Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Music Video Deconstruction 13

Song: Bleed
Band: Meshuggah
Year: 2008

  • Meshuggah is an experimental metal band formed in UmeåSweden in 1987.
  • Meshuggah first attracted international attention with the 1995 release Destroy Erase Improve for its fusion of fast-tempo death metalthrash metal and progressive metal with jazz fusion elements. Since its 2002 album Nothing, Meshuggah has used downtuned eight-string guitars.
  • They have become known for their innovative musical style, complex, polymetered song structures and polyrhythms. They were labeled as one of the ten most important hard and heavy bands by Rolling Stone and as the most important band in metal by Alternative Press. Meshuggah has found little mainstream success as yet, but is a significant act in extreme underground music.
  • "Bleed" is a single from their most recent album, obZen, released in 2008.
  • The video begins with a little extra audio that's not in the song, but is added for atmospheric effect. 
  • There is a variety of extreme close ups of a clock's mechanics and cogs, as the wind in the non-diegetic sound continues to play.
  • The pummelling, heavy main riff of the song begins and the shot changes to a series of extremely surreal opening cuts. There is a man laid on the floor, shown in a mid-shot, then a fisheye lens. 
  • There are also some strange close ups of what looks like a cockroach writhing around on the floor. 
  • Opening shots such as this give the video an extremely feel, especially as there is no performance aspect to the video at all and is purely narrative concept.
  • The camera alternates between this man panicked and afraid, and the bug in the sand, which is really creepy.
  • There are often shots of EXTREME extreme close-ups, such as the man's eye. 
  • The editing for "Bleed" is very quick, and the shots change every half-second or so, so the viewer is shown more. 
  • After these shots, there is a two-shot featuring the man and another man, on all fours in terrifying make up, in a collar behind him. The man on the ground is dressed in traditional "black metal" facepaint that is a big scene in Sweden, where Meshuggah are from.
  • The main protagonist of the video is slowly slipping into insanity; this is characterized by the use of distorting the camera lens so it bends the shape and alters his appearance. 
  • There are also lots of flashes used in the lighting, especially when the two men are screaming at eachother. Similarly, there are plenty of recurrences of similar shots used throughout.
There is a reference to the album cover of obZen as well, as
this figure is the same as the art.

  • The narrative follows the protagonist quickly being taken over by darkness as another strange character turns him into his slave using his mind.
  • I think the lighting is the most imporant feature of this video; most of it is dark apart from light focused on the light fixed on the main characters, though there are flashes of red as well to reinforce the song's message and title, which is about a brain aneurysm. 
  • The filming style carries on in this hectic way up until the point where the man becomes the mysterious entities' slave, becoming so which is depicted through a series of strobe lights and mid shots. This video focuses heavily on the mindset of insanity. 
Our protagonist exhibiting a massive amount of rage, another key theme of the video.
  • The video ends with the man slowly transforming into another one of the creatures that first pursued him; this is shown through another series of flashes and shadows, and the man is shown below his master, almost identical to the design on the album cover. 

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