Sometimes an act just works better when they’re heard and not seen (at least their faces, that is). It’s our list of the 10 Greatest Masked Rock + Metal Acts!

For this list, we decided to choose entire bands or one-person acts who wear actual masks instead of just face paint, so you won’t find iconic acts like KISS and King Diamond here.

Rock and metal has a rich history of theatrics where a visual element brings added depth to a musical concept. Some musicians don’t just obscure their faces, they transform head-to-toe into legitimate monsters. GWAR is the most famous example, portraying intergalactic warmongers who “kill” famous humans onstage and squirt horrendous fluids into the crowd. Lordi is another example of monster rock, making history by winning the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest.

When you think of metal, Australia may not be a country that immediately comes to mind, but the Aussies have produced perhaps the two greatest masked extreme metal bands in history: Portal and The Berzerker. Both bands were way ahead of the curve musically, testing the limits of where extreme metal could go.

Of course, the modern metal landscape would look drastically different without Slipknot, the psychotic masked nine who put on one of music’s greatest live spectacles. And without the masks, it just wouldn’t be the same.

Check out our picks for the 10 Greatest Masked Rock + Metal Acts in the clip above!

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