Visual Rhetoric – September 2018

Saturday, 6th October 2018

Alas, the fall has arrived in full-impact. With many DR duties to attend to, we weren’t able to squeeze this column in last month, but just like Sifting Through Bandcamp, the time was right to get back into the full swing of things as the nights get colder and days get shorter. This month we check out Arion, Artillery, Darkness, Odcult, Persona, Rivers of Nihil, Synlakross, Within Temptation (pictured above), and Wolfheart.

“At the Break of Dawn”
Life is Not Beautiful
AFM Records

Initially hearing this song two years ago, it’s cool to see it get an official video treatment. Upbeat and catchy power metal with a modern edge, Elize Ryd’s (Amaranthe) appearance in the video only adds to it. Outside of the usual band framework and playing, there’s black and white story moments (lots of running) to keep it feeling fresh. Prove that things don’t have to be overly complex to be fulfilling on the visual level. Arion are off to a solid start with this one. – Kyle McGinn (Arion on Facebook)

“The Face of Fear”
The Face of Fear
Metal Blade Records

Danish melodic thrash act Artillery return with their first video for the upcoming album of the same name, The Face of Fear. Featuring exotic licks amidst the straight-ahead speed riffs and double kick action, vocalist Michael Bastholm Dahl uses his ample mid-range and high-octane melodies full tilt on this rager. The video features a mixture of band scenes and stock footage around science and war-related themes, probably hand in hand with the lyrical content on display. Fierce, intense, thought-provoking – an appropriate opening salvo for this fall release to hit the streets. – Matt Coe (Artillery on Facebook)

“First Class Violence”
First Class Violence
Massacre Records

A German thrash act with an underground following due to three releases in the mid to late-80’s, Darkness have released the title track video to their upcoming fifth studio album. Black and white in nature, although it is primarily a band performance style effort, there is semi-narrative angle of a man held against his will where you learn how he got into the predicament during the lead break. The brutality of the music goes hand in hand with the man’s intense facial expressions, and surprising calmness during the final scene. Those who love that Teutonic side of speed/thrash will dig Darkness – especially the way the vocalist turns ‘natural’ into ‘nat-ur-ale’ to fit his delivery. – Matt Coe (Darkness on Facebook)

“No One Gets Out Alive”
Into the Earth
Mighty Music

Remember when music videos didn’t take themselves too seriously? Swedish act Odcult certainly do for their latest offering “No One Gets Out Alive”. The five-minute plus song contains everything from a mental health unit visit, individuals hanging off windshields of cars, booze-filled intravenous activity and bar scene robbery for an entertaining storyline. Pimping out their makeshift car with the band logo and pinstripes, you see they escape from the cops in the end. Musically it’s a heavy hard rock cut featuring a simplified, dirty groove and quite the addictive, sing-a-long chorus perfect for people into that stoner meets Mustasch style of music. Separates themselves from the stock band in a warehouse type of visual representation, that’s for sure. – Matt Coe (Odcult on Facebook)


No strangers to our pages at DR, the latest video from Persona provides some spooky vibes while showcasing some of the steps the band took from their debut to last year’s Metamorphosis in terms of diversity and added heaviness. While it may be a ‘band video’ at heart, there’s some really interesting colors to take in. The golden, spinning gears and lighting add some intrigue, as does the setting itself. A nice showcase of how an independent band can push out a video that can sit beside the label-backed acts. – Kyle McGinn (Persona on Facebook)

Rivers of Nihil
“Where Owls Know My Name”
Where Owls Know My Name
Metal Blade Records

Rivers of Nihil have showed their fun side before with videos but nothing really compares to what they’ve done here. A total ’70s-inspired throwback done with lots of trippy (and goofy) psychedelia. In sort, it’s a perfect fit to what the band did musically. The sort of thing where the fun in making it seems to have been transcribed perfectly, and they even invited their guest musicians to get in on the action too. The band has gotten plenty of buzz, but ingenuity like they show here is all the more reason why it continues to flow in. – Kyle McGinn (Rivers of Nihil on Facebook)

“Dark Seed”
Malice Murder

A nice match to the title of the track, plenty of dark and bleak vibes to catch from visual component of “Dark Seed.” It appears the band has upped their heaviness factor from their last release, going for a bit more bottom end and it’s suiting. The band material cuts away towards a number of more fast, twitchy, grim visuals that hit some darker material in an interesting way. High energy and impactful, which serves as a fine introduction to Malice Murder‘s upcoming release. – Kyle McGinn (Synlakross on Facebook)

Within Temptation
“The Reckoning”
Spinefarm Records

Certainly a high-profile video here, Within Temptation’s long-awaited return doesn’t disappoint. The modern metal act still knows how to bring some catchy and energetic material to life. The strong sci-fi vibe of the video itself feels like a short movie more than anything else, with a great meshwork to the track due to the cinematic qualities of it. There’s a massive scope, even compared to some of the band’s previous videos. Exactly what was needed to get fans excited for Resist‘s release, and bring in some new ones with Jacoby Shaddix’s guest appearance. – Kyle McGinn (Within Temptation on Facebook)

Constellation of the Black Light
Napalm Records

Without a doubt, the most enthusiastically ‘metal’ video of those included this month, there’s plenty of fire and brimstone, as well as an epic journey to take in with “Breakwater.” A lone man wanders through some absolutely gorgeous, breath-taking landscapes, slowly gathering the parts to an axe (which is assembled at the end of the video). An epic vibe, one that the fast-moving song also creates, makes it something that fans are going to want to watch repeatedly with it’s combination of suiting isolation/melancholic themes and energetic fury. – Kyle McGinn (Wolfheart on Facebook)

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