Comprised of Hiro (vocals), Cazqui (7-string), Daichi (guitar), Masa (bass/vocals) and Natsu (drums), Nocturnal Bloodlust is a deathcore/metalcore visual kei band formed in September 2009. Their first mini-album Ivy was released in January of 2012, and their singles catalogue features 8 entries with a ninth due out by the end of the month. The video for their current release ‘Desperate’ features some brutal imagery that suitably illustrates the tone and content of the track.
As the video opens, there’s an intro sequence before the track kicks into high gear – shots of the exterior of a church, bloodied hands, something microscopic. We hear some laboured breathing with ominous musical accompaniment and see a blonde woman looking lost and frantic in an interior church setting. Her eye makeup has run as though she’s been crying, and she seems to be desperately seeking a way out of the place, seen with superimposed shots from the petri dish as before. We’re shown shots of the band members in the church, separate from the shots of the woman at the front, as though they’re not fully part of her ‘story’ in the piece. Fragments from the church show detail on the stained glass portrayal of a knight, perhaps alluding to a hoped-for saviour for the woman.
When we see Hiro in full after partial shots amongst the band, his attire is bizarre when compared to the wardrobe of his fellow bandmates. He seems to be wearing black pants, but his torso and arms appear to be bare, though bloodied and slightly charred. Trails of crimson have streamed from his eyes, creating a horrific effect with his monstrous contact lenses. I’m not sure it’s meant in homage, but the ‘skinned’ appearance of his torso called to mind the colossal titan from Attack on Titan. He takes on a demonic aspect here, as though conducting an unholy ritual in this sacred place.
Near the 1 minute mark signalling the end of the intro, we see the song’s title on-screen accompanied by a swell of rapid drums, electro-noise and guitars wailing. We’re shown more shots of the band, primarily filtered through video-effects that approximate distressed film, but more frequently a bizarre fragmentation applies. There’s a split of discoloration on the members, with red/blue filtering applied to these shots. Hiro’s deathcry reaches its zenith and the lyrics proclaiming what death is proceed as the he starts this necrotic sermon.
As the lyrics detail destructive and murderous methods as a means of release – “Bulldoze, breaking shell of mind / Asphyxiate, struggling out of enormous pain and suffering” – we’re shown the woman clutching her head in the midst of cuts showing the band at play and Hiro screaming the words. She’s shown screaming and we hear this terrified cry. The lyrics “Die…it’s desperate…die…it’s desperate” appear to accompany the shots of her being strangled by Hiro; we can’t see it’s him in particular but as the arms are bloodied it’s a fair assumption to make.
We see a shot of Hiro in a darkened space, peering through a crack as he sings the lyric “Desire we shared is going down into my heart.” From this and more of the lyrics the woman seems to be a lover who’s spurned him, rather than a random victim of this deathly desire. There’s an insane drum roll and a spotlight of sorts featuring Natsu tearing it up, and the track slows considerably to a synth-string progression. The band is seen again in a wide shot for some group headbanging over the next verse, and some of the filtering applied renders the action trickier to make out. The woman is seen in cuts amidst the band shots, screaming once again.
Just before 4 minutes into the track, some serious shredding on the seven string is heard as Cazqui takes the spotlight for an impressive solo. The filmic effect flashes ‘picture start’ a few times here, as seen in old film leader counting into a movie presentation, bizarrely placed ⅔ into the piece. Cazqui keeps up the solo with some overhanded antics, and the track slows as this featured playing concludes.
We more clearly see the murder of the woman as Hiro strangles her and then looms over the body, as he sings “to be dead in the end, farewell…”. The lyrics and the imagery would appear to indicate that he kills her out of some ultimate love, as though he’s sparing her the pain of the world and preserving her memory in his demented mind. After he’s seen looming over the body, we see glass break and the lull in the track breaks back into screams of “Die…It’s desperate” in a repetition of the earlier verse.
Amidst fish-eyed and otherwise distorted shots of the band playing hard the repeated screams of “Die!” continue with the music reaching a fever-pitch. The song abruptly ends, and we hear gurgling or choking noises that sound distinctly male. As we hear these noises of struggle, we see the woman lying on the ground with bloodstains on her dress. She’s dragged off, the fate of her remains an uncertainty as we’re shown some random shots from around the church while the PV comes to a close.
Nocturnal Bloodlust’s deathcore sound is in full effect on the song, though veering wildly throughout. The video is a visceral enactment of sorts of the lyrics, and the setting lends an aspect of evil in defiling this holy ground with the act of violence depicted here. With its quick cuts and overlaid effects, the pace of the track is well met by the imagery presented, and leaves the viewer with a creepy sensation as one can’t help but wonder what Hiro did with the body…