Visual Rhetoric – January 2019

Saturday, 9th February 2019

Opening the floodgates for the start of a new year, 2019 has already made some pretty grand statements when it comes to some of the videos (and glimpses of future releases). We are definitely off to quite the start, and it looks to be quite a busy year. We check out videos from At the Gates, Delain, Edge of Paradise, Forever Still, The Mariana Hollow, Mother of Millions (pictured above), and Red Handed Denial.

At the Gates
“The Mirror Black” [featuring Rob Miller]
The Mirror Black 7″
Century Media Records

Given how dark and moody the original version of the closer “The Mirror Black” felt, it makes perfect sense to give it an equally atmospheric and chilling video to accompany it. At the Gates’ experiment with using some different vocalists (including Amebix/Tau Cross frontman Rob Miller) is a fascinating one, and Miller gives the song an even darker, and almost black metal/doomy feelings at times. The video uses a ton of symbolism and hidden meanings in an eye-catching way, which gives plenty of reasons for multiple viewings to figure out what is going on on that factor alone. – Kyle McGinn (At the Gates on Facebook)

Delain
“Masters of Destiny”
Hunter’s Moon
Napalm Records

If you are going to title a song “Masters of Destiny,” it really needs to have an epic tone to it. Delain was clearly up for the challenge with this, from both the audio and visual standpoint, and the first taste of Hunter’s Moon is wholly striking. Captivating images from Iceland that are both dark/stormy and serene, they really do set the stage perfectly for the bombastic and grandiose track. Somewhat more in line with their earlier days from a sonic perspective, there’s a masterful performance here sure to ensnare fans and leave them longing for more. – Kyle McGinn (Delain on Facebook)

Edge of Paradise
“Face of Fear”
Universe

The second video this month to include some riveting scenery straight from Iceland, “Face of Fear” is never at a lack for poignant images. The band plays their hearts out while you can take in the gorgeous landscape surrounding them. There’s a lot of really stunning shots as they pan away from the band, really capturing the nature aesthetic. Contrast that beauty with the driving, electronic nature of the song, with some bouncy riffs that really make the band stand out from some other metal acts at the moment. They stand at the brink of a breakthrough once Universe is released. – Kyle McGinn (Edge of Paradise official website)

Forever Still
“Rew1nd”
Breathe in Colours
Nuclear Blast

There’s a lot to dig into with Forever Still’s first single from their upcoming sophomore album. “Rew1nd” starts off with some righteously heavy, groovy riffing that shows the band eager to continue their evolution (with some enhanced electronics to boot), along with a stunning chorus full of the same honest touch that made Tied Down such a winner. Then there’s the video itself, with some floaty Matrix-effects to start, images of war, and a drone chase all to take in. Forever Still seems deadset on bringing everything to the next level if “Rew1nd” is any indicator. – Kyle McGinn (Forever Still on Facebook)

The Mariana Hollow
“Circus”
The Abandoned Parade
Self-Released

With lyric videos becoming a solid alternative to making a full-fledged one, many bands are stepping up their game when it comes to the visual side of them. “Circus” has some absolutely fantastic images to accompany the lyrics of the song and really help it to stand out amid other videos like this (love how the tree stands out). As for the song, as the first preview of their upcoming album, the modern metal act focus on catchy hooks (particularly the chorus) and stays away from the more symphonic side of things. A straight-up rocker of a track. – Kyle McGinn (The Mariana Hollow on Facebook)

Mother of Millions
“Amber”
Artifacts
ViciSolum Records

Given the video budgets that metal bands have to work with, it’s somewhat rare to see something that feels more like a short film than anything else. “Amber” does this well though, focusing on a man and woman (who both do an exceptional job) in a bit of turmoil and the way the video ends things is on a poignant, uplifting note. In other words, the perfect complement to the progressive metal band’s epic and somewhat floaty track. Just enough heaviness, but an emotionally resonant tone that seems to escalate as the track continues, pulling you in and never letting go. – Kyle McGinn (Mother of Millions on Facebook)

Red Handed Denial
“Clockwork”
Redeemer
Self-Released

Combining metalcore and modern prog in a way that’s instrumentally intricate yet still undeniably catchy on the first listen, Red Handed Denial’s first single from their upcoming album holds some massive promise. Energetic riffs, strong vocals, and even a well-placed breakdown – there’s a lot to dive into and dissect. Or you can just enjoy the video, which has a masked scientist and some test subjects, along with some mannequins that ends in a pretty cool reveal at the end. Whatever your preference, Red Handed Denial will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression (and a yearning to hear what’s next). – Kyle McGinn (Red Handed Denial on Facebook)