To your average listener, death metal does not sound sexy. Sex is an act that makes one feel alive and in touch with their body, and exists in part to create new life. Death metal, meanwhile, stands in opposition to all of those things; the only body its makers want to get in touch with appears to be one they exhumed. When it comes time for a black-clad miscreant to knock boots their uninitiated-but-still-cute lust interest, one can forgive the newcomer for grimacing at the phrase, “Why don’t you put on a little Cannibal Corpse?”
But anyone who’s had good sex knows that the bedroom is about more than rose petals and Barry White. Great banging is often a primal, desperate, animalistic act, the kind of behavior that if unintentionally witnessed would certainly lead to a Daddy wasn’t hurting mommy, this is something grown-ups do kind of conversation. So to help make your Valentine’s Day especially spicy this Sunday (it’s Valentine’s Day this Sunday, by the way, so if you haven’t bought flowers and chocolate, now’s the time), we present a list of 14 of the sexiest death metal tracks known to man…
Morbid Angel, “Summoning Redemption” (Gateways to Annihilation, 2000)
Ungh. UNGH. The steamroller riff at the core of Morbid Angel’s 2000 album opener sounds written for making the eldritch cosmic beast with a thousand backs. Even as the riff tempo shakes up here and there, Pete Sandoval’s nonstop double-bass grind remains rock hard the entire time. Even those uninterested in guttural, demonic vocals can get down with this Tampa steamer.
Pungent Stench, “No Guts No Glory” (Ampeauty, 2004)
Sure, it has lyrics about dissecting innards and turning guts to jelly, but something about the gory thrust of this gnarly Austria death metal anthem feels inherently sexy. Even the faster moments are tempered with slow, plodding choruses and moments of languid feedback. Given Pungent Stench’s tendency towards perversion — check out the Been Caught Buttering cover — we’re not surprised they made this list. Extra points if you can “sing” along with the gurgling noises.
Arch Enemy, “Instinct” (Anthems of Rebellion, 2003)
Something about “Instinct” just makes it a song that begs to be stripped to. Whether it’s the track’s constant mid-pace, the isolated drums on the chorus, or the pulsing guitars during the second verse, the track has a distinct slinkiness to it. That Arch Enemy are so catchy with their melodic riffs also makes them a band that even your non-metal lover would be down to pop on in the boudoir. Put it on at Lucky 13 Saloon some night and see if we’re right!
Impaled, “Back To The Grave” (The Dead Shall Dead Remain, 2000)
Nothing says Valentine’s Day like a song featuring the lyric, “I ram the ass with my fist.” That said, not all sex has a stomping rhythm, and the franticness of Impaled’s paean to necrophilia suits those rip-the-clothes-off thrown-up-against-a-wall moments. While you might have to wait for the right partner to play this one in the bedroom (you know the kind), it’ll be well worth it to experience the rare beauty of gore metal lovemaking. C’mon, die a little.
Bolt Thrower, “Suspect Hostile” (Honour Valour Pride, 2001)
If your preferred sexual pace is more grinding than smashing, UK Warhammer enthusiasts Bolt Thrower are the way to go. “Suspect Hostile” is the kind of track that makes one want to press themselves as hard as they can into another person and not let up until it’s over. Though the band’s entire discography is pretty hot, this track definitely covers all the bases when it comes to death metal sex. Especially third base.
The Black Dahlia Murder, “Removal of the Oaken Stake” (Verminous, 2020)
While “Removal of the Oaken Stake” still has some of The Black Dahlia Murder’s patented bounce riffs, there’s something more scintillating about it than there is about, say, “Nightbrigners” or “Everything Went Black.” Maybe it’s that the track is about an ancient vampire dreaming the aeons away, which feels erotic in a Frank Langella kind of way. Or maybe it’s the Eschbach/Ellis guitar combo that gives this a melodic heat. Either way, “Removal…” will have the listener feeling like “an incubus in human skin” in no time. When Trevor yells, “Nailed to the ground,” you know what to do.
Belphegor, “Sexdictator Lucifer” (Bondage Goat Zombie, 2009)
This one’s a shoo-in. Featuring a bonafide humping riff and all the female moaning of a White Zombie track, Belphegor’s “Sexdictator Lucifer” definitely brings a sauna’s worth of blood steam to the orgy. The fact that the verse is an isolated harsh vocal with a dude screaming in German about mummification and saying, “BON-DAGE” might scare away some partners — but it’s when you meet the person who gets excited by these things that you know you’ve found The One.
Obituary, “Back On Top” (Inked In Blood, 2014)
Gotta love those humid Southern riffs. Plenty of Obituary songs would be great soundtracks to baby-makin’, but something about “Back On Top” feels especially thick and sweaty. That main riff, coupled with John Tardy’s pained howls, turn this track into the sonic equivalent of what you’re feeling at the moment of climax. Especially hot because the title suggests that you were on top, then you were the bottom, and then you went back.
Amon Amarth, “Free Will Sacrifice” (Twilight of the Thunder God, 2008)
Though a little faster than some of the other tracks on here, “Free Will Sacrifice” still has the kinetics for great sex. The yearning in this Amon Amarth song’s chorus riff injects an emotional humanity that often elevates fumbling to full-on carnality. More than anything, though, it’s the track’s today-is-a-good-day-to-die Viking attitude that lights a fire under the listener’s groin. You don’t have to regret anything in the morning if you’re headed for Valhalla.
Gatecreeper, “Flamethrower” (Sonoran Depravation, 2016)
Hey, baby, you like it…cavernous? Arizona’s Gatecreeper may concern themselves primarily with emotional turmoil and the roiling wasteland of the desert, but their thicc-ass riffs and pulverizing rhythms definitely tend toward pelvic gyration. With “Flamethrower,” the band definitely perfected their solid, stomp-along tone and tempo, making this a track for the banging of both heads and other regions further south. Plus, calling one’s genitalia a “flamethrower” is a special kind of filthy.
Carcass, “Carneous Cacoffiny” (Necroticism – Descanting The Insalubrious, 1991)
Once you get past the opening forensics sample, it’s all baby gravy. Carcass may be mostly obsessed with breaking bodies down, but “Carneous Cacoffiny” proves that their songs are equally good for slamming them together. The track’s central guitar part is a perfect soundtrack to wonton frottage, while the pauses at the end offer the listener wonderful moments to throw their head back and/or yell loudly. Love is finding the person you want to dissolve in a bathtub with.
Temple of Void, “Rot In Solitude” (Of Terror and the Supernatural, 2014)
Don’t you want somebody to PLOD? Temple of Void are one of modern death metal’s most captivating bands, and have been that way since the release of their epic death-doom debut Of Terror and the Supernatural. “Rot In Solitude” off of that record opens with a powerful chug, and the “BRICK…BY BRICK…” lyric at the beginning feels made for smashing into another person while maintaining full eye contact. Though their later material might feel more nuanced, this track is all about the cardio.
Man Must Die, “It Comes In Threes” (No Tolerance for Imperfection, 2009)
If your sex life doesn’t involve enough yelling, then this track by Scottland’s Man Must Die will spice things up for you. Yes, the track’s vocals sound like vocalist Joe McGlynn is berating you, but sometimes that’s really fucking sexy. And anyway, it’s the song’s pendulous guitars and huge bellow-along chorus that makes this a great track for conceiving a monstrous child. Hell, with a title like that, maybe it’s time to invite that friend over
At The Gates, “The Flames of the End” (Slaughter of the Soul, 1995)
Though not technically a death metal song, “The Flames of the End” is certainly an example of a death metal band doing their damnedest to sound their sexiest. At The Gates ended their infamous 1995 rager Slaughter of the Soul with this throbbing industrial-tinged track, most certainly influenced by the growing scene of electronically-oriented metal that was blooming around them. Steady, moody, and not too heavy to scare off square partners, the song would make the perfect soundtrack to a couple’s whale music. Best banged to in an abandoned steel mill, with chains dangling around you and such.
Words by Chris Krovatin