The 21 best videos of 2015

Prison riots. Jumping out of planes. Puking clay models. Phil Anselmo in a monkey mask. When it comes to brilliant music videos, 2015 has been very kind to us. Here are the best 21…

SLAYER – Repentless
If you listen to anyone bang on about how edgy Slayer gigs used to be back in the day, they give the clear impression that they all used to be exactly like this. It’s a bit like Johnny Cash’s Live At Folsom Prison, but everyone’s wearing orange clothes and stabbing each other to bits.

IRON MAIDEN – Speed Of Light
The lead single from the British legends’ new album The Book Of Souls sees their undead mascot Eddie get dragged through a bunch of computer games – and ends up pulling his own heart out. See how many names you can spot on the High Score table at the end.

NAPALM DEATH – Smash A Single Digit
This brilliant animated video goes to explain in great detail that we’re all cogs in a massive, unforgiving machine. Something to think about while we do our last-minute Christmas shopping.

In a nutshell, some people find a body in a river and have a thoroughly rotten day.

CLUTCH – X-Ray Visions
We’re not sure what’s going on really. Neil Fallon has a briefcase while his band seem to be part of a government-led mind experiment programme. He manages to sing without a body at one point, so that’s pretty cool.

MOTÖRHEAD – When The Sky Comes Looking For You
Our protagonist in this high-ish budget Motörhead clip casually wanders around a dodgy town being a bit of a dick. Which is really not on, when you think about it.

RADKEY – Glore
US punk siblings Radkey enlisted the services of director Nicos Livesey for this fantastic claymation promo video. It took a staggering 10 weeks to make, used up over 400 bars of clay and a couple of bottles of sun cream. We bet the creators were glad to see the back of it once it was finished, to be honest.

FAITH NO MORE – Sunny Side Up
We know they’ve been around the block a few times, but we honestly didn’t think Faith No More were this old in real life. Fair play to the lot of them.

FALL OUT BOY – Uma Thurman
In this fancy promo, a lucky fan gets to be the band’s assistant for 24 hours. They get to shoot paintballs at Panic! At The Disco’s singer, wear Pulp Fiction wigs with Pete Wentz and balance a tiny rabbit on Patrick Stump’s head. We’re not sure if that would make any sense on their CV.

If any of Parkway Drive are scared of heights, then they’re doing a bloody good job of hiding it in this vertigo-inducing video. Any stage dive after this will seem positively anti-climactic. Unless it’s from a plane.

PRIMUS – Candyman
What’s with all this clay being used in 2015? We thought everything would look like Tron by now. Mind you, Primus have been fond of claymation for almost three decades. Here’s a woozy video to accompany their take on the song from Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. It looks like what might happen if you took all the acid that was manufactured in the 1960s. Or, failing that, ate a load of chocolate really quickly.

King Parrot haven’t made a bad video, ever. Have you seen their inventive promos for Shit On The Liver or Dead End? No, then rectify that later. Like A Rat features Phil Anselmo in this collection of creepy flashbacks involving a monkey mask and morning cuddles.

MARILYN MANSON – The Mephistopheles Of Los Angeles
Just try saying Mephistopheles Of Los Angeles over and over again. You really can’t. Unless you’re a particularly gifted oratorian. Here’s Manson dressed as some sort of gangster priest. Or vampire. Maybe he’s both. What’s he like? Hanging around with tough criminals then running off at the first sign of garlic, we’d imagine. Oh, Marilyn.

COHEED AND CAMBRIA – You Got Spirit, Kid
Meanwhile, back at Amory High, some dickheads hide Josh Eppard’s towel and hilarity ensues. Contains reluctant male nudity.

Who’s got the bottle to try and kidnap Frank Carter? Imagine him thrashing about in the back of your car. He’d be fucking livid. “Get me aaat of this fackin’ car!” he’d shriek, while giving himself a tattoo. Probably.

THE DARKNESS – Barbarian
Early in the year, Lowestoft’s finest offered fans a taster of their new album, Last Of Our Kind with this animated video for Barbarian. If you like the sound of Justin Hawkins’ hitting notes that could shatter glass alongside images of Vikings causing merry hell, hit play immediately.

FUTURE USER – Voodoo Juju
Rage Against The Machine bassist Tim Commerford highlights how stupid the American health system is in this video. It stars Tom Morello in a bad wig and a cameo from Rush’s Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, and like any music video worth its salt, it features actual footage from a routine spine operation.

A collision between Shane Meadows’ Dead Man’s Shoes and a gritty BBC detective show, the video for True Friends stars Kenneth Hadley from the black comedy Sightseers and a performance from Bring Me The Horizon in a grotty Yorkshire warehouse. You’ll feel a bit empty after watching it, so be warned.

DISTURBED – The Vengeful One
You only have to watch the local news to see the whole world is going to Hell in a five pence carrier bag. Corporate greed, corrupt governments, all that. But Disturbed’s video for The Vengeful One seems to imply that we’ve got bloodthirsty zombies to contend with too. That’s a bit much.

We all love Frank and all, but there’s absolutely no way on God’s green Earth that he’d win in a fight with CM Punk. But, thanks to the power of YouTube and his record label, you can bear witness to the unlikely outcome of this sweaty grapple.

SHINING – Last Day (Live At Trolltunga)
Did Parkway Drive’s video for Vice Grip make you feel a little skittish? Then Shining’s video for Last Day – filmed on a piece of rock 700 metres above a lake – will turn your stomach into a fleshy washing machine. Kudos to the bassist on the right for not shitting himself unconscious.

Simon Young

Born in 1976 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Simon Young has been a music journalist for over twenty years. His fanzine, Hit A Guy With Glasses, enjoyed a one-issue run before he secured a job at Kerrang! in 1999. His writing has also appeared in Classic RockMetal HammerProg, and Planet Rock. His first book, So Much For The 30 Year Plan: Therapy? — The Authorised Biography is available via Jawbone Press.