The art of the music video might not be what it used to be, but 2017 still saw more than a few kick-ass songs translated into equally kick-ass visuals. From an exuberant dance number with satanic headbangers, to a hilarious animated zombie massacre, to more than one nerve-rattling orgy, here are the 15 clips that kept us at Revolver HQ glued to our screens.
On top of the song, which is an emotional and ethereal excursion anchored by Kristina Esfandiari's breathy baritone, the video for King Woman's "Manna" is a whopper. Shot entirely in black and white, the crisp visuals are stark, simple and beautiful, adding to the witchy nature of the track, and once the string quartet kicks in toward the end of the song, the video feels like it could be a clip from a long-lost French Impressionist film. Fred Pessaro
A Turnstile video should be pretty easy, right? Let's just show some in-air high kicks from Freaky Franz, drum riser splits from Brendan, a few impressive stage dives from fans and call it a day. Turnstile have gone another direction entirely with their new video for "Real Thing," which nods to Nineties videos from directors like Stephane Sednaoui, Mark Romanek and Jonathan Glazer, responsible for iconic work with Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fiona Apple and more. The salute works well with the song, too, which nods to alternative rock radio of yesteryear. F.P.
With the video for "Forever," the title track from Code Orange's mammoth best-of-the-year LP, the Pittsburgh crew pulled out all the stops — there's blood, fire, blood-colored dust, some sort of satanic ritual and, in the middle of it all, the band bringing it hard. But it's all produced so stylishly that the result is the kind of clip that compels snooty viewers to forgo the term "video" for "short film," and you know what? They'd be right. F.P.
For all their blood-spattered infamy, Cannibal Corpse have always been a band defined by smart, morbid humor, rather than outright aggression. The death-metal stalwarts' endearingly over-the-top "Code of the Slashers" clip develops a Walking Dead–type thriller as a wry commentary on consumers' troubling complacency with death and destruction ... even if said consumers happen to be zombies. Zoe Camp
Dark, moody and bleeding from the mouth: That's how Myrkur mastermind Amalie Bruun rolls in this gorgeously shot clip. One minute, she's writhing in pain; the next she's chilling in the forest with three young women. And then chanting a black-metal hymn on a snow-capped Scandinavian mountain. It might not make sense, but it's completely hypnotic. J. Bennett
In Bill Yukich and Perou's Hitman Absolution–influenced clip for Heaven Upside Down's first single, a Manson-led team of hot nuns blows up a mini-van, wastes some bystanders with their semi-automatic weapons and sexually terrorizes a suburban family. It's deeply unsettling yet profoundly entertaining — which is exactly how we like our Manson. Dan Epstein
If you've seen Frank Carter live, you know that he's one of the best frontmen in rock, a sharp-dressing, stage-diving, on-top-of-the-crowd-headstanding, punk-to-the-core maniac. This dancing-by-myself video — for a sultry stand-alone single he's described as "an obituary of a love song, and a reminder to live in the now" — may not capture him in full-on beast mode, but it does showcase his wiry charisma and sweet move-busting skills. Shot in the neon-soaked mirror maze of the Samsung Hypercube, the infectious clip functions as the rock answer to "Hotline Bling" we didn't know we needed. Brandon Geist
What's better than an animated Obituary video starring the revered Floridian death dealers as their cartoon selves? How about an animated Obituary video set at a Nasty Savage gig that turns into the zombie apocalypse? Directed by Hungarian animator Balázs Gróf, this hilarious clip features stellar cameos, a "Thriller"-style dance routine and fantastically original zombie kills. J.B.
The alt-rock Nineties are alive in Chelsea Wolfe's "16 Psyche" video. Directed by Zev Deans (Behemoth, Portal), the enveloping clip is all leering fisheye, smoke machine fog and haunted asylum vibes, the perfect accompaniment to the bluesy song with its Troy Van Leeuwen lead guitar licks. 120 Minutes should be revived just to play it on repeat. B.G.
If you never had a chance to catch the Dillinger Escape Plan throw down onstage, kick yourself hard — the spazcore mad men clock out for good at the end of the year. That said, the seizure-inducing video for "Limerent Death" — shot over the course of the quintet's farewell tour/death march through Europe — may come as close to capturing the group's infamously unhinged live performances as anything ever will. B.G.
Directed by Revolver's own Jimmy Hubbard with Jeremy Danger and Travis Shinn, this stark and stunning black-and-white clip uses oblique religious and sexual imagery to vividly impart the tale of a (un)holy man (played by frequent Revolver contributing writer J. Bennett) using his charismatic powers to unleash hell on earth. In other words, an appropriately evocative taster for Integrity's brilliant Howling, For the Nightmare Shall Consume LP. D.E.
From abominable snowmen and reptilian sexpots, to prog-loving aliens and Can references, there's a hell of a lot to gawk at in Red Fang's insane, animated "Not for You" video. Not only is the clip characteristically hilarious, but it also serves as the band's tribute to its hometown of Portland — better known as America's cryptozoological capital. Z.C.
Essentially a long and elaborate dance routine impressively executed by QOTSA main man Josh Homme, this spectacularly choreographed clip comes complete with satanic backup dancers, a dead ballerina and more snazzy wardrobe changes than you can shake a stick at. If Fred Astaire were still alive, he'd be all "WTF?" J.B.
Opening with a politically poignant Nietzsche quote, this black and white clip sees two priests duking it out while a crowd of school kids encourage them to beat the piss out of each other. Also, a creepy nun crams communion wafers into her va-jay-jay and some dude gives birth to ... something. Point is, this video rules. J.B.
Partly inspired by David Mamet's Pulitzer Prize–winning play (and later film) Glengarry Glen Ross, director Robert Schober envisions the Grim Reaper as a hapless working stiff desperately trying to snuff the members of Mastodon. Hilarity ensues and doppelgangers abound, but never underestimate the power of a well-placed banana peel from Brian Posehn's fruit stand. J.B.