The best music videos (and unfortunately they’re a small percentage of the total) are those in which the visuals enhance the emotional impact of the music, and sometimes even make you think about the music in a different way. The video we’re premiering in this post is an example of such an effective partnership of sight and sound. It’s for the song “All Roads Lead To Perdition” by Subterranean Disposition from Melbourne, Australia, whose new album Contagiuum and the Landscapes of Failure will be released by Hypnotic Dirge Records and Solitude Productions on June 13.
This new album is the band’s second, though the group’s founder Terry Vainoras is no newcomer, having spent time in a variety of music projects for more than two decades. In addition to performing on guitar, bass, and saxophone for the album as well as contributing different vocal expressions, he enlisted the help of Dan Nahum (Bleakwood, The Veil, Dead River Runs Dry) on drums, Gelareh Pour on the Kemancheh and Qeychak Alto (plus vocals), and guest vocalist Daniel Lucas.
Terry Vainoras provided this statement about the video you’re about to see and hear (which invokes the name of one of my favorite authors and one of his most powerful and devastating novels):
“’All roads lead to perdition‘ touches lyrically on many facets of our decline as a species that could attribute to an extinction event or apocalypse in our lifetimes. To me the tone of the music invokes a similar feeling when reading Cormac McCarthy’s The Road — a post-apocalyptic journey down that road to hell, so I have tried to combine that feeling with the lyric concepts in an open-to-interpretation way, following the dynamics of the music very close visually on its long trip, from ignorance to disorder, death and beyond.”
From the rising sun over a desolate landscape that accompanies the song’s opening, bereft notes to the scenes of a bleak and crumbling urban wasteland that soon follow, the imagery in the video begins to unfold in a rapidly changing montage of sights that provides a creative match for the haunting music.
The song itself is cloaked in gloom, with a heavy, rumbling undercarriage anchoring increasingly intense riffs and vocals (which vary from caustic shrieks to tyrannical roars to distorted yells and croaks). The band ratchets the tension as the song moves forward, like a spring coiling past the breaking point, the dissonance of the melody increasing… until it breaks, with a ghostly instrumental section that combines guitar, violin, and the rhythmic patter of drums (both mesmerizing and distressing).
The music’s desolate, anguished intensity returns soon enough, but the back half of the song also includes a sublime guitar solo that oozes pain like sap from a felled tree. The discordant sounds that flicker across the drifting ambience of the song’s finale seem a fitting way to conclude this hopeless but hypnotic journey.
Contagiuum and the Landscapes of Failure was recorded, mixed, and mastered by Adam Calaitzis at Toyland studio in Melbourne,, and the album cover was created by New York artist Coby O’Brien. As mentioned, the album will be jointly released by Hypnotic Dirge Records and Solitude Productions on June 13, 2016. Here’s the track list:
1 – Hungry Ghosts on Rotten Soil
2 – Wooden Kimono Fixative
3 – Embittered
4 – All Roads Lead to Perdition
5 – A lifelong Slumber
6 – Aggressors Clothed as Victims
To pre-order the album on CD, go here:
For digital pre-orders, visit Bandcamp:
Speaking of Bandcamp, below our premiere of the new song and video, I’ve included a Bandcamp stream that will also allow you to hear a previously released track, “Wooden Kimono Fixative” (whose title borrows a phrase coined by Tom Waits for the word casket).