The first big snowfall of the season has arrived. I just got done scraping my car off and I'd say we probably got 6-8 inches of it here in Madison, Wisconsin. As I've said before, Winter is the most metal of all the seasons, and is a common theme in heavy music. When I woke up and looked outside, I immediately got the idea for this post, and I've been thinking of songs for the list all day. Therefore, without further ado, here are 5 of my favorite metal songs about winter:
trapped, winter madness, falling snow
5. Amon Amarth - Under the Northern Star
This song always reminds me just how dreary winter can be. The main riff is just fantastic - haunting and catchy at once. The lyrics talk about warriors returning home after five years of battles as winter approaches:
The icy winter is getting near
Dark skies above us
Biting frost is in the air
Darkness surrounds us
The cold piercing autumn breeze
Fills the longships sail
Soon the lakes and seas will freeze
And snow will lay its veil
4. Mastodon - Divinations
Okay, so this one isn't about winter per se, but I can't hear the song without thinking about the music video, which features (among other things) the band jamming out Ice Age-style on snow-covered mountains in climbing gear with a reawakened cave man. Watching the snow fall off the cymbals when Brann Dailor hits them is just so...cool. Sorry.
Embedding was disabled by request (thanks WMG!) but you need to watch this video. Only metal song I know of with a banjo intro.
3. Wintersun - Winter Madness
Coming from a band named Wintersun, it's no surprise that one can find a few songs about the season in their (one album) catalog. This one's all about the insanity that excessive time out in the elements can bring on. Like most Wintersun songs, the lyrics are very poetic, yet delivered in a harsh style.
Winter - The realm of eternal ice
Snowfall and darkness descends upon the vales of time
Distant caress of the sun's fading light
The lands were painted white with the Winter's might
My hands are frozen, my mind is at the edge of madness
Oh how many nights and days, I've been lost in this land of sadness
2. Agalloch - Falling Snow
This song is quickly becoming one of my wintertime favorites. It's dark and poetic, with guitars that evoke desolate and cold winter scenery. It's a very atmospheric track, and it's easy to just space out for the entire 9:37 without realizing how much time has passed. Some of my favorite lyrics:
The snow has fallen
and raised this white mountain
on which you will die
and fade away in silence
Agalloch's music, as I said in a previous post, is full of melancholy-inspiring lyrics such as these. Music that can summon emotions from the listener is pretty powerful stuff, and you have to respect them for accomplishing that feat, at least in my case.
1. Metallica - Trapped Under Ice
An easy addition to the list, being Trapped Under Ice is, incidentally, one of my greatest fears. Just the thought of drowning in an ice-covered lake, unable to find the hole you fell through while your limbs begin to numb and tighten up, making every moment more hopeless than the last sends shivers down my spine. I don't know if I'll be able to be an ice fishing enthusiast like my dad. Anyway, "Trapped" is just classic Metallica and classic thrash metal. Don't know if there's a better song to round out the list.
Honorable mention goes to Blood On the Ice by Anvil, a song devoted to hockey fights. Suggestions from readers will appear here as well, love to hear your take.