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10. GWAR, “Ragnarok”

Sinning feels so fine, you’re running out of time
It’s always one hell of a party, when Ragnarok rolls around
Ragnarok n’ roll, Ragnarok n’ roll
It’s time to trash the planet, Ragnarok battleground

GWAR are always good for a good time, to the point that they make the end of the world sound like a weenie roast. Ragnarok n’ roll indeed!

9. The Sword, “Dying Earth”

As the sun fades from the sky
This ancient earth prepares to die
Here at the end of all time
A slow demise so saturnine

What I love most about “Dying Earth” is how mellow and laid-back the apocalypse sounds. I guess it’s perfectly appropriate for a song about impending doom to be doomy though. Either way, I love it. It’ll chill me right out when the shit hits the fan.

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8. Metallica, “The Four Horsemen”

On through the dead of night
With the four horsemen ride
Or choose your fate and die!

Classic Metallica can not be beat, except by classic Megadeth. I’ve always liked Megadeth’s “Mechanix” much better, but “Mechanix” isn’t about the apocalypse, so…

7. Exodus, “And Then There Were None”

And then there were none
The world starts to burn
The world powers learn
That Satan’s work is done

The subject of fiery satanic death seems a little black metal these days, but way back in the days, thrashers used to write songs about Satan too. “And Then There Were None” is a relic of a strange time, an oldie but goodie.

Photo credit: Andreko12 @ deviantArt.

6. Amon Amarth, “…And Soon The World Will Cease To Be”

The Northern wind brings snow and ice
Humans starve and freeze
The Fimbulwinter has arrived
And soon the world will cease to be

It’s epic, it’s Viking, it’s Amon Amarth! Honestly, I had trouble picking just ONE song about the apocalypse out of these guys’ catalog. I picked this one because it’s mid-December and I’m sweating my ass off in a long-sleeved shirt. Save me, Fimbulwinter!

5. Korpiklaani, “Gods On Fire”

Nature shows her powers
Her revenge will be cruel
Now it’s time to pacify our deeds against her
And hope we still have some time, but…

“Gods On Fire” is incredibly cheesy and maudlin, but it’s probably the most realistic one on the list. No biblical references or Fimbulwinters here, just harsh truth — the environment sucks because we polluted it, and now Mother Nature’s pissed and we’re all gonna die. This one might as well have been written by scientists. Brutal.

4. Ensiferum, “Burning Leaves”

On the light of the last dying star
Serpents crawl closer
All five branches, cursed from the start
And roots are torn to pieces right before my dying breath

Another Finnish band makes the list — is anyone surprised? You all know I’m a sucker for folk metal, and that this is one of my favorites from Unsung Heroes. “Burning Leaves” sounds so cheery, you’d never even know it was about the end of time.

3. Testament, “Three Days In Darkness”

Molten fire flies through the sky
Burning high, eclipse of the sun
Blackened skies, rites of the night
The days in darkness in 2012

Here we go, getting specific… “Three Days In Darkness” is about the (absolutely 100% fake) Mayan “prophecy” (the prophecy is fake, Mayans both past and present never believed in it) that the world will end (it definitely will not) in 2012. The three days of darkness are supposed to (but definitely will not!) begin tomorrow, so hold on to your asses and more importantly, blast this song because it rules!

Photo credit: Stefnisson @ Flickr.

2. Finntroll, “Den Sista Runans Dans”

Denna natt allt ta slut (Tonight everything ends)
Denna natt vi alla fria stå (Tonight we all stand free)
Så splittras bergen, så brytas himmelen (So shatter the mountains, so crumple the heavens)
Allt som bliva kvar äro eld, stoft, oct rök (All that’s left shall be flame, ash, and smoke)

Of all the songs on this apocalypse playlist, “Den Sista Runans Dans” sounds the dreariest. I love it. Each word is dripping with death, and the marching beat makes me feel like I’m steadily progressing toward my doom. The dour mood is understandable, considering the fact that “Den Sista Runans Dans” is on Visor Om Slutet, which was partly inspired by and dedicated to fallen guitarist Teemu “Somnium” Raimoranta.

1. Einherjer, “Inferno”

An old oak shakes and its wisdom too
Waves are eager to feed
Gods fall as men, so do men
The children of Loke the same

“Inferno” perfectly embodies the hectic scrambling mess that I imagine any real apocalypse would be. That’s not to say that the song itself isn’t tight and cohesive, it’s just…slightly off. Rhythmic changes and strange chord progressions add to the semi-frightful tone of the song, aaaaand I’m running out of adjectives. Just give it a listen, and try not to die.