Reel Metal: Meshuggah – “New Millenium Cyanide Christ”

Nowadays, music videos more often than not are lackluster, especially in the world of metal.  You’ve all seen it; the “band in a foggy warehouse” or “hodgepodge of live clips” videos that have about as much thought put into them as a Platinum Dunes film.  In my ire and disillusionment I started writing an article ranting about the seeming lack of creativity in the world of cinemetal, but then I thought “What’s the point?”  Most people know this already and on top of that, not everyone is falling victim to this mundane droll.

With that in mind, I will be devoting the entire month of September to music videos, showcasing the ones that I really enjoy and are creative and unique.  It’s no coincidence that I’m beginning this on Labor Day, either.  As we all take a day off to remember why we work so God damn hard in the first place, let’s all pay tribute to others that also take their work seriously and treat it as a labor of love (see what I did there?).  Most of the videos I will be talking about are fairly recent (within the last couple of years) but some are older, simply because I can’t not reference them in this ode to the art of music video auteurism.

Kicking it off is one of those “oldies but goodies” and is by far one of my favorite music videos ever made.

Artist: Meshuggah
Track: “New Millenium Cyanide Christ”
Album: Chaosphere (2002)
Director: Unknown

Why It Rules:
Besides the obvious fact of awesomeness (air instrumentation is always funny, and Jens screaming into a pen is pure gold) what I love about this video is its spur of the moment feel.  It was clearly filmed on tour and the pseudo-cinema verité style makes it seem as though we just happened upon the band in their natural state; this is just what they do for fun.  It’s a perfect example of pulling off something brilliant for absolutely nothing.  Though the band has stated that the video was originally intended as a joke, it quickly spread and ended up becoming one of the most iconic music videos the metal world has ever seen, proving once again that a little talent and ingenuity goes further than any amount of money ever could.  It’s yet another testament to why this all powerful quintet have and always will be a step ahead of the game and why we should all give a lot of shits about them in the first place.


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