Well well well, if we don’t have a wee treat for all you lovers of bleakness today! Industrial doom duo All Are To Return released their excellent debut EP in October last year, and have now created a stark music video for its medial song, “Bare Life”. Crank your speakers up for maximum impact, but make sure no one else is home first (I first listened to this on a beautiful Sunday morning at full blast – my neighbour walked past and gave me a very concerned look), and prepare to be crushed by the shattering simplicity of “Bare Life”. Full screen this shit, turn off the lights, and let’s go.
The song begins with simple synth and drum stabs that shudder on impact, crushing and pumping, jolting the brain. These stark rhythmic impulses are overlaid with vocals à la Khanate, but so heavily distorted that they verge on white noise. Nothing remotely melodic happens until the listener almost feels secure in the knowledge that these bursts of static, these shriekingly abrasive vocals will be the entirety of “Bare Life”. The final release into melody is both sweet and shocking after such a long time spent in the ear-splitting darkness of the song’s build-up. The video perfectly reflects and emphasises the music itself, still and solemn save for the occasional quaking convulsion, flickers of colour inversion, and overlaid images.
“Bare Life” feels like the musical manifestation of a worst-case scenario slowly becoming reality, from a niggling anxiety at the front of your mind to a full-blown panic as things slowly crumble until they finally collapse on themselves in dreadful disaster. I initially thought it was nightmarish – but it’s not. It’s not a fear of a fantasy that can be shaken once the morning comes; it’s fear of life itself. The more disillusioned you are by the world, the more you relish your own fear and futility, the better – All Are To Return will play right into that. There’s something so raw about both the music and the video that grips my guts and makes my bones quake, that makes me feel brittle and wonderfully insignificant. It’s crushing, it’s brutal, and I can’t get enough of it.
If you are as strangely enthralled with this powerful piece of noise as I am, you can find All Are To Return‘s debut EP on Bandcamp. Happy suffering!