The 10 best heavy metal songs about Godzilla (and other Toho monsters, too)

The Japanese poster for Godzilla 1954
(Image credit: Toho)

If ever there were a movie genre suited to heavy metal, it has to be kaiju. Filled with gigantic monsters rampaging through major conurbations and leaving trails of destruction in their wake, it’s virtually metal writ large in a wobbly creature suit. Japan’s Toho studio created its own super-beast in the towering Godzilla, who, after drawing inspiration from 1933’s King Kong, was soon joined by other impressive, imposing monsters.

In anticipation of Toho’s latest Monsterverse offering, Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire, here are 10 killer metal songs about Godzilla and his colossal compatriots.

Metal Hammer line break

Motörhead – Godzilla Akimbo (Dirty Love, 1989)

Originally recorded as part of the sessions for Motörhead’s iconic Ace Of Spades album, this instrumental rides a loping, lumbering groove that could level urban districts if played at full volume. It’s definitely one of the band’s hidden gems, having first surfaced on Dirty Love: a semi-official album based on recordings made by the band during Ace Of Spades’ rehearsals.

Tenacious D – Kong (The Pick Of Destiny Japanese edition, 2006)

Jack Black has a strong monster movie pedigree, having starred in Peter Jackson’s 2005 remake of King Kong. He also cut a killer operatic metal Kong song with Tenacious D, then hid it as a rarity that only surfaced on the B-side of the vinyl version of P.O.D. and a Japanese version of The Pick Of Destiny soundtrack. 

Sepultura – Biotech Is Godzilla (Chaos A.D., 1993)

On their groundbreaking Chaos A.D. album, Sepultura reached out to Dead Kennedys legend Jello Biafra to write them some lyrics. Given free rein, he came up with Biotech Is Godzilla: a suitably rampant track railing against the dangers of technology in the wrong hands. It was an apt switcheroo, considering Godzilla himself is commonly taken as an allegory for the immense power of nuclear technology.

Godflesh – Mothra (Pure, 1992)

Godflesh took the name of one of the more benevolent kaiju for this promo single and music video from 1992 album Pure. To be fair, it was one of the band’s more accessible moments, but you’d still hardly call it kind-natured as it grinds and hollers with a wild-eyed mechanical intensity. It also takes a few cues from an instrumental of the same name by The Stranglers’ Hugh Cornwell and drummer Robert Williams.

Anvil – Mothra (Metal On Metal, 1982)

With a completely different take than Godflesh’s song of the same name, Canadian heavy metal stalwarts Anvil go in (as you might expect) with all guitars blazing. You could picture this slab of prime 80s metal soundtracking a monster-sized action sequence, even if the band do the heroic Mothra somewhat dirty in the lyrics.

Raven – Destroy All Monsters (Extermination, 2015)

NWOBHM veterans Raven liked the title Destroy All Monsters so much that they used it twice – first for a live album captured in Tokyo in the mid-90s, then again for the opening track of their 2015 album ExtermiNation. Said song is a suitably gonzo slab of atomic firepower and classic metal histrionics inspired by the equally OTT 1968 film.

Varga – Gamera (Enter The Metal, 2013)

It must be something in that northern water as fellow Canadian metal veterans Varga also venture into irradiated waters, opting for the fan-favourite if slightly less generally well-known flying turtle Gamera. When a song contains the line ‘Tormenting turtle from hell’ and stems from an album called Enter The Metal, you should pretty much know what to expect.

Evil Scarecrow – Godzilla’s Lament (Sixty​-​Six Minutes Past Six, 2009)

Bloodstock favourites Evil Scarecrow have created their fair share of original monster, but the DIY cosplayers-cum-metal titans also delved deep into Godzilla lore on their second album, Sixty​-​Six Minutes Past Six. ‘Beneath China’s ocean sits ancient Godzilla! Alone with one friend whose name is despair,’ they roar. Now all we need is that Godzilla/Crabulon crossover…

Kaiju Daisenso – Rodan (2021)

Green Gargantua. Atoms Breed Monsters. Reptilian Majesty. Dip anywhere into this New York band’s catalogue and you’ll find a bestial slab of monster-inspired madness. It’s there in the name and they absolutely wear the influence on their sleeves, describing their music as kaiju-grind and monsterviolence. There are plenty of ragers, but we’ll go with Rodan, because the pterrifying pterosaur doesn’t always get as much love as some of his better-known contemporaries.

Oxygen Destroyer – Their Reign Has Begun (Sinister Monstrosities Spawned By The Unfathomable Ignorance Of Humankind, 2021)

Oxygen Destroyer are another kaiju-obsessed mob and, in the finest monster-battling tradition, they went head-to-head on a split EP with Kaiju Daisenso. Their name comes from a powerful anti-Godzilla weapon and their musical assault is just as explosive, with a wonderfully feral blackened death and thrash roar.

Paul Travers has spent the best part of three decades writing about punk rock, heavy metal, and every associated sub-genre for the UK's biggest rock magazines, including Kerrang! and Metal Hammer