Simon Collins ft. Phil Collins The Big Bang
Album: U-Catastrophe (2008)
Genre: Progressive Rock
This piece demonstrates a story of the birth of the universe without the necessity of song, words or voice. The power comes from the strength in the sounds bouncing off the drumhead. If listened to with headphones, the distinctiveness of Simon and Phil can be heard on different sides; one producing a more firm, modern echo while the other is more tinned, distant, and reminiscent of old and new struggling to keep the balance.
The live show at the HMV Convention in Toronto, Canada (link seen below) truly represents the message of the instrumental purpose, and you can hear, as intended, the transformation of the enviable outcome of the nothingness before the Big Bang.
DispersE Unbroken Shiver
Album: Living Mirrors (2013)
Genre: Djent, Progressive Metal
The strongest in musical direction and vocal stamina, it speaks of despair and longing, like the vocalist is crying out through the placid way of life displayed in the surrounding songs (Dancing with Endless Love, Message of Atlantis, and Touching the Golden Cloud) and instrumentation where the band’s approach is softer, the narrator trying to pretend their life is pleasant.
It speaks of self-reflection of the narrator, requesting the act of mercy from himself, the people he is surrounded by and the audience. Wish an exit from a controlled existence. To suit the conflicted emotions and psychological state, the pull of the guitar and bass strings quieted then reach crescendo as if hope of a decision is to be made to finalize the character’s journey.
Art of Dying Sorry
Album: Vice and Virtues (2011)
Genre: Alternative Rock, Hard Rock
It is a wonderful transition of plugged in acoustic with the rougher edges of electric guitar, aurally stimulating the images of someone trying to ask forgiveness for a wrong decision in their life, a verbal of message of which I came to relate to. An action of reaching out that I can understand.
Hetherington’s interpretation of two estranged individuals somehow allows the audience to get into the head of the person who made the mistake and not just viewing the aftermath of it, as demonstrated by the likes of Kelly Clarkson (Because of You, Breakaway 2004), Loreen (Sidewalk, Heal 2012), and Avril Lavigne (Losing Grip, Let Go 2003). This sung letter reveals there are always two sides of a story, and a personal hope for me, that I will experience a similar outcome from an estranged family member of mine.
Peter Gabriel Tower That Ate The People
Album: OVO (2000)
Genre Progressive Rock, Electronic Rock
OVO was the opening act of The Millennium Dome (now The O2, North Greenwich) when it first opened at the start of the 21st Century. Many collaborated on the live show, including Tony Levin, Manu Katche, Brian Transeau (BT), Alison Goldfrapp (Goldfrapp), and Steve Gadd.
It was a phenomenal event, from the stage effects and skilled compositions of the artists themselves, producing “cult classics” and hits; Downside Up (ft. Melanie Gabriel), and Father, Son. However, it was The Tower That Ate The People, a fictional outlet of synthesizers, keyboards and distorted vocals that metamorphosed the show and the album into a new light, the corruption of paradise.
If listened to closely, the story is not dissimilar to the synopsis of Metropolis, a dystopian horror where technology outgrows humanity. Which makes Gabriel’s “dark electronic rock” a masterpiece, and I will never use that word lightly on anything, because he vocalizes a fear that one day humanity will become inferior to its own creation, fear that is seen through the eyes of the corrupted machine.
The Mouth of Ghost When The Suns Sets
Album: When The Sun Sets (2013)
Genre: Alternative Rock, Trip-Hop
The introduction of the strings of the unplugged electronic guitar draws a listener into a lullaby, a soothing story of comfort. The combined voices of the female vocalists Alla and Alice send a loving eeriness, like a mother to a dosing child.
When the chorus kicks in, there’s a defining moment of clarity, as if memories of that parental cherish is shining through for the character. That familial protection always there like a security blanket, even if daughter or son has crossed the “other side of the sea” to venture into new grounds.
Poets of The Fall The Distance
Album: Temple of Thought (2012)
Genre: Alternative Rock, Cinematic Rock
As quoted by Poets of the Fall, the album Temple of Thought is the end of a trilogy following their Signs of Life (2005) and Carnival of Rust (2008) in a illustrative saga of the emotional, psychological and economic problems of today’s society, the search of everlasting love and understanding.
This album presents the struggle of finding still ground has come to an end, the storyteller revealing this triumph into the featured song The Distance. Marco Saaresto’s alter ego transported himself to distant lands to find well deserved peace, informing his loved ones and the listener that he will one day “speak the same”, giving way to his end.
The lyrics demonstrate a relating position for the targeted audience, encouraging us to seek inner peace and resolute in ourselves, finding courage to question and to conquer our fears, even it means traveling far from our comfort zone to do so.
Within Temptation Shot In The Dark
Album: The Unforgiving (2011)
Genre: Symphonic Metal, Symphonic Rock
An uplifting theme of redemption after death, the story of Shot In The Dark and the album The Unforgiving tells of the character of Sinead, who at this point is a woman going into the deep end after years of drug addiction, and is on the brink of going insane as she is in the know that she will eventually lose her one and only daughter if she doesn’t.
Though this storyline is not seen until the music video “Sinead”, where she is shown committing a crime of passion against her own father.
Despite the tragedy of the woman’s life, the song is sung positively as it is previously revealed that the anti-hero, Mother Maiden has been keeping an eye on her, as she does with all her “fallen angels”, as she uses the condemned to fight the impure of the living.
What is incredibly sound is the message the group, and the vocalist Sharon den Aden display, that if the crime, wrong doing, or betrayal is done unintentionally and the ripple effect appears impossible to rewind, the chance to make amends is not completely untouchable.
Dead Can Dance Crescent
Album: Live Happenings (2005, 2012)
Genre: Etheral Wave, Neo-Classical
Frequently the male vocalist of Dead Can Dance, Brendan Perry is compared to the soft drawl of Bob Dylan and Lisa Gerrard (famed for her collaboration with Han Zimmer in The Gladiator (2001), with We Are Free) has marveled many with her astounding vocal range of many octaves, and is a known idioglossia speaker – the ability for a person to speak their own language, a subconscious response of a mixed language up-bringing, and more common in twin children.
A song written exclusively for the 2005 reunion in North America, after seven years hiatus and later released last year under a downloadable MP3 series called Live Happenings, the lyrical phenomenon and cleverness of Crescent poetically denounces the illusions people up-keeping as so called reality.
It is a conceptual warning to not trust everything that is read, or seen by your very eyes, until you have seen beneath or around the information, the people. To question everything.
The song is strikingly powerful, and eye-opening for the listener. It literally is shouting at you to make you wake up to the lack of empathy in the world, towards people, the economy and most importantly animals and children,
It is a revolutionary subject and an aspect of society that has been ridiculed throughout our history, most notoriously politics. The government is apathetic or neutral to put to politely and those it governs are emphatic to its enforced ruling.
It encourages you, and with the enlightening screams of the vocalist, establishes the emotions to make you want to do something about it.
Trapt Stand Up
Album: Someone In Control (2005)
Genre: Alternative Metal, Nu Metal
Origin: United States
Revolution, and vengeance against someone close to the narrator who has wronged against them, whether it has been a verbal lie or an action. From the aggressive sound within the vocalist’s tones, you can hear immediate regret on the steps he is going to take against the culprit, knowing there will be a chance he’ll never see the person again. But there is determination hidden within, to clarify that he has little choice.
This anger can be addressed to situations such as adolescent bullying, a domestic dilemma, where the victim must take a stand and stop the deliberate pain they are being put through. It boosts self-esteem, and I can remember from when I first heard this song back in the year the single was released, where it was at a time I needed more than anything was a voice of such indigence and strength.
Looking back on that time now, I realize now this song may have been a subconscious influence in my found confidence in myself a couple of years later, when I had surpassed the effects of bullying in high school.
– Lauren Richards-Evans