Poetic Philosophy, Jiving beats, Romantic Progressions, and mesmerizing melodic lines, Artifex Pereo’s newest album, “Passengers,” has unique qualities, the most notable being the lyrics. It covers issues that have always been brought up in the newsroom. Environmental destruction, corrupt business, refugees, and greedy nonprofits, all of it, explained through provocative poetry and rhythmic patterns. These lyrics are meant to be thought through thoroughly. Besides the issues, there still remains one final concept. The band chose to tell its story through the eyes of passengers that left Earth, only to return back and see the mayhem that awaits them. That being said, let us begin this homecoming.
The great thing about Artifex Pereo is that they follow a simple ABCBCDA song form, so there’s a pattern to all the tracks on the album. But what really makes them stand out is their outstanding musicianship. Smooth syncopation, infectious grooves, and catchy melodies are what Artifex is about, and you’ll hear just that on each track. As an experimental rock band, they have tested their hypothesis, and continue pushing their musical capabilities.
Re-Entry: Following the concept the album, the intro track acts as the greeting song to for the Passengers. Electronic sonic sounds give a feeling like the Passengers arrived.
First, Do No Harm: All signs show it is us to blame, we’re masticating the health of our host from the inside out. Spoken as if the blame is on us, but counterbalances it with, We took too much when we dug this hole./This is not where we belong if this body was never enough. Clearly, if the world is not sufficient, then we must belong to another world. Accompanying the message is a smooth line of drum patterns, and atmospheric guitar lines, with loud punk rock riffs, all calming down when a melodic line is sung.
Paper Ruled All: This track is a PSA to the assumed rulers of the nations, and corporations that control trade and markets. The intro is distorted, the verses are calm, and the chorus is loud like a call to action. Screaming vocals are involved, adding a nice touch of anger and angst.
Space Between Thoughts: Calming down, now speaking to the individuals, this track has the passengers ask why people have shielded their hearts from those struggling to find a home, such as refugees. The groove is steady, fast, even in its big chorus, a steady beat follows, as the melodic lines float along. A powerful message is given here. Guided far from safety, left abandoned and alone without a hand to help steady our feet, or humble legs to take us home.
Soft Weapons: If any track on here grooves the most, it’s this one. Drum and guitar are on point, leaving the perfect pocket for the singer to step in. Organized fuzz is the best way to describe the band’s offbeat grooves, but they make it work, and it is truly amazing. It is so mesmerizing, just like the lies that the passengers speak against. Exposure of Propaganda is presented in the first lyric, Calculated narration falls from a tainted tongue. If that doesn’t prove so, then we have already been brainwashed.
Age of Loneliness: With an impressive entrance, the story zooms onto an individual that gives his view on life. The mood takes a dip into a darker setting, using technology, medication, and therapy to find a release from the cruel world. The track delivers a fast and loose beat, as guitar licks zoom and drum patterns zoom past the listener’s ears. The track with a message of hope ending with, Forgive the folly of being human.
The Coefficient of Inefficient: We should know this is our fault, witness our willingness to doubt our heart./ What better time to be bold? Motion falls to you and yours. Make a mark on the world. Another powerful message, it is given with swift off beats and heavy guitar work.
Enterprise of Empire: This track is a history lesson for those who only see how great our nation has become, but forget that it was built up with the blood native to the land. The track stays in a soft, low-key, indie rock sound, until halfway through, where the groove picks up, faster and with more drum work to move the song on. The song finishes, with wicked guitar licks and growling vocals over the singer’s voice.
As We Look On: War is never a pretty subject. On this track, we hear the destruction that is caused by the recent wars told through the lyrics. An example is, As we look on, helplessly veiled with shock, life still goes on, desensitized with suffocating denial. This is the heaviest track on the album. Quick riffs and a continuous fast beat drive the song, creating the perfect mood for the message.
As History Would Have it: To end the message on war, this track goes through the critical view of war through a soldier’s eyes. The minor tonality, with a bit of a bluesy feel, and a slow jamming beat makes this song feel like there is a longing for peace and rest for the soldiers, but alas, that is not the case. For this war, all are involved, even civilians, thus eliminating the want to stand up against the forces that oppress them, for if they stand, they risk the lives of many.
Static Color: Pray, the faith you have found helps you know the way. Pure terror described as Unconscious doctrine forged a crack in the mold. Bias taught them casting stones from the pulpit grants protection. And also, Guided with eyes blinded by small minds. Blight has disguised bodies of starlight. This track spends a good deal of time jamming to a nocturnal beat, but eventually, lends itself to heavy rhythms and finishes with a pulsing groove.
This is one seriously thought-provoking album, and though the hope seems distant, even in the darkest of the lyrics, there still lies light at the end of the tunnel. This album is well-rounded, with engaging lyrics and skilled musicianship, you shouldn’t ponder on whether or not to give this album as taste!
As always, thank you for your time, and I hope you enjoy Artifex Pereo’s newest Album, “Passengers”!
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