Music Video Retrospect: Soundgarden’s “Black Rain”

Space. The final frontier. Or the visual intro to Soundgarden’s music video for “Black Rain”, the single off their compilation album, Telephantasm.

When Kim Thayil’s guitar riff kicks in, you know right away you’re listening to a Soundgarden song. The track itself features all the wonders of the band- Chris’ rebel screams and melodic chorus’, drums and bass from Matt Cameron and Ben Shepherd, and the aforementioned Thayil signature riff construction. The song itself was written and parts recorded way back in the early 90’s for Soundgarden’s Badmotorfinger album. But at the time the group decided they didn’t like the arrangements and shelved it until 2010. Reunited, and armed with new computer technology, they arranged the song into this Grammy nominated version.

The music video has a comic-book feel, almost as if those responsible for Adult Swim’s Metalocalypse produced this video of “Black Rain” – oh wait… that’s exactly what happened! The “Black Rain” music video was directed by Brendon Small, the animation co-creator of Adult Swim’s Home Movies and Metalocalypse. In fact, the fictional band from Metalocalypse, Dethklok, is also featured in the 2010 video. The Guitar Hero video game (remember that?) also makes an appearance during a scene, and the song is reciprocally featured in Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock and Guitar Hero Live.

The video tells an otherworldly story of a gigantic monster from maybe an alternate universe, emerging to destroy the world. But the stars, planets, Soundgarden and Dethklok align to fight for the salvation of the human race. If you’re an animation junkie, or love Adult Swim, you gotta watch the full music video below. It is mighty and righteous, and musically accompanied by the last, great example of Soundgarden’s awesomeness. I could really see a full-length animated movie derived from this video with Soundgarden music, Dethklok and and straight-to-video cult popularity reserved for classics such as Pink Floyd’s The Wall or Heavy Metal.

I also really enjoyed seeing the Soundgarden band members and Chris Cornell turned into cartoon versions of themselves!

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