What with tomorrow being Valentine’s Day, we’re turning our affections to the heavy metal love song. A rare species indeed. And no, we’re not talking about glam metal power ballads here, because those are anything but rare, and usually anything but metal. We’re talking about real heavy metal bands. Bands that are typically, consistently and truly heavy but aren’t afraid to show a different side. Bands that prove that beneath the hardened, aggressive, angry-as-hell exterior lies a warm, fuzzy, though perhaps blackened, center. Bands that prove that at the end of the day, we’re all human and dare we say, want to be loved. And though this form of love may be metal-infused, it is nonetheless there. From to Pantera to Slipknot, romance doesn’t seem to be a foreign concept to these dudes. So to celebrate our undying love of metal here’s a list of 13 Heavy Metal Love Songs. But don’t you dare go calling them soft.
Type O Negative “Love You to Death”
With lyrics about a man trying to prove himself as a worthy lover, the late Peter Steele wrote many dark songs with themes of romance, depression and death, leading the band to be nicknamed “The Drab Four.”
Pantera “This Love”
This track off the band’s breakout album Vulgar Display of Power alternates between mellower and more aggressive sections, telling the story of one of singer Phil Anselmo’s previous relationships.
Judas Priest “Prisoner of Your Eyes”
Singer Rob Halford has written many love songs over the years – both with Judas Priest and as a solo act – but this one definitely seems to be a standout, with relatable lyrics about a person who just can’t let go of a relationship.
Metallica “Nothing Else Matters”
Coming off 1991’s Metallica (aka The Black Album), the thrash metal pioneers take on a different sound, with lead singer James Hetfield penning a song for his then-girlfriend about the connection they shared even when the singer was on tour.
Motörhead “Love Me Forever”
Though ballads are uncharacteristic of these baddass bikers, this particular ballad holds true to the band’s heavier roots and shows the darker side of love, carrying a sinister vibe, both musically and lyrically.
Ozzy Osbourne “Mama, I’m Coming Home”
Co-written by Zakk Wylde and Lemmy Kilmister, this touching love song was written about Ozzy’s longtime wife and manager Sharon, whom he nicknamed “Mama,” and is Ozzy’s only Top 40 solo single.
Killswitch Engage “The End of Heartache”
With lyrics about being tortured over the end of a relationship and only finding solace during sleep, vocalist Howard Jones brings a ton of emotion to this title track.
In Flames “Evil in a Closet”
The Swedish death metal band gets romantic with a song that shows the writer pining for a person who is already involved in another relationship.
Dave Mustaine and guitarist Al Pitrelli write a beautiful, Romeo and Juliet-inspired song that captures the versatility of the thrash metal icons.
The sinister, masked metal act ditches the masks and reveals a sensitive (though still tortured) side.
Trivium “This World Can’t Tear Us Apart”
The metalcore band pens a song about how a good relationship can help you save each other and overcome any adversity.
Helloween “In the Middle of a Heartbeat”
The German power metal band writes about a relationship that’s slowly starting to unravel.
Black Sabbath “N.I.B.”
Possibly heavy metal’s first love song, the lyrics were written by bassist Geezer Butler who said he had trouble writing love songs at the time, so he wrote the song from the point of view of the devil falling in love. Now that’s f***ing metal.