Heavy Quarantine: great metal live videos of Slayer, Godflesh & 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 every Friday, we also post an all-metal edition. Here's this week's, which ranges from Reign In Blood era Slayer to Oceanic Isis with plenty of other cool stuff in between.
Slayer @ The Ritz (aka Webster Hall) in New York, NY - 12/6/1986
Not long before lockdown began, Slayer called it quits for good. Their final tour was so good, but the Slayer that just toured only included half of the Slayer who played this ass-whipping show at NYC's Ritz (now called Webster Hall) the year Reign In Blood came out. With the late Jeff Hanneman shredding and the beastly Dave Lombardo presumably making the entire room shake with his double kick, Slayer were truly monstrous at this show. Even watching the blurry footage on a laptop in 2020, it's impossible to stop grinning and you can seriously feel Lombardo's playing in your bones.
Godflesh in Schorndorf, Germany - 3/31/1990
As far as music that truly sounds like utter filth goes, it doesn't get much filthier than Godflesh's 1989 album Streetcleaner. It's as bleak as the most apocalyptic films, and in the bleak times we're currently living in, it (unfortunately) really resonates right now. Here's Godflesh playing Germany a few months after Streetcleaner was released, and they sound as vicious in this video as they do in the album. Even without a drummer (in case you didn't know, Godflesh use a drum machine), they still know how to bring the house down, as evidenced by the non-stop moshing you see any time the camera focuses on the crowd. It's a very grainy, VHS-era-looking video, but that only adds to the charm. Watching this now feels like witnessing history in the making.
Alcest @ Wacken Open Air 2016
It's been a decade since Alcest's Écailles de Lune set off the blackgaze craze and they put out an excellent album last year, so they've been on our minds lately. Here they are at Wacken Open Air 2016, and this very pro video really drops you into the middle of their live show. As on album, they're all about creating atmosphere, and when the Alcest live band really lock in and build to their post-rocky, shoegazy climaxes, it really takes you there.
Danzig in Sheffield, England - 9/30/1988
This video quality is terrible, but if you want a glimpse into Elvis impersonator Danzig and his classic Eerie Von/Chuck Biscuits/John Christ lineup when their now-classic debut album was hot off the presses, this still does the trick. The sound is pretty great, and Glenn's voice was soaring at this show. The debut album came out exactly one month earlier, so "Mother" wasn't an overplayed hit yet (they played it second at this show), and it's pretty amazing to watch Danzig play his biggest song back when he was still trying to introduce it to the world. With other first-album faves like "Twist of Cain," "Am I Demon," "She Rides," "The Hunter," "Not of this World," and more, the setlist can't be beat (I just wish they played "Soul On Fire"), and the band were at the top of their game this whole show.
Isis @ Toad's Place in New Haven, CT - 6/23/2002
Save for one reunion show in 2018 (under the name Celestial) to pay tribute to the late Caleb Scofield, Isis have been broken up for a decade, and this video really makes me miss them. Filmed with up close and personal shots a few months before Oceanic came out, you really feel like you're there and this video really drives home how larger than life Isis seemed on stage. The riffs are gargantuan, the post-rocky parts are mesmerizing, and the band is as tight as can be.
Check out some photos of Slayer's final tour at Madison Square Garden and Riot Fest: