Video Void #2: Top 10 Best Metal Rehearsals

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Editor’s Note: this feature was originally known as IOTV but has since changed to Video Void to avoid confusion with Cosmo’s old series of video interviews with the likes of Yob and Between the Buried and Me. Live and learn.

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At a time when a frightening number of devices can document the slightest rustle, there’s a larger respect for videos captured from times past without the foresight of social media. They often play like intimate home movies intended only for a small audience of friends whose purpose is a duality of novelty and sentiment. When they do capture something of interest, either in the moment or hindsight, they become a precious commodity that fills in some rather large gaps. Outside of its much larger context, it’s what makes amateur videos like the Zapruder film so incredible: they were never directly intended to be what they’ve become. Much like obscure demos or basement recordings, band rehearsals carry a distinct charm that cuts through the produced layer of recordings. It’s a portal into a musician’s most relaxed and familiar environment, usually strewn with empty bottles and archived trash, which opens up wells of insight into the early development of our beloved genres. It’s great to see figures like Glen Benton display a sense of humor during a period when he was branding his forehead with upside-down crosses, perhaps a psychological essay within itself. Enjoy your door into their practice space.

— Aaron Maltz

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Deicide – 2/19/90
Highlights: One of the Deicide gents asks, “What’s it gonna be boys? What’s it gonna be?” gathering group consensus on which song to play next. Benton replies, “Gonna be big fucking hairy dicks in your ass.” Why they gotta be hairy? Also, watch out for an unexpected Benton leaning into the camera and screaming, “BLASPHEMATE ME!” at the appropriate time during “Dead By Dawn”. Finally, check out the youthful Cannibal Corpse boys hanging in the background.

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Deicide Rehearsal

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Tom Araya performing Motley Crue’s “Looks That Kill” – November 1983
Also featuring Tom’s brother, John, on guitar alongside the video’s uploader, Dimitri Galeos. The footage was recorded at the Slayer Compound, which just sounds like a nasty, unhygienic pad. Can you imagine how many illicit sexual encounters or white-drug experiences it housed? I’m guessing a staggering quantity of both. And what is the couple arguing about at 3:30? What is she giving him tomorrow? Most likely we’ll never know. A compilation of footage from the same session exists here.

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Slayer Rehearsal

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Death – 3/11/91
Man, Chuck’s shorts are . . . short. I was momentarily uncomfortable until I realized he wasn’t wearing just boxers. Because of its static POV this isn’t the most exciting video but certainly captures great footage of my favorite Death line-up.

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Death Rehearsal

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Atheist – Formative Years Rehearsal
Again with the short shorts on Kelly Schaffer; must be that sweltering Tampa heat. And in case you were wondering, Schaffer is that guy who wears his own band’s t-shirt to practice. Any footage of the late Roger Patterson is worth the time spent, as is hearing Steve Flynn perform on a raw kit. Who knew Rand Burkey plays with a cigarette in his picking hand? Hardly seems like efficient use of a smoke.

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Atheist Rehearsal

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Autopsy – Ridden with Disease (1988)
Peep the little kid who pops out from behind the amp at around 1:05. Hope s/he was wearing earplugs! Although not the greatest sound quality, this is a rad video and performance.

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Autopsy Rehearsal

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Morbid Angel – 9/13/90
Highlights include an appearance from Mike Browning of Nocturnus (also heard practicing in the video’s beginning), Trey casually jamming on riffs that would later become “God of Emptiness,” Pete Sandoval’s unseen yet mammoth kick-drum abilities and an interrupted version of “Immortal Rites.” Oh, and a couple of sodas on a hooptie. I’m guessing it’s Vincent’s ride.

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Morbid Angel Rehearsal

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Sepultura – C.I.U. (Criminals in Uniform) August 1989
Worth watching just to hear the Brazilians perform a sped-up version of “Supernaut”. Apparently shot on Andreas Kisser’s birthday!

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Sepultura Rehearsal

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Mayhem – 1988
At 71 minutes in length, watching the entire video is reserved for diehards but it does offer a fascinating glimpse into the group’s personality. If only I understood Norwegian it would be that much more intriguing. The cheerful footage of “Dead” in the beginning offers a rare peek into the cult figure.

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Mayhem Rehearsal

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Nocturnus – 09/13/90
These guys were seriously underrated. Mike Browning looks as happy as a pig in shit.

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Nocturnus Rehearsal

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Emperor – 1993
At almost 80 minutes, another video for the diehards but fun to watch the original line-up with Faust. Again, it’s probably that much more interesting for folks who understand Norwegian, but worth a viewing regardless. Anyone else notice how gross Ihsahn’s nails are?

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Emporer Rehearsal

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