To the uninitiated, metal often barely sounds like music at all. Those pulverizing riffs, thunderous drums, screeching vocals, and ear-shredding guitar solos are simply headache-inducing. But to fans of this mesmerising genre, there’s a whole dynamic world beyond the cliches. And not every metal song is about fast-living or paying homage to the devil. Some are even about love! So if you’re a metal fan who has clicked with a kindred spirit on a local dating site, which songs would form the perfect backdrop to your first date? Here’s your top five.
This Love – Pantera
Love songs are always going to sound more heartfelt if the person crafting the lyrics is doing so from a position of personal experience. According to this Texan metal band’s drummer Vinnie Paul, the sentiments portrayed in ‘This Love’ were inspired by vocalist Phil Anselmo’s relationship crashing and burning. Somehow a cheesy ballad just wouldn’t have had the same effect as the churning, apocalyptic riffs, referencing death and various other dark topics. Hey – love can be emotional, and when you suffer a breakup, you might well prefer relying on heavy dirges to express your inner turmoil.
Whole Lotta Love – Led Zeppelin
Were Led Zep heavy metal or hard rock? The massively influential English band covered a diverse range of bases, with vocalist Robert Pant frequently yowling from the depths of his soul, while guitar maestro Jimmy Page could mesmerize his audiences with screaming solos or folky or even funky interludes within a few bars of each other. One of the most quintessentially-recognizable metal anthems of all time, ‘Whole Lotta Love,’ from Led Zeppelin II, became a massive hit. Listeners to BBC Radio 2 voted it ‘the greatest guitar riff of all time,’ in a 2014 poll. Sounds ideal for a first date!
Whole Lotta Rosie – AC/DC
This was the climactic track on the Aussie hard rockers’ fourth album, Let Their Be Rock. Perhaps using the term ‘love song’ would be a stretch, but there’s a certain tenderness in the legendary late vocalist Bon Scott penning a song about a one-night stand with an obese woman, who nevertheless turned out to be one of the most talented exponents of the fine art of horizontal gymnastics! “Ain’t no fairy story, Ain’t no skin and bones, But you give it all you got, Weighin’ in at nineteen stone.” It might be poetry of the most rudimentary fashion, but it’s an honest assessment that encapsulates the fun and unbridled joy of a casual encounter.
The Death of Love – Cradle of Filth
Hailing from Suffolk in England’s leafy East Anglia region, Cradle of Filth have been described as purveyors of ‘extreme metal.’ Influenced by horror movies and Gothic literature, you might assume that love songs would be low down on their writing agenda. However, metal often excels at taking subject matter you wouldn’t normally associate with having a darker side, then twisting the lyrical content and musical delivery to inject the mundane with biting emotion. This song was inspired by the tragic story of Joan of Arc, French heroine of the medieval war against the English, burned at the stake for witchcraft. Romantic? Maybe not. But excoriating passion? Indeed!
Love Me Forever – Motorhead
Lemmy, a thunderous bassist, gruff vocalist, and out-and-out party animal, was the living personification of metal’s ‘live fast, die young, and have a good-looking corpse’ mentality. Jack Daniels and cigarettes might have been his staple diet, but he also touched on more meaningful sentiments. In this metal song, he makes falling in love sound like issuing an ultimatum. You can’t get more ardent than that!