Nerdometrics Episode 1: What Epic Heavy Metal song is… Most Epic?

 Nerdometrics logo

You can listen to Episode 1 here. You can also download it via iTunes!


For the first episode we turn our attention to the great expansive landscape of Epic Heavy Metal. There are many challengers to the throne, but what is Epic Heavy Metal song of all time? To give me a horn-throwin’ assist I turned to my cousin Jon Palombi, owner of an 1,000-piece Heavy Metal music collection (that peaked much higher than that) and an attendee of hundreds of metal shows.

Jon and I preselected the songs first; we combined memory / knowledge, then whittled the list down to what we thought was the one entry from each band with the highest potential score. Just to make sure there weren’t any glaring ommissions, I researched the music even more and added a few songs to the list.  By then, we had ourselves a list. Also – Iron Maiden, who may have been the most instrumental band in popularizing epic metal, was granted two entries. It only felt right. So with that, here are the finalists up for judging on ‘Epicicity’:

Soldiers of the Wasteland – Dragonforce

The Odyssey – Symphony X

Pull Me Under – Dream Theater

Clenching the Fists of Dissent – Machine Head

Rime of the Ancient Mariner – Iron Maiden

Hallowed be Thy Name – Iron Maiden

Call of Ktulu – Metallica

Prelude to Madness / Hall of the Mountain King – Savatage

Halloween – Helloween

Overkill II – Overkill


Before re-listening to any of the songs I created criteria that awarded points across seven categories; totaling them up gave each song a point value. Categories:

1. Track Length (Max: 100 points) Look at minutes and seconds of a song as if it were a three (or four!) digit number then multiply by 0.1; meaning a song that is 9:53 gets (953*0.1 =) 95 points.  Length point values were capped at 100, that number was chosen (A) to keep brutally long songs from winning on length alone, (B) because once a song goes over 10 minutes you must buy the whole album to get in on iTunes. That has to mean something.

2. Literary Connection: Is there one? (Yes gets 15 points)

3. Lyrical References (Max: 60 points) Five points each for any lyrical reference to: dragons, great beasts, wars, royalty, demons/devils, great distances, wizards or magic.

4. Are any lyrics whispered? (Yes gets 10 points)

5. Tempo Changes (Max: 50) Any time the song changes tempo you are awarded 5 points.

6. Is there a narrator that addresses you directly? (Yes gets 5 points) “Direct address” means the narrator has to say “Let me tell you a tale” or “listen to me children”. Simply saying “listen” is not enough.

7. Large-scale Album cover? (Yes gets 10 points) We define ‘large-scale’ as ‘thousands of feet’ in this case; that’s enough.


Once we got through all the criteria we were able to declare a winner! Listen to the podcast to see who is the Epic Metal champ. Jon did not know the results until we recorded, that way he could react to the rankings. Rankings shown below:



You can listen to Episode 1 here. You can also download it via iTunes!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s