With Seungwoo’s return, Victon starts off their first comeback of 2020 as a 7-member group again. Their lead single, “Howling,” is part of their newest album titled, Continuous. The MV for “Howling” focuses on imagery, a passionate dance-routine, and aesthetic shots of the members. With the use of color, dance, and symbolism the MV tries to create a sense of despair but has no overall theme. Unfortunately, the MV is fairly basic copying many tropes from your typical moody K-pop MV.  

The MV for “Howling” has no plot but uses symbolism to create a desolate and melancholy tone. For instance, one member is holding a dripping pomegranate which resembles a bleeding heart. The symbol stands for a rejected love which goes hand in hand with the lyrics of the song. Similarly, another member is shown tossing a photograph into the fire. This suggests that they are either trying to forcibly forget someone. There are other moments, like a piano falling apart and a fish in a glass wine, that adds to the lonely tone of the MV. All in all the imagery gives a sense of depression but fails to stick to a specific theme.

The dark shadows in the MV mix with the two alternate color schemes to further create a solitary tone. The tans, browns, and yellows give certain scenes a deserted feel. One in particular features what looks like to be an abandoned and torn-down construction zone suggesting that everything is falling apart around them. The color scheme switches to bluer schemes like Hansen’s scene in which he’s surrounded by dusty old-fashioned electronics. However, again, the MV does not stick with a particular theme and its unclear where the members are supposed to be. Sometimes they look like they are stuck in dystopian era where everything is falling apart. Sometimes they look like they have ventured into abandoned or forgotten areas.

Although the MV does have some symbolism, it focuses more on the dramatic dance that helps express the sadness of the song. In fact, the dance routine is the highlight of the MV. The members dance in three main areas, one of them being a concrete stage that is sometimes surrounded by golden flower petals. The emptiness of the scene and the use of both light and darkness on the members help bring the focus on them.

The dance starts off with the members doing hand movements around Subin. Then it switches to a moment of skinship with Subin and Byungchan holding each other as the camera pans around on their faces as they sing. The rest of the routine depicts pained and dramatic reactions to the lyrics of the song. For example, during the chorus, they throw their hands over their heads as if they are crying out or are in severe pain.

The song, itself, is about lamenting the loss of a lover and remaining optimistic that they will return to them. The trap beat starts slows which is nicely paired with huskier voices from the members. However, as the song quickens its pace, the voices become cleaner and more expressive fitting with the range of emotions of the song. In relation to the title of the song, the lyrics compare their cries to that of a howling beast as they cry for their former lover. The song gives up werewolf vibes which fits the darker theme of the MV:

I have fallen to the ground
Howling like a starving beast
The sad laughter that feels
Like it can dig into my flesh…

The MV contains few bits of symbolism and lacks a plot but instead it focuses on an elaborate and emotional dance routine. While not every MV requires a plot, this one also lacks much of a central theme. Unfortunately, there also is not a lot to unpack with the bits of symbolism. Several scenes depict heartbreak and loneliness but it is unclear if they are trying to forget someone or are looking to return to their former lover. All in all, it is a fairly basic MV that does a disservice to the song’s nice arrangement.

(Youtube. Lyrics via KpopLyrics. Images via Play M Entertainment.)