Fan poll: 5 weirdest metal albums of all time | Revolver

Fan poll: 5 weirdest metal albums of all time

You know Mike Patton got some love
mike patton GETTY, Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images
photograph by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Metal has birthed some of the most fearlessly innovative bands in all of music, and across all of its many subgenres (and sub-subgenres), there's plenty of experimentation to be found within its borders.

We asked our readers to pick the single weirdest metal album they've ever heard, and as we expected, artists from across the whole heavy-music spectrum were represented. See the top five vote-getters ranked accordingly below.

5. Pat Boone - In a Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy

Ah, yes, some metal your grandparents can get down with! On this shocking left turn for the 1950s crooner, the 63-year-old Pat Boone flipped a bunch of classic metal songs into straight-up big-band numbers. No one ever asked to hear Dio's "Holy Diver," Metallica's "Enter Sandman" or Ozzy's "Crazy Train" in the style of Frank Sinatra, but Boone — who leaned so hard into the bit that he showed up at the AMA's in a leather vest and a spiky dog collar — gave it to us anyway.

4. Primus - Frizzle Fry

Nothing that Primus have ever made could be described as "normal." Les Claypool and his kooky comrades occupy their very own space in the heavy-music landscape, and Frizzle Fry is a perfect distillation of their many peculiarities.

Funk-metal instrumentation that's surprisingly hard to dance to. A bassist who plays like a lead guitarist. Lyrics about fishermen, puppies and pudding. Cover art that's both revolting and hilarious. Only Primus' other records resemble the sound, look and unsettling feel of Frizzle Fry. There's nothing else quite like it.

3. Igorrr - Spirituality and Distortion 

The newest album to make the cut here is Igorrr's 2020 opus, Spirituality and Distortion. The project of French mastermind Gautier Serre smashes together classical music, death metal, opera, breakcore, traditional Balkan music and much more — including a vocal cameo from Cannibal Corpse's George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher!

One minute you're hearing the psychedelic twangs of Arabian instruments like the qanun and the oud, and the next you're hearing a wild prog-metal bass solo fluttering atop teeth-gnashing drum breaks. Restless, inventive and strangely beautiful, Spirituality and Distortion is one helluva trip.

2. Metallica and Lou Reed - Lulu

We asked our readers to pick the weirdest metal album ever. Whether it's good or bad is beside the point, so of course Lulu had to end up on this list. Metallica's 2011 collaboration with Velvet Underground icon and dogged experimentalist Lou Reed makes all of the thrash band's quirkiest choices on St. Anger seem positively mundane.

From Reed's nails-on-chalkboard spoken word to James Hetfield's meme-ready exclamation of "I am the table!" to the disturbing cover art, pretentious backstory and unwieldy double-album length, Lulu remains a head-scratching oddity over 20 years later.

1. Mr. Bungle - Disco Volante

"Anything Mike Patton" was a common answer in this poll, and rightly so. From Faith No More to Fantômas, metal's man of a thousand voices has been at the helm of many of the most bizarre and bewildering records in headbanging history, but Mr. Bungle's second album, Disco Volante, is by far his most perplexing creation. Following their certifiably insane self-titled debut, Bungle doubled down on their most eccentric elements for their 1995 sophomore release. 

John Zorn-esque jazz fusion, idiosyncratic noise freakouts, (un)easy listening passages and various forms of non-Western dance music are thrown in a blender with abrasive extreme metal, all while Patton rambles, shrieks, croons and croaks about masturbation, violence and even more obscene ephemera. If you can actually sit down and listen to this record from front to back without wanting to shut it off even once, then you're either a true Patton die-hard or certifiably loony — or, most likely, both! This album is weird as fuck and the fans' deserved No. 1 pick.