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2015 “Peripety” – History

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Peripety – 2015

“Peripety” by Chris Gerlings – 2015

The Story of the Album


Peripety breaks away from the Kardashev mythos, a hopeful story of our far off future, and explores themes of purpose, meaning, and responsibility. It faces the realization of one’s own place in a vast, primarily empty existence. Who are we to speak of morality? What does it mean to accept that we all die? Is the human spirit tangible, or an outlining shadow eclipsing the sunlight? Peripety brings forth questions, and offers no answers. However, beauty often sits around the corner, and we are ever curious about what we do not know. Musically, these tracks were an exploration in cohesive musicality with a “glue” blending all of the songs into one fluid listen.

Peripety is a concept album focused on the idea of becoming aware. The moment at which knowing is born from ignorance and experience. The album conceptually explores what it means to grow in experience. Specifically comparing the concept to the allegory of waking from a deep slumber.

The album was originally named “Gradient” as it was meant to visually movement from dark to light, start to finish. Early demo titles for the opening and closing songs were named Charcoal and Light as an illustration of conceptualizing the motif. Eventually, the concept developed into the beauty of the Latin language as it lent mystery and enrichment from an artistic standpoint.

This album bridged many firsts for Kardashev. It was the first full length album they would release. Their first collaboration with other musicians outside of the band members. The first album with humming as a vocal choice. The first crowd funded album and their first fully marketed release and a perfect album to play front to back with a runtime of 38 minutes.

Inspiration


In 2014, while the band was writing IOTA, they would spend much time sharing concepts and ideas about the human condition with one another. One of those ideas was delivered by the most unsuspecting of people; Mike Rowe.

Mike Rowe was featured in a TED talk about his experience in Dirty Jobs on The Discovery channel. In that feature, he explained his experience across the show’s length in a beautifully entertaining, profound and succinct message suggesting that maybe convention is not perfect and needs to be reproached periodically as processes, cultures, societies and values change across time.

The experience of this speech was so alarming that Nico took muse from it and suggested the name Peripeteia or Anagnorisis for the album as Mike Rowe had explained the classic concepts in his speech. Mark took these concepts and found a variation in the word that would fit more aptly in the naming of the album as “Peripety”.

Musically, this album was influenced by artists like Aegaeon, Fallujah, and Gojira. However, it was about this time that concepts began to transcend genre for Kardashev and they found purpose in the simplicity of Brian Eno, Steve Reich and Imogen Heap. These unsuspecting influences drive the “different” that Kardashev was able to infuse into their music.

Visually, Peripety explores the interpretation of “awareness” as a blank canvas taking on creativity in simple, motif-focused landscapes. These images played the part of developed, yet simple interpretations of what it meant to make minimalist artwork that fully embodied the finalization of the human experience process. The transition from nothing to something. From ignorance to knowledge.

The cover of the album is a blank canvas with a very evident tooth implying that as a human, we begin with nothing and decide what to become. This allegory is directly implied through the artwork as each person is different, yet similar in the tools we have to work with.

Song Breakdown


Each song on this record was meant to flow into the next and flow from the previous. Musically, the songs were to feel like they were opening up into soaring inspirational landscapes.

  1. Tenebris
    • This song opens as an allusion to “Pillars of Creation” from Kardashev’s “Progression” demo as it follows the same chord progression and basic production. However, in this adaptation, profound piano strikes accompany the guitar and the overall pace of the song is slowed down in an attempt to feel more primordial.
  2. Sopor
    • This song begins with a cacophony of sound acting as a point of confusion and mess of musicality for the listener and slowly develops melody under stark vocals declaring that humans are temporary and thus non-significant. This song is the first of two that James Martin was featured on.
  3. Somnus
    • Musically, this is the sort of “waking from the dream” moment in the album. The point when the eyes begin to open. Thematically, this song is very driving and melodic with a chorus that evokes a sense of intentionality and acceptance. Compositionally, this song also explores cascading melodies as an exercise not previously attempted by Kardashev’s guitarist, Nico.
  4. Somnium
    • In the most literal sense, the lyrics written are, “Wake up! Waking!” as the awareness grows on the subject through the album motif. A coming to of experience. A captured event in time where the precipice of knowing can never be undone. Very uplifting melodies allow for this song to have a crescendo that begins to bridge into the next song as though it didn’t end.
  5. Aurora
    • The first of two “breaths” in the album is Aurora. An instrumental soaring song intended to serve as a opportunity to rest from a listening and allegorical perspective.
  6. Lucido
    • Serving as the internalization of and the understanding of what experience was had that awareness is now evident, this song has the most emotional driving force in the album. Lyrically, the song explores the “coming to” of an idea and how new experiences challenge our worldly understanding. “Every law, and all I had felt, dissolved into sound.”
  7. Umbra
    • This song leans into what it is to force ones self to begin applying our experiences into all facets of our life. When we make such realizations as, “I am just one of many” and “Who am I, but an eclipse of the sunlight?” When we begin to question who we are and what we can achieve in light of realization.
  8. Vigilo
    • The second and final break in realizing that there is no going back to ignorance. That we’ve come to terms with what we now know is truth. This song represents the settling of the mind after a long battle with ones self.
  9. Conscium
    • This song asks, now that we know who we are, and we have the tools to manifest our future, how do we go about doing it? Should it be calming or unsettling and how does one accept their new perspective? Do they cast aside who they were or build on it? Has everyone experienced this as far back in time as can be measured and are these realizations the reason that we’re here today? How can we, knowing that in light of realization, know nothing, but feel informed? How do we re-evaluate what is right and wrong and when do we challenge those ideas?
  10. Lux
    • To sum up the album, Lux again features the voice of James Martin as a robust and profound voice to blend with Mark Garrett and like a quantum state, this song conveys that we have the ability to do good and bad and even reform where the line is drawn. We are one of many and there will be many more after us. We will know one another by our actions and inaction.

Lyrics


Tenebris

(Instrumental)

Sopor

I am temporary.
Seeded by progress,
formed by Intention.

I am temporary.
I question the assumption
that nothing exists.

Conscious thought-
infinite landscape of chemical reaction.

I am human…
conscious thought.

How could I?
How could I think this?

Somnus

This is where all things are forgotten –
Craft of our hands feels nothing as
we fade away.
Meaninglessness –
the first creation.
In every action, in every breath,
strength of illusion.

Torn in two –
the sky breaks like a seed
spreading its blueprint on the Earth.
All things beyond the man-made
culminate and fall…
Passionate. Intentional.
Assault your lungs with the greatest of all war cries –
We are! We exist!

I, The offset –
the only word we know.
Light, alignment –
a truth that can be known.

Veil held across the sun,
only we can burn you!

This is when all things can be sacred –
held to fire.
Removal of all that we know.

Torn in two –
the sky breaks like a seed
spreading its blueprint on the Earth.
All things beyond the man-made
culminate and fall…
Passionate. Intentional.
Assault your lungs with the greatest of all war cries –
We are! We exist!


Somnium

Intentional omission.
Quiet, fertile ground.
unfinished thought…
hovering word –
rising up from the Earth.

Steps with no echo.
Breath heard by no one.

Wake up!
Waking!

Dried dirt and grit in our teeth.
cracks in the mud on our hands.
Breathing out the dust in our lungs –
unity without a sound.
until the light takes us,
until the dawn…
bleary eyes that see the sun –
unity without a sound.
We step, and the clouds move!

What place is this?
Should, and should not –
swaying field of convention.
Knowing and doing simply to choose.

Follow!
Fall!
Stand!


Aurora

(Instrumental)

Lucido

Be still and at peace!

What is the equation of this?
What is the sum of all parts?
Here, all things grow on their own.
Earliest of mornings –
awareness before birth.

It was there –
in my dreaming…
pressed tot he ground.
Every law, and all I had felt
dissolved into sound.

Now I have come to know
that all of this is meaningless
as I fall deeper into love,
waking from this slumber.


Umbra

I
Once had
Conscious thought.
Are these landscapes
truly infinite?

Who am I,
but an eclipse of the sunlight?
Who am I
but an eclipse?

Vigilo

(Instrumental)

Conscium

Thrown into the wind to create.
Held under the dirt for seven days.
Nothing is hastened,
all things are done.

O, evening to morning!

“Then come to me in bright defile,
where judgement day is not a thing
that can be delayed for overlong.” *

Silence at Dawn.
Everything in its place.
Slow moving tides reflect cinnabar skies.
The Earth is beautiful and one day
I shall die.

I’ll step into forever,
where the edge is gone.
The Earth unseeded –
The sun sets upon nowhere.
Beauty as emptiness?
Oh, what will I do with such
beauty as emptiness?

And now in light, and in knowledge of this…
what must I do?
what must be done?

Millions of embers have gone out
behind my back.
Four hundred billion more
stare at me from the dull horizon.
Where do I stand?
What claim to make?
So I will let the scales fall
from my eyes –
for here in this light I am speechless!

Who am I to speak of morality?


Lux

Wake!
This is silence and silence is still!
Blossomed fist! O, Altruist!
I am immortal. I am Dead.
I have everything. I have nothing.
I am immortal. I am Dead.
I have everything. I have nothing at all.
Nothing at all.

At each core, soft approximation.
delicate abstraction.
Function and Form.
So maintained –
Ceasing acquisition.
True manifestation as I become dust.

Great reversal!
This – a fleeting formation of matter!
Self defined!

We are immortal. We are dead.
We have everything. We have nothing.
We are immortal. We are dead.
We have everything. We have nothing at all.
Nothing at all.

Yet now my eyes on a darkened mirror –
seeing everything in part.

We are awake!

Millions stare back! All of our kind!
We will know each other as we are known!

Recording Process


This album was written and recorded across 3 home studios between the years of 2013-2014. After Nico moved out of his father’s house in 2013 to live with Mark in Tempe, and then moving again into Mark’s family home and then finally into another of Mark’s family homes, they began writing Peripety in their home studio owned and operated by Nico. Now living together, the process was much more involved between the two and they began to write more regularly. The process of writing was much more frequent and involved than ever before.

Gear


The recording gear and software continued to be the same for their fourth release.

  • Hardware
    • Custom Gaming PC
    • M-Audio Fast track PRO
    • Rokit KRK 5s
  • Vocals
    • Shure SM7b
  • Guitars
    • Ibanez RG7321 7 String Guitar
    • RC Intruder Pickups
    • Fractal Axe FX Ultra
    • Elixir Strings
  • Bass
    • Warwick Thumb 5 string bass
    • DI box
    • Elixir Strings
  • Drums
    • Toontrack Superior Drummer
  • Software
    • Propellerhead Reason DAW
    • Reaper DAW
    • Toontrack EZ Drummer

Production


Miah was again the engineer behind the mixing and mastering of this album.

Artwork Process


By the time Kardashev had decided that he album would be crowd funded, they’d also decided on the artwork for the album as minimalist landscapes painted by Chris Gerlings. He had made a career of painting in the professional world and as a contribution to the album and album process, he and the band decided that the top ten contributions would each receive one of the original paintings from the album. These artworks were given to very special individuals whom helped to make the album a reality.

Chris set out to paint 10 landscapes in his home studio. Once complete, he had them photographed at a professional studio and then stretched before shipping them out to their forever homes.

Digital Release


This album was distributed by CD Baby to all streaming platforms as a 10 song album.

Physical Release


The physical discs for this album were printed and shipped with incense and a personalized thank you note.

Instrumental Release


About the same time that the album was released, the band decided that releasing the instrumental album would be an opportunity to reach a wider audience whom didn’t prefer the vocal style of Kardashev, but wanted to appreciate the instrumentation and experience the album’s music.

Music Videos


Community


Something that made this album incredibly unique was that it was completely funded by Kardashev fans. They generously contributed in many ways to bring this album to life. A word of mouth campaign was set forth by the band to reach out to their loved ones and fans wanting to have something completely unique and handmade in return for their investment. Each of those individuals was gifted one of the ten paintings from this album.

Acclaim


If recent history has taught me anything about metal, it’s that it’s rather difficult to sift through a lot of fairly mediocre bands and find a real gem. There certainly are some fantastic bands out there, though, who are willing to test musical boundaries, whether that be boundaries of technicality or the metal genre itself.
Kardashev is a good example of the latter.

Sputnik Music

Have you ever taken a moment to contemplate how many truly unique things coalesce to form a human being? Flesh, bone and muscle are one thing—an evolutionary miracle in and of itself—but being human transcends tangible tissues and fluids. The mind, spirit and soul are a different animal altogether, and although they can’t be seen or touched, they are just as crucial to the composition of a man or woman as any anatomical structure. Naysayers would disagree—claiming what can’t be seen, touched or otherwise witnessed can’t exist. Kardashev disagree, and with their latest full length, Peripety, they do what some may claim is impossible—they capture the essence of mankind and transmute it into song, portraying the collective consciousness of mankind as an amalgam of brash, blistering heaviness and otherworldly atmosphere, resulting in an album that is not just a pleasant listening experience, but intoxicating to the mind, addictive and immersive from start to finish.

New Transcendence

On their debut album, they show an apparent ease in mastering the cold reaches of the universe and conjuring them up at will for the listener; the combination of this sense of grandiosity and the groovy deathcore riffage is an enrapturing mix. Peripety begins with a band poised to go nowhere but up, and by the album’s end, it’s clear that that is, indeed, the direction they’re heading.

Heavy Blog is Heavy

Album Era Merchandise


Promotion


For the first time, Kardashev developed a full marketing schedule to release the album with pre-orders, bundles and song snippets prepared for all social platforms at the time. They even made an announcement trailer for the album to get fans excited for their upcoming release.

Credits

  • Music, Melody, Composition
    • Nico Mirolla
    • Mark Garrett
    • Chris Gerlings
  • Artwork
    • Chris Gerlings
  • Recording
    • Nico Mirolla
  • Editing
    • Nico Mirolla
  • Mixing
    • Miah Lajeunesse
  • Mastering
    • Miah Lajeunesse
  • Distribution
    • Subliminal Groove Records LLC
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