When we think of metal music, we often picture heavy electric guitars and thunderous drums. However, over the years, metal bands have experimented with a variety of instruments to create unique and unforgettable sounds. One of these instruments is the banjo, which has made its way into metal music to add a distinctive flavor to the genre. In this article, we’ll explore 10 metal songs that feature banjo.
10 Metal Songs Featuring Banjo
- “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” by Primus. Primus, a progressive metal band from California, covered the classic country song “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” with a unique twist – they added a heavy banjo solo. The result is a metal masterpiece that showcases the band’s incredible musicianship.
- “Rainbow in the Dark” by Dio. Ronnie James Dio is a metal legend known for his powerful vocals and epic lyrics. “Rainbow in the Dark” is a classic metal song that features a memorable banjo riff that complements the song’s dark and moody tone.
- “Spit It Out” by Slipknot. Slipknot, a masked metal band from Iowa, is known for their intense and aggressive sound. “Spit It Out” features a banjo intro that adds a surprising and unexpected element to the song, showcasing the band’s willingness to experiment with their sound.
- “Under the Sun” by Black Sabbath. Black Sabbath, one of the pioneers of heavy metal, are known for their iconic sound that has influenced countless metal bands. “Under the Sun” features a banjo riff that adds a Southern rock vibe to the song, giving it a unique and memorable sound.
- “I Will Be Heard” by Hatebreed. Hatebreed, a hardcore metal band from Connecticut, infuses their music with elements of punk and thrash metal. “I Will Be Heard” features a banjo intro that sets the stage for the song’s aggressive and empowering lyrics.
- “Satan is Real” by Kreator. Kreator, a thrash metal band from Germany, are known for their fast-paced and intense sound. “Satan is Real” features a banjo intro that adds a folk metal element to the song, giving it a unique and memorable sound.
- “A Girl Named Johnny Cash” by Graveyard Train. Graveyard Train, an Australian horror country band, infuses their music with elements of punk and metal. “A Girl Named Johnny Cash” features a banjo and a heavy guitar riff that create a unique and memorable sound that perfectly complements the song’s dark and haunting lyrics.
- “Harvester of Sorrow” by Metallica. Metallica, one of the most successful metal bands of all time, are known for their heavy and intricate sound. “Harvester of Sorrow” features a banjo intro that adds a haunting and eerie element to the song, creating a sense of foreboding that perfectly complements the song’s dark lyrics.
- “The Death of Love” by Cradle of Filth. Cradle of Filth, a symphonic black metal band from England, are known for their gothic and horror-inspired sound. “The Death of Love” features a banjo interlude that adds a folk metal element to the song, creating a unique and memorable sound.
- “The Jolly Roger” by Running Wild. Running Wild, a German heavy metal band, are known for their pirate-themed lyrics and sound. “The Jolly Roger” features a banjo intro that creates a playful and upbeat tone that perfectly complements the song’s swashbuckling lyrics.
In conclusion, the banjo has found a home in metal music, adding a unique and distinctive sound to the genre.
What is Banjo Metal?
Banjo metal is a subgenre of heavy metal music that incorporates the banjo as a primary instrument. This style of music blends the traditional sound of the banjo with the aggressive and distorted sound of heavy metal, creating a unique fusion of genres.
Banjo metal can be traced back to the early 2000s, with bands like Iron Horse and Hayseed Dixie incorporating banjo into their heavy metal covers of popular songs. Since then, the genre has grown in popularity, with bands like The Hu, Panopticon, and Zeal & Ardor incorporating banjo into their original heavy metal compositions.
Banjo metal often features fast and intricate banjo picking, coupled with heavy guitar riffs and pounding drums. The lyrics typically cover themes related to rural life, nature, and traditional folk culture, while also incorporating elements of rebellion and social commentary.
10 Examples of Banjo Metal
- The Hu – A Mongolian heavy metal band that incorporates traditional instruments like the morin khuur and tobshuur, as well as banjo, to create a unique sound that blends elements of traditional Mongolian music with heavy metal.
- Zeal & Ardor – A Swiss-American band that combines black metal with elements of blues, gospel, and banjo to create a unique and intense sound.
- Panopticon – An American black metal band that incorporates banjo, mandolin, and other traditional folk instruments into their music, often exploring themes related to nature, social justice, and Appalachian culture.
- Iron Horse – An American bluegrass band that gained popularity for their heavy metal covers of classic rock songs, often featuring banjo prominently.
- Hayseed Dixie – An American bluegrass band known for their humorous covers of popular rock and metal songs, often featuring banjo as a prominent instrument.
- Clawhammer – A British band that fuses elements of thrash metal and folk music, often featuring banjo prominently in their music.
- Rusty Cage – An American musician who incorporates banjo, acoustic guitar, and heavy metal into his music, often creating a haunting and intense sound.
- Blackwater James – An American band that combines heavy metal with elements of bluegrass, often featuring banjo prominently in their music.
- Holy Smokes – An American band that fuses elements of metal, punk, and bluegrass, often featuring banjo as a key instrument.
- Vulture Whispers – An American band that blends black metal with elements of folk music, incorporating banjo, accordion, and other traditional instruments into their music.