01 September, 2008

My Perfect Band

So, in a fit of writer's-blocked frustration, I started pulling quotes from some of my new CDs. This was the first time I'd listened to Epica's The Phantom Agony from beginning to end, and really paid attention to the words.

I'd caught on from songs like "Facade of Reality" that they weren't too happy with extremism. But that didn't prepare me for the fact they're the perfect band for this atheist.

They're symphonic heavy metal.

They have a fabulous female vocalist.

They have the death-growling male counterpoint.

They fuse metal with operatic elements in a phenomenal way.

Now, usually, bands with all of the above elements rely very heavily on the pagan themes. Which is fantastic for an SF author. But Epica relies on... reality. They make reality itself epic.

That's just fucking outstanding.

Further proof you really can have the ethereal without the religious woo. You can have transcendence without ever leaving the comfort of actual reality.

At least on this album. I'm not even sure they're atheists, agnostic, or anything: all I know is they've created the perfect atheist album for this girl, and the perfect atheists' anthem in "Cry for the Moon."

And that makes me a happy atheist indeed.

Cry For The Moon "The Embrace That Smothers - Part IV"

Follow your common sense
You cannot hide yourself behind a fairytale forever and ever
Only by revealing the hole truth can we disclose
The soul of this sick bulwark forever and ever
Forever and ever

Indoctrinated minds so very often
Contain sick thoughts
And commit most of the evil they preach against

Don't try to convince me with messages from God
You accuse us of sins committed by yourselves
It's easy to condemn without looking in the mirror
Behind the scenes opens reality

Eternal silence cries out for justice
Forgiveness is not for sale
Nor is the will to forget

Virginity has been stolen at very young ages
And the extinguisher loses it's immunity
Morbid abuse of power in the garden of Eden
Where the apple gets a youthful face

You can't go on hiding yourself
Behind old fashioned fairytales
And keep washing your hands in innocence

1 comment:

Steve said...

Ah, Epica! I've seen them twice (once at a festival, once when they toured as Kamelot's opener), and I can tell you that Mark Jansen's really cool about interacting with fans after the set ends. Definitely worth seeing if they come to your area.

Anyway, the lyrical themes you mentioned get continued both on Consign to Oblivion (particularly in "The Last Crusade") and on The Divine Conspiracy (all over the place). Though never with the anthemic rawness of "Cry for the Moon", that's true. Still, give them a listen.