Track By Tracks: GODS OF DECAY - Collective Psychosis (2021)

1. Self-Castigation (SE):

The haunting and somewhat mellow atmosphere that this track has conjured up the languid language of Boudelaire's poetry. I was going through a sort of an identity crisis at the time of recording. Being a bookworm I am always reading or re-reading something and The Flowers of Evil was on my reading list at that time.
The lines from Boudelaire's poem fit my state of self-criticism so I decided to take part of the poem that left the most impression on me and make it into a track.

2. Collective Psychosis:

I am a person who puts individualism and freedom on the very top of my personal value system. It's in my blood and in my bones. The imagery behind the lyrics for this track is that of the hive, the vastness and simultaneously the cramped claustrophobic urban space where people become "cogs" in the "machine" of society, corporations and governments. The human hive in which an individual is dissolved and molded into whatever shape and size the society deems useful for its purposes. The monotonous and repetitive melody line is representing the hypnotic lull of conformism which becomes the safe space if one lets themself be sucked inside. At the same time it evokes in me the imagery of the dark humid womb in which amorphous human mass, nameless and faceless, is slithering and twisting onto itself. Pretty grotesque and scary. Think of the alien hive in the Alien movies when you listen to this song.

3. Metamorphosis:

I love fantasy movies and books and this song is inspired by the imagery of werewolf stories and Scandinavian myths about Ragnarök. I penned it down on a full moon night. This song has a tinge of horror story to it. I really like an Italian word "scatenare" - literally "getting off the chain", id est - "going berserk, going all out" or just "unleash" in English (though I like the image of chain better). This word describes the idea behind this song as it focuses on the idea of letting go of all the constrictions of civilization, rejoining Nature and following your instincts - I guess, we all sometimes feel tired of being human.

4. Plague:

Biblical motifs in this one. As an atheist, I am really critical of any cult-like movements or dogmatic thinking and it seems to me that a lot of people nowadays have jumped the apocalyptic and virtue-signaling bandwagon. In the modern day and age, when people are getting alienated from religion in its traditional sense, it appears to me that in search of a place to belong, they are substituting the clerical religion with its modern simulacra embodied in mass media and mainstream culture.

This song is a mockery, a caricature of a sort of the religious zeal unbeatable by logic or reason and the dogmatism as its derivative that have engulfed the modern societies.

I won't go any more into details of why I chose this imagery as the focal point as I encourage the listeners to think for themselves.

5. A Hypocrite's Anathema:

Oh, this is a tricky one. I've used a lot of different images that are meant to make the listener follow the breadcrumbs down into the rabbit hole. The leitmotif of the song is: "whatever happens to you, you do it to yourself, ultimately".The song speaks about society, interhuman relationships, politics, psychology. It's a revolt against the System and against the slave inside oneself. It's about... Oh, actually, not gonna tell you. I want YOU to tell me what you think it is about.

6. Burn Out:

Partly inspired by Jack Kerouac's "On the Road" and partly by the archetypical gangster movies, this song is a joke of sorts which is why the imagery that I am using is hyperbolically gruesome, the aggravation is there on purpose to add to the absurdity and surrealisticity. This is the metaphoric cutting off of whatever is holding you back, whatever has caused you pain and suffering before. Imagine: you are driving alone through the desert towards the far off horizon that is never getting closer on the road that is never ending with an enemy's body in your trunk.

The exhilaration of revenge and the inebriation with freedom fought for and won the hard way that sets you on the never ending journey. The fiery emotions and burning out of feelings for someone or something to the crisp crust.

7. Per Aspera:

This song is inspired by the Latin phrase "Per aspera ad astra" (through the hardships to the stars). The main idea behind the song is that the biggest difficulty is overcoming yourself, your fears, your dogmas, your biases - everything that holds you back. We are what we make ourselves to be, therefore "the sole enemy is in the mirror" - you are the archenemy of your own self and the fight with your own illusions is the hardest one out there on your path in life.

8. Suffocate You:

This is about revenge on whatever is holding one back - mostly the stifling social pressure, but I wrote the lyrics in a way that they can be interpreted as a message to a particular person as well. It is a song that tells a story of the one who overcame difficulties and built an armor of indifference around them, became apathetic and whose emotions lost their edge - a psychological defense mechanism that people adopt when being overwhelmed. In a sense, it's a flipside of "Per Aspera".

9. Malleus Maleficarum:

Another story of revenge which takes an active role, unlike Suffocate You. I wanted to show the different ways in which people react to stress and overcome tragedies in their life. The protagonist of the story maledicts to their enemies that speaks of torture in hell and involves payment of their dues. The protagonist becomes someone who is performing the part of the divine punishment to those deserving one, thus avenging themselves.

The title for the song comes from the XV century treatise on witchcraft and the ways of determining the heretics, something that is happening now as well with the unprecedented (in modern age) rise of censorship and what is now being referred to as cancel culture. I am, however, subverting the concept, by making the "witches" (who, in fact, are innocent victims of slander and dogma) hunt their oppressors in this one.

10. Controlled Mindfuck:

I use a lot of metaphors and Aesopian language in this song. It mostly covers the societal and political situation in 2020 focusing on the censorship and authoritarianism, the decline of free thought and loss of basic freedoms which I describe by invoking the allusions to such literary dystopias as George Orwell's novel "1984" and Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451". The overall idea is that what we are going through is a controlled demolition of rationality which, obviously, didn't start in 2020 but has reached its peak last year. The anxiety is portrayed with the imagery of Plato's "cave" in which people are only seeing the shadows of things thus falling into the trap of relentless brainwashing occurring all around.

11. Forbidden Fruit:

Another "Biblical" song in the sense that it employs imagery from the Old Testament. An introspect into the anxious state of mind of an individual who has been subjected to continuous lies and treachery. It's a story of retaliation, of paying back with the same coin, so to say. A story of becoming the enemy one loathes by adopting the ways and tricks used by the enemy. It's a story of someone who broke but didn't bend.

12. 8th Circle of Hell:

This song is inspired by Dante Alighieri's immortal masterpiece "Divina Comedia" where the vice of sycophancy is portrayed as one of the gravest sins of mankind. It's a trait I myself cannot stand in people. The vile nature of sycophancy is depicted through the imagery of some parasitic, leech-like creature that sucks out the vitality from its victim.

13. Rain and Gunpowder:

This song was written on a cold rainy late-autumn night. It's a very personal song for me. All I can say is that if not for this song, I might not have been here today.

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