Recommend some heavy metal instrumentals

That’s pretty much it. I’m looking for tight, hard-hitting metal which is wholly or predominately instrumental.

One word: Apocalyptica. Their cover of Grieg’s Hall of the Mountain King is better than you.


The track “Triad” by Tool is really heavy and has sparse vocals. No words, just vocalizations.

Yngwie J. Malmsteen: “Black Star” from Rising Force.

I’ve always liked Flo & Eddie’s crack that he billed himself as “Yngwie J. Malmsteen” to distinguish himself from all the other Yngwie Malmsteens in the music business.

You’re not really going to find a lot. Vocalizations are very important in metal.

If you’re not too hung up on having something fast, Pelican and Earth are both excellent choices. Pelican uses no vocals, and Earth mostly doesn’t.

Metallica did a couple instrumentals: “The Call of Ktulu” from Ride the Lightning and “Orion” from Master of Puppets. I think Dream Theater did at least one on Train of Thought, but the name escapes me at the moment.

I think Manowar did an arrangement of “Flight of the Bumblebee”, but I can’t remember what they called it. Toadliquor covered the opening to Also Sprach Zarathustra on Hortator’s Lament.

That’s all I can think of off the top of my head.

Not everyone will regard these tracks as heavy metal, but you might try…

  1. King Crimson’s “Red” (from the album “Red”).

  2. Anything from Joe Satriani’s album “The Extremist.”

  3. Jeff Beck’s “Rice Pudding” (from the “Beck-Ola” album).

  4. AC/DC’s “Chase the Ace” (from “Who Made Who”)

Pelican often gets lumped into being metal for some odd reason, although I think they’re quite shoe-gazery. I’ve heard their two albums and while they’re not terribly hard-hitting, they do have some surprisingly heavy bits. YMMV, but I’d get some additional opinions before giving them a listen to.

My brother also highly recommends Isis, but I wasn’t impressed when I heard them.

“Liqiud Tension Experiment” or “Black Light Syndrome”, any records by these bands suit your needs as that is all they do (and they do it very well).


It’s called Sting of the Bumblebee, and it’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever heard (bass solo).

Iron Maiden have a few instrumentals on their early albums (Losfer Words, Transylvania, Genghis Khan) which are worth hearing if you haven’t already. These are cool in that they sound like they were written to be proper songs without words, rather than just guitar solos, or songs with singing with the vocal track missing.

One of the problems with so many heavy metal bands (in terms of this question) is that when they do an instrumental, it’s often atypical, and either ambient, or jazzy, or anything but metal.

You’re in for a treat. The artist: Andy Timmons. The album: That Was Then, This Is Now. 16 tracks of utterly superb music from a guitar genius. Only the last track (a tribute to George Harrison) has words, so it’s easy to skip that if you want to. The rest are just guitar, bass and drums, but with talent to burn and the true flair of a consumate artist displaying mastery and artistry in equal measure. And there’s enough ‘heavy’ on there to satisfy anyone.

Then of course there’s Hendrix, Nine To The Universe. No lyrics to speak of (apart from the odd grunted phrase or two from the man himself). Just soul-searing pyrotechnical jamming from a place that other guitarists will never reach.

I’d have to go with Surfing with the Alien on the album by the same name.

Dream Theater’s Train Of Thought instrumental: Stream Of Consciousness. There’s also one on their earlier album Awake called Erotomania, which is I think is a lot crunchier and more the sort of thing you’re after.

If you like them you’ll likely like Liquid Tension Experiment– DT’s current line-up is the same as LTE’s but with a different bassist and a vocalist.

Although its not metal, it is heavy heavy rock,

Frankenstein - The Edgar Winter Group.

Possibly the heaviest rock single of all time.

or maybe

The Devils answer - Atomic Rooster

Hocus Pocus - Focus, prog rock really but a reasonable sound for all that.

There has been a serious oversight in this thread

Iron Butterfly In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida

It that the tune with a twelve minute drum solo, or am I thinking of something else?

The infamous “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” drum solo is really less than three minutes long. And the song is not an instrumental, and is not heavy metal (it’s psychedelia).

Although I don’t consider Rush to be heavy metal, I’ve seen them sometimes characterized as such. They have done several instrumentals, including La Villa Strangiato and of course, YYZ.

I highly recommend you check out The Fucking Champs. The first (and best) album IV is from 2000, and I recommend “C’mon Smash the Quotal” and “Policenauts”.