Black metal is, among its hardcore followers, the most serious and dire art form in the world — which is why it’s so easy to poke fun at. The minute one declares something is no laughing matter, they’re inviting people to take the piss out of it, if only because it’s amusing to watch those who can’t see the joke squirm. Case in point, Pennsylvania emo duo The Juliana Theory used their latest music video to laugh at the tropes and trappings of black metal, and overall they do a solid job at it.
The basic idea behind the video, which is for The Juliana Theory’s reimagining of their track “We’re At Top of the World,” is that after finishing up the shoot for his latest video — in a snowy forest, of course — one black metal artist (played by The Number 12 Looks Like You vocalist Jesse Korman) basks in the beauty of the woods, celebrating nature’s grandeur with an outburst of positivity. There’s spinning in circles with a pet skull, making snow angels in a ring of candles, and of course, torch-dancing. While the joke has been made before, Korman certainly looks the part, and the guest appearance by Dillinger Escape Plan’s Ben Weinman at least bumps up their metal cred. Would’ve been cooler with a black metal song, though.
“Let’s talk about ‘guilty pleasures,'” wrote frontman Brett Detar on his Instagram. “We all have them and for a lot of people The Juliana Theory (and the song Top of The World in particular) is one of them. I can’t tell you how many times some big burly guy who looks like he only listens to slayer would almost look around to make sure no one was listening before quietly telling me that he secretly loves that song. I basically did the same thing with certain songs I enjoyed until a few years ago when I decided to banish the concept of a ‘guilty pleasure’ from my own life. Truthfully, I would always blast ‘Party In the USA’ by Miley Cyrus if it came on the radio while driving the streets of LA but now I don’t care what any ultra hip kid thinks when I roll past them as I am singing along. The joy of completely losing yourself in a song, dancing like no one is watching, is one of life’s greatest pleasures. The video for ‘Top Of The World’ tells the ultimate story of this very abandonment. So put your hands up: they’re playing your song and the butterflies fly away.”
Check out The Juliana Theory’s “We’re At The Top of the World (Reimagined)” below:
Words by Chris Krovatin