The Best anti-war Metal Songs (Part 2)


7. ‘Refuse/Resist’ by Sepultura


Chaos A.D.

Sepultura’s 1993 release ‘Chaos A.D.’  was a record full of songs against censorship and conflicts. It talked about Israel and Palestine, about the Brazilian political landscape, and about the massacres committed in recent times. Refuse/Resist, the opening track from the album, is one of the most popular track by the Brazilian thrash metal band. The song was written as a protest march slogan and has been remembered as such ever after two decades of its release.

Notable Lyric: Chaos A.D. / Disorder unleashed / Starting to burn / Starting to lynch / Silence means death / Stand on your feet / Inner fear / Your worst enemy /Refuse, Resist! / Refuse, Resist!

8 & 9. ‘Killing in the Name of’ and ‘Bulls on Parade’ by Rage Against the Machine


Rage Against the Machine

If there’s any band synonymous with anti-establishment and anti-government sentiments it’s Rage Against the Machine. The multi-platinum selling artists have done everything you wouldn’t expect a mainstream artist to do. With their track ‘Killing in the Name of’, they have achieved a status that remains intact to this day. The song deals with the falseness and brutality of war. The song reached number one on the U.K. Charts in 2009, 20 years after its release, showing how powerful the anthem is.

Notable Lyric: Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me / Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me / Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me / Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me / Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me / Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me / Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me / Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me / Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me! / Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me! / Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me! / Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me! / Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me! / Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me! / Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me! / Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me! / Motherfucker!


Evil Empire

From RATM’s 1996 release ‘Evil Empire’, Bulls on Parade is one of the most popular song by the band. The song is about war as a profit making business. It is known for its guitar solo containing a vinyl scratch effect used by Tom Morello.

Notable Lyric: Weapons not food, not homes, not shoes, not need / Just feed the war cannibal animal / I walk tha corner to tha rubble that used to be a library / Line up to tha mind cemetery now / What we don’t know keeps tha contracts alive an movin’ / They don’t gotta burn tha books they just remove ’em / While arms warehouses fill as quick as tha cells / Rally round tha family, pockets full of shells

10 & 11. ‘B.Y.O.B’ and ‘Boom!’ by System of a Down



Very few bands and artists put the message across as crudely and bluntly as System of a Down does. Their studio album, ‘Mezmerize’, was an answer to the political landscape under President Bush. SOAD called the Iraq war fake. They released songs echoing the same messages and attacking authority figures. It referred to the War in Iraq as a party and B.Y.O.B. stood for ‘Bring Your Own Bombs’ as opposed to the common ‘Bring Your Own Booze’. It became their most successful single till date.

Notable lyric: Everybody’s going to the party have a real good time / Dancing in the desert, blowing up the sun / Where the fuck are you? / Where the fuck are you? / Why don’t presidents fight the war? / Why do they always send the poor?



Steal This Album!

Boom! is a single recorded by SOAD as a part of their album Steal This Album!  The music video was shot at protest marches against the Iraq War. The band members joined the marches to make this powerful song which is played at protest marches around the world.

Notable Lyric: Modern globalization coupled with condemnations/ Unnecessary death /Matador corporations puppeting your frustrations with a blinded flag / Manufacturing consent is the name of the game / The bottom line is money nobody gives a fuck / 4000 hungry children leave us per hour from starvation while billions are spent on bombs creating death showers / Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom! / Every time you drop a bomb you kill the god your child has born

12. ‘Clenching the Fists of Dissent’ by Machine Head


The Blackening

Machine Head has established themselves as one of the most prominent bands of the Heavy Metal genre, and it was ‘The Blackening’ that put them there. Clenching the Fists of Dissent is a song about standing up unequivocally to injustice and untameable greed in the world by raising your voice, and your fists, if necessary. The track is notable for being over 10 minutes long, for its long-winded and complicated composition structure and for being strongly anti-war and government.

Notable Lyric: Our generation can be the fucking one / That overcomes the greed of corrupt nations/ Have no shame / You’re not alone in thinking, this is fucking insane / Rise up and take your stand / You curl the fingers of your hand

13. ‘Down From the Sky’ by Trivium



Matt Heafy, the band’s lead singer, used the song and the music video to highlight the plight of the people after the destruction by the nuclear bombs in Japan. Down From the Sky starts with mages of a mushroom cloud erupting; the song warns us of an impending nuclear holocaust if we continue on the same path of confrontation. The profiteering from war and religion is the main themes in this song. The message is to raise fingers in the direction of the guilty.

Notable Lyric: I’ve opened up my eyes / Seen the world for what it’s worth / Tears rain down from the sky / They’ll blow it all to bits / To prove whose god wields all the power / Fire rains down from the sky

14. ‘The Hand that Feeds’ by Nine Inch Nails

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With Teeth

In 2005, Nine Inch Nails dropped out from performing at the MTV Movie Awards. It was after Trent Reznor, the frontman of NIN, refused to remove an image of George W. Bush from the background. MTV did not want any performance built around partisan political issues. Reznor did not agree to remove the image, and his band was replaced by Foo Fighters. The Hand That Feeds is about blind patriotism and believing everything being told to you without any questioning. In a time of political uncertainty and confusion, this song made huge waves and gained significance that remains intact till this day.

Notable Lyric: What if this whole crusade’s a charade? / And behind it all there’s a price to be paid for the blood / On which we dine / Justified in the name of the holy and the divine / Just how deep do you believe? / Will you bite the hand that feeds? / Will you chew until it bleeds? / Can you get up off your knees? / Are you bravYes e enough to see? / Do you want to change it?

So, go right now and listen to these! Leave your comments about more anti-war songs that you know of, and leave feedback about the above playlist.

The Best anti-war Metal Songs

Heavy Metal music has been used for torturing prisoners in Iraq, Yemen and in the Guantanamo Bay. This technique of torturing inmates, who allegedly have ties to terrorist organisations, is not a new phenomena. The musical genres used for this purpose is not restricted to heavy metal. Hip-hop, pop, and even the theme music of The Barney Show and Sesame Street has been used to torture inmates in various prisons operated by the United States. Bands like Metallica, Slayer and Drowning Pool have had their music used extensively in the torture process. Metallica’s Enter Sandman was said to be blasted on repeat for hours at a prison on the Iraqi-Syrian border. But the favourite track of the interrogators is Deicide’s Fuck Your God; a track so heavy, fast and brutal that it would break anyone after being played on repeat for days.

But there are artists who object to their music being used as a torture device by the U.S. Military. There are Metal tracks that are explicitly anti-war. We’ll take a look at the 10 best and most memorable anti-war Heavy Metal songs:

1. ‘Now You’ve Got Something to Die For’ by Lamb of God


Ashes of the Wake

The second single from Lamb of God’s forth studio album Ashes of the Wake is a powerful anti-war message over groovy guitar riffs and heavy drumming. Singer Randy Blythe screams the lyrics out in a way for you to catch the words the best you can. Released in 2004, Ashes of the Wake went on to become the band’s most successful album and the song  is now a staple in their live sets.

Notable Lyric: Bombs to set the people free / Blood to feed the dollar tree / Flags for coffins on the screen / Oil for the machine / Army of liberation / Gunpoint indoctrination / The fires of sedation fulfil the prophecy.

2 & 3. ‘Peace Sells’ and ‘Holy Wars… The Punishment Due’ by Megadeth


Rust in Peace

Released at the time of the first Gulf War, Holy Wars… The Punishment Due from Megadeth’s album ‘Rust in Peace’, is arguably the band’s most well-known song. The lyrics deal with the Northern Ireland conflict, and the music video is a montage of news footage of war coverage. Since its release, the track has become a regular in anti-war playlists.

Notable Lyric: They killed my wife and my baby / With hopes to enslave me / First mistake, last mistake / Paid by the alliance, to slay all the giants / Next mistake, no more mistakes


Peace Sells… But Who’s Buying?

This Megadeth song, with its iconic bass line, packs an unusual and powerful punch. The track is from the band’s second studio album ‘Peace Sells… but Who’s Buying?’, which is also their most political album till date. The lyrics deal with the profiteering from war and everyone’s rejection of peace for a continued state of strife and conflict.

Notable Lyric: What do you mean, “I couldn’t be the President
Of the United States of America”? / Tell me something, it’s still “We the people, ” right? / If there’s a new way / I’ll be the first in line / But it better work this time /Can you put a price on peace?

4. ‘War Pigs’ by Black Sabbath



From the Godfathers of Heavy Metal, Black Sabbath, came a song back in 1970 about witches and the Vietnam war. Taken from the album ‘Paranoid’, the song deals with the ill-effects of war and references the American administration and their decision to wage a war on Vietnam. One of the first memorable anti-war song, it is counted amongst the greatest heavy metal track in history.

Notable Lyric: Politicians hide themselves away / They only started the war / Why should they go out to fight? / They leave that role to the poor

5 & 6. ‘One’ and ‘Disposable Heroes’ by Metallica


Master of Puppets

Master of Puppets is one of the most important release in rock music history. The songs on the album are important not only because of the composition, but also for the lyrical content. Disposable Heroes, as the name suggests, is about a young solider whose fate is controlled by his superiors. This is most intense track on the record, and that’s saying something when the same record has songs like ‘Master of Puppets’ and ‘Battery’.

Notable Lyric: Soldier boy, made of clay / Now an empty shell / Twenty one, only son / But he served us well / Bred to kill, not to care / Do just as we say / Finished here, greetings death / He’s yours to take away


…And Justice For All

The anti-war song by Metallica that everyone who knows of the band has definitely heard is ‘One”. The song is from Metallica’s thrashiest album, ‘… And Justice For All”. It is about a young solider who has lost his sight, limbs and hands in the first World War. He contemplates what his life has become because of senseless wars. The fast-paced drumming, the machine-gun guitars, and the heavy bass makes this song have an impact that very few anti-war songs have.

Notable Lyric: Darkness imprisoning me / All that I see absolute horror / I cannot live / I cannot die / Trapped in myself / Body my holding cell / Landmine has taken my sight /  Taken my speech / Taken my hearing / Taken my arms / Taken my legs / Taken my soul / Left me with life in hell

Check out next post for the rest of the list.

Sport the War

We love war. We crave the high we get from it. Even the ones who will never have to experience it think it’s a great idea to wage wars. It doesn’t matter which piece of land on this planet we’re going to be bombing into oblivion, but we love that there’ll be bombings. There are a few million people who oppose war; like they did when Bush revealed his plans to reduce Iraq into a festering hellhole. But who’s listening?

No one.


America, the champion of Democratic values, viciously ignored the anti-war marches held around the world and demonstrated how real Democracy is. The Iraq war was broadcasted live worldwide; just like the Super Bowl. This wasn’t the first war to be televised, that title goes to Vietnam, but the spectacle here was captivating. We saw large military helicopters and aircrafts fly across the Iraqi airspace; dropping bombs and showering Baghdad with bullets. The explosions were captured on camera and played on repeat. We could see on our television screens the damage being done, but we could never fathom the havoc being wreaked.

The reason we love war is simple; war is a sport. It’s a team sport. And it’s, mostly, restricted to men. There are different sides in this sport, sometimes multiple players, and there are rules. There are umpires and referees too. If you break too many of these rules, like overseeing an ethnic cleansing or using rape as a weapon, you may be tried in the International Court of Justice and then die peacefully at the age of 90 knowing your people remember you as a hero. Regular sports have heroes too. Every sport has its own equipment and gears; in the case of war it’s automatic weapons, tanks, bomber planes. In the end, there’s a winner and a loser, and the winners cheer and gloat and sing with an aggressive fervour.

No sporting event is possible without sponsors. War, too, has its sponsors. These corporations are more powerful than Nike or Adidas could ever hope to be. They pour money into the war-making machine and reap profit. The only difference here is that you don’t see tanks with Lockheed Martin stamped on its side, or men with guns having Halliburton’s logo stitched across their shirt pockets. That surely would bring more truth into this grand sporting culture humanity has spawned over centuries.


The ease with which we scream war isn’t surprising. Wars have contributed greatly to popular culture. It is as much a part of our existence as pop music or McDonald’s, or sports. The depiction of war, even in anti-war movies, has numbed us to the devastation it causes, leaving us to view war as nothing but an act of assertion over the enemy. It provides us with a rare feeling of power trip. We’ve already been fed to the machine, isn’t it better to move forward knowing the truth about where the real interests of wars lie?

The sport is war.