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01.13.09 Favorite Song Intros12.27.08 Top 20 Anberlin Songs
12.23.08 The Best Of 2008: Top 10 Albums

Favorite Song Intros

This is not a "Best Intros Ever" list, it's simply some random song introductions that i think are killer. I'll do several of these "Favorite Intros" lists over time, and then i'll do a culminating "Best Intros Ever in My Opinion" list. So here are 20 awesome song intros, in no particular order...
1Between The Buried And Me
Selkies: The Endless Obsession (First 1:22)

Even though i said this list wasn't in order, that doesn't go for this song. This is definitely my favorite intro on this list. It takes you on an unbelievable metal journey, with several different components that all work together perfectly. It's extremely creative and for being a fairly lengthy intro, it never gets boring. A definitely classic intro.
2Children 18:3
All My Balloons (First 20 sec)

These guys aren't very well known, but if they make a couple more albums with openers like this, they will be. It's pretty simple, but interesting and absolutely KILLER riffage. They keep it short and sweet, making you hungry for the meat of the song to come. A "Christian" punk band is the absolute LAST place i would expect to find an awesome riff like this, so i daresay it nearly knocked me off my feat to find this lurking in those shadows. Check this out right now if you haven't heard it.
3Death Cab For Cutie
I Will Possess Your Heart (First 4:33)

You've gotta love smooth, sweet bass intros, and this is exactly that. I won't go into detail as most of you have probably heard this. For some it could get a bit repetitious, but my theory is this: most of the time repetition in a song is really annoying, but when it's done right, it puts you in a trance. This is precisely what this intro does.
Godspeed (First 16 sec)

In alternative rock, it's VERY common to find VERY mediocre song intros. Every once in a while, however, you strike gold. The beginning riff in this song is absolute, 24-carat gold. It sounds a little frantic, as if borrowed and adapted from an interlude in a metalcore song, but it suits this song perfectly. The general rule is, it's easy to get bored with song-beginning riffs in alternative rock, but it's almost impossible to get tired of them when they're this good.
Knife Party (First 34 sec)

Imagine the awesome guitar tone from the beginning of Everlong, but a riff that is 10 times better than even the Foo Fighters could've come up with. That is the opening riff of Knife Party. Absolutely sensational. Many bands since have tried to copy the chords in this opening riff (the most famous being Tears Don't Fall by Bullet For My Valentine), but the original is always the best. For a rock n' roll song-opening riff, this is perfection.
Where The Streets Have No Name (First 1:47)

Many bands have tried to set moods with the opening of their albums, but they're all chasing this, and they'll simply never catch it. The organ is a perfect mood-setter, and The Edge's killer riff comes in at just the right time, sounding spectacular. This, like the above I Will Possess Your Heart, is an example of repetition done right (though it is much less repetitious in this song, and therefore a bit more accessible). A flawless opening.
Back In Black (First 27 sec)

Need I say more?
8Dead Poetic
Narcotic (First 13 sec)

Just an absolutely devastating riff. It's the kind of riff that will make you listen to the beginning of the song, even if you're intending to listen to something else, just because you had to hear that beginning riff. It is said there is elegance in simplicity. Well, more like head-banging, mind-crushing brilliance in this case, but you get the point.
9Breaking Benjamin
So Cold (First 1:05)

Most of Breaking Benjamin's stuff is relentlessly mediocre. They have a slew of power chord-heavy beginning riffs for their songs, and there is not one that stands out. Except this one. The reason is that it isn't like the other ones, in that instead of their simple, boring power-chord riffs, they did very pleasing and well-executed lead guitar picking. The two guitars harmonize perfectly as the lead builds, resulting in a crescendo of heaviness, and then falling back into some lead guitar as the rest of the song begins. They ride a very good intro formula to perfection.
10As I Lay Dying
94 Hours (First 15 sec)

There is a LOT of good metalcore out there nowadays, but As I Lay Dying was the forerunner to most of it. The first song on their second LP, 94 Hours, really set the standard for them and a lot of today's metalcore. A wicked-fast lead over crushing power chords and drums, it pummels you and at the same time sucks you in completely, as the melody is extremely intoxicating. For a brief, bone-crushing metalcore intro, it really does not get any better.
Family System (First 51 sec)

Chevelle makes some of the best power-chord intros in rock music, and this is easily their best. It pulls you in with the the soft melodic beginning, and then throws a devastating blow straight at your jugular. This is seriously some of the best riffage i have ever heard. Slightly off-tempo, which makes it interesting, but totally addicting. Three words: T. K. O.
12Dream Theater
The Glass Prison (First 3:04)

How are you supposed to describe something this brilliant? I probably can't do it justice, so i'll just say this: it is absolutely brilliant, creative, mind-blowing music. Creates a certain aura that just immerses you in the song, and you discover something new every time. Genius intro.
13Maylene And The Sons Of Disaster
Dry The River (First 24 sec)

A dirty, southern, addictive lead guitar lick. What's not to love?
Fade To Black (First 1:27)

The combination of a haunting acoustic rythym and an equally haunting, beautiful lead guitar solo is just perfection, plain and simple. Some of Metallica's stuff has been very maligned, but when these guys were good, they were REALLY good. This intro perfectly sets up the atmosphere they want, and it is, for lack of a better word, perfect.
15The Classic Crime
Gravedigging (First 36 sec)

Like the above Godspeed, this is another alt/rock intro done right. The beginning drumbeat is way cool, the claps and chants enter the song perfectly and sound just right, and the beginning guitar line is simple but sounds great. You can tell that everything is leading up to a heavy culmination. And it doesn't dissappoint, culminating in heavy riffage over awesome lead guitar at just the right time. It leads into the song perfectly.
16Escape The Fate
My Apocalypse (First 29 sec)

Some of the stuff by this band is very mediocre, but this song is easily their best, and the intro is the best part of the song. It just strikes ALL the right chords (no pun intended, obviously). The strumming at the beginning gives the sense of leading up to something good, and boy is it ever good. It's an extremely catchy intro, much like the above song, with excellent, intoxicating lead guitar over heavy riffage. It's an irresistable formula when it's done right, and Escape The Fate got it VERY right on this intro.
17Guns N Roses
Paradise City (First 1:30)

This is a classic song, and the intro is what makes it. A soft but very cool start leads into chants of the chorus, which seemingly sets up the vibe of the song. But then, that melodic vibe is shattered by a whistle, and then a barrage of flawless, catchy, and heavy riffs pound you, and you fall in love with it. Absolutely epic.
In Regards To Myself (First minute)

A rather creepy intro has you wondering what's going to happen next, and the next thing you know, you're flat on the floor gasping for breath. So powerful and intense and insanely heavy is the wall of sound that crushes you at the 13th second, it's less like music and more like the roar of a lion coming from right behind the chair you're sitting in: totally unexpected and insanely, frighteningly, powerful.
New Noise (First 1:26)

Some simple but very catchy and cool palm-muted lead guitar starts it off, giving you the idea of something big to come. Some palm-muted riffs coming in behind the lead along with the drums make that idea seem inevitable. But then, it breaks off into a cool, but very different-than-expected techno direction. And then, just as you're getting used to the new vibe, you are startled by a primal scream and then sucker-punched by some seriously intense riffage that pounds you into submission. Yep, you fell for it. And you loved every second.
Blood Clots And Black Holes (First 29 sec)

Heavy songs can be catchy too! Too often, catchiness is reserved for alt/rock anthems that are about as creative as your first stab at painting in grade school. Thrice, though a decidedly heavy band, decided that hardcore rock could be catchy too. This talent of theirs is perfected in the intro of Blood Clots And Black Holes. It demonstrates the creativity of some of their heavier work, and then puts it in an addictively catchy formula. Voila! Generic alt/rock fans now have some real music to tap their toes to. Hard to imagine any rock fan not enjoying this immensely.
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