The Top 5: Songs to Dance to at the Dawn of the Apocalypse


This message is being transmitted at the request of the United States of Strange America. This is not a drill. This is a state of emergency. Please pay attention to the following service announcement:

As of 1:40pm CST the apocalypse has officially begun. Civilization has collapsed and become a barren wasteland. Every individual is now required to survive on their own. Please refer to the following list for auditory survival supplies.


Sepultura – ‘Arise’

[Arise 1991]

In 1991 Brazil’s own Sepultura came out with their record fourth record, Arise, which, with its collage of complex, ear shattering riffs, to [Max] Cavalera’s maniacal, ominous lyrics, solidified it as one of the most sinister and groundbreaking thrash records ever composed. Its opener and title track ‘Arise’ is one of the filthiest songs I’ve ever heard and a required listen when scavenging our future barren wastelands. From the beginning to the very last second of the last track, this record is post apocalyptic perfection.

Choice lyric: Obliteration of mankind, under a pale grey sky, we shall arise…

Amebix – ‘Knights of the Black Sun’

[Sonic Mass 2011]

Amebix, along with Discharge, are regarded as one of the most pivotal and influential bands, infusing hardcore punk with brazen heavy metal to create their own dreary sound. Hailing from the post-industrial grey skies of northern England, their 9 year run (1978-1987) spawned classics like ‘Drink & Be Merry” and ‘The Darkest Hour’. Yet when they reunited in 2009 they released one hell of a come-back record, Sonic Mass, and the single ‘Knights of the Black Sun’, along with its beautifully animated video, is a song of master scale and epic grandeur.

Choice lyric: From Dresden’s blazing skies, to the bloody wash of dawn, I saw the beast arise, and climb upon his thrown…

D.R.I. – ‘Acid Rain’

[Definition 1992]

Dirty. Rotten. Imbeciles. Nothing describes a crossover thrash band from Houston, Texas better than that. Although they went through a number of stylistic changes, they always stuck with what was important: dirty, rotten, and heavy. With its basic open chord riffing and Brecht distinct vocal sound, ‘Acid Rain’ is a music in our collection. Let the rain burn.

Choice Lyric: Will they have regrets? For being born at all? Into a world where only Acid Rain will fall…

Slayer – ‘Skeletons of Society’

[Seasons in the Abyss 1990]

Slayer. No band in the history of time will ever do what these guys did. From their controversial lyric themes about Satan, hell, war, famine, Nazis, religion, and hate, to the beauty of subtlety in their album covers (sorry Cannibal Corpse, you just didn’t do it right), if this wasn’t in my collection, I would be a fucking madman. The track ‘Skeletons of Society’ is downright evil. The heavy boot stomping march riffing and [Kerry] King’s lyrical content is like a prayer to summon the horsemen of the apocalypse. Sit back, listen, and enjoy. Hail Satan.

Choice lyric: Burning winds release their fury, simulating judge and jury

Motörhead – ‘Sacrifice’

[Sacrifice 1995]

Saving the best for last. Motörhead. Their name says it all. One of the most important and prolific bands of all time, they were certainly no short of controversy. Despite Lemmy’s innocent and harmless fascination with World War II and the Reich, it added nothing but character and theme to the band. They’re heavy, they’re fast, they’re goddamn rock n’ roll. Sacrifice is a excellent record, and it’s title track along with the music video is an epic and sinister piece of grindhouse exploitative beauty. If this track wasn’t on the list, so help me God.

Choice lyric: The pain is on you now, do not consider flight for gain. In you the poison breeds, crawling with the mark of Cain.

Written by Mat Spitkovsky

Headbangin', horror addicted biker ripping his way from the depths of hell, Mat's responsibilities consist of partying heavily, watching way too many cult classics, and seizing the road as much as he can. Clad as a soldier from the Road Warrior, He's ready to dance at the dawn of the apocalypse.

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