We might as well address the elephant in the room right off the bat, as urban dictionary culture has opened an unfortunate path for readers’ minds to travel down during recent years. Long before the acronym THOT brought a cruder insinuation to the table, a Belgian band came together around this name, which celebrates the Egyptian God of writing, knowledge and the moon. While it is understandable that folks who are new to the band might be taken aback initially, I want to make sure it’s clear that the artists’ intent is pure.
Now that we have that out of the way, how about this new THOT video? They have been a wildly creative and thoughtful musical collective for over a decade now, an underrated group that always comes to the table with strong ideas and pro execution. Anyone who saw their set at dunk!2018 knows that they are about more than just music, as they place a keen emphasis on visuals and performance art as well. The video for “RHEIN” stands as proof of that, taking the “performance video” concept into grander territory, building gradually from a simple shot of frontman Gregoire Fray performing the song’s opening to an ambitious and dazzling finale.
Shot entirely in striking black and white, the video gives a good representation of the THOT live experience, featuring thoughtful compositional approaches accented by unique instrumentation and arrangement, bolstered by wardrobe flourishes including robes, headdresses, floral wreaths and flowing dresses that give everything a somewhat pagan aesthetic. In what is made to look like a single shot, the camera moves from performer to performer, growing increasingly dynamic as the song builds in drama, until eventually seeming to become entirely unhinged as strobe lights provide an even more chaotic quality to the visuals.
The song itself is quite inspired. From the first chord that is blanketed with Fray’s attention-commanding baritone, “RHEIN” is a song that promises an experience, and it certainly doesn’t disappoint. It’s a rousing blend of alt-rock, art rock and metal with a presentation and production value that keeps things surprisingly approachable even in its more eccentric moments. The music and the visuals evolve in step with one another, leading to a rousing climax featuring the women of the Constance Choir.
We’re pleased to be the first to share “RHEIN” with you today. You can dig further into THOT’s ample back catalog on their Bandcamp page.