Countdown To Extinction: UG's Soundtrack To The Apocalypse

Suggest your ultimate apocalypse soundtrack!

Ultimate Guitar

So, if the Mayans are to be believed, tomorrow is the end of the world. We here at Ultimate-Guitar towers are all kitted out for it. We're holed up into our survival bunker, stocked up with 48 cans of Heineken, about 400 packs of ramen noodles and an original 1980s Game Boy complete with Tetris and the video game adaptation of Gremlins 2: The New Batch. Unfortunately, we've forgotten to bring any batteries, or a kettle, rendering anything but the cans of beer absolutely useless...

Anyway, after unanimously voting to eat Clyde the Janitor first in the event that we resort to cannibalism, we decided we could wile away our last hours by coming up with... ULTIMATE-GUITAR'S ULTIMATE APOCALYPSE PLAYLIST!!! Check it out, and get ready to party like it's 2012!

Muse - "Apocalypse Please"

Muse's 2003 album Absolution was a record obsessed with the end of the world, something that was crystalized in the disc's opener "Apocalypse Please". The track paints a suitability Biblical armageddon, replete with epic drums, synths and a choir of overdubbed Matt Bellamys. Who said that the apocalypse couldn't have any pomp?

The Clash - London Calling

The instant that Paul Simonon's bass drops in "London Calling", you know that you're in for a small slice of doom. The sense of imminent death in the track is enforced by Joe Strummer's buzz-saw rhythm guitar and perhaps crystalized in the nihilistic chorus line of "London is drowning and I live by the river."

Led Zeppelin - Dazed And Confused

(live version)

While not directly about the apocalypse, Led Zeppelin's "Dazed and Confused" always felt like a song that you could soundtrack the end of the world to. The live version from recent DVD release "Celebration Day" is a tuned down slab of stomping death, with John Paul Jones's bass line rumbling with all the intensity of a nuclear warhead. Jimmy's mid section bowed guitar solo is pure chaos.

Megadeth - Rust In Peace... Polaris

Megadeth have written more songs about the apocalypse than most people have had hot dinners. While Countdown to Extinction was a strong contender for this list, that track that ultimately won out for us was the title track of 1990's "Rust In Peace" album. It closed out the record, and, as those epic tom hits thunder in at the beginning, you realize that it would be a quite apt song to end the world to.

Prince - 1999

Who says that the end of the world has to be all doom and gloom? Prince's breakthrough single is a funky recount of apocalyptic destruction that you just can't help but get up and dance to. But don't take our word for it, as the Purple one himself puts it:

"2000 - 00, party over, oops, out of time. So now now I'm gonna party like it's 1999!"

We had initially intended to make this list a lot longer, but five songs in, an argument broke out about the best way to marinade Janitor Clyde's shoulders...

But maybe you, the Ultimate-Guitar faithful can give us a helping hand. Suggest your ultimate apocalypse soundtrack in the comments below and help us make the best armageddon playlist ever! But do it quickly, because of the Mayans were right, then we've probably got less than a day to live before all hell (literally) breaks loose!

243 comments sorted by best / new / date

    How to Disappear Completely by Radiohead (after taking a shitload of valium and/or acid).
    Last Chance to evacuate Planet Earth Before it is Recycled - Porucpine Tree 99 Red Balloons would go down well also.
    Sometimes I wonder if UG know any other bands than the 20 same mainstream acts.
    Being only 21 years of age, I'd say this is the right song for me. Goodbye, cruel world! HAHAHAHAHAAAA!!!
    Slash feat Iggy Pop - We're all gonna die (so let's get high !!!)
    The Soundtrack of the Apocalypse - Tool : Aenema - Naked City : Bonehead - Meshuggah : War - Einstrzende Neubauten : Total Eclipse of the Sun - Nine Inch Nails : The Day The World Went Away - Kyuss : Molten Universe - The Doors : The End - Ministry : No W - Melvins : Evil New War God - Faith No More : Everything's Ruined - Creedence Clearwater Revival : Bad Moon Rising - Superjoint Ritual : Oblivious Maximus - Obituary : The End Complete - Crowbar : High Rate Extinction - Paradise Lost : As I Die - Black Sabbath : After Forever - Morbid Angel : Desolate Ways - Electric Wizard : Funerapolis - Fear Factory : Demanufacture - A Perfect Circle : The Hollow
    Megadeth - Endgame? Maybe, possibly Trivium - Watch the World Burn Dethklok - Burn the Earth
    Its beyond me how epitaph by king crimson was overlooked...greg lake howls with a pain that can only be described as apocalyptical
    Lamb of God - Reclamation Tool - Aenema White Zombie - Welcome to Planet Mother****er/Psychoholic Slag White Zombie - More Human than Human Slayer - Raining Blood Sepultura - Beneath the Remains Alice in Chains - We Die Young Megadeth - Black Friday (12/21/12 is a Friday after all) Static X - Start A War Slayer - Live Undead Slipknot - People=Shit Primus - Tragedy's a'Comin Powerman 5000 - Supernova Goes Pop Pantera - Death Rattle Black Sabbath - Hole in the Sky Metallica - Orion
    But seriously, UG, it wasn't originally the Mayans who interpreted 21/12/2012 as the date of apocalypse, it just represents a transition of era and possible ascension/enlightenment of consciousness.
    I see that someone posted it in the comments but HOW the phuck is REM's "Its the end of the world" not on this damn list?
    Black Sabbath's Into the Void, Iron Maiden's When Two Worlds Collide & Fates Warning, King Crimson's Epitaph...
    you picked rust in peace polaris over countdown to extinction? UG really has some stupid ****ing writers in there.
    rust in peace polaris is about nuclear was and the apocalypse. countdown to extinction is about canned hunts and animals going extinct. it may be your opinion, but you made yourself sound douchingly arrogant, and you probably didnt even know what both songs were about. good job.
    Guns N' Chains
    I know they are great and all, but how is that Led Zeppelin get on EVERY musical "Best of" and "Tops" list? It could be "Best Punk Songs" and somehow Led Zeppelin would make their way on there. In all seriousness, I'd say Coheed & Cambria - The End Complete III Don't believe me? Check out the lyrics.