The Best Old Heavy Metal Music

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Looking for some good old heavy metal to headbang to? Look no further! We’ve compiled a list of the best metal tracks from the 80s and 90s, so you can rock out like atrue metalhead.

Best Old Heavy Metal Music

Heavy metal is a genre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s. It has a thick, heavy sound that is sometimes distorted. Heavy metal lyrics often deal with dark subjects, such as death, drugs, and violence. Some people think it is the best kind of music ever made.

Metallica-Enter Sandman

“Enter Sandman” is a song by American heavy metal band Metallica. It was released as the lead single from their self-titled fifth album, Metallica in 1991. The music was written by Kirk Hammett, James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich. Vocalist Hetfield wrote the lyrics, which deal with the concept of a child’s nightmares.

The single entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart at number 16 and peaked at number 6, becoming the band’s first top-ten single on the chart. The song was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance in 1992. It has been covered numerous times.

Megadeth-Symphony of Destruction

With a sound as massive and destructive as the meaning behind its lyrics, “Symphony of Destruction” remains one of Megadeth’s most popular songs, and one of the most popular metal songs of all time. The track is a seething critique of politics and power, with Mustaine howling that “democracy is fleeting” and that “the moral majority could be the largest minority.” Though it was written in response to the first Gulf War, the song’s themes of government corruption and societal decline feel just as relevant today. Megadeth would go on to even greater success with their follow-up album, Countdown to Extinction, but “Symphony of Destruction” remains their defining moment.


When it comes to heavy metal music, there are few bands that can compete with the likes of Pantera. Formed in 1981, the band quickly gained a following thanks to their aggressive and exciting sound. Over the years, they released a number of highly acclaimed albums, including Cowboys from Hell (1990), Vulgar Display of Power (1992), and Far Beyond the Great Southern Cowboy’s Vulgar Hits (1994).

But it was with their sixth album, The Great Southern Cowboy’s Vulgar Hits, that Pantera really cemented their place as one of the greatest heavy metal bands of all time. The album featured some of the band’s heaviest and most aggressive tracks, including “Walk” and “5 Minutes Alone”. It also showcased their more softer side, with songs like “Cemetery Gates” and “I’m Broken”.

The Great Southern Cowboy’s Vulgar Hits was undoubtedly Pantera’s masterpiece, and it is still considered one of the greatest heavy metal albums ever made. If you’re a fan of heavy metal music, then this is an album that you simply cannot afford to miss.

Newer Heavy Metal Music

Heavy metal music has come a long way since its inception in the late 1960s. While the older bands such as Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin are still considered to be some of the best in the genre, there are a lot of newer bands that are giving them a run for their money. In this article, we will be discussing some of the newer heavy metal bands that you should check out.


“Psychosocial” is a song by American heavy metal band Slipknot. It was released as the second single and fourth track from their fourth studio album, All Hope Is Gone. The song charted inside the top ten in several countries and topped the US Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart for two weeks. It won a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards.

Avenged Sevenfold-Nightmare

Nightmare is the fifth studio album by American heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold. It was released on July 27, 2010 through Warner Bros. Records. It is the first Avenged Sevenfold album to feature drummer Arin Ilejay, and was co-produced by Mike Elizondo and the band itself. Nightmare is a concept album about “the death of a young man and how those left behind struggle with their loss”. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 selling 163,000 copies in its first week of release, making it their second consecutive number one album after its predecessor Avenged Sevenfold (2007).


The song “Hardwired” is the lead single from Metallica’s tenth studio album, Hardwired… to Self-Destruct. The song was released as a digital single on August 18, 2016 and as a CD single on September 9. The song was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Rock Song at the 59th ceremony.

In an interview with Rolling Stone, guitarist Kirk Hammett spoke about the song’s meaning, saying: “It’s one of those songs that’s about being grateful for what you have before it’s too late. It could be interpreted as being about the destruction of the world as we know it – sort of like an Apocalypse Now kind of vibe – or it could be interpreted as being about everyday life and how everybody wants to disconnect from it.”

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