Premiere: Ara – “Etymologyocide”
It’s tech death for people who don’t like tech death!
Look, I know you’ve heard that phrase before, possibly even from me. I know some of you are going to click play on that video and roll your eyes at yet another dissonant death metal tune being inflicted upon you via this blog you only started following because you thought it was a shit fetishist site. And I know some of you have skipped past all this, started listening to the song, and are on your way to purchasing the album.
If you’re one of those latter people, uh… good, more of that, please. To the rest of you, sit your asses down and listen up; this has me excited in ways I haven’t been since I first heard The Conductor’s Departure.
Without the use of traditional songwriting methods, dissonant bands need other ways to draw in their listeners. One such a way is to use your music to tell a story, and “Etymologicide” tells a hell of a tale. You could be forgiven for not being able to make out a word of the deep growled vocals, but you don’t necessarily need to follow the lyrics to get into it. There’s a narrative in that lurching, seething heaviness that will hold you in its vice grip until its final pummeling notes. But if you’re curious about the lyrics, or the title, or the cover art, guitarist Jerry Hauppa has you covered. As a fantasy dork who’s fascinated with dead languages, this is the sort of thing I’d like to see more of from my tech death:
As for the cover, I found myself intrigued by dead languages, and what causes a language and tradition to die. I came across an African language called ǁXegwi that died when its last remaining speaker was murdered, and I thought about what a tragedy that is to have something passed for generations be taken way in such a violent means, but then I thought about a fantasy scenario where maybe the last speaker was murdered because the language had to be killed. Maybe there was something evil in that language where it couldn’t be uttered by someone without consequence and there was a positive motive to ending it. So being inspired by that idea I came up with the visuals for the artwork and the severed tongues as a warning to those who decide to trespass linguistically into forbidden grounds. The lyrical concepts for this are explored in “Etymologicide” but the album title “Jurisprudence” reflects the idea of forbidding a cursed language as written law with a visual warning to those who betray it.
Jurisprudence releases on May 15th via Bandcamp, and you can follow Ara on Facebook. If you want to hear more, you can check out the other singles on Invisible Oranges and No Clean Singing, and you can read Jack Bauer’s review of their last album from waaay back on Tech Death Thursday.