“Why are we here, just to suffer?”
After teasing an unreleased song this past week by mailing out letters to fans containing lines of lyrics and photo stills from a new video, Gravemind have pulled the cat out of the bag with ‘Phantom Pain‘.
‘Phantom Pain‘ is indicative of Gravemind not needing to adhere to the tried-and-true deathcore musical and lyrical tropes for their songs to sound brutal; to feel heavy and impactful with the emotional and human sentiments that they share. That a band of their ilk can address real, relatable issues in their songs and offer a wider, better sense of melody and dynamism rather than just endless, boring blasting and breakdowns. Even then, they know when to keep things heavy, riffy and technical, balancing it out nicely: going all in only when the track calls for it. All of this is really pushes Gravemind beyond their peers in the rest of the heavy music herd and it’s all on stunning display with this new single.
Back at it again with another conveniently titled Metal Gear Solid reference (this time alluding to the title of MGSV as opposed to a villain from MGS3 with previous single, ‘Volgin‘) ‘Phantom Pain‘ tackles a heavy but important topic: domestic abuse. It revolves around a figurative and thematic shutting of the door on the connection (or lack thereof) between a young son and his abusive, uncaring father. The idea of phantom pain refers to someone losing a limb but then still being able to “feel” said missing limb once it’s no longer attached to their body. Within the family setting of this new song and music video, it’s about one finally letting go and moving on from the memory and need of a father who is absent – the metaphorical missing phantom limb – putting the onus onto the culprit rather than the victims. That the sins of the father are the father’s sins alone that its now too late for him to make amends; that there’ll be “no tears when you die.”
Vocalist Dylan Gillies-Parsons has enjoyed and used spoken word parts in Gravemind’s music before now, like on the title track of their ‘Deathgate‘ EP. The bridge of ‘Phantom Pain‘ sees a similar yet far better implemented spoken word section, one that’s quite confrontational and direct; where he learns from the mistakes of his old man. It’s the frontman putting himself into the shoes of a father and knowing that he could never abandon his own child, that he couldn’t understand the thought of not being there for his own flesh and blood, seeing the vocalist speak:
“When I think about the child that I might have, how I could make real all the things that I am, not for one second could I see myself leaving. This is the only responsibility I could ever have. If I gave breath to another person, I couldn’t bear the thought of not guiding their hand through this life. For I know the feeling of absence, it weighs on my soul, it constricts me of air.”
Gravemind’s debut album, ‘Conduit‘, drops July 19th. Expect it to be fuckin’ huge.