The 66 Best Metal Songs of the 21st Century

Since 2000, metal has shape-shifted drastically. From primal nu-metal and core anthems, to the zenith of tech-death and prog, to a revival of classic thrash and occult doom, and post-genre amalgamations filled with contrary dynamics, metal remains the most innovative and fascinating subculture on the planet.

Metal ain’t dead, folks. It’s just evolved at speeds never seen before in popular culture.

Looking deep into the 21st century, we’ve pulled metal’s most important and influential gems from Y2K to present day. While enough time has passed for tracks like Tool‘s “Lateralus,” System of a Down‘s “Chop Suey!” and Opeth‘s “Blackwater Park” to reach iconic status, we’ve also given love to more recent cuts which forced metal to expand its horizons. You’ll find tracks by genre benders such as Scarlxrd, Zeal & Ardor and Babymetal, who sprouted new branches on metal’s family tree to mass acclaim, setting themselves up for possible legendary status in the near future.

The 21st century has been a diverse and experimental one, so delve deep by checking out our picks for The 66 Best Metal Songs of the 21st Century in the gallery below.

The 66 Best Metal Songs of the 21st Century

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Hear the Black Dahlia Murder Cover Megadeth’s ‘Bill & Ted’ Song

The Black Dahlia Murder have delivered a faithful cover of Megadeth‘s “Go to Hell,” the Dave Mustaine-led act’s contribution to 1991’s Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey.

The rendition arrived last week (Aug. 28), being announced by the Black Dahlia Murder the same day that Bill & Ted Face the Music emerged. That’s the long-awaited Bogus Journey sequel that finally saw the light of day nearly three decades after Bill and Ted last entertained viewers.

Listen to the Megadeth cover down toward the bottom of this post.

The new movie that finds Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter returning to their titular roles is now in theaters and available via video-on-demand. But the Black Dahlia Murder’s Megadeth tribute isn’t on the accompanying soundtrack — not that the death metal band didn’t attempt to nab such a slot.

“We covered the Megadeth track from Bogus Journey in hopes that we could land a spot on the soundtrack,” the Trevor Strnad-fronted outfit laid out in a Twitter update. “It didn’t pan out, but the track still rules.”

“Go to Hell” — composed by Mustaine when the 1991 film had the working title Bill & Ted Go to Hell — is discussed by the Megadeth bandleader in his autobiography A Heavy Metal Memoir. Of note is that the tune contains the same bedtime invocation that Metallica popularized around the same time.

“It’s not like I wrote the children’s prayer from which it was lifted (by both of us),” Mustaine writes in his 2011 book. “And maybe it was just pure coincidence. I have no way of proving otherwise. Both ‘Go to Hell’ and ‘Enter Sandman’ found their way into the public consciousness in the summer of 1991.”

The Black Dahlia Murder’s latest album, Verminous, was released earlier this year. Megadeth are currently chipping away at the follow-up to 2016’s Dystopia with recording engineer Chris Rakestraw.

The Black Dahlia Murder, “Go to Hell” (Megadeth Cover)

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