Well, it’s Valentine’s Day, but the world might be about to end, so how about some great songs about nuclear war! You can consider this a soundtrack for tomorrow’s post on Ukraine.
Here’s the granddaddy of all nuclear war songs, from the granddaddy of all metal bands, Iron Maiden. They’re referring, of course, to the Doomsday Clock, which refers to how close we are to the nuclear annihilation of human civilization. Fun fact — we were two minutes away in 1984 when Maiden released Powerslave, but the clock is now at 100 seconds. Maybe somebody should remind our “leaders” that nuclear weapons are still a thing, and we still have no effective defense against a full-scale ICBM attack?
Here’s another one. Say what you want, but the following has always been my favorite Megadeth track. I know that most Megadeth fans would tell you that So Far, So Good…So What was low on the list of the best Megadeth albums, but I loved it. Maybe because it was the first one I had. But whatever, this track scorches. The precision of the palm-muted riffing is just immaculate, perfect for a war song. The fan video here is also pretty cool, props to the creator.
Here’s a more recent one, which happens to be from my favorite album released in 2020 — Black Hole Mass by Finnish band Dö. Not specifically a nuclear war record, but it’s a concept album based on the worship of, like, cosmic radiation or something. The best track, below, “Radiation Blessing”, reminds me of the concluding bits of the classic A Canticle for Leibowitz, with its graphic description of the moment-by-moment experience of a priest being killed by an atomic explosion. Epic, grinding, doom-filled riffing — basically what I think it would be like to get high watching Castle Bravo from a semi-safe distance.
Here’s the rest of the record — it’s just an EP but I have spun all three songs a couple dozen times at this point.