From Organic Beginnings to Technological Ends
By: Josiah Akhtab
Rarely, do conceptual musical albums take on meditative, philosophical and eye-opening approaches on the state of the world as we know it.
However, a recent and unique album explores a post-apocalyptic humanity, where technology advances to the point of unsustainability, thus rendering humans as obsolete.
Sandro, John Malkovich and Eric Alexandrakis’ “Hell on Earth”, released September 29 on SoundCloud, and took on the experimental and electro bass route in awakening the minds of people absorbed in the technological bubble.
It presented a crash course on how the world began and how it might end–an end we now revolve our lives around daily.
This album begins before the first song is heard by describing how humanity is already wiped out.
It goes on to say how smartphones and technology have all but eliminated the organic aspects of life, forcing us as humans to question whether it was all real—or an illusion; the first question naturally being: what’s left?
The lyrics are what you would expect listening to an album with a philosophical feel. It’s as if Aristotle and Plato, two of history’s most prominent minds, meets electric and the ominous, yet alluring, vocals of Malkovich and Alexandrakis—reminding us of the ever present yet widely forgotten teachings of “The Allegory of the Cave”.
Though the album isn’t as musical as the title would suggest, it offers something much better; if not, more relaxing.
Its meditative style works wonders for those who have trouble getting up in the morning, as the sound of broken glass, cheers and crackling flames allow for deep rooted and much needed contemplation for those who just “go through the motions.”
The electronic aspect could be a bit unnerving, the microphone feedback sound may jolt people out of their sleep; having them bump their heads on the headboard—luckily, these guys got that covered.
Remember the crackling flames? They serve as the progressive transition of not only you waking up—but the transition from organic air to synthetic technology.
One of their songs Skepsis 4 [Entropy] states “Education is the best prevision to old age/” and “Man is noble in one way/and bad in all sorts of ways.”
Which expresses the idea that never growing old means to constantly learn, as well as man being good while walking through all sorts of evils—curiosity and conflict of identity seeming to go hand in hand.
Their last song Electrorganic [The Beginning], gives a rendition of “The Allegory of the Cave” by Plato.
Their eerie, melancholic, soothing vocals gives the widely-told story that philosophical luster that was lost after thousands of years of being retold—revitalizing the original effect of the lesson as Plato first spoke it to the world.
The album in its entirety is an interesting yet unconventional one. It takes the power of music and philosophical teachings and mixes them together, not in song—but as the ideas were originally told.
It has a more electric aspect which gives it a vigorous and lively background, compared to the classical music in which these teachings were discussed with centuries ago.
This album isn’t for most people, especially if you don’t happen to care for or understand the concept.
However, if you have an open mind and diverse taste for all things music, this album is sure to change your mind in just 10 short tracks that pack a lot of brainpower—and much needed consciousness.
The state of the world and music is changing as conventionality still reigns—albums like “Hell On Earth” might have something provocative to say about that.