"'Axiom Destroyer' is a song about being forced to watch a loved one tortured in front of your eyes. Everything that makes life stable and normal to you is being destroyed in a depraved, perverted exhibition." Mutilation Rites guitarist Michael Dimmit says. "A person is being forced fed a skewed reality by an authoritarian government with mind-altering drugs and propaganda videos. This could be anyone you have in your life on a daily basis having their mind and life changed by propaganda, like advertisements, radical mouthpieces or corporate lifestyle."
The Brooklyn-based black metal act, Mutilation Rites, makes their anticipated return this month after a painstaking four-year wait. The band has always had a knack for building black metal that scratches an itch for classic styling. In a new video for "Axiom Destroyer," a song from the forthcoming Chasm, they not only appease that itch, they bring a much-needed message as well. The quartet feeds their furious music through an ominous, warning that may seem a little familiar if you're a literary buff or a classic thrash fan.
The video's director, David Hall, speaks to his work stating, “The inspiration for the Axiom Destroyer video was Voivod's video for 'Astronomy Domine' and the "two-minute hate" video featured in the book 1984 by George Orwell. Based on the title—Axiom Destroyer—I got a real cold war-ish sci-fi vibe from the song. I knew I wanted to create something colorful, stark, and cold. For me, anything sci-fi and metal related always means Voivod so after watching their 'Astronomy Domine' video a bunch of times I came up with a concept: brainwashing."
“I wanted to use David Hall to direct and edit the video because I had a great experience collaborating with him when I was in Today Is The Day," bassist/vocalist Ryan Jones says. "He designed video projections for our live show and we used elements of a full-length film he did for a Today Is The Day album. I have a fond respect for his style and creativity, and the theme of this song clicked immediately between us. His vision was perfect for what we wanted to represent: mind-bending, thought-provoking, spastic, epileptic, psychedelic, erotic, hair-raising, pure evil.”
The combination of Mutilation Rites' music and Hall's artistic vision creates a hypnotizing product. The concept Hall describes certainly matches the aesthetic of the video. It should almost carry a seizure warning with the amount of flashing lights and subliminal messages it contains. Hall splices brief glimpses of old cartoons and wartime footage with moments of Mutilation Rites performing into a video for a shackled viewer. The track itself is a feverish four minutes rife with crusted riffs and Jones' spitting growl. It still feels like the relentless, booze-soaked blackness from Harbinger, but there's a strong severity to the band's tone now.
"To me 'Axiom Destroyer' sort of means truth destroyer," Hall continues. "The idea of making a video in which an unknown citizen is submitted to brainwashing films came to me. The plot of the video revolves around a person being forced into a sparse room, strapped to a chair and forced to watch propaganda films for some unknown totalitarian government with the agenda of making its citizens subservient, mindless pawns," Hall continued. "I designed a logo for this government and incorporated it into the video as a test pattern for a government-run TV channel."
As someone watching the video might pick up pretty quickly, the subliminal messages aren't just meant for the unfortunate man seated in the chair. They'll drag you in too if you're not careful. The video undoubtedly holds relevance in today's America given the radical voices and propaganda plaguing its society. Hall finishes up his statement by describing the video within the video and its ultimate consequences.
"As viewers, we are submitted to the brainwashing video—which includes footage of Mutilation Rites performing shot by jack-of-all-trades Dimmitt—the unknown citizen is subjected to. The brainwash film is a strobed-out montage of animation, military footage, cartoons, text and various ominous clips. The main character manages to get free of his binds but rather than try to escape he kneels before the screen broadcasting the brainwash film transfixed and changed. Big Brother has won. Truth has been destroyed and earned one more lemming for the cause.”
Watch the video for "Axiom Destroyer" now and pre-order Mutilation Rites' upcoming album, Chasm, now. Gilead Media is handling the US distribution and Argento Records is supplying Europe. Also find Mutilation Rites on Facebook.