I know, who gets their zen on to metal? I’m guessing that most people listen to metal for that insane adrenaline rush and jolt of energy. But metal isn’t just there to make your bang your head and mosh in the pit. Sure, that’s the basis of its appeal–for me too–but it can also be extremely relaxing. It may sound funny to think of someone chilling at the end of the day with some aromatherapy and Lush bath bombs playing some Gojira in the background, but don’t knock it until you try it. Here’s our top 10 metal songs to get your zen on.
1. “The Shooting Star”
Gojira’s Magma, in general, makes for an uncannily relaxing listen due to its atmospheric, otherwordly quality. With that said, nearly any song off of Magma could fit this list, but one in particular stands out. “The Shooting Star” may be massive, but it’s also delicate, especially in the way that it carefully and slowly develops and builds over the course of the song. It almost keeps you at that point where a song is about to breakdown, but it never fully gets there. This builds the ultimate anticipation, but it also keeps you in an odd state of euphoria and calm, almost like you are stuck floating in outer space weightless. As the guitar’s hum nearly lulls you to sleep, you realize that Gojira have somehow, I’m assuming without anticipation, created the ultimate heavy metal lullaby. There’s also something to be said about the ability of the song to fill the atmosphere, which makes it just as meteoric as it is encapsulating. Layer after layer is discovered as you close your eyes and find yourself entranced by “The Shooting Star”, and that is what makes it so relaxing.
2. “The Motherload”
Okay, this one has a little more kick to it. But it never fails to send a gigantic wave of calm over me. There’s something so reassuring about Brann Dailor’s vocals as he sings, “This time, this time, Things’ll work out just fine, We won’t let you slip away.” That paired with the eccentric riffs and driving beat of the drum, and you have something that makes you feel so warm and fuzzy inside. Of course, there’s still no denying its power, but there’s something all to comforting about it, almost like a blanket just out of the dryer.
3. “Of Matter – Proxy”
TesseracT’s “Of Matter – Proxy” will make you feel like you are traveling at the speed of light through Cerebro. It’s entirely introspective, but it also takes you through this whimsical look at time. Daniel Tompkins vocals accompany you throughout your travels, dancing ethereally around you along with the silver sound of the guitar. The intensity builds more over the course of the song, but it still remains subtle and serene, leaving you to kick back and fly through the cosmos.
Soft and beautiful harmonies and celestial symphonies, enough said. This is one of Periphery’s more gentle efforts, but it still has that “thing” that we’ve all come to love about Periphery. It has this silently explosive quality about it that makes you feel so reposed, allowing you to unwind throughout a delicate and sonically-impressive journey. You’ll definitely feel the love when listening to this one, and for that reason alone you will find yourself overcome by a wave of calm.
5. “The Coma Machine”
The whole concept behind Between the Buried And Me’s Coma Ecliptic takes you on a journey through a man’s slip into a coma within a coma within a coma. It is within this slumber that you are lead throughout this man’s past lives. Almost like sleep itself, you are taken through periods of wakefulness and sleepiness within the song’s structure itself, giving you this overwhelming feeling that you are traveling throughout a dream. “The Coma Machine” is soothing as it places you in a completely different dimension altogether that’s both majestic and haunting. Fall under their spell by listening to “The Coma Machine” below.
6. “Will O the Wisp”
This track takes you straight into the heart of a badass metal renaissance fair, in the best way possible. The only thing I find to be more relaxing, or on the same level of Opeth’s Sorceress, is the Lord of the Rings soundtrack or Rush’s Fly By Night, in particular, the song “Rivendell”. Those are some big shoes to fill, but Opeth does it with ease.”Will O the Wisp” will whisk you away and place you in a world that’s full of magic and wonder. Sounds dorky, I know, but it’s true.
7. “Gone With The Wind”
This is probably the most surprising track on this list. I surprised myself with this one, but it has this tangible quality to it that you can’t deny. Yeah, it’s heavy in terms of sound, but it has more dimension than that. When Sam sings amongst those chilling synth parts, you suddenly feel like you are floating. There’s something so other-worldly about “Gone With The Wind”; Something that embodies what it feels like to be alive and experience the world and all its beauty. For that reason, it unlocks something within you that is so full of light, making it one of the most easing listens despite its heavy nature.
Marcus Bridge’s vocals are smooth and crystal clear as well as spirited and consoling. He has the ability to make you feel with the sheer emotiveness and curing warmth of his voice alone, and that’s something that many singers lack the capability of doing. As the title would suggest, you are left feeling weightless over the course of the song thanks to Marcus’ vocal and the euphoric quality of both the lyric and composition of the record. Enchanted trills dance amongst his words, “Weightless my body, Floats in eternity, Weightless beyond the earth’s, gravity, A euphoric perpetual gaze, I taste the light of days.” You’ll be left feeling elated and free in a world where emotion and sound collide.
9. “He Is”
There’s a hymn-like quality to Ghost’s “He Is” that gives it a sedative affect, especially as Papa gently croons amongst the hypnotizing lull of the music. Though some would deem Ghost’s music to be “dark”, it’s actually quite the opposite, especially within songs like “He Is”, which are actually full of optimism and light. It’s songs like these that are a constant reminder of the beauty that can exist in the darkness, and that makes it not only a haunting listen, but also a refreshing one.
10. “Shock Me”
There’s something so 80’s neo-noir about the opening to “Shock Me”, almost like something off the soundtrack of Blade Runner. Maybe that’s just my sci-fi love trying to shine through, but there’s something so nostalgic, but also something so undeniably modern about this track, which is sure to give you this overwhelming feeling of bliss. Rolling guitars cascade around you as John Baizley’s voice echoes through your mind. It may come as a shock that Baroness made the list, but you can’t deny songs like “Shock Me” that are just as exhilarating as they are peaceful.
Of course there are more songs out there that could have made the list, so let us know your suggestions! What metal songs do you find relaxing? Let us know in the comments.
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