2019 Award Nominations: Best Music Video ft. A&P Reacts

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Welcome to the 2019 Musicalypse Award Nominations! It is our second year after having changed our Award system over to the staff vote, and to shake things up, this year we’ve invited A&P Reacts to join us in the nominating and voting for the best of 2019. Music videos are a tricky pick each year, but here are our choices for the Best Music Video of 2019!

We’ve put each music video in a playlist on our YouTube account, which you can follow here:

1. Devin Townsend – “Genesis”
2. Everfrost – “Cold Night Remedy”
3. Cellar Darling – “Death” (or anything off The Spell)

First of all, I just want to say that Devin Townsend‘s music video for “Genesis” is a masterpiece. It’s so bizarre and yet somehow strangely perfect for the music and also what I perceive to be Townsend’s personality, that the whole thing is simultaneously brilliant, nonsensical, and not to be taken too seriously. It’s also just extremely visually pleasing.

Next is Everfrost‘s “Cold Night Remedy.” Seeing these guys dance about on the ice, and particularly Benji Connelly moonwalking with his keyboard, is just so delightful and fitting for the music that I can’t help but love it. Also, nonsense happy rocking out with a leg guitar in a sauna, and extremely tiny pants on a tall crane? Sure, why not? It’s great!

Lastly, if I was going to cheat I’d nominate Cellar Darling‘s entire The Spell album, because it was such an ambitious project, a great concept album, and Costin Chioreanu‘s artwork is a really great blend of gorgeous and eerie, ultimately making the whole album and concept come to life. Each song has a video done in this style bringing a new level to the story-telling in the concept. It’s hard to objectively pick which one is best because it’s like picking which song is best, so… here’s my favorite song from the album, “Death,” with its custom-made Chioreanu video:

Honorary mention(s): Metal de Facto – “Conqueror”; Hevisaurus – “100; anything by Belzebubs

1. Belzebubs – “Cathedrals of Mourning”
2. Rammstein – “Deutschland”
3. Devin Townsend – “Genesis”

This is the most Finnish thing ever made. Belzebubs is, of course, the fictional black metal band from the eponymous comic strip series by JP Ahonen. The “Cathedrals of Mourning” music video has everything. It starts out moody and downright badass with it’s Immortal-inspired visuals of the band on a snowy mountaintop. It’s done through a filter that makes it look like a silent film, bringing to mind German expressionist films such as Metropolis or Nosferatu. Since it’s like a silent film, they had the lyrics on as titles – that’s inspired! The characters from the strip still shine through and the video lets them be who they are. At the end it devolves into pure cartoonish hijinks. It’s beautiful, awesome, and funny.

I have to give this one to Rammstein. I don’t even care if they can be considered metal, or if the song is even half good. We’re nominating music videos here. “Deutschland” has an epic intro, a story, and humongous production values. What else do I even have to say? Even I have to admit it’s the most impressive music video I’ve seen this year.

So, I’m pretty sure we’re all in agreement that “Genesis” by Devin Townsend is a brilliant video? It’s incredibly silly, chaotic, and crazy. It fits the song perfectly – and therefore it’s a great video. Done.

1. Soen – “Lotus”
2. Opeth – “Svekets prins”
3. Alcest – “Protection”

Just like Bear, I have to praise Costin Chioreanu‘s work and nominate not one, but two videos from him. Soen has truly nailed the visual side of things during the Lotus album cycle, as both “Martyrs” (I regret not having this video among my last-minute nominations last year!) and “Covenant” had thought-provoking videos, but the animated clip for the title-track is my favorite, as it adds another dimension to the lyrics, and its representations of modern life really speak to me.

My other Chiorenau clip of choice is “Svekets prins” by Opeth, which is a more literal take on the theme of the lyrics – forced marriage – but again his visuals add to the song, and the part where a creepy smiley mask is put on the unwilling bride’s face (“shut up and be happy!”) right before the heaviest riff of the song is particularly chilling.

My third choice is “Protection” by Alcest. Dancing is not something you see in metal videos too often, but this dancer’s performance is quite impressive and beautiful in all its intensity and complements the dynamics of the song to a tee.

1. Belzebubs – “Cathedrals of Mourning”
2. Insomnium – “Valediction”
3. Blind Channel ft. GG6 – “Snake”

Honestly, whenever Belzebubs releases a new video, I’m excited already for the opportunity to see these comic book characters come to life, but also for the fact that there’s so much of the visual metal culture and meta captured in them, and obviously the fun cartoon times. “Cathedrals of Mourning” doesn’t include as much “small band making a music video with shoelace budget” hilarity as “Blackened Call,” as the start gives you the exact look and feel of a music video from a signed band in Belzebubs’ genre should – until the inevitable hilarity ensues. There’s so much good stuff going on that I could easily watch it few times in a row and be just as amused each time, and it’s well on its way to being one of my favorite music videos ever.

It’s no secret I’m a big fan of Kaira Films’ music video productions, and this year my very favorite from them is, also unsurprisingly, Insomnium‘s “Valediction.” It perfectly illustrates the certain Finnish type of melancholy that’s clearly audible in the whole album – it’s hard to think of a more quintessentially Finnish music video from recent years, and only one from the top of my head that would surpass it at that would be Sentenced’s “No One There.” The combination of stunning views and the storyline (that continues in another video, to the titular track of the album) make a combination that’s at the same time both beautiful and recognizable in many layers of Finnish cultural canon.

Blind Channel has had great videos throughout their relatively short career, and the one for “Snake” is no exception. Fairly minimalistic and clean-cut visually, the execution is stylish and gives proper platform for the expressive power the young musicians – especially the singer duo – hold, along with guest vocalist Henrik Englund [Amaranthe].

1. Hevisaurus – “100”
2. Everfrost – “Cold Night Remedy”
3. Sabaton – “Fields of Verdun”

Hevisaurus really kicked ass with their 100th song, “100.” Not only does it feature some of the best musicians in various Finnish bands, Megadeth, and Gamma Ray, but it heartwarmingly brings together a young generation and a music style that many fear is dying.

A band who plays cold music needs a cold music video, and what’s colder than dumping the band on ice to play in the frozen dead of winter? It’s a good thing Everfrost got to have that sauna afterwards! This music video for “Cold Night Remedy” is both fun and has some Finnish cultural nods that are fun for locals.

Last, the depiction of trench life in Sabaton‘s “Fields of Verdun” may seem to some a bit “Hollywoodized,” but the depiction of trench life remains harsh despite the upbeat music and at least for me, it left an impression.

Honorary mention(s): Devin Townsend – “Genesis”

1. Belzebubs – “Cathedrals of Mourning”
2. Devin Townsend – “Genesis
3. Children of Bodom – “Hexed”

… [the videos appeared in static on a dead screen]

A&P Reacts:
1. Fleshgod Apocalypse – “Sugar”
A video that is an absolute masterpiece of image and sound. The first single and the most visual attractive combination of sound and image of 2019.

2. Belzebus – “Cathedrals of Mourning”
This video is both amazing and hilarious. The creativity of the video and how well it tells the story of the band and their lack of luck is priceless and hilarious. One of the greatest musical moments of 2019.

3. Amon Amarth – Shield Wall
Made you want grab an axe and become part of the shield wall. The video is a mini movie, and one that uses the music as its soundtrack.