Whether it's Dickinsonian wailing or Corpsegrinder grunting, we love our metal vocals. But you don't need 'em to have a kickass heavy-metal song. From Metallica's "Call of Ktulu" to Death's "Voice of the Soul" to Sylosis' "Where the Sky Ends" to artists like Polyphia, Animals as Leaders and Russian Circles who almost never have vocals, there's plenty of proof of that to go around. We asked you the fans to pick the single greatest metal instrumental. Your picks ranged from the obvious and undeniable to the more fun and surprising — check out your Top 5 below.
When Baroness returned with their fourth album, Purple, in 2015, they also introduced two new members — bassist Nick Jost and drummer Sebastian Thomson — to the longtime tandem of frontman John Dyer Baizley and guitarist Pete Adams. They also delivered a newly evolved sound. Purple was atmospheric and hazy and Baroness' new members brought a jazzy dexterity to the group. It all shows on "Fugue," the LP's gleaming centerpiece and an absolute showstopper that could be looped a hundred times and still never burn out.
French metal lords Gojira always find a way to impress — and they did so early on in with this closing cut on 2003's The Link. Instilled with the band's passion for nature and environmental protection, it begins with the sound of chirping birds then gives way to a wave of thrashing guitar and the virtuosic drumming of Mario Duplantier. For over eight minutes, the quartet snake through the lowest grumbles of the earth until it finally gives way to peace again.
OK, so technically there is a slight hidden scream buried very, very deep in the background at the beginning of this song, but for all intents and purposes, Tool's "Triad" is an instrumental — and a damn good one. Guitarist Adam Jones, bassist Justin Chancellor and drummer Danny Carey are masters of their craft, and they showcase their mind-melting skill holding up the song's groovy, tribal pattern across its duration. It might be the most trance-inducing six-and-a-half minutes of your life or the fastest. Or both.
Holy time signatures, Prog Batman. Appearing on 1999's Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory, Dream Theater's fifth studio album and first concept album, "Eternity" does indeed dance — through highs and lows, aggression and solitude, calm and chaos. Guitarist John Petrucci, drummer Mike Portnoy and keyboardist Jordan Rudess have since re-teamed as Liquid Tension Experiment for more instrumental madness. LTE3, the group's first album in 22 years, is available for pre-order now in a Revolver-exclusive clear vinyl 2LP + CD variant — grab yours before they're gone!
What else could top this list? Metallica's "Orion," from 1986's game-changing Master of Puppets, was the absolute clear winner here, as it should be. While many instrumentals are used as an intro, outro or interlude, "Orion" is a gripping, unforgettable highlight — not just of the album but also of the thrash OGs' entire career. It also serves as an immortal tribute to the powerhouse playing and no-fucks-given personality of late, great bassist Cliff Burton.