Visual Rhetoric: October 2017

Saturday, 4th November 2017

With cooler temperatures approaching, there’s plenty of time to sit down at the computer and check the latest videos on Youtube (surely, we aren’t the only ones sitting at computers anymore right?). No matter your method of watching videos (cell phone, tablet, game system, etc), you’d be wise to check out our offerings this month. We feature Amberian Dawn, Annihilator, Celtic Frost, Deadtide (pictured above), Galactic Cowboys, GWAR, Seraphiel, Synthetic, Throne of Heresy, and Wind Rose.

Amberian Dawn
“I’m The One”
Darkness of Eternity
Napalm Records

Finnish melodic/symphonic metal band Amberian Dawn decide to emphasize more of their dramatic/heavier side on this offering for “I’m the One”. Capri’s theatrical nature captures the bombast beautifully, while there’s an equal engagement on the guitar/keyboard front. The video moves back and forth between band performance and narrative storylines – as an older queen remains still until a series of events unfolds to bring her back to life – through a ceremonial unveiling of a five-piece stone pendant. The bass solo adds excitement to the instrumental section, while the resurrection of the ‘queen’ includes a stunning twist for the end of this story. Proof of why the visual medium still has its place in metal. – Matt Coe (Amberian Dawn on Facebook)

Annihilator
“Pieces of You (This Is Not a Love Song)”
For the Demented
Silver Lining Music

Jeff Waters going for the literal route here, obviously, with “Pieces of You” taking on its actual meaning, as in, depicting a scorned lover hacking up his former significant loved one all up. It’s pretty gruesome stuff all the way through, resulting in the main character eventually dining on human remains. Cannibalism to the max! But perhaps more importantly, it’s a strong, diverse number from the Canadians, who sometimes tend to sound like they’re ramming their heads up against a brick wall of trite lyrics and themes. Given the melodic nature of “Pieces of You” and Waters’ expanded vocal range, Annihilator are doing their best to get out of the veteran thrash box. – David E. Gehlke (Annihilator on Facebook)

Celtic Frost
“A Dying God Coming Into Human Flesh”
Monotheist
Century Media
The sudden passing of Celtic Frost bassist Martin Eric Ain shed a light on his influence on the band. While forever second fiddle to Tom G. Warrior, Ain’s superlative lyrical ability and artistic vision — hereby represented in the video for “A Dying God Coming Into Human Flesh” from 2006’s Monotheist — was steeped in anti-religious imagery. Ain, vastly intelligent and well-spoken (this scribe would know after conducting a two hour-long interview with him!) helped illuminate Celtic Frost’s image in a way few bands could match. And while Celtic Frost’s 2008 demise effectively ended Ain’s recording career, his legacy lives on. – David E. Gehlke (Celtic Frost official website)

Deadtide
“Begin the Dream”
The Great Unknown
Self-Released

Modern melodic death metal act Deadtide successfully crowd-funded to get this, their first music video, created. Bringing in director Thomas Tjäde (In Flames, Pyramaze), their efforts are rewarded with a video that can stand up with the major league bands. While it does in fact, focus solely on the band, lots of close-up shots, some lyrics on the screen, and flashing lights provide more than enough entertainment for this catchy melodeath anthem. Deadtide carries the spirit of bands like Soilwork, In Flames, and Scar Symmetry into their music, and “Begin the Dream” is the quintessence of what they can do with a soaring chorus and addictive riffing. Top-notch videos like this one should get them some well-deserved exposure. – Kyle McGinn (Deadtide on Facebook)

Galactic Cowboys
“Internal Masquerade”
Long Way Back to the Moon
Mascot Label Group

It’s the groovy, melodic hard rock/metal return for Texas band Galactic Cowboys, and it’s as if they’ve never stepped away for this long (give or take 17 years). Combining band footage in a house setting with visuals that include a bullet train, gas masked lawn maintenance men, and clown/makeup adorned people – it’s as trippy as the song, and we wouldn’t expect anything less from these gentlemen. The split screen band action between individual shots and four window visuals keeps interest, as does the multi-part vocal harmonies during the chorus. Glad to see them back – we can all use a reminder that many of our older heroes can still deliver the goods. – Matt Coe (Galactic Cowboys official website)

GWAR
“I’ll Be Your Monster”
Blood of the Gods
Metal Blade Records

Giving fans exactly what they are looking for is never a bad thing. GWAR’s most recent video for their newly released Blood of the Gods, does exactly that. The catchy tune is accompanied by plenty of over-the-top gore and humor (including a few real laugh-out-loud moments for the sick among us). The band does some truly amusing kills as they rampage through a house, with the best of which coming from a pizza box headstomp halfway through. Rooftop guitar shredding, flying intestines, rocking grooves amid destruction – and Blothar even gets the girl at the end. What more could a GWAR fan want? – Kyle McGinn (GWAR official website)

Seraphiel
“Heretic”
N/A
Self-Released

Perhaps the most odd video this month, Seraphiel spread their ‘super power metal’ wings with “Heretic.” The Nitte Valo (ex-Battle Beast/Burning Point) led group play some rather frantic and energized power metal that quite often soars. Dizzying speed and flashy guitarwork, with Valo’s charismatic screams set the stage for a young woman who really seems to crave a burger. Downing some alcohol and rushing through to the front of the food truck, she ends up in a fight and gets punched in the face. The video ends with her swinging fists at dawn, at no one, as the food truck worker looks on in a closing, confused look. While it may be a little perplexing, it’s no doubt entertaining and leaves the listener wanting to hear more. – Kyle McGinn (Seraphiel on Facebook)

Synthetic
“Lie”
Here Lies the Truth
Self-Released

Synthetic’s debut, Here Lies the Truth, took the energy of melodic death metal and took it in a way that felt unique. The recent video for “Lie” is a prime example of their ability to craft some serious melodies. Cutting between the band, cleverly placed email images, and some tech-ridden surveillance footage, it provides some strong visuals for the emotionally-driven track. It plays along like a short, cinematic piece that slowly unfolds. If you missed out on last year’s release, this should be a pleasant reminder for you to check them out, particularly for melodeath fans. – Kyle McGinn (Synthetic on Facebook)

Throne of Heresy
“Liber Secretorum”
Decameron
The Sign Records

Throne of Heresy’s Decameron is a concept album about the Black Death. So it lends itself easily to some rather ‘metal’ looking videos. “Liber Secretorum” does not disappoint, particularly with being shot at the Alvastra Abbey ruins. There’s a sense of dark beauty and grandeur in the visuals, as it switches between some traditional band shots and that of a hooded figure carrying a deceased child wrapped in white cloth and later self-flagellating, along with some quick cut close-up shots of things such as mushrooms (which adds a cool visual aspect with the quick changes). An enjoyable, high-concept video that captures the essence of the track itself. – Kyle McGinn (Throne of Heresy on Facebook)

Wind Rose
“The Returning Race”
Stonehymn
Inner Wound Recordings

The third single from Wind Rose’s latest album Stonehymn, “The Returning Race” lends itself easily to a visual interpretation – the song containing folk inflections and ancient choir/chanting against the electric riffing and cultural-oriented arrangement. Campfire settings cut back and forth against the dwarfs and orcs marching forth through the woods and nature – armed to the gills with their hammers and gear. The alien amphibian creature gives this a Braveheart/Lord of the Rings atmosphere, and the slow-motion filming at times aids the epic nature of the song. Kudos to these Italians for offering an enticing audio-visual sensory outing for this go around. – Matt Coe (Wind Rose on Facebook)