With Valentine’s Day drawing near, it’s difficult not to think about romance; but for lovers of rock music, it might seem a little more difficult to find the right music to fit the mood. Metal-heads, incidentally, fall into this category. Valentine’s Day is one of those polarizing events that either leaves you giddy at the thought of a surprise trip to an exotic resort, or awakens the grumpy cynic within. If you subscribe more towards the latter school of thought, then you’re in good company of our Valentine’s Metal Playlist.
No matter how you feel about the subject of love, there’s a tune to suit your mood. I rounded up the best metal love songs (well from my playlist) from the heartbreaking to the mushy to the downright weird and dark, to get even the most hard-hearted of you in the mood.
Avenged Sevenfold – Dear God
A7x decided to go all emo on this jam from their self-titled fourth album. The catchy melodies infused with the immaculate lyrics create an atmosphere nothing short of emotions. Sadly the song’s video was the last to feature Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan before his death.
Metallica – Nothing Else Matters
The veteran thrashers barely disappoint. The song which Hetfield wrote about missing his girl while on tour, holds a special place in my playlist. One of the songs which definitely induces positive chills when jamming to.
Nightwish – Sleeping Sun
This power ballad was written by Tuomas Holopainen and dedicated to the solar eclipse that arose on the European sky in 1999. What’s sweeter than calling your significant other my sun, my stars? Khal Drogo gets the drift here **Daenerys Targaryen smiles
Five Finger Death Punch – The Bleeding
Ivan Moody wrote the song about a female friend. Being the first single from their album ‘The Way of The Fist’, an album dedicated to a macho sound, with enough intricacies to be enjoyed for its occasional moments of glory. Darrel and Zoltan’s string game was on point here and the group crafted an instantly exciting and endlessly memorable record with this track.
Your ballads list would surely be incomplete without this iconic jam (my apologies elitists). You know it’s serious when Corey Taylor fails to perform harsh vocals in a Slipknot song. On the background and themes of “Snuff”, vocalist Corey Taylor said the following: “This is the slow one. It’s another personal one. Again, not naming names, it’s about someone who helped me through a lot and I thought she felt the same way that I did and then she really let me down. At the same time, it was good that she did, because it was that final push to me figuring out myself. The lyrics are pretty self-explanatory.”
Guns N’ Roses – November Rain
This classic tune from this legendary band features a sweeping orchestral backing and is one of their longest songs. It holds a record of being the longest song in history to enter the top ten of Billboard’s chart (unless Dream Theater or Tool surprise us with their upcoming album). Axl Rose’s vocal prowess in this jam adds ice to the cake. With their recent announcing of their re-union (for shows), things are going to get better. Fingers crossed.
Opeth – Face of Melinda
The Swedish scene has never been left behind in matters pertaining to Metal. With Opeth being the Swedish metal torchbearers, they are expected to lead by example which can be clearly felt in Face of Melinda, filled with moments of beautiful poetic harmonies, and others with dark evil sounding riffs. A fretless bass guitar along with brushes in place of conventional drumsticks gives a characteristic jazzier sound which is sure to captivate even the brutal of all lords.
Norther – Forever & Ever
Staying true to the Scandinavian scene, and hailing from Finland, the cradle of Atmospheric metal, a strong melancholic vibe can be felt in this tune. Vocalist Petri Lindroos’ screams have a certain tearing sound to them that is just irritably brutal. This is where brutal meets emotions, with intricately written guitar riffs a trademark for Norther. Please Norther re-unite soon.
The Word Alive – You’re All I See
One of the greatest things about The Word Alive is front man Tyler Smith’s wide vocal range and ability to comprehensively alternate between melodic and screamed vocals. Backed by some melodic guitar work, the results are metallic ear-candy. Cap that with deep lyrics in this jam and ask for nothing more.
Trivium -This World Can’t Tear Us Apart
What happens when you and your significant other face many obstacles? The world being against you two? Be afraid not, Trivium got your back. With insanely sick and catchy melodies integrated with meaningful lyrics in this song your burden becomes lighter.
ONE OK ROCK – The Beginning
Straight from this Japanese punk powerhouse, the song was used as the theme song for the live-action movie Rurouni Kenshin. The anthemic and melodramatic post-hardcore crackles with emotion here. Their non-orientation to Visual-Kei gives this band a characteristic western feel, but that’s quickly quelled by their Japanese lyrical themes.
OzzyOsbourne – I Just Want You
“Each night when the day is through
I don’t ask much
I just want you…”
The veteran dark lord has been known to bust out some beautiful ballads over the years. This one ranks among my favorite, delivering a powerful message about love with killer riffs.
Apocalyptica – I Don’t Care (feat. Adam Gontier of Saint Asonia)
This is exactly not a sweet all mushy love song. It’s a hate song. In most instances love grows toxic. Adam Gontier gives us the tale of a stubborn lady who barely gave him a chance. All hell breaks loose which gives us one of the best Apocalyptica tunes, with beautiful cello work.
Iced Earth – I Died For You
Many are the times when love gets the better part of our senses that we even imagine we would die for our loved ones (Well, some would genuinely do so). An interesting song which is totally relatable.
Killswitch Engage – Rose of Sharyn
The song deals with the loss of a loved one and the inspiration for the song was the death of Howard Jones’ mother. Jones was the lead singer of the band for this album. The level of awesomeness in this song? Jump right inside the Moshpit.
State Champs- Around The World & Back (feat Ansley Newman of Jule Vera)
Keeping the punk spirit alive, this song explores love and the crushing fear that accompanies it. Guest vocalist Ansley Newman of Jule Vera is a perfect highlight for the latter half of the song, slaying her own verse and accompanying vocalist Derek DeScanio on the final chorus. When the two chime in together for the final lines: (Sometimes I can’t help but say/we’re making history/our history), even the most cynical emo will shed a tear.
Kamelot- Love You To Death
Kamelot know how to mix the puissance of European Power Metal with Heavy Metal from USA. Roy Khan’s soaring melodic vocals and a barrage of equally soaring and occasionally speedy riffs from their critically acclaimed album Ghost Opera give this song a characteristic ballad vibe. Sad that the Norwegian left the band.
Of Mice & Men –Second and Sebring
This song is about Austin Carlile’s mum who died in 2007 of Marfan Syndrome. The song is saying that she taught him so much, and although he misses her, he is moving on from his grieving to do what she would want him to do, which is to be successful. This song tells that his goal in life is to make his mother proud, and he is letting her know that. Such a touching piece.
Alesana – Annabel
Straight from the emo masters, Annabel is a brutally honest hate song about an ugly break up.
You are scum!
You are filth!
Choke on blood as your knife ends the show! Writhe the pain you thought you’d never know!
I don’t think they dig graves close enough to hell for the likes of you!
Get the drift?
I Legion ft. BjörnStrid of Soilwork – Signs From Above
Whenever BjörnStrid is mentioned, your sonic senses need to be super alert! Featuring a characteristically knockout vocal performance from the Soilwork vocalist and some tasteful guitar interplay from Riverin and lead guitarist Angel Vivaldi, the song’s fast pace allows the band to explore their refined sense of melody. Rounded out by the song’s hypnotic rhythm section, “Signs from Above” is an expertly engineered melodeathtune that succinctly displays what ‘I Legion’ are all about.
This post is written by Robert Keli, a nerd with a big love for the Nordic vibe, Melodic Death Metal being his core poison. He is currently studying (about Vikings) well, telecommunications engineering, and can be found wandering the streets of Nairobi, air drumming to In Flames and occasionally sailing in his custom made Viking ship inland.
He can be reached on social media via:Facebook: Robertkn1 (Robert Kelly Ndung’u)
Twitter: Robertkeli (@RobertKeli)
Remember to support your local rock acts and rock on \m/