It’s time for the second installment of the best videos and EPs awards on the RMR ‘zine. Our crew’s first attempt last year was a pretty snazzy success, so we’ll continue with that second major annual Top 3 list with a new installment. Now, whilst 2020 was a pretty fertile ground for shorter offerings, 2021 turned out to be a bit more frugal.
This was especially true for videos. Many of the clips we saw over those last 12 months were the typical band-in-action pieces. So, nothing to really write home about, they’re all kind of similar. Methinks that the current pandemic played a big role in this, too. It’s indeed safer to just shoot a video on stage in an empty music hall. And sometimes restrictions might have prevented bands to go out and do some real filming. But we did find enough material to make a choice nonetheless.
EPs1) had better success with one last-minute surprise. However, those shorter plays were still in somewhat scarcer supply this year. Many of them were a tad listless with only a very few making it onto the ‘zine. But the quality of the last ones standing was indeed very good.
RMR’s 2021 Top 3 Videos
# 3 – Iron Maiden – The Writing on the Wall
The band’s 2021 full-length record Senjutsu did not quite reach Top 10 honors on the RMR ‘zine. And that’s mainly because the new album wallowed a tad too much in the known run-of-the-mill maiden back catalog. Now, that’s much to the contrary of what was suggested on their first clip, though. The Writing on the Wall hints at a new Iron Maiden, full of new ideas and with a slightly different style. One that comes with Desert Metal fantasy airs. An upgrade in direction that would have made them step out of their very own box. And we fancied the good ol’ Disney style cartoon that went with it. It’s a different type of video for once, and exceedingly well done, too. Hence, Bruce’s merry men need to have their place on this Top 3.
# 2 – Faun – Halloween
If you fancy a sumptuous setting and some stellar cinematography, then look no further than this clip. Faun truly outdid themselves on the storyline and a myriad of small and juicy details. Magick sometimes imagined from a more modern viewpoint, yet always strictly in line with the old ways. It’s of course true that clip and track both serve an abundance of clichés and will mostly please the dreaded mainstream. Yet, the stunning production and attention to detail truly blew us away. A guilty pleasure of sorts, but a damned good one.
# 1 – Cellar Darling – Dance
If there would be the Scary Clip of the Weird award at RMR, this video would top everything out there. The band said it was inspired by the dancing plague of 1518. I am just a tad unsure as to what exactly guys and gals being tortured in plastic bags has in common with that bizarre dance event some hundreds of years back. However, the sublime and utterly strange2) setting really fascinated the hell out of us. The video would probably top any one of those Hollywood horror movies out there. And the band truly pulled all the strings to increase the dread factor. Yet, the scariest feature pretty much is Anna Murphy‘s angelic voice that happily injects its venom into the midst of gore and suffocation. Gruesomely good stuff.
RMR’s 2021 Top 3 EPs
# 3 – Maziac – Permutations
There are bands out there that sport real talent that will go far. And Maziac here truly qualify. Their EP’s accomplished mix of complex, snazzy, and tech-driven Progressive Metal and astonishing Alternative Rock blew us away. Theirs is a style that takes no prisoners and thrives on the boundless energy of the young. Once they finally come forward with that full-length, their new piece will certainly rival the biggies in that genre. There, the RMR crystal ball on full display, which – of course – is always an uncertain affair. What is certain, though, is the fact that this EP truly belongs on this Top 3.
# 2 – Rage in my Eyes – Spiral
Should Brazil be the new cradle for Heavy Metal? The RMR deckhands here think it should. If you’re unsure, just head over to the enraged ones and have a word with them. The RMR crew already found a few tasty nuggets of that genre from the Southern hemisphere, none of them bad. And those bands have a knack to mix local custom with those soaring tropes that are so typical with this genre. Rage in my Eyes just delivered a stellar piece of red-hot metal of that ilk. And there won’t be one millisecond of boredom on this short blurb. We promise.
# 1 – Final Coil – Somnambulant II
And here’s to the year-end surprise of the year, and it’s strangely floating way out there in the left field. If you’d like to find out how to reinvent old material and present it to the world in a strangely alluring ethereal robe, Final Coil will be able to tell you. This short EP is a masterclass of giving the term lucid dreaming a new meaning. An alternative piece that lets you sightlessly roam over its wispy soundscapes. And you’ll nonetheless take it all in, yet you don’t quite understand how this happened. The crafty and masterful execution of that theme truly earned them folks from the UK the numba one spot on this Top 3. And deservedly so.