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10 of the best metal videos of all time

  • By MisterCharlie Author Avatar
  • 20 January 2012

Metal videos answer to no man. You want to make a 6 minute epic about an intergalactic Christ battling gladiator mutants in a fight for Earth’s salvation? Sure, why not! Hell, lets chuck in some vampire chicks and a few evil surgeons while we’re at it. What’s that? You’ve got no budget? Who needs a budget when you got vision and BALLS. Man up buddy..!

And that’s pretty much what the following 10 videos represent. Bands with the balls to pursue their unique vision, bands who approach the music video as an art form, and bands who may have heard of the concepts of humility, embarrassment, and fashion, but don’t give a toss. After you’ve watched these, go and try and watch a video in any other genre and tell me it doesn’t suck. Impossible. Some of these clips are well known classics, some are obscurities from the arse end of the internet-- all of them make me happy to be alive.

Immortal – Call of the Wintermoon

The audio is barely audible, and the visual looks like it was ripped off a mouldy VHS, but neither fact has stopped over 3 million people loving Immortal’s black metal opus on youtube. It’s got fire breathing. It’s got black and white face make up. It’s got spikes, witchfinders, velvet lined cloaks, a grim forest, and a completely incomprehensible story line that involves the boys from Immortal running around and looking pissed off. Skip to 2:40 – 2:45 if you want to see the big finale where they suggest they may turn into werewolves by crouching and flailing a bit. Genius.


Rhapsody – Unholy Warcry

Waitafuckinminute. Is that Christopher Lee?? Like Saruman? Dracula? That Christopher Lee? Christ it is. How did he end up as the narrator on Rhapsody’s brilliantly cheesy sword and sorcery epic? But there he is, bold as brass. Therefore I propose that Christopher Lee = massive metal head. Who woulda thought it.

Hammerfall – Hearts on Fire

CGI was made for metal. Check out this sterling effort from Swedish trad metallers Hammerfire. At no point do you doubt that in their minds, the band are right there amongst the standing stones, the dancing skeleton army, and the cheap ass lightning effects. These guys know how to work a blue screen. Someone sign them up for Transformers 3. After this Hammerfall rerecorded the video, but set it in an ice rink with the Swedish women’s curling team. No, honestly.


Savatage – Hall of the mountain King

It’s not great because it’s got a dwarf running around a cave. It’s great because Savatage singer Jon Olivia spends half the video scaring the shit out of the dwarf, jumping out at him, trying to get him with an axe, that sort of thing, and the other half helping him escape the mountain kings lair like a sort of benevolent poodle permed uncle. Talk about fickle. The tune itself is a mighty slice of 80s metal, and should be taught in schools instead of trigonometry, or some other equally useless subject.


Dio – Holy Diver

OK, this is a personal favourite. Dio is a legend and that’s that. Look at his sword! Look at the seriousness with which he takes the battle against Satan! Did you even know that it was Dio who popularised the finger horns that are basically the single most enduring symbol of metal worldwide? What a guy. Dio died last year and we can only hope that Lucifer watched this video and was basically too shit scared to even try and claim him.


Voivod – Ravenous Medicine

So this is what happens when we get out of the hobbits/orcs/wizards/satan ghetto and start singing about ‘real world issues.’ Voivod produced an insanely earnest video with the words ‘Stop animal slaughter’ flashing up before they cut through scenes of chainsaw wielding nutters, vivisection photographs and really badly drawn animations. It’s kinda sweet in its lofi-ness. I especially like the surgeon holding up a big needle with AIDS written on it... uhhh, right we get the point guys, doctors who test on animals are bad people.


Black Sabbath – Zero The Hero

A bit more social commentary set to heavy riffs-- personally I’m not a big fan of Ian Gillan singing with the Sabbath, but Zero the Hero still rocks. And it’s got a quality video- an evil Hitler surgeon seemingly employs a crew of Igors to help him create a Frankenstein monstrosity, but here’s the twist- the monster looks like a city working geek. Horrifying stuff.


Alternate Realty – The King That Never Was

With a vintage of 2011, The King That Never Was is definitely the newest edition to the list, but it isn’t really a great metal video. It’s a fucking awful metal video. However, fair play to Alternate Reality, they’ve actually hit the sweet spot- The King That Never Was truly is so, so bad it’s good. Watch this baffling mock medieval nonsense and ask yourself- where did they get the chainmail suits from? And the horses? And the swords?? And how are so many people involved in this travesty? How much did this cost? Basically all 30 odd people involved in shooting this willingly spend their weekends at a weird fake castle somewhere in Bumfuck, USA pretending to be living in England in the Dark Ages. As an Englishman, I honestly don’t know what to make of this. Someone please explain.


Lair of the Minotaur – War Metal Battle Master

There’s a decapitation within the first 15 seconds of this modern classic. That’s followed by arms being hacked off, faces bludgeons with maces, eyeballs popping out of mashed up heads, and, finally, naked vampire chicks covering themselves in entrails and blood. It’s like Spartacus: Blood & Sand vs Dusk til Dawn vs Slayer. It’s utterly ridiculous and more videos should be like it. Probably NSFW, unless, of course, you work in a cannibal sex dungeon.

GWAR – Surf of Sin

How could Gwar not be on this list? They are the undisputed kings of theatrical horror metal, and would be the best friends you could possibly have round Halloween time. The plot of the Surf of Sin video is this: a group of gladiator mutants (who are basically GWAR) break into NASA and steal a rocket. They fly it to a space convent to fight some cosmic nuns, then decide to surf on interseller debris instead. Meanwhile, the space nuns release a kind of intergalactic Jesus from his crucifix. He falls to Earth and starts destroying it. Luckily GWAR return to Earth and kick the angry space Christ’s head in. Everyone is happy. It’s a great, great video.


Space limits me to 10 videos, but there's millions more, I'd love to know what you think I've missed here--