10 Metal Songs Which Are Extremely Sad

A list of painfully sad metal songs.

logo
Ultimate Guitar
1

Greetings readers!

Today, I list all poignant reminders of the metal realm. As we all know, most of the metal bands at some point in their career have penned down some mournful tracks of which some evoke anger, some induce pain, but almost all, leave you with a heavy heart.

Melancholy is beautiful, in a weird way. And in my opinion, these songs will move you with a genuine heartfelt emotion and make you sympathize with these lyricists and musicians, who have endured pain and suffering just like the rest of us.

10. "Endless Sacrifice" - Dream Theater ("Train of Thought")

Lets start off the list with a classic by the masters of prog metal. "Endless sacrifice" is about long-distance relationship and what it takes to endure it. Written by Petrucci, it details the sorrow and isolation you feel when you're far way from your loved one and the compromises you'll have to make. This one stanza from the song sums it up perfectly.

Over the distance, we try to make sense of surviving together, while living apart.

The music is absolutely brilliant which blends in seamlessly with the lyrics. This is one song you cannot miss.

YouTube preview picture

9. "So Far Away" - Avenged Sevenfold ("Nightmare")

Written by the guitarist, Synyster Gates, this is one painful reminiscent of their deceased drummer, Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan. The lyrics give you a glimpse of the tragedy of losing someone who you love. The song genuinely makes you empathize with each and every member of the band after the loss of their good friend. I don't listen to A7X so much to understand why they have garnered so much hate, but I do know one thing, this is a well-crafted heartbreaking song, and due respect should be given, when deserved.

YouTube preview picture

8. "A Tout Le Monde"  - Megadeth ("Youthanasia")

The French title, when translated to English, means "To all the world." This song is like a reverse eulogy, which is in the first-person perspective of someone breathing their last. As Mustaine said it himself, it is an opportunity for the deceased to say something to the ones they love before they go.

An acoustic intro leads into a solid thrash composition filled with typical Megadeth riffs and solos.

YouTube preview picture

7. "Windowpane" - Opeth ("Damnation")

Opeth have churned out some extremely haunting melodies since their first album. This song, like the rest of the songs from the album "Damnation," is a beautiful composition. It's a really sad song. The lyrics indicate that it's about child abuse and the emotional scars they leave behind. "Windowpane" is tailored with acoustic guitar bridges, melodious solos, soft drums and of course, the angelic voice of Mr. Akerfeldt.

YouTube preview picture

6. "Solitude" - Black Sabbath ("Master of Reality")

Leave it to the masters of heavy metal to come up with a song so touching, by the time you are done listening to it, you will be left fighting a lump in your throat. Iommi not only plays the guitar, but also the flute and the piano in this mellow masterpiece. Ozzy's voice is soothingly sad. Only if the rest of the world knows how versatile metal really is.

YouTube preview picture

5. "Embrace of the Endless Ocean" - Amon Amarth ("Twilight of the Thunder God")

Half way through the list, we have reached to the tale of a slave, who has been set free and while sailing on a ship home, a storm rips it apart and he dies in the ocean. This is my personal favorite of this list and every time I hear it, I feel my neck hairs stand. This is viking metal at it's finest. Below is a lyrical excerpt.

Wont feel the breeze of my home shore, nor see the lakes or winter snow. My hopeful dreams lie ripped and torn, father, I die alone, I die alone...

YouTube preview picture

4. "Here Come the Tears" - Judas Priest ("Sin After Sin")

I'll give you one tip. Don't ever listen to this song after a heart break. Sad songs are supposed to be your recluse after such events, but not this one. This will turn your soul inside-out. Halford shines in this song, delivering pain through his voice, while the guitars wail in misery in the background. And surely, by the time you are done with the song, here come the tears...

YouTube preview picture

3. "Suicide Note Pt. 1" - Pantera ("The Great Southern Trendkill")

This first part of the power ballad is arguably the most diverse song of Pantera. A 12-string guitar provides the rhythm, with some help from keyboards. Before the song segues into "Pt. 2," it takes the listener into an isolated psychedelic experience, a mind of drug-induced suicidal, to live through his despair. Phil does a phenomenal job expressing pain through his vocals.

YouTube preview picture

2. "1916" - Motörhead ("1916")

Alright guys, get ready to bawl like babies. "1916" recounts the experience of a dying soldier. With a keyboard synth and drum machine, this song, composed by Lemmy, will surely leave you in tears. There is not much to say about this, except that it is probably the only sad song by Motörhead and they did an exceptional job in making it "heartrendingly sad."

YouTube preview picture

1. "Fade to Black" - Metallica ("Ride the Lightning")

Here it is. To me, this is probably the saddest song I've heard since I started listening to metal. Coincidentally, this song came out on top of UG's "Top 20 Greatest Rock Ballads" poll this week. This is the song I would listen to, if I had only 7 minutes to live. Starts off with a long acoustic intro, works it's way through a harmonious blend of guitars and drums and fades out with a killer solo. It is a classic thrash anthem and forever will remain so.

YouTube preview picture

121 comments sorted by best / new / date

    intwernet
    I would totally add To Live Is To Die by Metallica. A farewell song for a deceased member of the band, especially the middle part.
    Krieger91
    And myself, I would add "A Trace Of Blood" by Pain Of Salvation Once you know the meaning of that song...
    andyjames.hetfi
    finally someone to agree with...i think pain of salvation is one of those bands that just never gained the respect they deserved...one of the most prominent bands on the planet and probably one of the best vocals of all time (to me)
    zrocknrollerx
    Wow, i would never think that someone would write Pain of Salvation here. It's the most underrated band. I would add Where It Hurts or Undertow
    Arby911
    "One" by Metallica has to be ranked among the most brutally sad songs ever. Poor bastard is so messed up he can't even let anyone know he wants to die!
    hylianloach91
    How is In My Darkest Hour by Megadeth not here?!?
    leo4sf
    Right! A song about his inability to cope with Cliff's death. Definitely sadder that a tout le mond.
    thedamian329
    The lyrics have nothing to do with Cliff, they're about an ex girlfriend. He wrote the music when he learnt Cliff died.
    rcm93
    Solitude by Candlemass????
    SCArnoldos
    Disappointed, and so am I. There are more than one great candidates for this list from Epic Doom Metal bands like Candlemass or Solitude Aeturnus yet it seems as they are too "unpopular".
    andrewsnowv
    In my opinion "Don't Let Daddy Kiss Me" by Motorhead is even sader than "1916".
    Powerslave1412
    Yeah "Don't Let Daddy Kiss Me" is another sad song, it's more disturbing, I would say.. But "1916" has a sadder tone, both musically and lyrically. That's why I chose the latter.
    Sandman4991
    Oh, there are sadder songs in metal. Look at some work from Black Label Society. "In this river" "Just killing time" "Bridge to cross"... Zakk is great at delivering emotions.
    Jimjambanx
    I think In Memoriam by Evile deserves a mention. Written after their bassist died on tour, the chorus is sad and the verse and intro are haunting, and the part right after solo gives me goosebumps.
    andy.dertatevas
    Ronnie James Dio/Ritchie Blackmore: Rainbow - Rainbow Eyes from the 1978 album Long Live Rock 'n' Roll. Dio's voice is hauntingly beautiful and sad.
    CageTheGates
    I remember the first time I found out that fade to black was about suicide, it just hit me with sadness. Another sad song that is very underrated in the A7X camp is "I Won't See You Tonight Part 1" I highly recommend it to metal fans, check it out. I highly recommend checking it out.
    CaptainTL
    I thought for sure Hallowed Be Thy Name would be up there.
    Fatewhip
    I remember when I was like 8 and would just belt that song 24-7 and hold the notes for as long as I could Yet I never saw it as a sad song.
    Powerslave1412
    You won't believe it, when I first drafted the list, I had Hallowed Be Thy Name in it. Then I switched it out with A Tout Le Monde.
    Maidenheadsteve
    While I don't feel the lyrics are particularly sad, they are easily some of the most, if not THE most, strongly philosophical lyrics from Maiden.
    Dino21
    I told my uncle/best friend if i ever died to play fade to black at my funeral regardless of anyone elses opinion, it describes what i feel the majority of the time, but truly a beautiful song by Metallica, and ultimately my favorite from them overall.
    ezkamenrider
    I know that many don't care for him at all, but Blaze Bayley have one of the saddest metal songs ever (that got even sadder after his wife died): While You Were Gone
    jerseydevils76
    Nettie: Type-O-Negative. Singing about what he put his mother through, coping with his Mom putting him into rehab. Lyrical Genius! My shortcomings I know caused her grief Still she loves me. This I can't believe! Responding not with anger but a prayer Heaven's just Southwest of Cobble Hill True, I am the son of an Angel Maternally, not one woman compares
    Alkalilee
    Dream Theater - Disappear. That song itself may not be very metal, but it's the saddest thing I've ever listened to.
    Blahgragr
    Alternate Ending - Woods of Ypres. Honestly that entire album chokes me up and I can't listen to a few of the tracks without feeling down and out.
    andy.dertatevas
    @powerslave1412 "Only if the rest of the world knows how versatile metal really is." Feels like this is the battle we're always up against as metal fans. Metal is constantly dismissed and disregarded by many as meaningless noise. But we all know how unique and diverse metal actually is. That's why we will always hold it near and dear to our hearts, because listening to metal makes us the outcasts.
    jables123
    Ok list but where's In This River by Zakk Wylde?
    TheLiberation
    I'd pick "Paschendale" by Iron Maiden. I don't think I've ever heard any song which describes war so powerfully, and the ending is definitely heart-melting.
    EvandroJGC
    Yeah, Fade to Black! Deep Purple has many sad songs that at least one of them would be up there, like "Wen A Blind Man Cries", "Soldier Of Fortune", or "Wasted Sunsets".
    Maidenheadsteve
    Just sharin' in general
    korinaflyingv
    Windowpane is not a metal song. Should have gone with Dirge for November.
    tanner.epperly
    Man, I figured "Nutshell" from Alice in Chains would be on here. That song showcases pure, dark emotion like I don't know what.
    Fatewhip
    Where's Entrance Of The Conflagration?
    Lord_Doku
    It's on your own list I'm sure, but not on the list of this guy. There are plenty of songs that could have been, but aren't on the list. It does not diminish their value however, for that is something everyone has to attribute to it for themselves.
    Powerslave1412
    Lord_Doku, thanks man. I couldn't have put it better myself. I'm sure there are plenty sad songs, based on who you listen to, can't include all. There is a personal preference which comes into play here. That's one of the reason's why I didn't title this "Top 10..." It'll sure invoke a lot of controversy.
    Fatewhip
    It's just meant to be taken casually, I'm not trying to slam anyone here. I know there are a lot of people who are going to go something like "Where's 'insert random song here' ?!?!? This list sucks!" I didn't mean it like that though. Hence the lack of '?!?!?!?!". Anyway sorry.
    paride.casale
    "Spend your days full of emptiness Spend your years full of loneliness Wasting love, in a desperate caress Rolling shadows of night" I think wasting love of iron maiden should be in this list
    *Stranger*
    Iron Maiden blood brothers maybe???? instead of a7x bullshit
    dark.abada
    It is a very good top 10 list, but I think you can find some of the most soul tearing songs on British doom metal bands (Anatema, My Dying bride, etc)
    henrihell
    This was excactly what I was thinking. This is just songs that are a bit more melodic than the band's usual efforts. If I made this list it would includa Dark Tranquillity, Anathema, Ghost Brigade, Swallow The Sun, Katatonia, some of slipknot's mellow songs, etc.
    MattyPS
    "A Tout Le Monde" rather means "To Everyone".
    Absolute Rock-O
    ''À tout le monde - À tous mes amis - Je vous aime -Je dois partir'' ...is french for : ''To everyone - To all of my friends - I love you - I have to go''
    EntropicDiscord
    Anthrax - Pieces It's about the death of Frank Bello's brother Anthony in 1996 in an as of yet unsolved homicide. absolutely tear-jerking.
    theogonia777
    I find the lack of doom metal disturbing. From the gloomy goth metal sounds of Type O Negative and later Funeral to old school bands like Candlemass to the crushingly mournful depression of funeral doom bands like Nortt and Thergothon.
    SCArnoldos
    Yes, I'd honestly hoped for at least one song from Candlemass or Solitude Aeturnus and overall more from Doom Metal. Cause seriously is there any more saddening Metal genre than Doom?
    Shadow914
    Or Warning, 40 Watt Sun, Novembers Doom, Funeral, My Dying Bride, Anathema, Mourning Beloveth, Xasthur, Until Death Overtakes Me, Skepticism, Shape Of Despair, Paradise Lost, Draconian, Sentenced, Mournful Congregation etc. While Neutral may not be very metal, Serpents In The Dawn is as dark and depressing as most metal can be.
    swave75
    1916 always gets me.
    iommi600
    Return to Serenity - Testament
    dawey.shambles
    What about In This River?
    Macejko
    I won't see you tonight, pt. 1 by Avenged Sevenfold is one of the saddest songs I've heard in my life
    Denwylde
    Out of love by blue murder Wells me up every time!!!
    Gazman3875
    I would've had Snuff by Slipknot in there somewhere, or maybe Zzyzx Rd by Stone Sour.
    brendan_mcbri
    almost anything by neurosis could qualify.
    djspank
    Silent Waters by Amorphis for me.
    rohit.sudarsan
    Testament - Return to Serenity Scorpions - Still Loving You
    Schadwick43
    I Won't See You Tonight pt 1 by Avenged Sevenfold is the saddest imo
    brojomayor666
    You skipped King Crimson (I Talk To The The Wind, Epitaph, In The Court Of The Crimson King), The Cranberries (Disappointment), Korn (Daddy) and much more... oh i forgot A Therapy For Pain by Fear Factory
    THE ROZERS
    I wouldn't call King Crimson metal (especially on ITCOTCK) but Epitaph is one of the saddest songs I have ever heard.
    Kyyper
    To the end of our days by Alestorm. never thought that a ballad by a parody band could make me shiver, but the organ solo at the middle of the song is just heartbreaking
    metaldalz
    Gone Away - The Offspring is to me one of the saddest songs ever written
    Absolute Rock-O
    Orestes and 3 Libras by A Perfect Circle get me everytime. Some other songs I personally find sad : -I'll Be Ok by Nothing More -Priestess by Periphery -Waste by Staind
    rossmilesalive
    Hmmmm, never heard the motorhead song, and I do like it, but I feel like "When the Tigers broke free" by Floyd is more of a tearjerker. "And that's how the high command Took my daddy from me"
    Powerslave1412
    Sure, Floyd knows how to get the tears flowing. But I stuck to the metal genre, I'll include some songs by Floyd when I write about sad songs in rock.
    Absolute Rock-O
    Oh, and So Far Away by Avenged Sevenfold could have been replaced by Acid Rain from Hail To The King album in my opinion.