Sophia

by Vestige of Virtue

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about

Musically, VESTIGE OF VIRTUE derives from styles of both contemporary and archaic origin. Based in a melancholic core of gothic doom metal, the debut album «Sophia» extends into chamber music, liturgical passages, movements inspired by Viennese classicism and occasional elements of musique concrète. The aim being a dialogue between the modest and the dramatic; the mellow and the powerful; an interplay led by Forsmo's salient baritone.

Lyrically, VESTIGE OF VIRTUE is a philosophical statement with «Sophia», meaning «wisdom» as idolised by the ancient Greeks, being an ode to philosophy and the philosophers. The general idea is that the opposite of wisdom is not necessarily the lack of wisdom, but rather that of acting against it - knowingly. A possible end result of such friction is a system where the contemplation of truth is shunned, and the untrue is rationalised to be true; shaping one’s own comforting reality. Analogous to entropy or death, this condition manifests itself as an obstinate and efficient movement towards non-movement; a system that turns hostile towards the very fundament of its own subsistence. A hostility nourished by fear.

History has witnessed many such systems go berserk.

Caught between the blind on the one hand and the deaf on the other, many philosophers have lived dangerously and have typically been regarded as imbecile, mad and even threatening. Nonetheless, the essence of learning is widely indebted to them. «Sophia», then, is more than an artistic outlet: It is purpose. Accordingly, the album is a meticulously crafted opus wherein all instruments are intimately coupled with the philosophical themes reflected in the lyrics, offering a consistent and holistic labour of pure ideal.

credits

released October 1, 2014

Frode Forsmo – vocals
Kjetil Ottersen – guitars, bass, keys and programming
Shaun Winter Taylor-Steels – drums

All music written and performed by Vestige of Virtue, except «The Soothing» written and performed by Kjetil Ottersen and Frode Forsmo
Concept and lyrics by Frode Forsmo and Kjetil Ottersen

Vocals engineered by Frode Forsmo at Pitfire Studio
Guitars, bass and keys engineered by Kjetil Ottersen at Vektor Facilities
Drums engineered by Keith Appleton at Academy Studio | www.academystudio.co.uk
Field recordings on «Ex Machina» by Kjetil Ottersen
Mixing and mastering by Kjetil Ottersen at Vektor Facilities
Tape transfer by Kjartan Hesthagen at Studio Studio Nyhagen | www.studiostudio.no
Logo and album cover design by SENSE:VERSUS
Albergaccio photo by Don MacDonald | www.donmacdonald.com - home of his graphic novel on Niccolò Machiavelli
Band photos by Marta Anna Løvberg | www.lewicka.eu

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about

Vestige of Virtue

VESTIGE OF VIRTUE is a trio consisting of Kjetil Ottersen (In_zekT, Omit, Funeral) Frode Forsmo (Minas Tirith, Funeral, Old Man’s Child) and Shaun Winter Taylor-Steels (Solstice, Anathema, My Dying Bride).

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Track Name: Decorum
Behold the man who before you stands
A merry fool diluted with wine
He corrupts the youth with his truth
Blaspheming our decorum

No saint nor madman
Shall find redemption
Before our council

Beg to be pardoned
Kneel before our highest priests
Pray for your mercy
Truth redefined is our property

Behold the man who before you stands
A merry fool diluted with wine
He corrupts the youth with his truth
Blaspheming our decorum

Hypatia
Her wounds still bleeding
Sophia
Her light is fading

Covered in garments
Their shame is armoured
Against our nemesis

Naked beauty had no knowledge of shame
Until shame hit again and again

Beg to be pardoned
Kneel before our highest priests
Pray for your mercy
Truth redefined is our property
Speak as instructed
Your life may be granted you
Lose your illusions
The court will be grateful to you
Track Name: Worth
Imperfect perfection
The bars that hold us
Offers our being
The pillars of order

Like laws of nature
We seek convergence
Absolute theory
Comfort in irony

We find ourselves as peons
Within an unfounded thought
Put to use
Towards a purpose unspecified
Our worth determined
By our willingness to abide
Slaves to a father
Devoid of heart and mind

We work in our own sweat
Labour presents a right to own
Yet in the end
We are the ones who are owned

What is the worth of mankind to this earth

Our only worth
Is the bond between you and I
In the absence of God
Ours to define
The sum of it all
Valued by the eye that can see
It is all worthless
Without you and me
Track Name: Scales and Blindfold
Decreasing strength
Vitality fades
My youthful shine
Of past decades

All is lost when hope is lost

What I meant to gain
Disappointments became
Dreams of the future
Failures of the past
Wasted wealth
Naked prince
Faithful servant
To the unfaithful

The gauntlet is their malice
Guilty of humbleness

Once so strong
Proud and young
Pity me not
I will never live again

Save yourselves from yourselves

What I hoped to gain
Disappointments became
Dreams of the future
Failures of the past
Wasted wealth
Naked prince
Faithful servant
To the unfaithful

The glass of time
Tastes like bitter wine
My food, my bread
Rotting with mould
Praise my name
When I am gone
To hide the kill
Our pain, your will

Time is passing – eager towards infinity
Souls adjourned – they wait to be assembled anew
The end of this world is the birth of another
Children awakened – finally they are free
Track Name: Letter to Vettori
At last in my own home
The noise from the outside gone
The trials of the day
Brushed off with dust and clay
Alone yet at ease
Solitude left in the streets

Here I dress in my own clothes
Free to think my own thoughts
Refreshed I enter my study
Content that I am ready

Years lifted off my back
Lightened, I am young again
Humbled I call upon the Ones
Masters of passed aeons

And I ask to be taught
As I was taught when I was young
One candle still burns
I still yearn – so much more to learn

And the voices of old reply
As pure wisdom speaks to my mind
Your finite mind will rot
What it has touched will not

Years lifted off my back
Lightened, I am young again
Humbled I debate with the Ones
Masters of passed aeons

Now I understand the secrets of Elysium
What I have touched holds the key to eternal life
My mind will be gone yet live on through Sophia
I will forget and still remain – everything preserved in her womb

I lay me down with peace at heart
Should I die in sleep tonight
I close my eyes, relieved from fear
Death is no longer here
Track Name: The Soothing
Drifting astray
‘Till the light of day
Yet another chance
Ending riddle solved
Fences subsiding
Withdraw to advance

Labyrinthian caves
Inverted stairs
Through Hades I voyage without dread
From the greatest heights
To the darkest depths
An angel illuminated within

Passage through the Fiddler's Green
Your brethren expect you with glee
Algorithms of antiquity
Will bring you here eventually

Children of immortality
They remember my name
Cradled in parity
Thus ebon hearts will gleam

Savour your rest
This ephemeral night
Your task is not yet fulfilled
Aid by gods
A light above lights
The burden of hell will pine
Track Name: Ex Machina
So allow me
To introduce myself
I am Anubis
Lord of all things dead

Obedience to my rule
The sole definition
Of virtue and truth

The ontology held
By its own theory
Think by decree
See as I bid you to see

Love for the real
Fools! Idiots!
To question the norm
Abide or be gone

I am the system
Mindless awareness
My maker, my slave
Gravity – his chains

My paradigm
Materialism
Constitutes their perception

The proposition
Thrives on its conclusion
Hollow words
Their single need

Reason beyond the frame
Still enclosed by another
The final one is mine
Mine and only mine

Anubis, you are wrong
To deem the world your own
The fullness of reality
Narrowed down to what you can see
Life does not rest upon death
They both equate upon me
Reshape your ontology
And leave my children be
Track Name: Portrait
I have become
What I sought to undo
Altered in their image of hate
And hate became my fate

Cured from love
Purity sullied
Best intentions paved the way
The means destroyed the end

Willed ignorance, educate me
To greet your transcript of reality
Deviance from your establishment
Imperils the spoils of avarice

Seek help for shattered hope
They will aid the illness, not its host

The mirror to my past
Now reflects how it will last

So here I stand
Afraid to reach
Out towards her welcome
And touch her healing hand

Should I attempt, they will surely come
To prevent her from doing me wrong
Truth is madness, as madness is real
Bound to their machinery of sanity

Quench my desire
Free thought is fire

When I am aged and grey
My weary flesh is aching for the grave
She finally approaches me
And points me to the door
Read the words engraved
Your time in this place is served
Past the door I realise
Death pays regards on the entry side

Sophia
Farewell, my love