Back in the early Nineties, Napalm Death guitarist Shane Embury joined forces with Sick of It All vocalist Lou Koller under the name Blood From the Soul and released a single album, the criminally underappreciated industrial-metal screed To Spite the Hand That Bleeds, before fading into obscurity. Now, 27 years later, Blood From the Soul have returned with a newly constituted lineup. Joining Embury this time? Converge frontman Jacob Bannon, Nasum bassist Jesper Liveröd and Megadeth drummer Dirk Verbeuren. The supergroup's new 12-track concept album, DSM-5, hit digital streaming platforms today (November 13th) with a vinyl release targeted for the spring.
Lyrically, the album tells a dystopian sci-fi story from the perspectives of human beings as well as sentient machines. "The title is a reference to The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders," Bannon explains. "In the lyrical content, 'DSM-5' is the name of the vessel in which humans take refuge and escape from Earth. Are the events reality or all in the head of the narrator(s)?" Below, he takes us through the album track by track.
"Fang Tooth Claw"
Those left behind revert to their most primal state while under siege from advanced sentient beings. The beings aren't physically described but they do take on various sizes and forms. Evolving in ways that we cannot imagine as humans.
"Ascend the Spine"
A survivor walks inside of the carcass of a sentient giant being while talking about their current state. They observe graffiti scrawled on the walls of a fallen titan.
A conversation between a survivor aboard DSM-5 and a sentient being that is pursuing the vessel. They discuss their experiences, showing a vulnerability and commonality in both.
"Debris of Dreams"
A survivor on a ravaged Earth reflects on their current state while under siege. Eventually they give up in a ritualistic suicide.
"Dismantle the Titan"
A survivor on Earth encourages a crowd of other survivors to try and kill an advanced sentient being. They describe the steps to take to be successful and what that action could bring to their uncertain future.
An incomplete sentient being begins to reflect on various physical and emotional pieces it is missing. Longing to feel more than it does, etc.
A survivor awakens and is in the presence of an advanced sentient being. The being begins to explain the current state of things stating, "You long to live, I lust for death."
An aging survivor begins to lose hope aboard DSM-5, while discussing their constant dreams and nightmares.
Another aging survivor, now hardened, takes a more aggressive outlook, ultimately decides to return to Earth to try reclaim what is left or die trying.
A sentient being reaches what it views as the apex of evolution. Realizes it wasn't worth it and chooses self destruction.
"Lurch of Loss"
More of a personal statement that we all have to learn how to live completely incomplete. We've never been on solid ground.
A final transmission from a survivor aboard DSM-5 as it drifts through space. Again, we don't know if any of this is real or just in the head of the narrator(s).