Sometimes when metal bands get a little artsy, it comes off as pretentious or sloppy, but these 15 bands took the art form of spoken-word and made it work for the world’s heaviest genre.

For this list, we’re only counting spoken-word parts articulated by the artists themselves, so you won’t hear samples like Winston Churchill’s iconic speech introducing Iron Maiden’s “Aces High” or Barry Clayton’s “Woe to you…” verse in Revelation from “The Number of the Beast.” You will, however, hear Bruce Dickinson recite the tale of the Seventh Son… so it shall be written, so it shall be done.

Few spoken word tracks are more beloved than Suicidal Tendencies’ “Institutionalized.” The crossover thrash cut was highly experimental for its time, tackling all three verses with Mike Muir’s storytelling of how things never seem to go his way. The song has withstood the test of time, remaining one of ST’s most popular songs for three decades. Of course, without “Institutionalized,” we wouldn’t have the plight of Muir and his Pepsi, and for that, we are eternally grateful.

We’d be remiss to create a list of spoken-word moments in metal and not include Megadeth’s “Sweating Bullets.” The thrash classic about schizophrenia is constantly punctuated by Dave Mustaine’s gritty voice, adding a cinematic depth to the padded-cell cut. “Hello me… Meet the real me” will always be one of the most iconic metal lines of the ‘90s, and it’s thanks to Mustaine’s decision to go spoken-word on the track’s verses.

Check out our picks for the 15 Greatest Spoken-Word Parts in Metal History in the Loud List above.

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