Track By Tracks: Consecration - Cinis (2022)

Overall Album Title Meaning:

Cinis is translated from Latin, and means spent love, ashes, embers, ruin. The various meanings can apply to all the songs here, for example, embers with ‘Ground To Ashes’, spent love with ‘These Fleeting Memories’, ruin with ‘A Sentient Haunting’, etc. I thought that was really cool and ties all of the songs together nicely.

1. The Dweller In The Tumulus:

This is a track about an ancient being or spirit, that lurks in the barrows; or burial mounds. Laying undisturbed for centuries, constantly attempting to lure the unsuspecting with its silent whispering… This beckoning proves too tempting to the unwary traveler, who, after succumbing to the entities’ unspoken promises of whatever their deepest desires, are then confined themselves to the barrow; entombed by the malevolent entity that dwells within.

Broadly speaking it is about entrapment by something, or someone, that wishes you ill, yet disguises the malice as something too tempting for you to reject… This is an extension of ideas from “Echoes Of The Dead” and also to some extent, from “The Visitant”, both on our first album, ‘Ephemerality’. I hadn’t written a song based on ghostly beings in a while, so had a lot of fun with this one.

2. Ground To Ashes (A Cremulation):

This is the first of three songs I wrote for the album based on aspects on what happens to the body after death – This one takes a look specifically at cremation. I liked the idea of exploring the literal afterlife, as a different take on death compared to some of my usual haunts like the supernatural afterlife.

On this song we had the honour of Dave Ingram (Benediction / Ex Bolt Thrower) doing some rather sterling guest vocals; he is one of the vocalists that I really look up to, and I have been a huge fan of Benediction from way back in the early 90’s - so this was an absolute honour for me to have him involved!

The lyrics, as previously mentioned, are about the cremation process - from the initial incineration of the body in all its grisly detail, through to cremulation (the grinding of the bone fragments that remain after the cremation, further down into a dust-like powder). I tried to add a bit of flavour to the proceedings, with references to archaic gates and the like, to set the scene a bit and conjure up some very dark mental images. In my mind, I was imagining some old Victorian lunatic asylum-style building as the crematorium, in black and white surrounded by rolling hills and fog!

I did a fair bit of research into the various processes involved, and maintained a kind of timeline feel for it throughout - and obviously added a little artistic license over all of it, and tried to make it sound as dark and brutal as it actually is.

3. Embrace Of Perpetual Mourning:

This is all about self-loathing, isolation and depression. I got rather experimental with applying the vocals on this one, with the opening verse having whispered vocals, spoken harsh vocals, and… dare I say it; an attempt at a clean vocal or two–way out of my comfort zone!

I thought the guys would all royally take the piss when they heard the vocal take when listening back in the studio – but they were all very supportive – who knows I may do something again in the future haha. (Piss-taking, however, does occur all the time at practice with this song now!)

This is a really epic track with a great intro piece, and the whole track builds and builds with emotion throughout. Lyrically, it is kind of split in two parts, one being introspective, dwelling on memories, failures, etc, and the second is a very bleak realisation followed by an unwillingness to carry on. I think these kinds of really dark lyrics can be quite uplifting in a way, that no one is ever alone and most people may go through very low points like this. I know personally, that really depressing music does actually help in times like that, contrary to what some people expect, it doesn’t push you over the edge at all!

The title is all about embracing these feelings of endless unhappiness, of being in a constant state of despair (which is very similar to grieving, hence the ‘mourning’ reference; but in this case, the person is mourning themselves). The title can probably be interpreted as the only positive message in the song, that by embracing it you can overcome it. As for the lyrics themselves, I intentionally kept them as bleak and miserable as possible, with no happy ending whatsoever.

4. A Dying Wish:

Instrumental piece by Liam.

5. These Fleeting Memories:

This looks at the loss of a relationship or a loved one and the grieving process associated with it.

I suppose it is a different take on the heartfelt lyrics expressed on ‘An Elegy For The Departed’ from our previous album ‘Fragilium’, which was a very stripped down and bleak affair. With Andy and Liam’s fantastic guitar work on this song, however, a lot of extra weight was added to these ideas with some awesome harmony parts. A real heartstring tugger of a track.

I approached this from the angle of a short yet intense relationship, where the other party abruptly passed away after only a short time. The strong feelings, the smells, the familiar ground that trod. All of the memories that were once fond are now embroiled in grief and pain but are still recalled easily and often.

I also wanted to explore how these memories, once strong and vivid in your mind, with the passing of time, eventually become distorted and get a kind of foul taste associated with them, and they wither and fade away; no matter how hard you try to keep them safe and cherished. Nothing is sacred and nothing can prevent the passage of time from destroying it. Finally, at the end of the track the bereaved consoles himself that he is now to be forever alone in the world.

Another way to look at the lyrics is regarding degenerative illness, that a once healthy and active mind slowly erodes away, with memories, loves, experiences, etc all slowly disappearing forever. The intense relationship would be the active part of the sufferer’s life, the great deceiver in this instance would be a reference to time, and the grasping in vain at fading memories would be exactly that; an attempt to hold on to that which is most cherished – your own mind, memories and thoughts.

6. The Charnel House:

I had inspiration for writing some of the lyrics to ‘The Charnel House’ whilst researching a trip to the awesome Sedlec Ossuary, in Czech Republic. Seeing some of the images associated with this and similar places; I started digging into other places where the bones of the dead are stored (not literally, though).

Fresh in my mind were the ideas behind the tracks ‘Ground to Ashes’ (which looks at the cremation process) and ‘Unto The Earth Bethralled’ (which delves deeply into burials) – doing something about where bones are piled seemed like a natural progression, and gave the album a trinity of songs about what happens after death. Additionally, I had been toying with lyrics based on being buried alive for quite a while, and I then it struck me – why not combine the two! So, the rather morbid idea of throwing a rather unfortunate person into a bone chamber; who is pinned in place by the sharp, piercing bones beneath them, and is then slowly crushed and suffocated by all the skeletal remains which are piled on top, seemed a horrific tale to tell… A very slow and miserable end. To quote a line from the song which sums it up: ‘…The only sound to be heard in the corpse chamber is the vain struggling of the damned…’

Musically, the guys wanted an aggressive, shorter track - just straight to the point death metal, and what they were writing with the riffs and drumming fit with the lyrics perfectly; a very claustrophobic cacophony to seal this poor chap’s face haha.

7. A Sentient Haunting:

This is a very dark song about spiralling downwards to oblivion. Another look at isolation, loneliness and despair.

This time around though, well; you know the feelings you have sometimes that all the things you wanted to achieve, that these things haven’t and/or won’t ever be accomplished? The worrying that time is quickly ticking away (which seems to make it go even quicker), all those kinds of thoughts; well, it’s a rather depressing and extreme look at that in one sense.

Some of the ideas for ‘Embrace Of Perpetual Mourning’ I wanted to explore further too – So roughly speaking, this is based on somebody pondering and lamenting a very empty and unfulfilled life, becoming a ghost to all those around him (which is what the title refers to), unnoticed, unloved, and fading away without leaving a mark on the world or having a friend to care when they eventually pass away. Unnoticed in life, and death.

This is also about suicide, something I have touched on numerous times before, and particularly with this song, I was looking at the thought processes and scenarios that may build up to ending one’s own life, and the last two verses I think illustrate that quite well. So, a few different, yet converging ideas running through this one.

8. Unto The Earth Bethralled:

A look at the burial process. This is the second epic type track on the album and has some fucking awesome moments on it. The music on it comes across to me very much like the track ‘Thy Requiem Lament’ on our first album ‘Ephemerality’ – it has the same kind of vibe to it, very emotional.

I tried writing the lyrics to be a quite poetic look at a burial, describing the different aspects of the lowering of the coffin (Lowering Of The Coffin was the original working title of the song), but with some emotional weight running through it all; that you can grieve to it if you like. It isn’t written about a character at all, no references to a person, service/music, the mourners, or anything like that - but I think it feels like there is someone you know there, that you are watching a loved one’s final moments above ground.

The end of the track focuses on the headstone only, and how life is reduced to a few chiselled words.

I was surprised that I could write such a long moving piece about essentially a coffin being lowered into the ground, but everything just flowed with this, I had the idea and ran with it, and am very pleased with the result.
9. In Loving Abandonment (Andy Instr.)
Instrumental piece by Andy

Daniel Bollans (Vocals, Lyrics & Artwork).

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