Black Breath proves Patton Oswalt right

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Two recent comments by readers just converged in one video, that for Black Breath’s “Unholy Virgin”.

The first is by loutibbs, who pointed out comedian Patton Oswalt’s bit about ’80s metal videos. You can see it here. The relevant point by Oswalt, which occurs a minute in, is about the proximity (or lack thereof) of men and women in ’80s metal videos.

The second is by Cliff Evans, whose A Lifetime in Dark Rooms blog is a must-read for horror film fans. He points out that “the video isn’t really a mass-marketing tool for a band anymore”. He cites the examples of Cephalic Carnage’s “Ohrwurm” (see it here, along with his comment) and Merrimack’s “In the Halls of White Death” (see it here in its uncensored form, along with commentary by Chris Rowella). Both are very NSFW.

These two ideas come together in the “Unholy Virgin” video, which you can see above. For a minute, director Emily Denton has us ogle a pair of legs and very red heels. Then she cuts abruptly to the band. They are layered-up dudes whose black garb is probably an intentional contrast to the video’s women in white. So, true to Oswalt’s point (though, of course, this isn’t the ’80s), we get men in a room and women miles away. The two do intersect, awkwardly, when the pair of legs ends up in the same space as the band. But the band pays no heed to this female distraction. It’s unsexy sexiness or sexy unsexiness – take your pick.

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Still from video

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Perhaps the director is playing with the ’80s trope of “girls with a band”. Or perhaps she is struggling to reconcile some artistic vision – the video could easily have omitted the band, and probably would have been stronger for it – with commercial considerations of promoting the band by including it in the video. Art and commerce’s rocky relationship continues.

Musically, Black Breath’s Heavy Breathing still kicks my ass. Its ingredients aren’t new (Entombed, hardcore), but it has that spark that makes it more than just ingredients. Black Breath delivered my favorite show of this year. They’ve improved a ton since their debut EP, and I hope they’ll mature and grow in this upgraded musical skin.

Speaking of their debut EP, it inspired a cupcakes recipe by Metalcakes. Black Breath cupcakes – believe it! Raspberry is their signature ingredient. They look easy to make, but the scythe made out of candy might be tougher.

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Unmorbid devourment

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— Cosmo Lee

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