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Track By Tracks: Alizarin - The Last Semblance (2020)

1. Elegy Simulacra:

The opening track to the whole album and lead single, this one packs an otherworldly punch. It captures many of the sounds that Alizarin projects, the dark and brooding tones, the unorthodox chord progressions, walking the line between consonance and dissonance. Thematically, “Elegy Simulacra” considers the conflict between an artist’s desire for pure expression and the pressures of an increasingly fraudulent internet culture. The song is one of the fastest pieces we’ve ever presented, wrought with many twisting dynamics. By the time the tune is complete the listener will feel they’ve been on one mind-bending journey, fully setting up the rest of the record.

2. Fathom:

“Fathom” is a strong contrast to the opening track . It is a bit slower, more introspective, with an almost dreamlike mood throughout the piece. Fathom is told from a third person perspective, describing apprehensions to the increasingly digital realm we live in and a simultaneous desire to seek out simpler and more elementary satisfaction.

3. A Wreath of Temperance:

The third song on the new album continues to venture in different directions from the previous ones. It covers a variety of styles, and moves from dark acoustic passages with haunting vocal harmonies to some of the heaviest riffs on the album. The lyrics are more of the fantasy side, describing a person holding secretive knowledge who is taken captive. The prisoner knows that if the secret is revealed it will have extremely dire consequences, so he chooses a life of imprisonment instead.

4. Velvet Margin:

“Velvet Margin” is the most drastic contrast from most of the other tracks on the record. Driven by haunting vocal lines, expressive counter harmonies, and layered acoustic instrumentation, the song arguably contains some of the most melodic and memorable passages on the album. In many ways it is some of the most uncharted territory for Alizarin, letting the vocals drive a lot of the music and focusing even less on flashy or over the top instrumentation. The closest thing to a “ballad” we have, although we tend to steer clear of that term.

5. Heirloom:

This song brings the listener back to a progressive metal realm. It is one of the most heavy-hitting, catchy, and melodic tunes that also captures many of the approaches we incorporate. “Heirloom” almost steps into power metal territory, while still holding a firm footing in groove-oriented progressive metal. Thematically, the song considers the timeline of humanity and our intellectual evolution. It looks at humans as emotionally charged and proud “adolescents” of sorts on this timeline, with a long way to go to find a more harmonious existence, if that time ever arrives.

6. Zero Sum:

The next chapter of ‘The Last Semblance’ takes us on a darker, more dissonant ride. This song is packed with keyboard riffs interwoven with a labyrinth of guitar lines. The verses really pull at the listener’s ears to build tension until the chorus counters with long, cascading melodies. The lyrics contemplate a “chase” sequence, the act of eluding, with a balance of gains and losses between the involved parties.

7. Attenuation:

We arrive at the most grand, and perhaps ambitious, track on the album. It is the longest piece and possibly best defines our version of heavy cinematic music. It immediately kicks off with a three piece vocal harmony that utilizes almost the entire band, with a direful piano stringing us along underneath. The song continues to charge along, with many dynamic shifts. The climax of it all takes us to a particularly emotional, soaring, and wordless vocal melody, before collapsing into an outro of drama-laden piano. The theme of “Attenuation” draws from various fictional influences (such as the film Jacob’s Ladder, original version) and other personal ideas. It considers the value of life, of our own and how others perceive our worth. Our expectations within our own lives fosters demons, and lead to a progressively hellish living nightmare. That is, until we learn to relinquish expectations, achieving true worth, and finally learn to live. 

8. The Ivory Silo:

The final piece on the album ties many of the styles from the other tracks. It tends to unfold in phases and probably has some of the most “prog” moments on the record. Another fairly long tune, this one is driven by upbeat rhythms, a monstrous keyboard riff, all before evolving into a climactic outro with all kinds of musical nerdiness, and keyboard leads aplenty.

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