Reel Metal: The Ocean – “The Grand Inquisitor II: Roots And Locusts”

One of the most reliant aspects of music video production and execution is the editing.  Far too often a good idea that is well shot ends up failing in the editing; the cuts are poorly timed, too quick to be effective or do little to accent the song.  Just as with films, it is important for a director to have a solid knowledge of the editing process, or at the very least, a great editor who has a vision of his own and is able to collaborate and project his and the director’s idea succinctly on the screen.

The Ocean suffer from none of these shortcomings.  As artists they stand high above other more conventional bands, preferring to make their music an full fledged experience of its own.  Not only do they have a keen sense of structure and songwriting, but they have always maintained the importance and effect video has in complimenting music.  Their live shows are known for their elaborate video and lighting set ups and they have always strived to be more than just your typical metal band.

Such is the case with the video below.  It’s no surprise that guitarist and founding member Robin Staps co-directed this video (which closely resembles the videos that accompany their live sets) as it is by far one of the most well crafted and edited music videos to come around in a while.  Staps is a big reason why The Ocean have never done anything half-assed, and why their music is so grandiose and philosophical in scope.

Artist: The Ocean
Track: “The Grand Inquisitor II: Roots And Locusts”
Album: Anthropocentric (2010)
Director: Craig Murray and Robin Staps

Why It Rules:
Visually, upon first glance, there’s nothing too special about the video.  There is no clear story being told, no succinct images that make any sort of narrative sense, only an amalgam of stock footage thrown together in a haphazard fashion.  But i say nay.  Aside from the subverted “meaning” behind the video, it’s execution is pulled off expertly and proves that proficient editing can begat content.  The imagery is jarring and off-putting, much like The Ocean‘s music.  Given that their amazing 2010 double albums, Heliocentric and Anthropocentric deal with the rise of the human spirit and its inherent desire for religion (Christianity in this case) and the subsequent rise of science and the beginnings of questioning ones beliefs and the world around them (and more specifically, an interpretation of Fyodor Dostoevsky‘s The Brothers Kamazarov), it’s no surprise that their video would be something to ponder in itself.  Their music isn’t simple or easy to digest and neither are the ideas they cultivate.  And in that sense this video is a fine representation of all the band has to offer.

Both Anthropocentric and Heliocentric are out now on Metal Blade Records.  They are 2 of the best releases in recent memory, and you would be a fool not to pick them up.

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