“Are you here for the ‘Viewing’?” asked the terrifying Real Estate agent.
“Err… yes… yes I am. I’m Alex, pleased to meet you,” I reply warily.
“Step this way.”
“And, you are?”
“OLAF.” The man didn’t so much as speak his name, as INTONE it and I didn’t just hear that his name was Olaf, I felt it in my chest.
He stepped backwards, ushered me inside and began to climb a set of stairs – a furious looking man, wearing what appeared to be a bear-skin cloak over a full suit of leather armour. Atop his head, a slightly damaged and worryingly blood-stained iron helmet. Across his mighty back, a wooden shield and in one of his hands he somehow managed to carry a huge woodcutter’s axe which was also chipped and slightly bloodstained.
I somehow overcame my initial misgivings about being welcomed to a ‘Viewing’ by a literal f***ing viking marauder, and against my best instincts began to scale the stairs behind him.
First we saw ‘Revisionist’ and I was taken aback by the sheer violence of the whole thing. The thunderous drums like blows from the hammer of Thor and waterfalls of guitar, tumbling before us recalling the rivers of blood that must have been spilled by my guide’s mighty axe.
The lightning of the guitars and the thunder of the drums seemed to really effect my viking guide and he started to weep tears of blood.
This was a terrifying, towering specimen of historical death-dealing, crying.
This was Metal as f***. But it was also Emo.
This theme continued throughout the ‘Viewing’. We explored the ‘Void’ together, which began with a peaceful respite from the death metal atmosphere of the previous glance, but then assaulted us with screaming oaths, proclaimed in what must be some ancient runic language, which seemed to say…
I’d feel the weight,‘Void’ by Stay Inside
you’d help me out.
Our legs locked in,
you’d press me down.
Your stomach turns,
but not your mouth.
… all while that pure METAL clang of war rang in our ears and the drums continued their thunderous assault, and the guitars joined them; the blades of our enemies.
It was hard to recall how much time passed. We waded through the ‘Silt’ and across the ‘Divide’. My guide crying bloody tears and slaying the demonic spectres of loss and grief that screamed at us as we made our way through the ‘Viewing’.
Then it was time to ‘Leave’. A solitary voice – a bard perhaps – gently serenaded us as we walked out from the ‘Viewing’ . A peaceful oasis after such terrifying scenes as we had witnessed together. My guide who had initially terrified me, now felt like a brother in arms.
As I got into my car to drive away, he managed to stop crying his tears of blood and said, “I’m afraid that we must part here young warrior. I must Stay Inside.”
“Oh, ok.” I whispered sadly.
“It’s ok though. We will meet again, I promise you that!” He put his massive hand on my shoulder and I felt calm.
“One more thing,” he added, “I am required by the terms of my blood-pact to inform you that you can find Stay Inside on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and at their Bandcamp page. You can also listen to ‘Viewing’ below if you like, or by heading to Spotify.”
“Wait, what?” I asked, confused.
But he was gone. It was almost like, the viking warrior Olaf hadn’t existed at all. Perhaps, he was just a clumsy metaphor for the heavy emotional depths of the band Stay Inside, and not a Real Estate Agent after all…
“I just wanted to buy a house!” I wailed at no one in particular.
Then I went home and had some tea.