Stare Into The Abyss song explanations.

I’m rehashing some old information here but I thought it would be a good idea to put all of this in one place. I’ve also been struggling long enough this morning for a topic that I decided to be self-indulgent. I present to you the explanations for the lyrics for each of the songs of the latest Shadows of Immurement album, “Stare Into The Abyss.” I have heard little feedback so far on it so I have no idea how many people have heard it yet. Still, I hope this helps.

Initially, the album was going to be a concept album. I had a storyline in mind in which somebody who was investigating a haunted house started hearing whispers from behind one of the walls. Shadows begin emanating from the base of the wall and then pull him into another dimension. There a group of demons (representing his inner demons) display for him various dark secrets of his history and his present psyche, causing him to nearly have a breakdown. In the end he discovers that all he has to do to get back to the real world is to want to. I used this as the base for several songs, but as I started writing them it became clear that I would not be able to keep this storyline. Most, if not all of them still fit under the idea of facing one’s demons, so I kept the album title.

1.”Where There Is Darkness…”
This was one of the first things I wrote for the album. I was still using the storyline by this point. Like the album title, it still fit the feel of the whole thing, so I kept it. I had Mike Thornhill guest-read this one as I didn’t want my own voice on it. That would sound too hokey.

2.”Demons”
Again, this was one of the first things I wrote when I still had the storyline. It flat-out tells the story of the narrator getting pulled over. The song still works by itself, though. The metaphor is still there.

3.”Beware Of Strangers”
I had come up with the first few lyrics to this one months ahead of time. For some reason they came to me as I started driving away from a Misfits concert in Hampton Beach. They had no relation to the music I heard that evening, so I have no idea where they came from. I had in mind that the “little girl” really was more of a teenager wanting to go out on the town, but I never developed the story in great detail. It became a song about misogynistic relationships using child abduction as a metaphor. Even though I had the idea for the song first I was going to fit it into the storyline as part of the protagonist’s dark past, possibly as the abductor. As I dropped the storyline I didn’t bother figuring out the details.

4.”When I Tried To Love You”
This would have been another aspect of the protagonist’s past. With this song he expresses guilt about a failed relationship. Originally it was going to be  “When I Tried To Kill You,” although it would still refer to a failed relationship–in other words, he realized that the relationship was slowly killing the partner inside. As I had another song on this album more explicitly about killing, I changed it. Like all of the songs on the album I didn’t pull this from real life in the literal sense, but I am familiar with these types of feelings.

5.”I Want You”
I came up with the first verse for this one years ago. It suddenly came to me as me and some others were riding our motorcycles to in New Hampshire. I didn’t think I could fit it into a Shadows of Immurement context but it turned out to work just fine with the style of this second album. Like I said, I haven’t heard much feedback on the album but from what I did hear this song in particular keeps getting pointed out. It’s not about anybody in my life that I want to kill. It’s more of a joke than anything. If I kept the storyline it was going to be about the dark psyche that the narrator currently possesses.

6.”Vulture”
I originally came up with this one solely to follow “I Want You” right from the start-hence the drum track essentially being the same with some minor changes. If it weren’t for the groove of the song I probably wouldn’t have put it on this album. It’s some of the weaker lyrics I wrote for it. I tried comparing a gold digger to a vulture, all of which was meant to be a metaphor for the government. The problem was that I got so caught up with the metaphors I lost track of what I was trying to say in the end. By the point I wrote this I dropped the storyline, so I didn’t bother thinking of how I would justify it to the story.

7.”Hellfire”
I think of this now more as my mission statement, at least as far as religious topics are concerned. The song would have taken place in the narrator’s childhood. Originally I wasn’t sure what exactly I wanted the priest to do to traumatize the boy. The easy answer nowadays would be sexual abuse, but I didn’t want to go the obvious route. Then it occurred to me that the worst way for a priest to negatively effect a youth is by being a priest. I then made him excessively violent to drive the point home, although I’m not saying that all priests are this physically abusive. The lyrics work as a “coming out” story for an atheist.

8.”Mirror, Mirror”
This was the last song I wrote for the album. The music came first in an experiment to make an eighties-sounding reggae/pop song with a goth atmosphere. The lyrics describe what the mirror sees, especially the darker parts of our lives that we don’t want others to see. This still would have worked with the storyline, perhaps at the end of the album.

9.”I’m Afraid”
This was going to originally describe an event that also took place in the protagonist’s childhood. The idea was that he was in a situation to save a friend’s live, but out of fear he didn’t. Nobody would blame him for being so scared that he couldn’t help, but deep down he knew that he wasn’t only afraid of what might happen to him, or if he didn’t save his friend–but what would happen if he did save his friend. I dropped the storyline but still kept the same idea of this paradoxical paranoia. I then decided to have fun and act out a nervous breakdown at the end of the song.

10.”Entropia”
I really wanted this to be a full band-song, but I couldn’t quite make it work. Maybe some day I’ll re-record it. The lyrics also came to me a while back although I heavily reworked them. They’re about the general decline in society. I know “entropia” isn’t a real word but I’m using it to describe a society that’s in entropy–perhaps perpetually. I was going to try to fit it at the end of the storyline. It would have been a grim ending, in that the protagonist returns to the real world only to find it wasn’t much better than what he just experienced.

What’s the future of Shadows of Immurement? At this point, it’s uncertain. I really struggled with this album more than the first. The biggest reason was the mindset I was in. When I made the first album I was coming out of a depression and was stressed out working two jobs. When I made the second one I was in too good of a mood to really make something along the lines that I wanted Shadows of Immurement to be. I still have to upload Stare Into The Abyss onto my reverbnation page, but because of their file size limitations and policy regarding offensive language, I’m not in any hurry.

I have one or two covers planned, and I wanted to try recording a few instrumentals under the Shadows of Immurement name this year. It would be fun to put together a live band, although I have no idea how. I have more fun recording than playing live, but then again, I don’t have much experience in the latter. Beyond these things, I may put Shadows of Immurement on hiatus. If I’m in too good a mood for this project, I have other things I can do. I have been talking to Mike about making some more Popkin-Salvador material. I can always put stuff out their under my own name, too.

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