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Lamb of God unleashed VII: Sturm und Drang last year to critical and fan acclaim, offering their most diverse slab of metal yet. One of the highlights of the disc is undoubtedly “Embers,” which features Deftones‘ frontman Chino Moreno towards the tail of the track. A cinematic song, “Embers” has now been fully realized with a new music video from the Virginia veterans.
The video opens with a shot of a spinning teddy bear engulfed in flames, giving credence to the song’s title. From there, a couple is shown standing back-to-back, rotating as glowing ashes rain down from above. Segueing into the framework of a house, the walls are constructed and suddenly we’re immersed in the life of this couple, sitting behind a television screen displaying only static as cigarettes are disposed of in an ever-filling ashtray.
As the two begin to argue, furniture in the house starts to float and the walls of the house suddenly blow apart, sending furniture through the cosmic abyss, including a baby’s crib, which is central to the theme of the song.
Detailing the impetus behind the song and its lyrics, guitarist Mark Morton penned an essay for Noisey, explaining how he originally wrote “Walk With Me in Hell” for his girlfriend at the time who is now his wife and how “Embers” comes from that same experience. The two tragically lost their first child due to complications after delivery, which resulted in Morton spiraling into addiction as they symbolically were indeed walking through hell.
Explaining the circumstances that fueled the addiction, the axeman said, “Six weeks after I handed my dead daughter over to a nurse, I found myself walking on to the stage at Madison Square Garden to ‘entertain’ people. I was by no means ready to re-enter that world, but the music industry is vicious and unforgiving… and somehow, there I was.”
The guitarist continues, “One doesn’t ‘heal’ from the loss of a child. You don’t ever “get over it,” but time passes. New experiences put a sort of distance between what is now and what was then. Still, the trauma of child loss leaves deep scars. Wounded people isolate themselves for protection. People in pain lash out in fear. Resentments and regrets fester. It becomes seemingly impossible to navigate a conflict that has an endless array of wrong answers but no apparent right ones. People you expected to be there for you disappear. People you barely even know hold you up. Relationships strain and crack under this type of pressure. Grief changes people.”
Sitting on a barstool in his house, Morton fleshed out the themes for “Embers” on guitar as well as the lyrics, save for Moreno’s guest spot at the end which were written by singer Randy Blythe. “I described our shared pain and made references to places and events that only she would understand and recognize,” he said. “I promised her that there was ‘still light to find our way.’ I hoped I was right.”
There is a happier ending, as Morton also reveals, “A year after Madalyn died, my wife and I were blessed with a healthy, living baby girl. She is the light of both of our lives. A light to find our way.” Read more of Morton’s commentary on “Embers” over at Noisey.
Lamb of God will be performing at the seventh annual GWAR-B-Q at Hadad’s Lake in Richmond, Va. on Aug. 20. Other acts set to perform are the event’s namesake, GWAR, Against Me!, Eyehategod (with Philip Anselmo on vocals), the Dillinger Escape Plan, August Burns Red and many more.
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Author: Joe DiVita
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