Track By Tracks: PERFECT NME - Remains To Be Seen (2020)


REMAINS TO BE SEEN This is at it’s core a thematic album. Lyrically it explores the concept of loss and it’s aftermath, the feelings and thoughts evoked, and how past experiences continue to colour and affect the present. We chose to use quite a lot of sound effects and samples between the songs to give it more of a conceptual feel and added continuity.

1. SHADOW OF DOUBT:

The album opener. It kicks off with a bombastic beat and the opening line "And from the arms of bliss I fall", which neatly sums up the theme of the song. It deals with how a relationship can fall apart when doubt is allowed to take hold; when older, underlying fears resurface. We initially toyed with the idea of releasing this as the first single, as we were really pleased with how it turned out: the intensive verses and the pre-chorus setting up a large melodic chorus. The lead break is also something that really stands out on this track adding that additional layer. A great opener, we’ve opened shows with this song in the past. 

2. SKELETAL EMBRACE:

We wanted a fast paced, no nonsense song and that’s exactly what we got! This was a song we wrote at rehearsels over a period of time, just playing around with the main idea and seeing what worked. We love the intensity and the abrupt breakdown of the chorus. It’s a really fun song to play live, and I think we managed to capture it’s essence in the studio. This song is about how sometimes things just seem fated to fail. We can try to keep them alive, but we know on a deeper level we’re doomed. It’s about accepting that fact. 

3. 242:

This was always meant as an intro to Murder Of Crows, and sets the stage for that song. The cold, industrial sounds reflect the clinical institutionalization of death as we experience it in modern society. From being a natural part of life, it’s now hidden behind hospital doors. Life reduced to blips of machines. The mantra "I am not afraid.." speaks to the fact that for modern man anything in life can be overcome. Anything, that is, but death.

4. MURDER OF CROWS:

This was probably the first song written for the album, and the first single we released. Though lyrically deeply personal, dealing with the emotional aftermath of the death of someone close, it has all the elements of a great song: melodic verses, catchy chorus, strong bridge. It was very satisfying to see all that come together in the song: a dark, brooding theme counterbalanced/complemented by upbeat and in-your-face music. It was one of those songs that just worked right off the bat, with everyone adding their bit to the inital sketch. The message is clear, though: no matter how hard you try, death is final.

5. CHIMERA:

This was actually made up of two different song ideas we were working on at the time. We felt the slow, atmospheric verses and heavy chorus needed a counterpoint so knocked the two ideas together and we had a Chimera! Lyrically it’s about how we can go through life trying to bury things in the past, but how they always seem to find a way to haunt us.

6. LEGION:

Inspired by the book "The Selfish Gene" this song deals with the existential questions of "who are we" and "why are we"? Are we simply gene-machines, and our self conciousness, art, culture, etc just biological by-products? It’s a philosophic exploration. When we were writing the song I remember thinking this would be a perfect song for a guest appearance. And we were lucky enough to get Bjørn Strid of Soilwork to sing on it! One of the more aggressive songs on the album, it leaps out from the opening riff and holds you in a vice for its entirety. It’s intense, fast, and has a great melodic chorus and brilliant guitar work. It’s become a fan favourite at our shows, and it’s a song we’ll always include in our set.

7. ATAVISTIC RELAPSE:

I remember first hearing the opening riff and thinking "this is sinister, dark..I love it!" It deals with nightmares and that shadow world that lurks just beneath our conciousness, fed by our unspoken fears, frightening yet intriguing. Oftentimes things we’ve experienced in the past have a way of showing up in distorted form in our dreams. A dark, pulsating song, it builds to a fast paced bridge, only for the listener to be drawn back into a slow, menacing finale.

8. THIS IS WAR:

Fighting one’s demons. Realising we are often our own worst enemy. This song was a reworking of an older idea. It’s a great song to play live, intense and full of time changes. It also gives me the chance to use my megaphone!

9. THE MAN BEFORE:

A slow paced. atmospheric song, it’s about childhood memories and longing for a past that perhaps never really existed. This song grew out of the verse section, and we tried to retain that somber feel throughout the song, making it a slow burning, moody piece. The slower verses and chorus give way to an intense bridge section towards the end, adding some cool heaviness to the song. 

10. SERPENTINE:

This song was one of the last written for the album, and we didn’t feel it fit in with the cycle of songs we already had, musically or lyrically. We omitted it from the vinyl release, but ended up adding it as a bonus track for the digital and CD releases. It’s lyrics are inspired by Baudelaire’s poetry, and tries to capture some of that sense of existential inquiry.

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