Saturday, February 6, 2016

Soulside Eclipse - Forgotten Conquest (2010)

Many centuries ago I was buried alive.  I awoke in the cramped darkness of a coffin.  I tried to scream and kick and scratch at my cage, but I was totally paralyzed, silent and motionless.  I waited in that void for a great length of time, and though I tried to count the minutes and years, it all slipped away into meaningless eternity.  In that time all memory disintegrated, and my dreams grew more dim with each passing moment until nothing was left but existence.  And then the lid was raised.  I continued to lie in place for a time, forgetting how to bring my body into motion, but then I forced my head above the rim of the rotting wooden casket, to find my paralysis lifted.

My casket was set in an alcove along the wall, below and above several others.  There was no light source, but somehow I could still somewhat see, and so I could make out most of the room.  It appeared to be a crypt.  It was mostly empty, only caskets embedded in the walls and a grotesque statue of a skeleton standing nearby.  I lifted myself out of the alcove with some difficulty, my muscles atrophied by the countless years unused.  I fell to the cold floor.  I shook as I struggled to pull myself upright.  I shivered.  The room was frigid, and my clothes had decayed into tattered rags which only barely clung to my emaciated form.

I was overwhelmed with the sudden stimuli after so long an absence.  I felt as if I had been reborn, and yet tried to remember... remember whether I had ever had memories.  Did I have a name?  Did I have a life?  I could remember the sun, or something like it, because now all that I felt was the cold and dark, and if I had never felt the sun then how could I know the difference?  So my next thought was that I should seek an exit, to find the light and warmth.

I wandered to the end of the room where there was an open doorway leading into the next chamber, a long stone hall, also lined with coffins.  I proceeded forward, and then through several similar corridors, until I found myself back where I had started, next to my empty casket. 

"Why are you wandering?" whispered a voice from behind.

I spun around and saw only the skeleton statue.

"What?" I asked.

Without any movement the statue spoke again, "Why are you disturbing the stillness of this sacred place?"

"I'm trying to find my way out.  I'm still alive."

"Nothing lives down here except for the worms," the skeleton said.  "You are confused and restless.  Return to sleep."

"But I am alive!  Look!" I shouted, jumping up and down, waving my arms.  "I need to be in the sun.  I will freeze and starve in this place."

"If you are a worm you will shrivel up in the sun." 

"I'm not a worm.  I'm a human being.  Let me out," I said.

The skeleton remained silent. 

"Let me out," I repeated through gritted teeth.

"You are a restless worm.  You are condemned to squirm and feast on the dead," the skeleton said.  Then suddenly it lurched into movement, dust erupting from its many surfaces.  It turned to the stone wall behind, and with its index finger the skeleton traced an outline along the wall, trailed by an ominous purple glow, until it formed the shape of a doorway.  And then the entrance opened, revealing a hall that stretched as far forward as the eye could see, lit by numerous torches along the walls, which burned in a mysterious purple hue. 

"Thank you," I said.

"Do not thank me," the skeleton replied.  "You are cursed." 

I stared at the statue for a moment, but it said nothing more.  I was eager to leave that dark prison, and so I passed through into weird light.


  1. No review for the album? What that your own writing?

    1. Yes, it's my own writing. With my reviews I've always sought to illuminate the music rather than to simply describe it, and I feel that this purpose is best served through imagery and metaphor. So I've decided to try something new: an indirect fictional response to the music. Even though this will not summarize and criticize the albums like traditional reviews, I think this approach will do the albums the most justice, most efficiently relating their value as vehicles of the imagination.

      I intend to post once a week. I hope it will make more sense with time.

  2. Hello, I am the composer of this record. I loved reading your short tale, amazing to see what it inspired in you. If you would like to know what the music was about for me I wrote an article about it :-)

    All the best

    1. Yeah, I discovered that while working on this post. It's a good read, fascinating to learn about the creative process and intentions behind the work.