As we draw towards the end of 2016, we have the penultimate round up of the year’s best music videos in extreme music. It took us a while to get this list together (almost 6 months, to be exact), but there are more than enough videos to put together another list before we move on to 2017. Maybe over the course of the next few weeks, we’ll come up with a final round up. For now, enjoy the following 15 videos. ~ Shrivatsan R.
Code Orange – Forever (Roadrunner Records)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania based Code Orange (previously known as Code Orange Kids) are all set to release their third full length ‘Forever’ early next year. Their music video for the title track hints of great things to come from this band as it gives us a glimpse into their sludgy, hard hitting brand of hardcore. The video cuts between the band playing and weird images of entities clad in red latex suits and women climbing out of buckets of blood. As expected, it is weird, chaotic and downright destructive towards the end as the band continues to rock out in fields of fire and explosions. This is a kick ass way to get fans like me excited for the new album. ~ Shrivatsan R.
Colosso – A Noxious Reflection (Independent)
This forward-thinking band from Portugal have hired the services of the talented director Guilherme Henriques for this video which is bleak and hard-hitting, synchronized to go with the unpredictable nature of the music. It starts off remarkably with everything going in reverse, cars, people walking, etc. and that’s absolutely fascinating until the breakdown takes place and vocals start – which is when things go forward and band members appear in the video. Overall, it’s the kind of oft-kilter video that you would expect from this highly intriguing band. ~ Kunal Choksi (Editor-in-Chief)
Coma Cluster Void – Everything is Meant to Kill Us (Independent)
Coma Cluster Void is a band where if you try to groove along to the music, you’ll find yourself failing miserably. The mathcore like, dissonant classical music inspired take on tech death metal is one of the most complex pieces of extreme metal to come out this year and the track Everything is Meant to Kill Us is an example of the deranged nature of the music. The video consists of quick cut shots of the band playing while the protagonist undergoes some sort of mental trauma. Featuring not one or two, but three vocalists with Lord Worm (ex-Cryptopsy vocalist) joining the two vocalists of Coma Cluster Void, the video is drenched with a malicious vibe. Merely looking at quick shots of Sylvia Hinz’s and John Streider’s massive guitars (I’m no expert. But I’m sure there’s probably a million strings on there) gives a good idea about the eclectic nature of the tracks. ~ Shrivatsan R.
Conflict – Mechanism of Life (Independent)
Reminiscent of the new Tron movie, Russian band Conflict come up with a gorgeous video to go with their futuristic and pulsating death metal music. Conflict keep alternating the music from spacey / ambient bits to aggressive chugging and the female vocalist accordingly shifts from clean singing to aggressive growling – an impressive feat. She does it herself whereas bands like The Project Hate or more recently, Oracles, have two different vocalists to do the same thing. I wish there were more animated parts, which go superbly with their music, but this rules as well. A memorable video from a promising band. ~ Kunal Choksi (Editor-in-Chief)
Deprive – A Mournful Prophecy (Memento Mori)
One-man melancholic death/doom band Deprive have come up with a competent video despite the member limitations. The location and mood of the video is perfect for the song – a forgotten cemetery re-explored, a past revisited, memories that continue to haunt you. Musically, this is solid early / mid ’90s death / doom and bears an impeccable balance of both styles without cutting down on the overall heaviness. ~ Kunal Choksi (Editor-in-Chief)
De Profundis – All Consuming (Wickerman Recordings)
Progressive death metal stalwarts De Profundis release a new official video for their latest release and it goes very well with their sinuous, organic sound. They’re shown playing in the forest, and clips of heightening natural monuments or forces are flashed, as if symbolizing the undulating emotions of the song. The feel is appropriate, a tad too warm perhaps, but on the whole a beautiful video, apt for the music. ~ Kunal Choksi (Editor-in-Chief)
Dust Bolt – SickxBrain (Napalm Records)
This epilepsy triggering, spazztic video for Dust Bolt’s SickxBrain is the perfect video representation of one of the leading European thrash bands today. The quick cuts with overlaid artwork and shots of the band performing live parallels well to the sharp frantic riffs in the track. The video even syncs for the groove heavy second half of the track. Short, to the point and chaotic, this is a solid thrash tune. ~ Shrivatsan R
Gatecreeper – Desperation (Relapse Records)
Where do you run when the cadaver of the person you just shot is hunting you down and trying to kill you (presumably)? According to Gatecreeper’s music video for Deseperation, you dive head first into the crowd at a death metal gig. The Entombed meets Bolt Thrower style of Gatecreeper is perfectly suited to amp up the adrenaline as the protagonist scampers off to find a safe haven. The video actually plays towards the track’s subject matter itself and shows you that acts of desperation can have fatal ends. ~ Shrivatsan R
Grim Van Doom – Goddamn This Love (Aural Attack Productions)
Grim Van Doom’s debut album ‘Grim Love’ is 40 minutes of hardcore infused doom / sludge, thick and dense guitar sound, pummeling drums, distorted bass and angry, nasty hardcore vocals. It’s a heavy, dirty, abrasive, slow and low beast of aggression and passion. Goddamn This Love is the album’s opening song and it immediately goes in medias res, which is relentless punishing heaviness. The video is a cool combination of the band’s performance and a cinematic/theatrical play with two actors expressing the song’s subject and mood in disturbing dramatic scenes. Everything is kept in black & white, minimalist and very “noir”, which perfectly matches the song’s raw, dark, and violent passion. ~ Ulla Roschat
Insision – Shape Shifting (Sevared Records)
Long-running and somewhat unheralded Swedish death metal band Insision have released a gnarly video, replete with disturbing hospital, war, and possession-afflicted clips, all put together and edited really well. It’s almost partly a lyric video as well which makes it all the more interesting to watch and follow. Along with Vomitory and Deranged, Insision too strived to carve a sound unlike that of their forefathers, getting out of the shadow of Entombed / Dismember and taking relatively modern aka brutal elements to enhance their hard-hitting and balls-out death metal music. This well-shot video goes very well with their sonic expression ~ Kunal Choksi (Editor-in-Chief)
Maahlas – Nightmare Years (Self Released)
Maahlas from Norway had one of the best releases couple of years ago with their debut full length ‘Nightmare Years’. Almost two years later the band has come out with the music video for the title track. While the video itself is comprised of black and white shots of the band members playing, the way the video is cut and put together manages to emphasize the intricacies in Maahlas’s brand of melodic / progressive black / death metal. The video syncs up quite well with the band’s style of alternating between melodic introspective moments and technical black / death wizardry. This is a pretty cool debut music video from a band with so much potential. ~ Shrivatsan R.
Phatom Winter – Sundown Pleasures (Golden Antenna Records)
Sundown Pleasures is the title track of Phantom Winter’s 2nd album (Golden Antenna Records) . It opens the album as well as it opens a world of bleak cold darkness. The first cracks appear in a wall of illusions that hide a disrupted inner and outer world and an apocalyptic ride into chaos and breakdown begins. With utterly extreme vocals – shrieks and growls, a lot of distortion, chaos ridden dynamics, the song creates noisy, disturbing bleak and eerie atmospheres. with its monochrome, confusing and unsettling scenes and pictures, the video (directed by Andreas Deininger) is a well made counterpart and reflects the musical atmospheres perfectly. ~ Ulla Roschat
Sons of Balaur – Invocation (Season of Mist)
While Invocation is not my favorite song on Sons of Balaur’s (Season of Mist) new album, this video is an utter delight. The band has ties to the Realm of the Damned animated comic on the horizon, and they are super campy, so it seems fitting that their first video would look a lot like Metalocalypse. If Dethklok played black metal, their show might look something like this. ~ FlightOfIcarus
Syndrome – Forever and a Day (Consouling Sounds)
If I was to choose an example song for someone who isn’t familiar with the notion of musical ambience, Forever And Always would definitely be on the shortlist. Mathieu Vandekerckhove who is Syndrome (and also member of the Church of Ra collective and Amenra, Kingdom, SemblerDeah and Caan) manages to build up captivating soundscapes in an unobtrusive and kind of minimalistic way using post-rock and ambient drone sounds as well as folky sounding acoustic guitar melodies and soft and low, almost spoken, vocals. the multiple different layers of sound intricately intertwine and create waves of ambient sounds that slowly build up an intensity and emotional impact that ebb and flow and carry the listener away into contemplative and melancholic moods and atmospheres. With its calm pictures, the video directed by Nicole Twister complements the song’s atmospheres and captures its essence perfectly. ~ Ulla Roschat
Venom Prison – Devoid (Prosthetic Records)
Everything about Venom Prison, starting from the album cover to the tracks themselves, reek of pure, unfiltered hatred. So it’s no surprising that band’s latest music video for their track Devoid is shot the way it is. With a continued strobe light effect throughout the video, the images of a snake nest, protests, explosions and bloody cadavers overlays quite brilliantly with the band playing a hard hitting hardcore – death metal crossover. An angry, pissed off video for a rage filled track. ~ Shrivatsan R