pallbearer_watcher_in_the_dark 2Stolen Shots is a column in which our bud, fellow director Caleb Jackson picks apart some music videos that we love. Check out what he’s got to say, because it’s awesome.

After discovering Pallbearer’s 2012 Doom Metal epic, Devoid of Redemption (Pitchfork named it metal album of the year), I’d been hooked. Luckily, this week brought us the new video, “Watcher in the Dark”, and it hits hard.

With a runtime of over 10-minutes, it would’ve been easy to bore with a straight up performance video. “Watcher in the Dark” however toys around with several styles, blending them together at just the right moments. Most notably, the Enter the Void style kaleidoscope segments mix perfectly with performance footage of the band, drawing us into a spaced out experience that’s progressively hypnotic.

The bleak narrative is subtle, but visually spectacular. Every shot is composed meticulously, and uses visual effects to create a doom metal sci-fi dreamscape. The robed traveler wanders through the desert, walking past a giant obelisk, and finally disappears. It’s like 2001: A Space Odyssey meets the cover art of Sleep’s Dopesmoker.

Director Adam Heathcott has made strides with each video he’s done, going from visual effects experimentation to bold lighting patterns in a studio setting this feels like a deft convergence of all his talents. He’s a proponent of the static camera, and this focused video totally makes for a perfect visual counterpoint to the song – slow, methodical and brutal. No handheld shakes or fake film scratches here folks, this is the real deal, and they don’t try to falsely beef it up with extra filters! The end product is just what such a somber, heavy track needs.


Caleb Jackson is a director/writer/producer at Felt Film. He’s got some more music video reviews at Lowlyer.