The name remains the same. Or at least it does for the following bands. Ever since heavy metal pioneers Black Sabbath kicked off the album Black Sabbath with the song “Black Sabbath” many have taken a cue from the masters and saved their most killer riffs for songs that embody the band themselves in both spirit and literally, in name. From Motorhead, whose first single was the classic “Motorhead,” through thrashers like Anthrax and Exodus and all the way up to modern day ragers Children Of Bodom and Dimmu Borgir, the theme or signature song is an essential part of heavy metal’s tribal culture. Hell, it’s such a cool thing to do even hardcore punk bands like Minor Threat and Bad Religion got into the act, but hey, that’s a different list. Anyhow, scroll through the pages, stream the videos and check out 20 kick ass metal jams that are named after their creators very own kick ass metal bands.
20. Carnivore “Carnivore”
Brooklyn’s legendary crossover kings deliver a self-titled song as brutal as their legendary stage show which involved throwing raw meat into the audience.
19. Angel Witch “Angel Witch”
These New Wave Of British Heavy Metal also-rans never broke big but combined metal power with unforgettable hooks as heard on this eponymous single from 1980.
18. Manowar “Manowar”
Long-running power metal legends set the tone for their career with this triumphant number from their debut album.
17. Overkill “Overkill”
These New Jersey thrashers were named after the Motorhead song of the same name but that didn’t stop them from using their title for their title song.
16. Exodus “Exodus”
Seminal Bay-area thrash metal band has one of the fiercest signature songs ever which sadly-deceased singer Paul Baloff explains is about “killing posers” in this ’86 live clip.
15. Deicide “Deicide”
When the name of your band “God-slayer,” how could you not use it for the name of song also?
14. Saint Vitus “Saint Vitus”
These doom metal trailblazers saved one of their heaviest riffs for their signature song and bent minds when touring the punk circuit with Black Flag as seen in this live performance form 1984.
13. Blitzkreig “Blitzkreig”
This self-titled anthem is one of the all-time metal songs anthems to come out of the NWOBHM movement though Metallica’s cover version is better known than the original.
12. Metal Church “Metal Church”
This theme song by Seattle’s metal mainstays has one of the coolest intros of all time.
11. Gorgoroth “Gorgoroth”
These purveyors of “True Norwegian Black Metal” keep it grim in their signature song of the album Antichrist.
10. HammerFall “HammerFall”
This self-titled track comes from one of the premiere Swedish power metal bands who have made a serious mark in the international metal community.
9. Anthrax “Anthrax”
This Big 4 thrash metal band helped shape the sound of a genre with their debut album Fistful of Metal which contained the band’s self-titled theme song.
8. Amon Amarth “Amon Amarth”
Like fellow Scandinavians Gorgoroth, this Viking metal band’s name is a Lord Of The Rings reference and also the title of a totally crushingly heavy song of theirs.
7. Children of Bodom “Children of Bodom”
One of metal’s current leading lights, COB put out this song on a split 7″ single with fellow Finnish metal bands Cryhavoc and Wizzard.
6. Dimmu Borgir “Dimmu Borgir”
The band who has helped bring Norwegian black metal into the mainstream waited years before naming a song after themselves but it was worth the wait.
5. Voivod “Voivod”
These experimental, thrash metal rule breakers kicked off their 1984 debut album War and Pain with one of the most intense self-titled songs in metal history.
4. Bad Company “Bad Company”
This song may be more hard rock than metal but it’s still one of rock’s geniune badass anthems.
3. Iron Maiden “Iron Maiden”
The biggest and best band to emerge from the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal also has one of the coolest signature tunes of all time.
2. Motorhead “Motorhead”
This, the band’s first single, was actually previously recorded by Lemmy’s old space rock band Hawkwind, but this is the definitive version, as heard on the band’s landmark No Sleep ’Til Hammersmith live album.
1. Black Sabbath “Black Sabbath”
Some bands just get things right the first time out. This self-titled song, which opens the group’s 1970 self-titled debut album, created the musical motifs and lyrical themes which would be copied by all subsequent heavy metal bands up to this very day. Not a bad way to start your career.