Sick of Playthroughs That Shred Circles Around You? Apophys Filmed “The Antidote” Apropos of Your Feelings

I’ve had a thought bubbling for a while now, and watching all 5 members of Apophys edited into this playthrough of “The Antidote” kind of solidified it for me: I think we may have lost the thread on the point of these videos. Now don’t go metaphysical on me about the lack of inherent value in an object save what we imbue via our own expectations yadda yadda. Sure, if you enjoy watching 5 incredible musicians tear through some blistering death metal, something you may well do after pressing the triangle in the center of the embedded video up top there, then you’ve gotten your no-money’s worth and should in theory be content. And you’ll likely find yourself about to pre-order the band’s new Metal Blade offering Prime Incursion.

But here’s what I’m getting at: can we just call these things music videos? Isn’t the point of a playthrough to watch, and listen to, a musician play the song in question? To bring him or her up in the mix, shine the spotlight visually and aurally, and get a true understanding of what that instrument is doing in the song? And maybe in the process we’ll really understand that player’s feel and technique, especially if the audio is from the filmed playthrough session. But when the mix is simply the album master, and the footage cuts between the various players, then what you really have is a low budget music video with an expedited filming and editing schedule.

And that’s totally cool! I don’t mean this as a knock on Apophys. Quite the contrary: I’m stoked that it’s possible for a band this good to, on a reasonable budget, apply film to soundtrack and spread it across the globe. This style of musical montage has become the new standard; and let’s not delude ourselves into thinking technical death metal bands ever had budgets for a “real” videos even before the days of Napster. But come on, let’s revise our lexicon already.

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Chris Alfano has written about music and toured in bands since print magazines and mp3.com were popular. Once in high-school he hacked a friend's QBasic stick figure fighting game to add a chiptune metal soundtrack. Random attractive people still give him high-fives about that.