Lamb of God’s new video for the chest-thumping single “Memento Mori” — which will appear on their upcoming self-titled LP — focuses on a man unaware of a deadly virus spreading across the world.
Singer Randy Blythe says he came up with the concept for the video months before the coronavirus pandemic, but it’s still anxiety-inducing to see the clip’s protagonist falling asleep while the news is on, only to watch a legion of demon zombies — which look like something out of the horror movie Nightbreed — pursuing him as the band plays a mixture of goth rock and 10-ton heavy-metal riffs.
But the message of the song is clear: Blythe screams, “Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!” repeatedly throughout the tune. He says he wrote the song “as a reminder to myself not to be consumed by the omnipresent electronic harbingers of doom that surround us,” referring to cellphones, computers, and TV news. The band had planned the release date for the video “a good while ago,” Blythe says, but now he feels the clip is “eerily prescient.”
“While these devices can be useful tools, and it is important to stay informed, it is equally important to remain engaged with the real, physical world we live in, not just digitally filtered representations of reality,” he said in a statement. “I wrote the narrative music-video treatment a few months ago to illustrate how warped and myopic our mental states can become when we fail to remain engaged with that reality — if all you pay attention to is catastrophe, then soon you will begin to see monsters everywhere you look. … Music has always been there for me, raising my spirits during hard times, and it is my hope that this song’s positive message will do the same for fans of our music right now and beyond.”
With the video release, Blythe also commented on the COVID-19 pandemic and how it relates to the song. “Precautions need to be taken by everyone in order to protect those most at risk — the elderly, infirm, and immunocompromised,” he said. “It is indeed a scary time, but in this hyperconnected age with its 24/7 never-ending news cycle of atrocity, outrage, and lurid clickbait headlines (not to mention ill-informed lunatics running amok and spreading misinformation and panic on social media), it is all too easy to lose sight of the fact that life is still carrying on and good things do in fact still happen.”
The band previously released a video for “Checkmate,” another song that will appear on Lamb of God, which is due out May 8th. The group is hoping to hit the road in June for a co-headlining tour with Megadeth.
“If I had a crystal ball, I would say we’re definitely going to be going out with Megadeth,” Blythe said in an interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music Tuesday. “And I’m a positive guy. I’m hoping that that will still be the case. As of right now, I don’t know. It’s the plan to do it. We haven’t canceled anything. We don’t plan on canceling anything. But if municipalities will not give us a license to have a concert, there’s nothing we can do about it. So I am just keeping my fingers crossed.”