Track By Tracks: Our Last Crusade - Death Wins (2023)


LYRICALLY — Heatvision is centered on the character of Paul Atreides from the Dune series and loosely covers the events of the first two books. Paul realizes he has the gift of prescience when using the spice “melange” and this enables him to see the future. He is idolized and deified in the eyes of the Fremen tribe who considers him their messiah. He constantly battles with his role and despite his best efforts cannot change the ultimate bloody outcomes of his reign. In the second book, he sees a vision of his own death and despairs trying to outwit it, trying to avoid it, trying to change what comes after. Try as he might though, and with the knowledge of exactly what will happen, he still cannot defeat it. He cannot alter his fate. With all his might and divine powers, he cannot outrun destiny, he becomes captive living in visions, never actually present in the moment, seeing life past present, and future simultaneously, eventually succumbing as predicted. Death, in the end, wins.

MUSICALLY – Written during the COVID lockdown, part of Heatvision came together after picking up a guitar to blow off some steam between Zoom calls. Keifer and Brady then got together and restructured a few of the riffs demoed into a more cohesive song. Inspired by the legend of Dillinger Escape Plan rolling dice to determine a song's time signature, we then experimented by rolling a D&D dice set a few times and trying to craft a few grooves around the results.

2. Deathbound:

LYRICALLY — Deathbound focuses on the idea of an impending apocalypse, one which the victims have full knowledge of and time to prepare for. It asks the question: what would you do with your final moments should you know the end is coming? Would you remain as you are, die with honor intact, and live out ethically to your last breath, or would you abandon reason, accept nihilism, and commit terrible acts knowing it doesn’t matter and you can’t be prosecuted because everyone is going to die anyways? Then, what if, with all you have done, the apocalypse is somehow prevented, could you live with yourself with what you had done in the final moments you thought you had?

MUSICALLY – With Deathbound, we wanted a bouncy, uptempo breakdown/groove section to act like a chorus that the song would return to a few times and create a lot of energy live compared to the typical strumming/clean singing structure you see used in choruses too often. Kip and Brady worked together to create the first droning Barrier-like riff in the song which we think creates an interesting contrast to the violent, energetic, deathcore/hardcore-infused elements present throughout the rest of the track.

3. Thulcandra:

LYRICALLY — Thulcandra is another song based on a series of books, The Space Trilogy by C.S. Lewis. The name comes from the title given to Earth by the residents of Malacandra (Mars), and directly translates to “The Silent Planet”. In the story, Earth is the silent planet because it is the only one which cannot be heard from in the religious celestial beings network which governs the solar system as Earth’s divine entity was corrupted (an allegory for Lucifer, the fallen angel), and the humans had been left to fend for themselves, falling further into depravity and destruction. When the humans reach Malacandra, they come with the intent of conquering and spreading their doctrine, killing the native inhabitants if necessary and destroying the nature thriving under the protection of these deities. The main character is also confronted with the fact that invisible angel-like beings have always been present and see all they’ve done. In our version of the character, he wrestles with the shameful deeds he’s committed and has been judged for unknowingly, he struggles to come to terms with his guilt, and the other humans wish to conquer new worlds and expand their mortal reign, trying to conquer gods themselves and bring with them death.

MUSICALLY – Most of this song was written in a fugue state while guitarist Brady was trying to work out a few transitions and melodies in the song that would become Nomad. He was sitting at his kitchen table with a six-string guitar when most of the riffs put themselves together. The original chorus really didn’t work with the rest of the song though, and luckily our guitarist/producer Kyle was able to help smooth things out. A few terrible voice memos and some acapella back and forth later, the song ended up with a guitar solo as well, one of the few we have done.

4. Purified:

LYRICALLY — Purified is an original story set in a not-too-distant dystopian society. In this future, in order to control criminality and possible transgressions, as well as to atone for past transgressions, male children of certain bloodlines are systematically killed. Sons are put to death for the sins of their fathers, brothers, and ancestors to purify the current society and prevent further unnecessary death. In a bid to control the dealing of death preemptively and safeguard future generations, the overlords in this world attempt to control the natural order, but find that ultimately they are still serving Death and simply carrying out its work regardless.

MUSICALLY – The main riffs in this song were a collection of one-off sections written by Kyle that Brady compiled and it ended up being a band favorite. Sometimes you just have to mash on that 8-string like your life depends on it, and oftentimes Brady has a smooth way of fleshing out songs so each section naturally flows together. This song is unbridled fury and frenetic energy from start to finish. You can hear big Heart of a Coward and Meshuggah influences in the riffs, as well as much of our own signature style in the composition.

5. Nomad:

LYRICALLY — Nomad looks at where humanity has been and where it’s going. It serves as a chronicle of historical progress, from discovering fire and building the first societies to looking towards the future and expanding to other worlds. Forever using the stars to lead us onwards, we crush anything in our path and leave those who’ve failed to keep up in the dust. We experiment and use others to bear the weight of our failures, only ever looking to our endgame, constantly attempting to terraform and control nature, advancing for the sake of filling in the void within ourselves. Searching for purpose in progress, believing we can overcome our mortal shells and reach a state where we are no longer bound by natural law. We plead to our future generations to forgive or forget us, to move on and not look back on our shame, and to find meaning if there exists one outside our short and lowly lives. We ask the question of our sons and daughters, will you fall as well? Does death win eternally?

MUSICALLY – The musical arrangement of this song was inspired by the movie Onward. The main riffs drive towards a singular purpose, a goal predetermined, but there is still some space for exploration within the quiet moments along the journey. This is a very heavy track, which still features much of our expected breakdowns and deathcore roots, but we like to think of this as one of our more pensive tracks, with some breathing room for reflection.

6. Martyr Market:

LYRICALLY — Martyr Market focuses on how quickly we rush to play the victim when faced with any sort of adversity or imagined slight. We’re too quick to blame everyone else for our own misfortunes, we want others to pay for our sins, and we want to shift the guilt to scapegoats whenever possible because we’re too afraid of introspection and acceptance. Oftentimes, we demand extremes for our own shortcomings, we push for punishment, we blow our sufferings out of proportion, and portray ourselves as martyrs crucified for some just cause that someone else is perceived to be against. We can’t accept responsibility or think for ourselves so we pick a side and seek to destroy anyone on the other. It’s civil division, a war for the sake of war, and blood for nothing, all because we refuse to speak to one another and allow ourselves to be challenged in a healthy manner. We become siloed and when people are divided, they are easier to conquer. Death wins when we shut ourselves off and play the martyr.

MUSICALLY – We wanted a song that sounded deeply disturbing and equally impactful while maintaining a natural flow. This track follows a doomy groove that constantly carries the listener forward while maintaining a rhythm that should be replaying in your head long after the song is done. Nothing fancy, just pure bounce and atmosphere here.

7. Flowerhead:

LYRICALLY — Flowerhead is another fictional story set on an alien planet, where the native inhabitants are subservient shells working for a singular hive mind. The hive mind in this case belongs to a terrible force of nature, a magnificent worm-like creature with a sunflower head that towers over its dominion with a grandiose scale. The sunflower for some reason evokes both life and death to vocalist Adrian, unsure of where it came from, but it has a strong metaphysical presence in his mind. On this planet, the colonizing humans seek to control the creatures therein, blind to the higher brain function, considering them dumb beasts to be conquered and dominated. They seek to impose their will on an alien nature and bring about the wrath of the Flowerhead in the process. Rather than cohabitating, they fear the unknown and seek to master or destroy, an allegory for our own fear of the void, of the space hereafter.

MUSICALLY – This is another example of how Brady can take a few scattered riffs and create a banger from start to finish. Chaos chords permeate the instrumentals and hit the listener immediately with a composition that feels ripped out of a horror movie. The entire vibe of the song reflects a 50’s sci-fi horror flick, with all the campiness inherent therein. We love all the dissonance we used in this song, achieving something that you can bang your head to but that also sounds immensely unnerving. Major influences from The Acacia Strain on this one.

8. For the World is Hollow and I Have Touched the Sky (Instrumental):

MUSICALLY – The main riff here just came to guitarist Brady one day, but it took several months and a ton of revisions to come up with anything suitable to surround the riff with. Once we realized this should be an instrumental, the missing pieces fell into place and we were able to rearrange demos into something we were happy with. This one was written to give the audience a groove they can come back and go berserk to live, we wanted a repeating motif that hooks the listener in and makes them beg for its eventual returns.


LYRICALLY — VØID CVLT is a straightforward deep dive into existential nihilism. It follows a group of cultists that worship nothingness, fanatically calling for the void to take them, they feel a beckoning to be undone and consider it the great escape. Mostly centered around Epicurean ideals, the cultists see death as a cure, as the answer to pain and suffering, a relief: if there is nothing after death if one is not even conscious to notice the nothingness, how could anything be pleasurable or painful, how could there be anything to fear but the fear of the end itself? As they spread their doctrine, it takes but a single seed of doubt to fester and become an all-encompassing existential yearning for the dark in the minds of those who listen. They consider life itself the quiet death, that takes too long and prolongs suffering, and though they seek the end willingly, the loneliness and suffering survive in those left behind. Death is not the answer, it is a shortcut that leads only to more suffering, and it cannot be commanded.

MUSICALLY – This song underwent the most extreme transformation from its original state. Brady started this one as a writing challenge to create something where the guitar mostly lived in the background and the bass groove drove the song. He then took some of Keifer’s bass demos and got to work. When we started rehearsing, Adrian suggested adding a riff to match a vocal idea he’d been working on. Once that riff was in the song, the whole vibe had changed, and every subsequent jam was spent further reworking riffs and refining the song structure until what had started as the most ambient experimental song had become the most brutal, straightforward deathcore, and a fittingly debilitating ending to this entire album.

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