5 awesome live metal videos for quarantine: Metallica, Morbid Angel, Testament & more
Every weekday during this quarantine, we've been posting five amazing live videos from YouTube since no actual live shows are happening. Our daily posts aren't genre-specific, but starting today, we'll also be doing an all-metal edition every Friday. Here's our first one, starting with a Cliff Burton era Metallica show:
Metallica @ Metal Hammer Festival, Germany - 9/14/1985
Metallica have been releasing a new live video from their archives every Monday to help combat quarantine boredom and raise money for COVID-19 relief. They've all been great videos, but they've also all been recent, and I've kinda been hoping they'd unearth something from the Cliff Burton era, so here's a full concert video of the band with Cliff way back at 1985's Metal Hammer Festival in Germany. They opened with "Creeping Death," so, needless to say, things went from 0 to 100 real quick, and they went on to tear through a set of now-classic Ride the Lightning and Kill 'Em All songs. They also played what was then a "new song": "Disposable Heroes," the rager that would open side B of Master of Puppets five and a half months later. (And they did their Diamond Head cover too.) I'm sure it goes without saying how badass Metallica were at this point in their career, so I'll just let this video speak for itself:
Morbid Angel @ Nottingham Rock City - 11/14/1989
Morbid Angel have gone through lots of lineup changes and released lots of great albums, but nothing beats their 1989 debut Altars of Madness and the David Vincent/Trey Azagthoth/Richard Brunelle/Pete Sandoval lineup that recorded it, so for this week's edition of live metal videos, feast your eyes and ears on that lineup performing Altars of Madness in its entirety the year of its release (almost in the exact order of the album too). The continued importance and influence of this thrashy death metal classic on today's metal scene has been especially undeniable lately, but even if there weren't a crop of Altars of Madness-inspired bands popping up, this video would still look and sound way ahead of its time. I am too young to haven seen Morbid Angel in 1989, but being in that crowd must have been the coolest shit in the world.
Napalm Death @ Nottingham Rock City - 11/14/1989
That same Nottingham show with Morbid Angel also had Napalm Death (and Carcass and Bolt Thrower, what a bill!), and I figured why not include ND too, especially since their 2020 North American tour was one of the many casualties of COVID-19. Napalm Death are still total fucking beasts on stage today, and this video reminds you that they've been that way for over three decades. This was the first tour that the young, long-haired Barney did with ND (he made his recorded debut with the band the following year) and clearly he had no trouble fitting right in and becoming one of the key stars of the show. And he probably had to make some adjustments to his vocals in order to do this thing for 30+ years, but back then he sounded like he was throwing up gravel. So good.
Testament @ The Omni, Oakland, CA - 12/30/1988
We are still keeping our fingers crossed that all of Testament's members, family, and crew continue to recover after coming in contact with COVID-19, so this one's for them. Even these days, Testament -- who were supposed to hit the road with Municipal Waste and The Black Dahlia Murder next week -- are one of the best live bands you can see (they shredded at Riot Fest last year), but here they are in their absolute prime, with their now-classic first two albums freshly released, doing a hometown New Year's run. Again, they are even still great now, but this '88 show is total madness. They're playing like the world is gonna end, and the fog and light show only makes them look even more evil.
Tribulation @ Webster Hall, New York, NY - 11/5/2015
The classics never go out of style, but here's something newer before I say goodbye for this week. I was at this show (with Deafheaven and Envy), and I can confirm that the great unARTig captured it in a way that feels just like being there. This was the year Tribulation released The Children of the Night (which we called the 12th best album of the decade in any genre) and they opened up with the same one-two punch that starts the album ("Strange Gateways Beckon" into "Melancholia"), and it was as creepy yet swaggering as you'd hope. Tribulation's whole thing is combining the accessibility of classic rock with the extremity of black and death metal, and on stage, it's even more clear that this is a band who could actually play stadiums if given the chance. For more, check out the live CD & DVD that Tribulation put out via Metal Blade at the end of last year.
homepage photo of Metallica at ACL 2018 by Andy Sawyer