Heavy Metal War Songs Since 9/11 – 10th Anniversary

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Credit: www.Images.Military.com

I’ve wanted to do an article on heavy metal wars songs for the new era for a number of years (simply because the Vietnam-era war songs have been bludgeoned to death, as great as many of them are), and it seems as good a time as any being the 10th anniversary of 9/11. However, I’m a bit tentative about publishing it as I write it because it is such a sensitive topic.

No doubt there will be American Veterans who will criticize me and this article for not reflecting who they truly are and what they’ve truly experienced. There will also be other-thans (those from different nations, religions, and creeds — and even fellow American citizens) who will condemn this as ignorant and arrogant American garbage or propaganda or just plain bullshit.

Truth is, and I sincerely hope that everyone takes the time to read this intro, I was a Soldier in the U.S. Army (basic training at Ft. Knox, AIT at Aberdeen, jump school at Ft. Benning, first duty station at Ft. Bragg, second duty station at Camp Long, South Korea), and I’m not looking to offend any one of any nationality, religion, or creed. I’m simply attempting to show my appreciation for all warriors throughout the world who serve and fight, whether they believe in the cause or not, for our freedom and rights as human beings. Whether my being a former Soldier gives me the right to show it in this way (a list of heavy metal war songs) is subjective.

I apologize if I offend anyone.

In no particular order (except for Number One, since it seems the most appreciative of our warriors and points out that the American War Machine is run by old men in suites, which isn’t representative of the majority of Americans’ beliefs), here is a list of heavy metal war songs that, I believe, have either helped our warriors endure their hardships or praised their existence or denounced the politicians behind their missions. (Also, as much as it pains me to exclude Dave Lombardo’s Grip Inc.’s “Heretic War Chant” or the countless other deserving heavy metal war songs, I wanted to limit this list to songs released after 2001.)

Above all, we here at Yell! Magazine would like to thank all the military branches from any nation, all the men and women who’ve served in protecting our freedoms, values, and human rights, and the police, firemen, and emergency response teams who work hard to save our lives every day.


No.6 Drowning Pool – “Let the Bodies Hit the Floor”

Drowning Pool is one band that has shown unwavering support for our troops. They’ve gone on USO tours to the Middle East and even dedicated a song to our Soldiers (not this one though). Intentionally or not, “Let the Bodies Hit the Floor” became the soundtrack for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. There are countless fan videos on the Internet featuring the song alongside images of the devastating destruction of war. Right or wrong, appropriate or not, if it helped our men and women cope with the trauma that they experienced on a daily basis, so be it.


No.5 Sodom – “Marines”

OK, most Marines, or any Service member for that matter, don’t even know who Sodom is, much less a specific song. I’m including it on this list of metal war songs, however, because it deserves to be here and our men and women need to know that support for them doesn’t just come from other Americans. Sodom is a German metal band, formed in 1981, and they’ve always had a military slant. Their track “Marines” appeared on their 2001 album M-16, and, in my opinion, clearly shows support for all that the Marines do. However, it could be a condemnation. Fuck it; it’s an awesome song.

Seems that we are doomed to drown your hopes;
Marching to the destiny, no attitudes to lie;
Don’t want to leave that battlefield without a sign;
Engaged to the rifle by my side

Marines
They’re fighting for you
Marines
They’re dying for you
Marines
Keep your honour clean
Marines

You are the chosen one securing the world;
Universal soldier to the bone;
And for my brothers you’ll get what you deserve;
Down the bloody road to war

AND

You hear the mine clicking under your feet;
You know you have to go;
You hear the trigger of a foreign gun;
To bury all your hope

Ever pave the way for endless peace;
Self-sacrificing till you have the world to leave;
For the common people honest generation;
Just you can stop the human disintegration


No.4 Toxic Holocaust – “War Is Hell”

Here’s another band that most Service members have likely never heard of. Formed in 1999, and coming out of Portland, Oregon, they sound more akin to an early ‘80s German something or other. That’s probably no surprise since they’re influenced by thrash and punk.

In all honesty, their 2003 song “War Is Hell” is more of a denouncement of war, but the chanting of “War is fucking hell” could be taken out of context to serve as a rallying war cry for anyone in a combat zone.

Hear the air raid sirens that warn you of your death
Close your eyes, say goodbye, and take your last breath
Turn this place to rubble, a city turns to ash
Nuclear fire will turn the sand to glass
Bombers bringing death with every fly ahead
Total fucking holocaust, everyone’s dead
Death and destruction is all you’ll ever know
Living in the ashes that you once called home

Scream out for mercy, hell can be seen
Scream out for freedom, wake me from this dream
Chaos runs rampant, the city burns in flames
No hope for us, and no one will be saved
War is hell, tanks secure the line
Bomber above, destroying all the time
Hear the air raid sirens that warn you of your death
Close your eyes, say goodbye, and take your last breath

War is fucking Hell


No.3 Dope – “Die Motherfucker Die”

Dope’s “Die Motherfucker Die” is the most outright aggressive song on this list, at least in terms of its message. I don’t think it was intended to be adopted as a pro-military/war song, but the online community has made it so. The video I’ve included is fairly graphic, so if you’re faint of heart you may want to skip watching it. Again, if it became an anthem for our Service members and helped them overcome their fears and anxieties, thank you Dope.


No.2 Drowning Pool – “Soldiers”

As mentioned earlier, Drowning Pool dedicated a song to our Soldiers, and here it is, “Soldiers.” Not much else needs to be said, other than the fact that this was debut single featuring new frontman Ryan McCombs after Dave Williams’ death.

Here are the lyrics:

On your feet, who’s with me?
On your feet, who’s with me?

One world, made better, in slaight, hard bitter;
There is no compromise, your bringing forth your sacrifice

On your feet, who’s with me?
On your feet, let’s go

Every time I see inside you, I see myself within you;
Let’s go

(HUA, yeaheah) This is for the soldiers
(HUA, yeaheah) This is for the soldiers
(HUA, yeaheah) This is for the soldiers
All for one, let’s go

On your feet, who’s with me?

Lock tide, old strain, there it goes in vain;
There is no compromise, your bringing forth your sacrifice

On your feet, who’s with me?
On your feet, let’s go

Every time I see inside you, I see myself within you;
Let’s go

(HUA, yeaheah) This is for the soldiers
(HUA, yeaheah) This is for the soldiers
(HUA, yeaheah) This is for the soldiers

One for all, we’re coming

Every time I see inside you, I see myself within you, oh let that fade away;
Your pride inside of me, your honor inside me, respect inside of, inside of me, go!

(HUA, yeaheah) This is for the soldiers
(HUA, yeaheah) This is for the soldiers
(HUA, yeaheah) This is for the soldiers
Our soldiers, let’s go!

(HUA, yeaheah) This is for the soldiers
(HUA, yeaheah) This is for the soldiers
(HUA, yeaheah) This is for the soldiers
All for one, we’re coming

Every time I see inside you, I see myself within you, oh let that fade away
Every time I see inside you, I see myself within you, hh let that fade away


No.1 Five Finger Death Punch – “No One Gets Left Behind”

Let’s end this list of metal war songs with a song that meets all the criteria outlined in the introductioin. Marines certainly can appreciate Five Finger Death Punch’s expression of “No one gets left behind” and the spirited war cry of “Ooh-rah,” this goes without saying. The track also denounces politicians with such lyrics as:

Poloiticians banking in their greed
No idea on how to be all they can be

Have you no honor Have you no soul
What is it they’re dying for Do you really even know
Have you no backbone Have you no spine

AND

Play your war games with other people’s lives
It should be you on the front line

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Have Your Say Leave A Comment

  • John Dougherty

    Thank you so much for this, Evil Argento, and thank you for your service. I don’t care what any veteran or active service member’s job was/is, Seals to Shopkeepers, ALL of you are heroes to so many of us in America (and within the heavy metal fan base). I absolutely love it when metal bands honor that sentiment. (#’s 5 & 1 on this list are my favorites!) Rock on.