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Sliding Scale / Mohs Scale of Lyrical Hardness

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Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness is a sorting algorithm of, well, musical hardness; however, due to Lyrical Dissonance, mere musical sound is not always enough to determine the actual hardness of a song.

This sliding scale ranks songs (and to a lesser extent, albums, artists and bands in general) by the hardness/darkness/heaviness of their lyrics.

The name has a certain punny quality to it. After all, this is Mohs' Scale of Lyrical Hardness. Get it? Because of the musical scale?


The Scale:

  1. The song is an instrumental with no text, therefore having no message.
  2. Is completely harmless, light and upbeat, and if anything, aims for an uplifting, family-friendly effect. It consists of sunshine and sugar. Life is beautiful and everyone's happy.
  3. Is silly at most, but all in good spirit. No one can be offended.
  4. Can poke fun at something; some of the lyrics might be a little rude but in a cheeky way. Friendly kisses is pretty much the limit of sexuality that can be included.
  5. Is where optimism starts to noticeably fade. Life may be not all that great and fun, but it isn't still too bad either, and there's a sense that if anything bad happens, things are likely to get better. If sex gets mentioned, it's in a side role as part of a romantic relationship, expressed in poetic metaphors and gets about as raunchy as "we were lost in the waves of night".
  6. Is about the level of what an average adult experiences in their everyday life, like a break-up or a loved one passing away. There can be slight angst or sadness, a little cussing on the milder side and the occasional sexual innuendo.
  7. Gets a bit heavier; angst is still light, and the song is more sad than angsty. Cursing is usually still mild, although a lot more common. Violence can be alluded to or mentioned, but this level leaves out the details; direct mentions of sex, unless cleverly hidden, usually get a song at least this high on the list. References to soft drugs, such as tobacco, MDMA, amphetamines, marijuana and alcohol usually begin at this level.
  8. Can include explicit angst and/or heavy sadness. Swearing can get more frequent or heavy; this is usually where F-bombs start being dropped. Violence or self-harm might be mentioned in some detail; pretty typical for political and protest songs. Sex is often completely devoid of romance or love at this level. References to mid-level drugs, such as cocaine, LSD and magic mushrooms also usually begins at this level; soft drug use is mentioned more often and usually placed in a more negative context (such as chain smoking or binge drinking).
  9. Is likely war-themed. There is heavy angst, references to death, and heartbreaking sadness, but usually avoids direct mentions of suicide. Swearing starts to get explicit and frequent. Violence and self-harm can get mentioned with some detail, but typically not overtly glorified. Described sex acts are demeaning to one or more of the participants; may involve prostitution or rape. References to hard drugs, such as crack cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin usually begins at this level, while mention of soft and mid-level drug use becomes more common and is contextualised as very harmful or even fatal (severe alcoholism, bad trips, abuse of pills and medication, etc.)
  10. Is where the song less tells about things and more immerses the listener in a dark world of hopelessness and cruelty. Rap songs of this level tend to describe and perhaps glorify crime (see Gangsta Rap). Angst gets jarring, sadness is likely on guaranteed Tear Jerker level. Swearing is frequent, if not constant, and heavy. Domestic violence tends to be sexualized. Violence gets into the realm of gore. Mention of drug use - especially life-threatening abuse of hard drugs - is common and explicit. Self-harm or suicide might get romanticised, or the lyrics might express a serious wish to die.
  11. Is really ugly stuff. This is the level where the lyrics often carry Unfortunate Implications for listeners. Hate messages are made very explicit at this point. Angst approaches psychotic levels, and abuse of hard drugs is outright glorified. Language can be filthy; violence gets very detailed and/or gets specific on the pleasure of hurting others or oneself. Might include straight-played romantic depiction of self-harm or suicide.
  12. Is almost sure to be Stealth Parody or lyrical Mind Screw. At this point, the lyrics do everything they ever can to make the listener feel shocked, offended and disgusted, to the point where it's impossible to take seriously and is blatantly created for the purposes of satire.


Just as people provide YouTube links for examples of the aforementioned sister sliding scale, for this one people ought to provide examples of lyrics from the songs in question which illustrate the tone of the lyrics.

The Mohs scales for musical hardness and lyrical hardness could be cross-referenced for extra value and impact.

Note, of course, that lower levels of hardness are not necessarily bad. Playing songs with a lot of violence and swears is downright inappropriate in many settings. Higher levels aren't necessarily bad either, especially since there is potential for satire and lower levels can be unappealing in their own right to some.

Also note that this scale applies to lyrical content, and not the content of a music video.



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    Level 1 
  • Pharrell's hit single "Happy" is an upbeat song about never giving up with being happy, and nothing can knock you down.
  • Kool & the Gang's "Celebration" Is meant to be a happy song, since it's about celebrations.
  • There is not a hint of depression or anger in New Edition's "Candy Girl", a happy, The Jackson 5-styled song about finding love and comparing a girl to a sweet treat.
  • "Hocus Pocus" by Dutch prog rock band Focus. The same song is at Level 6 on the Mohs Scaleof Rockand Metal Hardness as it's a fairly heavy song.
  • Almost any lullaby will rank 1-2 to get both the luller and the lullee in the proper mindset. But there are exceptions...
  • The Beatles' "Good Day Sunshine" from Revolver is almost absurdly cheery. Paul McCartney cited The Lovin' Spoonful's "Daydream" as its inspiration.
  • The Hamster Dance.
  • Rebecca Black's "Friday".
  • "Simple Gifts" by Aaron Copland.
  • Most Christmas carols.
    • On that note, if you're looking for a holiday song that's literally about puppies, Sia has you covered.note 
  • "Party in the USA" by Miley Cyrus.
  • Sitcom and children's show themes, usually.
  • "Close To You" by The Carpenters.
  • Essentially all of Pretty Cure's songs that have lyrics. The Image Songs from Smile Pretty Cure! stand out in this regard.
  • The only lyrics to "Cliffs of Dover", if we call them lyrics, are the singer shouting stuff like "Yeah!"
  • Lindsey Stirling sits solidly at Level 0 most of the time due to being an instrumental artist, but "We Are Giants", one of her only two lyrical songs, goes no higher than Level 1. It's an upbeat, pick-me-up song with not much variance in lyrics - which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
  • Many Parry Gripp songs have happy lyrics about cute things, like food and animals. Some, such as "This is My Ringtone" and "Lazy Harp Seal Has No Job", are 2 and teeter towards 3.
  • "Bailando" by Paradisio is all about a fun night of clubbing in the beach paradise of Ibiza.
  • "Buenos Días señor Sol" by Mexican singer Juan Gabriel is a song about how awesome it is to wake up to the morning sunshine. The fact that it was written, of all people, by a Mexican from Ciudad Juárez, a place with so much goddamn sun that people there actually think gray, rainy and cold days are awesome, makes it even more idealistic.
  • "Sun Is Shining" by Axwell /\ Ingrosso. Things might have been slightly difficult recently, but the sun is shining and so are you!
  • "Dancing in the Moonlight" by King Harvest is a cheery upbeat song about friends enjoying music and, well, dancing in the moonlight.
  • "I Like Fruit" by The Aquadolls is a 30-second song about how Melissa likes fruit.
  • R.E.M.'s "Shiny Happy People" is practically the definition of this level.
    Meet me in the crowd, people, people
    Throw your love around, love me, love me
    Take it into town, happy, happy
    Put it in the ground where the flowers grow
    Gold and silver shine
    • If taken literally, that is. It's a fairly obvious satire describing the propaganda of oppressive governments, which puts it much, much higher if you're aware of the meaning.

    Level 2 
  • Cameo's "Word Up" perfectly fits this level.
  • The Beatles: "All My Loving" from With the Beatles.
  • Primal Scream: "Movin' On Up". Things were once bad, but the narrator has turned a new leaf and is now ecstatic about his life.
  • Jefferson Airplane: "How Do You Feel" is very sweet and naive, but it implies that the admirer is shy.
  • Pre - "Pet Sounds" The Beach Boys, plus "Good Vibrations".
  • Wall of Voodoo's "Mexican Radio" is a silly song that the very PC might find culturally insensitive, but it harmless to most everyone.
  • ELO's "Mr. Blue Sky" would probably be a Level-1 were it not for the lines that acknowledge that the sky is not ALWAYS blue...
    In the city
    on the streets where once was pity
  • "Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley & His Comets.
  • "Never Gonna Give You Up" by Rick Astley.
  • "Don't Worry, Be Happy" by Bobby McFerrin is a warm shot of encouragement, and quite a popular choice for Soundtrack Dissonance.
    • Until you actually listen to the lyrics and realize that McFerrin is consoling someone whose life is completely falling apart by telling him to stop whining. YMMV, indeed.
  • "The Happiest Girl in the Whole USA" by Donna Fargo. The only thing stopping it from being a 1 is the fact the singer implies that she used to be depressed before the events in the song took place. Other than that, it's one of the most happy and innocent songs out there.
  • "I Love My Life" by the Justice Crew is here (other than the references to drugs and alcohol which kept it from being a level 1).
  • "Numbers (I Can Only Count to Four)" by Psychostick is about the protagonist barely knowing how to count to four. It's even funnier considering it's a parody of "Bodies" by Drowning Pool, which is a 9-10.
  • Alvin Lucier's "I Am Sitting in a Room" would have been a 1, however, the lyrical content is more neutral than happy.
  • "Baby Shark" by PINKFONG. The only thing stopping this hit children's song from being a 1 is that it is implied that some of the characters are trying to avoid getting eaten by the sharks.

    Level 3 
  • ABBA (Waterloo)
  • The Beatles: "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
  • The Doors' "Hello, I Love You" is ever-so-slightly suggestive, but mostly harmless.
  • Pink Floyd's "See Emily Play" from The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.
  • Lost Horizon's sophomore album "A Flame To The Ground Beneath" ranges between 3~5; all songs praise the power of the will of man, and encourages triumph over pain and hardship. The band isn't called Xanax for nothing.
  • The Cure's happy songs, such as "Just Like Heaven" and "Friday I'm In Love".
  • Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day's opening Aoi Shiori (Blue Bookmark). Lyrics here.
  • "All Star" by Smash Mouth.
    • Smash Mouth is this level, except for some of their songs on their debut album Fush Yu Mang ("Flo" and "Walking on the Sun" which are both at a 5, the latter being a surprisingly political song for a band best known for making songs for Shrek.)
  • "YMCA" by The Village People would rank lower, if it wasn't for the third verse. (Though for anyone who understands the Double Entendre of the song being about seeking sex, it becomes around a 6.)
    Young man, I was once in your shoes
    I said I was, I was out with the blues
    I felt no man cared if I were alive
    I felt the whole world was so jive
    That's when someone walked up to me
    And said: "Young man, take a walk up the street.
    There's a place there, called the YMCA
    They can start you back on your way."
  • "Shake It Off" by Taylor Swift.
  • Bleach's first ending theme, Life is Like a Boat, by Rie fu. Lyrics here. note 
  • Biz Markie's Just A Friend has something of a downer in the lyrics (being about unrequited love) but it's effectively a joke song where the lyrics are sung as over-the-top and tone-deaf as possible, putting it here.
  • Allegaeon is an example of inverted lyrical dissonance due to the songs it has at around this level. Songs like "1.618", "All Hail Science" and "Gravimetric Time Dilation" wax poetic about science, mathematics and physics without a hint of lyrical darkness, all while pounding away with instrumentals at a 9 or a 10 on the Rock and Metal Hardness Scale.
  • The Beastie Boys usually hover around this level, minus the odd bit of profanity. To the 5 Boroughs is a bit higher, due to overtly political lyrics.
  • Motherland by Crystal Kay is a wistful, almost lullaby-like song about missing a loved one with a gentle mood. It was the third ending song for Fullmetal Alchemist (2003).
  • "Everything Will Flow" by Suede hovers between 3 and 4, due to its themes about alienation and the mundanity of modern life, but the uplifting nature of the lyrics ultimately keep it at a 3.

    Level 4 
  • Emilie Autumn's first album, mostly.
  • Kamelot: Serenade
  • My Chemical Romance: Their straighter love songs ('The Only Hope For Me Is You', 'Summertime') hover around this level.
  • The songs on The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds range from here through 5 for the most part. The whole album has a yearning quality to its lyrics.
  • David Bowie, in his lighter moods, is usually at this level. Examples include "Let's Dance" and "Modern Love" from Let's Dance, which were two of his biggest hits.
  • Lindsey Stirling's "Shatter Me". It's angsty, and was written about the darkest time in Stirling's life, but the lyrics are clean.
  • Most of Taylor Swift's discography, especially all the songs about love gone wrong.
  • Enya tends to hang around this level, given that most of her work is either uplifting or bittersweet, and often themed around love, loneliness, and wanderlust. She'd be even lower, but she tends to deal with these topics in relatively mature and realistic ways (which require acknowledging that life isn't always good), and isn't prone to poking fun at things. She's gotten all the way down to 1 or 2 ("Wild Child" is just a complete pep talk) and all the way up to around 9 ("I May Not Awaken" includes a thinly-veiled, but not at all romanticized, discussion of suicide), though.

    Level 5 
  • Nightwish usually ranges from 3-6 with their romantic, more or less vaguely melancholic themes; when they top that it's due to hopeless themes.
  • Liverpool Lullaby (or The Mucky Kid) is 5-6, as it talks pretty straight about poverty, Dad's alcoholism and how the kid's going to "gerra belt from your Dad". Lyrics
  • Laula kukko ("Sing my rooster") is a Finnish children's song — the narrator of the song asks farm animals to perform their duties, such as the rooster to sing, the hen to lay eggs, and the cow to yield milk. He also threats the animals with consequences if they don't; the hen will be put in a hot oven, the rooster will lose his head, and the cow will lose her bell.
  • Black Sabbath's "N.I.B." is a song about the Devil falling in love and giving up his evil ways. It'd be a few levels lower if not for the Devil part, which makes it somewhat controversial.
  • "Cardboard Castles" by Watsky is difficult to place. Some could argue that the swearing would bring this up to a 6, but the edited version could very easily be a 4. The video, which is not always happy but ends on a very optimistic note, seems to support the lighter interpretation.
  • "How You Like Me Now?" by The Heavy talks about a man who was recently struck from a break-up and tries to win back his ex-girlfriend, who got recently engaged with another man.
  • Placebo hardly gets below a 4, as sadness, anger and drugs often feature in their lyrics. Even a ballad such as "Without You I'm Nothing" gets dramatic and love-lorn.
  • Some of Rebecca Black's newer songs can fall into this category, particularly "Wasted Youth" and "Do You"— which talk about getting into the wrong relationship and struggling to make a failing one work out, respectively.
  • Ariana Grande's "God is a Woman" is probably a heavy 5. The lyrics point unambiguously but non-explicitly to sexual activity, while using poetic and religious metaphors to convey a wholesome message of female empowerment.
  • "Ebony Eyes" by the The Everly Brothers. A sad but soothing song about a man finding out his fiancée has tragically died in a plane crash mere hours before their wedding.

    Level 6 
  • Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five's song "The Message" is well, a message about the realities of ghetto life, although no swearing is involved.
  • ABBA (The Winner Takes It All).
  • The Birthday Massacre falls squarely in the 6-9 range. Their lighter songs are about loneliness and break ups.
  • The Beatles: "Eleanor Rigby" from Revolver, about lonely people, namely the title woman and the priest who eventually has to organize her Lonely Funeral.
  • Blue Öyster Cult: "Don't Fear The Reaper" makes for a light 6.
  • Fall Out Boy: Most of their discography, usually set to upbeat music.
  • "Forever Young" by Alphaville. It contains no swearing or drug references, but violence is alluded to in the form of fears about a nuclear bombing and being okay with dying young. And it has an incredibly haunting tune.
    Heaven can wait, we're only watching the skies
    Hoping for the best but expecting the worst
    Are you going to drop the bomb or not?
    So let us die young, or let us live forever...
  • Joy Division comes in between a 6-8. The lyrics are hardly ever profane and quite cryptic, but they are depressing, angsty, and very bleak. Some of their more uptempo (but not upbeat) songs like "Transmission" qualify as 6, while the dirges off Closer are a solid 8 (the cryptic lyrics and lack of profanity keep their darker songs out of 9).
    • New Order fits here as well, in contrast to their uptempo sound, which hovers around a 3, and in some cases, a 4 in the Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness. "Blue Monday" is a great example, as in spite of its status as a classic dance track, the lyrics are indeed quite cryptic and bleak:
      How does it feel to treat me like you do
      When you've laid your hands upon me and told me who you are?
  • Lord Huron's "The Night We Met", about a relationship slowly falling apart and then ending, hits about here.
    I had all and then most of you, some and now none of you
    Take me back to the night we met
    I don't know what I'm s'posed to do, haunted by the ghost of you
    Take me back to the night we met
  • Pink Floyd: The Dark Side of the Moon. Same goes for Wish You Were Here (1975).
  • The Animals: "House of the Rising Sun". Dark story.
  • The Offspring's "Gone Away" would be a high 6 or low 7—it's about grieving after a loved one's untimely death, but it leaves off the details.
  • The Doors's lyrics average out at six, due to the angst and surrealism of their lyrics. For instance, "Break On Through" is an angsty, angry song that references drug use with "she gets high". But it's ultimately a song about breaking free of one's limitations and arriving at a better place.
  • Most of The Cure's and The Smiths' oeuvre stands here - or up to 8 (see the former's material in Pornography).
  • Hard-Fi's "Cash Machine" resides around this level, as it talks about frontman Richard Archer's broke life before hitting it big with his band. What prevents it from scoring higher is because the lyrics, despite being surely Tear Jerker, don't cross into straight-up Wangst territory. Oh, and the song scores a 3 in the Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness. This is the chorus:
    I scratch a livin', it ain't easy, you know it's a drag
    I'm always paying, never make it, but you can't look back
    I wonder If I'll ever get to where I want to be
    Better believe it, I'm working for a cash machine!
  • Lords of Acid will mostly stay around this level, as their lyrics are of unabashed sex, although they definitely have some love trappings. They however can go further in their squickier material.
  • Quite a bit of Regina Spektor 's work, with "Oedipus," "Braille," and "Long Brown Hair" coming to mind. The actual music is slightly cheerier, however.
  • Weezer's "Say it Ain't So". It's about a kid who has to deal with his parents' divorce and alcoholism.
  • Midnight Oil's "Forgotten Years", about war veterans thinking on what they accomplished. The band's pechant for a Protest Song also usually ranks around this level.
  • "Nemesis", by Arch Enemy, ranks very high on the rock and metal hardness scale (around a 9) but is ultimately a song about teaming up.
  • "Bat Country" by Avenged Sevenfold
  • Anberlin tends to average about a 6. They have everything from nice, upbeat 3's ("City Electric") to songs about sex without love in the 6-7 range ("Feel Good Drag" and "Self-Starter") to Reclusion, which is a solid 8 and would likely be higher had the band not avoided cursing.
  • Depeche Mode averages at this level. While their lyrics are occasionally very bleak and some songs definitely reach a 7, or perhaps an 8 at the very highest (such as "Blasphemous Rumours" and "The Sweetest Perfection," which are fairly detailed in their depictions of suicide and drug abuse, respectively), there's actually not a whole lot of explicit content in their music aside from the air of hopelessness, love is a very common theme, and the worst vulgarities that come to memory are a mention of "pissing out the wrong energy" in "Wrong," and a deserving Precision F-Strike on the Protest Song "Fail." Indeed, their more recent albums (Exciter and Delta Machine in particular) even have far more optimistic themes.
  • "Runaway Train" by Soul Asylum: a rock ballad that's a two on the Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness, but is depressing enough in tone to warrant at least a six on this one. The music video is an 8 on the Mohs Scale of Violence Hardness.
  • Kevin Temmer's darker songs land around the 6/7 borderline, though they'd be much higher if not for them being played entirely for comedy. These include "Quirky Bird Murderer" (which is about killing birds), "Somebody Else" (about an existential crisis), "Moon Rap" (about killing all life in the universe) and "Watching the World Burn" (about a plant well, watching the world burn).

    Level 7 
  • In general, any of the Visual Shock era (The '80s to the middle of The '90s) Visual Kei bands, if they are not an 8, will land here lyrically, with only a few songs as exceptions. X Japan is pretty much firmly here, though several of their songs ping higher (Orgasm is either here or an 8, depending on how you interpret it, Stab Me In The Back is an 8, Standing Sex an 8/9, Sadistic Desire a 9) and two lower (Endless Rain is a 4 solely for its "make love to you" line, and would be around a 1-2 otherwise, and Forever Love is a 2-3, somewhat sad but not really sexual or violent or upsetting without the subtext of it's having been played at a band member's funeral), as is BUCK-TICK (with its well-earned Fan Nickname of Fuck-Tick and its love for Intercourse with You)
  • "Almost Dead" from Shadow the Hedgehog is about the edgiest a song from an E10+ game can get it.
    Well, we're almost dead
    Almost dead
    Almost dead to the world
  • Nightwish: Poet And The Pendulum is one of their darkest songs, a strong 7 if not an 8.
    • Their second "long" song, Song of Myself, sits comfortably here as well, although it's mostly the poem at the last third of the song that really does it.
  • Various songs by System of a Down are here.
  • Black Sabbath: "War Pigs" from Paranoid (Album) and most of their more famous songs.
  • "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" from Abbey Road by The Beatles (creepy considering the melody which is more indicative of a 2 or 3 song)
  • Green Day during their American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown eras.
  • My Chemical Romance typically sticks to a 6-8 range in their first three albums, most lyrical content referencing death and violence, and arguably glorifying it according to their Hate Dumb. Some content may even warrant a 9, but the usual lack of language (minus the occasional Precision F-Strike) knocks them down a peg. Their Lighter and Softer fourth album changes things.
  • Kamelot varies, but generally hovers around a 6 or 7.
  • Velvet Underground's "Venus in Furs" from The Velvet Underground & Nico presents S&M in a creepy, somewhat depressing light.
  • Rage Against the Machine is typically at either 7 or 8 on the scale. May push higher during songs with more profanity.
  • Pink Floyd: Pretty much anything off Animals, The Wall, or The Final Cut. Depressing, highly cynical stuff.
  • Silverchair: Rarely includes bad language, but wrote a lot of songs about mental illness, unrequited love and extreme loneliness. The epitome of poignant.
  • Simon & Garfunkel: Mostly sits around here. Lots of Lyrical Dissonance. Beautiful melodies and vocals. Exceedingly angsty/depressing lyrics.
  • Nirvana usually sits around here.
  • The National lie somewhere between 5-9, but I'm just putting it here.
  • Marilyn Manson's Eat Me, Drink Me and Mechanical Animals albums sit here, giving them extremely large base-breaking reputations. Of course, for the rest of the fandom, everyone knows that the next album will piss off fans of the previously album. It's an acknowledged, intentional homage to David Bowie.
  • Watsky's Sarajevo is about a real-life couple that died trying to escape the Christian-Muslim conflict in Bosnia. The song's a Tear Jerker, lamenting over how religion all too often turns people against each other rather than bringing them together, but ultimately it's all about The Power of Love and how it's stronger than war and conflicting beliefs.
  • "PDA" by Interpol is here, being about a psychopathic hotel owner going to jail after murdering/raping one of his tenants. The only reason it's not higher is because it's hidden under thick Word Salad Lyrics.
  • Garbage usually ranks about 6-8, depending on how much snark and\or Self-Deprecation are being employed. The peaks mostly concern Tsunderes with violent intentions ("Vow", "#1 Crush").
  • The Strokes usually hovers around this level, especially when the song is about romance. Sex, prostitution references, politics, occasional f-bombs. The lyrics can get pretty nihilistic at times.
  • Meshuggah tends to fall towards the higher end of the scale; not as high as the similarly heavy bands who tend to write outright Gorn, but still fairly high. New Millenium Cyanide Christ is an example of a song of theirs residing at this level due to it being a song about a man giving up his humanity to become a messiah of sorts, with the painful process of transformation being described in some detail.
  • Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea averages around here. There's no gory imagery or swearing, but the sexual imagery and themes of the holocaust push it up here.
    • Some songs would be a 4, such as "King of Carrot Flowers Pt. 1" or "In the Aeroplane Over The Sea" if the lyrics weren't so unsettling and strange.
  • Linkin Park's first two albums pretty solidly fit here, although they've retroactively gone up to an 8 in some cases as a result of Chester Bennington's suicide.
  • Boyinaband's "I'm not dead."
    If what made me successful was an imposed sense of stress then
    I am so so glad that I hated myself.
    I didn’t luck into this position. I struggle with decisions
    I wouldn’t be my own friend, I’m too inconsistent
    Without immense pressure nothing ever gets finished
    If these words make it to your ears it’ll be a fucking miracle.
  • Converge generally fits here. Their music deals with emotionally charged topics but is pretty non-explicit. They are usually a 10 musically though.
  • "Handlebars" by Flobots appears to be a 1 at first, with the narrator initially bragging about innocent skills like keeping rhythm without a metronome, taking apart (and almost putting back together) the TV remote, and of course riding his bike with no handlebars. However, it shifts further and further towards this level as it progresses, as the narrator starts to boast about increasingly villainous and political actions, eventually culminating in either threatening to wipe out humanity and end the planet or actually doing so.

    Level 8 
  • Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit" is a dark and disturbing song about lynched, rotting dead bodies hanging from trees in the American South.
  • Many songs by Apulanta come off as vaguely to moderately angsty and somewhat confusing, around scale point 6 for most people. The band has a reputation of being the favourite of teenagers going through their dark phases. But if you have personal history with psychological problems, you start to understand. The rabbit hole goes to an easy 8 for those who both know what certain conditions feel like, and get the multitude of tangled metaphors.
  • hide is generally here. Almost all of his songs are angsty or ruminations on sadness and depression and suicide (the only thing keeping him from being a 9 on average and from people thinking his own suicide was intentional was that many of them turn around to Talking Down the Suicidal or to lashing out at the thing that is inducing Driven to Suicide, or to Black Comedy - so while there is the subtext of suicide, it's also the subtext of "don't do it, it's not worth it") and the few that aren't are Protest Song or Intercourse with You.
  • "Gloomy Sunday" a.k.a. the "Hungarian Suicide Song": angst 6-8 depending on translation, the original being on this level
  • Emilie Autumn straddles eight and nine (romanticising self-harm, angst songs about mental illness, rape, and death)
  • Vander Graaf Generator is usually somewhere around here, occasionally sinking to a 6 or hard 5 and occassionally going up to a 9 (notably on 'A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers', where it's made quite clear that the protagonist goes insane and jumps off the lighthouse to drown himself).
  • "The Real Slim Shady" by Eminem, for the language.
  • Sabaton usually ranks around this level.
  • Loudness was a 5-7 in its Hair Metal days with the exceptions of Crazy Doctor, S.D.I., and a few others, but after 1991 parked itself here with almost all of its songs being anti-war song, Protest Song of other varieties, or Intercourse with You.
  • The Beatles: "Happiness is a Warm Gun" from The White Album. Arguably the darkest Beatles song, it's either about a psychopath planning to shoot someone, or a heroin addiction.
  • "Manipulate" by Tribe 8
    I just wanna slap around my girlfriend, I just wanna make her scream and yell
    I just wanna tie her to the bedposts and call her nasty names like you evil bitch from hell
    It's such a sin, I don't give a fuck what you think,
    She loves me so when i do it, gets me high so I dont have to drink
  • "The Mariner's Revenge Song" by the Decemberists
  • "You Know You're Right" by Nirvana. May also go as high as a 9 when you consider that this was the last song the band recorded before the lead singer Ate His Gun.
    Things have never been so swell
    I have never failed to fail
  • The 2 Live Crew often resides here, due to its extremely heavy sexual imagery. Their album As Nasty As They Wanna Be, however, sometimes climbs up to 11 as it takes their explicitness and RUNS with it.
  • "X.Y.U." and "Tales of a Scorched Earth" by The Smashing Pumpkins. "X.Y.U." has been speculated to be about a number of things, including an abusive relationship, forced abortion, rape and murder. "Tales of a Scorched Earth" has a lot of swears and is outright nihilistic.
  • "Bodies" by The Sex Pistols from Nevermind The Bollocks Heres The Sex Pistols deals with a highly illegal and messy abortion. Alternately harsh and desperate. The point of view seems to switch around.
  • Iron Maiden and Metallica are usually here (even down to the war-themed songs mentioned atop the page, such as "2 Minutes to Midnight" and "One"). A standout for the latter is "Fade To Black", due to extremely high amounts of despair and an obvious—if not explicit—suicide theme.
  • Pearl Jam: from Ten: "Jeremy" is about a boy who shoots himself in front of his classroom, "Alive" is about a mother trying to seduce her son so she can vicariously make love to her dead husband, and "Once" is about a damaged guy who shoots people with a 16 gauge for no apparent reason.
  • Keane's "Black Rain" easily reaches this level, with a heavy war theme and wall-to-wall desolate, grim imagery. The soft, ambient tone and piano and string accompaniment and the lyrical softness of every other track on the album make it seem even harsher.
    Red sky turning 'round, black rain falling down
    If you've got love, you better hope that that's enough
    Sandstorm cuts your skin, black kites circling
    If you've got love, you better hope that that's enough
  • Steely Dan's Do It Again. The lyrics are in the video's description. note 
  • "Laid" by James: Another classic example of Lyrical Dissonance, containing lyrics about a dysfunctional relationship involving stalking and fighting. note 
  • "Such A Shame" by Black Stone Cherry, with its lyrics about a young girl becoming a prostitute leading to her death.
    She takes off her clothes, And closes her eyes
    Tears start to fall as she looks at her life.
    It wasn't her fault, That you weren't around
    To keep her away from the things that she found
    God only knows, what else could go wrong
    Somebody come take this little girl home
    They found her body face down dead in the rain. Such a shame.
  • Foster the People's "Pumped Up Kicks" ranks around here, being a Columbine-inspired song about kids shooting other kids, although it's an easy 2 or 3 on the musical hardness scale. While the violence itself isn't graphically described, the narrator's also implied to be mentally ill, parentally abused, entirely neglected, or some combination thereof.
  • Aerosmith's "Janie's Got A Gun", about a girl who decides to kill her father for sexually abusing her.
  • David Bowie's darkest work is here, such as Outside (and these lyrics don't even touch on the gruesome world-building in the accompanying short story/liner notes, which is even worse) and several tracks on The Next Day, such as the title track and "Valentine's Day". Sure, that last one sounds sweet, but it's about a teenager planning to commit mass murder. The Tin Machine track "Shopping for Girls" (about sex tourism/child prostitution) also qualifies.
  • Most music by Bullet for My Valentine ranks here, especially "Scream Aim Fire".
  • "Nothing to Fear (But Fear Itself)" by Oingo Boingo is either this or a hard 7.
  • Being a band frequently delving into themes of Horrible History Metal and being Driven to Suicide most of the lyrics of Cormorant tends to veer around this area, sometimes even going higher. Very few songs go lower than 7.
  • The Offspring's "Bad Habit", about a crazy driver about to go Ax-Crazy.
  • Most Soundgarden songs, as demonstrated by titles such as "Rusty Cage", "Fell on Black Days" and "Worse Dreams". Some of these go up to a 9 considering Chris Cornell's suicide.
  • Melanie Martinez's album Cry-Baby is usually in the 7-9 area, depending on the song and how it affects you. It has numerous references to alcohol abuse, lots of swearing, and just generally high levels of depressing. A few songs, most notably "Training Wheels", are exceptions to this ("Training Wheels" is a 3 or a 4 thematically but has quite a bit of language).
  • Old school narcocorridos, Mexican folk songs that tell stories of drug smuggling and organized crime life, usually rank around this level of hardness: while they tend to merely stick to the facts with a small bit of romanticism, these facts also usually involve gun fights, passional crimes, lots of drugs, and organized crime being portrayed in a neutral or positive light. They have since mutated into even harder songs — the corridos alterados subgenre actually ranks at level 11 and beyond.
  • Johnny Cash wrote some shockingly dark songs. For example, "25 Minutes To Go" is sung in the first person by a man counting down the minutes until he's hanged.
    Well they're building a gallows outside my cell I've got 25 minutes to go
    And the whole town's waitin' just to hear me yell I've got 24 minutes to go
    Well they gave me some beans for my last meal I've got 23 minutes to go
    But nobody asked me how I feel I've got 22 minutes to go
  • Amy Winehouse usually hovers around this level. Even her lightest songs usually have melancholic lyrics about love gone wrong, and in the case of "Tears Dry on their Own" and "Take The Box," an occasional Precision F-Strike thrown in for good measure. Her more explicit songs range from Intercourse with You to Anti-Love Song, and often feature vivid depictions of alcohol and drug abuse, sleeping around (occasionally with married men), and toxic relationships - sometimes with snark ("Fuck Me Pumps" taking down gold diggers, "You Know I’m No Good" sarcastically comparing a bad ex to Roger Moore), sometimes with very little irony. A lot of her lyrics, especially on her second album Back to Black, wallow into hopelessness and emotional pain, with relief found through sex, drugs, or both. And then there’s "Rehab."
  • "Mer Girl" by Madonna comes down here with her grief towards her mother's death, not to mention the disturbing imagery at the bridge.
  • "I'm Yer Dad" by GRLwood was written as a satirical song about the stereotypical middle-aged, overweight dad that oversexualizes women and treats them in misogynistic ways. This does creep up to Level 9 though, as well as becoming a little bit uncomfortable to listen to knowing that GRLwood's vocalist/guitarist, Rej Forester, raped their drummer, Karen Ledford.
  • Napalm Death and most political grindcore averages here.
  • Lisa Gemano, "A Psychopath," an unnerving song about domestic abuse that also samples a real 911 call. If it were more graphic then it would easily be a 9 or higher.
    I hear a scream, I see me scream,
    Is it from memory
    Am I awake, am I alone,
    When it is sunrise

    A baseball bat, a thing of mace
    That thing of mace, the thing of mace,
    Where did I leave it
    A psychopath, a psychopath,

    He says he loves me
    And I'm alone, and I am cold
    And paralyzed,
    I can't move
  • Of course, a song doesn't have to be dark, angsty or violent to rank high on the scale. Case in point: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "Thrift Shop", a lighthearted song about, well, thrift shopping that would be a lot lower if it weren't for the constant profanity, a joke about the sexual abuse allegations against R. Kelly, a passing mention of a "skeet blanket"note  and the lyric "Thank your granddad for donating that plaid button-up shirt/'Cause right now I'm up in her skirt".
  • Most of Low Teens by Every Time I Die fits here, being about the autobiographical near-death of the vocalist's wife and child and it's repeatedly make clear he will kill himself if they die. It prevents going up higher because they ultimately both survive.
  • Type O Negative bounced all around the scale, from a 4 with "Love You To Death" and "Black Number 1" to a 10 with the satirical "Kill All The White People", and "We Hate Everyone", but their album "Life Coming Down" solidly fits at a hard 8 for most of it, being about vocalist Peter Steele's intense interpersonal emotional struggles as his entire family was dying around him and he was severely addicted to cocaine, which would cut his life short as a result of damage to his heart in 2010.

    Level 9 
  • Knuck If You Buck by Crime Mob has actually inspired more violence than any song here — hell, more violence than every other song in the world.
  • "Brompton Cocktail" by Avenged Sevenfold is likely around here, detailing the suicide of a terminal illness patient by a blend of alcohol, heroin, and cocaine and painting it in a positive light.
    I lost my final fight to disease, I feel that this is where it ends
    I need that shot to enter my vein
    My Brompton cocktail blend
    'Cause I can't feel my face
    I won't struggle long
    In a world so cold
    In a world so wrong
  • Children of Bodom comes to 8 or 9 with its murder promises, raining gore and general angry swearing — it isn't nearly detailed enough to score 10 in any case.
  • "Ilona" by Apulanta, if you get the suicide theme. In any case, it remains in the metaphor level.
  • X Japan 's theme for Saint Seiya: Legend Of Sanctuary, "Hero," actually lands here, despite being a 3 on the hardness scale in the Violet UK / Yoshiki solo version, and barely a 6 on the hardness scale in the X Japan band version, due to an explicit, almost indulgent focus on Self-Harm that would put anything by My Chemical Romance or any other "emo" band to shame, though the song has An Aesop of finding one's strength within to overcome...
    I was such a mess the other day I hurt myself to see
    Ahhh, if you care, if you bleed
    Like cracks in the mirror
    Ahhh, I slit my skin, 'Till I felt something real
    'Cause I was losing, losing my reflection
  • The Birthday Massacre. We have songs about extreme alienation and despair ("Broken", "Play Dead"), meaningless sex ("Promise Me", "Video Kid"), dysfunctional and possibly abusive relationships ("Falling Down", "Violet", "Two Hearts"), psychotic obsession ("Midnight", "Blue"), suicide and self-harm ("Under The Stairs") and outright murder ("Lover's End" and, of course "Happy Birthday", which is where their name comes from).
  • Kamelot: the Elizabeth trilogy, sometimes
  • The Blue Öyster Cult's Golden Age of Leather uses The Beach Boys style vocal harmonies and West Coast surfer rhythm (scale two or three for musical hardness? Evokes sunny California beach days where everyone has a good time and everyone's alive at sunset?) But its lyrics are about old Hell's Angels getting together for a last battle to the death, with a bit of gang-rape thrown in as an appetizer. The dissonance between the two creates something entirely other and shocking...
  • Laibach (the musical wing of a Slovene art collective which appropriates totalitarian imagery and themes for artistic purposes) appears not to be a 7, but to range from 8 to 11.
  • My Chemical Romance have some songs around this level...often set to a rather happy tune.
    Stand up fuckin' tall, don't let them see your back!
    And take my fuckin' hand, and never be afraid again. (This is the CHORUS.)
    Well, let's go back to the middle of the day that started it all,
    I can't begin to let you know just what I'm feeling,
    And now the red ones make me fly, and the blue ones make me fall,
    And I think I'll blow my brains against the ceiling.
    Na na na na na na na, you run the company,
    Na na na na na na na, fuck like a Kennedy,
    Na na na na na na na, I think we'd rather be
    Burning your information.
  • The Holy Bible by Manic Street Preachers. Lyrical content includes prostitution, a cynical view of American Politics, the Holocaust and references to Self-Harm. But that's just the beginning. The album contains songs that (ironically) glorify Anorexia Nervosa and Suicide, and jokes that atrocities are okay as long as everything is politically correct. A prime example of Creator Breakdown.
  • "Teenage Whore" by Hole, being about Courtney Love's less-than stellar teenagehood.
  • Liz Phair's "Flower" isn't hateful, but it's pretty deliberately sexually explicit and not at all romantic. In it, she expresses her desire to "fuck you 'till your dick is blue." Ouch.
  • The infamous "Frankie Teardrop" by Suicide. It's a straightforward tale about a young man who murders his wife and baby before committing suicide. Also, bloodcurdling screams. Set to minimalist, oppressive electronic music.
  • Speaking of multiple murder, how about Bruce Springsteen's "Nebraska"?
    From the town of Lincoln, Nebraska with a sawed-off .410 on my lap
    Through the badlands of Wyoming I killed everything in my path
    I can't say that I'm sorry for the things that we done
    At least for a little while sir me and her we had us some fun
  • "Klapp Klapp" by Little Dragon resides at this level, as the lyrics depict suicide, though in a rather ambiguous manner. This becomes especially jarring if you consider that it's a quite bouncy trip-hop song.
    Somebody found us dancing
    You can turn off and feel better
    When everything’s clear like cold weather
    Go feel better, feel better

    Somebody from my heart sang
    I could turn off and never wake up
    And everything’s clear, my breath made like-steam fake
    Feel better
  • "Monochromatic Stains" by Dark Tranquillity. Depicts scene of murder, denial of murder, and possible psychosis.
    This pile of ashes of a soul
    Informant pokes abound
    These sickly little fingers
    Get away from me
    Tread not the path of least restraint
    Each piece of evidence a lie, a lie
    The body, the face all items in place
    I don't remember a thing
  • Sound Horizon's Elysion album, in stark contrast to the light tone of the music itself. Subjects include decapitation, revenge killings, murder and implied suicide, incest, crucifixion, rape, yanderes, opening the gates of Abyss, waking up in Abyss, and a creepy masked man.
  • “Fight Fire With Fire” by Metallica. Depicts nuclear holocaust and the people of the country suffering it knowing they’re doomed.
    Time is like a fuse
    Short and burning fast
    Armageddon's here
    Like said in the past
    • This part solidifies this song’s place at this level.
    Nuclear warfare shall lay us to rest
    Fight fire with fire, ending is near
    Fight fire with fire, bursting with fear
    We all shall die
  • Alice in Chains often gets up here on sheer hopelessness. Take the song Am I Inside. It's a clear 1 on the Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness , and yet the lyrics are so self-hating and dark that it pushes the song to a borderline 9. Most songs on Dirt and Alice In Chains are at this level.
  • "Teen Idle" by Marina Diamandis:
    Yeah I wish I'd been, wish I'd been a teen, teen idle
    Wish I'd been a prom queen, fighting for the title
    Instead of being sixteen and burning up a bible
    Feeling super-super-super-suicidal...
    The wasted years, the wasted youth
    The pretty lies, the ugly truth
    The day has come where I have died...
    Only to find I've come alive!
  • "Rapp Dirty" by Blowfly. The only reason it's not higher is it's extreme vulgarity is played entirely for comedy. For example:
    While I was going around the corner, doing about 80
    Looking between the thighs of some big pussy lady
    While checking out the thighs of this fine ho
    I could tell she had a lotta ass below
    But stopped up ahead for a bite to eat
    I said, "Hey bitch, give me some of this fine meat"
    She said, "I got it here, so come on with it
    But just make sure you got enough meat to get it"
    I said, "My hands are large, and my prick is bigger
    Just open up your eyes while I pull my trigger, yeah"
    I grabbed the bitch by the hair and then headed for the room
    She had a fine body, but a face like a coon
    She sat on the bed and pulled off her clothes
    As the funk from her pussy started fuckin' with my nose
    Suddenly I find that it all was a waste
    Cause there was a big prick staring me in the face
    I kicked it with my feet and hit it with my hand
    What I thought was a bitch was nothing but a man
  • Nu-style gabber techno usually ranks around this level. One of the most famous songs of this genre, "You're a Hardcore Hooligan" by DJ Paul Elstak, talks precisely about bare-fisted street brawls between football hooligans, with some phrases about hooliganism being better than "sitting on your armchair wanking to pop idols". Then there's "Don't Fuck with Me" by Angerfist, which instead of lyrics has samples from Scarface.
  • La Dispute is here. While not particularly vulgar, the sheer emotion put into the lyrics arranged in the way they are makes their songs possibly the saddest songs in this part of the scale.
  • "Daddy" by Korn is about the lead singer of the band being raped as a young child by a family friend, and borders on a 10 due to how graphic and vulgar it gets at some points. "Faget" isn't as lyrically heavy, but involves quite a lot of profanity and revolves around the lead singer being physically harassed and called homophobic slurs for his interests during high school.
  • Suede's "Animal Nitrate" is about a severely abusive homosexual relationship that leaves the main character severely traumatized and causes them to develop a sexual fetish for the abuse they endured. This is by the same band that made "The Drowners", a song that would be a Level 1 if it wasn't the explicit sexual content bumping it up to a 5, and from before their Darker and Edgier album Dog Man Star.
  • "Polly" by Nirvana is a song about a serial rapist abducting a teenage girl and raping and torturing her. Even worse, it was based off a real case, but ultimately falls just below a 10 due to the Bittersweet Ending of the girl escaping despite being almost certainly mentally shattered from her ordeal.
  • Transgender Dysphoria Blues and several tracks on the same-titled album by Against Me! fall on this level, being incredibly brutal and unsubtle depictions of transphobia and gender dysphoria.
    You've got no cunt in your strut
    You've got no hips to shake
    And you know it's obvious
    But we can't choose how we're made
    You want them to notice
    The ragged ends of your summer dress
    You want them to see you
    Like they see every other girl
    They just see a faggot
    They hold their breath not to catch the sick
  • "Monster" by Meg and Dia is a pretty intense example of Lyrical Dissonance, as the song became popular as a meme, but the lyrics are actually a hard 9, being based off a short story about a boy who was forcibly isolated from society by his abusive parents before raping a girl due to not understanding the moral implications of his actions. He is horrified by himself and commits suicide by drowning himself in kerosene.
  • Breaking The Habit by Linkin Park gets up here. While most of their music contained allusions to extreme depression and suicidal feelings, this song does not keep it subtextual at all.
    I'll paint it on the walls
    'Cause I'm the one at fault
    I'll never fight again
    And this is how it ends

    Level 10 
  • Billy by 6ix9ine has lyrics that glorify murder, gangs and sex. For instance:
    These niggas say they heard of me, I ain't heard of you
    Get the fuck up out my fucking face, 'fore I murder you
    Bitch niggas always jacking Blood, but I know they fu
    Whole squad full of fucking killers, I'm a killer too
  • Almost the entire oevure of Dir en grey. They have a few songs that ping lower (e.g. their instrumentals at 0, Ain't Afraid To Die could be a 7 if the protagonist is just dying naturally as opposed to a suicide) but for the most part they are here or 11.
  • GG Allin, if not 11.
  • Most of Jack Off Jill's lyrics fit here, although it's difficutlt to tell what they're about; unlike traditional Murder Ballads, the lyrics of Jack Off Jill songs seem more like random assortments of violent imagery and profanity. "Boygrinder" is an example, but not even the most extreme case of JOJ's lyrical hardness:
    We all…like it more…when we…get raped
    Can't kill yourself when you whine about it
    Can't kill yourself when you wanna fuck
    Can't kill yourself when you're one of us
    You can't kill your…
    Put me in the corner, blot me in the powder
    Take me like a poison, then kill your self
    See yourself through my eyes, and you get fucked
    Everybody's crazy, they're simply fucked
  • The title song from Nine Inch Nails' The Downward Spiral fits nicely here. It seems to present suicide as a reasonable solution, albeit with a hint of sarcasm and a representation of the very damaged mental state of the protagonist. Still, it's troubling. "Burn" from the deluxe edition of the same album also paints quite a bleak picture.
    Something inside of me, has opened up it's eyes
    Why did you put it there? Did you not realize
    This thing inside of me, it screams the loudest sound
    Sometimes I think I could
    I'm gonna burn this whole world down!
    • "Closer" as well. It can be considered a straightforward lust song, with these infamous lines:
      I wanna fuck you like an animal
      I wanna feel you from the inside
    • The rest of the album, and the majority of NIN's discography, hovers around a 9, except for the instrumental "A Warm Place" and the 11 "Big Man With A Gun" and the cut 'Just Do It".
  • Marilyn Manson's heavier songs typically hover here, especially on Antichrist Superstar and Golden Age of Grotesque. Some of Born Villain, especially "Pistol Whipped" and "Overneath The Path of Misery". Holy Wood, due to it's extremely sarcastic and parodic nature, hovers between this and 11, starting at 11, going to 10, and ending at 11. The High End of Low mostly sits here, with it being inspired by Manson's (first) breakup with Evan Rachel Wood, which was followed by a downward spiral of drugs, absinthe and self-mutilation (all those wrinkles on his face are not wrinkles, they're scars). The album was written on the walls of his mansion. All of the walls. And the doors. Some of the next album, Born Villain, even was taken from those writings. Manson was quoted as saying that he didn't even recognize the person who wrote it.
  • Most of N.W.A's output is this, including Straight Outta Compton, which lead to radio stations at the time outright refusing to play their songs due to how hard they are.
  • Electric Wizard's "We Hate You". Told from the point of view of a youth who's off to murder as many people as he can find with his father's gun. Plenty of songs are about this sort of thing, but the thing about "We Hate You" is that it's never made all that clear if having homicidal hatred towards everyone is necessarily a bad thing.
  • tool's "Prison Sex" is about the child abuse cycle. And we're not talking about verbal abuse, either...
    I've come round full circle
    My lamb and martyr, this will be over soon
    You look so precious
    • Even more fucked up is that the lyrics more than strongly imply that the narrator will continue the vicious abuse cycle.
  • Slipknot has songs like "Iowa" (a Serial Killer's ode to his victim) and "Disasterpiece":
    I wanna slit your throat and fuck the wound
    I wanna push my face in and feel the swoon
    I wanna dig inside, find a little bit of me
    Cuz the line gets crossed when you don't come clean
  • "The Race" by Tay-K is quite boastful and colorful about violent crime, especially shooting with a gun, with lyrics like "Choppa turn your dudies into fish fillet" and "Shoot a fuckboy in his motherfuckin' face". It would've been a 9 if it weren't for the fact that Tay-K produced this song while on a fugitive run on a home invasion and murder charge, and was eventually convicted of murder with this song as evidence.
  • Though most of The Offspring's tracks don't score very high on this scale (even if the lyrics are heavy on bitterness and sarcasm), "Beheaded" is a high 10 or possibly a low 11, being a Murder Ballad about an Ax-Crazy murderer who gleefully decapitates his victims:
    Watch my girlfriend come to the door
    Chop off her head, she falls to the floor
    Watching my baby's jugular flow
    Really makes my motor go
  • Although the lyrical hardness of their fifth studio album, Book Burner, was a 7 or an 8, Pig Destroyer has a lot of songs with this level of lyrical hardness, mostly from their 2001 album "Prowler in the Yard". Special mention goes to "Jennifer":
    Jennifer wrestled her friend playfully to the ground
    in front of the snowcone stand
    and began licking at the girl's eyeballs, as if they were sugar cubes.
  • Limp Bizkit's "Hot Dog", with its legendary forty-eight uses of the word "fuck".
  • Guns N' Roses lived here in their early days, from actual sex noises in "Rocket Queen" from Appetite for Destruction, to naming an EP "Live Like a Suicide", to starting "My Michelle" with
    Your daddy works in porno
    Now that mommy's not around
    She used to love her heroin
    Now she's underground
  • Rammstein is usually here, like "Spieluhr" which is about a childs apparent death which leads to it getting buried alive:
    Bumpety bump, rider
    And no angel descents
    My heart does not beat anymore
    Only the rain weeps at the grave
    Bumpety bump, rider
    A melody in the wind
    My heart does not beat anymore
    And from the ground the child sings
  • Acid Bath averages out here, occasionally going up to an 11 (Cassie Eats Cockroaches, Jezebel.), or down to a 9 (Graveflower) due to their misanthropic themes, disturbing Surreal Horror Purple Prose and metaphorical hard drug and sex references.
  • "Mexican Seafood" by Nirvana ranks here due to the incredibly gross and vulgar lyrics.
  • "Orders From The Dead" by Diamanda Galás narrates some atrocities committed by the Turks against Greek civilians, such as rape, decapitated heads impaled on stakes, girls being doused with petrol and burned alive, and of people dying of exposure on a forced march through the hot desert, praying to God for mercy through their sun-crackled lips. Arguably a hard 10 since this song is based on a real atrocity, and it describes the particularly slow and gruesome death of a real person at the hands of a lynch mob.
  • Cattle Decapitation has Forced Gender Reassignment, which has ridiculously detailed and disgusting descriptions of forced gender reassignment surgery that would easily score a 11, but the song taken down a notch since it's delivered by a Well-Intentioned Extremist narrator who kidnapped a transphobic religious bigot to force him to experience gender dysphoria, and has an anti-transphobic and pro-tolerance message.
  • Porcupine Tree's first New Sound Album In Absentia has songs about a man murdering and raping (in that order) a woman who rejected him (Lips of Ashes), a child kidnapping other children and torturing them in a shed (The Creator Has A Master Tape) and a father raping his children and wife and recording it before killing them and burying them in his walls (Strip The Soul). This should be expected, as the record is a Concept Album specifically dedicated to the mindset of sociopathic criminals.

    Level 11 
  • N.W.A's "Appetite For Destruction" is a Horrorcore-esque song and can be considered a low 11.
    • "The sound of the nine went bang, and all over the wall was his motherfuckin' brain."
    • "I like it when the pussy goes snap, crackle, and pop."
  • Most goregrind, pornogrind, brutal and slam Death Metal is at this level.
  • Cannibal Corpse's entire output, especially the Chris Barnes era, is at this level.
  • Anal Cunt's entire musical output. What else did you expect from a band with such a name; along with song titles such as "I Lit Your Baby On Fire", "Recycling Is Gay", and "I Sent Concentration Camp Footage to America's Funniest Home Videos" just to name a few.
  • Similar to the above, this is pretty much the raison d'etre of Dethklok.
  • Agitated Screams of Maggots by Dir en grey, especially so with the everlasting I'LL RAPE YOUR DAUGHTER!!!! ON YOUR GRAVE!!!!.note 
    • "Obscure" is also at this level; the lyrics are just plain wrong, and it gets worse — the line "BLOODY BABY SACRIFICE!" is shouted repeatedly during the bridge of the song.
  • Mindless Self Indulgence occasionally lapses into this territory, especially the song "Backmask Warning"
    Hey! All the people you love
    In a river of blood
    And don't forget the guns!
    (You're gonna need 'em to go kill yourself)
    • Also, "Straight To Video".
      All the problems make me wanna go
      Like a bad girl straight to video
      Little darling, welcome to the show
      You're a failure played in stereo!!!
  • Frank Zappa arguably ranks here - from the merry pornofests such as "Dinah-Moe Hum" (six minutes dedicated to describing squicky sex with a prostitute and her sister) from Over-Nite Sensation, "Stick it out" (guy begs a robot to fuck him really hard… in German, no less) from Joe's Garage or "Keep it Greasey" (well…) to the jolly squickfests of "Magdalena" (father very vividly drools over his teenage daughter's tits, dreams of smearing her with mayo and caopectate… includes such gems as "I thought - oh my God, I gave my sperm to this thing!") from Just Another Band from L.A. or "Jewish Princess" ("who squeaks when she cums", among other things... and he demands her in a song stuffed with sounds that just might have been picked up from a Turkish porno) from Sheik Yerbouti. Even the parental guidance level comparability fits - nobody in his right mind would (or should) hand out albums like Joe's Garage or Sheik Yerbouti to a minor. Actually, many (most?) of his songs indeed are humorous/satirical/PC-fighting in nature.
  • Nine Inch Nails' "Big Man With a Gun" is a satirical ditty about how great it feels to be a well-endowed rapist: "Held against your forehead, I'll make ya suck it! Maybe I'll put a hole in your head, y'know, just for the fuck of it!" Trent Reznor meant it as a social critique of misogynist, dominant masculinity (and partly as a Take That! towards Gangsta Rap, about which he said "I enjoy it, but I could do without the degree of misogyny and hatred of women and abuse." in a 1996 Spin interview), but he still got crap for it, even though it was satire.
    • Interestingly, for all the controversy over The Downward Spiral's lyrics, it was a different song called "Just Do It" (a short song urging the listener to commit suicide, with the entire lyrics being "Just do it, nobody cares at all") that actually scared co-producer Mark "Flood" Ellis into demanding that it be removed from the album, even though on the surface its lyrics are nowhere near as line-crossing as "Big Man with a Gun".
  • Marilyn Manson's Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death) album starts here, with songs like "The Fight Song" and "Disposable Teens" having a more sarcastic nature (especially the latter). It then slams into 10, only to make a return back here near the end, but no longer sarcastically, as the protagonist, Adam Kadmon, has given up all hope and is about to kill himself (and then does). This, of course, leads into the previous album. The "Cake and Sodomy" remix/cover by Tony Wiggins, known as "White Trash", flies so far up here that they were required to bleep parts of it, a feat later repeated in "Blank and White". Also, "Pretty As A Swastika" and "Arma-Goddamn-Motherfuckin-Geddon", also from The High End of Low. Golden Age of Grotesque floats around here sometimes, especially "Para-noir"
    Fuck you because I loved you
    Fuck you for loving it too
    I don't need a reason to hate you the way that I do
    • Additionally, the Marilyn Manson and The Spooky Kids discography is here mostly for it's intentional over-the-topness, from sampling Charles Manson in "My Monkey" to "Red (In My) Head" being from the viewpoint of a child molester to "Son of Man"; a song about the Son of Sam set to "Iron Man". But, when one of your founding principles is to offend people, that's to be taken for granted.
  • The early material of Australian deathcore band Thy Art Is Murder mostly resides at this level, as the lyrics seem to be from the point of view of rapacious, homicidal, woman-hating psychopaths. Songs include "Whore to a Chainsaw" (serial murder), "I'll Show You God" (murder-rape) and "Infinite Death" (serial murder-rape)("Lock up your daughters! Lock up your sluts!"). They rival Anal Cunt in lyrical horribleness, but the lyricist of these earlier songs was actually a legitimately unhinged and possibly sociopathic individual. And to think they're one of deathcore's biggest Ensemble Darkhorsesnote 
    • Most of their material drops down to a 10, as they shift away from outright misogynistic gorn to a more misanthropic POV, and horror stories, as their main lyrical themes.
  • The British band Ingested. Their early stuff nearly breaks 11. All you really have to do to realize what I mean is take a look at some of the song titles, which includes "Anal Evisceration", "Pre-Released Foetal Mush", "Condemned To Rape", and many more. If you want to actually read the lyrics, go ahead! Just make sure to prepare some Brain Bleach.
  • Anthems from The French Revolution like "Ah Ça Ira" (below) or "La Marseillaise" (which calls for quenching the soil with blood). Basically death threats against counter-revolutionaries. Would have been a 10 if not sung by sans culotte that in many cases where armed.note 
    Ah! It'll be fine, It'll be fine, It'll be fine
    aristocrats to the lamp-post
    Ah! It'll be fine, It'll be fine, It'll be fine
    the aristocrats, we'll hang them!
    If we don't hang them
    We'll break them
    If we don't break them
    We'll burn them
    Ah! It'll be fine, It'll be fine, It'll be fine
  • "All Pigs Must Die" by Death In June has explicitly hateful, if cryptic, lyrics, despite having very soft and mellow instrumentation. Also true for many other Neofolk songs.
    All pigs must die
    This ain't August '69
    All pigs must die
    7 & 7 — Sieg Heil — sublime!
  • OFWGKTA frequently ranks here, especially their older material. Examples include the entirety of Earl Sweatshirt's mixtape Earl (which includes gratuitously articulate lyrics about murder, dismemberment, rape, necrophilia and blasphemy, along with homophobic slurs and references to Nazism and the KKK) and Tyler, the Creator songs like "French" and "Tron Cat" (which talk about sodomizing the Virgin Mary and raping a pregnant woman, respectively). Jasper Dolphin and Taco are also notable examples, who often rap about "punching bitches," kidnap, rape and treating girlfriends like sex slaves ("Real Bitch" and Tyler's "Bitch Suck Dick"). Thanks to Tyler you can add bestiality ("Tron Cat") and even implied pedophilia (the bridge section of "Fish") to Odd Future's arsenal of lyrical taboos.
  • Passenger of Shit pretty much lives here—one only needs to look so far as their track titles, which include "Nail My Dick To Your Face," "Staple Tapeworms On My Penis," and "Slicing Up Ya Prick."
  • Visual Kei artist Maria Cross is here, thanks to a combination of Intercourse with You and Indecipherable Lyrics taken to the extreme. Yes, really...check out the header quote on zis page.
  • Lords of Acid, get up to this level in their more squick-driven songs, such as "Paranormal Energy" and "ABC's of Kinky Sex".
  • Rammstein's "Wiener Blut" talks about a bone-chilling event that actually happened in real life, that is, the Fritzl case. Here are the first few lyrics translated in English.
    Come with me, come into my castle
    Fun waits for us in the basement there
    Gentle, gentle we want to be
    Liberate the moment from time
    Yes, paradise lies under the house
    The door falls closed, the lights go out
    ...Are you ready
    ...Are you ready to go?
    Welcome... TO THE DARKNESS!!!!!!
  • Velvet Underground and their chief songwriter Lou Reed tell a madly narrated murder story during an orgy on drugs with drag queens in their demented 17-minutes-long "Sister Ray" from White Light/White Heat.
    Don't you know, you'll stain the carpet?
    Oh it, it just, just all over the floor, the floor
    Too busy sucking on a ding-dong
  • Geto Boys' infamous "Mind of a Lunatic", which more than lives up to its title, describing pretty much every major crime one could think of in graphic detail. The song's lyrics were so explicit, the distributor of their self-titled album placed two warning stickers on it.
  • If you can understand the Japanese lyrics of Maximum the Hormone's "Chu Chu Lovely Muni Muni Mura Mura Purin Purin Boron Nurururerorero", it's an explicit song about rape, with a verse about targeting everyone including the elementary school students. The song's alleged to be a parody of the oversexualization of characters in Japanese media.
  • Throbbing Gristle's Slug Bait, which is basically a home invasion nightmare that ends with a pregnant woman's child getting cut out and mutilated, among other things.
  • Birdfucker, secretly created by Lemon Demon. Despite being on the complete opposite end of the Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness, it could definitely belong here. To quote:
    Now when you buy a chicken
    You don't want to pluck her, no
    You'd rather stick your dick in
    You filthy rubber ducker
  • Many songs in Eminem's discography easily fit in here. Songs such as "Kim", which describes him, in vivid detail, killing his ex-wife (The song's namesake, Kim). Another example would be "Guilty Conscience" which involves Eminem and Dr. Dre acting out as the conscience of various characters. The consciences argue over different things such as whether not characters should commit murder, rape, and other crimes.
  • Aborted Hitler Cock. The name should be enough of a warning. Their lyrics, (if you can understand them), tend to be so obscene they become funny instead of offensive, depicting rape and murder in a positive light. For example, here are the lyrics from "Using Rapebabies as Riotshields"
    Apocalyptic battlefield
    Rapebabies as riotshields
    From the gaping maw they bring
    Makeshift weapons made from limbs
    Pathology of human war
    Now the streets are paved with gore
    Skies turn black, seas turn red
    Won't stop till every human's dead
  • Everything by the British Harsh Noise project Whitehouse, amplified by their occupation of the 11th level on the Rock And Metal Hardness Scale as well. The opening lines to "Why You Never Became a Dancer" probably exhibit it the most.
  • The so-called "unhinged corridos" (corridos alterados), a subgenre of the traditional Mexican narcocorridos, usually rank somewhere between 10 and 11, with the most extreme examples being basically songs about how awesome it is to behead random civilians and start random shootings in the busiest intersection during rush hour just for fun and without ever getting punished because your closest business partners are El Z-40 and the President.
  • At least half of the songs in Sutter Kain's discography contain lyrics at this level, being so blatantly offensive that they become borderline hilarious. Here's just one example from his song "Cannibal Ferox":
    I'm a mad villain. I'll bring a pedophile
    to your buildin', just to sodomize your children (Bitch)
  • Brazilian band Titãs just went straight to the source and made a spoken lyric out of a handful of selected passages of Juliette by the Marquis de Sade. Here's the Portuguese lyrics. Go ahead, translate it into your native language. The resulting song — title translates to Pope's Dissertation On Crime Followed By An Orgy — rates quite highly in the other scale too — and they aren't even a metal act.
  • “Jezebel” by Acid Bath, depicting the vile torture and murder of a prostitute from the perspective of the murderer, coated in plentiful Surreal Horror.
    She screams bloody murder as they chip off her fingers, this is how it feels to die.
  • I Can't Decide (Scissor Sisters) note 
  • "Hang You By Your Insides" is about gory mutilation and murder, followed by rape of a corpse.
  • K@#Ø%!(Kunts!) by Korn. While not as dark and depressing as the other examples, it gets to this level just by the sheer vulgarity of the lyrics. Here's the first verse:
    Fuck you titty sucking two balled bitch
    With a fat green clit
    My big corhoto bitch
    Oh shit, fucking ass
    Licking piss sucking cunt
    These nuts on your lips
    Kentucky fried Kung-Pao clits
  • Infant Annihilator, being an Affectionate Parody of gorntastic Death Metal bands with massive heapings of Pedophile Priest and Squick in their lyrics, sits squarely at this level.
  • "The End" by The Doors - more so the second half, starting from the spoken word oedipal section, though the song as a whole is filled with macabre and dark imagery.