Childish Reviews #5: 90’s Death Metal Videos

A couple months back we took the Childish Reviews segment on a different path. Instead of having my kids listen to a tracks off new albums, they got to critique some classic, 80s metal videos from the likes of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Dio, and others. This month we are taking it a step further both in musical extremity and chronology. Let’s see what they think of some classic death metal videos from the genre’s original heyday…


Entombed – Wolverine Blues

First up is Swedish legends Entombed and maybe the only death metal video that got played every single week on the old Headbanger’s Ball (or at least it seemed as such back in the day). They were immediately captivated by the recognizable comic book hero, but their atention quickly turned to some other attention grabbers…

12 year old – What? Wolverine?
9 year old  – This is about Wolverine?!?
16 year old – Those sunglasses though…
12 year old – O.k., that guys hair. Did he brush it that morning?
9 year old – He looks like me when I don’t brush my hair.
16 year old – Seriously, what’s with all the sunglasses

At this point the vocals kick in, as do the now very dated special affects. There was a chorus of “What?” from all three for a few seconds.

9 year old – It feels like it’s about Wolverine but then there’s a cave and some other stuff. I don’t know what’s going on here.
16 year old – Whoever directed this video must have been on…quite…a trip.
16 year old – Wait is that dreadlocks and a shaved head?
12 year old – Yeah, that’s just a no.
9 year old – I mean, it’s very heavy and nice music (Ed: Yes, he called Entombed “nice”) but the video is just weird.
12 year old – Oh, they are bringing out the tattoos now.
9 year old – Is there one of a brain? You know because all the 80s metal videos always had brains in them.
16 year old – Nope just lots of pictures of Wolverine and guys wearing sunglasses.

McCabe Family Rating:
12 year old – Song: 6/Video: 4
9 year old – Song: 6/Video: “I rate it a ‘what just happened?'”
16 year old – Song: 9/Video: 8


Obituary – Don’t Care

Next up is Florida’s Obituary. Death metal bands didn’t always write (or make videos) about gore and serial killers. Let’s see what the kids think about the environmental messages going on here…

12 year old – O.k. they’re at a factory and there are some kids playing in the water. That’s nice. Wait is that supposed to be that place in Ukraine? (Ed: She was asking if it was the Chernobyl power plant. I told her it was not.)
9 year old – What…is this?
12 year old – Are they talking about this being a bad place to swim?
16 year old – Sunglasses guys! I think the 90s theme was sunglasses.
12 year old – They are definitely talking about pollution and how you should not let your kids play in it
16 year old – Dead things!
12 year old – I like the direction they are going in, talking about pollution…but the video…come on.
9 year old – Oh gross! More dead things.
16 year old – Well, it is “death” metal.
9 year old – So the 80s thing was brains and the 90s thing was definitely sunglasses.

At this point the kids in the video start wiping sludge from the river on themselves.

16 year old – What? This kid’s corpse paint is sorely lacking.
12 year old – Come on kid, don’t wipe chemicals all over yourselves.
9 year old – It’s probably just mud. But this video is still gross.
16 year old – I don’t know what kind of rat tail that kid in the video had but it was something.
12 year old – More dead things. O.k., we get it. Dead things.

McCabe Family Rating:
12 year old – Song: 7/Video: 6
9 year old – Song: 5/Video: 1
16 year old – Song: 8/Video: 7


Death – The Philosopher

Next up is classic Death. Beavis & Butthead once had a field day with this video. So would my kids…

16 year old – Well, we’ve got a runner.
9 year old – So is it about a philosopher?
12 year old – It’s about a kid running through the woods apparently.
16 year old – I haven’t seen any sunglasses yet.
12 year old – What was that?!
16 year old – Oh! We’ve got a Gollum.
9 year old – Wait…what’s a philosopher? (Ed: I did my best to explain what a philosopher is and does.)
12 year old – Look at that beard!
16 year old – Looks like we’ve got some drowning.
12 year old – No, see he can swim. He’s probably like that kid in The Jungle Book.
16 year old – I still see no sunglasses.
9 year old – Is that a hobo?
16 year old – Maybe he’s The Philosopher.
12 year old – He’s telling this kid to stand back. Trying to get the bad spirits out of him, maybe?
16 year old – This is like the “Can I Play With Madness” video.
9 year old – Yeah, I don’t understand this really. Wait is philosophy the study of human bodies?
16 & 12 year old – Nope.
(Ed: Once again I explained what a philosopher is and does.)
16 year old – Is that guy overdosing? Maybe overdosing on philosophy?
12 year old – There’s Gollum again.
16 year old – So the devil is Gollum?
12 year old – Now he’s running backwards?
9 year old – This is terrible.
12 year old – It’s so confusing.
9 year old – Philosophy is creepy.
16 year old – Oh no, Gollum is taking the kid away.
9 year old – Today I’ve learned that philosophy is the study of Gollum.

At this point a cheer went up as a shot of the band walking through the woods at the very end of the video yielded an image of one of them in sunglasses. Apparently, because sunglasses.

McCabe Family Rating:
12 year old – Song: 6/Video: 8
9 year old – Song: 7/Video: 5
16 year old – Song: 7/Video: 8


At The Gates – Blinded By Fear

We head back to Sweden for our final video. Not even I could predict the slightly weird turn the conversation took on this one…

12 year old – O.k., a creepy person in the hallway.
16 year old – No, sunglasses yet but we’ve got dreadlocks again.
12 year old  – Oh, there we go. Where’s the headbanging? (A second later..) Oh, there it is.
9 year old – Everyone’s hair is really long and flowing.
16 year old – Except the drummer…
9 year old – Wait, the band is called At The Gates? I thought that was the name of the song.
16 year old – Does that guy have his nipples pierced?
12 year old – O.k., we get it, fear. All the fear.
9 year old – That’s so not safe shooting off all those sparks like that.
16 year old – They’re like, ‘It’s death metal man. We do this every day.’
9 year old – “I eat fire for breakfast!” That’s what they’re saying. “I eat it for breakfast with my fruit!”
12 year old – Their going to catch someone’s hair on fire.
9 year old – I wouldn’t be surprised if he caught his dreadlocks on fire, several times. I have this vision of his hair melting into goo.
12 year old – How do you even grow dreadlocks?
9 year old – There’s this magic hair unicorn and the magic unicorn farts a rainbow and then you have to wash your hair in another rainbow in order for it to become dreadlocks. I think they wash out of your hair anyway.
16 year old – All of these videos have been seizure inducing with the strobe lights.

There were moans of disappointment at this point when they realized no one wore sunglasses in this video.

McCabe Family Rating:
12 year old – Song: 6/Video: 5
9 year old – Song: 6/Video: 6
16 year old – Song: 8/Video: 7

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