Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t bang your head violently and still be sensitive. Metalheads get a bad rap for wearing black all the time and brooding in solitude. But guess what? We also play with kittens and hold the door for crabby old ladies who don’t say, “Thank you.” If that isn’t true love, then what is?
If Valentine’s Day is a weird time for your playlist, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Well, maybe you are. But there are plenty of people just like you. Here are six songs about that dreaded little thing called love that you can blast the next time someone says, “Your music is too angry!”
1. Ozzy Osbourne – “I Just Want You”
The Prince of Darkness can be a real sweetheart when he wants to be. This love letter from Ozzmosis is a perfect example. Much of “I Just Want You” is the Ozzman running down a list of things that he doesn’t believe in, like unwinnable wars and unachievable goals. Those silly notions don’t exist in his world. What exists is love, and it’s the only thing that matters.
Ozzy is so preoccupied with one person that he doesn’t care about all the nonsense happening on Earth. It’s quite the romantic mindset from a guy known for chomping down on bat brains.
2. Metallica – “Sabbra Cadabra”
It’s cool hearing James Hetfield sing in such a high register. And it’s weird for him to sound so happy. Papa Het never wrote lyrics like, “Feel so good, I feel so fine / Love that little lady, always on my mind.” Mushy stuff like that would be totally out of place on a Metallica record. But, on Garage, Inc., “Sabbra Cadabra” is a standout track bursting with all the love and sick Iommi riffs.
There’s a chance they picked this song because of the riffage. The band couldn’t resist throwing a chunk of “A National Acrobat” into the mix as well, even though lyrically it’s out of place. Still, Hetfield tackles Ozzy’s vocals pretty well, and Ulrich’s huge drum sound gives the tender tune the extra oomph that was missing from Black Sabbath's original. You’ll get some leg tonight for sure if you throw this on a mixtape for that special little lady.
3. Deftones – “Rx Queen”
Oh, the things a person will do for love. How far are you willing to go to please your soulmate? Are you okay with getting stung? Can you even say your love is real if you won’t steal a carcass for your other half?
On “Rx Queen,” Chino Moreno promises said carcass to his eternal Valentine with the added twist of feeding off the virus together. Damn, that’s hot. Chicks dig romantic crap like that. The only thing hotter than eating carcass viruses is doing so on the moon next to a fire. Chicks love fire. Think about that when you’re in Rite Aid looking for a lame piece of cardboard to express your feelings.
4. Black Label Society – “A Love Unreal”
Don’t let the Viking beard and Sons of Anarchy wardrobe fool you. Zakk Wylde gets all sorts of lovey-dovey on “A Love Unreal” without sacrificing the chunky riffs he’s notorious for delivering. The soft intro is just evil trickery to help set the mood before launching into a barrage of tender vows.
Zakk’s beautiful minute-plus solo makes you believe love can exist even during the most troubling times. If someone handed you the lyrics to this song and said, “Be Mine,” you would drop your pants and be theirs forever.
5. Korpiklaani – “Under the Sun”
Folk metal has the power to turn any frown upside down. If you need to free yourself from a funk on Valentine’s Day (or any day), just thrown on some Korpiklaani. Your sorrows will soon disappear into an enchanting forest filled with nature’s loveliest creatures.
On “Under the Sun,” Korpiklaani sounds like they’re playing a wedding reception at The Shire. It’s impossible not to feel the love. I don’t think hobbits celebrate Valentine’s Day, but if they did, this song would be on their playlist.
Throughout the track, vocalist Jonne Järvelä acknowledges all the incredible things his significant other does for him, and you get the sense he would be nothing without this person. It’s a thank-you note without actually saying the words, “Thank you,” which is the greatest gift you can give someone.
6. Lamb of God – “Walk with Me in Hell”
Nothing says love like strolling through a fiery hell with your sweetheart. This song slays so hard that the average listener would think they’re getting yelled at by Satan. But it’s just the devil in disguise. If they dug into the lyrics, they’d realize it’s surprisingly sentimental. This is the tenderhearted side of Lamb of God.
Mark Morton wrote “Walk with Me in Hell” for his wife. He took the vow, “till death do us part” to a whole new level. Alongside punishing riffs and tasteful solos, he promises to remain by his woman’s side through the darkest of times.
Randy Blythe put a lot of passion into the song himself, screaming the line, “You’re never alone!” as if he wrote it. Most people can only dream about having a song this ferocious yet romantic written in their honor.
Valentine’s Day is a time for love and all the corny, sappy stuff that comes with it. But that doesn’t mean the music has to suck. What metal songs make your blackened heart flutter?