The mark of a truly captivating heavy metal album is when you find yourself deeply present among the music; you are immersed in the flow and soundscape of the record, and you have no desire to speed through the process. In short, you aren’t skipping any tracks – you’re playing that whole album all the way through from start to finish.
Below we have compiled a list of such records; albums that are so brilliant not only in their individual song construction but are crafted so tightly that, as whole album experiences, provide a remarkable sense of sonic adventure.
Here are 10 essential heavy metal albums with no skippable songs.
The Satanist – Behemoth
Overwhelming with ferocious-sounding and theatrical black metal instrumentation, Behemoth’s 2014 record The Satanist is a stunning work of darkness. For every second of its runtime, The Satanist offers an abundance of extremity. Let alone that it’s one of Behemoth’s strongest albums to date, it’s also one of the most thrilling heavy metal albums of the 2010s.
Iowa – Slipknot
Slipknot’s 2001 studio album Iowa is one of the most abrasive and violent-sounding metal albums of all time. Atmospherically, Iowa grips you from the start, the band’s instrumentation, as well as Corey Taylor‘s vocals and lyrics, create this intoxicating air of anger and adrenaline. It’s an astounding rush throughout, offering nothing but bangers.
May Our Chambers Be Full – Emma Ruth Rundle & Thou
Let alone that this is one of the best collaborative metal albums of all time, Emma Ruth Rundle and Thou’s May Our Chambers Be Full is a breathtaking work of sludge, doom, and grunge. Sonically captivating and lyrically poetic, this album extends a beautiful and welcoming enchanting energy, inviting the listener to partake in a brilliant music journey.
The Black Album – Metallica
There’s a reason The Black Album is considered one of the most iconic records in heavy metal history – it’s packed with nothing but epic tracks. While Metallica has made several awesome records, every moment of The Black Album makes for a memorable experience, with all of those tracks coming together to provide an exhilarating thrash metal rush.
Nightmare Logic – Power Trip
Another phenomenal work of thrash metal bliss comes in the form of Power Trip’s 2017 album, Nightmare Logic. Bringing a revitalized energy to the thrash metal scene, the performances featured on Nightmare Logic will leave your jaw hitting the floor. With their onslaught of exhilarating beats and electrifying riffs, Power Trip proved themselves to be masters of the craft with this record.
Enlightened in Eternity – Spirit Adrift
While Spirit Adrift’s new album is absolutely awesome, their 2020 album Enlightened in Eternity will rock your socks off. From start to finish, the record is a constant jolt of immense, flavorful, and exhilarating instrumentation, making for one of the most explosive and epic-sounding records to come out of heavy metal in the past few years.
White Pony – Deftones
Equally as captivating, but for different reasons, you have the heavy and dreamy Deftones album, White Pony. What makes this record truly stand out is the array of mesmerizing sonic landscapes the band presents with each song. Meditative, chilling, and with abstract tones and technical variations, there’s a beautiful surreal quality to White Pony throughout.
L’Enfant Sauvage – Gojira
Though the French progressive metal band had released other albums prior, Gojira struck massive gold with L’Enfant Sauvage. From their crushing sense of groove to the abundance of epic melodies and their display of technical finesse, Gojira’s L’Enfant Sauvage is another brilliant achievement in 2010s heavy metal.
Crack the Skye – Mastodon
On their 2009 record, Mastodon brings all their skills together to craft one of the most emotionally intense albums to come out of heavy metal in the aughts. Brimming with mesmerizing technical performances and poetic lyricism, Crack the Skye is an astounding work of heaviness that has the power to pull at one’s heartstrings.
Black Sabbath – Black Sabbath
53 years later and this album still rocks so damn hard. Casting a captivating air of doom-fueled mystique, Black Sabbath’s self-titled debut is a masterpiece of heavy metal. Through the band’s constant delivery of riveting riffs and immense gloomy atmosphere, Black Sabbath isn’t just an album with no skippable tracks, it’s an album you’ll want to re-visit as soon as it wraps up.