10 Best Music Videos From Masked Rock Acts
Rock and roll and grand theatrics have been tied together for most of rock’s history. When heavy metal came onto the scene, crazy stage shows were a perfect fit for the dark, thumping, high-energy music. While rock often involves vanity and narcissism, some metal mavens choose to wear a mask or don face paint instead of flaunting their looks.
In some cases, this helps propel a great stage show and a band mythos, such as with GWAR. It can also help generate an air of mystery around the band, like Ghost B.C. We salute these mysterious rockers with a look at the 10 Best Videos From Masked Rock Acts.
‘Burn,’ from the album ‘Savior Sorrow,’ features up-close, frenetic views of the band members’ masks, as well as a healthy dose of blood and gore. For this video, Mushroomhead took directorial control, giving fans an unfiltered look into their twisted minds and oh how twisted they are.
‘Ballad of Buckethead’
Buckethead has been one of the most iconic, and for some time, mysterious masked musicians to ever shred. No 10 Best Video list of Masked Rock Acts would be complete without him. Despite his long music career, he didn’t make a video until 1999, when he teamed up with Primus frontman Les Claypool. From this insane combination came the ‘Ballad of Buckethead.’
‘All Shall Fall’
When metal masters Immortal teamed up with visual artist David Palser, they created videos that pretty much set the standard for other death metal clips. The promo for ‘All Shall Fall’ doesn’t fall short of expectations, featuring the much-loved ice-covered mountains and frozen forests that one can only assume are in the mythical realm of Blashyrkh.
‘Give Me Your Soul’
King Diamond is one of heavy metal’s more overlooked theatrical artists. His upside-down-cross face paint and macabre lyrics can be off-putting for those more squeamish than normal. This video for ‘Give Me Your Soul’ is no different. Set in a strange building standing on a mountain ridge, it is the story of a young girl and her murderously insane father.
Black metal greats Dimmu Borgir certainly pose a striking image in their video for ‘Gateways.’ The band, themselves awash in spooky black and white face paint, are all about the imagery in this clip. While they appear in elaborate costumes and facial disguise, the rest of the video is all about artistic contrasts whether it be a woman drowning in a milky white bathtub one minute but emerging later amongst blood red liquid or visions of a pale beauty dipping her white hands in black ooze. This video definitely leaves an imprint and a horrific one at that.
Before Mike Patton joined Faith No More, there was Mr. Bungle. Known for covering almost every music genre, sometimes in one song, their music was often unsettling. The video for ‘Quote Unquote’ (orginally titled ‘John Travolta, until the movie star protested) was banned from MTV for being too disturbing. Bodies hanging from meat hooks and scary clown masks make this a perfect fit for our list of 10 Best Videos From a Masked Rock Act.
It would be criminally negligent to have a list about masked bands and not mention Slipknot. They took the concept of masks and alter egos to another level when they were unleashed upon the world in the late ’90s. The video for ‘Dead Memories’ features all of the band members cavorting around in strange underground rooms and gives us the creeps in the process.
Ghost B.C. is a relative newcomer to theatrical metal, but their sound and look make them seem like they’ve been hiding in your dad’s record collection for ages. The unholy Papa Emeritus sings in black vestments, backed by a band of unnamed ghouls. The video for ‘Secular Haze’ could just as easily have been made in 1969 as it was in 2013.
‘I Love It Loud’
While Kiss wasn’t the first band to dress up for the stage, they certainly perfected the art. Their theatrics, coupled with their riff-heavy, catchy songs launched them to rock n roll royalty. The video for ‘I Love It Loud’ confronted (or reinforced) the devil-worship scare that ran through America in the ’80s. An average American boy is seduced away from his family by the band’s song. He joins a mob of glowing-eyed fans in the end.
‘Saddam a Go-Go’
GWAR are one of the most visually intriguing artists out there, and if you’ve never had the fortune to see GWAR live, ‘Saddam A Go-Go’ gives a little hint of how spectacular their show is. The added horn section makes this heavy metal classic surprisingly dancey and catchy. Add in the band’s always eye-catching monstrous look and you’ve got the makings of the No. 1 video from a masked rock act.