Top 10 Heavy Metal Anthems

These'll get your head banging in no time. For this list, we’re basing our choices on a mix of a song’s popularity and the sing-along quality in the heavy metal category. We’re excluding rock and hard rock tracks because they’ll be in our Top 10 Rock Anthems and Top 10 Hard Rock Anthems videos. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the top 10 heavy metal anthems. Special thanks to our user akt for submitting the idea on our Suggest Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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These'll get you head banging in no time. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 heavy metal anthems.

For this list, we’re basing our choices on a mix of a song’s popularity and the sing-along quality in the heavy metal category. We’re excluding rock and hard rock tracks because they’ll be in our Top 10 Rock Anthems and Top 10 Hard Rock Anthems videos.

#10: “Ten Thousand Fists” (2006)
Disturbed

The fifth single from Disturbed’s third album is 3-and-half minutes of pure heavy metal goodness. Thanks to its driving beat, rousing chorus and aggressive sound, “Ten Thousand Fists” found a spot within the top 10 of the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart. Frontman David Draiman hoped the track would showcase strength and unity – and judging by all the chanting and “fists in the air” when it’s played during live shows, the band has undoubtedly succeeded.

#9: “Walk” (1993)
Pantera

This 5-minute-plus track is one of the prime examples of why Pantera must’ve titled their sixth album Vulgar Display of Power. With its Dimebag Darrell-conceived riff, F-Off attitude and groove metal flavors, “Walk” is a call for respect that’s attracted multiple artists to cover the tune. Its tough lyrics and killer solo also helped it become the band’s first top 40 single in the UK.

#8: “Hellraiser” (1992)
Motorhead

We picked the Motorhead signature "Ace of Spades" for our Top 10 Heavy Metal Riffs, so that's why their version of this Ozzy Osbourne, Zakk Wylde and Lemmy Kilmister-penned track lands here. After appearing on Ozzy’s No More Tears album, it was recorded by Lemmy and company for “Hellraiser III” and featured on their March or Die record. And we’re so glad they did; with Kilmister’s growly vocals, some kickass guitar work and a driving rhythm section, the band didn’t only show us how raise a little hell; they also “put a spell on us” too.

#7: “We Rock” (1984)
Dio

Though “Holy Diver”’s got one helluva riff and was even featured in our Top 10 Heavy Metal Riffs video, it’s the lyrics and energy of “We Rock” that’s our pick for heavy metal anthems. First off, it’s got that epic sound and those distorted guitars. But it’s thanks to the unfaltering strength of Ronnie James Dio’s vocals that the Last in Line single has us wanting to “sail on, sing a song [and] carry on” with the band forevermore.

#6: “Painkiller” (1990)
Judas Priest

Though we could’ve picked “Screaming for Vengeance,” there’s no ignoring the absolute intensity on Judas Priest’s “Painkiller.” The band display their technical mastery through K.K. Downing and Glen Tipton’s double guitar style, Ian Hill’s bass and Scott Travis’ impressive drumming. Then there’s Rob Halford: while we can’t even come close to duplicating his practically unparalleled singing prowess, we can’t help but try to scream along.

#5: “No More Tears” (1991)
Ozzy Osbourne


Since we featured “Crazy Train” in Top 10 Heavy Metal riffs and “Mr. Crowley” in Top 10 Guitar Solos, we’ve decided to showcase a Zakk Wylde-era track this time around. By blending heavy metal, symphonic metal and progressive rock, “No More Tears” stands shoulder-to-shoulder with any of Ozzy's other more obvious anthems. It also features an incredible bassline that transitions into a soaring melodic riff as well as the Prince of Darkness’ unsettling vocals.

#4: “Peace Sells” (1986)
Megadeth

Opening with a memorable Dave Ellefson bass intro, “Peace Sells” packs a mighty punch thanks to the writing skills of Dave Mustaine and the band’s thrash metal sound. As the title track to their second effort, the socio-politically charged number gets its message across with its fast pace and hard-hitting vibe. Meanwhile, Megadeth’s shredding abilities intensify its rousing chorus.

#3: “Seek and Destroy” (1983)
Metallica

Though “Master of Puppets” is often considered Metallica’s signature song, we’ve chosen “Seek and Destroy” for this list. As an early example of the band’s thrash metal sound, the almost 7-minute track is a blast of noise and power that aptly captures the impulse to kill. Penned by James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, it quickly became a popular live track that often encourages call-and-response between the band and the audience.

#2: “The Number of the Beast”
Iron Maiden

While the riff and chorus of “Run to the Hills” are universally known and “Fear of the Dark” has become an anthem in later years, the “6-6-6” chant of this Steve Harris-penned number is hard to top. The title cut to Iron Maiden’s third record may’ve brought us one of Bruce Dickinson’s most potent screams, but it also took us on a devilish musical journey we’ll never forget. No wonder it’s so often played in concert.

Honorable Mentions


- “Raining Blood” Slayer
- “Nightmare” Avenged Sevenfold
- “Blind” Korn
- “Back to School” Deftones

#1: “War Pigs” (1970)
Black Sabbath

“Iron Man” may contain one of Black Sabbath’s most iconic riffs, and “Paranoid” has one of its most commercially successful riffs, but it’s “War Pigs” that’s THE ultimate anthem. With its memorable guitar solo, the use of an air raid siren and Ozzy Osbourne’s angst-filled vocals, it’s certainly a poignant and lengthy track. Add anti-war lyrics that have stood the test of time and you’ve got another signature Sabbath tune and a live stunner.

Do you agree with our list? What is your favorite heavy metal anthem? If you didn’t see an anthem you think should be on the list, be sure to check out our Top 10 Rock Anthems and Top 10 Hard Rock Anthems lists and subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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