Looking Back at 10 Kickass Metal Videos from the Early 90’s
The nineties. In our circles, it was a weird as Hell year, with grunge taking over the mainstream after metal’s rise to prominence in the 80s, while every band in the Big Four underwent some kind of weird of change – lookin’ at you, Metallica.
Even with things a little wonky in the music world, things were so much simpler back then. You could just put on a plaid shirt to go anywhere. Nobody was addicted to their phone. And Lars could still play drums.
We head back to the decade that was rather tumultuous for metal but still gave us these great videos.
Type O Negative – “Black No. 1 (Little Miss Scare All)”
Coming from New York, I was into Type O Negative before the absolute masterpiece of a record Bloody Kisses was released. I was originally turned on to them from my friends who couldn’t stop talking about this band.
Type O appeared to be beyond any semblance of mainstream acceptability… at least that’s what I thought until I was profoundly shocked to see this video (albeit with a largely edited version of the track) on MTV. Peter Steele is there in all his gothy glory, super close up with his over-sized mutton chops and vampiric white fangs. We all got an intimate look at Peter and they say his dentist was able to give him a complete exam just from watching that video.
Alice In Chains – “Them Bones”
This video exemplifies the band at their apex. More metal than grunge, “Them Bones” is two and a half minutes of raw power.
What I love about this video is that is mostly just features the band doing what they do best with just the right amount of effects and cut-aways so that it’s interesting to watch but doesn’t take the focus off the band members themselves.
Obituary – “The End Complete”
Legends of the death metal scene, it’s hard to believe that Obituary has been slamming our eardrums for as long as they have. One of their early videos, the band relies mostly on live footage from club shows to get you up close with them.
This video and its airplay on MTV is part of the reason the Florida bands exploded. Can’t figure out though why the band members keep disappearing in front of that tree.
Mercyful Fate – “Egypt”
This is the song that announced the band’s comeback after their much-too-long extended hiatus in the 80’s. I still remember the very first time I saw this video on MTV. I had no idea what it is in the opening seconds and then out of nowhere King Diamond, with his arms crossed like mummy, rises up into view on 1990 Sharp television set. My jaw just completely hit the ground. One of the band’s greatest songs that help revitalize their career.
Entombed – “Wolverine Blues”
One of the greatest Swedish metal bands of the 90’s playing in front of one of the greatest comics of the 1990’s. What more could you ask for? Perhaps my two greatest loves of the 90’s all rolled into one (with sincere apologies to my 90’s girlfriend).
Suicidal Tendencies – “You Can’t Bring Me Down”
“Tell ’em what’s up Rocky!” A pissed off Michael Muir (when he is ever not pissed off in a video btw?). Rocky George wearing his signature Pittsburgh Pirates hat and a young Robert Trujillo on bass before he joined that other band. Also gotta love how Muir wears his LA Kings shirt all the way to the electric chair. Kings For Life!.. or death, I guess.
Biohazard – “Punishment”
A young Evan Seinfeld before he went on to become Jaz Hoyt in “Oz” and electrocute Timmy Kirk with a lamp. I love this video because it reminds me of Biohazard used to be like. The guys doing their thing with all their heart and a huge crowd dancing and helping them along. This song and the video are a fucking masterpiece. Also – nipple piercings.
Pantera – “Mouth for War”
I love this video for so many reasons but mostly because it’s really just the band in their absolute prime for the majority of the clip with a few fans thrown in at the end while Pantera continues just play along like nothing’s phasing them.
This is Pantera before all the bullshit, and the minimalist tone and direction of the video makes the music and the band members the focal points. As they should be.
Slayer – “Seasons in the Abyss”
This was one of the first songs I learned to play on my brother’s guitar. Unfortunately, it was one of the three songs I ever learned how to actually play. This video played a huge part in my love for not only guitars, for but Slayer.
With a variety of scenes from the desert and, for some reason, the band playing in what appears to be an ancient Egyptian temple as well as in front of the Pyramids and the Sphinx, the video brings an added dimension to the track in a way that layers even more complexity and depth. Legend also has it that after this video was recorded, the LA Raiders became the most watched football team in Egypt.
Danzig – “Bodies”
Yeah, I know I could have picked a variety of Danzig videos for this list, yet I chose the painfully under appreciated video for “Bodies” off of Danzig III. This video is signature Danzig during the Rick Rubin era when the band was unarguably at the best. Chuck Biscuits is slamming away on the drums in his signature style, Eerie Von is smiling while he plays his bass upright and John Christ is intense as ever. It also features Glen Danzig missing the microphone while singing, just like he does when he performs live!