The American deathcore band, Chelsea Grin, has officially released their fifth studio album, Eternal Nightmare. With songs like Scent of Evil and Hostage whose messages contradict each other, this album appears to be the epitome of hypocrisy.
The band’s lead vocalist, Tom Barber, sings about his constant battle with his inner demons, as the album features songs in which the artist embarks on a roller coaster ride of fighting said demons and succumbing to them.
Opening track and lead single of the album, Dead Rose, is a metaphor for dying love, hence the name ‘dead rose’. With verses like “I can’t forget the things you have done”, “no more lying”, and “this cut goes too deep”, the album’s protagonist seems sick of his or her soon-to-be ex-lover. The protagonist sings that the death of this love is fast approaching, but he or she is okay with that as the pain this love has caused has become too much to bear. Later, the protagonist proceeds to end the song with the line “buried in roses” which signifies the end of this relationship. Later song, Limbs, also provides insight to this relationship saying “I was just a pawn”. The difference in these songs however, is the idea that the protagonist wants to go back to this love in Limbs. He or she avoids going back because “loving you is like salt in the wound”.
The second song featured on the album, The Wolf, is about trusting someone, and once that trust is broken, nothing can make up for it. The chorus, “I’m the wolf among the sheep, for you I hound...there will be no escaping from me”, warns that trusting in the wrong people could hurt you in the end. Later song, Across the Earth, has an introduction that seems to be sung from a dying man’s point of view, for the line “my heart beats no more” hints at a dead man. However, a death-like figure takes over for the rest of the song, and mocks the dying man. The figure says to the world, “you all know nothing of misery”, for the figure has suffered through watching the world commit acts of greed and gluttony.
See You Soon, the fourth track on the album, relates to the protagonist’s internal darkness taking over. The protagonist claims that he or she has attempted to ignore the urges, but “the quiet whispers have now turned to violent screams”. By the end of the song, the protagonist’s inner demons have become too much to handle. (Tyler Joseph’s Blurryface anyone?)
The fifth song, 9:30 AM, encourages the listener to feel emotions the way they should be felt. In times of crisis, we all hear the same messages of comfort, and it becomes increasingly easy to wallow in the pity others provide you. With lines like “embrace the flames and fall apart”, the song advocates taking the pain and using that emotion to get by.
Later songs, Scent of Evil and Outliers, deal with themes of non-conformity as the protagonist accepts his or her sins in Scent of Evil in order to pledge his or her soul to the ‘dark lord’. The song Outliers features the protagonist making a plan to escape the world that is lying in order to force you to conform.
On the contrary, Hostage is about wanting to escape the darkness. The protagonist tries to “fight and fight… to find a sign of life”, but by the end of the song, he or she gives up and sings “I think I’m gonna die here”.
Songs Nobody Listened and Eternal Nightmare warn the human population about the consequences of their actions. In Nobody Listened, an outside figure discusses the major issues of the world, “dissection, oppression,...infect them, erase them”. Dissection and infect them relate to getting to know someone, then using their vulnerabilities to manipulate them while oppression and erase them relate to the issues other races face such as ‘Neo-Nazi’s’ and Trump’s ‘Muslim ban’. In Eternal Nightmare, the protagonist sings that the world is disgusting, and he or she would rather die than live in a world where his or her nightmares are coming true.
In today’s day and age, where darkness seems to be caving in all around us, it is up to each individual to make the choice whether or not to succumb to the darkness. It appears to get easier to do every day. Will you?
Written by Ava Caron
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