So there I was, hanging out on the internet and minding my own business, when this music video dropped in my lap. It was created by a metal band called "Alternate Reality." It's for a song called "The King That Never Was" and it involves Arthurian legend, swordplay, and some serious costumery.
"Okay," I thought. "I like fantasy. I like metal. I will watch this. How bad can it be?"
In fact, it is amazingly bad. Its badness is the stuff of immediate legend. It is so bad that it comes all the way around and becomes good, then rams its way back into wretchedness before emerging from its own wreckage like some sort of phoenix. It is so incredible it makes me want to never play guitar again. It is so terrible it makes me want to never play guitar again.
In an attempt to cope, I wrote down my thoughts as I watched.
0:13 - I'm glad to see that we've begun with so much fog. Fog is always important for this kind of video. Also, I'm glad to hear the narrator pronounce the "T" in the word "met-tal" properly. We're off to a good start. I'm feeling good about this.
0:25 - Wow. This is clearly going to be something special.
0:32 - I was not aware that Guinevere was ever a "princess warrior." But then, of course she was! That makes for a way better and more metal-er story.
0:33 -Lancelot's lady friend does not look very excited to be here.
(Note: This is in no way a comment about whether or not women enjoy LARPing.)
0:46 - Wow, there are a lot of characters in this! Then again, I guess there are usually a lot of characters in epic met-tal tunes, so it fits.
0:47 - Look out. These guys will mess you up.
1:02 - Wait, what necromancer? What the… there is a lot of lore being dumped right now. I can't keep up! What is this, a Metal Gear game? Is there a codex or something? Is this stuff all Arthurian canon?
1:11 - Dang, I haven't seen a running sword-clash that dramatic since the original Ninja Gaiden. Lesson learned: if you don't have the budget to show a good running sword-clash, start shaking the camera just before impact!
1:18 - "Is it myth? Or is it… re-a-l-i-ty." I don't know. Can't it be both? I think it's both.
1:23 - Oh fuck yes, it is awhn. Nothing says "Metal Video" like some chugga-chugga guitar and a… sepia toned… out of focus video... of a person in a T-shirt on a horse.
1:36 - And now, you fully understand why Alternate Reality is my new favorite band. This singer is so ballsy, he doesn't even need to hide behind a microphone stand. I could never.
1:50 - I don't know about you, but I've never written a song with a better opening line than: "There's a sanction on the Druuuuid's religion..."
2:16 Paging Howard Dean…
2:45 - What the hell are these lyrics? Is he just reading some book about King Arthur? There doesn't seem to be any meter or rhyme scheme. (Not saying that's bad! This is very avant-garde.)
2:45 - I say from here on out we refer to Merlin as "Mad, Mad Merlin."
3:08 - Aw shit, and now it's time for a breakdown.
3: 16 - Well that was a heck of a breakdown. I like how they changed the way they chugged through those three chords, so you could tell it was a different section.
3:25 - OMG! All sorts of shit is going down here. We've got a girl-on-girl swordfight, some flying arrows, the darker goth chick takes an arrow to the chest. Presumably there should be a guitar solo here… anyone in the band wanna step up? Anyone?
3:43 - Sweet. Thanks, lead guitarist!
4:08 - Yes! Legitimately not-terrible riff!
4:23 - I am giving these guys a lot of credit for how hard they're trying to sell this. I mean, this is an all-in performance. Props.
4:38 - I'm getting the sense that the moral of this story is: "Kill all the Brunettes!"
4:53 - Awww shit, big metal ending.
5:06 - And that's… that? Wait, where's our busty narrator to wrap things up? No epilogue? No tease for a sequel? Come on, Alternate Reality, give us more!
5:08 - Sigh. And so ends what might be the most epically, triumphantly bad Wizardcore video I have ever seen. Also, the only wizardcore video I have ever seen.
In all seriousness: bravo to you, Alternate Reality, for believing in something so hard, and for somehow putting together the budget to make this video. It's goofy, it's ridiculous, and I genuinely love it.
Now please, can someone make a machinima version of this video set in Skyrim?