Album Spotlight: Kingcrow – “Eidos”


kingcrow

1. The Moth

“Don’t you realize/ What you lost during your search for glory?”  With these words, Kingcrow begins their amazing album “Eidos”.  The title of the album refers to the idea of the “real essence of things”.  I just call this reality without all the fluff.  The nitty-gritty.  The truth.  The first song “The Moth” begins this theme with a punch to our collective gut.  Are we all just blind moths chasing glory as time burns around us?

The video for this song is very disturbing, but only because it is also convicting.  In our pursuit of wealth and power, material things and a good name; are we really missing out on the real stuff of life?  Is life passing us by unhindered?  “Time keeps crawling/ While you’re burning”.  We’re falling apart as we search for things that don’t really matter at all.

But it’s more than that.  We all had dreams as children, and we’ve let those dreams go to pursue a “normal” existence.  Is a debt-ridden, miserable existence really  a good life?  What have we given up in the process?  How much of yourself did you have to give?  Where did our imaginations go?  Why did we let go of the children inside of us?  Instead, we burn our lives away with entertainment, worry, and the pursuit of meaningless possessions, and our former heroes and dreams burn to dust.  Are we really anything at all?

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2. Adrift

The second song on “Eidos” is absolutely breath-taking, both musically and lyrically.  The word pictures here are so vivid and vibrant.  Continuing the theme of lost dreams, “Adrift” is literally the physical idea here, as if we are adrift in a sea of confusion and ruin.  The song begins with our naive selves living full of hope and dreams; you know, like real people.  But then, the storms came.

“I was once on a ship full of hopes and I lived for a wonderful dream/ I had floated and fell through the waves and a cold leaden sky loomed above.”  The sky crushed us.  The rain tore at our dreams.  We became more concerned with mere survival than with our ideals and principles.  We let ourselves become less than we are.  We became scared of living.  The storm drove away our courage to live.  “My dreams are locked away for good/ My heart no longer has the desire to go out to sea.”

That is soul-crushing.  Even more so, it seems like this song has specifically to do with a broken relationship.  “You did not realize you were breaking my heart with the words that you said/ I was strong and was brave, but these feelings were trapped in my mind, deep inside.”  Breaking down.  Breaking apart.  Our souls are made for love, but our empty desires keep us from that.

I can see this song in my mind.  We lie ruined on the sea, tossed to and fro.  We are surrounded with things we don’t need: They encumber us, but we only hold more tightly to them as they drown us.  We’re lost in the cold, dark fog.  What hope is there?  A new dawn lies ahead, but it barely reaches our eyes.

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3. Slow Down

“Go – there’s a new model/ I can almost forget who I am offline/ Go – what a great bargain/ It’s exciting to live many different lives”.  We’ve all heard about the dangers of becoming lost in the world of technology.  It bears repeating, though.  We can easily forget who we are when we devote ourselves to garnering attention or pleasing faceless people.  Furthermore, it becomes an addiction to have instant access to so much stuff.  There’s little wait time, so the gratification is practically instant.  Can we slow down?  Why does everything have to be immediate?

But it’s more than that.  Our brains simply can’t slow down at this point.  Our minds are racing at a million miles per second, and we can’t shut it down.  We can’t even relax anymore.  I know the feeling.  Always reaching for my phone.  Always checking social media.  We’re like robots, and I’m as guilty as anyone.  Time keeps burning as we make our memes or post our clever status updates.  Our minds are emptier than ever even as they are burgeoning with ideas and garbage.

Did we really envision this as our future?  Did we really think that our primary accomplishment in our life would be the applause and plastic appeal of the Internet?  We can’t slow down.  Our children are aging, but we are missing out.  Our relationships are waning, yet we simply let them burn.  And we can’t catch up with ourselves, either.  We are out of control.

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4. Open Sky

“Open Sky” is like a direct continuation of “Adrift”, at least in the imagery.  The latter sees us as drifting in a sea of confusion, loss, and drudgery.  “Open Sky” takes place directly afterwards where, as we stare at the cold, grey sky, hope is found.  Hope is often found in the most unlikely of places.

“Stare at the open sky and go find yours among them/ Let it go.”  Let it go.  Let go of the worries and material possessions.  Let go of your search for glory and your common knowledge.  Swim.  Find your place in this life.  Swim to shore and to a real existence, an existence that means something.  Every shade in the sky has its place: It’s we who are out of place in a world that means nothing.  That’s just not how our brains and hearts work.  Meaning is required.  Without it, we drown in a sea of sorrow and pain; always swimming, but never arriving anywhere.

Why are we here?  What is the meaning of life?  Don’t just sit there wondering.  Go find out!  Raise your head to the grey skies and vow to pursue meaning and purpose.  Go live a real life with real friends making a real difference.  I suspect you’ll find meaning along the way.  Adrift in the grey of the sea, raise your arms on high and find the new dawn.

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5. Fading Out Pt. IV

Sometimes it takes pure will to keep going in all of this.  “Fading Out” is actually part four of an ongoing suite that spans several Kingcrow albums, but it finds its place in this album, anyways.  While I’m not sure about the exact setting here, it feels as if the protagonist of this track has official decided to start fresh; to start over.  Maybe he quit his dead end job, or maybe he has left a miserable relationship.  I can’t be sure.  The emotions here, however, are very recognizable.

“Light drawing my shadow on the cold concrete/ While all of my senses now tell me to leave/ What awaits me now?”  What I do know is that this new start is for the better.  His heart beckons him to continue his walk, and continue he does.  What he must do now is never give up.  He needs to keep walking despite the memories and regardless of the pain.

“It’s all up to you/ Somewhere else again/ Take it to the end/ Go beyond the pain/ And roll the dice/ Play the game.”  There is an element here of a circular motion in life.  It seems like he is always searching for something to make him feel satisfied and free, but here he is again, walking away.  What does it take to feel full?  To feel free and happy?  Life isn’t a game, but he rolls the dice again.  Does that make sense?  Or is there something else involved here that we cannot see?

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6. The Deeper Divide

How lonely does rolling the dice sound?  Can we live that way; always moving on, seeing what life might throw at us?  There is something deeper still, something that requires our hearts and souls.  “Feeling disconnected from what’s left behind/ Pretending to be stronger.”  Nomads are we when cannot lay down roots of meaning and hope.  Wanderers are we when we care about something more, but the world doesn’t give a damn.  We’ll wander from place to place, trying find where we fit, but that place must be created, not found.

Have you ever felt this?  That burning desire for more, but no one else seems to care?  “Pretending to be strong”, we wander.  Everyone is so focused on themselves, but I can’t take it anymore.  I can’t take the plastic.  I can’t take falling in line.  I can’t take a normal existence in our pretty society of political correctness and the bottom line.  I can’t take the void of morality and justice, empathy and humanity.

“Flying/ Dying/ Back to fear land/ Reborn again/ If only I could be me/ The real me/ So many miles away.”  How do I get out of here?  How do I get to a place where I’m me and important things really matter?  I don’t want to be part of the fear or the textbook answers.  I don’t want to accept what I’m being fed.  I want to go deeper still, to a place where I’m more than I have ever been, and where I can be more for the people I love.

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7. On The Barren Ground

“On the Barren Ground” is an interesting song that introduces a dichotomy in how we act in life.  On one hand, we have dreams and we often pursue them.  Along the way, though, inspecting the cracks in the foundation takes over as our primary focus, and the whole point of it all is lost.  Focusing too much on mundane things ends up breeding more cracks, and our ground becomes more and more barren, as our creativity and vibrancy dries up.

It gets worse.  Even as we are focusing on the bottom line, we speak of ideologies: “And we speak of freedom/ We speak of heaven/ We speak of faith”.  But, in application, “We fear the strange/ Or have fear of failure/ We fear our fate/ Living like someone in a no man’s land.”  Some of us live with these towering ideals of freedom and justice, but then we live in fear, never wanting to try anything.  Why are we so afraid?  We end up tending to our little psyches, and, meanwhile, our potential dries up and our lives burn to nothing as blind moths.

We end up hiding where we feel safe, which is, unfortunately, the status quo.  The bottom line.  The survival game.  And we miss the big picture and the dreams of a better world that we once had.  We sap the ground of its nourishment, rather than cultivating it with our humanity and potential.  What is wrong with us?

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8. At The Same Pace

As we approach the end of “Eidos” here, the lyrics become decidedly more emotional.  “At the Same Pace” is a song that is like a chilly dagger to my own heart, as I know exactly the situation it portrays.  “The promise that you made/ I’m making to you now.”  What was that promise?  The scene at the beginning of the song is of someone, I assume a father or mother, promising the writer that he will never be alone; that they will always be beside him, at the same pace.  That’s a huge promise, but it’s a promise that most every parent tries to make and keep.  It’s a promise that helps steer your ship when the storm sets in, and it’s a guide when you feel alone and worthless.

But it’s a promise they can’t keep forever.

“Now your final moments slip away so fast/ While I’m holding your hand/ Life is strange sometimes/ I’m echoing your words.”  The scene shifts, and this person (perhaps his mother) is dying.  She’s slipping away, and there’s nothing he can do to stop it.  It’s his worst nightmare come true, losing the person that has guided and protected him for his entire life.  Perhaps, the entire album and all the feelings therein revolve around the emotional fallout from this tragedy.  I know how he feels, as I’ve experienced the same thing.

But the song doesn’t end on a depressing note.  It actually becomes rather hopeful as it discusses the “real essence” of things; that “Together we are and will stay/ Perhaps just in a different way/ The moments we shared, the words that we said/ I only know this/ That what we had won’t die.”  He will never lose those words, and he vows to keep her with him always.

This is true value.  This has true worth.  We fight for glory and survival, but we forget our relationships and spiritual connections as we inspect the cracks in our lives.  How can we lose something so precious?  We certainly don’t lose it to death, but it escapes our grasp when we turn our minds to temporary things.

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9. Eidos

The title track to Kingcrow’s wonderful album brings everything to a head.  “Wake up right now/ There’s a way out!”  It’s a call to arms, so to speak.  It begs us to consider the real essence of our existence; to recognize the fragility of the house of cards that we have established.  Here we are, living on an edge, and we have no idea what’ll happen if we step off the cliff.  Broken dreams.  Deeply held scars.  Our own blood is on our hands as we murder ourselves to become something less than human.

But it is okay.  The first step in progress is recognizing the need for change.  So, as we hang on for dear life to the transient things that are actually killing us, it’s time to let go.  Let go.

“So facing your dark side sometimes means to plunge to the depths/ They say the darkest hour is the one just before the dawn.”  In order to change, we have to be willing to take the plunge.  To overcome our own darkness, we have to be willing to explore its roots.  Anything else is just a game.  To find the light, we must first recognize darkness.

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10. If Only

Where are you now?  The darkness might be suffocating at times.  Your mind may race through a thousand possibilities, if only you could get some peace.  If only someone could take your loved one’s place.  If only you knew how to live life.  If only.

“Moonlight painted glow/ Touched our furrowed brows/ Just inhale the dark now/ On this restless night”.  As the darkness sets in and your search for light begins, never let yourself get comfortable with the darkness.  Be restless always until you find the peace you seek.

Kingcrow’s “Eidos”, like most spotlights I do, has shown me something about myself.  Have I become too comfortable with being stuck where I am?  Do I cling to transient things that have no worth?  What value do I place on human connections and important people in my life?  Would I throw all of my temporary riches away for the sake of those I love?  What is my purpose in life?  Or, rather, Who is my purpose in life?  The questions keep coming, and I don’t want to be a blind moth searching for the light, all while I’m burning because it’s right there!  It’s right at arm’s length!  But I have to see the need in order to make that first move.

Let me tell you this.  Stumbling in the dark is something I don’t like.  I want to plan everything to a tee, and I sometimes get frustrated when things don’t go my way.  Okay, I get frustrated a lot.  I’ve come to realize that when I live my life for Jesus, my family, and for people in general that I have hope and direction.  Do things always end up working out at that point?  Not at all.  But I have faith that there is a reason for it, and I don’t have to feel lost in a sea of confusion and false purpose anymore.  I don’t have to search for the light anymore because I’m living for the light.  Find the light, my friends.

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