Savagely violent, punishingly hard and lacking any attempt to disguise unpleasantness — brutality is defined in many ways, but not more convincingly than these 10 killer cuts.

For this list, we took into account sonic heaviness, lyrical content, vocal delivery, production, how brutal the song was considered at the time of its release and much more. We also didn’t limit ourselves to brutal death metal, as audio savagery can come in many styles.

Of course, Cannibal Corpse takes a high spot on this list for their revolutionarily heavy “Hammer Smashed Face.” Never has a song represented the violence of brutal death metal so perfectly, and the time of its release, it was the most offensively disturbing track to become fiendishly popular. Its inclusion in Ace Ventura is stuff of legend, and its lyrics still gut listeners 25 years after its release.

As metal continued to get heavier in the 21st century, bands took down-tuning and guttural vocals to their very depths. During the rise of deathcore, Whitechapel stood out for their brutal tone and depraved lyrics, earning them greater admiration than their deathcore contemporaries.

We’d also be remiss to neglect Cerebral Bore, one of the most overlooked metal acts of the 2010s. Though they only released one album, “The Bald Cadaver” contains some of the most chilling lyrics in metal history, and the fact they’re delivered by a female vocalist earns them extra brutality points.

Check out our picks for the 10 Most Brutal Metal Songs of All Time in the Loud List above.

Best Death Metal Album of Each Year Since 1985