Listening to sad songs may not be everyone’s idea of fun, but for us metalheads, it’s a form of self-care and venting. There’s a sea of songs in the metal genre that are quite gray and gloomy, but if you’re really set on crying your eyes out, I’d like to introduce you to my list of the 10 saddest metal songs out there, starting with:
1. Metallica – Fade to Black
Featured on Ride The Lightning, “Fade to Black” is probably the most popular song on the album after “Creeping Death” and “For Whom The Bell Tolls.”
It’s one of the first songs I’ve ever heard on this album, and it’s my second favorite, right after the title track.
What makes this song deserving of the prime slot on the list of the 10 Saddest Metal Songs is the intense contrast between its beginning and end. Right around the 4:00 minute mark, one of the most memorable riffs in Metallica’s catalog starts, showing us that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
2. Pantera – Cemetery Gates
For old-school metal fans, “Cemetery Gates” needs no introduction. The absurdly cool intro, Phil’s ground-shaking vocals, and the late Dime’s riffs made this song the most popular Pantera track.
Featured on Cowboys From Hell, the album that essentially broke the band to a higher stage, Cemetery Gates is fairly happy-sounding for one of the saddest metal songs in history. Its lyrics still send shivers down my spine, but it’s the harmonization in the chorus that truly brings out the true sorrow that Cemetery Gates is.
3. Avenged Sevenfold – So Far Away
The Avenged guys wrote “So Far Away” to say farewell to their late friend and drummer Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan. It’s the third song on Nightmare, and I can only assume that recording it probably was for the band and the crew alike.
It’s virtually impossible to not cry a river when watching the music video for “So Far Away”. The band recalls the times they’ve been together and the voice of M. Shadows is as beautiful as it is haunting.
This may be one of the deepest, most meaningful, and saddest metal songs I feel grateful to have listened to. Let me give you some friendly advice, brace yourself for the outro; it hits home, and it hits hard.
4. Megadeth – In My Darkest Hour
The So Far…So Good…So What? is Megadeth’s crowning achievement, I have no doubts about that. There are so many gems on this album, but none shines as bright as “In My Darkest Hour”.
What’s interesting about this song is that it tends to find people in their time of need, literally. I’ve discovered it during a particularly challenging period in my life, and most of my metal friends have a similar story.
Melody and lyrics-wise, it’s as Megadeth as it gets, and if you haven’t heard it yet, I warmly suggest that you do it as soon as possible.
5. Slipknot – Snuff
“Snuff” is a cold shower. “Snuff” feels like being hit by a metal baseball bat, and the fact that Corey and Slipknot didn’t need distortion or growl vocals to achieve it speaks volumes about their musicianship and ability.
It’s the most intense representative of All Hope Is Gone, and as all Slipknot fans already know, that record has some serious heavy-hitters. Listen to it at your own discretion, but be prepared for the waterworks to burst.
6. Black Sabbath – Solitude
I can’t express my adoration for the Black Sabbath guys with words. Rightfully dubbed the fathers, creators, and kings of all metal, it’s only normal that some of the saddest metal songs are on their back catalog.
“Solitude” is one of the most downbeat songs on Master Of Reality. Although my favorite tracks on this record are “Children Of The Grave” and “Into The Void”, this is the first song I listen to when things take a darker turn.
7. Metallica – The Unforgiven
“The Unforgiven” is so popular that Metallica wrote two additional versions of what’s probably the saddest metal song in the universe.
Couples spin it on repeat after breaking up, teens wake up and go to bed with it to cope with romantic struggles, but whatever the reason you love it may be, it’s universally somber and dark.
8. Metallica – To Live Is To Die
When I was revisiting And Justice For All, I spent about 15 minutes listening to “One” on repeat. Then it dawned on me that there’s an even sadder song that would be a perfect fit for this list – “To Live Is To Die.”
Doom and gloom are all over this tune; it’s as heavy as it is depressing, but in a true Metallica fashion, brilliant musicianship comes through to inspire and tells us to raise our chins and look forward.
9. Judas Priest – Here Come the Tears
The title says it all. When Rob starts singing “Here Come The Tears”, that’s usually what happens.
With a bit of Deep Purple influences on the guitar side and the massive voice of The God of Metal, this song brings tears of both joy and despair to one’s eyes when it starts blasting. Heavy but tame, “Here Come The Tears” is something that all Judas Priest fans know by heart and revere as an anthem for those heartbroken, betrayed, and used.
It may not be the most popular track off of Sin After Sin, but this tune is one of the strongest, saddest metal songs I’ve had the pleasure of listening to.
10. Megadeth – À Tout le Monde (Set Me Free)
The second song from Megadeth on the list of Saddest Metal Songs is featured on Youthanasia and later on United Abominations as well. Although most old-school metal fans would probably be happier to see Trust on the list, I strongly believe “À Tout le Monde” feels like heartbreak a bit more.
Heavy to the core, “À Tout le Monde” embodies Megadeth’s style in full. Although I like “In My Darkest Hour” a bit better, the licks at the end simply can’t be ignored. After all, the great Mega Dave has a knack for channeling intense emotions into his guitar, and this song embodies both Megadeth’s heaviness and its melancholic side.
Alex is a man of many talents. He’s been playing music since he was young, and has been the main content writer at Tone Start for the past few years. Alex loves to play around with different styles of music and enjoys listening to anything from country to classical.