Thursday, December 28, 2017

Video Review: THE MODERN AGE SLAVERY Miles Apart by Alan Lisanti

Miles Apart
From their new full length Stygian released on Innerstrength Records November 24 2017
Produced, directed and shot by Art Distillery
Make Up Artist: Silvia Rosa
Many bands strive to tell a story in their videos in order to accompany the song itself, and expand upon the artistic vision and visual representation of their music. When done right, the visual aesthetic can bring across the lyrical and musical concepts contained in their songs in a whole new light. The two combined can be a powerful force and serve to enhance the musical aspects of the song itself through a visual medium. Sometimes the aim goes astray, and the concept becomes convoluted and loses people, or adds to their confusion more than it offers to further the meaning behind the sounds emanating from their speakers. However, when it is done right and put together well with a vision as thought out and well executed as the music itself was in the first place, the result is often as memorable and effective as a well written piece of music can be on its own. Storytelling is a form that can be explored and told through many lenses or mediums. It is often a challenging task in and of itself to do so successfully by utilizing only one form of communicating that creative expression. The Modern Age Slavery has managed to do both with their video for Miles Apart. Sometimes, Metal tends to suffer from the overtly cheesy, try too hard, and unintentionally comedic execution of merging both video and audio into one. Whether its lack of budget, a lack of vision, or missing the mark in terms of execution, Metal has plenty of examples of falling short when it comes to the visual side of their art. Miles Apart doesn't fall into that category, or suffer from not quite getting it despite the efforts put forth. Visually, the video suits the song, is done tastefully, and avoids many of the old clichés and pitfalls of Metal videos. Granted, the video is a mash up of storytelling and shots of the band in their element doing what they do best by playing their instruments. But even the old cliché of "just shoot us rocking out and playing in a room" doesn't come off as typical or the sort of thing that you've seen done so many times before. This is because of the execution, and the melding of jamming in a dark room along with the art of storytelling. The result is a video that serves the song and even offers some insight into the lyrical concept of the song itself. It sounds like an easy enough of a concept, and straightforward enough of an idea to simply take the lyrical content of a song and translate it into the visual art form, but clearly it is the sort of thing that needs to be done a certain way in order to come of successfully when all is said and done. Though, subtle in some instances, and in your face in others, the overall atmosphere and ambience is presented in a way that pulls you in and definitely does its job well. It's not too over the top, and it's not too outlandish. It finds that balance between taste and darkness, evil subject matter and visual manifestation, and execution and ambition. The song is already darkly atmospheric and relentlessly heavy by itself, but the video brings these characteristics out to the forefront even more so by serving its purpose so well. I had to watch it again while reading along to the lyrics just because the visuals were so captivating and managed to speak to that part of one's imagination that makes you want to dig even deeper, if for no other reason than morbid curiosity. In doing so, it really clicks how well the video was handled and proves that the eyes were witnessing a piece of art brought to life through the magic of a camera and the visual medium of music videos in a way that mirrors the grim nature of the sound of the song itself as well as the dark subject matter of which it speaks of. Sometimes it's not about reinventing the wheel so much as it's about executing on a clear vision, and getting the right things right. This one functions as another piece of art that the viewer can take seriously, and avoids coming off as too over the top or cheesy. In my mind, that's all you need to add to your creative arsenal, and give fans something else to sink their jaded or hard-to-please teeth into. -Alan Lisanti

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