From Hell’s Heart:
For our purposes, “Space Metal” is defined as songs about sci-fi stuff….not Apollo 13 “space”. We mean aliens, exploring alien worlds, alternate futures, cool shit like that etc. Here’s what the staff came up with for their top 5 space metal songs!
I love sci-fi. Stragate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, Star Trek, Dr. Who, Event Horizon, the Alien Movies, etc…. Every metal band doesn’t sing songs with a sci-fi theme, especially hardcore sci-fi. It so happens that a number of my fav bands have a good handful of songs that qualify as “space metal”. So here’s just 5 of my selections.
#1. Iron Savior – Coming Home
I could of easily populated my list with just Iron Savior songs. The story of the spaceship, called the Iron Savior, and its return to attempt to find Atlantis, is a great idea and I wish it were a movie!
#2. Gamma Ray – “Somewhere Out in Space”
This song is reportedly about, or inspired by, TOS Star Trek. It doesn’t show much of a Star Trek theme in the lyrics other than “Out in a journey, on a mission for the human race“. Regardless, it’s a great song, on an album filled with space metal songs!
#3. Iced Earth: Something Wicked This Way Comes trilogy: “The Prophecy”, “Birth of the Wicked” and “The Coming Curse”
There’s even more songs from this ongoing saga, but these three are special as they are the beginning that I was introduced to.
#4. Luca Turilli – Prophet Of the Last Eclipse
“The ten tracks tell a story about the world Zaephyr and its destruction. Luca was inspired to make this album due to his love of science fiction films, in particular, Event Horizon.” (Wikipedia)
#5. Voivod – “Jack Luminous”
These guys were way ahead of their time and were called “cyber thrashers” before any of us were even using the internet or web. They have several songs that qualify as space metal. I’ve chosen to go with their 17+mins song “Jack Luminous” from the album THE OUTER LIMITS. My copy of the CD came with the 3D glasses. The story in the song is basically about an alien that cames to earth to warn us about X-D, some kind of mind-controlling evil alien.
1. Judas Priest – Invader (Stained Class 1978)
Classic Priest from what I would uphold as one of the finest albums of their storied catalog. Invader chronicles an alien invasion along the lines of War Of The Worlds, delivered with Priest’s customary confidence and strength of song.
2. Iced Earth – Ten Thousand Strong (Framing Armageddon 2007)
The story is complicated, but this tune is about the alien Setians counter-attack against human invaders. Ripper Owens steals the show with his jaw-dropping delivery on one of the strongest tunes on this album.
3. Warlord – Aliens (The Cannons Of Destruction 1984)
A killer true metal song by one of the originators. The aliens are here!
4. Metallica – The Thing That Should Not Be (Master Of Puppets 1986)
This is maybe not a conventional pick, but bear with me a bit. Cthulhu and all of his spawn as well as the Mi-Go are aliens from an unknown universe. They settled in the depths of the world’s oceans but remain as alien as any being ever imagined.
5. Crimson Glory – War Of The Worlds (Astronomica 1999)
An alien invasion of Earth takes place with Wade Black scaling vocal heights that are almost unimaginable. Give the man credit, he gives helium throat Tony Harnell a hell of a run for his money on this one.
Honorable Mention (Any Gwar song frankly. Oderus was from Scumdoggia, which as he told Joan Rivers, is way past Uranus!).
Favorite Light Metal/Rock Alien Song: Blue Öyster Cult- E.T.I. (Extra Terrestrial Intelligence): BOC is usually considered metal, though not by today’s increasingly brutal standards. Still, this ranks as one of the best songs about Aliens, with a riff that most everybody knows.
“Space” metal; cool topic! When EvilG first proposed this one, I admit I had trouble thinking of songs right away. Once I really started researching this though, I realized that there have been a TON of awesome metal songs on this topic. These are some of my personal faves:
1. Iron Savior – Brave New World
Probably my favorite Iron Savior song, the speedy “Brave New World” charts not only the rise of the titular Savior, but also the possible bioengineered future of mankind.
2. Hypocrisy – Roswell 47
One of my favorite Hypocrisy tracks, this song tracks the harsh experimentation visited upon captured aliens by their human captors. The band makes the song appropriately menacing yet melancholy-sounding, perfectly capturing the essence of the lyrics.
3. Gamma Ray – Somewhere Out in Space
A tale of a lone astronaut lost and adrift in space, but still with hope of survival, “Somewhere Out in Space” is typically happy-sounding Gamma Ray power metal, but definitely a stand out track from one of the band’s best albums.
4. Evergrey – The Masterplan
The opening cut off of Evergrey’s alien-abduction opus, IN SEARCH OF TRUTH, “The Masterplan” is one of the band’s most-loved tracks. The song introduces listeners to the themes of paranoia and fear that run through the album, and the palpable fear and confusion experienced by the main character.
5. Helloween – Mission Motherland
Much like “Roswell 47”, this Helloween epic is another saga of aliens coming to Earth and facing hardship. In this one, the aliens come to live in peace with humanity but our atmosphere (and pollution?) proves poisonous to them, forcing them to freeze themselves in suspended animation until we’ve “healed the world”.
1) Hypocrisy – “Roswell 47” (ABDUCTED, 1996)
Plenty of artists have flirted with concepts of UFOs and alien encounters, but few have assumed the level of conspiracy theorist obsession that Peter Tägtgren has. ABDUCTED was a great album, but this track was the beginning of a new era for Hypocrisy; focusing less on demons an devils and more on little green men and, uh, probing. Seriously though, “Roswell 47” sums up the passion and curiosity around what really happened in New Mexico during the summer of 1947.
2) Voivod – “Tribal Convictions” (DIMENSION HATROSS, 1988)
This is probably as accurate a depiction of what an encounter with an alien being would really be like; the awe, the uncertainty, the blind trust that whatever it is will make everything better. Of course it’s ultimately a prelude to war, with the roles of master and slave questioned; “Who’s God? Who’s Dog?” Plus, Piggy’s guitar solo towards the end is one of my all time favorites.
3) Nocturnus – “Droid Sector” (THE KEY, 1990)
Sci-fi is a pretty common theme across technical death metal these days, but Mike Browning and crew were doing it decades before it was fashionable. THE KEY is a full on concept album about a cyborg that time travels back in time to kill baby Jesus and prevent the rise of Christianity, but “Droid Sector” is the nerdiest track on the album; it’s got tractor beams, space ships, intergalactic conquest, it’s like Star Wars with electric guitars and Satan.
4) Obscura – “Centric Flow” (COSMOGENESIS, 2009)
The idea of universal implosion never sounded as powerful as it does here. Space and time regress into frozen nothingness until the next cosmic awakening is upon us.
5) GWAR – “The Obliteration of Flab Quarv 7” (THIS TOILET EARTH, 1994)
You remember that one time when GWAR destroyed an entire planet in a barrage of drunken debauchery, annihilating and enslaving their population with nuclear superiority and ruthless violence? And only after the fact realized that they had attacked the wrong planet? Yeah, that was a good time.
Science Fiction is not really the preferred realm of Heavy Metal. Lyrically speaking, the genre does lean more towards Fantasy, horror and occult themes but if you look and listen there are many great Sci-fi based themes and songs. These are some of my favourites.
1. SCANNER- Warp 7 (From Hypertrace, 1988)
These long-running Germanic speed metallers were one of the very first bands to fully embrace Science fiction themes and lyrics and the debut remains a highly-regarded album to this day. Warp 7 launches the whole album into hyperspace!
2. PRETTY MAIDS-Future World (From Future World, 1987)
The iconic keyboard/guitar interplay opening of the lead-off and title track of arguably Pretty Maids most popular album, sees them start their lyrical exploration of some occasional Sci-Fi themes and the introduction of their long-time mascot, the iron robot lady.
3. IRON SAVIOR- Riding On Fire (From Iron Savior, 1997)
One of the fastest punchiest songs by Iron Savior, found on the debut the band with the multi-album Sci-Fi concept series. This is the sonic equivalent of being blasted into space at Warp 7!
4. LUCA TURILLI- Demonheart (From Prophet Of The Last Eclipse, 2002)
The heroine from Part 2 of the Trilogy is about to be killed when her attackers discover she has a demonheart born through her descent into the black hole….
5. STRATOVARIUS -Event Horizon/Elysium (from: Elysium, 2011)
The shorter punchy ‘Event Horizon’ tells the tale of the spacecraft approaching the event horizon (naturally) and the ominous, digital countdown warning from the ships (sexy) on-board computer voice, leads into Elysium, the longest most epic track that the band has ever attempted running a whopping 18 minutes, divided into three parts about the experiences of entering the uncharted realm beyond the event horizon. Stratovarius now have their own Cygnus X-1!
1. “Into The Void” – Black Sabbath
2.”Caught Somewhere In Time” – Iron Maiden
3. “Future Breed Machine” – Meshuggah
4. “Iconoclast” – Symphony X
5.”Hanger 18″ – Megadeth
1. Save Us Now – Edguy
High speeeed, alien drum bunny to the max.
2. Greetings – Devin Townsend Ocean Machine
3. Men, Martians And Machines – Gamma Ray
4. Ziltoidia Attaxx – Devin Townsend
5. Alien Kamikaze – Pagan’s Mind