Track By Tracks: Lunarscathe - Autumnal (2023)

1. Pewter Moonset:

An introductory / setting of the mood piece, a way to tie lunar themes into what becomes a very thematically cohesive album. The intro riff had been written many years prior and is something I always wanted to use. However, it remains the only riff on the album which was written outside of this time frame.

2. Calico:

My cat who serves as the inspiration/protagonist of sorts, was a calico breed. This serves as a bit of a love letter to her, but also an early reflection of the upcoming pain of loss explored throughout the album.

3. Squamous (Prognosis):

The way she passed was oral cancer, or 'squamous cell carcinoma', and the word 'squamous' spoke to me as a way to allude to cancer without having the title & lyrics be too on the nose. This serves as the lighter counterpart to track # 5, reflecting on the feelings of being told that she had terminal cancer from sadness to helplessness.

4. Desert World:

After knowing she was terminal, I had thoughts come at random for weeks leading up to her euthanasia of gloom and melancholy. In those moments I felt as though I was in an empty world, detached from the ability to talk to colleagues, speak to friends, or be kind to anyone at all. This covers those sorts of isolating feelings, which intensified greatly after her death, albeit that didn't chronologically fit into the album as-is.

5. Squamous (Termination):

This is the heavier counterpart to track # 3, the continuation of feelings of grief up until the day before euthanasia. This could be seen in some respects more as the 'anger' phase of grief if much of the rest of the album focuses on the 'depression' side.

6. Pillowtop Deathbed:

The euthanasia process itself, starting from the morning I brought her to the veterinary clinic to be put down. One of the later verses "I pet your lifeless corpse like a doll", is among the most I've ever felt detached from humankind in life so far. Entirely in another world, hugging my dead cat, but completely devoid on the inside. The juxtaposition of her death, but having a soft pillowtop bed to lie on in her final moments, tied the theme together.

7. Cowardice and a Cold Lake:

Grief, emptiness, and loneliness, as aforementioned not just my cat but my wife, it was the first time in my adult life I was 'truly alone'. I was at Lake Michigan late at night in a frenzy, needing to get out of my empty house. I stared into the frigid abyss of dark waters for quite some time, tempted in fleeting moments to jump in if only to silence the seemingly ending stream of depressing thoughts.

8. Autumn's Decay:

A way to put a bow on the album, to reflect on loss but also on love, to end on a darkly uplifting note with the 'acceptance' phase of grief, to cherish memories of those who have passed, but also recognize that death comes for us all. It wouldn't be a Lunarscathe album if it ended on a truly happy note, as one of the things I find soothing about music is the catharsis of channeling and letting go of negative feelings.

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