Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Who Decides: Top 20 Lead Off Tracks

I have done lead off tracks before, with Metallica, but what about the rest of the music world? For me a lead off track is a special one. It sets the tone of the album and to make this list it had to grab me and make a lasting impression on me.

Now when I first did this list I had over 40 songs. So I imposed some rules; no EPs, the band had to have released at least 3 albums, only one song per band, and of course no intros. Since there are 20 songs I can't do a paragraph a song or the post would be a mile long, but I will try to highlight the really important ones to me. So without further we go.

20. Betrayal - Halford: Crucible; cheating a little to lead off the list because the track order was rearranged for the re-released version.

19. Splinterd Visions - Into Eternity: Buried in Oblivion; mentioned it here and here.

18. Being Nothing - Nightrage: Descent into Chaos; At The Gates-like

17. Demanufacture - Fear Factory: Demanufacture; first taste of industrial metal...and what an impression it was.

16. Arise - Sepultura: Arise; if Nightrage was At the Gates-like this is Metallica-like with harsh vocals. Nothing tribal about this song.

15. Burnt Offerings - Iced Earth: Burnt Offerings; talked about here.

14. Clenching the Fists of Dissent - Machine Head: The Blackening; an lead off track that is over 10 minutes long and you can't tell because it's so good...definitely belongs here.

13. Born - Nevermore: This Godless Endeavor; almost death metal like from Nevermore definitely a song that broke some boundaries for them.

12. This Calling - All That Remains: The Fall of Ideals; the opening scream was my ringtone for a long time.

11. Cowboys from Hell - Pantera: Cowboys from Hell; this was the first impression a lot of people had from Pantera (because they buried their glam days). That first riff is so memorable. Classic song.

10. Blinded by Fear - At the Gates: Slaughter of the Soul; not the best song on the album or on the list, but it was my first intro to At the Gates. The speed, harmonies, and vocals still get me.

9. Hate Song - The Haunted: The Haunted; fast, angry...first taste of The Haunted. Most of the guys came from At the Gates, but the music was more punk/thrash than melodic death metal.

8. Painkiller - Judas Priest: Painkiller; first song I heard of Judas Priest. Fast...I was blown away by the speed and power of the drum intro. The two solos at the end put it over the top for me.

7. D.N.R. - Testament: The Gathering; I'm not a huge fan of The Gathering, but this might be Testament's best song ever.

6. Deathrider - Anthrax: The Greater of Two Evils; another cheating I guess. From their re-recording of earlier songs with John Bush on vocals. I love John Bush with Anthrax and this song proves how great they were together.

5. More Than Feeling - Boston: Boston; this is no typo. I love Boston. Their first album to me is one of the greatest albums of all time. How can you not include Boston on this list? I got into Boston a long time ago and anytime this song is one the radio (yeah still played from the 70's) I sing along like I am at their concert.

4. Your Betrayal - Bullet for My Valentine - Fever; I have talked about it here already. And the fact it is #4 on this list and it just came out this year...says a lot.

3. Take This Life - In Flames: Come Clarity; when I started this list I thought this would be number one. It is great. The whole thing is just great; the opening, vocals, music, has it all. After the mess that Soundtrack to Your Escape was it was a refreshing return to melodic death metal for In Flames. This lead off track was just the song they needed to show everyone they still had it.

2. Holy Wars...The Punishment Due - Megadeth: Rust in Peace; second longest song on here. It was my first taste of thrash metal. At the time, the solos blew me away. When I listen to them now...they still do! That opening riff...classic. Any metal fan will know instantly what song they are listening to.

1. Fight Fire with Fire - Metallica: Ride the Lightening; any surprise here? It made my top Metallica lead off tracks and Metallica is my favorite band. But the opening is still memorable. Remember it's 1984 and you didn't hear that in metal bands.

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