Everyone loves a good heavy metal ballad, so we thought we'd put together an eclectic list of the 10 best metal ballads. Unlike most lists dealing with metal ballads, this isn't just some journey back into the '80s to find the best radio hits that no one really cares about anymore; oh no, our 10 best metal ballads lists contains songs and artists from the past three decades in a variety of metal styles and sub-genres, proving that the metal ballad is still alive in our hearts today. So sit back and enjoy, here's the 10 best metal ballads from the '80s, '90s, and 2000s!
- Metallica-"Fade to Black." Off their 1984 album "Ride the Lightning," Metallica's "Fade to Black" is often seen by critics as one of the band's key steps in exploring more progressive territory. Featuring acoustic verses, ripping solos and one hell of a vocal delivery by James Hetfield, "Fade to Black" follows the quintessential ballad format laid out by earlier rock legend Led Zeppelin with his hit "Stairway to Heaven." It's likely that no one really knows why Metallica picked up those acoustic guitars in the first place, but the whole "thrash metal progression" seems to have really worked here; it's just too bad that at the time, no one saw the progression leading to "St. Anger" and "Death Magnetic."
- Judas Priest-"A Touch of Evil." Priest's 1990 offering "Painkiller" saw the band ditch the synthesizers and radio friendly vibes of their previous two albums for a more in-your-face metal approach. The record did contain one synth laden metal ballad in "A Touch of Evil," the second of "Painkiller's" singles. What fan of this album hasn't screamed "you're possessing me!" along with Rob Halford at the song's climax?
- Dokken-"Alone Again." "Alone Again," from Dokken's 1984 album, "Tooth and Nail," is one of those tracks that would be completely mediocre were it not for the ripping solo at the end. Suddenly, once guitarist George Lynch's plethora of emotion inducing bends kick in, the entire song and Don Dokken's crooning seem to make sense!
- Skid Row-"I Remember You." Late comers to the '80s metal scene, Skid Row delivered "I Remember You," a traditional '80s metal ballad from their 1989 self-titled debut, right in the nick of time! Thanks to a mixture of Sebastian Bach's belting and some epic soloing, we remember Skid Row as well!
- Yngwie Malmsteen-"You Don't Remember, I'll Never Forget." Guitar god Yngwie Malmsteen's 1986 album, "Trilogy," featured the ripping metal ballad "You Don't Remember, I'll Never Forget" as one hell of an album opener! "Trilogy" also boasts some of the most ridiculous album artwork ever!
- Danzig-"Mother." The year 1988 saw Glenn Danzig release his self-titled first solo album featuring the hit single "Mother," a metal ballad about trying to date women with over-protective and religious parents. Not only did the success of "Mother" help Danzig album sales, but it also caused Danzig's other bands, The Misfits and Samhain, to rise in popularity!
- Mercyful Fate-"Melissa." Mercyful Fate's 1983 debut "Melissa" ends with a ballad telling a tale of murdered love and revenge… All sang in King Diamond's notable falsetto voice! Think Rob Halford on helium.
- Candlemass-"Solitude." 1986's "Epicus Doomicus Metallicus" by Candlemass opens on the right note with "Solitude," a slow trudging metal ballad with some of the most melodramatic lyrics ever. This is the song to sing during drunken parties with your friends!
- Gorgoroth-"When Love Rages Wild in My Heart." Norwegian Black Metallers Gorgoroth get a little softer with the clean sung "When Love Rages Wild in My Heart" off their 2000 album "Incipit Satan." This track actually features '80s Norwegian rock musician Michael Krohn on vocals. Kind of random, we know.
- Deströyer 666-"A Sermon to the Dead." Who says extreme metal can't have their own metal ballads? Certainly not Deströyer 666, who's 2009 album, "Defiance," featured the epic closer "A Sermon to the Dead." The clean vocals mixed with screams only make it more intense!
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