Dead to a Dying World is the best band you've never heard of—and if you have heard of them, you already know I'm right. The outsized Texas collective marry black metal, neocrust, post-rock, doom, and all manner of dark, heavy, heartfelt sounds, and their 2015 opus Litany remains one of the most compelling pieces of music I have yet to encounter during my 14ish years as a music writer. That opinion was only compounded once I finally got a chance to see them bring their notes and chords and words to life at last year's Migration Fest—and when guitarist Sean Mehl opened up about his struggles with depression, in hopes of helping others feel less alone. I know I'm prone to hyperbole, but Dead to a Dying World truly is something special, and I'm extremely pleased to be presenting the band's new music video for the song "Cicatrix" below.
I generally think most music videos are a waste of time, but this—this—is worth a watch. I've already watched it three times in the course of writing this little post, and will press play again once I hit save. The song itself is a collaborative effort between a truly impressive array of musicians from across the American heavy music underground: Daron Beck (Pinkish Black), Jamie Myers-Waits (Sabbath Assembly), and Words on Wind's Sarah Ruth Alexander (who also plays hammered dulcimer) contribute vocals, with viola by Chrch's Eva Vonne and Dead to a Dying World's James Magruder on various guitars and piano.
Director Sera Timms (who's been on quite a tear lately) and director of photography Brian Sowell clearly had a very particular vision in mind when they approached this project, and have executed it perfectly—in all its grey, billowy, dreamy, mythical splendor. As James Magruder commented, "Cicatrix," in my opinion, is the thematic synecdoche of Litany. We have imagery of a fallen world, the desperation of the surviving unfortunate, and the resolution to forever avoid the pitfalls and missteps of humanity. Sera Timms truly gave life to these themes in a way that is both beautiful and haunting."
Watch it below, and if you don't have a copy of Litany already, get one from Mehl's own Tofu Carnage Records, Gilead Media, or Alerta Antifascista Records.
Catch DTADW at these upcoming festivals:
Austin Terror Fest - Saturday, March 18th at The Lost Well, Austin, TX
71Grind Fest - Saturday, June 3rd at The Black Sheep, Colorado Springs, CO
Kim Kelly is feeling all warm and fuzzy about this band on Twitter.
Photo by Kathleen Kennedy