Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Awful Metal Video: Early 80's Edition

There are two kinds of Awful Metal Video posts on TNM: The typical weekly one-shot video commentaries I post on a weekly basis, and then this one. This is the special edition Awful Metal Video. Awful Metal Video like you've never seen it before, released on DVD boxset coming soon on Blu-Ray, digitally remastered in High Definition with exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, director's commentary with deleted scenes, actor interviews, and sneak previews for next week's Awful Metal Video. Except it's none of those things. It's actually just a modern metalhead paying respect to his true metal forefathers from the early 80's, and their uncanny ability to make music videos way worse than any current metal band would dare try. Today we're gonna look at a time when men were men, hair was big, "NWOBHM" was considered a fitting name for a subgenre, metal was yet to be completely ruined by the likes of Motley Crue and Poison's commercial success, and best of all, music videos were -- much like today -- inexcusably terrible. 

A band like Manowar needs no introduc -- uh I mean -- damn it. Look, there are two types of metal fans. Those who worship every note that Manowar plays, and poseurs. This video has everything: horses, furry boots, mustaches, muscles, hair, spiky gloves, slow-motion, walls of amplifiers, ridiculous pyrotechnics, jail bait in the crowd, mountains, fire, and Manowar throwing some dudes in a pond. Not to mention leather, metal, spikes, and chaaaaaiiins. Some false metal fans are hanging out at bonfire, trying to practice their moshing so that they can fit in at the next Manowar concert and ruin it for everybody else. Thankfully, Manowar are on to them, and the band members use human teleporation via smoke bomb to join the fray with weapons in hand. Why do they need horses to get around when they can just magically appear with smoke bombs? Excuse you. Manowar answers to no one, you false poseur wimp counterfeit wannabe fake. The poseurs clash steel with Manowar, and by steel, I mean cardboard. Only goes to show you that Manowar can dominate any battle regardless of weapon material. I don't have to tell you twice that they grab every scantily-clad broad at the scene to be of later use as perfectly willing sex slaves.  God this video is amazing. The next video on our list? Not so much. 

The New Wave of British Heavy Metal brought us prominent rock acts like Iron Maiden, Saxon, Def Leppard, Grim Reaper, and even Venom just to name a few. Not so talked about, as well as incredibly underrated, were Tygers of Pan Tang. With galloping riffs, powerful vocals, and rip-roaring guitar solos, the Tygers were as much a force to be reckoned with in their time as any other band of aforementioned musical era. Unfortunately, as the above cover will reveal to you, they wrote enough shitty, commercially-driven music to ultimately be disregarded in metal history, and you kids probably never got a chance to enjoy classics like Suzie Smiled and Love Don't Stay. The enthusiastic Engrish introduction really drives home that you had to go to the other side of the world to find anybody who gave enough of a shit about this band. This video really blows. From the lead singer's tiger-striped jacket, to the judge lady proceeding to dominate him with her lustful glare, while waving her gavel in his face, reprimanding him for being such a naughty boy. Is it just me, or does that bottle of "love potion no. 9" look like a mislabeled bottle of Jim Beam? The extreme close up of the bass guitar during that first little guitar solo is a great indicator of how clueless music video editors were in the 80's. 

I can't make any mention of NWOBHM without bringing up Grim Reaper. This music video is just your basic, run-of-the-mill performance video, with no real underlying theme or storyline behind it. The only reason you're seeing it featured here on Awful Metal Video is the way lead singer, Steve Grimmett looks on his own. He has a very unfortunate sense of style, something that has remained consistent during his musical career, especially for a man of size such as himself. From his perfectly permed mullet, to his uncomfortably tight, red leotard pants and muscle shirt, Grimmett is one in a million to be able to bring a video here without doing anything except just looking the way he does. An awesome song to say the least, but a stage act this goofy-looking sucks the joy out of listening to it.

This has always been probably one of my least favorite music videos ever, much like how I hate Ozzy Osbourne to my very core. (So much so that I made him a violation in and of himself.) I find a video being this terrible inexcusable, when you consider the fact that it was easily shot on a bigger budget than all the other videos on this post combined. It's just impossible to follow one scene to the next. So fat blonde Ozzy is a scientist, and he's overjoyed that he made some unknown liquid with his chemical lab kit. So much so that he gulps it down without a second thought, and starts wigging out a half-a-second after it hits his taste buds. You'd figure being a guy like Ozzy, he'd realize that drugs take more than half a millisecond to take full effect, and act appropriately. Oh well. So he's a werewolf now. No, he's just crazy? No, he's dead, now. Okay, he's not? How can he be dead in one scene, and then opening a bunch of doors that are way too terrifyingly bright to him the next? What... Okay he's running from himself as a werewolf. Some inner struggle with his lycanthrope self? I find that hard to believe, considering the video refuses to verify him as transforming into an actual werewolf outside of some random shots of him acting creepy in front of the camera. By the way, if I was being chased by a blood thirsty, god damn wolfman, I wouldn't stop running and turn around to scream every 4-5 steps. Bark at my dick. 

I couldn't wrap up an early 80's video list without the likes of the greatest metal video of all time. Even though a minute and a half of the video is random shots of branches, Holy Diver is still the quintessential true metal music video for the ages. Dio approaches this axe-wielding brute, with his trusty blade gleaming in the light. This dude is giving Ronnie the stink eye through the rags on his face, which was his first mistake. Last mistake. Dio swings the sword 10-feet away from him, and the air from Dio's epic sword swipe is enough to make this dude lay down slowly and re-evaluate his life situation. Dio walks in on a blacksmith, (who I'm more or less convinced is the same exact dude from before,) and is intimidating enough to get his swords for free. Dio spends the rest of the video stalking through some open jail cells, and swaggering through all the churches he burned down without giving half a shit. See that dude just lying there writhing in agony? How do you think he got there? Like I have to tell you. There is some smoke, and rats. And of course Dio mascot Murray super-imposed over exploding lava. Best video ever.

If you have some suggestions for terrible 80's metal music videos, leave them in the comments below, and I might just consider a part 2 in the near future. Emphasis on "might", I consistently let down and break promises to the people in my life.


  1. you could highlight the shame of celtic frost that is cherry orchards

  2. I'll be honest, I've only ever listened to Tygers' Spellbound in its entirety, but it's a fucking great album. Figure I'll get the first and third soon, but unlike with Fates Warning I'm not even going to muster the fan loyalty to give the rest a listen. Wish I'd been similarly warned about Tank before I ever listened to their woeful 1987 S/T.


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