Mastodon – Curl Of The Burl
This video may just be the best video by any band of any genre this year. As many of you already know, Brann Dailor and Bill Kelliher have ties in the Rochester music scene. I could not compile a list of best video clips without this being number one. Quite simply, Mastodon may be the most influential band in the metal world right now. It is an added bonus that some of these dudes grew up in our back yards.
Nineball – Stand Up
Leave it to this Utica based band of greatness to deliver one of the more visually compelling videos in the Upstate music scene this year. Joe Sweet and the gang have plenty to say, and this video is a picture perfect visual aid to the message delivered within this song. This is a great example of what bands should be striving for when making a music video. Neat side note: The great Electric Company venue is featured in the video.
Sirens and Sailors – Still Breathing (Live at Dubland)
Although this is not an official video from the band, it is of significance within the scene. No one has rose from the ashes this year more than Sirens and Sailors. This Rochester based machine of destruction signed on with Tragic Hero records this year, and has grown into a national touring phenomenon. With the release of their new EP coming next month, you will be hearing a lot more about the band. Stay tuned for a feature in the upcoming weeks.
Opeth – The Devil’s Orchard
Welcome to the fresh new sound of Opeth! The song is a huge departure for the band, and the video fits into that same adventurous spirit. I did not want to include many nationals in this category. However, the trippy visuals are so over the top here, that I could not resist.
Stemm – Left Behind
Buffalo’s Stemm had a great year in 2011. This hysterical video comes on the heels of the release of their new record, Crossroads. It may be one of the funniest videos I have seen this year on any level. I am thinking much bigger things are coming down the line for these guys.
Ice Nine Kills – People Under The Stairs
Ice Nine Kills is a veteran to the scene. Having released this video in mid 2011, it quickly became a fan favorite. Well known for their incredibly intense stage presence, this video is far from disappointing. The guys of Ice Nine Kills had an intense year packed with shows, news and a growing fan base, we predict in 2012 these gentlemen will accomplish great things.
Around The World and Back – Slave
Albany is one of the few scenes that breeds some of most eclectic bands around. I find that many of the bands that sprout from the area absorb so many genres, they create a very distinct sound. Around The World and Back is no exception. Having been familiar with a few of the musicians in this band, they come from a very paralleled music background. Around The World and Back released “Big Beat” earlier this year, and it was very musically satisfying. 2012 will hopefully bring this band about more into the throws of the music scene and industry.
After the Fall – Cents Less
After the fall writes great, honest music. No wardrobe budget, no dressing up, no fake music industry preening bullshit. This is a band that’s in its element best live and the video reflects that.
Still Rings True – What We Carry Inside
Based out of Watertown, Still Rings True had a very fruitful year, and are closing it out currently on tour with Rust Belt Lights, and Maker. Being one of the few pop punk bands still alive and breathing in northern New York, they are sure to get your attention. They have a very interactive stage presence that gets the crowd moving as seen in this video. If you get a chance in 2012, make it out to see these guys.
Armed With Valor – Can I have some Figgy Pudding, Please?
Armed with Valor is very attention getting. Abrasive vocals reminiscent of pioneering hardcore bands, paired with sing-song hooks highlighting current trends. Armed with Valor is a fantastic live show. Breaking into the scene only this past March, they kicked in doors releasing a 3 song demo, and hit venues at every chance offered. I can only imagine what 2012 has to offer this band, and I will patiently wait in anticipation as to what Armed with Valor brings to the local scene next.
-Christine Palmer, Erik Jensen, Brian Lawrence