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"Any truly great heavy metal song has to have power and aggression," says Brendon Small, creator of the Adult Swim animated series Metalocalypse and its virtual band, Dethklock. "If it's a slow song, it should make you want to take over the world; and if it's a fast song, it should make you want to destroy the world. No matter what the tempo is, it should be physically evocative. All of the songs on my list have that quality."
For millions of teens and pre-teens, the songs by Dethklok have marked their introduction to the world of heavy metal. As for Small, his first "heavy moment" was when he listened to his parents' vinyl copy of Queen's A Night At The Opera. "The Prophet's Song is totally metal," Small enthuses. "Talk about conjuring up the end of the world. I thought, This could be the quintessential song for either a sports event or Dungeons & Dragons – or both. Anybody who says that's not metal just doesn't know."
As on previous Dethklok releases, Small is a quadruple threat – writer, vocalist, guitarist and keyboardist – on the group's newest disc, Dethalbum III. "In my work, I absolutely try to borrow from all of the metal songs I love," he says. "I think of the feel, the tempos, the chords that the guitarists used. ‘How are these things happening, and why do they work so well?’ I ask myself. Basically, I just try to rip everybody off!”
And that would include the songs on this list – Brendon Small's 10 greatest heavy metal songs of all time.