RevelationZ - Entertainment  That  Endures

Various Artists - All Time Favorite Songs - The Top 100 - Part 1

I wrote this article back in 2006 over the course of 10 weeks, with 10 songs being posted each week. I am working on integrating the songs into the Song Reviews section including new additions and expanded descriptions, but for now, here is the original article, showcasing my 100 favorite songs of all time.

Jump to· 100-91
· 90-81
· 80-71
· 70-61
· 60-51
· 50-41
· 40-31
· 30-21
· 20-11
· 10-1

When I decided to compile a list of my all time favorite songs I had a feeling that it would not be easy. I had no idea... Anyway, this list details my 100 favorite songs at this moment in time (2006). The only rule that applies to this list is that I have only picked songs from albums that I own.

100 - Sanctuary - The Mirror Black (Into The Mirror Black - 1990) (5:09)
Sanctuary is one of those bands where that special feeling of hearing something new for the first time has stuck to the music and still is here many years later. This song in particular has a dark and mysterious atmosphere to it, underlined by a certain dreaming quality that sticks to the song. The opening instrumental section works perfectly as a mood-setting passage and the guitar solo that leads into the first verse is just about perfect. The guitar work is exquisite all the way through, sharp and to the point. A ton of detail in the drums and bass gives the song a life of its own and Warrel Dane's unique voice adds that extra bit of insane determination that gives the song its classic status. The lyrics deserve some reflection time as well.

Favorite moment:
The climax that comes with Warrel Dane's scream "I am stronger, stronger than yesterday". Chilling.

99 - Saviour Machine - Ascension Of Heroes (Saviour Machine II - 1994) (6:35)
There is a sweeping grandeur to this song that gets me every time. Eric Clayton sings with incredible passion, making for one of the most emotional songs I have heard. The piano is right up front and adds a solemn touch to the song, while the guitar provides just the right amount of tension. It is a tension that rises as more elements are added to the sound and stays there after the music has receded. If you like your music delivered with equal amounts of passion and devotion, then check this out. A majestic song.

Favorite moment:
The opening moments where the music sets a sincere atmosphere and Eric Clayton's soothing voice makes a great impact.

98 - Ten - Yesterday Lies In The Flames (Ten - 1996) (5:06)
This song from the debut album perfectly captures the emotional sincerity of Ten's music. Gary Hughes' voice is full of passion and as Vinny burns up one emotional guitar solo after another the heat becomes all embracing. The direct lyrics provide the sparks that keeps the fire burning through this immortal love song. Ten have carved a niche with their own brand of epic hard rock and while this song from their debut only showed the way for later, even more epic ballads, this one is still my favorite ballad of theirs.

Favorite moment:
The first verse. It perfectly captures Gary Hughes' incredible voice and his unique tone as well as his ability to write lyrics that go straight for the heart.

97 - The Beatles - I'll Be Back (A Hard Days Night - 1964) (2:21)
After listeng to the Help! Album 20 times I was hooked on The Beatles. The band justifies a separate list of just my favorite Beatles songs, but that is for another time. This song stands out on an album with many classics. I absolutely love the sombre atmosphere created by the acoustic guitar and John Lennon's voice. These two elements work so well together and bring a special touch of melancholy to an otherwise rather simple love song.

Favorite moment:
The way George strums the guitar as John sings "you" at 1:22.

96 - Judas Priest - One Shot At Glory (Painkiller - 1990) (6:48)
The pinnacle of my favorite Judas Priest album. It is a glorious song that soars high and leaves me in an energized state of mind. The blazing guitar work is nothing short of brilliant and Rob Halford delivers an equally intense performance.

Favorite moment:
The way the guitar riff changes the pace of the song at 0:39, the way Rob goes ultra high-pitch at 2:08 and the two leads going into the verses are equally major moments. I can't decide.

95 - Pain of Salvation - ! (Foreword) (Entropia - 1999) (6:11)
Pain of Salvation is a fusion of so many different parts and emotions that I can feel myself drowning in just one of their songs. This is one of those songs. ! Is a whirlpool of different ingredients that together make a great impact. Daniel Gildenlöw's voice is filled with emotions ranging from rage and anger to tenderness and he pulls it off with total conviction. Musically the technical level is high and challenging. The song serves as an introduction to the band as well as a statement of reaching a clarity of mind and seeing beyond your own imagined barriers. So many details stand out and the way both speakers are used to enhance the experience of the song is brilliant. It is a song that will not grow old.

Favorite moment:
The line "There are so many ways to live (leave) a life" at 4:36 and the part that follows.

94 - Savatage - Sirens (Sirens - 1983) (3:40)
Simple means do not always result in a simple outcome. Equal amounts of wildness and emotion in the voice and the guitar set Savatage apart from the rest. In this song Criss Oliva (R.I.P.) uses his guitar to create a sense of foreboding and horror while Jon Oliva delivers just that by singing with total conviction. The main guitar riff is absolutely inspired, as are the many small details Criss manages to incorporate. The song doesn't mess around but goes straight for the kill and the ending is a typical Savatage touch that works perfectly.

Favorite moment:
There are many, but the guitar lick at 1:30 captures the essence of the song perfectly.

93 - Pretty Maids - Hell On High Heels (Anything Worth Doing Is Worth Overdoing - 1999) (4:05)
Pretty Maids are masters of creating melodic songs that capture you right away. How else can you explain the beginning to this song? Perfectly infatuating, that is what this song is. From the bombastic beginning through the sing-a-long chorus this is Heavy Rock at its most melodic. Interestingly my relationship with Hell On High Heels and Pretty Maids in general can best be described by the song's first verse:
"I met this girl
she stole my heart
she rocked my world
right from the start
one single look
an instant attraction
and I was hooked for more...

Favorite moment:
The opening 30 seconds which are simply perfect. The chorus comes in on a close second place.

92 - Manowar - Call To Arms (Warriors Of The World - 2002) (5:31)
Call To Arms is the latest classic to escape from Manowar's vault of metallic goodness. A Heavy metal hymn that feels like a fresh blow of air from a time long gone. Timeless and powerful is what this song is and I find it impossible not to kneel down, raise my hands in the air and sing along in any kind of party situation. Eric Adams' voice is forceful and feels like a source of umlimited power, there for the listener to harness. The song has an absolutely perfect, pounding groove, provided by tight drumming and crushing guitar riffs.
Sing it loud and proud.

Favorite moment:
"I now issue the call, are you ready to fight? YEAH!"

91 - Buddy Lackey - Windsong (The Strange Mind Of Buddy Lackey - 1993) (4:39)
This highly emotional piece of music brings out the essence of Buddy Lackey (Now known as Devon Graves). His solo album is worth tracking down if you want to hear something different and a must for fans of DeadSoul Tribe, Psychotic Waltz or just progressive metal in general. The song combines several elements in a completely convincing way and right from the opening acoustics it takes you on an unexpected flight through a turbulent mind. This is not exactly your typical song structure. The verses are incredibly emotional and each manage to rise above the one before, a baroque instrumental section works as an interlude and a psychedelic mid-section provides that unique Lackey touch, flute included of course. No chorus in this song, none is needed.
The lyrics are dreaming and I have yet to feel that I fully grasp them. It is as if each of the first two verses takes on a distant lurking memory, the third is a transition and the fourth moves into present tense to face... The future?
A different and compelling song.

Favorite moment:
The way the line "You saw that I was sinking and I couldn't reach the shore" is sung.

90 - Enuff Z'Nuff - Mother's Eyes (Strength - 1991) (4:37)
A soft bass line gently eases you into this mother of a rock song. In the opening moments Chip & Donnie's harmony vocals bring an uplifting feeling to the song while the main melody is delivered Derek Frigo style, through a blazing guitar solo. There is a great groove to the song and as it slowly unfolds it is very hard not to sing along. The lyrics are naive but good hearted, much like the band. It is the many small touches in the music, which lift it high above the average rock song.

Favorite moment:
The guitar solo beginning at 2:19. It catches the vibe of the song, while leading perfectly into a nice bridge section.
A special mention goes out to the incredible rolling fall which appears in the music video for Mother's Eyes. It is hilarious.

89 - Kamelot - Forever (Karma - 2001) (4:07)
Kamelot has the ability to write songs that feel perfect. "Forever" is one of those slick songs that click perfectly. "Song for Roland" was my favorite Kamelot song for a long time, but "Forever" has recently overtaken it. While the song does not have the genius guitar riff of the aforementioned song, it has everything else. The keyboard work is excellent and brings extra tension by underlining the melody in the background, Kahn's voice is soft and effective, speed is high and the melody is forever immortal.

Favorite moment:
The opening 30 seconds go hand in hand with the chorus.

88 - Pretty Maids - Dead or Alive (Spooked - 1997) (4:36)
My favorite Pretty Maids song is hard to choose, but "Dead or Alive" takes the honor right now. It has the heaviness, the melody and the special powerful touch that characterizes Pretty Maids. Ronnie Atkins' voice is raw and in-your-face and the music is tight and forceful, delivering the 'Fight for your beliefs' message with conviction.

Favorite moment:
The "Dead or alive" part of the chorus.

87 - Savatage - Tonight he grins again / Strange reality (Streets: A Rock Opera - 1991) (8:28)
Ok, so this might be two songs, but on the album it's one track so in my mind that is a perfectly good reason for squeezing another song in here. Tonight he grins again is among my favorites from the Streets album. The piano melody intertwined with the far away guitar wail is an inspired touch that sets a special atmosphere right from the beginning. Jon Oliva's vocal delivery is completely convincing and he draws the listener right into the despairing soul of the main character.
The guitar riff that opens Strange reality is brilliant. Criss Oliva's guitar has a unique crunch to it here, which adds to the tension and overall the guitar work is a major highlight of this song. A warning: It is very easy to get addicted to these two songs.

Favorite moment:
Tonight he grins again: Jon Oliva's delivery of the line "The lost in search of his own" at 0:39.
Strange reality: The abrupt and extremely powerful way the song goes into its third verse. ("I look to the future, with the eyes of the blind")

86 - Lost Horizon - Sworn In The Metal Wind (Awakening The World - 2001) (5:43)
As the song commences four high pitch screams slice through the air and completely overshadow the manic drumming and guitar riffs that provide the background. Having called down the power of the four elements the song continues with a fast galloping rythm and a frenzy of guitar riffs, speeding up to overdrive just before the first verse commences. Singing in a "normal" voice Daniel Heiman brings a special atmosphere to the verses which works very well. The music is sparkling with intensity and inspiration through the song. Frantic would not be too far off if I had to give a one word description of this song.
The lyrics are somewhat over the top and a few lines fall flat. In the end I think this is just Lost Horizon's way of trying to define Invictus.
Daniel Heiman is the perfect singer for this kind of music and his voice soars higher than anyone else I have heard. His work with Lost Horizon has given him a place high on my favorite singers list, though I doubt that Eric Adams will ever be topped in terms of variety and sheer power. Here is a band that deserved to be huge but lost a lot of listeners on an image that was too over the top for most people. Listen to the music and make up your own mind.
To sum up, ....brilliant.

Favorite moment:
The entry to, and the beginning of the second verse, beginning at 2:04.

85 - Rhapsody - Emerald Sword (Symphony Of Enchanted Lands - 1998) (4:21)
As I listened to "Symphony of Enchanted Lands" for the first time back in 1998, I realized that this band was like a dream come true. Huge sweeping melodies, powerful music and the songwriting skills to take it all to a higher level. The music makes me look past any other shortcomings Rhapsody may have. The song opens with a blast and never looks back as the listener is swept up in a whirlwind of thunderous music. Fabio Lione's voice has the strength needed to rise above the music and it is his phrasings that make the melodies work beyond the expected. Keyboard and guitar work together in a complete union here. A Rhapsody song done right is an exhilarating rush of excitement and this one is done right.

Favorite moment:
The chorus.

84 - Iron Maiden - The Number Of The Beast (The Number Of The Beast - 1982) (4:49)
One of my favorite Maiden songs is also one of their best known classics. The opening segment builds a great tension and when the song explodes with a huge scream it is imposssible not to feel a surge of adrenaline. The song drives home its dark atmosphere without compromise and the song works as an exposition of a dark nightmare... Or maybe something else entirely. Classic stuff.

Favorite moment:
The scream.

83 - Sieges Even - These Empty Places (A Sense Of Change - 1991) (9:40)
An unforgetable song that builds up tension through its first 7:30 minutes through a impressive display of technical ability and focus. A multitude of small melodies are hidden in the music and they pop up unexpectedly with each listen, making for an always interesting experience. Jogi Kaiser's vocals hold emotion and a certain touch of melancholy that goes hand in hand with the music. He delivers the complex lyrics with a sort of cold but passionate emotion that draws me into the music. To get a sense of the lyrics here is the second verse:

With the fading light came desperate thoughts, as if
the ghost of an urge rode a blatant breeze.
And the wet ink on the paper blurred under your tears,
just like water's clearness in the rush of the spray...
Try to escape the day...
And after all you will find out that it's all the same
how many footprints you've left in the soil.

There is a deep sense of melancholy flowing from the song, a Sieges Even trademark that no other band does better. The song gives the impression of a journey out of depression.

Favorite moment:
The part that begins at 7:33. It is simply a rousing, uplifting section that soars higher and higher. A fitting conclusion to an incredible album that is a milestone in progressive music.

82 - Eternity X - The Confession (The Edge - 1997) (6:50)
The Edge is a unique concept album that manages to combine every major emotion into a 74 minute work of art about the human spirit. The opening segment from "Carmina Burana" perfectly sets the stage for this dramatic song. I remember the first time I listened to it. Afterwards I sat back and thought "Wow, what was that?". Taking one song from a concept album is not always fair, but "The Confession" does stand on its own. Keith Sudano sings with an empathy that is overwhelming and draws the listener right into the soul of the music. Intense and gripping, this song feels like a glimpse into a mind twisted by hate and loss and on a downward spiral towards its own doom. Musically the song is extremely varied and goes from one extreme to the other with inventive musicians all around. Especially the bass work is exquisite.

Favorite moment:
As tension rises through the verse, Keith Sudano delivers the line "She became his virgin prize. Dead and raped and sacrificed behind closed doors...In darkened rooms." with such stirring conviction that it is impossible no to feel something about this song. The emotional middle section is also out of this world.

81 - Dream Theater - The Mirror (Awake - 1994) (6:45)
Heavy... That is the first thought that hits me when I play this song. On keyboard, Kevin Moore works magic and builds a dark and overwhelming atmosphere. Something I have often missed since he left the band. James LaBrie gives an involved performance that is both aggressive and emotional. The song builds momentum very well and releases it with great power (4:20).
The only song on the album with lyrics penned by Mike Portnoy gives the impression of a troubled mind searching for solace but running around in circles. As the song evolves it reaches a turning point with the fantastic bridge at 3:43 and a show of determination. Awesome song.

Favorite moment:
The way the song changes tempo and mood around 5:13 with the line "I'll never hurt you again".

80 - Rush - Red Sector A (Chronicles (Disc 2) - 1990, Originally released on Grace Under Pressure - 1984) (5:12)
The nightmare'ish atmosphere in this song is spectacular and grabbed me from the first listen. The song deals with The Holocaust and was inspired by Geddy Lee's memories of his mother's stories about the liberation of Bergen-Belsen, where she was held prisoner. Right from the first beat the atmosphere is set. The keyboard work is done with flair and it carries much of the song along with Geddy Lee's voice, but every instrument adds something to the overall feel. A claustrophobic and memorable song.

Favorite moment:
I clutch the wire fence
Until my fingers bleed
A wound that will not heal
A heart that cannot feel
Hoping that the horror will recede
Hoping that tomorrow
We'll all be freed

79 - Nelson - Five O'Clock Plane (Because They Can - 1995) (4:58)
"Because They Can" is my favorite Nelson album and "Five O'Clock Plane" is a standout song. The song flows extremely well and has a warm smoothness to it. The Nelson brothers' harmonies are often as sweet as thick sugary candyfloss (with cream on top). Maybe too sweet for some but I absolutely love them. Harmonic, melodic and pleasing for the ear are words that go hand in hand with Nelson's music. I don't know why the words "fluffy bunny feet" keep popping into my head? This song is perfect for lying back on the couch and flying away with the music. The acoustic element is always present and gives the song a very relaxed vibe.

Favorite moment:
The chorus, which gets close to being complete perfection.

78 - Simon & Garfunkel - America (Bookends - 1968) (3:35)
This song sums up feelings of complete freedom as well as its scary implications and illusions very well. The atmosphere in the beginning of the song is joyous and free of worry but changes through the song towards sadness and frustration with a strong hint of melancholy. Musically the song is very mellow and emotional. The result is a beautiful, timeless piece of music. The song also has my vote for best ever use of a song in a movie. The way the song is used in Cameron Crowe's Almost Famous is perfect.

Favorite moment:
There are four. The genius vocal delivery of the lines "I've got some real estate here in my bag", "Michigan seems like a dream to me now", "We smoked the last one an hour ago" and "I'm empty and aching and I don't know why". Chilling.

77 - Payne's Gray - Moonlight Waters (Kadath Decoded - 1995) (9:01)
This is an example of a band that showed incredible potential but never got a label deal and thus they disappeared. Their one, self financed, full length album, Kadath Decoded, is a small masterpiece of progressive Metal and this song is my favorite of that album when looking at it song by song. A dreamy mystical atmosphere reigns throughout the song. After an instrumental introduction that feels like a passage to another dimension you meet up with the two male singers. They have very similar voices and create some amazing harmonies, adding to the atmosphere with every word. The music is like a maze of intricate details and you constantly feel like you have no idea what will await around the next corner. This effect runs through the whole album.

Favorite moment:
The atmospheric segment that begins at 7:20 and evolves into a haunting and spellbinding ending to the song. The piano in this part is brilliant.

76 - Tori Amos - Hey Jupiter (Boys for Pele - 1996) (5:11)
This song is incredibly instense. With her voice and a piano as the main instruments Tori Amos sucks the listener into her world and then lays everything bare. So much emotion lies within this song that it is impossible to describe. It is a song that sounds simple on the surface but with every listen something new reaches my attention. I find it amazing how a simple twist of a tone in her voice can give a whole new dimension to the song. Tori Amos is a musical genius and this is probably her most varied album. The music is original, challenging, thought provoking and always overflowing with emotions. This song is sparkling with energy alongside hurt and frustration and deserves to be listened to with ones full attention. The beauty is that it doesn't feel fragile, it feels strong and determined.

Favorite moment:
The entrance to the third verse from 2:25 to 2:40. This passage is indescribable, it has to be felt.

75 - Nuclear Valdez - Hope (I am I - 1989) (4:48)
Nuclear Valdez managed to create their own unique brand of rock music already on their debut. If you manage to find one of their albums then I'd recommend you to buy it without hesitation. "Hope" is from their debut and it is a song that speaks in volumes. Froilan Sosa's vocals are dripping with regret and longing and pulls you right into the heart of the song. Highlights include the great bridge leading to the chorus and the wonderful guitar solo. The chorus is a pinnacle of the song where all the feelings come flowing out. The only reason I find it hard to sing along to this song is that Froilan Sosa's vocals are so empathetic that I can't help but sit back and just take them in. It almost feels wrong to interrupt them.

Favorite moment:
The beginning of the song, which manages to express both longing, frustration and emotional outbursts within just a few seconds of music.

74 - Queen - Love of My Life (A Night At The Opera - 1975) (3:38)
Fragile, touching and focused in its scope, this is an immortal love song. Freddie Mercury's gripping performance brings the drama needed to make the song that much more effective and the harp adds a special touch to the atmosphere.

Favorite moment:
The desperation in Freddie's voice as the song enters its second verse at 1:03.

73 - Helloween - Twilight Of The Gods (Keeper Of The Seven Keys Part I - 1987) (4:30)
In my early days of discovering heavy metal music I was grabbed by this song instantly and it has been my favorite Helloween song ever since. In some way it has probably endured because of the fond memory, but also because of its sheer speed and energy. The song doesn't hold back and goes completely over the top on several occasions, my favorite being the sampled "Attack" on top of Kiske's voice. Another is the beginning of the song, where a fast guitar solo leads the song into overdrive before a deep voice announces the futuristic setting. Cheesy maybe, but it works because everything about this song is chock-full of energy and determination. A heavy nod goes out to the bass work in this song. Another timeless metal classic in my book.

Favorite moment:
The high energy bridge. ("Fireflash in the night...")

72 - Manowar - Secret of Steel (Into Glory Ride - 1983) (5:20)
This has to be the most epic song I have ever heard. "Secret of Steel" brings an all embracing atmosphere filled with mysticism, doom, pride and wonder, created by a tight mid-tempo groove where monumental guitar licks and a wildly inventive Eric Adams are the key elements. It is a 5 minute journey to a long forgotten time, but it is an impression that lasts much longer. Disguised as a mideavil tale the song sends a message of finding inner strength and seeking truth.

Favorite moment:
Eric Adams singing the opening lines of the song.

71 - Eagles - Hotel California (Hotel California - 1976) (6:30)
This song is absolutely timeless and the album on which it resides comes highly recommended. The opening instrumental introduction perfectly sets the stage and Don Henley's warm and engaging vocal delivery brings a unique atmosphere right from the beginning ("Warm smell of colitas rising up through the air"). The guitar work is engaging without being intrusive and enhances the sound with many small details. The song has a dark ambience and deals with temptations of the soul in an interesting way.

Favorite moment:
The line "Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes bends"

70 - Elegy - Everything (Lost - 1995) (6:00)
Lost is my favorite Elegy album. It lured me in with a special atmosphere and has never really let go. "Everything" showcases the album very well. The song has excellent guitar work, a strong melody and a special emotional atmosphere created by Eduard Hovigna's high pitch vocals.

Favorite moment:
The ending of the bridge section leading to the chorus.
"With rain comes a season, each drop is a cry.
Why. I don't know why. I'll never know"

69 - Enuff Z'Nuff - There Goes My Heart (10 - 2000) (3:30)
This is one of those perfect Enuff Z'nuff songs that I will never tire of. The song glides into its own groove and doesn't stop for a breath before the end. The verses have an incredibly drive, the lyrics are smart and the rythm has a definite Beatles vibe to it. Highly infectous power pop/rock that should have been a hit of the ages.

Favorite moment:
The moment Donnie Vie starts singing the first verse "Hello Monday, you've been so bad" and the genius bridge at 1:50 share the throne.

68 - Crimson Glory - Lost Reflection (Crimson Glory - 1986) (4:47)
If there ever was a time to describe a song as haunting then this would be it. Midnight breathes life to the mostly acoustic song by delivering a vocal performance that is both chilling and poignant. Out of this world would be another way to describe it. The song quickly draws you in with a very special atmosphere and you will be completely unprepared for the ending part, which is truly an unforgetable moment.

Favorite moment:
The explosive ending part where insanity reigns complete. Impossible to describe.

67 - Fates Warning - The Ivory Gate Of Dreams (No Exit - 1988) (21:58)
This quite spiritual song is one of Fates Warning's crowning achievements. The band has always been able to create a unique atmosphere and that is also what they do here. This song can also be seen as a final glorious farewell to the old metallic style of the band, before they moved towards a more accessible sound. Opening and closing with a strong acoustic melody the song goes through 8 segments and my absolute favorite part comes with the intense "Quietus". The rest of the song holds up well, but "Quietus" is really the magical part of this song. It builds tension and releases it in a time stopping moment. The piano that comes after the climax is a perfect way to settle the mood and bring the atmosphere back to the starting point. And the song is only halfway through at this point.

Favorite moment:
Quietus, 6:34 - 10:59

66 - Lost Horizon - Highlander (The One) (A Flame To The Ground Beneath - 2003) (11:56)
A fantastic composition that is both invigorating and inspiring. A strong sense of pride permeates the song right from the start. When Daniel Heiman starts singing I feel like I am lifted off the ground. This song just soars high, both musically and spiritually. Heavy Metal without boundaries.

Favorite moment:
The fantastic part that begins at 5:29.

65 - Savatage - Summer's Rain (Gutter Ballet - 1989) (4:33)
This Savatage power ballad has some very emotional singing and guitar playing as its highlights. Jon Oliva's voice is both tender ans harsh. Cris Oliva's guitar playing is filled with detail and especially his solo is breathtaking. The keyboard during the ending adds perfectly to the conclusion to the song.

Favorite moment:
The way Jon Oliva sings the lines:
"And do you know,
how it feels inside
To be all alone,
a fool and his pride"

64 - Bon Jovi - In These Arms (Keep The Faith - 1992) (5:19)
One of my ultimate party favorites. The song is super catchy and impossible not to sing along to. The lyrics are romantic and filled with a strong sense of longing. Musically the song pulsates with positive energy and even the ending part adds something special to the mix.

Favorite moment:
"Baby I want you" at 1:02.

63 - Iced Earth - Prophecy / Birth of the wicked / The coming curse (Something Wicked This Way Comes - 1998) (6:18 / 4:16 / 9:33)
This trilogy of songs sets the stage a future Iced Earth album dealing with the same concept. That album has yet to see the light of day, but if this is a taste of what to expect then nothing less than perfection will be acceptable. This trilogy of songs that end "Something Wicked This Way Comes" contain some of my favorite music of all time.
"Prophecy" has a tension-filled vibe, which builds up slowly, only to suddenly explode in a whirlpool of chaos and power. It is perfectly executed. As the song builds slowly it gives a taste of what is to come, and when the second half of the song unites a monster guitar riff with Matthew Barlow's gripping voice, ultra tight bass lines and energized drumming the feeling is one that makes me jump around and headbang with a force that leaves my neck sore for several days.
"Birth of the wicked" works as somewhat of a breather before the climax arrives with "The coming curse". A piano segment fools you into a relaxed state of mind, only to be abruptly awoken as another genius guitar riff runs you over like a freight train straight from hell. From here the song takes you on a relentless ride, only slowing down once to refuel. The song goes into overdrive for the chorus and this moment is so powerful it is indescribable. The trademark Jon Schaffer ultra fast guitar riffs are as tight as the superb drumming and there is no doubt in my mind that this is the pinnacle of Iced Earth's music so far.

Favorite moment:
Prophecy: The incredibly powerful part that beginds at 2:39
The coming curse: The "I am your anti-Christ" part as well as the chorus.

62 - Metallica - One (...And Justice For All - 1988) (7:26)
Metallica's war epic is still harsh and moving. The way the tension rises through the song works very well and the mighty riff that opens the last part of the song leads to a harrowing ending part.

Favorite moment:
The grave opening melody or that riff at 4:37.

61 - The Beatles - Julia (The White Album - 1968) (2:54)
I find this song completely enchanting and heartachingly beautiful. From what I have read John Lennon recorded this one by himself, alone with an acoustic guitar. It was the only song he did completely on his own during his time with The Beatles.

Favorite moment:
Impossible to pick one moment from this song since everything about it is perfect.

60 - Stratovarius - Galaxies (Fourth Dimension - 1995) (5:00)
I got hooked on this simple song the first time I heard it and it has remained my favorite Stratovarius song since, much to the confusion of just about everyone else. The keyboard playing by Antti Ikonen is fantastic and has an air of wonder to it. Extremely catchy, a relaxed groove and an unforgetable chorus has given this song a strange magical life of its own.

Favorite moment:
The chorus

59 - Eternity X - Fly Away (The Edge - 1997) (8:03)
This song has an incredibly positive vibe to it. I feel like I want to jump high in the air while singing along every time the chorus hits. (And of course I often do...) The song is complicated but highly melodic and both Keith Sudano's voice as well as the music has a ton of emotion. The piano plays an important role and the way it is utilized makes the song feel complete.

Favorite moment:
The last chorus where everything comes together.

58 - Iron Maiden - Aces High (Powerslave - 1984) (4:32)
As this song accelerates and takes off there is no way back. One highlight after another fires right at you. The bass work throughout is really outstanding, the guitar riff in the verses is extraordinary and the chorus is hair raising, I think only Bruce Dickinson could do it this intense. Also, the guitar lick nearing the end of each chorus is absolutely inspired and gives the song an extra edge. This is heavy metal in its purest form.

Favorite moment:
"Aces Hiiiiii-iiiii-iii-iiii-iiiiiiiiigh" at 3:58

57 - Enuff Z'nuff - Home Tonight (? - 2004) (3:15)
Long before the song was released on ? I discovered it on an Enuff Z'nuff demo bootleg and it became an instant favorite. Right as the opening guitar chord is struck a warm and strangely melancholic atmosphere is set. Donnie Vie's voice enhances this further with a deeply emotional performance. Guitar and bass add alot of details in the background and makes you feel like the song can go on forever. Unfortunately it doesn't.

Favorite moment:
Donnie's "Baby baby baby aaaahhhhaaaahhhh" at 1:39.

56 - Savatage - Hall of the mountain king (Hall of the Mountain King - 1986) (5:33)
A Savatage classic. Furious guitar leads and an insanely energized lead singer provides the intensity needed to rise the song high above the rabble. There is no holding back and the whole song feels from the heart.

Favorite moment:
The opening 30 seconds, which should be enough to convince any heavy metal fan to listen to Savatage.

55 - Dream Theater - Take the Time (Images and Words - 1992) (8:21)
"Images and Words" is a milestone and this song and absolutely brilliant showcase of what progressive metal is when it's best. It has everything from constant changes in pace, different bridge sections, an incredible chorus, long instrumental sections and flawless playing, all the time keeping the melodic aspect in focus.

Favorite moment:
The bridge section beginning at 2:47.
"If there's a pensive fear,
a wasted year
a man must learn to cope
if his obsession's real,
suppression that he feels
must turn to hope"

54 - Shadow Gallery - Mystery (Tyranny - 1998) (5:41)
This one is so slick is feels perfect. The opening instrumental section builds up momentum perfectly, Mike Baker's captivating vocals are convincing with a tinge of vulnerability and the chorus moves the song even further into the stratosphere. A great keyboard and guitar solo is the icing on the cake.

Favorite moment:
The way the keyboard leads into the first verse, pure perfection.

53 - Queen - It's a Hard Life (The Works - 1984) (4:09)
"It's a hard life" has one of the most dramatic beginnings to a song ever. I have always found Freddie Mercury's incredible voice to hold a special honesty that gives Queen songs a great impact. Here his voice shines with emotion as he delivers the strong message with utmost conviction. The melodic guitar solo is expertly woven into the song and gives rise to the final conclusion.

Favorite moment:
The beginning of the second verse as Freddie sings "I try and mend the broken pieces", beautifully accompanied by the background vocals.

52 - X Japan - Dahlia (Dahlia - 1996) (7:57)
The opening song from X Japan's final album is breathtaking. Fast paced, but extremely melodic all the way through. Toshi on vocals has an incredible ability to create enchanting vocal melodies on top of the technical music. The drumming has an incredible amount of energy to it, something that goes for the whole song. The song builds all the way to the chorus, which soars so high you won't ever feel like you have grasped it. That is why this song has infinite replayability.
The only thing that keep this song from being perfect is the production. The guitars have been put far back in the mix and they are overshadowed by the other instruments, making the sound feel somewhat frail and thin. This is a crying shame.

Favorite moment:
The bridge section at 2:03 that starts with "You'll see blue sky".

51 - Metallica - Creeping Death (Ride the Lightning - 1984) (6:36)
Creepaayyy.... Sorry, got carried away a bit. This song is classic Metallica. Tight, heavy, powerful and absolutely brilliant (and filled with fantastic guitar riffs). Ride the Lightning is my favorite Metallica album and if you don't own it go out and get it NOW. It should have a home in any metal collection.

Favorite moment:
The guitar foundation in the chorus.

Written By Steen
Online: Monday, May 29, 2006
Updated: Wednesday, July 29, 2014 - Added the original article to the new RevelationZ site