The 100 best metal songs of the 90s

70. Nine Inch Nails – The Day The World Went Away (The Fragile, 1999)

The second track on NIN’s 1999 album The Fragile’s is a brooding, ominous beast. Entirely bereft of drums, its opening repetitive fuzz guitar strum builds and builds. And then stops. Abruptly, while just the steady thrum of the bass remains. Reznor sings only a single stanza, infused with enough sinister melancholy to completely unnerve. Even the choral ‘na na nah’s (usually the purview of a shiny happy song) that kick in when the cacophony of guitars return do little to lift its bleak awesomeness. When the apocalypse hits, this will be its soundtrack.

69. Eyehategod – Dixie Whiskey (Dopesick, 1996)

There aren't many sounds in the world of music more disturbing than Eyehategod at their nihilistic best. Dixie Whiskey is the sound of Black Sabbath and Black Flag doing heroin in a tin bath. So basically, it's right up there in the New Orleans back catalogue.

68. Tool – Sober (Undertow, 1993)

Awkward, uncomfortable and uncompromising, debut album Undertow is where Tool laid down the blueprint for the path of tightly-honed experimentation they would follow throughout their career. This song’s expansive guitars and poetic lyrics marked the band out as something different and special, particularly when set against the backdrop of their heavy metal contemporaries.

67. Pantera – I’m Broken (Far Beyond Driven, 1994)

BAND PICK: Alex O'Leary from Bailer

"I’m Broken is one of the anthems of the '90s. It displays everything about them at the peak of their career. Hard hitting, in your face riffs, visceral vocals, a blistering solo and pure groove. That video, too. Lads in a room pouring out their heart and souls. Perfect!"

66. Marilyn Manson – Lunchbox (Portrait Of An American Family, 1994)

The seeds of Marilyn Manson becoming Public Enemy Number One in the United States were being sown on his 1994 debut Portrait Of An American Family, and despite this not being the most terrifying song in his repertoire you just can’t deny the power of the chorus. Plus the video of a super skinny, no make-up Mazza is so ‘90s it’s still brilliant to watch today.

65. Deftones – Engine No. 9 (Adrenaline, 1995)

Deftones found themselves lumped in with the nu metal crowd when the millennium turned, and this song is a good example of why that wasn’t entirely fair. Sure, there were hints of ill-advised rapping and they would eventually come to tour with Linkin Park and Taproot, but it was the blend of visceral aggression and willingness to experiment on display here which saw them set an agenda entirely their own.

64. Cathedral – Hopkins (The Witchfinder General) (The Carnival Bizarre, 1995)

For a generation weaned on Hammer Horror and the erotic power of damsels in distress, this was an orgiastic anthem, the opening Vincent Price sample spurring spiralling guitars, a groove you could trampoline on and Lee Dorrian's cat-on-a-hot-tin-roof vocals, at once churning and kaleidoscopic.

63. Type O Negative – Everything Dies (World Coming Down, 1999)

BAND PICK: Joseph D. Rowland from Pallbearer

"It’s perhaps their most darkly beautiful song – and Type O themselves are a virtually perfect encapsulation of a sound that is both wholly singular and wholly ‘90s.”

62. Down – Stone The Crow (NOLA, 1995)

The epitome of Down’s swampy, NOLA sound, Stone The Crow was a laidback southern song with Anselmo’s torn, masculine vocals bearing the heaviest of pain. 21 years on, it still sounds like a beast.

61. Sepultura – Arise (Arise, 1991)

On an album that saw Sepultura transcend their thrash peers and reach for greatness, this urgent, explosive opener came to be a calling card for a band that were yet to have their most era-defining moment.

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