25 Catchiest Metal Songs Ever

As voted by UG community.

Ultimate Guitar
25 Catchiest Metal Songs Ever

This week's traditional Wednesday Question saw the people of UG community discussing the catchiest tunes in the realm of metal. Based on your votes and almost 300 comments, we summed this one up to a traditional Top 25 rundown, make sure to check it out below.

Also, judging by your prank votes, the catchiest song is Dream Theater's "The Dance of Eternity" - as hudsonstradlin says, it "really gets the girls shaking their asses to those steady 144 time signature changes."

Anyhow, here's an actual list!

25. Meshuggah - Demiurge

Kicking things off it's Meshuggah and "Demiurge" - with its atmosphere and the band's signature uncommon time signatures (pun intended).

YouTube preview picture

24. Korn - Freak on a Leash

We expand our metal list with a nu metal song - and maybe one of the most recognizable tunes in the genre - "Freak on a Leash" by Korn. Jonathan Davis' vocals, that bass sound and of course those guitar riffs.

YouTube preview picture

23. Skid Row - 18 and Life

Up next is the so-called murder ballad - one of Skid Row's biggest hits, "18 and Life." It has all components that make a hit - and to take its place in our top.

YouTube preview picture

22. Motörhead - Ace of Spades

Though Lemmy himself called Motörhead just a rock 'n' roll band and though he said that they "have more in common with punk than with heavy metal," "Ace of Spades" is metal enough to be on this list - and is also undeniably catchy.

YouTube preview picture

21. Helloween - I Want Out

German power metallers Helloween are up next with "I Want Out," one of the their most recognizable songs, especially for its introduction and Michael Kiske's trademark high-pitched singing in the chorus.

YouTube preview picture

20. Living Colour - Cult of Personality

And we are pushing the boundaries again with Living Colour and their own style of funk metal. "Cult of Personality" was essentially written in just one rehearsal session: the riff was stumbled upon while practicing something else and by the end of the session Living Colour had written what was to become their best known song.

YouTube preview picture

19. Disturbed - Down With the Sickness

Disturbed add more nu-metal to the list with one of their best-known songs, "Down With the Sickness," and yes, it features the renowned "ooh-wah-ah-ah-ah" staccato noise.

YouTube preview picture

18. Slipknot - Wait and Bleed

Up next are Slipknot with their debut single "Wait and Bleed." In contrast to the rest of the songs from the album, it features the recognizable - and undeniably catchy - clean-sung chorus.

YouTube preview picture

17. Mastodon - Curl of the Burl

One of Mastodon's most successful single at the moment, with that recognizable guitar riff and staple "oooohoo, ooooohoo" singinging in the chorus. "Curl of the Burl" at No. 17.

YouTube preview picture

16. Twisted Sister - I Wanna Rock

Yes, glam metal is metal too, hence Sister and their staple hit "I Wanna Rock" are next.

YouTube preview picture

15. Danzig - Mother

Fun fact: although "Mother" was originally released in August 1988 as the lead single from the Danzig's debut album, it became a real hit almost six years after its original release, when a remixed version of the song titled "Mother '93" was released.

YouTube preview picture

14. Avenged Sevenfold - Afterlife

Voted the best song off Avenged Sevenfold's self-titled album on the band's homepage, "Afterlife" was written by the band's late drummer, The Rev, and features a string orchestra.

YouTube preview picture

13. Rage Against the Machine - Killing in the Name

Call them funk metal, alternative metal or rap metal, but RATM are on the list. Written about revolution against institutional racism and police brutality, "Killing in the Name" is widely recognized as the band's signature song, and has been noted for its distinctive guitar riffs and of course for its famous "Fuck you, I won't do what you tell me!" line.

YouTube preview picture

12. Europe - The Final Countdown

We are on the thin line between glam metal and hard rock, but "The Final Countdown" by Europe is undeniably one of the catchiest tunes ever. The song was based on a keyboard riff which Joey Tempest had written, as early as 1981 or 1982, and in 1985, after bassist John Levén suggested that Tempest should write a song based on that riff, "The Final Countdown" was created.

YouTube preview picture

11. Megadeth - Symphony of Destruction

As one of Megadeth's best-known songs, "Symphony of Destruction" from their 1992 album "Countdown to Extinction" is up next.

YouTube preview picture

10. Ghost - Square Hammer

The most recent song on the list, "Square Hammer" by Ghost was released on September 16, 2016 on the band's "Popestar" EP.

YouTube preview picture

9. Dio - Holy Diver

Although "Holy Diver" only reached number 40 on the Mainstream Rock chart in 1983, today it's undeniably one of Dio's most popular songs.

YouTube preview picture

8. Black Sabbath - Iron Man

Upon hearing the Tony Iommi's main guitar riff for the first time, Ozzy Osbourne remarked that it sounded "like a big iron bloke walking about". The title became "Iron Man," with Geezer Butler writing the lyrics around the title.

YouTube preview picture

7. Pantera - Walk

Known for its simple but powerful riff, "Walk" by Pantera is next. The riff is played in a time signature of 12/8. Dimebag Darrell played it at a soundcheck during the tour for "Cowboys from Hell" and the rest of the band loved the riff.

YouTube preview picture

6. System of a Down - Chop Suey!

Often seen as the System of a Down's signature song, "Chop Suey!" is also one of the most known alternative metal/nu metal songs ever. And of course Serj Tankian's singing and lyrics are a big part of it. For those who still can't make out the words in the beginning, it's "Wake up (wake up) / Grab a brush and put a little make-up." And yes, "I cry when angels deserve to DIIIIIE!"

YouTube preview picture

5. Iron Maiden - Run to the Hills

Up next, it's one of the Iron Maiden's most popular songs - "Run to the Hills." The song features lyrics focusing on the conflict between European settlers in the New World and Native American tribes during the days of colonization and later westward expansion.

YouTube preview picture

4. Judas Priest - Breaking the Law

Definitely one of the band's better known singles, "Breaking the Law" by Judas Priest is also of the most iconic heavy metal tunes, and one of the main reasons for it is the song's famous opening guitar riff.

YouTube preview picture

3. Ozzy Osbourne - Crazy Train

Marking Ozzy Osbourne's second appearance on the list, "Crazy Train" was his first solo single after leaving Black Sabbath. The song was written by Osbourne, bassist Bob Daisley and of course great late guitarist Randy Rhoads.

YouTube preview picture

2. Rammstein - Du Hast

Rammstein call their music "tanz metal", German for "dance metal," and their "Du Hast" is a great example of it with simple industrial metal riffs, catchy keyboards playing and its famous "Du... Du hast... Du hast mich" line. The song's title is a play on the homophones "du hasst" ("you hate") and "du hast" ("you have").

YouTube preview picture

1. Metallica - Enter Sandman

At the throne of UG this week, it's Metallica an "Enter Sandman." The hit tune evolved from a guitar riff that Kirk Hammett wrote; originally, it was two bars in length, but Lars Ulrich suggested the first bar be played three times.

YouTube preview picture

That's all folks, hope you enjoyed the top, stay tuned until next week for another WQ!

77 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Damn, am I the only one that finds the chorus of Kickstart my heart super catchy?
    Rock you like a harricane,I think it is a very catchy song and should be in the list.
    Curl of the Burl is a fantastic song but when I think Mastodon and catchy music I immediately think "Blood and Thunder".
    Mr. Skull
    The whole way i found out about mastodon was from this weird fucking rage comic featuring lyrics to this song. it was pretty great when i finally heard it.
    Without a doubt, that is the song that would get most people interested in the band.
    True actually..I know it got be in to the band. Now it's one of their song I listen to less. High Road is also really catchy.
    Queens of the stone age - no one knows :x
    def a kick ass song, but (dont crucify me) I wouldnt consider that "metal". AkisIsHere is right about Rock you like a Hurricane tho
    QOTSA is maybe not metal but they definitely kick ass That song especially for that riff
    Peace Sells needs to be on ths list....The bassline was MTV News goto throughout the 90's in the States for Pete's sake.
    The funny thing is that Demiurge is purely in 4/4 up to 3:34 (as in really 4/4, not like other Meshuggah tracks are in '4/4').
    How did Dream Theater - The dance of eternity not make this list?
    Cuz it's a long-ass prog metal song and not a catchy non-prog song, ya dingus.
    I'm not entirely sure, but I think that might have been sarcasm you mong.
    Lol the original comment on the voting article was meant t be a joke.
    Made an account to post this. 6minutes and 14 seconds is hardly a long song, long prog songs usually go 20mins plus.
    In the face of the competition, yes it is a long song. It's not even anywhere near as memorable as the others, and there's some curveballs in there. I mean, I'd love to see some Devin Townsend in there. I could see most of Transcendence and Addicted! easily taking over this list but regardless of perceived catchiness, prog just aint for everyone.
    I agree with you on the Heavy Devy! I would say Life off Ocean Machine:biomech is very catchy.
    I was going for Pull Me Under, but good Lord, the Dance of Eternity is tits.
    I love how so many of these are on the line to hard rock, and glam, and funk. I guess that is what really makes metal catchy - when it isn't too heavy.
    agreed, thats why i feel like meshuggah is out of place here yet i do like them a lot
    I dunno. Besides Final Countdown and Cult of Personality nothing else is a really big stretch.
    even cult of personality isn't that big of a stretch tbh, that riff is pretty heavy and the solo shreds with the best of them. but the final countdown isn't metal, like at all.
    With COP I just mean that if it can be on here so can Alice In Chains, Soundgarden and Audioslave songs. But the point was to select metal songs, not close to metal or heavy hard rock, but metal. Laid To Rest by LOG, Cowboys From Hell by Pantera, Kick Start My Heart (would be on the lighter end but undeniably catchy and glam metal is still metal), Madhouse by Anthrax, or basically anything by Tool. Hell even Children of Bodom has some catchy song structure. Or as a joke someone could have nominated Death To All But Metal.
    Great list but a lot of songs are missed .. my vote was for TNT by the way .. it's catchy as fuck
    i love meshuggah but i'm not sure i would call any of their songs "catchy" maybe hypnotic and trancey but i can't picture it being mainstreem catchy, but i'm just a dumb shmuck on the internet
    18 my wifes in college. 18 my wifes a hoe. also, cult of personality = I am the cult of= I need a goats hug
    I always found myself humming this one for weeks after every listen:
    I'd say The Toxic Waltz is catchier with the almost rapping vocals. I mean if you can sing all the lyrics after just one listen it must be catchy.
    Somehow I'm wondering why no carcass song made the list. Following is an obvious choice for me, but also rot'n'roll or incarnated solvent abuse could be here
    Can we post videos that are available in America yet? Maybe I wanted to watch the Crazy Train video.
    Always found Behemoth's O Father O Satan O Sun! to be extremely catchy. First half is like listening to a pop song.
    I can't be the only one who thinks the dude from Helloween looks like a combination of James Hetfield and Bon Jovi.
    the main groove of this is insanely catchy once you get it in your head, although leprous isn't terribly well known I think this should be up there
    That is a weirdly cool song. That main riff just sounds really goofy, like a djent riff was played on middle two strings instead of the lowest.
    Thank you for posting that! Never heard the song before and glad to discover them!
    no way if Skid Row can be in the THIS HAS to Be there Alice Cooper Poison