Metals was revealed through a series of vignettes shot by Keith Megna in Big Sur during the recording of the album in February 2011. The videos used clips from the multi-tracks of the songs, sometimes ambient, sometimes just a single instrument. They were assigned a number in lieu of a title, of which it was later discovered was the track number of the song.
The album cover was revealed by a paint-by-number contest posted on Facebook. The final vignette, called the Metals Microfilm, was released September 30, 2011 in The Guardian, just before the album's release, and is only available on the iTunes LP format of the album.
“I thought to release any actual clips of the full album felt underwhelming and I knew that the elements of these songs, the instrumentations, were zoom in texturals that carried the same weight as the complete songs. Concentrating on just the drums of ‘The Bad In Each Other’, but not the drum sound in completion, just one mic of the whole drum kit sent through a compressor, distorting the individual pieces… or just the strings of a song or just the horns, with these images of something getting made by people. So people got the tone of ‘Metals,’ were introduced to it through these sounds. They were seeing snapshots rather than a mugshot. It was kind of like flirting.”