I'm interested in music that is about philosophy, specifically about great philosophers. I prefer metal, though rock and other alt forms are acceptable. And obviously no black or death metal, I don't want to have to hunt down the lyrics, I want to listen and gather information.

I know there are a lot of metal bands that sing about philosophical concepts, but I want something more concrete. For example, something like Sabaton of philosophy. Fun Fact: while in high-school I did a test about WWII solely on Sabaton lyrics, and got an A. :D

Bands that focus on one school of thought are ok, but I would prefer bands that go over more of them, ideally over most of the important ones.

So, bands that sing about philosophy and history of philosophy, preferable metal?


7 Answers 7


Check out this link, you can try then to exclude certain metal styles and/or search more specific lyrical themes: https://www.metal-archives.com/search?searchString=philosophy&type=band_themes

Btw, Black Metal seems the most prolific philosophical metal style :)


I would suggest:

  • Iron Maiden. They always had pretty thought provoking lyrics. The ones that come to mind immediately are the songs The Evil That Men Do and Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

  • Queensryche is also another group to consider. They dive into socio-political stuff more.

Keep in mind I am using a rather loose definition of philosophical here.

  • Rime of the Ancient Mariner is a "cover", almost. It is based on a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge poetryfoundation.org/poems/43997/…. Credits for any philosophical aspects should go to the original poet. Hallowed be Thy Name might be a better example, ultimately about Theodicy.
    – Amarth
    Dec 2, 2018 at 18:56
  • I would also add the band Threshold in the list since their songs are about the universe, religion and existence in general
    – papakias
    May 8, 2019 at 7:32

If you are into themes of war then there are a lot of classic heavy metal bands like iron maiden and sabbath that talk about those. If you're into philosophies about life and stuff then you should look into some prog metal bands. Tool definitely has some good lyrics, then you have Porcupine Tree (which is more rock than metal probably), Opeth has some really good and often dark lyrics, King Crimson, Rush.. I could really keep going on. Just explore prog.

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    Alice In Chains Dirt albumMad Season River of Deceit Jul 26, 2020 at 5:13

I'm not sure that one can say that music is philosophical. It's merely that they take as their subject one or two thoughts from a philosophical system. Moreover, music is is affective, whereas philosophy is, generally speaking discursive. It's something to reflect on, rather than to emote to.

Is there 'philosophical metal'?

The answer, philosophically speaking, is no. Moreover, there is no such genre.


Yes. Aaron Turner of Isis and Sumac coined the term "thinking man's metal". There are quite a few heavy bands partly comprised of "nerds" who are into philosophy, history, etc.


Orphaned Land sometimes strike a philosophical note, especially on their All Is One album.

Check out the lyrics and music video :)

They are generally a very positive metal band, they are from Israel, always have Palestinian or other Arab opening bands and greet their fans with "the best religion in the world is heavy metal, right?!"


Not many know, but there's an Uruguayan metal band that began mid nineties that claim to be the pioneers of Philosophical Metal music. They released 6 albums to date & his founder, JB Romero, released two solo albums that also claim to be Philosophical Music. Musicians from Amon Amarth, Dream Theater, Opeth, Soen & Immolation among others, have either been part or collaborated with the band through the years. https://linktr.ee/requiemaeternam

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