A few days ago, Soundwave-bound heavy-rock mainstays Disturbed unveiled the video clip for their new cover of Simon & Garfunkel's iconic hit The Sound Of Silence, as included on their apparently necessary new album Immortalised.
The clip is a black-and-white, so-serious-it-hurts display of musical pretentiousness, replete with the face of frontman David Draiman appearing in the clouds like some sort of blindingly bald-headed God-Emperor as people underneath scrawl sheet music in the dirt, all while grand, sweeping strings and overproduced piano underscore the track's four-minute crescendo to its destination of nowhere meaningful at all.
In earnest defense of the cover, Draiman is unquestionably an exemplary vocalist, demonstrating depth, range and dynamics that one isn't usually treated to among the snarls and growls of the scene's usual fare; if there's any redeeming quality at all to the work, it's in Draiman's vocal contributions, which are, objectively, top-notch.
However, in tandem with the rest of the package, the whole thing honestly ends up feeling exactly like that Qantas ad from the '90s where a group of children sang in the desert before presumably being eaten by wild pack animals (you remember the one —it even got a remake in the 2000s).
Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter
So, what does this have to do with Disturbed? Well, at a glance, the two clips mightn't seem that closely related, but if you dig a little deeper, the aural and visual aesthetics of the Sound Of Silence cover actually closely echoes the style and progression of Qantas' use of I Still Call Australia Home.
Both videos start off with largely empty fields — granted, Qantas use a child to dot the scenery, while Disturbed decided to just straight-up burn some instruments — as their respective tracks commence with hushed, gentle restraint.
Enter the vocals. While Draiman possesses a wildly deeper voice than any child on the planet, he nonetheless knows that if he comes out the gate blazing, he'll have nowhere to go, and so, like his pre-pubescent counterpart, ushers vocals into the song quietly, alone — tentatively, almost — as both clips start to slideshow evocative scenery in slow-motion. Qantas goes for tourist attractions, Disturbed go for guitars being unearthed and drums plucked from trees.
Single figures in wide-shot scenery is a big recurring theme here, where Disturbed's clip essentially turns into the world's most depressing tourism video, like if Scotland Air tried to capitalise on the Top 10 Highland Locations Guaranteed To Make You Miserable or something.
And then there are the kids, suddenly flanking Disturbed like the robed populace of the Village Of The Damned, with the song's climax ultimately drawing influence from both Game Of Thrones and Vikings to complete the "what the shit is even happening in this video" trifecta.
Still not convinced? We thought you might need a little further prodding, so behold the glory that is Disturbed's Qantas ad below, and try and look at this clip the same way ever again.