Sunday, April 24, 2016

Video Review: SICKNESS IN THE SYSTEM Disappointed by Dave Wolff

This is a band I haven’t heard from in some time; I interviewed them for the print zine a few years ago; but they have remained active and Robbie Manus passed me the Youtube link for this video with a couple updates (an anthology coming in June and a new release coming in July). Disappointed was released as a promotional video and single in April and shows another side to the band, from what I remember listening to around the time I interviewed them. Their past releases Veins and The Scarecrow’s Lament (both released in 2015) had their elements of thrash and death metal but worked toward establishing new frontiers within those subgenres in their own way, whether approaching certain verses or choruses differently or just going all out to shatter the mold. This new track takes a radical turn from those, venturing into goth-like territory with austere, weather-beaten illustrations to associate with it. The development reads like an internal confession that makes Nine Inch Nails comparatively sound cheerful. The video is shot in a grainy black-and-white style that was in some ways similar to E. Elias Merhige’s film Begotten in terms of production. We see an isolated suburban house, a series of shots depicting people traversing abandoned roads and other settings like empty parks and graveyards. There are three nameless characters we see in the course of this video, and it seems deliberately ambiguous as to their relations to each other. It’s mostly for you to decide who finds each other, or experiences fear of growing close to each other, or decide to break things off. You feel the weight of what’s bearing down on them, and it is left open as to what happens between them once the song ends. At least this is what I get from watching this video, and it strikes me as effective filmmaking with much potential. -Dave Wolff

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