A young man sits, and he drinks, and he thinks a lot. His life has not been the greatest, but he puts pen to paper, and he thinks about things, and he writes them down. Maybe a few years pass and he is in a band. A band full of anger that will one day become a lot larger than he realised back then, but the fact that this has happened is no fluke. Money for nothing (and the chicks for free) is not his credo. Hate, anger, wrath and a feeling of utter frustration drive him far more than any free reward or perk ever could. This man wants us to listen to his demons, the ones he agreed to keep after they all decided that to exercise is far better than to exorcize.
His Grandfather walks in. Sees him sitting there, looking troubled, and offers some wisdom. A quote from this very man himself.
“When I was at the age of 17 I was sitting in the kitchen alone, writing lyrics and drinking. One night my grandpa saw me and said to me: grandson be aware, sorrow is something that easily can be adjusted to you and difficult to take her off.” I refuse to alter this quote. Yes, Nikolaos is Greek and words can be lost in translation, but the meaning is clear and true.
The direction that Nikolaos (aka Wrath) took after that was not what you might think it would, or even should be. No, he took Lady Sorrow on board and introduced her to the demons that already existed inside his head. They had a fight for dominance, and realised that by co-existing they could both suit their own needs whilst having a suitable host to carry them around, so to speak.
“Get on with it man” you say, and so I should. Here we have the product of a mind that has been dealing with this shite for a long time, and it suits that he has released the second chapter to one of his finest musical moments from a journey started near twenty years ago, well, near twenty years later.
“There are times my hate feeds my veins and my heart seeing the world falling apart,
I can’t hide my joy“
And it is with these words that we begin our journey with Act I of a II part epic, “Suicide and the Rest of Your Kind Will Follow: The Red Lake of Innocence.” Yes, Wrath is angry. Angry at the world, the foulness he sees, the atrocities that happen on a daily basis that we all too easily ignore, and at the so-called hand of fate that we many think guides each and every one of us, quite simply known to the masses as “God.” Wrath, through various vocal deliveries can seem one minute to be talking to these demons he has made this pact with, and they in turn respond by channelling their demented screams through his body. They echo his fury and rage. For was it not this very God that cast them into eternal torment, just as quickly as he abandoned us? This is not for the faint hearted, the weak, the unprepared. This is the sound of rage and frustration; the sound of anger and resentment.
“Wash your hands; Your Bloody hands!
Into the Red Lake, of your innocence!
Remember and never forget!
I was the one who forged a giant cross to your chest!!!
It was I, who burned your soul!“
Blood red curtains close. Act I is no more and for a brief moment the audience awaits. Cold clammy hands and sweating brows are evident, as the curtain opens for Act II. A mix of fear and wonder course through the audience, as it should. Some seem pleased, others troubled, as they should. Wrath is asking the right questions, and this seems to have many different effects on those present as you will see.
The curtain parts, and we are presented with “Servants of Ego and Filth: The Bastard Sons of Nature.” Again we are confronted with the juxtaposition of such fine almost soothing tunes, and the inevitable fact that at some stage, the demons that reside in this brilliant man will indeed rise again. For a short period we are allowed to indulge in the melancholy, the quiet introspection before they do.
And then, the rage swells and rises as surely as the sea ebbs and flows, the moon rises and sets. The very gods we once worshipped decline in the smallest of heartbeats.
“A blink of an eye would just fit perfectly to this massive conspiracy,
A blink of an eye, forging the end of man”
Parts of this act remind me of a band, well, a man really who is in two bands I have loved since the dawn of their very existence. I speak of no other than Martin Walkyier of Sabbath, Skyclad fame. whose use of a phrase could cut you to the bone and sense of social justice and defiance of those who hold the chains is legendary. On rare moments, I am sure his personal demons have travelled the dark paths and hidden gateways to communicate with Wrath, and share their own personal stories of worlds past gone and what they can surely see as the end of mankind and all that we know approaching. The musical direction may differ, but the message remains the same. We are greedy and selfish. We pay homage to false idols whilst those around us suffer. We are fools, and we reap what we sow.
“Who is above the law of death
Who brings light at the end of your tunnel
Judgment day, foolish pray
Follow your kind and become one with them“
Who is indeed above the only thing that nothing ever past or present can escape, death itself. It is inevitable, and yet here we sit and watch as all goes to a hell that isn’t what happens when we die. It is the here and now for the many. You have become the prey even whilst you invoke the name of a God who took the reigns from the real ones that existed purely for the people, that is nothing more than a concept designed to keep you in check and in fear of being human. A man made God. A deity that approves of greed and horror and war and slaughter and famine and disease and utter misery.
“Useless and destructive humanoids Humble servants of Ego and Filth“
And so the show is over, and the people walk out. Bereft of words. Left to ponder the meaning of this as they clutch their bulging wallets and touch the cross they wear around their neck as if it will somehow “protect” them from the horrors of our shitty existence. The Old Gods have long gone, a manufactured one tells us that he is our “Lord and Saviour,” and yet tomorrow one of these people will die from being shot by a weapon loaded with hate by someone who feels that heaven is beyond their reach, a disease that the almighty could wipe out in the blink of an eye, or have to spend their first night ever out in a cruel cold unforgiving world filled with the overly wealthy who care not whether they live or die, as long as it is out of sight.
Ego and Filth. Religion and Wealth. The lack of care for anyone but ourselves, and our faith in false idols. We are doomed.
I salute you yet again Wrath. Keep up the good fight, and let those demons shock people. Nothing else is acceptable.