Track By Tracks: Basilysk - Emergence (2018)

  1. Emergence: 

 The title track serves to lure the listener into The Summer Realm that will take control of their psyche for the next 40 minutes. The cicadas were personally recorded by co-producer Phil Z. Zeo back in 2016. The thought of starting the journey with this sort of soundscape was one of the first concepts I dreamt up for the album so he and I worked diligently on this piece until it was exactly how I envisioned it. Welcome. 

 2. Molester of Dreams: 

 This one is rooted way back in 2012 when I wrote the main hook almost immediately after finishing the first Basilysk album, Seasons of Misanthropy. By 2013, I had an early version of the song hashed out and ready to rock with my then lineup consisting of myself on guitar/vocals, Tim Hammerswinger Smith on drums, and my brother Jake Weightman on bass/keyboard. The problem was that the lineup was falling apart with the departure of Hammerswinger, and Basilysk was put on hiatus from live shows. Being back at square one, I had a lot to say about the situation, and the lyrics began to spill from my conscious pool onto the paper. Molester of Dreams serves as an unapologetic statement to those people in life who attempt to sway you off the path towards doing what you were meant to do. We've all encountered people who try to instill negativity and doubt into your mind either out of jealousy, pursuit of control, or because they believe your goals are unrealistic. Nobody but you knows your vision, plan of action, or how hard you are willing to fight to make things happen. I hope Basilysk encourages all to dream big and stay true to your path no matter how many sacrifices you may have to make. So the journey begins… 

 3. Sinners of Their Own Reality:

You should always dress for the job you want, not the job you have. So for me, two-foot long hair and black clothes have been part and parcel to what I’ve been pursuing since I was 16. As many of you may know, that aesthetic comes with a variety of social consequences in the modern day witch hunt. After a decade, I found that the first to point the finger were often times the most overdue for a trip to the confessional booth. With all these experiences to draw from, I was bursting at the seams to target the hypocrisy of the ever-loving fake Catholics populating my New Jersey hometown. There are a lot of people out there who align themselves with a faith only to use it as a tool to make themselves look like good people to the rest of society. To me, that kind of deception stands as one of the most evil things you can do. That being said, this is not another anti-religious song, but more of an anthem for the traditional headbanger who still doesn’t blend in with the sheep. 

One happy little accident - during the recording of this song, Jimmy's bass picked up a classical radio station. This seemed like too much of a gift to waste, so we included the snippet it in the opening seconds. A distant, tranquil melody that is quickly punctured by thunderous double bass drums to kick off the madness. 

4. Sad State of the Art: 

What happened to music as an art form? Where has the creativity, imagination, and personalization flown away to? Why are we hearing the same style of this and that genre repeated over and over again to the point where you can’t even distinguish one band from the next? You can say all this is caused by a flooding of the market as a result of easily accessible home recording tools or the work of a bunch of money-minded shills who are too afraid to take risks. Whatever it may be, I take it personally so I decided to put my EARLY hardcore and thrash influences to work to channel my aggression and disgust towards shitty music – one of the top motivating factors which compels me to write. Out comes Sad State of the Art – my two birds up to the industry and all who keep the money grubbing, sell-out, and farce machine spinning. With a belt of verbal ammunition, I fire in all directions addressing metal trends, posers, cookie cutter pop acts and the sad state of music here in the 21st century. Revolt. 

 5. Eyes: 

I had this acoustic bit I had been crafting for a while and after recording a scratch demo of it at home and layering the clean electric guitars over it, I really fell in love with it and knew a well-recorded version would have serious potential on the album. It became the perfect gateway to the second half of the album, in a position where it could sooth you from the sonic gauntlet you just endured with the previous three songs. Phil did another excellent job with this one by weaving all three of my takes together into one hypnotizing spider’s lullaby. 

 6. Fire (In the Temple of Sacrifice):

 Being the most lyrically personal track on the album, Fire (In the Temple of Sacrifice) depicts the struggles I've faced throughout this six year battle of keeping Basilysk alive from the last lineup to the current, writing original material, and pursuing what was once a far-fetched dream of creating this album. This song is about having your will put to the test and giving it your all with personal sacrifice being the price of reaching your goals. Throughout this journey, I’ve placed my well-being, financial future, and social life second to Basilysk because I know that is what it takes to make an impact these days. As you will see in the lyrics, I do not regret these decisions because it’s become crystal clear to me that this is my path in life – I really don’t have a choice because I am who I am. I’ve waited a long time to have a full lineup with this much talent and who are committed to making things happen so I’m going to give it 100% with an aggressive passion and ambition fueled fire. Wartime. 

 7. Karma and Friends: 

A masterful collaboration bookended by a built-in prelude and outro track shows the revamped lineup’s full potential. This was an all-hands-on-deck effort with each member making their own way and writing their own parts. The final product is packed with hammering drums, a groovy bass lead, and fades out with an inaugural solo effort by Luke, sounding like the listener is being dragged kicking and screaming into the afterlife. Karma and Friends is the conclusive celebration of victory where right prevails over wrong. Despite the unjust and corrupt legal system of the state, you cannot escape universal law – even when you think you are sly, your wrongdoings are being watched and you will pay for them no matter what. The song takes you through the karmic cycle from cosmic dust in the womb to a funeral procession towards the afterlife which ends in a nod to the greatest band in the world. Cheers…Rejoice…Sayonara.

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