Concept albums can be a tough undertaking, as they leave a band with two difficult tasks — tell an interesting story and record some kick-ass songs. What these albums do is transcend the realm of music, weaving a story into their musical fabric and into the minds of listeners. In what can certainly be a daunting task, many bands have executed this album style to the point of near perfection.

Here, we've defined a concept album as having a plot, characters, and a setting. Albums with a general theme, like war among other things, get lumped into the concept category, but we are putting those albums aside in favor of ones that serve up a true musical narrative. Let your imagination take you on a journey through the 10 Best Metal Concept Albums in the gallery above!

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