Larger than life Icelandic hardcore boy band Hatari released a new video yesterday, Engin Miskunn (“No Mercy”), to instant critical acclaim. But while the masses process what they just saw in just under four minutes, critics around the globe are furiously scratching out their interpretation of the rampant symbolism in the video.
Our team of experts did their damnedest to analyse the video given what they know about the band, capitalism, and the history of Iceland in general. We think they did all right.
Let’s analyse this frame by frame. In the first scene, two women approach a sculpture that looks like the Enron logo. Enron was an American energy company which collapsed under the weight of corruption and fraud. This is ultimately what happens under capitalism: the race to greater wealth means companies fudge numbers in order to grow. The truth always comes out, though, and these dishonest companies will always fail.
The gimp is playing slots. He isn’t winning, but the jackpot is growing. This casino economy helped to facilitate the crash of 2008. This knowledge burns behind Einar’s eyes. Meanwhile, Matthías is walking down a highway. Driving a car while yelling an anti-capitalist message seems disingenuous somehow. “The last meteorite will be your bane. Belated repentance changes nothing,” he says. A meteorite falls. “Fire will swallow your entire world. You’ve got nothing worth holding onto. No mercy.” The ladies dance in front of the sculpture as another meteorite falls.
Matthías is making his way to Krínglan shopping mall. “Blindingly plummeting you scream as you fall. In the pit you’re shown no mercy,” he says. This mall is the epicenter of capitalism in Reykjavík. Some see Krínglan as the place that killed commerce in downtown Reykjavík. Matthías is walking through it late at night, screaming about the apocalypse. “Fire will swallow your entire world. You’ve got nothing worth holding onto. No mercy.”
We see another dancer in the cereal aisle of Bónus, and his face looks dead, but he can’t stop himself from dancing, caressing the cereal boxes, and writhing on the floor. These great deals on a wide variety of corn and wheat based breakfasts have got him shook.
Matthías and Einar go through a bright light together into a room that looks like a mix between a hospital and a reception room. Several people in white robes surround Klemens, who is emerging from a doughy substance that resembles a placenta atop what appears to be an altar. He sings: “The glory will spread over the earth. For mortal children doomsday is at hand.” As he sings, the cultists advance towards him.
When he has fully emerged from the placenta, the cultists devour it and Matthías screams, “No mercy!” The dancers, both in front of the sculpture, (which no longer resembles the Enron logo) and in the cereal aisle at Bónus, continue to dance, but they are pale, and their eyes are glazed over. It’s as if they have died, but the spirit of anti-capitalism keeps them twitching. Klemens continues singing, “Doomsday is at hand.” The cult sways. By the end, Klemens is lying atop the altar, lifeless. He sacrificed himself to bring about the fall of capitalism.
The dancers in front of the sculpture pump their fists as a final meteorite shoots across the sky. This is the harbinger of the bane of capitalism, which was brought about by Klemens’s sacrifice. The last shot is a little girl in a white dress and Einar’s signature gimp mask. She represents the hope that the next generation will adopt the same anti-capitalist stance that Hatari has espoused, and will not be fooled by the lies that capitalists tell.
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