I’m reading Lord of the Rings again. This is probably the 15th time at least that I’ve read it since the first time I picked it up as a kid. I like to read it once a year if I can, not only because it is a masterpiece of storytelling and world/mythology creation, but there is a huge link between Tolkien’s work and heavy metal in general. Bands, song titles, album titles; so many inspired directly or indirectly by the works of J.R.R, so I’ve built a playlist based upon bands that have some link to his works. I don’t normally do this, but each song can get a brief explanation for those who may be a bit confused about some of the links:

1. Blind Guardian – Lord of the Rings: no explanation needed here surely. I couldn’t miss the world’s best power metal bands, especially since their Tolkien obsession led them to write their best album based on Tolkien’s most impenetrable book, The Simarillion.

2. Amon Amarth – Amon Amarth: An alternate name for Mount Doom, the fire that forged the One Ring.

3. Burzum – Ea, Lord of the Depths: Burzum is the word for ‘darkness’ in the Black Speech of Mordor. It is found engraved on the Ruling Ring.

4. Gorgoroth – Gorgoroth: A vast, dead plain within Mordor

5. Cirith Ungol – The Troll: Cirith Ungol is the pass into Mordor where Shelob lives

6. Morgoth – Unreal Imagination: Morgoth is the Great Enemy, Sauron’s boss and the creator of all evil in Middle Earth

7. Led Zeppelin – Misty Mountain Hop: The Misty Mountains are probably the most famous range in the Tolkien works, and this is a rocking song!

8. Isengard – Dark Lord of Gorgoroth: Covers two bases by mentionion Gorgoroth again and Isengard being the home of Saruman the wizard

9. Balrog – Nazgul Warlord: A Balrog was the massive beast of fire and flame that fights Gandalf in Moria

10. Nazgul – In Summis Montibus: The Nazgul were the 9 Ringwraiths sent by Sauron to find the Ring

11. Nightwish – The Elvenpath: Contains samples from the animated Lord of the Rings movie, as well as referencing elves and Bilbo Baggins

12. Orange Goblin – Saruman’s Wish: Saruman being the traitorous white wizard

13. Three Inches of Blood – Destroy the Orcs: A kick ass song about destroying orcs

14. Ephel Duath – Vector, Third Movement: Ephel Duath is a mountain range on the West and South of Mordor. It means ‘Fence of Shadow’

So there we have it, a bit of everything and all mixed in with the heady goodness of dwarves, elves, men and wizards. Oh, and lots of unspeakable evil!

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