So, Rise Against did a Song for DC’s Death Metal (a look at Broken Dreams Inc.)

Watch the video:

DC’s Dark Nights: Metal was one of the biggest, craziest, darkest, and more beloved event books in comic history. A real metal inspired story and look that’s been escalated with all I’ve seen in this sequel series, Death Metal. It is almost perfect synergy to get a song to illustrate all the book represents and stands for and Rise Against is a great pick.

I like Rise Against as a band. They made two of my favorite songs, Satellites and Savior. They have a strong command of writing a song while making it feel epic. They do, in their lesser songs, devolve into just screaming and not advancing the song. That makes them a good if possibly risky pick. Thankfully they stick to what works for them.

Forturnetly and unfortunately they made a Rise Against song. It’s not bad in anyway. The beat and riffs rock. There is a lot of power and energy behind both the production and lyrics. When turned up loud, it feels like a big song about… well it’s what most Rise Against songs are about, loss of innocence, death of the American dream, general rioting against big businesses. So, yeah it’s not really a song about the DC heroes.

Part of this disconnect I’m feeling comes from how I don’t know what the story of Death Metal. Maybe Death Metal is all about automation taking over, riots of the underclasses, and are the children of lesser gods (this part I do believe). This isn’t to say I want an anime OP for the book… actually I do. That would be awesome! I just want something somewhat related to the heroes and their struggles in the book, and that did kind of happen.

What? You don’t remember Mercenary by Panic! at the Disco? The song produced for the Batman: Arkham City game, it is also a good song and, though can be equally vague in the way post-first album Panic! can be, but at least its bridge uses a Jonathan Crane voice line as a bridge to put us in the head of Batman. Broken Dream Inc could be getting into Batman or one of the other character’s heads, but again I wouldn’t know the story.

The video for Broken Dreams Inc uses art from the comic along with additional ADRd lines to frame the events as something the heroes created. It makes the line, “A chaos we ourselves created,” literal by having the chaos be The Batman who Laughs and the scenario of this Heavy Metal Apocalypse be on the heroes heads as something they must solve. The video also tries very hard to find literalizations of song lyrics in the book. A truly funny example is, “And they’re changing the locks on the doors,” paired with the Joker closing a jail cell. It’s goofy in a way I don’t think they intended. Even with the pairing of comic pages it is hard to see the relation other than the lyrics being what the heroes are saying to The Batman who Laughs and his villains, but that’s not nearly as explicit as they think it is.

There was no place to really put this since I framed this as the song relates to the the DC universe and characters, but the title “Broken Dream Inc” is a great title and used really well. It is given one line, but feels like it’s supposed to be informed by the line before and after. In the chorus and they sing, “When the factories are automated/Broken dreams incorporated/Gather your things but there’s nowhere to go,” they make the line about broken dreams feel more like something added to the factories and business. The peoples broken dreams are incorporated into the business so you can try to leave but you won’t go anywhere. The line says that businesses, corporations and the like are not just made by the people in charge but by those who gave up everything to work there. Who had dreams of their own but were broken under the weight of the impossible system we live in. It is a really haunting line that far more interesting way to use it, instead of being the name of an actual corporation.

More comic companies need to do this. Sure, Death Metal is more closely related to an actual genre of music (though I would not classify Rise Against as death metal, they are the most normie friendly metal they could get), but that doesn’t mean more comic companies can’t do this. Adding a secondary, multi-media element, that isn’t as intrusive as a tie-in novel or game, but can get the themes and tone across is brilliant. Songs are the perfect medium to accomplish that task. They can be as brief, lyrical, and bombastic as needed all while never being crucial to understanding the text of the story. A whole event book that had a song tied to each release and was meant to be listened to with each book would be epic and really unique. And since unique is all the comic book industry has left it sounds like a great idea.

I’m cleaning house and selling some media. If you would like to buy comics, manga, or cards I owned and used follow this link: say you’re a reader and I’ll be happy to discount any item for you!

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