We often talk about the aesthetics which surround a band which go further than just their music: clothing, artwork, lyrics, videos, stage sets and more. All of these blend into what is, ultimately, an intellectual construct, the image of the band in our heads. This image is important to understanding and appreciating the music. It can tilt it in numerous directions and even cause us to pay attention to something that we might not have, otherwise. One of the bands with the most grandiose and ambitious history at creating this extra aesthetic is Dumbsaint. The post metal ensemble from Australia has been delving, for years now, deeper into a shared image base for their releases. Their three part album, told in reverse, Disappearance in A Minor Role, was a step up in this regards: it was accompanied by intriguing video-art, opening a portal into the dark landscape which operated in tandem to the music.
But this time, the band have outdone themselves. Their latest album, Panorama, in ten pieces., was released in August of last year and was a damn masterpiece. I’ve written a lot about it, so go check it out over here. With its monumental musical achievement, we also got two videos: “Cold Call” and “Rosie”. It was obvious, both from the videos themselves, and from statements from the band, that these were part of a larger story. How much larger? Panorama, in ten pieces. is a feature film, matching every single second of music found on the album. Having been privileged enough to watch the whole thing well ahead of its June 13 release, I can safely tell you that it’s amazing.
The true hero of the film is a neighborhood, a classic, suburban neighborhood such as you might find all over Australia and, indeed, the world. However, in the cover of night, the classically bourgeoisie houses and equally “normal” denizens transform into something else, part of a larger story of betrayal, loneliness, desperation and hunger. As they shift between house to house, agenda to agenda and life to life, the dark fabric of their lives begins to unravel before our eyes. Now, you have a chance to peer into one of the strangest parts of this gripping story; we’re proud to be premiering the third part of this expansive tapestry. Head on below to check out “Love Thy Neighbor”!
The type of horror is low-key, focusing more on a distinct sense of wrong and the unraveling of every day lives rather than the inherently bizarre or otherworldly. Notice the large part which routine plays in this video; this is true of the other segments as well. The idea that the everyday keeps us safe but also holds a hidden darkness is one which runs as a common thread throughout this entire tale. Something as simple as a neighbor, a party, a walk down your street, is transmogrified into things which are not exactly sinister, since there’s no malicious actor, but rather to something absurdly different and disturbing.
Notice too the brilliant mix between music and video delivery. Especially mesmerizing is the short dance scene, perhaps imaging in Alison’s head, just as the guitars hit you. Placing the dialogue over the guitars is also a brave move; both reading and listening to the ensuing riffs are complicated tasks but, somehow, they seem to compliment each other. This is also true when the other love interest, the spoke in the wheel, is first introduced to a crashing chord. As sanity for our protagonist spirals down, so too the music. At its eeriest, it contributes to the confusion created by the video: which is real and which the dream might be a common question but it’s no less powerful for being common.
There’s a lot more I can say here: the girl on the laptop, and on the street itself, the home burglar and the physical struggle, all elements which reoccur throughout the film. Alison’s strange detachment. The roles of Tom and his fiancee in the grander scheme of things. However, in doing so, I would be ruining most of the fun of this great release: watching the story duck and weave as it unfolds before our eyes. You would be wise to keep updated on this; when the full release finally arrives, it will give you an experience you’ve probably never had before. Film and music blend together, creating a fascinating conversation which shines a dark, twisted light on our everyday lives. This is one of the most interesting and unique expressions of aesthetic in metal; we would do well to listen/watch closely.