I remember the first time I watched "Rocky III." The movie started and this song "Eye of the Tiger" started playing.
And the overwhelming sensation I was felt was inexplicable. I felt strong. I felt empowered.
Here's an excerpt from this greatest workout song ever written.
"Risin' up, straight to the top Had the guts, got the glory. Went the distance, now I'm not gonna stop. Just a man and his will to survive..."
Since then, I've been listening to songs and compiling a list for myself to which I feel I can push myself harder, run that extra mile. And I'm not just talking about pumping iron at the gym. I'm talking about building a strong resolve. To achieve strength... beyond strength.
Beginning this list with Death is a way of paying homage to one of the most talented metal guitarists of all time, Chuck Schuldiner. Rest In Peace. His high-pitched death growls, technically complex thrash riffs, make this song what it is. "Sound of Perseverance" is one the best Death albums, IMO.
Extras: "Leprosy," "Crystal Mountain," "Denial of Life," "Lack of Comprehension," "The Philosopher."
9. Trivium - "Pull Harder on the Strings Of Your Martyr" ("Ascendancy")
Trivium is one of those bands, which became popular very quickly after it emerged. This song from their second album is modern thrash and has some metalcore traces. I like the drums especially. Intricate and fast. The growling vocals also add to the power.
Extras: "Like Light to Flies," "A Gunshot to the Head of Trepidation," "This World Can't Tear Us Apart," "Torn Between Scylla and Charybdis," "In Waves."
Surprised? Yes.. Me too. My first instinct was to choose "Master of Puppets." But, as I heard it over a few years, this became my favorite Metallica workout song. I love the apathy in this song. Before we go all sexist on the band, the term "b-tch" refers to a problem and not a woman. Apart from the jumpy distortion guitars, the solo is noteworthy.
Extras: "Master of Puppets," "Sad But True," "Enter Sandman," "Seek and Destroy," "King Nothing," "Battery."
When I first got into Children of Bodom, I liked almost every song of theirs. Maybe it was the down tuned guitars or the fast keyboards, they're probably the only melodic death band I ever favored. In this song like the others ones from the album, guitars overpower the keyboards which sounds borderline power metal. Heavy and loud. Just the way I like it.
Extras: "Needled 24/7," "Hate Crew Deathroll," "Angels Don't Kill," "Mask of Sanity," "Children of Decadence," "In Your Face," "Punch Me I Bleed."
This Machine Head song is a perfect justification to the latin word, which translates to "power to command." It emphasizes self-control, confidence and inner strength. Rob Flynn's commanding voice, groovy thrash guitar bridges and loud percussion leave you with an unbreakable spirit. Let's call it a herald of triumph.
Extras: "Halo," "Be Still and Know," "I Defy," "Davidian," "Now I Lay Thee Down," "Locust."
I wish I was a viking. Seriously. Norse mythology is so fascinating. Manowar is classic when it comes to writing epic metal. Case in point, this song is about the gods of war. It's about swords and magic and death. They infuse these fantasy tales with tight guitars, warrior vocals and symphony which gives you guts of glory, ready for battle. And you are just in a gym.
Extras: "Hail and Kill," "Blow Your Speakers," "Metal Warriors," "Die for Metal," "Warriors of the World."
The title gives you a hint of what's coming your way. Absolute power. The song's main theme is war. Lemmy's voice is godly. With a fast tempo, groovy guitars and a solid drum rhythm, it's an excellent workout song. Tried and tested.
Extras: "Ace of Spaces," "Overkill," "The Game," "Killed by Death," "Death or Glory," "See Me Burning."
Oh Chris Adler... I solemnly swear to thee, I will be a devotee of your drumming for the rest of my mortal life. "Ruin" is bada-s. It doesn't give a shit of who you are, or what you are listening to before. When it starts playing, it transmogrifies your brain climate. It makes you ready to endure pain. Neck-snapping guitars and diehard vocals get overshadowed by the drums. Hold on tight guys, because you will drown in your own ruin, only to be revived as a stronger animal.
Extras: "Set to Fail," "Desolation," "11th Hour," "Vigil," "Redneck," "Blacken the Cursed Sun," "Choke Sermon."
From the masters of NWOAHM, comes a hate anthem, a song filled with so much of necessary hate, it uplifts you. This song is about you. Society teaches us a lot of wrong things. Sometimes, you have to just say "F--k you" and believe in yourself and know that your way, is the right way. With aggressive vocals, super fast tempo and Dime's signature riffage, it is truly a vulgar display of power!
Extras: "Cowboys From Hell," "Domination," "5 Minutes Alone," "Drag the Waters," "War Nerve," "Goddamn Electric," "Uplift," "Strength Beyond Strength," the entire "Vulgar Display of Power" album.
"Painkiller" deserves this place. The song has fought it's way through the toughest competition. It is about a fictional metal messiah named well, The Painkiller, who resurrects mankind from evil. It is nothing but pure power, weaved with insane riffs, high pitched vocals, masterful drumming and face-melting solos. Priest delivers power like no other. I might as well have listed all of their songs and be done with the list. Enough said.
Extras: "The Sentinel," "Blood Red Skies," "Jawbreaker," "Ram It Down," "Reckless," "Between the Hammer and the Anvil," "Some Heads Are Gonna Roll," "Demonizer," "A Touch of Evil."
In life, one must always aspire to become stronger. Leave the weakness behind and embrace the brave idea of becoming a healthier, stronger and overall, a happier human being.
Music is but a mere catalyst in this path to totality.