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Best of 2013: The Top 13 Horror-Themed Music Videos [NSFW]

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As I mentioned in my overview of 2013's best horror-friendly albums, it's been a bountiful year for terror tunes... and I wouldn't want to neglect the amazing visuals that accompanied so many of those sinister sounds. As there were legions of worthy candidates to chose from, and some genres tend to lean more heavily toward horror content than others, I decided my favorite vids from across the spectrum of musical categories – pop, EDM, alt-rock, metal, industrial, hip-hop, experimental and so on. I also went with alphabetical order by artist, to avoid the whole apples-to-oranges thing between musical styles. Many of these vids have been featured on our pages in 2013, while several made their world premieres right here. 
 
A few of these clips are totally unsafe for work viewing, but assuming you've got an age-appropriate viewing audience gathered around the monitor, it's time to shake your blood with a visual cornucopia of rock and shock. Kill the lights, crank the volume and press play!
 
Beauty In The Suffering: “The Crazies (The Zombie Song)”
 
 
The title is really all you need to know about this intense but darkly playful horror romp, featuring the industrial metal supergroup and a swarm of undead groupies. But rest assured "The Crazies" is not your typical zombie-filled music video, and it stands out among dozens of similarly-themed entries to come down the pipe this year.
 
Behemoth: “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel”
 
 
This Polish metal trio is known for embracing controversy, so it's no surprise that they don't hold anything back in their visuals... but this new clip from their upcoming album The Satanist is their most insane production yet. It's also really gorgeous to look at, thanks to the talents of production house Grupa 13.
 
Brotha Lynch Hung: "Krocadil"
 
 
Lynch gets tons of love at FEARnet for good reason: his Coat Hanga album trilogy and video series is one of the more inventive musical concepts of the past few years. This year he wrapped up his twisted tale of a troubled artist/serial killer/superstar in the album Mannibalector, and this clip brings the saga to a grim and brutal conclusion... or does it?
 
David Bowie: “Love is Lost”
 
 
I was overjoyed when Bowie finally returned to the studio after a decade-long hiatus and surfaced with the album The Next Day, then was amazed and horrified (in a good way) by the brilliantly deranged music videos which accompanied the singles. The creepiest of the bunch is this dark and stunning entry, which depicts Bowie as a digitally-projected mannequin based on his many career alter-egos.
 
David Lynch: “Good Day Today”
 
 
No list of freaky visuals (and music) would be complete without an entry by David Lynch, whose new album Crazy Clown Time is every bit as demented as you've come to expect from the legendary artist, director and musician. While Lynch's seizure-inducing clip for the Nine Inch Nails track “Came Back Haunted” was creepy enough, this vid for his own single is far more disturbing on many levels.
 
Dawn Of Ashes: “Poisoning the Steps of Babel”
 
 
One of several music videos released this year to feature inverted religious imagery in a horror context, this slick, sick promo from DOA's superb album Anathema is one of the more flamboyantly entertaining of the lot, with a leering wink to “nunsploitation” cinema and the works of Jess Franco and Nigel Wingrove.
 
Franz Ferdinand: “Evil Eye”
 
 
The flamboyant alt-rockers tap into the spirit of lo-fi '80s horror in this insane clip from their latest album Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action. Director Diane Martel and her team sprayed literal gallons of cheesy gore to capture the kind of backyard splatter epic my friends and I used to shoot with our camcorders many, many summers ago.
 
Hexis: “Tenebris”
 
 
While the non-stop avalanche of exorcism-themed horror features crashing through cinema and home screens in recent years might have dulled the chill that The Exorcist first instilled in our collective psyche 40 years ago, UK director Craig Murray manages to recapture the shocking essence of that classic film in just over four minutes in this promo for the Danish extreme-metal team.
 
How To Destroy Angels: “How Long?”
 
 
Post-apocalyptic worlds are common in the music video realm, but this beautiful nightmare vision from experimental filmmakers Shynola, set to a dark and sensual track from Trent Reznor's excellent side project, is a unique and emotionally powerful depiction of humanity reduced to total savagery... while retaining a tiny spark of hope that makes the scenario all the more haunting.
 
Kvelertak: “Månelyst”
 
 
This amazing Norwegian unit mixes and matches a half-dozen metal styles on their excellent album Meir, and that same "everything-plus-the-kitchen-sink" attitude infuses this glorious visual homage to a half-dozen iconic horror films... and when the filmmakers reached the end of those images, they just made up more of their own.
 
Tesseract: “Singularity”
 
 
Tesseract's awesome concept album Altered State didn't quite make my 2013 best-albums list, as it didn't incorporate overtly horror themes. But one exception is this incredible clip, which plays out like an artsy interpretation of Japanese tentacle Hentai porn. More subtle than it sounds, but incredibly creepy nonetheless, thanks to some sick practical effects work from the Prometheus team.
 
Umberto: “Dead Silent Morning”
 
 
Umberto draws inspiration from smooth electro scores from vintage giallo and slasher cinema, and this video from his latest album Confrontations recreates the feel of those genres so impeccably that I first thought it was re-purposed footage from an existing '80s film. It's not, of course... but I kind of wish this faux flick actually existed.
 
Wrath Of Killenstein: “St. 7000”
 
 
This vid from the horror-metal outfit makes the list for their dead-on homage to the sleazy tone and texture of satanic exploitation cinema of the '60s and '70s, as well as the sheer variety of kinky and creepy images they throw at your eyeballs nonstop for the entire runtime. Sick, grimy and hella fun.
 
As a bonus, I'd like to bring back a fan-made clip we featured last month: while Miley Cyrus's “Wrecking Ball” video wasn't intended to induce nightmares, this digitally-altered version – which twists the vocals into disturbingly uncomfortable harmonies – is definitely one of the creepiest things you'll hear this year.
 
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