Member No.: 8
Joined: 17-May 11
Oh, I saw. I freaking saw. God, man. The Supernatural Anaesthetist is easily one of my favourite Fearblogs so far. I may know the general plot, but that simply means I know what to look for, not that I know what's gonna happen. You are really good at writing compelling things, and you may have inspired me to come up with some quick little blog sequence like that. Hm. It won't be Liquid Len, as he's got to remain quiet. Duchess will be posting that video I've mentioned, but that won't be just yet. So I'll have to dig into another story.
Member No.: 8
Joined: 17-May 11
TIME TO DO A LARGE POST GIVING YOU A SMORGASBORD OF PROG This is gonna be like my very long post of prog names, except I will actually give you the context for the names so you have a good idea of influences and stuff. After all, the more obscure prog references we can fit into this story, the better. I will do my best to give links to the actual songs for reference. Just.. just in case you want to hear a song or two.
We'll start with a diverse one, a band full of quirky stories. Genesis Their first album, From Genesis to Revelation, was basically an album telling the story of the book of Genesis. Aside from the concept, the symphonic backing, and the strange interludes, it wasn't a very progressive album, more of just 60s pop. I suppose making references to the book of Genesis would be seen as Biblical references rather than just prog, but at least some smart readers would make the connection.
Trespass was considerably darker and less pop-y. I.. don't really know anything about it, despite having listened to it a million times. "White Mountain" was a song about kingdoms of wolves, though. There was also "Stagnation," their first completely progressive song, about....... uh. Something religious. Something about a moon, too. And "The Knife" was a really badass song about holding a revolution.
Nursery Cryme is where things get fun, hoookay. - The Musical Box: An attempt at a Victorian-esque fairy tale. Let me just quote the liner notes:
While Henry Hamilton-Smythe minor (8) was playing croquet with Cynthia Jane De Blaise-William (9), sweet-smiling Cynthia raised her mallet high and gracefully removed Henry's head. Two weeks later, in Henry's nursery, she discovered his treasured musical box. Eagerly she opened it and as "Old King Cole" began to play, a small spirit- figure appeared. Henry had returned - but not for long, for as he stood in the room his body began ageing rapidly, leaving a child's mind inside. A lifetime's desires surged through him. Unfortunately the attempt to persuade Cynthia Jane to fulfill his romantic desire led his nurse to the nursery to investigate the noise. Instinctively Nanny hurled the musical box at the bearded child, destroying both.
- For Absent Friends: An old couple goes to church and prays for their dead friends. - The Return of the Giant Hogweed: The invasion of the Giant Hogweed plant over London. A tongue-in-cheek song of classic British comedy (Brits hate the hogweed, but not because it's actually going to kill us all). - Seven Stones: God, I wish I knew for sure what this song is about. It seems to be a series of short vignettes revolving around luck, with a beautiful chorus about an old man who laughs at our plight and grieves at our laughter. - Harold the Barrel: Another case where it's just best that I give the liner notes/lyrics.
A well-known Bognor restaurant-owner disappeared early this morning. Last seen in a mouse-brown overcoat, suitably camouflaged, they saw him catch a train.
"Father of three its disgusting" "Such a horrible thing to do" Harold the Barrel cut off his toes and he served them all for tea "Can't go far", "He can't go far". "Hasn't got a leg to stand on" "He can't go far".
I'm standing in a doorway on the main square tension is mounting There's a restless crowd of angry people
"More than we've ever seen. - had to tighten up security"
Over to the scene at the town hall The Lord Mayor's ready to speak
"Man of suspicion, you can't last long, the British Public is on our side"
"Can't last long", "You can't last long". "Said you couldn't trust him, his brother was just the same" "You can't last long".
If I was many miles from here, I'd be sailing in an open boat on the sea Instead I'm on this window ledge, With the whole world below Up at the window Look at the window...
Mr.Plod: "We can help you"
Plod's Chorus: "We can help you"
Mr. Plod: "We're all your friends, if you come on down and talk to us son"
Harold: You must be joking Take a running jump
The crowd was getting stronger and our Harold getting weaker; Forwards, backwards, swaying side to side Fearing the very worst They called his mother to the sight Upon the ledge beside him His mother made a last request.
67-yr-old Mrs Barrel: "Come off the ledge if your father were alive he'd be very, very, very upset. "Just can't jump, you just can't jump" "Your shirt's all dirty, there's a man here from the B.B.C." "You just can't jump"
Mr. Plod: "We can help you"
Plod's Chorus: "We can help you"
Mr. Plod: "We're all your friends, if you come on down and talk to us Harry"
Harold: You must be joking. Take a running jump......
- Harlequin: ...yeah, I have no idea what this song is about, and I have yet to see even a single person come up with a theory. I'll just post the lyrics.
Came the night a mist dissolved the trees And in the broken light colours fly, fading by. Pale and cold as figures fill the glade Grey is the web they spin, on and on, and on and on. Through the flame still summer lingers on Though her pictures soon shatter.
All, always the same. But there appears in the shades of dawning, Though your eyes are dim, All of the pieces in the sky.
There was once a harvest in this land. Reap from the turquoise sky, harlequin, harlequin, Dancing round, three children fill the glade, Theirs was the laughter in the winding stream, and in between. Close your talk, the picture fades again From the flames in the firelight.
All, always the same, But there appears in the shades of dawning, Though your eyes are dim, All of the pieces in the sky.
All, all is not lost, And light appears in the shades of dawning When your eyes can see Order the pieces, put them back, put them back.
Foxtrot is even more of that wonderful Peter Gabriel storytelling. - Watcher of the Skies: Ode to a theoretical alien that lands on our planet and observes us and the stars above. - Time Table: ..I, uh. I think it's basically about human nature and wars. Maybe. - Get 'Em Out By Friday: Lyrics are in the video description, thankfully. This song's a sci-fi rock opera about a company that, in an attempt to get as much money as possible, evicts people and moves them into smaller and smaller apartments. The sci-fi bit comes in when Genetic Control poses a four-foot restriction on humanoid height, which the company uses as an excuse to put more people into the same building site. - Can-Utility and the Coastliners: The legend of King Canute. He hated flatterers, so he stands by a beach and says, if he's so high and mighty, the waters will halt at his feet. His feet get wet, and he declares that the only king worth worshipping is God. But people still flatter him anyway. - Horizons: Prelude to "Supper's Ready," written by Steve Hackett. - Supper's Ready: Two lovers gaze into each other's eyes and find themselves going on a surreal journey foreshadowing the end of the world. Ends with a song adaption of the book of Revelations.
Selling England by the Pound is a concept album revolving around the commercialization and introduction of capitalism to the UK in the 1970s, as well as how it juxtaposes English culture itself. - Dancing with the Moonlit Knight: Same as the concept of the album, a sort of overture to the concept. Filled with wordplay alluding to British culture. - I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe): A day in the life of a man who mows lawns for a living, and the people who talk to him of opportunities for a better life. He chooses to stay out of that and remain a lawnmower, because it's just who he is. - Firth of Fifth: Hell if I know. There's mentions of Neptune and shepherds and sheep and sailors and sirens, but I don't know! - More Fool Me: Basically "You're a bad person in many ways but I love you anyway." A sort of tragic love, if you will. Considering Phil Collins wrote and sung it, it may be talking about his own life. But it fits pretty well with the concept of British culture, if you ask me. - The Battle of Epping Forest: A satirical song about gang fights in London at the time, taking names from actual gang members in newspapers and just having fun with it. It makes the gang fight out to be this really complex and theatrical experience. - After the Ordeal: Chamber piece written by Steve Hackett and Tony Banks. Accompaniment to "The Battle of Epping Forest," a sort of.. outro, I guess. - The Cinema Show: A song about two things. 1) Romeo and Juliet preparing for a cinema show date. Juliet has a rather innocent preparation, but Romeo intends on getting laid. 2) The tale of Father Tiresias, who lived once as a woman and once as a man to discover that women receive more pleasure during sex. Interesting juxtaposition, wouldn't you say? - Aisle of Plenty: Short conclusion to the album, reprisal of "Dancing with the Moonlit Knight." Ends the album on cryptic supermarket deals.
A Trick of the Tail was Genesis trying to tell stories without Peter Gabriel. - Dance on a Volcano: A second-person tale of you going up a volcano and then dancing across it. - Entangled: I, uh.. I think this is about privatized health care. I think. - Squonk: About the mythical creature named a squonk, which is like a little.. imp-y mouse-y thing that is peaceful and often scared. If it's ever captured, it will dissolve into a pool of tears. - Mad Man Moon: Basically about the grass being greener on the other side, except told with weather. And then a strange sequence with "the Sandman," who is probably the personification of our envy. - Robbery, Assault and Battery: A man robs a lot of banks and is able to always evade the police through pleading innocence. - Ripples: A song about aging beauty. - A Trick of the Tail: A strange devil-ish creature finds itself in our world and is seen as a spectacle. He heads home and takes some people with him, but you can only see his world if you believe in it, so he's the only one who's able to go. - Los Endos: Reprisal of "Dance on a Volcano," "Squonk," and "Supper's Ready."
Wind & Wuthering will be the last Genesis album I talk about, as they.. didn't tell many stories after this one. - Eleventh Earl of Mar: About the Eleventh Earl of Mar or.. okay so I forgot what this song's about. It's got some history to it, and it paints his son in a rather entertaining manner. - One for the Vine: In a violent war, one man questions the point of fighting and runs away from the carnage. He finds a race of people who look upon him like a messiah, and they start wars in his name. As he curses the cycle of war, he spots one of his men running away from that battle, just like he did at the start. - Your Own Special Way: Love song. ..or something similar. - Wot Gorilla?: Instrumental. - All in a Mouse's Night: A mouse leaves his hole to look for food and runs into a couple of humans and a cat. ..s'about it. - Blood on the Rooftops: A song about television turning us apathetic. - Unquiet Slumber for the Sleepers... / ...In That Quiet Earth / Afterglow: Three-part song, first two parts instrumental, last bit's.. uh.. a love song? I forgot.
Then there was ...And Then There Were Three..., then there was Duke, then Abacab, then Genesis, then Invisible Touch, then We Can't Dance, and then ...Calling All Stations... and that's it. There were the occasional interesting story in these albums, but most of the songs were fairly generic pop for their time.
I'll do Dream Theater, Rush, and Between the Buried and Me some other time. At least you have a quick briefer course on the bulk of Genesis' stories we can take influence and make references to/from.
Member No.: 8
Joined: 17-May 11
So after a few months of The Parallax being out, I think a general consensus has been reached among the few Between the Buried and Me fans on the internet as to what the story actually is. I will share it here because I feel like it would help.. things.
I won't include the lyrics in this post, this post will just be me explaining what the internet thinks the story is. But here's every BtBaM lyric ever.
So, awesomely enough, the first thing to consider when trying to understand The Parallax is... "Fossil Genera." The Night Owls are pretty much the key part of the entire story, which makes me so happy because oh my god I love those guys. They're an alien race built by unknown alien gods., they hail from Cloud Mountain, they're evolved far beyond our comprehension, and they control every thought we will ever have. "Fossil Genera" tells of a planet that tried going against their plans, so they assumed control and began giving out feeds preparing the world for their apocalypse.
Next up are two songs from The Silent Circus and Colors, respectively: "Lost Perfection" and "Prequel to the Sequel." "Prequel to the Sequel" was basically about the birth and life of Earth, and the three humans that tore it apart and brought it to its death. "Lost Perfection" was about those three humans-- two lovers, and a man who spoke too much-- along with a newborn baby sitting in a room and waiting for the world to end. It ends with the baby dying but the three humans discuss a "mission." It's a pretty vague song, but then again this was really early on in the band's discography.
And then we come to "Swim to the Moon," off of The Great Misdirect. A pretty story, a businessman gets tired of the stresses of his daily life, lays his back on the ocean, and floats off to sea. Three days pass, and eventually the man gets so hungry that he baaasically passes out, but at least he's really happy with the isolation.
NOW TIME FOR YOUR FEATURE PRESENTATION
The Parallax: Hypersleep Dialogues
The Parallax is fifteen songs of very confusing and very progressive metal lyrically revolving around the protagonists Prospect 1 and Prospect 2. From what I was able to find from interviews with lyricist Tommy Rogers (or Tommy Giles or whatever it is I end up calling him), the Prospects are two people who are fairly identical to each other albeit on different-but-identical planets. The main difference is that Prospect 2's planet is further evolved than Prospect 1's.
Prospect 1 is the businessman from "Swim to the Moon." Prospect 2 is the man who speaks too much from "Lost Perfection." Now then, onto the show!
"Specular Reflection:" Prospect 1 wakes up on what he thinks is his fourth day out at sea. He's hit land. But he's stuck drifting in and out of consciousness, and what he dreams of is someone who looks identical to him, like a mirror. Prospect 2 drifts in and out of sleep on a vessel travelling through space. He remembers that he's alone, that all is silent, that he may very well be important for humanity. He also dreams of a mirror image.
"Augment of Rebirth:" Prospect 2's vessel brings him sleep within sleep, or hypersleep. He remembers more of his past, that he's left his home behind to begin anew. Prospect 1 spends some time surviving on this new land. He sends out a signal to contact for help, and he's found by a helicopter or something or other. Prospect 2 lands on a planet that looks like it could sustain life, and he plants some seeds. They grow. This development leads him to develop a godlike complex. (MY PERSONAL SPECULATION: This planet was actually what Prospect 1's planet originally was, or even if not that then just Prospect 2 is responsible for the creation of Prospect 1's world somehow. Maybe.)
"Lunar Wilderness:" Prospect 1 is brought back to civilization and tries to adjust to life. Prospect 2 goes back to his vessel and back into hypersleep and dreams of his past life. He wakes up and comes to the realization that his planet is gone, not just dying like it was when he left it but gone.
The Parallax II: Future Sequence
"Goodbye to Everything:" This album begins in medias res, as basically everything's ending and shit. NOW BACK TO THE ACTUAL STORY
"Astral Body:" Prospect 2, struck with guilt over the death of his planet, begins mutilating himself in hypersleep. He also finds that, while in hypersleep, he seems to enter an astral body that floats above himself.
"Lay Your Ghosts to Rest:" Still mutilating himself, Prospect 2's only relief is that he had left a letter behind for his wife to explain that he was leaving the planet to introduce life to more planets. He continues his angst and all that and remembers the mysterious Folder 502 he had found. It is a precaution document detailing how to end a planet should things fuck up too badly, written by "the Night Owls." He doesn't quite want to resort to it yet, though; he wants to finish his life-creating mission first. The song ends as his ship lands on another planet.
"Extremophile Elite:" Prospect 1 can't stop thinking of that dream he had where he saw his mirror image. He wakes up in a dirt-covered surrounding with loud machines in the distance. He panics at the stress of the noise and buries his head in the dirt. The peace brings him bliss. Someone then grabs his head and pulls him out of the dirt. He sees himself and passes out. Prospect 2 lands on the planet: A dirt-covered surrounding. He finds a man with his head in the ground and pulls him up, but is surprised to see a note with the man as well. It's not just any note, it's the note Prospect 2 had written and left behind for his wife! If it's here, that means she didn't get it. D:
"Parallax:" The two Prospects are finally united, two forces as one brought together to make a decision.
"The Black Box:" The Night Owls had provided Prospect 2 with a weapon capable of ending humanity. Here, it is introduced.
"Telos:" Prospect 2 speaks to Prospect 1. He explains that human nature is disgusting, the reaction to anxiety is just to push it deep down and bury your head in the ground (much like Prospect 1 had just done), and that life is just one big competition over a mountain of limbs. SUDDEN CUT TO Prospect 2's wife before her planet died! She wakes up one morning to find her husband isn't in bed. And there's no note or anything to explain it. She spends years trying to cope, forcing a smile, wondering if she was ever really important to him, if she ever stayed in his mind, until one day she just decides to burn her house down and kills herself. BACK TO Prospect 2's decision. He tells Prospect 1 that they need to work together to end it all, "let the galaxy form a comfortable replacement. We won't be missed." They can be the dual gods of their time. Prospect 1 responds with, basically, "No." "Why can't we step back? Are we really this important? Just because we can doesn't mean we should." He then decides instead to run away from Prospect 2 and leave him behind.
"Bloom:" According to what Tommy Rogers (and Dan Briggs, who wrote the song itself) have said, this is actually a sort of interlude/prequel thing that takes place right at the end of "Swim to the Moon." Prospect 1's almost dead out on the middle of the ocean when he's pulled down underwater and experimented on by the enigmatic figure known as Queen Sea. She makes him breathe water, she makes him dance to her melodies, she tests on him with her tentacles. But ultimately, she realizes his importance and lets him float back to the surface, given new life. And now you know why I obsess over this band.
"Melting City:" More interlude/prequel stuff, we now cut back to the day Prospect 2 left his wife and left the note for her. We're introduced to another enigmatic figure: The Black Mask, a man with no emotions and no face. Essentially a hired gun. And he was hired! By, surprise surprise, the Night Owls. He was given the job of a simple collection: Steal the note Prospect 2 left, and destroy it. He questions why such a powerful proxy as himself would be needed for such a petty theft, but he does it regardless. Cut to years later, he undergoes a bit of character development. He never actually destroyed the note. He read it, and was struck by guilt over what he had done. He speculates on what the wife must have gone through in these years, and decides that he needs to let her know. So he goes back to Prospect 2's planet and looks for her, but of course finds her house burning down. Now back to your feature presentation!
"Silent Flight Parliament:" Prospect 2, abandoned by Prospect 1, decides he needs to end it all. AND NOW WE are finally formally introduced to the Night Owls, the supreme beings behind everything! We're told humanity was just an experiment, and that even the warnings the Night Owls gave in "Fossil Genera" were just part of the game as well. Prospect 2 goes through a bit of a crisis, unsure of who he even is anymore, unsure of who Prospect 1 is either. He breaks open the black box (Property of the Night Owls >w>) and hunts down Prospect 1, intending on ending it all. Prospect 1 is at his home, sleeping with his wife in his arms. Prospect 2 creeps in and uses the black box, finalizing his decision and ending the world.
As the story ends: Prospect 2 questions who he really is. The Night Owls laugh at our destruction. Prospect 1 wakes up to the sound of laughter, and sees himself/Prospect 2 laughing like a mighty god.
..the end! :D I really hope some of these characters are expanded upon in future albums, but as it stands, I really love this story. And the devious brilliance of the Night Owls could easily serve as a lot of inspiration, as can the strange Black Mask who seems remarkably similar to proxies/servants, especially the Faceless Bastard. Plus. Queen Sea. @w@