Donning their irony trousers in no uncertain terms, Kotaku today reminded me about this video from US power metal mentalists, Alternate Reality.
The tune, “The King That Never Was”, deals with your general Power Metal tropes – swords, mythology, magic, betrayal, denied destiny – and proceeds along in a wholly inoffensive manner, telling its story of Arthurian lore in a fairly straight-ahead fashion.
I say ‘Power Metal’ – the better comparison might well be NWOBHM, or New Wave Of British Heavy Metal, as the verse feels quite punky and grinding.
As to why this song is getting so much online traction – well, it’s the video. The video is extraordinary. Imagine if Uwe Boll ate a great deal of Bavarian Smoked Cheese and listened to some Blind Guardian before heading off to bed and decided to make a video composed of images from the fever dream which followed his supper-time snack. And then imagine if Uwe decided that what the video needed was lots of people playing fantasy RPG dress-up and running about with swords.
Yes, it’s that crazy.
I post this not to snipe at the band – who are clearly having a rare old-time filming this video – but to celebrate their enthusiasm for what they’re doing. Their chosen sub-genre is far from fashionable even within the determined t0 be unfashionable metal genre as a whole, the blogs have picked up on their video to chuckle at it and the music industry is on its knees, so anybody doing this kind of song in 2011 has to be doing so from a place of genuinely loving what they’re doing.
It’s a bit rough around the edges, and may have a degree of naivety about it, but if Alternate Reality love what they’re doing, I’m not about to diss it.
If you’ve ever loved a spot of Rhapsody of Fire or dig some Euro Power Metal, give this one a look.