This is the music video of Welsh heavy metal band Bullet for My Valentine’s single, from their fourth album of the same name. Although this clip was uploaded late last year, I only got to watch it Wednesday night, just before I prepped for bed. And, boy, did I enjoy the 3:11 video all the way.
First off, commenting on the music, this single more or less sets the tone of Temper Temper the album: similar to Fever, but not quite. I heard traces of Scream Aim Fire and new, sort of “mellow” melodies in the mix. Don’t get me wrong, it’s their brand of metal—just that BfMV put in a little more consideration in the actual playing of the instruments on this one. This trend may or may not be present on the whole album, but it definitely works for this piece.
Now, on to the video, the main point of this post. Just to recap, Temper Temper the song starts off with a rather calm anger management session going well until a douche loses it. After a brief commotion, this rather muscular guy grabs a chair and throws it across the room, and all hell breaks loose. After some difficulty, the anger coach (therapist? What do you call them?) manages to calm them down and stop the riot (ha!) with the “goosfraba” trick (another ha!)… albeit temporarily. A glass bottle smashed onto a man’s head later, and all hell breaks loose a second time. This time, despite all his efforts, the coach/therapist (I’m just going to add it there) fails to contain their anger and eventually succumbs, going berserk himself. Once they are done, they all leave, branding the whiteboard with the calming techniques written on it with the symbol of anarchy.
What piques my interest more is the symbolism of the music video regarding—surprise surprise—temper.
The anger management session serves as an ordinary event: it may be stressful, it may be not. It is the daily happening of life where rationale is needed. And who represents that rationale? The coach/therapist (seriously, I don’t know what to call him). He is the voice at the back of one’s head. He is Reason, acting as the coolness and calmness that many people talk so positively about. Not delving deeper—a phrase which here means “not wanting to assign a particular emotion to every character in the video, and yes, even the douche at the start of the video, who would be ‘douchebaggery’”—let’s cut straight to the most important subject: the guy who throws the chair is obviously anger. It is he that instigates the anarchy in the first place. Sure, some will say, “It’s not the muscular guy! It was the douchebag!” The point is that anger reacted the very way it would: unpredictably as the result of a stimulus, in this case throwing a goddamn chair without due regard. Thus, setting off a chain reaction of contagious, well, anger affecting everyone—every emotion—even the coach/therapist (I give up). And what can rationale do when anger gets it? Nothing. Become infected. Become irrational. And then the scene where he takes off his shirt, crazily abandoning all logic and embracing the frenzy slowly taking control. All the while, Anger, bathed in red light, watches with pleasure the organized chaos (the anarchy!) he started—Primal Rage at its finest and most basic form.
It would seem that BfMV is trying to offer a subconscious agitation to act as another ticket to catharsis. Which I do not deny, seeing as I myself have experienced that: anger that leads to a lashing, which ends with a then-quaint feeling of satisfaction. Of course, “lashing” can manifest itself in many ways. Other people enjoy being active, like taking frustrations out on a punching bag. Others with productivity or venting. The idea is doing something that will actually expunge that anger rather than just distract yourself from it.
My bottom line is that I think the event that occurred in the video is what occurs inside one’s head when a one gets uncontrollably angry. But no matter the circumstances, venting anger is still best done when no one—and absolutely no one, not even the self—is harmed.
Temper Temper the album comes out February 11, hopefully without delays. Here’s to enjoying their fourth!