Heavy Metal Protest Songs: An Independence Day Playlist
Heavy metal by its nature is defiant and rebellious, a threat to law and order. Black Sabbath's early records were loaded with protest songs about war, drugs, and ecology. Even the ancient and Biblical blood raining from the lacerated skies above Slayer has a radical effect; and no matter what Lemmy sings about Motörhead is a three-man social revolution in motion.
The entire thrash metal wave took a cue from punk rock and explored themes like injustice, exploitation, and corruption. Those moshpit revolts inspired political 1990s rap-metal bands like Rage Against the Machine, Downset, and System of a Down. For any metal freedom fighter, here's a playlist of protest metal to run up the flagpole during the rockets red glare.
"Peace Sells," Megadeth
Regardless of Dave Mustaine's outspoken current-day rabidly right-wing political outlook, in the early days of Megadeth he had a visceral connection to his disenfranchised audience and a knack for galvanized widespread frustration. Songs like this and "Foreclosure of a Dream" brought the social outcry of punk idols like the Dead Kennedys into a broader suburban metalhead mindset.
"You Can't Stop Rock and Roll," Twisted Sister
Often times metal's cause is metal itself, the right to rock and be rocked, or just stand around jabbing a giant middle finger at the world with a good blasting soundtrack. The revolution begins at home, right-even in a bedroom covered with metal posters. Twisted Sister had a serious side, and tough anthems like this and "The Kids Are Back" succeeded because Dee Snider knew his audience well, and had a gift for empowering