Cities have begun to reopen and some people are finding socially-distant ways to put on concerts, but the world of live entertainment as we know it is still far from back to normal. While you wait to finally attend a show IRL again, we recommend these awesome videos of these awesome '90s and early 2000s metal bands -- across sludge, death metal, grindcore, metalcore, post-metal, and more -- in their primes...

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. [Andrew Sacher]


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. [Andrew Sacher]


Converge @ St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in College Park, MD - 5/25/01

Thanks to J Bannon's new death metal-inspired band Umbra Vitae, I've had old school Converge on my mind, so here's some old school Converge. This was shot a few months before Jane Doe came out but after the classic lineup of Bannon, Kurt Ballou, Nate Newton, and Ben Koller had been solidified (and Aaron Dalbec, also of Bane, is still in the band here too), and Converge just kill it from the start. They open with the now-classic "The Saddest Day," and Bannon wastes no time hopping right into the sea of moving bodies. The sound quality's a little rough, but the video paints a perfect picture of how insane Converge shows were around this time. [Andrew Sacher]


Neurosis @ Musiktheater Bad in Germany - 6/13/96

On a similar note, here's one from Converge's pals Neurosis two months after they released the seminal Through Silver in Blood. They open with a trippy, heavy-as-bricks performance of the album's title track and then go into its fan fave "Locust Star," which is one hell of a way to start a show. The set pulled exclusively from that album and its 1993 predecessor Enemy of the Sun, so you can't go wrong with the setlist, and Neurosis sounded massive and mind-bending all night. [Andrew Sacher]


Cave In @ Valentine's in Albany - 12/1/2000

With the exciting news of the two new Old Man Gloom albums (that include recordings by the late Caleb Scofield, as well as Caleb's replacement Stephen Brodsky), what better time than now to revisit a classic live video by Caleb and Stephen's band Cave In? This was shot way back in 2000 just a few months after Cave In had released the now-classic Jupiter, and you can relive it thanks to hardcore documentarian Hate5ix. Cave In went from being a heavy, in-your-face band to being a spacey, mesmerizing band on Jupiter, and this set showed their live show at the time was even more hypnotic than the record. [Andrew Sacher]


Botch @ The Joint in Staten Island - 4/25/97

Here's another from Tim Morris' archives: Tacoma, WA mathcore greats Botch in Staten Island back before they even released their first full-length album. Even this early on in Botch's career, they were total maniacs and a true force to be reckoned with, and especially for those of us who didn't get to see Botch before their 2002 breakup, it's a thrill to see still-omnipresent musicians like Brian Cook (later/currently of Russian Circles and Sumac) and Dave Knudson (later of the now-also-defunct Minus the Bear) going this hard (and at such a young age). As we've said before, Botch, please reunite! [Andrew Sacher]


Obituary in Tilburg - 10/17/1990

Florida death metal legends Obituary are true lifers and they still put on killer shows today, like last year when they played their first two albums in full. With that era fresh in our minds, it seemed like the perfect time to revisit this video from when they only had those two albums, and when John Tardy, Donald Tardy, and Trevor Peres were still joined by Frank Watkins (RIP) and James Murphy. They played a good chunk of both albums (including their cover of Celtic Frost's "Circle of the Tyrants"), and even with the grainy quality of this bootleg video, you can feel the white-hot intensity of Obituary's show. [Andrew Sacher]


Napalm Death @ Salisbury Arts Centre, UK, 6/30/1990

As much as I love Napalm Death, my favorite period of theirs is between 1987 and 1992. In that time, they unleashed four records; Scum (1987), From Enslavement to Obliteration (1988), Harmony Corruption (1990), and Utopia Banished (1992). Scum serves as the bedrock of grindcore as we know it, while the three subsequent releases saw their sound getting bigger and heavier. With the release of Harmony Corruption, 1990 was a pivotal year for the band. Though peppered copiously with their signature grindcore blast beats, Harmony Corruption saw Napalm Death leaning more heavily on the death metal sound that was dominating the scene at the time. The album sounded more massive and more polished than anything before and as such their popularity started to gain serious momentum. While on tour in support of Harmony Corruption, a performance at Salisbury Arts Centre on June 30, 1990 was professionally recorded for an eventual release in 1992 as Live Corruption. This 19-song onslaught captures the fury and heaviosity of Napalm Death in their prime. It also serves as a final document of the sheer ferocity drummer Mick Harris brought to the proceedings; he would leave the band in 1991, before the video was even released. Interspersed with short interviews with the band outside the venue, this is an essential document of an important place and time in death metal. [Jeff Bergstrom]


At The Gates in Krakow, Poland - 11/27/1995

Slaughter of the Soul was At The Gates' final album for 19 years (until they released At War With Reality in 2014, which was then followed by To Drink from the Night Itself in 2018), and it's also one of the most influential albums of the '90s. They weren't the only Swedish band with a bright, melodic, super catchy brand of death metal, but they perfected it in a way that their peers didn't, and their sound became the basis for the American melodic metalcore boom of the early 2000s. Some of the stuff they influenced leaned on the corny side, but there's nothing corny about Slaughter of the Soul, and it sounds as fresh today as it ever has. This pro-shot video captures At The Gates supporting that album in Poland right after it came out, and the songs sound as sharp in this video as they do on the album. Frontman Tomas Lindberg -- who starts the show in an Eyehategod long sleeve -- encourages the crowd to keep moving and they happily oblige. [Andrew Sacher]


Deftones @ HFStival 2000

Deftones drummer Abe Cunningham said that the band's highly anticipated new album is finally done being recorded, "getting mastered right now," and will "hopefully, maybe" be out in September. "I heard something. I can't remember..." Meanwhile, their classic White Pony turns 20 this weekend (and is getting a reissue with a remix album called Black Stallion), so here's a video of the band looking and sounding amazing at Maryland's HFStival in the White Pony era. (The footage was broadcast on MTV 2. Remember when MTV played music?) The show was about a month before White Pony came out, and they did a couple of that album's songs along with earlier faves like "Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)," "My Own Summer (Shove It)," "Around the Fur," "Bored," and more. [Andrew Sacher]


Tool @ The Glass House, Pomona, CA 10/16/1996

The first show of a big tour in support of a brand new album could almost be a perfect storm for fan dissatisfaction. As a band, you run the risk of not having your tour “sea legs” yet and giving the audience a stiff performance. And as an audience, you’re certainly going to be nailed with a lot of dreaded “new songs.” But on October 16th, 1996 at The Glass House in Pomona, CA, Tool defied the odds and delivered as flawless a performance as they’re capable of unleashing. This gig was the first stop on their Ænima tour, which had dropped on vinyl about a month earlier, and other formats a few weeks after that. Eight of the 12 songs they performed at the gig are from Ænima and they sound as perfect as if they’d been playing them night after night for months already. Although Maynard’s voice may exhibit a bit of fatigue during the very last song, from start to finish he’s relentlessly strong, as is my hero, drummer Danny Carey. The fills this man pulls off are staggering. The uploader calls the video “remastered,” and though the audio is a 10 out 10 and the video is largely very articulate, I deduct points for stretching a 4:3 video out to 16:9 like an amateur. [Jeff Bergstrom]


Eyehategod @ Sandstone Amphitheater in Bonner Springs, KS - 8/3/1996

In 1996, Pantera and White Zombie headlined the "War of the Gargantuas" Tour, and Phil Anselmo brought his NOLA neighbors Eyehategod along to open. This is the Kansas stop, and even on this big amphitheater stage with a crowd who kinda looked like they weren't sure what to think, Eyehategod ripped. The sludgy riffs are as ass-kicking and face-melting as you'd hope, and Mike IX Williams sounds like he swallowed gravel before the show (in the best way). It's a great set, and the video is (all things considered) pretty great too. And bonus: you can see Anselmo and Dimebag Darrell rocking out sidestage. [Andrew Sacher]


Pig Destroyer @ Peabody's in Cleveland, OH - 7/26/2007

Pig Destroyer are true lifers. Their last album, 2018's Head Cage, was one of our favorites of that year, but as good as that album was, it was a pretty major change for Pig Destroyer. It saw them going in a slower, more metalcore direction and it was a more polished album and featured a bassist for the first time in Pig Destroyer's catalog. For something a little different than that, here's Pig Destroyer a month after they released one of their rawer, noisier, grindier albums, 2007's Phantom Limb, and this live video (which includes a nice selection of even older songs too) transports you right back to that gnarlier era of their career. The guys sound vicious, and the video quality may be a little rough, but that kinda just makes it even more perfect. [Andrew Sacher]


Electric Wizard @ Khyber Pass Pub in Philadelphia, PA - 6/27/2002

Here's a comparatively newer band who are definitely influenced by Deep Purple (and even more definitely by Black Sabbath, but duh), UK stoner metal greats Electric Wizard. Pretty much every era of Electric Wizard is great, but this is the classic lineup where frontman Jus Oborn was joined by bassist Tim Bagshaw and drummer Mark Greening, and the setlist is fantastic. They opened with the title track of 1998's Supercoven EP, then played two off the then-new Let Us Prey ("...A Chosen Few" and "Priestess of Mars"), and then wrapped up with the two great opening songs of 1997's especially legendary Come My Fanatics… ("Wizard In Black" and "Return Trip"). If you like your riffs as thick and hazy as a room full of weed smoke, it doesn't get much better than this. [Andrew Sacher]


See also:

* 10 classic '80s hardcore concert videos

* 10 classic '90s punk concert videos

* 15 classic grunge and alternative rock concert videos

* 15 classic '90s indie rock & shoegaze concert videos to watch right now

* 15 classic '90s/'00s emo live videos to watch right now

* 10 classic '80s post-punk concert videos

* 10 classic '70s punk concert videos to watch right now

* 10 classic '80s thrash metal concert videos

For more of our favorite live videos, head here.


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