Shadowbox

by Mechanical Ghost

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about

"Shadowbox" is the debut album of Mechanical Ghost, an experimental project devoted to creating anti-pop music that challenges the audience and their perceptions, while not necessarily being un-listenable.

The music is comprised of hard beats, layered synths, throbbing bass, mechanical samples, and heavily processed vocals that alternate between singing, growling, screaming and harsh spoken word. This is music that is designed to be listened to through headphones, for a more personal experience between artist and consumer. There's a lot of stuff hidden in the tracks, ripe to be discovered over a multiple listens. Likewise, the lyrics are not designed to be taken at face value. They are riddles full of intentional contradictions that are left open to interpretation.

credits

released October 31, 2014

All songs written and performed by Mechanical Ghost
Diskord: Vocals
The Necrophonic Orchestra: Music

Produced by Dominick Balsamo
Artwork by Anomalies, Inc.
Published by D. Balsamo for Devil's Advocate, LTD.
Distributed by Discontent Multimedia Entertainment

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Mechanical Ghost San Luis Obispo, California

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Track Name: Backlash
There's something you should know.
There's something you should know.
I've finally caught on to your game.
Oh you're so self-assured.
Oh you're so self-assured.
And so certain of everything.
But maybe just pretend.
But maybe just pretend.
You're not as smart as you think you are.
Just take a look outside.
Just take a look outside.
You're in a glass house and throwing stones.

This is a backlash, a flashback,
Stimulus overload.
This is a crossed wire, short circuit,
An info-dump.
This is a neural transmission,
You never listened once.
It all changed and you were on the...
Wrong side.

The religious layman builds his life around writings that he does not fully comprehend, written by people he never met, and interpreted by people with ideas to sell.

The scientific layman builds his life around writings that he does not fully comprehend, written by people he never met, and interpreted by people with ideas to sell.

Notice the difference?

This is a backlash, a flashback,
Stimulus overload.
This is a crossed wire, short circuit,
An info-dump.
This is a neural transmission,
You never listened once.
It all changed and you were on the...
Wrong side.

These are the last rites for a dead mind.
Obsolete way of thought.
An admission of ignorance,
A mantra worn out.
These are false facts / facts are false,
And you believed so hard.
Zealot or rejectionist?
The difference is semantic.

There are no absolutes...
Track Name: Death Factory
Never thought it would be easy,
Did expect that it would hurt.
Been down this road so many times,
Found my own footprints in the dirt.
The more things change they stay the same,
Everything’s built to fall apart.
Planned obsolescence is the rule,
We must finish what we start.

All we have we have on loan,
Debt repaid in flesh and bone.
From the darkness of the womb,
To the darkness of the tomb.
Ash to ash and dust to dust,
Stone will crumble, steel will rust.
All things move toward their end.
The cycle begins again.

Working for the privilege of going back to work,
Nine to five, in and out, as the specter lurks,
Consuming, reproducing… Is there something more?
Or is the life we manufacture all that’s worth living for?

We work our fingers to the bone.
What it means, nobody knows,
Another cog in a machine,
Out of control it grows and grows.
It threatens to swallow us whole,
A mindless herd to consume.
Led like sheep right to the slaughter,
A creeping, ever-present doom.

All we have we have on loan,
Debt repaid in flesh and bone.
From the darkness of the womb,
To the darkness of the tomb.
Ash to ash and dust to dust,
Stone will crumble, steel will rust.
All things move toward their end.
The cycle begins again.
Track Name: The Eighty-Five
85% of you are idiots.
85% of you are fools.
Wielding data with no application.
What’s the point of even sending you to school?
85% of you are idiots.
85% of you brain-dead.
Blindly consuming anything you can,
And you wonder why you never get ahead.

The truth is rarely pretty.
The truth works with both hands.
Most of you exist
To be pounded to sand.
You may not like the story.
You may reject the battle.
But your condescension and sarcasm
Is nothing but a death-rattle.

85% of you are idiots.
85% of you are liars.
Mired deep in your own self-delusion.
Ignoring everything else that transpires.
85% of you are idiots.
85% of you deceived.
Not all fact comes packaged in twelve-point font.
Do you know the meaning of what you believe?

You’re living in the dark.
Will the sun ever rise?
If it ever does
It may burn out your eyes.
You may not like the story.
You may reject the battle.
But I really don’t give a shit about
The thoughts and feelings of cattle.

I don’t care what you think.
Just think.
Track Name: Fry Child
Stare into the demon speed of a spinning universe.
Regenerate the amputate, now scream another verse.
A bleeding heart torn out and poured into a bowl.
Replaced with a stolen systematic soul.
Every day's a suicide, smash the wall of empty pride.
Killer wolf is on the prowl, full moon brings the deadly howl.
Explosive epidemic of electric neon plague.
Premonition of corruption, mind eruption, feelings vague.

Fry child, live short live wild.
Fight hard 'til bones are piled.
Unspoiled, undefiled.
All who live long enough come to be reviled.

Push it down, push it down, pretend it's not there.
Hold it back, hold it back, tell yourself you don't care.
Act like you're the same, the same as everyone,
But the shadow grows stronger when it's hidden from the sun.
Push it down, push it down, pretend it's not real.
Hold it back, hold it back, no matter how bad it feels.
Craft a smiling mask to obscure what's inside,
Don't let anyone see the ugliness you hide
Push it down, push it down, choke when you swallow.
Hold it back, hold it back, so full and yet so hollow.
Lock it up tight and never let it out,
Deny the voice inside, never let them know your doubt.
Push it down, push it down, bury what's true.
Hold it back, hold it back, don't let them see the real you.
Blame it on the devil, though the devil's in your eyes,
So keep them shut tight while you hide in your disguise.

Paint a picture with your words and the walls red with your mind.
Shout until you're voiceless, nothing left to leave behind.
Empathy is priceless, apathy is everywhere,
The Doomsday Clock is ticking, can you hear it in the air?
Blackest of the truly black, the answer is in the attack.
All that's inside you and me, displayed here for all to see.
The darkest part of night always comes before the sun.
Will we ever see it? Or has the end begun?

Fry child, live short live wild.
Fight hard 'til bones are piled.
Unspoiled, undefiled.
All who live long enough come to be reviled.
Track Name: Hell to Pay
Something's sleeping in the ground
Of my home town.
A relic from before,
Or maybe something more.
From another time and place,
A different fold in space,
Somehow, some way,
That boy got the devil in him.

A couple long nights with strange women and too much drinking.
A little bad blood that leads the brain to wayward thinking.
I don't need what you've got, I've got what I need,
But sometimes the beast has to feed.

I won't be...
Responsible...
For what happens...
If you don't leave now!

With a venomous eloquence,
And predatory metaphors,
I ride the Mobius Strip
To find just where it is I'm headed for.
If I don't find the answers
When it all comes to an end,
I'll jump back in the slip
And do it all over again.

Something's sleeping in the ground
Of my home town.
A relic from before,
Or maybe something more.
From another time and place,
A different fold in space,
Somehow, some way,
That boy got the devil in him...

He always seemed so close, no matter how far away.
He gave up on the ghost, at least that's what they say.
He tried to make the most of every single day.
But he knew the end there would be hell to pay.

He knew the end there would be hell to pay...
He knew the end there would be hell to pay...
Track Name: Hollow Faith
You can believe what you want.
It’s a “free” world now, isn’t it?
We all look to sort the truth from the lies,
And the facts from the bullshit.
But your answers are not mine,
So don’t try to pin them on me.
If I wanted your help, I’d ask for it.
I will see what I will see.

You prayed so hard. You prayed so hard.
But you never tried to make a change.
I tried so hard. I tried so hard.
But Heaven always was out of range.
You prayed so hard. You prayed so hard.
Then you waited. You just fucking waited.
I tried so hard. I tried so hard.
But the more I learned, the more I hated.

Is it a question of faith?
Can I even question at all?
The father, the son, the savior, the saint,
And the ever-faithful thrall.
So is it too much to ask
To be left to my own device?
Heaven and Hell don’t mean much to me, but
I guess we’ve all got a vice.

You prayed so hard. You prayed so hard.
But you never tried to make a change.
I tried so hard. I tried so hard.
But Heaven always was out of range.
You prayed so hard. You prayed so hard.
Then you waited. You just fucking waited.
I tried so hard. I tried so hard.
But the more I learned, the more I hated.
Track Name: Insomniac's Lament
I… I dream of sleep.
I want nothing from
You or from your world.
I… I dream of sleep.
A little silence
Before I break down .

Reach between the layers,
Cut away the pain.
Tear it all out at the roots
And nothing will remain.
Reach into the heart, now
Take it in your hands.
Darker than the blackest night,
It still slips through like sand.

I… I dream of sleep.
I long for the peace
Of unconsciousness.
I… I dream of sleep.
But it never comes
Solace rejected.

Every promise broken,
Every tie undone.
The master of the burnt bridge,
Waging war with the sun.
Every night's the same,
Asylum denied.
Left alone with all my thoughts
Festering inside.

I… I dream of sleep.
A chance to escape
From all of this noise.
I… I dream of sleep.
But it's been so long
I can't disconnect.
Track Name: Laughing Stock
This asshole - He knows exactly what to say.
This asshole - He thinks he has all the answers.
But he's never been anywhere.
He's never been anywhere.
He's never been anywhere,
Except a classroom.

A recurring nightmare!
He's gonna make us a laughing stock.
A recurring nightmare!
He's gonna make us a laughing stock.

This asshole - He knows exactly what to do.
This asshole - He thinks he can make it right.
But he doesn't know anything.
He doesn't know anything.
He doesn't know anything,
But what they tell him.

A recurring nightmare!
He's gonna make us a laughing stock.
A recurring nightmare!
He's gonna make us a laughing stock.

We get what we deserve! We get what we deserve!
Believe the hype and we get what we deserve!
We get what we deserve! We get what we deserve!
Don't do the math and we get what we deserve!
We get what we deserve! We get what we deserve!
Play fast and loose and we get what we deserve!
We get what we deserve! We get what we deserve!
Blind lead the blind and we get what we deserve!

A recurring nightmare!
He's gonna make us a laughing stock.
A recurring nightmare!
He's gonna make us a laughing stock.

A laughing stock…
Track Name: Necrotic
Corpse head... A feast for maggots.
Emptiness personified,
Bloodless meat and soulless eyes.
Reap / sew... A situation
Exacerbated by the truth.
Cold, gray rot - extract the tooth.
Man down… A cancer inside.
Cut away the infection,
What remains is close to none.
Hate crime… All love is violence.
Feelings torn out, turned to salt,
Fingers point to who's at fault.
Deathblow… A mortal wound is
Laid upon a beating heart.
I'd seek help if I was smart.
Block out… The ugly world and
Fortify this granite wall,
Never leave these hallowed halls.
Break down…. No one can see it.
You can only trust in you.
Only you know what to do.
Laid low… This solitude the
Only path you've ever known.
Find peace in being alone.

All is loss.
What goes around comes around,
Learn to swim or you will drown.
All is loss.
Doesn't matter what was said,
All alone inside our heads.
All is loss.
Passion dwindles, beauty fades,
Time unmakes all that is made.
All is loss.
The sour taste of defeat
Should always be bittersweet.

Every breath a little death,
Soon there will be nothing left.
Every word remains unheard,
No emotions have been stirred.
Every song is written wrong,
All a lie, no one's that strong .
Every secret aims to kill,
Soon enough one of them will.
Open wound is festering...
This same thing killed slaves and kings.
Open wound is festering...
It's the end of everything.
Open wound is festering...
There are no words left to sing.
Open wound is festering...
It's the end of everything.
Track Name: One Last Hit
So many tiny pinhole scars,
Formed into one entity.
I knew I'd take this all too far,
And that you were bad for me.
But I couldn't stop, I couldn't stop.
You were always in my veins.
I couldn't stop, I just couldn't stop.
And your shadow still remains.

I'd kill for one last hit of you,
But I know it would kill me too.
I'm stranded in between two planes,
It's slowly driving me insane.
Dissonance between wants and needs,
This is where the demon feeds.
Twisting and splitting me in two,
I'd kill for one last hit of you.

I should have quit you long ago,
Locked the door and lost the key.
I guess it all just goes to show,
I'm my own worst enemy.
But I couldn't stop, I couldn't stop.
Wormed your way into my heart.
I couldn't stop, I just couldn't stop,
And it tore my life apart.

I'd kill for one last hit of you,
But I know it would kill me too.
I'm stranded in between two planes,
It's slowly driving me insane.
Dissonance between wants and needs,
This is where the demon feeds.
Twisting and splitting me in two,
I'd kill for one last hit of you.

I can't sort out the truth and lies.
What was real? What was a dream?
This is how my world dies,
With a whisper not a scream.
And I had to stop, I had to stop.
The dragon chase had to end.
I had to stop, I just had to stop.
Find a way to start again.

I'd kill for one last hit of you,
But I know it would kill me too.
I'm stranded in between two planes,
It's slowly driving me insane.
Dissonance between wants and needs,
This is where the demon feeds.
Twisting and splitting me in two,
I'd kill for one last hit of you.
Track Name: Quitter
I was gonna say - I was just gonna say…
Things don’t always go - Always go your way.
I was gonna say - I was just gonna say…
That people die every day.
I was gonna say - I was just gonna say…
Sometimes you gotta scrap it and throw it away.
I was gonna say - I was just gonna say…
That the beast won’t always be kept at bay.

It’s rising up, I can feel it,
It’s surfacing again.
Twisting turning, in me burning,
“Try counting to ten.”
Like a coiled serpent,
Waiting to lash out.
Trapped in a world of absolutes,
Where it’s better to die than doubt.

Don’t be afraid to say when you’re done.
There’s no shame in walking away.
It’s not always worth it to stick it out,
Try a different way on a different day.
Don’t be afraid to say “fuck it,”
It’s probably not your problem.
You don’t owe anyone anything.
What matters more? Is it you or them?

I was gonna say - I was just gonna say…
You can’t always afford the price you pay.
I was gonna say - I was just gonna say…
It’s natural, this dismay.
I was gonna say - I was just gonna say…
It’s not always gonna be – gonna be okay.
I was gonna say - I was just gonna say…
Some will just bury you where you lay.

It’s rising up, I can feel it,
It’s breaking through the wall.
Twisting turning, in me burning,
Black consuming all.
Like a coiled serpent,
Calculating, cold.
Trapped in a world of absolutes,
Where no one ever breaks the mold.

Don’t be afraid to say when you’re done.
There’s no shame in walking away.
It’s not always worth it to stick it out,
Try a different way on a different day.
Don’t be afraid to say “fuck it,”
It’s probably not your problem.
You don’t owe anyone anything.
What matters more? Is it you or them?
Track Name: Shadowbox
I had a dream last night,
First I remember in a long time.
I was in a house that was expanding from the inside.
Found everything I need, food and a place to breathe.
Found this pretentious fuck in the dining room,
Talking black and white, left hand, right hand.
I said: "Hey man. It's a big, gray world."
He asked me my name, I said "it doesn't matter."
(It doesn't matter. What really matters?)

A silent war deep inside me,
Other voices fight to guide me.
Truth and lies, they're all the same.
Please do not give this thing a name.

I had a dream last night that my life was a TV show.
Ratings in the toilet and I was getting cancelled.
Everyone I knew got cast in other projects,
But for me it just meant annihilation.

A silent war deep inside me,
Other voices fight to guide me.
You can't hurt me worse than I do.
Leave if you won't see this through.

I used to think that stasis was the enemy,
The most useless part of the Holy Trinity.
I used to think that I was The Great Creator,
But it all falls apart sooner or later.
I captured my shadow and locked it away.
I buried it deep, and in darkness it grew.
We avert our eyes from the face of destruction,
But sometimes it's the only way to build anew.

I had a dream last night,
It was so real that I could taste it.
A dead man on a rope was swinging from a rotting tree.
A bag on his head obscuring his face,
Had a white tan-line on his left ring finger.
Buzzards circling up in the sky.
He said: "Hey, man. Come join the club."
I asked him his name, he said "don't ask stupid questions."
(Don't ask stupid questions? They're all stupid questions.)

A silent war deep inside me,
Other voices fight to guide me.
Truth and lies, they're all the same.
Please do not give this thing a name.
A silent war deep inside me,
Other voices fight to guide me.
You can't hurt me worse than I do.
Leave if you won't see this through.