This mountain fissure hides a secret path to a secluded mossy grotto within the rock itself
Pits of fire that never go out, monumental skulls, an angel of death that cries black tears — these are some of the most "metal" places in the world. So if you're looking to shoot your next intense album cover for some heavy guitar driven aggression, or just want to experience a brush with darkness, get out to these 13 intense locales.
GATES OF HELL
Karakum Desert, Turkmenistan
The Turkmenistan Gates to Hell (photograph by Tormod Sandtorv)
In 1971, a Soviet drilling project went horribly wrong when it hit a natural gas cavern and collapsed. To keep from spawning an environmental catastrophe, the pit was set in flames. To this day the 328-foot-wide fiery chasm burns, earning it the nickname, "The Gates of Hell."
One of the world's most gruesome natural wonders is the five-story "Blood Falls." The slow ooze of crimson from Antarctica's Taylor Glacier is actually sourced from a trapped lake of ancient microbes, but it looks like the ice has a festering wound.
THE CHAPEL OF SKULLS
The Chapel of Skulls (photograph by Merlin/Wikimedia)
The macabre Chapel of the Skulls has a ceiling of bones formed Jolly Rogers-style in a lattice of death,while alongside skulls gaze with vacant sockets at any visitors. And if that wasn't unsettling enough, open a trapdoor in this Polish church to reveal the packed skeletal remains of 21,000 people in the crypt.
THE HASEROT ANGEL
The Angel of Death Victorious (photograph by Ian MacQueen)
In Cleveland's Lakeview Cemetery, the angel of death weeps black tears. The monument for Francis Haserot — known as "The Haserot Angel" or "The Angel of Death Victorious" — is in reality a victim of the eroding elements, but the weathered cheeks stained with a silent cry are a harrowing memento mori.