Here is a collection of the worst heavy metal videos ever made. So horrific they’re awesome. So cheesy they’re hardcore. So bad they’re good. For now I’m not going to try and put these in any ranking or numerical order.
This page will be added to as I find suitablely awful metal videos to post. If you have a recommendation for a video, please post it.
“Hearts on Fire” by Hammerfall from the album Crimson Thunder (2002)
Metal. And Olympic-level curling.
Yes, someone gave that concept the green light. Hammerfall actually made a real video for “Hearts on Fire” which is terrible in its own special way, but this latter version featuring the Swedish Womens’ Curling Team is truly cringe-worthy. You can argue that the guys from Hammerfall are just having fun, or that they did this be humorous. OK…but they still made the video, didn’t they?
This one is just killing me. What about curling says “Hearts on Fire”? Maybe I’ve just never experienced the pure adrenaline of curling myself so I can’t say. At least some of the ladies are pretty. Hey, I just figured out why they made this video!
Best Lyrics: Hearts on fire/ hearts on fire/ burning, burning with desire
“Metal is the Law” by Massacration from the album Gates of Metal Fried Chicken of Death (2005)
OK, so Massacration isn’t a “real” band. It’s a parody of a parody of a metal band. But if Metal is the Law (and it is) what better judges than a bunch of dudes with funny bangs, wrap-around shades and extreme-shaped camo guitars? After all, the only difference between this and similar “real” metal bands is the intentionality.
Get ready to throw horns to the rousing chant of “Ai! Yi! Yi! Yi! Yi! Yi!” Then get ready to have your mind blown to bits by the storyline this video has to offer: A dorky Normal Kid, brought before the court of Massacration, undergoes a transformation into a dorky Metal Kid thanks to the all-powerful black t-shirt and matching poofy wig. After this successful punishment a Renaissance Fair Knight shoots him with…get ready…a ginormous rocket launcher! Now that’s fucking metal!
Best lyrics (rough translation): Now That You Are Metal/Metal You Are/Never, Never, Never/Use Bermuda [shorts apparently]
“Bewitched” by Candlemass from the album Nightfall (1987)
This video looks like it was thrown together over a weekend by a group of goofy teenagers. Candlemass’s singer Messiah is comical enough with his big ol’ fro and silly robes that I’m not sure it’s necessary for him to pop out of a coffin that someone cobbled together in shop class. But he does! When Messiah yodels “E-e-eyes” they zoom in a for a close-up of his eyes. While he’s singing he likes to do little musical pantomines like pointing at his head when he sings “Miiiiiind.” It’s genius. Or anti-genius.
How all the doom zombies don’t crap their tight, acid-washed jeans laughing while Messiah bops around doing his “doom dance” is beyond me. This may be the first metal video with its own dance moves! Basically it’s a craptastic Swedish version of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” Magical!
Best Lyrics: Bewitched be delight/ you’ll reach the night/ dancing and singing to my fiddle.
“See You in Hell” by Grim Reaper from the album See You in Hell (1984)
Grim Reaper, a British band, pooped out their ferocious album See You in Hell which was chock full of hits like “Run for Your Life” and “The Show Must Go On.” As for the video: dry ice, headbands, perms…um, aren’t we in Hell already? I don’t know what these chaps were thinking but there’s only one word for this video: BAD. Take the lead singer for example. He’s chubby. He’s wearing a bright red ensemble complete with thigh scarf. He sings like someone’s got his balls in a Mixmaster. My favorite part is the flashing double bass drums being banged on by the drummer who looks like he’s about to run a Triathalon.
Best Lyrics: Come with me, i will take you down / to the very depths of/ your soul and i’ll make you burn!
“Call of the Wintermoon” by Immortal from the album Diabolical Fullmoon Mysticisim (1992)
No collection of bad metal videos is complete without something from Immortal, the kings of ridiculous photo shots and self-parody. Pretty much any video Immortal has ever made is terrible and this one’s no exception. True, the song hails from an earlier time when Immortal’s tunes were desperately brutal (and badly produced), but no song on Earth could save this clusterfuck.
There are just so many astounding aspects of this video I don’t know where to start. The wizard wandering around in tragic make-up and a Burzum shirt (I think, can’t really see) takes the cake for sure. And look out for the boys of Immortal! They have crudgels and they can spit burning fire and they can grimace at the camera like nobody’s business! Eek! It’s like a WWF skit meets The Wizard of Oz in a head-on car accident. The only thing that would really make this better is if they all turned into werewolves at the end!
“Wooden Pints” by Korpiklaani from the album Spirit of the Forest (2004)
Nothing says “Let’s get drunk, bitches!” like having your balding violin player pop out of an outhouse already sawing away on his fiddle! The rest of the band follows suit and even though their faces are totally stoic they’re all rocking away in their own little wood-nymph-filled worlds. A caveman stands to left banging away on a drum of some sort with what I hope is a bone. The musicians, in keeping with their folksy, straight-from-the-forest look play guitars that wouldn’t be out of place in a Tom Petty video.
Horrible lipsyncing and gesturing with an axe follow. Stay tuned for the violin solo as well complete with the Korpiklaani lads ripping meat from bones with their teeth, just like real barbarians! Great song…funny video.
Best Lyrics: There’s men, underground / Who have never seen the sun/ But they really know how to party
“Gloves of Metal” by Manowar from the album Into Glory Ride (1983)
I know, I know, it’s fucking MANOWAR! But c’mon. Watch this video, listen to this song and tell me that that 1000% suckitude hasn’t been reached. Or maybe it’s a case of it’s-so-bad-it’s-good? As if to bring their crummy lyrics to life, Manowar has selected fruity outfits for all the band members. Are they warriors? Barbarians? Extras from a gay porno set in the land of Conan? No one will ever know.
If the sight of Manowar alone doesn’t convince you this video is terrible, how about the parts where Manowar “fight” off guys in fake leather costumes by throwing them in a stream at some public park. And hey, they even get the bikini-clad cave babes! Metal! It’s only appropriate that Manowar explodes into a cloud of pink smoke at the end of the video I think.
Best Lyrics: We wear leather/ we wear spikes/ we rule the night
“Die Dead Enough” by Megadeth from the album The System Has Failed (2004)
Megadeth has been going down the tubes for years and this video might just be the biggest turd of Dave’s career. Nothing, nothing goes right here. For starters, Mustaine is the only one featured in the video! Was this decision a nod to Dave’s ever-expanding ego or were the other “members” of Megadeth just too embarrassed to appear on this piece of crap.
Dave is all dolled up and ready for TRL here. He’s sparkly clean, playing a sparkly clean guitar. The song would be bad enough without Dave’s absurd hand gestures but well, he insists. And then we have the “story” visuals for the video: two kids digging up human bones on a beach. They eventually unearth what appears to be a coffin from which Dave emerges to strut towards the surf. Um, Dave? You really are dead.
Best Lyrics: Oh, I can’t punch hard enough/ and I run I can’t kick high enough/ and I run
“Iron Eagle (Never Say Die)” by King Kobra from the album Thrill of a Lifetime (1986)
In the mid-80s a magic portal opened directly into Hell and spewed out all sorts of atrocities. This video for “Iron Eagle” was one of those diabolical creations. Is it pop? Is it metal? Nay! It’s homooerotic glam-metal-pop garbage!
Though members of King Kobra eventually went on to play in bands like WASP, Bullet Boys and Blue Murder, singer Mark Free had different ideas. After singing in assorted lukewarm bands, Mark decided to surprise his wife with a sex change operation and a new name: Marcie. Not surprisingly, what was left of Marcie’s career went out with the trash, along side his penis.
Mark/Marcie’s homepage is here. An in-depth interview is here.
Best Lyrics: Don’t try and bring my soul to the ground/ my spirit remembers old mountain magic sounds
“Lonely” by Crimson Glory from the album Transcendence (1988)
One aspect of this video puts it up there with the worst metal videos ever. It’s not the prerequisite blonde hottie (not to be confused with the singer, who looks almost identical to this video’s female eye candy). It’s not the prerequisite colossal hairdos or even the prerequisite billowing dry ice machine clouds engulfing the prerequisite straining guitar solo.
It’s the goddam stupid silver Phantom of the Opera masks that Crimson Glory insisted on wearing! I mean, come on! And don’t try to use the 80s as a defense for this one: silver Phantom of the Opera masks were gay back then too!
Best Lyrics: It seems so long ago she shared the love/ she feels so deep inside/ Her love will never die
“For Love” by Crematory from the album Awake (1997)
Felix. Nobody wants to see a close-up of your fat face while you’re doing the cookie monster vocals; you look like a jackass, dude! The rest of this looks like a combination Yanni video/low budget modeling shoot. Don’t we need like, I don’t know, some coffins and chains or maybe some coffins and chains at the same time? The sunny hottie in a sundress outside in the sunny fields isn’t coming across as gothy, doomy or metally for me.
Best Lyrics: You are the enrichment of my life/ You are the vitality of my life/ My heart enflames at the sight of you
“K.I.N.G.” by Satyricon from the album Now, Diabolical (2006)
Satyricon: their recent videos suck Satan’s balls. The videos for “K.I.N.G.” and “The Pentagram Burns” feature, well, Satyr pretending to be Trent Reznor. Add in some lousy sneers, a bunch of club kids stuck in a door frame (scary!) and a masked chick in a wonderbra and, Congrats Satyricon, you just shat on everybody!
Best Lyrics: Serpents tongue/ dagger claws/ dragon wings/ crooked horns
“Hot Rockin’” by Judas Priest from the album Point of Entry (1981)
This is a tough one. Is it the worst metal video ever made? Or the greatest? It’s definitely the gayest. If you’ve ever wondered whether Rob Halford is gay or not, you’ve never seen this video. At one point he’s dancing around while his boots are on fire. I mean, c’mon.
The video also features a work-out/sauna/shower segment as well as the world’s only guitar moneyshot (watch for those gushing guitars after the solo!). We’re cool with Rob being gay, of course (since he is the “metal god”) but you’ve got to admit: this video sucks.
Best Lyrics: My blood is hot/ from now on I’m set free/ My pulse is hot, so don’t try to stop me!
“See No Evil” by Holy Soldier from the album s/t (1990)
Picking on Christian metal bands is like shooting fish in barrels. Christianity and metal go together like babies and blenders. And Holy Soldier has something to tell you about babies! “See No Evil” is a pro-life, anti-abortion song from these crusaders. As if that wasn’t terrible enough, how about a video to go with it? Utterly terrible.
The video features a chorus-line of weird demon children following the camera around. And who’s the dude in sepia-tone? Is he an aborted baby all growed up wishing he could play basketball too? I’d abort my baby too if I knew he was going to grow up and wear a jean jacket with the sleeves ripped off. Well, regardless, Jesus would be proud ofall the the hair, hair, hair and tight jeans in this one.
Best Lyrics: I float inside her womb/ Oh mother, I am coming soon/ Suddenly, fear and dread/ When mother says she wants me dead
“Hall of the Mountain King” by Savatage from the album Hall of the Mountain King (1987)
In almost every internet discussion of “Worst Metal Video Ever” you will find this late-eighties monstosity cited as a prime example of metal meets video hell. Let us all give thanks to the Mountain King (forever hidden from the sun) that this video is blurry at least. Otherwise it would turn our eyeballs into smoking puddles of goo. That’s what happens when you watch a midget in a frilly shirt run around shaking his hands in mock terror for 5 minutes.
We can only guess what circle of Hell Savatage is envisioning here. Between the pirate shirts, up-close shots of the band’s faces, lots of smoke and a twitchy dwarf, well, I think they’ve covered 90% of the world’s nightmares. All this builds towards a hacking vocal orgasm at around the three minute mark. And in the end, there’s only disappointment. Instead of tearing the dwarf limb from limb the Mountain King just lobs some crockery at him like a drunken housewife.
Best Lyrics: Far away in a land caught between time and space/ Where the books of life lay/ Within this castle of stone