Which side of me will win?

Top 10 Metal Intros – The Truth Exposed!

I feel dirty and wrong admitting this, but I’m stealing an idea from NME. Pretty much wholesale too, although mine will be better and truer, obviously. So without further ado, here are 10 intros much better than the one you’re just about to finish reading…

Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
Black Sabbath
This isn’t just the intro to a metal song, this is the intro to metal itself. I often wonder what it must’ve been like to have heard this for the first time at the age of sixteen back in 1969, crackling its way out of your dad’s record player in the living room before he got back from work, and it’s impossible. How can I really imagine that? What do I have to compare that to? The first time I heard Nirvana? Pffff… do me a favour love.
Sorry NME (I’m not sorry really), but anyone who could compile a list of the greatest metal intros and not put track #1 from album #1 from heavy metal band #1 in the top spot needs to have their head examined. Or banged, preferably.

Call To Arms
Warriors Of The World
When Eric Adams screams, what you hear is the sound of the ecstasy of battle itself, and the scream that kickstarts Manowar’s most successful album to date is one of his very best. When I hear this, it possesses me with the knowledge that not only will I win whatever battles might lie ahead of me, I’ll enjoy the fight too. I should probably use this track to get myself out of the bed in the morning, actually.

Velvet Kevorkian
Strapping Young Lad
Velvet Kevorkian as a whole is essentially an intro to one of the finest, most intense metal albums ever recorded, but I particularly like the intro within the intro – that harsh, metallic count-in leading to a vast explosion of noise. This entire track is like a challenge to the listener: Can your ears handle a wall of sound on this scale? No? Then fuck you. Yes? Then fuck you too.

Binary 101
It’s so simple yet it sets the hairs on my arms and neck (and balls) on end so hard every single time. They’re doing it now. I’d take a picture to prove it, but I’m bust listening to the song. And you don’t want to see my balls anyway. Or do you?

The Wildhearts
Fishing For Luckies
One minute and eight seconds of absolute song-writing genius. Musical layers haven’t been built up with such perfect balance and poise since whoever wrote the nursery rhyme London’s Burning wrote the nursery rhyme London’s Burning. Textbook stuff.

The Number Of The Beast
Iron Maiden
The Number Of The Beast
The only overlap between NME’s list and mine is another master class in classic intro structure, with layers gradually coming in and building up until… YAAAAAAAAAAAAH! – a metal scream even Eric Adams would be proud of.

For Whom The Bell Tolls
Ride The Lightning
Another ‘build up and release’ style intro from metal’s biggest ever band. This one has a twist though, in that it has several fake release moments where it feels like it should be kicking in… but no! It’s yet another layer of build up. This two minute intro features more classic riffs than most bands manage in an entire career and when the big one, that riff, is finally unleashed, I’m about ready to spunk in my furry He-Man pants. Two minutes is actually quite long for me.

Machine Head
Burn My Eyes
I reckon this is about as close as my generation of metal fans has to the Black Sabbath moment I mentioned trying to imagine above. When I was 16 metal was so dead, so underground, then this happened. I still remember hearing it for the first time. It was on the Radio 1 Rock Show and the DJ said, here’s a track from a new band that everyone in metal is really excited about… it literally took about three seconds to understand why. Those drums, man. Those drums.

Medulla Nocte
From One Extreme To Another
This one’s so obscure I had to create and upload the YouTube video myself, which is a shame because Medulla Nocte deserve more recognition than that. They used to open their sets with this track, or at least something resembling the first twenty seconds of it. No how do you dos with these fellas – one second you were waiting around near the bar, next second you’re being deafening screamed at. Cathartic to say the least.

This track was something of a cult classic for myself and my immediate circle of stoner friends when we were all still in our teens. Known simply as ‘funky track’, its intro would signal that it was time to put the bong down, get on your feet and boogie. It’s serious death metal, but has an unmistakable booty-shaking groove to it that all of us, even those not especially keen on metal, simply could not resist.


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