Rho Stone’s Audiovisual Adventures – Colors are your friends  

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Let’s talk about science, psychology, stupid trends, and why music videos should ride the rainbow.

It seems Arch Enemy are really happy to have a new album with a new vocalist. They’re so happy, in fact, that they celebrated by making the same music video three times.

And for some reason, they decided it was a good idea to replicate The Book of Heavy Metal three times (apparently the dude who directed that atrocity, Patric Ullaeus, did these too.).

In regards to musicianship, this album is 90% 4/4 time in Presto/Allegro tempo with a generic buttmetal rhythm section and pretty but easily forgettable guitar leads. I think death metal lyrics are cool when they go philosophical, mythological, or just over-the-top creepy, but War Eternal seems to be about the torments of being an average awkward teenager. Is this even considered Death Metal? At least that’s what they call themselves. Their vocalist is a woman that awkward girls want to be and awkward boys want to be with. They write material that will appeal mostly to them. It’s obvious they want to hit it big so they can buy a golden toilet and flush themselves with class.

Now to the videos: Everything is bleached blue (green on “You Know My Name”) except for Alissa White-Gluz and Michael Ammot’s hair, singling them out as the center of attention. Nowadays it’s common to film as colorless as possible and add color in post production. This helps you choose the colors you want for the final product. However, making everything one dull color kills all the possibilities given to us through artistic language and human evolution.

Let me get sciencey for a moment. Let’s talk about the visual system; I’m kind of versed in this because I had to write a paper about it on the first grade. The human eye’s job is to capture light and send it to the brain for interpreting. It’s also able to capture three colors: red, blue and green. Everything we see is through the combination of those three. That’s why screens only display those; it would be moronic to spend time generating colors humans can’t see (some animals, like the mantis shrimp, are able to see way more colors!). The point is that humans have seen these color combinations for millions of years and our brains have evolved to interpret them in different ways. Let’s look at Soundgarden’s “Outshined” (listening to grunge is a thing I do, you’re going to have to roll with it):

Try to imagine this video being other color than orange. It wouldn’t work. Orange is a very important color to the human psyche. To us it can represent daylight, the moment where our ancestors didn’t have their eyesight impaired by the night. It made us feel safe, active and happy. Darker shades of orange remind us of sunsets and bonfires, figures of mythology and mysticism. It’s very pleasing to us. Several cultures around the world, for example Buddhists, hold it as their sacred color. There’s a whole lot of mental baggage surrounding this color and that translates into artistic language. We can use this just like a scale is used to write a song.

Every color has an opposite on the color wheel, and the opposite of orange is blue. There’s a logical reason for having the idiomatic expression “the blues”.  Just as orange represents our comfort zone, blue reminds us of the night and the unknown. This can bring cold, sadness or fear to mind. However, blue also symbolizes the infinity, inquiry, confidence, and imagination, amongst other things. Using the color blue thinking it alone will make you feel the opposite of orange because you only took the time to learn basic AV knowledge makes you look like an idiot.

Lets go back to War Eternal’s bleak color palatte. Its combination cold colors and high contrast is part of a movement I refer to as the Grit Filter. As the Eighties were filled with obnoxious colors, everything now must be dark, gritty, and “mature”. In the future, we’ll look back at this time with the same disdain reserved for Poison. Now more than ever we have the technology to bring colors to life and we mostly use it to edit food photos on Instagram. Crudely mixing orange and blue to give “feeling cues” happens even in Hollywood and that’s as low as putting laugh tracks on blockbusters. (Also every videogame is supposedly “mature” because of tits and characters that say “fuck” a lot but that’s all overshadowed by games like Majora’s Mask that had actual mature themes in them, and that’s the Zelda that has Tingle in it.)

The Grit Filter is not cool or metal; it’s a horrible cliché. Look at any Mastodon album:

blood-mt

Full of color and totally metal

Know what? I’m growing tired of trying to go back to War Eternal and finding something else to say. Colors are metal. Let’s flush those videos and do something else.

So, you’ve been trying to make your video totally dark and brütal and just realized that simply bleaching it blue is a stupid solution? Next I bet you’re going to try black and white.

Look, I really don’t know if Immortal take their shit seriously (the fact that their wikipedia page is written with the seriousness devoted to scientific research doesn’t help either), but for intended purposes I’m going to assume they do. Even if they don’t, a lot of people still do. The thing is that they try to look evil, but end up looking like nerds. To begin with, putting a fake old film effect on your digital video is a stupid decision, as is making a huge contrast between the black and the white. Most importantly, they’re not even using shadows.

As you may have read on W.’s articles on Lovecraft , the strongest fear is the fear of the unknown. In its most basic form, the unknown is that which you can’t perceive. To achieve this feeling on video, you must create images by exposing enough light for the audience to know there’s something there, but not enough to fully distinguish what it is. This is called Low Key Lighting. In 2014 everyone knows what a xenomorph looks like, but back when Alien came out, you never saw it whole. The human mind builds through imagination what it doesn’t see, and there lies the basis for inflicting fear.

You can also create intrigue through using Low Key, as we can see in one of metal’s most iconic videos:

The filming of “One” was a critical point in the history of Metallica. It was their first music video, and they were about to be exposed to an audience who had never heard anything like them. Shadow and light are used as to paint the setting. The video didn’t change One’s quality as a song, but it made Metallica interesting in a world where music videos were flashy bubblegum glam crap. The guy who lighted this video went on to make The Matrix and many other classic movies. “One” helped humanity rid itself of the 80s status quo. We need to start making metal into a symphony of color so I don’t have to go to the movies for two hours of Grit Filter.

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  • I’m sensing a bad attitude towards Immortal, in which case I flush you endlessly!

    • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

      Hate to say it, but Immortal ain’t that great anymore. Their last good album was At the Heart of Winter.

      • Owlswald

        Sons of Northern Darkness was a killer album.

        • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

          Least favorite. Damn near all of the riffs were lifted from At the Heart of Winter.

          • Owlswald

            It was better than Damned in Black. I do admit that their latest album was WEAK. The production was an absolute mess.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Not sure why that album gets so much hate. Especially with this mean motherfucker.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNNlOXJfIvc

          • Owlswald

            I just thought as a whole, S.O.N.D was better. That song rips as does this one.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJ0bN0NIxRM

          • dem riffs!

          • Scrimm

            I really like DIB, but holy shit did all shall fall suck.

      • Bite your tongue, peasant!

        • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

          Not trying to cause an issue. The last time I saw them live, their set list sucked too. Oh well.

    • Randall Thor

      Immortal is one of my favorites. True champions of cheese in a realm over-populated by serious grim debbie downers.

    • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

      man, if you don’t take care of this sacriligious attitude towards immortal i am going to sit and stew about it for about 10 minutes. It’s your responsibility as writer of the article to cut this off at the bud !

      • Conan, i want to congratulate you. you’re the top commenter on the Toilet ov Hell!!! (go up to the top of the comments and change the selection from “128 comments” to “Toilet ov Hell” and it shows the top commenters)

        • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

          CROM thanks you for pointing out this honor that is bestowed upon me, i humbly accept this accolade !

    • geddy

      HAHAHA! I burst out laughing everytime I come across anything to do with Immortal.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDnJ_AnVxZE

      • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

        just from this distorted freeze frame i thought it was gene simmons, hahahahhhha

    • geddy

      The immortal dance revue.

      • CyberneticOrganism

        Full circle.

  • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

    I can’t stress enough, how much I hate music videos.

    • Stockhausen

      All music videos? Of ever?

      • Tyree

        It’s hard to hate this gem.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fR0j7sModCI

        • Christian Molenaar

          Hands down my favorite music video ever:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDyDz8WeiM4

          • Tyree

            Yikes! 3:41 is all sorts of amazing.

          • Stockhausen

            I counted roughly 743, 902 majesties in that video. And there is a serious chance I missed a few.

          • W.

            It’s easily the most glorious thing I’ve ever seen.

          • W.

            I’m really, really, really, really jealous of that guy’s hair.

          • Xan
          • Tyree

            The movie The Wedding Singer comes to mind after watching this.

        • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

          hahahh, yea, i was a big squier fan back in the day. This video basically killed his career. It was just a complete goof, but people thought he was gay because of it. One of the very few instances of MTV destroying a career instead of building it. The album this was from signs of life had lots of heavy songs too. The beats from some of his earlier songs are among the most sampled in hip hop history as well.

      • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

        Damn near. They do nothing for me. I don’t want a fucking story, or “neat” visuals. Just fucking play the song live.

        • Stockhausen

          Fair enough. You at least need to take the voyage of the video Christian posted above.

          • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

            Sadly, I’ve seen that before. Kill me.

    • Mother Shabubu III

      I hate when bands perform in music videos. I don’t mind it when it’s a cool mini-film with the song as the soundtrack like Cattle Decapitation’s recent videos, Isis or Tool’s music videos, etc…

      • Stockhausen

        I feel the same way. I think my hate is a little less because I don’t mind quick shots every now and then, but if you’re just going to play in a warehouse for your music video, prepare to be flushed with no mercy.

    • hey everybody look, i’m about to change KSoFM’s mind:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Or9vgUTpRo

      • Stockhausen

        YESYESYESYESYESYESYES. It’s still playing, but I can safely say it’s my new favorite music video.

      • Tyree

        I’m watching this without audio. Mind blown McNulty.

        • Stockhausen

          The audio is pretty much Arch Enemy with a fat guy instead of an attractive girl.

          • Tyree

            2:10 cracked me up. There is just a pair of bouncing boobs behind the guitar player.

      • The Black Dahlia Burger
      • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

        was just stewing last night over how much i hate lucas. I was thinking of getting the blu rays for the original films and i saw a site pointing out all the things he changed when he converted the dvd’s to blu ray. Completely different framing of scenes, adding eyes balls to the ewoks, stuff you might not notice but change the film none the less. Plus he throws the baby out with the bathwater and sells the beloved star wars name to motherfucking disney. So disney have marvel and this. We are guaranteed no gritty marvel comic adaptations with an R rating. Can you imagine how good a R rated marvel movie would be, more violence , more nudity and sex. Just think watchmen. That was a superhero movie for adults not children.

        • considering the MCU is batting 1.000 (IMHO), i’m okay without R-rated movies.

      • I love this video. I love when bands are willing to make this kind of videos, everyone has fun.

    • Kevin Nash and Friends

      The only video with music that matters.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_VWtTcaBEs

      • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

        radar love and TZ are a couple of the most metal songs that aren’t classified as metal.

        • Kevin Nash and Friends

          I agree. Golden Earring has also been a band since 1965, so next year is their 50th anniversary. I think they should remaster their back catalogue because the 2001 remasters are expensive and they should tour the US because they haven’t toured here since 1984.

        • Cock of Steele

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDBpdkKTndk Even our benevolent progenylrods, Iron Maiden, have acknowledged this band’s mastery (Despite their greatness, Maiden never really made good covers)

      • Cock of Steele

        This song has been hooking me the past couple days.

        • Kevin Nash and Friends

          I wish this band would come back to the US. I have no intention to go to Europe just to see them because they only perform in Europe now, not anywhere outside of it.

          • Cock of Steele

            I heard it was because of travel issues.

          • Kevin Nash and Friends

            I never heard that. They haven’t performed here since 1984 or 1985 because they were performing at Great Adventure and the Haunted Castle caught fire and eight people died in it. I think that scarred them and made them not want to play here.

          • Cock of Steele

            Yeah, that would probably make a lot of people not wanna play for awhile haha.

          • Kevin Nash and Friends

            Well, their 50th anniversary of being a band is next year, so maybe I can try to convince them to come here. I also hope that remaster their back catologue as the remasters from 2001 are out of print and expensive.

          • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

            I look on ebay for their cd’s and notice that they are very horribly over priced. Another of my favorite bands who are still making good albums is krokus and they just can’t afford to come to north america and play for a 100 people a night when they can do stadiums in some parts of europe.

    • Misanthropic Anus

      I fucking hate music videos as well. It annoys me when the music video has nothing to do with the lyrics.

    • Try telling me that you don’t love this.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VBdAY8eA9w

      • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

        Fuck is that bad. Just cunting terrible.

      • This is what I mean when I say I don’t know if Immortal take themselves seriously

  • Owlswald

    I dig your articles Rho. Very insightful and thought provoking. Immortal is easily one of my favorite metal bands of all time. Yes, they are total nerds but I have to believe they know it and own it considering their success as a band. Their videos are infamous. Nothing is more metal than shredding on top of a frosty mountain.

  • Sponge Of Mystery

    I hate Arch Enemy. Thank you for giving me more reasons to not like them

    • If I tell a friend that likes them that I don’t like them, it seems like they assume it’s only because their vocalist is a woman. They’re just a shit band.

      • King Shit of Fuck Mountain

        Exactly. They fucking blow.

      • Sponge Of Mystery

        that’s actually the only reason i was interested in them in the first place but then i found out that they’re terrible

      • Max

        Well, the first and only Arch Enemy album I ever bought was Burning Bridges which featured a male vocalist, and apart from the first song, I didn’t even like that album.

        They use the wrong sort of melodies for death metal, they always have. That is the real point of contention with Arch Enemy. If you just changed a few intervals in their note progressions, it might even be fine (assuming all you wanted was melodeath, of course). The vocalist is neither here nor there.

    • Further Down the Metal Hole

      Listened to their whole discography to form an opinion. I only took down the names of the first two albums for my shopping list, all others were disappointingly meh.

      • Sponge Of Mystery

        holy shit you listened to their WHOLE discography….a moment of silence is needed for all the time wasted and brain cells killed

        • Further Down the Metal Hole

          I admit I was curious to see how their music developed over time after changing to a female vocalist. Unfortunately it was the instruments that became different, in a bland way.

  • W.

    Great article, Rho. Also, Majora’s Mask is one of my favorite Zelda games. it was so vibrant and colorful, but that only added to the mystique.

    • I liked it better than Ocarina of Time. /hides

      • W.

        Wow, that is a bold statement.

        • I… I’m sorry…

          • W.

            Tis okay as long as you didn’t suddenly decide that after the Reddit hype train suddenly got a collective chub for it. I got that game in 7th grade for Christmas right after it dropped. Pretty sure it was the last N64 game I got.

          • I’ve never been on Reddit tbh.

          • Lord Ov Kapsko

            God dammit, I fucking don’t understand Reddit.

          • W.

            Which part?

          • Lord Ov Kapsko

            The whole part! Nevermind, I’m fucking Fabio, I don’t need to know anything besides Necrophagist.

          • Howard Dean

            I don’t understand any part of this sub-thread.
            #NotHip

          • W.

            I actually think Link’s Awakening was the first Zelda game I ever played, but Ocarina has a very special place in my heart.

  • I love the War Eternal song. It. Is. Bitching. PERIOD

    GL

    • W.

      Are you going to fight KSOFM?

    • Lord Ov Kapsko

      Using words bitching and period when talking about Arch Enemy may soud a bit funny.

  • thank you for mentioning those three new Arch Enemy videos. those are the dumbest things ever. let me backtrack… one video for three songs. why even do that? oh yeah, Alyssa is hot.

  • Ayreonaut

    Arch enemy…. . 911 conspiracy.. Micheal amott coordinated the attavk. Anti Un propaganda funded by the Un to appeal to flush worthy posers

    • Christian Molenaar

      zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz?

  • Keegan Lavern Still
    • Tyree

      Yeah bro! I forgot my headphones today, FUCK!

      • W.

        This may be heresy…but… it doesn’t really do much for me.

        • Tyree

          I’ll have to give it a spin when I get home.

          • W.

            I mean, it isn’t bad. There’s just a lot of other stuff I’d rather listen to. This isn’t something I feel compelled to purchase.

          • Tyree

            I know the feeling.

        • i’m with you guy. slow music hurts my earballs.

          • Stockhausen

            I said that once. Then my mom got a job.

          • yeah she did! *high five

          • Stockhausen

            Wooo!

        • SMOHLG

          I’m just gonna ignore this T_T

    • Hype aside, it’s pretty damn good.

      • Xan

        I enjoyed it immensely. I love me some good doom metal.

    • Further Down the Metal Hole

      Liking it so far!

    • Gorgasm

      EPIC DOOM METAL FOR A GLOOMY MONDAY!

      PRAISE THE MOON!

    • Kevin Nash and Friends

      I just stared listening to it and I love it more than Electric Wizard, and I love Electric Wizard

    • CÖÄL RÖLL FRÖM THE TÖILET BÖWL

      just can’t get into this stuff

  • Stockhausen

    “The colors, Duke, the colors!”
    “I’m colorblind, kid.”

    Anyone else well-verses in 90s Popsicle commercials? Great article, by the way!

  • Cock of Steele

    Someone put into words what I’ve hated about a lot of modern music videos. Also same goes for album covers, colorful and artistic is metal as fuck, brah.

  • Mr. Bojangles

    Mr. Bojangles loves Rho Stone. He wants to cuddle with him.

    -Mr. Bojangles

    • Stockhausen

      I’d watch that.

      • Mr. Bojangles

        I watch you when you’re alone and masturbating to Skeletonwitch.

        -Mr. Bojangles

        • Stockhausen

          You are a strange, obese, all-knowing fuzzball.

  • Further Down the Metal Hole

    Yay for the only Mastodon album cover I currently own (it won’t be alone for long).

    So, we basically all want rainbow metal?

  • Cock of Steele

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_3TlrZLpQ0 Colors made the best music video of all time.

    • W.

      Hey man, I thought you might like to know that I’m naming my Fantasy Football team the Peter Steelers.

      • Cock of Steele

        Doooooohhh (blushes)

      • Kevin Nash and Friends

        I’m naming my team either the Ahmed Johnson Sand Rippas or the Ahmed Johnson Reef Eaters. The ides came from this video. Link is below.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTN3ntW-WHA

    • CONAN THE MOTHERFUCKING KING

      plus miley cyrus ripped this off (without knowing ?) I think the video director knew about accept.

  • Gobshite

    I’m back from Bloodstock and this is a lot to read at the moment……I need a nap. Emperor were fucking stellar btw.

  • NDNOvHell

    A+++ because Majora’s Mask. Also Tingle.

    0/5 flushes

  • Kevin Nash and Friends

    Any car lovers here? If so, here is an article about a car you want. You know you want it.

    http://jalopnik.com/did-you-know-the-vector-w8s-interior-is-delightfully-nu-1585669823

  • Xan

    I really enjoyed this article. I’m really interest in how different colors can affect humans. When I was a kid, I tried endlessly to explain this to my mother to convince her to let me paint my room red instead of white. White is an uncomfortable color to me as it causes eye strain and is an unpleasant color to me. Reds, Darker oranges, and browns are all warm colors to me.

    • Never paint a room red, it’s a very stressful color. If white bothers you, it’s better to paint it light brown.

  • CÖÄL RÖLL FRÖM THE TÖILET BÖWL

    all metal bands with female vox are 5/5 flushes

  • Randall Thor

    I call music with that style of lyrics “xX-LIFE-PROBLEMS-CORE-Xx”

  • old_man_doom

    Years and years ago I saw Blood Mountain from afar sitting amongst a number of bleak-looking, colorless metal albums. I thought I should check it out based on the fact that it was bright and colorful — different from the rest. I got closer and saw the artwork: “Holy shit, there’s a fucking terrifying deer-man monster with weird shit all over it! I must own this.” I had the same reaction with Nile’s Annihilation of the Wicked, except with the “scarab/crocodile-man monster” instead. Two of my favorite albums to this day.

  • geddy

    sorry ’bout this babycrap…it amuses me.