Upon first hearing the dirty, doom rock guitar licks of London rock outfit Throne, it’s not instinctively intuitive to imagine embroidery. The band’s sound seems like it should be accompanied by primal cave paintings or giant, brutal rock carvings—yet, through the directorial power of band member Nicos Livesy and the animation skills of Tom Bunker, embroidery is the medium they followed for their new video, "Where Tharsis Sleeps."
Painstakingly stitched frame by frame, "Tharsis Sleeps" follows a band of post-Earth humans attempting to terraform a new planet for human habitation. As is obvious from the first second the dark and distorted track hits the ear, things go awry for our heroes. They mistakenly unleash a demonic explosion of chemicals upon the planet, transforming everything around them into a twisted version of life that certainly was not their intention. Exploding landmasses, grotesquely accelerated evolution, and even some brain munching overlay the intensifying rock sludge. The video moves so fast that easy to forget that every single frame was physically stitched with a sewing machine. Whenever the idea returns to your noggin, it only makes the video’s artistry more impressive.
As the video goes on, the choice to embroider the animation makes sense. The more insane the visuals become, the more you feel like the frames belong on a Sex Pistols or Machine Head back patch. In fact, according to an interview with Mass Appeal, director Nicos Livesy was inspired to make the video while crafting some of his own metal band patches. A post by the Cob Gallery breaks down the behind-the-scenes stats thusly:
“3,000 hand-drawn frames, 250 square metres of denim, 12 million stitches, 40 days of animation, 1,800 hours of digitizing, 3,500 hours of embroidering, 500 hours of capturing.”
‘Where Thrasis Sleeps’ may be the first heavy metal video animated with embroidery, but we’re certain it won’t be the last. After all, we’d stitch any frame of this pupil-smacking video to our backs in a heartbeat.