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Black Midi 'Welcome To Hell' by Gustaf Holtenäs

David Knight - 16th May 2022

A year after the video for Slow, his extraordinary first visual for Black Midi, Swedish animator Gustaf Holtenäs has collaborated once again with the precocious math-rock outfit, and the result is another jaw-dropping  tour de force.

For Welcome To Hell, Holtenäs has returned to the Slow universe, with the same visual style, merging both 2D and 3D animation. Ultimately we realise we are witnessing the origin story of the angry blue boy creature from the first video. But there is also a new narrative element here, and a discernable critique of the warped nature of online relationships. 

Ultimately its an even more developed version of an imagined world that's entirely (or pretty much entirely) derived from the director's imagination.

I wanted to portray the main character as this entitled martyr of an Incel.

"Yes it is a extension of the Slow universe," Holtenäs tells Promonews. "A prequel and also a sequel. I don’t want to get into the details of the narrative too much. Both for its ridiculous complexity, but also because I want the keep the interpretation open. If Slow was an existential/philosophical apocalyptic video this one is more of a social/political apocalyptic video.

"I got the idea for the thematics after a lot of my female friends have men stalking them on the internet. So I wanted to portray the main character as this entitled martyr of an Incel. But enough of spoiling."

Holtenäs has recently moved from Stockholm to Barcelona, and the video, that he has been developing since December last year before moving into production from February, was made in collaboration with the Barcelona animation collective Mitrilo.

"I was in charge of all the 2D while Sevi Domochevsky directed the 3D-animation," he says, adding that he had free rein once again on making the video. "Although I briefed the band on the narrative with storyboards before starting the work." 

Mesmerizing, gut-punching, deeply enigmatic - and truly original.  

David Knight - 16th May 2022


  • Animation
  • Director's notes
  • Narrative
  • Pick of the Day
  • Alternative
  • Rock
  • Apocalypse
  • Incel

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Gustaf Holtenäs


3D modelling
Valeria Baret, Alex Luque García


Sound design
Hannes Ferm

David Knight - 16th May 2022

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