Metal and horror have always shared a bond. From Iron Maiden and their album covers to most death metal bands, there are plenty of horror movie aficionados across the heavy music spectrum. Nowhere is this more apparent than the metal music video. Here, lyrics and riffs can be the soundtrack to a murder, haunting, or something more sinister. In honor of All Hallows’ Eve, here are the seven best examples of horror movie metal videos.
Note: These are probably NSFW, unless your workplace has extremely casual, blood-soaked Fridays.
– – –
Cannibal Corpse – “Evisceration Plague”
The title track of Cannibal Corpse’s latest album could be a theme song for the undead. The mid-tempo, deliberate stomp sounds like a zombie march. To wit, its video has a Night of the Living Dead-style plot. As the story plays out, the song builds a slow tension and the opening tap-riff becomes more sinister. Both the video and song come to an abrupt end, guts ripped out and eardrums bleeding.
– – –
The Black Dahlia Murder – “Everything Went Black”
Creepshow was a “gateway” horror film for a lot of people, and obviously a favorite of TBDM. They kept everything great about the movie in the video — the campy performances, the comic book format, even the lighting cues. The lyrics reflect a terror more along the lines of H.P. Lovecraft — “Pulling screaming earthlings into its toothless jaws / Endlessly beginning spreading with no sign of stop” — but they’re secondary to the frantic death metal groove.
– – –
Lair of the Minotaur – “War Metal Battle Master”
LOTM have spent their entire career writing metal battle anthems, and this is the culmination. The Keres, mythological Greek she-demons, feed on the flesh of fallen warriors while Steve Rathbone & Co. shred. Simple concept, brilliant execution. The setting may be more 300 than Halloween, but the decapitations and arterial spray are pure old-school horror.
– – –
Impaled – “Operating Theatre”
Sean “Bloodbath” McGrath knows gore. As a member of Carcass-worshipping bands like Impaled, Ghoul, and Exhumed, he’s mined the depths of blood and guts. He also directed this video, an homage to over-the-top gore films like Re-Animator, Dead Alive, and Blood Feast. The shoestring budget shows, but that didn’t stop the video from being banned in Germany. Who knew blood that looks like rusty water was so offensive?
– – –
Stormlord – “Under the Boards”
Stormlord’s videos make me wish their music were better. It’s generic Euro power/black metal, but they go all out for the visuals. “Under The Boards” starts out with nods to the giallo films of the band’s native Italy, then quickly turns into a Texas Chainsaw Massacre-style chopping spree. There’s even more blood and guts here than the Impaled video, and that alone makes this clip worthy of inclusion.
– – –
Through the Eyes of the Dead – “Failure in the Flesh”
Social commentary was at the core of George Romero’s Living Dead films. Whether it was race relations, consumerism, or the military-industrial complex, beneath the flesh and blood was a message. TTEOTD adopt a similar theme here. The non-band footage, filmed in grainy black & white, is a single girl killing off a vicious zombie mob. Vocalist Nate Johnson barks out lines like “These are you false prophets selling you Armageddon / These are the ones who are telling you that you are safe.” These zombies could be the politicians that feed us lies on a daily basis. I’m not sure which is scarier.
– – –
W.A.S.P. in Ragewar
Not quite a metal video, but by far the best part of this horrible, horrible movie. A computer geek gets challenged by an ancient evil wizard in a series of scenarios to save his girlfriend. The film is set up like a video game with different levels, but with a different director handling each scene. It’s a convoluted mess with difficulty levels set to Lame; that is, until W.A.S.P. shows up and tortures said girlfriend during a concert. Blackie Lawless should be in way more movies. Happy Halloween!