Earlier this month, Oakland-based experimental doom metal band Ragana released their new record WASH AWAY on the anarchist, feminist, and anti-racist metal and noise label An Out Recordings. Nicole Kurmina Gilson and Maria Stocke whisk listeners into a dark abyss where foreboding guitar riffs, heavy drums, and piercing vocals engulf you. They’ve released their first ever music video for the record’s opening track “Invocation pt. 2”.
After watching the video, it wouldn’t surprise you to learn that Gilson and Stocke are originally from Olympia, Washington, a place known for its historic punk scene as well as its gloomy weather. There’s a cinematic feel to this grainy, black and white video. It opens with establishing shots of a fog swallowing up mountains and a surrounding forest. Then, screaming vocals accompany a flurry of gothic images and footage from nature. It feels like you’re being hurled through a realm belonging some old, arcane mythology. Or maybe this is glimpse of the mind of a mysterious protagonist walking aimlessly through her town. There are shots of another person wearing a hooded cape, hands pressed against each other, and the shifting night sky. The video takes after Maya Deren’s 1943 experimental film “Meshes of the Afternoon” both in aesthetics and in how its series of exterior, scenic shots suggest an far more cryptic interior psychology.