Top 10 Songs to Drive at Night With

Night owl life.

Learn to embrace it.

I’ll be the first to admit: when the sun’s up, I’m pretty much a drone. I eat, I exercise, I work, I breathe, but sometimes it’s all so…passionless. Not to say there isn’t beauty during the day, but beneath it all I crave the stars, the Moon, the endless void. The night awakens me. It makes me rebel against my galactic insignificance. It makes me feel alive.

To get anywhere in this festering suburban miasma, one must drive. A lot. And if one must drive, one must have music. And if one must have music, one must have good music for driving at night with. For me, there are few things as serene as driving at night, alone or with someone beautiful beside me. Flying past streetlights, watching the Moon, devouring the emptiness of it all…


Few.   Things.   Are.  Better.


10 Songs for Driving at Night with:


To Live is to Die

To Live is to Die – Metallica

The slow, chunky guitar riffs in this Metallica classic will have you tapping your non-gas pedal foot. It rises and fades like the Moon, and when it’s gone, you might just want to hit ‘Repeat.’





Am I Not MercifulAm I not Merciful? – Hans Zimmer

If you’ve seen Gladiator, you probably remember the scene in which Commodus stabs Maximus moments before their epic fight. This song is as dark as the night is black. You’ll wish it lasted your entire drive.



Bring on the Night

Bring on the Night – Sting

It’s lighter fare than the first two on this list, but even so…  Every word of it is true.




I Don't Mind the Pain

I Don’t Mind the Pain – Danzig

Among the Lord of Deathy Blues’ best songs, this one has a great hook, superb guitars, and a dark little message to send you into the night.




Black Sunshine

Black Sunshine – White Zombie

The whole album would work just as well. In fact, almost everything Rob Zombie ever did is solid for driving. At ALL hours.




Invocation to a Continual OneInvocation to a Continual One – Morbid Angel

Ok, it’s got a weird title. And no, not everyone will appreciate most of Morbid Angel’s catalogue. But Invocation features guitar riffs that’ll send your mind reeling. And the solo at the end…probably the best heavy guitar work ever. Plus it’s nine minutes & forty-eight seconds long. Boom, goes the road.




Rooster – Alice in Chains

An instant classic the moment it hit the world, Rooster is probably good for all hours. I’ve riffed it at breakfast, in my office, wherever. But songs about suffering belong in the night. And so here it is.





Seasons in the Abyss

Seasons in the Abyss – Slayer

Seasons is the heaviest song on this list by far. And it’s probably Slayer’s best. If you like shredding guitars and thumpy drums that’ll make you drive fast, just queue this one up at the very end of your night.





Little Wing Little Wing – Stevie Ray Vaughn

Among the best guitar solos ever, Little Wing takes off and never comes back to Earth. It may be a cover of Jimi Hendrix’s song, but with the vocals carved out and the length more than doubled, you’ll find it hard not to drive faster.




Brothers in Arms

Brothers in Arms – Junkie XL

My newest favorite from Mad Max. Anytime you’re feeling aggressive or indestructible in traffic, plug Brothers in and smash.  It has a quality to it that’ll make you feel godlike on any highway.





Rev up your engines and go.

And when you get home, finish the night with this.

J Edward Neill

Armchair Philosophy Contest (Win free $h!^)!!!


<—– Two colliding galaxies.

…one giant, spiral-band question mark.


This week, in the wake of releasing 101 Questions for Humanity, I’ve got a contest for everyone. Maybe I need your help. Or maaaayyyyybe I just feel like giving free stuff away. Doesn’t matter.

In the next few weeks, I’m going to release two new philosophy coffee table books: 101 Questions for Men and 101 Questions for Women. Yeah. Totally. 202 Questions is a lot. A hell of a lot. Especially when I’m trying to strike a unique philosophical chord with each one. Therefore I’m enlisting your help.

The contest rules:

In the comments section below, or via tweet to my Twitter account, post a Question. Please state whether the Question is for Men or Women. The Question should be in the format shown below:

  • Short, witty header (5 words max)
  • Awesome philosophical question. (100 words max)

If you need hints, see here.

You can enter as many times as you like. No limits. But please keep it to one Question per comment/tweet. If your Question can’t fit in one tweet, just string tweets together. It’s all good.

Contest ends on Friday, March 27th, at Midnight.

On Saturday, March 28th, I’ll announce two winners. One each for Men and Women.

The prize: A free softcover copy of 101 Questions for Humanity (free shipping, too!) to each winner.


Free to both winners!

More about the prize: Your Question will appear in the softcover version(s) of 101 Questions for Men/WomenAnd I’ll list your name/website in the book, giving you full credit for your contribution. And you’ll get a mention in a subsequent Tessera Guild blog, loving on you for your philosophical genius. Boom.

Winning Questions will be subject to editing, if needed, for grammar and spelling’s sake.

Thanks for playing!


101 Questions for Men – Due Early Spring 2015


101 Questions for Women (By a Man) – Due mid-Spring 2015


J Edward Neill

Author of the Tyrants of the Dead series

Co-Author of Hollow Empire – Night of Knives

My Top Seven Heaviest Metal Albums of All Time

Please allow me to digress…

Whenever asked what my musical preferences are, I’m hesitant. If I say I love Hans Zimmer and Clint Mansell soundtracks, it’s true, but it’s really only fifty percent of the story. (I’m lucky if my audience knows who those guys are.) Because, yeah, soundtracks are awesome, but they’re the soft and squishy underbelly. They’re the basement, deep and dark, of my musical mansion. Sometimes even I grow weary of them, with all their eerie, melancholic moods. Sometimes I need to obliterate my calm center and get head-punched.

So let’s be clear. Let’s be honest. I don’t care for jazz. I can’t stand country (except Johnny Cash.) Blues bores me after a song or two. Modern rap, hip-hop, and contemporary just hurt my ears. But…and don’t judge me for saying this…I love extravangantly complex, eardrum-crushing metal. I can’t help it. It’s antisocial, off-the-grid, and hard to understand for most normal folks. I get it. So for your sakes, I won’t subdivide it into Thrash, Black Metal, Grindcore, or whatever. It’s all the same to me. The heavier and more talented, the better.

Let’s do this.

My Top Seven Heaviest Metal Albums of ALL Time:

 7. Vulgar Display of Power – Pantera

This album gets a spot on the list for one reason: Dimebag Darrell. Sure, Phil Anselmo’s roars are massive (ie; Walk, Mouth for War.) But Dimebag’s prowess sets Vulgar Display apart from all other Thrash albums. He’s the Eddie Van Halen of metal. He’s what Yngwie Malmsteen would be if Yngwie had a soul. Just listen to his solos, man. Just listen.



6. Covenant – Morbid Angel

A lot of people will tell you Morbid Angel has better albums (Altars of Madness, Blessed are the Sick) but my favorite Morbid flavor is Covenant. If you like slow, thumping metal, God of Emptiness is a rare treat. If you want your senses overrun, try Vengeance is Mine. Lyrically, this is M.A.’s best album. And if you know what blast beats are, no one did it better than Pete Sandoval.


Dreams of the Carrion Kind

5. Dreams of the Carrion Kind – Disincarnate

My guess is that I’m the only one alive who remembers this 1993 album. It was Disincarnate’s only studio effort, and its weirdness made it enigmatic to all but the most battle-hardened fans. That said, they don’t come much heavier than this. True…you can’t understand a damn word the singer says, but even so. The solos are melodic, the rhythms chunky. Yeah. Get some.




 4. When Satan Lives (Live Album) – Deicide

Ignore the stupid title, dumb lyrics, and Decide’s ridiculously over-the-top lead man. These mofos can shred like no one’s business. Seriously. They play seventeen frenetic songs back-to-back without flinching. I’m guessing they don’t do anything else with their lives besides play guitar and act as Satan’s penpals. Whatever.




3. Left Hand Path – Entombed

No one does it like the Swedes. This album’s thick, soupy, shake-the-world-off-its-chair-at-night rhythms are like no other.




Surgical Steel

2. Surgical Steel – Carcass

In the last fifteen years, only one new extremely good metal album took me by the collar and rattled me to my bones. Earlier this year (yes, 2014!)  Carcass reunited and slapped the teeth out of the metal world’s mouth with their first release in decades – Surgical Steel. Jeff Walker’s grotesque lyrics coupled with Bill Steer’s melodic mastery are a once-in-a-lifetime pairing. I was tempted to put Carcass’s 1993 album Heartwork in this slot, but I believe in my heart Surgical Steel is…better.



1. Seasons in the Abyss – Slayer

Old? Yes. Overplayed in my car? Definitely. Seasons in the Abyss is the defining metal album of my listening career. To this very day, Dead Skin Mask chills me, Skeletons of Society gets me headbanging, while the title track puts me in a darker state of mind than any of the soundtracks I so love and adore. Lyrically relevant, technically transcendant, and cold-to-the-core morbid, Seasons is the album my grandkids (if I’m lucky) will be shouting at me to, ‘turn the eff off, grandpa!” Sorry, kids. No sense in listening to it unless the volume is on 11.

Maybe next week I’ll write about writing.

For now, I’ve an hour to drive to work and an ear itching to be destroyed.

J Edward Neill

Author of the Tyrants of the Dead dark fantasy trilogy

Co -Author of Hollow Empire – Night of Knives

Author of The Sleepers and Old Man of Tessera

Down the Dark Path