Being a longtime genre with loads of aggressiveness, Rock Up to Eleven, and a helluvalot of subgenres, it's no surprise that Heavy Metal as a whole has its own page.
Individual bands with their own examples:
Ronnie's musical duel with Geoff Tate on Queensryche's "The Chase".
Ronnie James Dio also got some more CMoAs for "The Stargazer" and "A Light in the Black" during his days with Rainbow, "Atom and Evil" and "Eating the Cannibals" from Heaven & Hell, some other songs with Dio like "Stand Up And Shout", "Don't Talk To Strangers", "Evil Eyes", basically the whole of Holy Diver... hell, let's just say Ronnie James Dio is very, very good at these.
"King of Rock 'n' Roll". And by the end of the song, guess who is the titular king? You are.
Moonsorrow's epic album V: Hävitetty is a pair of 25+ minute folk/black metal pieces, whose interweaving, repetitive-but-ever-changing guitars, folkish interludes, and occasional hundred-man choirs (to offset the screaming) create a subtle but unmistakable awesome. It has a bit of the regular awesome, too.
Candlemass, the band that named Epic Doom Metal in 1986. Especially the ultra-rare album Abstrakt Algebra II, containing, e.a. "Thirst", a jazz/doom-metal song. And the opening song can very accurately be described as exactly what would have happened if Pink Floyd had been a Doom Metal band, and the version of "Dustflow" on that one takes that idea even further. They're a legend for a lot of reasons.
"Solitude" and "Crystal Ball". A Sorcerer's Pledge, too epic for words, especially that high note: The Sorcerer will Riiiiiiiise!!!
Practically every Turisas song has an insanely epic sing-along chorus that you can't help but get stuck in your head. See "To Holmgard and Beyond" and "One More" if you want to be humming something for a week straight.
Savatage, the band that birthed TSO, also has its fair share of epic awesome tracks. "This Isn't What We Meant", "Chance", and "Symmetry" are just a few of them.
Pretty much anything by Finnish monster rockers Lordi, but most especially "Devil Is A Loser", "Deadite Girls Gone Wild", "Hard Rock Hallelujah", "Children of the Night", "Bite It Like A Bulldog", "Girls Go Chopping", "Blood Red Sandman", "Good To Be Bad", and "Would You Love A Monsterman".
Not only is "Hard Rock Hallelujah" awesome, it got Finland its first win in the Eurovision Song Contest, AND it has the highest score ever received by a song to date. Twice.
"Bringing Back the Balls to Rock", which got Lordi through the qualifying rounds. Bonus points for being a love letter to all things heavy. Even more bonus points for the use of cowbell in the middle of the guitar solo, a move that is both awesome and kinda hilarious.
"Call me by my astral name Breeding fear through wordless tongue" barks Mikael Stanne / Anders Friden aided by that sweeping cyclone of guitar riffs and subsequent pounding of the guitar in the track that become In Flames' first classic track and a icon of the Gothenburg metal scene.
Slipknot's "Dead Memories" and "Vermilion". Forget the loud, obnoxious nu metal band they were. They're gradually making a switch away from brutal noise to proper metal.
"Wait and Bleed", "Spit It Out" and "Left Behind" can be considered Crazy Awesome.
Three words: Lamb Of God. Almost every song they make is fucking incredible but the best ones are probably "Omerta", "Redneck", "Pariah", and "Choke Sermon". It's no wonder they're the most well-respected Groove Metal band since Pantera.
"Grace", "For Your Malice", "One Gun", and "Walk With Me In Hell" are songs that are simply too raw for humanity.
Everything made by Devin Townsend manages to be surprisingly distinctive and deeply interesting, whether you like it or not. Be it hard rock, metal, heavy destructive face-stomping, mind-crushing metal or soft rock, he will nail it like nobody ever wished to.
Every song from the album Addicted. Start here. If you listen to it from start to finish by the end you'll feel as if you've been taken to the stars and back. Props go to "Trainfire", "Lady Helen" and "Ki" from his other album Ki as well.
Alllllllllllll of Epicloud. It has explosive powerful songs like 'True North', 'Save Our Now', 'Hold On' and 'Angel'. Features church choirs, that spacey feel Devin is known for and powerhouse vocals from Anneke van Giersburgen, returning from Addicted! She and Devin sound absolutely gorgeous together. It's just... epic.
Anything he has done with his band Strapping Young Lad qualifies. Industrial thrash/death metal never sounded so good since its inception. Take a listen.
Off their new album, "Frühling in Paris" definitely qualifies, and "Pussy" is also a Moment Of Funny.
"Asche zu Asche". "Du Hast". "Mutter". "Rein Raus". "Mein Teil". "Amerika". "Keine Lust". "Benzin". "Mann gegen Mann". "Waidmann's Heil". Any Rammstein concert. We could just can this section and make a whole subpage.
Leaves' Eyes. Most of their songs are about love, nature and other such stuff. Wouldn't expect much epicness out of that, would you? It's symphonic/gothic metal covered in the most epic epicsauce known to man. "Senses Capture", "Farewell Proud Men", "Solemn Sea" and "Misseri". Aw heck, the entirety of Vinland Saga is one great, big, whopping CMOA.
Liv Kristine, the lead singer of Leaves' Eyes, did guest vocals on the song "Nymphetamine" by Cradle of Filth. Kristine was the lead singer of Theatre of Tragedy until about 2005 or so. Theatre were major trailblazers in the gothic/doom metal genre, and pioneered the "beauty and the beast" vocal style characterized by a coupling of clean female vocals and male death growls. Of course this is not to say her work on "Nymphetamine" wasn't impressive - it certainly was - but she's done a lot more too.
The melodic death metal band Deadlock would be already awesome enough to get an entry in this page, but their album Wolves brought us "Praeludium II", a short epic classical piece that manages to be as interesting as the metal content on the rest of the album, if not even more interesting.
Disturbed. EVERY. SINGLE. SONG. But especially: "Stupify", "Awaken", "Just Stop", "Stricken", "Pain Redefined", "Inside The Fire", "Deceiver", "Perfect Insanity", "Divide".
To clarify, any time you ask a large group of Disturbed fans their favorites, over half of them will list unknown or obscure songs from the back of the albums. This is a five album discography, people. The band is that worshiped by their fanbase.
Their new song, "Another Way To Die" features some of the vocal dynamics hinted at in "Deify" and "Land of Confusion", then turns them Up to Eleven. It starts with a grim vocal crooning opening, then the guitars start booming while Draiman shouts the things people've done to the Earth, building to an epic crescendo while the rest of the band sings back-up, after which Donegan gives us one of his most technical guitar solos is years. This is the kind of song that gets people into Disturbed.
From the same album, "Asylum". Now that's Bad Ass, if you don't agree listen to it. It carries so many aspects of Disturbed's distilled style that it may compete with DWTS for Signature Song.
The drum opening. Oh, God the drum opening. Way to define tribal percussion, Mike.
And then there's the part where a kid fights back at his abusive mom. You know, "NO MOMMY! DON'T DO IT AGAIN! WHY'D YOU HAVE TO BE SUCH A BITCH YOU ABUSIVE FUCKING WHORE!"
"The Night" is pretty widely-agreed to be solid gold. It has one of those riffs that's hard not to fall in love with and what could arguably be called Dan Donegan's best solo of his career. Mix that with David's dramatic bellowing vocals and the tight-as-always rhythm section for a great overall package.
The fills in "Ten Thousand Fists" have just the right level of speed, melody and complexity to become downright orgasmic. Not to mention those catchy strings and David's epic shouting.
"Living After Midnight"covered by Disturbed. Not only is it an excellent cover all-round, Mike Wengren pays tribute to Painkiller's drum opening for fun in the intro, Dan Donegan creates an original solo for the outro and David Draiman hits a massively high note near the end as well.
The Lost Children, the collection of b-sides and rare tracks... EVERY SONG ON THAT ALBUM IS PURE GOLD. But especially "This Moment", "Parasite", and "3". It was said they called it The Lost Children because they couldn't pick a favorite unreleased song to put on it.
Th1rt3en combines their earlier thrash sound with the more melodic elements of their later work to rather impressive results.
Endgame may be their thrashiest album since Rust In Peace, with such hits as the opening guitar solo "Dialectic Chaos" leading straight into "This Day We Fight!", "1320," and of course the surge of sheer aggression that is "Head Crusher".
Just about everything by the melodic death metal band Dark Tranquility, but in particular "Day To End" and "Insanity's Crescendo".
The Vital Remains album Dechristianize in general, the song "Devoured Elysium" in particular, especially since it has one of the most memorable lines of any song: "GOD YOU FUCKING WHORE".
Brocas Helm's album Defenders of the Crown. The whole damn thing, particularly if it comes with "Drink The Blood Of The Priest". The entire album is on this guy's channel, fifteen songs in all. "Cry of the Banshee", "Juggernaut", "Persian Gulf"... hell, the whole damn thing.
Arch-Enemy: Death Metal with epic guitar solos! Micheal Ammot is the king of the guitar solo. Listen to any song and try not to feel the awesomeness emanating from his guitar.
The rest of the band top-notch, too, in the vocals. There's a Broken Base over who's better— Johan Liiva on the '90s albums or Angela Gossow (yes, a woman who can growl) from 2000 on— but both sides are at least worth checking out. Start with the Stigmata album for material with Johan on vocals, or Wages Of Sin or Doomsday Machine for songs with Angela behind the mic.
The base is even more broken now that Alissa White-Gluz has taken over for Angela after she stepped down, but as their new song "War Eternal" shows, she's perfectly capable of carrying the torch.
August Burns Red has a few towards the end of some of their albums. Listen to "Redemption" or "Meddler". "We'll feed our flame before wasting time on anyone else's/the gallows were not supposed to look like this"
Almost all of the songs from their album Leveler certainly qualify for this, but the lyrics of "Empire" are about humanity, and how our time now is a Moment Of Awesome.
Christopher Lee's Charlemagne concept album, especially "The Bloody Verdict of Verden".
Almost anything Sigh have released, ever. To give you an idea of what these guys are like, their 2001 album Imaginary Sonicscape starts off with fuzzy synths and heavy guitar, works its way through dub breakdowns, disco sections, a classical interlude, an eleven minute song featuring a tuned percussion solo, and ends with a haunting whistling melody... That abruptly cuts into a chorus of laughing babies. Their 2008 album? Wagnerian in its bombast, even having a song or two that START with guitar solos. And the new album...? They replaced the trumpets with SAXOPHONE. Long story short, they are the black metal embodiment of Crazy Awesome.
Kalmah, a Finnish extreme power metal/melodic death metal band.
Any song, really ANY song from their debut album, Swamplord, one of the best melodic death metal albums ever. The ones that really deserve to be mentioned (including from Swamplord) are "Hades", "To The Gallows", "Heroes To Us", "Heritance of Berija", "My Nation", and "Evil In You", the last one being one of the most... evil songs to ever exist. The sensation of pure darkness and evil in your ears is incredible.
Their new album bought even MORE awesomeness to the band, rivalizing Swamplord in sheer awesomeness.
"Black Marten's Trace", "Windlake Tale", "Pikemaster", well, all of the album is pure gold beneath the swamp.
System Of A Down's "Aerials", "Chop Suey!", "Spiders", "Hypnotize".
Also "Streamline" and their cover of Black Sabbath's "Snowblind". Serj's vocals and the band's musical style give the song a new meaning.
"Do you mean to challenge me? Because your speech is threatening to the writer of your history [...] your whisper may sway the weak, but when I speak it roars the seas! Your challenge has been met, because with a breath I could snap your neck. This won't be like the first time you tried, because my patience and mercy for you has run dry [...] I will burn off your limbs, you will never shade again. You will bow at my feet, or I will rip out your knees and make of your face all the carnage you crave."
Likewise, the opening eponymous track on the same album, "Son of the Morning", is the reverse: a challenge against God by Satan, wherein God's response is contained in the chorus. It is manic and violent, giving the picture of a very disturbed, almost insane Satan. And it is AWESOME.
Machinae Supremacy's very first song, "Cryosleep", is the perfect fusion of heavy metal and electronic music.
The title track to the band's Holographic Universe album. If ever there was a song to thoroughly define the band that plays it, this is it.
That entire fucking album is probably one of the best metal albums put out in the past 10 years. From the way the songs are written to the way one song flows into the next, it's essentially flawless, and without a doubt their best work to date.
"Hybrid Cult" probably shows off Christian's most diverse vocal performance with the band. He uses his death growl, his higher register scream, some weird almost speaking voice, and then his amazing singing voice we all love. All in the same song.
Kyuss' entire career was made out of hugely distorted guitar riffs that sound completely awesome. "Whitewater" and "Demon Cleaner" stand out, but the entire Welcome to Sky Valley album is completely kickass, as is the rest of their material.
Sentenced had an epic and emotional farewell gig after they decided to disband permanently and the whole gig could be said to be a moment of awesome. The most emotional moments are when the former vocalist makes a surprise guest appearance to bid his own farewell to the fans and the vocalist holding back tears when introducing and singing their swan song "End of the Road" and the lengthy guitar solo that ends the song.
Bal-Sagoth has many songs that fit this, most notably "Chronicles of Shadow". That song deserves a CMoA all on its own with the line "And liberated virgins from the burden of their maidenhood."
Agalloch has many songs that fall under this category, the best examples are the three parts of "She Painted Fire Across the Skyline". Many of their songs combine the right amount of melancholic atmosphere with awesome riffs.
Post-metal, a 'genre' that has been created almost entirely in the service of the Musical Moment of Awesome. The slow crescendo and eventual climax is the whole point, leading to damn near every song being some measure of epic.
Examples include the ending crescendo of "So Did We" by Isis, the sudden, beautiful lightning storm at the end of "Burn" by Neurosis, "O'le Nessie" by Mastodon, and "Finland" by Cult of Luna.
Sleep was an incredibly influential stoner doom metal band from the 90s. They easily claim the title as heaviest band to ever exist. Take Black Sabbath and get them EVEN MORE high on as much weed as you can possibly have. Their moment of awesome is easily their song "Dopesmoker". A single song that lasts OVER AN HOUR! If you have not been crushed into tiny pieces and had your spirit ascend to nirvana by the end of "Dopesmoker", the bonus live track on the album, "Sonic Titan", will finish the job
Their duet with Deadlock's (another band on this page) lead singer Sabine Scherer, 'Given in Death'. It's something that nobody thought would work, but it turned out to be a masterpiece. There's a reason it got so much attention.
The entirety of Tristania's album Widow's Weeds is awesome. You've got the epically catchy "My Lost Lenore", the brutal and dark "Wasteland's Caress", and the heartbreaking Tear Jerker that is "December Elegy" (if you don't have tears in your eyes at that violin solo, you sold your soul). All topped off with one of the greatest uses of Soprano and Gravel in gothic metal.
Soilwork's first four albums are a bit noisy and sound a little immature. Their next four albums, however, are some of the most epic metal albums around. Once you start with the first song on their 2003 album Figure Number Five.
"How Can I Live" in particular is a pretty epic song. Listen to the verses, and try not to get chills up your spine. Everything about that song is nearly perfect. There's a reason they re-recorded it in Spanish and put the song on their own album twice.
"Kellogg's, Bombs, & Cracker Jacks". Forget how ridiculous the title is; that song is awesome.
Pick nearly any song by Chimaira. Any. "Power Trip", "Resurrection", "Trigger Finger", "Let Go", "Army of Me", "The Venom Inside", "Sp Lit", "Comatose", "Year of the Snake", "Eyes of a Criminal" and "All That's Left is Blood" are barely even a small handful of awesome tracks these guys have put out. We can't wonder why this is one of metalcore's biggest Ensemble Darkhorses.
Demon Hunter's The Triptych was a nearly flawless album. Front to back. True Defiance ties with it for being the band's best albums.
Sevendust are quite possibly one of the few good bands under Nu Metal, along with Ill Nino, mentioned above. Songs like "Disease", "Unraveling", and "Ugly" are good places to start.
Atmospheric black metal band Drudkh has several. "Glare of Autumn" seems to be the fan favorite.
Machine Head definitely deserves a mention. Listen to their entire Burn My Eyes album.
The Blackening and Unto the Locust deserve mention as well. A grand example: "I Am Hell"
Anything at all by Fear Factory. "Slave Labor" is probably the best of the best. The electronics in the main riff are just amazing.
Anything off of their album Mechanize. "Powershifter" and "Fear Campaign" are truly awesome. And that's just the beginning.
The Industrialist. From the opening title track all the way to their cover of Pitch Shifter's "Landfill", you will headbang so much that by the end of the album you'll have a broken neck.
"Reborn" features the band attempting thrash metal. It's awesome.
"Frontlines", an emotional hard rock song that gives a shout out to our troops. May also count as a Tear Jerker for someone with a friend or relative fighting in the war.
Anthrax is usually thought of as the least musically important band of the "Big Four" and are therefore overlooked. But that's simply an injustice for the band that made classics like "A.I.R.", "Skeleton in the Closet", "Belly of the Beast", "Got the Time", "Indians", "Madhouse", and "Caught in a Mosh".
The sheer awesomeness that is their very first song on their very first album, "Deathrider"!
Pretty much anything by Black Label Society. If you're looking for some classic metal with a modern edge and a southern twist, you should not pass them up. "Fire It Up" is only one of the MANY awesome songs they've done.
Overkill. EVERY. SINGLE. FUCKING. SONG. From the very first song on their debut Feel the Fire to the closing track on their 16th album The Electric Age, the band never slows down, never changes their sound for the worse (only for the better), and never lacks passion. There's a reason why Thrash Metal critics call them 'tragically underrated'. If you like pure old-school thrash and haven't yet checked these guys out yet, DO IT NOW.
Ice-T proves that he can heavy metal just as well as gangsta rap with Body Count's Cop Killer.
Hammers of Misfortune create an amazing blend of traditional metal with progressive metal and have even included elements of folk, power, thrash, doom and black metal in their music. On top of that, they incorporate heavy co-operation with both male and female vocalists. The Trial and the Grave shows how female vocals in heavy metal are done right.
Manilla Road offers diamonds of awesome metal. Forever being in the underground metal scene, Manilla Road have produced high quality traditional metal such as Necropolis, Cage of Mirrors and have even written high quality thrash metal songs like Up From the Crypt that would make Kerry King of Slayer jealous.
There's a reason why Deftones are the most respected band in Nu Metal, as well as one of the very, very few in the genre that are still making music. Their songs go from earth-shattering and brutal ('Hexagram', 'Elite'), radio-friendly and catchy ('Hole in the Earth', 'Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)'), a cross between both ('Diamond Eyes', 'Rocket Skates'), soft and experimental ('Digital Bath', 'Beauty School'), and they have even produced some good songs outside of metal completely ('Teenager', 'Pink Cellphone'). In other words, Deftones are simply one of the best metal bands to break through during the 1990s.
"Combat". It opens with an ambient intro for about a minute, fooling the listener, and the the drums kick in and Chino's rampaging screams come in. Combine an awesome riff with the atmospheric hooks, and you get the best song on Saturday Night Wrist.
If "Hexagram" doesn't make you feel Chino's anger, you just don't like metal. It's unbelievable how he keeps his vocals under control after screaming like that.
Anything off of Diamond Eyes, especially the title track. It contains the perfect balance of melody, atmosphere, and distortion to the point is may be a contender for the Signature Song of their post-Cheng era.
Koi No Yokan. All of it. Special mention goes to "Gauze", "Goon Squad", "Tempest", and "Swerve City". Anybody who likes melodic, atmospheric metal needs to hear that album, even if they've never checked out Deftones before.
Anything by Sepultura, even after Max's departure. From "Roots Bloody Roots" to "Dead Embryonic Cells", no wonder it's Brazil's best-selling metal band of all time.
Classic/power metallers Iced Earth create some of the most awesome pure metal around. The albums Burnt Offerings and The Dark Saga are excellent starting points. The latter is even a Concept Album about Spawn! Yes, that Spawn. When a metal band sings about him, you know they're good.
"Dante's Inferno". 16+ minutes of metal greatness.
If you doubted Tim 'Ripper' Owens' vocal skills while he was with Judas Priest, The Glorious Burden and Framing Armageddon albums may change your mind about him.
Five Finger Death Punch have plenty of this to go around. Much of their album War is the Answer qualifies - "Hard to See", "Burn It Down", and "Dying Breed" in particular.
Battlesoul, oh, Battlesoul. Almost ANYTHING by them, which is a mixture of Celtic Folk Metal, Power Metal keyboards and thrash metal drumming, plus Melodic Death Metal, Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly indeed, that doesen't makes them any less awesome, Wolf and Oathbreaker from Lay Down Thy Burdens, and from Tir Na NogSongs of Our Heroes, are the most incredible.
One word: PANTERA. "Walk", "Drag The Waters", "Slaughtered", "Fucking Hostile"... The first attempt at Groove Metal is already the best.