The video for hardcore howlers Converge’s “All We Love We Leave Behind” – the title track to their 2013 album – tells the sentimental tale of one man’s love for a dog and how that leads him to getting strangled and having maggots placed on his face. The avant-garde mini film, which premiered via Pitchfork, combines moving illustrations and stop-motion animation with live-action horror to piece together the bittersweet storyline, which also involved a burning house, a fjord-like landscape and creepy-crawly insects that, like the maggots, crawl on the man’s face.
Director and animator Craig Murray paces the video, which includes the All We Love We Leave Behind instrumental “Precipice” before launching into the song itself, in a way that builds along with the song. The tracks begin with some morose guitar chords and sadcore-style rhythms, a bit like a funeral dirge for the dog. About halfway through, drummer Ben Koller rattles out a faster beat and guitarist Kurt Ballou matches it with a fluid, Iron Maiden-like guitar line. The video also keeps up with frontman Jacob Bannon’s typically despair-filled lyrics, like “Nothing in this world could ever compare/ To the hole in my heart. . . when you took to the sky.”
“The video was conceptualized by Murray, using the narrative put forth of the death of a canine companion as told in J. Bannon’s lyrical writings,” the band said on its website. “Murray uses powerful visual metaphor and imagery to communicate the crushing weight of loss and the strength of unconditional love the song explores.” The band also created a dog-themed T-shirt, the proceeds of which benefit an animal shelter in Converge’s native Salem, Mass. “This work is dedicated to all who have lost their best friends,” the group said – not explaining why the ghost-dog drags the man in the video with a rope and ties him to a rock. “Thank you for all you have given us.”