Top 10 Metal Songs with Sweep Picking (Excluding Instrumentals)

Sweep picking is a guitar playing technique, the hardest technique to learn and master. Sweep picking produces an incredibly beautiful sound - fast and fluid, is sounds like running water to me. It's my favorite guitar sound and technique.

The name of sweep picking comes from the'sweeping' motion of the pick, when the guitarist plays single notes on consecutive strings.

Sweep picking isn't limited to metal but mostly metal guitarists use it, especially in technical death metal, neo-classical metal, progressive death metal, progressive metal. Basically, in the most demanding metal subgenres guitar-wise.

I excluded the instrumentals because they would take almost all top spots but my idea was to show how sweep picking is incorporated in songs with vocals, including extreme metal songs (check out sweep pickers that play mostly instrumentals, such as Jason Becker, Michael Angelo Batio, Yngwie Malmsteen, and more).

The Top Ten

1 Tornado of Souls - Megadeth

Marty Friedman isn't a frequent user of sweep picking but he used it in this song.
I wouldn't say this is my favorite song on this list but I put it at #1 because it's the most popular song.
Tornado of Souls is appreciated mostly for the solo and the solo is appreciated mostly for the sweep picking. - Metal_Treasure

UListen to Sample
2 The Glass Prison - Dream Theater UListen to Sample
3 Kissing the Shadows - Children of Bodom

Alexi Laiho rocks, this is his best solo as of 2018. He often uses sweep picking. - Metal_Treasure

UListen to Sample
4 Epitaph - Necrophagist

Christian Münzner wrote and played the solo, he was only 23 (he later joined Obscura).
Genre - Technical death metal - Metal_Treasure

UListen to Sample
5 Smoke and Mirrors - Symphony X UListen to Sample
6 Universe Momentum - Obscura

The song starts with sweep picking. Christian Münzner used sweep picking all the time but it's most noticeable in the solo. I think he's the best sweep picker in metal from the younger generation of sweep pickers.
The song is Technical / Prog death metal of 2009.
By the way, almost all Obscura songs are with sweep picking (one of the reasons I love this band). - Metal_Treasure

UListen to Sample
7 Akroasis - Obscura UListen to Sample
8 Death and the Healing - Wintersun

Jari Mäenpää used sweep picking in the solo - Metal_Treasure

UListen to Sample
9 Fermented Offal Discharge - Necrophagist

It's a track off of Necrophagist's 1999 album Onset of Putrefaction.
Guitarist: Muhammed Suiçmez (he wrote and recorded the entire album alone - all instruments and vocals). - Metal_Treasure

UListen to Sample
10 Celestial Spheres - Obscura

Guitarist: Christian Münzner (alt. spelling Muenzner) - Metal_Treasure

UListen to Sample

The Contenders

11 This Godless Endeavor - Nevermore

Genre - prog metal.
Guitarist: Jeff Loomis, currently in Arch Enemy.
Jeff Loomis is one of the best sweep pickers out there but this song always gives me a hard time. For some unknown reason I can't get into Nevermore in general - not saying they are bad, just not my cup of tea. - Metal_Treasure

UListen to Sample
BAdd New Item