Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Video Review: IF I DIE TODAY Cursed by Heather Dawson

From 2016 full-length Cursed
I'll start by saying I don't know If I Die Today at all. This Italian metal band has crafted a concept album "Cursed" taking songs from the viewpoints of Jesus, Lucifer, Adam and others. Let's face it in a world of iTunes a full concept album is rare; it means asking people to pay for it and to have the attention span to listen to at least ten songs at a time. I for one love the album as a novel; it takes me away to a sonic fantasy world. A respite from the mundane day to day.
So now we come to the last song on this album, the titular "Cursed". The music is hypnotizing and entrancing; I'm enraptured. Normally, I'm not a huge fan of the type of vocals featured in this song but even here I find myself drawn in. The vocals are hyper masculine and I always feel as if it's impossible to have any emotion outside of anger when employing this sound. Again I find myself mystified by my lack of understanding. I think I'm pretty smart - maybe I'm blind in a world that is upside down and backward.
Another thing to know is that I work as a mental health professional. So in this world of mine if I see a band called "If I Die Today" my hackles raise up a few inches. I get nervous that some fourteen year old is prepping for his own Armageddon in his corner of the world. So I was apprehensive about taking on this video.
In the 'boy was I wrong category' we have a beautiful tender song - gentle and flowing - what seems to be a distorted fuzzed out bass (?) sound leads us down both a watery path and a leaf-laden trail. The sound is much like Tool or a clinically depressed Jane's Addiction. The video reveals two beautiful youths - a young girl - lying in about two inches of water by the shore and a young man asleep in straw and leaves in the forest. One of the sea; one of the land. The girl's power drawn from the tides, the moon, her own body, and the ocean; the boy's from the heat and depths of the lava flowing in and under the earth. They rest easy at first until the reality of love, life, their natures, their pending, looming adulthood; all of life's agonies are spit forward in blood pouring from their mouths. We are all children at first, our bodies and spirits cradled in innocence until those bodies and spirits betray us as we grow older. We transform, we ache when we grow, we bleed, we ruminate, and we go mad with a lust we cannot even comprehend or identify. We make ourselves impure and are horrified by ourselves.
The beautiful couple never meet in this short film; the word 'video' is too limited in scope. They endure their pain and confusion alone and separate. Are they to meet one day? Help one another in their terror and sadness? The girl is a water sign, all fluid and transparent; the boy is solid and strong and of the earth. The most complimentary of relationships according to the common astrology. Each entity pushing and pulling on the other. The water carving its way through the earth - the earth providing a sturdy bed for the water. The water giving the earth nourishment so the earth may grow stronger and more beautiful. But these two are apart - they cannot aid one another as they should and so they are sick from the 'darkness' their apartness ... And this sickness spills from their mouths in the dark ooze of gore. It's too gorgeous - the whole thing and I have watched it a bunch of times already and everyone it takes me in another direction on another trip.
But let's focus on the music for a moment. Again, not a fan of the growl throughout an entire song but here it's beautiful and the power is overwhelming. The instrumentation flows like the water and the blowing leaves in the film. This song is an indication of the entire album I am pretty sure I have a new album to buy on payday.
Having never heard If I Die Today before I was unsure of what to expect and what I got was the unexpected. Beauty and pain in luscious sound and pictures. Lucky me. -Heather Dawson

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