Previously Published on Yell!
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Sounds of a Playground Fading is a great In Flames album and “Where The Dead Ships Dwell” is possibly the best track on the album, if it’s not, it’s certainly in the top three. On October 31st, the track’s corresponding Patric Ullaeus-directed video was released, and man it’s a haunting and cinematic clip.
The video, which might appear to be a series of related images, is much more comprehensible with an understanding of the lyrics. In the video we see wide-open expanses of nature in autumn, including a sparsely treed woodland and a calm lake, as well as views of some beautiful Old World buildings. We also get to see inside at least one of these buildings, which reveals crumbling Victorian-era decor. Taken together, these images could mean endless opportunity, a world to be taken, in the midst of change, the passing of the previous generation, and in death.
Then there’s the child and the childhood toys, specifically, a handmade boat in a stream, that are less than perfect. The child seems lost, searching for something, and displays strange hand twitchings. These might represent the loss of innocence with no sense of direction.
There’s also a close-up of an old person’s bloodshot eye darting around in all directions, what appears to be a dead body on the floor, and a demonic form that looks like it walked out of Eyes Wide Shut. Also strange is that this “demon” appears upside down a few times, as does the “dead” body at the end of the video. Now, that old person’s eye could mean regret as it looks back to various events during its life. However, the eye with the inversed images and the “demon” could mean the speaker’s life is in chaos, turmoil, or lost.
Of course there is a scene in which the child visits some dead ships, meaning hollow, abandoned, deserted, empty, used, all of which could be felt by someone who is clinically depressed or, again, by an older person living with regret.
There are a hundred more images in the video for “Where The Dead Ships Dwell” that can be analyzed, but I’m hoping I’ve given you enough to think about as you watch the video and listen to the lyrics. Again, the lyrics and the imagery go hand in hand.
“Where The Dead Ships Dwell” is a beautifully shot video and worth checking out. It has to be said that it is incredible to see videos that have been given some thought.