Melodic Revolution Records Series (#4)
Thoughts Factory | Lost 2014
Label: Melodic Revolution Records
Release Year: 2014
Genre: Progressive Metal
Sven Schornstein – Keyboards
Bernd Schönegge – Bass
Chris Maldener – Drums
Markus Wittmann – Guitars
Cornelius Wurth – Vocals
The Deep Forest
Voices From Heaven
Death Of A Dream – Bonus Track
Band Contact Links
Contact Links For Suicide Information And Prevention.
Suicide is a very sensitive subject. We do not know the reasons why somebody is driven to the point to where they feel like they have to take their own life. The warning signs of suicide vary and greatly depending on the personality and circumstances. It is believed that their are 3 suicides to every 1 homicide per year worldwide. Some people who attempt suicide and people who are actually successful with suicide have been thinking about it and developing their exit strategy for years sometimes decades.
What happens to those people that are left behind and alive ? There is a constant questioning of the loved one’s motives who committed suicide. There is also a false sense of guilt that some carry with them. Questions such, “If I would of been there more?” , “If only I knew the signs I could’ve talked them out of it?” Should’ve , could’ve or would’ve now fall on deaf ears of life’s relevancy. The loved ones left behind to now have to live with it are Lost.
This is the subject that Germany’s Thoughts Factory tackle on their Melodic Revolution Records 2014 release Lost. Thoughts Factory Lost is the second release from Melodic Revolution Records that has dealt with the subject of suicide. The other release being 2015’s Amadeus Awad’s Death Is Just A Feeling. It also serves as a testament that Melodic Revolution Records allow for their artists to have breathing room to explore some deep personal conviction without demanding something for the sake of a mainstream pallet and quick revenue.
Thoughts Factory Lost examines the life of a person that is left with the task of serious grieving right after a loved one successfully committed suicide. The band wrote this in such a way where it was gender neutral in the first person narrative where male or female can put themselves in the position of that first person narrative. Meanwhile as the grieving person picks up the pieces and makes every attempt to move forward and understand the loss they have just experienced they are being visited by some of the same inner demons that cause their said loved one to take their own life. This sets up the epic battle between two characters in the story of Lost the grieving person questioning everything and the character of FEAR that continually taunts them and tempts them through the grieving process.
The 8 songs within the album represent the various stages of grieving for the loved one who has been left behind. It is as if the one left behind is keeping a melodic journal of the various stages of grieving. I will share some musical highlights from every track.
Awakening starts off with a power intro of great rhythmic hooks and signatures with both the bass/drum rhythm section and the keyboards serving as backbones anchoring the track. The track contains power guitar solos. This is a great approach to hook the listener immediately. Soon the track drops and takes a more mellow yet warmer direction as soon as the lyrical content and story begins. The lyrical content is a reflection on past recent events in the life of the one left behind.
The Deep Forest begins with a beautiful yet melancholic acoustic guitar passage that is soon met with very warm vocals to continue to draw the listener in both the narrative of the story and its message. This is the song where we see the first conflict of the person left behind and Fear. The instrumental portions are not just there as music they are also there to convey the emotion of each lyrical line and every passage. The band even resort to something rare in progressive metal these days with a Hammond style synth. The instrumental narrative and lyrical content sound more like a beautiful harmonious unity rather than just a filler of formality. When the vocal narrative requires anger the instrumental also conveys the anger as well. The treacherous battle between the one left behind and the taunter , the tempter Fear is epic.
Desperation finds the voice of Fear stepping away. The person left behind begins to blame him or herself for their friends suicide. This is when all the should’ve, would’ve and could haves really start to surface again leaving the person left behind to beat themselves up over the loss of their loved ones. The instrumental is crunchy and rhythmically brooding to convey the anger of the one left behind. This is a step within the grieving where the person assumes false guilt for his or her loved one’s suicide.The rhythm section really does a great job conveying the adrenaline that is brought on by inner anger in cases like the one this person is going through. They synths interchange from old school Hammond style to current neo progressive for more emotional effect.
Light is a short 1:50 piano passage backed ballad. However within its short 1:50 it tells as much a story as a 4:00-6:00 track could do. The message is key on point and profound in its nature.
Voices From Heaven begins with a powerful grand intro much like The Deep Forest does. It starts out more like a symphony orchestra than a metal song. It soon takes on the metallic sound though. The complex and tight rhythm section makes this a true treat for the progressive metal purists. The keyboard has been stripped in areas to be a piano. Through all the time signatures the band stays on point of their objective to tell the story of the concept. Not to make too many comparisons some of the instrumental sections sound as tight as Dream Theater’s Erotomania off of 1994’s Awake. The person left behind reflects on the life he or she had with their friend while in their youth. It leaves some speculation that the friendship and bond had many years before the unthinkable happened. While the person reflects on their youth he or she still questions why the person they loved for what seemed a lifetime would commit such act towards themselves. You can really tell the person still living and left behind is hungry for some comfort to get them through this time. The instrumental portions still stay within the lyrical emotion and on point. The guitar solo towards the end has so much passion and emotion it is like another character within the story.
No Way Out finds the friend living and left behind coming to some reconciliation within themselves about the entire situation they have been struggling to understand. The instrumental conveys the emotion of serious anger as the friend living and left behind knows they must move forward before it consumes them. The instrumental is more of a progressive power metal element to achieve the desired result of moving forward. The rhythm sections straight up assault the audio senses of the listener in a very melodic way. The double blast beats add to the emotions as well. There is a nice spoken word narrative within the song as well. Ultimately the one living and left behind has come to the conclusion that their friend was selfish and sadly can never forgive their friend for doing this to themselves. The guitar solo is a full on shred fest much in the vein of Randy Rhoads on Crazy Train.
The Mire begins with a lush layered piano and guitar intro as if to convey a tearful emotion. It sounds very isolated like a character that now needs to be left alone to start the healing process. It also at this point that the friend left behind gives his or her final verdict of the situation concerning the suicide of their friend. Once again the band stays spot on in harmony between the lyrical and instrumental narrative. They never abandon this throughout the album whatsoever.
Death Of A Dream -Bonus Track sees the friend left behind continue to question this situation. In this surreal moment somehow they find a little clarity of mind. The instrumental breaks perfectly with the lyrical narrative.The person left behind living is questioning whether or not this has been a long dream however reconciles that it was in fact reality. On the other hand, this song can be interpreted as the struggle of the person who took their life. This is also a bonus track from the album that really concludes all the narrative from the seven previous songs. This is also the final battle of the living one versus the voice of Fear. It depends on the listener to decide on this one. This is also the epic of the album clocking in at 15:59. Throughout the song the complex time signatures and chord progressions allow the listener no time whatsoever to get bored with this well crafted composition. Towards the end this track gives the listener a sense of security that there is hope to move forward from the what their friend did.
The thing that the listener can take away from Thoughts Factory Lost is that suicide is very real. It also speaks at the fact that we can all educate ourselves to notice the warning signs of a loved one thinking about suicide and to stage an intervention before it is too late. Although we can never be prepared for a person we love to commit suicide does not mean we are totally helpless to make a real concentrated effort to help them detour it. I have provided links in the ‘Contact Links’ Section’ on how you can and what you can do to get proper information concerning the signs someone you love could be a danger to themselves. This is a score of 5/5 all day long. However as I write this I would certainly hope you take something meaningful and helpful with and for you.
Video Courtesy Of (Thoughts Factory Official YouTube Channel)