When it comes to metal music, there are so many sub-genres that it’s almost impossible to determine which bands make the top 10. But the bands that I have listened to growing up until now have always captured my attention and made me want to turn the music up. Whether it be for enjoyment or escape from reality, these 5 bands have changed music and filled stadiums with their intense and aggressive sounds.
Rammstein-If you have ever wanted to see a band perform live, then German Neue Deutsche Härte (New German Hardness) band Rammstein is the one to see with their unique sound and pyrotechnics. The original six-man lineup hasn’t changed since the band formed in 1994 in Berlin, Germany and are known for hits such as “Du Hast” off of 1997’s Sehnsucht and 2001’s “Ich will” off of their third studio album Mutter. Rammstein’s sound is out of the ordinary: you can sing the lyrics without screaming or you can start a mosh pit to their music if you’re at one of their brilliant live shows. I have been fortunate enough to see them at two of their sold-out live shows in New York and New Jersey and they are worth every penny.
Lamb of God-I’ll never forget the first time I listened to the live version of “Laid to Rest“(off of 2004’s Ashes of the Wake) on my censored MTV Headbangers Ball CD in middle school. Over a decade later, Lamb of God are still making incredible, head-banging music that makes you want to scream your lungs out and destroy things. The Richmond, Virginia natives released their 7th studio album VII Sturm und Drang (VII Storm and Stress) on July 24, 2015, their first album after vocalist and lyricist Randy Blythe was acquitted of manslaughter in the Czech Republic. Lamb of God are currently on tour with Anthrax, Deafheaven and Power Trip and will be in Sayreville, New Jersey on January 26th.
Slipknot-The masked men in American heavy metal band Slipknot have been making our parents’ ears bleed since their self-titled debut album in 1999. Watching the music video for “Vermillion” when I was 14 for the first time thrilled me and frightened me at the same time. Even though the masks have changed over the years and percussionist Shawn Crahan is the only founding member of the band, nine members have made Grammy-winning group Slipknot the band what it is today. From my favorite studio album Vol. 3 The Subliminal Verses to their most recent album .5 The Gray Chapter, Slipknot will always be a favorite of mine regardless of the multiple hiatuses and drama the band has gone through in recent years.
System of a Down-Even though Armenian-American metal band System of a Down haven’t had a new album since 2005’s Hypnotize (which was released six months after their album Mezmerize), their unique sound and powerful lyrics have kept me going back to their songs since 2001’s Toxicity. Formed in 1994, the four members of Grammy-award winning SOAD have released 5 albums and have sold out shows across the globe. Their stage presence is electrifying and they rarely spoke between songs when I attended their live show at the (formerly) Susquehanna Bank Center in 2012. Hopefully the California natives will get back into the studio and write some new material in 2016.
Static-X– You had me at Wisconsin Death Trip; the debut album from Los Angeles metal/industrial band Static-X. The powerful words of the late Wayne Static, born Wayne Richard Wells, and the speed of which he sang them were as remarkable as his hair. Formed in 1994, Static-X released 5 studio albums before the band’s break up in June 2013 and their songs made even the most uptight person want to bang their head to the music. I was fortunate to see them play an unforgettable set on the main stage of Ozzfest in 2007 after the release of their last album Cannibal. May Wayne Static rest in peace knowing his music will live on long after his passing.