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The 100 greatest metal songs of the 21st century

Children Of Bodom

(Image credit: Spinefarm)

70. Every Time I Die – The New Black (2005)

While a load of metalcore chancers tried to work out how to copy their old In Flames albums, Every Time I Die were bringing a different flavour of metallic hardcore. Breakthrough album Gutter Phenomenon featured the scabrous, acidic punk rock they were known for, but also had the infinitely more danceable The New Black. With its accompanying Boogie Nights video, slacker strut and wiry groove riff, it remains one of the coolest songs, by one of the coolest bands, of the millennium.


69. Children Of Bodom – Needled 24/7 (2003)

When we lost Alexi Laiho, it felt like he’d been taken far too soon, but his spirit lives on in his music. The standout track from Children Of Bodom’s fourth album was a fretboard-melting anthem shot through with a badass, fuck-you attitude. A fitting legacy for our favourite Wildchild.


68. Loathe – Two-Way Mirror (2020)

Loathe had been making a splash in the tech metal and progressive scenes thanks to their dramatic live shows and steely eyed intensity, but this song was something else. Introducing ambient soundscapes reminiscent of Deftones, they opened up a whole new avenue. Chino Moreno himself even gave it the nod.


67. Amenra - Am Kreuz (2005)

Am Kreuz is a great example of Amenra’s signature slow pace and dynamic contrasts. Building gradually from hypnotic texture to colossal finish, the song culminates in a masterful juxtaposition between Colin H. van Eeckhout’s heavy vocals and a delicate sung melody – a favourite moment from Mass III, offering such beauty and catharsis.” A.A. Williams


66. Steel Panther – Death To All But Metal (2009)

Cruising out of the Sunset Strip in a cloud of hairspray and a trail of STD medication, Steel Panther were the LA covers band turned parody act that we never knew we wanted. Skewering the 80s scene and casual misogyny but retaining the party atmosphere, Death To All But Metal became an unlikely hit.


65. Finntroll - Trollhammaren (2004)

When the 00s wave of folk metal was still in its infancy, Finntroll came along and gave it an anthem. From the fairytale intro, to the opening battle cry, to the chorus chants of ‘Trollhammaren!’ it raced along like its brakes had failed, only pausing for that big, squealing bridge. Loud, ludicrous, and tankard-raisingly raucous.


64. Primordial – Empire Falls (2007)

Channelling centuries of history – and a few decades of metal history to boot – into a centrifuge that seethed and churned with inflamed, febrile urgency, Ireland’s Primordial leapt beyond black metal’s boundaries as the lines ‘Where is the fighting man? / Am I He?’ became a call-and-response rabble-rouser across festival fields worldwide.


63. Evanescence – Bring Me To Life (2003)

The song that launched one of rock’s last true superstar bands and crowned a new icon in frontwoman Amy Lee. A national anthem for a whole generation of armsock-wearing goth kids, Evanescence’s breakthrough hit even managed to sneak in a catchy rap verse for the nu metallers who were still refusing to chuck out their baggy jeans.


62. Opeth – Ghost Of Perdition (2005)

Opeth are a unique band and masters of hypnotising you with their musical artistry. Ghost Of Perdition never gets boring and always intrigues me. We get to enjoy Mike Åkerfeldt’s clean and gutteral vocals; both complete each other very well. It’s an all-time favourite song of mine!” Simone Simons, Epica


61. Akercocke – A Skin For Dancing In (2001)

Emerging as the lords of the both the underworld and a then-thriving British underground scene, London’s most debonair Satanists fused the bestial and the aristocratic for a lascivious, sonic black/death orgy elevated by their awe of a higher – or perhaps lower – power. The extreme metal world didn’t know what whipped it.