Big-name musical artists usually have big names for valid reasons, because at one time or another they made music that became hugely popular. In the world of extreme metal, I think it’s fair to say that it’s tough to become hugely popular unless, at one time or another, the music was also really good. Pretty faces, stylish clothes, and slick videos are few and far between and they don’t count for much in this world anyway, and active PR machines will only move the needle so far.
But note that I keep saying “at one time or another.” That’s because some bands got hugely popular and earned their big names and then continued trading on that popularity long after the music sunk into mediocrity, or worse. But that didn’t happen with the three bands whose songs are the subject of this Part of our list. They’re still earning their big names, and even though our putrid site doesn’t spend a lot of time applauding bands who don’t need any help from us, we still do it from time to time… and today is one of those times.
Here’s Exhibit A in the proof that some big-name bands don’t forget where they came from and still have the fire in the belly and the songwriting talent to turn out a great album 35 fucking years after they started. Here’s also Exhibit A in the proof that I have a very malleable rule about the timing of songs that qualify for this list.