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Kendrick's Corner - Jeff Kendrick of DevilDriver Gives His Opinion

My Top 10 Heavy Metal Lyricists


10) Ronnie James Dio

The guy that made geeky themes like Dungeons and Dragons cool and who’s smaller physical frame was juxtaposed with a tremendous voice and range. Whether fronting Sabbath, his own solo band, or later Heaven and Hell, Ronnie always had a vocal style all his own and lyrics that struck the inner comic book or D&D enthusiast in all of us. Even Tenacious D paid the ultimate tribute to him in their full-length film, The Pick of Destiny. Great stuff all around!

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The opinions stated in this article are those of the author, and not of All Axess as a whole.
Jeff Kendrick

Jeff is one of the founders of All Axess, and is a guitarist for the heavy metal band DevilDriver.
  • HingleMcKringleberry

    Confusing list order is confusing. Surely it’s not just me? It should be counting down from 10 to 1.

    Either way, good list.

  • Taylor Griggs

    Good list

  • BLaCK666

    Get Mustaine OFF of this list his lyrics are garbage, Ronnie James Dio shouldve been #3

    • Steven Bellm Interesting. He was the first name I thought of when I saw the title of the list.

  • Catfish Cody

    Maynard should of been in the top 3

  • Felipe Villarroel Mendiboure

    I would add Devin Townsend on it on terms of lyrics and voice this guy is a bad ass, good list tho

  • Jimmi

    I normally scoff at these ‘lists’ but I really can’t fault this one. Maybe the numbering is weird but in general an agreeable top ten. I was pleasantly surprised to find Dax Riggs in the mix, where he belongs. If you don’t know who Dax is, you better find out.

  • Tony Voluntary Again

    Dax!! Daisyhead and the Mooncrickets is another great band of his to check out.

  • PlacentaTits

    Surely you forgot Fred Durst..

    • Nick Bivi

      Well that is obvious so they listed the top ten other than good ol’ Freddy

    • Chiefs420

      He should have been all ten just based on this masterpiece:

      I did it all for the nookie (c’mon)
      The nookie (c’mon)
      So you can take that cookie
      And stick it up your (yeah!)
      Stick it up your (yeah!)
      Stick it up your (yeah!)

  • Demonio

    I think Dani Filth and Nergal should be in this list…. or maybe at list at position 11 and 12

  • Gonzalo Muo

    MetallicA and Pantera are 2/3 of my favourites bands ever, so finding them at the top is awesome. Maybe i’m gonna say something stupid, excuse me if I make a mistake (I’m from Argentina), but what about Tony Kakko? A friend says the music in Sonata Arctica sounds always the same, but the lyrics… Damn.

  • Tyler Pruden

    CUTE list, but someone needs to get a reality check. Too many legends omitted here. And Daxx made top 10? Acid Bath rocked but not top 10

  • Nickball

    Akerfeldt shoul’ve been #1, i mean, just listen to MAYH and Still Life’s lyrics….

  • Alam Yaxkin

    Mmm, you lacked Chuck Schuldiner

  • A great top 10, but out of order, IMO. On the other hand, it’s a showcase of the diversity of music and the way different music affects different listeners. So in the end, this is your list, not mine. You put it out there and that’s something. I also like the fact that you seem to be thumbing your nose at your high school English teacher with every paragraph. lol “Comma, period, WGAF?”

  • Paolo Del Sante

    Dave Mustaine deserves #1 and the cup of gold, a god

  • Srdjan Karic

    Maybe some honorable mentions, like lemmy, and chuck?

  • Painkiller

    Mustaine should be number one. His lyrics on Rust In Peace, SFSGSW, Countdown to Extinction and Youthanasia are second to none. I love Phil Anselmo, he’s a very talented frontman and his lyrics can be great on some albums (looking at you, TGST, NOLA and Over the Under), but this number one spot is undeserved. Chuck Schuldiner should remplace Hetfield as number two, he wrote very thoughtful lyrics, especially on the last 3 albums. I would have also included Jon Nödtveidt. And as much as I respect Dio, his lyrics are pretty much the worse thing about his music. They’re as cheesy and derivative as you can get. I get you can be geeky in your subject matters, but Steve Harris and Geezer Butler are better at it.

    • Joker

      Thoughtful doesnt equal good lyrics. Chuck Schuldiner had excellent lyrics since leprosy(check the song pull the plug).

  • Richard Sawkins Saf

    Warrel Dane for goodness sake

  • Goran Veljanoski

    The No. 1 should go to Chuck Schuldiner and you missed to put in Phil Anselmo as well.

    • Painkiller

      Phil is n°1, dude.

  • Aden Osborne

    Anselmo is KING

  • Shane Snock

    Dax Riggs is number one A. K. A Dax Is GOD

  • Jeremy Jones

    good to see Dax Riggs on here, imo he is
    the best one on here

  • Szabolcs Kiss

    Geezer wrote the most of Sabbath stuff he should be no. 1

  • Steven Bellm

    I have to admit, when I saw Anselmo ahead of Hetfield and Mustaine I thought, wtf? But truth be told I dont know his lyrics well enough to judge. Itd have to be over the top amazing to beat out those too though.

    • The Prince

      Man, I agree with you. Huge Pantera fan here, but Phil Anselmo’s lyrics range from mediocre to downright idiotic. What was the author thinking??

  • Doudou Silicate

    where is Warrel Dane?

  • Amy

    Geezer should be here, and in rank 1!

  • Lukáš Matejka

    this list was obviously made by a 15 year-old…… most important metal lyric-gods are almost all missing: John Arch, Geezer Butler, Chuck Schuldiner, Geoff Tate….. and most likely the greatest heavy metal lyricist of all time Martin Walkyier…..

  • John Gallagher

    Good to see there are Geezer Butler fans out there, couldn’t agree more.

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