With System of a Down seemingly in a perpetual state of limbo, band members like Serj Tankian have extra time to contribute to outside projects that flex their creative abilities and showcase their diverse talents. Tankian has done exactly that with progressive supergroup O.R.k., featuring current and former members of King Crimson and Porcupine Tree, to create "Black Blooms," a sweeping and enigmatic track the highlights the range and experience of all involved.
Deliberate and slow, the song opens like a distant siren as Tankian's versatile voice sweeps in with the piano part. An accompanying clip features swirling floral images that routinely feature close-ups of the performers in a low-lit, blackened room. Intimate focus on each musician mimics the far-away scope of the backing music, with a choral-like arrangement of verses taking center stage in the melancholic swell of the song.
The tragedy and passionate sadness explored in the lyrics are exemplified by struggle portrayed in the video. A man apparently locked in a solitary asylum room battles with himself and his surroundings as the scene becomes enveloped in blackness. As twinkling stars fill the darkening void, the protagonist's hands are shown close up, covered in a sludgy black liquid that becomes paint on a large canvas. Spotlights shine on the patient-turned-artist's face, and his suffering becomes art as he scrawls out abstractions onto the canvas, thrashing wildly with the crescendo of Tankian's vocals as they soar over the cacophony of the music.
"Black Blooms" comes from O.R.k.'s upcoming full-length Ramagehead, out February 22nd on Kscope records. The album, which features cover art by Tool's Adam Jones, is available for pre-order, and pre-save via streaming platforms, at this location.
1. Kneel to Nothing
2. Signals Erased
3. Beyond Sight
4. Black Blooms (feat. Serj Tankian)
5. Time Corroded
6. Down the Road
7. Some Other Rainbow Part 1
8 Strangled Words
9. Some Other Rainbow