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]'
- Rated M for Manly / 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 and meaningless metal lyrics.
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.
- "Number of the Beast" by Iron Maiden
- Too many songs by Venom to list.
- A lot of Slayer songs, including "The Antichrist".
- Black Metal
- "Creeping Death" by Metallica
- "Black Sabbath" and "After Forever" by Black Sabbath
- "The Beast and the Harlot" by Avenged Sevenfold
- "Ripping Corpse" by Kreator.
- "Necrophobic" by Slayer.
- Anything by Cannibal Corpse.
- A lot of early Dismember, particularly "Skin Her Alive".
- 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).
- "2 Minutes to Midnight", "Aces High", and "The Trooper" by Iron Maiden.
- "Fire In The Sky" by Saxon.
- "Chemical Warfare" by Slayer.
- "Disposable Heroes" and "No Remorse" by Metallica
- Most of Sabaton's catalog.
- Most of Sodom's catalog, also
- "Hail to the King" by Avenged Sevenfold
- 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.
- "Deathbringer From The Sky" by Ensiferum.
- Anything by Manowar based on Norse mythology that isn't Heavy Meta.
- Homestar Runner parodies this in the Strong Bad Email "death metal", where Strong Bad claims that death metal songs should use lots of words beginning with "d-e", like "decay", "deranged", "decrepit", and "delouse".