This metal list has gone meta! In this video, we salute the bands that are so metal they had to write about metal itself.

Corny? Damn right it is! Sammy Hagar’s classic “Heavy Metal” track is a boot-scootin’ shoulder shaker and it totally rules through its unapologetic originality. Exactly like Hagar lives his life, “Heavy Metal” is a total party and its inclusion in a South Park episode exposed a new generation of fans to the Red Rocker’s cut.

If any band has earned the right to pen tracks about heavy metal, it’s Manowar. The Kings of Metal have been scripting scenes of war and steel for nearly four decades, often dressing like Hercules posing for Playgirl magazine. Manowar have written plenty of tracks about their beloved genre, but we chose “Die for Metal” to represent their body of work for this list. “They can’t stop us / Let ‘em try / For heavy metal / We would die!

High up on this list, we had to include Venom’s signature piece that defined an entire genre, “Black Metal.” Beyond how simply awesome the song is, “Black Metal” is like a course in Metal 101. If anyone ever asks you, “What is metal exactly?” save your judgmental breath and point them in Venom’s direction. They’ll explain how to fly the flag with speed and attitude.

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