Materials with large photo-thermal energy conversion efficiency are essential for renewable energy applications. Photo-excitation is an effective approach to generate controlled and localized heat at relatively low excitation optical powers. However, lateral heat diffusion to the surrounding illuminated areas accompanied by low photo-thermal energy conversion efficiency remains a challenge for metallic surfaces. Surface nanoengineering has proven to be a successful approach to further absorption and heat generation. Here, we show that pronounced spatial heat localization and high temperatures can be achieved with arrays of amorphous metallic glass nanorods under infrared optical illumination. Thermography measurements revealed marked temperature contrast between illuminated and non-illuminated areas even under low optical power excitation conditions. This attribute allowed for generating legible photo-induced thermal patterns on textured metallic glass surfaces.