10 Brilliant Metal Songs That Last Under 1 Minute
5. Electric Wizard – The Hills Have Eyes
This murky number from Electric Wizard’s phenomenal 2000 LP Dopethrone may not stick around for long, but it captures a mood and atmosphere that immediately grabs the listener.
Entitled “The Hills Have Eyes,” the song isn’t as doom-laden as the rest of the record, yet it still contains the same smoky aura that encapsulates Dopethrone. It’s all about the bass here, with its fuzzed out, low-end rumble slinking along with vicious intent. It’s perfectly complimented by some sweet drum-fills and neat guitar licks too, making this track anything but filler.
You wouldn’t think 49 seconds was long enough to make an impression, but Electric Wizard are out to prove the naysayers wrong with this hazy instrumental masterclass.
4. Napalm Death – You Suffer
“You suffer, but why?” is the question posed by grindcore extraordinaires Napalm Death on their highly regarded debut album Scum. Released in 1987, the record-breaking cut “You Suffer” still boggles the mind to this day with its solitary one second of music.
This one is the very definition of micro-song, literally erupting for one second with its harsh vocals and abrasive instrumentation before collapsing in on itself. There’s not much beyond that from a musical standpoint, but the shortness of the track has surprisingly stood the test of time, making it into the Guinness Book of Records for being the shortest track ever.
It’s not so much that the song (if you could even call it that) is great, but rather, what it represents. It’s a goof, it’s comedic, but it has also endured for decades, which is something that some songs clocking in at eight minutes long can’t lay claim to.
3. Korn – Twist
Korn didn’t want to do a long, atmospheric album intro for their cracking sophomore LP Life Is Peachy. So what did they do? They delivered one of the most bizarrely intoxicating album openings ever created under the heavy metal banner with “Twist.”
At just 49 seconds long, the fierce four-piece rattle through an insanely tight composition, largely made up of frontman Jonathan Davis nonsensically scatting on top of a quirky rhythm section that sprouts bewildering notes out of every crevice. It serves as a perfect introduction to the group’s bizarre sound – no easy feat given the brevity of the track.
There’s a reason why this insane one minute blast of noise has become a staple on the band’s live set, and that’s because it exemplifies just what a crazy sound these four musicians can concoct together – regardless of duration.
2. Converge – Phoenix in Flames
Metalcore isn’t to everyone’s liking, but Converge occupy a unique space in the sub-genre’s library. Even though they’re considered pioneers of the movement, they transcend the confines of their musical style – creating stunning works that even metalcore critics can appreciate. And listening to the alarming banger “Phoenix in Flames” from their near faultless fourth album Jane Doe, it’s easy to see why.
Vocalist Jacob Bannon roars with ferocity over some unconventional drum patterns, spooky backing vocals, and no guitar in sight. The abrasive nature of the song is almost overwhelming, beating the speakers with an intense rage that just can’t be faked. It comes across as desperate, painful, and angry, yet in the hands of musical wizards Converge, totally authentic as well.
This is the sound of all hell breaking loose, bludgeoning the listener with its harsh instrumentation and production. But you know what? Hell never sounded so enticing.
1. Nuclear Assault – Hang The Pope
Some say time is of the essence, and thrash four-piece Nuclear Assault certainly subscribe to that ethos. Why? Well, because they delivered one mighty wallop on their 1986 debut album in the form of “Hang the Pope.”
We all know thrash is pacey, but Nuclear Assault take it to the max on this scintillating cut. They waste no time with guitar noodling or slow atmospherics, but instead, attempt to cut a three-minute song down to just 42 seconds. Weirdest part? It’s actually fantastic. Explosive riffs, vocal spasms, stampeding drums, and a rickety bassline take this one into the stratosphere, refusing to come back to earth for the full duration.
All things considered, it’s hard to top this crazed composition when it comes to packing a lot in with little time to spare. Is there a better metal song that lasts under 1 minute? We’re still yet to find it.
What's your favorite one-minute noise blast? Let us know below!