Ah, the strip club, a place where beautiful, athletic women are showered with dollar bills by wide-eyed onlookers and boys become men over $17 Bud Lights. For years, strip clubs have been a place where people can have a blast partying the night away or feeling so awkward it hurts, all while a semi-nude person gyrates in their face for purely mercenary reasons. But whether you find strip clubs amazing or insufferable, we can all agree on one thing: they don’t play enough extreme metal. At your average topless bar, the best you’ll get is some Mötley Crüe and Rob Zombie, and while that can be fun, it doesn’t quite cure the murderous itch for pure metal that so many of us still can’t find a cream for.
Some would argue that extreme metal isn’t right for stripping — but that’s lazy thinking. Metal fans know there are a number of awesome songs featuring blastbeats and death-growls that would be awesome to watch a booty bounce along to. So in the hopes of inspiring strip club DJs to grim the fuck up, here are ten extreme metal songs which would go off in the club…
Meshuggah, “New Millennium Cyanide Christ” (Chaosphere, 1998)
God, that bounce! There’s just something about the rhythm of Meshuggah’s “New Millennium Cyanide Christ” that makes one want to flick dollars — hell, $20s — onto a stage. That fast-yet-mid-paced vibe and almost hip-hop-like jauntiness brings a twerkability to the table that one does not normally associate with progressive death metal. Even the solo works — imagine jiggling your butt to it. Yeah, now you can’t stop thinking about it!
Strapping Young Lad, “Love?” (Alien, 2021)
To a certain degree, “Love?” is not only musically perfect for a strip club, but it’s also lyrically appropriate. The song featured Strapping Young Lad frontman Devin Townsend screaming about the scam of modern love, shouting lines like “Love, the paradox of needing/Oh, love — make way for breeding!” In that respect, it’s right at home in a place where titillation boils down to a transaction. Oh, what a feeling!
Amon Amarth, “At Dawn’s First Light” (Jomsviking, 2016)
Plenty of Amon Amarth’s tunes would go well at a strip club, their hard-hitting riffs and melodic choruses giving them a desperate, corporeal quality. But man, “At Dawn’s First Light” just had a momentum that the right dancer could make a fortune on. The second verse riff sounds made for whipping, while the chorus sounds written for some insane pole stunts. Rest assured, there are definitely strippers in Valhalla.
Anaal Nathrakh, “Todos Somos Humanos” (Vanitas, 2012)
Only Anaal Nathrakh could write an apocalyptic black metal song with the rhythm of a tango. “Todos Somos Humanos” is a beautiful swinging, swaying piece of cacophony, whose blastbeats and double-bass rolls never stymie its steady rhythm. The result is a track that feels perfect for moving one’s body athletically, violently, and sexually. You know you’re in the right club when you hear those serpentine opening lines come on.
Hate Eternal, “Bringer of Storms” (Fury & Flames, 2008)
Okay, so it’d have to be a pretty specific type of strip club for Hate Eternal’s “Bringer of Storms” to pop off. But if it did, it would slay — the song’s huge, pendulous chorus feels like it could work really well for a dancer whipping their hair around and arching their back. There’s something sensuous to extreme metal when it slows down a bit, and “Bringer of Storms” shows off why. If the right dancer put together a routine for this song, it’d bring down the house (maybe literally).
Sigh, “Scarlet Dream” (Imaginary Sonicscape, 2001)
Japanese black metallers are known for breaking the extreme metal mold, and vocalist/saxophonist Dr. Mikannibal adds a certain twisted sexuality to their music and live show. As such, it’s no surprise that “Scarlet Dream” has a sultriness to it that would make for excellent onstage writhing. The squealing synth throughout only adds a sleaziness to the track that makes a night out surrounding by half-naked dancers all the more seedily enjoyable. If the night doesn’t get delightfully weird, make it delightfully weird.
Rings of Saturn, “Inadequate” (Ultu Ulla, 2017)
While their career has been plagued by Internet gossip, Californian deathcore act Rings of Saturn bring the catchily-heavy drops and chugs. The constantly-swinging rhythm of “Inadequate” gives it a booty-shaking quality than other bands concerned with sounding heavy or extreme just couldn’t quite reach. Maybe the band’s nerdy technicality adds to their strippable qualities — these guys aren’t talking about hot women at the club, they’re just making thousand-ton metal for them to dance to.
Witchery, “None Buried Deeper” (Symphony for the Devil, 2001)
Swedish thrashers Witchery have always made a point of writing music that’s both catchy and pitch black. “None Buried Deeper” is an excellent example of this, and has a spring to its step that would add to a stripper’s strut and spin onstage. The track’s occasional changes in tempo would only add to this, giving the dancer and chance to try out different sorts of movement. Admit it, if someone came onstage in corpsepaint and did a striptease to this, you’d go broke tossing them your money.
The Black Dahlia Murder, “Nightbringers” (Nightbringers, 2017)
Man, find a dancer who can work with the rhythm of “Nightbringers” and you’ve managed to siphon every dollar in the room. The spring-loaded central riff of this track is a twerker’s dream, carrying with it every head within earshot. Even the blastbeat-laden breakdown in the middle could inspire some excellent hair-whipping and pole-twirling — but still, it’s nothing compared to that satanic ass-shaker of a lick that kicks the song in.
Tsjuder, “Mouth of Madness” (Desert Northern Hell, 2004)
If Tsjuder didn’t write that intro kick to “Mouth of Madness” for a leather-clad stripper to take the stage to, then we don’t know what they were doing. The song has such a confident strut to its rhythm, and the kick has a palpable thrust to it. Even better is the DUHN-DUHN-DA accents following shortly thereafter, which feel tailor-made for a bouncing ass. Hey, even black-metal dudes need a lap dance now and then. All right, guys, let’s put our hands together, coming to the stage is ABZAGORATH!
Words by Chris Krovatin