There was a time, back in the 90s, when metal music videos were heavily represented on the airwaves. Thanks to shows like Headbanger’s Ball and yes, even Total Request Live, rock and metal bands were able to get themselves in front of a captive audience. And while the early 90’s had a lot to love, the late 90’s weren’t really a great time for heavy metal. In fact, many of us alive during that time were afraid that metal, as we knew it, was never coming back. Thankfully there were a few bands who kept the flame alive and we honor them here.
Keeping in the spirit of our recent list of favorite metal videos from the early 90’s, we’re taking a look at the rest of that odd decade. Featuring death metal, goth metal, and a whole mess of industrial, we’ve got some unforgettable music videos that we still think about from time to time.
So sit back, hit play, and reminisce with us. These are some of the kick ass videos from the late 90’s:
Morbid Angel – “Where the Slime Live”
Not gonna lie here, I love this video mainly for one reason and that’s because David “Evil D” Vincent is wearing an ECW t-shirt. Not only do I miss the original line up of Morbid Angel (no disrespect to the current members of either of the two Morbid Angel iterations out there today), I really miss ECW – the greatest wrestling promotion there ever was or ever will be. The late 90’s wouldn’t have been the same without either.
Fear Factory – “Replica”
Fear Factory’s Demanufacture was a genre-changing record and Burton C. Bell, in this video, merges the look of Seattle grunge with the industrial soundscapes that this band delivered oh-so-well. The video direction and concept are spot on. You both get to see the band performing in a creepy looking medical-type facility as well as story involving some unlucky individual. The video draws you in, but at the same time keeps you at a distance with interspersed blurred and distorted images that adds to the abstract aura that encased this entire record’s motif.
Type O Negative – “My Girlfriend’s Girlfriend”
Campy as hell by design, “My Girlfriend’s Girlfriend” comes off the brilliant October Rust record. Taking a slightly different tone from the black and white videos that came with the now legendary Bloody Kisses record, this particular video uses bold and vibrant colors in a throwback to the late 1960’s. With go-go dancers, psychedelic backdrops and Twiggy-inspired fashion design, Type O takes their fans to an entirely different plane.
Strapping Young Lad – “Detox”
This video does a really great job of capturing the energy and excitement that was Strapping Young Lad. It’s a type of controlled chaos. When you see this video you just want to stand up and start moshing along yourself with all the folks who were lucky enough to be there when SYL filmed this. I particularly love the shots focused on Gene Hoglan so you can see just how nonchalant and effortlessly he plays those drums.
Sepultura – “Roots Bloody Roots”
Featuring a mix of the band interspersed with scenes from their native Brazil, the band takes you on a quick whirlwind tour of their homeland. Filled with myriad of images that demonstrates the band’s love for their culture, Sepultura creates an engaging video that broadens horizons. The downside to this video, of course, is that it’s one of the last ones they made with Max Cavalera.
Rob Zombie – “Dragula”
Mixing classic scenes of horror with an aesthetic that is unmistakably Rob Zombie, “Dragula” is a video that is way ahead of its time. With a production quality far and above so much else that was released in the late 90s, Zombie uses this video as an opportunity to showcase his immense talent as a director. It’s the color, the makeup, the motif, and the ability to mesh the classic with the modern that really makes this video pop. Also… robot drummers!
Satyricon – “Mother North”
Black metal had so much going for it in the 1990s with one exception. That exception was the music video. With very low budgets that weren’t anywhere near what the major label bands were able to produce, black metal bands had to produce what they could with the little resources they had. With this, Satyricon’s “Mother North” off the Nemesis Divina record, stands out as one of the best black videos of the period. What’s not to love? You have Frost breathing fire, nude Nordic women dancing throughout, and a very angry Satyr. Back in 1996 there was absolutely nothing like this that we were seeing in North America.
Cannibal Corpse – “Sentenced to Burn”
Cannibal Corpse uses black and white to convey the band doing what they do best interspersed with some stop-motion scenes of some unfortunate individuals who were forced to wear an early 90’s lacrosse helmet with electrodes hooked up to it. Not sure why the guys getting tortured would need protective face cages while they were being electrocuted but perhaps no money was left in the budget to remove them. But the absurdity is part of the fun!
Cathedral – “Hopkins (Witchfinder General)”
There’s a lot going on in this video. Scantly clad dancing witches, Lee Dorian doing his thing in front of the camera, scenes from a classic horror film, and… oh yes… Vincent Price. It’s like a horror version of Club MTV with so much going on. None of it really makes sense, but when you put it all together it really works.
Fear Factory – “Cars”
One of the greatest covers in the 90’s. Fear Factory has two entries in our list because their videos were far and above much of what was created in the late 90’s. The greatest scene in this video is about thirty seconds in when Burton C. Bell magically transforms into Gary Numan behind the wheel. One more reason why Obsolete is an essential metal classic. Gary Numan, by the way, has always been a friend to the metal scene, recently wrapping up a tour with Ministry.