”A direct line of distinctive descent”
So I guess it’s up to me to write this blog post I have just written about our first album. Me and Mr. Sobranie are lifelong companions (not in the gay way) since the baby school. We wanted to start the band and be those big rock stars. The ones from TV. You know? We weren’t allowed to by our stupid friends, most of whom wanted the music to be very hard and tough. The guitars were to be loud; the bass was to just rumble; the drums were to be struck as quickly as possible by the double pedal. Lyrically approved subjects were, in order: Satan, death, the trolls and vikings of the forest, and the debatable power of the moon. It may sound strange to you, young and current reader of today – age of transgender rights and authenticity – but such were the times at that point. We wouldn’t have any of that. We set up two studios (BOF Studio A and B) and created a concept album clocking in at an hour and twenty minutes. We used acoustic guitars instead of electric ones. We employed the drum machine. And we unloaded all our frustrations with society and the human condition onto eighteen songs.
Day; Black (part one): The Lord, main character of the album, is introduced. The first half of the album deals with the physical, material conditions of the world, and why they are lacking. The more abstract side of things is addressed in the second half. This song simply establishes the Lord as the focal point; he opens up shop for the day and listens to the wind of time.
Everyone’s grudge: Again, the physical realities. We would all be heroes, but we are reduced to thieves by the nature of our bodily existence. Every living thing displaces something else. Money, food, cars.
Pagan threats: Song about religion introduces religion as one of our main foes. Very simple lyrics; we only revisit the known topic of religious displacement. You are the pope, I am the pagan; I threaten you.
We can see the hope: One of the first songs, if I recall. We always meant to change the lyrics, but in the end they are fine as part of a churning, single-minded rebellion against a very simple reality. We’ve had it with society.
Unsentimental deathlist: Police riots, a dentist appointment and the most avantgarde movie that has never been released. The drum beat of this one is one of the quintessential sounds of atcn.
The only place: We take an ill-advised detour at this point to discuss our views on music. First, a sort of parody of heavy metal music and the types of attitudes I mentioned in the intro. Postmodern satire: Doing the very thing you’re critisising.
Hammer: Secondly, a song that is supposed to be an attack on industrial techno. We strike back at the strawman we established in the previous song through the mouthpiece of something else we don’t like. One of the three songs recorded at BOF Studio B.
Unknown: Once again we leave the main plot, this time to discuss some random people’s love life.
The package: This is an instrumental song, closing the first half of the album. It’s divided in three sections, meant to represent the three sections of the album and echo some sentiments therein. Wait, aren’t there only two sections on the album? Guess we fucked up.
Day; black (part two): The second half begins. The shortest song of our career. The Lord does some other things while chaos crashes all around; people are yelling.
Passing between inquiries: The other half of the album is more abstract and relates to the mental properties of the world and society. These properties are Profit, Chance and Death: introduced by this rather sublime song. Because of these things, mankind is in chains.
The frenchman and the ants: We were going to make an album about the micro cosmos and the synergies across time and space and the four elements. That didn’t happen, but this song survived the purge. It takes an absurdist look at the destruction of the natural world. The chord sequence is especially strange and appears to have been partially generated by random selection. The lyrics relate to climate change and the great flood that once befell the city by the old lake. Second one that was recorded in BOF Studio B.
Goodnight my little child: The volatile situation in the middle east. We always liked this one. Islam is described as ”The time-honored spectre’s veil”. An homage to the secular forces in this rectum of rationality.
Mental darkness: The best drum beat in the world, wise words about Nietzsche. Strongest track on the record, in my book. Strange and dark. Always meant to revive it from obscurity. Some day…
De-void and fvcking dissolve: Last song recorded in the silent and sweaty underground of BOF Studio B. Pretty much a solo production of mr. Sobranie. I don’t actually know that much about it or understand it, but I sure like it.
And that he gains: This one is quite special to us. We meant to make a film but ended up making a song instead, based on the simplest acoustic riff in the world, just about squirting and simpering with emotion and stream-of-consciousness autumny nothing. This track really embodies the ideals of Profit, Chance and Death.
The truth shall set you free: I don’t have much to add to what was written about this song on Old Hits. Suffice to say, if we were a TV show instead of a band made out of people and music, this would be our theme song.
Day; black (parts one, two and three): And we come full circle. The previous chapters about the Lord are repeated, and amidst Scary Monsters-era Bowie riffs we reach the conclusion; we are taken home; we are taken to school. The Lord makes his final stand by the sea, society has miscarried, see you next time.
There you have it. Our first album; one hour and twenty minutes; a perfectly grey cover – languishing in the sun, in the big land of our memories.
It is within the realm of possibility that you have read this message from,
Samuel Lundgren / atcn