We also do the occasional article now as well dont-ch-ya-know!
Welcome, brave souls, to our humble Halloween treat – a brand new article full of slashers, ghouls, blood and gore (and no small amount of flat-out weird shit). We’ve scoured the Rock Song of the Week databanks, brushing cobwebs and the occasional half-eaten pie aside for a compendium of the most unusual videos ever to crawl out of the dark sewers of rock and metal. Ready to rock and roll in no particular order?
As a side note, we’re trying to make sure that the videos actually stay embedded on the page for more than five minutes, so some of the stranger videos you know of might not feature. Most of the ones that involve hardcore pornography, more specifically. Three of which were Rammstein, those dirty boys. Still, viewer discretion is advised – especially if you are of a sensitive nature, or your boss is a bit of a prude or an actual child.
Coming in at number one, in a coincidence I definitely didn’t plan, is the video for One by Metallica. This one is as infamous as it is black and white, a rolling slideshow of misery that’s only compounded by the brief shots of Metallica interspersed throughout. I’m kidding about the band, of course, but the video is definitely one that you won’t have forgotten after the first time you saw it. A man goes off to war, gets all his appendages blown off and loses his sight and sense of hearing, spending the rest of his life begging for the nurses treating him to end his life through morse code. I’m probably not doing the trauma justice, but hey, I’m not a writer. Oh no, wait, shit, I am. Sorry.
Made up of clips from the 1971 anti-war film Johnny Got His Gun, the video is a jarring, gruesome tale of the horrors of war lived, not only in the moment but trapped inside the head of a man who cannot live outside his crippled state to replace them. Fun fact, Metallica actually own the rights to the film itself, so they didn’t have to keep paying royalties every time they wanted to air the video. Hopefully that helps take your mind off some of the imagery of a man begging for a death he can’t cause upon himself, eh?
I could have picked out six or seven Tool videos that comfortably would have made it onto this list; Prison Sex and Schism are two videos that are well known for their ability to, in scientific nomenclature, “wig me the hell out”. There’s a different kind of fear in some videos, though that, try as you might, you simply can’t figure out why the things you’re seeing are happening. Sober falls squarely into that latter camp. A stilted, meandering nightmare of stop-motion imagery and practically indecipherable nightmares that don’t seem to align much with the song at all, making an already grim experience all the more strange and terrifying.
Interestingly, Tool guitarist Adam Jones, who created the bizarro visuals for this and many other Tool videos, has a history in the cinema industry; his practical special effects have been seen in handfuls of blockbuster movies including Jurassic Park and Terminator 2. I don’t precisely remember the part of Jurassic Park where a potato looking man levitated a chair, but I’m sure it comes somewhere around where that dude gets eaten on the toilet.
Aaahh, skeletons! Aaaaahhhhh, trumpets! Two of the scariest things of all time, together at last.
Unfortunately for our blessed little eyes and ears, that’s not the depth of depravity that Avenged Sevenfold forces on us in their video for A Little Piece of Heaven. If you’ve never heard the song before, I recommend taking a look at the lyrics online. Then, I recommend going to the bathroom and thoroughly scrubbing yourself when you get to the part about using a heater to warm up his dead girlfriend’s thighs, so he can continue to sleep with her after she dies. Yep.
The video itself is a strange piece of work, too – an oddly low budget looking animation that skips over some elements (we do get to see the heater, but shockingly not at work), but shows plenty of others in gory, stomach-churning details. This one actually winds up being quite sweet in a depraved way, which is possibly more unusual than most of the stuff that came before it. No, no, it isn’t – the necrophilia is still super weird, definitely weirder.
Meshuggah are hardly known for being subtle, but their video for Bleed ticks more eerie boxes than Pennywise the Clown taking an online exam. Life, death and nudity seem to be a common theme for the polyrhythm-loving extreme metal gods and this video takes things to new heights entirely, a stop-start array of intense visuals that tell the charming story of a man dying of an aneurysm by way of Greek mythology. As you do.
Among the stranger aspects, there’s plenty to get your eyes stuck into and then regret seeing. Representations of the Three Fates of aforementioned Greek mythology cutting the thread of the man’s life (and looking a lot less wizened that some representations, if you know what I’m saying), shadowy creatures that will absolutely pop up in your future nightmares and crazed, black and white demons that – hey, wait, that’s the thing on the album cover! That one’s just cool, really. There are also more clocks than a Coldplay themed talent show, which might be the most horrific mental imagery on this entire list now that I’ve typed it out.
This one might seem comparatively tame by the standards we’ve set so far, granted, but it’s a music video that simply nails that cheesy era of 80s/90s horror almost perfectly. Found footage weirdness, Evil Dead-esque creatures, the rock monsters themselves in full costume and stomping around like The Muppets in their Hot Topic phase – someone knows their oats when it comes to a full-on horror Golden Age homage here, that’s for sure. The director, Pete Riski, also directed the band’s feature length film Dark Floors, which if you’ve seen you’ll know falls into a category of scarily terrible all of its own.
That’s not to take anything away from this video, though. It doesn’t use much in the way of subtle imagery or brain-bending metaphor like some of our other entries. Instead, it decides to assault your senses in the old-fashioned way, with steaming ladles of horror history straight from the bowl, invoking all your fondest memories of being scared half to death as a child watching R-rated movies when your parents had gone to bed. Which, as we all know, is the straight up coolest way to be traumatised.
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