Karl is a longtime freelancer who's passionate about music, art, and writing.
"Acidulate" by infraDEAD
Wandering chiptune patterns rise and fall with a growing presence to start off “Acidulate.” Mac’s guitar has a gritty edge to it as the musical patterns oscillate while the beat throbs through, adding form to the music.
Far’s chanted lyrics add a suitably dark quality to the music despite the overall brightness of the other sonic elements. I feel drawn to the segment in which a yearning, crying synth with a fuzzy edge slices into the music before delicate arpeggios flow over the shadows underneath them.
There’s more danger and tension in this song as it explores a feeling of entrapment, decay and the traps of technology. We open on the sharp lines, “it cuts right through false protocols, my time is due” and the narrator asks simply, “How will we survive? How will we escape?”
The sense of dissolution and rot is powerful in the lyrics, “My joints will seize a sore decay, my senses, numb, wither away.” Our narrator cries out, “I cannot see, I’m flying blind. No discipline, no peace of mind” but he knows that he “must descend to make this climb.”
Disease and decay are also reflected in the lines, “I told you once. I told you twice. Infections form. We pay the price” and now the narrator discussed our digital world in the lyric, “Dehumanize. A sampled mean. A statistic placed on the screen.” The narrator also points out that, “to reach the goal you sacrifice.”
Once again the song ends on the words, “How will we survive? How will we escape?”
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“Sacred Tongue” comes to life with a computerized Speak’n’Spell type voice along with a slightly thin synth sound. Mac’s guitar leaps into the music, playing a charging melody over the slightly fuzzy synth pulse and throbbing drums. The guitar starts to doubling the Far’s twining vocal melody as the synth and guitar interlock to keep the music moving. I enjoy the quality of this song’s energy. There are additional percussion elements that move through before the guitar growls with the sound of static in the background.
A feeling of imprisonment and an evil presence that both attracts and repels emanate from this song. Our narrator’s entrapment is made plain in the lyrics, “Press my head against this wall.The iron bars betray me.”
Where he sought protection, he now finds that, “in my space, they break me.” He refers to an unknown presence and says, “I can't speak your sacred tongue. Force me, I start to worry.” The sense of tension and urgency is powerful and the narrator adds that because he can’t speak the sacred tongue, it’s a “downfall to your glory.”
Resignation emanates from the lines, “Push me over where I fall. In your hands, I will be” but still the narrator adds, “I won't speak your sacred tongue. A mantra cannot enslave” which sounds a note of defiance, despite contrasting this with the words, “one day I just might behave.”
Bleak desolation fills the lyrics as our narrator is “all alone in the cold” but even that as he struggles to make a sound, he knows that “it's a show for all the others around.” Despite being tortured, he still begs for this unnamed presence not to go and says, “tell me what to do…I will speak only for you.”
The sense of an all powerful enemy is clear in the lines, “You play god and conquer all. I obey - don’t slay me” and the feeling of desperation is deeply expressed in the words, “I can learn your sacred tongue and all its madness in form.”
Again the narrator is taking on a beseeching, almost wheedling tone as he says, “Give me a chance - let me free. I can speak your sacred tongue, the words I don’t understand” and he concludes that, “I can speak your sacred tongue. Practice as you demand.”
© 2020 Karl Magi