About the list: The importance of the opening song cannot be overstated. It should get your full attention and blow you right away and announce what's coming and, last but not least, be representative for the theme and atmotsphere of the album. Here is my list.

    

No

 Cover Song/Album Artist

Notes

 

 

1

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Raw & Bleeding / Country Bullshit

(2004)

 

 

Those Poor Bastards

Defining evil doom country and formulating a mission statement in 21 seconds is quite of an achivement. "This is country music / As it was meant to be / Raw & Bleeding". Time efficient.

 

 

2

 

DangerMouseSparklehorse

 

Brimstone Rock / Low Estate

(1998)

 

 

16 Horsepower

The mother of almost all gothic country bands in an unsurpassed banjo-driven opening song. Kickstarts the album. "There's one who's out to have you / An jus' his breath will burn your curls".

 

 

3

 

DangerMouseSparklehorse

 

 

Weightless Again / Through the Trees

(1998)

 

 

The Handsome Family

"This is why people OD on pills and jump from the Golden Gate Bridge / Anything to feel weightless again". This groundbreaking album is also represented on the best closing song list (opens in a new window).

 

 

4

 

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Sparrow Falls / Consider the Birds

(2004)

 

 

Wovenhand

"Sparrow Falls" sets the tone and atmosphere directly. Enigmatic, subdued and introvert. A perfect album opening song. This album is included on the best closing song list (opens in a new window).

 

 

5

 

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Little Black Train of Death / Fire & Hail

(2008)

 

 

.357 String Band

.357 String Band really knew how to get your attention. Intro sample from "Death's Little Black Train" by Reverend J.M. Gates. "And if Death comes knocking / don't answer the door".

 

 

6

 

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This Land is Cursed / The Kingdom is on Fire

(2007)

 

 

Sons of Perdition

The sound of thousands restless souls chanting is a perfect starting point for this very gloomy album which deals with physical death. TKIOF is the first of three albums in the "The Dissolution Trilogy". 

 

  

7

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 Don't Bury Me / Giving My Bones to the Western Lands

(2015)

 

 

 

Slackeye Slim

 

Some scattered guitar picking before the song changes its mode with guitar chords, basslines, drums and vocals. A cerebral cortex-sticking guitar loop lingers in the background. True quality.

 

 

8

 

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Summer Breeze / Defiant

(2007)

 

 

Christian Williams

Banjo-driven opening song. "I think of Charlie, every now and then. He was a simple man and he was my friend. Loved the Lord read his Bible everyday. But then his wife died and he began to change." That's life.

 

 

9

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Esqueletos / Esqueletos

(2005)

 

 

Tarantella

Unique-sounding Tarantella in an opening song sung in Spanish. "Nuestros esqueletos de amor / Que quedan en las piedras / Sobre la arena, tan dorada". Tarantella left a mark in the genre.

 

 

10

inthepinesrc

 

 

Herd / Out of Hands We Go

(2014)

 

 

O'Death

The introduction to this album is so epic that for a moment I worry that O'Death might have burned everything they got in this opening song. Wrong. The banjo-picking and choruses are extraordinary.