Of course a noise rock track would inspire obscure themes for a video, but one might not expect a cogent narrative and the accompanying sense of dread of having witnessed something forbidden, after only a few minutes of sitting in front of a screen. Patterson, NY trio Dog’s new video for “Cyborg Messiah,” from their upcoming album Trash Temple (out on Drop Medium and 100% Breakfast), is a violent seance to summon something unholy, set to a soundtrack just as unthinkable. Three figures (presumably the band) are conjured out of nothing in a rather ominous nighttime wood, a blaring light from a nearby house shining on each of them as they engage in this horrible ritualistic dance. The opening screeeee of the guitar’s tone, and the rather unnerving dissonance of the intermittent vocal harmonies, are enough to run your blood cold, like delicate footfalls on upturned knives. That is, up until you’re hurled into the song’s full swing, and booming, thickened tom hits and roaring bellows of crazed vocals, and mushroom clouds envelop your entire being.
The visuals, directed by Ani (of Palberta and Shimmer), alongside the band, are choreographed perfectly to mimic the almost tribal rhythms. The dance of the three sycophants begins to take effect, as a menacing pair of blackened eyes appear mysteriously in the forest canopy. They stare down, looming. It’s like those horrific flash appearances of the demon Pazuzu in The Exorcist. The track ends and the trio run for their lives, and you think it’s all over, but it’s not. The camera stays on the ritual location to follow the figures, now wandering aimlessly, as though their world is starting over. Is it apocalyptic? Is it faith unfulfilled? Is it empty? Any way you look at it, you’re left feeling as though you were let in on something prophetic, and not necessarily in any good sense.