Hateful seed inside me
Scald my mind of all but truth
So here is the first installment of a new category of posts called “lyrics dissected”. Most bands nowadays in the Death Metal world (more so on the Grindier side, less so in the Blackest side) barely write lyrics. Some however take their time to communicate something.
Hateful from Modena, Italy is one such band. Here is a long chat I had with Daniele and the lyrics of their latest full length album “Epilogue of Masquerade” (2013).
So let’s start from the conceptualization of the lyrics. Are the ones on the latest albums somehow connected? Is there a common thread?
No common threads, I touched many different themes and I think I’ll continue to write in this way… Each song has its topic. Inthe first album there were some tracks that were linked together but in “Epilogue of Masquerade” I had so many different things I wanted to write about that a concept album would have been a limitation, so to say.
The lyrics on the first song refers to the cover art? “The blackened blood flows into turbulent oceans” looks like it refers to the black liquid spilling from that circular dimensional gate. Did you get inspiration from some Dan Seagraveish illustrated nightmare and built lyrics upon that or on the contrary you first envisioned the lyrics and subsequently engineered the cover art? Abstracting the concepts to the limits, would it be possible to define all the lyrics of the album combined with just a couple of words? What does “Epilogue of Masquerade” refers to? Revelation? Of what?
You are right, but to be precise I wrote the lyrics first. Artifacts of the Damned is about the essence of the artistic creation in general, at least from my point of view. Visual arts are definitely a source of inspiration for the lyrics, as well as many other concepts more related to society or personal experience. I think I use a very “visual” style even when I thalk about society or more mundane things, the atmospheres are very important in our lyrics
Memory is mostly visual after all even if perception is a mixture of all senses, and then some more.
The title “Epilogue of Masquerade” does not refer to any of the songs in particular, It is a sort of “sum” of the overall atmosphere and the sense of “unveiling thruts and exposing inner deformities” that permeates the whole record
What’s the masquerade? Some sort of self-inflicted blindness humanity needs to safeguard its sanity?
Yes, the lies that keep us away from insanity probably.
Maybe a sort of “yang” that permits the existence of luciferian creativity? That brings us to the second track “Corrupting the Veils That Keeps the Mind Sane”
Yeah, the hidden side… Society uses the lies to mantain a sort of difficult order. I tried to dismantle this construct in our lyrics.
What if we needed these lies? Do you believe we can face a world of complete freedom
would that be auspicable?
What you find beyond the veil is not necessarily good or illuminating it could be scary and disturbing.
What moves you towards it then? Is it some spark of creation and divine consciousness?
Isn’t ignorance bliss?
This concept has been inspired by Mondrian‘s painting research… He gradually dissolved the veil and reached a world of primary colors, a totally abstract dimension.It leads you to a place of no emotions apparently. The lyrics arre the opposite.
Or maybe the apex of emotion is emotionlessness like the combination of colors is white.
He reached a place of violent colors and rumors…that’s probably because I did not go so far. It is possible I went deeper
Sounds like a circular reasoning, an endless struggle for higher conscience that peaks into non existence.
Yeah, that song is probably the faster and more aggressive of the album, I think the lyrics were appropriate
Is this higher search for the founding blocks of reality one way to be “Craving for dead ideals” (referring to track 3)?
“A despicable Harvest” is a more motionless track everything is static the ideals are futile, humanity is a solrt of product of an entity that feeds them to absorb its energy
God? As in the God of Jews.
I think it is a more “earthly” entity, the song has nohing sacred, it is a grey picture of reiterated gestures, hopeless stuff.
The fourth track “And there was light brought my attention to the fact that you use terms like obscure, glowing, light and dark several times in the lyrics. Maybe the album is a journey through an oscillating waveform of light and its absence?
Yes, the lyrics here are like paintings, very figurative…your interpretation is very interesting….there are songs that deal with daily stuff but it is the way they are written that makes them very “pictorial” and sometime inscrutable the fact you are giving interpretations that are very close to what I wanted to talk about is reassuring ehehehe
It once was light is about paranoid and the disgusting felings you experience after a traumatic experience. The loss, the sense of guilt and stuff like that.
Indeed every single lyric could potentially be illustrated.
True, It would be a very interesting project!
So absence of light leads to disgust and exhaustion. Light is therefore the light of the flame of creativity.
We could say that the light is the vitality, the will to expand yourself and create… the quest for immortality through art. As you said before it is closer to the luciferian concept of light.
Not just light but also sound and smell and every sense. Perception and experience as light. The promethean flame. On track five you mention “An unheard sound – Buried by the blanket that covers the mind”, another take on the lack of perception or it’s something else?
Breathing the Whirlwind is inspired by the cataclysms that led the life on earth close to the total extinction so many times in history….once again I used this figure of speech to reflect on all the the energies we spend on futile things on a daily basis
Hard to tell what is futile though.
Futile compared to the immense power of the universe of course.
Unless we can define futile as anything that sways ourselves from higher conscience.
Yes this is acceptable. The message once again is “create and leave a trace before it’s too late” ha ha ha.
You imply search for higher conscience is somehow nobler that experiencing and just taking maximum pleasure from every moment of our life, can’t I just sit and watch the universe unravel?
Of course these traces could be cancelled by events like that but you have to try. It is not my lifestyle, I never enjoyed being inactive and waiting to see what happens but I respect people that are calmer and take life easier It is not myself, and this is reflected on our music
Mammals’ vestibular system regulates balance through impulses sent to the spine, that brings us to other senses with “Instinct of the Carnivorous Mass”. When you mention vertigo.
IIt is a very “organic” text.
The space between senses as perception and sensations as feelings blurs
The lyrics on this one feel like a carnal urge to expand
I remember being inspired by John Carpenter’s “The Thing”. Yeah I’ve always been fascinated but the way those alien cells were able to mute form when needed in order to survive.
Some Yuzna and Cronenberg as well apparently.
It’s about the struggle to survive, the organisms on this planet are not here to give up without fighting. It is what we are forced to do all the day but there is also a negative and egoistic side.
Who is reawakened at the end of “Stillbirth”? Seems like the main subject is fading to nothingness and cold, but in the end he reawakens.
It is about the trauma of the birth.I remember reading something where they explained this incredibly brutal experience leaves unforgettable traces forever in our subconscious. A lot of nightmares and paranoids (as well as sexual deviations) we experience during our life could be linked to it
Let’s talk about Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing. Apparently it’s about concealing rage and hatred. Is it referred to a specific category of people?
You also mention revenants, is that hatred somehow justified revenge?
It is more about how negative feelings and hatred in particular changes the human habits and shape. This hate could come from the inside or could have been instilled by outer “forces”, like organized religions, groups of power. I Imagined a sort of architecture based on this…The “Ivory Tower” that appears in the end is the place from where this tentacular system irradiates its power. The revenants are this malicious energy’s servants.
Hatred could also be good fuel that can be channeled into positive acts however
It pushes you into action
Of course! It gives you a purpose and sometimes makes your mind sharper…Because it drives you to analyze things, the reasons why you hate that certain things and defines yourself.
Celestial Purification looks more visual. Do you think it will ever happen? Maybe it is the true purpose of Death?
I’ve always been intrigued by the geological time scale…the eons, the eras, the extinctions…I had this colored and pictorial image of a giant comet arriving and tearing the world apart. It is atrocious but also fascinating. The snow-white trail with ten thousand harpoons is a Moby Dick tribute. Him and the comet have something in common. They are so huge and relentless that their strength seems to be of a divine nature, every rational construct crumble under their impact.
Ravenous seems to alternate between a first person and third person approach. Is it about mutation and the loss of individuality in a process of externalizing one’s pain? Catharsis through torture?
Yes it partially deal with that. The individuality is lost because the protagonist was searching for answers, thirsty of knowledge, tormented by the aims. In this case the search drove him to a state of pure pain and the negativity rose to a level impossible to contain. Thus he became a sort of “evil generator” leaving to the reader the speculations about how many victims suffered from it.
A bit like the experience of Frank from Hellraiser: “explorers from the further regions of experience, angels to some, demons to others”. But where pleasure and experience is circular, instead of libertine lust, it’s about the impossibility to properly express one’s feelings.
Yeah, this frustration stagnates and creates demons…
Walking into a Nightmare envisions a desolate place crystallized in time where the fire of creation finally arrives. Is it the same driving force that the protagonist of Ravenous experiences?
Maybe a similar force but the scenario is different. Here we have a motionless, oppressive and reiterated reality that is suddenly overcome buy a crazy nightmare or daydream. It is not a totally negative development because at least a more colored world substituted the grey reality, even if it’s apparitions are scary and uncontrollable. The lyrics contains some images inspired by the Selby Jr‘ “Last exit to Brooklyn“, a true inspiration back in the days.
Regarding the last one, Bloodline
Is this line some sort of alien construct? Or it comes from the recesses of humanity?
And who’s this slumbering tyrant?
Ironically, I think your interpretation is correct…the “line” is a metaphore to describe oneself strong will to live following its own ideals and passions, no matter what. Doing that we become “aliens”, because society probably has other plans for us. The tyrant is the superstructure that you have to tear down (at least in your own mind) to avoid a passive enslavement. I was strongly inspired by my father’s life while writing this song, I hope I assimilated some of his precepts. The song is also one of the hardest to play in the entire record, I think It suits the lyrics very well.