The ancient Egyptian era has been a mystery for several artists around the world. Many Rock and metal bands expressed that through their songs and themes. Let’s discover the most influential ancient Egyptian lyrical themes…
1. Metallica – Creeping Death
It’s based on the bible, where it describes Plague of the Death of the Firstborn (Exodus 12:29). Considered to be a huge transfer for Metallica as it was slower than the first album and gave even a strange feeling by adding the Phrygian progression based around ominous chants of “Die!” But what I really like, that Metallica choose a song about ancient Egypt based on the bible and didn’t do like the rest of the bands – no offense! – by adding oriental or eastern scales to flavour it, nope, they did it pure metal and… “die!”
2. Iron Maiden – Powerslave
The classic masterpiece presented by the NWOHM masters; Iron Maiden. One of the most recognized artworks by is the Ancient Egyptian theme displayed in the album cover.
3. Dio – Egypt (The Chains Are On)
What I can say?! Simply, this is one of Dio’s legacies…
4. Mercyful Fate – Egypt
King Diamond of Mercyful Fate is kind of hard to get into his mind. He wrote Egypt, which mainly talks about someone that got lost among the ancient Egyptian gods. However, at the end he asks “Egypt come back to me, Egypt come back to me, Egypt, without beginning or end.” In addition, it was the band’s first video clip and the second single to release.
5. Iced Earth – Im-Ho-Tep (Pharaoh’s Curse)
Actually, it’s inspired by the Karl Freund horror film, The Mummy. It tells a love story about the ancient Egyptian goddess Isis trying to resurrect her husband – Osiris – from death.
6. NILE – Sacrifice Unto Sebek
I am not a huge Nile fan, but as we know, they focus on their ancient Egyptian lyrical themes and it’s done perfectly after a good study really. They have many great tracks, but this one I preferred to choose for the list.
7. Symphony X – Pharoah
The song was released in their third album The Divine Wings of Tragedy which – musically – was inspired by Johann Sebastian Bach and Gustav Holst and lyrical themes were based on Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained by John Milton as well as Inferno which is the first part of the 14th-century epic poem by Dante Alighieri‘s Divine Comedy.
8. Edguy – The Pharaoh
The song is featured in the band 5th album Mandrake. I really do not know why many bands see a relation between ancient Egypt and oriental scales! Anyhow, the song is presented very well and especially the simplicity for its solos and riffs, but most liked for me the transferring between the riffs.
9. Freedom Call – Pharao
Freedom Call is one of my favorite German power metal bands. The song dedicated to the third pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt, Ramsses II or Ramsses the Great. It’s very catchy; I would favor the vocal line than the music, though. But cannot deny there was a hell of a fading solo!
10. Yangwie Malmsteen – Pyramid of Cheops
Well, I am not quite convinced with the song’s intro as it’s not Egyptian folklore at all! Lyrics mainly focus on the pyramid building and that was very obvious in the song chorus. But hey, aren’t we waiting for the solo for any Malmsteen song? Technically, it’s not his best ones, but delivers the song’s theme perfectly.