Editors’ Notes Sometimes lyrics are just accessories as far as conveying a message through music, and these relentlessly heavy artists decided they didn't need words at all. Eschewing vocals to explore metal’s pure instrumental power, they also increase the potential interpretations of their work by not tattooing it with the subjective words of a lyricist. You’ll hear Chicagoans Pelican aim skyward with an impressive arsenal of major-chord guitar triumphs, while D.C. trio Animals As Leaders specialize in spacey, skronky prog workouts. Elsewhere, international duo Sunn O))) strip the genre down to abstract subwoofing drones, ditching vocals and drums while stretching each riff out for eons. On the psych-rock tip, San Diego’s Earthless revel in extended lysergic jams—though guitarist Isaiah Mitchell took to the mic on parts of their 2018 album. The form continues to kaleidoscope through the sepia-toned Americana of Earth, the driving post-hardcore rhythms of Russian Circles, and the cinematic reveries of This Will Destroy You.