This post is the continuation of the post “Collecting Vinyl Records” where I talked about how and why I started collecting Vinyl Records.
I also have a post “DIR EN GREY – How They Changed My Views on Music” where I talk about how and why I got into the band.
Didn’t Get the Vinyl Record When I Had the Chance
My first live show of the band. Here I was, trembling from the anticipation and the anxiety. Just staring at the two vinyl records sold as a part of EU tour merchandise. But that is not when I bought it. My first vinyl record. After living so poorly for so long I felt guilty about spending money on myself. The VIP tickets and the hotel and everything were not cheap.
Gawking at the two vinyl records while in the line. I was thinking about whether I should or should not splurge on these two. The thing about me is, that I often just look at things I like. So I decided that these are not the most crucial things in my life at the moment. I even reconsidered and thought I should get both of the LPs but the line had already gotten so long. And I didn’t want to lose my place in the queue for the VIP photoshoot. I returned home without them.
Needless to say, I regretted it. I still cry over the fact that I did not get “the World of Mercy” vinyl when I had the chance. Truly, the artwork haunts me. I have nightmares about it accusing me of leaving it there. Even if I own the limited edition CD-DVD bundle, I still miss the vinyl. Am sorry for not bringing you home that day.
Now I have learned my lesson. If I want it, I will buy it straight from the band on time.
the Cost of Being Late
There are many vinyl records I have to give an arm and a leg to obtain now. Some require me to sacrifice three goats at the full moon to find one in a good condition. Meaning that often the limited edition ones are resold at a price of the soul of my wallet. I don’t think it will ever forgive me for the atrocities I have committed or am about to.
But as if someone from above heard my cries. A fellow fan who followed the band around the continent was selling the DUM SPIRO SPERO. I remember when I was a teenager I wanted the box edition of that album and the UROBOROS so bad. Am still dreaming of the day I own them. But I have run out of goats to sacrifice. Do you think the Gods accept wine?
Anyway, about the LP she was selling.
As I already said in my previous post. I love how big the artwork on the vinyl record sleeves are. And the artwork to DUM SPIRO SPERO is just magnificent. Back in 2011, when they released the album. I would just stare at the artwork on the internet and wish I owned it.
When the album was being recorded there was a huge earthquake in Japan. I was still in high school at the time… had a Japanese Anime day at the very moment the news got here while with my teacher, the people from the embassy, and the university. Most of them had families back in Japan and I remember how we were having fun and chatting. We were all in a particularly good mood that day.
The whole auditorium fell silent, my teacher ran out of the room to phone his parents. They lived near the nuclear plant and I have never seen anyone in my life. With a face as white and full of fear as his.
Around six months after the band hosted a free live show in the memory of people that lost their lives.
the Name of the Vinyl Record
I remember holding it in my hands and looking at the golden letters in awe DUM SPIRO SPERO.
“While I breathe, I hope.”
It is a derivation from a Greek poem in Idylls by Theocritus “While there is life, there is hope, only the dead have none”.
Two lines, that have affected me throughout my life.
Because even in the chaos of life, there still is hope.
If I don’t have hope, am I really alive.
I didn’t even remember that it was that beautiful in person.
The green bamboo forest with “the Mother of Liberation” in meditation, among the skulls at her feet. It is one of the most beautiful covers that I have ever seen. But I have never wanted to accept the symbols or meanings given to art.
It was said that the whole cover was supposed to represent hope, even if messing around in a shit of a place or going through hardships.
When I look at a picture or a piece of art. I have thoughts about it, and an interpretation. It may have nothing to do with the actual meaning behind it. But I remember thinking that this is the saddest/loneliest but the most serene forest that I have seen. To me, a forest has always been a place of quiet, a place where I went looking for myself but never found it. It comes out that I just had to venture deeper and get lost first. Just like with listening to this album.
But there is beauty in there. My whole motto in life is, to find beauty and to live for it, even if the whole world was on fire. So I clicked with the meaning given to the cover as if accepting what I had heard/read. That does not usually happen that easily.
Of course, the limited edition one was different but I still have not obtained it.
the Life I Had When the Album Came
During the time the album came out. I was emotionally crawling around the mess of life and finding my purpose in it. Even now I still feel I haven’t found it. I remember that even in the cold winters of Estonia. I would walk in the forest and listen to this album on repeat.
Let me paint a picture: It was a snowstorm. We had wolves and wild boars about. But that did not scare me back in the day. It was dark, cold, and lonely and I would rather be outside with my music than at home. Even my own room was suffocating me, I felt as if I stay there, I will wither away. Staying in the house was mentally more self-destructive than me physically walking in the woods alone.
Ironically the times of high school were one of the happiest times of my life. And even though I got along with everyone. Inside I still felt more at peace and safe alone. Mentally I was still in a very dark place, but I had hope that it will get better, a lot of thanks to the people that were around me. I wasn’t mocked or beaten, I got along with my mom, and I had friends and even a boyfriend. But I still felt alone.
the Feelings the Album Gives Me
The whole album has a sense of a heavy darkness to me. Like having boulders on your chest, with a lingering consistency of beautiful and lulling melodies stitched in-between. It feels as if looking at your personal devil in the eye and being completely fine with it being there, total acceptance, peace, and a belief that it will be okay. And no one is judging as you deal with those. After all, there are things you need to accept before change can occur in life.
With the complexity of the “weird” time signatures. Layers upon layers of little details that can be only heard if listened to carefully. Some of them are added in places where they can not go unnoticed. The changes in the “mood” of a song. The calmness of the clean vocals and the demonic shrieks and growls. It is heavy, beautiful and it is emotional. Often giving me the chicken skin.
Everything on this album seems intentional, but natural.
Even though all this, it is one of those albums that make me feel calm and at peace with my life inside. Truly, the world could be on fire and I would sleep safe and sound. I wouldn’t care if my l dear stability in life was hanging on a thread. Even chaos bares flowers. There is beauty to live for, through the hardest and emotionally-demanding phases, if you are willing to see it. And just like in life, the beauty hides itself in this album, not visible at first glance.
Up until this part in my life, I had thought that hope is for fools, why should I hope if nothing changes. But hope can also be a factor that keeps a person going. I had lost my will to keep going. So a favorite band of mine to come out with an album running circles around “hope”. I can surely say now, pounding a fist at my heart, that music saved me from myself. There are horrors present in me that it comforted, silenced, and made this life bearable.
I mostly listen to the whole album. But I must say that the “Diabolos” is something that completely blew me off guard. Especially since half the song was in English and most of the Japanese lyrics were something I could understand. And the “Vanitas” injecting hope is also a song I occasionally listened to on its own.
When you listen to it you can tell that it was not just written to be a complex/technical album, there is so much bare human emotion present. It is like painting pictures with different sounds.
They truly do deserve to be called an “Experimental” band.