From Space to Destroy

Loadhammer’s third song to be accompanied by video was “From Space to Destroy.” This proved to be a breakout hit for the band as well as the video’s director, Simeon Poulson.

The video begins with a starfield and then pans down to Earth seen from space. A rising guitar slowly builds, high pitched, evoking the sound of some sort of interstellar drive. Cut to a group of warriors in a mix of Neolithic and iron-age garb – animal skins, bone clubs, some swords and battle axes – raising their weapons at a meteor streaking through the sky. The guitar sound reaches a crescendo as the meteor impacts into the Earth with a massive explosion.

Chugging guitars and Loadhammer percussionist Nils Fulgar’s twin bass drum underlie a quick montage of the group of soldiers marching to the impact site. Soon they arrive and begin pounding on a huge stone sphere, their hammers and clubs beating in time to the music. The sphere cracks, issuing forth green light and smoke for a silent moment before the shell explodes outward and reveals singer Baaltrom Urlbach, who is soaking in a bloody yolk material and wearing what appears to be a combination of a spacesuit and armor, although there is no helmet. Covered in mucus he sings,

“I come from the sky
To rid this world of sin
Look me in the eye
Tell me where should I begin?”

This is sung as he pulls an axe-shaped guitar from the slime and strums power chords which shoot beams of light and flame from the neck of the guitar. These turn the soldiers around him into bloody sprays of vaporized gore and meaty gobbets. It should be noted that Urlbach is not the lead guitarist (that role falling to Veer Klongsvaal, formerly of Pirate and Viking Black), so the chords he strikes out are not his own.

No matter, because the soldiers soon mount a counterattack and begin hacking and clubbing Urlbach back into his egg. Impaled and bloody he sings,

“The mirror doesn’t lie
Now you’ve got me crucified
But it’s your fate to die
And still I’m not satisfied.”

Klongsvaal, face partly obscured by a cow-skull helmet (rumors that this was to cover a self-inflicted burn on his forehead have not been substantiated) raises his club over his head and brings it down on Urlbach. Klongsvaal’s face is spattered with blood in a close-up shot. Klongsvaal then lip-synchs Urlbach’s lyrics in a tidy reversal of the Urlbach’s character’s use of Klongsvaal’s guitar sound, singing,

“From space to destroy
Every man, woman, girl, and boy
The message we deploy:
Killing is the only joy.”

At this point it is evident that Klongsvaal has been possessed by the spirit of the Urlbach’s freshly deceased character. His eyes glow with the same green light that came from the egg, and suddenly he is holding the axe-guitar and laying waste to his former comrades over the course of the 84 second guitar solo that makes up the balance of the song. This is visually punctuated by close-up shots of the rest of the band just before they explode. As the flurry of notes fades out the camera pulls back in a crane shot to reveal Klongsvaal standing in the center of a blasted field of bloody headless corpses.

The camera continues to pull back until we again see earth from space, except now there are fine lines of green light making a network around the globe. The standard version of the video fades to black at this point and ends.

A slightly extended version was aired twice: once when the video was premiered and again at 9:00 PM on Halloween of 2007. This second broadcast was apparently in error, as upon the completion of the video the commercial following was truncated on the front end by 7 seconds.

The final seven seconds of the extended version continue the zoom-out from Earth and then cut to the outside of a green 20-sided die (the implication is that the solar system was contained within the die), still zooming out to reveal a group of teenage boys sitting around a table in what appears to be a suburban living room. The boys all bear striking resemblances to the members of Loadhammer, both physically and in terms of trademark bits of costume.

The Urlbach surrogate rolls the die and, reading it, says, “Twenty! Critical hit.” The junior Klongsvaal then pulls a knife from under the table and stabs Urlbach in the throat. Blood sprays all over the papers on the table, and the entire group turns to face the camera. They whisper in unison, “Killing is the only joy.”

Poulson’s award for Best Video of the Year was based on the standard length video.

–Steve Kilian

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