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2012 in Review: The Best Metal Videos

While we all know and love metal for its rebellious spirit and innovative qualities, it’s not known as a genre to produce fine works of art in the form of music videos; I’d go so far as to say they often provide a disservice to the composition at hand. For the most part, they follow a hackneyed formula that reinforces negative stereotypes of the genre’s purveyors, making us all look like a bunch of angry 10-year-olds with intimacy issues. Those recurring themes include, but aren’t limited to, a serial killer torturing a victim in a basement, an inmate at an insane asylum displaying internal agony, a broken love story highlighting both good and bad memories, and dudes wearing “scary” masks that are blatant rip-offs of ’80s horror movies. Oh, and lots of metal babes. On the other end of the video spectrum is the jokey metal band, the one who ironically parodies itself through a cartoonish interpretation of the genre. To be honest, I’m not sure which of the two dichotomies are worse; god forbid if the tween should ever meet. And let us not forget the pinnacle of viewing boredom: the video of the band playing with no narrative whatsoever. Why even bother making a video? So I can identify your gear and scope your passionate headbanging? No thanks.

With that, my sagacious advice after revisiting a year’s worth of videos is this: a good video can’t save a bad song but a bad video can sure as hell ruin a good tune. Some videos included in the Top 10 don’t necessarily soundtrack the best song but they happened to have an above-average video, even if that video touches upon those aforementioned themes of gore and parody. Additionally, tasteless videos, such as Cattle Decapitation’s “Forced Gender Reassignment,” were omitted from the list for providing absolutely no artistic merit and insulting my intelligence. Furthermore, it’s also worth noting the similarities between the couplings of both Pig Destroyer’s “The Diplomat” with High on Fire’s “Fertile Green” and Municipal Waste’s “You’re Cut Off” with Trash Talk’s “Slander”. Talk amongst yourselves and discuss that one in the comments. And lastly, I’d like to offer a gigantic thanks to Metal Videos Rockenweb for maintaining a tremendous database of metal videos, thus easing my legwork.

— Aaron Maltz

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TOP 10:

10. High On Fire – “Fertile Green”

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High On Fire – “Fertile Green”

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9. Darkest Hour – “Severed Into Separates”

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Darkest Hour – “Severed Into Separates”

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8. Lamb of God – “Ghost Walking”

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Lamb of God – “Ghost Walking”

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7. Job for a Cowboy – “Tarnished Gluttony”

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Job for a Cowboy – “Tarnished Gluttony”

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6. Trash Talk – “Slander”

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Trash Talk – “Slander”

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5. Alestorm – “Death Throes of the Terrorsquid”

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Alestorm – “Death Throes of the Terrorsquid”

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4. Pig Destroyer – “The Diplomat”

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Pig Destroyer – “The Diplomat”

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3. Suicide Silence – “Slaves To Substance”

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Suicide Silence – “Slaves To Substance”

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2. Nekrogoblikon – “No One Survives”

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Nekrogoblikon – “No One Survives”

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1. Municipal Waste – “You’re Cut Off”

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Municipal Waste – “You’re Cut Off”

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HONORABLE MENTIONS

Revocation – “The Grip Tightens”

Between the Buried and Me – “Astral Body”

Cannabis Corpse – “Where The Kind Lives”

Black Dahlia Murder – “Moonlight Equilibrium”

Odium – “No Way Out”

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