the vision of the end clear in your head. Lawless said he was inspired to write the song and the album during the 2008 financial meltdown. He says this song is “an overview of what we allow ourselves to become and the consequences that befall us for the poor choices we make.” Also note that Lawless is a born-again Christian, which have a lot to do with this song’s themes. Why is it that most shock rock artists get religious as they get older? Alice Cooper, anyone?

“It’s The End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” – R.E.M.

This is probably the first song you thought of for this apocalyptic playlist. Sung in a rapid style where everything starts blending together, Michael Stipe claims everything is going pretty well even though he knows the world is ending. He offers a speedy rant on everything from Leonard Bernstein to overflow of the population. Inspiration for the song came from various sources, including Stipe’s dreams and what he saw while channel flipping. Despite it’s bleak title, the song is upbeat, energetic, and really catchy, which is why people love it so much. Even if you don’t like R.E.M. you at least know this song and probably even like trying to sing all the lyrics, even though it can be challenging.

“Fuck Armageddon…This is Hell” – Bad Religion

This punk band takes a different approach when it comes to the apocalypse. The lyrics reference the devout scorning others for being bad and hoping they can plead with God once the end finally comes. The band retort they don’t need to wait for Armageddon because the world they currently live in is hell alone. Violence, pollution, and hypocrisy are some of the reasons that make life so shitty according to Bad Religion. They end the song by proclaiming “Life is such a curse!” Bad Religion seem like they’ll be able to just shrug off the end of everything.

“Electric Funeral” – Black Sabbath

Apocalyptic themes can be found all over the band’s second album, but they come out strongest on this track. Ozzy sings about the destruction of homes, cities, and people all brought on by nuclear warefare. The images get pretty gruesome, especially during the bridge when the Prince of Darkness sings “Buildings crashing down to a cracking ground/Rivers turn to wood, ice melting to flood/Earth lies in death bed, clouds cry water dead/Tearing life away, here’s the burning pay.” If that wasn’t enough doom for you, the wavering wah-wah guitar riff itself sounds like it’s bringing on damnation. It may be bleak as hell, but it’s still one of Sabbath’s best songs.

“The Four Horsemen” – Metallica

If you couldn’t tell by now heavy metal and the apocalypse go together like spikes and leather. This track, originally written by former member Dave Mustaine, is all about the damnation, death, and misery that the four horsemen of apocalypse bring. Not only does it talk about the oncoming end of the world, it also deals a lot with the passage of time and how “you have been dying since the day you were born.” The origin of the song has an interesting history. Mustaine brought up the song to Hetfield under the original title “Mechanix.” Once he was fired, Metallica released the track under its current name. Mustaine also released the song under the original name and with different lyrics, but the music is very similar. Screw Guns N Roses. Anyone think Mustaine and Metallica should have a reunion?

“Countdown to Extinction” – Megadeth

Though this one doesn’t have strong apocalyptic themes, it still deals with the world coming to an end and it’s all our fault. The song was inspired by Mustaine’s concerns about the planet and environment. The title itself was ripped from a Time article speaking about the same issue. In the song, humans are referred to as an endangered species that is not only killing the planet, but also killing itself. The only thing left is to countdown how little time we have. What’s eerie about the song is it can still be applied today even more so than when it was written in 1992.

“2 Minutes to Midnight” – Iron Maiden

Is it a surprise Iron Maiden has a song dealing with impending doom? This popular Maiden track is more about the beginnings of nuclear war rather than Armageddon, but it’s still closely related. The title itself is a reference to the Doomsday Clock, created by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists to countdown global catastrophe. The lyrics actually talk about how war is often romanticized. Even though we find it repulsive and awful, a part of us are fascinated by it as well. Since its release in 1984, it has become a fan favorite and a staple at their live shows. Maybe it’s because Bruce Dickinson makes the most awful topics sound kick ass with his soaring vocals.

“Gimme Shelter” – The Rolling Stones

This Rolling Stones classic is pretty bleak and grim. Written during the time of the Vietnam War, the song is about the chaos, violence, and destruction war brings about. Though it does have overarching themes related to war, Jagger himself says it’s an end of the world situation and looking at the lyrics shows you why.  Trying find shelter away from the murders and rape is closely tied to trying to find protection during the end. During the time of these events many people did feel like the world was coming to an end, so it makes sense. This song is a haunting reminder of the violence and destruction that divided the nation not long ago.

“The Sky is Fallin'” – Queens of the Stone Age

While there are some interpretations of the song out there that suggest the song is about something deeper and personal to frontman Josh Homme, you can’t deny the references to doomsday in the lyrics. The opening verse alone sounds like it’s about the sun crashing into the Earth and realizing how much of your life has been wasted: “The sky is falling, human race that we run/It left me crawling, staring straight at the sun/Only a moment I notice, every dog has his day/I paid attention, cost me so much to today.” Also, the phrase “the sky is falling” usually has apocalyptic notions attached to it. It’s a hypnotizing track full of swirling guitars and Homme’s sweet cooing vocals. That man can make any disaster sound good.

There are a ton of apocalyptic songs I didn’t include, so which ones are your favorite? What did I miss? Let me know in the comments!