2011 | Metal
Spotify | Amazon
"I will resist ‘til the end of time. A spirit born free has to break these chains. -- We're lost, we must find our way. The nightmare unfolds before my eyes,"
- Reached #67 on the Billboard 200.
- Dystopia is the tenth studio album by Iced Earth and was the first to feature vocalist Stu Block.
- Jon Schaffer is also the guitarist for Sons Of Liberty.
THE HOT TAKES
There's a lot to love here. The military snare introduction. The intensity. The perfect outline of a hellish future Earth where the state has fully leveraged the power of technology to subjugate the population, all in the name of "safety." This song was my jam for a good month or so when I first discovered it. Images of the video game franchise Half-Life (specifically HL2 and after) spring to mind readily. There is a truly dark aspect to technological progress, and that is seen when the state wields its power.
Hearkening back to old Metallica, this song is the story of a dystopian future that doesn’t actually seem all that far away from the reality of today. One aspect of the narrative is that with every forcible action against the populace there is always the promise of one of the most fundamental human needs. Safety. Learning to love your abuser is a sort of demented medicine for all the pain they inflict, and if you can do that, then you will have access to the technologies and comforts that are provided at the high price of your freedom traded for a pseudo-safety. As it says though, “a spirit born free has to break these chains, we’re lost, but we must find our way.” We have been guided down the path of tyranny by the indoctrination and pressure of The State, but it is up to each individual to break free of the mental chains that are necessary for the powerful to continue their reign. We can show others the way, we can help, and teach, and encourage, but each person has to break themselves free. Like Bob Marley says in Redemption song “none but ourselves, can free our minds.”
Could they have veiled things any thinner? I'm not even sure how outlandish this song seems. I'm always happy that power metal seems to be so rife with heavy tributes to freeing ourselves from the trappings of modern life and the salve of the state. At this point it's a bit of a trope that we're all simply tax cattle for the elites but it feels more and more true as the days pass. People seem less and less interested in freedom, so long as they get their reality TV and sportsball. All to often I feel like a salesman trying to sell the worlds greatest product to people who only want familiar even if familiar is defective and going to blow up the house they live in some day. Each day a step closer to the inevitable and i'm talking to the cow as it stares in my face blankly.