Many Heavy Metal
fans and musicians seem to agree that in their genre, lyrics don't matter very much - or rather, that how the lyrics sound
is a lot more important than what the lyrics mean
. Thus, a lot of Heavy Metal
music has generic, largely meaningless lyrics. Common themes (with some of their standard words) for Mad Lib Metal Lyrics include:
- Religion and Satanism in particular: 'Satan', 'Antichrist', 'damnation', 'Hell', 'sin', 'Sodom', 'Gomorra', and biblical references in general.
- Body Horror and Gorn: 'Body', 'organs', 'flesh', 'ripping', 'corpse', 'blood'.
- Heavy Meta: 'metal', 'rock', 'guitar', 'leather', and a lot of references to youthful rebellion.
- Psychopathy: 'insane', 'voices', 'mind', 'in [my/your/his] head'. A lot of overlap with Angst below.
- Warfare (modern): 'napalm', 'machine gun', 'total war', 'nuclear', 'holocaust'.
- Warfare (ancient): 'hero', 'warrior', 'sword', 'shield', 'honour', 'kingdom', 'battle'. Overlaps with...
- Heavy Mithril: 'dragon', 'beast', 'quest', 'prophecy', '[mythological figure]'
- Badass/Testosterone Poisoning: 'strong', 'power', 'stand', 'rise', 'true', 'destroy', 'burning', 'almighty'
- Angst: 'pain', 'scars", 'hell', 'bottom', 'hollow', 'hate', 'hurt', 'inside', 'bleed', 'alone', 'sorrow'
Note that, except Heavy Meta
, all these themes have violence, death and hamminess
in common. Also, metal lyrics about any of these themes are not necessarily Mad Lib Metal Lyrics - this trope is about generic
The popularity of different themes varies across metal subgenres: the "traditional" metal of the late seventies
and early eighties
mostly uses Heavy Meta
. Thrash Metal
loves modern warfare note
, as well as Satanism (but not as much as Black Metal
) and Gorn
(but not as much as Death Metal
). Ancient warfare and Heavy Mithril
mostly show up in Power Metal
and Folk Metal
This trope is about lyrics, but the same pattern often shows up in band, album and song names.
This is not necessarily a bad thing.
Many Metal Heads
will freely admit that their favourite bands' lyrics aren't very original or thought-provoking, but still enjoy the music a lot; as stated before, many just don't think lyrics are very important.
Of course, while the fans generally don't pay much attention to Mad Lib Metal Lyrics, Moral Guardians
often do - and then have a heart attack.
Compare Word Salad Lyrics
, which mean even less, but pretend to mean more.
This trope's examples are far too numerous to list; a few examples for explanatory purposes will do.
- Metallica usually averts Mad Lib Metal Lyrics, but "Metal Militia" is a fine example of this trope.
- A lot of Saxon songs, most notably "Heavy Metal Thunder".
- "Black Metal" (the genre's Trope Namer) by Venom.
- Nanowar Of Steel sometimes parodied this with weakly linked, but strongly screamed lines, using either Metal or Heavy Mithril themes — up to a List Song of metals and alloys.
- Metallica's No Life 'til Leather, presumably a snowclone of Motorhead's No Sleep 'til Hammersmith.
- Most of the songs from Sabaton's first album.
- "Criminally Insane" and "Dead Skin Mask" by Slayer.
- "Schizoid" by Venom.
- "Sweating Bullets" by Megadeth.
- Metallica has many, be a Sanity Slippage Song ("Harvester of Sorrow") or songs that also fit the Angst field above (most of Death Magnetic).
- "Fire In The Sky" by Saxon.
- "Chemical Warfare" by Slayer.
- "Disposable Heroes" and "No Remorse" by Metallica
- Most of Sabaton's catalog.
- Most songs by DragonForce; it would be shorter to list the songs that aren't.
- "Blood Is The Price Of Glory" and "Victory Song" by Ensiferum.
- Almost all of Amon Amarth's songs are about Vikings. Some of them are even based on real events like conquering Ireland.
- It'd probably be easier to list Folk Metal bands which do not indulge in this, than those that do.