Megadeth present a murder-revenge fantasy worthy of Dateline in their video for “Night Stalkers,” a track from their upcoming album, The Sick, the Dying … and the Dead.
While frontman Dave Mustaine and special guest Ice-T deliver verses about black-ops assassinations, the clip shows imagery of a man, after death, becoming the band’s living-corpse mascot, Vic Rattlehead, as well as some of his backstory, which began in the clip for “We’ll Be Back,” another cut off the album, which is due out Sept. 2.
Mustaine previously explained the first part of the plot in an interview with Rolling Stone. “It starts off with this guy who’s got to go to work in his job at the military plant,” he said. “Little does he know that these mercenaries have come to kill him and his family. He finds out, and he goes after these people. He’s with his army guys, and he ends up getting into hand combat with this main guy who’s got this dirty bomb, and he risks his life and swims out into the ocean with it and dies.”
Filmmaker Leo Liberti (Megadeth’s “Lying in State,” Dee Snider’s “Lies Are a Business”) helmed each installment of the story. Rafael Pensado, who worked on Megadeth’s “Conquer or Die” and “Dystopia” videos, produced the series.
When Rolling Stone asked Mustaine why he was so committed to writing raging thrash songs this far into his career, he said it was competition that kept him going. “Well, I still have a couple of bands in my crosshairs that I’m going after,” he said. He didn’t name names.
Mustaine commented on the speed in “Night Stalkers” in particular recently in an interview with SiriusXM (via MetalSucks). “There’s a song called ‘Night Stalker’… I can’t remember if that was the fastest one or not, but ‘Night Stalker’ is about the 160th Battalion with the U.S. Army, and it’s all the black-ops helicopters that go in at night,” he said. “Nobody knows they’re there. They’re in, they’re out, and … I had my buddy Ice-T join me on a part in the middle of it, because Ice was a Ranger in the Army, and he did two tours over in Afghanistan. … I think that was back in ’91, when I first met him. I know he was a Ranger.”