February 28, 2013 By Jen Stratosphere Fanzine
“Nicole Barille and Sam Meister, otherwise known as Mr. Gnome, are back with a fantastic(al) and fascinating video for “House of Circles” off their latest album Madness in Miniature. Directed by Sam himself, the video is stunning, scary, and surreal – just like the duo’s music. Nicole and Sam describe the video as “…a live action interpretation of a sci-fi graphic novel written by Mr. Gnome featuring the dark fantasy characters from the Madness in Miniature cover art.”
This isn’t the first time that Nicole and Sam have delved heavily into the video format to create a compact mini-movie. They released the wildly whacked out and vividly violent “Vampires” video in 2010 which has racked up over 68K views on YouTube. That one is *not* for mass consumption, no matter how crazed the public is for vampire fodder these days…
The “House of Circles” video still maintains a violent streak, but it does so in service to the story that unfolds over its 8-minute length. The narrative is written in the official description of the video at YouTube, but a bare-bones plot synopsis would sum it up as Good vs. Evil, and Life vs. Death. Yes, those caps are intentional as Mr. Gnome takes on those major themes and artistically renders them with film-quality production in a sci-fi setting that blends live action and computer enhanced effects.
To go a bit more into action-packed detail, The Queen Machine (i.e., Evil) is destroying all forms of life to the point where she’s eating up the sun. A band of rebels called The Collectors (AKA Good) try to gather pieces of the sun to ensure that Life continues. The Queen and her minions wipe out The Collectors until only a lone survivor remains with a few pieces of the sun to her name. This Collector battles The Queen and her army in an effort to defeat Death and restore Life to the universe.
Stark and powerful action sequences ensue, with The Collector being hunted by The Queen’s nefarious army. Daggers are drawn and arrows are let fly from bows in this medievally futuristic spacescape. Slashes of blood stand out savagely against the saturated gloom of the descending darkness. Brilliant cataclysms of energy burst from pieces of the sun, illuminating the deep shadowy abyss. The Collector dies and is brought back to life at least once or twice, leading up to a, literally and figuratively, spectacularly smashing ending…or is it a beginning?…
The action in the video is precision-timed to the music, effectively enhancing both the visuals and the sound. The song itself shifts between lulls and build-ups of dread and tension and an intense rocking out filled with Nicole’s unearthly wailing and Sam whaling mightily at his drum kit. A stop-start rhythm akin to many a Queens of The Stone Age song creates an uneasy atmosphere that is pierced by Nicole’s distinctive vocals that are sharp and fiery with anxiety and defiance.”
*Originally published on DOA
*“Borrowed” by Harrison of Amish Meth Lab