Rho Stone’s Audiovisual Adventures: Rhapsody of Fire “Rain of a Thousand Flames”
If you could milk a dragon and make cheese out of that milk, this is what it would look like.
First things first: This video and I have a history. I grew up in South America and for whatever reason the adoration people have for power metal in hispanic countries is insane. I’ve never been a power metal guy myself (plus I have, like, self-respect), so I had kind of a bird’s eye view of how a lot of people took the overall cheesiness quite seriously. You’ve seen all those ESL bands. You may think their names and song titles sound stupid because of their lack of understanding of the english language, but that’s not the case. They sound equally goofy in spanish as well, and they’re definitely not in on the joke. If you think you’ll never see a power metal hesher, just go on a trip south. That’s not saying it all sounds like shit. It’s not my cup of tea, but I know some of you are into this kind of stuff.Apparently I know some of the people playing here, I just realized it from seeing their names in the video description.
I first saw this video back in my mid-teens one day a guy made a “come to my house to look at all these music video compilation DVDs I have” thing.
***THE FOLLOWING VIDEO IS NSFW, IF YOUR CO-WORKERS SEE YOU WATCHING THIS THEY’RE GOING TO INSTALL LOCKERS IN THE OFFICE JUST FOR YOU***
So what struck me the most was not the video itself, but how everyone (there was a shit ton of people, a projector was set on the wall and all that) was there with a straight face. It’s not a bad song by any means, but come on. It’s Dungeons & Dragons meets public access TV. I guess it did its job as a marketing tool because this is the kind of video that everyone has to see at least once, but holy hell it is weird. This video baffles me because they obviously had the means to make it work. They had a studio and equipment, background footage, smoke machines, a poor man’s Robert Plant, someone capable of using post-production software (albeit poorly), pierced nipples, big fat tires and everything. The way I see it, this video came to life because of one of these two reasons:
1. Rhapsody are geniuses who knew how to make the perfect “So bad it’s good” video, which would net them thousands of views once youtube was invented.
2. There are no toilets in Europe, so they thought they’d be safe from being flushed.
Considering how seriously power metal people can take things, I’m assuming the latter. I’ve seriously been looking for some background on this video, but my research bears no fruit. This sucks because I have way too many questions. Where did it air? To what audience? What were they thinking?
I feel like a detective solving a case, a murder where the culprit was too dumb to know which end of the knife to use. My guess is that the people in charge of the video were technically capable of operating equipment and production, but completely oblivious to the subtext of what they where doing. They only knew enough to be wrong. Yes, quick camera pans and cuts where a good idea, but are not properly executed. The actions may be right, but the camera work makes them look awkward.
Let me try to organize my thoughts. Let’s analyze this chronologically. Right in the beginning, someone should have told them about Chekov’s gun. This is a principle that states that if you show or describe something, it must have something to do with what happens later, otherwise it doesn’t fit. If, for example, there’s a gun being loaded on the story, it must go off at some point. Otherwise you’ve left a piece of plot unresolved, which is bad storytelling. Now, why would they show the child to adult transformation if that has nothing to do with the video? There’s no coming of age plot or something like that. Score one flush for our boys in Rhapsody. Make it two because of the use of generic fire, for a bunch of D&D nerds that’s totally not imaginative.
Then you have a misty black and white scene where a dude gets his mojo stolen or something like that. The woman acts fine, but that gets ruined when they shut the song of in favor to the sounds of nature, and is further ruined with that awkwardly put together montage of her topless in a frame that looks like it belongs in Super Nintendo. This is followed by a montage of “We don’t know what to put on the screen”. Choosing to put the castle first in the list of things to show could’ve worked, but it doesn’t. Putting the outside of a location first introduces the public to said location, and the viewer understands that’s where the next part of the story is going to happen. However, they chose to show random shots instead, killing their possibilities of continuity.
Now, about the camera work. Half the time it’s a dude running around while holding the camera, zooming in and out with no regard to what he’s doing. I can picture him behind the scenes moving back and forth, flailing left and right like an idiot. It makes the still shots of the woman dancing seem even more out of place with the band. Also, they fucked up the borders of their video. Whenever they switch between backgrounds the sides have an atrocious line of background footage they must have stolen from someone else’s generic video.
Is this the best shot they have? Maybe he wanted to show us his “O face”.
Is it just me, or the explosions in the chorus are either in front of them when they should be on the background, or a cheap version of the Death Star explosion from Star Wars?
Luke, may the flush be with you, always.
Next we have Robert Plant’s special cousin fighting against lens flares, and Horseface the keyboard player tossing The Book of Heavy Metal’s lightning at Countess Boobies, who I guess is like a mojo stealer from another dimension? His lightning is so powerful it even gets out of the frame.
Some shots exposing her intentions instead of her tits would have really helped give this thing a narrative. But I guess narratives don’t attract horny boys who don’t know how to search for porn on the internet.
Demonknockers then stabs I don’t know who. How am I supposed to care if that’s the character’s first and last appearance? Then the band gangs up on Eviltits Final Fantasy style and I guess the dude who is avenging the people we never saw a reason for him to avenge becomes the new bad guy. Someone hand Rhapsody of Fire a prize please.
In conclusion, yes, this video is awful, and that could’ve been averted. But if it wasn’t so putridly bad, I wouldn’t be writing about it right now. Maybe “Rain of a Thousand Flames” is the “The Room” of music videos. It has a plot that makes no sense, unnecessary nudity, production up the ass, but a cheesy charm that drives us towards seeing it again and again, making it a video we all love to look at and cringe a little bit.