20 Popular Heavy Metal Songs for a Funeral or Memorial

Updated

Around for several decades, heavy metal is a genre of music that has reached many across the globe. If you’re looking for the best funeral songs, heavy metal playlists might not be first on your list. However, if you’re open-minded and look below the surface, you might discover more than meets the eye (or ear) with these tracks. The most popular heavy metal songs can set the right tone for a funeral while honoring someone’s taste in music. 

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Music is the language of emotions, and it’s far from one-size-fits-all. What sounds good to one person might not sound great to another, and that’s the beauty of genres. For those who appreciate heavy metal for the art form it is, this music carries real-world meaning. Like other rock songs, heavy metal has a history of diving deep into the emotional side of life, whether recollecting a lost love or a moment of grief. As such, they make great funeral songs.

Whether you’re planning a memorial service or creating a funeral slideshow, you’re not alone when it comes to your playlist. This guide has the most popular heavy metal songs to transform your funeral or memorial into a moment to remember. 

Sad Heavy Metal Funeral Songs

As most expect, it’s normal to choose sad songs for a funeral service. By expressing sadness through music, funeral guests are given a safe space to explore their feelings with the support of those they love. 

1. “No Place Like You” by Thousand Below

First, Thousand Below captures the way loss seems to follow you with “No Place Like You.” Relying on strong lyrics, this heavy metal hit isn’t afraid to ask the big questions. Those we love leave a mark on us that lingers forever. 

2. “Slow Me Down” by Issues

“Slow Me Down” follows the story of a woman who discovers her lover was having a long-term affair. Though she’s struggling emotionally, she’s kept grounded with the help of her beloved son. Written in remembrance of the guitarist’s aunt, this is a meaningful work of art. 

3. “Broken Heart” by Escape the Fate

A song about heartbreak and sadness, this is a song about losing trust. Though these feelings run deep, it’s hard to fully separate yourself from this person in the future. 

4. “Dissipate” by Mountain Mover

In “Dissipate,” Mountain Mover explores the inner workings of humanity. We aren’t perfect, and it’s okay if you feel broken sometimes. Even in grief, it’s important not to get lost in the “overbearing distance between me and myself.” 

5. “Running Away” by Hoobastank

Lastly, “Running Away” shares the story of a man pursuing a woman who keeps running away from his advances. Though he knows he’s genuine, he doesn’t know how to truly show his feelings to those he loves most. 

Uplifting Heavy Metal Funeral Songs

Funeral songs come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes, it’s helpful to choose uplifting songs to honor a loved one’s life well lived. These uplifting heavy metal songs aren’t afraid to be on the lighter side. 

6. “Ode to Sleep” by Twenty One Pilots

This Twenty One Pilots song is one of the band’s favorites and with good reason. “Ode to Sleep” asks big questions about faith, denial, and trust. Though the narrator might be losing his faith, he also finds hope in himself. 

7. “Breathe Into Me” by Red

Christian metal band Red uses their music to explore their relationship with God. “Breathe Into Me” is a cry for help and rebirth. Though you might have made mistakes, everyone deserves redemption. 

8. “Hopelessly Hopeful” by Asking Alexandria

In “Hopelessly Hopeful,” the narrator comes to terms with who he really is. Sometimes we feel “stuck here suspended,” but the world continues moving with or without us. It’s up to listeners to keep moving with it. 

9. “All I Want” by A Day to Remember

The personal lyrics of “All I Want” speak to fans everywhere. This anthemic song is about exploring one’s woes without wallowing in them. Instead of dwelling in your fears and doubts, embrace life fully. 

10. “The World in My Hands” by Ice Nine Kills

Written on the piano, this is a rock ballad that tells the story of killing people at summer camp. Though dark, it has an aura of undeniable fun that livens up any situation—even a funeral. Perfect for a horror movie lover, there are some fun Easter eggs in these lyrics. 

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Heavy Metal Songs for a Parent or Grandparent’s Funeral

Heavy metal is for all generations, even parents and grandparents. If traditional rock funeral songs don’t fit, these heavy metal songs are the perfect tribute to any metalhead.

11. “Another Life” by Motionless in White

In “Another Life,” Motionless in White explores how it hurts to lose someone close to you. Though from the perspective of a lover, this is applicable to any meaningful relationship. At the end of the song, “Another Life” shines a light of hope. 

12. “Brother” by Saul

Inspired by the loss of a brother, this song is heartbreakingly raw. It goes, “Did you see the sunrise? Did you see the rain?” asking what happens after death. Above all, this song seeks peace with one’s mortality.

13. “When Legends Rise” by Godsmack

“When Legends Rise” is about rebuilding step-by-step. Sometimes you have to search deep inside yourself to find the strength to move on. This is true bravery, and it’s a message of inspiration. 

14. “Scars” by Papa Roach

One of Papa Roach’s most famous songs, “Scars” tells the story of a night in Vegas. Though the lead singer of Papa Roach struggles with his past, he also recognizes that his scars are what make him who he is. 

15. “What I’ve Done” by Linkin Park

Finally, Linkin Park isn’t afraid to own up to the darker parts of humanity in “What I’ve Done.” Even if mistakes were made, it’s never too late to right your wrongs. The perfect ode to a life lived to the fullest, there’s something powerful in Linkin Park’s call to action. 

Heavy Metal Songs for a Child or Adult Child’s Funeral

Last but not least, honor the loss of a child with these heavy metal songs. Though losing a child, no matter his or her age, is an unspeakable tragedy, you’re never alone. These songs are a reminder that youth is never-ending. 

16. “Youth of a Nation” by P.O.D.

Inspired by a tragic shooting at a California high school in 2001, this song is about those who have gone from the world too soon. P.O.D. hopes to represent the lost youth in their music, keeping their legacies alive. 

17. “Gravity of You” by STARSET

Relying on the imagery of a ship falling into a black hole, “Gravity of You” is about the weight felt with a real loss. Though it’s hard, it’s sometimes best to embrace this darkness to find true healing—even if you can’t see the other side yet. 

18. “Can You Feel My Heart” by Bring Me the Horizon

“Can You Feel My Heart” is a song about truth and understanding. The singer asks if you can feel a heart when it’s broken, ultimately coming to grips with the fact that he’s forever changed. Though broken, his heart still beats on. 

19. “A Car, a Torch, a Death” by Twenty One Pilots

Next, “A Car, a Torch, a Death” by Twenty One Pilots contemplates faith and prayer. Written from the perspective of Jesus himself, this song is about understanding grief and loss even when it’s hard. 

20. “Walk on Water” by Thirty Seconds to Mars

Lastly, “Walk on Water” is a call to arms. This is an ode to freedom, persistence, and fighting for what you believe in. If you really believe, you can “walk on water” toward an optimistic future. Thirty Seconds to Mars wrote this song with the dreamers of the world in mind. 

Honor a Heavy Metal Fan

Music goes beyond lyrics and sounds. It’s also a way to connect with others, both here and gone. When you listen to the favorite music of those you’ve lost, it’s like you’re rekindling their memory in real-time. Whether you’re planning a funeral or memorial, these heavy metal songs are perfect for rocking out.

Though not for everyone, heavy metal has a strong place in our culture. A modern form of expression and freedom, metal offers a lot to discover behind the lyrics of these picks above. Who will you honor?

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