From animated high-speed chases to fiery explosions on LED panels to straightforward clips of musicians pouring their hearts out, there are so many different directions a metalcore band can take when crafting the perfect music video. Artists are tasked with determining which visual effects will best enhance the story being told in the song.
Over the past few months, metalcore bands young and old have been dropping new videos that’ve completely blown us away. Check out our roundup of some of the best of the year so far and get psyched for the albums that are yet to come.
Architects – “Meteor”
Architects have proven their tremendous artistic growth with the release of their latest album, For Those That Wish To Exist. The record delves deep into their passion for creating a more sustainable future and serves as a call to action for listeners to do their part. The music video for their single “Meteor,” which depicts a world on the verge of an apocalypse, sends a powerful message and is nothing short of a creative masterpiece.
VENUES – “Uncaged Birds”
Featuring horror elements, epic strobe lighting and the quintessential abandoned warehouse setting, this music video by German-based band VENUES is a definite attention-grabber. It’s the third installment in a continuous zombie story told through videos from the band’s forthcoming album, Solace, due out Aug. 27.
While She Sleeps– “NERVOUS” (feat. Simon Neil)
While we can always appreciate the more cinematic and fictitious videos commonly seen in the metalcore genre, there’s something extremely admirable about While She Sleeps’ decision to get introspective instead. They address their own personal struggles in the video for their single “NERVOUS,” off their newly released album, SLEEPS SOCIETY. The band members watch as moments from their lives, along with clips that serve as metaphors for fighting through the everyday challenges of mental illness, flash by on a screen in front of them. It’s intended to send a powerful message, as is the song itself.
ERRA – “Divisionary”
The background graphics and special effects in ERRA’s music videos never disappoint. As if JT Cavey and Jesse Cash’s performance—along with the energy displayed by the rest of the band—weren’t impressive enough, the whole thing is set against a backdrop of dizzying visuals on LED panels, with plenty of artistic shots included.
Atreyu – “Warrior” (feat. Travis Barker)
Who says you need elaborate sets and props to make a great music video? Atreyu chose instead to focus on a literal depiction of the lyrical themes in their song “Warrior”—getting back up when you’ve been beaten down. For most of the video, we see a bloodied Brandon Saller doing just that. Despite the entire video mainly being a fight scene, it’s shot and edited masterfully enough to hold viewers’ attention from beginning to end. Plus, the song, off the band’s upcoming album, Baptize, features blink-182’s Travis Barker. What more could you ask for?
As Everything Unfolds – “Grayscale”
Everything’s coming up roses for British sextet As Everything Unfolds (and no, we’re not just talking about the symbolic rose in the video). They’re already gaining a strong following, thanks to the success of their debut album, Within Each Lies The Other, and the video for their powerful song “Grayscale” is a great demonstration of the fresh energy (and genre-bending abilities) they’re bringing to the scene. Despite the song’s title, the video is dominated by the signature bright red used in all the artwork for the new album. It jumps between shots of the band playing in a red-glowing forest and dramatic, artistic shots of frontwoman Charlie Rolfe submerged underwater. We’re excited to see if As Everything Unfolds can push this aesthetic even further.
SION – “The Blade”
The sheer energy, aggression and passion in former Killswitch Engage vocalist Howard Jones’ delivery is enough to make this otherwise minimalistic video resonate with viewers. Of course, it also doesn’t hurt that we get to see YouTube star Jared Dines shred like the guitar king he is. Watching him perform is always an incredible experience, and it was truly jaw-dropping to see these two combine their superpowers to form SION, one of the most exciting collaborative projects of the year.
Imminence – “Temptation”
The video for Swedish five-piece Imminence’s most recent single, “Temptation,” is pure visual chaos. From the wild flames in the room set ablaze to the slow-motion torture scene during the breakdown near the end of the song—and even the slower, stiller shots of important figures and symbols—there isn’t a dull moment. The band nailed the classic cult-induction story and gave it their own dark spin.
Spiritbox – “Circle With Me”
In case you haven’t heard, metal power couple Courtney LaPlante and Mike Stringer, formerly of iwrestledabearonce, along with bassist Bill Crook, are now taking the world by storm as Spiritbox. Riding the wave of success of their 2020 single “Holy Roller,” the Canada-based trio are gearing up to release their debut album, with the music video for “Circle With Me” having premiered in late April. The video largely centers around LaPlante’s vocal prowess, and we’re definitely not complaining. Making use of strobes and backlighting, the video simply yet effectively highlights the up-and-coming band’s commanding stage presence.
Dreamshade – “Stone Cold Digital” (feat. Rose Villain)
In the video for their single “Stone Cold Digital,” off their newest album, A Pale Blue Dot, Swiss metalcore band Dreamshade offer a unique cinematic take on the era of information overload. It explores the all-consuming nature of modern-day technology via the eyes of characters who’ve suddenly found themselves transported through time. They brilliantly use tech-inspired graphics and visual effects to fully illustrate the concept of immersion, and they wrap the story up with a clever twist that encompasses the video’s core message. There’s also a cameo by Italian singer-songwriter Rose Villain, which comes in the form of her appearing on a TV screen in a 1950s-turned-21st-century diner. It really couldn’t have been done in a better way.
Born Of Osiris – “Angel Or Alien”
Longtime scene veterans Born Of Osiris lean into the origin of their name in the video for their highly anticipated new track, “Angel Or Alien,” which takes place in the Egyptian desert. It’s a depiction of the scales of Maat myth, in which souls were judged by being weighed against a feather, with a distinct alternative aesthetic. Seeing the band’s own visual approach to this well-known story—especially the wide shot of the sinner’s body turning to ash, which seriously looks like it was taken straight from a blockbuster film—gives it an entirely new meaning.
Conquer Divide – “Messy”
With edgy makeup and all-black attire, every one of the five fierce women in Conquer Divide looks like a total badass in this video, but that’s only the beginning of what makes it a work of art. Intentionally blurred shots, light trails and silhouettes all come together to create a moody yet energetic vibe that fits the metalcore song perfectly.
Landon Tewers – “Kill Me” (feat. Rory Rodriguez)
The Plot In You frontman Landon Tewers has been absolutely killing it as a solo artist over the past few years, revealing more versatility as a vocalist with every new release. “Kill Me” has a brighter and less brutal sound than we’re used to hearing from Tewers, but it’s filled with just as much emotion as any track he’s ever had a hand in, as is the accompanying music video. This is another one of those instances where simplicity works. The primary focuses are Tewers himself, who’s on a downward spiral in the company of his studio bandmates, and featured vocalist Rory Rodriguez (Dayseeker), who is making his way over to comfort his friend.
FUTURE FOUNDATION – “Dawn”
OK, so this track by Japanese supergroup FUTURE FOUNDATION—which is composed of three independent acts, Crystal Lake, Shadows and Noisemaker—definitely strays quite a bit from the participating musicians’ metal roots. But in the music video, we get to witness what might just be the most fun collaboration of the year. This joyous energy is exactly what we need coming out of the dark COVID-19 days.
Veil Of Maya – “Viscera”
We couldn’t imagine writing this metalcore list without including at least one animated video—one containing all the grittiness, violence, action and stormy skies you could possibly want. The artwork in general is amazing, and the use of an electric guitar as a literal weapon is genius. Veil Of Maya seemingly drew inspiration from the Borderlands game universe for this video. Now, we’re not sure we’ll ever be able to play again without this epic song as background music.