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For how much I rag on big metal labels, they do offer one thing: money for bands to make videos. Granted, it gets recouped against royalties, but at least it yields something potentially cool. I grew up on music videos and still love checking out metal ones. For better or for worse, modern culture is a visual one, and videos often fixate musicians in people's minds more strongly than their music.

Song selection for videos has always amused me. Labels inevitably pick the softest, most commercial song from an album, i.e., one that doesn't represent it at all. Hence the video for Belphegor's "Der Geistertreiber," from Walpurgis Rites - Hexenwahn, which comes out today. The album is strong black/death metal, except, of course, for this song, which sounds like a Rammstein B-side.

Its video is a hoot. This is Belphegor's first professionally shot video, but one wouldn't know it. Vocalist/guitarist Helmuth says, "The song is about the celebration on the 30th of April, better known as the Walpurgis Nacht, the occult celebrations on the broken mountain." As far as I can tell, the song is about people riding flying goats. Evidently, Belphegor's only instrument is the bass. After watching this video many times, I still have no idea what's going on. But I do know that Helmuth's gimp mask is good for a laugh or two.

- Cosmo Lee

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