10 Motivational Metal Masterpieces | Steve's Quest: The Animated Musical Web Series

10 Motivational Metal Masterpieces

I already admitted in an earlier post that I like heavy metal, so I probably can’t make the situation any worse by doing another post about the metal songs that inspire me to fearless action.  I’m joking, I’m not ashamed of my love of metal—or, to use the militaristic language common to these kinds of songs, my metal allegiance.  If there’s a form of music tailor-made for personal development gurus and devotees, metal is it—except, perhaps, for the ‘80s movie soundtrack rock featured in my last music-related post.

If you listen to one or more of the following songs in the morning, I can practically guarantee you’ll go through the day feeling like conquering the world.  No, not necessarily through violence.  All of the song title links, by the way, are to videos for the songs.

1.  Visions of Fate (Primal Fear). This song’s words are practically straight out of a personal development blog.  The lyrics are actually a list of 50 ways you can get happy today.  Okay, I’m kidding, but they do say “take your life right in your hands, and be the master of your destiny,” which sounds kind of like the back cover of a Wayne Dyer or Tony Robbins book to me.

2.  Kingdom Come (Manowar). This song invites us to “feel the white light, the light within,” but it’s not talking about some delicate, soft white light you might see in communing with your guardian angels.  It’s more like the searing white heat of your warrior spirit.  To avoid overwhelming you with either Manowar or the word “fighting” in this post, I didn’t include Manowar’s “Fighting the World” as one of the main tracks, but it certainly deserves an honorable mention.

3.  Stand Up and Shout (Dio). Ronnie Dio is personally a model of persistence and commitment—he’s been rockin’ for more than four decades, he’s now in his mid-sixties, and he shows no sign of slowing down.  This song reflects Ronnie’s commitment to individualism, dreaming big, and shouting.

4.  Escape (Metallica). I like Metallica, but I wouldn’t call many of their songs particularly motivational.  But this early tune is a rare exception, at least in the sense that it has a happy-sounding chorus and the lyrics are all about living your own way and breaking with convention.

5.  Headin’ Out to the Highway (Judas Priest). This song expresses the time-worn self-help maxim that we should “fail faster to succeed faster.”  It’s about worthwhile risk-taking—in this case, when you’re deciding where to drive, but the message can certainly apply to your search engine optimization, raw juice dieting, kettlebell swinging or wherever you need to push your edge.

6.  The Fire Burns Forever (Hammerfall). This song is certainly inspiring, but what I mostly want to call your attention to is the video, which features Hammerfall hilariously clowning around with Olympic athletes from their native Sweden.

7.  Let Me Feel Your Power (Saxon). In living your life, “loud and fast,” as this song wisely reminds us, is “the only way to go.”  I listen to this one whenever I find myself having doubts about whether I’m “taking up too much space” or “drawing too much attention to myself” as a speaker, and my worries quickly melt away.  Or maybe a better way to put it would be that they are slain by a battle axe or scorched to ashes in the fires of hell.

8.    Best I Can (Queensryche). The stirring tale of a partially paralyzed man who, against all odds, becomes—okay, this is where my understanding of the lyrics gets murky—a basketball player or magazine journalist or something else.  Or all of the above.  Anyway, it’s uplifting.

9.  Fight By My Side (Dream Evil). On the surface, this song may seem to be about war and going down fighting, but again, if you treat the combat references as metaphors for overcoming fears and obstacles, it becomes totally relevant to your personal growth journey.

10.  Fight Forever (Majesty). Yes, another song with a reference to fighting in the title.  It comes with the territory.  The title is self-explanatory—the song is about fighting forever despite overwhelming odds.  And that’s one wonderful thing about metal—you don’t have to do a lot of sophisticated literary analysis to understand the lyrics.

I’ve been joking around to entertain myself and hopefully you, but I really do find these songs empowering to listen to and I hope you do too.

15 thoughts on
10 Motivational Metal Masterpieces

  1. Jay Schryer

    All excellent choices, my friend! “Best I can” from Queensryche was my anthem in high school…for the obvious reasons. But all of these are incredibly powerful, and empowering too. Great job!

  2. Chris Edgar

    I think you’re in the same boat with a lot of people, Nelia. So much for “radical authenticity marketing.” :) No, I’m kidding, I’m glad I experimented and put this out there. I’m looking forward to your post.

  3. Stacey Shipman

    I have a list of songs that get me going, too. Mine though come from the Top 40 dance list…I would be embarrassed to share. But the rhythms and lyrics get me going and I feel great! And that’s what I love about music.

  4. Chris Edgar - Post author

    Thanks Stacey. I have my own motivational dance music list too, actually — prominently featuring Gloria Estefan and songs from Breakin’. I can definitely get how inspiring it can be.

  5. David Cain

    Awesome Chris,

    I remember you saying you liked playing metal. I came to heavy music during the 90s, so most of these are before my time, but I have a healthy appreciation for 80s metal. Loved the Metallica tune… Ride the Lightning is the one album I have never owned or listened to.

    Rock on!

  6. Chris Edgar - Post author

    Thanks David — I’m glad you dug the tunes. I’d definitely recommend Ride the Lightning — particularly the title track and For Whom The Bell Tolls (which I played with my band in Battle of the Bands my freshman year of high school — and this was totally out of vogue, by the way, since it was the 90s and Nirvana had taken over the airwaves).

    On a side note, I think CommentLuv is punishing me for writing this post because it refuses to display any of my posts since this one. Or, more optimistically, maybe it is just a fellow brother of METAAALLL!

  7. Jake | Revive Your Life


    Nice site..I am a first timer. Found you through your comment on Evelyn’s website.
    Anyways this list rocks! And as a guitarist I can appreciate your Metallica note.
    I also played For Whom The Bell Tolls in HS…funny stuff.

    I’m gonna subscribe.



  8. Chris Edgar - Post author

    Hi Jake — glad you enjoyed the list. As you can see, some of the songs on the list are European “power metal” that basically no one in the U.S. has heard, and I’m glad to see them getting some appreciation.

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