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Mayan Apocalypse

Mayageddon! Mayapocalypse! 30 End-of-Days Songs to Ring in Doomsday

You'd expect dark songs from Rush and Metallica, sure, but Britney Spears and Beyonce? Annoy your friends and coworkers tomorrow with the ultimate end-of-times soundtrack ever.

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Are you ready?

Before the Apocalypse
© Claudia McKinney phatp

Doomsday is almost here, just like the ancient Mayans blogged about. (Psst—it's not really. Please don't be afraid. Or do anything Y2Kish. You're okay. You're good.) Presuming you've already made and spun your best of 2012 lists and stockpiled your all-time favorite records for your journey into oblivion...why not see the world out in a thematically appropriate fashion? 

Here, Fuse lovingly, tearily gathered 30 of the most apocalyptic songs ever recorded in the brief history of humankind. We'll miss you. (...we'll see you tomorrow, actually.)

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The Cure - "The End of the World"

Robert Smith's hair has been ready for Armageddon for decades.

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Radiohead - "Idioteque"

Bunkers, ice ages—all in a day's work of doomsaying for Thom Yorke and his jolly band.

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Metallica - "The Four Horsemen"

Metallica have written more doomsday songs than any band has any business creating. "The Four Horsemen," from the 1983 debut Kill 'Em All, is the original.

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MF DOOM - "Doomsday"

The first song in a career dedicated to apocalypse talk via pseudonym.

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Tom Waits - "The Earth Died Screaming"

A terrifying (and terrific) song in its own right—and then some YouTuber had the audacity to pair it with visuals from zombie flick 28 Weeks Later.

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Gary Jules and Michael Andrews - "Mad World"

The originally mournful Tears for Fears song took on an irrevocable apocalyptic tone when it got covered and paired with 2001's Donnie Darko. 

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Muse - "Apocalypse Please"

Muse's intro to 2003's Absolution was a piano-heavy invocation to end times. Enjoy it set to the dystopian visuals of Children of Men.

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David Bowie - "Five Years"

Ziggy Stardust knew how to sing about a scary fate for humanity while getting us to tap our toes.

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The Smashing Pumpkins - "Doomsday Clock"

"Apocalyptic thieves / are lost amongst our dead / A message to our friends / to get out," Billy Corgan warned on the Pumpkins' 2007 album Zeitgeist. Watch out.

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Britney Spears - "Till The World Ends"

Brit's video opened with a big dramatic title card setting the festivities on Dec. 21, 2012. We can think of much worse ways to say adios to Earth, for sure.

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Bob Dylan - "Señor (Tales Of Yankee Power)"

"Señor, señor, can you tell me where we're headin'? Lincoln County Road or Armageddon?" asks the bard at the outset. Dylan has waxed poetic and inscrutable about end-world scenarios plenty of times—but when he's next to Britney Spears on a list, you know something dire's going down. 

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St. Vincent - "The Apocalypse Song"

We'd love to go to hell in a handbasket spinning this one. Sing us out, St. Vincent.

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Europe - "The Final Countdown"

Before Europe's smash hit provided a soundtrack for Arrested Development's resident illusionist, it prophesied the apocalypse oh-so-synth-ily.

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Black Label Society - "Doomsday Jesus"

Is Zakk Wylde the Doomsday Jesus himself? Not sure! But his band's sophomore album, The Blessed Hellride, was packed with bleak sentiments—"Suffering Overdue," "Funeral Bell," "Final Solution," "We Live No More." That kind of thing.

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Creedence Clearwater Revival - "Bad Moon Rising"

"But...but...Creedence sound so happy here!" you protest. DOESN'T MATTER. This one flat-out tells listeners, "Hope you got your things together / Hope you are quite prepared to die / Looks like we're in for nasty weather / One eye is taken for an eye." No screwing around.

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EELS - "End Times"

The middle of EELS mastermind Mark Oliver Everett's album trilogy in 2009 and 2010 was End Times, a characteristically grim look at the world. In the title track, the end of everything is framed through a breakup. But hey, the world exploding can't be any more painful than a heart collapsing on itself, right?

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Beyoncé - "End Of Time"

Here, cheer up for a sec. Only the title is end-of-everything-ish on this Beyoncé jam.

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The Postal Service - "We Will Become Silhouettes"

Don't let the poppy sound or video fool you—Death Cab for Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard sang about none other than wholesale vaporization of mankind here.

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Tame Impala - "Apocalypse Dreams"

In making one of 2012's best albums, Australia's Tame Impala had the foresight to an include an end-of-the-world jaunt. Smart move, great song.

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Thrice - "At The Last"

This number off Thrice's excellent penultimate record Beggars is packed with regret, weighted by Dustin Kensrue's lyrical poetry: "And now at the last / everything is changed in this pale light / that death has cast on all I've done / on all I've done."

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Tupac - "Brenda's Got a Baby"

Is this track here simply because it's from a record fittingly titled 2Pacalypse Now? Sure. Could the song's protagonist, Brenda, have thought her world was crumbling around her? Definitely. Unbelievably heavy, deftly told material from Pac's 1991 debut.

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Black Sabbath - "Electric Funeral"

While you could easily queue up Sabbath's "Hand of Doom" for your definitive gloom tune, why not go with this throbbing hunk of paranoid, dystopian proto-metal?

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Elvis Costello - "Waiting For The End Of The World"

You're patient like Mr. Costello? No rush for the final hour? Might as well put this one on.

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Arch Enemy - "My Apocalypse"

In a genre lousy with acts who've spent ages ruminating on doomsday, Sweden's Arch Enemy stand at the top of the heap. Always serious, always shredding.

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Rush - "2112: Overture / The Temples Of Syrinx / Discovery / Presentation / Oracle / Soliloquy / Grand Finale"

One hundred years after the reckoning as predicted by the Mayans, there's another prophecy, this one foretold by the Canadians. Rush's career-defining 20-minute suite is as thematically dark as it is musically adventurous.

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Ingrid Michaelson - "End Of The World"

Michaelson snuck this one in just in time, including a number about the sun running out and the moon breaking up on her 2012 release Human Again.

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Nine Inch Nails - "The Day the Whole World Went Away"

Oh, Trent Reznor. Always so merry.

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The Beatles - "The End"

Pretty damned far from an actual Armageddon sound here, but any song signifying the end of the biggest band of all time is bound to conjure up a Chicken Little feeling. 

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At The Gates - "The Flames Of The End"

These Swedish godfathers of melodic death metal never sounded so mature as when they wrote an instrumental, film-score-ish track about our world being torched.

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R.E.M. - "It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)"

A doomsday mixtape without R.E.M.'s classic? Now that's really the end of days.


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