Grief is a harsh, awful, painful, yet ultimately normal part of life. We all experience it, we all feel it, but not everyone is able to process it and move through it. Fortunately for us, there are other people out there who feel what we feel and express it through music, which in turn helps the rest of us get through whatever we’re struggling with. So, today we’re going to look at five songs that I personally find helpful when processing anger.
Strapping Young Lad – AAA
To those of us who follow the gospel of Devin Townsend, we all know that he is a man who processes existence through living his best life, with music as the resulting exhaust fumes that come out the other end. Back in his younger days of heavy metal, good old Devy had a lot of anger in his system, which came out in the form of a band called STRAPPING YOUNG LAD, from which one of the outright angriest songs is “AAA.” If you’re in a rage or in a spot where you feel backed against a corner, there’s nothing quite like the thunderous power and absolute destruction behind the way he screams “no one fucks with me!” If you need to process some anger, feel it, and get it out, this is a pretty good song to crank up to eleven.
Slipknot – “People=shit”
I feel almost as if there’s no real reason for me to explain this one, but hey, why not? If you’re looking for more bands to help you headbang your rage out of your system, SLIPKNOT will more than gladly be your backing soundtrack. They’ve got a discography full of angry music, but of all the stand-out tracks, their hit “People=shit” made this list because our species has shown a propensity to, among other things, be rude, condescending, judgmental, and selfish. This is not a song to listen to when you have hope for humanity, but rather, a power piece to help you purge other people’s actions from your life… ideally through moshing.
Ayreon – “Day 16: Loser”
Including my favorite album about processing emotions into this series seems inevitable, as there is truly at least one song for everything on AYREON‘s “The Human Equation.” Once again, there were a few tracks that could have worked here, but the reason “Loser” stood out for anger is that it’s a late-story moment when the main character gives into his rage and uses it to force a toxic relationship out of his life that has done nothing but hold him back. Who plays Rage in this story? None other than the aforementioned Devin Townsend, so you know that if he’s screaming “NEVER!”, it’s going to be powerful, as he represents the ejection of a drunken, abusive father from the main character’s life. Anger and rage have their place in the healing process, if you know when and where to put them to use, and this song is a great depiction of that.
The Used – “Fuck You”
Let’s be honest, if you’re looking for songs that help you process this feeling, this list could be bottomless, regardless of whether or not we’re limited to heavy music. With that in mind, it seemed prudent to include at least one fresh song from this year. While THE USED aren’t a metal act per se, one would be loathe to try to claim they’re not heavy when they want to be. This track, again, doesn’t beat around the bush with its words. We all know that sometimes our lives – or at very least our feelings – can become totally out of our control. When this happens and you know someone’s messing up your life, what better to say than a straight-up, “fuck you, for making me feel like I do”?
Alestorm – Fucked with an Anchor
Sometimes the best way to process anger is to find a way to laugh at it, and ALESTORM is pretty good at sillying up their angry music so that it has both a straightforward punch in the dick, as well as a good chuckle on offer. This particularly ridiculous track is centered around a very ludicrous tale of a witchdoctor putting a curse on the character so that they can only spew horrors from their mouth, including a vengeance arc involving an anchor enema. Needless to say, if you want to abandon the high road for a while and just feel your feelings, “Fucked with an Anchor” is a good way to blow off some steam… even better live when you have a big crowd to scream “Fuck you, you’re a fucking wanker, we’re going to punch you right in the balls” with at top volume.
Written by Bear Wiseman