10 Great Metal Albums (For People Who Don't Like Metal)

Heavy gear for all to enjoy.

System Of A Down

Few musical genres can inspire the loyalty in its listeners that metal does. For dyed in the wool fans of the heavy stuff, metal isn’t just a sprawling format, it’s a lifestyle, complete with a dress code, a set of principles, and an outlook on the world.

The other side of the coin, of course, is that many people find themselves totally opposed to metal and all that it stands for. They dismiss it as nought but noise, find the big hitters like Metallica and Maiden laughable and anachronistic.

Well, as with most things in life, things don’t need to be nearly so black and white. Metal is a remarkably wide ranging genre - indeed it’s home to more sub-strands and offshoots than just about any other genre you could care to think of - and for those interested in exploring, there’s something to enjoy for almost any discerning listener.

From records that play with the form to classics that have aged like fine wine, more melodic offerings to the heavier stuff that’s just too good to be denied, these are albums that even the metal-averse can totally get on board with. They might not have you donning black tees and chokers, but just try and stop your head from banging, or at least nodding in polite appreciation.

10. Faith No More - Angel Dust

The dichotomy of Faith No More is laid out within moments of opener “Land Of Sunshine”. The band is out the gate with pounding drums and the chug of its down-tuned riff. Moments later, they add to the mix a fairground organ, with Mike Patton’s playful, often hilarious vocal completing the picture.

The band’s masterpiece, Angel Dust crosses every genre boundary you could think of, though keeping the music crunching and heavy throughout. They get into the groove on “Be Aggressive”, and combine piano balladeering with buzzsaw guitars on highlight “Everything’s Ruined”.

It’s funk-rap-rock-metal with plenty more besides; for good and ill, this era of FNM was the blueprint for much of the radio friendly heavy stuff that followed. They did it first, though, and best. When they want to, they can get serious, like on the abrasive “Midlife Crisis”.

For the most part, this is metal with a wink and a nod; not novelty, but the sound of a band having a blast and pushing boundaries to breaking point. They even finish things off with a note-perfect cover of The Commodores’ “Easy”, just because they can.


Yorkshire-based writer of screenplays, essays, and fiction. Big fan of having a laugh. Read more of my stuff @ www.twotownsover.com (if you want!)