Sayem is a writer and critic with over 10 years of experience reporting on the latest technology and video games. He set up a blog at 15, and since then has been seen on VICE, Playboy, Eurogamer and more. He grew up building PCs with his father in a shed, loading copies of Windows off of multiple floppy drives, and since then he's kept on top of the latest PC gaming trends.
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American Industrial band HEALTH is currently touring across Europe. The band is famously known for collaborating with Crystal Castles in 2007, in addition to creating the entire soundtrack of Max Payne 3, contributing to the GTAV tracklist, and was also featured in Cyberpunk 2077. The band is well-respected and has most recently collaborated with the likes of Nine Inch Nails and Lamb of God.
However, the fallen leaves are telling us a slightly different story over on Social Media, with the band’s accounts frothing with obsession over FromSoftware’s mega-hit Elden Ring, to the point where they are going to perform a live show titled ‘RADAHN FEST 18.104.22.168’ this Thursday. Promotional tweets show off exclusive merchandise that features the band, and amalgamations of some of the game’s most well-known characters: Blaidd and Radahn. We spoke to a representative for HEALTH about the show, and why they chose to host an event in one of The Lands Between’s most dangerous areas.
HEALTH’s John Famiglietti thinks Malenia is real
One of the first questions we had for a representative of the band is by asking who their favourite character in FromSoftware’s hit title is. But, we got some shocking responses that might require us to sit and think about the band’s psyche and mental health. ‘Malenia, Blade of Miquella is John’s favourite character- he had professed a desire to “save” and “care for” this character, and seemed particularly emotionally invested in her well-being.’
Being, you know, a pretty big boss in the game itself, we further peered into the idea that HEALTH’s John Famiglietti might be an Elden Ring obsessive, but his prior comments suggest that he might not even be aware that Malenia is even a set of code and not a real human being at all. When speaking to Joseph McKinney, HEALTH’s creative director, he stated the following after we asked if any members of the band had in fact beaten Malenia, one of the game’s toughest bosses:
….the last thing John would do is bring harm to Malenia. My recent text conversations with John have cast doubt on whether he is aware that Malenia is a fictional character- mentions of tending her wounds and repairing her prosthetics all paint a picture of someone who believes the character to be real and physically present.
But, the rest of the band is seemingly entirely unaware that Elden Ring even exists at all, which paints a puzzling picture for their upcoming unofficial ‘RADAHN FEST’ show. ‘Jacob and Benjamin are unaware of the game or characters therein.’
Is John’s desire to save Malenia so strong that he wants to defeat Radahn himself?
Further blurring the lines between fiction and reality, the band chose to name the show ‘RADAHN FEST 22.214.171.124’ at Redmane Castle during its announcement. But, this makes some thematic sense when you think about John’s desire to ‘save’ Malenia, as Radahn was Malenia’s greatest adversary, who forced her to retreat into the Haligtree, so it makes sense that he’d want to participate in RADAHN FEST 126.96.36.199. However, according to HEALTH’s corporate spokesperson, this is seemingly nothing but the result of what they claim is ‘rigorous focus testing’, but there is more to unpack. The spokesperson also commented that Caelid is a ‘fictional location’ and, most egregiously, claims that Elden Ring is nothing but a ‘children’s video game’. This game is not for children, it is only for charismatic pot-creatures and those who are professed to the ‘full goblin’ lifestyle.
The actual details of the show is that it’s actually a recording of the band’s live performance at 1720 Warehouse in Los Angeles, and will be streamed worldwide as a result of ‘popularity of this video game in [the band’s] highest priority demographics.’, apparently. But listen, HEALTH’s corporate team: we see the passion, we see the fire beneath the band’s feet, these men are unchained, and you will need the best, most upgraded armor and weaponry to see through the collective obsession over Elden Ring that the human race has suffered over the last couple of months.
HEALTH recommends no weapons or armor for RADAHN FEST 188.8.131.52
Listen, regardless of how it’s all going to go down, we already know that Radahn Fest is a pretty dangerous place to be. Once you get to the Wailing Dunes, you’ll see a huge number of Elden Ring’s hardest heroes battling it out against Radahn. But, when we asked them about what weapons or armor they fans when preparing for the show. They stated ‘Legal counsel advised us not to comment on any potential for danger that would require weapons or armor’: This is a dangerous precedent, and goes against the band’s own promotion of the show through their merchandise, which plasters the extremely cool and collected Blaidd on the front of the shirt, brandishing a gigantic sword and what looks like some pretty hefty armor.
Though, the band’s insistence on not commenting on any weapons or armor could point to them seeking out only the strongest of their fans, as those who do not wear armor in Elden Ring could be considered the most powerful players of them all, as shown by recent viral hit ‘Let me solo her’.
The design of the shirt is, frankly, astonishing. Its creation was borne from the fruit of ‘algorithmically successful OC meme-maker’ (Their words, not our own) Kino Fabino, and can only be purchased during the live event on April 21 at 6PM PST.
The band’s creative director Joseph McKinney continues to state that the Elden Ring fixation is simply an attempt to overpower ‘the algorithm’ by mentioning FromSoftware’s open-world hit, which has apparently overtaken terms and phrases for marketability such as ‘goated with the sauce’, references to ‘the pipeline’ and another which we simply cannot publish over here in the humble halls of WePC towers.
HEALTH spokesperson goes on a bizarre tangent about philosophy
When we asked HEALTH’s spokesperson about how Radahn might feel about the festival, we were greeted with a bizarre tangent, citing the Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. This is really too long to publish in full, so we’ve dropped an image of their mind-curdling response below. But, they do go on to reiterate that Radahn is in fact, not real, much to many fans’ dismay. Ever heard of kayfabe, lads? If you can make sense of any of what they are actually saying, please let us know in the comments.
This show will probably be super cool
We’ve stumbled through the band’s threateningly corpo response to our fun lighthearted questioning, and we were faced with a stone wall of legalese, protecting the band from any reparation from fans attending what is sure to be an eventful RADAHN FEST 184.108.40.206, even if they’d like to state that they are not warping through sending gates to get to the Wailing Dunes on Thursday.