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Birthright: Revealed

Discussion in 'Silent Lapse' started by Mitchell Feldpausch, Feb 21, 2013.

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  1. Mitchell Feldpausch

    Mitchell Feldpausch New Metal Member

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    This is a special thread dedicated to revealing the story behind Birthright, our first release and concept album.

    What is a concept album? I think Scott said it best in our newsletter:
    Birthright tells a story from start to finish, in chronological order, through the perspective of multiple characters. There has been a lot of interest in this concept and many requests since its release to open up on the details of it.

    So... That's what we'll be doing here, little by little, song by song. Watch this thread throughout the coming months to gain special insight into the album, and to reveal another layer or our debut album, Birthright.

    Enjoy!
     
  2. Mitchell Feldpausch

    Mitchell Feldpausch New Metal Member

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    First of all, I think it's important to understand that even though we're spilling the beans on the whole story we intended for this album, it doesn't mean that your interpretation no longer works and is any less legitimate. We want you to form your own opinions and draw your own conclusions/connections with the lyrics. This is the main reason for holding out on divulging the concept to begin with. With that said, here we go!



    A New Melody explains the backstory for one of the two main characters, whom we'll refer to as "Madman".

    Madman had a troubled childhood filled with ridicule and sorrow for meaningless mocking. His only comfort was his mother, Melody, when she seemed to be the only one who cared, telling him she'd protect him and everything would be okay. She was a positive and encouraging example in his life, but she passed away when he was young, sending Madman into deep depression and cynicism toward life in general.

    This brings us to the choir part of the song. This might be the choir in the church at the funeral, not literally saying these words, but foreshadowing Madman's life falling further into hate for the world he thought hated him after Melody passed.

    Madman's cynicism entices him to protect someone else from what he felt, so this becomes his life's work.

    His plan is to create a machine that would house a person in an induced coma-state and feed into their mind an alternate reality. Madman would design this alternate reality to have everything needed to live a happy life and nothing that had potential to cause any of the pain he was exposed to in his youth. He would adopt a child, and out of what he thought of as pure love and a reflection of his mother's love, he would put that child into the machine to live out his life in a "bliss" that Madman created.

    He names the machine "Melody" (which is the "new melody" in the song title) because it provides the child protection as his mother did for him.

    This inclination to conceal a person from the world and its experiences/people in order to "protect" them is the basis for the album. This concealed person will no longer be able to have the affect on the world that they would otherwise have had. All this, due to one man's loss of hope.
     
  3. Mitchell Feldpausch

    Mitchell Feldpausch New Metal Member

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    Beyond the Gardens starts years after the Madman follows through with his plan. The boy is stored in a science facility in the machine, "Melody" that the Madman is in control of, and the project is buried in restricted access, so much so, that only the faintest rumors of its existence circulate between the employees of the facility.

    Whispers of inhumane experiments lead one employee (a man we call "Savior") to take particular interest in gathering what he can find about the project: first to prove it even exists, and next to find in what capacity. Because, if it's inhumane, he may even work up the courage to do something about stopping it.

    After only discovering lack of evidence and avoidance from anyone of authority, he becomes cynical about whether his efforts will ever satisfy this curious obsession that only seems to be getting stronger. If only these nagging thoughts would leave him, he could give up this whole thing and just do his work, being satisfied with aimless speculation just like everyone else.

    Not long after he starts to seriously entertain thoughts of giving up, he gets a message from the boy in the machine (now a man). This comes in the form of a startling vision and a voice. The Savior gets a glimpse of the man in his false reality crying out, knowing there is something more, begging for anyone to hear him, to save him. What are the words he wants to be heard? What does he need saving from?

    This renews the Savior's zeal for finding the man who was pleading with him, and he connects it to the rumored "inhumane" experiment he heard about. But, like we who wonder if a momentary glimpse or nearly audible word from a foreign place in our mind could have any correlation with our life, he lapses in and out of doubt.
     
  4. Mitchell Feldpausch

    Mitchell Feldpausch New Metal Member

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    Reach is the connection between the man in the machine and the savior made in Beyond the Gardens, but from the man in the machine’s perspective.

    The lyrics of the low-key verse of the song are less the man in the machine’s actual thoughts than a potential observer’s view of what the man is actually going through, even though there are no observers at this point other than the Madman and helpers exclusive to the Melody Project.

    “Mind-waves sent trembling” of the heavier verse refers to a monitor detecting abnormal brain activity in the man in the machine who is trying to reach out past the world he is in. He gets a sense that there is more beyond what he is experiencing (much like those of us who believe in life after this life on Earth) and “reaches out” by closing his eyes and contacting what lies beyond (much like prayer). Even though he has confidence that there is more beyond what he can see experience physically, he has no idea that his words are being heard in such a literal way by the Savior in the outside world.

    After this reaching-out incident, the Madman and the few who work closely and confidentially with him on this project have to work to cover up the fact that the man in the machine may not be satisfied with his fictitious world. The madman begins to look into what he could do for his “son” to make the artificial world something so beautiful and fulfilling that he should never feel discontent or the need to reach out again.
     
  5. Mitchell Feldpausch

    Mitchell Feldpausch New Metal Member

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    From here on, the man sheltered in the machine by the Madman will be referred to as the Madman’s “son”.

    The Madman thinks often and deeply about his son and his discontent in the pseudo-world. “Does he not know everything I’ve sacrificed for him? Is he so ungrateful that he doesn’t even appreciate the life he has that so many would long for?” These thoughts, rooted in “love” for his son, lead him to his conclusion. His thought process is laid out in the following paragraphs:

    What is it that hurt him when he was younger and in the present day? It was people. Is there any hurt at all when there is no human interaction? For him, there was comfort in his mother but hurt when he associated with everyone else. He would create the world to be totally devoid of human interaction or in the case of his son, devoid of the artificially intelligent humans placed in the pseudo-world, except for those that love him; people similar in kindness to the Madman’s mother.

    … But wait …

    What about the pain and loneliness he felt when his mother died? It was a hurt even greater than what he had experienced through the mocking by others during his childhood. Her death meant contemplation of true loneliness and the final piece of the puzzle that would motivate him to save his son from it. He, the madman, was the only person to have actual love and caring for his son and; therefore, would end up causing his son the most pain at one point or another by being involved in his son’s life at all. He was the last element that needed to be removed.

    His resolution would be to remove all instances of humans from his son’s world and seal himself off from the project entirely, leaving it in the hands of an indifferent party that would never love the son as he did and as his mother did him.

    The program change would happen with a possibility of the son waking up during it, but it was worth the chance; waking up could easily be passed off as a dream in the son’s mind.

    The Madman’s removal from the project would be completed with total reassignment to an “uninterested” third party … someone who would make decisions based on data instead of emotional attachment. After much consideration, the employee with I.D. number H24A would take over.

    This is the I.D. number of the Savior.
     
  6. Mitchell Feldpausch

    Mitchell Feldpausch New Metal Member

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    The Wake is the story of the procedure of switching the program that the son is in and him waking during it.

    The Savior is in the room now with the Son and is running through the procedure to make the switch. At one point during the switch, the Son wakes up. He lunges forward, but is restrained, taking in just a breath. In this short time he makes a direct connection with the Savior by looking straight into his eyes, piercing through any doubt that the Savior had about his place in this matter and if he should restore the Son back to the real world. The Savior, in the midst of this forced revelation and against his will, jabs the needle into the Son, injecting him fully with sedatives, and sends him “back home.”

    After the trauma of this event, the Savior is shaken up back at his home. He reenacts it over and over in his mind. It’s all he can think about now; “He looked right at me. He knows he’s been talking with me! What am I doing just waiting around here when I know what is right and I could be doing something!?”

    “Please,” he asks, “Please, Son…. Know that I’m forced to do these things I do to you. Don’t lose hope because you saw me put you back under. I’m weak, but I’m getting stronger. I’ll be back for you.”
     
  7. Mitchell Feldpausch

    Mitchell Feldpausch New Metal Member

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    I always imagined the new world after the switch in The Wake as a deserted island with beaches, mountains, trees and animals, but nothing of danger. I think most of us would appreciate living in such a peaceful, beautiful place, but I think we’d be hard-pressed to keep our wits without some sort of human company to whom we could give and receive love.

    This new “paradise” is spoiled for the Son even further by realization of the world that exists outside of his faux reality which he had experienced in its fullness through his waking up (This experience can be likened to miracles or interactions with God that we have in our lives that make us sure of the existence of both Him and a world outside of what we can sense physically). Like those who experience a short period of passing away and a fulfilling interaction with the afterlife before returning to the earth, the Son is discontented with his empty world and strives to go back to what he knows is the only reality that matters. His longing and confusion over how to arrive back into his life renders the environment surrounding him in his mind as mere diversions that conceal the truth.

    At times he even sees faces and hears voices from the real world materialize in his “paradise” as his mind starts to break it down.
     
  8. Mitchell Feldpausch

    Mitchell Feldpausch New Metal Member

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    There isn’t a whole lot to explain for this instrumental track on the album. This is meant to be the quiet time and thought Savior takes to make a decision on what he will do and how he will do it.
     
  9. Mitchell Feldpausch

    Mitchell Feldpausch New Metal Member

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    This is a continuation of the Savior’s deliberation and adds words to the struggle that he is having internally. He wonders why he was the one that was tasked to do something like this. Why couldn’t he just be naïve like everyone else? He could, except there is something else in him that the others don’t have, or have never bothered to cultivate.

    This is it. The Son losing a minute of his life for every minute that the Savior sits inactive is tormenting the Savior and leading him to make the only decision he always knew was right: release the Son. It’s time to fill in the empty spaces; answer the questions the Son has had for so long. Let him experience the life that is given him and affect the lives of those he was meant to affect. Let him experience fear and pain but turn it into perseverance and true joy if he so choses. It’s time to be his hope and answer his prayers. It’s time to pull him out.
     
  10. Mitchell Feldpausch

    Mitchell Feldpausch New Metal Member

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    Birthright, during the vocal intro starts out in the perspective of the Son nestled in the machine, waiting. The “machine” guitar riff then takes over and skips near its end signifying that the machine is breaking down.

    Florescence blurs around the Savior as he runs down the hallway after having broken into the facility in the middle of the night. He is closing on the door that contains the Son. He opens the door easily that he had not sealed earlier in the day in anticipation of this moment. He pulls the plug on the Son and brings him into the world. Signs of life mark the Son. He is now free to mark the world and its people and accomplish what he is meant to accomplish: his birthright.

    This album is a literal story, a metaphor for the longing we have for our creator and truth, and a plea from myself, to myself, at the time to be courageous and carry out what I am meant to while I’m here. There are many other meanings I’ve pulled from this since, and its therapeutic effects have been well-felt in my life. This is a solid reflection of where I was and where the band was at the time.

    I hope this was, at the very least, interesting to you. If you have any questions or would like clarification on anything, please let us know and we’ll answer as best we can!

    Thank you reading/listening. I hope to be writing another one of these before too long.
     
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