Why I Think that Korn’s “Rotting in Vain” Music Video is Amazing
Written by Casey Douglass
Every once in awhile, I find a music video keeps pulling me back for repeat viewings. It doesn’t happen that often, but lately, I just can’t stop watching Korn’s music video for “Rotting in Vain”, a song from their upcoming album The Serenity Of Suffering. At various times in the last few weeks, I have been thinking about the video and what exactly it is that I like about it. These musings got funnelled into this semi-introspective piece of writing, which you may or may not find interesting; I just wanted to write it.
First up, I like Korn. I haven’t clicked with every one of their albums but there are a good number of songs that would probably sit high if I ever had to write a personal top 100 metal songs chart. I guess what I’m saying is that I am not predisposed to like something just because it’s Korn, but I do generally like their stuff.
The first thing a viewer of the video for “Rotting in Vain” will see is none other than Mr Tommy Flanagan, an actor that I have come to rate very highly, particularly for his role as Chibs in Sons of Anarchy. He does the “steely-face but twitches of inner turmoil” thing very well, and seeing him in a video such as this really adds to the video’s effect.
Up next we see some strange steampunk contraption with lots of bulbs and a strange gas mask attached via a bendy tube. It isn’t long before Tommy’s character rams this mask onto his face, and, whether inhaling or screaming, triggers the appearance of the band members in various rooms, emerging from leaves and other debris as the track’s heaviness comes out to play.
I could probably search the internet to see what the video really means, but finding your own meaning in things is much more fun. To me, the run-down house is likely the rooms of Tommy’s character’s mind, the dark spaces where his troubles and agonies roam. The strange steampunk machine puts me in mind of the old fashioned opium dens seen in other steampunk settings, facilitating his reflections, but also a kind of an addictive drug too, likely keeping his pain going or even making it worse. The video ends with him slashing the tube with a razor, which seems to be another sign of an addict, but this time one who is deciding that enough is enough. I think most people will be able to relate to having to give up some addiction or vice, for the sake or their mental or physical health. Mine seems to be eating too much, but slicing a cream-cake in two simply makes it easier to eat, rather than look like a grand gesture.
Of course, the other half of the equation is the music, and with this video, the effect of the two seems doubly amplified. The chorus hits all the right notes with me, tapping into my recent moods and feelings, which is no doubt where another large part of my affinity for this video comes from:
“Digging deep inside of me,getting past this agony,I can’t seem to get away,Another day rotting in vain.”
These four lines sum up so much about how I currently feel about life, it’s kind of uncanny. Add in the hoarse screaming of “vain” and the ear-hammering riffs, and this song is enough for me to buy the new album, even if I don’t hear a single one of the other tracks before hand. I don’t often say that about the music I buy.
I think that about sums it all up. I’ve linked to the video below so you can see it and hear it in its full glory. Korn’s new album The Serenity Of Suffering is released October 21st and is from Roadrunner Records.
Rotting in Vain Video Images © Copyright Roadrunner Records