In Svbterranean’s Album Dissections, artists break down the construction and/or lyrical themes of their records track by track.
Indiana post-black metal trio Chrome Waves (ex-Wolvhammer, Nachtmystium, et al) officially release their epic debut, A Grief Observed, today via Disorder Recordings. The sprawling, 45-minute recording weaves black metal, shoegaze and post-metal into a gloomy, atmospheric sonic journey. Fans of Agalloch and the like will want to take note.
Guitarist/vocalist James Benson was kind enough to participate in our Album Dissections series so we could gain more insight into the lyrical inspirations behind each track. Check out what he had to say below.
The first track on the album was also the first track finished. Lyrically it sets the tone for the album, describing the emotions of a adult taking care of a dying loved one. The title of the album comes from C.S Lewis’ book by the same name, “A Grief Observed”, in which he wrote about his experience of his wife dying. Lewis, known mostly for his series “The Chronicles of Narnia”
2. Past the Lights
The second track of the album is concerning the realization that a major change is going to happen in this person’s life, and that while it hasn’t happened yet, the reality of pain and grief is coming and that person will be hit like a brick wall. A lot of this track has to do with hope, though ultimately the next track leads us back towards darkness.
3. A Grief Observed
The title track here is about the stage of grieving that is perhaps the most wrenching; bargaining. It’s about suicidal thoughts and bargaining to be the one to “go first”. Lyrically repeating “As the fire burns, I dig a second grave. One for myself and one for my love”. Perhaps the most emotional song on the album.
4. Predatory Animals
Lyrics on this track are more “modern” in comparison. If I had to say where would be in the “story” of the album, it would be after the funeral of a loved one or significant other, and dealing with the aftermath for the first time. Dreaming about the dead being alive, and waking up in a cold sweat.
5. Take Another Sip
Take another sip is about drinking your sorrows away. This one’s pretty self explanatory. While one of the lighter songs on the album- it’s lyrically probably the easiest to identify with for others.
6. Open Casket
The last track is about visiting the grave and acceptance. This is one of the heavier tracks on the album and again visits suicidal ideation. I drew from my experience working in the mental health and addiction field for the lyrics quite a bit here.