Top 10 Decade Defining Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Songs: 2000s

Script written by Alex Crilly-Mckean. Seems like only yesterday these hard rockin’ numbers were on the radio, and boy, did they strike a chord. For our series on the Top 10 Decade Defining Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Songs Per Decade, we’ve based our choices on a mix of a track’s success, popularity and their ability to represent the decade in question. We’re limiting it to one song per artist per decade, but you still might see some overlapping of artists over the decades. This is part of a series of videos spanning hard rock and heavy metal music from the 1970s to the 2000s. While the classic days may be behind us, there are still a few diamonds in the rough to be uncovered! Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the top 10 hard rock and heavy metal songs of the 2000s. Special thanks to our users akt, Rocky Al., Godslayer79, Jimmy Kowaleski, Mitch Deans, ItsGrimmRJ, riickyboy97, superpie43, Matt Cook, Captain_America43 and Phillip McLeod for submitting the idea on our Suggest Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Alex Crilly-Mckean.

Top 10 Decade Defining Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Songs of the 2000s


Seems like only yesterday these hard rockin’ numbers were on the radio, and boy, did they strike a chord. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 hard rock and heavy metal songs of the 2000s.

For our series on the Top 10 Decade Defining Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Songs Per Decade, we’ve based our choices on a mix of a track’s success, popularity and their ability to represent the decade in question. We’re limiting it to one song per artist per decade, but you still might see some overlapping of artists over the decades. This is part of a series of videos spanning hard rock and heavy metal music from the 1970s to the 2000s. While the classic days may be behind us, there are still a few diamonds in the rough to be uncovered!

#10: “Give It All” (2004)
Rise Against

After spending years as a popular underground band, Rise Against managed to work their way into the mainstream rock scene with their first album to make the Billboard 200 album charts. One of Siren Song of the Counter Culture’s key tracks was this hardcore single, “Give It All.” With its fast pace but slow bridge, the less than 3-minute tune managed to sneak its way onto our list, much like how it took the world by surprise and even made it within the top 40 of the Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart.

#9: “Octavarium” (2005)
Dream Theater

While some fans consider Dream Theater’s peak as back in the nineties, there’s no denying that the prog metal/rock band let loose a few killer songs in the 2000s as well. “Octavarium” is a twenty-four minute track divided into five parts, each just as mesmerizing as the last. With every movement taking the listener on a progressive journey before seamlessly blending into the next, it’s no wonder the title track of their eighth record is so highly regarded.

#8: “I Stand Alone” (2002)
Godsmack

From movie soundtrack to hard-rocking single, this alternative and nu metal song made all eyes and ears turn to Godsmack when it came out. Not only managing to hit number one on the Mainstream Rock chart, but “I Stand Alone” also propelled the band to international stardom and helped its parent album Faceless sell over 1 million units. Undeniably a hard rocker, the four-minute single ensured that the band never would be without legions of fans.

#7: “The End of Heartache” (2004)
Killswitch Engage

It may have been the theme to the second “Resident Evil” movie, but this song from their third effort was also Killswitch Engage’s ticket to breaking into the heavy metal scene. With its signature metalcore style and sorrowful lyrics, it’s no wonder that the band continued to garner a following after the release of this modern metal track – as well as a Grammy nod for Best Metal Performance.

#6: “Down with the Sickness” (2000)
Disturbed

Now this is how you make yourself known as a heavy metal band. With just the second single off their debut album, Disturbed showed the world exactly what they were about; hard-hitting nu-metal that’s perfect for live performance. With frontman David Draiman dishing out some pretty intense lyrics, the accompanying music has cemented itself into the minds and ears of fans worldwide and has also made several pop culture appearances throughout the years.

#5: “Bat Country” (2005)
Avenged Sevenfold

What happens when you mix Avenged Sevenfold with “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas?” You get one hell of a track. Inspired by the drug-induced journey of Hunter S. Thompson, the band managed to create a heavy metal tune that’s filled to the brim with stellar riffs so good you’ll feel like you’re hallucinating. While “Unholy Confessions” was also a contender, the chemistry that went into “Bat Country” was too good miss out on.

#4: “Lateralus” (2002)
Tool

When it comes to the complexity of musical arrangements and time signatures, this band is definitely up there in the genre, with a perfect example being the titular track of their third album. With lyrical patterns orchestrated to match a very strict set of syllables, “Lateralus” is as much a creation of mathematical precision as it is heavy metal artistry, and we couldn’t be happier with the result.

#3: “One Step Closer” (2000)
Linkin Park

With a roster full of memorable songs, it was tough to narrow down a track that displayed Linkin Park’s versatile style in all its glory. “Crawling” and “Bleed It Out” come to mind, but “in the end” we chose to go back to their roots with their first ever single. Showcasing how their nu-metal sound was just starting to flourish, “One Step Closer” became the bedrock from which all other Linkin Park songs would evolve. It was also a top 5 hit on the Mainstream and Modern Rock Tracks charts.

#2: “Wait and Bleed” (1999)
Slipknot

Another single that hearkens back to the beginning of a band’s career, “Wait and Bleed” was Slipknot’s way of announcing their arrival to the world, and what an entrance they made! It may’ve been released as the lead single from their eponymous debut in 1999, but the nu metal track went on to earn them tons of success after the turn of the new millennium. Displaying frontman Corey Taylor’s blending of screaming and clean vocals as well as the other eight’s musical prowess, it was such a hard-hitting song that it earned them a Grammy nomination for the 2001 awards ceremony.

Before our number one pick brings the house down, here are a few honorable mentions.
- “Writing on the Walls” (2006)

Underoath

- “Tears Don’t Fall” (2006)

Bullet for My Valentine

- “Mordecai” (2003)

Between the Buried and Me

- “Laid to Rest” (2004)

Lamb of God

- “The Diary of Jane” (2006)

Breaking Benjamin


#1: “Chop Suey!” (2001)
System of a Down

Who would have a thought a song named after an American Chinese dish would become one of the most iconic alternative metal songs of all time? Considered their signature tune, this heavy and fast-paced song that dared ask why angels didn’t deserve to die quickly helped System of a Down take the world by storm. For their efforts, they were nominated for a Grammy, earned a top 20 single on the Hot Modern and Mainstream Rock Tracks charts and provided music lovers with a song that’ll stay with them for quite some time.

Do you agree with our list? Which track of the 2000s made you turn you back into a hard rock and metal nut? For more decade defining top tens, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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