Crushtor's Top 5 Metal Videos of 2009

The most cynical watcher of metal videos summons the courage to name a short-list of outstanding videos all with something in common: not a warehouse to be seen.

I have said before that metal videos pretty much suck. They're mostly useless for promotional purposes in my view - they won't engage anyone else but fans of the band or attempt to show a band from a new angle to provoke new interest. Even fans that are jaded by the entire process splice together footage from anime series to produce better looking videos these days. Nevertheless, despite a slump in profits, well, everywhere, some companies have stood by their talent and produced some excellent clips for both your eyes and ears to feast on.

Mastodon - Oblivion

Possibly part of a wider concept that involves goats and other weird shit, here's the S.S. Skyecracker hurdling through the universe, doomed yet crazed and blinded by beauty. Rich and colorful visuals compliment the music well.

Ex Deo - Romulus

There's been something missing from metal videos in recent times and it's called epic. Sure, we have epic songs, but what about an epic narrative? Oh, shit; what's more epic than the formation of the Roman fucking Empire? Not much - Mr. Iacono and co. have crafted a grand and powerful film that spares no expense, forsaking none of the power carried in the song.

Baroness - A Horse Called Golgotha

No doubt inspired by the expressionists and neo-surrealists such as Brunel, A Horse Called Golgotha has an other-worldly, visceral quality that I've not seen in a film clip in a very long time.

Kreator - Hordes of Chaos

This clip was probably the catalyst that put SPV into recievership, but the obvious homage to Conan the Barbarian mixed with magical realism makes for irresistable viewing, as is the visual history of violence and mounting piles of bodies without succumbing to cheese. The shots of the band are tasteful and rarely self-indulgent, which also makes it work well.

Paradise Lost - Faith Divides Us, Death Unites Us

I think this clip is just one of the best short films I've seen in a long while. Although there's no real brutality shown apart from the shearing of a despondent woman's hair, it feels more uncomfortable and unsettling than it should - the graphic nature of helplessness complimented by the song itself just lends such a bleakness that has seldom been conveyed in a metal video. Brutal stuff, but not in the way you'd think.

Honorable Mentions: Paradise Lost - The Rise of Denial, Katatonia - Day and then the Shade, Steel Panther - Death To All But Metal