The 10 best metal instrumentals are songs that often demonstrate a lot of compositional skill and technical proficiency. Many of the best metal instrumentals are created by the most gifted musicians in the genre. They vary greatly in terms of length, mood, and complexity, but all of them are great examples of metal music at its most daring and artistic.
- “Orion” from the album “Master of Puppets” by Metallica is the magnum opus of thrash metal instrumentals. The song itself is actually quite subdued compared to many other tunes by the band, but it is emotionally satisfying.
- “Erotomania” by Dream Theater, which is from the album “Awake,” is a great example of the complexity possible in progressive metal instrumentals. One of the highlights is an incredible guitar solo by John Petrucci.
- Yngwie Malmsteen was the king of shred guitar, and he composed a lot of wonderful metal instrumentals, including “Trilogy Suite Op-5” from the album “Trilogy.” At this point in his career, Yngwie’s music was incredibly fresh and vibrant, and this song ripples with intensity.
- “Speed Metal Symphony” by Cacophony is one of the most amazing metal instrumentals, especially in the area of guitar work. Cacophony was a metal shred guitar group including both Marty Friedman and Jason Becker. In this song their duel and harmonize in amazing ways. There are tons of great moments, and several amazing guitar solos.
- “Crushing Day” by Joe Satriani is a wonderfully grim metal instrumental. It’s from his iconic, guitar oriented instrumental album “Surfing with the Alien.”
- “The Maze” by guitar shred icon Vinnie Moore is one of the most brilliantly executed metal instrumentals of all time. The song comes from his album “Maze” and he delivers a technical tour-de-force of melodic brilliance.
- “The Call of Ktulu” by Metallica from their album “Ride the Lightning” is an amazing and atmospheric piece of music. Like many other great metal instrumentals, it starts of slowly, and gradually builds in intensity.
- “Forbidden City” is an instrumental song created by guitar icon Marty Friedman before he joined Megadeth and became a huge star. It comes from his first solo album “Dragon’s Kiss”, and it has all the exotic elegance he has become known for over the years.
- Steve Vai’s “The Attitude Song” is his greatest metal instrumental moment. He created it on his first album “Flex-Able,” which is actually one of his most unusual works. This song is probably the most technically demanding song on that album, and it’s a lot of fun.
- Yngwie Malmsteen finishes off the list with his brilliant song “Black Star” from the album “Rising force.” This is a great example of a melodic and passionate instrumental metal ballad.
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