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Death Metal

The voice of music
I saw society and watched my own existence through the eyes of something higher

O'meed Entezari
March 11, 2005

I'm currently listening to music as I write this article because it does well to help me focus on the overall point of my writing. The song that I am playing right now is by a dark-wave group called Die Verbannten Kinder Evas. This style of music mostly focuses on atmosphere built and accommodated by various layers of keyboards and random yet tactful sampling to accent the feeling.

Dark-wave is not my music of choice, but I often find myself playing it around bedtime because it immerses me to the point of total indifference to the world around me, which is quite healthy in moderation but more so a necessity before making an attempt to sleep.

No one can deny the power of music and I, like many human beings, require its presence in almost every activity I engage in throughout my day. Even so, I tend to put aside most of my free time to fully understand the message conveyed by the music itself. By that, I mean the music minus the lyrics since they're a less important feature, but nonetheless necessary and oftentimes impressive in certain genres.

The music alone is my main focus because sometimes you'll find a band or performer who structures his/her music in such a way that conveys the message on a much larger and more powerful level in which the lyrics can only serve to affirm the listener's interpretation only after the initial connection to the larger meaning has occurred. If I'm droning incoherently or I've simply lost you then just ignore what I have said and read on about the most extraordinary event in my life!!

My musical style of choice is Death Metal because it not only invigorates the listener, but it also, if understood, expresses a profound understanding of reality and through its show of strength (heaviness), embraces it without a neurotic fear (lack of repetition). To many, I'm sure this just seems like a fan romanticizing his favorite genre, but I don't push my beliefs onto others and you're free to say that I've simply convinced myself of its power, but before you judge I'd ask that you make the effort to see beyond the abrasive nature of this art and possibly attempt a close listen! If I did not set hours aside on Saturday afternoons to appreciate the power of Death Metal then I'd probably have nothing to say except "it's awesome!"

It was on one of those special Saturdays that Death Metal spoke to me. As I had done so many times before, I inserted a disc into my computer, turned the volume up to an agreeable level, and closed my eyes after I'd become comfortable on my bed. "Atheist" is the name of the band I had played that day and they are typically described as a Jazz-Death metal fusion band; they're adventurous style inspired many including myself.

It would be pointless to attempt a complete description of their music because words will only prove inadequate and detract from the complete genius of their work. What I can tell you is that I never understood their lyrics because of the unusual vocal style of the lead singer, Kelly Schaefer, so I would instead offer my undivided attention to the music, which at a first listen seems off the wall, but eventually becomes an enjoyable experience.

It seemed like just that at first: an enjoyable experience. I allowed the music to take control and direct my mind in any way it pleased and soon found myself completely lost in the world evoked by this piece, "An Incarnation's Dream." I saw the world through nature's eyes and as each unfolding phrase of the song came to an abrupt end, more knowledge of existence was imparted by the following collection notes and rhythms that I totally lost myself. I saw society and watched my own existence through the eyes of something higher or simply inconceivable. It was an epiphany. When I realized this, my eyes shot open and I laughed maniacally. I don't know why I laughed, but it was rapture. If you had been there and asked me what my name was, I would have frowned in thought.

The song resolved and faded out, while I just lied in bed wide-eyed with knowledge I knew I would want to share with the world, but was unable to do so because it was beyond any explanation. I didn't understand a single word of Kelly's vocals, but I understood more than they could even express. After this experience, I found the lyrics to "An Incarnation's Dream" and they seemed to depict a similar message although inconsistent with what I felt that day. I suppose every fan has his/her individual experience with this music, but I expect we can all find a compromise in the lyrics of this song and agree on its power.

I can confidently say that Atheist is NOT the only band in this world who's music is fashioned in a way to express greater ideas and grant listeners an experience beyond any imaginable in this lifetime. Furthermore, Death Metal is only one genre where such great artists exist and to say that classical music or even popular music in some cases couldn't evoke the same feeling with the same degree of intensity would be an absurd assertion.

My point in writing this article is to remind music fans of every genre that what they're hearing is more than just lyrics, notes, and a rhythm section; it's a world as vast as the imagination, yet tangible since its created by our very own. I've experienced most of the wonders of life as described by popular belief and media maxims, but hearing the ethereal voice of Atheist remains as the greatest moment in my life. I hope that you too will one day hear the voice of the human spirit in their music.

An Incarnation's Dream
[Album: "Unquestionable Presence", Lyrics: Schaefer, Music : Atheist]

It all seems so strange
The mutes the bums
The dogs with mange, the poor,
Doesn't anybody help themselves anymore
I guess not
Barefoot pregnant women
Little kids with snot on their face
A land of plenty, a dynasty of disgrace !
I'll manifest for you
Careening on the outer limits of reality
My mission to create a better galaxy
I must not fail them now,
I look inside to see that it's clear
Living life is just not enough
You must persevere
Please grab hold
Not to things that are bought
But to things that cannot be sold,
Then you'll see
You're released by trial and error
The world's prophecy is to learn
A candle lit from the bottom
Will soon start to burn
Don't dignify, a false spy in the sky
Re-route your path
With the blink of an eye

Walking around with a mind of your own
With a glance to the past
You can see we have grown
How much we have grown

It's been my dream
To enter the stream
To let carnates know
What life really means
If one understands
That's all I can ask
Life to you
is such a wretched task !

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