That belt-hitching enough for you?

It's certainly a fitting way to kick off my IRON NODER campaign, methinks.

Further to my decrees of the ten geekiest metal songs ever and the ten most politically incorrect metal songs ever, I now have for you a précis of the ten most belt-hitching. If the introduction to this node doesn't give you an idea of what I mean by "belt hitching," then it's the sort of X factor that makes you want to gird your loins (however you do that) and strut around feeling independent and Chaotic Good and not giving a shit and generally doing that across-the-chest fist pump motion. Extra points are awarded for headbangability (both yours and poseurs, in the latter case with a fire axe) and needlessly noodly solos. Also, there's a limit of two songs per band in this list (otherwise a certain band would fill it up entirely).

So here goes nothing, then.

10. Grand Magus, "I Am The North"

(Featuring epic atmosphere and jet-engine vox.)

This isn't a particularly technical song, but it is so eminently singable. And it's about the battle of Ragnarok. You can just imagine the Einherjier marching into the fray on the plains of Vigrid, Odin riding his eight-hooved steed, and all that jazz, to this song. It is epic and anthemic and makes you want to crush the forces of evil. And that chorus! That chorus! "The Wolf will rise, the end of lies, corruption dies, FREE FOREVERRRR!" And to think that my initial version of this writeup had Hammerfall on it.

Speaking of which...

9. Freedom Call, "Metal Invasion"

(Featuring a Latin intro with pipe organ)

And huge choral vocals, galloping drumming, massive singalong bits about how the band are "born to ride the sign of Victory" and so forth. And then they're the bit where the synths come in to this needlessly martialistic breaks in between the verses, and arpeggio-style picking. Unfortunately despite its sheer pomposity about being "the knights on the Glory Ride," it doesn't have the screaming eagle vocals that typify this sort of belt-hitchingness and has to settle for 9th place. Still, it makes you want to charge your horses across the fields like anything.

Hold on a second, isn't that a lyric from...

8. Amon Amarth, "Cry of the Black Birds"

(Featuring gratuitous Norse imagery and +5 beards)

I think the name of this number loses something in translation. The black birds are not garden-variety bread-muggers. They're ravens, and as we all know, friends and neighbours, ravens are linked with Odin and that explains all the runes and grimness. This is a slightly different sort of belt-hitching, I must say, from the previous two entries. Whereas they were all bouncy and happy and about establishing a heavenly kingdom on earth, this is about riding into the grisly din of killing steel that is a Viking battle and not caring because if you prevail, you get big dinners, mead, and chained naked slave girls and if you get killed, you go to Valhalla where you get more big dinners, mead, and chained naked slave girls! Woo hoo! I'm all there for wenches and mead, friends and neighbours!


7. Alestorm, "Wenches and Mead"

(Featuring a keytar, or should that be a keytARRRR!)

Arrrrrr! This be a song for ye after ye've got back inta port with your hold full of Spanish gold and your timbers well and truly shivered, me lad! It be massively danceable and fist-pumping and just the ticket for roistering in a dodgy seafront bar with yer crew and some grog and a good lass on yer lap. If this doesn't get yer juices flowing, either ye be a Die Apokalyptischen Reiter fan, or ye must be feedin' the fishes already! If ye like this, though, ye must have some naked steel in ye.

Hang on a second there, shipmate...

6. Bal-Sagoth, "Naked Steel"

(Featuring an alarmingly short name, considering the Sagoth's usual output.)

The reason this is so belt-hitching can be summed up as follows: "BY ALL THE GODS, I SHALL CARVE MY PATH IN BLOODY CARNAGE, AND INSCRIBE MY SAGA UPON THE SCROLLS OF LEGENDRY IN THE SPILT BLOOD OF SLAUGHTERED KINGS!" And if that wasn't enough, the song opens with Byron Roberts proclaiming that "THE CROWS SHALL PICK YOUR BONES CLEAN!" Oh yes. Put this into your brain, you flaccid lickspittle...

...and shout out the next song's name with me...

5. Grave Digger, "Liberty or Death"

(Featuring what a 30-fags-a-day Rob Halford - pun not intended - would sound like.)

Actually, let's put the whole of the "Liberty or Death" album on here, for it is a concept album about revolutions, rebellions, and upheavals and has big, not particularly tuneful but by no means less anthemic, choruses, epic riffing and swoopy keyboards and lyrics about "the key to independence... liberty or death... LIBERTY OR DEATH!" And that pipe-organ introduction! If that doesn't make you want to man the barricades and shout, "aux armes, citoyens!" and throw your furniture across the road then you have the balls of Justin Bieber, who, as we have previously declared, has none.

While on the subject of declarations and revolutions and all that jazz...

4. Iced Earth, "Declaration Day"

(Featuring a video that makes no sense whatsoever.)

"Shall we make a stand and pray, on this Declaration Day? GIVE ME LIBERTY, OR GIVE ME DEATH, I'LL FIGHT TILL MY LAST BREATH!!! *solo made of pure win*" Nuff said really. Oh, and I would give my BALLS to be able to get my voice up as high as Tim Owens manages. He actually does have seven octaves, unlike that overrated R&B bint. And then you realise he's actually Iced Earth's second best vocalist ever, and the pure awesome crushes your HEAD with the force of thunder.

I think you know where this is going...

3. Rhapsody (of Fire), "Holy Thunderforce!"

(Featuring LARPers, a goblin, and Neuschwanstein Castle.)

Listen to it, then don your best plate mail, take up your Hammer of Cranium Denting +4, and go and slay the evil hordes and rescue Queen Zenobia of Palmyra from a fate worse than death, for which she will no doubt be exceptionally grateful. Surely then will the warriors of the world know of your exploits.

And they might just sign you to their record label...

2. Manowar, "Warriors of the World"


This song trousers up to you (tight leather trousers up to you, that is), and crushes all before it and makes you want to do the same. It's big, it's bold, it's epic, it's a staple at their live shows - and they are the loudest band in the world. And it has a middle segment just on vox and keyboards which goes something like this. "If I should fall in battle, my brothers who fight by my side. Gather my horse and weapons, tel my family how I died. Until then I will be strong, I will fight for all that is real. ALL WHO STAND IN MY WAY WILL DIE, BY STEEL!!!!!!!" Try it. I guarantee that you'll be strutting round like your balls are the size of coconuts - and that's just the women.

And this is not the most belt-hitching metal song Manowar have ever done...

1. Manowar, "Gloves of Metal"

(Featuring 5 minutes 30 seconds of UTTER WIN.)

There is a reason that TVTropes says of Manowar, "Crowning Music of Awesome: Everything." And this is it, because this song is the biggest, brashest, epicest, most testosterone-poisoned (why is testosterone poisoning considered a Bad Thing? It resulted in Manowar, powerbocking, and the Corvette Z06, all of which are indomitable!) you will ever hear. Not to mention those TASTY solos and synchronised headbanging that this anthem generally entails. Oh yes (or should that be Ho Yay, I wonder). So listen to it, pose stupidly with a pair of gauntlets, then gather your best mates and go and rape and pillage Shoreditch. Crush their mochalattes! See their Macbook Pros driven before you! Hear the lamentations of the aspiring actresses! Yeah!

I don't think any more discussion is really necessary on this point, do you?

(This has been node 1 of 30 of my IRON NODES.)

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