We’re very excited to show the first two videos from Petrels’ stunning second album, Onkalo. Named after the underground bunker where Finnish scientists are burying nuclear waste and the intense moral dilemma that surrounds it (read more here), the album offers a dystopian counterpoint to his first album, Haeligewielle, which held at its heart the uplifting story of William Walker and his one man mission to strengthen the steadily collapsing foundations of Winchester Cathedral a century ago.
The inspiration for the two records could not be more starkly opposed and no more is this highlighted than in the video for album opener, Hinkley Point Balloon Release. The track begins with a widescreen flourish as soaring cellos flood the speakers, rooting us in the distinctly human language of Haeligeweille. The overlapping images that accompany this salvo are from William Walker’s era; circus strongmen, officers in uniform and vaudeville starlets flit across the screen, until a sudden change takes over to bring us roaring into the modern age. The coruscating keyboard pattern that marks this change is steadily engulfed by an onrushing digital crush, as flickering scenes of astronauts in the outer reaches of the earth’s atmosphere herald the cold embrace of the modern age.
Modern tropes are further explored on Giulio’s Throat, a 10 minute epic with hypnotic visuals from video artist Laid Eyes. Cut-glass digital babbles swirl around an ever-rising barrage of drone- always on the verge of collapse but upheld by a two-note bass pattern that ploughs through the track’s core until it finally succumbs to the weight of its surroundings.
If you want to know more about Onkalo watch Into Eternity, Michael Madsen’s incredible documentary, in full below.