The 100 best metal songs of the 90s

90. Meshuggah – New Millenium Cyanide Christ (Chaosphere, 1998)

When Meshuggah dropped their sonic atom bomb on the metal scene, nobody had ever heard anything like it before. New Millennium Cyanide Christ somehow became something of a hit, which, considering it sounds like 800 pneumatic drills all being started at once, is some feat. A move they'd go on to repeat many times over their stunning career.

89. Opeth – Face Of Melinda (Still Life, 1999)

Opeth were already well on the path to greatness when Still Life dropped in late ‘99, and Face Of Melinda proved exactly that. An eerie acoustic number that bursts into life around six minutes in, this unveiled more shades to a band whose palette was already busy.

88. Metallica – Until It Sleeps (Load, 1996)

From the vastly underrated Load (fuck you, even 2 x 4 slams), this brooding epic signified that Metallica’s unerring ability to balance an emotional punch with their heavy hadn’t wavered whatsoever.

87. Corrosion Of Conformity – Dance Of The Dead (Blind, 1991)

Taken from 1991’s Blind, the first album which saw COC shed their well-worn hardcore punk skin in favour of blues-rooted heavy metal, Dance Of The Dead is a gratifyingly scuzzy blend of sludge and hard rock riffing, which keeps the band’s punk spirit alive in its pointed lyrics about “the system”.

86. Entombed – Wolverine Blues (Wolverine Blues, 1993)

By 1993 Entombed had let the filthy power of early Discharge and pure rock 'n' roll soak all the way into their music, creating an entirely new sub-genre of death metal that is still producing new bands to this very day. Wolverine Blues is year zero for Trap Them, Black Breath and the rest.

85. Suffocation – Infecting The Crypts (Effigy Of The Forgotten, 1991)

Suffocation are legends in New York's metal lineage, but back in 1991 Frank Mullen and co. were just another new band in the burgeoning death metal scene. Then along came Effigy Of The Forgotten and this absolute blast of brutality. Cue a million imitators and even more sore necks.

84. Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Countdown To Extinction, 1992)

Meet the real Dave. Or at least his schizophrenic representation we hear in conversation here. Not the most aggro Megadeth track of all time, but you’d be hard-pushed to find any thrasher who doesn’t know every single word to this song. No wonder it’s still in every setlist.

83. Limp Bizkit – Nookie (Significant Other, 1999)

BAND PICK: Jacob Field from The One Hundred

"Huge groove, aggressive, in your face, and relentless. It has a catchy melodic chorus, porn-like groove basslines, breakbeat verses and some of the most inappropriate lyrics. It still sounds current despite being nearly twenty years old – the song has really stood the test of time. It features everything Bizkit are; hip-hop and rock mixed perfectly."

82. Cradle Of Filth – The Forest Whispers My Name (The Principle Of Evil Made Flesh, 1994)

Cradle's debut album made waves throughout rock and metal almost instantly, and it's easy to see why. Songs like The Forest Whispers My Name proved that extreme metal wasn't just for the frozen north, but the shrieks and wails of one Dani Filth were just as dangerous and chilling as anything in Scandinavia.

81. Death – Trapped In A Corner (Individual Thought Patterns, 1993)

Having laid down much of the groundwork for death metal, Chuck Schuldiner was also determined to guide it to the next stage of evolution, transitioning into broader, progressive realm. This was a mesmerising point of transition, blending an irresistible central groove with guitars that seemed to have whole new dimensions to explore.